19 February 2014

Towards another coup in Venezuela?

Al Jazeera

Five days after violent anti-government incitement in Venezuela led to the deaths of three people, the US State Department issued a press statement declaring: "The allegations [by President Nicolas Maduro] that the United States is helping to organise protestors… is baseless and false. We support human rights and fundamental freedoms - including freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly - in Venezuela as we do in countries around the world."

Of course, US commitment to such freedoms is called into question by its own operating procedures, which have included police beatings of peaceful protesters and the incarceration and torture of whistleblower Chelsea Manning. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.

17 February 2014

Lebanon’s Tribunal: The Argentine Connection


Nine years ago Friday, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and twenty-two others were killed in a massive explosion on the Beirut corniche.
Despite Lebanon’s entrenched tradition of unsolved political assassinations—dating back to 1951 and continuing to the present day—this particular killing was deemed by the then-government of Fouad Siniora to merit an international tribunal in The Hague, established by the United Nations Security Council.
Following all manner of complications and delays, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) finally kicked off last month with the trial of four Hezbollah members. A fifth suspect was inserted into the lineup this week, necessitating further delays. READ MORE AT WARSCAPES.

07 February 2014

No Mistaking Arabs for Civilians

On February 4, the Jerusalem Post announced that Tal Nachman, a 21-year-old captain in the Israeli army had been “shot dead by friendly fire ... after being mistaken for a terrorist near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip."
Nachman was reportedly shot in the back while sleeping on the top deck of an Israeli armored personnel carrier – not really a trademark behavior of Israel’s enemies. But the extreme paranoia with which Israeli army soldiers are inculcated can occasionally lead to such mistakes.
Arab civilians, on the other hand, are no strangers to such cases of mistaken identity. READ MORE AT AL-AKHBAR.