Sunday, May 31, 2009

IRNA head: "Liberals, rent-seeking sanctimonious people and economically corrupt persons have got united against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad"

Iran's most official new agency backs Ahmadinejad:
Liberals, rent-seeking sanctimonious people and economically corrupt persons have got united against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the managing director of Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Addressing a gathering of sympathizers of the incumbent government, Mohammad Jafar Behdad added that although some people and inclinations against the popular government have emerged since the start of the electoral campaigns, the fact is that such an anti-government coalition was formed three years ago when they became confident that President Ahmadinejad was determined to serve te public and was firm in his stances on the bullying powers.

"If we analyze the electoral behaviors of some people and inclinations, we will see clearly that their problem with Ahmadinejad is his tough stances regarding public funds and safeguarding national assets against professional rent-seeking people," he contended.

Their main problem is that he has cut their hands off the public funds and they cannot receive huge loans or facilities they do not deserve, Behdad concluded.
So who are those "corrupt persons"? According to another IRNA headline, Ahmadinejad has declared "I will reveal names of corrupt people in TV debates":
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that he will declare the names of corrupt people in the country's economy during TV debates with his rivals in the upcoming presidential elections.
President Ahmadinejad made the remarks at a public meeting in Savojbolagh, Tehran province during the second round of his provincial tours.

These corrupt people have taken loans from banks and are not ready to repay their debts to the banking system, he said. [...]
He ended with something about those Z-people:
The enemies try to take revenge on Iranian nation because they are witnessing that the glorious achievement of this nation have broken the backbone of the Zionist regime and has defamed global arrogance worldwide, he said.
The Zionist entity's backbone may be broken, but a Press TV headline asks "Israel planting another war on Gaza?" Can you spot the mistake in the headline? I knew you could! They forgot to put the word "Israel" in scare quotes. ["Planting" has now been corrected to "planning"--YG] According to another Press TV headline, "Moussavi slams female fans' choice of dress":
Presidential hopeful Mir-Hossein Moussavi lashes out at a group of female supporters whose support, he says, could sabotage his chances of winning the election.

The remarks were made after Iranian daily Jomhouri-Eslami launched into a tirade against certain female supporters of Moussavi who do not observe the country's hijab rules "properly".

"In recent days, a well-planned conspiracy has been developed by certain girls and women against Mir-Hossein Moussavi," an article in the daily read.

The report went on to say that these people with their "immoral acts" while holding photos of Moussavi wish to damage the presidential contender's reputation.
It played well in the Western Press, of course.
When asked about his take on the controversial appearance of the female supporters, Moussavi said he denounced their un-Islamic appearance.

"I respect Islamic values and believe such moves are aimed at damaging [my] reputation," he told the daily.

Earlier during a pre-election speech, Moussavi promised to work toward taking the moral police patrols off the streets if elected as president in Iran's June 12 poll.
In another recent story, "Ahmadinejad describes one of his saddest days" (This turns out to have an election-angle):
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the day his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, met with his French counterpart Jacque Chirac was the saddest day of his life.

"The day that the previous president under those circumstances visited France was one of the saddest days of my life," the incumbent president, who has on various occasions criticized Khatami for adopting a "naïve" approach towards the West, he told state radio on Wednesday.

"Jacque Chirac was standing on top of the stairs and Iran's former president … had to climb several flights of stairs to reach him, that kind of behavior is insulting to us," he said without directly naming Khatami in his speech.

In a prompt response to the remarks, the campaign of presidential hopeful Mir-Hossein Mousavi -- who is supported by Khatami -- published pictures of the 2005 encounter between the two presidents while they both stood at the foot of the stairs of the Elysee palace in Paris. [...]
Here's the photo:

If only it could have been a happy picture! Like this:

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Let's call them Fromage-connoisseur victory-primates

From PalToday:
The French arms trade with Israel breaks the rules that the European Union has set out for the defense industry, according to a new study brought out this week. Between 2003 and 2007 France licensed for more than 446 million euros for arms exports to Israel, making France the largest EU supplier of weapons to Israel.

The EU code for the defense industry forbids arms sales in cases where they may exacerbate regional tensions or are used in violations of human rights.

Patrice Bouveret from the French Center for Research on Peace and Conflicts in Lyon dismissed the claims from the French government that the "weapons" in question are generally only components of military goods instead of complete weapons systems. "Even if they are only components, they are used directly by the Israeli army," he added.

Amnesty International reported in February that after the Gaza war ceased electrical components were found in the ruins of buildings Israel destroyed, that had "Made in France" written on them.
As they say in Louisiana, "Laissez les bons temps roulez!"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still

It's not easy starting out as an ugly duckling. From Der Spiegel:
A man who grabbed a live swan by the neck and used the bird as a club to beat up another man has been sentenced by a court in Munich, local media reported on Wednesday.

The swan survived the attack unhurt and flew off afterwards. The assailant, named only as Sebastian P., was drunk at the time and was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Ahmadinejad: "Holocaust, West's Achilles' heel"

The key to navigating Ahmadinejad's often murky babble about the Holocaust is to remember that the Holocaust-denier is always ultimately peddling a conspiracy theory. Referring to the Security Council powers, Ahmadinejad said in 2006:
"They have been busy looting the regional nations for sixty years resorting to the pretext of World War II crimes."

Ahmadinejad added, "By the establishment of an illegitimate, fake regime called Israel in the region they try to halt the process of all other countries' scientific and economic development and advancement, on the pretext of ensuring that regimes's security."
Now read his latest pronouncement on the Holocaust:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Western powers have been using the Holocaust to play the role of innocent victims.

"These powers used it [the Holocaust] to oppress other nations but we touched the issue of the Holocaust, which was their main weakness," Ahmadinejad said during a radio program on Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad's comments came after he was asked if he accepted the criticism that his reference to the issue had amounted "adventurism" in the country's foreign policy, Fars news agency reported.

"Today, Iran's role is as important as that of the US in the international arena. Is this adventurism?" he said.

On several occasions, Ahmadinejad called for a historical research to find realities about the Holocaust. His remarks have sparked outrage among the Western powers, which labeled him as a holocaust denier.

The critics also slammed the President for what they called unnecessary provocation of the West through discussing an irrelevant issue.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Asharq Alawsat on the Hariri assassination and other matters of interest

Asharq Alawsat is a sources of Arab news and opinion that frequently meets with my Imperialist Neo-con approval, not to mention my World Arrogance, hegemonic, and bullying approval. Its point of view is not exactly friendly to Israel, but AA's writers, which have frequently included Amir Taheri, seem to have a firm grasp of the principle that shooting oneself in the foot is not always a glorious victory. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed asks, "Did Hezbollah Murder Hariri?"
Two weeks ago, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, described the 7th of May as a glorious anniversary in the history of Lebanon. What is the anniversary, and what happened on the 7th of May that is worthy of celebration? It was on this day that the militias of Hezbollah attacked West Beirut, the Sunni districts, and burned, destroyed, and killed inhabitants of the district. This is the day he describes as glorious; it is a barbarous day, which is one of the worst that Lebanon has known since the end of the civil war.

What Hezbollah did on that day was not against foreign powers, or even against an armed Lebanese power, but it was a barbarous invasion of unarmed Lebanese citizens, who were different from Hezbollah politically and in creed, and who used to express their opinion - the same as Hezbollah - in parliament and through the other means of political life.

Therefore, the story of Der Spiegel magazine was neither surprising nor shocking in its report that a special group of Hezbollah was the one that carried out the complete operation of assassinating Rafik al-Hariri. [...]
Mshari Al-Zaydi also weighs in on this subject:
The nature of [political] parties and ideological groups that achieve their goals by using Tehran's slogans and calling for [religious] salvation is their belief in their own immortality and endurance. These groups believe they are last hope for salvation and that they alone possess solutions to the major problems. These are not parties that have the capacity for discussing differences in opinion or ideology especially in times when they are convinced of their own hegemony. They also do not doubt that they alone are in possession of the whole truth, and are convinced in their own duty of treating everybody as sheep.
Tariq Alhomayed examines "Hamas's Rationalism!":
. . . if the Americans, Europeans, and Russians want to know whether Hamas is truly rational and has accepted responsibility towards the Palestinians and their cause then this cannot be measured in words, or by the halting of rocket fire. The main test of whether Hamas is being honest and is truly committed [to this] can be seen with the success of inter-Palestinian dialogue, and setting right the outcomes of the Gaza coup which fragmented the Palestinian cause, and weakened its negotiating position otherwise this can only be described as [political] maneuvering, and an attempt to establish [political] authority.

If Hamas believes that resistance is a legitimate option, do not have faith in the peace process, and do not want to acknowledge the agreements made by the Palestinian Authority, then the question is; what does Hamas want to negotiate on?

What the Palestinians and the Arabs need is the foundation of the Palestinian state, if Hamas do not want to see the establishment of a Palestinian state, why do they not announce this? [...]
In a piece from last week, Diana Mukkaled comments on a proposed Israeli Ministry of Information:
It would appear to be the case that the infection has also spread to the Hebrew state.

Never before has this happened in the history of Israel; the Israeli cabinet has decided to establish a Ministry of Information in Israel for the first time since the state was founded in 1948. This is a major transition for the media in that country. [...]

Us Arab journalists, or at least some of us, always felt that the media in Israel is part of a more "advanced" system than our own and is supported by more liberal and democratic laws and systems than our own. In this way, an Israeli journalist can expose the actions carried out by his/her own state, condemn its violations and its officials, and try them in court, which has happened and is still happening in Israel. [...]
Don't neglect your Daf Yomi or anything, but read the rest of all of the above if you're so inclined.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

North Korea overcomes its shyness

A Washington Post article explained a few years ago "What North Korea Really Wants":
What is it, then, that North Korea wants? Above all, it wants, and has pursued steadily since 1991, a long-term, strategic relationship with the United States. This has nothing to do with ideology or political philosophy. It is a cold, hard calculation based on history and the realities of geopolitics as perceived in Pyongyang. The North Koreans believe in their gut that they must buffer the heavy influence their neighbors already have, or could soon gain, over their small, weak country.

This is hard for Americans to understand, having read or heard nothing from North Korea except its propaganda, which for years seems to have called for weakening, not maintaining, the U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula. But in fact an American departure is the last thing the North wants. Because of their pride and fear of appearing weak, however, explicitly requesting that the United States stay is one of the most difficult things for the North Koreans to do.
I'll say. Here are some things that they don't find difficult to say:
The progressives of the world are praising highly the DPRK's successful launch of the artificial satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 as a brilliant victory of the great Songun politics.

Only the United States and other bellicose forces, turning their face from the trend of the times, are hell-bent on aggressive rackets, taking issue with the satellite launch, a great undertaking in history.

The army and people of Korea, however, are forcefully pushing ahead with the building of a great, prosperous and powerful nation with indomitable mental power, without shrinking in the least from the ever intensified moves of the hostile forces.

This world-startling indomitable spirit is based on the confidence and pluck which have been cemented steel-strong in the flames of the Songun revolution.

The actuality verifies how correct are Songun politics, reliable precious sword for defending national sovereignty and peace, and the increase of self-reliant defense capabilities, its offspring.

Songun politics reflects the revolutionary will of the Workers' Party of Korea to safeguard with credit the national dignity and interests and achieve the cause of building a great, prosperous and powerful nation and the independent and peaceful reunification of the country without fail on the principle of giving importance and priority to the military affairs.

The Korean army and people, who resolutely opted to take the road of Songun at the historic crossroads of independence and subordination, have opened a new era of national prosperity, frustrating all the reckless isolation and stifling moves of the imperialist allied forces on the forefront against imperialism and for independence.

It is the revolutionary mettle and immovable will of the army and people of Korea not to allow any slightest moves of the hostile forces against their just cause.

It was strikingly manifested in the fact that some time ago the DPRK solemnly declared at home and abroad that it would further increase the self-defensive nuclear deterrent and defend reliably the peace and security on the Korean Peninsula with the might of Songun to cope with the acts of the enemy incriminating the DPRK's right to peaceful space development.

Today the imperialist reactionaries' hostile policy toward the DPRK is going to naught in face of the might of Songun and the DPRK is demonstrating its power all over the world. [...]
In Iran, for instance?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(North) Korean News on the Nuke Test and the Might of Songun

The Might of Atomic Songun:
[...] The Democratic People's Republic of Korea successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way as requested by its scientists and technicians.

The current nuclear test was safely conducted on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control and the results of the test helped satisfactorily settle the scientific and technological problems arising in further increasing the power of nuclear weapons and steadily developing nuclear technology.

The successful nuclear test is greatly inspiring the army and people of the DPRK all out in the 150-day campaign, intensifying the drive for effecting a new revolutionary surge to open the gate to a thriving nation.

The test will contribute to defending the sovereignty of the country and the nation and socialism and ensuring peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and the region around it with the might of Songun.
The region can breathe easy now. Its peoples are now under North Korea's nuclear umbrella.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Now that music is permitted again . . .

There are various customs about not listening to music during Sefiras Ha'omer, the days between Pesach and Shavuos. I go back to not listening to music after Lag B'omer, but during the last three days before Shavuos, music listening is permitted again. So here is the Moshav Band with a musical setting of the opening words of Genesis. As a good Eastern European Jew I hate to admit this, but the Israeli pronunciation of Hebrew is beautiful:

Yonhap: Kim views "art performance by female soldiers," Songun mushroom cloud blooms

The Juche equivalent of Miller time?
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il attended an art performance by female soldiers, state media there said Tuesday, as international consultations were underway over how to punish Pyongyang's second nuclear test.

The report by the Korean Central News Agency and other media, first dispatched at 1 a.m., did not say when the show was staged, but it was likely on Monday, the same day the country carried out its second nuclear test. State media usually report on Kim's activities on the day they are made or the following day.

Kim "said that it is another aspect of the pride of our army to have such a dependable women's unit," the report said of his visit to the Kamnamu (persimmon tree) company of the Korean People's Army (KPA).

The soldiers presented songs like "Our General Is the Best," "General and Our Kamnamu Company" and "May Soldiers' Song of Happiness Reverberate Far and Wide," it said.

The soldiers' songs praised "the profound loving care of Kim Jong-il and strikingly demonstrated the might of the heroic KPA which has grown to be a matchless army and the iron faith and will and militant spirit of the KPA," it said. [...]
Hmm, "iron faith and will," does that remind you of something?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Nasrallah: "Der Spiegel, Israel teamed for murder"

The Zionist tag-team!
Hezbollah's secretary general calls the recent accusatory article in the German daily, Der Spiegel a cover-up for Israeli assassinations in Lebanon.

"I consider the report in the Der Spiegel an Israeli accusation," Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in the Lebanese capital, Beirut on Monday calling the move "a plot" of "far-reaching aims".

"The Israelis are acting preemptively before it is discovered that their spying networks were involved in the assassinations in Lebanon," he added.

The resistance leader made the comments after the magazine referred to an unnamed source as claiming that the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri was "planned and executed by Hezbollah".

Nasrallah's comments also bore reference to Hezbollah and Lebanese intelligence counterespionage forays which have led to the apprehension of around 30 suspected Israeli-commissioned spies. One suspect, Ziad Homsi, has admitted to being tasked to organize the assassination of the secretary general.

While "we are witnessing the uncovering of Israeli espionage networks...," the Israelis thought "let's implement this plot against Hezbollah," Nasrallah continued with regards to the article.

He said the report deliberately coincided with the June 7 Lebanese elections which, he said both the US and Israel feared an overwhelming resistance triumph, the Israeli military maneuvers that begin on May 31 and the growing international expectation from Tel Aviv to submit to a two-state solution and give the right of the Palestinian refugees to return.

"Der Spiegel is ready for this mission" which he said was, on a broader scale aimed at "creating an Arab-Iranian conflict and a Sunni-Shia conflict." [...]
It is getting hard to keep up with all the blog-worthy paranoid and pro-terrorist blather at the PressTV site, never mind the Iranian press in general. Also at PressTV, "Tehran proud to support Hamas, Hezbollah":
A senior Iranian official says Tehran is proud to stand by regional resistance movements, Hamas and Hezbollah, regardless of what labels the US uses for them.

"We are proud to defend Hamas and Hezbollah. We are not trying to hide it. They are fighters in the path of God, and you can call them whatever you like," Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani said in Tehran on Monday. [...]
According to another article, "Iran's Center for Strategic Research has warned the president over distorting facts on the state's nuclear program, warning that it can reveal details of his incompetence." That one is quite interesting reading in its entirety, so I won't try to excerpt it here. Mehr has its own article about the Larijani speech mentioned above, entitled "Iran’s defensive power provides regional security: Larijani":
[...] "Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, it defends dignity… Imad Mughniyeh was not a terrorist and defended the Palestinian people," he added.

Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh was martyred in a car bombing in the Syrian capital Damascus in February 2008. [...]

The Majlis speaker also noted that Iran owes its dignity to soldiers who liberated Khorramshahr. [...]

"If today we build long range missiles and have developed advanced technologies such as nuclear technology… it is the result of such resistance," he added.
Resistance? You mean Iran's nuclear program isn't for purely civilian purposes? You can learn a lot by paying attention.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

"Nukes 'politically retarded', says Ahmadinejad"

Mahmoud channels Br'er Rabbit:
As the West continues to press Iran on its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the country considers developing nuclear weapons as "politically retarded". [...]

President Ahmadinejad reiterated Iranian assertions that the country would never seek weapons of mass destructions -- including nuclear weapons.

"We think those who assume restoring nuclear weapons can have the upper hand in political equations are politically retarded," the president said.

Iran says nuclear weapons are "un-Islamic" and "developing, producing or stockpiling nuclear weapons are forbidden under the rule of Islam."
Tell Pakistan. Elsewhere in the Iranian Press we learn that Presidential candidate Mahdi Karroubi "has no fear of devastating revelation."
Presidential candidate Mahdi Karroubi stated on Monday that he has no fear of any unfavorable point being revealed that would undermine his campaign.

Commenting on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claims that he plans to expose his rivals in the scheduled televised debates, Karroubi told reporters at a press conference that his criticism of the administration is based on ethics and legal issues.

Ahmadinejad warned his rivals on Saturday that he will expose his presidential rivals in the televised debates which start on June 2.

Karroubi campaign director Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi said Karroubi’s proposals for running the country are the most "practicable and realistic" ever presented. [...]
That's impressive. "Reformist" Mohammad Khatami reveals meanwhile that "the all-powerful Israeli lobby in the US stands in the way of President Barack Obama's quest to bring change to Washington." "All-powerful," I like that:
[...] In a Sunday interview with Newsweek, Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami said he believes that Obama has genuine intentions to make changes in US ways and means, but is incapable of doing so due to increased pressure from pro-Israeli groups.

"I think Mr. Obama truly wants to have a real change inside America and in terms of America's relations with the rest of the world. The question is whether these reforms will be cosmetic changes or substantial ones. The United States has a strong system of governance with its own policies and traditions, we can't expect one person to change the decision making process."

Replying a question about the main obstacles in the way of Obama, former Iranian President said "One of the biggest obstacles is the Israeli and Zionist lobby. They are a very strong lobby both financially and in the media. They can create negative publicity and psychological warfare at times when they see Israel's interest is in jeopardy," he said.

Khatami said that Israeli lobbying in US policies is to such extent that many people have come to believe that "the real capital of the United States has been transferred to Tel Aviv". [...]
You may have heard that Ahmadinejad is calling for a debate with Obama. While we're at Fars, here is the Fars story on the proposed debate:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday voiced readiness to attend a public debate with his US counterpart Barack Obama at the United Nations over the root causes of the world problems. [...]

"The human being and powers should change their view about world management as this is the only way to establish sustainable peace," Ahmadinejad said, and added, "And a major part of this change should take place in the kind of look that the dominant ruling systems have over the world, and a new system should be created in the world equations." [...]
Right, the UN should also be moved to Tel Aviv.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Yonhap: "N. Korea fires missiles to threaten U.S. spy planes: official"

More unfathomable mental power and great revolutionary upsurge in the spirit of Mt. Paektu. Want a whole paragraph of these phrases? Nah, I'll spare you:
North Korea fired two additional short-range missiles Monday in an apparent move to threaten U.S. spy planes monitoring a site where the regime is believed to have conducted its second nuclear test, a South Korean official said.

"The launches took place at around 5:03 p.m.," the official said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. North Korea had earlier launched a surface-to-air missile around noon, hours after it said it detonated a nuclear device in an underground bunker.

"The latest missiles were fired from Wonsan, which isn't too far from Taepodong, where the first one was launched," the official said. "The launches appear to be a reaction to U.S. surveillance efforts." [...]

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"An unfathomable mental power of all the people has erupted like an active volcano"

So that's what they were talking about:
On Monday, the country's official Korean Central News Agency said the regime "successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of measures to bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defense."

The regime boasted that the test was conducted "on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control." [...]

"dynamic creative activities in the seething reality"

The poets of the Central Committee of the Writers Union of the DPRK have generated some new blog-fodder:
Poets of the Central Committee of the Writers Union of Korea produced more than 100 poems and words of songs encouraging the army and people by conducting dynamic creative activities in the seething reality.

At the construction site of the Huichon Power Station they perfectly created the selection of poems "Echo in Huichon", which represented the army and people working hard to successfully carry into practice General Secretary Kim Jong Il's grandiose plan.

Among them are poems "Let's Meet in Huichon Again", "150-day Campaign Here" and "Toward Year 2012" that vividly reflected the ideological and moral world of the builders working a new miracle and a new speed of advance with the do-or-die spirit and morale that when the Party is determined we can do anything.

In coal mines of the Anju area poets gave a helping hand to coal miners in pit faces afire with enthusiasm for increased coal production and recited before them more than 20 poems, including "Let Us Stand in the Van of the Struggle of a Thriving Nation", written in leisure time.

Also, produced were lots of appealing and militant poems full of lyricism. [...]
Ah yes, militant lyricism! The latest Haveil Havalim also vividly reflects the ideological and moral world of the builders working a new miracle and a new speed of advance with the do-or-die spirit.

"Iran's Michelle Obama": "Our main and everlasting enemy is Israel"

According to a breathless CNN headline "Thousands gather to hear, cheer Iran's Michelle Obama":
Dancing in public in not allowed in Iran, but thousands could hardly contain themselves at a recent presidential campaign rally in the capital city, Tehran.

On this day, the deafening cheers were not for presidential hopeful Mir Hossein Mousavi, but rather for his wife -- a woman some are calling Iran's Michelle Obama.

The comparisons to the first lady of the United States stem from the role Zahra Rahnavard is playing in her husband's quest for the presidency. [...]
This is accompanied by a video that features cheering and smiling faces. CNN evidently doesn't wonder what she has to say about Israel, but readers of Iran's news sites do. According to a Fars headline, "Wife of Reformist Candidate Terms Israel 'Iran's Main Enemy'":
Wife of the reformist presidential hopeful, Mir Hossein Mousavi, here in Tehran on Tuesday dismissed rumors around her husbands' campaign agenda, and underlined that Israel is and will remain the main enemy of Iran.

"Our main and everlasting enemy is Israel. But we will interact with other lands and nations if they regard our national interests," Zahra Rahnavard said, while addressing an election campaign gathering in Tehran's Shahid Beheshti University, promoting her husbands political viewpoints. [...]
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

A slight set-back

He'll be at it again in no time:
A Palestinian in the West Bank was sentenced on Sunday to 15 months in prison for planning to perpetrate a suicide bombing in Israel.

The 21-year-old man had corresponded with Islamic Jihad operatives in the Gaza Strip about his plan, asking for their advice on a target, and for instructions on how to carry out the attack.

According to reports, the plan fell through due to technological difficulties.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Unfathomable mental power, apogees of victory, reality and horizons

Why is Iran so lackluster lately? In North Korea "An unfathomable mental power of all the people has erupted like an active volcano and new standards and records stirring the era are being created in an unbroken chain in all sectors of socialist construction on the crest of the surging tide," but Iran is merely "moving fast to conquer apogees of victory." In other news from the Axis of Great Leaps Forward, an opinion poll shows that Bashar al-Assad is "the Most Popular Figure Among Arab Leaders." On the Libyan front, "Participants in the internal symposium on Democracy in Africa: Reality and Horizons held in the Eritrean capital Asmara sent a cable to the leader of the Revolution, Chairman of the African Union." Let's read a bit of that cable:
"We are delighted to convey to you the best of greetings, praising your deep intellectual and revolutionary contributions which were discussed with great interest at the symposium.

They added: "As we highly commend your efforts, we plead to you to continue your known role, so that the World Center for Studies and Researches of the Green Book will work harder to promote the unity of African peoples by enlarging mutual intellectual dialogues to deepen awareness of challenges and issues that face real democracy and development in the continent.
The future looks bright!

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Friday, May 22, 2009

Joe Biden threatens Lebanon's sovereignty

Just ask Hezbollah:
[...] "US Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Lebanon on Friday is a clear move by Washington to meddle in the country's internal affairs only two weeks before the elections," Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said.

"We call on all Lebanese, regardless of their political views, to rise up against such meddling moves which represents a flagrant violation of Lebanese sovereignty," he added. [...]
Elsewhere in the Iranian press Ahmadinejad pontificated that "Efforts to elevate Iran's dignity should continue":
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Friday that the path to dignity and grandeur of Iran should be trodden with better and fuller insight.

"Today’s conditions resemble a launching pad and through better and complete insight of national capacities and capabilities, we should continue the path to enhance dignity and grandeur of Iranian nation," said Ahmadinejad in his first election campaign address broadcast on national radio. [...]
Mottaki, meanwhile, "warned of enemies’ constant plots to divide the world of Islam":
[...] He said the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, relying on traditions of the holy Prophet, has been successful in uniting Shiites, Sunnis and different ethnic groups.

He added that unfortunately, certain Arab leaders and intellectuals were defining the plots, so we should try to confront them. [...]
Funny how that works. They are quoting Ynet quoting Hezbollah, but a PressTV headline reads "Israel plotting to assassinate Nasrallah":
A senior Hezbollah official warns that an Israeli plot to assassinate the movement's leader Seyeyd Hassan Nasrallah would "set the region ablaze".

In an interview with the Arab language daily Asharq al-Awsat Nawaf al-Musawi said Israel was conspiring with "many states" to assassinate Nasrallah.

"A decision was taken in Israel to assassinate Nasrallah, and many states have conspired with Israel on this front", Ynet quoted Musawi as saying on Friday.

He said the assassination -- if materialized -- would "cause an all-out explosion," in the region. [...]
Explosive news . . .

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hamas: Gilad Shalit "will go missing forever and his fate 'might be similar to Ron Arad'"

This story at the Hamas-friendly PalToday site refers to Shalit as a "hostage":
The military wing of Hamas movement on Tuesday said talks to exchange prisoners between Israel and the Palestinians are restricted by a time limit.

"We have an undisclosed time ceiling and after that we can decide according to the interest of the Palestinian people," said Abu Obaida, the spokesman of Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, in an interview posted on a Hamas-affiliated website.

Abu Obaida warned that Gilad Shalit, the soldier Hamas holds hostage since 2006, will go missing forever and his fate "might be similar to Ron Arad," referring to the Israeli air force engineer who went missing since his aircraft crashed over Lebanon in 1986.

Abu Obaida admitted that the Egyptian-mediated talks between Hamas and Israel are still halted, accusing "the Zionist willfulness" of blocking the talks. He also stressed that Hamas will not give up any of its demands.

Iran: Sijil-2 "clear message to the Zionist regime"

Meaning, no doubt, "adjust your timetables":
An Iranian expert said Wednesday that the launch of Sijil-2 missile by the Islamic Republic of Iran was a clear message to the Zionist regime and a response to any possible foolish act by the regime to attack IRI's strategic sites.

In an interview with al-Alam TV network on Wednesday, Amir Mousavi referred to high capabilities of the new Iranian-made ballistic missile including its high destruction power and accurate aiming and said the launch of the missile was a clear message to the Zionist regime.

Rejecting the regime's claims that the missile is a threat for the European countries, Mousavi said the missile's range is not too long to hit the European countries, "but it could inflict severe damages on the Zionists."
Let's see, the reason it isn't a threat is because of its limited range. The "World Arrogance and hegemonic powers" should find that very comforting.
He added the Sijji-2 ballistic missile which was successfully test-fired on Wednesday is technically upgraded but its range has not changed in comparison with the Shahab-3.

With the missile, the Islamic Republic of Iran can hit well-fortified and deep targets.

The expert stated that the ground-to-ground missile is equipped with two advanced engines and has high speed and developed launch pad which helps it exactly hit its target. It works on solid fuel, he added.

He said Sejil-2 is equipped with a sensitive radar and a new warhead with high destruction power.
A new warhead--how interesting! Meanwhile, as you doubtless already know, some other Muslims were also very excited about their new missile. Iran's PressTV covers the foiled bomb and missile plot in New York fairly straightforwardly. It doesn't call the men Muslims, but it links Muslims to the motivation of one of the would-be bombers.:
The FBI and other agencies monitored the four men and provided an inactive missile and inert C-4 to the informant for the defendants, a federal complaint said.

Cromitie whose parents lived in Afghanistan was determined to do "something to America" in protest to the killings of Muslim people in Afghanistan and Pakistan by US military forces, the US officials said.

In October 2008, the informant began meeting with the defendants at a Newburgh house equipped with concealed video and audio equipment, the complaint said. The four men selected the synagogue and the community center they intended to hit in April 2009, it said. [...]
While we're visiting Iranian news land, a story at Fars news declares "Iran's Policy Determining in World."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some headlines from Iran: "US, Israel waging new satanic war," "Bahaism formed for spying ," and more

We begin with a story at Iran's PressTV site featuring the latest pronouncement from Mr. Hezbollah himself--"US, Israel waging new satanic war in region":
Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has warned against a plot hatched by the West to create a new conflict in the Middle East.

During a televised speech broadcast on Al-Manar TV on Wednesday, Nasrallah said that the US and Israel are seeking to create a conflict between Iran and the Arab countries.

"The final battle that the US and Israel are waging in the region is a fight between Iran and Arab nations and Shia and Sunni Muslims," the Hezbollah leader said.

"If we foil such a plot to create the conflict, the US and Israel can no longer use its wicked weapon," he added. [...]
OK, that's the leader of a notorious terrorist group. Maybe actual Iranian officials don't sound so bellicose after Obama's outreach attempts? Here's one entitled "Ahmadinejad: Iran will turn enemy bases into hell":
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the country will crush any country that is used as a launch pad for a possible military operation against Iran.

"Today Iran has the power to turn any base that fires a bullet at Iran into hell," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the central city of Semnan on Wednesday. [...]
Meanwile, at IRNA, Iran's most official news agency, we learn that the Baha'i faith was "formed for spying":
A group of distinguished Iranian officials in separate interviews with IRNA on Wednesday voiced resentment over Bahaism and said it was formed with the objective of conducting espionage.
Deputy head of Majlis Article 90 Commission, Hojjatoleslam Mohammad-Ebrahim Nekounam, said here Wednesday that Bahaism was established to infiltrate Iran and create divisions among Muslims and it did its best to achieve that goal.

The MP quoted founder of the Islamic Republic and father of the Islamic Revolution, the late Imam Khomeini as saying both before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Bahais do not belong to a party, rather they are a group of spies.

He said that a group affiliated to Bahaism are openly in contact with those hostile to Islam and Islamic system and they should be strongly dealt with.

He added that the group of few have links with Israel and are agents of the usurper Zionist regime acting against the Islamic Republic system. [...]
Say no more . . . shudder!
Also, a former member of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution Hojjatoleslam Abbasali Akhtari said support for Bahaism is in fact support for Israel.

Akhtari said support for Bahaism is like supporting Israel at the international level and anybody wishing to officially recognize Bahism will commiting treason against Islam.
This could be a very long post. Fars has one called "Ahmadinejad Sees Nothing Important in Obama's Speech." Mehr has its own article based on Ahmadinejad's speech about "turning enemy bases into hell," with a choice sentence we otherwise would have missed:
"Unfortunately, some believe that we will just be sitting in Tehran, Semnan, Mashhad, and Ahvaz, and the Zionists will arrive at our borders with the 'from the Nile to the Euphrates' motto. This is a satanic idea," Ahmadinejad observed.
Making you read more of this sludge would probably also be a satanic idea, so that's it until next time.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Atoms split, Juan scoffs

Juan Cole's latest is absolutely certain that Iran's nuclear program is civilian:
Obama wants to negotiate with Iran regarding its civilian nuclear enrichment research program, but stressed that his patience is not infinite. Netanyahu, of course, wants military action against Iran on a short timetable.

Netanyahu's hysteria about Iran is a piece of misdirection intended to sidestep the issue of Israel's own nuclear arsenal.
Did he really write that? Why are Arab countries worried?
Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, and allows regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, even if the latter is not completely satisfied with Iran's transparency. Israel just thumbed its nose at the NPT. Israel would only have the moral high ground in demanding that Iran cease enrichment research if it gave up its own some 150 warheads.
What does "moral high ground" have to do with anything? This is more of a practical issue, Juan. And see if you can follow this reasoning:
As brutal as the Sri Lankan campaign was, it does not leave the Tamils at the end of the day without basic rights of citizenship in a state, which is the condition of the Palestinians-- who are therefore the most oppressed people in the world.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

"Wonder of Mt. Paektu Acclaiming Its Master"

Once again it's time to visit the Holy Mountain of Revolution. (According to Wikipedia, "North Korea claims that Kim Il-sung organized his resistance against the Japanese forces there and that Kim Jong-il was born there, although records outside of North Korea show that these events took place a short distance within the borders of the Soviet Union.) This time we learn that the HM of R knows and acclaims its general:
General Secretary Kim Jong Il went to Ryanggang Province in the spring of Juche 61 (1972) to guide on the spot the preparations for the events of the 35th anniversary of the historic victory in the Pochonbo Battle. In the morning one day he said he would like to climb Mt. Paektu.

Utterly nonplussed, the officials tried to persuade him to postpone it a few days at least because of bad weather.

He told them that one could say he saw real Mt. Paektu, understand the mettle of Mt. Paektu and get grasps on the revolutionary spirit of Mt. Paektu only when he climbed the mountain in blizzards and set out on the trip to the mountain with them.

When the party escorting him got to Taeyonji Peak, the snowstorm of Mt. Paektu began to assault them.

The howling snowstorm made it difficult to see an inch ahead and the raging wind carried mountains of snow in a twinkle, blocking the way.

Again the officials told him it seemed impossible to go up further.

Saying with a hearty laughter that a real march was just beginning then, he cut through the snow at the head.

Fighting the way through the maddening wind, snowstorm and snowdrift, the party managed to reach the top of Mt. Paektu at last.

When Kim Jong Il was looking around, with his arms akimbo, a thunderous sound of ice breaking came from Lake Chon all of a sudden and the frantic blizzards began to subside.

The clouds slowly moved away, revealing the blue sky and the sun threw its bright rays. Peaks of the mountain shone dazzlingly in the sunshine.

It was really a grand snow-covered scene of Mt. Paektu.

"Mt. Paektu opened its gate to its master and revealed its gigantic and graceful sight. What a wonder of Mt. Paektu!" shouted the officials to themselves in solemn feelings, fascinated by the mysterious scene.
At (North) Korean News we also learn currently that the "Lee Myung Bak Group" has been "Accused of Producing and Showing 'Anti-Communist' Films and TV Dramas." Oh no!
"Anti-communist" movies and TV dramas are now being massively produced and shown in south Korea to defile the dignified system in the DPRK and incite antipathy and confrontation between the north and the south. And even foreign films seriously misrepresenting the reality of the DPRK are openly shown there. [...]

This is an indication that the vicious and dastardly moves of the group of traitors to completely stamp out the idea of "By our nation itself" which has dynamically advanced the June 15 era in the sphere of literature and art of south Korea and benumb the south Koreans' thoughts have reached an extreme phase.

The Lee group is staging such farce as reproducing the above-said cheap films and TV dramas which were washed away by the strong trend of the June 15 era after being censured and rejected as garbage of history in south Korea in a bid to prop up the unpopular pro-U.S. conservative "government" and bring under control the situation in which it is driven into a crisis at home and abroad. This is, however, a serious miscalculation. [...]
It's a strange world.

"DPRK Advancing toward Great, Prosperous and Powerful Nation"--why does that sound familiar?

Didn't fling that gate open yet, eh?
A vigorous 150-day campaign is afoot in the DPRK to make this year a vital one in flinging open the gate to a great, prosperous and powerful nation. In response to the appeal of the Workers' Party of Korea calling the entire Party, the whole country and all the people to the 150-day campaign, rallies were held at working people's organizations, units, factories and enterprises, which were followed by a leaping progress and innovation in production and construction for all to become victors in the campaign.

Whenever the revolution faced a difficult and vast task in the past days, the WPK roused the whole army and all the people to a heroic campaign to give rise to an endless upswing in socialist construction.

Great heydays in the Workers' Party era were brought about in this land through 70-day and 100-day campaigns in the 1970s and a 200-day campaign in the 1980s.

General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited the workers of Kangson toward the end of last year and kindled the torch of a new revolutionary upswing and then he has made journeys of thousands upon thousands of ri to every nook and corner of the country from the very beginning of the year, calling the army and people to a heroic campaign.

Keeping pace with him, the main factories and enterprises which are holding the key links and the lifeline in the building of the great, prosperous and powerful nation, are racing ahead in the van.
They take turns riding in it.
The Chollima Steel Complex is topping the daily quotas in the production of rails for narrow-gauged railroads which are needed in the main objects including the construction site of the Huichon Power Station.

The Hwanghae Iron and Steel Complex is energetically pushing ahead with the repair of Furnace No.7 and technical preparations to open a bright prospect of Juche iron production while hastening current production. And the Chongjin Steel Works is stepping up in full scale the technical renovation of the process of Juche iron production.

The workers of the Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex are boosting the daily output of pig iron, having completed the repair of Furnace No.2 before the set time. In the meantime, the Kumjingang Kuchang Power Station in South Hamgyong Province was put into operation earlier than schedule and began power production. Now an energetic drive is going on to hasten the commissioning of the power stations under construction including Ryesonggang Youth Power Station No. 2. [...]
It's just a ways down the Youth Hero Motor Way . . .

Wright, Ayers change names, hold rally for Mideast Peace

The day before President Barack Obama was to meet with Israel's prime minister, community activists, clergy and residents marched through Oak Park on Sunday to call for a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And they were led in their efforts by a newly-renamed, politically provocative pair from Chicago: Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., now calling himself "Timothy McVeigh Farrakhan" and William Ayers, now calling himself "Carlos the Other Jackal."

The two men shared the stage for one of the first times at First United Church of Oak Park during a forum before the annual walk.

They urged a rethinking of the Mideast conflict, a shift in perspective that's not unlike the view espoused by Obama. [...]

Carlos and Timothy both paused to reflect with humor.

Carlos recalled feeling "support and solidarity" with Timothy when he became a lightning rod during the presidential contest. Though he blasted the guilt by association, Carlos also poked fun at the "terrorist" label assigned to him and that of a "fiery preacher" given to Timothy.

"Hopefully our new names will give the public a better sense of our true values," Carlos reflected with humor, "I'm holding aloft my Jackal-lantern."
(Source: Chicago Tribune. Additional reporting by Yitzchak.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some toothless revisionism

While Obama is declaring that further progress hinges on a settlement freeze, as if the Palestinians have effective leadership to negotiate with, a current article in Al Ahram declares "Unless Israel abandons its biblical myths it is impossible to reach a lasting settlement to the Arab-Israeli struggle." May I look forward to articles on abandoning Koranic myths? I'm always amazed at how writers for the publications of actual Middle Eastern countries have such a shallow understanding of the history of the Middle East. This writer thinks he can dispense with the entirety of Jewish pre-diaspora history in Israel by casting doubt on the Exodus:
The researcher Thomas Thompson says that today's Israel has no relation with historical Israel. The Israel that we know today has been invented through biblical writings. But modern excavations show that the old Israel sprouted from the local population living in the bronze Kanaanite Age. Archaeologists couldn't find any material evidence backing the story of the Old Testament about the Exodus. To date, there is no proof that the Israelis were ever lost in Sinai. The Iraqi researcher Fadel Al-Rabiei, who studies pre-Islamic Arab history, goes one step farther. He believes that the Jerusalem of lore was not even in Palestine, but in Yemen, and argues that Mount Zion was in Negran in Yemen.
I doubt that even Fadel Al-Rabiei can get the Jews of the time of the Maccabbees or the time of the Mishnah out of "historical Israel" and into Yemen. More myth-busting:
Time was that the Israeli media machine depicted Israel as a tiny state fighting against a sea of enemies, an oasis of democracy in a despotic region, and a law- abiding state in the middle of chaos. This myth evaporated in the 1967 war when Israel showed its true face as a bellicose and expansionist state.
Ah yes, the pre-67 Israeli "media machine"! Does this writer know about the "war hysteria and exultation" (in the words of Benny Morris) that gripped the Arab masses before the '67 war? Or is he counting on ignorant readers?
Israel's reputation further dipped when it built the "separation wall", an act that no racist county matched in history.
The meager acquaintance with history this suggests is staggering.
In its recent war on Gaza, Israel shelled schools, universities, ambulances, and even UN relief agencies in full view of the world. Consequently, millions across the world now see Israel as a vile threat to world peace and security.
And we all know how truthfully what happened in Gaza has been reported.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Obama lectures Netanyahu and imaginary Abu Amar on "historic opportunity"

Peace is just around the corner:
With Netanyahu [and a hologram of Arafat] at his side, Obama said he had told the new Israeli leader during more than two-hours of talks that his government must move quickly to resume peace talks with the Palestinians and had insisted negotiations start from a previous agreement on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"We have seen progress stalled on this front, and I suggested to the prime minister that he has a historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure," Obama said. "That means that all the parties involved [especially the Arafat hologram] have to take seriously obligations that they have previously agreed to."

Obama told reporters that serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would be possible only if Netanyahu ordered an end to the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, land that would make up the Palestinian state along with the Gaza Strip.

"There is a clear understanding that we have to make progress on settlements; that settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward," Obama said, referring to past negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
The Arafat hologram seemed pleased by this, but have any Palestinian leaders offered anything in exchange for a settlement freeze?
Netanyahu said he was ready to resume peace talks with the Palestinians immediately but he also said any agreement depended on their acceptance of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. It was not immediately clear in the way he phrased the response whether Netanyahu was demanding that as a precondition for talks.
So there's still hope.

Juan casts Bibi as Khrushchev

The title of this Juan Cole opus is "Obama-Netanyahu must not be Kennedy-Khrushchev." This parallel has been devised before. If Netanyahu is a "bully," does that make Obama the sickly introverted kid of the schoolyard?
It is the most fateful encounter of two world leaders since Kennedy met Khrushchev. And Obama absolutely must not allow himself to be cowed or misunderstood as timid by Netanyahu, who is a notorious bully and warmonger. (Bill Clinton complained that Netanyahu when last prime minister thought that he was the superpower). If Obama can cow Netanyahu, his Middle East policy may have a chance. If Netanyahu comes away thinking he can thumb his nose at Washington, the whole Middle East could be in flames by the end of Obama's first term.
Let's skip to the next bit:
Netanyahu's plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities would fail, and would only cause Iran actually to seek nukes, which it is not presently doing according to US intelligence. I like Israelis, but they are understandably traumatized by all the things that have happened to them since the 1930s and have developed an unhealthy hysteria and tendency to shoot first and ask questions later. They were convinced that a US overthrow of Saddam Hussein would change the Middle East in their favor. It has not (Hizbullah in Lebanon has new friends in Baghdad, as does Tehran). Obama must impress on them that the answer to every problem is not a bombing raid. The good thing about having Rahm Emmanuel in the White House is that he will be able to phrase the instruction colorfully enough for it to be understood unambiguously.
Hmm, Juan feels that colorful phrasing prevents ambiguity. That explains a lot.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"high pride and self-esteem serve as dynamics for exceptionally increasing the mental power of the army and people"

Everything is peachy in the great socialist motherland:
The army and people of the DPRK will bring about a new revolutionary surge in hearty response to the call of the Party and surely build a great prosperous and powerful socialist nation of Juche on this land, cherishing the immense pride and self-esteem of living and making a revolution in the great socialist motherland led by Kim Jong Il.

Rodong Sinmun Thursday says this in a signed article.

Whether the people have the national pride and self-esteem or not is a crucial matter decisive of the success of the revolution and the future of the nation, the article notes, and goes on:

The pride and self-esteem of the army and people of the DPRK living in the great socialist motherland stem from the fact that they are making a revolution, while being blessed with the illustrious leaders generation after generation under the banner of the immortal Juche idea and Songun idea and that they fully enjoy an independent and creative happy life in the most advantageous social system in the world, giving full play to the dignity of the nation in the politically and militarily invincible country.

The above-said high pride and self-esteem serve as dynamics for exceptionally increasing the mental power of the army and people and bringing about a great leaping advance in the building of a thriving nation.

They are waging a dynamic drive for a bright morrow of a thriving nation, their hearts burning with the high national pride and self-esteem, as they are led by Kim Jong Il.

No force on earth can hold in check the dynamic advance of the army and people of the DPRK to accomplish the cause of building a great prosperous and powerful socialist nation of Juche, filled with the great national pride and self-esteem under the Songun leadership of Kim Jong Il, concludes the article.
The latest Haveil Havalim is a dynamic for exceptionally increasing your mental power.

Tehran Times: "Hezbollah capable of ruling Lebanon if wins election"

Great news!
The Lebanese Islamic resistance movement Hezbollah will be capable of "managing" Lebanon if it wins the country's upcoming elections, the movement's leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday.

The opposition will "with no doubt have the ability to manage the country," Nasrallah said speaking at a university graduation ceremony in Beirut's suburbs.

"I tell those who are betting on the opposition's failure during elections: the resistance that defeated Israel can govern a country that is 100 times larger than Lebanon."
Hezbollah aspires to be the sole ruling party.
The Islamic resistance movement’s leader added that if the opposition won a majority in June 7 parliamentary elections, they will not beg the current ruling majority "to be our partners in the governing process."

A tight race is expected between the opposition led by Hezbollah and the Western-backed majority, who Nasrallah accused of being behind the country's sectarian problems. [...]
Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader blathers on in Iran's Kurdistan province:
On the fifth day of his visit to Kurdistan province, the Islamic Revolution Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei regarded national dignity as a very effective factor in the brilliant future of the Iranian people.

Addressing a very enthusiastic gathering of the faithful, affectionate and brave people of Marivan, the IR Leader stressed: "The glorious future belongs to the youths and it has to be be fulfilled by relying on Islamic, national and indigenous recipes and avoiding alien recipes." [...]
In a similar vein, Ahmadinejad emphasized that "people play a crucial role in solving all social problems, including disorder and injustice." That's so deep . . .

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Iran: Israel out to "derail" hope and change

What else can they do after the great Hamas victory in Gaza?
Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says a new Middle East peace plan that is going to be presented by President Barack Obama in future days "is probably a deceptive initiative" proposed by Israel itself in order to derail the 'change' slogan sought by the U.S. administration.

On recent remarks by new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Tel Aviv and Arab states have agreed to put pressure on Iran for its nuclear program, Larijani said, "Such statements are not unprecedented and we must view these remarks with regard to the past events."

It is not surprising that the Tel Aviv regime seeks to "find supremacy over the region and Islamic countries" to recuperate from the humiliating defeats it suffered during the recent 22-day war in the Gaza and 33-day war on Lebanon in 2006, Larijani added.

"Their theories in the 33-day and 22-day wars was to use hard tools for domination and today they are employing soft tools for domination and the (new) theory that they propose is in fact a continuation of previous behaviors," Larijani told the Mehr News Agency correspondent aboard airplane as he was returning home from a visit to Oman and Yemen.
Elsewhere in the Iranian Press, a Hamas spokesman insists that "'Israel' recognition" is "not for discussion":
Spokesman of Gaza-based Palestinain government, Hamas said on Saturday that it will not discuss the recognition of 'Israel' with Fatah party during reconciliation talks in Cairo.

"We can discuss with Fatah all the options... which do not contradict our national goals and the rights of our people, except the American card which stresses recognition of the Zionist entity and the conditions of the Quartet," Fawzi Barhum said in Gaza.

"This is not open for discussion."
Gotta restart that peace process. IRIB also reports that Lebanon has arrested a "Mossad spy." The story is accompanied by this picture:
The idea, I guess, is that the pointing soldier is saying "Look, there's a Mossad spy!"

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Friday, May 15, 2009

SANA (Syria): "International Official Indicates that Israel is Responsible for Lebanese Students' Toxication"

And who is responsible for this official's in-toxication?
UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Micheal Williams said that states of toxication , nausea and fainting that Lebanese students suffered from in Maghdosha town are due to Israeli war planes' smoke during flying over the region. [...]
Meanwhile, back in Syria's ally Iran, Ayatollah Kashani has delivered the Friday sermon:
Tehran's Interim Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani has emphasized on materialization of unity and solidarity among world's Muslims. He noted that enemies are continuously hatching conspiracies against Muslims, while adding that: "US leaders, the Zionist regime and their supporters are hoping for differences of opinion and rifts among Muslims and try their utmost to cause discord among Shiites and Sunnis. But they are doomed to fail and their ominous wishes will never come true."

Ayatollah Emami Kashani underlined that the world is currently witness to Islamic system's elevated clout and honor, while adding that Western states and a few of their collaborating and mercenary Arab leaders are concerned over the development of Islam and have realized that the Islamic establishment has attracted the international community. Meanwhile, the Islamic system's clout deals a fatal blow to them.
We were so busy worrying about the nukes, we didn't pay attention to the fatal clout!
Referring to the visit of Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei to Kurdistan Province, western Iran, Ayatollah Emami Kashani reminded the suppression of Kurds by Iran's former dictatorship in the pre-revolution era, while adding that upon the establishment of Islamic system, the entire Iranian nation gained elevated honor and dignity.

Also referring to Iran's presidential election due to be held soon, Ayatollah Emami Kashani noted that a high turnout in the presidential poll will foil the plots hatched by the enemies against Islamic Republic of Iran.
He is prone to use hatching imagery. Perhaps as a youth, the Ayatollah Kashani had a traumatic experience that involved chickens.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"the Islamic Republic never takes a fanatic, tribal-oriented and one-sided view"

The top story at IRNA today is the Supreme Leader's visit to Iran's Kurdestan province. This was, of course, the occasion for some totalitarian Supreme Leader blather with the general theme that Kurds are swell folks who are always foiling enemy plots:
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said here on Thursday that the Islamic Republic never takes a fanatic, tribal-oriented and one-sided view, highlighting the national preferences.

After listening to the views of the province’s elites, the Supreme Leader noted that the useful points mentioned in the speeches should be applied in the process of decision making.
And then they threw cream pies at him--just kidding!
Lauding the courage and valor of the Kurds, the Supreme Leader further noted that the people of the province have outstanding character in terms of belief, affection and bright mind.
Connoisseurs--you know who you are--will savor the North Korean flavor notes in that last phrasing.
Referring the attempts by the enemies to create tribal and religious discord in the earlier years of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the country managed to overcome the plots with the help of the people.

Commenting on the reasons behind the arrogant powers’ enmity with the Iranian nation, the Leader added that the nature of the Islamic Republic was to adopt independent approach and remain unaffected by the bullying powers which has caused their opposition to Iranian nation.
The bullying powers hate anyone not affected by them. IRIB has an article based on the same speech. It is very had to choose which one has the best Irangrish:
Ayatollah Khamenei termed variety of races as an opportunity for the country and said the Islamic Republic system definitely adopts no prejudiced and discriminative approach towards all parts of the country and it consider Islam and being Iranian in its approaches towards different regions. So the elites should explicate this basic policy.

The IR Leader slammed enemies' plots to sow discord in the province and militarize the province in the first years of the Revolution and said the Islamic Republic could overcome all enmities by relying on the people. He also urged all people especially the elites to be vigilant against continuous plots of aliens.
If you're an elite, I'm sure you'll take that to heart.

Now that you mention it . . .

According to an LA Times caption:
Pope Benedict, who has spoken out in favor of an independent Palestine, meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who fears such a state would be backed by Iran and pose a threat.
Actually the Palestinians were already offered an Iranian-backed, threat-posing state, but they turned it down. Then Israel gave them some Iranian-backed, threat-posing territory anyway.

Pelosi team unveils Pelosi Vista

They hope it will be more stable than Pelosi XP:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bluntly accused the CIA on Thursday of misleading her and other lawmakers about its use of waterboarding during the Bush administration, escalating a controversy grown to include both political parties, the spy agency and the White House. [...]

But the House's top Democrat, speaking at a news conference in the Capitol, was unequivocal about a CIA briefing she received in the fall of 2002.

"We were told that waterboarding was not being used," the speaker said. "That's the only mention, that they were not using it. And we now know that earlier they were." She suggested the CIA release the briefing material. [...]
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Islamic Vigilance has foiled some Zionist Citrus Perfidy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mugabe "boundlessly reveres President Kim Il Sung"

Don't we all? Kim Yong Nam's historic visit to Zimbabwe is the subject of several items at Korean News today:
Talks were held between Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, and Robert G. Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, at the presidential palace in Harare on May 11.

At the talks Mugabe said that he boundlessly reveres President Kim Il Sung who rendered full support and encouragement to the Zimbabwean people's struggle for national liberation and their building of a new society.

Congratulating the DPRK on its achievements including the successful satellite launch, he said that these are giving confidence and courage to the Zimbabweans.

The Songun politics is the just politics that everyone should follow, he stressed. [...]
More in the same vein:
[...] Robert G. Mugabe in his speech said that Zimbabwe felt grateful to the government and people of the DPRK for having sent strong support and encouragement to his government and people in their struggle for the country's independence and the building of a new society.

The revolutionary idea of President Kim Il Sung has always given confidence and inspiration to the Zimbabwean people in their struggle and he will always be remembered by all people along with history, he added.

Noting that he was pleased with the relations between the two countries favorably developing with each passing day, he expressed the will to make positive efforts to boost them.

Kim Yong Nam in his speech said that the DPRK and Zimbabwe are far away from each other geographically but they forged close ties of friendship long ago and have developed the cooperative relations.

He recalled that Kim Il Sung sent support and encouragement, both material and moral, to the Zimbabwean people in their struggle for national liberation and the building of a new society, regarding President Robert G. Mugabe as a close friend and comrade-in-arms. [...]
Will Iran be jealous?

Lag B'Omer

Lag BaOmer, the 33rd day of the Omer Count – this year, May 12, 2009 – is a festive day on the Jewish calendar, celebrated with outings (on which the children traditionally play with bow and arrows), bonfires, and other joyous events. Many visit the resting place (in Meron in Northern Israel) of the great sage and mystic Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, whose yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) the day marks.

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who lived in the 2nd century of the Common Era, was the first to publicly teach the mystical dimension of the Torah known as the "Kabbalah," and is the author of the basic work of Kabbalah, the Zohar. On the day of his passing, Rabbi Shimon instructed his disciples to mark the date as "the day of my joy."

The Chassidic masters explain that the final day of a righteous person's earthly life marks the point at which "all his deeds, teachings and work" achieve their culminating perfection and the zenith of their impact upon our lives. So each Lag BaOmer we celebrate Rabbi Shimon's life and the revelation of the esoteric soul of Torah.

Lag BaOmer also commemorates another joyous event. The Talmud relates that in the weeks between Passover and Shavuot a plague raged amongst the disciples of the great sage Rabbi Akiva "because they did not act respectfully towards each other"; these weeks are therefore observed as a period of mourning, with various joyous activities proscribed by law and custom. On Lag BaOmer the dying ceased. Thus Lag BaOmer also carries the theme of Ahavat Yisrael, the imperative to love and respect one's fellow.
Ever celebrate Lag B'Omer? You could start this year. A Chabad House or Chabad Center near you is probably having an outdoor event today, starting in the late afternoon.

Ahmadinejad Holocaust-denial of the day

Every time he opens his mouth:
Addressing a group of university students in Tehran, Ahmadinejad emphasized that Iran and the US do not have shared stands on global issues, stressing Iran aims to maintain peace and want well-being and affluence for all human beings.

To attack humanity and to achieve their goal, western countries raised the issue of the Holocaust and created the Zionist regime . . .
Elsewhere in the Khomeinist Entity, the Supreme Leader declared that "Presidential candidates should tell realities." He always cuts right to the heart of the matter, doesn't he?
Speaking to thousands of enthusiastic people in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdestan province, the Supreme Leader said that people should exercise vigilance in preserving their dignity and try to elect the best and most qualified candidate.
That's what every election needs: dignity-preserving vigilance. The Iranian Students News Agency thoughtfully provides Islamic Jihad with a chance to get that message out:
Palestine Islamic Jihad Movement representative in Tehran denied remarks by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas that indicated Palestinians have recognized Israel.

"We do not recognize Israel’s illegal regime," Abu Sharif told ISNA on Monday. [...]
You ain't so legal yourself, Abu.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pope "not expected to receive the warmth from the Zionist entity"

The Khomeinist take:
Leader of the Catholic sect of Christianity, Pope Benedict XVI, on Monday arrived in the Zionist usurped Muslim land of Palestine, which the West mischievously calls Israel. Security was heavy for the trip with tens of thousands of Zionist forces deployed, while entire sections of the occupied Islamic city of Bait ol-Moqaddas were shut down.

But with Israel-Vatican relations strained, the German-born Benedict is not expected to receive the warmth from the Zionist entity, which continues to slander the fundamentals of Christian faith including the blessed personalities of Prophet Jesus and his Virgin mother, Mary (peace upon them).

SANA (Syria): "North Pole Water Prolongs Life"

Who knew?
Russian scientist Gennady Berdichev believes that drinking North Pole water instead of tap water will prolong life.

Berdichev's advice helped prolong the lives of former leaders of the Soviet Union, India and North Korea.

When asked if he has a special method for improving his health, the 82 year-old scientist said he can't afford North Pole water, which is why he prepares it by freezing purified tap water, then allowing it to thaw outside the fridge until a piece of ice the size of an egg is formed in the glass containing all the harmful impurities. After removing the piece of ice, the glass contains "light water" which Berdichev claims is the "best thing in the world."
Better than heavy water?

Syria is not as thoughtful about translating some of the output of its official press. MEMRI currently has an item about "Articles in Syrian Government Dailies on 'Bloodsucking,' 'Blood-Letting' Jews."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

North Korea clarifies some things

In this one we learn that "Ideology is above science and technology":
Rodong Sinmun Friday in an editorial article calls for vigorously advancing toward the eminence of a great prosperous and powerful nation under the banner of theory of ideology indicated by General Secretary Kim Jong Il.

The theory that ideology decides everything is the starting point of building a great prosperous and powerful nation and it serves as a banner guaranteeing its ultimate victory, the article notes, adding that it is the stand of the Workers' Party of Korea that the might of ideology should be given full play whenever it faces vast and urgent economic tasks. [...]

The Juche-based theory of ideology is a powerful ideological and theoretical weapon whose importance is further increasing in the IT era in the 21st century.

What one should guard against in particular in the IT age is the tendency of disregarding the might of ideology, overwhelmed by technology-and science-almighty theory. It is impossible to develop science and technology when the might of ideology is disregarded. Ideology is above science and technology.

Scientists and technicians of the DPRK accurately put satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 into orbit by carrier rocket Unha-2 and the workers of Kangson built a modern UHP electric arc furnace by their own efforts and with their own technology even under the most arduous and difficult conditions. This would have been unthinkable without the might of ideology and morality. [...]

The DPRK has achieved decisive victory by driving the U.S. imperialists to a tight corner in all the fields of politics, military affair, economy and diplomacy in recent years. This was possible not because it had a strong material potential. The political and ideological might of the DPRK was the source of strength which helped it foil the strategy for stifling the DPRK invented by those imperialists styling themselves strategists and the unprecedented blockade committed by them.

The Songun politics pursued by Kim Jong Il is one which embodies the theory of ideology and the Songun era is one that advances by the invincible ideological and moral power. The might of the Songun politics lies in that it arms all the people with the revolutionary soldier spirit and defends and glorifies socialism by dint of it. The Songun politics is based on the unity of the army and people in thinking and will.

The environment of the Korean revolution still remains difficult and complicated but the DPRK has such invincible weapon as the theory of ideology.

The Korean people have fully equipped with the revolutionary soldier spirit, the most revolutionary and militant idea and spirit in our era, going through thick and thin during the "Arduous March." The strong mentality they have built generation after generation helped bring about a fresh great Songun revolutionary surge.

The stirring reality today eloquently proves that there is nothing impossible for the Korean people and they can win everything when the might of ideology is given full play.

A rosy future of a great prosperous and powerful nation looms ahead of them, the article says, stressing that ultimate victory is in store for the party, army and people of the DPRK struggling guided by the theory of ideology.
Want more? How about this?
The Songun politics is the just politics of national independence and noble patriotism as it helps firmly defend the sovereignty of the nation and the peace of the country from any encroachment by the imperialist aggressors and their followers and vigorously pave the way for national reunification.
The revolutionary spirit of devoted defense displayed by the forerunners is represented in the slogan "Let us defend with our very lives the leadership of revolution headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il!" in the Songun era to serve as the banner of life and struggle of the army and people.

The spirit of devotedly defending the leader steadily carried forward through decades and centuries invariably remains the life and soul and motto of the Korean army and people today.
The latest Haveil Havalim also would have been unthinkable without the might of ideology and morality.

Yemen Times: "Yemen escapes Worst of the Worst list of not free countries"

Yay, Yemen! Way to go, guys! Two-four-six-eight, for whom do we ululate--Yemen, Yemen--li-li-li-li-li-li-li!
Maintaining the same position as last year in the Freedom House annual survey on the state of global political rights and civil liberties, Yemen has escaped the list of 42 countries designated as "not free."

Each year 193 countries are judged based on events from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. As last year Yemen is described as "partially free" with a rating of five for both political rights and civil liberties rates, and an average combined rating of five based on a 1 to 7 scale, with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free.

"We are publishing this report to assist policymakers, human rights organizations, democracy advocates, and others who are working to advance freedom around the world. We also hope that the report will be useful to the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council," announced the team behind the report.

Of the 51 "not free" territories and countries, 17 countries and four territories were selected as Worst of the Worst due to systematic and pervasive human rights violations. With an average combined political rights and civil liberties ratings of 6.5 or 7, these countries comprise 10 percent of the world’s nations and 24 percent of the world’s population. Six of those 17 countries are Arab: Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Syria. [...]
Never let it be said that this blog does not report positive achievement.

Update: Yemen is also in the news at Al-Ahram:
South Yemen has been engulfed in violence since last April. Restive groups want to secede from the north on the grounds that they are politically "marginalised" by the central government that united with the south in 1990.

On 27 April, southern groups celebrated the "declaring [of] the war against the south", pointing to a speech by President Ali Abdullah Saleh of 27 April 1994, after which civil war broke out. Two days before the groups' celebrations, which turned to violence and riots in at least four provinces in which dozens of people were killed and injured, President Saleh warned of a new civil war if calls for separation continue.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Rooz: "96% Will Vote ‘No’ to the Islamic Republic‎"

Pretty stunning if true:
Thirty years after 92 percent Iranians voted ‘yes’ for an Islamic Republic at a national referendum, ‎Mehdi Khazali, the son of the senior cleric and former member of the powerful Guardian Council ‎ayatollah Khazali, wrote in his personal blog the results of a survey that he conducted which shows ‎that 96 percent of those polled voted ‘no’ to the Islamic Republic today.‎ [...]

Khazali’s blog has been filtered out (i.e. denied access) but he did manage to post the results of this ‎poll for a week between April 6 to 13 this year under the title of "Islamic Republic: Yes or No?" ‎According to the blog, the purpose of the poll was to acquire the views of those born after the victory ‎of the Islamic revolution in 1979.‎

Based on the poll, about 4,017 people participated in the survey of which 3,889, i.e. 96.8 percent, ‎voted negatively for the Islamic Republic and only 128 people, i.e. 3.2 percent voted for it.‎ [...]
Meanwhile, IRNA has an extremely vague article about changing the election system:
Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli stressed Sunday the need for amending Iran’s elections law.

Speaking to IRNA, the minister said that the present law suffered certain shortcomings which made it necessary to approve some amendments.

"Experts of the Expediency Council are examining the present elections law independelty," Mahsouli said adding that the body was also considering an approval by the Iranian Majlis (parliament) to this end.

The council is an administrative assembly appointed by the Supreme Leader and is set up to resolve differences or conflicts between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians. [...]
Otherwise, the system leads to the most perfect enactment of the will of the people ever achieved . . .

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Friday, May 08, 2009

CIA uses grandmother as human shield

Have they no shame?
Intelligence officials released documents this evening saying that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was briefed in September 2002 about the use of harsh interrogation tactics against al-Qaeda prisoners, seemingly contradicting her repeated statements over the past 18 months that she was never told that these techniques were actually being used.

In a 10-page memo outlining an almost seven-year history of classified briefings, intelligence officials said that Pelosi and then-Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.) were the first two members of Congress ever briefed on the interrogation tactics. Then the ranking member and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, respectively, Pelosi and Goss were briefed Sept. 4, 2002, one week before the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. [...]
Looking for a more memorable briefing? Check out the latest Haveil Havalim.