tagged w/ International Politics
BEIJING — Whether by White House design or Chinese insistence, President Obama has steered clear of public meetings with Chinese liberals, free press advocates and even ordinary Chinese during his first visit to China, showing deference to the Chinese leadership’s aversions to such interactions that is unusual for a visiting American president.
Mr. Obama held a “town hall” meeting with students on Monday. But they were carefully vetted and prepped for the event by the government, participants said. And the Chinese authorities, wielding a practiced mix of censorship and diplomatic pressure, succeeded in limiting Mr. Obama’s exposure to a point where a third of some 40 Beijing university students interviewed Tuesday were unaware that he had just met in Shanghai with their colleagues.
Some students who were aware cast him in terms rarely applied to American leaders, such as “rather humble,” and “bland.” “Is America being capricious because their economic difficulties force them to be nicer to China and other countries, or is this a genuine change?” asked Liu Ziqi, 18, a freshman at the University of International Business and Economics. “I don’t know.”This is no longer the United States-China relationship of old, but an encounter between a weakened giant and a comer with a bit of its own swagger. Washington’s comparative advantage in past meetings is now diminished, a fact clearly not lost on the Chinese.
http://sillyfox.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/china-usa1.jpgBEIJING — Whether by White House design or Chinese insistence, President Obama... more
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's government announced bold new measures Friday aimed at reconciling with minority Kurds and ending an insurgency that has dragged on for 25 years, but there was no mention of the sweeping amnesty sought by Kurdish rebels.
Interior Minister Besir Atalay told Parliament the government wants to remove all restrictions on the use of the once-banned Kurdish language, create a committee to fight discrimination, restore Kurdish names of villages and establish an independent body to deal with complaints against security forces.
"It is an open-ended, dynamic process," Atalay said.
The rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, launched its fight for autonomy in 1984 and tens of thousands of people have died, with human rights abuses committed by both sides. Fighting has ebbed, but Turkey's civilian and military leaders have acknowledged that force alone cannot solve the problem. Making peace with its Kurdish opponents would also help Turkey in its struggling bid to join the European Union.
Some of the proposed measures would require legislative approval. The ruling party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a strong majority in parliament, and would likely pass the measures despite opponents who say the plan would ignore the sacrifices of slain soldiers and undermine the unity of the state.
"We aim to expand all our citizens' political rights and freedoms," Atalay said. "The democratic overture does not intend to harm our unitary state and national unity, but to strengthen it."
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h9VhSca_oZldvbO-XktR7l7Sa_PgD9BUMJKG0ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's government announced bold new measures Friday... more
Editors Note: This story is the result of a two-year CNN investigative report into peace talks held between the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the Libyan Government which recently culminated in the LIFG, a militant jihadist group once close to Osama bin Laden, repudiating al Qaeda. "The Jihadi Code," a documentary on the breakthrough against al Qaeda in Libya, airs on November 15 at 1200 GMT.
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- From within Libya's most secure jail a new challenge to al Qaeda is emerging.
Leaders of one of the world's most effective jihadist organizations, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), have written a new "code" for jihad. The LIFG says it now views the armed struggle it waged against Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime for two decades as illegal under Islamic law...
The new code, a 417-page religious document entitled "Corrective Studies" is the result of more than two years of intense and secret talks between the leaders of the LIFG and Libyan security officials.
The code's most direct challenge to al Qaeda is this: "Jihad has ethics and morals because it is for God. That means it is forbidden to kill women, children, elderly people, priests, messengers, traders and the like. Betrayal is prohibited and it is vital to keep promises and treat prisoners of war in a good way. Standing by those ethics is what distinguishes Muslims' jihad from the wars of other nations."
The code has been circulated among some of the most respected religious scholars in the Middle East and has been given widespread backing. It is being debated by politicians in the U.S. and studied by western intelligence agencies.
- Video: Into the prison in Tripoli -
Gallery: The new jihadi code In essence the new code for jihad is exactly what the West has been waiting for: a credible challenge from within jihadist ranks to al Qaeda's ideology.
While the code states that jihad is permissible if Muslim lands are invaded -- citing the cases of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine -- the guidelines it sets down for when and how jihad should be fought, and its insistence that civilians should not be targeted are a clear rebuke to the goals and tactics of bin Laden's terrorist network... (continued - click link)Editors Note: This story is the result of a two-year CNN investigative report into... more
WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama faces key decisions soon on the war in Afghanistan, where insurgent violence has reached its highest level since the Taliban was ousted from power in late 2001.
On one side of the White House debate are proposals to send at least 40,000 additional troops and trainers as part of a beefed-up counterinsurgency strategy advocated by the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.
On the other side are plans to hold steady on troop levels in Afghanistan and concentrate on attacking al Qaeda targets along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and in Pakistan itself with the greater use of drones and special forces, a proposal backed by Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama could opt for a hybrid approach, officials said, whereby the administration would increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by a more modest amount and at the same time push for a more concerted campaign against al Qaeda and Taliban "safe havens" along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and within Pakistani territory.
Washington has 65,000 troops in Afghanistan and that figure is expected to reach 68,000 later this year. Other nations, mainly NATO allies, have some 39,000 troops in the country.
--------THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME POSSIBLE DIRECTIONS-- >WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama faces key decisions soon on... more
I am grateful to Mr. Don Harkins the editor of THE IDAHO OBSERVER, (USA) and her associates Ms. Anne Wilder Chamberlain to help me prepare my story.
The following short note comes from them:-
When we first began corresponding with Khalid Awan in 2007, we had no idea why he was serving time in U.S federal prison.We soon discovered Awan was one of the first of thousands of Muslims taken prisoner in the post-9/11 U.S "terror War". As the story began unfolding in our letters, we began to realize that this honest, humble and sincere man was not only innocent, but the ongoing injustice being done to him provides critical insight into the mindless, mean-spirited, bureaucratic-yes-men idiocy fueling the illegal U.S. "War on Terror" (and just about everything else that is going wrong in this country). At our insistence, Awan wrote his story and supplied us with whatever documents we requested. And now, after three months of cooperative efforts, the story of Khalid Awan can be told. We have come to know Awan as a peaceful man engaged in peaceful work, who has been wrongfully accused, detained and repeatedly convicted of crimes he did not commit because he was a Muslim with international connections and an office in New York on 9/11. Anyone who might of the Muslim belief, especially a person raised overseas who has difficulty understanding our language and our corrupt judicial system, can be arrested and detained indefinitely in this country, certainly without a trial before a jury of his peers. Khalid is one of these Muslims.
We present this to you in faith that you will realize a deeper understanding of the levels of complicity necessary for the "land of free" to tolerate the phony war on terror year after year and in hope that Awan --- and all the other million or more political prisoners being held by this country---will one day be reunited with their families.
(Thanks from the bottom of my heart to you, Mr. Don Harkin and Ms. Anne W. Chaimberlain for your devoted, caring attention in helping me expose my plight and injustices being suffered by myself and others. Your humanitarian devotion, on-going help and attitude truly an inspiration to me in my life!)
Khalid Qayyum Awan (From USA Federal Prison)
CONTACT OR MAILING ADDRESS IS GIVEN BELOW
Khalid Awan # 50959-054
P.O.BOX : 1000
Marion, IL 62959
http://awankhalid.com/,I am grateful to Mr. Don Harkins the editor of THE IDAHO OBSERVER, (USA) and her... more
US President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Committee said he was awarded it for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples".
The committee highlighted Mr Obama's efforts to strengthen international bodies and promote nuclear disarmament.
There were a record 205 nominations for this year's prize. Zimbabwe's prime minister and a Chinese dissident had been among the favourites.
The laureate - chosen by a five-member committee - wins a gold medal, a diploma and 10m Swedish kronor ($1.4m).
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the Norwegian committee said as the prize was announced.
"His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."US President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Committee... more
Following the removal by a military coup of José Manuel Zelaya on 28 June, the people of Honduras have been engaging in a peaceful struggle for his restoration as president, for their rights, and for the convening of a constituent national assembly. Much is said about a possible military intervention by the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez; of a supposed wish by President Zelaya to perpetuate himself in power; and of Zelaya's alleged crimes, but these are all being used simply to mask the real reasons for the coup.
Since his election, my father has promoted the idea of "citizen power": the involvement of citizens in the decision-making process. He promoted the Citizen Participation Law, giving the people the right to use surveys, plebiscites and referendums to participate in decision-making. From the beginning, the media criticised his ideas, proposals and actions. Sometimes they called him mad. They accused him of ignorance. They branded his government ineffective. Later they called him populist, and now they say he is a communist and fugitive from justice.Following the removal by a military coup of José Manuel Zelaya on 28 June, the... more
In 2001, the Observer published a series of reports that claimed an "Iraqi connection" to al-Qaeda, even describing the base in Iraq where the training of terrorists took place and a facility where anthrax was being manufactured as a weapon of mass destruction. It was all false. Supplied by US intelligence and Iraqi exiles, planted stories in the British and US media helped George Bush and Tony Blair to launch an illegal invasion which caused, according to the most recent study, 1.3 million deaths.
Something similar is happening over Iran: the same syncopation of government and media "revelations", the same manufacture of a sense of crisis. "Showdown looms with Iran over secret nuclear plant", declared the Guardian on 26 September. "Showdown" is the theme. High noon. The clock ticking. Good versus evil. Add a smooth new US president who has "put paid to the Bush years". An immediate echo is the notorious Guardian front page of 22 May 2007: "Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq". Based on unsubstantiated claims by the Pentagon, the writer Simon Tisdall presented as fact an Iranian "plan" to wage war on, and defeat, US forces in Iraq by September of that year - a demonstrable falsehood for which there has been no retraction.
READ MORE AT LINK!In 2001, the Observer published a series of reports that claimed an "Iraqi... more
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivered his first speech at the United Nation's General Assembly.Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivered his first speech at the United... more
Washington’s decision to review its proposed missile shield in Europe earned much applause in the Russian blogosphere, but many are wondering what’s behind the U-turn in American foreign policy.
1devilandangel: It’s a triumph of common sense. They’ve decided to give the system another complete brush, and not patch the holes once it’s already put into operation.
socialister: The USA made a step toward Russia and will expect a step toward them on Iran sanctions. If that doesn’t come, a dead end is inevitable.
plus72: Initially no one was going to place the AMD there. In the EU the Americans need nothing; the trajectories of Russian missiles aimed at America are not connected with Europe. They’ve used old proven tactics to do something to then pull back in exchange for concessions. The question is, what does the Kremlin get for it?Washington’s decision to review its proposed missile shield in Europe earned... more
Check out this free mini- mixtape. Explanation below:
June 5th, 2AM:
Presidential candidate Baciro Dabó and Member of Parliament, Helder Proenca were assassinated. These political murders came only three months after the March assassination of President João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, and his rival, armed forces chief of staff Gen. Batista Tagmé Na Waie.
June 5th, 11PM:
Cobiana Records publicized a press release regarding the present state of Bissau and within hours, Nomadic Wax proposed that “BIG UP GB” – Guinea Bissau’s newly formed hip-hop movement, react!
June 6th – the day after:
The streets were stale. Though there was no present danger, most Bissau-Guinean’s stayed in-doors safe in their shells of demoralization. Hip Hop however, stepped-up. Seven Bissau-emcees, all affiliated with “BIG UP GB” came together in the only functioning recording studio in Bissau, to record a three-track compilation or mix-tape....
http://nomadicwax.bandcamp.com/track/big-up-gb-mixtapeCheck out this free mini- mixtape. Explanation below:
June 5th, 2AM:
Check out this cool, free Mini-mixtape collaboration that was put out in the name of equal rights.
The concept for the mixtape was born after journalist-turned-politician Alexis Sinduhije was illegally incarcerated in November 2008. In response, emcees from Nomadic Wax have collaborated with presidential hopeful Sinduhije's political party, the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD), to present Democracy in Burundi. Sinduhije was released from prison in March 2009; however, the message of this compilation remains relevant as his candidacy in the 2010 presidential elections continues to be highly contested by the Burundian
http://nomadicwax.bandcamp.com/track/democracy-in-burundi-mixtapeCheck out this cool, free Mini-mixtape collaboration that was put out in the name of... more
Madagascar's Andry Rajoelina, who came to power in a coup, has said he is the only one who can provide leadership for the crisis-wracked island as the country's main political movements prepared to divide up political posts.Madagascar's Andry Rajoelina, who came to power in a coup, has said he is the... more
Hunger tied our bellies
into gnawing, burning knots.
Our crops withered in the poisoned earth.
All we could do was watch them rot.
Through our children and the elderly
the sickness ran unimpeded.
The toxin was in the water.
For aid our village pleaded.
The garrison at Strange Hill
refused our imploring hand.
The bribe we could not pay
worth more than child, woman, or man.
We cursed their endless greed
and cried to God to see them fall.
They laughed at our feeble rage,
safe and snug behind their wall.
But on that day our anger
became a living breathing thing,
fed on our desperation
with vengeance as its drink.
And so ten thousand of our living
marched upon Strange Hill that day
with farmers’ tools and wagons
and bony horses for the fray.
In the field the garrison commander
tried to sway us from our path.
His demand for sanity
fell easy victim to our wrath.
He consigned our wretched chances
to a place between slim and none.
We cried, “Better to perish fighting
than the certain death to come!”
We eyed each other for a time
across a field soon soaked with blood
and at the cry of our commanders
with screaming madness rushed
toward the sickening collision
between fates too much the same
to quarrel at the difference
between the rational and the insane.
Heavenly Father, they don’t stand a chance! They’re outnumbered!
They are tired, hungry sacrificial lambs for the corporate forces at Strange Hill.
Without news of the battle, I fear that my love has fallen upon the field of blood.
If you can, I beg you, spare his life, for he is my heart and soul!
And if it is not your will, I pray You, make his passing swift.Hunger tied our bellies
into gnawing, burning knots.
Our crops withered in the... more
Honduras reversed course Monday, saying it will allow a delegation from the Organization of American States to visit the country -- on the condition that the organization's head attends only as an observer.Honduras reversed course Monday, saying it will allow a delegation from the... more
The news that international leaders in Italy were not able to commit to strong, binding climate change agreements probably doesn't surprise anybody. "It is no small task for 17 leaders to bridge their differences on an issue like climate change," President Obama said. But tackling an issue of this urgency, complexity and enormity may have an upside.
Right now, leaders of so-called 'developed' and 'developing' countries are at a standoff with good reason: Developed countries have polluted more in the past, but developing countries are rapidly outpacing them. Countries like the United States have much higher emissions per capita, while poorer nations argue that they are simply trying to provide basic services for their people.
When I hear these leaders argue, I wonder if climate change might not also be the issue that ultimately resolves this artificial distinction between developed and developing nations. Could this crisis be a spur to creating whole-world institutions and global solutions?The news that international leaders in Italy were not able to commit to strong,... more
Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso will dissolve the lower house of parliament this month and call for a general election in August, the government said Monday. The lower house of the Diet will be dissolved the week of July 21; elections for new lawmakers will be held on August 30, said Jun Matsumoto, the chief Cabinet spokesman.
The beleaguered prime minister has faced increasing pressure from within his party, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), to step down as his approval rating plummets amid Japan's worsening economy.
On Sunday, the LDP suffered a huge defeat in local elections, when it lost its majority in the Tokyo assembly to the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and its coalition partner.
While the race for the Tokyo assembly does not affect the Diet, it was the fifth successive local election loss for the LDP -- and a further sign that Aso's party is losing the confidence of the populace.
The LDP holds the majority in the lower house, but not the upper house. Sunday's defeat convinced some in the LDP that they must oust Aso as party leader before national elections that were scheduled for October, according to analysts.
With Monday's announcement, Aso has moved up the elections by two months.
Aso, an outspoken politician and a former foreign minister, became prime minister in September.
The last two prime ministers, both from his party, resigned after less than a year in office.Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso will dissolve the lower house of parliament this... more
Determined to reduce dependence on foreign energy, Turkey vowed Tuesday to push on with an ambitious dam construction program despite the loss of financing for a key project and loud objections from environmentalists.
German, Swiss and Austrian creditors announced eaerlier in the day they were withdrawing from the Ilisu dam project on the Tigris river in southeast Turkey because Ankara had failed to meet conditions of the 1.2 billion-euro (1.7 billion-dollar) credit.
Turkey hit back by saying that the decision was "political" and underlined that it was determined to realize the Ilisu project, which opponents say will flood a millenia-old historic site and displace some 50,000.
Last week, Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu said Ankara would build the dam and its 1,200-megawatt powerplant with its own money if the loan were not released.
Observers say it is unlikely for Turkey to give up on plans for low-cost energy at a time when official projections estimate an annual 6.0 to 8.0 percent increase in the country's energy consumption.
Turkey is already a big importer of natural gas and oil, part of which it uses to produce electricity.
There are currently 172 hydroelectric dams in operation in Turkey with an overall capacity of 13,000 megawatts, which amounts to 17 percent of the country's electricity production, according to figures from the state-run hydraulic works directorate (DSI).
A total of 148 are under construction and there are plans to build another 1,400, which would enable Turkey to triple its hydroelectric production.
"At the moment Turkey uses only 30 percent of its hydraulic resources, but there are planned projects to increase it to 50 percent," said Sezayi Sucu, an enthusiastic engineer heading a major dam project in northeastern corner of Turkey.
"This figure is still rather low compared to the United States or Europe where the exploitation rate reaches 95 percent and 85 percent respectively," he added.
But some of the planned hydroelectric dams not only come under fire from environmentalists but are also criticised by neighbouring Syria and Iraq who say Turkish dams on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers reduce the flow into their territories.
Sucu works on one such controversial project in the Coruh River in the Black Sea province of Artvin, bordering Georgia, that involves the construction of 15 major dams -- two of which have already been completed -- and several dozen smaller ones.
Once completed, the project will provide one tenth of Turkish electricty production.
But one of the planned dams, the Yusufeli dam, has for several years has been at the centre of a legal war between the state and environmentalists trying to block its construction.
Opponents say the dam will not be profitable, will destroy endemic flora and fauna species and displace some 16,000 people in a region that has already been drained by years of migration.
"This project does not stand up on its feet: Just look at the reservoir of the nearby Borcka dam and you will see how much silt has accumulated there. In a few years, everything will turn into mud," said Bedrettin Kalin, a lawyer from a local environmental platform called the Fraternity of the Valleys.
Korol Diker from the environmental group Greenpeace blamed Ankara of ignoring the potential environmental impact of planned dams when it gives the go-ahead to the projects.
"The problem is that the environmental impact study system does not work properly in Turkey," Diker said, adding that Ankara often chooses to build big dams that are more environmentally destructive than smaller ones.Determined to reduce dependence on foreign energy, Turkey vowed Tuesday to push on... more
Arthur, from Singapore, writes:
(DAYS DEPRIVED OF FATHERING MY SON : 279)
Parental Alienation is a conscious and continual effort by one parent to severe the other parent's affectionate relationship with the child through bad-mouthing, threatening, bashing and brainwashing. An intense on-going alienation will cause the child to think that any affection or loyalty for victimised parent is considered betrayal to the alienating parent. The child experiences an enormous amount of fear and guilt for wanting to love that victimised parent. Psychologically, this has huge ramifications on the child in the long-term.
Parental Alienation is a gender-neutral issue that is affecting children and families all over the world and it needs to be addressed seriously.Arthur, from Singapore, writes:
(DAYS DEPRIVED OF FATHERING MY SON : 279)