CHINA / SOCIETY
Report exposes US humanitarian-veiled war atrocities, as China takes proactive move to strip it of human rights high ground
Detailed paper trips Washington off ‘human rights protector’ high horse
Published: Apr 09, 2021 01:13 PM Updated: Apr 09, 2021 06:25 PM
Hadi Ghusoun, a retired English teacher in his late 60s, stands on the porch of his shattered house in Homs city in central Syria, March 11, 2021. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)

Hadi Ghusoun, a retired English teacher in his late 60s, stands on the porch of his shattered house in Homs city in central Syria, March 11, 2021. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)



An article published by the China Society for Human Rights Studies on Friday lashed out at the US for severe humanitarian disasters caused by its aggressive wars against foreign countries since the end of World War II, stripping Washington of the human rights highland as the Biden administration tries to wield weapons of "human rights violations" to crack down on China.

The report was deemed by observers as China's "proactive move" to put US human rights atrocities under the spotlight, after the latter has long used such an issue as an excuse to interfere in China's domestic affairs. Together with the tense meeting between China's senior diplomats and US senior officials in Alaska last month, where Chinese officials dressed down US officials over human rights topics, the report sends a strong signal to Washington that it is unqualified to lecture China about human rights.  

The US has waged wars on foreign countries and regions such as North Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria under the banner of "humanitarian intervention," causing a massive loss of military lives, serious civilian casualties, as well as property damage, said the article titled "Severe Humanitarian Disasters Caused by US Aggressive Wars against Foreign Countries."

Since the end of WWII to 2001, roughly 248 military conflicts occurred in 153 regions around the world, of which the US waged 201, accounting for 80 percent of all wars worldwide, according to the article.

During the past 240-plus years after it declared independence on July 4, 1776, the United States has always been involved in wars except in less than 20 years.

The large number of wars has devastated numerous lives and families. For example, in Afghanistan alone, there were an estimated 11 million who have become refugees as a result of the US-initiated war. 

The humanitarian crisis caused by military actions stems from the hegemonic mentality of the US, the article read, noting that it is ridiculous to expect a hegemonic country to defend human rights of other countries.

Human rights is the most often cited excuse by the US to wage foreign wars, yet the video of US Vice President Kamala Harris speaking at Oakland on Monday went viral on Chinese internet, in which she admitted that "for years there were wars fought over oil; in a short time, there will be wars fought over water." 

To justify those wars, Washington even went further to fabricate lies.

In 2003, the US launched military strikes against Iraq on the grounds that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties and making more than 1 million homeless. Years later, the US admitted that the evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was nothing more than a small tube of white washing powder.

General Wesley Clark, a retired 4-star US Army general, told media in 2017 that he was told by one of the generals that the US was going to war with Iraq. Clark wondered if the decision was made because they found some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda, but he was told No.

"There's nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq," Clark said. "I guess it's like we don't know what to do about terrorists, but we've got a good military and we can take down governments." And he said, "I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail."

In 2018, the US, the UK, France and others launched air strikes on Syria, claiming that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against the Syrian people. The air strikes led to hundreds of thousands of casualties and displacement of innocent civilians. But the evidence of the so-called use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government turned out to be nothing more than a staged video directed by the White Helmets, a group funded by US and UK intelligence agencies.

Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told the Global Times that the report reminds people of some long-ignored facts that the "defenders of human rights" are the biggest executioners and makers of human rights problems, said Shen, adding that the approach the US takes to "defend humanity" is often at the root of large-scale humanitarian disasters.

Yet the US, with hands all covered in the blood of innocent lives, posing itself as a "human rights fighter," points the finger at other countries, especially China, for so-called human rights violations. 

After Joe Biden took office as US president, the human rights weapon has been more frequently used to pull over allies and pressure China. 

Xinjiang cotton has fallen into the recent muzzle of the US' barrel of attacking China. In January, the US began barring entry of all cotton products and tomatoes from China's Xinjiang region, citing the excuse of "forced labor," which China has repeatedly denied with solid evidence and statistics. 

Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, pointed out that when the US is floundering in a human rights crisis itself, it is trying to hurl mud at China, trying to paint a rosy picture for Americans: see, we are having a good life.

Less than three months after taking office, Biden is facing several humanitarian emergencies, COVID-19 has claimed more than 560,000 lives in the country; anger from the "Black Lives Matter movement" has yet to subdue, Asian hate has further divided racial gaps; and the president is now facing border pressures as the US-Mexico border experiences yet another surge in undocumented entries.

Observers noted that those deep-rooted humanitarian problems that are haunting the US, along the detailed report issued by the Chinese research institution, has tripped Washington off its human rights high horse. The Biden administration aims to crack down on China by picking up its weapon of human rights, yet how persuasive and efficient can it be when itself has committed ugly and disastrous humanitarian crimes worldwide, they asked. 

"The world needs human rights defenders, but the US is not qualified to act as such," said Shen, noting that the report shows that China cannot be always defensive, but also proactive. "And this is just the beginning."

Photo taken on Feb. 22, 2020 shows disabled children in Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented more than 10,000 civilian casualties in 2019, of these more than 3,400 had been killed, said a report of the body released. (Photo by Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua)

Photo taken on Feb. 22, 2020 shows disabled children in Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented more than 10,000 civilian casualties in 2019, of these more than 3,400 had been killed, said a report of the body released. (Photo by Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua)



Henchmen in the club

Despite the ugly US human rights record, some countries still trod upon the heels of Washington to attack China for "human rights violations."

Last month, the EU imposed sanctions on China over so-called human rights abuses in Xinjiang, marking the bloc's first move on such in three decades. Yet the move was hit back by China with fiercer sanctions, and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned the EU to stop acting like a "teacher of human rights."

During two senior US officials' visit to Japan last month, the two countries also signed a joint statement, denouncing China's domestic affairs, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong and island of Taiwan. Then the spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry lashed out at Japan for being a US "strategic appendage."

Yuan Zheng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that wielding the "human rights" stick often happens when US power is relatively weak. "The Biden administration hopes to use human rights and values as tools to glue allies together to confront China and heal rifts."

Observers warned countries who are or planning to join the US human rights club. As the notorious US humanitarian crisis has been laid out in front of the world, its followers will also be nailed to the pillar of shame. 

The "moral responsibility" of the US is not enough to keep its allies on its side, and the best they can do is to play the role of cheerleader in the grand game of the China-US conflict, and those countries will also leave an ignominious mark in history, Shen said.

The disastrous consequences of foreign wars launched by the US Infographic: Deng Zijun and Wu Tiantong/GT

The disastrous consequences of foreign wars launched by the US Infographic: Deng Zijun and Wu Tiantong/GT


 


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