Archive | January 30, 2017

Argentina Trumps U.S. on New Immigration Laws*

Argentina Trumps U.S. on New Immigration Laws*

Argentina is tightening its immigration laws, according to a government bulletin, refusing entry to people with a criminal history and making it easier to deport foreigners that run afoul of the law.

Foreigners who commit “malicious” crimes will be expelled from the country under the reconfigured law, and will not be able to re-enter for at least eight years. In an earlier version of the law, deportees were kept out for five years. Those with a criminal history will be restricted from entering the country.

Citing “recent acts of organized crime,” the post noted a growing number of foreigners in the country’s corrections system, pointing out that in 2016 21.35% of the prison population was foreign-born.

According to Argentina’s Interior Ministry, between 2011-2015 over 75% of migrants to Argentina came from Peru, Paraguay and Bolivia.

Under a “Decree of Necessity and Emergency,” implemented without approval from the nation’s congress, deportation process times can be as short as two months.

“One has to distinguish between measures that have to do with security, and others that make Argentina an open country, that will always be in favour of diversity,” said  Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti on a radio news program.

Michetti attempted to distance the measures in Argentina from those taken by U.S. President Trump, who recently signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, and suspending admission for all refugees for 120 days.

Trump has also proposed constructing a wall along the Mexican border, in an attempt to stem the influx of undocumented immigrants.

The Center for Legal and Social Studies condemned the new Argentine law, arguing that it will make immigrant status more insecure, leaving them vulnerable to “police harassment, harder inception into school, harder access health services, with the constant threat of being arrested.”

Migrants without criminal records may also be affected by the decree. The Center for Legal and Social Studies told Telesur,

“The government wants to set up a false issue in order to remove from the public agenda more urgent and relevant issues and, at the same time, demonstrate a so-call commitment to crime prevention.”

Micetti claimed that Argentina remains pro-immigration, and that she was “against Trump’s recent statements about immigration in the United States and the wall.”

Anti-immigrant sentiment has not generally been prevalent in Latin America, as it has in the U.S. and Europe, although recent Venezuelan and Haitian migrants to Chile have made immigration a key campaign issue in Santiago’s upcoming presidential election.

Source*

Related Topics:

Over One Million Britons Petition against Trump’s Official State Visit*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

Declassified Docs Detail U.S. Role in Dirty War Horrors of Argentina *

U.S. Agents Are Filling Key Posts in Argentina*

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

 

By Glenn Greenwald

In 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September, 2011 drone strike. While that assassination created widespread debate – the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed, sued Obama again after the killing was carried out – another drone-killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention.

Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki

Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki

 

Two weeks after the killing of Awlaki, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemen killed his 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman, along with the boy’s 17-year-old cousin and several other innocent Yemenis. The U.S. eventually claimed that the boy was not their target but merely “collateral damage.” Abdulrahman’s grief-stricken grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, urged the Washington Post “to visit a Facebook memorial page for Abdulrahman,” which explained:

“Look at his pictures, his friends, and his hobbies His Facebook page shows a typical kid.”

Few events pulled the mask off Obama officials like this one. It highlighted how the Obama administration was ravaging Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries: just weeks after he won the Nobel Prize, Obama used cluster bombs that killed 35 Yemeni women and children. Even Obama-supporting liberal comedians mocked the Obama DOJ’s arguments for why it had the right to execute Americans with no charges: “Due Process Just Means There’s A Process That You Do,” snarked Stephen Colbert. And a firestorm erupted when former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered a sociopathic justification for killing the Colorado-born teenager, apparently blaming him for his own killing by saying he should have “had a more responsible father.”

The U.S. assault on Yemeni civilians not only continued but radically escalated over the next five years through the end of the Obama presidency, as the U.S. and the UK armed, supported and provide crucial assistance to their close ally Saudi Arabia as it devastated Yemen through a criminally reckless bombing campaign. Yemen now faces mass starvationseemingly exacerbated, deliberately, by the U.S./U.K.-supported air attacks. Because of the west’s direct responsibility for these atrocities, they have received vanishingly little attention in the responsible countries.

In a hideous symbol of the bipartisan continuity of U.S. barbarism, Nasser al-Awlaki just lost another one of his young grandchildren to U.S. violence. On Sunday, the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, using armed Reaper drones for cover, carried out a commando raid on what it said was a compound harboring officials of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A statement issued by President Trump lamented the death of an American service member and several others who were wounded, but made no mention of any civilian deaths. U.S. military officials initially denied any civilian deaths, and (therefore) the CNN report on the raid said nothing about any civilians being killed.

But reports from Yemen quickly surfaced that 30 people were killed, including 10 women and children. Among the dead: the 8-year-old granddaughter of Nasser al-Awlaki, Nawar, who was also the daughter of Anwar Awlaki.

This is the 8-year-old girl killed in US raid in Yemen, Arabic media reports https://t.co/nPlWh6LqE3
US killed her teen American brother too pic.twitter.com/QP0TsgdIfq

— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 29, 2017

Nora Anwar al-Awlaki. (Bawabatii)

Nora Anwar al-Awlaki. (Bawabatii)

Nora Anwar al-Awlaki. (Bawabatii)

As noted by my colleague Jeremy Scahill – who extensively interviewed the grandparents in Yemen for his book and film on Obama’s “Dirty Wars” –  the girl was “was shot in the neck and killed,” bleeding to death over the course of two hours. “Why kill children?,” the grandfather asked. “This is the new (U.S.) administration – it’s very sad, a big crime.”

The New York Times yesterday reported that military officials had been planning and debating the raid for months under the Obama administration, but Obama officials decided to leave the choice to Trump. The new President personally authorized the attack last week. They claim that the “main target” of the raid “was computer materials inside the house that could contain clues about future terrorist plots.” The paper cited a Yemeni official saying that “at least eight women and seven children, ages 3 to 13, had been killed in the raid,” and that the attack also “severely damaged a school, a health facility and a mosque.”

As my colleague Matthew Cole reported in great detail just weeks ago, Navy Seal Team 6, for all its public glory, has a long history of “‘revenge ops,’ unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities.” And Trump notoriously vowed during the campaign to target not only terrorists but also their families. All of that demands aggressive, independent inquiries into this operation.

Perhaps most tragic of all is that – just as was true in Iraq – Al Qaeda had very little presence in Yemen before the Obama administration began bombing and droning it and killing civilians, thus driving people into the arms of the militant group. As the late, young Yemeni writer Ibrahim Mothana told Congress in 2013:

“Drone strikes are causing more and more Yemenis to hate America and join radical militants . . . Unfortunately, liberal voices in the United States are largely ignoring, if not condoning, civilian deaths and extrajudicial killings in Yemen.

During George W. Bush’s presidency, the rage would have been tremendous. But today there is little outcry, even though what is happening is in many ways an escalation of Mr. Bush’s policies. . . .

Defenders of human rights must speak out. America’s counterterrorism policy here is not only making Yemen less safe by strengthening support for A.Q.A.P. [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] but it could also ultimately endanger the United States and the entire world.”

This is why it is crucial that – as urgent and valid protests erupt against Trump’s abuses – we not permit recent history to be whitewashed, or long-standing U.S. savagery to be deceitfully depicted as new Trumpian aberrations, or the War on Terror framework engendering these new assaults to be forgotten. Some current abuses are unique to Trump, but – as I detailed on Saturday – some are the decades-old by-product of a mindset and system of war and executive powers that all need uprooting. Obscuring these facts, or allowing those responsible to posture as opponents of all this, is not just misleading but counter-productive: much of this resides on an odious continuum and did not just appear out of nowhere.

It’s genuinely inspiring to see pervasive rage over the banning of visa-holders and refugees from countries like Yemen. But it’s also infuriating that the U.S. continues to massacre Yemeni civilians, both directly and through its tyrannical Saudi partners. That does not become less infuriating – Yemeni civilians are not less dead – because these policies and the war theories in which they are rooted began before the inauguration of Donald Trump. It’s not just Trump but this mentality and framework that needs vehement opposition.

Source*

 

Related Topics:

Britain Confirms U.K-Made Cluster Bombs Used by Saudi-led Forces in Yemen*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

Plane from Turkey Transfers Daesh terrorists from Aleppo to Yemen*

11 Headless Bodies Found near Aden in Yemen*

WikiLeaks Releases 500 Documents Showing U.S. ‘arming and funding’ Yemeni Forces*

This is a List of Labour MP’s that voted to continue to murder children in Yemen*

U.S. Earns $33 Billion Arms Sales in Eleven Months from the Destruction of Yemen*

How Israel Was Busted Nuking Yemen*

U.S. Used Al-Qaeda to Blackmail Yemen*

A Housewife Reports from War-torn Yemen*

DynCorp Mercenaries Replace Blackwater Mercenaries in Yemen*

U.S.-Backed Coalition has Attacked 100 Hospitals in Yemen Since March*

The Oldest Qur’ans are Actually in Yemen, in Danger of Being Bombed*

US-Saudi Man-Made Famine Threatens 20 Million Yemenis*

Israeli Officers Captured, Killed in Yemen*

US/Saudi puts Blockade on Vital Humanitarian Aid Reaching Yemen*

Europe’s Population ‘Management’ Agenda in Yemen.

Over One Million Britons Petition against Trump’s Official State Visit*

Over One Million Britons Petition against Trump’s Official State Visit*

By Andrea Germanos

Demonstrators hold signs Sunday at San Francisco International Airport to show resistance to President Donald Trump's executive order banning entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim countries. (Photo: Kenneth Lu/flickr/cc)

Demonstrators hold signs Sunday at San Francisco International Airport to show resistance to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim countries. (Photo: Kenneth Lu/flickr/cc)

 

A petition to stop President Donald Trump from making an official state visit to the United Kingdom shot up to over one million signatures by Monday—a sign of the global backlash against his draconian executive order banning immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries.

The petition, which references Trump’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity,” was posted on the U.K.’s Government and Parliament website in November and received “just 372 signatures in two months,” as CNN reports. But, CNN continues,

[n]ews spread over the weekend of Trump’s travel ban, and by 10AM on Monday, the number of signatures on the petition had soared, and it’s still rising fast.

Indeed, the Guardian writes Monday that “at one point was being signed by more than a thousand people a minute.”

As of this writing, it has 1,324,821 signatures. It reads:

Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the U.K. in his capacity as head of the U.S. Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.

Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn encouraged people to sign the petition, and tweeted Sunday that Trump “should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with shameful #MuslimBan and attacks on refugees and women.”

.@realDonaldTrump should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with shameful #MuslimBan & attacks on refugees & women

— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) January 29, 2017

.@Theresa_May would be failing the British people if she does not postpone the state visit & condemn Trump’s actions in the clearest terms

— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) January 29, 2017

Over 1 million people have signed. @theresa_may we will not back down, cancel state visit and condemn the #Muslimban https://t.co/ySphksOliV

— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) January 30, 2017

London mayor Sadiq Kahn, who is Muslim, writes Monday at the Evening Standard that he has “no choice but to speak out” against Trump in the wake of his immigration ban, which he argues “is both discriminatory and counter-productive.” The offer for a state visit should be rescinded until it is called off, Khan writes.

The Associated Press adds: “No date has been announced for the state visit, which involves lavish pomp and ceremony, generally with a stay at Buckingham Palace.”

The office of British Prime Minister Theresa May, however, said Monday that the visit is still on.

“To be clear, the Prime Minister extended an invitation on behalf of the Queen—and she was very happy to do so. The USA is one of this country’s closest allies, and we look forward to hosting the President later this year,” May’s office said in a statement.

Source*

As AP reports, MPs have been granted an emergency debate in the Commons to discuss Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

 The application from Labour’s Ed Miliband was backed by Commons Speaker John Bercow after Tory MPs such as Nadhim Zahawi and Sarah Wollaston joined opposition MPs in supporting the move.

It follows Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s statement to the House after the new U.S. president put in place a travel ban on refugees and citizens from several mainly-Muslim countries.

The debate will last for three hours and is expected to finish at around 9pm.

U.K. politicians are jumping on the bandwagon…

Source*

Related Topics:

Petition to Repeal U.K.’s Mass Surveillance Bill Hits 100,000+ Signatures*

Petition of 100,000+ for Snap U.K. Elections*

Jeremy Corbyn’s Petition Calling for an Immediate Recall of Parliament Soared Past the 100,000 Needed*

Netanyahu Arrest up for Debate as U.K. Petition Hits Target*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

Keep it in the British Royal Family: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are Related*

U.S. Veterans to Return to Standing Rock after Trump Move to Continue with DAPL*

Obama not Trump Ordered the Voter Fraud Investigation*

British Connection to the ‘Anti-Trump fake news’*

Trumps Seems to be Doing the Cabals Bidding with Goldman Sachs Heavily Entrenched in his Administration*

MOSSAD Chief Joins Trump Transition Team*

 

Who’s Paying Amnesty Int’l to Lie about Syria?*

Who’s Paying Amnesty Int’l to Lie about Syria?*

cd44d-syriawar-genocidalmass-murderousjewsbehindusgovtusingalqaedaterroriststokillsyrianspast2years

By Tim Hayward

Most of us living outside Syria know very little of the country or its recent history. What we think we know comes via the media. Information that comes with the endorsement of an organisation like Amnesty International we may tend to assume is reliable. Certainly, I always trusted Amnesty International implicitly, believing I understood and shared its moral commitments.

As a decades-long supporter, I never thought to check the reliability of its reporting. Only on seeing the organisation last year relaying messages from the infamous White Helmets did questions arise for me. Having since discovered a problem about the witness testimonies provided by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), I felt a need to look more closely at Amnesty International’s reporting. Amnesty had been influential in forming public moral judgements about the rights and wrongs of the war in Syria.

What if Amnesty’s reporting on the situation in Syria was based on something other than verified evidence?

What if misleading reports were instrumental in fuelling military conflicts that might otherwise have been more contained, or even avoided?

Amnesty International first alleged war crimes in Syria, against the government of President Bashar Al-Assad, in June 2012. If a war crime involves a breach of the laws of war, and application of those laws presupposes a war, it is relevant to know how long the Syrian government had been at war, assuming it was. The U.N. referred to a ‘situation close to civil war’ in December 2011. Amnesty International’s war crimes in Syria were therefore reported on the basis of evidence that would have been gathered, analysed, written up, checked, approved and published within six months. That is astonishingly – and worryingly – quick.

The report does not detail its research methods, but a press release quotes at length, and exclusively, the words of Donatella Rovera who ‘spent several weeks investigating human rights violations in northern Syria.’ As far as I can tell, the fresh evidence advertised in the report was gathered through conversations and tours Rovera had in those weeks. Her report mentions that Amnesty International ‘had not been able to conduct research on the ground in Syria’.

I am no lawyer, but I find it inconceivable that allegations of war crimes made on this basis would be taken seriously. Rovera herself was later to speak of problems with the investigation in Syria: in a reflective article published two years afterwards, she gives examples of both material evidence and witness statements that had misled the investigation.  Such reservations did not appear on Amnesty’s website; I am not aware of Amnesty having relayed any caveats about the report, nor of its reviewing the war crimes allegations.  What I find of greater concern, though, given that accusations of crimes already committed can in due course be tried, is that Amnesty also did not temper its calls for prospective action.  On the contrary.

In support of its surprisingly quick and decisive stance on intervention, Amnesty International was also accusing the Syrian government of crimes against humanity. Already before Deadly Reprisals, the report Deadly Detention had alleged these. Such allegations can have grave implications because they can be taken as warrant for armed intervention. Whereas war crimes do not occur unless there is a war, crimes against humanity can be considered a justification for going to war. And in war, atrocities can occur that would otherwise not have occurred.

I find this thought deeply troubling, particularly as a supporter of Amnesty International at the time it called for action, the foreseeable consequences of which included fighting and possible war crimes, by whomsoever committed, that might otherwise never have been. Personally, I cannot quite escape the thought that in willing the means to an end one also shares some responsibility for their unintended consequences.

If Amnesty International considered the moral risk of indirect complicity in creating war crimes a lesser one than keeping silent about what it believed it had found in Syria, then it must have had very great confidence in the findings. Was that confidence justified?

If we go back to human rights reports on Syria for the year 2010, before the conflict began, we find Amnesty International recorded a number of cases of wrongful detention and brutality.  In the ten years Bashar Al-Assad had been president, the human rights situation seemed to Western observers not to have improved as markedly as they had hoped. Human Rights Watch spoke of 2000-2010 as a ‘wasted decade’. The consistent tenor of reports was disappointment: advances achieved in some areas had to be set against continued problems in others. We also know that in some rural parts of Syria, there was real frustration at the government’s priorities and policies. An agricultural economy hobbled by the poorly managed effects of severe drought had left the worst off feeling marginalized. Life may have been good for many in vibrant cities, but it was far from idyllic for everyone, and there remained scope to improve the human rights record. The government’s robust approach to groups seeking an end to the secular state of Syria was widely understood to need monitoring for reported excesses. Still, the pre-war findings of monitors, are a long way from any suggestion of crimes against humanity. That includes the findings of Amnesty International Report 2011: the state of the world’s human rights.

A report published just three months later portrays a dramatically different situation. In the period from April to August 2011, events on the ground had certainly moved quickly in the wake of anti-government protests in parts of the country, but so had Amnesty.

In promoting the new report, Deadly Detention, Amnesty International USA notes with pride how the organisation is now providing ‘real-time documentation of human rights abuses committed by government forces’. Not only is it providing rapid reporting, it is also making strong claims. Instead of measured statements suggesting necessary reforms, it now condemns Assad’s government for ‘a widespread, as well as systematic, attack against the civilian population, carried out in an organized manner and pursuant to a state policy to commit such an attack.’ The Syrian government is accused of ‘crimes against humanity’.

The speed and confidence – as well as the implied depth of insight – of the report are remarkable. The report is worrying, too, given how portentous is its damning finding against the government: Amnesty International ‘called on the U.N. Security Council to not only condemn, in a firm and legally binding manner, the mass human rights violations being committed in Syria but also to take other measures to hold those responsible to account, including by referring the situation in Syria to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. As well, Amnesty International continues to urge the Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Syria and to immediately freeze the assets of President al-Assad and other officials suspected of responsibility for crimes against humanity.’ With such strongly-worded statements as this, especially in a context where powerful foreign states are already calling for ‘regime change’ in Syria, Amnesty’s contribution could be seen as throwing fuel on a fire.

Since it is not just the strength of the condemnation that is noteworthy, but the swiftness of its delivery – in ‘real-time’ – a question that Amnesty International supporters might consider is how the organisation can provide instantaneous coverage of events while also fully investigating and verifying the evidence.

Amnesty International’s reputation rests on the quality of its research. The organisation’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, has clearly stated the principles and methods adhered to when gathering evidence:

we do it in a very systematic, primary, way where we collect evidence with our own staff on the ground. And every aspect of our data collection is based on corroboration and cross-checking from all parties, even if there are, you know, many parties in any situation because of all of the issues we deal with are quite contested. So it’s very important to get different points of view and constantly cross check and verify the facts.’

Amnesty thus sets itself rigorous standards of research, and assures the public that it is scrupulous in adhering to them. This is only to be expected, I think, especially when grave charges are to be levelled against a government.

Did Amnesty follow its own research protocol in preparing the Deadly Detention report? Was it: systematic, primary, collected by Amnesty’s own staff, on the ground, with every aspect of data collection verified by corroboration and by cross-checking with all parties concerned?

In the analysis appended here as a note I show, point by point, that the report admits failing to fulfil some of these criteria and fails to show it has met any of them.

Given that the findings could be used to support calls for humanitarian intervention in Syria, the least to expect of the organization would be application of its own prescribed standards of proof.

Lest it be thought that focusing on the technicalities of research methodology risks letting the government off the hook for egregious crimes, it really needs to be stressed – as was originally axiomatic for Amnesty International – that we should never make a presumption of guilt without evidence or trial. Quite aside from technical questions, getting it wrong about who is the perpetrator of war crimes could lead to the all too real consequences of mistakenly intervening on the side of the actual perpetrators.

Suppose it nevertheless be insisted that the evidence clearly enough shows Assad to be presiding over mass destruction of his own country and slaughter in his own people: surely the ‘international community’ should intervene on the people’s behalf against this alleged ‘mass murderer’? In the climate of opinion and with the state of knowledge abroad at the time, that may have sounded a plausible proposition. It was not the only plausible proposition, however, and certainly not in Syria itself. Another was that the best sort of support to offer the people of Syria would lie in pressing the government more firmly towards reforms while assisting it, as was becoming increasingly necessary, in ridding the territory of terrorist insurgents who had fomented and then exploited the tensions in the original protests of Spring 2011. For even supposing the government’s agents of internal security needed greater restraint, the best way to achieve this is not necessarily to undermine the very government that would be uniquely well-placed, with support and constructive incentives, to apply it.

I do not find it obvious that Amnesty was either obliged or competent to decide between these alternative hypotheses. Since it nevertheless chose to do so, we have to ask why it pre-emptively dismissed the method of deciding proposed by President Al-Assad himself. This was his undertaking to hold an election to ask the people whether they wanted him to stay or go.

Although not widely reported in the West, and virtually ignored by Amnesty – a presidential election was held in 2014, with the result being a landslide victory for Bashar Al-Assad. He won 10,319,723 votes – 88.7% of the vote – with a turnout put at 73.42%.

Western observers did not challenge those numbers or allege voting irregularities, with the media instead seeking to downplay their significance. ‘This is not an election that can be analysed in the same way as a multi-party, multi-candidate election in one of the established European democracies or in the U.S., says the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen in Damascus. It was an act of homage to President Assad by his supporters, which was boycotted and rejected by opponents rather than an act of politics, he adds.’ This homage, nonetheless, was paid by an outright majority of Syrians. To refer to this as ‘meaningless’, as U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry did, reveals something of how much his own regime respected the people of Syria. It is true that voting could not take place in opposition-held areas, but participation overall was so great that even assuming the whole population in those areas would have voted against him, they would still have had to accept Assad as legitimate winner – rather as we in Scotland have to accept Theresa May as U.K. prime minister. In fact, the recent liberation of eastern Aleppo has revealed Assad’s government actually to have support there.

We cannot know if Assad would have been so many people’s first choice under other circumstances, but we can reasonably infer that the people of Syria saw in his leadership their best hope for unifying the country around the goal of ending the bloodshed. Whatever some might more ideally have sought – including as expressed in the authentic protests of 2011 – the will of the Syrian people quite clearly was, under the actual circumstances, for their government to be allowed to deal with their problems, rather than be supplanted by foreign-sponsored agencies.

(I am tempted to add the thought, as a political philosopher, that BBC’s Jeremy Bowen could be right in saying the election was no normal ‘act of politics’: Bashar Al-Assad has always been clear in statements and interviews that his position is inextricably bound up with the Syrian constitution.  He didn’t choose to give up a career in medicine to become a dictator, as I understand it; rather, the chance event of his older brother’s death altered his plans. Until actual evidence suggests otherwise, I am personally prepared to believe that Assad’s otherwise incomprehensible steadfastness of purpose does indeed stem from a commitment to defending his country’s constitution. Whether or not the people really wanted this person as president is secondary to the main question whether they were prepared to give up their national constitution to the dictates of anybody other than that of the Syrian people. Their answer to this has a significance, as Bowen inadvertently notes, that is beyond mere politics.)

Since the Syrian people had refuted the proposition that Amnesty had been promoting, serious questions have be asked. Among these, one – which would speak to a defence of Amnesty – is whether it had some independent justification – coming from sources of information other than its own investigations – for genuinely believing its allegations against the Syrian government well-founded. However, since an affirmative answer to that question would not refute the point I have sought to clarify here I shall set them aside for a separate discussion in the next episode of this investigation.

My point for now is that Amnesty International itself had not independently justified its own advocacy position. This is a concern for anyone who thinks it should take full responsibility for the monitoring it reports. Further discussion has also to address concerns about what kinds of advocacy it should be engaged in at all.

Source*

Related Topics:

Amnesty International in Spirit No Longer Exists*

“Dirty Players in Geopolitics”: Letter to “Doctors Without Borders” (MSF)*

A Flemish Priest in Syria, “Putin and Assad saved my life”*

Clean Water Returns to Damascus as Syria Reclaims Key Water Source from Terrorists*

U.S. Coalition Airstrikes Killed More Civilians in Syria*

ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the U.S. Waging War on Syria’s Public Utilities*

Pentagon Re-Packages Al-Qaeda as ‘Khorasan Group’ to Sell Attack on Syria*

U.S.-U.K. Paid “White Helmets” Help to Block Water to 5 Million Thirsty Syrians*

Nationwide Truce Reached Between Syria Army, Opposition Groups*

Syrian Elections 2016: US, NATO Criminals Failed Attempt to Deny the Will of the Syrian People*

Israel Bombs Syrian Military Airport near Assad’s Presidential Palace*

U.S. Intensifies Operations in Syria and Iraq amidst Syrian Truce*

U.S. Moves to Arm Terrorists in Syria with Anti-Aircraft Weapons*

British Generals Arrive in Syria to Recruit Aleppo Terrorists*

14+ U.S. Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker*

$17k per Month for Journalists Could Have Spent on the NHS was used for Fake News on Syria*