Sunday, April 29, 2007

Visit to Dallas, Texas, USA

By Karema Akifah Saleh, Editor of Iqra! Newspaper

I visited Dallas just recently, the city where President Kennedy was assassinated. I didn’t think much of going to the famous Dealey Plaza, but our host insisted that we find this location. As numerous calls were made to secure good directions, my mind started to go back in time. I had never visited this landmark, nor had I thought to do so. We spent about 15 minutes looking for Main and Elm St. At this point my heart began to race and my curiosity grew stronger and stronger as we came near. I have seen that famous video depicting the President driving with the governor of Texas a thousand times. The moment I saw the famous Texas School Book Depository I knew this outing would have a major impact on me in some way.

I insisted on going to the museum on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. This was a rare opportunity I could not pass up. We opted for the audio tour and secured our headphone devices and immediately when up to the 6th floor. It was surprising to find so many people there both young and old. I guess we were all trapped in our own personal space watching and listening to the audio tour. I immediately felt as if I entered the 60’s. It was mesmerizing to hear president Kenney’s famous speeches. I soon realized why so many people loved him. There was an emotional tension in the air. People of all races adored this president. I began to appreciate what decent strong leadership was really about. I can not recall a single president in my lifetime, having this type of effect on so many people. There were a few great leaders of that era silenced by bullets - President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. , Malcolm X and also Robert Kennedy. I began to ponder and asked myself “why does America kill so many great leaders?”
The audio tour presented a vivid picture of the events of the day leading to the assassination of the President. We viewed various documentaries. I watched the reaction of the crowd all displaying a rather a solemn silence, especially the older crowd. I wished my mother could have walked me through this tour and share he own personal memories of this point in time. I knew she would say something like “I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing when President Kennedy was assassinated.
The audio tour presented a vivid picture of the events of the day leading to the assassination of the President. We viewed various documentaries. I watched the reaction of the crowd all displaying a rather a solemn silence, especially the older crowd. I wished my mother could have walked me through this tour and share he own personal memories of this point in time. I knew she would say something like “I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing when President Kennedy was assassinated.

I began to be distressed when I thought about today’s political leaders, and how divisive politics are these days, where American politician care more about their Party than matters of importance to the nation. It is so distressing, so sad. What happened to real men of integrity in politics, what happened to dignity and the sense of true service? There was no point in trying to compare President Kennedy to President Bush. It was like comparing caviar to a chilidog. It was like trying to fit a square peg into a circle.

I became angry when I began to ponder the utter chaos and evil of this world. The never ending thirst for power and control by any means necessary by the elite who really run things. The bold and satanial murder of a decent and just leader in broad daylight, so unapologetically, so brutally. I thought about all the problems of today and realized not much had changed since Kennedy’s assassination In fact, it is much worst. How long will American people play the fool to the lies of evil men?

I, like so many could not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald killed the President alone, latter I did not believe he killed him at all. How could the people of the day believe the lies the Warren Report obviously covered up? The famous assassination video wasn’t released until 2 years after President’s death, just like the video of the bombing of the Pentagon will not be released until after the election. If the government didn’t have anything to hide, why would they keep so much from the public?

It doesn’t surprise me that many people are making comparisons of the investigation of 9/11 with the Warren Report. It even dawned on me that the 9/11 Commission Report was flawed and full of unanswered questions, omissions and misleading conclusions just like the Warren Report. I thought to myself are we really free in America? I recalled one of President Kennedy’s speeches where he talked about government secrecy and how our government should be open to judgment by the people. So profound, so chilling, it was as if he was talking from his grave.

Imagine a President with vision, a President with hope and real compassion for democracy, freedom and respect today. Why did this nation go war in Vietnam? Over 60,000 dead soldiers and many more Vietnamese people died. Would we be the house slaves of Israel today, a government who cares little about American or the American people, and who only care about what benefits them? Kennedy was one of the few and only Presidents that protected American interest first and did not dance to the beat of the Israeli drummer

I wondered as my tour ended, what President Kennedy would say today had he seen this great mess the Neo Cons and Zionist zombies have gotten us in. I am so sure he would have taken this nation info a war on false pretenses. Where are the real men with a soul and a backbone who serve this nation? Why are so many politicians prostitutes of special interest and slaves of AIPAC (Jewish lobby). What happened to integrity? I am not suggesting President Kennedy was a perfect person, but he brought so many people together. Can you remember a president so hated by a few, but so loved by many Black, White or Red. I suggest some of these so called leaders of today go online and listen to a few of Kennedy’s speeches which were as profound yesterday, as they are today.

Copyright Karema Akifa Saleh

The Real Defining Moment in America Was Hurricane Katrina and not 9/11

Iqra! Newspaper
by Karemah Akifah Saleh, Iqra Newspaper
The terrorist attack in New York on September 11, 2001 (9/11) has been labeled the defining moment in American history, and President George Bush’s presidency. Not a day has passed without an article in a newspaper, a discussion on talk radio or on network news mentioned something linked to 9/11, whether it is terrorism (which is often a code word for “Islamic Extremism”), Al Quaeda, Iran, Iraq, or Osama Bin Laden. The propaganda machine is always turning in order to create a fear in the public’s eyes to justify this unpopular war.
Countless laws were rubber stamped through Congress with little if any debate in the name of 9/11. We went to war on false pretenses, which promoted a new wave of xenophobia and more foolish laws. Why has this nation ignored so many important issues of the day, and has not devoted even a fraction of attention towards the events on August 29, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina, the nation’s worst disaster of all time.Hurricane Katrina was clearly this nation’s most defining moment for many reasons. This storm uncovered many hidden flaws from the local, state and the federal government. It opened Pandora’s Box, exposing many dysfunctional aspects of this nation. Americans were not willing to face the total inability of the government to deal with a national crisis, from the state of Louisiana to the President.
Remember the images of utter chaos in New Orleans, the helpless trapped in hospitals, the poorest and most unprepared forced to go to the Super Dome at the very last moment, desperate cries for help with hundreds lining up around the New Orleans Convention Center begging for water, and some of the most shameful neglect of the elderly. Dead bodies remaining on the streets for weeks, elderly left to fend for themselves dying a miserable death in the sweltering heat of a semi tropical American city. The old and dead were found in wheel chairs, also, half naked babies in the most unsanitary condition imaginable. Days and days passed with out any real intervention from the government. No water, no way out, no hope. This was not a scene most would expect to see from the richest, most powerful nation in the world. This was not a Hollywood production. This was real. Surely this injustice could not happen in America – a nation that talks so much about freedom.Two major precedents occurred during the chaos of Katrina. There were three direct violations of the constitution. The city was transformed into a complete police state like never before in modern times. There was also a violation of the “Posse Comitatus Act' Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Section 1385, which states:"'Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."
In layman’s terms, the military is prohibited from direct involvement in law enforcement. U.S. law and policy limits the military's role in domestic affairs. Military can not run around the streets playing rambo with citizens.
No less than 3 constitutional rights were violated
While thugs scoured the city streets breaking into houses, businesses and committing crimes, the military were busy removing guns from the homes of many law abiding citizens. A direct violation of the United States Constitution:
2nd Amendment:… the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
3rd Amendment :No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
4th Amendment:The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…..
Instead of the media digging deep, challenging these direct breaches of the United States constitutions, or trying to find answers, and asking tough questions, holding leaders accountable for this tragedy spinning so violently out of control, much of the media decided to spin stories about looters, and George Bush’s trip to the Gulf South, as if he was a hero coming to save the day. Let us not forget Momma Bush’s comment which could have been taken from a cheap old Racist Southern novel, “Back on the Southern Plantation” (fictitious). She said (mainly directed at towards the thousands of African Americans stranded in the Astro Dome) “so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them,” As if it was a Sunday picnic at the park. What she failed to realize as many, citizens finding shelter in the Superdome, Convention Center, Reliant Stadium or newly formed FEMA Camps were not allowed to leave the premises., Most of the New Orleans residents felt abandoned by their leaders. Mayor Nagin received hardly any national attention until he went on the radio blasting the federal government for their slothfulness. Many residents questioned how the government of the richest nation in the world could so quickly give billions to Israel without flinching and deploy troops to fight an unjustified war in Iraq in super sonic speed. But when it came to Hurricane Katrina relief, suddenly not even the most basic supplies could be sent to the much needed citizens in the Big Easy (New Orleans), however they did not waste time turning New Orleans into a Police State and sweeping the disenfranchised African American population from the land.
Where were the priorities of leaders from the City to the Federal government all of those years? New Orleans’ vulnerability to a massive flood was well documented since Hurricane Betsy. Those responsible for protecting the city in government failed New Orleans, failed the Gulf Coast and America, before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. And let us not forget the useless Levy Board. Where was the help?This government maintained a continuous flow of billions of dollars into rebuilding Iraq (which the Neo Con Zionist Zombies destroyed in the first place) to which much went to no bid contractors and constructing military bases. Just imagine the impact of rebuilding the Gulf South, using this money to create the most technically advanced levy systems in the world, modernizing New Orleans infrastructures (i.e. 100 year old pumping stations) building quality educational facilities with 21 Century standards, repairing the streets which were in horrendous condition even before Hurricane Katrina, repairing the vanishing coast line……modernizing the highway system…
Some leaders went on record questioning the need to rebuild New Orleans, a city with one of the busiest ports in this nation,” Louisiana has the hardest working wetlands in America, a watery world of bayous, marshes, and barrier islands that either produces or transports more than a third of the nation's oil and a quarter of its natural gas, and ranks second only to Alaska in commercial fish landings.” (National
How can 1,900 square miles of wetlands disappear from the Louisiana coast since the 1930’s and continues to recede at a rate of about 24 square miles per year without little action from Congress? The Oil/gas pipelines have been a direct detriment to the marsh land, which is known as a buffer zone protecting the city against massive title waves. Not enough was done to protect New Orleans and the gulf coast.Instead of prioritizing this ongoing crisis Governor Blanco (the state’s governor) and Mayor Nagin were affixed with keeping the Saints Football team in New Orleans, and doing everything possible to get a good deal, but a fraction of an effort was made making a good deal for the state, the people, and the generations to come in one of the nation’s unique states and cities.
The scientific community was blatantly ignored – until the last hour when Mayor Nagin insisted on an evacuation at the very last minute, illustrating what could happen if the storm hit, offering little leadership and a tight plan of last resort. Why did they ignore all of the warning? Why did President Bush and his Congress ignore legislature for dealing with this problem?
A year has passed and change is happening at a snails pace in New Orleans. Part of the money promised has not trickled down to the citizens who really could make a difference in the rebuilding process. Every citizen of America is advised to visit this city, and see the present day shameful condition. Most New Orleans citizens still remain scattered across the United States. Crime has made a comeback, and not one single leader has been held accountable for this most shameful defining moment in American’s history. Every community should have a clear cut plan in the case of a national disaster.
Author’s post notes:This article only scratches the surface of what went wrong in the case of Hurricane Katrina. There were many other horrible events not mentioned because of breadth of the problem. I am considering doing a 3 part series exploring other issues.
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1983 Alex Haley Interview

In 1983, world renown author, Alex Haley visited Fort Wayne, IN to discuss his book and mini-series, "Roots". He appeared on the talk show, "A New Generation".