Saturday, September 10, 2005

Major battle for Iraq 'rebel town'

Iraq says a major operation is under way to try to retake the northern town of Talafar from insurgents.
US and Iraqi troops swept through the town, smashing walls with armoured vehicles and engaging in gun battles.
The Americans believe the town is being used as a staging post by foreign fighters crossing into Iraq from Syria.
Iraq's defence minister said 144 rebels had been killed in Talafar in the past two days. He said his forces were ready to strike rebels in four other towns.

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said action had to be taken in Talafar because insurgents were trying to isolate it from the rest of Iraq and the political process.
"At 0200 [local time] today, acting on my orders, Iraqi forces commenced an operation to remove all remaining terrorist elements from the city of Talafar," Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said in a statement.

The US military drove the insurgents out of Talafar a year ago, only for them to return once the troops had withdrawn.

Watch video of the latest fighting including the 'claimed' shooting down of a US helicopter here BBC

This is the biggest military operation in Iraq for almost a year

So round and round we go , whats to bet that a week from now the soldiers will pull out and a month after that the insurgents will return . Each time more innocent civilians will die ,

UK : Deputy PM takes Kyoto swipe at US

British deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has criticised the US's record on combating global warming in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans.

In a speech in Berlin, Mr Prescott took a swipe at the US government, which has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Mr Prescott drew a parallel between New Orleans and "at risk" island states. Mr Prescott stressed his "compassion" for the US, but said President Bush's administration had been "wrong" not to join Britain and other leading industrial nations in supporting the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

"I want to take this opportunity to express our solidarity and compassion after the havoc of Hurricane Katrina. As a European negotiator at the Kyoto climate change convention, I was fully aware that climate change is changing weather patterns and raising sea levels," he said.

The horrific flood of New Orleans brings home to us the concern of leaders of countries like the Maldives .But the US government has been reluctant to accept that human activity is to blame.

In his speech, Mr Prescott also hailed the US city mayors who had ignored their federal government's position and had taken action locally to limit carbon emissions. He said: "On a recent visit to the United States, I was delighted to see that city mayors are taking their own environmental initiative on Kyoto.

"This year, 178 mayors, representing over 36 million Americans have signed up to the goals of Kyoto - along with 60 mayors from cities like London, Shanghai, Moscow and Rio who have agreed to take 21 practical actions on energy waste, urban design, health water and transport."
He continued: "The horrific flood of New Orleans brings home to us the concern of leaders of countries like the Maldives, whose nations are at risk of disappearing completely.

"I'm proud that Britain has already achieved its Kyoto target on greenhouse gas emissions - six years ahead of time, with a growing economy."

source BBC:

Congress to Investigate 9/11 Loan Abuses

WASHINGTON - Congress will investigate the "flagrant abuse" of a federal loan program designed to help businesses recover from the Sept. 11 attacks and make sure such problems don't occur with Hurricane Katrina relief, a key Senate Republican announced Friday

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, chairwoman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, announced the investigation in response to an Associated Press story Thursday that showed the federal program was so loosely managed that it gave low-interest loans to companies that didn't need terrorism relief or even know they were getting it.
"The apparent widespread abuse of loans provided through the Supplemental Terrorist Activity Relief Act is nothing short of an outrage," Snowe said.

Read the full article Here

This is retarded. People always abuse the Govnt handouts. FEMA was paying for roofs damaged 3 months before hurricane Ivan ever hit, they cant aford the law suits, so they just hand out cash. This is smoke and morros to hide how they missed the Able Danger report, and how this wacky memorial for flight 93 that crashed in PA is going to be... drum roll

A red cresent!

Why is our Senate so reactionary? AP reports about it (know one knew about this before?), and suddenly the Senate is "outragged".

I'm waiving my bull shit flag.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 10, 2005 4:46 pm  

this is one i am posting just as i find it G , I have no more information then what AP is reporting ,

wait and see if it turns into anything i suppose

By Blogger _H_, at September 10, 2005 5:09 pm  

yeah

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 10, 2005 8:56 pm  

US court upholds detention without trial for US citizen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that U.S. President George W. Bush has the power to detain Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen who has been held for more than three years as a suspected enemy combatant without any charges being brought against him.
"The exceedingly important question before us is whether the president of the United States possesses the authority to detain militarily a citizen of this country who is closely associated with al Qaeda," appeals court Judge J. Michael Luttig wrote for the three-judge panel.
"We conclude that the president does possess such authority," said Luttig, a conservative who has been under consideration by the Bush administration for a possible Supreme Court nomination.
Padilla, a former Chicago gang member and convert to Islam, initially was suspected by U.S. officials of plotting with al Qaeda to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States.
On May 8, 2002, Padilla was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after returning from Pakistan. Bush then declared him an enemy combatant, and Padilla has been held in solitary confinement at a Navy brig in South Carolina.
The appeals court reversed a decision by a federal judge in South Carolina who ruled in February that Bush has no authority to have Padilla held as an enemy combatant. The judge said Padilla must be released if he is not charged with a crime.

Friday, September 09, 2005

GITMO : Hunger strike hits 5th fifth week

More than 200 detainees in Guantánamo Bay are in their fifth week of a hunger strike,
Statements from prisoners in the camp which were declassified by the US government on Wednesday reveal that the men are starving themselves in protest at the conditions in the camp and at their alleged maltreatment - including desecration of the Qur'an - by American guards.
The statements, written on August 11, have just been given to the British human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith. They show that prisoners are determined to starve them selves to death. In one, Binyam Mohammed, a former London schoolboy, said:

"I do not plan to stop until I either die or we are respected.People will definitely die. Bobby Sands petitioned the British government to stop the illegitimate internment of Irishmen without trial. He had the courage of his convictions and he starved himself to death. Nobody should believe for one moment that my brothers here have less courage."

Yesterday, Mr Stafford Smith, who represents 40 detainees at Guantánamo Bay, eight of whom are British residents, said many men had been starving themselves for more than four weeks and the situation was becoming desperate.

He said: "I am worried about the lives of my guys because they are a pretty obstinate lot and they are going to go through with this and I think they are going to end up killing themselves. The American military doesn't want anyone to know about this."

He pointed to an American army claim that only 76 prisoners at the base were refusing food, saying that they were attempting to play down what could be a political scandal if a prisoner were to die.

In his statement, Mr Mohammed described how during the first strike men were placed on intravenous drips after refusing food for 20 days.

It is now August 11. They have betrayed our trust (again). Hisham from Tunisia was savagely beaten in his interrogation and they publicly desecrated the Qur'an (again). Saad from Kuwait was ERF'd [visited by the Extreme Reaction Force] for refusing to go (again) to interrogation because the female interrogator had sexually humiliated him (again) for 5 hours _ Therefore, the strike must begin again."

In another declassified statement, Omar Deghayes, from Brighton, said: "In July, some people took no water for many days. I was part of the strike and I am again this time. Some people were taken to hospital, and put on drip feeds, but they pulled the needles out, as they preferred to die.

Two things that come to my mind , One is that if we are now treating these people in line with the Geneva convention i am sure that they realise that "forced feeding" is itself against the convention

The second thing that comes to mind is , That people forget many of the inmates are children

if anyone has forgot this little snippet from 2003

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has defended the detention of the boys - aged between 13 and 15 - at Camp Delta, saying they are "enemy combatants", captured while fighting for the Taleban or al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
General Richard Myers, chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the boys were being held "for a very good reason - for our safety".

H, they've gone five weeks without food? Now I'm not smart those college professors, but I am pretty sure you cant live FIVE WEEKS without food.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 10, 2005 4:50 am  

yea you can , you can live upto 3 months ,do you remember david blane is that stupid box above the thames last year ?

i woudlnt be suprised if some of them are getting a snack or two though

By Blogger _H_, at September 10, 2005 4:53 am  

looked into it a little now , it seems to be between 60 and 90 days you can last depending on your health

so a minimun of 8 weeks to death really


Here are some historic examples:

"Most of the most famous hunger strikers always supplemented their
diet, so that they were not totally deprived of nutrients. In 1981,
the Irish republicans who fasted in protest supplemented their diet
with occasional spoonfuls of salt. One of them, Bobby Sands,
subsequently died of hunger. He lasted 66 days.


thats 9 weeks i think (though it is late :-)

so we should start seing them dying in about 4 weeks , unless some agreement is made with the US forces

with HRW now representing many of them , i think agreement will be reached

By Blogger _H_, at September 10, 2005 5:18 am  

man that is amazing. I wonder how many of them are eating, and how many are not.

Honestly, the ones that are not, I think we could let go. I would guess they dont have the fanatical drive to conduct suicide bombing. The others, able to go that long without food are a serious danger to us all.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 10, 2005 4:42 pm  

It is amazing what lengths a person will goto

I remember watching this happen with the IRA guys ,

It seems they are just asking for Geneva convention rights and to be charged with a crime or let go ,

i really don't understand why none of these people are being put on trial

it baffles me

By Blogger _H_, at September 10, 2005 5:08 pm  

US and UK pilots are "murderers"

Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has accused the UK and US of "state-initiated terror" in a speech.
His remarks on the Iraq war prompted the British high commissioner and several other diplomats to walk out.
Dr Mahathir said US and UK pilots in Iraq were "murderers" and compared the war to rocket attacks on Palestinians.

"The British and American bomber pilots came, unopposed, safe and cosy in their state of the art aircraft, pressing buttons to drop bombs, to kill and maim. And these murderers, for that is what they are, would go back to celebrate 'mission accomplished'. Who are the terrorists? The people below who were bombed or the bombers? Whose rights have been snatched away?"

The last time i remember hearing from Dr Mahathir was inMarh 2003 when he made this statement

"If innocent people who died in the attack on Afghanistan and those who have been dying from lack of food and medical care in Iraq are considered collaterals, are the 3,000 who died in New York and the 200 in Bali also just collaterals whose deaths are necessary for operations to succeed?"

The rights and wrongs of the Ex-Malaysian PM's opinions are being debated with balance Here

I put in my comments there to. Nice find H. What I find funny is that he seems to be more mad that pilots are "cosy" in the cockpits of their aircraft, and in essance that is the problem.

Would he be as mad if those same people strapped the warheads to their chest and ran into the targets on foot? Or is that ok?

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 09, 2005 5:51 pm  

I think the point he is trying to make is that they are both the same

as i qoute further down
"If innocent people who died in the attack on Afghanistan and those who have been dying from lack of food and medical care in Iraq are considered collaterals, are the 3,000 who died in New York and the 200 in Bali also just collaterals "

he is saying that both is terrorism

By Blogger _H_, at September 09, 2005 7:33 pm  

Powell feels pain at misinforming UN

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell says his United Nations speech making the case for the US-led war on Iraq was "a blot" on his record.
Mr Powell has also said that he had "never seen evidence to suggest" a connection between the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States and the Saddam regime.
In the February 2003 presentation to the UN Security Council, Mr Powell forcefully made the case for war on the regime of Saddam Hussein, offering "proof" that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The presentation included satellite photos of trucks that Mr Powell identified as mobile bioweapons laboratories.
After the invasion, US weapons inspectors reported finding no Iraqi nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.
In an interview with American ABC TV news to be broadcast on Friday (US time), Mr Powell said "it's a blot" on his record.
"I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and (it) will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now," he said.
Mr Powell spent five days at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters ahead of the speech studying intelligence reports, many of which turned out to be false.
He said he felt "terrible" at being misinformed.

"Blot," like when he tried to cover up the My Lai massacre.

At any rate, those of us who bothered to look into his claims knew before the war started that they were utter bullshit.

We have reports that upon seeing an early version of the presentation Powell was to give to the UN, he said, "I'm not reading that bullshit!"

By Blogger DJEB, at September 09, 2005 3:08 am  

I remember reading the same quote myself , i feel that in the interview , powell is still trying to be tactful

It seems like he is trying to please his morals and his ex masters all in one

as they say it will never work

By Blogger _H_, at September 09, 2005 3:15 am  

Djeb ,

I have just had time to come back and look at your link in detail

Thankyou , I have read all of the counter claims before but in many different locations , to see them all in one place is a relief to my humble efforts of research and can and will save me much time in the future

so thankyou again

By Blogger _H_, at September 09, 2005 5:44 am  

Lawyer: Saddam did not confess to mass killings

AMMAN - Saddam Hussein's chief attorney denied on Thursday that the ousted president had confessed to ordering executions and waging a campaign against Kurds in which thousands of people are said to have been killed.

"There was no confession by the president and all the investigations in this case do not implicate him at all," Khalil Dulaimi said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani told state television on Tuesday that an investigator who questioned Saddam told him he had extracted important confessions from him and that the ousted leader had signed them.

Talabani did not say whether Saddam had actually admitted to committing any crimes, or had merely acknowledged that he was head of state and commander in chief of the army at the time of various military operations.

"Saddam deserves a death sentence 20 times a day because he tried to assassinate me 20 times," Talabani said, recalling his days as a Kurdish rebel leader fighting the Baghdad authorities.

Talabani's comments appeared to be part of an orchestrated move by the government to prepare Iraqis for Saddam's execution, expected to be carried out by hanging.

Dulaimi said the investigator who was leaking information about the course of the interrogation should resign because he was prejudicing the outcome of the trial

The smoking gun in the Gulf Coast wreckage

A must read article . Read the snippet and click on the link for the full piece.
"The Times" -- -- IF THERE is a smoking gun in the Gulf Coast wreckage, it is the hurricane warning issued by the New Orleans office of the US National Weather Service soon after 10am on August 28, the eve of Katrina’s arrival.
“Devastating damage expected,” the warning stated. “Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks . . . All gabled roofs will fail . . . All wood-framed low rising apartment buildings will be destroyed . . . Power outages will last for weeks . . . Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards . . . Trees will be snapped or uprooted. Only the heartiest will remain standing.” Another forecast, issued six hours later by the National Hurricane Centre in Florida, said that the levees in New Orleans could be “overtopped”, and predicted the precise depth of flooding that would result. A day later the city drowned. Hundreds, if not thousands, have died in the chaos. Some casualties were inevitable but many were not, and this much is clear about those in authority who might have minimised the losses: they had been warned. Of all the warnings issued on Katrina, the National Weather Service bulletin of the August 28 was uniquely detailed and strongly worded. Why?

I remember watching the weather channel and seeing these same type warnings. i think everyone knew the storm would be bad, but I am guessing that disater prep folks underestimated the things that would happen AFTER the storm. Flooding killed a ton of people almost a full day after the storm had passed. Folks looked outside after the storm, saw their house was ok, went to bed, and then woke up to water creeping up their front doors.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 09, 2005 5:57 pm  

but G , the report cleary says "that the levees in New Orleans could be “overtopped”," , it is ok for me and you to think "phew , they are all safe" but the emergancy response people have no excuse to think that , this is their job ! , the report was there

many things are unlikely but you expect authorities to be prepared for them

what if something silly like mexico attacked the US tomorrow ? would it be ok not to repel the attack as we all thought it would be ok

same point i often mention , this is why you pay your taxes , there is NO excuse

By Blogger _H_, at September 09, 2005 7:43 pm  

Thursday, September 08, 2005

FEMA: How not to organise relief efforts

Source ICH

FEMA Blocking Relief Efforts - An Amazing List

FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations http://news.ft.com/cms/s/84aa35cc-1da8-11da-b40b-00000e..

FEMA turns away experienced firefighters http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/5/105538/7048

FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/national/nationalspec..

FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/national/nationalspec..

FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05246/565143.stm

FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15147862&BRD

FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/3/171718/0826

FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0509..

FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-050902dale..

FEMA turns away generators http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html

FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond" http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=18470

That last one is straight from FEMA's website.

a part you left on the last one:

"Unless Dispatched By State, Local Authorities"

H, you are contributing to a sever mis-information campaign here. Local authorities had the ball here. Feds, including FEMA cannot over step them, and must coordiante their efforts through them.

Bush could have invoked the Insurrection Act, but that would mean he took control of the effort from a unvolentary, Democrat, woman. Yeah, that would have gone over great.

You have one that "FEMA wont let Red Cross deliever food."

Go to the Red Cross site, another word ommited there, and on your source is State Homeland Security. It is operated and run by local authorities and does not fall under the Federal Homland Security unless the Louisiana Govnr hands over control.

See, I think when all is said and done, your going to see a much different picture than what has been presented at first.

If you want to see who is most at fault, look to see who started blaming people first. that is usually a good indicator.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 09, 2005 6:04 pm  

it is a bit mute G , I have watched person after person pointing out that FEMA stopped the army from coming in , even that FEMA cut telephone lines that the local authority were trying to use , so the local authority had to place armed guards on the phone lines to prevent sabotage , i am sure that one or two of these points might not be true , but that in no way takes away from the fact that the other 9 points are

again it seems like defending the undefendable

i have said many times that I think the fault lies at every level of government , local and federal

By Blogger _H_, at September 09, 2005 7:47 pm  

Turkmenistan: America finds a new friend

It looks like Turkmenistan will be the new US friend of the moment Here . I am so pleased that the American army puts bases in these types of countries , for if they did not it would be so hard to tell the difference between the evil people we are fighting and the good (but just as evil) people that are our friends

So for those that dont know , lets take a tour of our new friend

There are quite a few mad leaders in the world but Tutkmenistan's president Saparmurat Niyazov is up there with the best of them. He started his lovely reign by renaming the capital and the main port of the country after himself . Infact he renamed everything , including the only brand of aftershave used in the country to his own name .

Saparmurat did not stop there , he qucikly moved on to re naming other household items such as bread , this time after his mother .

So what next for the president , well ... the nominal legislature passed a new law to change the days of the week and the months to different parts of his name and words associated with his name , except for April .. which he (wait for it) named after his mother

So of course the worst thing to say in turkmenistan is that the dictators mother is very wet for this time of year . such a thing could quickly land you in jail where you could expect to be tortured and from time to time be thrown a bit of the dictators mother

Of course all this is fun and true , but lets look at some more serious claims about the country

Do they have a democracy ? , well Niyazov has ruled the country with and iron rod since 1985 , his current position includes president, prime minister , commander in chief and head of the only party in the country

Now guess what , He was offered the presidency for life in December 1999 for his outsanding record , the only problem is that it was himself that offered himself that position (hmmm)

But in a rare stroke of modesty he has said that he "might" stand down in 2010 and hold elections , however he "might" not

what about human rights ? well , it is well known during the cotton season for the army to board inter city buses and abduct the pasengers for a few weeks of unpaid work picking in the field , of course you could refuse , but death would quickly follow

All foreign newspapers and media are banned ,and primary education has been replaced with a new funky religous history , that was written by .... the president

Meanwhile he has banned gold teeth (and ordered them to be replaced with white ones) ,he has created a national holiday for a melon ! , banned long hair and car radios ,

What a crazy guy

Of course i have highlighted the more amusing aspects of this man , but there is a lot that we should not be smiling at for example .....

What does the UN say about the country .... well read for yourself Here

what has the US government said about the country

"U.S. government agencies voiced criticism of Turkmenistan's human rights record. The State Department's annual report on human rights practices, released in March, accused the government of committing serious human rights abuses and severely restricting political and civil rights, including freedom of speech and religion. Recognizing Turkmenistan's particularly harsh restrictions on freedom of conscience and belief, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reported in March that the conditions of religious freedom in Turkmenistan were "extremely poor" and plagued by "ongoing, egregious and systematic violations"

Dodgy guy . so we need to change that . the decision was made and ....

In 2004 the US government gave Turkmenistan a $16.4 million starter gift , and this seems to have done the trick , the US has a new friend

so in a few months we should be seing bombers taking off from this stable , humane country on a regular basis . Until we find a reason to realise that our friends are as sick as our enemys

I like that he nammed bread after his mother. That is like something out of a movie.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 08, 2005 4:22 pm  

the man is sick in the head :-)

By Blogger _H_, at September 09, 2005 7:48 pm  

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina : The worlds press have their say

China's Renmin Wang
If the US could shift part of its astronomical military spending to counter-terrorism, guarding against natural disasters, epidemic disease control and other aspects, then the 9/11 attack, Hurricane Katrina, the spread of Aids and other tragedies could be avoided or mitigated.

Malaysia's Berita Harian
When the tsunami hit Asia last December, Bush succeeded in showing off his abilities by offering appropriate and well-organised humanitarian aid, but it seems he has been unresponsive, disorganised and discriminatory in dealing with the Katrina disaster.

Indonesia's Suara Merdeka
People may hate the selfish US stance. They may also condemn its military invasion of Iraq or criticise Washington's threats to Iran, Syria and North Korea. But, it is inhuman to be grateful for the American people's disaster. Indonesia, in particular, must not forget the services of the US military when the tsunami devastated Aceh.

Singapore's The Straits Times
The dead are only beginning to be gathered up. In Aceh and Thailand's beach resorts, those killed by the tsunami last December received the due respect of swift recovery, followed by identification. New Orleans people will not let Mr Bush forget this.

Australia's The Age
President Bush is increasingly seen as out of touch with ordinary people and with reality on the ground - in New Orleans and Iraq - and also on issues such as climate change. The president and, by association, Republicans are highly vulnerable for the first time in years. How the Administration responds has broader implications, too - a deeply unpopular, lame duck president could alter the balance of global leadership.

Afghanistan's Eslah
President Karzai has pledged 100,000 dollars for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. America has helped Afghanistan in various ways. Even if the assistance promised to the victims of Hurricane Katrina seems a symbolic act, it nevertheless shows that our country has credibility and authority in the international community.

Nahum Barnea in Israel's Yediot Aharonot
Just as 11 September 2001 changed the American agenda from internal matters to foreign policy and the war on terror, so Katrina is liable to take America back to its internal agenda: dealing with the environment, society, and the gaps between whites and blacks and between rich and poor.

Adli Sadiq in the Palestinian Al-Hayat al-Jadidah
After Hurricane Katrina, a new section of the American public is waking up to the wretchedness of the administration's policies and to the disasters that have hit Americans as a result. Today's Iraq is worse than yesterday's, and there are not enough helicopters to tackle the hurricane. Bush and his administration will be judged by history.

Iran's Resalat
Katrina was a natural catastrophe, but many experts believe America's policies have deepened the roots of the disaster. America had allocated the budgets for these areas to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nick Reimer in Germany's die tageszeitung
New Orleans has already become a symbol: never before in human history has a natural disaster been predicted in such exact detail. Despite this, the prediction had no effect. It's as if mankind has lost the power to correct its own mistakes: In New Orleans, it slid into catastrophe submissively and with eyes wide open. Climate change has already arrived.

Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda
[Russian] Emergencies Ministry planes have been under starter's orders for several days. But the go-ahead from the other side of the ocean never came. It leads you to think: Is Washington afraid of having US citizens rescued by people who are not flying the stars and stripes? Are they trying to preserve the prestige of a state that does not take easily to accepting aid from a "third-world" country? But isn't the saving of human life more important than PR or ideological considerations?

South Africa's Star
The death and destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina also revealed the racial fissures in American society. Most of the hapless survivors who filled New Orleans' Superdome were black. Bush's other weaknesses are his poor environment record and his management of the US economy.

Zimbabwe's Herald
The fact that New Orleans is a southern town predominantly populated by African-Americans explains why President George W. Bush did not see the need to cut short his holiday. All that Bush has done so far is to issue threats against the victims, and deploying trigger-happy American troops - fresh from abusing Iraqi prisoners - to go and "restore order".

Michael Streck in Germany's Die Welt
Hurricane Katrina will bury itself into the American consciousness in the same way 9/11 or the fall of Saigon did. The storm did not just destroy America's image of itself, but also has the power to bring an end to the Republican era sooner than expected. America is ashamed.

Stephan Hebel in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine
Bush's people will say that the moment of need and willingness to help should not be poisoned by political manoeuvres. Maybe this will serve them well enough in a media world where images of victims and heroes are valued more highly than complex background. But then the lie would have won - against the desire to understand things so as to avoid them.

Jean-Pierre Aussant in France's Figaro
This tragic incident reminds us that the United States has refused to ratify the Kyoto accords. Let's hope the US can from now on stop ignoring the rest of the world. If you want to run things, you must first lead by example. Arrogance is never a good adviser!

Philippe Grangereau in France's Liberation
Bush is completely out of his depth in this disaster. Katrina has revealed America's weaknesses: its racial divisions, the poverty of those left behind by its society, and especially its president's lack of leadership.

Yildirim Turker in Turkey's Radikal
The biggest power of the world is rising over poor black corpses. We are witnessing the collapse of the American myth. In terms of the USA's relationship with itself and the world, Hurricane Katrina seems to leave its mark on our century as an extraordinary turning point.

Editorial in Iran's Siyasat-e Ruz
Hurricane Katrina has proved that America cannot solve its internal problems and is incapable of facing these kinds of natural disasters, so it cannot bring peace and democracy to other parts of the world. Americans now understand that their rulers are only seeking to fulfil their own hegemonistic goals.

Editorial in Iran's Jomhuri-ye Eslami
The devastating waves of Katrina have unmasked the real face of America's profoundly corrupt society, and proved that under the beautiful surface of modern American life, there are decadent thoughts that always try to exploit the situation to fulfil inhuman goals. Although Bush and his team proved their inefficiency in dealing with the disaster, its aftermath proved that America's corrupt system is the main culprit.

Shen Dingli in China's Dongfang Zaobao
Katrina is testing the US. Katrina is also creating an opportunity for world unity. Cuba and North Korea's offer of sympathy and aid to the US could also result in some profound thinking in the US, and the author hopes that it will not miss this opportunity.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, quoted in El Nacional
The rich were able to leave, the poor stayed there, and it is now that they are evacuating them, four, five days later. That is the model they want to sell us. Racial segregation - the mayor of New Orleans said it - is a question of social classes; the rich were able to leave, the poor were left, enduring the hurricane. It is capitalism, in its extreme individualist phase.

Not surprised to see most of those. They really look like cut and paste from the worst of our own reporting. Almost none of them will focus on anything but how this relates to "Bush is Bad, and So is The War".

It is amazing to me how many people immediately tried to make a connection between a hurricane, and a war in another country.

Once Bush got his act together, and stepped in, more than 50k national guard showed up. The war had nothing to do with the piss poor response.

Honestly it was failure at all levels of government. First at the local levels, then at regional, and finally at the federal. Bush himself is not supposed to do much more than act the symbol in times like that. The bumbling of FEMA, the LA Gov, the New Orleans Mayor, and other state officials is getting pretty much ignored in the hopes to try and pin it on the Lefts Anti-Christ: Bush.

The only headline I found interesting was China's. They have the balls to talk about OUR military spending? LOL, bro, I can already see it. Its the USSR all over again.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 07, 2005 12:58 pm  

AS you say G , it won't suprise many in the US to see these comments , you have to remember that almost every noteworthy country in the world is to the left of your government .

Take your democrats , over here they would be a center right party , but they are viewed as left by yourself , if you have a far right winged government , then the whole world will seem left friend .

I think the connection people are making between the war is more connected towards the budget shift in the US towards "the war on terror" and homeland security . that there are funds that were requested between 2001-2005 to fix the levees etc and this money was turned down because the money was needed for the above , so of course people are going to ask if it was money well spent , considering what it could have been spent on .

i agree that the war had nothing to do with the piss poor response and i agree that the failure was at ALL levels of government including federal .

what i find shocking , and most of the press outside the US has also picked up is that regardless of right or wrong George bush has been accused of being at fault . Now of course there should be an investigation into this and i am sure that it certainly will not be bush alone that is at fault .


however , it is bush that is being accused , and it is bush that is heading the enquiry !!!!!!!!!

what ???

now that does sound like the way a dictarship would behave !

the accused becomes the judge and jury in his own case ?

i know congress is also doing an enquiry etc , but no matter what way you spin it , bush heading the enquiry is dumb .. and i like to think that the people of america are smart enough to laugh at any conclusions he makes

no democratic country has ever done that ..

how odd , what your take on that ?

as for china , just watched a special on them as T Blair is visiting this week

the power of china's economy will very quickly become the most powerfull economy on earth , and they say it will shortly after that dwarf the economy of the US , having an economy that powerfull being run under a communist dictatorship is a worrying thing , somehow we need to get the people of china to have a voice , and this is urgent

By Blogger _H_, at September 07, 2005 6:07 pm  

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Welcome to the Islamic Kingdom of Qaim

BAGHDAD, Sept. 5 -- Abu Musab Zarqawi's foreign-led Al Qaeda in Iraq took open control of a key western town at the Syrian border, deploying its guerrilla fighters in the streets and flying Zarqawi's black banner from rooftops, tribal leaders and other residents in the city and surrounding villages said.


A sign newly posted at the entrance of Qaim declared, "Welcome to the Islamic Kingdom of Qaim." A statement posted in mosques described Qaim as an "Islamic kingdom liberated from the occupation."

Read More Here


now are these more "last throws" , or another highlight of a failed campaign ?

Once the "kingdom" gets bombed into a crater, it wont be as cute, and many other families wont be willing to send their son's off to fight for the theocracy that can only be built by blood of their own.

This cat would ally himself with the Devil if it meant sticking it to the US in some way. And Syria helps. He has no dog in this fight. He cares nothing for Iraq, nothing for Iraqis, only for fighting the US. Syria and Iran, Jordan and others just fuel it because they dont want to see their monarchies and theocracies fall in the face of a free people.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 07, 2005 4:00 am  

welcome back G , hope you had a good break

erm , "Once the "kingdom" gets bombed into a crater" . well lets just hope that this time we get the civilians out first ... new post up btw , some of that will make your hair stand on end

By Blogger _H_, at September 07, 2005 4:12 am  

oh PS "This cat would ally himself with the Devil" interestingly is one statement i agree with , he used to despise bin laden , he used to teach his followers that al-qaeda was wrong , but he jumped ship , and not for the first time

i don't view him has insurgent , nor al-qaeda from my understanding of the man , he his a free for all nomad type in terrorist circles , and i have heard he already has a plan to take the "and he means his" fight to southern africa once iraq gets tired of him

By Blogger _H_, at September 07, 2005 4:26 am  

its all about power and influence. These people dont really care about their religion or politics. Those are just useful tools for them to aquire power.

Honestly, once again, either the people kick them out, leave the area, or become part of the target range. They let these guys come into their towns because they bring money and influence, but then decry the consequences. Its not the wild west where roving bandits come in, and no sheriff is around to make them leave. The population welcomes them in with open arms because the town chieftans get money and prestige from it. Then they whine about the aftermath. The whole thing is just stupid.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 07, 2005 12:54 pm  

hmmm . starting to drift away from you now G , civilian life is whats important here ,

there is no justification for taking out 100's or 1000's of innocents because the did not stop a bunch of armed militia from taking the town ...

to act as you say would be a war crime itself , it is not allowed under the geneva convention

the town of qaim has changed hands over 6 times since 2003 , the US the IRAQI and the insurgents etc have all taken more then one turn in charge there

we are the ones who are supposed to keep order , and the insurgents only take the town when the US forces move out to another town

so the logic is simple , the US should not have moved out of the town , not enough troops ? , sorry , it is your responsibilty to restore order after you invaded (geneva convention again)

need to move to catch insurgents somewhere else (sorry , you should have more troops on the ground) and once you have taken a town and have forced the insurgents out you have a duty to those people to protect them and to prevent the insurgents from regaining the town . if you move out of the town then blame the people for allowing the insurgents back in , then punish them for doing so , when it is YOUR duty to protect them sounds like a good reason to open up the hague for a busy session ..

there is NO excuse to punish civilians G , none , and if you are damn well sure that there should be , the arrest them , give them a lawyer and put them on trial ,

making them "part of the target range" is EXACTLY why the world gets so fucked of with US miltary tactics

the did the same in New Orleans with the shoot to kill policy

only a far right wing govermnent or a far left one would consider what you are saying to be ok

the communists would do this
the koreans would do this
the fascists would do this

but a civilized nation does not find excuses to class normal towns folk "part of the target range" G

there is NO excuse for that
and it applies here as well as there ,

if 50 more US soldiers die due to being carefull and saving 6000 lives that is there job

and to value these people so low , compared to a US soldier is inhumane

catch the terrorists , kill the insurgents , arrest the criminals , but leave the fucking civilians alone ..

maybe then , the press around the world will stop treating bush/rumsfield and co as the sick fucks they are

By Blogger _H_, at September 07, 2005 6:23 pm  

I dont say to punish civilians H, really. To me its more about reality. If we played the game, exactly as stated per the Geneva Convention, every time, the bad guys would always win. You cannot defeat someone who will use schools and mosques as hideouts if you are not willing to strike those targets.

I will debate this later with you. I gotta get.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at September 07, 2005 10:37 pm  

you can not invade a soverign country as you claim they are breaking international law then
ivade the country and break a whole new set of international laws G ,

if someone is holding up in a school you have 2 choices

(1) bomb the school
(2) take the school back room by room

the US always picks option 1 as it does not want to risk US lives , this is against the geneva convention that you agreed to stand by , if you dont want to then the US should pull out of it

they wont pull out of the geneva convention as they want the world to think that they are being humane , so they should act by it

EVERTHING i hear coming out of the US implies that a US soldiers life is worth more then the iraqi children in the school

that is extremism my friend , that is what the fascists and the commies do , and as it is now your nation doing it you are defending it

lets try an experiment , your far from dumb G , so i can not dupe you into anything , but just try for me to read the following paragraph without filling in the blanks in your mind , just read it for what it is


During the siege of _____ by _____ forces, water, food and electricity were cut off to the 300,000 citizens of the city – in violation of the Geneva Conventions. In blatant violations of the Law of War, ___ forces have prevented the departure of able-bodied males (ages of 16 and 60 years old) from leaving the besieged city. Occupation forces then adopted Nazi Germany terror bombing of the Spanish city of Guernica. More than 6,000 civilians, according to the Red Cross, were slaughtered in cold blood.

horrific isnt it , nobody would doubt that this was a war crime .nobody would view these actions as humane

refusing to let males leave , then bombing the whole town ,stopping civilians from getting food or water !

the red cross (those people you must love so much as they are there on the ground in new orleans) claim 6000 people died , in cold blood (there words not mine)

thats genocide !

as i am sure you have guessed , it is your country that has done this
the city is fallujah and the forces were US , but if for just one second you didnt know , i know that you G would be disgusted , you are a man of god , but you are also a man of patriotic believe in your country

just for one second , read that snippet again , imagine how it sounds ,

these are war crimes G , and everyone from stalin to hitler to saddam always had some nice new reason why this was ok . now you are telling me there are nice new reasons for this to be ok

sorry G , it is a war crime ,and i know that if this act was commited by any other country on earth you would be standing by my side

but it is not , it is your country , so you will defend it again i am sure

By Blogger _H_, at September 08, 2005 12:02 am  

Monday, September 05, 2005

Iraq Lashes Arab States for Lack of Compassion

(Reuters) -- Iraq's Parliament has savaged fellow Arab states for failing to mourn 1,000 Shiite pilgrims crushed in Baghdad last week, while some had found time and money to help Americans hit by Hurricane Katrina.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has held up the sympathy expressed by Iraqi Sunnis for the disaster during a Shiite religious festival as a lesson to Arab governments whose relations with Baghdad remain cool.
"Qatar felt sorry for those who were killed by Katrina, which is indeed sad, and sent them $100 million. Other countries did so too," Mr Jaafari said.
"But why is it that the Iraqi people are getting killed everyday but none of these countries says a word?
"Why would Spain and other countries send us their condolences while these so-called Arab countries did not even say a word?"
Mr Jaafari added that in any case, words of sympathy from Arab states would be hollow.
"We know they would be lying because they are liars."

Arab leaders have indicated some unease at the close relationship the new Iraqi authorities have with the United States and their ties with Shiite, non-Arab Iran.

I can feel a new sense of democracy and peace in the middle east already ...

UN urges some staff to leave Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan --

The United Nations has encouraged some nonessential staff to leave Afghanistan amid security concerns ahead of the Sept. 18 elections, and the government warned aid workers yesterday that they are likely targets after a string of assaults on foreigners
The insurgents, meanwhile, launched a fresh spate of guerrilla-style strikes this weekend, sparking fierce battles that killed a district police chief, seven officers, an election candidate, and three others, officials said.

More than 1,100 people have been killed in the past six months, and US military commanders believe the violence may worsen as rebels step up attacks with legislative elections just two weeks away, the next key step toward democracy after a quarter-century of fighting

Full Article Here

Has Katrina saved US media?

A interesting look at how the american press has aproached this week of Katrina ,including detailed views of many affected

please note , this article is an opinion , not the view of the BBC

snippet :

Amidst the horror, American broadcast journalism just might have grown its spine back, thanks to Katrina.

National politics reporters and anchors here come largely from the same race and class as the people they are supposed to be holding to account.

They live in the same suburbs, go to the same parties, and they are in debt to the same huge business interests.

Giant corporations own the networks, and Washington politicians rely on them and their executives to fund their re-election campaigns across the 50 states.

It is a perfect recipe for a timid and self-censoring journalistic culture that is no match for the masterfully aggressive spin-surgeons of the Bush administration.

But last week the complacency stopped, and the moral indignation against inadequate government began to flow, from slick anchors who spend most of their time glued to desks in New York and Washington

The most spectacular example came last Friday night on Fox News, the cable network that has become the darling of the Republican heartland.


read the full article Here

source BBC :

Katrina: we are sorry you lost your house , now pay your Mortgage !

It is amazing how companies react to the horror of events such as the tragedy in New Orleans , but the actions of the STANDARD MORTGAGE company has to take the top award for sickness

you may have lost your home , you may have lost your family and everything you own , but don't forget to pay your mortgate !

Or in their own words from the Standard Mortgage web site Here

Now as you remember all those little things you have to do after your entire city is under water , Standard Mortgage request

WE ASK THAT ALL PAYMENTS BE SENT TO US, AS YOU WOULD NORMALLY DO, TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

STANDARD MORTGAGE CORPORATION P.O. BOX 53426 NEW ORLEANS , LA 70153-3426

What can you say !

Oiginal reasearch done by Blah3

sad...And Funny!

By Blogger The Baxter, at September 05, 2005 1:55 am  

The company cannot assume that every resident who owns a house cannot meet his financial obligation. A reminder is okay. Those that can pay will pay. Those that cannot can contact the company and will have to be handled on individual bases. Don't forget, though, that the mortgage company has to pay its lenders, also. It cannot do that unless it collects from its borrowers. I'm sure the company executives are sensitive to the situation, but they must do this to stay in business and to protect its legal position with respect to the terms of the loan agreements. I don't see where this is out of line and deserving of attack. You can bet that the city of New Orleans still expects their property taxes to be paid.

By Anonymous Woody, at September 05, 2005 2:21 am  

it is about timing woody , I am sure that they will want their money , but to say so now is heartless

, I am sure they could cope for a month without resorting to asking for cash , maybe , they could break the mold and offer to not take payments for a month or two

come on , every person is giving to the red cross and other charity's , they are just taking !

why dont they offer the money from this month to the redcross , or to the families of the dead

i stand by what i say , i think to say this in the same week as so many have died is sick

By Blogger _H_, at September 05, 2005 2:40 am  

I'm not sure that they can cope for a month, and there's no basis to assume that. The mortgage company is in a terrible position itself, and most of its collateral is gone. If the homeowners have a problem, then can turn it over to their insurance companies to settle with the mortgage company. To ask one company to delay its collections one month out of kindness is asking a disproportionate contribution from it and likely one that it cannot afford. You have a big heart, so try to open it a little more to consider and have compassion for all who are affected by the hurricane--including businesses.

By Anonymous Woody, at September 05, 2005 2:40 am  

woody the mortgage company will have its owb insurance , it will not lose a single cent

companies like swis rei insure companies such as this agaisnt natural disaster , they will not lose a cent

do you think a company would be so dumb as to not insure their own investments

?

the check to them is already in the post i am sure

and to even have the balls to ask people at THIS TIME is not right

no matter how you spin it , a company is a company and they are covered by the wonders of the modern society

insurance companies insure other insurance companies against everything , please dont assume even for one second that this company will lose a thing

trust me , they have ALL their bases covered

By Blogger _H_, at September 05, 2005 2:44 am  

_H_, would you like me to tell you about all the mortgage companies that went bankrupt in the 1980's? They were insured. It cost this country countless billions. There are different insurance arrangments and co-insurance which could be very costly in this disaster. I suspect that a lot of insurance companies may not even have enough reserves to cover this one. This is a case of you expressing sympathy with someone else's money.

By Anonymous Woody, at September 05, 2005 3:07 am  

woody , there has been a thousand times that companies have folded yes ,

its a company

just like the dot.com industry , some float , some sink

i care about people ,

worst case scenerio i hear from you is that a mortgage company may go bankcrupt and a few hundred people may lose there jobs ,, sad , yes


but 10,000 may still be under that water

tens of thoasands have lost everything they have in life , including wives , husbands , children

with all due respect to you , may i say

fuck the mortgage company

if they went out of buisness then it is sad , but it would not even make the press over here or anywhere outside the local area

come on ,. lets put this on the scales shall we

on the one side , we have the fact that a mortgage company may go bust , on the other , we have 80 % of new orleans underwater , hundreds of thousands of people hit by this tragedy and possibly tens of thousands dead

with all due respect , if a mortgage company goes bust , i won't even blink

watching the people of new orleans really did bring a tear to my eye

if all the owners of this mortgage firm lose in this is their company then let me be the first to let them know that they are ver very lucky

you . nor anyone else , should be looking after the companies right now

look after the people , bury the dead , then worry about the cash

we won't meet on this one either woody , it seems that already these people are being de humanised , and to talk of such things as morgtgae payments now , again stuns me ,, is this really how the right think ?

By Blogger _H_, at September 05, 2005 3:31 am  

I care about the people first, but you brought up the issue about the company.

The company employs hundreds or thousands, many of whom live(ed) in New Orleans and will be unemployed. The company is owned by thousands of stockholders, many of whom will lose their investments and many of whom are retired and depend on these investments to survive. The company cannot make future loans to people who need them if past loans are not collected. The company itself is likely inaccessible and cannot field enough employees to operate. Think about that and that effect on people.

A company is not some nebulous entity sitting outside the world. It is owned by people, employs people, and serves people. It is a collection of people--just as a city is. The company and victims of its failure are deserving of consideration, care, and help--not attacks.

What it needs to survive is mortgagees honoring the agreements they signed and for which they have insurance--not people from the outside telling the company what it OUGHT to do, expecially people with a cold heart towards business and incomplete facts.

If you feel sorry for the victims of the hurricane, don't tell OTHERS to sacrifice or die. Give YOUR money to help everyone stay afloat. That's how the right thinks.

By Anonymous Woody, at September 05, 2005 4:00 pm  

again woody it is about priority

first you get people water
then you get the medicine in
then you get the food in
then you get the people out
then you recover the dead
then you bury the dead
then and only then , you look at side issues like mortgages

this company jumped the que , in essense putting themselves higher up in priority then they should be

that is why i said "fuck the morgage company" that is why i said "is this how the right thinks ?"

what is so disgusting about this (from my point of view) is not that they want their money , or that they should get it , it is that whilst bodies are decomposing under that water , whilst reports of "west nile feaver" breaking out in those poor people ,that they would choose (which they did) to ask this question NOW

as for most of what you say woody , of course it makes sense , but there is no part of me that will accept that this needed to be done NOW

they are not and should not be anywhere near the top of the list right now

and i remain to my view , if they did this a few weeks or months from now , then of course ,

to do this when they did , is disgusting and sick

By Blogger _H_, at September 05, 2005 4:09 pm  

_H_, everyone needs to put priorities on the responsibilities for which he is charged. Individuals, government, and other companies are putting priorities on saving people and restoring the city. Those are THEIR priorities.

MY priority is to support my family and my secondary priority is to help those in need. The COMPANY'S primary priority is to survive and secondarily to help people. Do YOU throw out your duties and stop life because there is a crisis? You can't.

There are a division of duties in society, and just because the duties assigned to the government are higher than those of business (in this case) doesn't mean that the officers of the company are supposed to sit back and let all the money disappear while it goes under.

The company has a duty to its shareholders and cannot defer or loan money for free. Do you think that supply companies should give away cots and clothes for free? Should medical companies provide drugs and medical supplies for free? Should helicopter manufacturers provide its product for free? Do you think that the government isn't expecting it's taxes?

Let the govenment do what it does, individuals do what they do, and business do what it does. Life has to go on--and there's nothing wrong with that. The system works. Those in need will be helped and get through this.

It's clear that we won't agree on this. While I am just as sympathetic as you to those with problems, I see a greater problem if we demand that people and companies give more than they have to give and expand the crisis.

This is a big world, and there are a lot of other people who could be picking up the slack with their own money rather than their criticisms. Maybe the mortgage companies in G.B. will be willing to buy these loans from Standard Mtg. Why not? If not, then start focusing on them and quit focusing on Standard. It has its own hands full as it is.

By Anonymous Woody, at September 05, 2005 4:46 pm  

you would be suprised the effort already being made in my country (for example)

I have just been to a small local supermarket , with no american connection and not even a national base , (they have just 3 shops)

and they have started a collection from there customers and have offered to double any money raised by their customers out of the companies account , this is standard stuff , they did the same after the tsunami ,

as for this whole debate , it seems that the company have ended it for us , it "seems" they have realised the error and have locked / taken the page down

if i click on the link now , it tells me that the page has been secured (i assume so that only staff can access it)

so if they have taken it back , then I , and the hundreds of other sites that have critised them will gladly take back the critism

i am hopefull that this was a company choice , i am hopefull that someone with a brain cell said .."wait , this will do us more harm then good" and has stepped in

if any of this is true , then good on them , of course , maybe they have just blocked international access to the site and i wouldnt know (yet)

By Blogger _H_, at September 05, 2005 4:54 pm  

had it confirmed , the company has responded to what seem's to be a huge backlash from americans ,and have taken the article down and locked the site

By Blogger _H_, at September 05, 2005 6:08 pm  

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Watch the police in action , or how to deal with looting

After hearing of the shoot to kill policy of anyone looting in New Orleans i was a little suprised , If to be fair slighlty amused to see this

Video

I am not making some judgement that all the police were doing this by any means , but it is does make you think , considering the hard line that were taken by the authorities.

....

We Have Been Abandoned By Our Own Country

I dont think anyone can explain what went wrong in the southern states after the horror of last week better then what is said in this video

Shocking , it is beyond words

watch for yourself Here

file from ICH