An Examination Of President Jimmy Carter 's Human Rights Policy

1851 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 8 Pages
Paige Cooper
Carter was Absolute on Human Rights?
An Examination of President Jimmy Carter 's Human Rights Policy in Argentina

President Jimmy Carter declared in his inaugural address that the US’s “commitment towards human rights must be absolute”. Human rights under Carter were anything but absolute. Under his presidency, the US sent contradictory messages: one opposing human rights violations and another which seemed to overlook human rights abuses. The issue of human rights was not Carter’s only priority. In reality, human rights ended up being one of many of the Carter administration priorities. All of these foci collided, and left Carter with no real center to his foreign policy. One of Carter’s first attempts to implement his human rights initiatives was in Argentina. The authoritarian, rightist Juntas organized a violent repression against political dissidents. Trying to distance himself from the policies of Ford/Kissinger, Carter attempted to pressure the authoritarian regime to improve their human rights record via reductions in military aid and economic sanctions. These maneuvers led to some mild improvements initially, but ultimately came back to hurt the Carter administration after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Argentina’s decision to align itself with the Soviets rather than the US on the issue of grain embargoes is an example of the Carter administration 's poor foresight. Carter over-compartmentalized his foreign policy agenda and…
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