04/12: Corruption - A Democratic Right?

I am not a big fan of the current Pakistani style of dictatorial democracy. A Minister from the ruling political party of the government, the Pakistan People's Party, recently stated that "Corruption is our right!" on a live TV program. Watch the video here: Corruption Is Our Right: PPP Minister.

Is it just me who thinks that supporting such a "democratic setup" which feels that corruption is its God given right is rather pointless? Or is it just reward for the Pakistani people to have such a government which deems corruption its right? After all, it was these very people who voted this government in through pity votes due to Benazir Bhutto's death.

And the final question which this leads to is: Is democracy a viable system of governance for Pakistan and its people? It hasn't worked for Pakistan in the past 60+ years. Do we have the luxury of time to wait another 60 years hoping that it works for us?

21/10: Worth of a democracy...

Two suicide bomb blasts recently occurred at the International Islamic University campus in H-9, Islamabad. One of them was in the women campus cafeteria which resulted in loss of innocent lives and some damage to the university campus.

It is a sad incident and the reprehensible acts of the terrorists should be condemned. It was a time of mourning for the losses incurred. However, as is usual, the interior minister Rehman Malik paraded in with his entourage for his usual media whoring. The students protested against his very presence and showed deep anger over the failure of the democratically elected government. A video of this incident can be seen here (highly recommended!). As a common citizen of Pakistan, I fully agree with the sentiments expressed within the video by the students and Talat Hussain, as they relate to government officials.The widening disconnect between the rulers and the ruled reflects the ever widening difference in perceptions of the aforementioned parties.

I, for one, fail to see the benefit of democracy judging by the performance of the PPP led government since the elections. This government is the epitome of leadership failure, irresponsibility, lack of political savviness and utter disregard for public sentiments and aspirations.To put it forth plain and simple, former President Musharraf's quasi-democracy era was far better than this failed democracy because ultimately, the people and the country's progress matter far more than the imposition of a supposedly better political system just for the sake of the system itself. While the Pakistani media presents a differing point of view, the Pakistani public is becoming increasingly disenfranchised with democracy as a workable system.

The question which arises is this: How long will we keep dragging this democratic wreck with us?

18/02: Realizations about Israel - Part 2

In continuation of my previous post regarding Realizations about Israel, I found something today that further points to positive changes taking place in Europe regarding Israel. People in Europe seem to be awakening to the fact that they don't need to oblige irrational demands from people of Jewish faith out of a feeling of pity and guilt over what Hitler did during the Holocaust.

What I found today is news from France saying enough is enough regarding the sense of guilt ailing Europe over the Holocaust. Times Online reports:

'Jewish war victims have had enough compensation' French court says

Some excerpts from the article are given below in italics with my commentary added in between in plain text.

The French State was responsible for deporting Jews during the Second World War, the top judicial authority ruled for the first time yesterday, but it dismayed families of victims by declaring that they had already been compensated.

It was advising on a case brought by Madeleine Hoffman-Glemane, 75, one of hundreds of victims who have sued recently for damages over their arrests and deportation during the Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1944.

Even though the admission comes forth because President Sarkozy's ties to people of Jewish faith, I find this encouraging in the sense that the French have stopped pussy-footing around the issue.

The Holocaust happened over 65 years ago and compensation is being asked now? What for? A majority of the people who tragically suffered and the ones who inflicted the suffering are dead by now. On a human level, one can sympathize with the victims who faced the horrors but to try to milk it for all its worth saps away any sympathy one feels for the sufferers of the Holocaust. In fact, asking for compensation here undermines the suffering of the people who suffered through the actual events. While there are lessons to be learned from history, what is the fault of the present generation which is one or two generations removed from those who indirectly caused the suffering?

Since taking office in 2007 President Sarkozy, whose mother is Jewish, has ordered acts of remembrance of the French role in the Holocaust but during his election campaign he said that France should stop apologising for itself because it had never been involved in a policy of genocide.

To the anger of campaigners the council advised the court dealing with Ms Hoffman-Glemane's case that deportees had already received enough compensation. “The different measures taken since the end of the Second World War have made reparation as much as possible,” it said.

While Obama promised change, not many changes have been forthcoming on policies relating to war in Afghanistan. However, true positive change can be seen from the French in the underlined portion of the excerpts. Obama should take heart from this and bid farewell to his 'appease AIPAC' policies and make the US a truly neutral party in the Middle East conflict by not supporting either party in the interests of fairness. I can guarantee that this would tremendously boost American reputation in many regions of the world where America can ill afford a further loss of its image. America needs to stand true to its values; to be indiscriminate and to freely allow all parties a chance at expressing their arguments on an unbiased platform. But I digress... Coming back to the topic at hand...

For more than a decade Holocaust survivors and their families have been waging legal battles in French and US courts. In 2007, however, an appeal court reversed a Bordeaux court conviction against the railways for holding and robbing two Jews. The court ruled that the SNCF was not an arm of the State.

The 'legal battles' as mentioned in the excerpt, represent a systematic abuse of the legal systems in France and the US to gain monetary compensation and sympathy through guilt, which as the news article notes, has been going on for decades. If I were a citizen of France amongst the working class, I would question the state on why my tax money is being spent to compensate someone's suffering in which I had no direct involvement.

Moving on to comments given on the article, I see this positive trend repeated again and again. Jonathan L. from Tel Aviv, Israel notes:


The French behaved better then most other nations in Europe and rescued many Jews: only 25% died. That they accept responsibility for those shows their decency.

This represents the change I mentioned in one of my previous articles on Realizations about Israel. This is very encouraging coming from someone in/from Israel.

Paul Gibbons from Milton Keynes, UK comments:

My Grandfather was locked up by the Germans for over 4 years in WW2. He never asked for or was offered any compensation. His son (my father )who along with the rest of his family never asked for compensation either. Like millions of other non-jews (the majority) they just got on with it.

This is the exact way to honor the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust! Do NOT beg for pity or compensation. Tell the world of the suffering and remember it but do it with honor and with respect to the ones who suffered instead of trying to cash in on the suffering. Cashing it in just cheapens the suffering and it is a disservice to those who truly suffered.

Tom from London, UK comments

..."The existence of laws that punish anyone who disagrees with the official account " when used in any context is truly terrifying and I think what got some European countries into this mess in the first place.

I couldn't agree more! Pete Cottrell from Memphis, USA states:

Reparations, seems the only qualifiers are jews. Many other ethnic groups went through tolls and death. What about them or do they not count. Lets discuss reparations for some other races!

Yasser Hanif from Manchester, UK adds:

Justice has to be equal and balanced. Did Israel pay any compensation to the destruction & cluster bombs in Lebanon? Did Israel pay a penny for the napalm they used in the sixties(not so long ago)? Did Israel pay a nickle to the families of the 400 children they killed in Gaza a month ago? Justice here?

I end the article with the following comment given by Eric from US:

I am an American Jew who has worked hard his whole life...served my nation in the military in Iraq and I agree the time for restitution is over. All who were interned deserved compensation but for descendents it is rediculous. Repayment is done....let the dead rest in peace.

And the comments go on stating argument both; for and against this decision by the French court. I would encourage readers to visit the linked page on Times Online and read the comments for yourself to get all arguments in more detail.

08/02: Realizations about Israel

Israel has been an arrogant little child crying wolf over the last few years. There was the attack on Lebanon some time back and now there has been an attack on Palestine. Both attacks were marked by an overt and disproportionate use of force and an over the top response vis-a-vis the killing of children and women by Israel, apart from the number of deaths involved on both sides.

I am not stating here that Israel is the only party to be blamed but the minimal response potential of both targets of Israel is not a winning argument in Israel's favor. The settlements in Palestinian lands annexed by Israel were a deliberate provocation and puts the residents of those settlements at risk. It's as if one knows that an area is prone to severe earthquakes and still makes sky scrapers on that land and then selling it off as being a safe place. This kind of provocation is designed to get a response and Israel is no stranger to crying wolf. Only a fool would be lured by this again and again.

Hamas' rockets definitely didn't kill as many Israelis compared to how many Palestinians were killed by Israel. Some would rightly call it a genocide; ironic considering that Jews themselves faced a genocide at the hands of Hitler. Is it a psychotic dysfunction that has Israel blaming the Palestinians and Arabs, by extension, for the Jewish genocide and consequently committing a counter genocide? Lest Israelis are forgetting, they were persecuted by Europeans. And Hitler certainly wasn't a Muslim!

It's no wonder that Israel is hated so much by the Muslim world. Take note of the use of the word "Israel" and not "Jews". Muslims don't really have that much of a beef with Jews. After all, according to Islamic scriptures, Jews, Christians and Muslims are folloowers of the the three religions of the Books. There are Jews in Iran; plenty of them but they aren't hated, unlike the Jews in Israel. The same is true for the most part, for Jewish communities in America and elsewhere. The oppression created by Israel is a major cause for the hate against it.

Unfortunately, America's unending support for Israeli oppression results in America being tarred with the same brush as Israelis. That is unfortunate and unfair but the reasoning for it is understandable. Supporting a wrong incriminates you with being a a part of the wrong itself. I don't expect a change to occur with regards to America's support for Israel considering how Barrack Obama had to appease AIPAC in the recent election campaign in America. AIPAC's political clout is undeniable and the "Change" Obama promised will certainly not be applicable in this instance unless the American public opts for looking after their own interests rather than those of Israel's which is earning them global dislike. That's a thing that has been long overdue.

Coming to Europe, the laws in certain countries about Holocaust denial are evidence of Europe's hypocrisy. Let the evidence about Holocaust stand up against the deniers instead of providing state sponsored legal support for an academic debate just to curtail the guilt Europe feels for the Jewish genocide.

On a positive note, changes and realizations seem to be coming forth from within the Jewish communities themselves about Israel. This is very encouraging.

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31/05: Sharon Stone's folly

How foolish can a person be? Or even so heartless as to trying to gain political mileage out of a catastrophe?

It goes to show how dumb (in the stupid sense) people can be. I wrote about the Chinese earthquake previously on my blog here and expected that such a tragedy would bring people across the world together in helping China. In fact, I didn't even knew of Sharon Stone until she opened her moth to say that the earthquake in China might be bad karma due to China's alleged treatment of Tibet. And I quote her:

"I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else,"..."And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?" - source

Does she also think that Katrina was a result of bad karma from the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan where millions of lives have been lost due to American policies? Or maybe Basic Instinct 2 with $70 million production cost resulted in less than $6 million in ticket sales is also due to karma?

I applaud the Chinese nation who unanimously condemned Stone and are trying to hurt her where it hurts the most: monetarily. Many Chinese cinemas (under UME Cineplex) have refused to show movies in which she has performed (and will perform in the future) and Christian Dior advertisements featuring Stone's image were also dropped from all ads in China amidst the public uproar. Even on previous controversial issues (e.g. cartoons of Prophet Muhammad), I have urged the people from not partaking in violent protesting. Instead, boycotting the products and making the perpetrators suffer economic loss is the best way to go around showing your protest. After all, in a capitalist world, what hurts most is an economic loss.

I also learned today that she has apologized for her comments but I strongly believe that the apologies are not sincere and are just the result of bad publicity she is getting now. So, for what it counts, her apologies are falling on deaf ears across China. After all, slapping deliberately and then saying 'sorry' is just not enough. I urge the Chinese government and the people to keep implementing the economic boycott where Sharon Stone is concerned.

Looking for older posts? Have a look in the archives.


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