Thursday, 23 October 2014

Israel: "Mideast borders absolutely will change"

No one else but the Kurds: Kurdish fighters both men and women from across the region are fighting and dying to stop ISIS from completing destroying their cities and redrawing the map



Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights  falls to ISIS?

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has been keeping one eye on occupied Palestine and Palestinians and other on Syria-Iraq, Egypt and ISIS. Ya'alon recently told NPR during an interview that "Mideast borders absolutely will change" as a consequence of ISIS wrecking havoc across the region. ISIS has made it obvious it is trying to do away with the Sykes-Picot agreement of artificial borders that created the current Middle East countries. It has curved a huge chunk of territory out of Iraq and Syria in the beginning stages of implementing its "caliphate" or Khalifah as its called in Arabic. ISIS hasn't bothered Israel yet. However, ISIS does have some admirers and copycat mini takfiri groups in neighboring countries. Lebanon, who usually feels the aftershocks of wars and conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Palestine, have witnessed ISIS inspired copycats bombing border towns and villages among them Arsal while Hezbullah has been fighting against ISIS despite being dubbed a terrorist group by Israel, its supporters and the West. Israelis are paying close attention to the fracaso happening next door. Right Wing Israelis and Jewish extremists waved mock ISIS banners during an anti-African protest in Tel Aviv against African asylum seekers and migrants from Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia seeking refuge in Israel. Many previous protests against Africans in general have brought out some of the most racist jingoism and nationalism that Israelis accuse other countries of harboring against it. Like most of Europe, Israel is witnessing the right wing's growing success in local politics and society. Likud, Avigdor Liebermann, right wing Zionists and the centrists non political Israelis are enjoying the media spotlight and support from thousands of Israelis. Tel Aviv considered to be one of the more liberal cities in Israel but has witnessed ex Israeli settlers (colonialists or colonists in Spanish), football hooligans and right wing nationalists clashing with left wing protesters and peacemakers as well as police against African migrants to the final status on Occupied Palestine. As with Europe and U.S., the continual struggle against ISIS is feeding racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia at the expense of distinguishing between terrorism of them/us and digging into the complexities of the Levant or Middle East.

Right Wing grows: Mocking ISIS and intimidating Africans and Palestinians alike

 Iraq has also witnessed atrocities committed by ISIS and its supporters in the Anbar province, bordering towns near Baghdad and in Iraqi Kurdistan and elsewhere across the country. Nearly everyday there is a massive bombing that kills innocent Iraqis men, women and children across the war destroyed country. Even as the Iraqi Army has managed to regroup, ISIS' cruelty has become too much even for the wahhabis in Saudi who have condemned ISIS and its supporters. Iraqi Army is continuing to pound ISIS garrisons around the country with airstrikes backed by US and its hesitant coalition. ISIS has upped its cruelty by executing captured war prisoners than posting the executions on media sharing sites, enslaving Yazidi/Kurdish women and children especially young girls and selling the traumatized women and girls off to its fighters or lecherous men in ISIS controlled territory. Several girls and women have escaped from ISIS to tell their stories. In turn, Kurdish women from Syria, Iraq and Turkey have been defending themselves and their homelands by fighting against ISIS mano a mano not waiting for any Coalition of NATO or Democratic airstrikes to save them. Kobani residents are relying on themselves to keep ISIS from conquering their town while hesitant Coalition and U.S. send arms that end up in ISIS' well supplied American weaponry stock to the chagrin of Western politicians. As the old saying goes, Kurds learned decades ago to help themselves in times of trouble and fighting for survival. Turkey just recently allowed Iraqi Kurds to cross into Kobani to help their brothers and sisters in Syria battle ISIS. Turkey has played both the middleman and curious onlooker to ISIS while the Kurds  are being killed without protest from the "responsibility to protect" crowd that called for Libya to be liberated by NATO bombs. Having Kurds and Iraqi Army fight ISIS means the U.S. and its friends won't have to risk the lives of soldiers despite the rising civilian deaths in Mesopotamia and Levant. The whole Levant and North Africa are against caliphate mantra and have said continuously that ISIS in way, shape or form speaks for the whole region or Islam.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Nigeria nearly Ebola free, Ebola Discrimination remains

The media image of Ebola: I Am Legend photo from GeekTwins

Nigeria is nearly Ebola free thanks to door to door public awareness taken up by the local and national governments and public across the country. Not long after the late Patrick Sawyer originally arrived in Nigeria nearly two months ago, Nigerian officials from national transportation ministry to Lagos and Abuja ministries and educational institutions made it a top priority to reduce the risk of Ebola. Some 28,000 houses and schools of all levels were contacted by educational professionals, medical personnel and state officials (Nigeria is a federal republic separated into federal states like Mexico and U.S.) who went above and beyond to make certain that the public understand the full scope of Ebola, respond to the dangerous of virus in a calm and collective manner. Education certainly played a role in Nigeria's rapid and calm response to battle the virus while Liberia and Sierra Leone are still in panic mode. There are many things many countries fighting the virus can learn from Nigeria. Fear has allowed Ebola to blind the public and some medical officials to solely focusing on the virus while neglecting other yearly diseases that are in need of medical attention and just as necessary to prevent as Ebola. This is the case in Liberia with local hospitals dedicating their medical staff, equipment and facilities to isolating and eradicating Ebola but overlooking other health issues. In the U.S., the CDC has come out with new protocols to manage Ebola patients and halting future cases. Essentially, medical staff will be required with help from specially trained staff to properly cover head to toe in specially crafted Hazmat suits to avoid exposing skin in the quarantine zone. CDC is not taking the threat of Ebola lightly. 

Discriminated by Ebola and old stereotypes diehard

The African child surrounded by words

Nigeria along with Sierra Leone and Liberia have argued that their citizens face discrimination and alienation internationally with the ongoing media driven Ebola scare. The Sierra Leone national football team faced humiliating insults while playing qualifying matches for African Cup of Nations in D.R. Congo and in international matches in Europe and elsewhere. The irony with Congo is that it experienced similar stigma when Ebola first hit in 1970s. If any country should know what a cold shoulder by the world feels like it is D.R. Congo and Uganda. The century old Western stereotype of Africa as a Malaria or diseases placed that everyone should run far away from doesn't help the current health crisis situation. Liberians in the U.S. who have lived in the country for 10-20+ years alongside non threatening travelers abroad have received both fear and anticipation from airport officials, ordinary Americans and foreign officials. Traveling from the three affected countries internationally have been met with flight bans to outright fear bordering on paranoa on flights having sick passengers with flus or common colds. Currently its flu season in the United States with many children and adults going through the usual allergies, colds, fevers and body aches that are not life threatening or remotely related to Ebola. Even other African nations such as Zambia are being portrayed as doomed by Ebola even though it has no reported cases of Ebola. Ebola survivors have also fought against discrimination within their countries. They are treated as both anomalies and as miracles of human perseverance. 

28 Days Later: 

An apocalyptic sci fi/horror movie that realistically portrays London and Britain destroyed by a virus that kills and turns humans into unpredictable, undead beings not quite zombies. Directed by Danny Boyle.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Liberia, Sierra Leone cultural history

Some cultural historical background on Liberia and its neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea. The three countries only seem to get a passing glance in mainstream media when tragedy or tribulations happen to ordinary people in the countries. Western media tends to focus heavily on the Civil War and blood diamonds in three countries whenever history and society is brought up and lament the societal destruction caused by the wars and how poor the nations have become since 1990s conflict. Prior 1990s, all three countries including Ivory Coast which also feels the immediate affects of events occurring in each country, were slowly coming into their own as modern and independent states and societies.

Liberia: America's Stepchild?

Liberia, Africa's Only Republic 1949  in Color!


Hopes and dreams of millions of Sierra Leoneans as they geared up for independence and its aftermath are recalled


Le Grand Partage de l'Afrique

The partition of Africa its colonial consequences from 1880s-1960s
Historically Liberia had been a relatively peaceful and stable country as an independent republic and one of the few countries (other than Ethiopia) in Africa ruled by Africans prior to 1960. Despite occasional conflicts and discrimination by indigenous Liberians against Americo-Liberians (settlers), Liberia held itself together socially, economically and culturally. It avoid most of the artificial and superficial ethnic divisions and political instability created and fermented by European imperial powers and United States in later 19th-20th centuries. Sierra Leone's history is similar to Liberia's own story. Both countries were designated as a home for free enslaved Africans repatriated back to West Africa in the early 19th century. Africans who returned to Sierra Leone were named Krios (Criollos or Creoles) and also attempted to rule Sierra Leone in the same way the Americo-Liberians ruled Liberia. However, Sierra Leone was colonized by the British surrounded by a huge Francophone region which France competed and clashed with Britain in West Africa and around the world for its own military and economic interests.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Militarizing Africa via Ebola Panic

Is Ebola Man made? Press Tv interview with Randy Short

Why are some 4000 American troops needed to fight a virus? Why send several hundred troops to Liberia to build a field tent hospital for Ebola patients instead of building a state of the art facility or aiding local health professionals to find a vaccine? Why not send more doctors, nurses and specialists as other countries including Cuba has been doing to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea?

The U.S. had tried to open Africom headquarters on the African continent six years ago. Relocating Africom from Stuttgart Germany would complete America's current 6 continent military central commands. However, most African countries that former President George Bush Jr declined and vehemently opposed. Only the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf gave consideration to Africom being hosted in Liberia. However, the Liberian people protested like their neighbors across the continent and U.S. had to keep Africom in Germany for now. Most African countries are still oppose to U.S. and other Western military bases and central commands being located anywhere on the continent. Ordinary citizens opposition to military bases hasn't halt the West from building some in Djibouti, sending drones over Somalia, competing economically with China and attempting to stop any serious regional power's threat to U.S. hegemony and providing military training to Liberian military. The U.S. insists it is doing the military flexing and dancing with the military industries around Africa to fight the now unnecessary Global War on Terror and stop future terrorist threats. African Union and local African armies have been downplayed and caste aside whenever the U.S. sends troops on recon, rescue or other operative missions across the continent. Not to mention bringing up the old excuse that African governments simply can't help themselves even though they can and there is a Pan African emphasis on health exchanges and studies between West Africa and other African regions. Anne Deborah Atai-Omoruto, a renown Uganda doctor from WHO medical team, is currently overseeing the operations of recently built Ebola Center in Monrovia, Liberia. Dr. Atai-Omoruto has experiences working a diverse medical departments and levels from Uganda to Liberia.

Prof Michel Chossudovsky: Globalization of War

Video created by Global Research TV

Professor Michael Chossudovsky dissects Globalization of War, the rising military usage and expenditures by the United States, NATO countries, Russia and a few of BRICS i.e. China and the competing military muscle flexing by multipolar powers. The military industrial conflict is working overtime to find conflicts to feed its weapons to or send its merchants of death especially if the conflict is frustrating to find solutions for international organizations or meditating countries and regions. Whether fighting for Earth's declining resources or showing off their  space and technological might, U.S., Russia and China are clashing diplomatically each week over the conflicts and geopolitical happenings in the world. The West and BRICS clash over Ukraine, Iraq-Syria (Mesopotamia), threatening Iran, China's smooth geopolitical rise and popularity in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America. The U.S. has been worrying over China since the former isolationist country woke up from its slumber some 35 years ago. The U.S. and wider West have responded to China not only with balancing economic and financial resources with Chinese but also building up their militaries and technological defense industries in response to a perceived threat of Chinese and Russian military might. Its an old military threat stereotype left over from the Cold War of an aggressive Russia and "Red" China trying to take over the world through military and economic influences with its neighbors and the wider world. China and Russia  have also been competing successfully with launching men, women and space rovers. Russians have been in space longer than the U.S. and still are recognized as top residents at International Space Station.

A Global War of Liberation?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Palestine recognized as state by UK Parliment

The UK Parliament has done the right thing for once by symbolically recognizing Palestine as a state as most of the world's people already do officially and unofficially. Israel is furious of course. The Israeli officials insists that recognizing Palestine as part of the family of nations is somehow bias towards the Palestinian side to the on and off again peace negotiations. The parliamentarians are putting their foot down in Palestine's recognition. The UN and UNESCO already recognize the State of Palestine along with some 100+ UN member countries. The next step for the Parliament and British government would be to practice what they preach and push Israel to comply with international law and end the long standing brutal military occupation, dismantle all the illegal settlements which violate international law, negotiate and comprise on occupied East Jerusalem, remove the military infrastructure that keeps Palestinians' freedom of movement and life impossible to live, dismantle and destroy the massive Israeli separation wall that steals Palestinian land in occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and lift the siege and blockade on Gaza among other broken laws and resolutions carried out by Israel. While the UK Parliament is not known for being direct in fighting for justice its vote for recognition of Palestine at least gives some comfort to Palestinians and the world that there are some politicians who recognize when justice is absolutely necessary.

Central African Republic Today

Central Africa Republic has been semi quiet since a ceasefire earlier this year put a temporary end to the ongoing violence across the country. Central Africans are recovering from the fratricidal violence that turned neighbor against neighbor and Christian and Muslims (sister religions) against each other. France intervened in the resource rich landlocked African country as a semi humanitarian/military approach to halting the advices of Seleka rebels attempting to cling to power in the CAR capital Bangui. The French forces still remind safeguarding the resources. The Seleka rebels came to power in the aftermath of coup that overthrew the former CAR President Francoise Bozize in 2012. France's Operation Sangaris has entered its months long existence. The current 2,000 French soldiers patrolling along the African Union mission has done little to halt the massive violence in aftermath of the coup and Seleka rebels' rise. Originally celebrated by Central Africans desperate for a return to peace, French and AU soldiers turned UN peacekeepers have been criticized by Central Africans for their slow response and lack of backbone in permanently ending the Seleka-Anti Balaka rebel conflict. France has tried to portray itself as a benevolent intervationaist and put its own spin on the Responsibility to Respect. However, the Central Africans and their neighbors believe the French sudden interest in CAR's stability was not altruistic. The AU has carried most of the burden attempting to halt both rebel groups from ripping the country and people apart. The French came last minute to suddenly become the heroes of another war in a third African country. France had already intervened in Ivory Coast and Mali during each country's chaos only to be ridiculed by the lcal people who saw their help as not only too late but unhelpful and unnecessary. All three countries have their own local armies and African Union missions for their respective territories. CAR like its neighbors have been grappling between breaking away from an IMF-World Bank orientated development to a more flexible and free alternative independent economic and social development aligned with China and BRICS countries. On a lighter note, Marco played against Central African Republic in a football friendly match as qualification rounds are underway in Africa for 2015 African Cup of Nations.

Football: MAroc vs Centraafrique

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Fascism and continual Islamophobia grows


 ISIS has given fascist populist leaders and rising stars from the far right and even liberal leaders their raison d entre. The UKIP, Republicans and Libertarians in U.S., Golden Dawn in Greece, Front Nationale in France and right wing thugs in Ukraine are enjoying their newfound popularity and media visibility with the rising ISIS threat. Islamophobia has been growing thanks to ISIS' violence and ruthlessness. The Fox News and Glen Becks of the world have found a new caricature boogeyman to scare the public. ISIS is the new, sleek modern day Takfiri or "Jihadist" hipster like terrorist organization for the current generation. ISIS has out beat and bested Al Qaeda with its social media campaigns and attracting many young Western men and women angered by the economic crisis, unemployment and debt, alienation, shaking financial markets, familial anger with job loss and pressures to succeed in their home countries. ISIS plays the piped piper for frustrated Western recruits including teenagers in their ranks while the far right, even liberal or moderate and extremist populists, media pundits and radio hosts drum up fear of an apocalypse showdown with ISIS.

Media image: Civilize vs the uncivilized? 

Muslims, Islam and Quran are being scrutinized more closely. Neighbors and colleagues are eyeballing their Muslim neighbors with anxiety/suspicion and children are being harassed by ISIS. The Middle East is being portrayed as an uncivilized region that is irrationally violent while terms such as civilized world and pure evil are being used to describe all militant and terror groups from Palestine to Syria who are now all lumped together as part of ISIS forget Al Qaeda. Even Boko Haram in Nigeria has been compared to ISIS and so has Hamas by Benjamin Netanyahu. ISIS like Al Qaeda is the new stereotypical crazed madmen or demons of the region no different than the devil itself. The destruction of Iraq and Syria are envisioned by the media as hell on earth unleashed by a chaotic Pandora's Box. One would think the war in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine-Russia and now Ebola is ushering some kind of World War III. The far right fascists and nationalists point to ISIS as the necessary evil that needs the strong arm of the military industrial complex to defeat. The pundits and populists reiterate that Liberalism, "liberal media" and politicians have failed to halt the spread of terrorism or secure the homeland. According to the pundits its time to return back to a Goerge Bush Jr "with us or against us" strategy of defeating ISIS and other terror groups who are equally against ISIS if the wold is going to avoid the birth of a new, much more unstable caliphate. Islamic clerics including the Whabbis recently condemned the violence and declared a fatwa against ISIS and its gruesome violence. However, politicians, pundits and ordinary citizens still demand that Muslims representing diverse regions of the world collectively apologize for ISIS and other Takfiri/Jihadi groups and recruits aiding it. The drone war against terror groups are still harming and killing civilians in Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere. Mini drones are also being tested and flown in parts of the United States to take photos of events, used by police along with body cameras which doesn't halt police brutality, a few corporations have expressed interest in using drones for home deliveries.
There is strong support for aiding the Kurds in Iraq and Syria. But not in Turkey since it is viewed as a regional model of a secular Muslim society balancing religion and secularism while straddling two continents with a rich history. It is regarded as a strong ally of the West in the region and a NATO member that has offered its territory as part of launch pad for counter strikes and weapons flows/militants across the region. Turkey has served as a backup for NATO directly and indirectly even though it has been 25 years to join European Union. It's largest trade partners, investments and Disapora is orientated towards the EU as well as Iraq, China, and Middle East.

Rising tide of Fascism: Protecting European Democracy or Revival Cold War

From the show "Real Time with Bill Maher"

Ben Affleck vs Bill Maher on Maher's anti-Muslim views
Maher, a political pundit turned talk show host for his Real Time with Bill Maher is both popular across the U.S. but is also scorned by some radio hosts and media personalities for being too Liberal with views. Maher is equally known for his strong anti religious critiques and rants against all major religions including Christianity and Islam.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Ebola in Spain

Spain like the United States is also on edge after Teresa Romero Ramos a nurse who treated the deceased priest missionary Manuel Garcia Viejo for Ebola, is now in critical condition at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid. Teresa was transported by Spanish medics and officials from Liberia to Spain during the last weeks of September. Similar to the deceased Liberian man Thomas Duncan, Teresa also went through careless observation and was dismissed from the first hospital she visited after feeling ill from a small fever. The hospital she visited did not have a proper Ebola isolation facility to admit or monitor her as Carlos III facility does. She did not realize she had Ebola until the media announced her diagnosis on TV and radio. Teresa is the first person to be diagnosis with Ebola outside of West African countries' stricken by the virus. It has led to panic in Spain among hospital staff at Carlos III and general Spanish public. Spanish government has blamed the nurse's deterioration and lack of early preventive care on human error rather than clumsy responses by hospital to the highly publicized virus.

Hospital staff and the public have protested the ebola fermenting in Spain.

Spain is the second Western country to feel the immediate affects of Ebola with returning medical personnel falling ill to the virus at home. Spain has yet to ban flights coming from three Mano River Union countries and Nigeria. There is also a small African community spread across Spain from Equatorial Guinea, one o f Africa's few Spanish speaking countries, Canary Islands a formerly independent colonized islands by Spain off the West coast of Morocco, African Diaspora from Caribbean and South America and other African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Morocco. African migrants have been crossing into Spain from North Africa and entering the autonomous cities of Ceuta-Melilla, two tiny enclaves controlled by Spain in a small sliver of ports in Northern Morocco. Spanish government has built a huge Israeli like double walled electric fence meant to keep migrants, men, women and children out of Ceuta and Melillia who often attempt to enter Spain illegally. Entering Spain legally takes years and is made darn near impossible with massive bureaucratic red tap, slow EU network and an injustice asylum and refuge processing system that makes applicants want to jump through hoops and loops despite the difficulty awaiting the migrants and applicants. The Ebola fear and panic by health officials around the world is driven by the mainstream media's hysterical reporting. Ebola fears will make it difficult for future migrants and asylum seekers to enter Spain or other EU countries legally without being scrutinized or turn back to their home countries either experiencing further "humanitarian wars" or economic recessions or immediate need for healthcare.

Amnistia internacional denuncia al trato malo de migrantes africanos por Espana

PS Nigeria has been successful in halting the rapid spread of Ebola thanks to a large hospital and health facility infrastructure and public awareness that is lacking in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
A British man who died from most likely from a regular fever at a hotel in Macedonia has raised the health level and fear of Ebola there. Macedonia is hundreds of miles away from Spain or West Africa. But the media driven fear of a global pandemic shows how fear has panicked many people.

Geopolitics of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone

Professor Gerald Horn from University of History looks at the economic and geopolitical history  of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone through the transAtlantic slave trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism and the war and their connections to current Ebola grapple. The analysis is provided by independent radio statio KPFA's Letters and Politics. Enjoy!

Geopolitics of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Bioterrorism in Ebola form

The recent death of Liberian-American? traveler Thomas Duncan has raised questions and concerns about treatment he had received and proper care for Ebola patients. Both independent and mainstream media has been following Duncan's fight against Ebola over the two weeks. Despite boast President Obama's boast of having the world's greatest healthcare, the U.S. has been thrown off guard by Ebola. The virus itself is being treated justifiably so as a biological terror weapon although it isn't refereed to as such in name. So far five infected Americans are under surveillance after returning to the United States from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The mainstream media has terrified the public with the threats of pandemics and sci fi like last man on earth scenario to the point that Americans are calling for flights from Ebola stricken countries to be banned. Screenings at airport for Ebola and other diseases have been stepped up at the major airports around the country. Some pundits have even gone further to warn that ISIS or another terrorist group might take advantage of Ebola and use infected Ebola travelers as biological weapons to attack the United States and its friends. Seeing how serious ISIS is pushing to break Kurds' backbone in Syria and Iraq, using Ebola in a terror attack isn't far fetch.

Air Cabin workers strike at LaGuardia protesting Ebola

Meanwhile airline cabin cleansers at LaGuardia Airport have gone on strike to protest the lack of protection and concern for the risks airport workers  face coming in contact with cabin crews, pilots and travelers from across the world is heighten by easy flow of healthcare technology and health risks from globalization. New York has a large African populations from West and East who have contributed greatly to the megalopolis' diversity and culture. LaGuardia is one of New York City's two major airport the other being JFK International Airport the international hub and gateway into the U.S. for most of the world. The airport workers can not be blamed for protecting their lives and bodies from a deadly virus. Freedom of movement and travel is guaranteed for cabin workers and travelers coming and going from US and Africa. People will always travel between the continents.

The legitimate fear many Americans have over Ebola is not an understatement. There is another virus currently wrecking havoc on American children the enterovirus. Enterovirus is a respiratory disease infecting young children across several states from coast to coast. The virus first emerged in the United States in 1962 in California. It is not a new virus but an old one reemerging in the country for the first time in fits years. Ebola's arrival into mainland United States also raises many Americans' fear levels. A conservative journalist has tried to pin the arrival of enterovirus with the arrival of thousands migrant children from Central America during August. West Nile virus has been in the country for several years but is confined to Texas and other Southern states. The CDC, Center for Disease Control is currently overwhelmed with Ebola, Enterovirus and the regular flu seasons that begin at the end of Summer and Springtime. The CDC has tried to keep the public calm with both viruses paralyzing children and adults.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Cuban medical team arrives in Liberia

 Cuba's renown medical team has arrived in Liberia joining other international doctors in fighting Ebola and saving patients' lives. Liberian Foreign Minister Augustine Ngufuan greeted the team in Monrovia thanking them for their service to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Additional medical diplomats is a relief for Liberian health staff working in a healthcare system that is overstretched and working to the brink. Cuba has been sending troops of medical volunteers, military experts and revolutionaries and literature to Mama Africa for some 50+ years. The cultural links between Cuba and Africa are interlinked in religion and spiritually and cultural roots. This is the first time that Cuban doctors are in Liberia. Inspite of the fifty year old embargo, Cuba's health care system has managed to stabilize and preventive healthcare is practiced in most parts of the country. Pharmacies can be found in neighbors in the capital Havana and in the countryside. Infant morality rate is one of the lowest in the Americas and most Cubans have access to healthcare. Medical doctors and students have been sent abroad to Latin America, Carribean (recently in Venezuela and Haiti) Asia and Africa for years now. Cuba hosts one of the most accessible and freest medical schools in the world Latin American School of Medicine or ELAM in Spanish. ELAM provides crucial medical training and education to many doctors, nurses and medical staff in developing countries. It serves as a pan third world, non alignment medical school for anyone interested in medical studies without the stress of cost. Unlike the United States, in Cuba (like most of the world) healthcare is regarded as a human right not a privilege or decision based solely on finances. Liberia too, places healthcare access as a fundamental right for each citizen. The country has been working on reiterating the necessary precautions to take halt and reduce the Ebola cases in Monrovia and Rural Liberia. The measures are working as more Liberians, Sierra Leone and Guineas are surviving Ebola regardless of the huge death and physical toll. The Ebola survivors serve as a light to three nations that fighting physically or medically with Cuban and Liberian doctors aids in the recovery process and helps to ease the pain of loosing neighbors and family members. The article below is provided by TLC Africa.

Cuba's Advance-Medical Team Arrives, Hailed As 'Medical Diplomats'

Min. Ngafuan & Dr. Nunez

Monrovia, October 7, 2014:  A high level Cuban medical delegation comprising mainly of medical doctors, financial and logistical officers has arrived in the country as an advance-team of the Cuban medical brigade that will assist Liberia in its fight to control the Ebola virus that is ravaging the West African region.
A Foreign Ministry release says the advanced Cuban medical professionals which arrived in the country on  Saturday, October 4, 2014 is headed by Dr. Juan Carlos Dupuy Nunez.
Other members of the delegation include Dr.Pablo Miguel, Raventon Vaguer, Mr. Andres Marrero Escobar, and Rolando Vergara Zito constituting of medical doctors, financial and logistical officers.
During a courtesy call on Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan at his Foreign Ministry Office on Monday, September 6, 2014, the Foreign Minister, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and the Government and people of  Liberia, extended sincere  gratitude to the Government and People of Cuba for demonstrating what he termed as a solid friendship and solidarity to people in greater needs:  "You are coming to help not just Liberia, but also the Republic of Sierra Leone”.
While lifting praises on Cuba, Minister Ngafuan noted that Cuba has over the years distinguished itself in the medical fields, referring to Cuban medical doctors as medical diplomats in the world.
The Liberian Foreign Minister further assured the advance team of his ministry’s fullest cooperation in helping them navigate through Liberia’s governmental system, noting that Liberia has good diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Foreign Minister Ngafuan disclosed that as Liberia battles against the deadly Ebola disease, the government  is also working hard to upgrade the standard of its health facilities to deal with other related illnesses that are posing threats to the heath  of the Liberian people.
Minister Ngafuan then expressed confidence that with the coming of the Cuban doctors to assist in the fight against Ebola, the disease will soon be eradicated.
In brief remarks, the head of the advanced team, Dr. Nunez who introduced members of his delegation revealed  that they are in Liberia as an advance-team of what is going to be a comprehensive team of about 50 experts that will arrive in Liberia very soon.
According to Dr. Nunez, the Cuban medical team will be in the country as part of international response to control the virus in West Africa and the world and will be in Liberia to work with government in curbing the disease.
Recently, Regla Angulo, head of the Cuban medical relief agency last month, announced Cuba's contribution in the Ebola fight by sending medical personnel to work in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia with the latest announcement now putting the total number at 461 Cuban medical personnel who would have been sent to help prevent the spread of the epidemic across west Africa.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Kurds keep up fight against ISIS

The Kurds have been busting their butts (aka asses pardon the jargon) to protect themselves, the wider unofficial Kurdistan and the Middle East from ISIS known as Da'ish in Arabic and Kurdish. Kurdish women fighters, politicians and children and men have stress their bodies and will power to destroying ISIS' American artillery, blowing up command posts and ISIS fighters across Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria. The Syrian border town Kobani (Kobane) known in Arabic as Ain al Arab is closer to falling to ISIS. However, the Kurds refuse for the town to fall not without fighting to the end without  the help of a no fly zone or heavy airstrikes from NATO to back them up. Kurdish women have also refused to be hapless victims or rely solely on men to clash with ISIS fighters. Kurdish women historically have played a vital role in the Kurdish struggle for rights and to a lesser extent self determination. They have serve as crucial militants, frontline messengers and resistance fighters in the PKK and other Kurdish militant groups in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. They have carried the Kurdish flag and the plight of the Kurdish people to the world's attention. Their fighting spirit has been applauded by the world over. The U.S. and Western countries have highlighted the United Arab Emirate's first female fighter pilot for taking part in the early "coalition" airstrikes against ISIS. The female Kurdish fighters are unafraid to face down the Takfiris or its media propaganda.

"Un pueblo unido que jamas se venicido" A People United where never be defeated

 Kurds storm EU parliament

 In addition to fighting for their towns and villages, the Kurds have been looking out for their brethren in Iraq, Syria and Turkey slowly but surely unifying to battle against ISIS. In Istanbul to the border towns of Turkey and Iraq, Kurds of all ages including women have hurled stones and clashed with Turkish police and border patrols along the Syrian border to remind the world that their stressful fight is what is keeping ISIS from conquering more territory. The Kurdish Diaspora in Europe specifically Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, among other countries have storm parliament buildings demand the same tough actions against ISIS that they have been pursuing to halt them.

RT Espanol: Turquía: Violentos enfrentamientos entre manifestantes kurdos y la policía en Estambul

Turquía: 15 muertos y decenas de heridos en las protestas por los ataques del EI en Siria

Turkey in the middle of ISIS war

Animation about the effects of globalization according to the corporation

The Turkish parliament recently approved military action against ISIS. As part of the hastily created Coalition of the Willing or Coalition of the Hesitant, Turkey finds itself in an ward position as it joins its neighbors to fight against ISIS. Many foreign fighters from Western countries, Turkey and possibly Chechnya, have been using Turkey as a transit spot to reach the war zone in Syria and Iraq. Turkish border officials have looked the other way and others have fled the rising tensions and violence by ISIS fighters along the Syrian-Turkish borders. Syrian Kurds have been fleeing to the safety of Turkey as ISIS continue to push them at gunpoint of their border villages and towns. Meanwhile, Iraqi Kurds have fled from Mosul to the capital and less chaotic towns. They are joined by their brethren the Syrian Kurds who were not fortunate to make it to Turkey but had to flee south to Iraq, destroyed by foreign invasions and now a prolong ISIS-Takfiri war against everyone no matter the religion.

ISIS fighting in Kobani, Syria on the Turkish-Syrian border

Turkey regards itself as a regional superpower not only in Iraq-Syria but across the Middle East. Perhaps playing off the glorious past and final days of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish President Reccip Erdogan has presented himself to the region as an alternative to Washington-London Axis of Democracy imposed military style and Western backed corrupt leaders across the Persian Gulf and political puppets. Erdogan just survived a presidential election that would've ended his career. He and his AKP party quickly responded to continual unpopularity with ordinary Turks by using fancy political slogans and social media inspired fanfare to spark disgruntled Turkish voters to reconsider the other presidential candidates. Since the elections are no longer a threat for Erdogan, he has tried to win the hearts and minds of his neighbors with a foreign policy of anti-imperialism, anti-NATO/ Western intervention in the Middle East, Justice of Palestine, Syria and Iraq, etc. The only problem, Erdogan keeps backtracking on his policy. Most Turks want Turkey to practice what it preaches on its anti-imperalism and non alignment stance on foreign affairs in the same vain as China and Russia. Against the protest of the Turkish people, Erdogan has reestablished diplomatic and economic ties between Turkey and Israel shooting his own foot by recognizing the oppressor who continues to suffocate Palestinians under a tight fisted military occupation. The anger against the lack of justice, blunt double standards and sticking up for Israel is one of many factors driving the alienated, marginalized microscopic minority of Turks to ISIS. The majorty of Turks like Syrians and Iraqis and everyone else in the Middle East and Africa are against ISIS. No one wants ISIS or its cousins ie the Khorasan Group (wherever they popped up from) to take hold of any governments or society as awhole. Even Iran and Hezbullah are fighting against ISIS to avoid having the extremists bringing the choas theory to their countries.

To tell the Truth

Vice President Joe Biden caught some flak from the Persian Gulf and Turkey by truthfully saying that the Persian Gulf monarchies and Turkey (although the country was not mentioned by name) "poured money and weapons" into supplying ISIS and its Takfiri cousins Al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria and North Africa, Takfiri militiamen in Libya and Egypt in Sinai, etc. Biden had to apologize despite speaking the truth, a rare feat for a U.S. politician who didn't cave into pressure by the public to be honest about the double standards of foreign policy. 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

SOS Africa Tribute Song to Ebola Victims

A Pan African tribute song SOS Africa to the victims of Ebola calling on Africa as a whole to stand up, united and save the people from Ebola not just in Liberia, Sierrea Leone or Guinea and Nigeria but across the continent. Its long overdue time for Africans to not only save themselves with cooperation but with their hands and power

Please pass a long and retweet!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Mecca in its Epicness

Every year 2 million people from all seven continents converge on Mecca (Makkah) and Madina in one of the largest gatherings in the world. Religion aside, being the Mecca of any multitude is an accomplishment of colossal standing. Mecca is one of the few holy places where millions of people speaking thousands of different languages and sharing different cultures gather together shoulder to shoulder in prayer around the Kaaba, visit the city, Mount Arafat and Prophet's mosque in a 5 day spiritual journey. Hajj or pilgrimage is one of the pillars of Islam. At least once in their lives, Muslims are obligated to perform the Hajj. Some people go to hajj multiple times others only once or occasionally. For many who do go, the ocean of pilgrims dressed in white covering the entire surrounding area of the Kaaba and Mt Arafat leaves many viewers speechless. For words can not fully capture the beauty of humanity's rich diversity of epic hajj. The annual hajj has been ongoing for some 1000 years. 

 Millions of Muslims in Mecca for Hajj RT

Pilgrims at Mt. Arafat

PS Saudi authorities have been changing the cityscape immediately surrounding the Kaaba building new high rise hotels and one of the tallest clock towers in the world. The square where the Kaaba sits will also be expanded to allow more pilgrims standing room. While many of praise Saudis for the new Dubai inspired buildings many have decried the lost of irreplaceable historical buildings and monuments connected to the very founding of Makkah, Prophet Mohammad and early Muslims. We are talking about historical buildings that have survived since the earliest days of Islam only to be bulldozed to make way for glistening buildings without cultural/historical soul and roots.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Liberia and West Africa's hell with Ebola

Of the West African countries experiencing the most chaos with the virus, Liberia has seen its society and people from the elderly to the babies being destroyed by Ebola. Although Ebola began in Guinea and jump to Sierra Leone, Liberia has bore the brunt of the dead. Elementary schools to universities and offices remain close. The government has insisted it has done all it can to prevent the virus from wrecking havoc on the country. Medical doctors and nurses from Liberia, Sierra Leone, US and other countries are equally fighting and succumbing to the virus. The protective biohazard gear suits are not accessible to every doctor or patients Burial teams are doing their best to keep their cool and avoid exposure despite preventive health measures by doctors and ordinary people. Fear still reigns supreme concerning preventing Ebola in Liberia particularly in the countryside where it has destroyed families, isolated neighbors and led some people to flee their towns and villages for refuge in a Ebola free environment. Families are still afraid to report or test for Ebola if they come in contact with a person who may have the virus but not show early signs. There are some patients who do survive Ebola and its isolating effects to joy of family members and wider society. Ebola survivors in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria have shared their own life changing experiences with wider society. Ebola has remained the whole world that Globalization has made pandemics and dieases everyone's business. No longer are they isolated.

 Ebola Outbreak: Risk of an airborne contagion?

Grim death toll and people's panic

Over 3, 000 people have died in the Ebola effected countries in Mano River Union and Nigeria. Its higher than the number of dead from the recent Gaza bombing or from Sept 11th attacks. Liberian deaths are up to 500+ while Guinea has seen half its infected 2000 Ebola victims succumb. Sierra Leone has seen a quarter of Ebola cases die. Doctors in all countries, border patrol and airport officials are working to prevent further spread. Some Liberians have been granted stay in the U.S. and neighboring countries such as Ghana. Most international flights to Liberia with exception of SN Brussels and Royal Air Maroc remain suspend until Ebola is completing stamped out. The same airline restriction goes for Sierra Leone, Guinea and lesser extent for Nigeria. All four countries and the wider West Africa region or ECOWAS share trade, historical and cultural connections that supersede any artificial borders imposed  by Europeans. Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast operate as one body although they are separate countries. If one country has a health problem it affects its neighbors almost instantly. A domino effect of regional connections and brotherly love. Its similar to Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. If any of Lebanon's neighbors are in a middle of a crisis, Lebanon will see the immediate consequences. With the body cut into pieces, it still tries to operate as one being despite the nationalism, regionalisms, separatism, racism, etc

Ebola patient at Texas Hospital

Rising America's blood pressure on Ebola

Now that the U.S. has confirmed that the first person to be diagnose with Ebola is being monitored in at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, the U.S. is looking at Ebola both cautious yet anxiously. The media and its pundits are rising the blood pressure of ordinary people by presenting the worst case scenario situation if an Ebola outbreak happens in the United States or any other Western country. The medical doctors in Texas, in Atlanta and Nebraska where two American doctors are being treated for Ebola have reassured the country that the U.S. "is not like Africa we have the infrastructure to deal with an Ebola outbreak." Ignorantly generalizing an entire continent down to a city never amazes the pundits.An Ebola infected NBC cameraman has been flown back to the U.S. from Liberia. The man under observation in Texas was said to come in contact with some 100 people over the previous four days. Soon after he arrived in Dallas area from Liberia, the man now known as Thomas Duncan complained to his children and girlfriend of feeling ill most likely thinking the illness was a regular fever. Rightly, Duncan went to the hospital's emergency room where he was turned away after a few examines and tests after the staff didn't see anything wrong. Four days since, Duncan is under intensive care at the same hospital. Both Ebola patients brings up a necessary question, Why would the U.S. allow travelers and flights from Liberia and the wider Ebola infected countries into the United States when neighboring Western African countries have banned travelers from the mentioned infected countries? Why can't travelers from the countries be screened for Ebola days before they leave their home countries if they are going on an international flight?

To add insult to injury, Duncan originally lied on a health questionnaire asking about contact with previous neighbors and people infected with Ebola. It brings up more questions. Did Duncan know that he had Ebola prior to his departure from Monrovia and wanted to come to the U.S. to seek quality treatment? Did he selfishly put other travelers and his family in harms way by wanting leave Liberia for what he thought would be the better treatment than in Liberia? Were the Texas doctors and ambulance paramedics too lax when Duncan first went to the hospital seeking help? Was it a smart decision to quarantine Duncan's family, other children and their families in their apartment complex with anxious neighbors? 

Hajj and restrictions on travelers from West Africa in effect

Banned from the Hajj

Even Saudi Arabia, who hosts the annual Hajj, has banned 7,000 Muslim pilgrims from the infected countries from traveling to Mecca for preventive safety. Imagine the apocalyptic scenario if a pilgrim or traveler to Mecca who doesn't show any symptoms boards a flight, arrives in Mecca or Madina and the next four days they start showing symptoms in the large ocean like crowd of people. Being ill in a crowd of 2 million people from every part of the globe is terrifying enough. But being in the same crowd with a contagious disease would be terrifying resembling a horror movie.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Obama as the cowboy

Cartoon compliments of Carlos Latuff

President Obama's recent speeches at the UN and official announcement a few weeks ago to the American people to go after ISIS, takes its inspirations and quotes from previous, destructive President George W. Bush Jr. Particulary, Obama's quote, "the only language they understand is the languge of force" comes directly from an Israeli official justifying Israel's excessive use of force against Palestinians and their Arab neighbors.Obama whose ratings are the lowest in his administration even lower than George Bush Jr, is now playing the role of a cowboy fighting a war on many fronts. He wants to halt Russian advancement into the war torn Ukraine while also bombing the mess out of ISIS and its destructive takfiri cousins in Syria and Iraq. To top it off, Obama and the US as a whole are trying to brace itself and fight Ebola as well. Most of the world agrees that ISIS' violence and remorseless massacres need to be halted and stopped immediately. For once, Iran and U.S. see eye to eye on cutting ISIS off from its supply of American weapons. Wonder how ISIS had access to U.S. weapons in the first place? The media pundits have all but turned the whole world against ISIS and the takfiris in Mesopotamia. The pundits have also wrongfully painted Putin as the incarnation of Josef Stalin or Hitler. Everyone who goes out of their way to use excessive force against their neighbors is automatically label a Hitler. Everyone except Israel and the U.S. for historical guilt and pressure from Israel first lobby crying antisemitism for even making such a suggestion. Doesn't matter if the caricature is incorrectly applied to the accused evil leader or politician the media seeks to demonize week after week. Back to Obama. The president is overlooking the anger and frustration of many ordinary Americans to fight a triple war despite the up and down of the stock market and the national budget's debt. He continues to feed the military industrial complex at the expense of infrastructure and healthcare for the people. Not to mention limiting diplomacy where ISIS is concerned. The American people agreed that ISIS is a threat to the world but they are suffering from crushing roller coaster of the so called economic recovery and economic hitmen.