Russia’s Proposal For Persian Gulf Peace

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17-08-19 09:04:00,

Via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

There is an eminently reasonable and feasible way to avoid conflict in the Persian Gulf, and to secure peace. The principles of multilateralism and international law must be adhered to. It seems almost astounding that one has to appeal for such obvious basic norms.

Fortunately, Russia has presented a roadmap for implementing a security concept in the vital waterway based on the above principles.

Russia’s deputy envoy to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, outlined a possible international coalition to provide security for commercial shipping through the strategically important Persian Gulf. The narrow outlet accounts for up to 30 per cent of all globally shipped oil on a daily basis. Virtually every nation has a stake in the safe passage of tankers. Any disruption would have huge negative consequences for the world economy, impacting all nations.

The Russian proposal, which has been submitted to the UN Security Council, is currently being considered by various parties. Crucially, the security concept put forward by Moscow relies on the participation of the Gulf nations, including Iran. Rather than being led by an outside power, the Russian proposal envisages a region-led effort.

This multilateral arrangement for cooperation between nations is solidly within the principles of the UN Charter and international law. Potentially, it can build trust and positive relations, and thereby reduce the climate of tensions and uncertainty which have intensified over recent months, primarily between the United States and Iran.

Washington has blamed Iran for several sabotage incidents on commercial shipping since June. The Americans have not provided any proof for their claims. Iran, for its part, denies any malfeasance and instead has pointed to “malign conspiracy”aimed at stoking tensions, or worse, precipitate an all-out military confrontation between the US and Iran. Significantly, too, the problem of alleged sabotage and danger to shipping followed the increased deployment of US forces in the region during May, ostensibly to counter anticipated “Iranian aggression”.

One thing for sure is that the US proposal for a naval coalition led by Washington, purportedly to “protect shipping” in the Gulf, is a non-starter. Most nations have rebuffed the American plan. Germany, France and other European Union states have given it a resounding pass.

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EU Proposal Pushes Tech Companies to Tackle “Terrorist Content” with AI, Despite Implications for War Crimes Evidence | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

eu-proposal-pushes-tech-companies-to-tackle-terrorist-content-with-ai-despite-implications-for-war-crimes-evidence-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

14-03-19 10:01:00,

Op-Ed by Afef Abrougui

A new video on Orient News’ YouTube channel shows a scene that is all too familiar to its regular viewers.  Staff at a surgical hospital in Syria’s Idlib province rush to operate on a man who has just been injured in an explosion. The camera pans downward and shows three bodies on the floor. One lies motionless. The other two are covered with blankets. A man bends over and peers under the blanket, perhaps to see if he knows the victim.

Syrian media outlet Orient News is one of several smaller media outlets that has played a critical role in documenting Syria’s civil war and putting video evidence of violence against civilians into the public eye. Active since 2008, the group is owned and operated by a vocal critic of the Assad regime.

Alongside their own distribution channels, YouTube has been an instrumental vehicle for bringing videos like this one to a wider audience. Or at least it was, until August 2017 when, without warning, Orient News’ YouTube channel was suspended.

After some inquiry by the group, alongside other small media outlets including Bellingcat, Middle East Eye and the Syrian Archive — all of whom also saw some of their videos disappear — it came to light that YouTube had taken down hundreds of videos that appeared to include “extremist” content.

But these groups were puzzled. They had been posting their videos, which typically include captions and contextual details, for years. Why were they suddenly seen as unsafe for YouTube’s massive user base?

Because there was a new kind of authority calling the shots.

Just before the mysterious removals, YouTube announced its deployment of artificial intelligence technology to identify and censor “graphic or extremist content,” in order to crack down on ISIS and similar groups that have used social media (including YouTube, Twitter and the now defunct Google Plus) to post gruesome footage of executions and to recruit fighters.

Thousands of videos documenting war crimes and human rights violations were swept up and censored in this AI-powered purge.

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