SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Lebanon should consider setting up transit centers to absorb the waves of refugees fleeing neighboring Syria and may have to establish formal refugee camps if the influx continues, a United Nations refugee official said.
The tiny and fragile Mediterranean state already hosts 260,000 refugees - equivalent to 6.5 percent of its population - and has sought to absorb them in homes and communities, fearing large camps of Muslim Syrians could inflame sectarian tensions still smouldering from its own 1975-1990 civil war.
But the accelerating exodus from Syria's bloodshed means that the number of Syrians seeking help in Lebanon is growing by 3,000 a day, leaving authorities and the UNHCR refugee agency struggling to provide for them.
"We have this very tiny country ... a quarter of the size of Switzerland, with a population of 4 million people, taking in 260,000 refugees," UNHCR representative in Lebanon Ninette Kelley told Reuters late on Friday.
"I think what we need to start doing is to prepare for an eventuality whereby we may not be able to find enough shelter and accommodation given the current level of demand."
"We have advised the government that it may be a time to start having at least two transit sites," she said, where refugees could be offered temporary food and shelter before other accommodation is found. "As a start, that would be a good thing."
UNHCR has also made contingency plans to establish formal refugee camps if the mass influx continues, though that would have to be with Lebanese government permission, she said.
"We do plan for camps. We pre-position stocks, we make sure we have done assessments and that we are ready to go in that eventuality," she said in an interview at UNHCR headquarters in southern Beirut.
FUND NOT ENOUGH
Reluctance to set up refugee camps stems in part from historic sensitivities over the waves of Palestinian refugees who fled from Israel, some of whom became central players in Lebanon's destructive civil war.
The issue also highlights the country's current political divide. Some of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Lebanese foes openly called for camps to be set up, hoping it would highlight the scale of his crackdown on the nearly two-year-old uprising in which an estimated 60,000 people have been killed.
The government of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, dominated by Assad allies including Hezbollah, preferred to support aid efforts to house the refugees in homes and schools in their own Sunni Muslim communities.
Aid workers say that the political concerns constrained their ability to help during the first year of the conflict, particularly in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, where pockets of Christians, pro-Hezbollah Shi'ite Muslims and Sunni Muslim supporters of the armed Syrian rebels live close by.
They are still struggling. A report by the French aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres said half the refugees in Lebanon were not receiving sufficient medical care and many more were living in inadequate winter shelter.
UNHCR has increased registration of new refugees to 40,000 a month, but even that may not keep pace with new arrivals and its capacity is stretched to the limit.
Kelley said that despite last month's U.N. conference in Kuwait, when $1.5 billion was pledged for Syrian humanitarian aid, U.N. operations inside Lebanon had so far only received 15 percent of their funding requirements.
"Our problem right now is we simply don't have enough funds to do 100 percent coverage of registered refugees and all the new arrivals," she said.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Nearly 6,000 Rohingya Muslims have arrived in Thailand since October, when sectarian violence flared in Myanmar's western Rakhine state and displaced tens of thousands of people, a top Thai security agency said on Thursday
Entire communities of Rohingyas are languishing in makeshift camps in Myanmar, without access to healthcare or clean water, according to the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) aid group, while Thailand has promised humane treatment for the 5,899 who have arrived on its shores.
"Those detained will continue to be treated as illegal and given only basic care in line with humanitarian practices," said Dittaporn Sasamit, a spokesman for Thailand's Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC).
"The Foreign Ministry is negotiating with other countries to take them on and is seeking (Myanmar) citizenship papers for them so they can move on," he said.
Myanmar's reformist government has been criticized for its treatment of Rohingyas and its poor handling of clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in June and October. The Rohingyas came off worst in a statewide spree of machete and arson attacks.
Many Rohingyas arrived in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar as laborers from what is now Bangladesh under British rule in the 19th century, grounds the government uses to deny them citizenship.
Most of the estimated 800,000 Rohingyas in Myanmar are regarded by authorities as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which does not recognize them either. The United Nations has referred to them as "virtually friendless".
Thousands of Rohingyas flee from Myanmar each year on rickety boats seeking refuge and jobs in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, but the number has swelled since the unrest.
MSF said its relief work was being hindered by accusations of bias in favor of the Rohingyas.
"Repeated threats and intimidation by a small but vocal group within the Rakhine community have severely impacted on our ability to deliver lifesaving medical care," MSF General Director Arjan Hehenkamp said in a statement.
Britain's Parliament on Tuesday backed a motion calling for the U.N.-mandated observers in Rakhine state.
Rights groups have often criticized Thailand for its handling of Rohingya migrants and its deportation process, which leaves many illegal immigrants open to abuse by authorities.
Thai security forces discovered almost 1,400 Rohingyas during raids in the south of the country last month and 1,752 have been detained for unlawful entry.
More boats are expected to sail from Myanmar in the coming months, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –China and Japan sought to cool down tensions over a chafing territorial dispute on Friday, with Communist Party chief Xi Jinping telling an envoy from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he was committed to developing bilateral ties.
Xi will consider holding a summit meeting with Abe, Natsuo Yamaguchi, a senior lawmaker and head of the junior partner in Japan's ruling coalition, told reporters after his talks with the Chinese leader.
The meeting came as China took the dispute over a series of uninhabited islands to the United Nations.
It was not immediately clear if the U.N. involvement would increase the likelihood the row would be resolved peacefully. But launching an international legal process could reduce the temperature for now.
At China's request, the United Nations will, later this year, consider the scientific validity of a claim by Beijing that the islands, called the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku by Japan, are part of its territory. Japan says the world body should not be involved.
"The China government's policy to pay close attention to China-Japan relations has not changed," Xi told Yamaguchi at the meeting in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, according to a statement on the Chinese foreign ministry's website.
But he added: "The Japanese side ought to face up to history and reality, take practical steps and work hard with China to find an effective way to appropriately resolve and manage the issue via dialogue and consultations."
China's media have portrayed the territorial dispute as an emotional touchpoint for Chinese people that evokes memories of Japan's 1931-1945 occupation of parts of the mainland. Chinese textbooks, television and films are full of portrayals vilifying the Japanese.
Relations between the countries, the world's second- and third-largest economies, plunged after the Japanese government bought three of the islands from a private owner last year, sparking widespread, violent anti-Japan protests across China. Some Japanese businesses were looted and Japanese citizens attacked.
Yamaguchi handed a letter from to Xi from Abe, who wrote that he hoped to develop peaceful relations between the two countries, Yamaguchi said.
Japan takes a broad view of the issue and believes tensions can be resolved between the two countries, he told reporters before returning to Tokyo after a four-day visit.
"Japan wishes to pursue ties with China while looking at the big picture," Yamaguchi said he told Xi, who is set to take over as China's president in March.
"I firmly believe our differences with China can be resolved," Yamaguchi said, adding that he did not directly discuss the islands issue with Xi.
"We agreed that it is important to continue dialogue with the aim of holding a Japan-China summit between the two leaders," he added, though no specific details were given. "Secretary Xi said he will seriously consider a high-level dialogue with Japan."
While Yamaguchi has no formal position in the government, he is leader of relatively dovish New Komeito party, a coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party that was voted to power in December.
Taking the issue to the United Nations is an effort to underscore China's legal claim to the islands, but also a way to reduce tensions in the region, said Ruan Zongze, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, a think-tank affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"It's two things: it's part of the legal efforts, and we want to exert our legal claim in a less confrontational way," Ruan said. "We don't want to see escalation, particularly with fighter jets. That would be very dangerous from any point of view."
In a submission to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, China claims that the continental shelf in the East China Sea is a natural prolongation of China's land territory and that it includes the disputed islands.
Under the U.N. convention, a country can extend its 200-nautical-mile economic zone if it can prove that the continental shelf is a natural extension of its land mass. The U.N. commission assesses the scientific validity of claims, but any disputes have to be resolved between states, not by the commission.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signed a decree changing the name of the Palestinian Authority to the "State of Palestine." Accordingly all official stamps, signs and official letterhead will be changed and hold the new name of "the State of Palestine."
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signed a decree changing the name of the Palestinian Authority to the "State of Palestine." Accordingly all official stamps, signs and official letterhead will be changed and hold the new name of "the State of Palestine." Palestinians have long been waiting for official statehood. Palestine was granted "nonmember observer state" status after a vote at the United Nations vote in November 2012.
Palestine had a "permanent observer" status at the UN since 1974 and in 1998 was granted privileges that had previously been held only by member states. These included the rights to participate in general debate at the start of the General Assembly and to co-sponsor resolutions, giving the delegation a unique status, somewhere between observer and member. In 2011, the Palestinians launched a bid for recognition as a full member of the UN but the effort stalled when the USA promised to veto any such resolution.
The Palestinians have said they have not abandoned their application to become a full UN member state, but it is suspended at present. The statehood bid is thought to have emerged as a strategy after the lack of progress in peace talks, which stalled in 2010 over the issue of Israelis illegal settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians launched their bid for UN membership in response to the lapsing of the September 2011 deadline set by American President Barack Obama for the negotiations with Israel for a two-state solution without any achievements.
Israel and USA have said any Palestinian attempt to elevate their status at the UN would amount to a unilateral action that would pre-empt final-status peace talks. According to British media reports, Britain has told the Palestinians they will support their bid only if they make an understanding not to pursue Israel for war crimes in the International Criminal Court and to resume peace talks.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - The calls at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran for reforming the United Nations and democratizing the Security Council were not exactly new. These calls for UN reform were embodied by the conference’s dictum of “lasting peace through joint global governance.” These demands have been made over and over again by various countries and groups throughout the years.
Nor was everyone present at the NAM gala in Tehran a friend of Iran or open to the Iranian proposals for reforming the United Nations. The visibly shaken Jeffrey Feltman, who was uncomfortably sitting with Iranian officials in Tehran alongside his new boss Ban Ki-moon, can testify to all this. Feltman is a clear symbol of how contaminated the United Nations has become by the imperialist interests of Washington.
The manipulation of the United Nations for imperialist interests, however, goes back a long way. From its inception, the United Nations was meant to facilitate the global influence of the US after the Second World War. The idea of the United Nations, which gets its name from the military coalition (called the United Nations) of the Allied countries that was formed against Germany and the Axis countries, was based on an agreement drafted by the US and the UK during the Second World War. This agreement, the Atlantic Charter, was written out while the US was officially neutral, but secretly supported the British war effort against Germany and its Axis allies by sending supplies to Britain through Canada. The US would later use the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a justification for entering the war and getting the other Allies to accept the Anglo-American Atlantic Charter during the war and then at the San Francisco Conference in 1945.
The United Nations Security Council
The membership of the UN grew from fifty-one to a hundred and fifty-nine members between 1945 and 1985, with most of the new member countries being former colonies. The UN was used as a tool to control most these former Western European and American colonies of the Third World. At first the US and its post-war allies maintained their domination over the newly formed UN and the former colonies through their numbers and then through a Western Bloc monopoly over the structures of the United Nations. Hereto this monopoly includes control over the agencies and permanent veto-wielding chairs of the fifteen-member Security Council of the United Nations.
The Security Council above all has been used by the US as a means of protecting its interests. The purpose of the Security Council veto is to reject any international resolutions and consensuses against the national interests (or more precisely the interests of the ruling elites) of the US and the other major post-World War II powers. Except for the rival Soviet Union, the US originally controlled or heavily influenced the other three permanent veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council. Britain and the US were essentially confederated and had integrated in 1941 with one another through the Anglo-American Atlantic Charter. France, as a declining power like the UK, was heavily dependent on the United States. The Chinese seat was also originally held by the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) which was a US client.
US General Albert C. Wedemeyer was the chief of staff to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of Kuomintang-ruled China before Kai-shek fled to Taiwan after the Communist Party of China took over the mainland. The US even envisioned a role for the Kuomintang in governing the former French colonies of Indo-China. Only in 1971 would Washington lose control over the Chinese seat at the UN Security Council when the People’s Republic of China was recognized as the legitimate representative of the Chinese people by the majority of the UN General Assembly and therefore handed over Taiwan’s permanent seat at the UN Security Council.
While the Soviet Union originally made the most vetoes at the UN Security Council, the situation began to change towards the second half of the Cold War and in the post-Cold War era when the US began to take the lead in making vetoes. Ironically, the US and its allies are saying that the international system is failing now due to the double vetoes of China and Russia preventing foreign intervention in Syria. No similar complaints have been made about the numerous vetoes cast by Washington in support of Israel.
Eventually the UN Security Council went beyond the function of protecting US interests after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It became a tool for projecting US interests globally as Washington began to push for unipolar post-Cold War hegemony. The Chinese and Russian double vetoes signal an end to both Pax Americana and the use of the UN Security Council to project US power.
The Secretariat of the United Nations
Besides the United Nations Security Council, the Secretariat of the United Nations has been predominately under the control of the US and its allies. At first this took place because the US and the Western Bloc had numerical superiority at the United Nations. Thus, the first two secretaries-general of the UN were from the Western European kingdoms of Norway, and Sweden. Prior to this Baron Hubert Gladwyn from the United Kingdom was the acting secretary-general of the UN. Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjold would visibly serve US and Western Bloc interests to the point that the Soviets and others would demand he be removed from the UN Secretariat.
As the Western Bloc began to lose its numerical advantage, control over the Secretariat would be maintained through the Security Council. The UN Security Council does this by filtering all the candidates for the top UN post in the Secretariat. Secretaries-general of the UN are appointed by the UN General Assembly based on the recommendation of the UN Security Council. Thus, the US and other permanent members of the Security Council have vetoes that can eliminate any candidates that would be hostile to their interests.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s condemnations about the Secretariat of the United Nations, which helped remove nationalist leaders from power across Africa and the Third World, have a resonating truth to them. After a long streak of secretaries-general that were predominately favorable to the Western Bloc, the Non-Aligned Movement would push a NAM candidate into the UN Secretariat. The NAM’s position is the basis for the elevation of Egyptian diplomat Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s to the post of UN secretary-general in 1992.
Bourtos-Ghali was the closest thing to the last independent secretary-general of the United Nations. The world, however, rapidly changed since the end of the Cold War and Washington expected a far greater degree of subservience from the Secretariat of the UN. After the Cold War UN secretaries-general were expected to act as loyal US stewards. This would start with the Ghanaian UN career bureaucrat Kofi Annan.
Kofi Annan: An Enabler of “Responsibility to Protect”
To his credit Annan is a shrewd diplomatic figure that knows how to sit on the fence, but he has cunningly served the US while appearing circumvent. Aside from the public reports about the involvement of Annan and his son Kojo in the UN’s Iraq oil-for-food scandal, the former secretary-general has a history of legitimizing US interventionism and the occupation of other UN members. Career US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who was one of the central figures involved in the balkanization of Yugoslavia, praised Annan as one of the most supportive figures for Washington’s foreign policy in the Balkans. This is why Boutros Boutros-Ghali was pushed aside from the secretary-generalship of the UN by Washington’s veto to make way for Annan.
Annan did Washington’s bidding in the French-speaking Caribbean island-republic of Haiti. He followed the script of George W. Bush Jr. and the neo-cons to a tee in Haiti and legitimized the US-led coup involving Canada and France that removed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He would criminally give Washington the cover of the United Nations in the occupation of Haiti.
Kofi Annan was also instrumental in helping to put together the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine with Canadian diplomats to justify foreign military intervention. Two years after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq he would give his rubber stamp to R2P in 2005, which would merely become a reinvented term replacing NATO’s “humanitarian intervention.” Before Annan was appointed as the joint peace envoy of the Arab League and United Nations to resolve the Syria crisis he participated as a panelist in a discussion about R2P and interventionism on November 4, 2011. The event is important, because it gives an idea of where Annan stands.
The panel (Responsibility to Protect – 10 Years On: Reflections on its Past, Present and Future) was undeniably supportive of R2P and NATO. Annan’s comments were no exception. The former secretary-general and soon-to-be peace envoy told the audience that he held a sympathetic position towards military intervention by the US and NATO. He specifically told the audience that he supported NATO’s military intervention in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and he tacitly gave his support to a similar scenario in Syria. Two of the figures involved in the event, Allan Rock (president of the University of Ottawa and former Canadian ambassador to the UN) and Lloyd Axworthy (president of the University of Winnipeg and the former Canadian foreign minister), co-authored an article about R2P praising the war in Libya as a victory for R2P a week earlier in preparation for Annan’s arrival to Ottawa.
Ban Ki-moon: An Executioner of “Responsibility to Protect”
The South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-moon is even more of an Atlanticist steward than Annan. His record has been very abysmal. One of the first things he did in 2007 was to join the US in criticizing the nations of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva for “singling out Israel” for its human rights violations.
In 2008, Ban Ki-moon would secretly negotiate and sign a cooperation agreement with NATO. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would express shock and the Kremlin would be angered by Ban Ki-moon’s conniving. R2P would be central to the cooperation agreement between NATO and the UN Secretariat. NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” was shifted to a worldwide level through the cover of potential military intervention under the banner of the UN.
Moreover, this tool of intervention could only be harnessed and authorized by the undemocratic UN Security Council and its veto-wielding members. In parallel the under secretary-general posts for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief were handed over to British career diplomats, one of which is Valerie Amos who has sinisterly tried to bypass the Syrian government in establishing ties with Syrian non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
In 2011, Ban Ki-moon took steps to personally lobby and pressure all the countries of the Mediterranean Sea to support Israel and prevent any humanitarian aid from reaching the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by ship. Ban Ki-moon ignored Tel Aviv’s illegal military blockade of Gaza and its violation of international law. Instead in Orwellian terms he demanded for the enforcement of the illegal Israeli blockade, which he called the “legal channels of the Israeli government pertaining to the flow of goods and aid” to Gazans. In 2012, Ban Ki-moon also refused to meet the representatives of the families of Palestinian victims and captives inside Israel while he was visiting Gaza. Inversely, Ban Ki-moon made personal efforts to secure the release of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. As a result of Ban Ki-moon’s bias many Palestinians hurled shoes and stones at his UN convoy as it entered the Gaza Strip.
Every nuance in Ban Ki-moon’s voice and every line in his statements serve Washington’s interests. Before the secretary-general even left to Tehran for the NAM summit, his spokesman Farhan Haq told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that his boss was going to Tehran as part of his responsibilities and that the visit “does not confer legitimacy” on his Iranian hosts. Giving political evaluations of this type about the legitimacy of any government is a breach of the mandate of a UN secretary-general, who is supposed to be a neutral figure and moderator representing all the members of the UN. Moreover, Ban Ki-moon would go out of his way to defend Israel at the NAM summit. His speech would also be coordinated with the politicized report of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was meant to tarnish Tehran’s image during the NAM summit.
In regards to both Libya and Syria, Ban Ki-moon has followed the US and NATO script for R2P and regime change. When a major propaganda effort was launched against Syria following the Houla Massacre, Ban Ki-moon and other UN officials quickly followed the US line and condemned Damascus at a special session of the UN General Assembly in New York City. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s June 8 condemnation was made even though it was widely documented that anti-government forces were responsible for the murders in Houla.
The top UN official would say that every passing day was bringing “new additions to the grim catalogue of atrocities: assaults against civilians, brutal human rights violations, mass arrests, torture, execution-style killings of whole families” in Syria. He would conclude that the Syrian government had “lost all legitimacy” and had to step aside. Again this was another violation of the neutral position that the secretary-general of the UN is mandated to espouse.
Jeffrey Feltman: The Real Secretary-General of the United Nations?
Ban Ki-moon’s appointment of the hollow and comical US career diplomat Jeffrey Feltman as the UN under secretary-general for political affairs is just one of his latest moves that serve US interests. Feltman, a shameless careerist who has done whatever he could to promote himself, has been exclusively in the service of justifying the unjustifiable and pretending to be an expert on the Middle East. As a top US diplomat in the Middle East, unlike his counterparts from other countries he failed to master any of the local languages in the region. Moreover, he was complicit in the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon and a US attaché to two foreign occupations.
Like Robert Gates, Feltman is a carryover to the Obama Administration from the Bush Jr. Administration. He was a special assistant to American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) heavyweight Martin Indyk in Israel and a representative in the US Consulate General in Jerusalem. Everything he knows about the Middle East is shaped and spoon-fed to him by the biased views of AIPAC. He was the representative of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Anglo-American occupied Iraq and later a central force for promoting sectarian hate and division in Lebanon as the US ambassador in Beirut before he was promoted to the job of US assistant-secretary of state responsible for the Middle East. The UN’s Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), a political circus that Washington has tried to use to indict and isolate first Syria and then later Hezbollah, is widely known to be his pet project.
Before Feltman even arrived in Tehran, one of the first things he did was to declare that Iran was sending weapons to Syria. This was immediately picked up by his friends (contacts) in the Israeli media who have favored him over the years as one of Israel’s most ardent supporters. Among others, the Israeli media also slyly tried to mention Feltman’s name as less as possible and instead attribute his statement to the entire United Nations as a means of hiding the bias source of the statements and giving his account further weight.
Feltman’s appointment by Ban Ki-moon shows just how much control Washington has over the UN Secretariat. His appointment as the individual responsible for “political affairs” says a lot about the political perspective that the UN Secretariat either has or will adopt. If Hillary Clinton had ordered US officials to spy on Ban Ki-moon as was reported in 2010, there should also be no doubt that Jeffery Feltman was monitoring Ban Ki-moon in Tehran for the US Department of State and that Feltman will brief Washington about the NAM summit. In essence Feltman was the informal representative of the US at the NAM summit. It is also a very legitimate question to ask whether Feltman or Ban Ki-moon is in charge of the UN Secretariat.
Iran had announced that it intended to propose a peace plan, with the support of Russia and China, to end the Syrian crisis on the sidelines of the NAM conference. America’s emissaries were at the summit too. The invitation of the Turks to the NAM summit and the presence of Feltman and the officials of the Arab countries that are part of the siege against Damascus, such as Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, are all very likely to have ties to negotiations over Syria. Same goes for the presence of Egypt’s Morsi. The US and its clients have realized that their plans in Syria have not gone through and this could secretly have brought them to the table in Tehran or elsewhere in the future.
A New Alternative to the UN is Needed
The “real” international community slapped the Obama Administration in the face from Tehran. The US and all the UN structures and agencies, including the IAEA, under Washington’s control were retorted when all of the NAM’s one hundred and twenty members unanimously supported the Iranian nuclear energy program and declared their opposition to the unilateral sanctions against Iran in their final communiqué. There is still, however, more that is needed. As long as the United Nations is not reformed these very same countries will be walking in the shadows of the US and its allies from NATOistan in the hallways of the United Nations.
The problems go beyond the Security Council. The Secretariat is also a part of the problem. Washington will turn to the UN Secretariat more and more as the Russians and Chinese begin to challenge the US and its allies at the Security Council.
The UN has become even more contaminated by Atlanticist projects to use it to legitimize and launch imperialist military campaigns to enforce a declining system of privilege and unjust global governance that Washington heads. The motivations behind the drafting and institutionalizing of R2P at the UN are aimed at helping to prevent this decline. This is why that either reform or an alternative to the United Nations is needed now more than ever.
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
An award-winning author and geopolitical analyst, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is the author of The Globalization of NATO (Clarity Press) and a forthcoming book The War on Libya and the Re-Colonization of Africa. He has also contributed to several other books ranging from cultural critique to international relations. He is a Sociologist and Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), a contributor at the Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF), Moscow, and a member of the Scientific Committee of Geopolitica, Italy.
SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) - There is another genocide, other than the Bosnia and Herzegovina one, where Canada was guilty as seen: The one in Rwanda. Where over a period of some three and a half to four months an estimated eight hundred thousand people were murdered.
Canadian contingent was on the ground, military was on the ground, they knew genocide it was being committed. Canadian general, Robert Dallaire, who was leading that contingent, demanded action from the United Nations and Ottawa. Both United Nations in Ottawa turned deaf ear. General Dallaire who suffered as a result, as a consequence, suffered as he witnessed the genocide. There were breakdowns upon his return to Canada so that another thorn inside of Canada that it has been there, it has been on the ground with the Geneva Genocide Convention in their back pocket. They had the soldiers and they did nothing to prevent and punish the criminal genocide.
So Bosnia was not the only time that kind of failed Geneva Genocide Convention and kind of failed it in Rwanda and it will fail it again because what was done once and did not punished will be done again. Today we know that Serbia is preparing for another genocide against Bosnia and whoever doesn’t think that it will happen will be surprised.
So those are the things that we need to ask publicly; why Canada who promotes itself as a champion of human rights abroad, why Canada does not honor its commitments within international law? That’s a very simple question and it should be answered. Canadian politicians will give you all kinds of excuses and banalities instead of following the rules of law, that’s how Ottawa operates.
Fundamental changes did not, in politics, bring fundamental changes in policy; it had always stayed the same. Whoever runs Ottawa for one reason and one reason only: To serve the interest of specially interest groups and also to act as a puppet to the Zionist genocide of entity in Palestine. That’s how Ottawa makes business.
SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) – In an exclusive interview with SHAFAQNA reporter, Mr. Zeljko Milicevic, president of Justice for Bosnia Task Force, talks about the participation of Canada in the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s genocide in the past decade. What follows is the first part of the interview with Mr. Zeljko Milicevic.
In the year of 1992 in Bosnia, genocide was started primarily against Bosnian Muslims. It was performed by Christians of primarily Roman in East Orthodox Church and as well as Roman catholic church. The conflict was based on religious hatred that dominated from Zagreb. It happened at a time when the Geneva genocide convention was already a mature document. So for instance there was no Geneva Convention during the Second World War and during the extermination of Jews by the Nazis. When the extermination of Muslims in Bosnia started, Geneva genocide Convention was a valid document. All signatories and the countries who have acceded to Geneva Genocide Convention had obligation to prevent them from punish the criminal genocide; and they didn’t. So whoever let those countries in that time between specially 1992 and 1995, all those people are guilty of complicity to crime genocide as simple as that.
Canada for instance had its troops on the ground throughout the genocide which lasted from February 1992 to November 1995. Over forty thousand soldiers went to Bosnia and they all had in their back pocket, sort to speak, Geneva Genocide Convention and nobody prevented and punished genocide. Also, Canada is guilty as seen, and I know that because I lived in Ottawa, Canada for thirty one years now and I know how the politics are.
Together with Canada and the countries that were at that time members of the Security Council of the United Nations are primarily accomplices to the crown genocide as long as all other countries who have their troops on ground. As a matter of fact whether they did or they did not, they were guilty of complicity, because they did not prevent and punish especially those who had their troops on ground and those are numbers of countries; Russia, United States, Britain, France and so on and so on.
It is unacceptable that in today’s age such crime would be done and it was not just done for the night, it went on for years.
Genocide is still going on today and this is done, for example, by not allowing people to return to their homes; and not allowing people to feel about the genocide that they have gone through. Genocide is continuous today not punishing those who have conducted genocide. Genocide is, also, an establishment of the court of the former Yugoslavia. Establishing the court for former Yugoslavia was nothing but an attempt to take away the sovereignty of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s as simple as that.
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was not allowed to defend itself and its population regardless of their religion. So the international community did, at that time, unimaginable things, completely inexcusable and that condition continues even today. Genocide was committed throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and especially Muslims and comminuted on July the 11th in 1995.
That act shock the whole community, because orderly people became disgusted with the fact that genocide was allowed to continue which created pressure especially for the Western countries. So they acted in stopping genocide at the time when the army of Republic of Bosnia was on its marshal victory of evicting Serbian forces out of Bosnia, so the stoppage of genocide was cosmetic.
It was done to finish off the taking away the sovereignty of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and it was done to save the Serbian side in particular. Serbia, Montenegro as well as Croatia, those three countries decided to cut off Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if it was possible either eliminate Muslims or make them leave. Today we have almost a million refugees still living outside their homes and that is not acceptable, that it genocide itself. Those people live elsewhere for one reason: because they are Muslims. Today, we witness here in North America an elevation of hatred against Muslims and Muslim countries.
Prime Minister Harper has recently declared that word Islamism, that Islamism is the biggest threat to Canada, to national security of Canada. So he has named every single Muslim in Canada and by extension in the United States, a terrorist. What can we question is whether the Prime Minister Harper and his ministers have been elected by Canadians in Canada or by people living in or by people living in Tel Aviv?
So there are things that in out of proportions, there are things that have been done absolutely illegally. One has to question: Why is it that we have all those rights, all those charts of rights and why we have all those laws, why do we have international laws and why the Geneva Genocide convention? Why do we have United Nations and their committees with respect to the rights of children, the right of women, why do we have all that when we are not honoring our own commitments?
When I come to that I know the reason why, because I have lived here in Ottawa thirty one years and I believe in witness that successive governments of Canada have been routinely dishonoring their commitments. It is normal for the government of Canada to say one thing and do another and disregard all rules and regulations.