Monthly Archives: February 2010

Israel Government Just Does Not Seek Peace, Does It?

The state of Israel for over fifty years was willing to negotiate with Arab nations in order to end its conflict with other countries in the Middle East. There were Israel leaders who became frustrated at their inability to find Palestinians interested in achieving peace. Fast forward to 2010 and now it is Israel which refuses to engage in open discussions with Palestinian leaders. Fatah leaders are pleased with reports the European Union is prepared within two years to proclaim the existence of an independent Palestinian nation. Nabil Sha’ath of Fatah’s Central Committee praised France for adopting a new attitude which focuses on peace in the Middle East and will not allow Prime Minister Nettanyahu to continue his procrastination.

French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner noted his nation was currently training Palestinian police “OIt follows that one can envision the proclamation soon of a Palestinian state and the immediate recognition by the international community.”

Is anyone in Israel listening?

One Small Step For Female Rights In Saudi Arabia

News from Saudi Arabia indicates there just might be a slight opening in the area of women rights in the sharia dominated nation in which clerics call the shots on what women are allowed do. There is strong evidence women will shortly be allowed to appear in courts and defend women if the case involves issues of family life. Justice Minister Mohammed al Issa said legislation to allow this change is being prepared. If this happens, it will be the first time women can appear in a government function where they interact with males without having any of their own male members present. Women currently can work in social agencies defending women, but they are not allowed to do anything in which men are present.

All judges in Saudi Arabia are male. If women lawyers can defend women in court they will be arguing in front of a male. One small step for human dignity.

Medvedev Cracks Down On Police!

Every so often President Dimitry Medvedev does something progressive that brings hope to the hearts of those who wish to witness development of a genuine Russian democracy. He decided to crack down on the notorious Russian police who are known for their corruption and inefficiency. Hardly a day goes by without a new example of corruption in the Interior Ministry and Medvedev finally had enough. He ordered that the number of personnel at the main Interior Ministry to be halved which means 10,000 are being sent packing, including two deputies of Interior Minister Rashd Nurgallyev. The president sent a message that the old days were over and the people of Russia have a right to a modern efficient, honest police force.

A recent poll revealed that two-thirds of the Russian people have absolutely no trust in their police. President Medvedev told the media initially they have identified at least 15,000 cases in which corruption was present and this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Let’s hope this is one iceberg that melts mighty quick.

India Confronts Maoists!

The ongoing struggle in India between the government and Maoist forces continues even though the recent military campaign has endeavored to finally crush these militants. As the India armed forces prepares to continue Operation Green Hunt, top Maoist leaders are discussing their future and whether military action is the best method of achieving goals or will peaceful negotiation by a better approach. Kishanji, military strategist for the Maoists wants to continue fighting, but a powerful section of the central committee believes it is time for another path toward victory. India has offered the choice of a massive crackdown or the alternative of peaceful negotiations.

Maoists are asking the India government to: (a) withdraw forces from their current positions; (b) lift ban on their party, and (c) release top Maoists from jail. Who knows what eventually will result?

If You Win Prix Goncourt, Shut UP Says MP!

Marie Ndiaye is the first black woman to win the famous French literary award, the Prix Goncourt. However, she created a storm of protest from supporters of French President Sarkozy when she told an art magazine that she had moved to Berlin after the 2007 elections because of her dislike of Sarkozy. “I find the police state, vulgar atmosphere detestable. I find (Eric) Besson,(the Immigration MInister, Hortefeux(the Interior Minister), those people monstrous.” MP, Eric Raoult, raised the issue in Parliament whether or not “the duty of a person who defends the literary colors of France should not be to show a certain respect towards its institutions.”

I believe the MP is confusing winning a Ms. France contest with being an important literary figure who is expected to voice her opinions on life in France, including the good and bad. Ms. NDiaye is still furious that children are being taken from school because they lack the right identity papers. It is not Ms. NDiaye who should shut up.

US ‘War On Drugs” Policy Kaput!

The tide of drug madness has finally crested in Latin America as several nations move toward decriminalizing the use of drugs by people. In Argentine, the Supreme Court ruled that “each adult is free to make decisions without intervention of the state” and if they desire to smoke marijuana for their own use, it is perfectly legal. Mexico is moving toward decriminalizing and there are reports a similar effort is underway in Brazil and Ecuador. Former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso who has been urging an end to the criminalization of drugs noted: “the tide is clearly turning” because the famous US strategy of a “war on crime” has failed.

In the 1970s, President Nixon launched the war on crime and in 2001, President Bush initiated the war on terrorism. These wars suffer from the same problem– they have no rationale in reality since people daily use drugs purchased legally at the pharmacy that are similar to those deemed, “illegal.” The only thing the war on drugs accomplished was to enrich drug lords and cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars each year. The only thing the war on terror ever accomplished was to increase the number and power of terrorists.

How about Barack Obama truly ushering a new era in which government has a monopoly on use of drugs like marijuana and uses that power to further drug education, not drug incarceration?

Joe, Blows His Stack!

Joe Stack left his luxurious home, got into his plane, took off, zoomed into the sky, wandered over Austin, Texas and then headed down towards a building that housed the Internal Revenue Service which he intended to blow to hell. He was distraught, angry, disturbed and in an upset mood due to problems he was encountering with the IRS over taxes. “I have all I can stand,” he proclaimed to the world. “I choose not to keep looking over my shoulder at big brother while he strips my carcass.” Actually, he was not only angry at the IRS but at the Catholic Church, Wall Street and God knows who else. This was one mad man.

A constant refrain in his complaints was against Big Brother, organization or institution. I am certain he soon will be declared a Saint by Tea Party ranters. Perhaps, the solution is for all Tea Party angry protestors to get in planes and head toward the Middle East where they can send their planes into al-Qaeda headquarters. In this way, we can get rid of those who are angry and have them kill other angry individuals.

Marx Brothers, Heroes Of Mossad?

It is unfortunate that Groucho and his beloved brothers are long dead, because I am certain they would be furious at Mossad for stealing their antics in order to kill someone in Dubai. Or, the world might now be gazing at a 27 minute TV episode soon to be released world wide by the Dubain government which features agents of Mossad dashing in and out of rooms displaying beards and wigs and God knows what else as they go about killing an arms dealer in his hotel room. The Mossad used to be considered among the elite secret service agencies in the world but today their agents would be better off seeking employment in a Monty Python episode. Yes, they did kill an arms dealer who works with Hamas. No, their assassination was not disguised to prevent anyone figuring out who was responsible.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is caught with his pants down and has to explain to governments in several nations how passports from citizens of their nations were used by the bungling group of Jewish comedians to kill someone in Dubai. On the other hand, has anyone considered the possibility Mossad is attempting to seek work as comedians?

Freedom’s Just Another Name For Nothing Left To Lose

An old Kris Kristofferson song has the expression that freedom is simply just another name for nothing left to lose in life. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has officially ended use of Operation Iraqi Freedom and replaced it with Operation New Dawn. Undoubtedly, this change in name will be a powerful weapon in the fight to destroy al-Qaeda. After all, those militants have been fighting to defeat Operation Iraqi Freedom, but since we no longer use that expression al-Qaeda will have to find a new strategy to American and Iraqi soldiers. I guess al-Qaeda could argue they have defeated “freedom” and now only have to worry about a ‘New Dawn” rising in the sky.

I have a strong belief that by changing names the enemy is caught off guard and soon becomes demoralized and defeated. Gates say we now are committed to “honor the security agreement” with Iraq.

P.S. Does this mean I can no longer use the word, freedom, when discussing Iraq? Then again, I have not really used that expression in any discussion of Iraq.

UK Metropolitan Police Investigate Torture

The Metropolitan police have initiated an investigation into charges that M15 was complicit in the torture of Shaker Aamer, a British citizen, who was captured in Afghanistan and taken to Bagram airport where Americans used torture methods in order to extract information and a confession from Aamer. Investigating officers have appealed to the high court for the release of classified documents related to the case. Aamer was the last British citizen to be detained in Guantanamo prison. Justice Sullivan expressed his disgust with attempts by the British government to avoid producing documents or assuming responsibility for what happened. As Sullivan commented, “these whole proceedings have been a gigantic waste of time and money and that is the fact of the matter.”

No one in the British government, or that of the US as well, has the slightest ability to admit a mistake, apologize and move on.