The Hunger Games: How Modern Imperialism Creates Famine Around the World

Countries like Yemen, Chad and South Sudan have been devastated by famine and starvation in recent years, with millions of people suffering despite a global surplus of food. But the problem is not a lack of resources - they are starving due to the effects of unending Western imperialism.
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    “[Famine] seems to be the last, most dreadful resource of nature…the power of population is so superior to the power in the earth to provide subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.”

    – Thomas Malthus, “Essay on Population”

    NEW YORK (Analysis)– I’ve never known hunger, not in a real sense. And chances are, very few of you reading this have either. Is it because our families and communities are more loving than those throughout much of the non-Western world?  Is it because we’ve simply been lucky enough to be born into an age when hunger is no longer an issue?



    Or is it because most of us had the good fortune to be born in the U.S.-led empire, rather than on the receiving end of its brutality?

    Indeed, it seems that in today’s world, hunger is a manifestation of economic and political imperatives more than the mere result of a bad harvest or overtaxed resources, as it was historically. Instead, it is the twin sentinels of injustice – poverty and violent oppression – which today are prerequisites for hunger and famine, along with the insuperable torment of climate change, with its attendant ecological impacts.    

    By examining three contemporary examples of food insecurity and famine – Yemen, the Lake Chad basin of West Africa, and South Sudan – it becomes clear that famine is today inextricably linked with geopolitics and imperialism. For in each case, it is the U.S.-led empire which is ultimately responsible for the disturbing images of skeleton-like children, nursing mothers unable to produce milk for their babies and elderly bodies wasting away to nothing.

    And, it must be said, that placing the blame where it belongs (America’s empire) is not an exercise in sophistry, but rather is an attempt to go beyond the mainstream narrative which tells of poor, wretched Africans and Arabs desperate for your donations to the world’s largest charities, foundations and non-profit organizations. No mention is made of why the famine really began, what material forces are at work in undermining food security and who benefits from the starvation of millions.

    And it makes sense that these issues are almost never discussed, for to do so would expose the fact that the dead felled by hunger and related illnesses are not the victims of naturally occurring forces, but are actually victims of imperialism – no different from the teenager who is murdered by a drone strike, or the child soldier who is forcefully conscripted by a U.S.-backed warlord.

    But to get to the root of the issue, one must examine the political, economic and environmental forces that come together to create hunger and famine. And one simply cannot do so without addressing the imperial agenda for continued global hegemony.

     

    Yemen: the U.S. and Saudi Arabia’s slow genocide

    Yemen, which is by all measures the poorest country in the Arab world, is facing near total economic and social collapse as it continues to be crushed under the weight of a Saudi-led war backed by the United States.

    Earlier this year, the United Nations released staggering new figures indicating that that at least 17 million Yemenis are facing food insecurity, with nearly 7 million considered to be in a state of emergency and more than 10 million in crisis. The UN report notes that Yemen saw a 21-percent increase in hunger levels from June 2016  to March 2017, indicating a severe crisis of historic proportions.

    As Mark Kaye, the spokesperson for Save the Children in Yemen explained:

    “The numbers affected are absolutely extraordinary…these numbers highlight that we’re at the point of no return. This crisis is happening because food and supplies can’t get into the country. Yemen was completely dependent on imports of food, medicine and fuel prior to this crisis. You have one party delaying and significantly preventing food from getting into the country, and another on the ground who are detaining aid workers or preventing aid and food from getting to areas they don’t want it to go to.”

    While only making oblique reference to the parties involved, it’s clear that Kaye is referring to Saudi Arabia as the party preventing food from entering the country. Saudi Arabia, the instigator and primary belligerent in this war, has imposed a blockade on Yemen, effectively cutting it off from the outside world, and from critical supplies of food, medicine and other essential goods and services.


    Related: Saudi Blockade Triggers Cholera Epidemic In Yemen, Claiming One Life Each Hour


    Indeed, as investigative journalist Gareth Porter wrote in Truthout:

    “The Saudi coalition has pursued a war strategy of maximizing pressure on the Houthi resistance by destroying agricultural, health and transportation infrastructure and by choking off access to food and fuel for most of Yemen’s population. The United States has enabled the Saudis to pursue that strategy by refueling the Saudi-led coalition planes bombing Yemen and selling the bombs. Equally important, however, the US has provided the political-diplomatic cover that the Saudis need to carry out this ruthless endeavor without massive international blowback.”

    Consider for a moment the cruelty of the strategy employed by the Saudis and their U.S. allies in Yemen. Not only did Riyadh launch an aggressive war against a neighbor – a crime against peace, according to the Nuremberg Principles and international law – but they’ve done so while posturing as the humanitarian saviors of the country. As Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir cynically explained, “We have been the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in the world, by far, to Yemen.”

    It is Saudi-coalition vessels and aircraft that patrol the seas around Yemen, thereby directly creating the famine there. As UNICEF reported in late 2016, “Nearly 2.2 million children in Yemen are acutely malnourished and require urgent care. At least 462,000 children suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), a drastic increase of almost 200 per cent since 2014. An additional 1.7 million children suffer from Moderate Acute Malnutrition.”

    Additionally, outbreaks of cholera and other preventable diseases are directly attributable to the actions of the Saudis and their U.S. backers. Indeed, it must be remembered that none of Saudi Arabia’s crimes against Yemen could take place without the direct backing of Washington. In fact, while Obama at least paid lip service to humanitarian concerns vis-à-vis Riyadh’s atrocities in Yemen, the Trump administration has not batted an eye and has seemingly given the green light to the Saudis to do their worst by arming them to the teeth and looking the other way in regards to their genocidal policy.

    And why? Because Washington wants to use Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen as a proxy conflict with Iran. Trump, like Obama before him, cares not a whit for the lives of Yemeni children. He cares about access to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which separates Africa from the Arabian Peninsula, and which is one of the most critical waterways in the world for commercial shipping. The strait is also crucial to the geopolitical and strategic interests of both the U.S. and China. As if it needed to be stated, Trump is interested in “making deals,” not saving lives.

    Yemen is starving because the House of Saud wants to thump its chest at Tehran. Children stare into the camera lens, their emaciated bodies a testament to the callous disregard the empire has for its victims – collateral damage, as it is often called.

     

    West Africa: Terror, famine and the “New Great Game”

    Today, the area around Lake Chad – including parts of Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad –  has become ground zero for a humanitarian disaster that threatens the lives of millions. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there are at least 7.1 million people facing hunger, with 120,000 directly threatened by famine. Additionally, there are 515,000 severely malnourished children, 80,000 of whom are at risk of death from malnutrition.

    What little coverage this unfolding humanitarian disaster has gotten has been dominated by talk of Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based terrorist organization that gained infamy for its mass kidnapping of the Chibok girls in 2014, a high-profile action that catapulted the terror group into the global spotlight. While it is understandable that the corporate media would focus on the good vs. evil storyline where the big, bad terrorists attack defenseless girls, the real context of the story is almost completely ignored.


    Related: NATO’s War Of Resources Is Causing A Humanitarian Crisis In West Africa


    As is par for the course when it comes to Africa and the former colonial powers of the West, the underlying factors are money, resources and profit. Lake Chad and West Africa are no different.

    Indeed, while black Muslims sporting masks and AK-47s might be good for ratings, it is the black gold beneath Lake Chad that really sits at the center of the story.

    Recent oil discoveries in and around the Lake Chad Basin have greatly altered how leaders of West African nations view their economic future. Put another way, West African leaders are scrambling to line their state coffers (and their pockets) with petrodollars.

    A 2010 assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) noted that the Lake Chad Basin has “estimated mean volumes of 2.32 billion barrels of oil, 14.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 391 million barrels of natural gas liquids.”  The potential size of these resources has likely attracted the attention of political and business leaders, both within the region and internationally.

    These discoveries have touched off something of a mini-scramble for resources among Lake Chad littoral countries, a competition that could potentially threaten regional stability as countries like Cameroon make progress in exploiting energy reserves while Nigeria continues to deal with the Boko Haram insurgency, preventing it from keeping pace.

    But as with all things Africa, it is the former colonial powers that continue to wield influence and strength. And with the discovery of massive riches in West Africa, those same powers have rushed into the region to extract their pound of flesh.

    In Francophone West Africa, France remains the dominant economic player, as it remains the primary trading partner for its former colonies in Niger, Cameroon and Chad. The French military has permanently stationed military forces throughout the region, ostensibly to fight terrorism and instability in the wake of the 2012 coup in Mali and the subsequent terrorist insurgency there. The ongoing Operation Barkhane has at least 3,000 French troops spread across the Sahel region, including in Niger and Chad.

    With French troops on the ground and French corporations eyeing oil and gas, as well as other lucrative mining products, it’s plain to see that Paris is primarily interested in good old-fashioned colonial-style economic parasitism and competition with foreign rivals, rather than any humanitarian concerns, which are chief concerns for the French people.  

    As French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg stated while announcing the creation of the new venture, “Francophone African countries, notably, would like to work with us, rather than do business with foreign multinationals.” That sounds an awful lot like colonial hegemony – notice the implication that France is not “foreign” in West Africa – veiled behind the façade of free market choice.

    French soldiers (3rd RPIMa) and Nigerien. Fort Madama in Niger, 12 November 2014.

    French soldiers stationed in Niger as part of Operation Barkhane, speak with a Nigerien soldier at Fort Madama in Niger, November 12, 2014. (Photo: Thomas Goisque/CC)

    Consider also that France is heavily dependent on nuclear power, with nearly 80 percent of its electricity derived from nuclear energy. This would certainly explain why France has put such an emphasis on West Africa. As Think Africa Press noted in 2014, “France currently sources over 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy and is dependent on Niger for much of its immediate and future uranium supply.”

    Like France, the U.S. is now heavily involved on the ground in West Africa – around the Lake Chad Basin, specifically. Washington dominates the skies over the region with its far-flung network of drone bases. In Chad, the U.S. has permanently stationed military personnel, ostensibly to search for the Chibok girls. However, the Obama White House’s own press statement betrayed a much more imperialistic objective: “These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over Northern Nigeria and the surrounding area.”  

    Add to this the fact that the U.S. now operates two critical drone bases in the region, with one base in Cameroon’s city of Garoua and another in the Nigerien city of Agadez, and it becomes clear that the US, in fact, has drones and other surveillance covering the entire Lake Chad Basin.

    This begs the question: how could we possibly be seeing a famine and humanitarian disaster unfolding quite literally at the feet of U.S. and French military personnel if those forces are there purely for humanitarian reason?  Surely nothing could be more appropriate for a humanitarian mission than to save men, women, and children from the ghastly fate of starvation and malnutrition.

    But the sad truth is that the empire has little interest in saving the lives of millions of Nigerians, Cameroonians, and Nigeriens. Its focus is in extracting resources and preventing its Chinese rival from horning in on the action as it has elsewhere on the continent.

    And in the midst of Washington’s “New Great Game” with Beijing, millions of Africans are paying with their lives.

     

    South Sudan: New country, old story

    When the nation of South Sudan was carved out of what had formerly been a unified Sudan by the United States and the “international community,” some argued that civil war was inevitable. Indeed, with simmering conflicts such as the war in Darfur and periodic clashes in Abyei Province, South Sudan seemed a likely candidate to become a failed state within a very short time. And that’s precisely what happened.

    Today, the country faces mass starvation, and in some areas, famine. Though the United Nations recently announced that South Sudan is no longer facing famine, it also highlighted the fact that more than two million people there are on the brink of starvation, with many more suffering from malnutrition.

    According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and South Sudan’s National Bureau of Statistics, at least six million people, or half the country’s population, will face extreme food shortages between June and July this year. FAO representative Serge Tissot concisely explained, “People are in a catastrophic situation.”

    But why? What has created this catastrophe?

    On the surface, the famine and food insecurity have been caused by a civil war which seems to be a straightforward power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar. And indeed, it is. The war has led to political and economic disarray, with all the attendant problems ranging from forced conscription of children to the destruction of infrastructure and much worse.

    However, as with all conflicts in Africa, the truth is far more complex and rooted in neo-colonial interests on the continent. In this case, South Sudan is merely the latest victim of the curse of oil – the sad reality that countries with oil resources are always going to be targets for the U.S.-NATO empire. This is doubly true in South Sudan’s case, considering the centrality of the Sudan region to China’s long-term ambitions both on the continent and globally.

    Indeed, by 2011, when the United States and its allies ultimately divided the nation of Sudan in two, with oil resources having been incorporated into the new South Sudan, Sudan had become essential to China’s investment and economic development. In fact, Sudan accounted for 8 percent of China’s total oil imports (China being the recipient of a whopping 78 percent of total Sudanese exports). This makes it quite clear that any attempt to divide Sudan into two countries was a de facto attempt to deprive China of a principal trading partner.

    And with the 2011 partition of Sudan and the creation of the independent nation of South Sudan, Washington and its allies believed they had dealt a serious blow to Beijing’s aspirations in Africa. But this was not to be, as Beijing moved quickly to establish important economic ties with the newly constituted South Sudanese government under President Kiir.

    Since 2011, Beijing has entrenched itself as the dominant trading partner and economic benefactor behind South Sudan, with tens of billions invested, especially in the oil sector. And so, it should come as no surprise that South Sudan has been plunged into a civil war that has made it a very tricky proposition for the Chinese as they seek to expand their economic hegemony in east Africa.

    Surely the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and the misery of millions is a small price to pay for the profit margins of ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell. Surely Lockheed, Boeing, and Raytheon are a worthy trade-off for the lives of untold thousands of infants. Of course, outmaneuvering China is well worth watching an entire nation slide into the abyss. Such is the rationale of imperialism and neo-colonialism.


    Related: South Sudan: US Stirs Brew Of Blood & Oil As China Threatens Western Hegemony


    More than two hundred years ago, Thomas Malthus articulated the true logic of British imperialism: the lives of the poor meant little in the context of the life of the British Empire; famine was just nature’s way of thinning the herd, so to speak. Malthus laid the foundation for the imperial logic that has guided the political and geopolitical considerations of the British and US Empires since.  When he spoke of “premature death” visiting the human race, what he really meant was that this was good, this was natural. And who could possibly want to challenge nature?

    Two hundred years later Mike Davis, in his classic work “Late Victorian Holocausts,” noted that rather than seeing the famines of the Late Victorian period of the British Empire as merely natural and benign phenomena, they should instead be viewed as powerful drivers of imperialism and a world economic system designed around British commercial interests – capitalism, in other words.

    While climatic changes and other factors have played into those famines, just as they do today – climate change does remain a principal driver of famine throughout the Global South – it was imperialism that used those famines as business and investment opportunities.

    Today, the famines and food insecurity we see around the world can be directly attributed to the same world system, the same sets of economic and political imperatives, the same lack of humanity. Because try as we may to pretend otherwise, we are no better than those who came before us.

    So long as the Empire and its capitalist economic system continues its global hegemony, we will continue to see the skeletal faces and emaciated bodies of children whose only crime was being born in the wrong part of the world.   

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    • Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

      Seems to me that the author has touched a nerve with the trolls, specifically, James Wherry. Good job, Eric Draitser. Though I would venture to add that the starvation/famine in Africa has many attributing factors. Noteworthy among them the exploitation of the land in Africa to feed the British, the Saudis, and not to mention Israel’s “investment” in agriculture in Africa, Sudan specifically! Though stated they are there to ‘improve’ agriculture with their technology. The Israelis did the same in Tibet. These starving Africans would be pissed off to know that much of their livestock goes to Israel!

      • tapatio

        US ARMY MAJOR JAMES “PEDERAST” WHERRY (whose Zionist hate mongering is below) IS A SELF-STYLED “CHRISTIAN” ZIONIST (How can any human claim to follow Christ and promote the crimes of Zionism?) TROLL IN THE EMPLOY OF ISRAEL CAN BE JUDGED FROM WHAT HE IS…………………………

        JAMES WHERRY’S “SOURCES” ARE, FOR THE MOST PART ZIONIST “HASBARA PROJECT” PROPAGANDA FRONTS AND ALT-RIGHT HATE SITES. CHECK THEIR OWNERSHIP AND STAFFS.

        JAMES WHERRY WAS STUPID ENOUGH TO USE HIS NAME AND A PHOTO THAT COULD BE TRACED. TURNS OUT THAT HE IS……………..

        1 A SELF-STYLED “CHRISTIAN” ZIONIST. THESE, AH, PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT, ONCE ALL OF THE JEWS ARE GATHERED IN PALESTINE, SOMETHING CALLED “ARMAGEDDON” WILL HAPPEN AND ALL OF THE “CHRISTIAN” ZIONISTS WILL BE WHISKED UP TO HEAVEN WITH THEIR BODIES INTACT IN THE HOLY 0RGASM THEY CALL THE “RAPTURE”. NOBODY HAS EVER EXPLAINED TO THE OTHER 99% OF CHRISTIANITY HOW THESE FUNDAMENTALISTS WHACK-A-MOLES CAN BELIEVE THAT JESUS OR HIS DAD WOULD EVER SUPPORT SUCH FANTASIES OR THE CRIMES SUPPORTED BY PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS.

        2) A MAJOR IN THE US ARMY FROM “CIVIL AFFAIRS”. BABY-BOOMERS MIGHT RECALL THAT “CIVIL AFFAIRS” WAS PROMINENT IN THE “PHOENIX PROGRAM” IN VIETNAM……..THOSE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO TOLD THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE, “LOVE AMERICA OR WE’LL NAPALM YOUR VILLAGE.” WHERRY HAS ALSO BRAGGED ABOUT HELPING TO TRAIN THE STATE TERRORISTS OF UGANDA.

        3) A “GAY” PREDATOR THAT BOUGHT A BOY FROM THE PHILIPPINE SLUMS TO USE AS HIS SXX TOY. PRESUMABLY, THIS BOY HAS PAPERS CLAIMING THAT HE IS OF AGE. BUT, HE COULD PASS FOR A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL KID AND YOU CAN HAVE A BIRTH CERTIFICATE MADE IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR $100..
        Below is James Wherry’s comment to his local paper on the occasion of his “marriage” to ayoung Filipino BOY that wherry purchased…………….
        “”I’m very happy about it,” James Wherry said. “Marriage is the bedrock of our society. I hope that same-sex couples can rejuvenate and revitalize marriage and give it the respect it is due.””

        https://www.facebook.com/james.wherry.39

        http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article29462263.html

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtrbvD22CEQ

      • tapatio

        GREAT comment. Hope to see more of you on these pages.

        • Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

          🙂

    • James Wherry

      Not exactly.

      Like most Far Left sites, MintPressNews wants to “Blame America” for all the world’s ills and it fails to condemn those responsible for it in the developing nations. Example: I was serving in the Horn of Africa, when the Ethiopian government promptly rounded up indigenous tribesmen and “moved” them, because they wanted to help one of the international agri-coporations develop land for farming. The land they were unceremoniously trucked to and dumped off in had nothing of their own huts, wells and other basic necessities.

      As a non-interventionist, I won’t agree America should be the “World Police.” Blame the host nation government and demand they change.

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    • Patricia P. Tursi

      From Al Qaeda to the the Wahhabi radical movement Radical Islam is serving a purpose and the US’ Intelligence has created it. Now we have to defeat our creations. http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/04/20/the-cias-founding-of-al-qaeda-documented/ In this video Hilary Clinton admits that the US government created and
      funded Al-Qaeda in order to fight the soviet union, and she even
      considers that as a good thing. But she claims that the Americans are
      fighting Al-Qaeda nowadays. If you really fighting Al-Qaeda, then who
      are the scums and terrorists you used in order to topple the government
      of Qaddafi in Libya.
      .
      Want to know who is the father of Al-Qaeda: Watch this:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqn0bm4E9yw

      • James Wherry

        No, we have most definitely NOT “created” this extremist version of Islam.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec3435ef4d8915cba0d0b41158aa0a941e8c85177c19b1952c381aa744a05ef1.jpg

      • James Wherry

        No, we have not created this perversion.

        “Iran moves to legalize marriage for girls under 10 years old”
        By Darren Weir Jul 25, 2012 in World
        http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/329317

        And then. . .

        “Iran Legalizes Pedophilia”
        October 1, 2013
        http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/10/01/iran-legalizes-pedophilia

        “Iran passes a law allowing men to marry their 13-year-old adopted daughters just as the country’s new president touts himself as a moderate”
        By Meghan Keneally, 3 October 2013
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2442270/Iran-passes-marriage-law-allowing-men-wed-13-year-old-adopted-daughters.html

        “Iran passes ‘pedophilia’ law to let men marry adopted girls”
        By Cheryl K. Chumley, October 2, 2013
        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/2/iran-passes-pedophilia-law-let-men-marry-adopted-g/

        “Alarm as hundreds of children under age of 10 married in Iran”
        “Iran has experienced a dramatic growth in under-age marriages that has seen
        the number of girls being wed before the age of 10 double in the space of a
        year, officially-compiled figures have revealed.”
        Robert Tait, 26 Aug 2012
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9500484/Alarm-as-hundreds-of-children-under-age-of-10-married-in-Iran.html

        “World minimum marriage age: Chart shows the lowest age you can legally get married around the world: You can get married as young as nine in Iran but men have to wait till they’re 22 to tie the knot in China”,
        Caroline Mortimer, Saturday 25 July 2015

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/the-lowest-age-you-can-legally-get-married-around-the-world-10415517.html

        “Child Marriage in Iran: A disturbing trend on the rise in the Islamic Republic.”
        September 1, 2015, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
        http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/259971/child-marriage-iran-dr-majid-rafizadeh

        “Over 40,000 Girls under Age 15 Married Each Year in Iran”
        September 4, 2015
        https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2015/09/child-marriage/

      • James Wherry

        No, we did not “create” this – or are you blaming us for Iran, now, too?

        “Islamic Republic of Iran: Promoting violence against women”
        Rouhi Shafii
        International Coalition against Violence in Iran (ICAVI)
        http://www.ihrr.org/ihrr_article/violence-en_islamic-republic-of-iran-promoting-violence-against-women/

        “Iran’s Abuse of Women Spotlighted Near the U.N”
        A gathering outside the United Nations raises awareness of the Mullahs’ vicious misogyny.
        March 7, 2011
        Fern Sidman
        http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/86729/irans-abuse-women-spotlighted-near-un-fern-sidman

        “Iran to Hang Abused Child Bride”
        “Razie Ebrahimi was just 17 when she killed her abusive husband to escape his blows—and the state wants to execute her for her crime, Nina Strochlic,06.20.14
        http://www.thedailybeast.com/iran-to-hang-abused-child-bride

        “Special report: The punishment was death by stoning. The crime? Having a mobile phone”
        “This barbaric form of execution is on the rise, and campaigners are calling on the UN to act”
        Emma Batha |
        Saturday 28 September 2013
        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/special-report-the-punishment-was-death-by-stoning-the-crime-having-a-mobile-phone-8846585.html (excerpt, below)

        * * *

        Extrajudicial terror

        Iran has the world’s highest rate of execution by stoning. No one knows how many people have been stoned but at least 11 people are in prison under sentence of stoning, according to an Iranian human rights
        lawyer, Shadi Sadr.

        Sadr, who has represented five people sentenced to stoning, said Iran carried out stonings in secret in prisons, in the desert or very early in the morning in cemeteries. “Pressure from outside Iran always helps. The Islamic Republic pretends that they don’t care about their reputation, but they do care a lot,” added Sadr, who lives in exile in Britain.

        In 2010, the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery, caused international outcry. The authorities have suspended her sentence but she remains in prison. Officials withdrew stoning from a new draft penal code last year, but have since reinserted it.

        Stoning is also a legal punishment for adultery in Mauritania, a third of Nigeria’s 36 states, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

        In some countries, such as Mauritania and Qatar, stoning has never been used although it remains legal. However, in other countries, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, stoning is not legal but tribal leaders, militants
        and others carry it out extrajudicially. “In Afghanistan, warlords are manipulating religion to terrorise the population for their own political ends. Stoning is one way of doing that,” said Shameem, a human rights lawyer who is co-ordinating the Stop Stoning Women campaign.

        “Iran’s persecution of gay community revealed”
        Saeed Kamali Dehghan, 17 May 2012
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/may/17/iran-persecution-gay-community-revealed

        “Iran executes gay teenager in violation of international law“
        By Benjamin Weinthal , August 4, 2016
        http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/Iran-executes-gay-teenager-in-violation-of-international-law-463234

      • James Wherry
      • James Wherry

        It’s typical of Muslims to “Blame America, Blame Israel, Blame the Jews and Blame anyone else but ourselves.” Fortunately, there are decent, reform-minded Muslims in this world. Oh, look: here’s one, now.

        “Defeating Extremist Islam – A Western Imperative”
        by Saied Shoaaib
        June 5, 2017 at 5:00 am
        https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10378/defeating-extremist-islam

        * * *

        * The infiltration of this ideology is reminiscent of the spread of communism and should be defeated similarly — not with weapons, but by exposing its true nature and providing an alternative. The West first must abandon, however, the notion that radical Islam is an internal Muslim issue, any more than communism was a “Russian issue” that “the Russians” needed to solve.

        * In addition, the views of liberal Muslim scholars, who reject the whole premise of extremist, political Islam, should be supported and widely circulated.

        * Finally, imams in Western countries must be held to the same standard as members of other professions. They should be required to receive occupational licenses, based on criteria determined by the state, in conjunction with modern Muslims seeking a peaceful life and the ability to integrate into their societies without fear of repercussions at the hands of fundamentalists.

        * * *

        Many imams in the West — citizens of the United States, Canada and other countries — use their pulpits to promote practices that go against democratic values and ultimately lead to terrorism.

        Some call on their flock to kill Jews, Christians and “infidel” Muslims who do not adhere either to the strictest interpretation of Islam. Others justify the marriage of grown men to nine-year-old girls. There are those, too, who defend the spousal “right” of husbands to rape their wives.

        Contrary to some claims, the type of clerics who preach murder and sexual abuse in North American and European mosques do not suffer from poor socioeconomic conditions and are not mentally unbalanced. Rather, they are loyal followers of an interpretation of Islam that envisions the establishment of a worldwide caliphate governed by sharia law. They deeply believe that the only way to enter Allah’s paradise is to live by the letter of the Quran and the Hadith (the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammed).

        It is from such imams, most of whom are graduates of renowned Islamic institutions in the Middle East and Asia, that Muslims in the West have been receiving guidance. Key among these institutions is Al-Azhar, a Cairo-based Sunni center for higher learning, attended by students from all over the world. Its curriculum includes extremist content, such as tenets that killing “apostates” is a Divine obligation; that it is a Muslim’s duty to humiliate female prisoners through sexual abuse; that adulterers should be stoned to death, and that Christians and Jews are the “enemy of God.”

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/931cee78574832d7c6feae849f267cf4238bde2b400c70fe261004f325e1c750.jpg

        Caption: “Many imams in the West are graduates of Cairo’s Al-Azhar, a Sunni center for higher learning. Its curriculum includes extremist content, such as tenets that killing “apostates” is a Divine obligation; that it is a Muslim’s duty to humiliate female prisoners through sexual abuse; that adulterers should be stoned to death, and that Christians and Jews are the “enemy of God.” (Image source: Diego Delso/Wikimedia Commons)”

        Whenever confronted by critics in the West calling them to task for spreading such violent teachings, many imams respond by cloaking their real objectives, saying that the texts should be read in the context of the time that they were written, and by highlighting peaceful and tolerant Quranic verses. Other clerics — those who do not know how to tailor their rhetoric to Western ears — openly admit their religious ideology’s true intentions.

        The infiltration of this ideology is reminiscent of the spread of communism and should be defeated similarly — not with weapons, but by exposing its true nature and providing an alternative. The West first must abandon, however, the notion that radical Islam is an internal Muslim issue, any more than communism was a “Russian issue” that “the Russians” needed to solve.

        Islam and Muslims are part and parcel of Western societies, and Islamist terrorism is a global problem.

        In addition, the views of liberal Muslim scholars, who reject the whole premise of extremist, political Islam, should be supported and widely circulated. Among these are prominent intellectuals — such as the late Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd from Egypt; Mohammed Arkoun, an Algerian who died in France in 2010; the late Egyptian Supreme Court justice Muhammad Sa’id al-‘Ashmawi; Egyptian talk-show host Islam Bahiri; and the late Sudanese theologian Mahmoud Muhammad Taha — all of whom have provided evidence, based on knowledge of the Quran and Hadith, that the “caliphate” is merely a project to colonize more land, as all the old empires did, and that the hostility toward Jews connected to the Muhammed’s battle with the Banu Qurayza in the 7th century should have ended long ago.

        Muslim innovators abound in the West, as well, and should be the ones establishing mosques, educational institutions and media outlets, to provide followers with an alternative to political Islamism. Finally, imams in Western countries must be held to the same standard as members of other professions. They should be required to receive occupational licenses, based on criteria determined by the state, in conjunction with modern Muslims seeking a peaceful life and the ability to integrate into their societies without fear of repercussions at the hands of fundamentalists.

        Saied Shoaaib is a Muslim writer and researcher, specializing in Islamic movements. He can be reached

      • James Wherry

        As I posted, below, it’s typical of Muslims to blame everyone else but themselves. I’m happy to say that there are reform-minded Muslims to take a much-needed fresh look at their own religion.

        “Many Muslims Need to Do Some Soul-Searching”
        by Tarek Fatah, The Toronto Sun, June 13, 2017
        http://www.meforum.org/6762/muslim-soul-searching (excerpt below)

        If the study of human suffering at the hands of fellow human beings is your area of interest, Toronto this weekend was the place to be.

        Two different “ethnic” community groups that could not have been more distinct from each other in terms of culture, cuisine and language, met separately to share their pain and hear from speakers trying to heal the wounds that refuse to heal, despite nearly a century of torment.

        Unaware of each other’s events, Armenians and the minuscule Kashmiri Pandits met separately, one on Sunday, the latter on Friday night.

        Both groups have suffered immensely at the hands of my co-religionists, many of whom show no collective recognition, let alone remorse, for the crimes committed in the name of the supremacist Islamist doctrine of world domination.

        The Armenians came to listen to Hisyar Ozsoy, an MP from Turkey’s opposition Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP), one of the few political parties that acknowledges the “Armenian Genocide” committed by the Ottoman Islamic Caliphate at the dawn of World War I in 1914.

        Too many Muslims show no recognition of, let alone remorse for, crimes committed in the name of Islam.

        For over 100 years many Turks, be they nationalists, Islamists or right-wing fascists, have denied the existence of any such genocide.

        On Sunday morning, the Indo-Canadian Kashmir Forum met in Mississauga to hear from visiting Indian scholar Susheel Pandit about the history of the ethnic cleansing in Kashmir over 700 years, where the indigenous Hindu Pandit community was slowly driven out, finally culminating in the 1990 exodus.

        That was when Pakistan-backed Islamist militants committed mass murder and house burnings to end thousands of years of Hinduism in the Kashmir valley.

        At both events, I met fellow Muslims who see the truth and risk their lives to express solidarity with the victims of crimes committed in the name of Allah and Islam.

        The Kashmiri Pandits and Armenians are not alone.

        Ask the Kurds, the Baloch, the Saharans and Darfuris, all of whom are Muslim, yet have suffered ethnic cleansing, cultural genocide and occupation by supposedly superior Muslims — Arabs, Persians, Turks and Pakistani Punjabis.

        All I can say to my fellow Muslims is, ‘We have met the enemy and he is us.’

        Today we Muslims face a crisis like never before.

        With Saudi Arabia and Qatar at each other’s throats … [and] dictators flexing muscle in Egypt and Pakistan, all I can say to my fellow Muslims is to echo the cartoon character Pogo when he said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

        Allow me to share with you a quote about the depth of the ossification that has rendered too many Muslim minds irrational, unreasonable and in need of anger management.

        In 1974, the Cornell-educated Indian Islamic scholar Hashim Amir-Ali translated the Qur’an and published it in its chronological order, the way it was revealed, as against how it was collated many years after the death of Prophet Muhammad.

        He wrote in the preamble:

        The Qur’an is read parrot-like in most Muslim homes. … The religion that passes for Islam today – the Islam of the masses and of the ruling classes in every Muslim country – is the Islam of the Middle Ages and not exactly the Islam of the Qur’an or the Prophet. … The lines of thought laid down a thousand years ago have vitiated the entire course of Muslim thought and history. It is this legacy of the past that has to be faced today.

        Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at the Toronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

      • James Wherry
    • tapatio

      Without modern imperialism and the limitless greed of the 1/10% who are behind that imperialism, there would be NO hunger, little disease, no illiteracy in our world.

      ELIMINATE THE GREED AND EARTH CAN BE PARADISE.

      • James Wherry

        But you are a Filthy piece of Naz! Trash!

        Aren’t you also greedy?

    • tapatio

      US ARMY MAJOR JAMES “PEDERAST” WHERRY (whose Zionist hate mongering is below) IS A SELF-STYLED “CHRISTIAN” ZIONIST (How can any human claim to follow Christ and promote the crimes of Zionism?) TROLL IN THE EMPLOY OF ISRAEL CAN BE JUDGED FROM WHAT HE IS…………………………

      JAMES WHERRY’S “SOURCES” ARE, FOR THE MOST PART ZIONIST “HASBARA PROJECT” PROPAGANDA FRONTS AND ALT-RIGHT HATE SITES. CHECK THEIR OWNERSHIP AND STAFFS.

      JAMES WHERRY WAS STUPID ENOUGH TO USE HIS NAME AND A PHOTO THAT COULD BE TRACED. TURNS OUT THAT HE IS……………..

      1 A SELF-STYLED “CHRISTIAN” ZIONIST. THESE, AH, PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT, ONCE ALL OF THE JEWS ARE GATHERED IN PALESTINE, SOMETHING CALLED “ARMAGEDDON” WILL HAPPEN AND ALL OF THE “CHRISTIAN” ZIONISTS WILL BE WHISKED UP TO HEAVEN WITH THEIR BODIES INTACT IN THE HOLY 0RGASM THEY CALL THE “RAPTURE”. NOBODY HAS EVER EXPLAINED TO THE OTHER 99% OF CHRISTIANITY HOW THESE FUNDAMENTALISTS WHACK-A-MOLES CAN BELIEVE THAT JESUS OR HIS DAD WOULD EVER SUPPORT SUCH FANTASIES OR THE CRIMES SUPPORTED BY PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS.

      2) A MAJOR IN THE US ARMY FROM “CIVIL AFFAIRS”. BABY-BOOMERS MIGHT RECALL THAT “CIVIL AFFAIRS” WAS PROMINENT IN THE “PHOENIX PROGRAM” IN VIETNAM……..THOSE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO TOLD THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE, “LOVE AMERICA OR WE’LL NAPALM YOUR VILLAGE.” WHERRY HAS ALSO BRAGGED ABOUT HELPING TO TRAIN THE STATE TERRORISTS OF UGANDA.

      3) A “GAY” PREDATOR THAT BOUGHT A BOY FROM THE PHILIPPINE SLUMS TO USE AS HIS SXX TOY. PRESUMABLY, THIS BOY HAS PAPERS CLAIMING THAT HE IS OF AGE. BUT, HE COULD PASS FOR A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL KID AND YOU CAN HAVE A BIRTH CERTIFICATE MADE IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR $100..
      Below is James Wherry’s comment to his local paper on the occasion of his “marriage” to ayoung Filipino BOY that wherry purchased…………….
      “”I’m very happy about it,” James Wherry said. “Marriage is the bedrock of our society. I hope that same-sex couples can rejuvenate and revitalize marriage and give it the respect it is due.””

      https://www.facebook.com/james.wherry.39

      http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article29462263.html

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtrbvD22CEQ

      • tapatio
        • tapatio

          James Wherry, the Zionist troll, below, likes to ignore the fact that it was almost certainly a corporate member of the Rothschild-Bilderberg predatory cartel that PAID the Ethiopian leaders huge bribes to move those people.

          James Wherry is a major in the US Army “Civil Affairs” department. It’s his organization’s job to control the populations of countries where we’ve “intervened”. Wherry’s comment goes along with his sick “logic”.

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        He’s about as odious as they come, isn’t he? I say that after stirring up the morally malodorous ZioNazi trolls venomizing DISQUS on Jpost.

        • tapatio

          The pond slime on Jerusalem Post isn’t as bad as on some other sites. Wherry, though, is the very first that I’ve gotten real information on. I’ve turned a couple of death threats over to my son-in-law and one really was a punk who lived with his mother in Vancouver, BC – only about an hour and a half from us. The corresponding police department didn’t give him any information on the other.

          Wherry does take the cake. A gay predator, pseudo-Christian Zionist (he says) and works for an Army department that engages in terrorism. I’m hoping that someone will make him go SPLAT, like the cockroach that he is, before he gets too old.

    • James Wherry

      Not exactly.

      Like most Far Left sites, MintPressNews wants to “Blame America” for all the world’s ills and it fails to condemn those responsible for it in the developing nations. Example: I was serving in the Horn of Africa, when the Ethiopian government promptly rounded up indigenous tribesmen and “moved” them, because they wanted to help one of the international agri-coporations develop land for farming. The land they were unceremoniously trucked to and dumped off in had nothing of their own huts, wells and other basic necessities.

      As a non-interventionist, I won’t agree America should be the “World Police.” Blame the host nation government and demand they change.

    • SewerKraut

      Africans are fornicating themselves into overpopulation and starvation. Few of their tribal societies have developed competent governments.
      My goodness, Africans are as bad as Arabs.

      • James Wherry

        SK, I don’t “Blame America” for the world’s problems, but I condemn what appears to be your own racism. There is nothing about being African or Arab that promotes violence, other than extremist Islamist views that jihadists like Boko Haram, al-Shebaab, ISIS, al-Nusra, al-Quaeda, the Wa’habi’s, the Salafi’s, the Shi’ite Elevener’s and the Twelver’s promote.

        People in developing nations are often oppressed by brutal dictatorships and vote-rigging governments that would never allow true democracy to flourish. We are all waiting to see, if Kenya can avoid the “usual” election-year cycle of violence. http://www.newsweek.com/2017/05/19/kenya-election-season-violence-repeat-609219.html

        I know human rights activists in Africa and among womens’ rights groups in Arab nations and they want nothing less than the same rights and standards that we enjoy in “modern” Western nations.

        • SewerKraut

          “extremist Islamist views that jihadists”

          • James Wherry

            The poison of extremism is spreading to places that it had not previously been such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.

      • tapatio

        Is there a Jewish version of Stormfront or the Ku Klucking Klowns that you could join?