Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Obama Turns Attention To Human Rights In Vietnam After Forfeiting All His Leverage Over Hanoi

by JASmius

Ready, fire, aim:

A day after saying Vietnam had made enough progress on human rights to merit lifting a decades-old U.S. ban on arms sales, Barack Obama pushed back against his host country over its human rights record. [emphases added]

Obama met Tuesday with a small group of civil society leaders in Hanoi before delivering a speech aimed at the Vietnamese people. On Monday, his first of three days in the country, he held a series of one-on-one meetings with government leaders.

"There’s still areas of significant concerns in terms of areas of free speech, freedom of assembly, accountability with respect to government," Obama said Tuesday at a hotel in Hanoi, noting that Vietnam barred some people invited to the meeting by the U.S. [emphases added]

Obama often uses visits to countries with poor human rights records as an opportunity to raise the topic publicly and privately.

In such a way and time that it is maximally irrelevant, illustrating that it is all for show and none for sizzle.

He tangled with Cuban President Raul Castro in March in Havana with both countries criticizing the other for their records on rights and equality.

Quang said Vietnam has made progress on human rights and pointed to the country's membership on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

....that includes Cuba, Venezuela, Red China, Saudi Arabia....it should be called the UN Anti-Human Rights Council, seeing as how if it existed today, even Nazi Germany would gain ingress.,

Without pledging any changes, he told reporters that “we can narrow the gap in understanding and narrow the differences between the countries, especially on human rights.” [emphasis added]

 i.e. Other countries can lower their human rights standards closer to our own, because ours aren't gonna budge.  At least Quang is being honest about it, reflecting just how in-the-driver's seat he and his country accurately consider themselves to be.

But let's remember how....divergent O's definition of "human rights" is from the proper norm:

Vietnam has been a leader in Southeast Asia on [sodo]marriage, abolishing the ban on s[odo]marriage last year.

There's the "progress on human rights" that justified rearming communist Vietnam in the mind of The One.  The only kiind that matters to him.  "Free speech, freedom of assembly, accountability with respect to government"?  That's all "negotiable" and "non-critical".

Which is to say, he doesn't believe in or support actual human rights any more than Uncle Ho's successors ever have.

Pity he can't be as honest about it as his hosts.

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