Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Healthcare War

The Delegates to the Washington state Democratic primary convention are selected through a caucus system. In our 2008 neighborhood caucus meeting, the highlight of argument in support of Mrs. Hillary Clinton was her position for the universal health care coverage. This was argued for by a articipant. I spoke in support of Mr. Obama’s position on the issue of health care. I was not so much interested in his specific promises, but in his approach to the problem. I felt he was advocating the need to take into consideration the specific American realities. To take personal responsibility in one’s own healthcare needed to be a part of the solution. I was thinking of an American solution and betting that he would come up with a vision toward solving this pestering problem.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti and China

Mr. Brooks in his NY Times column “The Underlying Tragedy” enumerates a whole list of issues related to the problems in Haiti. They are all interesting observations, some true and some have a semblance of truth to them. The first among his observations is:

Haiti: Disaster Zone

The recent earthquake in Haiti is just the latest in a chain of natural disasters that have befallen this small, impoverished country. The devastation from these natural disasters is for the most part man made and does not have to continue. My son pointed me to “Haiti: the land where children eat mud” from The Sunday Times. It might shed some light for you as it did for me about the depth of the problem.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hejab or Behejabi

In spring of 1983, during No-Rooz, an Iranian celebration of renewal and visitations, I had an encounter with a mid-level Iranian foreign ministry official, a staunch Khomeini supporter. My brother was in jail in the midst of a broad crackdown on the voices of criticism. I tried to use this opportunity to raise my brother's illegal incarceration with this individual. It was about six months that he had been locked up (lasted for over six years) and we did not have any information about his well being. The lack of any legal recourse and shutdown of free press generally forced families to campaign among government officials and religious authorities to advance the case of their prisoners.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Iran: Convoluted US Foreign Policy

The movement against the Islamic government in Iran has been heating up but the United States and other Western democracies are not willing or are hesitant to step up to the occasion.  President Obama in his recent statement said, “… the United States joins with the International community in strongly condemning the violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian citizens …” referring to the street demonstrations and unrest in Iran.  But that is the extent the United States and other Western democracies are willing to engage as far as the human and democratic rights of the Iranian people are concerned.  Even these types of statements are few and far between.  The Islamic regime in Iran considers the suppression of the civil rights of the Iranian people as an internal affair. Condemnation of these violations when public attentions are focused on them, while these condemnations are not part of the policy agenda, is a strong indication that Mr. Obama’s administration tacitly agrees with this claim of the regime in Iran.