Ed Team

Quote of the day

Filed By Ed Team | February 11, 2007 6:22 PM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: Bill Richardson, election 2008, foreign policy, presidency

"The United States once was - and again must be - a human rights example to which others aspire. We must be impeccable in our own behavior, and we must reward countries which respect the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. And we must negotiate, constructively but firmly, with those who do not. We need to present the Arab and Muslim worlds with a better vision than the apocalyptic fantasy of the Jihadists. A vision of peace, prosperity, tolerance, and respect for human dignity. For this to be credible, we need to live up to our own ideals. Prisoner abuse, torture, secret prisons, renditions, and evasion of the Geneva conventions must have no place in our policy." -- Presidential candidate Bill Richardson during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on February 7.

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I'm sorry, I must have missed that day in history class, but when exactly was the United States at the forefront of human rights? And when did Jihadists become the majority in the Middle East?

This quote smacks of colonialism and entitlement, if not downright ignorance.

That would have been when we didn't torture political prisoners, abided by the Geneva Convention, didn't use secret trials to convict United States citizens, didn't allow widespread wiretapping and eavesdropping on our own citizens, etc. I think you'd be hard pressed to say that our civil liberties - and the human rights of folks around the world - haven't been eroded under the Bush regime.

As for the Jihadists, I don't understand. Nowhere in the quote did he say they were in the majority. He said we have to present an alternative vision of humanity that's better than the jihadists version. Which is true as well.

So, as far as ignorant, I'm afraid that's simply not the case. Unless, of course, you truly believe that human rights and civil liberties have increased under the Bush administration and that we shouldn't try to stop terrorism by improving our "vision of peace, prosperity, tolerance, and respect for human dignity." If you truly think that the Universal Declaration on Human Rights isn't worthwhile, than you probably do think that this quote is worthless.

The human rights of all the world's citizens remains a large issue that needs addressed. And I, for one, don't find that "ignorance." I find it applaudable.

Bil, he said in his quote that the United States was once a leader in human rights. Name an era in our history, and I'm sure one would not be hard pressed to find a glaring example that proves otherwise.

I understand the erosion of rights under the Bush regime. I never implied that I didn't.

By saying that we must present an alternative to the Jihadists' he was implying that that is the vision the Arab and Muslim worlds are currently entertaining. As the Jihadists movement is small (though powerful) it seems unlikely to believe that we need to run in and save the day in the Middle East ... I'm sure they don't all think that the Jihadists outlook is the one to accept.

Richardson is ignorant if he believes the first sentence of his quote. He is also ignorant if he thinks that America's values and ideals should be espoused around the world, particularly in areas that clearly have a different way of viewing the world. That's what smacks of colonialism ... who are we to export our culture and beliefs on others?