Wednesday, May 10, 2017

News Analysis: “Qatari jet sits on tarmac in Baghdad as royal hostages await release”

Below is the Chicago-style citation for the news story being analyzed.
Click the link provided in the citation to read the original article from The Guardian itself:

Chulov, Martin. "Qatari Jet Sits On Tarmac In Baghdad As Royal Hostages Await Release". The Guardian. Last modified April 19, 2017. Accessed April 19, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/19/qatari-jet-sits-on-tarmac-in-baghdad-as-royal-hostages-await-release.    

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An aircraft sent by Qatar to retrieve 26 kidnapped member's of Doha's royal family has, according to an article in the UK's Guardian newspaper, remained on the tarmac of a Baghdad airport for a fourth straight day as a result of a delay in a deal exchanging the Qatari royal hostages for a ransom payment alongside safe passage of all those wishing to leave the Syrian towns of Kefraya and Fua. This as all part of the comprehensive and delicately negotiated deal regarding population swaps occurring in the area. The release and exchange was delayed by the suicide car bombing of buses full of evacuees on April 16th which resulted in 126 deaths. The negotiations have laid bare at least a fraction of the complex webs of contacts and alliances involved in the agreement on population swaps, underpinned by the diplomatic engagement and guarantees of Iran and Qatar. Many of the militant groups involved are scheduled to get pay-outs with the disbursement of the ransom money, leading some in the rebel camp to postulate the bombing may have been carried out by a group who was not in on the deal and thus would not be obtaining any of the money.

As so often occurs in war, human rights are not part of the relevant combat discourse and thus remain the partial, elevated ideal constantly propounded by Western countries and the United Nations. It seems that, in the case of similar state terrorism, the global discourse on human rights is somewhat effective at naming and shaming state actors who were complicit, as in the case of the chemical weapons attack likely carried out by the Syrian regime on the town of Khan Shaykun earlier this month. The weight of such condemnation does not apply with the same force, however, when directed at amorphous non-state actors such as splintered rebel groups or militant jihadists, leading to a narrow selectivity as to which severe breaches of human rights are straightforward enough in their occurrence to warrant a temporarily exclusive focus. In this case, it is easy to chastise a recognized state for war crimes, but it is far too complex and ineffective to attempt a similar strategy in regards to non-state actors, especially when they are in fragmentary abundance and thus cannot be discussed as a singular monolith. As such, the Qatari government's efforts to secure royal release through a mixture of guarantor diplomacy and paying ransom exists in a moral grey-zone, as the possible blow-back is implied in providing such groups with significant financing, thus putting a greater premium on the future kidnapping of Qatari royals as a valuable risk with a significant potential payout. This, in the long run, also finances further breaches of fundamental human rights within the obfuscated murkiness of Syria's many non-state rebel groups. Perhaps, then, it might be time to open up the human rights dialogue in regards to Qatar's hostage swap, permitting a level of nuance in discussion that will evade the simplicity of straightforward condemnation.  




WRITTEN IN LATE APRIL 2017.

1 comment:




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