We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Washington Post’s editorstook Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to task in February 2009 when she downplayed speaking out about human rights abuses during her trip to China. She'd said: "We have to continue to press them. But our pressing on those issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis."The Chinese were delighted. The Washington Post editors pointed out that the US speaking out hasn’t interfered in the past when there are mutual goals, “But Ms. Clinton's statement will have an effect: It will demoralize thousands of democracy advocates in China, and it will cause many others around the world to wonder about the character of the new U.S. administration.”
Last December, Hillary Clinton clarified. In an address at Georgetown University:
Under the first element of the agenda, Clinton said the United States would be working to hold everyone accountable for human rights in their countries. In order to “reinforce our moral authority,” she said, the U.S. will lead by example by way of reporting figures for human trafficking that occur within its borders for the first time.
Clinton said that while holding other accountable could entail public denunciations of a country’s leaders, “other times our negotiations would take place behind closed doors,” such as with China and Russia.
The second element, “principled pragmatism,” also applies to China and Russia especially, she said. The administration can deplore the murders of Russian journalists and violation of minority rights in China, but “the assumption that we must either pursue democratic rights or [national strategy] is wrong.”
The third element involved partnering with and supporting groups like NGOs which share U.S. goals, and the fourth involved highlighting success stories and rejecting the notion that some situations cannot be remedied.
Tomorrow, Monday, Sec. Clinton has the opportunity to effect her third element.
Some of the world’s most courageous champions of human rights will convene today, Monday, March 8, in Geneva, seat of the United Nations’s Human Rights Council [where gross human rights violator Iran is up for possible election to the UN Human Rights Council]. But don’t expect the Council itself to welcome these distinguished visitors.
The Geneva Summit -- organized by groups such as U.N. Watch and Freedom House, and chaired by Poland’s Lech Walesa and the Czech Republic’s Vaclav Havel -- will bring together political dissidents from China, Iran and Burma, rights activists for the Tibetan and Uighur peoples, a survivor of the North Korean gulag, plus a former Sudanese slave named Simon Deng who plans to speak about “the gross human-rights abuses by radical jihadists and the Islamic government in Khartoum.…
In 1975, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote that it was time “that the American spokesman came to be feared in international forums for the truths he might tell.” In Geneva today, the real truth tellers will be meeting down the block from the Council’s chambers. It would be nice to see the U.S. ambassador show up.