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Archive for June 14th, 2008

The Hijab ‘controversy’ that isn’t

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

The Hijab ‘controversy’ that isn’t

RTE’s Education and Science Correspondent Emma O Kelly finds that the recent ‘controversy’ over the Hajib in schools is a media creation

June 12, 2008

In the midst of all the articles, opinion pieces and polls in newspapers and elsewhere about the wearing of the Hijab by pupils in schools here, one crucial point appears to be being lost: within the schools themselves, it is currently not an issue of any real concern.

In one way that’s probably not so surprising. After all, for generations the Veil has played a central role in education here. Countless generations of Irish children have been educated in Irish schools by Irish women wearing veils. Some still are. The only difference now is that its pupils, not teachers, who are covering their heads, and they’re not Catholic, they’re Muslim.

In the schools where this is happening, it’s no big deal. Where I have discussed the matter with schools, they tell me no permission was given to a particular pupil to wear the veil, but only because permission was never sought. These schools see it as a private matter, to do with tolerance and the right to religious expression.

I’ve discussed this matter with very few schools and that’s because it’s a non-issue. I have been to lots of schools, often specifically covering integration-related issues. I’ve attended numerous education conferences including those dealing with the challenges of integration.

In all these settings, one hears the long list of concerns schools have about catering for their increasingly diverse student cohort. It’s a very long list and it usually begins with the shortage of English Language teachers. But so far, the Hijab has never, to my knowledge, featured on that list.

The latest round of media comment was sparked by a letter the principal of Gorey Community School wrote to the Department of Education. Nicholas Sweetman wrote to the Department looking for guidelines. His letter was released under Freedom of Information legislation.

The Department of Education says Mr Sweetman’s letter is one of what would appear to be just two received from schools with queries related to the Hijab. That’s just two schools out of 732 second-level schools, out of more than 4,000 schools in total.

Mr Sweetman may want guidelines, but he says the wearing of the veil is ‘not an issue’ in his school or, in his view ‘in any schools currently’. His school does not have a problem with pupils who wish to wear it. In a conversation last week, he told me: ‘the media has sought to make this an issue which it really isn’t’.

An education spokesperson from the Irish Islamic community says they are aware of no instance where a school pupil has had difficulty with her school authorities over the wearing of the Veil.

This is not to say that there may not been difficulties between schools and pupils wearing the Hijab but if there have been they must have been few and far between.

Some commentators have referred to the banning of the Hijab in schools in France. The French ban followed intense and bitter debate and controversy there. One may agree or disagree with that decision, but Ireland cannot be compared to France. The French education system is a secular one and it is on that basis that the Hijab, along with other overt religious symbols, was banned.

Our education system is of course the complete opposite – and a ramble down the corridors of many of our secondary and primary schools will testify to this.

There among the crucifixes and statues of the Virgin Mary you’re likely to see the faces of countless women, some smiling, some stern, wearing some of the most outrageous and ostentatious headgear you are ever likely to see.

I began this article by saying that the wearing of the Veil or Hijab is ‘currently’ not an issue of concern in Irish schools. It would be deeply regrettable if a media-driven debate, that’s taking place outside the reality of student and school experience, were to make it one.

source: http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0612/hijab.html

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-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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A world in which the US is no longer No. 1

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

A world in which the US is no longer No. 1

Journalist Fareed Zakaria writes of the rise of new global powers.

By Jonathan Rosenberg | June 13, 2008 edition

While the United States remains the world’s most powerful country – militarily and economically – its place on the international stage is changing. The wealthiest person on earth is Mexican, the tallest building is in Taipei (soon to be surpassed by one in Dubai), and the biggest factories are in China. India’s film industry, Bollywood, is now the world’s largest, producing more movies and selling more tickets than Hollywood. And when experts identify the multinational companies that will become leaders in the future, they point to firms in Latin America, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

The US has even surrendered its supremacy in shopping malls. Only one of the world’s Top 10 malls is in the United States. And who’d have guessed that an American shopaholic with an urge to visit the biggest mall on earth would have to fly to Beijing?

These developments illustrate the central point of Fareed Zakaria’s illuminating and timely new book The Post-American World. Over the past couple of decades, a global transformation has seen countless countries experience remarkable economic growth. While the US will remain an economic power, the days of American economic preeminence, which characterized the 20th century, are over. According to Zakaria, this points not to the decline of the US, but to “the rise of the rest.”

Zakaria writes that the global economic explosion is a consequence of political change (the fall of the Soviet state discredited central planning); the free movement of capital around the world (the daily flow of trillions of dollars lubricates the global economy); and the communications revolution (the Internet and cellphones have transformed business by driving down costs and increasing efficiency).

The rise of India and China

In presenting this story, Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and an astute analyst of US foreign policy, looks closely at economic developments in China and India, and assesses how the spread of global wealth will affect the US.

With annual economic growth averaging 9 percent for the past 30 years, China has emerged as a global economic powerhouse. In 1978, the country made 200 air conditioners; in 2005, it made 48 million. It produces two-thirds of the world’s photocopiers, microwave ovens, and shoes, and now exports as much each day as it did in all of 1978.

The average income for a Chinese person has increased sevenfold during that time, allowing 400 million people to escape poverty. While the country faces enormous challenges (how, for example, will the government reconcile its policy of economic liberalization with its refusal to democratize the political system?), China will prove a formidable competitor for the United States and a key concern for US policymakers.

Zakaria’s discussion of India is particularly incisive. Born and raised there (he left to attend Yale University and later Harvard University), he details the changes washing over the country, which, like China, is developing at warp speed. While there are key differences between them (India is a democracy), India’s remarkable growth, like China’s, has drastically reduced poverty. More Indians have risen from poverty in the past 10 years than in the previous 50.

Though the Indian economy is far smaller than China’s, experts predict that by 2020, its gross domestic product will equal Britain’s. Driven by a high rate of personal consumption, India’s economy, based mainly on services and industry, is unlike any in the developing world. To be sure, hundreds of millions of Indians remain unspeakably poor, but Zakaria claims that the economic expansion can be felt everywhere, “even in the slums.” And US policymakers and business leaders will be glad to know that the Indians are overwhelmingly pro-American.

What role will America play?

Zakaria concludes with an assessment of America’s place in this new era. The US should not be alarmed, he writes, for it will not be an anti-American age. Indeed, the American political and economic model is admired across the globe.

America can maintain its considerable economic power, Zakaria argues. Immigration and American higher education will help the economy remain vibrant and innovative. And America’s existing strength in nanotechnology and biotechnology, two cutting-edge industries, will catalyze American economic growth well into the 21st century.

Nevertheless, the US confronts real challenges. Zakaria sees the American political system – captured by “money, special interests, a sensationalist media, and ideological attack groups” – as the country’s “core weakness.” It serves partisan battles, he writes, but solves no real problems.

Zakaria is also concerned that in recent years American leaders have seemed “clueless about the world.” While the Middle East is important, it is time to stop worrying mainly about the ancient conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq. Instead, US policymakers should start thinking seriously about the 21st century. Forging constructive relationships with China, India, Russia, and Brazil will be essential, for it is there that the “future is being made.”

source :
http://features.csmonitor.com/books/2008/06/13/a-world-in-which-the-us-is-no-longer-no-1/

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-muslim voice-
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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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The rule of law prevails

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

The rule of law prevails

From Friday’s Globe and Mail

June 13, 2008 at 7:55 AM EDT

The United States’ prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been fatally undermined. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the president and Congress cannot deny a prisoner at Guantanamo the right to cry out to an independent judge in civilian courts that he is being wrongly detained. With that, it is time for President George W. Bush to ensure that the walls of Guantanamo come tumbling down.

This is a constitutional ruling for the ages. The issue was whether the Constitution could be switched on and off at will, as Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 5-4 majority, put it. Dissenting, Justice Antonin Scalia warned that Americans would die as a result of the ruling. But Justice Kennedy wisely said security exists “in fidelity to freedom’s first principles.”

Detainee hearings at Guantanamo have been rigged by the state. The men who brought yesterday’s case are Bosnians who were suspected of plotting to bomb the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo; Bosnian police turned them over six years ago to U.S. authorities. When a U.S. military tribunal declared them enemy combatants, they had no lawyers to represent them; they were not allowed to know the most important allegations against them; they had limited means to find or present evidence in their defence; and there were no limits on the state’s use of hearsay, making it impossible for them to challenge witnesses. And because the Supreme Court had ruled it acceptable to hold prisoners for the duration of a war – and the war on terror could last a generation or more – these men faced a virtual life sentence.

No wonder a British jurist called Guantanamo Bay a legal black hole. And no wonder all Western countries, except Canada, insisted that the U.S. send their nationals home. Only Canada has allowed its citizen, Omar Khadr, arrested at 15 in Afghanistan (he’ll be 22 in September) to disappear into that black hole. Let the process work, the Harper government says. But the very foundation of the process, as the U.S. Supreme Court says, is unlawful.

Whatever value Guantanamo Bay had in extracting intelligence from its prisoners has surely been exhausted by now, for almost all the detainees.

Serious terrorist suspects should receive fair hearings in U.S. civilian courts. Mr. Khadr should be handed to Canadian authorities, who can decide, in accordance with Canadian and international law, how to deal with him.

Guantanamo is a blight on a proud democracy. The Supreme Court’s stirring decision is a triumphant moment for the rule of law in the United States.

source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080613.wesupreme13/BNStory/specialComment/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20080613.wesupreme13

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-muslim voice-
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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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‘Special Weapons’ Have a Fallout on Babies in Fallujah

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

‘Special Weapons’ Have a Fallout on Babies in Fallujah

by Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail – June 13, 2008

FALLUJAH – Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say.

The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after “special weaponry” was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.

After denying it at first, the Pentagon admitted in November 2005 that white phosphorous, a restricted incendiary weapon, was used a year earlier in Fallujah.

In addition, depleted uranium (DU) munitions, which contain low-level radioactive waste, were used heavily in Fallujah. The Pentagon admits to having used 1,200 tons of DU in Iraq thus far.

Many doctors believe DU to be the cause of a severe increase in the incidence of cancer in Iraq, as well as among US veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War and through the current occupation.

“We saw all the colors of the rainbow coming out of the exploding American shells and missiles,” Ali Sarhan, a 50-year-old teacher who lived through the two US sieges of 2004 told IPS. “I saw bodies that turned into bones and coal right after they were exposed to bombs that we learned later to be phosphorus.

“The most worrying is that many of our women have suffered loss of their babies, and some had babies born with deformations.”

“I had two children who had brain damage from birth,” 28-year-old Hayfa’ Shukur told IPS. “My husband has been detained by the Americans since November 2004 and so I had to take the children around by myself to hospitals and private clinics. They died. I spent all our savings and borrowed a considerable amount of money.”

Shukur said doctors told her that it was use of the restricted weapons that caused her children’s brain damage and subsequent deaths, “but none of them had the courage to give me a written report.”

“Many babies were born with major congenital malformations,” a pediatric doctor, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. “These infants include many with heart defects, cleft lip or palate, Down’s syndrome, and limb defects.”

The doctor added, “I can say all kinds of problems related to toxic pollution took place in Fallujah after the November 2004 massacre.”

Many doctors speak of similar cases and a similar pattern. The indications remain anecdotal, in the absence of either a study, or any available official records.

The Fallujah General Hospital administration was unwilling to give any statistics on deformed babies, but one doctor volunteered to speak on condition of anonymity — for fear of reprisals if seen to be critical of the administration.

“Maternal exposure to toxins and radioactive material can lead to miscarriage and frequent abortions, still birth, and congenital malformation,” the doctor told IPS. There have been many such cases, and the government “did not move to contain the damage, or present any assistance to the hospital whatsoever.

“These cases need intensive international efforts that provide the highest and most recent technologies that we will not have here in a hundred years,” he added.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expressed concern Mar. 31 about the lack of medical supplies in hospitals in Baghdad and Basra.

“Hospitals have used up stocks of vital medical items, and require further supplies to cope with the influx of wounded patients. Access to water remains a matter of concern in certain areas,” the ICRC said in a statement.

A senior Iraqi health ministry official was quoted as saying Feb. 26 that the health sector is under “great pressure”, with scores of doctors killed, an exodus of medical personnel, poor medical infrastructure, and shortage of medicines.

“We are experiencing a big shortage of everything,” said the official, “We don’t have enough specialist doctors and medicines, and most of the medical equipment is outdated.

“We used to get many spinal and head injures, but were unable to do anything as we didn’t have enough specialists and medicines,” he added. “Intravenous fluid, which is a simple thing, is not available all the time.” He said no new hospitals had been built since 1986.

Iraqi Health Minister Salih al-Hassnawi highlighted the shortage of medicines at a press conference in Arbil in the Kurdistan region in the north Feb. 22. “The Iraqi Health Ministry is suffering from an acute shortage of medicines…We have decided to import medicines immediately to meet the needs.”

He said the 2008 health budget meant that total expenditure on medicines, medical equipment and ambulances would amount to an average of 22 dollars per citizen.

But this is too late for the unknown number of babies and their families who bore the consequences of the earlier devastation. And it is too little to cover the special needs of babies who survived with deformations.

source : http://www.antiwar.com/ips/fadhily.php?articleid=12984

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-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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A Failed Project for the New American Century?

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

A Failed Project for the New American Century?


[]
[]
The question now is – how did The Project for the New American Century go?

By Tim Buchholz

It was early morning (for me) when my roommate got a call from his mother in Wisconsin telling him to turn on the TV. That’s when we saw the first building on fire. We ran to our roof in Brooklyn that overlooked Manhattan and saw the plumes of smoke filling the air, and that’s when we saw the second plane hit. We were in shock; we couldn’t believe what we just saw. We thought the world was ending.

As soon as the trains were running again, my friend and I went in to the city and got off at Union Square/14th Street, where anything below 14th was blocked off. Makeshift hospitals lined the streets as gurney’s rushed past us with bleeding bodies through the smoke clouded air.

“How could this have happened?” we asked ourselves as a soldier motioned with his machine gun that we could not go any further.

I’m sure we all have stories of where we were on 9/11; even those numbers will never be the same to us again. And there are just as many theories as to why it happened, and who is to blame. I’m not going to try to answer those questions, but 9/11 did set into motion a military plan that seemed to have been waiting for it to happen.

In 1997, many of the names we have seen so often since the War in Iraq began were listed as members of a neoconservative think tank called “Project for a New American Century,” or PNAC. Founded by William Kristol (not the comedian) and Robert Kagan, its stated goal according to Wikipedia was “to promote American global leadership. Fundamental to the PNAC are the views that American leadership is both good for America and good for the world and support for a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity.” And their Statement of Principle ends with, “While such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today, it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.” They felt that America was the most powerful country in the world and it was their duty to keep it that way, protecting the world while serving the interests of the United States. PNAC called for an increase in military spending, and a redeployment of our troops oversees to meet modern needs.

In January 1998, in a letter to Bill Clinton, written in part by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, PNAC called for the US Military to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and later criticized the December 1998 bombing attempts the Clinton Administration had made in Iraq, calling them ineffective.

George W. Bush was elected in 2000, and his Vice President (Dick Cheney), the VP’s Chief of Staff (I. Lewis Scootter Libby), Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld), Deputy Secretary of Defense (Paul Wolfowitz), Deputy Secretary of State (Richard Armitage), and his appointed Ambassador to the UN (John R. Bolton) were all members of PNAC, as well as many members of his cabinet and his brother Jeb, who was Governor of Florida during the recount that made him president. PNAC published a 90 page report entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources for a New Century” which explains exactly how they planned to implement their program, and also states, “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” They knew the American people wouldn’t go for the plan without a major catastrophe, and they were about to get it. But let’s backtrack just a bit.

Dick Cheney had been Secretary of Defense under George Bush Sr., and as we all know moved on to Halliburton after Bush Sr.’s presidency. During the Clinton Administration, the stock value for Halliburton dropped significantly, and they were rumored to be doing business through their subsidiary businesses with Iran, even though sanctions forbid such dealings. George Jr. asked Cheney to help him pick a VP for his presidential run, and Cheney suggested … Cheney.

Once elected, Bush put Cheney in charge of a national energy policy team called “National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG).” According to www.halliburtonwatch.org, Cheney’s group “met secretly with lobbyists and representatives of the petroleum, coal, nuclear, natural gas, and electricity industries. Many of these individuals work for energy companies which gave large campaign contributions to Bush/Cheney 2000. Environmental groups were mostly excluded from the task force.”

Congress asked Cheney to release the information from these meetings, and he declined. Judicial Watch sued under “The Freedom of Information Act” to make these reports public, and finally managed to get some released in July 2003. According to www.halliburtonwatch.org, “Those documents include maps of Iraqi and other mid-east oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, two charts detailing various Iraqi oil and gas projects, and a March 2001 list of “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” They also sate that, “In January 2003, The Wall Street Journal reported that representatives from Halliburton, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron-Texaco Corp. and Conoco-Phillips, among others, had met with Vice President Cheney’s staff to plan the post-war revival of Iraq’s oil industry. However, both Cheney and the companies deny the meeting took place.” The War didn’t begin until March 2003, but we already had maps showing who would get Iraq’s Oil Fields when the war was over, drawn up in meetings held between January and May, 2001.

According to “Crossing the Rubicon – Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney” by
Michael Kane, “On May 8, 2001 – four months prior to 9/11 – the president placed Dick Cheney in charge of all federal programs dealing with weapons of mass destruction consequence management within the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies… This included all training and planning which needed to be seamlessly integrated, harmonious and comprehensive in order to maximize effectiveness. This mandate created the Office of National Preparedness in FEMA, overseen by Dick Cheney.”

Michael Kane goes on to say that Cheney and the Secret Service were running War Games on 9/11, “that placed ‘false blips’ on FAA radar screens. These war games eerily mirrored the real events of 9/11 to the point of the Air Force running drills involving hijacked aircraft as the 9/11 plot actually unfolded. The war games & terror drills played a critical role in ensuring no Air Force fighter jocks – who had trained their entire lives for this moment – would be able to prevent the attacks from succeeding. These exercises were under Dick Cheney’s management.”

As the planes hit, Dick Cheney was rushed to a secret bunker/command center, while George W. Bush read to school children. Who was really in charge that day? And was this the new “Pearl Harbor” that PNAC had said it would take to implement their plans?

After 9/11, we started to hear links between Al Qaeda and Hussein, mainly from Members of PNAC who happened to be in Bush’s administration, like Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Then we heard the reports of the WMD’s and the PNAC plan to invade Iraq was set into motion.

The question now is – how did The Project for the New American Century go? PNAC had stated that removing Hussein from power would be good for American interests. Well, our economy is in a recession, we are spending 275 million dollars a day in the war, the dollar is hitting record lows, and there are rumors of oil reaching $150.00 a barrel in just a few weeks time. Bush’s approval rating has gone from close to 70% at the start of the war to 67% disapproval. Donald Rumsfeld was forced to resign. Scooter Libby was implicated in the Valerie Plame scandal, which some say was an attack on her husband for his views about the US’s desires to go to war. Paul Wolfowitz went on to lead The World Bank, till he was forced to resign amidst scandal. Republicans are distancing themselves from the Bush Administration, and a new report was just issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee stating the administration “led the nation to war on false premises,” and, “statements that Iraq had a partnership with Al Qaeda were wrong and unsupported by intelligence.”
So far, not so good.

But, according to www.halliburtonwatch.org, Halliburton’s stock price tripled since the Iraq invasion from $20 to $63 as of 2005. They have since leveled off to around $50.00 today. Cheney still has stock options from Halliburton, but he gives the profits to charity. Then in March of 2007, amidst scandals for no-bid contracts and overcharging our troops, they moved their headquarters out of the United States and to the United Arab Emirates, which means they are no longer an American based company or pay American taxes. Exxon Mobile beat its own 2006 record profit by 3%, and according to a U.S. News report from February 2008 called “Exxon’s Profits: Measuring a Record Windfall” by Marianne Lavelle, “If Exxon Mobil were a country, its 2007 profit would exceed the gross domestic product of nearly two thirds of the 183 nations in the World Bank’s economic rankings. It would be right in there behind the likes of Angola and Qatar­two oil-producing nations, incidentally, where Exxon has major operations.” She also says, “Exxon Mobil’s profits are 80 percent higher than those of General Electric, which used to be the largest U.S. company by market capitalization before Exxon left it in the dust in 2005. Microsoft earns about a third as much money. And next to Exxon, the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, looks like a quaint boutique, with annual profits of about $11 billion.” It is interesting to note that their headquarters are in Bush’s home state of Texas. According to Ms. Lavelle, Exxon-Mobile was not the only oil company to profit; the major oil companies combined profits for 2007 surpassed 100 billion.

The members of The Project for the New American Century felt that America was in a prime position atop the rest of the world in 1998, and called for an increase in military spending to keep that position. According to Gordon Lubold of The Christian Science Monitor; “Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the defense budget has ballooned about 35 percent.” He goes on to say, “For the 2009 fiscal year, the Defense Department is asking for $515 billion and a separate $70 billion to cover war costs into the early months of a new administration. Those amounts combined would represent the highest level of military spending since the end of World War II (adjusted for inflation).” He says that we are currently spending 4% of our GDP on Defense, (as much as the rest of the world put together) which The Pentagon wants to keep as the new “floor” for Defense spending. But Mr. Lubold goes on to say that this trend is coming to an end. He quotes Steven Kosiak, a senior budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, another think tank in Washington as saying “Under this plan, between fiscal year 2010 and 2013, The Defense Department’s base budget would be cut by 1.5 percent. Thus, the administration is proposing that the buildup, begun in earnest after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, should come to an end in fiscal 2010.”

So the war in Iraq led to an increase in the short term, but looks like it will lead to a decrease in the future. The dollar is reaching new lows and people are starting to invest in Euros and Yen instead. Our housing market has crashed. Our deficit continues to grow. China and India’s economies are growing and threatening to overtake our prime spot on top. It has been suggested by our own Senate in a Bipartisan report that we went to war under false pretense. An article in today’s Los Angeles Times states that “Monthly growth in unemployment rate is biggest in over 20 years,” and the Dow Jones dropped sharply after this report and another rise in oil prices. And even PNAC’s website, www.newamericancentury.org, has been taken down, saying only “This account has been suspended. Please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible.”

Do not forget, PNAC also said that their, “Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity” was good for the world too. Noam Chomsky, interviewed by Gabriel Mathew Schivone in May 2008’s “Monthly Review” states, “There was a recent study by two leading terrorism experts (using RAND Corporation government data) which concluded that what they called the “Iraq effect”­meaning, the effect of the Iraq invasion on incidents of terror in the world­was huge. In fact, they found that terror increased about seven-fold after the invasion of Iraq.” The rise in oil prices has led to a food crisis all over the world. According to “2008: The Year of Global Food Crisis” by Kate Smith and Rob Edwards, “Millions more of the world’s most vulnerable people are facing starvation as food shortages loom and crop prices spiral ever upwards. And for the first time in history, say experts, the impact is spreading from the developing to the developed world.”

How did it go? I guess it all depends on whose interests you’re interested in.

source: http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=13878

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-muslim voice-
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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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ONE OF THE GREATEST CRIMES

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity) #383 June 13, 2008

“ONE OF THE GREATEST CRIMES”

Jimmy Carter calls the Israeli blockade of Gaza an atrocity

At a news conference in Wales, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip “one of the greatest human rights crimes now existing on Earth”. Rejecting Israel’s rationale for the blockade, he stated that, “There is no reason to treat these people this way.”

Carter has spoken out on Gaza before. The 83-year-old has in the past branded Israel’s blockade of Gaza a “crime and an atrocity”. As a result, Israel’s government boycotted Carter during his recent visit to Israel.

Israeli hostility towards Carter is extraordinary, given his past accomplishments on Israel’s behalf. When he was president, Carter spared no effort to promote Mid East peace. The crucial peace deal he brokered 30 years ago between Egypt and Israel immeasurably increased Israeli security.

Israelis turned against Carter when he published a book entitled “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid”. In it Carter compared Israeli policies in the West Bank to White South Africa’s racist regime. As he demonstrated, the situation in the occupied West Bank begs this comparison to South Africa.

Carter is well versed in international affairs. He has seen first hand the Israeli system of separate roads in the West Bank for Jews and for Arabs. He has witnessed the lack of freedom of movement for Palestinians. He has seen Israel’s control and confiscation of Palestinian land and Israel’s continued settlement activity, which contravenes all the promises Israel made and signed.

In the peace agreement with Egypt that Carter brokered 30 years ago, Israel agreed to “full autonomy” for the occupied territories and promised not to settle there. These promises have been forgotten by Israel, but not by Carter.

Carter is trying to advance the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. His methods of creating peace have been highly successful in the past and, in terms of results, Carter beats out any of those who ostracize him now. And for the peace agreement with Egypt, he deserves the respect reserved for royalty for the rest of his life. His advice deserves to be listened to with interest by Israel now.

Adapted from “Carter says Israel has arsenal of 150 nuclear weapons”, printed on May 26, 2008 and “Our Debt to Jimmy Carter”, an editorial column printed on April 15, 2008. Both texts appeared in Israel’s leading newspaper Ha’aretz. See full texts at:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/987158.html and http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/974893.html

Distributed by PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity).

WWW.PAJUMONTREAL.ORG

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-muslim voice-
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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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The black days of 1948

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

The black days of 1948

By Dr. Marwan Asmar
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jun 13, 2008, 00:14

For a long time, Israel sought to perpetuate a myth that it was not their officials who sought to expel the Palestinians out of their country but it was the Arabs who made them leave. This is how Israel justified and today justifies its existence by denying what it has done to others.

The Palestinian Diaspora of 1948, in which over 750,000 people were forced to leave their homes, was made virtually at gunpoint. This year, as Israelis celebrate their 60th birthday in a bombastic fashion, Palestinians remember their Nakba of destruction and turmoil signified by their uprooting from their land. It is this monstrous equation that has to be driven at the forefront by scholars, academics, journalists, commentators, politicians, and activists so that the world is educated about the Israeli’s forced exodus of the Palestinians.

Instead, the Nakba of 1948 is remembered in passing. The deaths and destruction of the time are treated as casual events. Sure the Nakba is bemoaned, but the depth of the tragedy continues to be lacking as Israel is an established fact which nobody has the right to question!

Today, Israel is seen as a de facto state, a legal entity, a member of the world community, an entity with military and economic muscle as well as a democratic state. The way it came to exist, although very disturbing, people, Jews and worldwide liberals have for a long time tried to brush under the carpet — the secrets of massacres, destruction and general mayhem and of the removal of one set of people by another.

Established Zionist politicians and Israel’s military leaders understood there would come a day when the cat would be let out of the bag and the terrible secret of the massacres, transfers, expulsions, destruction of whole villages would become known to the whole world.

That’s why they’ve sought to legitimize their entity since 1948 by wrapping their existence in mythical literature — histories, biographies and novels — written in English to capture the hearts and minds of Western audiences and politicians. Some biographies and autobiographies have been cleverly done, written in anecdotal style of the long-last return of the Jews. The Palestinians, the injured party, were secondary, peripheral, meaningless, as if they didn’t exist.

Over a 60-year period, politicians, beginning with David Ban Gurion, the first Zionist leader who justified the terror tactics against the Palestinians, Menachem Begin, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres, have all sought to write a “history of their struggles” in Palestine/Israel and how they made it bloom.

While Golda Meir, for instance, touched on her human aspects of her political career, Shimon Peres tried to provide a political history of Israel, and the political actions during the pre-state days of the 1930s and 1940s.

The biographies and histories soon became powerful weapons and public relations exercises to buy time, strength and support — especially in America — for Israel, which was built on the blood of the Palestinian people, young and old, men and women, children and toddlers.

Through their Jewish organizations and paramilitary groups like the Haganah, the Palmach, its strike force; the Irgun and the Stern gang, some of whom were trained and supplied by the British authorities — facts that have been documented — 13 large massacres were committed in 1948 alone, and up to 100 ‘smaller’ massacres, according to none other than Jewish historians who have been documenting what their Jewish comrades were doing.

One or two massacres, like Dier Yassin in which around 254 women, men, children, old, pregnant women were slaughtered by being shot point-blank, are slowly being remembered for their ferocity which many Jews have became proud of.

April 8, 1948, is a day that should be a black day not only for Palestinians, Arabs, the world and even for Israelis themselves who sought to establish their ‘paradise’ come what may.

Others massacres in Palestine were ‘small,’ as few as five people killed, but many others killed 50 to a 100. The massacres began roughly as early as 1946 when Zionist terrorists bombed the King David Hotel, killing 91 people, but they continued in 1947 and increased throughout 1948 to grab as much land as possible.

Terming it Plan Dalet, the aim of the Jewish paramilitaries that were strongly organized and together with the reservists, altogether comprising more than 100,000 armed men against around a 14,000 Arab army, wanted to take as much land as possible outside of that allocated to them by United Nations Resolution 191 dividing historical and geographical Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Israeli.

Plan Dalet was an attempt to drive the Palestinians out through instilling fear into the local Palestinian villagers and town dwellers and force them to leave their land and their houses. People were panic stricken, a mass-flight was induced, Israeli loudspeakers telling people to leave for their own safety as sirens wailed.

Palestinians were made into refugees overnight. They left under bombardment. Of the Palestinians captured many were killed as a lesson to others that they too would be killed if they harbored any signs of resistance.

Despite the instructions of the Arab Higher Committee urging people not to leave, Palestinians made an exit to avoid what they were hearing about the massacres, and in honor of their women and in fear for their children; stories were being spread by none other than the Jews that women were being raped and killed and it would be best to leave in that situation.

Palestinians left with the keys to their houses. Some at first sought refuge in nearby villages; some went over into neighboring countries, such as Lebanon and Syria where the idea of borders were still rudimentary. People genuinely believed it would be a matter of days and weeks before they could return to tilling their fields, and they didn’t fathom the fact that their exile would become permanent.

Some still alive today said that after May 15 1948, when they were exiled to Jordan, they tried to go back via taxis, which was doubly difficult in those days, only to find that their houses had become occupied by Jewish families.

These houses were, ironically, the lucky ones. Other villages were quickly decimated soon after they were depopulated and emptied of their inhabitants.

To erase the semblance of a prior Palestinian entity more than 500 villages were destroyed in 1948, and many of these were given Jewish names to cover the evil deeds.

When the Palestinians left, the key to their houses became a permanent symbol of their lost return, of homes and houses taken over by working class Jews, middle class Jews, Jewish liberals, university professors and extremists who since then have had no qualms about living in somebody else’s quarters or taking away their homes.

A body of literature was written throughout the years, particularly after the 1960s, examining just why the Palestinians were made into refugees and increasingly questioning the Israeli narrative that it was calls from the Arab countries that told the people to leave.

Erskine Childers, an Irish journalist, first started the ball rolling with his early 1960s article in the London weekly magazine, The Spectator, stating he found no evidence to suggest that it was the Arab countries that were responsible for the creation of Palestinian refugees, but, on the contrary, it was the then Jewish paramilitaries that forced the exodus.

Palestinian academic Dr Walid Al Khalidi sought to expose the Zionist myth, then it was Rosemary Al Sayigh, a British writer and academic who wrote extensively on the Palestinian uprooting, and, in the 1980s, Michael Palumbo wrote about 1948.

These writings may have influenced a body of Jewish academics that also begun to examine their own creation as an Israeli state. Dubbed as the new historians, they gained prominence in the 1990s onwards and by examining state archives made available concluded that Israeli officials were indeed behind the Palestinian flight from their towns and villages and homes.

source: http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_3369.shtml

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-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Bukti Foto : Panitia AKKBB Todongkan Senjata

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Bukti Foto : Panitia AKKBB Todongkan Senjata
http://www.derap.net/

Written
by Administrator Friday, 13 June 2008 02:35

Emacs!

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Last Updated ( Friday, 13 June 2008 02:44 )

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-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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10 theses regarding relations between the West and Muslim countries

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Jurgen Todenhofer’s 10 theses regarding relations between the West and Muslim countries

Dr. Jurgen Todenhofer, a German executive, author and former politician, has travelled to Iraq several times before, returned there independently. On this occasion in Ramadi, he met those about whom we know very little: Iraqi resistance fighters from Baathist, nationalist and moderate Islamic groups. His conversations with them revealed shocking personal stories, experienced by people such as Yussuf, a Christian who fights alongside Muslims, Aisha, who speaks for the mothers of the resistance fighters, and 22-year-old Zaid.

In a detailed epilogue, Jurgen Todenhfer has honed his view of the relations between the West and Muslim countries into 10 theses. His conclusion: the main cause of terrorism is a tradition of colonialism and neocolonialism going back more than 200 years, and ignorance and condescension in the attitude of the Christian West toward the Islamic East. The West must at last treat the Muslim world just as fairly as other cultures and religions, and give up its policy of waging war on terrorism. For their part, Muslims must make a sustainable commitment to an Islam that stands for progress and tolerance.

Here are the main headings:

1. The West is much more violent than the Muslim world. Millions of Arab civilians have been killed since colonialism began.

2. Faced with the warmongering of the West, it is really not surprising that support for Muslim extremists continues to grow.

3. Terrorists in Islamic disguise are murderers. The same holds true for the ringleaders disguised as Christians who wage wars of aggression in contravention of international law.

4. Muslims were and are at least as tolerant as Jews and Christians. They have made a major contribution to Western civilization.

5. Love of God and love of one’s neighbor are the central commandments not only in the Bible but also in the Qur’an.

6. Western policies towards the Muslim world suffer from a shocking ignorance of even the simplest facts.

7. The West must treat the Muslim world just as fairly as it treats Israel. Muslims are worth as much as Jews and Christians.

8. The Muslims must champion a progressive and tolerant Islam, as did their prophet Muhammad. They must strip terrorism of its religious mask.

9. Nothing fosters terrorism more than the West’s “war on terror”. Muslim countries must resolve their problems with radical Islamism themselves.

10. What is needed now is the art of statesmanship, not the art of war – in the Iran conflict, the Iraq conflict and the Palestine conflict.

source : http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net/tentheses.htm

The ten theses, along with their explanation, can be read at this link: http://www.whydoyoukillzaid.com/en/10-theses/all-of-the-ten-theses.html

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-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Report cites Ethiopian ‘war crimes’

Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Report cites Ethiopian ‘war crimes’


The Ogaden National Liberation Front is fighting for greater independence for ethnic Somalis

An international human rights group has accused the Ethiopian army of carrying out executions, rapes and torture against civilians in the eastern Ogaden region of the country.

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released on Thursday also criticised the country’s main donors – the US, Britain and the European Union – of ignoring their actions.

The 130-page report says that violence has increased since June 2007 when the army launched a campaign against the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) following an attack on a Chinese-run oil installation.

The attack on the oil installation left 74 Ethiopian and Chinese civilians dead.

‘Public executions’

Georgette Gagnon, HRW’s director for Africa, said in a statement: “The Ethiopian army’s answer to the rebels has been to viciously attack civilians in Ogaden.”

Related article


Tensions in the Horn of Africa

The army is said to have forcibly displaced entire villages, destroyed homes and executed at least 150 civilians.

HRW says that some executions were carried out publicly to terrorise communities.

The army is also accused of capriciously detaining hundreds of people in military bases.

The report quotes witnesses who say that villages were razed to the ground and people beaten with rifle handles and barrels.

“It lasted for more than an hour. They tied both my legs and lifted me upside down to the ceiling with a rope and kept beating me more saying I had to confess,” one witness said.

“For two months we underwent this same ordeal.”

‘ONLF propaganda’

However, Bereket Simon, special adviser to Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, dismissed the report saying that HRW had founded its claims on ONLF propaganda.

“Human Rights Watch is engaged in misinforming the public based on the information of the ONLF, whose forces have been destroyed by the actions of the Ethiopian government,” he said.


“They don’t have any representative on the ground but have chosen to issue a report on hearsay from the ONLF apparatus.”

When questioned about whether the government would launch an investigation Simon said: “How can we investigate lies and innuendoes? How can we try to disprove lies by investigating?”

HRW accused Ethiopia’s main donors – the US, UK and EU, who together contribute $2bn of aid annually to the Ethiopian government – of “maintaining a conspiracy of silence around the crimes.”

Ethiopia is a key US ally in the Horn of Africa region where al-Qaeda forces are operating.

‘Wilfully blind’

“The United States is being wilfully blind” Gagnon said.

“Because Ethiopia is viewed as a key ally in the counterterrorism efforts, they are perhaps prepared to look the other way at abuses committed by Ethiopian soldiers.

“Because Ethiopia is viewed as a key ally in the counterterrorism efforts, they are perhaps prepared to look the other way at abuses committed by Ethiopian soldiers”

Georgette Gagnon, HRW’s director for Africa

“Silence is complicity in this case,” she said.

HRW, who undertook the investigation between September and December last year, interviewed more than 100 victims.

The report says that violence has decreased in 2008, but that abuses are continuing.

The US and EU have declined to comment on the situation in Ogadan.

At a news conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, HRW said that its information gathering process had been rigorous and that it was “100 per cent confident” about its findings.

They called on Washignton to investigate what they called war crimes to comply with the Leahy law, a human rights stipulation in the US foreign assistance legislation.

The Ogaden is an arid stretch of land the size of Britain on the border with Somalia.

It has a population of about four million people and is being explored for oil and gas.

Fighting has been taking place in the region for more than 10 years as ethnic Somalis there seek greater autonomy or an independent state.

Somalia lost control of the region in a war in 1977.

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-muslim voice-
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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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