United States Court of Appeals Denies Trump’s Travel Ban

The controversial decree signed by President Donald J. Trump banning refugees and restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter in the U.S. was declined by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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President of United States Donald J. Trump

Mr. Trump signed the Executive Order 13769 under the name of “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”resulting in the suspension of this decree on 3rd February. The U.S. Court of Appeals on 9th February unanimously rejected President Trump’s attempt to re-apply it

From this declarations, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

This victory should not lead to complacency. This and other Trump administration orders and policies still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others.”  

Three judges supported arguments in order to keep the suspension of the traveling ban and Mr. Trump said he would take the case to the Supreme Court.

Trump defend his travel ban and accused the judiciary branch of becoming “political” during an address to the Washington, D.C.conference of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He also made references to his current measures related to the electoral campaign:


“One of the reasons I was elected was because of law, order, and security.”

Mr. Trump talks directly to the American people, Courts of Appeal and to the Opposition:


“You are great men and women, and we have to allow you to do your jobs, and we have to give you the weapons that you need […] they are trying to taking away from you, because of politics, or political views.”


In those statements, he is calling for Americans to understand the travel ban as a tool for increment security and jobs. Then Trump alleged the possibility of the Courts of being influenced by the opposite party in its decisions. 

This article from The Guardian informs about Trump called for surveillance against mosques and support the idea of establishing a database for all Muslims living in the United States. This ideology has led Trump wants to the shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until he was able to figure out how to attack horrendous threats by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life, in his own words.

Trump’s executive order of the travel ban restriction proposed (also applied to permanent US residents, like green-card holders and foreign visitors) the imposition of a 90-day ban on travelers from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lybia, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq, according to the Telegraph

However, the ban is not applied to Christians of these countries. 

Trump’s executive order has been strongly criticized by many people, as the Court of Appeals alleged that the travel ban has nothing to do with the reach of ‘national security’:

The decision to ban people from seven-Muslim majority countries to enter the United States will give further arguments to extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, and will not guarantee national security.”


By Alejandro Martínez, Marina Barberá and Alba Tissera.

THE MIDDLE EAST SITUATION; A PERSPECTIVE FROM A NORWEGIAN OFFICER WORKING FOR NATO

 

Lieutenant Colonel Tore Bade is a Norwegian officer who currently works for NATO at the NATO headquarters in Turkey (Izmir). He works with Military Cooperation, helping with military training.

He has been working for the Norwegian Armed Forces for more than 32 years, and has participated in missions in such places as Lebanon (1990-91), Iraq (1992-93), Rwanda (1995), Bosnia 1997-98), Kosovo (2002-03), Iraq (2006), Afghanistan (2008), and Egypt (2010-2011 during the revolution.tore nao

Centering ourselves in one of his missions, we could highlight the one in Iraq, between 1992 and 1993, where he also worked for the United Nations with UNICEF and UNHCR, helping the refugees.

Tore spent half of the year in Bagdad and the other half in Kurdistan in the North of Iraq, right after the first gulf war and the invasion of Kuwait. This was the moment when Iraq was settled under the international sanctions.

Some years later he went back to this country (exactly in 2006) this time, helping in the training of Iraqi soldiers.  In this mission, several of his comrades in arms were killed, when their military base was attacked up to fifteen times a day with rockets and mortars.

Tore affirms that probably the most difficult part of a mission is not being contending, but being apart from his wife and his four children;   << When I look back, I think that this is one of the most silly things I ever did. Volunteering to go to on missions means volunteering to be far away from my family >>

When Tore went to Iraq for the first time, the only way of communication with his family was by satellite.  He had to pay ten dollars per minute of call. The second time he was in the country, the army paid the calls, but he could just call home once per week or every ten days.

He reaffirms; << Even sometimes I think I have been selfish and stupid, every time I go back home I try to compensate the time I have been away, and I appreciate it much more>>.

For Tore Bade, frankly speaking, there is not always a great deal of idealism from his point of view in his work. He believes that many military personnel want to “live the experience they have been training for”, therefore, they mostly go to the battlefield to corroborate that they are able to do their work and function when someone is shooting at them or bombs are falling. It is a bit like a fireman, who trains to work in burning houses. You really want to know if you can do the job.

Talking now about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization we should bear in mind that they also work with countries which are not in the NATO, willing to help maintain stability in them, and to encourage democracy, transparency and confidence building.   A great example in this case, is Jordan (one of few stable countries at the moment in the Middle East). NATO has an excellent partnership with Jordan and assists the Jordanian military forces, introducing them to the NATO way of doing business, and therefore, also helping to reinforce the stability of the country. This helps Jordan to maintain security on its borders, and reinforces stability in the region as a whole.

NATO uses its resources many ways, also to encourage transparency in terms of military budgets and tries to help implement democratic values, so it is not just a military labor but they also help the countries to become more open to the international community. Moreover, they teach leadership, showing military officers to “lead by example”.

<< If you want soldiers to respect you and to do things in the right way, you, as their commander, should be the first person to do the difficult and dangerous duties as well.
This does not happen in all countries; instead, officers and non-commissioned officers are afraid themselves. >>

Centering ourselves in the Middle East situation , Tore believes that there is a big problem taking place in the region right now, and that it will have a very big impact not just in the region, but in Europe and in fact, the whole world.  He affirms that problems that exacerbate the situation may be issues like a lack of democracy, or freedom of speech, which unfortunately helps to generate discontent. The problems also relate to Europe and will require many years to fix.

Many influential people say that this is the beginning of the third world war, Tore is optimistic. Even though, he believes that stopping terrorism is not possible over night.

<<One cannot militarily destroy  all of them, even if one could for a while, it will keep coming back, so to win will require a long term approach with a lot more than military resources.
We are unfortunately going to experience terrorism for many years to come. Terrorists serve themselves from the hopelessness of the people.  Life as we know it is going to change. We will need much more security, much more surveillance, and this means that people living in the western countries will have to get used to a very different way of life. We will have television cameras, many police checking, a very different security situation….
>>

 

Lucía Rodríguez Lara ; IR Student (Universidad Europea de Madrid)

Syria’s Faith

What would happen if the legit government of Al Assad falls, the following article takes a step forward trying to forecast the most plausible scenarios that the fall of Al Assad could carry on.

For a very long time, Syria has been in religious conflict with a lot of countries and also in oil deals with others. If this should come to an end, what would be the consequences? Positive, negative or both? Even though such prediction will not happen in such a near future, it is of our interest to show some possibilities and the advantages or disadvantages of this hypothetical future.

Part of Golan Heıghts landscape

Part of Golan Heıghts landscape

Syria’s most notable starter was the war against Israel in 1973 in an attempt to retake the Golan Heights with Egypt, which they failed. It led them to sign a disengagement deal. During the war, Syria sent troops to Lebanon to intervene in the civil war, to maintain the minorities in power. Afterwards, riots began uprising in Iran, which led Syria to stress adherence to Iran. But tension rose with the US mostly at the beginning of the 21st century, whom President Bush at the time declared them as ‘’axis of evil’’ states. They were accused of acquiring weapons of mass destruction in Damascus. A year later in 2003 Syria denies having chemical weapons, as well as having Iraqis as fugitives. These accusations and threats led to tension between Syria and US, also with the rest of the world.

As the conflict continues in Syria, the possible scenarios for a close future in the region are getting more and more important to visualize them to avoid many of them due to its implication to increase the number of regional conflicts along the Middle East, just like recently the president of Iraq has, Mr. Maliki warned to the possible consequence if Assad government falls. ‘’The killing or removal of President Bashar in any way will explode into an internal struggle between two groups and this will have an impact on the region,” said Mr. Maliki, talking about the already existing conflict along the middle east between Sunni and the Shia. “It will end with civil war and this civil war will lead to alliances in the region. Because we are a country that suffered from the civil war of a sectarian background, we fear for the future of Syria and the whole region.” Mr. Maliki remarked.
The former president of Iraq has not been the only one concerned over what the plausible scenarios could be if Al

Bashar Al Assad, Presıdent of Syrıa

Bashar Al Assad, Presıdent of Syrıa

Assad’s regimen falls, the current conflict in Syria has been described to be a danger to all minorities that live along the region, this conflict has been nothing but a try out to change the neutral and balanced government to a political Shia extremist governance where whoever doesn’t follow the belief of the Wahhabi/Salafist sect might have just a few options as to become one, to pay a high tax to be able to keep their belief or to be killed as a recent interview held by the widely known Sky News to some western backed up terrorist wrongly called ‘’freedom fighters’’.

The independent news source ‘’National Catholic REPORTER’’ which is a independent newspaper journalistic outlets for Catholics has recently been warning about the deadly consequence that the fall of Al Assad would carry out for the Catholics and minorities in Syria and the region, which they describe as ‘’being worse than anyone could even imagine’’. The most recent interview to a Syrian Christian shows how have they been losing their rights and freedom that they use to be before the extremist Islamists got into Syria soil, as described along the interview held on July 27.

That is the reason we strongly believe that at any alternative scenario that could take place if Al Assad falls would bring just more instability, insecurity, an increase of bloody tribal/sectarian wars leading to civil wars along the region, creating bigger instabilities along the middle east, leading to probably new western invasion to more Arab countries, using the false flag of democracy and freedom.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14703995

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/8934317/Syria-fall-of-Bashar-al-Assad-will-bring-war-to-Middle-East-warns-Iraq.html

http://www.linktv.org/mosaic/blog/post/1256/if-bashar-falls-what-will-happen-to-syrias-alawites-and-kurds

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/syrian-wyd-if-assad-falls-ill-leave-countryhttp://world.time.com/2012/07/24/five-syrian-nightmares-the-mideast-cant-live-with-assad-but-living-without-him-wont-be-easy/

Interview with Marta Triggiano, Project Manager of the Italian NGO “Un ponte per”.

Marta Triggiano is project manager of the Italian NGO “Un ponte per“, which is operating in Jordan and Northern Iraq to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees.

I contacted the NGO hoping to get an interview with Miss Triggiano, since I am particularly interested in the ongoing Syrian conflict and specifically in the humanitarian assistance that is being provided to the Syrian refugees who have been forced to leave their homes. The NGO, called “Un ponte per” promptly provided me with Marta Triggiano’s contact and I was able to get a phone interview with her. She gave me and in-depth analysis of the lives of the refugees, explained me how the host countries’ Governments and civil populations are dealing with them, and also clarified the relations between the refugees and the Syrian Rebels.

Giovanni Baldoni:  What is the general situation of Syrian refugees in Northern Iraq and Jordan in terms of basic necessities and possible ways out?

Marta Triggiano: The situation is worsening every day. The number of Syrian refugees is increasing steadily both in Jordan and Northern Iraq but also in other neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt. Even though it is true that over the last couple months the humanitarian response to help the refugees has augmented, the services provided by Humanitarian actions are not enough to address all the needs of the refugees, which are mostly basic needs like water, food, basic health assistance, medical treatment, and education for children. Many of the refugees coming from Syria have been directly targeted by the violence, but some of them who are not directly targeted by the conflict, still have to flee Syria because they have lost access to primary needs such as food and water and basic services such as health care.  Some of them haven’t eaten anything since several days and there are some serious health cases. People that flee their countries are in need of everything, the primary needs of course, but also that kind of needs we don’t usually think of, as for example access to information, available services and orientation to live in a new country.

Giovanni Baldoni:  Was collaboration offered by Jordan and the Iraqi government satisfactory in terms of material and logistic support?

Marta Triggiano: Both the Jordanian and the Iraqi Government, or to better say, the Kurdistan Regional government (KRG), have so far guaranteed a policy of open borders which is absolutely positive. The situation within Iraq is more complicated because there are three main crossing points on the borders between Iraq and Syria. Two of them are constantly closed, then there is another one which is open most of the time, which is the one used by most of the Syrian refugees. This crossing is located in the northern part of Iraq bordering Syria, within the Kurdistan Region under the control of the KRG. In Jordan there are two or three official frontiers to cross into Syria, but there are also several passages where people can cross illegally and a high number of refugees are actually doing so. In terms of response, the Jordanian government since the very first day allowed Syrian refugees to register with the UNHCR, the UN high commissioner for refugees, and therefore to get free access to public hospital, public health centers as well as public schools.  In the KRG (the Kurdish Regional Government), most of the refugees are registered with the UNHCR and with the immigration department of the KRG and by doing so they can obtain a 6 months permit of stay which is a very good achievement because this permit allows them to work and to ensure a kind of livelihood which is very difficult. In both countries the best solution for both governments would be in any case to have all refugees into refugee camps, which is not an easy-to-apply solution. But keeping the refugees all together, within the limits of possibility, is definitely an easier way to get the international community to give them support.

Giovanni Baldoni:  What is the attitude of Jordan and Iraqi public opinions towards the Syrian Refugees?

Marta Triggiano: The situation varies quite a lot depending if we speak about the Kurdish Region or Jordan. Most of the Syrian refugees that seek protection in Kurdistan are of Kurd ethnicity so there is a kind of ethnic affiliation between the refugees and the local population. As for Jordan, the nation has hosted in the last years hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees, and the fact has to be taken into account, that a high percentage of the Jordan population consists of Palestinian refugees, which make Jordan a country of refugees and because of this reason Jordanian people have shown in the last months and years an extraordinary solidarity towards all people in need and refugees. The Jordanian population is absolutely generous. The problem is not a matter of generosity by the Jordanians, the issues is unfortunately of another nature. The number of Syrian refugees in Jordan has now reached half a million and by the end of this year they will be more than one million inside Jordan, whose whole population is of only  6 million people. How can a country host a number of refugees equal to one sixth of its own population? It’s a big burden on the Jordan people. Furthermore most of Jordanian host communities which are helping Syrian refugees are in really poor areas, where life is difficult, where there is a high rate of unemployment and huge problems especially in terms of resources, for example water which is a main issue in Jordan. This is why the international community has to support the countries that are giving help to the refugees, because they are reaching if they haven’t already reached the highest capacity of bearing this burden.

Giovanni Baldoni: What are the expectations and hopes of Syrian refugees as to the Syrian Civil War? Do anti-Assad rebels have relations with them?

Marta Triggiano:  Syrian refugees are escaping Syria from all regions of the country; therefore the refugee population is quite diverse. Most of the middle class Syrian refugees found a refuge in Lebanon. The Kurds are escaping towards the Kurdish region in Iraq. Syrians from the Northern areas are fleeing mainly to Turkey. As for those of them that are leaving Syria through the southern border and therefore entering Jordan, they mostly come from rural areas of Dar’a and Damascus. These are very poor areas where over the last years and decades the opposition to the regime of Basar al Assad has always been very strong, this is the reason why most of the refugees in Jordan support the opposition, they are absolutely against the regime and many of them also support the idea of an armed conflict against the regime. Over the last few weeks we’ve also witnessed an increasingly high number of refugees, especially those that are in the biggest refugee camp in Jordan, claiming that they want to go back to Syria. Most likely a high majority of them wish to go back and join the rebel groups, the armed opposition groups which are fighting Assad. Also because the opposition armed groups are gaining more and more territories in the south of Syria, where these refugees come from.

 

Giovanni Baldoni.

Military Intervention: Acceptable or not?

The death of Lee Rigby a week ago brought attention to a highly controversial area of international relations, namely: the legitimacy of outside intervention in a country’s internal affairs. Officially, the International Community does not support intervention, unless there are some international interests. This leads to highly controversial decisions taken by some governments.

 

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Courtesy of The Daily Mirror

 

When referring to the international community, the United Nations stands as the beacon of international cooperation. The UN Charter acts as a set of rules for state behavior when engaging other states. However, when it comes to armed intervention, it fails to specifically enunciate an exact principle of non-intervention. It only implies a principle through its Article 2(1) which brings forth the “principle of sovereign equality of all the Member states”. It then goes on to say about peaceful settlement of international disputes in Article 2(3). Article 2(4) stresses out the importance of not using force “against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the U.N.”. Finally Article 2(7) draws boundaries for UN intervention altogether. If we take into account the politics involved in high level negotiations related to the international community, then the controversial nature of these principles is perfectly justified because of the interests of the dominating powers. The UN Security Council has been criticized for a long time for its non-democratic nature.

 

 

One of the murderers, in a short statement, said: “I apologize that women had to witness this today but in our lands, our women have to see the same”. His statement can be easily interpreted in many ways but at first sight, it would seem that he believes that the situation in his country is a justification for his actions in London. This points out the “one sided” nature of Foreign Intervention because developed states have not experienced in their modern histories such events yet they have been involved. Becoming the noble armed actors that fight for the good of the innocents has only created a strong feeling of resentment towards them. They use their military force to impose and dictate standards of living of an alien nature to the populations involved. The armed interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the situation with Syria are proof of how the politics of the “Carrot and Stick” are applied on an international level. However, what governments don’t seem to understand is that sticks generate negative feelings which, directed back at you, can have serious repercussions.

 

The stabbing in France and the decapitation in London which both happened this past week can be considered the result of a long chain of events that culminated in a feeling of general injustice among the people that the International Community was supposed to help. 9/11 seemed to be the first event to show the resentment of populations in poor or developing states towards the rich and powerful. As such, the Interventionist policies have been revised and the question of: “whether or not an intervention is worth the costs” has been gaining more and more popularity among the academics, analysts and politicians. A good example is the conflict in Mali where it was speculated that intervention could worsen the situation. As such, if an intervention increases resentment against a country, should that country proceed to use force or should it struggle to find a diplomatic approach?