Noam Chomsky Weighs In On Syria Strike

By Ryan Grim in Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — A U.S.-led attack on Syria without United Nations support would be a war crime regardless of congressional approval, Noam Chomsky, the antiwar activist and author, said in response to President Barack Obama’s announcement that he would seek Hill approval.

“As international support for Obama’s decision to attack Syria has collapsed, along with the credibility of government claims, the administration has fallen back on a standard pretext for war crimes when all else fails: the credibility of the threats of the self-designated policeman of the world,” Chomsky told HuffPost in an email.

Chomsky recently traveled to the region to learn more about the Syria crisis, and his comments there led some to believe he was open to military intervention if negotiations failed to produce peace. “I believe you should choose the negotiating track first, and should you fail, then moving to the second option” — backing the rebels — “becomes more acceptable,” he said.

But his comments to HuffPost indicate that he remains opposed to any military action that came without U.N. approval.

“[T]hat aggression without UN authorization would be a war crime, a very serious one, is quite clear, despite tortured efforts to invoke other crimes as precedents,” he added.

Liberals more associated with the establishment than Chomsky, who have nevertheless tended to be critical of the president’s foreign policy, cheered his decision to involve Congress as a step away from an increasingly imperial presidency and toward more democratic accountability of war making.

Chomsky upended the field of linguistics with a devastating critique of B.F. Skinner in 1959 that changed the way people think about human cognitive development. He has led a parallel career as a leading anarcho-syndicalist author, historian and activist.

Palestinian bid for upgraded UN status

BBC News Middle East

The emblem of
The emblem of (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
President Abbas received a standing ovation when he delivered the Palestinian application for full member state status to the UN in September 2011

The Palestinians plan to ask the United Nations to upgrade their status to become a “non-member observer state” on 29 November 2012.
It follows a failed bid to join the international body as a full member state in 2011 because of a lack of support in the UN Security Council.
Here is a guide to what is likely to happen and its significance. Continue reading “Palestinian bid for upgraded UN status”

Blog Competition

?Green bloggers: win a trip to Brazil to cover World Environment Day 2012, on June 5!?

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), in partnership with?TreeHugger, is yet again sponsoring a free trip to Brazil for a winning blogger to write, blog and tweet aboutWorld Environment Day.
Bloggers are invited to enter competition via online submissions of blog articles on the Green Economy. The top ten bloggers, selected by a UNEP-TreeHugger?jury, will be invited to a second round of blogging ? blogdown!
The winner of this online showdown (blogdown) will be determined by an online community via the World Environment Day website. Readers will ?like? any of the posts in order to win an extra vote for their favourite blogger.
The blogger who accumulates the most votes by the end of April 2012 wins the competition and will be invited to blog about World Environment Day in Brazil.

What?s included?

Flights, accommodation, visa costs and travel within Brazil to WED events will be covered.

Timing:

World Environment Day is on June 5th, 2012. The contest winner will be flown to Brazil for about three days, beginning June 3rd and ending June 6th 2012. Short-listed and winning posts will be published on?TreeHugger?and the World Environment Day websites.

Costs:

Entrants will be expected to ensure they are able to travel to Brazil for the duration and cover any other costs (e.g. vaccinations).