No Limits To US Hypocrisy?
by Ricky Singh
ZNet, March 09, 2005
There seems to be no limits to the arrogance
and hypocrisy of the George Bush administration when it comes
to lecturing the world on human rights and democracy, with complete
disregard for America's own human rights violations at home and
Latest example of this came with the
release earlier this month of the US State Department's global
human rights survey that freely knocks at the doors of all considered
guilty without any evidence of remorse over its own record of
Despite, that is, criticisms that have
been increasingly forthcoming from internationally recognised
human rights organisations like the London-based Amnesty International
(AI) and US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Caribbean governments and organisations
have long been accustomed to the selective ratings in "country
reports" that comprise the annual global survey, and which
could be either harsh or complimentary, based on the perspectives
of those compiling them and passing judgements.
Taking the moral high ground as the "mother
of democracy" on human rights observance has long been the
posture of the USA.
But after the horrendous 9/11 terrorist
strikes, the brazen arrogance of the Bush administration has become
quite difficult to ignore in the face of its warmongering politics,
gross human rights violations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo
Bay in Cuba and the erosion of civil liberties of Americans at
Wherever they occur, in our Caribbean
region or elsewhere, crooked elections, police brutality, unlawful
executions, degrading prison conditions, denial of press freedom,
human trafficking or right of association must be exposed and
unequivocally denounced, based on evidence.
In such a context, the US global human
rights survey could be a useful tool with which to whip defaulters
and encourage observance of internationally recognised human rights
If only the USA could be humble enough-a
quality not associated with the current Bush administration-to
also engage in self-examination of its own record. Particularly
as it dares to assume the role of the world's chief cop and a
very anxious "enforcer" against states unilaterally
deemed "dictatorships" and "exporters of terrorism".
In January this year, at least six weeks
before the release of the current annual human rights survey,
Human Rights Watch, in criticising Washington's policies that
are undermining global human rights, said the US "can no
longer claim the moral high ground and lead by example".
Identifying gross human rights violations
by US forces at detention centres in places like Iraq (Abu Ghraib)
and Guantanamo, Human Rights Watch said:
"Its (US) embrace of coercive interrogation
is part of a broader betrayal of human rights principles in the
name of combating terrorism..."
Even now, as it demands the withdrawal
of Syrian forces from Lebanon following the murder of a former
Lebanese Prime Minister that remains a matter of independent international
investigation, President Bush is finding it most uncomfortable
to dismiss exposures of a US policy of "outsourcing torture".
As most recently detailed in a comprehensive
article in The New Yorker, a highly credible news magazine, guess
to which countries suspects are secretly despatched?
Yes, Syria, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan,
according to a penetrating analysis by Jane Mayer on "The
secret history of America's extraordinary 'rendition' programme".
The fact that Lebanon still faces aggression
from Israel which wants Syria to be treated as a pariah state;
or that Iran and Syria are accused of possession of weapons of
mass destruction while Israel is permitted to protect its arsenal
of WMDs is all part of the hypocrisy that characterises US foreign
In seeking to escalate pressures against
Syria, George Bush is happy to be singing from the same hymn sheet
as France's Jacques Chirac who he was deriding right up to the
last US presidential election.
But, as was the case in the military
intervention in Haiti that coincided with the coup against Jean
Bertrand Aristide, there is a convergence of American and French
interest to now force Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon.
Countries like the People's Republic
of China and right here in our region, Cuba, that frequently come
in for harsh criticisms from the US on human rights, have gone
on the offensive against the latest State Department global survey
as it relates to them.
In its own annual human rights report,
China points to significant levels of poverty and crime in the
USA; gross abuses abroad by its military and intelligence forces;
and has dismissed America's electoral system as "a contest
China claims that Washington was "consistent
in its hypocrisy" in condemning human rights conditions in
other nations while keeping silent on its own sins.
Index of Website