Paul Greenberg writes in the Jewish World Review in an article mostly devoted to the customary Israel-bashing by the UN Human Rights Council, including “both China and Russia, those great exemplars of human rights” and “the Arab bloc, another bastion of human rights”:
These days even the United States, under our new administration, is adopting a softer, gentler tone toward the genocidal regime in Khartoum. For that matter, Washington is moving to "engage" Teheran and Moscow, too. And the military dictatorship in Burma to boot. Any regime that really violates human rights can hope to get a sympathetic hearing from this new crew at the State Department.Sudan is singled out for mention because the chairman of the UN’s Arab bloc this month is the delegate from that country andis undoubtedly eminently well qualified to speak about human rights.
The article is mostly about the infamous Goldstone Report and repercussions thereof but, for the purposes of this posting, I picked out the reference to the new line in American foreign policy.
It is interesting that Mr Greenberg mentions the Burmese military junta because that is a very unfashionable tyranny. Political wonks and media sages who are happy to give China or Iran a pass, tend to be up in arms about Burma. Come to think of it, they used to be up in arms about Darfur. Whatever happened to that outrage?
So, if the new Administration is ready to defy fashionable opinion over Burma, it really is ready to extend the hand of friendship to all dictators.
Meanwhile, the word is that President Obama is going to give the twentieth anniversary celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall a miss. He presumably does not think a trip to Berlin now when he is no longer campaigning for the presidency to be of any importance. Besides, given his predilection for dealing with tyrants and dislike of spontaneous public movements, he may not like those pictures (if he has ever seen them) of people taking the Wall apart.
Michael Barone shows himself to be unimpressed:
PRESIDENT Obama, who found time to go on a 24-hour jaunt to Copenha gen on Oct. 2 to seek the 2016 Olympic Games for Chicago, apparently can't find the time for a 24-hour trip to Berlin on Nov. 9 for a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Well, we all have our priorities, and the president can't be everywhere at once, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will surely represent America ably in Berlin.Mind you, says Mr Barone, when one remembers what the then Senator Obama said in his speech in the Tiergarten about fighting for freedom, defeating the Taleban and Al-Qaeda, standing together against the various threats and compares it with his dithering over Afghanistan and frequently shown preference for enemies of freedom, it might be a good idea for him not to go. Madame Secretary of State, who will be brought out of the closet and dusted off for the occasion, will manage.
Read Barone’s article. Well worth it.