Archive for the Western nations’ human rights distortions Category

West should end its hypocrisy on anti-terror war [China Daily]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, France, Iraq, Nigeria, State Department, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, Western nations' human rights distortions on January 29, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Chen Weihua
Jan. 22, 2015

Senior US leaders invited sharp criticism at home for not attending last week’s solidarity rally in Paris against the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed. As a result, US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Paris this week to make up for the mistake.

However, terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in Nigeria, where Boko Haram fighters killed hundreds of, if not more, ordinary people early this month, have not received the same attention in the US and the Western world as the Paris attack. Yet such double standards and hypocrisy of the Western world is nothing new.

Over the past few years, the US and some Western countries have not responded to the terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Beijing, Kunming and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region the way they reacted to the Paris attack.

On several occasions, US State Department spokespersons have used the excuse that they need more information and investigation into the incidents in China to condemn them as terrorist attacks. But they did not ask any such question after the Paris attack.

Some Western news organizations have refused to describe the perpetrators at Kunming railway station in Yunnan province as terrorists, insisting on calling them “knife-wielding attackers”. And on the rare occasions that they have used the word terrorist, they put it within quotation marks as if the ruthless killers in China were any different from those in Paris or elsewhere in the Western world. One CNN report even posed the question, “Terrorism or Cry of Desperation?”, as if killing innocent civilians in China can be somehow justified.

Even though China and the US have common interests in fighting terrorism, some Americans still seem to believe that only those setting off bombs in New York are terrorists while those doing the same in Beijing or any other Chinese city demand a different description.

The West’s double standards are not restricted to China and Nigeria. The decade-old wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, but the mainstream media outlets in the US have largely ignored the tragedies and focused on the loss of their own troops.

If the number of civilian casualties is a measure of the intensity of a terrorist attack, tragedies like the Sept 11, 2001, attacks have occurred multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the Western media don’t seem to care much about them.

Some Western observers have even found excuses for West’s inadequate response to the terrorist attacks in Kunming on March 1 last year in which 31 were killed and 141 injured. But by failing to immediately condemn the attacks against innocent civilians in Kunming and Xinjiang, these people have by default condoned the action of the perpetrators.

It is true that terrorists in the eyes of some could be freedom fighters in the eyes of others. That is why Osama bin Laden was a freedom fighter to the US in the 1980s but a top terrorist in the 21st century. And Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela was still on the US terrorism watch list as late as 2008, years after stepping down as South Africa’s president.

There is no doubt that the US and its allies have failed miserably in their “war on terror” despite the more than 1,000 air strikes launched against the Islamic State group. In spite of the heavy bombardments, we have seen terrorists gaining strength and spreading their tentacles to more areas across the world.

And the Western world responds to this deadly threat with double standards.

The author, based in Washington, is deputy editor of China Daily USA.

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Commentary: Bigotry, arrogance behind freedom of expression by ‘headstrong’ weekly “Charlie Hebdo” [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Islamophobia, Western nations' human rights distortions on January 25, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine brutally attacked…by [alleged] Islamic extremists, once again published Wednesday its latest edition with a caricature of the Muslim prophet on its cover — a blasphemous move in the eyes of the Islamic world — which has triggered outcry and protests in many countries.

Although the international community has strongly condemned the perpetrators and shown universal sympathy to Charlie Hebdo as it lost a number of best-known cartoonists and other staff members in the terrorist attack, the sympathy does not mean a global recognition of the journal’s depiction of Prophet Mohammed in its cartoon.

As a matter of fact, it is a common belief of many that the magazine has blasphemed others’ religious belief and stepped over the boundaries of freedom of expression.

By resuming publication of satirical cartoons, Charlie Hebdo seems to indicate to others its insistence on the standards of freedom of expression it has upheld.

It has also appeared that the magazine has drawn strength from its unswerving faith supported by at least the European society if not the entire international community.

It it is true that Charlie Hebdo has gained sympathy from the international community after the terrorist attack, its move to publish a caricature of the Muslim prophet on its cover once again in a confrontational manner on Wednesday is probably in [sic] overdrawing of such sympathy and support.

This time, a weeping Mohammed appeared on the cover, holding up a sign reading “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”), under the headline “All is forgiven.”

This is another defiant move by the satirical magazine, and also another reflection of bigotry and arrogance of on the part of the Western culture.

The Western society should be fully aware that the so-called “freedom of expression” and “legal standards” of it are applicable only to its own countries, and are not necessary appropriate to other nations or regions.

In other words, isn’t it an infringement on others’ freedom if some people view their own standards as universal standards and even compel others to accept them?

Undeniably, the West’s confrontational and bigoted mindset that has resulted in their arbitrary political and military interference with others has connection with the rampant emergence and spread of terrorism across the world today.

If terrorism is a powder keg, the interventionism and cultural exclusivism practiced by the West, to some extent, is one of the detonators.

In face of the terror attacks in Paris, one of the views that prevails in Western media is that the freedom of expression should be defended at all cost. Yet,…the West uphold standards for civilization that are recognized by themselves only in the style of religious zealots. Isn’t this another form of “extremist thinking”?

A civilized society should show inclusiveness, respect differences in culture and ideologies and knows how to mediate societal gaps. And any civilization that tries to deal with cultural differences with defiance and confrontation can not find peace and security it seeks [sic] in the first place.

The Western world should reflect on its own ideologies and approaches instead of persisting in executing its confrontational and exclusive approaches when communicating with other civilizations in a world that faces growing danger and threat from growing rampancy of terrorism.

[It should be noted the article fails to confront Western governments’ historic implementation of terrorist policies, both directly and by proxy. – Zuo Shou]

Edited by Zuo Shou

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South Korea deports Korean-American woman accused of supporting the North [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-communism, DPR Korea, Encirclement of China, Japan, Kim Jong Un, North wind campaign, Obama, Pentagon, Pyongyang, south Korea, south Korean human rights hypocrisy, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Western nations' human rights distortions on January 17, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Ben McGrath
13 January 2015

South [sic] Korea deported Korean-American Shin Eun-mi on Saturday for supposedly making pro-North [sic] Korean comments. She arrived back in Los Angeles the same day, US time, and will be barred from returning to Korea for five years. Shin’s case is just the latest in Seoul’s attacks on democratic rights.

President Park Geun-hye’s government accused Shin of violating South Korea’s draconian National Security Act. Shin gave public talks around the country with Hwang Seon, the former deputy spokeswoman of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP), the forerunner of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP), which the government, via the Constitutional Court, forcibly disbanded in December. The government is considering issuing an arrest warrant for Hwang.

Shin said last Wednesday, as she appeared for questioning by prosecutors: “I can guarantee that I have done nothing that violates the National Security Act. I have made no pro-North Korea remarks in public. There are no such remarks in my book, either.” Shin was referring to her book, A Korean-American Ajumma Goes to North Korea, which detailed her trips to North Korea. “Ajumma” is a Korean word referring to a middle-aged or married woman. Shin visited the North six times from October 2011 and published the book in 2012.

Right-wing organizations filed a complaint against Shin and Hwang after a November 19 talk at Seoul’s Jogyesa Temple, claiming that the two women painted North Korea in a positive light. During the discussion, Shin said that in North Korea, “people seemed to be filled with expectation and hope about the young leader (Kim Jong-un).”

The complaints against the two women received more attention when a 17-year-old boy attacked Shin and Hwang with a homemade bomb at a lecture the women held in Iksan, North Jeolla Province, in December. No-one was seriously injured but two people received minor burns. The teenager, hailed as a hero by extreme-right groups, is currently awaiting trial.

The government’s claims that Shin undermined “national security” are farcical. Her book on North Korea was even selected as suggested reading by South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Shin said: “If I did (violate the National Security Act), why did the government select my book as a recommended one in the first place? I just gave lectures and filmed a documentary based on the book.”

Another comment by Shin points far more as to why she was targeted by the government. “Even though it is the 21st century, are we not seeing these pro-communist frame-ups, spy frame-ups?” she asked. “It is a ballad that I heard from when I attended kindergarten in the 60s.” Several UPP members were arrested last year and accused, on the basis of fabricated evidence, of plotting a rebellion in support of North Korea.

Seoul has whipped up these red scares not simply as a turn away from democracy. It is bound up with South Korea’s alignment with the United States and its “pivot to Asia,” which is aimed at economically undermining and militarily surrounding China. This includes ramping up tensions on the Korean Peninsula against China’s ally North Korea — and risking war with Pyongyang. The government fears that any anti-war sentiment could be used to oppose these growing war plans. Shin’s greatest crime, as far as the government is concerned, is that she presented North Koreans as human beings who have the same hopes and desires as average South Koreans…

Seoul deepened its military cooperation with the US over the past year. This included signing a trilateral intelligence sharing agreement with the US and Japan, expressing support for a Thermal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea and postponing the handover to Seoul of US operational control over the South Korean military. In the event of war, the United States will take command of the South’s military.

Seoul also backed the Obama administration’s claims that North Korea was responsible for hacking at Sony Pictures Entertainment and supported new US sanctions, calling them “appropriate.” The South Korean media presented Washington’s accusations as fact despite a lack of evidence.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki raised mild criticisms of South Korea over Shin’s deportation. While claiming at a daily press briefing on Friday that South Korea “has shown a consistent and longstanding commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights,” Psaki said the US is “concerned that the national security law, as interpreted and applied in some cases, limits freedom of expression and restricts access to the Internet.”

This “criticism” has nothing to do with a genuine concern for free speech. It is particularly hypocritical coming from a government that has been exposed as spying on and violating the democratic rights of its population and millions of others internationally on a daily basis. Instead, the US is using this issue to continue to pressure Seoul to work more closely with Japan in the US-directed war preparations against China.

Excerpted / edited by Zuo Shou

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The bloodbath in Donetsk [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Cameron, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Egypt, France, Germany, Libya, Media cover-up, NATO, Syria, U.K., Ukraine, Western nations' human rights distortions, Yugoslavia - former FRY on June 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

28 May 2014

This week’s mass killings in Donetsk have further exploded efforts to portray February’s Western-orchestrated putsch in Ukraine as a “democratic revolution” and exposed the brutal and reactionary character of Washington’s puppet regime in Kiev.

They have provided a devastating demonstration of the reality of “human rights” imperialism and an indictment of all the political forces that have lined up behind it, first in the Balkans, then in Libya and Syria, and now in Ukraine.

The Obama administration in Washington and the Merkel government in Berlin both congratulated the newly elected president, billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko, even as he was overseeing the bloodbath in the east. O bama and Merkel signaled their support for the mass killing, portraying it as a means of stabilizing and unifying the country.

Within hours of Sunday’s fraudulent and undemocratic election, a devastating air assault was launched against targets in Donetsk. At least 50 militants were killed and another 31 injured as Kiev regime aircraft strafed separatist positions in and around the Donetsk airport. Speaking on behalf of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Leonid Baranov said the death toll will likely rise above 100…

It is now clear that the election was organized to establish a political basis for the military onslaught in the east. The poll was carried out to provide a fig leaf of legitimacy to a regime installed illegally by means of a coup led by neo-fascist forces in the Svoboda Party and Right Sector militia.

In fact, the election exposed the government’s extremely narrow base of popular support. There was a near-total boycott in the Russian-speaking industrial heartland in the east and widespread abstention in the south of the country. The leaders of Svoboda and the Right Sector received negligible votes.

The bloodletting in Donetsk and mounting attacks in Luhansk and other rebellious areas are aimed not only at crushing a regional insurgency, but at terrorizing the population as a whole. At the urging of Washington’s CIA and military personnel in Kiev, the regime is seeking to intimidate anyone, in the west as well as the east of Ukraine, who opposes its IMF-dictated policies of austerity, privatization and unlimited plundering by Western banks and corporations.

This economic scorched earth program is to be accompanied by the transformation of Ukraine into an advanced staging area for US-NATO military operations against Russia.

President Obama called Poroshenko Tuesday to congratulate him on his victory and assure him of US backing for his drive to “unify and move his country forward.” Obama announced plans to meet with Poroshenko for talks in early June.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Poroshenko to praise the “clear commitment of the Ukrainian people to unity and democracy as well as a peaceful solution to the current conflict.”

The official statement released by the Obama administration made clear that rapid implementation of the West’s economic agenda will be the basis of Ukraine’s “unity.” The statement stressed “the importance of quickly implementing the reforms necessary for Ukraine to bring the country together and to develop a sustainable economy, attractive investment climate, and transparent and accountable government…”

For his part, Poroshenko vowed Sunday to foster “a very good investment climate” and do “all the necessary things to attract business.” “All the necessary things” evidently includes the killing of thousands of people. Speaking Tuesday, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Vitaly Yarema, said that the “anti-terrorist operation” in the east will continue “until all the militants are annihilated.”

The events in Donetsk throw into sharp relief the boundless hypocrisy and cynicism of the imperialist powers, beginning with Washington. The contradictions in the official propaganda narrative justifying the right-wing coup in Ukraine could not be more glaring. That does not, however, prevent the media from simply ignoring them.

Barely three months ago, the Obama administration, echoed by Merkel in Germany, Hollande in France, Cameron in the UK, and the entire leadership of the European Union and NATO, were insisting that then-President Viktor Yanukovych had forfeited his right to rule, despite having been elected, because he mobilized riot police against armed anti-government demonstrators in Kiev.

Now, the same forces are endorsing the decision of Poroshenko to use fighter jets, attack helicopters, tanks and elite troops against protesters in the east.

In 2011, the US and its European allies cited the supposed threat of an attack by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi on the rebellious province of Benghazi in Libya’s east as justification for imposing a “no fly zone,” which immediately became the cover for an air war that killed tens of thousands of Libyans and ended with the torture and lynching of Gaddafi.

The following year, the use of force by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against armed oppositionists was used as the justification for funding and arming Islamist militias and inciting a full-scale civil war that has killed an estimated 150,000 people.

When it suits their economic and geopolitical interests, however, as in Ukraine and other countries, including Egypt, the imperialist powers drop their pose of outrage over leaders who “kill their own people” as well as their “duty to protect” civilians…

Excerpted; full article link:

China Voice: Stop making farce in pretext of “human rights” [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Western nations' human rights distortions on April 22, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) — The British government has indulged itself in political farce again by making biased and irresponsible remarks to blemish China’s human rights record.

In its latest annual report on human rights, it, disregarding its own flawed human rights record, listed China as one of 28 “countries of concern”.

The report “selectively ignored” real and continuous human rights progress made in China, which is obvious to any person without prejudice…

Why doesn’t the report highlight some Western countries, including Britain itself, that have also violated human rights?

The British government simply turned the report into an ideological political show.

Instead of squandering efforts and taxpayers’ money on pointing fingers at other countries, the British government should sweep its own doorstep instead.

Acting as a world human rights defender, Britain itself has had its problems.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Britain as a major player in the U.S.-led military operations, have caused massive civilian casualties.

…Britain’s remote drone operations in Afghanistan spurred anti-war protests at home. Protestors demanded an end to remote killing before even more innocent civilians were slaughtered as the British Royal Air Force started to remotely operate drones flying in Afghanistan from British soil.

The UK phone-hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News International, which has dominated media coverage worldwide, also cast doubt over the “freedom of the press” upheld by Western media organizations and raised concerns about privacy rights in the country.

Differences still exist among nations on human rights issues due to different levels of cultural and economic development and China stands for narrowing them through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality.

China is ready to discuss human rights issues with Britain, and they have established mechanisms for dialogue to exchange ideas and settle differences.

A human rights dialogue between China and Britain scheduled this week has been called off because of Britain’s latest human rights report, which has made irresponsible comments about China’s political system and blemished the country’s human rights record…

Excerpted; full article link:

US criticised by UN for human rights failings on NSA, guns and drones [Guardian]

Posted in Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Police State, US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes, Western nations' human rights distortions on March 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

* Geneva panel share deep concerns over US record on host of different subjects, including racial inequality and Guantánamo *

Ed Pilkington

March 13, 2014

The US came under sharp criticism at the UN human rights committee in Geneva on Thursday for a long list of human rights abuses that included everything from detention without charge at Guantánamo, drone strikes and NSA surveillance, to the death penalty, rampant gun violence and endemic racial inequality…

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(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd

“James Clapper, EU play-acting, and political priorities” by Glenn Greenwald [Guardian]

Posted in Bolivia, CIA, Evo Morales, France, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Portugal, Spain, Torture, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Western nations' human rights distortions on July 11, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

– Fixations on denouncing Edward Snowden distract, by design, from the serious transgressions of those who are far more powerful –

July 3, 2013

The NSA revelations continue to expose far more than just the ongoing operations of that sprawling and unaccountable spying agency. Let’s examine what we have learned this week about the US political and media class and then certain EU leaders…

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(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd