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Journal of America Team:

Syed R. Mahmood 
 Editor in chief: 
Abdus Sattar Ghazali
 Managing Editor:
Mertze Dahlin   
Senior Editor:
Arthur Scott

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May 2015

When terrorism is not terrorism - Take Two
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali:
Have you heard about a plot to wipe out an American Muslim suburb in New York State. Most probably not, because the mainstream corporate media hardly mentioned this news since the plotter is an ordained minister in the Christian National Church and former congressional candidate from Signal Mountain, Tennessee. He was caught on tape and on social media talking about wiping out a Muslim community in upstate New York. On April 10, Robert R. Doggart was arrested for plotting to kill Muslims and destroy a mosque in Islamberg, a Muslim area in the state of New York.  He had spoken about his plans to attack targets in Islamberg during phone calls and also on his Facebook page. Two weeks after his arrest, he pleaded guilty to “interstate communication of threats,” a charge that carries a sentence of between 0 and 5 years in prison, along with a fine. He was not charged with terrorism, or even with a hate crime.
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Can we allow fate of those in the SS St. Louis to repeat?
By Dr Habib Siddiqui:
In recent weeks, Rohingyas stranded in rickety boats in the seas of Southeast Asia has caused international alarm. There are several thousand of these migrants in boats off the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia with dwindling supplies of food and water. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times calls it ‘a scene of a mass atrocity.’ If the seas will not kill them, starvation will.  According to Tom Andrews, a former member of Congress who is president of United to End Genocide, “The Andaman Sea is about to become a floating mass grave, and it’s because of the failure of governments, including our own, to do what is necessary.” It is estimated that some 130,000 of them have fled by boat their ancestral home in the Rakhine state of Myanmar (also known as Burma) since mid-2012, and many – probably thousands – have succumbed to death just trying to do so. In utter desperation, the Rohingya have become the stranded boat people of our time. Aptly put, they are forced to brave death at sea to escape 'open-air concentration camps' inside Myanmar. Like the Jews on-board the SS St. Louis, fleeing Hitler’s Germany in 1939, who were denied landing in Cuba and the USA, the Rohingyas are denied landfall today.
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U.S., Iran, Israel, and Palestine: The Fateful Quadrangle
By Dr. Abdul Jabbar:
Three momentous and closely related events have just occurred in quick succession: Refusing to honor the U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared categorically that he will not allow the creation of a Palestinian state, thus killing any hope of any one-state or two-state solution in the near future. Secondly, the U.S. and five other major world powers have signed an agreement with Iran to seek a diplomatic, negotiated settlement that will allow Iran to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. And thirdly, Palestine has been accepted to membership of the International Criminal Court and can now bring charges of human rights violations against Israel.
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Powerful nonviolent resistance to armed conflict in Yemen
 As with the initial uprising against the Saleh regime four years ago, an unarmed civil society movement rises up to challenge the Huthi militia.While media coverage of the tragic situation unfolding in Yemen in recent months has focused on armed clashes and other violence, there has also been widespread and ongoing nonviolent civil resistance employed by a number of different actors.
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Hillary Clinton, phosphates, and the Western Sahara
Stephen Zunes:
For more than a half-century, a series of United Nations resolutions and rulings by the International Court of Justice have underscored the rights of inhabitants of countries under colonial rule or foreign military occupation. Among these is the right to "freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources," which "must be based on the principles of equality and of the right of peoples and nations to self-determination." Read More

Untangling the truth from the myth of the Armenian Genocide
Dr. Habib Siddiqui: The controversy surrounding the so-called Armenian genocide has again been stirred up by no less an important individual than the Catholic Pope Francis himself when he called it “the first genocide of the 20th century”. The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has vehemently criticized the pope’s remark. “The pope’s statement, which is far from the legal and historical reality, cannot be accepted,” he tweeted.
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April 2015

Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated by America
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan's first Prime Minister, was assassinated on October 16, 1951 while addressing a public meeting in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. His assassin, later identified as Saad Akbar Babrak was shot dead on the spot. Saad Akbar Babrak was an Afghan national and a professional assassin. Read More 

Why Pakistan declines Saudi request to join Arab coalition fighting in Yemen?
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: Pakistan has virtually declined Saudi Arabia's request to join the Arab coalition fighting its current military operation in to restore the deposed Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. After days of discussion in media and parliament, a joint session of parliament passed a resolution on Friday (April 10) saying that Pakistan "should maintain neutrality in the conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis”. Islamabad finds itself in an awkward position on Yemen, reluctant to offend oil-rich Saudi Arabia with which it has long enjoyed close military and economic ties but also not wanting to get involved in a war that could fan sectarian tensions at home. At the same time, Pakistan needs to build better ties with its immediate neighbor Iran that offers huge prospects of trade and energy imports once sanctions are lifted against Tehran.
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The US geostrategic objectives behind the war in Yemen
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali:
While Saudi Arabia has long considered Yemen a virtual subordinate province and as a part of Riyadh’s sphere of influence, the US wants to make sure that it could control the Bab Al-Mandeb, the Gulf of Aden, and the Socotra Islands. The Bab Al-Mandeb is an important strategic chokepoint for international maritime trade and energy shipments that connects the Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea. It is just as important as the Suez Canal for the maritime shipping lanes and trade between Africa, Asia, and Europe
. Read More

Hardliners on All Sides Undermining Iran's Nuclear Talks
By Dr. Stephen Zunes:
Reaching an interim nuclear deal with Iran would have been difficult enough even without hardliners in both Iran and the United States seeking to undermine them. Many U.S. critics of the draft treaty deny this, however, naively assuming Iran is as weak as it was several decades ago, when foreigner powers could impose policies and even replace governments at will. Not only have such imperialist intrigues become more difficult overall, the reality is that Iran has, for better or worse, reemerged as a major regional power—as it has been for much of the past two and half millennia.
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Kowtowing with Netanyahu – at what price?
By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
:For too long, the USA and our western friends have been kowtowing with Netanyahu who is a war criminal. He needs to be sent to the ICC for his horrendous crimes in Gaza, which are crimes against humanity. If the world leaders are serious about finding genuine peace in the occupied territories, they must treat the state of Israel the way South Africa was treated in the last phase of her apartheid years. No ifs, ands, or buts!
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Kashmir: Urgency in dialogue process
By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai: Numerous proposals have been made in the past for resolving the Kashmir dispute which the neutral agency might take into consideration, such as that proposed by Sir Owen Dixon’s Plan in 1950, Ambassador Yusuf Buch’s Proposal in 2003, to Ambassador Kuldip Nayar’s Proposition in 2014. There are several key issues that have been addressed in such proposals that need to be taken into consideration again. Read More

Plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar:  Playing politics with the White Cards?
By Dr. Habib Siddiqui:
In early February this year, the Myanmar parliament approved a proposal by President Thein Sein to allow people with temporary identification “white cards,” most of whom were Rohingya, to vote on a referendum on constitutional amendments to the country’s junta-backed constitution, which could come as early as May. Obviously, as most keen observers would tell you the government measure was a face-saving one under international pressure and never meant in intent and purpose.
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March 2015

Hypocrisy of Bibi Netanyahu
By Arthur Kane Scott:
Native culture is filled with stories about the Trickster, a deceptive con artist, often presented as a coyote. This certainly was the role played by Bibi Netanyahu, when he gave his March3, 2015,speech to the US House of Representatives, about the nuclear deal being negotiated between Washington and Teheran. His major point was that it was a “bad deal” for the West and Israel. He came as a “sheep in wolves clothing” to sow doubt about its value, and along with 47 Republican Senators, to cast aspersions at President Obama’s leadership.
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Netanyahu's Speech and the Democrats' Dangerous Embrace of Extremism
By Stephen Zunes:
As Israeli opposition parties, peace and human rights activists, and editorialists denounced their prime minister's intransigence in the face of President Barack Obama's peace initiative, Congressional Democrats here in the United States have instead joined their Republican counterparts in lining up to support the right-wing Israeli leader's defiance. As Benyamin Netanyahu arrogantly rejected Obama's modest parameters for a peace settlement in a May 20 speech before a joint session of Congress -- a rare honor for a foreign leader -- Democrats joined Republicans in giving him no less than 29 standing ovations, more than were given to Obama during his State of the Union Speech earlier this year. Mitchell Plitnick of Jewish Voice for Peace, in the immediate aftermath of Netanyahu's speech, observed how "The United States itself has never been as shameless in its blind support" for the Israeli right, placing support for the Likud leader, "over the interests of justice and human rights and even its own self-interest."
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Nuclear Iran: A Solution for Peace
By Syed R. Mahmood:
This article was published in the July/August  2010 issue of the Journal of America. It was also published by SF Bay Area Newsgroup. The article is reproduced because it remains relevant after nearly five years in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress on March 3. Read More

The GOP is bewitched with Netanyahu, but Israel endorses many policies Republicans would loathe
By Zaid Jilani: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress yesterday marked a point of historic acrimony between our two countries, as it was the first time in modern history that a foreign leader spoke to Congress in a specific attempt to undermine U.S. policy.
For many American conservatives, the Netanyahu visit was a moment of celebration; some even openly wished that Netanyahu was our president instead of Obama.  But there are a number of reasons conservatives should be wary about wanting Netanyahu as president, ranging from Israel's left-wing healthcare policy to its lack of a constitution to limit government power.
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The Federal CVE program remains cause of concern for civil advocacy groups
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali:
Civil advocacy organizations and Muslim groups have expressed grave concern about the Federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program that was a focus of Feb 17-19 White House summit on terrorism. Many groups are concerned that countering extremism programs that only focus on Muslim communities ignore the real threat of extremists in other communities while increasing negative public sentiment toward American Muslims.  Read More

Kashmir: People’s Aspiration Must Be Respected
By Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai: The people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are larger in number than 123 currently independent nations and who have a defined historical identity, are at present engaged in a massive, indigenous and non violent struggle to win their freedom from the foreign occupation of their land. This struggle is not motivated by bigotry or ethnic prejudice, for its sole aim is the right of self-determination of the people, irrespective of their religious affiliations and ethnic preferences.  Read More

Comparing The Incomparable: Pakistan’s Education System with the Rest of the World
By Wajid Hassan
Pakistan enjoys an important strategic location in Asia and hence plays an important role in the geo-politics of the region. It is bordered by Iran to the west, Afghanistan on its north-east border, India to the east and China to its west. It is also geographically very close to the Tajikistan/Russian border, separated only by a narrow strip of Wakhan Corridor. Because of its location as well as ethnic and religious connections with the bordering countries, Pakistan has continued to play a critical role in the region since the 1950's. It has been regarded as an important strategic partner in several major conflicts in the world. Read More