Friday, July 28, 2006

The US and UN Relationship: Is a Divorce on the Horizon?

Kofi Annan (r) would like to show John Bolton the door.

Though the US often likes to claim the moral high ground, this nation is a study in contradiction and hypocrisy when it comes to human rights issues. As reported by the BBC in the article linked HERE and above, America's human rights violations have been soundly criticized by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
The US should immediately shut all secret detention facilities used in its campaign against terror groups, the UN Human Rights Committee has said. The committee called on the US to give the International Red Cross prompt access to those held in such jails.

The UN report also covered the domestic human rights situation in the US. It urged the government to ensure the rights of poor people and Blacks are respected in relief efforts.
The panel scolded the US for its treatment of poor people and Blacks in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and suggested a moratorium on the death penalty which disproportionately affects Blacks, Latinos and the poor.

Many of us in the United States will welcome this acknowledgement by the international community that the US is and has been guilty of numerous human rights violations for years. Unfortunately, the report comes at a time when US ruling parties are becoming increasingly frustrated with the United Nations.

This week UN Ambassador John Bolton
is facing congressional hearings. Bolton is a vocal critic of the international body, and has made a career out of trying to undermine the organization, blocking legitimate reform efforts and pushing for greater US hegemony. This report may serve as fuel to Bolton's fire by angering lawmakers who then may sanction the undiplomatic spoiler's quest to destroy the United Nations from within.

Add this to little brother Israel's constant flouting of international law, and we have a recipe that could spell disaster for the US/UN relationship. The US has already worked to weaken UN Security Council admonition of Israel's bombing of unarmed UN observers in Lebanon and Gaza. And Israel opposes a UN role in restoring order and brokering or enforcing a ceasefire before it completely destroys Lebanon.

US lawmakers may see this report as adding insult to injury, and it is doubtful that they will accept this constructive criticism well. Those who already perceive the UN as a nuisance may now begin to see the organization as a threat.

And that development would not bode well for any human beings...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Israel Says World 'backs Lebanon offensive'

From the BBC:

Israel says diplomats' decision not to call for a halt to its Lebanon offensive at a Middle East summit has given it the green light to continue.

"We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world... to continue the operation," Justice Minister Haim Ramon said.

And it seems to be true...

It seems the world has turned its back on the people of Lebanon just as we have our brothers and sisters in Darfur, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in New Orleans...

We, the people, in every nation of the world, have once again failed to use our powers of persuasion to convince our governments to act in the name of humanity and justice. We have failed again to act on our own to stop the bloodshed.

When will we as a race... the human race... stand up and fight for what we know is right?

Click HERE for more photos of the atrocities in Lebanon

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Democrats are Punks - Part 4: Democrats Abandon RFK's Courage

By Jeffery Buchanan on Huffington Post

While many current Democrats count Robert F. Kennedy as a hero, most would benefit from studying the courageous words he delivered forty years ago this month. In a speech to students at University of Cape Town in South Africa, exactly two years to the date before his untimely death, RFK told the world how to be heroic.

At the height of apartheid in South Africa and the civil rights movement at home, Kennedy forcefully gave his case for supporting human rights declaring, "We must recognize the full human equality of all of our people before God, before the law, and in the councils of government. We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous, although it is; not because of the laws of God command it, although they do... We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do."

Democrats are unwilling to educate voters and take on conservative myths that human rights and social justice amount to undeserved handouts. Human rights only ensure equal access to the minimum level of support and freedom an individual needs to live their lives with dignity. Admitting that our fellow men and women deserve to live with dignity is not a renunciation of personal responsibility.

Instead of investing in developing community leaders to enlighten voters about party principles like human rights, Democrats have decided to do things on the cheap. They instead save their money for last minute strategies of half hearted voter education and "Get Out To Vote" efforts just before Election Day. This strategy is incapable of shaping what voters actually believe so Democrats must rely on campaign points that reiterate what people already think. The Party has lost faith in the ability of community leaders to shape minds and they have lost the courage to lead and stand for platforms that actually strike out against injustice and make a "ripple of hope."

Read More HERE

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Declaration of Independence: how far we have fallen

"A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act
which may define a Tyrant,
is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
- The Declaration of Independence -

By ClammyC

With much of "flag wavin', beer guzzlin', jee-zus fearin' Murka" getting ready to shoot off some fireworks, eat some grilled meat and get all dressed up in red, white and blue to show how much they support the troops and love this country, I was thinking about the document that we really should be celebrating, or at least remembering this weekend.

And in reading the text of the Declaration of Independence it is both sad to see how far this country has gone astray from the principles contained in the Declaration of Independence and how the authors of that document would cringe to see what has happened to the country and freedoms (not "freedomTM") they fought so hard for. At the same time, it is amusing (in a sick twisted way) to see how ignorant that `Murka is when they blindly salute the flag and spew their vile hate.

So, with all that in mind, I thought that a few choice selections of the Declaration of Independence, intertwined with commentary and some "post-9/11 world" contrast would be worth putting together on a weekend where I will be doing more reflection than in most other years.

Read More HERE

The People's Path to Impeachment

You wouldn't know it from the media, but grassroots movements are afoot all over the country to hold the president legally accountable for his lies.

On June 6, Jim Bronke of Concord, Penn., addressed the Concord Township board of supervisors:
Township supervisors and friends, I come here today not as a Republican or as a Democrat but as an American citizen concerned for our way of life. I hope that you can view this package not as a political statement but as a plan for the future … Rules of the House of Representatives explicitly allow state and city legislatures to introduce resolutions. Our First Amendment guarantees any citizen, city, or state "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." This is what I ask you to do with this motion.

Bronke requested that the board consider a motion to request an impeachment inquiry of the president of the United States. When a board supervisor told Bronke that the only path to impeachment was through U.S. senators and representatives, Bronke corrected the supervisor, stating that "there are multiple paths toward impeachment, this is another."

Bronke was absolutely right.

The Concord board is hardly national news. But taken in conjunction with the staggering number of state legislatures and city and town councils across the country that have passed impeachment resolutions, the lack of coverage of the movement is a conspicuous absence in mainstream media.

Read More HERE