Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ahmadinejad in Sudan: "Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan"

Ahmadinejad conducts a Two Minutes Hate in Sudan. From IRNA:
IRI President said here Wednesday the Zionist regime is offspring of the British, nurtured by the US, and committing crimes in region relying on their support.

According to IRNA's reporter to Khartoum, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the comment on the first day of his state visit of Sudan during a meeting with this country's religious Alims.

President Ahmadinejad referring to a number of Zionist regime's endless list of crimes, highlighted the massacre of defenseless Palestinian and Lebanese nations, emphasizing, "The Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan."

Referring to the strong support of a number of warmonger powers for the racist Zionist regime, Ahmadinejad reiterated, "Many Western governments that claim to be pioneers of democracy and standard bearers of human rights close their eyes over crimes committed by the Zionists and by remaining silent support the Zionists due to their hedonist and materialist tendencies."

The President added, "Today the Zionist regime is a symbol of hedonism and the manifestation of the ugly soul of some usurper powers that support it."

President Ahmadinejad whose comments were confirmed by "Allah-o-Akbar" (God is the Greatest) shouts of Sudanese Alims, added, "The grave problem with which the mankind is entangled today is that some tyrants have deviated a lot from the prophets' path, that is the Right Path."

He said, "We notice today that some powerful leaders consider the entire world as their own property and interpret all rules and regulations in their own favor."

Ahmadinejad considered return to the Divine Prophets' Path as the only way left for saving the mankind from the quagmire they are caught in due to deficiencies of the man made schools of thought, such as Liberalism and Communism that have failed in meeting the dire needs of the mankind.

The president added, "Today the nations have waken up and they voice their disgust for the usurper powers, denouncing their conduct and this has provided an appropriate path for the expansion of monotheism throughout the world."

He said, "The world nations ask for justice and the restoration of man's dignity and prestige."

Ahmadinejad referred to the prevailing conditions in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine, and the crimes committed by tyrant powers in those countries, reiterating, "The foot steps of those tyrant powers can be traced in all world crises and disputes."

The IRI President added, "These colonialist powers are opposed to the scientific and technological advancement of the Muslim countries and do not permit the free world nations to move towards development and advancement."

Ahmadinejad added, "Even in the West, too, the nations are under the reign of some tyrant regimes, their social freedoms are ignored in those countries, and their broad minded intellectuals are imprisoned." The president emphasized the unity and solidarity among world Muslims, and the need for their refraining from discord as the secret of Muslims' victory against their enemies, adding, "It is due to significance of Muslims' unity that enemies of Islam feel committed to disturb and uproot Islamic solidarity."

Ahmadinejad referred to the enemies' efforts aimed at sowing seeds of discord among Shi'a and Sunni Muslims in different Islamic countries, adding, "The entire world Muslims believe in fundamentals of the need to observe solidarity, which is why the Muslims should unanimously dismantle the enemies plots in that respect."

The president referred to Sudan as "A great stronghold for authentic pure Islam", arguing, "In Islamic country of Sudan, thanks to the presence of great and pious Alims and thinkers the light of the Glorious Qur'an flows in the veins of people's lives, and piety waves in the hearts of this land's people."

Ahmadinejad added, "Iran and Sudan have rich natural and human resources, and can pave the path towards advancement and development relying on cooperation constantly."

President Ahmadinejad is scheduled to attend his Sudanese counterpart's dinner party in his honor.
Update: Did Ha'aretz use my title?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Media Monitors Network: "Madrassa--Israel's Weapon of Muslim-Slavery"

I was led to the following nugget of golden lunacy when I checked back with the MPAC-UK site to see if the "Zionist Jewish bankers" post was getting some interesting comments. Wow.
[...]The madrassas, geared to the Jihadi ideals of violence and intolerance, have been uncovered by the Israelis as a self-destructive tool for Islam. Obviously, it would be more conducive to Israeli interests than any other country to portray Islam with a maximum ill-repute to the whole world. The sources of these funds then could logically be funnelled by Israel and laundered through the Arabs - couldn't it? Is it really a Muslim-drill for divinity or an Israeli drug plotted for Islam vilification that is the question. To a mind, free from Zionist propaganda through the US media, the Israeli hands are soaked with the Madrassa financing - inevitable and unavoidable.

The Zionist controlled media, with gleaming eureka, identified numerous Madrassas marred with fanaticism and their sources of funds linking to the Saudis. But why would the Saudis waste money to Islamize people where Islam predominately floods those countries? More to the point, why the Saudis, believing in Wahhabi doctrine, would finance non-Wahhabi rivals? After all, no new love has popped up for the Wahhabis to fortify the Berelvi and Deobandi Sunnism that covers Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Kashmir and to some extent - Malaysia. One must not forget that the Wahhabis reject most of the Hadith while the other Sunnis thrive on it.

Some credence could have been clipped to it if those funds were dedicated to Islamic missions in non-Islamic countries. Anything short of that - does it really make any sense that the Arabs Kings and Emirs would be so naive in creating monstrous world opinion for their own demise?

Obviously, what else could be more befitting for Israel than to "fry a fish in its own oil?" Provoking Islamic extremity through Madrassas and stimulating the US to react on every unrest is a recorded strategy of Israel, rewarding itself lavishly many times in the past. [...]

The question is how the Israelis re-invented the elixir that once caused Islam's downfall?

Obviously, the anti-Islamic researchers spared no attempt in highlighting the words of intolerance and violence contained in the Hadith. Frankly speaking, a vast part of the Hadith literatures contains insidiously false depiction of Islam. The reward for the martyrs in Jihad with` 72 virgins is totally absent in the Koran but appears in the Hadith. Eventually, it became transparent to Islam's enemy that the surest way to "fry a fish in its own oil". The Hadith literature, fitted so nicely to antagonize the West, offered a bonanza for the Israeli strategists to demonize Islam. After having the Buddha's statue demolished in Afghanistan, the sphere of Islam demonization has been widened enormously to include practically the whole Asia. Even the remote corner of Japan, adherent to Buddhism, now hates Islam.

The Hadith is revered by the Muslims with such a passion that it often exceeds their reverence to the Koran. The Apostasy, a cruel act, is completely absent in the Koran and yet it is indispensable in Islam's Sharia Laws. The Stoning to death - though not traced in the Koran - its application in Nigeria turned the world into an awe and dismay in Islam's cruel image. Its role in vilifying Islam during the 9/11 incident was hypnotic in dragging Islam on a defensive podium.

How was it achieved with no blood-stain on the Israelis sleeves? Obviously, nothing other than inducing self-destructing intolerance and violence in Islam, through the Madrassas. The Madrassas, geared to the Jihadi ideals of violence and intolerance, have been uncovered by the Israelis as a self-destructive tool for Islam. Obviously, it is more conducive to Israeli objective than any other country to portray Islam with a maximum ill-repute. Just the event of the other day - it was not the government of France, Germany, Russia and even India that fanned the invasion of Iraq - it was wholly the Sharonists in the White House and the government of Israel.

The impoverished Mullahs did not care how the money flows into their Madrassas. They just needed to know how to promote intolerance to non-Muslims, set a few firecrackers here and there, call them Kafirs, and infuriate the Christian world with a devastating reprisal. The designs of Israel, dedicated to seizing Muslim power and breeding perpetual slavery, are invisible indeed, but the effects are vilifying, lethal and compelling.
Of course, it might be useful to the, um . . . cause if Muslims start believing that Madrassas are a Zionist plot.

Ahmadinejad becomes cab-driver

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has decided that his current line of work has not been working out so well lately and he has resolved that he can do a better job of thwarting the plots of the World Arrogance and bullying powers by becoming a cab-driver. He declared recently that someone who finds the right fares can earn as much as 50 dollars an hour, thus frustrating the conspiracy of the Big Satan and the fake usurper Zionist regime to prevent the economical development of the Islamic Ummah. Ahmadinejad also proclaimed, "Iran will not yield one iota of its cab-driving rights," adding that it was willing to share advances in cab-driving technology with other Islamic nations.

Gulf News: "Girl lost in poker game by her father seeks help"

You gotta know when to fold 'em:
Hyderabad: A teenage girl in southern Pakistan, whose late father lost her in a poker game when she was 2 years old, has asked authorities to save her from being handed over to a middle-aged relative.

Rasheeda, 17, said she has filed applications with the police and a local councillor asking them to prevent Lal Haider, 45, from taking her to his home.

Her mother, Nooran said her husband racked up a debt of Rs10,000 (Dh605) to Haider playing cards.

"My husband didn't have money to pay, and instead he told Lal Haider that he could take Rasheeda when she grows up," she said.

Despite being paid his money last year, she said Haider still insisted the girl should be given to him because of tribal customs. [...]

Monday, February 26, 2007

Iran and Zimbabwe, just two countries with "independent stances"

This is from IRIB, with the title "Bullying powers, real axis of evil":
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Monday in Harare that bullying powers were the real axis of evil, war and bloodshed in the world.

He made the remarks while receiving the credentials of newly appointed Iranian ambassador to Zimbabwe Rasoul Mo'meni.

Expressing his support for the Islamic Republic of Iran's right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, President Mugabe decried the fact that countries which oppose IRI's nuclear activities have ever-increasing atomic arsenals in their own territories.

He said that IRI and Zimbabwe are opposed by big powers because of their independent stances on international issues.
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that "Political problems mount for Ahmadinejad." According to Hans Blix, "the world's approach to Iran's nuclear ambitions humiliated Tehran by insisting it stop research without giving any security guarantees." But still, Mugabe loves them and they just had a successful space launch--or not. (h/t: Lucianne and Daily Alert)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Linkim 2/25/07

Haveil Havalim 108 is up! Carnival of the Insanities is up! JPix No 2 is up!

A Jewish Blog discusses "Moshe Rabbeinu’s birthday and yahrtzeit."

Rabbi without a Cause offers "Musings on Moshe Rabbeinu’s Yahrtzeit."

Zchus Avos also has a 7 Adar post.

Heichal HaNegina eulogizes "Rabbi Avraham Blumenkrantz ZT"L."

Simply Jews explores a "New line of export and old line of import."

Canadian Jewish News reports that "‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ spreads to more campuses."

Asharq Alawsat asks "Should the Muslim Brotherhood Disband?"

Supplemental Linkim 2/27/07:

AbbaGav explains "Why Mary Poppins Didn't Fly Her Kites in Pakistan"

Meryl Yourish reports "IDF leaves Nablus, which it invaded for no reason: AP"

CSMonitor: "Preemption option: a must for Israel"

Fouad Ajami: "Maintaining Perspective" (on Iran) (h/t: Martin Kramer)

MPAC-UK decides that the Bolsheviks were funded by "Zionist Jewish bankers"

This article, originating from the Media Monitor's Network site, appears on the MPAC-UK site accompanied by a picture of a dart board with darts sticking in the bullseye:
[...] Stop apologizing for al-Qaeda. You didn’t create them, the CIA did. Stop apologizing for every act of violence perpetrated by Muslims unless you demand that every Christian and Jew apologize for the murderous acts of their co-religionists, too. Enough already! Stand tall, walk proudly and love yourselves because Islam is a great religion and Islamic history is a very rich and impressive one. [...]

When someone asks you to condemn Islamic violence, demand that they condemn Christian and Jewish violence and apologize for the disproportionate amount of death and destruction they have visited upon the world – for if you totaled every death caused by all the so-called Islamic fundamentalist organizations combined, they would barely equate to a fraction of the murders committed by Christians and Jews in the last 100 years alone.

When you are reminded of how Muslim financial support for terrorist organizations has led to thousands of deaths around the world, don’t forget to remind them of how Zionist Jewish bankers in New York, Germany and England funneled tens of millions of dollars to the Bolsheviks, who killed an estimated 20 million Russian Orthodox Christians between 1917 and 1945. [...]
I used to post the following on usenet groups:

There is actually a book on Wall Street financing of the Bolsheviks that is not conspiracy-kook literature. The bankers in question were mostly Gentiles. The following is from Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution by Antony C. Sutton (Arlington House, 1975), p. 170:

. . . there is considerable evidence of transfers of funds from Wall Street bankers to international revolutionary activitites. For example, there is the statement (substantiated by cablegram) by William Boyce Thompson--a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a large stockholder in the Rockefeller-controlled Chase Bank, and a financial associate of the Guggenheims and Morgans--that he (Thompson) contributed $1 million to the Bolshevik Revolution for propaganda purposes. Another example is John Reed, the American member of the Third International executive committe, who was financed and supported by Eugene Boissevain, a private New York banker, and who was employed by Harry Payne Whitney's Metropolitan magazine. Whitney was at that time a director of [the Morgan-controlled] Guaranty Trust. . . . Ludiwig Martens, the first Soviet "amabassador" to the United States was (according to British Intelligence chief Sir Basil Thompson) backed by funds from Guaranty Trust Company. In tracing Trotsky's funding in the U.S. we arrived at German sources, yet to be identified, in New York. And though we do not know the precise German source of Trotsky's funds, we do know that Von Pavenstadt, the chief German espionage paymaster in the U.S., was also a senior partner of Amsinck & Co. Amsinck was owned by the ever-present American International Corporation--also controlled by the J. P. Morgan firm.
Sutton also provides evidence that Jacob Schiff, that favorite target of conspiracy-kooks, was actually opposed to the Bolsheviks.

Click on image to enlarge.

Mehr News: "Ahmadinejad advises U.S. officials to stop tarnishing the image of Americans"

Friendly advice from Uncle Mahmoud:
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has advised U.S. officials to avoid making more mistakes in the Middle East which tarnish the image of Americans.

The bullying and hegemonic powers are seeking to prevent the establishment of peace based on justice and spirituality, Ahmadinejad told the members of a religious delegation from the United States at a meeting here on Sunday.

“Today, we need to struggle for the realization of justice, but only pious and self-disciplined people can walk on this path,” he added.

The multi-denominational Christian delegation came to Iran to meet religious and political figures and the Iranian people in order to build bridges of peace and security between Iran and the U.S.

The delegation was led by the Mennonites and Quakers but included members of many Christian denominations of the United States.

Ahmadinejad called all divine religions, especially Islam, religions of peace, friendship, and brotherhood.

“The prophets of God struggled and endured hardships to establish theism, justice, and peace. Today we should also continue on their path and make efforts to promote peace and compassion,” the president added.

As Jesus Christ (PBUH) never abandoned his mission despite incredible hardships, his followers should not remain mum over the massacre and displacement of millions of innocent people by selfish and hegemonic powers, he stated.

He went on to say that the Iranian nation bears no animosity toward the American people, adding, “We believe that all people should be respected and that they can make efforts to promote world peace and justice based on their affinities and respect for human dignity.”

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran gave U.S. officials the chance to make up for their mistakes in regard to the Iranian nation, but they continued their mistakes by hatching various plots against Iran, assassinating political figures, supporting Saddam Hussein, and imposing sanctions, he said.
The goal of the hostage-taking was purely educational.
He warned U.S. officials to avoid making more mistakes in the Middle East because they are tarnishing the image of the American people in the region, especially through the Iraq issue.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Abu Aardvark: "Free the Egyptian blogger! But..."

I'm quoting the whole post so that I don't get accused of omitting distinctions:
It's nice to see everyone raising their voices to protest the sentencing of Egyptian blogger Abdel Karim Nabeel to four years in prison. International criticism of escalating Egyptian repression can only be good, whether the criticism is official or NGO or public. I add my voice to those who call for a revisiting of the verdict and for his release from prison.
"Revisit the verdict"? Just free the guy.
At the same time, I can't help but note that Nabeel is far from the only political activist in Egyptian jails right now. The Egyptian regime is engaging in an unprecedented crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Hundreds of its members have been arrested and referred to the notorious state security courts, their businesses closed down and their bank accounts frozen, without even a trace of due process. Some Muslim Brothers are even bloggers, if that's what it takes to get people to care. Because not many people seem to.
In the comments thread which follows, Abu Aardvark adds that people who are merely suspected of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood are being denied due process, tortured, etc.
This selective outrage, where Westerners care about one anti-Islamist blogger but can't be bothered about equally arbitrary and illiberal repression of hundreds of Islamists, only reinforces general skepticism that this isn't really about freedom, human rights, or democracy. It's just like the American focus on the release of jailed liberal politician Ayman Nour as a litmus test for the Egyptian regime (one which it continues to fail, by the way, without seeming to suffer the slightest penalty). I can not exaggerate how many times I hear from Arabs and Muslims that America's campaign against Hamas after it won fair elections and its blind eye to Mubarak's campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood proves once and for all the fundamental hypocrisy of its democracy talk.
I see the point about Hamas all the time in the Arab and Muslim Press myself. It's a pretty cheap point. Winning an election does not equal democracy.
I am not criticizing anyone for rallying to Nabeel's or Nour's defense. They should. But they should also see this as part of a comprehensive regime crackdown on Egyptian political opposition, with the attack on the Muslim Brotherhood the leading edge of the regime's anti-democratic backlash. People who claim to care about Egyptian reform, democratization, and human rights should take a slightly wider view of the problem than the travails of one anti-Islamist blogger or one liberal politician.
Abu Aardvark potentially has the point that the jailing of Nabeel is not the only human rights problem in Egypt (Did anyone think that the human rights situation in Egypt was good otherwise?), but the glib hypocrisy charge, as I mention myself in the comments thread, is an unfortunate feature of liberal polemic. Yes, due process is not only for bloggers (and maybe the point about Nabeel is the disturbing nature of the charges--"insulting Islam"), but there is a lot of information out there to digest and every news story stands on its own. And a jailed Middle Eastern blogger deserves his own post (without a "but") at a blog that focuses on the Middle East, such as, say, Abu Aardvark.

Arab News: "The Myth of US Free Press!"

Just wait, this is eventually going to involve the coverage of a certain Middle Eastern, non-Arab country:
The senior press historian brought to a climax his presentation of the American press freedom concept by announcing: Here we achieved the Founding Fathers’ dream of the open marketplace of ideas.

I told him: That was in the glorious past, when an enlightening and critical press was the public watchdog on the government. Today, it is more like the supermarket of ideas, where most thoughts are manufactured, packaged and shelved.

The professor was proud of having over 1,300 newspapers in America, but those and hundreds of radio and TV stations are mostly owned by five mega corporations. The few remaining independent papers are a rare species, threatened with extinction.

How can you maintain a true form of press freedom if everything is for sale? How can you provide enlightenment if market forces decide your form and direction? How can you be a dedicated watchdog if your eyes are constantly on the beef, and your leash is in the beef industry’s hands?

You can tell me it is not my business, if it was not America. From Hollywood movies to network sitcoms, from print news to sound bites, and from New York Times to CNN, the American media rules. They set trends and standards, educate and train, and preach the rest of us on democracy, ethics and freedom. This gives them the unique universal position of leading or misleading, and upgrading or downgrading the message and the messenger.

So, when The Washington Post and The New York Times that published the Pentagon papers, unfolded the Watergate scandal and brought the downfall of a powerful president uncritically buy this administration’s justification for the Iraq war, we have to worry.
Right, we all know about unwavering support for the war at the NY Times and WaPo.
When most American papers refuse to publish a review of a best-seller book from an American president, Jimmy Carter, and his article defending himself against an Israeli smearing campaign, we have to worry. And when the open and free market of ideas fails to face off a lobby dedicated to promoting a foreign country’s interests over America’s, we have to worry.

A Pulitzer Prize winner once explained his anti-Arab, pro-Israel position saying he had a constituency to cater for. Israel’s powerful friends can hurt you, he revealed. Arabs, on the other hand, can only send angry messages, he could live with that. Thomas Friedman changed after his visit to Saudi Arabia, and was kind enough to say a few nice things about its leadership. It didn’t take long to hear from the lobby, it seems. Today, he never makes any criticism of Israel, but hardly a week passes without a jab at the evil Arabs.

The Op-Ed editors of an independent major city newspaper were telling visiting Arab reporters how free they were to take the public’s side in any fight. No government or business interests could influence the editorial policies of their paper, they assured us.

I asked them squarely: Are you free enough to criticize Israel? They said yes. But, later, one editor took me aside and told me a story. Once, Israel was misbehaving in a way that cannot be defended or ignored. Its army was bombarding the Palestinian town of Jenin in 2002, and innocent civilians were killed everyday. The editor wrote a mild criticism of Israel, balanced with a criticism of the Palestinian authorities. The next couple of days, a few Arabs wrote praising the balance and many Jews wrote criticizing the stand. All lived in the paper’s city area.

Two weeks later a flood of letters came from outside the city and state with strong criticism. They all carried the same language or text. At the same time, many individuals and corporations canceled their subscriptions and advertisements. They cited this particular article and accused the paper of anti-Semitism. Some threatened lawsuits. This was the last article of its kind, the editor said. “Our survival at the end of the day is more important to our shareholders and staff than the survival of the Palestinians.” [...]

Not many people know it, but Haniyeh is a great dancer

From IRIB:
To the people of the Palestinian Shati refugee camp, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is still just "Abul Abed," the neighbor who shares electricity from his generator during power cuts and attends their weddings and funerals.

Haniyeh's down-home style - he walked home through Shati's alleys after Friday prayers - has made him one of the most popular Palestinian politicians.

Haniyeh has a cordial relationship with Fatah leaders.
They now have the Civil War problem relatively under control.
His new government is as unlikely to recognize the Zionist regime as the outgoing one.

For many Palestinians, Haniyeh's most attractive quality is his modest lifestyle.

The 45-year-old kept his two-story home in the Shati refugee camp even after being appointed Prime Minister following Hamas' victory in January 2006 parliament elections.

However, Haniyeh's neighbors say he's a genuinely niceman. "People like him. He has no enemies," said Hassan Abu Ali, 55, who has known Haniyeh since childhood.

Residents said Haniyeh shares electricity from his generator during frequent outages, attends social events in the camp and once spent an hour digging dirt at a neighbor's construction site.

Haniyeh's home is in an alley off Shati's main beachside road. Two sandbag-fortified guard posts are the only sign a senior official lives there.

On Friday, Haniyeh, escorted by assault rifle-toting bodyguards in sports utility vehicles, drove in a silver Mercedes from his house to the Baghdad mosque, a few hundred yards (meters) away.

Haniyeh halted at one point to greet a child in a wheelchair and, later, to gaze at the Mediterranean.
What a guy!
Once home, he invited cameramen and photographers into the walled courtyard, had aides distribute soft drinks and offered to pose for photos with journalists.

Asked why he remained in Shati after becoming Prime Minister, he said: "I was born here, I was raised here, I walked the streets here. I must stay with my people."

In a recent poll, Haniyeh and President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah scored highest when respondents were asked to rank the Palestinians most trusted politician, with Haniyeh getting 22 percent to 19 percent for Abbas.

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti got 16 percent in the February survey among 806 Palestinians, conducted by the independent polling company neareast consulting. It had a margin of error of three percentage points.

Haniyeh, a father of 13, was born in Shati in 1962. He served as student council leader at Gaza city's Islamic university, and in 1992 was deported by the Zionist regime to southern Lebanon for a year, along with hundreds of other Islamic activists.

After his return, he took a job in the dean's office of the Islamic university and for more than five years served as personal assistant to the Hamas founder, Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

After the assassination of Yassin and other leading Hamas figures by the Zionist regime, Haniyeh moved up in Hamas.

After the Islamic Resistance Movement received confidence of people in elections, Haniyeh was appointed Prime Minister.
Update: This story is evidently adapted from an AP story! (h/t: LGF)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Rodong Sinmun on Korean People's Socialist Lifestyle

Here is an article about the "noble and simple" life they lead in North Korea. I guess by "simple" they mean "not complicated by food." From Korean News:
The Korean people work and live in a revolutionary way, helping and leading each other forward. This noble and sound way of life now prevailing in the society is a manifestation of the advantages and vitality of the Korean-style socialist society.

Rodong Sinmun today observes this in a signed article.

The article goes on:
They always do.
Our socialist lifestyle is the most noble and advantageous one as it reflects the nature of our socialist system and the thoughts and desire of the Korean people.

The advantages of our socialist lifestyle lie in that it is a noble and sound one thoroughly meeting the intrinsic requirements of the social being and the one strong in the national character as it fully represents the noble national sentiments and emotion of the Korean nation.

The advantages of our socialist lifestyle also lie in that it is the most revolutionary one fully reflecting the militant spirit of the Korean people who like to make a revolution and wage a struggle.

Everybody in our society works and leads an optimistic and frugal life full of revolutionary enthusiasm and high spirit and the whole society is pervaded with an atmosphere of vitality and dynamism.

It is the true picture of the Korean people that they do work in a militant way and lead a disciplined, well-regulated, noble and simple life ranging from dressing to the law-abiding life as required by the era when they are engaged in the revolution.

The Conservapedia Article on Israel

I was perusing Joseph Hertlinger's blog, and I learned that there is now a Conservative answer to Wikipedia called Conservapedia. That got me curious to see what its article on Israel would be like. Here it is:
Israel is a nation located in the Middle East. It originally started when the Hebrews migrated from Egypt out of slavery. It is the location of Jesus' birth and many other major Biblical events.

Israel was a powerful nation in the Middle East from about 1000 to 900 B.C.

It was conquered by the Romans in 200 B.C. In 1956, it became a nation again and Jews wanted to go back to the Middle East.

Today Israel is the location of intense territorial disputes between Israelis and Palestinians.
I'd say that needs a little work.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Who says they never report good news?

IRIB: "IRI, enjoying best position ever":
[...]Ayatollah Khamenei said that the heart-driven faith and affectionate bond of the people with the Islamic System has been motivating them to take part in different fields, urging the authorities to believe and cherish the profound public confidence in the system and make their best to preserve and enhance the invaluable and rare phenomenon. [...]

Korean News: "Frontrunners in Building Rich and Powerful Nation":
Many people are taking the lead in the revolutionary advance for building a great, prosperous and powerful socialist nation.

Wonderful successes are being achieved in all the sectors of the national economy thanks to the heroic efforts bent by the frontrunners with an ardent love for their motherland and strong will to turn the country into an earthly paradise good to live in.

Among the frontrunners are heroine Pak Ok Hui, chairwoman of a co-op farm management board in Janggang County, who initiated two or three crops a year in the northern part of the country, Ryom In Yun, manager of a mine which has overfulfiled its mineral production plan every year and built dwelling houses for thousands of families and public and production buildings by itself to convert the mine area into a "mining town" and the members of youth shock brigade of Thaechon who successfully constructed a large-sized hydro-power station, defying all difficulties and bottlenecks. They are all servants faithful to the people who have devoted themselves for the country and the nation.

Busy as he was with field guidance, Kim Jong Il acquainted himself with their labor feats and highly appreciated them, saying that they were persons like hero and jewel.

They had the honor of addressing the Meeting of Frontrunners of the Songun Revolution amid the ovation of the entire people.

The Korean people always remember the devoted efforts of the frontrunners associated with the standardized fields, Kaechon-Lake Thaesong Waterway, Paekma-Cholsan Waterway, salterns on the east coast, Youth Hero Motorway, power stations built in different parts of the country and newly arranged famous mountains and recreation grounds and are trying to follow their spirit and way of work.

IRNA: "Defense Minister: We are at zenith of dignity, pride, glory":
Minister of Defense and Armed Forces' Logistics General Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said here Thursday that the country's scientific breakthrough has brought dignity, pride and glory to the nation.

"Before the Islamic Revolution, our military forces were totally dependent but they are now very independent at land, air and sea," he underlined.

"We have attained significant achievements in missile, fighter planes, short-, medium- and long-range missiles, anti-aircraft artillery, helicopters, drones, warship, artillery, tanks, armored vehicles and a lot more," he pointed out.

These progress were in line with the country's political, social, economic and cultural development, he said.

Iranian protesters go embassy-hopping

These demonstrations are entirely spontaneous, of course. From Fars News:
A large number of angry students from the different universities of Tehran congregated in front of the British embassy in order to show their protest against the sacrilege of the Islamic and Shiites' sanctities.

The wrathful students congregated in front of the British embassy building to once again show their protest against the destruction of the shrines of the Shiites holy Imams by the US and Coalition troops in Samara, Iraq last year and also condemned destruction of the al-Aqsa Mosque by the Zionist regime of Israel.

FNA reports said that protestor called on the Islamic nations to boycott purchase of Israeli goods and commodities, and further voiced full support for the oppressed Palestinian people.

The students chanted different slogans, including 'Down with the US', 'Down with Zionism', 'Down with England' etc, and called on the Muslim world to show more vigilance and solidarity and refrain from sectarian war.

They also stressed Iran's right to access and use civilian nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, underlining that Iranians will not give up even an iota of their rights.

The Law Enforcement Police of Tehran have surrounded the embassy place and try to prevent any violence.

The students said in a speech that they take the US and Britain responsible for the insults to the Islamic sanctities and stated that the terrorist bombings in the holy shrines of the Shiite's tenth and eleventh Imams in the Iraqi city of Samara had happened in continuation of the West's plots against the world of Islam.

Protestors then moved towards the French embassy and from there to the embassy of the Vatican in Tehran.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In which Uri Avnery describes himself as an "Israeli patriot"

The sort of argument offered here has suddenly become very popular on the left. It involves pretending that recognizing Israel's right to exist means conferring some sort of abstract ontological blessing on Israel instead of the quite reasonable demand that anyone who seeks peaceful relations with the Zionist entity should renounce the practical goal of its destruction. From Arab News:
MUST A Native-American recognize the right of the United States of America to exist?

Interesting question. The USA was established by Europeans who invaded a continent that did not belong to them, eradicated most of the indigenous population (the “Red Indians”) in a prolonged campaign of genocide, and exploited the labor of millions of slaves who had been brutally torn from their lives in Africa. Not to mention what is going on today. Must a Native-American — or indeed anybody at all — recognize the right of such a state to exist?

But nobody raises the question. The United States does not give a damn if anybody recognizes its right to exist or not. It does not demand this from the countries with which it maintains relations.

Why? Because this is a ridiculous demand to start with.

OK, the United States is older than the state of Israel, as well as bigger and more powerful. But countries that are not superpowers do not demand this either. India, for example, is not expected to recognize Pakistan’s “right to exist”, in spite of the fact that Pakistan was established at the same time as Israel, and — like Israel — on an ethnic/religious basis.

So why is this weird demand addressed to the Palestinians? Why must they recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state?
Because their other option is to stake their future on Qassams and bomb belts?
I am an Israeli patriot, and I do not feel that I need anybody’s recognition of the right of my state to exist. If somebody is ready to make peace with me, within borders and on conditions agreed upon in negotiations, that is quite enough for me. I am prepared to leave the history, ideology and theology of the matter to the theologians, ideologues and historians.

Perhaps after 60 years of the existence of Israel, and after we have become a regional power, we are still so unsure of ourselves that we crave for constant assurance of our right to exist — and of all people, from those that we have been oppressing for the last 40 years. Perhaps it is the mentality of the ghetto that is still so deeply ingrained in us.

But the demand addressed now to the Palestinian Unity Government is far from sincere. It has an ulterior political aim, indeed two: (a) to convince the international community not to recognize the Palestinian government that is about to be set up, and (b) to justify the refusal of the Israeli government to enter into peace negotiations with it. [...]
Then recognizing Israel's right to exist would be a very clever thing for the Palestinians to do, wouldn't it?

It's International Mamaloshen Day!

From (North) Korean News:
Mass media of the DPRK are widely propagating the superiority and characteristics of the Korean language and calling for making best use of it, on the occasion of the International Day of Mother Tongue which falls on Feb. 21.

Today many national spoken and written languages have been obliterated or assimilated owing to the "globalization" advocated by the imperialists.
That explains why Korean News has been contributing to the obliteration of English. They were just fighting back against imperialism.
But the DPRK has developed its national language in combination with the Juche, national and modern characters.

The government of the DPRK has persistently pursued the correct linguistic policy of the Workers' Party of Korea on preserving and carrying forward the national language for over 60 years.

Right after the liberation of the country, the government took measures to use the Korean language as its official language, liquidate illiteracy, the outcome of the Japanese imperialists' colonial policy of keeping the Koreans in ignorance, remove Japanese words in the native language and abolish the use of Chinese characters. And it directed primary attention to creating the social conditions and linguistic environment for the development of the national language including the strengthening of the education in the national language.

Such standing linguistic institutes as the Society for the Study of Korean Language (1947), Terminology Assessment Committee (1949) and the Korean Linguistic Institute (1964) were formed to give a scientific guarantee to the development of the national language.

Along with this, the government has pushed ahead with a nation-wide work of arranging vocabularies and establishing correct trait of linguistic life in order to fully display the national characteristics of the language.
That's an important thing to do. What about you, Dear Reader? Have you been "establishing correct trait of linguistic life"?
More than tens of thousands of common vocabularies and terminology have been purified from Chinese and foreign words. A lot of inherent Korean words have been discovered and arranged and the Korean written and spoken language has developed into a new system with inherent Korean words as the main.

In particular, the government has formulated the Pyongyang language as the cultured Korean language and pushed forward the work of giving full play to its advantage, with the result that the Pyongyang cultured language serves as a great wherewithal for the unified development of the Korean language.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Times (UK): Muslims "radicalised by War on Terror"

Hello, good evening, and welcome to another edition of Spot the Evidence. The following article purports to show that Muslims have been "radicalised by War on Terror." See if you can spot the evidence for this claim.
The War on Terror has radicalised Muslims around the world to unprecedented levels of anti-American feeling, according to the largest survey of Muslims ever to be conducted.

Seven per cent believe that the events of 9/11 were “completely justified”. In Saudi Arabia, 79 per cent had an “unfavourable view” of the US.

Gallup’s Centre for Muslim Studies in New York carried out surveys of 10,000 Muslims in ten predominantly Muslim countries. One finding was that the wealthier and better-educated the Muslim was, the more likely he was to be radicalised.
I have always assumed this. If you don't have to devote your time to making a living, then you have more time to get involved in radicalism.
The surveys were carried out in 2005 and 2006. Along with an earlier Gallup survey in nine other countries in 2001, they represent the views of more than 90 per cent of the world’s Muslims. A further 1,500 Muslims in London, Paris and Berlin are involved in a separate poll to be published in April.

The findings come in a climate of growing mistrust between Islam and the West. Another recent survey in the US found that 39 per cent of Americans felt some prejudice towards Muslims.

The Gallup findings indicate that, in terms of spiritual values and the emphasis on the family and the future, Americans have more in common with Muslims than they do with their Western counterparts in Europe.

A large number of Muslims supported the Western ideal of democratic government. Fifty per cent of radicals supported democracy, compared with 35 per cent of moderates.
How is a "radical" defined anyway for purposes of this discussion?
Religion was found to have little to do with radicalisation or antipathy towards Western culture. Muslims were condemnatory of promiscuity and a sense of moral decay. What they admired most was liberty, its democratic system, technology and freedom of speech.

While there was widespread support for Sharia, or Islamic law, only a minority wanted religious leaders to be making laws. Most women in the predominantly Muslim countries believed that Sharia should be the source of a nation’s laws, but they strongly believed in equal rights for women.
That's interesting, but isn't support for Sharia a religious impulse anyway?
This finding indicates the complexity of the struggle ahead for Western understanding. Few Western commentators can see how women could embrace the veil, Sharia and equal rights at the same time.

Researchers set out to examine the truth behind the stock response in the West to the question of when it will know it is winning the war on terror. Foreign policy experts tend to believe that victory will come when the Islamic world rejects radicalism. “Every politician has a theory: radicals are religious fundamentalists; they are poor; they are full of hopeless-ness and hate. But those theories are wrong,” the researchers reported.

“We find that Muslim radicals have more in common with their moderate brethren than is often assumed. If the West wants to reach the extremists, and empower the moderate majority, it must first recognise who it’s up against.”
Remember, the claim we are trying to spot the evidence for is that Muslims have been "radicalised by the War on Terror." Imagine that I said that in a sort-of game-show-host undertone.
Gallup says that because terrorists often hijack Islamic precepts for their own ends, pundits and politicians in the West sometimes portray Islam as a religion of terrorism.

“They often charge that religious fervour triggers radical and violent views,” said John Esposito, a religion professor, and Dalia Mogahed, Gallup’s Muslim studies director, in one analysis. “But the data say otherwise. There is no significant difference in religiosity between moderates and radicals. In fact, radicals are no more likely to attend religious services regularly than are moderates.”
The word "moderate" could also use a definition.
They continue: “It’s no secret that many in the Muslim world suffer from crippling poverty and lack of education. But are radicals any poorer than their fellow Muslims? We found the opposite: there is indeed a key difference between radicals and moderates when it comes to income and education, but it is the radicals who earn more and stay in school longer.”

In fact, the surveys found that the radicals were more satisfied with their finances and quality of life than moderates.

Genieve Abdo, a senior Gallup analyst and author of Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America After 9/11, said that the findings of a high level of religious belief among both moderate and radical Muslims had “huge implications” for Western governments.

She said: “We have to assume that these Islamic parties and movements that are coming to power are popular and have a large constituency. People are not just voting for a party, they are voting for a religion, a way of life.”

She said that the Gallup findings countered the argument that, for example, a vote for Hamas was a vote against the former Palestinian government of Arafat rather than a vote for the extreme religious position of the new government.
That's interesting. Here's the rest of the article:
Looking west

Percentage with unfavourable view of US in 2005 (all increased since 9/11 except where indicated:


Saudi Arabia






Iran (down from 63 in 2001)


Pakistan (down from 69 in 2001)
Did you ever spot the evidence? Just remember, here on Spot the Evidence we never guarantee that there is any evidence. It's all part of the fun . . .

The paragraph beginning "Researchers set out" is supposed to be the one that makes the case, by the way. The reasoning seems to be that if winning the war on terror means Muslim rejection of radicalism, then we must be losing. Then, since we just got finished defining their embrace of radicalism as our failure, we must be causing it. What if we can't have much of an effect on Muslim radicalism one way or the other? Perhaps the War on Terror simply comes down to how well we defend our interests and our safety.

IRIB: "Islamic Republic, modern example of religious democracy"

According to a current Fars News article, Iran has developed an "Impenetrable Communications System." That would seem to refer to the prose style employed in the following article:
Islamic Revolution Leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei issued a statement Monday applauding the inauguration of the fourth round of the Leadership Assembly of Experts. The text of his statement, read out by head of his office, Hojjato-l-Islam Mohammadi-Golpaygani is as follows.

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate Staging of the fourth round of the Assembly of Experts was another fruitful stride took by the great Iranian people in a streak of successful moves in different spells and in which they gave a clear message to all ill-wishers by their overwhelming turnout in a year named after the Noblest Messenger, may Allah pray from him and his household.

The reprised vote of allegiance by the people to the Islamic Republic System and their aware and courageous fidelity in the progressive principle of Velayat-e-Faqih (guardianship by Islamic jurisprudence) is expected to remind their trusted nominees, the respected members of the noble assembly, as well as the statespersons at various levels of their heavy and significant assignment and to manifest the Divine favors and assistance in treading the vital path of this system before their eyes.
I think we have a Juche sentence of the day:
The modern example of religious democracy has provided mankind with a new course of action in which to insulate the human life from the scourges of the systems whose foundation sit on authoritarianism or partisan despotism or take root under influence of money-dwellers and wealth plunderers, and from being stranded in the realm of materialism, antinomianism, cast away from spirituality, and in doping so it effectively challenged the perceived encounter between worship of God and democracy.

The camp of bully-and-money systems, arrogant powers and colonial cliques has never been expected to sit indifferent towards the phenomenon, abandoning fight. By its growth, survival and solidification in materializing its goals, the innovative example has provided definite evidence against all these governing systems which in the guise of humanism made people strange with God and spirituality and squeezed human beings in their sovereign fist in the guise of democracy.

Constant and remorseless wave of plots of the enemies of the Islamic system, after becoming frustrated to destroy the system, has always aimed to bar the Islamic Republic from meeting those goals or becoming an example for the other Muslim nations.

At present and forever, different authorities of the Islamic System are indeed required to wait for no moment in treading the path which leads the Iranian nation to their lofty aspirations. Rather in God's assistance, they must pursue the route bookmarked by the dear Islam, echoed in the words and deeds of our late nonpareil Imam and rejuvenated by sacrificing martyrs and wartime folks until they attain the goals one after another in God's order.

The chief requirements of this path are adherence to religious undertakings, courage in adopting measures, foresight in making policies and practicing sincerity and loyalty to people. The principal objectives of this Islamic System are social justice, morality health, scientific progress and national wealth and strength. [...]

Monday, February 19, 2007

Korea Times: "Kim Jong Il orders all Japanese cars confiscated"

They don't have the hang of this at all. He didn't just confiscate some cars, he "called for a stubborn struggle to lay bare the nature of the moves of the Japanese right-wing reactionaries and strictly frustrate their sinister political intention with the might of unity." (Actually, that was someone named Ro Mu Hyon.)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has ordered most Japanese cars in the communist country seized in a sign of his growing discontent with Japan imposing severe sanctions after the North's detonation of a nuclear bomb last October, the Yonhap News Agency reported Monday quoting informed sources.

"After he paid tribute to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace on Jan. 1, he saw a Japanese car that wasn't working blocking the road and gave a National Defense Committee edict to seize Japanese cars," Yonhap quoted a source familiar with the North Korean situation as saying, asking to remain anonymous.

North Korea's founding leader Kim Il-sung's embalmed body lies in the memorial in Pyongyang.

In North Korea, senior government officials have German-made Mercedes-Benzes, while midlevel officials and Japanese North Koreans drive Japanese cars. Most North Korean institutions also operate Japanese cars for official purposes.

Under Kim's order, all Japanese cars are to be seized or banned from the streets, except for ones given as gifts to secret service agencies, prestigious movie stars and athletes, Yonhap reported quoting the sources.

"Since the measures took effect, the discontent of car owners in Pyongyang has been growing. It remains to be seen whether the authorities will be able to implement them fully, because most of the cars operating in North Korea are Japanese," another source was quoted as saying.

According to the report, Kim's sudden order might be connected with Japan's push for sanctions against North Korea since the country staged its first-ever nuclear weapon test in October. [...]
(Hat Tip: mark in mexico)

MPAC-UK: "Clash of civilisations? More likely a few Zionist stirrers"

This is actually a Guardian article, but MPAC's title adds so much:
Fears of an inevitable "clash of civilisations" between the west and Islam may be exaggerated, according to a global survey that shows a majority of people see positive links between cultures and believe that politics, rather than religion, is the primary cause of international disputes.

A Globescan poll of 27 countries for the BBC World Service found the most common view is that tensions between Muslims and westerners arise from "conflicts about political power and interests" - endorsed by 52% overall. Three in 10 (29%) say such tensions arise mostly from "differences of religion and culture".

Asked if "violent conflict is inevitable" between Muslim and western cultures or whether "it is possible to find common ground" an average of 56% said that common ground can be found between the two cultures - the most common response in 25 countries. On average almost three in 10 (28%) think violent conflict is inevitable. Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, is the only country where this view predominates.

Encouragingly, education can play a role in bridging the gap. The belief that it is possible to find common ground between Islam and the west rises from 46% among those with no formal education to 64% amongst those with post-secondary education.

Strikingly, the poll reflects a belief that violent conflict is more common among Muslims (35%) than Christians (27%) or others (27%). But 52% of the 5,000 Muslims polled say it is possible to find common ground. Amongst the Middle Eastern countries surveyed, that included majorities in Lebanon (68%) and Egypt (54%) and pluralities in Turkey (49%) and the United Arab Emirates (47%).

"Most people round the world clearly reject the idea that Islam and the west are caught in an inevitable clash of civilisations," said Steven Kull, director of the Programme on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which was also involved in the survey of 28,000 people. [...]

IRNA: "Official: Iran has not delayed payment for Bushehr Power Plant"

Iran reports that it stands in line every week at Schweggman's Supermarket to pay its utility bill, its phone bill, and its nuke bill.
Deputy Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) in International Affairs Mohammad Saeedi said Iran has not delayed payments to the Russian Company 'Atomstroiexport' for Bushehr Power Plant.

Responding to a question by IRNA concerning Russian officials' statement on possible delay in completion of Bushehr Power Plant, Saeedi said on Monday evening, "Our payments have been made so far upon agreements and according to the agreed schedule."
Saeedi added different phases of installation of equipment are being implemented very well and the Russian contractor company is doing its utmost to complete the power plant in September 2007.

He said,"In order to to solve part of financial problems which are basically related to the Russian company and not the Iranian side, we will present a solution to them in coming days."

The Russian 'Atomstroiexport' Company declared Monday the timetable for completion of the Bushehr Power Plant may change due to delays in Iranians' last payment.
Tags: Iran, Russia, nukes "Nasrallah depressed, researchers say"

The speech reported by Mehr News this last Friday was pretty fiery. I would say that this story is suffering from a substance-deficit.
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah is suffering from some form of depression, Israeli behavioral researchers said.

The experts, who examined Nasrallah’s patterns of behavior during recent public appearances and compared it to his conduct in the past, said if their assertion was correct it would be difficult to predict the Hizbullah chief’s actions in the future.

According to the researchers, Nasrallah’s current speeches and TV appearances lack the usual zeal and charisma.

The researchers said Nasrallah’s depression may be the result of criticism directed at him from Lebanon and Syria.

Israeli security establishment officials refused to comment on the researchers’ conclusion, but did say that Nasrallah may attack Israel for the very reason that he feels threatened and unsure of himself.

Other officials, on the other hand, said these may be the first signs of decline in Hizbullah’s status.

BBC: "work on an Iranian nuclear plant may be delayed because Iran is late with payments"

The repo man is coming to get the centrifuges!
Russian officials have warned work on an Iranian nuclear plant may be delayed because Iran is late with payments.

Russia has agreed a $1bn (£513m) deal to generate electricity at the Bushehr nuclear plant in southern Iran.

Moscow last year backed limited UN sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment after objections to the Bushehr deal were dropped . . .

Under the Bushehr deal, Russia would have started fuel shipments by March, launched the plant in September and begun to generate electricity by November.

Russia's Federal Nuclear Power Agency spokesman Sergey Novikov said the "launch schedule definitely could be affected" by the delay in payments.

One unnamed Russian official told Associated Press Iran was blaming "technical reasons" for the delay. Iran has not commented officially.

The deal requires Iran to return spent fuel for reprocessing in order to ease fears it could be used in a weapons programme.
(Hat Tip: Captain's Quarters)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Organic Farming causes Global Warming!

An inconvenient truth. From The Independent:
[...] The report for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found "many" organic products had lower ecological impacts than conventional methods using fertilisers and pesticides. But academics at the Manchester Business School (MBS), who conducted the study, said that was counterbalanced by other organic foods - such as milk, tomatoes and chicken - which are significantly less energy efficient and can be more polluting than intensively-farmed equivalents.

Ken Green, professor of environmental management at MBS, who co-wrote the report, said: "You cannot say that all organic food is better for the environment than all food grown conventionally. If you look carefully at the amount of energy required to produce these foods you get a complicated picture. In some cases, the carbon footprint for organics is larger."

The study did not take into account factors such as the increased biodiversity created by organic farming or the improved landscape.

The report said: "There is certainly insufficient evidence available to state that organic agriculture overall would have less of an environmental impact than conventional agriculture.

"In particular, organic agriculture poses its own environmental problems in the production of some foods, either in terms of nutrient release to water or in terms of climate change burdens."

Using data from previous studies, the researchers singled out milk as a particular example of the environmental challenges presented by organic farming. Organic milk requires 80 per cent more land and creates almost double the amount of substances that could lead to acidic soil and "eutrophication" - the pollution of water courses with excess nutrients.

The study found that producing organic milk, which has higher levels of nutrients and lower levels of pesticides, also generates more carbon dioxide than conventional methods - 1.23kg per litre compared to 1.06kg per litre. It concluded: "Organic milk production appears to require less energy input but much more land than conventional production. While eliminating pesticide use, it also gives rise to higher emissions of greenhouse gases and eutrophying substances."

Similar findings were recorded with organic chickens, where the longer growing time means it has a higher impact on all levels, including producing nearly double the amount of potentially polluting by-products and consuming 25 per cent more energy.

Vegetable production was also highlighted as a source of increased use of resources. Organic vine tomatoes require almost 10 times the amount of land needed for conventional tomatoes and nearly double the amount of energy. [...]
We must require the use of pesticides . . .

Linkim 2/18/07

Haveil Havalim 107 is up!

Orthomom features an "Orthomom Lawsuit Blog Roundup."

Jameel reminds us "Purim is coming...are you ready?"

Mere Rhetoric: "Abbas Takes US Money and Cutting Edge Weapons, Tells the US That He's Siding With Hamas Anyway"

Juan Cole: "Brandeis Defunded by Rich Likudniks" (h/t: Martin Kramer)

IMAO: "The Horrible Truth About The SLC Mall Massacre"

Der Spiegel: "Cartoons 1 : Muhammad 0"

Dar Al Hayat: (Nasrallah's) "Two-Faced Rhetoric"

Amir Taheri: "Is Pakistan becoming the major new battlefield in the global war on terrorism?"

Steyn: "Why the Iraq war is turning into America's defeat"

Dean Barnett at Hugh Hewett: "Fun With Dumb Metaphors!"

HuffPo: "Iran's a Threat - Even Though Bush Says So"

Hamshachas halinkim 2/19/07:

Hitchens: "The war within Islam"

Martin Kramer: "Cole in the bullrushes"

Kosher Cooking Carnival 15 is up!

Rain falls on everyone: "Another Toronto Rally Against Israel" (h/t: Right Girl)

Simply Jews: "This Wonderful Boom Boom World"

Daily Kos diary tries to make Ahmadinejad sound reasonable

Daily Kos currently has a diary from this "Al" fellow who appeared in my comments section a few days ago. Quotations from Ahmadinejad are preceded by the following screed:
The complete lack of availability of information to the English-speaking general public about President Ahmadinejad of Iran, and the abundance of lies perpetrated by the Western governments and their subservient newsmedia, have prompted me to collect here some excerpts from his speeches, open letters, and interviews. He is very articulate, and the best way to understand his views is to read the views themselves, undistorted by the Western media.
The diary is followed by three approving comments and then I had to open my mouth.

IRNA: "Rafsanjani: Islamic world can neutralizes US plots"

Assad visits Iran. He is quoted as saying that Iran is "a big Islamic country" (You don't say!), and not only that, it is "the main and common factor to establish friendly relations between Islamic countries." And don't you love it when IRNA article titles contain grammatical errors?
Chairman of Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad here Saturday said Islamic world with the vigilance of its political and religious leaders can neutralize the US plots.

According to the EC's Public Relations Office report, Rafsanjani said creating disunity among Shia and Sunni Muslims in the region, especially in Iraq and Lebanon, is an American plot.

Referring to the sensitive situation in the region and the world, Rafsanjani underlined the importance of cooperation, as well as consultation between Iran and Syria and said such relations will be beneficial to the whole of region and the Islamic world.

President Assad, for his part, said the speedy developments in the region need deep attention adding the US and its allies that have failed in the region, especially in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, are trying to take advantage of any opportunity to create crisis and the Muslim countries must mobilize their abilities to confront such mischief.

He described Iran as a big Islamic country in the region and said Islam is the main and common factor to establish friendly relations between Islamic countries.

Assad said creating division between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Iraq and Lebanon is the latest plot of the US and its friends to take advantage of differences and they are trying to cover their defeats in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Iran and Syria with false propaganda.

At the end of the meeting, President Assad invited EC chairman to pay an official visit to Syria and Rafsanjani welcomed warmly the invitation.

President al-Assad heading a high-ranking delegation arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a two-day visit.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Independent: "British Library to display rare sacred scrolls for first time"

The display includes a Sefer Torah, among other things, but read on:
The rarest and most elaborate collection of religious manuscripts in the world, including one of the earliest Korans and a Torah from a lost community of Chinese Jews, is to be displayed at the British Library in a unique exhibition on the great religions.

Sacred texts from Christianity, Judaism and Islam are to be displayed side by side in an exhibition showing what the three great faiths have in common.

The exhibition includes one of the earliest surviving Korans, completed in the Arabian peninsula 160 years after the death of the Prophet Mohamed, and an elaborate book of fatwas.

Blasphemous and esoteric documents will also be on show. A 6th-century Christian text, suppressed by the church because it omits the genealogy of Christ, will be displayed, along with a Jewish manuscript containing an illustration of God's face - forbidden in Jewish tradition.

The Torah scroll used by Chinese Jews of Kaifeng, a remote community which no longer exists, is made of strips of sheepskin sewn together with silk thread, rather than customary animal sinews.
Pasul, right? (See the Rambam, Hilchos Sefer Torah 9:13 and Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 278:1)
Many of the manuscripts have never been publicly displayed, including an extremely rare 16th-century book of psalms in Arabic.

Manuscripts from collections around the world, including the Royal Library in Rabat, Morocco, will sit alongside texts in the British Library's own collection, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, considered the masterpiece of early Anglo-Saxon book production.

"At a time when religion and inter-faith relations feature prominently in Britain, we hope the Sacred exhibition will contribute to a greater understanding of these three faiths," said Rona Levin of the British Library. "This is the first time sacred texts from these three faiths have been displayed together side by side."
The faith in all the multicultural inter-faith understanding that this will foster, "blasphemous" documents and all, is almost touching.

Der Spiegel: The Red Brigades saga continues

I recently noted that the German Red Army Faction is back in the news with the parole of Brigitte Mohnhaupt. Now it seems that in Italy, the Red Brigades saga is continuing:
The city of Vicenza in northern Italy is bracing itself for a potentially explosive weekend: Schools will be sealed off, shops will be shut and restaurants will roll down their shutters. The town just south of the Alps is expecting unpredictable guests: 100,000 demonstrators, 5,000 security forces -- and an unknown number of left-wing extremists.

Left-wing terrorism has recently had a revival in Italy. This week, police arrested 19 people linked to a radical offspring of the notorious "Red Brigades" group which terrorized the country in the 1970s and 1980s. A high-profile raid in Milan, Turin and Padua on Monday led to the arrest of 15 suspects, on Thursday four more people were rounded up for posting propaganda posters.

The seizures highlight the continuing existence of left-wing terror cells and their readiness for violence. According to the Italian government, the group -- which calls itself the "Second Position" -- was planning a series of attacks on two company managers, a trade union leader and a right-wing newspaper on Easter. Further potential targets included the home of former Italian president Silvio Berlusconi.

"We decided to intervene because some plans were about to be put into practice," Milan prosecutor Ilda Boccassini told reporters on Thursday. Police also found large amounts of weapons as well as fake documents and disguises in Turin and Padua.

The suspected ideological leader of the "The New Red Brigades" is 50-year old former fugitive Alfredo Davanzo. He is refusing to cooperate with police in the investigation and considers himself a political prisoner. But officials suspect the group was planning activities aimed at financing itself. According to Boccassini, the militants were divided between two courses of action: kidnapping people for ransom or kneecapping victims to force them to hand over their money.

The Red Brigades carried out a number of attacks in the 1970s and 80s including the 1978 abduction and murder of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro. More recently, its modern reincarnation killed two government advisors in 1999 and 2002.

The events come as a wake-up call to the country. "The one (group) we broke up, we know, isn't the last," said interior minister Guiliano Amato. The newspaper La Republica added that Italy was unique among European countries in having a second generation of left-wing terrorists. "The Red Brigades have returned and they're ready to attack," it said. [...]

Guardian: "Army and police desert beleaguered Mugabe"

The last time we met Mugabe on this blog, the Ayatollah had just praised him as "one of the African prominent and valiant figure [sic]."
Widespread desertions from Zimbabwe's army and police are weakening Robert Mugabe's security forces as large strikes loom because of the country's deepening economic collapse.

With inflation now at a global record of 1,600 per cent, The Observer can reveal that soldiers and police officers who cannot feed their families are leaving their posts in large numbers.

Flyers of army officers who have gone missing are posted in the hallways of the King George VI headquarters in Harare and the 1 Commando quarters near the airport, according to journalists. [...]

A breakdown in municipal water treatment is blamed for an outbreak of cholera in Harare's Mabvuku township. Life expectancy has plummeted to 36, the world's lowest, the economy has shrunk by 50 per cent since 2000 and inflation hit its record last week. The International Monetary Fund predicts it will soar to above 4,000 per cent this year.

Yet Mugabe's supporters - now trying to raise more than £1m to stage lavish celebrations to mark his 83rd birthday on Wednesday - appear unperturbed. The funds and advertisements praising him will come from the same state-owned utilities that are failing to provide clean water, electricity and transport.

'Mugabe is acting as if nothing is amiss and everyone should be happy to celebrate his birthday. He is not picking up the signs of growing unrest,' said Saidi.

MPAC-UK decides that Condi was "Caught Again lieing [sic] For The Zionists"

Evidently, denying knowledge of an Iranian peace overture constitutes "lieing For The Zionists":
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice misled the U.S. Congress when she said last week that she had not seen a 2003 Iranian proposal for talks with the United States, a former senior government official said on Wednesday.

Flynt Leverett, who worked on the National Security Council when it was headed by Rice, likened the proposal to the 1972 U.S. opening to China. He said he was confident it was seen by Rice and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell but "the administration rejected the overture."

Speaking at a conference on Capitol Hill, Leverett said "this was a serious proposal, a serious effort" by Iran to lay out a comprehensive agenda for U.S.-Iranian rapprochement.

"The Bush administration up to and including Secretary Rice is misleading Congress and the American public about the Iran proposal," he said.

Testifying before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee last week, Rice told lawmakers who asked about Leverett's previous public comments and writings on the Iranian proposal: "I don't know what Flynt Leverett's talking about." [...]
There is nothing in the story about Israel. Just thought you might like to see how "the UK's Leading Muslim civil liberties group" frames this Reuters article.

Related: Speaking of Iran and anti-Semitism, The Weekly Standard now has a long and informative article on Khomeinist anti-Semitism and Holocaust-denial. (h/t: Meryl Yourish)

Update: In the meantime MPAC-UK has figured out how to spell "lying."

Ayatollah borrows Kim Jong Il's speechwriters again

The actual article title is "Enemy yet to realize Iranian realities." We "designers of anti-Iranian-people policies have yet to realize the Iranian nation and their ever-lasting realities." From IRIB:
Islamic Revolution Leader Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei thanked the Iranian people Saturday for their enthusiastic participation in the annual February 11 rallies and confirmed that the Islamic Revolution chiefly gets momentum from the zeal, courage and revolutionary resolve of the Iranian nation and their solid adherence to the revolution and its religious identity.

"The serving and honest authorities must not relinquish the move forward even for a moment specially taking the huge popular strength and ample human resources into account," Ayatollah Khamenei said in his speech to an audience of people, urging the authorities to head for conquering the high peaks in different fields.

The meeting was held to commemorate the historic public uprising in Tabriz provincial center, northwest Iran on February 18, 1978.

Ayatollah Khamenei hailed the uprising as a fateful move in the history of the Islamic Revolution, adding that the designers of anti-Iranian-people policies have yet to realize the Iranian nation and their ever-lasting realities.

"Even 27 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, as soon as people felt that the enemy had kept a threatening look at the revolution, they poured the scene on February 11 to portray a source of power of the Islamic Revolution, never realized by the enemies," Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Ayatollah Khamenei emphatically called February 11 massive turnout a manifestation of the Divine zeal which helped display the might of the Islamic System to the world.

"The popular show of strength demoted enemy threats," the Islamic Revolution Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei hailed the young revolutionary generation as possibly more prepared, courageous and zealous in defending its religious, revolutionary identity than the generation who fought the Sacred Defense (1980-88).

Ayatollah Khamenei underlined a tie between the people's worldly and spiritual prosperity and perseverance in the path of revolution and Islam.

The IR Leader highlighted a profound interest in the Islamic Revolution on the part of people, saying, "Today, the Iranian nation looks more powerful than ever, thank to the serving, truthful, people-driven, honest, competent authorities who exert efforts to resolve public problems, and thank to young talented people who seek to negotiate bumpy roads of knowledge to conquer high apexes."

Ayatollah Khamenei urged the authorities to abandon fear in moving up towards peaks, adding that owing to the existence of ample, talented human resources, wherever the authorities capitalize, they will find it resourceful.

The IR Leader urged the authorities to dispense their efforts to other fields and cherish the ongoing enthusiastic national drive. "At present, no stoppage is allowed in scientific, academic, industrial and religious circles," Ayatollah Khamenei cautioned.

Ayatollah Khamenei urged adopting a strong position towards the enemy adding that any weak stand will further embolden the enemy. "Unfortunately, certain individuals are emboldening the enemy through their remarks in aggrandizing some problems or complaining about some unreal shortcomings," the IR Leader regretted.

"The aware Iranian nation will keep its regular pace alongside such authorities who are resolving people's problems one after another," Ayatollah Khamenei vowed, urging drawing a real image of the internal situation in the country.

Ayatollah Khamenei went on to add that as a reality on the ground the people are living their normal life and at the same time keep their vigilance.

"An example of the vigilance on the part of the Iranian nation has emerged in nuclear discussion so that as soon as the people felt that the enemy has concentrated on the issue and tries to present it insignificant in the public eyes, they entered the scene and put serious claims to the right," Ayatollah Khamenei said. [...]

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hizbullah “will never ask the permission of those who did not shoot a single bullet at Israel”

This sort of rhetoric goes over big in Iran. From Mehr News:
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stated on Friday that for keeping its “resistance weapons” Hezbollah “will never ask the permission of those who did not shoot a single bullet at Israel.”

In response to the recent stance adopted by the March 14 group leaders, Nasrallah said that for defending the country “we will not seek the idea of those who receive weapons from Israel.”

“We are prepared to voluntarily equip the army with any kind of weapon, but we will never let a single bullet of the resistance to be confiscated,” Nasrallah stated on the martyrdom anniversary of former Hezbollah secretary General Sayyed Abbas Mussawi who was assassinated in 1992 by the Zionist forces.

The government of the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora “confiscated the weapon of resistance in the most difficult days (during the 33-day war of Israel with Lebanon),” he said in a televised speech broadcast live on Al-Manar, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Al-Alam and Lebanese ANB networks