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  • Talk is Cheap: The Obama Administration on Democracy Promotion and Human Rights

    Diplomacy and development have been major administration priorities as illustrated by the State Department’s first ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) intended to provide the short-, medium-, and long-term blueprint for our diplomatic and development efforts.

    On December 14, 2009, Secretary Clinton gave democracy its due in a lecture at Georgetown University which stressed the parallels between democracy promotion and human rights:

    Our human rights agenda for the 21st century is to make human rights a realist, and the first step is to see human rights in a broad context…people must be free from oppression or tyranny, from torture, from discrimination, from the fear of leaders who will imprison…them. But they must also be free from the oppression of want – want of food, want of health, want of education, and want of equality in law and in fact…That is why supporting democracy and fostering development are cornerstones of our 21st century human rights agenda.

    When reading this speech, however, a fundamental question comes to mind: Now that the administration acknowledges that “democracy has proven the best political system for making human rights a human reality” when will the administration ante up and actually promote democracy and human rights?

    So far the administration’s record has been one of inaction:

    1. During the United States’ reset phase with Russia, Hillary Clinton failed to acknowledge Russia’s lack freedom in the media including murders of prominent journalists, the fact that there are still Russian troops stationed in Georgia, and the countless atrocities committed against civilians Chechnya.
    2. When it comes to Darfur, President Obama’s tune has flattened from when he was candidate Obama. Out on the campaign trail he stood side by side human rights activists pledging tougher sanctions and a possible no-fly zone if a Sudanese regime infamous for genocide didn’t shape up. As president, Obama appointed a Scott Gration as special envoy to Darfur, who has suggested that “cookies” and “gold stars” be used to persuade the genocide prone government.
    3. Last February, when Secretary Clinton visit Asia and was asked about human rights abuses in China, she responded, human rights issues “cannot interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis.”
    4. In June, Obama was unnervingly slow to officially question the results of the fraudulent Iranian elections or even condemn the brutal suppression of opposition protestors.
    5. Despite finding time to meet with Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Vladimir Putin Obama snubbed the Dalai Lama during his visit in October (who was awarded a human rights prize at the U.S. Capitol). Apparently he did not want to offend China, one of the world’s most notorious human rights abusers.

    President Obama won plaudits during the campaign from human rights advocates for his strong positions on a variety of human rights issues. Since he has been in office, his actions have failed to live up to his campaign rhetoric. It’s time for the administration to put up or shut up on human rights.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Talk is Cheap: The Obama Administration on Democracy Promotion and Human Rights

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Secretary Clinton's words sound good but are totally empty and why not? Her husband, former President Clinton, spent eight years spewing empty words and was dubbed a "beloved" leader by the Left.

      If Secretary Clinton needs to see proof of why handing out money to "the oppressed" is a fruitless, never ending waste of time and money, all she has to do is look at the Welfare system of the USA. Look how well that works!

    2. dennis.... florida says:

      Our government has turned into a three ring circus. If you want to see the biggest congragation of con-artist',.just look at Washington.

    3. Roger S., Ma. says:

      All good points, Morgan! But, you missed the most obvious: the necessary contradictions between many of Hillary's enumerated human rights. For example, if Democracy is to ensure that every human being be free from "want", then it will have to vote for coercive government practices. And, as we know, a thus inflated government must produce forever more want than it could satisfy before "running out of other people's money"!

      Which leaves us with the original American idea for a proper government by and for real human beings: a Constitutional Republic of limited government powers. Although this form of rule is far from having the ability to provide hand-outs to all comers, it is the only system which ENABLES all those striving to perform their best, while by their sheer example encouraging to move forward those who have lagged. And THAT is the necessary precondition for lowering the total level of "want" in society, including an individual's want of liberty.

      All of which helps to explain why the Left's rhetoric has forever remained just that; why have all the empty phrases spewed by such as Jimmy, Billy, Hillary and "Barry". They failed to fill those phrases because of false premises and a lie: that all freedoms are equal and therefore equally obtainable by coercion (false premise), and that a government will do better providing for people what they can't or won't provide for themselves (the lie). To create an aphorism: It's either freedom to want, or freedom from want! — The two are mutually exclusive.

    4. Dale, Cincinnati says:

      Once more the left shows that their perspective of the world is no better than a teenager's. Like an adolescent, Hillary doesn't appears to understand the difference between "needs" and "wants". She, as well as the left, also fails to understand that the best help the United States can provide is support for those trying to meet their own needs.

      To accomplish this the US 'needs' to take a principled stand on human rights issues and for programs that lift people from the grip of poverty, both domestically and abroad.

    5. Grace, Florida says:

      I think freedom is one of our human rights and we are losing that. What about our human rights?

    6. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      Social justice, human rights, free from want etc. all words/ideas that have been hijacked by the left and no longer have much worth. They are being used in this administration as weapons to change this nation from one of a free, prosperous (and a religious and giving people) to a progressive coercive marxist government. Far from a democratic free people, they would impose their will and take away our human rights in the process.

    7. Charles-Odessa says:

      If you are playing football and want to tackle the person with the ball-you watch his belly button area. When dealing in politics-watch their friends and their action/reaction.

      Words can be fake moves-action speaks for itself.

    8. philip says:

      The democrats and their party have no grounds to stan on when it comes to human rights.When they want to give jail time to any one who refuse their health care plan, and or fines and they claim to be for human rights. but it's al right for China and Russia to turn their head on human right of thier people and they say it is not our afair. The democrat party just use human rights as a ploy to hide their agenda and lies.while threatening party member and bribe them into voting for their health care plan that is extorion and treason.

    9. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      The only thing that the two House and the President give us is,"Cheap Talk." Everything else, they give to themselves at great expense to the Taxpayer! Flights here, lunches there, dinners for those, flowers for these, and the list goes on! And every Project they dream up, they hire more people to dream with them.

      Then they hire even moe to do 'Studies." Then they hire people to study those Studies.

      Yessir! They sure know how to spend a lot of money getting no where fast. It would be cheaper to send them somewhere free, like voting them out of Office!

    10. Drew Page,IL says:

      The politicians in power today don't give a tinker's damn about human rights. If they did, they wouldn't be trying to shove national health care down our throats; they wouldn't be trying to con us into the Cap & Trade bill; they wouldn't running up the national debt to the highest level in history; they wouldn't be taxing our businesses out of business and our citizens out of all they own; they wouldn't be trying to eviscerate the Second Amendment, or telling our kids they can't say "one nation, under God" in the pledge of alliegence; and they wouldn't be constantly poking their damn noses into every area of our lives.

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