Thursday, May 31, 2012

Teenage Sudanese woman sentenced to death by stoning

HRW: "Intisar Sharif Abdallah, whose age has not been determined but is believed to be under the age of 18, was sentenced by a judge on April 22, 2012, in the city of Omdurman, near Khartoum. Since her sentencing, she been held in Omdurman prison with her 5-month-old baby, with her legs shackled."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Abdul Karim Qasim was first to nationalize Iraqi oil

In the video bellow John Perkins talks about the US relationship with Saddam when Abdul Karim Qasim was President of Iraq. I want to post this to remind people and myself that Abdul Karim Qasim nationalized Iraqi oil. Some Arabs seem to believe that Saddam was the first Iraqi president to nationalize Iraqi oil. He was not.

Many Arabs praised Saddam as if he was the original populist who did good things for ordinary Iraqis. He was not. It reminds me of my post Iraqi Goodfellas - I will always remember that dinner with the Iraqi woman who said that Saddam made education free!


 Thanks 3amu for the forward!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Iraqi lawmakers fuel resentments

"Iraq’s lawmakers have hightailed it out of town for a six-week vacation without following through on promises to cancel a pricey perk for free armored cars that they approved for themselves in the annual budget.

It is the sort of move that is fueling resentments among the struggling Iraqi public, many of whom accuse the country’s leaders of being corrupt and only in politics for their own profit."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Iran wants to replace Sistani with hardline cleric

This cleric is also very wealthy: “Shahroudi is one of the wealthiest men in Iran,” said Mr. Khalaji, the analyst and former student in Qum. “He imports goods, has businesses and owns many factories. His personal life is luxurious.” By being a government insider, he said, the cleric made a fortune in past years by importing auto parts and equipment for oil exploration from Eastern Europe.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Austerity sucks

I've been reading about austerity imposed by the IMF and World Bank for many years. Lately it has been imposed upon European countries, and they don't like it! Just like Jamaica didn't like it. In Feb 2010 I wrote:

"The devastating economic effects of the 1973 oil embargo hurt even more in poor countries like Haiti and Jamaica, which had to import all their oil. Watch the excellent documentary Life and Debt to learn more about Jamaica's debt crisis that ensued after the embargo."

But I did not mention the austerity imposed upon Jamaica by the IMF and World Bank after the crisis. Watch the documentary to learn more. Also in that post I quoted a Wikipedia article about the 1973 oil embargo without linking to it (I just updated it with the link).

Europeans have decided that austerity is not working, while Republicans in America think the US govt should practice some austerity. Actually I think the US govt should practice some austerity, especially in the area of "defense" spending. But not right now, at a time when laying off soldiers would hurt the economy further. It's an election year!

I remember Iraq in the 70s, when the govt in Baghdad was benefiting from the spike in oil prices. The regime enriched themselves, of course, but they also spent money on infrastructure and education. My father benefited directly from that policy. I give credit to President Ahmed Hassan al Bakr. But the Baath party was a socialist party, after all, and it wasn't the first socialist party to gain power. The Iraqi Communist Party, led by Abdul Karim Qasim, gained power in the 50s. There was great progress in Iraq in those days. I wish Iraq could be like that again.

PS: The Wiki article to which I linked about Ahmed Hassan al Bakr says: "During his rule, Iraq was blossoming; high economic growth due to high oil international oil prices strengthened Iraq's role in the Arab world and increased the people's Standard_of_living"

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Some Tunisian Muslims want to kill for Allah

because they believe that showing an image of Allah is blasphemous. I like to call these people "mujrimeen" (murderers) instead of muslimeen.

'A panel of five Tunisian judges on Thursday convicted TV magnate Nabil Karoui of “disturbing public order” and “threatening public morals” by broadcasting the French movie “Persepolis,” an animated film that contains a fleeting image of God. Karoui was fined $1,600. Two of his staffers, including the woman whose job it was to check the movie for moral and legal problems, were fined $800 each. Prosecutors and lawyers representing Islamist groups argued that the owner of Nessma TV should be sentenced to prison for up to five years; at least two lawyers called for the death penalty.'