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Millions Will Be Harmed by Trump's Policies, Warns Rights Advocate in Open Letter


#1

Millions Will Be Harmed by Trump's Policies, Warns Rights Advocate in Open Letter

Nika Knight, staff writer

President-elect Donald Trump must "repudiate and rescind" his dangerous policy plans, or he will risk the lives of millions and forever damage the reputation of the United States, warned Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive director Kenneth Roth in an open letter to Trump sent Wednesday.

Roth specifically cited Trump's rhetoric around women, refugees, torture, the environment, health care, and media freedom.


#2

So, the USA is the world's policeman holding other countries to account for violating international law? Sorry folks, the rest of the world already knows that America "policing the world" is total self-serving BS. Our entry into every international conflict since we became a nation was not as a policeman but as a hegemon, determined to impose our will on other nations and cultures. If you don't agree with this, ask any native American to set you straight.

You'd think that people would have noticed by now that we are so bad at resolving conflicts and so good at starting them. You'd think that we could see through the propaganda that the MSM shovels on us pumping for "intervention" against Russia and China. No, they tell us the lies that most people want to hear. It will take a major pushback from the world, like foreign troops occupying THIS country and bombing the hell out of OUR civilians, for us to finally wake up to the truth.


#3

What is the pertinence of your comment to the article? Yhe article did not even mention US military interventions.


#4

It mentions international law, though, like the Geneva Conventions for instance which we have flaunted like no other nation on the planet with our continual warring.


#5

If you don't agree with this, Ask any Native American to set you straight."

My spouse, who is Native American, says your post is spot on!

" like foreign troops occupying this country and bombing the hell out of our civilians."

That is exactly how the indigenous people of America have felt for the last 500 years!


#6

What, to the Afghan, is this American election? Bush invaded, Obama surged, regressive, “progressive,” neocon, neoliberal, Worst-President-Ever (so far) or Nobel Peace Prize President… yet the U.S. bombs drop on, and on.

On November 10, 2016, the United Nations launched an investigation into something dismaying for its regularity rather than shock: U.S. airstrikes a week prior that killed over 30 civilians near Kunduz, Afghanistan. Most victims were women and children.

Kunduz, Afghanistan: ring a bell? On October 3, 2015, U.S. airstrikes killed 42 people at the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) trauma hospital in Kunduz. Through an hour, pinpoint strikes by a U.S. AC-130 Gunship hit the hospital’s busy ICU in bombing waves also targeting other patient areas, and machine-gunned patients, doctors, and staff fleeing outside.

Days before the attack, MSF once again gave the hospital’s GPS coordinates to the U.S. war command. Halfway through the attack, MSF staff connected calls to U.S. war officials, shouting “Stop!” In the ICU, one survived. Elsewhere, shrapnel bombs amputated legs and performed a decapitation. Patients burned to death in their beds, screaming.

After sustained international outcry, the U.S. paid Afghan family members of the deceased one to two thousand dollars for each body, and Obama apologized, while declining to submit the U.S. to an independent investigation into possible war crimes, for which intent is not required.

These U.S. atrocities are just a drop of blood on the blood-soaked pages of Afghanistan’s decades of war imposed by foreign powers. Brown University’s Watson Institute estimates that from 2001 to August 2016, the period of this continuing U.S. war (our longest), more than 31,000 civilians have perished violently. Twice as many combatants have lost their lives, and the wounded climb to 162,000. Further attributes of the U.S.-led war: exacerbated poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation, absent health care, and environmental degradation.

97,000 Afghan children now suffer severe acute malnutrition. A 2016 Human Rights Watch report notes, “At least a quarter of Afghan children between ages 5 and 14 work for a living to help their families.” These little millions labor in carpet weaving, metal work, brick making and other industries, acquiring carpal tunnel syndrome, neuralgia, respiratory illness, and grievous, sometimes mortal wounds. The greatest military in history watches.

Malalai Joya, former Afghan member of Parliament, told an American audience in 2013, “[R]egarding… [the] consequences of the 12 years of occupation [by the] U.S. and NATO, unfortunately, [it] was more bloodshed, crimes, women[’s] rights [and] human rights violations, looting of our resource and changing of our country into mafia state… [M]ore than 90 percent of opium [is now] produced from Afghanistan, I believe opium is even more dangerous than al-Qaeda and war as it destroy[s] and spoils the life of Afghans… [who become] addicted… [M]ost of them are women and children.”

When they can, many Afghan men (and far fewer women and children) attempt to flee their native land. Over two million Afghan refugees have been exiled for decades, most living in camps in Pakistan and Iran. Some 213,000 made it to Europe in 2015, but are now being pushed all the way back, likely to join the million-odd internally displaced Afghanis. The U.S. has accepted several thousand Afghans since 2001.

In America, however, Afghans don’t exist. They are not seen or heard from on the teevee, certainly not in the recent presidential campaigning. Do they exist here unofficially, below the surface, bubbling up for change, in our consciousness and conversations? Or are they walled away from us, beyond our touch and power to help?

There is a profound difference between a racist rapist showman—and an interventionist neoliberal stateswoman. Still, both have helped build a wall we must dismantle, the one between “us” and “other.”

“I am convinced,” averred Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech exactly one year before his assassination in 1968, “that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.”

Voices for Creative Nonviolence filmed Afghan children addressing the new U.S. president in 2009: “Need we ask any questions at all, since we are confident that whatever games are played in history… the LOVE and CONSCIENCE that sits in the kinder and less self-absorbed depths of every human heart can CHANGE the devious adults in the very same hearts and that this humane humanity can no longer be hidden? Can a grave hide death, the snow hide spring and the sky hide space?” (capitalization in the original transcript). Need we doubt seriously that the wall will come down, sooner or later, to let the round Earth roll free, and that we ourselves yet possess the power to take it down?

http://vcnv.org

Great, great thanks to Kathy Kelly for educating me tremendously about what "human rights" might begin to actually mean.


#7

Of course. But voting third party in Michigan and Wisconsin was worth the statement. Both sides are the same!

It's time to celebrate. Elections aren't about coalitions, however rocky they may be. They are about the clean, unsullied waters of Puritanism.


#8

At this moment, has the U.S. example and leadership in bombing hospitals and never acting to help the Syrian people helped lead to this current cataclysm? Let us pray today for a miracle for the Syrians of Aleppo, and keep doing all we can to create a world where hearts and not fears lead the way.


#9

Nothing's certain, but the fears of Armageddon might be premature. As the US has "evolved" since the 1980s, we have learned to redefine the issues, and we adjust.

On human rights protections: Did you know that the UN's UDHR lists food and shelter as fundamental human rights, even for the jobless poor? America disagrees, and not only did we end actual welfare 20 years ago, but even liberals have regarded the consequences as a non-issue. While the overall life expectancy of the US poor has fallen by roughly 20 years, liberals fought for gay marriage in the name of human rights. We adjust.


#10

As I recall, the US was doing the same thing half a century ago in Southeast Asia.


#11

It is up to us to make certain that the rest of our citizens are protected from the worst parts of the Trump Administration's ultra conservative agenda. Activism and opposition are moral imperatives in avoiding the compete loss of our rights under the authoritarian Trump.


#13

I would add "so called" to your liberal slam.


#14

If Trump decides to imitate his ideological soul mate in the Phillipines, Rodrigo Duterte, we will see the killings by a fascist dictator begin Stateside. When they are done killing all the drug dealers/users, and there still exist stress and insecurity because economic circumstances have not improved for the average person, will they then start killing Muslims, the homeless, gays and lesbians, etc.?
By some accounts, Duterte admires Trump as well as Vladamir Putin.


#15

I'd say what the U.S. did in Vietnam and environs was worse than what's happening in Syria. 3 to 9 Vietnamese perished due to the U.S. war on them. Many, many atrocities of killing civilians by throwing grenades into bomb shelters, torching and gunning down villages, and especially the day-in-day-out aerial bombardment of the nation, wiping out untold numbers of people. Not to mention the landmines still killing people today, and the vast quantities of poisons poured all over. And then how the U.S. actions directly pushed events forward into the Pol Pot genocide in Cambodia. More firepower dropped on Vietnam by the U.S. than all bombs dropped in World War II. But at the moment, civilians in Aleppo are some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.


#16

That's 3 to 9 million Vietnamese perished due to the U.S. war on them.


#17

"would forever damage the reputation of the United States"

Whadya mean "would", Kemo Sabbe?,

Look Tonto, when you ain't got no reputation, it cain't be damaged.


#18

Don't forget Laos.


#19

Try Phillippines 1898.


#20

Not to be negative . . . this open letter was badly needed . . . but Mr. Pence and the Koch crew are already running the show. Please forward to the reptile crew.

Saw in the news today that Indiana "may" get Carrier back. That has the mark of Pence all over it . . .


#21

Non Sequitur - past US actions have nothing to do with what we do about what Trump is going to do.

So, what, specifically are you going to do to resist Trump - organizations, protest actions etc????