Saturday, February 26, 2005


Poser Filters

Amnesty International's latest report in Iraq says more about Amnesty than it does about its subject. Here's the opening line:

Women and girls in Iraq live in fear of violence as the conflict intensifies and insecurity spirals.
Not like to good old days under Saddam, girls, sorry about that.

How did yesterday's noble intent morph into the Amnesty of today? Cuz this is what almost has to happen, perhaps inevitably, to single-issue groups. Either their chosen problem can be solved, or it can't.

Either way, the day comes when the results-oriented folk, not able to get any more results, move on, leaving only the posers behind. And to some extent, a change in attitude accomplishes much the same effect on those who stay. If the org had a cachet of some kind from its early days (Amnesty certainly did), even more posers will be attracted.

For Amnesty, the process will continue: bloggers are more effective today than AI can be at the original Amnesty mission of hiliting the plight of political prisoners in order to save them, thereby casting light on repressive regimes in general.

With their effectiveness nearing zero, Amnesty has put itself on a spiral from which it will not likely escape. It will be up to bloggers - most of whom are not at all single-issue, thankfully - to honor the now-almost-forgotten original intent.