Monday, July 31, 2006

Senator Chuck Hagel(R-Hezbollah) calls for ceasefire.

Politics: Leave it to Chuck Hagel, love of the Iranian Mullahs to call this and use moral equivalence between Israel and a terrorist group.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Urging President Bush to turn all U.S. efforts toward "ending this madness," a leading Republican senator Monday broke with the Bush administration and called for an immediate cease-fire in the Mideast. "The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now," Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel said. "President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop." The Bush administration has refused to call for Israel to halt its attacks on southern Lebanon, joining Israel in insisting that Hezbollah fighters must be pushed back from the Israeli-Lebanese border. President Bush Monday in a speech in Miami Beach, Florida, reiterated his call for a cease-fire in the Mideast only if it brought a "long-lasting peace" that addressed Iran and Syria's support for Hezbollah, the Islamic militia that Israel is targeting. (Full story) Hagel said that refusal threatens to isolate the United States and Israel and harm chances of achieving a long-term peace in the region. "How do we realistically believe that a continuation of the systematic destruction of an American friend -- the country and people of Lebanon -- is going to enhance America's image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East?" asked Hagel, the No. 2 Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Calls for 'a statesman' He called on Bush to name "a statesman of global stature" as his personal envoy to the region. And he urged the administration to open direct talks with Hezbollah's backers, Iran and Syria, both of which Washington also accuses of meddling in Iraq. "Our relationship with Israel is special and historic," he said. "But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice."
This is what he had to say on Friday.
The Bush administration's policies have been criticized by some Republicans, too. In a speech Friday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., suggested U.S. support for Israel was coming at the expense of U.S. relations with Muslims and Arabs. Whether or not Syria and Iran were directly involved in Hezbollah and Hamas aggression in Israel, Hagel said, ``both countries exert influence in the region.'' ``As we work with our friends and allies to deny Syria and Iran any opportunity to further corrode the situation in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, both Damascus and Tehran must hear from America directly,'' he said.
Question, how do you deny Syria and Iran any chance to damage the region as you want us to talk to them which means they get the chance to further embed themselves in the region? What do you mean "whether or not" Syria and Iran is involved? Of course they are you dolt. The only way to get all of the middle east on our side is to systematically undercut Israel from every direction and that was before all this happened. So Hagel being the mush mouth that he is think just talking and sucking up to everyone will end all of this? Wrong. leading presidential candidate for 2008? What planet?


At least Romney didn't use niggardly.

Politics: But it gives the local civil rights "leaders" something to justify their existence.

BOSTON (AP) -- Gov. Mitt Romney has apologized for referring to the troubled Big Dig construction project as a "tar baby" during a fundraiser with Iowa Republicans, saying he didn't know anyone would be offended by the term some consider a racial epithet. In a speech Saturday, Romney, a Republican considering a run for president in 2008, acknowledged he took a big political risk in taking control of the project after a fatal tunnel ceiling collapse, but said inaction would have been even worse. "The best thing politically would be to stay as far away from that tar baby as I can," he told a crowd of about 100 supporters in Ames, Iowa. Black leaders were outraged at his use of the term, which dates to the 19th century Uncle Remus stories, referring to a doll made of tar that traps Br'er Rabbit. It has come to be known as a way of describing a sticky mess, and has also been used as a derogatory term for a black person. "Tar baby is a totally inappropriate phrase in the 21st century," said Larry Jones, a black Republican and civil rights activist. "He thinks he's presidential timber," Jones said. "But all he's shown us is arrogance." Romney's spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said the governor was describing "a sticky situation." "He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable and he's sorry if anyone's offended," Fehrnstrom said.


AP and Reuters using dead Lebanese children as stage props?

Middle East: EU Referendum has what seems to be photographic proof. I await Editor and Propaga...Publisher along with Romenesko to sort it all out. Maybe CJR Daily can check on it.


New Orleans shootings tarnishing city's image

Crime: Mary Foster of the AP must be new to the beat, this is New Orleans image.

"My mother warned me not to come here," said Washington, 26. "She said it was too dangerous. Maybe she was right." That attitude is what worries city leaders and those in the tourism industry — a mainstay of New Orleans' economy. There have been 78 homicides here this year, down from the 134 in the first six months of last year when Hurricane Katrina forced thousands of residents to move out. But the number is growing steadily. There were 17 in the first three months of the year and 21 in July alone. In June, five teenagers were gunned down while sitting in a sport utility vehicle, sparking the return of state police and National Guard troops to help keep the peace in the city. This weekend, six people were shot to death in 24 hours. "It dampens the progress we are making since the hurricane," said City Councilwoman Shelley Midura. "This is not what most people in New Orleans encounter. Most people in New Orleans do not experience any type of violence. But this is the image that is being formed of the city and it will hurt us if it continues."


Abraham Foxman didn't take long to put his foot in his mouth.

Entertainment: Regarding Mel Gibson arrest and comments, Abe Foxman who irritates me on the same level as Rev. Jackson and Al Sharpton come up with this stupid solution.

Gibson's reported criticism of Jews, contained in a leaked police report detailing his arrest early on Friday morning, included the phrase: "F*****g Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." He has since apologised for his actions, saying they were "despicable", but community Jewish leaders called for Gibson to be ostracised from Hollywood, where the A-list actor is considered an industry powerbroker. Calling for a criminal investigation into the Oscar-winning actor and director's remarks, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the US Jewish Anti-Defamation League, said: "We believe there should be consequences to bigots and bigotry."
Thought police is not something looked upon favorably in these parts and on what grounds are you going to open up a criminal investigation? Once again Abe takes these past the breaking point when he is on solid ground, never fails.


U.S. Puts Onus on Employers of Immigrants

Immigration: The onus should be on the federal government and the various agencies that deals with immigration, in this case the employer who got indicted seems to deserve the book thrown at him.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said they homed in on Garcia Labor because of a contract it had with ABX Air, a cargo airline that flies express shipments for DHL, with a fleet of 112 airplanes based at its privately owned airport in Wilmington, Ohio. From 1999 to 2005, the indictment charges, Garcia Labor sent more than 1,000 illegal immigrants, mostly Mexicans, to sort freight at ABX Air. Companies like Garcia Labor have sprung up across the United States. Instead of hiring immigrants directly, employers create a buffer by contracting with a labor company, which is responsible for verifying its workers’ documents. Employers can argue that that they were not aware that workers provided by a contractor did not have valid papers. According to the indictment, in a single month, May 2003, the Social Security Administration informed Mr. Garcia that 186 of his employees who were working at ABX Air had invalid Social Security numbers. Garcia Labor continued to send laborers to ABX Air even after they answered no when asked on applications if they were eligible to work in the United States, the indictment says. “This was a huge, gaping vulnerability,” Mr. Moskowitz said. “You had people who you really don’t know who they are having access to the underbelly of an airplane.” Two other executives associated with Garcia Labor were accused along with Mr. Garcia. His lawyer, James Perry, said he could not comment on pending litigation.
The onus only comes on all employers when the government is doing its job to its full capability.


Somalia first commercial flight in a decade.

Africa: If you can ignore the fact the Islamists will be the Taliban of Africa, this is a good deal and will give at least short term the fantasy that these guys are not such a bad deal to the people.

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The first commercial flight in a decade departed Mogadishu's newly reopened international airport Sunday, demonstrating how Islamic militants have pacified the once-anarchic capital and much of southern Somalia. Local airlines had been operating from private airstrips outside the capital. Now, Islamic militiamen are guarding the airport for commercial passengers, said Sheik Muqtar Robow, deputy defense chief for the Islamic group. "This is a historic flight for me," passenger Hawa Abdi Hussein said before boarding the Somalia-based Jubba Airways plane to the United Arab Emirates. "I think we at last gained peace and security." The prime minister of Somalia's largely powerless government, meanwhile, survived a close no-confidence vote that exposed the divisions in his administration, which watched helplessly as the militants seized power. The Islamic militia imposed strict religious courts after taking hold of the capital and surrounding areas last month, raising fears of a Taliban-style hard-line regime. The United States accuses the group of harboring al-Qaida leaders responsible for deadly bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Somalia had been without an effective central government since warlords deposed dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, plunging the country into chaos. Mogadishu, home to an estimated 1.2 million people, disintegrated into a looted shantytown with no public services. News of Sunday's flight gratified Hussein Osman Kariye, a secondary school teacher in Mogadishu. "I remember in the older days, happier times, when I would welcome my relatives from abroad. The airport was very beautiful then, well-lit, decorated and green," Kariye said.
If nothing else this proves my point that to create order from chaos, you have to be able to call down the thunder. The problem comes afterward that the thunder keeps coming and coming.


Get this straight about Doha trade talks.

Bidness: You need to work from these basic facts. No developed country in no way will sign a deal to undercut its own industries to help out some poor country in Africa or South America. No poor country is going to get market access to America or the EU unless it gives up something big in return. Why this comes as a shock to people like Larry Elliott of the Guardian annoys me.

The myths about the Doha Development Round are legion. One is glaringly obvious - that it has anything to do with development. The rich countries paid lip service to this idea in order to get the talks started back in 2001, then settled down to business as usual. That means cutting the best possible deal for themselves. Any last hope that Doha would right wrongs from previous trade rounds or give a kick-start to the economies of the world's poorest countries was snuffed out at the Hong Kong ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation last December. Despite all the talk about allowing products from developing countries into their markets, the European Union, the United States and Japan made it clear that some products were so sensitive that they had to remain off limits. The message to poor nations was that if they started to produce nuclear submarines, lasers or state-of-the-art robots then there would be no barriers to entry into the rich markets of the world. In the meantime, though, there was a bit of a problem with cotton, sugar and rice.


UK terror suspect hauled in for child porn.

UK: Via the Telegraph who titles it "Terror raid victim faces arrest over child porn images." It must be some UK PC term.

A man shot in an anti-terrorist raid faces questioning over the alleged discovery of child pornography images on a computer seized by police. Mohammed Abul Kahar, 23, was wounded when police officers looking for a chemical bomb entered his home in Forest Gate, east London. It is believed that he could be arrested this week. He is expected to be asked about what are said to be "extremely disturbing" images of children. The move follows forensic tests on the computer. The Crown Prosecution Service has been consulted. Police sources yesterday confirmed the accuracy of a story in the News of the World that suggested that Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist team had handed the case to its child protection command. It deals with inquiries into child abuse, including internet-related offences. Mr Kahar's account of how images allegedly came to be on the second-hand computer is not known, but a central issue will be whether they were loaded on to the computer before or after it was bought.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Zealand politician called racist for something.

New Zealand: I say something because I don't see anything wrong with what he said given this news report.

A prominent New Zealand politician was accused of racism on Saturday after a speech in which he said immigrants who did not accept the country's "bedrock values" should not be allowed to stay. Don Brash, leader of the conservative opposition National Party, defined the values as "an acceptance of democracy and the rule of law, religious and personal freedom and legal equality of the sexes". Diversity in society was fine, but there could be too much of a good thing, he said told an immigration consultants' conference on Friday, likening it to drinking red wine. "A certain amount is good for one's health - too much too quickly alters your personality and can be thoroughly bad." Brash, who is the shadow prime minister, refused to specify who he was talking about, but Muslim group leaders had no doubt it was their people. Javed Khan, president of the Federation of Islamic Associations, told Radio New Zealand the speech made it clear that Brash wanted immigrants to fit his view of a mainstream New Zealander, and therefore excluded people like Muslims. Pancha Narayanan, president of the Federation of Ethnic Councils, said a comment by Brash that immigrants should have a good command of English, or quickly learn the language, was a sign that he would prefer them to come from English-speaking countries. He said the speech had an element of racism and an anti-Muslim tone. New Zealand's Race Relations Commissioner Joris De Bres ducked for cover, refusing to intervene and saying he would leave the debate on Brash's speech up to the public.
Khan saying Muslims cannot be in the mainstream of society, adapting to the norms and values of whatever country they choose to live? Narayanan complaint is just stupid, it means you idiot that people who move to a country should learn what the majority of people are speaking as a common language, this case English. Via Tim Blair.


PM's Howard car attacked by peace activists.

Australia: The first question is why the police didn't start beating the hell out of them when they got this close to the car. Unacceptable.

PRIME Minister John Howard was mobbed in Perth by anti-war protesters who demanded an end to bloodshed in the Middle East. As Mr Howard left the WA Liberal Party conference, protesters punched, kicked and threw projectiles at his car. Police struggled to keep them at bay, but one person managed to break the flag on the PM's car. Protesters shouted "We want peace", while carrying pamphlets saying: "Cluster bombs are used by Israel to burn our families in Lebanon. Is this fair?" Two men were arrested and thrown into a police van before being taken to Perth Central, where some protesters gathered. A police spokesman said the men had been charged with disorderly conduct. An angry crowd rushed the PM's car as it left the conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. "I believe a gentleman tried to throw himself on a car, but that was dealt with quickly by Protective Services," a police officer said. "We were surprised by the approach. It was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration." A protester said the Australian Government should be doing all it could to end the bloodshed in Lebanon. "We want a ceasefire," he said. "We are trying to get a message through to the Prime Minister that this is not right. "We are all Australian citizens and all have feelings and love for all those dying across the world. They have been left with no food, no power, just because they do not have the military power of the US and the Jewish people."


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ahmedinejad meets 'brother' Chavez

World: This makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Anti-U.S. leaders Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad met in Tehran on Saturday, pledging mutual support for one another, state media reported. Chavez's two-day visit came as Iran faces renewed international criticism for its nuclear program and as a backer of Hezbollah guerrillas, engaged in fighting with Israel since they captured two Israeli soldiers July 12. The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council on Friday reached a deal on a resolution that would give Iran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions. Following talks, Chavez pledged that his country would "stay by Iran at any time and under any condition," state television reported. Ahmedinejad said he saw in Chavez a kindred spirit. "I feel I have met a brother and trench mate after meeting Chavez," Ahmedinejad was quoted as saying by state-run television. "We think Iran and Venezuela should share all experiences of each other, stay by each other and they have to be supporters of each other."


Dan Froomkin is a special idiot.

Middle East: In such a way that makes you wonder if he can connect the dots just reading his own column. First he has this piece titled "Snow on the Ropes" after being asked by a reporter who hasn't read up on the history of Hezbollah.

Snow on the Ropes White House spokesman Tony Snow often dodges questions by accusing reporters of playing "what if." At yesterday's briefing , he got a taste of his own medicine. One of the most unsupported reasons the White House has given for opposing a cease-fire in Lebanon is its insistence that Hezbollah would not honor it. Hence, the following maddening exchange yesterday: "Q [Y]ou just said a moment ago that it would be -- it would not be an enforceable cease-fire. How do you know until you have a cease-fire? Why not get a cease-fire, and then if Hezbollah does not follow it, the world community sees that they're to blame. "MR. SNOW: In other words, why not -- because we are -- because what you're asking for is a PR move rather than a strategic move. The question of why not -- "Q Why would it be PR if people are not dying? "MR. SNOW: No, no, no, wrong. Again, Hezbollah is firing, what, 150, 200 rockets a day. Do you seriously believe they're going to stop if somebody in Rome says there's going to be a cease-fire? "Q Nobody knows until you do it, right? "MR. SNOW: No, no, no, don't play 'what if.' That is naive, Ed, it's naive. "Q You're playing 'what if' by saying it's not enforceable. You don't know that. Nobody knows that. "MR. SNOW: Yes, we do. Yes, we do. Yes, we do." Later, asked if he saw a danger in the United States and Israel getting isolated in terms of world opinion, Snow said the greater danger was in the U.S. looking ineffective and losing credibility.
The idea from liberal Froomkin and this reporter is do a ceasefire and Hezbollah would stop and peace on earth as the killings stop because talking is a good thing. The very next item that Froomkin posts is from Warren Christopher titled the "value of talking."
In Wednesday's column , I noted one refutation of Snow's insistence last week that the track record of diplomacy with Syria "stinks." Today, former Clinton secretary of state Warren Christopher writes in The Washington Post that "Syria may well be a critical participant in any cease-fire arrangement, just as it was in 1993 and 1996." Christopher writes that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's " 'permanent' and 'sustainable' solution to the root causes of the conflict . . . is achievable, if at all, only after protracted negotiations involving multiple parties. In the meantime, civilians will continue to die, precious infrastructure will continue to be destroyed and the fragile Lebanese democracy will continue to erode.
Here is the relevent part of Warren's op-ed.
My own experience in the region underlies my belief that in the short term we should focus our efforts on stopping the killing. Twice during my four years as secretary of state we faced situations similar to the one that confronts us today. Twice, at the request of the Israelis, we helped bring the bloodshed to an end. In June 1993, Israel responded to Hezbollah rocket attacks along its northern border by launching Operation Accountability, resulting in the expulsion of 250,000 civilians from the southern part of Lebanon. After the Israeli bombardment had continued for several days, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin asked me to use my contacts in Syria to seek their help in containing the hostilities. I contacted Foreign Minister Farouk Shara, who, of course, consulted with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. After several days of urgent negotiations, an agreement was reached committing the parties to stop targeting one another's civilian populations. We never knew exactly what the Syrians did, but clearly Hezbollah responded to their direction. In April 1996, when Hezbollah again launched rocket attacks on Israel's northern border, the Israelis countered with Operation Grapes of Wrath, sending 400,000 Lebanese fleeing from southern Lebanon. Errant Israeli bombs hit a U.N. refugee camp at Cana in southern Lebanon, killing about 100 civilians and bringing the wrath of international public opinion down upon Israel. This time Shimon Peres, who had become prime minister after the assassination of Rabin, sought our help. In response, we launched an eight-day shuttle to Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem that produced a written agreement bringing the hostilities to an end. Weeks later, the parties agreed to a border monitoring group consisting of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, France and the United States. Until three weeks ago, that agreement had succeeded for 10 years in preventing a wholesale resumption of hostilities. What do these episodes teach us?
That Froomkin's cheering for a ceasefire does nothing for long term peace as all it does is give the terrorist group Hezbollah time to regroup and rearm themselves. The UN resolutions to disarm them didn't work and Hezbollah has no desire for the continued existence of Israel or Jews in the Middle East. That is the point that Tony Snow tried to make to the reporter who was too busy humming give peace a chance in his/her head. Snow wasn't playing what if, just pointing out ceasefires do not work in this situation.


UN official fears Israel is going to defend itself even more.

Middle East: This is the United Nations.

A top UN peacekeeping official on Friday said he feared the war in southern Lebanon would continue until the end of August and voiced fears Israel would flatten Lebanon's southern villages and destroy the port of Tyre "neighborhood by neighborhood" if Hizbullah rockets keep slamming into the Jewish state. At UN peacekeeping headquarters in Naqaura, barely a stone's throw from Israel, political affairs officer Ryszard Morczynski said Tyre would become a target of intense Israeli attacks because Hizbullah was firing rockets from the city's suburbs into Haifa. "I have no doubt that Israel will flatten Tyre if civilian casualties continue in Haifa. Tyre will be taken off neighborhood by neighborhood," Morczynski warned. "I think Israel is contemplating flattening villages, flattening every single house to deny Hizbullah any advantage of urban fighting in the streets."
Since the UN isn't helping stop the rocket attacks, I would guess flatten the place where they are acting with impunity would be a good start.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Kyoto and pollution news!

Environ: America beats Canada in cutting toxic pollution. I may have posted about this when it came out but the EU is failing miserably at meeting Kyoto standards and its trading market is a complete fraud.

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- When European Union officials created a market for trading pollution credits, they boasted it was a ``cost-conscious way'' to save the planet from global warming. Five years later, the 25-nation EU is failing to meet the Kyoto Protocol's carbon-dioxide emission standards. Rather than help protect the environment, the trading system has led to increases in electricity prices of more than 50 percent and record profits for RWE AG and other utilities. ``I don't suppose the environment has noticed the European emissions trading scheme,'' said William Blyth, director of Oxford Energy Associates in Oxford, England, and a former International Energy Agency official who advises businesses on energy and climate change policy. The electricity companies and emissions traders ``have done very well.'' The plan, unveiled by EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstroem in October, 2001, was to grant permits to 12,000 power plants, factories, oil rigs and refineries. Each permit represented the right to produce a metric ton of carbon dioxide, and could be traded like any commodity. The system was supposed to motivate companies to reduce carbon dioxide and sell their extra permits for profit. The $44 billion-a-year market is ``an environmental and economic failure,'' according to Open Europe, a policy group that assesses EU laws. At least 12 of the 25 EU nations are at risk of missing their Kyoto pledge, according to EU estimates. Among the 15 original EU members, 11 are unlikely to meet the pollution standards, including Germany, Italy and Spain, three of Europe's five largest economies.


Muslim Leaders in America shooting themselves in the foot

Terrorism: Yet again, NYTIMES article on the lobbying effort for both Jewish/Arab groups has this bit at the end.

The Council on American Islamic Affairs has sponsored news conferences around the country in which Lebanese-Americans and others recount traumatic stories of escaping from Israeli bombardment. “People can’t believe what they’re seeing,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the council. “The United States is actively supporting the systematic destruction of the civilian infrastructure of Lebanon, a friendly nation, using American weapons. Not only do they not seek to stop the destruction, they actually provide the bombs to accomplish the destruction.” The pro-Israel lobby has held sway over American policy, Mr. Hooper said, but that could be changing. “The American Muslim community has reached a point where it has a little more political maturity, a little more ability to speak out, to reach out to elected officials and to opinion leaders,’’ he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be that American politicians can get away with making speeches pledging allegiance to Israel and nobody’s going to challenge them. I think those days are over.”
I doubt those days are over because people will point out this article in the Chicago Tribune that is astonishing how tone deaf the Dearborn community has become to Hezbollah being a terrorist group.
With fighting raging in southern Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israeli ground forces, the FBI last week issued a nationwide alert for law enforcement to be vigilant in investigating and profiling Hezbollah sympathizers, according to federal sources. "The question is: Are they loyal to the U.S. or to this terrorist group Hezbollah?" asked assistant U.S. Atty. Kenneth Chadwell, one of nine federal prosecutors investigating Hezbollah ties in metro Detroit. Roots in southern Lebanon The scrutiny has deeply angered this Detroit suburb, where nearly 30,000 Lebanese-Americans live in the largest concentration of Americans with roots in southern Lebanon. Here, many people see no contradiction between being 100 percent American yet backing the guerrillas of Hezbollah against Israel. On the streets of Dearborn, Hezbollah is not seen as a terrorist group but as a heroic resistance force. Residents say the group led the "freedom fight" in Lebanon during 18 years of Israeli occupation. Without the diligence and sacrifice of Hezbollah, people here say they would not have been able to return every summer to show their children their hillside villages and share their ancestral heritage. Hezbollah also provides social services and education for their relatives in Lebanon who are too poor to afford them. Watching reports from the Middle East, many in Dearborn feel betrayed and unfairly targeted by the U.S. government. This week some 200 Hezbollah fighters engaged in fierce battles defending Bint Jbeil, a village that is a longtime Hezbollah stronghold near the Israeli border. Some 15,000 Dearborn residents have emigrated over the years from Bint Jbeil. They created a community center named after the village. When about 10,000 Arab-Americans demonstrated in Dearborn last week in support of the Lebanese cause, some held up portraits of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. People here draw a distinction, though, between Hezbollah's strict religious theocracy and its military movement.
Consider the religious theocracy fuels the military movement this is bullshit reasoning sorry. Hezbollah funds everything from terrorist attacks including suicide bombings. Why shouldn' the FBI take a closer look after such a display.
Most Lebanese-Americans in Dearborn are Shiite Muslims who do not subscribe to Hezbollah's Islamist political ideology. They do not associate Hezbollah with its Iranian backers but see the group as Lebanese combating aggression by Israel. Community leaders estimate there are 35,000 Arab-Americans in Dearborn out of 100,000 residents. Of the Arabs, they say, up to 80 percent are Lebanese-Americans, and 90 percent of them are Shiite Muslims from southern Lebanon. The remainder are Sunni, Christian or secular, they say. "If the FBI wants to come after those who support the resistance done by Hezbollah, then they better bring a fleet of buses," said Osama Siblani, publisher of the local Arab-American News and an outspoken activist. "I for one would be willing to go to jail." Lebanese-Americans know the crush of U.S. public opinion is against them. Right-wing talk shows mock Dearborn as Hezbollah's U.S. headquarters. But community leaders say Lebanese-Americans are not supporting terrorism against the United States. Even though the U.S. government has linked Hezbollah with the deadly attack on the Marine barracks and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in the 1980s, Hezbollah has never attacked America at home, they argue, and has shown no interest in doing so.
Are you kidding me? This sort of parsing for rationalize the support for a terrorist group that killed over 200+ marines in 1983 is disgusting. So the killing of Marines and other Americans are fine as long as it happens outside the border? This is why it is so easy to mock Muslim leaders efforts for lobbying because they don't think before they talk and ends up being a slap agaist Muslims in the public eye.
"...Still, U.S. law enforcement looks askance at those who lean pro-Hezbollah, they say, even though Dearborn-area residents are intensely proud Americans. "By making this so public, the government is on a campaign smearing the whole community," said Abed Hammoud, a Wayne County prosecutor who leads the Congress of Arab American Organizations in Michigan in his off time. "It's a way to intimidate people from demonstrating," Hammoud said. "Now people are scared to even say `I want Hezbollah to defend Lebanon.'" Federal officials say they are not harassing Lebanese-Americans but are looking for people aiding Hezbollah. It is illegal to lend support to a terrorist group, and in Michigan, several dozen people have been linked to smuggling operations, federal prosecutors say. Some are Hezbollah fighters who managed to enter the U.S., they say."
The FBI should just not look into this because it may offend someone, too bad.


Arab Opinion Turns to Support for Hezbollah

Middle East: This article is pap.

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 27 — At the onset of the Lebanese crisis, Arab governments, starting with Saudi Arabia, slammed Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war, providing what the United States and Israel took as a wink and a nod to continue the fight. Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements. The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who were initially more worried about the rising power of Shiite Iran, Hezbollah’s main sponsor, are scrambling to distance themselves from Washington. An outpouring of newspaper columns, cartoons, blogs and public poetry readings have showered praise on Hezbollah while attacking the United States and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for trumpeting American plans for a “new Middle East” that they say has led only to violence and repression. Even Al Qaeda, run by violent Sunni Muslim extremists normally hostile to all Shiites, has gotten into the act, with its deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, releasing a taped message saying that through its fighting in Iraq, his organization was also trying to liberate Palestine. Mouin Rabbani, a senior Middle East analyst in Amman, Jordan, with the International Crisis Group, said, “The Arab-Israeli conflict remains the most potent issue in this part of the world.” Distinctive changes in tone are audible throughout the Sunni world. This week, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt emphasized his attempts to arrange a cease-fire to protect all sects in Lebanon, while the Jordanian king announced that his country was dispatching medical teams “for the victims of Israeli aggression.” Both countries have peace treaties with Israel. The Saudi royal court has issued a dire warning that its 2002 peace plan — offering Israel full recognition by all Arab states in exchange for returning to the borders that predated the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — could well perish. “If the peace option is rejected due to the Israeli arrogance,” it said, “then only the war option remains, and no one knows the repercussions befalling the region, including wars and conflict that will spare no one, including those whose military power is now tempting them to play with fire.” The Saudis were putting the West on notice that they would not exert pressure on anyone in the Arab world until Washington did something to halt the destruction of Lebanon, Saudi commentators said. American officials say that while the Arab leaders need to take a harder line publicly for domestic political reasons, what matters more is what they tell the United States in private, which the Americans still see as a wink and a nod. There are evident concerns among Arab governments that a victory for Hezbollah — and it has already achieved something of a victory by holding out this long — would further nourish the Islamist tide engulfing the region and challenge their authority. Hence their first priority is to cool simmering public opinion.
Lets get this list out of the way. 1) THere was always support for Hezbollah outside of Lebanon because they are fighting Israel, "newspaper columns, cartoons, blogs and public poetry readings " been there done that. 2) Al Qaeda trying to hog the spotlight doesn't mean when this is over all of a sudden Sunni and Shiites will hug and love one another. That is not in the cards. 3)Hezbollah would be declared victors in the arab world if Israel let loose and started to carpet bomb the area till only dust was left. As pointed out later in the article.
But perhaps not since President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt made his emotional outpourings about Arab unity in the 1960’s, before the Arab defeat in the 1967 war, has the public been so electrified by a confrontation with Israel, played out repeatedly on satellite television stations with horrific images from Lebanon of wounded children and distraught women fleeing their homes. Egypt’s opposition press has had a field day comparing Sheik Nasrallah to Nasser, while demonstrators waved pictures of both.
Remember Saddam was held up as a hero in the two Gulf Wars. So the public seeing victory in anything is a common occurence in the middle east.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Keith Olbermann lied about his nazi salute.

Media: Glenn Garvin is on a roll as he seems a bit ticked about the whole incident.


White people moving into black areas stories.

Culture: The first from the Washington Post as they follow a white couple who moved into nice part of Prince George's county of wealthy black people. The article starts off promising then falls apart as it goes into a we are the world mushy melodramatics about whites, blacks living in harmony and meshing with one another. Lines like this make my eyes roll even though its innocent enough.

Many black neighbors say they love the neighborhood mix. Although it is majority African American, at times it can look like a mini-United Nations. Michelle Jackson, a part-time consultant and Habitat for Humanity volunteer, says her 10-year-old son "plays with a Caucasian boy, an Asian boy, a boy from the Caribbean and an Indian boy."
You have to dig around to read the Hoppers are not entirely that comfortable in the area yet and one black person bring up white flight. But other than that it gets a bit too sweet for me. The other story I hold as more significant comes from South Africa. Formerly apartheid black areas are going thru a housing boom and renovation like Soweto. The BBC doesn't go into mush mode and sticks to the facts.
"In the past few years, Soweto has received a major makeover. Almost all the streets have been tarred and shopping malls are springing up. It will soon have its first four star hotel and upmarket shopping mall. This has seen some houses in the upmarket sections of the suburbs selling at over a million rand ($140,000). On the streets of Soweto, children still happily play in the streets and everyone knows their neighbours. Estate agent Mayibongwe Ntsele says these are pull factors, as people want to leave the quiet lifestyle of the historically white suburbs with their high fences. The arrival of democracy in South Africa saw township dwellers flocking to the suburbs where black people had previously been barred by segregation laws. But today things are changing. Black people are moving back, and even some white people are taking an interest, according to Mr Ntsele. "I usually get calls from white people who want to have a home in Soweto to stay, because they experience the lifestyle of the black people not just that cold life style. Soweto will be a suburb on its own," he says. "
"The property boom does not affect only Soweto, but also townships in South Africa's other main cities. A recent survey by a leading bank found that for every township home put up for sale, there are seven potential buyers in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. It also found that 96% of the township homes are selling at their asking price compared with 60% on average in the formerly white suburbs. Tracy French of home loan company Mortgage SA says developers are battling to keep up with demand. "There is definitely a lot of confidence in the market - the laws have made buying property affordable and demand is keeping the market alive," she says. The boom has even seen white property companies moving into the township to get a share of the cake and banks are now offering home loans for the less affluent households. Estate agents expect the property boom to continue for a long while, as Soweto transforms itself from just a large dormitory providing labour for Johannesburg to a potentially affluent city in its own right. "
Read both stories.


Whiny youth gone wild.

Edumacation: The Washington Post needs to tighten up who is allowed to write op-eds in its paper because Sui Lang Panoke is a whiner who doesn't realize that no one gets what they want, you have to earn it. Another typical liberal who believes mommy government should take care of everything for them because they deserve it . How will she function in the real world with a real job? Prime example what is being churned out of schools today, a bloodsucking, parasitic tick on the body of society. All you have to do is highlight the woah is me lines.

Is access to graduate education in America exclusively for the upper class?
I have no college fund, trust or inheritance. I don't independently qualify for private student loans because I lack the substantial credit or employment history that is required, and I do not have the luxury of having a willing and eligible co-signer. Furthermore, I can work only part-time jobs while in school; otherwise I would not qualify for child-care assistance.
Okay, this ticks me off because she didn't realize how expensive it would be(more on that later) She could have waited after she got her degree to get a job, save up and go to grad school. She is a single parent and can only work part time, I am supposed to feel sorry because why now? Not everyone in life gets its perfect and sometimes you just have to figure your own way out, not scream for the taxpayers to fund your desires.
Once you aspire beyond a bachelor's degree, the financial aid door is pretty much closed unless you, or your family, have the economic ability to finance whatever costs are not covered by your guaranteed federal student loans. Today's job market is becoming more and more competitive. Bachelor's degrees don't carry the weight they used to. It's almost necessary to have a graduate, doctorate or law degree to compete with the current highly qualified pool of candidates.
Just because it might be "necessary" doesn't mean taxpayers should be "necessary" to pay for your grad education which is not for most people in the first place. But the meat of her complaints become clear as she reveals her mindset about America and how she dreams it to be in the future.
"Higher degrees mean higher salaries. But the disparity between those who have access to a higher degree due to their economic resources and those who have the desire to attend graduate school but not the money is increasing. Graduate students are forced to take on a significantly higher economic burden than undergraduates. It seems that graduate-level education is open only to the select few who can afford it -- people who usually come from wealthy, upper-class families.
I have a desire for a plasma tv, but I don't expect anyone to hand it to me. Grad school is not the public school system where everyone is eligible or a place where only the "upper class" goes these days. Just because you didn't get the grants, loans and free ride you expected to come you way means the system is broken. Sometime you just have to work at it, though so far she has shown nothing of a work ethic.
We are failing to redistribute the wealth in America, and the divide between the upper and lower classes is widening. It's clear that a federal need-based grant program for graduate students must be created. This would help level the playing field by creating access to graduate programs for students -- access based on merit and ambition rather than economic resources.
The Marxism roars its ugly head. I put myself thru college with a ton of loan to pay back, get myself into grad school just so I can get a high paying job which people like Sui can tax the hell out of me to take away my earnings to subsidized others. This is the sort of gutless youth being produced in America that will drag it down, Sui would be more at home with the French youth who demostrated because they might actually have to work hard to keep their jobs. The last part of the op-ed is hilarious considering her whining.
The writer is a first-year graduate student at American University working toward a master's degree in public administration.
As pointed out by Cato.
8. There’s a less expensive school? “The writer is a first-year graduate student at American University working toward a master’s degree in public administration.” Wait. American University? This starving student couldn’t have pursued her master’s anywhere cheaper? Of course she could have, and right in the Washington, D.C., area. Indeed, with tuition at $1048 per credit hour, AU is roughly 2.5 times more expensive than in-state tuition at Virginia’s George Mason University, and 1.4 times more expensive than out-of-state tuition. Similarly, AU’s tuition is 2.2 times higher than in-state tuition at the University of Maryland, and 1.4 times higher than out-of-state tuition.
Not only pay for her education taxpayers, but pay top dollar. The other issue is if such a program existed to the point where she would be happy, watch tuition rates go even higher because the schools would think "easy money"


Eritrea sends weapons/mines to Somalia Islamists.

Africa: As the war between the Islamists and Ethiopia. Here is a quick primer on Eritrea whose largest religious group is Muslim.

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Somalia's virtually powerless government said a cargo plane that landed at the capital's airport Wednesday morning was carrying weapons for Islamic militants who have seized control of much of southern Somalia. The Ilyushin-76 was only the second aircraft to land at Mogadishu International Airport in more than a decade of anarchy in Somalia, demonstrating the Islamic militia's total control over the capital. The plane was carrying land mines, bombs and long-range guns from Eritrea, said Salad Ali Jeeley, a spokesman for Somalia's official government, which is based 250 kilometers (155 miles) outside Mogadishu. He said intelligence agents in Mogadishu reported what was on the plane. "I call for the Islamic courts and the Eritrean government to stop igniting a war in Somalia," Jeeley said. Eritrea's information minister, Ali Abdu, denied his country sent arms. Outside interference Wednesday's developments were the latest allegation of foreign interference in this troubled Horn of Africa nation, which the United States fears could become a haven for Osama bin Laden's terror network. Foreign Muslim militants have been reported among the Islamic group's ranks. Ethiopia also has entered the fray, sending troops to support Somalia's government. The U.N. special envoy to Somalia, Francois Lonseny Fall, said Wednesday he believes a small number of Ethiopian troops are in Somalia. On Tuesday, Fall traveled to Baidoa -- the only town controlled by the Somali government. "During my discussions with the government, I got the clear impression that Ethiopian troops were around Baidoa, but not in the city," Francois Lonseny Fall said Wednesday from his office in neighboring Kenya. A top U.S. official said Washington is concerned about meddling by Ethiopia and Eritrea, longtime enemies who fought a vicious border war that is still festering. "There are external parties involved on all sides," said Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state for African affairs. "This is a problem." The Islamic group's security chief, Sheik Yusuf Indohaadde, would not offer specifics about whether the groups was getting aid from Eritrea, but said a plane "came and left safely and securely" from Mogadishu on Wednesday.


So, why was the UN post manned?

MIddle East: PM Harper of Canada asks the logical question considering there is a bit of a war going on and Hezbollah uses those UN positions to fire at Israel. Did it shock anyone that there were 2000 peacekeepers in the area? What did they do, just sit around watching Hezbollah dig tunnels and move weapons around? I thought they were there in recent years to help disarm Hezbollah? Interesting piece from the UN itself and once again Kofi bears responsibility for this.

Prior to this incident, very intensive aerial bombardment and shelling from the Israeli side was reported in the area of Khiyam, and there were 14 prior incidents of firing close to this position by aerial bombs and artillery shells. At 18:30, four artillery shells fired from the Israeli side directly impacted inside the position, causing extensive damage on the building and the shelter. UNIFIL Force Commander was in repeated contact with Israeli Army officers throughout the afternoon, pressing the need to protect that particular UN position from firing. Another UN position of the Ghanaian battalion in the area of Marwahin in the western sector was also directly hit by one mortar round from the Hezbollah side last night. The round did not explode, and there were no casualties or material damage. Another 5 incidents of firing close to UN positions from the Israeli side were reported yesterday. It was also reported that Hezbollah fired from the vicinity of four UN positions at Alma ash Shab, Tibnin, Brashit, and At Tiri. All UNIFIL positions remain occupied and maintained by the troops.


TV critics bitter at Fox News success.

Media: So bitter that a packed house of liberal tv critics that laughed at Olbermann and his Nazi salute, didn't stick around the next day for the Fox News conference. Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald pointed this out, then was told he was wrong by Peter Carlin of the Oregonian who was then told he was wrong by Brian Lowry of the Variety.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mako dies from esophageal cancer.

Entertainment: I know him mostly from the Conan movies and his great work as a voice actor for shows like Samurai Jack where he played Aku.

Japanese-American actor Mako, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in the 1966 film "The Sand Pebbles," has died from esophageal cancer, the spokesman for a theater company he co-founded said on Tuesday. Mako, 72, whose birth name was Makoto Iwamatsu, died this past Friday at his home in Somis, California, northwest of Los Angeles, said Jay Africa, marketing director of the East West Players theater company Mako co-founded. Mako enjoyed a long career on Broadway and in Hollywood. He was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for playing a Chinese laborer in "The Sand Pebbles," which was set during the U.S. military presence in China in 1926 and looked at the uneasy relationship between villagers and foreigners. His leading role as the reciter in Stephen Sondheim's "Pacific Overtures" earned him a 1976 Tony Award nomination, the highest award for Broadway theater. Over the years, Mako performed in numerous films and television shows, and he used his popularity to push for greater and more diverse roles for Asian-American actors in Hollywood. In 1965 he helped start the Los Angeles-based East West Players, which established itself as among the top Asian-American theater troupes in the United States. Born in Japan, Mako came to the United States following World War II to join his parents, who had been in the country at the war's outbreak and remained throughout its duration. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1956. Mako is survived by his wife, two children and grandchildren, Africa said.


PM John Howard wins black support.

Australia: So called black leaders in America and other "we are victims 24/7/365" club can learn from this as it sinks in to the Aborigines that waiting for the handout does more harm in the long run than good. But, some of these programs Howard put together would make the ACLU explode.

Prime Minister John Howard has been demonized by Aborigines for a decade, but on Tuesday one of Australia's most influential black leaders said Howard could be the person that ends generations of black squalor. After years of racial tensions over Howard's tough practical approach to improving aboriginal living standards, prominent black leader Mick Dodson said Howard had an historic opportunity to do what no other prime minister has achieved. "You may be the best-placed prime minister in Australia's history to do what needs to be done for the sake of my children, my grandchildren, my great grandchildren and yours," Dodson told a racial reconciliation conference in Melbourne. Australia's 460,000 Aborigines have a life expectancy 17 years lower than the rest of the country's 20 million people, with the majority living in remote outback communities where there is little access to good housing, health or education. With Howard sitting a short distance away on the same stage, Dodson said Aborigines would put aside differences on spiritual issues to work with Howard to improve the lives of Aborigines. "I'm here today to tell the prime minister that I am ready to walk alongside him in taking the next steps toward reconciliation," said the long-time Howard critic.
Six years ago, Howard angered black leaders at a similar conference when he refused to apologize for the wrongs of white settlers and past government assimilation policies of removing aboriginal children from families to be raised in white homes. On Tuesday, Howard told the conference his government and black leaders must focus on programs to improve opportunities, rather than symbolic debates, such as land rights and sovereignty over Australia before European settlers arrived in 1788. "I do not think that 30 years of obsession with symbolism has advanced the cause of aboriginal people," Howard said. "Reconciliation will come not as a result of eloquent rhetoric or high-level communiques. It will come through indigenous and other Australians taking millions of small steps in the right direction." But Howard said it would still take generations to improve the living standards of Aborigines. ....In one outback program, children must attend school to be allowed to use the community swimming pool, while another program made government funding conditional on guarantees that children would wash more regularly. The pool-for-school deal had a marked impact on truancy levels, while the wash-for-fuel deal helped cut down on the incidence of preventable eye disease in a remote community. The government has signed more than 150 similar agreements. Howard's approach to indigenous problems has been slowly winning support with black leaders, with many now acknowledging Aborigines must take responsibility for their plight. "As an aboriginal man, I have a particular responsibility to take action. I need to do more, my brothers and sisters across the country need to do more," said Dodson.


Mugabe blames the west for being a tyrant.

Africa: I can't wait till this fool croaks, death is too good for him.

President Robert Mugabe opened a new legislative year Tuesday with a speech to Parliament blaming economic problems on the U.S., Britain and other Western critics of his human rights record. Zimbabwe is in a state of economic collapse, suffering from the world's highest inflation rate — more than 1,000 percent — and shortages of all basic goods. A quarter of its 16 million people has emigrated since 2000 and millions more are dependent on aid. "My tribute goes to the gallant people of Zimbabwe for continuing to exhibit great fortitude despite the prevailing economic challenges which are orchestrated by the country's detractors," the 82-year-old president told legislators. The meltdown is widely blamed on the seizure of white-owned farms which began in 2000 and has been accompanied by a clampdown on the independent press, human rights groups and political opponents. Mugabe said a national regulating authority would be established in the coming year to monitor electronic communications. Critics say the move will give the secret police extraordinary powers to intercept mail, e-mail, telephone or cell phone communications. Mugabe said recent rains have raised hope for an "economic turnaround" and a revival of agriculture under new, black holders of land grants. A recent government report said only 40 percent had occupied their farms or small-scale plots, leaving millions of acres derelict and unproductive.


Hezbollah: Hey! Israel wasn't supposed to fight back.

Middle East: A whole new set of rules and Hezbollah didn't realize it.

A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrillas did not expect Israel to react so strongly to its capture of two Israeli soldiers. Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of the Hezbollah's political arm, also told The Associated Press that his group will not lay down arms. His comments were the first time that a leader from the Shiite militant group has publicly suggested it miscalculated the consequences of the July 12 cross-border raid in which two Israeli soldiers were captured and three were killed. "The truth is _ let me say this clearly _ we didn't even expect (this) response ... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati. He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel. In the past, he said, Israeli responses to Hezbollah actions included sending commandos into Lebanon, seizing Hezbollah officials and briefly targeting specific Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon. Komati said his group had anticipated negotiations to swap the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese held in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it has in past prisoner exchanges. He said Hezbollah captured the Israeli soldiers from a military area, but charged that Israelis had taken Hezbollah leaders from their homes at night. "The response is unjustified," Komati said. He added that the Israeli offensive was planned in advance, and Israel was only "waiting for the right time" to carry it out.
A terrorist group whining that their victim is not playing fair and most of the world falls for it. If there is a region in the world that this Machiavelli quote describe how you must survive and ultimately win over your enemies.
"....Men are less worried about harming somebody who makes himself loved than someone who makes himself feared, for love is held by a chain of obligation which, since men are bad, is broken at every opportunity for personal gain. Fear, on the other hand, is maintained by a dread of punishment which will never desert you."


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

May Embolden Terrorists

Media: Throw out another question, anyone figure out what doesn't embolden/anger/fuel terrorists? I ask that because skunking around the Wash Post I see this from one of its blogs.

William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security Lebanese Civilian Deaths May Embolden Terrorists
The existence of Israel may embolden terrorists. Can Israel do < insert action>? No, because it may embolden terrorists. Can America do ? No, because it may embolden terrorists. Can Europe do ? No, because it may embolden terrorists. Can Thailand do ? No, because it may embolden terrorists. Can do ? No, because it may embolden terrorists. Pretty soon the west will be told to ask permission before doing anything because it might enrage militants.


Europe backs embryo cell research..kinda

Medical: Its a compromise which didn't make the backers all that happy.

THE European Union yesterday agreed to carry on funding controversial medical research using embryonic stem cells despite a determined attempt to ban such payments by several countries. A compromise deal was reached after the European Commission agreed not to give money directly to projects that destroy human embryos for the procurement of stem cells. But science ministers confirmed that money would still be available for experiments which used human embryonic stem cells at a later stage. The move comes just days after George Bush, the US president, blocked a bill which would have lifted a ban on US federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. ....The principle of using the stem cells created deep schisms between the 25 EU member states on moral and ethical grounds. While the majority, including Britain, France and Spain, argued passionately in favour of the research, a coalition of seven, mainly Catholic countries, argued strongly against. As extracting the human embryonic stem cells entails destroying the embryo, churches and ethics campaigners say the step is tantamount to murder. Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, the head of developmental genetics at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, said: "It's not really much of a change. The EU probably wouldn't be involved in doing that much [funding of the creation of embryos] anyway, even though it [not doing so] is entirely illogical," he said. "[The agreement] seems to be one which will allow research involving human embryonic stem cells to go ahead in those countries that are happy with that. "This strange compromise isn't particularly helpful, but not too drastically against what we would hope." A spokesman for the Royal Society said it was "glad" an agreement had been reached, but was "disappointed by the decision to introduce new restrictions, which would prevent EU research funding being used to extract stem cells from early human embryos that are left over from fertility treatment and would anyway be destroyed".


Monday, July 24, 2006

Another liberal with disproportionate response talking point.

Middle East: Anyone figure out yet what the hell "proportionate military action" would have been against a terrorist group? Eugene Robinson makes snark remarks and has no clue.

"Bush's endorsement of the violence that Israel is inflicting on Lebanon -- a sustained bombing campaign that has killed hundreds of civilians and can only be seen as collective punishment -- is truly astonishing. Of course Israel has the right to defend itself against Hezbollah's rocket attacks. But how can this utterly disproportionate, seemingly indiscriminate carnage be anything but counterproductive? Destroying the Beirut airport, blasting communications towers into oblivion and cleansing southern Lebanon of its civilian population are not measures the world will see as an attack on Hezbollah terrorists. The Israeli campaign is so intense and widespread that it is creating more terrorists than it kills. Proportionate military action might have enhanced Israel's security, but video footage of grandmothers weeping amid the rubble of their homes and bloodied children lying in hospital beds won't make Israel more secure. Hezbollah's stature in the Arab world is growing, and its patrons in Damascus and Tehran must be smugly satisfied."
Rendering the airport, roads leading to the south where Hezbollah reigns cuts off resupply routes, they blew up communication towers that housed their terrorist network cutting off a communication method. This "cleansing" of Southern Lebanon where Hezbollah has the power with support from the people around them is news to me. Syria can't be satisfied since this creates a bit of a refugee problem, pressure on them to curtail Hezbollah and could cause them further isolation from the world if they don't step up. Since Eugene is a big internationalist lets hear from a hero of his which is a UN official.
Jan Egeland spoke with reporters at the Larnaca airport in Cyprus late Monday after a visit to Lebanon on his mission to coordinate an international aid effort. On Sunday he had toured the rubble of Beirut's southern suburbs, a once-teeming Shiite district where Hezbollah had its headquarters. During that visit he condemned the killing and wounding of civilians by both sides, and called Israel's offensive "disproportionate" and "a violation of international humanitarian law." On Monday he had strong words for Hezbollah, which crossed into Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers on July 12, triggering fierce fighting from both sides. "Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending ... among women and children," he said. "I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don't think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men." "We need a cessation of hostilities because this is a war where civilians are paying the price," said Egeland, who was heading to Israel.
More wisdom.
The role of any American president and secretary of state should have been to move quickly to bring hostilities to an end. Instead, Bush all but egged the Israelis on, and Condoleezza Rice went so far as to reject the idea of a cease-fire. Belatedly, she has flown to the region with no real credibility as an honest broker. Her words of concern about the "humanitarian crisis" in Lebanon ring hollow. But this administration doesn't want to be an honest broker in the Middle East. Bush and Rice have staked their Middle East policy on a single incontrovertible idea -- that terrorism is bad -- and it has led them to the mistaken notion that Israel can achieve long-term security by creating a kind of scorched-earth buffer zone in southern Lebanon.
How many ceasefires and truces have been put together only to fail? Again I ask how do you get a ceasefire with a terrorist group that controls half a country who is bent on the destruction of Israel. Eugene uses a lot of words and end up saying nothing with not even a hint of a realistic workable solution other than the cozy sound of "ceasefire." This is the third liberal columnist along with Herbert/Kristof of the NYTIMES who has done this so well.


Liberal Bob Herbert cries about Israel.

Media: The boot sucking lackeys of the NYTIMES bring their enlightenment to the opinion pages.

NEW YORK First it was Nicholas Kristof. Now his colleague on the opinion page at The New York Times, Bob Herbert, has joined him as one of the very few pundits to clearly criticize the extent of the Israeli bombing campaign against Lebanon. Few newspapers have carried editorials opposing the massive level of Israeli response and most of the leading liberal bloggers have also refused to take on that issue. "It’s too late now," Herbert writes in his Monday oclumn, "but Israel could have used a friend in the early stages of its war with Hezbollah — a friend who could have tugged at its sleeve and said: 'O.K. We understand. But enough.' That friend should have been the United States." ....."As a true friend of Israel, the task of the United States is to work as strenuously as possible to find real solutions to Israel’s security. The first step in that process, as far as the current crisis is concerned, would logically have been to try and broker a cease-fire.
Herbert and Kristof so lovingly bring their pacifist nonsense without this simple question answered. How do you discuss a ceasefire with a terrorist group that answers to no one but themselves? Do you think that Hezbollah who first came to the international scene by killing over 200 U.S. Marines in the early 80's gives a damn? They cannot make peace with Israel, neither can Hamas or any other terrorist group. Its not in their nature to make peace since they have been created to eliminate Israel and everyone in it. When people like Kristof and Herbert answer that question in a realistic manner, then maybe someone should give a damn.


Bolton explains it to the simpletons.

Middle East: The term proportionate force or disproportionate force is ridiculous.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Against growing international criticism that Israel's response to Hezbollah's July 12 attack has been disproportionate, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Sunday defended Israel's use of force. "I think it's important that we not fall into the trap of moral equivalency here," Ambassador John Bolton told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer." "What Hezbollah has done is kidnap Israeli soldiers and rain rockets and mortar shells on innocent Israeli civilians. What Israel has done in response is act in self-defense. And I don't quite know what the argument about proportionate force means here. Is Israel entitled only to kidnap two Hezbollah operatives and fire a couple of rockets aimlessly into Lebanon? "The situation is that Israel has lived under the terrorist threat of Hezbollah for years, and these most recent attacks have given it the legitimate right, the same right America would have if we were attacked, to deal with the problem. And that's what they're doing."
Even Jonathan Chait says this is a dumb argument.
"ISRAEL'S counteroffensive against Hezbollah may not be a good idea. But the main criticism that is being made against it, at home and abroad — namely, that Israel is using "disproportionate force" — is just silly. As The Times reported Thursday: "Critics have said Israel's response to the killing of eight soldiers and capture of two others by the Shiite Muslim guerrillas last week is disproportionate." First of all, Israel is responding not just to those recent killings but to a long string of attacks since it withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. The kidnapping was just the straw that broke the camel's back. Second, as the Israeli government rightly points out, no country operates on the principle of responding to aggression with no more force than was originally used against it. During World War II, Germany sunk a lot of American ships and declared war on us, and in return we flattened its cities, killed or captured hundreds of thousands of its solders and occupied its land. That was hardly a proportionate response. Now, it is true that Israel's counteroffensive has taken the lives of several hundred Lebanese civilians (many entirely innocent, others who sheltered Hezbollah rockets) and displaced perhaps half a million more. Every innocent death is a tragedy. But the brutal fact is that civilian deaths are Hezbollah's strongest weapon. As Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, once said: "We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win because they love life and we love death." Thus Hezbollah places its rockets and other potential targets in homes, knowing that Israel cannot hit back without creating collateral damage. This does not relieve Israel of the burden of minimizing civilian casualties as best it can. The point is that if Israel has to operate under a code of ethics that renders civilian deaths unacceptable, then it automatically loses. The ramifications would be dire and ultimately aid the cause of Islamic radicals in such a way as to bring about many more innocent deaths over the long run."


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Keith Olbermann is a Nazi.

Entertainment: All the Jews at MSNBC better be wary if Olbermann is around. Who knew trying to get publicity using the Nazi salute would be so much fun! Its one thing to get drunk and start doing stupid stuff for example, its another to go up on stage and purposely pull this kind of stunt.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann used a Saturday morning breakfast session at the Television Critics Association press tour to fire yet another shot at Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, holding up an O’Reilly mask while raising his right arm in a Nazi salute to mock his on-air rival. “It’s just so much fun,” said the host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann when questioned about why he pursues his on-air rivalry with O’Reilly. Olbermann also told the story of seeing O’Reilly at a celebrity fundraiser in New York, but said O’Reilly “never got within 20 feet of me. Every time I looked at him, he looked down.” Olbermann did, however, note that his show and network have to “take more chances” in the race to compete with CNN and Fox News Channel, which he called an “ingenuously-placed political product.”
Just to point out that CNBC fired Bradshaw from the WWE when he used a Nazi salute from his financial spot on the network, plus Via Media Matters, Olbermann whined about Glenn Beck using a Nazi reference and gave out the punishment.
OLBERMANN: Also here, Jones in for Star. The departure of one of the hosts of The View turns into an on-air verbal brawl. That's ahead, but first, time for Countdown's latest list of nominees for "Worst Person in the World." The bronze to radio host Glenn Beck. Here's his version of the anti-New York Times hysteria. Quote, "Can you imagine The New York Times coming out and saying, 'Hey, the ovens aren't so bad,' back in World War II. Can you imagine that?" He continued: "I don't know. Sure, there are some Jews in there, but I bet they might make some good pizzas in there, too. The New York Times is just -- I don't get it. I don't understand it." Unquote. Mr. Beck, do you understand this? Resign your job and leave this country.
NBC, you know what to do.


Nicholas Kristof: latte sipping surrender monkey shines.

Middle East: Touted by the leftist Greg Mitchell's Editor and Publisher this idiotic column by the highly overrated Kristof on how Israel should just give up and just give peace a chance.

He opened by recalling how friends of Israel had supported the 1982 invasion of Lebanon on much the same grounds heard today, and that turned into a disaster for the long-term secruity of Israel -- for one thing, it spawned Hezbollah. . "Today again, Israel believes that it is improving its long-term security by attacking Lebanon. And once again, I believe, that will prove counterproductive," Kristof writes. "Israel is likely to kill enough Lebanese to outrage the world, increase anti-Israeli and anti-American attitudes, nurture a new generation of anti-Israeli guerrillas, and help hard-liners throughout the region and beyond. ... "More broadly, one reason this bombardment — like the invasion in 1982 — is against Israel’s own long-term interest has to do with the way terrorism is likely to change over the next couple of decades. "In the past, terror attacks spilled blood and spread fear, but they did not challenge the survival of Israel itself. At some point, though, militant groups will recruit teams of scientists and give them a couple of years and a $300,000 research budget, and the result will be attacks with nerve gas, anthrax, or 'dirty bombs' that render areas uninhabitable for years. "All this suggests that the only way for Israel to achieve security is to reach a final peace agreement, involving the establishment of a Palestinian state (because states can be deterred more easily than independent groups like Hamas). Such an agreement is not feasible now, but it might be five or 15 years from now. Israel’s self-interest lies in doing everything it can to make such a deal more likely — not in using force in ways that strengthen militants and make an agreement less likely."
Peace thru surrendering to the violent means of terrorist groups. It would help Kristof to read his own paper once in a while because the establishment of a Palestinian state is not what the terrorist want in the long run. As pointed out by the head of the Hamas parliamentary faction
"But Hamas officials remained reluctant to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, while accepting that it does exist and is not likely to disappear. A Hamas legislator, Salah al-Bardawil, told Reuters: "We said we accept a state in 1967 - but we did not say we accept two states."

Then he points out the IRA and ETA dealings with a benign description of the events.

Kristof closed by pointing to the positive examples of Britain (in recent dealings with the IRA) and Spain (the Basques). "That admirable restraint should be the model for Israel, with the aim of making a comprehensive peace agreement more likely — in 2010 or 2020 if not in 2007. The record of Spain and Britain suggests that restraint and conciliation can seem maddeningly ineffective — but they are still the last, best hope for peace. "
He forgot Thailand who have surrendered to Muslim terrorists which points out the harsh reality that Kristof glosses over. Terrorism wins out in the end against those who do not have the backbone to fight against it so it doesn't achieve its goals. Violence gets results. The problem for him is he sees nothing wrong with that. #update: Fixed Krisof to Kristof. Horrible of me.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Londonistan erupts in support of terrorist group.

UK: George Galloway leading the bloodlust.

"I am here to glorify the resistance, Hezbollah. I am here to glorify the leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah."
Via Harry's Place who linked to a rah rah report from one of those westerners who hates the west types like Red Ken. The BBC has a report.
Police estimated that 7,000 people took part in the London rally but organisers said more than 20,000 people attended the march from Whitehall to Hyde Park, including families and representatives from various faiths. No arrests were made during the protest. Organisers estimated that there were 2,000 people at the march in Manchester, while the police put the figure at "up to 1,000". In Birmingham around 200 protestors took to the streets, police said there were about 100 people in Sheffield, and there were around 150 in Newcastle. The flag of Lebanon was at the forefront of the London protest The London protest grew larger by the time it reached the US embassy, where about 50 uniformed police officers and metal barricades also prevented the march from accessing the main door. Marchers shouted slogans at the Grosvenor Square embassy, such as "George Bush, terrorist" and "Down, down, USA." The flag of Lebanon, banners, and a handful of Hezbollah flags, were also waved in the direction of the building. "
I saw some Hezbollah flags at protests in Dearborn, Michigan which is just vile. That would be like me coming out in support of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen in Trinidad. It makes all Muslims look bad.


Misuse of company's resources and get fired.

Terrorism: Another bleeding heart liberal thinks she is above it all and is surprised she got fired for it.

Ms. Axsmith, a computer security expert with a law degree, posted the message this month, shortly after the Bush administration decided to grant some protections of the Geneva Conventions to suspected terrorists in American custody. She said that her message began, “Waterboarding is torture, and torture is wrong.” Ms. Axsmith’s firing was earlier reported on several blogs including on Thursday, and in Friday’s Washington Post. “I wanted an in-house discussion,” Ms. Axsmith said in an interview on Thursday in her home in Washington. “Something where I would be educating people on the background of the Geneva Conventions.” Instead, Ms. Axsmith was fired by her employer, B.A.E. Systems, which has an information technology contract with the C.I.A. Ms. Axsmith said C.I.A. officials had confronted her and told her that the agency’s senior leadership was angry about the blog, which was housed on Intelink, the classified server maintained by the American intelligence community to aid communication among its employees. Besides losing her job, Ms. Axsmith also lost her top-secret security clearance, which she had held since 1993 and used for previous work for the State Department and National Counterterrorism Center. She said she feared that her career in the intelligence world was over. “It was like I was wiped out,” she said. A spokesman for B.A.E. Systems, Bob Hastings, said privacy issues prohibited him from commenting on Ms. Axsmith’s firing. But Mr. Hastings said that company policy prohibited employees from using computers for non-official purposes.
This is the best part.
Though stripped of her security clearance, Ms. Axsmith still maintains her public, unclassified blog: On that Web site on Friday, there were several messages supporting her, including postings from anonymous intelligence officials who said that they would miss her “Covert Communications” blog. Ms. Axsmith acknowledges that the posting that got her fired was deliberately provocative, and she said that if she had another chance she might have toned down the language. “I guess I’m just too much of a big mouth for that organization,” she said.
Its the CIA, you are not supposed to have a big mouth working for them in a role of a temp idiot.


Bolton up for renewal, time for the hitpiece by the NYTIMES.

UN: You knew it was coming as soon as it was clear that Bolton was coming up for a vote plus crybaby Voinovich saying he would vote for him this time around.

UNITED NATIONS, July 22 — In recent months, as one international crisis followed another, John R. Bolton has fulfilled the role of the United Nations’ most influential ambassador at full strength, firmly articulating the position of the United States government regarding Iran, North Korea and the Middle East. His performance won over at least one crucial critic, Senator George V. Voinovich, Republican of Ohio. Mr. Voinovich’s opposition a year ago forced Mr. Bolton to take the job as a presidential recess appointment, an arrangement that expires at the end of this Congress in January. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a hearing this Thursday on Mr. Bolton’s renomination, and a floor vote could come in September. Mr. Voinovich said he would vote for Mr. Bolton this time. The Bush administration is not popular at the United Nations, where it is often perceived as disdainful of diplomacy, and its policies as heedless of the effects on others and single-minded in the willful assertion of American interests. By extension, then, many diplomats say they see Mr. Bolton as a stand-in for the arrogance of the administration itself. But diplomats focus particularly on an area with less evidence of instructions from Washington and more of Mr. Bolton’s personal touch, the mission that he has described as his priority: overhauling the institution’s discredited management. Envoys say he has in fact endangered that effort by alienating traditional allies. They say he combatively asserts American leadership, contests procedures at the mannerly, rules-bound United Nations and then shrugs off the organization when it does not follow his lead.
Thats the majority of the UN for you, how dare Bolton try to kickstart the reforms as others are happy just to dilly dally around. The internationalist democracts are unhappy about Bolton.
He has plenty of backers who remain convinced that only that kind of tough presence can alter the institution. Perhaps his strongest and longest standing supporter is Senator Norm Coleman, the Minnesota Republican who is a leading critic of the way the United Nations functions. “What John offers is what the U.S. needs at the U.N. today,” he said in an interview. “John is the right kind of change agent in a universe that is resistant to change. In order to get reform done, you’re going to have to push, you have to be assertive.” Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman, said, “He has done an extraordinary job representing the U.S. during what has turned out to be an extraordinary time at the U.N., and Secretary Rice thinks he’s doing a terrific job.” But over the past month, more than 30 ambassadors consulted in the preparation of this article who share the United States’ goal of changing United Nations management practices expressed misgivings over Mr. Bolton’s leadership. Representative Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts, the top Democrat on an international relations subcommittee that focuses on the United Nations, said that in a visit here last month he had encountered “frustration and resentment over the U.S. performance at the U.N.” And outside experts also expressed concerns. “I actually agree with Bolton on what has to be done at the U.N., but his confrontational tactics have been very dysfunctional for the U.S. purpose,” said Edward C. Luck, a professor of international affairs at Columbia who has followed the United Nations for three decades. “To be successful at the U.N., you have to build coalitions, and if you take unilateral action the way Bolton has, you’re isolated, and if you’re isolated, you can’t achieve much.” William H. Luers, president of the United Nations Association of the United States, an independent support group, said, “There clearly are occasions when you have to put your foot down, but if you put your foot down every day, it unravels any diplomatic assets you have.” Asked about the allied ambassadors’ broad criticisms, Mr. Bolton said, “What I object to as a matter of tactics is compromising with ourselves before we compromise with our opponents, and by compromising with ourselves, I mean compromising with our friends, too.”
The big objection seems to be he doesn't praise the UN enough which is incredible since there is virtually nothing to praise about it.
Mr. Bolton’s habit of avoiding any favorable mention of the United Nations while seizing many opportunities to disparage it is so well established that Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, observed to him in a May hearing of the Foreign Relations Committee, “The role of constant scold I’m not sure is the best way to induce change.” An envoy of a country close to the United States complained that Mr. Bolton often stayed away from meetings, leaving ambassadors in the dark about American positions, then produced 11th-hour amendments and demands for reopening points that had been painfully muscled into consensus. “We are all like cooks, and the U.S. is sitting on the sidewalk and when we have this platter cooked, the U.S. comes in and says it was the wrong dish, you were cooking chicken and we wanted meat,” said an envoy from a country close to the United States. On June 30, Mr. Bolton stunned a group of allied ambassadors. As they waited in the office of Jan Eliasson, the president of the General Assembly, to approve a plan to review thousands of outdated and redundant directives, word arrived that Mr. Bolton had cut a side deal to postpone the effort. And he had done so with the three countries viewed as the proposal’s most vocal opponents, Egypt, India and South Africa. Mr. Bolton explained the incident by saying, “What I was trying to do was sit down with people whose positions diverge the most with the United States and, rather than work through indirection, negotiate directly.” But an envoy from a country that always votes with the United States said: “That came as very shocking and disappointing to us. We usually work very closely with him, but sometimes, I guess, you get surprised.”
Bolton is there as an agent for changing the UN culture. Don't like it, too bad. The same old way of sucking up is never going to change the UN for the better.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Ethiopian troops move into Somalia.

Africa: As the Islamist groups deny they are going to attack the government.

ETHIOPIAN troops crossed into Somalia yesterday to help to defend the country’s beleaguered President from Islamist militias. They arrived in the town of Baidoa a day after the militias advanced to within 40 miles of the Government’s headquarters there. The border crossing, coupled with strong rhetoric from the Somali Government and the militias, has increased fears that Somalia is slipping closer to all-out war. John Prendergast, of the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think-tank, said: “We are on a precipice. If one or the other makes a more forceful move — whether the Islamists move further up the road or if the Government manages to attract foreign intervention — it could push this into war.” Ethiopia is a close ally of Abdullahi Yusuf, the Somali President, and has been increasingly alarmed by the growing strength of the militias since they seized Mogadishu last month from a US-backed alliance of warlords. The militias control much of Somalia’s south and have set up Islamic courts and imposed Sharia. The US believes that Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, their leader, is a terrorist who is sheltering al-Qaeda suspects. Last month Osama bin Laden referred to Somalia as a front in the war against the US. The Ethiopian and Somali Governments denied the presence of Ethiopian troops in Baidoa yesterday. However, the denials were contradicted by people in the town. “About 25 vehicles have arrived here from Ethiopia. Some are lorries carrying troops wearing Ethiopian uniforms, so there are probably more than 100 soldiers here,” a source close to the Somali Government said.

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