Echo

 

Posted by Rezwan

Israel - A friend or foe of US?

Charley Reese asks a question:

What country in the world poses the greatest danger to the future of the United States?
He answers : Israel.


He defends his logics:

How could a little country drain more than $100 billion from the U.S. Treasury? How could a little country attack and try to sink a U.S. Navy ship in international waters and avoid any kind of congressional investigation? How can a little country openly brag to third parties that it controls the U.S. Congress? And partner, Israel does.

He ends with:

The question for Americans is this: How long do you want to bleed lives and treasure because your corrupt politicians have sold their souls to the lobby of a foreign country now led by a fanatic right-wing extremist?

Read the rest here.

Thanks to Pedram for the link.

 

Posted by Rezwan

Second version of a draft U.N. resolution on Iraq... coming soon..

(reports CNN)

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on CNN's "Late Edition" that a second version of a draft U.N. resolution on Iraq would be ready within days, based on conversations between U.S. officials and other world leaders. "It would involve the creation of a multinational force-cover for the troops that are there."

Powell said such a force might comprise a division of 10,000 to 15,000 troops. Among the countries considering sending troops are Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan and South Korea, but India has backed off.

According to govt. spokesman Bangladesh will be willing to take part in the peacekeeping in Iraq only after a clear U.N. mandate (reports AP). But the government fears it would lose public support if it were to send peacekeepers to Iraq - the report adds.

 

Posted by Rezwan

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY


To Climb steep hills requires slow pace at first

- Williams Shakespeare

 

Posted by Rezwan

Iraq and War - A Comparison of Views

Awesome Library, the K-12 education directory has put up a link to backgrounds of Iraq war and comparison of views for and against US & UK's siege of Iraq (without UN mandate). Check it here.

The effort summarizes:
We have learned the consequences of President Bush's decisions:

The people of Iraq are rid of Saddam and the people of Iraq, and most people of the world, find that to be a very good outcome. However, other outcomes have not been so good. The people of Iraq are under U.S. and British control and occupation.

The international community has refused to participate in rebuilding or securing Iraq under U.S. rules. This leaves the people of Iraq with growing hostility against the U.S. and U.S. citizens with gigantic bills of $4 billion per month, with no end in sight, just to secure Iraq. There is no international effort under way to rebuild Iraq. Because the U.S. invaded before gaining U.N. approval, acting illegally under international law, the U.S. and Britain are left with the entire bill for rebuilding Iraq for the forseeable future.

No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq or are likely to be found.


Whereas many pro-war minds are still trying to justify the war. I wonder whether their efforts will ever be more plausible than the options of not going to war. Time will decide that but the millions of lives effected or vanished will not be the same as before.

Meanwhile Mongolia has sent troops to Iraq as per US request (reports Kathy)

 

Posted by Rezwan

Cancer threat estimation

The Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention has put up an website-tool to estimate your risk of cancer and provides personalized tips for prevention.

It doesn't tell you if you'll get cancer or not. Anyone can use Your Cancer Risk, but it's most accurate for people age 40 and over who have never had any type of cancer.

I agree to the statement "the best way to fight cancer is to keep it from starting". So act now before its too late.

Thanks to Uncertainty for the link.

 

Posted by Rezwan

Gush Shalom - The Peace Bloc

Let me introduce you to Gush Salom (Translated from Hebrew, the name means "The Peace Bloc"), the hardcore of Israeli Peace Movement.

The Gush was founded by Mr. Uri Avnery and others in 1993. Gush Shalom is an extra-parliamentary organization, independent of any party or other political grouping. Some of its activists do belong to political parties, but the Gush is not aligned to any particular party.

The primary aim of Gush Shalom is to influence Israeli public opinion and lead it towards peace and conciliation with the Palestinian people, based on the following principles:

* Putting an end to the occupation - Accepting the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent and sovereign State of Palestine in all the territories occupied by Israel in 1967,

* Reinstating the pre-1967 "Green Line"

* Establishing Jerusalem as the capital of the two states

* Recognizing in principle the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees

* Safeguarding the security of both Israel and Palestine by mutual agreement and guarantees.

* Striving for overall peace between Israel and all Arab countries and the creation of a regional union.

I am really impressed by Gush Shalom's aim and activities. Read more from their site. Hope they can achieve their objectives.

 

Posted by Rezwan

RANDOM LEFT-WINGER COMMENTS
----------------------------------------
"The $400+ billion military budget is a colossal misplaced priority. Why does the US have to spend more than the next 23 countries combined? Does that make US or the rest of the world a safer place?

Bush is asking for $87 billion for Iraq.

This is on top of the $75 billion he got last year for the war on Iraq.

That is a total of $162 billion.

The total funding for the National Cancer Institute was $4.6 billion in FY2003.

Cancer will kill more than 550,000 Americans in 2003.

In 2003, NCI funding for prostate cancer, which will kill 29,000 men this year was $311 million. That is the equivalent of 3 days in Iraq costs.

How many of your friends and family were killed by Saddam? How many by cancer?" - Steve

-------------------------------------------------------------------

"A textbook definition of colonialism is to use the resources of the host to enrich the parasite.

That's what we're seeing here. A war of colonialism (in Iraq). We are preferrring our home industry vs theirs. We are selling to outsiders what is not ours to sell (theft)."

-------------------------------------------------------------------

"This is a really open act of piracy by the Bush administration:
1. invade a country
2. seize control of its administration
3. privatize its industries and give the contracts to your friends."


- Source Eschaton

 

Posted by Rezwan

Further talks on pragmatism & sanity

Kaveh has written about the mentality of his fellow harvard students:-

In a political discussion in the common room of my dormitory, i was nearly lynched for asserting the "absurd" and "preposterous" "conspiracy theory" that the war in iraq was not about weapons of mass destruction. i was almost crucified for suggesting that it might have been about oil, and that certain oil interests in the white house have benefited from the war.

somehow, they had not heard that the world was in an uproar against this war. they had missed the massive protests everywhere around the globe.


He finds it tragic that some of these best & brightest students will be the policy makers of US tomorrow.

Now, thats a dangerous sign.

 

Posted by Rezwan

Where has pragmatism and sanity gone!

I know the recent atrocities and terrorism against US, specially those after 9/11, has inflicted a deep fear among the general US citizens. The widespread Islamic fundamentalism and their savage killings has made people think that Islam is their enemy. They name it retaliation in the name of self defense where Islam does not permit killing others and it is allowed only in case of self defense. You see that these opportunist terrorists and fundamentalists have their own agenda (like being ruler of a country etc.) and use Islam's cause in their doing.

I recently came across the blog "A collection of thoughts" by Jennifer Martinez. She has a list of all atrocities against US citizens since 1979 and thinks:-

I ask you, my fellow Americans, how much more are you willing to take? For America to live, Islam must die. Those who follow the cult of Islam are incapable of staying in their own countries and keeping their paws to themselves. They continue to kill, blood and death are all they worship. Attacks by terrorists are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. We are in a fight to the death. Either America will destroy the terrorists or the terrorists will keep destroying Americans. Let us strive to be like the heroes of Flight 93 -- to have the moral clarity to see what must be done, and the strength of will to do it.

She also says:

War based on the notion of Islamic destiny is underway at this moment in the Philippines, Indonesia, Sinkiang, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Macedonia, Algeria, the Sudan, Sub-Saharan Africa, and throughout the world in the form of terrorism without limitation or humanitarian nuance—all in service of a conception far more coherent than the somnolent Western nations seem to comprehend.

But what she doesn't have is the list of the atrocities US did to Iraq, Libya & other countries and its strong unethical support to Israel which invoked fundamentalists. She is making this war very personal where the whole sane world is against those fundamental terrorists and opportunist miscreants.

Raging an war is easy when US has the modern weapons and trained soldiers and you have to overhaul/dispense the weapons after a long interval. Why not target the countries listed above one by one and kill humanity.

 

Posted by Rezwan

Turningtables

Seargent Sean of ..turningtables... blog is finally at home. His deployment in Iraq has ended. I don't know whether he will continue writing in his blog, but I think he should continue as he has the habit of keeping journals. Snippets from his latest posts:-

there are so many questions brewing inside of me...i am more confused now then when we arrived almost 8 months ago...to many...

..for all those that would question me and my ideals...i can only say that i hope each and everyone one of your children joins the military...and deploys to a far off third world country...and watches the american might destroy another force and nation in the name of freedom...i hope they see the insanity of war...the madness all around them...and i hope they return home to you...alive and with all their limbs...more confused then when they left...just like me..my walk is almost over...but the journey is far from complete...


Here is an interview of Sean taken by Paul Woodward of The war in context blog.

 

Posted by Rezwan

The war in Iraq was a huge mistake!

Blogger Diana decided to call it a day for personal reasons. But she also admits:-

...a number of factors combined to convince me that the war in Iraq was a huge mistake. I felt...embarassed to admit it publicly, but I realized that there was no honor in sticking to a point of view due to ego.

She thinks:-

The Andrew Sullivan wing of the blogosphere is trying (and failing) to keep war fever at a pitch. Every post, every day, is an attempt to polarize, to paint those who disagree with him about this misadventure as traitors and heretics.

She ends in her farewell post with quoting from email sent to her by a Muslim nonbelieving pen-pal, from a non-Arab country. Excerpts of which are:-

America did the Islamists a great favour. They removed a
secular Arab govt which is strongly anti-Islamists, killed innocent
Muslims,etc. which gives more reasons to justify Al-Qaeda to attack America.
There is absolute no justification to attack Iraq coz' Iraq and Saddam did nothing. By removing Saddam's regime, there is now one less secular Middle
Eastern state. The new Iraq will be Islamist just like Saudi Arabia, Iran,
Sudan etc. Even moderate Muslims hate America now. More and more Muslims
will be rallying to the Islamists like Osama. What was the Bush
administration thinking?


Read the rest here.

 

Posted by Rezwan

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS

As the Hurricane ISABEL is threatening the US East Coast, Dave Barry recommends his hilarious but usefull hurricane preparedness guide for the residents of that area. Read from here.

Find the forecast computer model from here.

FILM FOR THE PEOPLE  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

A week long international film festival is opening tomorrow in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The festival will screen 56 films - 46 foreign and 10 Bangladeshi - in 20 cinema theaters and cultural centers in Dhaka and Narayanganj. The slogan of the festival is "Film for the People".

The films from 31 countries have been divided into eight categories -- Bangladesh Panorama, International Showcase, Classic Showcase, Popular Showcase, Winner of the Don Quixote, International Competition, Focus and Retrospective.

Looking forward to watching some of the movies if I can spare some time from my hectic schedule. This is a great opportunity for the people here, who have otherwise the option to watch only sloppy Bengali movies and a few Hollywood blockbusters in Theaters. No Hindi movies are shown in Theater even though they are immensely popular here. Its depressing that the foreign English movies come to Theater generally after a year from their release (you don't have to wait that long if you rent a DVD/VCD version). You can get the DVD/VCDs of the Hindi and English movies as soon as they are released (most of them pirated).

 

Posted by Rezwan

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In death the many becomes one; in life the one becomes many. Religion will be one when God is dead. -Rabindranath Tagore

 

Posted by Rezwan

The Bush black hole

By Joseph E. Stiglit, a Nobel laureate in economics, is Professor of Economics at Columbia University and was Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to President Clinton and Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank.

In 2001, President George W. Bush misled the American people. He said that a tax cut that was not designed to stimulate the economy would stimulate it, and the American people believed him. But it did not. He told Americans that the large surpluses that were among President Bill Clinton's legacies meant that the US could afford to cut taxes massively. Wrong again. He did not warn Americans how dubious such estimates can be.

In 2003 President Bush misled the American people about the economy once more. Weeks after persuading Congress to pass another tax cut-in some ways even more inequitable than the first-his administration revealed how bad the fiscal position had become. The $230 billion surplus inherited from Clinton had turned into a $450 billion deficit.

Now, after handing billions to rich Americans through tax cuts that almost exclusively benefit them, the Bush administration is passing the hat around, asking for contributions from other countries to help pay for the cost of the Iraq war. Even setting aside the other dubious aspects of Bush's Iraq policy, the conjunction of misguided giveaways to America's richest people with an international US begging bowl is hardly likely to evoke an outpouring of sympathy.

Meanwhile, as all of this happens, the US trade deficit mounts. America, the world's richest country, evidently can't live within its means, borrowing more than a billion dollars a day. As the US thrashes around for someone to blame, it was inevitable that it would focus on China, with its large trade surplus, just as the twin fiscal and trade deficits of the Reagan era led to a focus on Japan two decades ago. But this is blame shifting, nothing more. America's fiscal and trade deficits are intimately linked. If a country saves less than it invests, it must borrow the difference from abroad, and foreign borrowing and trade deficits are two sides of the same coin.

Read more here.


THATS WHAT YOU GET FOR KILLING TIGERS  

Posted by Rezwan in

A Bangladesh court recently convicted and sentenced five zookeepers to 14 years in prison for killing three tigers and planning to sell their skins.

Three adult royal Bengal tigers died in November 1996 after eating poisoned meat at a zoo in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka. And this is something you don't expect from the protectors of the endangered species.

Police charged 14 zoo employees with killing the tigers, which are a protected species and a national symbol. But 9 of them were acquitted for lack of evidence. They were trying to prove that it was an accidental death.

Tiger skins are a priced collectors items, and tiger parts are used in traditional medicines in many Asian countries. There are only about 300 Royal Bengal Tigers left in Bangladesh.

This verdict is a milepost in protecting these endangered species.

ARMED FORCES FOR PEACEKEEPING  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

"In Peace or in War, We are everywhere for our Country" - a slogan of Bangladesh Army.

Bangladesh has a very positive record in international peacekeeping and is a leading provider of troops. So far Bangladesh Army has deployed 44,674 soldiers in different UNPSO programs. You can find the detailed chart here.

During a recent visit, US Secretary of State Colin Powell welcomed Bangladesh to take part in humanitarian efforts in post-war Iraq. "This is a matter for Bangladesh government to decide. It's not a demand from the United States," Powell told in a joint press conference with his Bangladesh counterpart M Morshed Khan.

However Bangladesh govt.'s view is that it will participate in any peace keeping effort in Iraq under the banner of UN. No wonder it will think twice before deploying troops to Iraq considering the domestic & international pressures against that.

Bangladesh supports the US & international efforts on war on terrorism.

IN SEARCH OF TRAVEL LOGS  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

I like reading travel logs since my childhood. The adventures in distant places, descriptions of people, other cultures, language, food, landscapes and mountains always fascinate me. I am also fond of travel documentaries aired by BBC & National Geographic TV Channels (Special mention: The silk road, Michael Palin's adventures & 100$ taxi ride).

So far I have come across to only a few web logs, which falls in the travel log category. I will try to keep a watch on these for some time before I make any qualitative judgment on them. Here are a few worth mentioning:-

Lost in Transit :- A group web log contributed by 18 expatriates and emigrants around the world, writing about their experiences.

Nathan's African Adventure :- Adventures of Nathan Penner, who is working in a small church in Gaborone, Botswana.

The flying Penguin :- Virtual tour in South Africa.

Fukuma Hair Flap : Scott's daily adventures while living in Japan on the JET Program.

More to follow soon......

 

Posted by Rezwan

THE ULTIMATE IN TIME WASTING!

Blogging light cos I am so darn busy.

Meanwhile those who have come to waste some time in my blog shouldn't be disappointed.

I have got the link to the ultimate in time wasting - The Perpetual bubblewrap!

Go there and let the hours waste away. Happy rolling.

 

Posted by Rezwan

HAHA!

Wanna test your patience? I have got an effective tool. Click on this.

Wait! Think it over before you click! Do you really want to put your patience to the limit? Don't blame me later. I warned you.

SNIPPETS TO PONDER  

Posted by Rezwan in

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.


- W. H. Auden

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.


- W. H. Auden

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
We wear the mask that grins and lies.


- Paul Laurence Dunbar

It is VERY IMPORTANT
to take care of your cell phone!
Do you know how?

The best way is to drop it in
a deep pot of chicken fat
and bring to a boil.
Simmer for two hours.
Let cool.


-James Stevenson