The news that France has begun supplying arms to Libyan rebels is likely to deepen discord within the NATO alliance, which is in charge of the 103-day Western military campaign, but has refrained from giving direct support to the rebels given that the mission was authorized by a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at protecting Libya's civilians. While the French deem arming the rebels as permissible within the bounds of the U.N. resolution, many other interested parties, within NATO and outside, regard it as a violation of that resolution's arms embargo.
But such legal niceties are of secondary importance; the bigger problem facing the NATO effort is that the European alliance members who have undertaken most of the combat over Libya near the limits of the resources they can devote to expeditionary warfare. And the U.S. is highly unlikely, given the level of opposition on Capitol Hill to even the current limited support role, to fill the breach.
Pressure is growing within the alliance and outside of it to end the military campaign and seek a political solution to the crisis, with the bombing campaign having weakened the regime but not broken it.
IRRC CNN AM > BECKY ANDERSON Segment = Guest correspondent argued that YES, ITS TRUE, GREEK DEBT + EURO FUNDS ARE A HELLUVA "BLOODY MESS", BUT AT THE SAME TIME IS NOT INSURMOUNTABLE. THE REAL CRUX/ STORY UNDERLYING THE GREEK + EURO DEBT CRSES IS THAT EU MEMBER-STATES ARE STUBBORNLY REFUSING TO COMPROMISE WID THE OTHERS ON DEBT RELIEF FOR EU NATIONS NOT THEIR OWN???
A wise man once said, 'you go to war with the military you have', or something like that. A smaller defense budget simply means we need to rethink where and when we go to war, and if we bother to clean up the mess afterwards.
As far as I can tell we fought the first gulf war on behalf of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and got a decent check to pay for some of it. We fought the second Iraq war and somehow the oil deals went to our allies. Same with the LIbyan deal. It's unseemly but someone needs to realistically consider the cost before an invasion.
Cut every department and agency in the government by the same percentage they cut from defense which is a primary justification for the nation government to begin with [see Federalist Papers]. Percent by percent. It's a start.
[Dawn] The news of an elderly woman being paraded naked in Haripur, a remote village in Punjab, is really heart throbbing. Her crime? Her son is accused of adultery with a fellow village woman. The village jury declares her son guilty and the victim (her mother) is paraded around the streets naked, as the punishment. Justice dispensed! I wonder if the chief arbiter had pronounced the same verdict had he been accused of adultery/rape. But that is another story. In our Orwellian world, some people are just more equal than others.
So, what then, disturbs me is the fact that why, each time, a mother has to pay for the crimes of her son? Why, always, is a sister punished for a wrong done by her brother? Is this our way of restoring honour? Bartering and exchanging girls like cattle, raping them in the open, siccing dogs on them, and now, parading them naked on the streets. The simple logic that two wrongs never make one right seems incomprehensible to our 'jurists'.
More importantly, these acts reflect the kind of society that we have become: an intolerant, chauvinistic and lawless masses thriving on hatred and insanity; these reports barely make us flinch. Most of us have adopted an 'Ahh-soo-sad-but-that-happens' attitude. Perhaps, because we have developed a stomach to tolerate these abuses of human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... or simply because we do not consider women human anymore.
Time and again, we hear about these ghastly crimes being committed against the weaker sex but we choose to remain silent. The Ghairat brigade (self-proclaimed patriots) in our country seem too busy for these 'trivial' issues for they have other important things in life to attend to. Of course, chanting slogans in favour of a murderer, showering him with rose petals, bringing valentines cards for him, protesting against the veil ban in La Belle France, and yes, blaming Amreeka for the scheduled power outages, floods, earthquakes, traffic jams, gas shortages and everything but, are certainly significant national issues for them.
Why do these intimidating black robes and flowing beards who march down the streets threatening against a change in the blasphemy law remain quiet when it comes to supporting the Domestic Violence Act? Why do not they protest against the so called Honour killings? Where is honour in murdering and raping women I ask? Perhaps, we do know the answers.
To be precise, this violent behavior of most men towards women has been embedded into our mind-sets buttressed by cultural and religious connotations. In most of our villages, suburbs and even in some metropolitans, women are severely secluded. The society where mere talking to a stranger constitutes adultery and choosing a life partner causes dishonour for the family, it is only natural then that these women are punished for their 'crimes'. Part of the reason behind these crimes against humanity is that the women in most parts of our society are considered mere objects. They are sold, bartered and exchanged with impunity; they literally do not have any rights.
Our State remains hostage to influential landlords and other powerful non-State actors; the powerful are tacitfully allowed to take matters into their hands and perpetuate violence against women. The 'landmark' case of Mukhtaran Mai is just one example. Gang raped in front of the entire village of Meerval near Multan in 2002 on the orders of a Jirga (traditional system of arbitration), Mukhtaran was threatened to remain silent. But she chose to fight, registering a case against the culprits. Eight out of the 14 accused were acquitted initially and after nine long years of struggle, she finally received the verdict. Five out of the remaining six were released for the lack of evidence. She is just one of hundreds of Mukhtarans who are abused every year. According to an HRCP report, around 3000 women were raped and another 791 murdered for honour in 2010 alone.
Albeit horrible, these figures should not be surprising. When criminals go unpunished and victims are derided, why would others hesitate in perpetuating similar crimes? Our nation is indifferent to the hundreds of Mukhtarans; none of who are getting justice.
We as citizens must also be held responsible for such atrocities. Women rights violations are secondary issues for us; always more interested in following more important myriad conspiracy theories that the evil US and the Western Alliance is hatching against this 'land of the pure'. Most of us were more interested in following the Osama-Obama saga while virtually none noticed that four different cases of murder and violence were reported against women in that week alone.
How many of us protested when the draconian Hudood laws (I say draconian because they are abused in the name of God) were inflicted upon us? Why are we quiet when the government reneges on its promise to approve the Domestic Violence Bill, but go paranoid when the US detains Afia Siddiqui? Are our Mukhtarans any less worthy because they are abused in Pakistain whereas Afia is in the US? Our priorities appear confusing at best and disgusting at worst.
The only way out of this abyss is to set our priorities straight. We have to make a decision between remaining a barbaric society that tortures and humiliates half of its populace or choose to become a civilized community that does not discriminate against the opposite sex. We must rise above the mere rhetoric of supporting women and make a genuine effort to give our women their due right.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/01/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
This is Pakistan, right? A Muslim society? Holding your breath, are you?
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
07/01/2011 7:57 Comments ||
It is information like this that I wish the poor little misguided girls I see here at the local University wearing the head scarfs and long dresses would see.
Of course in our media and at our universities, Moslem is good, Christian/Jewish is bad.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
07/01/2011 10:36 Comments ||
[Dawn] For most governments that have come and gone, Pakistain's women haven't mattered. Gaunt and broken, fifty-something Shahnaz Bibi was paraded naked in her village of Neelor Bala in Haripur district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... in June.
Her son was accused of having an affair with a married woman, but it was Shahnaz who was punished when some influential men of the area decided to take matters into their own hands.
The devastating impact of male-dominated parallel justice systems have destroyed, and taken, the lives of Pak women.
Often delivered through jirgas (although not, it appears, in Shahnaz's case), these decisions may be speedy, low-cost and sanctioned by tradition but are also unregulated, discriminatory and prey on the vulnerable to settle feuds. Raping and murdering women, bartering them like objects and even burying them alive are not seen as crimes by the men who sanction these acts. In fact, perpetuating crime is the end result of these settlements, in which women are offered as compensation. The verdict of male relatives is the final word.
Female victims don't get justice given misogynistic politico-legal institutions in Pakistain. Crimes such as rape, domestic violence and murder in the name of 'honour' are not only under-reported but often perceived as part of tribal tradition, in which women must be taught a lesson for 'shaming' their families (by exercising individual will) or punished for the missteps of their male relatives.
In 2008, when three young women were shot and buried alive in the Naseerabad district of Balochistan, I was anchoring a news programme and asked Senator Israrullah Zehri, a member of parliament from Balochistan (and later a federal minister), for his reaction. He replied that honour killings were part of tribal custom and that when women disobey they must be taught a lesson. I insisted that the senator must have a logical reason for defending three murders. These are centuries-old traditions, Zehri said, refusing to condemn the crime. He vehemently reiterated that women are punished for attempting to marry of their own free will. The perpetrators were protected; a solitary female senator who talked of the incident back then was
attacked by her male colleagues.
Often women are not murdered or abused by strangers but by immediate relatives. Honour for men is connected to women's actions because they are their families' 'property'. Law-enforcement authorities fail to conduct investigations, despite evidence of murder, at the behest of the family because male relatives have 'avenged their honour'. In rare cases even when the judiciary sentences male relatives accused of an honour killing, the sentence is shockingly light, reinforcing perceptions that men can kill female relatives with impunity and that the state apparatus -- the police, the judiciary -- deals with such crimes with leniency. Honour-based violence also goes unpunished because victims either live in fear or are killed with the complicity of other female relatives.
The law provides loopholes ensuring offenders get minimum sentences or a negotiated compromise. Under Pakistain's penal code, honour killing is perceived as murder. However, Switzerland makes more than cheese... the law states that the victim's family is allowed to compromise with the alleged perpetrator, who in the case of honour killings in Pakistain is often himself a member of the family. When a father, husband, brother or uncle murders in the name of honour, the victim's mother normally supports the crime, often as a silent spectator, rarely speaking out if male relatives are directly complicit.
The 1990 law of qisas and diyat spans offences relating to physical injury, manslaughter and murder, but the way it is framed
means the law is directed against the victim. The victim or his/her heirs are not bound by the state to prosecute the offender.
Some families accept monetary or other compensation as a compromise. Also, punishment equal to the crime is acceptable under Islamic injunction. This only reiterates that an honour killing is a family affair and that prosecution and judicial redress are not inevitable but may be negotiated.
Of late the country's chief justice has side-stepped conservative sentiment, if carefully, to ensure that the Law and Justice Commission suggests amendments in the law to curb the practice of offering girls and women in marriage to settle tribal feuds on the intervention of panchayats. The practice of badal-i-sulha (compensation for compromise) in rural areas needs to be abolished and independent monitoring groups must ensure that tradition isn't used as an excuse to treat women unjustly.
Pakistain is a complex country where conservatism merges with tribal codes, Islamic law and a colonial judicial legacy to the detriment of women. Increasingly obvious is the paradigm shift of mindsets reverting to a traditionalism in which honour crimes are permissible. An elite class that agitates for change hasn't created enough ripples in the world of male-dominated politics in which powerful men, some even Ivy League educated feudal landowners, hold the fate of women's lives tightly in their fists.
In The Wandering Falcon, short-story writer Jamil Ahmed describes a conversation between a young man and his lover who have decamped her family but are about to be captured. Knowing that her family will kill her, he offers to do the deed himself: "...
there is no escape for any of us. There was never any escape. You know what I have to do now?" Ahmed wrote this story, 'The Sins of the Mother', back in 1973.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/01/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
The solution comes when women get their hands on any bladed weapon, and use it. All women. These men are cowardly dogs, who use violence to maintain dominance. But even the slightest resistance overcomes their brutality.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.