Category Archives: Human Rights

Israel Joins The Crowded Skies

The government of Israel completed its bombing in Gaza which meant that Israel planes no longer were engaged in any conflict. However, when a nation has nothing else to do, there is always the war in Syria for an enterprising country seeking to enjoy the benefits of dropping bombs. Iranian planes are now over Iraq, and they drop bombs on the bad people known as ISIS because the bad people are Sunnis and we Shiites know the only recourse is to kill bad Sunnis. American planes are bombing in Syria, Saudi planes are bombing, British planes are bombing, Canadian planes are bombing, French planes are bombing so why not some Israel planes in action? The most important element in Syria is that it has provided all sorts of pilots to get some practice in bombing. Naturally, they only bomb the bad people. Collateral damage is not in their vocabulary.

Israel Intelligence Minister Yuval Stenitz insists the reason for bombing stems from his nation’s policy of not allowing bad people to get in possession of bad weapons of war. “We have a firm policy of preventing all possible transfers of sophisticated weapons to terrorist organizations.” Sounds logical. So, Israel planes bombed the airport in Damascus. The Syrian government wants the world to know that Israel attacked in order to “help terrorists in Syria.” I guess these days the bad guys can be good guys or the reverse. Depends on who is bombing and who is bombed.

Let’s Learn Ottoman Language!

There are times when Turkey’s President reminds me of the American Republican Party. Recep Erdogan inhabits the world of the past which he insists belongs in the present. Republicans want to return religion to schools in order to ensure that all American children understand the Earth is only 12,000 years old. And, all that talk about science is full of crap. Of course, I am not a scientist, but I feel confident in discussing science. President Recep Erdogan is determined to restore the Muslim religion to its dominant place in Turkish society even though about half the population is sort of secular in terms of their belief in religion. So, what is the first step to return Turkey to its heritage–Make Compulsory The Teaching Of The Ottoman Language In Schools! If only people could speak Ottoman, then any and all problems would disappear from his nation.

As far as Erdogan is concerned, “whether they want it or not, the Ottoman language will be learned and taught in this country. If we can do our best for religion, then sectarian conflict will end.” Spoken like a man who belongs to the Tea Party! So, if you are interested in doing business in Turkey, brush up on your Ottoman. How do we get this guy into America and have him run for President in 2016?

Special Forces Can Be Not Special

Given the aftermath of deaths in Benghazi that resulted in ongoing investigations whose purpose was to prove one and for all that Hillary Clinton was responsible for the death of her friend, America’s Ambassador to Libya, it is now a certainty that we will soon witness one investigation after another about the failed raid in Yemen. Special Forces was convinced that Luke Somers, being held by al-Qaida was about to execute the man. So a Special Force operation attempted to free him. Unfortunately, unlike the world of Fox News and Republicans, Special Forces inhabits the world of reality. Wars are invariably connected with the unexpected. Perhaps, it was dogs barking, perhaps a militant heard a noise, but in the end one militant killed Luke Somers and the operation did not free him. Just imagine how many investigations will now be forthcoming with the object of proving the failure was the fault of President Obama?

There was another unexpected situation during the raid. Special Forces did not know there was another prisoner, a South African teacher for whom his government was negotiating release. The government claims they had worked out an agreement with a tribe to serve as a middleman in releasing the man. He is now dead. It is time of Republicans to understand that war is sloppy, things rarely go as planned. In any war, the innocent all too often wind up dead. Such is life.

Lock Them Up And End Demonstrations

A “war”has broken out on the streets of American cities in which police feel they are under attack and must respond with firm actions. Desiree Mathurn is a graduate student at CUNY and was offered an opportunity by her journalism teacher to report on demonstrations in the city after the death of Eric Garner. Like a good young student she headed for a scene of action. Prior to going, she did obtain a press pass from the New York City Police department. She arrived at the scene of some people protesting on a bridge. Desiree began taking pictures and interviewing people. Naturally, among the most serious challenges confronting police officers arrives from the presence of reporters taking pictures. She soon encountered police who did not believe that college student reporters had the right to a press pass.

She told them “I was a student of the press but they wouldn’t listen. They took my camera, and grabbed my arm. I was told that my student press pass was not official.” She shortly found herself in a jail cell and was held for several hours. Score another triumph for police whose main goal in life is to anger the innocent. How about welcoming the press, speaking with them, and encouraging the taking of pictures?

Myths About Militant Deaths

Drones fill the skies in Pakistan or in Iraq as the American air war continues year after year. There are two basic assumptions surrounding this air offense against “militants.” One assumption is that a drone attack is predicated upon accurate information that militant X is within the house being bombed. Yesterday, American missiles blasted a target in North Waziristan in Pakistan. US officials insist the drone killed militant leaders. A Pakistan official noted, “there is suspicion that an important commander was within the compound when the missiles struck, but this is yet to be verified.” Reality, it is very difficult to verify anything.

The second assumption is that killing leaders of guerrilla groups results in the collapse of such organizations. I would welcome an announcement from the American government which cites an example of killing off leaders resulting in the collapse of militant organizations. I do not know of anything such example in modern history!

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

We offer samples of headlines that appeared in the world press.

Australia, Canberra Times: “Not A Happy Family”

Tea Party folks in Congress who want to shut down the government.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Underwear Matters”

Let me smell out the meaning of this headline.

Sweden, Local: “Sweden’s Nazi Toys”

Perfect presents for folks in Putin’s Cabinet.

Norway, Norway Post: “Flu Hits”

Achoo!

UK,Guardian: “Tell Me A Story”

Santa does not live in Ferguson, Missouri this Xmas.

Days Of Sorrow, Days Of Pain

Each murder of a young man whose crime was to have a black skin results in the same Kabuki drama. Fox News immediately has pundits who will explain that if we do not support our police, then crimes will spread like wild fire across the nation. Pert cute blond haired young women who read what is printed pretend they know something about crime and its sources. Hundreds, if not thousands will pour into the streets shouting demands for change in handling black men by the police. Authorities will announce a new study or formation of a new Commission that will produce a long detailed document which depicts the need for changes in training of police. The document will be discussed for a few days or weeks, and then disappear into the black hole of such reports only to be brought back to life twenty years from now when another tragedy occurs.

Perhaps, it is time to approach the entire process of policing a new way.

1. End the failed idea of “broken windows.” Minor crimes should be handled as minor crimes, not as the source of major ones.

2. Decriminalize many laws. OK, someone is selling single cigarettes, it is NOT a major crime. A police comment from cops to “move along” can handle such “crimes.’

3. Each policeman must understand that resort to a gun is the LAST action to be considered.

4. Allow the criminal to initiate action, not the cop.

Such steps will AVOID contact that leads to murder.

Let’s Play Chicken!

This is a very happy Christmas season for Americans as the price of oil goes down and down. For each drop in the price of oil, it means more money in the pockets of American consumers seeking to have a merry season with gobs of money around in order to purchase Xmas presents for loved ones. It is now clear that Santa does not live in the North Pole, but in the sands of Saudi Arabia. According to David Goldwyn, energy advisor to President Obama, “what we now have is a year long game of chicken. The Saudis are waiting to see the major oil producers can take.” Their plan is to make their enemies suffer. They are furious at Russia, Iran, and Syria which they regard as their enemies. ISIS is using smuggled oil in order to finance their terror attacks. The price has now hit about $60 a barrel. Each drop in the price means less and less cash for Russia or Syria.

Of course, as Saudi Arabia can control the price of oil, it also means that within five years the US will surpass Saudi Arabia in production of oil. Just think, we Americans can once again control the price of oil. I wonder what Vladimir Putin is thinking these days as he strides across the world imagining that he has power?

ISIS In Syria, Death In Pakistan

Over forty jeeps loaded with young men dressed in black entered the small Syrian town of Derna, the young men of the town were ordered to appear, they were informed of the necessity to shout their faith in the new leaders of their village, and ISIS claimed another victory in Syria. Naturally, the Western world is upset at the capture of a small town in Syria by those seeking to establish a caliphate in the Middle East, and then in the world. The reality is that this is a small town, it is not a significant town, it is more of a village than a town, but the US will now become upset. We can expect Fox News pundits who don’t have the faintest idea where the town is, but are certain this is yet another example of the failed Obama foreign policy in the Middle East.

Over in Pakistan, an important al-Qaeda leader, Adnan Shjukrijumah was killed by the Pakistan army. He had previously been indicted in the US for planing to plant explosives on the New York City subway. The reality that America fails to grasp is that killing an important terrorist simply means that a different terrorist will step up to assume leadership. That is the reality of modern guerrilla warfare. It was true in Vietnam a half century ago, and it is true today.

Another US Threat To Al-Qaeda

Another innocent human being was murdered by al-Qaeda, and another American President issued the usual response of informing the world that he considers such actions as a violation of international norms of behavior. Since 9/11 when President George Bush promised the nation that he would get the evil leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, it has become a new custom that America (1) issues and angry statement about the act, (2) promises that all evil doers will be murdered, and (3) adopts a somber and threatening tone to utter these remarks. What is the reality

1. Such comments please al-Qaeda leaders because they provide evidence that their actions are hurting the enemy.

2. Nothing changes, people will be killed. Sorry, that is reality.

How about responding with silence? That response would, at least, confuse al-Qaeda.