Search This Blog

Friday, March 18, 2016

NPR's All Things Considered evades deeper study of US "commitment" to human rights

A Human Rights Watch guest and US Senator are allowed to voice impassioned concern for Cuba's "horrible" human rights record Friday on NPR's "All Things Considered" without a hint of irony.

In a stunning lack of concern for either history or audience intelligence, Daniel Wilkinson of Human Rights Watch is deeply troubled by Cuban disregard for freedom of speech.

Cuba's Dangerousness Law allows the government to try and convict people not for having committed a crime, Wilkinson tells us, but for having the alleged "propensity" to do so sometime in the near future.

While the US Patriot Act and monumental government surveillance of the population are seen as prudent if opaque compromises between liberty and security post-911, Castro's Cuba apparently, is given no such allowance to respond to what Noam Chomsky calls "a half-century of horror, even worse than the US-backed tyranny that came before."

No, things like CIA terror and plots against Castro's Cuba - where Cubans by the 100's were slaughtered - nor our intercontinental drone assassination program - register as credible threats, in Wilkinson's calculus, to the Cuban human rights we are so concerned with.

Strikes against these "potential" threats in 9 out of 10 cases, kill someone other than the  intended targets or, "jackpots", in drone parlance.

This means the suspect's friends and relations, even neighbors, none of whom are on Obama's list are frequently blown to shreds as collateral damage. This is why the drone program is recognized as a "terror generating" program by administration higher ups.

Top Democrat on the Senate's foreign Relations Committee and "outspoken" human rights advocate, Sen. Ben Cardin reflects on Cuba's "horrible record on human rights" yet has no comment on other, far greater crimes committed by US allies.

In fact the Senator's outspokenness has resulted in exactly zero clarification of when our precious  human rights standards are applied and to whom. Little more is known about these standards, save they are never applied to us.

The good Sen. Cardin fails to muster anything more than a strategic concern with regard to US support for ally Saudi Arabia at a hearing last fall on its devastating bombardment of Yemen, where 6,000 have been killed in the civil war there, most deaths occurring from Saudi airstrikes.

But our man Cardin is more perplexed by the fact the Saudis don't seem to have a diplomatic solution in place, than by their flat out military aggression. "There is no military solution," he says, not giving a damn over KSA's repression of speech, women and religion through arbitrary application of Sharia Law.

Further, the friends and family of said individual could also, by sheer accident mind you, be blown to bits, as well as the accused. Even persons not one of the above who do not know the individual may stand "accused",  may be slaughtered.

Yet let us worry ourselves over Cuban human rights abuses and decline the first visit by a US President since pre-WWII.

What of our "allies" human rights records. Saudi Arabia? The KSA being the #1 recipient of US weapons last year which are being used to bombard Yemen's civilian population. Israel? With its half century old occupation of the West Bank and the periodic bombardment of Gaza- 2008, 2012, 2014? The last slaughter killing 500 children?

But Obama needn't fret. As the irony of ironies plays out on cable tv and he gives a human rights lecture to Senior Castro in the shadow of Guantanamo.

There on the island in Cuba's most strategic port, we have a foreign occupation AND indefinite imprisonment without charge. A worse torture than rotting away in a cell for crimes I did not commit, for crimes yet undeclared, I cannot imagine.

Less hideous kinds of torture yet to be fully revealed.

Some things it just wouldn't do for NPR to say.

No comments:

Post a Comment