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Sirajul Islam

Member (since June 2009)
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About Sirajul Help
Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Occupation: Chief Executive Officer, Ashrai
Interests: reading, writing, travelling
Expertise: Non-profit organisation management, writing, editing, social sciences research
Background Help
Journalism: More than 20 years
Education: Post-graduate school
News: 90 minutes a day or more
Internet: 90 minutes a day or more
Languages: Other
Politics: Neutral viewpoint
Age: 50-64
Gender: Male
Income: Less than $25K
Favorites Help
Topics: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, International affair
Contact Info Help
Email:
Address: House # 51, 4th Floor, Block - Ka, Pisciculture Housing Society, Shyamoli, Dhaka, BD
Phone: +880-2-8853576
Last Visit: Oct 24, 2014 - 10:41 AM PDT
Last Edit: Feb 15, 2012 - 8:28 AM PST

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Sirajul commented on this story – Oct. 24, 2014

The chances of ISIL going nuclear are as high as the possibility of nuclear terrorism itself, which means we should not think in linear terms when we are talking with threats like these. Even though threat might not seem realistic right now, but it needs to ... More »

Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 24, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.5

This is good journalism because not only this report, which was originally published on 11th October (much before the actual Chlorine gas attack on Iraqi police by the ISIL militants but) discusses the possibility of WMD threat by "the very small Islamic State" but also hinted that chlorine gas could be used by the IS since other options (and the means) may not be available to them. Both the authors of the analysis are better placed (with the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies), and thus have used many authoritative sources to make or break points of arguments.

The worry regarding nuclear weapons here is not that a state would provide them, but that IS, with its huge bankroll, could buy one from corrupt caretakers in a country where there is support for them at various levels. Note that the TTP pledged their allegiance to IS a couple of weeks ago, and then a few days later backpedaled.

The use of chlorine, however, is a possibility. Chlorine is a readily available industrial chemical with many peaceful uses. It can be pressurized and cooled to a liquid ... More »

See Full Review » (21 answers)
NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 24, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.3

This is good journalism because it reported about the chlorine attack which appears to be the first confirmed use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State on the battlefield. The story also provide some background to explain how the chlorine gas was chosen because the chemical weapons that the militant outfit reportedly captured in Iraq wasn't in good order to be used. This story relates to how the ISIL used just an industrial chemical widely available to instill fear because though the gas doesn't kill but create some breathing problem which is enough to create panic amongst citizen and soldiers together. It is good journalism also because it reports on what happened that many news sources simply ignored.

ISIS does seem interested in acquiring and using chemical or biological weapons, but ambitions do not necessarily equate with reality. But as Ms. Morris reported that the use of chlorine, however, is a possibility because chlorine is a readily available industrial chemical with many peaceful uses. It can be pressurized and cooled to a liquid state so that it can be shipped and stored relatively easily, which means it can be used in improvised devices. When dispersed it spreads ... More »

There have been no confirmed accounts of the use of chlorine gas as a weapon in Iraq for several years. More »

See Full Review » (21 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 24, 2014
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 23, 2014
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 21, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.7

Good journalism! The New York Times has an important editorial on Cuba's role in the Ebola crisis. While the U.S. is sending several thousand U.S. troops to Liberia in response to the Ebola pandemic in West Africa; the Cubans are sending hundreds of doctors and medical personnel, a non-militarized response that, given what the rest of the world isn't doing, seems heroic to me. It evidently does to the Times, too.

""In a column published over the weekend in Cuba’s state-run newspaper, Granma, Fidel Castro argued that the United States and Cuba must put aside their differences, if only temporarily, to combat a deadly scourge. He’s absolutely right." Yes it is time to drop the embargo of Cuba and to recognize it diplomatically. 40 years should be time enough for the U.S. to realize that it's shameful practice of starving the nation will not change it politically. Cuba is known as having the ... More »

It is a shame that Washington, the chief donor in the fight against Ebola, is diplomatically estranged from Havana, the boldest contributor. In this case the schism has ... More »

See Full Review » (23 answers)
NT Rating: 4.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul commented on this story – Oct. 21, 2014

This is by now an old story: not just after the Haiti earthquake but in the aftermath of the Sichuan tremor in 2003 as well, reports were that after other teams had given up, the Cubans just kept their search and rescue mission going. Similar magnanimity is sorely lacking in the ... More »

Sirajul commented on this story – Oct. 21, 2014

A plant has been found to halt the deadly Ebola virus in its tracks in laboratory tests, scientists have said. The discovery was announced at the 16th International Botanical Congress in St Louis in the U.S. The extract can be eaten or rubbed into the skin. They used a compound from ... More »

Sirajul reviewed this story - Oct 21, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.3

Researchers at the University of Michigan have found how to keep the Ebola virus from entering the blood vessels where it causes massive and often fatal bleeding. They said in the journal Science that glycoproteins- a protein attached to a carbohydrate - were the key to their discovery. The research has also revealed the very effective mechanism which the Ebola virus uses to insert its genes into the cells it infects.

See Full Review » (19 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul reviewed this story - Oct 21, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
3.3

This opinion piece lacks professional way of thinking and analysis. Dealing with a lethal viral strain certainly demands one has to deal with certain restrictions, but comparing that with curtailing ‘civil liberties’ in the U.S.is, in a way or other, making use of ‘civil liberties’ to time and need at will. It’s may not be a new thing but maybe inappropriate in this case. The opinion writer perhaps was over-blowing the ‘civil liberties’ angle.

And, yes, quarantine has never been a violation of liberties anywhere in the world provided that a disease poses risk, and some innocent people somehow attached to that, by choice or by accident. It is similar to the violently mentally ill people. Though it isn't their fault they are a danger to society, and we lock them up just the same. No one considers it a violation of their rights.

It’s understandable. Quarantine is the ultimate violation of civil liberties. Having committed no crime, having done no wrong, you are sentenced to house arrest or ... More »

See Full Review » (21 answers)
NT Rating: 3.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul commented on this story – Oct. 21, 2014

Mr. Krauthammer missed one important factor. How do health professionals refer an infected person to a trained facility unless they don’t know they are infected (or under suspicion list)? And blaming the president perhaps is a political bias because, like any other presidents of ... More »

Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.6

This is good journalism because it reports that things in the U.S. and elsewhere are changing very rapidly and, it’s phenomenal.

We knew so far that “everybody hates ISIS, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel…” But now, we could get it that Turkey is n exception. We knew so far that, “ISIS itself has no nation-state allies; it thrives on looting, ransom, and the sectarian or ideological divides that block its vast array of enemies from uniting.” Now, we get it that they have one nation-state ally, at least.

The airdrops were the first of their kind since Obama declared the anti-Islamic State campaign in early August and came after U.S. planes last week conducted more than 100 ... More »

See Full Review » (23 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
3.2

Other than the New York Times quote, the story is just used 122 words to inform that Turkey has agreed to let the Pesh Megra fighter to go to Kobane via Turkey.

From the New York Times: At a news conference in Ankara, the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said that his government was “helping the pesh merga cross over ... More »

See Full Review » (20 answers)
NT Rating: 3.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2014
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2014
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.7

This is good news because it foretells if the U.S. could strike the deal with Iran then it would be the most important foreign policy deal of President Obama's presidency. It is also an important news that delivers the president's future strategy: If the agreement is reached, President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it.

The main issues are two: How much to limit Tehran’s ability to enrich uranium, and how sanctions will be lifted. But underneath, another effort is visible, and that is: A win-win situation both for the U.S. and Iran to be successful at the negotiations so that they can reap benefits both at home and at the geopolitical arena. It is more to live than making a living...

“Between now and 2017 Obama’s goal is to avert an Iranian bomb and avert bombing Iran,” said Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. More »

See Full Review » (21 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2014
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 20, 2014
Sirajul posted this story - Oct 19, 2014
Sirajul commented on this story – Oct. 17, 2014

The American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war’s outset, and then, it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find.

Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 17, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.7

The New York Times journalist C.J. Chivers altogether with John Ismay, Duraid Ahmed, Omar al-Jawoshy, Mac William Bishop and Eric Schmitt have investigated and authored this excellent but lengthy article in which it turns out there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq at the time of American invasion in 2003. C.J. Chivers, and his team have done a massive, and impressive, investigation and finds that they were not only there in significant quantities, but the fact is that U.S. soldiers were exposed to them, and the medical response was terrible, and it was all covered up. Excellent journalism.

Why all these weapons hidden so far? Maybe in part because they were weapons from the 1980s, when the U.S. was an ally of Saddam, and the U.S. as well as the Western Europe were involved in creating them. It couldn't be a tawdrier tale. And worse yet, significant numbers of the ancient shells filled with leaking mustard and sarin gas were at an Iraqi base that the militants of the Islamic State have taken.

The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered ... More »

See Full Review » (23 answers)
NT Rating: 4.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 17, 2014
Sirajul reviewed this story - Oct 17, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.1
See Full Review » (15 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul reviewed this story - Oct 17, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
3.9
See Full Review » (16 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 17, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.4

Good news story by Hannah Allam and Roy Gutman of the Tribune News Service (McClatchy). It's good news because it exposes how the United States diplomats are working for shifting alliances that has been created by the rise of the Islamic State, and the non cooperation of its 'allies' in the region. It also led bare the actual amount of influence the United States has on the region, which is, otherwise, a grave foreign policy challenge for the U.S.

Although, there maybe reason to celebrate the toppling of an autocrat, the outcome of the Iraq and Syria wars and the rise of ISIL have demonstrated in horrific terms that the alternatives can be even worse. So, the U.S., under the leadership of its president now chooses (or forced?) to work with its 'natural' allies to ‘degrade and destroy' the ISIL in the Middle East because its made-up 'coalition' does neither really fits into the actual scenario nor are willing to ‘degrade ... More »

In Iraq, for example, the U.S. is providing air cover for Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militias that once targeted American forces. And now in Syria, it appears the United ... More »

See Full Review » (23 answers)
NT Rating: 4.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 17, 2014
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 12, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.5

This National Geographic Explorers Project is a good journalistic piece because it chronicled the work of NatGeo's Emerging Explorers, tomorrow's visionaries who are making discoveries, making a difference, and inspiring people to care about the planet. The video reporting shows how Robert Wood is working on entirely new classes of robots that may one day transform space exploration, agriculture, and search-and-rescue operations.

What differentiates his work is that his goal is not to create a single, perfect machine. He credits nature for inspiring his approach, which includes creating a fleet of tiny, robotic bees. Roberts says the bees are small and can't fly longer distances. So, what was to do, he quipped. "The answer in nature is you work together,” he said. Using that concept, he uses simple, often inexpensive materials to build “not-so-perfect” robots. “The idea is that the whole is greater ... More »

“[Bees] are small, they’re not very capable, they can’t fly for very long,” Wood says. “So what do you do? The answer in nature is you work together. The idea is ... More »

See Full Review » (18 answers)
NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 12, 2014
Sirajul posted this story - Oct 12, 2014
Sirajul commented on this story – Oct. 6, 2014

Humanity is locked in a millennia-old battle to the death with diseases like these. The world has fought them back with herculean effort. Scientists developed penicillin and other antibiotics to treat bacteria like the ones thought responsible for the plague, which killed somewhere ... More »

Sirajul reviewed this story - Oct 6, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.6

The facts discussed in this story help me better understand the subject. It provides us information that isn't readily available to us. I think, the information and interpretation provided may not be hard to understand. It’s now time for action – not only finding out a viable drug remedy but to address the problems associated with the causes of the spread of the disease. I mean, the preventive approach is better than only depending on a curative answer, and here is why we need an investment for a massive social awareness raising campaign alongside the scientists’, doctors’ and nurses’ services.

The current outbreak of Ebola has shown that the global systems that are supposed to spot outbreaks of diseases are not good enough, and more importantly, the action that follows is not fast enough, not coordinated enough, to cut off an epidemic at source. But we know it’s possible. One of the triumphs of the last few decades was the containment of SARS. But the world failed to achieve that in the case of Ebola.

This outbreak appears to have been caused by a new strain of the Ebola virus. The initial response was slow, in part because medical professionals were not expecting to see ... More »

See Full Review » (23 answers)
NT Rating: 4.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 5, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.6

This is good journalism because it helps readers understand who the real beneficiaries of wars are, and from the responses of the players in the defense industry, it is evident that the war is going to be longer. The story was gathered efficiently by interviewing all major stakeholders of the issue who were also named and their quotes presented. This can also be termed as good journalism because the story provides factual information to support what it says, and doesn’t sound like the storywriter’s personal views, since we know, presenting reliable facts is the most important and the most basic aspect of good journalism.

As U.S. combat operations ended in Iraq and Afghanistan, the defense industry braced for protracted budget cuts at the Pentagon. Major contractors have laid off workers, ... More »

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NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul reviewed this story - Oct 5, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.6

In this story, Professor Juan Cole makes a simple point which makes this story as an important piece in American journalism. The point, which couldn't be more relevant when it comes to America’s latest war effort, which is, the U.S. Congress gets liberal and don’t even blink when one new war knocks at their doors but the same U.S. Congress becomes poignant cost-cutters only when it's the welfare of their constituents.

The University of Michigan professor notes that while the food stamps cut was passed by the Congress, it had been waged with the pretext that the Federal government has no money, and in fact, it was being in debt for long, and such, how could it stand the 'wastage' of the federal fund? But, the same Congress has no problem with the war on ISIL in Iraq and Syria, which could cost from $18 to $22 billion a year.

It was all the way back in February, so the memory of this headline has faded: ” Congress passes $8.7 billion food stamp cut By Ned Resnikoff It’s official: 850,000 ... More »

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NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 5, 2014
Sirajul reviewed this story - Oct 5, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.1

A good story based on a treasure trove of secondary data (sources revealed; links provided), and also based on the writer’s best judgment. It noted that the initial democracy movement in 2011 in Egypt was first supported but later betrayed by the U.S. Is that so? The U.S., in fact, isn’t conflicting. It strongly supported Mubarak, until just before his demise became inevitable. Then it strongly supported Morsi, until his demise became inevitable as well. Now it is strongly supporting el-Sisi. So, the pattern is clear. The U.S. strongly supports whoever is in power and in return, requires them to promote U.S. and Israel’s interests in the Middle East. Dealing with an autocratic regime is much easier since they don’t need ... More »

Democracy is, otherwise, based on the premise that ‘you can fool most of the people, most of the time. If you can’t, then democracy does not work’.

That pro-democracy script is long forgotten, as though it never existed. The U.S. political and media class are right back to openly supporting military autocracy in Egypt ... More »

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NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul commented on this story – Oct. 5, 2014

Why the U.S. did so? Was it because Morsi failed to deliver? America maybe at a bit odd with the fact that though the Morsi government was a freely elected government in Egypt, they are Muslim Brotherhood who reportedly stepped in and hijacked the people’s revolution in 2011 when it ... More »

Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 3, 2014
Sirajul's Rating
4.5

This investigative report is good journalism because it derives information both on the spot, from consulting experts and from the writers' own best judgments. The info the story provides, such as, 'Assad's fall would immediately increase Turkey's influence as a regional power'; many Kurds share Halil Akbas (a local politician from the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa and a member of the Kurdish Democratic Regions Party) belief that 'Erdogan has made a pact with the Islamic State'; 'Turks seemed uncomfortable with Kurdish independence';and 'The US badly needs NATO-member Turkey in its anti-Islamic State coalition and has been doing all it can to get Erdogan to join' etc. The story helps the readers connect the dots as to why ... More »

All points in the story certainly make sense. But they don't really give any serious insight into the fundamental unknown: Does Turkey intend to fight ISIL, or just posture publicly while continuing to play a double game? If we look at deeds not word, it’s not encouraging. I’ve seen reports that Turkey continues to treat wounded ISIS fighters in their hospitals, and then releases them.

The country has been strangely reserved when it comes to dealing with the Islamic State. It is the neighboring country that is perhaps most threatened by the jihadist ... More »

See Full Review » (24 answers)
NT Rating: 4.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Sirajul posted this story - Oct 3, 2014
Sirajul posted and reviewed this story - Oct 3, 2014
Sirajul posted this story - Oct 3, 2014
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