Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Guardian poll: "Should the US government mandate Americans buy broccoli?" 56% answer yes

They introduce the poll as follows:
US supreme court Justice Antonin Scalia made a comparison between the individual insurance mandate and a hypothetical federal requirement for citizens to buy broccoli. Well, should they?
I think people should get broccoli vouchers, and people that need expensive pre-bug-checked broccoli, such as Bodek, need extra broccoli vouchers. (I don't support government provided or mandated universal healthcare, but it should be paid for in normal taxes if people feel there must be such a program.) The Guardian poll shows that the Guardian and its readers have a sense of humor, which I never denied. Remember this?

Female Khomeinist Ninjas sue Reuters

And it isn't a pilot for a new series:
A group of female Iranian martial artists have taken legal action against Britain's Reuters news agency for branding them as assassins, Press TV reports.

Last month, Reuters showed a number of Iranian girls training martial arts in a city near Tehran, claiming Iran was training more than 3,000 female ninjas to kill any possible foreign invaders. The distorted Reuters report was picked up by other British media outlets.

Following the strong reaction of Iranian media to the report, Reuters made changes to parts of the report but refused to apologize for slander.

The Iranian girls, accused by Reuters of being assassins, say the damage has already been done and they are now taking legal action against the agency for defamation of character.

The athletes say the Reuters journalist asked them what they would do if their country came under attack. Reuters used the girl's patriotic response as an excuse to call them assassins.

“The lady from Reuters asked me only one question which had a very obvious answer. I believe that anyone anywhere in the world would defend his country if it were attacked…but she twisted our words to make us look bad and described us as assassins in the headline of her story,” Khatereh Jalilzadeh told Press TV.

“We are taking legal action because the ladies that train in Ninjutsu first and foremost enjoy it as a sport. It's about working out and staying fit. Reuters has blatantly lied about us,” she added.

Another female ninja said the Reuters' report can definitely be a problem.

“It can harm our chances to travel to other countries to take part in gobal tournaments and international championships because Reuters is considered by many to be a reliable source,” Raheleh Davoudzadeh said.

“At this point, there is not much they can do to undo the damage... That is why we are taking legal action... We want the whole world to know that Reuters has lied about us,” the Iranian ninja added.

Akbar Faraji, who established Ninjutsu in Iran over 22 years ago, condemned the British media accusations, saying his students will pursue the complaint to the end.

“We have filed a defamation lawsuit against Reuters and we intend to pursue it as far as necessary because it is a matter of reputation,” he said.

“Reuters has introduced us as assassins to the whole world. The truth must come to light and everyone should know that we are only a group of athletes. We are supervised by the Ministry of Sports and the federation of martial arts,” Faraji concluded.

The Reuters journalist who conducted the interview left Iran shortly before a court case was opened.
Probably a smart move.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Syria's battle against US-Zionist-Saudi colonialism" (IRIB Radio-Iran)

In which the Syrian Vice-President informs us “If the Syrian Army did what the armed groups are doing, we could have crushed them a long time ago.”
On the real situation in Syria we present you excerpts of an interview given by Syrian Vice-President Mrs Najah al-Attar to a group of Indian journalists in Damascus, during which she said that her country was once again waging a battle against colonialism.

She said the conspiracy against Syria had started with the redrawing of maps during the colonial era, noting that the former colonial powers were unhappy with the principled foreign policy the country had adopted since independence in 1948.

Mrs Najah al-Attar said: “They (that is, the US, France, Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar) want us to change our position. They have a project for the Middle East that aims to put an end to our unity and encourage sectarianism,” she added, noting Libya was a graphic illustration in this regard. She pointed out that the West along with its supporters in the region showed absolutely no remorse for the killing of 150,000 Libyan people, most of them civilians, in the conflict. In Iraq, more than a million people perished as a result of the US invasion in 2003 and the sanctions imposed on that country. She said President Assad could not implement his reform package at a faster pace because of the catastrophic events that shook the region after he took over. First, there was the US invasion of Iraq, which led to an upsurge in terrorism in the region and resulted in the influx of more than two million refugees into Syria. Then there were the two wars waged by Israel, against Lebanon and Gaza. Both the wars had briefly threatened to engulf the entire region. Najah al-Attar wondered why the West was silent about the casualties that Israel had inflicted in the two wars on hapless civilians. “Israeli atrocities do not make the West unhappy,” she added. She charged Washington and its allies with funding and training rebel groups in Syria even while hypocritically calling for a peaceful dialogue to end the crisis. “They [the West] are calling it a revolution of the people. Our people want normalcy. They believe in the President.” She emphasised that the reform process would be implemented carefully. “The new Constitution will guarantee a new life for the citizens. There will be more media freedom.” The government plans to set up an independent media body. The opposition parties already publish weekly papers.

Najah al-Attar said her country was the only one in the region to oppose US hegemony. “Syria is facing hardship but it has the courage to keep on supporting the resistance,” she said. Syria is the main backer of the resistance, Hizbollah and Hamas in the region, and has been uncompromising in its stance against Israel. The Syrian leader revealed that Washington had conveyed to Damascus that Syria could have stability if it “cut off support to Hamas, Hizbollah and Iran”. According to Najah al-Attar, the Syrian government bent over backwards to accommodate the demands of the international community and the opposition. “Our offer for dialogue has been rejected. The opposition wants only change of the government.” The Syrian Army was withdrawn from Homs, Dera'a and Idlib so that the Arab League Observers Mission could carry out its work unimpeded. She noted that the report prepared by the head of the Mission was ignored by the Arab League as it did not fit the League's game plan. “The Persian Gulf states are acting like puppies of the Americans,” she observed. The senior Syrian leader conceded that there were “some good people” in the opposition and that the government had kept the door for negotiations open. “Russia's mediation efforts were rejected by the opposition. We are sad but not afraid.” President Assad reiterated his offer of talks when Kofi Annan, the newly appointed United Nations/Arab League envoy to Syria, visited Damascus in the second week of March.

Najah al-Attar dismissed reports of defections from the Syrian Army. She said only a small number had defected. “Our Army will never be divided. We are protecting not only ourselves but the entire Arab nation.” She defended the Army's human rights record, asserting that it is doing its best to protect civilians. “If the Syrian Army did what the armed groups are doing, we could have crushed them a long time ago.” She was especially scathing about the interference of neighbouring Turkey in the internal affairs of Syria. “Turkey has been acting as an agent of the US There have been protests inside Turkey against the role of the government there. The Turkish people don't want their government to take sides.” She said Libyans, al-Qa'eda, and Turkish and French military officers were operating inside Syria. She also revealed that some of the weapons came from Israel. Najah al-Attar said Syria was being subjected to “information warfare”. Reports in the Western and Arab satellite channels, she said, were not based on the facts on the ground and the threat posed by terrorism was being downplayed deliberately. She said 90 per cent of the Syrian people had stopped watching Qatar's al-Jazeera and Saudi Arabia's al-Arabiya. “They are seen as partners of the armed terrorist groups.” There is no denying the fact that al-Qaeda is very much active in Syria. The suicide bomb attacks in Damascus and Aleppo in recent months are illustrations. In fact, the presence of militant groups has helped galvanise public opinion in favour of the government. The Syrian people do not want their country to become another Iraq or for that matter a new Libya, where armed militias are today ruling the roost after the country was supposedly “liberated” with the help of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

“The US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are spokesmen of and partners in fostering terrorism,” Najah al-Attar said. She said that besides civilians, the militant groups had targeted communication centres and gas pipelines. Syria today suffers from a shortage of electricity as a result of acts of sabotage against its energy grid. The Vice-President is confident that her country will soldier on despite the odds stacked against it. “Syria is self-sufficient and it has no external debts,” she explained. Diplomats in Damascus are of the view that Syria can rough it out as it has been used to decades of sanctions. But the latest set of sanctions has had a debilitating effect. For some months, Syria has not been able to export its oil, a key source of foreign exchange. Syria's oil is refined in western Europe and sold in the domestic markets. Traditional friends such as Iran are bound to help Syria in times of need. Venezuela has already dispatched a consignment of refined oil to Syria. Many Syrians outside the government say that the government can survive another 10 years being unaffected by the sanctions. “Sanctions will affect the common man but nobody is going to starve,” a resident of Damascus observed. He said the unemployment rate was rising alarmingly. The West and the Arab monarchies are promising a bonanza for the Syrian people if there is a regime change. At the Tunis Conference, $20 billion was on offer for a new government in Syria. But, he said, the Syrian people were aware that the West was using the country as a pawn.

A well-placed Syrian technocrat, who is ambivalent about the government on certain issues, told the Indian journalists that the attacks by the Western media and al-Jazeera became shriller whenever the government introduced more reforms. The opposition, he said, was aware of the “media game” and was willing “to sleep with the devil” to achieve its goal. He described the anti-Assad insurgency as one that “does not have a road map and which excludes the minorities and other groups”. He said many of the rebel fighters were “Salafists”. He, for one, would prefer a “civil war” rather than allow the country to be run by Salafists.

Ahmad Hussain, the Grand Mufti of Damascus who lost his son to the bullets of terrorists a few months ago, said Dr. Bashar al-Assad – an ophthalmologist by profession – would like nothing better than to practise medicine again but circumstances had forced him to stay on in power. The spiritual head of Syrian Sunnis said the President “is neither sectarian nor has a military background”. He said under Assad Syria would become a shining example for the rest of the Arab world, but the Persian Gulf countries and some of Syria's immediate neighbours were working overtime to sabotage Assad's plans to build a strong nation. “The unfolding situation in Syria does not suit the West,” the Grand Mufti said.
So sad--Assad can't pursue his beloved opthamology . . .

"UN Human Rights Council's 'Resolution' against DPRK Assailed"

I'm amazed the UNHRC manages to condemn North Korea. Can you imagine what a country has to do to get this treatment if it isn't Israel?
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK Monday gave the following answer to the question raised by KCNA as regards the "resolution" against the DPRK adopted at the recent session of the UN Human Rights Council:

Forces hostile towards the DPRK adopted again the "resolution" against it, regarding it as a thorn in their flesh, at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council. This is what they do every year.

The DPRK strongly refutes the "resolution" as one that does not deserve even a passing note as it is a product of the disgusting farce staged by those hostile forces out of their inveterate enmity towards the system in the DPRK.

It is a ridiculous and foolish daydream to try to hurt the sovereignty of the DPRK and pull down the dignified socialist system by abusing human rights, general value of mankind, for meeting their sinister political purpose.

The invasion of sovereign states, interference in their internal affairs, violation of sovereignty and killing of civilians by the imperialists in many parts of the world under the pretext of "advocating human rights" have drawn denunciation from mankind.

The DPRK will decisively frustrate all the challenges and intrigues of those hostile forces with the might of the single-minded unity and unswervingly keep to the path of independence, path of Songun chosen by its people.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

(North) Korean News now has an article based on Ahmadinejad's "existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to freedom" speech

Iran: it's Songun and Juche, too!
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a recent diplomatic conference bitterly censured the U.S. and the West for shielding Israel.

The U.S. and Europe spend tens of billions of dollars each year in Zionists to help a criminal regime to continue its occupation of Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem, he deplored.

Saying the existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to freedom, justice and to all the independent nations, he reiterated his call upon the international community to show greater sensitivity to the tragedy of the people that suffers the Israeli occupation.

"A Gift for Muslim Couple" available at Amazon

Amazon helpfully supplies a "book description" that probably came from the publisher:
The Book Tuhfatuzzow-Jain (Gift for Muslim Couple) is indeed a presentation to the newly wedded couples as well as to all the married couples. This is a collection of writing from the pen of Maulavi Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rah), who was a very prolific writer on almost every topic of Islamic learning. It consists of various quotations from his books and all the quotations deal with the subject of marriage and after marriage relationship, as well as the various pitfalls of marriage, causes of breakdown and their causes. The Book also has various Sunnah traditions of the Prophet (SAW), Quranic verses and fine examples of real life incidents, different aspects of family life and explained how to run the institution of marriage successfully.
The book evidently allows a certain amount of violent disciplining of wives--as long as it isn't excessive.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Toulouse shooter arrested in pre-dawn police raid" (AFP)

This appears to be very fresh news. Via Times of Israel:
After a pre-dawn shootout, French police arrested a 24-year-old man suspected of carrying out the Toulouse Jewish school massacre, Wednesday morning.

The man, who according to French media reports is linked to al-Qaeda, was captured by police in a house in northern Toulouse. His brother and mother were also arrested on suspicion of aiding him.

Channel 10 news reported that the suspect told police that he committed the attack out of a desire to avenge the death of Palestinian children by Israel.

Two police officers were reportedly injured in the operation, with CNN reporting that one of them was shot in the knee.

A source close to the investigation told AFP that the suspect exchanged words with police, and that he claimed to be a member of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda.

French media sources said the suspect spent time training on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. [...]
Update: The headline seems to be saying he is already in custody. That looks premature as far as I can tell now.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"'Destroy All the Churches': Wahabi 's Poor Treatment of Christians" (ABNA-Iran)

Here is an Iranian article that, I suppose, wants to make that point that Shi'ism is more tolerant than Wahhabism. A summary box after the article-title states: "According to several Arabic news sources, last Monday, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, declared that it is 'necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.'"
The Grand Wahabi Mufti made his assertion in response to a question posed by a delegation from Kuwait: a Kuwaiti Wahabi parliament member recently called for the "removal" of churches (he later "clarified" by saying he merely meant that no churches should be built in Kuwait), and the delegation wanted to confirm Wahhabis's position on churches.

Accordingly, the Grand Wahabi Mufti "stressed that Kuwait was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore it is necessary to destroy all churches in it.

Well, we noted, there are churches in every other country on the Arabian Peninsula: Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE. You are the only exception. Are you suggesting that all those churches should be closed? Yes, came the reply. Every one of them.

Ahmadinejad: "the existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to freedom"

In which we learn that "nobody is ever allowed to ask a question or conduct a research on how the Zionist regime was established." I think he means the Holocaust here since in his universe nobody is allowed to do "research" on it:
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the occupation of Palestine is a historical problem and the existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to freedom, justice and all independent nations.

“The Europe and the US spend tens of billions of their wealth on the Zionists each year to help a criminal regime…continue its occupation [of Palestinian lands],” he said, addressing a convoy of pro-Palestinian activists in Tehran who are heading to al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Sunday.

He also slammed the Western states for showing no tolerance towards questioning the existence of Israel.

“Despite all liberal claims of the Western states, nobody is ever allowed to ask a question or conduct a research on how the Zionist regime was established,” the president said.

“The issue of Palestine is not an argument between one person and another or a conflict created between the followers of one prophet and another …but the dispute over Palestine is a dispute over dominating and managing the world,” Ahmadinejad added.

The Iranian chief executive further stated that the Zionists try to pitch states and nations against each other and create a rift between governments and their people and spearhead international terrorism.

“The hegemonic current aims to establish this regime in Palestine as the focal point of the Middle East which is also the center of the world’ resources and energy, in order to continue the historical trend of hegemony,” he said. [...]
What a loony.

"All Service Members Are Waiting for Order to Fire"

Kim Jong Un is already "peerlessly great"?
All servicepersons of the Korean People's Army, fully ready to launch a sacred war of retaliation with a will to wipe out the enemies, are just waiting for an order to shower fire on them.

Rodong Sinmun Friday says this in a bylined article.

It goes on:

The sacred war of Korean style is a manifestation of the resolution force with arms the Lee Myung Bak group of traitors to pay a thousand-fold dearer price for the thrice-cursed crimes against ethics and morality and glorify the history of the great sun for all ages. It is also aimed to hold in high esteem Kim Jong Un, another peerlessly great man who is identical to general secretary Kim Jong Il, and implement the leader's last instructions for national reunification at any cost.

The above-said war to eliminate such traitors as Lee Myung Bak, Kim Kwan Jin and Jong Sung Jo with arms of Mt. Paektu is the storm for self-destruction they have invited themselves.

It will result in making a clean sweep of the worst traitors who hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK in a bid to prolong their dirty remaining days and getting the pent-up grudge of the nation settled without fail.

Those conservative media and all hues of riff-raffs in south Korea who had been involved in the Lee group's racket for confrontation with the DPRK even a bit will never escape the strike of the DPRK style.

The world will clearly witness the inexhaustible and tremendous might of Kim Il Sung's nation, Kim Jong Il's Korea where all service personnel and people have risen up in the spirit of Mt. Paektu to protect the dignity of its supreme leadership.
All hues of riff-raffs will never escape the style strike? Sounds like a rap record.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Official Praises High Election Turnout as Iranians' Crushing Response to Enemies" (Fars News-Iran)

Gotta love that headline:
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi praised the Iranian people's massive participation in the March 2 parliamentary elections, and described it as a crushing response to the enemies' negative propaganda against the Islamic Republic.

"Three decades after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, US officials still think they can achieve their objectives through political pressure and economic sanctions," Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday.

However, these officials received an appropriate response following a high turnout of the Iranian people in various scenes to defend the Islamic establishment, he added.

They are aware of the Iranian people's strong support for the Islamic establishment but Israeli and Western media launched propaganda to exert an international pressure on Iranians, he stated.

"West media propaganda and efforts by Western officials to put the Iranian nation under pressure failed through the massive participation of people in the Majlis elections and their highest participation record," the official said.

Araqchi, who is deputy foreign minister for Asia-Pacific and the Commonwealth nations' affairs, emphasized that Israeli and Western media were defeated in a psychological warfare against Iran by the vigorous turnout of Iranians.

Iranians from different walks of life came to the polling stations in large numbers on March 2 to determine the fate of the country's legislative body for the next four years. Iranians staged a high turnout in the country's 9th parliamentary elections in a move deemed as a straight message to the US war rhetoric.

Over 48 million Iranian voters were eligible to cast their ballots, and initial estimates showed that at least 65% of them have been present at the polling stations. [...]
According to a Memri article:
The number of eligible voters was close to 48 million. Following calls from opposition circles to boycott the elections, the regime stated in advance that it anticipated a turnout of 65%, and immediately after the elections, it announced that the turnout had indeed been 64.2% . . . In an interview with the Kaleme website, Ardeshir Amir Arjomand, the spokesman of the Green Movement Coordination Council and an advisor to Mousavi, thanked the public for boycotting the elections, and said that the reported turnout rate of 64% had been pre-determined by the regime. He added that this figure was just as reliable as the claim of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad that over 50% of Syria's citizens had participated in the recent referendum even while he was massacring them.

"Canadian Jewish groups slam Zionist regime's warmongering" (IRIB Radio-Iran)

The denunciation is even ascribed to "the Jewish community in Canada":
By organizing rallies to protest Tel Aviv policies, the Jewish community in Canada has denounced Zionist regime's crimes against the Palestinians as well as its warmongering against Iran.

According to Press TV, Jewish groups, particularly the Independent Jewish Voices of Canada (IJVC) have played a major role in organizing rallies against a war with Iran.

IJVC, founded in 2008, describes itself as representing the Jewish people in Canada who have in common a strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights. The organization was as a result of the national Independent Jewish Canadian Conference.

IJVC activist, Diana Ralph told Press TV in Ottawa “There is no evidence that Iran has developed nuclear weapons, and it’s ironic that Zionist regime has a very large nuclear stockpile and also has the backing of the US which has the largest nuclear stockpile.”

Activists say that the media campaign against Iran has also helped Zionist regime mask its treatment of the Palestinian people.
More about Diana Ralph here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Huffpo: Supreme Leader "Willing to Make Negotiations Succeed"

Most of the evidence for the claim made in the post title seems to consist of internal developments with no apparent connection to nuclear negotiations. For instance:
In addition to hinting at the West, Khamenei is preparing Iran's domestic arena for negotiations. Internal factors have always influenced the Islamic Republic's nuclear policies, and despite the marginalization of pro-reform forces, rifts within the conservative camp are running deeper as factions struggle over political and financial resources. It is clear to both the P5+1 and Khamenei that factional infighting adversely affects nuclear negotiations -- as recent history shows. For this very reason, Khamenei is trying to present an image of a unified Iran vis-à-vis the world.
It just sounds like a dictator consolidating his power to me. Another development that is supposed to mean that the future is bright for nuclear negotiations is the reappointment of Rafsanjani to the Expediency Council.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Agricultural Workers Vow to Wipe Out Lee Myung Bak Group of Traitors"

Beating ploughshares into swords?
Meetings are taking place at various agricultural units in the DPRK at which agricultural workers vow to wipe out the Lee Myung Bak group of traitors through a merciless sacred war as it hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK.

The statement of the spokesman for the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army was read out to be followed by speeches at the meetings.

The speakers expressed their towering resentment at those traitors and military hooligans who are behaving in a provocative manner, far from making an apology for their hideous provocations against the DPRK.

They said:

The above-said dastardly acts are thrice-cursed crimes against the nation and ethics. We, therefore, can never pardon those cruel gangsters and warmongers for their thrice-cursed high treason.

The party, army and people are united single-mindedly around the leader. This is the true picture of Songun Korea.

The agricultural workers, who regard it as their unshakable faith and a fundamental requirement for their lives to devotedly defend the leader, will intensify the drive for boosting the agricultural production in the spirit of showering fire on the enemies and turn out as one in a just sacred war if an order is issued.
Let's see, they will "intensify the drive for boosting the agricultural production in the spirit of showering fire on the enemies." Is that good for growing tomatoes?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Angry Arab now has an editorial-length English essay on current events in Gaza

He calls it "Tolerable Savagery." Here are some paragraphs:
[...] Israel has been killing Palestinians all week but this time the US government reacted. It condemned Palestinian violence, literally. News of dead Palestinians doesn’t matter to US editors at daily newspapers or TV news shows. There is of course more than a ting of racism to the way Palestinian dead are treated in the US. They simply are not as valuable as human beings as Israeli dead.

Israel, accustomed to the practices of lies, fabrications, exaggerations, distortion, and obfuscation in its propaganda, immediately poses as a victim. This is a state that posed as a victim when it attacked three countries in 1967, and invented a Hitlerian concept of murder and war that allowed it to kill anyone and to attack any state under the pretext that the state or the person may harm Israel in the future. One can only imagine if Iran were to practice such a concept in the world today.

So Israeli propaganda covers up the victimization of Palestinians by typically inflating the damage from missile attacks (advanced forms of firearms really): even people who trip in a shelter are listed as “injured” and people who are “shocked” from the noise are also listed as “victims.” In an election years, those people may get sympathy calls from Obama and his Republican rival. [...]
If the US media wants to delve into the "careers" of the Palestinian dead, that's fine with me. Let's hear about Zuhayr Al-Qaysi's achievements as Secretary General of the PRC. Don't let him remain an anonymous casualty number!

"Iran ‘smart concrete’ to protect N-sites from US bunker busters" (PressTV-Iran)

Not the same concrete as that inside Ahmadinejad's head evidently:
As tension escalates between the US and Iran, American officials are increasingly concerned that the use of “smart concrete” may render Iranian nuclear sites impervious to US bunker-buster bombs.

An article published by Aggravate Research website, which represents Aggravate Industries, stated that due to Iran's geographical situation, the country is under constant threat of earthquakes.

As a result, the website said, Iranian engineers are very good at developing “ultra-high performance concrete” (UHPC) which is among the toughest and most rigid building materials in the world.

It added that the new Iranian concrete, made on an indigenous formula, is now a major concern for Washington in addition to Iran's uranium enrichment work, whose technology has been also indigenized.

“Unlike conventional concrete, Iranian concrete is mixed with quartz powder and special fibers - transforming it into high performance concrete that can withstand higher pressure with increased rigidity,” the article stated.

Due to its combination, the new Iranian-made concrete is an excellent building material with peaceful applications like the construction of safer bridges, dams, tunnels, increasing the strength of sewage pipes, and even absorbing pollution.

However, the article said, like any dual-use technologies that carry both civilian and military applications, the UHPC can also be used to protect underground facilities from bombardment, which could pose a real headache for military endeavors into Iran.

According to the article, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently expressed his concern that in case of a real conflict, the American bunker busters may not be able to penetrate Iran’s deepest bunkers should the UHPC be employed for military purposes. [...]

"Iran slams international silence on Zionist regime attacks on Gaza" (IRIB Radio-Iran)

Iran oozes hypocrisy with the best of them:
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the new round of Zionist regime's deadly airstrikes on the besieged in Gaza Strip, calling the attacks blatant violation of human rights.

According to IRNA, on Sunday in a statement, the Foreign Ministry condemned recent airstrikes on Gaza which have claimed the lives of 18 Palestinians since Friday.

“In line with its targeted state-sponsored terrorism approach, the Zionist regime has embarked on violent assassination of Zuhir al-Qaisi, Secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and a number of his aides,” the statement added.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry also slammed the international community for its total silence on Israeli regime rights violations.

“International organizations and rights bodies must not remain silent toward this blatant violation of human rights and the killing of innocent Palestinians by the Zionists and must fulfill their humanitarian and legal responsibility to defend the people of Palestine,” the statement said.

It added that although killing innocent men, women and children by Israel is nothing new, meaningful silence of the international organizations and human rights bodies in the face of Israeli reimge’s crimes and aggression is inacceptable to the world’ public opinion and the Muslims.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry also urged the Islamic countries and independent governments to give a strong response to the Israeli crimes.

"President al-Assad Meeting Annan: Syria Ready to Make Successful any Sincere Effort to Find Solution to Events" (SANA-Syria)

So it's all worked out, then:
President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday said Syria is ready to make successful any sincere effort to find a solution to the events taking place in the country, adding that the success of any effort requires first studying what is happening on the ground instead of relying on the virtual space that is promoted by some regional and international countries to distort the facts and give a picture contrary to what Syria is undergoing.

President al-Assad's remarks came during his meeting with UN Secretary General's envoy Kofi Annan and the accompanying delegation.

The President was briefed by Annan on his preliminary vision on the situation in Syria, with the UN Secretary General's envoy stressing his commitment to work fairly, neutrally and independently, as well as his rejection to foreign interference in the Syrian affairs and his belief in a peaceful solution.

Annan expressed hope to work with the Syrian government to launch diplomatic dialogue in the framework of a political process to restore stability to Syria and realize the aspirations of the Syrian people.

President al-Assad said that any political dialogue or political process can not succeed as long as there are armed terrorist groups that are working to spread chaos and destabilize the country through targeting citizens, both civilian and military, and vandalizing private and public properties. [...]

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"National grid separates Iran's internal networks from internet" (ISNA-Iran)

This is not so clear, but it sounds like an attempt to limit ordinary Iranians to a government-filtered internet:
Iranian Communications Minister Reza Taghipour said internal networks would be separated from internet by launching national information network.

"Internet can be used inside Iran as well as national information network for general use and reception of that kind of data not available in the national network," Taghipour told ISNA.

"Internet in its essence is an unsafe network, it will be changed to a safe network for the electronic government's exchanges through launching the national grid and using locally-made software," he added.

The issue of security would be resolved through running the national network, Taghipour said adding the national information network needs all-out cooperation of the public and private sector, since it will not work like internet at the beginning.
Why would it need "all-out cooperation of the public and private sector" it it is just a security system for government communications?

"Servicepersons Vow to Wipe Out S. Korean Traitors"

To those who usually skip these posts, believe me, I understand. However, this is unbelievably bellicose rhetoric:
Meetings took place in North Hwanghae and Ryanggang Provinces on Friday at which servicepersons and people vowed to wipe out through a merciless sacred war the Lee Myung Bak group of traitors who hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK.

The statement of the spokesman for the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army was read out to be followed by speeches.

The speakers branded the Lee group of traitors as human scum worse than rabid dogs, hordes of traitors bereft of elementary ethics and morality.

They called for uninterruptedly staging the DPRK-style sacred war in an indiscriminate and intensive way till the Lee group of traitors makes an apology for its high treason before the nation.

The DPRK has the most powerful and merciless striking means and methods which are unknown to the world and beyond human imagination. Such human scum as the group of traitors can never get out of the range of the heavy strikes of its revolutionary armed forces, they said, went on:

The revolutionary armed forces of Mt. Paektu will shower fire deadlier than what was done on Yonphyong Island and thus blow up not only the dens of such human scum but Chongwadae and other bulwarks of the group of traitors so that they may not hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and defame its inviolable system any longer.

The speakers underscored the need to firmly protect Korean style socialism, the supreme dignity and life of the DPRK, united close around the headquarters of the revolution, bearing deep in mind the unshakable conviction that the DPRK is sure to triumph under the leadership of the dear respected Kim Jong Un. [...]
Chongwdae is the "Blue House," the South Korean presidential office and home.

Angry Arab on the death of some terrorists: "There are no US Senators talking about the need to bomb Israel to protect Palestinian civilians"

Here is the whole post:
There are no Saudi-funded or Qatari-funded "observatories" to report to you the murder of Palestinians by Israel. There are no US Senators talking about the need to bomb Israel to protect Palestinian civilians. Those are the names of Palestinians killed by Israel in one day yesterday:
Fayiq Sa`d, Mu`tasim Hajjaj, `Abid Al-Gharabli, Muhammad Hararah, Hazim Qurayqi`, Shadi As-Sayqali, Zuhayr Al-Qaysi, Mahmud Hannani, Muhammad Maghazi, Mahmud Najm, and Ahmad Hajaj.
I don't think there is much doubt about the identities of these people. Some of them are identified as members of Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades by IRIB, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. Al-Qaysi was the Secretary General of PRC. Challah Hu Akbar has a complete list.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Angry Arab on protest against Israeli mental health expert

Here are the essentials from Ynet:
Hundreds of Jordanian students rallied outside Amman's University of Jordan on Thursday in protest of a scheduled lecture by an Israeli expert at a mental health conference.

The protesters demanded that Dr. Gideon Anholt's lecture be canceled and called on authorities to expel the Israeli ambassador from Jordan and cancel the 1994 peace treaty. [...]

Dr. Anholt told Ynet he was smuggled out of the university by security guards. "The protesters handed out flyers expressing outrage over the participation of Israeli occupiers in a Jordan conference," he said. "As things heated up security officers eventually had to take us out the back door." [...]
According to the article, Anholt hopes to return anyway, and AA comments:
Look. After he was kicked out, he still thinks that he can return. Wait: no, tell him to return. I think it should be a good idea for him to return. Jut ask him to notify us about his day and time of arrival so that students can meet him and escort him. Yes, return, come to think of it. How many humiliations before the Zionists figure out that they are not welcome in our lands?
Got that? A "Zionist" is someone of a certian religion who arrived in the world via a delivery room in, say, Haifa. AA, like other Arab writers, sometimes pays lip-service to the idea of Mizrachi Jews returning to Arab countries. I would read this post as a gloss on those statements. More on this incident from EOZ.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

"Satellite images of Iran appear to indicate attempts to clean up radioactive traces possibly left by tests of a nuclear-weapon trigger" (Guardian)

As Ahmadinejad says, "All relations and equations will change in our favor once Iran is stabilized as a nuclear nation.” From the Guardian:
Satellite images of Iran appear to indicate attempts to clean up radioactive traces possibly left by tests of a nuclear-weapon trigger, diplomats said on Wednesday.

The claims by International Atomic Energy Agency experts could add to international pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes. [...]
Cue up angry Iranian news articles accusing IAEA of being Zionist-controlled.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"Leader appoints members of 'Supreme Council of Cyberspace'" (IRIB Radio-Iran)

I'm mad because I'm not the head of the Council. From IRIB-Radio:
On an executive order issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, today, the Supreme Council of Cyberspace has been formed with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as its head.

Referring to various effects of the worldwide web in the people's daily life and social interactions, coupled with the need for plans to prevent probable damages, and also maximum use of all opportunities in this field for benefit of the public, Ayatollah Khamenei appointed the council.
And who could do a better job than the Supreme Big Guy?

MoDo offers capsule description of Zionist entity

And that's not even the whole sentence!
Romney wrote a blank check to Bibi Netanyahu, who governs a nation roiling with reactionary strains, ultra-Orthodox attacks on women and girls and attempts at gender segregation, and increasing global intolerance of the 45-year Palestinian occupation.
(h/t: Martin Kramer)

"World VIPs Unite for Global March to Jerusalem" (Fars News-Iran)

Let's see who we have among the "renowned figures": Cornel West! Desmond Tutu! George Galloway! Jeremiah Wright! Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb! Raed Salah! And they are all endorsing this brave declaration
on the diabolical Zionist plot to"transform a once proud symbol of international tolerance and religious and cultural diversity into an exclusionary and racist enclave":
A large number of renowned figures from across the world voiced their support for the upcoming Global March to Jerusalem due to take place on March 30th, 2012.
"We, the Advisory Board of the Global March to Jerusalem, are alarmed and deeply troubled by the continuing repression of Palestinians in Jerusalem and by the deliberate and systematic attempts to expel and reduce the Christian and Muslim Palestinian population of the city as part of the policy called 'Judaisation', which is being applied to every part of historic Palestine," the GMJ's website said in a statement.

"This policy is inconsistent with all relevant United Nations resolutions on Jerusalem and contrary to the most basic principles of international law. Its purpose is plainly to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem of its non-Jewish population and transform a once proud symbol of international tolerance and religious and cultural diversity into an exclusionary and racist enclave.

"Jerusalem is our common universal heritage. It is the centre of spirituality and ideological significance for all of the monotheistic religions, and a beacon of emancipation and hope for the downtrodden. This historic city is venerated across the world for enhancing the spiritual heritage of all humanity; it has been a symbol of unity and equality, with a message of love, mercy and compassion.
However the entire world is now witnessing a threat to the sovereignty, sanctity and inviolability of Jerusalem. The plan is not only to destroy the Muslim and Christian presence, but also to change and dismantle the social structure of Jerusalem, obliterating its indigenous Arab identity and changing the character of the city," it added.

The statement further pointed out, "The people of the world have therefore taken it upon themselves to prevent this abomination, by mobilizing themselves in every part of the world and representing all religious, humanitarian, and cultural backgrounds in a global march to Jerusalem (GMJ) aimed at guarding the City of Peace from becoming a wasteland of intolerance. We therefore lend our names to support the convergence of people from all countries and continents of the world to Jerusalem, and to the nearest points to which they are able to approach, both inside Palestine and at the Palestinian borders with Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, as well as in their own countries, in a peaceful march towards Jerusalem."

"We therefore support this effort, and encourage all of humanity to support it, by making the pledge set forth below, that all participants in the Global March to Jerusalem have agreed to accept."

"We assert the importance of Jerusalem politically, culturally and religiously to the Palestinian people and humanity as a whole. We call for the protection of the Holy Places and all archeological sites and consider all the efforts done to change its Arabic and cultural identity as a crime against humanity. We call on all international institutions to do their duties towards the city.
"The defense of Jerusalem and its liberation are a duty of all free people around the world and we call on all institutions, organizations, and individuals to participate in this duty.

"We condemn the Zionist campaign of ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine including all ongoing policies intended to change the demographic and geographic situation in the city and aimed at its Judaisation. We also condemn the continuation of the Zionist occupation forces in building the apartheid wall that aims to expropriate more Palestinian lands and convert the occupied areas into shrinking cantons isolated from each other.

"We support the right of the Palestinian People to self-determination, to liberate their lands and to live on them in freedom and dignity like all other people on Earth.

"We support the non-negotiable and inalienable rights of the Palestinian People, including their families, to return to their homes and lands from which they were uprooted.

"We reject all racist laws that distinguish between people based on ethnicity or religion and call for their cancellation and criminalization.

"The Global March to Jerusalem does not represent any one faction or political party, but we call for participation of all social forces, political factions, and ideologies.

"The Global March to Jerusalem is a global peaceful movement, which does not use violence to achieve its goals."

Signed by,
The Advisory Board of the Global March to Jerusalem (partial listing of names)

1. Shaikh Dr. Abdul Ghani al-Tamimi, poet and preacher; chairman of the Palestine Scholars Abroad
Abdullatif Arabiyyat, Former Speaker of the Jordanian Parliament
Swami Agnivesh, Founder, Bonded Labor Liberation Front and World Council of Arya Samaj, former member of the Indian parliament and former chairperson of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery
Ahmad Obeidat, Former Jordanian Prime Minister & Head of the National Front for Reform
Dr. Ahmed Mohammed attia Bahar, Vice President, Palestinian Legislative Council
Tan Sri Anthony Francis Fernandes, Malaysian entrepreneur; founder and CEO, Air Asia
Dr. Anton Shuhaiber, Gaza Christian Association
Arnold Hottinger, Swiss journalist and publicist; former Middle East correspondent for the Neue Zurcher Zeitung.
H.E. Atallah Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia, Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Bouguerra Soltani, Algerian Government Minister and party leader for the Movement of the Society for Peace
Dr. Cornel West, Professor of African American studies. Princeton University; philosopher, writer and civil rights activist
Datuk Yasmin Yusoff, Malaysian actress and television host
David Hartsough, Director, Peaceworkers, San Francisco
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate
HE Dr. Dzukelly Ahmad, member of the Malaysian parliament
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Jewish German author, activist and publicist
Dr. Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law, University of Illinois
Dr. Franco Cavalli, oncologist and former leader of the Swiss Social Democrat Party parliamentary group
George Galloway, former Member of British Parliament and Founder of Viva Palestina
Dr. Ghada Karmi, Writer and Co-Director, Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter
Gretta Duisenberg, Founder and Chair, "Stop the Occupation" (Netherlands), Free Gaza Movement Board Member
Dr. Hammam Said, Head of the Jordanian Consultative Council of the Muslim Brothers
Hilarion Capucci, Archbishop of Caesarea, Greek Melkite Church
Ibrahim Nasrallah, Jordanian-Palestinian Poet & Novelist
Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor Emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Prof. Judith Butler, writer and philosopher, University of California, Berkeley
Laith Shubeilat, Former Jordanian Parliamentarian
Lalita Ramdas, Chair, Greenpeace International
Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, Magsaysay Peace Award Recipient and anti-nuclear advocate
Dr. Leo Gabriel, Austrian socioanthropologist, journalist and documentary filmmaker; member, World Social Forum International Council
Fr. Louis Vitale, Order of Franciscan Monks; Pace e Bene; nonviolent resistor
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Jewish Renewal Movement
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammed, former Prime Minister of Malaysia
Mairead McGuire, Nobel Peace Laureate
Marzuki Alie, Speaker, Indonesian House of Representatives
Marwah Daud Ibrahim, Indonesian feminist, writer and Member of Parliament
Medha Patkar, Leader, National Alliance of People's Movements; Recipient, Right Livelihood Award, Goldman Environment Prize & Amnesty International Human Rights Defenders Award
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General, Palestinian National Initiative and President, Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees
Neta Golan, Co-Founder, International Solidarity Movement
Dr. Norman Paech, former Member of the German Parliament; professor of law, emeritus, University of Hamburg
Sheikh Raed Salah, President of the Islamic movement within the 1949 Ceasefire Line
Justice Rajinder Sachar, Former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court, Member, UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. Senior Advisor & Counsel, People's Union for Civil Liberties
Ronnie Kasrils, South African national liberation leader and former cabinet minister
Seema Mustafa, Syndicated columnist & former political editor, Asian Age
Prof Siddique Hassan, Director, Vision 2016 and Assistant Amir of the Jamat-e-Islami, Hind)
Subhi Ghosheh, Chairman, Jordanian Beitul-Maqdes Forum
Syeda Hameed, Columnist, The Indian Express, and Member, Indian National Planning Commission
HE Tony Pua Kiam Wee, member of the Malaysian parliament
Tujan Faysal, First elected woman Jordanian Parliamentarian
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, Former Chief of the Naval Staff of India
Mrs. Wardina Safiyyah, Malaysian actress and television host
Dr. Yacoub Zaiadeen, Former Jerusalem Representative to the Jordanian parliament
Sheikh Yousuf Jumaa, former Palestinian Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs; former preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque
Dr. Zakaria Agha, M.D., member, Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee; former chair, Gaza Strip Medical Association
Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali, Author; Vice Chairman and Founder Trustee of SAGE Foundation; Professor of Islamic Studies, St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
I'm sure the towering stature of some of the above luminaries escapes me. Feel free to fill me in.

Monday, March 05, 2012

"Mark Glenn, a renowned political analyst, said the Iranian people's high public turnout . . . displayed their growing unity" (Fars News-Iran)

What is he "renowned" for? This? I wonder what Khomeinists pay for favorable interviews:
Mark Glenn, a renowned political analyst, said the Iranian people's high public turnout in the Friday legislative polls displayed their growing unity against foreign threats, pressures and sanctions, and proved that Iran is a strong, stable, rational country led by an equally rational system of government.

Glenn made the remarks in an exclusive interview with FNA on Friday. The text of the interview follows:

FNA: Given the high public turnout in Iran's parliamentary elections on Friday, do you think that sanctions have decreased the popularity of Iranian ruling system?

Glenn: No, the sanctions have had the opposite effect and have instead brought the Iranian people together who are participating in the political process peaceably and lawfully, as opposed to the other parts of the Middle East, which have fallen into chaos and violence. What today's elections show is that Iran is a strong, stable, rational country led by an equally rational system of government and is not as easy to manipulate as other parts of the Middle East region.

FNA: What effects can this high turnout have on Iran's position on regional and global scenes?

Glenn: In the first sense, it shows what complete liars Israel, America and the West are in the manner by which Iran has been depicted in these various countries. Iran is depicted as backwards and led by a tyrannical regime, but clearly, as evidenced by the orderly, peaceful process that took place today, all the black propaganda spread by these countries has been false.
As a result of this, Iran's standing has risen in the eyes of the world while simultaneously the standing of her enemies has been lowered.

FNA: Why did the western media insist that the public turnout in the Friday elections has been low and why do they generally try to portray a negative picture of Iran? It seems that they are pursuing a particular line of policy on Iran. What is your take on this?

Glenn: The West is out to paint Iran as a backward, tyrannical regime that must be replaced. By attempting to show a low voter turnout, the West is trying to show an Iranian people who are so unconcerned with the political process that the only way they can be liberated is with Western/Zionist bombs. More than anything else, what Israel and the West fear is the rest of the countries in the region will begin to look upon Iran with admiration and attempt to do in their own countries what Iran managed to do in 1979.
Will Iran's enemies ever recover their lost "standing"? Stay tuned.

"Egypt-Israel gas pipeline blown up for 13th time" (PressTV-Iran)

Glad to see Egypt getting a head start on its future economic isolation:
A section of an Egyptian pipeline supplying gas to Israel and Jordan has been blown up in the thirteenth attack on the energy link since January 2011.

According to witnesses, the attack on the gas pipeline, which crosses the Sinai Peninsula, occurred on Monday in the Massaeed area west of the Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish in the northern Sinai.

Witnesses in al-Arish said that two bombs were detonated about 15 meters apart from each other using remote-controlled devices.

Six armed men who arrived in the area in two pickup trucks planted the bombs, the witnesses added.

Emergency services workers rushed to the scene to contain the blaze, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The gas pipeline’s operations were suspended after the last bomb attack on February 5, and it was only brought back into service last week.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack. [...]

Sunday, March 04, 2012

"Strongest Warning Served to Those Who Hurt Dignity of Supreme Leadership" (Korean News)

They aren't just rattling that saber--they're shaking it to pieces:
A spokesman for the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army released the following statement Friday:

The war drills now under way by the Lee Myung Bak group of traitors and the U.S. imperialists have touched off towering grudge of the army and people of the DPRK and their pledge to make retaliation as they were deliberately perpetrated at a time when the Koreans are still in the mourning period.

The Lee Myung Bak group committed a thrice-cursed high treason without hesitation. The units of the puppet army openly slandered and defamed the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK after creating a touch-and-go situation.

The internal affairs team of a puppet unit in Inchon carelessly hung portraits of the peerless great men born of Mt. Paektu on walls and doors, scrawling unspeakable defamatory words below them.

This hysteric act can be committed only by the Lee group and it is a hideous provocation, pushing the situation to an uncontrollable phase.

The group of traitors' campaign for defaming the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK has reached a graver phase with each passing day. Typical of the smear campaign were the case of "targeting DPRK flags" at units of the three services of the puppet army, slogans or placards hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK pasted at puppet army barracks and posts and military facilities and the case of "firing at the supreme leaders" of the DPRK that were perpetrated in firing ranges and drill grounds.

The worst treason was committed against the nation grieving over the greatest loss.

The gravity of the situation lies in that Lee Myung Bak masterminded the ideas and puppet Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin, chairman of the puppet Joint Chiefs of Staff Jong Sung Jo spearheaded them as "state tasks".

This hideous act of treachery aimed at escalating confrontation with the DPRK has drawn serious attention of the army and people of the DPRK, given that the dark clouds of a nuclear war is hanging heavily over the Korean Peninsula due to the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military drills.

Upon hearing the above-said news, the officers and men of the three services of the strong revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK are anxiously waiting for an order, shouting "Destroy Myung Bak" and "Let's strike military warmongers".

Even south Korean public denounces the incidents as "reckless actions making people dreadful," "deliberate plots to incite confrontation with fellow countrymen" and "behavior of the insane to invite another war".

The Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army, reflecting mounting anger and revengeful thought of all the service personnel and people of the DPRK and south Korean people of different social standings, solemnly declares once again that it will indiscriminately stage its own-style sacred war to wipe out the group of traitors.

The Lee Myung Bak group is the sworn enemy with whom Koreans can never live under the same sky and the warmongers of the south Korean army are gang of traitors to be wiped out with arms.

The DPRK will continue its sacred war with main emphasis on physical attack till all acts of hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK are brought to a definite end and Lee Myung Bak and military warmongers and other culprits are punished in the name of the nation and they make an apology before the nation for their high treason.

The army and people of the DPRK regard the dignity of the supreme leadership as dignity and honor common to the nation which is more valuable than their own lives. If anyone slightly insults and defames it, they will mercilessly wipe him out.

The history of the inter-Korean relations was complicated but there has never been such a period when extreme confrontation persisted and the nation has been threatened with such danger of a war as now due to the Lee group.

The group's evermore undisguised moves to escalate the confrontation remind one of a mad dog getting more ferocious before meeting its end.

The arms in the hands of all service personnel and people of the DPRK fully determined to take revenge upon the enemy will make a clean sweep of the group of traitors to the last man so that it can no longer hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and defame its dignified system.

The world will see what a miserable end those wicked provocateurs will meet due to the merciless sacred war to be waged by all the service personnel and people to devotedly safeguard their leader and social system.

Those who hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK even a bit will find no breathing spell in this land and sky.
Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

"Canadian Jews Endorse Global March to Jerusalem" (Fars News-Iran)

No doubt energized from Apartheid Week:
The Steering Committee of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) Canada has voted to endorse the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ), an International non-violent event taking place in Jerusalem on March 30th.

IJV Canada will be represented at the Global March by Vancouver Chapter member Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, author of Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation. Maxine will travel to Jerusalem to join the event in person.

Maxine will be reporting her experiences on her blog and will write an article for the IJV Canada website on her return to Canada.

Palestine Land Day commemorates the events of March 1976 when Israeli authorities confiscated thousands of dunums of private and public land in areas where the majority of the population was Palestinian, and especially in the Galilee.

Responding to Israeli actions, Palestinian residents declared a general strike. The Israeli response was violent. Israeli troops backed by tanks entered and occupied Palestinian villages, killing and wounding many and detaining large numbers of civilians.

This year, Palestine Land Day is being marked by a Global March to Jerusalem, an International non-violent event to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians and to protect Jerusalem against the Netanyahu government's efforts to "Judaize" it.

Participants will demand freedom for Jerusalem and an end to Israel's apartheid policies, regional ethnic cleansing, and attempts to Judaize the city by driving out Palestinian inhabitants.

Jerusalem is widely seen as the key to war and peace in the region. The policies and practices of the state of Israel against Jerusalem and its Palestinian inhabitants are widely regarded as a crime not only against Palestinians, but against humanity.

The Global March will unite Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and Jews in an effort to end the Israeli government's disregard for International law in its continuing occupation of Jerusalem and other regions of Palestine.

It is hoped that the event will be a turning point in the ongoing crisis by forcing the government of Israel to face the marchers' demand of freedom for Palestine and its capital Jerusalem.
This is the first "global march" to anywhere I have heard of. How do they deal with oceans? By the way, Kaufman-Lacusta is described on her blog as a "Quaker Jew," whatever that is.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Question for anyone who liked Ahmed Moor's WaPo editorial

Moor writes:
Our work has been informed by the uncontroversial view that all people are created equal. Assessing an environment in which Israel controls the lives of 4 million people and deprives them of basic human rights, we ask whether there is an alternative: Can the one-state solution deliver equal rights to everyone?
Doesn't sound like he is proposing big demographic changes in the country, does it? The rest of the article seems fairly clear that he is opposed to the idea of Israel as Jewish homeland and he defines "Mandate Palestine" as "Israel, the West Bank and Gaza." Supposing a one-state solution was pursued by merging the West Bank and Israel without Gaza? The present government of Gaza often denounces negotiations towards any sort of settlement, and Hamas's parent movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, has made all sorts of recent gains in many parts of the Arab world. It is hard to imagine Hamas abandoning its approach up until now, just as its star is rising.

So practically, that is what a one-state solution would involve: a merger of Israel and the West Bank. The newly-created egalitarian entity would have a solid Jewish majority and I suppose safeguards would be built into the arrangement to protect the political rights of the Arab citizens, but surely the new entity would be free to have whatever immigration policy it wanted. The Jewish majority would not support anything obviously detrimental to its interests, and that means, almost certainly, no right of return. If you approve of Ahmad Moor's WaPo editorial, would you support this?

Every one-stater to whom I have ever addressed the equivalent question has answered no. Oh, and a further question: If I actually advocated returning enough former residents of Lebanon to the country to restore its former Christian majority, but I didn't state this explicitly, and I characterized my position as merely "the uncontroversial view that all people are created equal," wouldn't you think I was being dishonest?

"Hezbollah Hails Iranian Nation's High Turnout in Elections" (Fars News-Iran)

Hezbollah hailed their election. How meaningful!
Spokesman of the Lebanese Hezbollah Movement Hossein Rahal praised the Iranian people for their massive participation in the Friday parliamentary elections, and said such a high rate of turnout indicates the nation's staunch support for Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

"With their presence at the ballot boxes, the Iranian nation announced to the world that they are always present on the scene and perform their duties," Rahal told FNA on Saturday.

He underlined that the high turnout of people in the ninth parliamentary elections in Iran shows the firm and conclusive support of the Iranian people for their leader and the Islamic Republic.

Informed sources said late on Friday that a sum of 32 to 33 million Iranians voted in the country's 9th legislative elections, putting the public participation rate at around 66%, although early official estimates will be released Sunday night.

Although official sources, including interior ministry and Guardian Council officials, have not released any figure on the number of participants in Iran's 9th parliamentary elections, informed sources and FNA dispatches from across the country said between 32 and 33 million Iranians took part in the yesterday elections.

The FNA estimates are based on the official figures released on the number of ballot papers sent and used in nationwide constituencies. [...]

"the people of the DPRK are hardening their resolve to take merciless revenge upon south Korea's Lee Myung Bak regime"

What got them so mad? The present article doesn't say. However, an article entitled "Towering Grudge of DPRK's Army and People against Lee Myung Bak Group of Traitors" mentions "carelessly hanging portraits of the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu and scrawling unspeakable defamatory words below them." The ultimate crime!
Upon hearing the Friday statement of a spokesman for the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army, the people of the DPRK are hardening their resolve to take merciless revenge upon south Korea's Lee Myung Bak regime that defamed the dignity of the DPRK supreme leadership.

All of them, who value the dignity of the DPRK supreme leadership more than their lives, have waited for a chance to finally settle accounts with the Lee group of traitors, a group of villains.

Han Song Rim, a researcher at the Academy of Social Sciences, told KCNA:

All servicepersons and civilians of the DPRK are burning with wrath at traitor Lee Myung Bak.

The successive ruling quarters of south Korea dared not commit such vile crimes against the DPRK as Lee, a dirty guy inferior to a beast, did

This group of traitors should be destroyed to the last at any cost.

O Chol Hun, a worker of the Pyongyang Steel Factory, said:

We can no longer stand such provocations.

Our hearts are burning with the strong will to throw the Lee group of gangsters into a melting furnace.

The group will soon come to see what a retaliatory, sacred war to be waged by the DPRK without mercy and limit, is.

So Ung Chol, a student of Pyongyang University of Mechanical Engineering, said:

We are determined to take arms to annihilate the group of traitors to the last man. This is the resolve of all the people including students.

The group of traitors, including Lee Myung Bak, Kim Kwan Jin and Jong Sung Jo, will come to clearly see how they are punished by the nation for their hysteric acts and remarks.

By action we will make merciless reprisals on them.
When morning comes, and the "group of traitors" has not been annihilated "to the last man," is someone at North Korean News going to get the idea that all this volcanic bluster makes them look intensely silly? We'll never know probably.

"Egypt parliament sees 'interference' in activists' release" (Reuters)

The newly elected MB officials of Egypt are acting to confirm the worries of World Arrogance bloggers: they are acting like Khomeinists who have still have major rivals for power:
A senior Egyptian politician spoke out on Saturday against "flagrant interference" behind Cairo's decision to lift a travel ban on American pro-democracy activists accused of receiving illegal funds, echoing growing anger over the move. [...]

Saad al-Katatni, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, vowed on Saturday that all those involved in the decision would be held accountable. [...]
That should prove interesting.