US Foreign Policy Double Standards


3-25-05, 11:14 am

Condoleezza Rice's visit to Asia has encapsulated the single-minded hypocrisy of the George W Bush administration's foreign policy.

She has preached democracy, control of arms sales and respect for human rights selectively. That's why Iraq and Afghanistan are portrayed as on the road to democracy and freedom, while the dreaded D-word passes unmentioned in Pakistan.

Pakistan is groaning under a military dictatorship following General Musharraf's coup d'etat, but he has paid lip service to the US war on terror, so his regime is regarded as objectively pro-democracy.

Such double standards are not a problem for Ms Rice, since she has taken her lesson from her commander in chief.

Just weeks after proclaiming the rebirth of democracy in Iraq, where the US continues its illegal war, Mr Bush was blissfully unaware of any irony in lecturing the Syrian government to remove its troops from Lebanon on the grounds that free elections under military occupation were impossible.

He might also have pondered the impact on democracy of US military bases in over 100 countries around the world.

As ever, Washington behaves as though the rules that bind the rest of the world are, at best, optional with regard to itself.

The Bush administration has made clear its contempt for international law, flouting it whenever it decides to use military power as an alternative means of persuasion.

Washington's apologists, such as Tony Blair, argue that international law should be amended to fit the superpower's priorities. Kofi Annan's proposal to facilitate military intervention in countries accused of involvement in terrorism or human rights violations is a gesture toward US demands to override security council vetoes of its international gendarme role.

Needless to say, the US would not let go of its veto on decisive action against Israel for its refusal to abide by international law over its illegal occupation of Arab lands.

Nor would the US allow the European Union to lecture it on arms deliveries to Israel in the way that Ms Rice does over EU plans to lift its arms sales embargo on China.

She has spoken out against the Chinese parliament's decision to authorise force as a last resort to prevent the secession of Taiwan, ignoring the fact that her country fought a long civil war on just that issue.

China has already achieved the decolonisation of Hong Kong and Macau by peaceful purposes. There is little reason to suppose that Taiwan will be different.

The main complicating factor is the role of the US, which encouraged divisive elements in Taiwan by arming them to the teeth and having them seated for decades in the UN in China's place.

Ms Rice told the EU to recognise that it was the US alone that has 'defended' Asia.

By this, doubtless, she means the division of China, the invasions of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the enforced separation of the Korean peninsula, the murderous Suharto coup in Indonesia and backing for corrupt neocolonial regimes in the Philippines and elsewhere.

A Labour government should be encouraging international co-operation on the basis of equality instead of aligning itself with this outdated imperialist approach.

(From Morning Star)