Archive for ‘War Lords’

27/06/2015

War Crimes? Us???

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

27 June 2015

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

“WAR IS HELL!” the US general George Patton famously exclaimed.

War is the business of killing the “enemy”, in order to impose your will on them.

Therefore, “humane war” is an oxymoron.

War itself is a crime. There are few exceptions. I would exempt the war against Nazi Germany, since it was conducted against a regime of mass murderers, led by a psychopathic dictator, who could not be brought to heel by any other means.

This being so, the concept of “war crimes” is dubious. The biggest crime is starting the war in the first place. This is not the business of soldiers, but of political leaders. Yet they are rarely indicted.

THESE PHILOSOPHICAL musings came to me in the wake of the recent UN report on the last Gaza war.

The investigation committee bent over backwards to be “balanced”, and accused both the Israeli army and Hamas in almost equal terms. That, in itself, is problematic.

27/06/2015

The Ultimate Guide to Middle East

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Sufyan bin Uzayr* 

25 June 2015, Political Periscope – Nowadays, if there is one part of the world that repeatedly finds itself in the midst of some conflict or the other, it has to be Western Asia, which is more commonly known as Middle East.

middle-east-featured map

Source: Political Periscope

Looking at the present-day map of Middle East is a confusing and heart-breaking experience. There are random boundaries separating one state from another, and issues such as terrorism, political strife, corruption, etc. are rampant.

However, it was not always this way. Not so long ago, Middle East was the pinnacle of peace and prosperity. So what went wrong? In this rather long essay, I will try to explain the root causes of the ongoing strife in the Middle East.

27/06/2015

‘Torture Can Never Be Used to Fight Terrorism’

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has renewed his call for Member States to repudiate the use of torture amid the international community’s ongoing fight against terrorism and provide victims of the inhumane practice with support critical in helping them rebuild their lives.

Singers wearing hats advocating “No Torture” line up before performing at a Human Rights Day event outside of Mogadishu Central Prison in Somalia on 10 December 2013. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Singers wearing hats advocating “No Torture” line up before performing at a Human Rights Day event outside of Mogadishu Central Prison in Somalia on 10 December 2013. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Marking the 2015 edition of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, observed annually on 26 June, the Secretary-General today reminded governments around the world of the “absolute prohibition on the use of torture at any time and under any circumstances under international law,” adding that when used in a systematic manner, torture can even constitute a crime against humanity.

27/06/2015

Children Bear Brunt of Conflict in (Liberated) Afghanistan – UN

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

26 June 2015 – Last year saw more children killed or maimed in Afghanistan since monitoring of those statistics began in 2007, reflecting that “children are bearing the brunt of the conflict,” according to United Nations UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report on children and armed conflict in that strife-torn country.

Bamiyan, Afghanistan: children make a long journey to continue their education. Photo: UNICEF/AFGA2012-00090/Abdul Aziz Froutan

“The killing and maiming of children from the indiscriminate use of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] in populated areas, and the use of children as suicide bombers, can only be condemned as flagrant violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” said Leila Zerrougui, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

26/06/2015

The Nun and the Bakery

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

‘In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, survivors of conflict are rebuilding their shattered lives one loaf at a time. Their stories’

By Céline Schmitt*

25 June 2015 – For nearly a decade, the small and dusty town of Dungu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been under attack. But while many women and girls throughout the region have been kidnapped and terrorised by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), others have survived and are now rebuilding their lives.

Pascaline holds freshly baked croissants in her apron at Sister Angélique’s new bakery. | UNHCR/Kate Holt.

Pascaline holds freshly baked croissants in her apron at Sister Angélique’s new bakery. | UNHCR/Kate Holt.

Sister Angélique Namaika, the 2013 Nansen Refugee Award laureate, has lived in Dungu since 2003. For more than a decade, she has been helping over 2,000 women to overcome their trauma, counter the stigma attached to rape, and learn to live again. With the Nansen prize money, Sister Angélique opened a cooperative bakery on 5 June 2015. I seized the opportunity to go back and see her again.

25/06/2015

Militarism’s Hostages

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

25 June 2015 – Do our “Defense Departments” really defend us? Absolutely not! Their very title is a lie. The military-industrial complex sells itself by claiming to defend civilians. It justifies vast and crippling budgets by this claim; but it is a fraud. For the military-industrial complex, the only goal is money and power. Civilians like ourselves are just hostages. We are expendable. We are pawns in the power game, the money game.

**Aftermath of the atomic bomb explosion over Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 with writing of Paul Tibbets | Source: http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/images/historical/hiroshima.jpg | Author: U.S. Navy Public Affairs Resources Website | Permission: http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/chinfoprivacy.html | Wikimedia Commons

**Aftermath of the atomic bomb explosion over Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 with writing of Paul Tibbets | Source: http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/images/historical/hiroshima.jpg | Author: U.S. Navy Public Affairs Resources Website | Permission: http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/chinfoprivacy.html | Wikimedia Commons

Nations possessing nuclear weapons threaten each other with “Mutually Assured Destruction”, which has the very appropriate acronym MAD.

What does this mean? Does it mean that civilians are being protected? Not at all.

23/06/2015

That Which Is Right vs. the Political Right

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Leonardo Boff*

Leonardo Boff

Leonardo Boff

23 Jun 2015I think that in trying to overcome the present crisis (if that is possible) two factors must be seriously considered, otherwise we risk losing everything that we hope for: the collapse of the capitalist order and the limits of the Earth that cannot be exceeded.

Naturally, this relies on hypotheses, but I believe they are well founded.

The first fact: the capitalist system has begun to collapse, which means it has reached its end in two ways: its end in the sense that it has achieved its fundamental purpose: to accumulate private wealth up to extreme limits.

As Thomas Piketty wrote in Capital in the XXI Century: «the few who are on top tend to appropriate a great portion of the national wealth». Today that tendency is not only national, but global.

The data varies from year to year, but in short, they are: that an ever smaller group has and controls the better part of the world’s wealth.

20/06/2015

Isratin or Palestrael?

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

20 June 2015

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

THERE WAS this guy who had an earth-shaking invention: an airplane that flies on water.

No more gas. No more pollution. No more astronomical prices. Just fill it up with water, and it will fly to the end of the world.

“Wonderful!” people cried out. “Show us the plans!”

“Plans?” the man said. “I have had the great idea. I leave it to the engineers to work out the technical details.”

The inventors of the “One-State Solution” remind me of this genius. They have a wonderful idea. But there are a few questions left open.

FIRST QUESTION: how can it be achieved?

The obvious answer is: by war.

The Arab world will mobilize its armies. Israel will be conquered. The victors will impose their will.

This may be possible within a few generations. I rather doubt it. In a world of nuclear arms, wars may end with mutual annihilation.

Well, if not war, then “outside pressure”.

20/06/2015

‘World Faces a ‘Staggering Crisis’ as Number of Refugees Hits Record Hig’

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Don Murray*

Istanbul, Turkey (UNHCR)*  The world is facing a staggering crisis as the number of forcibly displaced people rises to record numbers 59.5 million at the end of 2014, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres on 18 June 2015 warned.

© Anadolu Agency/F.Yurdakul | Syrian woman holds two babies in her arms after fleeing crossing the Akcakale border gate in southern Turkey’s Sanliurfa province this week. | Source: UNHCR

“To those that think that it doesn’t matter because humanitarian organizations will be there and able to clean up the mess, I think it’s important to say that we are no longer able to clean up the mess,” he told reporters in Istanbul.*

20/06/2015

‘Most of World’s Refugees – 86 per cent — Live in Developing Countries’

by Baher Kamal

Human Wrongs Watch

“Most of the world’s refugees – 86 per cent — live in the developing world, compared to 70 per cent 10 years ago. Most of these countries have kept their doors open to people in search of safety, and have shown a generosity that is often well beyond their means,” says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. 

Kosovar refugees fleeing their homeland on 01 March 1999 UN Photo/UNHCR/R LeMoyne

Kosovar refugees fleeing their homeland on 01 March 1999 | UN Photo/UNHCR/R LeMoyne

“I appeal to all Member States and our partners in civil society to do their utmost to support the nations and communities that have welcomed the forcibly displaced into their midst,” Ban said on occasion of World Refugee Day on 20 June 2015.

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