Friday, December 21, 2012

Danish View: 9/11 The Sensible Doubt

The concerns about the reality of 9/11 is world wide.  Here are the logics of the Danes. - 9/11: THE SENSIBLE DOUBT - Danish Documentary about 9/11

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Arab Spring and Western Style Democracy

This is an excellent article regarding the Arab Spring, cultural diversity and Western style democracy.  It gathers insight into the Western false perceptions of the Middle East culture and the Arab Spring.  a must read

Middle East:  To Challenge the Patriarch

Authored by Joseph Lerner, Edited by Col. Gordon Forbes (ret.)
© Copyright 2012 Ideas That Shape (ITS)
It is essential to be prepared for a possibility that the plans for implementing the Western-style democracy in Middle Eastern countries may be unsuccessful.  The Tunisian uprising ignited the Arab Spring, which had a domino effect that resulted in an uprising in Egypt and removal of Mubarak, the toppling of Gaddafi in Libya, an ongoing rebellion in Syria against the minority Alawite ruling class, led by Bashar al-Assad, and protests in Bahrain.  These events have been interpreted in the West as a desire for establishing Western-style democracy by the people of the Middle East.  However, those in favour of adopting Western-style democracy in the Middle East are in the minority and they were not instrumental in igniting the Arab Spring.
“This is not how the West, nor many Egyptians, thought the Arab Spring would turn out in Egypt. Their mistake was overestimating the significance of the democratic secularists, how representative the anti-Mubarak demonstrators were of Egypt as a whole, and the degree to which those demonstrators were committed to Western-style democracy rather than a democracy that represented Islamist values.” George Friedman, The Egyptian Election and the Arab Spring, Stratfor, May 29, 2012
In International Relations circles and amongst analysts the Arab Spring is perceived as a series of revolutions in the Middle East.  The term, Egyptian Revolution, was already used at the first gathering of the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square, who were demanding changes.  Comparing the Arab Spring to a revolution might be jumping to conclusions too soon.  Why?  The Arab Spring hardly consists of a series of revolutions in the Middle East.  The Arab Spring has been a series of decentralized and spontaneous uprisings and rebellions against oppression without having any clear, centralized leadership or well-structured political ideology.  Furthermore, one should realize that the circumstances that sparked the uprisings in most Arab countries were of an economic and social nature.   However, the uprising in Syria and Bahrain are of a political and sectarian nature.
During the Arab Spring, the reaction of many in the West, especially the mainstream media, was based on the misperception that the Arab Spring is a clear sign that the Middle Eastern people are eager to establish Western-style democracy.  For example, in October 2012 Doug Bandow in an article that was published by Forbes wrote: That blocking power is now at issue. While visiting Kuwait last week I increasingly heard people insist on creation of a government dependent on parliament, as in most Western nations. Some Kuwaitis even questioned the monarchy, whose ruling family goes back centuries in this region.
The cause of these uprisings was the oppression and frustration of the Arab population, especially the youths, who have no hope in planning for their future.  A majority of the youths in the Arab countries have no gainful employment and no means of supporting themselves, getting a higher education or developing skills that would lead to gainful employment.  Furthermore, the youths in these countries hardly have any proper social life.  All these frustrations and negative energies have been redirected towards uprisings, rebellions and in many cases the religious extremism in the Middle East.
“I don’t think the Arab Spring is necessarily a democratic manifestation, I think it is a populist manifestation,” Henry Kissinger, WSJ, May 21, 2011
The Middle East has a longstanding tradition of male leadership (patriarchy) that extends from the family to the structure of tribal elders and leadership of today’s nations.  For thousands of years the Middle Eastern nations have been ruled by kings and sheikhs.  Such form of leadership symbolically represents a king or sheikh as a father figure according to the traditions and cultures of the Middle East.  The king is the nation’s patriarch.  In the Middle Eastern traditions and cultures a nation is similar to that of a family.  The national unity of each Middle Eastern country, for thousands of years, has always been ensured under such a patriarchal model of governance.
Furthermore, similar cultural and traditional political structures could even be identified in Middle Eastern countries whose form of government is a Republic.  Today, in the Republic of Turkey, the Prime Minister plays a similar symbolic role to that of the great patriarch of the Turkish nation.  The same principle applies to the governing structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The Supreme Leader of Iran is a Shiite religious leader who is a king archetype.  The word, supreme, alludes to such a concept.  People of the Middle East have a longstanding traditional, cultural and spiritual affinity with such concepts, symbolism and leadership archetypes that represent kingship and patriarchy.
Whether Western values and standards are compatible with the Middle Eastern traditions or cultures or not, the people of the Middle East highly respect and treasure their way of life.  Therefore, the West must realize and acknowledge that the Middle Eastern uprisings and rebellions are hardly an indication that the people of the Middle East are interested in adopting the Western values, culture or Western-style democracy.  Essentially the people of the Middle East want economic opportunity and a better life rather than Western-style democracy that is socially alien to them.
However, this does not mean that those who started the Arab Spring are not interested in certain elements of  Western-style democracy, like Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly.  The traditions and cultures of the people of the Middle East hardly pose a threat to the Western values and way of life.  To develop a deeper understanding of such realities and to be able to better assist the region in economic advancement, Human Rights, stability and rule of law, it is necessary to learn about the traditions, cultures and history of the Middle East.  Western countries need to be flexible and adapt to these realities in their foreign policies and trade interactions with the Middle East.
Furthermore, it is important to realize and acknowledge that the Middle East is a region with many nations that are rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, precious metals and minerals.  The West needs the natural resources of the Middle East to be industrious and sustain its economic growth.  The Middle Eastern countries need to export their natural resources to the West and rest of the world to grow their economy and develop their infrastructure.  There is an undeniable symbiotic economic relationship between the West and Middle Eastern countries.  Therefore, trade, investment and infrastructure building need to become the central focus of the development of relationships between the West and Middle Eastern countries, within the context of International Relations, International Development and International Trade.
People of the Middle East enjoy and appreciate having Western high-tech and other products such as cars, smart phones, gaming devices and many more.  Furthermore, they are the consumers of Western entertainment, including movies and TV programs.  East and West share common economic and cultural grounds.
One wonders that whether Western-style democracy was really a proper lens to view the Arab Spring?  If it was yes, then to what extent?
The next question then is:  Are there forms of government that are compatible with both the Western interest in openness and the patriarchal traditions and cultures of the Middle East?  One might find some answers to this question.  However, regardless of how rational and pragmatic the solutions would be, the political and sociocultural obstacles in working towards such a model of governance will be:
b) how to gradually assist the Middle Eastern nations to install the concept of probity in the hearts and minds of each one of their citizens from an early age and throughout their public education.a) how to ensure that Human Rights violations, especially Women’s Rights, are properly addressed within the cultural and traditional context of each Middle Eastern nation; and 

Joseph Lerner is an Analyst who regularly writes about the subjects of International Relations, International Trade and Geopolitics.  Joseph has over two decades of experiences in strategic planning, communication strategy, project management, corporate training, geopolitical analysis, qualitative and quantitative research.  He has served in executive capacity and as expert advisor on various Board of Directors.  His formal education has been in Cultural Studies and Liberal Arts focusing on the areas of literature, political science, philosophy, classical composition and linguistics.  Joseph has extensive experiences in culture of trade and negotiations amongst various indigenous cultures and traditions of the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.  In the past, he has served as Campaign Strategist during Canada’s 2011 Federal Election running a successful War Room. In 2007 during the Ontario’s Provincial Election,  Joseph held the position of Communication Analyst and Strategist.  He is multilingual and has extensive experiences working in environments that benefit from diversity.  Furthermore, Joseph has produced numerous radio programs and has interviewing many celebrities, academics, dignitaries and politicians.

America- The Police State and our Guns

Susan Brannon
19 December 2012

The Associated Press reports that the medical examiner Dr. Karber said that all of the victims were killed up close by multiple rifle shots, yet the shooter killed himself and was found with two handguns.  How did he kill the kids with rifle shots from handguns?  There are conflicting reports from the media.  The news is agenda driven and it is difficult to filter through the information to find out what is true.  At first, the reporting was all wrong, they named the wrong shooter  that the father and brother were killed and reported them as facts instead of waiting for the official statements.

While filtering the news, we must remain aware that the news is agenda driven and figure out what that agenda is.  When we can do that, then we can understand what the next political moves might be.  After the 9/11s so called attacks, the American public was bombarded with phrases such as war on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction while casually inserting sentences on Saddam Hussain and Iraq.  In time our army went into Iraq and continued to remain there in spite of the blatant lies on both the American public and the world.

While filtering the news, think about reality and do not take the "news" as the final truth. I can tell you with a sure mind that today the U.S. army has killed at least 20 children in Afghanistan,  Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia etc...and we do not hear anything about it.  We only hear about the killing of children in our own country.

The national rifle association said that they will help assist in reducing the gun violence.  Yet, if we cannot control drugs, alcohol (during the probation) we will not be able to control guns.  If the U.S. government decides to take the guns away then we will have the same result as we had during the probation where Al Capone made millions of dollars from boot legging and others making millions from drugs.  Most likely, someone will take over the black market on guns and make millions from the sale of the guns.

The problem here is that America is a police state and there is no doubt about it.  We have the most extensive spying on citizens in human history that goes beyond the imagination of George Orwell in his 1984 doomsday book.  America now has the power to arrest American citizens without due process, they can declare someone a terrorist anywhere in the world,  our government can detain an American for life without ever presenting evidence...Obama can take away the guns.

You can't have an armed population and a police state.

Walmart the Biggest Seller of Firearms in U.S.

Adam Lanza the terrorist who shook Sandy Hook Elementary School and one of the weapons was an AR-15 assault weapon.  Although it is not known where the weapons were purchased the AR-15 is a highly recognized weapon sold at 1,700 Walmart stores across the U.S.  This weapon was also the choice of assault used at the Beaverton Mall shooting.

"Five months earlier, it was used by James Holmes in an attack that wounded fifty-eight people and killed twelve in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.  And several years before that, a man and his teenage accomplice used a Bushmaster AR-15 to terrorize the Washington, DC, area with a series of random shootings."  The Nation

Because of the debate over selling guns and how easy it is to get assault weapons Walmart decided to remove the item from their website, yet they have not pulled them from their stores.  Nothing has changed.  Walmart stocks their shelves in the open with a variety of bullets that are easy to steal and the guns are out in the open on the shelves.  The hourly sales clerks have not been trained with guns and firearms and the shelves remained unlocked during store hours.

"Overall Walmart sales figures are back on track after the 2011 slump, and executive vice president Ducan Mac Naughton told shareholders at a meeting in October 2012 that gun sales in particular are a staple of the chain's strategy to continue boosting its numbers.  He said that over the past twenty-six months, gun sales at Walmart stores open for a year or more were up an astonishing 76 percent, while ammunition sales were up 30 percent.  Walmart is now the biggest seller of firearms and ammunition in America."  The Nation

The FBI reported that they received 16.4 million background requests by the end of 2011 it rose to 16.8 this year.

Although many stores have changed how they stock and sell guns after Sandy Hook, Walmart has not changed a thing.  For Five Assault Rifles you can pick up with your groceries view images here on The Nation.

This is something to think about.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012