The Weaponization Of Human Rights

On June 5, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Samantha Power as UN Ambassador. On June 6, 2013, CounterPunch ran a profile of Power entitled “Samantha Power and the Weaponization of Human Rights”, which was written by lawyer Chase Madar and initially published on September 10, 2009.

In his profile, Madar argues that while Power may be a perceived as “the paladin […] to bring human rights back into U.S. foreign policy,” her intellectual career is “a richly instructive example of the weaponization of human rights.”

Here’s one of the major takeaways from Madar’s profile:

Human-rights organizations can do a splendid job of exposing and criticizing abuses, but they are constitutionally incapable of taking stands on larger political issues. No major human-rights NGO opposed the invasion of Iraq. With their legitimacy and funding dependent on a carefully cultivated perception of neutrality, human-rights nonprofits will never be any substitute for an explicitly anti-imperialist political force. In the meantime, America’s best and brightest will continue to explore innovative ways for human rights to serve a thoroughly militarized foreign policy.

— Chase Madar, “Samantha Power and the Weaponization of Human Rights”, Counter Punch, June 6, 2013  


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