Annals of Propaganda

'Human Rights' as a Strategic Weapon


Published March 5, 2006

A Strategic Weapon
The LG-118A Peacekeeper
Range: greater than 6000 miles
Payload: 10 nuclear bombs

My perspective on the human rights issue is that it is a strategic weapon in the US propaganda arsenal which can be a precursor to a military assault on the state against which it is deployed. The weapon is developed in phases. With respect to the target state there is a preparatory phase consisting of the following steps:

Preparatory Phase

  1. subversion
  2. destabilizing propaganda
  3. trade and financial isolation
  4. terrorism
The response of the target state is the implementation of a state of emergency. This includes measures which curtail the political freedom of opposition groups and the suspension of legal rights which primarily affects political dissidents. This is the response of every sovereign state, including the US, evidence of which is the immediate passage of the so-called Patriot Act after 9/11 and the vast expansion of the powers of the President, even to the extent of authorizing the torture of prisoners in violation of international treaties, which is explicitly justified by the President's constitutional responsibility to defend the country.

The implementation of a state of emergency by the target state triggers the next stage of the propaganda weapon which we may call the human rights stage:

Human Rights Phase

  1. The US media apparatus is activated to initiate a steady stream of propaganda to demonize the target state and its leadership.
  2. Terrorism and international isolation are intensified.
  3. By now the target state, besides having severely curtailed individual freedom, has mobilized a significant part of its physical and human resources for defense. The civilian economy suffers accordingly, providing further material for the US propaganda offensive.
  4. The efforts of the target state to build up its defenses are interpreted by the US as a threat to its security.
  5. Terms like Munich, appeasement, holocaust, genocide, and concentration camps are introduced into the propaganda stream. Defectors with horror stories appear in the US.
  6. UN sanctions against the target state are obtained.
  7. The US Congress authorizes the use of force against the target state.
  8. UN approval for an invasion of the target state is obtained.
  9. The most slavishly dependent US satellite states are bribed to support the planned invasion to clothe it in an aura of international legitimacy.
The target state is secretly given the opportunity to capitulate at every step of the process. In the absence of capitulation the final or military phase of the human rights strategy is initiated:

Military Phase

  1. Aerial bombardment of the state is initiated.
  2. The state is invaded, its military forces are defeated, and its political leadership is imprisoned.
  3. A puppet government is installed.
  4. Elections are held.
  5. Selected members of the old political leadership are put on trial, sentenced to death, and executed.
At the conclusion of the military phase the target state joins the ranks of states open to exploitation by US corporations and its foreign and domestic policy are dictated from Washington.

This is the complete sequence of the US strategic human rights strategy to achieve regime change in states whose policies are deemed inimical to the achievement and/or maintenance of US global hegemony. It has nothing to do with human rights per se. It is a strategic weapon in the same sense that a nuclear-tipped intercontinental missile is. Furthermore it is a weapon developed by the US and exclusively used by it, as was the atomic bomb. To my knowledge no other state has ever used this weapon, because no other state commands the resources to implement it.

In some sense the strategic human rights weapon is more dangerous than a strategic nuclear weapon because not only does it lack a body of public opinion opposed to its use, but it actually develops public support as it is used. It may also be true that over the long run there is no defense against it. Even if it does not proceed to the military phase the targeted state may collapse from the shear burden of its defense.

Propaganda as a Weapon

In general terms, if morale is defined as the psychological will of a country to defend its sovereignty as distinct from the material resources to do so, then the purpose of propaganda is to destroy the former and strategic and tactical weapons to destroy the latter. This distinction is a useful one to make because it leads to some less than obvious insights as we attempt to explain the capitulation of some states and the survival of others in the face of unrelenting US pressure and short of conventional military operations.

The German Democratic Republic

A perfect example of the loss of sovereignty of a state without the use of military force by its enemies was the annexation of the (Communist) German Democratic Republic (GDR) by its (virulently anti-Communist) western, and US-backed, neighbor, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).

The official explanation for the disappearance of the GDR is that it failed economically, that it violated precious human rights, and, as a consequence, its people "voted with their feet." This explanation fails even under the most superficial examination. During the Second World War, the German people lived under infinitely worse material conditions and under a government that committed much graver violations of human rights and yet they fought to the bitter end with enemy armies from the east and west on their soil and bombs raining from the skies.

A more logical explanation is that the GDR was defeated by propaganda which destroyed its will to defend its sovereignty. In practice this meant it ordered its military forces to stand down and it opened its borders, across which flooded military, police, and covert agents of its mortal enemy. These immediately occupied the command posts of the old state and executed its political annexation. After 1990 the GDR ceased to exist. Its state symbols were removed from public buildings, streets were renamed, publicly owned enterprises were auctioned off at distressed prices to FRG corporations, and some of its leaders were put in prison.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)

The DPRK is an example of the failure of the Human Rights weapon. In 1945, after Japan's capitulation, its colony, Korea, was divided into the southern agricultural, (anti-Communist) Republic of Korea (ROK) backed by the US and the industrial northern, (Communist) DPRK. In June of 1950, war broke out between the north and south and the US intervened to rescue the ROK from certain defeat. Later, China intervened to rescue the DPRK, but not before the country had been leveled by US bombing raids. The Korean War ended with a truce in 1953. The DPRK exists to the present day.

The DPRK has survived the US Human Rights weapon not because it permits groups which advocate the overthrow of the government or diverting more resources to the civilian sector, but precisely because, recognizing the US threat to its sovereignty and adhering rigorously to its state of emergency, it doesn't permit such advocacy.

The US is fully aware of the failure of its Human Rights weapon and, in desperation, is now attempting to use China's influence to weaken and ultimately break the morale of the DPRK.

The European Union Parliament (EUP) and Human Rights

A perfect example of the lack of clarity regarding the US Human Rights weapon occurred recently in the EUP.

On February 2, 2006, a resolution condemning human rights violations in Cuba came to a vote. Of the seven German representatives who are members of the Left fraction three voted for it — André Brie, Helmuth Markov and Gabriele Zimmer. Two abstained — Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann and Feleknas Uca. One other member was not present and not voting. Sahra Wagenknecht was the only one who voted against it.

Recognizing the existence of the US Human Rights weapon, the first duty of the EUP was to ask whether it was being applied to Cuba. The answer is an unequivocal yes. Given that Cuba is a victim of the US Human Rights weapon, to advocate the implementation of human rights is to join in the US strategy of destroying Cuba's sovereignty, making the EUP an accomplice of US aggression. If the EUP genuinely wishes to promote human rights in Cuba, it must demand that the US end all acts of hostility against Cuba, including the restoration of full and normal trade and international relations.

The failure of the EUP to properly address this issue is evidence of willful ignorance or an intent to collaborate in US aggression. On the part of the German Left fraction, with the exception of Sahra Wagenknecht, it can only be equated with a pathetic absence of ideological clarity.