Diminished US influence is allowing human rights violators in Darfur and Burma to get away with murder, Harvard expert Samantha Power writes in Time. America is speaking up louder than ever, but Uncle Sam’s diplomatic nadir makes for “a void in global human rights leadership.” China has most influence over both pariahs, importing Sudanese oil and exporting weapons to Burma.
America has already used much of its available leverage—barring US business from Sudan and Burma—and has taken concrete financial and diplomatic steps. But “self-interested, economic” interests are more important for most countries with a say. The best bet for getting China to line up would be a “coalition of the concerned” leveraging the Olympics for a new human rights consensus.