Tag Archives: America

Trafficking In Maids Spreads Throughout World

Several months ago on Long Island, an immigrant couple from Indonesia were convicted of slavery for abusing a young girl who worked as their maid and whose life was no better than those who lived under the old plantation system. Shyima Hall, was ten when an Egyptian couple living in California, came to her village and selected her to be their “maid.” She was ten years old and worked 20 hours a day, no days off, and no breaks for $45 a month. When she began as a 10 year old Shyima had to stand on a chair in order to wash dishes. She worked every day until past midnight waxing floors, cleaning clothes and doing every dirty chore in the household. Shyima never went to school event though the law required her attendance. The neighbors pretended they did not see anything except a ten year old washing dishes while their own children were at schools. We don’t see what we don’t want to see.

The trafficking in children in America is among the untold or undiscussed stories, but in many parts of Africa it is all too common for rural families to send a daughter to the city to work as a maid. Thousands of these girls work in virtual slavery because they represent cheap labor who will not complain.

The children of Shyima’s employer referred to her as “stupid” and never thought for a moment what they could do to assist a fellow child. What did they learn in school is the real question?

Bush-America Sends Nuclear War Ships To Japan!

The dispatch of an American naval vessel to Japan is not in itself any major item which should be reported by the media, but one can never be surprised by President Bush’s incompetent foreign policy decisions. The USS George Washington arrived at its new home in the Japanese seaport of Yokosuka where it was met by hundreds of shouting protestors. The aircraft carrier is nuclear-powered and is the first such vessel to be harbored in Japan. American Ambassador Thomas Schieffer, said it was “altogether fitting that a ship bearing the name of one of the greatest Americans” should be protecting the Japanese people. Of course, the fact it is nuclear powered does not strike the American government as somewhat insensitive to the people of Japan who are the only nation in the world to be subjected to an atomic bomb attack.

American and Japanese diplomats can pontificate about the importance of having a naval presence in Japan, but surely there were non-nuclear powered ships that could serve the function of affording protection.

British Black Leader Accuses Obama Of Hurting Blacks

Trevor Phillips in an article appearing in the magazine, Prospect, warns the election of
Barack Obama will result in a set-back to the rights of African Ameicans. Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human rights Commission, warned Obama’s election would prolong rather than end America’s racial divide. He beleives there are two types of black leaders in America both of whom keep race at the heart of US life -”bargainers” whose ambitions are limited to winning piecemeal concessions, and “bargainers” who do not make an issue of wite racism. “In truth,” says Phillips, “Obama may be helping to postpone the arrival of a post-racial America and I think he kows it….In the end he is a politician, and a very good one.” Pillips apparently supports the contention of Shelby Steele who argues if Obama fulfills the hopes of whites he disappoints blacks and vice versa.

The British fighter for human rights somehow has concluded “the people who actually experience just how far America remains from post-racial harmony are those blacks who work with whites.” Unfortunately, the British authority on human rights offers no evidence to support his wild accusations other than the pen of glittering generalites. It is unclear exactly what Mr. Phllips knows regarding the thinking of blacks who work with whites as to their prospects of succeeding in American society. Is there racism in America? Of course there is. Have there been dramatic changes in white attitudes regarding the rights and job and housing rights of African Americans? Of course there have.

Rhetoric concerning post-racial America consists of vague comments about a world that consists of words rather than explanations regarding how that world will function. The election of Barack Obama would be a revolutionary event in American and the western world. What is meant by the expression “post racial America?” Does it connotate a society in which each person’s human integrity is respected? if so, the United States is walking down that road although the end of the road lies in the distance. But, as Martin Luther King understood, it is the first step which gets the trip in motion. Someday, we will come to the end of the road, and, at that point, have to build new roads. I find it sad Mr. Phillips is unable to grasp the significant changes that have occurred in Americn society over the past fifty years. In making that statement, it in no ways claims the situation is free from biogtry and prejudice.

Musharraf–Who Exactly Supports Him?

Pakistan’s President Musharraf has endured turmoil, conflict, and eroding support from various sectors of what once was his alliance of friends. The United States is beginning to turn away from him as their attention shifts to Pakistan military leaders, Saudi Arabia has lost confidence in his ability to govern, and the latest BBC World Service poll reveals a large majority of Pakistanis — 64%– believe the stability and security of Pakistan would improve “if President Pervez Musharraf were to resign now.” Only about 25% of respondents believe things would get worse if he left. There is little doubt he did stabilize the nation in the 1990s and allowed freedom of expression to emerge.

Perhaps, his greatest mistakes stem from keeping Benazir Bhutto’s party, the PPP, and the PML-N out of an active role in government. America forced him to accept an alliance with Bhutto and Saudi Arabia forced Nawaz Sharif to be allowed to participate in politics. His efforts to get himself elected for a secomd five year stint and is firing of Supreme Court justices began the process of creating extensive discontent throughout the nation. His actions sparked the lawyer rebellion and in the aftermath of the Bhutto death, the nation appeared to plunge into chaos.

The best thing for Pakistan is for the PPP and the PML-N to assume some role in government. At the least, it allows Musharraf to share success and failure with others. In the long run, his days in leadership are numbered. The main problem is no figure stands out as cacpable of assuming leadership in the difficult times that lay ahead.

Iran Political Analyists Urge Negotiation With US

Iranian foreign policy expert, Mohammad Ali-Ramin, told the Mehr News Agency, that regardless of American motives, Iran must participate in the next round of talks with the United States over issues related to the security of Iraq. He argued the needs of the Iraqi people should take precedence over any anger among Iranians toward the United States. Ali-Ramin argues the mere fact the Bush administration is asking for Iranian participation in discussions is indicative of its new role in helping to shape policy in the region. The Mehr News Agency also asked the advice of Dr. Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh of the Urosevic Research Foundation in London, who emphasized that America will most probably continue insulting Iran even as it reaches out to Iranian leaders for their support in maintaining security in Iraq.

Some Iranian experts such as political analyst Alireza Davari, believe the ultimate goal for the Iranian government is reaching into higher levels of the American government if there is to be long term accomplishments in changing relations with the United States. Davari urges Iranian government leaders to ignore the Bush rhetoric which asks for Iranian help while condemning Iran for creating violence in Iraq. In the meantime, the Iranian government continues insisting it seeks discussions with the United States. Hopefully, a new administration in Washington will move forward by ceasing rhetoric and engaging in meaningful negotiations with Iran.

German Environment Minister Challenges US To Act Responsibly

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Environment Minister, blasted the American do nothing attitude as a major impediment to obtaining world wide cooperation in the fight to achieve a reduction in pollution. Germany played a major role in securing European Union approval for a 20% reduction in emissions and there is a clause that might up that figure to 30% if major industrial corporations give complete support to the campaign. But, where are the Americans when it comes to environment control? Gabriel believes it is time to confront the United States, “the challenge remains that of convincing the Americans that they have a responsibility also for their citizens who suffer from climate change. Look at the hurricane in New Orleans.” He is concerned that America’s negligence toward climate issues merely encourages developing nations to shirk their own efforts in controlling pollution.

China and India are rapidly expanding their economies and both nations are entering production of automobiles. They have a combined population of about 2 billion people. What if their economic growth results in an additional 200 million cars on the roads? America appears to be blind to the enormous pollution problems of the future unless action is taken today.