Written pre-9/11, this is a slim volume from Chomsky that outlines the broad strokes of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ways in which the United States wantonly violates its precepts. At least one third of the pages of my copy are highlighted, and I’m scared to imagine what it might look like it he issued a newly edited version to include events that have taken place after the 1990s.
One case was in 1978, when the spokesman for the “dirty dozen” at Vienna, Indonesia, was running out of arms in its attack against East Timor, then approaching genocidal levels, so that the Carter Administration had to rush even more military supplies to its bloodthirsty friend. Another arose a year later, when the Administration sought desperately to keep Somoza’s National Guard in power after it had slaughtered some 40,000 civilians, finally evacuating commanders in planes disguised with Red Cross markings (a war crime), to Honduras, where they were reconstituted as a terrorist force under the direction of Argentine neo-Nazis. Such matters too fall among the facts “that it `wouldn’t do’ to mention.”
And of course, let’s not leave out Haiti,
Bush’s “appalling” refugee policy was bitterly condemned by candidate Bill Clinton, whose first act as President was to make the illegal blockade still harsher, along with other measures to sustain the junta, to which we return … Of the more than 24,000 Haitians intercepted by U.S. forces from 1981 through 1990, 11 were granted asylum as victims of political persecution (in comparison with 75,000 out of 75,000 Cubans). In these years of terror and repression, Washington allowed 28 asylum claims. During Aristide’s 7-month tenure, with violence and repression radically reduced, 20 were allowed from a refugee pool 1/50th the scale. Practice returned to normal after the military coup and the renewed terror.
Addressing Article 14 of the UDHR,
The contempt for Article 14 is by no means concealed. A front-page story in the Newspaper of Record on harsh new immigration laws casually records the fact and explains the reasons:
Because the United States armed and financed the army whose brutality sent them into exile, few Salvadorans were able to obtain the refugee status granted to Cubans, Vietnamese, Kuwaitis and other nationalities at various times. The new law regards many of them simply as targets for deportation [though they were fleeing] a conflict that lasted from 1979 until 1992, [when] more than 70,000 people were killed in El Salvador, most of them by the American-backed army and the death squads it in turn supported, [forcing] many people here to flee to the United States.
… and on and on. The book itself runs 57 pages, with 12 pages of footnotes and pages 69 through 78 comprising a copy of the actual UDHR. A quick and worthwhile read.