Sunday, May 31, 2009

Questions to Irene Khan of Amnesty International reports

Human rights issue is used as weapon with double edge. The West views human records in other countries according to their allegiance to them. There are double standards concerning this. The West is still boycotting the regime in Zimbabwe because of the human situation there affecting dispossessed white farmers and the black majority still repressed by Robert Mugabe’s security and armed force.

Concerning G20, it will always prioritise maintaining its economic lead worldwide. Poor countries are the least object of concern, except for offering them economic aid, which evaporates quickly because of corruption. Africa alone got aid amounting to $700 billion in the past years without showing any economic recovery. It’s always the least developed continent, with the exception of few countries like Botswana.

It’s unlikely that the West will put pressure on Saudi Arabia to respect fundamental human rights, especially those concerning women who are seen far behind, compared with other women even in Muslim countries like Morocco and Lebanon. The economic stability of Saudi Arabia as a big oil supplier to the West far outweighs its shortcoming concerning human records. in other words, the West favour the balance to tilt on the economic side which secures jobs at home rather than on human rights and democracy which can bring fundamentalists and anti-west to power

Here are two questions I put to Irene Khan Amnesty International :

1- What’s the significance of Amnesty International if its authority is limited to publishing human rights abuses without having the power to redress them?

2- There are governments who use the positive things about them in your reports to claim they’re doing well as far as human rights are concerned.

These are her answers to my questions:

on governments use of its reports&thePlayerURL=">
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Are some countries deaf to world opinion?

While there are countries that are deaf to world opinion, there are others that turn a blind eye to these countries.

There are many countries that don’t care about world opinion as they consider their policies a matter of sovereignty and the defence of their interests and security. In Africa, there is Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who , despite international sanctions and condemnation, continues to go ahead with his policies. His apparent sharing of power with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is just a strategy to continue his grip on power.

In the Middle East, Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza showed that the international community has only words but lacks firm actions to prevent human catastrophes.

There are regimes as in North Korea and Burma which are callously ready to defy international sanctions and condemnations and to enslave their people for the sake of their ideology.

History has shown that in face of international determination, regimes can be toppled as it was the case with Saddam in Iraq and Slobodan Milosevic in ex-Yugoslavia who were toppled despite their strong armies because they were real danger for the West, respectively to the USA and Europe.

Dictatorial and unruly regimes can survive as long as they have the means to control their people with iron fist and foreign policies to divide world opinion. If one of these pillars crumble, this is the signal of their downfall. Leading countries like the USA have the policies of wait-and-see for apparently benign regimes and swift actions for those which look beyond repair.

Do some countries need dictators?

For some countries benign dictatorship is better than a democratic rule. It’s the mentality of the people in a country that decides the kind of rulers they deserve. As long as there are people who themselves can’t abide by the rules affecting their daily lives, like not throwing rubbish in the street and respecting road code either in the presence or the absence of a policeman, such people still to be under the tutorship of a leader who should keep them under his grip. If they are given more freedom, they’re likely to turn more chaotic.

Democracy means plurality and the right to have different opinions. It means accepting defeat by recognizing and respecting the winning side. In some countries, especially in Africa, elections are marked with fatal violence. To put it mildly such countries are still on the first step of the mile of the democracy they should reach. When things settle, their situation hardly improve in terms of governance and progress. For them a good dictator is better than a fake democracy which is just a means for the self-serving and the powerful to legitimize their grip on the power at the expense of the legitimate rights of the people they’re supposed to serve.
In short, democracy can be successful if both the leaders and the people are all qualified to play by the rules.

In the Arab world there are monarchies and republics. It is acceptable for a monarch to be the head of state for life. What is peculiar for the Arab republics is that leaders never change through the ballot. They can be a new leader just through a coup, or as a result of the death or the assassination of the president. They seem to have presidents for life. There is even tendencies for presidents to be succeeded by their sons as it was the case in Syria. There are rumours that the presidents of Egypt, Yemen and Libya are likely to be succeeded by their respective sons.

Is dictatorship good for Arab countries? Well, for some where killing a women who has had sex outside marriage for the honour of her family is still widely supported, they still deserve a dictator as long as dictatorship is still practiced in homes and where the father still has great authority over everyone in the family.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is Race the cause of the current economic crisis?

Racism of whatever kind is unacceptable. It doesn’t mean that racism which was historically practised by the whites; mainly in the USA and South Africa, should be practised against them. White people shouldn’t be made a scapegoat to deal with a crisis. There should be reforms based on tangible policies without fuelling racism by targeting a particular race.

The statement by Brazil’s President attributing Brazil’s crisis to the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes shows that Latin America as a whole is still dominated by white people while the indigenous and black people are still seen as second class citizens. He should have been more diplomatic by attacking a set of ideas rather than a race. After all, isn’t he a white person probably lacking just blue eyes?

As far as I know many outstanding personalities, particularly in UK, had to resign because of their racist remarks. Shouldn’t Lula resign over his apparently racist remark or make a public apology?

Race isn’t the real problem when it comes to a crisis. The current economic crisis is affecting almost every country in the world, mainly the Asians and the Europeans. Should the Japanese blame Europeans for their current economic downturn? What about countries that are mono-racial and yet they are facing many problems?

It’s better to say that there are types of people that are behind a particular crisis than to pinpoint a race. Singling out a race is more likely to cause more crises than solve them.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Does the sex life of politicians matter?

The Berlusconi’s very public falling out is grabbing headlines — and has grabbed our attention. The Italian Prime Minister has now demanded an apology from his wife. This after she said she wanted a divorce accusing him of “consorting with minors”

Sex is still a deadly weapon when it comes to politics. In the USA many politicians, including presidential candidates had to fall because of their sex scandals. In Israel, ex-President Katsav had to resign because of sex harassment towards a number of women and the list of sex and politics can never be exhausted.

However the sex of life of politicians does matter, especially when it comes to extramarital relationship or bawdy behaviour. It doesn’t make sense to elect a sex maniac as this can change the attitudes towards the moral authority a politician should have. Politicians are still expected to be conservative when it comes to sex. In France, which is still considered as one of the most liberal countries, President Sarkozy caused a storm in French society after his divorce and relationship with his current wife before they got married.

The image of a politician as a family person still plays a part in being or not being elected. As such politicians have to be above flesh temptations. Even for gay politicians, it’s one thing to be a committed gay and it is another to be a promiscuous gay. As the private life of politicians still matters in its smallest details, it goes without saying that their sex life matters the most when it comes to marital or casual relationships.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Swine flu and economic effects

In case of the apparent danger of swine flu, it seems prevention is better than cure. If it spreads alarmingly, the entire economic revenues can’t eradicate it easily.
However, it is the responsibility of the individuals to be sensible. Anyone feeling the symptoms should avoid mixing with the others and seek medical advice instead of spreading it by disregarding the precautions.

The economy needs to keep going, but not at the expense of general health. In other words, there is no need to have factories busy producing just vaccines for the entire workforce lying in beds because of an entrenched virus that can claim more material and health disasters if the economic activities keep going for a periodical gain that can turn into a permanent loss.