Click on NEWS for back issues
Safar 14, 1429/ February 21, 2008, #12
Hollywood Film Director Spielberg is out to do serious damage
to Islamic Sudan. New Trend has received permission to
publish this eye-opening, well researched, article.
Please scroll way down.
Jamaat al-Muslimeen News
P.O. Box 10881
Baltimore, MD 21234
Visit with Trinidad Muslim Family whose Home
February 18, 2008: In Bladensburg, Maryland [just outside
Washington] Jamaat reps spent the afternoon with Br. Ismail
and Sis. Amina [from Trinidad] whose home caught fire [see
New Trend]. They have two girls. Fortunately they are all
safe. The father had a stroke before the fire and is in poor
health. They were well to do but suddenly have nothing:
literally nothing. The house was boarded up after the fire.
Looters broke in and took whatever had survived the fire.
Jamaat gave them a donation for the children. They still need
all the requirements of daily life. [Housing has been
provided by insurance.]
Rally Against Rushdie is not a "political" event:
Every Muslim's Faith was abused and ridiculed.
Inshallah, a protest rally against Rushdie's visit to the
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall will be held:
The Meyerhoff is at 1212 Cathedral street in
Dear Muslims, for your own self-respect, be there. Rushdie is
violating all rules of decency. His book is not a scholarly
work which can be answered. He made up a fictitious story to
abuse and attack the Prophet, pbuh, Ayesha, r.a., and
NPR [locally in Baltimore WYPR] is hosting Rushdie.
[Announced by NPR on Feb. 21.]The Zionist Jews are united in
publicizing, inviting and honoring Rushdie. It is about time
that Muslims wake up and speak up. CAIR-ISNA leaders licking
the boots of Rabbis and visiting Synagogues has emboldened
the enemies of Islam so much that now they openly want to
honor Rushdie right in the heart of Baltimore
Behind the War in Northern Pakistan
Pakistani "Elections" Made in U.S.A.: Lowest Voter Turnout
in Pak. History
Nawaz-Zardari-Musharraf Comedy did not Fool Pakistanis
New Trend Special Report
The reports New Trend is getting from witnesses in Pakistan
and from the Urdu language media are totally at variance
with the one-sided reporting done by the U.S. media.
Our reporters say:
New Trend's analysis is that America wants Pakistan's
military to concentrate on defeating the Pakistani Taliban
and to cut off all help going from Pakistanis to the Afghan
Taliban. General Kayani, the man who replaced Musharraf, was
trained in America's military academies and is more
entrenched in his loyalty to America than even Musharraf
could be. He is willing to go beyond all levels of national
dignity to crush the Islamic resistance to America. What he
did in Swat is significant of his determination: more than
70,000 civilians were uprooted from their homes by the
military in its attempts to destroy the Islamic forces led by
Maulvi Fazlullah. In the Darra Adam Khel area too the army
led by Kayani started wreaking havoc on the people. In both
cases the mujahideen withdrew in good order, leaving behind a
handful of martyrdom operators to keep the U.S.-armed forces
of Kayani on the defensive.
Most polling booths remained empty on February 18. Reporters
from various viewpoints agree on this fact. Major Urdu
language newspapers published photos of polling booths with
bored staff members and not a sign of voters. Eyewitness
accounts gave details of the fact that the election exercise
had failed miserably.
Opposition groups in Pakistan are of two categories. The ones
known in America and publicized on U.S. TV are the "Made in
America" groups, most prominently Benazir Bhutto's Peoples
Party and Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League [N]. The genuine
opposition in Pakistan is largely Islamic, most prominent
being Jamaate Islami, followed by Insaf Party of Imran Khan,
as well groups which want autonomy for their provinces
without opposing Islam or the integrity of Pakistan.
The neat picture is messed up a little by maverick
politicians. Fazlur Rahman, supposedly a religious leader,
hooked up with Musharraf secretly. Secularist Asfandiar Wali
Khan [ANP] was supposed to be in the opposition. However,
after a quick visit to Washington, DC, he decided to take
part in the elections.
Jamaate Islami understood that Musharraf was holding the
elections to fulfill America's plans for Pakistan. Jamaate
Islami and Insaf called for boycott of elections and held a
series of very large public gatherings to mobilize the masses
against the "made-in-America" elections.
There can be little doubt that the boycott movement was a
resounding success. The voter turnout was as low as 10%,
rising to 20% or more only in the hometowns of Nawaz Sharif
and Benazir [represented by her husband Zardari].
Musharraf had been told by the U.S. to make way for Nawaz and
Zardari. Musharraf was very unhappy but had no choice because
his entire structure is controlled from Washington. He had
manufactured a political party for himself called Muslim
League [Q]. The party "conceded defeat" even before the
election results came in.
Zardari [Benazir's] husband has pockets of support where
feudal lords hold sway or where poor people still remember
the favors Benazir's father did to them.
Nawaz Sharif has support in the landlord-feudal-old-military
structure. He easily won in parts of Lahore and areas
Secularists won in parts of Frontier province where elections
could be held. These are comparable to the "elections" held
in Iraq under U.S. occupation.
The worst situation is in Karachi where the turnout was less
than 15% but the MQM bandit group which controls the local
government and supports Musharraf stuffed the poll boxes and
claimed bigger leads in election than the total number of
Musharraf is now the loose cannon in this situation. He is
more unpopular in Pakistan than is Bush in the U.S. Nawaz
Sharif smells the blood on the waters and is calling for
Musharraf to step down [which would hook up with Jamaate
Islami's similar call, thus making Nawaz
Pakistani secularists are unable to understand what is
happening in Pakistan because they have the same view of the
Islamic resistance [and even of Islamic political parties] as
the Bush administration has. The secularists did not oppose
Musharraf when he sold Pakistan to the U.S. and gave
logistical support to the U.S. to bomb Afghanistan.
The secularists woke up only when Musharraf felt so secure in
the billion dollar support he was getting from Washington
that he decided to scuttle Pakistan's judiciary and
become supreme ruler.
There are indications that the Zionists encouraged Musharraf
to remove the Chief Justice so that an emergency situation
may develop into which Benazir Bhutto may be injected as
the "savior" of Pakistan. It appears that Musharraf
caught on [understood] rather late and allegedly got Benazir
killed. Again, Musharraf played into U.S. hands. Nawaz Sharif
was sent in to fill the vacuum created by Benazir's
The U.S., the British and Musharraf insisted that Benazir had
been killed by the Taliban, thus creating an excuse for
further military moves by the military against the
Pakistani secularists [and some Islamists too] do not
understand that the tipping point in Pakistan's history was
NOT the murder of Benazir but the MILITARY ATTACK on the
Women's University [Jamia Hafsa] and the RED
MOSQUE right in the capital city of a Muslim country. It
was a signal that the military backed by the U.S. would not
allow Pakistan to remain standing on its original Islamic
foundations regardless of the cost. The shelling and
bombing by the military on Islamic women and a mosque
[which was true to the original Islam of the Qur'an and
Sunnah] could be heard for miles. Most Pakistanis did not
move against the military. They proved to be cowards
when the time came to give their lives for Islam.
Why is there war in the north? Many of the young women
martyred in Jamia Hafsa by the military were the daughters
of the devoutly Islamic people of the Frontier. Other
young women and men were survivors of the Kashmir
earthquake. Their murder by the milutary stirred up the
deeply held faith of the people of the Frontier.
MALDIVES AND MUSLIM PROTESTERS
(by K Hamza) [Original to New Trend from India]
Muslims are a clear majority in the Republic of Maldives
archipelago in the Indian Ocean, situated to the south-west
of Sri Lanka, and the population is of mixed Indian,
Sinhalese, Suihalese, and Arabic descent. They were ruled by
an elected Sultan until they became a Republic. Quite
remarkably, an Islamic tide of upsurge, which is perceptible
across the world, has reached the shores of Maldives where
Muslims demonstrate a great awareness of reality rather than
accepting traditional culture.
The mosques in Maldives are the State-run and traditionally
under the domain of Sunni school promoted and protected by
President Maumoon Abdul Qayoom. But a section of progressive
Muslims reject liturgical practices of the majority Muslims
and often offend the regime that they feel illegitimate and
heretical. In the recent past, these progressive Muslims
youths have launched campaigns against the regime's policy
across the islands.
It was on September 29, last year that the Maldives Islamic
revivalism came to the international media focus under the
banner headlines of "Islamic Terrorism" when a bomb exploded
at the Sultan Park in Male, the capital of Maldives, blaming
the Ultra-right Jama'at Ahle-Hadis, being the prime culprit
of conspiracy hatched by West-Asia based Jihadi networks.
In 2004, Saeed Ahmed, the imam of the Zeenia Manzil Masjid,
the leading ideologue's inspirational rhetoric had been
instigating street protests against President Gayoom's
regime. Because of his endeavor, many students from Maldives
have been graduated in Islamic theology at the Jamia Salafiya
Islamia, a Fisalbad –based seminary which has produced
several key Islamists in the past. Another noteworthy
scholar, Abdul Malik was the chief instructor in training
thousands of Islamic activists at the Lashkaura's
Ummu-el-Qura Camp in Jammu and Kashmir. But Malik was killed
in 2003 in an encounter with the Indian troops in Kashmir.
Many Maldives nationals had been put through the daura amm
(basic combat course) at the Umm-el- Qura Camp.
Since Kerala has close geographical proximity to the Maldives
archipelago in the Indian Ocean and regular flights to the
capital Male from Trivandrum airport, Maldives citizens used
to visit the State. In April 2005, a Maldivian national Asif
Ibrahim was arrested allegedly involved in terrorist
activities under Male-based Jama'at-ul-Muslimeen. Several
other Maldives residents were also arrested recently by
Kerala Intelligence Bureau, but they were acquitted due to
lack of evidence to substantiate the allegations.
The authorities of both India and Maldives are alert and
allergic towards bearded persons wearing Arab-type kurta, who
are frequenting mosques and seminaries such as Jamia
Salafiya which, according to them, promote
neo-conservative Islam in the country. While viewing from an
unbiased angle, these Islamic activists are actually fighting
against the Western culture which is spreading through the
preaching of Christianity. For example, in the late 1999
Maldives regime had been playing a major role in staging the
millennium celebrations. So also under the façade of
tourism and the New Year celebrations, the Christian
Western culture has been promoted whereas the Islamic Sheriat
laws have been discarded. Further, the kyouknger age groups
are being hooked on Western concepts and life style. What is
even more painful is that the believers are being disturbed
while offering prayer at the Zikura Masjid, that is situated
in a prime locality in the town where loud Hindi film
music blasts out of stores. So the Islamic activists had
attacked some shops which sold music items, and displayed
Santa Claus. They also protested against night clubs
serving alcohol. Posters appeared on the walls of schools
praising Osama bin Laden. Recently, Sheikh Ibrahim Fareed, a
noted Islamic orator and scholar has opened a new mosque in
the south Maldives Island of Hi-mandhoo, in defiance of the
government's mandate that permission is to be sought and
obtained prior to constructing religious institutions in
Often, Islamists and the Police fight street battles on the
regime's bid to demolish or close newly constructed mosques
in many parts of Maldives. In such a fight, Ibraheem Shameen
was murdered, and Sheikh Fareed was arrested. Now the
Maldives regime is hell-bent to contain the upsurge of Islam
with the help of Police and troops and many "illegally"
constructed mosques have been pulled down. What is even more
significant is that Muslim protests continue much to the
discomfiture of the ruling clique in Maldives.
It is worthy to quote from Holy Qurhan as a solace to the
believers:" Those who have been driven out from their homes
unjustly only because they said, "Our Lord is Allah-" if
Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would
surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and
synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft
commemorated. And Allah will surely help one who helps Him.
Allah is indeed Powerful, Mighty". (Chapter 22, V 39).
Misunderstood Hadith: Does the Hadith say that Women will
be in Hell?
Does Qur'an Command Only Women to Take Ba'ait (Oath of
Honesty & Truth)?
Under the influence of Jewish writers, an anti-Hadith
movement was launched. One of the prominent people who did
propaganda against Hadith was G.A. Pervaiz. Although the
antidote provided by Islamic scholars like Maudoodi healed
the poisonous effect of Pervaiz in Urdu writing, we have
alienated Pakistani immigrants in the U.S. still attacking
Hadith in English.
The anti-Hadith people try to help the Jewish attack by
constantly repeating the charge that Hadith is against the
rights of women. To support this charge, they keep posting a
hadith which they say proves that Hadith is against women.
[It's a way of saying that Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, was
An anti-Hadith propagandist posted this Hadith.
1. Majority of the residents of Hell will be women
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 126:
The Prophet said, "I looked at Paradise and saw that
the majority of its residents were the poor; and I
looked at the (Hell) Fire and saw that the majority
of its residents were women."
RESPONSE BY KAUKAB SIDDIQUE:
Use of this Hadith to make the claim that Hadith is against
women shows: 1. Inability to read. 2. Lack of understanding
of Hadith. 3. Lack of understanding of the role of the
1. Reading ability:
The heading given here is not Hadith. It is a heading
provided either by the transmitter of Bukhari's collection or
by Imam Bukhari himself perhaps. In any case, what Imam
Bukhari thought is not part of Islam. It is only an opinion.
Hanafi scholars have criticized many of the opinions
[For instance, see Fazl-al-Bari, Sharh Urdu, Sahih al-Bukhari
vol.1 by Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, compiled with notes by Qazi
Abdur Rahman, It's a 584 page book published in 1973 which I
have had in my library for 20 years. It criticizes some of
the headings in Imam Bukhari's Sahih, for instance those
about Faith growing and receding. The idea that Muslim
scholars blindly follow Bukhari has very little
The heading uses the future tense: "residents of hell WILL be
women." The text of the hadith itself uses the PAST tense: "I
looked at Paradise and SAW ..." Thus the Prophet (pbuh) was
not predicting what will be but what he saw in a vision. The
Prophet (pbuh) is not saying that women WILL BE in Hell.
Thus the basic claim of the anti-Hadith people, that Hadith
says that women will be in hell, is incorrect.
2. Look at the text of the Hadith. It is not referring only
to women. In fact it begins with reference to the poor, that
the Prophet (pbuh) saw them in Paradise. Does the Hadith say
that ALL poor people will be in Paradise. It does not. Does
it say that ALL women will be in Hell. It does not.
2i. CONTEXT OF THE HADITH. Look at the listing of this Hadith
in Bukhari's Sahih. It is listed by Bukhari with two
different chains of narration with slightly different
content, one from Imran [as quoted ABOVE] and the other by
Osama ibn Zayd, r.a. Then the third hadith on that issue,
which is between the two mentioned above, gives the CONTEXT:
The Prophet saw that vision during prayers which were held
when a solar eclipse occurred. He was asked why he saw women
are in hell. He explained that it had to do with their
thanklessness towards their husbands. If a husband does good
all the time and then he does something once which they don't
like, such women reject all the good done.:
"They forget the good done for them. Even if all his life the
husband does good to them, if he does something hurtful once,
they say, we have never seen any good in you."
2ii. Thus the Prophet (pbuh) was ENCOURAGING the poor and the
oppressed to strive because they could achieve top marks and
go to Paradise, and he was teaching women against one of
their major weaknesses: rejection of all the good done by a
husband because of one mistake made by him.
It's a teaching method. Compare with a teacher who says to
his students: I have done all I could for you but I can see
you failing because of your bad study habits. That does NOT
mean that the TEACHER WANTS THE STUDENTS TO FAIL or that the
STUDENTS WILL FAIL. He wants his students to succeed: Hence
he puts the fear of failing into their minds. Of course, with
the Prophet, pbuh, the teaching is much more intense because
it is based on his spiritual vision of heaven and hell.
That's the context the enemies of hadith leave out. That
omission is what INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY is all about.
WHEN WE COLLECT HADITH ABOUT WOMEN, it becomes very evident
that the Prophet (pbuh) was teaching that women will be in
Paradise if they strive and struggle. Hadith in fact quotes
the Prophet (pbuh) referring to a woman AHEAD OF HIM IN
PARADISE.[From other hadith we know that she took part
Unas bin Malik (r.a.) narrates that the Prophet (pbuh) said:
I entered Paradise (in vision) and heard someone's footsteps
(ahead). I was asked who is that. I was told: It is Ghumaisa
the daughter of Milhan, the mother of Unus bin Malik..
A similar hadith narrates:
Jabir bin Abdullah (r.a.) narrates: The messenger of Allah,
pnuh, said: I was shown Paradise and I saw the wife of Abu
Talha there and I heard footsteps ahead of me (in Paradise)
and I saw it was Bilal.
[Both Hadith are in Kitabul Fadail, Sahih of Muslim,
So here we have the Prophet, pbuh, teaching, from his
visionary ability, that women like Ghumaisa (r.a.) and freed
slaves like Bilal (r.a.) can attain the highest felicity,
with a place in Paradise above all others.
NONE OF THE WOMEN WHO ARE THE VANGUARD OF THE ISLAMIC
STRUGGLE WILL BE IN HELL. They are all going to Paradise,
inshallah. The Prophet, pbuh, changed the standard of
superiority from Gender to TAQWA or Allah-conscious behavior.
The women used to be in the mosque with the Prophet (pbuh)
and HE WOULD CUT SHORT THE HOLIEST ISLAMIC ACTIVITY, prayer
itself, so that women may not feel bad because of the crying
of their infants:
Unus bin Malik (r.a.) narrates that the Prophet (pbuh) said.
I begin (leading) the prayer and my intention is to prolong
the prayer but then I hear a child crying and I shorten the
prayer because I know how much the child's crying hurts the
mother. [Sahih of Bukhari, kitab al-Adhan.]
[How sensitive was the messenger of Allah (pbuh) that he knew
how the mother feels.]
Thus reading a HADITH OUT OF CONTEXT can lead to absurd
claims. The PERVAIZIS make a virtue of their ignorance of
Hadith. They are like swine who cannot appreciate the pearls
of the Prophet's (pbuh) wisdom.
QUR'AN WITHOUT HADITH
The same ignorance can prevail if one reads the QUR'AN
without Hadith. For instance, in sura Mumtahina, chapter 60
of the Qur'an, verse 12, there is an oath which women had
"O Prophet! When believing women come to thee to take the
oath of fealty to thee, that they will not associate in
worship any thing whatever with Allah, that they will not
steal, that they will not commit adultery ....... [till the
end of the verse]
Those who do not read Hadith might wonder, why is the Qur'an
applying the oath only to women. Is this a double standard?
The leaders of the unbelievers tried to say so. Hind, the
wife of Abu Sufian asked tauntingly, do women of good
When we read the Hadith with the Qur'an, we find that the
oath applied equally to men and women:
'Ubadah bin as-Samit (r.a.) narrates that the messenger of
Allah, pbuh, took the same oath of fealty from us men as he
took from women, that we would not associate anyone with
Allah, that we would not steal, that we would not commit
adultery.... [to the end of the hadith] [Sahih Muslim, kitab
WAR NEWS: [from Urdu language media]
AFGHANISTAN: Mullah Omar Answers Claim that he is
Taliban Attacks Inflict Heavy Losses on Dog-fighting
February 10, 2008: Through a spokesman, Mullah Omar rebutted
a U.S. official's claim that he is in Pakistan. He said that
he and the entire Taliban leadership is in Afghanistan and
leading the resistance. [Source: The News
In another statement, the Taliban rejected the rumor that he
has removed Baitullah Mehsud from the leadership of Pakistani
Taliban. He said that Pakistani Taliban have their own
leadership and the Afghan Taliban do not interfere in
February 17, 2008: On the outskirts of Kandahar city,
a martyrdom operator hit a military unit of militia leader
Abdul Hakim Jan while the troops were engrossed in a dog
fight. The assailant successfully reached the middle of the
group. At least 80 of the militia were killed including Jan
himself. Jan was a staunch supporter of the Karzai regime
installed in Kabul by the U.S.
The huge explosion destroyed the dozen military jeeps in
which the troops had arrived.
The remaining militia men went on a rampage after the
explosion and opened machine gun fire on the civilians who
had been attracted to the dog fight killing at least 20
people and injuring many others.
Dog fighting is seen as cruelty to animals by Islam and is
forbidden by the Taliban. Jan and his militia were known for
their banditry and atrocities against the people.
February 18, 2008: Spin Boldak town. A Canadian
armored unit was hit by a martyrdom operator after the troops
stopped to do business with civilian supporters in the area.
The explosion was so big that it was heard across the nearby
Pakistan frontier. Three Canadian troops were killed and 15
wounded. At least 35 civilians were also killed and 12
wounded. The entire row of shops doing business with the
Canadians went up in flames.
[Taliban did not take responsibility for the first attack,
indicating that it might have been a rogue operation carried
out by one of the victims of Jan's crimes.]
[In the U.S., the attack was presented as an attack on
citizens enjoying dog fighting. The military content of the
group which was hit was not revealed.]
Indian Occupation Army Active in Kashmir
Molestation in Lolab triggers protest
10-Feb-2008, 2 Safar 1429
Lolab (Kupwara), Feb 09: Thousands of people took to the
roads in this frontier district on Saturday after troopers
tried to outrage the chastity of a woman and beat up her
husband, and opened fire on her nephews.
At least six persons were injured when troopers beat up the
protesters and opened fire to quell them.
According to residents of Drusaanwani Lolab, troopers of 28
Rashtriya Rifles entered Mir Mohalla early this morning and
asked Headmaster Jehangir Ahmed Mir to accompany them for
carrying out a search in his neighbour's house.
Victim Fareeda (name changed) while narrating the incident
told Rising Kashmir, "They (troopers) entered into our house
and asked my husband to accompany them. Fearing for his life
I also accompanied him to the house of Molvi Jabbar Magray,"
"After searching the first floor, they asked my husband to go
up with them to the second floor. However when he told them
he couldn't climb in absence of a ladder, troops abused him
and was beat him up mercilessly," she said adding that when
she protested the troops "tore off her clothes."
"The Major accompanying the troopers told them to take me
into a separate room for teaching me a lesson," she said
adding, "On hearing this I ran for safety."
She said she raised an alarm and ran for safety and her
screams attracted the attention of her two nephews Mudasir
Nazir and Javaid Ahmed.
They ran to rescue their uncle but troopers thrashed them
"brutally and fired upon them injuring Mudasir Nazar,"
Outraged at what they termed the reign of terror unleashed by
the troopers residents raising anti-troops and pro-freedom
slogans took to the roads and staged a massive protest.
The troopers swooped on the protesters as they tried to march
ahead and beat them up with batons injuring three of
The critically injured Jehangir Ahmed Mir, Mudasir Nazir and
Javid Ahmed were later brought to SDH Sogam wherefrom Mudasir
and Javaid have been shifted to Srinagar.
According to doctors, Mudasir was unable to speak as bullets
had pierced his mouth whereas Javid has suffered
The protests continued throughout the day in the area and
many local politicians joined the people demanding punishment
for the troopers.
However, Defence spokesman denied that troopers opened fire
or tried to outrage the modesty of a woman. "There was a
misfire by troopers. No one was injured through," said army
spokesman Lt Col AK Mathur.
Chauvinist in Humanitarian Drag
Steven Spielberg, Faux Humanitarian
By STEPHAN GOWANS
Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has withdrawn as artistic
adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing because China
has failed to pressure Sudan to end the war in Darfur.
China is developing oil fields in the embattled region of
Sudan and Spielberg wants Beijing to use its clout to end the
insurgency in the west of the country.
Arguing that "Sudan's government bears the bulk of the
responsibility" for the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur,
Spielberg blames China for failing to do "more to end the
continuing human suffering there." (1)
"China's economic, military and diplomatic ties to the
government of Sudan continue to provide it with the
opportunity and obligation to press for change,"
Spielberg says. (2)
But while Spielberg wants China to use its influence in
Khartoum, he has released no statements, of which I'm aware,
to press Washington to use its influence to end the larger
humanitarian catastrophes in Somalia and Iraq, both of which
are directly attributable to the actions of his own country,
and therefore should be well within the grasp of the US
government to end.
China's ability to end the Darfur conflict, however, is a far
more uncertain matter.
Three of the five rebel groups fighting Sudanese forces in
Darfur are unwilling to negotiate a peace, according to the
UN's special envoy to Darfur, Jan Eliasson. (3) This makes it
difficult for Khartoum, let alone China, to bring an end to
the conflict, unless ending the conflict means Khartoum
capitulating and handing Darfur and its oil assets to the
rebels and their Western backers. This, of course, would suit
strategists in the US State Department, to say nothing of the
US oil industry.
By comparison, ending the much larger humanitarian
catastrophes in Somalia (with 850,000 displaced, Somalia has
been called Africa's largest and most ignored catastrophe)
and Iraq (four million refugees and hundreds of thousands
dead as a result of the US invasion) is directly within the
capability of Washington. (4)
The US simply has to order Ethiopia, which it directed to
illegally invade Somalia in December 2006, to withdraw. (5)
If the Ethiopians balk, cutting off the rich flow of military
aid Washington rewards the Meles regime with, will exert
needed pressure. (6)
As regards the tragedy of Iraq, there can be no greater
ameliorative act than immediate withdrawal of foreign troops.
Withdrawal should occasion no fear of touching off a
full-scale civil war. The Pentagon's own research shows that
Iraqis attribute sectarian tensions to the US military
presence and ardently wish to see the Americans leave. (7)
If a civil war were to ensue, it could hardly be worse than
the suffering the US continues to visit upon Iraq in lost
lives, mangled bodies, rampant disease, hunger and
homelessness far in excess of the tragedy in Darfur.
If China's ties to the government of Sudan provide it with
the opportunity and obligation to press for change, doesn't
Spielberg's visibility, and his status as a US citizen,
provide him with the opportunity and obligation to press for
change where his own government has created far greater
In the fall of 2002, Spielberg said he "could not not
support" the Bush administration's policies on Iraq (8).
Today, he seeks to embarrass China over Sudan, another
oil-rich country Washington seeks regime change in. And as
far a Spielberg is concerned, the US-authored humanitarian
catastrophes in Somalia and Iraq are best ignored. Are these
the actions of a humanitarian, or of a chauvinist whose
concern for the suffering of others stops at the door of, and
indeed caters to, US ruling class interests?
Stephen Gowans is a writer and political activist who lives
in Ottawa, Canada. He can be reached at:
(1) New York Times, February 13, 2008.
(3) New York Times, February 8, 2008.
(4) Displacement of Somalis, Washington Post, November 14,
2007; Iraqi refugees, The Independent (UK), July 30, 2007.
There are a number of estimates of deaths in Iraq due to the
US invasion: The Iraqi Body Count, 47,668; World Health
Organization, 151,000; Johns Hopkins, 600,000; British
polling firm ORB, 1.2 million (mid-range estimates.)
(5) US General John Abizaid visited the Ethiopian prime
minister, Meles Zenawi, in November, 2006. Ethiopia invaded
Somalia the next month. "The US provided key intelligence
from spy satellitesCIA agents traveled with the Ethiopian
troops, helping direct operationsUS forces have carried out
at least four attacks inside the country in the past 12
months." The Independent (UK), February 9, 2008.
(6) Stephen Gowans, "Looking for Evil in all the Wrong Places,
" www.gowans.wordpress.com, November 20, 2007,
(7) Washington Post, December 19, 2007.
(8) In September 2002, Spielberg pledged support for the
gathering US war on Iraq. "Film director Spielberg lines up
with Bush war drive
WSWS, October 3, 2002,
2008-02-23 Sat 16:04:18 cst