Human Rights Arithmetic

Sign of a changing of the guard as the United States want to return to serve on the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations which they quit. Since the war in Iraq, this institution is responsible for implanting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which gave them the feeling of being a forum against the West, for constantly focusing on some issues at the expense of others.

If the war crimes committed in Iraq or recently in Gaza deserve undoubtedly to be examined and prosecuted, they do not have to serve as a smoke screen to avoid prosecuting crimes committed by other countries apart from the United States and Israel, Zimbabwe, Tibet, Chechnya, the Sudan and Congo, for example. However, it is the turns taken during some discussions at the Council of Human Rights for one simple reason: arithmetic.

Unlike the Security Council, almost every other country is represented, at least as observers: Zimbabwe Iran, Venezuela, Palestine, Vatican, smaller countries which sit next to great countries, the most virtuous countries sitting besides dictatorships, and every country speaks of equality. What makes the magic of this council also explains the strangeness of some debates. Recently, Tuvalu (the least populated countries of Oceania) defied China in Taiwan by thanking with terminology usually reserved for Beijing. But challenging China only amuses Tuvalu. Often, the group of Muslim countries, African countries, and the non-aligned agree to arraign the so-called Western countries on behalf of human rights, with an immense and unconcealed joy

The number of recognized countries has almost tripled since the end of the Second World War, decolonization and the collapse of the USSR. Many of these “new” countries call the respect of human rights as a form of imperialism much like colonialism or the Cold War before it. This posture allows rebuking democratization as an end for discrimination. Although the minority, so-called western democracies readily overcome this rhetoric thanks to a certain moral posture. Since Guantanamo and the war in iraq this stature has been bumped up, and the discredited American affects every countries classified without any favor in the camp of “aligned.”

Now closer together than ever, the anti-western countries have as their motto “double standards” for every time the minorities democracies want to give them a lesson. An easy partition to play since the United States is tired of being a minority, have chosen to practice the politic of the empty chair. However, at the Council of Human rights, you hit with words instead of bombs, which has never been military but ideological, which is what the Bush administration has never wanted to understand. The fact of using human rights to better violet for the sake of war against terrorism has greatly fueled the propaganda of universal detractors. By announcing the closure of Guantanamo, by scheduling the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and saying to “reconsider” its policy toward the council of Human Rights, Obama’s administration shows that real diagnosis of change, and that of politics, is in process. If the democracies are weak, they have less advantage to change his mind. In principle, this should enable them to hold back up to dictatorships. In practice, this decision will not change as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue to poison international relations.

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