Archive | October 2010

Finding a Global Balance

Finding a Global Balance

By Hwaa Irfan

The words of Miguel D’Escoto-Brockman brought life to journalism for me which I would not have read if it was not for the excerpt:

“Only by recognizing the rights of all things, and Mother Earth, can humanity hope to find balance amid mounting global challenges.”

I would not have believed such public conviction could come from the pen of a president of the UN General Assembly. These are the words of someone who does not represent the status quo – the status of world affairs that have descended to the status of civil liberties around the world. Only have I seen such sentiment expresses consistently in Islam, a sentiment that is not represented in Europe’s growing populist position towards Muslim women wear, a position that represents the states position in relation to civilian life. D’Escoto-Brockman continues:

“Our indigenous peoples have known this for millennia. Yet, as Western civilization expanded, and brutal capitalism entrenched, the ancient knowledge and wisdom of our indigenous brothers and sisters was more ignored, diminished, and repressed by imperial powers. By armed conquests, colonial powers were able to steal, pillage, enslave and desecrate the lands, goods and peoples of the South. But I believe the greatest tragedy was not the wielding of their economic and military superiority; the greatest tragedy consisted in the all-pervasive and prevailing ‘colonization of the intellect. The gradual assimilation of intellectual elites across the world into a capitalist system of obsessive consumption and pursuit of profit lies at the root of today’s multiple converging crises. It has contaminated us all.” 

It has contaminated all to the extent that of those who are vaguely aware of being poisoned, the dilemma is reflected in the confusion that is brought about by the question “poisoned by what.” It has all come across as being quite natural, to want, and to get. The governments around the world have grown arrogant, and after becoming the worshipped idol that feeds and provides, we have become the slaves that feeds on what it provides, and cries when governments tell us to cry, and laugh when governments tell us to laugh. Our lives have become shaped and determined by the media the pharmaceutical, and food industries to the extent that when governments fail, which they have done severely as represented by the food price and economic crises, the only thing we recognize is our right to food, out right to work, our right to homes not fully paid for when the means for those rights is based on the continual plundering of natural resources, the abuse of our health, the abuse of our mental health, the abuse, the right to find and create work as opposed to being given work which is not really there, and the commitment and responsibility that goes with having a family. Instead governments have taken on these responsibilities to the extent that these governments dare not admit that they are in reality redundant, as the growing dysfunction of the systems they have put in place are unsustainable. 

We do not recognize the extent to which these economic, social, medical systems are failing, yet as Joe Public we continue to want what they want us to want. In pursuit of this better and more advanced world, we have become disconnected from ourselves, and each other, and all the antagonistic self interests are the result of that broken connection with life as it is meant to be lived. Everything has been reduced down to appetites for sex and food as the only two lusts we are capable of perpetuating to extent of annihilating the balance of our bodies, and the balance within our minds. We find ourselves yearning for what we have lost, but unable to define what that loss is! Even when that loss is touched upon, we fall back on the props that sustain how we project ourselves in the world with true passion and commitment amiss. This is because we fail to make the direct correlation between our relationship with ourselves, each other, and the earth that sustains us. How we see ourselves, is how we see the earth!

We must take the time to visualize our lives with nothing, and then from there, ask what we really need to make us happy, and then to truly ask ourselves what we need to do make each other happy! What are the basics, and what is it we do to complicate it all!

The keepers of that illusive connectedness fight the good fight, away from our obsessions with wealth, status, looks and lusts – it is these desires that have led to the exploitation of others for self gain/interest in terms of livelihood, health, and the environment. At the first conference of the People’s World Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Tiquipaya, Bolivia, 35,352 people attended what was ignored by mainstream media April 2010. That is 35,352  people (indigenous peoples, scientists and activists from 130 countries) who are seeking real change and cannot find the likelihood of this happening in the usual international conferences that only seek to maintain the status quo. The U.N which pledges to fight the growing problem of hunger it is short sighted as to the real causes of hunger because to really fight hunger is to replace the very system that perpetuates hunger:

“The principal cause of the destruction of planet Earth is capitalism and, as people who inhabit it, let us respect this Mother Earth; we have all the right, we have the ethics and the morals to say here that the central enemy of Mother Earth is capitalism.

“The capitalist system seeks to obtain the maximum possible profits by promoting unlimited growth on a finite planet. Capitalism is the source of the asymmetries and imbalances in the world” said Juan Evo Morales Ayma, the president of the pluranational state of Bolivian in the opening speech to the conference.

This might seem threatening to many who have grown to see the system that has shaped the world we know on every level, but take a look around and count how many global problems that have been taking place, and how it connects to one’s life. Take a look and see who is being listened to, and who is not being listened to. It is one planet, yet all the problems are down to a lack of mutual respect, and mutual respect requires understanding and appreciating the “other”. Day needs night, just as summer needs spring, when one part of the world harvests, the other part of the world hibernates – rests for a while until it is time to harvest; instead what we find is that one part of the world wants to claim all the harvests so the other part of the world starves.

And so it is that we all starve emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically! Our global factory education system reflects this usurping the creative mind for the mind that consumes and produces on behalf of the state. The state does not want any distractions away from its goal, and so it is that organized religion, the Divine religions become a threat, especially when the spiritual essence of the religion is practiced, and not the material, for the material only perpetuates the state. This is difficult to see when one is in it, but for those who have taken the mantle of their forefathers as keepers of the earth, this is not so difficult to see. We treat the earth as if it has endless capacity to provide for our unlimited appetite, but we forget:

{Surely We have created everything according to a measure} (Al Qamar 54: 49)

The Pachamama Alliance 

Pachamama means ‘mother world’, and is a term that is used in the Andes of South America. The Pachamama Alliance grew out of the Achuar people of Bolivia 15 years ago, as a call to all people around the world with an initial call to preserve the world’s rainforests. The Alliances vision has grown to encompass an “environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on Planet Earth.” They call this awakening the dreamer, and changing the dream. What a challenge, but a challenge we must meet, and one we would want to meet if we are honest with our own dissatisfaction with our current reality. Over 1024 organizations around the world have joined the Alliance, and  moving towards a collective sense of what is possible as opposed to what is happening now, which is the responsibility of governments which is making our lives impossible.

May Ayma life remain with us to fulfill his mission, for many attempts on his life have been made. Practicing what he believes in drove him to go on a hunger strike in April 2010, demanding that Congress pass legislation allowing for the general elections to take place in December. So what! Thousands joined him, and they included Spain and Argentina so that the new year would start with the right to vote for the indigenous people, and the right for the president to be re-elected. “The words “growth” and “development” do not appear in the new Bolivian Constitution because individual and corporate gain are seen as anathema for a society which seeks to meet its needs based on cooperation, collective distribution and reciprocity” writes Donna Lazarus. When the vision is clear, the commitment is strong! 

Clearly a man who has truly worked for a living with his hands, Ayma a former cacao farmer presented the Pachamama proposal at the conference, and also presented the proposal to the U.N. The proposal is based on four principles:

  • The right to life: this includes all species 
  • The right of the earth to regenerate its bio-capacity
  • The right to a clean life, which includes the earth’s right to live without pollution
  • The right to harmony with all

The initial response was to create an International Mother Earth Day, let us hope that the U.N commitment goes much further than that!

Things and Emotions

Take time out each and every day, and look at what you did, what you used to do it, what was the source of what you used, and what was the process and the result of what you used. Did you really need it, or did you just want it! If it is hurting someone, why do it, and if it is only hurting you, who else are you hurting! 

Juan Evo Morales Ayma’s Speech at the People’s World Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, Bolivia April 2010 

“For the planet or for death!  I salute the social movements, unions, government representatives, and many people who have come to Bolivia, the heart of the Americas, to participate in this conference in the defense of pache mama.

“Copenhagen wasn’t a fiasco; it’s a victory for the people and a failure of the powerful nations of the world.  It’s the so-called underdeveloped countries protect who respect Kyoto.   Copenhagen Accord will lead to warming of more than 4° Celsius.  That’s why we’ve called this meeting.  We’re facing mass extinction and other terrible effects.   We need to establish a limit of 350ppm in the atmosphere.

“But underdeveloped countries are only responsible for 5% of GHGs. 

“Developed counties are blocking any kind of progress on this front.  COP15 agreement eliminates the Kyoto Protocol, and responsibilities of developed countries to cut their emissions.

“Capitalism is the major element responsible for the destruction of the Earth.  Capitalism depends on the greatest profit possible.  Yet globalization is manifestly creating poverty.  For capitalism, we’re only consumers or workers.  There is no other aspect to our identities.  Capitalism commodifies everything.  

“We must choose either corporations and death or life.  We cannot live in harmony with Earth when a few people are controlling the vast majority of the planet.  Our new system of collectivist socialism will solve these problems.  We are again unlimited development.

“We are united here to celebrate the role of indigenous peoples a stewards of the Earth and as an alternative to unsustainable development.  Mother Earth belongs to all of us and cannot be sold.  Capitalism is synonomous with the destruction of the planet.

“For example, capitalism persecutes indigenous people for raising coca, a product we used for centuries before European conquistadores arrived.  But today our indigenous communities know that tea made from coca is one of the best medicines available. 

“We have to reverse the illegality imposed on use through the ‘War on Drugs.”  What if we decided that another traditional indigenous food, quinoa, was illegal and went around persecuting health food proponets in the US for eating it? 

“GMOs are another example of how the West’s values are wrong.  We know that eating GMO chicken makes men effeminate (!).  GMOs also create baldness, so if we all eat them soon the entire planet will be bald.

“We also need to embargo Coca-Cola.  This drink only makes us sick.  I know certain plumbers who use it to unclog toilets.

“Another example is the difference between traditional clay plates and plastic plate.  Evo tells UN representative that when he went there for dinner, they gave him food on plastic plates.

“Evo then took a poncho, the type worn by indigenous people in Bolivia, and demonstrated how waterproof it is by pouring water all over it.  He was flanked on both sides by generals, and the water went dangerously close to them as it swirled off the poncho. 

“Evo then says that these small examples show that we need to go back to indigenous ways.

“Capitalism constantly invents wars, he said.  Wars on drugs.  Wars on terror.

“When it can’t sell its products, capitalism manufactures weapons and starts wars in order to sell those weapons.

“If we unite all the people, he argued, we can defeat capitalism and imperialism, and save the planet.  He then advanced a series of five action points:

  • Reduce carbon dioxide levels to 350 parts per million.
  • Prod the UN to sign the Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
  • Open frontiers to receive the millions of climate migrants in coming years
  • Help underdeveloped countries cope with effects of climate change
  • Recognize people’s rights to things like water, and recognize their right not to be exposed to things like excessive pollution.

We need, Evo argued, a huge global intercontinental movement in support of the rights of Mother Earth.  We need to indict the countries that don’t support the Kyoto Protocol in the International Criminal Court.  

“We are confronted with two paths: pache mama or the path of the multi-nationals.  If we don’t take the former, the masters of death will win, he argued.  If we don’t fight, we will be guilty of destroying the planet”. 

Speech by President Evo Morales to the G77 at the United Nations regarding the conclusions of the First World People’s Conference on Climate Change

Speech by Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, before the G77 + China at the United Nations 

May 7, 2010

“I have come here to share the conclusions of the First World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held last April 20th to 22nd in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I convened this Conference because in Copenhagen the voice of the peoples of the world was not listened to or attended to, nor were established procedures respected by all States.

“The Conference attracted 35,352 participants, and of those, 9,254 were foreign delegates, representing movements and social organizations from 140 countries and five continents. The event also benefited from the participation of delegations from 56 governments.

“The debates that took place at the Conference were organized into 17 Working Groups. The “People’s Accord” adopted by the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth is a summary of the conclusions of each of those 17 Working Groups. From among all of the documents, I would like to place special emphasis on the project of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.

“We, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, formally presented these conclusions last April 26th, along with a technical proposal, to the negotiation process taking place under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

“The Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia convened this Conference because the so-called developed countries did not comply with obligations to establish substantial commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at last year’s Copenhagen Conference on climate change. If these countries had respected the Kyoto Protocol and had agreed to substantially reduce emissions within their borders, the Cochabamba Conference would not have been necessary.

“I am personally convinced that the only way to guarantee a positive result in Cancún, México is through the broad participation of the world and the ironclad unity of the countries of the G77 + China.

“We in the G77 + China are a group of 130 developing countries that are the least responsible for climate change, and, nonetheless, the most affected by the dire impacts of global warming. We represent two-thirds of the countries comprising the United Nations, and close to 80% of the world’s population. In our hands is the task of saving the future of humanity and planet Earth, and making the voices of our peoples heard and respected. 

“That is why I have come here to address the G77 + China!

“We all know that, within the G77 + China, there is a great diversity of political, economic, and cultural positions. This is our strength: unity through diversity. I know that different criteria exist within our Group, but I also know that, when we agree, there is no force that can stop us or detain us. This strength is like the unity of so many sardines before sharks. This is what happened at the last climate change meeting in Bonn from April 9th to 11th, at which we were slow to reach an agreement, but once we achieved consensus in the G77 + China, the rest of the developing countries had to submit to our consensus.

“I would like to begin by highlighting the points of convergence between the G77 + China and the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. 

“The first point of convergence is the need to preserve and fulfill the Kyoto Protocol. That is to say, the need for developed countries to make substantial commitments to domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.

“In the G77 + China, nobody is proposing to liquidate or dilute the Kyoto Protocol. We all agree that the Annex 1 countries that are historically responsible for causing greenhouse gas emissions should honor their commitments and obligations under international treaties on climate change.

“The World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth demands that developed countries reduce their domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 50% based on 1990 levels for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

“Current offers for reducing greenhouse gases in developed countries would at best only amount to a reduction of 2% based on 1990 levels.

“The Cochabamba Conference does not propose substituting the Kyoto Protocol with various voluntary reduction commitments that are not directed toward global goals, and in which no distinction is made between what the different developed countries must do.

“The People’s Accord states: “The United States, as the only Annex 1 country on Earth that did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, has a significant responsibility toward all peoples of the world to ratify this document and commit itself to respecting and complying with emissions reduction targets on a scale appropriate to the total size of its economy.”

“The second point of convergence among the World People’s Conference and the G77 + China is the need for the reduction commitments made by developed countries to be as deep possible in order to stabilize the increase in temperature to, where possible, within a range of 1.5 to 1 degree Celsius.

“We developing countries present here are aware that an increase in temperature will bring grave consequences for the provision of food, for coastal zones, for glaciers, and all of Africa. All of us here in the G77 + China are resolved to avoid letting a single island state fall into the ocean.

“A third point of convergence among the G77 and the Conference is the concept of the climate debt that developed countries owe to developing countries. This concept was much discussed at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change, and it became clear that the concept has the following components:

“The first component is the need to give back the atmospheric space that has been occupied by the developed countries and their greenhouse gas emissions, affecting developing countries. Developed countries should decolonize the atmosphere to allow for an equitable distribution of the atmospheric space among all countries in accordance with the size of their population.

“The second component is the debt with regard to forced migrations due to climate change. The number of forced migrations has reached 50 million worldwide, and could increase to 200 million to 1 billion people by the year 2050. To honor this debt, developed countries, as the generators of climate change, must open their borders to receive the affected migrants. The existence of migration laws like that of Arizona or the Return Policy in the European Union is absolutely unacceptable.

“The third component is the debt to our Mother Earth. This is because not only have human beings and developing countries been affected, but so has nature. To honor this debt, the First World People’s Conference considers it fundamental to discuss here in the United Nations a proposal for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth that establishes obligations for all human beings with regard to nature and that recognizes, in the form of rights, the limits that human activity must have if we are going to preserve planet Earth.

“Some of the rights of nature that it proposes are:

– The right to life and to exist

– The right to regenerate its bio-capacity and to continue its vital cycles and processes free from human disruptions;

– The right to be free from contamination, pollution and toxic or radioactive waste;

– The right to not have its genetic structure modified or disrupted in a manner that threatens it integrity or vital and healthy functioning

“We hope that this proposed Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth will begin to be discussed and analyzed within the General Assembly of the United Nations.

“Finally, we have the fourth component, the economic component of climate debt, which is comprised of the adaptation debt and the development debt that the industrialized countries have to developing countries. 

“On the topic of financing, the World People’s Conference considers that, to confront climate change, a budget should be designated similar to the budget that countries allot for military and security spending. 

“The amount of 10 billion dollars that developing countries are currently offering is less than 1% of the total amount of their defense budgets. It is simply not possible to dedicate 120 times more resources to war and death than to preserving life and our Mother Earth.

“Developed countries should commit to annual financing from public sources in addition to the Official Development Assistance in order to confront climate change in developing countries. This financing should be direct and without conditionalities, and should not violate the sovereignty of States.

“It is necessary to establish a new financing mechanism that functions under the authority of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and with significant representation by developing countries to guarantee compliance with the financing commitments of Annex 1 countries.

“The World People’s Conference proposes the creation of a multilateral and multidisciplinary mechanism for technology transfer. These technologies should be useful, clean, and socially appropriate. The Cochabamba Conference considers it essential to create a fund for the financing and inventory of appropriate technologies free from intellectual property rights, particularly by moving patents from private monopolies into the public domain for free access.

“The People’s Conference notes that developed countries increased their emissions by 11.2% in the period from 1990-2007 despite having claimed that reductions would be assisted by market mechanisms. 

“The carbon market has become a lucrative business that commodifies nature, favors a few intermediaries, and does not significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

“The recent financial crisis has demonstrated that the market is incapable of regulating the financial system, and that it would be totally irresponsible to leave care for and protection of the very existence of humanity and our Mother Earth in the hands of the market. 

“In this regard, the Conference considers it inadmissible that the current negotiations attempt to create new mechanisms that broaden and promote the carbon market. 

“The first Conference proposes the substitution of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) by a new mechanism that is not based on the promotion of the carbon market, and that respects the sovereignty of States and the right of the peoples to free, previous, and informed consent. This new mechanism should directly transfer technologies and economic resources from developed countries for the restoration and maintenance of forests and woodlands.

“The topic of agriculture and climate change was also widely discussed, and the concept of food sovereignty was adopted. This goes beyond food security by implying not just the right to nourishment, but also the right of the peoples to control their own seeds, lands, water, and technology for food production in harmony with Mother Earth and at the service of the whole community, not just the sectors with the highest income.

“In this regard, it was put forth that, to confront the climate change crisis, it is necessary to bring about a profound shift away from agriculture solely based on business and profit, strengthening instead agriculture for life, communities, and equilibrium with nature.

“In the negotiations and in the application of the accords on climate change, it is necessary to fully guarantee the rights of the Indigenous Peoples.

“The Conference also proposes a new theme to be discussed in the climate change negotiations and more broadly in the General Assembly of the United Nations: the establishment of a Climate and Environmental Justice Tribunal to try developed countries that fail to meet their commitments and sanction States and corporations that negatively affect the vital cycles of the Mother Earth.

 “Among our peoples there is much worry because the international accords to which we have subscribed are not ultimately complied with. For this reason there is an interest in creating binding mechanisms that guarantee compliance and are capable of sanctioning violations to international treaties relating to climate and the environment.

“Another proposal has to do with the need to convene a Referendum on Climate Change so that the world’s population can decide what should be done about this important issue. 

“The Cochabamba Conference challenges us to begin to imagine and to promote a kind of global democracy in which the major issues facing humanity can be decided by all peoples. 

“To bring about all of these proposals, the Conference resolves to initiate the construction of a World People’s Movement of the for Mother Earth.

“The Cochabamba Conference places special emphasis on analyzing the topic of development and what kind of development it is that we want.

“Some of the principles agreed upon were:

– There cannot be unlimited development in a finite planet

– The model of development we want is not that of the so-called developed countries, which is unsustainable in a planet with limited natural resources

– So that developing countries might satisfy the needs of their populations without affecting planet Earth, it is essential that developed countries lower their levels of consumption and waste

– To achieve development in harmony with nature, we must also seek harmony among human beings through an equitable distribution of wealth

“The First World People’s Conference proposes that the climate change negotiations analyze the structural causes of global warming and develop alternative proposals of a systemic character. 

“For the First World People’s Conference, the root cause of the climate crisis is the capitalist system. What we are seeing is not just a climate crisis, an energy crisis, a food crisis, a financial crisis… but also the systemic crisis of capitalism itself, which is bringing about the destruction of humanity and nature. If the cause is systemic, then the solution must be systemic as well. For this, the People’s Conference discussed the theme of alternatives for living well in harmony with nature.

“To conclude, the Conference considers that to construct the future we must learn from the past, which remains present among us in the example of indigenous peoples that have in all parts of the world preserved their forms of living in harmony with nature.

“Esteemed ambassadors of the G77 + China, I believe that the best way to strengthen our unity and our actions in the negotiations is by strengthening our consensus and discussing our different positions in a frank and sincere manner.

“On this path, it is fundamental that situations like that of Copenhagen last year not be repeated. We should respect the position agreed upon in the Bali Plan of Action and defended by the G77 + China, and ensure that climate change negotiations continue through the two established channels of “Long-Term Cooperative Action” and the Kyoto Protocol.

“Our unity gives us the strength to guarantee that the negotiations will be broadly participatory, transparent, and respectful of the equal rights of all member States of the United Nations, whether large or small, and to ensure that the voice of our peoples is heard and respected. 

“In the unity of the developing countries lies our potential to forge a new world in which harmony exists among human beings and with our Mother Earth.

Ambassadors:

“The response to global warming is global democracy for life and for the Mother Earth. Let us choose to be clean and active today for the sake all of humanity, not toxic and reactive tomorrow, against nature. Esteemed ambassadors, we have two paths: to save capitalism, or to save life and Mother Earth.

“Thank you very much”.  

Sources:

D’Escoto-Brockman, M. “It is Not All About Us”. Al Ahram Weekly. Issue 1021.

Lazarus, D.  “Evo Morales Presents Mother Earth Proposal at U.N.”

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_55711.shtml

Morales, E.  “Evo Morale’s  Speech”. http://www.socialtextjournal.org/live_blog_april_2010/2010/04/evo-morales-speech.php

Speech by President Evo Morales to the G77 at the United Nations regarding the conclusions of the First World People’s Conference on Climate Change http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2010/05/speech-by-president-evo-morales-to-g77.html 

The Pachamama Alliance. http://www.pachamama.org/

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Drugs That Stop Your Brain from Working…

Drugs That Stop Your Brain from Working…

By Hwaa Irfan

I suppose there are a few of us right now who would not mind if their brain could stop working due to having overactive minds. Always thinking about something that always seems to be important to one’s self and nobody else – because “no one” seems to take it just as seriously as you do! But having respite from thinking is something that naturally one would prefer to have under one’s own control, and not as a side effect of a drug taken for something else entirely different – so one is led to believe.

Anticholinergics are the drugs in question here, which one can buy easily over the counter. Anticholinergics are a group of drugs that prevents the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine from working. A neurotransmitter can be in the form of a mineral or a hormone.

Neurotransmitters are essential for the passing on of information required by the body from one nerve/neuron, to another nerve/neuron.

Acetylcholine is a naturally occurring hormone in one’s body, which like all hormones acts as an essential biological messenger that functions throughout one’s body physical.

Acetylcholine is important for passing on needed information to the large skeletal muscles so that they will receive the message to contract. This neurotransmitter is also important to the functioning of the heart muscle and all involuntary functions beyond our direct control like those functions that fall under the jurisdiction of the autonomic nervous system, e.g. digestion; and it is also responsible for stimulating the nerves related to memory.  Anticholinergics prevent the neurotransmitter responsible for what has been described from functioning, and it is also capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier affecting the central nervous system.

Anticholinergics

One might be taking an anticholinergic to relieve the side effects of other prescribed drugs including antipsychotics/neuroleptics as used in the treatment of certain mental health dis-ease, and movement disorders. Anticholinergics can also be found in sleeping pills, sedatives, anti-inflammatories, and blood thinners.

Anticholinergics include:

–          Atropine, scopolamine, glycopyrrolate, benztropine, trihexyphenidyl.

They include:

Anticholinergics can be found in:

  • Antihistamines

 

  • Antipsychotics like:

–          Chlorpromazine

–          Clozapine

–          Mesoridazine

–          Olanzapine

–          Quetiapine

–          Thioridazine

–          Antispasmodics

  • Cyclic antidepressants like:

–          Amitriptyline

–          Amoxapine

–          Clomipramine

–          Desipramine

–          Doxepin

–          Imipramine

–          Nortriptyline

–          Protriptyline

They can also be found in nature as well, but not to the level of concentration present in man-made drugs, in foods and herbs like:

  • Amanita pantherina (panther mushroom)
  • Arctium lappa (burdock root)
  • Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade)
  • Cestrum nocturnum (night blooming jessamine)
  • Datura suaveolens (angel’s trumpet)
  • Datura stramonium (jimson weed)
  • Hyoscyamus niger (black henbane)
  • Lantana camara (red sage)
  • Solanum carolinensis (wild tomato)
  • Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet)
  • Solanum pseudocapsicum (Jerusalem cherry)
  • Solanum tuberosum (potato)

One might not recognize the above names as the brand name differs. The brand names include:

Benadryl – Disipal – Cogentin – Dramamine – Excedrin PM – Kemadrin – Nytol – Sominex -Tylenol PM – Unisom – Paxil – Detrol – Demerol – Elavil.

Symptoms

One might have the following symptoms, which varies according to one’s physiological, emotional and mental sensibilities:

  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Urine retention
  • Constipation
  • Confusion

If the above symptoms occur, one should stop taking the drug with the support of a reputable medical practitioner.  This is not the end of it, because if one continues taking drugs over a long period of time that contain anticholinergics then Anticholinergic Syndrome develops. This takes the form of having a negative impact on one’s ability to:

  • Focus
  • React
  • Language skills
  • Ability to recall and narrate the recollection
  • Ability to remember habits

In the U.S. the AAPCC National Poison Data System Annual Report recorded 8,582 cases of overexposure to anticholinergics. Five deaths occurred related toxicity from antihistamines. The symptoms of a severe reaction include:

  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors/Seizures
  • Respiratory failure
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Comas
  • Death

The United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group recommend that those who have glaucoma, or have problems with their liver, heart, stomach, kidneys, or prostrate, and those who wish to become pregnant, who are pregnant, and are breastfeeding should avoid taking anticholinergic drugs.

One has a right to question the medication and/or treatment one is under through a medical practitioner; after all you are the recipient of that medication, not the doctor.  If one is not happy with the medication and/or treatment, first try to get the doctor concerned to explain the reasoning behind the medication and/or treatment until one feels adequately informed, and then go away and make an informed decision – even get a second/third etc., opinion, and then if one wishes to stop taking that particular medication and/or treatment, ask for an alternative or seek a suitable, and reputable alternative! There is such a thing as Iatrogenic Illness, which is an illness induced by the medication and/or treatment that one is placed under by a medical practitioner, so speak up or take someone along with you who is conversant with what you know about your condition, and what you may have discovered, so that they can speak on your behalf!

Sources:

Bruns, J. J. “Toxicity, Anticholinergic”. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/812644-overview

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What They Didn’t Tell Us About Soya Beans

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New Intellectual Property Right Laws Increase Risk of Bad Medicine

Nature Helps Our Brain Connect!

Religion, the State and Our Mental Health

Attention Deficit or Information Overload in Our Children?

The Pill, Our Bodies, and Ourselves

And He Shows Us His Signs!

And He Shows Us His Signs!

By Hwaa Irfan

Tony Blair is probably the only head of state who has been quietly held responsible for their spearheading of the illegal invasion and occupation on Iraq by their people.  As the U.K. carries the burden of that cost contributing to U.K.s current period of anti-austerity, Blair has been very busy. Since leaving Office, Blair has converted to Catholicism, was paid handsomely for his memoirs, is one of the world’s highest paid speakers, is a handsomely paid senior adviser to the Wall Street Bank JP Morgan (which made a $29,980 contribution to Hilary Clinton’s campaign in the last election), and Zurich Financial Services, governance adviser to the Kuwaiti government; and recently a senior adviser in Silicon Valley. His unpaid roles include peace representative for the Middle East, has a leading role in the African Governance Initiative, the Breaking the Climate Deadlock initiative, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Tony Blair Sports Foundation, and possibly spearheading the planning committee for Brazil’s 2016 Olympics.

Allah comes to who He pleases, and is in need of Him. Sometimes when we lead the kind of life that does not nourish the soul, the soul cries out, or yearns for what is not always understood by the conscious mind.  Whereas Blairs direction in life after leaving Office has taken him in one direction, for his sister-in-law that direction took her into the belly of the beast – Belly of the Beast? Well, in Western paranoid terms, Islam and Iran (along with a few other entities) is the Belly of the Beast. Journalist and broadcaster, Lauren Booth, made her own decisions when it came to a matter of faith, which came as a result of her trip to Iran. Referred to as Blair’s wife’s half sister, (you are either related or not) in the British mainstream press, now wears a hijab, prays five times a day, and visits her local mosque.   

{We directed Moses by inspiration, when his (thirsty) people asked him for water…} (Al-Araf 7: 160) 

It was probably inevitable that Iran would be the country that inspired her as Lauren has worked for the English language section of an Iranian news channel. Prior to her trip to Iran, Lauren observed the strength and warmth of the Palestinian people despite their situation, and was one of the activists on board the flotilla to Gaza from Cyprus in 2008. She was amazed by the Palestinian endurance, fasting in the holy month of Ramadhan in a heat of 100 degrees without effort. To Lauren this represented their ability to withstand deprivation unlike anywhere else. Lauren donated her fee for participating in the T.V reality show “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here to Interpal, a Palestinian relief charity!

Lauren’s conversion to Islam came as a result of inspiration through her visit to Iran, and part of that trip included a visit to the Fatima El- Ma’sumah shrine in the old religious city of Qum. Lauren told the Daily Mail on Sunday:

“It was a Tuesday evening, and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine – just absolute bliss and joy”.

Six weeks after that visit, Lauren took the decision to become Muslim. 

“Now I don’t eat pork, and I read the Qur’an everyday – I’m on page 60! I also haven’t had a drink in 45 days, the longest period in 25 years,” Lauren told Daily Mail on Sunday.

“The strange thing is that since I decided to convert, I haven’t wanted to touch alcohol, and I was someone who craved a glass of wine or two at the end of a day!”

Lauren was impressed by the Iranian pride and willingness to suffer in solidarity with the Palestinians, comparing it with her brother-in-laws expression of solidarity with the U.S. without “… illegal chemical weapons and a million civilian deaths”.

The Shrine

Once destroyed by the Mongols, the Shrine is known for its miracles including curing the sick, the mosque was built by Shah Abbas I, the Fatima El-Ma’sumah Shrine is in the heart of distinguished religious learning, Qum.  The Shrine has always been a focal point to Qum, because Qum’s reputation is as a result of the presence of the Shrine.  The Shrine began life as a cemetery, which was then made open to the public for  the sister of 8th Shi’a Imam Reza/’Ali ibn Musa Ar-Ridha (contains the bodies of three other members).The Fatima El- Ma’sumah Shrine is one of many shrines for pilgrims in Iran, dedicated to members of the descendents of Prophet Muhammed (SAW). In the form of a mosque, it was built from 1221 – 1519 on two levels with mirrored tessellations of tiny-stuccato blue and green tiles, which has a glow in the night sky.  The balcony is gold in color, and is constructed of multi-colored glass.

Functioning as a mosque where congregational prayers takes place, it is still used by scholars who provide classes for advanced students.  The Shrine is covered in text in praise of the descendents of Prophet Muhammed (SAW). Inside the dome it is written:

“Be aware that whoever dies having love for the family of Muhammad dies a martyr.

“Be aware that whoever dies having love for the family of Muhammad dies forgiven.

“Be aware that whoever dies having love for the family of Muhammad dies with faith and perfection.

“Be aware that whoever dies having love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, the angel of death and the two angels, Nakīr and Munkar will give him good tidings of Heaven.

“Be aware that whoever dies having love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, will be raised to Heaven.

“Be aware that whoever dies having love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, Allah will open two doors leading into Heaven in his grave.

“Be aware that whoever dies having love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, Allah will make his grave a place of pilgrimage for the angels of Mercy.

“Be aware that whoever dies having enmity for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, on the Day of Judgement, in between his two eyes will be written, “He has no hope of receiving the mercy of Allah.”

“Be aware that whoever dies having enmity for the family of Muhammad, dies an unbeliever (Kāfir).

“Be aware that whoever dies having enmity for the family of Muhammad will not even smell the fragrance of Heaven.”

On the tomb there are various verses from the Qur’an, including the Verse of the Throne, Ayat-ul-Kursi (2: 255).

On the glass wall around the grave is written from the Qur’an:

  • Yāsīn,
  • Ar-Rahmān,
  • Al-Mulk,
  • Hal Atā
  • Al-Qadr  

Also some of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed is written from the Shi’a tradition : 

“Whoever guards his tongue from dishonouring the people, on the Day of Judgement, God will forgive his lapses.” 

“Whoever causes a separation between a mother and her child, God will cause a separation between him and Heaven.”

“A good question is half of learning.”

“God, Most High, helps His servant so long as the servant helps his brother.”

Tessellation

Tessellation in sacred geometry is a fundamental part of Islamic architecture as it is the repetition of a pattern, liken to the cell structure of the tissues that make up our organs – it is mirrored symmetry, which combined with the application of small mirrors, magnifies the affect. The affect psychologically is an altering of one’s sense of time and space, allowing one to access one’s subconscious if one is open to one’s inner voice. 

Sacred places conceived with sacred intention are forms of objective art, and like all objective art, the effect is the same for those who are not removed from their personal truth.

Sources:

Daily Mail on Sunday Reporter. “Tony Blair’s Sister-in-Law Lauren Booth Converts to Islam After a ‘Holy Experience’ in Iran.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1323278/Tony-Blairs-sister-law-Lauren-Booth-converts-Islam-holy-experience-Iran.html 

Jaffer, M. “Lady Fatima Masuma (a) of Qom” http://www.al-islam.org/masumaqum/

McSmith, A. “Tony Blair Gets Another New Job in Silicon Valley.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/tony-blair-gets-another-new-job-ndash-in-silicon-valley-1982962.html   

Related Topics:

A Sacred Place

Between the Builder and the Architect: Frederick II, and the Castel Del Monte

The Ramadhan Reminder: Taking Time Out With God

Rabbi Albert Lewis: Burning of Holy Texts Dishonors All Faiths

Letter to the Self # 15: Beyond the Limited Self

A Depleted Spiritual Bank Account

Arguing God from Being?

Deep Thinking

Showing Solidarity with Iran

The Secret Iraqi Files

The Secret Iraqi Files

The leading role played by Al Jazeera in examining 391,000 classified American documents released through Wikileaks has not been widely acknowledged in the U.S. But Al Jazeera’s efforts have resulted in important revelations on a wide range of topics, including Iraqi state torture, the killings of hundreds of civilians at coalition roadblocks, Al Qaeda’s presence in Iraq, and the detaining of three American citizens by Iran near the Iraqi border in 2009.

In coordination with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, Al Jazeera spent 10 weeks examining tens of thousands of secret documents on Iraq dating from January 1, 2004, through December 31, 2009.

The trove of data—which was also released early to the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and the UK’s Channel 4 TV before being made public last week on the Wikileaks website—was more than four times larger than the cache of files on the Afghanistan War previously released by Wikileaks in July.

Every day, Al Jazeera focused on a different topic pertaining to these files. What has been uncovered often contradicts the official narrative of the conflict >>> Read More

Related Topic:

Not Another Puppet Government!

Pay It Forward!

What Goes Round Comes Round

Author Unknown

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was those chills which only fear can put in you. He said,

 “I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added,

“And think of me.”

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote:

“You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you.”

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard….

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low,

“Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

More Moral Tales

Not Another Puppet Government!

From Infowar.comNot Another Puppet Government!

By Hwaa Irfan

  {Who amasses wealth and considers it a provision (against mishap); he thinks that his wealth will make him immortal} (Al Humazah 104: 2-3)

I am no politician, and neither do I have the desire to be one, but sometimes, a few words need to be said about a situation.

As the U.S. and allies try to intimidate Iraq into forming a hurried new government given the way in which the country has been raped by the same forces physically, economically, culturally, in terms of mores and in terms of identity, let us remember why forming a new government under the kind of background which is equivalent to the rape and plunder of the Mongols. Should be taken with great care and deliberation.  Let us also be reminded of the decreasing sense of responsibility these countries have for their own citizens, and the way in which Gaza has been treated by these same countries for voting in its own interest. Let us also realize that regardless of its oil-rich wealth that Iraq should be left to find its feet on its own terms with only the support of those it calls upon, and not those whose bestiality in war relinquished them from the right to have a say! If they do not have the decency to make another one of their meaningless apologies, then at least they can leave them be including those Iraqis who would sell their souls for a piece of the American pie!

The Merchants of Death and War Profiteering

It was President Roosevelt who said:

“The grave menace to the peace of the world is due in no small measure to the uncontrolled activities of the manufacturers and merchants of engines of destruction”. 

In the mid-nineties, the U.S. federal government funded research and development carried out by the U.S. military to the tune of $50bn for U.S. Forces to protect Middle Eastern oilfields and shipping lanes unbeknown to American citizens.  In the early days of U.S occupation, the American corporation Kellogg Brown, and Root, KBR, was initially chosen by the Pentagon to extinguish the oil well fires (set by Iraqis to prevent U.S claims). It was awarded without competition, the Iraqi oil well contracts. KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton, which was headed by the former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney of the Enron scandal. Cheney was deputy chief of staff under the Gerald Ford Administration of 1976, a critical member of the project “A New American Century, and was Defense Secretary in the previous Bush (the elder) regime before becoming Vice-President in the George H.W Bush Administration.  So there we have three companies directly linked to Cheney: 

Enron – was the iconic legacy that represented the U.S. war profiteers of WWI and WWII placing business, politics and energy into the same package. Close to the Bush family for two generations,. The gas production of Bush senior was sold to Enron in the 1990s, with the aim to make Enron into an international energy entity. The Enron former chief, Ken Lay was chosen by Bush senior to organize the annual G-7 Economic Summit in Texas in the 1990s, and was a major donor and partner in the re-election of Bush elder, and was forefront in the deregulation of energy and utilities spending $5 million in its deregulation campaign of 1999-2000.  According to former White House strategist, Ken Phillips, “… half of Bush’s twenty largest donors had major ties to Enron”. 

Halliburton – with serious financial mismanagement and accountability being awarded extravagant amounts ($300 mn. in 1995, $800mn, in 1999, $2.3bn. with Cheney as CEO) by the two Bush Administrations. Halliburton received contracts to support U.S. soldiers in Zaire, Haiti, Somalia, the Balkans, and Saudi Arabia. Halliburton built Guantanamo Bay, and was the first private militarized company for the U.S, as a part of its new global military strategy advancing high-tech wars to be of the government, but not from the government, and not totally dependent on the government for its survival (i.e. able to take contracts from other countries e.g. Russia and the U.K.).

KBR – a unit of Halliburton had carried out Federal building projects around the world for 10 years prior to 9/11. Is the exclusive logistic supplier for the U.S. Navy and the Army. 

The Defense Department had given over 3,000 contracts since 1994, 2,700 of which went to Booz, Allen and Hamilton, and KBR. U.S.  Enron, Halliburton, and KBR had become hugely influential in the domestic and foreign policies of the Administration. Both KBR, and Halliburton were charged with breaking U.S. sanctions, and human rights, but both corporations were encouraged and financed to do so by the U.S. Administration. Twenty four U.S. companies were mentioned in that report, companies which gave substantial support especially when it came to the development and the use of the biological weapons program, and the missile and nuclear weapons program albeit illegal!

It was Cheney’s scaremongering or rather his failing empire  which projected  an unsustainable U.S. when it came to oil.  In a 2000 report to New American Century Cheney a key member raised the call to invade Iraq with Iraq’s oil second to Saudi Arabia.  Cheney along with Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Lewis Libby formulated the blue print which was to lead to the plundering of Iraqi historical and cultural antiquities, the oil for blood program, the recruitment of thugs and street gangs into the U.S. force to humiliate Iraqi men, women and children, the siphoning off of Iraqi oil, the hunger and destitution of many Iraqi children, the prostitution and rape of Iraqi women, the kidnapping of Iraqi  scientific minds, and the death of 1,366,350 Iraqis, and the demonization of Arabs and subsequently Muslims, other religious-ethnic groups, the false notion of the “war on terrorism”, the domination of the world’s resources in the form of T.R.I.P.S (trade and patenting), and the global deterioration in values at the governmental level and at the level of civil society. 

Twenty –seven years ago, Donald Rumsfeld and others went to Baghdad to convince Saddam Hussein to support Bechtel in the construction of an oil pipeline from Iraq to Aqaba in Jordan. In 2002, Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co. (Israel’s Energy Storage and Transport Company) planned to transport crude oil from Russia to Central Asia, specifically from the Mediterranean city of Ashkelon to Eilat Harbor on the Red Sea via a 254km pipeline. The effect would be to reverse the current flow from Egypt’s Abu Rodeis oilfields in the Sinai desert to Israeli petrochemical plants in Haifa and Ashdod.

In February 2003, the same years as the invasion, Chair of Bechtel, Riley Bechtel was appointed to President Bush Jnr. Export Council. Ross Connolly, a former Bechtel executive became executive vice president, and chief officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation that established U.S. investments around the world. In fact investment banking is the brain child of war profiteering.

In April 2004, the corporation Bechtel was awarded a contract worth $600mn. by USAID to rebuild the infrastructure that the American allies destroyed, which included Iraq’s power generation, water and sewerage facilities, and other public facilities. Bechtel builds, operates, and maintains water systems in many countries. It was proactive in the privatization of water in Bolivia with the support of the World Bank, which was greatly hindered by the actions of the Bolivian people.  

Rape of a History

Envy to the point of greed is an ugly characteristic in man, To want something that somebody is or has, and then to disguise one’s actions in order to destroy or obtain it has become too acceptable. From time-to-time, we come across it in our daily lives, and unfortunately it is becoming increasingly so.The history of colonization of the region is full of spilt blood. Ancient Mesopotamia, the world’s first urban civilization, with the world’s first city, Samaria, was south of modern Iraq. This was as a result of the annual floods that led to establishing the world’s first agricultural system, allowing for a settled life. Alas, in 1258, the Mongols completely destroyed the Iraqi irrigation system and killed thousands of Iraqis. Those deaths were heavily mourned, but it was not until the 20th century that agricultural land began to recover from the Mongol onslaught.

European interest in the region began in the 19th century. British and French archaeologists turned the Western perception of Iraq’s history upside down when they found the remains of a civilization that had discovered the wheel over 5000 years ago, and had established the key mathematical concept of “0,” the division of the circle into 360 degrees, multiplication tables, square roots, cubes, logarithms, the value of “pi” etc. They discovered theological concepts older than Judaism and Christianity.

Having excavated the ancient cities of Nineveh and Nimrod, those British and French archaeologists found huge libraries of clay tablets and sculptures that can be seen today at the British Museum and the Louvre!

Having this in mind, one should consider the method of this 21st century re-colonization, whereby the heritage of a people continues to be plundered. The Museum at Mosul was once packed with 7000-year old artifacts, and, as in the mind of Patrick Martin of the World Socialist Web Site, the widespread plundering of Mosul, Baghdad, Basra, and Kirkuk was deliberately encouraged by the Pentagon and the Bush Jnr. Administration. The National Museum alone was stripped of over 50,000 artifacts, and the Museum catalog was destroyed, which all of which remained intact under the barbaric ruler Saddam Hussein. The catalog would have identified the artifacts stolen. In defense of the people, obliterate their past, their identity, so that they can be conquered?

Mcguire Gibson, President of the American Association for Research in Baghdad at the time stated:

“It looks as if part of the theft was a very, very deliberate planned action… [the thieves] were able to take out the very important, the very best material”.

The U.S. Business Weekly magazine stated:

“They knew just what they were looking for because dealers ordered the most important pieces well in advance”.

Ann Talbot, also of the World Socialist Web Site commented on the systemic destruction of the Ministry of Irrigation: 

“We might say that by this act the U.S. Administration seeks to drive Iraq back to the Dark Ages, except that Iraq has never known a dark age in the sense that Europe had. By attacking the irrigation system, the U.S, Administration is causing more damage in a few weeks than any other previous invader”. 

 The Britain without the aid of the U.S., invaded more than once. Britain explored and spied on Iraq and navigated its rivers through trading, and became anxious about Iraqi oilfields. After WWI, the British expelled the Turks, ending the Ottoman Empire in that region, and, as in the scramble for Africa, divided up a region that was to form modern-day Iraq. The West has never been able to leave the region alone since then. The regions oilfields supplied the Royal Navy. Favoring Baghdad for colonization, as now, they felt invasion would be met with little resistance. An Anglo-Indian army landed in Basra in 1914. This time, it was the U.S. which claimed Basra, where the British once stood.

Britain and France aimed at absorbing the region into their empires with a mandate from the League of Nations – this was met with local resentment and was perceived as a veiled colonization. To quell the backlash, General Sir Aylman Haldae called for supplied of poisonous gas along with indiscriminate air-power to cut the people off from what is now Kuwait. Britain enforced a monarchial rule under a 1930-Treaty, retaining Iraq as a part of the British Empire. British military bases were maintained along with an agreement to train the Iraqi army. During WWII, the British rushed to protect the oilfields in the North, killing 3,000 Iraqi soldiers. 

Blood for Oil

The rich cultural heritage of the people has held them together for so long despite the temporal man-made laws of the West that has continued to undermine the country because of its inherent wealth. The memories of the people are long, but this type of persistent domination can either strengthen one’s sense of self, and one’s relationship with the Creator, or break one. The Free Officers were determined to right all wrongs and rid Palestine of Zionism. However, Saddam Hussein as a member of the Free Officers, sought to dominate and rose above the other members seizing power in 1979. As the first Shi’a Imam and 4th caliph of the Muslim world ‘Ali ibn ‘Abu Talib commented: 

It is amazing that a ruler can be good… for when he does wrong, he finds someone to back him up and praise him!” 

Playing one against the other, Britain, Germany, France and the U.S. (the heart of the Security Council) armed Saddam against Iran to quell Islam and protect their interests. The U.S. continued to supply Saddam with weapons that would later be used against Kuwait. More blood was to be spilled by both Saddam and the U.S. in the climax to the Gulf War.

In the course of the Gulf War, U.S. bulldozers buried thousands of teenage soldiers; some if them were still alive. The entire country’s infrastructure was destroyed. A report by the Medical Educational Trust declared that 200,000 Iraqi men, women, and children were murdered as a direct consequence of the U.S.-led war on Iraq in 1991. The land was polluted with depleted uranium and water was contaminated with U.S. frigates dumping sought after oil thus slowly poisoning the people. The U.S. prevented Save the Children from sending a plane with medical supplies into northern Iraq where  40,000 people were left in desperation.  The few injured soldiers got media attention, but the charred and twisted bodies in the street did not! Former U.S. attorney general under Lyndon Johnson, Ramsey Clarke said this:

“An incinerated body of an Iraqi soldier on the “Highway of Death”, a name the press has given to the road from Mutlaa, Kuwait to Basra, Iraq. U.S. planes immobilized the convoy by disabling vehicles at its front and rear, then bombing and strafing the resulting traffic jam for hours. More than 2000 vehicles and tens of thousands of charred and dismembered bodies littered the 60 miles of highway. The clear rapid incineration of human beings – suggests the use of napalm, phosphorus, or other incendiary bombs. These are anti-personnel weapons outlawed under the 1977 Geneva Protocols. This massive attack occurred after Saddam Hussein announced a complete troop withdrawal from Kuwait in compliance with UN Resolution 660. Such a massacre of withdrawing Iraqi soldiers violates the Geneva Convention of 1949, common article3, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who “are out of combat”. There are, in addition, strong indications that many of those killed were Palestinian and Kuwaiti civilians trying to escape the impending siege of Kuwait City, and the return of Kuwaiti armed forces. No attempt was made by U.S. military command to distinguish between military personnel and civilians on the “highway of death”. The whole intent of international law with regard to war is to prevent just this sort of indiscriminate and excessive use of force”. 

By this time public opinion had been manipulated to believe in the U.S. story of what took place, not allowing for that within all there is some good as well as not so good.

In 2002, the U.K. and the U.S. intentionally blocked humanitarian aid including vaccines, plasma and painkillers paid for by Iraq with Security Council approval under the Food for Oil program which allowed the U.S. and its allies to oil in exchange for food whilst thousands of Iraqis starve to death. The organization GRAIN reported on legislation that did not apply to Iraq alone, but included Iraq whereby farmers would not be allowed to produce and save their own seeds for agricultural development – the follow-up to T.R.I.P.S.  The U.S. through CPA, made it illegal for Iraqi farmers to produce and keep their own seeds that were not within the globalization domain as of April 2003. Without a democratically elected government in place to protect the natural resources of the people, the U.S. was well placed to make such an economic offensive. This would not have been possible under Saddam Hussein, the tyrant leader that he was, as proven by the fact for years he was the main obstacle behind the U.S. getting the oil deal that they wanted, and which was not in the interest of Iraq, and the Iraqis.

Iraqi Scientists

It was an informed statement when journalist Ann Talbot said that Iraq has never known a dark age in terms of knowledge. Throughout Islamic history, despite the horrific invasions it has experienced, Iraq has continued to produce fine scholars in all fields. No less a field is science, a field that the U.S. has become notorious in Caribbean terms, “liberating from the land”. In fact stealing, kidnapping, incarcerating, and “convincing” scientists has been a past time since WWII, most notably the scientists of Germany shipped and gainfully employed in the establishment and development of U.S. weapons of destruction under the Manhattan Project.

Many Iraqi scientists have been interrogated and many have remained in custody. A law unto themselves, the U.S. passed a legislation in earlier 2003 making it legal to “entice” Iraqi scientists granting them permanent resident status under the “Iraqi Scientists Immigration Act of 2003”. The U.S. has been facing a shortage of scientists as revealed by a study published by the National Science Board that found an increase in the number of foreign born scientists to be crucial for the future needs in science, engineering, and technology. The scientists immigration act  is one way of siphoning off the much needed experts of a country, when a country is in need. Angered at the manner in which he was treated, physicist Faleh Hassan, former director of the Al-Razi military industrial site, refused to leave Iraq when the inspectors tried to emotionally compromise him by using his wife’s illness (kidney stones, diabetes, and high blood pressure) as a means to get him to the U.S. Hassan commented to Washington Times:

“We would rather live as beggars in our country than live as kings abroad”.

Under the 2nd Bush Administration, a $16mn plan was being worked at to keep Iraqi scientists out of their imaginary harm’s way. Fearing that the scientists will go to Iran, and unable to appropriate their expertise, the U.S. would rather that nobody else gets that scientific expertise under the “Science, Technology and Engineering Mentorship Initiative for Iraq”.

What has been covered here so far, is only a scratch on the surface, and even then it all seems a bit too “enterprising” but it happened, and it happened to a people who never asked for it. To see the eyes of an escapee ex-Iraqi police officer is sheer agony, as the horror of what he bore witness to and was forced to do, remain a psychological scar. Some Iraqis have fled the country and marry out of their kind in order to keep running. None of us, outside of Iraq can imagine the horror of daily life since the U.S. invasion, and because of that, none of us has the right to tell Iraq how to run their own country. What we can do is remember what man is capable of and raise our voices, and whatever else we have at our disposal to prevent it from happening again to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. We must learn to recognize what is common amongst us, and appreciate the differences, differences which helps in seeing our world, in more ways than one!

Iraq has been balkanized into three regions. When I first wrote about this in 2004, it was laughed at that the U.S. was using the telecommunications system in order to do so. Now it is a fact, along with control of the oil fields, only Iraqis,  can see their country whole again, not you or I!

Sources:

Agres, T. “U.S. Hopes to Lure Iraqi Scientists”. 03-26-03. http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030326/02

“Ashville Global Report: Republican Friendly Bechtel Wins $680mn Iraqi Contract”. Agrnews.org. 04-23-03

Chaterjee, P. “Bechtel’s Friends in High Places”, Corporation Watch 04-29-03

Clarke, R et al. “War Crimes: A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal. Deoxy.org. 

CPA Official Documents http://www.cpa-iraq.org/regulations/index.html

Hedawi, H. “Iraqi Scientist Accuses U.N. of Luring Him”. 01-19-03 http://dynamic_washtimes.com/twt-print.cfm?ArticleID=200330119-9794496 

Hertsgaard, M. “The Real Price of Oil”. 10-15-01. MotherJones.com

Information Clearing House http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

“Israel Hopes to Become Oil Corridor to Asian Markets”. Al Bawaba.com. 10-10-03 

Kling, H. “Bolivia Describes Successful Struggle to Preserve Water”. Worldcommunications.org 4-09-03 

Leopold, J. “Company Chosen by Pentagon to Extinguish Iraqi Oil Well Fires Had History of Supporting  Terrorist Regimes”. Republicons.org. 04-17-03

Linzer, D. “AP Exclusive: Plan Would Pay Iraqi Scientists to Stay”. 11-18-03. http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20031117-092209-3840r   

Shultz, J. “International Water Ltd. Responds to Op-Ed By Democracy Center of Bolivia. Worldcommunications.org. 4-09-03. 

Sorensen, E. “Bechtel in Iraq” Weapons of Mass Destruction”.  Republicons.org. 4-21-03 

Pipelines Offshore: Maghreb to Europe Gas Pipeline”. Bechtel.co.uk 4-20-03

Phillips, K. “American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush”. Penguin Books, U.S. 2004 

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With rising anti-Muslim sentiment across the country, an untold story is raising greater awareness about the Muslim faith and the teachings of the Quran. That awareness comes from an unlikely source: a small Jewish congregation in Creve Coeur.

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