The US government almost constantly justifies its actions, whether it be sanctions or war, with the reason of human rights. Although it is a noble issue, it is one that many find harder and harder to believe, and with good reason. Here is a quote from Policy Planning Study 23, authored by George Keenan for the State Department in 1948. Given our history of the years since then, one must scratch there heads a bit when we hear our government officials bring up their yearning for "human rights".
"we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of the world's population... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this disparity... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming: and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives...We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we will have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by these idealistic slogans, the better."