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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Ten historical events which bust the myth of USA being a defender of human rights

In an earlier Hindupost article, we had said:

With continued propaganda, the US today presents itself as the most noble, altruistic, democratic, and egalitarian country in the world even when its history of slavery and apartheid is quite recent.

Not just slavery, the US has consistently engaged in policies which are blatantly in conflict with basic human rights. With effective PR, the US steers clear of being depicted as a colonialist imperialistic country which, like many European countries, it is. Even today, some of its tycoons are known to be involved in philanthro-capitalism and neo-colonial exploitation of poorer countries.

Let’s have a look at the US’s worldwide record on human rights.

1) US is founded on cultural genocide of indigenous groups

This Hindupost had earlier described the genocidal conquest of the Americas.

2) Slavery and US Civil War

Contrary to what is publicized, the US civil war wasn’t just about slavery but as explained here it was also connected to states’ rights and territorial expansion.

The Southern states had economies that relied on plantations while the Northern ones relied on manufacturing. The Southern states wanted to assert authority over the federal government with respect to several laws including those pertaining to slavery. Southern states wanted to take slavery to the western states while the North wanted to keep these states only open to white labour.

Southern states wanted to secede from the Union which culminated in the war which the North won under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln. After the North won the war, slavery was abolished in 1865. But segregation and discrimination continued which necessitated the Civil Rights Movement. The first Civil Rights Act was passed only in 1957 and it was not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that African Americans were given voting rights. The Act forbade discrimination in voting, public accommodations, and employment. Notably, it came almost a 100 years after slavery was said to be officially abolished.

3) US imperialism and racism

As this Guardian article emphasizes, the US tried to play down its role as an imperial power. It had colonized many places like Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, American Samoa, Hawai, and Wake Islands at the turn of the 20th century. When these territories were colonized, their status has been clear. Both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson had ‘unabashedly’ called them colonies.

But in 1914, the US deftly stopped using the term ‘colony’ as a PR move to ensure it is not considered an imperialistic nation:

The word colony must not be used to express the relationship which exists between our government and its dependent peoples,” an official admonished in 1914. Better to stick with a gentler term, used for them all: territories.

The Guardian article also highlights US’s racism:

…the histories of African Americans and colonised peoples are tightly connected (and sometimes overlapping, as for the African-Caribbeans in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands). The racism that had pervaded the country since slavery also engulfed the territories. Like African Americans, colonial subjects were denied the vote, deprived of the rights of full citizens, called racial epithets, subjected to dangerous medical experiments and used as sacrificial pawns in war. They, too, had to make their way in a country where some lives mattered and others did not.

…race has been even more central to US history than is usually supposed. It hasn’t just been about black and white, but about Filipino, Hawaiian, Samoan and Chamoru (from Guam), too, among other identities. Race has not only shaped lives, but also the country itself – where the borders went, who has counted as “American”.

When Japan attacked US territories (the Pearl Harbour attack), President Roosevelt took pains to describe Hawai differently from Philippines based on how many white lives were affected!

4) Internment camps for Japanese American citizens post Pearl Harbour

After Pearl Harbour, the US took drastic measures against Japanese American citizens as articulated here. Citing national security, it forcibly dislodged from their homes, 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, and forced them to live in Internment camps. Two thirds of these were full citizens of America, born and raised in the US.

Families were given only a few days to dispose of their property and report to temporary “assembly centers”… Living conditions in these makeshift camps were terrible. One assembly centre established at Santa Anita Park, a racetrack in southern California, housed entire families in horse stalls with dirt floors…The Army-style barracks built to house the evacuees offered little protection from the intense heat and cold, and families were often forced to live together, offering little privacy.

And why was Japan nuked after Pearl Harbour and not Germany? Wasn’t that about white lives being valued over Asian ones?

5) Military interventions and adventurism in foreign lands

Much has already been written on US interventionism. The US intervened in the Vietnam War because it wanted to prevent the spread of communism. Casualties of thousands of Vietnamese were treated by the US as collateral damage. The perpetrators of the My Lai massacre of March 1968, in which 567 South Vietnamese civilians including women and children were killed, went largely unpunished. The main perpetrator who had been given a life sentence by the court, on the orders of President Nixon, was instead put under house arrest and released in just 3.5 years! Racist US army generals in Vietnam even declared that “life is cheap in the Orient!”

Like Vietnam, the US interference in Iraq has also been well documented. Raising the bogey of “weapons of mass destruction” which later proved false, Iraq was ravaged after Saddam Hussain who had earlier been a US ally, became an enemy after the Gulf War. Several thousands of deaths of Iraqis were once again called collateral damage.

To date, the US hasn’t apologized for either Vietnam or the Iraq War.

There were many other interventions:

The big wars are well-known: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. But there has also been a constant stream of smaller engagements. Since 1945, US armed forces have been deployed abroad for conflicts or potential conflicts 211 times in 67 countries.

US’s post-9/11 reckless interventions destabilized the Middle East and even contributed to the rise of ISIS.

6) CIA’s shady role

With the onset of the Cold War, the CIA was empowered to assassinate, cause regime change (coups in South American countries), and conduct political murders. To this day, the CIA is suspected to be globally engaged in sinister activities and to host torture chambers overseas. White supremacist thought guides the draconian powers assigned to the CIA. The CIA is said to have had a role in serial murders of Bharatiya nuclear scientists starting from that of Dr Homi Bhaba. US is said to be complicit even in the death of PM Lal Bahadur Shastri.

7) Propping up rogue-state Pakistan

US sells and even subsidizes arms to Pakistan meant to be used for counterterrorism–despite knowing about rogue-state Pakistan’s likelihood of using them against Bharat. In the eighties, it provided a huge quantity of weapons to Afghan Mujahideen in Pakistan, leading to Peshawar becoming the world capital of the illegal weapons market. Pakistan has been recently reported to be buying military weapons provided by the US to Afghan security forces. These acts ultimately end up in arming a rogue state against Bharat.

8) Blood Telegram and Nixon’s role in Hindu genocide in Bangladesh

The US role in abetting the 1970-71 genocide in Bangladesh, predominantly that of Hindus, has been documented in detail. As stated here:

In March, West Pakistan sent in the army, which using U.S.-supplied arms embarked on a killing spree against its own citizens that resulted in the genocide of some 200,000 Bengalis, many of them students. Hindus in particular were singled out. Ten million refugees were displaced and fled into India, bringing it into the conflict.

In spite of increasingly frantic cables sent by the U.S. consulate in Dacca and the embassy in New Delhi confirming the atrocities, Nixon and Kissinger chose to ignore them.

Instead, they vilified the US Consul General Keating and accused him of being a “mouthpiece for Indians.” And, they continued to channel arms and aid to Pakistan and its military dictator Yahya Khan.

9) Break-Bharat endeavours through NGOs

Many US-based NGOs like the Open Society Foundation are accused of interfering in internal issues of Bharat to foment anarchy.

Also, the US has never spoken up for the Hindu and Dharmic minorities who have nearly been wiped out in the Af-Pak region and Bangladesh. On the contrary, it raised questions about Bharat’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Only a handful of Hindus and Dharmics remain in these countries. The CAA seeks to give priority for Bharatiya citizenship to Hindu/other Dharmic refugees fleeing from these countries owing to the religious persecution and threat to life they face. But break-Bharat entities organized massive anti-CAA protests and many of the personalities associated with these protests like Harsh Mandar and Teesta Setalvad are known to receive funds for their NGOs from US sources.

10) US’s anti-Hindu stance

Religious conversion is an act of hatred. The only way one can make persons leave their ancestral faiths is by spewing hatred against their original belief systems. And the US self-confessedly engages in such activities, even boasting about being the country that “sends more Christian missionaries abroad than any other country”! And it also boasts of the ‘progress’ made my missionaries, saying, By 2000, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians came from countries where western missionaries worked a century earlier…”

Bharat has been a target of evangelical missionary activity for centuries now and remains a missionary target under the 10/40 window strategy which focuses on geographical areas and groups that have so far been resistant to embracing Christianity. Other devious missionary strategies include the 4:14 doctrine to target vulnerable age groups, namely children. Colonialists have been using conversion to deracinate people and turn them against their own country.

Missionaries not only flout existing laws to convert but also engage in criminal predatory acts like child sexual abuse. US created bodies like the USCIRF end up providing cover to these missionaries.

Within its borders, US pushes a distorted view of Hindu Dharma to school children and is now making attempts to inject caste into the mainstream discourse, even when it is known that Hindu immigrants to the US tend to barely harbour caste consciousness.

Conclusion

Clearly, beneath its veneer of altruism and nobility, the US is in fact a nation that unabashedly seeks self-interest at the cost of other countries, especially the ones it deems as less important based on race and religious considerations! It’s time we stop viewing it as the epitome of humanitarian values.

 (Featured Image Source: ft.com)

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Anuradha
Anuradha
Writer, Editor, Researcher

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