In one statement, Trump clumsily sums up decades of empty US posturing on human rights

Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman
Support us and go ad-free

In a 20 November statement that began by shouting “America First!“, Donald Trump basically lifted the veil on decades of phony US concern about human rights around the world.

A shameless love letter to Saudi Arabia

In what read like a propaganda statement right out of Riyadh (or Israel), Trump insisted:

The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region.

And after rambling on about how Iran was apparently to blame for the destructive actions of the Saudi dictatorship in Yemen, Trump stressed:

last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money… Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great U.S. defense contractors.

In short, the US would be “pursuing its national interests”. Forget that the Saudis are currently decimating Yemen, causing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and leading it towards the Earth’s worst famine in a hundred years. Don’t worry about their key role in the destructive escalation of the Syrian conflict. Ignore their human rights abuses and links to terrorism. And take no notice of the recent murder of a Saudi journalist – possibly on the orders of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Because there are billions of dollars in arms sales on the line and, you know, Iran. (For the record, the US once killed 290 civilians – including 66 children – in just one attack on Iran, which appears to be roughly 290 more than the number of US civilians that Iran has ever killed.)

Not that extraordinary

Mainstream media outlets pointed out the inaccuracies in Trump’s Saudi “love letter“. And they called it “extraordinary”, with the New York Times labelling it “remorselessly transactional” and “founded on a theory of moral equivalence”. But in reality, there was little extraordinary about it. Because it simply summed up how US foreign policy works, exposing elite self-interest in all its ugly glory where previous presidents would try to conceal it.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The establishment may think this just reflects badly on Trump. But it doesn’t. It reflects badly on the US, which for many, many decades has preached about human rights with one breath while ordering abuses with its next.

A long, bloody list of double standards and empty posturing on human rights

Washington’s firm record of hypocrisy on human rights includes:

And it also includes:

In fact, most of the world’s worst countries for workers’ rights are US allies.

Washington’s ugly secrets out in the open

When it comes to foreign policy, Trump isn’t exceptional in US history. He just walks around naked where other presidents would dress up in their Sunday best to hide the ugliness beneath. And that’s a good thing; because the more global citizens wake up to just how hypocritical and profit-centred US foreign policy is, and how little it truly cares about human rights, the less likely they are to fall for its lies in the future.

Featured image via screenshot

Support us and go ad-free

Get involved

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us