By Zhong Sheng
Europe is going through a hard time given the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis and the massive influx of refugees. To strive for an early ceasefire and avoid further escalation of the humanitarian crisis is a common aspiration of the most of the countries.
However, as an initiator of the Ukraine crisis, the U.S. is on one hand claiming that all democratic countries should help Ukrainian refugees, and on the other hand passing the buck, making European countries shoulder the consequences.
While claiming to be a “human rights beacon” and a “guardian of human rights,” the U.S. only once again exposed its true colors by prioritizing hegemony over human rights. As a matter of fact, it’s not a “guardian,” but a hypocrite.
The U.S. is inevitably responsible for the current refugee crisis in Europe. The White House stated previously that it would welcome Ukrainians displaced “with open arms,” but it’s ironic that according to U.S. Department of State, the U.S. received only seven refugees between March 1 and 16, while European countries accepted millions.
American news magazine Newsweek confirmed that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained at least five Ukrainians, and transferred one to an ICE detention center in Louisiana.
Recently, the U.S. made a promise to accept another 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Even if the promise is fulfilled, let alone if it’s not, it is only nickel-and-dime for solving the Ukrainian refugee issue.
Over 80 years ago, British international relations theorist Edward Carr warned the world that the U.S. is a “master in the art of concealing its selfish national interests.” Today, the outbreak and escalation of the Ukraine crisis once again revealed that the U.S. never cares about human rights, but is simply good at utilizing them to defend its hegemony.
The racist remarks frequently made by some U.S. politicians and media organizations when they talked about the Ukraine crisis and Ukrainian refugees have sparked widespread resentment among relevant countries and peoples.
An international expert pointed out that fabricating rhetoric in favor of its own geopolitics and economic agenda under the disguise of human rights, the U.S. has exposed its deep-rooted hypocrisy and self-centeredness, as well as its true intention to protect American hegemony.
American journalist Alan MacLeod recently posted on social media 15 human rights crimes committed by the U.S., saying “But please let’s not pretend the U.S. has the moral high ground.”
Professing to be a “guardian of human rights,” the U.S. is chiefly responsible for the world’s humanitarian crises. U.S. politicians constantly express compassion for refugees, but remain silent when it comes to U.S.-led humanitarian crises.
In 1999, the U.S.-led NATO, claiming to avoid “humanitarian disasters,” launched a 78-day bombing against Yugoslavia without the approval from the U.N. Security Council. The bombing killed over 2,000 civilians, injured 6,000 and displaced nearly a million. The bombing also eliminated the source of income for more than two million people.
From Afghanistan to Iraq, and from Libya to Syria, the U.S.-launched wars after the 9/11 attacks are a direct reason for global refugee crises.
According to a report issued by Brown University, the wars the U.S. government has fought since the 9/11 attacks, have forced at least 37 million people — and perhaps as many as 59 million — to flee their homes.
To protect its hegemony, the U.S. is arbitrarily wielding the big stick of sanctions, further exacerbating humanitarian crises.
When asked whether the U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq were worth the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children in 1996, then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. said “that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, is worth it.” Such logic that puts hegemony over sovereignty and human rights has always dominated U.S. diplomacy.
The U.S. sanctions against Iranian petroleum department crippled Iran in importing sufficient medical products, which threatened the rights to life and health of the Iranian people. The U.S. sanctions against Syria also seriously undermined the rights of the Syrian people in societal, economic and cultural spheres. The country’s embargo on Cuba has been in place for 60 years, and it was not relaxed even after the latter was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that economic embargo is a massive, flagrant and unacceptable violation of the human rights of the Cuban people and “like the virus, the blockade asphyxiates and kills, it must stop.”
Human rights protection necessitates action, not empty talks. To solve the Ukraine humanitarian crisis, it’s necessary to promote peace and talks, and strive for an early ceasefire.
Humanitarian issues shall never be politicized, or taken as an excuse to protect hegemony. If the U.S. really cares about the humanitarian situations in Ukraine, it should take concrete actions to alleviate tensions and play a constructive role.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)