Syrians are suffering from the hands of both Pro-Assad camps and ISIS.

The process of destabilization in the middle east region which started with 2003 invasion of Iraq is now taking more deadly turns. Aleppo and other Syrian cities are facing genocides of people from pro-Assad forces backed by Russia and the Khomenist regime in Iran, and also from the hands of ISIS.

The countries which started this war mess in the middle east especially US, UK and the countries who supported them are not even accepting refugees.

It is the prime responsibility of OIC countries especially bigger countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey etc. to stand up and start a peace process in the region. At the moment USA, Russia and Iran are playing their super power game in Syria at the cost of innocent lives.

Saudi Arabia and other GCC cannot be trusted with any peace process either as they are playing their own power games at the cost of human lives in Yemen.

People around the world who believe in justice and humanity should raise their voice on the issues.

If the ongoing genocide in Syria doesn’t end then I am afraid that it will create more sectarian hate based wars in the region.

I hope some sense will prevail and someday in-sha-Allah we will see peace in the region.

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Erdogan, Turkey, ISIS, Russia and Syrian mess

After the downing of the Russian Jet when it violated the Turkish airspace, there seems to be a lot of cold war style propaganda against Turkey and its role in Syria. It seems there is a deliberate attempt to take down Turkey using the situation in Syria.

If a liberal and democratic Turkey goes down then it will empower groups like ISIS and create chaos in Middle East and surrounding regions including Europe. Erdogan is not perfect like any other leader of the world but it is stupid to think that he is in bed with ISIS even after ISIS killed hundreds in Ankara blasts. ISIS considers all democratic leaders and their voters as infidels and worthy of being killed including leaders in Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc so it will be really stupid for anyone to support a group which is committed to to kill you, takeover your countries and destroy your system. ISIS is a product of hatred and chaos created after 2003 Invasion, they have no ideological grounds except revenge, hatred and ignorance. They started as a splinter group of Al-Qaida and later joined by Saddam loyalists who were full of vengeance.

If NATO or Russian led alliance want to eliminate ISIS then they need to stop playing super power games in Syria like they played in Afghanistan which resulted in the creation of Al-Qaida type groups.

Before accusing others, Russia first needs to give answers about the downed Malaysian civilian jet and the way they are destabilizing Ukraine.

This whole Syrian game is fishy with no clarity of approach on how to tackle ISIS or Daesh. At the moment Pakistan and China both are doing the right thing by staying out of it despite their own allies pushing them into this mess.

Turkey made a mistake of jumping into this Syrian mess like Pakistan made by jumping into the Afghan mess. Now they are facing similar pressures to do more or accusations of being in bed with the terrorists like Pakistan was facing even after losing a lot of civilians and soldiers in this war.

Many Pakistanis seem to be falling for this game too, mainly due to sectarian or left/right political alignment. Instead of bringing sectarianism from the conflicts between a theocracy like Iran or a family dynasty like KSA, we need to go more towards liberal Muslim democracies like Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan and I hope Pakistan will be in the same or better league too. Things are not perfect in these countries but they seem to go in the right direction with the establishment of democratic processes, strong opposition culture and strong media.

Unfortunately, even in 21st century, we are stuck with theocracies, dictators like Assad or Al-Sissi and backward monarchies.

Reports of mass murders in Egypt by Fatah al Sisi and support to his regime by USA and Saudi Arabia

Recent reports of mass murder by Fattah al Sisi’s regime have exposed the hypocrisy of USA and its European allies for their commitment to democracy.USA and its allies in EU are still standing with the Egyptian dictator despite mass murders. No one expects any good from Saudi and UAE monarchy who have no regards for democracy, human rights and freedom. Situation in Egypt is becoming more like that of Syria where another dictator Bashar al Assad is killing people in hundreds with the support or Iran and Russia.

Its time for Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey,Syria and Central Asian countries to get their countries out of the influence of USA/Saudi Arabia who support mass murdering dictator in Egypt and Russia/Iran who support mass murdering dictator in Syria. Muslims have wasted a lot of time by taking sides in the affairs of these evil regimes in Iran, Saudi Arabia, USA and Russia.

Situations in Syria and Egypt should open up the eyes of freedom and justice loving people in Muslim world.

Democratic Centralization vs Rule of Law based Decentralization

Our political dynamics are changing drastically with new players emerging and old players losing their positions. We are also seeing a power struggle between so called Rightists vs Leftists or Seculars vs Theocrats and somewhere there are parties which place themselves in-between. People are even talking about Judicial Martial Law.

But over all out look shows that the focus is on putting together a centralized system with some aspects of democracy. Our feudal culture, history of martial laws and domination of state institutions have restricted our minds to run things from centre with iron fist or authoritarian ways.

What is lacking in this approach is the realization of our diversity in the society. We are a country with diversified ethnic, sectarian and other social classes. Many of us cite China as an example and consider their Democratic Centralization as an ideal concept for Pakistan. We need to know that China has a dominant socialist ideology and their culture is pretty much same throughout China. They have a civilization which can be called as a Chinese Civilization. On the other hand Pakistan doesn’t have a single Pakistani Civilization. Pakistan is on the meeting point of several civilizations on both sides of Indus and which show different cultural and demographic colors if we move from Karachi to K2.

We cannot have a same system for Karachi and FATA or Islamabad and Dera Bugti. Attempts were made by Military dictators like Zia, Musharraf and Ayub who tried to implement their personal ideologies on the whole country and ending up creating a mess. Similarly civilian feudal-corporatists also tried to implement their vision on the whole country and again added to the mess. Even those who talk about liberalism have their own sectarian, ethnic and social class prejudices backing their ideals.

We need a decentralized system where federal government has minimum authority to run defense, dispute resolution and few other things. Even with them a concept of voluntary involvement and local considerations need to be taken into account. We need a system where decision making is brought to the local level which will also ensure merit among different localities selecting their leaders. It is unfair for those who don’t elect a corrupt government but they also have to face the bad consequences of its actions. To keep things in tact we can have a constitutional setup where rules of engagements should be mentioned between different constituents of the country. In short we need a “Rule of Law based Decentralization”.

This decentralization should be in Governance, Legislation and Economics. This is not something impractical; we can see some colors of it in countries like United States or Australia. Obviously for that we need to consider the ideology which dominated at the time of the creation of the country which is also reflected in the Objective Resolution. If we talk about Islam then “Meesaq e Madina” can show us how Muslims and Jews made an agreement by accepting each other as a reality. Even in a centralized country like China, they had to make adjustments in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Even Russia has different Republics with some autonomy. In Pakistan’s case Quaid e Azam made agreements with our tribes which resulted in the tribes becoming part of Pakistan. These agreements allowed the tribal people to maintain their autonomy and also accept few fundamental laws of Pakistan. We also need a loose central structure to avoid the class clashes.

At the moment power is concentrated to center and everyone wants to control it either through the power of masses or power of gun. We even cannot afford a democratic system where 90% decides to suppress the remaining 10%. It will create the sense of alienation and hopelessness in the parties not in power and so can result in an undesirable retaliation which can be damaging for all.

We need to come out of the copycat mentality and be genuine in our approach as our problems are genuine and bit different from where we are trying to import the solutions.Mutual existence can only prevail through mutual acceptance of each other as a reality.

Note : A bit edited version is also available on http://blogs.thenewstribe.com/blog/66276/decentralization-a-solution/

Day That Shook the World

by Eric Margolis

In 1975, physicist Andrei Sakharov and a group of fellow Soviet academicians warned the Kremlin leadership that unless the nation’s ruinous defense spending was slashed and funds refocused on modernizing the nation’s decrepit, obsolete industrial base and its wretched state agriculture, the Soviet Union would collapse by 1990.

Their grim warning was prescient. Twenty years ago this week – 9 November, 1989 – boisterous German crowds forced open the hated Berlin Wall, Communist East Germany collapsed in black farce, and the once mighty Soviet Empire began to crumble.

This was one of modern history’s most dramatic and dangerous moments. No one knew if the dying Soviet Union would expire peacefully, or ignite World War III.

In November, 1989, the vast empire built by Stalin that stretched from East Berlin to Vladivostok was on its last legs. The USSR had 50,000 battle tanks and 30,000 nuclear warheads, but could not feed its people. Military spending consumed 20% of the economy. As I saw for myself while traveling around the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s, conditions were often primitive, even third world outside the big cities.

Afghanistan’s “mujahidin” had all but defeated the mighty Red Army. Poland’s Solidarity Union, secretly funded by Pope John Paul and the CIA through Panamanian shell companies, had risen in revolt. So, too, ever rebellious Hungarians, joined by Lithuanians and East Germans.

The old joke in Moscow was that the East Germans were the only people who could make Communism work. Now they were in revolt.

The reformist Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev had to make a fateful decision: allow events to take their course, or order the Red Army and KGB to crush the spreading uprisings – and run the risk of war with NATO, particularly so if the Warsaw Pact’s armies turned their guns against the Soviet occupation forces and fighting spread across the Inner German Border.

Unlike his brutal Soviet predecessors, Mikhail Gorbachev was a man of profound moral values, a genuine humanist and idealist who believed he could reform the USSR through democratic socialism and patient, open debate – his “glasnost and perestroika.”

After a violent incident staged by Communist hard-liners in the Baltic, President Gorbachev refused to use force against his own people.

But once fear of repression was removed, the Soviet Union, a nation of 120 languages spread over eleven time zones, shattered. Gorbachev simply could not control the ensuing whirlwind of nationalism his reforms had sown.

Today, most Russians revile Gorbachev for wrecking the Soviet Union. The sinister Communist era, including Stalin’s monstrous crimes, are being sugarcoated with nostalgia.

Russia’s Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.”

In truth, the Soviet Union was history’s most brutal, murderous tyranny that killed three times more victims than Hitler.

Gorbachev did not plan to destroy the Soviet Union but to reform and revitalize it. But by refusing to hold it together by force, he brought about its doom.

Gorbachev did the world a huge favor.

In any event, the Soviet Union was destined to crumble, Gorby or no Gorby. Like the old Ottoman Empire, the USSR could only survive by gobbling up its neighbors.

In 1989, the state that had run on virtual war footing since 1945, died of exhaustion. As Voltaire said of Prussia, the Soviet Union was an army, disguised as a state.

For me, Gorbachev was one of the greatest men of our time. He put international law, basic humanity, and civilized behavior before the demands of brute power. We must also salute Gorbachev’s chief lieutenant and powerhouse behind the reform movement, former Georgian KGB chief and Soviet Foreign Minister, Eduard Schevardnadze, who urged total de-communization and disarmament.

Later, as president of independent Georgia, Shevardnadze was overthrown – ironically – by a US-organized revolution.

Gorbachev purged hardeners from the Soviet military-industrial complex, vetoed an antimissile system, sharply downsized the Soviet military, and wisely ended the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, a lesson Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama has yet to learn.

But when Gorbachev and Shevardnadze sensibly sought total nuclear disarmament, President Ronald Reagan, obsessed by the unworkable Star Wars antimissile project, refused Russia’s offer that would have eliminated all nuclear weapons and missiles.

Other courageous Russians reformers who helped end the Cold War deserve to be remembered: Anatoly Chernayev; Georgi Shakhnazarov; former ambassador to Canada, Alexander Yakovlev; and Gorbachev’s brave, cerebral wife and confidante, Raisa.

Germany’s Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President H.W. Bush also merit kudos for their able management of the Cold war’s end. By contrast, Britain’s Margaret Thatcher shamefully relapsed into Europe’s evil old ways by trying to block German unification.

President Gorbachev kept begging the western powers to launch another Marshall Plan to rescue the dying Soviet Union and democratize it. Tragically, they did not. Instead, the Clinton administration chose to treat the new, battered Russia as a client state.

Communist die-hards launched a farcical, drunken coup against Gorbachev that was thwarted by the courage of the then still sober Russian president, Boris Yeltsin; Aviation Marshall Yevgeny Shaposhnikov; and – a story that is still little known in the west – KGB moderates.

In 1990, I was the first western journalist ever allowed into the dreaded Lubyanka Prison, the headquarters of KGB, to interview senior KGB officers of the elite First Directorate (from whence came Vlad Putin) who had turned against the Communist Party and were seeking to reform Russia.

In the end, Gorbachev was left the leader of a nation that had ceased to exist, the USSR, the object of popular wrath, a great statesman without a country, a Russian King Lear on a blasted heath.

Twenty years later, the world owes Gorbachev an enormous debt of gratitude for ending the Cold War, and freeing Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. Thank our lucky stars Gorbachev was in power when the Soviet Union met its inevitable collapse – or we could have faced World War III.

Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev showed that once in a millennium a great political leader can rise above the law of the jungle.

November 10, 2009

Source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis168.html

Blogger Jailed For Anti-Bush Remarks

The world has not yet come out of the medieval suppression when people either got killed or get imprisoned for life if they are found guilty for exercising their freedom and criticize the monarchs but this time it has taken a leap and taken a new form of national security policies.

Secret agencies in the name of national security can suppress anyone’s rights and freedom.

Civil society in USA should take a serious note of these events where innocent people like
Dr. Aafia and her children or old journalists like Nayyar Zaidi become easy targets of the
parallel governments in the for security agencies. The prime reasons are similar in these cases
either speaking for justice, belonging to particular race or religion or it can be the case
of just fitting in the profile.

Recent event is of an Indian blogger who was jailed for just making anti-bush remarks over the
internet.

Vikram with a highly educated background was pursuing PhD in cancer research and holds an
excellent academic record.

Civil society and human rights organizations of the world particularly of USA should
demand justice for these victims.

———————————————————————————————————————–

Student jailed indefinitely over alleged anti-Bush remark

Report by Russia Today

Source: http://www.russiatoday.com/Top_News/2009-10-15/indian-student-jail-bush.html

Internet crime is rapidly becoming a major focus for authorities around the world, but the case of an Indian student, jailed in the US nearly three years ago, is being seen as a major test of human rights in the country.

He was locked up for allegedly threatening the American president George W. Bush via his internet blog.

Before ending up in prison in 2006, Vikram Buddhi was an award-winning student at Purdue University in the United States, pursuing a double PhD in cancer research. His parents in India have been trying to prove his innocence for over three years.

“On February 3, 2006, the Secret Service made a formal report saying Vikram Buddhi is not a threat to the US President or any Secret Service protectees,” says the student’s father Dr. Buddhi Kota Subbarao. “Suddenly, on April 14, they arrest him. There is no new development between these dates. So having said he’s not a threat, how he could become a threat in April 2006?”

Dr. Subbarao is a retired Navy captain and nuclear scientist. His son was eventually found guilty formally, in 2007, of threatening the US President. However, the length of sentence has still not been announced and, without that, the family cannot appeal. Dr. Subbarao believes the entire trial was a miscarriage of justice.

Dr. Subbarao and his son
Dr. Subbarao and his son

“The jury was not informed of the law, the defense attorney was told to shut up, and the jury’s questions explaining their confusion – the judge didn’t want to clear the confusion, so the jury got fed up and said guilty,” goes on Dr. Subbarao, “So all these show the trial is unfair, a mistrial must be declared.”

Vikram, 37, is accused of starting a web discussion, calling on Iraqis to take revenge on the US by attacking President George W. Bush. Vikram’s supporters believe he is innocent, because the internet trail does not prove he posted the message.

“He’s been accused of threatening to kill President Bush. How did he threaten – did he buy a weapon, did he write a letter ‘I want to kill you’, did he buy a ticket to Washington DC? What did he do?” demands the student’s lawyer Somnath Bharti.

In fact, Vikram’s family believes that he was targeted because a few months earlier he had publicly spoken out against possible racial discrimination at Indiana’s Purdue University. Vikram defended the case of a black student who was expelled for cheating, by highlighting the fact that three white students, guilty of the same act, were not.

Lawyer Somnath Bharti is sure that “Vikram is an outstanding student who stood against injustice, somebody who speaks up, and such people are not liked.”

Meanwhile, teachers and students of the elite Indian Institute of Technology are demanding the release of Vikram, a former student. They want the Indian government to put pressure on the American administration to look at the legality of the trial.

“The government has done nothing for this boy. Even the basic minimum that should have been done for an Indian citizen who is an alien abroad,” points out student Vijaya M.J. “We’re actually dealing with the US which is supposed to be a friendly country right now. When we have [Barack] Obama and Manmohan [Singh, Indian Prime Minister] shaking hands, and one of our students, completely in an unjust way being arrested and jailed in the US is completely unacceptable.”

They argue web postings are protected by the First Amendment of the US constitution that defends the right to freedom of speech.

“Even though so much is written about the rule of law and freedom of speech, [Americans] in fact live in a great deal of fear. Not only from terrorists, but also from their own security departments. Now, anybody who says anything about the American [president] will face the same fate,” Dr. Subbarao says.

What started out as two concerned parents demanding justice for their son is fast becoming an important precedent for the very nature of free speech in contemporary America. For a nation that prides itself on basic human rights and often lectures those who do not comply, it could soon face tough questions over its own laws of liberty.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwfzKX1Uu4s&feature=player_embedded