Friday, 30 January 2015

Japan, Jordan and ISIS: A Life for a Life

Warning graphic image in the lower right hand side. Poster created by ISIS or Da'esh

Escalating events and brutal winter storms in Syria has returned the world's attention to Syria and Iraq. The Kurds have been successful in fighting alone to push ISIS out of Kobane nearly altogether. Kurdistan has single handedly shown the way to defeating ISIS and winning back lost territory and protecting civilians. Winter storms in Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel has made life impossible for the thousands of Syrians, Palestinians and Iraqis in temporary makeshift camps across the region.

More pain has followed many ordinary and innocent people fleeing from ISIS for protective refuge or fighting against ISIS. A Jordanian pilot Moaz al Kasasbeh has been held alongside two Japanese citizens under a cruel ultimatum. Kenji Goto, a freelance journalist and Haruna Yukawa, have been held by ISIS terrorists for nearly a week threatened with death unless the Japanese government buckles under a $200 million ransom and a request to free a convicted would be female suicide bomber Sajida al Rishawi imprisoned in Jordan since 2005. Jordan and Japan have been in talks on possible negotiations as the deadline approaches. The ransom and demand for the immediate release of al Rishawi has sent Japanese society into crushing agony. Yukawa was coldly murdered prior to Goto's deadline. In Tokyo, residents have been holding vigils with signs writen in Japanese, English and Arabic. Goto's wife plead for her husband to be safely return to her and their two small children. Goto's family, neighbors, Kasasbeh's own family and friends are waiting painfully to hear the final update. The deadline has passed with no word on either man's whereabouts.

Jordan signals willing to possibly swap prisoners with ISIS

It is odd that any terrorist group would attack a country with a rare pacifist policy and humanitarian focused approach to conflict zones. The Japanese Middle East policy has been mostly passive and indirectly supportive of the United States. Until the 2003 Iraq War, Japan did not send its military troops into the major conflicts of the region except as UN peacekeeping troops in Lebanon and as part of the larger Coalition of the Willing in Iraq. Most of Japan's interaction with Iraq, Syria and Jordan has been through mostly diplomatic means and various real and genuine humanitarian organizations aimed at helping ordinary civilians. The other factor involves petroleum access and dependency on the black gold.

Pacifist Constitution moves to restore Japanese military

Japan has one of the oldest pacifist clause in its constitution that forbidden heavy militarization as part of its national defense or the use of a strong willed military force. The clause extends to the militarism. There has been continuous debate on ending the pacifist approach to defense and militarism. This hasn't stopped Japan from deploying troops to defend the disputed but resource rich Shenkaku Islands against Chinese troops. Japan's pacifist constitution goes back to the post-World War II American occupation of Japan. After bombing the entire country and killing hundreds of thousands in the bombings, the United States extended the Marshall Plan to reconstructing Japanese Society that would move away from its Fascist and imperial past to a more US friendly ally. American occupiers reduced the Japanese national defense forces down to a small local army that is weaker than some its neighboring country's military forces. The current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his predecessors have fought with the Japanese Parliament to overturn the ban on sending larger squads to intervene militarily in the Middle East and other regions where Japanese citizens might need immediate evacuation or protection not offered by local police.

Japan's Direction: Pacifism and Legitimate use of force

Monday, 26 January 2015

Greek Tragedy and triumph of Syriza

A rare fate: Alexis Tsipras and the radical left rises in Greece 

The radical left party Syriza (no its not a Greek play on the name Syria) has won a near landslide victory in the January 25 general elections. Greece is tired both physically and financially. The weekly protests by ordinary Greeks have brought the attention of the global financial crisis in Southern Europe to the attention of Brussels (the political yet shaky capital of Belgium and EU) and Berlin, Germany's powerhouse capital. Ordinary Greeks have been fighting against an under reported and often overlooked humanitarian crisis that has turned many Greeks families, students and workers against the European Union and fear against a Greek exit from the Eurozone, center and right wing parties and government. Some 300,000 Greeks have had their electricity shut off despite attempts to pay their electric bills. To add insult to injury, more families and workers are unable to even be eligible to government medical services and assistance due to various debts. Many people in need of crucial medical surgery and medications are struggling to pay off hospital bills and are unable to afford them. Frustrated students and 50% of unemployed Greek youth and young people have angerily left the country for work and better career opportunities abroad in the EU and further to other parts of the world. In extreme cases, many fed up unemployed workers and farmers, exhausted by the stress and pressures of paying off piling debts, having to sell their homes or livelihoods or feeling hopeless with family problems have committed suicide. Some as an act of protest against an uncaring government and an indifferent financial system. The story is the same in Portugal, Spain and now Italy. No one needs to be reminded of the irony of the former colonial European powers being fiscally crushed looking to their former colonies for financial help and stability. The crisis occurred to each country in the order they rose to world prominence in 15th century. Greece's tragedy reads like a country under sanctions or experiencing structural readjustments. A feeling that Argentina in 2001 and many countries in Africa and Americas know well.

5yrs of Humiliation over RT on Syriza's election victory

The Greek Crisis: Real Causes

Syriza has promised to cut half of Greece's deathly debts, do away with the austerity measures, possibly reinstate government workers and rise the pensions for the pensioners who are wrestling with the banks and backlog of the tax system. These are ambitious promises that many voters want to see come to fruition and hope to see real results from Syriza. Syriza and newly elect Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will also have to work with the former ruling parties and the right wing Golden Dawn while reducing the xenophobic attitudes and attacks against migrants that has brought Greece's notorious human rights violations against Asian and African migrants to international attention. Tsipras isn't touching the issue of migrants for now as he adjusts to the PM office and the gigantic tasks at hand. Syriza's victory is the first time that a radical left party has come to power in Europe at a time when the right wing and extreme right organizations, parties and personalities are basking in mainstream popular support. Syriza comes from the socialist and Marxist traditions of the older Greek Communist party KKE who fought against the conservative and right wing coalition parties that ruled the islands going back to the 1950s. KKE and Syriza function separately from one another. Both parties share the similar ideas and do agree on the immediate need to end the suffering and tragedy in Greece brought on by continual austerity measures, a retracting global economy and financial roller coaster ride.

What's Wrong with the GReeks?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Scientist invents rapid test capable of detecting viruses

Enjoy the article below. Originally published on FrontPage Africa and written by News Report. 

Written by News Report
 Published: 20 January 2015

A research scientist of Liberian origin, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, has invented a diagnostic test that can detect and distinguish seven different viruses at the same time. The viruses include HIV, hepatitis viruses, and another virus called Dengue hemorrhagic fever virus (which has similar symptoms like the Ebola virus) infection.

Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan
As lead-inventor, Dr. Nyan developed the test while working at the Laboratory of Emerging Pathogens at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States of America. The test is what scientist called a rapid procedure that can give test-results in less than one hour by using the patient blood samples. According to the US Federal Registry publication of October 15, 2014 entitle “Quantitative Multiplex Methods for Rapid Detection and Identification of Viral Nucleic Acids”, the test has been patented by the US government.

Information available to the FDA and the NIH technology office, the US government may have an interest in filing an international patent application for Dr. Nyan’s inventions. Already, part of the test in diagnosis of Hepatitis B virus was published in May 2014 in a journal, called Clinical Infection Diseases. The test, which also has the capability of detecting Ebola virus and other tropical infections could be useful in countries that are now affected by the present Ebola epidemic. Ability for rapid diagnosis is a problem in many poor countries and places that do not have advanced health care systems. 

Thus, this test is a major development that could empower health care workers with a quick means of diagnosing many viral diseases in countries with less resources. Dr. Nyan, who testified on September 17, 2014 to the US Congress on the Ebola crisis in West Africa also works as an unpaid volunteer with the Diaspora Task Force on the Ebola Crisis, with which he serves as Director of its Secretariat.  The Diaspora Task Force has carried out medical relief supplies to the Ebola affected region and is recruiting Diaspora medical personnel to send them to work in the region. 

Also, Dr. Nyan is championing the creation of institute for disease control in Liberia and the region as a post-Ebola public health measure. A German trained medical doctor, Dr. Nyan also worked at the National Institutes of Health where he was trained in biomedical research. It can be recalled that Dr. Nyan in 1999 at the NIH developed a non-invasive diagnostic test for Helicobacter pylori infection. In a scientific environment where minorities and people of African descent are disadvantaged, Dr. Nyan hopes that his intellectual property rights will be fully protected and that the product of his invention will serve the poor and needed populations in society.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Je Suis White People

Again the recent terror plot arrests, increased in airport and national security in the wake of Charlie Hebdo attack has raised the same reoccurring questions about the value of human lives in the world. Why the unanimous, universal condemnation of the 17 deaths in Paris nearly two weeks ago and insistence that billions of Muslims apologize outright for Charlie Hebdo? The Western countries are mostly numb to the thousands of deaths of innocent women, children and men from Baga, Maiduguri to Palestine, Syria and Yemen. When death comes to people in the Global South from terrorism, the journalists and pundits treat it as a footnote as a "normal" occurrence in African and Asian countries struggling with war and sectarianism pushed by Western backed allies or rebel groups. Terrorism and deaths is not synonymous with countries in the Global South who have a longer history of being peaceful and diverse countries ie Syria and Iraq prior to the War on Terror. Western hypocrisy in defending freedom and human lives when terrorism harms the lives and interests of Global North or developed World is well known around the world. Children in Syria and Nigeria know full well the justice denied to them each time ISIS and Boko Haram bombards their homes and destroy their livelihoods without a thunderous, resounding universal condemnation of terrorism and a call to protect their lives via political solution instead of drone attacks or military force. The children in Palestine sees how every time Israeli Jews are hurt the whole world briefly revolves around Israel's needs (emotional or security wise) while pointing an accusing finger at Palestinian children and their parents condemning them universally as terrorists. The use of terrorism by ISIS and Boko Haram makes it easier for Western media and politicians to overlook the deaths of innocent people caught in the violence of Nigeria, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. The gruesome logic as espoused by journalists and supporters of defensive military industrial complex is that fighting the terrorists over there saves lives over here.

The article below was written by Margaret Kimberly, writer for Freedom Rider at Black Agenda Report 

Charlie Hebdo: “Je Suis White People"

I am profoundly Baga!

Everyone and their mothers makes it loud and clear that they emphasize deeply with the French people and have fought to defend the humanity of Charlie Hebdo staff and the French at large. The empathy must also be extended to Nigerians in Baga, Nigeria and across the world. The humanity of Baga's residents need to be recognized and broadcast to the rest of the world. There is yet to be a universal march in Abuja to condemn terrorism against men, women and children. Baga is not just a small town on Lake Chad, Baga is a town and Nigerians who live there have names, unique identity, history, culture and memories which makes them human as anyone else. Their deaths matter as every victim of terrorism deserves to be respectfully honored and remembered. The article below was written by Carlos Sanvee, General Secretary of African Alliance of YMCAs and originally published on Pambazuka News.

I am profoundly BAGA!

Carlos Sanvee

2015-01-14, Issue 709

cc NPWhere are the marches in Africa for the Baga massacre, where 2,000 mainly women, children and the elderly were killed by Boko Haram? Where are the public condemnations and editorials of outrage for Baga?

I am Baga. I am an African. And it concerns me – all of this madness and mayhem. I am Charlie second to being Baga. Yet the eyes of the world are so focused on the Charlie Hebdo terrorism that the increasing insidious acts of terror in our backyard are being overlooked by even the African citizens and African media. Don’t get me wrong, a life lost, Baga or Charlie is a needless loss to me and the world, but ponder these facts with me…

Boko Haram is steadily increasing its grip in West Africa and particularly in Nigeria. Their acts of terror, violence and bloodshed are seemingly becoming so commonplace they are being overlooked and sidelined in the face of other news. The Baga incident shows an escalation by Boko Haram: the body count is said to be as high as 2,000. Baga town was razed, with most victims being children, women and the elderly who could not run fast enough to avoid the rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifle fire. Tell me how a death toll of 2,000 equating more or less to 133 Charlie Hebdo attacks is ignored by the world?

How about the young tender girl at the market place of Maiduguri, where at least 20 people were killed when explosives attached to her detonated? Although not clear, Boko Haram is thought to be responsible.

And yet we watched our African statesmen marching and mourning amongst the approximately 1.6 million in Paris who turned out in solidarity for the Charlie Hebdo attack. Where are the marches in Africa for the Baga massacre? Where are even the public condemnations and editorials of outrage for Baga?

The Africa Alliance of YMCAs takes a firm stand on the Boko Haram reign of terror and the recent Baga incidents: we shout out that it needs to be stopped. We need as African countries to stand together and act against the terror attacks raging in the West of our continent.

Along with Al Shabaab and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), all virulent threats to world peace, Boko Haram has a strong youth focus. It is the common youth in our society that you and I might know; the 15-20-year-old boy or girl next door; the one we may chose to ignore as a common nuisance who is easy prey to these terror groups! We even easily dismiss some as young people from dysfunctional families, depressed youth, unemployed and without income. Yet they experience widespread and deep disengagement from the social, economic and political systems and an associated growing sense of radical disaffection. Yes! This group of youth is angry; feels alienated and disenfranchised from society. They are not interested in merely talking about their problems and lot in life; they are desperate and burning for an opportunity to take action and change their lives; they believe joining a movement offers economic, social and psychological rewards, an adventure, camaraderie and a heightened sense of identity. These are youth who easily fall prey to recruiters who are mostly their friends, people they trust, and people who offer them what they are missing in life!

We must arise and offer our younger generation alternatives and choices to develop their identity, and feel engaged without resorting to violence and terror. We at the Africa Alliance of YMCAs are working on solutions that transform youth from subjects to citizens to effect positive change in their environment; giving them Voice, Space and Ability to Influence positively. We call on governments, civil society and private sector to step up youth empowerment initiatives to offer healthy and positive solutions to a generation of young people hungry for acceptance, engagement and change.

We call on our African governments to provide more decisive leadership in the fight against terror in our continent. Let us show we value the lives of our citizens more, lest we continue to be eclipsed by world events where few lives lost are seemingly more important than thousands in our lands.

Let us join together and show that we are willing to rise up, value ourselves and take care of our young people. How can we expect those outside of Africa to value us if we don’t? We must stop Boko Haram – for the sake of our own lives and the legacy we leave for the younger generation and the world.

So yes I am Charlie, provided it is not just for the French cartoonists, but for all those who are denied the right to express themselves or to simply exist. I am Charlie yes, but I am profoundly Baga!

* Carlos Sanvee is General Secretary of African Alliance of YMCAs.



* Please do not take Pambazuka for granted! Become a Friend of Pambazuka and make a donation NOW to help keep Pambazuka FREE and INDEPENDENT!

* Please send comments to editor[at]pambazuka[dot]org or comment online at Pambazuka News.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Nigeria's Weeks of terror

A map of recent terror attacks in Nigeria

In the shadow of Paris attacks, Nigerians are coming to grips with their own week of terrorist attacks by the brutal terrorist group Boko Haram. ISIS influences can be seen in the Boko Haram's adaption of the black flag, takfiri/wahhabi styled messages (generally always in Arabic) and behavior of its militants and insurgency, its unending use of psychological violence, fear and terrorizing men, women and children while taunting Nigeria's  military and government. Boko's scorched earth tactics has targeted students, children, families, marketplaces and small villages in mainly Northern and occasionally Nigeria's largest city Lagos and capital Abuja. Viligantes from the same towns are fighting against the group day after day to push the takfiris out of their towns without the help of Nigerian military or ECOWAS counterrorism force. Boko Haram has tripled its attacks against Nigerian civilians and the national military for the past several months. The same week of Jan 7th, the cities of Maiduguri and Baga saw the largest amount of civilian deaths and carnage in recent years. Maiduguri has been caught in cross hairs of Boko Haram attacks and Nigerian military retaliations for years. The city has seen its residents leave and return with each attack that bear resemblance to Al Shabab attacks in Somalia. Boko Haram hailed the attacks as a success after overrunning multinational counterrorism team at two military base and chasing Nigerian soldiers out of town. Civilians immediately fled with the soldiers and mourned their relatives and friends.

Baga is a small border town on Lake Chad in Borno state, across from the African countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger respectively. It also sits on a small peninsula that jets into Lake Chad. Little Baga hadn't seen the large amount of violence as Maiduguri or other neighboring towns. It served until last week as a refuge and town of calm. However, last week's violence in Baga left thousands of residents displaced and some 2,000 innocent residents murdered by Boko Haram. Still in shock, the surviving residents, men, women and children managed to flee to an island on Lake Chad until the violence ebbed.  quickly escaped terrorists. The few survivors of the Baga massacre recall seeing burned buildings and hundreds of bodies of children and old people. The victims weren't able to fight back against the terrorists. Hundreds of Nigerian refugees are currently residing in tempororay camps in Chad, Cameroon and Niger afraid and horrified to return to their nearby hometowns. The terrorist attacks in Baga and Maiduguri has shocked the entire world including UN Security Ban Ki Moon who condemned the attack immediately and loudly. Cameroon, Nigeria's neighbor has also been fighting against Boko Haram terrorists for a few months now in border towns who are dead set on bringing their insurgency to Cameroon and possibly neighboring countries. Cameroonian soldiers confirmed it killed several Boko Haram insurgents on in Kolofata, Cameroon not far from Nigeria's border. The.

A TV grab of Boko Haram
The two recent suicide bombings by young girls in Maiduguri and other towns added to psychological terror unleashed by Boko Haram. Suicide bombing is a new form of violence in Nigeria. Even five years ago, the idea of a Nigerian either young or old strapping bomb vests to their bodies would've been viewed as insanity. The gruesome use of children in remote control bombings has also stunned Nigerian parents. While the country comes together to mourn and reflect on the response to the latest attacks, the Nigerian government has yet to call for international solidarity or march against fear to honor the victims in Baga.

April 2014: Nigerian military escorting local state government delegation through the destroyed streets after a military operation against Boko Haram caused 150+ civilian deaths and destruction.

Boko Haram's relationship with Niger Delta militants by Sahara Reporters TV

Back in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan is trying to keep the country calm while preparing for general elections on February 15th. Boko Haram and other terrorist groups purposely choose to attack civilians right before a major election to demonstrate their strength and remind the nation that they are still capable of getting the international media's attention.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Ending a nightmare scenario

In honor of cartoonists with their mighty pens and pencils

Day 2 from the Charlie Hebdo attack. France is trying to put itself spiritually and physically back together again to return to normalcy. In scenes bringing to mind a Jason Bourne or high tension action flick, the French counter terrorism GIGN and local Paris police were able to successfully locate the Kouachi brothers. The two brothers managed to seek refuge in a Kosher warehouse in a tiny town of 1000 people named Dammartin en Goele some distances outside Paris for a little over a day. The police didn't make the mistake of letting the brothers escape twice. After taking a hostage, they were surrounded on all sides by GIGN who shot both men dead in the early morning hours of Friday Paris time to the relief of France. Parallel to the Kouachis' cornering and death was a secondary hostage crisis at a Kosher grocery store in Vincennes eastern Paris. A third hostage taker connected to the three gunmen, Amedy Coulibal, held several people as hostages inside a Jewish grocery store in Vincennes, Eastern Paris. A whole army of heavily armed GIGN units surrounded the supermarket soon after in a rescue operation that was captured on live TV and beamed to the rest of the world. Sadly four hostages were killed and Coulibal was also killed via bullets and flash bang grenades. Among the hostages were many women who raced out of the building as the GIGN stormed it. School children and residents surrounding the grocery store were safely evacuated by the police.

BFMTV: Les images d l'assaut de GIGN en Vincennes

The Paris suburbs have received constant scrutiny since Tuesday as the French and international media have come to dissect and again ask how, why and what could've been done to prevent the attack. Experts are now stating Islam definitely needs reforms more than ever. Muslims from France and across the world including the Middle East are condemning the attacks and have shown their support for the Charlie Hebdo victims and solidarity with France. Nevertheless, the debate returns back to "radical" Islam and terrorism. The media has magnified less the 1% of takfiris and wahhabis who have abused and misused Islamic teachings and Quran to justify horrific violence and terrorist attacks against Muslims and Christians to ask why Islam (seeming to place the religion itself on trial) is invoked in brutal attacks on innocent people by ISIS, Al Qaeda and other groups.

Dammartin en Goele: l'assault mene l'sur

Once more questions are being raised of how security forces in France and across Western countries could let known terror suspects slip through the huge security and intelligence surveillance disrupting the lives of everyday activities. The Koauchi Brothers as Mohamed Merah a few years ago, Tsarneav brothers in Boston and briefly Anders Breivik managed to disappear into the crowd of fellow countrymen and move around outside the capital city. The French police (gendermarie, local city police and GIGN) have been combing Paris suburbs and searching for the brothers. Hamyd Mourad the getaway driver, turned himself over to police yesterday. Strangely, his schoolmates have come forward to mention that Hamyd might have been at school during the Tuesday attacks. Its an alibi that is raising some eyebrows and have people scratching their heads. The two brothers were known to police for years and even an investigative report filmed 10 years prior. Now its confirmed that all three terrorists with the exception of Hamyd Mourad and Coulibal's partner Hayat Boumediene are dead. The nightmare is over but it has raised the terror levels and fears of neighboring countries.

Populist Alliance: Europe in danger?

The public fears the Right Wing organizations and groups will use the attacks to introduce more draconian security policies and measures.  New security policies will likely target French Muslims, people of African descendant and other diverse backgrounds via strict security screenings, racial profiling, racism and xenophobia. Marine Le Pen has broken her silence meeting with President Francois Hollande to suggest reviving France's use of the death penalty for terrorist suspects. Mainstream media is also aware of right wing populism and politicians across Europe who have won support from the public's fears of future, brutal terrorist attacks coupled with the Eurzone's rising inflation and slumping markets. Le Pen also called for stripping French Muslims who become radicalized of their citizenship without hesitation. In Germany including Dresden and Koln, PEGIDA continues to protest using the terrorist attack in Paris to remain Germany as a whole of the dangerous Kouachi brothers and ISIS pose to the whole of Europe and Western countries. The same message has been reiterated in the United States, UK, Canada and Israel. Instead of calming the public's anxiety, the head of MI5 recently said, "Al Qaeda is planning mass casualty events against the West." 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Terror in Paris

Romanian cartoonist Pavel Constanin's homage to Charlie Hebdo 12 staff killed in the attack in Paris. Published at Daryl Cagle.

Controversial cartoons of Charlie Hebdo

Following yesterday's two terrorist attacks targeting civilians namely the police: a suicide bombing in tourist district of Istanbul by an english speaking terrorist and terror attack on 37 Yemeni police in the capital Sanaa, Paris has now suffered its own terror attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. This is the second time Hebdo has been attacked. In 2011, a fire bomb destroyed the CH's office after satirical drawings of Prophet Muhammad were published following the victory of an Islamist party in Tunisia. The then prophet cartoon publication came in the aftermath of the 2011 revolutions across North Africa and the Levant. Charlie Hebdo has also satirized politicians, world leaders and other current events but the newspaper has drawn the most ire for caricaturing Prophet Muhammad and radical Islam or the likes of ISIS. The strong reactions against Charlie Hebdo's satire proves that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Unfortunately, security, satire and popularity among French readers couldn't save the newspaper from the afternoon's horror. At 11am Paris time, three masked gunmen entered the office and shot dead 12 staff members including the editor Charlie Charbonnier. Paris police responded instantly surrounding the area and shot back at the gunmen. Unfortunately, a police officer was shot dead and three gunmen were able to flee the area and disappear in the city. Bystanders in nearby buildings took videos of the shooting as it happened. Many ordinary people across Europe are showing their solidarity and sympathy with Paris. Many leaders and even the United Nations Security general Ban Ki Moon have condemned the terror attack and shown their full support to France. The international reaction to the terror attacks and solidarity with Istanbul and Sanaa were less spontaneous and mute.

Charlie Hebdo's long history with Islam and provocations 

The accolades for freedom of press, democracy and civilization and respect for journalists' rights have been pouring across the airwaves and in the media. The Front Nationale and right wing organizations have been quiet for the most part. Many french people are receiving support from across the world and have gathered in the Place Republic to show solidarity with the victims of the terror attack. Chanting "Je suis Charlies," people are holding a vigil guarded by the police. Meanwhile in London, Prime Minister David Cameron is meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel on official visit to discuss with Cameron on Britain's EU membership and reforms. Cameron and Merkel have equally condemned the attack and Cameron has repeated anxiously that Britain's terror alert is already at severe and the highest level it can go is critical. He hinted if need be it would be raised to critical. It appears that PEDGIDA and anti-Islam German protesters' fears have come true.

Germany: Berliners lay flowers at French embassy

PS: Afternoon in Paris means nighttime in the Americas. Most Americans (North and South America) were asleep when the attack happened. Many were waking up to the horror and shock.  

Monday, 5 January 2015

Dresden Popular right wing and anti Islam protests

Dresden in Eastern Germany has witnessed several fifteen thousand strong protests on a near daily basis for over three months now. Disgruntled protesters ranging from unemployed young people, students, men, workers, women and even kids have gathered in Dresden and other German cities and towns to protest against the Islamization of Germany and Europe led by the popular PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against Islamization of the West) organization. In the wake of ISIS' determination to outgun and beat NATO styled airstrikes, capturing Jordian pilots and murdering innocent people including hostages, the media images of Western youth going to fight with ISIS and returning from Syria battle harden and equally traumatized has raised the fear and anxiety of many Western countries. It has also raised anxiety in neighboring Levant and North Africa.

Anti-Islam and opposition protesters, police clash

The German government is not the only group frightened over ISIS, ordinary Germans too are panicking. Anger and rage over ISIS in Germany has turned into protests against Islam and Muslims in general. Now the anti-Islam protests have been aimed at immigrants or migrants in Germany who have lived in Germany for years but who are being lumped into a monstrous image of ISIS sleeper cells threatening Germany and Europe. German Muslims continue to protest against ISIS and radical takfiris and their cousins for months and years. PEGIDA, right wing organizations and neo nazi groups are taking full advantage of the tens of thousands of Germans clashing with police in anti-Islam and anti-migrant sentiments in streets. Anti-fascist groups, multicultural advocates and left and center activists have also joined against the anti-Islam protests seeing at as a stain on Germany's tolerance and recalling the days of Nazism's rise in pre-World War II Germany. German Muslims are feeling the backlash from returning, battle harden takfiri countrymen who have reached the point of no return. German imams have condemned the takfiri returnees as dangerous to all societies regardless of religion and ethnicity. Despite the condemnation, some residents of Dresden continue to protests and unleash their frustrations of feeling vulnerable to terrorist attacks and national security protocols not doing enough to safeguard the country from future and potential attacks. Denmark has taken a unique approach to rehabilitating its returning ex combatant citizens from Syria.

Dresden sees protests geared towards anti-Immigration 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Palestine a State of its own

Once again Palestine has been shut down by the Security Council's big Israel first supporters United States and Australia. However its demand and push for recognition as a state is not an entire lost. The French Parliament recently recognized Palestine as a state joining a few lone EU members and the majority of the world who has long recognized Palestinians' right to self determination and national sovereignty. Palestine has taken the same road as South Sudan and Catalunya. Its next step is putting in a membership request with the International Criminal Court. The signs are pointing in favor of Palestine's right to exist. Israel's stubborn refusal to compromise or reach final negotiations on ending its near 50 year long occupation of occupied East Jerusalem, Gaza and West Bank has opened the world's eyes permanently and demanding justice for Palestinians today and not tomorrow.

French Parliament votes for Palestine's recognition as a state while land grabs by Israel continues on Palestinian lands

Thank God, Its Friday:

Non Violence and protest in occupied Palestine by Palestinians, Israelis and foreigne

Mother Palestine confronting Israeli occupation forces as drawn by Latuff