Human rights day gets smugly celebrated by those who run this country as a day to call on the failures of societies with which the U.S. is not allied. China, Venezuela, Iran — bad. No mention of Saudi Arabia, Israel, or, for that matter, the United States where 42% of people on death row are African American, while the population is only 12% African American.
This year, this contradiction is terrifically heightened. ISIS, by all estimates, has killed hundreds in the “west,” but its main threat is to thousands in the Middle East. Almost every one of the principal candidates for US president identifies ISIS as the main danger to the world. And yet, Democracy Now reported this year.
The Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other groups examined the toll from the so-called war on terror in three countries — Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The investigators found “the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around one million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware. … And this is only a conservative estimate.”
ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalists are a dangerous threat to people, but we need to be strongly grounded in the reality of what the U.S. empire has already done. That way we can respond to the dangerous rhetoric — coupled with a very real plan for power — from Trump and his base, with full understanding that there’s a reason Trumps’ ranting is covered by ruling class media as acceptable within the mainstream.
“The endless TV airtime and newspaper/website exposure Trump has had—and the sprint by many others among this system’s political leaders to match his anti-Muslim, anti-Arab venom—serve to legitimize and present as the “will of the people” a program of violent and even murderous xenophobia (irrational fear and hatred of “outsiders” and people from other countries) said revcom.us, who referred to Trump as a “fascist trailblazer.”
Stopping the crimes of our own government means we stop thinking like “Americans” and start thinking about humanity.