Friday, January 27, 2012

One for Another

Trey Smith

Obviously, the Gadaffi and Saddam regimes were horrible human rights abusers. But the point is that one cannot celebrate a human rights success based merely on the invasion and overthrow of a bad regime; it is necessary to know what one has replaced them with. Ironically, those who are the loudest advocates for these wars and then prematurely celebrate the outcome (and themselves) bear significant responsibility for these subsequent abuses: by telling the world that the invasion was a success, it causes the aftermath — the most important part — to be neglected. There is nothing noble about invading and bombing a country into regime change if what one ushers in is mass instability along with tyranny and abuse by a different regime: typically one that is much more sympathetic to the invading regime-changers.
~ from The Human Rights “Success” in Libya by Glenn Greenwald ~
In his column, Greenwald discusses the spate of reports that the so-called liberated states of Iraq and Libya are engaging in violent repression of rights, torture and, in some cases, murder. These are the VERY SAME criteria that the US utilized as a reason to attack both countries. So, in essence, we have liberated each nation to go right back to committing the very same human rights abuses as before.

As Greenwald makes clear, human rights violations almost never are the "actual objective." Historically, the US has supported some of the most brutal despotic regimes as long as these tyrants don't screw up the machinations of our elites. If a vile dictator allows US corporations to have free rein, he can murder his countrymen at will and you won't hear as much as a peep from Washington.

However, if that same tyrant gets in the way our plans and schemes -- even just a tad -- all bets are off. If the tyrant refuses to be kowtowed by all the various forms of pressure the US can exert, then and ONLY then do we hear about the regime's woeful human rights record and how the US must now bomb the entire country to kingdom come to save them from destruction and to usher in a new era of freedom and democracy.

But our "saving" of the people comes at a strange price. Not only do we destroy much of the nation's infrastructure -- seriously hampering its ability to rebound economically -- but we install puppets who -- surprise, surprise -- tend to commit the very same sorts of atrocities that we ostensibly saved the people from in the first place!

In other words, after all is said and done, about all we genuinely have accomplished is to trade one abuser for another.

And that, my friends, is why the people in the "liberated" countries "love" us so much.

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