human-rights-action-center

Campaign to Print the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Into Passports

Given that less than 5% of the world knows of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights existence at this time, it seems that the only way to get the document seriously distributed is through the passports.
What I want is for governments to own their own document. It is for all people, but governments need to acknowledge its existence. Because passports are the official representation of government, if the declaration is in all passports, it becomes an official documentation of the world.
I would like you to WRITE A SIMPLE LETTER of this affect, asking your senator, congressmen and our new government to do this. If the United States Government were to do this, it would send a good signal to the rest of the world that we intend to live by international standards and would signal that the new government is quite serious about protecting the rights of all people.
All it takes to get this done is a presidential order. It doesn't need any new legislation.

Thanks for your support,
Jack Healey

Sign the Petition

human-rights-action-center

01.26

2011

Surprising Views on the Death Penalty

Jack_headshotPosted by Jack Healey

in The Huffington Post

Surprises can be make one think. We are engaged in a war on terror in Iraq when 19 of the 20 9/11 hijackers were Saudis and none were Iraqi. American doctors used black communities in the U.S. as guinea pigs for unethical medical experiments and did the same to Guatemalans as late as 1968. Unmanned drones, designed to cause the least amount of harm to our own military, have been leaving hundreds of innocent civilians dead in so-called targeted attacks with no accountability. These developments in U.S. foreign and domestic policy should come as a surprise and make one think about justice and the politics that hinder the progress of our own judicial system. More importantly, they should make us reflect upon how this hurts us as a nation.

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently surprised the public by stating that he had voted the wrong way on the death penalty during his time on the Court. Though he is still principally for the death penalty, Justice Stevens now thinks that an imbalance has been created and people are executed too often. He wishes he could change his vote, but it’s too late.

Justice Stevens is not the first to doubt the wisdom of his pro-death penalty vote. Justice Harry Blackmun also changed his view on the death penalty and became opposed to it late in his tenure on the bench. I met Justice Blackmun for dinner in 1986 — before his change in view. I was Director of the USA section of Amnesty International and he was teaching abroad. The same day that we met, I attended one of Justice Blackmun’s lectures. One of the students questioned him over his division between being personally against the death penalty but professionally in favor of it. This divide reminded her of the mullahs in Iran, and how they too are against the death penalty, but many people are sentenced to death regardless. The parallel was clear: in Iran they use stones while we in the United States use electricity.

Later that day, Justice Blackmun and I had supper and talked about a number of issues that we both were dealing with in human rights. At the end of our meal, Justice Blackmun said to me, “I hope you have courage, Jack.” I replied, “With all due respect, I hope you will, too.” Years later, when leaving the bench, Justice Blackmun stated that under the current system it is impossible to implement the death penalty fairly and therefore he would “no longer tinker in its machinery of death.” Though he changed his vote, it was by then too late to help those still on death row.

In terms of partisan politics, it’s usually the Republicans who favor capital punishment, so I was surprised to hear Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal profess his stance as a death penalty supporter. Around election time, a heinous crime had been committed in his home state. Politically, it seemed impossible for Senator Blumenthal to express a moral objection to the death penalty. The same thing happened when Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton personally oversaw the execution of Ricky Ray Rector in order to gain conservative support. However, Rector’s case was not an average one. Rector was mentally disabled and had no idea he was being led into a death chamber. When given his last meal, Rector set aside a piece of pecan pie on his plate because he believed that he could save it for later. Both President Clinton and Senator Blumenthal’s support for these executions appear politically motivated. It is an even bigger surprise to discover that President Obama also agrees with those views.

Statistics can also be surprising. Since 1976, there have been over 1,280 executions in the U.S. Currently, there are over 3,000 people waiting on death row. Historically, few are of them are women, but not as of late. Recently, Virginia executed a female inmate after nearly a century. Nearly all people on death row are poor and unable to personally afford a proper legal defense. Since the advent of DNA testing, over 260 people have been exonerated from death row. Science has proven that our system is fallible. My guess is there are even more innocent people on death row as you read this. That hurts.

We are the only Western country who still uses the death penalty. America, the self proclaimed bearer of human rights in the world, is led by two parties who believe in capital punishment, who operate that machinery of death, and who are right now attempting to kill over 3,000 of our own poorest citizens. The citizens of the world who are awaiting our step forward from the reign of Bush must be wondering what happened to the future that was promised to us? What happened to the hope? Where is the change?

Drone usage in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan has escalated far beyond that of the Bush years. Drone attacks are death penalties with a remote-controlled digital executioner. Of course, surprise is part of the plan in order to kill Al-Qaeda members, but how many are simply the wrong people? While our troops on the ground still struggle to identify the enemy on a crowded street, the risk of error by an unmanned drone can be even higher. Given the rise in the usage of the drones, is it not time to ask more questions about their usage and efficacy? Who is in the chain of decision-making? How many innocent bystanders have been killed? Who is held accountable for their deaths? How do we make reparations for our errors, if at all? Drone strikes are the death penalty in action. Maybe we should be asking these same questions to the politicians who stand by and allow the death penalty to kill our own citizens.

U.S. foreign policy reflects the values at home. The stench of death we leave in the streets of Pakistan as innocent civilians die from our military’s drone attacks is the same foul odor we leave in the corridors of prison where own citizens are waiting to die or be proven innocent. They wait for whichever comes first, but death is foremost far too often. Even more pungent is the smell of politicians using the integrity of our judicial system to influence party politics. Though it seems that many succumb to such dishonorable means, there will always be the intellectual evolution of people like Justice Stevens and of other men and women who enact and enforce our laws. I just hope that someday, our elected leaders will say what they really mean before they’re out of office, before it’s too late for the innocent.

01.17

2011

Human Rights in an Era of Carrots and Sticks

Jack_headshotPosted by Jack Healey

in The Huffington Post

The Obama administration has exempted Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Sudan and Yemen. These countries will no longer be subject to a 2008 law, which suspends American financial and military aid to countries that allow child soldiers. Human rights groups were taken by surprise and registered mild complaints.

Before I condemn this decision, let me first give the government’s reasons. Yemen and Chad are fighting Al Qaeda and need these kids to fight in the war on terror. In the Sudan, with an important election looming, Bashir, the Prime Minister, is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The opposing army in the south of Sudan, who may win independence, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has a couple thousand kids in its military prepared for the coming election. The SPLA may need them if the election goes badly or not at all. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where so many thousands of rapes are occurring, they simply need their soldiers, young or old.

Another exception is being discussed in the State Department. This one to give Prime Minister Bashir protection from prosecution by the ICC if he allows a good and free election to occur in the southern part of Sudan where his government’s human rights abuses have been documented by human rights groups and the press. Would this exemption be wise as well? After all, many, including the Holocaust Museum, were calling his government’s human rights abuses genocide?

These exemptions illustrate that the human rights community is at a low point. After 9/11, the American government used renditions to move people, to hold people without trial, to torture and yes to kill people in a clearly immoral war. Despite these abuses, there was no major uproar in the USA close to the scale of the millions of marchers who took to the streets in England. Even with the new administration, no higher ups were prosecuted and Gitmo still stands as a testament to the folly of that war. The single standard for human rights, so well used against the Soviet Union has dropped out of usage. Right now, drone strikes are occurring in at least four countries: Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. Does any one ask or care to find out how many innocent people have died in these attacks?

As I have often repeated, dozens of countries in the world are pursuing and prosecuting their human rights abusers. Why are there no prosecutions for torture of Bush/ Cheney/Rumsfeld period? The world is waiting for that and both we and they know it is necessary even if we do not do it. Eric Holder prefers carrots and sticks, mostly carrots though. The ICC is doing a good job within its narrow scope and of course does not have the USA in its inner supporters. Taking Bashir off of the docket of the ICC would be a big move. Would it fit the idea of a single standard for human rights? I doubt it.

Going back to child soldiers, is the U.S.’s exemption not an encouragement to the Burma military that has thousands of child soldiers? Burma’s military would claim that they too need to use carrots and sticks, mostly sticks. They could claim that their child soldiers are necessary for another year to fight their “insurgents’. Could Than Shwe, head of Burma’s ruling junta, then appeal to the ICC if he is found to be a guilty of war crimes as well? Need he only allow an election to go forward in order to gain this exemption? His fight against the ethnic people of Burma is beginning to look like it adds up to crimes against humanity and the proof is coming from scholars on the matter. The Burmese would not want an exemption for him, I would guess.

Human rights groups, old and new, need to re-rally themselves and call for a single standard for human rights. Some things might be sacred. Like the body of a woman. Like a child getting appropriate protection until 18. No torture or Genocide without prosecution by the ICC. Should torture continue in this century like it was used in the last century? Can we eliminate this one terrible practice of government?

An election for the people of south Sudan is important and necessary but do we have to give up on the ICC for the dictator of Sudan to get there? Has this been thought through? Should the United States exempt these four countries so they can be stronger against Al Qaeda? Do kids in the army really stop Al Qaeda in Chad and Yemen? I think not. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a lost ship in the night due to a weak and corrupt government and the same goes for its army. Women are being abused at the speed of light. Should not the African Union or the United Nations send in more troops to protect these women instead of asking kids in uniform to do it? Our army in Iraq and Afghanistan has a hard time fighting Al Qaeda. Can we expect child soldiers to do it? These exemptions look inane and do not reach the level of reasonableness.

Human Rights Day Is December 10

Jack_headshotPosted by Jack Healey

in The Huffington Post

Human Rights Day, December 10th, is an opportunity to reflect on the gains and losses of the human rights movement. The first decade of human rights in this new century has been a serious setback to the progress that was made up until then. Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International, was instrumental in creating the momentum that the human rights movement saw in the later part of the 20th century. He died on February 25th, 2005 at the age of 83. Citizens should use his life as an example of the gains of human rights so that we can reclaim the roots of the movement. During this time of fear and uncertainty we must revive his model of action and accountability, a model that helped cultivate one of the biggest developments that the human rights movement has ever seen: the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Peter Benenson lived his life by the principles of the declaration; the rest of us at Amnesty International just followed the wisdom of the piper.

Take a moment to remember the last few years of the previous century: the military dictatorships of Latin American are for the most part gone; the communism of the USSR dissolved rather than exploded; majority governments occurred in all of southern Africa; Central America ceased being a killing field for the poor; and human rights was on a march forward. The world governments created the International Criminal Court (ICC) and it looked and felt like the bad folk of governments would be chased and maybe imprisoned for crimes against humanity. Human rights groups were popping up all over the world and progress was being made.

Then, 9/11 occurred and America lost thousands of people. American anger channeled fear instead of courage; Iraq is invaded for unknown reasons still; torture begins in the jails of Iraq by our forces; water boarding, a torture technique, is used often and repeatedly; secret prisons are set up in many countries and we send prisoners to these places to be tortured by others; Guantanamo becomes a prison of infamy and reduces the respect for law to this day; unmanned drones are put into frequent use in targeted killings as weapons with no accountability while official statistics on the number of innocent civilians killed are absent (some studies suggest ten to fifty civilians are killed for every one militant insurgent); the new President enlarges the war in Afghanistan; Bagram prison rivals Guantanamo in another attempt to reduce our level of decency and thus up the hatred of American forces in the region; and all the while, Bin Laden roams the earth freely ten years after his hits on our cities. American efforts to mix security issues with human rights lowered the prestige, interest and support of human rights. Press and media move as the governments move–away from human rights. What happened to the momentum, to the wave that swept human rights through our streets and past our doors? It seems as though the tide has gone out.

Instead of getting depressed and angry and disillusioned, I offer a model to emulate who I got to know over three meetings and one letter. His name was Peter Benenson, the founder of Amnesty International. Most of the world does not know him or about him: he never sought the lime light, the TV shows or the award chase, and he even refused to go to Oslo when Amnesty won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977. A simple lawyer in London, Peter refused the knighthood nonsense of the crown. He had time to write a long, warm and personal note to me once I left Amnesty after twelve years, but you could not get him to a fancy dinner. He was a humble man who sought solace in the Catholic shrines of Europe after a car accident. But make no mistake, his idea and action of that idea changed the world. This Human Rights Day is a time to stop and remember how Peter Benenson brought that idea to life.

Peter loved both the Conspiracy of Hope and Human Rights Now tours as well as Sting as he mobilized support for the human rights movement from Chile’s stadium. Before this, human rights was an ideal that people shared; but these concerts helped transform human rights into a movement by using music to attract a whole new generation of people. It brought the awareness and income that was needed to drive the international human rights movement, and Peter Benenson recognized this immediately.

When speaking of those concerts, Peter said that the simple idea of human rights is everyone’s possession and those concerts were perfect expressions of that idea in action. I asked him once about how he accomplished everything that he had. “I did what I could with what I had,” he replied simply. He took up a pen of positive ink when he saw two students in Portugal go to prison for toasting to freedom–Peter would not have it. Even more importantly, he cultivated a wave of support and urged others to do the same. It was time to write, to organize and to embarrass those responsible for obstructing the rights of others.

His first assignment for Amnesty was Haiti. Upon arrival, he was questioned by Haitian officials. He told them about his mission, and was therefore sent back to Miami. On the way out, he saw some of the primitive paintings that Haiti is famous for. So when he got to Miami, he bought paints and went back to Haiti. When questioned again why he had come to the country, he said, “I am a primitive painter.” That was and must be the spirit of the human rights movement: unpredictable, caring, clever and ready to protect people and their rights at all costs.

Peter Benenson created what we see today as the human rights movement. It is embodied by Amnesty as well as all other human rights groups, and defined by the Universal Declaration of Human rights. While Eleanor Roosevelt and John Humphrey coordinated and brought the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into fruition, Peter Benenson put the constituency behind that document. It was an ideal that changed the human rights movement by breaking down the boarders of countries, of people–no longer was human rights something that must be preserved in every country; it was something to be preserved universally regardless of geography. Not only did Peter see the importance of this shift in understanding, he acted to implement that understanding all over the world.

Along with Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, Peter Benenson was among the greatest people of the 20th century, but he stands out from the rest because while the others changed their countries and inspired hope throughout the world, Peter actually changed the world: he got the innocent out of prison, he stopped the persecuted from being tortured, and he did it all beyond the boarders of his homeland. He put Amnesty International in every country because he believed that everyone has a responsibility to protect human rights everywhere. Since then, Amnesty has had a continuing impact on people’s lives worldwide for fifty years. In a century of blood and gore, Peter leapt to the forefront as the leader of the change that was needed. His simple life and person put human rights onto the tables of governments and no one will ever get them off–that is the legacy of this man. Simple, plain, sweet and caring. A man for this season. A man of courage and vision unseen in history’s annals.

The depth of decency in this man was total. Even more important than Amnesty as an organization about to turn fifty was Peter’s idea that we–each and every one of us–all have rights and those rights must be protected by all of us regardless of where we live. To paraphrase Seamus Heaney in honoring Se├ín MacBride, the other founder of Amnesty International, we all are ambassadors of the world to each other.

I humbly submit to the British to place a statue of Peter Benenson in the Hyde Park Speaker’s Corner where all are free to air their peace. Furthermore, I humbly urge all governments to print the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in all passports in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt and Peter Benenson. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights belongs to the citizens of the world. It’s about time we give it to them.

To my beloved nation, move back into the light!

09.21

2010

The Practice of Rendition: American Justice Subverted

Jack_headshotPosted by Jack Healey

in The Huffington Post

Yesterday, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported a 6 to 5 decision rendered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals resulting in the rejection of a law suit brought by the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) regarding the U.S. government’s practice of rendition. “Rendition” is a sanitized term for the policy of sending people suspected of terrorist activity to be tortured in other countries so that the dirty hands are foreign and not American. The reason for this narrow judicial decision was that American ‘state secrets’ were at stake. Eric Holder, preceded by the Bush administration, settled on this approach and won the appeal by a slim majority. The upshot of this decision is that the C.I.A. won and the victims of torture lost.

The two individuals who sued the government are from Morocco and Egypt. The reason they were told that they lost their case was that for them to win it would have hurt the national interests of the United States. To quote The Washington Post, “[the] government’s decision to invoke the state’s secrets privilege means that the case cannot go forward.”

Thus, the Bush and Obama administrations have succeeded in allowing the C.I.A. to torture individuals in foreign countries. Is it possible then, for these two folks to go home to get justice for their ordeal? Well, just a quick look at the annual reports of Morocco and Egypt from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch will confirm that both countries regularly torture detainees as well. No hope there.

The victims of torture the world over just lost a big one. Because the most powerful nation on earth cannot allow its state secrets to be exposed, law and order be damned and the powerful are allowed to do want whatever they want. Hope, which is the only thing victims of torture really have, is thrown away like a handkerchief.

Any government involved in the dirty and brutal practice of torture always puts forth some fig leaf of protection to justify it. The United States uses the ‘state secrets’ doctrine and other governments use much the same. Fear tactics are all governments’ excuses. It is the nature of the bully to always have an excuse for inflicting damage. But bullies must be dealt with. Why does Eric Holder support the darkness and history of torture committed during the Bush-Cheney administration? Why is he not pursuing members of the previous administration for the torture that went on in rendition sites as well as the prisons under American control in Iraq and Gitmo? Is it really left up to non-governmental organizations like the ACLU and the CCR to uphold the Constitutional principles that are meant to protect all of us from the torturers hired and funded by the C.I.A.? Have we come to this as a nation? Perhaps.

When countries slide into economic decline, they get mean and ugly. History is filled with such stories. The mighty want law and order until they feel the diminishment of their power and then it is the reverse. Citizens’ rights become commodities. The law tilts to the protection of those in power. Prisons become homes to millions. Torture flourishes as the bad boys are allowed to do their dirty work. Men grab girls and steal their innocence and peace. Eternal memories are etched into the minds of many innocents due to the misguided policies of governments that hurt the very people they are charged with protecting.

You might think I am going over the top. But if you do, please spend some time with a victim of torture. Ask them what happened to them? If they can tell you, it means they are heading back to healthiness. Seek out the reports of human rights groups and read them slowly. See how few torture victims ever get justice for the crimes committed against them. See how many commit suicide just from the memories of their experiences. Find out how instruments of doctors terrify their souls for the rest of their lives. Pretend that you can hear the screams in the prison from these vile practices.
Then remember that our military does not want torture in their ranks. The military knows that the information sought is often inane and unusable. The generals know that if we torture detainees, the enemy will respond in kind and the first to get hurt on our side are our soldiers.

We told the world that we Americans uphold the rule of law. Well, that message just got changed. When I was the director of Amnesty International (US section), we called for a single standard for human rights. Many in Congress agreed that should be the rule. The Obama administration fails this basic tenet of a single standard. In fact, they are setting up an apparatus that protects wrongdoers acting on behalf of the U.S. government instead of protecting us citizens. I thought the last election changed this approach.

The court of appeals for the 9th Circuit saw enough merit in the case to order the government to pay the plaintiffs’ legal cost. But the issue is not money. The issue is justice under the law.
My answer is this: fire Eric Holder. Reopen the case and have a new Attorney General allow the plaintiffs to take their case to the Supreme Court. The principle of justice for all must be restored by the American judicial system. The President needs to meet with these two individuals and apologize for the treatment they received at the hands of our American agents. Prosecute the violators. Now and always. As a nation, we should not leave the administration of justice in the hands of non-governmental organizations, as good as the ACLU and CCR are. The business of upholding justice belongs to government, pure and simple.

Finally, if this case does get heard by the Supreme Court, I hope that the Justices will study the torture cases in Chile, Argentina, Bosnia, Peru, South Africa, Rwanda, Serbia and Liberia. There is a growing consciousness around the world that demands all governments be held to a single standard for human rights. Namely, that no one should be tortured and that if torture does occur, the torturers go to jail.

09.21

2010

Renewing the American Focus on Human Rights

Jack_headshotPosted by Jack Healey

in The Huffington Post

Much like the flowers in the Peter, Paul and Mary song, human rights as a core ingredient of U.S. policy is also gone. Mentioned rarely by the Obama administration and mocked by the Bush administration, the high standard of human rights once demanded by U.S. policymakers seems to have died. It has been lost in the prisons of Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, smothered by the debris of the drone strikes and mocked by the continual use of enhanced interrogation methods.

Recently, a French poll found that 42% of the French population is concerned that human rights all over the world are deteriorating, and 72% of the population considers the present economic crisis as an upfront threat for human rights. These figures signal a change in the West.

During the days of the Cold War, the United States played the ‘good guys’ and attacked the human rights abuses committed by the USSR and other countries. We considered our democracy the perfect solution to extending human rights to all citizens, and looked to our government to promote global human rights using the standard we ourselves had set. Since the demise of the USSR in 1991, human rights issues have largely disappeared from the media. As governments have moved away from human rights as a foundational policy issue, the media has followed suit, and human rights issues are no longer a focus in the forum of international and domestic politics.

The United States was not perfectly vigilant in its attempts to set an international standard for human rights. Few seem to remember that when over 300,000 people were killed in Central America in the 1980′s, our government looked the other way. Reagan’s way of ‘helping’ was to illegally funnel weapons to Nicaragua in order to help the Contras fight the Sandanistas. Our government treated Mandela and the ANC as communists, and ignored the terrible bloodshed that came as a result of the racial upheaval occurring in South Africa.

Many hoped for a renewed focus on the issue of human rights when President Clinton took office in 1992. Yet he failed to grant Haitian refugees asylum and forcefully prevented many Haitians from entering the country. His administrations similarly failed to take control of the disastrous human rights crises occurring in Somalia and Bosnia. He prevented the United States from the joining the International Criminal Court (ICC); arguably paving the way for George W. Bush to later circumvent human rights statutes and order the use of enhanced interrogation methods in the war on terror.

Fortunately, other countries have not followed the recent American model of neglecting human rights. Latin America has done an admirable job of chasing its human rights violators. Peru has jailed a former President. Chile chased Pinochet until he died. Argentina has sent its former military people to jail for violations of the unionists. The ICC just convicted two Serbs for killings in Sabrenica. A British Prime Minister apologized for the killings of Bloody Sunday, made famous by the song of the same name by U-2. The pursuit of justice is alive in other parts of the world.

Somehow, the pretense that the United States is a promoter of human rights is alive and well under the Obama administration. In Oslo, Obama lectured the world on the meaning of a ‘just war,’ as though the wars we are currently engaged in are in some way driven by a desire to expand global human rights.

The Democrats have another three years to right this situation. Because both Clinton and Obama are responsible for the neglect and thus demise of human rights as a focus of U.S. foreign policy, the Democratic Party should take it to heart that human rights, once again, need to be at the foundation of foreign policy. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently delivered a searing and profound speech in China saying, among other things, that women’s rights are human rights. The citizens of the world await and would welcome a renewed focus and movement promoting human rights from our government. Obama promised it. He will be judged by history if this promise is not kept. Deeds are needed, not rhetoric.

It is a simple question: why not investigate the torturers and those who approved of it during the Bush administration? The law, both domestic and international, demands that criminals be pursued. The rights of the victims need to be protected against further abuse. Searching for and prosecuting violators of prisoners’ human rights would help alert those who torture that there are consequences. Or, because of its military might, can the United States simply change the rules, namely, to redefine torture to protect its own torturers?

Why is it that Gitmo is still alive and well? Why is it that the use of drones has had no real discussion on American television? This new, cheap and deadly device of death needs careful review and consideration. There must be a public discussion of the use of drones. Who decides upon the targets and how the standards of accountability are drawn? How many innocent people have died due to a drone strike? How many missiles have been fired based on erroneous intelligence? Drone usage should be a new and separate part of the next annual human rights report issued by the State Department. The innocent have a right to life and a right to be at least remembered if taken by a drone strike. Names are important to history and families.

We of the human rights movement should also scrutinize ourselves. For the most part, human rights organizations have failed to bring the proper attention to the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld torturing policies. There were no mass demonstrations about torture. The world has the right to know why we slept so well in this period and did so little. It behooves the movement now to bring the violators of that period to justice. Questions need to be asked of how human rights groups are allocating any portion of their budgets to this effort. We must represent victims with courage, money and determination.

You may wonder why I do not bring up security issues with this blog or why I do not consider the truism ‘we fight them there, so that they don’t come here’. My answer is that this presentation of U.S. foreign policy is on television every day. My feeling is that these issues call forth fear, an unreasonable fear. I write with the belief that much more is to be gained from acting courageously.