FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Number One in America

We’ve finally arrived, and we don’t need Trump to tell us so! We’re finally the great exception in the history of nations and in the forward march of civilizations: We’ve got it all! We can even go on using the term “America” to describe the one country out of many in South America, Central America and North America and we don’t even need permission to do it any longer. We can shop until we drop as George W. Bush suggested after the September 2001 attacks.

It’s pretty strange that the human rights organization Amnesty International did it for us… It cemented that long suspected notion, especially on the far right, that we’re the greatest, except not exactly the way that Mohammad Ali thought of his justly coined phrase to describe his incredible athletic and intellectual abilities.

Here’s Amnesty’s February 2018 report on the 10 hotspots of human rights violations where “Leaders have pushed hate, fought against rights, ignored crimes against humanity and blithely let inequality and suffering spin out of control” (“10 global hotspots for major human rights violations in 2017”, CNBC, February 23, 2018). What CNBC won’t tell readers in its report on global wrongdoing is the fact that the US military-industrial-financial complex is laughing all the way to the bank with trillions of dollars in profits.

Here’s Amnesty’s 2017 findings in snapshot fashion:

The US tops the list, yes the US, with “hate-filled rhetoric” and a travel ban that is “transparently hateful.” Readers won’t even need the probable decision on the Trump administration’s travel ban from the right-wing Supreme Court since they already know what’s going on. It’s a sort of a Biblical writing on the wall that’s fairly easy to decipher.

Next on the list of who’s who of human rights abuses is Venezuela. “Widespread food shortages, the collapse of its traditional currency and hyperinflation” has brought that nation to the “breaking point.” One could argue forever about the origins of the disaster in Venezuela, including US opposition to the government of Nicolas Maduro, but much of the blame lies with the government itself and its inability to build a diversified economy.

Next is Yemen where mass murder by a “Saudi-led coalition” (with US armaments and other military advice) has “shattered” the nation and created “the worst man-made humanitarian crisis of our time.” But with gasoline prices skyrocketing in the US, who really cares about human suffering a world away?

Turkey was singled out for its “crackdown on journalists, political activists, and human rights defenders.” Nothing was said of Turkey’s role in the Syrian civil and proxy war.

Syria was highlighted for its “catastrophic war.”  Syria is an example of the free-for-all where war in the 21st century has become a no-holds-barred assault with more warring “players” than can be listed in this hellish quagmire of the breakdown of human rights and the laws of war. The larger world’s response to the refugee crisis in and outside of Syria fueled by the war is shocking in its unmasking of global inhumanity.  World War II comes to mind.

Russia, the boogeyman of US politics (The Russians did it… blah, blah, blah…), has “clamp (ed) down on free speech.” and “arrested hundreds of peaceful protesters” as the March election there approached. “Arbitrary detention, beatings and intimidation” were noted in the lead-up to the election. We now know, and anyone could have predicted, that Putin won that election without breaking a sweat.

Saudi Arabia, a creation of the West, continued to treat women with “systematic discrimination.”  That nation was criticized for “unfairly detaining human rights defenders and execution of Shi’a activists.” The cry of “Off with their heads!” is not something that the Trump administration wishes to respond to. Again, Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen has reached new heights in ignoring the thousands of years it took to establish the rules of war.

Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims is a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”  Amnesty cited Myanmar’s “extensive violations of international humanitarian law” in its treatment of Rohingya Muslims.

Amnesty condemned both the EU and Australia for their “outright callous” response to the “global refugee crisis.” In regard to the EU, some of its member nations haven’t learned a damn thing from the Holocaust.

China “rounds” out the list of awful actors, charged by Amnesty with “serious threats to human rights” and codifying some of those threats into law. China’s political leadership won’t let very much happen in terms of protest against its iron-fist control over the people, the economy and the political system of that nation.

Readers may find that Amnesty International’s list lacks the names and charges against many wrongdoers across the globe and those criticisms are valid. But the top 10 are the top 10 and many will look at the US role in a decaying global human rights’ landscape at the top of that list as something to mourn and then respond to! It’s not exactly news to many who are not asleep at the wheel.

More articles by:

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Nevins
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Jasmine Aguilera
Beto’s Lasting Legacy
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Yves Engler
Ottawa, Yemen and Guardian
Michael Winship
This Was No Vote Accident
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Tracey L. Rogers
Dear White Women, There May be Hope for You After All
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Thomas Knapp
Scott Gottlieb’s Nicotine Nazism Will Kill Kids, Not Save Them
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail