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[U N Human Rights Chief]
U.N. human rights chief Mary Robinson, in a bleak assessment of the state of human rights, accused governments of hiding behind the ongoing war on terrorism to trample civil liberties and crush troublesome opponents. AFP photo






Departing U.N. human rights chief says little George is setting a bad example

Little George refused to attend the Earth Summit last month in Africa which seems to prove what Mary Robinson, departing U.N. human rights chief,  has said about the fact that little George is more interested in exploiting the world's resources without regard to the tremendous human suffering that exists.  

Little George has no interest in easing global poverty or sustaining the global environment.  He is only interested in continuing his war on terrorist which has had the effect of giving a green light to Israel, Russia and China among others to carry out their own little terrorist wars against legitimate political dissent.

Instead of leading the world toward a more just and fair treatment of human beings, little George has taken an elitist position and encouraged the continued exploitation, manipulation and to some degree genocide among peoples who are not Americans.  

What is so paradoxical is that the United States is the melting pot of the world.  It is a nation which is representative of all the nations, races and religions of the world.  All the people of all the world live in peace in America but little George wants to make war on the ancestral homes of many Americans.

He wants to kill Arabs, he wants to kill Cubans, he wants to kill Iraqis, he wants to kill North Koreans he wants to kills Afghanis.  Yet all these nationalities live in America in peace.

There are no human rights on the little George agenda of money and power and world domination.

The world is coming together and misguided leaders like little George are out of step with the rest of the world.  It is just sad that we have to live with little George and his global human rights apathy for two more years.  Unfortunately, millions will die and live in hunger and suffering during those next two years.  There is hope in the fact that little George's ratings are declining. (see below)

John WorldPeace
September 8, 2002

Departing U.N. human rights chief blasts U.S., Russia


GENEVA (AP) - Departing U.N. human rights chief Mary Robinson, in a bleak assessment of the state of human rights, accused governments of hiding behind the ongoing war on terrorism to trample civil liberties and crush troublesome opponents.

"Suddenly the T-word is used all the time," Robinson said, referring to terrorism. "And that's the problem."

The United States, Russia and China were among the nations she said were ignoring civil rights in the name of combating international terrorist groups.

"Everything is justified by that T-word," the 58-year-old former Irish president said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I hope that countries will put human rights back on the agenda because it tended to slip after September 11."

Robinson argued the Bush administration set the tone by holding detainees from Afghanistan without charge at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She also criticized Washington's opposition to the new International Criminal Court.

"The world needs leadership in human rights and the United States could give great leadership. It's not giving it at the moment, unfortunately," said Robinson, who leaves her post Wednesday.

When Robinson took other governments to task for abuses in the post-Sept. 11 era, they often cited the United States as an example in arguing that human rights standards have changed, she said.

"And I've had to say the standards have not changed," Robinson said.

"The United States must be seen to fully uphold international human rights and humanitarian standards. The attacks on New York didn't just kill many innocent people - they were an attack on freedom and democracy, and we must uphold these standards. And we can do that and effectively combat terrorism."

Robinson said a number of countries were using the excuse of fighting terrorism to clamp down on legitimate opposition and curtail freedom of expression. She singled out Russian military operations in the restive republic of Chechnya and China's clampdowns on Muslim Uigurs and in Tibet.

It was Robinson's willingness to use her office as U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to criticize such big powers that made her a darling of activists like Amnesty International. But it ultimately caused her downfall.

Robinson initially wanted to quit last year at the end of her four-year term, saying she was frustrated by a lack of funding. She was persuaded by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to stay an additional year, then she let it be known she was willing to remain in office until 2005.

That offer was declined, diplomats have said, because of U.S. annoyance at her criticism of the Guantanamo detention camp and her perceived anti-Israel stance, and anger in Moscow over her persistent clamoring for an inquiry into the suppression of Chechen rebels.

"I do most of the work constructively, diplomatically ... but there are times when there must be a voice in the United Nations for the victims of violations," Robinson said.

One of Robinson's last visits was to China, where she said she had mixed feelings.

On the one hand, she said, China has made big strides in technical programs to educate police, prison officers and judges about human rights treaties.

"But on the side of the reality of human rights, I'm very worried," she said, citing recent arrests of labor leaders to quell unrest, the detention of a well-known AIDS activist and the continuing widespread use of the death penalty.

Despite her gloomy overall assessment, Robinson said she took heart from her perception that human rights are being increasingly accepted as a fundamental part of development.

Asked what she considered the worst human rights violation, she said, "Extreme poverty." She said the United States, in particular, needs to show more recognition of economic and social rights.

Robinson said she felt no bitterness at being eased out, saying she will be campaigning for a "more ethical globalization and a fairer world." She also wants to use her contacts to tap universities and foundations for more resources to promote human rights in developing countries.

Robinson said she was confident that her successor, Sergio Vieira de Mello, a Brazilian diplomat who headed the interim U.N. administration in East Timor, is capable and committed.

And she offers him one bit of advice given to her by an Irish poet friend: "If you become too popular in that job, you're probably not doing a good job."

Bush's Approval Rating Slides 

Polls Find Bush Foreign Policy Approval Down Almost to Pre-Sept. 11 Levels 

The Associated Press

W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 8, 2002 - President Bush's overall approval rating has slid steadily downward over the summer, largely because of a major withering of support in the way he is conducting foreign policy, two polls found.

A CBS News-New York Times poll released Saturday also found a majority of Americans thinks Bush lacks a clear plan to carry out his war on terror.

Overall, the poll found that 63 percent approve of the way Bush is doing his job. While strong for a president almost two years on the job, that number is down 3 percentage points from the summer's 66 percent rating and down 24 points from his 87 percent approval record soon after the attacks of last Sept. 11.

It found 54 percent support his foreign policy. Only two months ago 68 percent approved his foreign policy and last fall the level stood at almost three-fourths approval. Before Sept. 11, just under half the respondents approved his foreign policy performance.

A Washington Post poll published in the paper's Sunday editions found that Bush's approval rating is now 69 percent, down 23 points from a high of 92 registered by Post pollsters in October. It also found that 70 percent now approve of the way he is managing the war on terrorism, down 13 percentage points from July and 22 points from October's high.

The Times-CBS poll also found that, while almost two out of three feel Bush has not explained his position on Iraq sufficiently, Americans generally support his pre-emptive policy against Saddam Hussein.

Eight in 10 said they think Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, and six in 10 said Iraq plans to use them against the United States. Asked if the United States should attack if it thinks Iraq plans an attack, even if none has occurred, six in 10 said yes. Three-fourths said the United States should pre-empt a feared nuclear attack from Iraq.

The Times-CBS telephone poll of 937 adults was conducted Sept. 2-5 and has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The Post telephone poll of 1,003 adults was conducted Sept. 3-6 and also has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?

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