Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bush Denounces "Brutal Regimes"

In a passionate address to the annual General Assembly of the United Nations on Tuesday, President Bush advocated stricter sanctions on Myanmar (formerly Burma) and denounced the “brutal regimes” of Belarus, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria for their human rights abuses.  Mr. Bush called for a moratorium on visas of those “responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights”, as well as economic sanctions. As a result, the United States Treasury will assemble an inventory of those who will feel the repercussions of the economic sanctions and the State Department will compile a list of people barred from entry into the U.S.  In addition, Mr. Bush specifically criticized Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for human rights abuses in violation the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  He repeatedly referred to the Declaration, stressing the first article, which declares the universal equality of all humans.

Mr. Bush criticized the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, formerly the Commission on Human Rights, for hypocrisy and for targeting the nation of Israel for condemnation.  Finally, Mr. Bush challenged the “free world” to do more to stop the genocide in Darfur, insisting that 7,000 peacekeeping troops would not suffice.

In his fervent speech, President Bush stated, “every civilized nation also has a responsibility to stand up for people suffering under dictatorship.”  Are we bound by such a responsibility?  Should the United States be an international “watchdog”?  Do we have the right to intervene in other countries and “spread” democracy?  Or, is it a greater evil to stand by and allow human rights abuses to continue rather than intervening?

1 comment:

Tylar said...

Although I commend President Bush for addressing the unjust governments, I am not positive he knew how to back up his argument. Sure he calls upon nations to help stop the genocide in Darfur - stating that there needs to be more force than merely peace-keeping troops - but where are we? Why is he calling for aid in Darfur, yet we aren't giving the situation there enough military support? The economy rules our military investments and currently the situation in Iraq takes presidence.

I don't think the United States needs to play "watchdog" to the world; since the state is the major employer of human rights we have no obligation to foreign nationals. Though this may sound cruel and isolationist, we cannot pick and choose our battles if we start to enter one. There is only so much we as a country can do. If we start up multiple military investments to "democratize" the world I think we will create a homogenized world society. The beauty of our world is the diversity with which each state governs itself and the differences in thought. We cannot commit acts of omission and feel morally at peace, but I think acts of omission are a world issue and they need to be addressed on a global scale. The UN needs to step up and find a way to implement regulations on unfair states.