from Liberty Blitzkrieg:
So why would the State Department magically upgrade Malaysia? Well, because of a tiny provision in the fast track “Trade Promotion Authority” deal that Congress recently passed. It noted that fast track authority would not apply to trade deals involving countries that were categorized as “tier 3″ by the State Department. In other words, this should have given the US tremendous leverage to push Malaysia to really tackle the problem. Instead, because it appears that the administration is so focused on getting the TPP officially finished and ratified, it got the State Department to just magically upgrade Malaysia, and effectively spit on the graves of those murdered migrant workers.
Don’t let anyone tell you Barack Obama’s a lame duck. Our CEO of war was recently spotted in Southeast Asia spreading around some of that famous peace and democracy.
Vice News reports:
US President Barack Obama announced on Monday that Washington would fully lift an embargo on sales of lethal arms to Vietnam, despite human rights organizations describing it as “among the world’s most repressive regimes.”
The decision to lift the arms trade ban, which followed intense debate within the Obama administration, suggested that US concerns about China’s assertiveness outweighed arguments that Vietnam had not done enough to improve its human rights record and that Washington would lose leverage for reforms.
The last annual report by NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Vietnam’s record remained “dire in all areas,” with the Communist Party allowing no challenge to its leadership, restricting basic rights such as freedom of speech and association, as well as imprisoning and assaulting activists and bloggers. Police regularly engage in torture, the justice system and all public institutions are controlled by the government, and the media and internet are censored.
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