Thursday, June 26, 2008

South Korea resume US. beef imports.

Once again, the South Korean government just decided to lift the suspension of the imported US beef .

A ruling party spokeswoman told reporters on June 24: "At the high-level party-government meeting today, it was decided that the agriculture minister will request the publication of the legal notice today and it will be published in the government newsletter tomorrow."

Once that happens, US beef that has been in cold storage in South Korea for months could then be sent for sale.

Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who took office in February, said that he backed the deal to help secure passage of a free trade agreement with the US, thus boosting South Korea’s economy.

It seems that he thinks that all the public will be convinced from the televised apology he made last week.

But will this replace the possibility of new infections of mad cow disease? I doubt. We only see a spokesman of the ruling party, or the ministry of agriculture or even the president himself talking and apologizing; but we did not see the minister of health; he did not appear to say anything useful about this crisis.

So what’s the point of the governmental resignation that has been declared few weeks ago, if the government itself did not learn from the strong opposing protests? Was it all just a drama played by the government and the president?

Sounds like it.

The aim of the American and South Korean government is only the highest supply and demand that can be gained; no matter the status of public health.

The government will politically pay a lot — over and over again — if they ignored public health.

Koreans know very well that Mr. Lee is not the right person to rule their country. He is even on record as saying he is "the CEO of South Korea." I do not think that South Koreans refer to themselves as employees. We are not here in a country that is ruled by a totalitarian regime. It should regain its democracy again.

Koreans also know that the imports of the US beef was not going to be ended, instead it was only suspended to convince Koreans that everything is under control and in the public’s best interests. But it just was a temporary suspension to remedy weeks of demonstrations and opposition to the government.

Bad economy:

Again, the president wants to concentrate on the economy rather than public health. But unfortunately, he failed in both. He vowed to bring economic growth of 6 percent to the country in 2008 — but instead the country is battling a global downturn and surging inflation. That’s why he also could face a backlash over worsening economic conditions in Korea.

Why Korea?

Koreans should ask the government why it wants to keep importing the US beef? As Americans themselves do not consume beef that is older than 30 months. And Europe as whole do not accept at all the US beef. It seems that only the American and South Korean governments will benefit from this agreement. But for sure not the public who want to feel safe.

The united states should work on gaining trust and respect from the world. But working only on gaining big economic supplies, will create a lack of trust in the US government within Koreans.
They also stop trusting their own government.

Finally, koreans should not forget that South Korea’s ruling party suffered a heavy defeat in its first electoral test since President Lee took office, amid a row over the beef imports. And the government also should think about what is beneficial for its citizens to prevent any future crisis that could possibly re-affect the government itself and the country’s democracy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A look at Bush's European tour.

What will happen to the war on terror when Bush leaves office?

US President George W. Bush left Washington on Monday for what is likely to be his last official diplomatic tour in Europe. His itinerary includes three major countries: Germany, France and the Britain. He is probably trying to ensure that Europe will continue in his "war on terror," specifically focusing on Iran, after he hands over the reins of government next January to the winner of this year's election. To put our hand on a probable future European action toward the war on terror, we had to turn to some new surveys, and then analyze them.
Of course, this year's American presidential election will have a major effect on the results we will gain. But that's probably and only if the Democratic Party won the election.


According to Gallup's annual World Affairs survey, today's level of favorability of Americans toward Britain is a bit lower than it was from February 2005 to February 2007, when Britain was led by Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was one of Bush's strongest allies in the Iraq war. That's because the current prime minister, Gordon Brown, did not show until now such a real strong support toward the war on terror and specifically Iran.


As Germany was a leading adversary of the United States over the decision to go to war with Iraq in 2003, the perceptions of Americans toward it was more unfavorable then it is in 2008, because Chancellor Angela Merkel is considered a strong supporter for the American warnings to Iran.


Although the former French president, Jack Chirac, was against the war on terror, which led to an unfavorable view of France by Americans, the latest change in French leadership may reflect a positive improvement in these views because of the friendly relationship between Bush and President Nicolas Sarkozy.

As the war on terror is currently focused on Iraq, so we can come here to different opposite results.

Either Americans support the war on Iraq,
Americans do not support the war on Iraq, but they need the support of their government's policy from other countries to make them feel that their government is doing right.

When we know that in 2008, 63 percent of Americans feel that the US has made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, we can conclude that Americans do really need foreign support of their government's policy over Iraq, which will lead them to feel that their government is doing the right work on the war on terror.

That's what the statistics really showed, that most Americans -- about 67 percent -- do not trust their government.

Of course, this distrust in the government leads to unsafe feelings among most Americans.

All democratic governments need the support and trust of its citizens, so what are the possibilities for Americans to regain their feelings of being safe?

During the first week of June, Americans continued to show near-unanimity in that the economy continues to deteriorate, with 89 percent of those making less than $90,000 a year saying things are getting worse and 83 percent of those making $90,000 or more saying the same.
- Because most of America's economy is focused on the war on terror, less focus on this war's economy will be appropriate to improve the economic level of most of the Americans.

- Less focus on the war's economy will totally improve the focus on internal national security.

- Also, less focus on the war will decrease the probable amount of feedback from terrorists on the United States.

This is only if the US has ended the war on Iraq, or at least less focused on it.

Finally, if American Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is really planning to end the war on Iraq and invest the savings in internal affairs in the United States economy, I assume that Europe will follow him in ending this war, because nowadays Europe cannot continue in such a war without the support of the world's strongest political leader -- the US.

Film Depicts Conditions for Gays in Egypt

Queen Boat raid in Cairo revisited

A new private Egyptian film company, the Egyptian Underground Film Society, has announced its first production: "Toul Omri" ("All my life") by Maher Sabry.

The film will premiere at Frameline, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival from June 19-29 -- one of the world's oldest and largest gay film festivals in the world.

The gay men in Sabry's film face persecution and discrimination, specifically in the wake of the Queen Boat raid in Cairo in 2001, during which 52 men were arrested in the cruise ship's disco. They were later tried in a national security court.

One of the men arrested was Sabry's roommate.

Filmed over three years in Cairo and California, the production faced budget problems and depended on volunteer work and the assistance of the gay community.

Sabry, a gay activist who now resides in the Bay Area, earned the Felipa de Souza Award in 2002 from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission for alerting the world to the Queen Boat arrests and helping those arrested. He founded the Egyptian Underground Film Society in 2005 with a group of artists and intellectuals who seek a creative outlet without the restrictions of censorship and conservative production values.

The title of the film, "All My Life," is based on the title of an Egyptian song from the 1930s by Mohamad Abdel-wahab. The song speaks of loneliness, and the search for a soul mate. The song is played briefly during the movie to remind Egyptians of an age when society was more liberal and private life more private.

Previously in Egyptian film, gay characters have held only minor roles, as in "The Bathhouse of Malatily" (1973), "Alexandria … Why?" (1978), "Mendiants et Orgueilleux" (1991), "Marcides" (1993) and, recently, "The Yacoubian Building" (2007).

According to human rights groups in Egypt, there are no protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. For those arrested for homosexual activity, Egyptian politicians routinely call either for their execution or for their relocation into prisons and mental institutions until they are reformed.

Same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships are all prohibited by law. Reports suggest that if such a relationship becomes public, the police may use it as evidence in a criminal indictment for the various laws against immorality.

Egyptian human rights organizations are fearful of defending sexual minorities.

Sabry has said, "We all build fences around ourselves to protect ourselves from pain; that's why it's easy, when we see others treated unjustly, to assume that they must have done something to deserve punishment. It's especially easy if they believe differently from us or live a lifestyle that we do not approve. Then it comes around to us, and others say the same, and so on until we all know what it feels like to be oppressed."

Egypt, Sabry's film will probably be attacked by Islamists in the parliament and conservative religious people, as happened after the screening of "The Yacoubian Building," when a petition to remove the scenes that featured a gay man was circulated. A move was also made to ban that movie and to hand over to the court everyone related to it.

Biofuels and the Global Food Crisis

A look at the causes, effects and solutions

A few days ago, during the FAO summit, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said biofuel is not the cause of the world food crisis; he countered that using biofuels will eliminate the deadly results of global warming.

Causes and Effects:

To put our hand on the real causes and effects of this food crisis, I had to turn to some researches and statistics.

According to Gallup (a global research-based consultancy), even before this current crisis, affording food was a challenge for many. In Africa, in the past 12 months, about 54 percent did not have enough money to buy food they needed.

This percentage could not be considered as a big number in Africa. But when we know that an African country such as Liberia had about 79 percent that did not have enough money to buy food they needed, so we are really faced by a serious problem.

That's in contrast to Europe which didn't have more than 35 percent that had problems about buying foods; that's in Maldova.

According to the World Bank, the world's poor spend an average of 50 percent to 75 percent of their income on food; which could explain why food inflation hits them the hardest and the most. At least, that's one of the causes.

But saying that biofuels are the only cause of this crisis, is not true in my opinion. That's because we still have several major causes such as:
1. World population growth.
2. Global Warming.
3. Petroleum price increases .

- World population has grown from 1.6 billion in 1900 to an estimated 6.6 billion in 2007 while world agriculture is decreasing for industrial means.
- The rise of earth temperature leads to a sea level rise of 110 to 770 millimeters between 1990 and 2100 which will destroy many agriculture lands.

- Even the rise in the price of oil has in some instances doubled the costs of fertilizers within the six months before April, 2008.


In China, the government is making a biofuel that gives a capacity for about 16 percent of the nation's passenger cars; while in Europe, the European union has set the goal that for 2010 that each member state should achieve at least 5.75 percent biofuel usage of all used traffic fuel.

But in 2006 in the United States, president George W. Bush said in the state of the union speech, that the U.S. should replace 75 percent of imported oil by 2025 by alternative sources of energy including biofuels.


It seems while the world's poor spend an average of 50 percent to 70 percent of their income on food, so education should take a serious place in their lives, at least to know how much should they spend on food and other needs.

We should also increase the capacity of global agriculture, to co-exist with industries. While what is really happening now, is using agriculture just for industrials means.

It also seems that family planning should take place, not only in the third world countries, but also in the developed ones. That will be too hard without the existence of developed and modern scientific education specially in Africa and the Arab world which lag in science and education. Maybe it will take time, but it is necessary to save the future of our planet.
Most of the major places on earth that are full of oil, are also full of unnecessary wars to control that oil, which led to the rise of its price within the whole world. Maybe if Barak Obama had the chance to be the next American president, it will be much possible to end these wars.

We can see that it is a network that is all inter-connected.

The question is, are biofuels really useful during this current crisis?

Return to President Mugabe when he mentioned that biofuels are safe and could decrease the global warming. It is very clear that global warming is a major cause of current crisis and also future crisis.

So in my opinion, world governments should have a futuristic view; they should fight against the causes of global warming, rather than the effects, which is the crisis itself. Maybe this will cost us a lot, but it is necessary, and it also could be considered as necessary evil because it could cost us some lives.

But if paying some lives is necessary to save future lives, so it should happen. It is a risky war.

So if the biofuel is a weapon for fighting against global warming, so let it be.

Also, it is well known that there are several alternative fuels. One of them has been totally forgotten; which is the Alcohol fuel which has been used throughout history. It is a type of fossil fuels which is found within the top layer of the earth's crust.

It is easier to get than oil because it exists with larger capacities around the globe, and it is also safer for global warming.

We can also use the power of winds. It is limited, but it can co-exist with other types of fuels.

Finally, it seems that there are many fuel alternatives against global warming, but what is needed is such a futuristic view like the President Mugabe had, to know real causes and future effects, to help us to determine which way we should seek to help humanity using the lowest possible costs.

What Is Behind Islamism in Turkey?

A look at the probable effects of the growth of Islamism in Turkey

The protests in Turkey by thousands of Muslims attacking the constitutional court for blocking government moves to allow college students to wear Muslim headscarves was somehow predictable.


Turkey was the head of the Ottoman Empire for nearly half a millennium. Then, nearly 100 years ago, Kemal Ataturk changed Turkey's identity from Islamism to secularism. He succeeded because the former empire had become very conservative and radical -- a clear sign that its end was near.

The Turks did not accept the new regime for the sake of secularism; they accepted it to end the rule of the Ottoman Empire.


When secularism was established in 1923 the Turkish people were thought to believe that it was the best for the nation, but in reality it was just handed to them on a plate. They hadn't fought for it.

When the majority of Turks voted for the current Islamic ruling party in last year's elections they did not think about how much secularism was worth as a ruling and societal regime.

Only the government know that secularism was meant to:
(1) put an to end the rule of the Ottoman Empire, which was led by an autocratic caliph
(2) put an end to religious discrimination, which hampered progress.

More recently, secularism represented Turkey's best chance to become a member in the European Union.

Probable Effects:

What's happening now in Turkey -- the ideological conflict between secularism and Islamism -- is hurting its goal of joining the EU. The idea of a becoming a religious state should be totally erased from the Turkish consciousness, for no reason other than that it is impossible for Europe today to accept into its fold any nation based on religious ideas.

There are two sides in Turkey. The court will probably ban the ruling party soon because it fears the party's influence over the country's citizens. But this will not be the end. Another Islamic party will likely appear to take its place. That's because the aim of fundamental Islamism is to rule the world. All the Islamic parties and movements are connected and helping each other.

According to the CIA World Factbook, 99.8 percent of Turkey's population is Muslim. There are three non-Muslim minority religious communities -- Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Orthodox Christians and Jews, forming 0.2 percent. Most Muslims in Turkey are Sunnis -- about 75 percent. Those belonging to the second largest Muslim sect are Alevis or Nasiris, and form a significant chunk of the rest. What does that mean?

It means that if another Islamic party appears in Turkey to replace the current one it will have a majority of the voters, as happened a year ago.

Such a repetitive situation could create a new Islamic fundamental consciousness in Turkey. A return to secularism will grow more difficult and Turkey will no longer be considered a European country geographically. Also, foreign relations suffer from mistrust.

It also could lead to the migration of Jews currently in Turkey, which could become a sensitive issue with Israel. What's more, the conflict with the Kurds will increase if Turkey becomes an Islamic nation.

Finally, it is important for the Turkish people to know the cost of standing beside a religious party. They should not forget what secularism did for them, their culture, their economy, their tourism and their nation. They should learn from other experiences; they should remember the Ottoman Empire and the European Dark Ages. Then for sure, they will know how great liberal secularism is.

Mugabe; the Pan-African leader!

Why Africans will support him?!

I remember when London’s "The Daily Telegraph" criticised the Zimbabwean president "Robert Mugabe" for comparing himself to Hitler, mentioning that: "This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold."

If Mugabe believes that Hitler was seeking Justice, sovereignty, and independence for his people; so what is the world waiting for?!

In my previous article about Mugabe’s speech on Biofuels, i saw that he might have a futuristic view for agreeing on the use of biofuels to fight against global warming which is considered as a major cause for the global food crisis.

But that does not mean at all a control of the distribution of food within his people to fight against "the Movement for Democratic Change" opposition party, or even a fight against any enemy!

Human rights watch has published yesterday a new report about the Zimbabwean’s regime violence, not only against the MDC, but also against normal citizens.

It explains that the Zimbabwean government’s campaign of violence MDC has extinguished any chance of a free and fair presidential runoff on June 27, 2008. Human Rights Watch has confirmed at least 36 politically motivated deaths and 2,000 victims of violence using armed forces, police, war veterans, and youth miltia. This led the citizens to fear from voting for either the MDC or Mugabe’s government, or they might be killed or at least get beaten from one of them.

In my view, this will create a new spiral of silence. Normally any spiral of silence exists within a minority in a society. But in Zimbabwe’s case, it exists within a large scale that could be considered as a majority.

During elections, it is very important to vote for a specific candidate, because silence will give this candidate the opportunity to fake the election in order to win the election with a fake power.

This is the real Zimbabwean problem now.

Years ago, Western governments have condemned Mugabe’s government, and the American president George W. Bush has freezed Mugabe’s assets and warned Americans from engaging in any transactions or dealing with him and other hight-ranked Zimbabwean politicians; explaining that "the situation in Zimbabwe endangers the southern African region and threatens to undermine efforts to foster good governance and respect for the rule of law throughout the continent."

Then after the Zimbabwe’s 2002 election, the Eurpean Union, and the United states have banned Mugabe and other 94 members of his government from travelling to Europe or the United states. Yes this ban did not include visiting the UN events within European and American borders, but at least a global serious action was taken against him. That’s because he has worked to undermine democracy in Zimbabwe and has restricted freedom of the press.

that’s why it seems that there is no hope from the African leaders side, as they threatened to boycott the last FAO summit if Mugabe were blacklisted, because they see him as a true Pan-Africanist and a dedicated anti-imperialist who stands strong against forces of imperialism in Africa.

Probable emergence of Liberalism:

Any dictator does the same as Mugabe does now; because he fears of being accused for crimes against humanity in an international court, so they do anything to stay in the presidency untill death to escape from any try for a powerfull feedback from the victims.

So, i can see that all this could lead to the emergence of a new generation of Zimbabwean liberals that dont belong to any existing political movement or party. It even will be hard for them to form such political movement, but they will create a new era of African citizen liberal journalists.

Those liberals will be faught a lot by the government while trying to eliminate the spiral of silence, but they will be supported by the United States, and the European Union. They will help them to put Mugabe in the negative historican place place where his model "Hitler" exists.

Some Americans are worried about Obama!

Black and Adults fear about their candidate’s safety.

A new survey study by Gallup shows that 57% of black Americans believe that senator Barack Obama faces greater security risks than other candidates who have run for presidency in recent years, while the majority of whites think he is not at greater risk of being harmed.

Only 16% of black and 7% of whites, said that "They are very worried" about Obama’s safety. Among them, 15% of blacks and 3% of whites wanted to be given a chance to advise Obama, they would have urged him not to run because of it.

Also 53% of young adults say Obama is at greater risk, compared with 39% of those 30 and older.


42% of blacks and 25% of whites believe that Obama’s race is the reason behind this fear, while 6% of blacks and 5% believe that he is in great jeopardy because of his charisma. And only 6% and 4% believe that both are equally important.

It is well known that in May 2007, the secret service announced that Obama has been placed under its protection even a year before any other candidate recieve the same level of security; while Obama himself said: "I face the same security issues as anybody." which can lead to a confusion about his safety.