While human right crusades are dominated by headlines involving the “homophobic” Russian government and tales of homosexuals being strung up across Iran, there is a larger, more sinister violator of human rights operating right within an intentional, self-imposed media blackhole created by the West. That violator is Saudi Arabia, who not only has outlawed homosexuality, but reserves execution as punishment if caught.
The Guardian’s Brian Whitaker, when not coddling and covering up for terrorists in Syria, is apologizing for Saudi Arabia’s policies with articles like, “Saudi Arabia’s juggling act on homosexuality,” where he claims a regime that since 2003, has beheaded 3 homosexuals, regularly raids “gay parties,” and flogs and imprisons those suspected of being homosexuals, is merely “wanting a civilised image” while “appeasing traditionalists.”
In stark contrast, the Guardian has published volumes of articles regarding “gay rights” in Russia, where strong condemnation is leveled against the Russian government in the opening paragraphs, and ambiguity follows in regards to the veracity of the actual degree to which Russia may or may not be “anti-gay.” In one Guardian report titled, “Ban Ki-moon condemns persecution of gay people in Russia,” that actual “persecution” is never enumerated. Ban Ki-moon is quoted as saying:
“The United Nations stands strongly behind our own ‘free and equal’ campaign, and I look forward to working with the IOC, governments and other partners around the world to build societies of equality and tolerance. Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century.”
“Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century,” except, apparently, where Western interests take precedence over human rights, such as in geopolitically and militarily essential, oil rich Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s Homophobia Revealed in Dramatic, But Hushed Controversy
Saudi Arabia’s draconian laws versus homosexuals briefly surfaced, if only for a movement, amid the West’s self-imposed censorship regarding the regime when Saudi diplomat Ali Ahmad Asseri revealed he was gay and attempted to seek asylum in the United States. Asseri rightfully feared for his life should he return to Saudi Arabia.
His asylum was reportedly denied, according to the Jerusalem Post in its article, “United States denies asylum to gay Saudi diplomat,” which stated:
The United States government denied political asylum to Ali Ahmad Asseri, the former first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, last week to avoid disrupting US-Saudi relations, according to a Saudi-American blogger and journalist based in Brazil.
Asseri argued that if he returned to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia he would face execution because the country’s radically fundamental form of Islam mandates the death penalty for same-sex relations.
Confirming the current status of Asseri is difficult, as the story has made few headlines and no Western news agency appears interested in covering it closely. Had Asseri been Russian or Iranian, it is unlikely the Western media would be covering anything else. This hypocrisy reveals a particularly abhorrent aspect of Western “values,” that are not only distasteful, but in fact a danger for pursuing true human equality. And the unfortunate story of Asseri is not an isolated case, but just the latest in a pattern of exploiting human rights selectively rather than defending them impartially.
The West’s Dangerous Exploitation of Human Rights
The stark contrast between the West’s stance on Russia’s alleged “persecution” of homosexuals and Saudi Arabia’s demonstrated persecution of not only homosexuals, but women, religious minorities, and political enemies – is but one of many troubling examples of this dangerous double standard.
In Thailand, the US has stalwartly defended Thaksin Shinawatra, his political machine, and his street front, the so-called “United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD),” better known as “red shirts.” Since Shinawatra’s ouster in 2006, some of the largest and most notorious Western lobbying firms on Earth have attempted to promote him as a “pro-democratic progressive.” In reality, his utility for the West has been one of socioeconomic capitulation, handing Thailand’s resources and sovereignty over to the West piecemeal through a series of geopolitical concessions and attempted free trade agreements.
It was in 2009 that his “red shirt” Rak Chiang Mai 51 group would violently disrupt an HIV/AIDS awareness march organized by homosexual & public health activists. “Out in Perth” reported in their article, “Chiang Mai Pride Shut Down by Protests as Police Watch On,” that organizers were locked inside a building while the RCM51 “red shirts” began throwing rocks and yelling abuse through megaphones. Police looked on until organizers decided to call off the event.
Regime “red shirt” Rak Chiang Mai 51 demagogue, Kanyapak Maneejak (DJ Aom), when asked about the incident during a “City Life Chiang Mai” interview, claimed:
Our third aim is to protect Lanna culture and we simply did not like the Gay Pride Parade. In the past there were no gays or ladyboys, but today they live together openly, they wear revealing clothes in the streets. We had to go out in force to protect our culture against this. The people who were spitting were not red shirts; they were infiltrators who wanted us to look bad. It was not just us who wanted to stop this parade, villagers and the entire province of Chiang Mai called up our station to ask us to intervene. We were afraid that this would become an annual event, and we all know that Chiang Mai is a place for human trafficking.
Despite what is essentially organized anti-homosexual bigotry and abuse, carried out by elements directed by Thaksin Shinawatra himself, the West has chosen to look the other way while continuing its support of Shinawatra and his various proxies and political allies. Like in the case of Saudi diplomat Ali Ahmad Asseri, US interests take precedence over defending the inalienable rights of human beings, targeted by regimes created and perpetuated by the West itself.
Perhaps worse still, is the US’ current support of the fascist regime that has overthrown the elected government of Ukraine and is currently consolidating its power in Kiev. The BBC itself would admit that the so-called “Euromadian” mobs were led by literal Nazis, and it has been documented that many opposition groups share a similar, if only better concealed, ideology of bigotry, racism, and intolerance – including against homosexuals.
Self-proclaimed “Prime Minister” of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was just in Washington D.C. (video) to visit with US Secretary of State John Kerry. It might interest readers to know he hails from the Hitleresque “Fatherland Party,” whose bigotry is of such a degree, it even caught the attention of Amnesty International in its 2008 report, “Overview of Lesbian and Gay Rights in Eastern Europe (.pdf).”
Yatsenyuk was confronted by a representative of the Western-Ukrainian Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community who said to him: “Many people live in love, but not in law. Promise me that if you become president, you will legalize same-sex relationships, and I promise that all gays and lesbians will vote for you.”
But Yatsenyuk, who leads “Fatherland” in the absence of jailed leader Yulia Tymoshenko, revealed that he rejects gay marriage because his personal beliefs stand in the way of any political position.
The West is backing a man who openly exhibits the bigotry and intolerance it has accused Russia of, and has used as the primary excuse to support an overt bigot like Yatsenyuk and his fascist collaborators in the first place. The hypocrisy is astounding, and dashes hopes for Saudi Arabia’s Ali Ahmad Asseri, who must realize that the US’ hesitation to grant him asylum is not a difficult decision, but a result of institutionalized hypocrisy that has, and will always decide against what is right when what is in America’s self-serving interests takes precedence.
The West’s troubling collection of bigots, racists, and in the case of Libya and Syria, armed, murderous sectarian extremists as allies, betrays its image as a defender of human rights, and reveals instead that it is merely exploiting human rights, when and only if it is convenient. This presents a danger to real activists pursuing true human equality who may end up associated with or dependent on the West’s politically motivated “human rights racket.” Exposing the exploitation of human rights and those that are doing it, allows genuine progressives to pursue their worthy agenda with honesty, transparency, and without the lingering doubt some may have about their true motivations.
From the case of Saudi Arabia’s forsaken Ali Ahmad Asseri, to Thailand’s bigoted “red shirts,” to Ukraine’s homophobic cryto-Nazi “Prime Minister,” the West has revealed the true dimensions of its dedication to human rights – shallow in both conviction and substance.
For those interested in advancing true human equality, it would be wise to dump entirely both the West’s narratives peddled by politicians and parroted by the Western media, and begin a renewed and independent investigation into alleged abuses, for true equality will only come from a true assessment of inequality. The West is demonstrably interested in neither.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”