"For reasons too tedious to detail,..."
Oh heavens yes.
The WikiLeaks Party, the Australian political arm of WikiLeaks, has sent a delegation to Syria and met with the nation's leader Bashar al-Assad. The United Nations has accused of al-Assad, and rival Syrian factions, of perpetrating war crimes in the nation's civil war The WikiLeaks Party, for which Julian Assange ran as a …
Wow Australia sounds like they have an even more retarded electoral system than the US. They always have been right wing religious crazy birds of a feather. And before any merkin tries to defend our short bus electoral college remember after WW2 even we installed a Parliamentary system in Japan because we needed their government to start functioning right away and to keep functioning. Most of the countries that have tried our system such as in South America have seen why it was a beta system nobody else of note chose.
Truth, "Justice", and giving positive PR to regimes that use nerve gas on their own people. As long as you're not western you can do horrible things and have morons who should really know better suck up to you, but what else is new? I'm sure they would have met with Pol Pot as well. This is of course not to say Syria is anywhere near the magnitude of the Cambodian Genocide, or even a Genocide at all. But unless they go meet with with Al-Qaeda and the other rebels as well as Assad, there's a bit of balance wanting here.
I think its funny that Ed Snowden, despite my deep conviction that he's a red herring, didn't bother with WikiLeaks or their political tentacles such as these people at all after seeing them use and then hang Bradley Manning out to dry, and went to the Grun and Der Speigel instead. Can't say I blame him there.
"giving positive PR to regimes that use nerve gas on their own people."
Sure, killing a few civilians with nerve gas because it was a bit quicker than shells and bullets was worth a publicity own goal of enormous proportions which brought down the wrath of every right thinking nation in the world (until they found they couldn't actually pin it on the Syrian regime).
At worst it was a mistake or rouge faction within the Syrian regime, far more likely it was some of the murderous rabble in the opposition deciding martyring some of the people they were supposed to be fighting for was worth the publicity.
I am quite sure we in the west get an extremely one sided view and speculation of what is going on in Syria. I applaud the Wikileaks party for trying to find out for themselves and in their position I would want to talk to the 'other' side first.
The other explanation is that the 'rebels' (clever bit of marketing there to avoid explaining why the West is funding Al-Queda) captured some nerve gas shells and set them off by mistake. Stupidity trumps malice, and these are guys who are capable of executing their own side because they have the wrong accent.
GB stockpiled gas shells against a German invasion in WW2. We're not supposed to notice that Assad is doing exactly what Churchill would have done.
You've noticed how Arab lives are suddenly more important than Kurdish lives were during the Iran-Iraq War? And how Syrian Arab lives are much more important than Palestinian Arab lives in Gaza? Or Iraqi Arab lives in Fallujah?
Nobody has yet explained why the use of white phosphorus against civilians in a crowded city environment isn't violating any number of chemical weapon bans. Funny how the "mushroom cloud" that Saddam Hussein was supposed to be ready to raise above US cities turned into a cloud of white phosphorus over Iraqi cities ...
The British made and stockpiled chemical weapons in the event that the Germans used them, which they did not. At least, they only used their Zyclon B in gas chambers specially built too contain these dangerous chemicals.
As to the use of chemical weapons in Syria it was clear that the shells landed in a pattern which reflected an immediate prior series of artillery rounds. The correlation is too close. Add to that the use of some form of inflammable shells on a playground and really there's no doubt that the Assad regime has been using this sort of stuff. No one refers to all of the other instances of chemical weapons use that have occurred, some 35 in all.
What I find most revolting is that the architect of the US intervention into Cambodia, the which brought down the Sihnouk administration - a certain Mr Kissinger - walks free with the blood of millions on his hands, and nobody, but nobody, sees any problem with it. If Mr Kissinger hadn't started bombing Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge would never had been able to feed off the despair and outrage of the ordinary Cambodian citizen who was thus driven into the arms of the Khmer Rouge.
I'm tempted to argue that the regime in Washington is illegal because we as yet haven't hung the architects of the war against Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It would be an interesting experience to run the war against the IndoChinese through the precedents established by the Nuremberg Tribunal, and see who _doesn't_ get hung.
>understanding and truthfulness and the free flow of information
And since when has anybody outside of Syria ever accused the Assad family of too much transparency and honesty? As someone who supported Snowden and even Manning (though due to him voluntarily joining military I did believe he deserved some jail time for breaking his oath) even I am just like WTF. There is a difference between standing up to western governments and holding them accountable and giving a propaganda victory to far far worse regimes. There goes the last of the wikitards support in the west. Hope they enjoy the media transparency from their new found dictator friends. You know the ones who make reporters and their families disappear.
Like the US bombing of that hotel in Baghdad where all the non-embedded reporters were staying? Like the US and Australian approval for the Indonesian kleptocrats who shot the Australian TV crew in East Timor in 1975? Like the US incarceration of the Al Jazeerah journalist Sami al-Hajj in Guantanamo Bay?
You've heard about the life expectancy of the investigative journalist in the Philipines?
The hotel in Baghdad was hit by a single shell, aimed at a person on the roof pointing a long object at the troops on the other side of the river. They had been taking fire for over an hour, and had been trying to pin down where the shooter (or his spotter) was, and where the hotel was, since they knew there were foreign journalists there. They were given a poor description of the hotel, and made a judgement call - which in this case was tragically wrong.
A misdirected shell during a battle is a *little* different from marching into a building, detaining a journalist, and then disappearing him. That you cannot see the difference makes your argument pretty weak.
You miss my point Lapun. Of course I know my government is hypocritical but Syria is hardly a shining example either. Syria is one of the few countries that by no stretch of the imagination can an objective person say they at their best is better than the US at its worst.
"You miss my point Lapun. Of course I know my government is hypocritical but Syria is hardly a shining example either. Syria is one of the few countries that by no stretch of the imagination can an objective person say they at their best is better than the US at its worst."
Clearly untrue. Lapun can say it.
Yes, apprentice, even that he cannot do well:
- no white cat to stroke (OK, he's got the beard now, maybe that's a substitute)
- no cackling laugh
- absolutely no credibility to speak of
- no evil ray gun or other devastating weapon.
Until there is a villain who is defined by mainly hot air, it's "apprentice" as far as I'm concerned..
"Nobody knows better than the Wiki-leaks party that everything we hear isn't always the full truth."
And since Wikileaks makes it members/employees sign NDA's in which they agree to make restitution (up to $12million) for any "unauthorized disclosures" of material that Wikileaks "owns" (i.e. which Wikileaks was given by actual leakers) so that Wikileaks' owners can control the disclosures and thereby maximize their selling price from publications willing to pay for the privilege of printing them, it's obvious that Wikileaks is not in the business of making the "full truth" known.
(This ignores the question of whether Wikileaks ever uses the material to blackmail the organization from which the material was leaked, or offer it for sale to that organization's competitors or adversaries.)
I don't hold any torch for the Assad administration, any more than I held any such torch for the Dubbya regime ... but I just want to remind people of something in the British and British-sourced legal system re criminal justice.
The jury in a jury trial as far as I have been able to ascertain, is asked to return its verdict on a simple question: has the prosecution proved its case? Is there reasonable doubt?
The judgement in a star chamber system is much simpler: the questions asked there, are more along the lines of: is taking this guy out going to advance the policies? Is leaving this guy alone going to damage us?
Considering that the charge that was laid against the Assad administration - that it had used chemical weapons against its own people - was never held up to any scrutiny except from the UN, and that the charge was endlessly repeated in the mass media as if proved beyond reasonable doubt, can there be any doubt that the accusation, like a similar one brought against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, emanates from a Star Chamber?
And so I am compelled to disregard any repetition of it as drivel.
"Considering that the charge that was laid against the Assad administration - that it had used chemical weapons against its own people - was never held up to any scrutiny except from the UN, and that the charge was endlessly repeated in the mass media as if proved beyond reasonable doubt, can there be any doubt that the accusation, like a similar one brought against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, emanates from a Star Chamber? And so I am compelled to disregard any repetition of it as drivel."
Then the proper attitude would be no judgement at all on the truth or falsity of the accusations. Because your judgement that the accusation is false is also based on nothing other than the stupid and dishonest premise that if the accusation has not been proven in a court of law it is therefore false - with extra added hypocrisy in light of your condemnation of the "bombing" of the hotel in Baghdad (as Bumpy Cat noted above) and similar incidents where you purposefully ignore the facts of the matter in favor of a more lurid and propagandistic - and dishonest - narrative.
This new interest fringe dwellers are showing in diplomacy is not only weird, it's dangerous. The very first principle of diplomacy is that the message has to be tightly controlled.
When State emissaries meet with their foreign counterparts and Heads of State they have a framework designed by their home governments to work within. They have enormous latitude within that framework, but they can't go outside it.
Even the most pretentious and self-entitled Congressperson or Minister won't go fiddling around with the message or the other diplomatic activities of which they aren't a part. They know better, they know they could easily derail diplomatic efforts or even put their fellow countrymen in danger, if only by accident.
When fringe elements start muddying the message there's a very real chance things could go very wrong and/or people could get hurt/dead. Why do you think people like Lil' Kim and Assad meet with those fringe elements? They know full well those people have less than zero power at home. They want to see if the fringe elements let something slip. Stroking the egos of attention seekers has always been a sound tactic.
Even on a good day, no Head of State is going to be swayed by people far removed from power. You don't get to be Head of State by listening to non-actors. I'm not sure if these fringe elements are just simpletons or if their egos truly are that inflated.
The 'bad guy' can position these visits any way he wants: 'Look how the Australians disrespect us. They send their least influential politicians' or 'The USA loves DPRK so much they send their most famous basketball player as a sign of respect', etc, etc...
99.8% of all diplomacy is not giving the other side any ammunition to twist around for an advantage. Knowing what not to say or do. That's why diplomat heavy dinners are so god awful neutral and bland. Enormous efforts are made and tremendous resources are expended to help ensure there's no opportunity for someone to feel slighted or initiate an emotional confrontation.
It's all silliness, but it isn't being done for fun. It's done because nobody there is your friend or ally, everybody is looking for an advantage, no matter how small. Regardless of what a diplomat may accomplish, what he doesn't let slip by mistake is his most valued contribution. I have zero faith that 'regular' people can do that.
"A diplomatic passport from Australia is the only protection St. Julian can wield to avoid prosecution and extradition back to Sweden."
From Wikipedia article "Passports", section "Diplomatic Passports":
"Issued to diplomats and other government officials for work-related international travel, and to accompanying dependents. Although most persons with diplomatic immunity carry diplomatic passports, having a diplomatic passport is not the equivalent of having diplomatic immunity. A grant of diplomatic status, a privilege of which is diplomatic immunity, has to come from the government of the country in relation to which diplomatic status is claimed. "
I know it works differently in the movies but...
[Wikipedia material/definition of diplomatic passport]
What's more he only gets to be of diplomatic status with the approval of the host nation, which just happens to be the one in which Assange committed a criminal offence some years back, leading to him hiding in a broom cupboard in Kensington, mimicking the Python team, I'm not coming out!
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