Leading the Alternative World Order

Reshaping Perspectives and Catalyzing Diplomatic Evolution

Thursday, September 21, 2023


Subscribe to our Newsletter

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Never miss a story with active notifications

- Exclusive stories right into your inbox

WorldAmericasThe Washington Post and Western Media's Selective Outrage: Unmasking the Hypocrisy in Global Reporting

The Washington Post and Western Media’s Selective Outrage: Unmasking the Hypocrisy in Global Reporting

In the vast landscape of global journalism, the Western media, particularly outlets like The Washington Post, often position themselves as the paragons of free press and objective reporting. However, a closer examination reveals a pattern of selective outrage and inherent biases, especially when it comes to their portrayal of Asian nations, with India being a prime target.

India, the world’s largest democracy, with its rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions, often finds itself under the Western media’s microscope. While it’s crucial for the press to highlight genuine concerns and issues, the narrative spun by these outlets frequently borders on condescension and lacks nuance. The recent podcast by The Washington Post on journalism in India is a case in point. Instead of a balanced view, it presented a skewed perspective, echoing a long-standing tradition of Western media’s unfair critique of India.

US Actions in Iraq: Human Rights Violations

Amnesty International, a globally recognized human rights organization, recently published a report marking the 20-year anniversary of the US-led coalition’s invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. The report provides a detailed account of the gross human rights violations and serious breaches of international humanitarian law committed by the United States-led Coalition.

Between 2003 and 2011, Amnesty International documented a series of rampant violations by US forces. These included:

Former detainees have come forward with credible allegations of a myriad of abuses they endured in detention centers. These abuses ranged from sleep deprivation and forced nudity to more severe forms of torture, including mock executions and threats of rape.

Elizabeth Rghebi, the Middle East and North Africa Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA, emphasized the lasting impact of these war crimes and atrocities on the Iraqi population. She stated, “To this day, Iraqis are suffering from the devastating impact of war crimes and other atrocities perpetrated by the United States-led coalition in its invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq.”

Despite the gravity of these violations, there has been a glaring lack of accountability. The US has consistently failed to conduct adequate investigations into the widespread human rights violations and war crimes committed by its forces. Even when victims, such as those who endured torture at Abu Ghraib, sought justice and reparation, they faced insurmountable obstacles, especially in US courts.

Amnesty International has repeatedly urged the US government to establish a full, independent commission of inquiry into its detention and interrogation policies and practices in Iraq. However, successive US administrations have turned a blind eye to these calls.

The report also highlights the lack of accountability for senior US administration officials, despite public admissions of involvement in secret detentions by figures like former president George W. Bush and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Such admissions should, under international law, trigger criminal investigations.

Enduring Freedom: A Closer Look at the Abuses by US Forces in Afghanistan

The early 2000s marked a significant shift in global geopolitics, with the United States leading a coalition to wage the “War on Terror.” Afghanistan, being the epicenter of this conflict, witnessed a massive influx of US forces following the September 11 attacks. The operation, codenamed “Enduring Freedom,” aimed to dismantle the Taliban regime and eliminate the Al-Qaeda network.

However, as with many military interventions, the lines between combatants and non-combatants often became blurred. Human Rights Watch, in its 2004 report titled “Enduring Freedom,” delved deep into the human rights abuses committed by US forces in Afghanistan.

Key highlights from similar reports and known issues include:

  • Detention and Torture: Many detainees, held without formal charges, reported being subjected to inhumane treatment. This ranged from physical abuse to psychological torture. Notable detention centers like Bagram became infamous for their harsh interrogation techniques.
  • Civilian Casualties: Airstrikes and ground operations often resulted in significant civilian casualties. While some were accidental, others raised concerns about the rules of engagement followed by US troops.
  • Lack of Accountability: One of the most significant concerns raised by human rights organizations was the lack of accountability. Soldiers and officers involved in abuses often faced minimal disciplinary actions, if any.
  • Local Collaborators: The US forces often collaborated with local warlords and militias. These groups, known for their human rights abuses, received support and resources, further complicating the situation on the ground.

The report by Human Rights Watch likely provided detailed accounts of these abuses, backed by firsthand testimonies, satellite imagery, and other forms of evidence. Such reports underscore the importance of adhering to international human rights standards, even in conflict zones.

The situation in Syria is no different. US soldiers have been implicated in various human rights violations, as highlighted here. Yet, such incidents often get overshadowed by other narratives in the Western media.

The My Lai Massacre: A Dark Chapter in Vietnam War History

On March 16, 1968, the quiet village of My Lai in Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province became the site of one of the most notorious atrocities of the Vietnam War. A company of American soldiers, acting on intelligence that suggested the village was a stronghold for Viet Cong guerrillas, descended upon My Lai. What followed was a horrifying spree of violence that would shock the world.

The Massacre Begins

Under the command of Lieutenant William Calley, the soldiers of Charlie Company entered My Lai, expecting to encounter Viet Cong fighters. Instead, they found a village populated primarily by women, children, and elderly men. Despite the absence of any significant enemy presence, the soldiers began rounding up villagers, inspecting their homes, and within a short span of time, began executing them. Over 500 innocent civilians, including women and children, were brutally murdered. Many women were raped, and the entire village was razed to the ground.

The Cover-Up and Exposure

The My Lai massacre might have remained hidden from public knowledge had it not been for the efforts of certain individuals who were determined to expose the truth. The U.S. Army, aware of the potential scandal, initially attempted to downplay the incident. However, a soldier named Ron Ridenhour, who had heard about the massacre but was not present during the event, began a campaign to bring the incident to light. His efforts, combined with the investigative journalism of Seymour Hersh, finally exposed the My Lai massacre to the world in November 1969.

Iraqis Tortured by the U.S. in Abu Ghraib Never Got Justice

The infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq became a symbol of the dark side of the U.S. military intervention in the country. Before the world witnessed the “shock and awe” of the Iraq invasion and the staged toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue, U.S. special forces, intelligence agents, and private contractors had already begun detaining and interrogating suspects in the new “war on terror.” By the time U.S. troops officially entered Iraq, the maltreatment of these so-called enemy combatants was already a routine practice.

The world got its first glimpse into this dark realm in 2004 when photos from Abu Ghraib prison were released. These images depicted naked, humiliated men being treated like animals—leashed, electrocuted, beaten, and stacked in pyramids—with U.S. military personnel laughing and posing with them. These disturbing visuals revealed a vast torture network that stretched from Afghanistan to Cuba.

Furthermore, the Western media’s patronizing tone towards India and other Asian nations reeks of a colonial hangover. It’s as if these outlets have appointed themselves the global watchdogs, while conveniently ignoring the skeletons in their own closets.

It’s high time that the Western media introspects and acknowledges its double standards. While they are quick to point fingers at India and other Asian nations, they should also be equally vigilant in highlighting the misdeeds of Western powers.

In conclusion, while India, like any other nation, has its challenges, it’s essential to approach them with a balanced perspective. The Western media’s consistent targeting of India, while overlooking the transgressions of their own nations, not only undermines their credibility but also highlights their inherent biases.

For the latest updates and news follow The Eastern Herald on Google News, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. To show your support click here.


Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Editor-in-chief of The Eastern Herald, Political & Foreign Relations Strategist.

Public Reaction

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.