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Open letter to Amnesty International

by Zahir Ebrahim Sunday, Mar. 18, 2007 at 4:46 PM none none

Apart from writing terrific looking reports, and with the exception of bringing much sought after relief in few individual cases, what level of global impact has Amnesty International had over the years? Its own ongoing reports on Israel-Palestine are of exactly zero impact, as empirically evident by the continual reality of new faits accomplis being daily constructed on the ground! In Project Humanbeingsfirst's view, this is entirely because the battles are often being fought at the "low order bits of the issues", when "the higher order bits" entirely determine where "the page faults" (in computer science geek-speak). This deplorable failing in our view, can easily be remedied by addressing the issues at the right levels of abstraction.

Open Letter to Amnesty International


From: Project Humanbeingsfirst

Subject: Urgent Action Israel-Palestine

Date March 16, 2007

Dear Urgent Actioneers at Amnesty International

It is with much sadness and disheartedness that I draw your kind attention to Project Humanbeingsfirst's analysis of Israel-Palestine festering blot on humanity at, article "The endless trail of red herrings" (

Please review it, especially in light of the current impasse and imminent attack on yet another sovereign nation in the works. The sad part is, the handful of conscionable peoples and organizations among the billions of silently spectating peoples in the world who actively care about these matters, often end up being co-opted by chasing down the endless trail of red herrings in all such issues such that their efficacy at the end of the day is entirely ZERO. This is the case with the antiwar protests for example, which could not prevent a barbaric and monumentally criminal "shock and awe" upon an innocent civilians, or the WTO protesters who have to date achieved little measurable impact on any trade policy, as well as Amnesty Internationals efforts at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere in the world to curb Human Rights abuses. Apart from writing terrific looking reports, and with the exception of bringing much sought after relief in few individual cases, what level of global impact has Amnesty International had over the years? Its own ongoing reports on Israel-Palestine are of exactly zero impact, as empirically evident by the continual reality of new faits accomplis being daily constructed on the ground!

In Project Humanbeingsfirst's view, this is entirely because the battles are often being fought at the "low order bits of the issues", when "the higher order bits" entirely determine where "the page faults" (in computer science geek-speak). This deplorable failing in our view, can easily be remedied by addressing the issues at the right levels of abstraction.

Thus to assist in the proper identification of DNA, one can easily draw upon the lessons of not too distant history if one wanted to. Please allow me to very briefly rehearse it here beginning with a direct quote from the closing speech of the Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg Military Tribunal in 1948, just before death sentences were handed out that couldn't possibly atone or compensate for the millions of peoples dead due to the unconstrained dreams for Lebensraum:

"But justice in this case has nothing to do with some of the arguments put forth by the defendants or their counsel. We have not previously and we need not now discuss the merits of all their obscure and tortuous philosophy. We are not trying them for the possession of obnoxious ideas. It is their right, if they choose, to renounce the Hebraic heritage in the civilization of which Germany was once a part. Nor is it our affair that they repudiated the Hellenic influence as well. The intellectual bankruptcy and moral perversion of the Nazi regime might have been no concern of international law had it not been utilized to goosestep the Herrenvolk across international frontiers. It is not their thoughts, it is their overt acts which we charge to be crimes. Their creed and teachings are important only as evidence of motive, purpose, knowledge, and intent." (

This bears restating again: "It is not their thoughts, it is their overt acts which we charge to be crimes. Their creed and teachings are important only as evidence of motive, purpose, knowledge, and intent". And as for blanket awareness of premeditated intent, the erstwhile judge recited his now infamous words:

"The plans of Adolf Hitler for aggression were just as secret as Mein Kampf, of which over six million copies were published in Germany."

And as historian William Shirer wrote in his diary on the eve of World War II on how such plans were hatched in plain sight:

"Everybody against the war. People talking openly. How can a country go into a major war with a population so dead against it?" Shirer continues describing the solution in Hitler's own words: "Hitler knew the answer well. Had he not the week before on his Bavarian mountaintop promised the generals that he would 'give a propagandist reason for starting the war' and admonished them not to 'mind whether it was plausible or not'? 'The victor', he had told them, 'will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not. In starting and waging a war it is not the right that matters, but victory.' "

Well we already know the historians excitedly lamenting about the intelligence failure on Iraq war, where the august Iraq Study Group has already seeded it with its rather disingenuous conclusion post fait accompli, in its March 31st 2005 report (

"We conclude that the intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its prewar judgments about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. This was a major intelligence failure,...".

And we already know what the Texan Republican Congressman Ron Paul has so clairvoyantly opined about the new impending war on the House floor in his Jan 2007 speech (

"As I said last week on the House floor, speculation in Washington focuses on when, not if, either Israel or the U.S. will bomb Iran-- possibly with nuclear weapons. The accusation sounds very familiar: namely, that Iran possesses weapons of mass destruction. Iran has never been found in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and our own Central Intelligence Agency says Iran is more than ten years away from producing any kind of nuclear weapon. Yet we are told we must act immediately while we still can! "

"The truth is that Iran, like Iraq, is a third-world nation without a significant military. Nothing in history hints that she is likely to invade a neighboring country, let alone America or Israel. I am concerned, however, that a contrived Gulf of Tonkin- type incident may occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran."

And not to be outdone, the former National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, came up with his own more laconic version of it, as Council on Foreign Relations erstwhile writer, Max Boot put it in his essay "Keeping Iran in line" (

'In Senate testimony, former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski conjured up a “plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran,” which would be provoked by a “terrorist act” that would be “blamed on Iran,” “culminating in a ‘defensive’ U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire.” '

But then Max Boot continued with the penultimate disingenuousness:

'You would think that the United States was Nazi Germany preparing to launch a war of aggression on Poland based on a fabricated provocation. (Adolf Hitler’s Sept. 1, 1939, blitzkrieg was preceded by SS troops in Polish uniforms pretending to attack a German radio station on the border.) In reality, it is the United States and our allies that are the victims in the confrontation with Iran.'

Perhaps suffering from incurable short term memory, he further noted:

'Recall that the trouble began with the outrageous Iranian seizure of 52 U.S. Embassy hostages in 1979. Since then, the mullahs have continued to wage war by proxy. Iranian-sponsored terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 258 Americans. They kidnapped numerous Americans in Lebanon. They are suspected of bombing the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia in 1996, killing 19 Americans. More recently, they have been providing arms and training to anti-American militants in Iraq. Iranian-made EFPs (explosively formed projectiles), a particularly potent type of landmine, have been responsible for more than 170 American combat deaths.'

Okay so it is but unstated truism that in today's unfortunate complex world of short term memories where the victor's justice abounds, the proper identification of the DNA among the public, and what indeed are the right levels of abstraction to operate ones' activism and urgent calls to action upon, such that it can correctly identify the first cause from which "all the evil that follows" can subsequently be very easily adjudicated, can often become a daunting challenge in itself!

Thus while well intentioned conscionable people continue to write books after books contemporaneously, attend protest marches one after another, and make endless conscionable calls to action, new faits accomplis are continually seeded right before our very eyes - which then presumably become "impractical" to unseed.

This is as true of Israel-Palestine with the Zionists in their quest for "Eretz Yisrael", as it is true of America's life-time of "War on terrorism" - the World War IV ( - and its self-apportioned misanthropic adventures outside its own geographical limits to impose "democracy" on other "lesser" nations under the guise of "preemption"! Will some future judge, a Robert Jackson, too inexorably lament:

The plans of the aggressor for aggression were just as secret as the PNAC on the Grand Chessboard that were freely available for download on the Internet, and in major bookstores.

Thus while we stroke our conscience playing with the "low order bits", military bases all across Central Asia are coming up in a geopolitical comeuppance of "Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives" on the Grand Chessboard, with almost no geopolitically strategic nation left on earth where there is not an American military presence today in some form as energetically advocated by the Project New American Century's report "Rebuilding America's Defenses" ( in order to pursue and maintain America's global "preeminence".

And as a direct consequence of which we see all the major and most significant global Human Rights abuses continually occurring, from Flying Bombs on civilian infrastructures and homes, to Extraordinary Renditions in many flavors, to Patriot Acts in multiple flavors, and including those abuses in more than 31 flavors committed by tin-pot dictatorships around the world in resources rich or strategically positioned developing nations who are entirely aided and abetted in propagating their reigns of terror upon their own peoples by the "Imperatives" of superpower "Primacy". Isn't the mitigation and elimination of the end abuse - the leaves of the tree so to speak - the raison d'etre for the existence of Amnesty International in the first place? But remarkably, all the energetic "lower order bits" of activism and urgent action calls by Amnesty and other conscionable Human Rights organizations like it, end up being glorified no-ops at the end of the day! Everyone goes home in the evening having had a good exercise session on the treadmill, while people in the world continue to suffer!

Thus what is the point of all this call for action, urgent actions, and activism - isn't the proof of the pudding entirely in its eating? In order to really make one's soufflé rise, one has to work, ab initio, in learning how to crack the egg! Instead of gathering the leaves, or focusing on its coloring, the right level of abstraction to curb abuse is obviously to focus on the primal first cause, its DNA!

That is the purpose of the analysis presented in "The endless trail of red herrings", using Israel-Palestine as an example to illustrate why (misguided) activism and urgent calls for action is great for the status quo - it only greatly helps deflect conscionable peoples' energies and activism because it repeatedly fails to address the issues at the right levels of abstraction, thus permitting new faits accomplis unhindered!

I hope you find our humble analysis presented on useful. You may do as you please with this analysis, including guiding your own Moral-Activism as appropriate, and propagating it further by giving it greater visibility, if you deem it worthy. The best thing one might do for status quo, is to ignore it entirely. I'd much rather you at least condemned the analysis with coherent reasoning if you do not find it worthy enough for propagating to your vast audience - using our very distinguished President's own choicest words to delineate matters: "either you are with us or with the terrorists"!

There are two more urgent action essays on "Introducing A Game As Old As Empire" and "Responsibility of Intellectuals - Redux". The issues are all sort of inter-related. For a quick partial analysis on how, please see this article:

The most urgent and immediate call for action however is indeed Israel-Palestine, for the impending unprovoked war on another sovereign nation has distinct beneficiaries, and distinct exponents, most prominent among them, the Apartheid state of Israel and their magnanimous Zionist neo-con supporters. It is an especially opportune time for refocusing energies towards the first cause celebra now that former American President Jimmy Carter has anemically attempted to broaden the discussion space with "Palestine, Peace not Apartheid". As Project Humanbeingsfirst noted at the end of footnote [3] in the "The endless trail of red herrings", a more conscionable and equitable project might have been titled "Palestine, Justice not Apartheid".

Does Amnesty International have the courage and the wisdom to take unequivocal positions on the multifaceted and continually trans-morphing only hidden in plain-sight DNA? Or would they rather contend themselves gathering the leaves while they wait for a future Robert Jackson to show them the way?

Kind Regards,

Zahir Ebrahim

Project HumanbeingsfirstTM

The author, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (patents here), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. He may be reached via humanbeingsfirst on

Document ID: PHBFZE20070316 URL for this article: Discussion Space:

Copyright Notice:

All material copyright (c) Project HumanbeingsfirstTM, with full permission to copy, repost, and reprint, in its entirety, unmodified and unedited, for any purpose, granted, provided the URL sentence and this copyright notice are also reproduced verbatim as part of this license, and not doing so may be subject to copyright license violation infringement claims pursuant to remedies noted at All quotations and excerpts are based on non-profit "fair use" in the greater public interest consistent with the understanding of laws noted at

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