Crusade for a Christian Civilization, March-April 1977,
, pages 2-6 New Rochelle, N.Y.
THE AMERICAN TFP ISSUES DECLARATION ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN
AVERS CARTER'S DEMOCRATIC UTOPIANISM FAVORS COMMUNIST EXPANSION
Seeing a danger to American and hemispheric security in President Carter's policy on human rights, the American TFP has issued a position paper on this policy, with respect to the way it is being applied in relation to our main allies in South America — Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and several others.
The declaration of the TFP shows that the Carter administration has embraced a democratic utopianism which, as it is applied, brings pressure to bear on other sovereign nations in order to get them to increase the liberties within their borders until, presumably, those liberties exist in an absolute and totally unrestricted way. It proves that such a policy, which is now being applied most significantly and strongly against the anti-communist nations of
Latin America, favors the expansion of Communism in South Americaand the increasing isolation of the from its traditional allies. And it observes that the friction already produced by this policy "seriously hampers American influence in the United States Western Hemisphere."
A Policy That Separates Restrictions on Human Rights from Their Cause, Communism
A superficial study might view the Carter policy on human rights as fair because of its willingness to criticize restrictions on liberty in both Communist and anti-communist nations. In reality, however, it is suicidal to try to abstract the question of human rights violations from the cause of those violations, Communism.
Once implanted in a nation, the Communist ideology is applied with all of the resources that a totalitarian state can command in order to deprive men of property and destroy Christian tradition and the family. Since it is anti-natural, it cannot sustain itself in power without the brutal repression of the human rights of speech, assembly, religion, property, etc. As long as the Communist Party has control of a nation, human rights in that country will be violated on a massive scale.
Communist parties and other Marxist organizations make no secret of their goal to subject the whole world to Communist dictatorship. Communist regimes such as Soviet Russia and
openly state that it is their policy to export Communist ideology to the Cuba Western Hemisphereby means of agitation, infiltration, subversion, and terrorism through local Marxist organizations.
A growing number of scholars, public officials, and military experts are saying that the growing Soviet military build up is aimed at aggression against the West. In the
, the ultimate goal of Communism is to diminish American power and conquer Americas Latin America. Within this framework of international insecurity, wages psychological revolutionary war in the four corners of the world. Russia
The TFP observes that this "type of action is developed in
South Americawith great intensity. On certain occasions, as a fruit of this action,
favorable conditions were created on that continent for the spreading of subversion coming from
. This aggression comes in the form of guerrilla warfare, terrorism, etc., which caused thousands of deaths in countries such as Cuba , Chile , and Colombia . Some Latin American countries, such as Uruguay , are today still covered with blood due to this type of Communist intervention." Argentina
Because public opinion rejects Communism, it has no success in convincing the electorate to vote it into power nationally, and must rely upon subversion, trickery, and violence to achieve this end. This being the case, nations must be prepared to defend themselves in order to remain free. And this necessarily involves a restriction to some extent of the liberty of Communist subversives and terrorists.
From all of this we see that the total loss of human liberty in Communist nations and its partial restriction in those that are still free, have one and the same cause: Communism. In the case of the free nations, they accept a partial limitation of freedom in order to defend themselves against the ideological and socio-politico-economic system which would deprive them of all liberty.
In this respect, the TFP notes: "One of the qualities currently attributed to democracy – which is a condition for its own viability – consists precisely in its ability to protect itself by limiting certain constitutional guarantees in case of imminent external or internal danger. Thus all democratic constitutions of the world contain provisions about state of siege, state of alarm, state of emergency, etc.
"Even those countries in
South Americawhich have been the least disrupted are hardly in the kind of normal state which would permit the full enjoyment of certain legal guarantees of human rights." In view of this, it seems undeniable that human liberties must suffer some restrictions in these countries.
Accordingly, it would not be right to treat as equal the total loss of human rights in Communist nations such as
and Russia and the partial limitation of liberty that temporarily exists in the Latin American countries of Cuba , Brazil , and Argentina . The ordinary citizens in these anti-communist countries enjoy the most complete liberty and are in no sense in a condition comparable to the enslaved millions imprisoned behind the iron and cane curtains. Uruguay
If it would not be right to treat our friends and enemies as equals, how can we possibly justify giving better treatment to our enemies than to our friends? Yet, this is what is happening. At the same time the Carter administration has been moving to take economic measures against
and Uruguay , efforts are also being made to open friendly dialogues with Argentina and Vietnam . In the case of Cuba , Secretary of State Vance has gone so far as to declare that there are no previous conditions for a dialogue with Castro's regime. In contrast, previous conditions have been demanded of our Chilean allies. Cuba
In demanding the immediate and total application of civil liberties throughout
South America, the Carter administration is ignoring the fact that a partial limitation on these liberties is necessary because the circumstances are not normal. There is a difference between the reality that exists in South Americaand the reality that the new, and perhaps inexperienced, bureaucrats would like to exist. Washington
Thus the TFP observes that "one of the principal programs of the Communist movements in
South Americaconsists in uniting themselves with all forces which want to fight against the restrictions on human rights. This fight is being waged in the name of a hypothetical absolute liberty (which obviously does not exist in any Communist country) with the certainty
that through it Communism will gain freedom of movement and be able to wage its revolutionary psychological war, or even, eventually, carry out its military threats more easily. In this respect, one sees, for instance, the unusual spectacle of certain Catholic Bishops forming a united front with the Communists in search of this goal.
”We note in passing that all this agitation is clearly and almost fanatically anti-American."
The Concept of Human Rights
After having seen the inconsistencies in this policy, one might be inclined to think that it lacks any kind of rigidity, intransigence, or dogmatism. However, this is not what the TFP sustains. Rather it sees that the Carter administration has taken upon itself the right of "defining dogmatically and with absolute validity for all peoples a great number of these controversial points (about human rights) — as if it were a kind of infallible Vatican defining the nature of civil liberties which all nations have to accept."
And it continues: "The formation of pressures, programs, and agencies by the
government in order to bring sanctions against the U.S.
countries which are supposedly not respecting human rights — according to the new rules established by the Carter administration — places all countries under its doctrinal and moral guardianship. This confers on the State Department and certain congressional committees the character of a kind of would-be philosophical and juridical sect, or of a
without any specifically religious profession but with attributes of a peculiar doctrinal and moral infallibility. Lay Church
"On the other hand, this perplexing policy attributes to the
a mission as a guardian nation of human rights in the whole world, very similar to the way certain nations constituted the Holy Alliance in the nineteenth century to serve as guardian of the principles to which the French Revolution had shown hostility. U.S.
"This tutelage exerted by the Holy Alliance is considered by the most resolute and characteristic democrats to have been not only odious but also an offense against national sovereignties. It is not comprehensible that in 1977 a kind of lay Holy Alliance should reappear, formed by only one country which designates itself to be a universal arbiter, and which takes as its basis the opinions (sometimes vague, nebulous, and capriciously defined) of our President's administration. In addition, it uses certain means of pressure which, in this our world of interdependence, end up by being coercive economically and militarily. With such means, one tends to establish not a Holy Alliance properly speaking, but rather a kind of unholy dictatorship of only one nation over the others, upon which it attempts to impose its own debatable moral concepts.
"Such conduct has very serious political implications, since it has been applied with unusual virulence precisely against our most faithful allies. It is no wonder that they consider this policy to be an inadmissible interference in their internal affairs and consequently turn away from us... In fact, upon learning of the pressures Washington is applying to their government, the public opinion of the target country may take one of two different directions: Either the people will be influenced and turn against their own government — a case in which Washington would be directly stirring internal opposition against friendly governments — or, on the contrary, they will react in defense of national sovereignty and their governments, turning against the United States. In both cases, we shall be placed in a situation which is embarrassing and harmful to our own national interests.
"Furthermore, this situation raises a series of problems which are difficult to solve, such as religious freedom, currently considered to be a fundamental human right. It is known that there is Communist infiltration in the Catholic Church in
Latin America... Now then, when these governments act to defend themselves against the subversion entrenched in the Church, to what extent will these actions be considered by the `moralists' of the State Department or the Congress to be an attempt against religious freedom and, therefore, against human rights? Will a kind of lay Inquisition be set up in in order to judge the internal actions of each country, its intentions, the circumstances, etc.?" Washington
In the ultimate analysis, the Carter policy, in disrespecting the national sovereignties of friendly and allied governments, is provoking
innumerable difficulties and unnecessary international crises which weaken the already feeble Western alliance. Furthermore, it favors Communist opposition to these same friendly governments.
Thus we are obliged to conclude that the Carter policy is characterized by a democratic utopianism which systematically works in favor of Communism, especially Soviet Communism.
and Russia , the very human rights that Carter's administration declares it wants to preserve, are gravely endangered, total populations being enslaved within these vast prisons, from which they may not leave. Thus in favoring the interests of Communist expansionism in Cuba South America, this policy favors the conquest of Communism there and the total loss of the human rights it is ostensibly designed to protect. At the same time, there is no evidence that this policy is doing anything to weaken the Communist empires either from the standpoint of obtaining an increase in liberty for the oppressed populations or by reversing the Kissingerian policy of concessions which has done so much to shore up these sagging regimes politically and economically.
"Therefore" — as the TFP points out — "preoccupation with the defense of human rights should consist above all in helping the Christian nations of Latin America to defend their sovereignties, which are threatened by Communist subversion, and not as is happening today, in defending the Communist aggressors against the reaction of legitimate self-defense (at times perhaps exaggerated, but always necessary) by the nations who suffer aggression.
"As a matter of fact, it is evident that many demagogic and propagandistic denunciations of repression in South America have been made in general by elements connected with the Communist propaganda machine and then been inflated before the whole world by the orchestration of leftist media. As an example, we cite the international uproar orchestrated by the progressive or even pro-communist South American clergy, which the recent TFP books have shown to be mere 'fellow travelers' of the Communists.
"In the final analysis, human rights in
South Americamay suffer two kinds of threats: those coming from Latin America's own conditions and external ones. The external threats are much graver and more dangerous. The new policy is aimed at defending Washington Latin Americaagainst a less grave evil, that is, the possible excesses in the repression of Communism. In doing that, it ties up and stifles Latin America, attempting to prevent it from fighting against its much more dangerous enemy, which is Communism. Such a procedure is completely contrary to the most cherished American ideals and interests.
"The means being used by
to promote human rights in Washington South Americaare unwise, for these nations will tend to resist our heavy-handed efforts to influence them. When we attack their self-respect, they will turn away from us, as is already happening in the case of , Brazil , Argentina , and Chile . Uruguay
"But there is a special aggravating factor. At the same time that we thus treat our allies, as if handing them over to our enemies, we treat
, a self-professed enemy, with an extreme tolerance. In Cuba human rights are incomparably more trampled upon than in any other country of Cuba Latin America. The very national sovereignty of does not exist; it is a bankrupt puppet which has been mortgaged to the Cuba . How can we explain, then, so much deference towards USSR ? Cuba
"But there is even more. In the international sphere, American diplomacy continues practicing all of the concessions established by the Kissingerian detente toward the countries behind the Iron Curtain. And while all kinds of concessions, good will, credits, wheat, and even strategic materials are going to them, pressures, credit curtailments, and threats are unleashed against our allies of
"For President Carter's administration to use
influence and friendship in a cordial way to invite nations to curb any real and proven human rights violations is naturally commendable. But this must be done with due respect for local sovereignties, in a diplomatic and discreet way, without indulging ourselves in a demagogic uproar. U.S.
"But what will happen if this present incomprehensible policy prevails? The
will each day be more isolated, for our allies obviously will not allow the caprices of the State Department and certain Congressmen to disrespect their national sovereignty. Many frictions and situations of crisis caused by the implementation of this policy are already developing. United States
"On the other hand, Communist propaganda in
Latin Americawill gain a new impulse to stir up anti-American feeling in the population and isolate that continent from the . United States
"Thus, if this policy is to be continued, Mr. Carter will not succeed in making friends out of our enemies, but rather lose the few friends the
has left. And Communist expansion will find the way more open and free of obstacles in order to conquer United States Latin America."