Recent revelations that the United States successfully blocked a call by NATO for an international investigation of the May 13 massacre of hundreds of civilians by the government of the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan serves as yet another reminder of the insincerity of the Bush administration’s claims for supporting freedom and democracy in the Islamic world and the former Soviet Union.
In what appears to be a concerted effort to discredit independent human rights advocates, the Bush administration and its allies in the media have been engaging in a series of attacks against Amnesty International, the world’s largest human rights organization and winner of the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize.
Most of the international community and arms control advocates here in the United States have correctly blamed the Bush administration for the failure of the recently completed review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In the course of the four-week meeting of representatives of the 188 countries which have signed and ratified the treaty, the United States refused to uphold its previous arms control pledges, blocked consideration of the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, refused to rule out U.S. nuclear attacks against non-nuclear states, and demanded that Iran and North Korea—but not U.S. allies like Israel, Pakistan, and India—be singled out for UN sanctions for their nuclear programs. Thomas Graham, who served as a U.S. envoy to disarmament talks in the Clinton administration noted that the Bush administration’s demands resulted in what appears to be “the most acute failure in the treaty’s history.”1
U.S. Supports Repression in Uzbekistan (PDF)
NCR / Arms Transfers to Pakistan Undermine U.S. Foreign Policy Goals (PDF)
The Bush administration’s decision to sell sophisticated F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan raises questions regarding the administration’s stated commitment to promote democracy, support nonproliferation and fight terrorism and Islamic extremism.
In the time since the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Camp David in the summer of 2000 and the subsequent Palestinian uprising, details have emerged that challenge the Clinton administration’s insistence—reiterated by leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties as well as by much of the mainstream media—that the Palestinians were responsible for the failure to reach a peace agreement and for much of the violence that has engulfed Israel and Palestine since then.
You probably didn’t notice, but February 20 was Nonviolent Resistance Day. One might think this would be cause for celebration by an administration committed to expanding freedom and democracy. But there weren’t any special ceremonies at the White House or resolutions in Congress. For despite all the rhetoric lauding freedom and democracy, the U.S. government has rarely supported, and has often opposed, nonviolent movements working for democratic change.
In a mirror image of those who blame everything wrong in the world on President George W. Bush, a surprising number of people are now giving him credit for the recent show of force by hundreds of thousands of Lebanese protestors demanding an end to Syria’s overbearing influence in their country.
In a series of articles written between June 2002 and February 2003, I predicted that if the United States invaded Iraq, it was highly unlikely that we would find any of the weapons of mass destruction or WMD programs that the Bush administration and the congressional leadership of both parties claimed Iraq possessed in their effort to justify an American takeover of that oil-rich country. I also predicted that no operational links between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaida would be found and that a U.S. invasion would encourage terrorism rather than discourage it. Finally, I predicted that we could find ourselves virtually isolated in the international community facing a bloody counter-insurgency war with no end in sight….