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Why America’s human rights talk cannot be taken seriously

22 Feb 2012 - 15:27

_author : Zermina Awan

Islam Times - For weeks Washington has been demanding that the “dictator” in Syria step down and is now arming the opposition rebels to achieve this goal. It does all this in the name of “human rights”...

When Russia and China vetoed the UN resolution calling for sanctions to be imposed on Syria, Ambassador Rice expressed her “disgust” at what she saw as an attempt to hold the council “hostage” by a couple of members.

Yet despite this strong rhetoric there is something profoundly hollow about the US’ human rights talk and it’s condemnation of Russia’s use of the veto. According to the Jewish Virtual Library in the years 1973-2011 the US has vetoed 42 UN Security Council resolutions which criticised Israel and acknowledged the injustices being suffered by the Palestinian people. America’s recent annoyance with Russia and China seems to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Additionally, Washington recently labelled and dismissed Syria’s referendum plans on a new constitution, as “laughable”.

“It makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution. Promises of reforms have been usually followed by increase in brutality and have never been delivered upon by this regime since the beginning of peaceful demonstrations in Syria,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

In the meantime, not only has the US backed the insincere promises of reform made by the Bahraini regime, but it has done its upmost, along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to “stabilise” the situation by providing the regime with grenades, tear gas and armoured vehicles in order to suppress the pro-democracy protesters.

According to Amnesty International at least 35 people were killed during the initial uprising last year, 20 others were killed in ongoing protests and several were tortured to death and dozens others were unfairly detained, including doctors whose only crime was treating injured protesters.

Bahrain has denied visas to foreign and independent journalists, recently detained reporters from CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Reuters, the Associated Press, and the BBC for several hours before letting them into the country. Even then cameras, satellite phones and satellite transmission equipment was seized at the airport by customs officials, and only returned after the journalists left the country.

What is worse is that the US possesses an enormous amount of leverage over Bahrain, which it could use to pressure the regime into making real reforms, if it wanted to do so.

All these points must be raised, to illuminate how incredibly hypocritical Washington’s condemnation of Russia and it’s slogans of “democracy” and “human rights” are. The most repressive regime in the Middle East, and maybe in the world, is the closest ally of the US, it really doesn’t get much more hypocritical than that.
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