23 October 2005

It's Politics

Pres. Bush is “highly worried” about the Syrian involvement in the assassination of former P.M. Hariri as was stated in the Mehlis’ report. Sec. C. Rice was “deeply worried”. She can not accept the involvement of any government in the assassination of a former P.M. of another country. The U.S. neither practices nor condones such acts. France was impressed with the “high level” of professionalism in which the investigation was carried out. They think that the report can not be criticized. John Bulton does not even think that the Syrians should protest or try to defend themselves. The right of the accused to defend him/herself does not apply in this case. He is surely the right man to represent the U.S. in the United Nations. Jack Straw is “concerned” and is calling on the Syrians to change, really change.

All the worries and reactions and even “verdicts” were expected. What was not expected is that we got the impression that they were made even before the report was read thoroughly. This is not expected from these developed nations that we strive to emulate. We expect a fair trial.

The Syrians defense was also expected. Especially their reference to the accounts of the witness, Mr. Siddiq, whose accounts were at points considered not reliable and at other points used to build upon and finally he was considered as an accomplice in the crime. They pointed out that there is no hard evidence in this report, no smoking gun. There are only suspicions.

The Syrians are in a tough position. It is not like the report was mistakenly released with the names of those who are very close to Pres. Bashar and then – oops – we are sorry; that was the wrong report; the right one only refers to Syrian government but does not name names… .

Syria is in a very serious position. A position that differs in only one way from that of Iraq’s position before the American came to liberate them. Then Pres. Bush was clearly telling Saddam and his people to leave. Now Pres. Bush and his secretaries are telling Bashar to change.

Syria is in a very dangerous position. The U.S., the U.N., the U.K., and France, can not be taken lightly. And they don’t seem to be waiting for the “fair trial” before they request that the “change” be done. It does not matter that the report views all people, including those charged with serious crimes, to be innocent until proven guilty. And they do not seem to care much that an entire nation should not be held responsible if a few of its citizens were responsible for a crime ....

And I still believe that the terrorists responsible for the assassination of P.M. Rafic Hariri and all others are f**#ing a**h>les and should be brought to justice.


Contradictory Quotes:

There is no sectarianism in Lebanon.Saad Al Hariri in an interview with Wardah on VDL, Oct. 23, 2005

Much needs to be done to overcome sectarian divisions,…Paragraph 208, Report of the Int. Indep. Investigation Commision. (Mehlis’ Report). 2005

21 October 2005

"Mehlis' Report"

You can find an English copy (pdf) of the report here:

http://www.tayyar.org/mehlisreport_tayyarorg.pdf

An Arabic Translation (pdf) is also here:

http://www.tayyar.org/mehlisreport_tayyarorg_arabic.pdf

This report is out but the investigations will continue...

18 October 2005

Dear Friends,

This editorial ran today in the Israeli paper, Haaretz. It has been picked up by a number of pro-Likud and pro-neocon bloggers.

Just to test your legal knowledge, common sense, and powers of logic, see how many fallacies you can find in Mr. Steinberg's argument.

Best,

Laurie King-Irani


The High Court of Justice recently ruled that the separation barrier built to protect Israelis against Palestinian terrorist attacks was morally justified as well as legal.
While ordering some changes in the routing to limit the impact on Palestinians, the Israeli court rejected the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion, which called the barrier illegal. The ICJ's majority had erased the context of terrorism, and focused exclusively on distorted political claims related to the legal status of "occupied territory".
Judge Aharon Barak and his colleagues rebuked the ICJ, but could not yet bring themselves to state that international law has become another weapon in political warfare, without any moral authority.
But this is the reality, as also shown in the example of Daniel Machover, a lawyer living in London who exploits the idea of human rights to promote a very narrow crusade against Israel.
Accompanied by a chorus of NGOs singing hymns to international law, and empowering himself, via the British courts, as a neo-colonial high commissioner over Israel's democracy, Machover brands Israeli leaders as war criminals. (A few months ago, he also promoted the academic boycott of Israel.)
SUCH CLAIMS regarding international law and universal human rights norms, whether made with respect to Israel, the United States, Britain, or other countries do not reflect any consistent moral position.
Instead, they are used to pursue a political and ideological agenda that is essentially anti-democratic.
If the principles of universal justice were the objectives, rather than simply the means for supporting personal goals, then Palestinian, Syrian, Saudi and other terrorists would have been tried in Britain for war crimes and human rights violations long ago. And the same is true for their European weapons suppliers, bankers, etc.
The basic weaknesses of international law and human rights are not in the theory, which seeks to establish a moral code of conduct that encompasses the entire world, to prevent genocide, terror campaigns, and slavery.
These objectives, which were added to traditional law governing less explosive issues such as trade disputes and piracy on the high seas, are entirely worthy. And as peace and democracy spread in parts of the world, the relations between such nations are indeed governed by common principles and negotiations, and less by force and violence.
But most parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East, are not governed by the principles of democracy.
As a result, the claim that international law in practice can be determined by majority decisions of political organizations like the UN made up primarily of totalitarian regimes is nonsense.
Similarly, there is no moral basis for claims by the unelected leaders of non-gov ernmental organizations, such as Machover and Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth, to speak for civil society.
They can only speak for themselves and the organizations they head, and their opinions on morality and human rights have the same value as anyone else's no less, and no more.
In this reality, the principles that are said to constitute international law lack the two central properties required for any legitimate legal system: the consent of the governed, and uniform and unprejudiced application. International law and the claims made in its name fit neither criteria.
In a democratic framework, the legal system gains legitimacy through the consent of the citizens, and accountable to democratic procedures. We accept the limitations placed on us by the system of laws and the role of the police in enforcing these laws as part of the requirements for justice and order in any functioning society.
But we do not accept limitations imposed from the outside, without our consent.
Thus, the claims of the UN, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and campaigns run by obsessed extremists in Europe, lack any legitimate moral foundation or standing in democratic societies with their own legal system.
Similarly, when judges sittin g on the Israeli High Court base decisions on international law, they are attempting to impose an external framework which lacks the legitimacy provided by the consent of the governed.
THE OTHER problem with the use of international law is the absence of equitable implementation.
No legal system that focuses its attention selectively can be considered legitimate. Thus, the routine condemnations of Israeli or American policy by the UN, the ICJ, and accompanying NGOs have no moral or legal validity when the principles are not applied uniformly.
In contrast to these destructive polemics, in order to promote a meaningful universal moral code, it is necessary to recognize the need for the consent of the governed and for consistent and universal enforcement. International law based on justice, and not ideology, remains a worthy objective. But the substitution of political rhetoric that invokes the myths and rhetoric for the real thing is entirely counterproductive.

17 October 2005

Sisyphus

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

13 October 2005



naji

10 October 2005

"Don't Confuse Me With The Facts!"

"Don't Confuse Me With The Facts!" That could be the motto of those of us
who rely on the blogosphere, rather than traditional media, for our news.
What's the future of newspapers and networks in this all-opinion world? Tom
Rosenstiel, who directs the project for Excellence in Journalism, told USA Today that traditional media will evolve into "authenticators" telling people what information they can trust. (Reader's Digest, Aug. 2005, p130.)


Well if we don't trust the news that most networks slam us with at present, how can we trust that, in the future, they will know which information we can trust. (Too much trust going around?)

09 October 2005

No Need For Titles

Naji

Hanthala: Your article on democracy today was great, what will you write about tomorrow?
The writer: My will.
Naji Al Ali http://najialali.hanaa.net/

Hopeful Obituary

انعي لكم يا أصدقائي اللغة القديمة
والكتب القديمة
*
وانعي لكم
كلامنا المثقوب كالأحذية القديمة
ومفردات العهر والهجاء والشتيمة
*
انعي لكم
نهاية الفكر الذي قاد للهزيمة
*
السر في مأساتنا
صراخنا أضخم من أصواتنا
وسيفنا أطول من قامتنا
*
لا تلعنوا السماء
إن تخلت عنكم لا تلعنوا ألظروف
فالله يؤتي النصر من يشاء
وليس حدادا لديكم يصنع السيوف
*
إذا خسرنا الحرب لا غرابة
لأننا ندخلها
بكل ما يملك الشرقي من مواهب الخطابة
بالعنتريات التي ما قتلت ذبابة
لأننا ندخلها بمنطق الطبلة والربابة
---
نزار قباني

 

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