As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mr. Human Rights

The world was treated yesterday to the same kind of hypocrisy we've been experiencing for close to seven years.

UNITED NATIONS — President Bush implored the United Nations on Tuesday to recommit itself to restoring human decency by liberating oppressed people and ending famine and disease.

Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, the president called for renewed efforts to enforce the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a striking point of emphasis for a leader who's widely accused of violating human rights in waging war against terrorism.

Bush didn't mention the U.S. prisons in Afghanistan or at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. practice of holding detainees for years without legal charges or access to lawyers, or the CIA's "rendition" kidnappings of suspects abroad, all issues of concern to human rights activists around the world.

"At first read, it's little more than an exercise in hypocrisy. His words about human rights ring hollow because his credibility is nonexistent," said Curt Goering, the deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA. "The gap between the rhetoric and the actual record is stunning. I can't help but believe many people in the audience were thinking, 'What was this man thinking?' "

This comes at a time when Guantanamo detainees are talking about guards flinging shit at them and withholding medicine during interrogations. It comes at a time when our imperial project in Iraq has brought thousands of cases of cholera to their people. It comes after secret prisons and prison abuse and the ubiquity of public tasering and a whole host of other incidents that have transformed our country from a beacon of human rights to one of the condemned. It takes more than a speech to put that genie back in the bottle.

UPDATE: By the way, apparently Bush needs the phonetic spelling of the names of people and places around the world after pretending to lead it for seven years. Classy.

Labels: , , , , ,