AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the global state of human rights right now, as you see it. You generally live in Berlin. You are here visiting the United States.

WOLFGANG KALECK: Yeah, I mean, everybody’s talking now about Putin and Erdogan, Turkey’s president, and, of course, also about Trump, and rightly so. They have to be criticized on every level. No question about that. But we shouldn’t forget the former “troika of tyranny”: Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney. And everybody tends now, in the light of, you know, the performances of President Trump, to think of these men as honorable, respectful politicians. They weren’t. They were war criminals. And the only reason why they are not in the prison is because the U.S. is so powerful and avoided any kind of accountability. And that is tragic.

And so, like de Zayas, I really think we have to remind what happened after 9/11/2001 here in this country, the serious breaches of international law. And that helped people like Erdogan, like the Chinese and others, to argue, “Why do you remind us of our human rights violation, when you have a prison like Guantánamo and when you’re invading Iraq without any legal justification?” And that is something which is really, really important to consider now.

And the other thing is, all these U.S. interventions, military interventions, all these military dictatorships led to really, really dramatic disasters on the level of these societies. Countries like Chile and Argentina have to struggle with their past until now, because torture is not something that happens at some point in the past. It has an impact on the individuals, on their families, but also on the society. And that is really, really important to bridge between the current situation and that past.

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