Archive for ‘War Lords’

07/04/2014

UN Expert ‘Alarmed’ at Worsening Human Rights Situation’ in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Human Wrongs Watch

An independent United Nations expert on 7 April 2014  sounded the alarm on the deteriorating human rights situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, adding that the evacuation of aid workers following recent attacks on the humanitarian community would have severe consequences for life-saving work in the area.*

A Rohingya woman and her child at a makeshift camp outside Sittwe in Myanmar's western Rakhine State. Photo: IRIN

A Rohingya woman and her child at a makeshift camp outside Sittwe in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State. Photo: IRIN

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“Recent developments in Rakhine state are the latest in a long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya [Muslim majority] community which could amount to crimes against humanity,” said the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana.

04/04/2014

Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand Is at Our Throats

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery* – TRANSCEND Media Service – As everyone knows, Adam Smith invented the theory that individual self-interest is, and ought to be, the main motivating force of human economic activity, and that, in effect, it serves the wider social interest. He put forward a detailed description of this concept in an immense book, “The Wealth of Nations” (1776).

Adam Smith statue in Edinburgh's High Street with St. Giles High Kirk behind | Author: Kim Traynor | Wikimedia Commons

Adam Smith statue in Edinburgh’s High Street with St. Giles High Kirk behind | Author: Kim Traynor | Wikimedia Commons

Adam Smith (1723-1790) had been Professor of Logic at the University of Glasgow, but in 1764 he withdrew from his position at the university to become the tutor of the young Duke of Buccleuch. In those days a Grand Tour of Europe was considered to be an important part of the education of a young nobleman, and Smith accompanied Buccleuch to the Continent.

To while away the occasional dull intervals of the tour, Adam Smith began to write an enormous book on economics which he finally completed twelve years later. He began his “Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” by praising division of labor.

03/04/2014

UN Confirms Receipt of Palestinian Applications to Join Global Conventions, Treaties

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations confirmed on 2 April 2014 that Palestinian Authority officials have presented letters for accession to 15 international conventions and treaties.*

the Palestinian flag | Own work. Based on Law No. 5 for the year 2006 amending some provisions of Law No. 22 for the year 2005 on the Sanctity of the Palestinian Flag | Author: Orionist, previous versions by Makaristos, Mysid, etc.| Wikimedia Commons

The Palestinian flag | Author: Orionist, previous versions by Makaristos, Mysid, etc.| Wikimedia Commons

UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters that the documents had been presented to Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

“Once we receive the letters at Headquarters, we will be reviewing them to consider the appropriate next steps.”

Haq added that the Palestinian leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas upon signing the accession letters on Monday night, has repeatedly emphasized that it wants to continue the negotiations with Israel that resumed in July 2013 under United States auspices.

“We hope that a way can be found to see negotiations through until the scheduled end of the nine-month timeframe set to expire on 29 April. The goal remains to arrive at a substantive basis for negotiations towards a comprehensive peace agreement on all final status issues.”

Haq went on to say that the UN is in contact with the sides to emphasize the need to manage current developments responsibly and act with restraint. In that regard, Serry met with the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyad Malki, this morning. He also met with Israeli negotiator and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni.

01/04/2014

Climate Change Impacting Entire Planet, Raising Risk of Hunger, Floods, Conflict – UN Report

Human Wrongs Watch

The effects of climate change are already occurring in all continents and across the oceans, and the world, for the most part, is ill-prepared for their risks, says a United Nations report issued on 31 March 2014, which also warns that while action can be taken, managing the phenomenon’s impacts will be difficult on a rapidly warming planet.* “Nobody will be untouched.”

The melting of ice sheets is accelerating in Greenland. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The melting of ice sheets is accelerating in Greenland. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks.

01/04/2014

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Heads to UK to Investigate Abuse

Human Wrongs Watch

Domestic and sexual violence, sexual bullying and harassment, forced and early marriages, and female genital mutilation – all these issues and more will be on the docket as the United Nations expert tasked with monitoring violence against women launched her first mission in the United Kingdom.*

**Photo credit: Sherkashmiri | Wikimedia Commons.

**Photo credit: Sherkashmiri | Wikimedia Commons.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Rashida Manjoo, 31 March 2014 began a two week investigative mission to the United Kingdom to study the manifestations of violence perpetrated in the family and in the community.

“Violence against women continues to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations globally, affecting every country in the world,” Manjoo said.*

29/03/2014

US Proxy Terror War on Venezuela

Human Wrongs Watch 

By Prof. James Petras - TRANSCEND* – Protest, dissent and terrorist wars are obviously very distinct forms of expressing opposition and bringing about change.

The Obama-Kerry regime claim that the opposition in Venezuela is a “protest movement” a “peaceful democratic opposition” expressing discontent with economic conditions and that the democratically elected Maduro Administration is an ‘authoritarian regime’ violently repressing dissent.

Washington claims to play no part in the action of the opposition and that its pronouncements are directed at furthering democratic freedoms.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry departs the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in a U.S. military Blackhawk helicopter on March 26, 2013. [State Department Photo/Public Domain] Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/statephotos/8591480059/sizes/o/in/photostream/. Author;U.S. Department of State

**John Kerry departs the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in a U.S. military Blackhawk helicopter on March 26, 2013. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]

The overwhelming evidence speaks to the contrary. By every measure, the opposition has engaged in prolonged and extensive violent activity, including terrorist acts, assassinations, arson, destruction of public property including the murder of military officials and civilian supporters of the government.

Widely circulated photographs, even in media outlets backing Washington, show opposition activists throwing Molotov cocktails and building barracades for street warfare.

The Obama-Kerry Administration is in total denial of each and every violent act by the opposition; it unconditionally defends the opposition; it forcibly attacks and demonizes each and every effort by the Government to defend the rights of its citizens, uphold the Constitution and enforce law and order.

29/03/2014

Calls for a Ceasefire in the War on Drugs

Human Wrongs Watch

“The production of opium increased by 102% and cocaine by 20% from 1998 to 2007, despite efforts to destroy crops around the world; in the US close to 500,000 people are in jail for drug offenses, compared with 41,000 in 1980; the US spent 93% of its resources on cocaine for law enforcement and only 7% on treatment programmes; more than 30 countries impose the death penalty for drug-related crimes; over 70%of HIV infections in Russia are due to injecting drugs… The list goes on and the casualties of the drug wars mount.”

Photo: Obinna Anyadike. The war on drugs isn’t working: 10am, Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town

 Photo: Obinna Anyadike. The war on drugs isn’t working: 10am, Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town | Source: IRIN

Humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs IRIN* on 28 March 2014 reported from New York, “Despite growing acknowledgement that the war on drugs has failed, global consensus on the way forward remains elusive. Nevertheless, some detect a “paradigm shift” among many players at the forefront of the debate.”

28/03/2014

Egypt in the Rear Mirror (II): Who Are the Not-So-Invisible Powers Behind the Troglodytes?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Baher Kamal*

Cairo, 26 March 2014 – “If you cannot win them, join them” seems to be the old British political principle that Washington has been applying to its plans to re-design the Arab region, always under the recurrent public pretext of the “war on terrorism.”

 World War I Uncle Sam recruiting poster | Date: 1916-1917 | Source: Library of Congress | Author: James Montgomery Flagg | No known restrictions on publication. Wikimedia Commons: No renewal in Copyright Office.

World War I Uncle Sam recruiting poster | Date: 1916-1917 |
Source: Library of Congress | Author: James Montgomery Flagg |  Wikimedia Commons: No known restrictions on publication. No renewal in Copyright Office.

Specifically, since the U.S has failed to defeat “terrorism” through massive military and intelligence operations carried out after the September 11 attacks (see Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, among others), the American strategy has shifted towards engaging with what it considers as “moderate” Islamist movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

For this purpose, Washington has been relying on two key “agents” in the region: Qatar and Turkey.

28/03/2014

“They Know Everything We Do”

Human Wrongs Watch

By Human Rights Watch*, 25 March 2014 – The Ethiopian government is using foreign technology to bolster its widespread telecom surveillance of opposition activists and journalists both in Ethiopia and abroad.

Meles Zenawi, speaks at the Annual Meeting 2012 of the World Economic Forum. Source: Flickr: Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 | Author: World Economic Forum | Wikimedia Commons

Source: Flickr: Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia – World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 | Author: World Economic Forum | Wikimedia Commons

The 100-page report, They Know Everything We Do’: Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia,” details the technologies the Ethiopian government has acquired from several countries and uses to facilitate surveillance of perceived political opponents inside the country and among the diaspora.

The government’s surveillance practices violate the rights to freedom of expression, association, and access to information.

The government’s monopoly over all mobile and Internet services through its sole, state-owned telecom operator, Ethio Telecom, facilitates abuse of surveillance powers.

“The Ethiopian government is using control of its telecom system as a tool to silence dissenting voices,” said Arvind Ganesan, business and human rights director at Human Rights Watch.

24/03/2014

15 Years On: Looking Back at NATO’s ‘Humanitarian’ Bombing of Yugoslavia

Human Wrongs Watch

By Russia Today (RT)* 

Exactly 15 years ago, on March 24, NATO began its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. The alliance bypassed the UN under a “humanitarian” pretext, launching aggression that claimed hundreds of civilian lives and caused a much larger catastrophe than it averted.

Author Clockwise from upper left: Tomislav Jagušt, User:Snake bgd, User:Zeke, Senior Airman Mitch Fuqua (U.S. Air Force) | Wikimedia Commons

Author Clockwise from upper left: Tomislav Jagušt, User:Snake bgd, User:Zeke, Senior Airman Mitch Fuqua (U.S. Air Force) | Wikimedia Commons

Years on, Serbia still bears deep scars of the NATO bombings which, as the alliance put it, were aimed at “preventing instability spreading” in Kosovo. Questions remain on the very legality of the offense, which caused casualties and mass destruction in the Balkan republic.

Codenamed ‘Operation Allied Force,’ it was the largest attack ever undertaken by the alliance. It was also the first time that NATO used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council and against a sovereign nation that did not pose a real threat to any member of the alliance.

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