Kenneth Roth is the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. (December 2016)

IN THE REVIEW

What Trump Should Do in Syria

All wars are frightening for those stuck in the middle, but the five-and-a-half-year conflict in Syria has proven to be especially horrific. What kind of policy might President-elect Donald Trump adopt toward it? How different would his approach be from Barack Obama’s? Despite his early rhetoric about joining with the Russian and Syrian governments to fight the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS, Trump is likely to encounter a far more complicated terrain than he seems to understand, which will require a much tougher approach toward Moscow than he so far envisions.

A Case Against America

Noam Chomsky

Who Rules the World?

by Noam Chomsky
Chomsky undermines the facile if comforting myths that are often used to justify US action abroad—the distinction between, as he puts it, “what we stand for” and “what we do.” His views are held not only by American critics on the left but also by many people around the world who are more likely to think of themselves as targeted rather than protected by US military power.

Slavery: The ISIS Rules

Yazidi sisters who escaped from ISIS captivity and are now living in the Sharya refugee camp, Duhok Province, Iraq, July 3, 2015
Introduction Modern slavery takes many forms, but most slaves are forced to work in the shadows. Those who control modern slaves—whether men compelled to work on Thai fishing boats, domestic workers trapped in the homes of their Saudi employers, children ordered to beg in Senegal, bonded workers in India, or …

The End of Human Rights?

Two eight-year-old brides with their husbands, Hajjah, Yemen, July 2010

The Endtimes of Human Rights

by Stephen Hopgood

Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s

by Barbara J. Keys
Human rights organizations today have a major part in international affairs. My organization, Human Rights Watch, works in ninety countries, including virtually all those suffering war or severe governmental repression. Amnesty International, the largest rights group, has similar coverage and three million members around the world. These two big international …

NYR DAILY

The NSA’s Global Threat to Free Speech

Following months of Snowden disclosures, the extent to which the National Security Agency’s extraordinary surveillance infringes on the privacy of our communications and other vast areas of our lives has become widely apparent. Far less appreciated, however, is the global threat it poses to freedom of expression. After the revelations about NSA surveillance, many countries have said they may require Internet companies to keep data about their citizens on servers within their own borders. If that becomes standard practice, it will be easier for repressive governments to monitor Internet communications.

Rethinking Surveillance

As a federal prosecutor in the 1980s, I used to think nothing of scooping up the phone numbers that a suspect called. I viewed that surveillance as no big deal because the Supreme Court had ruled in Smith v. Maryland (1979) that we have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the phone numbers we dial, as opposed to the content of the calls. And in any event, I had limited time or practical ability to follow up on those numbers. Today, by contrast, when I look at the government’s large-scale electronic surveillance of private communications, I see an urgent need to rethink the rationale—and legal limits—for such intrusion.