Human Rights vs. National Interests: Killing Humans for Personal Interests is not Justified

by Eli Mshomi
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The persisting debate of promoting realism or liberalism in foreign policies of countries is not new.

With the arrival of international institutions like the United Nations after the Second World War in 1945, liberal politics started gaining ground, and the end of the cold war was regarded as the “end of history” in global politics.

According to this doctrine, international politics will now be driven by human rights with no more importance given to war.

But now, countries, including the United States, are reluctant to compromise on national interests and are ready to put human rights at stake for this purpose, thus defying the very purpose of the liberal world order.

America Curbing Human Rights: Faulty Pursuit of National Security

While perpetuating national interests is not a poor foreign policy approach, promoting this ideology at the expense of human rights is what makes matters worse.

Although the history of violating human rights can be traced back to ancient times, the modern-day crisis is mostly due to the US-led war on terror that started after the 9/11 attacks.

It is now an established truth that the American invasion of Iraq turned out to be a miscalculated one, which put the whole region in chaos.

Despite the fact that the UN warned America that Iraq does not hold any weapon of mass destruction, Bush-led forces ignored the data and violated human rights to the maximum possible extent in their pursuit of defending national security, which was not even at stake.

Thus, back in 2003, America was solving problems that did not even exist. But even if the invasion was done mistakenly, people in Iraq suffer to date from that event.

Now once again, America is going the same route. At a time when even international organizations are struggl ing

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and pleading to get funds to help troubled Afghan people, America is not releasing $10 billion of Afghan foreign reserves, which was blocked when the Taliban took over Kabul.

The US concern that the Taliban can use this money to prep are for another attack on the United States is understandable.

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But the US could disseminate these funds to the Afghan people, who are currently one of the worst humanitarian crises in the documented history of the world. 

The current data shows that a vast majority of Afghan children could die if they are not adequately treated in terms of food provisions.

Health facilities in the country are facing severe strain that can result in people dying in bulk in the foreseeable future. Once again, this is the pursuit of national interests at the expense of human rights.

Global Citizenry are at the Risk of Death Because of America’s Pursuit of National Interests

Be it Iran or any other country where the United States is putting sanctions on the country, the people getting most impacted are those who have nothing to do with international politics and whose voices cannot even be heard in making the foreign policy of the country.

A family, for instance, living in the slums of Kabul cannot mold the policy-making process of the Taliban government, but they are at the risk of the United States, which can launch an airstrike anytime on them just to claim later that their intelligence did not work.

This has happened in the past and has the possibility of happening in the future as well. The normal citizenry is facing a double-edged sword in most of the countries which are at crossroads with America.

First, they are facing discrimination from the United States, and second, they are not being treated fairly by their national governments either.

The example of Israel bombing Palestinian people also depicts the sad state of affairs, where the United States is busy funding Israel even though it violates the most fundamental international law that the civilian population will not be hit even in the state of war between two countries.

And in those areas where the United States is trying to pursue human rights, it is merely just because doing that is in favor of the US national interests.

This stands true for sanctioning China on the Xinjiang region, as China is already a rival entity to the United States. The same stands true for disallowing Russia to invade Ukraine.

 

Final Thoughts

In the pursuit of a power grab, global politics is taking a dangerous turn where the national interests are always put at the first place, which compromises the concept of human security.

This is a dangerous precedent, as it creates anti-US sentiments across the globe, which is not only dangerous for global security but also acts as a roadblock in making the world a global village in the true sense of the word.

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