The US-sponsored ‘Summit for Democracy’ (December 9-10) is billed as a summit to “Defend Against Authoritarianism, Fight Corruption and Promote Human Rights.”
Some 110 countries have been invited to the conference that is being held virtually due to the pandemic.
The so-called summit has set itself a lofty agenda.
After all, who could object to “resisting authoritarianism, fighting corruption and promoting human rights?”
Based on this, it would be reasonable to assume that those participating in the summit would adhere to these lofty goals.
Let us begin with the US—the summit host.
Is it a democracy as understood in the conventional sense where people have a real choice and say, or an oligarchy as several scholars have suggested?
“American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it’s pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who control the nation’s ‘news’ media),” according to Eric Zuess, writing in Counterpunch.
“The US, in other words, is basically similar to Russia or most other dubious ‘electoral’ ‘democratic’ countries. We weren’t formerly, but we clearly are now.”
Representative Ilhan Omar has received death threats including from fellow Congress members!
Interestingly, neither Russia or China have been invited to America’s ‘Summit for Democracy’.
They do not qualify as ‘democracies’, as far as the US is concerned.
Pakistan was invited to the summit but politely declined, saying it would engage with the US on democracy at an “Opportune time in the future.”
We will shortly consider who else was invited but first let us take a closer look at American democracy.
Voter suppression is a common feature of American ‘democracy’.
Greg Palast has reminded us that “America has the best democracy money can buy.”
We need look no further than the most recent elections in the US (2020) both for president and Congress, to see the evidence.
More than $14.4 billion were spent on these elections, the highest total since records have been kept. No small beer.
It was also more than double the amount spent in the 2016 election cycle.
Why is it necessary to spend so much money on advertising candidates as if they are laundry detergents?
Surely, the US has a vast media network, larger than any other country in the world.
Why this vast network is not adequate to inform people about the choices they face?
Let us move on to some of the US allies invited to the ‘Summit for Democracy’.
It includes the likes of Zionist Israel—the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East—to India—the ‘largest democracy’ in the world.
The self-proclaimed ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East is a serial killer and mass murderer. Its leaders are war criminals.
Three days ago (December 6), Zionist soldiers shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian minor, Mohammad Nidal Younis at Jbara military checkpoint after he allegedly tried to ram his car into the Israelis.
This followed a similar killing in East Jerusalem on December 3 evening when a 25-year-old Palestinian Mohammad Salima was shot and killed after he was incapacitated and had fallen to the ground.
He posed no threat to the Israeli police yet they continued to pump bullets into him.
Even the United Nation’s Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said it was “shocked by the apparent extra-judicial execution”.
More than 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners languish in Israeli jails, among them 200 children and 454 women.
Then there is India, currently ruled by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) that has emerged from the bowels of the Hindu fascist outfit, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The US considers India an important ally.
“The U.S.-India partnership is founded on a shared commitment to freedom, democratic principles, equal treatment of all citizens, human rights, and the rule of law,” says the State Department website.
The US cannot be unaware of the well-documented human rights abuses in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
India’s suppression of Kashmiri aspirations is ongoing.
Is the US State Department unaware of the arrest on November 22 of Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvezunder the notorious anti-terrorism law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)?
In the broader context, since Narendra Modi’s rise to power in 2014, the plight of Muslims in India has worsened alarmingly.
In February 2020, Hindu mobs egged on by an extremist preacher attacked Muslims and their properties in Delhi.
Some 53 people, the vast majority Muslims, were killed in four days of violence.
An elderly Muslim woman, 85-year-old grandmother, was burnt alive in her third-floor apartment.
Not only are attacks on Muslims common in India, journalists that report such incidents are also arrested and harassed.
Two Indian journalists were arrested in November for reporting Hindu extremist mob attacks on Muslims and destroying mosques in Tripura.
Non-vegetarian food stalls have been targeted in Gujarat to undermine small Muslim vendors.
While Muslims bear the brunt of Hindu extremist violence, other religious minorities such as Christians are also not spared.
In order to report on such abuses and recommend action, there is a bi-partisan and autonomous federal panel, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
For two years in a row, the USCIRF has recommended that India be listed as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC)along with 13 others.
The State Department has assiduously refused to do so because India is an “ally”.
America’s allies are exempt from accountability.
Can there be a more accurate definition of hypocrisy?