Community Affairs Consultants
ASIA TODAY ARCHIVES
.August 31, 2018
Toward Stability and Security - to Dismiss Incites to Violence
Humanity flourishes in environments of peace and stability. The developmental evolution of the human species is filled with history of the most beneficial advances during periods of stability, peace and cooperation. Conversely, blight and despair always meet the horrid times of war and instability.
Therefore, if our world is to sustain the advancing continuity of the human species, then peace and stability must reign throughout all the lands - void of destabilization and violence.
Yet, an event this week playing out since last Sunday in the state of Saxony, Germany, where right wing racists resorted to violence and attacks upon non-Germans based upon a flawed police report of the arrest of two immigrants for killing a German-Cuban man, and a revealed private conversation by United States (US) President Donald Trump with evangelical leaders referencing violence should his party lose the midterm elections, are real dangers of what incites to violence could trigger upon peaceful communities.
Protests continued into last night in Chemnitz, Germany, following Sunday's arrest of two migrants on manslaughter charges surrounding the stabbing death of a German-Cuban man, on the sidelines of a street festival, during a brawl between "multiple nationalities". A rumor had circulated that the dead man was slain protecting a woman, but German police have since dismissed the rumor. But the rumor had already spread among those oppose to migrants living in Germany and violence was pointed toward many non-German residents.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to the BBC-News, reminded Germans: "Hate in the streets has nothing to do with our constitutional state." The premiere of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, also implored: "The fact that we have a Syrian and an Iraqi suspect is no reason - no reason at all - for a general suspicion of all foreign residents."
And in the US, Trump's revealed reference of violence should the Democrats win the November 6, midterm elections, also serves as yet another example of how risky statements could envelope into regretted violence today, tomorrow or the next day.
Violence is counterproductive to civility and all development. All incites and irrational references to violence must hereby be dismissed in order to retain peace and stability.
August 30, 2018
A Return to Decency and Opportunity Rests with the Choices of the People
Wherever people may live under a declining culture of isolation, insecurity, indecency, corruption and social agitations, they should be reminded that any and all decisions toward a return to the norms of civility they once joyed that offered hope, optimism and global cooperation, squarely rests with their choices - the people's choice to rational governance.
Ultimately, if enough people demand a better social environment, then together they could affect that change. However, if some people who oppose the rancid atmosphere clouded over them, do fail to demand an amelioration of waning conditions, then the unwanted culture would continue and inevitably fester.
People are the community and the government of their societies and via their amassed numbers of a great majority, they are capable of rejecting indecency, corruption and social agitations, while embracing a return to hope and rational thought which were last present not too long ago.
With decency, opportunity and global integration as good ideals of community necessary for the continuity of the human species, citizens should opt for them over divisive racist rhetoric as a means to sustaining the Republic.
August 29, 2018
The Health of the U.S. Republic Rides on Midterm Elections
The health of the United States (US) Republic hangs upon the results of forthcoming midterm elections for the Congress - House of Representatives and Senate.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives are now controlled by Republicans. Under Republican control, both chambers of the US national legislature have given a free reign to President Donald Trump.
White House spars with traditional western allies - Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU) have not been rebuffed in the Congress. A self-harming trade war started by Trump against China has not been pushed back upon in Congress. Trade penalties on NATO ally, Turkey, have not been opposed by the Congress. Backing out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change has not been defeated in the US Congress. And the separation of children from their asylum-seeking parents at the US border has not been legislated as inhumane by the Congress.But, in the meantime, Trump continues on a path of divisiveness within the Republic with no notable real checks upon his decision making.
In short, the Republic is ailing under Trump and the only foreseeable check to nursing the land of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Obama, back to its health, is for Democrats to take control of at least one of the chambers of Congress in the midterm elections, November 6, 2018. If Democrats fail to win control of the House or the Senate, then the American Republic that touts democracy as a principle, could decline into dictatorship.
August 28, 2018
A Return to Human Dignity - Ending Conflicts
It is preposterous that armed conflicts are still being executed in the year, 2018. Conflicts rob humanity of life and dignity and to this end, all conflicts should end.
"War is hell and hell is war", is a fitting adage. Yet, instead of ending and eradicating conflict and allotting its vital resources to ending hunger and curing diseases, humanity in 2018 is still confronted by the blight of Syrian atrocities, armed meddling in Ukraine and the gross humanity failing in Yemen.
Armed conflict is an ancient barbaric act that lacks any necessary and complied humanitarian controls to protecting innocents.
Yet, ideological partners continue to wage war in nations of poor people resulting in millions of innocent deaths and injuries to civilians, including too many children, while also creating millions of refugees, who flee to other nations, where they aggravate already thin and fragile socio-economic and political systems, thus giving a boost to far right agitators from Europe to the Americas.
So, conflicts should end. They should end because they are morally wrong. They should end as a measure to easing migration problems especially in Europe and in the United States (US). And they should end because the executors of such rancid violence are incapable of guaranteeing the safety of innocents.
Therefore, today's earlier reported finding by United Nations (UN) experts, who found that parties to the conflict in Yemen have perpetrated "and continue to perpetrate, possible war crimes under international law", though humanly sickening, should not come as any surprise since that conflict in Yemen has been hot for the past three-years.
All of humanity's alarm bells should be blaring on a conclusion from that UN finding that there is: "little evidence of any attempt by the parties to the conflict to minimize civilian casualties." In addition and demanding immediate condemnation is the further finding that: "individuals in the Government of Yemen, in the coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the de facto authorities, have committed acts that may amount to international crimes."
While the UN finding calls upon the parties to the conflict in Yemen "to prioritize human dignity", a wider call and a more concerted global effort are all now fitting in order to return all of humanity's dignity via ending all conflicts.
August 27, 2018
The Self-Reliance Security of the Innocent, the Meek and the Stateless
Continuous failure by the state, by the church and by non-governmental organizations to protect and to safeguard the welfare of the innocent, the meek and the stateless, will force more and more victims into a necessary pact of self-reliance with regards to their own security.
As in the case of Syria and Yemen in the wake of humanity's failure to ameliorate conflict conditions for millions of people, there ought to be a wake up call to all victims to the reality that they must now grab hold of their own destinies and in doing so, they could utilize whatever means necessary to assure their survival, and that of their children.
With respect to the Rohingya people of Myanmar, a just released searing United Nations (UN) report recommending charges of crimes against humanity for the army's top brass responsible for allowing persecutions, is not a sure path to justice for the stateless people. The Rohingya people must find a way to rely upon their own sources and actions to demand and to win a homeland.
Moreover, the failure of the Catholic Church to weed out all elements of past and present abuse by priests of innocent children, will continue to diminish the church's congregation as victims and their families seek spiritual guidance outside of the church in a clear example of self-reliance.
Self-reliance therefore, is set to increase as a major coping mechanism for victims of many circumstances. Inevitably, victims, their families, supporters and sympathizers will form a solid coalition to stand even stronger against the pangs of humankind's evils.
August 26, 2018
An Icon of American Decency Dies - Senator John McCain
The maverick American Senator John McCain, 81, died yesterday after battling brain cancer. He was a six-term Republican Senator representing the people of Arizona. Our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. May he travel well.
Senator McCain, a son, a hero, a gentleman, a leader, a husband and a father, was an icon of decency in American politics. Twice running unsuccessfully for president, he maintained a gentleman's quality of high decency and honor, even in defeat. His insistence that Republic/country be placed first over any man/or party will be part of his legacy, along with his ability to reach across party lines to encourage consensus for country over party.
Media reports today and tomorrow will rightfully and in honor speak more and better of his heroism, his service and his statesmanship than I could on this Blog.
Yet, I humbly submit that his passing, among other many things, represent an end to common decency in the United States (US) Congress. With the prior passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and now of John McCain, the US congress is now virtually void of decorum. Since the advent of the Donald Trump era, decency has taken a beating on Capitol Hill. Country first has taken a back seat to support of a dividing White House and party.
So, Senator John McCain will be deeply missed. Maybe his passing will trigger a return to decency and honor in the halls of American politics.
That he has asked Presidents Barack Obama, a Democrat and George W. Bush, a Republican, to speak at his funeral service, is fitting of the unity Senator John McCain advocated for the US. He did not invite Donald Trump.
In honor of America, Senator John McCain will be remembered. We thank him for his service to the Republic. Amen.
August 25, 2018
A Caution to the Makers and Agitators of Division within the Republic
From a reckless assertion to Americans alleging the killing of white farmers in South Africa, to considerations of funding guns in schools in lieu of enhanced educational technology, to a 60-year-old white man in Grand Rapids, Michigan, urinating upon a five-year-old Black girl while calling her the 'n-word', the cruel seed of division has once again been sown within the American Republic.
Donald Trump tweeted the wrongful accusation about South Africa this week, Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos is said to be considering allowing school districts to use Federal Funds to buy guns, and a Michigan man has been arrested for urinating on a Black infant.
But those making and agitating division within the United States (US) must be cautioned as to the real dangerous posed by the ramifications of their actions.
This time, this year, this century - hold not the passivity of a bygone era. No rational live person will permit the past 400-year-old tragedy of racial subjugation and injustice to become today's norm. American protectors of peace, liberty and justice will fight to maintain the ideals of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Obama.
Moreover, I submit that those agitators in the US who are stoking division for political gain, will inevitably lose out. But until their ultimate defeat, these agitators and makers of division do pose a considerable threat to the Republic - a threat of enticing and inflaming violence that could engulf the lives of many innocent people.
With a view to protecting the Republic, it therefore becomes absolutely necessary that agitators and makers of division are made impotent forthwith before an intolerable atmosphere of cruelty and violence could envelope the entire land.
August 24, 2018
With Regards to Election "Meddling"
Credible reports surfaced this week revealing that Internet companies - Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etal, had stripped from their services, the sites of hundreds of entities believed to be "meddling" into the political, social and economic affairs of the United States (US), including the all important upcoming midterm elections for the US Congress - an election that could decide the fate of Donald Trump's era in Washington, D.C.
Many pundits applauded the action of the strategically important Internet companies for securing the integrity of real news across the world wide web. Russia and Iran were named as alleged state sponsors of the "meddling" sites. And earlier today, similar allegations were made against China and North Korea, as potential purveyors of future "meddling".
With regards to "meddling", perhaps each major election in the West and in the East in the modern era, has been meddled with. From opponent against opponent, to interest groups influencing voters in consideration of a particular candidate and to advocates of a particular agenda seeking to influence others to support their causes, "meddling" has always been a constant of the election process.
Deemed as illegal when conducted by a foreign power within a sovereign nation has not deterred "meddling" from the Americas to Africa to Asia and to Europe, either with direct or indirect sanctioning by foreign governments. There will always be outside "meddling" into elections as long as there are varying agendas and ideologies. However, collusion with a foreign power into influencing a local election, stands as the real and true threat to any election system.
An educated voter is the only real remedy to "meddling". The electorate has the responsibility inherited via citizenship of acquiring the right and fair information on all issues in order to cast a meaningful and informed vote.
August 23, 2018
Remembering the Slave Trade That it Shall Never be Repeated
Today, August 23, has been designated International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition by the Paris, France, based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to memorialize one of humanity's greatest tragedies - the transatlantic slave trade, which destroyed and altered the destiny of millions of Africans.
In remembering that multinational sanctioned tragedy, which brought cheap labor and great economic wealth to colonial powers on backs of the destruction of many souls, it is necessary to look back at, then look forward from the human tragedy, with a clear and an explicit view that that despicable policy be never repeated.
While the transatlantic slave trade is now history, its horrid effects still remain. Generations of Africans and their descendants still endure its associated stigma and continuing racism. Furthermore, cases of modern slavery remain current.
A fight is needed from today's humanity to eradicate any and all instances of slavery. To only wish present events away, is insufficient. As humanity remembers the horrid transatlantic slave trade, concerted actions must be demanded to prevent any repetition of one of humanity's greatest travesties.
August 22, 2018
Corruption Weakens the Republic
Corruption and those corrupted, who govern, will weaken any Republic, thus exposing the nation's national security to the same dangers posed by direct warfare. Moreover, and even more damning to the Republic, is the utilization of corruption to ascend to power within the sovereignty.
When corruption is used to gain power within the Republic, it maintains a clear and present danger over the Republic until all elements of such corruption are eradicated from governance.
Corruption and the illegality that it entailed to gain power within a Republic, will inevitable fester under a culture of corruption. Illegality built upon any initial illegalities will always pose a material threat to the honor and sovereignty of the Republic.
Therefore, corruption before the assumption of power and any subsequent corruption, including any and all efforts to disguise the initial corruption, are impeachable offenses that demand immediate review and actions since such crimes impact the national security and well being of the Republic.
The Republic must be made whole and free of any weaknesses and influences to its sovereign integrity. And since no man nor woman is greater than the Republic, it remains in the best interest and protection of the Republic that any and all traces of corruption of governance, be removed forthwith.
August 21, 2018
Wherever the human species live on Planet Earth, it could be safely implied that we all have a resolve for happiness. Yet, despite the global resolve to be happy, it is likewise true that far too many people claim to be unhappy.
While happiness can't be found in hunger, homelessness, statelessness, persecution, conflict and discrimination, some people, who are void of these tribulations, still claim feelings of unhappiness. Why? Simply, it boils down to an individual's definition of happiness.
Happiness remains as contentment with the accompaniment of good fortune, joy and pleasure. People who are blessed with these virtues, but yet continue to claim unhappiness, have fallibly aspired for greater yearnings that are outside of their own realms of fulfillment.
So, in order to attain the human resolve to happiness, it therefore becomes necessary for humanity to content with and to accept the basic things needed for happiness and not to covet the lustful things wanted. Happiness and peace to all.
August 20, 2018
Hope is a beautiful thing. It is the building block that has fueled and inspired the development of the human species for thousands of years. Hope fills and it soothes while holding out the attainable opportunity of an even better and brighter tomorrow.
But as humanity's confidence has waned in recent times, hope also appeared to have taken a beating. The reality of conflict, statelessness, racism and political agitations amid a record 65-million people displaced worldwide, certainly painted a gloomy picture of hope.
Yet, the truth is that, Hope Lives. Earlier this morning, here in Washington, DC, I witnessed scores of examples confirming that Hope Lives.
In the inquiring adorable faces of hundreds of students, including my two Middle Schoolers, returning to classes to start the School Year 2018-19, I saw hope. I saw hope for our Republic, I saw hope for our environment, I saw hope for our Planet, I saw hope for humanity and I saw hope for a cohesive integrated multicultural world living in peace and shared by a vast kaleidoscope of many people of many tones.
In today's youth - the vanguard of all beneficial change in society, there is a resolve to be hopeful. The community of youth, who play, study, laugh and mingle together, is humanity's affirmation to continuity of the human species.
Wherever youth are assembled today from preschool, to elementary, to middle, to secondary and to the tertiary level, their glorious formations are confirmations that Hope Lives.
August 19, 2018
Toward a Return to Empathy - World Humanitarian Day 2018
Today, August 19, 2018, is designated World Humanitarian Day by the United Nations (UN) - a day, originally dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes.
But today, with 65 million people displaced around the world mainly because of conflict, this Humanitarian Day 2018, sadly recognizes the suffering of millions of civilians caught in conflict, especially in Syria, Yemen, Gaza and Myanmar.
Therefore, it is fitting that on this day that all humanity heed the call to a return to empathy to identify with the feelings, thoughts and attitudes of a multitude of other people.
Action toward kindness becomes necessary amid the present state of humanity. As UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres observed in a statement marking World Humanitarian Day and posted on un.org: "Around the world, conflict is forcing record numbers of people from their homes, with over 65 million people now displaced. Children are recruited by armed groups and used to fight. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid and medical workers provide for those in need, they are all too often targeted or treated as threats."
Such humanitarian abuses must not stand. Humanity must return to empathy with a view to ending conflict and human divisions.
August 18, 2018
Toward Peace and Stability - to Love and Happiness
Peace and stability yield love and happiness - and wherever humans live on Planet Earth, these desires are the wishes of all rational people.
From the Americas to Europe and to Asia, places I've visited in recent years, I've found that all the individuals on the respective continents, are very much alike and wanting similar things - peace, stability, love and happiness - all attainable cravings.
However, humanity continues to fall short of satisfying these living desires because of divisions and wedges they allow to be placed between them by a greedy unhappy minority, who are miserable and dying and wish unkind things to all others.
But the spirited segment of humanity must stop yielding and falling prey to hate and division - those obstacles to happiness.
Hate should be replaced by peace, love and happiness. And with the promotion of these wonderful desires, humanity could then maintain and widen greater community appeal toward stronger family commitment and broader international cooperation, along a path to full stability and security. [A wishful hope offered on a Saturday in August, 2018.]
August 17, 2018
The Winds of Change are Coming
Via the cool refreshing winds of Autumn or on the gales of political discontent, the winds of change will come to the United States (US) soon.
The political, social and economic strains that are bearing down upon the land of perceived liberty, equality and rule of law, cannot be sustained. A healthy environment must return to the traditional stalwart of democracy.
Either by rational negotiations to abate economic uncertainty, or by a new-found reasoning of the importance and the respect needed to be accorded to allies, or by a blue-wave of political assertion in the races for the US Congress, the integrity of the American Republic will return soon.
August 16, 2018
In Full Support of the American Free Press
This Blog stands in solidarity with the Free Press across the United States (US), and in answer to a Boston Globe Newspaper call upon the American Press to re-affirm freedom of the Press.
Assaults on the Press from US President Donald Trump and from those who speak on his behalf, must not stand. They must be condemned.
That the Press would not allow its responsibility to independence to be bullied into submission, nor that they would not concur with what is determined to be wrong, are certainly not worthy of the distinction as "enemy of the people", as Donald Trump has grossly claimed of the American Press.
The Press is the People...The people are the Press - together, they act democratically to impede authoritarianism while promoting freedom, equality and the rule of law - the tenets of democracy and the principles of the Founding Fathers of the Republic.
Therefore, on this 16th Day of August, in the year 2018, in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, I hereby affirm full support of the American Press and I emphatically denounce all attacks upon the Press from the traditionally honorable Oval Office led by Donald Trump.
August 15, 2018
To Mending Strained Alliances
The alliances that have sustained considerable global security, development and economic advances are in dire need of mending. A reboot of relationships is, therefore required to avert any pending world calamities.
First and foremost, the actor responsible for inflicting today's strained alliances, must bear the burden of initiating dialogue toward repairing the relationships gravely needed to sustain further human development and peace.
In lieu of the responsible actor not fulfilling the onus to easing global strife, economic insecurity and environmental protections, then that actor must shoulder full blame for all ramifications caused by his transgressions.
In other words, full support for NATO and the European Union (EU) must be affirmed; the Paris Climate Change Agreement must be honored, respect and recognition of the traditional pact between allies must be confirmed; the Iran Nuclear Agreement should be recognized; unimpeded trade should be allowed to flourish; and the ideals of the American democracy must be practiced as they were intended and exercised for many years.
Should these objectives be concluded, then global economic, political and security health could return to sustainable levels.
August 14, 2018
...Now Turkey - to Lose a NATO Ally, Trump's Tariff Wars
As if Donald Trump's unprecedented tariff spats against traditional allies - the European Union (EU), Canada and Mexico, along with an ongoing feud with trading behemoth - China, are not enough to cast a shadow over world economic outlook, then the United States (US) president's most recent tariff fight with long standing NATO ally, Turkey, affirms even deeper uncertainty over present and future global economic health and security.
Even though the antics and authoritarian style leadership of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have raised numerous human rights questions in the past two years, Turkey still stands as a strategic member of NATO, having the second largest standing army within the organization, outnumbered only by the US.
Hence, Trump's decision to slap a 50-percent and 25-percent tariff on steel and aluminum from Turkey was shocking. Despite the ongoing diplomatic rift over a jailed American in Turkey, Trump's decision to penalize Turkey was abrupt causing the Turkish Lira to lose 10-percent of its value in one day and declining against the US dollar by more than 30-percent since January, this year.
That Erdogan's fiscal management has been iffy and unconventional since he acted against all economic wisdom and failed to raise interest rates in the face of growing inflation, has clearly exposed Turkey to the worse of economic probabilities from the impact of Trump's tariffs. Will Erdogan's retaliation to ban all American imported electronics help mitigate Turkey's economic impact from Trump's tariffs?
Reports suggest that Turkey might be entering a closer relationship with Iran and Russia in order to hedge US penalties. Whatever the result, the US could lose a NATO ally.
Moreover, Trump's tariff wars against a growing number of allies and non-allies could force all his foes into a new coalition, thus reducing US global influence while quickening US world isolation.
August 13, 2018
Denouncing Hate - Mother Nature, Strong Opposition and Minimal Support End a White Supremacist Event in Washington, D.C.
One-year-ago, their blatant, hateful, violent and racist agitations caused death on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. Given the opportunity yesterday by the United States (US) Park Service, via a permit, to repeat their hateful event, this time, on the streets of Washington, DC, white supremacists were quickly chased out of town by Mother Nature, minimal support and strong opposition.
Mother Nature - acting through the elements of heavy rain, lightning and thunder, and joined by throngs of counter-hate demonstrators, yesterday, proved to be too much to facilitate a rally by a handful of 24 white supremacists, at Lafayette Park, just outside the White House.
While counter protesters, who outnumbered the white supremacists by more than 25-1, jeered and booed the racists upon their arrival at a DC Metro Station, a police escort separating the supremacists from the opposition, was not enough to guarantee that any message of hate would circulate on the streets of the nation's Capital.
The 24 white supremacists were met with heavy rains, rolling thunder and sharp zaps of lightning at Lafayette Park close to their 5:00 p.m. event start. By 5:05 p.m., the handful of hate inciters had abandoned their intent and were escorted back to a metro station and out of the District of Columbia.
In the end, nature and unity proponents had defeated racists rhetoric in a non-violent environment. Hate was denounced in a non-violent setting, thus reaffirming the ideal of the US as a nation, indivisible.
August 12, 2018
On this International Youth Day 2018...
Today, August 12, 2018, is the United Nations (UN) declared: International Youth Day. This year's declaration, interestingly themed "Safe Spaces for Youth", is fitting amid declining places where youth are safe and secure in the exercise of their lives.
Traditional places of safety, especially in the United States (US) that once included schools, churches and recreation venues, have now become ground zero for deadly gun attacks upon youth and other people. Protest marches and the common streets remain dangerous places for youth accounting for a real decline in safe places for the nation's young people.
Moreover, increase racist rhetoric and agitations which have not been forcefully condemned by the the US executive branch, also translate into a further decline of safe spaces for youth in America.
Across the globe, a seemingly perpetual war in Syria, a continuing conflict in Yemen, the stifling of Palestinian rights in Gaza and denying statehood for the Rohingya people in Myanmar, along with other rights violations and violence, all contribute to the declining safe spaces for the world's youth.
But youth is the vanguard of all change in society and to this end, young people must demand greater governance, accountability and consideration from their aging leaders.
Youth must maintain constant pressure upon the present caretakers with a view to reminding them that they are charged and responsible with protecting all facets of our Planet, including the environment, to ensure a healthy and safe pass over in the future. In other words, old people must protect all systems our youth will inevitably inherit.
August 11, 2018
...on defining the American Republic
Defining the United States (US) used to be an easy task - a Republic, cemented in the tenets of democracy with a defined character of freedom, opportunity, equality and the rule of law, accorded to all people.
However, that definition, which was easily construed as reasonable and true during the times of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan, Carter, Clinton, Obama and even during the terms of both Bush presidents, remains questionable in 2018.
Bigotry and hate that once consumed the US, are now sadly real again. Racist rhetoric, lewd and irrational actions, threaten to force the US back into the stone ages. Spats and splits with allies and mega trading partners, threaten to segregate the Republic into a declining isolated nation.
But the US must not be allowed to descend into the abyss of national despair and international isolation. The clearly defined character of the US which offers hope, freedom, justice and happiness to all peoples, must be protected by all means from the foes of progress. The definition of American must always include "all" the people.
August 10, 2018
A Shame on Humanity - Existing Conflicts and Statelessness
The Saudi Arabia led coalition waging war in Yemen, bombed a school bus this week, killing many innocent children. Reports of the event numbered the dead as 50, including 29 children, while the number injured is said to be 77, in yet another example of humanity's continuing shame for allowing the execution of violent conflicts and the calamity of innocent death for far too many innocent souls.
For three years, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, etal, have waged war against the local Yemeni Houthi group. The Arab coalition has been attempting to reinstate the internationally recognized government of Abu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose forces and presidency were ousted by Houthi rebels in 2014. Some 10,000 people have died in the three years of war, to which no end is within sight.
That international and regional organizations have been unable or unwilling to end the war in Yemen, speaks heavily of humanity's impotency to ameliorate human tragedy. Another human depleting conflict continues into the eighth year in Syria, and that war also is showing no signs of ending. Other conflicts continue in Gaza and in Ukraine.
Humanity has also been unsuccessful in delivering a home to the Rohingya people of Myanmar. Displaced families have been persecuted, uprooted and forced into neighboring Bangladesh.
It is clear that conflicts and statelessness are not diminishing. Sadly, new conflicts and other agitations are on the horizon. Remedies for present and developing shames upon humanity are needed in order to sustain humanity's continuity.
August 09, 2018
America's Real Problem - the Emboldened Prevalence of Racist Hate
In spite of some real and concocted distractions dominating the national front in the United States (US) these days, including a trade war with China and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, there is a true, present and dangerous problem facing the Republic: to wit - the emboldened prevalence of non condemned racist hate.
Almost one-year-ago, manifestations of such racist hate was borne in the tragic events of a white supremacist agitation in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a car was willfully driven into anti-hate marchers - who were countering the racists, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring many others. Many other anti-hate demonstrators were injured that fateful day in skirmishes with hate monger protestors on the streets of a Virginia college-town. Yet, the leadership of the US failed to forcefully condemn the fascist violence of the white supremacist, but instead blame both sides for the stark violence.
Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump's version of America has witnessed alarming events of blatant racist hate perpetrated by hate mongers under the fallible slogan of "Make America Great Again". From a racist calling the police to dismantle a kid's lemonade stand, to calls to police to chase non whites from barbecuing in a park, to continued questionable police killings of minorities, to confessed racists seeking local and national political office, racist groups have become emboldened lured by Trump's non forceful condemnation of hate groups. Adding to the divide has been the Trump administration's racist and rights violating practice of severing children from asylum seeking Latino parents at the US-Mexican border.
On Sunday, the racist elements from the Charlottesville, Virginia tragedy of one-year-ago, will take to the streets again to air their racist holdings, this time, closer to the White House at Lafayette Park, Washington, DC. Counter protests are also planned. Will the White House take the opportunity to finally forcefully denounce racist hate, once and for all?
Until it is obliterated from American society, racist hate - a clear, present and true danger, must be fought on all fronts, including the US Executive Branch.
August 08, 2018
China Strikes Back to Trump Tariffs - a Chinese Resolve to Continuing Rising
United States (US) President Donald Trump's intent to penalize China with more tariffs on Chinese products has been met by China retaliating with its own tariffs on US$16 billion of American imports.
In pushing back against Trump's continuing efforts to punish China, Beijing has demonstrated a strong resolve to continuing China's developmental rise in spite of new adversity from the controversial US president.
Trump's decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on US$50 billion of Chinese imports on August 23, is the latest from the Washington administration aimed at China, which has experienced globe-leading development in the past 40-years.
The US, China and the international community once enjoyed unimpeded trade and cooperation prior to Trump taking the White House. However, ever since 2017, Trump has targeted and singled out China for tariff penalties, thus raising the question as to the true intent of Trump's motives.
If he intends to derail China's economic rise, its global appeal and influence, then Trump will fail, and fail miserably.
China is an enduring great civilization that the likes of Trump would never understand its simple method to success. Having visited China this past summer - four provinces, six cities and two villages, I can now affirm that there's nothing capable of derailing China's rise. China is deserving and fully qualified to sit and to lead any table on international well being.
Moreover, while the impact of some tariff penalties might cause anxiety in some of China's major cities, greater Chinese society, via strong community involvement, sound family values and subsistence farming, are more than sufficient and capable of weathering any Trump action. China appears resolute in its bid for peace and prosperity.
Therefore, a return to pre-2017 rationality in governance and in trade is needed before another economic calamity befalls many people.
August 07, 2018
The USA Re-Imposition of Sanction on Iran - a Test of Trump's Global Influence
Even though nuclear examiners and European nations found no evidence Iran violated the Nuclear Deal it signed with world powers during the rational years of global governance prior to 2017, United States (US) President Donald Trump bowed out of the international treaty. He has now re-imposed harsh sanctions on Iran.
But will the controversial Trump get international agreement to go along with his unitary decision to penalize Iran? Will the European Union (EU), China and Russia join Trump?
The Trump re-imposition of sanctions on a violation-less Iran per nuclear armaments and programs should be a test of a believed waning global influence of the US president. Against no evidence of any Iranian violation of the Nuclear Deal signed during the Presidency of Barack Obama, Trump's desire to punish Iran appears to be an appeasement of Israel, which offered documents purporting to show Iran's prior nuclear ambition.
Trump's punishment of Iran re-weaponizes a strategic geopolitical region that could witness Tehran go underground to acquire the said technology and goods it is being punished for abiding without.
The EU and China will have to decide whether to side with the erratic Trump or to boldly strike a balance toward global security by promoting an adhesive program of cooperative engagement with Iran in a bid for peace and economic well being.
August 06, 2018
Deadly Temperatures, Wildfires, Floods and Rumblings from Nature - Our Stressed Environment
As if flawed political, social and economic policies are not enough sources of stress in this post November 8, 2016 era, then Mother Nature's recent events of soaring deadly temperatures, wildfires, floods and earthquakes should be more than ample evidence to confirm to humanity that all is not well across the full spectrum of our planetary environment.
Irrational political rhetoric, a human rights violating policy of ripping children away from asylum-seeking parents, the initiating of a trade war and a roll back of environmental protection measures in the United States (US), are being executed amid a rancid political atmosphere, while within the Republic and across the globe, explicit events linked to the debilitating effects of climate change, are wreaking havoc upon the natural environment.
As the Donald Trump administration continues to roll back President Barack Obama era's environment protection measures, deadly wildfires continue in the western part of the US.
CNN reported: "Drought in Europe has turned verdant land barren, while people in Japan and Korea are dying from record-breaking heat." In addition, flooding has inundated many communities and Indonesia has suffered two major earthquakes in less than a week with more than 80 deaths reported. Wildfires have also scorched Sweden and Greece
Japan has reported deaths of at least 119 from soaring heat, South Korea reported 29 killed in similar heat. Canada reported 70 deaths from heat, while 92 people were killed in wildfires in Greece and eight so far from continuing wildfires in California. Heat waves this past weekend also killed people in Spain and in Portugal.
Yet, some decision makers continue to deny the reality of Climate Change. CNN's report on its website: cnn.com titled: Our climate plans are in pieces as killer summer shreds records, and written by Angela Dewan, best describes our reality: "Climate change is here and is affecting the entire globe - not just the polar bears or tiny islands vulnerable to rising sea levels - scientists say. It is on the doorsteps of everyday Americans, Europeans and Asians, and the best evidence shows it will get much worse."
Europe, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia are seriously addressing the problem of climate change. China is growing thousands of new trees to fight climate change and I have witnessed this fact with my own eyes. Sadly, the Trump administration continues to roll back protections on the environment. A rational return to good governance is needed to cooperate in the global fight against climate change.
August 05, 2018
A Delay in China Energy Imports from the USA - a Reality of Trade Disruption
Energy is a highly valuable good. It is crucial to the mainstay and well being of all economies, while being the lifeline of many corporations, their stockholders, workers and home states in the United States (US). Disruptions in energy exports from Texas and other states will create an economic difficulty for state as well as the national economies.
President Donald Trump's initiated trade war with China has exposed both the US economy and that of China to serious adverse consequences. While both nations had been making remarkable economic strides prior to 2016, Trump's insistence on a nationalistic agenda to appease his political base, has created a dangerous avenue of economic certainty that could force world financial markets and economies into a downward spiral. There could be no winners in any trade war between two such large economies as the US and China. However, there will be a number of losers.
And those losers, along with the average consumers both in the East and in the West, could also extend to farmers and to industrial producers, especially amid new reports that China's largest refiner will delay making any new purchases of US oil. The delay comes as Beijing contemplates tariffs on American crude in reaction to Trump's new round of penalties to raise tariffs to 25 percent on Chinese products. The South China Morning Post reported earlier today that Sinopec's purchase delay comes after the largest Chinese oil refiner bought a record volume of energy from the US in June.
China's reported suspension of importing US energy should be a signal to the Trump administration that the economic health of the Republic is on the line and that there is an urgent need to return to rational times of unimpeded international trade.
If a decline in China energy imports from the US is not sufficient to abate Trump's trade war, then, I fear global economic health will suffer a great tragedy.
August 04, 2018
A Return to Rationality - a Return to Global Cooperation and Unimpeded Trade
That rational governance and global cooperation were able to weather and to overcome the financial crisis of 2007-08, clearly affirms the present-day need for similar leadership in order to stem the rising discord and distrust supplanted since 2016.
It will not be sufficient to await political changes that might, or might not come in 2020. Now is the hour for rational national leaders to adhere to the policies of cooperation, logic and peace that have brought back prosperity to many nations, while pointing others toward similar good tidings.
Systems of international trade that have allowed for the unimpeded easy transfer of good and services between nations, should be fostered and encouraged instead of being used as political fodder to support any flawed nationalistic agenda.
Peace and economic gains flourish in the absence of political turmoil. Therefore, in order to recapture global economic and social advances, it might become necessary for rational global leaders to isolate bash and destabilizing leaders and all ally-busting measures that have been touted.
August 03, 2018
Safeguard of Community Necessities - a Key to Humanity's Continuity
Humanity's continuity rests with the delivery of safeguards of the basic necessities of community - food, clothing and shelter. And in spite of the dynamism and modern mode of many developed countries and their cities, the fundamentals of securing an enduring society remain firmly fixed to good governance delivering the basics of community.
However, in recent years, delivery of these basic goods to the people have become marred in the race to promote, to use and to utilize technology too broadly for the narrow purpose of entertainment. As a result, human innovation, creativity and production toward bettering the delivery of community's necessities, are lagging way behind personal entertainment. In other words, humankind is serving technology rather than allowing technology to work best toward the benefit of the human species.
Thus, human entertainment is overshadowing agricultural development and diversification as well as climate and environment protections. Not enough innovation is being earmarked to solutions to combat the bad effects of human influences upon the environment. Yet, unprecedented heat continues across Europe and Asia while record setting rains, fires and drought disrupt life in the Americas. These events will all have adverse secondary effects from crop failures to crop rot. What will tomorrow bring?
Human personal entertainment should yield to greater scientific innovation toward tackling humanity's present and forthcoming problems. Technology must be enhanced to ensure the safeguard of delivering community necessities in order to sustain humanity's continuity.
August 02, 2018
An Evolving Thought on Democracy
Ever since the stark results of political events in 2016, inherent flaws within democratic systems have become clearer.
From the fallacy of majority rule demonstrated by Hillary R. Clinton lost in the United States (US) Presidential Election to Donald J.Trump, even though Clinton received 2,864,903 more votes than Trump; to a misinformed United Kingdom (UK) electorate voting to leave the European Union (EU), even though many voters had no inkling of the ramifications of their exercised Brexit vote, are all exposes of weaknesses within democracies.
Moreover, the behavior of the leader of the world's strongest democracy infects a widespread bad taste, doubt and uncertainty over the once trusted and respected democratic system of government. Thus, existing alternative forms of government that have been successful in delivering services and security to the people, are now more than worthy of respect and of contemplation.
That any government purported to be democratic could have the audacity to criticize a communist system for human rights abuses while that said democracy detains and separates asylum seekers from their children at its borders, is preposterous.
Parliamentary democracy appears superior to the Republican or Presidential forms because it bears the mechanisms to ousting a corrupt leader more easily than in the form in place in the US. That privileged individuals and groups could continue to tweak and to preserve adulterated forms of democracy in order to retain their longstanding grip on power, remains hypocritical, and even more so as they criticize other better performing types of governance.
While democracy remains a sound proven platform to liberty and the rule of law, it is safe to assume that democracy, as it is exercised today, is limited in scope to ever becoming universally accepted in the absence of a Utopian society. And imported systems of governments will never supplant the tried and functioning forms of government that deliver peace, prosperity and happiness to the people.
August 01, 2018
Great Civilizations Will Endure - With or Without Tariff Penalties
A number of global events occurred in the past six-weeks during my self-imposed "time out", which could have forced my return to writing this Blog. However, I remained silent as asylum seekers were ripped of their children at the United States (US) border and as President Donald Trump, again, displayed a disdain for allies in an apparent deference to Russian President Vladimir Putin and initiating a trade war with China.
I remained silent while undergoing a much needed reflection on humanity and of purpose, while attaining a renewed enlightenment I very much sought. These objectives I gained nestled securely within the the provinces, cities and villages of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
As a result, today, I could now firmly submit without recall that Great Civilizations Will Endure - With or Without Tariff Penalties: to wit: continuous attempts to penalize China via trade will not dislodge China's rise. What I discovered during 22-days of living and traveling within China's provinces, cities and villages, is that the strength of family and of community, is too heavily ingrained into the fabric of Chinese society to be altered by any imported entity. China has withstood wars, intervention, occupation and isolation. Yet, from what I have witnessed forehand, China's civilization remains intact to last in excess of another 5,000-years. I thank the people of the PRC for hosting me during my visit.
Some of my intelligence and academic colleagues with whom I've briefed on my travels in China have jokingly claimed that I've returned home a "Marxist", but if having a truer and a clearer understanding of humanity's purpose, of government's best obligation to its people and of community's measure of content, makes me a Marxist, then I must be a "Marxist".
Notwithstanding, China is a Great Civilization and it will not be disrupted by foreign action. Chinese people desire the same things as all other peoples: peace, stability, prosperity and happiness.
I'm in the process of writing a book on my travels within China and within each of my forthcoming Blogs, including this present one, are remarks that I will include in the future literary work, along with pictures.
I bid all of you peace and prosperity.
July 28, 2018
My August 1st Return
Greetings friends! It's been a while since I've published a Blog, but I shall return to writing a daily Blog starting on August 1, 2018.
The past few weeks have been a very educational and renewal period. And yes, I did have that reflection and I did find that renewed hope in humanity, which I sought per my last Blog, June 06, 2018.
I found my new enlightenment atop the Great Wall of China just outside of Beijing during my recent visit across many cities, provinces and villages within China. I was emotionally touched by the people of China and by the deep community and family virtues of the people of the Great Chinese Civilization. Thus, I'm in the process of writing a very positive book on my travels within China.
My first few Blogs, on and after August 1st, will offer a few hints as to the glorious travels my family and I enjoyed as guests of the people of China - not by members of the government of China, but by the people who are bonded to that Great Civilization by community, by family and by the land. Anyone expecting to read of any negative views in these Blogs should not read any of my posts, for I assure you, my experiences within China and my new view of China, are all very, very positive. See you on Wednesday.
June 06, 2018
A Timeout for Reflection in the Quest for Affirmation
My dearly beloved fellow humans, I hereby inform that as of today, June 06, 2018, I will take a timeout from writing this daily Blog. I hope to return in mid-August. However, should there be any major world event in the interim, I'll return from wherever I might be.
My much needed break amid a rapidly changing international socio-political and economic environment, hopefully, should accord me the opportunity to reflect on my love and service to humanity as well as to find the much needed affirmation of ideals I seek.
When I started this exhaustive and costly project in 2013 during the second-term of United States (US) President Barack Obama, I was eager, hopeful and very optimistic of spreading democracy, denouncing tyranny, protecting and supporting the rights of humankind, promoting equality, encouraging international peace and cooperation and protecting the environment.
Five-years later, I stand deeply troubled of many reversals of progress accomplished by the human species and I am especially concerned of a "bad moon" rising over the global horizon.
The human species has weathered many challenges during our history in order to reach this 2018. The overwhelming theme that has bonded men and women in the East and in the West toward the continuity of life on Planet Earth over the years, has been the development of community - locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Inequality, division, isolation and arrogance are enemies of all communities. Functioning communities hold the key to humankind's existence.
Some French communes, Chinese villages, German towns, African villages and English hamlets are among various places, I believe, where there are yet still some ideal models of functioning communities - places void of divisiveness, strife and selfishness. In one of these places, I hope to find the affirmation I seek. So I will look, I will rest and I shall soon return to my service to humanity.
Be well, be safe and love thy neighbor. Happy Summer!
June 05, 2018
From Hope and Pride to Uncertainty and Frustration - the United States Post Barack Obama
The United States (US), under the rational and international leadership of President Barack Obama, successfully emerged out of the misery and despair of the financial crisis of 2007-08 and its lingering after years effects.
Critical banking and business industries were supported, streamlined and mended to weather the crisis. As employment gathered steam and profitability returned to US industries, President Obama maintained a healthy, robust, engaging and cooperative allied relationship with all tradition US friends in Canada, Mexico and Europe. Pride, respect and hope glared from Obama's Oval Office to across the US and reaching the international community.
That was then. Today, under Donald Trump, the US has adopted a policy of isolationism with a blatant disregard of any consideration to allies amid a torrid and acid approach to immigration matters and a questionable human rights handling of asylum seekers. Farmers and businesses are uncertain of the results of a Trump first-shot trade war with allies and with China.
Moreover, rancid attacks on people and the institutions that allow for the faithful execution of the democratic process in the US, affirm the existence of an unprecedented and questionable presidency in the US in 2018.
Yet, academia and intelligence associates with whom I meet twice-a-week here in Washington, DC, remind me to remain resolute with the knowledge that the Republic will triumph over any individual and that I should not veer from my ideals of democracy, freedom and the rights of humankind. So far, I have kept the faith.
But soon, I will take a month-long break from writing this Blog. I hope to spend time with family and to visit some of civilizations oldest cultural sites and places, hopefully to serve as a reminder of humankind's achievements and contributions completed in ideal cooperative communities, and not under such divisive conditions hovering over Trump's White House.
June 04, 2018
The Induced Coma of Democracy in America
If Russia, or China, or North Korea, or some other non-western nation deployed the damning humanitarian action of separating asylum seeking parents from their children at their borders, then much of civil society and rights groups would be inflamed in condemning such a practice. Yet the humanitarian-blighting practice is in effect in today's United States (US).
That the Republic of George Washington, the Land of Abraham Lincoln, the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt, the Beacon of Ronald Reagan and the Hope of Barack Obama, has been reduced to the terms of separating desperate liberty-seeking families at the border, must therefore be a testament of an induced coma of democracy in America.
Moreover, that a sitting US president would seek to start a trade war with traditional allies, must yet be another example of a sleeping democracy. Also, the voiding of international agreements, criticisms and meddling into the operations of justice and investigative agencies, are yet additional examples of the induced coma of democracy in the US.
In most parliamentary democracies, a no confidence vote against the vector of the current government would suffice to reawaken democracy, but under the republican form of government, which Donald Trump heads, it seems as though democracy will have to continue sleeping for far too long of a period.
Therefore, I can no longer be critical of any other governments because the blemish upon my own is far too shaming. I will ever be reminded of the adage: " You must first clean the cold from your eye before criticizing someone else's."
June 03, 2018
Socialist Pedro Sanchez Replaces Conservative Mariano Rajoy as PM of Spain
Socialist Pedro Sanchez Replaces Conservative Mariano Rajoy as PM of Spain
In an unprecedented move in modern Spanish history, conservative Mariano Rajoy, 63, has been ousted as prime minister by a no-confidence and has been replaced by Socialist Pedro Sanchez, 46, an economist, atheist and former footballer.
Sanchez called for the no-confidence vote last Friday after Rajoy refused to resign amid the conviction and jailing of a treasurer of Rajoy's conservative People's Party (PP), for receiving bribes, money laundering and tax crimes, as part of a wider corruption probe, centered on a secret campaign fund the PP ran from 1999 until 2005, the BBC-News reported. The result: Rajoy becomes the first Spanish prime minister to be ousted in a no-confidence vote in modern times.
Rajoy's popularity had been waning in Spain. He led a vengeful retaliatory campaign against the leaders of Catalonia after they successfully called and held a referendum on independence from Spain. Under Rajoy, Madrid took control of the Barcelona region government. Catalan leaders have been jailed and exiled as a result of Rajoy's heavy-handedness in Catalonia. Some Catalan leaders were also denied bail on their charges under Rajoy's leadership.
Now, Spain under the moderate socialist Sanchez, whose party holds less than 25% of the seats in the Spanish congress, could enter a more cooperative political era as it seeks to maintain political unity in the former colonial power.
Sanchez could usher in a conciliatory phase by dropping all the politically motivated cases against the leaders of Catalonia's independence movement and move toward establishing a needed commission to look into the concerns of Catalonia with a view to keeping the territorial integrity of Spain in tact.
June 02, 2018
Italy Finally Gets a Government
Three months after inconclusive elections, a new Italian government has finally been named with Eurosceptic and anti-establishment leaders sharing the top positions. Yet, the mere formation of a government should begin to calm some fiscal jitters in Rome.
March 4 Italian elections delivered most seats in the parliament to the Eurosceptic and and anti-establishment Five Star Movement, headed by Luigi Di Maio and the League, headed by Matteo Salvini. Yet, no one party gained a 50% majority. The top vote getters failed at early attempts to form a coalition government, but reached a compromise last week which was vetoed by President Sergio Mattarella, who did not like the nomination of Eurosceptic Paolo Savona to the import post as economy minister.
After a heated call by Di Maio to impeach the president and a call from Salvini for protest, the two political newcomers toned down their tempers and offered up another government formation list to the president, which he has accepted.
A snapshot of Italy's new government:
Prime Minister: Giuseppe Conte, 53, a lawyer.
Deputy PM and Interior Minister: Matteo Salvini, 45, the League leader.
Deputy PM and Labor Minister: Luigi Di Maio, 31, Five Star Movement leader.
Economy Minister: Giovanni Tria, 69, an economics professor.
Foreign Minister: Enzo Moavero Milanesi, 63, former European Affairs Minister.
European Minister: Paolo Savona, 81, an economist.
Justice Minister: Alfonso Bonafede, 41, a lawyer.
Defense Minister: Elisabetta Trenta, 50, a defense specialist.
(source: France 24).
June 01, 2018
Trump Starts a Trade War - Allies Vow to Fight Back - Putin Gains an Objective
The only winner, who will emerge from Donald Trump's first-shot trade war with United States (US) allies, is Russia's Vladimir Putin. By design alone, a trade war between the US and its long standing allies - Canada, the European Union (EU) and Mexico, will benefit Putin and Russia alone.
US President Trump's allowance of stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum products from Canada, the EU and Mexico, at midnight last night, thereby creates a rift among multi-generational allies. Tariff on steel is set at 25% and 10% on aluminum products. Trump has claimed the tariffs are necessary in the national security interest of the US since the products are threatened by a worldwide global oversupply.
While Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been quick and forceful in rejecting any claim Canada poses any national security threat to the US, he has set Canada on a path to levy reciprocal tariffs on US goods by July 1. The United Kingdom (UK) International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, according to the BBC-News, has deemed as "patently absurd" Trump's new taxes. French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently buddied-up to Trump, reportedly told the US president in a telephone call that the new tariffs were "illegal" and that the EU would respond in a "firm and proportionate manner". Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission confirmed the bloc would move ahead with tariffs that are expected to affect $7.5 billion worth of US exports. He also noted that the EU would lodge a case against the US before the World Trade Organization (WTO), the BBC-News also reported.
Whatever happens from here in this new Trump-initiated splinter among western allies, one thing remains certain: Vladimir Putin has obtained an objective to splinter, divide and to weaken the western alliance. Trump's trade war has certainly accomodated Putin's achievement of his much desired objective.
May 31, 2018
A Test of China's Maturity as a Global Influencer - the Trump-Jong-un Summit
China's global reach in recent years has extended from its Mainland to transcend the borders of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Chinese partnerships with nations within this sphere, have provided vital investment and infrastructural goods to a wide kaleidoscope of people forgotten and neglected by their former colonial masters.
From roads, railways, seaports and businesses in Africa, to agricultural and other investments in Asia and Latin America, China has been welcomed and accepted by a lengthening list of nations eager to accept Chinese investment infusions into their faltering economies.
With regards to North Korea, China has accounted for some 80% of all trade with its internationally-scorned neighbor. Thus, it is reasonable to opine that without Chinese trade, the economy of North Korea could have collapsed years ago. China is connected to North Korea - they share an 800-mile (1,420 km) border, separated by the Yalu and Tumen Rivers and the Paektu Mountain.
Against the afore background and the fact that China is the largest foreign owner of United States (US) debt, there has yet been no publicly mentioned inclusion of China as a party to any supposed summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un, slated for Singapore, June 12.
Therefore, any summit between Trump and Jong-un stands to test the maturity of China as a global influencer. Exclusion of China from security talks on any serious matters of nuclear or ballistic concerns within China's backyard, would amount to a western grading of "infancy" to China's global power and influence.
May 30, 2018
A Reminder to Roseanne Barr, et al
The actress Roseanne Barr, whose television show series was cancelled by the admirable ABC Network following her racist Tweet targeting an American woman, is to be reminded that this is the year 2018...
Therefore, I venture to say no more but to again remind Roseanne Barr and any others who share her racist view, that they threaten a very regretful outcome from provoking and invoking hatred into today's United States (US). That's that!
May 29, 2018
Humanity's Needed Goal - Nuclear Armament Reduction
The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks/Treaties (SALT) of the Cold War area were beneficial in that they got nuclear adversaries to consider reduction of nuclear arsenals. The post Cold War: Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), in some ways, also brought a measure of stability to global security.
New START, ratified in February, 2011, also offered benchmarks to reducing arms and nuclear arsenals. Yet, there have been no recent steps to strengthen and to extend global nuclear reduction treaties. Therefore, it is high time that humanity restarts its efforts toward global nuclear armament reduction.
Instead of boasts about the numbers and the sizes of nuclear arsenals, global leaders - entrusted by the people to bring security cooperation and stability to an often too volatile world, should be working toward nuclear armament reduction.
Leading from example, nations with the largest nuclear arsenals should not only be working to eliminate the nuclear arsenals of smaller states and the hindrance of other states from attaining the weapons of mass destruction, but large stockpile holders, need to earnestly work to reduce their own arsenals of nuclear arms.
Our world - in the East and in the West, could become a more stable and cooperative environment under agreed and obeyed treaties to reducing nuclear armaments.
May 28, 2018
An Italian Stop-Gap Appointment to Political and Economic Stability
Vetoing the Eurosceptic coalition nominee for finance minister, thus ending a last ditch effort by the coalition to form a new government, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella has appointed former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist Carlo Cottarelli, as Prime Minister to oversee a caretaker government until new elections could be held in the European Union(EU) fourth largest economy.
Italy's March 2018 general elections failed to return a clear majority parliamentary winner from among the parties. Anti-establishment and Eurosceptic parties won most of the seats in the elections. Subsequent attempts by the top vote getters - the coalition between the Five Star Movement and the League, have failed to materialize a new government. Discord among the coalition finally gave way to a probable new government formation.
However, citing economic concerns raised by Italian and abroad investors, President Mattarella, whose role is mainly ceremony, but has the power to appoint and to dissolve government, vetoed the coalition candidate for finance minister, 81-year-old Eurosceptic Paolo Savona, on fears of any attempts to move Italy away from the Euro Zone.
Ending the Eurosceptic coalition's long futile attempts to form a government, earlier today, Mattarella appointed economist Carlo Cottarelli, a support of the EU, to the post of stop-gap prime minister until new elections could be held. The appointment comes as a measure to stabilize political and economic affairs in Italy amid growing financial concerns.
According to the BBC-News, Cottarelli plans to introduce a legislative program to parliament including a budget with plans for new elections by early 2019. But his intent and appointment could be railroaded by the Five Star Movement, whose leader, Luigi Di Maio has called on parliament to impeach President Mattarella for rescinding his coalition's pick for finance minister. Also, League leader, Matteo Salvini, in discontent over the president's action, has threatened mass protests, France 24 reports. Moreover, the coalition parties have also threatened not to approve a Cottarelli government.
If Cottarelli's plan is not accepted by parliament, then, as he has declared: "the government would resign immediately...until election are held after the month of August." In the meantime, Italy sits in the balance between the continuity of the stability of the EU and an untested populist agenda.
May 26, 2018
The Path to Stability on the Korean Peninsula - the Unimpeded Development of North-South Relations
The BBC-News reported earlier today that the leaders of North Korea and South Korea have met for a summit at the demilitarized border between the two countries. This second summit between the North's Kim Jong-un and the South's Moon Jae-in, comes on the heels of United States (US) President Donald Trump's cancellation of a summit between himself and the North Korean.
Relations between the Koreas have been rocky. Yet, warming signs have emerged from the thawed relation ever since the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, when the North accepted the South's invitation to the games and where they both paraded together under one flag. After the games, the two Korean leaders met for the first time at the demilitarized zone between the two countries in a powerful example of thawing relations.
However, rather than allowing their relationship to flourish unimpeded by outside influence, a hastily agreed summit was announced between Trump and Jong-un. Insults, boasts and threats were exchanged between the US and North Korea leading up to the planned June 12 summit in Singapore. Trump canceled the summit earlier week in spite of offering a suggestion that it could still take place.
But the crux to stability on the Korean peninsula is inherent within a developed trusted relationship between North and South. The two nations appear to function well and effectively with regards to developing their relationship minus any outside influence.
Therefore, instead of pushing and forcing for a summit between North Korea and the US for some form of denuclearization deal that could inevitably be broken by either side, then, perhaps the best path forward to stability on the Korean peninsula might be allowing the relationship between the North and the South to develop deeper unimpeded by any outside influence. Subsequently, a more lasting and viable agreement could be made toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
May 25, 2018
Barbados Elections 2018 - Opposition Clean-Sweeps all 30-Seats in Parliament
In a stunning act of disdain and rebuke of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Barbadians delivered a clean-sweep of all 30-seats in their Parliament to the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), in the just concluded General Elections, May 24, 2018.
Therefore, Mia Mottley will now become the first female Prime Minister of the small Caribbean island of Barbados, which gained independence from Great Britain in 1966. The 166-square-mile island is a Parliamentary Democracy and member of the Commonwealth of nations - former British colonies. The head of State is Governor General, Queen Elizabeth II's representative and the head of government is the Prime Minister. It is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands with a population of some 270,000 and with an economy totally dependent on tourism.
In the unprecedented and historic election result, Barbadians wiped-out the DLP and former prime minister Freundel Stuart from office. Stuart and his party failed to win a single seat for 30- member House of Assemble - the lower chamber of the Barbados Parliament. For the first time ever in Barbados, there will be no Parliamentary opposition members.
The nation of my birth has undergone a damaging economic decline in recent years and is some Bds.$14 billion in debt with a declining foreign reserve. Stuart and his government were unable to satisfy the concerns of Barbadians.
Last summer when I took my family back to the island for a vacation after a-33-year absence, it became apparent that most Barbadians were upset, more than that - steaming mad, with Stuart's government. Concerns over irregular water supplies in the north of the island, ravines of potholes, high unemployment among 18-35-year-olds, faltering services at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and declining social services. Many Barbadians reported of the seeming elitist stance of Stuart and his government and the failure to address their concerns. As a former member of the DLP, and not having lived on the island for 33-years, I willfully stayed out of the debates leading up to the elections. I reckoned Barbadians living daily under Stuart's government, could best make their own decision without my input.
And last night's trouncing of the DLP underscores the anger Barbadians harbored toward Stuart's government. New Prime Minister designate Mia Mottley now has a mandate from the people and an unprecedented non-Parliamentary opposition to execute her style of government to bring relief to Barbadians.
But I must venture to warn Barbadians that after the euphoric victory party on Roebuck Street, Bridgetown, is over, relief will not be immediate. Barbados faces tough negotiations with the World Bank to secure island-saving finances and the stipulations coming with such funding will not be "milk and honey". Strict austerity measures will come to the island, but the resilience and the optimism of the Barbadian character, could weather the coming inevitable changes.
Congratulations to Prime Minister designate Mia Mottley and the Barbados Labour Party - may she govern for the people. And may God Bless Barbados.
May 24, 2018
Trump Withdraws from North Korea Summit - a Re-Balance of Asian Influence to China
Often, people who share a common interest of better relations, are best left mitigating any differences among themselves. Outsiders and observers perform best on the sidelines of such proceedings without any direct or controlled interjections into the negotiations.
So when North Korea accepted South Korea's invitation to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the two Koreas, having a mutual interest of better relations, summarily opened a vital channel to better cooperation on their shared peninsula with the possibility of attaining military and nuclear de-escalation, which could transcend to a more secure and stable region and world.
The new unprecedented communication between North and South Korea was underscored when both nations paraded under one flag and banner at the Winter Games. The two Koreas even fielded a mutual one-nation team in ice-hockey.
The immediate result: an unprecedented meeting at their borders between the leaders - another pathway toward better relations and broader stability on the Korean peninsula.
The historic meeting and thawing of relations between the Koreas came amid months of nuclear threats and boasts exchanged between North Korea's Kim Jong-un and United States (US) president Donald Trump.
Rather than the Koreas being allowed to continue the path to normalization and better relations alone, a short-sighted idea for a summit between Jong-un and Trump was proposed. There was no mention or invitation to China - North Korea's neighbor, biggest trading partner and the rising global power in Southeast Asia.
For a number of weeks, members of Trump's administration and his nationalistic supporters relished in the thought of Trump bucking decades of White House 'hands-off" approach toward North Korea via a successful unprecedented summit with Kim Jong-un. Some of them, stoking Trump's ego that he himself appeared to relish in at a recent rally, even floated the premature notion of Trump winning a Nobel Peace Prize for the North Korean summit.
In the mean time, Jong-un made his first visit out of North Korea since becoming president and paid a visit to China's Xi Jinping. Xi and Jong-un had a second meeting recently also in China.
Subsequently, US war games with South Korea and comments construed as threatening by North Korea, referencing a US-Libyan denuclearization plan that eventually witnessed the ouster and death of the Libyan leader, sparked anger from North Korea.
Finally, today, Trump announced that his June 12 summit with Jong-un was canceled.
Trump's cancellation of the summit thereby confirms China's edge in the sphere of influence over Southeast Asia.
North Korea's dismantling of a nuclear facility earlier this morning accords Pyongyang the opportunity of protection under China. The nuclear-facility destruction was not meant to appease Trump's fancy. But rather, I venture to opine, it was done as a good faith signal for Beijing's eyes.
Any expected idle nuclear threats from North Korea might not become a foregone conclusion after today's summit cancellation. Instead communication between North Korea and South Korea could be restarted as China plays a bigger role in forging denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. Moreover, China could be expected now to further cement its role as the major player over a larger region of Asian in the face of waning traditional US influence.
May 23, 2018
Mercy for the Women of the IS - the Widows and the Mothers
Since the Islamic State (IS) terror group collapsed in Iraq, the Guardian reports, some 40 foreign women of the group have been sentenced to death in Baghdad and dozens sentenced to life-terms, following mere 10-minute hearings in Iraqi courts.
However, this form of justice, in spite of the vile violence and atrocities committed by the IS, should not stand against the foreign widowed women, even though some of them might have willingly and freely joined the terror group. Conversely, it is very likely that many of these women were forced by their spouses to travel with them to both Iraq and Syria, at the height of the IS terror.
Therefore, justice cannot be effectively served by Iraq's 10-minute adjudication of the guilt or innocence of these women.
Noting that 40 foreign women have already received death sentences and that dozens have been sentenced to life imprisonment for their membership in the IS, the Guardian report, dated May 22, 2018, also cited the mitigating acquittal of at least one-Iraqi woman, whose defense was that she was forced by her brother to join the IS. Yet, Iraq, holding a sour and revengeful attitude toward foreign fighters of the IS, has continued to mete out extraordinary sentences to foreign widows.
More than 40,000 foreign fighters from 110 countries are estimated to have traveled from Europe and Central Asia to join the IS at the height of its reign of terror in Syria and in Iraq. Of that number, 1,900 were believed to be French citizens and another 800 British citizens.
As the IS collapsed in Iraq, some 1,000 women, widows of IS militants, were rounded up and jailed in Baghdad. Accompanying the women were 820 infants and unborn children. Foreign governments have failed to intervene on the welfare of many of the women, thus allowing Iraq to carry out a prejudiced judgment upon the lost souls.
But women, who have been misguided and controlled by their dead spouses to join IS, should not have to pay with their lives for any acts directed by their husbands. Therefore, the international community should intervene to mitigate the assurance that justice purportedly served in Iraq, is tempered with mercy and the rule of law.
May 22, 2018
A Return to Humanity's Development - Rejecting Strife and Conflict
Up until two-years-ago and despite a hot conflict in Syria, a developing one in Yemen, an Ebola outbreak in Africa, continuing troubles in Afghanistan, unsurety in Iraq, a divided Libya and an immigration crisis in Europe, humanity appeared hopeful and optimistic. Progress was teeming toward wider world innovation and greater human development as international diplomats sought resolutions to the existing hiccups.
Up until two-years-ago also, Russia, still behaving mischievously after it had annexed Crimea earlier, and besieged under international sanctions, even appeared rational in its efforts to rejoining the fold of adherence to international law and norms.
But something happened within the past two years that has placed humanity's development at risk while adding to the likelihood of strife and conflict. What happened? Was it the Donald Trump effect? Was it the aftermath of Brexit? Was it the European refugee crisis? Was it the rise of right wing political parties and populism?
The best answer would probably be made up of a combination of the aforesaid events, with perhaps, one aspect weighing and contributing more to today's current affairs than all the others.
Whatever might be the more accepted answer, one thing remains abundantly clear: humanity cannot retain peace under the current pressures, agitations, disdain and nationalistic rhetoric.
There must be a return to the work of developing all nationalities. International political, economic and social cooperation must be promoted in order to sustain the peace of the future.
May 21, 2018
Caution Against Undue and Excessive Punishment of Any People
United States (US) re-imposed sanctions on Iran will be the strongest in history forcing that nation to "be battling to keep its economy alive." This is a sharp assessment of what the Trump administration intends to inflict upon the Islamic Republic. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed the US intent.
But the Trump administration should proceed with great caution in all efforts to inflict undue and excessive punishment on Iran. Instead, the administration should look to the catastrophic lessons of history for the realities of great punishment inflicted upon any people, as its guide to tempering justice with mercy with regards to the Iranian people.
The punishment of Germany after World War I should offer a great lesson for the Trump administration. The millions of deaths suffered in World War II were directly related to German's harsh punishment out of World War I that gave rise to the Nazis and all the ensuing atrocities.
Since the international community has found that Iran has played by the rules established within the perimeters of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, then why seek to exert undue and excessive punishment upon the nation? No peace will come from punishing Iran.
Yet, peace in the Middle East could be contained if European nations are allowed to engage Iran toward global cooperation in lieu of any US support. Maybe Washington's best course of action toward Iran at this time would be to do nothing: just sit and wait and see what will transpire between Europe, Russia, China and Iran.
May 20, 2018
America's Disease of Gun Violence
Disease - a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.
It happened again last Friday - a full blown infection of the disease of gun violence at yet another American High School: this time in Sante Fe, Texas, where a student, armed with guns and alleged pipe and pressure-cooker bombs, attacked and killed nine classmates and a teacher and wounded another 10 people.
This recent bout of gun violence in the United States (US), clearly underscores a seemingly perpetual threat faced by American youths of dying before graduation from high school. And for the sake and safety of the Republic, the infection has to end.
But apparently, this society-consuming illness will not end until common sense gun control laws are enacted to restrict the ease of access to firearms in the country. And this task is one easier said than accomplished given the strong gun lobby and its resistance to efforts to ensuring the safety of America's youth.
However, lawmakers must be compelled to act to end this disease of gun violence especially now amid a report by Newsweek Magazine, which found that more US children have been killed by gunfire since the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Connecticut, than the total number of US soldiers killed in overseas combat since September 11, 2001.
Since that gun massacre in 2012 that killed 20-first-graders and six-adults, Newsweek has counted 7,000 children deaths compared to 6,929 soldiers killed in five military operations since the war on terror began in 2001. Stark and staggering numbers of children killed.
Therefore, toward ending the disease of gun violence in the US, voters this fall, in the mid-term elections for the US Congress, could begin the nation-healing by electing legislators willing to confront present gun laws.
May 19, 2018
The World Welcomes the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Wed
In a stylish and aesthetically pleasing ceremony decked with tradition and accented by the charismatic sermon of a Black Bishop and serenaded by a multi denominational Black Choir, British Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle, were wed today, at Windsor Castle, United Kingdom (UK). The new couple now officially become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The noon ceremony at St. George's Chapel was a colorful event attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, scores of other royals and celebrities, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, George Clooney and his wife.
While millions across the globe tuned into the ceremony via live-television, hundreds of onlookers lined the long straight entry route to Windsor Castle to glimpse upon the new couple. The Bride wore an exquisite uncomplicated stylish white gown that would still be elegant in 50-years which was complemented with a white veil and a stunning diamond tiara with a flowing white trail (train). The groom wore a dark military uniform and cap accented with red.
The Royal wedding sermon was delivered by Black Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry of Chicago, Illinois, USA, who passionately orated a theme of "love" and even quoted Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr., in the sermon before some 2,000 guests seated in St. George's Chapel. Queen Elizabeth II and the new couple were also serenaded by the Kingdom Choir, a Black British multi-denominational group from South east England who also sang for the Queen at her Jubilee celebration back in 2002.
Not only did the Royal wedding display an unprecedented fusion of British tradition and Black culture - depicting the bi-racial lineage of the new Duchess, but the ceremony also served as notice to the world that Great Britain's Royal family, has fully entered and embraced the modern era.
The best of fortune to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
May 18, 2018
Meghan and Harry - a Modern Royal Wedding in Great Britain
Any lingering thoughts of British Royals as dull and boring will be put to rest tomorrow, at high noon BST, as American Meghan Markle, 36, marries Prince Harry, 33, a member of the British Royal family, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, London, United Kingdom (UK).
Miss Markle, the interracial daughter of black mother, Doria Ragland and white father, Thomas Markle, will certainly add some color and life into the Royal family, which has been somewhat stagnant since the passing of the deeply beloved Princess Diana, Prince Harry's mother. Prince Harry is sixth in line to the British throne.
Miss Markle is a beautiful raven-haired American actress who is marrying a red-haired British Prince and together with their youthfulness and apparent passion for life and for humanity, they both stand to re-interject a modern luster of color and much international interest back into the British Royal family - a luster dimmed since the passing of Princess Diana in 1997.
We wish the new couple the best of love, fortune, family and marriage. May their days be long and fruitful as they serve as a model-couple to a modern world.
May 17, 2018
Humanity's Needed Reconciliation
Humanity's present trajectory, marred by unnecessary conflicts, divisions and agitations, is heading to an era of marked violence and utter chaos. But the present course is not unavoidable. There's is yet time to rectify the current path. A much needed human reconciliation would suffice in promoting international peace and human happiness on planet Earth.
Yesterday, May 16, was the United Nations (UN) designated International Day of Living Together in Peace. And while many people might have missed yesterday's reminder to humanity, the UN Human Rights Agency, in a 10:00 a.m. Twitter tweet, effectively captured humanity's reality and scope:
"The task of learning to live together, in equality and justice, is humanity's oldest and most essential challenge. United in differences and diversity, we can build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony," un.org.
Citing the resolution that created the International Day of Living Together in Peace, the international body outlined the simple path to harmony and cohesiveness: "Living together in peace is all about accepting difference and having the ability to listen to, recognize, respect and appreciate others, as well as living in a peaceful and united way."
Simple enough? Then, let's give it a go...toward humanity's much needed peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, acceptance and equality of all people.
May 16, 2018
The western alliance has missed an opportunity to become more deeply engaged in Ukraine over the past five-years, therefore affording Russia the ease and opportunity to meddle elsewhere.
When Ukraine's youth gathered at the Maidan in late 2013 and into early 2014 to explicitly expressed their desire to be closer to Europe - hereby dismissing a soviet-era allegiance to Moscow, high aspirations were cast that Ukraine would soon realize its manifested westernization.
However, today, almost five-years after liberty-loving youths chased the corrupt Kremlin-loving Viktor Yanukovych from power, it appears that those Ukrainian dreams to join Europe, are now deferred.
Western dreams in Ukraine have been deferred not by any desire of the Ukrainian people, but via a failure of the west to engage Vladimir Putin and Russia within and surrounding Ukraine. A bad-tasting reality of years of an ill-conceived war in Iraq, restricted substantive action from the west in Ukraine.
As a result of inaction by the west, Crimea has been annexed by Putin, who has since built a new bridge linking the Ukrainian territory to Russia. Strong Kremlin influences remain prevalent within Ukraine governance as corruption remains rampant.
Many of Ukraine's youth who braved the natural elements of the winter of 2013-14 to stand on the Maidan in a cry for help and for westernization, have now lost hope of ever achieving their ambitions to join Europe and to shrug off Russia.
The failure of the west to effectively press Russia on Ukraine has resulted in Vladimir Putin having time and opportunity for excursions into Syria and his trolling of the seas and air spaces in the Nordics, in the Baltics as well as transcending to the English Channel and off the coast of the Americas.
Had Putin been properly engaged in Ukraine, the Syrian war could have ended by now and Ukrainians could have been closer to their manifested destiny to be closer to Europe.
But Putin has successfully distracted the western alliance, thus Ukraine is split and Crimea has been lost as the European-dream of Ukraine, remains a fantasy.
May 15, 2018
Anger over Gaza Deaths
Anger is perhaps the most tepid of feelings any conscionable person could garner from Monday's slaughter of 58 Palestinians and the injury of another 2,700 at the hands of of Israeli forces in Gaza.
And that the Palestinian deaths would come on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state, makes it even more prosperous to comprehend, since some 700,000 Palestinians were displaced during the process of giving Israel statehood, May 14, 1948.
Palestinians with stones and flambeaus have waged a non-winning uprising against a well-equipped and armed Israeli army from the start of my conscious history. And despite the staggering deaths over the years, Palestinians still continue their resistance to Israeli occupation, their quest for independence and their demand for ancestral lands. Thus, the Palestinian claims must hold credence and demand justice.
Israel must not be allowed to murder Palestinians with impunity. Israel's so-called accepted hardline to Palestinian protests must be condemned and the state should be held responsible for the killing of so many Palestinians.
Yet, the powers that be are very unlikely to hold Israel responsible for taking Palestinian lives. So the carnage of violence will therefore continue in the region. Israel's might clearly dominates the Palestinians. But what will happen should the Palestinians become equally equipped?
A peaceful resolution to the mutual sharing of lands and cohabitation is needed in the old Biblical lands. Israeli celebrations and Palestinian deaths are unacceptable realities to violent radicalization in the Middle East.
May 14, 2018
More Palestinians Killed in Gaza Today - a Prelude to Wider Violence in the Middle East
Thirty-eight Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces at the Gaza border this morning and another 1,500 were injured in demonstrations marking the "Great March of Return", which coincided with today's opening of the United States (US) embassy in Jerusalem - a move that infuriates Palestinians and which stands to prompt more violence in the Middle East.
For six weeks, Palestinians have been demonstrating at the border fence in Gaza in the "Great March of Return" - to demand Palestinian return to ancestral lands lost to Israel at its founding, March 14, 1948. Israel has occupied that land and has shown no signs of ceding it back to the Palestinians. Many Palestinian deaths and injuries have been recorded in the weeks-long protests.
Today's new violence, with rising death and injury tolls, coincides with the US opening of an embassy in Jerusalem - a move condemned by much of the international community, since both Palestinians and Israelis claim the old Holy City as capital. Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war.
For many years, the international community has not recognized Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. But in December, 2017, US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announced the establishment of an embassy there.
Trump's decision has done nothing to bring peace to an already tense region. But it has certainly sparked violence and opened the likelihood for wider conflict in the Middle East, especially in light of the president's additional action to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Iran remains a major proxy in the Middle East.
Today's stark violence, deaths and injuries against Palestinians, are indicative of Israel's too often utilized heavy-handedness against the primitively-armed Palestinians, who for decades, have used stones and flambeaus against the modern equipped Israeli army, in their fight to reclaim ancestral lands.
But the violence in Gaza should not continue perpetually. Prospects to peace appear even farther away today that they were a-year-ago. Yet, some common ground to stability, should be agreed upon by all privy parties to allow for the coexistence of all the peoples on the old Biblical lands. Until some realistic peace is forged, sadly, more Palestinians will die.
May 13, 2018
Happy Mother's Day
Happy Mother's Day to everyone across the globe. And a very special recognition to the mothers of regions embroiled in conflict - Syria and Yemen in particular. I wish you a blessed day. May the kindness and mercy of God be you.
May 12, 2018
An European Opportunity Beckons in Lieu of Trump's Walk from the Iran Nuclear Deal
United States (US) President Donald Trump's walk away from the Iran Nuclear Deal sets up an opportunity for Europe to regain some of its lost influence and might, as well as to attain a modern weaning from US defense reliance.
Whether or not Trump thought of any secondary effects in withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal, is unclear; yet his action has clearly provided Europe with a needed headway to re-assume some influence and might yielded under US protection since WWII.
France and other European nations have condemned the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran as "unacceptable" in light of the signed 2015 international agreement that brought the Iran Nuclear Deal. Much of Europe's concerns over the US withdrawal are centered around the likelihood that European companies could be punished by the US for continuing to honor the Iran Nuclear Deal.
France's Economy Minister Bruno Le Marie, according to the BBC-News, best sums up Europe's justafix position: he said Europe had to defend its "economic sovereignty". He asked: "Do we want to be vassals deferring with a curtsy and a bow to decisions made by the US?" Le Marie called on the European Commission to look into possible retaliatory measures. Both Le Marie and his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz, will be seeking exemptions for European companies.
If granted US exemptions or not to sanctions of the Iran Nuclear Deal, Europe undoubtedly because of Trump's actions, has begun a process to defining itself in the modern era. And militarily, increases in military budgets could be expected across the continent as Europe is forced to wean itself from US reliant defense during the tenure of Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.
May 11, 2018
Human Reconciliation - to Recapturing Humanity's Purpose
Since it's Friday, I'll be brief.
I submit that it must not ever be accepted that any one life is worthier than another. Neither should it be ever construed that any class, race nor nation is more fitting for survival, peace and happiness, at the expense of another.
Current wars, percolating conflicts, divisions and stark differences demand reconciliation as a requisite to peace, stability and happiness. Recapturing humanity's purpose and responsibility as good neighbors and keepers, must first start in all homes and communities. From every town, city and country, goodness, kindness and mercy could flow to the ends of the earth.
There will be no more big advances toward closer cohabitation and peace on planet Earth until major steps are taken to reconcile humanity's differences. Once these steps are completed, humankind would then enjoy life, liberty and happiness.
May 10, 2018
A Final Thought on the Iran Nuclear Deal
If history is perpetual while time still exists, then some aspects of history might appear as repeating from time to time.
Therefore, in the wake of President Donald Trump's action to pull the United States (US) out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, a repetition of violence and war could be expected in the Middle East.
Israel's persuasive influence over the Trump decision will not gain the Jewish state any new friends in the region nor any closer to peace with its neighbors. On the other hand, the US withdrawal from the deal increases the likelihood of a wider conflict in Syria which could eventually transcend to other borders.
The scab over old wounds in the Middle East will now fall faster especially now that both Israel and Iran are already exchanging artillery fire with each other in the Syrian war theater.
Greater conflict in the region could be slowed or delayed should European nations muster a deep cooperative association with Iran. However, such a feat will not be an easy task since European nations and businesses may face US sanctions for dealing with Iran.
Historical threats bearing deep wounds are today more plausible in the Middle East in the aftermath of the US pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. The full effects of Trump's action will become known with the passage of time.
May 09, 2018
Trump's Isolationism Maps a Course to Collision with Traditional Allies
United States (US) President Donald Trump withdrew the Republic from the international pact known as the Iran Nuclear Deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in 2015 to limit Iran's nuclear capabilities.
In pulling the US out of the international pact signed between Iran, the US, the United Kingdom (UK), France, China, Russia and Germany, Trump has underscored an unprecedented US isolationist position. As a result, the president has pointed the US toward a collision course with allies, who have expressed an intent to honor the signed Iran treaty.
Having the lone support of Israel and Saudi Arabia to reimposing harsh sanctions on Iran, Trump has left open to skepticism any signed US treaty as he prepares to meet with North Korea's leadership, seeking some kind of denuclearization deal. Trump has also expressed an intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement of Climate Change.
But Trump's withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal does not kill the international agreement. Instead, he has confirmed a growing US isolationism, given the fact that the leaders of France, the UK and Germany, have been quick to issue a joint statement affirming their commitment to the international nuclear pact.
"Together we emphasize out continuing commitment to the JCPOA", the European leaders said in a statement released in the UK after telephone consultations between Theresa May of the UK, Emmanuel Macron of France and Angela Merkel of Germany. "This agreement remains important for our shared security," France 24 reported, citing the joint European statement.
"We urge the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal," the joint European statement read.
France's President Emmanuel Macron, has said he regretted Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear pact. Macron's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian declared: "There's an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still here." Similarly, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas contends:"We will try to keep alive this important agreement, which ensures the Middle East and the world as a whole are safer". Also, European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has declared: "The European Union is determined to preserve it" (the deal) and "Together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal."
While China expressed regret over Trump's action, Russia said it was deeply disappointed. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to France 24, "There are no - and can be no - grounds for breaking" the deal..."The United States is undermining international trust in the International Atomic Energy Agency."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in response to Trump's withdrawal confirmed: "I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in the coming weeks. If we achieve the deal's goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place."
Yet, while European nations, Russia and China seek to maintain the Iran Nuclear Deal, it remains highly likely that Trump's isolationism would collide with the policies of traditional allies as they seek to engage a Trump sanctioned Iran.
May 08, 2018
Trump's Decision Day on the Iran Nuclear Deal
United States (US) President Donald Trump has said that he will render his decision as to whether or not the US will honor the Iran Nuclear Deal today at 2:00 p.m.
The drawn out process to his decision has resembled a made-for-television soap opera, in which Trump has lavished in the suspense as being the sole-controller of the fate of an important swath of global security. He has often criticized the President Barack Obama era Iran Nuclear Deal as insufficient in spite of the fact that it has the global support of the European Union (EU), China and Russia. The accord signed between global leaders and Iran limits the Islamic Republic's capabilities to attaining a nuclear bomb.
That global security is crucial and not a ratings guided made-for-tv production, will therefore soon become a reality following Trump's decision.
A CNN poll published earlier this morning revealed that a majority Americans support remaining in the Iran Nuclear Deal, but with the same token, a majority of Americans did not vote for Donald Trump to be president.
Based upon Trump's criticism of the deal and the exhibited disdain Israel has shown toward the pact, many political pundits believe Trump will walk away from the international accord. He could. But that would be too easy and non-dramatic for Trump.
Chances are that he would seek to exact his own version of the international treaty upon Iran as requisite to keeping the deal. However, Iran has proclaimed that the deal either stays as is, or is void.
Whatever Trump's decision might be, global stability will be affected. Risky predictions that Iran's government could implode in the absence of the Nuclear Deal is a dangerous gamble to make, for in lieu of a somewhat moderate government, Iran could resort into the hands of hardline religious clerics giving rise to even greater instability in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Donald Trump is the antagonist and protagonist of the upcoming drama. He alone, apparently, will decide. We hope and we wish for global stability and cohesion, yet we might be facing turbulent times. Peace and goodwill to all.
May 07, 2018
An Illness in India - the Pervasion of Child Rapes
There is an illness in India that has been festering for sometime that demands a culture reformation in order to stop and to annihilate it. That illness is the deviant rape and murder of children, some as young as barely months-old and spanning to teenage girls and women.
The pervasion of this illness has reached such a fever that India has now made it legal to sentence perverts to death for the execution of such violent sexual crimes against children.
For the second time in as many days, the BBC-News reported earlier today, of yet another Indian girl, who remains in critical condition in a hospital in the eastern state of Jharkhand, with burns over 95% of her body after she was raped and set on fire. The 17-year-old girl reported chided a suitor, who told police he wanted to marry the girl but she wasn't ready - the result, he raped and set her on fire alive, another violent sexual crime against a young woman.
This most recent crime against the teenage girl in the eastern Indian state, comes following the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl on Sunday. She was burned alive.
Back in January, an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Kashmir was gang raped, drugged and murdered which caused great outrage and demands for law changes. Even members of India's ruling party have been charged in connection with at least one rape.
Indian Nobel laureate Kaliash Satyarthi has described the number of reported cases of rape and sexual abuse against children in India as a "national emergency". Last month as pressure was placed on the Indian government to toughen the punishment for sexual predators against children, Satyarthi noted that there were some 100,000 cases of child rape and abuse pending before the Indian courts.
Pointing out the damaging effects of such deviant crimes, he proclaimed: "Each time a daughter is raped and killed, India's soul is raped and killed." And India's soul continues to be raped and killed because its culture has tolerated for far too long such violence and abuse against young girls and older women.
Sadly, tougher punishment for deviant crimes against children will not suffice India's illness. A cultural reformation would be a good step toward eventually curing India's illness of the pervasion of sexual crimes against children.
May 04, 2018
To the Weekend...
There comes a time when the seriousness of current affairs are best solved by slowing all processes and allowing for longer periods of thought...
Thus, the weekend beckons. To peace, to love and to be, I wish you well...
May 03, 2018
The Deal Sufficies - Resting the Case for the Iran Nuclear Deal
The pact between world powers and Iran that limits Iran's nuclear capabilities is sufficient to ensuring a more stable global environment.
In lieu of the Iran Nuclear Deal, I submit that our already and growing insecure world, would become even more volatile. To renege upon the declared international pact would be dooming these times and future years to grave instability.
As it stands, the Iran Nuclear Deal offers the hope of being able to be improved upon within the years of the pact. It encourages and engages Iran economically and politically as an invitation to accepting wider international norms and customs. Five or seven or 10-years down the road into the deal, Iran would be able to recognize and to appreciate its international cooperation to a point where it would be willing to extend and amend the pact toward even greater global stability.
Iran, once benefiting from the cohesiveness of global cooperation, would not want to revert back to any economic difficulties of the past. Thus, Iran would then easily enter a Part II of the nuclear deal. But to reach that point, the present Iran Nuclear Deal must stand.
Moreover, those entities inviting nullification of the Iran Nuclear Deal, should answer the single question as to whether or not the world would be more stable without the pact. I submit not. Therefore, the deal should stand or the insecurity price will be paid for killing it.
May 02, 2018
A Long March Toward the Dimming US Beacon of Opportunity
Asylum seekers are amassing at the United States (US) border with Mexico. They are seeking fulfillment of a democratic promise they have believed for many years that the US stands for all people in spite of color, creed and religion.
Some asylum seekers have traveled in excess of 3,000 miles to get to the promised land of opportunity and of hope. They have traveled, according to CNN, by bus, by train and on foot to flee economic hardship and violence in places like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
These are the people of the so called "Caravan" - journeying to the US in search of that beacon of hope which every modern US president, with the exception of Donald Trump, has always kept a glow in honor of democracy and of humanity.
At the US border, however, the people of the "Caravan" are encountering a cold reception of the reality of a changed US policy toward new immigrants.Things are not what they used to be. There is a rising anti-immigrant culture in the US.
As scores of asylum seekers camp out in tents at the US border at Tijuana, Mexico, only eight were allowed into the US processing center on Tuesday.
More asylum seekers will come soon. They too will become encamped at the US border hoping for faster processing of their asylum claims. Yet, like those already amassing at the border, new arrivals will meet the sad reality that the beacon of hope the US once boasted of offering, has dimmed significantly, thus holding out very little promise that they will ever get to live the American Dream, nor the opportunity to love and to serve the US.
May 01, 2018
No Iran Nuclear Deal - Higher Instability, Higher
To inflict preventable complexities and their effects upon generations of nations for failing to secure a rational vehicle and route to global stability, would be a failing of these times by our people.
Therefore, in spite of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu's power point presentation yesterday, offering 55,000 pages and another 55,000 files on 183 CDs of Iran's ambition/allegation to "Project Amad" - to acquire a nuclear bomb; there is only one question the global community needs to answer regarding the Iran Nuclear Deal: Is the world more secure with it, or without the Iran Nuclear Deal?
I argue and I submit that the Iran Nuclear Deal signed by world powers and Iran, represents a better world atmosphere of stability. In lieu of it, there will be a higher level of global insecurity spanning national borders to cities and towns should an excessively punished Iran be forced to illicit and rogue sources to fulfill its needs.
If any disdain a nation holds onto another is such that the disdainer would seek to continue the violence of periods of great instability, then the disdainer is guilty of rendering unsolvable complexities and all the accompanying effects onto future generations.
Explicitly then, the Iran Nuclear Deal represents a working vehicle to better world security and cooperation; therefore it should stand.
April 30, 2018
A Call for Re-Elections in Italy - Eurosceptic Parties Unable to Form Government
The Italian election of March 4, 2018, ended in a hung parliament since the major vote getters - anti-establishment and Eurosceptic parties, failed to win a clear majority of the seats in the Italian Parliament.
The party of former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was badly beaten winning only 122-seats in the 630-seat parliament.
Today, almost two-months after the election, Eurosceptic and anti-establishment parties that won most of the seats, are unable to form a government hereby creating stalemate in the European Union (EU) nation.
Therefore, the leader of the Five-Star Movement whose party emerged as the biggest single seat winner, has called for snap elections in June.
As reported by France 24 earlier this morning, Luigi Di Maio of the 5-Star, who ran an anti migrant and Eurosceptic platform that won his party 227-seats, has called for elections in June. He made the announcement on Facebook: "At this point for me there is no other solution we have but to go back to the polls as soon as possible," France 24 reported.
He also called upon the leader of the anti-migrant center right League, Matteo Salvini, whose coalition of parties won 265 seats in the March 4 election, to join him in supporting a snap election in June. Both Di Maio and Salvini have failed to agree on a composition of a new government in Italy since the Mach 4 vote.
April 29, 2018
The Enduring Tragedy of Gaza and of the Palestinian People
A 15-year-old Palestinian boy, shot as he ran away from Israeli forces on Friday during a "Great March of Return" protest on the border of Gaza and Israel, died on Saturday. The youth's death is indicative of an enduring and seemingly perpetual tragedy of Gaza and of the Palestinian people for survival and for life against the hardline shooting-of-protesters policy of Israel.
Forty-two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and another 2,000 wounded since March 30, when the "Great March of Return" protests were started by Palestinians along the fence with Israel, to press for a return of lands and homes lost to Israel during the Jewish state's war with Arab neighbors, 1948-9.
According to a Reuters report, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called the loss of life deplorable and he confirmed that a "staggering number" of injuries had been caused by live ammunition.
More than two-million Palestinians are cramped onto a narrow slit of coastal land called Gaza Strip, where unemployment and poverty are rampant. Palestinians on the strip are barred from free and ease of travel by Israel.
With deteriorating conditions in Gaza amid a breakdown of peace talks between the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Israel and the United States (US), Palestinians are becoming increasingly frustrated per any prospect to independence.
Violence and uprisings could continue leading up to May 15, when the "Great March of Return" protests end on the "Naqba" of "Catastrophe", the day marking the event in the war of 1948-9 when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven off their lands by the Jewish state.
Until some permanent mutually agreed decision is made regarding the independence of Palestine and the rights of its people, tempered along with the security of Israel, the tragedy of Gaza and of the Palestinian people will continue.
April 28, 2018
The Death of British Toddler Alfie Evans and a Gross Overreach of the British Courts
British toddler Alfie Evans, 23-months-old, died at 2:30 British time, earlier this morning. He had been hospitalized much of his short life with a degenerative brain condition. Born in May 2016, he entered the hospital in December 2016. I pray for the comfort of his parents and loved ones. May Alfie travel very well.
The terminally ill youngster had become the face of an international effort to save his life and to keep him on life-support at a Liverpool, United Kingdom, hospital. He died today after being taken off life-support on Monday - meaning that the toddler endured in a prolonged vegetative state for five-days before succumbing to a fate of death.
But what makes the death of this toddler troublesome and heart wrenching is the legal wrangling his parents and supporters contested with the hospital to keep the boy on life-support and the rulings from British courts against them, including an overreach by judges to prevent the boy from leaving the UK to seek desperate treatment elsewhere.
Doctors determined there was no hope for little Alfie. They sought to remove him from life-support to which his parents objected and petitioned the British courts for relief. The courts ruled against the parents. The parents appealed and lost. The parents, after the father sought counsel with Pope Francis in Rome, again petitioned the courts for relief to remove their child from the UK to Italy for treatment. The courts denied the desperate bid citing the patient's irreversible condition and a claim moving him might cause harm, based upon medical testimony.
The court, in my unchangeable opinion, overreached its authority in denying the right of Alfie's parents to seek medical attention overseas even though the treatment might not have saved the toddler's life. But who knows? There's only one God and as far as my education goes, and the last time I checked, God didn't wear a robe or scrubs.
Taken off life-support on Monday, Alfie died today, Saturday. Pope Francis Tweeted a couple-hours ago: "I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace."
Explicitly, medical science in Alfie's case suggests Alfie would have died in spite of any medical treatment. Yet, while the British court might have rendered just judgment in ruling with the hospital that he'll be taken off life-support, I argue and hereby submit that the British court overreached its authority in denying the parents of Alfie their right to remove the boy from the UK.
Parental choices in all efforts to saving and safeguarding children, even if fruitless, must never be surrendered to or taken away by any court. Parents must be given all opportunities to utilizing all means necessary to saving a child's life.
I hate to consider the likelihood, but had Alfie parents been of the nobility or the gentry, would the British courts have ruled in the same manner per travel out of the UK to seek desperate treatment?
April 27, 2018
"Planting Peace and Prosperity" - the Koreas Meet in a Historic Summit
North Korean President Kim Jong-un crossed the demilitarized zone (DMZ) earlier today and entered South Korea for a summit with President Moon Jae-in. Kim became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the Korean War, 1950-53.
With a jovial step across the demarcation line separating the two Koreas to meet Moon, Kim joined his counterpart of the South in ushering a new era of pledged peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula.
When Kim entered the South where he was welcomed by Moon, moments later, he cheerfully held Moon's hand and escorted him onto the North side of the demarcation line before the two returned to the South for their historical summit.
Kim and Moon signed the "Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula" and agreed to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons. "The two leaders declare before our people of 80 million and the entire world there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new age of peace has begun," the declaration said.
Furthermore, the two leaders agreed to turn the armistice that ended the Korean war in 1953 into a peace treaty by the end of this year. No peace treaty was signed at the conclusion of the Korean war, thus, technically, today, North and South remain in state of hostility. Kim said he and Moon agreed to work to prevent a repeat of the peninsula's "unfortunate history" in which progress had "fizzled out." Moon concurred he and Kim had "fired a flare at the starting point" of "a new history vis-a-vis peace, prosperity and North-South relations."
The historic meeting today between the two Koreas was a culmination of a surprising good and mutual relationship the nations struck at this year's Winter Olympics in South Korea. After an invitation from the South, both North and South paraded an a sole nation under a lone flag at the games. They also competed together as one team in ice-hockey.
Today's pledge for peace and prosperity between the nations also called for an end to "hostile activities"; changing the DMZ into a "peace zone" by ending propaganda broadcasts; an arms reduction on the peninsula pending easing of military tension; a push for four-way talks involving the United States (US) and China; organizing a reunion of families left divided by the Korean war; connecting and modernizing railways and roads across the border; and for further joint participation in sporting events including this year's Asian games, the BBC-News reported.
So history duly records that on this April 27, 2018, after 65-years of deep rifts and recent military threats of nuclear war, North and South Korea have come together to pledge peace, prosperity and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. And as symbolic as the planting of a pine tree with water and soil from both sides, North Korea and South Korea appear united.
April 26, 2018