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The Top Four Neglected News Stories of 2010

Recent plane crash in Iran due to US embargo which forces Iran to use outdated parts

In 2009, Islamic Insights performed a public service by publicizing some of the most neglected, under-reported, and censored stories by the media. It’s now 2011, and very little has improved. In fact, the situation has deteriorated. The media now considers running Wikileaks as a measure of claiming credibility and objectiveness. This is ironic and – even more so – insulting to the intelligence of society. Very little of what was “exposed” in the leaks was never hidden, but was just purposefully censored by the corporate media and its government handlers.

Recent plane crash in Iran due to US embargo which forces Iran to use outdated parts

The media is the most powerful institution, and an even more compelling one when it rids itself of integrity. Malcom X described its authority: “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent.”

In 2009, Islamic Insights performed a public service by publicizing some of the most neglected, under-reported, and censored stories by the media. It’s now 2011, and very little has improved. In fact, the situation has deteriorated. The media now considers running Wikileaks as a measure of claiming credibility and objectiveness. This is ironic and – even more so – insulting to the intelligence of society. Very little of what was “exposed” in the leaks was never hidden, but was just purposefully censored by the corporate media and its government handlers.

Both inside and outside the stolen borders of the United States, stories of wars, poverty, and financial greed are affecting the lives of millions. It’s time to break the chains of ignorance we are fed daily by the mainstream media and dig for the truth. Here are four stories you should be aware of in 2011:

UN Sanctions on Iran Impoverish Thousands

US officials insist that economic and trade sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. Along with their misleading media allies, the US and Israel neglect to mention that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons and has been the only country in its region to speak out in favor of a nuclear-free Middle East. On the other hand, the US continues to support arming politically unstable Pakistan with nuclear warheads.

What have these decades-long sanctions achieved? The sanctions which have been in place against Iran – despite its voluntary compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Agreement – have been the cause of an increasing number of aviation accidents in Iran caused by the inability of Iranian plane manufacturers to obtain the safest and most recent parts for their planes. The US insists that spare airplane parts for civilian airplanes can be used to build an air force combat fleet. Logically speaking, how can two very different machines use the same parts? As recently as last week, an Iranian airplane carrying 105 people crashed. The airplane model has not been manufactured since 1984, yet the Iranian people are forced to use it.

Trade sanctions have also pushed thousands of Iranian businessmen out of business due to an inconsistent stream of supply and being blocked off from the global market due to sanctions. Thousands of impoverished people who were able to survive on cheaply imported food are now unable to due to the most recent round of sanctions, and are forced to spend money on more expensive food items. Trade sanctions led to mass starvation in Iraq, and the US and its allies seem to have no qualms about the same results happening in Iran. It is clear: the target of sanctions is not the Iranian government, but the Iranian people.

Gaza vs. International Law

Israel’s policies towards Palestinians can be categorized as: apartheid, colonialism, occupation, piracy, abusive, and more since the list can and does go on. In fact, Israel is in a league of its own when it comes to war crimes. Israel can get away with an insulting amount of transgressions against human rights and remain unscathed. Palestine does receive media coverage; however, it is intensely skewered to make Israel seem like a victim on the defense. Because, you know, they need tanks to deal with a few protesters armed with rocks.

What else does Israel do? The list would require several encyclopedias. Israel has for several years now transformed Gaza and the West Bank into an open-air prison. It has imposed a water blockade on close to 200,000 Palestinians. This blockade has altered and reduced the way of life for thousands of Palestinians – we recommend viewing this video to get a better idea of a situation words will only commit an injustice to.

In recent years, Israel has also been adamant in restricting entry into and from Gaza and the West Bank. These laws prevent Palestinians from traveling into Israel for work or medical attention. It also achieved a broader goal of preventing those with “foreign passports”, namely international humanitarian workers, from traveling to Gaza and providing much needed assistance to the population.

The US Funds the Taliban

Who didn’t see this one coming? Considering the role of the US in the formation of the terrorist group in the 1980s, this issue isn’t exactly shocking. Afghanistan, since the US occupation which began in November 2001, has become a wartime contracting market with an all too familiar cycle of money flowing from the US to insurgents. Someone should also mention that Afghanistan has to be the only country where a big-time drug dealer and his misogynist cousins can run the country and still be labeled a beacon of democracy by the US.

How exactly does taxpayer money end up in the hands of the Taliban? Try to get your mind around this one: the Pentagon pays private security contractors to ensure supply routes are protected from insurgent attacks. However, these private contractors have been unable to secure the routes so they end up paying Taliban insurgents to protect the routes. US military officials in Kabul estimate that at least 10 percent of the Pentagon’s logistics contracts – which translate to hundreds of millions of dollars – are made up of payments to insurgents. This has been called a “necessary evil” by some US officials, however, the reality is that ineffective companies are being awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts and are thus unable to do the work they were hired to do. One example of these companies is NCL Holdings, run by the son of Afghanistan’s current defense minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak. The question is: how could a company with little trucking and security experience be awarded hundreds of millions of taxpayer-funded dollars? The US military has made no effort to hide this practice and, like many other situations that are grotesquely wrong in Afghanistan, it doesn’t care to remedy it either.

The War on Drugs is a Fraud

The daily death toll in Mexico exceeds that of violence-plagued Iraq and Afghanistan. The city of Ciudad Juarez is now the murder capital of the world. Why do the media fail to mention this but find the time to incessantly dwell upon the cost of Michelle Obama’s latest dress? It’s really quite simple: accurately reporting the current war in Mexico casts doubt on the US/Mexican drug policy and concurrent war on drugs. Plan Mexico was signed into law by George W. Bush and current Mexican president Felipe Calderon in 2007. The Obama administration is also a large proponent of it and has succeeded in granting it additional funding. Plan Mexico is an unprecedented step towards the militarization of the war on drugs, and the consequences have become increasingly deadly.

The military has never been the right tool to fight crime. Last time we checked, not many big-time drug dealers are caught at military checkpoints. This brings us to the reality that the war on drugs is a fraud. Ever since Plan Mexico has been implemented, over 30,000 Mexicans – including women, children, and law enforcement personnel – have been killed. At what point will Plan Mexico be labeled a failure? Never. Plan Mexico is another government initiative meant to keep the poverty classes in Mexico and elsewhere. Plus, historically, governments have been unwilling to give up on such measures.

There are countless stories neglected by the media everyday. You are encouraged to rely on independent and objective media sources. The following article has some suggestions: Top 5 News and Analysis Websites.

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9 comments

  1. Good Job on the article! very informative! 😆

  2. Mexico will be declared a failed state. The militarization of the border by U.S. troops…. NAFTA. Drugs. How much more real than weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

  3. thank you! it’s very informative 😆

  4. You forgot to mention that 90% of the money earned by drug trafficking in Latin America (45 billion dollars per year) ends up in the United States of America, and that 90% of weapons in both sides of the Mexico war come from the same country. Source: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53957

  5. Hamid Behbahani
    Transport minister impeached over frequent plane crashes

    AFP — Iran’s parliament on Tuesday impeached and sacked Transport Minister Hamid Behbahani over fatal plane crashes, the dilapidated state of the air fleet and deadly roads accidents, state media reported. A close ally and former teacher of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Behbahani refused to attend his impeachment, which parliament speaker Ali Larijani slammed as a “violation” as the house went ahead with the motion. “Out of 234 MPs present, 147 voted against Behbahani and he is not transport minister any more,” state television said. According to the text of the motion carried by the media, Behbahani faced impeachment over “frequent aviation accidents and his inexpert comments that ‘crashes are normal’ and unjustified use of an unreliable and worn-out air fleet.”

  6. Hamid Behbahani
    Transport minister impeached over frequent plane crashes

    AFP — Iran’s parliament on Tuesday impeached and sacked Transport Minister Hamid Behbahani over fatal plane crashes, the dilapidated state of the air fleet and deadly roads accidents, state media reported. A close ally and former teacher of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Behbahani refused to attend his impeachment, which parliament speaker Ali Larijani slammed as a “violation” as the house went ahead with the motion. “Out of 234 MPs present, 147 voted against Behbahani and he is not transport minister any more,” state television said. According to the text of the motion carried by the media, Behbahani faced impeachment over “frequent aviation accidents and his inexpert comments that ‘crashes are normal’ and unjustified use of an unreliable and worn-out air fleet.”

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