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A Plan B for President Obama: Get tough on Human Rights
Kenneth Roth
Human Rights Watch
12 October
 
In the 1990s, the United States, though hardly perfect, did more than any other country to promote the responsibility to protect people facing mass atrocities. In Bosnia and Kosovo, though tragically not Rwanda, leaders learned that the slaughter of their people risked a forceful response from Washington.
 
Unfortunately, President George W. Bush tainted such action when, finding no weapons of mass destruction, he tried to justify the invasion of Iraq retrospectively in humanitarian terms. Yet as Barack Obama recognized in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, "Force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans."
 
Obama needs to put this principle into practice, and there is no better case for the humanitarian use of force than the urgent need to arrest Joseph Kony, the ruthless leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) (…)
 
(…) The LRA began as a rebel movement in northern Uganda, but it now terrorizes the civilian population of northern Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as southern Sudan and the Central African Republic. Its cadre often descends on a remote village, slaughters every adult in sight, and then kidnaps the children, some shockingly young (…)
 
(…) In May, Obama signed a bill committing the United States to help arrest Kony and his commanders and protect the affected population. Now it is high time to act. Arresting Kony would reaffirm that mass murder cannot be committed with impunity (…)
 
 

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