Lies and deceptions cannot prevent America’s decline Part II
Posted on June 30th, 2014

H. L. D. Mahindapala

At a time when neither the TNA nor India is talking about federalism” – they talk of only 13+ — Atul Keshap, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, who visited Sri Lanka last week, charged in like a headless bull looking for its chopped tail in a China shop and accused Sri Lanka of not taking steps to advance towards federalism”. This is another example of America’s penchant for making enemies out of friends and driving even non-aligned neutrals into the arms of its rivals.

Politically illiterate Keshaps” are a serious threat to America’s interests abroad. Not all the far-flung 800+ bases blanketing the globe can protect America if the likes of Keshap are let loose to roam unguided in the highways and byways of the world desperately searching for peace and stability. His proven skills are in planting verbal land mines and, accordingly, he should be used in Afghanistan or Ukraine and kept as far away as possible from nations recovering from futile wars like Sri Lanka. He should be caged permanently inside a cubicle in the State Department if the future of America’s interests are to be protected. He stands out as a typical symbol of the declining power of America unable to comprehend the basic grammar of politics in Afro-Asia.

Atul Keshap did not stop at exposing his ignorance. First, he blamed Sri Lanka for not  solving its political problems within five years, even though Iraq, a protectorate of America, is on the verge of collapsing after pouring in billions for the last ten years. In Sri Lanka he insists on playing the role of Speedy Gon”-salez demanding that the North-South issues be resolved in five years – a long time, according to him. But does he know how long it  took America to liberate the Afro-Americans who were brought in and sold as slaves? Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. But that remained as a dead letter in statute books for over a century. It was Lyndon B Johnson who finally signed the Civil Rights Act on June 2. 1964 to end lynching, segregation, unlawful imprisonment, injecting the Afro-Americans in the southern Bible belt with syphilis, the denial of voting rights, the use of toilets, and even giving a seat in schools, buses and restaurants to Afro-American children. Sri Lanka sacrificed 26,000 soldiers to liberate the Tamils from the Boko Haramist of Jaffna in three years. How’s that for speed, Mr. Speedy Gon”-salez?

Second. he accused Sri Lanka of being the only country — other than N. Korea, Syria and Iran – that has categorically refused to cooperate with UN probes. This is another instance of America first creating the problem and then blaming the victim of its  interventionist machinations for not cooperating with its self-serving agenda. If America did not initiate and goaded the other members in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to act against Sri Lanka the current problem facing Sri Lanka would not have arisen. It is America that led the anti-Sri Lankan resolution  at the UNHRC the second and third time. It failed the first time in 2009. Then it mobilized its entire global diplomatic forces and got the resolution passed the second and the third time. Keshap who might have been a part of this anti-Sri Lankan machinations is now surprised that Sri Lanka is not conforming to the American agenda which is disguised as UN-approved resolution. Sri Lanka did not reject the first UNHRC decision which reflected the free will of  the international community — free from manipulations and pressures of America and its Western cohorts. What Sri Lanka rejected was the American agenda pushed through the UNHRC after it failed to nail Sri Lanka at the UN and UNHRC.

In the latest turn of events Keshap arrives in Colombo and pushes the State Department line of blaming Sri Lanka. And he resorts to the cheap tactic of demonizing Sri Lanka as the only country, other than N. Korea, Syria and Iran that has refused to comply with a UNHRC resolution. This statement is utterly irresponsible coming from a high-up in the State Department. He has climbed  up the hierarchical ladder in the State Department and arrived at his present key position with impressive credentials. Considering his wide range of experience in diverse international organizations and diplomatic missions one would expect him to have more than a basic knowledge of global affairs. So it absolutely baffling as to why he deviated from the known truth and accused Sri Lanka falsely.

One cannot accuse him being a latter day Rip Van Winkle. Nor is he naïve greenhorn. He knows – or at least should know — his onions. After all he has worked with the Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake Robert O’Blake when he was as Director of the Office of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Bhutan Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. According to his bio-data he is the recipient of several Department of State individual Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, as well as a certificate of recognition from Secretary of State Colin Powell for duties performed in the State Department Operations Center on September 11, 2001 and afterwards.”

Now an American career diplomats of  this standing does not go astray on key aspects unless it is a deliberate ploy to target nation-states that are refusing to fall in line with its political agenda. He knew that long before Sri Lanka refused to let UNHRC appointees to intrude and probe the last stages of the 33-year-old war that Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East, not only expressed outrage” at UNHRC’s decision to probe alleged violations of   international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Gaza strip, particularly in connection with Gaza War, but also quit UNHRC, stating that they would never cooperate with any probes and would prevent any members of the mission from entering the territory.

Sticking to its guns Israel did not cooperate with UNHRC which appointed the South African jurist Richard Goldstone to head the international fact-finding mission. This example gives the lie to Keshap’s statement during his recent  visit that only Sri Lanka, other than Syria, Iran and North Korea, has refused to cooperate with UN probes. He went all out to link Sri Lanka with Syria, Iran and North Korea deliberately omitting Israel. He was obviously twisting the truth to demonize Sri Lanka – a common tactic of the State Department delineated by Noam Chomsky as a prelude to justify drastic action like regime change, as in the notorious case of Nicaragua. Besides, Keshap should know the example of Israel like the back of his hand because US State Department has backed the Israeli stand of refusing to cooperate with UNHRC to the hilt.

Both Israel and Nicaragua are two leading examples where USA refused bluntly to cooperate with the UN. The basic principle involved here is the question of compliance by member states with UN resolutions, judgments, and programs. Before censuring Sri Lanka Keshap should have examined how America had complied with the resolutions and judgments passed by the UN institutions. The most deplorable case of US non-compliance was when US refused to adhere to ICJ’s judgment which ordered US to pay compensation to Nicaragua for laying mines to the entrance of its harbour, violating international law. It was a clear cut case which has drawn the critical condemnation of international jurists. Knowing that the case was going against US it announced in 1985 that it was ending its policy of automatic compliance with Court. So why is Keshap deliberately lying  through his teeth when his own country has refused to comply just not with a UN resolutions – there are many instances of this – but with an independent and objective judgment passed the by the World Court on USA.

The judgment of the ICJ was an outright condemnation of the US violations of international law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The binding judgment delivered on June 27, 1986 said, inter alia, that it

  •  Rejects the justification of collective self-defence maintained by the United States of America in connection with the military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua the subject of this case;
  • Decides that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State;I
  • Decides that the United States of America, by certain attacks on Nicaraguan territory in 1983-1984, namely attacks on Puerto Sandino on 13 September and 14 October 1983, an attack on Corinto on 10 October 1983; an attack on Potosi Naval Base on 4/5 January 1984, an attack on San Juan del Sur on 7 March 1984; attacks on patrol boats at Puerto Sandino on 28 and 30 March 1984; and an attack on San Juan del Norte on 9 April 1984; and further by those acts of intervention referred to in subparagraph (3) hereof which involve the use of force, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to use force against another State;
  • Decides that the United States of America, by directing or authorizing over Rights of Nicaraguan territory, and by the acts imputable to the United States referred to in subparagraph (4) hereof, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to violate the sovereignty of another State;
  • Decides that, by laying mines in the internal or territorial waters of the Republic of Nicaragua during the first months of 1984, the United States of America has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State, not to intervene in its affairs, not to violate its sovereignty and not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce;
  • Decides that, by the acts referred to in subparagraph (6) hereof the United States of America has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligations under Article XIX of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the United States of America and the Republic of Nicaragua signed at Managua on 21 January 1956;
  • Decides that the United States of America, by failing to make known the existence and location of the mines laid by it, referred to in subparagraph (6) hereof, has acted in breach of its obligations under customary international law in this respect;
  • Decides that the United States of America, by the attacks on Nicaraguan territory referred to in subparagraph (4) hereof, and by declaring a general embargo on trade with Nicaragua on 1 May 1985, has committed acts calculated to deprive of its object and purpose the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on 21 January 1956;
  • Decides that the United States of America, by the attacks on Nicaraguan territory referred to in subparagraph (4) hereof, and by declaring a general embargo on trade with Nicaragua on 1 May 1985, has acted in breach of its obligations under Article XIX of the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on 21 January 1956;
  • Decides that the United States of America is under a duty immediately to cease and to refrain from all such acts as may constitute breaches of the foregoing legal obligations;
  • Decides that the United States of America is under an obligation to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua by the breaches of obligations under customary international law enumerated above. Etc.

Defying the judgment of the eminent jurists of the World Court US never paid reparations to Nicaragua. The question that arises from this is simple : if America, the self-appointed guardian  of international law and morality, can reject a judgment of the independent World Court why can’t Iran, Syria and N. Korea refuse to comply with a mere resolution passed by a non-judicial, politicized  body like the UNHRC? America’s failure to give credible moral leadership has undermined and reduced its image to that of a brutal Indian rapist getting away with impunity in Delhi.

Besides, how many resolutions passed by the UN Security Council – the highest law-making body – have been honoured in the breach than in the observance by many other nations? And how many illegal moves have been initiated and implemented by US to block international law? For instance, when Nicaragua went to the UN asking for compensation as laid down in the ICJ judgment US used its veto in the Security Council to block it.

Israel and Nicaragua are only two glaring examples out of the multitude of resolutions and judgments gathering dust in the shelves of the UN. If Keshap had taken greater care to check the facts before letting his loose tongue run riot in Colombo he would have known that there are many skeletons hidden in the cupboards of the State Department. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, his false statement  that Sri Lanka is the only nation, other than N. Korea, Syria and Iran, to have not honoured a UN resolution can explain why US foreign policy has run aground in many critical global flash-points. If the State Department can’t get its basic facts right how can it devise effective policies to resolve global crises?

Sri Lanka like most other small nations has been a victim of Big  Power interventions. Besides, Sri Lanka is in a unique position where the UNHRC in the first instance commended its role of ending the war against Tamil terrorism. So when Keshap lectures to Sri Lanka based on misleading information and double standards to force it to comply with the American-led resolution there is no moral obligation for Sri Lanka to follow the diktats of the State Department. For the sake of argument, Sri Lanka can easily turn round and accuse US of not following the first decision of the UNHRC. If Sri Lanka could gather just a few more votes at the UNHRC to overturn the American-led resolution it could easily end American bullying overnight. Clearly, it is not morality that won in Geneva. America managed to win through its mighty muscle power. Of the three resolutions passed by the UNHRC there is greater moral weight in the first one which commended Sri Lanka than in the second and third ones manipulated by America to suit pursue its anti-Sri Lankan agenda. The only reason why Sri Lanka is under pressure now is because of politico-economic clout of America.

So it isn’t too late for American to adopt a mid-course correction to its misguided and misinformed policy on Sri Lanka and return to its moral base – a base on which it lays so much emphasis – rather than sticking to its might-is-right policy which has driven it insanely into the prevailing international disasters, killing more civilians than Bush Jr., under the stewardship of a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Undoubtedly, a return to basic morality can save America’s lost prestige in the  global theatre which it once dominated with a respectable commitment to values. After attaining great civilizational and technological heights it would be a colossal tragedy if America should be remembered in the history of the multipolar world as a nation that declined because it lost its moral base in its last phase.

America should not leave room for another  Edward Gibbons to write The Decline and Fall of American Empire due to its moral corruption. Gibbon’s verdict on the history of the Middle Ages is memorable, apt and telling: “I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion.”

Is this going to be epitaph on the grave of America?

9 Responses to “Lies and deceptions cannot prevent America’s decline Part II”

  1. jayasiri Says:

    Many thanks Mr.Mahindapala for a very upto the point analysis of American foreign policy. I wish our other Sri Lankan contributors should act on this subject, further to enlighten our own people in Lanka & abroad.

    It is very useful to show how the so called big powers of the world act as bullies in the stage of world politics. We should encourage our contributors to LANKAWEB to take up the task of proceeding further about this subject. IF NOT USA will continue to harass small nations like Sri Lanka by telling FALSE facts & try to getaway with.

    Hope there will be volunteers coming forward & repudiate USA actions…….Thank you all……..J

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    If Saudi oil fields can be changed hands MOST world problems will resolve.

    USA gets over a TRILLION dollars worth goods and services from other countries for FREE thanks to the PETRODOLLAR.

    BUST it and you bust terrorism.

  3. AnuD Says:

    I don’t know whether the Iraq turmoil is the work of CIA or not. I feel that they want Iraq politically divided, so that, they can exploit Oil very cheap and no effort at all. I mean now they want iraq united. That means a weak coalition which can be manipulated easily.

    What ever it is they have done it in Sudan, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq… They did it in Korea, Germany and in the middle east and they won it. Who knows they might win or Iran may win.

    That is why they want political solutions in Sri Lanka too. Shanti – countries are easy to control. If that happens Asia is in their hands ?

  4. AnuD Says:

    “he accused Sri Lanka of being the only country — other than N. Korea, Syria and Iran – that has categorically refused to cooperate with UN probes”

    I think MAhinda Rajapakse is the man we want as president.

  5. AnuD Says:

    ” America should not leave room for another Edward Gibbons to write The Decline and Fall of American Empire due to its moral corruption. Gibbon’s verdict on the history of the Middle Ages is memorable, apt and telling: “I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion.””

    I heard at the end of the Roman Period UPPITY women of the ROman Kingdom, during the evening, roamed around the city looking for men for the night.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    “he accused Sri Lanka of being the only country — other than N. Korea, Syria and Iran – that has categorically refused to cooperate with UN probes.”

    ISRAEL too!

    GOSL must stand its ground. SL is fighting for ASIA here. Lets get a UNSC showdown.

    Saudi is also behind Iraq violence. Saudi wants to CONTAIN Shia Islam. Iraq has a Shia majority. Sunnis are the WORST of the lot doing MOST BARBARIC acts (e.g. FSA, ISIL, AQ, Taliban).

  7. Leela Says:

    Thank you very much for exposing the American hypocrisy. I believe this must be done by those who live in the west and the US consistently and routinely. So long as patriotic Sri Lankans remain united against neo-cons and their agents we shall not fall and even prevail in the end.

  8. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    The only Elephant that was missed in the room is INDIA. If not for India the Eelam war would not have lasted that long or be that intense. If not for India the US would not have formed the human rights accords. Even now Jayalalithaa is screaming her head out about Indian fishermen being “mass slaughtered” by the Sri Lankan navy and Eelam should be formed
    Karunanidhi is happily resurrecting every pro LTTE organization he can find and New Delhi is still harping on amendment 13.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    List of countries USA spied on.

    SL is included.

    http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/world/list-of-foreign-governments-and-organizations-authorized-for-surveillance/1133/

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