Have you ever read a Washington Post Article? Like actually sat down and read the whole thing? Not just skimmed, but top to bottom read every word? I’m pretty sure their staff moonlights writing SAT questions because you have to wade through 200 words of bullshit to find the one sentence with any substantive information. I’ve read three today and I’m actually exhausted. But that’s what this series is all about. Delivering you the information you won’t get from cable news with the clarity and levity you won’t get from the big papers. We can’t promise there won’t be any bias, but we’ll offer multiple perspectives and never try to push an agenda. With that being said, let’s jump into it on this beautiful #feelgoodfriday.
Bangladesh is set to ship 1600 Rohingya Muslim refugees off to an island in the Bengal Bay, despite pushback from the U.N and humanitarian groups.
Nearly 750,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh from neighboring Myanmar, escaping mass persecution (basically genocide) from the Buddhist country.
First of all, I thought Buddhists were supposed to be peaceful. And yet the military (again, wtf, why do Buddhists have a military?) has been engaged in a brutal campaign against the Rohingya that includes rape, torture, mutilation and burning entire Rohingya villages down.
Myanmar’s government says they are only targeting military groups that pose a threat to national security, but reports of them raping and murdering civilians and firing on fleeing Rohingyas are well-established.
The three quarter of a million refugees, who are the world’s largest stateless population, fled to Cox’s Bazaar, a refugee camp that is now overcrowded and overwhelmed. The cramped conditions in the camps have prompted Bangladesh to relocate the refugees to an island called Bhasan Char.
The island, which literally just rose out of the ocean like Poseidon 20 years ago, is a major flood risk in an area that’s insanely susceptible to cyclones and monsoons. Parts of the island are entirely submerged during flood season.
Bangladesh is adamant that all relocation is voluntary and that conditions on the island are hospitable for the refugees, but many have refuted that point, noting incidents of sexual violence and family separation, as well as questioning the habitability of what some have called a “prison island.”
While groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called for an immediate stop to the relocation plan, there’s really no shot Bangladesh backs down. They’ve spent over $100 million on flood embankments and infrastructure and paint a picture of the island being a “paradise” for the refugees.
While many decry Bangladesh for herding these refugees like cattle and locking them away on an island, their options are limited. Disease and crime run rampant in Cox’s Bazaar, now the world’s largest refugee site, and a plan to return the Rohingya to their native Myanmar fell flat on its face when they refused to return.
Meanwhile, the poor Rohingya can’t catch a fucking break, escaping from one hell only to be cast right back into another.
Bangladesh has previously said that it plans on moving up to 100,000 to the island, and the plan seems to have been set in motion already.
Afghan Pilot Screwed Over By Pentagon
An elite Aghan Pilot, Major Naiem Asadi is in grave danger after the U.S reversed a decision to allow him to flee from Afganistan in America.
Asadi, a legendary pilot, is in hiding after being kicked off of a U.S base in Kandahar where he was hiding from the Taliban with his family.
Update: Maj. Asadi left the U.S. base he was at before he was kicked out. He is now hiding somewhere in Afghanistan with his family.— J.p. Lawrence (@JpLawrence3) December 1, 2020
The U.S gave him an ultimatum to rejoin the Afghan Air Force AFTER saying they would grant him asylum in the states and then reversing the decision. Asadi fears retribution from the Afghan military for requesting the asylum, as well as harboring his family on a U.S base, an apparent cultural taboo. Afghanistan has jailed pilots who sought out asylum in the past.
The Pentagon’s decision is especially fucked up considering Asadi has a Taliban target painted on his back thanks to his featuring in the following video, which the U.S released to tout their work training elite Afghan pilots.
Dozens of former U.S pilots who have worked with Asadi say he has saved American lives on numerous occasions, and has killed more Taliban soldiers than anyone else in the Afghan Air Force.
Asadi said he has found a home to hide in with his wife and 4-year old daughter.
The United States’ reasons for cancelling Asadi’s asylum are unclear, as they’ve noted “He’s an active-duty Afghan officer. It’s an issue for the Afghan government to work out” according to the Washington Post.
Afghanistan assures Asadi that they are committed to his protection, but Asadi, whose family has received authenticated Taliban death threats, isn’t convinced they can protect him. Several other Afghan pilots have told Stars and Stripes, the American military’s independent newspaper, their families did not receive the protections promised before they were killed.
American pilots who have worked with Asadi say its a no brainer to allow him into America, with one noting his status in Afghanistan is dire: “He’s marked as a dead man. He’s done all he can there.”
This guy has given literally everything he has to fight the good fight. One of the few truly elite pilots in the Afghan Air Force, somebody who has risked his life to save Americans and he’s getting absolutely FUCKED now. His own country will likely prosecute him, and even if they don’t they certainly won’t protect him or his family from the Taliban… an actual living legend and a true hero who’s kicked more ISIS ass than I’ve drank Coors Lights (maybe not tbh I’ve pounded many a silver bullet in my day.) It’s a real shame the Pentagon is turning their back on someone who has fought for them over what seems to be a political decision. Let’s hope they shake the shit from their brains and come around to make the right call.
A Sliver of Hope For Mother Earth
The news is mostly doom and gloom. I have to medicate myself with copious amounts of caffeine and The Office reruns just to feel even the tiniest amount of joy. I’m pretty sure that’s what being an adult is today anyways. So from now on #feelgoodfridays will be concluded with a story that offers a little bit of hope.
Today we focus on the environment, which is likely fucked beyond all reasonable repair, but 2020 has seen a rise in global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, cut down on wastes and single-use plastics, and combat climate change and rising sea levels.
A flurry of moves this week offer increased hope that we may be able to salvage some of our beautiful planet after all.
Denmark has announced it will cease pumping oil and gas in the North Sea by 2050, “putting an end to the fossil era.”
While Denmark may not be a massive fossil fuel producer in the grand scheme, they are the largest producer in the European Union, so the move is certainly significant.
The decision is a promising one amongst a number of other climate-minded actions taken this week.
Japan is now considering banning the sale of new gasoline cars by 2030.
And a number of global financial institutions have decided not to fund drilling in the Artic despite the extremely lucrative opportunity to do so after President Trump’s push to open the area to resource collection.
Each decision may be insignificant on its own. But they all point to a growing movement of world powers and large corporations finally taking responsibility for the destruction of the planet and taking steps to preserve it.
That’s all for today, enjoy your weekends fuckers we’ll be back Monday.