Dr. Mayada Razzouk – Human Rights Activist
First, I want to thank the authorities of the “Foundation of Dialogue and Solidarity of the United Nations” who allow me to present my speech in “The Future of Peace and Human Rights in West Asia” (2023)” under the title of “crimes against humanity in West Asia”.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a human rights document that expresses the declaration that was approved by the United Nations in 1948 in the Palace of Versailles, Paris, after WWII which led to the killing of tens of millions of people, to save humanity in Europe that was suffering from the scourge of war at that time.
Therefore, the initiation of this declaration was the West which was exposed to the most brutal human genocide in WWI and WWII. It should be noted that the first countries to negate this non-binding declaration were the western countries on top of which being the United States, some European countries, and the Zionist Occupying Regime. They achieve their own benefits by violating the rights of all people through colonial policies and strategies which are based on looting people’s wealth and committing the most heinous crimes against humanity through the policy of genocide, destruction, siege, starvation, and supporting the ruling dictatorial regimes allied with the imperialist West.
In today’s dialogues and to reject the most serious and systematic violation of human rights in West Asia, what has been done by the United States, the colonial imperialist West, and the Zionist Occupying Regime through talking about their war crimes can be noted. Also, in the second case, it has been talked about arbitrary detention, harassment with torture, and torture of prisoners. Also, we will talk about the unilateral and arbitrary sanctions in West Asia and surrounding areas.
I’ll start with war crimes and crimes against humanity since American violence has not only ignited the fire of frequent wars in West Asia and other regions, but also has stuck them in a swamp of conflicts and security problems, and seriously weakened the human or public rights of the locals as well as their lives, health, dignity, freedom of religious belief, survival, and development.
American wars mean the massacre of civilians and violating the right to life and development. Paul Atwood, an American historian, in his book “War and Empire”, which was published in 2010, speaks about the American way of life and the fact that war is the true way or expression of the American way of life.
It only took this country 20 years to start a war after the establishment of the United States of America. That is the fact that turns this country into a true war empire, or as Ayatollah Khamenei and other Iranians assert, the great Satan. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been involved in almost all great conflicts and wars in the Western Asia region and its surroundings. A region that has been most affected by the foreign wars ignited by the United States.
The statistics published by the American Journal of the Smithsonian Institute indicate that since 2001, the American wars and military operations in the name of the fight against terrorism have involved about 40% of the countries on the planet. The United States besieged its allies to start the Persian Gulf war during 1990-1991 and the Afghanistan war during 2001-2020. Also, the Iraqi war during 2003-2011 and Yemen War (through its allies) since 2015, can be noted. In addition, this country is seriously involved with the Syrian war, and we can even add the Libya war to this list, which created a catastrophe we can rarely see worldwide.
The United States inflicts direct, serious, and permanent damage on local people. Some of these people were civilians who were killed directly. Some of them were forced to flee from their homeland, and some of them like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen were reconstructed by their allies.
All this happened under violating international laws to achieve special military purposes. Based on research and leaked confidential documents or the words of the US Department of Defense, these crimes, or some of these crimes, have been recognized by American research institutes and journals such as the New York Times and the RAND Corporation.
The Pentagon has always raised the argument that a great deal of casualties has been due to a shortage of intelligence information. Also, weak targeting, as occurred in Raqqah, Syria, or other cities in this country during which the civilians were shot. The Pentagon has managed to cover these war crimes on almost all occasions and has not let the involved people or those who have done these crimes be punished.
Among these crimes the United States is committing in West Asia is what is done by the American military forces such as the killing of civilians, masterful torturing of prisoners, and the like. Such actions violate the most basic human rights. Next, in my speech, I will note the details of these crimes.
The most important crimes against humanity committed by the United States and the imperialist West is the formation of Takfiri groups such as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Sham) which has been admitted by many American authorities. The most prominent American authority who has had some confessions in this regard is Hilary Clinton, the democrat former United States Secretary of State. She and others have spoken about the method or reasons for forming these Takfiri terrorist groups and supporting them with weapons, equipment, training, and the latest technology and intelligence techniques to continue wars and local conflicts in countries, such as what happened in Syria.
The Saudi-Emirati coalition committed the most horrific genocide against the Yemeni civilians and all the above crimes to destruct the national government, exclude liability, and create chaos to implement the JCPOA.
The agenda of division into sectarian and ethnic cantons to facilitate control over them and looting their wealth.
Guaranteeing the security of the Zionist regime in the framework of the project of continuing the unilateral hegemony of the United States over the world through intensifying control over its heart.
In the third case.
Here, I speak about the forceful change clause, unilateral sanctions, and severe violation of public rights to development, life, and health. When the United States, followed by the imperialist West, used the policy of blockade and unilateral sanctions to suppress countries and organizations that do not surrender to the will of the United States to guarantee the imposition of political, economic, and security systems dominated by the United States, the path of development in other countries was weakened and the rights of their people, as well as their education and health, were ignored.
Therefore, the policy of the United States and the imperialist West in West Asia is summarized in disrupting governments, interfering in the internal affairs of countries, and violating the sovereignty and human rights of others. As was mentioned at the beginning of the discussion, after the end of the Cold War, to maintain the hegemony in West Asia, the United States worked to overthrow the governments it considered not to be friendly by starting wars against them. Also, supporting the non-governmental organizations and factors in West Asia and weakening the paths of development in these countries by color revolutions is considered the most important measure, and the so-called “white glove” of the United States.
Here, I specially speak about Great Britain and France whose highest efforts are dedicated to interfering in the internal affairs of the countries and provoking separation and confrontation. To do so, the “National Endowment for Democracy”, by long-term destructive actions against the countries in West Asia, serves the interests of the United States and thus is continuously supported by the White House, financially. The congress, following the orders of the United States government, finance the people and groups loyal to the imperialist West and the United States of America for color revolutions in Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Syria, Libya, and other countries. Therefore, the United States of America, France, and especially England, are themselves the masterminds of the Arab spring to disrupt the political systems in these countries, destruct the national governments, and tear the tissues of social and national space apart. And such purposes, especially after the defeat of the military wars, are achieved through unilateral sanctions against the independent governments that inflict heavy economic damage on these countries and worsen the people’s lives.
As an example, and not exclusively, we note that since 1979, the United States has imposed unilateral economic sanctions against Iran, Syria, and other countries, that prohibit investment by foreign companies in Iran. The sanctions on the energy industries in these countries, besides the economic loss in the oil, agriculture, and tourism sectors, have led to a decrease in annual per capita income, intensification of domestic food crises, and decline of the living levels to their worst states- levels that violate the most basic human rights of the residents of these regions.
In addition, to explain the details of mistreating the prisoners as a war crime, here we note some points. What happened to the prisoners in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp and especially those in the Abu Ghraib Prison? The prisoners were abused and these details have been revealed by the American documents or confessions of some American authorities about mistreating the prisoners. As we mentioned for the Guantánamo Bay detention camp and the Abu Ghraib Prison, the information leaked about severe torture and ill-treatment of prisoners in a way that violates the human dignity of Muslims. These behaviors are serious examples of international laws on human rights. In these detention camps, the Americans treated the prisoners with the worst behaviors that negate human behavior and violate the most basic humanitarian elements. They insulted the Holy Quran. Negation of Islamic beliefs such as throwing the Holy Quran into the toilet, tearing it apart, or burning it, and other immoral, obscene, and inhuman acts, are among the actions taken by the Americans against the prisoners.
The actions of the Zionist occupying regime against the locals and main land owners in Palestine are by no means not different from what the United States has done. What the United States has done to the Native Americans or those people against whom it started a war or the conspiracies they have designed and organized in West Asia. This occupying Zionist entity, displacement of town construction, an advanced military base for the imperialist West and the United States. As we mentioned, the Zionists are not different from the Americans. By the actions they take against the Palestinians, the original land owners, continuing to arrest them, confiscating their lands, destructing their houses, and violating Islamic and Christian sanctities. These actions are always associated with a direct violation of human rights in occupied Palestine, and these policies are continuously backed by the West and the United States.
We can conclude that the deceitful and hypocritical West commits the most horrific crimes against humanity in West Asia either directly or through its allies and followers in the region. Therefore, the resistance axis from Iran to Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Palestine, should continue to fight for freedom of the region and the nations, restore their sovereignty, and maintain their solidarity as regional allies. With the acceleration and trying to get the American invaders out of the West Asian region, and making proxies in all continents with the countries that oppose the hegemony of the West especially Russia, China, and Latin American countries, and transfer to a multipolar or multifaceted world that is fairer and respects human rights.
Dr. Miada Ibrahim Razouq from Syria, Deputy Head of the International Relations Unit at Arab Human Rights and Citizenship Watch.