Tag Archives: human rights

Azerbaijan president irritated that Putin, Kim Jong Un are the only dictators Americans know about

9 Sep

BAKU, Azerbaijan–in a sparsely attended press conference today, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev expressed his “growing anger” at America’s lack of knowledge of or interest in his repressive regime. He blamed a number of factors, saving particular anger for Vladimir Putin of Russia and Kim Jong Un of North Korea for “sucking up all the oxygen” in the dictator-awareness space.

“Those guys, it’s more that they’re famous dictators because they’re famous dictators, you know?” complained Aliyev. “If you look at the fundamentals, I’m just as autocratic. I’m just as irrational. I built the world’s tallest flagpole. I blew billions of dollars on the made-up European Games. But Vladimir Putin rides in a submarine, or trots around on a horse, and he’s on the front page of the Post. I mean, where’s the parity?”

Aliyev also blamed the “winner-take-all” model of social media, in which “we only seem to have time for one or two crazy dictators, and all the others are ignored.” He went on to cite the efforts of “a number of real up-and-comers, young guys who are doing good, creative work, and they just can’t break through.” He cited Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea as an example of a “crazy young autocrat who just isn’t getting focus,” while also decrying the lack of respect shown to Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko as “ignoring our elders and betters to chase the hot new thing.”

Aliyev did admit that both Putin and Un “have real talent,” citing in particular Un’s habit for being photographed looking at things. “I’m not saying they shouldn’t be getting the love–they might even be one and two on the leaderboard–but we need to share the wealth to numbers three and below.”

Aliyev went on to raise the specter that “if things don’t change, I might stop doing crazy repressive things altogether.”

In addition to his skill at arresting journalists and rigging elections, Aliyev is known for his hilarious Scattergories answers and general clowning around.

Australian Prime Minister gets tough on people smugglers by paying them tens of thousands of dollars

23 Jun

CANBERRA—Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced a tough new campaign against people smugglers, in which the Australian navy will “search out boats full of illegal migrants, find the despicable ringleaders, and then give them a lot of money.”

Abbott, who was elected in large part on his pledge to crack down on boats full of migrants fleeing to Australia for safety, has said repeatedly that his government would never negotiate with the smugglers who transport the migrants, putting lives at risk and exploiting them horribly. He said there was no contradiction in the new policy. “We aren’t negotiating with these scum,” he said at a press conference. “When our guys offer them thirty thousand dollars in crisp new hundreds, it’s a take-it-or-leave-it deal. We’re fully in control of the situation.”

The payments, Abbott explained, are designed to entice the people smugglers to return the migrants to their embarkation point instead of pressing on to Australia. Asked whether the payments might not then just cause the smugglers to immediately return to the ocean, seeking another payout, Abbott looked confused. “Why would they do that?” he asked. “Are these guys all about money?”

In case the payments are not enough, Abbott said that he was open to a “wide range of perks” to get the smugglers to return to their country of departure. He suggested “free massages, a wide range of healthy snacks, and an in-house gym,” but said that if pressed, he was also open to discussing stock options.


Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, more than fifty feet ahead of Vladimir Putin in a swim-off

Selfish refugees seek to steal European jobs, also not be murdered

22 May

ROME–as Europe’s refugee crisis continues with more boatloads of migrants making the risky crossing of the Mediterranean, many of the migrants admitted that they were headed over for primarily selfish reasons.

“All my life I’ve dreamed of living in poverty, cleaning toilets and being harrassed by police,” said Emrip Khan, who arrived in Sicily this week after fleeing the Libyan civil war with his three surviving children. “And in the EU, I can finally make that dream come true.”

A spokesman for the United Kingdom’s anti-immigrant party, UKIP, shared his indignation at the incoming waves of refugees. “They’re all a bunch of whiners,” said David Whitewurst. “It’s all don’t-let-me-be-killed-by-the-solders and my-children-are-starving. They should have thought about that when they were being born somewhere else, that’s what I say.”

European leaders held discussions this week on how to stem the flow of migrants without leaving them at the mercy of armed conflict in their home regions. Those discussions concluded after fifteen minutes, after which they started discussions on how to stem the flow of migrants.

“We are very concerned with the humanitarian crisis on the doorstep of Europe,” said Nils Muiznieks, Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe. “We strongly prefer that humanitarian crises take place far away.”

A bunch of refugees just standing around doing nothing, instead of launching startups or mining Bitcoins

Iraqi detainees sharply criticize Senate torture report; say they were just “horsing around” with their “CIA buddies”

10 Dec

BAGHDAD–a group of former Iraqi and Afghan detainees angrily criticized the Senate report on CIA torture, saying it had made “our good times with CIA friends” look bad.

“The Senate clearly doesn’t understand what torture is,” said Jalal al-Yusuf, an elementary-school teacher who spent six months in Abu Ghraib prison after being confused with an insurgent with a similar name. “They look at a man with electrodes attached to his genitals and immediately think that something inappropriate is going on.”

Samar Hussein, a fruit seller who was spotted with a mobile phone in Sadr City in 2004 and spent three years locked up at a black site, was equally angry. “So I like to get naked and be hit with rubber hoses,” he said. “That’s a private thing between me and my good friend Jim Just Jim from Texas.”

“It was all just for fun, and our interrogators were clear that we could make it stop any time by using our safe word,” said Dr. Ihab Abed, who was picked up by police for looking unhappy during the short-lived Iraqi festival Dick Cheney Day. “My safe word was ‘Saddamplanned9/11’, for example.”

Fellow detainees Tarek Ayoub, Abdul Khader, and several others were unavailable for comment, because they were dead. A friend of Ayoub’s said “Sure, he died from asphyxiation under enhanced interrogation, but he could have died from asphyxiation sitting in a cafe, if the waiter had jumped on him and held a wet bag on his head. No one’s to blame.”

Leading Republicans and former members of the Bush administration also rejected the label of “torture,” noting that they hadn’t noticed anything amiss from their offices ten thousand miles away.

abu ghraib
Highly skilled interrogators build rapport with detainees through a fun team-building exercise.

Obama clarifies: Syria chemical-weapons “ultimatum” more of a “friendly suggestion”

5 May

WASHINGTON–as evidence mounts that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons in the country’s civil war, President Obama today clarified that his forceful statement that such use would cross a “red line” was not meant to imply that the United States would actually “take any action whatsoever.”

“People read too much into this red-line thing,” said Obama. “I mean, the bus map is covered in red lines. I have some on my tie. It didn’t mean anything.”

Later, Obama complained that “you people think that just because the President makes an unambiguous statement of American policy, he then is supposed to actually do something.”

Asked if there were circumstances under which he would intervene in the Syrian dispute, Obama thought for a moment, and then said that if he had incontrovertible evidence that the government had attacked the United States mainland with nuclear weapons, then “we would certainly have to think about some kind of response.” An aide later clarified that the President had been speaking about sanctions.

Reactions were generally negative. “This guy is some kind of crazy isolationist,” said Senator Rand Paul.

United Nations warns Syria that it faces a stiff warning

9 Apr

NEW YORK–in a bold move, the United Nations Security Council today warned the Syrian government that continued human-rights violations could lead to a series of further warnings.

“Make no mistake,” said Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. “If the Syrian regime continues to kill unarmed civilians, commit ethnic cleansing, and use hunger and terror as weapons, the United Nations will not hesitate to issue strongly-worded press releases.” Ki-Moon went on to add that the international body would condemn genocide “as many times as it takes” until the government changed its behavior, or until the Sun burned out and the Earth became a lifeless icy husk.

The UN statement also had harsh words for the Syrian rebels, who also stand accused of war crimes. “If we continue to receive credible reports of violations, we will have no choice but to send investigators to rebel-held territory, where they will sit in their hotel rooms, unable to move for security reasons, until we choose to withdraw them,” said Ki-Moon.

Observers were surprised by the strength of the UN’s warning. “We were all expecting a mild slap on the wrist,” said Wolf Blitzer. “But this moderate slap on the wrist–it’s unprecedented.”

State Department says most recent dead Syrians not as interesting as first dead Syrians

26 Nov

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today announced that the nation really wasn’t that interested in the most recent civilian victims in the Syrian civil war.

“At first, a couple dozen dead villagers felt like a big deal,” explained Clinton at a press conference here. “But now? It just all has a certain sameness to it, you know?”

Later, the State Department released a chart showing that the importance of a single dead Syrian had declined from more than 160 microkids at the start of the uprising to less than 40 microkids today (one microkid is one-millionth of the amount of national attention and concern that would be generated if a photogenic blonde girl from the Midwest died).

Clinton went on to explain that the State Department “would still be carefully monitoring the situation.” In response to questions, she clarified that she meant that the US wasn’t going to do anything.

“If something changes and we get back to 100, 150 microkids, then we’ll adjust accordingly,” said the Secretary.

In response to the announcement, a coalition of human-rights organizations announced a fundraising drive to identify Syrian children in danger zones, pick the most attractive, and dress them in cute preppy clothes. “Traditional lobbying rarely saves lives,” said a spokesman for the International Rescue Committee. “But a few dozen Gap gift cards might.”

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