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Ear to the Ground

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

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Posted on Jan 14, 2009
Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

In addition to chiding the U.S., Human Rights Watch condemned Afghanistan, Israel, Sudan, India and Afghanistan and Palestinian security forces. Pictured above, protesters in Washington, D.C.

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Obama has said that closing Guantanamo Bay is a “priority.”

The Guardian:

Governments indulging in abuse and repression, including the US, are avoiding human rights legislation and international justice by hiding behind the principle of national sovereignty, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warns in a report today.

Abusive practices throughout the world, including Afghanistan, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories, has got worse as governments cling to the concept of non-interference. The US, specifically by secretly rendering prisoners to Guantánamo Bay, has abdicated its traditional role as defender of human rights, it adds.

The 546-page report, the latest annual survey by HRW, says Barack Obama’s administration will have to put human rights at the heart of foreign, domestic and security policy if it is to undo what it calls “the enormous damage” of the George Bush years.

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By Ed, January 14, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The United States has never had any moral authority with respect to human rights. For my generation, that was just cold war propaganda. The United States, to this day, continues killing people for property, wealth, money.

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By TAO Walker, January 14, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

“All the worlds’s a stage,....” and now the U.S. has gone and muffed it’s lines in its “....role as a defender of global human rights:....” “ROLE….”?! Good thing the “reviewers” don’t get too specific here about who the offending “dramatis personae” are here….wouldn’t want to embarrass the thin-skinned, and frightfully reactionary, americanpeople.

This old Savage suggestes respectfully that until the domesticated peoples learn to quit bloviating about the very problematical pickle they’re all in, and actually discuss it sensibly and define it accurately, they haven’t a chance in Hell of ever coming effectively to-grips with any of it.  Their ongoing obsessions with all this kid-stuff are not going to result in anything but their sudden EXIT….from the “scene” of their final “flop.”


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By jr., January 14, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

The united nations is an nice idea, but obviously powerless when needed most.

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