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I-2005: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 7th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 16th 17th 18th 19th 21st 23rd 25th 29th 30th

New translation, the Magna Carta

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iraq's first free and democratic elections for fifty years

Foxnews.com reports that turnout is being estimated at around 72 percent of eligible voters.

From Reuters:

“Samir Hassan, 32, who lost his leg in a car bomb blast in October, was determined to vote. "I would have crawled here if I had to. I don't want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me. Today I am voting for peace," he said, leaning on his metal crutches, determination in his reddened eyes.”

from an Iraqi

“We had all kinds of feelings in our minds while we were on our way to the ballot box except one feeling that never came to us, that was fear. We could smell pride in the atmosphere this morning; everyone we saw was holding up his blue tipped finger with broad smiles on the faces while walking out of the center.”

from the wife of a US coalition soldier

“The military has set out a clear list of do's and don'ts for coalition troops, and they're doing their best to prevent attacks on polling stations. My own husband has been working around the clock to make tomorrow happen, and I can't wait to talk to him after it's all said and done. Until then I stand and wait.

“I stand and wait for Iraq to begin a brave new era in history, and though it won't be perfect overnight, it's a start. It's the start of peace, because there can't be peace until men are truly free.

“Tomorrow is one of the most exciting days in Iraqi history. Let freedom reign.”

An appropriate cartoon on the elections.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#iraq_elections_300105


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wackistan and the free world

“That's where the realists are unrealistic. They've spent so long worshipping at the cult of stability they don't realise it's a total crock. The geopolitical scene is never stable, it's always dynamic. If the Western world decides in 2005 that it can 'contain' President Sy Kottik of Wackistan indefinitely, that doesn't mean the relationship between the two parties is set in aspic. Wackistan has a higher birth rate than the West, so after 40 years of 'stability' there are a lot more Wackistanis and a lot fewer Frenchmen. And Wackistan has immense oil reserves, and President Kottik has used the wealth of those oil reserves to fund radical schools and mosques in hitherto moderate parts of the Muslim world. And large numbers of Wackistanis have emigrated to the European Union, obliging opportunist politicians in marginal constituencies to pitch for their vote. And cheap air travel and the Internet and bank machines that take every card on the planet and the freelancing of nuclear technology mean that Wackistan's problems are no longer confined to Wackistan: for a few hundred bucks, they can be outside Big Ben or the Empire State Building within seven hours. In today's world, everywhere's next door.”

“[...] There is no status quo in world affairs: 'stability' is a fancy term to dignify laziness and complacency as sophistication.”

“[...] The IMF noted in November that the Iraqi economy is already outperforming all its Arab neighbours.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#wackistan_290105

let tyrants tremble.....

“ Four years ago Bush talked of "shaping a balance of power that favors freedom." He said, "Through much of the last century, America's faith in freedom and democracy was a rock in a raging sea. Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations." But September 11 taught Bush that America needs to do more than shape a balance of power or let seeds blow with the wind. "The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world," he said last week. And, bluntly, "it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

“[...] One would like to know the reaction of Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar. Or the Iranian mullahs. Or Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Or China's rulers.”

“[...] There is a narrative here: Washington established liberty in America, Lincoln extended liberty to the slaves, Bush means to spread liberty around the world. And by force of arms when necessary.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#freedom_250105

morris expects rice-clinton for 2008

An interview with Dick Morris, one of the very few commentators both independent and bright enough to be worth time.

“John Hawkins: Hillary Clinton, who looks likely to be the Democrats' candidate in 2008, is staking out a strong anti-illegal immigration position. Do you think that could be a potent issue for her, especially if the GOP runs a candidate like John McCain who's soft on illegal immigration?

“Dick Morris: I think it is a risky position since she needs to regain the Hispanic vote that Kerry lost. Gore carried Hispanics by 30 pts but Kerry won them by only 10. That change accounts for half of Bush's gain over 2000. But Hillary wants to move to the center and she is using this issue to do so.

“John Hawkins: Barring some sort of unforeseen disaster, do you think there are any Democrats who could beat Hillary in the 2008 primary?

“Dick Morris: No, none.”

related material
short review: Behind the Oval Office : Winning the Presidency in the Nineties by Dick Morris

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#rice_clinton_230105

for poor souls who lack vision, judgement, intelligence and courage

While Middle Eastern states have ruffled feathers:

“"I do not think the Americans would do such a crazy thing as carry out military attacks against Iran," Iranian President Mohammad Khatami [said].”

“Khatami said Iran would in any case defend itself against any attack by the United States, which he described as not "wise enough" to understand the implications of its own actions.”

Pull your covers up over your pretty heads and let the adults deal with the problems:

Quoted from George W. Bush’s inaugural speech, 2005:
“We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.”

“America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

“So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

“The rulers of outlaw regimes can know that we still believe as Abraham Lincoln did: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

By jiminy, I do believe he is talking about all those current detractors of the USA in old Europe and elsewhere.

“In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.

“From the perspective of a single day, including this day of dedication, the issues and questions before our country are many. From the viewpoint of centuries, the questions that come to us are narrowed and few. Did our generation advance the cause of freedom? And did our character bring credit to that cause?”

marker at abelard.org

“FREEDOM AND IDEALISM [Victor Davis Hanson]
This is the first time that an American president has committed the United States to side with democratic reformers worldwide. The end of the cold war has allowed us such parameters, but the American people also should be aware of the hard and necessary decisions entailed in such idealism that go way beyond the easy rhetoric of calling for change in Cuba, Syria, or Iran-distancing ourselves from the Saudi Royal Family, pressuring the Mubarak dynasty to hold real elections, hoping that a Pakistan can liberalize without becoming a theocracy, and navigating with Putin in matters of the former Soviet republics, all the while pressuring nuclear China, swaggering with cash and confidence, to allow its citizens real liberty. I wholeheartedly endorse the president's historic stance, but also accept that we live in an Orwellian world, where, for example, the liberal-talking Europeans are reactionary-doing realists who trade with anyone who pays and appease anyone who has arms-confident in their culture's ability always to package that abject realpolitik in the highest utopian rhetoric. But nonetheless the president has formally declared that we at least will be on the right side of history and thus we have to let his critics sort of their own moral calculus.
Posted at 01:48 PM”

“BY THE WAY [KJL]
The White House should totally have the speech up in Arabic right now. Persian. Korean. Chinese...”
Posted at 01:42 PM [Quoted from nationalreview.com]

marker at abelard.org

And say, ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599) Act 4, Sc. 3, l. 35

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#inauguration_210105

hanson bemoans the dullards; and about time too
recommend read.

So it is not only myself that finds the cottonwool kids a mindless tiresome embarrassment to civilisation:

“All this we cannot see at the present as we in our weariness lament the losses of almost 1,100 combat dead and billions committed to people who appear from 30-second media streams to be singularly ungracious and not our sort of folk. We dwell on unmistakable lapses, never on amazing successes - just as we were consumed with Afghanistan in its dark moments, but now ignore its road to success. But never mind all this: The long-term prospects are still as bright as things seem gloomy in the short-term - but only if we emulate our grandfathers and press on with the third Middle East election in the last six months.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#hanson_190105

futurism screed by politicos
[123 page PDF of large print, charts and blank pages!]

An attempt at gazing into the world political future, touching all the fashionable bases. Four fictional scenarios are discussed. I doubt they will be very productive, other than as source material for a new wave of sci-fi and other story writers.

This document has an awful lot of hedged-around waffle and a some useful charts.

“In countries such as China and India, where there is a pervasive son preference reinforced by government population control policies, women face increased risk not only of female infanticide but also of kidnapping and smuggling from surrounding regions for the disproportionately greater number of unattached males. Thus far, the preference for male children in China has led to an estimated shortfall of 30 million women.

“Such statistics suggest that the global female trafficking industry, which already earns an estimated $4 billion every year, is likely to expand, making it the second most profitable criminal activity behind global drug trafficking.

“The feminization of HIV/AIDS is another worrisome trend. Findings from the July 2004 Global AIDS conference held in Bangkok reveal that the percentage of HIV-infected women is rising on every continent and in every major region in the world except Western Europe and Australia. Young women comprise 75 percent of those between the ages of 15 to 24 who are infected with HIV globally.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#futurism_180105

world values survey

Inglehart world values map. Image credit: http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/

It looks like the way to have a more rational world is to increase survivability and make sure that there are plenty of toys to distract the customers.

For further discussion, go to worldvalues survey.org.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#world_value_survey_170105

us soldier dies in iraq, $12,000; horse dies in virginia, $15,000

“In 2003, I wrote a long and angry letter to my Virginia Senators and Reps, as well as the White House about the death of a soldier in my hometown and how the death benefit was so small (12,000 dollars) it didn't even pay for the funeral plus transportation costs for his (low-income)family to travel & get together for the burial. Instead, the town had to take up a collection to help bury the kid.”

“ [...] Senator Allen said my letter was one of many he had received and that he was going to introduce legislation to fix a clear injustice. Allen did. He was out with a bill to raise the death benefit to 100,000 late this December, and Sen Lieberman and Sessions also got publicity saying they would not only raise the benefit to 100K but make it retroactive to when we started fighting in Afghanistan, and also provide 400K in SGLI (service group life insurance) at the same time.

“This is damn proper. And, if we can spare 250 billion in war costs, 18 billion in direct aid to the "freedom-loving Iraqi people, and eat 4 billion in forgiven loans to Iraq we can damn well spend 500 million dollars to give our dead troops a fairer deal. Maybe not the 5 million taxpayers hand out to a stockbroker's survivors from 9/11, but a better deal than the disgusting pittance (12,000 dollars now, 6,000 in Gulf War I) that valued a soldier's death as worth less than a Virginia horse.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#value_of_life_160105

a view on parts of the middle east

A reply to a correspondent.

In my view, Israel is a beautiful country, but then I like arid lands and deserts.

The socialist government-controlled and owned bus company and other similar operations were keen to rip off customers. I do not think that Israelis are very hospitable unless you get to know them and stand up to them forcefully. But of course, they do have problems with the local loons.

The Israelis imposed order by going after the PLO terrorists in Gaza in 1971. This resulted in approximately 10 years of peace in the area. The commander at the time was Sharon.

The real enemy of Arabs are mostly other Arabs.

“ [...] as defence minister , Moshe Dayan was in overall charge of all the administered territories, including Gaza. His priorities were to allow the populations to live normal lives, to give them the benefit of many Israeli public services, to allow them to travel freely, to open up the Israeli market place and workplace to them, and generally to improve their opportunities and their standard of living. He did not expect the residents in these areas to outwardly welcome Israeli control. But he believed they would understand the advantages his policies brought them, and he believed that even prior to a political solution the Arabs of these territories could live alongside Israelis on peaceful and relatively co-operative terms. These were precisely the goals the terrorists sought to frustrate. As a result, their efforts at first were aimed not so much at hurting Israelis as at intimidating the Arab population; because by and large Dayan's calculations were right. The local Arabs began to experience an economic revolution, and they saw that, despite their dislike of Israeli rule, in a hundred ways their circumstances were improving. they were, in other words, nothing like a fruitful medium for the kind of national uprising Arafat and Habash dreamed of.”"

“ [...] from time to time Israeli soldiers or civilians were attacked, but the chief targets were Arabs, ordinary people who had found employment in Israel, who were using Israeli medical services, or who just wanted to live quiet lives and had resisted recruitment by the terrorists [...].”

Quoted from pp. 248 - 249, Warrior, an autobiography, Ariel Sharon, Touchstone, 2001, $10.88, 074322566X, pbk

It is not a much different pattern in Iraq, not much different pattern in Afghan.

The PLO tried to kill Hussein of Jordan on a couple of occasions and to take over the country. Hussein decided to drive the PLO out of Jordan, so the Syrians then decided to invade Jordan in support of the PLO (the Russian socialists were backing Syria, the PLO and Egypt, while trying to foment trouble). The Israelis drove the Syrians out under Kissinger’s pressure. It is estimated that Jordan killed around 8000 Palestinians in the operation.

I think most people are still being fooled by left-wing and Arab propaganda. The real history is nothing like that presented by the likes of Chomsky.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#middle_east_140105

background report on us forces in iraq, with links

Belmont is one of the most level headed and useful analyst-aggregators of the Iraq situation.

“Realistically, then, the maximum number of troops available for use in Iraq is probably pretty close to the number we have now: 300,000 rotated annually, for a presence of about 150,000 at any given time. The only way to appreciably increase this is to raise the Army's end strength by several divisions, and this is exactly what Kagan and Sullivan think Rumsfeld has been too stubborn about opposing.”

“[ ..] The main thrust of his counterargument is that more troops per se would not have made a difference if a purely defensive posture were adopted. And a more effective offense was impossible at the time because of the lack of targeting intelligence and the policy of ignoring Syrian, Iranian and Saudi provocation.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#iraq_background_130105

cbs jest won't stop digging

“ "Such error layered upon error can only happen when there is a rigid political orthodoxy that not only does not encourage dissent, it does not even recognized that dissent might exist," said Michael Paranzino, founder of a Web log encouraging a boycott of CBS.”

So surreal you would have to read it for the full flavour.

related material
A more detailed report

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#cbs_gate_120105

abu ghraib and us government policy on interrogation

A long article detailing the history of US interrogation policy since 9-11 2001, together with a coherent criticism of current tirades against US methods of obtaining information from terrorist detainees.

These first extracts show that the events at Abu Ghraib were not ordered or sanctioned by the US government or its military command.

“The abuse at Abu Ghraib resulted from the Pentagon’s failure to plan for any outcome of the Iraq invasion except the most rosy scenario, its failure to respond to the insurgency once it broke out, and its failure to keep military discipline from collapsing in the understaffed Abu Ghraib facility. Interrogation rules were beside the point.

“As the avalanche of prisoners taken in the street fighting overwhelmed the inadequate contingent of guards and officers at Abu Ghraib, order within the ranks broke down as thoroughly as order in the operation of the prison itself. [...]

“The idea that the abuse of the Iraqi detainees resulted from the president’s decision on the applicability of the Geneva conventions to al-Qaida and Taliban detainees is absurd on several grounds.”

“[...] except for the presence of dogs, none of the behavior shown in the photos was included in the interrogation rules promulgated in Iraq. Mandated masturbation, dog leashes, assault, and stacking naked prisoners in pyramids—none of these depredations was an approved (or even contemplated) interrogation practice, and no interrogator ordered the military guards to engage in them.”

What is included in the US interrogation policy:

“So what were these cruel and degrading practices? For one, providing a detainee an incentive for cooperation—such as a cigarette or, especially favored in Cuba, a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich or a Twinkie unless specifically approved by the secretary of defense. In other words, if an interrogator had learned that Usama bin Ladin’s accountant loved Cadbury chocolate, and intended to enter the interrogation booth armed with a Dairy Milk Wafer to extract the name of a Saudi financier, he needed to “specifically determine that military necessity requires” the use of the Dairy Milk Wafer and send an alert to Secretary Rumsfeld that chocolate was to be deployed against an al-Qaida operative.”

“[...] terror interrogators tried to follow the spirit of the Geneva code for conventional, uniformed prisoners of war.”

Further discussion of this topic at TAS.

related material
A ten-question factual test on the well-publicised Abu Ghraib ‘torture’ incident, with full answers.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#interrogation_110105

what’s with the uno?

Those interested in following the ineffectual United Nations Organisation response to the Indian Ocean tsunami and the deepening investigation into UN corruption, may keep in touch through the Diplomad and TAS blogs.

abelard.org reporting will continue to focus on scientific and technical aspects.

related material
tsunamis travel fast but not at infinite speed

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#uno_100105

some views on the middle east [from frontpagemag.com/blog]

“Last week, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas kicked off his presidential campaign by saying "the use of weapons is unacceptable because it has a negative impact on our image." It's an instructive choice of words: Mr. Abbas does not reject terrorism because it is immoral, but because it no longer sells the cause abroad. Still, even in Ramallah the message is getting through that terrorism is a self-defeating course of action. The romance, in other words, is gone.”

“ [...] There will be more genuinely democratic elections in the Arab world next month than there have been in the past 40 years. Even the U.N. managed to propose (if not yet adopt) a commonsense definition of terrorism. The main worry is Iran, which continues to bankroll Hezbollah and harbor al Qaeda while moving toward a nuclear bomb. Here the Administration's failure to announce, much less conduct, a coherent policy is leading toward crisis.

“In "Armageddon," British historian Max Hastings reminds us that the closing months of World War II were by far its bloodiest. Surely in this war there will be more awful surprises, and possibly reverses. But in 2004, it became clear that the civilized world would not soon again succumb to the fatal attractions of terror.”

marker at abelard.org

“For example, on Christmas Day, Abbas declared, "I will not use weapons against any Palestinian," noting that "Israel calls them [the terrorists] murderers, but we call them strugglers" and "freedom fighters." He has gone even further, calling the suicide bombers "martyrs." And, far from cracking down on those who arm and direct such terrorists, he has pledged to "protect them from assassination, to protect them from killing" by the Israelis.

“No less inconvenient is the fact that Abbas asserts there will be "no peace" with Israel as long as the security fence exists and "settlements" occupy Arab land. He has also made a precondition of an Israeli release of all Palestinian prisoners, including those with blood on their hands. He has pledged to insist on nothing less than a Palestinian state that comprises all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He says, "We cannot compromise on Jerusalem." Abu Mazen promises that the 4.5 million Palestinians he deems to be "refugees" will also be allowed to return to "their homes inside Israel" - a calculated instrument for achieving the demographic, if not physical, destruction of the Jewish state." [Quoted from worldnetdaily.com]

marker at abelard.org

Some other bits from frontpagemag.com/blog:

“Vowing that "a painful response" would be forthcoming against Israel, Hamas also blamed Abbas for the tank fire, citing his demands for a halt to Kassam rocket and mortar shell attacks on Israeli targets. Abbas, they said, "gave the Zionist enemy the pretext to exercise more crimes using the excuse of retaliating in response to resistance missiles."

“Resistance missiles." There's a new phrase for Orwell.”

and:

“ "Saudi Arabia has pledged $10 million for millions of Muslim refugees of the tsunami disaster. Last year, Saudi Arabia raised $150 million dollars for the families of suicide bombers."

“Add to this: Most of the victims are Muslims. The United States has given directly and through the UN nearly a billion dollars.”

A rather messy blog recommended for at least occasional reading. It would also be improved if original sources were better cited and linked.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#middle_east_090105

peace through superior fire power: staring down the m.e dictators

iraq, page 2

“Iraq, long plundered by despots, should be a wealthy country. It has water, an agricultural base, a source of capital (oil), and people willing to work. It is the best place to begin to reform the dysfunctional political systems that shackle and rob the vast majority of Middle Easterners. Success in Iraq would create conditions to break the region's endless cycle of robbery and violence. It would also force angry Middle Eastern Muslims to finally confront the inadequacies of their own societies instead of blaming Europe, the United States, and Israel for their centuries of fossilization and decline.”

“ Afghanistan is the guide. Afghanistan's October 9 presidential election was the most significant election in 2004. Obviously, it was significant for the people of Afghanistan, but it was significant too for the forgotten, trampled, robbed, and oppressed people suffering in Earth's various tyrannies--those who do long for freedom's fairer shake. The successful election was also a major step toward victory for the civilized world. This Millennium War is as much a war against fear, poverty, and anarchy as it is a war against the petty tyrants who harbor and sustain terrorists. The 8 million Afghans who voted, despite terror threats from al Qaeda and Taliban holdouts, rejected fear. The Afghan people acted, ignoring death threats made by religious fascists, the destruction wrought by 30 years of war, and the lack of "a modern transportation and communication infrastructure." [For example, roads and telephones]

“The Afghan people understand that democracy and the rule of law are the keys to modernity as well as the foundations of a more just society, and they made a public statement about their own hopes for the future. It's a future where the governed have a legal voice. It's a future where the rule of law replaces the whim of the tyrant imposed by force. The Afghan vote exemplifies the "ballot" component of the U.S. global strategy of bullets, money, and ballots. The bullets are combat and security operations. The money is financial, reconstruction, and development aid. The ballot is shorthand for fostering consensus-based governmental institutions and reinforcing the rule of law.”

marker at abelard.org

iran
this item is a bit apocalyptic and rhetorical but has its interest

“[...] Post-Saddam Iraq is not a failure--as long as roughly 80 percent of Iraq's population is moving towards democratic governance, we're not failing. But it is certainly an awful mess [...].”

page 2
“What a preemptive attack would certainly do is provoke another debate about the competence of a ruling clergy who led the nation into a head-on collision with the United States. Khamenei and Rafsanjani, and the Revolutionary Guard Corps behind them, would not look so clever or so unchallengeably strong the day after U.S. missiles and planes destroyed the nuclear facilities. The clerical regime might well try to retaliate against the United States clandestinely. It rose to power in large measure on deceit and a willingness to use intimidation, ruthless violence, and terrorism against its opponents (which is, of course, why you don't want them to have a nuke).

“But the fear-of-terrorism argument takes us back to the pre-9/11 world, where we preempted ourselves because of our fear of our enemies' potential nastiness. This argument is similar in sentiment and ethics to those used by European states that gave laissez-passers to Palestinian terrorists so long as the Palestinians agreed not to kill Israelis and Jews on their soil. The logic of this argument will always cede the high ground to an enemy willing to use terrorism against us (and the mullahs have certainly proven over two decades that they are willing to use terrorism against us and others). The only responsible rejoinder here is to threaten your enemy with massive retaliation, aimed directly at the world he cherishes, and especially at the military and security-and-intelligence structures that guarantee his survival. If we want to stop Iran's terrorist-supporting clerics from getting nukes, we have to be prepared to stare them down.”

“ Will Mubarak or his eldest son, who may be his successor, go for it? Probably not. But the United States needs to align itself finally on the democratic side in the Muslim Middle East. In no small part, bin Ladenism arose because the United States was constantly aligning itself with oppressive dictators, an understandable by-product of the Cold War. We should be enormously wary of any claim made by the U.S. intelligence community that support for this dictator or that king is essential to the war on terrorism. Eventually, we have to stop putting the cart before the horse. There is no historical reason to believe that bin Ladenism will end until the Middle East's autocracies evolve--until liberals, Muslim moderates, and fundamentalists have a chance to make their case democratically.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#fire_power_070105

incredible kofi - you couldn't make it up

Annan is called to secret board meeting for a wigging, and told to put his house in order.

So, high-powered executive swings into action.

how to cure an organisation riddled by corruption - more PR!

“Annan announces UN management shake-up

“After a year of scandal that sullied the image of the United Nations (UN), secretary-general Kofi Annan has announced a management shake-up with a new chief-of-staff, who will play a key role in managing the media.”

Kofi says they won't give us the money!

Has he not imagined that the UN is not trusted with money?

“The U-N is saying "thanks, but pay up" to donors pledging money for tsunami relief.

“U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan (KOH'-fee AN'nan) says he's collected more than two (b) billion dollars in pledges. But he says it's "quite likely" it won't all turn into cash.

“Annan says that's what happened last winter with an earthquake in Bam, Iran. Pledges came rolling in, but the U-N didn't end up getting all the money.”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#un_donations040105

socialist and jihadi alliance get their priorities in order

priorities for the coalition of the willing

After rescuing 50 million from enslavement to Ba’ath socialists and jihadis, with 150,000 killed by tsunami and millions more with wrecked lives, the Coalition of the Willing are now in full action to mitigate the disaster and rush aid to millions left destitute by the Sumatran tsunami.

priorities for the coalition of the killing

Meanwhile, the socialist and jihadi alliance continue to concentrate on their priority: killing Iraqis in order to stop them electing a government:

“Insurgents killed 17 Iraqi police and National Guards Monday in another bloody spree of ambushes, bombings and suicide attacks aimed at wrecking Iraq's Jan. 30 national election.

“Two explosions rocked Baghdad, including one detonated by a suicide bomber posing as a taxi driver who killed two policemen and a civilian near interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's party headquarters.” [Quoted from reuters.com]

From the Economist, 29/12/04:

“ [...] The town's English-speaking former mayor, Abdullah Fahad, was frank about the town's allegiances. "There are terrorists here, not from Syria, not from Mosul, but from Baij. Some are Baathists and some are Islamists and before they hated each other but now they work together, and they tell people that if they don't work with them they will kill them."

“Mr Fahad, who claimed to have survived several assassination attempts and whose son had been kidnapped, refused to help the Americans on the grounds that he would be murdered if he did. When the American commander offered to protect him, he replied: "Thank you, but you are not always here. This is the first time I have ever seen you." [...] ”

These are the tactics widely employed whereever gang leaders seek to enslave local populations. These are the methods used for decades by the PLO in Israel/Palestine.

Such groups are, as usual, widely misrepresented by the Left as ‘freedom fighters’, ‘resistance’ or ‘insurgents’. They are no such thing. They are simply criminals attempting to run criminal empires for their own venal ends.

priorities for the coalition of freeloaders

“More on "The UNcredibles": WFP (World Food Program) has "arrived" in the capital with an "assessment and coordination team." The following is no joke; no Diplomad attempt to be funny or clever: The team has spent the day and will likely spend a few more setting up their "coordination and opcenter" at a local five-star hotel. And their number one concern, even before phones, fax and copy machines? Arranging for the hotel to provide 24hr catering service. USAID folks already are cracking jokes about "The UN Sheraton." Meanwhile, our military and civilians, working with the super Aussies, continue to keep the C-130 air bridge of supplies flowing and the choppers flying, and keep on saving lives -- and without 24hr catering services from any five-star hotel . . . . The contrast grows more stark every minute." [Quoted from Diplomad]

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#priorities030105

un struggles to repackage itself as authority, while the coalition of the willing act

The Old Left is ever getting into increasing panic as the Coalition of the Willing, not only drive out the old socialist Ba’athist regime in Iraq and the unaccountable (they hoped!) theocracy in Afghan, but also lead the recovery from a major natural disaster.

It becomes ever more interesting to watch the socialist cultists trying to switch from
“it’s a war by the imperialists for oil” to
“how dare they lead the world rescue efforts”.

Oh, how the cultists tie themselves in knots.

As John Adams said:

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
[From Defence of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials, December 1770]

Marker at abelard.org

“The UN plan to provide relief to tsunami victims reflects an image of the organization itself. The press release Multifaceted UN response to tsunami focuses on both large and small reads like a repackaging of inconsequential UN field programs to give the appearance of action. They include "monitoring fisheries in India", undertaking disease planning exercises, providing safe delivery kits for expectant mothers and harnessing the International Labor Organization to undertake long-term rehabilitation and employment recovery. As a statement of good intentions it would be adequate but as a program for coping with one of the worst natural disasters in modern times it leaves much to be desired. The hollowness of the program is betrayed by the pathetically small amounts of specific physical relief it can point to.” [Quoted from the Belmont Club]

Here is an apologist for the old dying socialist aspirations, and ex-UK minister, believe it or not!

as reported at Diplomad:

“The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world’s response. But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN. "I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up," she said. "Only really the UN can do that job," she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme. "It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers." ”

As the writer goes on to say

“Ms. Short and her ilk would rather have people die than have the US go it "alone" with its partners.”

I am reminded of cultists who would rather their children die than allowed them one of them there modern operations.

Meanwhile, from the Belmont Club (see first item)

“Within the struggle against the effects of a natural disaster is the barely concealed struggle for political supremacy between the national and the international. Once the principle of subsidiarity has been rejected in favor of subordination no matter how far in front of the UN a member nation gets it will always remain behind.”
— and —
“ [... one] view regards subordination as contingent on consent; and accountability enforced by the possibility that consent can be withdrawn. But where "legitimacy" and "moral authority" is asserted independently of consent it begins to resemble the Divine Right of Kings, and with such mandates any disagreements necessarily take the form of defiance [...] ”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#un_willing020205

from the free north korea blog

“After a decade of campaigns to feed North Koreans, donor nations seem increasingly disenchanted. Critics complain that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, prefers to spend his scarce foreign exchange on weapons, leaving the feeding of his most vulnerable citizens to foreign charity.

“Because the country is largely closed to foreign reporters, there were virtually no reports in the world's news media this year about food deliveries and the fate of aid that comes into North Korea. In the past, some of the food was believed to have been siphoned off by the military and government workers before it reached the people in general.

“In coming weeks, as ice covers large stretches of the Tumen River, the border between China and North Korea, many North Koreans are expected to try to escape from the country. Fearing such an exodus, China has moved troops into the border region earlier this fall, witnesses from the area have said.

“On Monday, a South Korean human rights group released a report estimating that China was forcibly repatriating 100 refugees to North Korea a week. As of last Friday, 852 North Koreans were detained in four Chinese camps, awaiting deportation, according to the report by the Commission to Help North Korean Refugees, a private group based in Seoul.

“In the past, China has justified returning the refugees by saying they are economic migrants. Last summer, in the face of international protests and calls for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China reportedly told visiting human rights officials that the deportations had quietly been suspended.”

free North Korea blog

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/politics0501.php#freenorthkoreablog010105


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