The Repercussions Of Bringing Former Terrorists To Mainstream PoliticsWritten by Angelique van Engelen
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Some view moves of radicalists to mainstream politics as a positive transformation and it is surely to be hoped that organizations involved in decades-long strife in region that are now close to becoming involved in mainstream politics, will ultimately disarm. Yet their popularity might be evidencing real hardship on ground. Aside from what’s driving islamist vote, Israel’s reaction to a possible Hamas inclusion into PA might not be favorable and it might be unwilling to negotiate with Hamas leaders. But then, this might not turn out to be case. Prime Minister Sharon who is said by some to favor a peace process that is open ended might think he has a better negotiating partner in a Hamas partipated PA. It is also going to be interesting what is going to be happening with Hizbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah leaders have expressed opposition to disarmament that’s as strong as the Palestinian Hamas leaders. So far, this issue, groups’ status as terrorist and their unwillingness to recognize Israel as a state has always deterred countries like US to deal with them as mature political entities. This is changing. Word in diplomatic corridors has it that State Department might acquiesce in Hizballah's entry into Lebanese politics if it abandons terrorism and severs its political and operational ties with Syria. This US recognition of Hizballah could serve as a precedent for US acceptance of a political role for Hamas.
So far it looks like every major move that islamist groups make by definition will continue to go accompanied with pledges to hold onto arms. But one ought to bear in mind that often public rhetoric is different than any private action. The leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrullah, recently reiterated that his group will not give up their weapons. In an interview with Reuters he said that his party will keep its weapons and will not give it up, noting that this decision is because of continued Israeli occupation and risks of occupation against his country. He even snubbed UN, saying that its Security Council resolution demanding Hizbullah to hand over its weapons is ‘meaningless’ and ‘of no value’.
Meanwhile, in Iraq Al Qaeda’s Jordanian-born leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi also recently publicly rejected a call from new Iraqi president for militants to lay down their arms. Calling new Iraqi leader President Jalal Talabani an agent of US and Jews, rebels said they would continue their strife until Sharia law was established in country and never forgive leader for his "infidelity" and "spilling of blood of Muslims". It is not clear whether statement, posted on a website used by Islamist militants is authentic. It is a smack in face however of Mr Talabani, who has been quite lenient to those Iraqi’s who have taken to violence over past few years, saying a peaceful solution should be found with Iraqis who were ‘led astray’ by terrorism. He even invited them in to participate in democratic process and offered some convicted terrorists an amnesty.
Angelique van Engelen is a freelance writer who's lived in the Middle East for over three years. She runs www.contentClix.com, a writing agency based in the Netherlands. She also contributes to a writing ring http://clixyPlays.blogspot.com
What You Should Know About MedicareWritten by LB Sedlacek
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If one has coverage with a group or business health plan, he/she may enroll any time while still working and if employer has more than 20 employees. If one cancels group coverage while still working or retires, he/she is given a special 8 month enrollment period beginning when group coverage ends. Be aware that when applying for a Medicare Supplement policy 6 months after Medicare Part B coverage is effective or after open enrollment ends, health questions would have to be answered on application. Also, when one is covered with a group health plan and Medicare, as long as employer has 20 or more employees one has option of making group health coverage primary and Medicare secondary. If one is automatically eligible for Medicare Part A then there is no premium to pay. A premium is required for Medicare Part B. If one does not enroll in Medicare Part B when initially eligible, then there is a 10% premium penalty for each year of delayed enrollment. Medicare options include original Medicare which comes direct from Federal government, and Medicare PPO (preferred provider organization), Medicare PFFS (private fee-for-service plan), Medicare MSA (medical savings account plan), and Medicare HMO (health maintenance organization) or Medicare PSO (provider-sponsored organization) which are offered by private health plans. There are also special Medicare programs for people with low incomes of $4000 per individual or $6000 per couple not including a house or car. These programs are: QMB, SLMB, Q1-1, Q1-2, or Medicaid. Over 80% of those eligible for Medicare select original Medicare. It is available everywhere in U.S. and one is enrolled in it automatically when becoming eligible for Medicare. Just about any doctor or hospital may be used with original Medicare, and it pays providers and doctors directly for services one receives. To fill in any gaps in original Medicare coverage, a Medicare Supplement insurance plan may be purchased. For more information, please contact Social Security at 1-800-722-1213 or log onto www.medicare.gov.
Editor of Poetry Market E-zine, Contributing Editor of Muse’s Kiss. Chapbooks include: …after Graceland, The Cat and the Carroll A. Deering and Other North Carolina Poems, Alexandra’s Wreck (Kitty Litter Press - http://kittylitterpress.com). http://www.thepoetrymarket.com