Thursday, September 24, 2009

US Human Rights Leadership?

Human rights is a subject of tantamount importance to me, because every time human rights are violated anymore, the more insecure those rights become everywhere, including here.

human-rights From the beginning, the Obama administration has unabashedly embraced the United Nations, pursuing a diplomatic strategy that reflects a belief that the world's sole superpower can no longer afford to go it alone. But, as the U.N. General Assembly gets underway this week, human rights activists and political analysts say the new approach has undercut U.S. leadership on human rights issues

Rights advocates have been frustrated by several episodes. They say U.S. diplomats have sent mixed messages about their intention to reward -- or punish -- the Sudanese government for its alleged role in genocide in Darfur. The United States rejected a U.N. proposal to compel Israel and Hamas to conduct credible investigations into war crimes in the Gaza Strip. And the administration has pursued a low-profile approach to Sri Lanka, where a military offensive against rebels is believed to have killed thousands of civilians.

The administration continues to assert that "the United States is not going to preach its values and not going to impose its values," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "The problem is they are not American values -- they are international values."... [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

I’m all for Obama’s notion that we not impose our own values on others.  The eight years of the Bush/GOP regime should certainly teach us that lesson.  This policy did not undercut US leadership in human rights.  We gave up that claim when Bush and the Republican Party made our nation a human rights pariah by shredding our Constitution at home and torture. rendition for torture, and an illegal preemptive war abroad.  Before we can claim leadership again, we must first represent our belief in human rights by example.  Nevertheless, we must stand up to denounce human rights violations everywhere, regardless of political expediency.  There must be no more favored nations whose abuses we sweep under the rug.  In this area, the Obama administration is moving much to slowly.  If we are to regain the respect and leadership we once had, Obama must represent change the world can believe in.


Brother Tim said...

We had best remove the beam from our own eye first.

I'll bet his speech made the millions of widows and orphans in Iraq and Afghanistan feel all warm and fuzzy. < end snark >

TomCat said...

Brother, I have to agree with you, but I hope that those widows and orphans realize they have the GOP to blame for that.

Brother Tim said...

Only up until 20 Jan 2009.


Nevertheless, we must stand up to denounce human rights violations everywhere, regardless of political expediency.


There can't be two standards of morality -- one for the strong and another for the weak.

gabrielle said...

Yes. And we wage war in the name of exporting "democracy".

TomCat said...

Brother, technically, you're correct, but but takes a considerable amount of time to get up to speed after taking office, and he's had so much on his plate, between the GOP financial disaster, the GOP health care disaster, the GOP climate disaster, the GOP Iraq mess, the GOP Afghanistan disaster, the GOP human rights disaster, etc. ad infinitum. Do you think he deserves some time to catch his breath?

Amen, HB!

Gabrielle, that's giving them the freedom to be exploited by our corporations.