Sunday, June 1, 2014

Czechs and human rights

I wanted to make a comment on a Czech government Minister's remarks about human rights.
But my post hasn't shown up at the paper where he was interviewed.
That's odd because I wrote a longer post, and then a short correction.  The correction showed up, but the original did not, which produced a strange sort of incoherence.

So, I'm going to post my (reconstructed) longer post here and now, with a link to the original article.

1.  The Minister speaks as though human rights were a fiction, something invented by privileged or lucky people. That's not true.  Workers in the Czech Republic and China and the USA can agree that they deserve health care, safety in the workplace (which is not provided for many Chinese, including those who make Apple products), and education for their children. 
2.  The Minister obscurely suggests that some unique Chinese culture or values justify what goes on in Tibet.  The truth is that he is simply in the business of bowing toward power.  He doesn't want to offend the rulers in China.  But those same rulers don't care very much about whether a person dies of burns in a factory run by FoxConn.

3.  The USA should cease its sanctions against Cuba--but not for the reasons that the Minister gives.  The USA has no business trying to overthrow governments.  And, in any case, the victims of the sanctions have been ordinary people.  That was perfectly predictable, and is the reason why no such sanctions should have ever been put in place.  

4.  Lastly, the Minister's actual suggestions might well have led the New York Times never to publish the article cited above, out of fear of offending a powerful person.  It is very clear where such obeisance leads--to the death of young soldiers in imperial wars.  Jaroslav Hašek could have told you that.

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