BRUSSELS — A man with tattered trousers, tousled hair and a blood-stained T-shirt wanders through a post-nuclear landscape. “Where am I?” he asks a veiled woman. “Belgium,” replies the Muslim lady. “What are those sand dunes over there?” “The Ardennes,” she replies, insinuating that climate change has turned this rain-soaked country into a desert. “And what’s this heap of rubble I’m standing on?” “The remains of the Berlaymont” (the European Commission’s star-shaped headquarters.) Welcome to Europe 2057 — the centenary of the EU’s birth — seen through the eyes of a troupe of Brussels-based correspondents. If last month’s annual EU [...]
HONG KONG — As the ousted dictator Saddam Hussein swung miserably from the gallows there were no shortage of political leaders — past and present, East and West — who were willing to express their dismay or a touch of glee. The political point scoring has abated since the December hanging. However, among the least noted to comment on the execution was a former Khmer Rouge leader, Nuon Chea, who defended the former Iraqi president and claimed “Saddam Hussein had a spirit of national love.” His comments were not surprising. Like Saddam Hussein, Nuon Chea expects to face trial on [...]
Last month, a coalition of self-styled human rights groups, including the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, announced that it had filed a war crimes complaint in Germany against Donald Rumsfeld and thirteen other present or former U.S. officials. Other sponsoring plaintiffs include Germany’s Union of Republican Lawyers (RAV) and the French-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). (The presence of the FIDH among the plaintiffs is particularly noteworthy, since the FIDH is a regular and substantial recipient of EU financing.) Whereas the announcement will undoubtedly have sent Rumsfeld-haters, Bush-bashers and anti-Iraq War activists the world over into raptures, those [...]
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