The Role of Congress in U.S. Human Rights Policy and Beyond
(R-NJ) Chairman, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives
Writer, PBS Online NewsHour
Representative Christopher Smith joins Michael D. Mosettig of PBS to discuss the challenges of human rights policymaking and the importance of speaking out on behalf of the victims of abuse. Smith laments the power of lobbying interests to kill human rights-related bills in Congress and warns that economic interests frequently take precedence over rights concerns in U.S. foreign policy. Though critical of certain aspects of its implementation, Smith points to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act as an example of effective legislation that has successfully prodded foreign governments to take steps to prevent human trafficking.
Steven Simon, former senior director for Middle Eastern and North African affairs at the National Security Council, and Barak Mendelsohn, associate professor of political science at Haverford College discuss the fight between the Iraqi government and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Iraqi President Fuad Masum joins Michael R. Gordon, national security correspondent for the New York Times, to discuss ISIS and the current situation in Iraq.
Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, CFR Senior Fellow Elliott Abrams details the United States' goals in Iraq and Syria: to alleviate the humanitarian and refugee crisis; to prevent an Iranian victory in Syria; and to strike devastating blows at the Islamic State.