The United States, the European Union, the Arab League, Turkey, Canada and Australia have collectively taken measures since 2011, and the United States since 1979, to destroy Syria’s economy. The measures are illegal under international law, which prohibits states from using economic pressure, outside the framework of the UN Security Council, to coerce other states. With Syrians fleeing sanctions-induced economic collapse, joblessness, crumbling infrastructure and a public health care system in tatters, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Syria has spoken out. But is anyone listening?
June 23, 2018
By Stephen Gowans
Washington’s long war on Syria comprises three major elements: a proxy war waged by Islamist insurgents; an occupation of almost one-third of Syria by US and allied troops ; and a program of economic warfare. If we understand war to represent an attempt by one state to impose its will on another, then all three elements, including the economic…
“But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.”
– H.L. MENCKEN (1880-1956) American editor, critic, lexicographer
une 19, 2018 marked the 6th year of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange’s detention, his kidnapped-by-government status, at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Any legal arguments by British authorities for not releasing him unconditionally are totally bogus and without merit, yet Mr. Assange remains imprisoned in London, essentially for a flimsiest of bail infractions – associated with a non-existent crime.
It is clear beyond doubt that Julian Assange is an innocent man. That is … unless publishing the truth is now against the law. It is clear beyond doubt that United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, United States President Donald Trump and other world leaders are willing to allow the continued unjust detainment and silencing of Julian Assange, showing the world and humanity that their exercise of power over journalists who expose the dark, illegal practices of their governments is more important than strict adherence to the most basic rules of law and fairness.
Julian Assange is an innocent man. He is an innocent man whose lifetime (or current incarnation if ones holds to the idea of reincarnation) coincides with the rapid rise of the internet as an unprecedented powerful tool for communication among people the world over. Many have utilized the internet to disseminate inconvenient, disturbing and previously secreted facts resulting in millions becoming much more aware of reality on Earth, and Julian Assange – because the facts his media organization WikiLeaks has exposed are to a great extent aggravating and constraining the world’s wealthiest and most powerful criminals – has become the #1 target, the “poster boy” example, for those criminals’ vicious retribution.
Julian Assange’s freedom means the continued exposure of the criminals and the potential end to their criminality, and in particular the crimes related to wars of aggression, identified at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II as the “greatest crime of them all”. One might reasonably suggest that those world leaders who go along with the continued detention of Julian Assange, or fail to speak out for his being released immediately with guaranteed shielding from extra-judicial re-“arrest”, are by their actions identifying themselves as either 1st level, genuine war criminals or, equally as reprehensible, silent accomplices.
The circumstances surrounding Mr. Assange’s 6-years-long, highly publicized, unjust, legally untenable situation are as plain as day for all to see, yet – despite years of time passing since the “case” has actually been thrown out of court – the injustice still stands, the man’s physical, mental and spiritual health are at greater and greater risk with each passing day, and nobody on Earth seems able to make the necessary “executive decision” … of doing the right thing – to simply free Julian Assange.
Ms. May of the United Kingdom, Mr. Trump of the United States, Mr. Turnbull of Australia, Mr. Moreno of Ecuador and those leaders silent in the face of this monumental injustice carried out against Mr. Assange – a man perceived as a genuine, rare hero by millions around the Earth, – might think seriously about the extent to which their recalcitrant stubbornness and persistence in defying the wish of those millions for freeing Assange is inevitably self-defeating.
Those world leaders might seriously consider the profoundly negative consequences of stubbornly rejecting the will of “the people”, and accepting the plain fact that Mr. Assange should rightly and immediately be granted his freedom. Those world leaders might “get the clue”, finally admit the man’s innocence, and acknowledge, then act upon, the wisdom contained in the words of Julian Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson:
Palestinians are at the heart of the conflict in the M.E Palestinians uprooted by force of arms.. Yet faced immense difficulties have survived, kept alive their history and culture, passed keys of family homes in occupied Palestine from one generation to the next.
This blog is devoted to legal, historical and human rights matters, in which issues of general concern are addressed freely and spontaneously. It is intended to further an informal exchange of views in the democratic spirit of freedom of opinion and respect for the opinions of others, in an effort to understand rather than condemn, to propose constructive solutions rather than grandstand. The perspective is both from inside and outside the box and the added value lies more in the questions than in the answers.