Is The U.S. Ethically Obligated To Grant Asylum To All Oppressed Women?

In a recent irresponsible statement in reference to the government shut-down over President Trump’s wall, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he didn’t want a border wall to be the symbol of America, that he wanted the Statue of Liberty to be that symbol. In this context, it is impossible to interpret Schumer’s words as anything but a weaselly, wink-wink, coded endorsement of open borders. When the statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886, the U.S. had few limitations on immigration. Non-citizens could vote in most states. The population was about 50 million, or about 1/7 of what it is today. The famous poem by Emma Lazarus,  “The New Colossus,”  is not part of the statue, nor is it official U.S. policy. Today it resides in the Statue of Liberty Museum. In short, it was a different country, with different problems and priorities.

Now comes the terribly sad story of two young Saudi sisters who apparently committed suicide by drowning themselves in the Hudson River rather than return to their country, where women are second class citizens. Should such a story have any relevance at all to U.S. immigration and asylum policy? Should how much a non-citizen wants to live here be a factor in what the U.S. decides is the best criteria for allowing an immigrant to arrive and stay? If the two sisters could be granted asylum because they were women in a culture hostile to women, why not all Saudi women? Why not all Muslim women who are “yearning to be free”? Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Glenn Greenwald

I’m not exactly a fan of lawyer/muckraker/journalist Glenn Greenwald, but I’m getting there. Greenwald certainly has an ideological agenda, and it informs both his choice of topics and the slant of his reporting. However, in an age where the mainstream journalism establishment has made the tragic decision to be largely  a propaganda organization for its one favored political party, and has willfully misinformed the American public in pursuit of that party’s interests, primarily power, Greenwald stands out for his non-partisan approach, his consistent standards, his integrity, and most of all of late, his refusal to participate in counter-factual condemnations of President Trump for conduct that the news media has either shrugged away or tolerated in the past from other Presidents.

Greewald’s latest broadside against the hypocrisy comes in gloriously unrestrained The Intercept piece about the attacks on President Trump for his attitude toward the , Trump’s Amoral Saudi Statement Is a Pure Expression of Decades-Old “U.S. Values” and Foreign Policy Orthodoxies.

The title is true beyond question; I pointed out the same fact here, writing in part regarding the Khashoggi murder and the New York Times editorial calling the Trump administration’s policy response “a guide to how they might increase their standing in the eyes of the American president as well as how far they can go in crushing domestic critics without raising American ire”:

The question of how far the U.S. should go in pursuing its own interests while excusing unethical or immoral acts by foreign governments is an enduring one the stretches at least back to the United States alliance with Stalin in World War II. Outside of the fact that [ the Khashoggi murder] involves a journalist, however, the Trump “guide,” even stated in deliberately pejorative terms, seems to me to vary not one bit from the standards used by previous administrations, including the Obama Administration. China…Cuba…Iran…and yes, the Saudis, who have overseen state-sanctioned brutality and human rights outrages affecting whole classes of people, not just one journalist, for a long as anyone can remember.

Trump’s “new blueprint,” it seems to me, varies from the old blueprint not one bit. Whether the old blue-print is necessary or defensive is another issue.

Well, that was comparatively nothin’ from me as an ethics rebuke, a pea-shooter compared to Greenwald’s  tour-de force. His conclusion is uncompromising and irrefutable: Continue reading

The Khashoggi Murder: In A Realm Of Brutal Utilitarianism, How Is It A Special Case?

 Foreign affairs is always an ethics-gray zone, with complex “ends justify the means” trade-offs amid cultural clashes and uncomfortable alliances are unavoidable. President Trump has apparently decided that the nation’s alliance with Saudi Arabia is more important than taking a hard moral-ethical stand regarding what the CIA has determined was a premeditated murder committed by a member of the Saudi ruling family against a journalist. In foreign policy, such trade-offs are the norm rather than the exception, “Everybody does it” is the operative rationalization because, for centuries, every country does do it. It’s not ethical. It’s practical. The American news media is making this episode  special because a) it involves a journalist, so their interests are skewed and b) it is President Trump, and everything he does must be condemned to further the aims of the resistance.

Here was the Times this morning: Continue reading

The UN Officially Admits It Has No Integrity

"It is true: I am a weenie, and the U.N. can be rolled..."

“It is true: I am a weenie, and the U.N. can be rolled…”

The United Nations’ 2015 “Children and Armed Conflict” report originally listed the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen under “parties that kill or maim children” and “parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals.” Based on the work of U.N. researchers in Yemen, the report attributed 60 percent of the 785 children killed and 1,168 injured to the bombing coalition.

But  Saudi Arabia  threatened to stop its funding of other U.N. projects, so, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted,  the U.N. was revising the report to “review jointly the cases and numbers cited in the text,” in order to “reflect the highest standards of accuracy possible” ….and to “temporarily” remove the Saudi-led coalition countries from the report’s annex in the interest of protecting these programs.

Ban said he made a the difficult decision based on the need “to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would de-fund many U.N. programs.”

“It is unacceptable for member states to exert undue pressure,” Ban said, absurdly. If it is unacceptable, why does the U.N. accept it?

The UN published a factual report, and has now announced that the report will be inaccurate because it yielded to extortion in involving the lives of children.

Corruption. What justification is there to trust an organization that allows a member to do this?

The news media should stop quoting United Nations reports on health, climate change, hunger, or anything else. It has admitted that it can be bullied, pressured and bought. It has no credibility, and should not be treated as if it does.

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Sources: NPR, The Intercept

 

The Clinton Foundation’s Latest Donor Policy Prompts This New Ethics Alarms Policy: Hillary and Bill Clinton Are Henceforth Ineligible For Future “Ethics Dunce” Awards, Since They Both Understand Ethics Very Well— They’re Unethical Because They ChooseTo Be

clinton_foundation

“Making life easy for the Clinton family, and ethics be damned”

I apologize for taking such a long time to figure this out. Upon reflection, it’s been obvious for a long time. I wonder if the Clintons’ fans and supporters understand that their heroes have no respect for ethics? Perhaps they don’t care.

The lightbulb went off for me when it was revealed that the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has changed its policy on soliciting and accepting contributions from foreign governments and has now received millions from foreign governments including Qatar, a prominent backer of Hamas.

Playing stupid (and protecting the Clinton’s flanks the best they can, as is their nature), the Washington Post and other media outlets have written that this raises “ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency.” No, it doesn’t raise any ethical questions at all. This is unethical. It’s blatantly unethical. The Clintons know it’s unethical, but because they are themselves unethical, they are doing it anyway. What’s the question?

At the National Journal, that Passenger Pigeon of journalists, Ron Fournier, correctly calls the decision “sleazy and stupid.” I’m not so sure about stupid, if the only objective is to elect Hillary Clinton, and it is reasonable that Bill and Hillary have concluded that anyone who still supports them care as little about ethics as they doe. Besides, ethics schmethics, LOOK AT ALL THIS MONEY, BILL!

From the Washington Post: Continue reading

Ethics Heroes: The Al Ittihad Soccer Team

Spontaneous  sportsmanship  broke out in a recent international soccer match between Al Nahdha, an Omani soccer club, and Al Ittihad, a Saudi soccer club. I’ll take my encouragement from wherever I can get it these days.

Al Nahdha’s goalkeeper was about to make a clearance early in the second half of a 2-2  tie, but hesitated because his shoelace was untied, and seemed worried that his shoe would fly off. An opposing player, a Brazilian striker named  Jobson, noticed the goalkeeper’s dilemma  and  instead of taking advantage of the soccer equivalent of a wardrobe malfunction, tied his opponent’s shoelace for him. The surprised and grateful goalkeeper slapped Jobson on the back and gave him a high-five as the crowd cheered its approval, then he kicked the ball.

A ref, however, spoiled the moment by signaling that the goalie had delayed the game by taking too long with his clearance. He awarded an indirect free kick to Al Ittihad , and Al Nahdha lined up to defend.  Then, after talking the situation over, the Saudi team took what could have been its shot at a game-deciding goal.
The team just kicked the ball harmlessly past the goal, refusing  the penalty (and rebuking the referee), while also making certain that its earlier good sportsmanship wasn’t rendered pointless by a gratuitous ruling.

The crowd loved it.

I bet I would have too, if I would let myself be caught dead at a soccer match.

[Disclaimer: The title on the video above is the opinion of the video poster, and does not necessarily represent the views of Ethics Alarms.]

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Pointer: Jonathan Turley