How Human Rights Are Different In The West – OpEd


Everyone has heard about human rights. In the framework of human rights, all human beings have rights and universal rights in gender, sexual orientation, culture, ethnicity, or other things that can make a person distinguish himself from others. Human rights are a human and legal response against political aggression and misbehavior. One of the first missions of the United Nations was to help countries to agree on the rights of all human beings, and therefore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 was the first international document to clearly describe the freedoms and rights of all human beings. In this document, it is emphasized that all human beings are born free and with the same value and rights. All human beings have the right to live free from violence and have the right to feel safe in life.

The observance and defense of human rights have a lifespan as old as ancient History. Different religions, civilizations, and cultures of ancient times have also played a significant role in the field of human rights protection. Attention and respect for human rights can be seen in the Persian King Cyrus’ charter in 539 BC. Respecting the religious beliefs of others, abolishing slavery, and freedom to choose a profession were among the most important human rights mentioned in the Charter of Cyrus.

But what are human rights based on? Understanding and perception of the basics and nature of human rights is a legal and conventional issue and one should pay attention to its practical consequences in Western countries too as its main purpose is to actually support the hegemon of these countries.

Why should we experience World War I and II, in which 50 to 60 million people died, despite the efforts of Western countries to respect human rights? Why, according to the Nazis, the value of all human beings was not the same? Why Nazi Germany persecuted, enslaved, and murdered six million Jews during the war. The German Nazis did not attack only the Jews. In fact, they attacked humanity throughout history.

Why European countries like England, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Czechoslovakia have been fertile ground for colonialism, the racism of Hitler’s Nazism, Mussolini’s fascism, and Stalin’s communism and brutal killings? Why do we witness cremation furnaces, forced labor camps, or brutal massacres by the European conquerors in North America, Latin America, and even Australia against the local natives in Western culture? Why did we see London apartheid in South Africa?

When the World War ended, many countries in Europe, which started World Wars I and II, tried to create an authority in the United Nations to prevent the killing. But the basic question here is how the founders and claimants of human rights continue their cruel and violent behavior.

Today, the United States and Europe, at the first line of human rights defenders, are the first exporters of killing equipment around the world. After the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the US, Russia, and some large European countries are constantly fighting or preparing for total wars. The wars that happened after the Second World War was mostly about resources and the display of hegemony. In fact, the West still feeds on the idea that if a person kills a few people, he is a murderer, but if Western countries mercilessly kill hundreds of thousands of women and children, they are the hero of history and the champions of the defense of democracy and human rights.

The wars of the great powers based on the concepts of human rights are only genocide and shameless crimes that are going on in the name of democracy. The wars that are going on to balance the political and economic power of the US and Europe are nothing but gross violations of human rights. 

The United States and its European allies, as the designer of the liberal order and protector of human rights, intervened in 71 countries in a period of about 45 years until 1990 and after the Cold War, intervened in at least 21 countries to change their sovereignty. They have killed more than a million people and made tens of millions homeless and displaced. Over the years, the West has not only been accused of brutal killings in the framework of the human rights covenant but has always been considered the savior of peace and the protector of human rights.

In fact, the International Covenant on Human Rights, which was supposed to protect the peace and security of human beings, has practically become the excuse of international warmongers, and human rights efforts not only failed to prevent the military intervention of the United States, Russia, England, and France in other countries, but they themselves became a tool to suppress national sovereignty, legitimize war, aggression, and coup.

Now western countries are waiting to see how the US defines human rights and acts accordingly. Definitions that are determined by the United States must be accepted by other Western countries.

Even among these belligerent Western countries, there are groups in the United Nations that must monitor that all countries follow the definitions and provisions of Western human rights conventions. But if a country does not follow these dual-use regulations, it should be criticized or condemned by these groups or countries. From the point of view of the US and Europe, the concepts of human rights can be interpreted and changed under the influence of events in the interests of the West.

In fact, during these bloody years in the endless wars of the US and Europe in Asia, Africa, and America, the United Nations did not defend human rights and people who are killed in the competition between great powers. Because it is only Westerners who determine the conditions and time to define human rights. Currently, human rights, the guardians of which are dominating powers such as America and colonial countries such as England and France, are nothing but a means to legitimize open and hidden aggressions and interference in other countries of the world.

Even today, the forty-four-story building of the United Nations is actually a tool in the hands of 5 permanent member countries of the Security Council with the right to veto. There are no weak people or countries. It should even be lamented that US and Europe have committed crimes all over the world, especially in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya, based on the concepts of human rights.

The reality of today’s world is that the double-purpose use of human rights, instead of prosperity and happiness for humans, is the basis for the formation of many decisions that lead to discrimination and bloody wars, and in the foreign policy of Western countries, it has a special place to ensure security. In the dual use of human rights, the right to power is mixed with the concept of human rights in a way that legitimizes the use of force and military action by the rightful, which can be seen in the attack on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

Another right that human rights have brought to the West is political and security immunity. Countries like Iraq and Afghanistan can be attacked under the pretext of freedom and democracy. According to the statistics of Western institutions, the United States and Europe killed more than 500 thousand people in Iraq and 241 thousand people in Afghanistan in the war with the Taliban, and displaced more than 6 million people in this country, and finally, they reached an agreement with the Taliban and handed over the people and country of Afghanistan to the terrorists.

In fact, the result of having the right of immunity for the US is that they are not responsible for the cruel killings. This immunity has made US and Europe above the law for any criminal and anti-human rights and anti-moral actions.

Greg Pence

Greg Pence is an international studies graduate of University of San Francisco.

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