Welcome to Bennett's Study

UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx

http://todaysinsight.blogspot.com

Monday, January 26, 2015

40 years wedge war blinds to impenetrable US domestic crises

Abortion a wedge effect not cause: By comparison with real problems, abortion is so minor an “issue”—so off the mark—as to be laughable if it were not for serious damage of distraction that has been committed all these years by individuals’ personal hang-ups and groups’ made-for-media ideological combat of microphones and clever placards.
Commentary by Carolyn Bennett

While I do not forget that people have lost their lives in the United States over the abortion question nor do I dismiss the truth that women’s bodies are their own—and for the same latter reason the question of whether or not to have children is a personal decision to be taken only by an individual woman—I contend that “abortion” is not the real issue. I also do not dismiss the problems of sexual assault—whether in militaries or on campuses, in a woman’s bedroom with her husband (or other partner) or on a corner street, these are not issues of “abortion” or even “women’s rights.”

They are questions of crime and criminal justice. Problems of a broken criminal justice system in the United States, which carries us back to “inequality” – some people are not afforded the same basic human rights as others.

Assault is not the effect, which is often what “the abortion question” is. Having made the woman who is raped (assaulted) the responsible party for a crime that has been committed against her; she is left with the task of getting rid of (aborting) the “bad seed,” so to speak, while the rapist (the assaulter) gets off scot-free.

W
hat is the issue is the underlying cause, the unhealthy precondition that drives a woman, especially in cases of rape or incest or illness of various kinds, to call for legality of abortions; and others, for their reasons, to oppose such legality. The underlying cause is a broken criminal justice system and the nepotism and institutional cover-up that are prevalent on college campuses, in government and board rooms, and in other sectors of society. Remember a member of the US Supreme Court was rewarded with life membership on the court instead of life in prison (or even made subject to prosecution) after having been accused of sexual harassment of a government worker.

Real issues, critical issues, lie under what wedges (gods-gays-guns-unborns) cloud or cover up globally and domestically: chronic poverty; ill health, education welfare, inequality.

Global poverty (facts)

“The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population” receives only “5 percent of global income”. The “richest 20 percent takes three-quarters of world income.” A 2015 Oxfam report puts the super rich’s (the 1 percent's) share of global wealth at 50 percent by the year 2016. 

This is a criminal and immoral taking, with impunity, of more than one's share, thus creating poverty and endless want everywhere. 

“In 2005, the wealthiest 20 percent of the world accounted for 76.6 percent of total private consumption. The poorest fifth consumed just 1.5 percent. The poorest 10 percent accounted for just 0.5 percent; the wealthiest 10 percent accounted for 59 percent of all the consumption.”

The vast majority of peoples across the world are in dire straits and the United Nations will not meet its Millennium Development Goals, set for 2015, to end even the most severe poverty—because the super powerful and the plutocrats are siphoning off all the wealth and getting away with murder while those who have reasonable wherewithal are standing on street corners peddling propaganda and telling less than the truth surrounding a wedge question and causing years of distraction and dissension among the masses.  

A 2010 modest projection found that “at least a third of all private financial wealth and nearly half of all offshore wealth [would be] owned by world’s richest 91,000 people – just 0.001 percent of the world’s population. The next 51 percent of all wealth [would be] owned by the next 8.4 million — just 0.14 percent of the world’s population.

Almost all of [this wealth] has managed to avoid all income taxes and estate taxes, either by the countries where it has been invested and or where it comes from.

[However], for every $1 in aid a ‘developing country’ receives, more than $25 is spent on debt repayment.

In 2006, the world’s wealthiest (approximately 1 billion people) of a world population of 6.5 billion accounted for $36.6 trillion dollars (76 percent). The world’s billionaires — just 497 people (approximately 0.000008 percent of the world’s population) — were worth $3.5 trillion (over 7 percent of world gross domestic product).
 
In 2004, the total wealth of the top 8.3 million people around the world had already risen “8.2 percent to $30.8 trillion…,” giving this group “control of nearly a quarter of the world’s financial assets.” 

Others, though, were denied bare necessities. One-fourth of the world’s peoples, 1.6 billion of them, “live without electricity.”

An estimated “790 million people in the ‘developing world’”—almost two-thirds residing in Asia and the Pacific—“are chronically undernourished.” Twelve percent of the world’s population, 12 percent living outside the developing world, use or waste “85 percent” of the world’s water.

C
an you imagine the compounding of these conditions under endless wars committed by the liberal and conservative, neoliberal and neoconservative partisans on the streets with placards and in the halls of government and corporate luxury within the United States alone, not to mention in Europe?

Domestic poverty (facts)
 
As the year turned to 2015 the “total resident population” of the United States of America stood at “320,064,285”. Of those, more than 158.6 million were “females” (female population variously reported in 2013 as 161 million, 13 percent black women). And 2012 figures showed “46.5 million people” in this country “were living in poverty,” a figure described as “the largest number” of people in poverty “in the 54 years the Census has measured poverty.”

The majority of the US population is defined as “white,” which means people who, on their census form, wrote or checked “entries such as ‘Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.’” The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those “‘having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.’” This group as of 2013 was estimated at “245,532,000 (77.7 percent)” of the population. Figures in 2010 estimated the number of “White Americans” alone without any other mixtures at 223,553,265 (or 72.4 percent); and “Black Americans” alone without any other mixtures at 38,929,319 (or 12.6 percent).
 
A
nd while I don’t have an isolated break out of existing relative percentages in the population, it would appear that the poorest people (and given their relatively low population numbers), often among black women, are not the ones either needing or clamoring for abortions. So it strikes me as curious that all these 40 years or so women with microphones have claimed that black women are in back allies needing this procedure. I doubt very seriously that the microphone holders have first-hand sightings of these “poor women” (of any color) in “back allies” (or even with coat hangers) searching for abortions. It just doesn't wash for me. 

But poverty is overt, visible; and in the shadows, even of the capitol dome in Washington, DC, as well as on the byways and boulevards of many US cities, towns and villages. One in seven people in the USA live in poverty. An estimated one-in-sixteen live in deep poverty, which in 2012 amounted to “20.4 million people.”

Any idiot can see that the issue is poverty, not what to do once another effect becomes evident. Poverty is “a women’s issue.” More than “five million more women than men were living below the poverty line in 2012; and two million more women than men were living in deep poverty.” The poverty rate for women in the 18-62-age group was 15.4 percent. Within that range is a large chunk of the child-bearing period of course; and, unfortunately, childbearing begins barely past the start of puberty when females have nothing—no education, no income or earning power, no maturity or even common sense. Also in 2012:

9.7 percent of non-Hispanic whites (18.9 million) were living in poverty

More than one-fourth of Hispanics (13.6 million) were living in poverty

27.2 percent (est.) of blacks (10.9 million) were living in poverty.

Living in “deep poverty” in 2012 were

12.7 percent of blacks (almost 5.1 million)
 
10.1 percent of Hispanics (almost 5.4 million)

4.3 percent (8.4 million) of non-Hispanic whites

African American women were unemployed at a rate of 10.5 percent; white women at a rate of 5.8 percent.

In 2010, 21.4 percent of African American women had a college degree or higher; 30 percent of white women had a college degree or higher.

WORK BEFORE US
equality, 
free education, 
gainful work, 
livable wage for all, 
rule of law, 
incorruptible, competent, nonviolent public servants, 
human rights—
all FAR TOO IMPORTANT 
TO BE HIJACKED 
by WEDGE 
and other 
WARS
In 2012, though African American women made up 12.7 percent of the female population, they held only 8.58 percent of bachelor’s degrees held by women. The college graduation rate of African-American women” subject to 2004 research analysis “was 24.1 percent and has not increased at the same rate as the graduation rates” of other American women hyphenated white, Latina, or Asian.

While American women in total make up “24 percent of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce…; only 2 percent of African American women are represented the STEM fields. Compared with “white women,” black American women experience “three times the rate” of “unintended pregnancies.”



Wedge effect not cause

This is barely a cursory view of the case of wedge effect. But as I’ve said, only an idiot (or a deliberately ignorant person) cannot see that “abortion” is not the issue. The real culprit is ignored or covered up by the wedge show.

Underlying causes are at critical issue—not “abortion”. Abortion is a consequence of the condition of society, the ill health of society: its people, institutions, systems, functioning. We are that society.

Underlying causes include a status quo of corrupt government officials and their collusion with corrupt private, nonprofit and NGO sector agents. Apathy and public neglect; breakdowns in the systems of justice and in nonsectarian institutions of public education, health and welfare—a deliberate obliviousness that rises from a citizenry that at once “hates the rich” and at the same time signs on to “get rich” schemes in a never-ending illusion that “I-too” can get equally rich. These massive millions—with a penchant for mindless buying of lottery numbers, casino chips and big-box-store “stuff”—are the foot soldiers in their own destruction, their own impenetrable inequality and enslavement.

Higher–ups and the masses in their ignorance disparage what they term a “sinister socialism” as they co-conspire in the chronic neglect of the public good. A public that is unmindful of the imperative, the essentiality, of everybody’s contribution to the making of a fully functioning society fails to really care for its own. The gods-guns-gays-“un-born” wedges allow us to keep killing and promoting the killing of “foreigners”, bashing immigrants; and putting off our pressing needs to come together, confront and solve our critical domestic problems.



Sources and notes

“Poverty Facts and Stats: Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day,” Anup Shah data updated Monday, January 7, 2013, http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats.

“Poverty in the United States: A Snapshot,” National Center for Law and Economic Justice
http://www.nclej.org/poverty-in-the-us.php

“Census figures released in September 2013 confirm that record-high numbers of Americans are living in poverty.”

“Fact Sheet: The State of African American Women in the United States,” Center for American Progress, SOURCE: AP/Patrick Semansky
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0884102.html
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/report/2013/11/07/79165/fact-sheet-the-state-of-african-american-women-in-the-united-states/

Race/Ethnicity in US population
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States 


___________________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

___________________________________________________________

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Likelier to be killed by “toddler” than “terrorist”—Vet. Rory Fanning to US youth

Pakistan's dead
Counter-recruiter to potential recruits: You “don’t have to” sign up
Excerpt, editing by Carolyn Bennett

F
 rom Rory Fanning’s “Letter to a Young Army Ranger” 

Created enemies, justified wars
Interminable “Global War on Terror”

“…Our global war is less complicated to understand than you might think, despite the difficult-to-keep-track-of enemies you will be sent after—whether al-Qaeda (“central,” al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in the Magreb, etc.), or the Taliban, or al-Shabab in Somalia, or ISIS (aka ISIL, or the Islamic State), or Iran, or the al-Nusra Front, or Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. … [I]t’s hard to keep a reasonable scorecard. 
War dead and Destruction
Afghanistan

“Are the Shia or the Sunnis our allies? Is it Islam we’re at war with? Are we against ISIS or the Assad regime or both of them?

Just who these groups are matters, but there is an underlying point that has been too easy to overlook in recent years:

…ever since this country’s first Afghan War in the 1980s (that spurred the formation of the original al-Qaeda), our foreign and military policies have played a crucial role in creating those whom you will be sent to fight.

Terrorizing War
in Afghanistan
Once you are in one of the three battalions of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the chain-of-command will do its best to reduce global politics and the long-term good of the planet to the smallest of matters and replace them with the largest of tasks: boot polishing, perfectly made beds, tight shot groupings at the firing range, and your bonds with the Rangers to your right and left.

“…If you are shipped off to Iraq for our latest war there, remember that the Sunni population you will be targeting is reacting to a U.S.-backed Shia regime in Baghdad that’s done their dirty for years.

“ISIS exists to a significant degree because the largely secular members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party were labeled the enemy as they tried to surrender after the U.S. invasion of 2003. Many of them had the urge to be reincorporated into a functioning society, but no such luck.

“The key official the Bush administration sent to Baghdad simply disbanded Saddam Hussein’s army and tossed its 400,000 troops out onto the streets at a time of mass unemployment.”

Terrorized children 
Slaughtered Innocents

“The number of non-combatants killed since 9/11 across the Greater Middle East in our ongoing war has been breathtaking and horrifying.

“Be prepared, when you fight, to take out more civilians than actual gun-toting or bomb-wielding ‘militants.’

“At the least, an estimated 174,000 civilians died violent deaths as a result of U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan between 2001 and April 2014.

Wounded for life
“In Iraq, over 70 percent of those who died are estimated to have been civilians.

Afghan children and youth
Terrorized
Wounded for life
“So get ready to contend with needless deaths and think about all those who have lost friends and family members in these wars; and who themselves are now scarred for life.

“A lot of people who once would never have thought about fighting any type of war or attacking Americans now entertain the idea—in other words, you will be perpetuating war; handing it off to the future.

Brainwashed by mantras “Freedom,” “Democracy”

Coming Home
“…If we are really going to empty that duffel bag, there is freedom and democracy to unpack.

“If spreading freedom and democracy around the world was on your mind,” consider this. “Though records are incomplete on the subject,” the domestic police, police within the United States, since September 11th “have killed something like 5,000 people—that is to say, more than the number of American soldiers killed by ‘insurgents’ in that same (2001-2015) period.

In those same years, outfits like the Rangers and the rest of the U.S. military have killed countless numbers of people worldwide—targeting the poorest people on the planet. 
 
And are there fewer ‘terrorists’? 

Does all this really make a lot of sense to you?

“…Maybe you still believe that the United States is fighting for freedom and democracy around the world and is in existential danger from ‘the terrorists.’ Maybe it seems like the only reasonable thing to do: defend our country against terrorism.

“The media have been a powerful propaganda tool in promoting that image—despite the fact that, as a civilian, you are more likely to be killed by a toddler than a terrorist.… 

“[And] make no mistake: whatever news outlets may say about the changing cast of characters the U.S. is fighting and the changing motivations behind the changing names of our military ‘operations’ around the world—you and I will have fought in the same war.

Endlessly Under Siege 
“It’s hard to believe that you will be taking us into the 14th year of the Global War on Terror (whatever they may be calling it now). I wonder which one of the 668 U.S. military bases worldwide you’ll be sent to.”

Veteran tells his motives and moves

Having recently graduated from college, “I signed up for the military …hoping to make a better world. Instead, I helped make the world more dangerous. I was also hoping that in volunteering I would get some of my student loans paid for. Like you, I was looking for practical help—but also for meaning.

Endlessly Under Siege 
“I wanted to do right by my family and my country. Looking back, it’s clear enough to me that my lack of knowledge about the actual mission we were undertaking betrayed me—and you and us.

“I hope this letter is a jumping off point for you. And if, by any chance, you haven’t signed that Option 40 contract yet, you don’t have to. 

“You can be an effective counter-recruiter without being an ex-military guy. 

“Young people across this country desperately need your energy, your desire to be the best, your pursuit of meaning.  

“Don’t waste it in Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen or Somalia or anywhere else the Global War on Terror is likely to send you.”

You don’t have to

“I’m writing to you especially because I just want you to know that it’s not too late to change your mind.

“I did. I became a war resister after my second deployment in Afghanistan for all the reasons I have mentioned. I finally unpacked….  Leaving the military was one of the most difficult but rewarding experiences of my life; and my goal is to take what I learned in the military and, as a kind of counter-recruiter,” bring another message “to high school and college students.…”

Fanning concludes his letter.  

“Kids need to hear both sides.

Given the 10,000 military recruiters in the United States working with an almost $700 million advertising budget—there is much work to be done.”

As a social warrior, not a military one, Fanning declares, “The world is worth fighting for.”


Sources and notes

“WE ARE NOT YOUR SOLDIERS! Join Our National Anti ‘Military Recruiters’ Campaign In The Schools And Communities Featuring Iraq and Afghanistan Vets and World Can't Wait,” Rory Fanning, January 14, 2015, “Letter to a Young Army Ranger (From an Old One)… Lead the Way,” Rory Fanning http://www.wearenotyoursoldiers.org/?p=822

RORY FANNING

A U.S. military veteran and author of Worth Fighting For, Rory Fanning is a housing activist living in Chicago, Illinois. Before this, he was a member of the US 2nd Army Ranger Battalion and did two deployments in Afghanistan as part of the US Global War on Terror.

In a Chicago Tribune online review on November 13, 2014, Pete Reinwald writes that Fanning’s book Worth Fighting For “is at once a journal, a guided tour through sites that mark some of the most shameful moments in U.S. history, and a tribute to an athlete-turned-warrior whom the U.S. government hailed as a hero even as it withheld details about the circumstances of his death. More than anything, the book chronicles one man’s political, social and spiritual revolution.”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-prj-worth-fighting-for-rory-fanning-20141113-story.html#page=1
____________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

 ________________________________________________

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Discover new truths that future generations will write new history grounded in unbiased understanding of Islam

From Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s January 21, 2015, message to European and North American youth
Excerpt, minor editing, end comment by 
Carolyn Bennett

A timely preface from Christian texts (minor language update edit): Proverbs 4:1: Hear, children, the instruction of the elder, attend to know understanding  Proverbs 4:7: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom, and with all your getting get understanding.”


KNOW THAT OF WHICH YOU SPEAK
“The Holy Qur’an”
Supreme Leader of IranSeyyed Ali Khamenei 
var. Ali Hosseini Khamenei

“I don’t insist that you accept my reading or any other reading of Islam. What I want to say is: Don’t allow this dynamic and effective reality in today’s world to be introduced to you through resentments and prejudices. Don’t allow them to hypocritically introduce their own recruited terrorists as representatives of Islam.

“…In reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you about and want you to keep away from.

“…Receive knowledge of Islam from its primary and original sources. Gain information about Islam through the Qur’an and the life of its great Prophet.

“I would like to ask you whether you have directly read the Qur’an of the Muslims.

Have you studied the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines?

Have you ever received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?

Have you ever asked yourself how and on the basis of which values has Islam established the greatest scientific and intellectual civilization of the world and raised the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals throughout several centuries?


JUDGE NOT (Where have I heard that imperative? Do you know? Matthew Chapter 7 of Christian texts:

Verse 1: Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Verse 2: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye measure, it shall be measured to you again. [Ref. New Scofield Reference Bible, Holy Bible, authorized King James Version, Oxford University Press 1967]

 “Impartial judgment”
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei continues

“I would like you not to allow the derogatory and offensive image-buildings to create an emotional gulf between you and the reality, taking away from you the possibility of an impartial judgment.

“Communication media today have removed the geographical borders [but] do not allow them to besiege you within fabricated and mental borders.
 
BUILD A BRIDGE

“Although no one individually can fill the created gaps, each one of you can construct a bridge of thought and fairness over the gaps to illuminate yourself and your surrounding environment.

“While [the existing] pre-planned challenge between Islam and you, the youth, is undesirable; it can raise new questions in your curious and inquiring minds. Attempts to find answers to these questions will provide you with an appropriate opportunity to discover new truths.

“Therefore, do not miss the opportunity to gain proper, correct and unbiased understanding of Islam so that hopefully, due to your sense of responsibility toward the truth, future generations would write the history of this current interaction between Islam and the West with a clearer conscience and less resentment.”


PAST, PRESENT BEWARE OTHERNESS: paranoid demonizing hostility
“Negative image of Islam in the West”

“…Many attempts have been made over the past two decades, almost since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the seat of a horrifying enemy.

“The provocation of a feeling of horror and hatred and its utilization has unfortunately a long record in the political history of the West.…A cursory review of recent critical studies of history would bring home to you the fact that the Western governments’ insincere and hypocritical treatment of other nations and cultures has been censured in new historiography.

“The histories of the United States and Europe are ashamed of slavery, embarrassed by the colonial period and chagrined at the oppression of people of color and non-Christians. Your researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodshed wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World Wars. This approach is admirable.” But what of the West and Islam?

ASK WHY

“… I do not want to reproach history but rather I would like you to ask your intellectuals…  

…why the public conscience in the West awakens and comes to its senses after a delay of several decades or centuries.

Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems?

Why is it that attempts are made to prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the treatment of Islamic culture and thought?

…Why does the power structure in the world want Islamic thought to be marginalized and remain latent?

What concepts and values in Islam disturb the programs of the super powers and what interests are safeguarded in the shadow of distorting the image of Islam?

…You know well that humiliation and spreading hatred and illusory fear of the ‘other’ have been the common base of all those oppressive profiteers.

“Now, I would like you to ask yourself why the old policy of spreading ‘phobia’ and hatred has targeted Islam and Muslims with an unprecedented intensity.

“…My first request is [that you] Study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam.”
Only the youth can build a firm bridge to a better future. A better future rests with them. It depends upon the younger ones’ communicating an essential clarity of thought first gained through thoughtful study, diligent search and broad exposure unhindered by an old guard whose vested interests and hidden agendas have censored contemporary information and past history.





We must know that our ignorance, often a pattern of deliberate ignorance, is not only a danger to the world; it is also a danger to ourselves. We are neither apart from nor a land apart. We are one people among the world's peoples. 

An older man in a very old land has taken a most important step on behalf of especially (but not only) European and North American youth, and a better future. We should overcome our prejudices. Listen carefully, really hear and heed the words of one who is truly wise, the Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.


Sources and notes

“Iran leader message to the youth in Europe and North America—Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has addressed the youth in Europe and North America,” Seyyed Ali Khamenei, January 21,  2015, http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/01/21/394174/Iran-leader-addresses-Western-youth

Seyyed Ali Khamenei (brief bio)

The second and current Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Hosseini Khamenei (b.  July 17, 1939, Shia Cleric), successor to deceased leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, was elected as the new Supreme Leader by the Assembly of Experts on June 4, 1989. In June of 1981, Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s right arm was paralyzed, the result of an assassination attempt. From 1981 to 1989, he was Iran’s President. As his predecessor had done, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has issued a decree saying that the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons is forbidden under Islam.”

Fluent in Arabic and Persian languages (speaking in Azerbaijani, some English), Ali Hosseini Khamenei has translated several books into Persian from Arabic, including the works of the famous Egyptian theoretician Sayyid Qutb. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Khamenei


___________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora


___________________________________________

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Presidential rhetoric assessed as contradictory, dismissive, mendacious

Endless USA UAVs kill while claiming end of war; USA policies kill worker chances while claiming pro-labor values
Excerpts, editing, end comment by 
Carolyn Bennett

Flashback briefly to a significant presidency: One of America’s founders, James Madison Jr. (b. 1751 in Port Conway, Virginia, d. 1836 in Montpelier, Virginia) was the fourth president of the United States (1809–1817). He influenced the planning and ratification of the U.S. Constitution and collaborated with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in the publication of the Federalist papers. As a member of the new House of Representatives, James Madison sponsored the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, commonly called the Bill of Rights. He was secretary of state under US President Thomas Jefferson when the Louisiana Territory was purchased from France. The War of 1812 was fought during Madison’s presidency [Britannica note]. 

U
S Domestic affairs—Ralph Nader on the US president’s latest State of the Union rhetoric 

Destruction, rights abuse, corruption 

The President “stressed civil liberties and never mentioned what he’s going to do about the renewal of the notorious USA PATRIOT Act provisions. 

“He said there should be more oil and gas production and then he warned about climate change. 

“He said there should be a strengthening of unions and voices of workers and then he took it away with the Trans-Pacific trade agreement
[Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)], which exports jobs, and he wants to ram through Congress a voiceless fast track that prohibits amendments and labor from having a role in that deliberation.”

The President “didn’t even mention the hundreds of billions of dollars of commercial fraud on Medicare and Medicaid and patients in the private sector—hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars of corporate crime.”

The President “could have done a convergence with the Republicans on auditing the Pentagon, which … is a huge issue supported by the rank and file on both sides of the isle.” The grounds for this is that when the president was a US Senator, “he teamed up with Republican Senator Coburn to put the full text of hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate contracts online so that competitors, taxpayers, media and academia could analyze and prune the huge waste, fraud and corruption.” 

Oklahoma physician and politician Thomas Allen (Tom) Coburn arrived in the US Senate at the same as Barack Obama and reportedly the two became friends, despite ideological differences. Before his election to the Senate, Coburn was a member of the US House of Representatives. Again, in his final years in office, the president missed an obvious opportunity for making common cause.

Torture, illegal detention

Nader continues. The President “said, again, ‘Close down Gitmo’” [the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba], a “song … we have heard before. Also the president again in this speech failed entirely to address the heart of the Middle East struggle, “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The President failed to mention where money would come from for programs he mentioned and failed to mention a critical source of lost or uncollected funds: the Internal Revenue Service budget being squeezed by the Republicans to the extent that the agency cannot “begin collecting what the IRS says is $300 billion of evaded (not avoided but evaded) taxes every year.”

In sum, Nader says, the President’s speech lacked essential specifics. It was insufficiently coherent and failed to articulate convergence with the other major political party. The President, he said, “missed a lot of opportunities.”


M
endacious rhetoric: Foreign relations “values” soaked with the blood of millions— Institute for Policy Studies Fellow Phyllis Bennis also today on Democracy Now

The United States under the current president is “in at least five or six separate wars that may not involve large numbers of ground troops.

“[However] There are troops on the ground” and more not fewer are being deployed; but “there are primarily air wars.”

Values licensing to kill

Phyllis Bennis said, “Closing Guantánamo [the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba] is easier if you just kill all the people that your predecessor arrested. So there’s something very disturbing about this framework in [the President’s] speech where he spoke so much of values.

“This is about the values of our country [but] what values are we talking about here? What does the rest of the world—what do people in Iraq, people in Syria, people in Gaza—what are they seeing of our values as they watched the speech last night?”

Unconscionable killing by remote

“It was extraordinary… -- this notion of constraining drone strikes, which means that we only have a ‘kill meeting’ at the White House once a week; not every day. Only on Tuesdays does the White House staff meet, literally, to decide who should be on the so-called ‘kill list’.

Repeating an astonishing yet true statement, Bennis continued, “When I said earlier that this is a scenario where closing Guantánamo becomes easier if you have fewer people—it is not because they are not going after people.…

They are simply assassinating people—at far higher numbers. There has been a serious escalation in the drone war.

“…To say that instead of going to war, we are pulling back, we are doing something else… belies the reality of what the drone war looks like on the ground.” 


I
n my view, there should be no tribal politics of any kind, no taking of one or another side—whatever the color, cast or ideology of the side—when faced with such barefaced betrayal and utter mendacity on the part of public officials against the public good. 


Sources and notes

“Ralph Nader on What was Missing in President Obama’s State of the Union Address,” Democracy Now, January 21, 2015, http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/21/ralph_nader_on_what_was_missing

“Phyllis Bennis: As Obama Hails ‘Turning Page’ on Wars, U.S. Drone Strikes Continue Across Globe,” Democracy Now January 21, 2015, http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/21/phyllis_bennis_as_obama_hails_turning

Ralph Nader

Veteran consumer advocate, author, critic, and former candidate for the US presidency, Ralph Nader, his latest book Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.

Phyllis Bennis

U.S. journalist, activist, and political commentator Phyllis Bennis is Director of New Internationalism at the Institute for Policy Studies.  The New Internationalism project “works to challenge U.S. domination of the UN and to help democratize and empower the global organization,” according to its website. It works primarily on Middle East and United Nations issues with key areas of interest including U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Instrumentally, the NI project focuses on “education and activism to change the failed and failing U.S. policies and retool those policies to meet the goals of peace with justice” [http://www.ips-dc.org/projects/new-internationalism/]


Madison, James. (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe Edition.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)


Proposed as a regional regulatory and investment treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) implementation “has been one of the primary goals of the trade agenda of the Obama administration.… The proposed agreement began in 2005 as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) and participating countries set 2012 as the goal for wrapping up negotiations.” However, “contentious issues such as agriculture, intellectual property, and services and investments have caused negotiations to continue past that deadline. … Global health professionals, internet freedom activists, environmentalists, organized labor, advocacy groups, and elected officials have criticized and protested the negotiations, in large part because of the proceedings’ secrecy, the agreement's expansive scope, and controversial clauses in drafts leaked to the public.” As of 2014, twelve countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region have participated in negotiations on the TPP: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership
________________________________________________

A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora

________________________________________________