Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Occupy Wall Street is not a hippy movement. It is not a Democrat vs. Republican movement. This is a collection of people from all walks of life who are fed up with being taken advantage of by the government who is supposed to be protecting us. This beautiful movement is both military and civilian, old and young, rich and poor. Have YOU ever felt the cruel hand of injustice in your life? Then this movement is yours.
The time is right, and the people are ready to stand up for each other and for what is right. And it is due time. We have let the top 1% control and abuse us for entirely too long. We are the 99%. We are the majority. We are the people who must take progression into our own hands. Without advancement, we will all perish. The 1%-controlled mass media refuses to cover this movement, so we must take the initiative and take to the streets to get the word out to everyone. We must become our own media (-JH). This movement WILL survive, but only if we band together. So, grab your friends, your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, random people on the street, and tell them that their happiness is worth fighting for, their freedom is worth fighting for. Make them aware of the revolution that is happening, and encourage them to get involved.
Be strong, you amazing creatures. Don't lose your drive. Results will be slow in coming, but don't get discouraged. We will prevail! Just wait, and you will see.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Classic Case of Rich Stealing from the Poor

It is nothing new. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. More importantly, the rich get greedier, and the poor suffer as a result. Most recently, there has been an increase among prosperous countries, such as Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and China, buying land in impoverished countries, mostly third-world, in which only the invading country benefits.
Although profitable, the wealthier countries are lacking in self-sufficiency. There is either a deficit or a potential deficit of food production at home, so these countries are purchasing land from countries who are in desperate need of that extra income. Unfortunately, the repercussions of this are tremendously hazardous to the welfare of humanity.

According to a study at the Oakland Institute, over the past 3 years, almost 50 million acres of farmland have been either purchased or are in the process of being purchased, with a substantial increase in just the last six months.

So, what does this all mean?

It means that buying this land will severely prevent the poorer countries from feeding their own citizens, leading to an increase in starvation- and dehydration-related deaths. What is happening is the land purchased is used to grow crops, which are then sent to the country who owns the land, not to the country that holds the land. However, only around 30% of the grain produced goes toward feeding the masses. In 37% of these cases, the crops are used for growing grains that will then be used for the production of biofuels, further fueling the debate that our addiction to oil is killing us. Furthermore, the countries in which land is being purchased are mainly in areas that are subject to severe drought. So, the land acquisitions include water, which in turn, deprives the hosting country of its own resources.

The question now is, what can we do about it? There is a growing suspicion that citizens in the poor countries will begin to ambush the trucks carrying the grain before it reaches its destination, furthering the social and political unrest. I, for one, fully support the locals in their attempts to rectify this ghastly situation. 

Fi Amanillah.

Things to read: 
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blood Money and Protests

On January 27, 2011, Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor for the United States, shot and killed two Pakistani men in Lahore. Davis claimed he shot the men in self-defense, which is contradictory to the police report from the scene of the crime in which police described the shooting as "cold-blooded murder." Nonetheless, the US held that Davis had diplomatic immunity. On Wednesday, March 16, 2011, Davis was acquitted of murder, when the family of both of the victims pardoned him. Under Islamic law, the family of the victim can simply forgive the accused in exchange for a monetary settlement. In this case, the settlement was reportedly around $2 million.

My feelings toward the ruling are divided. On the one hand, the concept of forgiveness to the murderer is one I wholeheartedly accept and promote. When I heard about this, I was stunned by how beautiful it was. In fact, it brought a tear to my eye to see how it is possible for people to forgive others despite the offense. On the other hand, my Western mindset is screaming, "YOU JUST LET A MURDERER GO FREE!" And, unless Davis has a change of heart from that experience, he will continue to kill under the protective cloak of the United States.

But many Pakistani citizens are not happy with the ruling, and protests are being initiated. They do not accept that an American can come into their country and kill their citizens and be acquitted, while a Pakistani can do the same in America and be sentenced to 86 years in prison, as was the case with Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist who pulled a gun on a US military guard in February of 2010. Furthermore, family friends and neighbors are standing firm that the Pakistani government forced the families to sign documents of forgiveness in secret at the behest of the United States, while the US denies that they made any form of payment to the families of the victims, leaving everyone wondering who, if anyone, compensated the families. After the ruling, the families disappeared, so the events surrounding the entire case is still a mystery.

To make matters worse, US forces carried out an airstrike in the village of Datta Khel that killed 40 people only one day after the ruling that freed Davis. Pakistani army chief said that the attack against civilians who had gathered to discuss local land issues was "carelessly and callously targeted with complete disregard for human life."

The longer I live and the more I discover about the barbarous actions of the United States, the more ashamed I am to be called American. When will the citizens of this country rise up in protest like so many of these oppressed Middle Eastern countries? Or have we become so lazy and indifferent that, as a whole, we no longer care?