tv Sarah Snyder From Selma to Moscow CSPAN June 1, 2018 11:06pm-12:04am EDT
next discussion about how civil rights activist change u.s. foreign policy with georgetown professor sarah snyder. she discussed her book "from selma to moscow" at the policies and prose bookstore in washington d.c.. this is an hour. see macadamia everyone. my name is liz artlip and i'm a member of the bands that would like to welcome you all to politics and prose bookstore. thanks for coming out. to rather your evening. we are here to listen to sarah snyder with her new book "from selma to moscow" how human rights activists transformed u.s. foreign policy.
c-span will tv is reporting this evening and you don't want to be the person is phone is ringing. if you have not purchased your book edited by two they are available behind the register. after the event just head over there and ask for it and we'll be taught -- happy to sell you one, two or three. sarah will be signing over here after she is done talking. sarah's groundbreaking study of the 1960 civil rights act arkies the movement has had an impact on the nation's foreign policy as a domestic issue. as americans question the social justice the country they did begin to demand from other countries to specifically on how americans responded in the soviet union racial discrimination and military from 19602 agitation between military
and academic. sarah is an associate professor at the international service at american university and author the author of human rights activism and the end of the cold war. please help me welcome her to politics and prose. [applause] >> thank you all for coming tonight. is the microphone level sufficient? i'm delighted to be here. this is the first moments that i have had the opportunity to speak so it's very exciting and i'm so happy to be here in a location that is only two blocks away from where rove might ph.d. dissertation at georgetown. stickers buried -- secretary of state rex tillerson argued are moving -- creates obstacles to our ability to advance our
national security interest and their economic interests. pursuing a foreign policy that ignored human rights has tillerson outlined would overturn an early transactional order. to ensure that human rights became and remained a component of foreign policy. in mid-1970s congress violated the universal values enshrined in international commitments such as the 1948 united nations universal declaration of human rights. "from selma to moscow" eliminates how human rights activists have accommodated in these reforms redo what i want to do today is talk about the americans who advocated for greater attention to human rights. in the 1960s and how their activism inspired the institutionalization of human rights in u.s. foreign policy.
a foreign service officer philip habib traveled to south korea as a political counselor. during his three years there have deep remembered piece to play poker with the prime minister every sunday afternoon and knew everybody in the country. habib would build upon and extend those connections when he returned to seoul is an asset or 1971. stanley sacrament was information officer and press attaché at the u.s. embassy in seoul between 1971 and 1973 or member taleb when he spoke to the journalist and was arrested by the korean intelligence for creating unacceptable stories and would suffer torture habib communicated firmly that it was a strong irritant in our relationship. a brazen attack by south korean leaders regime precipitated more forceful involvement by habib.
on icas eight, 1973 south korean agents kidnapped opposition politicians from tokyo's grand palace hotel. was driven and put on a boat. kim expected to be dumped into the sea. instead of the then japanese diplomats made forceful appeals to the south korean government to save his life. officials in washington issued a statement calling for his release which occurred in seoul five days later. according to donald c. craig in seoul at the time when kim was kidnapped habib made a representation to the korean government saying it's her own agency that is done this and you well better keep them alive or for what did huge damage to our relations. habib's activism continued after he returned to washington to serve as assistant secretary of state for asian affairs. he'd draw high-level attention to problems in south korea by
for example speaking about the issue at length in meeting with secretary of state henry kissinger and other high-level state department officials. habib sabha reevaluation of american justice in south korea when faced with the reality of oppression i think the united states has to make clear it's not on the side of oppression but it doesn't condone it. kissinger was not convinced. the past human rights abuses could produce instability in south korea that might threaten u.s. interests. his position on human rights kissinger responded first in general i've tried to abolish the political science department and the state department which tried to restructure the domestic situation of other countries. i don't think it's worth our investment to democratize south korea. habib who spent six years in south korea between 1961 in 1974 was deeply connected to south koreans to professional and personal ties.
these connections as well as long-standing concerns about political and religious repression based on his personal history led habib to press for the rights of individual south koreans as well as to urge american pressure on the south korean government to alleviate human rights positions more broadly. habib stretch the parameter of his role to address human rights concerns and they think this case eliminates the complicated role of diplomats in implementing u.s. policy. it also demonstrates how transnational connections shaped human rights activism and nonstate actors. habib is one of a number of -- that i highlight and "from selma to moscow". i highlight lower level or
nonstate actor in each chapter. want to give an example of two more in addition to habib who emphasize the diverse ways these actors influenced u.s. policies. the next person i want to talk about is james beckett. he traveled to europe in 1958 or james beckett met a greek woman maria who became his wife. they settled in geneva or news of the 1967 coup and the subsequent repression there spurred them to action. it's important to emphasize his personal background not only his marriage to maria primed him to become active. i highlight the time he spent at chile as well as attending harvard law school at the height of -- in shaping his political views. in the wake of the coup james and marie reached out to international as well as everyone who might be interested. the two met animistic -- amnesty international. the goal was to get greater
attention and is james later. they were engaged in a battle for public in europe and america. becca one on two co-author amnesty international's first report on torture in greece which argue quote torture as a deliver practice carried out by the security police and the military police and the details 12 different methods being used to torture political prisoners but amnesty's reporting inspired a range of governmental and nongovernmental actors to impose ongoing support for the regime and it was instrumental in keeping attention focused on human rights abuses in greece. the beckett family involvement extended to james mother elise who lived in lake of connecticut and wanted -- one of the principle questions that motivated my early research was why did beckett from connecticut care so much about human rights?
she sent countless letters to members of congress about human rights violations in greece whether and to bring churches paper or in new york she was a machine churning out the butter and elise even took it directly to congress. it was sort of a whole family affair. the last person i want to talk about is joseph elder to became one of the washington office of latin america long-time leaders. a domestic missionary in chile for several years before the coup. his activism began in segregated tennessee built upon a growing consciousness about race that he developed at the university that manifested itself in protest against segregation and the war in vietnam. he was also influenced by liberation theology and missionary training experiences. as a missionary in chile eldredge worked with others who were concerned about corporate and government welfare.
after the coup elders left the country. back in the united states he was drawn by his opposition to the nixon administration's actions in chile but he was particular motivated by knowing victims of the repression in chile. his objective was to influence u.s. policy toward latin america and eldredge remembers he's talked regularly with germans and introduce them to latin american dissidents. he also monitored congressional hearings collected information and met regularly with members of congress and their staff. in addition he organized trips to chile for members of congress in march of 1976 the representative tom harkin george miller were democrats from iowa california connecticut respectively traveled with eldredge to chile.
harkin and eldredge managed to get an infamous torture center before being removed by chile and security forces. upon their return the three members of congress declared quote during our stay it became increasingly clear that the junta with all the conviction and measurable rule by terror. we found a silent pervasive area deciding the oldest of latin american democracy. the congressional of delegation elders was able to press for action and human rights violations. what it did was to take up prophetic view of latin america and translated into the clinical language of washington language of legislation and lobbyists. in the book, actually he has arrived as of this moment.
i feel outward talking about him in front of him. the book i analyze how the rowing american attention to it activism him to have over press citizens including senator henry jackson. they demonstrate how in 1965 the unilateral decoration of the independent spurred civil rights leaders the united states and others concern for racial discrimination such as the u.s. ambassador to the united nations at the time arthur goldberg to urge the administration to find a white regime. the juntas harsh treatment of its enemies in the wake of the 67 coup galvanize many americans including beckett. i examined the frustrations of u.s. policy toward south korea expressed by others in there for us to curb military economic assistance to seoul and i analyze how the 1973 military coup in chile and subsequent human rights violation motivated
nongovernment collectivists and members of congress such as eldredge and harkin to press for greater distance from their oppressive government. in each case active members of congress were often -- stymied by the white house for the growing frustration created a revolution that laid the foundation for the institutionalization of human rights as a priority in u.s. foreign policy. the final chapter explores the 1970 hearing by represent donald fraser and the house subcommittee on international organizations. they fundamentally recalled elated u.s. foreign -- the subcommittee hearings precipitated a wave of legislation that reshaped the state department bureaucracy and formalized human rights as a factor in u.s. foreign policy and the efforts together laid the foundation for the issue continuing significance in the years that followed.
what led americans to care about international violations of human rights in the 1960s? previous accounts of focused largely on the 1970s as a period of emerging concern about human rights abuses whether as a result of jimmy carter's selection the war in vietnam are failed political utopia. in contrast my book identifies transnational connections as well as the social movement of the 1960s as the foundation for human rights activism in the united states. though the 1960s offers news opportunities for america's travel and work abroad and returning peace corps volunteers missionaries and academics were often attracted to human rights activism by the transnational connection they have made during their international experiences. the americans motivated by transnational connections such as habib beckett and eldredge for entrepreneurs and the
growing movement for human rights in the sears. other americans were drawn to human rights activism through broader changes taking place internationally such as decolonization or movements within united states are primed to care about human rights violations but the movement for every making freedom and against the war in vietnam shaped america's thinking about the policies of their government and led many to push for new human rights and u.s. policies. displeasure with u.s. foreign policy including not only the war in vietnam but also the 1965 intervention in the dominican republic support for military dictatorship in covert intelligence operations abroad corrode it the assessment that it provides anti-communism and containment over other priorities. as consensus we can members of congress asserted themselves more forcefully in the policymaking process and at times used their control to
wield influence. the book shows how a act of his lawyers and legislators involved in human rights work brought new opportunities to shape u.s. foreign policy. human rights are closely linked with domestic concerns about civil political economic and social rights during the 1960s but the 1960s social movements were not just an inspiration to americans concerned about human rights but they also gave them license to criticize other countries records. during the eisenhower years americans have been aware that the country's record on race relations left it open to consider criticism but as united states made strides the decision such as brown versus board of education to 1964 civil rights act and the 1965 voting rights act as well as the greater visibility of african-americans in public life criticism of the race record declined and u.s. policymakers made greater -- and
talking about human rights violations abroad. as united states made progress domestically it was better situated to contribute internationally regarding human rights. in many ways human rights activists were building upon the successes of the movement. they sought to export the movement abroad and the oaks title "from selma to moscow" and folks that impulse. evidence of these connections can be seen in science from a march 1965 rally i shown the book. this is assigned very prominently behind the principle speaker said soma or moscow human liberty is divisible. based on transnational colette -- connections and social movements what else is distinctive about u.s. human rights activism?
there are two other things i want to talk about. one is the focus of the activism and the adoption of a new language to express activist concerns. in the late 1940s human rights groups have been headquartered in new york city where they could direct their attention at u.n. bodies and diplomats. in contrast in the 1960s non-states and low word level actors who had lost faith in the united nations as a body in which human rights could be protected the u.s. government the entities that have the greatest effect on human rights violations abroad. manifestations of the ship for the creation of washington-based offices by for example the international league for the rights of man or amnesty international usa branch. these activist located the united states both in values and its power is the center of the international system. such a vision illuminates how americans can see that the roll in u.s. foreign policy making
and the role of the united states and the world. the 1960s were a period in which americans fought against racial does commission against support for oppressive regimes and against the use of torture came to adopt the lexicon of human rights to describe their system. for example eldredge before the fraser report and this is a report that came out a donald fraser's 1973 hearings on human rights. before the fraser reporter didn't think of what i was doing his human rights work. charlie changed over the time i am studying. why is this important? i think why americans came to care about human rights in the 60s is important because the reasons for the activism were desired in cheapy the human rights violation at the center of my count torture racial discrimination and religious persecution drove american citizens in the jails observe pressured the letterwriting
testifying before congress and participating in demonstrations among other duties. congress held hearings to investigate human rights violations published reports highlighting abuses and when their concerns were largely dismissed by the executive branch they tried to end military and economic assistance to governments that abuse their citizens rights initially congress was sacramental to curb assistance to specific countries detailed the book these efforts with regard to greece latvia and chile. they tried to cut off economic security assistance to repressive governments more generally and in 1976 congress passed legislation to hating that the united states could not extend security to countries that engage quote in a pattern of world violations of human rights except under certain circumstances. to make such an determination the state department needed to
compile full and complete reports from each country that received security. this is the legislation mandated the state department produced annual human rights reports. the first year the state department produced 17 and now we will see they haven't come out yet this year but presumably the state department produces reports on all u.n. member countries in all countries that receive assistance from the united states. the second achievement was congress passed legislation regarding bureaucratic organization of the state department that eventually led to the employment of the secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs in the establishment of the -year-old of the same name in 1977. you can do why did philip habib james beckett and joseph eldridge or others take action in support of human rights? parley frankfurt has ridden quote there are occasions when a person realizes that what he cares about matters to him not
nearly so much when such a way that it's impossible for him to bear on a certain course of action. i think they transnational connections made it possible for each of these activists to bear on a certain course of action. they serve as political entrepreneurs and galvanized other americans to work alongside them pressing for greater attention to human rights and u.s. foreign policy. these activist efforts became part of a broader transnational social movement devoted to human rights. although at the time jimmy carter's inauguration in 1977 came to represent the culmination of these human rights activist efforts at tank with a longer view from "from selma to moscow" offers in its -- have struck ever that -- because in the years of the terrorist attacks of september 11 it has been revealed the place of human rights in u.s. foreign policy remain contested. this is because not only does
united states increasingly collaborate with oppressive governments of the objective five fighting international terrorism but the country became an abuser of human rights. although considerable progress has been made the united states no longer tortures or operates covert presence abroad. many troubling policies remained whether it's rendition indefinite detention at guantánamo cuba. similarly if officials continued to downgrade the place of human rights and foreign-policy think it will undermine our standing internationally and endanger u.s. troops. .. >> they asserted the united states should be the world
leader in promoting human rights. the institutionalization of human rights which i described in the book makes it difficult to reverse course. this is because many attempts occurred to congressional legislation and support for human rights and doors. violations of human rights inspire activism. ngos will continue to devote resources to making sure the public remains focused on human rights. i think what this shows us is the challenges facing 1960 era activists and how to balance morality with adherence to american values and the preservation of national security and how to advance an agenda resisted by the white house has relevance perform policy today. thank you. [applause]
secretary and treasurer were more willing to talk to foreign government about human rights issues than henry kissinger was. he brings them up and talks about prisoners who he hoped would be where the conditions would be improved. one thing we need to remember is that we cannot talk about the u.s. government just like we can talk about the public as a singular entity. there's opportunities for people with priorities. even in the state department when kissinger is saying things like we cannot devote this effort his assistant secretary, people in the field were able to have a greater impact on human rights violations overseas that he hoped for. one thing i would suggest is
there actually is an opportunity for lower-level actors to have far greater influence. i also think one of the reasons that human rights become so significant is the american people come to something as a very positive reflection of himself. there is a movement against that from members of congress, activists and the american public. the other thing to remember is that they have a nonimportant impact on government policy if it's something they care deeply about. i guess i'm still somewhat an optimist.
their orientation. they were criticizing the u.s., not just for this but also the social and economic rate. so i'm using a more narrow definition then we would talk about today. that's because the activists at the time were focused on. josé up until this point academics who work on human rights talk about a boom of human rights activism in the 40s centering around -- and it's attributable to a range of things that may be with other factors. i think that's not a particularly useful way to think about it. i've been struck be eight the idea of moments. in 1965 in the wake of the or 1967 in the wake of -- there are
american on behalf of human rights. is this an exceptional narrative? is exceptional in that they believe the united states was exceptional and they have unique values that i must look at the form policy. but, i don't know this is exceptional us in terms of what has been accomplished on the says that human rights is something that the united states should support. there's other moments in which americans have seen their country is a positive source regarding human rights. we can always point to instances in which the government does not protect human rights as much is
activists might like. i don't think the late 60s and early 70s is the only moment which we can see progress being achieved. >> to think about -- >> your model is about acting bilaterally. [inaudible question] >> initially when i started the book there are many avenues i went down. one was that in 1968 the united nations international -- for human rights. and i thought for sure they would have impact. it turned out that wasn't the
case. the activist to i did look at in connection was focused on getting ratification for range of international human rights agreement. they were fully in that respect. there is a sense that because the un international human rights treaty who suggested the national sovereignty, there is a sense that maybe that was not in advance to push for ratification of this. quite a bit of this is there's a broader sense that the you and is no longer in which the rights could be protected. there is a range of things going on. i think there is a sense that
bite targeting you might have a greater impact on the violations overseas then participating in. >> it doesn't seem like that they're doing that in an evil way. it's a little different for that international leaks for man. but by the late 1960s and 70s their -- on washington. >> thank you for a wonderful thought.
talk about the role of the church and maybe meet missionary work for methodist or catholic street create this transnational connection. >> in the book i see missionary as being active their people were arrested, people who suffer human rights abuses and their drawn into activism. so the first years missionary for decades is expelled from the country because it's a freight people were imprisoned for what they believe.
many people think the same thing and rallied around and it was such a clear voice talking about what's going on there. everyone i talked about so far today was a man and i have a number of reasons for that. missionary work is one us one exception to that. think we're women were able to do things like transmit documents i think it's both people who are living in the community and they are motivated by people that they know and
they could be would avoid that in what way do you think it would be of the silver rights movement? >> you can think that when it depends on who they are and so forth but maybe you could get more radical, do you think the push for much more radical thinking? could you think they might be emphasizing up and that generally speaking?
>> i'm just hoping that anyone can pay attention. [inaudible question] [inaudible question] it seems like it was pushing the executive branch to do things that were not to otherwise and making congress so much weaker on form policy. >> if you want to talk about it for a moment one thing that is more exceptional about it is a
moment in which -- up for policymaking. as the church committee hearings and oversight. it's the balance of the branches. that frustration makes it. i do thanks think in terms of the institution of congress i be interested to know how people would compare it that report on it like during the george w. bush administration. it seems like disavowing eight years of practice with form policy. i don't know there's many moments like that but i think there are congressional places.
>> the one piece is the way in which u.s. foreign correspondents who are base by large in tokyo really change the way that they were deciding, there's a point in which they were talking about the allies in their highlighting the human rights abuses happening there. it does seem like their coverage in the united states shapes american thinking about this character of the regime that the u.s. is supporting.
an economist by training who would want to embark on a political career they had this national professional network and all almost immediately there were 250 telegram sent to the white house the said make sure he is not executed, there are number people why talk about in the book and one in particular is a law professor who became drawn into work in the international commission. he got involved in chile and there's number people gionta
human rights activists and because they were drawn professionally to entrée us. so those who are conducting research were here who have a professional tie with somebody who gets caught up in a cool these can be very strong. >> i think they're hesitant with their wariness and the u.s. evolved itself in the affairs of other countries especially the iraq war and various other interventions in that time. how can we balance this interest without interfering in another country is an outsider in ways that would contribute to
destabilization? >> he kept talking about our values. think it was an effort to save the united states was not going to unilaterally intervene in other countries. the key issues that human rights are not american values or western values, they are universal values. i think that's a way that people can continue to advance the cause of human rights. that is a project of the american values. something all human beings are entitled to by their status of being a human being. i do think language is important. the tone and the way in which activists undertake this is significant. as much as i can look at the un agreement is toxic i think now
there are ways to frame efforts to improve human rights by stepping away from that. >> to have time to think about other things. >> technology has made the world so much smaller. as you're describing a lot of human relationships of things going on in the world. today we just continuously think things happen everywhere. does that have any impact on the international relationship and the ability for so many people to know so quickly and so much more completely how that plays
into how government deals with them? >> something that activists in the 60s and 70s put considerable thought and resources to is how to make the plight of someone his name is unfamiliar live in a place you've never been to, the story does not seem as hero, how can you convince americans to mobilize. so activists would tell the stories, i think that type of investment doesn't necessarily have to be made now. i think in the past the transatlantic travel international phone calls and --
there are other challenges that i'm sure activist are about. i do think that the network i talked about in hesitate using the word network services people were traveling and working abroad. i know it's going back to the late 70s and were talking about it i think the social media or other advances have democratized. >> thank you for coming. [applause] [applause]
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