Civil Rights

Obama Disappointing Human Rights Advocates

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From Eli Lake at The Wash Times:

Human rights groups are beginning to question President Obama's commitment to their issue as the administration engages authoritarian regimes, retains the option of sending terrorist suspects abroad to places where they might be tortured and puts off a presidential meeting with the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Obama's decision to wait until after he visits China in November to meet with the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists —who was on Capitol Hill Tuesday receiving an award—comes after a series of decisions that have underlined a classic tension in U.S. foreign policy between the head and the heart.

While Mr. Obama campaigned for the White House by promising to restore American values, he also vowed to talk with governments that had been shunned by his predecessor. Now, those promises are bumping against each other.

"There has not been sufficient attention paid within this administration on how to counter the major challenges to human rights that we face today," said Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House. "We see authoritarian regimes like China, Iran and Egypt and others getting granted opportunities for dialogue and engagement, but it's not clear from the outside how human rights concerns will be addressed in that engagement."

RTFA here.

This comes on the heels of news that Gitmo almost certainly won't be closed as promised by January.

Quick question for the Buddhists: According to his own religion, isn't the Dalai Lama getting exactly what he deserves?

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  1. Of course he is. The point is not about him, it’s about us.

    Are we going to be people who respond to the Dalai Lama by shrugging or people who respond by striving to be better?

    He is giving us an opportunity to improve. Will we take it?

    Now you can ask “if you don’t take it, isn’t that an instance of you doing what you are supposed to be doing?”

    At which point I can say that you are, in fact, racist.

  2. According to his own religion, isn’t the Dalai Lama getting exactly what he deserves?

    MUUUUUU

  3. Sorry, Buddhist joke.

  4. Goodbye, Dalai.

  5. Obama’s foreign polisy is like Jimmy Carter’s, only without the dedication to human rights.

    Unfortunately, respect for human rights was the only positive thing about Carter’s foreign policy.

  6. How did he not either burst into eternal flames or collapse into an infinitely devolving simian upon touching The Pelosi?

    That’s one potent talisman.

    1. Frankly I’m surprised that His Holiness could bring himself to touching her. He regularly terminates meetings with people of all stations, if he can detect that their intentions are not pure.

  7. Over the past couple of years I have deleted hundreds of posts from different people that were all talking about how great the sampler program is at http://savingmorethanbefore.com Quite honestly I believed they were spam and that is why I deleted them. Last evening I was at my cousins home and she was telling me that it is possible to stock up on free groceries and merchandise for almost nothing. After I stopped laughing she took a shoebox out of her closet that was full of receipts. The savings on these receipts were eye popping. Savings between 75% – 85%! I was even more shocked to find out that the program she is using is the same one that I mentioned above. Sorry members for deleting the previous posts. I am now a member also after seeing her savings.

    1. This is some meta-zen shit right here.

      1. Can you perform a temporal Mobius delete, so that your post never happened?

  8. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

  9. “The fact is, just like Richard Nixon, Obama has come into office with an extraordinarily bad national security and economic portfolio to restore America’s leverage in the world and its power,”

    OK, that’s just mean of the Washington Times. The one guy they quote defending Obama’s policy does so by comparing him to Nixon?

  10. DALAI TO HOTDOG VENDOR: Make me one with everything

    VENDOR: Here ya go

    DALAI: Hey, where’s my change?

    VENDOR: Change comes from within.

    1. DALAI: Gunga galunga. Gunga gunga da gunga.

  11. How many campaign promises has Obama broken now? It’s got to be some kind of record.

    1. A lot. And no, it’s not a record. It’s par for the course.

  12. “[Insert special interest group(s) here] are beginning to question President Obama’s commitment to their issue as the administration [insert highly predictable administration action here].”

  13. Mr. Obama took particular flak for not meeting with the Dalai Lama during his annual visit to Washington.

    Maybe Mr. Obama can try to save face by claiming the snub was due to the Dalai Lama’s position on homosexuality.

  14. “Nancy, you make me glad to be celibate.”

  15. folks, listen, you cannot have it both ways. You either think it is the best interests of the United States to not deliberately antagonize foreign powers (did not most of us agree that the President should mind his business about Iran’s election?) or you think that the President should be constantly pointing out human rights violations, to the detriment of realpolitik. Pick one or the other.

    which do you want – peace or human rights?

  16. As someone who is Buddhist-leaning philosophically and converses with Buddhists, I can tell you the Dalai Lama doesn’t speak for them all.

    And a lot of them don’t consider Buddhism a religion.

  17. When it comes to human rights, the first course of action is to clean your own house.

    Then you can bitch about your neighbors.

  18. TAO, I would be happier with a President that picked one or the other and stuck with it than the dog’s breakfast of a foreign policy we have now.

    I mean, you sit silent while Iranians are gunned down in the streets, but you pull out all the stops on Honduras? WTF?

  19. “Quick question for the Buddhists: According to his own religion, isn’t the Dalai Lama getting exactly what he deserves?”

    Yeah, just like how capitalism is to blame for the economic meltdown.

  20. RC – hey, I’m fine with that, but which one do we want to criticize him about? Right now, extending the logic here, we want the President to be loud and strong about everything.

  21. TAO – this President? I wish he’d just STFU and go away. He’s a dangerous embarrassment on foreign policy, a naif, a nuancy boy.

    Which is so weird. You’d think somebody who came up in the Daley machine in Chicago would be a natural at dealing with selfish psychopaths.

  22. Newsflash: We really need to kiss Chinese ass right now seeing as how their willingness to lend us money is the only thing keeping the entire country out of the soup line.
    Maybe’s it’s obama’s fault we’re in this mess, maybe Bush’s, maybe all of ours, but being that we’re in it ditching His Lamaness is the pragmatic thing to do.

  23. You’d think somebody who came up in the Daley machine in Chicago would be a natural at dealing with selfish psychopaths.

    …Oh, you mean the other kind of “deal.”

    Yeah, he doesn’t do that.

  24. We really need to kiss Chinese ass right now seeing as how their willingness to lend us money is the only thing keeping the entire country out of the soup line.

    I don’t know how this particular piece of economic misinformation keeps getting passed around like a drunk prom date, but it has got to stop.

    1. So if the chinese stop showing up to bond auctions everything will still be all cool? Great!

  25. “Quick question for the Buddhists: According to his own religion, isn’t the Dalai Lama getting exactly what he deserves?”

    I’ll see your shallow and narrow little comment and raise you with, “The Free Market is Evil. People are Evil. Life should be banned because it leads to death.”

  26. man, who knew that Buddhists would get all butt-hurt for getting asked a question? Gosh, I thought you guys were supposed to be the epitome of “chill”. Fuckin’ pipe down.

    1. I’m not a Buddhist. I don’t follow a particular religion. I’m basically a libertarian politically but just find it annoying when libertarians make statements that match the cariacature the public at large has drawn of them: smug yet ignorant and incurious about fields of knowledge outside their expertise.

  27. Hey man, I just said all Buddhists don’t worship or support the DL.

  28. Some of you are not helping your chances of coming back as a higher form. I’m just sayin’…

  29. ? Bodhisattva
    Would you take me by the hand
    Can you show me
    The shine of your Japan
    The sparkle of your china
    Can you show me
    Bodhisattva
    Bodhisattva ?

  30. It’s a good thing that Eddie Murphy protected the Dalai Lama, or we wouldn’t be showered with his wisdom.

  31. To answer the original question from the blog post: “deserves” may not be the right word, but you could say yes. Karma is just cause-and-effect and has no moral component.

  32. As a Buddhist for over 40 years I have had concerns about the Dalai Lama, the guardian of the eight fold path and four noble truths. How can he be the principal guardian of the eight fold path and support armed rebellion at the same time? This isn’t possible, but he did so in the 1950s.
    In Tibet in the 1940s there were generally three classes of people. About 5% controlled nearly 100% of the land. 60% were serfs tied to the land and went with the land in the event of an exchange. About 35% were household serfs, in reality actual slaves who frequently lived in stables and were were bought and sold.
    The Dalai Lama was in the 5% and used the monks to enforce the existing social situation. The position of the Lama in Tibet was very similar to the Catholic Church in Spain in the 1930s as he helped enforce the rule by the elite.
    When the Chinese came in and introduced the 17 Point Plan which eliminated slavery, serfdom, and usury along with land redistribution, the Dalai Lama helped lead the opposition.
    Now the Chinese aren’t popular because they are dictating to Tibetans, and nobody likes being controlled by another culture, no matter what the benefits, however, I would bet if they got the Dalai Lama back it wouldn’t be six months before they would begin to wish for the Chinese back. The way the Lama uses his monks as enforcers, even in India, it isn’t likely Tibetans would have the opportunity to change again.

    1. How can he be the principal guardian of the eight fold path and support armed rebellion at the same time?

      Resisting a foreign invader isn’t rebellion, it’s self-defense.

      -jcr

  33. I’m basically a libertarian politically but just find it annoying when libertarians make statements that match the cariacature the public at large has drawn of them: smug yet ignorant and incurious about fields of knowledge outside their expertise.

    Alternative explanation.

  34. James,

    You can’t go wrong repeating that story. Which, incidentally, is true: Bill Murray and his brother did caddy for the Dalai Lama. Okay, I made that up, but it should be true.

    On a side note, I watched a Michael Palin interview with his Lamaness, and I’m convinced that the Dalai Lama knew who and what Palin was. In other words, I believe that the Dalai Lama has watched at least some Python. Does that mean he also saw Caddyshack? Maybe.

  35. Pish tosh, T. The caricature that the public has of libertarians is of top-hat-wearing, cane brandishing uber-capitalists, smoking pot and waving guns around while crushing innocent babies underfoot as they rush to oppress the Working (Wo)Man.

  36. The position of the Lama in Tibet was very similar to the Catholic Church in Spain in the 1930s as he helped enforce the rule by the elite.

    Ouch- not exactly a ringing endorsement.

  37. I know someone who has evidence that the Lama dude and Pelosi met in an online dating site. There is a reason why they got together you know. I mean where else could Nancy get sex than from some dude that has been celibate for like 40 years. Ewww, I need to go throw up now…

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