Nearly 100,000 undocumented Afghan migrants/refugees have been expelled from Iran over the past month and the total could reach one million by next spring, according to Tehran officials who say they are trying to protect the jobs of Iranians. There are 920,000 registered Afghan refugees in Iran, according to UNHCR, which estimates there are up to one million more living there illegally. Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said Tehran wants one million Afghans to be repatriated by March.
The mass repatriation is straining the resources of the Afghan government and international aid agencies operating in the region. There are reports that some of those deported have suffered inhumane treatment, including physical abuse, loss of belongings and separation from their families. In the western Afghan provinces of Farah and Nimroz, aid agencies have set up tent communities and food-distribution points to accommodate the returnees.
Iran's eastern border city of Zabul has been almost emptied of its once-large Afghan population, while a senior security official in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province was quoted by the IRNA news agency as saying the area is now off-limits to foreigners, including both legal and illegal Afghan refugees. The director-general for the employment of foreign nationals also told IRNA that Iranians who employ undocumented Afghans will face court cases.
The Karzai government has drawn public anger over its handling of the problem. Earlier this month, the Afghan parliament passed a vote of no confidence in Foreign Minister Rangin Spanta for not doing enough to persuade Tehran to modify its forced-deportation policy. Lawmakers here insist the vote must be respected, but Mr. Karzai said Mr. Spanta will remain in office pending a "clarification" from the Supreme Court on whether he can be dismissed by a vote on a matter not directly related to his post.
The government of Pakistan, meanwhile, approved a plan to repatriate an estimated 3 million Afghan refugees and close all refugee camps by 2009, unidentified officials told the Pakistani daily Dawn. Pakistan, which contends that refugee camps are fertile recruiting grounds for Taliban insurgents, plans this year to close four camps that hold hundreds of thousands of refugees. Since the 1979 Soviet invasion, more than 5 million Afghans have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
if a third rate wannabe hole like iran can deport 1 million, then surely the united states could somehow find a way to deport at least that many rather than surrendering our sovereignty on the southern border one would think
Posted by: Abu do you love ||
06/07/2007 15:50 Comments ||
"a third rate wannabe hole like Iran..." Please allow me to differ. They aren't a "wannabe hole," they've managed to make themselves a full-fledged, card-carrying hole.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday slammed the overnight murder of a female Afghan journalist, the second such killing in less than a week.
Zakia Zaki, 35, who also served as headmistress of a local private school, had run the Sada-e-Sulh (Peace Radio) station since it was founded in 2001. The station the only independent radio station in Parwan province broadcasts issues focusing mainly on human rights, womens rights and education issues and is partly funded by a western media group.
The worldwide press freedom watchdog issued a statement saying: Whether this savage act was linked to her work as a journalist or her civic responsibilities, it is vital that those who responsible for this murder should be quickly identified and punished.
RSF went on to urge Afghan President Hamid Karzai to commit all the necessary resources to ensure a successful outcome to the investigation and to leave no stone unturned.
Noting that she had received several threats after openly criticising local warlords and the Taliban, the organisation described Zakis struggle for freedom of expression and womens liberation as exemplary. It went on to say that she referred to Sada-e-Sulh as a community home for the residents, the only place where they dare to express themselves freely.
Zaki was killed on Tuesday night when two unidentified gunmen men broke into her family home in Jabalussaraj, in northern Parwan province and gunned her down in front of her two-year-old son, firing several bullets before fleeing.
Police arrested 105 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group in the past two days, including two candidates competing in upcoming parliamentary elections, the group and police officials said Wednesday. The arrests were part of an ongoing crackdown that has intensified in the lead up to elections for the upper house of Parliament, known as the Shura Council. The Brotherhood has announced it has fielded 19 candidates in the June 11 elections. "We're expecting many more arrests leading up to Monday elections," said the group's lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud on Wednesday. "Brotherhood members in prison have exceeded 600," he added.
The Brotherhood has been banned since 1954 but has continued to operate and is Egypt's most powerful opposition movement. Its lawmakers, who run as independents, hold 88 seats in the 454-seat parliament.
Gasoline tankers and chemical trucks entering London are being stopped at roadblocks to check for bombs, police revealed Wednesday, but officers said the operation is not in response to any indication of a specific plot.
Motorcycle spotters monitor large vehicles bound for the British capital and random checkpoints are set up to check any suspicious loads, the officials said. The checks, which began earlier this year, are part of an operation to guard against terrorists using trucks to carry huge bombs into London, Scotland Yard said. The checkpoints are part of "day-to-day business to disrupt, deter and prevent terrorism and to help create a hostile and uncertain environment for terrorists to operate in," Scotland Yard said in a statement. No explosives were reported found during the checks, but police said two people had been arrested for driving while driving without a license.
Officers have stepped up security in London - and foiled a string of terrorist plots - since four suicide bombers killed 52 commuters on three subway trains and a bus July 7, 2005. London was the site of a failed repeat transit attack two weeks later, and police and intelligence agents say they have prevented a number of other planned attacks - including a plan to down trans-Atlantic airliners last summer.
During the London trial of confessed al-Qaida operative Dhiren Barot, who was jailed last year for a minimum of 40 years, prosecutors said the British citizen plotted to ram prominent London landmarks with gasoline tankers packed with explosives. Barot also was alleged to have studied targets in New Jersey, including the Prudential Building in Newark, writing in a memo that ramming trucks "straight through the glass front entrance into the lobby area" would be an effective bombing technique.
The New York Police Department used his case in a briefing to private security officials from Wall Street firms last fall, warning of the threat from tanker bombs.
Officials said concerns about such attacks followed the use of truck bombs in Iraq. In July 2005, a stolen fuel tanker was used in a suicide attack that killed more than 90 people in Musayyib, 40 miles south of Baghdad.
Interesting idea. Has its bad as well as good points, but intriguing.
Bad idea for the anti-missile system in question: look at a map.
HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, bitterly opposed to a U.S. missile shield in Europe, told President Bush on Thursday that Moscow would drop its objections if the radar-based system were installed in Azerbaijan. Putin told Bush he would not seek to retarget Russian missiles on Europe if the United States agreed to put the system in the central Asian nation of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic.
Classic Soviet "something for nothing" ploy: we agree to move the anti-missile system -- something -- they agree to change the targeting information in their missiles, which can be changed back in five minutes -- nothing.
Bush's called Putin's idea an "interesting proposallet's let our experts have a look at it," according to White House National Security Adviser Steve Hadley. Hadley was in their hourlong meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the world's eight major industrialized democracies.
Bush has proposed putting the radar and rockets in the Czech Republic and Poland. After weeks of increasingly acrimonious rhetoric from Moscow about the new shield, Putin's proposal to put the system in Azerbaijan was a surprise.
Putin said the facility, built during Soviet times, is still available for Russia's use under a continuing agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan.
Appearing together before reporters, the president spoke before Putin and did not mention the alternative presented by his Russian counterpart. He only said that Putin "had some interesting suggestions."
The two leaders agreed to further discuss the issue during two days of talks beginning July 1 in Kennebunkport, Maine, at the Bush family's oceanfront compound. Lower-level officials in both governments also plan to explore it. "We both agreed to have a strategic dialogue," Bush said. "This is a serious issue."
The Russian leader said the proposed relocation would alleviate Russia's concerns about a missile shield based on its doorstep in Eastern Europe. "This will make it unnecessary for us to place our offensive complexes along the border with Europe," Putin said.
He laid out several other conditions, as well:
_Taking Russia's concerns into account.
_Giving all sides "equal access" to the system.
_Making the development of the system transparent.
And a pony.
"Then we will have no problem," the Russian leader said.
He also warned the United States not to go ahead with building the system as planned while negotiations with Moscow take place. "We hope these consultations will not serve as cover for some unilateral action," Putin said.
In other words, we can't do anything while they're 'negotiating' with us -- another ploy to freeze us. The negotiations, of course, would drag on forever.
He argued the benefits of his suggested substitute: An Azerbaijan- based system would cover all of Europe rather than just part of it and destroyed missile debris would fall in the ocean rather than on land.
Hadley did not rule out the possibility that the end result would be some mix of the Russian and the U.S. proposals. "We asked the Russians to cooperate with us on missile defense, and what we got was a willingness to do so," Hadley said after the Bush- Putin meeting.
Both sides portrayed the ideafar from becoming a realityas proof that the U.S.-relationship has not fallen so far as people have speculated amid the dispute. The leaders said they agreed that Iran and the suspicions that it is developing a nuclear weapon is the threat to focus on, not each other. "We have an understanding about common threats, but we have differences," Putin said.
He declared himself "satisfied with the spirit of openness" he encountered in Bush. The U.S. president said they had demonstrated they share "the desire to work together to allay people's fears."
The two leaders, locked for weeks in a testy dispute over the shield, appeared friendly as they spoke on the grounds of the upscale resort here where the summit is being held. They stood so close they often touched. "I'd like to confirm what the president of the United States has saidexcept for one thing: I've not said that friends do not act in this way," Putin said, to which both laughed heartily and jostled each other.
We currently have plans for interceptors in Poland then main stationary radar in Check republic and finally a forward stationed mohbile radar to be placed in Georgia.
Puty wants US to put both interceptors and stationary radar in Azerbajan were they will be vulnerable to Iranian short range ballistic missiles. Also puts all our eggs in one basket and a added bonus of having US pay for Puty's own front line BMD free of charge. Also BMD in Azerbajan will only be good for Iran were as Poland/Check/Georgia/Israel line will fully secure Europe from all Arab launched systems short N Africa which is low threat potential at this point and could be added with say Iraly or Spain added. Horrible so called DEAL compromise.
But I gotta give it to Puty its a balsey move and will play well with the sypathetic LLL's and the weak on our side.
We should hold solid, Russia's billergent threats are not something they cannot back up and just shows Europe and our weak that Russia is back sliding bad.
North Korea launched short-range missiles off its western coast Thursday, South Korea's Defense Ministry said, but it was still unclear how many had been fired. "We have intelligence that North Korea fired short-range missiles into the waters off its western coast, and we are trying to confirm how many were fired and what type of missiles they are," a Defense Ministry official said on customary condition of anonymity.
The news came two weeks after North Korea test-fired at least one short-range missile into eastern coastal waters, which South Korean and U.S. officials played down as part of the communist country's regular military drills.
Thursday's missile launches come as North Korea is refusing to move on its pledge to shut down its main nuclear reactor over a delay in withdrawing of $25 million at a Macau bank, which was blacklisted by the U.S.
MADRID, Spain (AP) - A Basque separatist rebel convicted in 25 deaths was returned to prison Wednesday, after recuperating in a hospital from a hunger strike, officials said. The move came a day after the Basque ETA group announced an end to a 15-month cease-fire, Spanish authorities said.
Back in the klink wit yez!
The possibility had been raised that Jose Ignacio de Juana Chaos could go home to serve out the rest of his prison term under police surveillance, but Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said in a radio interview that with the cease-fire over, that was out of the question. ``It is evident that circumstances have changed with respect to that moment. The state has to be firm and intelligent, dealing with the new circumstances,'' Rubalcaba said.
De Juana Chaos has already served 18 years after being convicted in 25 deaths in a series of ETA attacks and now faces the last 14 months of a separate, three-year term for newspaper articles that were deemed to be terrorist threats. He was declared healthy again and taken Wednesday from a hospital where he had been recovering from a 114-day hunger strike to Aranjuez prison, south of Madrid.
The limit for hunger strike before you die is two months and well before that you cannot move. After nearlyfour months of "hunger strike" this guy was doing gymnastics and fucking his girl-friend who through orders from the governement was allowed acess to him without being searched.
Two sentcnes from this courageous freedom fighter: "We should ally with the Islamists. In one week they would force the Spaniards to evacuate the Basque country"
The other one is:
"I liike to see the faces the teras andfaces discomposed from pain fromthje realtives at the burials of the victims."
Don't think for one minute that ETA, FARC, IRA, et.al. are not allied with AQ. Just like the black suited Bibendums in Rostock "Basta" - they are all pretty much anarachists who give a rat's ass about who they associate with as long as that group has ways to kill indiscrimately.
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
06/07/2007 11:37 Comments ||
Political figures, religious leaders, trade unionists and human rights campaigners are amongst the individuals that have signed up to a new coalition aimed at defending freedom of religious and cultural expression.
All the usual suspects
Speakers at the launch included the Mayor of London; peace campaigner and activist Bruce Kent; writer Ismail Patel from the British Muslim Initiative; Dr Daud Abdullah, Deputy General Secretary, Muslim Council of Britain; Edie Friedman, Director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality; Andrew Stunell MP; and Steve Sinnott, National Union of Teachers.
The coalition is being set up in the light of continuing media and other claims that different communities and faith groups openly expressing their culture or faith threaten community relations in Britain. Such claims have been most recently and strongly directed at the Muslim community, particularly focusing on the right of Muslim women to wear the veil. But such attacks have also recently included a high profile case where a staff member at British Airways was prohibited from wearing a crucifix. The established rights of Sikh community to wear turbans have also come under assault.
The new coalition will bring together people of all faiths and none, to counter these assaults and to actively make the case that all communities should be allowed to express their culture or faith, as long as this is within the law and does not impact on the rights of others to express themselves similarly.
A Greater London Authority commissioned report into Islamophobia in the media showed that 90 per cent of reports on Islam were negative. However, the majority of Londoners 94 per cent - support freedom of thought, conscience, speech and religion.
The coalition will put the case that that multiculturalism, especially in London, enriches society and that division will flow from repression of these rights, not their expression. And that it is necessary for individuals and different communities to come to gether to defend freedom of religious and cultural though that have been established over hundreds of years.
The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: 'I am proud of London's reputation as the most diverse city in the world where the contribution all communities is celebrated and peoples freedom of religious expression is respected as it is one of the most essential of our civil liberties. Attacks on the rights of Muslim people to express their faith as they choose are ultimately a threat to everybody's rights to freedom of religious and cultural expression. It should be the right of every individual to be able live their life as they wish, so long as it does not do harm to any other individual. This ability to be who you are and live as you choose is what has made London a magnet for people bringing their ideas and energy to make this the successful and dynamic city that it is.' More at the link, that's all I could take.
If this is going to protect the rights of Jews and Christians too, Im not sure its such a bad thing.
Anything that prevents or delays the installation of Muslim-unfriendly measures is a bad thing. This all goes to the heart of how politicians and religious leaders continue to incorrectly delegate religious status to Islamic political ideology. So long as Islam seeks theocratic rule, be it national or global, it must be declared a political ideology and stripped of all government protection.
As always; What worthwhile aspects are there to shari'a law? What redeeming features are there in Islam? The answer is "none" and this is what merits the banning of Islam and shari'a in all democratic nations worldwide.
Religious left? Are you kidding me? Personally, I prefer the term "sinister spirituality".
John Edwards spoke about how prayer helped him get through the death of his son and his wife's cancer diagnoses. Barack Obama repeatedly invoked the biblical phrase "I am my brother's keeper" as he spoke about poverty and injustice. Hillary Rodham Clinton credited her faith with getting her through her husband's infidelities. This was no garden-variety political presentation by the top three Democratic presidential candidates Monday night on the campus of George Washington University, in the shadow of the White House. The forum, sponsored by the progressive Christian group Sojourners, represented the boldest indication yet that the "religious left" is building as a political force, no longer willing to cede "values voters" to the religious conservative movement that has long formed the activist base of the Republican Party.
"We're on a mission from God."
The candidates' easy willingness to appear at the forum also represents a watershed for the modern Democratic Party: Intimate discussion of faith, and how it informs policy views and personal behavior, is no longer an arms-length proposition at the party's highest levels.
I give them credit for outflanking the VWRC. Very smoothly done. Transparently, incandescently dishonest, and just brazen enough to work.
"It's an important strategic move for all these people not to say their faith isn't genuine," says Jim Guth, an expert on religion and politics at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. "But I think they recognize that in a very closely divided electorate, any ability they have to peel off moderate religious conservatives or centrists, by making it clear they're comfortable with the language of faith that's a political advantage and wise strategy and maybe good policy and good politics."
Perhaps the *language of faith*, but certainly not the actual having of faith. Although some faiths are more equal than others, nu?
In an ironic twist following a 2004 election in which white Evangelicals went 80 percent for the Republican, President Bush today's top Democratic contenders may be more comfortable fielding questions on religion than today's top Republicans. On the GOP side, Rudolph Giuliani is a Roman Catholic who is on his third marriage and who takes liberal positions on social issues; John McCain is an Episcopalian, but, like Mr. Giuliani, rarely mentions his faith. Mitt Romney describes his Mormonism as central to his life, but it's a religion that leaves many voters uncomfortable and could make him an awkward fit for conservative Evangelical voters. The three top Republicans have been invited by Sojourners to appear at a forum in September.
Still, experts on religion and politics agree that the religious left has a way to go to catch up to the religious right in organizational strength and that there are structural barriers that could prevent it from happening.
"When you look at religious progressives, generally, they come in many different varieties," says John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Some are theological liberals who happen to be politically liberal, some are theological conservatives who happen to be politically liberal, and some are a bit of both, Mr. Green says. And they come from different backgrounds evangelical, Catholic, mainline Protestant. So while religious conservatives can easily organize within their congregations, for the religious left it is more complicated. Also, adds Green, "people on the liberal side of these debates tend toward ecumenism and interfaith. A lot of Reform Jews might be considered part of this. Certainly, black Protestants would be part of this."
A look at the numbers also shows a religious left that is still on the beginning end of a trajectory movement leaders hope will make it a major force in shaping political and policy debate. At this week's four-day Pentecost conference sponsored by Sojourners, there are 600 people in its attendance. At its height in the mid-1990s, the Christian Coalition could summon 4,000 people to Washington for its annual convention. And while that organization has faded, the religious right's top mass gathering now sponsored by the Family Research Council and allied groups was able to draw 1,700 attendees to a Values Voter Summit in 2006, with another scheduled for this fall, according to Joe Conn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Each side emphasizes different issues, and so the rise of one is not necessarily dependent on the decline of another. For the right, abortion and gay rights have long been the driving issues, while on the left, poverty is the top issue and was the focus of Monday's presidential forum. The Iraq war, climate change, energy, and the environment have also grown in importance among religious liberals, and the rise of those issues in public consciousness in the past couple of years has also given religious progressives more to rally around.
On the left, many political religious activists disagree over abortion and gay rights, and so those issues are not central to the movement. The founder and organizer of Sojourners, the Rev. Jim Wallis, is an Evangelical Christian who calls himself pro-life, but it is the issues of poverty and social justice that animate him in the political sphere.
Religious conservative leaders say they welcome the rise of a religious left and see it as a validation of their own entry into politics in the 1970s, after a long period when the blending of religion and politics on the right was seen as anathema.
"I think it points to the success that Christians have had," says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "It means we're no longer on the outside looking in. Faith has very much permeated the political process in this country."
But to some activists, especially those who are fighting to maintain strict separation between church and state, the growth of a religious left raises the risk that the public loses sight of the proper place of religion and faith in government. "My concern is that merely mentioning religious matters or using religious language is not a way to run a political campaign," says the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "The bad news is that the religious left could begin to use religion in the same way that the religious right does . We already have too much religious rhetoric in what should be a secular-oriented campaign." But, he adds, it's "possible for right and left to talk about values and explain the source of their beliefs, and that's an important part of the public dialogue."
Personally, I prefer the term "sinister spirituality".
Heh- I thought you said spinster spirituality. I thought that was pretty funny considering how mean, bossy and angry the short-clipped hair women are on the left.
I was driving past a Suv and the woman had a bumpersticker that said, "stop bitching and start the revolution". I was curious to see who was driving it - from behind she had pretty, wavy, long hair. But when I got to see her face it was the typical mean and angry -chip on the shoulder- bully face you expect from someone like that. She had all kinds of angry bumpers stickers on her car. I think she could have summed them all up with one that said, I'm a mean and angry meopausal bitch looking for a fight.
There has always been a religious left. It has received a pass from the media, though, which condemns the religious right as a mortal threat but takes the religious left for granted as an integral part of the activist culture.
Besides such high profile examples as the Vietcong-supporting Berrigan Brothers in the 60s, and Al Sharpton et al in our time, there are the long time pacifist sects like the Quakers and Mennonites. These have increasingly dropped their centuries old pretenses in recent years and sided openly with violent totalitarians.
The religious left has also grown as '60s-inspired activists take control of fossilized mainstream denominations like the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians.
As though that were not enough, the pop-left has its own institutional religion, in the form of a loose aggregation of beliefs known collectively as the New Age. As much commercial as religious, this is essentially the established religion of the media-industrial complex and is tailored to its tenets and objectives. Not all New Agers are lefties by any means but its media-culture affiliation certainly gives the left an advantage in attracting those who are political at all.
Along with massive Islamic encroachment, this provides a ready-made framework for a religious revival among rank and file left-conformists, since their attempted appeals to reason have failed miserably in the light of historical experience.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stands out in my mind as the most positive example of someone from the religious Left. People like that could make a positive political contribution. Unfortunately today we are left with bigoted race hustlers like Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan in his stead. There just are not a lot of decent people remaining on the Left anymore; America incorporated their best ideas and the rabid anti-American moonbats dominate otherwise.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stands out in my mind as the most positive example of someone from the religious Left.
Interesting that he's identified as a man of the left, because all he ever really did was demand that America live up to its own ideals:
. . . When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.' But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. . . .
And whatever is that "promissory note" he referred to? The terms go something like this:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights . . . .
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
In today's political environment, MLKJr would be one of those nasty religious right conservatives. He's approving of the stuff written by dead white males, damn him! Hasn't he read Marx and Chomsky? It's all just narrative constructs in support of the bourgeois hegemony!
Spiritual left refers to those that worship nuts, twigs, berries, dead first ladies (Eleanor Roosevelt), the moon, Global Warming, fill in the blank of your favorite moonbat "______ ism", anthing but God.
The two defining characteristics of the Religous Left seem to be:
1. Undemanding faith. They worship "the groovy high-on-life Jesus who affirms us in our okayness." "God made you gay? Well, be happy being gay, then! It's not like you have to avoid sin or the near occasion of sin or anything like that. If God hadn't wanted you to get down and party, He wouldn't have invented temptation, would he?"
2. A belief in the perfectability of human nature. Rather than store up their treasures in heaven, the Religious Left wants to build heaven here on earth (with the actual construction being done by a compassionate, fully-resourced, benevolent earthly power).
Folks, their is a true religious left and it is called The Universalist, Unitarian Church. They even march in 4th of July parades and hold up "Stop War, Make Peace" kind of signs. Has anyone ever met a UU church goer who is not a lefty? I haven't and I know quite a few.
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
06/07/2007 11:45 Comments ||
Nobody seems to notice what Cain's "Am I my brother's keeper?" meant.
He was saying "I don't keep him locked up in my sheep-pen." So when Obama said "I am my brother's keeper," I wonder what that entails.
The hardworking, tight-knit neighborhood known as "Little Guyana" is a peaceful home away from home for the many immigrants who left their violence-wracked Caribbean nation for a better life.
But lately, the neighborhood has been struggling to deal with images of terror and violence that keep putting the word "Guyana" in the headlines. The latest blow came when four men from Guyana and Trinidad were arrested on charges that they plotted to blow up the jet-fuel pipeline and tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The reaction among residents is usually the same: Shocking. Embarrassing. Crazy. Stupid.
"They let a whole nation down! Stupid!" said Yadran Harry, a 37-year-old grocer in the Queens neighborhood that is home to at least 50,000 immigrants from Guyana, mostly of Indian descent. Thousands more Guyanese immigrants, mostly of African heritage, live in Brooklyn. The Guyanese community has been struggling with other negative stories in recent months, despite the fact that residents up and down the main street Liberty Avenue insist that it's a peaceful place. Last month, authorities said a young woman from Guyana was gunned down by her police officer boyfriend after she broke up with him.
Another crime involved a Guyanese-born woman whose throat was slashed on her doorstep by the man who allegedly raped her, to keep her from testifying against him. And in a horrific case that has been playing out in a New York courtroom, a former insurance agent and an ex-postal worker are accused of taking out life insurance policies on impoverished members of their Guyanese community without their knowledge, then hiring hit men to shoot or poison them to collect the money.
At a time when the U.S. government is reassessing immigration laws, residents say a string of crimes associated with a particular nationality puts everyone in doubt. "People are afraid they'll be watched more, that travel and immigration will be restricted," said Gary Girdhari, publisher of the Guyana Journal magazine.
Guyana is a former British colony on the northeast coast of South America where about a third of residents are descendants of African slaves and nearly half are the descendants of Indians imported as contract laborers in the 19th century, according to government figures.
The accused airport plotters are Muslim, but only 7 percent of Guyana's population is Muslim. Fifty-seven percent is Christian, and 28 percent is Hindu. The country has long been plagued by violence and drugs; drug traffickers earn the equivalent of an estimated 20 percent of Guyana's gross domestic product, the U.S. State Department has said.
In Little Guyana, a group of community leaders issued a statement condemning the alleged beliefs of the terrorism suspects three of them Guyanese and one from Trinidad. One is a former member of Guyana's parliament. "We vehemently condemn any and all acts of terrorism and call for the highest punishment under the law," said the statement, signed by a group of leaders including politicians and clerics who urged "neighbors and fellow New Yorkers not to rush to judgment, and more importantly, not to paint every Guyanese and Trinidadian here in the U.S.A. with a prejudiced brush."
For Harry, the grocer, the aftermath of the terror plot arrests came in a personal form: a phone call from his 18-year-old son. "He asked me, 'Dad, what's going on?'" said Harry, who immigrated to the United States about 10 years ago. "Coming to America was everybody's dream. This drives me crazy. I can't believe it!"
The arrests were mostly a surprise to a group of immigrants more interested in making a good living than in international politics let alone terrorist causes. "These men are aberrations," said attorney Albert Baldeo, a native of Guyana. "We've never had any ties to radical Muslim fundamentalism."
The accused mastermind of the alleged plot, Russell M. Defreitas, is a U.S. citizen born in Guyana, a Muslim of African descent. He told a federal informant his feelings of disgust toward his adopted homeland had lingered for years. Such an attitude is foreign to Guyanese shopkeepers along Liberty Avenue, where the closest most of them get to politics is to vote for Democrats. "It's hard enough to get by, and then you're going to turn around and do this!" said Angela Harry, the grocer's wife, who works 14-hour days in a neighborhood where many people hold two or three jobs.
"We vehemently condemn any and all acts of terrorism and call for the highest punishment under the law," said the statement...
Well, there's a certain amount of "backlash" mewling, but this is much better than the usual fare. With certain other ethnic/religious groups, you get...
1) It's a mistake. No [fill in the blank] would ever do a horrible thing like that.
2) OK, it's him, but he's innocent. The Joooooz framed him for this horrible thing.
3) OK, he did it, but you deserved it!
50,000 people from yet another place who should never have been allowed to come here. We should tell them to stay home and fix their own problems, not allow them to come here and inflict their problems on us.
Imam Hafiz Muhammad Hamid Jamaat-ul-Daawa chief Hafiz Saeeds brother along with his wife and five children has been whisked out of the United States.
The family boarded a Gulf airways flight to bypass London because the British authorities had earlier refused them transit permission on the grounds that they did not have valid US visas. By the time this report has been printed, Hafiz Hamid and his family would be in Pakistan. What treatment they receive there is not known but the Pakistani authorities do consider Hafiz Hamid a person of interest. Hafiz Hamid was imam at the Islamic Centre of Greater Worcester in Worcester, Massachusetts and had been fighting immigration regulation infringements for the last several months.
The four suspects in an alleged terror plot to bomb a New York airport were set up in an elaborate plan by the US Republican party to retain hold of the White House, the daughter of an arrested suspect claimed on Tuesday. Huda Ibrahiim, daughter of Amir Kareem Ibrahiim, one of four men accused of plotting acts of terrorism against the United States, said US justice officials had engaged in entrapment in breaking up the alleged plot.
Huda, 20, speaking on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago and the Guyanese Shiite Muslim community, read from a prepared statement in a press conference at a hotel here. She said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) informant key to breaking up the alleged plot had presented himself as an Islamic missionary from the United States while visiting the homes of Abdul Kadir and Amir Ibrahiim.
The FBIs informant, whom she called the source, is the only person culpable of any of the activities mentioned in the complaint. The source visited our brothers with the specific intent to entrap them in activities they know nothing about, never agreed to and did not participate in, said Huda. We believe that the persons responsible for the arrest of our brothers are doing it for a purpose other than the protection of the people and interests of the USA, Huda said.
Not only is he personally responsible for global warming, bubonic plague, the Salem Witch trials, WWI and WWII, 9/11, and the heartbreak of psoriasis...that son of the Devil is responsible for the JFK plot setup. D*mn that Karl Rove!
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
06/07/2007 6:14 Comments ||
Not that I care, but she actually might be kind of right. It kind of sounded like we were really after that Shukrijumah guy but didn't quite get him. We may have been working these guys, egging them on, in hopes they would lead us to Shuk. I wouldn't call it 'entrapment', but maybe 'encouragement.'
We shouldn't allow Muslim accessories to Muslim crime to play on prejudices. Pre-trial disclosure of some audio and videotape evidence should be made.
The koran (gasoline be upon it) tells Muslims: "jihad is prescribed to you." Either they are carrying out jihad terror or they are financing or tacitly supporting it. CAIR has never admitted that a single Gitmo internee is guilty of anything. Hence the "islamophobia" smokescreen.
LONDON: Renowned scholar Dr Ayesha Siddiqa secretly reached London on Wednesday after she received a message that a charge sheet is being prepared to put her on trial for writing a book against the Pakistani military establishment.
Dr Ayesha, whose recently launched book, Military Inc, created a stir in Pakistan, was scheduled to reach London on June 13. However, she abruptly got out of the country after the messengers told her that she might be put on trial soon.
Before leaving Pakistan, Dr Ayesha also received a legal notice from a retired general, demanding Rs 1 billion as damages for exposing his alleged acts of omission and commission in her book.
She was informed by some of her close family friends that her life was in a danger and she should be very careful. I left Pakistan quietly as certain messengers were sent to my house to inform me about governments intentions to prepare a charge-sheet, Dr Siddiqa told The New here.
She said she believed that the messengers, who were personally known to her, were sent because the authorities concerned were annoyed at her work on the political and economic might and role of the military establishment.
Dr Ayesha said she had planned to visit London in the second week of June to attend her books launching ceremony here on June 13. But, after receiving these messages she decided to leave for London quite early, she said, adding that after receiving these messages, her husband was frightened about her safety in Pakistan.
A new book by a Pakistani writer argues that irrespective of whether it is a civilian or a general at the helm, so deep has the military sunk roots in the national economy, and so vast are its business dealings, that in order to protect this empire and its associated vested interests, the army, especially, will continue to have an important say in how Pakistan is run. Military Inc. Inside Pakistan's Military Economy by Ayesha Siddiqa (Pluto Press, London; Oxford University Press, Pakistan) is a detailed exposition of the business and commercial empire run by the armed forces.
The author is a well-known strategic affairs analyst. The central argument of her book is that `Milbus' (combining the words military and business) perpetuates the military's political predatory style. Its good health is dependent on the military's influence over state and society. In other words, profit is directly proportionate to power. And, that this is both a cause and effect of a non-democratic political system.
Ms. Siddiqa defines `Milbus' as military capital used for the personal benefit of the military fraternity. It refers to all activities that transfer resources from the state to an individual or a group within the military. These activities do not figure in the defence budget nor are they subject to the normal accountability procedures of the state. They are either directly controlled by the military or enjoy its implicit or explicit patronage.
The beneficiaries are primarily officers, both serving and retired, but the author says the `Milbus' harvest is reaped by a wider circle of civilian businessmen and politicians who have decided in their own interests to play the game. And in this, says Ms. Siddiqa, lies the key to Pakistan's story of repeated military rule. Civilian `clients' are bound in predatory partnerships with the military, in turn strengthening it institutionally and increasing its appetite for power and profit.
In Pakistan, `Milbus' is present in all three sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, and services. And it operates at three levels: as an institution, through its subsidiaries, and through individuals.
At the level of the institution, for instance, the military runs National Logistic Cell, the biggest freight transportation company in Pakistan. Its fleet of 1,689 vehicles is one of the largest in public sector transportation in Asia. The company is also engaged in construction of roads, bridges, and wheat storage facilities. The NLC is technically a department of the Ministry of Planning and Development but its ground operations are run by the army, and it is staffed by serving army officials. The net worth of NLC in 2000-01 was an estimated $68.35 million.
Then there is the Frontier Works Organisation, established in 1966 to construct the 805 km Karakoram Highway. It is now the biggest contractor in the country for constructing roads and collecting tolls. Staffed by army engineers, it comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence. There are also cooperatives that carry out small- and medium-sized profit making activities and are handled at the level of the military commands. The businesses range from bakeries to poultry farms and markets, commercial plazas and gas stations.
Ms. Siddiqa says the operations of the `subsidiaries' are the most transparent part of `Milbus.' She includes in this category Fauji Foundation, which is the most well known, the Army Welfare Trust, the Air Force's Shaheen Foundation, and the Navy's Bahria Foundation. All are controlled by senior officials of the respective services or officials of the Defence Ministry.
Between them, they run about 100 different projects, including heavy manufacturing industries such as cement and fertilizer. One project makes cereal. Some of the foundations are involved in education, insurance, banking, and information technology. These concerns get a head start with the military playing a key role in obtaining public sector business contracts and in helping them secure financial and other industrial inputs. Once they are set up, they advertise their links to the military to project themselves as more efficient than similar civilian-run concerns. The importance of this is nowhere more apparent than in the real estate development ventures of the foundations. The prices of land shoot up because people believe that a development backed by the military can never go wrong, nor will it ever fall foul of the government.
The tri-service Fauji Foundation, with its 25 projects, has declared assets of $169 million. It employs 6,000-7,000 retired military personnel and is run by a governing board dominated by the army. The Army Welfare Trust began in 1971 with slightly over $12,000. Its specific purpose was to generate jobs for disabled soldiers, army widows, orphans. Today the Trust boasts of five financial sector companies listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange, out of a total of 41 projects. It has assets worth $62.1 million, and employs 5,000 ex-servicemen.
At the level of the individual, the military provides several benefits to its personnel. The boys always find jobs after retirement. The Musharraf regime has placed between 4,000-5,000 military officers through a system of preferential appointments.
There are other `invisible' benefits, such as using contacts in the military to swing business opportunities. Defence contracts are the most common. Ms. Siddiqa cites the example of the former ISI boss Lt. Gen Hamid Gul's daughter running a private bus company, which was able to get preferential access to bus routes between Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
But the biggest and the most visible perk is the rural and urban land given out to serving and retired officers. They also get subsidies and other benefits to develop the land. The estimated worth of the legally acquired assets of Pakistan's generals, says Ms. Siddiqa, is in the range of $ 2.59 million-$ 6.9 million, based primarily on the value of rural and urban properties of these new land barons. The Pakistan military, as a single group, owns more land than any other institution or group, amounting to about 12 per cent of total state land. And unlike other state institutions, the military can convert this land for private usage.
Of the 11.58 million acres of land under its control, more than half is owned by individual members of the armed forces, mainly officers. Ms. Siddiqa argues that the "monopolisation" of land by the armed forces is aimed not just at increasing the financial worth of individuals or groups within the army, but also to increase its social and political worth. "The military owes it authority to change the usage of land to its phenomenal political clout. The land redistribution policy has an impact on the relationship between the powerful ruling elite in the country of which the military is a part and the masses."
The military describes its commercial empire as "welfare" activities but the book questions this by pointing out that the main beneficiary is the officer cadre. Moreover, this is a type of welfare in which the civilian world is unable to impose any limits. What the military wants it takes. And it justifies this in terms of its role as the saviour of the nation, positing an external threat from India so great that over the years, "national security has developed into a dogma at par with religious ideology."
The external threat is also used to include internal security matters. With their eyes on getting elected, politicians are loathe to challenge this national security agenda. Through acts of both commission and omission, they acknowledge and further the special status on the armed forces, to the point where the military dominates over all other stakeholders, and has "become the state itself."
The military cannot be dislodged from its pre-eminent position in the politics, economy, and society of Pakistan unless political parties re-imagine themselves dramatically. Many advocate the much talked about "deal" between Ms. Bhutto and President Musharraf as the best political arrangement for Pakistan a marriage of convenience between an "enlightened" military ruler, and the leader of a secular, democratic party. But it is by no means a step towards the marginalisation of the military, even if President Musharraf steps down as army chief.
For observers of the India-Pakistan peace process, the book resurrects an old question: if the external threat on Pakistan's eastern border is so necessary for the military to maintain its internal supremacy, which includes its political and economic domination, would it ever allow or enable fully normal relations with India?
Posted by: John Frum ||
06/07/2007 8:17 Comments ||
Thanks, John. Though I wish you wouldn't be so breviloquent.
Aside from the domestic issue, a real problem for Pakistan will come when the US relationship with India warms sufficiently for the US to stop sending new toys for the Pak milbus to play with. Then they'll have to take the leftovers from China. And be unquestionably ill equipped for any contest with India.
Lal Masjid prayer leader Maulana Abdul Aziz told Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Ali Awad Al Asseri on Wednesday that Sharias enforcement and co-education systems abolition in Pakistan were the clerics main demands. The envoy told them that the demands could not be met overnight.
Asseri visited Lal Masjid on Wednesday and stayed there for almost one and a half hours. However, he did not respond to media questions. Lal Masjid deputy prayer leader Abdul Rashid Ghazi told reporters that Asseri visited the mosque on the clerics request. He criticised the government for not allowing the Imam-e-Kaaba to visit the mosque. Stopping the Imam-e-Kaaba from meeting us is deplorable, said Ghazi. He added that the Saudi ambassador listened to our demands and said they could not be fulfilled overnight.
Ghazi said that Aziz asked the ambassador if the government could pass ordinances overnight, why could not it take concrete steps for the enforcement of Sharia. He said that Maulana Aziz had cited the recently amended PEMRA Ordinance to support his claim.
Ghazi said that all problems would be resolved if the government implemented an Islamic system in the country, Online reported. Ghazi said that Aziz had assured the envoy that madrassa students would evacuate the childrens library and the clerics would hand over the control of Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Fareedia to the government if the government implemented Sharia in the country.
A spokesman for tribal militants in South Waziristan on Wednesday denied reports that commander Mulla Nazir Ahmed had been expelled from the Taliban movement for killing Uzbek militants.
This is propaganda against the ameer (commander) and he still enjoys the support of the Taliban, the spokesman told Daily Times following a foreign radio report, also picked up by the Pakistani Urdu press, that quoted an unnamed source as claiming that Mulla Nazir had been expelled from the movement. The spokesman said the uprising against the Uzbek militants was indigenous because the Ahmedzai Wazir tribes patience was being tested by the unbecoming behaviour of their guests. Mulla Nazir led an uprising against the Uzbeks in March dislodging hundreds of Uzbek militants from Wana and its surrounding areas after complaints of target-killing, kidnapping for ransom and other crimes against the Uzbeks grew.
A coalition of human rights groups has drawn up a list of 39 terror suspects it believes are being secretly imprisoned by U.S. authorities and published their names in a report released Thursday. Information about the so-called "ghost detainees" was gleaned from interviews with former prisoners and officials in the U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, according to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and four other groups.
Information on the purported missing detainees was, in some cases, incomplete, the report acknowledged. Some detainees had been added to the list because Marwan Jabour, an Islamic militant who claims to have spent two years in CIA custody, remembered being shown photos of them during interrogations, it said. Others were identified only by their first or last names, like "al-Rubaia," who was added to the list after a fellow inmate reported seeing the name scribbled onto the wall of his cell. But information for at least 21 of the detainees had been confirmed by two or more independent sources, said Anne Fitzgerald, a senior adviser for Amnesty International.
President Bush acknowledged the existence of secret detention centers in September 2006, but said that the prisons were then empty. Bush said 14 terrorism suspects that the CIA had been holding, including a mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, had been transferred to military custody at Guantanamo Bay for trials.
Detainees on the list include Hassan Ghul and Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Faqasi al-Ghamdi, who were both named in the 9-11 Commission report as al-Qaida operatives. Another is Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, a jihadist ideologue named as one of the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorists." U.S. officials have confirmed that Nasar was seized in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta in November 2005, and the activists' report said that he was taken into U.S. custody after his arrest, citing unnamed Pakistani officials. His current location is unknown. Also missing is Mohammed Omar Abdel-Rahman, the son of the Omar Abdel-Rahman, the "Blind Sheik" behind the first plot against the World Trade Center in New York, the report said.
Most of the 35 other detainees mentioned in the report have been previously identified, with the exception of four Libyans, alleged members of the al-Qaida-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The report says they were handed to U.S. authorities and have not been heard from since.
The four other groups involved in drafting the report were the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University's School of Law, and Reprieve and Cageprisoners - both London-based rights groups.
What we're asking is where are these 39 people...
Ghost detainees. Personally I don't give a rat's ass. I suggest that the so-called human rights organization save their concern for the families of our dead soldiers and the families of victims of 911---in other words STFU.
Rats, they're on to our secret detention facility at Ice Station Zebra.
Posted by: Steve White ||
06/07/2007 10:35 Comments ||
Damn, can't we do better than that?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
06/07/2007 16:07 Comments ||
"The report says they were handed to U.S. authorities and have not been heard from since."
OK Amnesty International... You get the signatures of the next of kin of all 3000 plus folks who had folks die on 9/11 and the signatures next of kin of all the 3000 brave military folks who died in Iraq and Afghanistan on such a request for information, and MAYBE we'll consider it...
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2007 Anyone who doubts that al Qaeda would use chemical, nuclear or biological weapons need only look at the terror groups attacks in Iraq, Defense officials said. Al Qaeda and affiliated groups have used chlorine gas in attacks against civilians, Iraqi forces and coalition forces at least 15 times since October, according to U.S. officials in Baghdad.
Chlorine is used by terrorists with the intent to harm or kill large numbers of civilians, an official said. The attacks show that the terrorists are adaptable, but it reflects more on their maliciousness than their sophistication. Looks like a headline in the New York Times, eh?
The first documented chlorine attack was Oct. 21, 2006, in Ramadi, a Multinational Force Iraq spokeswoman said. In that attack, terrorists drove a car bomb with 12 120 mm mortar shells and two 100-pound chlorine tanks. The attack wounded three Iraqi policemen and a civilian. The first attack that received media attention was at Taji, where terrorists remotely detonated a 5-ton truck packed with 100 pounds of high explosives and two 1-ton chlorine tanks. The attack killed one civilian and wounded 114 others.
Other chlorine attacks occurred in Fallujah, Balad and Ramadi. The most recent attack was June 3 against Forward Operating Base Warhorse, in Diyala province. Again, a suicide car bomber launched the attack, and officials estimate it included two tanks of chlorine and 1,000 pounds of explosive. The cloud from the attack blew over Warhorse and sickened 65 servicemembers, Multinational Force Iraq officials said. All were examined and returned to duty. That would be last Sunday. I missed it in the wife's WaPo.
Officials in Baghdad cannot tell from their records if anyone has died from chlorine inhalation. A Multinational Force Iraq spokesman said there are anecdotal reports that while the blasts from the attacks have killed, few have died solely from the gas. We hear that an old man and some babies may have been killed, but we cant pin that down, the spokesman said.
We have seen attempts made by insurgent forces al Qaeda in particular to use debilitating agents like chlorine in their (improvised explosive devices and car bombs) to cause casualties beyond just concussion and blast, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.
Whitman said the attacks have been of limited effectiveness, but that does not lessen concerns. We continue to look at ways to prevent those materials from making their way to those who plant explosive devices, he said. This is a difficult proposition because many chemicals, like chlorine, have legitimate civilian uses. Chlorine is used to purify water and in other industrial processes.
Without getting into details that could jeopardize operational security, U.S. servicemembers have gear like gas masks and Zionist force fields to protect them from such weapons, a Pentagon official said. So the terrorists aim the weapon at civilians in an effort to intimidate populations.
The car bombs themselves are designed to target innocent civilians, Whitman said. It reflects the brutality of the enemy we are facing and the total disregard of life to use such an indiscriminate nature.
what worries me in this is that the jihadis are starting (slowly) to get the idea that you dont want a big blast to disapate the cholorine... this last attack they used a smalish bomb and ruptured the cholorine tanks and sent a large cloud down-range in the wind.
the bad guys are getting bewtter at this and we will see it again closer to home i am sure.
Posted by: Abu do you love ||
06/07/2007 16:51 Comments ||
UN inspectors warned that insurgents in Iraq were using chlorine to kill and wound civilians and could, given the countrys expertise in chemical arms in the past, develop other weapons-grade toxic agents.
Media reports have showed that insurgents are using toxic chemicals, such as chlorine, combined with explosives for dispersal, the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, known as UNMOVIC, said in a report to the Security Council posted on its Web site on Tuesday. Such attacks have resulted in the killing of tens and injuring of hundreds of people throughout Iraq, UNMOVIC said.
There have been at least 10 attacks using chlorine, and several others were attempted and foiled by security forces, said UNMOVIC in its quarterly report, dated May 29. Given the current security situation in Iraq, it is possible that some non-state actors will continue to seek to acquire toxic agents or their chemical precursors in small quantities, the report said. In addition, non-state actors could also seek to acquire other, more toxic agents that are either indigenously produced or procured from abroad, it said.
The survey, prepared by UNMOVICs acting executive chairman, Dimitri Perricos, pointed to the expertise Iraq had in producing chemical weapons with hundreds of scientific and technical personnel having been involved in the past chemical weapons programme.
Another danger was the availability and possible misuse of dual-use chemical production equipment, previously monitored by UN inspectors until they left Iraq shortly before the US-led invasion in 2003. Coalition forces have not allowed the monitors to return since then. Through satellite imagery, UNMOVIC said, it identified a number of buildings and structures that used to contain such equipment but had been demolished or damaged by 2004. However, the fate of the equipment, even in buildings that remained intact, was unknown, UNMOVIC said.
Media reports have showed that insurgents are using toxic chemicals, such as chlorine, combined with explosives for dispersal, the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, known as UNMOVIC, said in a report to the Security Council posted on its Web site on Tuesday.
So how much does the UN pay thess douchebags to read the papers, watch CNN and then issue these authoritative reports?
The most astonding part of this is that the Yahoo source is Reuters.
"...It's very ironic but I'm relieved the Israelis have started a bombing campaign. The gunmen killing each other on the streets were forced to go into hiding," said Mai, a Gaza housewife, referring to strikes aimed at halting rocket attacks on Israel..."
Reporters were: Wafa Amr in Gaza, Atef Sa'ad in Nablus and Said Ayyad in Bethlehem
But while sentiments seem to have turned against the militants, Israeli raids to detain them elicit strong public condemnation among Palestinians, who have long demanded the release of those held in Israeli jails.
This has nothing to do with loyalties, it is strictly a matter of convenience. The Israelis may as well be making the trains run on time for all it matters. The Palestinians will never release their death grip upon the desire for genocide against Israel. It is the core of their existence and the precise thing which discredits them utterly. The same goes for those who wish that Israel would reoccupy Gaza. These exact same people would still shoot at them and harbor snipers without a second thought. This is the usual monumental Palestinian ingratitude and deceit, nothing more or less.
Zenster is probably right. Most of the Palestinians holding this sentiment want Israel to fix everything for them, then go back behind the Security Fence and wait quietly to be wiped out. Some of them, however, really understand that Israel is more trustworthy than their brother Arabs... but they have no doubt been long spotting for the IDF, so this isn't a new idea to them.
Jum'a said ordinary Palestinians were so fed up with the armed groups "they now wish the Israeli occupation would take over in Gaza or hope for the return of Jordanian rule in the West Bank" to get rid of them.
Nuh-uh, Bubbe - you all voted these clowns into office power.
This is YOUR fault. Quit whining like a 2-year-old for someone else to "make it all right."
You broke it, you gotta fix it.
Or keep whining and die. Your choice.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut ||
06/07/2007 16:41 Comments ||
Unlike Israeli reoccupation, Jordanian rule might be a real way out for all concerned.
Pappy, agreed. WB may not be as bad as Gaza, but I suspect that Jordanians would have to go ballistic at some point, ala Black September, if they ruled WB. Paleos are totally messed up. Unfixable, IMHO, it will get only worse as the indoctrinated kids will get into mid teens, en masse.
Israel said on Wednesday it was prepared to make painful concessions to achieve peace with the Palestinians, working via an Arab initiative drawn up earlier this year and supported by Egypt and Jordan.
But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, writing in Britains Guardian newspaper, said any talks must take the form of discussion rather than an ultimatum. I take the offer of full normalisation of relations between Israel and the Arab world seriously; and I am ready to discuss the Arab peace initiative in an open and sincere manner, Olmert wrote. Working with our Jordanian and Egyptian partners, and hopefully other Arab states, we must pursue a comprehensive peace with energy and vision. But the talks must be a discussion, not an ultimatum.
Writing in a column published alongside Olmerts, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said if Israel was serious about peace, it had to recognise the basic rights of our people, including the right of refugees who fled or were driven out by Israel when it was founded in 1948 to return. In the 1967 war, Israel conquered the land of Palestine but it did not conquer the people. The 1967 war has over 40 years engendered successive wars and destabilisation of the Middle East, Haniyeh wrote. If Israel is serious about peace, it has to recognise these basic rights of our people, Haniyeh said. Nothing will stop our struggle for freedom and to have all our children reunited in a fully sovereign state of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.
It is possible that an international peacekeeping force would be stationed in the Gaza Strip, even though it would probably be difficult for Egypt to agree to its deployment, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said on Wednesday. Solana told the European Parliament in Brussels that "for the first time in many, many years, the idea of an international force" was not out of the question.
Solana said two groups in the Knesset had said it may be the moment to call for such a force south of Rafah Crossing. "We are working on that," he said. "The Israelis are also considering that possibility, the Palestinians are considering that possibility, the Egyptians are considering that possibility."
Solana said it would probably be difficult for Egypt as deployment of such a force might give the impression it was not able to control that part of the border. However, he added: "I think we can still get into discussions on these issues and maybe eventually get a solution."
The EU's External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told the parliament an international mechanism to provide direct aid to the Palestinians would be extended for a further three months. She said humanitarian conditions remained "dire" and urged EU members states to offer extra funds.
A growing number of European Parliament members are demanding the European Union recognize the Palestinian unity government and resume direct financial aid payments frozen more than a year ago.
Their opposition to the EU boycott, imposed after last year's election victory by Hamas, is driven by concern that the aid cutoff has been counterproductive - failing to persuade Hamas to moderate, while contributing to the turmoil as rival Palestinian factions clash in the streets. "If we don't end the boycott the region will descend into civil war and al-Qaida-type terrorist groups will emerge," Belgian Socialist lawmaker Veronique De Keyser said ahead of a Wednesday parliamentary debate with the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana on the situation in the region. "The only solution is to recognize the government that was legitimately elected - and talk with all of its members," she said.
She is among a large group of EU parliamentarians - as many as 250 in the 785-member house, according to some lawmakers - who would like to see the EU's 27 member states radically change their policy toward the Palestinians.
So far, the EU's 27 national governments and the bloc's executive body, the European Commission, have refused to change their policy, insisting that any Palestinian government must recognize Israel, accept previous agreements with Israel and renounce violence.
Even with the Fatah movement now in a unity government with Hamas, many Western governments have limited their dealings to the new members of the Palestinian Cabinet, which are perceived as more moderate.
Despite the growing calls in the EU Parliament, an early end of the boycott is not in sight - but how to proceed is an issue that is being intensely fought over, according to one senior EU diplomat.
The EU's policy toward the Middle East is determined solely by its national governments, and the European Parliament has no decision-making powers in this area. But debates in the EU legislature - the only directly elected EU institution - are an important reflection of the political mood in the member states, and voices advocating a policy change toward the Palestinians are an undercurrent some say is likely to grow if the situation deteriorates further.
During the aid cutoff, the EU has channeled hundreds of millions of euros in social assistance to the Palestinians through a program that bypasses the government. A new PLO account - managed by Finance Minister Salam Fayyad - has also been set up.
EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss a proposal to shift EU aid to the new PLO fund at their meeting in Luxembourg June 18.
Because Hamas is not part of the PLO, the new account would give the EU a mechanism for resuming payments - and considerably boosting the Palestinian public finances - without going through Hamas.
"We are discussing with Minister Fayyad the different possibilities that are there in order to have the transparency and the accountability for the money that could be transferred to that account," Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said earlier this week after a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart, Ziad Abu Amr.
But some EU parliamentarians want a more dramatic shift.
In a break with EU policy, several EU parliamentarians met Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas in Gaza City in May, in the first meeting between a European delegation and the Hamas leader since the Islamic group came to political power last year.
The Socialist group, which holds 218 seats in the EU assembly, wants to ensure a political resolution that is being prepared for a vote later this month includes a call for the recognition of the government and an immediate release of more funds to the Palestinians.
Their opposition to the EU boycott, imposed after last year's election victory by Hamas, is driven by concern that the aid cutoff has been counterproductive - failing to persuade Hamas to moderate, while contributing to the turmoil as rival Palestinian factions clash in the streets.
Wow, by killing all of those corrupt-as-hell Fatah wankers, these Hamas types really put the EU over a barrel. As if giving them more money will "persuade Hamas to moderate". How blithering can you get? Resumption of funding to Hamas will result in a supermarket-sweep of weapons buying and renewed festivities on an even grander scale. How does this constitute finding any sort of solution? The EU couldn't find its ass in a Turkish prison with both hands and a flashlight.
"The only solution is to recognize the government that was legitimately elected - and talk with all of its members," she said.
As I say: When your only tool is talk, everything begins to look like dialogue.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert must resign before the publication of the Winograd Committee's final report, frontrunner in the upcoming primary for the Labor party leadership, Ehud Barak, said during a press conference Wednesday evening. "The interim conclusions of the Winograd Committee are harsh, and because of them, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert must resign," Barak said. "If he does not do this by the time final report is published, I will act to dissolve the government and establish a new coalition, or move to elections."
Cairo's University of al-Azhar - the highest seat of Sunni learning - will send a group of researchers to Tehran to look at setting up a Sunni theological faculty there, al-Azhar's imam Mohammed Sayyed al-Tantawi said, after a meeting with the cultural attache of Iran's commercial office in Cairo, Mohammad Zamani. The initiative would be a significant step forward in the normalisation of relations between the two countries, at a moment in which the governments of Cairo and Tehran are tentatively seeking to resume relations broken off nearly 30 years ago.
"The decision to set up a theological faculty in Tehran addresses the need to bring Sunnis and Shiites closer together and contrast the forces that are compromising the unity of the Islamic world and of the ummah [community of the Muslim faithful]" Tantawi said. The majority of Iran's population is Muslim, with an overwhelming 89 percent Shiites and 9 percent Sunnis. "Between Sunnis and Shiites there is a unity of vision because they both pray to the same and only God, believe in the five pillars of the faith and both look towards Mecca" said Tantawi.
For his part Zamani highlighted the prestige of the al-Azhar university in the Islamic world and said he hoped for an exchange of teaching staff, texts and students from the two countries.
The current drive to renew relations, which were severed in 1979 after the Islamic revolution in Iran, apparently results from the recent thaw between the US and the Islamic Republic.
Six major Palestinian factions operating in Lebanon agreed to form a joint committee to coordinate affairs of the Palestinian refugees with the Beirut government and settle the Fatah al-Islam issue. The committee is headed by Palestine Liberation Organization diplomatic representative in Beirut Abbas Zaki, Palestinian sources said They said the committee comprises representatives of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' mainline Fatah, The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).
Point One: Death to Israel
Point Two: Death to America
Point Three: Death to the moustache of that pasty faced apostate sitting across the table from me, yes you, you filthy son of swine
Point Four: My tribe gets its legitimate 75% share of the contract or our honour will have its dire revenge
Point Five: Your clan is working for Mossad
Point Six: Go fer yer guns, Mahmoud!
Zaki is holding talks with his PLO superiors in Jordan to obtain President Abbas' approval of the committee, called the Higher Political Committee to Oversee Affairs of Palestinians in Lebanon, the sources said One source said Zaki also wants Abbas' approval of a blueprint for an "understanding" with Lebanon on settling the issue of the so-called Fatah al-Islam terrorist network which has been fighting the Lebanese army at the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared for 18 days.
The two-point understanding is based on the Lebanese government's distinction between "two categories of Fatah al-Islam terrorists. Those who slaughtered the Lebanese Army (in a surprise attack during their sleep), and those who fought the Lebanese Army," the source said. The first category includes "some 50-60 terrorists wanted for killing the Lebanese troops, security officers and Lebanese citizens," according to the source.
He said the second category covers "some 150 fighters who took part in the fight against the army at Nahr al-Bared as of May 21," when the army launched its counter offensive, one day after Fatah al-Islam terrorists slaughtered a number of its troops in a series of surprise raids.
Lebanese Authorities want to refer all Fatah al-Islam terrorists who fall under the first category to a military tribunal on charges punishable by death. While others would be tried also by a military tribunal and then extradited to their respective nations, except for Lebanese citizens and Palestinian refugees residing originally in Lebanon who will serve their sentences in Lebanon, the source explained. This leaves no other option for Fatah al-Islam terrorists but to surrender or face death "in a final show down with the Lebanese Army."
Syria, Iran and Hizbullah are preparing for the possibility of a war with Israel on the Syrian front, Channel Two reported on Wednesday night. Reportedly, Damascus has set August as the month for final war preparations.
The report followed an earlier security cabinet meeting devoted almost exclusively to Syria, during which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: "Israel seeks peace with Syria but we must be wary of miscalculations which could bring about an unwanted escalation."
The Prime Minister's Office said Israel had no belligerent intentions toward Syria and had relayed this message to Damascus through various diplomatic channels. The results of the meeting that ended around noon Wednesday were kept secret except for an announcement regarding a special forum that would be devoted to analyzing Syria's intentions and relaying them to the prime minister.
The forum would receive updates from military intelligence sources and other agencies. The members of the forum would be Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman, National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer and Labor, Trade and Industry Minister Eli Yishai, and Vice-Premier Shimon Peres.
The meeting on Wednesday morning followed weeks of conflicting signals regarding whether Israel is, or should, look into the meaning of Syria's declared interest in negotiations. The ministers are expected to hear briefings from various governmental agencies - the Mossad, the National Security Council, military intelligence and the Foreign Ministry - regarding Syria's intentions.
In recent weeks, more and more voices - including central figures in the IDF such as Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi - have advocated discreetly talking to the Syrians. Various IDF officials have been quoted as saying that Syria may opt for war if its overtures were not positively received.
Iran has agreed to release three Finnish employees of Nokia Siemens Networks who were detained Saturday after straying into Iran's territorial waters during a fishing trip in the Persian Gulf, the company said Wednesday "They (the men) have contacted us and said they will return to Dubai shortly," Nokia Siemens spokesman Barry French said. "We certainly appreciate the support of the government of Finland in reaching out to the Iranian counterparts." He gave no other details.
You do have to wonder about the innate intelligence of Nokia Siemens employees who go on a fishing trip in the Persian Gulf close enough to Iranian territory (even their version of the limits) after the British thingy and all the other stuff going on. I wonder what the Finns paid (more Nokia phones to use in IEDs, perhaps?).
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
06/07/2007 11:56 Comments ||
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.