Forthcoming

Nov 13, WBAI commentary 7:45 am. Update on Kirkuk, Iraq. Veterans Day USA: Is celebration of war heros increasing?.

Nov 6, WBAI  News of Kirkuk, N. Iraq after the failed Kurdish referendum; Accusations towards male religious figures in ongoing sexual abuse exposes.

Sept 25: Syria update: the changing status quo and resulting change in US media coverage.. The Kurdish referendum

Sept 18: Myanmar's Ang San Su Kyi's eary history; beware of simplistic sectarian analyses

Sept 11: women as pawns in justifying American "wars to protect"

August 28, 7:45 am WBAI. Linda Sarsour, Arab American and US Muslim community leader: in her defence. Margo Shetterley author of "Hidden Figures"

Aug 21, WBAI Palestinian-American Rasmea Odeh, stripped of citizenship and deported this week.

Aug 14: BN Review of the anti-Israel boycott action in the US Congress. WBAI, 90.5 fm

July 10:  Nepal just completed its first election in 20 years for nationwide local admin posts.

July 3, WBAI Radio. "All politics is local":-- the hard work of using local news resources.

June 26: WBAI Radio We ask why is there no anti-war movement in the US? And: “Martyrdom”—an archaic phrase but a concept we need to think about today.

June 19  On the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, and Israel's seemingly unstoppable political, diplomatic and territorial march, it’s remarkable that the Palestinian voice is heard at all.

June 12  The dilemma of 'moderate Amercian Muslims; following ReclaimNY , a child of Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer.

May 1, Workers Day, WBAI 99.5 fm. BN Aziz highlights the rise of the 'gig economy'

April 24, 7:45 WBAI 99.5 fm. A check on our progress as American Muslims; and, Lynne Stewart: the Peoples' Lawyer. 

See Ramzy Baroud's assessment on how our Muslim community misuses celebrity Muslims as surrogates for their own stuggle.

 

Monday April 17 WBAI Radio, NYC. Why is there essential no anti-war movement in the USA?

April 10;  A critical look at media coverage of the US assault on Syria; and an update on ReclaimNY.

B. Nimri Aziz weekly radio commentary on events around the globe and in the USA. Listen in at 99.5 fm, or online www.wbai.org where we are livestreamed.

"We are more alike than we are different"

  Maya Angelou

March 8, Women's Day Radio Specials  10-11 am on WJFF Radio, 90.5 fm, and 11:am on WBAI, 99.5 New York: B. Nimri Aziz interviews director Amber Fares about her new film "Speed Sisters" and exerpts from 2009-2010 interviews with professional women in Syria, Nadia Khost and Nidaa Al-Islam.

 

 

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Who Will Follow Tunisia?

2011-01-15

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Few cannot be exhilarated and admiring of the revolution in Tunisia? First it’s a rare success in popular struggles against a powerful military machine. Second the protests seem entirely non-violent. Third, we regularly hear warnings about the ‘Arab street’ exploding; time and time again, despite predictions, it never happens, leaving citizens with their impotency affirmed. The power of the establishment seems unshakable. 

Tunisia today proves the exception. The reasons are not difficult to see and comprehend. Yet, the real outcome remains unclear. Twenty-three years of absolute rule mean a power structure and attendant elite is in place; the flight of the president does not displace that. Not yet. So a major task remains for the public—to cleanse the system to remove a structure of co-conspirators, or at least put in place reliable representatives who can and will remove or weaken entrenched interests. Can that be done?  

Then there is the military, doubtless powerful and well-rewarded for keeping the power structure stable all these years. At the same time, it may have been Tunisia’s military leadership that informed President Ben Ali that they could no longer support him. Doubtless they remain in place. So another major issues is: how will a balance be established between any new leadership and this force? 

As for neighboring countries, one does not have to share a border with Tunisia to know what is possible.

Across the world, we see examples of successful people’s movements. Many of those, if not instigated by western powers, especially the US, France and Britain, have been strongly supported by outside interests. France and the US remained silent about the uprising against Ben Ali up to time of his departure.  During years of public discontent, the Tunisian power structure earned the goodwill of these powers. Indeed, Tunisia has established itself as a favored tourist haven—a stable, picturesque Mediterranean seaside to relax in.  

Together with the recommendations of tourists, Tunisia enjoyed foreign support for its security arrangements, for its rigorous cleaning of any militant dissent, Islamic or otherwise. Islamic terrorism provides a convenient label around which to secure western support to rout any political opposition.

Meanwhile the army and security services are assured of purchases of up-to-date weaponry from its supporters. At the same time the economy is dependent on tourism and a few exports like date and olives. Tunisia’s economy had become completely dependent on foreign arrangements, and with the spread of privatization, a new elite became satisfied beneficiaries, creating greater disparity between rich and poor. 

Most European commentators overlook the cozy relationship these leaders have with Western powers. So rather than asking what will happen to neighboring countries, we need to examine the nature of relations between Washington and Paris with their leaders. Ask: what are we supporting when we schedule a holiday to wander through quaint bazaars and be served cocktails on the beach; those easy holidays usually nicely obscuring any awareness of the way the country was governed.  Calibri">

Africom: the US military has for years been looking for a home for AFRICOM, an Africa-based US military presence. The rationale: growing threats of terrorist bases in the vast largely unpopulated areas across north and west Africa. Regular suggestions of terrorists operating in these areas pressure regional governments to permit American protection. Thus far, no country has accepted; in fact, most of them rigorously resist the invitation. This is a major issue for the US and must be kept in mind in any assessment of geopolitical dynamics of the region. 

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