Major Birthday Greetings

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Amnesty International. I cannot imagine a more profoundly important milestone in human history in my lifetime. Forget about men walking on the moon or the Mets winning the 1969 World Series; in the larger scheme of things, one can honestly point to Amnesty as the direct spur to the pro-democracy revolutions of 1989 and of this spring, the entire shift towards greater attention to human rights as a factor in foreign policy, even if only as lip service. And I can't think of another group that so totally embodies the work of the NGO as a positive force for good in the world.

Over the years, I have come to believe that the basic rights enunciated in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights are the bedrock on which any decent political system must be built. When all the other certainties in my political thinking eroded with time, those principles still stand. And Amnesty has been working for them for almost my entire life.

Go here and join the celebration.