Category: Global

US Sanctions Approach A Blockade
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US Sanctions Approach A Blockade

Photo: Ilustration,  source: Industry Week

Jayakartapos,  On September 20, the Trump administration sought to completely shut Iran out of the international financial system by imposing new sanctions on its Central Bank.
The Central Bank sanctions are complicating Iran’s efforts to import food and medicine, producing effects comparable to a blockade of the country.

The move continues a trend in which the Trump administration uses terrorism-related sanctions to pressure Iran’s civilian economy.

The Central Bank sanctions could prompt further Iranian provocative actions such as the September 14 attack on Saudi critical energy infrastructure.

On September 20, the Trump administration announced the latest step in its campaign to apply ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran’s economy to compel Iran’s leadership to negotiate a more favorable nuclear deal than the 2015 multilateral agreement that the Trump administration abandoned. The Treasury Department designated Iran’s Central Bank as a terrorism-supporting entity under Executive Order 13224. The new sanctions go beyond existing provisions that bar all U.S. transactions with Iran’s Central Bank or penalize foreign banks that deal with it. Simultaneously, under the same Executive Order, the Treasury Department sanctioned an Iranian sovereign wealth fund, the National Development Fund of Iran, on the grounds that it is furnishing funds to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The fund primarily has been used by its leadership to pay for rural electrification and agricultural projects.

The designation of Iran’s Central Bank as a terrorism supporter continues a trend exhibited in the past several months in which the Trump administration has designated a wide range of Iran-related economic actors as terrorist entities. The administration asserts that any Iranian entity that provides funding for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the unit of the IRGC that supports pro-Iranian governments and Iranian proxies in the region, should be designated a terrorism supporter. Typically, it is more difficult for any administration to justify ‘delisting’ a terrorism entity than it is to remove sanctions on entities designated for such activities as proliferation or human rights abuses. Hundreds of Iranian entities were delisted from sanctions to implement the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, but none was an entity designated on the grounds of supporting terrorism. And, perhaps most significantly, a terrorism supporting sanctions (terrorism) designation does not contain a humanitarian exemption, which many other sanctions regimes include to avoid undue harm on civilian populations in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

As was likely intended, the additional sanctions on the Central Bank have had a chilling effect on global banks and firms that hold Iranian Central Bank accounts or conduct transactions with it. And the effect on Iran is dramatic because much of Iran’s nearly $100 billion in foreign exchange assets is held in Central Bank accounts around the world, and the Central Bank is involved in many currency clearing operations that Iran engages in. Therefore, the new sanctions essentially shut the Central Bank out of the international financial system, including for the processing of transactions for humanitarian items (food, medicine, and medical equipment). As a result, in early October, press reports indicated that large numbers of shiploads carrying agricultural goods were unable to offload at Iran’s ports because of difficulties arranging payments for their cargo. The payments difficulties illustrate the degree to which global banks are shying away from any transaction with Iran, because of the potential to trigger U.S. sanctions and/or cause other reputational and financial damage.

By not providing a blanket humanitarian exception, the new Central Bank sanctions arguably amount to a virtual U.S.-led blockade of the country. A blockade is considered an act of war under international law, but the Trump administration argues that this analogy is inappropriate because U.S. ships are not physically enforcing a blockade of Iranian ports or denying Iran the use of its airspace. Nonetheless, the effect is similar. The humanitarian effects of the new Central Bank sanctions are likely to attract the attention of human rights and humanitarian groups worldwide, creating substantial sympathy for Iran. That pressure could cause the Trump administration to issue new guidance making clear that transactions with the Iranian Central Bank for purely humanitarian items will not be sanctioned, although some close observers see this as unlikely. Absent such guidance, the potential for Iran to undertake action that leads to hostilities with the United States is substantial. With well-armed proxies active throughout the Middle East, Tehran has a wide range of options to produce a region-wide conflict that even the extensive deployment of U.S. military power would have difficulty bringing to a clear and favorable conclusion (TSC)

Civilian Casualities and The Struggle For Transparency
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Civilian Casualities and The Struggle For Transparency

Jayakartapos,  Since 2001, the U.S. has waged ground wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while also waging an ongoing and seemingly-without-end global ‘war on terror’ To wage those wars, thousands of airstrikes by both manned planes and unmanned drones have been conducted even beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, including in Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. These airstrikes have attempted to serve as a substitute for a more robust ground presence, which, among other benefits, protects U.S. military service members from greater harm. For years, the U.S. touted the numbers of ‘militants’ killed in these strikes while external agencies decried a mounting toll of civilian deaths. In the cases where the Pentagon did acknowledge responsibility for errant strikes that killed and maimed civilians, they often followed lengthy and cumbersome denials and heavily caveated official statements.

There are vast differences between civilian deaths the Pentagon has acknowledged, and numbers reported by other organizations. For example, in late January 2019, the Pentagon officially acknowledged 1,190 civilians killed by U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014. For the same time period, Airwars, a well-respected external organization that specializes in counting civilian casualties, report that at least 7,200 civilians were actually killed. How can these estimates be so far apart?

In a notable step toward establishing greater procedures for transparency and accountability in recording civilian deaths resulting from U.S. airstrikes, the Pentagon has been studying the issue for more than a year. On February 4, the Washington Post reported details about a recently completed study which was partially declassified. The report proves that the issue of civilian casualties (CIVCAS) has become a major priority for senior officials. This appears particularly true over the past two years, when the U.S. dramatically increased the scale and scope of its strikes in the mission to counter terrorists and insurgents after President Trump promised to loosen the rules of engagement—under the new rules, troops were no longer required to be in contact with enemy forces before opening fire. The redacted report looks at the strikes conducted in the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command, the two combatant commands where airstrikes are heavily concentrated. The study looked at the years 2015 to 2017, meaning the massive spike in 2018, and the resulting high toll of civilian casualties, is not covered in this report. There is a comprehensive effort in the Pentagon to articulate a new CIVCAS policy aimed to be formalized as early as this year.

The partially declassified report’s first and ‘overarching finding’ states that ‘data from January 2015 to December 2017 indicate there have been temporary increases in the confirmed number of civilians killed and wounded over time.’ The report also concludes that the delegation of targeting engagement authority was not a major factor leading to an increase in CIVCAS during Operation Inherent Resolve, the anti-ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria. The report reiterates that the U.S. military considers it a high priority to minimize civilian casualties. The report notes that there is ‘clear written guidance and oversight regarding civilian casualty mitigation for deliberate and dynamic strikes.’ There is still confusion over what the military considers an ‘acceptable number’ of civilians put at risk from a strike, a number sometimes referred to as the ‘non-combatant value.’

Further muddling the issue of CIVCAS is the targeted assassination of terrorists using pattern of life analysis, a term which refers to the specific behaviors and movements associated with a particular entity over a given period of time. Also known as ‘signature strikes,’ these attacks involve targeting an individual or individuals based on patterns of routine or daily activity by a person or group of persons, typically military age males, that are engaging in behaviors often associated with militant or terrorist activity. Different forms of intelligence can be used to corroborate or triangulate pattern of life analysis, but the concept itself remains highly controversial given its lack of transparency. The families of civilians that might be killed in this manner often have few means and resources to seek justice or an explanation of why a loved one was killed by a missile launched from an unmanned aerial system, or drone. In a reversal of transparency and accountability, in late 2018 the Pentagon stopped releasing information on the locations and timing of strikes in Syria; this makes it far more difficult, if not impossible, for outside agencies to accurately document civilian casualties. Better sharing of information and policy transparency is not just morally correct, but would help the Pentagon limit civilian casualties, an aim it purports to support (TSC).

Persia Bukan Tandinganmu
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Persia Bukan Tandinganmu

oleh : Andi Naja FP Paraga

Pesaing besar Persia dahulu adalah Bizantium Romawi yang memiliki United State yang lebih besar dari yang dimiliki Amerika Serikat saat ini. Namun perjalanan sejarah memastikan Romawi kehilangan kedigdayaannya dan kini hanya menjadi sebuah Negara yang seolah tak memiliki jejak adikuasa di tengah Benua Biru. Persaingan Eksistensi adidaya telah menempatkan Persia menjadi pemenang. Kini Bizantium Persia sejak Tahun 1979 bernama Republik Islam Iran. Nama baru ini menandai berakhirnya kekuasaan Amerika Serikat melalui boneka USA Reza Pahlevi sang sekutu USA yang pernah menjadi Presiden Iran yang dahulu

Amerika Serikat tentu sangat kehilangan muka karena tidak hanya kehilangan mitra besar di Timur Tengah namun mereka merasa kehilangan logika militer. gerakan rakyat yang dipimpin oleh seorang kakek Ayatullah Khomaini telah menghabisi seluruh pengaruh USA di Negeri para Mullah(Ulama) ini tanpa sisa. Sang boneka Reza Pahlevi harus tunggang langgang mengarungi nasib tragisnya. Amerika Serikat tak bisa membayangkan bagaima kekuatan besar yang ia bangun puluhan tahun tumbang tanpa sisa hanya dalam waktu beberapa hari. Dunia pun tercengang karena negara pemimpin blok barat itu harus menerima fakta kehilangan superioritasnya justru ketika penguasaannya terhadap Timur Tengah begitu massif.

Tetapi Negara Imperialis ini mencoba mengakhiri deritanya dengan memanfaatkan Negara yang bertetangga dengan Iran. Pilihannya adalah IRAK sebuah Negara yang dipimpin oleh seorang diktator dari partai Ba’ath bernama Saddam Hussein. Tak pelak USA mendukung perang panjang Irak melawan Iran selama 9 tahun hingga mereka kelelahan karena tak kunjung menang. Saddam Hussein yang dipersiapkan menjadi pemimpin Jazirah Arab oleh USA itu ternyata bukan singa gurun. Ia tak lebih dari seekor keledai yang diharuskan menjadi singa bahkan lebih suka menghabisi lawan politiknya sendiri didalam negeri. Saddam Hussein gagal total bahkan menyeret negaranya pada krisis panjang. Saddam Hussein pun ditinggalkan Amerika Serikat dan mencoba menutupi kekecewaannya dengan menginvasi Kuwait.

Saddam Hussein menerima tulah besar karena Invasinya ke Kuwait menjadi papan luncur kejatuhannya. Kuawait juga merupakan Sekutu Amerika Serikat yang masih dalam bulan madu. Negara Kecil namun kayak minyak dan gas itu adalah jarahan baru yang menggiurkan sementara Irak sudah porak poranda akibat perang selama 9 tahun melawan Iran. Amerika Serikat tahu persis bagaimana menghadapi Saddam Hussein dan bagaimana menghadapi Sistem Militer yang mereka bangun sendiri puluhan tahun di Irak. Untuk itu USA mengundang semua sekutunya di Nato menghancurkan seluruh Fasilitas Senjata Nuklir dan berbalik 360 derajat menuduhkan semua perbuatan jahannam mereka kepada Saddam Hussein dan menjadi alasan kuat mereka untuk mengakhiri kekuasaan Bonekanya sendiri di Irak.

Tetapi mimpi besar mereka untuk menguasai kembali Iran tetap menjadi tekad USA dari presiden ke Presiden. Namun Iran sudah menetapkan USA adalah setan besar yang harus dihadapi dengan segala cara bahkan Negeri Para Mullah ini dengan tegas mengatakan setiap upaya USA di Timur Tengah harus dilawan walaupun bukan berada di Wilayah teritorial Iran. Upaya Amerika Serikat membangun ISIS selama 40 tahun dan mencoba untuk memporak porandakan Irak dan Suriah digagalkan Iran bekerjasama dgn Irak dan Suriah dalam waktu 4 tahun. Amerika Serikat mencoba menginvasi Yaman dengan menggunakan Arab Saudi sebagai sekutu loyalnya walaupun telah mengirim tentara bayaran yang mahal, namun tak mampu menaklukan Yaman bahkan kini Saudi Arabia harus menerima fakta bahwa Wilayah Negerinya yg berbatasan dengan Yaman menjadi sasaran Perang Militer Yaman.

USA semakin Panik dan semua sekutunya di Timur Tengah tentu wajib membantu Ambisi majikan besar mereka. Ketika IUSA menyatakan Perang terhadap Iran lewat Donald Trump dan mulai melakukan Pressure di Selat Harmous namun tak bisa berbuat apa-apa,sementara drone mata-mata USA hancur berkeping-keping di Langit Iran dihajar Senjata Iran membuat nyali Donald Trump menciut. Didalam Negeri mereka(USA)antaran Presiden bersama Petinggi Militernya berbeda pendapat dengan PENTAGON yg menyimpulkan bahwa perang melawan Iran adalah kealahan besar sambil menerangkan analisis militernya. Beberapa Negara Eropa meminta USA mempertimbangkan dengan matang karena hancurnya drone mata-mata Super Canggih USA merupakan Signal buruk bagi USA.

Eropa adalah Sejarah Bizantium Romawi dan pasti tau bahwa yang dihadapi Amerika Serikat kini adalah Generasi Bizantium Persia. Jika Amerika Serikat tak ingin menjadi sejarah pahit jilid II sebaiknya menahan diri. AMERIKA SERIKAT adalah Cerminan Eropa dan dapat dikatakan USA adalah Eropa di Benua Amerika. Akankah mereka ingin kehilangan USA-nya. Tentu tidak. Donald Trump Si Mulut Besar ini biarlah diajari oleh Bangsa Iran bahwa “imperialisme” mereka sudah berlebihan. Biarlah ia merasakan Sendiri bagaimana menghadapi Negara yang jiwa mereka hidup karena Panggilan Sayyidus Syuhada Al Imam Husein Putra Ali Bin Abithalib Sang Cucu Nabi Akhir Zaman. Negara itu memang telah mempersiapkan dirinya menjadi lawan setan besar itu tidak hanya dengan Modal Spritualitas yang tinggi tetapi juga dengan Modal Militerisme yang terbalut Spritualutas.

Trump Ancam Tutup Perbatasan Dengan Meksiko Minggu Depan
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Trump Ancam Tutup Perbatasan Dengan Meksiko Minggu Depan

Jayakartapos, Presiden Donald Trump mengancam akan menutup perbatasan selatan atau sebagian besar perbatasan, jika Meksiko tidak menghentikan imigran yang menyeberang ke AS tanpa otorisasi, dan ini akan dilakukan minggu depan, ujarnya Jum’at (29/03).

Melansir dari ABC News, Trump sepanjang hari mengulangi ancamannya dan mengatakan dia “tidak main-main” sambil berjanji untuk menutup perbatasan Selatan “untuk waktu yang lama” jika Meksiko tidak bertindak mencegah orang menyeberangi perbatasan ke Amerika Serikat.

Meksiko dapat menghentikannya tepat di perbatasan selatan mereka, ujar Trump kepada wartawan, Jumat (29/03). “Mereka memiliki perbatasan selatan dan mereka memiliki perbatasan yang dapat diatur dengan sangat baik.”

Presiden Meksiko, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, dalam sebuah acara di Veracruz, Jumat malam (29/03) mengatakan, bahwa dia tidak secara khusus membahas penutupan perbatasan, tetapi mendukung diplomasi.

“Kami telah memberi tahu Presiden Trump sendiri bahwa cara terbaik untuk menangani fenomena migrasi adalah menciptakan lapangan kerja dan memiliki kesejahteraan di Amerika Tengah dan Meksiko dan inilah cara kami memecahkan masalah, tidak dengan cara lain ujar Lopez Obrador, seperti yang dilansir dari ABC News.

Otoritas perbatasan AS memperkirakan jumlah imigran tidak berdokumen yang berhenti di perbatasan selatan dapat mencapai 1 juta pada akhir tahun, dan berpotensi dua kali lipat level tahun lalu serta meningkat 140 persen dibandingkan tahun pertamanya di kantor.

Ini bukan pertama kalinya Trump mengancam akan menutup perbatasan selatan. Setelah gelombang imigran berusaha memasuki San Diego pada November 2018, presiden merespons dengan ancaman serupa.(Icha)

Indonesians People Did Not Want ISIS Members Come Back To Indonesia
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Indonesians People Did Not Want ISIS Members Come Back To Indonesia

 

Jayakartapos, Indonesians taking refuge at the Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp in Al-Hasakah, Syria, are begging to come home because supplies are starting to run out.

Mariam Abdullah, one of about 50 Indonesians in the camp, asked for help so that she and her family can return to Indonesia in a two-minute video posted on Indonesian online news outlet Tirto.id. “We are asking for help so we can return home,” Mariah said as quoted by Tirto.id.

Indonesians taking refuge at the Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp in Al-Hasakah, Syria, are begging to come home because supplies are starting to run out.

Mariam Abdullah, one of about 50 Indonesians in the camp, asked for help so that she and her family can return to Indonesia in a two-minute video posted on Indonesian online news outlet Tirto.id. “We are asking for help so we can return home,” Mariah said as quoted by Tirto.id.

Mariam claimed that she, her husband and four children were from Bandung, West Java.

She said she and her children had fled the village of Baghouz two days prior to the interview with the online news outlet. Mariam told the reporter, Afshin Ismaeli, that her husband, Saifuddin, was missing.

A recent update from the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that there were approximately 67,000 internally displaced people who resided in the camp as of March 14. This number is exceeding the original capacity of the camp, which was initially designed to hold 10,000 people.

Due to the unexpected number of incoming arrivals, there has been a shortage of health-care services in the area, which has resulted in the refugees suffering from hypothermia and various communicable diseases. As of March 14, the organization recorded 120 deaths in the camp, in which 80 percent of the casualties are children under 5 years old.

Despite of the camp’s alarming state, many Indonesian netizens showed no sympathy for Mariam as well as the other Indonesians who are suffering the same fate as her.
One Twitter user, @rizamsyafiq, questioned why they joined the Islamic State group in the first place.

“They made a conscious decision to go there, betrayed the nation in the process, and are begging to come home after the Islamic State group lost. I only have one thing to tell them: suck it,” he wrote on his account on Thursday. Another user, @qlytooq, blatantly told them not to come back to Indonesia. “Enjoy the paradise that you wanted, don’t ever come back to Indonesia.” he wrote (https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/03/29/is-sympathizers-from-indonesia-want-to-come-home-amid-dire-conditions-in-camp).

Meanwhile, an international issues observer, Wildan Nasution in Pekanbaru, Riau said after Islamic State had completely been defeated by Syria’s military (SDF) which was backed up by the United States, several countries which have their citizens who had joined as ISIS symphatizers or members, have same problems because they want to come back to their country including Indonesia.

“I think the political stance of Indonesia’s government on this matter has been clear that we are not permit their come back to their homeland, because many of Indonesian’s people have been worried if ISIS symphatizers have given permit to come back, they have other chance to spread their radical values among our society,” Wildan said (Red).