A sad array of failed states, quasi-failed states, and successful tyrannies have boldly come out against the United States for law enforcement action taken to curb violent looters and rioters in Ferguson, Missouri. The list includes such iconic human rights defenders as Cuba, Iran, China, and Russia.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a number of publications in these countries–as well as senior government officials–have reacted to the Ferguson riots by seizing the opportunity to pretend they have the sort of respectable human rights records that permit them to condemn the behavior of the United States government. Some, like the nation of Iran, issued statements through their American affairs personnel. Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for American Affairs, called the activity of the police in Ferguson “racist behavior and oppression” and condemned the United States, claiming that “violence has become institutionalized in the United States in recent years.” Ravanchi did not mention that, under so-called “moderate” Hassan Rouhani, Iran has executed more than 700 prisoners so far in 2014, virtually doubling the rate under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, The Wall Street Journal notes, issued a similar statement, requesting that “our American partners … pay more attention to restoring order in their own country before imposing their dubious experience on other nations.” The statement, at least, did not call the government racist or oppressive, and in some ways the call to “restore order” can be seen as a suggestion that the United States is not being oppressive enough–the way, for example, Russia would be.
In addition to the official statement, Russian Foreign Ministry Human Rights Commissioner Konstantin Dolgov attacked the United States’ rights record on the news channel Rossiya 24 this week. “We think US authorities should pay closer attention to burning internal problems, including those related to ethnicity and race that still exist in the United States. Try to solve them via legal constitutional practices rather than unjustified and inadequate violence,” he said, according to RIA Novosti. He added that Missouri’s problems “are by no means limited to one particular city or state.”
Then there is the island nation of Cuba, whose dictators used terrorist tactics to overthrow the nation’s first black president, being led in part by an incorrigible racist whose tomes on Marxism included such enlightened race theory as: “The Negro is indolent and lazy and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.” A government journalist in Cuba would like to know: “Is the Ku Klux Klan coming back with force” in America?
As Breitbart News reported earlier this week, another communist nation, China, entered the fray almost immediately as Ferguson began attracting international headlines. In a column published by state-run outlet Xinhua, a writer identified as Li Li condemns American society as inevitably racist because it is a state “where people from virtually every corner of the world converge and seek common lives”–unlike China, Li argues, which is majority Han Chinese. “Obviously,” Li concludes, “what the United States needs to do is to concentrate on solving its own problems rather than always pointing fingers at others.” Laughable as the attempt it, China’s latest foray into human rights commentary pales in comparison to its extensive “human rights report” on the United States earlier this year, in which it condemned comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s program as a human rights violation, as it “promotes racial hatred.”
Weightiest among these international rebukes is that of Egypt–a nation that has struggled through almost non-stop riots since the election of dethroned President Mohamed Morsi. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said it was “closely following the escalation of protests” and urged the United States government to show restraint against rioters. While less direct than the condemnations from some other less-reputable states, the Egyptian rebuke is perhaps the most meaningful and specific. The Obama administration used similar words against those who would quell Muslim Brotherhood riots in Egypt and supported Morsi throughout his tenure, discouraging peaceful protests from those who would eventually place President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in power. The Obama administration went so far as to call for Morsi to be released from prison after being arrested for violations of the Egyptian Constitution.
Sisi’s government does not seem to have forgotten this, despite its clearly anti-Islamist stances that benefit the United States greatly, particularly in light of the increasing influence of groups like the Islamic State in the Middle East–nor have his supporters, who have taken to the streets specifically to protest President Obama’s support of Morsi.
Egypt aside, the Ferguson situation appears to have created an opportunity for the international autocratic left to point and laugh at the United States and use their monopolized state media to convince the people under their yoke that America is in no moral position to condemn their brutality.