Does US Have Double Standard On Human Rights?
Can The US Have It Both Ways On Human Rights?
The relationship the US has with both China and Saudi Arabia can be legitimately described as alliances of convenience. The US needs Saudi Arabia as an ally in a hostile Middle East. It also needs China as a trading partner and cannot afford to alienate the world’s largest economy, particularly where North Korea is concerned. In terms of human rights, however, some argue that the US holds a double-standard.
In particular, the Obama administration has been more willing to condemn religious persecution when it occurs in China, but less so when the Gulf state is the persecutor, argues Andrew Fitzgerald in The Christian Science Monitor.
“While the US has been quick to condemn human rights violations in China and rally behind persecuted activists there, President Obama has seemed hesitant to do the same regarding Saudi Arabia.
“If the Obama administration wants to use the global movement for democracy and human rights as a rhetorical and diplomatic tool, it needs to apply equal criticism not only to its rivals but to its own policies and the policies of its allies as well,” Fitzgerald posits.
Persecution of Christians in the Middle East is not limited to Saudi Arabia, notes Kirsten Powers in a column in USA Today. In fact, she points to a report by Amnesty International that criticized Egypt for its failure to protect Coptic Christians from discrimination and violence.
“Amnesty’s report comes on the heels of a fresh wave of attacks just before Easter in the town of Wasta, south of Cairo. Lebanon was once a majority Christian country but no longer, as Christians flee the hostility. CBS News reported in 2011 that the former president of Lebanon, Amin Gemayel complained of a “genocide” against Christians in the Middle East,” writes Powers.