Middle East Eye
17 March 2018
The Washington Spectator
When scattered protests broke out in Iran at the end of December, Donald Trump took enthusiastically to Twitter to interpret the events for the rest of the world: “The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The US is watching!”
And again: “The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”
The press breathlessly followed suit. As Oxford-based historian of modern Iran Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi observed on December 30, “Within the space of some 24 hours, nearly every mainstream Western media outlet has inclined to assimilate legitimate expressions of socio-economic distress and demands for greater governmental accountability into a question of ‘regime change.’”
Unsurprisingly, no such ruckus was elicited by events much closer to home—in that part of the so-called U.S. “backyard” known as Honduras—where protests following November elections that were widely denounced as fraudulent had reportedly left at least 31 dead by the beginning of January.
Indeed, the United States has never watched too closely for human rights violations in Honduras—perhaps because the United States is itself often complicit. (Not that the gringos haven’t been implicated in abuses in Iran: the 1953 CIA coup that overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the demo- cratically elected prime minister, comes to mind, as does the ensuing reign of the notoriously repressive shah, a dedicated U.S. ally and obsessive purchaser of American weapons.)
Back in the 1980s, for example, Honduras was the playground for the CIA-trained death squad Battalion 3-16, while also serving as a launchpad for the U.S. Contra war on neighboring Nicaragua—a lengthy affair that was blatantly irreconcilable with even the most forgiving of human rights standards. READ MORE AT THE WASHINGTON SPECTATOR.