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The concept of Democracy, Human Rights, Terrorism and Double Standards

Posted: 2012-04-17
From: Mathaba
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Photo: a Syrian rebel, claiming to fight for democracy.


By Honourable Dr Saka

In recent times, the West has made so much noise about their so-called democracy and human right credentials and the need for others to emulate. They have on many occasions criticized Iran, Syria, Libya, Zimbabwe, North Korea, even Russia, China and Venezuela of ‘human right violations’ and their lack of ‘democracy’.

At the same time, the West find themselves in bed with many brutal dictatorial regimes like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Uganda, and many others whose human right records are highly questionable. This is hypocrisy and double standards.

The Fraud of Constitutional Rule

In the 21st century, the principles of constitutional rule and democracy, however nice they appear on paper; is nothing but a sham; far from reality. You want answers? Look no further. Under a democratic/constitutional rule, which law is supposed to be the supreme law of the land? The constitution. We're told that the constitution is the "supreme law" of the land and that ''any other law'' found to be "inconsistent with this constitution" shall to the extent of its inconsistency be "null and void".

These are clear and explicit terms with specific emphasis on 'any law' that contradicts the constitution. Of course the constitution recognizes other laws passed by parliament/congress. But the key issue is 'inconsistency'- laws that clearly violate ANY provision in the constitution.

In the US, the constitution recognizes the powers of the judiciary, guarantees fundamental human right, the right to fair trial, the right to a lawyer/attorney, etc. Suddenly, NDAA has been passed, and this law subsequently nullifies constitutional provisions; a direct violation of Article II of the Constitution. In effect, a provision in the NDAA, has trashed the constitutional provisions mentioned (above). Is the NDAA subservient to the constitution or vice versa? Which of these two provisions; those in the constitution or the NDAA are valid? Yet the NDAA is shamelessly been enforced by the US government!

Therefore this principle of "constitutional rule/democracy"; isn't it a sham? Where is the respect for the constitution which the president and the congress swore to uphold and defend? Should there be the need for such provisions in the NDAA, then why wasn't the constitution first amended to accommodate it? Yet, Washington has been lecturing every country, especially Africa and the Middle East on human right and democratic path.

Despite promising otherwise, Barack Obama committed U.S. military resources to overthrow Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi without any kind of congressional authorization whatsoever and without citing any evidence that Libya under Gaddafi was a threat to the security of the United States. Furthermore, Obama shamelessly undermined the power of Congress by insisting his authority came from the UN Security Council and that Congressional approval was not necessary. “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question,” Obama churlishly remarked writes Paul Joseph Watson.

The Selective Justice System

As of today, the brutal murder of "Muammar Gaddafi" by NATO (NATO warplanes attacked the convoy at 8:30 a.m before the alleged Gaddafi was captured by the rebels), some of his children, the plot to murder Assad and his family by the rebels and many human right atrocities against the Palestinians have not even received the attention of Washington’s numerous human right NGOs, the so-called international community and the “International Court of Criminals”.

How about the massacre of the Iraqis and the Afghanis, the bombing of civilian pharmaceutical plant in Sudan on August 20, 1998 by the Clinton’s administration, the women and the children of Pakistan, and Somalia, brutally murdered by drone attacks?

These and many horrific crimes are being carried out on a mass scale, yet the sufferings of these victims and their demand for justice have always escaped the headlines of the corporate media. Because of these, the corporate media and the so-called human right institutions have become nothing but exist merely as imperialists’ tools to serve the selfish and barbaric agenda of the New World Order.

Since its inception, the ICC has targeted many African Leaders who firmly stood against the dictates of the West, and a few African warlords as its main victims while deliberately paying a blind eye to crimes committed by other leader in America, Europe and some dictators in the Middle East.

According to the ICC, Saif Gaddafi is wanted for "Crimes Against Humanity". But, what is a crime against humanity? The recent "war crime exhibition" held in Malaysia revealed very horrible and graphic images of serious war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan which led over 1.2million innocent people dead in Afghanistan and over 800,000 people slaughtered in Iraq by NATO. Yet, ten years on, the ICC has not found anybody in NATO to be guilty of "crimes against humanity" in Iraq nor Afghanistan.

In the Libyan war, the Gaddafis are already accused by the ICC. What about the massacre by the rebels and their NTC leaders? How about the ethnic cleansing of black people in Libya by the NTC? How about Hilary Clinton who openly called on the rebels to assassinate Gaddafi? As if that was not shocking enough, Hilary Clinton rejoiced live on TV (CBS) with “we came, we saw, he died hahaha”. So tell me, what do you think would have happened if it was an African diplomat, or a diplomat from the third world that exhibited the exact attitude as Hillary Clinton did?

Of course, one would expect to hear a series of press conferences followed by sanctions from those who have declared themselves the world leaders, as they would lambaste and condemn such actions, if it had been exhibited from elsewhere. The ICC and those human right institutions should spare us these double standards on what they often refer to as human right violations and crimes against humanity.

Today, any leader who stands up to the west is demonized and tagged a terrorist. Take a look at Nelson Mandela, the man most Africans look up to as the hero of our time. Did you know that for many years, the US considered Mandela as a terrorist and banned him from travelling there even when he became the president of South Africa? Did you know that it was until 2008, that Mandela's name was finally removed from the US terrorist watch list?

But of course, when Michele Obama visited South Africa in 2011, she called Mandela "a man of inspiration for many" in Africa and across the world. Mind you, she spoke in her capacity as the first lady of the United States and of course she was on official government trip. So what changed all of a sudden about Mandela's personality within these 3 years that Obama came to power? Was she implying that Mandela became a "symbol of inspiration and a hero" within the last two years?

The man who was for many years considered a terrorist is now a hero and an inspiration all of a sudden? With all these contradictions, one sometimes wonders what exactly the West often refers to as "terrorist". Indeed for a man like Mandela to be declared a terrorist by the West, when the same leaders were seen cheering on the rebels in Libya and those terrorist groups in Syria is quite hypocritical.

Today, even Wikileaks is seen to be "a terrorist organisation" by the very people that hold the freedom of the press in high esteem. So again, what exactly is the true definition of a terrorist?

Responsibility To Protect and the Al-Qaeda Fraud

With the United States and its allies in the police world, the right of interference obviously always belong to the strong against the weak, and never the reverse. Does Iran have the right to intervene to save the Palestinians? Does Venezuela have the right to intervene to end the bloody coup in Honduras? Russia has the right to intervene to protect the Bahrainis?

Yesterday they killed thousands of Libyan civilians “to protect them,” and tomorrow they will kill civilians in Syrian or Iran or Venezuelan or Eritrea “to protect them” while the Palestinians and all other victims of ‘Strong’ continue to suffer dictatorship and massacre - (michelcollon.info).  Today, the rebels in Syria can defend themselves but the Palestinians cannot.

In Libya there were 26,000 NATO air strikes yet “no civilian casualties”! Yet even though Gaddafi never dropped a single bomb on the rebels, the human right groups were able to count thousands of casualties to which the UN blamed on Gaddafi. So what exactly do we often mean by "humanity"? It tells you that some people mean nothing, especially those of us from the third world.

This is why l feel very ashamed of the African leaders who sold out Gaddafi in their individual closets. Anytime an African country had been colonized, it was always done with the collaboration of some black men (African stooges), who call themselves African leaders. As for the UN itself, I need not remind anybody of how corrupted it has become. An institution which was founded with the sole responsibility to promote global peace and security has now turned out to be a war-making institution.

To quote Charles Abugre, (via allafrica.com) "My greatest disappointment and shame, was to see the United Nations Secretariat always beating the war drums and cheering on the battle rather than sing the songs of peace".

The fact is whenever the West bombs a defenceless country, they call it intervention. When they arm terrorists groups to topple ‘dictators’ they call these rebel groups “revolutionaries”. Meanwhile when peaceful protestors (the Occupy Movement) take to the street to make some demands, they’re domestic terrorists and radicals. I am yet to imagine anywhere in Europe where a government will stand aside and watch some armed groups take to the streets and terrorize civilians as they’re currently doing in Syria and see if the corporate mainstream media would call them “revolutionaries” as they call those in Libya and Syria.

Let us just imagine some rebel fighters operating near the US-Mexican border, calling on the UN to establish a “buffer zone” for them to take refuge as they’re doing in Syria. Since September 2001, the whole world has been made to believe that Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization. In fact, the US and NATO invaded Iraq to get rid of Al-Qaeda. But today, even though Bin Laden “is dead” Al-Qaeda is still hanging around in the Middle East and now North-Africa toppling dictators with NATO's support. Perhaps the shocking part is that Al-Qaeda now appears to be a NATO ally. For the first time in history, we have seen the West fighting on the same side as Al-Qaeda in Libya and in Syria. But isn’t Al-Qaeda supposed to be a terrorist organisation that poses a threat to global peace and security?

The War on Terror and The Case of Syria

Over the past one year, terrorists groups have been destabilizing the peace and stability in Syria, killing both civilians and security forces, and dumping their bodies in the gutters.  It is sad that these terrorists have been recognized by the West as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

But isn’t this strange? The world was told that the rebel fighters which include Al-Qaeda elements and other terrorists groups who are responsible for terrorists’ activities in Syria have a right to “defend themselves”. In this regard, we saw a few NATO states, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, US and France calling for arms to be delivered to the rebels  for them to defend themselves when in fact the rebels are the very terrorist groups that are killing many NATO soldiers in the Middle East and now turning Syria into chaos.

Even Britain pledged to give the Syrian rebels more funds for training. Meanwhile when these Al-Qaeda terrorists  strike in any of the NATO countries, a war on terror is declared. So on what basis will one justify that terrorists groups, which include Al-Qaeda rebels, which have killed thousands, blown up gas pipelines and continue to do so on a daily basis, have a right to defend themselves against a government?

To the extent that under the watch of the UNSC and the international community, many NATO member states have held summits, calling on one another to contribute weapons to help Al-Qaeda fighters to defend themselves against a regime. As a result, many sophisticated weapons; including anti-aircraft missiles have been delivered to Al-Qaeda rebels to defend themselves in Syria.

Al-Qaeda which is supposed to be a threat to the world, now has a right to defend itself against a regime?  Is it because the regime in question is not an ‘ally’? So if tomorrow, Al-Qaeda were to declare a war on any of the NATO member states like Turkey, Israel, Britain, etc just as we saw the recent shooting incidence in France; would the UN allow those terrorists access to such weapons in order for them to “defend themselves” against the French government? This is hypocrisy!  But some of us are not surprised.

Because Hilary Clinton recently admitted that it was the US that created the Taliban. Besides, according to Mathaba analyst Stephen Lendman, "Al-Qaeda itself was a CIA creation and America uses Al-CIAda strategically as both enemy and ally as and when necessary". And there is no better example as Libya and now Syria.

It is a positive sign that gradually, the people are realizing the truth. Also thanks to NATO especially France and Qatar for their kind gesture. Today all those sophisticated weapons they poured on Libya have finally arrived in Nigeria for the next Al-Qaeda operation in the West African sub-region, which will as usual be blamed on Boko Haram.

Democracy, Is It Discriminatory?

Today, democracy is good for Syria and Libya, but it is not good for Saudi Arabia, Qatar nor Bahrain. The Western press and their democratic NGOs have repeatedly advocated for democratic reforms in Syria but completely remain silent on Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They show us dictators in Zimbabwe but they have been blind on Uganda.

The rebels in Syria who claim to be fighting for democracy have a right to “defend themselves” but those in Uganda who are equally fighting for democracy do not have any right to self-defense. It is always one set of rules for “our allies”, another set of rules for the others. Just take a look at the one-horse race (elections) that was recently held in Yemen- an election which was not even contested. The whole thing made a complete mockery of democracy. Yet the West hailed this ‘elections’ as acceptable and applauded the country for their new ‘democratic government’.

But can anybody imagine what the West and the mainstream press would have said, if such an election were to be held in Syria by Assad? Just imagine Assad or his chosen candidate holding elections in a one-man contest. The whole elections would have been declared illegitimate. The sanctions that would have followed such elections would have been enormous. But because Yemen was a case of one of “our allies”, everything is okay.

But that shouldn't be a problem, for as long as international law and sovereignty is respected. Therefore for those in the international community who accept that international laws are made to be broken and accept that the law of the jungle should be applied, where the strongest bullies the rest by force, there is one thing you need to understand: your days are numbered because NO empire will survive for eternity.

It happened to the Romans, the Germans, the Japanese and others. Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator) has assured humanity that: so long as men die, liberty will never perish.  In the near future, the people will be free. And all these double standards will end. “The near future will also show that with courage and determination, wrongs can be righted and the criminal elements in the international justice system, whoever they are, will be brought to justice.” (Mathaba author Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey).

-- Honourable Dr Saka is a contributor to the Mathaba News Network via the Mathaba Publication Bridge.
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