Editorial: Partners in Crime

Intercontinental Cry

Jan 24, 2013

By Jay Taber


With the scandalous abuses of power by US, EU and UN humanitarian agencies over the last dozen years, little attention has been paid to the creation, co-optation and corruption of human rights NGOs that help lay the groundwork for humanitarian intervention using the militaries of NATO to subdue states resistant to US control. Yet, as an increasingly vital element of justifying military aggression for allegedly humanitarian purposes, NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have become what the Centre for the Study of Interventionism terms partners of the UN Human Rights Council that are in reality, “para-governmental organisations whose goal is to introduce the concept of interventionism in those regions where NATO and its allies want to intervene to pursue their geo-strategic interests.”

As PR puppets of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), these NGOs help sow division in civil society, and help promote regime change by means of interventions in electoral processes, economic sanctions and military coups. Through joint lobbying at the Human Rights Council, in addition to direct interference in the internal affairs of foreign states, these para-governmental organisations often obtain support for interventions based on little more than hearsay and accusations created out of thin air.

As the revolving door between the U.S. State Department, the UN and NGOs churns out perpetrators like Suzanne Nossel, the credibility of the human rights industry not only loses legitimacy, but creates the conditions for all NGOs to be treated abroad with the same suspicions as U.S. embassy personnel who’ve engaged in destabilization campaigns alongside NED, USAID and CIA agent provocateurs. While this might not trouble the higher echelon at the State Department, those who inevitably find themselves threatened, arrested or held hostage might view it otherwise. At a time when we desperately need to build greater trust between the peoples of the world, this human rights charade is rapidly putting that goal out of reach.


[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

Comments are closed.