Archive for September 3rd, 2012

03/09/2012

Attacking Iran Would Be a ‘Disaster for the Whole Region and the World’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*, 3 Sep 2012, TRANSCEND – The Israeli attack seems imminent. Richard Silverstein circulates a leaked “shock and awe” strategy of Netanyahu‑Barak hard zionism to decapitate, paralyze Iran; and Alon Ben‑Meir (an expert on Middle East politics specializing in peace negotiations between Israel and Arab states) says Israel is not bluffing.

**Credit: Captain Blood | Wikimedia Commons

Israel may prefer an attack with the USA (Romney? Obama after elections?), but may go alone. Some people believe the nuclear bomb story, others believe that the purpose is Israel as a Jewish state from the Nile to the Euphrates, also promoted by Netanyahu’s late father. The two stories do not exclude each other.

Iran is a Shanghai Cooperation Organization-SCO observer. An attack will trigger responses from the Russia‑China core. What Israel may gain in Saudi Sunni support they may lose in more important parts of the world, in diplomatic and economic relations.  The SCO is huge.

There is also the real danger of a world war of NATO against SCO, with nuclear powers divided 4‑4; USA‑Israel being indivisible as they came into being in the same way: by taking somebody else’s land.

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03/09/2012

Slavery: Use of Children as Domestic Workers Pervasive Throughout Haiti

Human Wrongs Watch

Port Au-Prince, Haiti  (ILO*) – The use of children as domestic workers is pervasive throughout Haiti. Though culturally accepted for generations, a new campaign has been launched to combat what is one of the worst forms of child labour.

Children in Haiti are victims of violence. Credit: UN

 Her day starts at 4 a.m.
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She wakes up before everyone else in the household.
Silently, she empties the chamber pots and sweeps the floors. She draws several buckets of water from the pump down the street and carries them back to the house.
As the sun rises, she prepares coffee and heats the oil to make breakfast for the family – but not her family.

Each day is filled with endless household chores from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to bed.

She is 7 years old. She is a restavek.

The term ‘restavek’ in Haitian Creole means literally ‘to stay with.’ Today it is one of the worst names to be called in Haitian society.

Originally conceived as a system to send children to live with wealthier relatives in the city so they could receive an education and enjoy a better life, the restavek system has deteriorated in recent years.

It has become a form of domestic trafficking and modern-day slavery, particularly in the face of the country’s increased economic pressures following the January 2010 earthquake.

Middlemen recruiters, known in Creole as koutchye, are sometimes paid to find a restavek for host families.

In addition to working long hours, these children are often physically, sexually, and verbally abused.

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03/09/2012

‘Turkey Has No Illusions about Its EU Bid’

By EurActiv*Turkey is not moving away from Europe but it is diversifying its international relations, Wolf-Ruthart Born, a former German ambassador to Turkey, tells EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

Wolf-Ruthart Born

Wolf-Ruthart Born is a diplomat who was State Secretary for European Affairs in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2011. Born will be one of the speakers at the Krynica Economic Forum to be held from 4 to 6 September. He spoke to EurActiv’s founder and publisher Christophe Leclercq.
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Given the slow progress of negotiations with the EU, Turks don’t believe in joining the EU, and the country shifted its foreign policy focus towards the Middle East and more widely Central Asia, Africa, Asia. The process had already begun when you served as German ambassador in Ankara from 2003 to 2006. Is this process accelerating now, as the EU and the eurozone are in crisis, while Turkey keeps on having strong economic indicators?
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Full EU membership still is a political priority for Turkey. However Turkey has no illusions about the outcome. The negotiations and the reform process and pre-accession aid are helping the transformation and modernisation process in Turkey.
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The foreign policy shift from a fundamentally ‘West-only’ policy towards a policy with a larger regional and even global approach is a natural development after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. It reflects Turkey’s geographic-strategic position, neighbourhood, history, culture, religion, internal economic and political development under the AK Party and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as well as political and economic interests and ambitions in a globalised world.
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