Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, accused U.S. President George W. Bush of "rank hypocrisy" for lecturing him on human rights and likened the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison to a concentration camp. Mugabe accused Bush of imprisoning and torturing people at Guantanamo Naval Base and at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. "He (Bush)kills in Iraq. He kills in Afghanistan. And this is supposed to be our master on human rights?"
Here are some brainstorming ideas for responding Mugabe’s allegation.
President Bush believed he was doing what was best for the nation and hurting people who might or might not be guilty, while some other countries are hurting people for their own gain and in a widespread manner. Comparing both of these figures in certain ways is like comparing apples to oranges, because it is a completely separate situation.
By Jacqueline Best
killing or torturing a person because of something that they cannot control has a higher degree of a human rights violation than torturing someone in a prison for a crime. We do not condone the torture of people in prisons and believe that no human rights violation should be occurring, but when examining Bush’s human rights violations compared to the human rights violations of numerous country leaders, the two types of violations cannot be exactly parallel.”
By Taylor Mirfendereski
We are fighting with an antiquated set of rules called the Geneva Convention. These rules were made for armies – not insurgencies, not for pissed-off citizens of a nation. In some cases, torture is necessary.
By Michael Hess
What Mugabe points out is the paradox of American criticism on human rights issues – that the U.S. government advocates for human rights elsewhere while completely disregarding them in its own policies. The U.S. does have a history of not practicing what it preaches. Though Mugabe has little room to lecture on issue of human rights, his message to Bush administration has resonates throughout most of the international community – the administration ignored the human rights of its detainees for a long time – and that will continue to hurt the U.S.’s reputation in the world for some time.”
By Michael Barajas
Edit By Jung Lee