West makes much hullaballoo about Human Rights and Democracy (and its alleged backsliding in other countries like Bharat.) In fact, 3 months after 9/11 happened and US started its ‘War on Terror’, Bush came upon this brilliant idea to mark various days in December related to human rights, with December 10 reserved as ‘Human Rights Day.’ George Bush’s quote about such declaration was that the ‘War on Terror was about Human Rights.’ He said:
“The heinous acts of terrorism committed on September 11 were an attack against civilization itself, and they have caused the world to join together in a coalition that is now waging war on terrorism and defending international human rights. Americans have looked beyond our borders and found encouragement as the world has rallied to join the American-led coalition. Civilized people everywhere have recognized that terrorists threaten every nation that loves liberty and cherishes the protection of individual rights.”
A much less talked about reason (or justification) for Invasion of Iraq was in fact Human Rights. And this was not just because after the invasion they couldn’t find a single WMD. They had built up the rhetoric against Iraq based on Human Rights well before it. To sell it to gullible American public.
In fact, the so-called “Bush Doctrine” had its core components about waging this War on Terror in support of “Promoting democracy”, “Preemptive action against threats to United States”, “Going alone at it if the world or UN disagreed,” and “Making no distinction between terrorists and those states who provided them sanctuary.”
By all accounts this should’ve resulted in a final and devastating indictment of Pakistan, but forget war did we see even sanctions against it? No. In fact, the western financial aid and weapons delivery to it only increased exponentially (which were inevitably used against Bharat.) At the very least we definitely need to ask this: How is Bush doctrine any different than what the west is calling Putin’s madness? At least Putin is not hiding behind fake human rights shield.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Pakistan-US nexus of evil and the massive western hypocrisy regarding sanctions (or lack thereof) deserves another article in itself.
Let’s remain focused on War on Terror in support of Human Rights and Democracy and USA’s actions around SWIFT for that.
Our nation, Bharat, had been suffering from the evil of terrorism decades before those chickens came home to roost in US. Did Bhartiya people not have Human Rights back then? Were we not a democracy then?
Kashmiri Hindus suffered yet another genocide at the hands of Islamist terrorists in 1989-1990. There was an ethnic cleansing. Lakhs of Hindus were terrorized into leaving their homes and hearth. Rapes. Murder. Loot. Genocidal calls of ‘Leave, convert or die’ were blared from loudspeakers on mosques days and nights. Yet forget calling it genocide, west and its liberal media outlets didn’t even call the heinous Islamists as ‘terrorists’, only ‘militants’. Not back then, not even after Pulwama Suicide bombing on 14 February 2019 that led to Balakot airstrike 12 days later and 1st aerial dog fight between 2 nuclear armed neighbors in the history of nukes.
Come, on. Why would US do anything before 9/11?
Okay, a cynical person would argue that before 9/11, US had not seen the blood of its own citizens at the hands of their illegitimate love child with Pakistan.
So what about after it?
Only 3 days after Bush declared December 10 as Human Rights Day, and declared their global War on Terror as one defending Human Rights, Freedom and Democracy; on 13 December 2001, the parliament of Bharat, the biggest democracy on earth, came under attack by Islamist terrorists who were trained and supported by Pakistan. Following which PM Vajpayee mobilized the Indian Military on Pakistani border and we very nearly went to war with our despicable Islamist neighbor.
What did US do for supporting Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom loving people of Bharat then?
It got irritated and told Bharat to back off, agreeing with a farcical Pakistani rationalization that with Bharat’s threat looming large on eastern border, it can’t focus on Afghanistan on the west and hence can’t support ‘US’s War on Terror.’
Compare that to the rhetoric still being peddled on by hysterical US liberal media about January 6 Capitol Hill riots.
Did US at least shared with us the SWIFT data related to those responsible for this terrorist attack on our parliament?
For that matter, there was a long list of Islamist terrorist attacks on Bhartiya soil after 2001 sansad attack, including 26/11, in which hundreds of people had died. How many of those got financial intelligence of terror financing from US?
You say TFTP was a secret program and hence US can’t disclose it to us?
Okay, that was only until 2006. What prevented US to share that data with us afterward? 26/11 Mumbai attack happened in 2008, right?
Bharat wasn’t a member of FATF till 2010. The same FATF in whose grey list Pakistani economy is writhing and squirming today.
It wasn’t until January 2015 that Ministry of Finance and US Treasury department signed an MoU that’d ‘enhance cooperation against money laundering and terrorism financing.’ This is the closest I’ve come to find any US-Bharat co-operation that ‘could’, in theory, might’ve involved sharing SWIFT data for terror financing. I say ‘might’ve,’ because it’s not a given – unless they say it specifically.
What the west say about Russia:
- Because of alleged human rights violation in Bucha, Russia was kicked out of UN Human Rights Council, without even an independent investigation.
- Because of Russia violating ‘territorial integrity’ and ‘sovereignty’ of Ukraine, in what is widely believed to be Russian preemptive action against Ukraine joining NATO bringing that coalition of evil to its doorstep, Russia was cut off from SWIFT – except the banks dealing with oil and gas payments to EU of course.
- Because of Russia wanting a regime change – that itself was a west sponsored coup in 2014 – Putin is evil and Zelenskyy a hero (never mind neo-nazi Azov battalions).
Now…consider what the west says about itself:
- Because it wanted to deliberately violate Human Rights of foreign (and sometimes American) citizens, USA colluded and hacked into SWIFT, that too, in the name of protecting Human Rights!
- Because it was afraid that Russia would be at its doorstep if its missiles were stationed in Cuba, USA threatened a nuclear war…err, we went too far back into ancient history! Sorry. So, coming back to modern times, because it wanted to promote Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights overseas, George Bush said “UN Charter is dead.” Then he went on to violate multiple small nations territorial integrity and sovereignty, some even thousands of miles away.
- In those states, successive US governments undertook multiple regime change operations, killed millions of innocents, displaced another 10s of millions. and installed their puppet governments in the name of ‘democracy’ that had no ground support. Because of it, USA is hero and all other sides evil.
SWIFT’s credibility is long tanked. We should immediately try to diversify from this deeply penetrated system that’d hand over Bhartiya people’s data the moment US or EU demands it. At the very least we should insist on bringing our citizens’ financial data under the proposed Data Protection Bill, that’s been pending since eternity. We should try to diversify from SWIFT in favor of desi SFMS of RBI, regardless of the crisis posed by Ukraine war, because this system’s razor thin security is susceptible to slightest attempts of hacks by minor players in Cyber Warfare like North Korea, forget American NSA.
If not, Bharat should demand to be put in the loop about TFTP. There’s a long list of talks going on about free trade agreement with EU, this should be a part of the treaty if large scale financial transactions from our nation are going into Europe and vice-versa. Plus, considering USA’s Global War on Terror effectively ended in massive, shameful defeat, with Taliban back in charge of Afghanistan with tonnes of American weapons in the hands of battle-hardened Jihadis, and Al-Qaeda jumping into the fray of Hijab row in Karnataka at the behest of liberal marketing, this is the least we should demand.
For too long, Bharat had been not just denied a seat at the high table of geopolitics but sermonized, ridiculed and exploited by west because of the entrenched Hinduphobia of Abrahamic world order. And SWIFT has always been a part of that. It’s time we demand our respect and more importantly, the accountability from the west.
It’s time we, the people of Bharat, stood up to shameless US hypocrisy.