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US Gov't: Free World Leader, or Rogue State

The myth of the US government as the acclaimed leader of the "free world," is one used increasingly by the US corporate media only. For everyone else, excepting Israel, the US government is increasingly seen as belligerent and unitateralist. Does the term "rogue state" come to mind?
One of the most enduring myths of the last fifty years: the idea that America enjoys a position of leadership over some vacuous "free world."

If America is the leader of the free world then it is increasingly unclear who its followers are. In recent months, the Americans have unilaterally acted against the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Kyoto Protocol, Biological Weapons and Toxic Weapons Convention, and tried to sabotage the establishment of the International Court. Their actions have drawn condemnation and scorn from the "free world."

The fallacy of American leadership is best demonstrated in the United Nations. Whenever it has benefited American interest, regardless of how questionable, America has aggressively opposed the very same "free world" it claims to be leading.

America is, after all, the only country having the dubious distinction of refusing to vote to ratify the Rights of the Child in December 1987. In the same month, America stood with Israel in voting against 153 other UN-members in opposing any effort to define terrorism and to convene a conference to study its causes and seek solutions. (1)

America has even taken exception to the right of nations to develop. In 1986, she voted against 146 other countries in opposing such a right. (2) A few years later, U.S. ambassador Morris Abram termed such an idea, "little more than an empty vessel into which vague hopes and inchoate expectations can be poured" and no less than a "dangerous incitement." The fact that this declaration was a subset of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was deemed irrelevant.

On December 13, 1985, America again voted alone against 134 countries in opposing the declaration of the indivisibility and interdependence of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights. (3)

Whilst the "free world" was opposing apartheid in South Africa, America was voting alone against UN efforts to sanction the South African government. Between 1978 and 1987 there were over 10 such instances. (4)

In November 1981, America voted alone against what most of the world considers the definition of democracy: as America opposed 126 other states in rejecting the right of every society to choose its own economic and social system in accord with the will of its people. (5)

In 1979, the United States and Israel voted together to oppose the UN convening a conference on the rights of women. (6) After losing the vote, they would opt for a second-best solution and later vote against the inclusion of Palestinian women at the conference. (7)

In 1982 and 1983, the U.S. was alone in voting against a declaration that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, and national development are human rights. (8) Thirteen years later in 1996, the U.S. would affirm the same opposition at the UN sponsored World Food Summit. The reason given for the opposition was that recognition of a right to food would enable poor nations to sue the United States for special trade deals. (9)

A current reality is of a world that increasingly opposes U.S. unilateralism and belligerence.

American history demonstrates the fallacy of the notion that American economic and military might necessitate moral ascendancy. As the American actor Will Rogers noted, "If we ever pass as a great nation, we ought to put on our tombstone, America died of the delusion she had moral leadership."

for footnotes, see the original article on Yellow Times.



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