PEACE WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION CIVILITY REPORT 2014

In Civility Report 2014, Peace Worldwide Organization Founder Mehdi Alavi reviews all countries within the United Nations and provides human rights, democracy, peace, and civility scores for 128 countries. We urge you to read Civility Report 2014 today.

PEACE WORLDWIDE ORGANIZATION CIVILITY REPORT 2014

In Civility Report 2014, Peace Worldwide Organization Founder Mehdi Alavi reviews all countries within the United Nations and provides human rights, democracy, peace, and civility scores for 128 countries. We urge you to read Civility Report 2014 today.

KEY AREA FOCUS: TUNISIA

Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. Africa covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With 1.0 billion people, it accounts for about 14.72% of the world's human population.

KEY AREA FOCUS: COSTA RICA

Americas are lands in the Western hemisphere of the world. In English, the plural form of the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions.

KEY AREA FOCUS: AFGHANISTAN

Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. With approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population.

KEY AREA FOCUS: ENGLAND

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Yet the borders of Europe, can incorporate cultural and political elements.

President Obama’s Letter to Iran

The President of the United States Barack Obama should be applauded for approaching Iran to bring some stability in the Middle East. Obama’s letter expressed the shared interest in combatting the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The rise of ISIS threatens the region, particularly Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Ironically, it was chiefly Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi muftis (religious scholars) who issued fatwas (edicts) sanctioning the killings of non-Wahhabis and inspiring the existence of groups such as ISIS, which are now threatening Saudi Arabia itself. If ISIS is not brought to justice for the atrocities that it has committed in Iraq and Syria, its destructive ideology will spill over into other non-Wahhabi countries, causing immense killings and destruction in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere.
ISIS is a threat to the world security. Wahhabi extremists such as ISIS brutally kill non-Wahhabis and seize the victims’ properties. They are a threat to both Shias and Sunnis. Wahhabi hatred for Shias is well known. However, the majority of their victims in Iraq have so far been Sunnis who refused to convert to Wahhabism or submit to Wahhabi demands.
Despite posturing in Washington against Iran by some politicians who play on the voters’ emotions, the United States and its allies cannot alone bring stability into the region. If the invasion and bombing could bring peace, they would have brought peace to Afghanistan and Iraq. After years of Western intervention, both countries are still embroiled in division and conflicts. American warmongers fear peace far more than war for peace might threaten their political standing. To defeat ISIS, the United States has to work with Iran.
ISIS also threatens Iran. For that reason, Iran was the first nation that provided weapons and military advisors in the support of Iraq and its Kurdish region to combat ISIS. Iranian leaders realize that Iran by itself cannot defeat ISIS for the United States and its allies in the region could undo any Iranian victory. Unless the Iraqis rise to the occasion, Iran needs Western cooperation in defeating ISIS.
Evidently, the Iranian policies differ from those of the United States on many fronts. However, one thing is clear that ISIS threatens both countries. The mutual threat to the United States and Iran opens a door for cooperation. And, the success in Iraq might open the door to resolve the Afghan and Syrian conflicts, as well.
Meanwhile, American Arab allies in the Middle East still allow individuals and media through press, television, and internet to inspire, promote, and support organizations such as ISIS. The United States could ask these countries to pacify the provocation emanating form their territories.
Mending the relationship between the United States and Iran is necessary in improving global security. Let us support President Obama’s approach to Iran!

Bloodbath in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

The United Nations’ Security Council has declared Israel an occupying force as it has taken control of Gaza’s air, sea and nearly all land borders. The occupation has deprived the Gazans from enjoying basic human rights. By the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel was obliged to protect the occupied Gazans due to its presence in the territory. Instead, Israel has subjected the Gazans to continuous harassment, collective punishment, and severe travel restriction. Furthermore, years of off-and-on negotiations have gone nowhere in freeing the Palestinians from the Israeli yoke. To attain freedom, Gazans feel forced to resist the occupation by all means.
In this recent conflict, Hamas has fired over 3,000 rockets into Israel and Israel has disproportionately retaliated with over 4,500 airstrikes onto the densely populated Gaza. Over 1,850 Palestinians and 65 Israelis have been killed. Of the 65 Israelis killed only a few were civilians. On the contrary, the United Nations reported that at least 72 percent of the Palestinians killed were women and children. The UN shelters and schools were not even spared. According to Human Rights Watch, Israeli forces have even deliberately killed Gazan civilians who were fleeing the potential areas of conflict, thereby violating the international laws of war.
The disproportionate killings of the Palestinians by Israelis would not have been possible without the support of the United States, United Kingdom, and their Arab clients in the Middle East. American politicians continue to support the Israelis despite widespread protests across the United States in support of Gazan human rights. In contrast, some British politicians have shown courage to stand against a once mighty Britain. "[Israeli assaults] are disproportionate, ugly and tragic and will not do Israel any good in the long run," said London Mayor Boris Johnson who is seen as a possible future successor to Britain Prime Minister David Cameron.
Oppression strengthens the moral resolve of the oppressed but destroys any trace of morality in the oppressor. The “When Genocide is Permissible” article in the Jerusalem-based online newspaper, The Times of Israel, was withdrawn due to widespread international protests but it demonstrated Israel’s moral decline due to the oppression of the Palestinians. Israeli aggression is not only counterproductive but also demoralizes its own nation.
Today, Israel justifies its actions by claiming that Hamas is a terrorist organization. Such a claim is hypocritical for both sides have blood on their hands. Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel terrorizes some innocent Israelis and Israel’s disproportionate retaliations kill many innocent Gazans. It is time to pause, forgive, and negotiate to end the horrific cycle of conflict once for all!

Wahhabism and International Terrorism

Americans must be concerned with Wahhabi threat for 150 to 200 of the ISIS terrorists are reportedly Americans who could return home and cause harm far worse than that of 9/11.
In 2013, the European Parliament issued a report identifying Wahhabism as the source of international terrorism. Wahhabism can be seen in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qaeda, al-Nusrat, Talaban, al-Shabaab, and Boko Haram. Also, the nineteen terrorists who crashed two commercial planes into the World Trade Center in New York in 2001 held this belief. If we are serious about resolving Wahhabi terrorism, we must seek the root of the problem, which is primarily based in Saudi Arabia.
The ISIS invasion of Iraq is not a Sunni-Shia conflict as stated by United States’ President Obama and international media. It is a conflict between the Wahhabi terrorists and the world. To characterize ISIS’ occupation as a Sunni-Shia conflict is completely irresponsible for it would generate tension between the Sunni and minority-Shia communities across the world.
The mass killing of Sunnis by ISIS within the Sunni Triangle testifies that Wahhabi extremists are not Sunnis despite ISIS’ claim. If Islam truly means peace, then they cannot be Muslims either. ISIS fighters, like other Wahhabi extremist, hate Christians, Jews, and other non-Wahhabis.
In 2010, the United States Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stated that Saudi Arabia is a “critical source of terrorist funding” (The Guardian December 5, 2010). The solution to the terrorism is not to attack Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, or other countries but rather to convince the Persian Gulf Arab States, especially the Saudi Kingdom, that it is in their own interest to treat international terrorism as a top priority.

Syria’s Future at the Ballot

We maintain our position that the United States is on the wrong side in the Syrian conflict for encouraging and arming the so-called “moderates,” which consist of the insurgents and foreign fighters in Syria.
In August 2011, President Barack Obama said, “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” This ill-advised policy has globally strengthened the al-Qaeda and their cooperatives whose ultimate goals are the destruction of the world, as we know it.
What is most needed in Syria is peace! Arming people in Syria would not bring peace, but would further increase the degree of carnage and destruction. Both Russia and Iran clearly see the destructive impact of al-Qaeda’s bloody ideology on the world and that is why they steadfastly support the Assad regime. After the tragic 9-11 and the Boston Marathon, the United States could have also come up with the same conclusion that al-Qaeda Syria is disastrous for the world. Unfortunately, the United States’, encouraging the Syrian conflict to oust Assad, has resulted in the deaths of over 150,000 people plus the displacement of over 1.5 million.
We urge the Obama Administration to stop supporting the Syrian conflict, whether directly or through surrogates (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and others) and allow the Syrian people to decide on their leader through an internationally supervised ballot. To start the process, the United States could work with Syria, Russia, and Iran to provide some incentives for the Assad regime to cooperate in favor of a democratic political institution where the Alawis, Shias, Christians, Jews, and other can all live in peace.

Iran and Nuclear Agreement

"I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush toward conflict," President Obama said at the White House after the agreement with Iran was reached in Geneva on Sunday, November 24. As early as in 2008 in his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama offered to negotiate with Iran. In his first inaugural address to the nation in 2009, he offered to extend his hand to Iran if Iran would "unclench their fist." After the Iranian President Ahmadinejad ignored his gesture, he galvanized global support for sanctions to force Iran into negotiations.

In the 2013 Iranian presidential election, Iranians surprised the world by electing Mr. Rouhani, who campaigned to work for improved international relations and a better economy. That gave President Obama an opportunity to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise to reach to Iran.

Iran and six world powers, following marathon negotiations in Geneva, reached an agreement for Iran to curb its nuclear program for the next six months in exchange for some sanctions relief and promise of no new sanctions while the agreement is in effect. Iran reaffirmed its long time position that it will not, under any circumstances, plan or develop any type of nuclear weapons.  

Like other peace initiatives, there are voices that prefer conflict to peaceful resolution in both countries. American extremists and foreign allies demand unachievable terms such as asking Iran for the complete shutdown of its uranium program. Iranian extremists persist that Iran has every right to pursue its nuclear program peacefully and develop sufficient grade of materials to support its scientific research, medical laboratories, and power plants. In light of such extremism, both President Obama and President Rouhani deserve support for their courage to opt for negotiation based on realistic goals.



Iran Calls for Elimination of Nuclear Arms

On October 26, 2013 at the United Nations (UN), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for global nuclear disarmament and elimination. "No nation should possess nuclear weapons, since there are no right hands for these wrong weapons," Mr. Rouhani told the UN General Assembly meeting on nuclear disarmament. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has long issued a religious edict that forbids making, storing, and using a nuclear weapon, for it indiscriminately kills people and destroys properties.
The world could also give some attention to commercial usage of the nuclear energy remembering the tragic experience from the Japan’s nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi power plant of 2011. Its contaminated remains are still surfacing on many coasts far away from Japan. The argument that nuclear power is safe can no longer hold since such an accident, infrequent as might be, impacts the whole world. The storage of waste product of the reactors remains problematic; the waste is highly radioactive with isotopes radiating for millions of years.
In fact, the mere threat of some nations having nuclear weapons compels other nations to attain such weapons to counter any nuclear attack. The devastating effect of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII still plays on our mind. That makes the attaining of such weapons immoral, hence, unacceptable. But, in a world where dictators dominate, it is unlikely that the democracies would readily drop their ultimate defensive weapons in hope for global peace.
However, the ultimate objective should be to free the world gradually from not only weapons of mass destruction (WMD) but also national militaries. That could be accomplished through the following stages:
First, focus could be on chemical weapons. Since these arms are poor state’s bombs, their elimination could be coupled with reduction of rich state’s nuclear weapons. International chemical and nuclear watchdogs could provide oversight for such tasks.
Second, arms transfer across national borders could be strictly prohibited. 
Third, any type support of authoritarian regimes, financial or otherwise, could be banned. Further, UN could effectively promote fair and free elections in all countries. If necessary, it could restrict privileges to the authoritarian regimes. Democracy would not surrender their ultimate WMD in a world ruled by despots.
Fourth, armed forces personnel reduction across the board could be reduced to reasonable levels, periodically determined through negotiation at the UN.
Fifth, UN Peacekeepers could be expanded to the necessary level to enforce international law. This may be achieved by a broader mandate given to the UN to deal more effectively with the threats to world peace and security. As UN Peacekeepers expand, all states, led by the United States, could proportionately reduce their forces and reinforce their trust in the UN.
Sixth, each state with nuclear arsenal could gradually transfer control and operation of their nuclear cache to the UN.
Seventh, the UN could survey and guarantee, except for those territories in dispute, the national boundaries of all nations. For those in dispute, the UN could form an unbiased committee, consisting of the disputing nations and the UN arbitrators, to resolve the dispute and secure agreement from the disputing parties before giving a guarantee.
Eighth, when the world is free and lives in peace, UN could take the necessary steps to eliminate all nuclear arms.

We hope that Mr. Rouhani’s call will not fall upon deaf ears and the world will move towards the elimination of nuclear arms and all other WMDs.

GIVE SYRIA A CHANCE FOR PEACE

Last weekend, I met a woman who along with her family had fled Syria after her house was bombed. She said she does not care who did it, all she wants now is peace.
The Obama Administration has embarked to arm so called “moderates” consisting of the insurgents and foreign fighters in Syria. Like in the Cold War, the United States is entering another proxy war. This time, on one side are the United States and her allies and on the other side are Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. What have been left out of the equation are the people of Syria, nearly 100,000 have been killed and over 1.5 million have been displaced. Arming more people in Syria would not resolve the issue at hand, but would further increase the degree of carnage and destruction. What is most needed in Syria is peace!
While the United States plans to arm the “moderate” factions in Syria through CIA covert operations, her allies Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting Islamist factions, such as the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, who are determined to turn Syria into another authoritarian state like Saudi Arabia. These states will ultimately be the losers. The experienced foreign fighters will eventually return home and become a serious threat to the authoritarian regimes in the region, particularly, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
This bloodbath must stop! In August 2011, Obama said that “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” This desire should not be accomplished by a bloody warfare that could eventually involve American forces on the ground like that in Vietnam. The United States could convene a peace conference that provides some incentives for the Assad regime to step aside in favor of a democratic political institution where the Alawis, Shias, Christians, Jews, and other minorities could enjoy equal rights.

A Way to Restore Peace in Egypt

The overthrow of the first ever democratically elected president, President Mursi, in Egypt has brought crowds on the Egyptian streets against the military coup. So far, the army has killed hundreds of the protesters. It is hoped that the United States did not have any role in the Egyptian military coup. The 1953 United States sponsored military coup in Iran that overthrew the first ever democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mossadegh still remains the main source of Iranian government mistrust of America.
As the Iranian experience has demonstrated, the coup involvement is not only inconsistent with American values, it will return to haunt America in the future, especially in Egypt where over two-thirds of the population is under 30 years of age.  
President Mursi, despite his inexperienced and narrow vision, was elected in a free and fair election. Democracies could withdraw all their support and aid from the Egyptian military as a gesture for the military to restore Mursi to his rightful position. President Obama’s announcement of the cancellation of the military exercises next month and the discontinuation of cooperation with Egypt are proper courses of action for the start.
Once restored, President Mursi could have learned from his months under arrest that his survival depends on his willingness to work with the secular political entities. He could recognize that the new Egyptian Constitution failed to guarantee equal rights for women, define individual rights, and balance the government’s powers. The constitution was devised and approved by a constituent assembly that was chiefly composed of Islamists at the dismay of liberal Muslims and Christians who walked out. He could initiate amending it to address women’s rights, minority rights, and other secular concerns.
In the interest of its Arab allies in the region, the United States could encourage the Arab states under America’s influence from interfering in the Egyptian internal affairs, allowing Mursi a chance to work out his differences with secular organizations in moving Egypt forward. Otherwise, the Egyptian crisis will likely worsen and gradually spread into the other Arab states.
Democracy demands patience! The young Egyptians can also realize that democracy will ultimately address inequities, but it moves in the desired direction slowly, a bit better at a time. They could focus on knowing that all will work out in time. 
Most of the region is already in turmoil. Syria is invaded by the al-Qaeda inspired foreign fighters, Lebanon on the verge of a civil war due to the conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are faced with insurgents financed by foreign states, Libya is run by militias, and Pakistan is becoming a lawless state. For those of us in love with freedom and peace, the least we can do is to value the freedom we take granted, live in peace, and wish them all freedom and peace! 

Peace Worldwide Organization Second Anniversary

We have many accomplishments since our inception on July 4, 2011. We have held two Peacegiving Luncheons, one to honor UNICEF (a United Nations’ organization dedicated to improvement of children’s lives) and A 2nd Cup (a coffee shop devoted to ending human-trafficking in Houston). This year, we held our first annual Peace Walk at University of Houston. Our Civility Report 2012 was downloaded by many. We started our first Peace Worldwide Chapter in Africa. Our Civility Report 2013 is in preparation and will be available for download soon.
We will continue promoting freedom and peace for ALL humanity by publishing our annual Civility Reports and establishing chapters throughout the world. Our Civility Reports will continue evaluating all countries within the United Nations for human rights, democracy, peace, and civility scores. Our chapters will provide a friendly grassroots atmosphere to share our innermost thoughts and outwardly supporting projects promoting freedom and peace.  
On the behalf of Peace Worldwide Organization, we would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all those who strive for freedom and peace for ALL humanity, especially our dedicated volunteers, supporters, and contributors.
Dr. Mehdi Alavi, Founder and President
Peace Worldwide Organization

Give Syria a Chance for Peace

Last weekend, I met a woman who along with her family had fled Syria after her house was bombed. She said she does not care who did it, all she wants now is peace.
The Obama Administration has embarked to arm so called “moderates” consisting of the insurgents and foreign fighters in Syria. Like in the Cold War, the United States is entering another proxy war. This time, on one side are the United States and her allies and on the other side are Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. What have been left out of the equation are the people of Syria, nearly 100,000 have been killed and over 1.5 million have been displaced. Arming more people in Syria would not resolve the issue at hand, but would further increase the degree of carnage and destruction. What is most needed in Syria is peace!
While the United States plans to arm the “moderate” factions in Syria through CIA covert operations, her allies Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting Islamist factions, such as the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, who are determined to turn Syria into another authoritarian state like Saudi Arabia. These states will ultimately be the losers. The experienced foreign fighters will eventually return home and become a serious threat to the authoritarian regimes in the region, particularly, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  
This bloodbath must stop! In August 2011, Obama said that “the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” This desire should not be accomplished by a bloody warfare that could eventually involve American forces on the ground like that in Vietnam. The United States could convene a peace conference that provides some incentives for the Assad regime to step aside in favor of a democratic political institution where the Alawis, Shias, Christians, Jews, and other minorities could enjoy equal rights. 

WOMEN'S RIGHTS

Losing my religion for equality…by Jimmy Carter


Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

OBSERVER

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.
http://www.womenspress-slo.org/?p=11440

Egypt and Democracy


President Mohamed Morsi, the new President of Egypt, was democratically elected in a fair election despite receiving a mere 51 percent of the vote. His opposition on the street is asking for his resignation because of his religious inclination, which was well known before the election that brought him to power. Unless he breaks his oath of office, he should be allowed to finish his term. Egyptians have every right to press their elected officials to refrain from abusing their power and demand that they enact law to provide equal rights for women and minorities.
The new constitution was devised and approved by a constituent assembly that was chiefly composed of Islamists at the dismay of liberal Muslims and Christians who walked out. President Morsi rushed to national vote for its ratification without allowing adequate time for national debate and deliberation. The constitution won voters’ approval by over 60 percent in the two rounds. However, only a third of the eligible voters participated. The low turnout is troubling in a country that is politically polarized. The next milestone is the parliamentary election in about two months.
President Morsi, backed by the Islamist supporters, faces the government institution of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak who despises Morsi’s authority. The liberals on the street want nothing short of his stepping down. The old regime accuses him of trying to use the law enforcement to serve his interests. While the liberal Muslims scorn the old regime and accuse him of trying to implement Islamic Law, Sharia.
According to Peace Worldwide Organization’s Civility Report 2012, Egypt discriminates against women and minorities. To address human rights issues and move forward, President Morsi must bring his supporters and opponents together. His Islamist supporters, led by Muslim Brotherhood Organization, could peacefully speak their mind and let others do the same!  His opponents could also refrain from reacting and remain peaceful.
The new Egyptian Constitution fails to guarantee equal rights for women, define individual rights, and balance the government’s powers. Egyptians could exert patience and give democracy a chance! They should allow President Morsi to finish his term. Meanwhile they could work together to amend their constitution for fairness, and elect honest legislators and judges who maintain balance of power, which could keep their government officials, including the President, in check. 

Tragedy in Myanmar


I respect Aung San Suu Kyi for promoting freedom and resisting the military regime for over 20 years. President Obama made the right decision to go to Myanmar (Burma) to support her speedy reform in Myanmar towards a democratic institution. However, November was not a good time for such a trip!
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton could have asked the Burmese to respect the minority rights, at least temporarily, as a condition for the President travelling to that country. It was awful to watch the President in Myanmar (Burma) while the killings of the Rohingya community were continuing, even if the President addressed the Rohingya’s plight at Yangon University. "For too long, the people of this state, including ethnic Rakhine, have faced crushing poverty and persecution. But there's no excuse for violence against innocent people, and the Rohingya hold within themselves the same dignity as you do, and I do," President Obama said.
According to Peace Worldwide Organization’s Civility Report 2012, the Burmese government continues imprisoning, forcing into labor, and killing ethnic minorities, especially Rohingya people.
The ethnic violence in Myanmar perpetrated by the Arakanese Buddhists against the small Rohingya minority is horrific, especially coming from people who proclaim the following of Buddha who taught nonviolence and love. Buddha taught that love nurtures spiritual freedom and is a path to it.
I am also disappointed with Suu Kyi for not speaking out in defense of the helpless Rohingya community. In the last two decades, her courage to stand for the majority rule has earned her national and international fame. If she truly believes in democracy, then she must stand for minority rights. As a Burmese heroine, her words have immense power. And, her silence during these killings could make her an accomplice in this carnage.
Human rights violations must not be tolerated anywhere! It is appalling to see that while the Burmese majority celebrates the path to democracy, the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority is continuing with full impunity. I urge that the United States and the international community put Myanmar government on notice to respect minority rights, stop the ethnic violence, and restore peace. Myanmar will take a giant step towards democracy by recognizing that Rohingya people deserve to be citizens with the same rights and privileges as other Burmese. 

Israel and Gaza Strip


It is a no brainer that much of terrorism is powered by radicalized Muslims due to the way Palestinians are being treated. The arbitrary arrests, collective punishments, and land confiscation inflicted on the Palestinians fume the Muslim masses. Although the main media would like for Obama to deal with Iran as his most important challenge, I would like to see that the Obama Administration would consider the Israeli-Palestinian peace as its first diplomatic priority. I believe that such a treaty would pacify the Muslim world, especially the Middle Eastern countries. Ultimately, it would reduce terrorism by radicalized Muslims.
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind,” said Mahatma Gandhi. The cycle of violence between the Israelis and Palestinians would result in the destruction of both peoples. Terrorism whether is committed by an organization or state is morally wrong.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which all member states have pledged to achieve it, states that, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
The continued subjugation of the Palestinians is tarnishing Israeli reputation worldwide. In the process, the American reputation is also tarnished as the supporter of Israel, no matter what. The politically fragmented Israeli public makes it difficult for any Prime Minister to take bold action toward a permanent peace. President Obama in his second term is free from political pressure could take a gallant step in rejuvenating the stalemated Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. 
The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have tarnished America’s prestige. The continuous occupation of the Palestinian territories has damaged Israel’s reputation as a haven for the victims of the Holocaust. Israel could take a lesson from it. If Israel truly wants to live in peace, it must sit with the Palestinians, friends or foe, and negotiate a permanent peace. If the United States wants to repair her international prestige, it must act as an even handed active facilitator in this process. 

Iran Drone Episode


According to a recent survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 67 percent of Americans, considering costs versus benefits, believe that the Iraq war was not worth fighting for and 70 percent believe that it has worsened American relations with the Muslim world. As for Afghanistan, only 18 percent believe that the United States is safer from terrorism today due to its action in that poor country. Coached by the military industrial complex, American politicians favor the potential armed conflict with Iran.
President Obama must be applauded that he did not militarily react to Iran firing shots at a U.S.A. drone in the Persian Gulf. The Israeli push for the toughness against Iran is a ploy to divert the world attention from the Palestinian plight.
It is a no brainer that much of terrorism is powered by radicalized Muslims due to the way Palestinians are being treated. The arbitrary arrests, collective punishments, and land confiscation inflicted on the Palestinians fume the Muslim masses. Although the main media would like for Obama to deal with Iran as his most important challenge, I would like to see that the Obama Administration would consider the Israeli-Palestinian peace as its first diplomatic priority. I believe that such a treaty would pacify the Muslim world, especially the Middle Eastern countries. Ultimately, it would reduce terrorism by radicalized Muslims.
As far as negotiating with the Iranians, hiding behind the P5+1 is not a solution. Obama should ignore the war-mongers and Iran-haters; America should directly negotiate with Iran. Force is not a solution! There are many items to toss in the negotiation for tradeoffs, including lifting of the sanctions for the exchange of limiting the uranium enrichment to 20 percent that Iran needs for its medical research.
The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have tarnished America’s prestige. We could have learned some lessons. If we want to get into the people’s hearts, we don’t kill their loved ones. We must show compassion and love.  We must realize that we are one people on this beautiful earth, and we need one another to achieve peace and harmony. We don’t need another war; what we need is for America to sit and talk with Iran. 

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