Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #7

I am having issues getting to the T-13 website this morning...don't know what is going on, but I don't like it. So, pulled an old header, and doing what I can....

In "honor" of what is happening in Berkley, CA, I have done a little research, and have come up with places those "honorable citizens" can go, since they obviously dislike our country so much. (All said very much tongue in cheek.)

  1. China...yes, you too can emigrate to China, and get as far from the US military as possible...but then, you may be conscripted into the Chinese military, and be forced to abort your child or give it up for adoption on threat of losing your livelyhood and home. A unique aspect of family life in China is the country's one-child policy, which has been enforced by the authorities since about 1978 and which restricts families in the cities to one child only. In the countryside, couples may try for a son if the first-born is a daughter, and exceptions are made for certain regions and minorities. Nevertheless, the one-child policy has had a profound effect on the relationship between parents and children, the status of women, marital prospects, education, urban planning and even the design of cars. (from Martin Frost's former site).
  2. France...France historically was always very critical towards the USA. One of the reasons, France lost its significance in the world on expense of the USA. Still until the end of XIX century Paris was dictating the fashion in the world, it was a center of the artistic life and the new political ideas. French language was the most common used language in the world. It all changed. I do not question the sincerity of French citizens in their critique towards Iraqi's war, but the truth is that French leaders were almost always opposing Americans policy. France did not want American planes to enter French airspace during the Gulf War. Jean-Pierre Chev�nement was "Ministre de la D�fense" before and during the first few days of the Gulf War in 1991. He was very vocal in his opposition to the war. He resigned on January 29, 1991. After his resignation president Mitterrand decided otherwise and finally the French airspace was open. In 1995 present French president, Jacques Chirac provoked quite many protests by unleashing his nuclear weapons testing program. So, French policy in general is not really so peace-oriented as they try to present themselves to the world right now. (from Attitudes towards the War - Europe ( France, Germany ) versus the USA on Iraq ).
  3. North Korea...When discussing the regime's control over the population of North Korea, many people cite the surveillance and monitoring capability of the large military and security service apparatus. While it is true that these organizations have their eyes and ears imbedded throughout the country, it is not these physical controls that give the regime its power over the population. The regime in North Korea derives the vast majority of its influence over the minds and hearts of the people through its absolute control and manipulation of all information made available to the local population. By controlling what a person hears, reads, and sees, one controls what he or she thinks and believes. (from Life Inside North Korea, by Andrew S. Natsios, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development)
  4. Saudi Arabia...try that one on...yes, the US military is there, but since most of the "protesters" in Berkeley are women, perhaps they'd like to try living in Saudi Arabia where they must get permission for every movement, and must never let any man see their face, or for that matter, any part of their skin. (read Inside the Kingdom, by Carmen Bin Ladin).
  5. Iraq...sure, go live there, see what life is like for Muslim men and women in a country formerly controlled by Muslim radicals. Before the war there was Widespread executions of prisoners and political opponents, Use of torture, Actions targeting Shi'a Muslims, and Actions against Kurds. Many Iraqi citizens, especially outside the urban areas, also suffered from the poor economy that followed years of war and then the isolation that resulted from Iraq's refusal to comply with weapon inspections and the United Nations' continuation of economic sanctions. Such isolation also arguably had an effect on Iraqi people's health and well-being. (from footnote Fahrenheit: Iraq)
  6. Afghanistan...another country struggling between "good government" and radical Muslim rule. Politics in Afghanistan has historically consisted of power struggles, bloody coups and unstable transfers of power. With the exception of a military junta, the country has been governed by nearly every system of government over the past century, including a monarchy, republic, theocracy and communist state. The constitution ratified by the 2003 Loya jirga restructured the government as an Islamic republic consisting of three branches, (executive, legislature and judiciary). (from Wikipedia)
  7. Colombia, South America....while not technically an "enemy country" of the US, the drug trade is such a huge part of the country that it is hugely dangerous to live there, even if you are native. Bombings targeting civilians are common and terrorism is a way of life for most citizens who have grown accustomed to the chaos. It has a high rating for kidnappings with ransoms, with businesspeople, tourists, journalists, and scientists being frequent targets, though no one is actually excluded from kidnappings. Colombia averages 47 murders a day in a nation of 45 million, giving it the crown of "Most Dangerous".(from Associated Content).
  8. Russia. In this crime-ridden, ex-Soviet state, no longer does the government stuff their Armani suits with rubles, but the vandals and gangsters. The Russian mafia runs amuck, there are more gangsters than police, and a Russian is assassinated every 18 minutes, averaging 84 murders per day in a nation of 143 million. The nucleus of Russian crime is stationed in the Republic of Chechnya, a region within Russia just north of Georgia. Prostitution, drug trafficking, and underground restaurants are arbitrarily controlled by the Chechens. Foreigners are kidnapped more frequently due to the higher ransom allocated. Crimes towards include but are not limited to: pick pocketing wallets, cell phones, cameras, cash, and physical assaults. (from Associated Content).
  9. Venezuela. It has one of the highest gun-related deaths in the world, categorizing it as one of the most dangerous nations in Latin America and the world. (from Associated Content).
  10. Jamaica. Corruption and the wide-spread illegal drug trade contribute to the increasing numbers of assaults, robberies, and murders. The Jamaican law enforcement is weak and ineffective and the lower class has thing, stringy ties with family units, combining to create the resort to violence and theft. The first thing people usually see when they tune into the news at night, are reports of deaths.(from Associated Content).
  11. Syria...The government maintained its pressure on the country's fragile human rights movement through a combination of intimidation, criminal prosecution of leading activists, and imprisonment. Some human rights activists reported to Human Rights Watch that they had been "invited" by the political section of state security for discussions about their work. In addition, some of them said that internal security operatives sent oral messages, through intermediaries, threatening them with detention if they did not cease their activities. One prominent activist said that he was summoned for questioning on a regular basis. Despite the harassment, rights activists continued to issue public statements, speak to the press, and organize open meetings across the country, some of which internal security forces members attended. "We inform people through word of mouth. If we keep the numbers small, there is no harassment," one activist told Human Rights Watch.
    Syria remained a closed country for international human rights organizations. Amnesty International last had official access in 1997 and Human Rights Watch in 1995; the government did not reply to written requests for access from both organizations. (from Human Rights Watch World Report, 2003)
  12. Lybia....According to the U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights report for 2004, Libya’s authoritarian regime continued to have a poor record in the area of human rights. Some of the numerous and serious abuses on the part of the government include poor prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, prisoners held incommunicado, and political prisoners held for many years without charge or trial. The judiciary is controlled by the state, and there is no right to a fair public trial. Libyans do not have the right to change their government. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion are restricted. Independent human rights organizations are prohibited. Ethnic and tribal minorities suffer discrimination, and the state continues to restrict the labor rights of foreign workers. (from Wikipedia)
  13. Cuba...even though Fidel has stepped down, his presumptive successor is his BROTHER, who is not likely to change the very anti-US stance of our very close neighbor. However, if you have visions of a Carribean paradise, think again. Cuba is a poor country that is in the midst of a 46-year embargo by the US.

If the "honorable citizens" who seem so bent on protest could start protesting some of the conditions in the above-mentioned countries, perhaps some good would come out of their passion.


Toni said...

What a great list!


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm glad they're protesting in Berkeley. It seems that lately, it's hard to say something that differs from the mainstream and still get respect. But that's what free speech is all about.

Those other spots in the world have serious problems, yes. But without free speech, we Americans might wind up as oppressed as others.

Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

So true with Venezuela. My husband lived there for several years and said how dangerous it. Him and his family they almost all saw some kind of murder! It is pretty bad there. Brazil in some places too

Qtpies7 said...

Nice! I totally agree!

Boy, they would certainly be the first people begging the US to come help them if they had to deal with that treatment.

Di said...

If you REALLY want to punish them, send them to Florida.

Laura said...

While I agree that they should have the FREEDOM TO PROTEST, the facts are that they are messing with their own protection...
...oh, and I am a PROUD NAVY WIFE who is DEEPLY offended with the attitude of many toward our is ridiculous to say that they oppose the war, but support the troops...that is telling the troops that what they are doing is worthless...that is NOT supportive.

baby~amore' said...

Impressive list Laura -
It is very sad about China - imagine only one child.

I had issues with the site too.

Lori said...

Great list and I love your blog. I couldnt get to the TT either but my BF could. I dont know whats up with that??? Happy TT and thanks for stopping by:)

Sniz said...

I really enjoyed reading through this. Thanks for taking the time to accumulate all this information. As a person with a close family member in Iraq right now, I have little or no tolerance for people who vocally criticize the military and take it as a personal assalt towards my brother and his comrades. The person who said that we should be mad at GW Bush should read this. Just because someone wasn't born here does not make them not as worthy of protection or basic human rights. That person should try leading the most powerful country in the world. I imagine we would be in MUCH worse shape than we are now. I love the men and women who are serving...God bless them.

Nicholas said...

I don't know what was up with the TT site. I didn't have a problem getting there, but I know a lot of people did and only about half the usual number of people were able to post.

That’s a very interesting list. With most of the places you list, I would be very interested in visiting those countries for, say, a week or two, to have a look, but I’d make sure my exit visa was in order and my return flight booked and confirmed before I went! The only one I am even likely to visit though, is Cuba, which is a very popular destination for Europeans, Canadians and many others. No one, apart from the US, is blockading it. The US embargo, after 49 years, does look a lot like sulking!

France is completely different. It is a modern industrialised democracy with the best healthcare system in the world, bar none, and protections for the ordinary worker that people in most other countries, including the US, can only dream of. They were not taken in by the lies that were told to provoke this useless, wasteful and criminal war. I am ashamed that the leaders of my own country, Britain, were taken in by the WMD deception and joined in this war which has left 3500 young Americans dead, for nothing, and several hundred thousand Iraqis, not to mention making a quarter of the population of that unfortunate country homeless. The war and its aftermath has killed off far more Iraqi than Saddam did in twenty-five years.

You are so right when you say that people in the countries you list have no right of protest – except France, in which they of course do. But that does not mean, surely, that when citizens of those countries find themselves in a country where they do have freedom to protest, that they should not be able to sue that freedom. A human right can not be selective, or else it isn’t a right at all.

I enjoyed your TT a lot. I really like it when someone goes to a lot of trouble to enlighten us, and writes something of substance. Thank you!

MondaythroughSunday said...

I am so impressed! Great list!