Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Human Rights'

Means and Ends – “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” – Christopher Hitchens

January 18th, 2012 · No Comments · History, Human Rights, Means and Ends, Morality, Politics, Power, Security Policy, War

If one can demonstrate that there was such a plan (to remove the President of Cypress), and that Kissinger knew about it in advance, then it follows logically and naturally that he was not ostensibly looking for a crisis – as he self-pityingly asks us to believe – but for a solution. The fact that [...]

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Through a Trapdoor at the end of a rope – “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” – Christopher Hitchens

January 17th, 2012 · No Comments · History, Human Rights, Morality, Philosophy, Politics, Security Policy, War, WW2

Some statements are too blunt for everyday, consensual discourse. In national ‘debate’, it is the smoother pebbles that are customarily gathered from the stream, and used as projectiles. They leave less of a scar, even when they hit. Occasionally, however, a single hard-edged remark will inflict a deep and jagged wound, a gash so ugly [...]

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International Law – “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” – Christopher Hitchens

January 17th, 2012 · No Comments · History, Human Rights, Policy, Politics, Power, Security Policy, War

Many if not most of Kissinger’s partners in crime are now in jail, or are awaiting trial, or have been otherwise punished or discredited. His own lonely impunity is rank; it smells to heaven. If it is allowed to persist then we shall shamefully vindicate the ancient philosopher Anarchasis, who maintained that laws were like [...]

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“Revenge is Sour” from “Fifty Orwell Essays” – George Orwell

November 11th, 2011 · No Comments · History, Human Rights, Power, Revenge, War, WW2

Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also. In enlightened minds maybe…

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Last Minute Solipsism – “Why Orwell Matters” – Christopher Hitchens

July 3rd, 2011 · No Comments · History, Human Rights, Philosophy

This instant of last-minute solipsism — observing the practical etiquette of life while hurtling towards death — recalls the superbly observed irrelevance of the condemned Burmese convict’s gesture in Orwell’s essay ‘A Hanging’: “And once, in spite of the men who gripped him by each shoulder, he stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on [...]

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Matters Outside the Realm of Law – “Eichmann in Jerusalem” – Hannah Arendt

April 28th, 2011 · No Comments · Genocide, History, Human Rights, The Law, WW2

All attempts to widen the range of the trial had to be resisted, because the court could not “allow itself to be enticed into provinces which are outside its sphere…. the judicial process has ways of its own, which are laid down by law, and which do not change, whatever the subject of the trial [...]

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Know and Be Ashamed – “Eichmann in Jerusalem” – Hannah Arendt

April 22nd, 2011 · No Comments · Genocide, History, Human Rights, Humanism, Philosophy, WW2

Ben-Gurion had outlined them before the trial started, in a number of articles designed to explain why Israel had kidnaped the accused. There was the lesson to the non-Jewish world: “We want to establish before the nations of the world how millions of people, because they happened to be Jews, and one million babies, because [...]

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Justice – “Eichmann in Jerusalem” – Hannah Arendt

April 21st, 2011 · No Comments · Genocide, History, Human Rights, The Law, WW2

Justice demands that the accused be prosecuted, defended, and judged, and that all the other questions of seemingly greater import—of “How could it happen?” and “Why did it happen?,” of “Why the Jews?” and “Why the Germans?,” of “What was the role of other nations?” and “What was the extent of co-responsibility on the side [...]

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A Rebuttal of Post Modern Morality – “Eichmann in Jerusalem” – Hannah Arendt

November 11th, 2010 · No Comments · Culture, Human Rights, Morality, Philosophy, The Law, Totalitarianism, WW2

What we have demanded in these trials, where the defendants had committed “legal” crimes, is that human beings be capable of telling right from wrong even when all they have to guide them is their own judgment, which, moreover, happens to be completely at odds with what they must regard as the unanimous opinion of [...]

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