How active should the United States be in addressing violations of human rights in other countries? At what point should we intervene, if at all, and what should that intervention be? Should we go to the extent of “invasion”? Or, now that we are out of Iraq and no longer are involved with Libya, should we reconsider our world obligations? Do you agree with our actions in Syria? How long should we have stayed in Afghanistan? Now we are “at war” with ISIS. The US seems to believe that it has an obligation to champion “democracy” anywhere. Or is it more accurate to say “national self-interest”? Frame your discussion within the context of the sociological perspectives.

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Official US positions on human rights as an element of foreign policy contain numerous contradictions. Many critics have pointed out the country’s responsibility to...

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Please note: The post contains numerous questions. The eNotes Homework Help policy allows for one question per post. This answer primarily addresses the first two questions.

Official US positions on human rights as an element of foreign policy contain numerous contradictions. Many critics have pointed out the country’s responsibility to attend to human rights issues at home, and some advocate prioritizing the domestic front. Another area of contradiction derives from the concepts of national sovereignty and cultural relativism. What may seem like a human rights issue to analysts in the United States may not be evaluated in the same way within another country or culture. When any country imposes its will on another, especially when military intervention is involved, the other country can raise the issue of sovereignty. In contrast, specific administrations have sometimes been reluctant to pursue human rights issues seen as too politically sensitive, such as LGBTQ rights.

The US Department of State (DOS) is the primary federal division responsible for evaluating human rights worldwide and crafting relevant policy. The DOS compiles an annual report evaluating the human rights record of all countries with which the US has diplomatic relations. Over the last half century, human rights has been promoted as a central tenet of US foreign policy. Concerns about the strategies and tactics used supposedly to defend human rights in combating terror have often been questioned. The long-term administration of the Guantanamo prison and interrogation methods used on prisoners there drew considerable criticism.

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The United States is the self-proclaimed champion of human rights throughout the world, but it has not been consistent in its policies. Although President Jimmy Carter made human rights a pillar of his foreign policy, most other presidents have been much more inconsistent.

America's inconsistency is evident in the Middle East. The rights of Palestinians under Israeli rule are routinely ignored by the United States; Israel always acts with impunity in the occupied territories. Also, Iran has been an enemy of the US for forty years. In January 2020, America killed a top Iranian general and nearly went to war with Iran. Although Iran's retaliation caused brain injuries to fifty American servicemen, war was averted. Washington condemns Iran for its dictatorship, but it ignores similar violations of human rights carried out by its ally, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia imprisoned and tortured women who sought to drive, and it murdered a US resident, Jamal Khashoggi, in its Turkish consulate. President Donald Trump has ignored Saudi human rights violations, and he vetoed Congressional legislation that was intended to punish Saudi Arabia.

In general, the US should not invade other countries in defense of human rights. After all, the world has many dictatorships, and the US cannot conquer all of them. The best policy for Washington is to use economic and diplomatic pressure against human rights violators. America should also cooperate more closely with other democracies and the United Nations on this issue.

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