IMRAN's In My Humble Opinion

From Imran Anwar http://imran.tv http://flickr.com/ImranAnwar

Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

On Terrorism: Your Silence Speaks Volumes

Posted by imrananwar on March 28, 2009

This has been another week in which Pakistan has been in the news in America. Pakistan has embarked on a major new path when its people once again stood up for democracy. But that news has not been reported very much in American media. It is almost as if some American media were disappointed that, for a change, the news from Pakistan was good.

You would think that these media would have preferred if Pakistan had a “Long March” which turned to total chaos and anarchy. It would have given some American media and many so-called analysts the opportunity to say, “I told you so.” For them it would have been more newsworthy to report “Pakistan near collapse” than the “boring” news that “Pakistanis Face & Reverse Tyranny.”

I wonder if it is because most American media, despite their protestations and editorial comments when Pakistan does not have democracy, in their heart of hearts know that American interests abroad are best served by keeping dictators in power.

After all, that is the one thing American governments, be they Republican or Democrat, have always been consistent on. They have always supported dictators in Pakistan. Of course, that is the same reason they use to curtail aid to Pakistan, but always seem to open their wallets when a dictator in Pakistan plays hardball with them.

It would be foolish and irresponsible for us to believe that everything is hunky-dory in Pakistan. Pakistan managed to step back from the precipice of a total meltdown after the Long March. President Asif Zardari and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif finally agreed on a mechanism for the restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chowdhry has taken his office again. But Pakistan is not out of the woods.

The terrorists who carried out the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team are still brazenly moving about the city of Lahore, posing unknown threats to Pakistanis. The Taliban and their evil supporters have stooped to new lows.

Even the repulsive Zionist army of Israel, invading and slaughtering Palestinians and the Lebanese, or the indiscriminate bombings of American jets in Afghanistan and Iraq, have never been known to specifically directly target a mosque full of worshippers. Yet that is what the scum of the universe, the suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are doing.

How are their actions serving Islam? How they are helping liberate Palestine or Kashmir – by killing 100 Muslims in a mosque during prayers? They are not.

It is all about sowing terror, not spreading Islam. It is all about bloodlust, not about freedom. It is all about evil, not about iman. Yet the silence of leading politicians from religious parties, ulema, imams and other “thaikedars” of Islam is deafening.

The same people who jump on every opportunity to have a press conference, or send out a press release, about deaths happening in Palestine or Iraq seem to have nothing to say on this biggest evil of suicide bombers right in our own home, killing our fellow Pakistani Muslims on an almost daily basis.

Some apologists for these professional so-called “defenders of Islam” try to make excuses for them. They tell me that they did indeed, maybe some time in the past, say something or the other condemning terrorism.

My question is, isn’t the slaughter of Pakistani and Muslim worshippers in a mosque a far more evil deed that is being carried out right under our noses? Why is there not a daily fatwa against suicide bombers? Why are we not declaring every day (even by name of the suicide bomber of the day) that they will be burning in the deepest recesses of hell?

What Pakistanis, and Afghans, do not seem to still realize is that their silence is acquiescence. By not uniting and using every available tool to eradicate the scourge of suicide bombing terrorists from within Pakistan and Afghanistan, both these countries are inviting more and more trouble from abroad.

President Barack Hussein Obama has recently released more information about his plans for Afghanistan and, more ominously, Pakistan. The good news is that an American president at least understands the challenges that are faced by America and the West in that region. The bad news is that an American president understands the challenges that are faced by America and the West in that region. What do I mean by that?

What it means is that Obama is winding down on the war in Iraq. He and his advisers realize that while time, energy and money were being wasted in Iraq, thanks to the foolish and idiotic warmongering policies of George W. Bush, the real threat of Al Qaeda was actually growing.

During this time, because of Bush simply outsourcing the hunt for Bin Laden to General Musharraf, the only thing that was achieved was greater hatred for America among the very people of Pakistan and Afghanistan who could have helped eradicate Al Qaeda.

This is a make or break opportunity for Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan. We now have an American president who is actively working to undo the damage done by George W. Bush around the world. He is diligently working to withdraw troops from Iraq. He has already ordered an increase in aid to Pakistan.

He has more than once mentioned that the main conflict between Pakistan and India is Kashmir and that America needs to help solve that problem.

On more than one occasion, in recent speeches, he has directly spoken words addressed to the Muslim population of the world. He has even done the unthinkable for an American president; speaking words addressed directly to America’s original arch nemesis in the Muslim world, Iran and its clerics.

Let’s remember that this man is still President of the biggest military power on the planet. America still is the only remaining superpower. He is not speaking from a position of weakness. He is not speaking to win any elections in America.

Obama’s outreach attempts to befriend Muslims have even been criticized by his opponents at home. Many of them think that reaching out to the Muslim world is caving in to terror.

Think about it, dear reader. We Muslims, with our silence, have allowed things to get so bad that the typical, not highly educated, not very politically aware, citizen of most western countries equates our religion of peace with blood lust and terror.

If we do not speak up, unite and eradicate the evil growing amongst us, it will kill more and more of our fellow Muslims and Pakistanis. It will continue to malign our religion Islam and threaten the very existence of our beloved countries.

Do you still want to remain silent? Speak up now or one day God will ask you about it.

===
Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com . You can converse with him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar

Advertisements

Posted in Afghanistan, AlQaeda, America, Barack Obama, Bombing, Democrats, Dictators, George Bush, Imran Anwar, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Jihad, Judges, Kashmir, Lahore, Media, Musharaff, Muslims, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan, Palestine, Politics, President, Republicans, Suicide, Terrorism, Zionists | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Day, New Dawn, New Era, A Renewed Nation

Posted by imrananwar on November 5, 2008

There are dark clouds on the horizon, as the damp chill of an early November rain looms over Washington DC. It is unlikely that anyone awake at this dawn hour will see even a single ray of light of sunshine. Yet, Washington, DC, as well as all the United States of America are bathed in a warm glow and bright light. It is the sunshine of a new day, a new dawn, a new era, and a new chapter in the history of a great nation renewed.

To paraphrase a recent advertisement, published by CNN in The New York Times and other reputed newspapers, the United States, as well as the rest of the world, were caught in a magical moment on the night of November 4, 2008, as the US elections came to a close.

The past was leaving, but still threatened to continue into our future. The future beckoned, the hope of a new day, but the dawn had not yet arrived and could still elude us. For a brief moment in time, you, I, the United States, as well as the whole world, were caught in a moment of curiosity, wonder, concern as well as sheer, innocent, daring hope.

Yesterday the nation stood at a crossroads, the brink of expanding disaster or a new beginning. As the election results came in, it became obvious that Hope had won the day. The past was going to be sent far into the past. In that brief period of time, between the end of polling in the United States, Senator McCain conceding defeat and President-elect Barack Hussein Obama giving his victory speech, many amazing things happened which many of us had not expected to see for a long time.

Americans themselves appeared to close the door on the jingoistic, brutal and bullying faux but failing empire that George W. Bush and his henchmen had tried to build over the last eight years. Americans of all colors, ages, races, religions, ethnicities and backgrounds came out in larger numbers to vote than at any time in the recent history. They also found that they had made a dream come true surprisingly quicker than they themselves had expected.

Dr. Martin Luther King, the black slain civil rights leader, was killed for his preaching equality for whites and blacks. His amazing "I Have A Dream" speech is known to all Americans, and I urge readers of this column to read, or even better, to hear it for themselves. (It is easily available on the Internet). Many Americans can even quote words from that speech. But few had believed it possible that they would see parts of Dr. King’s dream come true in such a real and shining manner.

Americans found their country once again beginning to be the bright beacon of light, hope, equality, justice, greatness and ideals that the rest of the world looks up to. Above all, Americans themselves woke up to realize that from being a good, yet imperfect, country overnight they had matured into a renewed nation, achieving greatness again, surprising themselves and the world in unison.

Let there be no delusions. We have not suddenly achieved some racial-nirvana, some miracle of overnight solutions to eons old human emotions. The results from various states, and parts of the country, including so-called redneck areas, show that despite the massive failure of George W. Bush, and his friends, voting for a black man was still too much for the Bush-supporting people to do.

No society in the world, at least in our lifetimes, can achieve the Utopian ideals of having no racism at all. However, with this vote Americans resoundingly proved that if there is any country in the world that can come close to living up to its own ideals, and the ideals of most human beings, it is the great nation of United States of America.

The country that had a history of slavery, abuse and even murder of black people today elected its president who is not only black, but is the son of a Kenyan immigrant, raised by a single mother, with an extended family of Africans, Christians and Muslims. And they did not install this man by some technical election, or by some narrow margin. They did so in such a resounding manner that there was no doubt left in anyone’s mind. It was clear. America had come back to its rightful place on the world stage – as a nation to be respected, admired, looked up to and – perhaps one day soon – loved again.

The irony is that this next to impossible election of Barack Obama was made possible by the disaster that was George W. Bush. It was hastened by the brink of disaster faced by the United States as well as rest of the world. Yet, the challenges that Barack Obama faces on taking the oath of office will make his getting elected seem like a walk in the park.

One of the interesting elements of United States elections is the significant time period between the results of elections and the new government taking over. In most circumstances it is a good thing – as it allows for a smoother transition from one administration to the next. However, in today’s serious geo-political and socio-economic meltdown situations, Barack Obama faces a new dilemma.

On the one hand he cannot be overly aggressive in pushing for his own policies while lame-duck George W. Bush is still in office. On the other hand, he cannot simply wait for 2 months for the situation to get worse, or the wrong policies or "solutions" from being applied or tested – by an administration already having seen itself rejected to the dustbin of history.

The major challenge that President-elect Barack Obama is sure to face is the issue of unrealistic expectations.

Being able to inspire people to believe that solutions are possible, being able to suggest that change is coming and getting people out to vote are far easier than solving the actual problems in some miraculously short timeframe. On top of that, as can be seen in any country where the party comes back into power after a long time, it’s supporters (jialas), power players and constituents expect to be rewarded for their support. The thing that can save Obama from this problem is the huge turnout in the elections and the very broad range of people who swept him into power. That makes it easier for him to resist the pressure or blackmail tactics of any particular constituent or support group.

An additional challenge that he and his Administration will face is that there are no easy solutions to the problems that are faced by the United States economy, as well as the global economy. Nor is it very easy to get out of the war in Iraq – if that is what people expect to be a short and easy fix to all problems.

Another thing to keep in mind is that one of Obama’s strengths is his ability to think coolly and rationally about issues, analyze the situation, make a decision and communicate his plan. The problem is that it can also lead to analysis paralysis, especially for a relatively young, inexperienced, new leader.

It is possible for Obama to also try to please as many people as he can and end up displeasing a lot more. Even worse, being someone who appears to want to be liked by everybody, it is possible that he may want to tiptoe around some of the tough decisions that need to be made. That, in my humble opinion, would be a disaster.

The biggest strength, the biggest advantage, the biggest opportunity that Obama can leverage is the huge mandate he was given in this landslide victory. It is for this reason that his first 100 days will be far more important in real terms than in the usual symbolic terms that they are looked at for new presidents.

If he’s smart, and a man of action, he will find a strategic way to have Congress, with its Democrat majority further strengthened in this election, influence and force George W. Bush’s outgoing administration to embark on the path that Obama would like to follow. This would enable him to get the ball rolling even before his inauguration, avoid the impression of imposing himself before he assumes office and also save him from any blame that can come about from George Bush and his team still screwing things up.

Another advantage I see is that this clear mandate, given to a visionary leader with the ability to inspire his nation, is just the right shot in the arm needed by the US consumer, business and stock markets.

As I have written in these pages before, there are serious threats to the United States and global economies, but the biggest threat is a crisis of confidence. Obama’s ascension to power is sure to help revive that confidence.

As I write these lines at 5 AM on November 5 in Washington DC, I am confident that, barring any external economic events, an economic resurgence, including a stock market rebound, shall start soon. More credit will start becoming available, thawing the economic freeze that had left Main Street shuddering and Wall Street with pneumonia. I even hope that a recovery and expansion may be on the horizon as happened when the last great American President Bill Clinton came into office replacing another weak economy under another weak Bush.

So, economic recovery will be of paramount importance to Americans and the whole world. The weak economy is what helped Obama get elected, but the biggest challenges before, during and even after an economic recovery will be foreign affairs and undoing the damage done by the Bush Administration.

My advice to President Barack Obama would be to therefore embark on aggressive efforts to resolve the Middle East and Palestinian, as well as the Kashmir issues. I would also encourage him to immediately start dialogue with Iran and other countries that George W. Bush was busy burning un-built bridges with.

But Obama has to do so in a friendly yet firm manner. It is time for America to assume its place as leader of the free world, willing, able and ready to use its power and influence to do good and effect real positive change around the world and achieving things that no past American President had the willingness or courage to do. That is the audacity of my hope for President Barack Obama.

Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com

Posted in America, Bill Clinton, Bush, Cabinet, CNN, Congress, Democrats, Elections, George Bush, Imran, Iran, Iraq, Kashmir, McCain, New York Times, Obama, Opportunity, President, Racism, Republicans | Leave a Comment »

Economy, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan – Bad News All Around

Posted by imrananwar on July 11, 2008

Everywhere, on every news site, it seems there is nothing but conflict and bad news. The good news is… hold on, I am looking. Nope, I did not find any.

Just the top stories in “MyYahoo” is a litany of bad news, followed by worse.

It appears that the economic crisis we are facing today, with bank stocks melting (don’t even ask how much I lost on Citibank alone), hundreds of thousands facing foreclosure, credit cards and others squeezing customers, oil trying to hit $200, is not going to get better any time soon.

Item one, at least on my view of “Top News from Reuters”, is a report saying the government is mulling taking over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. What that means is that despite recent claims by their management, and top Bush economic officials, that the organizations have enough money, they in fact are preparing for a bailout. What that means for the rest of the economy, and for the American tax-payer, remains to be seen.

The second item shows that the Russians, still following the policies of Mr. Putin (whose eyes and soul apparently Mr. Bush seems to know intimately well), are actually using the recent Iranian missile tests as a reason for the USA NOT to deploy a missile shield. I am not quite sure I understand the “logic” of the Russians. I can understand them not wanting the US to deploy weapons systems that negate Russian military power, but using the (fairly) successful Iranian missile tests as a reason against that defies logic.

Wait, there is good news. The new iPhone is being snapped up by customers around the world. Great news. But, much that I love Apple and the iPhone, in the grand scheme of things, and in the serious issues we face, it is kind of silly for that news item to be displayed at par with the economic meltdown in America, the Russian military grumbling and the roar of Iranian rockets and potentially soon, Israeli jets.

The next item has me scratching my head. The Mexican government, which does not want to take back its 12 million illegal immigrants (including the many criminals and gang members they sent over), nor wants us to build a fence to keep these illegal hoards out of America, is taking us to court! And, not even our courts, but the ‘World Court’, where they are fighting to save five Mexican criminals from execution for deadly crimes committed in the USA! So, not only are we supposed to welcome their illegal riff-raff with open arms (doing which both Obama and McCain are falling over each other to show love for illegals), we are also supposed to welcome, and allow to roam free, those among them who commit murder or heinous crimes. Amazing.

For a second, my attention was caught by the next item – which could qualify as good news. Lebanon may be able to form a unity government. Whether that is good news or bad depends on which side of their internal strife you are on.

But, before I could dwell on that item, the last news item in that list of six top stories was just more bad news on several fronts.

Things in Afghanistan, the place where Bin Laden and his henchmen hid and planned their attacks on America, are getting worse. The Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan, and we are losing soldiers in Iraq. The Afghan government is getting weaker and Bin Laden is nowhere to be found, and we are preparing for an attack on Iran.

And, what did we just manage to do? Our mistaken bombing just killed 47 civilians there, including women and children. Surely not a sign of success in winning hearts and minds. Bad, very bad, news.

With Bin Laden still out there, the Taliban attacking us and our allies more and more, Iraq still a morass, our economy in meltdown, and oil aiming for $200, what is a President to do… why, start a new war of course! Hello, Iran. Hello, $300 oil. Hello, total economic meltdown.

What do you think?

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, America, Apple, Bombing, Bush, Danger, Economy, Freedom, iPhone, Iran, Lebanon, McCain, Missile, Obama, Oil, Pakistan, Russia, Terrorism | 3 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: