Since Joe Biden became the presumptive president-elect of the USA, it has become almost fashionable among the liberal class of India to claim that the NDA government would face some amount of pushback for its alleged ‘human rights abuses’ in Kashmir and elsewhere in the country. Under ordinary circumstances, it would be considered bizarre that domestic political opponents of Prime Minister Modi are actively seeking foreign interference in internal matters of India. But 2020 has been that kind of a year.
It is also quite obvious from the ramblings of such intellectuals that there are essentially two visions of United States of America that exist. Firstly, there is the “land of the free” and “home of the brave” vision of the USA that is a protector of liberty and freedom across the globe. And secondly, there is the vision of the USA as a country that prioritises its own national interests above all else and has engaged in doomed imperialism for the sole benefit of its ruling class.
Needless to say, the first vision exists in the minds of the likes of ’eminent intellectual’ Sadanand Dhume who perceive the USA to be a paragon of virtue and has been accorded the exalted position of upholding human rights worldwide. And the second, a much more realistic vision, is the driving force behind populism in the United States and is the general sentiment across much of the world outside the walls of liberal echo-chambers.
For instance, Sadanand Dhume, in a recent opinion piece, argued unironically, “For four years, Trump ignored the steep decline of democracy and human rights in India. Joe Biden won’t repeat that mistake.” His essential argument was that Joe Biden will not ignore the alleged human rights violations in India as the Trump administration has supposedly done. It has to be understood here that Donald Trump did little more than refuse to meddle in the internal affairs of our country.
But it has to be asked at this point, does Joe Biden have any moral authority to lecture others on ‘human rights’? We are not beholden to swallow the pile of utter nonsense that Gunga Din like Dhume serve us. Therefore, we ought to exercise our own critical mental faculties and ask where does the presumptive president-elect stand on matters of human rights.
Joe Biden was the Vice-President under Barack Obama during whose reign US military engagement across the world increased to an unprecedented level. Obama, of course, campaigned on the promise of bringing an end to foreign wars but after his election, he did precisely the opposite. By 2015, the US was dropping so many bombs on the Middle-East that it was running out of bombs to drop. It was speculated that by the end of his tenure, the USA was engaged in more countries militarily than when he took office.
Obama’s decision to overthrow Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, which he later dubbed the worst mistake of his presidency, led to slave markets in the failed state. Humans were sold for as little as $200, as a direct result of US interference under Barack Obama. During the entire charade, Joe Biden served loyally as the Vice-President.
One journalist at CGTN described the situation as, “Instead of democracy, anarchy became the new norm as thugs, radicalized Islamic insurgents rule the streets. Instead of respect for human rights, the country has experienced a humanitarian crises as desperate refugees fled and flooded Europe and its surrounding regions. Instead of economic growth, there is a growing slave trade where young men are being auctioned off as commodities in open slave markets.”
“In today’s circumstances, it is difficult to imagine Libya was once one of the wealthiest nations in Africa where people enjoyed a variety of social benefits funded by its oil exports. Its economy was envied across Africa and much of the Arab world,” the article added. And now, liberals expect him to speak out against alleged ‘human rights violations’ in India.
The Obama administration’s decision to arm ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels also ended in predictably disastrous scenarios. It was reported in 2017 that a study had revealed that sophisticated weapons that were provided to the rebels had ended up in the hands of ISIS. It has to be borne in mind here that the ISIS and the rebels were fighting the same enemy: Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
In every way possible, the Obama administration, under which Joe Biden served as the VP, was a humanitarian disaster. But we have liberals in India hoping that under a Biden presidency, human rights will be in focus again. Quite clearly, they have sold their integrity to the highest bidder and do not expect the plebs to question how on Earth does Biden of all people have the authority to question anyone on human rights? The idea of the USA highlighting the alleged human rights abuses of any country leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
It is also an open secret that the USA has funded Islamic terrorists across the world in order to achieve foreign policy objectives. It is also not disputed that their actions have led to the deaths of hundreds and thousands of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere. Yemen is at the heart of a terrible humanitarian crisis perpetrated by long-time US ally, Saudi Arabia.
Thus, when people such as Sadanand Dhume and other liberals herald the prominence of human rights in US diplomacy, it will be hard even for them to take themselves seriously. No one in the corridors of power in the western world take human rights seriously, much less liberals. It is cold-blooded self interests that drive diplomacy and it will continue to remain so for the foreseeable future.
Furthermore, it is not the first time that India will deal with a US president surrounded by people who appear far too keen on meddling into the internal matters of India and it won’t be the last. India has dealt with them before and will continue to do so in the future.