Thursday, November 10, 2005

Countries of Particular Concern

The US State Department has just released a report in which they have named their Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs).
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in Washington Tuesday, said, "These are countries where governments have engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom over the past year. We are committed to seeking improvements in each of these countries."
These CPCs are Burma, China, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam.
Under 1998 legislation, this designation of religious freedom violators provides the US government with punitive steps against CPCs. Apparently, most of these countries are already targeted by pre-existing US sanctions.
What bothers me the most about all this is that although Saudi Arabia is on this list, measures against them were waived for 6 months about 2 months ago. I would really like to know why? Then there is China, who became a preferred trading partner under the infamous Clinton.
I would really like to know how they are going to handle this? It is easy for the US to take "punitive" steps against the smaller countries that have next to no impact on American economics, but what will they do with the bigger countries. Will they do something against countries that stand no chance against the American juggernaut and leave the big countries alone to carry on with their human rights violations, or will they do what is right instead of what is convenient?
Look, I love the US and I lived there for two years (1999-2000)--loving evry minute of it! So, what I am saying is not to dig at someone I despise. I am concerned that the American government will lose their moral compass in favour of economic expediency.
I know that here in South Africa our government has lost their moral compass. They no longer know the difference between right and wrong. In fact, I do not know if they know what is right at all! China is definitely one of South Africa's preferred trading partners and in fact will do nothing about that since the communistic Chinese government gave the ANC a lot of help in their struggle for freedom and "democracy." The ANC's stance is that they will not turn their back against their former partners in the struggle. No matter that these "partners" are also involved in gross human rights violations.
Will the US government, and indeed my own government here in South Africa have the moral "guts" to do anything at all with regard to these violations against humanity? I think not!
Will governments stand for justice or will injustice prevail?
I agree with John Owen who said that God will not bless nations whose leaders do not live lives of personal holiness! He said that "the people of Israel were at the height of their fortunes when their leaders were godly."
Just thinking...

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