The editors’ statement raises three questions. First, should the United States practice an active policy for the defense of human rights abroad? The answer, in my view, is yes. It would be best if such a policy were multilateral, and enlisted other liberal democracies, so that the frequently heard accusation of neo-imperialism aimed at the United States would lose any semblance of plausibility. But in the absence of support by our al- lies and friends, the United States should be ready to act by itself: those who can, should—indeed, they must. To be sure, we cannot deal with every conceivable violation of human rights. But there is a minimum that needs to be assured and protected, and it consists of a mixture of political and economic rights: the right to life—to be safe- guarded from political oppression and from deliberate starvation, the right to one’s physical integrity, the right to express one’s ideas and grievances and to assemble in their defense—even...
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