Tag Archives: Libya

Donald Trump and the United Nations General Assembly, by Gabriel C Banda

 

 

Donald Trump and the United Nations General Assembly,

by Gabriel C Banda

HOW will heads of state and government of the countries recently banned entry into the USA get to the United Nations?

Previously, there are those of us that wondered how international sports and culture events and interaction will be affected by Donald Trump administration’s fortress walls that have targeted persons from particular places of the world. (Some of that we had published on WordPress.com platform in February, 2017, as “Donald Trump and Olympics and Oscars.”)

 

One can assume that the 2028 summer Olympics have been awarded to Los Angeles because the Olympics Organisation assumed that the Trump fortress practice and influence will no longer be in place then. These games will be the third to be hosted by that popular city.

Now, a big concern by some persons has been what the Trump doctrine and practice will mean for the United Nations Organisation, especially when all representatives of nations and societies meet.

Every year, in September, representatives, most of them the rulers, of the United Nations member governments fly to New York city, in the United States of America, to participate in the General Assembly debates. They state their country’s situation in relation to humanity.

They are coming to share with others as a common humanity. They are not going to New York because they want to go to the United States. The United States happens to have the place that hosts the event.

How many of those from Trump’s banned list will arrive at the United Nations. And how many of them will not arrive? How many will not arrive because of the ban? And, of course, there are those that will test Trump by making the trip to the New York city.

And how many will merely send other representatives to a meeting that should be represented by the most senior government official?

Of course, there are Donald Trump’s fortress and isolationist stances against core items the United Nations was founded to grow and improve. Where there should be growth in human relations, Trump is building walls against targeted peoples and religions.

The Trump spirit has even acted against Creation itself, that through his plan to withdraw from the world climate agreement. From the earth’s view, the Trump spirit should be acting as an enemy of the earth.

Trump has started to develop some trade wars against those societies appearing to prosper in their trade and manufacturing. And where many persons need to be covered with health care as Obamacare tried to do, his plans may reverse this.

Whereas the United Nations was built to put an end to the practice of war, the Trump spirit breathes fire and fury towards others it differs with. The United Nations, as I have observed with the statues at the Head Quarters, believes in weapons eventually being turned into productive ploughs.

The United Nations has many times made joint declarations and plans to improve the lot of all of us in the world through collective planning and action. And indeed, in spite of some limitations, the world is overall a more stable place than if the United Nations had not been around.

It will be interesting to see if Bashar al-Assad and others from the listed ban list will attend the United Nations General Assembly. Of course, Assad may be busy dealing with the war in Syria. But we have to observe whether those from other banned countries will arrive. It may be that the United Nations may ask for exceptions or that the Trump administration may have exceptions for those going for the UN General Assembly.

But the reaction of the excluded governments will be interesting. Some may attempt to go to New York in defiance and assertion of their right to be with the United Nations body even when they are not in good books with the United States administration.  Others may send junior persons. Yet others may not send any high ranked official and do this as a way of protest against the Trump ban.

Some officials may be exempted from the ban but will avoid going to New York as a way of making some solidarity statement in support of their fellow citizens that are denied entry.

The doctrine and practice of the Trump spirit test the United Nations in its gathering, activities, and, essentially, Purpose. Interesting issues will arise at the first United Nations General Assembly under Donald Trump’s rule.

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Based in Lusaka, Zambia, the writer is involved in the arts, social development, and is a keen observer of Conflict and Peace issues.

 

– GCB, LUSAKA. April 2017/August 2017.

 

 

 

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UK Election Candidates and Lessons, by Gabriel C Banda

 

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UK Election Candidates and Lessons

By

Gabriel C Banda

THERE are some lessons the UK Elections of June 8, 2017 have for the conduct of elections and politics in other parts of the world.

We will now consider the leaders of the main political parties.  Prime Minister Theresa May, of the ruling Conservative Party, called for the elections after she got into office after taking over from her leader David Cameron, a fellow Conservative, who resigned after the negative result of the Brexit referendum.

David Cameron, who had expected a vote in favour of remaining in the European Union and called for the referendum, was disappointed with the “Leave” result. He could therefore not preside over the exit from Europe, an exit he opposed. Therefore, David Cameron resigned to give way for another ruler to deal with the exit.

                                                                 Brexit

Mama Theresa May is in a position of heading a government that must respond to the Brexit Referendum result requiring UK to leave the European Union. Of course, leaving Europe is very complex for Europe, UK, and others and will have effects that are likely to leave Britain worse off in various things.

After UK leaves the EU, it is almost certain that Scotland will leave the United Kingdom.  There will also be complications in Northern Ireland, administratively a part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland. We feel Brexit is more of a Break It.

But Theresa May is now prime minister and has, whether she likes Brexit or not, the task of following the referendum result that requires UK to leave UK. Because she must administer the exit required by the referendum, she has focussed on performing the task, whether she wants of not.

She has set her mind on doing some necessary task and role. She is making herself to flow with it. But we have to wait to find out if she will turn out like Cameron, calling for a poll and not winning it. But the elections she called are useful because they enable people, all citizens, to actually make a choice about who should be their prime minister at this time.

Of course, the elections will be more than just about Brexit.

                                                          Conservative for All?

Now, there are some issues that may be difficult for Theresa May because they are Conservative Party position and issues, not necessary that they are her limitations. It is interesting that Theresa May has, from the beginning of her rule, has called for a Britain and Conservative Party, often associated with positions of wealthy persons and the right wing striving for the exclusive, that works for prosperity for all people.

She wants to move the Conservative Party to be a party for people from all areas of life, rather than the wealthy and exclusive, so-called “elite.” She wants a Conservative Party and Britain for all.

Of course, sometimes Theresa May acts with a sincerity that can be considered naïve. At her meeting new USA president Donald Trump, one would have been careful about showing a shoulder-to-shoulder relationship with the Trump presidency.

Some people’s attitude towards her can be affected by their attitude towards Donald Trump. But Theresa May comes out as a person one may differ with over some issues but will respect for her listening to what others are saying and to her sincerity.

                                                               Jeremy Corbyn

In the elections also is my big man, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader. Just like my big man Bernie Sanders of the USA, Jeremy Corbyn is both sharply analytical and very courageous. He is fearless. And he is sincere as he speaks his message. His sincerity connects to the hearts and minds of many.

There were some persons, many from Labour in Parliament, who blamed him for what was not his fault – the “Yes” Brexit result.  They implied he did not do enough.

But Jeremy Corbyn could not do much about the result. Jeremy Corbyn did not cause the “Yes” Brexit result. Some persons, some of them Labour parliamentarians, also tried to stigmatise Jeremy Corbyn but, without much facts and basis, implying that he did not appeal to voters.

While those politicians within and outside Labour may not like Corbyn or his political positions, he actually has a lot of support with the public. The plotters of the coup plot may have envied, ignored, or underestimated Jeremy Corbyn’s widening appeal to the public.

If Corbyn’s Labour does not win the June 2017 elections, Corbyn, who was for Europe, will be saved from a very uncomfortable and complex Brexit UK delink process. If he then stays as Labour leader, he is very likely to win the next elections.

It seems Corbyn may currently be in a Win-Win situation. But, like in all elections, you do not speculate but just wait for the final announced results. In the UK, the elections are not held directly on the leaders of parties, but the leader of the party that gets the most parliamentary seats, or a coalition of parties with most seats, becomes prime minister. A victor may get the most seats but not necessarily the most votes nationwide.

                                                                   Lessons

In the June 2017 elections, there are also other contestant parties and candidates. For now, some of the key lessons are about the conduct of candidates during elections. The controversial, and cut-throat 2016 United States elections provided big contrast to the current UK elections.

The UK elections of June 2017 provide great lessons. The UK party leaders, like Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, are generally, or relatively, polite. You do not hear outright insults and uncouth statements. They try to focus on policies and issues, and actually discuss those issues, even if they do not have the answers.

What I find striking is the sincerity of both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, in opposition. You may differ with some things they say, but theirs are not political gymnastics to please voters. They are sincere in their discussion. They lay out their positions on issues. They are persons who have missions they feel are important for the society, not just for their personal and group interests. Their sincerity is very notable.

                                                              David Cameron

Besides the examples of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, in UK there was also some good lessons from David Cameron. One of the greatest things Cameron did was to allow the decision of parliament about not striking Syria over accusations of chemical weapons.

David Cameron, who actually as a person comes out as a likeable person, respected the decision of parliament. In America, that provided Barack Obama a window to also not raid Syria.

Raiding Syria at that time could have made ISIS thrive earlier and brought about further difficulties for the Middle East, the Western World, and the whole. Syria would have become ISIS.

Earlier, David Cameron and Barack Obama had made the mistake of supporting, even if reluctantly for Obama, the war-lord Nicolas Sarkozy, in charge of France’s forces, to, despite caution and opposition from the African Union, raid Libya and murder and overthrow Muammar Gaddafi and regime, leading to instability that has greatly affected the world.

The 2017 lessons about sincerity of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn towards politics and governance can help others in many parts of the world. Politics would be more civilised, more cultured. UK June 2017 elections are better example in politics and governance than USA 2016. And, currently, we have not heard about some Russia conspiracy to hack into the UK Elections!

ginfinite@yahoo.com

The Author: Based in Lusaka, Zambia, Gabriel C Banda is involved in writing and the arts, social development, and observation of conflict and peace issues.

*

– GCB, June 2017.   At Wednesday, June 7th 2017.

 

 

Obama and a Syria Strike, by Gabriel C Banda

 

Obama and a Syria Strike

by

Gabriel C Banda

Yes, I believe, Obama’s 2013 position not to openly strike Syria with American forces was the appropriate one.

As outgoing President Barack Obama’s legacy assessment will continue for ever, we will consider one issue.

There are those who feel that if Barack Obama had in 2013 ordered an attack on Syria due to accusations around the Bashar al-Assad administration and chemical weapon use, the recent outcome in Aleppo and Syria would have been against Assad. The accusers almost blame Barack Obama’s non-striking as the cause of the situation they are unhappy with.

Their wish had been for a “swift” and “sharp” strike that would have disabled, and removed, the Assad administration.

Strike supporters included John McCain and, sadly, Hillary Clinton, and others such as “Professor” Bernard-Henri Levy, so-called “philosopher.”  Bernard-Henri Levy, consistent with his war-mongering, had been a strong supporter of the intervention in Libya and the removal of Muammar Gaddafi.

War Monger

Over abuse of force, Levy has been a war monger hiding, or excused, under the coats of academic freedom and free expression. Had it not been for the tags of “Professor,” “Philosopher,” and “intellectual” he is referred by others with, the unclothed position of Bernard-Henri Levy would be more clearly recognised as that of a thug.

Still unrepentant about the terrible and evil effects of his position, Bernard-Henri Levy greatly supported and continues to defend, when on BBC and other media, the 2011 invasion of Libya led by the war lord Nicolas Sarkozy, who was then France’s president.

Nicolas Sarkozy, with a guillotine trailed against Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, used the machinery of the France government, and even twisting the United Nations system, to force a coalition of force that removed Libya’s Gaddafi and led to instability that has affected Libya, Africa, the Middle East, and the whole world, including innocent people in France and Britain, the USA, and ally nations assembled in the raid on Gaddafi and Libya.

Crossing Line

The proponents of a swift strike and knock-out of Assad and administration have used Barack Obama’s warning about not crossing some red line against him. They use it as an Obama weakness because Obama had given a warning and did not follow it up with action.

It does not seem to matter to them whether Obama’s action would be right or appropriate for the emerged situation but that he had said it and therefore should have proceeded to attack Syria. It seems not to matter to them that the issue of chemical weapons use was not easy to definitely assign.

It does not seem to matter to them that the reasons or excuses of Weapon of Mass Destruction or Crimes Against Humanity used by intervening governments have at sometimes come out false or snares.

It seemed not to matter that the position of a clean, swift, strike was an assumption that was based on a sense of supremacy of oneself over others considered easily conquerable. Why is there an assumption that military might will always defeat others?

In long gone times and recent times, some rulers have acted improperly and created long term difficulties for all of us. Many leaders and rulers, from George W Bush Jr to Tony Blair, have acted by poor egos and handled the arsenals of military and force with immaturity. Many leaders and rulers have not been mature enough to handle authority over force.

Angela  Merkel Maturity

However, not all rulers have the same immaturity over use of force. One who has been cautious about use of force has been German’s Angela Merkel, a person of greatness, and one of the most mature of rulers and leaders in modern times.

To some degree, especially for an American president, Barack Obama has on some critical times acted with great caution where others would have thrown in the military machine heavily. This, not acting to go in when one is not sure, has been faulted against him.

In my view, it is better to be cautious about the use and effect of force and violence than end up creating the results that George W Bush Jr did in Afghanistan and Iraq. Barack Obama’s caution is a more sustainable and just position than that of leaping and attacking first and then thinking later, with turmoil around you.

Some bully others because these bullies feel they have weapon arsenals and can always defeat others they consider lesser.  It has been said that some bully others because the bullies have weapons and want to try out the weapons or intimidate others. Without weapons, they will not bully others.

Duet

In 2013, there was pressure to have Barack Obama and Britain’s David Cameron to repeat a duet, as George W Bush Jr and Tony Blair did over Iraq, and attack Syria. What helped the situation was the British parliament, with much of the public behind them,  voting against the move to another open war.

To his credit, and democratic credentials, David Cameron readily and politely accepted not to proceed with the proposed open armed intervention. That helped Barack Obama’s position for, without ally Britain, as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, America has been reluctant to attack alone.

What if Barack Obama had directly used America’s forces to intervene in Syria and remove Assad? The results might have included the following: If Assad had fallen, ISIS would have been stronger. If Assad had fallen, ISIS may have now been in control in Syria. ISIS may have become Syria or Syria would have become the ISIS state.

Then also, there would have been no guarantee that American strikes could have happened without injury on America and those intervening. In scriptures, the story of small David and big Goliath is a lesson for all times.

You should never underestimate your opponent. Already, without factual basis, many officials in the West had underestimated the resilience of the Assad administration and thought he would collapse in a short time, in months rather than years. The situation turned out differently.

Barack Obama had been reluctant to get in to support Nicolas Sarkozy in the removal of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. Obama’s weakness was to yield to Sarkozy and reluctantly join in. It is not enough to say one did something wrong because another had insisted to be joined.

Within his administration, war monger Susan Rice pushed for the military intervention and even insulted Africa’s rulers for calling for caution because of the effects they feared would happen with intervention. The effects feared came to pass. Obama had allowed people like Susan Rice and Nicolas Sarkozy to work against his inner caution over Libya.

Spring

Another sin that Obama fell into was to agree to support the armed rebels fighting the Assad administration in the so-called “Arab Spring.”  Clearly, ISIS was, from the beginning, in the “Arab Spring.”

Yes, I believe, Obama’s position not to strike Syria was the appropriate one. Already, the position to support armed rebellion against Assad’s Syria in a conflict with religious undertones was not appropriate, with its consequences that led to the rise of ISIS as Syria government forces faced militias from many groups.

There have been times when rulers of America’s regimes, feeling and acting on the myth that their country is a superpower and can push around others to do what it wants, have gone on to take actions that have created immediate and long-term problems for others, the USA, and the world.

Over the decades, even just to take the decades following World War II, this has happened under various administrations, Republican and Democrats. There seems to be in the background a machinery that, with whatever party in office, tries to assert intervention in other parts of the world – even where the intervention will create difficulties for those intervened, others, and the United States itself.

In recent times, this has happened over the invasion of Afghanistan, occupation of Iraq, and, without lessons being learnt and applied, intervention in Libya. Another key burden of a US administration has been supporting the armed rebellion against Syria’s Assad administration. But Barack Obama’s avoiding of striking Syria in 2013 was, I believe, the appropriate one. That will be a pleasant memory of the Obama legacy.

ginfinite@yahoo.com

**Gabriel Banda has been on the MA Peace Studies Bradford University  programme.

US Elections, Hillary and Trump final effects, by Gabriel C Banda

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US Elections, Hillary and Trump final effects,

by

Gabriel C Banda

AS 2016 election day finally cometh, the results will have deep and long-term effects on the stability of United States and the whole of humanity.

The current and future character, temperament, beliefs, and approaches of both the front candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, will affect how human relations and the world proceed.

 The Trump Spirit

The Donald Trump spirit is very active and unprecedented. It is a very difficult spirit. Donald Trump speaks, and behaves, rough. He insults, demeaning women, persons of other colours, migrants, persons of some religions, and persons and communities in various situations. He is defensive and proud of actions some may consider shameful.

The spirit in Trump is troubled and troublesome. It can very negatively affect the world. The Trump spirit comes forth showing some inner violence within it. It has bothered many persons in the world that such a spirit can actively roam amongst human beings and this beautiful creation. And that he actually does have significant numbers supporting him.

The Trump Doctrines

Donald Trump shows pride in having tricked the financial system and gained on things like taxes. By the way, we are now not hearing much about Trump’s promised release of his controversial taxes status!

Donald Trump believes in some Republican positions and more. Trump is for lowering taxes for the financially rich, whose efforts in enterprise are supposed to benefit others through trickling down.

Trump is strongly for removing Obamacare, which has been intended to help a huge uncovered part of the American society have some access to healthcare. America has had situations where some fifty million Americans when in need did not have access to health facilities.

About fifty million American have lived in poverty. By volume and ratios, these high ratios of want in society cannot be found in places like Britain, the Nordic countries, and China, whose welfare systems have provided social stability for decades.

Trump invokes against migrants, even though his current wife Melania migrated from Slovenia. Perhaps Trump is against migrants of some types, some colours, and some cultures. The anti-migrant fight is a fight against the natural intermingling that leads to growth of individuals and societies in the whole of humanity and life itself.

Trump wants to take America to an era of racism, as when there was a Constitution proclaiming freedom while there was slave trade and, even up to the 1960s, apartheid in America,

There are some things Donald Trump has that are strong Republican beliefs while other things currently defy existing classification. Donald Trump is for firearms with little regulation, even though firearms misuse and mistypes have led to much violence and deaths in America. Donald Trump also has a pro-life stance against abortion. Some Republicans and Democrats are pro-life and against abortion.

Externally, Trump has expressed reservations about the Syria, and USA seeking good relationships with Iran. Trump wants to build a rough Superpower, Superpower itself, I believe, being some unachievable concept based on myth.

Trump is for building an America that is strong militarily, politically, and economically – achieving this economic strength through protection from imports from places like China, having firms bring jobs from China and other places to the USA, and of course through exporting to others while restricting importing from countries growing and becoming economically strong.

Donald Trump wants an America that is a bully, not just a crucial part of humanity. In many parts of the world, Donald Trump is exhibiting characteristics, qualities, values, and policies not compatible with criteria of a good leader or ruler. Stock markets had been disturbed by Trump rising in polls and have been stabilising when Hillary Clinton appears in lead.

Though painting Hillary Clinton as a continuation of some bad establishment, Trump, reputed to have assets worth billions of dollars, is himself from the business establishment. It can be a mistake to think of him as “one of the people,” and, with his vile actions, a “people person.”

Evil’s Workshop

Donald Trump lies about some things he hears about. Some things he just creates, and keeps on repeating the lies and untruths. And insults. Some unproven things he has thrown, with hostility and hatred, at Hillary Clinton and current president Barack Obama. Trump speaks lies and sticks to them, even when the lies have been shown as untruths.

Trump has come with hate speech unfairly protected under the shield of election campaign. He has little limits to his insults and who he insults.

Some speech and actions of Trump are evil apparent, evil evident, exhibited, and manifested. Some of Trump’s utterances and intensions, like on migrants and Muslims, come directly from evil’s workshop, with the devil’s imprimatur. These are some of the things he wants to unleash upon the earth. The Donald Trump spirit is one that can make the world divided and unstable.

Unrealisable   

And although raising some emotions in some persons, Trump’s policies, stances, and hate-speech are in practice disjointed and not easily implementable. From building walls against other human beings, to blocking Muslims, insulting women, removing the benefits of Obamacare health system to millions, and fighting US businesses from establishing plants in China and other areas, blocking other countries exports to USA, and putting Hillary Clinton in jail for the mail servers, Trump’s evil speech can, when practiced, create difficulties for the USA and the world.

  Other Republican messengers

At the same time, it is possible that some other candidate with some position similar to Trump’s might have got a more respectable assessment from some in America and other parts of the world. The 2016 electoral contest might have even been more civilised.

A problem is more than about the content of Trump’s message and what he stands for. A problem is how Trump packages his positions and messages. He wraps them in insults and uncouth behaviour that insults and demeans other candidates and other members of society.

Would some people have listened to someone who is not Trump but raises some issues similar to Trump’s? Are there some messages and positions that persons who are anti-Trump would have tolerated in other Republican candidates? Are some anti-Trump persons reacting more to his character, which they find undesirable, than to his messages and positions?

Trump himself may be thought to be aggressively raising some issues, in some rough and populist ways, just in order to get into presidential office but it may not be known how he will practically stick to those issues if in White House.

There are some issues that would ordinarily have been more considered if they had not been raised by Trump, and in the ways he has raised them. For instance, the situation in Syria has been complicated by the role that the United States and allies in Middle East and the West have sponsored armed groups, of the so-called “Arab Spring,” to fight Syria’s Assad regime. The rebellion against Assad has provided some window for ISIS to flourish in the region and also to threaten the Western world.

There are also other issues like abortion, that would have given a non-Trump Republican candidate more understanding and attention from those who consider the complexities of this abortion and life issue.

.Hillary’s Issues

While there are concerns about Donald Trump because of his open projection of crudeness, there are concerns about what will be Hillary Clinton’s positions when she becomes president. Some concerns we have previously raised are around how she needs to avoid supporting the American military belligerent machine and its allies in interventions and regime change.

The USA government and allies created problems for the world and themselves when they invaded, with much opposition from many in the world, Iraq in 2003. They continued the error when, reluctantly for Obama, but that reluctance not a big excuse if they still went along, the USA joined France’s warlord Nicolas Sarkozy to intervene in Libya and remove ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

This became a regime change contributing to later disability of Libya and the nourishing of armed uprisings by extremists in Africa and the Middle East, right up to the current ISIS problems in Iraq and Syria.

On Syria, like war monger and rebel supporter John McCain, she has at times been for a more active intervention by the United States including the difficult to impose No Fly Zone.

Important on Syria is the fact that the US government and allies have contributed to problems and instability by supporting the armed rebels fighting the Assad administration. The western and allies supported armed rebels have kept the Assad administration fighting them, limiting Assad’s ability to fight ISIS.

If Assad had fallen, ISIS would have taken over Syria, with Syria becoming the ISIS state and government. The problems for the world would have been deeper had ISIS taken over Syria. It is important for a President Hillary Clinton to take the American machinery away from belligerence and regime changes that are creating instability and difficulties for the whole world, including the United States itself.

Hillary Clinton seems to have realised that Iraq and Libya interventions she and others tolerated or supported were inappropriate. But that lesson is still not being applied to Syria. If she is in control of government, Hillary Clinton must retrain herself and approach things differently.

Hillary’s Putin

Another thing Hillary Clinton must deal with is her fixation with Russia and President Vladimir Putin. Russia has a presence in Syria, supporting the Assad government being fought by American and allies supported armed rebels and ISIS. In some interesting way, Russia’s support for the Syria government has helped Syria not go to ISIS or get into some other deeper disintegration whose consequences would greatly affect the world, including America and the West.

Hillary’s fixation on Russia and Putin may enable some of her local opponents and schemers against her to go unnoticed. It may not be that the thins linked to Russia are from the Russian government and Putin. Some may be locally, American, grown, thriving under protection of a shield that has been formed by Clinton and her people diverted by looking away towards Russia. The recent work under the FBI on so-called new email issues worked against Clinton but was not Russia made.

Hillary and Health

Hillary Clinton was a pioneer in the USÁ’s recent drive for Health for All, as in welfare Europe. Although she does not mention it much in her debates and campaigns, when she was at White House as First Lady, she worked strongly for widening access to health services. She was forerunner to the revolutionary “Obamacare” health act Trump and others condemn.

America needs to work on things and find ways of effective health reach for all, as in much of welfare Europe. This theme Hillary already started on should enable her to do well through improving Obamacare in practice.

Hillary and Abortion

Hillary must also address the concerns of Pro-Life and anti-abortion believers. For too long, in America, abortion has become like a form of birth control. It may not be enough for Hillary to believe that the abortion issue should rest in the control of the women involved and family members. Of course, issues around abortion involve many things and are complex.

Without criminalising those involved, many times without much joy for it, in abortion, it is necessary for America to work on making things move more towards effective birth control practices that prevent women reaching the situation of abortion.  Hillary Clinton Vice President running mate, Tim Kaine, who comes across as a very mature, thoughtful, and mentally organised person, is personally pro-life and not for abortion, but treats the issue with other considerations.

It may be from Tim Kaine’s Catholic faith, but there are many persons from various faiths and no organised faith, who are critical of the current situation of abortion in America. Some Pro-abortion believers are for Hillary while others are not. Some Pro-Life persons are for Trump while others are not. While this is an important issue for many, other factors become more key than others.

Sadly, our other concern is that Hillary also seems to tolerate the vision of an American government in the world’s forefront and an American “superpower.” In President Barack Obama’s rule, the world has given America some respect because of less bullying and “superpower” myth action by Obama.

Hillary Clinton is a good person that has shown some imperfections. So, there are some things that a President Hillary Rodham Clinton will need to re-learn and re-train her mind on.

Hillary the Survivor and Victor

There are many lessons about US Elections 2016. One lesson is that where even Republican candidates in the primaries had been shaken and even humiliated by Trump, Hillary Clinton has managed to stay focussed and unruffled by rough Donald Trump. With dignity, in the discussions she has managed to rise about the Trump spirit.

Trump threw all sorts of mud at Hillary Clinton. Not many of us would have survived the onslaught of the Trump spirit. Many of us would have been broken where Hillary survived and even triumphed. In the world, not many persons, Democrats or Republicans, could have succeeded, as Hillary Clinton has, in not being unruffled by the Trump spirit’s attacks and acts during debates. During television debate, Hillary succeeded to tame the harsh Trump spirit. Yes, it is possible to rise above rough characters and be in control.

Trump and Rigging

Instead of letting the people of America make free electoral choices, Trump has tried to criminalise his opponent. He has recently, days just before election day, even tried to get through the elections some poisonous coup that disables the participation of his stronger opponent, Hillary Clinton. He does not want the public to choose but he wants to push to become the president

He has, without fair evidence, stigmatized and criminalised Hillary Clinton, using the unconvincing reason of email server, which issue in itself is no evidence of criminality. Without proper evidence, some Trump supporters have labelled Clinton criminal.

Trump has tried to discredit the elections by claiming unsubstantiated organised rigging. Trump himself wants to rig the elections by having opponent Hillary disqualified or throwing fears of later disqualification and removal from office if she gets in.

Timed in with the Trump attack, the late FBI actions also contributed to the unfairness against Hillary Clinton. The FBI unusually, without complete facts, threw in the “new emails” card that helped Trump against the Clinton rising wave. The emails were later, as expected by some who thought them unnecessary, proved not to have contained criminalities linked to Hillary Clinton. The FBI actions had done damage but it was not known how repairs would occur, save for hoping that some persons unhappy about the FBI action would turn up to vote in large numbers.

In other places of the world, the FBI head would be expected to resign if not now, just after the elections.

Matter for All

Nothing is ever an “internal matter” of a country for everyone is related to everyone else in the world. One thing has effects on others in the world. If a population, about five percent of the world, is going to be under a ruler that threatens the integrity of humanity and creation, that should concern everyone in the world. The USA elections of 2016 have effects on all of us, wherever we are domiciled.

The Hillary Clinton character effects or the Trump character effects will in presidency have great bearing on not only the United States, but the whole world, future generations and what the world has so far achieved.

The result of the 2016 US elections will not just be about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It is about ways of life and values. It is about life and living in American and beyond. It is about good, bad, and ugly. It is about creation itself. We trust that Conscience and long-term Goodwill should dominate and triumph.

ginfinite@yahoo.com

Gabriel C Banda, Lusaka, Zambia, based, is independently involved in writing and the arts, social development work, and observation on conflict and peace issues.

GCB, October 2016/November 07th, 2016, LUSAKA.

The ICC and Us, by Gabriel C Banda, (a reproduction)

Three years ago, in October 2013, this writing was published on WordPress, some three years before the recent October 2016 moves by some governments of Africa, starting with South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia, to practically pull out of ICC. “The ICC and Us” was published on WordPress.com as Number 05 of “Gabriel Banda Peace Notes,” done on WordPress. I here reproduce it, exactly as it came out, to contribute to current, October 2016, discussion on ICC, Africa, and human justice.

Gabriel Banda Peace Notes, 05: The ICC and Us,

October 12, 2013UncategorizedAfrica, Africa Union, Crime of Aggression, Crimes against Humanity, George W Bush Jr, ICC, International Criminal Court, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Tony Blair, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto Edit

The ICC and Us,

And How ICC Can Worsen Conflict

By

Gabriel C Banda

IT was eventually bound to come to this! This October at Addis Ababa, Ethipoia, Africa’s rulers gather, as the continental African Union grouping, to discuss whether their governments should continue to be part of the International Criminal Court, ICC.

The ICC has the task of helping humanity through the trial of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. While the ICC can be an important institution for the world, it has been considered partial, selective, in picking who to prosecute.

There is increasing concern that the ICC prosecution has targeted rulers from Africa while some possible offenders from other parts of the world, including the western world, have not been brought before international judicial platforms, including the ICC at The Hague.

The ICC has decided to put to trial Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya, and his deputy, William Ruto, who has already been at The Hague for trial. Kenyatta and Ruto had been on opposite sides in the national elections of 2007. They were accused of organising violent attacks on each other’s supporters.

But in March 2013 elections, the two stood together as a pact for president and vice president, and emerged winners. There are accusations that some external forces had not wanted Uhuru to be president and thus moved the ICC charge to prevent him from standing for elections and winning.

From the Kenya case, there are practical issues. How will a country function when its president and vice president are not around because they are out of the country, and on trial?  The two are not convicts. How does ICC deal with sitting rulers?

The earlier reluctance of Africa’s rulers to support arrest and trial of Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir by ICC may have been more linked to potential effects of the trial on society, at a particular time, than shielding the ruler. There are many stability factors that Africa’s rulers may be considering.

Some persons consider ICC prosecutions as Made for Africa. Some persons in the West are considered, from their actions as government rulers, to have caused huge suffering of societies and humanity. They are not being touched.

While there is talk about details of crimes some persons of Africa are accused of, we hear no proper answer about why George W Bush Jr and Tony Blair have not been brought for trial before international crime platforms. George W Bush Jr, besides the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, has over him some warrants issued for torture. So far, he is not being touched.

If the USA is not part of ICC, the UK still is. There seem strong reasons to consider the trial of Tony Blair for crimes of aggression over Iraq, with the deep suffering and instability that followed.

There is also need to deal with crimes that may have been committed in Libya by external and local forces fighting the Muammar Gaddafi regime. There is need to investigate the targeted killings and harming of Black Libyans and Black Africa migrants during the Nicolas Sarkozy’s French forces 2011 campaign in support of some opponents fighting Gaddafi?

And in Libya, UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973, over Libya, did not allow external governments to have troops on the ground. Yet anti-Gaddafi external coalition forces and troops from neighbours like Qatar and Sudan where on the ground fighting the Gaddafi forces. International systems should consider investigating crimes of aggression.

As in Libya and Syria, some consider the ICC as another front against some regimes targeted for change. The ICC, United Nations, and others cannot just sit by and say Africa’s governments have no reason to pull out from ICC.

And it is not enough to say Africa’s rulers are against ICC because they are thinking of escaping justice. To avoid being ignored and going into a cocoon and decline, there is urgent need to address concerns raised by critics of the ICC.

Fearing that membership of ICC has potential punishments, many may withdraw membership. Withdrawal may be a safety, protective, mechanism against possible arrest. And not all who will pull out have things to fear but may just believe the ICC has been unfair. Even clean rulers may leave the ICC.

Criticism of ICC is beyond Africa. Already, besides Rwanda in Africa, China, India, Israel, Syria, the United States, and many others do not cooperate with ICC.

Now, I believe issues are more than about ICC being partial and biased against Africa. Away from issues of leaving out non-African offenders, one believes we also must, worldwide, consider concepts of punishment and retribution and their effects.

In some situations, ICC may, unintentionally, act as an instrument fanning war, strife, and conflict. What are effects of ICC trials on conflicts and societies? And we must consider other factors like the timing of ICC action and how that affects societies.

The ICC can end up worsening a situation. The threat of ICC over members of Gaddafi’s Libya regime may have contributed to more vicious conflict. Similarly, threats of ICC charges against Syria regime members may actually harden the current armed conflict.

Whether guilty or not, there are times when some arrest, punishment or sanction, or their timing, end up causing many others to suffer, beyond the convicted persons. Many generations can be negatively affected.

In some cases, the primary objective is to stop atrocities and heal a society. Poorly applied punishment will create further problems, especially for fragile or divided societies. Instability may follow.

Yes, it is crucial to stop atrocities and their causes. But the ways of the ICC may not be the best to deal with conflict in some societies. While reigning in guilty actors, a harsh judicial retributive approach may actually worsen armed conflict. Thus the ICC may be contributing to continuation of wars, instability, and delay of ending armed conflict.

There is need to consider how proportional ICC processes and judgement are when related to various potential effects on a society. Poorly timed and executed, ICC action can lead to further suffering and disharmony.

Although not perfect, South Africa’s landmark Truth and Reconciliation process showed humankind possible ways of dealing with injustice and moving towards healing.

One’s argument is not that the ICC should not be there, but must be fair. ICC must be just. Its actions, focussed on punishment, must not cause the suffering of many others. Its concept of “justice” needs to be broader than just achieving some narrow accountability, punishment, and retribution.

The ICC can be an important international instrument for protection of basic human rights worldwide. It can help avoid biased local prosecution of opponents by those who control governments.

Those who conquer others and get into government may affect the fairness of local trials of their vanquished opponents. It is not easy for Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi to be tried in his native Libya. Thus, for fairness and basic human rights, there is need for international legal institutions beyond states.

It is important not to dismiss concerns raised about the ICC by persons from Africa and other places. It is important to answer the issues raised.

International and state systems must not be biased to prosecute or not prosecute some persons because of factors like colour, culture, religion, language, origin, citizenship, political link, social status, being male or female, and other conditions.

The international community needs to consider issues of selective prosecution, timing, and effects of ICC procedures on stability of societies. October 2013 is a turning point for Africa, the ICC, and all of us worldwide.

ginfinite@yahoo.com

Based in Lusaka, Zambia, the author is involved in writing, social development, and peace issues.

–          GCB September, +Thursday, October 10, 2013, LUSAKA.

Hillary and Trump Debate, caution for Hillary, By Gabriel C Banda

Hillary and Trump Debate, Caution for Hillary

By Gabriel C Banda

AS the USA 2016 Presidential elections first debate is about to take place Monday September 26, 2016, there are some points to watch out for. There are some issues to prepare for.

For Hillary Clinton, it would be important to think about how Trump rattles people’s minds and their focus.  By words and other behaviour, Trump sometimes makes his opponents lose their balance. Sometimes he has said things that are false but said as if they are true.

He has distorted issues and facts. He has attacked the record of some. He has attacked the personality of others. He shouts down those speaking other points. He has also insulted others. He has demeaned the humanity of others. He shows a wild side of America.

For Hillary Rodham Clinton, she must review her interaction with Donald Trump. One aspect she must adjust is how sometimes she has made responses driven by what Trump has said or done. She seems to feel she must attack or respond to whatever Trump says or does. To do that all the time is unsafe for Hillary Clinton. Sometimes it is better to be silent instead of going on to try to defend something that was not right.

An example is when Trump talks about how things were not well for the USA government’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. From Hillary’s side, a quick response was that Saddam Hussein had been a bad, evil, person. Of course, Mama Hillary had supported the war on Iraq. But it was not necessary to have said, just in order to react to her opponent Trump, that it was right to have invaded Iraq or killed Saddam.

The George Bush II invasion of Iraq, supported by Britain’s Tony Blair, was not right. It has led to the deaths and suffering of many in the region and the whole world. It was done on untrue or false basis.

Similarly, with the USA and other governments not learning, the military intervention in Libya, an intervention led by France warlord and destroyer Nicolas Sarkozy, led to the murder of President Muamar Qaddafi, ethnic cleansing against Black Libyans and Black Africans, and the instability in Libya and neighbouring countries.  The African Union had warned against armed intervention and called for some political settlement but where insulted by persons like US’s Susan Rice.

US President Barack Obama was reluctant to join Sarkozy’s destructive scheme, which also abused the United Nations resolutions system, but nevertheless Obama still went along, driven by the warlord Sarkozy and, in USA officialdom and circles, persons like Susan Rice, who on Libya was another warlord.

The Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya external interventions have contributed to problems of the growth of militants like ISIS, who are now troubling the world. The US and UK support for the armed Syria rebels fighting the Assad administration in another largely sectarian war, led to huge pressure on the Assad government and the growth of ISIS.

ISIS is now attacking the western countries whose governments even supported rebels against Assad. The weapon you use against others may turn against you.

What also helped US, UK, and the world, was the failure, in the UK parliament, of the motion, as a further attempt to legalise intervention, for the US and UK to invade Syria on account of charges of use of chemical weapons.

Had Assad’s government fallen by the force of the belligerent Western and Arab governments’ supported rebels, the ones that might now have been in control in Syria may have been the determined ISIS.

Things could have been worse had Assad been removed from office.  The current problems of militants and attacks in the Middle East and the western countries could have been small size compared with if the Assad administration had been removed by force.

Hillary’s past positions on Iraq, Libya, and even Syria were shaky and should not be justified by saying something that supports the war machine.

For Hillary Clinton, the main lesson about debating with Donald Trump is that she should not be driven by him. She has to focus on truth. She has to avoid being drawn into instinctive responses just because Trump has spoken.

Hillary Clinton has to avoid responding as defence of her position in the past. She must learn to sometimes be silent. She must let some things pass without emotionally feeling she must response. She must let go when necessary.

Otherwise, Donald Trump’s words, character, and behaviour may create snares, traps, for Hillary Clinton. Trump is at home with rough talk. One who fights a rough person must not try to be rough but will win if they rise above the rough one. They must fight with dignity. Dignity rises above the rough.

When someone is fighting a crocodile, it will be unsafe to follow the crocodile’s invitation to join it in a fight in the waters.  That is the crocodile’s environment, where it may be strong while someone not used to water will not easily fight and defend them self. Hillary Clinton must find herself, ground herself, rather than be driven by Donald Trump’s character, words, and actions.

ginfinite@yahoo.com

GCB, September 2016, LUSAKA.

Mama Hillary Clinton in Zambia, by Gabriel C Banda

In 2011, Hillary Rodham Clinton, then United States Secretary of State, visited Zambia. I wrote about her in relation to some key challenges facing humanity and human relations.

Hillary Clinton, in whom many of us have for long been well pleased, has just had official endorsement as Democratic Party’s 2016 US presidential election candidate.

Of course, I differ with her on events of Libya and Syria. Unlike persons like John McCain and Sister Hillary Clinton and Bernard-Henri Levy, I believe that President Barack Obama did the right thing not to directly invade and strike Syria. If more armed pressure had been made on Syria and Assad had fallen, ISIS would have risen earlier and things would have been worse now.

On Libya, I believe, then as now, that Barack Obama, reluctant at first, should not have allowed himself to join France warlord Nicolas Sarkozy and others to invade Libya and destroy Muammar Qaddafi, leading to the chaos that will be with us for long. Western support for armed rebels in Libya and Syria, as the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, has created difficulties and some instability for the whole world, including Western societies.

And in the view of many of us in various parts of the world, Hillary Clinton will definitely make a good president for the United States.  The rule of Barack Obama has dignified America in the world and managed to make many outside the United States appreciate the projection of a United States that has a more friendly and humane nature, a society that is surely a close family member of humanity rather than its boss and bully and actor for the Superpower idea, “Superpower” being a myth that cannot be achieved in nature by any government or group. 

Hillary Clinton would more likely continue the improvement of human relations than, say, a person like Donald Trump, a personality that may lead to increased tension and division in human relations. Already, Hillary Clinton has made some remarkable contributions to the Common Good. More good than bad will arise from Hillary Clinton’s rule.

Here, I reproduce, courtesy Post Newspaper, Lusaka, the piece published on my then “Another View” column in the Post of Saturday June 18, 2011:

 

Mama Hillary Clinton’s Challenge

By

Gabriel Banda

“ALL too often, we were doing programs that continued year after year, and we, frankly, did too much of the talking and not enough of the listening, ”said Mama Hillary Rodham Clinton, USA Secretary of State, in our city Lusaka, Friday, June 10, 2011. She was closing the AGOA, African Growth and Opportunities Act countries, forum.

She observed that, “despite the best of intentions, for too long, in too much of our development work, the United States was not focused on the kind of partnerships that should be at the root of development,”

And Mrs Hillary Clinton said the United States administration of Barrack Obama aims to be more sensitive.

“In this Administration,” said she, “We have embarked on a new way of doing business.” And, “Our approach is based on partnership, not patronage.”

Also, “Ultimately, it is aimed at helping developing countries chart their own futures and, frankly, end the need for aid at all.”

Sister Hillary Clinton’s words in Lusaka highlight some key problems in human relations and development. These issues face not only people in USA and Africa relations, but governments and persons all over the world. It is about patronage or true partnership.

Problems of patronising attitudes and practices affect various fields. Besides the social development field, in politics example is the George W Bush administration’s March 2003 invasion of Iraq. The results of the invasion continue to affect not only the United States and the Middle East, but all of us, worldwide. Tensions increased.

Before invasion, the Bush regime had been cautioned, by many worldwide, of unjustness of the actions and the likely negative effects. These came to pass. Even now, clearly, instead of using the United Nations system to broker peace, in Libya the current external governments’ military role, which does not meet “just war” criteria, will bear huge negative effects worldwide. The war lord attitude has not been restricted to Bush rule.

But in development, trade and business, civil society, and other fields, actions arising from the patronage mindset are still with us.

Apart from other variations in nature, human variation is noted in issues like skin colour, being male or female, religion, ethnic link, culture, language, nationality and citizenship, and location.

Variation in many aspects of the world contributes towards a more whole earth and life. That there is variation on earth is great resource for us to learn and grow from many angles. This variation actively contributes to the making of the whole and the balance of that whole.

Each individual part is unique and gifted. Each we must appreciate. I believe that none is inherently superior or inferior by being born in some particular community. I believe a person born in the deserts of Africa can learn to fly a Boeing 747 while a person born in the skyscrapers of Manhattan can learn to live well in a desert.

We need to open ourselves to other persons. There is no stranger in the world. And the earth being circular, each point of the world is the centre of the world. Each individual or place is important for the maintenance of the whole world. Wherever you are is the centre of the world.

And wherever each person is, they must actively contribute their skills, experiences, and thoughts. A problem is when we are doing “too much of the talking and not enough of the listening.” This has meant closing, or limiting, ourselves off from the skills and experiences of others.

Often projects and activities are tackled without the active consultation and involvement of the ones who live the practical situation. This has led to projects not working well. Even where much money is poured in, lacking the essential human ingredients, the projects have reached less than they would have had they involved input from a wide variation.

Some who handle cash and resources tend to control the direction of projects and activities. They leave out the thoughts, skills, experiences, and visions of others they consider less able because those persons in material, finance, resource, and background situations are thought to be lesser than controller’s.

Many projects do not take in input of local persons as the projects merely implement templates designed from outside. In Zambia, Africa, and elsewhere, work against HIV and AIDS could have advanced further or earlier had there been more listening to others. The resources would have reached and done further. This is a bigger problem in mono-donor situations, where some donors dominate particular fields. They stifle creativity and growth.

Various talents, skills, and experiences willingly shared can contribute to the benefit of many. We are fortunate that with some six billion persons, male and female they are, we have chance, if we open ourselves to them, to live some six billion lives and deep experiences.

Slavery, slave trade, and apartheid have been evils because of pain and working against preferred choices of the enslaved as things are directed to service of the slave masters. Left to their own choices, enslaved persons could have contributed greatly, in many other ways, to the world. Slavery made the world lose out in growth and opportunities.

Currently, there are so called “experts” who are not competent, while some have skills but are not very appropriate, relevant, to the situations. Some do not do “enough of listening” and allowing other persons.

IMF and World Bank and their allies have shown arrogance, bullying, incompetence, and dictatorship. They pushed aside local views and imposed some inappropriate programmes. They kept imposing their activities through various sanctions and threats against governments and society.

The fruits of IMF programmes include increased poverty, crime, corruption, environmental impact, and inequalities around factors like ethnicity, cultures, gender, and regions. Their programmes have caused reduced capacity of societies. The programmes worked against growth and opportunities of societies. The activities have acted against peace and the integrity of life.

They have not organised resource and other reparations to redress the damage they have done to societies and humanity. Perhaps some recent debt write-off may be considered silent reparations. But the organisations still control economic programmes which are still inappropriate for societies

But, even though many have sought it and others been assigned, in this unitary and interdependent world, there can be no superpower. Superpower is a temporary human created myth without basis in truth.

Now or in other generations, the action of one in one place affects all others everywhere. To grow, we should be moving towards relationships of mutual respect, growth, and realisation that the work of all of us on earth seeks to eventually pull together towards a common good.

The world will flourish through partnership and creativity, not through patronage. It is important to allow others. Every one will nourish and grow. Many should listen to, and practice, some of Mama Hillary Clinton’s words!

END

– GCB June 2011, LUSAKA.

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