Monday, May 8, 2017

John McCain Explains Why The US Should Defend Human Rights

Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a statement that  one our most senior Republican senators vigorously attacked:

   In a recent address to State Department employees, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said conditioning our foreign policy too heavily on values creates obstacles to advance our national interests. With those words, Secretary Tillerson sent a message to oppressed people everywhere: Don’t look to the United States for hope. Our values make us sympathetic to your plight, and, when it’s convenient, we might officially express that sympathy. But we make policy to serve our interests, which are not related to our values. So, if you happen to be in the way of our forging relationships with your oppressors that could serve our security and economic interests, good luck to you. You’re on your own.
 McCain then argues that Tillerson made a case for realism against idealism which may not serve our national interests.   He went on to explain why our idealism is also realistic.  We cannot achieve our goals by abandoning support for our values in oppressed nations.  McCain spent several years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.  His prisoners attempted to break their captives by telling them that they had been abandoned by their government.  McCain knew that his government had not abandoned him. He believes that this enabled him to survive under brutal conditions.  He believes that we should continue to support those who are fighting against oppressive regimes which do not share our values.  It is in our national interest to do so in the long run.  It is a mistake to sacrifice our long term interests in pursuit of some short term objective by an appeal to realism over idealism. 

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