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As the World Turns

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A Little Perspective

What's happening in Egypt is important.  It is the first spring shoots of anti-imperialism pushing above the parched ground.    However, endlessly tossing around the inherent possibilities of the Egyptian Revolution at the expense of attending to any other events is probably a mistake, if an understandable one.  It may be that something beautiful will grown quickly, but more likely this is just the beginning of a long and uneven process.  Meanwhile, there are other events in the news. 

Lebanon: Another  Example {Equally Current, Very significant}

Leave us not forget that some countries, Lebanon for instance,  have been engaged in the battle for sovereignty for some time now, and they too have recently had a strong upsurge of new growth.  Using the Hariri Tribunal to attack Hezbollah was a mistake.   Hezbollah has the support of a plurality, if not a majority, of the population of Lebanon.  The recent undisguised and imperialist maneuver against Lebanon resulted in the government there ejecting the weak link and circling the wagons.   The undisguised malice of the maneuvering around the Tribunal was enough to convince even those previously on the fence.  Hezbollah now holds the controlling majority in the Lebanese government.

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Remember Iraq?

According to Niqash, an Iraqi news outlet, Iraq is levying a  tax on imports, including numerous food items that are not produced in sufficient amounts inside Iraq to meet the needs of the people.  This is a sad testament to the influence of neoliberalism on the country.  They should be subsidizing local farms and factories, not not undermining the survival of an already exhausted and traumatized population.   The Egyptian Uprising has inspired demonstrations in Iraq against the government.  Given the first issue mentioned, along with the fact that electricity and fresh water are still not available on a regular basis to ordinary Iraqis, this is not surprise.   In response, Mr. Al Maliki said that he would not run for Prime Minister again.   Right!   Three years from now, he isn't going to change his mind.   I say, he should go now, in a show of good faith.   All the Iraqi Parliamentarians who earn enough to spend most of their time in the West should go with him.    And what about all those people in the Green Zone and on the  big military bases in Iraq with swimming pools and Burger King?   They should go too.   The people of Iraq have been shot, beaten, tortured, starved and terrorized into submission, but they won't stay down for long.   The Sadrists have a foothold in the government along with a functional service organization and guns on the street.

The Washington Post Reports on the Home Front

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WaPo reports that American Reviewers can't find any flaws with Toyota Engineering.  Big surprise!   For months we heard about how Toyota's technical sloppiness was endangering our precious American lives.   GM needed a boost so the foreign competition was taken down a peg.   Sadly, Toyota has more employees in the US than GM.  Where does that leave us?

WaPo also reports that Muslim Students 'Prompt Debate' over free speech.  These students aren't debating.  They are suffering from ridiculously severe penalties for demonstrating at an Israeli speaker's event.  As a veteran of many inconvenient (for the target) protests and follower of Code Pink actions, I am shocked and horrified to see that Muslim students in California with no previous criminal records or complaints against them were convicted of Misdemeanors and given up to 6 months in jail for disrupting the speech of an Israeli apologist, while Code Pink can turn over a Congressional Committee Meeting and walk away with a slap on the hand.  Where is the justice?

Pakistan

Anti-Imperialist sentiment in Pakistan has reached new heights of late.    Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer, was murdered by one of his own security guards for opposing the prosecution of an elderly christian woman for blasphemy.    People cheered his murderer.  The reaction was so overwhelming that it became politically incorrect to attend his funeral.   It appears that the woman was harassed by her Muslim neighbors in petty ways an finally arrested and sentenced to death for an equally petty retort.    As a Christian, she was one of us in the eyes of her neighbors, and as a poor Pakistani, she was vulnerable to their rage.   One can give credit to Taseer for standing up against such a low and mean spirited prosecution, but he was part of the establishment, and the people knew it.   He was living well under the protection of imperialism while the masses suffered in his shadow. When he finally decided to take a stand, it was to an individual tied by culture to the enemy.  In the west, we look on and shake our heads at the barbarism of these people, but we don't bat an eye when our military drones fly over their homes and neighborhoods committing random acts of mayhem and murder in the name of Western Civilization.

Pakistan/US relations are on the rocks right now over a diplomatic impasse triggered by the fatal shooting of two men by Raymond Davis, a US Contractor in Pakistan who shot two men on a motorcycle in the back from his rental car on a busy street in Lahore.   He initially shot them through the windshield, then got out of his car, stood over them and fired a couple more shots into each man.   Another American in a car speeding to rescue him from the scene hit another motorcyclist and killed him as well.   The original driver was found by the Pakistani police to be carrying a Glock and a Berretta, along with a significant quantity of  high power bullets and M16 shells  in his car  where they also found several cell phones, a sat phone, a number of passports and embassy ids along with first aid supplies.   Who does this guy think he is?  James Bond?  Mossad?  Although he wasn't in possession of a diplomatic VISA, the US State Department insists  that he receive immunity as an employee of the American Embassy.   The Pakistani police aren't buying it.  If it looks like a professional hit and it smells like a professional hit and it bleeds like a professional hit, well the perpetrator must be a hit man.   Counterpunch, WaPo.

India

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Earlier this week, Countercurrents Blog published Swami Asimananda's Judicial Confession and it's Implications for Indian Fascism, a lengthy, detailed  article by Niloufer Bhagwat that documents India's fascist trends (sadly familiar and sadly unique)  as they played out in events that surrounded recent communal riots .

. . . .  the 2006 and 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts ,the 19th February 2007 Samjauta Express attack , the 2007 Meena Masjid bomb blasts in Hyderabad and the 11 th October 2007 Ajmer Sharif blasts, were the handiwork of Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh( RSS) Pracharaks, in which conspiracy , the Swami actively participated.

He later points out that numerous Muslim youths were accused and imprisoned for these and other similar incidents.  This meticulously documented  article supports what Dr. Abdul Jamil Khan says in his book,  the point of view presented by numerous Indian  films, that a few fanatics on both sides (Muslim/Hindu, Indian/Pakistani) work together to keep up the pretense of a war, with the intention to incite the people to bring that war to fruition.  Resist, oh Indian and Pakistani citizens.  Follow the road to reconciliation.   It  will lead you to peace and prosperity and security.   On the bright side, India and Pakistan have scheduled direct, high level talks about their mutual issues.   Could it be that, with the SCO wooing India, and Pakistan wooing the SCO, a little space in which to negotiate has materialized?

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I spent the 50s and 60s in an upwardly mobile household full of food and kids, but focused on success. From there I went to Drew University in Northern NJ, which was serious culture shock for a city girl from Upstate, but I received 2 gifts there (more...)
 

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