Monday, March 21, 2011

Very Interesting

The United Nations Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, has made a list of things the United States must do to bring itself into compliance with International Laws. Most of the recommendations have to do with investigating torture. We are supposed to investigate the senior people who were responsible for our program of torture. This is a welcome development if a bit late in coming. But it is almost surely going to put us on a collision course with the U.N.

The Obama administration has gone to great lengths to not investigate the Bush/Cheney administration, even though both Bush and Cheney have admitted to torture. It seems to me most unlikely that Obama and Holder will now change their policy and actually try to investigate this unsavory (and most un-American) business. Of course most of the rest of the world already knows that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others were responsible. They have already had to cancel trips overseas because of the fear of arrest. If we now fail to investigate and prosecute, our hypocrisy on such matters will be magnified.

Of course our hypocrisy is already well-known to the rest of the world. It is on display once again in Libya where we are now trying to get rid of a dictator that we have recently been supporting. We have elected to help the rebels, thus taking sides in what is really a civil war, and we are explaining this on humanitarian grounds. That is, we are intervening, we say, to protect civilians from being murdered by the leader of their own country. But we are not doing the same thing in Bahrain where civilians are being murdered by forces from Saudi Arabia. We are also not making a point of intervening in Yemen even though we are undoubtedly doing so behind the scenes. Of course we did not intervene in Rwanda or the Congo either. Some are now saying our intervention in Libya is a result of our guilt over having not done so. We have also supported Israel for years even though they have violated more U.N. rules far more than any other country, ever. There is no doubt whatsoever that Israel has and is committing war crimes, have acted totally without conscience when it comes to the Palestinians, and will continue to do so as long as they are assured of our unconditional support. This is an incredible history of hypocrisy by a nation that claims to lead the world in human rights. As long as we continue to support this racist regime, bent on the slow genocide of Palestinians, there will never be peace in the Middle East.

And what of the hypocrisy involved in claiming to protect civilians from Gaddafi while we drop bombs indiscriminately killing civilians ourselves (collateral damage). There is not the slightest doubt we have been killing civilians for years in Afghanistan. Some of our “brave troops” are now in trouble for having posed with civilians they (apparently proudly) killed. Think of Madeleine Albright’s answer when asked whether the deaths of 500,000 Iraq children as a result of our sanctions was worth it, and she replied that it was, in what has to be one of the most ridiculously callous and asinine statements ever made.

President Obama is being severly criticized from both the left and the right. You know he will be criticized by Republicans for anything he does as that has been their policy from the beginning. Some now say he has gone too far, others that he hasn’t gone far enough, some say he should have gotten Congressional approval, others say he’s completely within his rights as President. Some believe he clearly did the right thing, others believe he clearly did the wrong thing.The pretense that we are just helping others and are not really leading is so transparently false it is laughable. However, if Obama really does “turn it over to others in a few days” he will probably get away with it. If that doesn’t happen I think he will find himself in real serious trouble.

I am not in favor of any more “war” anywhere. I wish Obama had not been involved in Libya, if for no other reason that it seems so confused. Obama has said he wants Gaddafi gone, the Pentagon says he is not a target. There is talk now that he might actually survive. If he does somehow survive I cannot even imagine the consequences. My suspicious mind tells me this is all about oil, like everything else we do in the Middle East, either actually getting the oil or controlling it. Whether Gaddafi survives or not, it is not going to be business as usual.

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