Don’t shut your eyes to this picture because WE did this. Now we have to make it right

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Amazing isn’t it?

We can all stomach endless grainy video images of boatloads of people drowning in the sea.

Yes, we’ll huff and puff a bit about how awful it is, but then we quickly get back to our own comparatively comfortable, non-drowning lives.

Yet one pin-sharp image of a three-year-old boy washed up on the shoreline and we stop and shudder in collective horror.

A horror that lingers, that cuts deep into our consciousness, that is far harder to casually etch from the mind.

I can’t stop thinking about Aylan Kurdi and I’m damn sure you can’t either if you’ve seen the photo.

Not the one of him being carried away by the Turkish police officer, because that conveys an air of humanity and kindness.

No, the photo I can’t stop thinking about it is the one of Aylan lying face down on the edge of the water.

His small dead body being lapped by the cold surf.

His soaking red T-shirt pulled half way up.

His pants crunched.

His tiny shoes baring their sodden soles to the sky.

Further down the beach lay his brother Galip, aged just five.

Their mother is also believed to have perished.

In total, 12 Syrian refugees lost their lives in this tragedy.

They’d been packed onto a tiny boat that set off from Bodrum in Turkey for Kos in Greece, a hazardous 5km journey that represented their best chance of reaching Europe.

Aylan’s family fled Kobane in Syria last year to escape the Islamic State, a group that delights in beheading, torturing, shooting and setting fire to anyone that displeases them.

And a group that wouldn’t now have such an iron grip in Syria were it not for the appalling, shockingly shameful decision by the United States and its chief ally Britain to invade Iraq in 2003 with lies and deception (actual reason for invasion – OIL) – the war that started the region’s slide into barbarity.

The barbarity Aylan and his family were trying to flee.

They, and millions like them in Syria, aren’t ‘migrants’, as so many ill-informed people on social media seem to think, and as some in mainstream media disingenuously encourage us to think.

They’re not trying to pursue a better economic life for themselves, something which is perfectly acceptable but which should be liable to strict immigration checks and balances.

No, they’re trying to save their lives.

They’re fleeing a country so ravaged by five years of war that it now resembles an inferno of hell.

Sixty per cent of all the refugees met by the International Rescue Committee on the Greek Islands are from Syria.

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They are refugees in the purest sense of that word.

People so desperate that they will risk death to seek sanctuary.

Imagine being Aylan’s parents as they paid their last savings over to some cut-throat mercenary in a final effort to make their kids safe again.

I have four children and if I had been in that situation, I’d have done exactly the same. Hoping and praying that if I made it to Greece, then somebody with a heart would help us.

Where is our heart now?

What have we become if we can’t deal with this tidal wave of despair?

Let’s be clear: we have a moral, ethical and legal duty to help them.

Syria is not one country’s nor one continent’s problem.

It’s everyone’s problem.

The repercussions of that conflict have had a direct impact on the security and finances of everywhere else in the world.

So what are we all doing about it?

Britain has taken in just a few hundred Syrian refugees so far, and Prime Minister David Cameron seems shamefully reluctant to increase that commitment.

This from a nation that went to war in Iraq on the spurious trumped up pretext of Saddam Hussein having WMDs. A totally unnecessary war that stirred up the hornet’s nest out of which ISIS and its barbaric ilk have emerged and thrived.

WE are thus largely to blame for this fiasco, and WE must take responsibility for the innocent victims of it.

America is just as culpable.

Since the Syrian conflict started, the United States has taken precisely 1,234 refugees.

Think about that for a moment. In fact, think about it for several long moments.

Because it’s an absolute bloody disgrace.

These people are fleeing the very mayhem which America and Britain helped create.

Yet neither the UK nor U.S. governments seem to give a damn about them.

The US State Department announced last week a new target of taking in up to 8,000 Syrian refugees in 2016.

To which my response is: PATHETIC.

Compare and contrast to Germany, the most powerful country in Europe.

It has pledged to take in 800,000.

That’s 100 times as many as the world’s most powerful country.

And that’s called proper leadership in the face of one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our times.

Cameron and Obama love to act the big brave boys on the global stage when it comes to standing up to terrorism.

They’ll order fighter jets and drones to rain down bombs on people’s heads.

Yet when it comes to stopping little children dying as they try and escape both the same terrorism and the military efforts to combat it, the same two men have shown themselves to be little more than timid, callous cowards.

Today, there is as much fevered debate about whether news organisations should have published the image of Aylan as there is as to what caused him to be dead in the first place.

We saw the same argument last week when a young female TV journalist and her cameraman were shot dead live on air.

‘We can’t publish the pictures because they are too horrendous!’ came the cry.

Yet that’s exactly why we should publish them.

As with that diabolical ISIS video of them setting on fire and killing a Jordanian pilot trapped in a cage, sometimes we need to SEE the full horror to fully understand it and be shocked enough to act on it.

The civil rights movement changed irrevocably in the ‘50s when a young black boy named Emmet Till was brutally mutilated and murdered by the Ku Klux Klan and his mother insisted on a public funeral with an open casket, allowing the world to see exactly what these evil bastards had done to her son.

I believe that if Americans had been allowed to see images from inside Sandy Hook school after the massacre of 20 young children in 2012, then new draconian gun laws would have been implemented within months.

(One family member told me each child was shot three to 11 times and each bullet wound was the size of a golf ball. Think the NRA could spin their way out of those pictures?)

Dramatic pictures have always told a thousand words, sometimes a million.

And this one of Aylan Kurdi is no different.

Look at it, digest it, recoil from it, get angered by it, shed a tear over it, and demand action from your politicians across the globe.

We owe it to Aylan to stop this cruel madness, and to stop it fast.

Because if we don’t, many more young kids will be washed up on the shores.

And their fresh young blood will be on all our hands.

Or should I say, even more of it.

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Latin America comes out in force against Israel

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MONTEVIDEO: Latin America’s leaders are among the most vehement in condemning Israel’s Gaza offensive – labeling the Jewish state “terrorist,” recalling ambassadors, and offering near-unanimous, unwavering support to Palestinians.

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“I can’t remember another similar situation where [all the countries in the region] have reacted practically as a bloc,” said political scientist Reginaldo Nasser, a professor at the Pontifical University in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

One of the most symbolic recent developments came from Bolivian President Evo Morales – one of the leaders of Latin America’s far left – who put Israel on its list of “Terrorist States” and eliminated a visa waiver program for Israeli citizens.

Nearly 1,500 Palestinians have been killed and 8,000 injured, two-thirds of them civilians, in Gaza in 24 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel. More than 245 of the dead Palestinians were children, UNICEF has said.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff this week called the Israeli military operation a “massacre.”

Tensions between the two countries had already escalated a week earlier, when Brazil recalled its envoy from Tel Aviv, a move that prompted Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman to call the Latin American powerhouse a “diplomatic dwarf.”

Rousseff’s condemnation did not go as far as some of her peers. Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro denounced “a war of extermination that has lasted nearly a century” against the Palestinian people. A lawmaker from his party used the term “genocide” – a term rejected by Rousseff.

Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and El Salvador have also recalled their ambassadors for consultations, while Costa Rica and Argentina, which have the largest Jewish populations in the region, called the Israeli ambassador for meetings at their foreign ministries.

The region has universally condemned the violence from Israeli military operations, urged a ceasefire and the resumption of negotiations between the two sides.

Uruguay President Jose Mujica asked Thursday for “an immediate withdrawal” of Israeli troops from Gaza and suggested it may also recall its envoy in Tel Aviv.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor expressed “deep disappointment” over the recalls, saying they constituted “encouragement for Hamas, a group recognized as a terror organization by many countries around the world.”

Other politically leftist Latin American countries had years earlier broken diplomatic relations with Israel, including Nicaragua in 2010, Venezuela and Bolivia in 2009, after a previous military campaign in Gaza, and Cuba, in 1973, after the Yom Kippur War.

The only somewhat dissonant voice has come from Colombia, where the center-right President Juan Manuel Santos has rejected calls to recall his diplomatic representative in Tel Aviv.

Political scientist Nasser, himself surprised by the nearly unanimous condemnation of Israel, suggested several reasons. “In the first place, a country today making a declaration against Israel is no longer considered outside international norms.”

There is also a link to anti-American sentiments, Nasser said, as a result of Israel’s especially close diplomatic relationship to the United States.

But official moves have also reflected public anger at the war, said political scientist Ithai Bras, of the Autonomous University of Mexico.

In recent weeks, several protests across the region, from Mexico to southern Chile, have seen thousands of Latin Americans take to the streets in support of Palestinians.

These pro-Palestinian protests have been larger in Europe and Latin America than in Arab countries, Nasser noted, suggesting the issue speaks to concerns over asymmetrical relations.

Bras said the protests are “an identification with pain, a sentiment of solidarity with what is happening in Latin America,” where feelings of oppression are widespread.

Arnoldo Kraus, a surgeon and columnist in Mexican newspaper El Universal, summed up many Latin Americans’ views on Israel-Palestine when he condemned Hamas but described Israel’s treatment of the Arabs as “racist” and the Jewish settlements on Palestinian land as “nauseating.”

He added: “The pictures of dead children horrify. … It’s impossible not to feel compassion for the suffering of the Palestinians and disdain towards the Israeli army.”

Bolivia Declares Israel “Terrorist State”

After a UN-run school which housed over 3,000 Palestinian civilians was struck by Israel, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, the UN’s Ban Ki-Moon, and the UN spokesperson have had enough.

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A Palestinian boy cries while receiving treatment from injuries caused by an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. A Palestinian health official says 13 people were killed after tank shells hit the U.N. school in Gaza where hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from Israeli attacks. Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for a U.N. aid agency, says tank shells hit the school around 4:30 a.m.

This week, Bolivia declared Israel a “terrorist state” while renouncing a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over the ongoing Israeli military offense Operation Protective Edge in Gaza which has killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and has left over 7,000 wounded, most of which have been women and children.

Bolivian President Evo Morales cancelled the 1972 agreement which allowed Israelis to travel freely to Bolivia saying, “means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state.”

Morales explained to Bolivian citizens that Operation Protective edge is a clear indication that “Israel is not a guarantor of the principles of respect for life and the elementary precepts of rights that govern the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of our international community.”

According to RT, the announcement came after a cabinet meeting of the government of Evo Morales which decided, “The Bolivian state and people have made a firm decision to terminate the agreement on visas to Israel, from August 17, 1972, signed under a regime of dictatorship in Bolivia and that allowed Israeli citizens to enter Bolivia freely without even entry visa.”

Earlier in July though, Morales filed a request with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for “crimes against humanity” for it’s siege on Gaza, occupation of Palestinian territories and targeting of civilians.

Other Latin American countries including Chile, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador recalled their ambassadors in Israel this week for consultations due to the increased violence in the Gaza Strip against civilians.

Just this week, Israel struck a UN School in Gaza, leaving at least 20 dead, mostly children. This horrific incident has brought worldwide condemnation especially a twitter storm condemning the targeting of schools and children.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the deadly attack by Israel against the UN school in the besieged Gaza Strip.

“It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice,” said the UN chief in Costa Rica on Wednesday.

In a video that has gone viral, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid to Palestinians in Gaza, broke down in tears during a TV interview with Al Jazeera in the aftermath of Wednesday’s fatal attack on the UN-run school, used as shelter for families and children.

Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UNRWA, was unable to hold in his tears and trauma on air. “The rights of Palestinians, even their children, are wholesale denied,” he official said before breaking down sobbing in front of the camera.

There are times when tears speak more eloquently than words. Mine pale into insignificance compared with Gaza’s,” Gunness said, as cited by Reuters.

The UN’s tone criticizing Israel has intensified indicating a shift in rhetoric and possibly accountability for Israel over it’s major civilian deaths, where many have referred to as a “massacre” or “slow genocide”.

Bolivia’s President Morales, has become outspoken over human rights abuses across the world supporting indigenous populations, and criticizing imperialistic meddling in foreign nations.

NOTE – 

” I’m amazed at the shameless hypocritical stance of Arab puppet rulers and the heroic stance of the great Latin American leaders against oppression..probably because the latter people have tasted oppression and exploitation for centuries at the hands of imperialists and today, the corporate thugs..
And the former knows only servitude to the imperialist thugs and yet, they are proud of it…”
                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dr Asif

Yvonne Ridley, In the hands of the Taliban – Prisoner of the “Most Oppressive” Regime on earth[VIDEO]

A MUST WATCH..

Yvonne Ridley (born 23 April 1958) is a British journalist and Respect Party activist best known for her capture by the Taliban and subsequent conversion to Islam after release. Yvonne Ridley has, among others, worked for Press TV news channel.

Yvonne Ridley attended the London College of Printing. As a journalist, she has written for The Sunday Times, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Mirror and the News of the World. She was deputy editor of Wales on Sunday and was chief reporter when the Sunday Express sent her to Afghanistan after 9/11 event.
She has also delivered lectures on issues relating to Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir and Uzbekistan, Women in Islam, the War on Terror and journalism at universities across the United States of America, Australia, South Africa and the Middle East. She has written two books called In The Hands of the Taliban and Ticket to Paradise.

Yvonne Ridley is a patron of the UK-based pressure groups Cage-prisoners, the European President of the International Muslim Women’s Union and the Vice President of the European Muslim League based in Milan and Geneva. She is a member of the Stop the War Coalition, at whose rallies she has spoken, and the Respect Party, for whom she has stood in parliamentary elections.

Yvonne Ridley : “… They were bombing and decimating the population for reasons only known to the USA and its Allies. The poor Taliban had no idea why America wished to invade Afghanistan. They had heard of this as a ‘mishap’ but had no idea of the enormity of the tragedy. They did not know of the complexity of the buildings and people jumping out of towers 100 stories high, as they did not have TV’s nor did they know a tower when they were told about it…”

BE INSPIRED, AS YVONNE RIDLEY, A PASSIONATE BRITISH JOURNALIST, DESCRIBES THE STORY OF HOW SHE WAS HELD CAPTIVE BY TALIBAN SOLDIERS IN AFGHANISTAN.

INTIMIDATED BY THEIR PRESENCE, SHE PERSISTED WITH GREAT FIGHTING ZEAL TO RETURN HOME TO HER AWAITING FAMILY. SIT WITH HER IN INTERROGATIONS, WAR TORN AFGHAN JAIL FACILITIES AND THEN SHED TEARS OF SORROW AND JOY AS THIS TOUCHING STORY UNFOLDS. JOIN HER AS SHE CHALLENGES TALIBAN SOLDIERS AND FALSELY LABELED “TERRORISTS”; ONLY TO LATER FALL IN LOVE WITH THEIR CHARACTER, MORALITY, FAITH, COMPASSION, RESPECT AND WAY OF LIFE.

INDULGE YOURSELF IN AN UNTAINTED DEPICTION OF THE TRUE STORY OF AFGHANISTAN AND THE REAL WAR ON TERROR – IN THE EYES OF A WESTERN BORN JOURNALIST WHO WAS IN SEARCH OF THE TRUTH, AND FOUND IT, IN ISLAM… “IN THE HANDS OF THE TALIBAN.”

Is Sri Lanka heading towards a Rohingya type attack on island’s besieged Muslims?

By Latheef Farook

 Gnana-Wirathu

The alliance between anti Muslim Sri Lankan racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena and Burma’s   blood thirsty Buddhist Monk Ashin Wiruthu, responsible for slaughtering thousands of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, spells disaster for the island.

This extremely dangerous alliance, brought together by their common hatred towards Islam and Muslims, perhaps trained and financed by their new found  Israel and United States friends , has all the ingredients to turn the island into a killing field from which it may unlikely to recover for decades  to come  under the existing  local and global political environment.

This unholy alliance fits into the Zionist sponsored and United States led global anti Muslim campaign to justify the invasion and destruction of   Muslim countries. This is the reason why the Muslims suspect the hate mongers as mercenaries of foreign forces.

The growing fear among the island’s besieged Muslim community is that “BBS-Asin Wirathu Alliance” may lead to a Rohingya type attack on the island’s Muslims.

Already the Sinhalese extremists led by Jathika Hela Urumaya and what is perceived as its fronts such as BBS, Sihala Ravaya and Ravana Balakaya managed to poison the minds of Sinhalese against Muslims to justify such an attack on Muslims. In fact JHU’s Udaya Gammanpila even stated once that “a 1915 type Sinhala-Muslim riot is inevitable”.

It appears this hate campaign unleashed during the past two and half years   had already dented the centuries old traditional harmonious relations between Sinhalese and Muslims.

However there are signs of hope for the island. Responsible elements among the Sinhalese started waking up to the threat posed by these extremists to their society. Many   admit that extremists have already caused considerable damage to the image of Buddhism and the Sinhalese community.

On the other hand the Muslims begin to realize that this is not a conflict between Sinhalese and Muslims, but the work of few hundreds of extremists who do not represent   the Sinhalese community as they claim. It was under this atmosphere that the BBS leaders met Myanmar’s Monk Ashin Wirathu, described by Time magazine as the “Monk of Terror”.

Local mainstream media which usually give wide publicity to Sinhalese extremists and help promote their agendas were quiet. However breaking the news website COLOMBO Telegraph   stated on 12 March 2014 under the headline ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’ To Visit Sri Lanka: “We’ve Not Signed Any Agreement with 969 Movement”: BBS

“We have not signed any agreement with Burma’s Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu or the 969 movement”, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bodu Bala Sena Dilanthe Withanage told Colombo Telegraph. He said the caption of the photograph, which is circulating via social media saying “the BBS has come to an agreement with Burma’s terrorist 969 movements”, is a slander. “This picture was taken while our secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara signing the visitors’ book.” he said. Ashin Wiruthu, widely known as the Burma’s ‘Bin Laden of Buddhism’ has been invited to Sri Lanka.

Nine days later on 21 March 2014 Ceylon Today published a report by Ruwan Laknath Jayakody under the headlineBBS invites Ashin Wirathu Thera to visit SL “

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The man that Time Magazine dubbed ‘The Face of Buddhist Terror,’ Leader of the 969 Movement in Myanmar, who is notorious for his anti-Islam rhetoric, Ven. Ashin Wirathu Thera, will be arriving in the island on an invitation by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).

BBS General Secretary, Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said, “There is no need for a hullabaloo yet. We will let the relevant people know in due course. We have invited him and he will come and we will have a meeting. That is all. The media does not need to know for how long he will stay here. We will plan it and reveal it at the appropriate time.” BBS Education and Research Unit Chief Coordinator, Chamila Liyanage, said, “Even though the dates are not confirmed yet, he is definitely coming.

“Buddhist countries in the Asiatic region are facing difficulties and even violence from the Muslims and the other religions in the region. The best example comes from Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh. This is the very reason why Ven. Wirathu decided to start the 969 Movement in Myanmar. We visited Thailand and Myanmar and we will be visiting other countries in East Asia. We will definitely be starting an international network with global reach with likeminded Buddhist civil society institutions, Buddhist scholars and Buddhist activist organizations in these countries. With Ven. Wirathu Thera we will be discussing strategic plans for at least a regional network for the time being, for which we need a concrete plan,” he added.

These reports disturb specially Muslims.

Ashin Wirathu, leader of the anti-Muslim movement in Burma, has been a “notorious chauvinist”. In its cover story the TIME magazine described Ashin Wirathu: The Monk behind Burma’s “Buddhist Terror”. His apartheid-like speech stirred shocked reaction on Twitter, with users calling the monk a “neo-Nazi” inciting anti-Muslim pogroms in Burma.

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His 969 Anti Muslim organization, together with the Myanmar armed forces, killed thousands of Muslim men, women, children and the aged, burnt Muslim localities and indiscriminately raped Muslim women besides looting Muslim properties and belongings. They   threw bodies of hundreds of Muslims killed into the Bay of Bengal and covered the dead bodies with clothes usually worn by Buddhists   and claimed that they are the remains of Buddhist people who became victims.

It is this Ashin Wirathu whom the BBS is inviting to Sri Lanka. This is like inviting Hitler, Mussolini, Ariel Sharon or Menachem Begin,

Sri Lanka is not Myanmar. Myanmar is a country which lived in isolation for decades.  It was cut away from the world. However Sri Lanka has a long history of civilization and played a dynamic role in the Third World affairs and earned a name for itself.

Muslim world has traditionally been friendly with Sri Lanka.

Our economy is tied to many Muslim countries. Almost a million Sri Lankans are employed in the Gulf States and their annual remittance exceeds   six billion dollars. This brings relief to millions of   families.   In fact employment opportunities abroad have become the largest foreign exchange earner to the island.

Muslim countries always came to rescue Sri Lanka in times of crisis. For example  in the   United Nations sponsored United Nations Human Rights  Council resolution   on March 27 in Geneva calling for a comprehensive investigation    into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights, committed by both parties in Sri Lanka,  of the 12 countries voted against five were Muslim countries. This included Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Maldives If not for these five Muslim countries Sri Lanka would have got only seven votes. Four out of 12 countries abstained were Muslims and no Muslim country voted for the resolution in the 47-member UNHRC

Do the Sinhalese extremists who have unleashed an unwanted destructive campaign against Muslims understand the seriousness of their madness?

 

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Burning Muslim villages

Muslim families thrown out of their homes

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  Body of a Muslim child burnt and another child throat cut

 Under the circumstance do we need to jeopardize these friendly relations for the sake of few hundreds of extremists?  Under such circumstance is it wise for Sri Lanka to allow these extremists to hijack the country and hobnob with mass murderers of Myanmar Muslims.

On the other hand Muslims worldwide are carefully watching the ongoing anti Muslim campaign in Sri Lanka. We are not living in the pre colonial era. We are part of the world and the world is not part of Sri Lanka as these extremists think.

The price the country will be made to pay for the ongoing attack on the island’s Muslim community will be unpredictable.

The WTO, World Bank and IMF: World Globalization

In the simplest possible terms, globalization is, “A process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a global network of communication, transportation, and trade.” The term globalization however, has come to encompass a wide variety of meanings to different people.

The term can be stretched as far back as the 15th century in Asia, where some of the first great movements of trade and empire were demonstrated. Today, most people referring to globalization are recognizing issues such as world trade, global financial institutions, global-corporate interests and global-political interests.

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