Rather than debate the U.S. record, seminar discussions were focused on Iraqis’ experiences of mass violence, from diverse perspectives—historical, sociological, political, demographic and statistical, environmental. Iraqi scholars and specialists framed an agenda for studying patterns of violence around Iraq’s history and politics, including domestic governance and societal relations, and relations with neighboring states and international powers.Continue Reading →
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is in danger of negating one of the basic reasons for its existence. Its recent decisions to acquit senior Serbian architects of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia imply that the Tribunal does not, after all, rise above the traditional impunity enjoyed by state actors [...]Continue Reading →
The coincidence of two news items about Burma/Myanmar today demand brief commentary: 1) International Crisis Group is honoring President U Thein Sein at its annual dinner, and 2) Human Rights Watch released a damning report about assaults against Burma’s Rohingya minority.
The most common way that atrocities against civilians end is when the perpetrators themselves [...]Continue Reading →
Stephen Weissman argues in a new essay, “In Syria, Unlearned Lessons from Libya” (In These Times, April 19 2013), that the paradigm of regime change as witnessed in Libya holds unlearned lessons for Syria: “While military intervention succeeded in helping remove a brutal dictator and giving Libyans an opportunity to build a more accountable [...]Continue Reading →
As we all recall, on 28 January 2012, our Heads of State and Government laid the foundation stone for the AU Human Rights Memorial (AUHRM) during the inauguration of the new AU Conference Centre and Office Complex. This is a very important project not only to preserve the memory of mass atrocities but also to prevent future recurrence of such crimes. We should, therefore, spare no effort to enable this Memorial achieve its central objective of becoming a permanent centre where people from all over the world gather to reflect on the sanctity of life. It should also serve as a place where our policy makers renew their collective commitment to prevent atrocious crimes such as genocide from happening ever again on our continent.Continue Reading →
A theme that recurred throughout the seminar was the distinction between two kinds of activism: one, principled solidarity with the people affected, pursuing solutions that they themselves define; and two, advocacy for a U.S. (or other western nation) policy response, that frequently defines success in terms of adopting a policy, rather than resolving the situation in the country concerned.Continue Reading →
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