HEADLINES:

The "Farce" of U.S. Diplocrisy

0
Monday May 19, 2014 - 08:44:05 in Articles by Super Admin
  • Visits: 3531
  • (Rating 2.0/5 Stars) Total Votes: 3
  • 1 0
  • Share via Social Media

    The "Farce" of U.S. Diplocrisy

    Is the Obama Administration's human rights policy a "farce"?

    Share on Twitter Share on facebook Share on Digg Share on Stumbleupon Share on Delicious Share on Google Plus

Is the Obama Administration's human rights policy a "farce"?

Last week U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Syrian president Bashar al-Assad a "terrorist” criminal and called  Assad’s electoral plans a "farce”. "Assad’s is making partnership with terrorist elements, attracting terrorists and engaging in terrorist activities against his own people.” Assad’s planned presidential elections are "staged elections [that] are a farce. They’re an insult. They are a fraud on democracy, on the Syrian people and on the world.”

I do not doubt that Assad is a scourge on the Syrian people and one of the top five criminals against humanity in the Twenty-First Century. In May 2007, in a single-candidate referendum, Bashar was "elected” president for a second seven-year term "winning” 97.6  percent of the votes. At that time, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "The United States is concerned by reports that the Syrian regime has used intimidation to restrict the candidate pool and threats of reprisal to discourage political dissent. President al-Assad is again denying the right of the Syrian people to an open, transparent and fully participatory political environment.” There is nothing new about Assad’s "farcical staged elections”.

In March 2011, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the bloodthirsty Assad (who massacred thousands of Syrian civilians using chemical weapons at least 14 times since last October).  "There is a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.” In less than three years, Assad the "reformer” had morphed into Assad the "terrorist” and genocider.

Kerry’s condemnatory words against Assad raise parallel questions in my mind. Could it be reasonably said that the Obama Administration’s human rights policy is diplomatically "staged” and a "farce”? Is it a "fraud [perpetrated] on the world”? Is it "an insult to humanity” and human rights? Does the Obama Administration practice human rights diplomacy by hypocrisy or "diplocrisy”, (a neologism I coined to describe the barefaced hypocrisy of the Administration’s global human rights policy)? One should be careful pointing an accusatory index finger at others unmindful that three fingers are pointing at him.

In April 2013, Secretary Kerry dismissed the election of Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela. Maduro won that election by a razor thin margin of 50.66 percent of the votes. When opposition leader Henrique Capriles demanded a recount, Kerry chimed in. "We think there ought to be a recount… Obviously, if there are huge irregularities, we are going to have serious questions about the viability of that [Maduro] government.” White House spokesman Jay Carney also issued a statement calling for a recount of all the votes.

When Zimbabwe held its presidential election in August 2013, Kerry said, "Make no mistake: in light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people… The balance of evidence indicates that today’s announcement was the culmination of a deeply flawed process.” Mugabe "won” that "election” by 61 percent of the votes.

In May 2010 when the late Meles Zenawi claimed 99.6 percent victory in the parliamentary elections, the U.S. brushed it off with the obligatory expression of "concern” and "disappointment”. White House National Security Spokesman Mike Hammer said, "We are concerned that international observers found that the elections fell short of international commitments. We are disappointed that U.S. Embassy officials were denied accreditation and the opportunity to travel outside of the capital on Election Day to observe the voting.  The limitation of independent observation and the harassment of independent media representatives are deeply troubling. An environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place even before Election Day…” Was the 2010 "parliamentary election” in Ethiopia a "staged election that was a farce”? Was it "an insult and a fraud on democracy, on the Ethiopian people and on the world”?

I admit that there could be no beauty contest among warthogs but it is noteworthy that the U.S. condemned  Bashar for "winning” the presidency  by 97.6  percent of the votes in a single-candidate referendum while turning a blind eye to Meles Zenawi’s  parliamentary electoral victory  by 99.6 percent in a "multiparty election”.

Understanding the Obama human rights doctrine  

The Obama doctrine on human rights seems pretty straightforward. Human rights policy making is essentially a choice between the lesser of two (d)evils. The world is full of nasty "S.O.Bs” like Assad, Mugabe and Maduro who commit crimes against humanity. Then there are nice "S.O.Bs” like Egypt’s el-Sisi, Uganda’s Museveni, Rwanda’s Kagame and the late Meles Zenawi who commit crimes against humanity as a pastime. The difference between the two sets of (d)evils is that the latter are our "S.O.B.s”. They do our bidding. IN return, they get free passes. We give them billions of dollars in handouts every year.

In 2008, candidate Obama lamented the pervasive "cynicism” in the "conventional foreign policy thinking in Washington”. He said "one of the enemies we have to fight [is] not just terrorists,…  it’s also cynicism.” Six years into his presidency, Obama’s supporters in the human rights community believe he has thrown them right under the Cynicism Bus. Ken Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, recently observed, "President Obama has disappointed many by failing to make human rights a priority.” His "readiness to compromise” on critical human rights issues "leaves the impression that he is not committed to the human rights ideal.” It seems Obama has forgotten "that people around the world share a common desire for freedom and respect for their rights.”

When President Obama visited Accra, Ghana in 2009, he told young Africans that "History is on the side of brave Africans’. He assured them, "You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people.” Recently, Obama had a chance encounter with one of those young and brave Africans from Ethiopia who reminded him of the high price exacted by the "enemy” called "cynicism”. At a San Jose, California fundraiser, Ethiopian-born journalist and activist Abebe Gelaw had the following exchange with  President Obama as posted on the official White House website:

[Abebe Gelaw] AUDIENCE MEMBER:  President Obama!  Freedom for Ethiopia!  Freedom!  Freedom for Ethiopia, sir!
THE PRESIDENT:  Hold on.  I agree with you, although why don’t I talk about it later because I’m just about to finish.  (Laughter.)  You and me, we’ll talk about it.  I’m going to be coming around.
[Abebe Gelaw]AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible)-- 
THE PRESIDENT:  There you go.
[Abebe Gelaw] AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible) --
THE PRESIDENT:  I agree with you.
[Abebe Gelaw] AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT:  I want to hear from you.
[Abebe Gelaw] AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!
THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  You kind of screwed up my ending, but that’s okay.  (Laughter and applause.)  That’s okay. And we’ve got free speech in this country -- (applause) -- which is great, too.

Thank God we have freedom of speech in America. An ordinary journalist and human rights activist can stand up and freely  speak up to the President of the United States without fear of arrest, detention, persecution or torture. Bothe President Obama and Abebe were speaking in the same sentiments. President Obama joked that Abebe had "screwed up the ending” of his speech. Abebe was seriously protesting that Obama’s policy had "screwed up” his country of birth.

The important fact is that the most powerful man in the world and an ordinary citizen could face off on the world stage because they both believe in freedom, particularly the freedom of speech. IN contrast, the millions of Abebe Gelaws in Ethiopia for whom  Abebe Gelaw lifted his voice in San Jose do not have freedom of speech or of religion, or the right to assemble or petition for grievances. That’s is why Abebe shouted out, "President Obama!  Freedom for Ethiopia!”

I do not doubt that President Obama agrees there should be freedom of speech and other freedoms in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa. The question is the disconnect between his lofty words of freedom and his unwavering support for African dictators. If Obama truly believes in freedom of speech in Ethiopia, why doesn’t he (or his Secretary of State, ambassadors and representatives) exercise his freedom of speech and call for the release of imprisoned Ethiopian journalists and bloggers such as  Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu, Woubshet Taye, Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, eelancers Tesfalem Waldyes, Edom Kassaye, Abel Wabella, Atnaf Berhane, Mahlet Fantahun, Natnail Feleke, Zelalem Kibret, and Befekadu Hailu, to name just a few.

Obama surely must know freedom ain’t free. Talk of freedom is cheap. It is a dime a dozen. Freedom is priceless; and in Ethiopia freedom comes at an extremely high price in Ethiopia. Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu, Woubshet Taye and the others are paying up for their freedom by sacrificing their liberties. They languish in jails that are an insult to humanity; their very existence is a crime against humanity. Nearly 200 unarmed protesters in 2005 paid for their freedom with their lives. Tens of thousands paid for their lived over a quarter century of tyranny. Their killers today cling to the highest offices in the land. It is no exaggeration to say Obama keeps them in office by handing them billions of dollars every year. Dambissa Moyo, the noted African economist and author of "Dead Aid” reports that, "in Ethiopia a whopping 97 percent of the government's budget derives from foreign aid.” The U.S. is the sugar daddy of the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia! Ninety million Ethiopians today are paying for their basic humanity by suffering the indignities, injustice and abuse of a gang of vicious thugs and corrupt ignoramuses palming themselves off as leaders.

It is impossible to distinguish between Obama’s human rights policies and principles from his human rights palaver. He drew an imaginary "red line” for Assad and told him not to cross it by using chemical weapons of mass destruction against the Syrian people. Just over the past several months, Assad has used such weapons at least 14 times.  For African dictators, Obama has given them the green light to go through the red light of human rights criminality.

If the Obama Administration does not have true commitment to enforcement of human rights principles, why does it bother to make grandiose statements that create the audacity of hope in the minds and hearts of millions of oppressed peoples throughout the world? Does the Administration believe that people are stupid and dumb and are unable to see the incongruity between his words and actions? Why does Obama make statements on human rights that make him look duplicitous, hypocritical and cynical? Could it be that Obama really believes that African thugtators in time will be born again into liberal democrats with the proper amount of human rights evangelization? Do dandelions grow up to be roses?

A proposal for a U.S. human rights and human wrongs policy

Obama is said to be a "realist” in foreign policy. His "Realpolitik” subordinates moral and political values to strategic national interests and practical considerations. In other words, he will talk a good human rights and human wrongs talk, but when push comes to shove, he will sacrifice human rights at the altar of human wrongs. He will talk about  ending tyranny and establishing democracy in the world but never at the cost of short-term narrow conceptions of American national interest.

As a realist, Obama must formulate a "U.S. human wrongs policy”, at least for Africa, founded on the principle that given the massive and unending violations of internationally recognized human rights in Africa, the U.S. could not realistically formulate and implement a human rights policy.  The basic tenets of a "realist” "U.S. human wrongs policy” would be based on the following simple propositions:

Africa is simply not worthy of human rights as imagined or                       practiced in the West.

"Stability and peace” are the utmost and paramount concerns of U.S. policy in Africa. Crimes against humanity by African leaders will be ignored to the extent that such crimes could result in destabilization and conflict. (For instance, Silva Kir and Reik Machar in South Sudan will be absolved of any liability for all of the crimes they committed including murder, extermination, forcible transfer of population, imprisonment, torture, rape and ethnic genocide.)

Stealing elections, corruption and abuse of power in Africa will be tolerated so long as African regimes fully support U.S. global and regional interests including the U.S. "war on terror”.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four essential freedoms for people "everywhere in the world” are no longer applicable to Africa. Roosevelt’s vision for the principles of U.S. engagement with a brave free world facing the darkness of tyranny shall be modified and qualified. "We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world (except in Africa). The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world (except in Africa). The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world (except in Africa). The fourth is freedom from fear… [so]  that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world (except in Africa).

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all of the other human rights conventions that have been spawned by the Declaration shall be practiced everywhere in the world, except in Africa.

I believe a real realist and practitioner of "Realpolitik” in U.S. human rights policy will openly embrace the foregoing principles of a U.S. human wrongs policy. Human rights advocates and human rights abusers will have a clear understanding of U.S. values, principles and policies in Africa. There will be no misunderstandings and miscommunications about the intentions or aims of U.S. policy in Africa. Human rights advocates will have little to say on a U.S. human wrongs policy. They will have to bite their lips. Most of all, Africa’s dictators will get the just recognition they deserve for their loyal service. The U.S. cannot pretend not to know them the morning after the sleepover.

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino and is a practicing defense lawyer.

Share on Social Media

U.S. and EU Diplomats Support President Farmajo to Tear Somalia Apart

After 30 years of dictatorship and civil war, the Somali people pulled off a qualified consensus on forming a new state that is different from the obliterated one. The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia is vested with the awesome responsibility and authority to steer the formation of the new state. Successive elected presidents strived to some extent to fulfill their awesome responsibilities with the exception of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who strived to tear Somalia apart for good. Full Article

 

Trump: I told Saudi king he wouldn't last without U.S. support

Trump: I told Saudi king he wouldn't last without U.S. support Full Article

 

U.S. to send FBI experts to investigate Ethiopia bomb blast

U.S. to send FBI experts to investigate Ethiopia bomb blast Full Article

 

U.S. soldier killed in attack by al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia

U.S. soldier killed in attack by al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia Full Article

 

The U.S. and the Soviet Union weren't the only ones trying to change regimes during the Cold War.

The U.S. and the Soviet Union weren't the only ones trying to change regimes during the Cold War. Full Article

 

Bariire Genocide:Names of the Farmers killed in the U.S.-Somali raid

Waagacusub.net - At least 10 people have been killed in an attack carried out by the Somali and U.S. forces on a farm in a small town in Lower Shabelle region on Friday morning, Garowe Online reports. Full Article

 

U.S. STRATEGIC INTEREST IN SOMALIA: From Cold War Era to War on Terror

Thesis written by: Mohamed A. Mohamed | 01 June 2009 Nominated as TFG Prime Minister on October 14, 2010. Contact: Office of the Prime Minister TFG Somalia Email: [email protected] Full Article

 

U.S. air strike in Somalia killed local militia, not al Shabaab

A September U.S. air strike in Somalia killed local militia forces and not al Shabaab militants as the Pentagon had initially believed, the U.S. military acknowledged in a draft statement obtained by Reuters on Thursday. Full Article

 

U.S. Commitment To #EndImpunity For Crimes Against Journalists

In 2007, Ajmal Naqshbandi was abducted by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and later beheaded. He was a local journalist and "fixer" who helped visiting international journalists gather information and report on the conflict in Afghanistan. Full Article

 

Somalia seeks explanation after U.S. 'friendly fire' strike

Somalia's government on Thursday requested an explanation from the United States after Somali officials said a U.S. "friendly fire" air strike killed at least 22 soldiers and civilians in the Horn of Africa nation. Full Article

 


Leave a comment

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip


Somalia:$17 million external support has not been channeled through the country's single treasury account

Waagacusub.net -Auditor General Mohamed Ali alias Afgoi has exposed missing millions of dollars from key departments within the Federal Government of Somalia [FGS], in what could raise questions about government expenditures. In his report, Afgoi said 25 entities and three embassies have been audited. Unsupported expenditure amounts to $9M; contracts worth $31M not registered with auditor general's office, the existence of unauthorized bank accounts outside the Treasury Single Account.

Al-qaida Share ,IBS bank Somalia launches Visa Card Payment

Waagacusub.net - IBS Bank Somalia, which is believed to have the largest amount of money, Al-Qaeda Finance Secretary Fazul Abdallah from Comoros has started issuing Visa Card Payments for the first time. Al-Shabaab's finance secretary confirmed that Mohamed Ali Warsame had $ 157 million in cash, according to Khalif Ereg, who was later bribed with $ 2 million.

UGANDA: New Cabinet Members and Ministers of State

I hereby inform the country that By virtue of the Authority given to the President of Uganda by Articles: 108(2), 108A(1), 113(1) and 114(1) of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I hereby appoint H.E. the Vice President, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Honourable Cabinet Ministers and other Ministers as indicated below:

Journalists barred from covering Somali leaders' meeting

The Associated Somali Journalists is deeply concerned that journalists were today barred from covering the meeting of the leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States (FMSs) as well as the Governor and Mayor of Mogadishu.

ASOJ strongly condemns the wounding of a journalist & arresting another.

ASOJ.ORG - Associated Somali Journalists (ASOJ) is deeply concerned about the escalating violence against Somali journalists in the Gedo region, particularly in Beled Hawo district on the Somali-Kenyan border where a journalist was injured by security forces and another was arbitrarily imprisoned by the local authority.

Somalia:$17 million external support has not been channeled through the country's single treasury account

Waagacusub.net -Auditor General Mohamed Ali alias Afgoi has exposed missing millions of dollars from key departments within the Federal Government of Somalia [FGS], in what could raise questions about government expenditures. In his report, Afgoi said 25 entities and three embassies have been audited. Unsupported expenditure amounts to $9M; contracts worth $31M not registered with auditor general's office, the existence of unauthorized bank accounts outside the Treasury Single Account. Full Article

 

Al-qaida Share ,IBS bank Somalia launches Visa Card Payment

Waagacusub.net - IBS Bank Somalia, which is believed to have the largest amount of money, Al-Qaeda Finance Secretary Fazul Abdallah from Comoros has started issuing Visa Card Payments for the first time. Al-Shabaab's finance secretary confirmed that Mohamed Ali Warsame had $ 157 million in cash, according to Khalif Ereg, who was later bribed with $ 2 million. Full Article

 

"UGANDA'S FIGHT AGAINST COVID 19 VIRUS, MAY DWINDLE OR SPARK UNLESS EMBRACED"

Waagacusub.net - Globally, scientists are camping in Laboratories to find a solution to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sometime in 2020, Dr Patrick Engeu Ogwang, an associate professor of Pharmacy at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Uganda, and a team of other researchers under PHARMABIOTRAC developed a herbal biomedical invention called Covidex. This innovation is said to be a broad spectrum natural remedy intended to manage and treat the Covid-19- Corona virus. Full Article

 

Somali Journalists Launch 'Disinformation Lab' to Combat Spread of Fake News.

Waagacusub.net - The Federation of Somali Journalists has launched a campaign to combat the spread of false information, fake news, hate speech and propaganda. The federation says Somalia is already seeing a huge spike in social media misinformation campaigns ahead of elections expected before the end of July. Full Article

 

Oman hold off plucky Somalia to make main draw

Waagacusub.net - Somalia displayed a lot of pluck but were left ruing their luck as Oman advanced to the main draw of the FIFA Arab Cup with a 2-1 win Sunday evening. The Omanis scored twice in the first half of the lively game at the Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium before Somalia pulled one pack nine minutes after the break. Full Article

 

Hormuud telecom and Al-Shabaab's Strategy of Destroying Mobile Communication Masts

Hormuud's Assault on African Peacekeepers Figure 14: African Peace Keepers Hormuud launched a scorching public campaign against the Kenyan military forces in AMISOM in late August 2019. Full Article

 

Former Intel official stripped from NISA membership

Former Intel official stripped from NISA membership Full Article

 

PM KHEYRE USELESS AND COSTY OVERSEAS TRIPS.

PM KHEYRE USELESS AND COSTY OVERSEAS TRIPS. Full Article

 

Abiy says 'New Year' will be celebrated in Eritrea, Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights

Abiy says 'New Year' will be celebrated in Eritrea, Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights Full Article

 

Massive rise in Islamist militant attacks in Africa

Massive rise in Islamist militant attacks in Africa Full Article