Adonis Diaries

 

Israeli forces kill 13-year-old Palestinian

If not killed and murdered by live bullet, car over run, bulldozed… Palestinian youth are rounded up and put in administrative detention prisons.

Relatives of 13-year-old Palestinian Ahmed al-Beitawi mourn during his funeral procession in Ramallah, West Bank on October 17, 2014. (Photo: Anadolu Agency – Issam Rimawi)

Published Friday, October 17, 2014

A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli occupation forces in the village of Beit Laqiya northwest of Ramallah on Thursday evening.

Medical sources said Bahaa Samir Badir, 13, was shot in the chest after Israeli forces raided the village.

Badir was reportedly shot in the chest from close range, and suffered from severe bleeding shortly before dying at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Clashes broke out in the village of Beit Laqiya after news of Badir’s death spread.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that Israeli forces “encountered an illegal riot in Beit Laqiya,” and “while they were exiting the village, rioters hurled Molotov cocktails at the forces.”

“They responded to the threat with live fire,” she said, claiming that the 13-year-old child posed a serious threat to the armed Israeli soldiers.

“Reports of a dead Palestinian are being reviewed. There will be military police investigation,” she added.

She also said that the Molotov cocktails had posed a “direct threat” to the lives of the armed soldiers.

The death of Bahaa brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank so far this year to 42, in addition to the nearly 2,200 Palestinians slain during Israel’s summer offensive across Gaza.

More than 4,300 Palestinians have also been injured by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank since the beginning of 2014, as well as more than 11,000 during the nearly two-month assault on Gaza.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

Meet 5 year old Inas Khalil

Inas Khalil, 5 years old, died today in Ramallah after being run over by an Israeli settler’s car.

Naomi Wolf reported:

The second child who was hit along with Einas Khalil, RIP, Nilin Asfour, is in intensive care.

Many good suggestions below for excellent charities and aid organizations operating in Palestine to whom to donate money. Some understandable critiques below of why send flowers in a war zone.

Instead of food, money, medical supplies….the answer is long and delicate and I will explain more fully when I am less tired.

But it has to do with an instinct about depersonalization versus personalization.

All civilians everywhere who are killed are killed after depersonalization. So peace starts with each of us in our hearts really knowing Einas’ family are our close neighbors and their loss is our loss.

It may be pointless in the great sweep of violence to make loving respectful personal gestures heart to heart but I don’t think so. The settlers dancing are making personal gestures of hate and they don’t take long but have huge impact.

I think this is true of personal gestures of love as well. My own awakening about Palestinians and Muslins generally being part of my family came through acts of personal kindness on their part.

So of course I think that if there were waves and waves of caring responsible gestures and actions to counter waves of hate it would be powerful. That is what I hope this community can be…a cloud of love that can be sent around the world…person to person.

Also of course it can be transformational for the oppressor to do one small thing….it is about transforming the oppressor not just helping the oppressed. That is why flowers to the family could well be wrong but our making a personal gesture that says we care honor love and remember is right.

Plus it shows the US and Israel that we are watching and caring and not colluding in dehumanization of our collective children.Which dissidents do say helps to keep them safer.

You may know. Still, are there enough sufficiant conditions to demonstrate your knowledge?

You might know the topic before the interview. You might know the topic after the interview.

During the interview you failed to demonstrate your knowledge. Do you know or don’t you?

Apparently, knowledge is Not a mere mental process: It is intrinsically related to your emotional system.

There are periods of memory lapses. And it does not matter how often you repeat “I do know”, but the external observer has no tangible evidence to your claim.

You may know, but if you are unable to communicate this knowledge then your audience will believe you are another idiot.

That is why people feel comfortable within their circles of competent companions or same professional colleagues.

It is the hardest job of all to explain your knowledge using various perspectives and angles to convince your various audience.

In fact, if the institutions designed to properly disseminate knowledge are not doing their jobs, then your audience will have no idea what you are talking about.

There got to exist a base level of compatibility between your knowledge and the methods you use to explain your knowledge.

For example, it is necessary that you strongly believe in your knowledge of the topic.

And it is necessary that you are capable of providing reasonable justifications that you know about your topic.

The problem is that neither belief nor justification are sufficient to prove your knowledge.

The community has to “think clear” too in order to comprehend your knowledge.

If it was so, it might be. And if it were so, it would be. But as it , it ain’t. That is logic” (Lewis Carroll)

If an experiment says that there is significant probability that cause A has effects on B, it would be wise to consider the counter-effect scenario: If Not A, then No B. Otherwise, what the experiment discovered as the cause may not be the real cause but correlated to other more important causes.

We fall prey to False Causality bias, or this false prophet tendencies

For example, if you have high fever, this fever is not the consequence that your head is filled with lice: actually, lice vacate your hair as soon as it senses that your head is hot and feverish. “Hot heads” are not the favorite dwelling place for lice.

Removing the lice from your hair does not guarantee that your fever will come down.

Large fires leave big damages. It is not because too many firefighters were present at the scene that the damage increased. Well, it depends:

If 8 fighters are engaged doing the same task, each one will be investing 50% OF HIS ENERGY or potential talent in putting down a fire.

Members of teams of firefighters must have different specialties so that each one will be cognizant that if anything wrong happens, then the investigators will know who was at fault and failed to perform according to his specialized task.

Each member must be aware that accountability can be pinpointed and no cover ups can convince the investigators.

Another example. Students with good grades tend to have a library at home.

Obviously, if the books are covered with dust, no reading is taking place. Because you parents are professionals and read books that does not mean that you are a passionate reader.

Bolivia Social economics does work: Evo Morales elected for third term

Ellie Mae O'Hagan

Evo Morales campaigns for the presidency
Evo Morales in the runup for the vote at the inauguration of a thermo-electric plant in Yacuiba in September 2014. Photograph: Aizar Raldes/AFP/Getty

The socialist Evo Morales, who yesterday was re-elected to serve a third term as president of Bolivia, has long been cast as a figure of fun by the media in the global north.

Much like the now deceased Hugo Chávez, Morales is often depicted as a buffoonish populist whose flamboyant denouncements of the United States belie his incompetence.

And so, reports of his landslide win inevitably focused on his announcement that it was “a victory for anti-imperialism”, as though anti-US sentiment is the only thing Morales has given to Bolivia in his 8 years in government.

More likely, Morales’s enduring popularity is a result of his extraordinary socio-economic reforms, which – according to the New York Times – have transformed Bolivia from an “economic basket case” into a country that receives praise from such unlikely contenders as the World Bank and the IMF – an irony considering the country’s success is the result of the socialist administration casting off the recommendations of the IMF in the first place.

According to a report by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, “Bolivia has grown much faster over the last eight years than in any period over the past three and a half decades.”

The benefits of such growth have been felt by the Bolivian people: under Morales,

1.. poverty has declined by 25% and

2. extreme poverty has declined by 43%;

3. social spending has increased by more than 45%;

4. the real minimum wage has increased by 87.7%; and,

5. perhaps unsurprisingly, the Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean has praised Bolivia for being “one of the few countries that has reduced inequality”.

In this respect, the re-election of Morales is really very simple: people like to be economically secure – so if you reduce poverty, they’ll probably vote for you.

It’s true that Morales has made enemies in the White House, but this is probably less to do with rhetoric than the fact that he consistently calls for the international legalisation of the coca leaf, which is chewed as part of Bolivian culture but can also be refined into cocaine (via a truly disgusting chemical process).

Before Morales was first elected, the Telegraph reported: “Decriminalisation would probably increase supply of the leaf, which is processed into cocaine, providing drug traffickers with more of the profitable illicit substance.”

In fact the opposite has happened – in the past two years, coca cultivation has been falling in Bolivia.

This inconvenient fact is a source of great consternation to the US government, which has poured billions of dollars into its totally ineffective and highly militaristic war on drugs in Latin America.

Morales has – accurately in my view – previously implied that the war on drugs is used by the US as an excuse to meddle in the region’s politics.

Having said this, it would be dishonest to argue that Morales’s tenure has been perfect.

Earlier this year the Bolivian government drew criticism from human rights groups for reducing the legal working age to 10.

But what most news outlets neglected to mention is that the government was responding to a campaign from the children’s trade union, Unatsbo, which sees the change in legislation as a first step to protecting Bolivia’s 850,000 working children from the exploitation that comes with clandestine employment.

Although Bolivia has made massive strides in reducing poverty, more than a million of its citizens still live on 75p a day – a legacy of the excruciating poverty of Bolivia before Morales took office.

Nevertheless, Morales must make reducing the number of child workers a priority during his third term.

Not doing so will be a serious failure of his progressive project. In terms of social reforms, Morales should heed recent calls from the public advocate of Bolivia, Rolando Villena, to legalise same-sex civil unions and pave the way for equal marriage.

He should also follow the lead of Uruguay’s president, José Mujica, and completely liberalise abortion, which would be a good first step to tackling the country’s high rates of maternal mortality.

And Morales must also address the criticism of indigenous leaders who accuse him of failing to honor his commitments to protect indigenous people and the environment.

But however Morales uses his third term, it’s clear that what he’s done already has been remarkable.

He has defied the conventional wisdom that says leftwing policies damage economic growth, that working-class people can’t run successful economies, and that politics can’t be transformative – and he’s done all of this in the face of enormous political pressure from the IMF, the international business community and the US government.

In the success of Morales, important political lessons can be found – and perhaps we could all do with learning them.

 

Why I can’t celebrate Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this Friday to India’s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai for their struggles against the suppression of children and for young people’s rights, including the right to education.

That is great news, and it might almost mean Nobel Peace Prize makes sense again.

Mind you that this year prize is meaningful after being awarded to Barack Obama in 2009 “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”,

This prize  was also awarded to European Union in 2012 “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe” (at least this make sense, while the Obama excuse is pretty lame and totally erroneous).

(Again, international politics abridge the years that a person has to struggle before being considered for a prize. Though Kailash Satyarthi has already served his dues after 14 years of steadfast struggles to prohibit kids from being used as labor in India. He managed to save 75,000 kids from this awful state of slavery)

Still, there is something that really troubles me. How come we (meaning the West) always recognize the “devils” of the East, the torments children like Malala had to and have to go through (in her case, with the Taliban), but always fail to recognize our own participation in creating those “devils”?

How come we never talk about the things our governments are doing to the children of Pakistan, or Syria, or Iraq, or Palestine, or Yemen?

Let’s just take drone strikes as an example. Last year’s tweet by George Galloway might illustrate this hypocrisy.

10494696_10205086935471637_7493940445304227766_n

Galloway is absolutely right. We would never even know her name.

But, since Malala’s story fits into the western narrative of the oriental oppression (in which the context underlying the creation of the oppression is left out), we all know Malala’s name. Like Assed Baig writes:

This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalized.

Journalists and politicians were falling over themselves to report and comment on the case. The story of an innocent brown child that was shot by savages for demanding an education and along comes the knight in shining armour to save her. 

The actions of the West, the bombings, the occupations the wars all seem justified now, ‘see, we told you, this is why we intervene to save the natives.’”

The problem is, there are thousands of Malalas that the West helped create with endless wars, occupations, interventions, drone strikes, etc.

In Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, one can hear how little we know about the drone strikes – its aims, targets, results. Right now we have the executive branch making a claim that it has the right to kill anyone, anywhere on Earth, at any time, for secret reasons based on secret evidence, in a secret process undertaken by unidentified officials. That frightens me.

This is how Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown professor and former Pentagon official under President Obama, explained the US policy on drone strikes during a congressional hearing last year.

The following photo presents the piece that was installed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, close to Pakistan’s northwest border with Afghanistan, by an art collective that includes Pakistanis, Americans and others associated with the French artist JR.

The collective said it produced the work in the hope that U.S. drone operators will see the human face of their victims in a region that has been the target of frequent strikes.

foto/photo via notabugsplat/

That is the reality we are not being presented with.

Another reality is the story of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, 14-year-old Iraqi girl, who was gang raped by five U.S. Army soldiers and killed in her house in Yusufiyah (Iraq) in 2006.

She was raped and murdered after her parents and six-year-old sister Hadeel Qasim Hamza were killed.

Also not irrelevant to mention is that Abeer was going to school before the US invasion but had to stop going because of her father’s concerns for her safety.

article-0-0C89D3B2000005DC-51_634x548Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi

And while the West applauds Malala (as they should), I am afraid it might be for the wrong reasons, or with a wrong perspective.

It feels like the West wants to gain an agenda that suits them or the policies they want.

That is also why Malala’s views on Islam are rarely presented.

She uses her faith as a framework to argue for the importance of education rather than making Islam a justification for oppression, but that is rarely mentioned. It also “doesn’t fit”.

So, my thoughts were mixed this Friday when I heard the news about the Nobel Peace Prize. On so many levels. They still are. We’ve entered a new war, and peace prize award ceremonies seem ridiculous after looking at this photo.

tumblr_nd1ycaClBV1tgyqboo1_1280“They say that if God loves you, He will let you live a long life, but I wish that He loved me a little less. I wish that I didn’t live long enough to see my country in ruins.”  Ahmad, a 102 year old Syrian refugee /photo by A. McConnell, UNHCR/

Sure, we must acknowledge the efforts of those who are fighting for a better world, but when it is done in a way that feels so calculated, unidimensional, loaded with secret agendas and tons of hypocrisy – I just can’t celebrate it.

Ebola vs People

Ricken Patel –

10:58 PM (14 hours ago)

 
Ebola could threaten us all, and the most urgent need to stop it is for volunteers.

If just 120 doctors among us volunteer, it will *double* the number of doctors in Sierra Leone. Other volunteers – in health, sanitation, logistics – can help too. This is a call to serve humanity in the deepest possible way, to accept serious risk for our fellow human beings.

Click to learn more, and show our gratitude to those making this powerful choice:

TAKE ACTION NOW

Three weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of us went offline to fight climate change. This week, we’re going offline to help stop Ebola.

The Ebola virus is spiraling out of control. Cases in West Africa are doubling every 2-3 weeks and the latest estimate says that up to 1.4 million people could be infected by mid-January.

Talking about exponential growth is frightening

At that scale, this monster threatens the entire world.

I just read that the UN has only $100,000 in its fund for the Ebola outbreak

Mind you that AIDS harvest over 1.5 million each year (as much as Malaria and Dysentery combined).

Though, malaria is the number one disease followed by dysentery that put heavy burden on the States in Africa and Equatorial countries.

Ricken Patel – Avaaz posted this Oct 18, 2014

Previous Ebola outbreaks have been repeatedly contained at small numbers. But the scale of this epidemic has swamped the region’s weak health systems.

Liberia has less than 1 doctor for every 100,000 people. Governments are providing funds, but there just aren’t enough medical staff to stem the epidemic.

That’s where we come in.

39 million people are receiving this email. Our polling shows that 6% of us are health workers – doctors or nurses – that’s nearly 2 million of us.

If just 120 doctors among us volunteer, it will *double* the number of doctors in Sierra Leone.

Other volunteers can help too — lab technicians, logisticians, water and sanitation workers, and transport workers. Volunteering means more than time. It means risk.

Health professionals have already died fighting Ebola. But if there’s any group of people that would consider taking this risk for their fellow human beings, it’s our community. I and others on the Avaaz team are ready to take that risk with you, traveling to the front lines of this crisis.

Great things come from listening to the deepest voices within us.

If you’re a health professional, or have other skills that can help, I ask you to take a moment, listen to the part of you that you most trust, and follow it.

Click below to volunteer, see messages from volunteers about why they’ve made this choice, and leave your own message of appreciation and encouragement for them:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/ebola_volunteers_thank_you_3/?bFAfecb&v=47569

Raising your hand to volunteer is the first step. You’ll need to get, and provide, a lot of information to ensure you’re well matched to an available position. You will likely need to discuss this decision with your loved ones, and you can withdraw from the process later if you choose to. For this effort, Avaaz is working with Partners In Health, Save the Children, and International Medical Corps, three of the leading organisations fighting this deadly disease. We are also consulting with the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and the World Health Organization.

While there is substantial risk, there are also clear ways to contain that risk. 

Ebola is spread through bodily fluids, so with extreme care, the risk of contracting it can be minimized.

So far, 94 health care workers have died of Ebola in Liberia, but almost all of them have been national health workers, who sadly are far less well equipped than international volunteers. 

With treatment, the chances of surviving the virus are better than 50%.

Many of us, from police to activists to soldiers, have jobs that involve risking our lives for our country. It’s the most powerful statement we can make about what’s worth living for. Taking this risk to fight Ebola, makes a statement that our fellow human beings, wherever they are, are worth living for:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/ebola_volunteers_thank_you_3/?bFAfecb&v=47569

If Ebola spirals further out of control, it could soon threaten us all. The fact that a weak health care system in a small country can let this monster grow to a size that threatens the world is a powerful statement of just how interdependent we are. But this interdependence is far more than just interests.

We are connected, all of us, in a community of human beings.

All the lies that have divided us – about nation and religion and sexuality – are being torn down, and we are realizing that we really are one people, one tribe. 

That a young mother and her daughter in Liberia fear the same things and love the same things as a young mother and her daughter in Brazil, or the Netherlands. And in this unfolding understanding, a new world is being born. Out of the darkest places come our brightest lights. Out of the depths of the Ebola nightmare, let’s bring the hope of a new world of one people, willing to give, and sacrifice, for each other.

With hope and determination,

Ricken, John, Alice, Danny, and the whole Avaaz team.

More information:

Up to 1.4m people could be infected with Ebola by January, CDC warns (The Guardian)
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/23/ebola-cdc-millions-infected-quarantine-africa-epidemi…

Known Cases and Outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease, in Chronological Order (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/history/chronology.html

Ebola ‘devouring everything in its path’ (Al Jazeera)
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/09/ebola-devouring-everything-path-201499161646914388.html

Ebola death rates 70% – WHO study (BBC)
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29327741

Unprecedented number of medical staff infected with Ebola (WHO)
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebola/25-august-2014/en/

Kurdish Journalist: Executed by ISIS and forgotten by western media

The forgotten journalist executed by Islamic State

Western correspondents are not the only ones being murdered.

Peter Ford, Staff Writer posted this October 14, 2014

  • close
    Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 11, 2014.

Of these three, which is the odd man out: Steven Sotloff, James Foley, Muhanad Akidi?

They were all journalists murdered by Islamic State, the Sunni jihadists fighting in Iraq and Syria. But you have likely never heard of Mr. Akidi. Why not? Because he was an Iraqi Kurd, not an American.

It is hard not to detect more than a whiff of hypocrisy here, in a part of the world where the United States is often accused of hypocrisy.

And the whiff is particularly rank when it comes from the media, which should hold itself to higher standards.

Recommended: How much do you know about the Islamic State?

Only two online news outlets reported Akidi’s murder by Tuesday evening: The Russian news agency RIA Novosti and a small Belgian newspaper published in Flemish, De Standaard.

Akidi is the first Iraqi reporter whose death at the hands of IS has been officially confirmed, though a cameraman for a local TV station, Raad al-Azzawi, was killed last Friday according to his relatives, after refusing to work for IS in Tikrit.

Foreign journalists individually are exercised over Akidi’s death, as evinced by their copious Tweets on his fate. But they are not writing anything for their papers or broadcasting anything on their TV stations.

That may be because there is not much to say.

Actually, a few if us know anything at all about our colleague Muhanad, other than that he was a Kurd and that he was kidnapped by IS forces in Mosul, in northern Iraq, two months ago.

But that means that for two months none of us bothered to try to find out anything about Akidi or what had happened to him.

Granted, he is just one of many Iraqi civilians caught up in this conflict.

In September alone, over 1,100 Iraqis died of acts of terrorism or violence, according to the United Nations.

Journalists aren’t special, in this sense. Iraq’s minorities – Christians, Yazidis, Kurds – can attest to the vengeful slaughter perpetrated by IS.

Moreover, the murders of Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Foley, who were abducted in Syria, not Iraq, were videotaped and uploaded for propaganda purposes, precisely because they were Americans and their deaths would shock and appall a Western audience.

Their profession appears to have been less important than their nationality; IS has now started butchering Western aid workers.

It’s a long time since I covered the Middle East. But I am quite sure that many people there have just the same suspicions of Western intentions today as they ever did – that America and its allies only get involved to protect their own interests, not those of the locals.

A cynical journalist might say that is only to be expected.

But even the most cynical journalist might hope that the Western “mainstream media” as we are often sneeringly called, would pay a little more attention to the locals.

Note: It is becoming a flagrant fact that the US fight against ISIS is mainly meant to completely destroy Syria infrastructure, oil wells, wheat and gain silos, bridges… Just about anything that is important for Syria reconstruction. France and England and Australia bombs ISIS in Iraq. Only the US is permitting itself to defy Syria and bomb it under the pretense of bombing the resources of ISIS.

adonis49

adonis49

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