Tributes to Sheldon Seevak

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On November 9, 2001, George W. Bush created a new public holiday—World Freedom Day. The United States, he explained, would lead the global fight for “liberty, freedom and the universal struggle for human rights”; it would try to help the “more than two billion people” still living under repressive regimes. The idea that America could, or should, do this had informed a certain kind of Washington mind-set throughout the Cold War. But after the Berlin Wall came down, freedom’s crusaders increasingly set their eyes not so much on Communism as on violators of human rights in general. They unfurled the »

"The mice would be disciplined and the lions would be free," said a Mexican delegate to the proceedings that created the UN charter in 1945. He astutely predicted the double standards that would govern the application of international law. The decades since have provided no shortage of examples. In fact, this year began in the midst of a large-scale attack on a civilian population by one of the current lions of the international order — Israel. Notably, Israel's recent military assault on the Gaza Strip prompted no shortage of criminally vapid reactions from Washington. "Israel has obviously decided to protect »

When President-elect Barack Obama, an early opponent of the Iraq war, asked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton -- who helped to authorize the war -- to be his secretary of state, many liberals scratched their heads. When Obama asked Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates -- a Republican who has run the Iraq war for more than two years -- to stay on in his new administration, the scratching grew fierce. But no one needs to read the tea leaves on one particular aspect of Obama's foreign policy: Obama, Clinton and Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. have all called for aggressive »

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