The Wednesday Edition

Wednesday Edition I This Geopolitical War is a ‘Geopolitical Crime’

April 18, 2022

By Abraham A. van Kempen

Published April 13, 2022

Wednesday Edition I This Geopolitical War is a ‘Geopolitical Crime’

Source: Palestine Chronicle


By Richard Falk
Published April 10, 2022


There is no doubt that atrocities have been committed in Ukraine, seemingly yet not exclusively by Russian attacking forces, and in a perfect world, those who so acted would be held responsible. But the world is highly imperfect when it comes to accountability for international crimes.


When the International Criminal Court in 2020 found it had the authority to investigate alleged crimes committed by Israel in Occupied Palestine after painstaking delays to make sure that their inquiry would meet the highest standard of legal professionalism, the decision was called ‘pure anti-Semitism’ by the Israeli prime minister, and defiantly rejected by Israeli leaders across the whole political spectrum.


Similarly, when authorization was given by the ICC to investigate crimes by the United States in Afghanistan, the decision was denounced as void and unwarranted because the US was not a party to the Rome Statute governing the operations of the ICC. The Trump presidency went so far as to express its outrage by imposing personal sanctions on the ICC prosecutor, presumably for daring to challenge the US in such a manner even though her behavior was entirely respectful of her professional role and consistent with relevant canons of judicial practice.


Against such a background, there is a typical liberal quandary when faced with clear criminality on one side and pure geopolitical hypocrisy on the other side. Was it desirable after World War II to prosecute surviving German and Japanese political leaders and military commanders at the ‘legal’ cost of overlooking the criminality of the victors because there was no disposition to investigate the dropping of atom bombs on Japanese cities or the strategic bombing of civilian habitats in Germany and Japan?


I am far from sure about what is better from the perspective of either developing a global rule of law or inducing respect for the restraints of law. The essence of law is treating equals equally, but world order is not so constituted. As suggested, there is ‘victors’ justice’ imposing accountability on the defeated leadership in major wars but complete non-accountability for the crimes of the geopolitical winners...


Read more: This Geopolitical War is a ‘Geopolitical Crime’



Scott Schaeffer-Duffy: No excuse for Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Americans must remember...


Source: Telegram&Gazette 


By Scott Schaeffer-Duffy
Published April 8, 2022



In light of the widespread anger at Russia's invasion of Ukraine, I think it is important for Americans to remember that...


• On March 4, 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “it is not appropriate to invade a country in dictate, at the end of a barrel of a gun, what you are trying to achieve.” We forget that the U.S. has invaded 56 countries, eight of them since 2000.


• On Feb. 22, 2022, within hours of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Biden announced extensive economic sanctions. In the 55 years since Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, the U.S. has not imposed any sanctions. Twenty seven U.S. states have passed laws against the BDS (boycott divestment and sanctions) movement opposed to the Israeli occupation.


• On Feb. 26, 2022, the United States and NATO condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ordered to put his nuclear forces on high alert as dangerous and unacceptable. The U.S. is the only nation to have used atomic bombs, when it incinerated more than 70,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also, unlike Russia, The U.S. continues to be one of the only nuclear powers which refuses to pledge not to use nuclear weapons first.


• On March 2, 2022, the UN General Assembly passed a U.S.-led resolution condemning the Russian invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Israel, which invaded and continues to occupy the United Nations recognize sovereign state of Palestine in 1967, is the world's largest recipient of U.S. military aid.


• On March 6, 2022, the U.S. condemned Russia for bombing the Mariupol Drama Theater, which killed about 300 of the civilians who sought refuge there, despite the fact that painted on the ground outside the building — in giant Russian letters —  was the world word “CHILDREN.” We forget that, on Feb. 13, 1991, without warning, the U.S. dropped two laser-guided bombs onto Baghdad's Amiriyah shelter killing 408 people, mostly women and children, despite the fact that the building was clearly marked as a civilian shelter...


Read more: Scott Schaeffer-Duffy: No excuse for Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Americans must remember...


Selective Solidarity with War Victims: Ukrainian and Palestinian Refugees


Source: Politics Today


By Yousef M. Aljamal
Published March 18, 2022


Hundreds of Israelis protested the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with some of them burning their Russian passports in protest. Here lie a number of ironies.


The scenes of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing war to Europe have received unprecedented western media coverage and solidarity. To be clear, there is nothing wrong in expressing solidarity with any people fleeing war and no group of people should be denied this solidarity. No one should ever become a refugee in the first place and only people who were once refugees can really feel the pain and relate to the experience of other refugees.


However, the treatment of Ukrainian refugees and victims of war has triggered comparisons with other conflicts and war-torn countries, and only reveals the limits of western liberalism and its selective solidarity towards refugees and victims of war.  In this regard, Palestine and other war-torn countries in the Middle East can speak volumes to this selective solidarity, which reveals the limits of western liberalism and its perception of who makes an authentic victim and refugee.


Soon after mostly Ukrainian refugees started flooding into Europe from war-torn Ukraine, statements of solidarity by members of the public, journalists, and politicians started pouring in. These particular statements only reflected an orientalist view of war-torn countries in the Middle East, whose people were not white or blonde enough (some of them ironically are!) to win the solidarity of right-wing political parties and politicians in Europe.


Middle Eastern refugees don’t fit the criteria


For shocked Europe, Middle Eastern refugees and people fleeing war in that region of the world were not civilized enough. Speaking of Kyiv and people fleeing the city, Charlie D’Agata of CBS news said, “This is a relatively civilized, relatively European—I have to choose those words carefully, too—city,” He later had to apologize for this statement. This was said despite the fact that cities such as Baghdad, Damascus, or Aden are hundreds and sometimes thousands of years older than Kyiv and other European cities...


Read more: Selective Solidarity with War Victims: Ukrainian and Palestinian Refugees


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