Tag Archives: US

TRAGEDY OF POST WAR LIFE FOR LIBERIANS

Civil wars have wracked the people of Liberia for decades so it was no surprising that hundreds fled chaos for what they viewed as peace and security in the United States. A Liberian family settled in Phoenix, Arizona and hoped the past would remain in the past. However, one day, their eight year old girl was lured into a shed by four boys, the youngest being nine, and the group proceeded to rape the little girl. Her mother was furious, as much toward her daughter for bringing shame to the family as to the boys. When police arrived, she asked them to take her daughter with them even while shouting, “nothing has happened to my daughter. Nobody touched my daughter.”

An older sister blamed the little girl for following after boys and now the girl is in limbo. The incident is really an aftermath of what happened in the civil wars. During the wars, women and young girls were raped, but communities were more prone to blame the girls for being violated as though they had the means to avoid such treatment. Liberian refugees may currently be in Arizona, but their minds have never let go of the horrors they endured.

Is USA Negotiating With Sunni Iraq Resistance Groups?

The Iraq government is furious because of reports concerning American negotiation with dissident Iraq Sunni groups. The Maliki government regards such talks as a violation of Iraq sovereignty and a display of tolerance for terrorists. The State Department admits there has been discussions with Sunni groups, but argues the Iraq government was informed they were occurring. Americans have previously negotiated with Sunni leaders in discussions that eventually led to creation of the Awakening Councils that played a key role in reducing violence in Iraq. The reality is the Mailiki government still hesitates to enter into power sharing arrangements with Sunni leaders, a refusal that may be playing a role in the current escalation of violence in Iraq.

Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, said it “was shocking” and “amazing” that US and Turkish officials met “the supporters of the former regime, groups that adopt violence and terrorism as a way to change the situation, and the networks that believe in killing, bombing and targeting innocents.” On the other hand, Turkey has repeatedly attempted to play a mediating role in dealing with Iraq violence. Unfortunately, the violence will not cease until Sunni leaders are given power and recognition in Iraq.

Biden Tells Ukraine To Get Its Act Together

Joe Biden is on a trip to the Ukraine where he stopped to deliver a lecture in his own inimitable style. The country has been in constant turmoil during the past several months as politicians squabble over issues of power. He told politicians “Ukraine, in my humble opinion, must heed the lesson of history. Effective, accountable government is the only way to provide a stable, predictable and transparent environment that attracts investment.” Of course, Joe Biden in his life has rarely expressed anything in a “humble” manner, but he is right on target in telling the Ukraine it is time to focus on creating a government that can rule in such a manner that economic development ensues.

During the Bush administration, the Ukrainians were placated as part of the “get tough” approach to Russia. Obama is attempting to reach out to Russia and develop bonds of friendship and that means ensuring the Ukraine works cooperatively with its neighbor. Biden also made clear the Ukraine makes the decision as to whether it seeks membership in NATO and the United States would not exert any pressure for or against that action.

Obama On Putin-Old Ways Outdated!

President Barack Obama is headed for Russia to engage in discussions both with President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin about ways to move forward in securing peace in the world. He admitted to AP that Putin still retains extensive sway over Russian policy and it is necessary to work with him on any plans for future relations between Russia and the United States. However, Obama hopes Putin will put aside “the old cold war approaches to US-Russian relations” and enter a new concept of partnership. “I think Medvedev understands that. I think Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new.” He wants to emphasize there is no antagonistic relationship between the two nations.

It might assist in moving into a new partnership if the United States would abandon its hostile anti-missile program of constructing bases on the border or Russia. Those bases are antagonistic and have no place in the modern world. The United States and Russia must move forward into a new era of partnership for peace. Obama is correct that Putin is tied to old conflicts, but unless President Obama abandons the Bush missile plan which makes absolutely no sense, then Russia is correct in maintaining the Americans are locked in Cold War thinking.

Gays Gaily Serve In Foreign Armies, But Not In US Army!

President Barack Obama promised if elected to change the law which forbids gays and lesbians to serve in their nation’s armed forces. Since the notorious, “don’t ask, don’t tell” law passed under the Clinton administration, over 12,000 gays and lesbians have been forced to resign from the armed forces including dozens of trained linguists in Arabic, a skill desperately needed in wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel lifted restrictions on gays and lesbians in 1992, and a recent cover of an Army magazine portrayed two gay soldiers kissing. Australia has lifted restrictions and the United Kingdom was compelled in 1999 by the European Court of Human Rights to allow gays and lesbians to serve in the armed forces.

Representative Patrick Murphy, the first Iraq war veteran to be elected to Congress expressed his anger at the current restrictions against gays and lesbians. “I take it as a personal affront to our warriors. To say that other countries’ soldiers are professional enough to handle this and Americans are not, is really a slap in the face.”

Of course, there is no evidence that those fighting in actual battle object to having gays and lesbians in their ranks.

Obama Supports Medvedev On Freedom

President Barack Obama told the Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta of his firm belief that Russian President Medvedev was working to further the concept of freedom in his nation. “I agree with President Medvedev when he said that freedom is a better way of life for a country. “I see no reason why we cannot aspire together to strengthen democracy.” He also expressed his hope both nations can reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals and deal with the divisive program of former president Bush to build an anti-missile system on the border of Russia.

A key issue of human rights in Russia is the imprisonment of MIkhail Khodorkovsky whose trial is generally viewed as a kangeroo court interested in conviction rather than justice. Obama hopes that Medvedev will change the Putin oppressive actions toward those fighting for human rights. Perhaps, at some point Medvedev will challenge Putin and create a democratic society.

The Killing Goes On And On In Iraq

Six years ago American troops swept through Iraq and former President George Bush announced to the world the United States was bringing peace and democracy to the backward people of Iraq. But, all Iraqis have endured is six years of killing and bombing and torture and death. On Saturday, Shiite Muslims were leaving a mosque near Kirkuk when the sound of an explosion ripped through the air leaving seventy dead people and over 200 wounded. It was another round in the conflict between Shiites and Sunnis and al-Qaeda and Iraqis. The truck was parked across the street from the mosque and most probably waited until enough people were leaving before being blown up. Shiites are complaining there were not enough guards around the mosque. No one assumed responsibility for the bombing but it had the earmarks of an al-Qaeda operation.

The United States only has ten days left before its troops must evacuate Iraqi cities. Will their departure result in fewer or more such bombings? Is it simply too late to alter this ongoing outburst of hate and violence or must it continue running its course? The future alone knows.

North Korea –The Mouth That Roared

North Korea most probably can send an atom bomb in the direction of South Korea or Japan and inflict massive damage. Its army can move over the border and do extensive damage to the nation of South Korea. However, it can not win a war and in the process of initiating one will cause incredible damage, if not destruction, of its own country. Kim Jong Il, leader of the most secretive society in the world, told his military they are doing a wonderful job and should be prepared for action if it is necessary. The UN Security Council has ordered an almost total embargo and strict financial sanctions against North Korea. Pyongyang responded by blaming the “vile product” of American policy as the cause of its problems, and said it was now in the “early phase of all-out confrontation with the US.”

Israeli Jihadists Strike At Palestinian Drivers

The Israeli government maintains accurate records of attacks by Palestinians on their citizens but for some reason attacks by Israelis on Palestinians is not always recorded. Palestinian drivers were proceeding on their journey when suddenly they were attacked by stone throwing West Bank settlers who believe God has ordained they must remain in the area regardless of the cost to themselves or other humans. Medics said two Palestinians were taken to the hospital as a result of stoning, and the culprits fled into their settlements where they can declaim and denounce any effort to achieve peace with the terrorist Palestinians.

Settlers have warned the netanyahu government they will not peacefully accept any form of destruction of their homes because it is stated in the Torah that Israelis have a right to build houses anywhere in the area now known as Palestine. Naturally, with such attitudes it makes impossible any peaceful settlement with Palestinians.

We hope the Israel government releases figures on attacks by settlers on innocent Palestinians.

Tony Blair–Man In The Middle Of A Diplomatic Fiasco?

There must be moments in the life of Tony Blair when he wonders how in God’s name did he wind up attempting to deal with the madness of the Israel-Palestinian dilemma? He is the envoy of the Quartet composed of the United States, Russia, the EU and the UN who seek to mediate the conflict in the Middle East. Blair will be meeting with a committee of the British Parliament to discuss what he has or has not accomplished over the past two years. Blair has met with new Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who insists he wants peace but is undecided about an independent Palestine. He has met with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority which recently was engaged in a gun battle with Hamas forces that left six dead. We can say without fear of contradiction that Blair meets with a great number of people.

Israel and American relations have reached a new low because President Obama is committed to peace in the Middle East while Netanyahu is committed to maintaining the status quo–indefinitely, we presume. Blair has no power, he just wanders from place to place mumbling and talking and looking like he knows what he is doing. It reminds one of the man who actually believed George Bush knew something about WMD.