Friday, November 7, 2014

Oh how delightful... *this* movie again.

Ladies and gentleman, get out your brooms and lift up your rugs, because it looks like the best we will get out of FIFA's internal investigation over the selection of Qatar as World Cup 2022 hosts is a "statement" from the governing body in a couple weeks. So sayeth the white-washer.

And the best part of FIFA's stated reason for keeping the findings of this investigation secret? Well, they are only doing it out of personal concern for witnesses. Gosh, ain't they sweet. If only they could manage so much for the migrant workers in Qatar.

Ya know, I am really starting to wonder how long I will be able to stomach covering the international game.

- Greg Seltzer


dikranovich said...

I will be speaking on this subject before the day is out.

Unknown said...

dikranovich supports slavery lol

dikranovich said...

Zevi, that's BS!!! The girls being held in Nigeria, for months now. That's slavery.

What's going on in qatar, that is opportunity, with risk. The risk reward is just to great to pass up for these people.

dikranovich said...

Speaking towards the article presented, it sure sounds like the findings are going to be released, at some point, one way or another.

Unknown said...


You are right, this is not slavery in the traditional sense. Qatar is not going to other countries and capturing people in order to enslave them to work for free. However, they are enticing migrants with high wages. Once the migrants enter the country the company they are working for takes their passports and "re-negotiates" their contracts to lower wages. Yes they are being paid, but for less than promised and are not allowed to leave until they have fulfilled their contract which they are forced into. This is how modern slavery works.

TrooperBari said...

Does this pass muster as slavery? "North Koreans working as 'state-sponsored slaves' in Qatar", from the Guardian

dikranovich said...

I just want to say that I think it is ok to read newspaper stories and then form an opinion. We have been doing this for centuries.

There are 1.4 million migrant workers in Qatar alone. And they are showing up more and more every day. In some places this large a work force forms unions. I'm not sure if jimmy Hoffa is out walking around in the desert. That would be one scary whitewalker.

What are we really debating about migrant workers, who in Nepals case, they send enough money home to account for a 25% of the GDP of their country?

You're living in Nepal, and you don't have squat, less than squat really. You have a chance to embark away from your country and make, three, four, five times what you make at home. Although five times squat is still squat, right?

Them Nepalese, coming to America is like hitting the freaking lottery.

dikranovich said...

Just to be clear, the guardian article talks about North Korean labor, and says as many as 3000 could be in Qatar, and the article presented indicates that the four sites which this labor is working on, is not directly linked to World Cup construction.

I guess all construction in Qatar is under the eye of the Qatari govt., but it should be noted, and world wide, 65,000 laborors come from North Korea.

People are going to Qatar to make more money than they could in whatever country they are coming from. I don't know, maybe these 3,000 "forced labor" can shut the whole operation down.

dikranovich said...

places like destin Florida, and cape cod, mass, are home to students who come from Europe and other places. These students pay coyotes in their own country, with the promise of making big money when they come to America.

The truth is, these " cultural exchange" programs amount, often, to failed expectations and young people returning to their home countries with a bad taste in their mouth about our country.

Crammed into tight quarters, which you know would be seen as illegal by fire chiefs all over our country, working at jobs for less than they were told, I don't know, I think it comes down to how the story is spun.

House of pain said it best: everyone better clean up their own backyard, before they go knocking on their neighbors door.

Aaron said...

Damn Dik... That was a really good post

Unknown said...

*ahem* excuse my french...

slavery is forced labor without pay
while the migrant workers are technically payed, employers kindly deduct the money of workers to pay for the living accommodations. likewise, the agencies that recruit the workers in the first place collect payments in return for buying them a plane ticket. in almost every case, these migrant workers literally make no money at all.

you keep saying 25% of nepal's gdp is money sent home from migrant workers. this is true, but this is nepalese migrant workers in every country on earth, not just qatar. there are almost as many nepali workers in japan and south korea as there are in qatar, but these workers actually make money that they can send home.

"returning to their home countries" you say about exchange students. this is a luxury almost no migrant workers have in arabia because they dont have passports. exchange students have legal ID, they have a human right known as the "freedom of movement".

and no matter how cramped the living spaces of exchange students are, they dont look like this

whatever building they live in isnt surrounded by barbed wire

the water they drink is clean. it wont give them dysentery.

does the US violate human rights? absolutely! every country on earth does. however, genocide and slavery are far and away above any other violation.
in the USA, workers are not held against their will to a job
workers have the right to quit their job
workers do not work 90 hour weeks
workers have a right to take their employer to court (well, we're not too good on that one ourselves)
workers are not subjected to cruel and unusual punishment
workers are not forced to perform jobs for no pay

im not tripping, im a freshman in college.
im also a national merit scholarship quarterfinalist with a whole lot of AP 5s and SAT 2100+'s. my major is middle eastern studies.

i know what im talking about.
this isnt just some topic ive gently sifted through the internet researching since i learned about world cup workers. Look up Ravindra Krishna Pillai. Look up LG Ariyawathi. Look up Rizana Nafeek.
this is serious shit and its serious shit that has nothing to do with the building of world cup stadiums. this is slavery. dont do what youre supposed to and they drive nails in your body, line you up for a firing squad, or chop your head off.

so why does the world cup matter?
because if you punch my friend in the face im not gonna give you a lollipop. if you chop my friends finger off im not gonna give you a milkshake
qatar has slaves, we shouldnt give them the world cup

International Bill of Human Rights
the UDHR is great, but completely nonenforceable. the enforceable version of this are the ICESCR and ICCPR, otherwise known as the International Bill of Human Rights. this *is* enforceable by the UN. Take a look at the maps below and prepare to be utterly surprised at who the gray countries are (those who have not signed or ratified the treaty),_Social_and_Cultural_Rights#mediaviewer/File:ICESCR-members.png

so as of now there is no basis to hold the arabian countries to human rights standards because they admit themselves, straight up, that they dont recognize international human rights

Unknown said...

now, a little bit about my personal perspective

is the world fucked up? yes. do we have problems in the US? yes! do people give a fuck about those problems? not really. i was a fucking norteño. ive seen teenagers dead, OD'd, shot, suicide, you name it, and its always the same story coming from the WASPs. "why didnt he just not do drugs? why didnt he just not join a gang?" how about you stop complaining about how the problems not actually there and actually do something to change it.
have i stolen from safeway? have i stolen from homes of rich people? i will plead the fifth on both of these questions. American jails are filled to the brim with fathers and mothers who have starving children.
people do not care about ghettos in america because they cannot put themselves in those shoes. the only help the ghetto gets is from people who make it out, and there arent a whole lot of folks who can do that.
put yourself in somebody's shoes somewhere
use your imagination, for once
pretend you are a slave

slavery is not right.

its an issue of empathy.

Unknown said...

btw im dany tzvi, the guy who always yells about slavery. thats me. im not just coming out of nowhere

dikranovich said...

dany, im impressed, you entered one post at 11:56, which was rather long, then you came back and entered a second post, which wasn't exactly short, and you got that one in at 11:56 also. nice typing son.

I was reading about Nepalese labour migration to japan: from global warrior, to global worker.

Greg Seltzer said...

Good grief, you are gloriously full of it.

And for the record, just because someone stumbles into a situation on their own and gets some meager sort of payment, whether peanuts for money or shoddy room/board, that does not preclude them from being a slave.

All such discussions should really incredibly simple with one question: If it was happening to you, would it be okay?

And that is game over for all your talk of how snatching the freedom of another for your own financial gain is not frighteningly wrong. Every time. Everywhere. Always.

dikranovich said...

man, you guys are something else. You wanna force the Nepalese to go home. Did you ever think that these people working in Qatar are gaining skills?

Greg, you are so self absorbed with your "mission" that you can't think for yourself, you have to let the New York times and the guardian guide your thought process.

Meanwhile tizzy dizzy, is a Rhodes scholar, after his arduous journey., and somehow all gringos are wasps, so no wonder all migrant workers are slaves

dikranovich said...

Doesn't it make sense to fight for more workers rights in these countries, Qatar especially, and force Qatar to raise its level of obligation. Thus raising the income level of the people working on this massive endevour. What is really the answer?

Is the answer really to strip Qatar of the World Cup?

And whether it is an unfortunate circumstance or not, maybe the Qatari official who paid off CONCACAF was doing so with the knowledge that he was restoring payments that had been removed by its top officials, whether jack Warner, or chuck blazer.

dikranovich said...

When you think about it, USA was left defenseless against this attack by virtue of not being able to keep our own region in order. We overlooked this over the years, and it came back to bite us with the 2022 bid.

Lampard in the End Zone said...

Greg, if you need to edit or delete this post, I understand.

First, let us ignore Dicky Kranovich’s argument about “Culture Exchanges” as his evidence is purely speculative and, at best, anecdotal.

Here is the crux of his argument:
[1] The promise of a higher wage lures Nepalese to Qatar. They fully understand the risks involved and are completely responsible for the situation they end up in. Hell, they should form a union!
[2] The higher-than-normal work hours and cramped quarters are the price the Nepalese pay for taking this chance, even though the money they receive is vastly different then what they were told.
[3] The skills learned (evidence they receive on-site training Dicky?) is an intangible benefit of the job.
[4] The foreign workers in Qatar have the efficacy to challenge Qatari law via strikes and unions.
[5] Taking away the World Cup from Qatar destroys these people’s livelihoods.

These are the facts, which can be verified:
[1] Foreign workers are promised a higher wage by immigrating to a country. Given the situation of their home country they take a chance at a greater income. [2] The job first described to them—along with the associated wages—is revoked. [3] They are forced to work inhumane hours in [4] inhumane working conditions where [5] they cannot leave without the permission of their superiors, [6] which is rarely given. [7] Their work often leads to mental and physical injuries [8] which routinely end in death.

Oh, we were talking about the Qatari work system? I was describing the illegal sex trade. But I am sure Dicky Kranovich can tell me a skill those ladies receive that makes it worth their while.

Unknown said...

i made a post that was too long, so i chopped off the second section and made it its own post lol.

but every argument you make is moot because you are a pampered wasp. if you had to live 2 weeks as a migrant worker in qatar you would kill yourself.

Lampard in the End Zone said...

Who cares? The same arguments you use for forced labor in Qatar can be made for the illegal sex trade. Unless you care to show where those things differ, we can assume that you condone both.

dikranovich said...

I was just watching the James brown doc. On HBO. That was a bad man right there. The band wanted more money, and they said they were not getting paid what he said they would get paid. Soul bro número uno was like, aight, and he brought in a new band. His new band was like, alright, we are with the man, what you want us to do?

All they did was go on to produce, what would go on to be sampled by, oh, ah, everyone, everybody. Fight the power!!! Or just watch a guy Ritchie film.

How were these other big cities in the deserts of the world built anyway? Where is the great outcry over Dubai, or Vegas. There is no outcry, because there is pride over the accomplishment. What, the people who built Vegas 70 years ago had it easier than they do today in Qatar? Get real!!!

dikranovich said...

If the answers to all the worlds ills were easy, we would not build up a strong immune system, and we would be in trouble.

I think one fact has got to be that Qatar does have the eyes of the world on it, and it seems like this whole experience, in the end, will see Qatar step further into the modern age

The caste system has been around so long, it makes prostitution look like Internet technologies.

Unknown said...

There is big outcry over dubai, at least from my segmant of the population: human rights oriented educated people. Dubai was built the eaxct same way as doha and lusail. If las vegas was built after 45 then it wasn't built like that, if it was pre-45 than it doesn't relate to this argument becaujse it predates standard international human rights.

The only way that this becomes a learning experience for qatar is if they are pressured to abandon their state-sponsored forced labour. Slave holders don't willingly give up their slaves. People seeing the slavery and saying "oh look slavery" isn't gonna cause qatar, saudi, the uae, bahrain or oman to change. They don't give a fuck what people think, people can't hurt them. People can't take things away from them. Fifa has an opportunity to take something away from them. If qatar starts losing economic benefits due to their labor system, then they might think about change. Step 1 is the world cup. Its not a matter of ethics, its a matter of money and hard numbers. The world needs to make slavery more expensive than emancipation for the arabian gulf states.

Unknown said...

And did you really say the caste system outdates prostitution? Uhm. No. The code of hammurabi discusses prostitutes. Maybe slavery predates prostitution. Maybe. Both are prehistoric practices. Caste system is not an ancient development

dikranovich said...

Dany, isn't it interesting, how you break it down? Even you say your segment of the population, even though you were not caste there, you earned it.

Do you really think men have been paying women for sex, longer than they have been compartmentalizing others?

Unknown said...

i dont see what your point is about my relation to caste system. we dont have caste system in the US. we have massive inequality, but not caste system. the arabian gulf states have caste system. if i had been born, like omar abdulrahman, in a riyadh migrant slum, i would not be at a university, no matter how hard i worked.

i have two goats. i am lonely. you have two daughters. you are hungry. prostitution is probably one of the earliest forms of economic activity. im not an expert on what archaeology has to say, but from a historical standpoint the oldest sumerian texts (which are the oldest texts in the world) mention both prostitution and slavery. the two phenomenons are both irrelevantly ancient.

dikranovich said...

Dany, I'm sorry, I'm not trying to make this about you. The U.S. State department has a nice report. It's the country report on human rights practices for 2013. You can read about Qatar or Nepal, or any country.

The minimum wage in Mexico is 60 cents per hour, in the USA is $7.25.

In Nepal, the minimum wage is 45 cents per hour, Qatar does not have a minimum wage.

dikranovich said...

Tim Howard's, the man. if Sunderland does not give up the PK, they would have jumped over Everton and mighty Tottenham in the standings.

Unknown said...

Im making a commitment right now to never read another one of diks post, let alone respond.

dikranovich said...

And what of the Russia bid? Do you let Russia get a pass for its human rights abuses, while punishing Qatar? I mean if Qatar has 3,000 North Koreans being forced into labor in its country, how many do you wonder are in Russia?

Greg Seltzer said...

See, the funny thing is I do not form such opinions based on wonderment. So there is that.

Greg Seltzer said...

By the way, I find it majestically hilarious that you believe I have punished Qatar. Of course, you tend to believe a whole lot of things that are based on wonderment.

dikranovich said...

in 2009 it is believed that the north Korean govt was earning $7 million a year on its migrant workers in Russia. per wiki

do We punish Qatar, and not Russia? and if we do, what signal does that send. at a time when the former Russian prime minister is talking about a new cold war. yeah, the same one that helped usher Russia out of the last cold war.

Unknown said...

the us government gets oil from qatar. why would they write an honest report on human rights in that country.

there are many more than 3000 north korean workers in russia. they fell trees in siberia. the difference in this situation is that they are sent there by the north korean government, so protesting russia doesnt accomplish anything. nepal's government is not sending the workers to arabia, they are recruited by private agencies who are funded by arabian governments.

Unknown said...

gorbachev was not prime minister, thats not how the soviet government functioned.

dikranovich said...

dany, you are right, in the last twenty five years I have let my knowledge on the soviet slip. it might be time for a refresher course.

dany, was your point that the state department is under reporting Qatari violations because of oil deals, or that Russia does not have egregious enough human rights violations to warrant a protest?

dikranovich said...

the USA has spent a lot of money on construction projects in Qatar, over the years. we should all hope that these projects were built with labor that was paid for, fair and honestly, and done by workers who were treated with respect and dignity.

Greg Seltzer said...

First of all, I fail to see how comparing this to a wide variety of other things that you put forth as being really wrong helps your bizarre point. I have never seen someone work so hard to defend overt human rights violations.

Nevertheless, the topic is not US projects abroad or any other thing. Off topic posts will be coming down.

Unknown said...

the state department underreporting violations because of oil deals? yes. absolutely.

these projects were not. look into the NYU campus being built in the UAE. I particularly would recommend reading HRW's report "Island of Happiness" dealing with a few specific western construction projects in the UAE, including the NYU campus.

as for russia, yes the situation is not as bad. i think the situation warrants protest but not boycott. that said, russia is not my area of expertise. once again every country violates human rights. the line i draw may be different than the one you do, which at this point seems to be "the world cup should be hosted in space"

Unknown said...

Greg, blog post idea. Track down every coach who LD played for, I mean even his U-4 coach, and ask them if they ever didn't want him to play. I bet their is only one.

UnitedDemon said...

I can't believe we can't all agree that forcing workers to work and often enough die through horrible conditions, and to pay them next to nothing, and to keep them from leaving by denying them the ability to leave the #$^&ing country, how does everyone NOT agree that this is a bad thing? It takes all sorts to make a world, but the lack of empathy and perspective from some is absolutely bamboozlling, let alone shocking.

Qatar is doing a bad, bad thing here. It's not only wrong morally, but professionally. It's wrong. Anyone who disagrees needs to look in the mirror and ask, "how much do I care about other human beings living on this planet?" The answer is: Find a way to change, because that's a part of yourself you should develop ASAP.

dikranovich said...

ud, I think in the end, Qatar hosting the world cup will help migrant workers improve their situation. if this exposure does away with the kafala in Qatar, and paves the way for its removal in other countries, that seems like that would be a worth while cause.

dikranovich said...

I really think everyone should read a Robert Siegel article from dec. 2013 entitled as World Cup looms, Qatar migrant worker system faces scrutiny.

UnitedDemon said...

dik, I can honestly say that your perspective is not all together unsound. You are no longer a troll- you've started to actually make points with some validity- practice makes perfect, I suppose. You've come here often enough.

But I, personally, can't just take the long view when it comes to human suffering. I just can't. I look at wrongs at face value, because I care deeply about humanity, even if I don't know them.

Your perspective is clearly valid, but far too cold for my blood. I would urge you to put aside your viewpoints and try and actually imagine what these people might be going through. That is all.

Greg Seltzer said...

When I was in 7th grade, I took a writing class. For one paper assignment, we had to read and react to a long essay detailing the ways it was wiser to deal with worldwide hunger problems by letting those currently starving on Earth starve to death rather than making all the governmental and charitable efforts to feed them, thus essentially wiping out the issue of human starvation. It was extremely well-written and almost ponderous with supposedly valid points that made one at least think past their initial feelings about the topic. It all almost made sense, and that was the whole point of the exercise with this essay.

Several kids in my class bought into it hook, line and sinker. It was horrifying. They simply did not get it.

dikranovich said...

I can tell you this right now, the USA needs to put all its efforts towards qualifying for and succeeding at these next two world cups.

there cant be the indifference these next two cycles that we have seen in the past. foreign policies are made based on the outcome of these games. the clearest example I can think of is iran beating the usa in 1998.

there is a lot at stake in our near future. Qatar is less than eight years away.