The US Record on Human Rights: “The Great Defender”?

Introduction 

For generations the US has proclaimed itself as a beacon of liberty and democracy to the world – and filling its own citizens with this propaganda – but it was instead the world leader in subverting governments and killing hope in other countries.

Americans have been taught to believe that US intentions in the world are noble – that their country is the punisher of aggression and a warrior for freedom.

Due to the incessant propaganda, this image was for generations of Americans the measure by which they judged their country in world affairs. The war in Vietnam ended the illusion that America was always on the “right side”.

Today, America’s image as a defender of democracy and justice has been almost completely destroyed by the illegal wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, the destruction of Libya and killing of its president, and by the countless torture facilities all over
the world.

The Great Defender

By all measures, Americahas by far the worst human rights record of all countries in the world today. It is only through the incredible power of propaganda and the blindness that inevitably accompanies supremacist arrogance and exceptionalism, that the US can claim to be ‘defenders of freedom and human rights.’

But most Americans believe the USto be the world’s defender of human rights and the exporter of democracy and freedom, these same Americans exhibiting a strange and pathological blindness to their own crimes.

Americans appear to have an astonishing ability to ignore the fact that their government has invaded nations repeatedly and without justification, killing millions of civilians in dozens of countries around the world.

And they do this in the same breath as condemning other nations for what are in retrospect trivial matters like minor censorship.

Only American Human Rights are of Value

With the US war in Iraq, only US casualties were reported in all the Western media; mention was seldom made of Iraqi deaths, of the enormous casualty toll among Iraqi civilians -which almost surely numbered in excess of one million deaths, the majority of which were not soldiers but civilian women and children.

While the USwhined about the terrible toll of perhaps 5,000 of their “sons of freedom paying the ultimate price for democracy”, or some such repugnant nonsense, they were happily killing Iraqi civilians by the hundreds of thousands, and torturing to death countless more.

The same was true with the US war in Vietnam – and Laos, and Cambodia – where at least 5 million people were killed in a totally unjustified and illegal war, but US citizens heard only about how 50,000 Americans ‘gave their lives for freedom’.

The conclusion seems inescapable that a great many Americans are totally blind to the human rights of anyone outside the US, creating an unbelievable moral disconnect where, if their government behaves well enough toward the whites at home, any and all atrocities and human rights violations committed outside their borders are of no consequence.

Spreading Human Rights – American Style

The US has overthrown dozens of legitimate, functioning, governments for the purpose of installing brutal dicators that were amenable to control, and either directly killed or was responsible for killing, millions of civilians in countries from Vietnam to Haiti, Nicaragua toIraq,Indonesia toIran.

The US Government and its CIA overthrew Sukarno’s democratic government in Indonesia to install Suharto in power. And, in the greatest mass slaughter in human history, planned, assisted and executed, the hacking to death with machetes of nearly 3 million Indonesian peasants – because they were exhibiting “communist tendencies”.

During the past 40 years The US has invaded many other countries and killed, or participated in the killing of, perhaps 10 million people – either to obtain oil and other commercial concessions, or to ‘protect the world from communism’.

In recent decades, America also installed and supported more than 45 brutal Right-Wing dictators who killed perhaps another 10 million. The total death figures could be much higher, and the totals of those tortured will likely never be known.

This story played out many times in many different countries, with staggering death tolls everywhere. And where were all the Americans who love to scream about violations of human rights? Silent, of course. What would you expect?

And it wasn’t only communism. Any country showing signs of socialism – such as wanting education or national health care or workers’ unions, or a redistribution of land from the nobles to the population, was sufficient for the US to invade and destroy, or to overthrow the government and install a Right-Wing dictator. Any kind of socialism was seen as only one step from communism.

The US Record on Human Rights is the Worst in the World’s Recent History

Prior to the Iraqinvasion, US sanctions caused the deaths of more than 500,000 children alone, primarily from deliberately targeting the supplies of drinking water – deaths which then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said “were worth it”.

And it wasn’t only the immediate and violent war deaths. Voluminous evidence exists that the US used countless thousands of depleted uranium artillery shells and cruise missile warheads, many carrying more than 600 pounds each of this violently toxic mineral.

The incidence of cancers has risen alarmingly in Iraq by orders of magnitude, with tens of thousands of hideously-deformed babies born each year from the widespread contamination of the country with the so-called ‘depleted’ but highly-radioactive uranium.

During the decade from 2001, the UScreated the largest network of torture facilities in the history of the world, consisting of secret prisons and prison ships used exclusively for this purpose – Guantanamo Bay, Abu Graib, Baghram and others.

When the torture prison at Abu Ghraib became too infamous, the US closed it and secretly built another much larger one at Baghram containing, according to many reports, as many as 50,000 ‘terrorist’ prisoners.

The US also opened a new “Peace Medicine” facility located in Indonesia’s jungle. No information on its activities, but it is an absolute certainty this facility doesn’t involve either peace or medicine.

And Where are the American Human-Rights Advocates?

Nowhere in any of the above did we see a discussion of “human rights”.

It is abundantly clear that only the “human rights” of (mostly white) Americans have any value – typically elitist, racist and white supremacist.

Americans appear to take the position that these crimes are all forgiven because they have been openly discussed in the media.

And, since they are forgiven, nothing needs to be done. So Guantanamo  Bay and all the other prisons remain open and the torture continues unabated.

And the entire affair is simply erased from American consciousness and US history books: time to move on.

Time for Americans to Wake Up

We end here with a quote by William Blum:

“Is history getting too close for comfort for the fragile little American heart and mind?

Their schools and their favorite media have done an excellent job of keeping them ignorant of what their favorite country has done to the rest of the world, but lately some discomforting points of view have managed to find their way into this well-defended American consciousness.”

 

龙信明, The bearcanada.com

 

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