In the heartland of the Taliban it is regularly taken for granted that Western notions of human rights are dismissed as an attempt to foist Christian values on a Muslim nation. Now, the reprehensible murder of a young bride is the latest fact emphasizing the systemic disregard for the rights of women in Afghanistan.
In the pre-dawn hours Thursday Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. drone turned a farmhouse in rural Yemen into a smoldering heap of charred wood that served as a bier for at least eight of those “suspected militants.”
For President Obama and those pulling the triggers on the joysticks guiding the missiles toward their human targets, “suspected militant” means (presumably) “all military-age males in a strike zone.” For those of us more concerned with the Constitution and with the rule of law than the president, “suspected militant” means nothing other than a person not charged with any crime, not afforded even the most perfunctory due process protections, but summarily executed upon order of the president anyway.
North Korea, one of the most miserable places on the planet, has threatened South Korea with artillery and missile fire if South Korean citizens continue sending balloons over the border that carry gifts, as well as propaganda.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing a scheme that would purport to give an unelected official within the increasingly powerful, but unpopular, European Union the authority to veto the budgets of elected national governments. If approved, the EU would have more power over its formerly sovereign members than even the U.S. federal government has been able to usurp from American states.
Libyan rebels backed by the Obama administration and NATO governments committed a wide range of war crimes, including, in one case, summarily executing and torturing dozens of prisoners of war, possibly including strongman Muammar Gadhafi and his son, the non-profit group Human Rights Watch said in a newly released report. The new Western-backed government ruling parts of Libya out of Tripoli, meanwhile, has failed to investigate or prosecute the well-documented abuses.
Meeting at St Andrew's House, the Scottish government building, in Edinburgh on October 15, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron and the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond signed an agreement allowing the Scottish people to hold a referendum in Autumn 2014 deciding the question of whether Scotland should remain in the U.K. or opt for independence.
As the growing economic crisis continues to wreak havoc throughout the European Union, the armed forces of tiny Switzerland are preparing to deal with a potential EU disaster that could see refugees flood across the borders amid widespread unrest and chaos. Top Swiss officials have warned that if escalating turmoil were to spill across the border, Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU, will be ready to tackle it.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee, on October 10, named the European Union as the winner of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. The choice has struck many observers as odd, since the EU is anything but peaceful.
As a new leader rises to the top of the Zetas — one of Mexico’s most violent and powerful drug cartels — the belief that the situation across America’s southern border could not get any worse has proven to be a failure of imagination. Even by the vicious standards of the cartels, Miguel Angel Treviño Morales stands out as a man described by experts as “extremely brutal, to the point of sadism.” As the Mexican government continues its fifth year of open warfare against the cartels — a war in which 50,000 people have already lost their lives — the rise of Morales to power illustrates a deteriorating situation which seems to drift more and more out of control.
On October 11, 16 "suspected militants" were killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. As has become standard operating procedure for such attacks, the unmanned vehicles were reportedly still buzzing over the site of the attack, keeping anyone from approaching the rubble and retrieving the bodies.