Friday, September 10, 2004

Commemorating 9/11

What exactly is the right way to mark the third anniversary of 9/11? I am not really sure. I just feel that it is unfortunate how polarized the day has become & is exploited in full by the Republican Party & the Administration. Playing on people's heartstrings and fear to attain a personal agenda is disgusting because it truly was a tragedy. I don't want to sound like Bush's mouth-piece, but the world HAS truly changed a lot since 9/11/2001. In light of all the recent attacks on innocent civilians, check out this article in The Daily Star, Fight Terror with less force and more flexibility. It reports that "On Sept. 6, the day after Sharon's phone call to the Kremlin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Israel to be greeted by Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom with the words: "The terrorism that struck Russia is no different from that which struck New York, Tel Aviv or Madrid." Russian and Israeli intelligence and security agencies are now to cooperate closely against what they see as a common threat." The article discusses how such hawkish measures are ineffective in truly fighting the threat of terror that affects us all.

On Iraq, a pretty stark reality report on the chaos, crime, rape, prostitution, drugs & other crime that have taken hold in the country due to the lack of security or legitimate governance and a complete breakdown of civil society. When President George W Bush declared the end of "major operations" in
Iraq on 1 May 2003, he said that the world has become a safer place for America." He apparently didn't consider Iraqis or even Americans in Iraq! There has been continued violence in Iraq where US has killed several Iraqis in an attack on Fallujah.

The Guardian reports what we already know that
the long-awaited final report of the Iraq Survey Group concludes there were no weapons of mass destruction in the country at the time of the US-UK invasion. Maybe Vice President Cheney ought to read it to clear his fuzzy head - he still tries to claim a link between 9/11 & Iraq!

Those of you still holding your breath on charges being pressed against the perpetrators of Abu Ghraib prison will be disappointed with this NY Times article, No Accountability in Abu Ghraib. With election season, corruption & conspiracy amongst the "higher ranks," it is doubtful anything will come out of the investigations on the torture techniques that the
US is accused of in Iraq, Afghanistan & Guantanamo Bay. Another disturbing article from the newspaper on how C.I.A. Hid More Iraqis Than It Claimed.

Fall tends to be a festive season for Jews as they celebrate their holidays & a hellish time for Palestinians in the
Occupied Territories. Here's an article from the Christian Science Monitor stating "Israeli troops sealed the West Bank and Gaza at dawn Friday, imposing a ban on Palestinians entering Israel until the end of the Jewish holiday season next month." Also wanted to share this interesting article on how education in Palestine has in the past, been used as a propaganda tool against Israel. Although, the same can be said for Israeli schools, reforms have been made.

Enter South Africa, is an interesting article on the increasing relations that the county is seeking with the
Middle East. I hope the path it followed to end apartheid & set up a reconciliation committee, can be an example for Palestine & Israel one day. "Trade and economy is the prime objective for
both sides. But political coordination, Arab officials and Ntsaluba agree, is the core of any serious progress of relations...
The crux of the ideas that Pretoria is currently considering is based on promoting dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis. South Africa, Ntsaluba said, has much experience when it comes to peaceful co-existence and it wants to share this experience with both the Israelis and Palestinians."

On a domestic level,
Florida has been consistently hit with hurricanes & storms - just wanted to share this blog of a friend who lives in Florida: http://sisterfrances.blogspot.com/

I have added an 'e-mail to friend' feature (the envelope at the bottom of the post) so you can share my postings with others.

Have a great weekend!