America’s Declaration of Independence emphasizes the universality of the human rights, and this is often described as the American cause. We believe international relations should be based on human rights.
The conflict you are talking about has every thing to do with partisan politics, and little to do with human rights. You are correct that it is distressing to us when prominent human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International (the winner of the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize) and Human Rights Watch, engage in partisan politics.
Prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, the British government released a large dossier outlining tremendous human rights abuses. The report described torture, the incredible abuse of women, arbitrary and summary murders, deplorable prison conditions and the persecution of the Kurds and Shia. Since then, over 300 mass graves have been uncovered, and it is now estimated that Saddam Hussein killed 1.8 million of his own people.
One would have expected Amnesty International to praise such a document, but they instead attacked it as “a cold and calculated manipulation of the work of human rights activists in an effort to justify military action.” These groups were against the effort to remove this incredibly cruel regime. The only conclusion you can draw is that they want to complain about human rights but they do not want to do anything to change the situation.
Through the private sector we are working to assist government institutions in efforts to locate and then build forces for freedom and democracy – a free press, political parties, unions, business groups, churches, and other private institutions.
There are times that military assistance and peacekeeping missions are required, but we want to see a greater focus on public diplomacy programs in all major democratic nations. These programs should explain and strengthen freedom and democracy throughout the world. The United States did this for many years through Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and it is continuing these efforts through the Voice of America, the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Institute for Peace and similar organizations. They are all designed to prod authoritarian regimes along a reform path.