Last week, the UN Human Rights Council passed a US sponsored resolution calling for “accountability” relating to war crimes in Sri Lanka. While thinking about penning my thoughts on the whole episode and its blatant hypocrisy coupled with the fact that a concept such as human rights, which could genuinely be used for the betterment of mankind, is today a mere tool used by the powerful against those who do not toe its line, a joint BBC-Guardian documentary was released.
Originally based on the Wikileaks revelations, this documentary captures in detail how the US government sponsored torture, kidnapping, murder and other forms of human rights violations in Iraq in order to obtain “human intelligence” and how the USA fuelled sectarian violence in Iraq between Shiite and Sunni Muslims to fight the insurgency. Unlike the documentaries put out by Channel 4 on alleged Sri Lanka war crimes, which doesn’t identify perpetrators and is full of simple interpretations and insinuations by the documentary makers, the BBC-Guardian documentary highlights the role of a central figure in this whole episode – Col. James Steeles of the US Army. It provides background, perspective and evidence showing how the highest levels of the US government formulated and strategized the entire operation.
True to form, the North American corporate media which is the mainstream media has chosen to ignore the documentary. It is in public media such as Democracy Now ( http://www.democracynow.org ) that this documentary is being aired and discussed. Strangely, I am yet to see this documentary being highlighted in the Sri Lankan media with the “put the ball back in the others’ court” argument asking whether the USA would conduct a war crimes investigation against its former President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and its commander in Iraq at the time Gen. David Petraeus.
So here is the documentary reproduced for those who have not seen it yet and hoping the Sri Lankan media picks this up.