Belarus government 'human rights report' blasts U.S. suppression of Texas

Radio Free Europe reports that the Belarusian government, a last bastion of authoritarianism in Europe frequently blasted by Western government and human rights organizations for its crackdowns on the media and opposition groups, has struck back with a human rights report of its own. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs report, titled, "Human Rights Violations  in Certain Countries in 2012,"  aims to highlight “human rights violations in those countries that traditionally represent themselves as “developed democracies”.

The report surveys 23 European countries plus the United States. The U.S. section makes for interesting bizzaro-land reading.  There are a few real-world issues that are frequently brought up by activists in the United States, such as the police crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street and last year's anti-NATO demonstrations in Chicago, concerns about privacy wiretapping, and drone strikes, as well as the fact that "600 thousand of Washington’s residents are not entitled to elect their representatives to the Senate and the House of Representatives."

The authors also seem to relish pointing out the difficultires faced by OSCE observers during last year's election in some parts of the country.

There are also some strange inaccuracies, such as the reference to "G. Stein, a candidate from the Green Party, [who] has on several occasions during the electoral campaign been subjected to administrative arrest, owing to his participation in peace protests." Jill Stein, who is a woman, was arrested at an environmental protest. With some unclear wording the report alsoseems to  imply that the U.S. government paid to broadcast the Innocence of Muslims on Pakistani TV rather than ads disavowing it.

Then there's the report's bizarre fixation on U.S. state secession campaigns: 

In November, people in seven American federal states collected sufficient numbers of signatures necessary for a secession from the USA. The civil petitions have been posted on a White House website’s special section, where people can leave their submissions or join those posted earlier. To begin dealing with a petition, the White House needs to receive at least 25 thousand signatures in 30 days. Once this requirement is met, an official response will be published on the website.

The Texas’ petition gathered more than 125 thousand signatures. The petition points out that the US economic travails resulted from the Federal Government’s failure to reform fiscal policies. In addition to Texas, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have also collected the required numbers. 

So far, the White House has not considered the civilian petitions, which can be regarded as violation of the right to self-determination.  

It appears that if Texas ever did secede, Belarus might be the first to recognize it. 

Passport

North Korea releases nuclear destruction video set to 'We Are the World'

With a North Korean nuclear test looming imminently on the horizon, the nation's propaganda machine appears to be in full 1980's-pop-swing. Last weekend, the government uploaded a video to its official website depicting a young Korean man falling asleep beside a telescope --don't we all?-- and dreaming happily of a rocket circling the globe. As an instrumental variation of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie's hit charity single from 1985, "We are the World," plays in the background, viewers are treated to images of celebrating North Koreans before the video takes a more ominous turn, depicting a war-torn U.S. city-scape, (incidentally lifted from the video game, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3). The captions running across the screen confirm the video's threatening intentions:

"Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing," runs the caption across the screen.

"It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze with the fire started by itself," it added.

The video ends with the young man concluding that his dream will "surely come true".

"Despite all kinds of attempts by imperialists to isolate and crush us... never will anyone be able to stop the people marching toward a final victory," it said.

 

This isn't the first time the U.S. has been the target of North Korean propaganda. With some of the country's most popular cartoons depicting similarly chilling themes, is it any wonder this young man started dreaming about it?