Thursday, February 19, 2009

The U.S.Double Standards Over Human Rights

( Source:

Many criticize the United States of playing double standards on the question of international rights when on issues such as extraordinary renditions and wiretapping. It is difficult for the U.S. to have credibility when accusing other countries of not being fair to its people, if the United States is guilty of the same thing.

According to Emily Mullin, the U.S. has had a long history of enforcing certain norms in the international community and an equally long history of not obeying by some of those same norms it advocates.

“It is ironic that the U.S. government has been an advocate for human rights around the world; while at the same time it was committing atrocities in its own detention camps,” said Michael Barajas.

“As a reaction to people who criticize President Bush for playing double standards on human rights, I would say I have to agree,” said Jacqueline Best. “President Bush cannot expect to have people take him seriously when he is talking about human rights if he too is not always acting to promote human rights in his own country.”

But every nation in the world plays double standard. “The double-standard criticism is somewhat unfair because every country at one time or another has stooped to a level that may not always be appropriate,” argued Natalie Jovonovich.

In agreement with this perspective, Taylor Mirfendereski said that although he didn’t usually agree with the decisions made by President Bush, the violations of human rights must be determined on a case-by-case basis. “I believe that the severity of his violations are less than those of which he often criticizes.”

“I think the U.S. is in somewhat of a catch-22; as a super power, the U.S. is expected to lend help and aid to struggling countries (Vietnam, South Korea, the Iraqi people), but then is widely criticized for any involvement and for the effects of war,” said Veronica Norton.

Edit by Jung Lee

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