Let’s hear it for checks and balances!
Zeenews - China cites the US for human rights violations, stating that the US should be called for its own human rights violations.
“As in previous years, the US State Department pointed the finger at human rights situations in more than 190 countries and regions but kept silent on the violations of human rights in the United States,” said the document.
To help people realise the true features of this self-styled “Guardian of Human Rights,” it is necessary to probe into the human rights abuses in the US in 2005, it said.
The US State Department alleged yesterday that China increased its censorship of the internet and media critics in 2005 and that harassment and detention of those challenging the authorities grew.
The Chinese report alleged that the US government frequently commits “wanton slaughters of innocents in its war efforts and military operations in other countries,” citing published reports that the US-led war on Iraq has killed about 100,000 Iraqis, mostly women and children. (link added)
In 2005, news of prisoners ‘abuse by the US forces again hit headlines, following their 2004 prisoners’ abuse scandal that stunned the world, it noted.
“They abused the Iraqi detainees systematically, including sleep deprivation, tying them to the wall, hitting them with baseball bats, denying their access to water and food, forcing them to listen to extremely loud music in completely dark places for days running, unleashing dogs to bite them for amusement and even scaring them by putting them in the same cage with lions.
“For years, the US government has ignored and concealed deliberately serious violations of human rights in its own country for fear of criticism,” charged the report.
This, in response to US allegations that China has increased its censorship of the internet and media critics in 2005 and that harassment and detention of those challenging the authorities has grown. Well, I can vouch for that. Life is not easy for those who speak out against the official party line. And it really sucks that I can’t read blogspot. They’ve somehow even outsmarted web proxies. Censorship is a drag. Alas, that’s the price of being here.
Approached globally, some tit for tat is refreshing upon the world scene. Kind of reminds me of when I was in Japan. There was a strong, young, muscular yokozuna, a grand master of sumo, named Chiyonofuji . He battled his way through the sheer mass of other, chubbier wrestlers, throwing them aside like so many Pillsbury dough boys. After a while he beat them up enough that the old yokozunas all retired to save their grace. He was the sole yokozuna! But, then Chiyonofuji just kept on kicking everyone’s ass and it got old. Not to say there weren’t some exciting matches, but competition is certainly more fair when there are several contenders.
Not that Chiyonofuji ever flaunted his power outside the ring. Which is where I suppose the analogy with the US ends. The US often behaves more like the bullies I used to hate on the kickball field, so confident that their natural leadership in sports gave them the right to rule everyone and everything else. And its true. The best of the best of these kickball thugs grew up to run the country.
So, with the US now increasingly checked by China, and the EU continuing to build up trade and cooperation with Chinese industry, not to mention Japan now emerging from its post-bubble funk, will we still see the US, or should I say the popularly elected cadre that is currently making decisions on behalf of the US, forced to cooperate more and dictate less? As an American, I can only hope so. Having spent the majority of my adult life beyond the borders, I actually do care what the rest of the world thinks. Perhaps, the US government is just a tad full of itself. If it wants to play on the world stage, it should learn to respect others.
Chinese leaders are firm in their resolve to mind their own affairs and leave others to mind their’s. There is plenty of room for both the US and China to cast allegations at each other. However, I believe they should each be judged by their deeds. While it is true that the Chinese government has a tight grip on the population, the US, with the recently right-eliminating “Patriot Act” re-ratified, tighter controls over the population in place, and the current atmosphere of “if you criticize a ‘war-time’ president, you’re commie scum” firmly entrenched, it’s plain to see that I see things in far less black and white than many of my compatriots.
Not to cast aspersions at either my land of allegiance, the United States, or my current home, zhongguo. I love them both for what they aim to achieve - for the areas in which they can take the moral high ground. I see the intolerance and finger-pointing as areas for improvement - issues that humanity as a whole is working through. I do feel, though, that there is a lot of quite support for China’s stance in this world. Those at the helm would be wise to take notice.