Every year, the United States of America presents a report about human rights around the world, criticizing this or that country, demanding the exclusion of some and the punishment of others, and ignoring its own black record of violating human rights both domestically and on a global level. The glaring paradox in all of this is that Washington is the most vocal capital in this area, perhaps in order to cover its own colossal violations of human rights. We see it raising slogans about defending human rights in all international forums, and we find it, more than any other capital, playing this card in its political dealings with other countries while rejecting any foreign criticism of its barbaric practices against others.
The latest yearly report that the U.S. Department of State released doesn’t depart from this mold. It spreads its dozens of admonitions across nearly all the countries of the world. It considers human rights to have been violated in China, Russia and the Arab countries, as well as in countries in Latin America and Africa, but doesn’t mention the Israeli occupation’s violations in occupied Palestine, which the world documents daily.
The other paradox is the report’s depiction of events occurring in the Middle East, which are presented as heinous violations by the governments of the countries there. The report says that “during 2012, the youth, women and men in all Middle Eastern countries continued striving to defend dignity, increase economic opportunities, and participate in their political future in the face of alarming retrogressions of democratic changes, a decline in the protection of civil society and an increase of violence against women.”*
The report didn’t forget to praise the developments in South Sudan and the efforts of its government to guarantee a peaceful future for the people there, considering the partition of Sudan to have been one of America’s foreign policy “accomplishments.”
Likewise, the report didn’t neglect to depict America as standing with peoples and governments that aspire to freedom, democracy and human rights, without mentioning to what extent it stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people, who aspire to reclaim their violated rights and obtain their freedom from the usurping occupation.
Appointing itself as an international judge, the Department of State spread its descriptions of human rights violations across China and Russia instead of focusing on its own problems and the violation of American citizens’ human rights by its own intelligence services.
Hence, the latest report ignored the government’s violations against its citizens: It secretly listens in on their phone calls and reads their emails; it practices religious discrimination and oppresses American Muslims on the pretext of terrorism; it practices the most heinous violations in the Guantanamo Bay prison, which is considered to be a blatant example of the country’s human rights contraventions; it refuses to sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and it disseminates its drones in east Afghanistan and around the world to kill innocent people on the pretext of the war on terror.
Furthermore, isn’t America the country established on the skulls of tens of millions of Native Americans, which pushed one American researcher to say that it is the bloodiest empire in history? At the same time, it has been most impudent in its use of human rights.
Perhaps Noam Chomsky’s description is the most appropriate given what we have mentioned. He said that there is enough evidence to accuse the American presidents since the end of the World War II of being war criminals, or of at least of being involved in a major way in crimes against humanity.
As for the United States’ domestic track record of human rights (inside the country), the situation is also bad. More than a million American citizens remain inside prisons (this was the number in 1998), where black people, immigrants and women are treated very badly. To this we can add the torture and inhumane practices conducted by its intelligence services. Above those things is America’s black record in the U.N. Security Council, where, using its veto, it aborts dozens of resolutions that defend Palestinian rights. So how will the world believe any supposed reports about human rights from the U.S. Department of State after today?
* Translator’s note: Although presented as a direct quote, the author appears to be loosely paraphrasing the report’s introduction.
About this publication
|Owner(s)||Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party|
|Publisher||Al Wahda Institution|
|Editor||Khafal al Jarad|
|Official website||Al Thawra|
Al-Thawra, also referred to as Ath-Thawra, (Arabic: الثورة The Revolution) is an Arabic language newspaper published by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party of Syria. Another newspaper with the same name was published by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party of Iraq but was disbanded during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the UK and the USA armies. The paper is one of the state-owned publications in addition to Tishreen, Al Baath and Syria Times.