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Oct-21-2011 16:55printcomments

Still Under Wraps

With steadfast attention to their goal and continued marching toward public action that the government has reneged upon, the jobless may have found truly rewarding employment in their protests.

Robinson Crusoe Island

(MANAMA, Bahrain) - Here’s a story to contemplate:

From a passenger ship, everyone can see a bearded man on a small island. He is shouting and desperately waving his hands.

"Who is it?" a passenger asks the captain.

"I've no idea. Every year when we pass, he goes nuts."

At times I feel like the bearded old man going nuts over the passing ship missing the point.

Previously, I mentioned seven subjects that have been covered up. The taboo topics included:

• The USS Liberty cover-up

• Israel's nuclear programme

• 9/11 truth seekers discoveries

• Big business corruption

• Bush administration crimes

• Plight of the Palestinians

• Murder by un-manned drones

The last of these seven items has emerged from under wraps following a spate of public criticism over the assassination of an American citizen by a remote controlled drone.

I received several comments and a letter from a reader who indicated a desire to know more about the other topics. She wrote:

"I would love to know more about 'the obscured issues that deserve more than a passing interest'...Could you please send me the websites so that I can educate myself and get to have an idea of what is really going on."

In the age of Google and other available research tools, the request came as something of a surprise. It shouldn't have. Those who regularly use the internet for research often forget that our readers don’t know.

Those who find the internet a treasure trove of answers to almost any question concern ourselves with reliability not availability.

The best brief answer to the question about where to look is to type the whole question into Google.  If the sites that Google brings up don’t appear to answer your question, reword your query.

Another reader wrote, "Yes, these subjects should be investigated but it won’t happen."

He’s right. Unless those of us who believe they should be investigated keep harping on these issues, they will fade away.

Strangely enough, the assassination question associated with murders by unmanned drones, forced that issue out from undercover.

Fortunately, the legality, the morality and the danger of blowback associated with assassinations reached the public arena.

The plight of the Palestinians has received more than usual attention since the Palestinian Authority decided to petition the UN for more complete recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Forced into a corner by the prospect of becoming a one-state apartheid regime, Netanyahu has now agreed to negotiate all issues related to a two-state solution. He’s buying time with words.

Big business corruption has been garnering the best kind of attention to its self-serving oligarchy by demonstrations now taking place in major cities internationally.

With steadfast attention to their goal and continued marching toward public action that the government has reneged upon, the jobless may have found truly rewarding employment in their protests.

It's doubtful that the remaining four will elicit enough public attention or support to force action or investigations.

The USS Liberty cover-up receives occasional attention from veterans or veterans groups who usually have more urgent needs and broader concerns demanding their time and energy.

Israel's nuclear weapons program will continue under wraps with the US and EU giving no more than occasional lip service to the IAEA, whose findings they ignore.

Too many of the US government's present staff were also part of the Bush administration for those guilty of war crimes to be prosecuted from the top down.

Despite the plethora of legitimate questions about the 9/11 attacks, the fantasies of some have led to dismissal of all truth seekers as conspiracy theorists.

If going nuts as the ship passes helps, three rescues show promise.


Throughout his life as an educator, Dr. Paul J. Balles, a retired American university professor and freelance writer, has lived and worked in the Middle East for 40 years - first as an English professor (Universities of Kuwait and Bahrain), and for the past ten years as a writer, editor and editorial consultant.

He’s a weekly Op-Ed columnist for the GULF DAILY NEWS . Dr. Balles is also Editorial Consultant for Red House Marketing and a regular contributor to Bahrain This Month. He writes a weekly op-ed column for Akbar Al Khaleej (Arabic). He has also edited seven websites, including,

Paul has had more than 350 articles published, focusing on companies, personality profiles, entrepreneurs, women achievers, journalists and the media, the Middle East, American politics, the Internet and the Web, consumer reports, Arabs, diplomats, dining out and travel. Paul's articles on are frank and enlightening. We are very appreciative of the incredible writings Dr. Balles has generated for our readers over the years, and we are very pleased to list him among our most valued contributors.

Indulging the hard subjects that keep the world divided is our specialty at, and with writers like Dr. Paul Balles on our team, we amplify our ability to meet challenges and someday, will see the effects of this exist in context with a more peaceful and generally successful world.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.