Thursday, December 10, 2020

Despite "confirmed war crimes of willful killing, torture, and rape," the ICC closes probe into abuse of Iraqis by British troops

    Thursday, December 10, 2020   No comments

 Key Quotes from the ICC Prosecutor's Statement:

The Office "confirmed, that there is a reasonable basis to believe that members of the British armed forces committed the war crimes of wilful killing, torture, inhuman/cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape and/or other forms of sexual violence."

"the more than ten year long domestic process, involving the examination of thousands of allegations, has resulted in not one single case being submitted for prosecution to date: a result that has deprived the victims of justice."

"the only professionally appropriate decision at this stage is to close the preliminary examination and to inform the senders of communications. My decision is without prejudice to a reconsideration based on new facts or evidence."



The AP reported that the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said she is closing a preliminary probe into allegations of killings and torture of Iraqi prisoners by British troops from 2003-2008 and will not open a full-scale investigation because U.K. authorities have investigated the allegations.

The global court only takes on cases of crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious international offenses if a member state is unwilling or unable to investigate them or has carried out investigations that were not genuine with a view to shielding suspects from justice.

In a statement, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office confirmed that there is “a reasonable basis to believe that members of the British armed forces committed the war crimes of wilful killing, torture, inhuman/cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape and/or other forms of sexual violence" against Iraqi detainees.

Read:

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Monday, November 09, 2020

What US 2020 Elections tell us about Americans’ values systems

    Monday, November 09, 2020   No comments

 

Trump: “This fucking virus, what does it have to do with me getting reelected?”

~  Inside Donald Trump’s 2020 undoing


Let’s not forget what US presidential elections tone and results confirm: The rude and candid discourse that elevates personal interests above all else; the power of those who consider themselves better and superior and more deserving; and their view that everyone else should be grateful that they can serve them and be thankful for the opportunity to exist in the same space they exist even as servants… just under half of the American public approved of such tone and character. And from what data reveal, the standard bearer of the supremacist discourse lost not because, nationally, just 3% of the voters 3% more people rejected his supremacist discourse and value system, but because 3% of the voters disapproved of his mismanagement of a pandemic crisis that killed quarter million people in less than eight months. This reality cannot be covered by the veneer of deliberately selected photos of some Americans celebrating the win by the less openly supremacist candidate.


 News story: ~  Inside Donald Trump’s 2020 undoing


Friday, October 09, 2020

Aisha Bakari Gombi: a terror to the terrorists

    Friday, October 09, 2020   No comments

By Ebele Orakpo 


It’s often said that what a man can do, a woman can do even better. This saying has been proven to be true in the North-Eastern region of Nigeria, which has been the theatre of war between the forces of evil (Boko Haram terrorists) and good (the Security agencies and the poor masses) for about 11 years.


In Adamawa State, one of the states being ravaged by the Boko Haram, considered the third most dangerous terrorist organisation on earth after Al Qaeda and The Islamic State,  lives a queen by all standards, by name, Sarauniya (Queen) Amina Bakari Gombi, a  wife, mother, hunter, warrior, and tailor. Due to her exploits as a warrior, she has entered the folklore of the locals just like the legendary Queen Amina of Zazzau, Hausa warrior queen who ruled in the mid-16th Century. 

Perhaps, one can confidently say that Queen Amina has come alive in Aisha Gombi, Queen Hunter and nemesis of Boko Haram fighters. At a time when many, including men, were running away from the insurgents who were raiding communities, maiming, killing raping, and abducting men, women, and children, and razing down villages, Aisha stood to be counted.

... read more; Source: https://bit.ly/3lyisxJ


Friday, July 17, 2020

Full text and summary of the 25-year China-Iran deal covering Trade and Military Collaboration

    Friday, July 17, 2020   No comments
Media review: Iran replaces its nuclear deal with the P5+1 with one with China

China and Iran are reported to have quietly drafted a comprehensive military and trade partnership. The deal would make way for about $400 billion worth of Chinese investments into Iran’s key sectors, such as energy and infrastructure, over the next 25 years.

The deal:

An 18-page draft of the proposed agreement, the Persian version of it available at the end of this summary,
talks about expanding Chinese presence in Iran’s “banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects”. In return, Iran is to provide regular and “heavily discounted” supply of oil to China for 25 years.

In the strategic realm, the proposed draft talks about deepening military cooperation, with “joint training and exercises”, “joint research and weapons development”, and intelligence sharing.

This deepening military cooperation would be intended to fight the “the lopsided battle with terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cross-border crimes”.

The deal is reported to have been first proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his 2016 visit to Tehran, and the proposed draft was approved by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif over the last couple of weeks.

These moves come at a time when the Iranian economy has been crippled by sweeping US sanctions, which have ensured that any company in the world that deals with Iran would be cut off from the global financial system.

The deal has not been presented to the Iranian parliament yet, and Beijing is still to disclose the terms of the deal, though Iranian officials have publicly acknowledged that there is a “pending agreement with China”.

What does it entail?
The opening sentence of the proposed draft says: “Two ancient Asian cultures, two partners in the sectors of trade, economy, politics, culture and security with a similar outlook and many mutual bilateral and multilateral interests will consider one another strategic partners.”

There are nearly 100 projects cited in the document that would have Chinese investments, and are expected to be a part of Xi’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to extend China’s strategic influence across Eurasia.

These 100 projects include “airports, high-speed railways and subways”, effectively touching the lives of most Iranian citizens.

“China would (also) develop free-trade zones in Maku, in northwestern Iran; in Abadan, where the Shatt al-Arab river flows into the Persian Gulf, and on the gulf island Qeshm,” notes the NYT report.

The draft agreement also talks about China building infrastructure for 5G telecommunications network in Iran. This would see Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei — a company that has come under severe US sanctions and been banned by many countries across the world such as the United Kingdom and Australia — enter the Iranian market.

Chinese global positioning system BeiDou is also proposed to assist Iran’s cyber authorities in regulating what is shared in the country’s cyberspace, potentially paving the way for Iran to develop a China-like “great firewall”.

US ‘pushed’ Iran into China’s arms
Since coming to power in 2017, US President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which froze the country’s nuclear programme, and enforced comprehensive sanctions on Iran, devastating its economy. Now “Tehran’s desperation has pushed it into the arms of China”, remarks the NYT report.

“Iran and China both view this deal as a strategic partnership in not just expanding their own interests but confronting the US. It is the first of its kind for Iran, keen on having a world power as an ally,” said Ali Gholizadeh, who works at University of Science and Technology of China in Beijing.

Until now, Iran used to seek European cooperation for trade and investment, but it has reportedly grown increasingly frustrated with it.

“The draft agreement with Iran shows that unlike most countries, China feels it is in a position to defy the United States, powerful enough to withstand American penalties, as it has in the trade war waged by President Trump,” said the NYT report.

The US State Department spokesperson said the US would continue to “impose costs on Chinese companies that aid Iran”.

Middle East geopolitics

For decades now, the US forces have dominated the Middle East’s security paradigm, but this agreement could now provide China with a foothold in the region, according to unnamed US officials in the NYT report.

Analysts contend that when China develops strategic ports in various countries, there is a possibility that it might militarise them at some point.

In the proposed draft, China plans to build several ports in Iran, one of them at Jask, just outside the Gulf of Hormuz, which is the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

The Gulf of Hormuz is among the nine key maritime chokepoints across the world. All of these chokepoints are controlled by the US, which many security analysts believe is a marker of US strategic hegemony over the world.

Now, a Chinese port at Jask “would give the Chinese a strategic vantage point on the waters through which much of the world’s oil transits. The passage is of critical strategic importance to the United States, whose Navy’s Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain in the gulf,” the NYT report states.

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Unverified copy of the Agreement Between Iran and China:



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