Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Clinton continues to undercut the State Department's own human rights reporting

A Washington Post editorial printed yesterday shows how U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton continues "to devalue and undermine the U.S. diplomatic tradition of human rights advocacy."

On her first foreign trip, to Asia, she was dismissive about raising human rights concerns with China's communist government, saying "those issues can't interfere" with economic, security or environmental matters. In last week's visit to the Middle East and Europe, she undercut the State Department's own reporting regarding two problematic American allies: Egypt and Turkey.  (click here to read the remainder of the editorial)

Read this editorial and you will be stunned by the utter disregard for human rights abuses in Egypt and Turkey shown by Clinton.  She seems so concerned with building bridges with these nations that she doesn't care whose bodies get buried in the construction.

It is increasingly clear that Clinton is either woefully ill-prepared or unsuitable for this responsibility. She comes across as uninformed, dismissive or unconcerned about human rights, and her attempts at humour and levity end up coming across as naïveté or woefully inappropriate.   During her campaign for the Democratic nomination, she said, "There is one job we can't afford: on-the-job training for our next president."  One might argue the same for the Secretary of State. So far, she has done little but send, as the Post said, "a message to rulers around the world that their abuses won't be taken seriously by this U.S. administration." 

No comments: