Monday, December 31, 2007

IRNA: "Iran warns legal action with ICJ against Argentina"

The ICJ is the last refuge of the scoundrel:
Iran on Monday warned Argentina it will take legal action with International Court of Justice (ICJ) over repetition of unfounded allegations over bombing Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1992.

Prosecutor General Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi on Monday stressed that Iran will lodge complaint with international court against Argentine government over repetition of unfounded allegation attempting to damage international prestige of Iranian government.

"Iran condemns repetition of the charge by an Argentine justice official against Iranian nationals and has decided to Argentine government for damaging prestige of Iranian government."

Najafabadi was reacting to repetition of anti-Iran charge quoted by Israeli daily Haaretz from Argentine prosecutor.

"The act of Argentine federal prosecutor is a propaganda phase of a scenario ordered by Zionists to layoff blames and evade from realities," he said.

He added, "Unfortunately, Argentine judiciary system, violating the established principles and conventions of the international law, has embarked on levelling accusations and psychological warfare and ballyhoo against some Iranian nationals."
He said that Iran is ready to help clarify realities in connection with the AMIA Jewish center's blast.

"Unfortunately, Argentine judiciary system has raised fabricated hypothesis and hired false eyewitness and staged unfounded scenario, thus insisting on its unprincipled and legally unjustified stances." Najafabadi said such issues should be looked into through judiciary channels and through fair and reliable prosecution procedures.

Political stances, violation of justice and of impartiality, showing hostility, distorting opinion of the international community and levelling charges prior to proving any crime are not worthy of Argentine justice system and government, he added.

He said resort to vain concepts such as Iran's unhappiness over cancellation of bilateral nuclear deals and so on are not worthwhile of the sound and fair judicial system.

The Argentine nation and government are expected to give up such measures and stick to international law and regulations to find out realities and not to lay off blames and evade from responsibilities, he noted.

"It is not a matter of surprise that Iran is accused of terrorism by the Zionist camp. It seems that the pre-designed scenario has been revised by some Argentine sworn elements to cover up realities and give false signs in order to keep main criminals behind the criminal act immune."

Najafabadi stressed that while defending its nationals all over the world, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to contribute to clarification of realities so that the criminal terrorists are brought to justice. Iran is also to make the world people aware of realities on the international scene, he added.

He said the Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly informed Argentine judiciary and state officials that is ready to dispatch or receive judiciary delegations assigned with the task of clarifying realities in connection with the AMIA Jewish Center blast.
Iran is ready to dispatch reality-clarifying delegations--how can it be guilty?

HuffPo: "We Are The Terrorists"

Terrorist murders are really profound metaphor-opportunities:
There is a necessary reckoning, a collective grappling and grief, which accompanies the assassination of a powerful public figure like Ms. Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.

And when a public figure is especially polarizing, as Ms. Bhutto was, it can be difficult to sort out the complex emotions that arise in the wake of an event such as this.

In the tender middle of every tragedy, however, is a profound opportunity for personal and collective evolution, a moment when all defenses are laid bare and essential questions rise to the fore. To see Bhutto's death as an isolated act of cruelty by an evil group of terrorists, distant and separate from each of us, would be to miss a profound teaching moment.
That's so therapeutic! How could I have missed it?
We are all terrorists. Before you dismiss this out of hand, please take a closer look. The terrorist inside you wages acts of aggression on those you believe to oppress you. The dictator inside you declares martial law when it suits you. The suicide bomber martyrs you and wounds others in your attempts to be heard and to be right.
The bad writer inside you writes opinion-pieces that are actually work-accidents.
Global events are a mirror of aggressions taking place on a daily basis within each of us. This poses necessary and immediate questions: Who am I terrorizing? What part of myself or others am I assassinating?

It is our instinctual nature to polarize the world (and ourselves) into good and evil and then attempt to eradicate all evil from view - through repression and denial or through aggression and violence. Until we reconcile the violent parts of ourselves that we have dispelled into the shadow, we will continue to play out violent scenes on the world stage.

We have denied and discarded the unsavory bits of ourselves for so long, that we can no longer clearly see how we're creating our troubled world. By definition, it is not easy to see that which is in the shadow. It is outside of our peripheral vision. It is our blind spot, the Achilles heal of the individual and of humanity. What we despise or deny we push deep into the dark recesses of the psyche, hoping it will be forever hidden there. But instead, contorted into all manner of gruesome expression that we no longer recognize as our own shadow, we confront these twisted and alienated bits of self over and over until they are reintegrated. Ms. Bhutto's death is a painful illustration of our collective shadow.

Our small daily acts of aggression may seem like nothing compared to the brutal assassination of a revered public figure. But the collective consciousness is an assimilation of each of us. As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm. As long as we perpetuate the fracturing and fragmentation of disallowed parts of ourselves, stuffing our emotions and perpetuating a sense of shame and worthlessness even on a small scale, we will continue to create terrorists.

Why? Because operating from this fractured consciousness, we don't have the wisdom or the capacity to create a world that fosters wholeness. If we are not whole, we cannot know or create a world that is whole. As such, there will always be disenfranchised, forgotten and expendable parts. Those expendable parts and expendable people will rise up to terrorize us.
Expendable parts and expendable people--it's an alliance!
In order to heal this schism, we must reconcile with the shadow.
A hudna with the shadow . . .
It will require us to collect up all the forgotten, orphaned, disowned, disgusting and estranged parts of ourselves...and bring them back home. All that we have denied and disdained must be held with equal love. Only then can we transmute the lower nature into higher forms. Integration of the poles of our experience is the path toward wholeness.[...]
The road map to peace?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Asharq Alawsat: "Happy New Terrorism!"

Mshari Al-Zaydi offers some realism on the subject of fighting terror. Here are the closing paragraphs:
[...] Hezbollah's opposition today against all parties and the automatic manner by which people join its ranks is attributed  amongst other reasons  to a long past of preparation and restructuring within Lebanon’s Shia community, in addition to imposing a new “culture” that has led to the creation of the "Hezbollah state" within the state, as stated in Waddah Sharara’s book entitled 'The Hezbollah State'.

In his book, Sharara talks about the need to spread awareness about the social revolutionary objective of the party from an early stage among its leadership and the affiliated intelligentsia. He quotes Mr. Ibrahim Amin, one of the party’s symbols and the head of the party’s politburo in an interview with the weekly 'al Shahri' magazine as saying, "The region should be dominated by Islam again; it should not be governed by man but rather by Islam," (State of Hezbollah, p.210). Sharara commented by stating that this trend connotes, "the formation of new social and civil ties that revolve around the notion of Islam."

This 'Islam' is that which was conceived of by Khomeini, as the leader of Hezbollah referred to the concept of exporting the Iranian revolution.

In practice, this new reformation of the community and the nation; the nation of Hezbollah, had already taken place on various levels: from the status of women to fashion, restaurants and new terminology, as recorded by Fadi Tawfiq in his book 'God’s Narrow Land'.

One of the anecdotes recounted by Tawfiq is the story behind the breakaway faction that became Hezbollah after splitting from Amal movement. He maintains that it was because the latter had deviated off Musa al Sadr's track, even on the level of its leader's personal appearance; as in the case of head of Amal movement Nabih Berri's clean shaven face.

The purpose behind such talk is to say that confronting terrorism and getting results is much more difficult than most can imagine. Combating terrorism and social isolation is but the first battlefield so that the people may be protected against the proliferation of terrorism. Any leniency towards extremism means weakening the efficiency of the fight against it.

In the end, this article is not an analysis of terrorism; rather it aims to point out a deficiency in understanding it. Also, what was mentioned above does not necessarily mean that all extremists are terrorists; however it does mean that extremism is a battlefield for an unadulterated 'ideological' confrontation.

Unless that were to happen we could very well find ourselves saying at the end of the year: Happy New Terrorism!
Cheerful thought.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

NY Times: "Jihadists in Jails Win Leverage With Protests"

There is some useful reporting here and even a sense of the ironies involved, but in the end, the Times can't quite state the obvious: that the problem is outright sympathy and support for the radicals from populations and governments:
Ahmed Rafiki sprawled on the makeshift couch in his cell, a fresh red henna dye in his long hair and beard.

Known to other militants as the father of Moroccan jihadists, he was convicted in 2003 of leading young men to fight Americans in Afghanistan. But here in Oukacha Prison, Mr. Rafiki, an Islamist cleric, is serving the final months of his sentence in style.

His kitchen and larder are stocked three times a week by his two wives. His curtained doorway leads to a private garden and bath. He has two radios and a television, a reading stand for his Koran and a wardrobe of crisply ironed Islamic attire.

"In my case," he said with a smile, "the people treat me well."

Hardly a scene of harsh interrogation and detention for which Moroccan prisons are known, Mr. Rafiki’s plush prison life is evidence of an awkward balancing act between the crackdown on militants in many countries and the power those militants can hold over the authorities.

Through hunger strikes and protests, Mr. Rafiki and Oukacha’s 65 other militant inmates have won perks--including exclusive use of the conjugal rooms--that make them the envy of the prison’s 7,600 other inmates.

One recent morning, a prisoner advocate handed the warden a long list of inmates not linked to terrorism cases who were demanding equal time with their wives.

"'Why do they get much more rights than we get here?'" the advocate, Assia El Ouadie, said the other prisoners constantly asked her. "'Do you want us to become terrorism prisoners, and then we will get those rights?'"

Even as more and more militants are imprisoned around the world--often by governments with records of conducting extreme interrogations--the prisoners are managing to gain a kind of crude leverage over security officials who are struggling to figure out how to handle them.

Draconian, or even strict, treatment of radical inmates can lead to prison unrest and public condemnation, particularly in countries with sizable Muslim populations. At the same time, officials fear that militants given free rein are more likely to turn prisons into prime grounds for radicalization and recruiting . . .

Here in Morocco, across the Arab world and in European countries like Spain and France, there is a growing realization that catching and convicting militants is hardly the end of the problem. Many are getting sentences of only a few years, and Arab governments continue to release hundreds every year through mass pardons aimed at quelling fundamentalist Islamic movements . . .
"Quelling"? To "quell" is to crush or suppress, no? And they were trying to do that by releasing radical prisoners?
In May 2003, eight weeks after the United States invaded Iraq, Morocco was hit by its worst terrorist attack ever. A dozen suicide bombers struck a cafe, a hotel and Jewish establishments in Casablanca, killing more than 30 people. The struggle between the militants and the government landed in Morocco’s prisons . . .

"They started with hunger strikes and problems," said Abdelati Belghazi, director of Zaki Prison, north of the capital, Rabat. "The media and organizations started to get involved, and because we wanted them to stop, we had to give them some of the things that they have requested. And then they started to feel much stronger because they saw that they received what they wanted. They requested more and more." [...]
And you don't want to mistreat someone who might be heading the government in a few years . . .

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

(North) Korean News: "Rodong Sinmun on Grave Consequences of Imperialists' High-Handed and Hegemonic Policy"

The world progressives were disappointed this year. They thought maybe the imperialists would cease their high-handed practices and policy aimed at dominating the world. But noooo!!!!
The imperialists' high-handed practices and policy aimed at dominating the world greatly disappointed the world progressives aspiring after independence and peace and seriously affected the development of the international relations this year, observes Rodong Sinmun Saturday in a signed article.

Clashes, disputes and military conflicts persisted in different parts of the world including Northeast Asia and Mideast and the situation remained tense this year due to the imperialists' policy of aggression to put the world under their control, the article says, and goes on:

In January, the world heard the U.S. president's order to dispatch more U.S. troops to Iraq. Since then the U.S. bellicose forces have blustered that they would not rule out even a military option to discourage Iran from pursuing the "nuclear weapons program", vociferating about the "nuclear threat" from Iran all the year round.

They have pushed forward the policy of stifling the DPRK while massively reinforcing their aggression troops in and around the Korean Peninsula. Quite contrary to the changing reality, they waged DPRK-targeted war exercises in and around south Korea one after another with the mobilization of their lackeys including war-thirsty forces in Japan and south Korea under the pretext of "combating terrorism", thus pushing the situation to the brink of war.

The situation grew tense in Asia-Pacific including the Korean Peninsula and in Mideast and Eastern Europe and discord and conflict became all the more pronounced among regions and countries, among big powers, in particular. This was also attributable to the U.S. warlike forces' high-handed policy.
Pro-Jihad, aren't they?
The U.S. warlike forces sparked off an arms race in the international arena and threw the world into the danger of fresh Cold War while frantically stepping up arms buildup under the pretext of "war on terrorism".

The imperialist forces' "anti-terrorism war" and high-handed practices caused the evil cycle of terror and retaliation, escalated armed conflicts and dispute and gave rise to bloodshed and destruction in the Arab world including Iraq and in several other regions.

The trend of the international situation this year goes to clearly prove that the anti-imperialist and independent countries and the world progressive people aspiring after peace can defend the sovereignty and peace of the country and promote the building of an independent new world only when they wage a staunch struggle against the imperialists' high-handed and hegemonic policy under the uplifted banner of independence and peace. The people of the DPRK will wage a more dynamic struggle for peace and socialism against war under the banner of Songun with firm faith in sure victory.
What about all the other world progressive people aspiring after peace? They won't ratchet up the dynamism quite as much?

Linkim 12/30/07

Haveil Havalim 147 is up! Carnival of the Insanities is up!

Arab News: "Woman Pays SR20,000 to Buy Her Freedom"

Sandmonkey: "Victory for Free Speech"

EOZ: "The Islamist Lobby"

Inside Higher Ed: "A Moderate MLA" (h/t: Martin Kramer)

Soccer Dad: "But how do you explain ..."

PressTV (Iran): "Paul, Fox and freedom of expression"

Judeosphere: "Top Ten Moonbats of 2007"

Reason Online: "2007: The Year in Thugs"

Israel Matzav: "Fatah members participated in Friday's terror attack"

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Daily Muslims: "God Gives America to the Jews: Let Conspiracy Theories Fly!"

Daily Muslims is website that used to feature Yvonne Ridley. It was good blog-fodder, but I wasn't too sad when it expired. Now it seems that it has been exhumed and reanimated. Here is a current sample:
YES, it was a coincidence that a political-dead corpse was discovered in Abu-Daubi to be blown up in Pakistan. Yes, it was a coincidence that sacking of the Chief Justice of Pakistan ended in the stripping off a nuke-general of its uniform. Yes, it is a coincidence that a twice-discredited slain person dead body will be used to usher another era of bloodbath of the Muslims all over the Muslim World and particularly in Pakistan. Yes, it is a coincidence that this twice-discredited slain person is presented to the world as freedom fighter and peace maker. Yes, it is a coincidence that the journalists, image-makers of the business-media, have a very short memory or have no memory. They have forgotten that this slain so-called freedom fighter had already written two shameful chapters as prime minister and now she was about to write a third shameful chapter by joining a tyrant and as such legitimizing his tyrant rule. Yes, it is a coincidence that now journalists, agenda setters of business media, are preparing the Americans that Pakistan is the epic-center of terrorism and it should be the main battle ground of terror war. Yes, it is a coincidence that journalists, agenda setter of business media, are preparing the public that Iraq's security should be handed over to the Iraqis and U.S. butchers should be deployed in Afghanistan to join the terror forces lead by America. Yes, it is a coincidence that next year is an election year and if tenth crusader Republican president starts waging a full-scale war against patriotic forces in Pakistan, this act will help the Republicans politically. Iraq will not be an issue in the coming presidential election. Democrats have been grilling the Republicans for years that Americans are butchering wrong people at a wrong time. Real 'terrorists' are not in Iraq; they are in Pakistan.

Is it a coincidence that American entire history is full of coincidences? Things happen without any planning. Crises take place without invisible hands. And it is again a coincidence that every happening and every crisis bring political, economic and strategic gains for the ruling elite of the United States. And it is again a coincidence that happenings and crises happen when American ruling elite need these crises and happenings most. Remember, Japan Pearl Harbor attack. It was a coincidence.

Roosevelt administration, British leadership and Jewish lobby badly wanted to join the butchery of human beings. They have their own motives to join the butchery of world War Two. Roosevelt administration has nothing to offer to the ruling elite of America, capitalist. Without the help of Americans, British could not survive against the Germans. So British wanted the American boys. Jewish lobby was determined to revenge the Germans for trying to end the German Jewish monopoly over German political and economic life. Jewish lobby had another motive to push the American in the hell-hole of World War Two. British were a declining power. America was an emerging global power. Switching sides is not new in the history of Jewish leadership. And coincidently Pear Harbor happened.

No body alerted the Americans that Japanese are coming. Americans were caught by surprise just like Sept. 11. British intelligence did not know that Japanese were coming. Jewish lobby did not know that Japanese were coming. Roosevelt administration did not know that Japanese were coming. And this coincident cleared the way for butchery of human beings. Price tag for this coincidence was 60 million lives. Europe was a heap of rubble. America was the master of the universe. American ruling elite bagged more than $40 billion dollar. Military-industrial monster was born. Poor Americans have been feeding this monster since Second World War Two. Monroe doctrine enveloped the entire world. [...]
His drool-bucket sloppeth over.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Fisk doesn't think Bhutto was killed by Islamists

Here is his summary of his analysis:
So let's run through this logic in the way that Inspector Ian Blair might have done in his policeman's notebook before he became the top cop in London.

Question: Who forced Benazir Bhutto to stay in London and tried to prevent her return to Pakistan? Answer: General Musharraf.

Question: Who ordered the arrest of thousands of Benazir's supporters this month? Answer: General Musharraf.

Question: Who placed Benazir under temporary house arrest this month? Answer: General Musharraf.

Question: Who declared martial law this month? Answer General Musharraf.

Question: who killed Benazir Bhutto?

Er. Yes. Well quite.
This analysis doesn't seem so convincing, but I have not sifted through the evidence very thoroughly. Are there many non-Islamists in Pakistan willing to become human bombs? Was Musharraf behind all the other assassination attempts? The booby-trapped baby? What do you think?

Fake Ben-Gurion Quote Watch

This is from a current opinion piece in Al Ahram entitled "Nabka is Now":
In 1937, David Ben-Gurion -- Israel's "founding father" and first prime minister -- uttered the clearly criminal phrase, "we must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force [then] we have force at our disposal."
According to Wikiquote the actual quote reads:
We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places.
The source given in Wikiquote is "Letter to his son Amos (5 October 1937), as quoted in Fabricating Israeli History: The 'New Historians (2000) by Efraim Karsh." The person responsible, evidently, for disseminating, although not creating, the fake version is Benny Morris. For an account of how this happened and how Efraim Karsh debunked it, see this.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

MPAC-UK: "The Pathology of the Muslims"

This "pathology" isn't what you think it is, gentle readers! This "pathology" makes Muslims "subordinate":
“The Muslim Ummah has been stricken with a pathology and we need to, we have to, understand the pathology, otherwise we can’t come out of the condition” (Shaykh Khalid Yasin)

What is Pathology? Pathology is the nature, the cause, the progress and the symptoms of a disease. We cannot rid ourselves of a disease until we know the cause of it, until we know the nature of it, until we have understood the progress it has made in our body, in our minds.

So what diseases or disease is it that is plaguing the Muslim Ummah, that is making them cry and point fingers at someone else, that is making them lose their identity, that is making them subordinate, that makes them unable to lift a finger for Allah, that makes them unable to take even one action in the way of Allah, that makes them unable to guard and protect Muslims, that makes them unable to make even one sacrifice for the sake of Allah. Do you know or would you like to find out?

If yes, then join MPACUK this Saturday at 3:00pm in Manchester where we will be leading a discussion on the Pathology of the Muslims and how it has affected the Muslim mind and how this mindset has led to the situation of the Muslims today.
"Shaykh Khalid Yasin"? This guy?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Iranian jews who believe in Islamic Revolution are determined to continue to lead their life in the country"

I'm sure you've read by now that Iran is trying to deny the recent emigration of 40 Jews to Israel. Here is the IRNA version:
Head of Iranian Jewish Society Siamak Mareh Sedq and Member of Parliament from the Jewish community Morris Motamed in a joint statement on Wednesday rebuffed alleged organized departure of Iranian jews.

The statement reads that Iranian jews enjoy a very comfortable life compatible with their cultural affinity with Iranians and never attempted to leave the country.

They dismissed news reports about departure of Iranian Jews organized by the Israeli regime totally fabricated and baseless.

Iranian jews inspired by rich Iranian culture and civilization were shocked by such propaganda, the statement said.

"We are devoted Iranians and will remain Iranian forever," pointed out the statement.

Iranian jews have always stood shoulder to shoulder with Iranians to fight the country's enemies and ill-wishers, it said.

"Iranian jews who believe in Islamic Revolution are determined to continue to lead their life in the country."

The statement denounced foreign intervention in Iran's domestic issues and said that it is part of plot hatched by the global arrogance targeting the nation's unity and solidarity.

"As far as Iranian jews are concerned, any intervention of aliens in the affairs of Iranian jews are totally unacceptable and unjustifiable and we strongly condemn it," it said.
Neo-Khomeinist bloggers are chiming in as well. According to
Another story getting considerable coverage in the biblically-minded US is the puported secret mass ‘exodus’ of Jews from Iran. Except there is no such mass movement of the largest Jewish community outside Israel in the Middle East. Reuters UK (.27.12.07) reports that the prominent Jewish group in Iran sought to distance itself on Wednesday from a secretive exodus to Israel by a group of 40 Jews. A joint statement by the Jewish association in Tehran and the community’s member of parliament, carried by the official IRNA news agency, rejected any suggestion that they were involved in or supported the group’s departure from Iran.
According to Iran Affairs:
So after the exposure of NeoCon lies about how Iranian Jews were supposedly forced to wear yellow badges, lately we're witnessing a propaganda operation about how 40 Iranian Jews have arrived in Israel. Most of the papers are picking up an AP report on the topic. Though the body of the article from the AP (and other news stories) make it clear that Iranian Jews are protected by the constitution and are free to practice their religion openly in Iran, naturally some of the editors at various news organizations have decided to get more dramatic with the story and portray it as "Jews Escape to Freedom" etc. - basically a re-telling of the old "Exodus" myth which portrays Jews as constantly oppressed and Israel as their only possible refuge (one of the "Founding Myths" of Israel.)
Jews are free in the Big Satan as well--that's true. Kind of hard to picture free non-Muslims describing themselves as believers in "Islamic Revolution" though.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

LA Times: "John Kerry's next move? Forward"

Like that fluffy headline? Try this paragraph:
Kerry lost the White House to President Bush in 2004, coming 118,000 votes short in Ohio of fulfilling a dream that some old acquaintances said he'd nurtured since his teens. In the three years since, he has faced an uneven slog toward a new incarnation -- a journey that the achingly contemplative senator concedes has no certain destination.
"A new incarnation"? Doesn't that means he's going to have a new body? "Achingly contemplative"? Does that make you want to "fwow up," as Dorothy Parker once put it?
Often below the media radar these days, Kerry got a shot at a wider audience when he appeared on Don Imus' radio show the next day. Imus had just returned to the airwaves, eight months after being fired for calling members of the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos."

There seemed to be more than a little empathy between the snarly entertainer, back from exile, and the politician, trying to make his way back into the public's good graces.

"There is a whole new chance for life," Kerry quipped on the air. "For you, for me, for everybody."
That's a "quip"? Here's the parting platitude:
Asked if his time on the national stage will come again, Kerry leaned back and took a breath.

"I don't know. I honestly don't know," he said. "But I am an optimist who feels if you work hard, you're capable and you stick at it, things can change."
Not a well-used breath, if you ask me. (Note: The headline as worded above appears in the front-page link/summary for the article.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Xenophobes in Quebec ban public stoning

This story has been discussed recently at American Thinker and Fiery Spirited Zionist. The New York Times article on this topic, interestingly, decides to start with an incident involving Hasidim. Is this really a story about Semitiphobia or is the Times trying to reinforce the idea that those French Canadians are just all-around xenophobes?
Viewed separately, the incidents seemed relatively insignificant.

Members of a Hasidic synagogue in Montreal wanted a neighboring YMCA to block or tint the windows of an exercise room used by women.

A Muslim girl was barred from playing soccer for wearing a hijab on the field. And in Quebec, some Muslims and Orthodox Jews refused to deal with police officers and physicians of the opposite sex.

Then came the decision in late January by Herouxville, Quebec - a town of French-speaking Catholics - to create a code of conduct for immigrants that prohibited, among other things, the covering of women's faces except for Halloween and the use of public stoning as a form of punishment. This despite the fact that there are no Muslims in the town and no modern history of stonings.

The move offended many Muslims in Quebec and prompted a wide, and not always temperate, debate among the French-speaking majority about the role of immigrants in the province.

After a political opponent took up the anti-immigrant backlash as his cause, Premier Jean Charest of Quebec responded by creating a commission to discuss immigration concerns. But rather than quell the debate, it may have made matters worse.

At a series of public, televised meetings that began in August and ended this month, the Quebec Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences heard several reasoned suggestions for improving relations.

Still, its sessions proved irresistible for the xenophobic. Their frustrations and fears, particularly about the province's Muslim and Jewish populations, sometimes turned the commission's meetings into a bigots' roadshow in the view of minority leaders.

"People are now more divided than they were a year ago, that is without question," said Sameer Zuberi, the human rights coordinator of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Over one year, people's opinions have formed, and it's really going to take a while for that to melt away." [...]
American Thinker comments:
Complaints against concessions made to Quebec's Jewish and Sikh communities also feature prominently, but it's clear by the language employed by the Hérouxville councilors, media types, and members of the political establishment, that demands from within and about Quebec's Muslims are driving the agenda.
A Canadian Jewish News article only seems to note "Fear of Islam."

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Yemen Times: "Yemeni poets behind Gitmo’s bars"

Portrait of the artist as a young man:
Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, 28, was in Pakistan looking for medical treatment – he had an injury from an accident in 1994, and was looking around the world for affordable treatment. In 2004, Pakistani forces detained him and turned him over to the United States for a $5,000 bounty, after which he became a Guantanamo detainee . . .

American lawyer Marc Falkoff described Latif as a small, thin Yemeni man with a scraggly beard. He recalled, “I first met Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif soon after I filed a habeas corpus petition on his behalf in late 2004. We were sitting in an interview cell, really a retrofitted storage container, at Camp Echo in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Across the table, Latif sat with his arms crossed and his head down. The guards had removed his handcuffs, but when he shifted his weight his leg irons clanged and echoed in the bare room. The irons were chained to an eyebolt on the floor. Guards were stationed outside the door, and a video camera was visible in the corner.”

Early this year, Latif began a hunger strike, which the military countered by force-feeding him liquid nutrients, inserting a tube up his nose and into his stomach.
My nose aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of Zam Zam I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull feed-tube to the drains . . .
Hunger striking wasn’t the only method that Latif used to express his pain, and his protests against the mistreatment that Guantanamo prisoners receive. He transferred his suffering to poetry . . .
The mind is its own place and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Gitmo, Place of Bards
Lying astonished on the oblivious pool
Bereft of ink, to buffeting board inured . . .
Writing poetry was both difficult and dangerous for the prisoners, who weren't given pens or paper until 2003. Some of the poems written by inmates were first scrawled in toothpaste on Styrofoam cups or etched into the cups with small stones, since in their first year of captivity the prisoners were not allowed to use pen and paper . . .
Thou still unlettered cup of styrofoam,
Unetched with pebbles or with paste of tooth
Mute polymer, O canst thou then express,
Paper denied, a wrack'd and fettered truth?
The strict security arrangements governing anything written by Guantanamo Bay inmates meant that Falkoff had to use linguists with secret-level security clearances rather than translators who specialize in poetry.

The resulting translations, Mr. Falkoff writes in the book, "cannot do justice to the subtlety and cadence of the originals." [...]
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Monday, December 24, 2007

IRNA: Iran takes the lead in technology

I guess something is getting lost in the translation here.
For the first time ever in the world, an Iranian company has designed and manufactured a new type of engine which operates without fuel.

The Iranian company has also designed and manufactured a new type of train which operates without engine and wheels and only needs a special tracks.

Managing Director of Yekta Sharq auto-manufacturing company Hossein Ghanimifar said its company started feasibility studies on the projects three years ago.

The new system is very simple and comply with environmental standards, he said.
That refers to the fuel-free engine or the engine-free train? Stay tuned . . .

Linkim 12/24/07

Haveil Havalim 146 is up! Carnival of the Insanities is up!

EOZ: "Former aide admits Arafat founded Black September"

NY Times: "Anarchists in the Aisles? Stores Provide a Stage"

Meryl Yourish: "Kidnapping works: Releasing murderers"

Life-of-Rubin: "My Thoughts on the Boring Article in the Ny Times on Matisyahu's Chabad Exit"

Anti-Racist Blog: "New Professor, Same Old Anti-Israel Agenda at the Columbia Anthropology Department" (h/t: Martin Kramer)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"The eruvim of Boulder should withdraw their request for this lease"

Boker Tov Boulder has been covering the latest Eiruv controversy, this time in Boulder. As she notes in a recent post, the Boulder Daily Camera features a remarkably fatuous anti-eruv editorial by someone who has not quite mastered the usage of the word "eruvim":
The answer is simple but may be painful for the devout to hear: If the eruvim want an invisible but compellingly real boundary, they should use the type the Jews have brought to the world through the Ten Commandments -- which is belief in the word. The Eruv should not be constructed -- it should be instructed -- through the use of maps and verbal descriptions for the community members to memorize and heed, for the full enjoyment of their Sabbath.

The eruvim of Boulder should withdraw their request for this lease. They are the People of the Book -- and not people of the fishing line.
There's no arguing with those eruvim! Why do I get the impression that the author of this, one Anne B. Butterfield, hasn't gotten out much in recent decades?

Dar Al Hayat on Abou Al-Hassan Al-Liwi

This is an excerpt from an article on the promotion of the Arabic language:
Even the Jewish Andalusian scholar Mimonides, Moussa Bin Maymun, used the Arabic language in the texts he wrote in the fields of medicine, astrology, sports, logic, and philosophy though he commanded the Jewish language. Even his book Dalalat Al-Ha'ireen was originally written in Arabic. So did the Jewish scholar and philosopher Abou Al-Hassan Al-Liwi who was the best Hebrew poet in the Middle Ages; however, his mastery of the Arabic language made him use it to interpret the Jewish language.
I guess that's R. Yehuda HaLevi. The elaborate Arabic name still doesn't beat the one I once noted for the Rambam at Islam Online: Abu 'Imran Musa ibn Maymun ibn 'Ubayd Allah.

Maan News: "Palestinian prisoners in Guinness Book of Records"

According to something called "Answerbag," Rudolph Hess was imprisoned for 46 years. Other examples include 50-year imprisonments.
The director of the statistics department in the Palestinian ministry of Prisoners and Freed Prisoners, Abdul-Nasser Farawnah released on Sunday a comprehensive report about the long term Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails showing that many of them have entered the Guinness Book of Records.

According to the report, Palestinian prisoner Sa'id Al-Ataba has been detained for more than 30 years which is the longest imprisonment in the world. No other political prisoner had served such a long period ; Nelson Mandela had served 26 years, and Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of former US president John Kennedy served 28 years in prison.
Lee Harvey Oswald was a "political prisoner"? I guess that contextualizes all the claims about the Palestinian prisoners!
The report also adds that 232 Palestinian prisoners have already served more than 15 years in Israeli jails including 73 who have served more than 20 years. According to the report, there was no such collective political imprisonment in the history of other peoples of the world.
It would be interesting to check a current Guinness Book of Records. Anyone?

"The two nations have always resisted to the bullying powers"--Guess which ones . . .

Iran and Zimbabwe, of course. I hear Iran is sending an emergency shipment of zeros to Zimbabwe so that it can adequately calculate its latest inflation rate.
New Zimbabwean ambassador to Tehran Nicholas D. Kiti Kiti delivered his credentials to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday.

President Ahmadinejad said Tehran feels free for expansion of all-out relations with Harare.

Ahmadinejad said that the two countries should explore the grounds and potentials to boost cooperation.

He said that, given common stand and mutual cooperation at international fora, the two countries are now experiencing developing ties in cultural and economic fields.

The two nations have always resisted to the bullying powers, he said adding that Iran strongly defends the legitimate rights, independence and development of Zimbabwe.

The new Zimbabwean ambassador, for his part, lauded the supports extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran for Zimbabwe against aggressions of bullying powers.

Harare calls for expansion of all-out ties between the two countries, he said adding that his country seeks to benefit from Iran's invaluable experience at various sectors.

Zimbabwe has always called for expansion of economic cooperation with Tehran, he said.
In the same vein the not-yet-destroyed economy of Venezuela is extending a hand to already-destroyed economy of Cuba.

About that Cease-fire

It has been widely reported lately that Hamas is seeking a cease-fire. A current Telegraph article, with the headline "Hamas seeks truce with Israel in Gaza" suggests that we shouldn't get carried away, but seems to think the "overtures" were real:
Hamas officials have denied any overtures, following media reports in which a senior advisor to Hamas's Gaza leader, Ismail Haniya, said a truce was possible . . .

But the suggestion of a cease-fire can be interpreted as Hamas's acknowledgement of the severe strain its Gaza government has fallen under since its violent wresting of control of the territory six months ago.
In this sort of situation it is always interesting to see what Hamas has to say out of the side of its mouth that faces Iran:

IRIB: "Hamas rejects any cease-fire with Israel"
Speaker of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, Sami abu Zahri rejected reports that the movement is drafting terms for temporary ceasae-fire with the Zionist regime.

"The Zionist regime is continuing its crimes, so resistance will be our option," Zahri added.

"Ball is still in the Zionists' court. If they bring an end to their brutal crimes, we will discuss about the issue," he said.
There is a hint of a possible cease-fire there also, but the message can certainly be given a quite different stress.

Arab Herald tries to make it sound balanced:

Israel and Hamas refuse to talk peace:
Hamas also says it will not hold any cease-fire talks unless Israel stops its military operations, which have killed at least 20 militants over the past week.

Israel refuses to stop because armed Hamas groups continue to fire rockets and mortars into Israeli territory.
But, of course, the "military operations" are designed to stop the rockets. So why doesn't Hamas just stop the rocket fire? Because the current military operations are merely a temporary problem. Israel mostly tolerates the rockets as a permanent fixture of its relationship with the Palestinians.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lebanon war "a great victory" in which lawyers "asserted their dominance over Israel's political and military leadership"

Caroline Glick's latest alerts us to a very disturbing aspect--unless you're a lawyer, perhaps--of the Lebanon war:
[...] The legal establishment's ardor for the Second Lebanon War was exposed on Tuesday with the publication of the testimonies of Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz and Military Advocate-General Avichai Mandelblit before the Winograd Committee which the Olmert government established to research the war's failures. In their testimonies both men shared their perception of the war as a great victory of lawyers in their campaign to "lawyerize" - or assert their control - over Israeli society.

In his opening statement, Mazuz extolled the war as "the most 'lawyerly' in the history of the State of Israel, and perhaps ever." He explained, "The process didn't begin in Lebanon 2006. It . . . is a gradual process of 'lawyerizing' life in Israel."

Mazuz responded negatively to the question of whether legal considerations superseded operational and strategic goals during the war. He claimed that the government and the IDF restricted their plans from the beginning to conform with perceived legal restrictions.

As he put it, that preemptive limitation of goals was "the result of a sort of education and internalization that have taken place over the years. I remember periods where there was a great deal of friction with the senior military level regarding what is allowed and what is prohibited. But today I think that there is more or less an understanding of the rules of the game and I can't identify any confrontation . . . or . . . demands to 'Let the IDF win.'"

Mandelblit and Mazuz testified that legal advisers were present at all levels of command in all the relevant service arms and in the security cabinet. At each level the lawyers were asked to judge the legality of all the proposed targets and planned operations before they were carried out. And as the two explained, in their decisions, these lawyers were informed not by the goal of winning the war, but by their interpretation of international law. [...]
And every non-lawyer who prattles about "disproportionate response" has adopted this kind of thinking/madness. (Hat Tip: Daled Amos)

Egypt endangered by English instruction

According to CSMonitor, "Egypt has received over $50 billion in US largesse since 1975." From Al-Ahram:
The English Language Resource Centre (ELRC), inaugurated at Al-Azhar University to teach the English language to the grand institution's lecturers and post-graduates, was like throwing a stone in stagnant water. Although the ELRC will be supervised and administered by Al-Azhar University, it will be financed and supported by the Regional English Language Office (RELO) of the American Embassy, instigating protest between those who welcome foreigners to study at Al-Azhar but not to teach in order to preserve its indigenous traditions and methods, and the official stand of the university which has hailed and defended such collaboration.

A professor at Al-Azhar University who preferred anonymity said, "Most of the professors at the university oppose the opening of the centre because we abhor the brutal US foreign policies in the Middle East. Al-Azhar played a significant role throughout history in resisting French and British occupation and we view this American centre as a gradual cultural occupation which will eventually lead to American hegemony over Al-Azhar curricula."

Omar El-Deeb, a spokesman at Al-Azhar, piles up justifications for opening the ELRC with American financial and expert support. "What initiated the establishment of the centre is that we made an English assessment of the lecturers and the assisting professors teaching at four of Al-Azhar's theological faculties at the British Council. The result was not satisfactory at all. Only four reached the pre-intermediate level. Al-Azhar's administration found that each one will cost the university a minimum of LE50,000 if enrolled in courses at the British Council."

El-Deeb added, "Al-Azhar administration believes that it is essential that Islamic lecturers and professors be in full command of the English language for many reasons, including being able to prepare their thesis if they study abroad, and to have the upper hand in any religious debate conducted in English. They should be able to participate in academic research with foreign universities, and train Islamic preachers who will work abroad."

Ahmed Rayan, professor of Islamic law at Al-Azhar University, advised both sides not to be hasty in evaluating the ELRC. Rayan greeted the idea of learning English and saw no harm in cooperating with the RELO. Nevertheless, he stressed the importance of putting the ELRC in a trial period to be able to judge the experience objectively and at the same time monitor the participating American professors to make sure they do not violate Al-Azhar's customs.

The argument over establishing the ELRC, the opening of which was attended by US Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone, was not limited to the university's campus but moved to Egyptian cultural and political spheres. Some observers view it as a good opportunity to open up to the West and modernise the rigid curricula at Al Azhar. However, others are sceptical of American intentions. Azza Korayem, sociologist at the National Social Studies Research Centre, recalled the saying: "He who receives a gift loses his liberty."

"I am dubious of US intentions for many reasons. After 9/11 the US regarded Islam as the enemy and sought to limit its prevalence in the world, so I find it perplexing that the US opens a centre to help Muslims communicate with others in order to serve Islam. It is a paradox," Korayem said, suggesting that donations from Egyptians and other Islamic and Arab countries be collected "instead of accepting US contributions". [...]

Ahmed Thabet, professor of political science at Cairo University, sees the ELRC as implementing the new Middle East plan adopted by US President George Bush. Thabet said that upon scrutinising Ricciardone's address "one can easily see that the ELRC aspires to more than teaching the English language. The Egyptian government's hesitation to modernise Al-Azhar's curricula and its entrenched ways of thinking and structural body paved the way for the American Embassy to violate the sacredness of Al-Azhar University using different claims."

Those who oppose the ELRC wonder why Al-Azhar's administration disregarded highly qualified Egyptian academics and professors to take on the mission of teaching the English language to Al-Azhar's lecturers. Many Egyptian professors studied for their PhD abroad and excel in the English language as if it were their mother tongue.

Al-Azhar University is trying to contain the criticism by reassuring sceptics that the curricula taught to ELRC students was revised, then approved by Al-Azhar.

Korayem is not convinced. "I couldn't care less about the curriculum because as a professor myself I know that students are greatly influenced by their professors. The American professors could try to promote the American dream to their students and spread American traditions and concepts. Here lies the danger."
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

IRNA: "Source: Zionists hands at work to mar Tehran-Baku ties"

Some blogs do a lousy job of covering developments in Azerbaijan. What's the latest? Zionist plots!
An informed source said Saturday that invisible hands of the Zionist regime's agents are at work to mar cordial relations between Tehran and Baku.

The source said the Zionist agents, serving in the lower ranks of certain Azeri organs, have targeted close relations between Tehran and Baku, but thanks to vigilance and prudence of senior Iranian and Azeri officials, the Zionists' plots have been foiled.

He said recent hues and cries by certain segments of Azeri media regarding delivery of documents pertinent to a group, "detained" in Baku, are "baseless".

"We do not need to fill the atmosphere of the two sides' media with hues and cries," said the source, adding, "What can make realities clear is producing vivid evidence substantiating the said claims."

Azeri National Security Ministry last week released a statement in which it claimed that a group of 15 Azeri citizens were cooperating with Iranian intelligence agencies.

Iranian officials dismissed the charges, calling for presentation of necessary proof and evidence in that regard.

Following the claims, Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarev dismissed claims that there had been diplomatic tension with Iran in connection with arrest of an Azeri group linked with Iran.

He said reports relating to the subject had been offered to Iranian ambassador to Baku for examination.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Global Warming gives up--no match for Al Gore

If you have a better explanation, I'd like to hear it. From New Statesman.
Global warming stopped? Surely not. What heresy is this? Haven’t we been told that the science of global warming is settled beyond doubt and that all that’s left to the so-called sceptics is the odd errant glacier that refuses to melt?

Aren’t we told that if we don’t act now rising temperatures will render most of the surface of the Earth uninhabitable within our lifetimes? But as we digest these apocalyptic comments, read the recent IPCC’s Synthesis report that says climate change could become irreversible. Witness the drama at Bali as news emerges that something is not quite right in the global warming camp.

With only few days remaining in 2007, the indications are the global temperature for this year is the same as that for 2006 – there has been no warming over the 12 months.

But is this just a blip in the ever upward trend you may ask? No.

The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001. Global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased. Temperatures across the world are not increasing as they should according to the fundamental theory behind global warming – the greenhouse effect. Something else is happening and it is vital that we find out what . . .
The Biodiesel Speedboat didn't crash this time.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It was a lachrymose day today

Truly Journalism has no borders, as illustrated by a number of current news items. Journalists, whether Western or Iranian, play such a vital role in arousing our pity for human suffering throughout the world:

ISNA: "Iran asks the world to prevent murder of Palestinians by Zionist regime"
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman expressing serious concern over the continuation of the Zionist regime's crime against defenseless nation of Palestine condemned targeting innocent people of Gaza Strip.

Mohammad Ali Husseini pointing to the economic blockade of Gaza Strip creating a "human catastrophe" in that region called the murder of Palestinians and innocent people by air and missile attacks of the Zionist regime the "aim and result of the Annapolis conference."[...]

Times Online: "Guantanamo detainee, 45, is a shadow of his former self as he returns to family":
With his long grey hair and white beard, Jamil el-Banna looked much older than his 45 years yesterday as he tasted freedom for the first time since his return from Guantanamo Bay.

Mr el-Banna was released on bail by a judge pending a legal fight against extradition to Spain on allegations that he belonged to a terrorist cell linked to the September 11 attacks. He had been held on a European arrest warrant, issued within hours of his return to Britain from the American internment camp, and brought before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Lawyers for the Spanish Government alleged that Mr el-Banna was a member the Islamic Alliance, allied to al-Qaeda, and should stand trial in Madrid. If extradited and convicted, he could be jailed for up to 15 years.

District Judge Timothy Workman released Mr el-Banna on stringent bail conditions stipulating that he reside at his home address in Dollis Hill, northwest London, observe a curfew and wear an electronic tag.

The actress Vanessa Redgrave provided surety for half the £50,000 bail for Mr el-Banna and a further £15,000 as surety for the bail of Omar Deghayes, 37, who followed Mr el-Banna into the dock. Mr el-Banna, a Jordanian-Palestinian, emerged from court to thank the tens of thousands of Britons who had campaigned for his release from Camp Delta. “Thank you very much everybody, my solicitor, the British people, the British Government for your help,” he said. “I’m tired. I want to go home and see my children.” [...]

Washington Post: "For Israel's Arab Citizens, Isolation and Exclusion":
[...] Arabs and Jews study in separate schools in Israel -- the Arab system receives fewer resources -- and learn Israeli history in different ways. Israel's Jewish education minister, Yuli Tamir, ordered this year that Arab third-grade textbooks note that Arab citizens call Israel's 1948 War of Independence "the catastrophe." Many Jewish lawmakers reacted with scorn.

Except for a relatively small Druze population, Arabs are excluded also from military service mandatory for all but ultra-Orthodox Jews, an essential shared experience of Israeli life and a traditional training ground for future political leaders. Arab lawmakers have lined up now against a new proposal for Arabs to perform "national service" in lieu of time in the army, an institution they hold responsible for enforcing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

"We have lost the Arab citizens of Israel," said Amir Sheleg, 63, who is head of security for the Jewish community of Nir Zevi on Israel's coastal plain. "They no longer want to be a part of the state, and I am sorry for it." [...]
Power Line's Paul Mirengoff notes:
The story is . . . devoid of context. Wilson notes (correctly) that relations between Arab and Jewish Israelis have deteriorated, but he never considers whether this might be caused by anything other than malice on the part of the Jews. In my view, the deterioration dates back to the first intifada. During that era, I happened to be in Israel when Israeli Arabs picked up, but then murdered, a Jewish soldier who was hitch-hiking back to duty after a weekend at home. Hitch-hiking is a way of life for young soldiers, and they had never hesitated to accept rides from Arabs who were identifiable as Israeli by virtue of their license plates. The murder of the young soldier sent shock waves through Israel. Along with other less dramatic but similarly unprecedented acts of hatred, it helped usher in the new, less happy relationship that Wilson describes.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Fars News: Iranian public enthusiastic about continued oppression

"Promotion of security in the society," we soon learn, means "defending the Islamic and Revolutionary values." And they only received "one complaint"!
Iran's police chief General Esmayeel Ahmadi Moghaddam Thursday stressed that his forces will continue the plan for the promotion of security in the society.

The General further underlined that the security plan is aimed at defending the Islamic and Revolutionary values, saying, "Defending the values is more important than defending the country…and defending code of ethics and morality is more important than defending the possessions and lives of the individuals."

"Unlike westerners whose culture is materialistically-oriented, in our culture, defending the values is more important than other issues of human life," he added.

Tehran's police chief General Ahmad Reza Radan also earlier said that the plan for the promotion of security in the society would continue.

He said that the operation is under close inspection and scrutiny by several governmental bodies, including the police department itself, assuring that any mishandling of the public would not go unheeded and would receive due punishment.

Radan noted the public feedback of the plan, and said that the contacts made with the police public relations revealed that the society supports the plan and demands its continuation.

"For instance, during the public meetings that I have had today (Monday) and from all the telephone calls received by the public relations, we have only had one complaint," the Tehran police chief stated.

"The public is rather anxious that the plan be continued," he said, and reiterated the resolve of the law enforcement police to carry on with the plan in future.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

IRNA: "Philosophy of Haj based on global government - Ahmadinejad"

Interesting, no?
IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Wednesday on Al-Adha Eid Day in Saudi Arabia philosophy of Haj can be defined merely through considering Islam's aim at establishment of a global government.

President Ahmadinejad who had attended the gathering of Iranian Haj pilgrims at the Supreme Leader's Mecca Headquarter focused in his address over the significance of major Haj rituals, the philosophy behind them, and their ultimate objectives.

He said, "If we would delete the ultimate objective of establishing a global system from the Haj rituals, the remainder would be deeds devoid of a soul."

Upon President Ahmadinejad's arrival in Mena, he was received by the Emir al-Haaj of the Iranian Haj pilgrims Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Mohammadi Reyshahri and members of the Supreme Leader's Mecca Headquarters.

Homeless Heil-Hitler-Hund

Sehr traurig. From Der Spiegel:
He was just following orders: Adolf the dog was trained to give the Hitler salute by his pensioner owner. The obedient German shepherd crossbreed is looking for a new home now that his owner is going to jail.

Dog lovers in Berlin take note: the city's animal shelter has a new ward looking for a good home. The nine-year-old German shepherd crossbreed is very affectionate, likes people and is in good health. There's just one problem: Adi -- or Adolf, as he was formerly known -- has been trained to raise his right paw in a Hitler salute whenever he heard the command "Salute!"

However, poor Adolf was only following orders. His owner, identified only as Roland T., taught the dog to perform the Hitler salute on command.

Adolf and his owner became famous in 2003 after Roland T. got his dog to perform his party trick in front of police. The gesture landed the Berlin pensioner in court, charged with displaying symbols of a banned organization. The use of Nazi symbols, slogans or gestures is banned in Germany.

Now Roland T. is off to jail. He is reporting to a Berlin prison Wednesday to serve a five-month sentence for displaying Nazi symbols. The repeat offender, who was notorious in Berlin for openly giving Nazi salutes and wearing Hitler T-shirts, was given a series of suspended sentences but now has to do time after authorities lost patience with him. Judges had previously been lenient with the former car salesman, who was considered to have diminished culpability due to brain damage sustained in a 1995 accident. [...]
That just goes to show that you should never leave home without your pointy helmet.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

IRIB: "Zionists will pay a heavy price"

Feel the love:
Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Abdullah Shalah said on Tuesday that the Zionist regime will pay a heavy price for its assassination attempts against the members of Saray al-Qods Brigades.

According to IRIB, Shalah reiterated that the usurper Zionist regime's crimes against the Palestinian combatants would never damage the resistance of the Islamic Jihad.

The crimes would not prevent the Movement from resistance against the occupying regime, he underlined.

Shalah made the vows in a ceremony to commemorate Majid al-Harazin, a commander of the Movement in Gaza who was asassinated by the Zionist regime's forces.

Shalah underlined that the peace confabs recently held in Annapolis and Paris as well as the conspiracies against the heads of the Palestinian resistance movements would not bear any results.

"The Qods Brigades will give a crushing response to the Zionists in depth of the occupied lands (settled by Zionists)," Shalah reiterated.

A series of 'Israeli' savage attacks in the Palestinian territories led to the martyrdom of 10 Islamic Jihad activists overnight on Tuesday, including the Movement's chief in Gaza.

A spokesman for the Movement vowed the organization along with other Palestinian resistance movements would respond forcefully in the next few days to the grave 'Israeli' crime.

"There is no need to threaten and to talk a lot because the resistance and martyrdom operation, they are our way. The resistance is the strategy and not the response and therefore martyrdom operation will continue but, as a result of this action, they will be increased," the spokesman said.
"The resistance is the strategy and not the response"--you mean it isn't tit for tat violence?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

IRNA: "Unity between seminaries, universities foils US plots"

That's a deeply totalitarian sort of headline. The vague exhortation, which is actually an "important idea" of the fearless leader, will enable the people to thwart the conspiracies of [insert enemy here].
Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here Tuesday that solidarity between seminaries and universities would neutralize US conspiracies in the Middle East.

Rafsanjani made the remark in a seminar on 'Unity between Seminary and University' in Khorramabad, Lorestan province, adding Washington deals with Tehran in an aggressive manner because of its Islamic nature.

Iran's huge energy resources, distinguished geographical location and talented people are among other reasons for the American administration to pursue hostile policy on Iran, he said.

Rafsanjani, who is also head of Assembly of Experts, said that the US officials are trying to isolate Tehran, and are unwilling to see a developed Iran, therefore, numerous Iranian scientific articles are not allowed to be published in American magazines.

Western countries have so far exerted pressures on Iran and try to eliminate the country from global scene, he said, adding that the Iranian nation has found the path to scientific and technological development.

The Expediency Council chairman further said that the late Imam Khomeini proposed the important idea of unity between seminaries and universities, because of the global arrogance's attempt to sow discord between the two ideological and scientific centers in Iran.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Martin Kramer: Footnotes to Walt and Mearsheimer magnum opus lead nowhere

This is pretty devastating:
The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt has 106 pages of footnotes--over 1,200 footnotes in total. The book's boosters like to cite this fact as somehow proving the scholarly virtue of the authors. "Mearsheimer and Walt have corroborated all their arguments with a wealth of primary and secondary sources," gushes one prof. In fact, most of the critics who have actually perused the footnotes have made the valid point that they almost never point to primary sources or interviews. The book was researched off the Internet, and the notes are just padding for a preconceived theory. But do the sources cited in the notes say what Mearsheimer and Walt say they say? Even this is doubtful . . .
Ayein sham--read the rest.

Fars News: "Iran's Honesty Acknowledged Even by Enemies"

Great title. Connoisseurs of propaganda should enjoy this one:
Trustworthiness of Iran's nuclear efforts has been proved even to the opponents of the Islamic Republic, Iran's Judiciary Chief said referring to a recent US intelligence report which endorsed the peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear activities.

Addressing a meeting of senior judiciary officials here on Monday, Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi further said that the report by 16 US intelligence bodies on Iran's nuclear activities displayed the victory of Iran's logic over the other side's irrationality.

"Even the US intelligence services have rejected the claims made by (US President George W.) Bush and Zionists against Iran's nuclear technology, and these acknowledgements have and do prove Iran's righteousness," he continued.

"Iran has repeatedly announced that it is not after destructive nuclear weapons but that nations and countries are entitled to possess nuclear science and technology," Shahroudi said.

He further pointed to a prevailing wave of vigilance among Muslim nations, and said, "Vigilance of the world of Islam against enemies' plots has resulted in increased glory, honor and grandeur for the Muslims."

The judiciary chief also noted the daily and continued crimes by the Zionist regime of Israel against the oppressed Palestinian nation, and stressed, "The more pressures Zionists exert on the oppressed Palestinian nation, the more united Palestinians will grow."
Fatah and Hamas are more unified than ever before.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Linkim 12/16/07

Haveil Havalim 145 is up! Carnival of the Insanities is up!

Judeosphere: "UC Irvine Whitewash"

Israel Matzav: "Hamas' new female commandos"

Daily Kos: "AIPAC and the Jewish Lobby"

Daily Kos: "AIPAC...Israel...and the Joos"

JPost: "One on One: Debunking dastardly debate" (h/t: Martin Kramer)

Richard Halloran: "Another False Dawn from N. Korea?"

Amir Taheri: "Appeasement Yesterday and Appeasement Today"

Jihad Watch: "Accused jihadist: We were hunting Loch Ness Monster" [Is that Halal?]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tehran Times: Yvonne's latest, including plagiarized content

The following list, said to be "Compiled by Sam Kabbani," and perhaps first published by something called the "Spotlight," purports to show that Israel invented all methods of terrorism. It appears, for instance, at a website called Hungry for Justice, obviously not its ultimate source:
1. The first aircraft hijacking was carried out by Israel in 1954
against a Syrian civilian airliner.
2. Grenades in cafes: first used by Zionists against Palestinians in Jerusalem on 17 March 1937.
3. Delayed-action, electrically timed mines in crowded marketplaces: first used by Zionists against Palestinians in Haifa on 6 July 1938.
4. Blowing up a ship with its civilian passengers still on board: first carried out by Zionists in Haifa on 25 November 1940. The Zionists did not hesitate to blow up their own people in protest at the British policy of restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine. The ship, Patria, was carrying 1,700 Jewish immigrants.
5. Assassination of government officials: first carried out by the Zionists against the British in Cairo, when on 6 November 1944 Lord Moyne was assassinated by the Stern Gang. Yitzhak Shamir, a member of the Irgun and later leader of the Stern Gang and Israeli prime minister, was behind the plan.
6. Use of hostages as a means of putting pressure on a government: first used by the Zionists against the British in Tel Aviv on 18 June 1946.
7. Blowing up of government offices with their civilian employees and visitors: first carried out by the Zionists against the British in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946. The toll was 91 Britons, Palestinian Arabs and Jews killed and 46 wounded in the King David Hotel. Menachim Begin, who masterminded and carried out the attack and later became Israeli prime minister, admitted that the massacre was coordinated with and carried out under the instruction of the Haganah Zionist gang.
8. Booby-trapped suitcases: first used by the Zionists against the British Embassy in Rome on 13 October 1946.
9. Booby-trapped cars in civilian areas: first used by the Zionists against the British in Sarafand (east of Jaffa) on 5 December 1946.
10. Beating of hostages: first used by the Zionists against the British in Tel Aviv, Netanya and Rishon on 29 December 1946.
11. Letter bombs sent to politicians: first used by the Zionists against Britain when 20 letter bombs were sent from Italy to London between 4 and 6 June 1947.
The list goes on for another 2 entries. The Tehran Times features Yvonne Ridley's latest, including the following:
And before any of you continue to cite terrorism as a counter-argument for not sitting down and talking to Hamas, it might be worth remembering that the first aircraft hijacking was carried out by Israel in 1954 against a Syrian civilian airliner.

Grenades in cafes were first used by Zionists against Palestinians in Jerusalem on March 17, 1937.

Delayed-action, electrically timed mines in crowded marketplaces were first used by Zionists against Palestinians in Haifa on July 6, 1938.

Blowing up a ship with its civilian passengers still on board was first carried out by Zionists in Haifa on November 25, 1940. The Zionists did not hesitate to blow up their own people in protest at the British policy of restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine. The ship, Patria, was carrying 1,700 Jewish immigrants.

Blowing up of government offices with their civilian employees and visitors was first carried out by the Zionists against the British in Jerusalem on July 22, 1946. The toll was 91 Britons killed and 46 wounded in the King David Hotel. Menachem Begin, who masterminded and carried out the attack and later became Israeli prime minister, admitted that the massacre was coordinated with and carried out under the instruction of the Haganah.

Letter bombs sent to politicians was first used by the Zionists against Britain when 20 letter bombs were sent from Italy to London between the 4th and 6th of June, 1947.

I could go on -- but I won’t.
That "I could go on" is hilarious. There are still some unplagiarized entries left to the list. Is the list accurate? I did some very unimpressive and quick searching and found the following:

1. The incident in 1954 was not "the first aircraft hijacking." Noam Chomsky had the idea, evidently, of calling it the "first state hijacking." The plane in question was forced down by Israeli fighter jets in Israeli airspace. See the Wikipedia article and the discussion.

2. The Patria, according to Wikipedia, was not deliberately sunk "in protest." Bombs were used in a botched attempt to disable it so that the people on board could not be deported.

3. I don't know anything about the letter bombs from 1947, but they were not the first in history by a long shot. Wikipedia lists examples going back to the 18th century.

Who knows what research into the other items would turn up, Yvonne certainly doesn't! I hope you enjoyed Yvonne's latest adventures. And now the Yvonne theme:

And she shall be Yvonne
Blog-fodder for Goodman
And she shall be Yvonne
In tradition of the Taliban
And she shall be Yvonne
Blog-fodder for Goodman
She . . . shall . . . be . . . Yvonne . . .

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

"he wisely guided the whole country to bubble over with the spirit of Thaechon"

It was a Songun year!
Juche 96 (2007) is drawing to a close. The year has witnessed another gigantic general march of the Korean people to bring the height of prosperity to Songun Korea.

In the last month of the year replete with historic events, the Korean people are looking back on the records of the Songun revolution in Kim Jong Il's devoted activities for the people.

He visited the Kumsusan Memorial Palace on the New Year's Day to pay respects to President Kim Il Sung. On the very day, he plunged into energetic revolutionary activities to carry the President's plan of building a prosperous and powerful country into practice.

In January he inspected units of the Korean People's Army one after another and then found himself at industrial establishments in Huichon City to inspire their workers to a fresh upsurge. Making a round of newly built Thaechon Youth Power Station No. 4, he highly praised the meritorious services of the constructors. And he wisely guided the whole country to bubble over with the spirit of Thaechon.

Reports came in an endless stream all through the year following January about his revolutionary activities inspiring the soldiers and people with conviction of certain victory and courage in building an economic power.
"An endless stream"--they got that right!
When he was among soldiers he took care of their life as a real father would and instilled valor of invincibility into them, and when he was at such factories as the Chongjin Essential Foodstuff Factory and the Pakchon Silk Mill he clearly indicated the orientation and ways for the improvement of people's living.

The army and people of Korea renewed their determination to carry the revolutionary cause of Juche to accomplishment through generations when they heard news of him giving highly important instructions to intensify education in the revolutionary traditions while giving on-site guidance to the work concerning revolutionary relics in the cities of Chongjin and Kanggye.

He made "the midsummer forced march" in August when unheard-of sweltering heat and torrential rains hit the country to build a prosperous and powerful nation and bring the happy morrow of the people earlier.

The objects of his on-site inspection reported in the month of August are nearly 20.

Following the historic "midsummer forced march" in the east coastal areas, he made a forced march in Jagang Province, the northern region of the country, and he continues his inspection tour toward the end of the year.

The single-hearted unity of the leader, the Party and the popular masses is getting closer and the might of harmonious whole is opening the heyday of national prosperity in the course of the long journey of Songun he is making day and night.
Implies they are still not prosperous, doesn't it?

"Israel wants to back its messianic ideals with geopolitical feats. It is hoping to divide the region into sectarian states: Sunni, Shia, Copt . . . "

The actual title of the Al-Ahram opinion piece is "End of the Jewish state." The sub-title explains "The idea of a Jews-only state of Israel is retrograde and will vanish." A "Jews-only state" (as opposed to a Jewish state) is a distortion to begin with, but how would this logic apply to, say, an Islamic Republic? You won't find the answer here:
[...] Israel wants to be recognised as a Jewish state for several reasons. First, Israel wants to expel the 1948 Arabs from Israel. There is one million Arabs living in Israel now and by 2050 their number will surpass that of the Jews, even with Jewish immigration running at the current rate. In the long term, there will be a majority of Arabs in Israel, not counting Arab Jews. Once this happens, Israel's identity, as well as its legitimacy, will be at stake. Once Israeli Arabs become the majority they will shed their second-class identity and become first-class -- or ordinary -- citizens. This is why Israel wants to get rid of them, perhaps to swap them for the 750,000 or so Israelis living in Palestinian areas.

Second, Israel wants to resolve the problem of the 1948 and 1967 refugees, now living in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and elsewhere. Israel claims that refugee camps are a breeding ground for terror, providing recruits for organisations such as Hizbullah and Hamas. Israel wants the refugees to understand, once and for all, that they are not going to be permitted to return to their homes and land, for what they used to call home is to be a purely Jewish territory, out of bounds for Muslims and Christians. Israel wants the identity of its citizens to be subsumed by their creed.

Third, Israel wants to bring in additional immigrants. There are eight million Jews living around the world, including American Jews. Should they all come to live in Israel, the latter would have a population of 14 million people, which would reduce some of the imbalance it feels versus Muslims and Arabs (there are 350 million Arabs in the region and 1.25 billion Muslims worldwide). Since the 1973 War, and especially since the Lebanon war of 2006, the Arabs have become credible military foes. And with Islamic fervour rising in faraway places, including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Central Asia, Israel is seeking security in numbers.

Fourth, Israel wants to back its messianic ideals with geopolitical feats. It is hoping to divide the region into sectarian states: Sunni, Shia, Copt, Turkomen, Kurd, etc. If it succeeds in doing so, Israel would cease to be an aberration, for all its neighbours would become sectarian states as well.

For all its pluralistic rhetoric, the US seems to favour regional sectarianism. But what about Levantine Christians? Will they join the Arab nationalist state, or would they have to form their own Christian state? What about Lebanon? Would it assume an Arab, Maronite, Sunni or Shia identity? How about Yemen? Would it become a Zayidi or Shaffiyi state? What about Sudan, would it become an Arab, black, Muslim, Christian or animistic state? And what about the Maghreb countries? Would they become Arab, or Berber?

The US is up in arms against Iran, accusing it of involvement in terror. It is vilifying the Sudanese government and trying to take the south away from it. It is opposing the rule of the Islamic Courts in Somalia and backing Ethiopian incursions into that country. And yet, it backs military rule in Pakistan. The US is adopting democracy as a slogan in the "Greater Middle East", but it is worried about the Islamists taking office in Turkey and Morocco. The US is still opposed to the admission of Turkey into the EU, simply because Turkey has a different culture and religion. Yet it wouldn't mind Israel joining the EU. There is no difference between the neo-conservatives and the neo-Zionists. Both are fundamentalist groups with messianic callings.

The Jewish state, just as any other theocracy, has no future. For one thing, Judaism doesn't come in one colour. There are orthodox and liberal Jews, oriental and occidental Jews, Arab and Western Jews, rational and text-abiding Jews. Any Judaism on which the new legitimacy of the Zionist entity would be founded would eventually fade away, as did the myths of the "promised land" and a "light unto nations". Israel's fate is not going to differ much from that of the racist regime of South Africa. [...]
If only we didn't come in so many colours . . . (Hat Tip: Martin Kramer)

Crossposted on Soccer Dad