Friday, December 19, 2008

Petros: US pathetic in area of human rights

What the Hell is wrong with the US?

By Petros Evdokas

The US Government has just refused to sign a United Nations declaration calling for member states to oppose "violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms based on sexual orientation or gender identity" on the basis of the Universal Human Rights chart which is signed by all countries. The US is the *only* country in the West that holds on to this shameful refusal.

More than sixty countries have already signed the declaration.

The international statement also calls for strong legislative measures to oppose all forms of discrimination and abuses that occur because of sexual orientation and gender identity. It says, "We urge States to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests; or detention."

The UN statement also recognizes that other forms of oppression based on sexual orientation or gender identity are also violations of Human Rights, including "the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest or detention, and deprivation of economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to health."

Even the sexually backward Republic of Cyprus signed the statement; why should the US Government - or how *could* it - justify its alliance with the most reactionary regimes on the planet when it comes to sexual identity and gender politics? Why is the US refusing to decriminalize gay, lesbian and bisexual desire and the multitude of transsexual and gender identities - or even refusing to accept the simple standard that is common in all Western countries for decades now, that gender-based discrimination of all forms is a violation of Human Rights?

But what are we saying here? The US refusal to sign to sign the international declaration is perfectly in line with all its other policies:
<> The US has directly caused the death of about two million people in the Middle East in recent years, and it continues along the same path;

<> It continues to arm and fund the zionist genocidal extermination of the Palestinian people;

<> It still holds Iraq and Afghanistan under brutal occupation;

<> It continues to arm and fund the military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Cyprus and repeated invasions of Kurdistan by the armed forces of Turkey;

<> The US armed and funded the recent invasion of Lebanon in which wholesale massacres of civilians took place by the armed forces of Israel;

<> It continues to bomb Pakistan on an almost daily and weekly basis and has done so throughout this entire year in an undeclared war against the people that's characterized by entire villages being wiped out through missile strikes launched from the air by remote controlled robot aircraft flying over the area navigated from an office in Florida;

<> The US has a strategic alliance with the most reactionary regimes in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where women are worth less than donkeys;

<> The US has an ideological alliance with the dictatorship of clerics in Iran - both countries declare "we have no suffering gays here";

<> Elements of the US Government and its shadow operatives created, funded and armed the world's most infamous political and religious reactionary and murderous global movement and dressed it up as "moslem fundamentalism" which they use and manipulate for their own gain,

<> Elements of the US Government and its shadow operatives caused the world's most infamous act of terrorism on September 11 and blamed it on their other child, "moslem fundamentalism", initiating a global crusade against Islam and the Arab people that has evolved into a world war whose authors envision it as "endless";

<> In the US one of every hundred adults is behind bars - in jail, or prison. One percent of all adults!

There are about 2.5 million prisoners within the US, and more than 4 million more on various levels of probation, home arrest, people in the community chained with electronic perimeter alarms or other Court-ordered movement restrictions, etc., totaling the number of people who are considered to be "in the system" to more than 7 million.

Among Black men aged between 20 and 34, ten percent are behind bars. Read this again: 10% of all young adult men in the US are in jail or prison.

A large number of prisoners are there for non-violent offences such as possession of an illegal substance, or driving while intoxicated, held together for years in the same cells with child murderers, rapists and robbers.

In the meantime, war criminals who are responsible for the slaughter of large numbers of innocent civilians and for torturing chained, bound and gagged prisoners go unpunished - or promoted to higher ranks. While the US bankers and politicians who create and profit from war and economic mayhem are celebrated, honored and made richer.

<> Within the US there are more than one million homeless people. Many among them suffer from drug addiction, mental illness or physical disabilities. About a third of them are families with children, all of whom live on the streets.

Among them there are hundreds of thousands of people whom the Government lists as "chronically homeless" - meaning they've been homeless for more than a year, or became repeatedly homeless four or more times within one year.

In every major city in the US every morning crews collect the dead bodies of homeless people who died in the night due to cold, overdose, or by violence - increasingly, there's violence against homeless people carried out by roving bands of young studs from "good homes" in the suburbs who go to the cities specifically for that purpose: to beat up on the homeless for fun.

And we wonder why the US Government refused to sign a Human Rights statement on discrimination due to "sexual preference and gender identity"? Hah!

It will sign it of course, in time, because it's easier to keep up good impressions with lies than to provoke the world constantly with open arrogance. A US signature will help to conceal a little better the horror of what the Domestic and Foreign policies of the US Empire really are.

Here is what everything hinges on: "We reaffirm the principle of universality of human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ...which proclaims that 'all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights' ". How much more simple can it get?

But those who spend trillions to create and maintain a world of inequality and injustice where instability, death and torture produce profits and power know exactly what they're doing.

The important thing is that those of us who oppose them must also get to know exactly what we're doing. We need a Liberation Movement that can be more aware, more efficient, more organized and ultimately able to overrun the opponents' formations of Corporate and State power and facilitate their replacement with a system that's rooted in Peace and Justice on all levels and by all definitions.

But there's the catch:
to do that, we need to know exactly what we're doing.

Petros Evdokas
from the Belly of the Beast

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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