Human Rights Redux


Chibli Mallat, a human rights lawyer interviewed by Reason a few weeks ago, offers a way out:

It is hard for anyone in the world, including the Arabs sceptical of American intentions, to resist a policy directed at ending a 34-year dictatorship and introducing protection of the basic rights of Iraqis toiling under it, as well as lifting sanctions from which they have been suffering.

These two correctives were put forward by a number of Arab (and Turkish) advocates in a "democratic Iraq initiative". These ideas were welcomed in places as diverse as Washington and the offices of Amnesty International, as well as gaining support in the Gulf states for the exile of Saddam Hussein to avoid war. But Europe has remained impervious to such ideas.

Is it too late? Calls for ending the hostilities will hardly be heeded now, but tabling a dual proposal in the shape of a ceasefire and the deployment of human rights monitors should surely be hard to oppose for anyone who cares for a better future for Iraq.