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Iran is certainly not  Garden of Eden for Human Rights, but the West is absolutely  hypocritical

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Iran

The ongoing sustained propaganda war by the U.S., Britain and other Western countries against Iran for violating the human and civil rights of women is not altruistic. Quite the contrary, this vitriolic campaign is highly hypocritical, morally duplicitous and politically motivated since its main goal is to destabilize Iran and put an end to the hard-line Shiite regime there.

I am not a fan of the Iranian regime which I repeatedly criticized in my articles, especially its criminal embrace of the murderous regime of Bashar Assad in Damascus.  Just to refresh readers’ memories, that regime  murdered half a million Syrians, forced 50% of the Syrian people into exile,  and destroyed over 70% of Syria’s towns and villages,  in order to remain in power.

Moreover, the regime has been employing excessive lethal force against the large Sunni minority as happened in Zahidan, in south-eastern Iran, where trigger-happy Iranian soldiers killed as many as 90 protestors on 30 September, as reported by some human rights groups.

None the less, as Muslims, we are supposed to be fair and just in judging others, even though we may not like them.

Western hypocrisy is clarion

To begin with, the tragic and lamentable  death of a Kurdish woman activist in Iran several weeks ago was by no means the most gargantuan and obscene crime committed in Iran or in the Middle East..  In 2018, the de facto Saudi leader Muhammed ibn Salman (MBS) ordered the murder of  Saudi journalist Jamal Khashogji inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.  However, despite some  regurgitated rhetoric from Western capitals, especially Washington and London, most Western leaders eventually hastened to grovel at the tyrant’s feet. 

 The dramatic turnabout in Western attitudes toward MBS didn’t reflect  a sudden awakening of a dormant love for the  moody Saudi prince. It rather demonstrated that Israel’s regional interests as well as  the multi-billion dollars arms deals with the corrupt House of  Saud were far more important for the West than the  secondary subject of human rights in one of the world’s worst dictatorships.   A few days ago, President Biden admitted that the single most important reason behind his visit to Saudi Arabia more than four months ago was to secure Israel’s interests.

Read Also: The US and Israel are Weaponizing Iran Protests

Moreover, grave human rights violations are routine occurrences in countries like Egypt, UAE, Bahrain and Morocco, which rely for their very survival, on Western, especially American backing. However, the West keeps reticent lest any pressure on these tyrannical regimes prompt the masses to revolt against them, which is not in Israel’s interests.

The West  betrays human rights everywhere

The callous betrayal of the cause of human rights in places like Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa is a conspicuous feature of western policies toward Muslims. This means that the West, along with the venomous snake, called Israel, is Democracy’s number-1 enemy in the Middle East, especially the Arab region.

 Don’t you dare tell me that the rampancy of tyranny, despotism and harsh dictatorship throughout the region occurred by coincidence or is related to Islam! Such a logic would be utterly unconvincing and unacceptable to say the least.

The starkness of American and British hypocrisy on human rights is nowhere more brazen than in occupied Palestine. There Israel is carrying out real massacres of innocent Palestinians nearly on a daily basis,  and all we hear from Washington is the same scandalous remarks we have been hearing ad nauseam for many years, like “Israel has the right to defend herself” and “we call on both sides to exercise self-restraint,” which only encourage Israel to perpetrate more atrocities.

Moral inconsistency

I am quite sure that the bulk of Iranians have no iota of appreciation for American and British criticisms of the Iranian regime’s suppression of protests triggered by the regrettable death of Mahsa Amini. True, many Iranians are fed up with the regime over its harsh tactics toward dissidents.   None the less, most Iranians still remember the 28 Mordad coup d’eta when the  CIA  toppled the democratically- elected Mussadeq regime in 1953 and installed Shah Muhammed Reza Pahlavi as King of Persia.

Israel Firsters rule Washington unopposed

In addition to what has been said, I would like to make two points:  First, the popular indignation at the  Mullahs  should never be understood to mean or imply support for or identification with America’s imperialistic designs for `the country.

The U.S., irrespective of which administration in the White House, is hell-bent on turning Iran into a pliant banana republic, very much like Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the despotic Gulf Sheikhdoms, which Washington bullied to sign the treacherous Abraham Accords with the hateful Israeli apartheid entity.

I think this bleak and ghoulish prospect is very very unlikely to happen in Iran under existing circumstances. But the U.S. is trying and is unlikely to stop trying as long Zionist circles and Israel Firsters  continue to tightly dominate the U.S. government and Congress.

Which brings us to the second point. There is no doubt in this writer’s mind that the central reason behind America’s unmitigated hostility to Iran has nothing to do with Iran’s human rights record or even with Tehran’s criminal embrace of the Syrian regime. The real reason has to do with the Zionist entity and its strategic designs, namely the imposition of its strategic supremacy over the entire Arab-Islamic region. Powerful Muslim countries like Pakistan, Turkey and Iran currently pose a real challenge to the grand Zionist design. 

Read also: Death of Mahsa Amini: How Governments are Denying Women’s Right to Choice?

Hence, The U.S., which is always at Israel’s beck and call, is trying to neutralize this Muslim challenge for Israel’s benefit. The full weight of the American empire is always utilized to serve and expedite Israel expansionistic goals, military and strategic aggrandizement, mainly at the expense of Muslims.

More to the point, the US efforts to trigger an insurrection against the Iranian regime  is apparently  aimed at effecting a regime  change in the hope that a new pro-Western regime  would dismantle the country’s vital nuclear program,  widely considered as the second most important strategic foreign policy headache facing Washington now after the Ukrainian crisis. Moreover, the growing military cooperation between Russia and Iran, including the reported planned sale of Iranian-made missiles to Russia, is likely to further aggravate American concerns.

 The U.S. has paid 17 billion dollars  to Ukraine so far to repulse the Russian invasion.  However, it is highly likely that Washington would be willing to pay ten-times or twenty-times that much to serve Israeli interests and strategic ambitions, including  spreading its hegemony over  the entre Middle East.

Muslims must never trust America

Biden’s frank admission that the main reason behind his visit to Saudi Arabia was serving Israel’s interests should serve as a real eye-opener for Arabs and Muslims everywhere.  I know there are many willfully stupid Arabs who would  rather bury their heads in the sand of the desert than facing the truth.  These are the bastards of history and no Muslim on earth would shed a tear for their bleak fate.

But there are hundreds of millions of Muslims who must make sure that they won’t be bamboozled again by Washington’s sweet but deceptive words.  To these people I solemnly say: Disregard,  disobey and never trust America if you wish to have a bright future for yourselves and your children.  

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COP27 Climate Change Summit: Greenwashing Scam Imperilling Human Rights

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COP27 Climate Change Summit - A Greenwashing Scam Ignoring Human Rights

COP27 Faced Major Criticism

Morally, politically and economically COP27 climate change summit has been coined as a greenwashing scam imperilling human rights.

The world watched Egypt closely as it hosted the 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh from the 8th-16th of November. More than 190 governments attended COP27 to attempt to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Furthermore, Egypt hosting of COP27 sparked much controversy due to its abysmal human rights record. Additionally, COP27 faced heavy criticism due to some of the world’s top polluters, such as Coca-Cola sponsoring the event. Furthermore, attendees arrived in private jets; meat and dairy products remained on menus; dozens of domestic civil society organizations were excluded. Additionally, the summit was overshadowed by persistent calls to release up to 65,000 political prisoners in Egyptian prisons.

Worlds Top Polluter, Coca-Cola, Sponsored COP27

The UN climate conference announced a sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola, one of the “world’s top polluters”. Coca-Cola recently retained its title for the fourth year as the world’s top plastic polluter. The sponsorship deal is a greenwashing scam by campaigners, drawing intense criticism.

Coca-Cola produces 120 billion throwaway plastic bottles a year. 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels, exacerbating the plastic and climate change crises.

Private Jets, Bottomless Cocktails and Beef Medallion Dishes

Surprisingly, attendees indulged in the very activities which got us into this mess in the first place. Moreover, world leaders flew to Egypt in private jets. Attendees enjoyed bottomless cocktails, one-hour unlimited wine and beer packages, $100 beef medallion dishes, and $50 seafood platters.

This begs the question: do these foods belong at a climate conference? We have missed the true purpose of the climate summit: to help save the planet.

Caption: Residents push a boat through a flooded street in Havana. Industrial nations are being asked to compensate those countries most affected by the climate crisis. Photograph: Ramón Espinosa/AP. Image obtained from the Guardian.

Meat and Dairy On the Menu – Not on the Agenda

In the three-decade history of the UN Climate Summit, COP27 was the first UN summit to discuss the meat and dairy industry’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions.

COP27 faced massive criticism this year from climate activists due to the unsustainable meat and dairy items on its menus. It seems unimaginable that globally we are trying to reduce our meat and dairy consumption to save our planet. However, our governments cannot stop eating these foods at the world’s largest climate summit.

Cutting meat and dairy output are not yet on the agenda for governments at COP27. Many governments attending the summit give billions to livestock farmers in subsidies. Instead of focusing on plant-based diets, they are advancing policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using feed additives that make animals less gassy and technology that sucks up the methane wafting off manure heaps. Andy Reisinger, a farm emissions specialist and vice-chair of the UN’s IPCC climate panel, said feed additives could worsen emissions by promoting intensive farming.

Read more: Is Veganism the Solution to Eradicating Food Carbon Foot Print?

Dozens of Domestic Civil Society Groups Excluded

Hundreds of prominent human rights defenders, researchers and environmentalists were exiled from Egypt. They were unable to attend Cop27 due to the nature of their work. Many voices from Egypt were absent at the conference due to the government’s corrupt attempts to exclude dozens of domestic civil society groups.

“Arrests and detention, NGO asset freezes and dissolutions and travel restrictions against human rights defenders have created a climate of fear for Egyptian civil society organisations to engage visibly at the COP27” 

Additionally, COP27’s wifi blocked access to international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other news websites needed during information talks. These prominent human rights organizations hosted talks at COP27 but could not access their sites due to previous work criticizing the Egyptian government. Egypt used this strategy to hide the nation’s decades-long record of cracking down on human rights.

Read more: Pakistan’s Climate Crisis: A Peek Into The Apocalyptic Future That Awaits.

65,000 Political Prisoners in Egyptian Prisons

Currently, there are an estimated 65,000 political prisoners inside Egyptian prisons. COP27 was overshadowed by persistent calls to release political prisoners.

A British-Egyptian detainee, Alaa Abd el-Fattah, was a significant focus in the media. As a leader of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, he has been in prison for the past decade. He started a partial hunger strike in April 2022 to protest his detention conditions. He spent the last six months consuming just 100 calories a day. A week before COP27 started, he stopped eating altogether. Then, on the day the summit began, he stopped drinking water. He has since resumed drinking water but remains critically ill.

Greta Thunberg, who refused to attend COP27, signed a petition by a human rights coalition calling on Egyptian authorities to open up civic space and release political prisoners.

Read more: Accelerating Deforestation in the Amazon Severely Threatens Climate Change Crisis.

COP27 Cracks Down On “Greenwashing”

Companies, banks, cities and states worldwide have continuously made broken promises to achieve net-zero emissions. These corporate climate pledges amount to little more than a greenwashing scam. Evading net zero claims is a common greenwashing strategy. Companies claim to be carbon-free due to strategies such as buying carbon credits while simultaneously pursuing new fossil fuel projects emitting greenhouse gases.

Greenwashing is when an organization spends more time and money marketing itself as environmentally friendly than minimizing its environmental impact. It’s a shady marketing gimmick that misleads consumers who prefer to buy environmentally friendly goods and services.

At COP27, the UN cracked down on greenwashing, laying down recommendations for how companies, financial institutions and cities must calculate their net zero emissions status. The new UN report aims to eliminate loopholes by laying out ten steps to bring integrity, transparency and accountability to net zero claims.

“I have a message to fossil fuel companies and their financial enablers. So-called ‘net-zero pledges’ that exclude core products and activities are poisoning our planet. They must thoroughly review their pledges and align them with this new guidance”.

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres.

Read more: Doomsday Glacier on the Brink of Collapse: Catastrophes of Climate Change.

The UN cracked down on companies stating that they can’t claim to be net zero if they are not in line with targets set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These targets include cutting global carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. The UN limited short-term carbon offsets and held that they could only be used sparingly in the long term.

Historic Deal: Governments Must Pay Poor Nations for Climate Damage

Governments at COP27 approved a historic deal to create a fund for compensating developing nations that are victims of extreme weather events worsened by rich countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. However, many remained uncertain as countries argued over emission reduction efforts.

COP27 Climate Change Summit -Greenwashing Scam Imperilling Human Rights.
Caption: A Fridays for Future protester at the Cop27 UN Climate Summit holds a sign calling for the “loss and damage” deal. Photograph: Peter Dejong/AP. Image obtained from the Guardian.

Moreover, this is a massive step for poorer countries bearing the brunt of climate change. These nations face extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and famines despite releasing the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. This historical “loss and damage” deal will provide financial assistance to developing nations stricken by climate disasters.

However, this loss and damage deal has several flaws. Some nations held that the pledges to limit global temperatures to below 1.5 degrees showed little progress compared to the COP26 conference in Glasgow in 2021. Furthermore, others criticized how the language and guidelines on phasing out fossil fuels were weak. Despite many different opinions between nations regarding the guidelines of this historic deal, it is still a vital step towards achieving climate justice.

Read more: Climate Refugees: Pain of Unseen Victims.

Concluding Thoughts

COP27 has faced significant criticism this year for many justifiable reasons. Many believe COP27 is a greenwashing scam failing humanity and the planet by not leading to significant changes. The UN climate summit is losing its credibility in being able to create meaningful change to save our planet.

World leaders and people in power continuously use high-profile gatherings like COP for attention and are greenwashing, lying and cheating their way through pledges and commitments. The UN Environment Programme released the Emissions Gap report stating that only an urgent system-wide transformation can deliver the enormous emissions cuts needed to stabilize global temperatures below 1.5 degrees by 2030.

World leaders consistently fail to fulfil their commitments and act on time. We cannot place trust in greenwashing scams like COP summits anymore. Instead, we need rapid, far-reaching, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society if we want to build a sustainable world for future generations.

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Qatar FIFA 2022, A Civilized Model Of Islam

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Qatar FIFA 2022

Qatar is the first country in the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. This was after Qatar’s award hosting in December 2010. This is a tremendous opportunity for Qatar to represent Qatar FIFA 2022 as a civilized model of Islam. The country converted to Islam in the 7th century. Since winning the hosting, it has been constructing some of the most eco-friendly and architectural advanced sporting facilities ever seen. It is the kind of country that has the power to host the greatest show of FIFA ever on Earth.

First, Qatar has always drawn its strength from discovering oil, fishing, and pearl hunting. In addition, it is the world’s second-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. Hosting the tournament presents tremendous opportunities for Qatar to prove itself as a powerful country. Significantly, Qatar has always been taking advantage of the tournament hosting to develop local Industries, expertise, and infrastructure. This was for Innovation and application of excellent standards and support of Qatar’s transition to a knowledge-based economy. This edition of the FIFA World Cup 2022 is being themed by Qatar on its culture, history, identity, and hospitability. As a result, efforts have made the event an unforgettable historical experience.

(more…)

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The Lebanese file: neither a president nor a government

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election of lebanese presidency

Despite six presidential sessions, Lebanon still does not have a president.

The funny thing is, the government is also idle and the whole country is waiting for a miracle to get up again.

France is on the president line!

The head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Representative Gebran Bassil, is expected to visit Paris, which is expected to mark a remarkable development in the presidential file in Lebanon.

The meetings will aim to discuss the imminent presidential, governmental, and economic entitlements of all Lebanese stakeholders.

French president macron right) and free Patriotic movement leader gebran bassil (left)
French president macron and free Patriotic movement leader gebran bassil

Based on Basil’s excellent relationship with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi and Hezbollah, the French hope to agree on a roadmap for the presidential elections.

Although the French side does not carry an integrated initiative, it sought to know the position of all parties regarding a list of candidates that includes about seven names.

Those connected to the French ambassador understand that her country still has the American mandate to manage the initiative about the presidential file and that Paris wants to reach an agreement with Saudi Arabia that facilitates the task because insisting on fighting harsh battles would prevent the election of a president soon.

President issue: Who does Hezbollah wants?

 Hezbollah is reconsidering the local reality from a different angle than the one that preceded the election of President Aoun, as evidenced by Aoun’s recent paradox of reopening half-closed doors.

In contrast to Aoun, the party does not find any justification for repeating the vacuum for more than two years and tightening its internal domestic rams to deliver its candidate.

They are fully aware that choosing to unilaterally elect a president of the republic, and consequently, a government of one color and the presidency of the House of Representatives, means putting the country in direct conflict with the outside world. Everything that surrounds the internal reality is different from the previous stage, as is the position of the concerned countries.

 While Hezbollah’s opponents are only mentioning Franjieh as president—or, at the very least, any candidate from the party’s second row—this does not imply that Hezbollah has abandoned its candidate or candidates.

The party assumes entering into early settlements, which means that the party receives its price both internally and externally.

This is because the party cannot bear the idea of losing its candidate and will not bear the idea of any settlement following a vacuum that results in challenges, conditions, and counter conditions.

An alternative situation is possible in addition to that. Except for the March 8 team, there is no president of the country.

Is the former minister Franjieh a serious candidate?

Former Minister Suleiman Franjieh was Hezbollah’s candidate.

Nasrallah’s remarks coincided with a fresh French attempt that started a few days ago to forge an agreement on choosing a new president before the year is up and included pledges to start aid programs for Lebanon, including the “Cedre” program.

Former minister Sleiman Franjieh
Former minister Sleiman Franjieh

The debate that the French began with the major parties in Lebanon is anticipated to be finished with Washington and Riyadh and is predicated on the premise that no one can impose a prime minister or president of the republic without a genuine agreement between the major forces.

Hezbollah claimed in 2016 that there was no Plan B for the nomination of General Michel Aoun, and it repeated that claim this time as well: the candidate is Franjieh, and there is a point on the line.

 If the two allies cannot agree on a second candidate, there are dangers that no one has the luxury of incurring.

What does The Free Patriotic Movement says?

 The Free Patriotic Movement was informed by Hezbollah that the results of naming places below the presidency of the Republic under the General Michel Aoun administration were not encouraging, as the residents of these sites turned against the people who named them to them.

There is a “term” that Hezbollah agreed to, though, which is that it will not attend the election session for the Marada Movement’s leader until he has Basil’s endorsement in his pocket.

The party’s desire to maintain and strengthen the agreement with the Free Patriotic Movement is the most crucial factor, and as a result, “the election of Suleiman will be with Gibran’s consent and not at his expense,” among other factors, including giving Franjieh Christian support that makes him a strong president.

So far, there has not been any serious president, and we are facing many sessions without a result.

Is Lebanon on a date with a long presidential debate, as happened before the election of former President Michel Aoun, or will we witness the election of a president before the New Year?

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