Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

America: A country to kill for

July 4, 2011

A quick way to an American citizenship is to enlist and  join the many wars we’re fighting overseas. In other words, you earn a legal place in this country, if you don’t mind killing a few innocent people while you’re at it. 

In this Faustian bargain, trade your soul for a passport!

Whom are we inviting to  become our fellow citizens anyway? The dirty dozen crowd?

Does it bother anyone anymore that we’re effectively saying: Murder will get you in?


And justice for all….but here in the US

July 2, 2011

The United Nations Tribunal looking into the case of the assassinated Lebanese prime minister Rafiq  Hariri indicted  a high-ranking official from Hezbollah today

The UN tribunal, incidentally,  has been put in place as a blackmailing chip by the United States through its allies in the form of a former American puppet Lebanese government.

As anyone who is monitoring the situation in this tiny but strategically relevant country knows, this is going to push it into the abyss of a civil strife.

But our esteemed secretary of states, Hillary Clinton, begs to differ:

” …[C]ritics were creating a false distinction between justice and stability…”

You may side with Clinton’s assessment or with the true experts on Lebanese politics. My issue here is justice. And who better than Clinton and her boss, Obama, understand the delicate issue of justice.

Obama and Clinton have been steadfastly shielding  Wall Street criminals, that nearly brought (and could very well still bring) the world economy to its knees, from criminal prosecution.

They have also prevented accountability and prosecution for what was even admitted by one of our generals,  Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who oversaw the official investigation into detainee abuse: 

 “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

Well, we  know now that Obama and Clinton put that question to rest forever.

Under the banner of “we should look forward not backward”, they’re shielding criminals from receiving punishment for  devastating criminal activities at a historical scale.

But in a fragile country like Lebanon, we have to look backward not forward. Even if the very stability of the country is at stake.

Justice for all indeed!


A Veil of Mass Destruction

June 22, 2011

Daniel Ellsberg, assistant secretary of defense in the Kennedy administration, in his article:  A Hundred Holocausts: An Insider’s Window Into U.S. Nuclear Policy:

“The total death toll as calculated by the Joint Chiefs, from a U.S. first strike aimed primarily at the Soviet Union and China, would be roughly 600 million dead. A hundred Holocausts. ”

Recently in France, Belgium, Spain, and Canada, citizens and politicians alike, have awaken and echoed Ellsberg’s warning:

 “Western civilization is in danger.”

“A dire threat to western civilization.”

“They are destroying our values.”

Only they were sounding the alarm about the imminent  danger of muslim women’s veil and not the policies of nuclear deterrence adopted by the West in general and the U.S. in particular. That running policy that is based on the idea of annihilating most of your enemy’s population, not to mention rendering the planet perhaps  uninhabitable for decades. Absorb the moral and cultural implication of that Western policy for a minute.

With policies and principles like nuclear deterrence that is purely its own brain child, the West does not have the moral authority to lecture any one about violence. Perhaps it should try first and lift the hate induced  thick veil of ignorance that is plaguing its own culture of mass annihilation.


Nobel laureates and War criminals

April 28, 2011

“Barak Obama, Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Menachem Begin.”

What do these people of note have in common?

They’re  Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

But wait! By the way, they’re also war criminals

Arafat, Yasser: The leader of the PLO.

Kissinger, Henry: The link provides several articles about Kissinger involvement in supporting the mass murder and heinous atrocities against civilians, at least in Latin America.

Begin, Menachem: Began as a terrorist in Irgun and sealed his record with the Sabra and Shatila massacre. There were endless massacres of Lebanese civilians in between.

Peres, Shimon: It is enough to cite the Qana Massacre that took place under his direct watch as a prime minister.

Obama, Barak:  Increased two illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, started three more in Yemen, Pakistan, and Libya, killing thousands of innocent civilians in the process.

Rabin, Yitzhak: The fact that he was an Israeli prime minister and a defense minister  who oversaw many wars  and presided over illegal occupations should say it all.


Welcome to the “civilized”  West!


Town without “Borders”

April 25, 2011

There is something missing when we go for a night out in town these days.

The crowd looks as lively and animated as ever, mind you,  but the mood in the big open strip mall feels somber. Stores are still vibrant, especially the “pay-day loan” stores that are sprawling faster than the speed of the sinking economy.

But somehow I feel I am in a barren land.

No longer can I sip my cup of brewed beans and wonder about the mysteries of the universe and its inhabitants while curled with a book in the cozy leather chair.

No longer can the  vibe of the music from a new  prophet  lift my soul to new heights and luscious sights. 

No longer do I meet the lit eyes of a crowd hungry for a piece of knowledge about one thing or another or watch the joy in the eyes of  kids getting their first taste of the nectar flowing from fairy tales in garden of books.

Atlas has shrugged….  Borders has closed its doors in this town. And it feels like a forced break up with a soul mate.


Meatless-less burgers and veggie lies

April 19, 2011

When I became a vegetarian it was a moral decision first and foremost. Life looked more harmonious and peaceful to me that way. 

I felt  much admiration for the magnificent  creatures that ended up on people’s dinner plates and a deep understanding (at least in my opinion) of what life is all about.

Eating meat came to represent the arrogance of our species, the signature of its brutality, the gluttony of its soul,  and the hypocrisy of its culture.

So you can imagine my frustration and feeling of betrayal when one of “our own” supposedly,Vegnews, doctored photos of meat burgers and beef chops and claimed them to be vegetarian meals.

Shame on you. I thought it was  supposed to be all about humility and honesty.


The Children of God

April 13, 2011

In the holy land, the children of the peace-loving chosen people, guardian of the western ideals, beacon of democracy in the Middle East learn this in kindergarten.


Connect the dots: The free market canard

March 30, 2011

There is a place where light can not make it through and it is not a black hole in outer space. It is the space between our business leaders and our government.

Fact 1: GE is the single largest company in the US.

Fact 2: GE made $13.5 billion in profit last year.

Fact 3: GE didn’t pay a penny in taxes on its profit. In fact, it is asking the federal government for $3.2 billion in tax rebates!

Fact 4: Back at the end of 2008, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. government had agreed to insure an additional $139 billion in GE Capital’s debt holdings, the second such intervention within a month.

Fact 5: GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, is the head of the president’s team of economic advisors.

Fact 6: Anyone who thinks we have a free market economy is utterly blind.

Disclosure: The New York Times’ David Kocieniewski broke the GE profit story.


Confessions–Part 1

March 28, 2011

Your innermost self is really who you are. The outside noise could be overwhelming. The inner voice can easily fall on deaf ears. And this could whither the soul.

Caring about my friends as much as caring about myself has been my cherished pleasure and pride. I love sharing their joy and getting immersed in their sorrow.

That sharing, however, could  inadvertently conflate your space and theirs. The things you love and enjoy suddenly become what they must love and enjoy.  With the best of intentions, extreme love might insidiously give way to selfishness. Insensitivity and overconfidence  all could drown your soul.

A recent  trip has given me a wake up call–nothing can help me look within, redress my life, and appreciate its essence and the beauty of true love and friendship like traveling can. It redirected my compass. My spiritual ears are back listening to my inner voice. And I have now a fire wall more adept at filtering out the outside noise.


Dwarf Minds, Giant Egos

March 27, 2011

If  you’d like to get informed about what will happen next in the Middle East, start by ignoring our Middle East experts.

Tom Friedman, Roger Cohen, Nicolas Kristof, Farid Zakaria, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and almost every self-proclaimed expert have been enlightening us with their predictions.

The problem is those “giant- egoed” dwarf minds have never been anywhere near the truth about complicated issues in the Middle East (heck, not even the state department or our $80 b intelligence agencies.)

Recall when they’re all were cheering up the Iraq war and none of them got it right?

If Iraq is ancient history to you, just look at their forecasts when the spark that started it all in Tunisia erupted. None of them and I mean none predicted that Hosni Mubarak was next, or how much of a game changer this was going to be. In fact, up until two weeks into the Egyptian uprising, those great minds were predicting Mubarak to prevail in the end.

The Tsunami sweeping across the Middle East these days is bigger and more convoluted than any of those pitiful minds can absorb much less analyze. It doesn’t help when you come into the analysis arena with a huge baggage of bigotry  and racism either.

Stay tuned!