France Needs Its Former Colonies

10 05 2015

Rokhaya Diallo

by Adnan Oktar

Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Cameroun, The Comoros, Congo, Mali, Niger, the Central African Republic, Senegal, Togo and Upper Volta…..

The common feature of these African countries wracked by civil wars, hunger and epidemic diseases but rich in underground resources is that they are all former French colonies.

France recognized the independence of these countries in the 1960s, before the rich underground resources in the Sub-Saharan nations had been discovered. The main reason behind that decision was that it had no more need for these countries’ labor forces and the high costs of coping with their domestic affairs.

In granting these countries their political independence, France still sought to maintain a degree of economic control to prevent these newly independent countries from being exposed to difficulties in the event of possible upheavals.

France still maintains a major presence in Africa, with six military bases in Djibouti, Senegal, Gabon, Chad, the Central African Republic and Ivory Coast. In addition to these bases, France also sent 3,000 troops to support Mali, despite its economic problems, but failed to pull them out at the predicted time. It also decided to raise the number of troops in the Central African Republic from 400 to 1,400. There are also French troops in Congo, Burundi, Ruanda and Somalia.

France has close economic and strategic relations with its former colonies. Nuclear energy is one of those issues. France meets more than 75% of its electricity needs from nuclear energy. It imports the uranium it needs in order to produce that energy from Niger; Niger and its neighbor Mali are therefore of vital importance for France.

The French economy is also tightly linked to those of the Financial Community of Africa (CFA: Communaute Financiere Africaine) consisting of former colonies, the foundation of which dates back to 1945. It is very difficult for these countries to make any economic or political moves without French approval. All the aforementioned countries use the CFA Franc and economically act in harmony with France.

Due to signed agreements, members of the CFA are obliged to keep their foreign exchange reserves, not in their own central banks, but in the French National Bank. Between 1945 and 1973 they were obliged to keep 100% of their foreign exchange reserves in France, but as a result of mutual agreements this rate was reduced to 65% in 1973 and 55% in 2005. In addition to that 55%, another 15% of foreign exchange reserves is kept in France as a Guarantee Fund. Moreover, all revenues earned abroad by the members of this union are also kept in the French National Bank. In other words, 90% of these countries’ foreign exchange earnings are kept in France. Furthermore, gold reserves of member countries are also held in France.

The former colonies are believed to have billions of dollars in France. Franc-zone countries send all their money to France without spending any foreign exchange. If they need to withdraw some of their money there, they withdraw it from the Guarantee Fund, but they have to pay interest for using the Guarantee Fund.

Under the terms of the foundation agreements of the CFA, the member countries are free to leave the union.

Since 1960, there have been 67 military coups in 26 African countries, 16 of them being former French colonies. French Foreign Legion troops have often played a leading role in these coups.

Although among nationalist voters in France there are increasing reactions against immigrants and the Muslim population, it is these unwanted communities, held in contempt by so many, that are keeping France propped up in its current crisis. Especially the money its former colonies are forced to keep in the French National bank is of vital importance to France.

The population of France is aging and accustomed to a comfortable life thanks to their high incomes. Despite the crisis in the country it has one of the lowest weekly working hours. The Muslim population in France, on the other hand is young, dynamic and they need to work. France has the third largest Muslim population in Europe. The six million Muslims in France, 10% of the overall population, are of critical importance to it.

If France wants a bright future, and if it doesn’t want to keep struggling with even more problems, before all else it must keep the migrants and Muslim population of the country happy. It must be careful to avoid violating the human rights of Muslims with the precautions taken in its fight against radical terror organizations, and it must scrupulously protect them. Based on the principle of ‘common use’ rather than ‘exploitation’, France must revise its policies known as ‘Françeafrique’ and make them more humane. If France fails to make such a change in its policy, it appears that she will face many more serious problems.


The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and

From Tel-Aviv to Baltimore With Love !

5 05 2015

The events of last week show how close a relationship and value system both Israel and the US have with each other. Certainly love for each other, but not love for their own citizens specially if they are Black.

In Tel-Aviv as in Baltimore, it is clear that Israeli and American police share the same philosophies and practices. All citizens especially if they are Black are “Palestinians” to be dealt with in the same way, as suspected terrorists.



Immediately after 9/11 taking advantage of having one of its own in high ranking position in Home Land Security, JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, made it a point to create close, perhaps too close a relationship between it, Israel and America’s national security agencies specially Defense, CIA, Home Land Security, certainly the police, with the views that Israel through close relationship with the military-industrial complex can contribute to the national security of the US with the aims to “ engage the American defense community about the role Israel can and does play in securing Western democracies interests in the Middle East”.

No reason to go into details about “whose whom” in JINSA, many served at top officials of the US while serving at JINSA. All of them without exception played a key role in America’s wars against Afghanistan and the destruction of Iraq. Promoting “ not just invasion but total wars on Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Palestinian Authorities” the Nation September 2, 2002.

So it should not come as a surprise for all of us, specially the Blacks and the Black leadership, that JINSA through its Law Enforcement Exchange Program enabled tens of thousands of police men and major city police chiefs to train in Israel. The “Week long program designed to strengthen American law enforcement counter terrorism, practices by facilitating dialogue with and studying techniques used by their Israeli counterparts to keep citizens safe”.

In November 2008, the International Association of Chief of Police honored the Israeli National Police at is annual conference in San Diego. Recognizing the role JINSA’s program in shaping American police rules of engagement.

Last week in Tel-Aviv Israeli police used “stun grenade” clubs and tear gas, at the rally organized by Israeli-Ethiopians demonstrating not only police brutality but also deep-rooted racism in Israel.

This followed three days after police officers in Holon; the Tel-Aviv suburb severely beat an Israeli-Ethiopian in army uniform and from the video shown on public television, without provocation. Being Black is sufficient.

Desperate for immigrants to meet its demands for cheap unskilled labor force, Israeli government and the Jewish Agency began to look around the world to see which group it can define as “Jews” and organize to come to Israel.

The Falasha Jews of Ethiopia were one such group. Poor almost illiterate, unskilled was the right group to serve as cheap labors in farms, cleaning city streets, picking up garbage, serving in cheap restaurant and doing the White Man job no longer desired.

In 1984, with the help of the late Sudan president Jafar Numairi, Israel was able to airlift some tens of thousands directly to Israel. Today the Falasha’s numbers around 135,000 or 2% of the Israeli population, but like the Blacks in the US have the highest rates of incarceration (1/3 of the total prison population), with the highest rates of unemployment, divorce, domestic violence and suicide.

Since racism runs deep in Israel, even the chief Rabbinate in Israel had and does have grave doubt about their “Jewishness” requiring “conversion” rituals before approving marriage.

Adding insults to injuries, in 1966, the Israeli Health Ministry “dumped” donated Ethiopian blood because of fear of HIV, with many signs appearing around the country, “no rent” “no sell” to Ethiopians.

However one must not feel so sorry for these poor bastards. They always display and engage in the most brutal attacks on demonstrating Palestinians, ready to engage in shoot to kill and display the most vulgar racist attitude toward the Palestinians. They are also trespassers and land thieves.

Here in America, not only we will need to question the wisdom of sending our police force to train in Israel but we also need to redraw new social contracts between citizens and police, especially between Blacks and police.

To be fair to the police, they are in a clear and present danger every day they are on the beat. America and Americans are the most violent nation in the world.

Nowhere else do we see the kind of killings and murder that takes place in America. A call on a domestic violence case can end the life of a policeman. Even a routine traffic violation stop can also end the life of a policeman or a trooper. Not only the police has to reform but we as a society has to change and reform.

No segment of society in need of change or make over than the Black community in America. We have major problems social, cultural, racial, and economic issues that the government alone could not solve.

Our Welfare system as we know it is the worst thing that could happens to Blacks. It created generation after generation of reliance which perpetuate the a cycle of “social neglect” and demeaning that contribute a great deal to the fact that Blacks have the highest risk of incarceration from among the many ethnic or social group, with family breakdown as cancer that kills hope.

The deck is stacked against the Blacks from the day they are born. They have to work harder, overcome so many obstacles to even catch up with other groups. They have to be exceptional to make it in commerce, and in the profession. Prominent leaders, those who made it are often targeted for closer scrutiny with the intention to defame, humiliate and demean the community.

While I do not claim to have all the answers or pretend to be an expert in sociology or psychology, I can only say, it is time for the Black leadership in America to stop going to funeral and public rally and call for a National Summit of Black America not only in the White House, and Congress but in every city and house.

Time for the Black community to take charge of its own destiny, to solve its own chronic problems and issues. Time for the Black community to learn from other communities that arrived as of late. Indians, Arabs, and Orientals have made it in America. Off the boat or plane without language for the most part, extended families stuck together living in same house allowing members of the families to work two jobs, with kids excelling in schools and are among the top graduates in major universities moving toward successful careers in business, industry, medicine, science, IT, law and universities.

There are NO reasons that the Blacks could not learn from these immigrant communities. They must be doing something right. There is nothing “extrinsic” about the Blacks that hold them back. Color is not an impediment to success, poor excuses are.

The Black leadership working within the community must set a target of one generation to get the Black out of the perpetual trap they are in. Family, schooling, education, and commitment to self-help can transform a society.

Here in America we have and must learn to demonstrate against wrongs, to go out in the hundreds of thousands and demonstrate peacefully, without resorting to violence or property destruction or looting.

The police also have to learn that we as citizens have the right to demonstrate against police violence, wrongs, and racial profiling. We must remember, our safety and security is also the police safety and security.

Questioning US seriousness in ME

2 05 2015


One of the headlines that caught my attention last week read: “60,000 brochures airdropped in Rakka.” Media outlets proudly and jubilantly announced that the US planes dropped 60,000 brochures in Syria, and boasted about the move as an intelligent one. I have always stressed the need for educating people to effectively fight the growing threat of extremism. However, the content of this brochure once again raised the question of how serious USA is about its Middle East policy.

The brochure contained a cartoon, which depicted the self-ascribed Islamic State (IS) or ISIL as a human grinder. The sign on the top right corner read in Arabic: “ISIL collection office,” while the mincing machine had a plate that read “ISIL.” Obviously, this was the new counter-terrorism method of the world’s superpower in this deeply troubled part of the world.

This prompted those familiar with the developments in the region to ask the following questions: Whom the US was telling about the violent methods of IS with these cartoons, when the whole world was already a witness to it? Is this a lesson to IS or is this educating the people there with facts? Or does the US think that this is the right method to fight the “mentalities that give rise to radicalism?”

The region where these brochures were dropped is the city of Rakka, which had been under IS control since a long time. The terrorist organization uses this city as a base in Syria. This city is completely under IS control from its education system to its courts, from its social life to utility services. Therefore, IS holds all the legislative and enforcement powers. Obviously, the residents of the city are aware of IS massacres more than anyone else and have to follow the rules of the region regardless. Therefore, people will not be discovering anything new in those brochures. This method is neither educative, nor informative, nor helpful in resolving the problem.

The real question is that if the US is aware that it will not be able to achieve anything with this method. The debate that started when President Obama asked for a congressional authority to use military power to fight IS, brought him the support of the Republicans but also raised the doubts that “US is still using old methods” in the Middle East. These doubts are reasonable as the US’ Middle East policy since its Afghanistan invasion, had miserably failed in every aspect and brought upon horrible disasters not only to the Middle East but to US itself as well.

However, the 2015 National Security Strategy published by Obama a couple of days before the draft was presented to the Congress, is thought provoking. Obama, in this letter, argued that fighting the ideologies that lead to radicalism should be a top method in order to achieve long-term success against IS and its likes. In other words, Obama offers the idea that we have been championing a long time: “Fighting the causes that give rise to terrorism instead of the terrorists.”

This approach of Obama is clear evidence that the US is very much aware of the real danger in the Mideast as well as the solution to it. Actually, it is difficult not to see it; all the other methods employed to stop terrorism gave rise to new terrorist organizations, made terrorists’ methods more brutal and made not only the countries enemies against each other but also turned Muslim communities in those countries against each other.

The fact that radicalism and terrorism intensified this much as the Middle East is constantly beaten down with rockets, shows that the problem is not about being able to deter or not, but rather, it is about the mentality.

Let us ask this question: Why is the US still using weak and primitive methods instead of an education strategy that will change the problematic mentality, even though Obama clearly pointed out to the necessity of focusing on the mentality?

One fact we encountered and has been clear for a long time: There are deep powers that have influence over the US and that they will never accept a warless Middle East due to their faiths and expectations. As long as this state of mind continues, it is difficult to see the US as a savior, or a superpower to bring democracy and freedom to the Middle East. Although the US presidents believe that education can solve the problem in the Middle East, the deep states will always continue to make US part of the war.

Even though the spokespersons of the State Department later “made the necessary corrections,” US Secretary of State John Kerry’s words of “having to negotiate with Assad eventually,” need to be also taken into account. These words, which were uttered in an apparent memory loss of the fact that Assad and his supporters shed so much more blood than IS, is a reflection of the deep state policies of the US. The deep state of the US had picked Assad over IS a long time ago thinking that “the evil we know is better than the evil we don’t know” and only for this reason, silently watched the horrific Syrian civil war unfold.

As the countries continue to pursue policies toward each other, the blood of Muslims, the innocent are being shed everyday in the Middle East. Instead of trying to solve that, throwing cartoons out of the warplanes is either not getting the situation right or not taking it seriously. If the US President and his supporters truly understood the situation in the Middle East, then they should describe true Islam and should start a comprehensive education program together with Muslims following the true teachings of Islam. The deep states might use threats, but those who realize the oppression in the Middle East must make peace their true goal and become stronger than those, who are trying to make Middle East a battlefield. This call is especially for Obama.


The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and

Turkey and the “Kurdish Issue”.

1 05 2015

Former president Abdullah Gul, President Recep Tayyib Erdogan and Prime Minster Ahmet Davutoglu as leaders of the Justice and Development Party over the last decades have transformed Turkey into an economic and political power house. Much remain to be done.

From a country sinking in debt to a country thriving while its counterparts in Europe where sinking in debt almost going bankrupt due the financial crisis. From a country ruled by the military to a country ruled by civilian government elected directly by the people. This represent a big achievement in a region ruined by military coupe d’état.

However, this transformation is not enough while neglecting permanent and dramatic solution to the “Kurdish Issue”. The Justice and Development Party revolution fulfilled the “Development” part but so far failed to fulfill the “Justice” part. And that requires bold courageous steps to solve the “Kurdish Issue”.

It will do Turkey, the country, the state and the people, Turkish and Kurds for President Erdogan to go to “Imrali Island Prison” where the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan is held as the only prisoner on the island, free him and fly together to Diyarbakir and jointly declare to all of the citizen of Turkey that this is a new start, a new beginning for all of the people of Turkey where Turkish citizens, ethnic Turks and ethnic Kurds and all other ethnic groups, are equal citizens with equal rights to form political party , to speak their own language and celebrate not differences but what unit them.

Turkey which like many of its neighbors in Iraq and Syria has experienced political and social violence in the late 70’s pitting extreme Right wing ultra nationalists and extreme Left wing leaving thousands dead and tens of thousand injured, in what was termed as” low level civil war”.

Moreover, Turkey went through many military coups and for a long time, the military were the real and true rulers of the country. Prime Minister Adnan Menderes leader of the Democratic Party together with two other cabinet minister were hanged by the military on 17 September 1961 shortly after the military junta took over the government in a military coupe d’état.

Political reforms were slowly to take place always weary of the “military” but that is over now, with the “military” under the control of the civilian authorities. A major achievement, yet to be experienced in neighboring countries Arab countries, like Syria and Iraq where the military and “mokhabarat” ruled every aspect of life from birth certificate to janitorial jobs all requiring “security clearance”.

Not only Turkey was able to manage its runaway inflation bringing it down from the triple digit to close to single digits to paying off its debt to World Bank and IMF. Turkey GDP skyrocketed reaching $ 1,426 Trillions and exports to the neighbor countries including central Asia republic reaching over $125 billions in export.

More importantly, Turkey has the highest per capita income from all the Middle East countries with the exception of the Gulf States and Israel. While Turkey’s per capita income increased to $, 10,134, other Arab countries like Jordan ($4,370), Egypt ($2,802), Iraq ($4,473) all remained stagnant if not regressing.

Turkish products and services from home appliances, to clothing’s, food, constructions are seen and sold all over the Middle East from Morocco to Kazakhstan. Turkish businessmen and Turkish Airlines are seen from San Paulo to Tokyo to Beijing, to Amman, Riyadh and Casablanca.

Though the domestic, political and ideological situation remains tenuous between “secular parties” and the governing coalitions, the Justice and Development Party holds the largest block in the Parliament (312/535) followed by the Republican Peoples Party (125/535), Nationalist Movement Party (52/535).

The fact that Turkey with a “Kurdish” population of 14.6 millions is represented by (I) member of the parliament sitting as representative of the Democratic Regions Party shows the immediate and urgent need to once and for all tackling the “Kurdish Issue” heads on.

Mr. Erdogan, his government and the people of Turkey are strong enough, with solid political and economic institutions confident enough and can take the “risks”, and should take the drastic step and the immediate release of Abdullah Ocalan, in dramatic step reminding the world of the time and date when de Clerk of South Africa release the late Nelson Mandela from prison.

With Mr. Ocalan free and out jail, and with the “Kurdish Issue” solved and out of the way, then Turkey will be the nation that Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Davultoglu wish it to be. Only when Turkey recognized the citizen rights of the Kurds to their language, culture and their full political, economic and social partnership in the Republic of Turkey. Switzerland is an excellent model to follow.

Mr. Erdogan can follow the example set by the former President of South Africa F.W. de Klerk when on February 11th 1990 he freed the late Nelson Mandela from the prison on Robben Island after spending 27 years as prisoner.

Confident leadership and confident nation can and always should take the risks for peace. Let us hope Mr. Erdogan rise up to the occasion.

Yarmouk cries for help

25 04 2015


by Adnan Oktar

The world of advertising is strangely self-contradictory. We are bombarded daily with commercials or ad films luring us to consume a variety of foodstuffs including different kinds of chocolates and other mouthwatering foods. On the other hand, the same channels of communication are used to offer us help against temptations, diet programs, products claiming to be less fatty yet tasty and workout programs to shed the extra pounds.

The world of news media is also not that different. We see pictures of babies who could live a bit more if provided with milk; pictures of people who could survive their gunshot wound if they had access to basic antibiotics. Unfortunately, these pictures are only treated as top shots and end up as mere statistics. Yes, I am referring to the people in Yarmouk, who are left high and dry to fend for themselves in the Syrian war theater.

Yarmouk had been home to 160,000 Palestinians in Syria since creation of Israel in 1948. It never was Paris for them but things were fine and people had normal lives without having to live in fear for their lives every waking hour. But when the country’s ruler Bashar Assad and his minions decided to go on a rampage against every citizen of their own country in December 2012, the people of Yarmouk were trapped in what became world’s largest open-air prison. Claiming that rebels were using Yarmouk, Assad’s forces laid siege to Yarmouk, leaving the residents without food, water and medical supplies. One particular picture became especially famous. It was a picture showing wave upon wave of people, all hungry and looking despondent, like a scene from the Middle Ages, filling up an alley waiting to get to the limited humanitarian aid available.

But there were other scenes that never found their way to the mainstream media; bodies of frozen toddlers in boxes, babies that starved to death, toddlers forced to walk barefoot on ice. Or the moving BBC video showing a brave 10-year-old boy trying to put on a brave face while he described the situation. He tried to downplay it and said, “Yeah, we are hungry” but couldn’t hold it anymore and started crying, completely ashamed of himself for breaking down like that.

The difference between Yarmouk and the affluent parts of the world that are struggling with obesity is so vast, the divide so stark, it’s like there are two different worlds. It is almost like one of those films depicting two societies where one uses the other for amusement, watching their struggle for life. The villains of today are worse than the villains in those movies; worse yet is the fact that world watches it like a movie.

Brutality, hunger and murder are now common sights to people in this part of the world. And for the others, living with the news of these things, but carrying on with their lives unaffected, is a common sight.

Today only 18,000 people are left in Yarmouk. In an unexpected twist of events, and to make matters even worse, the self-ascribed Islamic State (IS) seized 90 percent of this area and started its own campaign of violence as a manifestation of their skewed interpretation of Islam. The UN has urged immediate evacuation and according to the latest news, some 2,000 had already been evacuated.

Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General for the United Nations (UNRWA), is visiting Yarmouk to hear from refugees affected by the crisis, and consult with leaders on how to send aid to people in need. These are good news but clearly not enough. So what should be done?

Before we start talking about the real solution to the problems in the Middle East, including those that gave rise to the IS, we have to talk about short-term and quick fixes to this very urgent humanitarian crisis. It is imperative that the UN immediately swings into action to evacuate all the civilians trapped in the area. The Security Council has already convened an emergency meeting on Monday but they need to be quicker. Cooperation with the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups could be a way to help the civilians, which include some 3,500 children. The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Pierre Krahenbuhl, calls the situation “beyond inhumane” amid reports of Syrian regime forces dropping barrel bombs on Yarmouk.

Under another scenario, a unit of Russian army could supervise the evacuation of civilians out of the area, with the help of humanitarian groups. Assad’s forces wouldn’t oppose Russians doing the job; neither the IS would want to open a new front.

Another problem these people face is the fact that they almost have no place to go. Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt have banned Palestinian refugees from Syria, and they cannot go to Iraq as most of it is under IS control. Fortunately there is always Turkey, ready to welcome people in need. An urgent statement from Turkish officials, confirming the welcoming attitude of Turkey would be a great move at the moment.

The world needs to immediately start the process of getting the innocent civilians out of there. Do not forget: there are children, women, sick, injured people, old people and they need our help. Put yourselves in their shoes and do your best to help them.

Adnan Oktar’s piece on Arab News:

America; The Beautiful

22 04 2015

Notwithstanding its morally, ethically corrupt and dysfunctional political institutions and its criminal financial system, America remains a great and beautiful country — with its people – their sense of decency, giving and hard work.

Back home to my country of choice, after 36 years of foreign assignments and work, I have to say it is great to be back home to America, the country we all love and care for.

While thinking of something to write about, being home I could not help but think of past times when my family, miserably poor after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war with hardly any job prospects, got our first CARE package – a generous gift from the people of the United States.

The CARE package contained some dry food items, and most important it contained old clothing. It is with the old clothing that, as children, we took our first picture together with grandmother, mother and father. We continue to cherish this picture, not only because it covers three generation, but also because it reminds us of the generosity of the American people.

True, most of the world, especially in the Middle East, do not remember America for its CARE packages, but for its bombs, cruise missiles, naval shelling and undermining the freedoms of the people, as it has supported criminal corrupt regimes in almost all of the Middle East.

Israel alone benefited the most from the American military generosity, and it used the *gifts* to kill hundreds of thousands of people, destroy entire countries and occupy lands, in violation of all international laws. It always reminds the people of the Middle East of the ugly face of America.

There are many great things about America, primarily its generous and decent people, the enriching diversity of its people, and its welcoming of immigrants, (not withstanding the rhetoric and racists remarks by some Republicans, who are also the sons of immigrants).

It is a country where neighbors greet newcomers with their Welcome Wagon, providing food and support to new arrivals on the block. It is this kind of assistance one sees during heavy snowstorms or the occasional help with a broken down car. It is the car rides provided to the neighborhood children – to all of them – to attend sports events and practices. Yes, America is great with its kind and caring people. Maybe things are not the same as years past, but nevertheless, it remains a welcoming country.

I chose five themes representing the best in America and its outstanding contribution to the world, and as a mark of the people’s generosity, these are:

1. America Peace Corps

Perhaps the most outstanding thing and contribution America made to the world, beside the Marshall Plan. The Peace Corps motto is:

“To help the people of interested countries in meeting their needs of trained men and women. To help promote a better understanding of America on the part of the people served. To help promote a better understanding of other people on the part of America.”

President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order # 10924 establishing the Peace Corps as the people’s ambassadors to world. He hosted the ceremony of the first group of volunteers on August 28,1961 — with the first group of 51 volunteers traveling to Ghana and Tanganyika, arriving in Accra on August 30, 1961.

Since that memorable time, more than 220,000 American volunteers, young and old, served in over 140 countries, with current enlistment at 6,818 volunteers, with an annual budget of $356.25 millions – equal to the cost of three F-35 jets.

It is interesting to note the breakdowns, as service in education represents (38%) followed by health (24%), environment at (12%), community economic development (9%), youth in development (9%) and agriculture at (5%).

Africa leads the world as the number one beneficiary at 45% of volunteers, followed by Latin America at 23%, East Europe/Central Asia at 10%, Asia at 10%, Caribbean at 4%, with North Africa/Middle East and Pacific Islands at 3%.

2. The Fulbright Program

In the good old days, there were some outstanding senators and congressmen. The Fifties and Sixties saw not only outstanding senators, but also giants, compared to the midgets we have now. Senator J. William Fulbright (D-Arkansas) was, for many years, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. To his credit, he shamed Johnson and helped to end the Vietnam War. Unlike the present Senator from Arkansas, who is ready to go to war against Iran, for reasons only his “sponsors” know.

“Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other forms of communication can to the humanizing of international relations,” J. William Fulbright 1983.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 immediately after the war under legislation introduced by the late Senator Fulbright, with the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsoring the program since then.

Some 70 years later, the program can proudly post some 360,000 beneficiaries from the US and from around the world who either studied overseas or who studied at US universities, with the current number at 8,000 students. Students and scholars from more than 160 countries benefited from this outstanding program.

It is interesting to note that 53 Fulbright alumni from 13 countries were awarded the Nobel Prize, with 79 alumni being awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellows, and 80 alumni receiving the Pulitzer Prize. You see, *yes*, there are many great things America does and can do for itself and for the world. The Peace Corps and the Fulbright Program have more impact on America and the world — more than all the bombs dropped all over the world since the end of WWII.

3. A nation of immigrants

When I was discussing this post with my wife, she reminded me of why she loves America. It allowed her to bring her Mom and Dad, her brother, and his wife and children to America. She reminded me what country in the world would allow that? Having lived in Europe and the Middle East, many countries would not grant residency permits for children past 18 years, nor allow children with residency status to bring their parents to live with them. Indeed, America is a country like no other.

Family unification is one of its most outstanding and humanely generous laws. If I am to count the number of people whom my late father was able to bring to this country and their offspring, it would come close to 85, and thank God, all are doing well in America.

As a nation built on immigration, I do not understand the anger and hate the words “immigration and immigrants” generate in certain circles and in certain parts of the country. The only explanation I can have is racism and xenophobia based on misunderstanding the history of this country. They simply forget who they are?

Some noted statics would shed light on the history of immigration in America. Based on 2011 data, consider this. Of the total US population, Germans and African Americans represent the largest ethnic groups — with Germans (49,206,934), Blacks/African American (41,284,752) followed by Irish (35,523,080), Mexican (31,789,483), English (26,923,091), Americans (19,911,467), Italians (17,558,598), Polish (9,739,653), French (9,136,092), Scottish (5,706,263), American Indians (4,926,336), Arabs (1,620,637), Portuguese (1,423,139) and Koreans (1,422,567). Of course there are also large communities of Americans with Japanese, Chinese, or Latin American ancestry. With the fall of the Soviet Union, large “Jewish” immigration took place to the US.

4. Outstanding Educational and Medical Institutions

America, more than any other country in the world, can boast of having, with a great deal of modesty, the most outstanding educational institutions and universities in the world, with the US having a monopoly among the top-ranking 200 universities in the world.

Leading the top list of the American educational institutions are Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Chicago, MIT, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, California Institute of Technology.

However the list does not stop. There are the top 10 state university systems — like Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Illinois, among others. America also boasts of having the largest “community college” system in the world. The most outstanding features of the American educational system is its encouragement of all ages, where 18-year-old students can sit next to an 80-year-old student. You will never see this anywhere in the world. That is what makes our educational system stand out in the world.

Adding to educational institutions, the US also boasts of having the most outstanding medical institutions in the world. The National Institute of Health takes the lead, followed by John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General, Texas Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, New York Presbyterian Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Health System, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and UCLA Medical Center, among many others. Of course, medical care is not free and expensive and not within the reach of many Americans; nevertheless, it is the most outstanding in the world.

5. Most Generous Nation

America and Americans have been, and continue to be, the most generous nation and people of the world, here at home and abroad. True, most of our foreign aid — 60% — goes to criminal rogue Israel, a country with higher per capita than many of the States in America, but our foreign assistance program continues to be the largest among nations. We are one of the nations that offers generous relief from natural disasters, dispatching our Navy and Air Force to help…. no bombs, but with food supplies and shelters.

In 2013, American contributed/donated more than $335.17 Billion, with more than 95% of American households giving to charity, with the average giving at $2,974 — a very generous amount by any standard.

American corporations are also generous with their charitable contributions, giving $16.76 billion; and foundations being the most generous of all entities, giving $50.28 billion; and finally, individuals remain the most generous at $241.32 billion.

However, the majority of contributions and donations do not go overseas, but stay here at home, with the “church” receiving 31% of total household contributions, followed by education (16%), human services (12%), and grant making (11%).

With this kind of nation and people, why do we have the most corrupt, inept and incompetent political system and the most inhumane and greedy financial system? Shouldn’t these two institutions reflect the generosity and decency of America and Americans…? See you at the next polls.

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