Staying Relevant on Human Rights

Although Clinton’s comments undoubtedly have pleased many in the U.S. and abroad who are concerned with human rights, it remains true that for many years, statements like Clinton’s on Vietnam have provoked charges of hypocrisy from some quarters aimed at the U.S. During the Cold War, most notably, the U.S. styled itself as the defender of liberty and freedom around the world while supporting right wing dictatorships in many corners of the world which were far from free or democratic. Today, this description remains at least somewhat accurate. The U.S. continues to present itself as the global advocate for freedom and democracy while looking away from human rights violations that occur in countries on whose assistance we depend for fighting terrorism or the war in Afghanistan.