Tag Archives: united nations

Waterboarding: "Believe Me, It’s Torture"

That was a video of Christopher Hitchens being tortured. Last year in an article in Slate magazine where he said in effect that waterboarding was not torture. Following on from this he was asked to undergo waterboarding to experience it and to then make a judgement about whether or not it is torture.

You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning

-Hitchens
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/08/hitchens200808

Hitchens quickly changed his mind about waterboarding, no longer would it be a tool for extracting information from enemies in his arsenal he now rightly regards waterboarding as a torture contrary to the Geneva Conventions.

Torture is defined by the 1949 UN Convention against Torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person…” in order to get information.

The United States uses this method of torture or, what it calls in Orwellian doublespeak terms, Enhanced Interrogation Techniques against terror suspects. The US military is forbidden from using this method following from the scandal at Abu Ghraib however, President Bush exempted the CIA from the provisions of this ban because he felt it would take away “one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror”.

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Filed under freedom from torture, human rights, iraq, law, morality, opinion, politics, united nations, US, US Law, us presidential election 2008

Would a Liberal Send Troops into Zimbabwe?

The Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe was sworn into office to take on his 6th term as president of Zimbabwe an office he doesn’t legitimately hold. He used violence and coercion to drive his opponent out of the competition; it is a travesty of Democracy and denial decency for this man to be accepted as the rightful president of Zimbabwe.

The very first thing that needs to be done by the international community is to refuse to recognise him as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. This should send him the message that the World is not going to accept his presence at any international events. There should be a worldwide travel ban enforced against him, do not allow him to leave the country. This will be a lot easier to get agreement on in the West but, problems seem to arise in the neighbouring African countries. Western Nations should make it clear to any Nation that gives aid or comfort to the despot will not enjoy the friendship of the West.

Trade Unions have called for a grass roots blockade of the tyrant no one should serve him or his staff in any capacity. He should be denied service at airports and in shops. This is at least a symbolic gesture of solidarity with the People of Zimbabwe.

I began to wonder how my liberalism might fit into my opinions on World dictators do we, the World Community, have a role in the internal affairs of a Sovereign Nation? I think that there are many circumstances that should result repudiation of their Sovereignty. One such criterion for the forfeit of autonomy is when the de facto ruler of a Nation engages in acts of genocide.

It may require a UN decision to send in peace-keeping troops into Zimbabwe to stop the Genocide and to prosecute Mugabe for crimes against Humanity in the International Criminal Court.


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Filed under africa, civil rights, genocide, human rights, opinion, politics, right to vote, united nations, zimbabwe