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Human Rights First?

Human Rights First?

By Dennis Loo (12/3/12)

Human Rights First, whose straightfaced motto is “American Ideals. Universal Values,” is sponsoring its 2012 Human Rights Summit beginning tomorrow (December 4). Its opening plenary includes a video address from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and various super-notables such as U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, John McCain, ex-Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Harold Hongju Koh of the State Department. One of the sessions features Ambassador Richard Williamson, Michael Abramowitz, and Ambassador Nancy E. Soderberg entitled: “Atrocities Prevention: Should halting the world’s worst crimes be at the top of America’s national security agenda?”

Another of the sessions features former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who now heads up Russia’s United Civil Front, entitled “Big, Important, and Challenging: What should the U.S. do in countries where its human rights promotion policies aren’t working?”

The U.S., where torture, rendition, pre-emptive wars, "preventive detention" (arrested and held indefinitely under conditions that the UN calls torture for things that you might do), "pre-emptive" arrests for peaceful assembly, and presidential assassination by drone missile attacks have all become normalized and accepted?

To the question of what the U.S. should do in countries where its human rights promotion policies [sic] aren't working, I would like to say in response: “How about abdication?"

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