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Atlantic Free Press OP/ED

Sat

19

Feb

2011

Sexual Assault Coverage by Media Shows Double Standard, Paternalism, and Sexism
Saturday, 19 February 2011 07:37
by Walter Brasch Ph.D.

Lara Logan, CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent, was beaten and sexually assaulted, Feb. 11, while on assignment in Cairo to report on the revolution that concluded that day with Hosni Mubarak resigning as president.

Logan, according to an official CBS announcement, was attacked by a group of about 200 Egyptians and "suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers." The mob, probably pro-Mubarak supporters, but never identified by CBS—had separated Logan from her camera crew.

About a week earlier, Mubarak's army detained, handcuffed, blindfolded, interrogated, and then released Logan and some of her crew after several hours. The government ordered her expelled from the country, probably for her on-air comments about the government intimidating and harassing foreign journalists. Logan returned to Cairo shortly before Mubarak resigned. She returned to the United States the day after the assault, and spent the next four days recovering in a hospital.

The Mubarak administration at the beginning of the protests had expelled the al-Jazeera news network, and began a random campaign against all journalists, the result of the government believing that the media inflamed the call for revolution and the overthrow of Mubarak. There were about 140 cases of assault and harassment of journalists during the 18-day protest, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Ahmad Mohamad Mahmoud, an Egyptian journalist, was killed by sniper fire, probably by pro-Mubarak supporters. Among American reporters physically assaulted were CNN's Anderson Cooper and photojournalist Dana Smillie, who was seriously wounded by what appeared to be a dozen BB-size pellets. Journalists displayed "admirable levels of courage as they—initially as individuals and small groups, and eventually in droves—made statements and took actions that exposed them to immense personal and professional risk," according to the CPJ.
 

Sat

19

Feb

2011

Persian Gulf's name is an eternal reality: Prof. Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh - Interview by Kourosh Ziabari
Saturday, 19 February 2011 07:24
by Kourosh Ziabari

Prof. Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh is a prominent Iranologist, geopolitics researcher, historian and political scientist. He teaches geopolitics at the Tarbiat Modares University of Tehran. He has been the advisor of the United Nations University and the founder and manager of the London-based Urosevic foundation. Mojtahedzadeh has published more than 20 books in Persian, English and Arabic on the geopolitics of Persian Gulf region and modern discourses in international relations. Since 2004, he has been a member of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature. Moreover, he has been a member of the British Institute of Iranian Studies since 1993. Prof. Mojtahedzadeh earned a Ph.D. in Political Geography from the University of London in 1993 and also obtained a Ph.D. in Political Geography from the University of Oxford in 1979.
He has been a member of the board of the Society for contemporary Iranian Studies at the University of London and also a senior research associate at the Geopolitics & International Boundaries Research Centre.

Prof. Mojtahedzadeh has published scores of articles regarding the historicity and veracity of Persian Gulf name and the legality of Iran's ownership over the three Persian Gulf islands of Lesser Tunb, Greater Tunb and Abu Musa. He has delivered several international speeches in which he has scientifically repudiated the territorial claims of the United Arab Emirates government over the three Iranian islands and also confronted the psychological operation of the U.S.-backed Arab monarchies in the Middle East in distorting the historical name of the Persian Gulf.

What follows is the complete text of my exclusive interview with Prof. Mojtahedzadeh in which we discussed the scientific, historical authenticity of Persian Gulf's name, the legality of Iran's ownership of the three Persian Gulf islands of Lesser Tunb, Greater Tunb and Abu Musa and the futility of UAE and Bahrain's claims over these islands.

Kourosh Ziabari: United Arab Emirates is at the forefront of cultural battle with Iran. It's among the few nations in the world which use the forged term of "Arabian Gulf" to refer to Persian Gulf. It also cites territorial claims over the three Iranian Islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb frequently. Some scholars believe that the people and youth in the UAE suffer from an identity crisis and that's why the rulers of this tiny country have decided to bring back honor and dignity to their people by staging a cultural propaganda against Iran and stealing the cultural heritage of Iran. Some others believe that UAE is being backed by the United States in its battle with Iran. What's your viewpoint in this regard?

Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh: The United Arab Emirates has in deed been at the forefront of a cultural battle with Iran, which basically stems from their problem of lack of a genuine national identity and has been brought to the open in connection with their claims of sovereignty on three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa, regardless of the fact that these islands formed parts of Iranian dominion in the Persian Gulf undisputedly up until the beginning of 19th century, when British colonial presence began to grow in the southern shores of the Persian Gulf, whereupon the first germs of the creation of the emirates of those shores were sawn in what was Iranian dependant tribal entities. Soon these emirates, as a result of the 19th century British strategy of de-Persianization of the Persian Gulf, emerge as Arab entities of British protection. British support for their territorial expansion encouraged their territorial claims in a political space that was Iranian to a large extent at the time, and further encouraged them in post-1971 independence to try and assume an identity which was not in any way associated with Iran or being Persian. Hence, they make more efforts than all others, to change the name of the Persian Gulf as well as laying claim to the said three islands. There are scores of documents proving that the entire region of the Persian Gulf belonged to Iran since time immemorial. Nevertheless, the British occupied these three islands in 1903 in the name of British protectorate Qawasim tribes of Sharjah, then covering the entire dominion of what is now known as UAE.



 
 

Sat

19

Feb

2011

Lundberg: Subtle Genocide Is Revisiting Cerro Rico, Bolivia
Saturday, 19 February 2011 07:21
by Jan Lundberg

The scene of several million deaths at the hands of Spaniard invaders, Cerro Rico ("rich hill") is just above the city of Potosí in Bolivia. In May 2010, I noted significant amounts of plastic debris all over the mountainside, but I couldn't guess the source. The answer, from my local driver, is that the miners working in the mountain constantly use plastic bags for their daily coca supplies. Chewing the leaves provides stamina and curbs hunger.

It is ironic that the seemingly harmless but unsightly plastic serves as a relatively new source of devastation to the health of the community and the ecosystem. For anyone to dismiss this concern as irrelevant compared to the poor miners' work conditions of yesterday and today is to let off the petroleum corporations and everyone down the line participating in a long-term tragedy affecting future generations.

Image
Art courtesty Gratisescaro.wordpress.com
Learning about Cerro Rico, the conical, sinister looking mountain above the highest city in the world (at 13,500 feet) was made possible by my hiring a taxi driver at random. First I needed to get out to the fancy new bus station to buy a ticket to my next city, Cochabamba, for a night departure. No more "cama" (sleeper) buses were available, so I got "el normal" to sit up all night. After that errand we drove up to Cerro Rico for a tour. My driver, Celso Cruzamos, had worked in the mines for four years. He looked older than his 27 years. Toward the end of our three hours together -- a strain on my poor Spanish but otherwise a good experience -- Celso was asking me more questions than I was asking him. He was curious about costs in the U.S. and how I lived.
 

Thu

17

Feb

2011

Scott Lively and Bryan Fischer: Sinking to New Lows
Thursday, 17 February 2011 09:39
by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.

After reading Elijah Friedeman’s promising, but somewhat confusing article “Hey, let's stop the gay-bashing” on the American Family Association website – home of Bryan Fischer, arguably T-H-E most disgusting, hate-mongering homophobe masquerading as a “Christian” – I decided to take some time off. Would Friedeman’s article have any effect on AFA and Fischer?

Friedeman argued that “Homosexuality isn't the biggest moral problem facing our nation. Homosexual marriage isn't the biggest threat to traditional marriage. And homosexual activists aren't the biggest threat to freedom. This may be tantamount to heresy to some people, but it's true.” He ended his article with “for some reason, a lot of Christians want to attack homosexuality exclusively. Not only is this harmful to Christianity, it's outright wrong and runs contrary to what Jesus taught.”

But in between he made this bizarre statement: “I'm sure every homosexual will soon realize the error of his ways, because of the bombastic, invective anti-gay rhetoric coming from some Christians. But while that compassionately virulent language is working to change the hearts and minds of every homosexual…” One can only hope Mr. Friedman was being sarcastic.
 

Thu

17

Feb

2011

The Fed's Policy of Creating Inflation: A Massive Wealth Transfer
Thursday, 17 February 2011 09:13
by Rodrigue Tremblay Ph.D.

"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions."

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US President

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US President

[Corruption in high places would follow as] "all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), American 16th US President (1861-65)

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), French economist

"Inflation made here in the United States is very, very low."

Ben Bernanke, Fed Chairman, Thursday, February 10, 2011

Let us begin with some macroeconomic indicators of reference.

In October 2010, the world value of total production (all Gross Domestic Products or GDPs) was estimated to be $61.96 trillion U.S. dollars at current nominal prices. The U.S.GDP was estimated at $16.11 trillion or 26 % of world GDP.

The two largest financial markets in terms of trading values are the global foreign exchange market (all currency markets) that has an average daily turnover in global foreign exchange transactions of about $4 trillion per day, and the privately-traded and mostly unregulated world derivatives market (all the derivatives markets) whose total world outstanding contracts has been estimated by the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland to have a notional or face value of about $791 trillion in 2010.

In terms of real wealth, however, the two most important financial markets are the world bond market and the world stock market. In 2009, for example, the global bond market had an outstanding value of $US 91 trillion, with the U.S. bond market, at a value of $US 35.5 trillion, being the largest domestic bond market. –In mid-2010, the global equity market capitalization on regulated exchanges was estimated at $US 54.9 trillion, with the U.S. stock market having a value of some $US 19.8 trillion.

With such a large amount of financial assets, it is understandable that shifts in prices and interest rates have important effects on each market. If long-term interest rates go up, the nominal value of bonds goes down, and conversely, when interest rates decline, bond prices go up. As for stocks, many factors, such as company earnings, future profit prospects and inflation expectations, as well as political and taxation considerations, can influence their value. However, in general, they tend to fare better when short-term interest rates are low rather than high.

Sometimes, these two important financial markets move up together, especially in an environment of general disinflation, when interest rates tend to decline. They also tend to decline in tandem when real interest rates are on the rise, both bond prices and stock prices are then falling.
 
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