President Obama gave an interview earlier this week to an Indonesian television station in lieu of the scheduled trip to that country which was canceled due to the health care vote. In 2008, Indonesia empowered a national commission to investigate human rights abuses committed by its own government under the U.S.-backed Suharto regime "in an attempt to finally bring the perpetrators to justice," and Obama was asked in this interview: "Is your administration satisfied with the resolution of the past human rights abuses in Indonesia?" He replied:We have to acknowledge that those past human rights abuses existed. We can't go forward without looking backwards . . . .When asked last year about whether the United States should use similar tribunals to investigate its own human rights abuses, as well his view of other countries' efforts (such as Spain) to investigate those abuses, Obama said:I'm a strong believer that it's important to look forward and not backwards, and to remind ourselves that we do have very real security threats out there.
Steven Pinker on Understanding Human Nature
39 minutes ago