After Abu Ghraib: Exploring Human Rights in America and the by Shadi Mokhtari

By Shadi Mokhtari

Mokhtari's booklet examines the alterations within the human rights discourse within the usa and the center East after the maltreatment and torture of the U.S. captives within the Abu Ghraib and different prisons grew to become public. in the course of the textual content research of speeches and information stories, in addition to in-depth interviews with human rights NGO officers, she makes an intensive overview that either credit and criticizes the NGOs. Mokhtari indicates that human rights advocacy has been profitable in pushing the U.S. courts and Congress to acknowledge the relevance of foreign human rights legislations.

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Bush (Jan. 25, 2002), reprinted in supra note 26, at 119. 36 Transcript of the Hearing on Military Commissions and Tribunal, House Armed Services Committee, 109th Cong. (July 12, 2006). 32 Id. 36 AFTER ABU GHRAIB discussions, the clear implication of his words is that complying fully with the Geneva Convention protections could be considered proceeding with naivet´e. The Bush administration similarly marginalized international human rights law by repeatedly asserting that it was composed of various legal obligations that were vague or undefined.

AMERICAN IMAGININGS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE MIDDLE EAST 23 Closely linked to these relational identity constructions has been a dualistic view of culture. Although there are explicit and implicit assumptions of Middle Eastern societies’ human rights “nightmares” being linked to the trappings of a conservative religion and culture, the United States is viewed as standing in a space that is essentially free of culture and religion or culturally and religiously neutral. 4 Yet American positions on international human rights instruments or treatment of domestic rights issues often encompass the same cultural dimensions attributed to human rights engagements in Eastern contexts.

The era’s American military interventions were presented as in essence part of a long tradition of “sacrifice for liberty,” that, although “not always . . ”20 The United States’ power continued to be portrayed as rooted in its superior values and good intentions. 21 As Stanley Hoffman has observed, the “War on Terror” . . 22 Further, the Bush administration clearly enlisted and evoked the human rights geography critical scholars have mapped out, building on assumptions of inherent or ontological American commitments to universalism and the furtherance of the human rights project as well as corresponding conceptions of Middle Easterners as inherently incapable of fully understanding or achieving rights on their own.

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