Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Views on the news - 25/6/09

UN call to reform IMF and WB will fall on deaf ears

"The world institutions created generations ago must be made more accountable, more representative and more effective," UN Secretary General Ban said at the opening of a three-day meeting of the U.N. General Assembly on the global financial crisis and its impact on the developing world. "I regret that financial institutional reform has divided (U.N.) member states," he said. The question of reforming the IMF, World Bank and other international financial bodies was one of the issues that the 126 nations participating in this week's financial crisis had struggled to agree on during months of negotiations on a set of proposals for reforming the global financial system. A 15-page draft obtained by Reuters, said nations “recognize that it is imperative to undertake, as a matter of priority, a comprehensive and fast tracked reform of the IMF ... to increase its credibility and accountability, its legitimacy and effectiveness.” However, it is more than likely that the UN will fail to produce a set of concrete steps to redress the financial crisis. This is because the wealthy countries are too busy keeping their financial systems afloat by plundering third world. A point emphasized by Ban, “Surely if the world can mobilize more than $18 trillion to keep the financial sector afloat, it can find more than $18 billion to keep commitments to Africa,” Ban said.

Sarkozy attacks Islamic dress for women

This week President Sarkozy of France said that the head-to-toe Islamic garment for women was not a symbol of religion but a sign of subservience for women. ”The burka is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience," he told members of both parliamentary houses gathered for his speech. "It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic.” His comments follow an appeal last week by 65 French MPs for a parliamentary commission to examine whether Muslim women who cover themselves fully in public undermine the secular tradition in France as well as women's rights. The MPs represent parties ranging from the Communists to Mr Sarkozy's UMP. The call won instant support from members of Mr Sarkozy's centre-Right government but was opposed by the Socialists, the main opposition party. This is not the first time the French government has lamented over the dress code for Muslim women. In 2004, the country passed a controversial law forbidding wearing of veils from state schools and government offices. It is ironic that France claims to be the harbinger of religious freedom and tolerance, and yet this very notion is conspicuously forgotten when applied to Muslims living in France and the Muslim world.

Somalia: America makes last ditch attempt to rescue Sharif’s government

In the wake of the continued pressure from Islamists on the weakening Sharif’s regime in Somalia , the US has decided to send weapons to thwart a takeover the nation by Islamist Washington Post reported on Thursday. "A decision was made at the highest level to ensure the government does not fall and that everything is done to strengthen government security forces to counter the rebels," an unnamed U.S. official told the newspaper. The shipment of weapons and ammunition arrived this month in the Somali capital, Mogadishu , the official said. U.S. and Somali officials say that possibly hundreds of fighters from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations are fighting alongside the Islamist group known as al Shabab, which Washington has designated a terrorist group, the Post said. For the past 6 years or so, America has struggled to fashion a stable governments in Iraq , Afghanistan , Pakistan and Somalia . Rather then scaling back the Islamic revival in these countries, the continued US aggression against these countries is having the opposite effect. More and more people are now yearning for the re-establishment of the Caliphate.

Russia attacks Kyrgyzstan ’s u-turn over US military base

Russia accused Kyrgyzstan of treachery on Wednesday after the central Asian state revoked a Kremlin-backed order to close down a US military base considered vital for the war effort in Afghanistan . The Kyrgyz government agreed to expel US troops after receiving £1.3 billion in aid and soft loans from Moscow in February. But after the United States agreed to triple its rent for Manas, an important re-fuelling and re-supply base for US forces across the border in Afghanistan , Kyrgyzstan changed its mind -- to the fury of Russian officials. ”The Kyrgyz leadership has repeatedly stated that the decision to close the base was final and not subject to revision," said Andrei Nesterenko, a spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry. “The fact that the US military retains a presence in central Asia runs counter both to Russia 's interests and to our agreements with the Kyrgyz leadership.” Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, last year unilaterally declared the former Soviet Union to be part of Russia 's sphere of influence.
Russian fury over Kyrgyzstan ’s decision is likely to sour US-Russian relations further.

Iran plans stern action against the UK for fomenting unrest

This week, Britain reacted cautiously to a warning by Iran that it was considering downgrading diplomatic ties in the wake of continuing unrest over disputed presidential elections. Iran has accused two British officials of "activities inconsistent with their diplomatic status" - diplomatic language for spying - a charge flatly rejected by the Foreign Office.

The Iranian leadership, including the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly targeted Britain in recent days. The attacks appear to reflect long-standing Iranian suspicions of Britain dating back to the UK 's role in engineering a coup against the popular Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953.The Tehran regime has also complained about the reporting of the elections by the BBC's new Persian language service. Interestingly, Iran has not taken similar steps against the America —its so called arch enemy. Oddly enough, the US has been careful to harshly criticize the Iranian regime—suggesting that despite the fiery rhetoric between the two countries both governments are working in tandem to safeguard US interests stretching from Palestine to Afghanistan .

25/6/09

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