On Human Rights Day, 2008, then President-elect Barack Obama penned these words:
When the United States stands up for human rights . . . we align ourselves with men and women around the world who struggle for the right to speak their minds, to choose their leaders, and to be treated with dignity and respect.
On Inauguration Day, 2009, he said:
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
Fine words, all of them.