Archive for borders

A Woman's View of Serial Genital Mutilation in Iraq (and everywhere else)

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WARNING: graphic and troubling graphics below, please check your environment. Thank You.

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Years ago, Kathy Griffin (a rather political comic with a strong voice) spoke of her having gone to Iraq during active U.S. conflict - the last time - that was absolutely in terrible taste but is something I've not forgotten in the interim - she achieved her point.

She had some sentimental moments (for Kathy) with our troops, then got into some dialogue later about one of the things that burned her as a woman: genital mutilation in the region, escalating every year and mega-egregiously offensive to women around the globe. Now ISIS is back in the mix, and Griffin's bit becomes that much more relevant.

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She essentially described an overview of what was being done to woman and girls in shocking numbers, and it isn't pretty. Griffith got halfway through the train of thought before she dropped a term I'll always remember, "big bucket of clits". It was in the context of things she found hardest to accept, like Sharia Law and the fact that a high percentage of females lining up to have their clitorises sliced off and discarded.

Here's a bit more information from Unicef.

It's beyond heartbreaking this misogynist balderdash, we passed into torture a while ago … it is rumored and reported that Egypt manages to mutilate the genitals of nearly 95% of women. Many are done near birth, like a bris gone bad.


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ISIS has brought all of this horror back to the front page. The tribal custom is old and has deep religious roots … this isn't just a punishment of mild chastising like we give date-rapers in our own country. It's a global ethics crisis.

Here are some words from activist women and victims themselves about this horrific practice.

War brings more need for wealth, arms and whatever strategies will work to keep the people down, help the regular poor and abused and violated girls and women, and historically defined as 'always' a bi-product of war: violence against women. Take your pick of countries to highlight, but at the moment Northern Iraq is in the spotlight.

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I can't look at these hideous images without tearing up - but I think they need to be seen. Those poor girls are simply born the wrong sex to be valued in the MidEast and other oppressive regions, the War On Women is GLOBAL.

From Alarabiya.net.

The al-Qaeda-Inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered all girls and women between the ages of 11 and 46 in and around Iraq's northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said on Thursday.

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“It is a fatwa (or religious edict) of ISIS, we learnt this this morning,” said Jacqueline Badcock, the number two U.N. official in Iraq.

The “fatwa” would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, Badcock told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil.

“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said, according to Reuters.

WHY? Indeed. Don't see Jesus or Allah signing off on this one.

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"We Can Kill You Now Or We Can Kill You Later," Rick Perry

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Remember those old Fram auto filter TV ads -- "you can pay me now or you can pay me later?" Well, there's a bit of that philosophy in Gov. Rick Perry's latest goofball thinking.

Today Texas Republican Governor Rick "Oops" Perry is about to make another "Oops." He's going to commit an estimated $12 million a month to send the National Guard to his state's southern border. The question is why? What are they supposed to do? Will they take positions on the borderlines and mow down with their high powered rifles every man, woman and child who approaches the Texas border from Mexico?

The truth is that these immigrants are not sneaking over the border. They're crossing the border and immediately turning themselves in. They're actually seeking out border patrols and surrendering. They're announcing "Here I am. Please take me. Please!"

The unaccompanied kids are the big Republican talking point as they're protected more than the adults who cross into the US without proper documentation. This is thanks to a bill the Republican President, G.W. Bush signed into law in 2008. To be balanced and fair, most Democrats voted for this bill as well.

So should Texas, a state that's refused the Medicare expansion for its own poor yet legal residents, order body bags for the refugee children the National Guard is going to shoot? Of course not, because the Guard is not going to shoot anyone. What they are going to do is become a political charade. They will be armed baby sitters, child wranglers and guardians for the safety and welfare of the poor kids trying to escape death and torture in their own countries. They aren't coming here for holiday. They're flocking to America for safety and for their lives.

Rick Perry gunImage: addictinginfo.org

Point a gun at a kid who's made the harrowing, dangerous thousand-plus mile journey to America, threatening them that they'll be shot if they cross our border or be shot and killed after a thousand mile journey returning back home and there's no choice. They'll take the executioner's bullet right here and right now. That sure will make an interesting political election poster for Gov. Perry -- piles of dead kids on his border. Maybe he'll even stand in a big game hunter's pose with one leg up, resting it on a pile of dead children. Don't put anything past Tricky Rick.

The Texas boob governor has no plan other than trying to drum up publicity with this stunt. And for what? He's got zero chance at the GOP presidential nomination. And he's not running for re-election.

The answer, to the surprise of few, is ignorance. The governor's ignorance. He simply lacks a comprehensive and humanitarian plan. And instead of helping out the people of his state by accepting Medicare help for constituents, he's robbing them of tight money the Texans really need for more important matters.

Texas leads the nation in uninsured citizens. Medicare would take millions of uninsured and cover them, allowing hospitals to receive much needed funds to stay open. That $12 million per month could greatly raise the living conditions in the state. Perry is robbing his state's coffers of tight cash they need for so many other pressing issues -- for the unemployed, the uninsured, infrastructure, public safety, education, etc.

So Texas is about to burn $12 million a month while Gov. Nero Perry fiddles. Perry has a dream. It's just a dream. It's to move from soon-to-be ex-governor of Texas to larger pastures -- the White House. Well there's about as much chance of that happening as Michelle Bachmann winning a Nobel Prize in science. But while he wastes his state's money on a political fantasy, the good people of the Lone Star State starve and can't afford medical care which could save lives. Instead, in Rick's fantasy world, he's ordering the armed National Guard to his borders to keep kids out.

What's next for this moron? Bear traps, sarin gas and land mines?

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Former W&CheneyCo National Guard Chief Warns Against Fox Hysteria at the Borders

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When WaPo is going the way of one of W and CheneyCo.'s erstwhile immigration strategists about the crisis on the borders, the Right has jumped the shark on crisis amplification.

Let Shark Week ensue.

President Obama has yet to visit the site of the humanitarian crisis we are all allegedly seeing through a distorted and divisive politician lens, the mainstream media with a liberal bent. Or, as we like to call it, reality.

Where Jon Stewart is asking Hillary Clinton the tough questions, getting the good answers and all of a sudden The Plum Line at The Washington Post (and no matter how much we love us some mustachioed Gene Robinson, they are still the right-tilted paper of record for the Beltway Bubble) calls out Fvx Nation and Governor Good Hair Perry and the frenzied-up masses.

There's less of an appetite for harsh No Amnesty rhetoric that you thought, eh GOP power rain-makers? Interesting.

From The Washington Post.

But in an interview today, the head of the National Guard under George W. Bush said he had not yet heard a clear rationale for sending in the Guard and suggested it might not be the appropriate response to the problems at the core of the current crisis, though he did say he could envision the Guard playing some sort of part in a broader solution.

So no need to send in the militias? Do proceed. You, H. Steven Blum, are actually someone qualified to speak about Katrina and that hardly ever happens.

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“Until mission requirements are clearly defined, it can’t be determined whether this is an appropriate use of the Guard in this particular case,” H. Steven Blum, who was the Chief of the National Guard Bureau from 2003 to 2009 and has been a career military man for decades, told me. “There may be many other organizations that might more appropriately be called upon. If you’re talking about search and rescue, maintaining the rule of law or restoring conditions back to normal after a natural disaster or a catastrophe, the Guard is superbly suited to that. I’m not so sure that what we’re dealing with in scope and causation right now would make it the ideal choice.”

Shut Up! No need to set our hair on fire and find rural causes and "bus lookout" posse meet-n'-greet-ups somewhere near a border to bring loaded guns and Tea Party wackadoo to this week? Hannity is going to be so dreadfully deflated.

And he pouts.

Last night he was primed and ready to incite. And he had Rudy Noun, Verb, 9-11 Guiliani riding shotgun.


Seriously? "An insecure border leads to terrorism?" Oh, Rudy. A New Yorker should just have more common sense than you display.

There is nothing sensible about Fvx News, and they plan to keep it that way.
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Xenophobes Should Remember M.S. St. Louis, 1939

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If you could ask FDR about his toughest decisions as President, one of them would be the "Voyage of the Damned" tempest. For those who don't associate that event, here's the simple recap:

In 1939, a German ocean liner, the MS St. Louis, carried 937 German Jewish refugees seeking asylum in the United States. They arrived at our shores but were denied admission to our country. The result was the ship was returned to Europe where most of these refugees were put into concentration camps. 254 of them died.

Now we see a huge influx of refugee children, trying to escape similar circumstances that caused the ill-fated MS St. Louis voyage to set sail for America. And what do today's xenophobic right-wingers propose? They want our country to negate due process of law -- specifically the 2008 George Bush signed bill (the child trafficking law) which sets regulations as to how undocumented minors entering this country are treated.

If Obama were to use his executive order powers, he'd be labeled a tyrant taking the law into his own hands. If he allows the law to work, he is condemned for upholding the law. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

children immigrant holding cell 3picture: Western Free Press

Hopefully unlike FDR, Obama won't ice his heart and send these innocent children back home to a fate of rape, severe physical injury/maiming, or even the ultimate, death. These children are refugees, fleeing for their safety. This is the time for compassion, not unfounded fears. America needs to show heart, not knee-jerk reactions to false rumors and innuendos.

The Senate passed a bi-partisan immigration bill over a year ago that might have lessened this influx by adding the manpower and facilities needed to handle this crisis. If the political right needs to do any finger-pointing, then the proper culprit here is one of their own, John Boehner. The Speaker of the House has consistently rejected calls to bring the Senate immigration bill to the House floor for consideration and a vote.

The Republicans in the House made this uncomfortable bed. Now we must all lie in it.

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