• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere else?

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,893
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
People tend to go crazy about how Islamic regimes abuse their women or about how Israel oppresses the Palestinians, yet we see little of that same enthusiasm outside of the middle east. When's the last time a bunch of activists tried to sail a boat full of pamphlets about democracy into a Chinese port? When's the last time the Security Council had an emergency session to condemn the killing of a handful of people in Burma, or Rwanda, or Congo? As bad as Palestinians or women under sharia law might have it, they have it better than people located in the CAR or Somalia or any of two dozen other places.


Woman in an Islamic country gets 50 lashes for going out on a date without a chaperone = International outrage, threads here

Israel kills 15 activists who are trying to break an embargo = International outrage, threads here

The LRA attacks 10 villages, kills 350 civilians, rapes the women, kidnaps 250 people = Yawn, "what's the LRA?"
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

good question - I hadn't heard much about it in the media.

in fact, the last mentioning of the LRA was when i read the Patriot Act in which they're officially declared a terrorist organization and the Crisis Response Act in 2004.
 

Boo Radley

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
37,066
Reaction score
7,028
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

All audiences are egocentric. Unless someone sees why it matters to a particular audience, it is unlikely to get the same play. Remember, news today is a business.
 

Black_Zawisza

Banned
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
606
Reaction score
259
Location
United States
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

As far as the LRA, I'm not sure, but with regard to Israel, it's obvious the mainstream media is biased against it. Portraying Israel as the bully in these conflicts in the Middle East is ridiculous. The supposed innocent underdogs here are far more powerful than Israel and have aggressively pursued its destruction since the day after Israel was founded.

Now, I'm not saying we ought to give foreign aid to Israel and be best buddies and all that crap. Just that the mainstream media is clearly not being objective, at least on this issue.
 
Last edited:

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,893
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

All audiences are egocentric. Unless someone sees why it matters to a particular audience, it is unlikely to get the same play. Remember, news today is a business.
That might explain this if people were protesting things happening in their own countries, but I'm talking about people from Europe and America who freak out about **** happening in Israel and Saudi Arabia. We have more dealings with China that we do with either of those countries, yet everyone pretends that China's repressive regime doesn't really exist.

I just don't understand why people care so much about the middle east, to the exclusion of everything else.
 

digsbe

Truth will set you free
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
20,224
Reaction score
14,223
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

It is truly a sad thing. People don't know the atrocities that go on within N. Korea, Sudan, China, and other on Middle Eastern nations. The two reasons we here so much about the Middle East is because of Islamophobia and anti-Israel sentiment. Plus, the UN has this thing for Israel that takes up all of their vision.
 

Harry Guerrilla

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
28,955
Reaction score
12,423
Location
Not affiliated with other libertarians.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

That might explain this if people were protesting things happening in their own countries, but I'm talking about people from Europe and America who freak out about **** happening in Israel and Saudi Arabia. We have more dealings with China that we do with either of those countries, yet everyone pretends that China's repressive regime doesn't really exist.

I just don't understand why people care so much about the middle east, to the exclusion of everything else.
That's what goes on TV.
People eat that **** up.

It's like the notion that there is a large segment in the U.S. that is poor.
For crying out loud our homeless have it better than most of the people in Africa.
 

Black_Zawisza

Banned
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
606
Reaction score
259
Location
United States
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

It is truly a sad thing. People don't know the atrocities that go on within N. Korea, Sudan, China, and other on Middle Eastern nations. The two reasons we here so much about the Middle East is because of Islamophobia and anti-Israel sentiment. Plus, the UN has this thing for Israel that takes up all of their vision.
A phobia is an irrational fear. No offense to any Muslims here, but it is quite simply a religion based on intolerance and coercive conversion of nonbelievers.

Koran 4:89 "They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper."

Koran 9:5 "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem [trick in war for deceiving and outwitting the enemy]; but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."

Koran 8:12 "Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." This because they contended against God and His Apostle: If any contend against God and His Apostle, God is strict in punishment. Thus (will it be said): "Taste ye then of the (punishment): for those who resist God, is the penalty of the Fire." O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them.

Hadith 9:4 "Wherever you find infidels kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection."

Et cetera, et cetera. There are numerous more examples of quotes like these from the Koran and Hadith.

According to Muslim teaching, one's choice is to convert, pay the Jizya (the oppressive tax on all non-Muslims, which coerced the vast majority of the modern Muslim world, which was formerly Christian, to convert), or die. It's entirely rational to fear devout Muslims (a ridiculously small percentage of them, to be sure).
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

What I see, though, is a clash of thoughts on what we should do and how we should do it.

On one hand we have the people who feel that the US is over-reaching and playing 'world police' far too often and insists that the US must leave alone or pull out of conflicts which didn't originally involve the US.

Then we have the people who feel that we should be the 'world police' - but not for everyone - we have to be careful about our allies an who we align ourselves with.

And of course there are the people who feel that we should be equally involved in everything.

Then there are those who feel that we should be available but not make it paramount to our focus - and we should let others fight out their issues and maybe we hang around for humanitarian aid without choosing sides.

So - who should we keep happy and follow the desires of? Just what should we consider when deciding who to give aid to and why?

It's a complicated issue.
 

Redress

Liberal Fascist For Life!
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
106,896
Reaction score
50,813
Location
Georgia
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

I cannot speak for any one else, but I can only care about what I hear about. I don't much hear about things in China or small African countries. However, I remember watching and being outraged at the Tienanmen Square massacre. I don't think it is selective outrage, only what is in the news.
 

Yossarian

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

I think some causes are more 'faddish' than others.

For example, look at 'Free Tibet'. Before the Beijing Olympics, I could hardly step out my front door without being asked to sign some petition, or join some protest against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. And then, after the Olympics, whaddya know......nothing. Not a thing. And so the great humanitarian campaign (a.k.a. publicity stunt) to free Tibet was tossed into the dustbin of history after pretty much a week of popularity.

The Israel/Palestinian cause is well-known because it gets a lot of publicity around the world. This is almost certainly due to the fact that there are powerful and influential forces on both sides who have an interest in drawing global attention to what is going on, either to condemn or justify. It's not due to the actual events themselves because let's face it, they could be a lot worse.

Meanwhile, people are being massacred over in the Congo by the tens of thousands. But who cares? This is certainly an altogether greater atrocity than several people being machine-gunned on a boat, but interest in the developed world is next to nil. The West couldn't give a toss about it thanks to what people call the 'Mogadishu factor', a term coined after the failed US/UN humanitarian mission in Rwanda in 1994. News outlets don't report it because news is ultimately about business, not moralising, and the powerful interest groups involved in something like the Israel/Palestine situation steal the limelight.

Tl;dr, some causes are popular and are backed by powerful interests or are brought to public attention by some other event. Some aren't. This has nothing to do with their scale or severity, but simply who supports what.
 
Last edited:

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

Per China - I do care but that means nothing due to the government's view of us.

all these other countries - if we were purely in our issue in the ME for humanitarian concerns then, yes, we should be equally involved elsewhere. But it's a painful truth that the only reason why we care so much about the ME is because we benefit from them more directly. Other countries and issues - Burma and so on - there's no bargaining chip, no fulcrum, no point (in a political perspective) - it's a very selfish and fake "aide" that we provide.
 

Yossarian

Active member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

Per China - I do care but that means nothing due to the government's view of us.
China is an interesting case because most of the Chinese population itself generally does not appreciate Western bickering about their authoritarian system. The government has enough of a hold on people's lives that American or Western criticisms are viewed as needless and unfair interference in Chinese domestic affairs. Generally, protestations of any sort are premised upon the actual support of the people you are protesting for. I would contend that this largescale support is not part of the Chinese public's collective psyche.
 

Zyphlin

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 21, 2005
Messages
51,312
Reaction score
35,172
Location
NoMoAuchie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

Two reasons, one which applies to people and government and one more to the people.

First, is self interest. Israel is an ally to the United States and a home to a large population of Jews, giving people a personal reason to care more about what goes on there both to be negative or positive to it. The oil supply of much of the world comes from the Middle East and actions there can have ramifications on its price, causing people to take notice (and governments to take notice and interest as well). The heavy muslim populations cause people to pay attention more, again like with the jews both to be negative or positive to it. The biggest attack on our country in the past decades came out from the Middle East, again drawing attention to it to grasp at things to condemn or to highlight. There's personal reasons for individuals and governments to care and be involved and have an opinion about what's going on in the Middle East. There's not much for Africa, where we have no hugely well known allies, where we don't get any major goods, which are not centered so closely around religion, etc. With regards to China, I think deep down many realize that China being as it is may be in their more selfish self interest and thus its not cared about as much.

The second, which is more person oriented, is simply the familiarity. Something gets talked about, it enters into the mind and consiousness of the population, that in turn keeps them more focused on things surrounding that something which leads to hearing more stuff which continues forward the cycle. Since the 80's at least we've been continually getting stories and issues that are happening in the middle east, continually bringing the populations attention to the area and essentially giving the area defacto importance simply by the amount of time focused on it. As such it breeds upon itself more and more interest and focus, often at the expense of other places. This is especially true when the thing bringing the attention are things involving war or actual negative action by America rather than philanthropic acts like having a big concert, because going back to issue #1 the notion of physically asserting "our" will (either through force or diplomacy) through the government sparks self interest far more than Bono singing in Africa does.
 

Simon W. Moon

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
23,134
Reaction score
8,377
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

"Historically" areas of "interest" are not as often where empires are, nor where empires aren't, so much as where empires meet. That may play a part in it, at least as far as the ME is concerned.
Additionally, it may also be that many Americans perceive the ME to be of strategic importance to the US that is greater than some of the other troubled parts of the world.
Also, there are a very closely mingled histories and traditions tying together Europe and the ME. America has inherited a great deal of that heritage.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,893
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

A whole bunch of great points here, too many to respond to individually.

Some things that crossed my mind.

There's certainly something to the argument that because the ME is a hub of business/oil, we pay more attention there, but I would think that that same interest would lead us to concern for places like China or Africa. China provides us with all sorts of cheap labor and Africa is chock full of important natural resources. The only real explanation I can see is this:

-The status quo in the ME provides us with all sorts of goods, without our intervention we might lose out
-The status quo in China provides us with all sorts of goods, our intervention would actually risk that
The status quo in Africa provides us with little, we're not willing to intervene just to develop it

There point about ethnic and religious ties to the ME is also a good one, so I wonder if the ever increasing number of immigrants from Africa and SE Asia might cause a shift in the way we see things in the future.

And of course the point about news media coverage is also spot on, so I think one of the first two things will have to happen before the media follows along. You could almost feel it picking up with Rwanda, Aids in Africa, the Taliban, (and I imagine Tienanmen) etc. but none of that really seemed to take hold in the context of human rights.

edit: Hey Simon, good to see you. Hope the family is well.
 
Last edited:

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,581
Reaction score
31,550
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

A
There's certainly something to the argument that because the ME is a hub of business/oil, we pay more attention there, but I would think that that same interest would lead us to concern for places like China or Africa. China provides us with all sorts of cheap labor and Africa is chock full of important natural resources. The only real explanation I can see is this:
Off the top of my head- we've know for decades what is happening with the communist Chinese, so it's not news, and we have become somewhat accustomed to it. As for Africa- this seems to be the status quo for several African countries, and we seem to expect it. With the ME, what we see is a religious basis for human rights violations. That being the case, many Americans, specifically Christians, have trouble knowing how to accept it, because it is in such opposition to what American Christians have been taught for quite some time.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

A whole bunch of great points here, too many to respond to individually.

Some things that crossed my mind.

There's certainly something to the argument that because the ME is a hub of business/oil, we pay more attention there, but I would think that that same interest would lead us to concern for places like China or Africa. China provides us with all sorts of cheap labor and Africa is chock full of important natural resources. The only real explanation I can see is this:

-The status quo in the ME provides us with all sorts of goods, without our intervention we might lose out
-The status quo in China provides us with all sorts of goods, our intervention would actually risk that
The status quo in Africa provides us with little, we're not willing to intervene just to develop it

There point about ethnic and religious ties to the ME is also a good one, so I wonder if the ever increasing number of immigrants from Africa and SE Asia might cause a shift in the way we see things in the future.

And of course the point about news media coverage is also spot on, so I think one of the first two things will have to happen before the media follows along. You could almost feel it picking up with Rwanda, Aids in Africa, the Taliban, (and I imagine Tienanmen) etc. but none of that really seemed to take hold in the context of human rights.

edit: Hey Simon, good to see you. Hope the family is well.
Africa is also riddled with a bigger problem - a much bigger problem - than the ME is. The shear scope of all the issues throughout the continent is astounding. How does one go about intervening? It's a hornets nest - where to begin? Just in Uganda? Then other areas with just as much turmoil and need for help will be looked over. The social outcry that happened in Iraq will be ten-fold from countries who don't want us on their soil. A can of vipers, not even just worms.

We definitely have to resolve one issue - whether it should have been started or not - before giving attention to another.
 

Boo Radley

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
37,066
Reaction score
7,028
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

That might explain this if people were protesting things happening in their own countries, but I'm talking about people from Europe and America who freak out about **** happening in Israel and Saudi Arabia. We have more dealings with China that we do with either of those countries, yet everyone pretends that China's repressive regime doesn't really exist.

I just don't understand why people care so much about the middle east, to the exclusion of everything else.
As we have people fighting over in that part of the world, and oil issues, and religious issues, and lobbying groups, I think it does explain it.
 

DeeJayH

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
11,728
Reaction score
1,688
Location
Scooping Zeus' Poop
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

why does nobody care about North Korea sinking a South Korean boat
yet the whole world is outraged at Jews killing pro-palestinian provocateurs

maybe the fact that the issue is highlighted by Glenn Beck is cause, but why is one more important than the other? SERIOUSLY?
 

Redress

Liberal Fascist For Life!
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
106,896
Reaction score
50,813
Location
Georgia
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

why does nobody care about North Korea sinking a South Korean boat
yet the whole world is outraged at Jews killing pro-palestinian provocateurs

maybe the fact that the issue is highlighted by Glenn Beck is cause, but why is one more important than the other? SERIOUSLY?
Actually, I thought the NK sinking the SK ship was both outrageous, and more important that the Israel story. What happens though is Israel is always controversial, and so gets more play on the news, and therefore more attention.
 

DeeJayH

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
11,728
Reaction score
1,688
Location
Scooping Zeus' Poop
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

Actually, I thought the NK sinking the SK ship was both outrageous, and more important that the Israel story. What happens though is Israel is always controversial, and so gets more play on the news, and therefore more attention.
allegedly flotilla gets more press because the majority of the world hates the jews
just look back to the early 20th century and how they were treated
what was so special about the killing of a few terrorist supporters as opposed to a South Korean Ship:

UN: Do not overreact to teh sinking of the S Korean ship
UN: Persecute those ****ing Jews
 

Redress

Liberal Fascist For Life!
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
106,896
Reaction score
50,813
Location
Georgia
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

allegedly flotilla gets more press because the majority of the world hates the jews
just look back to the early 20th century and how they were treated
what was so special about the killing of a few terrorist supporters as opposed to a South Korean Ship:

UN: Do not overreact to teh sinking of the S Korean ship
UN: Persecute those ****ing Jews
I don't think it was anti Jew sentiment that is making it a story in the US. The rest of the world, I have no idea, but not the US.
 

DeeJayH

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
11,728
Reaction score
1,688
Location
Scooping Zeus' Poop
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

I don't think it was anti Jew sentiment that is making it a story in the US. The rest of the world, I have no idea, but not the US.
I will agree it is not an issue in the US, but it is a serious issue in the Obama Administration. They are clearly anti-Semite
 

Redress

Liberal Fascist For Life!
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
106,896
Reaction score
50,813
Location
Georgia
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
Re: Why do people freak out re: human rights in ME but not care about it anywhere els

I will agree it is not an issue in the US, but it is a serious issue in the Obama Administration. They are clearly anti-Semite
I don't think that is true either. They are clearly less supportive of Israel, but I think that is a good thing. I think we should be taking a more critical look at our relationship with Israel, who is not an ideal country, and does have a habit of overreacting or acting in ways not in our best interest. It is entirely possible to be critical of Israel's actions without being an anti-semite.
 
Top Bottom