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As one journalist states – and I agree – “…the United States of America has the moral duty and legal obligation to go after each and every one of those involved in the illegal acts of butchery in Afghanistan and Iraq, following up and holding them responsible for the consequences of these acts and holding accountable each and every person involved in the decision-making process, however high their position in the pyramid may have been.” The notion of command responsibility seems conveniently absent from the minds of American policy-makers. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, “a wall of impunity surrounds the architects of the policies responsible for the larger pattern of abuses.”
Ah. Let us take a moment to re-read that last sentence. This time focus on the word “architect”. Architect…perhaps as in, Karl Rove, widely known as “The Architect” for Bush’s reelection and subsequent policies? Read the rest of this entry »
There was an interesting story on the INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANS AND INTERSEX ASSOCIATION site. It involved a girl, a lesbian, who was excluded from the school year book because she wore a tuxedo in her photo, but had implications far beyond that mere fact.
The reason I mention the story is because it got me thinking: are there still roles unique to men and women, or do we live, or should live in a genderless society? Obviously when I talk about this issue I am not referring to actual biology but to perceptions in society. In the process of thinking about this subject I tried to think of advantages to certain roles for certain genders, and was faced with quite a difficult time. Therefore I came to the conclusion maybe gender is just a label to allow discrimination, which women are unfortunately but not exclusively subjected to.
I then asked myself legally would it be possible to be genderless, and found a type of answer out quickly thanks to Norrie May-Welby. This individual has become the world’s first legally genderless person thanks to New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages giving into the activist demands. Although a few days later the decision from New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages were told they did not have the power to issue a certificate for a genderless person. Yet still this means the idea legally has been introduced, and likely many ideas when they have entered the minds of people, they are hard to get rid off.
Hence I leave with you with the question: should the human race become genderless? if so why, and if not, why not?
I’ve tried to find a way to link this post to the main subject-matter of this blog, which is, as the title indicates, international law, but so far to no avail. Maybe it’ll come to me at some point. I also thought that maybe I could link it to our secondary theme, international affairs, and although it came a bit closer, it still felt forced. So until I get a good idea on how to do this, I’ll just admit that this post is completely off-subject, but I had such a good day that I could not resist writing about it.
So, as the entry title indicates, I’ve spent my day in Birmingham (UK, not Alabama) to go see the current exposition of Magnum photographer Steve McCurry‘s work. Steve McCurry, if you don’t recognize the name, is famous for his picture of the “Afghan Girl” (see on the right) taken in 1984 in a refugee camp in Pakistan and published in National Geographic in – if my memory is correct – 1985. The photograph of the “Afghan Girl” is one of the best known pictures in the world, especially due to the extraordinary blue-green eyes of the girl, as well as a look that said more than words can express. Not to compare the incomparable, but when it comes to gazes, I think the “Afghan Girl” could give the Mona Lisa a run for her money.
The exposition is very nice. It’s all in one big room with McCurry’s pictures from around the globe, although he seems to have spent most of his career in Asia, and particularly Afghanistan in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. His photos are incredible. The portraits he takes, the magnificient colors that come out of his pictures… Sometimes I had to wonder if the photos hadn’t been “photoshop-ed”. But apparently not. His photos are just extraordinary in that sense.
There’s also a video on how he managed to track down the “Afghan Girl” in the 2000s, 17 years after the original picture had been taken. The movie is interesting, even though it’s very “American” in its way of exaggerating the “suspense” of his search (“Will he find her this time? Is it really her? Stay tuned after the break!” – well, no commercial break obviously in a museum, but you get the idea).
So if you are in Birmingham and have an hour to kill, I’d strongly recommend you going to see this exposition. One hour is enough to see the pictures, and the entrance is free. The Museum is in the centre, right at the end of New Street and next to the City Council building.
And I’m still looking for a way to link this post to international law/affairs in a credible manner. Hit the comments if you have an idea.
For this blog’s first post, it is somewhat ironic that it does not cover international law per se, but I thought this was interesting enough to mention. I noticed a week ago an article in Le Monde (France’s newspaper of reference) that talked of a recently published study that showed that chimpanzees were capable of going to war to conquer territory, killing members of other communities.
So, are chimpanzees capable of ethnic cleansing too? The news keeps getting better and better.