Visitation Rights for Convicted Genocide Perpetrators?

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii On July 26, notorious (at least in Cambodia) Khmer Rouge jailer Kaing Guek E= av was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the deaths of 14,000 C= ambodians. Eav’s conviction was met with widespread dismay and disappointme= nt (See Seth Mydans, Prison Term for Khmer Rouge Jailer Leaves many Dissatis= fied, The New York Times, A4, July 27, 2010). One of Eav’s victims stated, “We are victims two times, once in Khmer Rouge t= ime and now once again … His prison is comfortable, with air conditioning,= food three times a day, fans and everything … I sat on the floor with fil= th and excrement all around.” Eav has something else that his victims did not have, certainty. He has cer= tainty that he will not die at the whim of another. Certainty that he will n= ot face torture. And certainty


Peace in Afghanistan? But at What Cost?

A topic that has been percolating in the news forthe past few months has now come to a head; a proposal to have the Afghanistangovernment meet with Taliban leaders to work out a peace agreement to stop theviolence in Afghanistan. This morning, a news report on NPR brought adisturbing trend in the peace talk preparation to light; that women’s rightsare possibly being ignored for the sake of an expedient deal. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128493070 The article, albeit brief, mentions that Afghanwomen’s rights and protections that they enjoy under the constitution ofAfghanistan are likely being ignored or are being bargained away as PresidentHamid Karzai plans to meet with the most militant and radical members of theAfghan Taliban. Let’s not forget the atrocitiescommitted against women while the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to2001. New stories are replete withstories about victims in Afghanistan regions where Taliban insurgents are incontrol. For example, in 2008, Talibanmilitants sprayed acid


Relativism and the N

I tend to have differing political views than most New Yorkers (well, at least those New Yorkers that I come into contact with at work and at school). For instance, I did not (gasp!) vote for Obama in the recent presidential election and I am not enamored with him — not as a man and certainly not as the president. Nevertheless, I don’t attack those who adore him, and I never did. I never asked his supporters how they had the nerve to support him and his views. I never insinuated that a vote for him is a vote for the downfall of America. The other side all too often failed to reciprocate, and I typically didn’t care. Until… I was having dinner with friends a few weeks ago and, for better or worse, the conversation strayed into the land of politics. Someone relatively new to the group (or at


THE FALLACY THAT IS SKIN COLOR

The rumor mill in the White House is just as extensive as the one in Hollywood.  It’s astonishing how one video clip of an FDA employee who happened to be dark skinned, talking about a light skinned family, posted on a conservative blog by Andrew Brietbart as proof of this employee being racist, during the tea party vs. white house debate as to who is more racist, would result in the forced resignation of this employee, Shirley Sherrod, before anyone considered that the video was just a clip and not the entire speech.  Now I could take the time to talk about this incident more thoroughly, who she is, what she said, what “they” said.  But I’m not going to do that.  You can just do what obviously many pushing her to resign didn’t do, google it.  For me, it’s shocking that things even got this far.  Ironically the full


Making Money From Misery: The New Norm?

In July of this year Goldman Sacs announced that it would be paying over five hundred million dollars SEC to settle an investigation alleging that Goldman defrauded and misled customers by marketing funds that it anticipated to collapse and little of the subprime mortgage crisis. Goldman intentionally marketed it’s Abacus fund which was comprised of contracts of bad mortgages to investors while having knowledge that the investment fund would collapse as a result of the projected rate of default on the mortgages. Goldman Sacs purchased insurance against the Abacus fund in hopes that when the fund did fail they investment firm would recoup more capital on the insurance then what the fund was initially worth. From Goldman’s perspective their success depended on the demise of their clients investments; the more money that was invested in the fund from the clients the higher the insurance payout to the firm if and


Roman Polanski: Poet and Pervert

Switzerland’s refusal to extradite Roman Polanski for his rape of a 13-year-old girl 33 years ago has elicited mixed reactions. Some allow Polanski’s genius as an artist and award-winning director to eclipse his heinous crime, choosing instead to characterize it as a minor lapse in judgment. Others continue to demand a pound of Polanski’s flesh and decry his celebrity as the real reason that Switzerland chose to fly in the face of its extradition treaty. Woody Allen, perhaps feeling a special kinship with Polanski because of their creative ties and his own sex scandal, recently rallied to the 76-year-old’s defense, arguing that he had already paid his debt to society and earned his freedom. There is no question that Polanski is a cinematic poet and perhaps on the surface it is hard to reconcile his talent with his admission that he plied a young girl with alcohol and then sexually


DEATH PENALTY DEBATE AND FORGIVENESS

Currently, only 58 nations actively practice death penalty, and 134 countries virtually, legally abolished it. The position about death penalty can vary on the basis of cultural, political and religious background. In the European Union member states, Article 2 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of death penalty. However, the People’s Republic of China, India, some states of United States apply the death penalty. It is still a matter of active controversy in many countries including S. Korea. The death penalty debate in S. Korea has been based on its political misuse. The abolitionist movements seem to be a result of political leadership. In February 1998, President Dae-jung Kim(the Nobel peace prize winner) who had been sentenced to death in 1980 for a political reason declared an unofficial moratorium on execution. 23 people were executed in December 1997. That was the last executions


Hollywood Silence Implies Acceptance of Gibson’s Violence

Anyone who is even vaguely aware of Hollywood news and celebrity gossip could not have missed the extensive drama surrounding Mel Gibson currently. For those who are unaware, Gibson was dating Oksana Grigorieva and the two had a daughter together about 8 months ago. They have since split and have been involved in a bitter custody battle. Within the last week or so, at least 4 tapes have been released of Gibson screaming at Grigorieva, threatening her life, and telling her she deserves every bit of violence that may come to her. Additionally, these recordings are laced with a variety of racial epithets. It has also come to light that Gibson at one point punched Grigorieva, while she was holding their daughter, causing her to lose teeth and need extensive dental work. Everyone should agree that this verbal and physical abuse are domestic violence and unacceptable. Also, his words while


The Murder and the Passersby

By: Shuying Wang On May 16th, 2010, around 9:30pm, a 23-year-old Chinese woman was raped and beaten by a sharp metal swing/pipe, and died one week later in Flushing of New York. The woman came to USA as a student just two months before her death, and worked in a nail salon to save money for her law school study. A Mexican drunk man dragged her into an alley along the road, smashed her head with a pipe and raped her. However, several surveillance video cameras showed that at least 2 or 3 people ignored the victim’s cry for help during the twenty minutes. Here, I hope that the murderer will be punished as soon as possible. He deserves the worst punishment in this world from the revenge perspective. But what I want everybody to perceive today are that when the murderer beat the victim’s head for more than 50


Nuremberg and Tokyo: A Brief Comparison after 65 Years

When the World War IIand the Pacific War were over, two international courts were established inNuremberg and in Tokyo, respectively, to prosecute the war criminals in NaziGermany and Imperial Japan. 60 years later, however, the two countries arestarkly different when it comes to the public attitude towards theatrocities committed during the war. Within Germany (infact, in the entire European Union) denial of the Holocaust is a crime. Iran’spresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is massively unpopular in the EU not only fromIran’s nuclear program. His denial of the Holocaust – combined and his remarksthat he wanted to wipe Israel off from the map – surely has contributed to hisbad reputation. It seems that the lessons of the Nuremberg are firmlyintegrated into the legal and political order in Europe. In Japan, however,political leaders have been repeatedly denying or playing down the reality ofits war crimes toward its Asian neighbors. Japanese authorities have neitherofficially admitted