Each year, the U.S. Department of State publishes the annual “The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” to U.S. Congress, and Western human rights activists and media use it to condemn governments around the world. In response, China has started in the last few years publishing her own annual reports on the U.S. human rights violations. The most recent was carried on China Daily, March 12, 2010, in the article, “US Human Rights Record in 2009.” It said:
“As in previous years, the (US) reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but turn a blind eye to, or dodge and even cover up rampant human rights abuses on its own territory,” said the Information Office of the State Council in its report on the US human rights record.
It criticized the United States for taking human rights as “a political instrument to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, defame other nations’ image and seek its own strategic interests.”
Really, is there real humanity behind these so-called “human rights” activism from the West? If we believe weapons proliferation adds to the miseries of our world’s conflicts and undermines peace, then the answer is a resounding “NO.” Below is a chart showing how much weapon the U.S. sold in 2008 compared with the rest of the world.
U.S. weapons proliferation is not a recent trend either. According to this Federation of American Scientists article:
U.S.-origin weapons find their way into conflicts the world over. The United States supplied arms or military technology to more than 92% of the conflicts under way in 1999. The costs to the families and communities afflicted by this violence is immeasurable. But to most arms dealers, the profit accumulated outweighs the lives lost. In the period from 1998-2001, over 68% of world arms deliveries were sold or given to developing nations, where lingering conflicts or societal violence can scare away potential investors.
Another article, “U.S. Weapons at War 2008 (Executive Summary)” said:
Of the 27 major conflicts under way during 2006/07, 20 involved one or more parties that had received arms and training from the United States.
In the Harvard International Review‘s July 2008 issue, Oscar Aria Sanchez, Costa Rica President, and the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner (for his efforts to end civil wars across Central America through the Esquipulas II Accords) said this in an interview:
As we all know, war is an industry, providing multimillion- dollar profits for companies and countries that engage in it. Peace threatens those profits, and often results in decreased support for those who achieve it. One needs to look no further than Central America for an eloquent example. Our peace process in the 1980s resulted in the withdrawal of foreign aid for a region that desperately needed resources to rebuild its countries and provide for its people.
In 1987, when the presidents of Central America signed the Esquipulas Accords that ended the civil wars in our region, we asked for help. We wrote, “There are Central American ways to achieve peace and development, but we need assistance to make them a reality. [We ask for] international treatment that would guarantee [our] development so the peace we seek will be a lasting one.”
When we took this step toward peace, we thought that help would come. But nations that sent money and arms with lightning speed during our time of war and darkness proved slow to shine their generosity upon us afterward. Though Central America has received small increases in development aid, the total is still far less than the aid wealthy countries sent when weapons and troops were involved. After 20 years, we all see a stark bottom line: Central America has been punished for achieving peace.