Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Literally "Happy chance," but it means "Nice to meet you" in Arabic. (I chose the name when I was living in Egypt.)

If you're looking for substance, there's a handy link called "Analysis" right down below, which I invite you to check out. The rest is shorter thoughts, humor, caps lock, and the occasional personal post. Ask me anything you like.

FYI, I co-blog a lot of pop culture, fangirly things with my dear CT over at 22drunkb. If you enjoy hilarity and flailing, head that way. ________

Tagged UN:

Man, these Kafranbel (i.e., the town of Kafr Nabil) guys aren’t fucking around. (source, source, source, source)

Sep 21

lakotapeopleslawproject:

HONOR THE CHILDREN!

U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a statement urging states to keep their promises and honor the treaties made with Indigenous peoples no matter when they were signed!

August 9th marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Pillay reminded us that treaties are important because they often marked the end of a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation. 

The U.N. released a  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, which will play an important role in promoting the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties and other arrangements concluded with states.  Read More

Help us Investigate South Dakota’s Foster Programs! Sign the Petition HERE NOW!

 

Sep 02
lakotapeopleslawproject:

HONOR THE CHILDREN!
U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a statement urging states to keep their promises and honor the treaties made with Indigenous peoples no matter when they were signed!
August 9th marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Pillay reminded us that treaties are important because they often marked the end of a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation. 
The U.N. released a  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, which will play an important role in promoting the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties and other arrangements concluded with states.  Read More
Help us Investigate South Dakota’s Foster Programs! Sign the Petition HERE NOW!
 

selchieproductions:

Proud to Be Indigenous Week starts Monday, May 20th. Are you part of it yet?!

Indigenous Peoples from around the world will be descending on New York City for the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). While most of us can’t make it to New York, our voices need to be heard! Proud To Be Indigenous is an online campaign for Indigenous People to share their stories. The Proud To Be Indigenous coalition includes over 40 Indigenous and Indigenous-friendly organizations, large and small and from all over the world, that will be sharing photos, videos and stories about Indigenous, Native and Aboriginal people online during UNPFII (see the fill list of coalition members below).

But most importantly, Proud To Be Indigenous is about you, the Indigenous People from around the world, and sharing your story and voice. How? Throughout the week, we are encouraging people to share photos, videos and stories of themselves and why they are proud of their people and culture. We have already started receiving photos, videos and stories from Indigenous People in the Arctic, Amazon, and Central Africa! Join your Indigenous sisters and brothers and send us a photo of you holding a #Proud2BIndigenous sign so that next week, thousands of Indigenous people are showing their pride and sharing their voice. And make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter because during the week, we will be sharing Indigenous stories and news coming out of UNPFII.

How can you get involved? Its easy, no matter where you are.

TAKE A #PROUD2BINDIGENOUS PHOTO

Take a photo of yourself with your homemade #Proud2BIndigenous sign. See a few of the great examples we have already received below:

P2BI_collage

Then then post them on the Proud To Be Indigenous Facebook page with a message telling us your name, your People and where you are live.

If you are on Twitter, tweet your photo using the hashtag #Proud2BIndigenous or #P2BI and we will retweet it.

And if you only have email, just email us the photo to proud2bindigenous@firstpeoples.org and we will share it for you.

That’s it! Make sure you sign up and join the movement so we can update you throughout the week on what is going on. And check out the schedule below for the Proud To Be Indigenous events in New York during UNPFII.

PROUD TO BE INDIGENOUS WEEK

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Updated 5/14/2013

Annual Children’s Festival: “Aloha Days at the NMAI”
Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
at National Museum of the American Indian
Celebrate the culture, traditions and values of Native Hawai’i through dance, storytelling, workshops and much more.  Activities and workshops will be lead by Hālau O ‘Aulani.

First Peoples Worldwide Annual Board Meeting
Sunday, May 19 & Monday, May 20

Donor Breakfast
Tuesday, May 21 (Invitation only)
A chance for funders and First Peoples’ grantees to meet and explore future funding opportunities. Invitation only.
Contact nmorrison@firstpeoples.org for details.

Corporate Leadership & Indigenous Peoples
Tuesday, May 21, 12:30 – 2:30 PM EST
A workshop for companies establishing leadership roles within the growing global trajectory for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. RSVP is required.
Contact nelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.

Leadership Training for Indigenous Peoples
Tuesday, May 21, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST
A culturally appropriate leadership training for Indigenous Peoples. RSVP is required.
Contact jtiller@firstpeoples.org for details.

UN Global Compact Consultation
Thursday, May 23, 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM EST
Workshop for Indigenous Peoples to provide feedback and comments to the UN Global Compact’s Business Reference Guide to UNDRIP. RSVP is required.
Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.

Native Right to Water
Thursday, May 23, 6:00 PM EST
Diker Pavilion at National Museum of the American Indian
In conjunction with the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the museum and the National Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals presents a discussion of Native water rights with Cecelia Belone, (Diné) and Native activist/attorney James Zion. This program will also be broadcast live on the web at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nmai-ny

Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award
Thursday, May 23, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
at National Museum of the American Indian
Hosted by Cultural Survival
Contact agnes@culturalsurvival.org for details.

Cultural Survival Baazar
Friday May 24, 10:00 AM – 6PM EST
at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
833 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017
Hosted by Cultural Survival
For more information, visit: http://bazaar.culturalsurvival.org/may-24-new-york-city-ny

Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidebook Meeting
Tuesday, May 28, 1:15PM – 2:45PM EST
An introduction to Indigenous Peoples Guidebook to FPIC & Corporation Standards developed in partnership with First Peoples Worldwide, the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and Trillium Asset Management.
Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.

Times are tentative and subject to change. All events wil take place in New York City. Sign-up to be alerted of additions and changes to the schedule.

May 15
selchieproductions:


Proud to Be Indigenous Week starts Monday, May 20th. Are you part of it yet?!
Indigenous Peoples from around the world will be descending on New York City for the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). While most of us can’t make it to New York, our voices need to be heard! Proud To Be Indigenous is an online campaign for Indigenous People to share their stories. The Proud To Be Indigenous coalition includes over 40 Indigenous and Indigenous-friendly organizations, large and small and from all over the world, that will be sharing photos, videos and stories about Indigenous, Native and Aboriginal people online during UNPFII (see the fill list of coalition members below).
But most importantly, Proud To Be Indigenous is about you, the Indigenous People from around the world, and sharing your story and voice. How? Throughout the week, we are encouraging people to share photos, videos and stories of themselves and why they are proud of their people and culture. We have already started receiving photos, videos and stories from Indigenous People in the Arctic, Amazon, and Central Africa! Join your Indigenous sisters and brothers and send us a photo of you holding a #Proud2BIndigenous sign so that next week, thousands of Indigenous people are showing their pride and sharing their voice. And make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter because during the week, we will be sharing Indigenous stories and news coming out of UNPFII.
How can you get involved? Its easy, no matter where you are.
TAKE A #PROUD2BINDIGENOUS PHOTO
Take a photo of yourself with your homemade #Proud2BIndigenous sign. See a few of the great examples we have already received below:

Then then post them on the Proud To Be Indigenous Facebook page with a message telling us your name, your People and where you are live.
If you are on Twitter, tweet your photo using the hashtag #Proud2BIndigenous or #P2BI and we will retweet it.
And if you only have email, just email us the photo to proud2bindigenous@firstpeoples.org and we will share it for you.
That’s it! Make sure you sign up and join the movement so we can update you throughout the week on what is going on. And check out the schedule below for the Proud To Be Indigenous events in New York during UNPFII.
PROUD TO BE INDIGENOUS WEEK
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
Updated 5/14/2013
Annual Children’s Festival: “Aloha Days at the NMAI”Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM ESTat National Museum of the American IndianCelebrate the culture, traditions and values of Native Hawai’i through dance, storytelling, workshops and much more.  Activities and workshops will be lead by Hālau O ‘Aulani.
First Peoples Worldwide Annual Board MeetingSunday, May 19 & Monday, May 20
Donor BreakfastTuesday, May 21 (Invitation only)A chance for funders and First Peoples’ grantees to meet and explore future funding opportunities. Invitation only.Contact nmorrison@firstpeoples.org for details.
Corporate Leadership & Indigenous PeoplesTuesday, May 21, 12:30 – 2:30 PM ESTA workshop for companies establishing leadership roles within the growing global trajectory for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. RSVP is required.Contact nelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.
Leadership Training for Indigenous PeoplesTuesday, May 21, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM ESTA culturally appropriate leadership training for Indigenous Peoples. RSVP is required.Contact jtiller@firstpeoples.org for details.
UN Global Compact ConsultationThursday, May 23, 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM ESTWorkshop for Indigenous Peoples to provide feedback and comments to the UN Global Compact’s Business Reference Guide to UNDRIP. RSVP is required.Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.
Native Right to WaterThursday, May 23, 6:00 PM ESTDiker Pavilion at National Museum of the American IndianIn conjunction with the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the museum and the National Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals presents a discussion of Native water rights with Cecelia Belone, (Diné) and Native activist/attorney James Zion. This program will also be broadcast live on the web at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nmai-ny
Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights AwardThursday, May 23, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM ESTat National Museum of the American IndianHosted by Cultural SurvivalContact agnes@culturalsurvival.org for details.
Cultural Survival BaazarFriday May 24, 10:00 AM – 6PM ESTat Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza833 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017Hosted by Cultural SurvivalFor more information, visit: http://bazaar.culturalsurvival.org/may-24-new-york-city-ny
Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidebook MeetingTuesday, May 28, 1:15PM – 2:45PM ESTAn introduction to Indigenous Peoples Guidebook to FPIC & Corporation Standards developed in partnership with First Peoples Worldwide, the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and Trillium Asset Management.Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.



Times are tentative and subject to change. All events wil take place in New York City. Sign-up to be alerted of additions and changes to the schedule.

Saudi Arabia rejects seat on Security Council

WELL.

I got nothing. I have thought about a number of angles and none of them explains this. Anybody who knows more about Saudi have an idea?

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Saturday September 21st 2013 at 05:01pm. Its tags are listed below.

Man, these Kafranbel (i.e., the town of Kafr Nabil) guys aren’t fucking around. (source, source, source, source)

lakotapeopleslawproject:

HONOR THE CHILDREN!
U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a statement urging states to keep their promises and honor the treaties made with Indigenous peoples no matter when they were signed!
August 9th marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Pillay reminded us that treaties are important because they often marked the end of a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation. 
The U.N. released a  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, which will play an important role in promoting the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties and other arrangements concluded with states.  Read More
Help us Investigate South Dakota’s Foster Programs! Sign the Petition HERE NOW!
 

lakotapeopleslawproject:

HONOR THE CHILDREN!

U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a statement urging states to keep their promises and honor the treaties made with Indigenous peoples no matter when they were signed!

August 9th marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Pillay reminded us that treaties are important because they often marked the end of a period of conflict, exploitation and expropriation. 

The U.N. released a  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, which will play an important role in promoting the recognition, observance and enforcement of treaties and other arrangements concluded with states.  Read More

Help us Investigate South Dakota’s Foster Programs! Sign the Petition HERE NOW!

 

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Monday August 26th 2013 at 11:33pm. Its tags are listed below.

Snipers attack UN convoy in Syria

priceofliberty:

fursasaida:

The regime may have finally gone too far for Russia’s protection.

Unidentified snipers have opened fire on a convoy of UN experts investigating suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria’s capital, the UN has said.

One car was shot at “multiple times”, forcing the convoy to turn back.

Syrian state media blamed opposition “terrorists” for the attack, though the claim could not be verified.

The UN team later resumed its mission, entering the western district of Muadhamiya to gather evidence, before returning to central Damascus. […]

The convoy was “deliberately targeted” and it seemed someone was trying to intimidate the team, the UN Secretary General’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, told the BBC.

The Guardian also reports:

A spokesman for the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the shooting occurred in the buffer zone area between rebel and government-controlled territory. […]

The attack on the inspectors came shortly after Ban said there could be “no impunity” for the use of chemical weapons, saying the international community owed it to the families of the victims to take action in Syria.

The regime gave the inspectors permission to go to the site and investigate, though it’s worth noting that it took a few days—with a gap so long, it’s hard to be as conclusive about what exactly happened up to the standards of this kind of investigation. (Not saying this means it won’t be possible to figure out the basics, or who was behind it, but a lot of the chemical evidence will very likely have faded.)

They gave permission, but then set up these snipers, because this way they van try to blame the unspecified “rebels” they already blamed for the attack itself. Many of us thought it was possible that in addition to/aside from a possible tactical explanation, the regime chose to make this attack when the investigators were in the city as a way of showing Syrians that the international community will not act, that they can get away with this. The same Guardian article  makes it look like that may not be as true as we’d thought; the snipers may be a result of the regime realizing that it might have miscalculated, and so trying to scare the investigators off.

If the whole sequence—the attack with inspectors nearby, giving the inspectors permission, and then firing on them—was all part of the initial plan, then to be honest I don’t get it. But the Syrian regime has a long history of distorting reality, not just within itself but through much of Syria (see Ambiguities of Domination), so its doing things that don’t make tons of sense to the rest of us wouldn’t be exactly new. 

More from the Guardian on the international response:

Speaking in Seoul, Ban said the UN inspection could not be delayed. “Every hour counts,” he said. “We cannot afford any more delays. We have all seen the horrifying images on our television screens and through social media. Clearly this was a major and terrible incident,” he said. “We owe it to the families of the victims to act.”

Britain and the US are inching towards a military attack against the regime of Bashar al-Assad after the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, said all other options have failed over the past year. […]

Ban faces mounting challenges maintaining the credibility and authority of the UN over the Syria conflict, as Russia appears determined to withhold support for any punitive measures against the Assad regime, while the UK and US have both signalled that they are prepared to act without a UN mandate in the face of a Russian and Chinese veto.

However, Ban was outspoken over the necessity to act if his inspectors find evidence of chemical weapons use. “If proven, any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances is a serious violation of international law and an outrageous crime. We cannot allow impunity in what appears to be a grave crime against humanity,” Ban said. […]

The foreign secretary admitted that Britain effectively faced a stark choice – between inaction or a military strike – as UN weapons inspectors embarked on a visit to the area east of Damascus that was struck by a chemical weapons attack last week.

General Sir Nick Houghton, the chief of the defence staff, is to discuss military options with his US counterpart, General Martin Dempsey, and other allied military chiefs at a summit in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Russia and China are likely to veto any UN security council resolution authorising military action. But Hague said a military strike could still be legal under international law without the approval of the UN.

He told Today: “It is possible to take action based on great humanitarian need and humanitarian distress. It is possible to do that under many different scenarios. But anything we propose to do – the strong response we have talked about, whatever form that takes – will be subject to legal advice, must be in accordance international law.” […]

He said: “Of course we want the maximum pressure from world opinion, from diplomatic work, on the Syrian regime not to do these things again. It has to be pointed out that such pressure does not appear to have worked.”

Hague dismissed Assad’s claims that his regime was not responsible for the chemicals weapons attack. He said: “The Assad regime did this. The use of chemical weapons in the 21st century, on a large scale like this, cannot go unaddressed, cannot be ignored. Our position is the same as France and the US.”

Obama has been more cautious in his language (“But Mr Obama warned in his interview: ‘Sometimes what we’ve seen is that folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff, that does not turn out well, gets us mired in very difficult situations, can result in us being drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region.’”); in that same link you can see Russia continuing to support the idea that it was rebels, the opposition National Coalition swearing to support, protect, and facilitate any further investigation (the regime and Russia have said they’d support it but that the investigators wouldn’t be safe from rebels) and indeed at least saying they’re trying to get tissue samples to the investigation team, and France saying that the international community should use force if the attack can be verified. Turkey’s foreign minister has also said Turkey would be willing to support intervention without a UN agreement.

The regime may finally have gone over a line. The whole situation could change radically if these countries follow through. Will intervention actually stop the conflict or even determine the outcome? I don’t think so. But if it keeps it to conventional weapons, I honestly (though a bit tentatively) think that might be enough of a reason.

"unidentified snipers" eh? The West has used such fear-mongering tactics before, in order to take down Romania, Iraq in the first Gulf War, Venezuela, even in Russia. From November, 2011:

In Susanne Brandstätter’s documentary ‘Checkmate: Strategy of a Revolution’ aired on Arte television station some years ago,  Western intelligence officials revealed how  death squads were used to destabilize Romania and turn its people against the head of state Nicolai Ceaucescu. 

“how do you organize a revolution? I believe the first step is to locate oppositional forces in a given country. It is sufficient to have a highly developed intelligence service in order to determine which people are credible enough to have influence at their hands to destabilize the people to the disadvantage of the ruling regime”[2]

This open and rare admission of Western sponsorship of terrorism was justified on the grounds of the “greater good” brought to Romania by free-market capitalism. It was necessary, according to the strategists of Romania’s “revolution”, for some people to die.

The western intelligence officials interviewed in the documentary also revealed how the Western press played a central role in disinformation. For example, the victims of Western-backed snipers were photographed by presented to the world as evidence of a crazed dictator who was “killing his own people”

During Boris Yeltsin’s counter-revolution in Russia in 1993, when the Russian parliament was bombed resulting in the deaths of thousands of people, Yeltsin’s counter-revolutionaries made extensive use of snipers.  According to many eye witness reports, snipers were seen shooting civilians from the building opposite the US embassy in Moscow.  The snipers were attributed to the Soviet government by the international media.[4]

In 2002, the CIA attempted to overthrow Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, in a military coup. On the 11th of April 2002, an opposition March towards the presidential palace was organized by the US backed Venezuelan opposition. Snipers hidden in buildings near the palace opened fire on protestors killing 18. The Venezuelan and international media claimed that Chavez was “ killing his own people” thereby justifying the military coup presented as a humanitarian intervention.  It was subsequently proved that the coup had been organized by the CIA but the identity of the snipers was never established.

I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think it applies here. The snipers are not what’s motivating the belligerent language; it’s the attack, and in some cases the five-day delay between when it happened and when the UN team was given permission to investigate. I may have given that impression with the way I wrote the post, in which case it’s my error, but not one of the diplomats quoted refers to anything regarding snipers or the safety of the UN team, ever. They may have done so off the record, or in parts that weren’t quoted, but if the shooting was meant to be a trigger or excuse for invasion, they’d be sure to mention it. It’s more that the articles were prompted by the incident, but went on to talk about the broader changes, internationally, around Syria, and so the two end up being put together.

I put them together—and I could have been clearer about this—because the regime has to know what’s starting to coalesce around the events of the 21st, and so I can imagine that if they didn’t anticipate this, they want to do whatever they can to maintain some kind of deniability around the chemical attack. That means they can’t deny the team access, but they want to avoid or delay their inspection as much as possible. This is one way to do it, and it’s the kind of thing people come up with when they don’t have a lot of time, are in the middle of a war, and are used to being able to do whatever the fuck they want without much consideration to how it looks. They are not used to having to sell a story. That this is pathetically transparent is more plausibly an argument for the regime having done it than an argument for Western countries being responsible.

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Monday August 26th 2013 at 04:43pm. Its tags are listed below.

Snipers attack UN convoy in Syria

The regime may have finally gone too far for Russia’s protection.

Unidentified snipers have opened fire on a convoy of UN experts investigating suspected chemical weapons attacks in Syria’s capital, the UN has said.

One car was shot at “multiple times”, forcing the convoy to turn back.

Syrian state media blamed opposition “terrorists” for the attack, though the claim could not be verified.

The UN team later resumed its mission, entering the western district of Muadhamiya to gather evidence, before returning to central Damascus. […]

The convoy was “deliberately targeted” and it seemed someone was trying to intimidate the team, the UN Secretary General’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, told the BBC.

The Guardian also reports:

A spokesman for the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the shooting occurred in the buffer zone area between rebel and government-controlled territory. […]

The attack on the inspectors came shortly after Ban said there could be “no impunity” for the use of chemical weapons, saying the international community owed it to the families of the victims to take action in Syria.

The regime gave the inspectors permission to go to the site and investigate, though it’s worth noting that it took a few days—with a gap so long, it’s hard to be as conclusive about what exactly happened up to the standards of this kind of investigation. (Not saying this means it won’t be possible to figure out the basics, or who was behind it, but a lot of the chemical evidence will very likely have faded.)

They gave permission, but then set up these snipers, because this way they van try to blame the unspecified “rebels” they already blamed for the attack itself. Many of us thought it was possible that in addition to/aside from a possible tactical explanation, the regime chose to make this attack when the investigators were in the city as a way of showing Syrians that the international community will not act, that they can get away with this. The same Guardian article  makes it look like that may not be as true as we’d thought; the snipers may be a result of the regime realizing that it might have miscalculated, and so trying to scare the investigators off.

If the whole sequence—the attack with inspectors nearby, giving the inspectors permission, and then firing on them—was all part of the initial plan, then to be honest I don’t get it. But the Syrian regime has a long history of distorting reality, not just within itself but through much of Syria (see Ambiguities of Domination), so its doing things that don’t make tons of sense to the rest of us wouldn’t be exactly new. 

More from the Guardian on the international response:

Speaking in Seoul, Ban said the UN inspection could not be delayed. “Every hour counts,” he said. “We cannot afford any more delays. We have all seen the horrifying images on our television screens and through social media. Clearly this was a major and terrible incident,” he said. “We owe it to the families of the victims to act.”

Britain and the US are inching towards a military attack against the regime of Bashar al-Assad after the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, said all other options have failed over the past year. […]

Ban faces mounting challenges maintaining the credibility and authority of the UN over the Syria conflict, as Russia appears determined to withhold support for any punitive measures against the Assad regime, while the UK and US have both signalled that they are prepared to act without a UN mandate in the face of a Russian and Chinese veto.

However, Ban was outspoken over the necessity to act if his inspectors find evidence of chemical weapons use. “If proven, any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances is a serious violation of international law and an outrageous crime. We cannot allow impunity in what appears to be a grave crime against humanity,” Ban said. […]

The foreign secretary admitted that Britain effectively faced a stark choice – between inaction or a military strike – as UN weapons inspectors embarked on a visit to the area east of Damascus that was struck by a chemical weapons attack last week.

General Sir Nick Houghton, the chief of the defence staff, is to discuss military options with his US counterpart, General Martin Dempsey, and other allied military chiefs at a summit in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Russia and China are likely to veto any UN security council resolution authorising military action. But Hague said a military strike could still be legal under international law without the approval of the UN.

He told Today: “It is possible to take action based on great humanitarian need and humanitarian distress. It is possible to do that under many different scenarios. But anything we propose to do – the strong response we have talked about, whatever form that takes – will be subject to legal advice, must be in accordance international law.” […]

He said: “Of course we want the maximum pressure from world opinion, from diplomatic work, on the Syrian regime not to do these things again. It has to be pointed out that such pressure does not appear to have worked.”

Hague dismissed Assad’s claims that his regime was not responsible for the chemicals weapons attack. He said: “The Assad regime did this. The use of chemical weapons in the 21st century, on a large scale like this, cannot go unaddressed, cannot be ignored. Our position is the same as France and the US.”

Obama has been more cautious in his language (“But Mr Obama warned in his interview: ‘Sometimes what we’ve seen is that folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff, that does not turn out well, gets us mired in very difficult situations, can result in us being drawn into very expensive, difficult, costly interventions that actually breed more resentment in the region.’”); in that same link you can see Russia continuing to support the idea that it was rebels, the opposition National Coalition swearing to support, protect, and facilitate any further investigation (the regime and Russia have said they’d support it but that the investigators wouldn’t be safe from rebels) and indeed at least saying they’re trying to get tissue samples to the investigation team, and France saying that the international community should use force if the attack can be verified. Turkey’s foreign minister has also said Turkey would be willing to support intervention without a UN agreement.

The regime may finally have gone over a line. The whole situation could change radically if these countries follow through. Will intervention actually stop the conflict or even determine the outcome? I don’t think so. But if it keeps it to conventional weapons, I honestly (though a bit tentatively) think that might be enough of a reason.

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Monday August 19th 2013 at 03:41pm. Its tags are listed below.

UN team in Syria for chemical weapons probe

So I’m not going to call this completely useless, because while it isn’t going to stop anyone from doing anything (despite what they say), it’s still important to collect receipts. (I have a friend whose job is doing exactly that: making sure that someone is keeping track of who did what so that when the time comes for trials and/or reconciliation the truth is already documented.) Is that good enough? Does it make me feel better? No. But there is nothing they can do that will stop anything, so at least we can try to keep track of what happened and hold some shred of hope that people will be prosecuted. (The probe isn’t allowed to say who used the weapons if they find evidence of them, but I imagine after the war ends that restriction won’t really apply anymore. I also find it awfully telling that they have this restriction after so much trouble getting the Asad regime to allow it.)

A huge amount of the logic of human rights and human rights law is predicated on the idea of a supranational, global system of principles and precedents. That’s what the ICC is for. All of this stems from Nuremburg, and that body of international war crimes/human rights law is what many national courts look to for precedent when trying to approach justice after atrocities or in times of transition. That the institutions designed to continue this work are so neutered is a massive obstacle to justice in situations like these, and I can’t be all that hopeful about what the consequences for the Asad regime and for those who have committed atrocities on the rebel side will be. But to choose not to document those atrocities to begin with is a terrible surrender.

Fursa Sa'ida فرصة سعيدة

Posted on Friday June 21st 2013 at 04:03pm. Its tags are listed below.

Why do we still put refugees in tents? IKEA has a new idea.

So there are a lot of cool things around this, and definitely refugee families should have something better than a tent to live in (especially because in reality they end up staying in the camps way longer than the tents are designed to serve). These shelters are being tested for “cultural suitability” as well as functionality, so clearly potential usage concerns are being approached fairly realistically. As in all things, though, I have doubts.

The article focuses a bit on the fact that UNHCR hasn’t collaborated with private companies on this level before (even though it’s technically the IKEA foundation, but whatever), and that’s definitely a very valid set of concerns. But I think the single biggest red flag here is this: 

The partnership with IKEA marks a new phase of UNHCR-private sector relations. “It also potentially moves the whole way in which we look at refugees from one of a logic of charity to that of a logic of sustainability,” says Prof. Betts.

I actually yelled “NO, YOU ASSHOLES” into the empty air. I hope my neighbors weren’t listening; I wouldn’t be able to explain “NGO-industrial complex” in Arabic.

The whole point is that refugees are supposed to eventually either make it home or build a new life. They are not supposed to stay refugees forever. Sustainability is the opposite of that. I find it…troubling that that word comes up at a potential turning point towards greater involvement of private companies in UNHCR services. ”Sustainability” is a word that used to have a meaning, and if it had popped up in this article as part of a discussion of environmental consequences of long-term refugee camps and facilities, I wouldn’t blink at it. But at this point it’s an NGO buzzword like “impact.” It’s been robbed of its actual purpose and turned into a bullshit indicator; hence, red flag.

In the world we live in, that which is sustainable is that which is profitable. Turn toward sustainability + more private sector involvement in refugee services = a lot of potential exploitation. 

selchieproductions:


Proud to Be Indigenous Week starts Monday, May 20th. Are you part of it yet?!
Indigenous Peoples from around the world will be descending on New York City for the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). While most of us can’t make it to New York, our voices need to be heard! Proud To Be Indigenous is an online campaign for Indigenous People to share their stories. The Proud To Be Indigenous coalition includes over 40 Indigenous and Indigenous-friendly organizations, large and small and from all over the world, that will be sharing photos, videos and stories about Indigenous, Native and Aboriginal people online during UNPFII (see the fill list of coalition members below).
But most importantly, Proud To Be Indigenous is about you, the Indigenous People from around the world, and sharing your story and voice. How? Throughout the week, we are encouraging people to share photos, videos and stories of themselves and why they are proud of their people and culture. We have already started receiving photos, videos and stories from Indigenous People in the Arctic, Amazon, and Central Africa! Join your Indigenous sisters and brothers and send us a photo of you holding a #Proud2BIndigenous sign so that next week, thousands of Indigenous people are showing their pride and sharing their voice. And make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter because during the week, we will be sharing Indigenous stories and news coming out of UNPFII.
How can you get involved? Its easy, no matter where you are.
TAKE A #PROUD2BINDIGENOUS PHOTO
Take a photo of yourself with your homemade #Proud2BIndigenous sign. See a few of the great examples we have already received below:

Then then post them on the Proud To Be Indigenous Facebook page with a message telling us your name, your People and where you are live.
If you are on Twitter, tweet your photo using the hashtag #Proud2BIndigenous or #P2BI and we will retweet it.
And if you only have email, just email us the photo to proud2bindigenous@firstpeoples.org and we will share it for you.
That’s it! Make sure you sign up and join the movement so we can update you throughout the week on what is going on. And check out the schedule below for the Proud To Be Indigenous events in New York during UNPFII.
PROUD TO BE INDIGENOUS WEEK
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
Updated 5/14/2013
Annual Children’s Festival: “Aloha Days at the NMAI”Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM ESTat National Museum of the American IndianCelebrate the culture, traditions and values of Native Hawai’i through dance, storytelling, workshops and much more.  Activities and workshops will be lead by Hālau O ‘Aulani.
First Peoples Worldwide Annual Board MeetingSunday, May 19 & Monday, May 20
Donor BreakfastTuesday, May 21 (Invitation only)A chance for funders and First Peoples’ grantees to meet and explore future funding opportunities. Invitation only.Contact nmorrison@firstpeoples.org for details.
Corporate Leadership & Indigenous PeoplesTuesday, May 21, 12:30 – 2:30 PM ESTA workshop for companies establishing leadership roles within the growing global trajectory for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. RSVP is required.Contact nelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.
Leadership Training for Indigenous PeoplesTuesday, May 21, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM ESTA culturally appropriate leadership training for Indigenous Peoples. RSVP is required.Contact jtiller@firstpeoples.org for details.
UN Global Compact ConsultationThursday, May 23, 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM ESTWorkshop for Indigenous Peoples to provide feedback and comments to the UN Global Compact’s Business Reference Guide to UNDRIP. RSVP is required.Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.
Native Right to WaterThursday, May 23, 6:00 PM ESTDiker Pavilion at National Museum of the American IndianIn conjunction with the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the museum and the National Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals presents a discussion of Native water rights with Cecelia Belone, (Diné) and Native activist/attorney James Zion. This program will also be broadcast live on the web at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nmai-ny
Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights AwardThursday, May 23, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM ESTat National Museum of the American IndianHosted by Cultural SurvivalContact agnes@culturalsurvival.org for details.
Cultural Survival BaazarFriday May 24, 10:00 AM – 6PM ESTat Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza833 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017Hosted by Cultural SurvivalFor more information, visit: http://bazaar.culturalsurvival.org/may-24-new-york-city-ny
Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidebook MeetingTuesday, May 28, 1:15PM – 2:45PM ESTAn introduction to Indigenous Peoples Guidebook to FPIC & Corporation Standards developed in partnership with First Peoples Worldwide, the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and Trillium Asset Management.Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.



Times are tentative and subject to change. All events wil take place in New York City. Sign-up to be alerted of additions and changes to the schedule.
selchieproductions:


Proud to Be Indigenous Week starts Monday, May 20th. Are you part of it yet?!
Indigenous Peoples from around the world will be descending on New York City for the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). While most of us can’t make it to New York, our voices need to be heard! Proud To Be Indigenous is an online campaign for Indigenous People to share their stories. The Proud To Be Indigenous coalition includes over 40 Indigenous and Indigenous-friendly organizations, large and small and from all over the world, that will be sharing photos, videos and stories about Indigenous, Native and Aboriginal people online during UNPFII (see the fill list of coalition members below).
But most importantly, Proud To Be Indigenous is about you, the Indigenous People from around the world, and sharing your story and voice. How? Throughout the week, we are encouraging people to share photos, videos and stories of themselves and why they are proud of their people and culture. We have already started receiving photos, videos and stories from Indigenous People in the Arctic, Amazon, and Central Africa! Join your Indigenous sisters and brothers and send us a photo of you holding a #Proud2BIndigenous sign so that next week, thousands of Indigenous people are showing their pride and sharing their voice. And make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter because during the week, we will be sharing Indigenous stories and news coming out of UNPFII.
How can you get involved? Its easy, no matter where you are.
TAKE A #PROUD2BINDIGENOUS PHOTO
Take a photo of yourself with your homemade #Proud2BIndigenous sign. See a few of the great examples we have already received below:

Then then post them on the Proud To Be Indigenous Facebook page with a message telling us your name, your People and where you are live.
If you are on Twitter, tweet your photo using the hashtag #Proud2BIndigenous or #P2BI and we will retweet it.
And if you only have email, just email us the photo to proud2bindigenous@firstpeoples.org and we will share it for you.
That’s it! Make sure you sign up and join the movement so we can update you throughout the week on what is going on. And check out the schedule below for the Proud To Be Indigenous events in New York during UNPFII.
PROUD TO BE INDIGENOUS WEEK
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
Updated 5/14/2013
Annual Children’s Festival: “Aloha Days at the NMAI”Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM ESTat National Museum of the American IndianCelebrate the culture, traditions and values of Native Hawai’i through dance, storytelling, workshops and much more.  Activities and workshops will be lead by Hālau O ‘Aulani.
First Peoples Worldwide Annual Board MeetingSunday, May 19 & Monday, May 20
Donor BreakfastTuesday, May 21 (Invitation only)A chance for funders and First Peoples’ grantees to meet and explore future funding opportunities. Invitation only.Contact nmorrison@firstpeoples.org for details.
Corporate Leadership & Indigenous PeoplesTuesday, May 21, 12:30 – 2:30 PM ESTA workshop for companies establishing leadership roles within the growing global trajectory for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. RSVP is required.Contact nelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.
Leadership Training for Indigenous PeoplesTuesday, May 21, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM ESTA culturally appropriate leadership training for Indigenous Peoples. RSVP is required.Contact jtiller@firstpeoples.org for details.
UN Global Compact ConsultationThursday, May 23, 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM ESTWorkshop for Indigenous Peoples to provide feedback and comments to the UN Global Compact’s Business Reference Guide to UNDRIP. RSVP is required.Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.
Native Right to WaterThursday, May 23, 6:00 PM ESTDiker Pavilion at National Museum of the American IndianIn conjunction with the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the museum and the National Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals presents a discussion of Native water rights with Cecelia Belone, (Diné) and Native activist/attorney James Zion. This program will also be broadcast live on the web at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nmai-ny
Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights AwardThursday, May 23, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM ESTat National Museum of the American IndianHosted by Cultural SurvivalContact agnes@culturalsurvival.org for details.
Cultural Survival BaazarFriday May 24, 10:00 AM – 6PM ESTat Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza833 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017Hosted by Cultural SurvivalFor more information, visit: http://bazaar.culturalsurvival.org/may-24-new-york-city-ny
Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidebook MeetingTuesday, May 28, 1:15PM – 2:45PM ESTAn introduction to Indigenous Peoples Guidebook to FPIC & Corporation Standards developed in partnership with First Peoples Worldwide, the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and Trillium Asset Management.Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.



Times are tentative and subject to change. All events wil take place in New York City. Sign-up to be alerted of additions and changes to the schedule.

selchieproductions:

Proud to Be Indigenous Week starts Monday, May 20th. Are you part of it yet?!

Indigenous Peoples from around the world will be descending on New York City for the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). While most of us can’t make it to New York, our voices need to be heard! Proud To Be Indigenous is an online campaign for Indigenous People to share their stories. The Proud To Be Indigenous coalition includes over 40 Indigenous and Indigenous-friendly organizations, large and small and from all over the world, that will be sharing photos, videos and stories about Indigenous, Native and Aboriginal people online during UNPFII (see the fill list of coalition members below).

But most importantly, Proud To Be Indigenous is about you, the Indigenous People from around the world, and sharing your story and voice. How? Throughout the week, we are encouraging people to share photos, videos and stories of themselves and why they are proud of their people and culture. We have already started receiving photos, videos and stories from Indigenous People in the Arctic, Amazon, and Central Africa! Join your Indigenous sisters and brothers and send us a photo of you holding a #Proud2BIndigenous sign so that next week, thousands of Indigenous people are showing their pride and sharing their voice. And make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter because during the week, we will be sharing Indigenous stories and news coming out of UNPFII.

How can you get involved? Its easy, no matter where you are.

TAKE A #PROUD2BINDIGENOUS PHOTO

Take a photo of yourself with your homemade #Proud2BIndigenous sign. See a few of the great examples we have already received below:

P2BI_collage

Then then post them on the Proud To Be Indigenous Facebook page with a message telling us your name, your People and where you are live.

If you are on Twitter, tweet your photo using the hashtag #Proud2BIndigenous or #P2BI and we will retweet it.

And if you only have email, just email us the photo to proud2bindigenous@firstpeoples.org and we will share it for you.

That’s it! Make sure you sign up and join the movement so we can update you throughout the week on what is going on. And check out the schedule below for the Proud To Be Indigenous events in New York during UNPFII.

PROUD TO BE INDIGENOUS WEEK

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Updated 5/14/2013

Annual Children’s Festival: “Aloha Days at the NMAI”
Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
at National Museum of the American Indian
Celebrate the culture, traditions and values of Native Hawai’i through dance, storytelling, workshops and much more.  Activities and workshops will be lead by Hālau O ‘Aulani.

First Peoples Worldwide Annual Board Meeting
Sunday, May 19 & Monday, May 20

Donor Breakfast
Tuesday, May 21 (Invitation only)
A chance for funders and First Peoples’ grantees to meet and explore future funding opportunities. Invitation only.
Contact nmorrison@firstpeoples.org for details.

Corporate Leadership & Indigenous Peoples
Tuesday, May 21, 12:30 – 2:30 PM EST
A workshop for companies establishing leadership roles within the growing global trajectory for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. RSVP is required.
Contact nelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.

Leadership Training for Indigenous Peoples
Tuesday, May 21, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST
A culturally appropriate leadership training for Indigenous Peoples. RSVP is required.
Contact jtiller@firstpeoples.org for details.

UN Global Compact Consultation
Thursday, May 23, 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM EST
Workshop for Indigenous Peoples to provide feedback and comments to the UN Global Compact’s Business Reference Guide to UNDRIP. RSVP is required.
Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.

Native Right to Water
Thursday, May 23, 6:00 PM EST
Diker Pavilion at National Museum of the American Indian
In conjunction with the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the museum and the National Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals presents a discussion of Native water rights with Cecelia Belone, (Diné) and Native activist/attorney James Zion. This program will also be broadcast live on the web at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nmai-ny

Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award
Thursday, May 23, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
at National Museum of the American Indian
Hosted by Cultural Survival
Contact agnes@culturalsurvival.org for details.

Cultural Survival Baazar
Friday May 24, 10:00 AM – 6PM EST
at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
833 1st Ave, New York, NY 10017
Hosted by Cultural Survival
For more information, visit: http://bazaar.culturalsurvival.org/may-24-new-york-city-ny

Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidebook Meeting
Tuesday, May 28, 1:15PM – 2:45PM EST
An introduction to Indigenous Peoples Guidebook to FPIC & Corporation Standards developed in partnership with First Peoples Worldwide, the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and Trillium Asset Management.
Contact npelosi@firstpeoples.org for details.

Times are tentative and subject to change. All events wil take place in New York City. Sign-up to be alerted of additions and changes to the schedule.

B’Tselem estimates that the GSS annually interrogates between 1000-1500 Palestinians [as of 1998]. Some eighty-five percent of them — at least 850 persons a year — are tortured during interrogation…


The U.N. Committee Against Torture,..reached an unequivocal conclusion:…’The methods of interrogation [used in Israeli prisons]…are in the Committee’s view breaches of article 16 and also constitute torture as defined in article 1 of the Convention…As a State Party to the Convention Against Torture, Israel is precluded from raising before this Committee exceptional circumstances’…The prohibition on torture is, therefore, absolute, and no ‘exceptional’ circumstances may justify derogating from it.

1998 Report from B’Teslem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “Routine Torture: Interrogation Methods of the General Security Service.” (via thepeacefulterrorist)

UN peacekeepers kidnapped in Golan released

priceofliberty:

firlalaith:

priceofliberty:

Why are the ‘good guys’ capturing the ‘good guys’?

The definition of ‘good guy’ is based on your perspective.

what NO WAY.

there is CLEARLY one universal definition of what is “good”

and one clear definition of what is BAD. Everyone knows this

Um, the answer is right there in the second paragraph:

The rebels from the Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade had said they were holding the soldiers for their own safety after clashes with Syrian government forces had put them in danger.