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    View from the ground..., 2004-05-18 12:22:51 | Main | palestinian mlks..., 2004-05-19 13:21:18

    Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The US record 2003-2004:

    which press account on this report's release contains more levels of irony, Xinhuanet ("US report a satire of its human rights 'promotion' in world:Chinese experts") or The Washington Times ("US still human rights beacon")?

    I really can't decide. Maybe I'll vote for the report itself: in most cases I've seen - and I'm readily aware of my selection bias on this count - NED funding for pro-Western parties is not support for democracy but for US interests, and high level diplomatic inaction is not support for human rights but mere stalling. If any US aid is used to good purpose - election monitoring generally is, for example, but our response to the massive fraud in Azerbaijan's 2003 elections made a waste of the money - I imagine it must be overwhelmed by everything that's wrong-headed. I don't, on the other hand, have time or resources to make a full survey: pick a country and go to town. I'm sure we could find some real examples, so long as nothing conflicts with more cynical interests, or it serves cynical interests, but that's not what bothers us.

    Briefly scanning the report for familiar cases, I would note that it has it's share of blatantly misleading, if not outright false, statements. For example, on the subject of Columbia it states "non-governmental organization (NGO) statistics indicate kidnappings have dropped approximately 30 percent in 2003": the the number of kidnappings in 2002 and 2003 met record highs, so there's little more than an attempt at whitewash for the largest recipient of US support in the hemisphere. The section on Haiti - where the US is accomodating politically motivated violence and the destruction of what little society is left - is just mindless driveling absurdity, repeating the common themes of yester-year.

    We note that there is no section on the US record on human rights and democracy in the United States, something that, if nothing else, might have cut our faux-critical Chinese partners in crime short.

    To jump off to today's other topic - related because it does not demonstrate the "implementation of President Bush's two-state vision" which "explicitly calls on both parties to end incitement" - we built and bought the robot bulldozers that are razing Gaza right now, you can't just mutter how it's "troubling" as you waltz past the work of your own hands.


:: posted by buermann @ 2004-05-18 15:36:12 CST | link





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