Some recent news from the Empire:
The United States on Monday dropped Vietnam from its list of nations that severely violate religious freedom ahead of a visit by President George W. Bush, citing improvement in its tolerance for religious expression.
Leading US dissenter William Blum highlights the hypocrisy of the decision:
In removing Vietnam from the list, the State Department was ignoring the US government’s own Commission on International Religious Freedom, a congressionally mandated advisory body, which had called for Vietnam to be kept on the list. The Commission also called for Pakistan and Turkmenistan to be added. This, too, was ignored by the White House.
Foreign policy considerations routinely play a decisive role in determining who’s included and who’s not on various State Department lists. This is no small matter, for inclusion on one of the lists can lead to economic and other sanctions. It’s thus another weapon Washington has available to bend the world to its will.