US at fault for not stopping Colombo's abuses- Boston Globe

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2008, 14:40 GMT]
Asserting that “there have been several disturbing examples of the US national interest standing in the way of actions to defend human rights,” Saturday’s Boston Globe editorial blames the United States and Europe for failing to do enough to intervene, asserting that “[t]he United States and its European allies have gone only so far in trying to halt the Darfur genocide,…[or] the Sri Lankan government's abuses of civilians in its counter-insurgency war against the Tamil Tigers…”

The Editorial quotes French Foreign Minister and co-founder of Doctors without Borders, Bernard Kouchner, as saying that "there is a permanent contradiction between human rights and the foreign policy of a state, even in France."

“Successive American administrations have been no less ambivalent than France about the proper role of human rights in government policy,” the editorial says, adding “President Gerald Ford and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, were initially reluctant to include a so-called human rights basket in the 1975 Helsinki Accords with the Soviet Union. But inclusion of that "soft" provision on human rights helped set off processes that led to the peaceful collapse of communism.”

The paper is optimistic that “[t]here is now an assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, and President-elect Barack Obama is also expected to have someone in his National Security Council responsible for human rights,” but cautions that “[i]t is about how willing the governments of the world are to protect vulnerable populations from their own governments.”

The editorial expresses hope that “Obama will stretch the definition of the national interest to include a panoply of actions, short of war, to defend universal human rights.”


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External Links:
BG: Human rights and state power

 

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