March 4, 2010

Obama's Hesitant Embrace of Human Rights

Kenneth Roth, International Herald Tribune

AP Photo

As one would expect from so eloquent a leader, President Obama has brought about a marked improvement in presidential rhetoric on human rights in comparison with his predecessor. In a series of speeches around the world, carefully tailored for each audience, the president has set forth a compelling vision, emphasizing that respect for human rights is not only right but also broadly beneficial for the United States and the world. The challenge facing his administration is translating that rhetoric into policy and practice.

In Cairo, for example, President Obama stressed the importance of democracy. Unlike President George W. Bush, who stopped promoting democracy in the Middle East when Hamas won elections in the Palestinian territories and the Muslim Brotherhood fared better than...

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TAGGED: Human Rights, Obama, United States


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