Colonial masters and mass manipulation

April 13, 2014

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Nasir Khan, April 13, 2014

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 During the last five centuries European colonisation of the Americas, the New World, started. Mass manipulation was at work right from the early days of the conquistadores. The local populations were dehumanised, many were wiped out and the rest had a tragic fate waiting for them as isolated communities in some forlorn corners of this continent which once was theirs. First Nations, the original inhabitants were seen as wild and primitive. Even now the same attitudes prevail among the descendants of the European settlers.

The settlers needed work force to make the land habitable according to their wishes. They enslaved African people to work for them. These slaves were not given even the status of primitive human beings; they were regarded subhuman.

The same attitudes were infused by the colonial rulers when they took over Asia, Africa and Australia. Their administrators treated the ‘native’ populations as inferior and the subjugated people of these continents believed in their inferiority and cultural backwardness. Now, even after the end of the direct colonial rule in Asia and Africa in the twentieth century, the people of these continents have not broken the chains of mental slavery. They look up to their old colonial masters for guidance and help. They see the West as the holy direction from where only light and goodwill spreads. These days the epicentre of that light is Washington D.C., the capital of the United States of America.

 

The Iraq war – the eleventh anniversary is ignored

March 31, 2014

Nasir Khan, March 31, 2014

In the following  article Rupen Savoulian has highlighted some basic facts about the US war of aggression that went beyond the imperial ambitions to occupy and control Iraq because its ruler had refused to bend to the diktat of Washington and Tel Aviv; in reality it became a war of genocide in which at least a million Iraqis perished, millions were made homeless and millions were made orphans and widows. The invaders destroyed the social and economic structure of the country. The economic destruction of this rich country where the agricultural productivity fell by 90 percent shows the level of economic mayhem and dislocation. To secure their interests, the invaders installed the Maliki regime that facilitated the systematic destabilisation and profiteering as planned by the imperial hegemon.

The writer has underlined the importance of remembering the date of the invasion of Iraq adequately well. But it doesn’t come as a surprise to me that the event this year has largely been ignored by the MSM as if the American military and mercenary hordes went to Iraq in 2003 to do good Samaritans’ job and having done so they had to move on to new fronts and frontiers to do what they can! Such an apathetic negligence of the media is also instrumental in misleading the vast majority of the population of America while the European allies and sympathisers follow them in their reporting that indirectly helps to justify war crimes, war criminals and violations of international and humanitarian laws and norms in this age. Luckily, antiwar organisations and reporters have not been duped by the imperialist propaganda; they have tried to show what this war was about and what sort of lies and falsifications have been woven around the 2003 invasion and the subsequent events.

The present-day daily sectarian violence that is taking the lives of hundreds of people is a direct result of American war. The Sunni-Shia sectarianism has a long history stretching back to some fourteen centuries. But there were no sectarian killings in Iraq on a genocidal scale that have been set in motion by the American policies and the present Iraqi administration of Maliki.

The writer has given much relevant information in this article and suggested what the enlightened and anti-war organisations should demand to hold the war criminals accountable for their enormous war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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http://rupensavoulian.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/the-iraq-war-the-eleventh-anniversary-is-ignored/

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By Rupen Savoulian
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Historical anniversaries are important events to commemorate; they allow us to evaluate the importance of the event and understand its impact upon contemporary life. Celebrating particular war…
rupensavoulian.wordpress.com

The Misuse and Exploitation of Institutionalised Religion

March 27, 2014
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Nasir Khan, March 27, 2014
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There are many people who are sincere in their view of the positive role of religion. However, in my view, religion is also a more complex and multi-faceted phenomenon. Along-with its positive sides are many other aspects that are nefarious that have been instrumental in downgrading human beings. These negative sides become apparent with the institutionalising of religion that has been the norm in human history.  This way, the religion becomes a power factor in society and those holding power use it to further their ends that basically have little to do with the positive aspects of religion. In the hands of the ruling strata of society religions have been a big asset. With the help of  clergy the rulers have imposed their will on the people as they chose. This has been the general norm in most of the civilisations of the world.
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If we take a look at the  the role of religion in the present-day Muslim world then we are face to face with the stark reality of the misuse of a major religion, Islam. The destructive forces which claim to represent ‘pure’ Islam have been playing havoc with the people in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here religion instead of  playing an enlightening and sober part has been turned into a destructive tool of ignorance, violence and anti-civilisation. As a result, ordinary people suffer. Unluckily, the vicious circle of indoctrinated ignorance and violence will continue.

Lawrence Davidson: Tolerating Saudi Arabia’s Intolerance

March 26, 2014

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The U.S. government insists that it abides by principles of international law, democracy and respect for national sovereignty, but its actions often belie its words, with the U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s monarchy a stark example of the hypocrisy, writes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson, Consortiumnews.com, March 25, 2014

Saudi Arabia is one of a handful of Middle East anachronisms: a family-based monarchy that believes it sits at the right hand of God. The Saud clan that rules in Saudi Arabia is both insular and fanatic. It is devoted to the Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam, perhaps the most strict and intolerant manifestation of the religion.

Except for the religious details, there is really not much difference between the respective outlooks of a Wahhabi true believer, a hard-core Christian fundamentalist, and the Jewish extremists in Israel.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

 

Like their Christian counterparts, the Saudis are proselytizers who spend huge sums every year supporting fanatical preachers pushing their message in far-flung parts of the world. And, like their Jewish counterparts, the Saudis have an army equipped with more advanced American weapons than they know what to do with. This, if you will, mechanizes their fanaticism.

Continues >>

The Iraq War: Forgotten in Plain Sight

March 20, 2014

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By Hugh Gusterson, Truthout | News Analysis, March 19, 2014

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A reporter raises his hand to ask a question as US Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Commander of US Forces-Iraq, delivers an operational update on the state of affairs in Iraq during a press briefing at the Pentagon, June 4, 2010. (Photo: <a href=" http://www.flickr.com/photos/35703177@N00/4685688778/in/photolist-894o2y-7doC33-6ojTdL-vdxLx-dn1YTf-dn1TEP-dn1Yye-ctELFC-ctEMhm-TU7dr-cuk6r5-csqRzW-cyrtWf-csqRSQ-csqRT3-csqRBq-csqRRJ-csqRSu-csqRF3-csqRQ1-csqRGj-csqRHQ-csqRTQ-csqRUq-csqRDC-csqRCG-csqRLJ-csqRUW-cyrtRm-ewwdQ-dT9Mj8-dT9Mqi-dTfoSU-dTfoBC-dT9LB6-dTfoGA-dT9zWc-dTfnhL-dn1XE1-31CoFB-31G3dS-31CxYZ-31GC4L-31CsAx-31CiD4-31B7ep-31GtF1-31DRuh-31AYVH-31EWtW-31GnCm "target="_blank"> DOD photo by Cherie Cullen / Flickr</a>)A reporter raises his hand to ask a question as US Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Commander of US Forces-Iraq, delivers an operational update on the state of affairs in Iraq during a press briefing at the Pentagon, June 4, 2010. (Photo: DOD photo by Cherie Cullen / Flickr)

On the 11th anniversary of the war in Iraq, the US mainstream media’s decontextualized rendering of violence in Iraq fails to explain political divisions and struggles in Iraq or how this violence is a direct consequence of the US invasion and occupation.

A quick and dirty way to begin conveying what happened to US coverage of Iraq after US forces withdrew is through gross numbers. A Lexis-Nexis search of New York Times coverage in one-year slices (March to March) showed 1,848 articles concerning Iraq in 2006-07 and 1,350 in 2007-08. Once the drawdown of US troops began, New York Times coverage of the conflict plummeted to 359 in 2010-11 and continued to fall thereafter – although the political crisis within the country, and its attendant violence, ground on and on. This suggests that “the story” had always been about the American errand in Iraq, not Iraq itself, and certainly not the swathe of human misery and destruction US intervention left in its wake. When American troops left, they took the media’s story with them in their baggage.

Continues >>

Johan Galtung: Pakistan – What Now?

March 4, 2014

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EDITORIAL, 3 March 2014

by Johan Galtung, 3 Mar 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service

Islamabad, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (28 Feb 2014)

Your Excellencies,

The basic point is that Pakistan will not get that commodity called “peace” in Kashmir, Afghanistan and Central Asia by pursuing the ends and means of Washington and some local elites only.  For peace to blossom the goals of other parties also have to be considered; and they are many.  The logic of the political games pursued today presupposes some kind of victory or domination of “our side”: neither feasible nor desirable for peace.  Hence, the need for some visions for peace politics is Kashmir, Afghanistan and Central Asia for tomorrow or the day after, with the hope that they can be useful when you have come to the end of the road with current policies. Nothing of this is easy; and without visions even impossible.

The fairly detailed, non-dogmatic vision appended was my acceptance speech of the 2011 Abdul Ghaffar Khan International Peace-Builder Award by the Pakistan-American Muslim Association.

However, why do present policies so often seem to be non-starters?

The British empire drew three lines with disastrous effects for Pakistan: the Durand line in 1893, a 1,600-mile wound defining the border with Afghanistan, dividing the Pashtun nation–the biggest nation in the world without a state–into two parts; the McMahon line of 1914 defining the border with China in ways unacceptable to the Chinese; and the Mountbatten line of 1947 leading to the catastrophic violence of the partition.  These lines have to be negated, liberating Pakistan from that past.  Thus, there is no natural law saying that Punjab cannot be an entity with an open border and free traffic of people and ideas, goods and services, even if the two parts belong to separate countries.  Lahore and Amritsar are two sides of the same coin, like the two parts of the Pashtun nation and the parts of Kashmir.  Let the twain (or more) meet, e.g. as envisioned below.

Continues >>

Johan Galtung: Criminalizing Aggressive War

February 25, 2014

EDITORIAL,

by Johan Galtung, 24 Feb 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service

Kuala Lumpur

Few, if anybody, today argue this so forcefully as Mahathir Mohammad, Malaysia’s fourth prime minister, for 22 years.  He compares what we do when one person kills another to all we do not do when millions kill millions in aggressive wars.  We have clear laws, we apprehend the suspect, weigh the evidence for or against in court, and, if found guilty, the murderer is punished.  There may even be a system of compensation for the bereaved.

But in wars among states the murderers get medals and honors, and if victorious relish a post-glory exuberance disorder, nourishing a new aggression.  And the bereaved are left with their grief and a post trauma stress disorder, nourishing the idea of revenge.  Madness, irrationality, a social evil of top rank, to be abolished. As Mahathir says: “Peace for us simply means the absence of war.  We must never be deflected from this simple objective”.  An important reminder for all who broaden the concepts of violence and peace: remember the essence!

Continues >>

Remembering Giordano Bruno

February 18, 2014

 

Graham Hancock, February 18 , 2014

In memoriam of a great free thinker, Giordano Bruno, burned at the stake in Rome 414 years ago on 17 February 1600. Bruno was a proponent of the Copernican ‘heliocentric’ model of the solar system in which the earth and other planets orbit the sun (whereas it was wrongly believed by the Church and other authorities of the time that the sun and the planets orbit the earth). In his courageous advocacy of the heliocentric model, as in many other things, Bruno was correct and he was killed, quite simply, for speaking this truth aloud and refusing to be silenced by the voices of orthodoxy. His life, and his death, should serve as reminders to us that those who think outside the box, though no longer burnt at the stake, face great risks, persecution and vilification even today and often pay a heavy price for speaking their truth. Yet ultimately, in the longer picture of centuries and millennia we can see that it is precisely those outside-the-box thinkers who allow human society and human knowledge to advance for the benefit of us all.

Continues >>

Hindutva

February 17, 2014

By Badri Raina

Hindutva, a famous lordship once

Said, is a “way of life.” Askance,

Subsequently, at the consequence

Of that certification, he did meekly try

To  infuse some democratic sense

Into  his  fatal faux pas by

Explaining that it was only a way of life

Not the way of life; but the damage was

Done and we live with the strife.

Thus, not a day passes when we are not

Told, on pain of sufferance, what to

Wear, what to say, what not to say,

What to read, what to pulp, what laws

To uphold and when, and what laws

To jettison at the behest of Hindutva

Warriors, the  self-appointed torch bearers

Of virtue and genuine indainness—all

With  widely propagated judicial sanction.

What amazes is that these saffron shirts

Should think of the Taliban as the “other”

When in every measure they are brother.

Iqbal Masih of Pakistan Struggled Against Child Labour

February 16, 2014

-Iqbal_Masih

Lahore – The City of Gardens‘s photo, February 16, 2014

Iqbal Masih – A Struggle Against Child Labour

Iqbal was born in 1983 in Arshad, a very small, rural village outside of Lahore in Pakistan. He was sold into bondage by his family to pay for his brother’s wedding as they had borrowed 600 rupees from a local employer who owned a carpet weaving business, and in return, Iqbal was required to work as a carpet weaver until the debt was paid off. Every day, he would rise before dawn and make his way along dark country roads to the factory, where he and most of the other children were tightly bound with chains to prevent escape. He would work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, with only a 30-minute break. Iqbal stood less than 4 feet tall and weighed only 60 pounds.

At the age of 10, Iqbal escaped for a second time and later joined the Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) of Pakistan to help stop child labour around the world. Iqbal helped over 3,000 Pakistani children that were in bonded labour escape to freedom, and he made speeches about child labour throughout the world.

He was threatened for his activism and killed at the age of 13.

Numerous charities, schools and organizations in Pakistan and around the world have been established in his name and against child labour and bondage.


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