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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Gulag of the Year

Amnesty International (AI) have put forward the military prison at Guantanamo Bay as Gulag of the Year [tm]. The newspapers have jumped the gun and accepted the nomination before the votes are even counted, such is the sway of Amnesty.

I think that is patently unfair, and indeed, a slap in the face to the Australian Government who have been working hard to scoop the award. A serious look into some of the prisons in China, North Korea, and a special category for Abu-Ghraib (profiled when Saddam was in power, and then the US in comparison) would indicate to me that any award made to Gitmo as Gulag of the Year [tm] is premature.

My intention is to compile a brief list to enable you, the reader and defender of human rights around the world (well, now that Amnesty is specialising in America, some-ones got to step in) to get a better picture of which adjectives are best applied to which prisons.

Remember, in marketing, perception counts more than truth. Amnesty is slowly moving away from truth and relying on marketing to get their message across. As the lefties say, the ends justifies the means. Well, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes back at ya.

So, please help me out here and submit links and short notes as comments below or email zentiger at swoboda dot net dot nz, or arrange for a hefty anonymous donation so I can do this full time.

Note: Apparantly Transpower loaned out 532 million dollars to an anonymous source and Cullen is not saying who. Obviously, Transpower, as a NZ State Owned Enterprise (SOE) and established player in the financial markets (as per their mission statement I presume) are capable of funding me, so one would think many others are. Given its a SOE, I'm sure you tax payers out there are actually backing this investment with your tax dollars, whether you like it or not. Now I know why the lefties are complaining about my "Full Disclosure" post.
Remember - nominations in for Gulag of the Year [tm] are now open.
Update: The first nomination is in! That's the spirit Roger! Keep 'em coming folks.

Posted by ZenTiger | 6/07/2005 09:46:00 am

14 Comments:

Blogger Roger said...

I would like to humbly nominate the North Korean gulag system for the coveted trophy of "Gulag of the Year". Here are some links supporting my nomination:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/korea/article/0,2763,1136483,00.html

and

http://www.hrnk.org/hiddengulag/part1.html

Thank you.

6/07/2005 11:08:00 am  
Blogger Roger said...

I can't believe no one has anything to say on this issue yet. But frankly speaking, as soon as the DPRK was nominated the race was over. I mean, there are an estimated 250,000 people in their gulag - none of this wussy Guantanamo stuff. This is hard core gulaging (is that a word?).

6/07/2005 08:28:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Roger, I daresay it's much more fun to bash America than look at the mess the world is in from a bigger perspective, and then work out how best to fight the fire.

I'm not saying that wrongs shouldn't be righted where-ever they occur, but a lot more attention is put on the flea biting the dog on its tail than the maggots infesting the open wound on its flank.

If gulaging isn't a word, it soon will be. I'm already guilty of using "gulagiest", so a bit more systemic abuse of the English language shouldn't offend Amnesty's Grammar Division any further.

6/07/2005 08:50:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

uh, Zen, maggots on an open wound are supposed to be good - they clean out the icky bits.

6/07/2005 09:43:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Not that I could ever bring myself to get that sort of treatment, even if I needed it.

6/07/2005 09:44:00 pm  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

it's probably because no one disagrees with you Roger. Unless we can top your nomination then it's a lost cause for disagreement. I would love to agree with whoever suggested the Australians should win because of their mandatory detention policies and centres but that would be treating the issue less seriously than it deserves. They certainly deserve some sort of award for what is a travesty of humanity in a modern western nation but in no way comparable to the North Koreans.

6/07/2005 10:15:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

The thing about the maggots is they have to be removed at the right time. That's why it pays to keep an eye on them.

Ackers1, it's still important to get a few places to compare. That's really the point of the post. If Amnesty are going to market Gitmo as the Gulag of our times, the average punter needs to be educated to the contenders.

Really, I can't see why we can't turn this into a Hollywood production, complete with TAB betting, a host, the nominees, the previous winners and a variety of categories.

Have I just stumbled across the next wave of reality TV? Gulag Survivor.

6/07/2005 10:32:00 pm  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

Couldn't be worse than the latest crop of Big Brother contenders here. They deserve a special gulag of their own.

6/07/2005 10:43:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Readers, please note how Ackers1 has used the term Gulag in casual conversation in an appropriate way on an appropriate target, in an appropriate context.

Whereas, Amnesty completely blew it.

Now why is this so hard to see?

6/07/2005 11:04:00 pm  
Blogger Roger said...

Hey people, found an interesting article from the LATimes on the Amnesty-USA-Gulag thing. Link below:
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-scheer7jun07,0,3216355,print.column

6/08/2005 09:16:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Yep, there's probably quite a few of those. LA Times seems quite leftist from the few things I've noticed.

6/08/2005 09:51:00 pm  
Blogger Roger said...

Does a paper have to be "leftist" to criticise a certain policy of the Bush administration?
Are all papers that stand up for the administration "rightist"? I don't think it is as simple as that.

6/08/2005 10:20:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

To some extent I think papers just like to recycle information, with a slight twist each time it runs the mill. A bit like the "chinese whispers" game (I wonder what the PC term is now for this game?)

The article you point to and the fact that the "gulag" quote is popping up in all sorts of articles highlights the point I was trying to make about Amnesty changing the message.

They are slowly moving over to become another biased organisation that has lost its way (or been infested with a new species of rat).

They were the watchmen. Now they need watching.

6/08/2005 10:56:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Roger, it doesn't have to be - it just seems to be. In the US the market is large enough to have rightist and leftist papers. We don't get that same range of diversity here in NZ.

6/08/2005 10:56:00 pm  

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