Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Israel, the homeland of brutality and cruelty

Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: It's not that much of a surprise that Israel has one of the blackest human rights records in the world. It's not expected of the dogmatic regime which relentlessly kills innocent civilians, including defenseless children and women on a daily basis, to respect the rights of human beings and their dignity.

Israel is one of the gravest violators of human rights in the world and despite the unconditional US-sanctioned support which it receives in the stage of international community, human rights activists and organizations have usually lambasted this vicious regime for its violations of human rights and inattentiveness to the political, social and religious freedoms of either its own people or the citizens of the Occupied Territories.

One of the instances of human rights violation by the Israeli regime is the employment of disproportionate force against the peaceful demonstrations of the Palestinian citizens. According to the reports released by the US Department of State, Israel has for long used firearm and advanced ammunitions to cease the gatherings and demonstrations of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories.

On September 28, 2000, the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Haram al-Sharif in al-Quds. On September 29, Palestinians held large demonstrations and threw stones at the police forces which had tried to disperse the protesters using tear-gas. According to the US Department of State report, "police used rubber-coated metal bullets and live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators, killing 4 persons and injuring about 200."

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Interview with Alain de Botton

Kourosh Ziabari - Alain de Botton is a Swiss public intellectual, author, philosopher, television presenter and entrepreneur living in the United Kingdom. He has written several books on literature, philosophy, art, travel and architecture. In August 2008, he established a new educational enterprise in London called "The School of Life". Among his prominent books are "How Proust Can Change Your Life", "The Consolations of Philosophy" and "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work".

De Botton is an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The title was awarded to him in recognition of his services to art and architecture. His books are translated into several languages and are among the best-selling works of literature in so many countries, including Iran. What follows is the complete text of an in-depth interview with Alain de Botton where we discussed a variety of topics and issues concerning philosophy, art, literature, travel and architecture.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Blurred destiny of Egypt in 2011

Press TV - Kourosh Ziabari :As the Egyptian 2011 Presidential election approaches, the international community's concerns over the grave violation of human rights and suppression of political activists and dissidents in this African country grows increasingly.

Unfortunately, what's demonstrable under the current political circumstances of Egypt is that the African country is no more a representative of the glorious civilization of the Ancient Egypt. The footsteps of tolerance and freedom cannot be traced in the policies of the government of Cairo and to add insult to the injury, we should confess that Egypt currently has one of the most repressive and tyrannical regimes in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei who was named as one of the potential candidates for the second presidential election in the history of Egypt has described the Egyptian democracy as a "sham" and called for an all-out boycott of the elections. "Total boycott of elections and signing petition are first steps to unmask sham 'democracy.' Participation would be contrary to the national will," wrote Mr. ElBaradei in a post to his Twitter webpage.

According to the constitutional laws of Egypt, every potential candidate needs at least 250 signatures from the Shura Council and People's Assembly, the upper and lower houses of Egypt's legislature, in order to legitimize his bid for presidency. The Shura Council and People's Assembly are overwhelmingly dominated by the supporters of the President Hosni Mubarak.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Iran, a victim of state-sponsored terrorism

Kourosh Ziabari - Those who mischievously called Iran a part of the so-called "Axis of Evil" and put its name in their fabricated list of the state sponsors of terrorism - the list from which the name of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime was removed in 1982 so that the United States and its European stooges could rationalize their unjustified, immoral and insane war against Iran - have blatantly forgotten that Iran has been long one of the guiltless victims of terrorism, sponsored by the United States, Israel, UK and their puppets in the Middle East.

Following the victory of Islamic Revolution in 1979 as a consequence of which the government of the US-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was toppled and the charismatic religious leader Imam Khomeini became the Supreme Leader, several efforts were made by the United States and its cronies to destabilize the newly-born Iran and sow the seeds of insecurity, fear and terror all over the country; a country which had released itself from the tyranny of the US-installed Shah and embraced a new era of prosperity and success.

At the early years of Islamic Revolution which promoted the establishment of a government ruled by the teachings of Islam and the law of God, the United States and its European cronies -- the so-called 'pioneers of human rights' -- unconditionally supported MKO, a terrorist organization which had explicitly expressed that it would take arms against the Islamic Republic and will fight until the subversion of Iran's government.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Asia to Gaza: A peace-seeking journey

Kourosh Ziabari - The veteran anti-Zionist journalist and peace activist Uri Avnery believes that Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is lying when he says that the Gaza siege exists in order to prevent the entry of illegal weaponry into the strip.

As a matter of fact, the anguishing blockade of 1.5 million people living in the enclave is exercised in order to lay on the line the political power of the democratically-elected government of Hamas and decrease its popularity in the eyes of the people of Gaza who have so far supported their beloved government unconditionally, even in the most excruciating situations of poverty, unemployment and homelessness.

The inhumane and merciless blockade of Gaza which was set in motion with the complicity of the government of Egypt in 2007 has caused a tragic humanitarian crisis in the region and provoked international protests, even in the United States and other Western countries whose governments have blindly submitted themselves to the atrocious statesmen of Israel.

Since the beginning of the imposition of siege on Gaza which is about to enter its fourth year next month, the Zionist regime has even prevented the entry of construction materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, medicine and other basic humanitarian needs into the strip. This siege seems so bizarre and nonsensical that has even irritated the American politicians. "When have lentil bombs been going off lately? Is someone going to kill you with a piece of macaroni?" asked US Republican Congressman Brian Laird in a March 2009 visit to the Gaza Strip upon finding that pasta, macaroni and lentil seeds are in Israel's list of forbidden commodities which should not be allowed entry to Gaza.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Britain's black human rights record

Kourosh Ziabari - As the UK cracks down on the angry students who have taken to the streets of London over the past week to protest the overnight increase of the university tuition fees, the international community's concern over Britain's dark human rights record grows steadily.

According to the UK media, scores of students have been arrested during the protests, the majority of whom are accused by the Scotland Yard of what is called to be "violent disorder".

The son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is among the arrested students. Charlie Gilmour was arrested after he was seen by the police forces while swinging from the flag of the United Kingdom, also known as the Union Flag. On Friday, he released a public apology, insisting that he had not realized that what he was climbing was the Cenotaph.

According to UK's Express, Home Secretary Theresa May announced on Sunday night that water cannons could be used by the police forces to disperse the protesting crowds. High-powered jets have been employed in Northern Ireland for many decades.

During the protests, a Rolls Royce carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall was attacked by the furious protesters who splashed white paint on the car and shattered one of its rear windows. The UK Prime Minister outspokenly warned the protesters of the consequences of their "regrettable" action. David Cameron said that he wants to bring the full weight of the law against the protesters who attacked the royal vehicle and told the police to take lesson from the "regrettable" incidence, the Associated Press has reported.

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Russian federation of suppression

Kourosh Ziabari - Let's call a spade a spade and frankly acknowledge that Russia, despite being a political and economic superpower, is a domestically repressive regime which usually fails to tolerate its dissidents and critics. That's why Russia is one of the countries which are conventionally reprimanded for their black human rights record by the international community.

The recent "Freedom in the World" report by the US-based Freedom House organization indicates that Russia is one of the 8 countries in the Central, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union region which are described as "not free," a record which is dramatically dishonorable for the giant political superpower. This means that Russia is one of the 47 countries in the world which have received the least scores in political rights and civil liberties. This is while impoverished African nations such as Benin and Namibia have received the highest scores among the African countries and are titled as free nations.

The same goes for Russia's press freedom record. Of the 178 countries which were surveyed by the "Reporters Without Borders" for the recognition of the degree of press freedom, Russia perplexingly stood 140th, being preceded by the likes of Egypt, Zimbabwe and Israel which we already know have a black record of suppressing the dissident media and are home to a large number of world's incarcerated journalists.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

PGCC: The axis of treachery

Kourosh Ziabari - Unconditionally backed, financed and armed by the United States, the Arab states of Persian Gulf are broadcasting signals of their willingness to turn into the new enemies of Iran in an orchestrated effort to jeopardize and undermine the growing political dominance of the Islamic Republic over the Middle East.

The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council wrapped up its annual meeting in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday in the wake of the latest WikiLeaks documents which said Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE had implored the United States to attack Iran so as to avert the alleged threat of a "nuclear Iran."

According to the classified information that the WikiLeaks released, Saudi Arabia which is home to the world's largest terrorist gang and has long awarded all of its financial contracts to the Saudi Bin Laden Group, obsequiously has asked the Bush administration to launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and prevent Tehran from acquiring "nuclear bombs."

The coincidence of the publication of WikiLeaks documents and the issuance of (P)GCC declaration which seemed to be an anti-Iranian manifesto rather than the joint statement of the member states transpired to be an embarrassment for the Arab world which seems to have yielded to Israel, the common enemy of the Islamic Ummah and focused on attacking Iran instead.

From one hand, Iran is seeing that the neighboring Muslim state with which it has co-existed peacefully for so long is turning into a hostile enemy which tends to betray it in a perfidious manner, and this is a bitter reality which is very hard to believe. Iran annually sends the largest delegations of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and the government of Riyadh immensely benefits from the money which the Iranian pilgrims lavishly spend there; however, the Arab state which has allusively shown its inclination for normalizing the ties with the Zionist regime deceived its Muslim ally to cajole the United States subserviently.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Interview with Wayne Madsen

Kourosh Ziabari - Wayne Madsen is an American investigative journalist and columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the political blog “Wayne Madsen Report”. He has appeared on ABC News, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al-Jezeera, MSNBC and Press TV. Madsen has written the introduction to the book “Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia and the Failed Search for bin Laden”. Madsen’s articles have appeared on a number of news websites and magazines including Global Research, Pacific Free Press, Online Journal, Counter Punch, The American Conservative, Tehran Times and In These Times.

Madsen has more than 20 years of experience in security affairs. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He has also worked for the NSA National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation.

Madsen joined me in an exclusive interview and answered my questions about the 9/11 attacks, Israel’s dominance over the U.S. media and the prospect of Iran-U.S. relations.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Interview with Prof. Robert Jensen

Kourosh Ziabari - Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center in Austin.

Jensen joined the UT faculty in 1992 after completing his Ph.D. in media ethics and law in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a professional journalist for a decade. At UT, Jensen teaches courses in media law, ethics, and politics.

In his research, Jensen draws on a variety of critical approaches to media and power. Much of his work has focused on pornography and the radical feminist critique of sexuality and men's violence, and he also has addressed questions of race through a critique of white privilege and institutionalized racism.

In addition to teaching and research, Jensen writes for popular media, both alternative and mainstream. His opinion and analytic pieces on such subjects as foreign policy, politics, and race have appeared in papers around the country. He contributes to local organizing in Austin, TX, through his work with the Third Coast Activist Resource Center, and the progressive community center 5604 Manor.

Prof. Robert JensenProf. Jensen joined me in an exclusive interview to discuss the latest developments in the Middle East, the prospect of Iran-U.S. relations, the ongoing military campaign of the Israeli regime in Palestine, the biased coverage of the Middle East affairs by the mainstream media and the failure of President Obama in repairing the damaged picture of the United States in the global stage.

Prof Jensen believes that Obama is a less belligerent president than Bush. "Obama recognizes that the United States can't impose its will on the world in the fashion that it has in the past. Yet Obama is still committed to the maintenance of the empire. No imperial U.S. president or official has ever deserved a Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, I can't think of a single head of state who would be deserving," he says.

With regards to the U.S.-Israeli relations, Prof. Jensen believes: "United States puts up with defiance from Israel that it wouldn't tolerate from other client states, but we should remember that U.S. policymakers don't make decisions based on humanitarian grounds. They want to extend and deepen, or at least maintain U.S. power, and those policymakers believe Israel is useful in that regard."

Here is the full transcript of my in-depth interview with Robert Jensen, the professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Interview with Prof. Robert Jensen by Kourosh Ziabari - Intifada Palestine