A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“Human rights” has become a tortured term. The most prominent names in the western human rights business behave, essentially, as “weapons in the imperial arsenal. Their value to the empire increased exponentially when Barack Obama adopted humanitarian intervention as a pillar of American war doctrine.” Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch spend much of their energies “advocating that the U.S. and its friends trample on the national sovereignty of weaker states – as if human rights can exist outside the framework of international law.”
“Who better than self-styled human rights activists to justify humanitarian wars?”
Under President Obama, U.S. imperialism masquerades as the protector of the planet’s peoples. Each American aggression, every violation of centuries of international law, is couched in the rhetoric of humanitarian intervention – a gift from the strong to the weak. Wars of pure pillage and conquest are heralded as acts of nobility and service to humankind. The former colonizers from Europe and their cousins from the United States, the nation that grew rich from indigenous genocide and African slavery, have assumed a Responsibility to Protect the very same Asians, Africans and Latin Americans they were slaughtering…it seems like only yesterday.
But, if yesterday, these Europeans and Americans had no regard for the lives and liberties of any of the colored or non-Christian peoples of the world, in today’s geopolitical configuration human rights has become the imperial watchword. And, therefore, the western so-called human rights organizations take on strategic importance.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are, essentially, weapons in the imperial arsenal. Their value to the empire increased exponentially when Barack Obama adopted humanitarian intervention as a pillar of American war doctrine. Who better than self-styled human rights activists to justify humanitarian wars?
“They provided much of the propaganda ammunition for the U.S. and European war against Libya.”
In mid-May, as thousands of anti-war activists protested the NATO summit meeting in Chicago, Amnesty International hosted a so-called “Shadow Summit ” of apologists for the U.S. war in Afghanistan. They were joined by the ghoulish Madeline Albright, the former Clinton Secretary of State who said “the price [was] worth it”, when questioned about the death of thousands of children as a result of U.S. sanctions against Iraq. Albright, the warmonger, and Amnesty International agree that the U.S. should remain in Afghanistan as long as it takes, for the sake of Afghan women. Of course, it was the United States that spent billions of dollars in a joint venture with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to empower Islamists to overthrow the left-wing, Soviet-backed government that had pursued full equality for Afghanistan’s women. Yet, only a few decades later, Amnesty International trumpets the Americans as great defenders of Afghan women’s rights.
Amnesty International  and Human Rights Watch  denounce Russia and China as enemies of human rights in Syria, because they have resisted a catastrophic western military assault on that country. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch actively campaign for wars – and they always turn out to be the same wars that Washington is planning to wage. They provided much of the propaganda ammunition for the U.S. and European war against Libya, giving credibility to lies about an imminent massacre in Benghazi. Both organizations are imposters on the world scene, pretending to care for human rights while advocating that the U.S. and its friends trample on the national sovereignty of weaker states – as if human rights can exist outside the framework of international law. As far as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are concerned, human rights are whatever the empire says they are.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are simply mercenaries for empire, and sworn enemies of international law.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com .
ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG! (Hmm…that got your attention, uh?)
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