Monday, March 30, 2009

Lost my phone

Grrr. Ok I admit it was my fault.
I left my phone next to my bag and left it there for 3 minutes
to go to the loo. I came back and it wasn't there:(
I know I should've known better, I usually take my phone with me. I forgot to do that today:(

This is so frustrating because I've a lot of numbers and really nice messages and I feel so alienated and lost without it. I also hate wearing watches and now, I can't tell what time it is. I can't look at my phone during class to tell when this class is going to end (only some classes:)!!!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is it possible to respect one of the "Pope's" statements?

The Pope is in "Africa" and he is making headlines. It's good that he is here given that at least 1/5th of Africans are Catholics, however, his opposition to condoms is completely unfounded.  
In some AIDS-ravaged African countries, abstinence is not the only solution to combating AIDs. It worked in Uganda, but the shoe doesn't fit all situations here. It's not working in other countries.

Even if using condoms is against Catholicism, if it's a matter of life and death, God is forgiving.
He chose the wrong continent to make such a statement, doesn't he know how religious many Africans are? They are going to respect his words.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Our S.O.B- What comes first, peace or justice?

Michael White put it in a good way @ his Guardian column .
It's not a generalization to say that the overwhelming majority of Sudanese people despise Bashir. They would love to see him ousted, they desperately want a new president. But the ICC's arrest warrant was issued at a tricky time. The international community expresses moral outrage at "some" conflicts and there are obvious double-standards to matters of justice. So, Bashir is going to rally support from his people and the Arab and African worlds.

The scenario is such a common post-colonial one, the south VS. the "hypocritical" north.

Justice is seen to be selective. The scary part is human rights abusers such as Bashir , Mugabe and many others are manipulating this to their own benefit. So until "all" countries are literally forced to ratify the Rome Stature and all human rights abuses go punished, Mugabe is going to call aid agencies a colonial conspiracy and Bashir is going to call the ICC the White Man's Tribunal.

So Michael White got it right, He may be a SOB, but he is our SOB.

I really think that it's absurd to say that Bashir shouldn't be tried because other war criminals are not tried and accused of committing atrocities, it's only fair for Bashir to be tried along with other war criminals. The list is long...
James Tyson from NJ wrote an interesting letter in the NY Times. He said that "Regardless of the local tumult it may temporarily create, or the difficulties involved in actually arresting President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, the court’s decision to uphold the preservation of human rights over sovereign immunity sets an essential precedent".
Let's revisit the "local tumult" it's going to create for a bit. It seems that the only individuals benefiting from the decision right now are activisits living in faraway places. In Darfur, the effects were definitely felt, many aid organizations were kicked out. People are surprised, they obviously forgot the Government of Sudan's recent warnings. A UN official called it a "worst case scenario". What did people expect? The government is going to hold it's citizens hostage while it buys more time to stay in power and rally support against what they called the "white man's tribunal".

Update:- I found an interesting article in the Economist about trying Bashir in Sudan.
Read it

"It is an intriguing proposal. The idea of mixing national and international procedure has been accepted in Sierra Leone and Cambodia. And Mr Mahdi has huge weight, as head of the Umma party, Sudan’s main opposition. He was the last prime minister to be democratically elected, back in 1986. He is also the spiritual leader of the powerful Ansar sect. Like many others, he says an ICC indictment of Mr Bashir would lead to “chaos” in Sudan; he hopes that his third way would “reconcile stability with accountability”."

As much as this idea seems noble. Sudan's judiciary is a total mess.

I know since we had to bribe someone to give us our own house back.

Sudanese law doesn't exactly include laws against war crimes or crimes against humanity, unless you want to try Gosh and Bashir for murder, it's difficult to try them in Sudan. Even if the trial was to take place in Sudan, we have to abide by international law. Let's not forget that trying a president is merely a "symbolic" act. Even if he went to prison or faced execution, Justice doesn't end there. Militias need to be tried. Torturers need to be charged. Embezzlers need to be located.

Note to the Save Darfur Coalition and George Clooney:- applaud your success for now given that you are not going to be in Sudan with us nursing a disintegrating country when "things fall apart" :)

An Example I thought of :-
I tried to think of something to describe the arrest warrant, this is what came to mind.

300,000 people died in 6 years of fighting in Darfur, we need to bring their killers to justice.

Imagine this for now, there is a house on fire. Some people are dead and some are stuck in a room and you have the means to save them. What do you do? Do you start collecting dead bodies for burial or do you save the individuals stuck in a room?

By choosing justice before peace, we are burying the dead bodies and not taking into consideration the millions of people we need and we could save.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sudan is waiting for Justice

The long awaited arrest  warrant of Bashir is due to be released tomorrow afternoon. Some Sudan "experts" forsee a bigger Sudanese crises, the disintegration of the Sudanese state. Andrew Natsios, former US envoy to Sudan is worried about a Somali-like situation with an Afghanistan-like intervention.

African and Arab leaders are standing together against the ICC's decision. When the arrest warrant is issued, they are going to be very silent. Bashir's party is already divided. Most of his advisors asked him to step down. He wouldn't. 

Let's see what's going to happen