Tag Archives: Human Rights

That Time A Leaked Memo Proved The US Weaponizes ‘Human Rights’ Against Nations Like China, by Caitlin Johnstone

Nobody in Washington really cares about human rights, but they’re a nice propaganda cudgel against countries Washington doesn’t like. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

The US, UK, EU and Canada have simultaneously implemented new sanctions against Chinese officials in yet another reminder that these nations consistently function as member states of a single empire on foreign policy, and that the Biden administration is continuing right where the Trump administration left off on anti-China hawkishness.

The basis for these sanctions is listed as “human rights” violations in Xinjiang province, as US Secretary of State Tony Blinken explains:

“Amid growing international condemnation, the PRC continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.  The United States reiterates its calls on the PRC to bring an end to the repression of Uyghurs, who are predominantly Muslim, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, including by releasing all those arbitrarily held in internment camps and detention facilities.”

Blinken’s allegations are unfounded, as explained in this recent article from The Grayzone and in this comprehensive video by the Youtube channel Bay Area 415. While it’s entirely possible that human rights violations could be happening in Xinjiang in some form and to some extent, the extremely flimsy and blatantly manipulated evidence we’ve seen so far for western claims of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” should draw immediate incredulity from anyone who remembers the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. The only sane response to unfounded claims by known liars is skepticism and agnosticism until we are presented with proof that rises to the level required in a post-Iraq invasion world.

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The Trump Administration’s Human Rights Confidence Game: Targeting Adversaries, Excusing Allies, by Doug Bandow

The Trump administration wields human rights as a cudgel; there’s no genuine concern for anyone’s human rights. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

Promoting human rights is a central tenet of US foreign policy. Sometimes. In practice, Washington is most enthusiastic about defending life, liberty, and happiness where America has the least clout. And American policymakers most often remain silent when allied governments, whom the US could most influence, are detaining, torturing, and murdering opponents.

The Trump administration has taken this approach to an extreme, losing all credibility on the issue. For President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo human rights are a weapon to be used against adversaries. When friends are the abusers, the issue is quietly and speedily dismissed, never to be mentioned again.

Last week Pompeo presented the conclusions of his Commission on Unalienable Rights at the United Nations, attempting to shape the definition of human rights. The US was joined by 56 other nations in affirming that “Certain principle are so fundamental as to apply to all human beings, everywhere, at all times.”

It was a grand gesture. However, few robust liberal democracies that respect human rights joined Pompeo. Indeed, 46 of the supporting countries were rated not free or partly free by the group Freedom House: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Gambia, Gabonese Republic, Georgia, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritania, Moldova, Morocco, Niger, North Macedonia, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Zambia.

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Doug Casey on Rent Strikes, the Erosion of Property Rights, and What Comes Next

Who’s going to want to own an apartment building and rent out to tenants after all this? From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

rent strike

International Man: In recent months, “rent strikes” have emerged in many cities. There has also been an increasing number of politicians suggesting they’ll pass laws to force landlords to “cancel rent.”

What is your take on this?

Doug Casey: Property rights are basic to human rights. In fact, it doesn’t make any sense to talk about human rights unless you talk about property rights.

Your primary form of property is your own body. But things outside of your body are equally as important. You can’t survive without possessions, things that belong to you alone, and that you are responsible for. “Rent strikers”—who are philosophically aligned with socialists, communists, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and similar groups— don’t see it that way, however. They believe their problems are your problems. They’re completely irresponsible.

They seem to think that saying something, no matter how irrational, can make it so. And saying that you shouldn’t have to pay rent makes it possible to roll back the laws of economic reality.

Of course, the whole world has pretty much gone on tilt over the last six months. Not paying agreed-upon rents and mortgages is economically destructive. But that’s exactly the result these people want. It’s a step to completely overturning what’s left of capitalism. That’s bad enough. But saying you don’t have to meet your obligations is simply dishonorable. These people shouldn’t be taken seriously but treated with contempt.

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10 Embarrassing Questions for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, by Middle East Monitor

These questions would certainly put good old MbS on the spot. From Middle East Monitor at theantimedia.org:

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked ten questions to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, all of them related to the human rights situation in the Kingdom and Riyadh’s violations against neighbouring countries.

This came in a statement issued by the organisation demanding Bin Salman provide answers to questions related to the war in Yemen, the detention of activists and academics, the arrest of princes and businessmen, forced disappearances, the oppression of women and non-Muslims in the Kingdom. It also demanded Riyadh explain its campaign against oppositionists abroad, the most recent victim of which was journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

HRW’s statement pointed out that the Kingdom’s admission that government representatives killed Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul has provoked an extensive, albeit belated, review of the country’s record of human rights violations. Human Rights Watch also called on foreign government officials to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for this record.

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Media to Trump: Don’t Cozy Up to Dictators–Unless They’re the Right Dictators, by Adam Johnson

The US has a long and inglorious history of supporting dictators that toe the US line and opposing those who don’t. President Trump continues the tradition. From Adam Johnson at fair.org:

After a series of friendly gestures by President Donald Trump toward Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over the past few months, US media have recoiled with disgust at the open embrace of governments that ostensibly had heretofore been beyond the pale.

“Enabling Egypt’s President Sisi, an Enemy of Human Rights,” was the New York Times‘ editorial position (4/4/17)—followed by “Donald Trump Embraces Another Despot” (5/1/17). A week later, Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) lectured Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the Times op-ed page (5/8/17) on “Why We Must Support Human Rights.”

“How Trump Makes Dictators Stronger” was Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum’s lament (5/1/17).

“Trump keeps praising international strongmen, alarming human rights advocates,” reported an upset Philip Rucker (Washington Post, 5/2/17). Post contributor Tom Toles (5/2/17) added, “Trump invites ruthless dictators to the White House.” Trump had gone too far, was the media message, crossing a line with his enthusiastic outreach to brutal tyrants.

So the Trump administration’s announcement of a plan for not just a friendly visit to Saudi Arabia—scheduled for May 20–21—but also the sale of up to $300 billion in weapons to the oppressive regime, must have provoked the same outcry from these critics, right?

Actually, no. Thus far, the LA Times, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC and CBShaven’t reported on Trump’s massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia, much less had a pundit or editorial board condemn it.

Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen has killed at least 10,000 civilians, resulted in near-famine conditions for 7 million people and led to a deadly cholera epidemic—all made possible with US weapons and logistical support.

John McCain, whose New York Times op-ed was unironically shared by dozens of high-status pundits, aggressively backs Saudi Arabia’s brutal bombing of Yemen, and has called for increased military support to the absolute monarchy.

To continue reading: Media to Trump: Don’t Cozy Up to Dictators–Unless They’re the Right Dictators

38 Dead After Saudi Arabia, Head of UN Human Rights Panel, Bombs Wedding in Yemen, by Michael Krieger

Looks like Saudi Arabia has gone to school on the US. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

Nothing screams out human rights like bombing women and children at a wedding party.

Saudi Arabia sure is on a roll. Having just been rewarded with the head position on a UN’s human rights panel for its unmatched capacity for barbarism and civil rights abuse, the Saudis can now add another massacre to its long list of war crimes.

The Associated Press reports:

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The Saudi-led coalition targeting Yemen’s Shiite rebels mistakenly struck a wedding party on Monday, killing at least 38 people, Yemeni security officials said.

The strikes hit the celebration in al-Wahga, a village near the strategic Strait of Bab al-Mandab, said the officials, who remain neutral in the conflict that has splintered Yemen.

At least 40 people were wounded in the two airstrikes, they said. The strikes, a senior government official said, were “a mistake.” Many of the victims were women and children, according to several villagers….

To continue reading: Saudi Arabia Bombs Wedding in Yemen

Saudi Arabia Prepares to Execute Teenager via “Crucifixion” for Political Dissent, by Michael Krieger

Those human-rights loving Saudis are going to behead a boy and then hang his headless body on a crucifix for three days. The boy was seventeen-years-old when he committed his “crime”: protesting against the government. Did we mention that Saudi Arabia is considered by the US government to be one of its best friends in the Middle East? From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

Just last evening, I posted an article about how the UN disgracefully named Saudi Arabia to head its human rights panel.

So how do the Saudis plan on celebrating this achievement? By executing a teenager via crucifixion, naturally.

I covered this story back in May in the piece, Not ISIS – Saudi Arabia Prepares to Execute and Publicly Display Beheaded Body of Political Activist in “Crucifixion.” Here are a few excerpts:

The Saudis have received a lot of bad press as of late due to it consistently breaking its own records for beheadings, but sometimes a simple beheading isn’t sufficient. In a punishment known as “crucifixion,” the executed person’s beheaded body is placed on public display for three days. Currently facing this fate are three political activists, including two children. We learn from Reprieve.org that:

Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al Nimr, a 53-year old critic of the Saudi regime, and two juveniles, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr and Dawoud Hussain al-Marhoon, were arrested during a 2012 crackdown on anti-government protests in the Shiite province of Qatif. After a trial marred by irregularities, Mr Al Nimr was sentenced to death by crucifixion on charges including ‘insulting the King’ and delivering religious sermons that ‘disrupt national unity’. This week, it emerged that the authorities plan to execute him on Thursday, despite protests from the UN and Saudi human rights organizations.

The planned execution of Mr Al Nimr has prompted fears for the safety of the two juveniles, who were both 17 when they were arrested and eventually sentenced to death on similar charges. Both teenagers were tortured and denied access to lawyers, and faced trials that failed to meet international standards. All three prisoners, including Mr Al Nimr, have not yet exhausted their legal appeals.

Now here’s the latest. From Mic:
A Saudi teenager is facing death by crucifixion in his home country of Saudi Arabia on charges activists say are politically motivated.

To continue reading: Saudi Arabia Prepares to Execute Teenage via “Crucifixion”

Not a Joke – Saudi Arabia Chosen to Head UN Human Rights Panel, by Michael Krieger

Even if it were a joke, it would not be funny. Since it is not a joke, it is downright appalling. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

If you were trying to put together a global all-star team of the most authoritarian, human rights abusing nations on earth, not only would Saudi Arabia be at the top of the list, it would be captain of the squad.

In a move as embarrassing, laughable and tragic as Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize just as he was about to embark upon several overseas wars and drone countless civilians to death without due process, the United Nations has, remarkably, named Saudi Arabia head of it’s human rights panel.

Of course, this is something I warned of back in May in the post, Saudi Arabia is Making a Play to Head the U.N. Human Rights Council. Here are a few excerpts:

Saudi Arabia is making a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (HRC) just days after it posted a slew of new job openings for executioners who would help carry out beheadings amid a massive uptick in state-sanctioned killings in the country.

U.N. Watch, a nonprofit group that monitors the international body, disclosed Saudi Arabia’s intentions in a recent report and urged the United States to fight against it, describing the move as “the final nail in the coffin for the credibility” of the HRC.

Neuer compared the possible ascension of Saudi Arabia to the top slot to electing “a pyromaniac as the town fire chief.”

All hail the pyromaniac in chief. From the Independent:

The United Nations has been criticised for handing Saudi Arabia a key human rights role – despite the country having “arguably the worst record in the world” on freedoms for women, minorities and dissidents.

Critics, including the wife of imprisoned pro-democracy blogger Raif Badawi – sentenced to 1,000 lashes for blogging about free speech – labelled the appointment “scandalous”, saying it meant “oil trumps human rights”.

To continue reading: Saudi Arabia Chosen to Head UN Human Rights Panel