America’s Moral Deficit


Daniel M Pourkesali
by Daniel M Pourkesali

Trita Parsi begins his 2/27/08 opinion piece in the Inquirer titled 'Negotiating with Iran without Betraying Human Rights' by slapping the wrist of the current administration for its "apparent disregard for the expressed wishes of Iranian human-rights defenders".

That warning may have fallen on some sympathetic ears even as early as six years ago. But unfortunately that is no longer the case. Once the undisputed global champion on human rights, the U.S. today is a country with monumental problems of its own where its activities are increasingly viewed by the international community as interference in their internal affairs. Its reprehensible record has been harshly criticized on numerous occasions by many rights organizations including the U.N. Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). On a session that concluded in Geneva on 7/18/06, the committee members pressured the United States for answers on the following issues:

  • The sentencing of children to life without parole and the disproportionate incarceration of minorities;
  • The militarization of the border;
  • The failure to prevent human rights violations and respond in a non discriminatory manner to Hurricane Katrina;
  • The failure to end racial profiling practices, specifically the profiling of South Asian convenience store employees in Georgia;
  • Warrantless spying on ordinary Americans;
  • The abuse of women in prison; and
  • The indefinite detention, rendition and torture of non-citizens.


Ann Beeson, Director of the ACLU's Human Rights Program was quoted as stating that "the review by the Human Rights Committee was a stark and all too accurate condemnation of the state of rights in America." A copy of ACLU's report to the HRC, Dimming the Beacon of Freedom: U.S. Violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights can be viewed here.

The next president of the United States should recognize the necessity of reducing tensions with Tehran through dialog, but restoring America's own appalling human rights record will go a long way in redeeming the credibility and the moral authority it so desperately needs to make diplomacy work with Iran or any other nation.


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The only way for a long lasting peace

by XerXes (not verified) on

Is for the United States, that doesn't even belong to the region, sit and talk to the Iranian government and come up with a solution that would secure the region. To do that, US must first admit the importance of Iran to the region along with respect and acceptance of the IRI. Everyhting else would fall into in to place after that, including the Iranian economy and gradually human Rights.


Now this guy is a definite propagandist

by ManofIdeas (not verified) on

While Trita Parsi may say and do stuff that ends up buttressing IRI's repression, Pourkesali is an actual regime propagandist. But just to munor the guy I'm going to remind him that although
1-the US has problems but at least it doesn't jail and lash ACLU members for pointing out those problems.
2-The US's attitude toward human rights may improve with the election of a new president,, not get worse.
3-People Like Pourkesali can sit comfortably in the US and bleat on about US being evil and how Iran is an innocent victim. If anyone tries to defend the US in Iran they go to jail and worse.
4-The US doesn't jail, torture, stone people for their ideas.
My question is does Pourkesali actually think anyone will be persuaded by his attempt at pro-IRI argumentations or is he just a happy cheerleader?