Time to put an end to US hypocrisy
As the US and its allies imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia, a new economic and cultural Iron Curtain is descending on the European continent. While the unilateral sanctions continue to hurt Europe and the world at large, the US has launched a new campaign to isolate Russia in international organizations.
On April 7, the United Nations General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, after the US accused Russian troops of torturing and killing Ukrainian civilians in the town of Bucha. The US also tried to put pressure on Indonesia, which holds the G20 Presidency this year, to kick Russia out of G20 forum of major economies of the world. To the disappointment of the US, however, Indonesia insisted on inviting President Putin to the G20 Summit. But for the US and its Western allies, there is no shortage of occasions for them to display rudeness and arrogance: having their representatives walk out of the G20 finance ministers' meeting when the Russian delegate began to speak. On the Latin America front, supported by the US, the Organization of American States recently approved suspension of Russia's observer status. The US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman even went so far as to indicate that the US has been "investigating the prospects" of expelling Russia as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Behind the attempts to exclude Russia from all international organizations and turn Russia into the "pariah on the international stage" as President Biden put it, the real purpose of the US is to maintain its hegemony in international affairs. But the hypocrisy is that the country itself is the biggest transgressor of international rules.
Despite its own track record of mass killing and human rights violations, the US constantly criticizes the human rights situation of other countries, a typical act of double standards. From Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan to Libya, Somalia and Syria, the US started 10 wars between 1989 and 2017 and caused 6 million casualties. From the end of World War II in 1945 to 2001, among the 248 armed conflicts that occurred in 153 regions of the world, 201 were initiated by the US. A report from Brown University revealed that the wars launched by the US in the two decades following the 9/11 terrorist attack killed more than 900,000 people. In June 2018, the US pulled out of the Human Rights Council, calling it a "cesspool of political bias" and "hypocritical body" that "makes a mockery of human rights". As it rejoined the council this year, the US not only failed to reflect upon its own human rights record and take concrete steps to improve it, but instead expelled Russia from the body out of political bias and purpose.
Obsessed with its self-conceived "exceptionalism", the US keeps criticizing others for violating international law while applying international rules selectively or placing its own "house rules" above international law. The US asks others to follow the "rules-based order", but tramples on international rules and withdraws from international organizations at will itself, as evidenced by its unilateral military intervention or wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, as well as its pulling out of UNESCO, JCPOA, and the Paris Agreement. It also puts domestic law above international law, and has exercised long-arm jurisdiction and imposed economic sanctions against Russia, Iran and the DPRK, which seriously damaged the fair and just international trade environment. The US is undoing its own credibility and reputation and undermining international order by bringing the world back to the era of a lawless jungle. Just as Noam Chomsky pointed out, "We're a rogue state, the leading rogue state by a huge dimension—nobody's even close. And yet we can call for war crimes trials of others, without batting an eyelash."
As the conflict in Ukraine continues, negotiation rather than confrontation is the only way out. US unilateral sanctions against Russia are illegal and not authorized by the United Nations. Excluding Russia, a permanent member of UN Security Council and a nuclear power, from international organizations is by no means a constructive move. The spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric once warned that such a move will set "a dangerous precedent." After all, there are already enough lessons from the wishful attempts to provoke confrontation and division and preserve hegemony.
Xin Ping is a commentator on international affairs, writing regularly for the Global Times, China Daily, etc. He can be reached at [email protected].
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.