Monthly Archives: November 2008

Human Rights Violated In South Ossetia

A major issue used by Russia to justify its response to Georgia’s attack on South Ossetia was the need to protect people from being killed by invading forces. Human Rights Watch just issued a report which claims South Ossetian militias are “running wild” in the Georgian occupied part of their land. They are doing to Georgians what South Ossetians claimed was done to them by the Georgian army. According to Human Rights Watch, “South Ossetian militias are running wild, attacking ethnic Georgians” and “it is high time for Russia to step up to its responsibilities as an occupying power in South Ossetia and rein them in.”

Russia has an opportunity to prove that it was correct in meeting the Georgian invasion, but allowing South Ossetia to act in brutal ways, in effect, destroys the Russian argument that it was functioning in a responsible manner in the region.

Annual Turkey Awards

This year we initiate the first annual Turkey Awards to individuals who have displayed incompetence, evil, and nastiness during the course of the year. We also identify the people who have endued persecution and oppression during the year. Individuals are placed in either one of three categories:
Schmuck
Schlemiel
Schlamazel
The Schmuck is the one who piles the tray with too many bowls of soup, the Schlemiel is the one who trips and spills the soups, the Schlamazel is the one who has the soup spilled on him/her.

SCHUMUCK

GEORGE BUSH His punishment is spending eternity locked in a hotel room with Rumsfeld and Osama bin Laden swapping war stories.

Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe–He is forced to parade in full military regalia in the Ms. Zimbabwe beauty contest and then recite his stories of olden heroism.

Military Junta of Myanmar: Placed in a cave with hungry tigers outside while they write another new Constitution.

Omar Bashir of Sudan: He has women from Darfur shove sticks up his ass.

President Ahmadinejad –He awakes one morning to discover he is an Orthodox Jew.

Taliban Leaders — They are forced to live in a gay community in Afghanistan and partake of the daily sexual activities.

Turkish Men Who Beat Wives: They must dress in a burka for a year and pretend they are women.

Dick Cheney: He sits in a dark room in Guantanamo prison gazing at nothing for ten years.

SCHLEMIEL

Sarah Palin: She spends the next ten years as Mayor Of Harlem and gives daily talks about how wonderful it is to be in the real America.

John McCain: He is forced to write a thousand times: “I conducted the worst campaign in political history.”

Detroit Car Executives: They will fly in their private jets for a year and there will be no executive toilet on the planes.

Joe The Plumber: He will fix toilets in outhouses for the next five years so he can waddle in the shit he speaks at Republican rallies.

Silvio Berlusconi: He will spend the next five years in a Roma camp where he can give identify tatoos to the men.

Vladmir Putin: He will become a professional wrestling promoter who spends his time fixing wrestling matches.

Chinese Leaders: They will spend two years in a Tibetan monastery contemplating their navels.

Anti-Gay Voter In California: They will be exiled to a gay community on the island of Tahiti.

Condi Rice: She will become a cleaning woman at Stanford University so she can clean up the dirt she has left around the world.

British Academics Who Wanted To Boycott Israel: They will visit the Congo, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and other bastions of academic freedom they don’t believe should be boycotted.

SCHLEMAZEL

The American Public who got lied to and bamboozled by George Bush.

People of Zimbabwe who have been oppressed for too long.

Chicago Cub baseball fans who last attended a world series game about eighty years ago.

People of Burma who deserve some decency in their lives.

Muslim women in nations like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia who are entitled to be treated as human beings with equal rights to men.

Children attending schools throughout the world who have to endure the endless babble of boring teachers.

People of Tibet who just want a bit of respect for their dignity as humans from the Chinese government.

Russian people who have longed throughout history for real democracy.

The people of the Congo who are forgotten by the world.

Gays and Lesbians all over the world who just want to be left in peace.

We All Stand With The People Of Mumbai!

The attacks on Mumbai by fanatics whose only goal in life is the end of life can not be allowed to deter those who work for peace. One views pictures of dead bodies, men and women fleeing while holding the hands of children, flaming buildings, and police holding weapons while gazing confusedly towards the darkness of evil. The men who carried out the attacks undoubtedly believe they are engaged in some great movement to liberate the people of Pakistan or India or wherever, but their only goal is to plunge a knife into the hearts of devout Muslims who know their religion does not allow the death of innocent men, women, and children.

Terrorists regard themselves as noble warriors who in death free oppressed Muslims in the world. They function in darkness, they target women and children, they creep through the sewers of society smiling as they hurl a grenade into a hospital with sick people and children and smile gleefully as the bodies of the innocent lie in pools of blood. The terrorists of Mumbai are among the most emotionally disabled people in the world. Their faces never gaze in love or tenderness toward humanity since to them death and destruction are the meaning of life. Is this what the prophet Muhammad wanted in the world?

A mistake on the part of the government of India is to strike out against its Muslim citizens. They are innocent victims since Muslims died in Mumbai along with Hindus and Christians. If the Indian government lashes out at its Muslim citizens it will enable the terrorists to claim victory.

Now is the time for Muslim clerics throughout the world to issue a statement condemning the attacks on Mumbai and standing as one with the people of India.

Military Action Is A Symptom Not A Solution

The Bush administration from day one of its escapades in Afghanistan and Iraq has operated on the assumption the use of military forces would solve problems. Barack Obama has now bought into the call for “more troops” in Afghanistan as a way to end the Taliban insurrection against the government of Afghanistan. At the core to dealing with any insurgency is winning over the people of a nation and this requires military, economic, social and political action. A first step in moving away from focusing on the military is confronting the needs of Afghanistan’s farmers. We call for”
1. Purchase the entire opium crop from Afghanistan farmers at the same time as farm experts work with them to shift towards other productive forms of farming.
2. Encourage the establishment of business zones which would be heavily guarded and offer jobs to Afghan’s population.
3. Work to establish a modern form of education. As part of education pay Afghan parents for each child who is enrolled in school. This would make the attendance of girls at school a financially beneficial part of Afghan family life and make female education important for the financial lives of parents.
4. Finally, get serious and train, pay, and supervise the establishment of a new Afghanistan army. It is criminal that after SEVEN YEARS there still is no effective Afghan fighting force.
5. Get serious about corruption in the Aghan govenment.

Here are five steps that could begin turning around the situation in Afghhanistan.

Japan Still Ignores Its WWII Sexual Misbehavior

Among the most brutal experiences in Japan’s history was its abuse of women in conquered nations during World War II. Hundreds of thousands of women were forced into sexual slavery by the invading Japanese forces and still to this day most of neither received an apology or financial compensation for their mistreatment. Azuma Konno, of Japan’s Democratic Party, said, his “government has kept its eyes shut and ignored the issue.” He spoke at the ninth Solidarity Conference for the Issue of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan which met in the continual effort to awaken Japan’s conscience for past misdeeds. “To build our future,” said Konno, “we cannot remain blind to the past.”

The conference brought together both victims of the mistreatment and concerned Japanese who want their nation to atone for past behavior. They want an official government apology and rewriting of school history books to teach children about the past. In so doing, Japan restores its dignity.

Iran Launches New Rocket

The Iranian government announced it had launched a new rocket called the “Kavosh 2″ in the midst of a world which is caught in tension and fears due to economic turmoil. The new rocket come after an earlier claim that Iran had test-fired a new generation of surface-to surface missiles which could be used either for defensive or offensive actions. Iran state television did not release any further details other than to say the Kavosh 2(which means Explorer 2) has both offensive and defensive capabilities. Western experts still do not have sufficient information in order to evaluate the actual abilities of the rocket as far as its real potential as a threat to world peace.

Iran is proceeding with both its nuclear and its rocket development programs while western nations only focus on nuclear issues. Halting Iran’s nuclear program is only half the struggle to establish peace in the region. There is need for newly elected president Obama to engage Iranian leaders in meaningful dialogue and deal realistically with the situation rather than pretend everything is going to be OK once Iran ceases nuclear development. The plus aspect of discussions is the damage to Iran’s economy by the fall in oil prices. Iran needs the west as much as the west needs Iran.

Putin Urges Improved US Ties

Among the tragedies of the Bush administration is its failed policy towards Russia. Vladmir Putin is certainly not among the most fervent supporters for democracy in his nation, but efforts by George Bush to frighten and threaten Russia have only resulted in supporting those in that nation who oppose extension of democracy to use fear of attack from outside to justify imposing strict standards on opposition voices. Fortunately, the election of Barack Obama offers the United States and the world a new opportunity to reduce tensions and support the democracy movement in Russia. Both Putin and President Medvedev on Monday indicated they were looking forward to working with Obama for a new approach between the two nations.

“We hope that the new U.S. leadership will be more constructive, responsible and –this is quite important-farsighted,” said Putin. A good first step toward reducing tensions and opening the door for new initiatives would be to suspend the construction of missile bases in Poland. In fact, why not work with Russia by constructing the missile bases in Russia and allowing them to be jointly operated?

Domestic Violence In Egypt

Domestic violence is not confined to a nation nor to a specific religion, but is found throughout the world. In a study done for the Egyptian government, CAMPAS, found that nearly half the women in their nation has encountered physical violence from the hands of their husbands. At least 47% of female between the ages of 15 to 49 reported being victims of domestic violence. In theory the use of physical violence against a spouse is illegal under Egyptian law, but it is rare for a man to be prosecuted for hitting a wife. According to Nahmed Abu el-Qumsan of the Center for Women’s Rights, “if a woman complains, it would be considered a crime. But, if she doesn’t, the husband won’t be punished.” Naturally, few women dare risk complaining about their husbands knowing most police will not pay much attention to their complaints.

The results are not unusual for most Muslim nations where men hold power, and will not be punished for using it.

Anti-Semitism In Swedish First Grade Reader!

We live in the opening decade of the 21st century and one would assume that in an enlightened nation such as Sweden historic anti-semitism would long have been laid to rest, but a first grade reader appears to present a stereotype of Jews that Nazis would be glad to offer their students in the 1930s. A first grade book which is intended to help children read has a passage about a boy with thick glasses who sits alone and apart from other children. The explanation offered by the book is: “Because he is a Jew.” That passage would have earned rave reviews from just about every Nazi publication. Elsewhere in the book, boys are portrayed as being skilled in mathematics while girls struggle with being able to count. Parents in Kariskoga in central Sweden are up in arms at such blatant examples of hate in a book for first graders.

The response by the author and publisher is revealing. They do not offer an apology but argue presenting such misinformation and prejudice provides an excellent opportunity to offer contrasting viewpoints! They want teachers to argue against the book as part of helping children learn how to read! Wow!

Gates To Remain As Secretary Of Defense

President elect Barack Obama most probably will announce the appointment of Robert Gates to be his Secretary of Defense. This decision will undoubtedly lead to complaints by many people who believed in electing Obama they were sending a message the current leaders of our Iraq-Afghanistan policy had to be replaced. However, there is some logic in the decision to retain a moderate Republican in office given that he has moved sharply away from previous behaviors by Donald Rumsfeld. Gates has made clear he is open to discussions with a variety of leaders in the Middle East and understands the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan can not be won solely by reliance on military action.

The key point in selecting Gates must be the acceptance by the secretary of defense that he now serves the Obama administration and must be in accord with its goals. If he can work in this manner, his retention adds a sense of continuity in what is going right as well as a recognition there must be change in the coming months. The first point will be whether or not US troops begin withdrawing next year and continue that process in the following year. The goal must be 2011 for the majority of soldiers being out of Iraq.