BAGHDAD, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Despite having long touted itself as a global human rights defender, the United States has, in actuality, been the biggest human rights violator, the very culprit behind many wars, massacres and tortures in the Middle East and beyond, Iraqi experts have said.
Referring to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, injured and detained, Kawa Mahmoud, secretary of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Communist Party/Iraq, said America always talks about protecting human rights while killing innocents indiscriminately in Iraq.
Mahmoud told Xinhua that, on Aug. 12, 2005, a U.S. armored patrol vehicle opened fire at civilians in the suburban town of Ramadi, Iraq, killing 15 Iraqis, including eight children.
According to Statista, a global statistical database, from 2003 to 2021, about 209,000 Iraqi civilians died in wars and violent conflicts, and about 9.2 million Iraqis became refugees or were forced to leave their homeland.
Washington launched a slew of military interventions in, for example, Iraq and Afghanistan, a departure from the resolutions of the United Nations, Mahmoud said.
He noted that the United States has more than 750 military bases across the world, a source of regional conflicts and threat to global peace and security.
In the name of democracy and human rights, the United States has been using military interventions to control certain countries in the Middle East and use them as markets and deplete their resources, Mahmoud said.
Raad Majid, a Iraqi civil activist, slammed U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, which has inflicted tremendous sufferings upon Iraqis.
Adel al-Ghurairi, a lecturer at Baghdad University, said that the sheer number of Iraqis killed by American soldiers stands as the solid evidence of U.S. violation of human rights.
Further evidence was how U.S. soldiers abused detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba and the U.S. prison at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Shahir al-Obaidi, a political researcher at the University of Anbar, told Xinhua.
In 2004, images posted online by U.S. soldiers in the Abu Ghraib prison verified the U.S. forces' jaw-dropping abuse of human rights in Iraq, including torturing prisoners, stripping them naked, and having them piled on top of each other.
Similar abuses abound in Afghanistan, where U.S. forces had long inflicted "torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and sexual abuse" on Afghan detainees, according to media reports in 2021.
Ironically, the United States, a self-proclaimed human rights defender, has been trying to cover up such crimes committed by its soldiers, al-Obaidi said.
The United States seems to allow "its forces and military personnel to engage in all heinous acts with impunity in any country it occupies or wherever it conducts military operations," the expert said.
"Whenever the U.S. is present anywhere, especially if there is a conflict, the result is always cultural, economic, agricultural, and industrial destruction. It leads to destruction in all aspects of life," he said, blasting Washington for inviting endless chaos to regions such as the Middle East.
Al-Ghurairi told Xinhua that he considers the United States as "a rogue state" because it creates crises to fuel conflicts among other countries to serve its own interests.
Washington is accountable for the crimes it committed in Iraq under the pretext of democracy, he argued. What the U.S. has done in Iraq since 2003 "is not a democratic project at all. Rather, it is an occupation and theft of Iraqi wealth." ■