Net Neutrality means Net Neutrality.

By David Bryan

The debate on net neutrality involving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision, to deregulate the rules governing the neutrality of the internet vis-a-vis internet service providers, telecommunications companies and consumers in the United States of America, is an important one.

The argument put forward by the FCC that deregulation will allow more ” competition, investment and innovation” are the wrong reasons why the specific rules regarding the services provided are to be removed; especially given the  reality that such a move will ultimately grant a small majority of telecom corporations the power over hundreds of millions of internet consumers to raise their rates; however and whenever it pleases them.

The FCC’s mandate is to regulate communications and entities involved in communications; as soon as the FCC ventures into the jurisdiction of “competition” it does so in error. If, the decision by the FCC opens up the consumers to an unfair advantage by a few large communication conglomerates; the oversight rests in the domain of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).

The role of the FTC cannot be understated, given the fact there are over 60% of internet users who have only one telecom service provider and the others have only two options. This  scenario  should immediately trigger an anti-competitive trade investigation on the impact of such a decision.

The decision to deregulate net neutrality -cannot be done on an ad hoc basis, just only after the implementation of 24 months or appears to be carried out in a nonchalant cavalier manner without properly addressing the genuine concerns of the millions of internet users.

The FCC  has the right to remove regulations on the internet; but it does not have the right to allow monopolistic, unfair trade business practices, price discrimination or policies by its own actions that would harm the regulation of the internet -so that the said ISP’s and telecom companies are now able to self-regulate the very internet- in which the FCC is suppose ensure such a situation does not happen.

Put another way, ignoring the symptoms and treating the patient with the wrong cure will still harm the patient. The FCC decision which will adversely affect hundreds of millions of users of the world wide web must not be implemented until properly reviewed and or challenged.

 

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If, no bona fide Presidential winner in Honduras -New Elections have to be Called.

By David Bryan

There can be no proper reason why the Tribunal’s recount results of the Honduran election has been inordinately delayed. With each passing hour, the credibly on the veracity and soundness of the recount will be called into doubt.

The process or lack thereof, will obviously be  seen as deliberate and calibrated, not only to stall the declaration of a bona fide winner but cause irreparable harm to the integrity of the the Honduran electoral system.

The only viable solution regardless of the outcome, so as to remove any perceived questionable variances between both Presidential candidates Jan Orlando Hernandez and opposition leader Salvador Nasralla, appears to be : is to hold fresh elections.

The ensuing statement by the Organisation of American States; Secretary General Luis Almagro, call for, inter alia, new Honduran elections if any “irregularities” undermine the credibility of the results in the instant, is therefore well founded and cannot be easily dismissed.

The people of Honduras have every reason to ask why the excessive delay in the recount in declaring  a winner and to seek redress via legitimate and peaceful means in order to protect their right to choose a leader by the process of  one person one vote.

War is Not a First Option with North Korea.

By David Bryan

It has been said that “the only thing new in this life is the history we have not read”. It is prudent then to briefly recap the events of the Korean war; were at a time in 1945 Soviet and American forces had occupied Korea, dividing control along the 38th parallel.

” At all events, on June 24, 1950, the North Korean army launched a full scale offensive across the 38th parallel. President Truman promptly ordered General MacArthur to give air and naval support to the hard pressed South Koreans; a few days later he authorized the use of American ground forces.”

“The United Nations Security Council endorsed these measures and passed an American Resolution condemning North Korea aggression and calling upon States to furnish all necessary assistance to South  Korea….The United States supplied 48 percent of the United Nations groundforces-43 percent were South Koreans- and virtually all the air and sea forces.”

“In July 1951 armistice negotiations began near the Korean battlefront…that went on for two years before a cease fire agreement was reached on July 27, 1953 were a final armistice agreement was signed.” Some Fifty-four years later, an elusive peace settlement has still not been achieved.

This limited intervention “though it succeeded in repelling aggression, it turned out to be far more than the brief police action originally contemplated. By the time it was over the United States had lost 25,000 who died, 10,000 missing, and 115,000 wounded. A total of 413,000 South Korean died in the fighting”. Taking into consideration no nuclear weapons were deployed.

War realities are far from the menace of war. The war, in effect, had settled no problems between the North and South. As was then, as it is now, war can never be the panacea and if history must be our guide, it must be avoided and not duplicated at all cost.

Notwithstanding, the deterrence to totalitarian regimes are a must; especially to those who enjoy missile launches as some sort of sabre-rattling hobby to intentionally destabilize the peace , security and stability of the world.

It is quite reasonable, in the circumstances to justify the actions of President Donald Trump in the area of military support to  America’s allies in the region;  not only in the defence of the sovereignty of South Korea but the other countries such as Japan- who are under constant ballistic threats from Pyongyang.

However, President Kim Jong-Un has to come to the realization that there is no plan afoot to invade North Korea an equally the nations of South Korea, Japan, Australia and others needs the same assurance with deeds and not repeated missile firing.

One can only hope that the recent four day meeting held in North Korea by a Senior United Nation official with the regime is not an anomaly but the commencement of serious diplomatic overtures in resolving this crisis.

The announcement therefore by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to his counter part, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that North Korea is willing to enter into direct talks with the United States, in the interest of averting a deepening crisis which can lead to war, cannot be ignored but at the very least; explored.

There can never be the perfect conditions for the perfect meetings. There are points in which parties to the talks for whatever reason are unwilling to budge, but these conditions cannot be the reason for obstacles in preventing the death of millions of lives in any future conflict.

History will not be the judge; but our generation will want to know why history repeated itself.

 

 

 

 

An Essay: Brexit; the Anatomy of a Win-Win Partnership Between the UK and the EU.

By David Bryan

Political Context

Brexit is unchartered territory.  There is no one group, individual, politician, technocrat, bureaucrat or political party any where in Europe who is the authority or has the expertise on the separation of a nation from the European Union.

For those critics, naysayers and town criers; there is no parallel or historical account to draw upon or from; Brexit for all intents and purposes has no equal.; it in itself is a political phenomenon.

It is understandable then, for there to be common place criticism on how the procedure ought to be played out; or the continuous solicited and unsolicited thoughts of constructive suggestion and dialogue on the path in which the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Mrs. Theresa May should take with the EU.The caveat , however is no one has all the answers; which has led to frustration, impatience and impertinence.

But, is this not the cherished workings of democracy in motion; were all views can be expressed; both positive or negative? All views, though, cannot be implemented, nor can the majority view of Brexit be disregarded.

The will of the people must be carved out by a “responsible government; were the idea that government should be strong-and therefore able when necessary take unpopular decisions- and accountable for its actions to the elected representatives of the people”.

The fact of the matter is, however, Prime Minister May is governing a minority coalition government with the DUP-  which is a form of “representative government; of the Burkean view- in which the representative, whilst having the duty to consult and take into account constituents’ opinions, owes the primary duty to the national interest and to conscience.”

It is this consciousness of Ms. Arlene Foster of the DUP that brought the halt of proceedings in the talks with the EU earlier this week regarding the issue of Ireland. So, what is required, is: strong representative responsible government from the Tory and the DUP party in moving forward in the Brexit talks with the EU.

To go further,  as noted that in ‘Contemporary British Politics‘; conservatism in its purest form is really “for the party to support government and to that end it must be united so that government is strong and stable; loyalty to party and perhaps especially to the party leader is a primary political virtue.”

“Conservatives must see the party as integrative rather than a divisive force in society.”

Brexit is about destination not on cabin and crew falling apart on expected choppy seas, before docking or members facilitating the conditions for a mutiny. The cruise is to ensure the passengers exit safely upon reaching the end of the journey.

BREXIT as a Partnership

In order for Brexit to progress to its logical conclusion; it cannot be viewed in terms of a ‘divorce’; but rather as a new relationship or partnership being forged between familiar single parties akin too two single parents united by one common interest; their offspring.

So even though the UK is removing itself from the EU, both parties have to view each other as ‘partners’ in a lasting friendship and “not as rivals. Both parties have to open up a long list of items that need to be explained and negotiated.”

For Brexit to continue on its trajectory, negotiation cannot be rigid but flexible so that “the parties  need to negotiate the tricky issues that are unique to partnering” for example:-

  • What are the acceptable labour, trade, profit, costs;
  • What are the rights of the UK citizens, European citizens post Brexit;
  • What are the acceptable limits to the customs,immigration and border issues;

A Win-Win Brexit-EU Partnership Strategy Mode of Negotiation 

The negotiation between the EU and the UK must be seen in the right way “not as a contest or game in which the gains of one come only at the expense of the other”. Dr. Chester L Karrass suggest that parties who are negotiating must adopt a “win-win mode of negotiation.”

Karrass state “win-win is not equal sharing”; win-win is concerned with “creating value were none was recognized or searched for before”- on the other hand, he notes that “win-win doesn’t tell you how to share the winnings”.

Karass “sees two main benefits resulting from a win-win mode:

  1. it always allows both parties to find a better deal;
  2. it’s a good way to avoid or break deadlock”.

Karass compares the win-win to one in which” the two negotiating parties sit down to divide up ten marbles, and they end up creating three more. Together they have created more marbles to divide up, but that doesn’t mean both parties will share equally.”

“To understand win-win negotiation, imagine a 10 inch diameter pie cut into ten equal pieces. Two parties are negotiating how many ten pieces each will get. If one get six, the other get four. If one gets eight one gets two- this type of competitive negotiation is not win-win but a contest for shares of the pie.”

Here is the power and pizazz of negotiation; according to Karasss, is that it is far more than a contest. The negotiation has the potential to be a win -win process by which the parties work together to produce a 12 inch pie which is bigger and tastier than before.”

“The parties cut the larger pie into twelve pieces and share it more easily than than the original ten smaller less, tasty pies”. Wouldn’t it be easier to share twelve pieces of a bigger pie than ten pieces of a smaller pie that was not good”.

According to Karrass “the instinct should be searching for a “better deal for both parties-only after searching and finding the bigger and better deal for both do they worry about how to share it”.

“The basic principle of win-win negotiation is that there is always a bigger and better deal for both parties if they are willing to search for it. Bot parties increase their” share and “satisfactions without hurting each other”.

“The win-win principle also says that negotiating can always be made larger and better before sharing it with the opposing side.”

Conclusion:

In Brexit; there is nothing wrong with serious honest dis-agreements over the answers. “There will always be issues on which the parties seriously disagree.” There will always be changes, benefits and contributions that involves unknown or uncertain sharing requirement.

“The right formula will always be unknown and uncertain. There will always be an imbalance of power between the two parties in the sharing of benefits and contributions”

In Brexit “there will be issues that will require very difficult negotiations. Partnering is not the end of negotiations, it’s the beginning.”

Finally, “action changes the balance of power. The strengths of fait accompli is the fact that once the deed is done or an action taken it is difficult to undo.” The Jesuit principle; “it is difficult to obtain forgiveness than permission” is base on the same concept.

For instance ” A man stops at a restaurant for a few drinks with fellow workers and comes home late. He should of phone his wife earlier to advise her he would be late. This might have led to an undesired negotiation at the wrong time. Instead he takes the action, comes home late, and negotiates forgiveness. The moral of the story-Brexit is not the place to negotiate forgiveness.

 

 

 

 

Speak up for the Rohingya Muslims; Speak up for the Migrant Africans and Defend their Right to Life.

Sayings of King Lemuel”

                       “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” 

          Proverbs 31: 8-9 (The Holy Bible: New International Version)

By David Bryan

The on-going slaughter in the Rakhine state in Myanmar of the specifically targeted Rohingya Muslims by the political directorate and military leaders is not only abhorrent but an abomination to justice and righteousness. The same can be said of the revelations on how  sub-Saharan Africans, who arrived in the Mediterranean, are peddled into “slavery and either murdered, mutilated, tortured or worked to death” by criminal gangs.

It is with great irony, that sound bites and hashtags of #neveragain, will the world witness another Rwanda; or Bosnia-Herzegovina. Yet it was only last week, that the Hague Tribunal of International Judges convicted six(6) former Bosnia-Croatia leaders for crimes committed during the Bosnia-Herzegovina war.

The judgment of the judges was pellucid; that they were “of the opinion that the six(6) accused together with the leading politicians in Croatia were key figures in a “joint criminal enterprise [that] were aimed at creating a Croatian entity in Bosnia- Herzegovina that would facilitate the reunification of the Croatian people; through ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population”.

“The verdict made visible the dark side of the truth about the war in Bosnia- Herzegovina.” The script is the same for the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar; just different actors. There is nothing “dark” going on in Myanmar, when everyone and every body knows and see what is really happening in that country.

The Rohingya Muslims and the migrant Africans from sub-Sahara are “the victims of aggression carried out by” ” dark forces of power”, which forces; must be held to the same standard of justice and accountability for their acts of omission and commission.

Even though sadly, because of inertia, the world is witnessing another Bosnia-Herzegovina – it does not give justification nor a license for the cycle of ethnic violence to be perpetrated against the helpless Rohingya Muslims and stateless African migrants.

It is indeed a hard pill to stomach, when such repression and oppression is committed and derived from the hands of one who rose from acute persecution to the zenith of political power in Myanmar.

More so, it can be said without fear or favour that the Rohingya Muslims and African migrants have been let down by their respective governments; particularly those Asian/African brothers and sisters who refuse to lift a finger to stop the brutal killings, slavery, illegal operations of harvesting organs and human trafficking with the exception of Bangladesh and a few others.

The situation pertaining to both groups cannot persist any longer and will require no ordinary measures to put wrong things right; a start is required, in clamping down on the use of brutal force by the Myanmar military on the Rohingya Muslims and the criminal activities of organized gangs involving migrants.

The Rohingya Muslims and the African migrants must be given safe passage to their destination and or returned to their land of origin together with some form of verification from independent third parties confirming that both groups are adequately protected from all forms of violence and the systematic delivery of international humanitarian aid to the affected groups while in transition.

It is hoped that African leaders will take ownership of assisting their people and solve some of the issues surrounding the refugee crisis; and that- from those individual leaders, make good on their pledge to use military means together with local law enforcement in safe guarding the rule of law in the Mediterranean for the migrants.

Finally, because the Rohingya Muslims and migrant Africans are helpless, needy and poor; it does not nor never will give any person, group or government the right to wipe them off the face of the earth.

 

Ex-President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh exposes true Houthis Agenda and Who’s really fueling the Yemen Conflict.

By David Bryan

Unprecedentedly the former President of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh announced he was willing “to enter into a new chapter of ties” to bring a united Yemen out of the civil war; a war that has engulfed the nation, involving the Houthis and the legitimate recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

President Hadi has the support of the Saudi Arabia led coalition made up of some Middle Eastern states while the Houthis are believed to have the support of countries such as Iran and a few fringe terrorist organizations.

One thing is clear; now that Mr. Saleh has declared his desire to end the Yemen war;  the Houthis appear to be getting their orders from outside Yemen to continue the fighting- but the question is: who has the most to gain from empowering a Houthis backed government at the expense of a united Yemen?

Sensing a feeling of betrayal and no doubt a disbelief at the credulity of Saleh’s statement, by removing his ideological support from continuing this conflict; the Houthis almost at once clashed with the supporters of the former President Saleh in Saan’a, whom, it can be recalled was at the genesis of this in- fighting. The civil war has, now, unbelievably, fallen into a civil war within a civil war.

Armed with a heighten sense of perception, President Hadi recognized that the Houthis are domestic pawns and their motives and modus operandi are called into question as to why would they refuse to end the war in Yemen.

Mr. Hadi therefore issued a caldron’s call to confront the Houthis militia and work in ridding the Houthis from Yemen. President Hadi said “all who abandon the alliance with the militia will come under the umbrella of legitimacy.”

Mr. Hadi got it right. The Houthis and their proxies cannot be allowed to divide and conquer Yemen.  They must disarm, stop the unrest in Saan’a and enter into peaceful talks. The Houthis must recognize that their battle and war is already lost, and that Yemen would not be governed by outside forces bent on old grudges against Saudi Arabia.

Realistically, the only chance the Houthis have of exiting; is walking away from this conflict by laying down their arms once and for all through disciplined mediation.

The Houthis’s have proven their self-interest is primary to the country of Yemen and its people but for the legitimately recognized government of President Hadi, it is the citizens and the nation of Yemen are second to none.

All of the objectives by President Hadi and the Sauid Arabia led coalition, in their mission was and is always return Yemen, to an enduring new peace established on a foundation of a solid cessation of hostilities by and from all parties. This is not an unrealistic and or impractical goal for the people of Yemen; whose urgent needs and rights must be fulfilled and respected.

 

 

 

 

Forty Miles to Near

By David Bryan

The hegemony of Iran in the  Middle East has become more glaring and apparent in recent months; much to the consternation of the ‘moderate Islamic States’  and primarily to the Jewish nation; Israel.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United States of America and the European Union and others have every right now to doubt the sincerity of Iran’s ambitions and motives based on the fact that, Iran has voiced its intention to upgrade its missile arsenal so that; it is capable of reaching the EU.

This is a troubling development, simply because; the EU, has in good faith negotiated  the controversial nuclear deal; and recently re-committed its faith in  the deal;  despite the contrariwise stances taken by President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Iran has been able to mask; a false sense of security; that it has every good intention to play by the rules;  but everyone around the table knows; that Iran is playing by its own rules.

This is clearly evident in Syria,  were the exception again is the rule for Iran; were President Assad’s Achilles heel has been fully exploited by Iran because of the current internal conflict.

The quid pro quo, therefore, of allowing a military base to be established by Iran; with in striking distance of Israel, cannot be described in red lines, since this is not only completely incompatible but incongruous with the national security interest of the State of Israel.

To presuppose that Israel must agree to a – demilitarization zone outside of a 40 mile wide radius- of its borders; with Israel’s greatest adversary, would be a fallacy.

There can be no good rationale for Iran, to be in the process of building a military base within  eye sight and hearing of Israel, when Iran’s unmasked intention is really ‘death to Israel’.

Whether the facility is 38 miles, 40 or 50 miles the conclusion will be the same. Had the base been, at least 400 miles or 350, then perhaps the distance would be debatable, but surely this ’40 mile’ point in the circumstances of Israel’s security has no merit.

Israel, understandably, will reserve its right, as in every case, to defend its security interest, borders, citizens and its Sovereignty from all ‘known and unknown’ threats in, under and certainly 40 miles away from its borders.