The US Situation:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday, December 15, that human rights and democracy promotion are central to U.S. foreign policy, in a major speech after months of criticism that the Obama administration was being too timid about denouncing abuses of basic freedoms abroad.
But perhaps the most notable aspect of Clinton’s speech was that she gave it at all, said activists and other experts on human rights. Her talk, and one last week by Obama at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, appeared to respond to concerns that the administration has not been forceful enough about abuses in places such as China.
“I think she went a long way in addressing what had become a kind of an issue that started to dog the Obama administration — where do human rights and democracy fit with them?” said Sarah Mendelson, director of the human rights and security initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
In her speech at Georgetown University, Clinton outlined several elements of the administration’s approach. First, she said, every country would be held accountable for hewing to universal human rights standards — “including ourselves.”
Second, Clinton said, the administration would be pragmatic. She cited, for example, the decision to begin “measured engagement” with Burma after determining that isolating the regime was not helping.
Third, the administration plans to work with grass-roots groups as well as governments. Finally, Clinton said, human rights should be viewed as a broad category that includes issues such as women’s rights and development.
David J. Kramer, an assistant secretary of state for human rights and democracy during the Bush administration, praised Clinton’s speech for reflecting a bipartisan tradition of support for democracy and freedom.
The Thai Situation:
In her visit to Thailand for the last ASEAN meet in Phuket, Hillary came all the way out of Phuket to Bangkok to meet Thailand’s prime minister Abhisit. Then in Singapore APEC meet, Obama met with ASEAN leaders chaired by Abhisit. The current Thai government of Abhisit has been criticized repeatedly, by leading global human rights organizations, for human rights violation, freedom of expression violations, and an anti-democratic position.
The main message at all the ASEAN meet, was that the US was interested in building a trade and investment relationship with ASEAN. And as ASEAN formed its toothless Human Rights Commission, that many human rights organizations, said it would be used to white wash violations, again Hillary said nothing.
The US Congress took the initiative, and passed a bill to promote internet freedom around the globe with about US$100 million budget. And yet, as Thailand’s ICT Ministry have shut down thousands of sites, the US government gave aid to the Thai ICT Ministry.
As the CIA secret prison using torture in Thailand news broke through CIA testimonial to the US Congress-and the news surfaced in Thailand and caused a great deal of controversial as the Thai government deny the news, the US Embassy in Thailand remained silent.
The Voice of America, formed a working partner with the CP group media arm. That media arm had blocked vast amounts of sites in its support of the government, going against the principle that VOA is the globe’s voice of freedom.
Thai Implication Analysis:
The past track record of the current administration on Thailand, indicates a total lack of interest in the human rights, freedom of expression and democratic principles in Thailand. Based on those past action, this blog must have to conclude that “Hillary is full of crap.”
The only hope for Thailand, as far as a role for the US to play, is that Hillary will rise above the pile of Washington DC business lobbyist crap she lives under, and start doing as she says.