Is Canada Guilty of War Crimes?

 

On November 9th, investigative journalist and human rights activist, John McNamer sent a request to the International Criminal Court to investigate Canada’s complicity in war crimes.

 

McNamer argues that Canada has “actively and intentionally failed to comply with legal obligations under The Convention against Torture and the Rome Statue” (page 1).

 

McNamer’s submissions to the ICC include that Canada has transferred detainees to the United States and Afghanistan with full knowledge that the detainees would be in extreme danger of torture and that Canada uses and shares intelligence likely obtained through torture. McNamer provides over 250 documents in support of his allegations.

 

In order for the ICC to have jurisdiction to investigate Canadians, Canada must be unwilling or unable to genuinely carry out the investigation or prosecution. McNamer contends Canada is unwilling.

 

As Canada is a party to the Rome Statute, the ICC Prosecutor has the power to initiate investigation proprio motu. There must be a reasonable basis on which to proceed.

 

It has also been reported that a group of Egyptian lawyers have submitted a complaint to the ICC accusing President Barack Obama of being an accessory to the crimes against humanity committed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. However, unlike Canada, the United States is not a party to the Rome Statute.

 

The only way the ICC could acquire jurisdiction to investigate President Obama is through a referral by the United Nations Security Council and the United States is one of five countries with veto power

– See more at: http://mwcnews.net/news/americas/33465-canada-war-crimes.html#sthash.DpSv9Vqt.dpuf

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The Shrinking

But, with all that said, the Middle East is not nearly as important as it used to be. The traditional reasons for U.S. involvement are changing. Once upon a time, it was all about containing the Russians, our dangerous dependence on Arab oil, and a very vulnerable Israel. Then it was all about the threat of Islamic extremism and terrorism, and the desire to nation-build in Afghanistan and Iraq. Much of that is now gone. Some of what remains has gotten more complex and limited the role the United States can and should play in the Middle East.

The Russians and the Americans are hardly allies in the Middle East — but they’re not quite enemies either. So, if the Russians aren’t the principal threat to draw the United States into the region anymore, who or what is? answer is terrorism. But, another decade later, the signs of retrenchment and withdrawal from the hot wars that replaced the cold one are pretty clear. We’re out of Iraq, and, by 2014, we’ll be heading for the exits in Afghanistan, too. Energy independence isn’t around the corner. But there’s a revolution brewing in North America that will over time reduce U.S. dependence on Arab oil. U.S. oil production is increasing sharply for the first time in almost a quarter century. Combine that with the rise in national oil production and greater focus on fuel efficiency and conservation, and the trend lines are at least running in the right direction.

The old authoritarians with whom we fought (Saddam, Qaddafi, Assad the elder) and those on whom we relied (Yasser Arafat, Hosni Mubarak, Ben Ali, Abdullah Saleh) are all gone. It’s true the kings remain. But the most important ones — the Saudis — have serious problems with our policies. They can’t abide the fact that, as a result of our doing, a Shiite prime minister rules in Baghdad; they loathe our policy on acquiescing to Mubarak’s ouster; they resent our interest in reform in Bahrain; and they can’t stand our refusal to get tough with Israel on the Palestinians.

We’ve just suspended a chunk of military aid to Egypt, another of our other Arab friends, and managed to alienate just about every part of the Egyptian political spectrum, from the military to the Islamists to the liberals to the business community.

The speech Obama gave at the UNGA last month doesn’t sound like a guy who’s getting ready to disengage from the Middle East. After all, he committed to making resolutions of both the Iranian nuclear issue and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the key foreign policy priorities of his second term. Given his risk-aversion, America’s diminished credibility, and the sheer difficulty of the substance, it’s by no means clear that the administration has the resolve and skill to succeed. Still, should Obama overcome these hurdles and deliver on these two issues — and when I say deliver, I mean limited agreements, not conflict-ending ones — not only will he have earned his Nobel peace prize, he will have freed the United States from two awful burdens, made the Middle East a much friendlier and more secure place.

Source: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/10/17/the_shrinking_does_the_middle_east_matter?page=0,2

Egypt FM says ties with US in turmoil

Egypt’s foreign minister acknowledged in comments published on Wednesday that relations with Washington were in a “delicate” phase after it suspended some military aid in response to a July 3 coup. Nabil Fahmy said US President Barack Obama’s administration overestimated the amount of leverage that its aid dollars bought over the policies of the interim government installed by the army after it overthrew elected president Mohamed Morsi. Anti-US sentiment has been on the rise in Egypt since July, with prominent politicians and journalists accusing Washington of backing Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and trying to undermine the interim government.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/10/egypt-fm-says-ties-with-us-turmoil-20131016195522253450.html

Regime Change can worsen Refugee crisis

Of the two million Syrians who have fled the conflict in their country, 200,000 to 300,000 have ended up in Egypt. They were welcome at first, but lately they have become scapegoats in Egypt’s latest political crisis, accused of being allies of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood. People say: ‘Why should we help the Syrians, when they stabbed us in the back?’ ” The notion that the refugees are ungrateful and dangerous allies of the Muslim Brotherhood is now widespread. While it was in power, the Muslim Brotherhood espoused the Syrian uprising against Bashar al-Assad, opening Egypt to Syrian refugees. President Mohamed Morsi announced Egypt’s support for the insurgents at a rally during which preachers called for jihad in Syria. In Sixth of October, Syrian families were housed for free in cheap apartments run by a Brotherhood-connected preacher. Egypt has now closed its borders to Syrians. some media reporters have asked viewers directly to attack Palestinians and Syrians in Egypt — have frequently attacked the Syrians on their TV shows, portraying them not only as supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, but as trying to destabilise the country and transfer the Syrian experience to Egypt. this has gave rise of xenophobia and syrian were attacked by local people. so, some attempted to leave Egypt altogether for Lebanon, Turkey or Jordan, aggravating the regional refugee crisis. There are even those who take their chances with smugglers to flee by boat to Italy. Like almost all other Syrians or Palestinians who lived in Syria caught trying to illegally leave Egypt, they face just two options: indefinite imprisonment or a one-way ticket out of Egypt.

Amnesty International has accused Egypt of unlawfully detaining and deporting hundreds of Syrian refugees, many of them women and children fleeing civil war at home.  It said the Egyptian navy had intercepted around 13 boats carrying refugees from Syria in their attempt to reach Europe. Quoting the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, it said 946 people had been arrested by Egypt while attempting the crossing, and that 724 remained in detention. Last week, Amnesty said 12 people drowned when a boat carrying refugees from Syria sank off the coast of Alexandria. On October 3, more than 300 people, including several Syrians, died when their vessel capsized trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Egyptian Govt is accused of a)unlawfully detaining; b) deporting i.e. violating the principle of non-refoulement; c) using ‘security clearance’ as excuse to deny entry; d) splitting families

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/10/egypt-accused-unlawfully-detaining-syrians-20131017131249360846.html

http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/to-be-a-syrian-refugee-in-egypt/?_r=0

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/79892/Egypt/Politics-/Between-deportation-and-public-rejection,-Syrian-r.aspx

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=117345

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11139645&ref=rss