Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fars News: "Leader: People's Vote, Views Highly Important in Islamic Republic"

What kind of news agency is Fars News? The kind that publishes fluffy propaganda such as the following:
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Saturday underlined the Islamic Republic's special attention to people's will and demands.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is proud to have given serious attention to people's views, thoughts and demands since the very first day (of the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979)," Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing members of the Iranian city and village councils here in Tehran today.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that establishment of various councils in Iran signifies the Islamic ruling system's special attention to consultation and different views and opinions in governing the country.

"And that (attention to public views) stands opposite to autocratic and reactionary systems," the Leader stated. [...]
Great speech, Supreme Big Guy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Remember that story about Hamas objections to teaching the Holocaust? Norman Finkelstein crafted another one of those immortal post titles about it

Drumroll, please: "Goebbels to teach Jews in Warsaw Ghetto history of German persecution by Mongols." How many more bullets can Finkelstein fire into the reeking carcass of his academic career? Oh well, he will always have the adulation of the BDS-goons and the Khomeinists.

Jimmy, Elders "enjoyed a grand magic being staged at May Day Stadium"

Jimmy and the Elders in Juche land. No joint field guidance at a people's peanut farm?
The elders' delegation headed by Jimmy Carter, ex-president of the U.S., visited Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies on Wednesday.

The guests were briefed on the successes made by the University in the educational work, provided with modern educational equipment, and exchanged conversations with students in a lecture room.

They also visited a nurses' school in South Phyongan Province, the Phyongsong City People's Hospital, etc. They enjoyed a grand magic being staged at May Day Stadium.

Meanwhile, the elders' delegation gave a reception on Wednesday in connection with the visit to the DPRK.
In related news (Thanks, "Guest"), we learn that Jimmy hoped "to break [the] stalemate between [the] Koreas." Wouldn't "breaking a stalemate" mean that one side could be defeated? If you want something done right, always prefer an Elder of Zion to an Elder of Songun. Things are bad in Imperialist-land, though. Another Korean News headline informs us: "Americans Displeased with Deteriorating Living":
Americans are expressing their bitter grievances about their deteriorating living due to the unreasonable policy of the authorities.

According to the results of a nationwide opinion poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC, many respondents expressed concern over the evermore serious joblessness.

About 70 percent of the respondents deplored that their living further deteriorated due to the oil price rise.
Actually, that's pretty accurate. Jouché?

SANA (Syria): "Military source: biased reports of dissension among army units baseless and untrue"

"Biased TV stations" are trying to "deviate sights off the fact of conspiracy that targets the resisting method of Syria"! We can't let it happen!
A military source on Wednesday announced the following…

A number of biased TV stations have lately persisted to broadcast news claiming the occurrence of dissension among army units in a bid to harm the reputation of the military institution and deviate sights off the fact of conspiracy that targets the resisting method of Syria as well as destabilizing its security.

"Disapproving that, we stress that what has been reported was baseless and untrue… that reflects the failure of the side which has marketed the untrue news… its failure in fulfilling its low objectives.... it is a media distortion aiming at falsifying facts to hit the structure of national body of the Syrian society in general and the military institution in particular," the source said.

It added "spreaders of such lies have forgotten that the Syrian Arab Army is a national army… throughout history, the Syrian Army was and still is a consolidated structure and close power in the face of challenges and conspiracies being hatched against our people and country."
As we also learn,"Lebanese agricultural organizations hold festival to show solidarity with Syria." And, of course, "Egyptian figures warn against conspiracy targeting Syria and the resistance." Those "Egyptian figures" turn out to be "The Egyptian Committee Against Colonialism and Zionism." Thugs, creeps, and goons sure hate the Zionist entity. And then there are all the articles about security force martyrs. So there you have it: all the news that's fit to SANAtize.

"Chavez: Conspiracy against Syria Targets Its Stability and Security"

From SANA, Syria's official news agency:
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela on Wednesday stressed his support to Syria under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad in the face of the conspiracy targeting its stability and security.

Interviewed by the Venezuelan state-run television VTV, Chavez said the USA is helping terrorists enter Syria to create chaos and violence in implementation of a conspiratorial plot which aims at destabilizing the country.
SANA has been dominated by hilariously desperate propaganda lately. This is just a tidbit. I'm going to miss SANA when Assad goes down.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

School bus attack victim dies

When this blog began, the Gaza-withdrawal was on the horizon. The same slow-motion train-wreck continues. From J-Post:
Daniel Raphael Viflic, the 16-year-old boy who was injured in the anti-tank missile attack on a school bus in the Negev by Hamas terrorists 10 days ago, died on Sunday after a steady decline to critical condition.

Viflic suffered severe head trauma and was artificially respirated at the scene after the bus sustained a direct hit by a missile. He was rushed to Soroka University Medical Center Hospital in Beersheba, where his family has been holding vigil for the past ten days. On April 12, the severity of his condition was upgraded to extremely critical and doctors expressed concern that he had suffered irreparable brain damage.

The anti-tank missile hit the bus moments after most of the children got off, while it was traveling near Kibbutz Sa'ad, about 2.5 km. from the Gaza Strip. Just two people were on onboard when it was hit – the driver, who was lightly injured, and the boy, who was en route to visit his grandmother. [...]
(Photo source)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ma'an: "Salafi leader: Islam prohibits murder"

Interesting damage control, along with some useful recap of the ongoing Gaza Salafist saga. I think all large concentrations of Muslims include some Salafis.
Salafi leader Iyad Ash-Shami said Friday that Salafi groups were not involved in the murder of an Italian activist in the Gaza Strip.

The killing of Vittorio Arrigoni "had nothing to do with Islam," he said, adding that Salafi groups and scholars all agreed that the killing of any man was prohibited.

The body of Vittorio Arrigoni was found hanged in a home northwest of Gaza City early Friday morning, hours after the International Solidarity Movement activist was kidnapped in the coastal enclave.

Salafi radicals were suspected of kidnapping Arrigoni, last seen alive in a video posted online Thursday.

The kidnappers identified themselves in the video as belonging to a previously unknown group called The Brigade of the Gallant Companion of the Prophet Mohammed bin Muslima.

They threatened to kill Arrigoni unless Hamas released Salafist prisoners by Friday evening. Before the deadline passed, however, Hamas said his body was found.

Ash-Shami said "any government or state anywhere in the world" could have made the video, but said Salafi factions in Gaza would meet Friday to decide how to respond to the killing.

Earlier Friday, Salafi faction At-Tawheed wa Al-Jihad denied involvement in the abduction and murder of Arrigoni, but said it was "a natural outcome of the policy of the government carried out against the Salafi."

The Hamas-run government in Gaza has in recent years taken a hard line against Salafists in Gaza, whose religious observances and refusal to comply with ceasefires with Israel has led to confrontations.

Hamas severed ties with Salafist faction the Army of Islam in 2007 after the group claimed responsibility for kidnapping BBC reporter Alan Johnson.

Hamas helped to secure the journalist's release after four months in captivity.

In August 2009, Salafist faction Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers of the Partisans of God) announced the creation of an Islamist "emirate" in Gaza, during a sermon at a mosque in the southern city of Rafah.

That prompted a furious response from Hamas, whose forces stormed the mosque, prompting clashes which left 24 people dead.
I think Hamas released all the Salafist prisoners generated by the incident shortly after it was over (for Eid), but I can't find a link at the moment.

Update: Here is the link I wanted: Ma'an: "Charges dropped against Gaza Salafi group." Actually, this is worth quoting:
The de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh instructed the Gaza Ministry of Interior and security forces throw out the charges on activists with Jund Ansar Allah, the Salafi group involved in an August take-over of a Rafah mosque. [...]

On Saturday Haniyeh ordered the four-month-old file to be destroyed for the sake of Palestinian unity.

The statement announcing the policy shift came following the de facto prime ministers visit to a Gaza prison where the ultra-Islamist members were being held. He said the move showed the keenness of his government to respect the national rights of the people of Palestine and respect commitment to Islamic values.
That's always the most important thing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guardian:"Syrian soldiers shot for refusing to fire on protesters"

Some headlines just say it all:
Syrian soldiers have been shot by security forces after refusing to fire on protesters, witnesses said, as a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations intensified.

Witnesses told al-Jazeera and the BBC that some soldiers had refused to shoot after the army moved into Banias in the wake of intense protests on Friday.

Human rights monitors named Mourad Hejjo, a conscript from Madaya village, as one of those shot by security snipers. "His family and town are saying he refused to shoot at his people," said Wassim Tarif, a local human rights monitor.

Footage on YouTube shows an injured soldier saying he was shot in the back by security forces, while another video shows the funeral of Muhammad Awad Qunbar, who sources said was killed for refusing to fire on protesters. Signs of defections will be worrying to Syria's regime. State media reported a different version of events, claiming nine soldiers had been killed in an ambush by an armed group in Banias. [...]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Arab member of the Israeli parliament Hanin Zoabi said that Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions are entitled to fire rockets"

That's nice:
Arab member of the Israeli parliament Hanin Zoabi said that Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions are entitled to fire rockets for the sake of attaining their people’s freedom.

She was quoted by Hebrew daily Maariv as saying on Monday that those living under siege and miserable living conditions do everything in their power for the sake of their freedom and the Israeli occupation authority should understand that. [...]
And not fire back?

Fars News: "Hezbollah can destroy Israel in a matter of minutes"

Great news:
A senior Lebanese Hezbollah official underlined the group's growing power and firm grip on the security conditions in the confrontation against the Zionist regime, saying that Hezbollah can destroy Israel in a matter of minutes.

"Israel's throat is in our hands and we can choke it as much as we want," Hojjatoleslam Seyed Hashem Safiaddin said, and added, "We can destroy the region in five minutes if we want to."

"Of course, our power does not lie in our equipments and missiles, rather our power is divine and is rooted in our faith, and that is why we are so powerful that we threaten the enemy and do not feel even an iota of fear," he continued.

Safiaddin further stated that Hezbollah as a Shiite movement has acted so powerfully that large numbers of Sunni Muslims in different world countries, including Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and other countries, are embracing Shiism each day.

"Today, many Palestinians are embracing Shiism and when we ask them why, they say because the holy Quran says 'In fact Hezbollah (the Party of God) will come victorious'," he added.

Safiaddin said Hezbollah's growing power and its dominant position in the confrontation against Israel has deterred the Zionist regime from posing any more military threat to Lebanon.

Yet, he warned that the Zionist enemy has now shifted its efforts to soft war.

"Now enemy is disappointed with a physical war and strives to stand against Hezbollah through soft war," the senior Hezbollah official cautioned.
As another Fars headline informs us, "Mossad Teaching Latest Torturing Techniques to Bahraini Security Forces":
The Zionist regime's spy agency (Mossad) is teaching the worst torturing techniques and methods to the Bahraini security forces to help Manama suppress protests in the Persian Gulf country, a Bahraini activist revealed on Tuesday.

"Mossad agents have been teaching torturing methods to the forces of the Al-Khalifa regime," Sadeq al-Jamari told FNA on Tuesday, adding that all torturing methods used by the Mossad agents against the Palestinians are practiced by the Bahraini security forces on arrested protestors and kidnapped citizens.

He underscored the close relations between the Al-Khalifa regime and Israel, reminding that al-Khalifa has signed several security pacts with the Zionist regime.

Reiterating the Al-Khalifa regime's close and rather intimate ties with Tel Aviv, the activist pointed out that Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa meets Israeli rabbis and officials on a regular basis, and asked why Manama's ambassador to Washington is a Jewish woman. [...]
There is too much in Fars today about nefarious Zionist doings to post excerpts from everything. Another headline reads "Iran Cautions Regional Countries about Zionist Regime's Plots." See EOZ, and speaking of good stuff on Zionist conspiracies and resistance movements and so forth on other blogs, check out this as well, assuming that you are not in throes of Pesach cleaning.

Bolivia wants the UN to grant "Mother Earth" "the same rights as humans"

When we last met Evo Morales on this blog, he was playing soccer with Ahmadinejad, the mouthpiece of one of the worst human rights abusing regimes in the world. Now I understand: Human Beings are not any different from bugs:
Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.

The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.

That document speaks of the country's natural resources as "blessings," and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.

It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature's complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state.

"If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) who have rights are humans or companies, then how can you reach balance?" Pablo Salon, Bolivia's ambassador to the UN, told Postmedia News. "But if you recognize that nature too has rights, and (if you provide) legal forms to protect and preserve those rights, then you can achieve balance."

The application of the law appears destined to pose new challenges for companies operating in the country, which is rich in natural resources, including natural gas and lithium, but remains one of the poorest in Latin America.

But while Salon said his country just seeks to achieve "harmony" with nature, he signalled that mining and other companies may come under greater scrutiny.

"We're not saying, for example, you cannot eat meat because you know you are going to go against the rights of a cow," he said. "But when human activity develops at a certain scale that you (cause to) disappear a species, then you are really altering the vital cycles of nature or of Mother Earth. Of course, you need a mine to extract iron or zinc, but there are limits."

Bolivia is a country with a large indigenous population, whose traditional belief systems took on greater resonance following the election of Morales, Latin America's first indigenous president.

In a 2008 pamphlet his entourage distributed at the UN as he attended a summit there, 10 "commandments" are set out as Bolivia's plan to "save the planet" — beginning with the need "to end capitalism." [...]
At first glance, granting "rights" to "Mother Earth" seems like fluffy nonsense. But as we read above in connection with "greater scrutiny" for "mining and other companies," this has the potential to be rather dense and dictatorial nonsense. You are violating the rights of Mother Earth, Mr. Successful Company, so we are going to have to shut you down. (Via Drudge)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mind-melting first sentence

From AFP:
As an uneasy truce with Israel takes hold, Hamas faces the twin pressures of protecting its status as a resistance movement without giving Israel an excuse for a new war. [...]
Lemme tell ya, you haven't experienced pressure until you've had to "face the twin pressures" of preserving your steadfast and vigilant reputation as a resistance movement on the verge of annihilating the Zionist usurper entity with a tidal wave of death while at the same time not reminding the Apartheid State that it was plotting more crafty aggression and conspiracy. Actually, it's not so hard. Hamas got to fire a laser-guided anti-tank missile at a school bus, and still much of this very article is about the up-coming truce.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Iranian nukes in the Iranian news

April 9, as in past years, was the Iranian "National Day of Nuclear Technology." Some nuclear-related headlines from Fars, starting with some swell news:

Ahmadinejad: Iran Determined to Join Exporters of N. Technologies:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stressed on Saturday that Tehran is resolved to continue progress in nuclear fields and join exporters of nuclear technologies.

Addressing a ceremony at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) here in Tehran today to mark the 'National Day of Nuclear Technology', President Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran should acquire and master all nuclear-related technologies, and said no nuclear capacity should remain out of the reach of the Iranians.

"We should not only be able to use all our capacities and potentials in the (civilian) nuclear technology, but also export nuclear know-how," the Iranian president underscored.

During the ceremony also attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and AEOI Head Fereidoon Abbasi, Ahmadinejad criticized the western countries for their double-standard attitudes towards Iran's nuclear program.

He said that the West is pressuring Iran and making baseless claims against its nuclear program which is under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in an effort to deter the country scientific progress.

"Enemies cannot deprive Iran of its dignity, independence and self reliance," the president reiterated, and mentioned, "Trust in God and unprecedented unity among the Iranian nation is the key to our achievements."

Following Iran's major achievements in the field of nuclear energy in 2006, the High Council of Cultural Revolution designated April 9 as the 'National Day of Nuclear Technology'. [...]
All this, of course, is bad news for the World Arrogance: MP: Enemies' Plots Defused by Iran's Access to N. Energy:
Iran's ability to acquire and master the nuclear technology has defused all the plots hatched by the enemies to undermine the country's progress, an Iranian lawmaker stressed here on Saturday.

Speaking to FNA on the occasion of Iran's annual National Day of Nuclear Technology (April 9) today, member of the parliament's Energy Commission Abdollah Ka'bi said the great achievement came thanks to the vast efforts made by the country's scientists and experts and despite all problems and impediments, including the sanctions, imposed by the arrogant powers against the country.

"The obstructions made by the West and its plots proved inefficient since the resolve of the Iranian nation and government and experts for acquiring this technology grew more than before," Ka'bi noted.

The lawmaker stated that the country's access to nuclear energy signifies that the Iranian nation is resolved to climb up and stand atop the summits of scientific progress to reach full independency. [...]
Is that a word? And there is more nuke news: Iran Starts Uranium Dioxide Production :
Iran on Saturday launched a uranium dioxide (UO2) production unit on the occasion of the country's 'National Day of Nuclear Technology'.

Uranium dioxide or uranium(IV) oxide (UO2), also known as urania or uranous oxide, is an oxide of uranium, and is a black, radioactive, crystalline powder that naturally occurs in the mineral uraninite. It is used in nuclear fuel rods in nuclear reactors. [...]
So let's raise our cup of heavy water, and salute all that nuclear progress in the IRI . . .

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A little Juche swill

Having to take stuff like the following seriously is probably worse than the constant food-shortages that ordinary North Koreans have to deal with:
A national meeting took place at the April 25 House of Culture Friday to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the election of General Secretary Kim Jong Il as chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission. [...]

Kim Jong Il perfectly solved the issue of political mode and structural system of the state on the principle of putting main emphasis on national defence reflecting the situation prevailing in the country and the requirements of the Korean revolution. This constitutes a great exploit performed by him as he provided an all-powerful treasured sword for winning a shining victory in the defence of the socialist country and the anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. struggle and strengthening and developing the DPRK and accomplishing the socialist cause.

The sacred chronicle of the DPRK adorned with victory and glory goes to clearly prove that the Songun political mode and the state structural system on the principle of putting main emphasis on national defence provide a sure guarantee for protecting the socialist system and the destiny of the people, eternally glorifying the country as the state of Kim Il Sung and completing the Korean revolution with arms to the last.

The whole country is closely united as a community linked with the common destiny of the whole party, army and all people with the spirit of devotedly defending the leader as the core. This single-minded unity serves as the source of inexhaustible strength of Songun Korea demonstrating as an invincible politico-ideological power and a powerful driving force for building a thriving nation.

The reporter called on all the service persons and people to confidently advance along the road of victory indicated by him, bearing deep in mind the honor and happiness of carving out the new chronicle of building a thriving nation and winning the victory of revolutionary cause of Juche under the leadership of Kim Jong Il, the center of unity for the Songun revolution and the center of idea and leadership. [...]
Will they be happy when he finally kicks the ol' Juche bucket, or does all the brainwashing actually work?

Now it's back to being a bomb

From the LA Times:
First it was believed to be a bomb, then it was dismissed as a freak industrial accident, and now authorities are again saying that the explosion last week near a Santa Monica synagogue was, most likely, deliberately planned.

Part of the confusion, authorities say, was connected to the device itself: An explosive layered under hundreds of pounds of concrete poured into a trash bin is not something bomb technicians typically encounter.

"This is clearly not a traditional type of explosive device," said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. "Clearly if it were, our investigators would have been able to identify it immediately."

Thursday's blast sent a 300-pound metal pipe encased in concrete crashing through the roof of a home next door to Chabad House on 17th Street, near Broadway. Authorities are now searching for a homeless man they believe to be connected to the explosion. [...]
The article goes on to say that the suspect "had been known to frequent Jewish centers in the area looking for charity." I don't know what the evidence is, but it is hard to believe that it was one of those guys.

Angry Arab post title gloats over refutation of Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof

It is long for a title, but it makes a useful point for us hasbara-types: "Protest in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo: send that to Thomas Friedman who does not think that Egyptian youth care about foreign policy and to Nicholas Kristof who thinks that Egyptians heart Camp David"

Here is the IRIB article on the protest:
Fierce clashes have erupted between the Egyptian army and thousands of protesters who gathered outside the Zionist regime's Embassy in the capital Cairo to demand severing of all ties with Tel Aviv.

Over one million Egyptian protesters in Cairo's Liberation Square demanded their military rulers to abandon the Zionist regime and lift the blockade on the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday.

Thousands broke away from the crowd and marched toward the regime's embassy.

Intense confrontations took place in front of the heavily guarded compound as protesters shouted "Bring down the flag, we don't want it," referring to the Zionist regime's flag on top of the regime's Embassy's building.

Protesters vented their rage at Tel Aviv by burning the regime's flag and demanding the liberation of Palestine, and promised to stand by Gazans, who have been suffering the Zionist regime's constant aggression and its four-year long crippling siege.

The recent Zionists' attacks on the Gaza Strip since Thursday, which have caused a total of 18 casualties and dozens of injuries, lit the fuse for the massive demonstration.

The protesters also called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador in Egypt.
They don't exactly think of Palestinian interests in terms of land-for-peace, do they?

Fars News: Islamic Jihad vows "crushing response" to "Israeli aggression"

Iranian news sites often provide a platform for Hamas and Islamic Jihad belligerence:
A leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement warned that Israel's intensified attacks against the Palestinian civilians will be reciprocated with his movement's crushing response.

"The resistance has shown much restraint in a bid to deter any new aggression against the Palestinian nation, but the occupying (Zionist) army has walked over all the red lines by targeting civilians and at present there is no way out but giving an immediate and crushing response (to the Zionists)," Islamic Jihad Spokesman Abu Ahmad told FNA on Saturday.

He referred to the rockets rained down on the Zionist settlements which forced the Israeli regime to harbor its Zionist population in bomb shelters last night, and said the Palestinian resistance can intensify its attacks and create further panic and horror among Israeli settlers.

Abu Ahmad said the rockets the resistance forces fired last night are mid-range rockets which can hit targets 45 to 50km in distance, and warned that the Islamic Jihad possesses other rockets with longer ranges.

Earlier this year, a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement had dismissed Israel's intensified war rhetoric against Palestinians as hollow words, and warned that Palestinian rockets would rain down on Zionist settlements in response to any Israeli aggression.

"Raining rockets on Zionist settlements would be the Palestinian combatants' response to any massive Israeli attack," Hajj Abou Samer Moussa said in January. [...]
Meanwhile, IRIB has this from Hamas:
Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas announced on Saturday it would escalate its attacks against the Zionist regime to include a wider range of targets if the regime rejects to halt its aerial assaults on the Gaza Strip.

Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri blamed Zionists for an escalation in violence.

"If the Israeli escalation continues, amid international silence and complicity, the reactions by resistance factions will broaden," he told Reuters.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

AFP on the Schoolbus attack: "Immediately after it was hit, militants in Gaza fired mortar shells [at the] rescue workers"

Some key sentences:
Television footage showed the yellow bus with the back end badly damaged and the windscreen blown out. A small teddy bear lay on the ground among shards of glass and pools of blood.

The bus had just finished dropping off dozens of youngsters.

Immediately after it was hit, militants in Gaza fired mortar shells [at the] rescue workers, an AFP correspondent said.

Ahmadinejad: "Enemies Seeking to Disintegrate Jordan to Save Israel"

Nice rant:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned about enemies' plots against Muslim nations, saying that they are seeking to disintegrate Jordan to save the Zionist regime from its present complicated situation.

Ahmadinejad also warned about the plots by the West and the US to trigger Iranian-Arab and Sunni-Shiite clashes among regional countries.

Addressing a massive people's gathering in the Western city of Kermanshah on Thursday, he said the plot aimed at saving the broken and collapsing Zionist regime and improving the hated image of the US.

He described the plot to "form two states" as a scheme to save the Zionist regime and break the resistance front.

He further warned those who were collaborating with enemies in advancing the plot.

The president said the main problem the enemies were facing in materializing their idea was the "shortage of land".

He said that enemies are determined to disintegrate Jordan to get to their objective and are disinclined to even allocate a part of the occupied lands for this purpose.

He also noted that the US and western countries were conducting a game of "fluctuating exchange rates" and "providing faked belongings" to loot nations from their resources and also to compensate for their own budget deficits.

President Ahmadinejad termed the game with exchange rates as a modern war and as a proof of west's economic deceitfulness and said the US adds a single zero in front of certain deposits and then keeps asking for services, mines and resources of the nations.
As Jethro once said: "Funny thing about them naughts: By themselves, they ain't worth shucks, but you lay 'em out behind a number, and them rascals is dynamite."

Lozowick on the Schoolbus attack

This is a very succinct paragraph, and I take the liberty of quoting it in full:
There is only one way an anti-tank missile can hit a bright yellow school bus about a mile away: the shooter must take aim directly at it. This might not be the case on a crowded battlefield with multiple potential targets and the extreme tension of being shot at by the other side. But since that's not what happened near Gaza this afternoon, the only possible explanation is that a Palestinian gunman purposefully shot a tank-destroying missile at a school bus. The fact that the bus was mostly empty was a coincidence the gunman couldn't have known; it wasn't almost empty a few minutes earlier.

(North) Korean News: "Israel's army is ceaselessly committing airstrike at the Gaza Strip of Palestine"

Only one news agency can make English sound like that:
Israel's army is ceaselessly committing airstrike at the Gaza Strip of Palestine despite the strong denunciation and protest by the international community.

Three Palestinians were killed early Saturday and others wounded in what witnesses and security sources said an Israeli airstrike at a car in southern Gaza Strip.

The witnesses said that an unmanned Israeli drone fired a missile at the white Subaru car.
Korean News is devoting more articles to the doings of its allies lately. For instance, one with the title "Iran Accuses US of Its Intrigues":
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the United States is not pleased with the close relations among Islamic countries, semi-official ISNA news agency reported Sunday.

"They (the U.S. and it allies) are trying to sow discord among them (Muslim states) to secure their own interests while putting interests of the Islamic world at risk," he was quoted as saying.

Mehmanparast called on Muslim countries to keep vigilance towards the recent developments in the region, said the report.
Khomeinism and Juche: two great tastes that taste great together . . .

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Fars News: "Intellectual Praises Ahmadinejad's Role in Revealing True Image of Holocaust"

Fars News, if you didn't know, is one of the many Iranian press agencies which provide, among other things, English articles presenting and promoting the official Iranian government line. From time to time these news agencies put out articles with Holocaust-denying content, such as the following, in which well-known denier Toben sucks up hilariously to Ahmadinejad and assumes a suitably subservient pose in the accompanying photo:
Fredrick Toben, a prominent German-born Australian philosopher, praised Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his key role in breaking the taboo on studying the reality of the Jewish holocaust.

"I conducted research into the holocaust before the Iranian president's position-taking, but Ahmadinejad's statement guided me to grasp a correct understanding of this historical lie," Toben said in an interview with FNA.

President Ahmadinejad was also the first high-ranking political figure and president in the world who questioned the holocaust, he said.

Dr. Toben further pointed out that the Iranian president has used a logical method to question the holocaust which is Israel's main tool of propaganda and asked nations to break the taboo and start discussing it like any other historical assumption.

Highlighting the importance of Iran's stance on the holocaust, Toben reminded the ban on discussing the issue in the western communities, and said in the western society in which atheism and blasphemy are allowed, the top officials say we are allowed to question everything except for the Jewish holocaust.

Under such conditions, "Iran is seeking to free nations from such wrong beliefs. Iran is seeking to free those who are not aware that they are slaves of the holocaust." [...]
And their acquisition of nuclear technology will, no doubt, help them achieve their goals.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tehran Times: "Israel no longer able to threaten Lebanon, Gaza"

This is propaganda, but current developments are probably not positive:
Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, has commented that the Zionist regime is no longer capable of threatening Lebanon and the Gaza Strip with military attacks as the ongoing developments in the region have undermined the regime’s security.

"The main plan aimed at protecting the security of the Zionist regime has broken up, so from now on this regime is not capable of making threats against Lebanon and Gaza," he said.

The Iranian ambassador also pointed to the political situation in Lebanon and said that the formation of a new Lebanese government is an internal issue and Iran never meddles in other countries’ internal affairs. [...]
Well, hardly ever . . .

J Post: "Non-traditional items showing up on Seder plates"

The usual dreary, self-indulgent attempts to correct Judaism's deficiency of narcissistic claptrap. Let's put an orange on the seder plate to show we're feminist. Let's add an olive to show that we think Mondoweiss is the highest expression of Judaism. This article has the most examples I have ever seen in one place. Here is one example:
A rotten piece of lettuce illustrates that inner-city grocery stores often carry only spoiled produce.
I guess that refers to something like the claims made in this October 2009 CS Monitor article:
East L.A. resident Olga Perez has to take two buses to a store about eight miles away to get fresh fruits and vegetables, or decent cuts of meat, for her family.

"The only thing I can get at my corner store are spoiled or expired," explains Ms. Perez, a dental assistant and single mother who lives in a two-bedroom apartment with two daughters and a granddaughter.

The round trip costs her $5 and limits what she can carry home. "I can only get so much milk and when I get home the eggs are cracked and the bread is smashed," she says.

And because she works until 6:30 p.m. most nights, Perez doesn't often have the time to make the trip and get home in time to cook for her family. Her solution: "Open a can of ravioli or make hot dogs," but that sometimes keeps her daughter and granddaughter up at night, complaining of insomnia and stomach aches. [...]
Ravioli causes insomnia? I'm putting NoDoz on my seder plate! They aren't gebrokts, are they?

Fars News: "Standing against Israel Tops Amal Leader's Agenda for Presidential Campaign"

This is an important story. The "Land-for-Peace" concept should be nicely dead by now:
Secretary-General of Egypt's Amal Party Magdi Hussein said confronting Israeli plans in occupied Palestine and supporting the Palestinian nation stand atop his agenda for presidential campaign.

Speaking in an interview with FNA on Tuesday, Hussein announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election in Egypt to help establish democracy in his country and materialize people's demands.

The Amal secretary-general further noted his campaign agenda and said if elected as Egypt's president, his working agenda would be in full harmony with people's demands as shouted in the streets of Cairo and other cities in the January 25 revolution.

Hussein said "confrontation against the Zionist plans in occupied Palestine", among others, is his top priority on the scene of foreign policy.

He viewed Egypt's relations with the Zionist regime as detrimental to his country, and said if he is elected president, "Egypt would no more be subordinate or dependent on the Zionist regime the same way that we would support the Palestinian nation until the materialization of their righteous demands".

He said "contents and clauses of the agreements signed between Egypt and Israel will certainly be revised" if he is elected president.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Al Qassam Brigades: "Resistance factions hold a joint conference in Gaza"

Great picture:
Gaza- Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades (E.Q.B), the Military Wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement of Hamas held on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 a joint press conference with all Palestinian resistance factions in the Green yard (Al Katiba) in Gaza city.

In its joint statement , Palestinian resistance factions confirmed that the crime of assassinating three of Al Qassam cadres at dawn yesterday would not pass without punishment.

The spokesman of the factions said that the enemy would bear the consequences of his crime, indicating that targeting children, civilians and residential homes would be a harbinger of unlucky on the occupation.

The Palestinian resistance factions also confirm that its work focuses within the territory of historic Palestine, and would be studying the nature and the appropriate time to respond on the Israeli crimes.
If only Fatah would form a unity government with these guys--then there would be peace. (h/t: IMRA)

Korans damaged

From Reuters:
Two Taliban suicide bombers caused carnage on Sunday at a Sufi shrine in eastern Pakistan, killing at least 41 people and wounding scores in the latest bloody attack on minority religious groups. [...]

Taliban militants, who follow an austere interpretation of Sunni Islam, condemn other interpretations of Islam as heretical and have launched repeated attacks on the country's Shi'ite, Sufi and Christian minorities. They claimed responsibility for Sunday's suicide bombings. [...]

SANA (Syria): "Arab Students Union: Syria Will Remain Strong and Immune Against All Conspiracies"

They have developed a vaccine:
Arab Students Union on Sunday condemned the attempts which aim to undermine Syria's national and patriotic stances towards all suspicious schemes which target the Arab nation.

The Union added in a statement that Syria will remain a strong and immune country in the face of the enemies. Syria will always support peace, security and stability in the region and the world.

The Union expressed confidence that the Syrian people will overcome all conspiracies through the awareness of the Syrian people and national unity.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Latest headline about uncontrollable Koran rage: "Afghan riots over Quran-burning: 2 days, 20 dead"

This doesn't even mention the beheadings, but here are some mind-blowing sentences:
Afghans rioted for a second day Saturday to protest the burning of a Quran in Florida, killing nine people in Kandahar and injuring more than 80 in a wave of violence that underscored rising anti-foreign sentiment after nearly a decade of war. [...] On Friday, 11 people were killed, including seven foreign U.N. employees, in a protest in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. [...] Two suicide attackers disguised as women blew themselves up and a third was gunned down Saturday when they used force to try to enter a NATO base on the outskirts of Kabul, NATO and Afghan police said.

Irangrish Headline of the Day: "Iran Rigid about Economic Jihad"

From Fars News:
Different Iranian officials hailed the Supreme Leader's initiative in naming the Iranian new year as "The Year of Economic Jihad", saying that the move would stimulate the country's economy.

"Over the past decades Supreme Leader (of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei), with his complete awareness of domestic and international issues, has chosen a name for every new year that has motivated society," Iran's Ambassador to Malaysia Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi told the Islamic republic news agency on Saturday.

"Considering the country's situation and international issues the Leader has named the new year as the year of Economic Jihad," he added.

In a Nowrouz (Persian New Year) congratulatory message Ayatollah Khamenei called for concerted efforts by the Iranian nation and officials to prepare the grounds for a decade of economic growth.

"In the Economic Jihad program both short-term and long-term views must be taken into consideration as they are indispensable," Zahedi said.

"While making long-term economic plans, projects with short-term objectives must also be taken into consideration an example of which is the targeted subsidy plan," the Iranian envoy added.

Iran's ambassador to Malaysia also said that while carrying out long-term economic planning, attention should also be paid to moves with short-term goals such as the subsidy reform plan, etc.
And, of course, they have declared Jihad against some of the zeroes in their currency.

Fars News: "Iran to Slash Off Three Zeros from Currency"

Ever notice that "Rial" is an anagram of "Lira"?
Iran's finance and economy officials on Saturday reiterated the country's plan for lopping three zeros off the national currency, Rial, in a bid to accelerate and optimize trade and transactions.

Iran's Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini said the country "will remove three zeros from the national currency this year once the relevant prerequisites are met".

He further pointed to Iran's financial regulatory policies and oversight of its Central Bank, which were approved earlier within a package, and said, "There are initiatives in the package that project lower expenses, stability and performance improvement in the country's banking and monetary sectors."

Based on such policies, the country could focus on removing the extra zeros, the minister continued.

The Iranian minister noted that establishing stability in the prices would serve as the first step to achieve the objective.

Also, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced last year that the plan to lop three zeros off Iran's national currency had been finalized.

"We are supposed to remove zeros from the currency... as for some reasons the rial has depreciated during recent years," Ahmadinejad said in January, 2010.

"We have to restore its true real value to the one existing in law."

Ahmadinejad did not say when the changes would happen and gave no other details.

A 10,000 rial note is currently worth about one US dollar. [... ]
When I want currency, I use Big Satan brand currency . . .

Jews Sans Frontieres will "keep in mind" possibility that Goldstone editorial is April Fool's Day joke

Frontiers evidently play an important role in cognitive function:
The date of the Washington Post article by Goldstone is April 1st. Could it be an April fool? I don't think it can be because it is in the name of Richard Goldstone himself. Goldstone wouldn't joke about something that nearly cost him his place at his grandson's bar mitzvah and surely the Washington Post wouldn't take in vain the name of so august a personage as Judge Goldstone. Nope, I don't think it can be an April fool but it is bizarre. The only example he gives of something he described as an Israeli war crime is now explained away by Israeli negligence. And yet examples of crimes in the report of the report that he linked to cannot possibly have been negligence. Goldstone's about turn is bizarre but I don't think it's a joke. I will however keep in mind the possibility that someone thought it might make a funny April fool.
Let us recall some of what the Goldstone report inspired:

Goldstone partially corrects lies

In the Washington Post, no less. The editorial is here, but consider the following run of sentences:
Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. [...]
Nobody with any intelligence at all expected otherwise. Schmuck.