Session 2007/08 CoD 33
Professor Geras vs. Your Intelligence
An interesting case just placed before the court, in which the plaintiff, Professor Geras, attacks the defendant, Your Intelligence, by extrapolating from an anecdotal account.
The facts of the case are clear -
C) Kenneth Roth is guilty of the crime of moral equivalence by effectively stating that it is more acceptable for tyrannical regimes to violate human rights.
Your Intelligence contends that it has been grievously insulted by Professor Geras's argument.
The case is yet to come to court, and may prove to be a landmark in the evolution of Decent case law.
Firstly, the court will likely accept hearsay evidence obtained in the back of a Decent Taxi without independent corroboration.
Secondly, and controversially, a brief Google search reveals that HRW has repeatedly made some form of the following argument -
"It is highly damaging to the cause of international human rights when the nations that conceived, drafted, signed and have pushed for the enforcement of human rights laws are caught in flagrant violation of them. It is doubly damaging when those nations actively seek to exempt themselves from such laws with mendacious claims of exceptionalism and point-blank refusals to improve their behaviour.
This encourages people all over the world to believe that human rights are merely a stick for beating international pariahs, rather than strict laws which should be adhered to by all nations. The damage this causes may well be irreparable.
In short, the leader of the free world must possess the moral authority to castigate China's human rights record without facing an outbreak of sniggering."
Your Intelligence refuses to accept that a Professor Emeritus of politics is incapable of grasping this simple idea. Further, by implying that this argument means "it is to some extent all right for nasty regimes to violate human rights," Professor Geras has clearly insulted Your Intelligence.
Since Professor Geras has grievously insulted Your Intelligence on numerous occasions in the past, this may seem an open-and-shut-case. Readers are reminded, however, that the Court of Decency has a history of bizarre rulings against Humanitarian NGOs generally and Human Rights Watch in particular.
Full text of Professor Geras's musings here.