Archive | November 2010

Will the Climate Talks Be Hot Enough

Will the Climate Talks Be Hot Enough to Deal With Change?

By Hwaa Irfan

Another round of U.N. talks begins in Cancun, Mexico on 29 Nov. 2010. What a dichotomy, Mexico, there is a serious case of lack of cooperation in the U.S. taking serious responsibility for its role in the environmental problems of Mexico. One hundred and ninety one governments will be negotiating their long-term commitment to cooperation over climate change. If it is anything like the currency issue over the global economic crisis, then one wonders how much talk will transfer into action – however, then again, will the action have more to do with self interest, common interest or a sustainable interest including that of the earth, which was formed so as to sustain us? 

An underlying philosophy, instead of an environment of fear is what would inform any sustainable treaty. Is there an underlying philosophy in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC? The earth recycles, do we recycle? The earth rests so that it can give, do we rest in order that we can give? The earth works to supply each individual specie its needs, and has all species working in harmony, do we give each of God’s creation what it needs, and seek to make each creation remain a part of the whole? When the UNFCCC Secretariat stated:

“It is not possible to say with utmost scientific certainty that each of these [referring to the floods in Niger, Pakistan, and the wild fires of Russia, and mudslides of China] are a direct climate change impact. But if they are anything to go by, then they give us a taste of the magnitude of what could come – and of what could come more frequently, and more intensely.”

This is far from being a helpful statement to the concept of cooperation. Whether there is certainty or not, when will it be possible to throw bigotry dressed as politics out of the window and to accept that this is one earth, and as one earth what affects one, affects the other – otherwise why bother to talk, or is that window dressing by the governments for the public!

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Kyoto Protocol should be revised in line with the growing body of information from an implementational point of view. Neither have had the adequate long term view that encompasses how governments and people will respond in the context of the impact of war on the environment, and in the context of the global economic crisis. The statement by the Indian environmental minister, Jairam Ramesh

“It [the US model of development] is a paradigm fraught with grave risks. I shudder to think what will happen if we [in India] follow the suburban model of urbanization,”

“You can’t blame the Americans. The US lifestyle has become the world lifestyle. [But] if we are going to replicate this model, it is a recipe for disaster for India as well as for the rest of the world. We should be showing the way … not just saying we are going to pay this price.” 

… is not far from the findings of the Health of the Planet Report, which states: 

“Over a given time period, our planet produces a finite amount of resources. Trees, food, oxygen, and everything else are created at a balanced, natural rate. If we consume more than what is produced, we start to damage the Earth’s ability to renew itself. Because one of the main ways we use the planet’s resources is through our diets, we’ve examined what effects diets from around the world are having on the planet, by showing what would happen if everyone on earth ate the same food. As you can see, if everyone ate like Americans, we would be using nearly four planet’s worth of resources by 2050”.

Industry is about trade, and trade includes the way in which we produce our food. In the industrialized processing of our foods, much is done that degrades the environment, the food and the water we consume. From the burning of fossil fuels, to the chemical processes, the fertilizers which diminish land fertility, and the waste waters that poison our water supply, and reduce available drinking water, which is a growing problem even for the developed countries. If trade was fair, there would be no need for food to be considered as a national security threat, which in itself is becoming an obsessive compulsive disorder for governments. Rather than see fair trade as a way forward to share the world’s resources in a manner that benefits everyone, the approach is to steal from one’s neighbor whether it is in the form of trade agreements, low-pricing of raw materials in order to get high returns, aid and/or land-grabbing.

“Food-insecure countries are responding to food shortages by looking to distant lands to develop crops for export back home. However, a crucial question is falling through the cracks: should trade be supported at the expense of domestic food supplies? The land grab trend is putting private interests in direct competition with land for local food production, a situation that cannot be tolerated in the face of growing hunger among the world’s poorest. Much of the global food system, from seed and fertilizer supply to trade and retail, is in the hands of a few large corporations whose interests are first and foremost economic gain, not feeding the millions of the world’s hungry. The land grab trend is extending private sector control over food production in a way that provides little transparency, few safeguards, and shows little concern for local economics or political or humanitarian consequences.

“The presumed virtues of market mechanisms and of increasing investment climates dominate the global agenda, blinding decision-makers to the reality of peoples’ basic needs and to the simple fact that domestic food supply must be ensured. Put quite simply, private corporations are not providing short or long-term stability in food production and supply for the developing world. The price volatility resulting from increased corporate control of food trade is hugely damaging to farmers’ livelihoods and to poor countries’ dependent on a system that has not come through for them time and time again. – The Great Land Grab by Shepard Daniel with Anuradha Mittal.

However, the Cancun talks are about none of the above, it is simply a checklist of what industrialized nations have done to cut emissions, but surely to cut emissions the processes that contribute towards those emissions, have to be restructured! Is it not time that the Copenhagen Accord be revised to become a compulsory agreement rather than a voluntary one for which government is not hell-bent towards progress at any cost? Even if there is no direct link between the growing problems with the climate, and production, there is a direct relationship to the mass means of production controlled by large corporations and the health of the nation, and the environment or does the health of the nation, and the health of the planet that is supposed to sustain us not matter?

Mexico is out to set an example during the talks at Cancun with a recycling waste program as a result of the waste produced during the talks. Mexico will also be installing a hydroelectric and using the Cancun wind turbine and biofuels to reduce their contribution to greenhouse emissions. The wind turbine will produce clean energy preventing the output of 2,000 tons of CO₂, i.e. the exhaust from hundreds of cars. Though they hope to relieve the earth of 50 million tons of CO₂, the burning of biofuels may replace fossil fuels, but in doing so, biofuels do not produce less CO₂ than fossil fuels, which does not suddenly recycle itself back into the soil, as some “experts” would like us to believe. Oil and coal are products of the earth, and like anything that is burned, it vaporizes into the air, back onto earth via rain, and inhalation. How sustainable are plants, trees, and all that constitutes the term “biomass” once they are consumed to the same extent as coal and oil? Therefore, where logic, evidence and expertise based on truth not propoganda is lacking, self interest in the form of politics prevails! The World Bank has approved funding of Mexico’s efforts towards a greener economy to the tune of US$713mn – what’s really behind it? 

The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, and in 2010 – the hottest year since records began, CO₂ emissions have been the highest since records of CO₂ emissions began. This does not speak in favor of governments who make claims towards record reductions by 2012, when as far as 2007, the European Union aimed for 2020 to cut greenhouse emissions by only 20%! “The holes in the protocol essentially mean business as usual for the large greenhouse gas emitters, as long as they pay poorer nations to do the dirty job of cutting emissions wrote Tan Cheng Li in 1997, is there anything different in 2010 or will there be in 2012? While 21,000 people have died in the first 9 months of 2010 alone because of weather related disasters according to the Oxfam report “More Than Ever: Climate Talks that Work for Those That Need Them Most” who cares when one is benefiting from business as usual!


Li, T.C. “Flaws in the Kyoto Protocol.” 

Mckenzie, D. “Biofuels Will Up Euro Greenhouse Emissions.” 

“Stakes High, Expectations Low as Climate Talks Open in Cancum.” 

Related Topics:

Behind the Food Price Crisis!

Space Weather and Increasing Natural Disasters

HAARP: Playing with Nature!

International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity

Finding a Global Balance

A Food Revolution!

Eating Away at Our Earth

Did You Miss Out on 10-10-10?

Summer 2010 the Hottest On Record!

Prince Charles on Islam and the Environment

The Collective Intelligence of Women

The Collective Intelligence of Women

By Hwaa Irfan

When women are not functioning in the masculine mode, remain imbedded in their natural instincts is their disapproval of disagreement. Like it or not, women are more family orientated, and family being what it innately is, it is the microcosm of the society. When human spirit fails, instinct rears its head.

Findings at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, have found that the number of women involved in a group activity is influential in the ability of a group to cooperate overriding intelligence, and cognition of each individual member of the group. The ability of a group to perform well across assignments, projects, initiatives in a working environment depends on their ability to cooperate. When cooperation is lacking; so too is the performance of the group. Looking at small teams, they also found that groups that performed well collectively, also were able to function well across a wide variety of tasks. The study led by Anita William Woolley found that:

“Social sensitivity has to do with how well group members perceive each other’s emotions,” said Christopher Chabris, co-author of the study.

“Also, in groups where one person dominated, the group was less collectively intelligent than in groups where the conversational turns were more evenly distributed,” added Woolley.

It so happened that the quality of social sensitivity was found to be greater when there were more women involved, leading to improved team work.

The study which was not designed to look at gender involved looking at 699 people who were organized into groups of 2 – 5. Carried out by Alexander Pentland, Anita Woolley, Christopher Chabris, Nada Hashmi, and Thomas Malone, the tasks they were given ranged from negotiating, brainstorming, games, and assignments with complex rules. Those that did well, appeared to be explained by the greater social sensitivity of the women present in those groups, but surely this can be tailored by whether women function in the masculine mode or as women:

“So having group members with higher social sensitivity is better regardless of whether they are male or female,” Woolley explained.

“It really calls into question our whole notion of what intelligence is. What individuals can do all by themselves is becoming less important; what matters more is what they can do with others and by using technology.”

“Having a bunch of smart people in a group doesn’t necessarily make the group smart,” concluded Malone.

Traditional Society

The above realization is nothing new to social anthropologists, especially those who have focused on the role of women in the development of society as a cohesive entity. In the process of nursing and nurturing children, women have organized the means to do so, when it comes to provision that will lead to survival of life. This in turn leads to production for the whole.

In traditional Javanese culture, the underlying belief for the individual is that everyone holds the potential to develop a spiritual inner strength through continuous practice of emotional and behavioral self control – the social reward being self mastery. Transferred to gender the husband entrust his financial affairs to his wife. For it is the wife who rules the home making most of the decisions around family finances, consulting with him only on major issues. This responsibility transfers to the market place and trade, as trade was considered to be the domain of women. This relationship changed with the advance of colonialism, which reflected in globalization, puts men in control of family, national and domestic finances – need I say more! 

With modernization, Indonesian women have been relegated to the financial affairs of the home, and for men to maintain it that way, they use derogatory labeling of the world of women and finance, leaving the affected etiquette of conduct to one of social status, and spiritual potency and comportment. Reinforcing stereotypes to maintain the modern myth of gender, maybe the crises in social order has much to do with the reduction of the women’s sphere with the rise of statehood as a male preoccupation. Ignoring the competiveness of men, men in general do find it difficult to judge rationally, and do judge on the basis of nafsu and hawa nafsu – passion and desire. They do order the world according to those desires only giving it the fine wrapping of a form of politics, which underlies all the issues pertaining to the wholesome development of a society, and that society’s relationship with its neighbors – and in doing so, women increasingly operate in the masculine mode, and judge accordingly. 

Nafsu can take on the form of sex and money, which is a prevalent addiction to the way in which affair are conducted today. Nafsu take a greater control because we have removed arenas of responsibility, through myths of individualism, and conditional human rights. Everything is judged on a situation-to-situation basis, removing any real obligation to create for the whole.  If there is any benefit in women reclaiming their space in the public sphere it is that they should claim their innate right to collective responsibility without feeling “obliged” to think and behave like men. But what happens when we confuse being competitive, use the body instead of minds and hearts, victimhood, being manipulative, and playing one person up against the other with what it really means to be a woman!


Brettell, C.B.ed.  “Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective.” Prentice Hall, U.S. 1993

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2010, October 2). Collective intelligence: Number of women in group linked to effectiveness in solving difficult problems.­ /releases/2010/09/100930143339.htm

Related Topics:

Discovering Your Emotional Intelligence

Women are Emotional and Men are Pragmatic!

Sexuality Beyond the Veil 

Making Cities Women Friendly!

Society Says Your Body Not Your Mind!

No Wonder Women Are Bored!

Society’s Obligation to Mothers

Ordinary Women Doing the Impossible 

Self-Love is a Journey

The U.S. Looking for War

The U.S. Behind Korean Tensions

From A.N.S.W.E.R

The Obama Administration and its South Korean client government led by the rabidly anti-communist President Kim Myung-bak are blaming the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) for the latest escalation of hostilities in the Korean Peninsula.

But in reality the crisis there is the result of a policy of deliberate provocation by the U.S. and South Korea over the past several months. These provocations are targeting both the DPRK and the People’s Republic of China, countries where the often-concealed but very real aim of U.S. leaders — Democrats and Republicans alike – is “regime change.” They could also lead to a new Korean war, one that could expand to wider regional, and potentially nuclear, conflict.

While hypocritically calling for “calm” in words, Washington is escalating the crisis by its actions. A U.S. naval group led by the nuclear “super-carrier” USS George Washington is on its way to carry out joint military maneuvers with South Korean warships in the Yellow Sea, menacing both China and the DPRK. By moving this huge aircraft carrier into the Yellow Sea the Pentagon and White House are sending a direct, threatening message of escalation since China considers these waters to be part of its sovereign territory.

On November 24, an unnamed “senior administration official” confirmed that the U.S. is escalating pressure on China: “China clearly does not like to see U.S aircraft carriers, for example, in the Yellow Sea.” (NY Times, Nov. 25, 2010) 

What’s needed to resolve the crisis:

The DPRK wants direct talks with the United States, a formal Peace Treaty ending the Korean War, and a normalization of relations with the United States. This seemed like a realizable goal in the last months of the Bill Clinton administration in 1999 and 2000. George W. Bush scuttled these efforts shortly after taking office in 2001. The Obama administration continued this policy with new sanctions and endless war games simulating the invasion and bombing of North Korea.

The anti-war movement and all progressive people and organizations should stand against any new war, and demand an end to the U.S.-South Korean provocations.

In the latest incident, the North and South Korean armies exchanged artillery fire on November 23. Two South Korean soldiers and two civilians were reported killed and others wounded. Casualties on the North Korean side have not been reported. As in all such previous incidents, U.S. and South Korean leaders condemned the DPRK. But, as even a close reading of the universally anti-North corporate media here reveals, the first shells were fired by the South during military exercises staged in a disputed sea area close to the west coast of North Korea.

The North Korean government stated that it was “reacting to the military provocation of the puppet group with a prompt powerful physical strike,” and accused Seoul of starting the skirmish with its “reckless military provocation as firing dozens of shells inside the territorial waters of the” North. 

The roots of the crisis:

The western sea border between the North and South is not recognized as legitimate by the DPRK. It was unilaterally created by the United States, using the mantle of the United Nations as a fig leaf and cover for its actions, at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The U.S. and allied forces fought the DPRK under the UN flag, slaughtering millions of Korean people and leveling the northern half of the country by massive bombing. That war further divided a historically unified society into competing states. While an armistice was signed in July 1953, the U.S. has refused the demands of the DPRK to sign a Peace Treaty formally bringing the war to an end U.S.

“War Games” = Preparation for Real War

In recent years there have been at least three clashes in the same area as the November 23 incident. The DPRK had repeatedly warned South Korea against carrying out the latest “war games” the area. In fact, the term “war games” is a misnomer — these maneuvers should correctly be called dress rehearsals for war. No one knows, moreover, whether any particular military exercises is practice or the real thing, until it is over and done with. This is especially true when the “war games” take place in extremely close proximity to an enemy state.

The U.S. and South Korea annually stage such exercises close to both China and the DPRK. The latest and largest joint drills were held this past summer despite strong protests from both the PRC and DPRK. Those “games,” labeled “Invincible Spirit,” included a simulated invasion of the North. 

China’s defense ministry especially objected to the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier close to its coast. In typical arrogant fashion, a U.S. Defense Department spokesperson responded: “Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, using what assets and so forth, are determinations made by the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, by the United States government.” (Agence France Presse, July 15, 2010)

Imagine for a moment the reaction in Washington if the Chinese navy announced that it was planning to hold similar maneuvers right off-shore of New York or Los Angeles. 

The Number 1 Provocation – U.S. Military Presence

The biggest provocation of all is the massive presence of U.S. military bases, troop, nuclear and conventional weapons in the region. In 2010, 65 years after the end of World War II, there are scores of U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine bases in Korea, Okinawa, and all across Japan. The U.S. has provided high tech weaponry of all kinds to Taiwan. Trident submarines, each of which can launch hundreds of nuclear warheads, and nuclear-armed aircraft carriers prowl the eastern Pacific round-the-clock.

This vast deployment of military power halfway around the world far exceeds that of any other country. It and the tens of billions of dollars it burns up every year is justified to the people here as being for “defensive purposes.” But that is just another Big Lie.

The real purpose of this monstrous military machine is to secure and further the interests of the U.S. corporate power and strategic domination in Asia and around the world. It is the enemy of the people of Korea, China, Japan and the people of the United States.

There will be an emergency anti-war rally on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 12 Noon in front of the White House. If you live too far away or can’t make it.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

Related Topics:

South Korea and the U.S. on the Brink?

The Peace that Will Not Proceed

Lost to the Sea of Life


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lost to the Sea of Life 

By Hwaa Irfan

We can only judge when something happens, how equipped we are for any given situation, but most of us live our lives in fear of the unknown. Despite all the blessings of modernity, we find ourselves less able, not more when a situation arises. If we are blessed, we will have all our senses, and our limbs, but at the ability to think for ourselves is something we learn on the way.

It might not have happened if they were raised in the extravagant West – those three boys were lost in the Pacific Ocean for so long, that their families and relatives thought they were dead. For 50 days, no one knew that they were still in this plane of existence.

From the island (atoll) of Atafu, north of Samoa.Two boys, Samuel Pelesa, and Filo Filo aged 15, and their cousin Etueni (Edward) Nasau aged 14 set out for an inter-island trip of Tokelau, an archipelago of 3 atolls includinf Atafu, in an aluminium boat. Running out of fuel for their motor, they drifted out to sea out of sight of their island home. uth only a small supply of food on board, and between them, whatever understanding they had, a new one was to form out of the need to survive. They had survived on one seagull, which presented itself on their boat and whatever flying fish that also hopped on board. Without means of cooking, what they ate was eaten raw. For water they drank rainwater. Canadian Indians would collect their drinking water from melted snow before the country was industrialized, so there was no real health risk.

They were even searched for by the New Zealand air force, and fearing the worst, a memorial service was held for them by 500 townsfolk. The boys in their aluminium boat drifted 1300 km into a part of the Pacific Ocean where there is little sea traffic, until they drifted into the tuna boat racing home of Auckland, San Nikunau. Before that, they had seen ships that could not see them. 

As time passed, the boys had no drinking water, has there was no rainfall, and resorted to sips of seawater 2 days before they were found. Death was on their minds, and they prayed everyday to be found.

Away from their normal route, the tuna fishing vessel with First Mate Tai Fredricsen was passing through San Nikunau after deciding not to unload their catch in American Samoa out of a desire to get home. They were just trying to take the quickest route home, when in the distant they noticed a small boat Fredricsen told Stuff. Curiosity got the better of them because something was not quite right about it all. As they approached the boys started to wave to. As the fishing vessel drew close up, the crew saw three physically fit, but very skinny boys. 

On board the fishing vessel, Fredricsen, a medical officer put the boys on an intravenous drip, but to his surprise the only medical treatment the boys were in need of was sunscreen lotions. They were able to sip water, and were eager to eat some real food. They had not eaten for 2 weeks prior to being found! After phoning home, the boys were treated to a kiwi breakfast, lunch, cartoons and music by the crew – what an adventure! 

Severely sunburned, but otherwise in good health, the tuna vessel has dropped the boys off in Suva, the capital of Fiji where a hospital check up is waiting for them before flying to Samoa, then a boat trip to Tokelau.

Life Lessons

In the U.K.’s “Wellbeing Challenge” involving 10,000 teenagers, and 400 schools, the youth were asked to complete the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Test before and after the challenge. It was found by removing 21st century material trappings, gadgets, and make-up, that their self esteem rose by 20%. Psychologist Emma Kenny commented:

The results from the Wellbeing Challenge were astonishing for such a short period of time. It is clear that there is a correlation between increased self-esteem and teens being freed from the trappings of modern day pressures, particularly those affecting their appearance.

“In truth, we are robbing children of their childhood by showing unrealistic images of models and celebrities everyday, which are unachievable. In actual fact make-up is simply a mask for their unhappiness and by removing it we are liberating them from these social expectations, creating resilience and strength.

“David Cameron is taking a lead in investigating what makes us happy as adults. If the Simple Wellbeing Challenge in schools proves anything it is that money is not everything, but that appearance plays a huge role. With increased self-esteem we will foster a new happier generation.”

When there is no illusions of trust, we connect with what is always ever-present, Our Creator. We stand tested to the trials that present themselves as a means of defining who and what we really are – what distracts us, and what confuses us. These boys did not grow up street-wises with all the confusing trappings of boyhood in the city – they have grown up in the traditional ways of their people on the Atoll of Atafu, which one of three which makes up Tokelau. They would not have known what it is like to be without a community for a family, and to be couped up indoors out of fear for the outdoors. They would not have spent endless hours in front of books, homework, and T.V. and video games. They would have explored their environment, and in the process learn lessons that would equip them for life. 

“Take a ship from the Samoan capital Apia and travel north for 28 often stomach-churning hours through the South Pacific ocean — an empty expanse except for flying fish and the occasional pod of dolphins — and you’ll reach Tokelau” South Asian Women’s Forum. 

Under the administrative management of New Zealand, the islanders are free to live according to their traditions – they are aiming to become self governed. Wait for a barge to take you, the post, and supplies to any of the atolls of Tokelau where there is no capital  to confuse you, no airports, cars, television, and the village chiefs take turns each to be the leader of this tiny nation.

“There is no other place I can catch a yellowfin tuna 100 metres from home,” says Mika Kalolo, 31, a government employee who went to school and worked in New Zealand for many years before returning home to Atafu, the northernmost atoll.

Drinking water comes mainly from the rain, which when it falls is held in large storage tanks beside/under each home. Times are changing though, as the open huts, are being taken over by concrete and timber buildings, which are built according to custom, i.e. a single large room. 

“When I came back after getting used to luxury five star living in New Zealand for 11 years, it was a culture shock for me in terms of privacy and sharing, returning to communal facilities and activities,” -Mika Perez, a 45-year-old government official on Nukunonu atoll.

 It is no wonder the boys survived, as they come from a people not ingratiated with excess in lifestyle including food, as the atolls have little soil to grow produce on, so the islanders live on bananas, breadfruit, taro, coconuts, pigs and chicken. Fishing is the main occupation, and this is done as a social activity, as everyone shares in the catch, just as everyone shares in the building or the fixing of a home.

As for national security, it consists of two police officers who have only the odd dispute to deal with, and there is no prison. However, that might change as the young who have lived in New Zealand return with lifestyles from the mainland including individualism and hence competitiveness. May God give them the grace of insight for where individualism sets in there is loss of common values, the values that have made the people of Atafu into one big family. They know little of what it means to be not accepted, to be unimportant, and to always waste energy with the kind of negative emotions that sets one person up against the other, to be a commodity, a value/value-less, to have meaningless passed onto their children, to always be in doubt of who and what you are, and for each individual to fight/find their way through the sea of life.


Barber, D. “Boys Alive After 50 Days Adrift in the Pacific.”

Field, M. “Miracle Survival of Three Boys.”

South Asian Women’s Forum. “Tokelau Clings to Traditional Ways in South Pacific Isolation.”

“Teen Happiness at All Time Low.”

 “Three Boys Adrift in Pacific Ocean for 50 Days Found Alive.”

“Teenager Found Adrift in Pacific Describes His Ordeal.”

Relate Topics:

Happiness Doesn’t Grow on Trees!

The Missing Link in the Education of Our Boys

Taking Control of Your Family

Climbing the Mountain

The Echo of Life

Mindfulness and Adolescence

AHome or a House!

Live to Work or Work to Live!

The Lesson That Cannot Be Taught!

Nature Helps Our Brain Connect!

Reliving the Art of Communication

Preparing for Life!

What Frequency Am I Traveling on Right Now?

Children Need the Outdoors Like Earth Needs Rain!

Paid in Full

South Korea and the U.S. on the Brink?

South Korea and the U.S. on the Brink?


From International Action Center

THESE ARE THE UNDISPUTED FACTS: On Nov. 23, the government of South Korea mobilized 70,000 troops for a week of military maneuvers just off the border of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The DPRK said that these military maneuvers simulated an invasion of the north.

The military deployment was provocatively held right off the sea borderline between the north and the south. This is an area considered to be disputed territory.
On Nov 23, at 1:00 p.m., South Korean forces fired many shells into waters right off the DPRK. This is an area that the north has a longstanding claim to be within its territory. This claim had been accepted by prior south Korean governments.

An hour and a half later, the DPRK retaliated to what it saw as an attack on its territory by firing shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.

And now the U.S. has announced plans to send  the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington and its battle group including war ships, destroyers and hundreds of fighter jets back into the area to participate in new war maneuver provocations.

It is urgent that all who stand for peace and justice make plans now for immediate protest actions in the days ahead.

The U.S. military has been involved in all the war maneuvers by South Korea, going back to the 1950-53 war, and has occupied South Korea since the end of World War II.

Why doesn’t the media ask why the U.S. was orchestrating a massive military deployment of troops, ships and aircraft right on the border of the DPRK?
The provocation here clearly comes from the U.S. government and the right-wing south Korean regime, not the DPRK. The regime of Lee Myung-bak has undone earlier moves that improved relations between the two halves of the Korean nation and has brought increased confrontation.
It can never be forgotten that U.S. imperialism waged a horrendous war against the Korean Revolution from 1950 to 1953, one that resulted in millions of deaths and total devastation of the Korean Peninsula.
For there to be peace on the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. should end its support of expansionist, right-wing forces in the south, sign a peace treaty with the north (a state of war still exists after 57 years!) and withdraw its troops so the Korean people can decide their own destiny.
Join us in the days ahead in taking to the streets to protest these U.S. war threats and sanctions that have created a powder keg in Asia. End the military occupation of South Korea! Sign a peace treaty and bring the troops home!


Related Topics:

Stop War on Iran

Pentagon Destroys Thousands of Afghani Homes

GM Mosquitoes: Programming Nature

GM Mosquitoes: Programming  Nature                                                                            

By Hwaa Irfan 

Philanthropist Bill Gates has been at it again, that is reinventing nature. One wonders which cult movie/T.V. serial he is fan of with the creation of genetically engineered mosquitoes. Once again, this is old news to many, and one that passed without much alarm publicly, well at least not as much as the film the X-Files! Funded to the tune of $19.7 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and led by Anthony James of the University of California

The first known release of 3 million male GM mosquitoes took place last year took place last year on the British colony the Cayman Islands, but was only publicized in October 2010, and the results presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The OX513A not a flattering name for the GM version of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads dengue fever, was engineered by the U.K.-based biotechnology company Oxitec (funded $5mn by the Gated Foundation), with the field experiment carried out by the Cayman Island’s Mosquito Research and Control Unit. The intention was to eliminate the infection and spread of dengue fever. GM males were to mate with normal females to produce larvae that die. The trials were supposed to have been presented at the 5th meeting of the Parties to the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety, which is concerned with international safety issues pertaining to GM organisms, but were not. As to the reality on the ground, that is yet to be seen. Much is based on supposition – the supposition that GM males did compete with normal males, and that the population of normal mosquitoes (referred to as wild as a part of the labeling process towards the perception of serious threat) has been reduced according to Oxitec, but without actual evidence. As such, Oxitec considers its trial to have been successful. Oxitec is awaiting approval for its trials to be repeated in Brazil, Panama and the U.S, although the original study by James pertained to Mexico.

The World Health Organization, which seems to have known of the trial in the Cayman Islands, are still in the process of drawing up guidelines on transgenic mosquitoes, while Malaysia’s National Board of Biosafety has given approval for the trials to go ahead in Malaysia. Unfortunately, Bill Gates is also the principal investigator for the regulatory body Mosqguide, which is funded by the World Health Organization.

We are supposed to be placated by the fact that GM mosquitoes are programmed to not have offspring, according to medical entomologist Willem Takken (Wageningen University, Netherlands), but how can they guarantee that will not happen! It is argument that has not won the support of Gurmit Singh, chair of the Center for the Environment, Technology, and Development in Malaysia, being suspicious about the fact that the trial was kept quiet despite Oxitec statement that the trials were not kept quiet. Malaysian professor at the University of Malaysia, Rosli Omar, is none too pleased. A member of Save Our Rivers – Sengalor, Omar was unaware of the trials on the Cayman Islands in September 2010. Omar argues that invasive species act invasively once released into the environment to the detriment of the environment. Omar gives the example of the Asian Carp that was introduced to the U.S. to rid the rivers of the Snakehead is destroying the freshwater ecosystem, and the cane toad that was introduced to Australia. GM mosquitoes are invasive, because of their new traits, which is made worse by the fact that the normal Aedes aegypti is an introduced species to Malaysia that has become a pest. Once released into the environment it cannot be controlled, it cannot be caught, its behavior in the field cannot be guaranteed, after all, they are not micro-chips, and they are subject to mutation once they mate with the normal species, like the growing problem antibiotic resistant bacteria in hospitals.

{Are the blind and the seeing alike? Or can the darkness and the light be equal? Or have they set up with Allah associates who have created creation like His, so that what is created became confused to them?} (Ar -Rad 13: 16)

In Mexico, where corn is a part of the staple diet, the effects of GM corn has been a burning issue with it neighbor the U.S. producing mostly GM corn. As a result of a six-year experiment, it was found that GM crops held new genetic traits such as resistance to herbicides or pests that could result in out-competing the crops. There was also delayed flowering and reduced fertility in GM crops. These genetic traits added through genetic engineering are able to spread to weeds, and become permanent traits of the weed population. Of the GM mosquitoes that do survive and breed can it be guaranteed that they will not produce a more dangerous species, which differs in choices of habitat. Mexican teosinte corn has undergone centuries of breeding by indigenous small farmers in what constitutes the world center for the biodiversity of corn with 20,000 varieties. However, in the birthplace of corn an invasion has been underway that was only recently discovered in the remote highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico. The invader is GM corn that has been found along roadsides, cracks in sidewalks and anywhere there is soil including remote mountain settlements. Mosquitoes have wings, and the GM mosquito can change the traditional habitat, and breeding patterns of the normal mosquito. One GM crop with severe side effects is Starlink Corn produced by Aventis Crop Science. Starlink was engineered to be toxic to insects. However, it was found to be heat stable and resistant to stomach acids and enzymes, thus rendering it indigestible by the human body. As an allergen, it was shown to cause skin rashes, nausea, and respiratory problems. In severe cases, allergens can cause anaphylactic shock (hypersensitivity to a foreign substance) or death, what will the sting of a first generation of GM mosquito from breeding?

In the Malaysian trial, the GM mosquitoes are to be released in the inland district of Bentong, and Alor Gajah, and then they are to be recaptured using mosquito traps! If it was possible to capture mosquitoes, why has it not been done before? How can they guarantee capturing all of the GM mosquitoes, and even then, how can they guarantee that the GM mosquitoes have not mated successfully? Lab tests so far have demonstrated that 3% of the offspring of male GM mosquitoes and normal female mosquitoes did survive into adulthood according to Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir, head of the nations Genetic Modifications Advisory Committee.


A different approach has used nature to fight nature. Cuba in the battle against Dengue fever and malaria has produced biolarvicides, Bactivec, and Griselesf since the 1990s. They are added to water to kill mosquitoes as larvae, and have been imported into Africa, but now Cuba aims to build biolarvicide factories in Africa and Brazil. Biolarvicides, which are also produced in India, are based on the toxins of mosquitoes. They are cost effect, and effective in the environment without risking the environment or public health; as to whether biolarvicides based on the toxin of the Aedes aegytpi have been produced is not too clear, but the toxins used in Bactivec and Griselesf have proven effective against all mosquito species according to claims made. The use of biolarvicides in Angola, has proven to reduce the incidence of malaria by 50%, and 75% in the capital of Ghana, Accra.


“Bill Gates Funds Approval of GM Mosquitoes to Combat Dengue.”

Enserick, M. “GM Mosquito Trial Strains Ties in Gates-Funded Project.”

Nightingale, K. “GM Mosquitoes were Released on the Islands Last Year, But Only Published Last Month.”

Omar, R. “GM Mosquito Trial: A Dangerous Precedent.”

Salgado, L. “Cuba Launches Next Phase of African Malaria Project.”

Tan, C. S. “Genetically-Modified Mosquitoes to be Released in Malaysia in Attempt to Control Dengue Fever.”

Related Topics:

All Things Are Linked!

The Pill, Our Bodies, and Ourselves

Meat By Any Means 

GM Foods and Fertility

Stopping the Menstrual Flow During Ramadhan

Bill Gates and Population Control

New Intellectual Property Right Laws Increase Risk of Bad Medicine

Drugs That Stop Your Brain from Working…

Behind the Food Price Crisis!

The Peace that Will Not Proceed

The Peace that Will Not Proceed

By Hwaa Irfan

If anyone was in any doubt about the peace process between Israel and Palestine, or has been under any illusion that there is indeed a peace process, despite the fact that the Israeli government seems to avoid controlling it’s settler’s as much as it enjoys controlling Palestinians,  for the expansion of its concept of a state, well without further adieu the significant role of the U.S. leaves little left to the imagination. 

The global service of the Jewish people, JTA reports on how the U.S. will store “an additional $400mn in emergency equipment in Israel.” Either Obama is out of his depth when it comes to stabilizing the fragile U.S. economy through the multi-billion sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, China, and others, or the Obama Administration is setting up a warfare situation to finalize the re-balkanization of the world’s global resources, or both.

According to the report the deal will transpire over a 2-year period, with the military equipment to be delivered over that period, and to be made available to Israel in times of emergency. How that emergency is to be defined and by whom, given the errant behavior of a rogue state which pretty much creates its own illusions, and gets the rest of the world to believe in it – the military ware applied in the 2nd war on Lebanon was from the U.S. stockpile!

By 2012, $1.2bn of U.S. military equipment will be stockpiled in Israel whose only threat is a reaction to its barbaric and dehumanizing actions. Israels’ march forward to the realization of an Israeli state that will included parts of Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria continues unabated. The aim to push Palestinians out of Palestine into Jordan also continues unabated. Its desire to sustain the threat of global terrorism through undisclosed mercenary and PSYOPS tactics around the world, so that it can remain to be unnoticed in its ambitions plays the world like pawns in its games.

First reported in Defense News, the stockpile provides a supply depot for U.S. troops to use misnomered equipment such as “smart bombs”, when it chooses. This lack of conscientiousness of what is needed to re-balance the world, demonstrated the level of deception and lack of will to redress the damage that has been done by at least, three terms of Bush & Son global governance. These people are clearly obsessed with a notion of power, a power that can only be sustainable at a temporary cost to the rest of the world – temporary because no one will tolerate the consequences for long, and temporary because common interests are only in-common when there is a benefit to all parties involved.

The Illusion of Threat

One doubts that the fear of being attacked is genuine, but it does serve to promote the notion of a certain set of people as the enemy, and in that service, much can be done to betray the people of the world. All throughout the occupation of Palestine, Israel has never been under any physical threat, except the threat that it can never exist as a state in its own right on other people’s land. It has ignored it religious leaders, and the Jewry as a whole, creating a global elite that has very little to do with Judaism as a religious practice.

It is the inability to believe that others can treat them better than they treat others that seems to keep them determined in their actions/paranoia. The notion of natural justice is lost expecting those unlike them to behave in the same manner in which they behave. As they continue to demonize Iran, like Iraq in preparation for a greater war, there notion of Iran, is unfortunately liken to some Muslims who perceive power, status and nationalistic beliefs before they perceive Islam. When in 2001, the appeal of 10 Iranian Jews rejected by the Iranian judiciary, like automatons, the West and the believers in Western democracy shouted foul without recognizing that 8 Muslims were also accused of espionage. Neither did the West and its sympathizers note that the sentence was reduced from 4 – 13 years respectively to 2 – 9 years on the basis that they were found innocent of two of the charges against them. There is a long list of cases in the U.S. and the U.K of non-Muslims who have been found guilty when in fact quite blaringly innocent! All countries are sensitive to the security of their nations, but when fairness is ruled out, national security becomes a national obsession.

In the late 1980’s, the approximate number of Jews in the Arab world alone was 4,700,000. As one of the Peoples of the Book, Jews have had a place in Muslim societies since the dawn of Islam. The Sahifa, agreement of Medina in 622/3 C.E., stated:

  1. The Aus were to pay the blood money of the persons they had killed before, and every group was to redeem its prisoners with justice
  2. No Believer should seek to turn the auxiliary of another Believer against him
  3. God-fearing Believers shall oppose whoever seeks to sow injustice, sin, or enmity among the Believers; every man’s hand shall be against him even though he might be the son of one of them
  4. The Jews who follow us shall have aid and equality, except those who do wrong or aid the enemies of the Muslims
  5. No idolater shall take Qurayshi property or persons under his protection nor shall he turn anyone against a believer
  6. The Jews shall bear expenses with the Muslims as long as they fight along with them
  7. None may go to war without the Holy Prophets’ (SAW) permission, but they are not prevented from taking vengeance for a wound.

This treaty was written following the Battle of Bu’ath in which Jewish tribesmen fought for the losing cause of ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy against Prophet Muhammed (SAW), and the Muslims. They would not support Prophet Muhammed (SAW) because he was not a Jew; however, the Muslims kept their word and Allah’s (SWT) covenant despite their antics.

The Jews had suffered greatly under the Goths in Spain, but the advent of Islamic rule brought them the freedom to practice their rites and traditions. They flourished in the fields of medicine, philosophy, literature, money-lending and the translation of Arabic text into Latin. The neighborliness between them and the Muslims influenced them to pray in Arabic, rather than the Hebrew which they knew so little of at the time, to perform ablutions before entering their synagogues, and to sing Jewish songs to old Arabic melodies. They lived this way for over 400 years!

Today, the life of acceptance has no meaning. The Zionists have brainwashed themselves and others into believing that their violation of the human rights of others is justified by their search for a home and their own human rights.

In fighting for a home separate from Muslims, they have broken the first 6 of their Seven Laws of Noah, so when they refer to their covenant with God, where do they stand when they have broken the covenant? At a press conference in Illinois, U.S. in March 2000, David Weiss of the Neturei Karta group in Jerusalem stated:

“The holocaust was divine punishment on the Jewish people for their abandonment of the Torah. Until the Zionist movement, Jews lived peacefully among their neighbors.”

Whether this is true or not, the Jews did live peacefully amongst Muslims, when non-Muslims did not give them that right.

“They call us colonists,” said one Jewish man to the Guardian Weekly reporter Linda Grant. 

“But if we lose, where do I go? Back to Yemen, where my grandfather came from in the 1930s?”

It did not occur to this man that he did come from somewhere, and that the notion of what he referred to as home has pushed the world towards a possible WWIII. Yet for Palestinians, the so-called peace process, despite what Zionists have put them through, has been about how to live with Jews as neighbors.

{And We had made known to the children of Israel in the Book, most certainly you will make mischief in the land twice, and most certainly you will behave insolently with great insolence.} (Al-Bani-Israel 17: 4)

“A person cannot be conscious of others when he lacks of consciousness of himself” – Hwaa Irfan


JTA “U.S. to Store More Weapons in Israel.”

Related Topics:

Muslim Cordoba Going for a Song 

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

Albanian Muslims Risked Their Own Lives to Save Jews in the Holocaust

Muslim and Jews Side By Side in the Bronx

The House of Three Rooms

Forgiveness Between Sand and Stone 

One is the Loneliest Number

U.S. Set to Destabilize the Rest of the World

Facing Armageddon

Gaza and Israeli Might Over Human Rights

From Silwan to the City of David

Stop War on Iran

The Echo of Life

Xenophobia on African Shores and Elsewhere

Finding a Global Balance

The Charity of Love

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

By Hwaa Irfan

The pomegranate is one fruit that is been placed in a class of its own when it comes to the plant kingdom: Granateae or Punicaceae under the umbrella of Lythraceae.

{In them will be Fruits, and dates, and pomegranates: Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?} (Ar-Rahman – 68-69).

The manifold attributes to mankind of the pomegranate is referred to in the Sunnah as follows: 

“…Then the earth would be told to bring forth its fruit and restore its blessing and, as a result thereof, there would grow (such a big) pomegranate that a group of persons would be able to eat that, and seek shelter under its skin…” (Muslims 41: # 7015)

In the Qur’an, pomegranate is included as part of the abundance that sustains us (An-Anaam 6: 99). The drought tolerant, low growing tree is native to Persia. As the oldest known edible fruit, other names for pomegranate in English include: Chinese apple. In Arabic, it’s called rowman, in Armenian, nur, in Bengali, Anar/Bedana, in Cantonese Ngon sehk lau, in German granatapfel, in Greek Rodi, in Indonesia Delima, in Polish Granat,  in Portuguese, Roma, and in Spanish Granada.

The pomegranate is now grown widely in Asia, Mediterranean countries, China, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Turkey, but is mainly exported by Turkey and Spain. This self pollinating fruit, which is also pollinated by insects, grows to about 15 feet in height. Mainly propagated through soft and hardwood cuttings, the buds and shoots are red in color, and the evergreen leaves are thick and glossy, bearing crimson colored flowers, which have been used to produce a red dye. The small tree takes care of itself requiring little pruning, yet, is able to produce without fail many fruits 4 years after planting, and 7 months after flowering. In season from September through to November, the tree requires long hot summers, but is fairly adaptive. The fruit is about the size of an orange with a thick yellow to red colored rind. The pulp is acidic, but holds many seeds.

There are three kinds of pomegranates: sour, which is sometimes used for unripe grape juice, sweet, and very sweet. Fruits that produce hard seeds may not be very good for eating, but they produce more juice. 

Chemical Properties

 From the root to the leaves contain valuable properties including:

  • Punicotannic acid(bark)
  • Gallic acid (bark)
  • Mannite (bark)
  • Pelletierine alkaloid (bark)
  • Methyl-Pelletierine alkaloid(bark)
  • Pseudo-Pelletierine alkaloid (bark)
  • IsoPelletierine alkaloid (bark)
  • N-Methyliopelletierine
  • Ellagitannins
  • Pelargonidin
  • Punicalin
  • Punicalagin
  • Anthocyanins
  • Cyanin
  • Ellagic acid

Pomegranate contains many antioxidant properties like ellagic acid, which is a proven anticarcinogen, and is effective against fibrosis. Ellagic acid is also affective in the suppression of Ultra-violet induced skin pigmentation both orally and topically as proven by the study of Mineka Yoshimura and colleagues. 

At the Kingston University in London, U.K., The rind of the pomegranate has been used to make a powerful ointment that is able to treat the growing problem in hospitals of drug resistant microbes like the bacteria methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus by adding Vitamin C. and metal salts.

Another antioxidant is cyanin, which is responsible for the color of the pomegranate. Cyanins are antricarcinogen, maintain vascular health, are anti-inflammatory. A recent study published by the American Society of Nephrology by an Israelis team Ronit Geron et al, found that patients with kidney disease who drank pomegranate juice three times a week for a year before each dialysis session had reduced inflammation of the kidneys, free radicals were reduced, and were less likely to be hospitalized. The patients also had reduced blood pressure, and fewer cardio-vascular episodes. 

The therapeutic qualities include the following: (see It All Makes Good Scents  for definitions)

  • Anticarcinogen
  • Anthelmintic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Astringent
  • Cordial
  • Demulcent
  • Purgative
  • Vermifuge

The seeds act as a demulcent. The fruit is a mild astringent and refrigerant in some fevers particularly in respect of biliousness. As an astringent it is also affective against diarrhea. The bark has been used to remove tapeworm as an anthelmintic, which results in nausea, and vomiting as a purgative. In India, the rind is used for diarrhea, and chronic dysentry.

Pomegranate juice has been used in the treatment of dyspepsia, and leprosy, and the dried, pulverized flowers have been used to treat bronchitis. In Mexico, a decoction of the flowers has been used as a gargle to treat oral and throat infections. 

In Saudi Arabia, the powdered peel of the pomegranate rind is used to treat burns, and infected cuts and wounds, as a decoction the rind is used for sore throats, stomach aches and indigestion.

Nutritional Content

  • Dietary fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Choline
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Omega-6 fatty acids

The juice of the fruit has become a popular health drink in the U.S. being high in Vitamins C and K, folate, and choline, but most of the nutritional properties are actually in the rind of the fruit.


The fruits are used for desserts in the Middle East – in Syria, it is sprinkled with sugar and rosewater.

Juice provides a cooling drink. Enjoyed as a fruit juice in Iran, the pulp sacs are removed from the fruit, and put through a basket press or quartered then crushed, and then strained for the juice. Sweetened to taste, sodium benzoate might be added to preserve the stored pomegranate juice. In South Carolina, pomegranate jelly is a favorite, which is made by adding 7 x ½ cups of sugar, and 1 bottle of liquid pectin to 4 cups of pomegranate juice.

The tannin, which is a carcinogenic, has been used to cure leather a yellow color in Morocco. 

In balance He gave us everything we needed, but as for what we want!


American Society of Nephrology (2010, November 19). Pomegranate juice reduces damage to tissues, inflammation and infections, study suggests. ScienceDaily.­ /releases/2010/11/101119083126.htm

Hoffman, D. “The Holistic Herbal.” Element Books, U.S.  1988.

“More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate.”




“Pomegranate, Raw.”

Tous, J and Ferguson, L. “Mediterranean Fruits.”


Allah’s Medicine Chest: Lemons 

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Garlic

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Oranges

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Almonds

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Shea Butter

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Strawberries (Fragaria vesca)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Dates (Phoenix dactylifera)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pumpkin (Cucurbita Pepo)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Figs (Ficus Carica)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)