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 jmetzler

‘Kafkaesque’: UN Human Rights Council mirrors abusive global village

‘Kafkaesque’: UN Human Rights Council mirrors abusive global village

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a riveting election for new members of the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly voted for 18 new members. Yet, given that all prospective candidates were unopposed, the perfunctory ballot simply selected a list of states where everyone won, including some notorious human rights […]

 jmetzler

50 years later: Does anyone remember the Czechoslovak crackdown in 1968?

50 years later: Does anyone remember the Czechoslovak crackdown in 1968?

By John J. Metzler BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The light mist on the Danube river and the morning radiance on the honey-hued buildings of the Comenius University greet each summer day with the optimism of a fresh beginning. Yet this is August and the memories of the past still dart among shadows and specters in this […]

 jmetzler

Europe’s woes are much larger than the Donald

Europe’s woes are much larger than the Donald

By John J. Metzler PARIS — The American mainstream media template, dutifully reflected and jaded by most of the European press, paints a tempestuous picture of the relationship between our European partners and what is presented as a capricious and domineering Trump Administration. Rifts over NATO defense spending, the Iran nuclear deal, and trade and […]

 jmetzler

‘The United States will remember this day’: A closer look at the UN Assembly Jerusalem vote

‘The United States will remember this day’: A closer look at the UN Assembly Jerusalem vote

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The USA and Israel suffered a nasty diplomatic slap when the 193 member UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the Trump Administration’s plan to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem. But while the mainstream media and the usual chorus of critics presented this lopsided vote (128-9-35) as […]

 FreePressers Staff

Remembering Vaclav Havel, who inspired freedom fighters from Europe to N. Korea, China

Remembering Vaclav Havel, who inspired freedom fighters from Europe to N. Korea, China

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — One year ago the renowned author, playwright, and former  President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel died at age 75. In tribute to this extraordinary European Renaissance Man, I’m reissuing my column in the spirit of memory and the season. “Havel’s career as literary figure, intellectual and a […]

 FreePressers Staff

Named but not shamed: UN Rights Committee cites abuses in Syria, Iran and N. Korea

Named but not shamed: UN Rights Committee cites abuses in Syria, Iran and N. Korea

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Tis’ the season in the General Assembly for  some serious if generally overlooked work and reports.  An Assembly committee has soundly condemned the continuing human and political rights abuses in three global transgressors; Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the quaintly titled Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, […]

 FreePressers Staff

Vaclav Havel: The passing of a Renaissance man

Vaclav Havel: The passing of a Renaissance man

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Author, Playwright, and former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel has died at age 75. Havel, as literary figure and a political dissident, confronted the tyranny of the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and oversaw the country’s peaceful transition to democracy and a free market economy. Havel was a […]

 FreePressers Staff

Voices of experience from the Soviet bloc offer counsel to Arab Spring leaders

Voices of experience from the Soviet bloc offer counsel to Arab Spring leaders

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — A seamless political thread running through the current General Assembly debate has been that of the “Arab Spring”, the movement which shifted the political sands throughout the Middle East. Yet, amongst the often self-congratulatory messages praising the Arab Spring, some former East Bloc states have offered sage socio/political […]

 FreePressers Staff

Syria, Libya, Nicaragua flunk the smell test for UN Human Rights Council

By John J. Metzler  UNITED NATIONS — It’s one of the traditional Rites of Spring at the United Nations, the election of new members to the Human Rights Council, the 47 member deliberative body viewing and monitoring the pulse of civil and political rights the world over. The full 192 member General Assembly votes for […]

 Freepressers

Nuggets of common sense at the UN

Nuggets of common sense at the UN

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In the midst of a fractious and sometimes near farcical General Assembly debate, there a have been surprisingly candid and common sense comments from the marble rostrum of the United Nations. Though the perennial political, economic, security and humanitarian themes have characterized discussions, all seemingly packaged in a […]