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measles and africa

Viva la Tunisia


Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab spring, and it seems its fervor hasn’t diminished one bit.

Sara Besbes, Tunis and Africa’s fencing champion, Tuesday refused to play against an Israeli player during the 2011 World Fencing Championship in Catania, southern Italy, according to Panorama.It website.

It said Besbes, who comes from a family of great fame in fencing, reached the final round where she had to play against an Israeli player. However, she stood still on the platform, pointing her sword toward the ground and refusing to move as a sign she was boycotting the Israeli athlete but without officially announcing it to avoid punitive measures by the judges.

Too Many Strings Attached


The Egyptian government has decided not to accept any funds from Washington to help it along with its democratization after the overthrow, somewhat peacefully I might add, of former president Hosni Mubarak.  The government has warned non-governmental organizations not to accept money from Washington saying doing so only undermines the security of Egypt at a very delicate time in its history.  Normally that would be good advice and even Americans should be happy that an ally is not extending its hand during our hard times but removing Washington’s ability to control the internal politics of a country once under its sway is most likely an anathema to career politicians who will use such information as this to start to discredit the Egyptian government.  Let’s not forget elections have not taken place in Egypt yet; it is still under the control of the  military which means any rejection of US aid could merely be posturing on Egypt’s part.  Moreover there may be some things that have to be addressed as far as Washington is concerned before such aid is actually given, or perhaps more sinisterly such aid is extended to lay the seeds for future discord should things not go according to Washington’s plan.  For now, Egypt with a history that dates Americas by several centuries has declared itself independent of American money, and that’s a good thing for them and us.

More from Egypt


Cairo, prayers at dusk in the shadow of the army, bloodied but unbowed (photograph by Guy Martin)

Obama’s Image with the International Community


GW Bush was such a bad president that anyone elected after him would be warmly received on the world’s stage and the new office holder would barely have to do anything to get such  adulation.  The fact that an African-America with a very exotic past and name would be the next president guaranteed him success even if his policies were/are as disastrous as those of Bush.

In his first year, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize when all he did was make a speech in Cairo reiterating basic precepts that this country was founded on or has built up for the past 200 years, but such ideas were so denigrated or ignored by the Bush administration  that to hear them come from Obama after years of neglect and abuse sounded like a new country had been born on the North American continent.  Sure, there is no doubt that many people hoped the election of Obama would signal a change in the approach America would take towards the rest of the world but sadly such a change has yet to come to pass.

America is still stuck in two wars with no sign of either abating and there is a growing likelihood of a third front looming on the horizon with Iran . Regrettably, after a rather pitiful response to Israel’s massacre of aid activist, Obama doesn’t appear to be able to stave off such a possibility.

The Obama administration is celebrating its victory in getting the UN Security Council on Wednesday to approve a fourth round of economic sanctions against Iran. Obama also is expected to sign on to even more draconian penalties that should soon sail through Congress.

Obama may be thinking that his UN diplomatic achievement will buy him some credibility – and some time – with American neocons and Israel’s Likud government, which favor a showdown with Iran over its nuclear program……

Just as the neocons and Israel wanted “regime change” in Iraq, they have long hungered for “regime change” in Iran, too. A favorite neocon joke at the time of the Iraq War was to speculate on which direction to go next, to Syria or Iran, with the punch-line, “Real men to go (sic) Tehran!”

But the world has such high expectations of an Obama presidency that despite these shortcomings and many others people are still willing to place their hope in the American president’s ability to change the world for the better. Unfortunately these attempts are sorely misguided and very premature.

For example, why would the International Criminal Court  want the US, which is not a signatory or member, and thus not bound by the rules of the Court,  be the enforcer of the Court’s decisions while being out of reach of the purview of the Court?  Such an idead definitely sends the wrong signal to law abiding nations.  Over one hundred countries are members of the ICC, and while there is no lack of  international lawlessness and atrocities the world over for the Court to investigate and adjudicate, it has only managed to  work on cases from the African continent, something which no doubt offers the newly formed unified combat command  of the Defense Deparetment, AFRICOM,  a lot of encouragement and raison d’etre for years to come.

The United States has only recently ended eight years of a complete disregard for international bodies and their decision making processes, yet it is now being enlisted to enforce at the point of military action, internationally arrived at edicts?  Such is the proposal being considered by the ICC.  Perhaps in another time and another place something like this could be contemplated, but now it is too early to tell whether America is ready to assume the role of world leader or remain the world’s number one aggressor.  Judging by the her reaction to the Israeli pummeling of ally Turkey and the sabotaging of diplomacy as well as the reaction to raw power and murder occuring at the time of the ICC convention in Uganda ,of all places, now is not the time for America to enforce any law when it demonstrates abject violations of the law at every turn.  The ICC would be better off rethinking this idea and the sooner they dispel themselves of it, the better and safer we might all be.

Voodoo Terror Alerts


In light of the recent attempt on December 25 to take down an airliner on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, a few things should be kept in  mind.  The alleged terrorist was on a watch list connecting him to terrorism for over two years, was a Nigerian citizen who was denied entry into the UK after graduating from there and still he was given a visa to come to the US!?  Moreover, his own father had alerted US authorities six months ago to his son’s extremist views and none of that previous history was enough to make people at airports in Nigeria or Amsterdam to even perform a pat down of the young man before he boarded a plane?  I know we just came off the Christmas holiday which can stretch credulity to its limits with images of Santa Claus and red nosed reign deer but to think that is plausible is to think 19 hijackers can collectively penetrate the most protected air space of any place in the world on orders from a man in a cave with a cell phone to attack some of the most secured buildings ever built.  Quite simply it just doesn’t happen, and if it does, people from TSA to Homeland Security to airport authorities and airline companies across three continents should have their heads lopped from their shoulders for incompetence.

It should be apparent to all concerned that all of the inconvenience and intrusiveness citizens have  gone through as we travel all over the world has nothing to do with our or the nation’s security, but is rather done to us or visited upon us by the new class of welfare queens and kings who are stealing from the nation’s coffers as they perpetuate one of  the biggest frauds known to man…that of the threat of terror.  This latest “terrorist” should have never been allowed to board a plane headed for America with all the attention he had supposedly received from his father to officials in the UK to bureaucrats in Delta, Northwestern and the bowels of the US federal government. Not one voice of dissent was raised when this young man bought his ticket in Nigeria; not one red flag or alarm was sounded as he travelled and it was only the brave acts of individual citizens who were seated near him that stopped a disaster that the government has been telling us for the last 8 years only it can stop at the expense of untold amounts of money and human suffering for the innocent.

So it should come as no surprise this story of vodoo terror alerts…you know the kind that never materialize because they aren’t really real…..where a man claimed he could decipher terror chatter from al-Jazeerah TV’s airwaves; this assertion was enough to cause the Bush administration to raise the terror alert level to level Orange, in of all months……December…… Merry Christmas……..just in time to claim that terrorism war was aimed at Christians celebrating Christmas, much like the attempted assassination or rather sacrifice made on the passengers of flight 253 on December 25, 2009 would have signified had it been successful.  In the case of the al-Jazeerah story, the fraudster Dennis Montgomery was discovered and outed as a liar and con man by people in government but not before literally stealing money from you and I while lying about what he could do.  As it turns out he couldn’t do anything he promised, and that seems to be the story of much of what has to do with terrorism and the federal government.  It can do very little to “protect” us and in some cases has been the source of much of our terror.  How else can you account for the fact that Umar Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab was able to purchase a ticket on an American airliner with all that is in place to prevent people like him from flying!  No doubt it will be said ‘more needs to be done’ and I would agree.  Let’s start by firing the idiots who don’t do their jobs and crediting the people who really saved lives…the passengers of flight 253.   Let me be one who says, like my brothers in arms of the 2nd amendment, we don’t need more laws we just need people to enforce the laws we already have.