Joseph M. Cachia

Friday, 20 May 2011 00:00 Joseph M. Cachia
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“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde - I have to admit that I often have found the language of divorce "rights" off-putting. Yet the idea of divorce as a "right" is usually pitted against the idea of divorce as a "privilege." Given that choice, I'll circle "right" every time.

Still, when people claim something as a "right," they often sound shrill and demanding. Then someone comes along to remind us that people who have "rights" also have "responsibilities", and the next thing you know, we're off and running in the debate about divorce as a "right" vs. divorce as a matter of "individual responsibility."

This is based on the idea that there should be limits to the "you-made-your-bed-now-sleep-in-it" principle. Personal responsibility is important, but it should be moderate and not a cruel and unusual punishment.

Anyone watching a ship from land is no judge of its seaworthiness, for the vital part is always underwater. It can’t be seen. We think we know people, and dismiss the scenes as aberrations, as the lightning strikes of madness, but surely we are wrong.

 
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 00:00 Joseph M. Cachia
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“The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth.”- Jean de La Bruyere - So let me see if I got this right; the man accused of orchestrating a major attack on US soil, was No. 1 on the FBI's most wanted list, was supposedly in a cave for 10 years, who the rest of the world has reported dead for years, was finally caught, shot, and killed... no trial, no evidence, no proof, and his body was dumped into the ocean in the middle of the night, within 24 hours. Makes total sense and all State-sponsored.
 
If today were April 1 and not May 2, I could dismiss as an April fool's joke this morning's headline that Osama bin Laden was killed in a fire fight in Pakistan and quickly buried at sea.

The death of Osama Bin Laden, while being a setback for the Al Qaeda, will not result in an end to the extremist violence spawned by fundamentalism.  In the name of fighting the Al Qaeda, the US devastated Afghanistan and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in these wars of aggression.
 
The US had enlisted Pakistan to fight the Afghanistan government backed by the Soviet Union in the 1980's. The Pentagon and CIA had equipped and financed through the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), people like Osama, thus fueling the later day Taliban and Jehadi fundamentalists.  The CIA and Al Qaeda were on the same side during the anti-Soviet struggle.

 
Thursday, 28 April 2011 00:00 Joseph M. Cachia
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“Where facts are few, experts are many.” - Donald R. Gannon - For those who thought the Egyptian revolution is done and past, think again. The Egyptians did not go home. They are out there again if things do not turn out the way they had hoped.

There’s no question that the unrest in Egypt is of paramount world concern. Opinions vary about how this situation will work out, but many analysts think, or rather hope, that this situation could actually have a positive outcome for Egypt.

One must keep in mind that Egypt’s standing in the Arab and Islamic world is partly linked to its role as a patron of the Palestinian cause in the era of Nasser.

There is talk about America's worries that a government less friendly to the USA will be installed. That is secondary, as long as it is a government that cares for its own people. And maybe if the US doesn't interfere, there is a chance of that happening. Hopefully the Egyptians would not swallow the bait of falling in the same gutter that they managed to escape from, enticed by the hypocritical words of Obama; “We stand ready to provide assistance that is necessary to help the Egyptian people as they manage the aftermath of these protests.” In her statement, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton claimed that Washington’s concern in relation to Egypt was to bring about a “real democracy” and not a “so-called democracy that then leads to what we saw in Iran.” Sometimes the argument comes in the form of "I support democracy, but only if I agree with the results." In other words, her sole criterion for a democracy is not the will of the people, but subordination to US interests or perhaps an imperialist ‘pax americana’.

 
Sunday, 31 August 2008 19:00 Joseph M. Cachia
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Image“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” - Walter Lippman

No one should be surprised that U.S. interference in the Caucasus has led to the Russian intervention in South Ossetia. By intruding into the volatile politics of the Caucasus, and trying to recruit the governments there to become American ‘fitters’ for various purposes, the United States has only drawn rebuttal Russian fire.

In Washington, Bush stepped out to the White House Rose Garden to declare that “Russian assaults inside Georgia – a swift and crushing deployment of military force that the Russians called ‘Operation Clean Field’ – must cease”.

What a misleading blunder! ‘Operation Clean Field’ was the name given by the Georgians for their initial attack on South Ossetia and Tskhinvali – now in ruins – which was pounded under heavy artillery barrages by the Georgians, not the Russians. Why are we trying to brainwash the people, thinking them so dumb so as not to see through these news manipulations? It would be much more advisable if Mr. Bush would learn how to pronounce the Georgian leader’s name properly! Don’t you agree?

 

 
Tuesday, 22 April 2008 19:00 Joseph M. Cachia
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Image‘How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.’ - Benjamin Disraeli

Please help me keep my sanity! As I watched the corporate media coverage of the protests and disruptions during the Olympic torch route, I became angrier than usual over the hypocrisy. Goodness knows how many anti-war protests over the last years have been down-played and under-covered by the corporate media. Many crimes against humanity are rendered invisible to the public eye, while issues, like those of Sudan and Tibet are highlighted as the only objects of acceptable moral outrage and action.

TV screens and the press in general have given saturation coverage to the point of nauseating hypocrisy. It is very unfortunate to note that many of the comments in the media are negative towards China and few realize that these opinions are just repetitions of the dis-information gushed by the Western press.

Why didn’t anybody tell us of the thousands of Chinese people living in Europe staging mass rallies in Paris and London against media organizations that they see as blasting China over the alleged crackdown on Buddhists in Tibet? Could not the media have also told us that they were also protesting against the European states leaders who have decided or are considering abstaining from attending the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing? Why haven’t we seen any coverage of the students mass rally in London, during which slogans reading, “BBC is a liar”, were manifested in front of the Parliament Houses? Why?? Perhaps because these were peaceful demonstrations, totally unlike the violent protests committed and provoked by the Buddhist monks?

 
Saturday, 05 April 2008 19:00 Joseph M. Cachia
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Image“Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree.” - Dean Acheson

There is no doubt that the structural changes in the world over the past two decades have been profound. These include not only the collapse of the Soviet Union (and the end of the balance of power which had provided an equilibrium) but with it the beginnings of a new era.

We are not living in a sound and rational world. A World War III is no longer a hypothetical scenario.

We are today living in a U.S. unipolar world – a world in which there is one master, one sovereign, one centre of authority, one centre of force and power and one centre of decision making. This has nothing to do with democracy.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States stood tall — militarily invincible, economically unrivalled, diplomatically uncontestable, and the dominating force on information channels worldwide. The next century was to be the true “American century,” with the rest of the world moulding itself in the image of the sole superpower.

 

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