The House Investigation

190123155747-pelosi-trump-split-0123-exlarge-169

So now we have an open and pubic vote on beginning an official impeachment investigation. All republicans voted against, no surprise, but two democrats also voted against, a little surprise. It will be interesting to see how the various committees handle themselves when the hearings are open. Will they call back witnesses who had testified behind closed doors or not? Will they truly allow the republicans to call witnesses or will they throw up roadblocks? How will they handle cross examinations? It is interesting to also note that unlike the Nixon and Clinton impeachment investigations different committees will hold hearings instead of just the judiciary committee.
There is no doubt the house will impeach since all the democratic members of the committees as well as most of the house have already declared Trump guilty. I am sorry, regardless of guilt or innocence of the president there is no way to take these investigations seriously. This has devolved into what the president has called a witch hunt. The hope here is that open and fair hearings can right this ship and show the president broke the law beyond a shadow of a doubt or that there is not enough actual evidence to move forward giving the dems plausible reason to end this.
We can only wait and see.

Trump Impeachment, Round 3, Ukraine

innocence

Foreign policy is the purview of the President. Congress has an advice and consent role in some cases. If the president of the United States asked for information on a political rival who may have broken the law that is his right. If the request was conditioned on the US providing aid that is unethical. The Democratic leadership in the House has called this an abuse of power and an impeachable offence. My take.
To begin I believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty. In criminal procedures guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The question then becomes is acting unethically an impeachable offence or just a political problem. Did the president abuse his power, I do not know?
What bothers me most is that there has been an unending attempt to prove Trump did something wrong. The call for his impeachment started even before he took office.
In December 2016, Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, Chris Coons, Ben Cardin, and Jeff Merkley introduced a bill that would require the president of the United States to divest any assets that could raise a conflict of interest, including a statement that failure to divest such assets would constitute high crimes and misdemeanors “under the impeachment clause of the U.S. Constitution”
In their book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign’ Jonathan Allen and Arnie Parnes, two journalists with access to the Clinton campaign discuss the meeting within 24 hours of the loss on how to spin it, in part, to Russian collusion. The FBI also did their part by opening a counterintelligence investigation on some of Trumps campaign officials. All of this came to nothing after the Mueller report found while there was Russian interference there was no collusion. The next thing we hear about is the potential of obstruction of justice by Trump. While this is still out there it also appears to have hit a dead end. Now we have abuse of power.
If you were accused of murder you would be allowed to mount a defense and question potential jurors to see if they were impartial. How is Trump to get a fair hearing when those in charge of the investigation are also the prosecution and the jury? Had the Democrats waited until they had a solid case then maybe this would be considered a legitimate impeachment process, but its not. On the other side Trump is not doing himself any favors by making ridiculous and petty statements and lashing out at anyone he does not like.
With all the emotion surrounding the case I am reminded of the George Zimmerman-Travon Martin case in Florida in 2012. If you recall Zimmerman, a security guard shot and killed Martin and was accused of second-degree murder. He was acquitted because he was overcharged amidst a politically charged atmosphere and high emotions. Had he been charged with first-degree manslaughter he likely would have been found guilty.
I don’t know what the truth is in this regard. I know that there is too much emotion and political intrigue for the truth to come out until historians get a look at it in the future. I just hope the country is not torn apart while the politician’s fiddle.
I hope we can all Pleasethink about what we are doing and get back to normal lives.

Who are the Kurds Without Googling? By Chiman Zebari and Paul Davis

688d674c860842bc85f9ac2819089d4c_6[1].png

The current crises in Washington is the decision by the president to pull US forces out of Syria and thereby ending the protection we have afforded to our Kurdish allies. In the middle of the arguments the president daughter in law, Lara Trump, made a statement in support of the president that said the average American had to Google the Kurds to find out who they were. This set off a firestorm of criticism justified or not. The main problem with the statement for many is that it is basically true. Even those who know the Kurds do not fully understand who or what they are. In order to educate we think it time to produce a Kurdish primer, or at least one about the current Kurds.
To begin the Kurds are an ethnic group not a race and have occupied the area commonly referred to as Kurdistan for over a millennium. They share no common history or culture with those surrounding them other than through interactions with their neighbors. As the region was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, they became subjects of the Caliph but, like most throughout the empire, maintained their identity. Like many groups there were fissures and differences which can be seen today most glaringly in the different dialects of spoken Kurdish, some argue different languages. Throughout this time Kurdish culture remained intact. Following the end of the First World War the Kurds were divided up amongst three separate countries, Turkey, Iraq and Syria, while a portion remained in Persia or todays Iran. The Kurds have fought for a separate country ever since. As the Kurds became more independent, they began to develop separate political philosophies and parties.
To put into context the Kurds are not a monolithic group but like all other people in the world hold different political views and opinions. They have shown however they are different then their neighbors by allowing for different philosophies and different ethnicities to coexist in the Kurdish region.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is the oldest of the modern Kurdish political movements. Founded in 1946 as a Pan-Kurdish party in Iran it was instrumental in the creation of an independent but short-lived Kurdistan known as the Mahabad Republic. When the Soviet Union removed its backing the tow leaders Qazi Muhammad and Mustafa Barzani had a final falling out and Barzani established the Iraqi brand of the KDP.
The KDP was mostly operated as a tribal entity and existed by the strong will and stronger hand of Barzani. The back and forth relationship between the KDP and the various governments in Baghdad led to a revolt in 1974 in which the Kurds did not fare well. Results of the revolt on the Kurds led to the establishment of a second party in 1975, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Despite personal difference between Barzani and the leader of the PUK, Jalal Talabani, another difference was philosophical. The KDP was more tribal and center right while the PUK held a more socialist left drift. This split was so severe that it led to a brief but violent civil war between the two parties with the KDP looking to Baghdad for help and the PUK turning to Iran.
While the KDP and PUK never fully reconciled the actions of Saddam Hussain in his attacks of the Kurds killing hundreds of thousands did push the two sides together in the face of a common enemy. The Persian Gulf war allowed for a greater sense of autonomy until once again Saddam launched attacks on the Kurds as well as Sunni Arabs. After the US led invasion in which the Kurds play an important role an autonomous Kurdish region was set up and then enshrined into the Iraqi constitution.
The newly established Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) now sits in its capitol Erbil and is the acknowledge government for the Kurdish Region of Iraq. There are a dozen different political parties represented in the Kurdish parliament for the KDP and PUK to Gorran (Change), New Generation, as well as the Communist party and the Kurdistan Islamic Group as well as others.
We have spent some time on the Iraqi Kurds since they are the best known to the American audience. We now turn to the Turkish Kurds who as a population represent the largest group of Kurds in the Region.
While Iraq treated its Kurdish population as second class citizens the Turks refused to even admit that the Kurds were a separate ethnic group. Denying the use of the Kurdish language or celebration of Kurdish culture the Turk went so far as to rename them Mountain Turks. While the Iraqi Kurds evolved the Turkish Kurds responded to their oppression by the formation of the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK. The PKK grow from the revolutionary youth movement begun in the 1960 and was organized in 1974 as a Marxist-Leninist student movement. Moving through clashes with both police and right-wing organization it became a full-blown armed insurrection based on Kurdish nationalism and desiring a Pan-Kurdish nation. The PKK has gone through some evolutionary changes but remains basically an armed revolutionary group based in the Qandil Mountains of Iraq moving between attacking Turkish outpost and working for a peace agreement. This has been on going for 30 years. On the political side there have been a number of parties that have been associated with the PKK. The current party is the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP). HDP has had success in elections even winning a large number of seats in the Parliament in the 2015 general election. The ruling party under the current President Erdogan canceled the results and held new elections which reduced the win. Following which leaders of HDP in parliament were striped of their seats and some imprisoned under the claim of being or supporting terrorist. Most recently several mayors of towns in the Kurdish region were removed and replaced with Turks.
The PKK was chased around the region and at one time were in Syria until Turkey forced the Syrian government to get them to leave. Before leaving they establish a Syrian branch of the PKK which became the Democratic Union Party or PYD. This has allowed Turkey to claim the PYD as a terrorist organization and part of the PKK. While calling for autonomy of the Kurdish regions in Syria the PYD has learned the Lesions of the PKK and have mostly cooperated with the Syrian government until the time of the Syrian civil war. The PYD used the disarray in Syria to establish an autonomous government but did not engage in the war against the Assad regime itself. It has rejected Kurdish nationalism and maintains a Kurdish-Syrian identity. Like many parties in the region it maintains an armed force called the Peoples Protection Unit of YPG and an affiliated Women’s Protection Unit or YPJ. Today the Turkish government is unable to separate the PYD from the PKK in its operations which has led to the current violence. It is difficult also for some in the west to make the distinction because of a similar socialist ideology.
Another which Turkey claim’s is affiliated with PKK, is the Iranian Kurdish group the Kurdistan Free Life Party or PJAK. PJAK started out as a civil rights movement in the Kurdish region of Iran and moved to a violence when attacked by Iranian forces. Pushed out of Iran they set up in the Qandil mountains in Iraq and came under the influence there of the PKK. While adopting socialist ideology it is not known has much the PKK can influence PJAK away from its desire to maintain Persian roots.
Most Kurdish parties in Iran are outright communist or very left. Also, most are breakaways form other parties with the oldest being the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran.
Not all parties are mentioned is this article and much of the history has been severely modified, but as Lara Trump said it can be Googled. This brought us to a conclusion that the average is not up to date on geography, or the Middle East. We can point out so many television shows interviews where the average American on the street when asked about the past and present US presidents are clueless so we are not shocked about Lara’s statement as so many Kurds are. Education plays a big part in this case. The only thing that unites most Kurds is a call for a homeland. We are speaking of upwards of 40 million people without a nation. To dismiss any attempt to achieve autonomy is to ignore history. Regardless of what happens the Kurds, will continue to fight for independence within their respective regions. While it is unlikely that a united Kurdistan can be achieved it is possible to create separate Kurdish states that can work in confederation with each other. Giving in to Turkey will not stop the desire of the Kurds to be free. It is time that the United State, Unite Kingdom and other countries stand up for Kurds, those who claimed Kurds are their allies, those who used Kurds to push the Islamic State (ISIS) out of Iraq, and defeated them in Syria. Kurds shed blood for the world, it is time for everyone to step in and support the establishment of an Independent Kurdistan. President Trump made many harsh statements in the past a few days about the Kurds, first he mentioned that they are no angels, and then he said they got paid a lot of money. This angered Kurds tremendously. As president Masud Barzani replied to his statment, “Kurdish Blood is more valuable than money and weapons.

Chiman Zebari is a Kurdish American author, and human rights activist. She was an analyst for the US Intelligence Community. She has also worked for the US government in other capacities and was a broadcaster for Voice of America.
Paul Davis is a retired Military-Political analyst for the US Army as well as a civilian analyst in the US Intelligence Community with a concentration on the middle east with an emphasis on the Kurds. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics in Washington DC.

Needed, Real Solutions for Real Problems

President Donald Trump is not a great communicator, nor is he a racist, Nazi or wannabe dictator. The tragedies of the last week call on us all to come together as a country and face up to the problems that have led us to the point we find ourselves. When the president of the United States calls for unity and a rejection of hate and bigotry the opposition, regardless of politics, should get behind him. The incessant chatter from the news media and Trump opposition, calling him a racist repeatedly for anything he says or does, does not make it true. When used for political gain I understand, to a point, but when a national tragedy strikes it is time, even for a moment to come together as one people.
Something has happened and continues to happen to our country and society that goes beyond the normal. Is the prevalence of guns to blame on mass shootings or is it mental illness, video games or whatever? The answer is a little bit of all. But a broad look at the country and its past must show that we have had guns and mental illness and racism etc. since the beginning. What has changed? Is the prevalence of violent video games making our youth insensitive to mass killing?
It has been 20 years since Columbine, what have we learned? Apparently, nothing, as we have a hard time learning. Violence against immigrants is also nothing new. In Louisville Kentucky 22 people were killed in religious and race induced rioting, 164 years ago. On Bloody Monday Protestant mobs rioted and attacked German and Irish Catholic neighborhoods causing a migration of citizens out of the city. The Protestant Democrats were bitter rivals of the Know-Nothing Party with a large German and Irish support base.
Did Trumps tweets in the last two and a half years suddenly increase race hatred in the country, of course not. The constant misquotes and opinions passing as news stories have not help but are also not totally to blame for the increase in violence and mass shootings.
We have a societal problem that returns every now and again, but this time we have social media platforms and mass media bias fanning the flames. Increased gun control laws are not the answer since a very tiny fraction of legally owned guns are used in the reported gun violence in the country. Will increased background checks or “red-flag” laws help, maybe. But until we look to the underlying cause we will continue to suffer the consequences. Pointing fingers and backing feel-good laws that will accomplish nothing will not replace taking a long hard HONEST look at the problem.

Because History Tells Us So

marx.engels.lenin_.stalin.mao_-300x225

 

Why have we ignored Santayana’s warning that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. To covet truth is a very distinguished passion.” We have seen repeatedly the effect of not learning from the past, ignoring obvious lesions. There is a book I would recommend for all its “Thinking in Time – the uses of history for decision makers.” Using history as business schools use case studies this book tries to show decision makers the how and why of past decisions and their consequences.
These historic studies are relevant and necessary to keep us from falling into known traps, but even with this knowledge we have failed to avoid them. Keeping to recent problems that could have been avoided we will discuss only two, one specific and one broad based.
The affordable care act, known as Obama care is a case in point. While accepting that there is a need to help those who cannot afford reliable healthcare there are much better ways to do it. One of the best ways was to incentivize the private insurance industry through tax breaks. Instead the government decided to simply tax the people that could least afford it and set up a system that did nothing more then look like they were doing something, and in fact set up a system that most who needed it could not afford. The biggest problem that should have been seen is the individual mandate and the assumption that young healthy people will be paying into the system, thereby funding the system for those that are older and sicker. Had the government looked back at the assumptions made in the ‘30s, during the Roosevelt administration, when they started social security. While the concept of Social Security was admirable, a safety net and secondary pension, the reality has shown that it is unstainable. In the beginning there were enough workers paying into the system to cover the costs of the fewer who had retired and were drawing. The system paid out to those collecting, with the tax collected from those working. Today the problem is that we are seeing more demands on the system then can be covered by those paying into it. This in effect is what will happen to Obamacare in the future, especially when the economy is better, as it is now, and less and less people need Obamacare as their employer supplied insurance is better and cheaper. The caveat to this is if it becomes a standard then the employer supplied insurance will go away, as have company paid retirement and pension plans. This we see with the concept of Medicare-for-all. Just as Social Security eventually replaced employer funded pension funds and retirement programs Medicare-for-all is designed to replace private insurance. Just as Social Security has reduced the ability for millions to retire in some comfort, Medicare-for-all will bring down health care for most. How do I know this, history tells us so.
Now for the broader look at history forgotten, socialism. The recent rise of calls for socialist government or turning more toward socialist style programs is, paradoxically, the result of socialisms failure. Let’s define what we mean by socialism, Communism, Nazi, Fascist or whatever the name is socialism. It is the government taking control of all or most of society, personal and economic control of the individual. All means of production is in the hands of the government. It is an economic theory that cannot be applied to government or society as a whole.
Despite the failure of socialist governments such as the Soviet Union, North Korea, Venezuela and others, we lack understanding of why the older ones failed and what is happening to those that still try to exist. Following the Second World War the west was exposed to realities of socialism because of our new-found eyes, television, and the steady stream of information leaking out of the USSR and the eastern block, and the new threat of the North Korean and the Chinese. What happened to all that knowledge? Without a steady stream of information and first hand accounts the truth went to sleep and then the academics took over.
People will usually go for the answer that sounds the best. Socialism sounds great but has always failed to deliver on its promise. Pointing to the wests failures the socialists will say that in a socialist society all people are equal, all have jobs/guarantied income, free housing, free medical and free education. In the west they claim the rich control everything and the rest of society is poor and barely hanging on. Racism is rampant and minorities are held down by a lack of education and a violent police state that denies justice to the poor. To be fair some of these claims have a kernel of truth but rehash historic moments that are not relevant to the current situation. While many of the problems still exist, they are not large or impactful as the socialist tend to shout about. The problem with income inequality shows up as the discrepancy between the wealth of the richest to the wealth of the poorest. The implication is that the rich sit in their mansions and eat all the food available while the rest of the 99% of the country lives in cardboard boxes and eats scraps that are left over from the millionaire’s parties. While poverty exists in the US it effects around 13% of the population, which means 87% of us are above the poverty line. People will struggle and many live paycheck to paycheck but the standard of living is not what the socialist make it out to be.
To listen to the left all black Americans live in poverty and are discriminated against on a daily basis. Does racism and bigotry exist in our country, of course it does. It exists within every country and society in the world, the question is, does it control us as a people and the answer is no. As for poverty 20% of the black population of America lives in poverty as compared to 8% of the white population. This of course is much too high, but it also means 80% of the black population does not live in poverty. According to recent studies while about 52% of whites in America qualify as middle class so do 45% of blacks and 48% of Hispanics. By the way there are non-white millionaires in the US. This of course goes against the current narrative and must be ignored if socialism is to win.
We can go on and on about the facts versus the narrative, but we will stop here. What we do know at this point is that the US has advanced from what it had been, and must continue to move forward. We also accept the fact that there are still problems that must be addressed and dealt with. Socialism does not however hold any answers to solving most of the remaining problems and in fact socialism exasperates these problems.
In the old Soviet Union, there was a large economic disparity, without a middle class. In order to show equality all but the political elites were poor. Crime was cured by lack of a justice system in which accusation equaled conviction. Everyone did however have a job and a place to live regardless of personnel choose. As we move forward in time, we find the same conditions in almost all of the socialist systems to some degree, with the exception of China which adapted a modified capitalist system.
With past and current examples of the abject failure of socialism how are we looking more and more at political leader who want to move us closer to that system and the continued bashing of the capitalist system that has brought the US and other countries so much. Simple by refusing to not learn from the past or to teach the past, as well as having so many distort the past as well as outright lie about the present. Ignoring the pasts failures, we are told to look at present successes such as Sweden. The problem is that Sweden is not a socialist nation but a free market capitalist state. Its experiment into socialism failed and they reversed course. Sweden does have a higher tax rate and many social programs but not like we think of socialism. The government does not control any of the businesses in the country and while they have an excellent education system, they also allow for school vouchers which means private schools. What has helped Sweden and other countries is an open, competitive free market society
Let us stop the ridiculous fantasy of the left and constantly question everyone of their claims and force the truth to shine through. While we are at it lets do something about our schools and make them teach history.

 

The Reason Politicians are Confused by Trump

Trump and Kim

Time for the politicians to once again learn the difference between what they perceive as reality and how the rest of us see it. Two examples are the hearings before the House Oversight Committee with Michael Cohen and the end of the Trump-Kim summit.
I will not waste a lot of time on the Cohen hearings since it was just a political circus not meant to archive anything other then to push forward an agenda. Nothing new was learned from a full day of statements and political attacks from both side. What we were told is what we knew: Donald Trump spent his life as a real estate developer and had for years attempted to build a hotel in Moscow. It never happened and other then Trump associates saying they tried to get it done is a nothing. Donald Trumps attorney facilitated payments to two blackmailers in order for their stories, true or false, not to tarnish the image of Trump. Since according to Cohen, Trumps personnel money was used this is again a nothing. The rest of the time was spent on rumors and innuendo as well as personnel attacks by the members on Cohen and each other. Paying hush money is not a crime and if it was to enhance the election possibility then it might be a crime except for the fact that it was Trumps personnel money of which there is no limit on use in his own campaign. The only facts that are evident in the hearing are that Cohen is going to jail for perjury and tax evasion. What was gained by this stunt is negligible, those that like Trump, still like him. Those that hate Trump, still hate him, and most everyone else was not tuned in and was not fooled by this Congressional circus.
The other story, one that was buried by the news and through manipulating the timing of the Cohen hearing, was the Trump-Kim summit. It is only front page today because of its perceived failure. This is the story that points out the greater difference and lack of understanding between politicians and the real world. While hoping to achieve the next stage of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula the negotiations ended early because the North Korean leader wanted more then the US was willing to give. The fact that the US then ended the negotiations and left must have come as a shock for Kim who, like the rest of the world, was trained to understand that the West would give into anything just to get a deal. Welcome to true negotiations Mr. Kim. I could make that welcome to most of the politicians and diplomats who have lived in a bubble for years.
Negotiations between people, companies or nations required certain elements. Among these are a give and take with known parameters, a set understanding of the end state and realistic expectations. In this case the North Koreans came with unrealistic expectations of complete sanctions relief while giving only limited movement toward the goal of denuclearization.
The world however has seen in recent years that the US, when negotiating, will accept almost any end state just to have an agreement. The most notable of these is the Joint Comprehensive Plain Of Action, or the Iran Deal. The Iran Deal saw the west give Iran everything it wanted and receiving nothing but empty promises in return. This was apparently the Norths expectation, leaving when it became obvious that there would be no true negotiated end, the US left.
The main stream media immediately called this a diplomatic failure showing Trumps lack of negotiating skill or knowledge of international relationships. Those of us who have been in business, or just life, understand this as reality. When you realize that the negotiation is going no where or that the demands of the person on the other side of the table are more then you are willing to give, you end the negotiation. This is standard when any two people or companies sit down to talk, this is however a sea change in government and diplomatic circles.
This is all part of what Donald Trump has brought to Washington, part of the drain the swamp movement. I fear however, like so many other reform movements, this will run into the wall that is Washington. Conservatives and progressives alike are very resistant to true change. If this change is going to be effective almost all who are a part must be removed, which is highly unlikely.

The Hypocrisy of the West

Stoning

The hypocrisy of the west knows no bounds. The murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a prime example. There is no doubt that the government of Saudi Arabia murdered Khashoggi at their embassy in Turkey, we all accept that as fact. That the world should be outraged is not in question, but that Turkey led the original call for justice is the height of hypocrisy. An opinion piece in Newsweek in September called Erdogan’s Turkey the worlds biggest prison for journalist. While true numbers are hard to come by the estimate is that between one-third and one-half of all journalist imprisoned in the world are sitting in Turkish jail cells.
The murder of Khashoggi was a despicable act, of that there is no question, the reaction however could be said to be excessive when put in the light of other events around the region. The moral outrage from the press and the call for the United States to punish Saudi Arabia is valid, but it has dominated the headlines and has been politicized. The facts are that Khashoggi was a Saudi citizen who engaged in actions that opposed the Saudi government and especially the Royal family, which is a crime in Saudi Arabia. He was technically executed on Saudi territory, inside the embassy, under orders from someone in the Saudi government. While this violates international norms and laws it does not violate Saudi custom of an absolute monarchy. Let’s look at the region.
Staying with Saudi Arabia, criminals can be executed by beheading for crimes that range from murder to adultery and vary from blasphemy to homosexuality. There were 146 executions in Saudi Arabia in 2017 and according to human rights organizations the number rose by over 70% in the first quarter of 2018. The kingdom also imposes other punishments such as stoning and lashes for crimes, all of which violate international norms. The world knows of these barbaric practices and yet continues to ignore them, likely for the sake of oil.
Turkey, once a shining light of democracy in the region, has devolved into a dictatorship where the rule of law is up to the capriciousness of politicians and judges. Based on political beliefs or ethnicity, Turks as well as foreigners are tried and sentenced to long prison terms with no transparency or right to defense. This system has been used to silence and imprison not only journalist but political opponents as well as shut down opposition news papers and news outlets. Foreigners traveling to or transiting through Turkey are subjected to searches of there computers and other electronic devices for anything that may be anti-Turkish and subject to arrest and prosecution if materials are found. While widely publicized in the United States the arrest and detention of US Pastor Andrew Brunson on trumped up charges are just an indicator of how Turkey subverts its laws. Less well know is the case of German journalist Mesale Tolu who was held in detention for months on terrorism charges but was allowed to leave the country in order to leverage the German government. There has been no call from the world or US politicians to punish Turkey.
Iran is without a doubt the worst abuser of human rights in the region if not the world. There is no covering up the crimes, in fact they seem proud of how they treat their citizens. Their interpretation of Islam and sharia law allows them to do so under the guise of religion. There is no free press or even freedom of expression. Recently a young woman in protest stood up and took off her head covering, she has been sentenced to 19 years in jail. Not long ago a 16-year-old was stoned to death for crimes against chastity because she was raped. The war against the Kurds is ongoing, declared terrorist or apostate Kurds are hung every day in Iran, woman are stoned to death and the jails are filled to over capacity by Iranians and foreigners. The jails are filled through the use of closed courts and unknown charges, while the world objects to these actions they are more then willing to allow them to continue in order to do business. There is no outcry for protection of the innocent. While the Trump administration has withdrawn from the Iran deal and reinstated sanctions the rest of the world objects to these actions and continues to deal with Iran.
Iraq has abandoned all pretense of a true legal system and has subverted or ignored its constitution. The highest court in Iraq was to be appointed by the government with apportioned seats so that all of Iraq was included. This has never been done and the court that rules is left over from the Saddam regime. Recent activities have included the illegal attack on Kirkuk and other disputed territories following a legal referendum in the Kurdish region that the central government disapproved. This was preceded by more then a decade of ignoring article 140 of the constitution calling for resolution of the problem. Illegal use of private militias such as the PMF and the suppression of individuals and groups is the norm, and yet the world ignores this in hopes that Iraq can be held together and some how become a functioning democracy.
There are many countries that violate human rights or operate outside of international norms and are ignored by the world, but this must be addressed. The world is getting smaller and cultures are clashing harder. This is not to say there should be a culture war, but moral outrage cannot be a light that is turned on and off for the convenience of governments. Saudi Arabia should be held accountable for the extrajudicial execution of Jamal Khashoggi, it should also be held to account for its barbaric justice system. Turkey and the others as well should be made to address their systems. The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be a key not just a document. It was once said that human history would be much less bloody if we were as upset over the death of millions as we can become over the death of one individual.