Pot criticises kettles for chromatic similitude.
February 26, 2001 11:24 PM   Subscribe

Pot criticises kettles for chromatic similitude. Now, on the one hand, it's refreshing that the US State Department acknowledges the human rights abuses of allies such as Israel; but this annual catalogue of the world's foibles smacks just a little of sanctimonious short-sightedness. But I'm torn on this one: are such state-sponsored surveys a useful basis on which to judge the "ethical" basis of foreign policy, or are they propaganda exercises, designed to direct attention away from domestic failures and to paper over the hypocrisies of policy?
posted by holgate (2 comments total)
Of course I'd like to see the US review it's human rights abuses, but that will never happen with any worthwhile conclusions. The Freedom House report after Vietnam, for instance, laid blame on America's failure there on the media. They made no mention of whether or not the US Government should've fought a war in a country whose people didn't even support.

Ironic, also, that the State Department blames Isreal for massive human rights absues (rightfully so) while they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the US. It just goes to show that the US doesn't have much interest in human rights. I seriously doubt any reports from foreign NGOs, like Amnesty International or the World Court, would get much media play if the reports were critical of the US. They haven't in the past.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 2:19 PM on February 27, 2001

To me, this highlights the way politics has changed on both sides of the pond. In the beginning there was spin, it now seems that omitting facts and contradicting their own actions is the order of the day.
As long as the State Department or Foreign Office publish these lists, they're fulfilling their PR mandate and providing politicians with the requisite reports to quote in interviews about foreign policy.
While in the real world, political (and commercial) interests win out every time, but as long as they say they disagree in principle, everything's fine. Thing is, each time I see one of these PR exercises, I trust my elected representatives less and less.
posted by Markb at 5:16 AM on March 1, 2001

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