US and British imperialism have scored a diplomatic victory of sorts by instigating the removal of Russia from the United Nations human rights council (UNHRC).
The UNHRC is seen as quite an important diplomatic committee, which can condemn human rights abuses by nations and groups and help to shape world opinion against those it labels as ‘abusers’. Occupants of the 47 seats on the UNHRC are elected for a three-year term and are regionally distributed, with staggered elections for one-third of the seats every year.
Russia had just completed a three-year term and was running for election back onto the committee, competing against Hungary and Croatia for the two available seats eastern Europe seats. Along with heavy lobbying of the delegates to vote against Russia by the US and British governments, 80 different human rights organisations signed a petition asking for votes against Russia in the UNHRC ballot. These included Amnesty International, Refugees International and Human Rights Watch.
The excuse for this very high-profile petition against the only country operating in Syria at the express invitation of the legitimate Syrian government and in the interests of the vast majority of the Syrian people is said by these NGOs to be Russia’s ‘targeting’ of civilians and ‘peaceful’ demonstrators! Russia described the behaviour and the mealy-mouthed ‘reasons’ given by these NGOs as “cynical” and “dishonourable,” and said the accusations were motivated more by politics than by concern for human rights.
This is the first time Russia has not been part of the UNHRC since the council’s inception in 2006, and the move is clearly aimed at bolstering the narrative that the imperialists, through their legions of media puppets, are trying to foist upon the world of a ruthless Russia hell-bent on attacking and/or destroying weaker nations and riding roughshod over anyone who opposes it.
In actual fact, all that the imperialists have succeeded in doing is to shine a very bright and harsh light onto their own dirty deeds and breathtaking hypocrisy and corruption, along with those of their vassal countries and the many NGOs that are used as spies and mouthpieces for imperialism.
In the North American and west European sections, meanwhile, the two biggest imperialist criminals, Britain and America, were duly elected, despite being soaked many times over in the blood of innocents. It is not necessary to travel back very far in history to view the outrageous crimes of these two predators, committed against Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Palestine, Ireland, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Korea, Aden, Malaysia, Kenya … and the list goes on and on. Who in the world has used nuclear bombs against civilian cities? Only US imperialism, as the western imperialist camp sought with the closing of World War Two to threaten its anti-fascist Soviet ‘ally’.
There are still many who, under the hypnotic influence of the western media, may not look too harshly at the monstrous crimes of these imperialist regimes. Very well, but what of the imperialists’ puppets? In the Asian/middle east group, both Qatar and Saudi Arabia easily made it onto the UNHRC for the next three years.
Qatar’s rulers have given much support to the fundamentalist head-choppers of Isil/Isis/IS/Daesh in Libya and Syria, supplying money, weapons and sometimes the services of their ‘special forces’ for the terrorists’ causes.
And what can we say of Saudi Arabia? A theocratic absolute monarchy that carried out twice as many beheadings as IS last year; a dynasty that systematically subjugates women and has given unstinting support to al-Qaeda, IS and the illegitimate terrorist state of Israel.
When Saudi Arabia was given the leading role on a UNHRC panel, the US government welcomed the development, noting that the two countries are “close allies”. The very next day, the Saudi regime announced that they would behead a peaceful critic from the shia minority religious group who was arrested when he was just 17 years old. Still, the US government looked the other way.
Saudi Arabia is also the leading member of the brutal coalition (along with UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan) that is waging genocidal war upon the poorest country in the middle east, Yemen, to reinstate the country’s deposed dictatorial government. The US and Britain have provided massive support to that Saudi-led coalition as it tries to drown the Yemeni people in blood, selling Saudi Arabia more than $115bn worth of weapons, running thousands of operations to refuel the Saudi warplanes that have massacred countless thousands of civilians in a relentless bombing campaign that has targeted hospitals, funerals, weddings, schools, houses and refugee camps, intentionally destroying food and industrial production and causing mass hunger for more than 14 million Yemenis.
Britain and the US are also giving intelligence reports to the Saudis in order to facilitate this criminal slaughter. It is true to say that, without western support, Saudi Arabia would not be able to continue its war in Yemen, which has created what many would say is one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in the world at present. Despite the many war crimes committed by its Saudi ally, with British support, the British government has refused to oppose Saudi Arabia’s membership of the UN human rights council.
The promotion and protection given to both the Saudi and zionist regimes has also served to expose the rampant corruption of the UN system and the use of the UN in general and the UNHRC in particular as a tools of imperialism, primarily of US imperialism.
When the UN issued a report on the protection of children in armed conflict, the report originally mentioned (in an annex) with regard to Yemen that the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for 60 percent of child deaths and injuries in Yemen last year, killing 510 and wounding 667. The secretary general was immediately inundated with complaints and threats that Saudi Arabia and its allies would turn off their funding of the UN.
Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir raised the possibility of a break in relations with the UN and threatened cuts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to vital UN programmes, including to the organisation’s relief agency in Palestine. Saudi Arabia is one of the largest donors to the UN, funding a number of additional programmes in the middle east. In 2014, Jubeir, then the ambassador to Washington, announced $500m to assist Iraqis displaced by the Islamic State. This blackmail did the trick and all mention of the crimes of the Saudi-led coalition was deleted from the report.
The Saudi student is learning from his US master, if with a little less subtlety. The US was instrumental in keeping condemnation of Israel off the very same annex the Saudis found themselves named in. Leila Zerrougui, the UN’s special representative for children and armed conflict, had endorsed the inclusion of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) along with Hamas on a list of those culpable with regard to Yemen. In the end, pressure exerted by Washington behind the scenes made sure that all mention of the crimes of the IDF were also removed.
The true face of bourgeois democracy is becoming more and more transparent every day.