Thursday, 10 May 2018

Defenders of human rights

The enemies of the west's political media elite are routinely denounced as violators of human rights. These denunciations are often based on nothing more than unsubstantiated allegations. They are invariably delivered in tones of hysterical moral indignation. These same defenders of human rights are greeting the nomination of Gina Haspel for the post of CIA Director as a triumph of feminism.

Gina Haspel is guilty of torture. This is not a suspicion; it is a fact. She oversaw torture for the CIA across the globe. Yet, for the western political media elite this does not mean she should face trial as a war criminal. On the contrary, it merely means that her "history" with torture is a complication for the confirmation hearings, or might make it somewhat complicated for feminists to support her.

The simple moral fact that torture is wrong full stop is completely lost on the political media elite. For them what matters is who is being tortured (or otherwise having their rights violated) by whom. Human rights violations are completely acceptable when its suits the interests of Washington and its allies, and completely unacceptable when it suits Washington to say so.

The European Union has issued a strong condemnation of Russia over the arrest of protesters at the weekend. The EU asserts that the arrests threaten fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly. Yet, the same European Union fully supported the Spanish government's violent suppression of democracy in Catalonia and the imprisonment of independence leaders. The Catalans' fundamental freedoms were to be sacrificed to law and order. In Russia, law and order has to be sacrificed to the fundamental freedom to protest the election of Putin.

In the Ukraine, the morally superior defenders of human rights supported a violent coup d'etat by neo-Nazis to overthrow the elected government; a coup d'etat which unleashed a civil war and led to Crimea overwhelmingly voting to secede and join the Russian Federation. The western political elite may well have considered the Stepan Bandera-idolisers as heroes, but the people of Crimea saw them clearly and sought genuine protection for their human rights from Russia. In Russia's presidential election, the people of Crimea voted for Putin in higher numbers than anywhere else in Russia.

For the western political media elite human rights are nothing more than rhetorical weapons, which they can use to demonise their enemies and clothe themselves of pseudo-morality. Navalny organises an unauthorised (ie, illegal) protest in Moscow, the police make arrests and the political media elite use the events as "proof" that Putin is a fascist dictator. The west finances and arms and trains jihadis to promote regime change in Libya and when the government tries to maintain law and order, the political media elite fabricate lies of an imminent massacre to justify bombing the continent's most advanced country back into the middle ages, as protection of the Libyans' human rights.

If Gina Haspel is confirmed as Director of the CIA, it will clearly signal Washington's utter contempt for human rights. It will clearly show that the political media elite value human rights as nothing more that rhetorical weapons.

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