Four Freedoms

It's important to remember that when you are exercising your own fundamental human rights, that you do not have the right to infringe on other peoples' human rights. Burning a book, a religious text, may be an act of free speech, but it is also an act of censorship and a violation of the right to religious freedom. Perhaps for some the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is too complex to understand, but everyone should be capable of comprehending President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms.

He looked forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first was freedom of speech, and expression. The second was freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—the freedom to practice any religion you choose. The third was freedom from want—which means economic freedom, the freedom to pursue your own happiness, to choose your own path, to own property, to start a business, to accumulate wealth. The fourth was freedom from fear—which means the freedom to live in a world free from violence, terror, repression, transnational repression, war and aggression.

Americans were asked to go to war to defend these four freedoms. And after the war, the USA created several new international organizations designed to protect these four freedoms. The USA should ask all of our allies to continue to pursue a world founded upon these four essential human freedoms.

The riot in Sweden is disturbing, almost as disturbing as some of the riots we have seen in the USA, but I do not believe it is representative of the entire Swedish population, only a small, misguided group. The Swedish government does not violate human rights.

However we are receiving reports that the Turkish government does. Turkey is engaged in transnational repression, gross human rights violations, political oppression, and issuing threats of aggression against other NATO alliance members. Turkey does not appear to have any respect for the four freedoms. Instead Turkey is using the NATO alliance, not their own military power, but essentially the US military power, as leverage to extort concessions from other countries, demanding that they violate these four essential human freedoms. That is not the world order President Franklin D. Roosevelt envisioned. We look forward to both Finland and Sweden joining NATO, even if that means saying farewell to Turkey.

We expect all of our institutions to uphold the principles that they were founded on. We should all recommit to pursuing President Franklin D. Roosevelt's ideals and vision.


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