BA: Yeah, totally fair comparison. USA vs N. Korea… what a lunatic.
XB: @BA: I think Anthony was simply saying that it’s hypocritical for the US to condemn N. Korea for human rights violations when America engages in them as well on a far greater scale.
It’s worth remembering that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq represented the crime of aggression. Before the invasion 500,000 Iraqi children were killed through US sanctions. Head of the UN Oil for Food program Dennis Halliday resigned from his post during this period, citing the sanctions as “genocidal.”
Moreover, the CIA headed a worldwide torture regime with the participation of 54 countries. Then there’s the fact that the US has historically backed some of the most ruthless dictatorships in the world from the Saudi regime to Mubarak in Egypt. As repressive as North Korea is they simply don’t have the capability to inflict this much suffering on the world.
In terms of domestic repression North Korea is worse than the US but on a global scale there’s no comparison. In fact, a recent Gallup International poll reveals that the US is seen as the “greatest threat to world peace”(followed by China and Pakistan). 65 countries were polled in the survey.
Here’s a summary of the survey:
Here’s a report on it:
TO: @XB: I wish I could like your comment a THOUSAND TIMES. Can I share, sir???
BA: That’s because you didn’t read it that closely…
Sanctions are not the same thing as genocide. Using gas on the Kurds was genocide, and you guys are essentially defending the perpetrator. The CIA headed a torture regime? Do you have any idea what real torture is like? Go to Iraq during Saddam’s regime and you would have experienced real torture. Ever hear about the rape rooms Saddam and his sons had? 65 countries were polled in a survey… Wow! That is some real hard hitting science right there.
You both owe everything to this country. Your liberal educations were paid for by the taxation of hard working Americans. Now you run around making ridiculous claims on specious facts. This is what our education system is producing?
XB: @BA: You state “[the Iraq] sanctions aren’t the same as genocide.” I disagree. If you read the Genocide Conventions the crime of genocide is defined quite clearly. Read article 2(C). Here genocide is defined as “Deliberately inflicting on [a] group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” The US sanctions on Iraq is a clear example of this kind of genocide.
You also state “Using gas on the Kurds was genocide.” I agree with you here. Using gas on the Kurds indeed was an act of genocide but you omitted one crucial fact namely that the United States supported Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds. The US also supported his poison gassing of Iranians. This was revealed explicitly in a relatively recent article published in Foreign Policy magazine.
The article states the following: “U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent. … The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence.” So yes it was a genocidal campaign that the US supported.
Also why do you call Saddam’s torture “real” torture as if what the US is doing is not torture? Water boarding is a form of torture that Japanese fascists practiced during the Second World War. In fact, they were executed for water boarding POWs, a punishment I highly doubt you would recommend for US officials. And I have read about the torture of Saddam Hussein. Once again you are omitting the undeniable fact that Saddam was a US ally throughout the 1980s–the worst period of his crimes–which reinforces my previous point about US support for ruthless dictatorships.
There is nothing “specious” about the facts that I have described. I can recommend you several books to read on these topics if you are interested in a more detailed analysis. My observations also have very little to do with a “liberal” education. Incidentally, the “liberal” class–as defined by the Democratic party–has consistently been on the side of the oppressors when it comes US imperial interventions in the world. These are well-documented and uncontroversial facts that are available to anyone with a serious interest in developing a more honest picture of world affairs.