The following is a follow-up to my rant on Arizona being reported to the United Nations as human rights violators.
On August 20th, 2010 the State Department and Department Of Justice allowed a report to be distributed to the United Nations in regards to human rights violations with the following reasoning :
The administration has engaged in an intensive effort, including holding town hall meetings with Muslims, Native Americans, African Americans and other minority groups, to assess the extent of domestic rights violations. In August, it gave the U.N. rights council a 22-page report documenting U.S. abuses, including practices by federal and local police and corrections and immigration officials, and defending President Obama’s counter-terrorism policies. Friday’s meeting provided the first opportunity for states to comment on the report.“Our progress has not been linear, but in the story of the United States, the arc of history has bent toward justice,” said Michael Posner, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor. “As our report acknowledges, though we are proud of our achievements, we are not satisfied with the status quo.“
The first question that immediately pops into my mind is how Michael Posner feels that an international body, many of whose members are true human rights violators, will somehow help his cause. Here are some of the responses by foreign members of the council :
Cuban ambassador Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez called on the U.S. to end its blockade of the island country, calling it a “crime of genocide.” In addition, it condemned the U.S. for “violations against migrants and mentally ill persons” and called on America to “ensure the right to food and health” for all citizens.
So, Mr. Rodriguez, if I come to your country in seek of free medical aid and free food, regardless of citizenry, I will be welcomed with open arms and have my food and health care free? This is hogwash!
Iran’s delegation demanded the U.S. “halt serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law including covert external operations by the CIA carried out on pretext of combating terrorism.” The Islamic nation — currently poised to stone a woman for alleged adultery charges — told the United States it needed to “combat violence against women.”
The Iranian government demand the United States allow it to continue to scream crazy rhetoric at us and it’s neighbors while it continues to pursue nuclear ambitions. This is a country that is known throughout the world for it’s TRUE humanitarian crimes against it’s OWN women and children. More hogwash!
North Korea, a dictatorial nation known to starve its own people, told the U.S. “to address inequalities in housing, employment and education” and “prohibit brutality…by law enforcement officials.” The delegation also noted that it was “concerned by systematic widespread violations committed by the United States at home and abroad.”
North Korea is nothing but a war propaganda machine. The hypocrisy is astounding!
Libya accused the U.S. of systematic “racism, racial discrimination and intolerance.”
This coming from a nation who sponsors, trains, and funds international terrorism? No human rights violations here folks!
Nicaragua’s Carlos Robelo Raffone also condemned the U.S. for sins of the past, but insisted America has made little progress. “The United States of America, since its very origin, has used force indiscriminately as the central pillar of its policy of conquest and expansionism, causing death and destruction,” Raffone told his U.N. colleagues Friday. “We would like to forget the past, but unfortunately the United States of America — which pretends to be the guardian of human rights in the world, questioning other countries — has been and continues to be the one which most systematically violates human rights.”
Mr. Raffone, the United States has had to constantly defend itself from from countries trying to dominate it’s Constitution, Bill Of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. Even forgetting about the past, NGOs report instances of forced child marriages between young girls and older foreign men, particularly in San Juan Sur.
Children are trafficked within the country for forced labor in construction, agriculture, fishing, and domestic servitude. -U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009. Hypocrite!
Countries like the United Kingdom and France condemned the United States for its allowance of capital punishment.
This is, at least, an arguable issue. However, America exists separate from Britain and France, neither have particularly liked that notion since the inception of this country. I don’t know how many times or how many ways we can tell them. “America will NOT be subject to British or French law now, or in the future, and we reserve the right to legislate what actions shall, or shall not be taken within the borders of our own country”.
Antonio Ginatta of the New York-based group Human Rights Watch told the council the U.S. “grossly” violates its citizens’ human rights: “U.S. officials were often reduced to restating current practices that grossly violate human rights, like the death penalty, poor prison conditions and sentencing youth offenders to life without parole.”
Has this person ever visited a prison facility outside of the United States? Served as an officer of the law inside of an American prison to experienced both sides of this equation? Lost a child or loved family member due to the criminal activity of someone with no remorse? Aside from these questions, what gives Antonio Ginatta the right to complain about human rights violations in this country to foreign governments? Mr. Ginatta should understand there is a legal system in place in the United States that handles such problems. Does Mr. Ginatta truly believe that the United States should give up it’s sovereignty to foreign entities?
Further, Amnesty International condemned the U.S. for its use of enhanced interrogation techniques. “These recommendations must be at the heart of rebuilding the United States’ human rights record,” it said in a statement.
Ask Senator McCain about ‘un-enhanced interrogation techniques’. He will never be able to lift his arms above his shoulders due to these techniques. Ask any United States soldier who has been interrogated by another country if they would have preferred ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ over the life-long crippling ones received at the hands of our enemies.
Appearing on Russia Today from the conference in Geneva, Chandra Bhatnagar of the American Civil Liberties Union also spoke about America’s use of “torture” and insisted those who approve and carry out the intelligence-gathering technique must be prosecuted:
I would put any, in nation, American prison facility up against any prison facility in Russia. As far as Guantanamo Bay is concerned, the State Department issued this FACT:
In response to these accusations from Americans and other nations, Harold Koh, a U.S. State Department legal adviser told the U.N. council: “Let there be no doubt, the United States does not torture and it will not torture.” And while some countries lambasted the U.S. and the Obama administration for not carrying through on the president’s promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Koh simply responded that “the president cannot close Guantanamo alone,” and any effort to do so would require assistance from Congress, the courts and foreign allies willing to take in released detainees.
Simply put, Guantanamo Bay holds prisoners who are housed and fed by the United States in an offshore facility. No other country, as usual, steps up to the plate to house, feed, and maintain these prisoners except the United States.
It seems that the only country who approached the problems logically was Germany’s delegate, Konrad Scharinger by stating:
“We would hope that those states will show the same level of commitment when it comes to improving their human rights record at home.”
The United Nations Security Council has done nothing to ensure true human rights violations be addressed by it’s state members. To hold the United States to a standard that they, themselves, cannot meet is ridiculous.
Something that was particularly disturbing are submitted suggestions and remedies such as:
–The U.S. needs to sign, ratify and implement a wide number of United Nations-sponsored human rights conventions, whatever reservations various U.S. governments or courts have had to them.
– All these treaties and conventions should be “self-executing,” meaning that no subsequent U.S. government action should be required for them to go into effect—regardless of the U.S. constitutional separation of powers, and the separation of powers between federal and state governments.
– The Employee Free Choice Act was submitted by international labor unions to be approved to try to circumvent the legislature in the United States, by inferring this is a human rights violation.
For over 200 years, starting with our Declaration of Independence as a sovereign nation, we have had to constantly defend ourselves from foreign entities by using either negotiation or warfare tactics when negotiations fail. Historically, we have chosen to separate the power within our government so that no one entity gains sole power within our government. The United States Constitution provides a brilliant check and balance system in which all legal powers are shared among three (3) branches, and control of government is exercised by the majority will of the people it’s governed by. Additionally, we have a court system that not only keeps a balance of power in government, but ensures each citizen rights, as stated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, are adhered to.
Regardless of what you think of the United Nations and it’s international role, are YOU ready to allow law and policy to be passed in America by a foreign (or group of) nation(s)?
I ask you to contact your two Senators and give them your opinion on this matter. Do these people represent YOU or are these people attempting to usurp the power of our government?