Gaddafi’s Libya was Africa’s Most Prosperous Democracy

 by Garikai Chengu

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2013/01/12/gaddafis-libya-was-africas-most-prosperous-democracy/

Contrary to popular belief, Libya, which western media described as “Gaddafi’s military dictatorship”, was in actual fact one of the world’s most democratic States.

In 1977 the people of Libya proclaimed the Jamahiriya or “government of the popular masses by themselves and for themselves.” The Jamahiriya was a higher form of direct democracy with ‘the People as President.’ Traditional institutions of government were disbanded and abolished, and power belonged to the people directly through various committees and congresses.

The nation State of Libya was divided into several small communities that were essentially “mini-autonomous States” within a State. These autonomous States had control over their districts and could make a range of decisions including how to allocate oil revenue and budgetary funds. Within these mini autonomous States, the three main bodies of Libya’s democracy were Local Committees, People’s Congresses, and Executive Revolutionary Councils.

libya.ipg

 

 

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Torture and Rape of Detained Women

US Administration guilty of torture, rape and Sodomy

Beginning in 2004, human rights violations in the form of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, reports of rape, sodomy, and homicide, of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to public attention. These acts were committed by military police personnel of the United States Army, together with additional US governmental agencies.

In September 2010 Amnesty International warned in a report titled New Order, Same Abuses; Unlawful Detentions and Torture in Iraq that up to 30,000 prisoners remain detained without rights are frequently tortured or abused.

Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director, Malcolm Smart went on to say that “Iraq’s security forces have been responsible for systematically violating detainees’ rights and they have been permitted. US authorities, whose own record on detainees’ rights has been so poor, have now handed over thousands of people detained by US forces to face this catalogue of illegality, violence and abuse, abdicating any responsibility for their human rights.”

On 22 October 2010 some war logs released by WikiLeaks detailed how US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished and that US troops abused prisoners for years even after the Abu Ghraib scandal.

On 27 June 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of lawsuits from a group of 250 Iraqis who wanted to sue the two contractors CACI International Inc. and Titan Corp. (now a subsidiary of L-3 Communications) over claims of abuse by interrogators and translators at the prison. The suits had been dismissed on the grounds that the companies held a derivative sovereign immunity from suits, based on their status as government contractors.

On 11 May 2012 a five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered a guilty verdict against former United States President George W. Bush and his associates at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal hearing

 continue reading

http://www.globalresearch.ca/cia-interrogations-in-iraq-torture-and-rape-of-detained-women/5316272

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US Violates Agreement; Punishes Iran – blatant hypocrisy

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-violates-agreement-punishes-iran/5311291

In its latest act of blatant hypocrisy, the Obama administration has sanctioned Iran over internet and media censorship.  The Administration’s pretentious concern for the Iranian peoples’ welfare is all the more offensive in light of the harsh, illegal, and life-threatening sanctions imposed on that nation, aptly described by The New England Journal of Medicine as a “war against public health” (Gowans).  The Obama administration would have us believe that it is concerned about human rights and freedom of expression where it has no regard for life itself, much less freedom.

President Obama is not alone or the first in this contradictory policy.   In one of the more recent events relating to the topic,  Mr. Obama’s champion during the 2012 presidential race,  Bill Clinton, revealed America ’s lack of concern and compassion for human life during the Rwandan genocide when he refused to “neutralize” Radio Mille Collines  with “counter-broadcasts”.   Well before the Rwanda genocide,  UN officials and other non governmental officials had asserted that radio transmissions were playing a central role in inciting ethnic tension and “ethno-political” murder.   Although these broadcasts were an important component of the implementation of genocide,  counter-broadcasts urging the perpetrators to stop never took place.

A reason given by Washington for the failure to interfere was state sovereignty and international law as it related to the broadcasts.  In other words, state sovereignty and international law were placed above human life.  In an about face,  Washington is further punishing Iran for not giving America a free hand in undermining its state sovereignty and international law, and the violation of a bilateral agreement.

International Law & State Sovereignty

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a guarantee of freedom of expression:  “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions, without interference, and to seek, receive and impact information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

However, in the same Article, there are provisions for restrictions:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

Furthermore, Article 2(4) of the UN Charter states that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

The United States has continuously violated the territorial integrity and the political independence of Iran , starting with the 1953 coup against the democratic government of Mossadegh.   The continuation of these policies,  another coup was attempted shortly after the Iranian Revolution to overthrow the newly formed government of Iran .  Faced with the failure of the Nojeh Coup in 1980, Washington started its broadcasts into Iran from neighboring countries.    continue reading

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Rally against the 2012 Halifax NATO War Conference

Once again this year, the organization No Harbour for War, joined by many others, has come forward to say, “It is unacceptable that Halifax, or any Canadian city, be used as a venue to plan further crimes against the peace and the peoples of the world.”On Saturday, November 17, these organizations are calling on Haligonians to “Bring your banners and placards, bring your music and statements, and most of all bring your friends to oppose this war conference.”Participation in the rally is being fuelled by people’s justified anger and outrage against the brutal crimes of Israel against the Palestinians, “Operation Pillar of Defence,” and the Harper and Obama government’s support for the assault on Gaza as self-defence.

Once again this year, the organization No Harbour for War, joined by many others, has come forward to say, “It is unacceptable that Halifax, or any Canadian city, be used as a venue to plan further crimes against the peace and the peoples of the world.”On Saturday, November 17, these organizations are calling on Haligonians to “Bring your banners and placards, bring your music and statements, and most of all bring your friends to oppose this war conference.”Participation in the rally is being fuelled by people’s justified anger and outrage against the brutal crimes of Israel against the Palestinians, “Operation Pillar of Defence,” and the Harper and Obama government’s support for the assault on Gaza as self-defence.

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