Washington should look to its own human rights abuses


By Liu Lulu Source:Global Times

With its own poor record on human rights, the US can never be a judge of global human rights. But the country singled out China, Russia, Iran and North Korea in its annual State Department assessment of global human rights, branding the four countries “forces of instability” because of their alleged rights abuses.

Washington claimed that by publishing the report, it seeks to “lead other nations by example in promoting just and effective governance based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.” In fact, the report is merely a trite gimmick by Washington to intervene in other countries’ domestic affairs.

It is easy to find examples of rights abuses in the US. Despite nationwide protests calling for an end to gun violence, US lawmakers have taken few actions to toughen gun laws so far, out of fears they may lose the National Rifle Association’s support in their election campaigns. From last year’s Las Vegas Strip mass shooting to this year’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, gun crime is one of the most thorny issues of the US society. Statistics from the Gun Violence Archive suggest that the number of gun-related incidents in the US has reached 17,163 in 2018, resulting in more than 4,000 deaths.

Apart from gun violence, the rights of minority groups have not been well-protected either. According to media reports, a majority of Americans regard US President Donald Trump as a racist. The president’s remarks on Mexicans and Muslims are seen by many as discriminatory and offensive. Intervention into other nations’ domestic affairs is what Washington is aiming at when it hypes human rights conditions. With its so-called halo of democracy and as a self-appointed freedom defender, the US played a key role in the Arab Spring, a revolutionary wave that swept across North Africa and the Middle East in the early 2010s. Washington’s efforts to “promote respect for human rights” only ended in economic recessions, civil wars, terrorism and even humanitarian crises in the Middle East.

“We had hoped that our lives would become better, that we get jobs and housing, but everything has turned for the worse,” Bashir Hussein, a participator in Tunisia’s January protests was quoted by Reuters as saying, referring to the country’s 2011 uprising. Washington’s intervention in the Syrian crisis only deteriorated the situation. According to Airwars, a not-for-profit transparency project, a minimum of 6,259 to 9,604 civilians are likely to have died in US-led coalition actions from August 8 2014 to March 31 2018.

Is the US eligible to denounce others’ human rights conditions? Apparently not. We hope Washington can abandon its Cold-War mentality and focus its attention on its domestic human rights issues before finger-pointing at others.

Posted in: OBSERVER



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