The American leaders are promoting their country as the example of how a country should behave in the world, but the reality is completely different. While the US has been overthrowing some repressive rulers, they have allowed the others to keep their positions and called them their friends and noble members of the Free World. Names that pop up include Shah of Iran, Nicaragua’s Somoza family, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, to name a few. This hypocrisy lives on, and it appears that will continue to be a dominant part of the US foreign policy.
The value United States practices and those that they preach are vastly different, and that gap can be seen in the Middle East. Recently, the United States harshly criticized Iran and Syria because of their domestic and foreign policy and while some of those criticisms are valid, the others are not so much. Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Iran’s government broke numerous international laws and violated human rights on many occasions, but sometimes officials from America are quiet and to make matters worse, the US is the one committing such crimes.
After the reported use of chemical weapons by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Trump called him to be an exceptionally vile enemy. He used Twitter, as always, to say that Assad is “an animal” and to justify the use of airstrikes on Syria, Trump wrote: “[The incident confirmed] a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime. The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead.” He was also quick to criticize Russia and Iran for the support and sponsorship of such a man. He said: “To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?”
According to Daniel Larison of TAC, Trump should be the one who knows the answer to this question. He acknowledged: “Trump should know the answer since he just hosted one of the chief architects of the war on Yemen that the U.S. has backed to the hilt for the last three years. Britain welcomed the Saudi crown prince earlier on, and France just hosted him in the last few days. All three have been arming and supporting the Saudis and their allies in Yemen no matter how many atrocities they commit.”
It appears that the United States spread not only peace and democracy around the Middle East, but also chaos and war. They have funded Saudi Arabia and provided intelligence in their attacks on Yemen, which besides other devastating events triggered cholera epidemic which affects regular people. However, it doesn’t end here, and Washington would have a hard time washing their hands after everything they have done. Evidence has emerged that the Saudi forces have used white phosphorous munitions which cause severe burns on the victims and the supplier is no other than Washington.
To show that America is a hypocritical country, we have to go north and visit another US ally – Turkey. When Russia annexed Crimea, the United States was first to react, but they did nothing when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupied the northern part of the island. They sort of criticized Turkey for the invasion, but as the time passed by, the US officials became more and more disinterested. Instead, they pressured Cyprus to accept the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which was established by Ankara. The sanctions were imposed initially, but they were soon lifted, which was an embarrassment. This mild reaction from the US repeated when Turkey sent their troops to northern Iran and northern Syria as well.
We are moving on. The next stop is Iran. The United States keeps criticizing Iran for repression and their domestic conduct, and they are joined by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the US allies. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is the first one to verbally attack Iran for repression. After demonstrations emerged in several parts of the country, Haley used the opportunity to speak up: “The Iranian regime’s contempt for the rights of its people has been widely documented for many years.” She added that America stood “unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families, and dignity for their nation.”
Her facts are way off. Let’s be clear on something. Iran’s political system differs from the Western democracy, but that doesn’t mean that it is repressive. Of course, there are some matters which can be improved and dealt with, but this country is way more open than Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The candidates for office which are considered “unacceptable” are excluded from the race by Guardian Council, but the Iranian election are quite open, and people have a chance to vote for a candidate they like. More often than not, two candidates have very contrasting views on the matters regarding Iran, and President Hassan Rouhani managed to win electoral mandate over his opponent in May 2017. Why is Saudi Arabia America’s ally when the laws in this country are too strict, and inequality and repression are pouring out of its borders?
The Saudi royal family is condemning any attempt at creating an opposition. People who criticized regime have often been imprisoned and sometimes even beheaded. According to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia is at the bottom when it comes to respecting human rights. For instance, the government has just allowed women to drive and this was considered to be a radical reform. The similar things happen in Egypt where speaking against the regime could mean losing your head. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi put thousands of his political opponents behind bars, and hundreds were killed. Where is the United States in these countries? Why aren’t troops sent to free the people who don’t have the rights they deserve?
The United States, with President Trump in the oval office, is aware of what is going on, but they refuse to react. These are brutal atrocities, committed by the US allies, but just because they are allied countries, they would go unpunished. The US is even selling weapons to such countries, aiding their repression and attacks on other states in the region. This leads us to the conclusion that the United States don’t care at all about freedom around the world. Now, we understand that this is no fairytale and to get rid of some enemies the United States needs to unite with the countries which are drastic in their laws to strengthen the position in the Middle East.
What bothers us is that the officials are not frank with the United State citizens. Instead of explaining that these decisions are made for the interest of the US, they are presenting one side of the story. Is it possible that they are afraid of how the public would react in such case? For once, the United States need to be honest in their intentions, and these do not include the rights or welfare of the people who live in the Middle East. No matter what the politicians say, the foreign policy of Washington indicates otherwise, and we must not turn a blind eye.