The allegations of chemical weapons being used in Syria have given rise to a whole escalating campaign for direct US military intervention. That’s a very dangerous problem.
First, even though this issue is usually relegated to secondary or even tertiary consideration, let’s start with the “even if” argument. Use of chemical weapons is certainly a war crime; there are separate international laws prohibiting such weapons, and any use is undoubtedly illegal. But just what would be accomplished by escalating the rest of the war with more arms to the opposition side, or creation of a Libya-style US (or US-NATO) “no-fly zone,” widely understood as a way towards regime change? First step in imposing a no-fly zone, in the words of Robert Gates, then secretary of defense during the US-NATO Libya intervention, is an act of war. This time around, that means bombing Syria to destroy its anti-aircraft system. How many civilians would die in that bombing campaign, given the widespread presence of anti-aircraft batteries across the country? Continue reading Syria’s Chemical Weapons→
Nigeria’s leading bishop has told the European Parliament and other politicians that his country is being jeopardised by “the twin monsters of corruption and insecurity”.
Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need invited Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto to meet with officers of the European Union to reveal the scale of the problems facing one of the EU’s three priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ravi Kanth Devarakonda interviews NYARADZAYI GUMBONZVANDA, human rights lawyer and general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA.
GENEVA, May 7 2013 (IPS) – Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and the general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA, knows what it is like to struggle against poverty and violence: she herself comes from a poor family in Magaya village in Murewa district, which lies northeast of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.
Carey L. Biron
WASHINGTON, May 6 2013 (IPS) – Advocates for the African diaspora in the United States have stepped up a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress not to end a longstanding visa programme aimed at boosting immigration from “underrepresented countries”.
The programme, known as the diversity visa lottery, has in recent years been sharply tilted towards African immigration. Since 2008, immigrants from African countries have made up nearly half of the 55,000 randomly awarded U.S. work visas annually awarded.
UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 7 2013 (IPS) – Another week of international climate negotiations ended in Bonn, Germany last Friday, but there was little mid-level bureaucrats could do when world leaders remain in thrall to the fossil fuel industry, say environmentalists.