Showing posts from July, 2019

The 2020 Candidates Are Ignoring Guantánamo

"The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have been nearly silent on a significant issue: Guantánamo. None of the candidates are making the still-open Guantánamo Bay prison a campaign issue. This is a huge shift from the Bush years, when liberal politicians criticized the Bush administration for the Iraq war, torture and other constitutional violations.
Throughout the first Democratic primary debate, Guantánamo was mentioned only once. During the first night, Ohio congressman Tim Ryan said, “terrorists at Guantánamo Bay” get better health care than migrant children detained in concentration camps on the southern United States border.
Describing the remaining Guantánamo detainees as “terrorists at Guantánamo Bay” gets it wrong. Most of them have not been charged nor tried for any crimes, let alone terrorism. They’re detained at Guantánamo indefinitely, which is against international human rights law. Only seven detainees are being tried at the military commissions but they have…

The Antiwar Right and the New Cold War

To read the Scott Horton interview of Pat Buchanan, July 23, 2019, click here.

Israel’s latest attempt to erase Palestine

By Professor Ilan Pappe

The attempt to suppress official documentation of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 is not new.
But efforts by teams from the Israeli defense ministry to remove sensitive documents from Israeli archives – as reported by the Haaretz newspaper recently – must be understood in a new political climate and are not simply an attempt to spare Israeli governments embarrassment, as some have suggested.
Those of us working with Nakba documents – Nakba means “catastrophe” and is the term Palestinians use for the expulsion in 1948 of some 800,000 people from their lands and homes in what became Israel – were already aware of the removal of these documents. For many years, for instance, historians were unable to revisit “the village files,” which formed an important proof in my argument that the 1948 war was an act of ethnic cleansing.
Some of the crucial material Benny Morris used on the Deir Yassin and al-Dawayima massacres could also not be not re-opened. They…

Ilhan Omar condmens Trump

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday fired a new salvo at President Donald Trump over his racist attacks on her and three other progressive Democratic congresswomen of color.
Omar, in a scathing op-ed for The New York Times titled “It Is Not Enough To Condemn Trump’s Racism,” explained that “the only way to push back is to be unequivocal about our values.”
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“Throughout history, demagogues have used state power to target minority communities and political enemies, often culminating in state violence,” Omar wrote. “Today, we face that threat in our own country, where the president of the United States is using the influence of our highest office to mount racist attacks on communities across the land.”
Trump for more than a week has repeatedly attacked Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) ― freshm…

Is Racism a Republican matter?

Ronald Reagan Makes Racist Comment To Richard Nixon In Newly Released Audio Ronald Reagan’s Racist Conversation With...Now Playing Ronald Reagan’s Racist Conversation With Richard Nixon Revealed HuffPost Ronald Reagan called United Nations delegates from African countries “monkeys” in a 1971 telephone call with then-President Richard Nixon, according to a newly released recording of the private conversation.
The National Archives released audio of the call between Nixon and Reagan, who was then the GOP governor of California, earlier this month. Nixon, dogged by the Watergate scandal, resigned the presidency in disgrace in 1974. Reagan went on to serve two terms as president in the 1980s.
“To see those, those monkeys from those African countries. Damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes,” Reagan told Nixon, reportedly in reference to members of the Tanzanian delegation dancing in the United Nations’ General Assembly following its vote to recognize the People’s Republic of C…

Shameful remarks of Senator Rand Paul

I was simply caught by surprise when I was informed of Senator Rand Paul's hostile remarks to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. I simply could not believe that the son of Ron Paul will do a thing like that! It was obscene and height of racism! In my letter to him, I wrote, "Shame on you, senator. I thought that within the Republican Party there is someone who dares to speak truth and stand for truth; I am disappointed. You have failed me and millions of Americans who wanted to believe in you."

Washington (CNN)Republican Sen. Rand Paul offered last week to buy Rep. Ilhan Omar a ticket to visit Somalia so "she might come back and appreciate America more," echoing racist language President Donald Trump recently used to attack the Somalian refugee and three other minority congresswomen. The remarks, given during an interview with Brietbart News, are another personal attack on the Minnesota Democrat, who was the subject of racist attacks made two weeks ago by Tr…

Report of Indian Muslims for Democracy Meeting

A meeting of prominent citizens, professionals and intellectuals from the Muslim community along with some non Muslim intellectuals under the platform “Indian Muslims for Democracy” took place at Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai on 29th July, 2019. Dr. Farrukh Waris, retired Principal of Burhani College and social activist, oriented the group to the objectives and purpose of the meeting. The objective of the meeting as she explained was to discuss the challenges facing the Muslim community vis-a vis communal harmony and democracy. The group identified certain issues faced by the Muslim community arising from their long term engagement with the various sections of the Muslim community and locating the community in the overall contemporary public discourse.
To begin with, the group felt that there is greater polarization in the society which alienates and isolates the Muslim community from the “mainstream”. One can blame media – both print and electronic, social media…

YouTube Debate: is anti-zionism same as anti-semitism?

To see the recently held debate on the subject click here:

More than one third of Israel's Arab citizens feel unsafe in their communities

From YNet

More than one third (35.8%) of Arab citizens of Israel say they feel they lack personal safety in their own communities, according to a study conducted by the Abraham Initiatives, a non-profit organization that advances coexistence between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens.
A parallel study conducted among Jewish Israelis put the percentage at just 12.8%.
More than one quarter (26.6%) of Arab citizens say they or a member of their family have been a victim of some form of violence, the study found.

The research was conducted over a period of one year by Dr. Nohad Ali and was presented this week to Knesset members, city mayors and police at a conference in Kafr Qassem, an Arab town east of Tel Aviv.

  According to the study, 35.8% of Arab citizens say they feel they lack personal safety in their own communities. A parallel study conducted among Jewish Israelis put the percentage at just 12.8%.
The study also found that 80.3% of Arab citizens consider violence on their…

What life is like on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh, where a UN-labeled 'genocide' has left 1 million refugees living in limbo

By James Pasley

Dividing Myanmar and Bangladesh is the Naf river. At times, it's 2 miles wide.
Below the Naf river, the Rakhine State in Myanmar has been a place of conflict for decades. The Rohingya people, who lived there, have not recognized as citizens since 1982.
In August 2017, Rohingya militants allegedly killed 12 Myanmar police officers, and Myanmar's military responded on a massive scale. A 2018 United Nations report accused the military of genocide, including murder, imprisonment, torture, and rape.
Fearing for their safety, hundreds of thousands fled into Bangladesh, primarily by crossing the river. To see the pictures, click the link:

Buddhist Sinahalese extremists

By Tariq A. Al Maeena - Special to Gulf News - July 13, 2019
When nine Sri Lankans blew themselves up in churches and luxury hotels and led to the deaths of more than 250 people, the ugly head of the Sinhala extremist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has roared back into action in inciting violence against the island’s minority Muslim population.

Last week, their leadership, which until recently was under arrest, had called for a nationwide conference to be held in the city of Kandy to be attended by monks from all over the Island.
Despite emergency regulations in force, this meeting was organised by Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, an extremist Buddhist monk (BBS General Secretary) who was recently released from prison by President Sirisena.
This comes at a time when the anti-Muslim campaign has made the community isolated and ostracized.

Considering the inflammatory nature of the convention, neither the authorities nor the police stepped in to stop this meeting, which had all the ingred…

Rohingya tell Myanmar they refuse to return without recognition

A campaign by Myanmar’s military in response to insurgent attacks in 2017 drove 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh’s southeastern border district of Cox’s Bazar, where they live in squalid camps, fearing further persecution if they return.
U.N. investigators have said Myanmar’s operation included mass killings, gang rapes and arson and was executed with “genocidal intent”. Myanmar denies the charge.
This is the second time Myanmar officials have visited the camps in Cox’s Bazar in an effort to convince Rohingya refugees to kick-start the repatriation process. In October, Rohingya rejected an offer to go back to their homeland when a Myanmar delegation held talks with leaders of the group.
The Myanmar delegation, led by permanent foreign secretary Myint Thu, held talks with 35 Rohingya leaders in Cox’s Bazar on Saturday and Sunday amid tightened security in the camps.
Rohingya leaders said they wanted Myanmar to recognize them as an ethnic group with the right to Myanmar c…

Better to have a few rats than to be one

Baltimore Sun Editorial:
In case anyone missed it, the president of the United States had some choice words to describe Maryland’s 7th congressional district on Saturday morning. Here are the key phrases: “no human being would want to live there,” it is a “very dangerous & filthy place,” “Worst in the USA” and, our personal favorite: It is a “rat and rodent infested mess.” He wasn’t really speaking of the 7th as a whole. He failed to mention Ellicott City, for example, or Baldwin or Monkton or Prettyboy, all of which are contained in the sprawling yet oddly-shaped district that runs from western Howard County to southern Harford County. No, Donald Trump’s wrath was directed at Baltimore and specifically at Rep. Elijah Cummings, the 68-year-old son of a former South Carolina sharecropper who has represented the district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996.
It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump…

‘Treat them as citizens’

KUALA LUMPUR: The Rohingya should be treated as Myanmar nationals or be given a chance to form their own state, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said even though Malaysia generally does not wish to interfere with the internal affairs of other countries, it does so in this case due to the massacre or genocide that is happening in Myanmar.
“Myanmar, of course, at one time was made up of many different states. But the British decided to rule Myanmar as one state – and because of that, many of the tribes (were) included in the state of Burma.
“But now they should either be treated as nationals or they should be given their territory to form their own state,” he said in an interview with Turkey’s Anadolu Agency in Ankara during his four-day visit to the country.In 2017, more than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya were driven from Rakhine state following a military-led crackdown that a United Nations’ report said included mass killings and gang rapes.
Former UN High Commissioner for Human…

Rohingya refugees press citizenship demands in talks with Myanmar

SHEHAB SUMON July 28, 2019 02:12 DHAKA: Rohingya refugees pressed their demand to be granted Myanmar citizenship in a meeting on Saturday with a delegation from Yangon. The meeting, held at the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in southeast Bangladesh, is the first between the Myanmar government and Rohingya Muslims since their exodus from their homeland in August 2017 to flee rampaging Buddhiest vigilantes.
The 17-member delegation from Myanmar arrived in Bangladesh on Friday night on a three-day visit to discuss repatriation issues with the refugees. The delegation included five members from ASEAN states led by the permanent secretary of the Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Myint Thu.
 A 35-member team of Rohingya community leaders participated in the Saturday meeting, which lasted for more than three hours.
The meeting is an outcome of Bangladesh’s efforts to persuade Myanmar to send a delegation to convince the Rohingyas about the situation in Rakhine —the province in Myanmar where most of t…

Learning to learn

By Habib Siddiqui A man came to Libnani, a Sufi teacher, and this interchange took place:

Man: “I wish to learn, will you teach me?”
Libnani: “I do not feel that you know how to learn.”
Man: “Can you teach me how to learn?”
Libnani: “Can you learn how to let me teach?”
[The Sufis: Idries Shah]

Merriam-Webster defines learning as: the act or experience of one that learns; knowledge or skill acquired by instruction or study; modification of a behavioral tendency by experience.
Learning is either experienced or acquired by instruction or study. It is the process of acquiring or delivering information.
Learning starts with inquiry, as so succinctly stated by Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) who nearly 14 centuries ago said, 'He who asks learns.' Umar ibn Khattab (RA) said, "Half of one's learning lies in his asking questions." [See this author’s book: Wisdom of Mankind, available in the for many such quotations.]

Thus, learning is a choice that one has to make to be knowle…