Ideal Illusions: How the U.S. Government Co-opted Human - download pdf or read online

Human Rights

By James Peck

From a famous historian and foreign-policy analyst, a groundbreaking critique of the troubling symbiosis among Washington and the human rights stream the us has lengthy been hailed as a strong strength for international human rights. Now, drawing on millions of records from the CIA, the nationwide safety Council, the Pentagon, and improvement organizations, James Peck indicates in blunt aspect how Washington has formed human rights right into a powerful ideological weapon for reasons having little to do with rights—and every thing to do with furthering America's international reach.Using the phrases of Washington's leaders once they are conversing between themselves, Peck tracks the increase of human rights from its dismissal within the chilly battle years as "fuzzy minded" to its calculated adoption, after the Vietnam battle, as a motive for American overseas engagement. He considers such milestones because the struggle for Soviet dissidents, Tiananmen sq., and ultra-modern warfare on terror, exposing within the procedure how the human rights stream has too frequently did not problem Washington's options. A gripping and chic paintings of study, excellent Illusions argues that the stream needs to break away from Washington whether it is to boost a really uncompromising critique of strength in all its types.

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Extra info for Ideal Illusions: How the U.S. Government Co-opted Human Rights (American Empire Project)

Sample text

S. government development agencies) reveal how Washington set out after the Vietnam War to craft human rights into a new language of power designed to promote American foreign policy. They shed light on the way Washington has shaped this soaring idealism into a potent ideological weapon for ends having little to do with human rights—and everything to do with extending America’s global reach. This obviously isn’t the way human rights leaders have understood the movement’s history. For years they extolled its rise as the triumph of a compelling new moral vision that began with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948.

No other country enjoyed such immunity. Indeed, where the countless human rights abuses committed by the Soviet Union, China, and other nations exposed who they really were, our own were aberrant—a reflection of who we really weren’t. Whatever moral equivalence there was among atrocities did not extend to the parties committing them. American policies were fundamentally progressive. With all these views Washington’s foreign policy leaders heartily concurred. Of course, when a government and its critics share the same language, they are not necessarily saying the same thing.

Because anticommunism insisted upon a close connection among events in vastly different regions of the world, it perfectly meshed with the aspirations of globalism. Onto the flesh-and-blood Stalin, anticommunism projected a Genghis Khan–like world conqueror (which he never was) instead of the mass murderer of his own people that he really was, carving out a defensive zone by occupying countries around him. ”31 Its “spiritual appeal” became a near obsession with the national security managers. ”32 Communism’s claim to be “scientific and infallible” and its invocation of the “predetermined pattern of world history” made it a mighty ideological force.

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