|Posted on Friday, April 07, 2006 - 12:44 am: |
My condolences go out to the majority of Americans who are pro human rights...
UNITED NATIONS, April 6 — The United States said today that it will not be a candidate for the new Human Rights Council, which was approved overwhelmingly last month by the United Nations General Assembly with Washington in almost lone opposition.
The United States would sit out the first election in May but support other countries it deemed worthy, the State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said and "likely" would run a year from now.
The council, which will hold its first meeting in Geneva in June, replaces the human rights commission which had been widely discredited for allowing notorious rights abusers like Sudan and Zimbabwe on the panel.
The election of the 47 new members is scheduled for May 9, and as of today, 34 countries, including Cuba and Iran, had formally said they would run.
The new panel includes added restrictions on membership that its advocates say would keep major violators from membership. The United States has argued that they were not sufficient to do the job.
Principal among the new rules are individual, rather than regional, elections for each country; the need for 96 votes to get elected; mandatory formal reviews of members' rights records, and means for suspending countries found guilty of abuses.
The council was approved on March 15 by a 170 to 4 vote, with Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau joining the United States in opposition. Belarus, Iran and Venezuela abstained.
"This is a major retrenchment in America's long struggle to advance the cause of human rights around the world," said Rep. Tom Lantos, Democrat of California, "and it is a profound signal of U.S. isolation at a time when we need to work cooperatively with our Security Council partners."
The leading Democrat on the House International Relations Committee and founding co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Mr. Lantos
said that the failure to push for the 96 votes needed for acceptance "projects a picture of profound weakness in U.S. diplomacy."
Since American officials had last month approved the budgeting of the council and pledged to support it, today's negative announcement was unexpected. Numbers of congressmen, including some of the United Nations' harshest Republican critics, had joined rights groups in lobbying the Bush administration to make the United States a candidate despite the council's flaws.
The director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, Felice Gaer, said it was a mistake for the United States to wait for future elections to run.
"All key decisions about serious reform issues from the curtailment of inappropriate bodies to whether and how countries are scrutinized will be made in the first year," Ms. Gaer said. `
Among the Republican critics who had counseled joining the panel despite its acknowledged flaws were Senators Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the foreign relations committee chairman, and Representatives Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey and Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, who is chairman of the House International Relations Committee.
When the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, proposed a resolution calling for an American boycott of the new council on March 31, Representative Smith put out a statement calling for the measure's defeat.
Human rights groups speculated that the United States was worried that revelations of abuses of detainees in Iraq and of clandestine prisons abroad had raised fears in the Bush administration that it could not get the needed 96 votes for membership.
"It's childish for the U.S. government not to cooperate with the new Human Rights Council when it cooperated for decades with the vastly inferior Human Rights Commission," said the executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth.
"It's unfortunate that the Bush administration's disturbing human rights record means that the United States is today hardly a shoe-in for election to the council," he added.
A Democratic member of the House committee, Robert Wexler of Florida, faulted the United States ambassador, John R. Bolton, for isolating the United States and thwarting the United Nations human rights effort.
` "This decision reflects the colossal diplomatic failures of Ambassador Bolton," Mr. Wexler said in an interview.
"It's a national disgrace for America that we will not be a present in guiding and leading that council in a productive direction," he added, "and that under Mr. Bolton's leadership at the U.N. the world's single superpower cannot muster up the necessary votes to win an election."
|Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 01:24 am: |
Not sure what to say on this. This is irrelevant, but here's something from a top violator I found amusing.
Then appropos of nothing here's something from a North Korean news site that struck me as funny.
In the DPRK all the people are armed and the whole country has been turned into a fortress. Its frontline area, rear and depth are an impregnable fortress. The Koreans have high pluck as they are led by Kim Jong Il, an invincible and illustrious commander. He is the best in military wisdom and insight, pluck and gut, strategy and tactics, military stratagem and commanding art.
He is the most brilliant commander who has the world under his control and his decisions and orders lead the Koreans to victory.
A new Korean war will turn into a real war in the 21st century. In this war unlike the Iraqi war, the DPRK will respond to the U.S. imperialists' gunfire with gunfire and their missile warfare with missile warfare. We will return one fire from them with ten or hundred fires.
A war between the DPRK and the U.S. will not be confined to the second Korean war only. The U.S. imperialist bellicose forces should clearly understand this and act with reason and discretion.
The Korean army and people are the heroic army and people who have defeated two formidable imperialisms in one generation. They have always emerged victorious in the protracted stand-off with the U.S. imperialists, as seen in the Fatherland Liberation War fought in the 1950s, the case of the U.S. imperialists' armed spy ship "Pueblo", the case of "EC-121" large spy plane and the Panmunjom axe incident. The U.S. is not able to measure the mentality of the Korean army and people and the limit of their strength.
They value peace and do not want a war. But they will mobilize all potentials to make thousand-fold retaliation against the enemies if the latter invade even 0.001 mm of their territory. The preemptive attack is, by no means, monopoly of the U.S.