Friday, October 9, 2009

Photo Essays: " Pictures say more that a thousand words."

 I have posted these photos essays to illustrate 
my previous posts. 
Often "a picture will say it all." By clicking on the link : slide show... 
you will be redirected to the Foreign Policy web page.

Thank you.

Children at Work

While many children are now enjoying summer holidays from school, others are toiling away in sweatshops. Amid the Great Recession, more parents may be pulling their children out of school and putting them to work to supplement family income.

Slides Show: Children at Work

The Battle over Israel's Settlements 

As Washington gears up for a showdown over Israel's settlements, settlers are taking matters into their own hands.
Slide Show: The Battle over Israel's Settlements 

The Land of No Smile

Renowned documentary photographer Tomas van Houtryve entered North Korea by posing as a businessman looking to open a chocolate factory. Despite 24-hour surveillance by North Korean minders, he took arresting photographs of Pyongyang and its people—images rarely captured and even more rarely distributed in the West. They show stark glimmers of everyday life in the world’s last gulag.

Side Show: The Land of No Smiles

On Gaza, Children, and War

The current Israeli offensive into Gaza has taken a heavy toll on everybody, but it's the innocent children on both sides whose suffering is most undeserved -- and most often exploited

Slide Show: On Gaza, Children, and War:

Gaza's ( Literal) Underground Economy

Since Hamas gained control of Gaza in June 2007, Israel has blockaded the flow of goods into and out of the territory. But when trade is closed above ground, the economy simply moves underground, in more ways than one.

Slide Show: Gaza's (literal) Underground Economy

The People Caught in Between

Ever since Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War, the residents of this strategic plateau have been caught in the middle of a dispute that has gone unresolved for more than 40 years. Today, they are going about their lives while others decide their fate.

Slide Show: The People Caught in Between 

Israel at 60

A tour of the turbulent history of the Jewish state, six decades after its founding. 

Slide Show: Israel 60 years 

Reverse Exodus

When the Israeli government closed off the Gaza Strip in an effort to stop militants from firing rockets into Israel, Palestinians took matters into their own hands.

Slide Show: Reverse Exodus

Saturday, October 3, 2009

"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." Joseph Stalin

"In the arts of life man invents nothing;
but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself,
and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague,
pestilence, and famine."
George Bernard Shaw

" Rachel Corrie; American killed by an Israeli army bulldozer, Tom Handel; British shot to the head by an Israeli sniper, James Miller; British shot by the Israeli army. If foreigners are dying like this in Gaza what happen to the one million Palestinians who live there."  This is how the documentary "Investigation" by Journey man begins.
This documentary is filmed by a British crew over a period of 40 days. They lived and filmed daily events that you will not see in main stream media. Palestinian civil casualty is a fact deliberately omitted from the
The Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip are under siege by the Israeli Army.
The Jewish People were victimized during WWII by the Nazi German and since 1948 Israel is victimizing the  Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip. Children born during this conflict don't know what freedom feels like; they live under Israeli control like Jewish people lived under Roman rule in AD.
The word Palestinian people does not reflect the reality of  what children, men and women of Palestine in particular those in the Gaza strip had, have and will endure under Israel single agenda take over the Gaza strip. The Israeli Army with the support of  the United States have at their disposal the latest technology and advanced weaponry.  The Palestinian fight back with archaic and home made weapons. Gaza is a giant prison, a camp where people are dehumanized.  The same Nazi propaganda is use to dehumanized the Palestinian; it is so effective that when we think terrorist we think every Palestinian are terrorists, heartless, cowards and murderers.
Watching this program helped me understand the resentment of the Palestinian towards the U.S.  How can we accept this unfazed and support this injustice. With every innocent Palestinian civilian dying, dozen are rising and calling for "jihad", their only thoughts: revenge for the death of  their mothers, for the death of their sisters and brothers.  Revenge against those who abandoned them for bigger pay check and because of their greed. Revenge for the daily humiliation of a father on front of his son, revenge against the one who is responsible for your child helplessly lying in an hospital bed covered in blood from an Israeli bomb.  It is unfortunate that these are the feelings that will throw young Palestinian into the arms of radical true terrorists.

Why would Israel, be such a tyrant? and Why would the U.S. would willingly and knowingly stand with Israel? Is our government really a hostage to the wealth of the Jewish American lobbyist. Are millions of  Palestinians expendable.? ...Please watch this 10 min documentary, and take a moment to leave a comment.
May 2003

Life in Gaza is a constant gauntlet of Israeli sniper fire, military rockets and army bulldozers. No one is safe. In light of the escalating tensions, we're bringing back one of our most moving documentaries, a hard-hitting expose of life in the occupied territories. We speak to the children caught in the crossfire and find out the true cost of Israel's targeted assassinations policy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The European Union's and Lisbon treaty. The Next great Global Powers might be The E.U.

  The European Union's hopes of greater global clout centered on Ireland on Friday as voting started in a referendum to ratify the Lisbon Treaty.

A year ago, Irish voters rejected the treaty, a watered-down version of the constitution that was vetoed by French and Dutch voters in 2005. The treaty is designed to give the bloc stronger leadership, a more effective foreign policy and a fairer decision-making system.
Follow the link for a clear map of the E.U.

27 Countries

Here are some of the main points of the 250-page treaty.

* INSTITUTIONS: EU leaders will choose a president of the European Council for a renewable 2-1/2 year term, to strengthen the system of rotating presidencies.

-- A powerful new foreign policy chief, at the head of an EU foreign service, will give the bloc a greater say on the world stage. The High Representative will answer to EU governments but also be vice-president of the European Commission and manage the EU executive's large external aid budget.

-- The Eurogroup of finance ministers of countries that share the euro single currency will be formalised for the first time and will elect a chairman for a renewable 2-1/2-year term.

-- Member states will benefit from a NATO-style mutual defence clause in the event that one of them is attacked.

-- The European Court of Justice will be given more power by being allowed to rule on whether national legislation on justice and home affairs is compatible with EU laws, except for Britain and Ireland, which secured opt-outs.

-- The European Commission, the EU's executive, will have fewer members from 2014. Each of the EU's 27 nations now appoints a commissioner but the size will be capped at two thirds of the number of member states.

-- The number of seats in the European Parliament will be increased to 751 from 736.

* VOTING: EU decision-making will continue to be based on the weighted voting system agreed in the 2000 Nice Treaty until 2014.

-- After that, voting will be based on a "double majority" system requiring 55 percent of member states representing 65 percent of the EU population to pass a decision.

-- From 2014 to 2017 any country can ask to revert to the old rules in any vote. States just short of a blocking minority may invoke a mechanism to delay EU decisions for several months.

-- The treaty allows decision-making in more policy areas by majority voting, notably in justice and home affairs. Foreign and defence policy, tax matters and EU budget and revenue decisions will continue to require unanimity.

-- Britain and Ireland won the right to opt out of closer police and justice cooperation, but not to stop other member states moving ahead without them.

-- National parliaments will be given a say in drafting EU laws. They will review draft proposals, and if one third of them reject it, the European Commission will have to change it.

* CITIZENS' RIGHTS: The treaty gives binding force to an existing Charter of Fundamental Rights in all member states except Britain and Poland, which won opt-outs.

- - Britain did not want provisions such as a broadly defined right to strike, the subject of bitter labour conflicts in the 1980s -- to be imposed on it from outside.

EU headquarter & Parliament Brussels
-- Poland's previous right-wing government said it would respect labour provisions, but it needed exemptions to ensure that in the future the EU does not force it to change its laws on family and morality, such as on abortion.

* POLICIES: The treaty introduces as objectives a common energy policy and fighting climate change.

-- The treaty introduces a formal possibility for a country to leave the EU under negotiated terms.

-- One million EU citizens may ask the European Commission in a petition to draft legislation in a given area.

* SECURITY: Increased security for all: the Union will get an extended capacity to act on freedom, security and justice, which will bring direct benefits in terms of the it's ability to fight crime and terrorism.

-- New provisions on civil protection, humanitarian aid and public health also aim at boosting the Union's ability to respond to threats to the security of European citizens.
Oct 2 (Reuters) - EU Parliament in Brussels
My Conclusion.
There is still a long way to go before the E.U. Institution become a smooth running Union of Countries. Like history has shown us century after century, every empire has it rise and decline. Are the United States declining in the eyes of the world?  We are no longer in a position to lead, our credibility is chattered, our economy is to pieces,  our outlook into the future grim. Our government was once the beacon of democracy and its policies were sought after as an example of Justice "by the people for the people". I feel that somewhere along the road, we became arrogant, complaisant and careless. We left Democracy behind for Capitalism, WE said yes to a war for the wrong reason,  we bred man like Madeoff whose only objective was to make money regardless of who and how many he had to ruin. The ruin of the real-estate market forcing thousand of families to  foreclose breaking financial institution is another sign of greed and decadence.  How long before we reclaim our constitution and at what cost?
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