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Paul E Ester

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Member since: Tue Jan 13, 2009, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 952

About Me

When I clicked this thread, I said to myself, \"I wonder who said the inevitable stupid thing.- You did not disappoint.\" - WilliamPitt Hmmm. Interesting…nt - SidDithers What the hell is going on here, anyway? -Hekate This is one of the most hilarious threads I have read on DU… - defacto7 \"That has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever read on DU.\" - AsahinaKimi

Journal Archives

Egyptian women 1950's vs. 40 Years of US aid, engagement and allegiance

We're doing it wrong.






Cairo University 1950's


Cairo University 1978


Cairo University 1995


Cairo University 2004



Egypt today.



http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/25/once_upon_a_time_in_egypt#0

The British novelist, L. P. Hartley once wrote “the past is another country; they do things differently there.” For the lives of Egypt’s women, this could not seem truer. The public image of Egyptian women has changed dramatically in the past forty years. Last year, Foreign Policy published pictures of Egyptian women in 1959 enjoying the sun and sea at an Alexandria resort. The image would be unrecognisable today. During the 1950s and 1960s, the clothing of choice for urban Egyptian women were miniskirts and short sleeve t-shirts. Alexandria, just like Cairo, has seen much of its quintessential cosmopolitan attributes undermined as a result of growing Islamism, which has manifested in the adoption of women wearing the veil, or hijab.

Some suggest that the phenomenon emerged following Egypt's defeat in the 1967 War, which was a source of humiliation for the country and led many Egyptians to fully embrace Islam as a means of gathering national strength. However, according to the writer Tarek Osman, the popularity of the veil took off during the 1970s and early 1980s, as over three million Egyptians travelled to the Gulf in search of work. On their return, they brought back many of the social customs of the region. Within two decades, the number of women choosing to veil rose from thirty to sixty five percent. Today, according to The New York Times, at least 90 percent of women wear the hijab. Film director Yousri Nasrallah noted that the popularity of the veil was not due to "sudden devoutness among Egyptian women," but to "social and economic pressures buffeting the country."


The United States through it's policies over the last 40 years, has failed the women of Egypt. It seems the BILLIONS we sent to Egypt did little to advance their cause.

The US learns little from itself - How the Arab Spring turned into the Islamic Summer

How vested interests trump everything good

Few in Arabia talk about the so-called Arab Spring anymore. In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and especially Syria, what the western press recently romanticised as revolution has in fact turned out a sweeping victory for the Islamic far right, carefully funded and pushed through by a fast growing Saudi-Qatari alliance within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It has been interesting, though, to note how conveniently Washington has greenlighted Al-Qaeda linked jihadi influence in the wake of the Spring, despite its experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

John Kerry’s recent visit to the Middle East only confirmed suspicion that the US will influence arms transfer to Syria to the benefit of the rebel army battling President Bashar al Assad’s forces. He made a point of stressing that such shipments would not fall into the hands of the jabhat al Nusra, the Al-Qaeda affiliate also fighting the government. He also said, as did his Saudi, Qatari and Turkish counterparts, that the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) needed more arms to offset the increasing muscle of jabhat al Nusra. But nobody made any mention of just who was funding and arming Al-Qaeda associates across the region.

It is no secret, especially for the Pakistani audience, that almost all things Al-Qaeda are traced to the American-Saudi-Pakistani intelligence model that spawned the mujahideen of the Soviet jihad. Since then, these soldier clerics have spread via heavy funding from mostly Saudi based wahabis, whose madrassahs across Pakistan and Afghanistan produced the initial band of global jihadists that subsequently set up franchises across Asia, Arabia and Africa.


It became clear very early in the Spring, particularly in Tunisia and Egypt, that not just the semi-radical Islamic Brotherhood, but also Salafi proper groups would benefit the most from the fall of long standing, US-backed dictatorships. Arab regimes were built on long years of internal repression that did not allow the growth of a moderate political class, which is why varying shades of extreme Islam, nurtured on an ideology of politically motivated jihad, mobilised very quickly to fill vacuums.

For the record, Washington was wrongfooted till the uprisings reached Libya – Hillary called Hosni “practically family” till just a few days before his resignation. And it was not too hard to rally western opinion against “madman of the Middle East” Gaddafi, which is also when US-Saudi interests were increasingly aligned. Gaddafi sat atop light-sweet crude, among the finest quality oil on the planet. For the west, time was right to bring more of that wealth to its corporations, the Exxon Mobils of this world, while for Riyadh, dividing the whole region into Wahabi-Salafi proxies seemed within reach. So Washington conveniently turned a blind eye to Al-Qaeda militias funneled into Libya, funded by Saudi and Qatari petrodollars. It was not until Libya had been handed over to a puppet regime that the depth of Al-Qaeda infiltration started becoming clear.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/03/20/comment/columns/the-us-learns-little-from-itself/

AP: COSTS OF US WARS LINGER FOR OVER 100 YEARS



If history is any judge, the U.S. government will be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the next century as service members and their families grapple with the sacrifices of combat.

An Associated Press analysis of federal payment records found that the government is still making monthly payments to relatives of Civil War veterans — 148 years after the conflict ended.

At the 10 year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, more than $40 billion a year are going to compensate veterans and survivors from the Spanish-American War from 1898, World War I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the two Iraq campaigns and the Afghanistan conflict. And those costs are rising rapidly.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said such expenses should remind the nation about war's long-lasting financial toll.


http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-costs-us-wars-linger-over-100-years

Islamic law comes to rebel-held Syria

The evidence was incontrovertible, captured on video and posted on YouTube for all the world to see. During a demonstration against the Syrian regime, Wael Ibrahim, a veteran activist, had tossed aside a banner inscribed with the Muslim declaration of faith.

And that, decreed the officers of the newly established Sharia Authority set up to administer rebel-held Aleppo, constitutes a crime under Islamic law, punishable in this instance by 10 strokes of a metal pipe.

The beating administered last month offered a vivid illustration of the extent to which the Syrian revolution has strayed from its roots as a largely spontaneous uprising against four decades of Assad family rule. After mutating last year into a full-scale war, it is moving toward what appears to be an organized effort to institute Islamic law in areas that have fallen under rebel control.

Building on the reputation they have earned in recent months as the rebellion’s most accomplished fighters, Islamist units are seeking to assert their authority over civilian life, imposing Islamic codes and punishments and administering day-to-day matters such as divorce, marriage and vehicle licensing.

Numerous Islamist groups are involved, representing a wide spectrum of views. But, increasingly, the dominant role is falling to Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front. The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States for suspected ties to al-Qaeda but is widely respected by many ordinary Syrians for its battlefield prowess and the assistance it has provided to needy civilians.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/islamic-law-comes-to-rebel-held-syria/2013/03/19/b310532e-90af-11e2-bdea-e32ad90da239_print.html

I don't believe the syrians like the the al-Nusra Front, I believe they are too scared to speak out against these Jihadist Monsters.

Commander: Contingency plans under way for Syria

Source: AP

The top U.S. military commander in Europe said Tuesday that several NATO countries are working on contingency plans for possible military action to end the two-year civil war in Syria as President Bashar Assad's regime accused U.S.-backed Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons.

The Obama administration rejected the Assad claim as a sign of desperation by a besieged government intent on drawing attention from its war atrocities — some 70,000 dead, more than 1 million refugees and 2.5 million people internally displaced. A U.S. official said there was no evidence that either Assad forces or the opposition had used chemical weapons in an attack in northern Syria.
As the war enters its third year, the U.S. military, State Department officials and the U.N. high commissioner for refugees delivered a dire assessment of a deteriorating situation in Syria and the sober view that even if Assad leaves, the Middle East nation could slip into civil strife similar to the Balkans in the 1990s.

"The Syrian situation continues to become worse and worse and worse," Adm. James Stavridis, the commander of U.S. European Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "No end in sight to a vicious civil war."

Stavridis, who is retiring soon, said a number of NATO nations are looking at a variety of military operations to end the deadlock and assist the opposition forces, including using aircraft to impose a no-fly zone, providing military assistance to the rebels and imposing arms embargoes.

As with U.S. and international involvement in Libya in 2011, a resolution from the U.N. Security Council and agreement among the alliance's 28 members would be necessary before NATO assumes a military role in Syria, Stavridis said.
"We are prepared if called upon to be engaged as we were in Libya," he said.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/commander-contingency-plans-under-way-syria-155448430--politics.html

Maliki's Iraq: Rape, executions and torture

Heba al-Shamary (name changed for security reasons) was released last week from an Iraqi prison where she spent the last four years.

"I was tortured and raped repeatedly by the Iraqi security forces," she told Al Jazeera. "I want to tell the world what I and other Iraqi women in prison have had to go through these last years. It has been a hell."

Heba was charged with terrorism, a fate faced by many Iraqis who are detained by security forces.

"I now want to explain to people what is occurring in the prisons that Maliki and his gangs are running," Heba added. "I was raped over and over again, I was kicked and beaten and insulted and spit upon."

Heba's story, horrific as it is, unfortunately is but one example of what a recent report from Amnesty International refers to as "a grim cycle of human rights abuses" in Iraq today.

The report, "Iraq: Still paying a high price after a decade of abuses", exposes a long chronology of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees committed by Iraqi security forces, as well as by foreign troops, in the wake of the US-led 2003 invasion.

http://www.aljazeera.com/humanrights/2013/03/201331883513244683.html

President Obama Goes to Israel - Official Trailer (HD) (2013)

Feinstein on gun bill: I'm not going to play dead

Source: CNN



Read more: Link to source



Demanding a vote on her amendment.

Nevada Gun Culture, why Harry Reid said NO.

Guns are part of Nevada culture.

CCW is common. Open Carry is legal and not unusual to see. A car is considered an extension of your home and you can conceal a gun in your car with no permit.

At the grassroots level people engage in and participate in shooting sports or practice for self defense. Hunting is a popular and substantial part of the rural economy.

Carson city (the state capital) has a shooting range in a public park. They let you shoot ANY type of weapon even FULL AUTO machine guns. It is free and open to the public during daylight hours.

Clark county where vegas is has the largest public shooting range in the country. - The Clark County Shooting Complex

http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/shootingcomplex

The people of Nevada not only like their guns, they invest public resources in providing facilities for the citizens to use them. It was surprising to me, at first, but NEVADA is not like any other state.

To Nevadans, banning assault rifles, is like banning golf clubs..dumb. At the end of the day, the reason Harry Reid said no was he needs to get re-elected. By his constituents. The state motto is "Battle Born" and the people live that way.

10 years on, the plan for war from someone who was there.




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