Discussion in 'Gravel Trap' started by Jen, Jul 14, 2011.
Sad but true....
Log in or Sign up to hide all adverts.
What we have now are the top three most powerful countries.
China, still run by a group of dictators. They care little, if at all, about their citizens. Just had a big mining disaster? Send in a new team to clear the rubble and continue operating the piy in exactly the same way. Protest is not allowed, the trial and execution of protestors frequently happens within a day (or so we are told, the regime ignores the international community and refuses to comment on what happens.
Russia. Following Gorbachev and his reforms we had Boris Yeltsin, an alcoholic with a penchant for doing spectacular things, often disastrously (although his stand against the tanks was a magnificent success). The came along Putin, a throwback to the old Kremlin days, being the equivalent of the General Secretary, pronounced dictator. He has stuck to the rule that he could only be President for two terms (to prevent dictatorship), standing as Prime Minister instead and using one of his puppets as President. He is the absolute power in Russia and will not let go. The less harmful of his opponents he puts in prison, the more harmful he has executed, usually by making them disappear without trial. He controls our main gas supplies, nuff said.
The USA which operates a unique democratic system. Unless you have as much money as a medium sized African state you have no chance of becoming President (you must also have been born in the USA). There are two main parties, the Democrats who are way to the right of our Conservative party and the Republicans, who are far to the right of the Democratic party. They have elections for President every four years, each President may serve for two terms only. This results in a system where the President is pretty well all powerful for his first two years and a lame duck for the final two years when the election is more important than policies. This is then repeated if he wins a second term, with the proviso that he has even less power in his last two years than before. To help there are two houses which have to pass the laws, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate consists of two members for each State in the Union whilst the Representatives are elected within their State, the number per State being in proportion to the number of residents of the State (excluding all voters who do not have a vote due to being in a group mainly opposed to the State Governor). Just to help matters there are mid term elections for the two Houses which can change the party with most seats in either of them (and of course make it a matter of horse trading with the President for which laws are passed and repealed). One interesting fact is that the ethniticity of the population has changed over the past years, the balance between Europeans and Hispanics evening with the African population being much lower. All British Leaders of the Opposition state that the Prime Minister is too close to the President of the USA, once they become PM they take up the same stance as their predecessor.
The Europeans meanwhile are split. The leaders and the Parliament want a United Europe, the population does not.
One thing that popped into my head this afternoon in the on going Julian Assange sag, is this. It may be talking the bloody obvious but if the US really wanted to talk to Assange, why don't they just seek his extradition from the UK in the same way that Sweden has over these allogations. It wouldn't make much sense to have him bounce from one country to the next surely?
cider_and_toast - I agree, but the guy is a first class manipulator. He's got a South American country being backed by an ever greater number of states and individuals saying he should not stand trial for sexual assault.
Saying he's only getting this attention because of wikileaks is 100% correct, if I got the same charges my media attention would be an off true photo of me being ushered through the back doo of the court house with a sack over my head - He gets the President of Ecuador saying in front of the media that his human rights are being violated.
I don't know whether to join his fan club or look to donate in the tin seeking to hire a hit man!
Don't need to hire a hitman GeoffP. There's already a sniper in the shadows waiting for his next balcony appearance, I expect.
If it wasn't for Wikileaks though GeoffP the US wouldn't be after him and in all likelihood the case wouldn't exist.
Even if he still had sex with the two women.
Therein lies the rub, Assange may have been the instigator/creator of Wikileaks, but is no longer 'hands on'. However, there are legions behind him now and the web site is still in full swing.
It is pointless in pursuing him, unless it is a desperate attempt to 'dissuade' others from the same transgressions or a blatant act of vengeance.
Assange has now become a figurehead for all whistle-blowers and computer hackers - whatever happens to him now is irrelevant in global terms. So, he is just fighting for his personal safety and, perhaps, he knows that he is actually in danger - he has seen into many countries 'black holes' after all.
But the Us haven't said they're after him infact they seem to be saying quite the opposite. Besides, Assange may be the most well known of the wiki leeks board but there are several others who could attract interest from the US if they wanted. I have to agree with Geoff on this one.
Each to his own cider_and_toast. Maybe, the US are keeping their powder dry, but I doubt it. They have Bradley Manning incarcerated without trial and are still seeking the extradition of Gary McKinnon (not a wikileaks person) for hacking into their systems - I would find it quite extraordinary if they weren't firmly fixed on Assange, whatever their professed stance.
Brogan my take is that he is standing accused of sexual assault and has obtained political assylum to avoid standing trial. The rest is purely conjecture, and therefore in my mind, open to manipulation.
The only way I will be convinced that he is correct is that if following a trial he is taken illegally to the US in a manner that would not have been possible had he been at liberty in the UK.
But I maintain, it's is imperative that people do stand trial for serious crime - the question should never be "why" or "if", occassionally, maybe, "how", but they should alwyays stand trial.
The conditions that Bradley Manning has been held in have certainly given the impression that he has been punished before his trial (and I believe this has been challenged in court as he is now held in a "normal prison" a date for his trial has now been set. I don't think it is that un-common for long delays in trials going before a court in cases involving breaches of official secrets as there are a lot of damage assessments that need to be done to assess the full scope of the harm done and if any classified merial or humint sources have been comprimised. IThe US government have once again done themselves no favours in the way they have handled Manning's case so far. While I don't agree with the way he has been held, I personally have no sympathy for what he did.
Considering some of the atrocities the US has carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan, thank goodness for people like Bradley Manning.
Countries which are too powerful and think they can act with impunity above the law are very, very dangerous.
Bro, while I completey agree that countries should not be able to act with impunity these type of leeks do more harm than good. Yes they may embaress the US government briefly they have as much chance of changing US foreign policy as I have jumping over the moon. What they do do however, is provide ready made recruiting material to every and any nut job who wants to have their 15 minutes of fame before meeting which ever God they believe in. There a lot of guys and girls in Iraq and Afganistan who have been dealt a shitty hand but are trying to do their best to do some good. These sort of leaaks put their lives in danger. What I will say though is that it is vital that the sort of incidents that you talk about are properly investigated and that should be the role of the United Nations which is an organisation that really needs to stand up and be counted. Justice shoud be one and seen to be down however it will never happen in the form of leaked information on a site like Wikileaks.
Now there's a Wikileak for you.
Not aimed you, Jen, just my view on the whole thing - fabrication, manipulation and frankly a load of stuff I don't give a hoot for.
With all due respect to cider_and_toast - I think Wikileaks has done good for the world, if in any way it has forced the US government into thinking for even one second about their shady practises overseas then the world is a better place.
The Swedes have refused repeatedly to question Assange (for questioning is all he is wanted for there at the moment) on UK/Ecuadorian soil on numerous occasions, even though they were happy to travel to Serbia to question a murder suspect, this is all highly suspect to me.
Here is one video that wikileaks released. Please don't watch if you are easily shocked.
Sadly I can't see that video at the moment as it won't play on my phone or my computer at work. I'm guessing though that it's the video of the cameramen in Iraq. I'll watch it again when I'm at home on the weekend.
Do you ever wonder though why wikileaks always finds stuff to release on Western Countries in the name of open goverment and yet can't seem to name and shame the countless human rights abuses that go on in countries such as China, Russia, North Korea, even countries such as Ecuador where Amnesty International has identified the Ecuadorian government using its judicial system in a "co-ordinated campaign to clamp down on the right to freedom of expression" (thanks Private eye)
I stand by what I wrote above, Wikileaks is not the answer. An effective United Nations and an end to the Security Council block vote would be far more effective. I don't think the US government would stop and think for point one of a second about anything on Wikileaks.
I'll stop you there.
The UN is a complete and total utter waste of time as the permanent members are opposed ideologically and therefore use their vetoes to block everything.
And of course, the irony is, three of those permanent members are the US, China and Russia - the three countries we have been discussing over the last few pages.
Various discussions have taken place in recent years over the suitability of the Security Council veto power in today's world. Key arguments include that the five permanent members no longer represent the most stable and responsible member states in the United Nations, and that their veto power slows down and even prevents important decisions being made on matters of international peace and security. Due to the global changes that have taken place politically and economically since the formation of the UN in 1945, widespread debate has been apparent over whether the five permanent members of the UN Security Council remain the best member states to hold veto power. While the permanent members are still typically regarded as great powers, there is debate over their suitability to retain exclusive veto power.
Brogan, I agree with you totally about the UN but I also believe its the answer for the very reason you've shown in that quote. If the xecurity council veto is removed then it makes for a whole new ball game.
On Ecuador, this is Amnestys page: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/op-e...-know-about-ecuador-beyond-assange-2012-07-17
It was indeed that video cider_and_toast and whilst I wholeheartedly agree with you sentiments, Amnesty International, the Red Cross/Crescent/journalists and whistleblowers do an admiral job of uncovering and outing abuses in totalitarian regimes, Wikileaks has shown that such abuses of power can also happen in Democratic countries.
Separate names with a comma.