By Brenda Norrell
When the US State Dept. announced "Listening Conferences" for the first-ever UN Periodic Review on Human Rights, Russell Means called it a "Dog and Pony Show." It was difficult to envision at that time what a Dog and Pony Show it would be.
Now, that it is over, the big question is: Where were President Obama and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton? Why weren't they at the United Nations beingthe held responsible for the ongoing violations of US human rights? Of course, George Bush and Dick Cheney are long gone, basking in publicity and book tours, instead of answering for US torture in violation of Geneva Conventions.
First of all, the US State Dept. wasted the time and money of Native Americans, along with everyone else, by asking them to travel to "Listening Conferences," to offer testimony. Not only did the US ignore the comments of American Indians in the official report, but the US summaries on the State Dept. website is pathetic, lacking names and key issues.
Still, at the United Nations, countries confronted the US with its human rights violations, including torture and the phony war on terrorism. Mexico confronted the US with racial profiling at the US border and its careless use of lethal force on migrants, some of the most desperate people on earth, walking across continents to survive.
Since the mainstream media appears to have been reproduced by seedpods (as foretold in the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers) you will have to dig deep to find what the US was confronted with at the United Nations.
As for the Dog and Pony Show, the next time the US State Dept. asks you to travel on your own dime to report US human rights abuses, better save that dime to rent the video, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Ultimately, there is still a larger question looming: Does it do any good to report anything to the United Nations? You decide.