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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Archive for August, 2007

How can a Jewish state reject refugees and refuse to acknowledge a genocide?

Posted by Atilla89 on August 31, 2007

An interesting post on Rosner’s Blog at the Haaretz Newspaper. I personally believe that the Armenian Genocide should be recognised by every country regardless of politics. However I do understand why Israel can’t take any more Sudanese refugees; having said this, what are the other Arab and African nations doing about absorbing these refugees? Nothing! Grrr….

Last week, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., wrote a letter to Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Sallai Meridor. “Israel has returned 48 Sudanese people to Egypt and intends to refuse entrance to refugees from the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan,” reported the congressman. “I am writing today to express my disappointment? [I]f any country should understand the special needs of those affected by the genocide in Darfur, it should be Israel.”

He was not alone expressing discomfort with Israel’s decision. Dozens of Israeli legislators from across the political spectrum made the same argument. Human rights organizations blasted the deportations. American Jewish organizations expressed disappointment.

But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reached an agreement with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak under which any Sudanese citizens illegally crossing into Israel through the Sinai Peninsula will be sent back to Egypt. Ten days ago, Israel deported 50 such infiltrators?and Olmert ordered that Darfurians arriving at the gates should be rejected. Only 500 were lucky enough to be absorbed by the country indefinitely. That number, say Israeli officials, is very high considering how small the country is?it is the equivalent of 20,000 refugees getting into America (The United States accepted fewer than 2,000 refugees from all of Sudan last year).

It was a calculated decision, but not a pretty one. Accepting the first wave of Darfurians proved problematic, tempting more Africans to attempt entry. If he wants to educate himself about such problems, Emanuel can call his former boss Bill Clinton. After CIA agents visited him before he was even inaugurated, Clinton had to roll back his criticism of the first Bush administration’s strict policy against accepting refugees from Haiti. The agents presented him with satellite photos that showed tens of thousands of Haitians hacking down houses and trees in anticipation of the new, less restrictive administration.

The memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish refugees who wanted to flee Europe was a handy weapon for those who criticized Israel for its cold-hearted decision. It became useful again last week, in an American-based controversy involving the Anti-Defamation League, an American Jewish organization that faces mounting criticism from both Jews and non-Jews over its refusal to acknowledge the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks in World War I.

This story is also an old one, but it never dies. Turkey, an important international and regional player, refuses to make peace with its murderous past and threatens to sever its ties with any country that contradicts its version of events. Israel?among many others?chose a Turkish connection over truth and justice to history. The ADL did what it thought was the responsible thing: defending Israel and Jews in Turkey from the possible consequences of acknowledging the genocide. But criticism threatened to tear the organization apart. Eventually, after constant pressure from outside the organization and also from its own activists, this led to a change of course by ADL leader Abraham Foxman. Since advocating against anti-Semitism and hate is the organization’s core issue, its position seemed highly hypocritical.

“The Jewish people will always bear the burden of the memory of the Holocaust and the comfort of redemption,” said then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres in 1996, while honoring German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. But last week, Peres took a morally indefensible stand on the Armenian genocide. Israel has not changed its position on the killing of Armenians, President Peres assured the Turkish prime minister. Ben Gurion’s most brilliant student, the last one standing, reiterated the always controversial Israeli position: As it has always done, it chooses Realpolitik over moral purity. Call it an action-oriented morality.

You can read the rest through the link at the top.

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Random Post of the day: Shuttle Discovery to Carry Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber Into Space

Posted by Atilla89 on August 30, 2007

From Fox News.

As part of the “Star Wars”‘ 30th anniversary celebration, NASA has agreed to carry the prop weapon into orbit and jettison it in space, according to collectSPACE.com.

Details will be announced in Houston Tuesday.

The lightsaber will be handed over to the space agency by Chewbacca at the Oakland Airport, not far from George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, collectSPACE.com said.

It reports the priceless piece will be greeted in Houston by a group of Stormtroopers along with R2D2.

Yay, go Star Wars.

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London-Based Arab Editor: I’ll Dance in Trafalgar Square When Iran Nukes Israel

Posted by Atilla89 on August 30, 2007

Normally I wouldn’t bother posting up something like this because it is so common. However first, its a western newspaper and secondly this guy, Bari Atwan, is also a contributor to the BBC and Sky News, neither of whom seem to have much of a problem with this.

Bari Atwan founded the pan-Arab daily in London in 1989, and today the paper has a circulation of around 50,000. He is also a regular commentator on Sky News and BBC News 24.

Sky News refused to comment specifically on his comments.

“It is not our policy to comment on what contributors may or may not say on other channels,” said Adrian Wells, head of foreign news at Sky.

A BBC spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that editors make decisions based on the following BBC guidelines.

“We should not automatically assume that academics and journalists from other organizations are impartial and make it clear to our audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint.”

Read the rest here; Hat tip to LGF.

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APEC 2007 Sydney

Posted by Atilla89 on August 29, 2007

APEC is coming up and I was wondering if anyone wanted to go into the city and take pictures of protesters getting roughed and also seeing the new U.S. water cannon in use by our riot police? Anyone else find that funny? Leave a comment if you want to come with me.

I will be there at Town Hall on September 8 @ 10am with a camera (expect photos)

In the meantime check out this website who’s members plan to protest at APEC. Its the Australian Socialist Youth Organisation. Maybe I can get a picture of one of their members being arrested…one can only hope.

Now for your entertainment, enjoy the anti-APEC riot in Chile 2004

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Korean Hostages will be freed; Price: Complete Surrender

Posted by Atilla89 on August 29, 2007

Just a bit of background, basically the Taliban kidnapped some South Koreans (I think they were missionaries) and have tried successfully to bargain them off for something with the Korean government. The Koreans have given in and guess what:

Under the terms of the agreement, South Korea agreed to stick by its previous decision to withdraw its 200 non-combat troops from Afghanistan, which work mostly in an engineering and medical capacity.

In addition, Seoul will halt all Christian missionary work in Afghanistan

Because the Korean government have not stood up to these terrorists, the Taliban will continued these tactics, and why shouldn’t they? As the saying goes, ‘Don’t change a winning combination.’

Hat tip: LGF

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The Hunt for Bin Laden

Posted by Atilla89 on August 27, 2007

Normally I would say avoid Newsweek like the plague but this time they have actually got a good article here. It pretty much shows how much better the man hunt for Osama could have gone if the bureaucracy had kept their noses out of the process. As well as this, it demonstrates our fear of risk that has hobbled the war against militant Islam and Islamo-fascism. Hat tip to LGF for this one.

The Americans were getting close. It was early in the winter of 2004-05, and Osama bin Laden and his entourage were holed up in a mountain hideaway along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Suddenly, a sentry, posted several kilometers away, spotted a patrol of U.S. soldiers who seemed to be heading straight for bin Laden’s redoubt. The sentry radioed an alert, and word quickly passed among the Qaeda leader’s 40-odd bodyguards to prepare to remove “the Sheik,” as bin Laden is known to his followers, to a fallback position. As Sheik Said, a senior Egyptian Qaeda operative, later told the story, the anxiety level was so high that the bodyguards were close to using the code word to kill bin Laden and commit suicide. According to Said, bin Laden had decreed that he would never be captured. “If there’s a 99 percent risk of the Sheik’s being captured, he told his men that they should all die and martyr him as well,” Said told Omar Farooqi, a Taliban liaison officer to Al Qaeda who spoke to a NEWSWEEK reporter in Afghanistan.

The secret word was never given. As the Qaeda sentry watched the U.S. troops, the patrol started moving in a different direction. Bin Laden’s men later concluded that the soldiers had nearly stumbled on their hideout by accident. (One former U.S. intelligence officer told NEWSWEEK that he was aware of official reporting on this incident.)

And so it has gone for six years. American intelligence officials interviewed by NEWSWEEK ruefully agree that the hunt to find bin Laden has been more a game of chance than good or “actionable” intelligence. Since bin Laden slipped away from Tora Bora in December 2001, U.S. intelligence has never had better than a 50-50 certainty about his whereabouts. “There hasn’t been a serious lead on Osama bin Laden since early 2002,” says Bruce Riedel, who recently retired as a South Asia expert at the CIA. “What we’re doing now is shooting in the dark in outer space. The chances of hitting anything are zero.”

How can that be? With all its spy satellites and aerial drones, killer commandos and millions in reward money, why can’t the world’s greatest superpower find a middle-aged, possibly ill, religious fanatic with a medieval mind-set? The short answer, sometimes overlooked, is that good, real-time intelligence about the enemy is hard to come by in any war, and manhunts are almost always difficult, especially if the fugitive can vanish into a remote region with a sympathetic population. (Think how long—five years—it took the FBI to track down Eric Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympic bomber, in the wilds of North Carolina.) That said, the U.S. government has made the job harder than necessary. The Iraq War drained resources from the hunt, and some old bureaucratic bugaboos—turf battles and fear of risk—undermined the effort. The United States can’t just barge into Pakistan without upsetting, and possible dooming, President Pervez Musharraf, who seems to lurch between trying to appease his enemies and riling them with heavy-handed repression.

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How to deal with Iran & the consequences that follow

Posted by Atilla89 on August 26, 2007

Another good video about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and why a land invasion is not the way to go for dealing with Iran. I personally believe an air strike is order and/or popular uprising amongst the Iranian people.

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Blaming the Jews – Hate in Islamic culture

Posted by Atilla89 on August 25, 2007

This is a series of videos exploring Arab and Muslim Antisemitism. It is very well done and worth watching. The reporter interviews different Sheiks in Britain, Gaza, Egypt as well as interviewing Marcus of Palestine Media Watch (PMW).

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4.

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Modern History Rant!

Posted by Atilla89 on August 24, 2007

This is the third rant I’ve had about modern history and specifically about my teacher, the other two are in the other blog somewhere…Anyway, this one’s a double rant in which one of my fellow students asked why I supported the U.S. I chose not to answer pretty much because of whatever I said, I very much doubt it would have changed her opinion. Generally whenever the talk turns to paying out Howard or America I pretend to be deaf and roll my eyes at any other Howard supporter, sadly there are usually none 😦 So back to that question, besides inventing a shit load of technology, saving Australia from being invaded in WW2, playing a key role in the fight against Nazi Germany, supporting Israel, opposing Iran, giving aid to many countries and exporting democracy, America is one of those few countries where a person has freedom. Now you might say hang on there are plenty of other countries that grant freedom for the individual. Well to put it bluntly, not really. Most of the Middle-East, 3/4 of Asia, a huge chunk of Africa and a lot of South America (including the Latin Americas) are not all that free. Many are under military dictatorships, or/in total anarchy or repress freedoms, for example China or Iran.

Hopefully that should have answered the question well enough.

Now the point of irritation is from my modern history teacher. I seem to remember posting an article that said that teachers should not mix politics with teaching, in my opinion this should be specifically for modern history. Here it is. Anyway the discussion was about Apartheid South Africa in which a certain South African Policeman from the Apartheid days had killed two blacks for no reason. Now this is disgusting and I fully believe this guy should be prosecuted to the full extent; here’s the article in question. Then immidiately the next thing that was said was “who knows, maybe Bush, Howard and Blair will be tried as war criminals for Iraq.”

WTF?!?!?!?

Besides the fact that they were toppeling a dictator (who incidentely attacked his neighbours, tried to build nuclear weapons and launched unprovoked attacks on Israel), this guy broke 17 UN Resolutions! If anyone should be tried for a war crime it should be Saddam, and incidently he was. I wonder if my modern history teacher was blaming all the killing Iraq on these leaders? If so she is severally mistaken, most of the blame is on the terrorists who are randomly killing and kidnapping innocents. However I do concede that collateral damge does occur, it is obvious that the terrorists are doing most of the killing.

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Still Time To Stop Middle East Arms War‎

Posted by Atilla89 on August 23, 2007

This is pretty much just a brief summary of what would happen if Iran went nuclear. It’s a scary thought…basically the point of this article is that Iran going nuclear=bad for everyone, even outside of the Middle East.

Israelis are petrified of Iran going nuclear, but why should that bother the rest of us? The fact is, a nuclear Iran would be harmful for everyone.
Iran wants to be regional hegemon. It has territorial disputes with Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates. You can add oil rich Bahrain to that list. Last month, an advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader described Bahrain as a “province of Iran,” calling for “reunification.”
Iran conducts regular military exercises in the Persian Gulf. If Iran were to blockade its entrance, which it could easily do, it would have effective control over world oil prices. With a nuclear deterrent, Iran could no longer be held accountable for its actions.
Iran says it doesn’t want nukes. But the UN’s nuclear watchdog said it recently found schematics for building uranium warheads, unexplained uranium contamination at a military-linked research facility and information on high explosives experiments that could be used in a nuclear program.
Limited UN sanctions have been ineffectual. Iran’s nuclearisation is progressing steadily. This has Sunni Egypt and Saudi Arabia worried. As Shi’ite Iran’s main rivals, both recently threatened to also pursue a “peaceful” nuclear program.
A nuclear arms race in the Middle East would be a nightmare. It won’t be like the Cold War, which was essentially between two blocs. In the Middle East, everyone distrusts everyone else. Indeed, over 60 years there have been 22 Middle Eastern wars with absolutely no connection to Israel.
A Sunni-Shi’ite nuclear arms race and Israeli fears of another Holocaust will create widespread uncertainty throughout the Middle East. This will send the price of oil skyrocketing.
But preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry doesn’t have to mean another war. A concerted effort by the international community can change Iranian policy.
Despite its huge oil reserves, Iran has few refineries, meaning it imports much of the petrol it uses. The refineries it does have are increasingly decrepit. Iran needs foreign investment just to keep them working. Thus, sanctions targeting the oil industry would be effective quickly.
Iranians are, slowly, becoming more vocal in their views, and polls have revealed the regime is deeply unpopular with its citizens.
It was popular unrest that felled the Shah in 1979. Meaningful sanctions might see either the current regime overthrown or its nuclear policy changed to avoid that outcome.
Either result is good, and infinitely better than a nuclear Iran.

I don’t have a link to give, but it was written by Bren Carlill who is a policy analyst at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

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