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RIA Novosti
December 11, 2008
Universal illusion of human rights

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Dmitry Kosyrev) - This was the age of great illusions about the world with no wars and justice for all. On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the three year-old United Nations adopted and proclaimed by Resolution 217 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the UN honored its adoption by establishing Human Rights Day on December 10.

In the 20th and now the 21st centuries, the world has not been good at implementing the declaration. In fact, it was no better than in the Middle Ages when the governments stopped at nothing to carry out sacred religious rules. Judging by the absolute figures of the killed, enslaved, and deprived of the right to speak their native tongue, the recent record is even worse.

Probably, nobody has surpassed Adolf Hitler in human rights violations. The postwar period saw genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda, and events in Iraq and South Ossetia. I am talking here only about mass murders, not other human rights violations.

Human societies, their mass mentality, and economic realities are resisting the documents which explain how everything should be arranged. We should accept this as a fact, and proceed from it.

We are witnessing the utter failure of the great experiment launched by Western civilization to turn the declaration-defined human rights concept into an ideological stick, which would enable it to dominate many other countries. There were too many cases when everything started with a well-orchestrated human rights campaign, and ended with a war to change a political regime. Incidentally, opponents of these regimes violated human rights on the same scale. Yugoslavia and Kosovo is just one example.

A global human rights Al-Qaeda has been set up, where deadly idealism is accompanied by monstrous cynicism. In any event, this part of world history is over because the West's strongest country has broken its back in Iraq, the cradle of civilization by strange coincidence. It transpires that human rights cannot be enforced without powerful military and financial efforts.

In the meantime, the countries outside the West have begun to consider the declaration Euro-Atlantic rather than universal. A host of other declarations appeared to distinguish one civilization from another: declarations of Muslim rights, Russian Orthodox rights, and so on.

All of them are very similar to the universal declaration because there are no major differences in the interpretation of human rights by different societies.