Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bush calls the fight against terror 'World War III'

US President George W. Bush said the September 11 revolt of passengers against their hijackers on board Flight 93 had struck the first blow of "World War III."



In an interview with the financial news network CNBC, Bush said he had yet to see the recently released film of the uprising, a dramatic portrayal of events on the United Airlines plane before it crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

But he said he agreed with the description of David Beamer, whose son Todd died in the crash, who in a Wall Street Journal commentary last month called it "our first successful counter-attack in our homeland in this new global war -- World War III".

Bush said: "I believe that. I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III.

In 2002, then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer explicitly declined to call the hunt for Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda group and its followers "World War III."

Source Here.

The self fulfilling prophecies of Monsieur megalomaniac strike again . Mr Bush you are not President Roosevelt,Zaqarwi is not Hitler and your operation 'Iraqi disintegration' will never stand along side D day in the great moments of democracy and freedom.

Hate Bush. Hate terrorists too. He is one.

By Blogger Five Things that Make Me Mad, at May 06, 2006 8:24 pm  

hello.how r u?i was just checking my weblog's counter and i noticed uve checked my blog but maybe u couldn't undertsand anything since its in persian but i can read ur messeges!!!hehehe...it seems u don't like U.S. foriegn policis?huh?am i right?...;)
good luck...viva peace
loosin

By Anonymous loosineh, at May 06, 2006 9:47 pm  

Greeting loosineh.

I have never been to you web site but one of my readers may have.

Your correct I do not speak Farsi but there are some excellent farsi /English translation web sites so I can read your content.

I am not pleased with the western (US/UK) foreign policies at the moment but to be honest most people in the west are not happy with them either.

Good luck with your media studies

Peace

By Blogger _H_, at May 06, 2006 10:15 pm  

Help me fight him and all like him by teaching the children a different way. I hope this fits within your criteria...I do respect your site.
Remembering Remembrance Day

Remembering Remembrance Day
We waged a war to not live that way
A war we won or so they say
But looking around all I see is dismay.

They killed alot of people but what did they win
They still live their lives in corruption and sin
Telling their lies to let evil back in
Refusing to rise and so let it begin.

They still kill the martyrs that witness to GOD
They still ignore prophets dismissed with a nod
They still war on the poor and onward they trod
Justifying all in the name of God.

Yet Cain still kills Abel
With all the cards on the table
Though this way is unstable
They still lay the cable.

With this thinking my mind starts to sway
I think the point missed on living that way
"The war to end all wars"; I've heard them say
But is that what's remembered this Remembrance Day.

Seemingly not as wars continue still
And all of life's problems can be fixed with a pill
And even the children have learned how to kill
But all of this is just run of the mill.

Then deep inside I start to grin
As I recognize the journey's within
With nothing to stop me once I begin
And all of life's puzzles start to fit in.

With hope I speak out that they hear what I say
And Listen closely to change their way
That they may avoid the 'End of Days'
And Remember that this Remembrance Day.
your humble servant,
Ancient Clown

By Blogger Ancient Clown, at May 07, 2006 3:49 am  

No worries AC , I took this one off thread myself :-)

Interesting words .. are they yours ?

By Blogger _H_, at May 07, 2006 4:32 am  

Ive heard the 'War on Terror' (how can you wage war on a tactic????) being refered to as World War III and IV (Cold War being the Third).

Its not going to help anyone. First calling it a 'crusade' then telling a sixth of the world to 'bring it on', claiming that god told him to invade both Iraq and Afghanistan, and now calling it World War Three?

Between whom exactly? There are probably no more than 1,000 hardcore members of al Qaeda around the world - the 200,000 est. insurgents in Iraq do not qualify as al Qaeda (they are anti-occupational forces, rather than global Islamic militants).


US on 9/11 - 3,000 dead
Iraq Civilians - at least 30,000 ('more or less' in the words of Bush)

By Anonymous JMN, at May 07, 2006 5:00 am  

Oh there has been plenty of wars on nouns Jmn

The war on drugs
The war on Terror
The war on literacy etc

Of course all doomed to fail by there very definition.

It is the Hypocricy that offends me what with terorists like Luis Posada Carriles being protected by the united states and the support of vicious regimes like Uzbekistan who have a nasty habit of boiling dissendents alive.

By Blogger _H_, at May 07, 2006 5:07 am  

I couldnt agree more with you _H_

Terrorism is a contested concept - someting that I prefer not to use often, if at all. It is a politically charged term, used for political ends. Increasingly, the ends of a person are used to define someone as a terrorist, and not the tactic. In this way, even those who do not and will never use terrorism can be labelled as terrorists because of thier political affiliations and stances.

The US selectivity on the issue contravenes the Declaration of Human Rights, on issues of universalism. The stance of the US today is that terrorism is wrong, only if its not done by them.

By Anonymous JMN, at May 07, 2006 5:46 am  

WWIII my ass. World War? Doesn't he know geography at all?

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 3:58 pm  

I doubt he can find is way round the white house ... what worries me is that he genuinly believes This is world war 3 and probably believes god told him to fight it...

I wouldnt trust him with the remote for my TV and he is the commander in chief .. sheeez

By Blogger _H_, at May 08, 2006 6:34 pm  

The Decider...?

That is a t-shirt Robin Williams wore to the Daily Show. Robin didn't even talk about his new movie. Jon Stewart RULEZ!!!

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 7:51 pm  

Yea I watched that episode , fantastic ...

Jon Stewart is excellent and williams was fantastic best TV I have seen in ages

By Blogger _H_, at May 08, 2006 7:58 pm  

Damn your fast!

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 8:01 pm  

hehehe , I am about to post on the letter from Iran to Bush .... (as if he can read) .. just passing through and couldnt resist...

By Blogger _H_, at May 08, 2006 8:04 pm  

if you have time you might want to read about this group of liberals in the UK that support the current war on terror.

'the reconfiguration of progressive opinion' - more to the right or less lefty

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/eustonmanifesto/2006/04/07/manifesto/

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 8:37 pm  

Took a quick glance . To be honest I have never been a fan of the New Statesman ..

snap judgement tells me they are trying to appease to the centre right. but I will give it a closer look in a while

By Blogger _H_, at May 08, 2006 10:40 pm  

Breaking: US and UK soldiers killed in two seperate helicopter incidents (video)

A British helicopter has crashed in Basra, with the Ministry of Defence confirming there are "casualties". Police in the southern Iraqi city said the aircraft had crashed into a house after being hit by a rocket.



The MoD said there were casualties but could give no further details. Iraqi firefighters told Reuters news agency they had seen four bodies at the scene.

British soldiers deployed in the city sealed off the area as hundreds of Iraqis rushed to see the incident. The MoD said it was too early to know what had caused the crash, but they were investigating all possibilities.

Video footage from Iraqi television showed orange flames and large plumes of black smoke curling into the sky. British troops were seen running through the streets, firing shots into the air.

The footage also showed hundreds of Iraqis near the scene of the crash waving their arms in the air and throwing stones.
Video from BBC is just coming onto the news wire Here. (windows media player required)

Meanwhile Ten US soldiers have been killed after their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan late on Friday night, officials from the US-led coalition said. The CH-47 Chinook came down in Kunar province near a "mountaintop landing zone" 240km (150 miles) east of Kabul.

The soldiers were reportedly involved in operations against the Taleban, although military officials said the crash was not caused by enemy fire.

Hi, I just came across your site courtesy of the "next blog" button. I'll definitely be back!

By Blogger verniciousknids, at May 06, 2006 2:27 pm  

nice site ..... enjoyed it

By Blogger cervaggio, at May 06, 2006 7:56 pm  

Good blog from what ive seen of it so far.

Regarding the British helicopter crash and the crowds cheering and the Iraq War in general - 90% of the insurgents in Iraq are Iraqi nationals (who may or may not identify with a relgion first) while only a small minority attack Iraqi civilians. Even most of the foreign fighters attack Iraqi soldiers or coalition forces. Whenever Coalition officers boast of the insurgents they have killed in operations, they are boasting about the deaths of Iraqi militants. Its therefore a sort of Orwellian doublethink when officials of the US or UK say that thier actions are for the good of the Iraqis. They are fighitng the Iraqis!

I'm a Brit myself, and before 2003 I was considering a career in the armed forces. Now at university (studying international politics, including Islamism, terrorism, Middle Eastern politics, ethics in War, US policy) I have series doubts about joining an organisation in which I could find myself being sent to Iraq, to fight a people who have every legitimate reason to fight against the coalition.

I have not yet had time to explore the political orientation of this blog - realist, idealist, pro/anti-war, impartial, neoconservative, isolationist - or yet to discover your definition of 'terrorism'. Yet ill make a note of this blog for future personal use.

Looks good.

By Blogger Writer, at May 06, 2006 10:43 pm  

I also forgot to add - they were British soldiers killed in the crash. This was not a terrorist attack - it was a legitimate act of war. Should this really be on a blod entitled terrorism news? Unless you take the view that the war in iraq is a war against terrorism, something which I utterly reject.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 07, 2006 3:48 am  

If the Iraquis don't want us there, then why did they cheer and greet us with flowers at the beginning of the liberation?

By Blogger Porcupinetaxi, at May 07, 2006 3:50 am  

Anonymous

We post all sorts of subjects here on terrorism news. I can assure you that your definition of terrorism would not differ from mine in any major respect.

I take the dictionary defintion of a terrorist not the psuedo Bush definition of terrorism that is not even accepted by the united nations.

Check out the archives there is plenty here to help you understand our view.

Porcupinetaxi

Your joking surely ! Have you never changed the channel from Fox News .

How can I possibly argue with such a strongly held belief in propaganda..

I wish you luck

By Blogger _H_, at May 07, 2006 4:09 am  

and writer/anon

Sorry for the short reply it has been a busy night (04:20 am) I look forward to your future visits and insights . feel free to explore the site and what it is we are trying to do here.

There is the site email over there on the right. If you are unsure of where we stand in regard to your questions feel free to contact the site and I will respond in kind

By Blogger _H_, at May 07, 2006 4:27 am  

90% of the insurgents are Iraqis. That means that they have public support. Attacks of coalition forces is a daily occurance, all over Iraq. The brunt of the insurgency is being felt by Iraqi Security Forces.

Yes, some greeted forces during the invasion. They opposed Saddam Hussein and some welcomed the invasion (the dead don't get a say in it however). I wont go into the other debate over the best thing to do to someone coming at you in a M1A2 Abrahms - smile or shoot?

But, since the removal of Saddam, the atrocities, the lack of development (yes hampered by insrugents, but a consequence of 13 years of embargoes and two wars) the lack of security (due to too few troops on the ground - thanks to Donald Rumsfield), the failure to find Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bush's insistance that Iraq is a battlegournd between the 'forces of democracy' (ie: Americans) and 'forces of evil' and 'terrorists' (ie: Iraqis), government death squads, accused but unverified CIA/PSC involvement in terrorism / sectarian violence, mass global public outcry, Najaf, Falluja, the continuous occupation - don't you think that America has lost any legitimacy is had during the past 3 years????

Regime change was the easy part, and something welcome by the Iraqs. Occupation was not welcomed.

Plus, only a very very small minority actually cheered coalition forces on. 30,000 were unable too.

Many people in France, Poland, Belgium, Austria, welcomed the Nazi's. It didnt mean that they liked them. Some collaborated. But the majority opposed. Civilian by day, guerrilla by night.

oh, and Fox News doesnt show the videos of Iraqi civilians cheering in front of burning humvees, dead American's. Nor does it show videos of Iraqi children throwing stones at American troops just as Palestinian children throw rocks at Israeli tanks.

What do you think Porcupinetaxi? That 200,000 insurgnets cross in from Syria during the night and go back the following day, after wrecking havoc on Iraqi civilians and killed American troops? The insurgency is a peoples army.

This is not a war between Americans and militants with Iraqis at the centre. This is a war between Americans and Iraqi's with the Iraqi government at the centre and extremists at the fringes.


The parallels with Vietnam are outstanding. But the lesson has not been learned.

By Anonymous JMN (the Writer), at May 07, 2006 5:25 am  

Im a Brit by the way, so I have the luxary of being free from propaganda and manipulation that, I feel, Americans are unconscously subjected to.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 07, 2006 5:27 am  

JMN

check out some of the comments on the 'Oh, Say, Can You See Xenophobia in a Land of Immigrants?' Thread

For a perfect example of the point you potray

Here

By Blogger _H_, at May 07, 2006 5:37 am  

Laughing hard again! Porcupinetaxi, you are confusing what Rummy said would happen with what actually happened. In your defence, I think you watch American TV.

By Blogger DJEB, at May 08, 2006 3:11 pm  

100,000

This site has just had its 100,000th visitor. So just a quick pause to thank all of you that have passed through to praise or complain about the work we do here. The number has far exceeded the few hundred we would have hoped to achieve so I am very grateful to all those of you who have popped in since the site opened in July 2005.

Congratulations :>)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 06, 2006 12:42 pm  

Congrats, my friend! May you continue posting another 100 thousand!

By Blogger thepoetryman, at May 06, 2006 4:15 pm  

It has been a long journey.

Congrats.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 3:52 pm  

Thanks guys

By Blogger _H_, at May 08, 2006 6:35 pm  

I used to check here everyday, but then I didn't want to see the truth so graphically every day. Once a week I check in, and I can count on learning something new. Keep up the good work.

By Blogger pansyjoan, at May 09, 2006 6:17 pm  

Thank you joan . i remember you from before. It is great you pop in to see us. Your always very welcome.

:o)

By Blogger _H_, at May 10, 2006 4:28 am  

Friday, May 05, 2006

U.N. reminds U.S. 'Its your duty to answer " torture allegations

The United Nations urged the United States to set an example in combating torture, saying it must be more open is addressing allegations of prisoner abuse stemming from the war on terror.





The U.N. Committee Against Torture asked U.S. officials about a series of issues ranging from Washington's interpretation of a global ban on torture to its interrogation methods in prisons such as Abu Ghraib, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Andreas Mavrommatis of Cyprus, who chaired the session, praised the United States for its ''unique contribution'' in promoting human rights around the world, but said it has an obligation to be above reproach.

He said he could understand that intelligence matters needed careful treatment, ''but they are not excluded'' from scrutiny.

''If during intelligence activities there is a violation of the convention, it's our duty to investigate them and your duty to answer,'' Mavrommatis said.

State Department legal adviser John B. Bellinger III, leading the U.S. delegation in its first appearance before the committee in six years, insisted the U.S. government felt an ''absolute commitment to upholding our national and international obligations to eradicate torture.''

The committee submitted questions in advance to the U.S. government that covered such matters such as alleged secret CIA prisons and the ''rendition'' or transfer of terror suspects to other countries, where they allegedly could face torture.

Bellinger told reporters later that it was ''an absurd allegation'' to suggest that any U.S. intelligence flight in Europe might be carrying a detainee, because many carry analysts, officials and forensic information. But he added that it wasn't proper to provide details on intelligence activities.

The U.S. delegation told the committee, the U.N.'s watchdog for a 22-year-old treaty forbidding prisoner abuse, that mistakes had occurred in the U.S. treatment of detainees in the war against terrorism and 29 detainees in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan had died of what appeared to be abuse or other violations of U.S. law.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Stimson said a total of 120 detainees have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, but none had died at Guantanamo. Most of the deaths resulted from natural causes, battlefield injuries or attacks by other detainees, he said.

In the cases of the 29 deaths from suspected abuse, Stimson said, ''these alleged violations were properly investigated and appropriate action taken.''

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights Barry Lowenkron said the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib ''sickened the American people - just as they appalled people around the world. They were inexcusable, they were indefensible.''

The U.S. conducted more than 600 criminal investigations into allegations of mistreatment and more than 250 people had been held accountable for abusing detainees, Lowenkron said.

But Fernando Marino Menendez of spain cited Human Rights Watch as claiming that only a small number received prison sentences.

The United States is taking its turn as one of the 141 signatories to the Convention Against Torture in submitting to a periodic review by the 10 independent members of the committee.

Article Source here.

Wow, fantastic site thank you

Sufferwords

By Blogger sufferwords, at May 06, 2006 12:23 am  

I read today that Bush is considering closing Guantanamo. I expect them to start cleaning up pretty soon. They didn't get enough support to carry on with their agenda.


-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 3:52 pm  

Yea I spotted that too 'considering' seems to be the key word Hype

I will believe it when I see it

By Blogger _H_, at May 08, 2006 6:36 pm  

Rumsfeld gets rumbled (video)

Ray McGovern stood up for sanity today and decided it was about time Mr Rumsfeld answered some honest questions . Who is Ray McGovern well he is not exactly your run of the mill protester. He has spent twenty seven years working for the CIA and it seems he has just about had enough.....


Watch the Video Here

Check out the source from the excellent Crooks and Liars.

you are the second person to say something about this.

all i have to say is bam mr.rummi

By Blogger A Great American, at May 06, 2006 1:15 am  

i signed the thankyouraymcgovern.org website.


-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 3:50 pm  

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Oh, Say, Can You See Xenophobia in a Land of Immigrants?

by John Chuckman

"One of the important things here is that we not lose our national soul"






Was George Bush speaking of some truly shattering event in American affairs? Perhaps the imprisonment and torture of thousands of innocent people? Perhaps the lack of democratic legitimacy in his own coming to power?

No, what Bush was describing is a version of the American national anthem in Spanish "Nuestro Himno [Our Anthem]—which was played on American Hispanic radio and television stations recently

Now, in many countries with multi-ethnic populations, most people would see this as charming and flattering. Canada's anthem has two official versions, French and English, and were a group of immigrants to offer it in Ukrainian or Mandarin, most Canadians would be tickled. It would undoubtedly be featured on CBC.

But in America, the broadcast of a Spanish version of "The Star Spangled Banner" has aroused a somewhat different response. Charles Key, great-great-grandson of Francis Scott, offered the immortal words, "I think it's despicable thing that someone is going into our society from another country and...changing our national anthem."

"This is evoking spirited revulsion on the part of fair-minded Americans," offered John Teeley, representative of one of innumerable private propaganda mills in Washington commonly dignified as think-tanks. Mr. Teeley continued, "You are talking about something sacred and iconic in the American culture. Just as we wouldn't expect people to change the colors of the national flag, we wouldn't expect people to fundamentally change the anthem and rewrite it in a foreign language."

A foreign language? There are roughly 30 million Spanish speakers in the United States. The analysis here is interesting: an immigrant singing an anthem in his own language resembles someone changing the national flag. This argument does, perhaps unintentionally, reveal the real concern: Hispanics are changing our country, and we don't like it.

So it is not surprising that the American low-life constituency's political and moral hero, George Bush, should declare: "I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."

Never mind that the American Constitution says nothing about language. Never mind that waves of immigrants from Europe about a hundred years ago founded countless private schools and cultural institutions in the United States where German or Italian or Hebrew were the languages used and promoted. Never mind that after a generation or two, minority immigrants always end up adopting the language of the majority, something which is close to an economic necessity. And never mind that xenophobia in a land of immigrants should have no place.

An entertaining historical note here is that Francis Scott Key did not write the important part of "The Star Spangled Banner," its music. Key wrote a breast-swelling amateurish poem whose words were fitted to an existing song. The existing song, as few Americans know, was an English song, "To Anachreon in Heaven," a reference to a Greek poet whose works concern amour and wine. "The Star Spangled Banner," in any version, only began playing a really prominent role in America during my lifetime, that is, with the onset of the Cold War. In Chicago public schools during the early 1950s, we sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," another breast-sweller, written not many years after Key's, by another amateur poet, Samuel Smith, sung to the music of the British national anthem, "God Save the King."

It shouldn't be necessary to remind anyone in an advanced country that things change, and they change at increasing rates. Even in the remote possibility, a century or two from now, Spanish or some blend of Spanish and English were to become the dominant language of the United States, what would it matter to today's angry and intolerant people? After all, the English language came from another land, and it grew out of centuries of change from Latin to early versions of German and French layered onto the language of Celtic people.

Throughout history, fascism is closely associated with xenophobia, but then we find many other unpleasant aspects of fascism—from illegal spying to recording what people read in libraries, from torture to illegal invasion—feature in George Bush's America.

Article Source Here.

i wouldn't expect much more from americans trying to protect their drinking song. anyway, you people preserve your cultural solidarity, and i'll preserve mine and its superiority. all in all, please visit my blog
your blog's not bad. keep it up.

By Blogger Devdas, at May 04, 2006 10:42 pm  

A great read. Your article selection is really great. Bravo.

By Blogger ParisGuy, at May 04, 2006 11:17 pm  

Nice article,you could write one about what happened a few weeks ago here in chile:
An antifascist-skinhead was killed by nazis on april 16th and everyone knows who they are but the police doesn't do anything about it...

By Blogger Pelusita, at May 05, 2006 1:26 am  

brilliant piece!

By Blogger anne altman, at May 05, 2006 1:56 am  

Sure, just accept the change to our national identity and culture. The fact is that America is a huge melting pot of foreign lands. We have people from all countries around the world -- and they all come for the same reason: To live the American dream.

Let's just remember, the forefathers of this great country had difficulty defining who or what an American is. At the conception of this country, we had influences from all cultures and lands (French, Spanish, British, Native American). The one thing that unified this country was the eventual adoption and acceptance of a single language of communication, English. This is why our national identity should include English -- it is the one bond that Koreans, Irish, Japanese, Mexican, Spaniard, Sudanese, Iraqi, Native American and the melting pot of generations of natural born U.S. citizens. This is why this is such a critical issue -- we have schools spending twice as much money to hire bi-lingual teachers and offering classes in English and Spanish. How long until the Koreans or Chinese in this country begin demanding the national anthem in their language. What about the classroom now spending 3 times as much to offer classes in English, Spanish and Arabic.

Let's go back to a unified country. We are the United States of America. We should Unite and accept people from all lands into our great society -- but we must unify on our ability to communicate effectively with one another.

By Anonymous Chris, at May 05, 2006 3:06 am  

In most other countries, singing their anthem in any other language is illegal. So is manhandling their country's flags. These are offenses right up there with sacrilege, usually, with severe penalties. Go to Mexico and sing their anthem in English. Wrap yourself in their flag. Tell them you are there illegally, but you don't really care what laws you have broken. Also, tell them you demand to vote. If and when you get back, let me know how it went.

Frontline Joe

By Blogger Frontline Joe, at May 05, 2006 3:44 am  

Joe I live in the UK and I used to love singing the old sex pistol version of god save the queen (the fascist regime)

Nobody batted an eye lid . Like the article states in most (democratic) countries it would be seen as a compliment to have our national anthems sang in another language . 40 million spanish speakers in the US and most of them are legal.

Patriotismm is not defined by how many flags you keep or how you sing the national anthem . Its about unity , a collective sense of identity

and no amout of 'USA USA USA' shouted at football games make you more patriotic. A flag is a peace of cloth that was probably made in china anyway and the world (that I have seen) finds ammusement in how you all hold such a piece of cloth in such high regard. If someone started burning british flags we would simply laugh at them for wasting 2 dollars (£'s over here)it hase not impact on patriotism .


I love my country (I am sure you love yours) but my loyalty to my fellow brits runs much deeper than what language they speak or how they sing the anthem Its about a shared loyalty to all that is green and beautifull about our land or about our history or culture .

your national anthem is based upon "To Anachreon in Heaven," a song that was written by an Englishman in honor to a greek , so maybe you should all learn greek if you want to sing it right

Be proud of your unity and be proud that its the American national anthem they wish to sing.

Your a land of imigrants and if thats how they wish to express their loyalty to the United States then let them . Its is their country too and language has no part of the basis of your constition.

By Blogger _H_, at May 05, 2006 4:23 am  

Well, bless my bleeding liberal heart. GREAT post and some good comments without all the conservative, "you people are un-patriotic" bashing. If we, as Americans, stopped to think more instead of spouting off knee-jerk emotional responses, we might all be a little more tolerant of each other and the inherent change as our nation continues to grow and develop. Ah, well, a girl can dream.

By Blogger LaineyWorld, at May 05, 2006 5:57 am  

I come from South Africa, and we have ELEVEN OFFICIAL languages, countless non-offical dialects, our national anthem comes in 11 versions plus one version that incorporates all of the langauges, while america likes to portray itself as land of the free i tend to lean more towards land of the overly conservative and close minded.

By Blogger Luv Bunny, at May 05, 2006 7:45 am  

I don't think a protest that contains the message "We don't need to comply with American law" is going to get these people anywhere but back in Mexico.

I’m traditionally a strong liberal, but I think this anthem in Spanish and out of control illegal immigration is a serious problem that needs to be addressed quickly.

Luv Bunny ... South Africa is not exactly the poster child for acceptance of diversity.

By Anonymous Kofi Annan, at May 05, 2006 7:48 am  

"Canada's anthem has two official versions, French and English,"

Um, Canada was still French for quite awhile, they adopted English in PARTS later, so as they have two official languages... it would make sense that they have two version of their anthem.

But note, the hispanics singing the anthem, as-is, in Spanish is not the uproar (nice try to pain the picture otherwise though), the "Much-ado" is that the ENGLISH producer who helped put the song together changed some of the words around.

Now, you may think that Canadians would be "tickled" to have their anthem sung in Manderin (I think you're mistaken), but I can pretty much state without doubt that they wouldnt appreciate parts of the song being changed, reguardless of language.

It's not XENOPHOBIA, it's national pride. Would you care if some of your new African Immigrents to the UK changed the Union Jack around a bit to reflect their "heritage"? thought not.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at May 05, 2006 2:12 pm  

Personally I wouldnt care if replaced the Union Jack with a skull and crossbones

The flag is a simble of my country but it is not what makes me patriotic .

Changing the words of the national anthem is nothing new . I am sure you remember the sex pistols with their version of god save the queen


god save the queen
the facist regime
they made you a moron
potential h-bomb
god save the queen
she aint no human being
there is no future
in englands dreaming
don't be told what you want
don't be told what you need
there's no future no future
no future for you
god save the queen
we mean it man
we love our queen
god saves
god save the queen
'cos tourists are money
our figure head
is not what she seems
oh god save history
god save your mad parade
oh lord god have mercy
all crimes are paid
when there's no future
how can there be sin
we're the flowers in the dustbin
we're the poison in your human machine
we're the future you're future
god save the queen
we mean it man
we love our queen
god saves
god save the queen
we mean it man
and there is no future
in englands dreaming
no future no future
no future for you
no future no future
no future no future for me
no future no future
no future for you
no future no future for you

Guess what . It went straight to number one in the charts and if you hear the song today it has simply become another simble of England.

It is called freedom of expression G and it is one of the things that makes me feel patriotic about my country

Not some silly anthem or silly piece of cloth. but the people and the diversity.

You have to remember we already have loads of flags so which one matters . St George cross , the Welsh dragon , The Scotish Flag ...

In fact the Union Jack is all those flags blended together to represent the union of all the cultures of my country

It would not surprise me to see it change again within a few decades to represent the new cultures we have blended with. and I for one wouldnt mind one bit.

40 million speak spanish in your country G so why shouldnt they be allowed to sing the anthem any way they like. It does not make them any less american than you.

Europe knows this already , we hav had the saxans the romans the celts the vikings etc ... so we constantly evolve.

It is xenophobia G when your frightened of change. Embrace the future . English once was latin and who knows what it will be in two hundred years.

speaking as an Englishman I can see that there are many reasons to be a proud American and a Patriotic American . But to put that patriotism into a flag or an anthem is very weak. Be proud of your diversity.

I am quite sure those that sing your Anthem in a different language would be willing to lay down their lives as quickly as any american in defence of what they hold dear.

By Blogger _H_, at May 05, 2006 2:38 pm  

even worse our government would rather debate and create bills to make burning our flag illegal than fix our real issues like healthcare, gas prices etc.

xenophobia is spot on. broken borders is bullshit. we need the workers. their xenophobia is a broken record and most of those playing that record are white racists.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 2:46 pm  

broken borders is a wedge issue. divide and conquer. well it won't work. maybe in a few circles here in there but overall the Democratic party is taking back the House. and after that we will be impeaching the President and possibly VP. They did it to Clinton and he only had his knob polished. Bush has broken over 750 laws and lied about, well everything. He has also used xenophobia, racism, fear and many other negative things to keep Americans on message.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 2:48 pm  

Spanish is an easier language... but Spanglish doesn't have any standardz yet.

English will probably still remain the language of trade, commcerce and the final frontier.

I mean, even all the cultures that they visit on Star Gate: SG1 speak English, except for the guyz who drank huge tequilas and found this big worm in their stomach.

-^..^
if you like funni... come see my bloggiez.

By Blogger Da Katz & Reni, at May 05, 2006 3:21 pm  

Well, I had the oportunity to live in the States for two years. I think singing a National anthem in a different language than teh language it was written is not that proper. I agree with Frontline Joe, mocking a national symbol is a felony. But that is not the problem here. I was among american people and most of them really didn't care, not even to know, what was happening outside their country, without an identity, and a decaying mentality driven by fear, they thought they were the new Roman Empire, people who trusted in their army and not in their law. And I'm sorry to say this, but that's what I lived.

I met a lot of good people, people who cared about me and would help me and speak to me as they spoke to their friends and I love them and miss them, people who taught me and were willing to learn from me.

We should all remember that we are a big family, one big and overgrown species. That we can solve all the problems together. All religions teach of this, of love. All languages have this word, love. I trust in the american people, you are too smart to have such a lame abnd facist goverment. Please keep up the good work. Adios.

Rola, from Monterrey, MX.

By Blogger Rola, at May 05, 2006 3:40 pm  

I wrote about this issue on my blog in a post entitled "Oh See Can You Say".

I think the Spanish rendering of the Star Spangled Banner falls under freedom of expression, plain and simple. And it's just a song after all.

However, there are going to be political backlashes to that, particularly now in the U.S. I don't think the producers took the heavily conservative population into account when they decided to record this version, so now the neo-cons have a new rallying point, and a patriotic one at that. Not exactly the best thing for the pro-immigration movement right now.

As far as English is concerned - look, it may not be perfect, and it's not in the Constitution, but it is the official language of this country. We are supposed to be a melting pot and a nation of immigrants, but we've got to be able to communicate with each other. I would make an effort to learn the language of any other country I choose to live in, and I expect the same from anyone coming to the U.S.

By not learning English, or even trying to learn English, immigrants are putting themselves at a great disadvantage in this country, and I thought the main reason for coming here was to be able to take advantage of the so-called American dream.

By Blogger D, at May 05, 2006 3:56 pm  

"As far as English is concerned - look, it may not be perfect, and it's not in the Constitution, but it is the official language of this country."

not true. no where in our federal law do you find this. therefore it is not the offical language. English is the unofficial language of the United States. Only some small towns and freeperville type places have made English the official language.

Communication is in every form the voters want it to be. We have spanish forms along with just about every other language out there. And that is how it should be. I took Spanish and Japanese in High School. It really isn't that hard and in fact very rewarding.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 4:21 pm  

freedom of speech includes other languages besides english... this is USA not Englishland. why you refuse to learn other cultures and languages is your problem.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 4:24 pm  

mocking a national symbol is a felony"

Hahaha , you serious ? thats more over the top than some new independent African country would be. sheez fascism is alive and well it seems. I am proud to say that I can burn as many flags as I want (as long as I dont set fire to anything important like a house) and I can sing my national anthem in any language with any words I want.I can call my leader a terrorist or a fascist and read any god damn book i want. Shit and they call it the land of the free !!!!!!!

Even countries that have waited centuries for independence don't brain wash their children into learning a 'pledge' each morning. How sad to feel that your countries identity needs to be protected by bits of cloth and silly songs. I am sure to some Americans it seems important but from the outside looking in it just seems childish and well simply pathetic.

I do agree that learning the Language of the country you live in is important. but that doesnt mean you can't speak your original language as well.

It seems the author was write. xenophobia is alive and well in the USA.

By Anonymous Dave (UK), at May 05, 2006 4:25 pm  

Hype:

I think you've misread my intentions, or perhaps I've communicated them poorly. I'm not some neo-con wing nut, and I did not indicate in any way, shape or form that an immigrant should forget his or her native language (this is indicated in my own blog entry).

Being able to communicate in words - whether spoken or written - is vastly aided by a common language. I don't believe I said "Englishland", nor do I advocate it. Whether techically official or unofficial, this country on the whole uses the English language, particularly for government communication.

As for the following: "...why you refuse to learn other cultures and languages is your problem."

Rude and completely inaccurate, if indeed it was addressing my comments.

By Blogger D, at May 05, 2006 4:51 pm  

It would not be a problem for me if we were talking about singing "The Star Spangled Banner" in Spanish. What we are talking about is a completely different song. Trying to pass it off as "the spanish version of our national anthem" is offensive. Where does the Star Spangled Banner talk about breaking free of "chains" like Nuestro Himno? Ridiculous and offensive.

By Anonymous Tex Tyler, at May 05, 2006 5:18 pm  

Funny stuff! Great comedy! :

" In most other countries, singing their anthem in any other language is illegal."

"mocking a national symbol is a felony."

By Blogger DJEB, at May 05, 2006 5:34 pm  

A good read

By Blogger Leisus, at May 05, 2006 5:57 pm  

D, my comments might apply more to the general sense i get about english only types i encounter and not a reflection of you personally.

"Even countries that have waited centuries for independence don't brain wash their children into learning a 'pledge' each morning."

OMG, i have been saying this for years. Are we sooo insecure about our superiority and allegiance that we have to affirm them daily with national pledges.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 6:18 pm  

So... then we must believe you are true patriotics when you use your own flag as underwear?

Please dear beloved "americans", don't be hypocrites.

By Anonymous Burrelio, at May 05, 2006 6:19 pm  

tex, they are doing both.. have been doing both for sometime now.. it is called being creative. it is positive not negative.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 6:21 pm  

burrelio, you have a good eye. American flag boxers are very popular. I have a pair myself. the flag is a symbol to me but not an idol to be worshipped. The flag is not above freedom of speech or expression.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 6:25 pm  

"Um, Canada was still French for quite awhile, they adopted English in PARTS later, so as they have two official languages..."

What the? Um, no. The national anthem was written in 1908. The bilingual anthem is the legacy of British policy in British North America and the British North America Act.

By Blogger DJEB, at May 05, 2006 6:26 pm  

I was just wondering whether or not you actually live in America. If you did you would never call it a fascist state. You have no idea what it's like to live under fascism and thankfully neither do I. Should we just change the entire structure of our society to fit the needs of people who don't want to learn English? I don't care if someone doesn't speak english and doesn't want to learn, but when that person tries to impose this way of thinking on a nation, I take notice. You should consult a dictionary, a country having an official language and xenophobia are not the same at all.

By Blogger Keenan, at May 05, 2006 6:46 pm  

Keenan

I am quite sure that everyone here knows what Fascism is please do not patronise people. The word xenophobia was formed from the Greek elements xenos "guest, stranger, foreigner" + phobos "fear."

Fascism is the extreme right wing of the political spectrum and the Neo conservatives in the United states are certainly extreme right wing and there is no doubt that many of the polices of the current government including such stupidities as the patriot act are similar in nature to the policies employed by extreme right (fascist) governments.

Nobody has stated that having an official language and xenophobia are the same thing(only yourself) In fact Hype has stated clearly that the United States does not have any 'offical' language so feel free to criticize what isn't there if it pleases you

The Spanish speaking americans are not 'imposing' anything on you .In fact it is you who is imposssing something upon them !

they are not asking you to sing in Spanish , It is their choice . As stated earlier I don't doubt that many who would sing your anthem in Spanish would be willing to lay down their lives in defence of your country and many I am sure have done so. At times of great crisis such as world war two your country has been grateful to those who don't speak English but have offered their lives to protect what you hold dear today . Such people as the Navajo who worked so hard in the war in the pacific preventing the Japanese from intercepting your communications. It didn't matter then that they didn't speak English. your ancestors were more than happy to call them Americans when it mattered to them.

Are you telling me that 40 million Spanish speaking Americans are less American than you are ?

If you are then xenophobia would certainly be an appropriate word to use In fact we could probably expand the concept to cover the extreme islamophobia that has taken hold in the United States in recent years.

As for whom is american and who is not , well you have about a 50/50 split in this thread.

By Blogger _H_, at May 05, 2006 8:09 pm  

H, again, you took what I said and tried to apply it to fact that someone sang it in Spanish... wrong. I was saying that they CHANGED THE WORDS. Now, "silly pieces of cloth" and songs have long been things to be revered and honored... men have bled and died over them both, so trivializing it is rather disrespectful.

I could care less if they sing the anthem in Spanish, but dont change the words around, and then try to pass it off as the United States Anthem. If you are singing a version you made on your own, call it that, and have at it. But they are trying to replace the current anthem in their native tongue. Now, as far as the language goes... that is another story completely.

Just because there are a lot of Spanish speakers here does not mean we should start chaning anything in official capacities to facilitate that. Our anthem, schools, laws, publications... should not be converted on the premise of "there are a lot of them here now". When America was nothing but a nation of imigrants, those imigrants were expected to speak, learn, or get an interpreter for English. That hasnt changed, and nor should it. The United States was founded by French, English, and Spanish (and of course other lesser European nations) colonists, but after several wars, the English were left in control of the areas that then became the Union. Thus, English became the official language.

Now speaking Spanish is never going to be illegal or anything crazy like that, but my government and it's official trapping should not now be altered to meet the desires of a minority, however large, because they choose not adopt the norms and customs of a nation they are choosing to integrate into.

Xenaphobia would mean that we dont want them to come here, or that we want to shut all outsiders and forigners out... that is not the case. We are talking about not changing AMERICAN standards and traditions to suit the current needs of a popluation that is flooding in largely illegally.

I understand that I cant ask you the question "would you care if..." because you represent the sickly level of "toleration" that has made just about anything and anyone acceptable. But you've got to accept that most of the world is not ready to throw down all of their values or make their belief structure fluid so as to accomidate the ever changing wants and desires of people that would otherwise cause a fuss. (yes, I just called you an apeaser) :D

By Blogger G_in_AL, at May 05, 2006 8:55 pm  

G nobody has ever died over a silly bit of cloth , if it ment that much to them they would go to walmart and spend 2 dollars on another one.

The cloth is just a bit of cloth , nothing else. it is you that have decided in your mind that the cloth or the song or the pledge has some deep meaning , it doesnt.

Xenophobia would mean that your happy for them to come over just as long as they become just like you , which is simply what your saying.

English is NOT your official language G . If it is please show me where that is documented ?

The difference between me and you G is I dont need songs and flags to make me feel proud , I already am proud and no flag burning or song singing is going to make me insecure

as for being an apeaser I think you will find it was those of us that stood for freedom that defeated hitler not those who were for over the top restrictions of such freedom .

No amount of word play puts you on the side of free choice and democracy here G . In fact it would be yourself who is the apeaser :-)

By Blogger _H_, at May 05, 2006 9:22 pm  

Ps as for changing the words check the facts again

An entertaining historical note here is that Francis Scott Key did not write the important part of "The Star Spangled Banner," its music. Key wrote a breast-swelling amateurish poem whose words were fitted to an existing song. The existing song, as few Americans know, was an English song, "To Anachreon in Heaven," a reference to a Greek poet whose works concern amour and wine.

It is you americans that have changed the words , the song is not YOURS it was written about a greek guy so maybe you should go out and learn the proper words to it :-P

By Blogger _H_, at May 05, 2006 9:26 pm  

very true words H.

history lessons aside, english is not the official language of the U.S.A. It is the UNOFFICIAL language of the U.S.A.

"Our anthem, schools, laws, publications... should not be converted on the premise of "there are a lot of them here now"."

If the majority of the public in that community speak a different language, you have no right to assert control from afar and force them to use English. For examples go to most border towns in Texas.

"When America was nothing but a nation of imigrants, those imigrants were expected to speak, learn, or get an interpreter for English."

No they weren't. If you could work you could work. Immigrants who wanted to learn english and do better did. Those who didn't want to learn or didn't have an oppurtunity to learn, stayed with the immigrant community.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 9:34 pm  

"No one – and I repeat, no one – has ever died for a flag. See, a flag ... is just a piece of cloth. They may have died for freedom, which is also the freedom to burn the fuckin' flag, see. That's freedom."

Bill Hicks

RIP

By Anonymous dave (UK), at May 05, 2006 10:20 pm  

if nobody cares about a flag... why then do you care about a National Anthem? That ain't something to worship either.

By Anonymous Burrelio, at May 05, 2006 11:15 pm  

Burellio

I totally agree . I am not a religious man but I do not remember any request to 'worship' a national anthem or nation state in the Bible or Quran etc

in fact I think such things would be classified as the worship of false gods (and idols)

You see being proud of your history or culture is a wonderful thing but when it becomes a feverish worship of flags , songs and pledges to the point that you become filled with rage and anger when people question your false gods then we have degenerated back to neanderthal thinking.

I say be proud of your country and its people that is real and tangible and applies to all nations on earth from the Indian gentleman that started this thread to the American who is proud of his countries achievements

Sing if you want to sing , burn or fly your flags with vigour but do not worship them for such worship creates a society that believes its flags and symbols stand equal with that of a god . Save your worship for your god (if you have one)

Ironically those that worship the flag with the most passion also seem to be those who look down upon other nations as lessors and do not 'seem' to value the lives and cultures of others in equality to their own.

A perfect example that comes to mind is George Bush when he said "we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them at home" clearly defining his view that the life of an Iraqi child has less worth in his mind that that of an American.

By Blogger _H_, at May 05, 2006 11:51 pm  

On the asinine "felony" argument here's First Lady Laura Bush:

"I don't think there's anything wrong with singing it in Spanish."

By Blogger DJEB, at May 06, 2006 12:08 am  

A few people hate other people along with their beliefs. but others die protecting the beliefs of people they've never met. our soldiers now and back in 1812 when our sweet-ass drinking song with new lyrics was first written died protecting their country and its people. The mexicans think that they have the right to sing that song then fine let them. But it is still the AMERICAN national anthem not the mexican one. sing it in spanish then fine but everyone needs to remember AMERICA is the place they're in and our national anthem,flag,the people need to respect the fact that maybe someone has died for the country,flag,anthem and so on.


good writing too your real good at this.

By Blogger A Great American, at May 06, 2006 1:24 am  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 06, 2006 2:02 am  

Anonymous

Thank you for another one of your comments However you may have missed the fact that we do have a Posting Policy on this site which attempts to keep each post on topic and your previous seems to fail to do that.

If you wish to question the motives of this site (again) then please feel free to email the site and I will be happy to converse with you in a one on one debate where a much greater understanding of my views (and yours ) can be achieved.

You have already made one comment that had no bearing to the topic in question and does not follow the flow of the debate . So to continue this thread as others have done in this case (2nd time) I have removed your comment.

If you wish to make any comment that is on topic and complies with our posting policy then you are most welcome . If you wish to debate with me about the motives behind this site then please contact me direct and I will be happy to oblige

Anything to say on the flag , constitution , anthem , immigrants etc ? as long as it stays with our posting policy you are most welcome to put such ideas to to the thread and I look forward to reading them.

Respectfully

H

By Blogger _H_, at May 06, 2006 2:22 am  

It is not the land that makes this country great - it's our culture. True this country was built by immigrants but that was a hundred years ago. Today the vast majority of Americans were born in this country as well as their parents and grandparents. This country hasn't been a nation of immigrants for many generations now. In the early days immigrants assimilated into the fledgling culture out of necessity. The people who came here during the 17th, 18th and 19th century spent months at sea with no guarantee of survival. The new world they sought did not offer public assistance. There were not better schools; there was not free medical care. Back then, America was not strong. Before and during the war of 1812 America was under constant threat of attack. Today's immigrants have it easier than the ones that built this country. Consequently millions of them are not driven to assimilate. As citizens of a sovereign nation we have the right to know what immigrants' intentions are. We need to know if they love America. We need to be assured that they can support themselves and their families without public funds. We citizens and patriots do have the right to make some reasonable demands of jonnie come lately.
Mass immigration without mass assimilation is a recipe for disaster. It's our culture that makes this country great so let’s get busy protecting it.
>The Star Spangled Banner was written by a witness to a battle during the war of 1812. The song depicts the patriots' valiant struggle against the superpower of their age. The Spanish version of the song does not even try to capture the sentiment that inspired the song. An actual translation would be a different story. The Spanish version of the anthem exhibits a different sentimentality altogether; one of entitlement and race baiting - it was a disgrace.

By Blogger Poffrono, at May 06, 2006 1:48 pm  

"The Star Spangled Banner," was an English song, "To Anachreon in Heaven," a reference to a Greek poet whose works concern amour and wine.

You have already stolen the song and if you want to be true to the orginal then you better brush up on your greek history

As citizens of a soveriegn nation they have a right to know what 'YOUR' intentions are and they as citizens have the right to make resonable demands of you too

40 million spanish speaking americans did not just appear over night . Many have been in the US for centuries and they have every right to sing what they want , how they want , when they want (as do you)

Freedom means freedom to love the flag or to burn it

or do you only believe in freedom if people comply with exactly what you tell them.

your not China or the Old soviet Union . denying freedom to sing a different version of a song that was never American to start with sounds like communism to me

By Blogger _H_, at May 06, 2006 2:04 pm  

And please can we get the history lesson sorted once and for all

To Anacreon in Heaven" was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, a club of amateur musicians in London who gathered regularly to perform concerts. These barristers, doctors, and other professional men named their club after the Greek court poet Anacreon (6th century BC), whose poems, "anacreontics", were used to entertain patrons in Teos and Athens. His songs often celebrated women, wine, and entertaining, and today can be considered eroticism.

The connection with Anacreon, along with the "drinking" nature of the lyrics, have caused many people to label "To Anacreon in Heaven" as a drinking song. In all probability some drinking did occur at Society meetings, but the primary purpose of the Society (and its song) was to promote an interest in music. This, however, did not keep the song from being associated with alcohol, as it was commonly used as a sobriety test: If you could sing a stanza of the notoriously difficult melody and stay on key, you were sober enough for another round.

The tune was probably composed (there is only one known firsthand account, by Society member John Samuel Stevens) by a member of the Society, John Stafford Smith, to lyrics by the Society's president, Ralph Tomlinson. Smith wrote the tune in the mid-1760s, while still a teenager. It was first published by Longman & Broderip in London in 1778/1779.

The song, through its bawdy and imbibing lyrics, gained popularity in London and elsewhere beyond the Anacreontic Society, and new lyrics were also fashioned for it, including, in the United States, under such patriotic titles as "Adams and Liberty" and "Jefferson and Liberty."

The melody, if not the original lyrics, became well-known after Francis Scott Key, an attorney, wrote In Defense of Fort McHenry while detained on a British ship during the night of September 13, 1814 as the British forces bombarded the American fort. Key most likely wrote the poem with Stafford's tune in mind. He had written an earlier poem to the same meter scheme. Later retitled The Star-Spangled Banner, Key's words with Stafford's music became a well-known and recognized patriotic song throughout the United States and was officially designated as the U.S. national anthem in 1931.

By Blogger _H_, at May 06, 2006 2:15 pm  

"The Star Spangled Banner was written by a witness to a battle during the war of 1812. The song depicts the patriots' valiant struggle against the superpower of their age"


Sheeez how many fellow Americans do not know their own history. Is that what they teach people at school ? complete fiction, as stated Francis Scott Key re worked the song from the english original

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 06, 2006 2:32 pm  

I was referring to the lyrics of the American version written in 1812. I confess I was not aware that it was ripped off. I agree that people should speak and sing in Spanish.
Mi gustaria aprendar hablo Espanol major. Necesito practica, practica!

Serious props are deserving for this site! Riveting and informative.

By Blogger Poffrono, at May 06, 2006 3:53 pm  

Hehehe

Thank you Poffrono

By Blogger _H_, at May 06, 2006 4:09 pm  

Success is not the transition to death by electric drill

The Iraqi occupation has made a bad situation worse, with real political power passing to violent militias on the streets

By David Clark.





It has long been clear to all bar its most stubborn advocates that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has been the mother of all foreign policy disasters. Three years ago this week, President Bush flew on to the USS Abraham Lincoln to announce that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended". In a display of premature triumphalism that quickly came to symbolise the hubris and folly of US policy, the banner over his head declared: "mission accomplished".

But judging failure and holding those responsible to account has been complicated by a lack of clarity about what exactly that mission was. So many justifications for war have been offered that its supporters have found it relatively easy to respond to the collapse of one by seeking refuge in another.

It is only comparatively recently that they have run out of places to hide. The WMD case was beginning to unravel even before Bush declared victory. As the most recent US state department report demonstrates, terrorism is a greater threat than ever. There has been no "democratic domino effect" sweeping across the Middle East. And even the claim to have liberated Iraqis from a cruel and despotic regime now seems increasingly forlorn.

The failure to achieve these war aims would be bad enough in view of the enormous cost in blood and treasure, but there is now considerable evidence to suggest that in most respects the invasion has made a bad situation worse. That there was no Iraqi WMD threat, or even the prospect of one, is less of a problem than that the risks of proliferation have increased. The Blair-Bush-Gadafy axis of desperation may have delivered Libya's paltry WMD programme in exchange for international rehabilitation, but in the far more serious case of Iran, the Iraq quagmire means that Washington has few good options for preventing the mullahs going nuclear.

More broadly, Iraq has served to dramatically weaken the deterrence effect of American military power. Post-cold war American military planning had been based on a two-war standard: the ability to fight two medium-sized wars in separate theatres simultaneously. Iraq has revealed America's inability to contain even a single low-intensity insurgency without absorbing a large proportion of its available strength. Tied down, Gulliver-like, America today gives potential rogue states little reason to fear its wrath.

The argument that the invasion of Iraq was a natural extension of the war on terror was always weak. In fact, Iraq is a much bigger terrorist threat now that Saddam has gone. Claims of a link between Ba'athism and al-Qaida have become self-fulfilling as Islamists have been able to position themselves in the vanguard of opposition to the occupation. Furthermore, Iraq provides an ideal laboratory for perfecting the kind of terrorism al-Qaida wants to export to the west. Unlike Afghanistan, which was little more than a jihadi playground, Iraq supplies an urban setting, an active theatre of operations and a steady supply of western targets.

In a report last autumn, a leading expert on counter-terrorism, Anthony Cordesman, identified 39 "major adaptations" in the tactics and capabilities of the insurgency. Many of these skills and the people who have perfected them could easily be used to bring violence to our own streets. It is a horrifying thought, but it is perhaps only a matter of time before suicide bombers carrying backpacks are replaced by Baghdad-style car bombs that are much harder to detect and are capable of killing hundreds instead of dozens.

The idea that the removal of Saddam's regime would unleash a wave of democratic sentiment across Iraq and the wider Arab world had its brief, heady moment of apparent realisation last year with elections in Egypt, Palestine and Iraq. How different things look in 2006. With the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the theocratic Shia parties the main beneficiaries of the vote, the triumphalist "end of history" assumption that democracy will always replicate pro-western outcomes has been exposed for the wishful thinking it always was.

Meanwhile, the pro-democracy movement in Iran - the Middle Eastern country where it stood probably the greatest chance of indigenous success - has been suppressed as part of an authoritarian backlash against the perceived threat of American influence on its borders. The politics of national security always favour the demagogue, and President Ahmadinejad should be counted as one of the main beneficiaries of the Iraq war.

In many parts of Iraq real political power has passed to the street, where militias aligned to the ruling parties enforce their own laws, using violence against opponents of the regime, women who refuse to wear the veil and shopkeepers who sell alcohol. Much has been made of the suggestion that the supposedly moderate prime minister designate, Jawad al-Maliki, intends to disband the militias. Yet Maliki, deputy leader of the Islamist Dawa party, has promised to do no such thing. His plan is to merge the militias into the security forces, giving official sanction to their already widespread penetration of police and army. Whether it is in the ministries of Baghdad or on the streets of Basra, Iraq is now ruled by people who in any other context would be denounced by liberal hawks as Islamofacists.

The argument of last resort for those who supported regime change has always been that at least Saddam has gone and the torture chambers have been closed. Even that has turned out to be an illusion, with the news that the director of the Baghdad morgue has had to flee Iraq under threat of death for revealing that thousands of Iraqis are being killed by death squads, many of them linked to the interior ministry. Some of the victims have apparently been tortured to death with electric drills. The build up to war was full of contested claims about Saddam's secret police feeding his opponents into industrial shredders. Is our success to be measured in the transition from shredders to electric drills?

The final line of defence is to question the priorities of those who continue to raise Iraq, and dismiss the issue as a bore. Most of us would gladly move on from Iraq, be we should not do so on the self-interested terms demanded by those who led us to this disaster. Not while the people of Iraq continue to suffer the consequences. Not while those responsible remain in power. Not while there is the remotest chance that it might happen again.

· David Clark is a former Labour government adviser

Article Source : Here.

Author contact Dkclark@aol.com

I dont know really which post to reply to as this is more of a general gripe on my part.
Okay ppl yes ....there are bad things with war yes ppl die and that my crying freinds is in the name of change. I am by no means pro war but when ppl hash and rehash such tired subjects as the abuse of mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners just to get thier piece of the "oh look at me I missed the hippie era by 30 yrs and need to feel important" pie it just sickens me. Its just like they need this bandwagoning to feel important.
Yes ppl mistreating ppl is bad but maybe we should look to the way minorities are treated in certain areas of our own country instead of resurrecting stale news just to gripe.
Do u think in WW2 that allied soldiers didnt harm captured Germans?? Somehow this was overlooked cause in hippie perspective all Germans must be evil or something?? I dont get the mentality really. Or perhaps cause Germans invaded other countries and slaughtered ppl just cause of their religion and Iraq didnt....hey .....wait....wait OH YES THEY DID INFACT.
And yes a reality check to all the band wagon consiracy theory peace is the answer ppl......is it not that long ago ppl like my relatives and im sure lots of yours gave up family ...youth...dreams...everything to go fight in a war that was across the sea....that others but not us were attacked in (is it my imagination or did Iraq not invade Kuwait??).
Perhaps the only difference that justified WW2 for hippies is the scale? "Oh u can only kill so many before its all good". If u dont think Saddam would have done it again maybe u should hear a few tales of the abuse in that country. Perhaps all the THC has blinded the post hippy generation im not sure...
Maybe....our forefathers shouldnt have fought???...MAYBE IF THIER KIDS ALL HELD UP BRISTOL BOARD SIGNS AND CRIED IN THE STREETS Adoplh Hitler would have let millions of Jews and Poles live...not murdered hundreds of thousands in Russia, nearly conquered Great Britain and commmitted thousands of other hate crimes.
Protesters do u live in America?? News flash our country was formed how???? We took arms and fought yes killed shot and murdered ppl so we could have this country is that looked down upon by you?? Strangely not. Oh its because it benefits us that killing is good then perhaps??
Yes ppl we should never ever drop a bomb or take the risk of harming the innocent for the greater good.....My question is then .....WHAT IS THE ANSWER TO GENOCIDE??? More Bristol board and more symposiums I guess.....

Oh yes war has never done any good...except end countless cases of Nazism, Communisim, and genocide.

Yes im anonymous cause I dont need to be harrassed in the name of peace lol.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 04, 2006 10:58 pm  

Anonymous

Thank you for your comment, your rhetoric and your non sequiturs.

Your more than welcome to your 'gripe' and I am sorry you feel the need to be anonymous . You certainly wont be 'harassed' by me.

Trying to define war for me at an elementary level seems to be a requirement you deem necessary so maybe it will help to inform you that I am acutely aware of the relatives of conflict due to spending considerable time on the ground in Iraq and Palestine with my previous employment.

If you yourself have not seen such conflict directly then please allow me to assure you that mere words can not describe the sights (and smells) of conflict and on some levels your naive leap to assumptions could easily be construed as insulting. To question the motives behind a site such as this is your right but to assume your perception therefor represents any kind of reality would be concerning to say the least.

The basis of your point seems to dwell on the comparison of the current war in Iraq and the US led war on Terror.

Somehow in your mind you have decided that an equal and fair comparison would be the sickening acts of the Nazis during World War 2 in which 56 MILLION (aprox) were killed as a fair comparison to the American reaction to a sickening yet 'criminal' acts brought against it on September the 11th in which if memory serves me well just over 3000 people lost their lives.

Of course you have every right to make such a comparison but please feel no offence if sanity prevents me from joining you in such a ridiculous parody.

You ask is it my imagination or did Iraq not invade Kuwait?? but fail to bring into regard the reasons why Saddam Hussein took such an action (The whole dispute started because Kuwait was slant-drilling Iraqi oil) and also failing to note that Although the regime of Saddam was sickening and brutal the human rights violations committed by Kuwait were almost equal in scale .

To see the country of Kuwait as simply an innocent victim of a dictators aggression would imply that you watch far to much fox television. Take a look for yourself at the history of Kuwait's human rights abuses against their own people (especially woman) and ask yourself again if you were saving the good guy or protecting oil interests for the wests consumption.

The United states government props up regimes like Uzbekistan(financially and militarily) where the leader (a certain Mr Karimov) is well known for boiling dissidents alive but still claims to be defending freedom and democracy with its pseudo war on terror.

The CIA kidnaps suspected terrorists from other countries but at the same time protects and harbors wanted terrorists such as Luis Posada Carriles (responsible for planting a bomb on a plane killing all 74 civilians on board including woman and children) due to the fact that he was on the CIA payroll at the time of the atrocity. ( hmm I seem to remember that we don't distinguish between the terrorists and those that harbor them )

Please do not assume that all peace makers are in some way 'hippies' or anti war and in return I will try not to assume that you have been suckered into believing that all you hear from the US government and the western press is in some way true.

Some of us have a moral conscience about what is a just cause for the death and destruction of thousands of innocent woman in children in a place such as Iraq. The motive was not what we have been told and the illegal attack on a sovereign country was not in any way endorsed by the the very body formed after world war 2 to judge such matters (the UN)

America is not the worlds Policeman and its disregard for International laws and treaties of which it has agreed to abide by does not make it the good guy and sadly your opinions on the justifications of people like myself do not represent reality no matter how much you believe they do.

By Blogger _H_, at May 04, 2006 11:59 pm  

PS I missed one..


No I do not live in the United Sates (I am english) and the battle of Britain in 1940 (before the US entered the war) was the deciding moment in my own countries fate.

Maybe you have heard the famous words

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Speech made in the House of Commons as the Battle Britain peaked on August 20, 1940.

By Blogger _H_, at May 05, 2006 1:59 am  

"mother of all foreign policy disasters"

ain't that the truth!

"With the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the theocratic Shia parties the main beneficiaries of the vote, the triumphalist "end of history" assumption that democracy will always replicate pro-western outcomes has been exposed for the wishful thinking it always was."

my point all along. it wasn't we wanted our guys to lose. it was we figured this outcome would be most logical outcome to actually happen.

BushCo knows this. They managed to wage to successful PR war in the press. They just needed to get their foot in their door. The same goes for Iran. And it is about the oil. It is about our resources and maintaining superpower status. The Project for the New American Century says so.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 2:40 pm  

Thank u so very much for your own insightful rhetoric and somewhat comical retort and openly admitting that as I said in my gripe that numbers of those killed are really what justifies a war in some ppls minds. And your retort of and I quote :"Somehow in your mind you have decided that an equal and fair comparison would be the sickening acts of the Nazis during World War 2 in which 56 MILLION (aprox) were killed as a fair comparison to the American reaction to a sickening yet 'criminal' acts brought against it on September the 11th in which if memory serves me well just over 3000 people lost their lives."
Well really what this tells me is that your stance being that a war is justified by the numbers of those abused. Thank you for clearing that up and coming from some one who has apparently experienced the full horror of what is war I find...more than perplexing.
And again I quote "You ask is it my imagination or did Iraq not invade Kuwait?? but fail to bring into regard the reasons why Saddam Hussein took such an action (The whole dispute started because Kuwait was slant-drilling Iraqi oil) and also failing to note that Although the regime of Saddam was sickening and brutal the human rights violations committed by Kuwait were almost equal in scale ."
By this you are apparently telling me that (1) a country is justified to invade another and kill because oh yes of slant drilling? Surely they should have made a bristol board sign instead I guess?? Perplexing to say the least.(2) The brutal human rights violations in Kuwait were ALMOST AS EQUAL so I guess that cancels out Iraqs. Hey really valid points u r making here.......
Thanks for clearing all that up for me. In no way my freind do I say that the American government is angelic in nature at all....good lord haha. Which by the way I DID NOT MENTION ANYWHERE IN MY GRIPE THAT THEY WERE AS SUCH.U chose to use as last ditch ammunition known facts of American secret service wrong doings. Sorry my friend but I have CNN for that.
Let me join you for a moment in laughter ....there that over one can only hope their next post is read by those who can comprehend the written word.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 06, 2006 1:09 am  

Infact anonymous I made no such justifications you merely assume that I did. I do not need to justify an invasion of kuwait for I commited no such crime.

I pointed out that your view was one of over simplification and that the world was not as simple as you implied.

where on earth have you decided that I have justified the invasion of Kuiwat or that one set of human rights violations cancels out another !!

as you say their is only hope that the next post is read by those who can read.... for it seems you to have failed in such a task.

If you wish to clarify your reply in any way then you are more than welcome to reply ( I assume you have not been harrased) :-)

If not I will leave your reply for those who wish to decipher its inner meaning for there seems little if any connection to the answers I gave to you.

Alas I can not really reply in any more depth to assumptions you have made that do not relate to the stance I take or the opinions I hold.

But I do thank you for taking the time to comment and feel free to mystify me again if you so wish

(anonymous or not)

By Blogger _H_, at May 06, 2006 1:38 am  

Well h then if these were not justifications what where they? And why in gods name were they used to fill the other wise blank space in your post??? Maybe I will quote your again perhaps?? :"Somehow in your mind you have decided that an equal and fair comparison would be the sickening acts of the Nazis during World War 2 in which 56 MILLION (aprox) were killed as a fair comparison to the American reaction to a sickening yet 'criminal' acts brought against it on September the 11th in which if memory serves me well just over 3000 people lost their lives."
Ok just a question ...pls dont beat around the bush (no pun haha) and answer it ..directly no dancing about.....if it was not mentioned as a comparison of numbers of those killed as justification......why is it there??
ps from your retort ...I do believe I c a nerve protruding???are u mad? pls answer my question directly as I am getting tired of cuting and pasting your post.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 06, 2006 2:22 am  

This is like ground hog day :-) I doubt very much you can see any nerve protuding in fact you one of the most pleasent dissenters I have had (trust eme I get hudreds of your ilk passing through)

It was their because you introduced the concept of world war two into the debate as a parody of current world events so I simpyly used your own paridy within my reply Thats a question for you to answer not me .. I wonder how you expect me to find the reasons behind words you yourself wrote..

Please take no offfence but are you drinking ?

My nervious dispostion is ticking along nicely and I as yet have felt no offence from your gripe , merely a sense of mystery in trying to define what your point actually is ...

Please refrain from having one on one debates upon my site . Your issues are not ones that relate to the post and it makes others feel as if they are intruding into ap private conversation.

You seem to find me interesting enough to continue posting here so please show curtusy to others that post here and make up a simple email acount and contact me direct. If the conclusion of such a debate is worthy of any further discusion then I will gladly place the issue up as a topic for others to debate.

As a moderator of this site (which can be quite busy) especially in regard to constant emails etc it would be unjust to continue to run question and answer sessions with you which takes away from the time I have to reply to other equaly worthy people who may have points to raise with me

I am trying (i hope you can see) to be as polite as possible but you must try to understand that this is not a free for all post what you want web site . thats why I put the email here so people like yourself can ask all you wish without the need to deflect the flow from other readers.

Kindest regards

H

By Blogger _H_, at May 06, 2006 2:43 am  

As far as drinking maybe I should then I may understand why you used that in your arguement if u didnt understand why me using numbers of those killed by the Nazis in WW2 was adequate reason for war vs those in 911 my friend u r drunk.
As far as it being a parody ??? haha with what purpose to show your own lack of point of arguement....perhaps as proved by dancing about with parody this and that and not answering me thank u for proving my point.
Im sure u r quite busy fighting evil america my friend ....delete this and avoid the issue as you so far have excelled at.
Funny part is I know u read this before u delete it....a man who can twist words so illy as to use a Sex Pistols song and its position on the popular music charts as arguement to prove all America is messed up and Britain isnt just because some Americans are angry that their national anthem has been altered is sad man really...delete this knowing that your obvious hatred for America is well cemented in my mind and that haha your blog isnt anything but a forum to sow your seeds of anti americanisim.
Your ilk exist for popular condemnation of another nation.
Yours truly

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 06, 2006 3:00 am  

LOL delete that No way its a classic , it has to stay ... Better inform my wife of my hatred of her country (she is american) ..

In fact hatred of Americans is clearly banned in the posting policy of this site so maybe i should ban my self quick !!! .

but if it makes you feel better maybe I should help

My alien fleet will be landing shortly to take over your evil regime un less you hand over the one they call George bush to our labortory for testing

meanwhile feel free to read the whole site and judge my many friends accross the pond in any way you see fit.

who needs reality when I have you so quick and able to judge the motives of a man you have never met and a web site you have barely examined (judging by your IP)

Facts tend to get in the way of opinions sometimes , but hey dont let that stop you.

Now remind me again .. your anonymous due to not wanting to be harrased or in order for you to harrass for I see nobody harrasing you. but you do seem to be failing to acknowledge the simple request that I have made of you on my own creative web space .

In short I already know who I am and why I do what I do , you merely assume , feel free to design a web site to anylise me to your hearts content and meanwhile I will continue to behave in the way that I do , for the reasons that I do which as yet your powers of perception have failed to detect.

Now please . I do not find you offensive so please take no offence. Keeps posts on topic or enter the void . the rule applies to all on this site and I can not make you an exception

By Blogger _H_, at May 06, 2006 3:14 am  

Hahaha

Who was that 'illy' gentleman H. Yout get all sorts I supppose. Still more polite than the usual Nationalists it seems what his point is (or at least the one in his head) Has failed to make into legible contructive argument on the page.

Maybe Djeb or Hype can decipher what on earth he is ranting about but I am glad you kept it if only to laugh at at the desperation at claiming you hate America . hehehe great stuff .

Dont I remember someone once claiming you worked for the CIA and you were logging all the IP numbers so they could investigate all the dissedents. Sadly anonymous must take second place in the idiotic assesment table for the CIA claim was the best of all time.

Love it !

By Anonymous Dave (UK), at May 06, 2006 3:48 am  

Maybe Djeb or Hype can decipher what on earth he is ranting about

Sorry Dave. I am busy trying to establish a sustainable home for a client and start a business at the same time. For better or worse, I don't have the time to engage anything other than reality. After glancing at the first paragraph (not even reading it), I see that anon starts blowing off about the Nazis. That was the warning flag that told me not to waste my time.

By Blogger DJEB, at May 08, 2006 3:18 pm  

French PM rules out force on Iran

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has said that military action is not the solution to the international standoff over Iran's nuclear program.





"My conviction is that military action is certainly not the solution," Villepin said at a monthly news conference. "We have already lived through this type of scenario and we know that not only does it settle nothing, but it can raise risks. We have seen this in the most clear way with Iraq."

Villepin -- who made a famed speech at the United Nations against the war in Iraq in 2003 when he was French foreign minister -- urged "unity" and "firmness" within the international community in dealing with Iran.

Saying Iranian statements about its growing nuclear capabilities were "worrying," Villepin said Russian and Chinese support for any U.N. resolution was necessary "for the credibility of our action, the pressure on Iran."

France and other western nations circulated a U.N. Security Council resolution Wednesday that would demand Iran abandon uranium enrichment or face the threat of unspecified further measures -- a possible reference to sanctions. China and Russia oppose the measure.

The resolution is the latest effort to pressure Iran to stop what the United States, France and others say is a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Iran says it is developing nuclear technology purely for energy.

Source : Here.

With France ( China and Russia) holding a permanent position on the United Nations security council it seems we can be assured that the only way that military force is going to be used against Iran is by an illegal attack by the United States or Israel. Still at least they will find this one easier to justify if only by replacing the Q with an N and using the same excuses we heard with Iraq.

As per usual in this very strange political climate it seems we will be depending on China,France and Russia to bring sanity to the debate.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger Ancient Clown, at May 04, 2006 3:10 pm  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger reno, at May 04, 2006 6:00 pm  

Renaud and ancient cloud , Thank you for your comments. Although it is not easy we do try to keep comments at least slightly on topic so your messages have been removed

feel free to post again on topic

By Blogger _H_, at May 04, 2006 6:40 pm  

Sorry, I realized it had more to do with your overall banner than this exact topic but I wasn't sure where to put it and it was sort of topical if you understood it fully.
But I understand what you mean trying to keep the comments clean and flowing.
no worries. Thank you.
Ancient Clown

By Blogger Ancient Clown, at May 04, 2006 7:38 pm  

surprise surprise... the original seat of "Enlightenment and Philosphes" (aka appeasment) has ruled out force...

I's swear this like part 8 of the same movie... hostile force from (pick a nation) directly threatens western interests, French politician (chose name and position) uses "diplomacy" until it fails, but then still rules out use of force... Next should be where they get invaded and/or their interests attacked and they either capitulate or call on their western allies to save them.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at May 05, 2006 2:16 pm  

France knows better than to kick the bees nest.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 05, 2006 2:34 pm  

I commend the intelligence and rationale of the French government. They were the only ones during the build up to Iraq to recognise that the US presentations to the UN General Assembely and Security Council were hevily manipulative, in order to promote the percieved threat from Iraq. This is somthing that has since been varified - that the war was always the goal.

Its not appeasement G. Its debate. Appeasement would be giving in to the US - merely one actor in international relations do you forget? The world is not configuered around the US.

The Iran 'crisis' can be dealt with through the conditions of the NPT and the UN General Assembely (or failing that, the UNSC).

Even if Iran is trying to obtain nculear weapons (which there is no proof), it wouild be completely rational for them to do so given the stance of the US. Iran is not a threat to 'Western values.' If anything, the US is the threat here in its unfounded insistance that Iran is acting illegally. Iran, unlike the US and UK, is acting within the framework of the NPT). Iran - a modern nation - has as much right as the US to defend itself from what it percieves to be the preludes to aggression.

By Anonymous JMN, at May 07, 2006 5:40 am  

hey we all know bush lied just look in his army records he never went to war i think he should go in iraq for sending our troops over there

By Blogger freebird, at May 12, 2006 10:39 am  

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Iraq, Afghanistan among `failing states'

Despite large-scale US support, a study shows that Iraq and Afghanistan rank among the world's most vulnerable states.





In its second annual "failed states" index, Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace concluded that Sudan is the country under the most severe stress because of violent internal conflict.

Eleven of the 20 most vulnerable countries of the 148 nations examined in the survey are in Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast, both chronically volatile in recent years, ranked second and third.

A "failing state" was described as one in which the government lacks effective control over its territory, is not perceived as legitimate by a significant portion of its population, does not provide domestic security or basic public services to its citizens and lacks a monopoly on the use of force.

Sudan received low grades in virtually all areas surveyed, including protection of human rights, "group grievances" against the government and numbers of refugees and displaced people. The western Sudanese region of Darfur has generated well over two million displaced since 2003.

According to the review, the situation in Iraq (fourth) and Afghanistan (10th) deteriorated since last year, the first year the survey was taken.

"For Iraq, the index category that worsened most was human flight," the report says. "The exodus of Iraq's professional class has accelerated, leaving the country without the trained citizens it needs to staff important posts."

Iraq's instability was underscored in a State Department report last week that said 30 percent of all terror attacks worldwide last year occurred in Iraq.

In terms of available human resources, Afghanistan faces a somewhat different problem from Iraq. The report says while educated Afghan exiles have been slow to return since the US-led overthrow of the Taleban government in 2001, overwhelmingly poor Afghan refugees have returned in large numbers from Iran and Pakistan.

"The result is a capital city busting at the seams but short of trained administrators."

Pakistan (ninth) is another troubled country. Its inability to police the tribal areas near the Afghan border helped lead to one of the sharpest declines in overall score of any nation on the index.

The analysis debunks the notion that steady growth rates in China are making the country more stable. China lost ground last year and showed at 57th on the list.

Pauline Baker, president of the Fund for Peace, said the major factors behind China's vulnerability are inequality and corruption that led to about 87,000 peasant protests last year.

Source : Here

Can Bush be added to the list? He isn't a state but he sure is a failure!

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 04, 2006 12:17 am  

wow, pakistan is worse than afghanistan, imran khan's gonna be pissed!

By Blogger knibilnats, at May 04, 2006 12:43 am  

How can they say Iraq and Afghanistan are not a success? We got rid of the evil Taliban in one and got the architect of 9/11 in the other. Mission accomplished!

By Blogger Carrie Oakey, at May 04, 2006 3:54 am  

Carrie, I am also a moderator on this site, so I am repeating myself. For future reference, this applies to all the sites I moderate: Go steal Steven Colbert's act somewhere else. Once more, on any site, and you go into the void.

By Blogger DJEB, at May 05, 2006 6:29 pm  

Moussaoui jury reject death penalty

' Al-Qaeda plotter' Zacarias Moussaoui is to face life in jail, rather than execution, for his role in the 9/11 attacks, a US jury has decided. The prosecution had called for the death sentence, arguing that "there is no place on this good Earth" for him.





But defence lawyers successfully argued he should face life in prison, rather than martyrdom through execution. The judge is bound to hand down the jail sentence. Moussaoui is the only man prosecuted in the US over 9/11. Although he was in jail at the time of the attacks, prosecutors claimed he told lies to allow the plot to continue.

Crazy Terrorist or simply mentally ill ?

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin offered his immediate anylasis of the verdict

"His connection to the attacks is -- it's not zero, as the jury found -- but it's not that strong. And the thing that got him convicted or got him to this stage -- he pleaded guilty -- is his insane, self-defeating testimony that may have been some sort of bid for martyrdom.But the actual evidence that the government presented was really not that strong."

"One interpretation of that is that he's simply crazy. Another interpretation is that he is simply an al Qaeda soldier who wants to see Americans die and he's acting perfectly rationally. This is one of the issues very much in front of the jury."

Good. I don't think the death penalty is right. (Wasn't he in jail when 9/11 happened?)

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 04, 2006 12:14 am  

Yup He was arrested about a month before 9/11 . Its a bit dificult to actually work out what he is serving time for. He didnt actually commit any crime . He just spoke about wanting to commit a crime ... in short he is in jail for thinking of doing something evil (thought crime for those that read orwell)

I am not defending him , He probably would have tried to do something given the chance but considering he is the ONLY person prosecuted for 9/11 the case against him was very lame.

If all those that thought about killing people were jailed for life we would surely need a lot of jails ....

I am no expert on Moussaoui but from what I have seen he does deserve to be locked up for life Just not in a prison but in a mental hospital.

By Blogger _H_, at May 04, 2006 1:13 pm  

The views of Moussauoi stem from genuine grieviences. His political and relgious beliefs are legitimate and his right. A terrorist is defined by his choice of tactic, not his objectives.

If it was found that Mousssauoi was part of a plot, then yes he should be under control - but not for life. In my view, he was locked up because of his political views. Locking him up for a few years and then deporting him to France would not have been an option.

Locking Moussauoi up may deal with him, but it does little in the long run. His views are shared by millions around the globe. Those views are not confined to militants, Muslims or 'terrorists'. 'al Qaeda' (I use the term with caution) represents the extreme end of a spectrum that is not confined to any particular race, nationality or religion.

Those grieviences stem from opposition to American policies, and reinforced by past-American associated atrocities. America needs to adress those issues through modifiying its foreign policy - not necessarily support for Israel, but support for Arab nationalists, dictators, militaries and secret police throughout the world.

If America does not address these issues, it will suffer physically, politically and economically.

There is an important point that a vast majority of people do not recogise. Militancy is merely the extreme finge of a process. The grieviences shared by militants are not confined to militants, and are not confined to Muslims or Arabs. Those grieviences are shared throughout the world, including milions of Americans.

The need to address US policy issues is necessary. The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) - which includes Cheney, Rumsfield, Wolfwowitz and Jeb Bush as signatories - is a concern for the world, not a solution to the world problems. The US can not gain the legitimacy it needs to continue to exploit is hegemonic status. Fukayama does not address this issue of legitimacy sufficiently in his book 'After the Necons.'

In my personal view, American foreign policy is lost between the neoconservatives, the realists and isolationists. After the debacle of Iraq, the White House will only address military and defensive issues. It will do little to ask why it lacks legitmacy in the world. The belief that the 'symptoms' can only be dealt with, and not the disease, is deeply problematic.

To take the view that the US can become politically, economically and physically secure thorugh its current methods is deeply problematic.

My point is, that if the US does not address real grieviences towards its foreign policies, it may be faced with millions of Moussaoui's in the future. But they will be invisible and will only exist on economic charts. Terrorism will no longer be the method of choice, but economic, political and social opposition to the United States.

But, under the current government, as long as the idea is sold that 'terrorists' and 'evil-doers' can be controlled through bombs and bullets, walls and bars, the true grieviences will not be addressed - grieviences which effect millions around the globe. Moussauoi being merely one.

By Anonymous JMN, at May 07, 2006 4:10 am  

Excellent comment JMN

Thank you for taking the time to bring your thoughts to this forum

By Blogger _H_, at May 07, 2006 4:15 am  

'economic, political and social opposition to the United States.'

and the right shoots the messenger, you know the left.. we said this will not help us in the long run.. they said you lost, go back to your corner.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 10:14 pm  

Torture "widespread" under US custody: Amnesty

Torture and inhumane treatment are "widespread" in U.S.-run detention centers in Afghanistan,Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere despite Washington's denials, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.






In a report for the United Nations' Committee against Torture, the London-based human rights group also alleged abuses within the U.S. domestic law enforcement system, including use of excessive force by police and degrading conditions of isolation for inmates in high security prisons.

"Evidence continues to emerge of widespread torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees held in U.S. custody," Amnesty said in its 47-page report.

It said that while Washington has sought to blame abuses that have recently come to light on "aberrant soldiers and lack of oversight," much ill-treatment stemmed from officially sanctioned interrogation procedures and techniques.

"The U.S. government is not only failing to take steps to eradicate torture, it is actually creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish," said Amnesty International USA Senior Deputy Director-General Curt Goering.

The U.N. committee, whose experts carry out periodic reviews of countries signatory to the U.N. Convention against Torture, is scheduled to begin consideration of the United States on Friday. The last U.S. review was in 2000.

It said in November it was seeking U.S. answers to questions including whether Washington operated secret detention centers abroad and whether President George W. Bush had the power to absolve anyone from criminal responsibility in torture cases.

The committee also wanted to know whether a December 2004 memorandum from the U.S. Attorney General's office, reserving torture for "extreme" acts of cruelty, was compatible with the global convention barring all forms of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.

In its own submission to the committee, published late last year, Washington justified the holding of thousands of foreign terrorism suspects in detention centers abroad, including Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, on the grounds that it was fighting a war that was still not over.

"Like other wars, when they start, we do not know when they will end. Still, we may detain combatants until the end of the war," it said.

The U.S. human rights image has taken a battering abroad over a string of scandals involving the sexual and physical abuse of detainees held by American forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

In its submission, Washington did not mention alleged secret detention centers.

Amnesty listed a series of incidents in recent years involving torture of detainees in U.S. custody, noting the heaviest sentence given to perpetrators was five months in jail. This was the same punishment you could get for stealing a bicycle in the United States, it added.

"Although the U.S. government continues to assert its condemnation of torture and ill-treatment, these statements contradict what is happening in practice," said Goering, referring to the testimony of torture victims in the report.

Source : Here.

You can thank Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld for the torture. ...disgusting.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 8:42 pm  

i'm glad that you concentrate on that, i do admit the issue is important, but you don't cover mass torture and executions by insurgents of Iraqi's, or by Kim Jung ill, or Sudan... i'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that you voted Kerry last election... not that it's a bad thing..but a lot of the people who concentrate on only the bad things generally voted Kerry.

By Blogger Tigre, at May 03, 2006 8:59 pm  

Tigre


Yup your really going out on a limb. I am English :-) so I am delighted to inform you that I can not vote in US elections.

I live in the UK and couldn't care less about democrats and republicans. (those parties do not exist here)

I do post often on issues such as Sudan and china , as well as some of the sickening behaviour of the insurgents in Iraq. but you seem to miss something ....

The US used to stand for liberty and freedom and democracy. Now it stands for torture and occupation and complete disregard of international law.

I have had many come here and say , "what about Dafur , what about China ...."

..well we expect that behaviour from china or sudan , we expect torture from the likes of Saddam. Suicide bombers and religious extremists behave exactly how you would expect them to behave. Such Sickness is part of life on earth , bad people behave in bad ways.

However we expect the United States of America to be the Bastian's of democracy and freedom. 'liberty and justice for all' not for them to be constantly compared to the bad guys.

Doesn't the very fact that your mentioning the United States and Sudan in the same comment worry you ?

Is that what America has become , a country that overthrows a dictator who tortures and then commits the very same crimes themselves. ?

I am sorry that your country and your expectations have slipped to such a low standard. I for one do not want to look at the sick terrorist attacks around the world and the equally sick massacre of innocents at places like fallujah and try to decide who in fact really is the bad guy.

Expect more from your country. You do not defeat evil by behaving as evil does . Uphold the standards that your country was founded upon. The world already has one China we don't need another one.

The words of Benjamin Franklin when he said Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Surely do not only apply to American citizens but all human beings.

The United States has always had its faults (like all countries) but reaching the point of trying to hide behind the evils of china or Dafur is really scrapping the barrel.

By Blogger _H_, at May 03, 2006 9:35 pm  

'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.'

these words will haunt my children. history will not be kind to the neo-cons and their wars. Iraq is the new Vietnam. Impeach.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 9:42 pm  

"you don't cover mass torture and executions by insurgents of Iraqi's, or by Kim Jung ill, or Sudan..."

Glad to see you judged the site in 30 seconds.

Ahem. Archives. Read 'em.

Aaaaannnnddd, for the one thousandth time (check the archives here, too), if you are soooooooo concerned about human rights, get your government to stop funding Islam Karimov. (Now I know you don't know who that is, so I'll tell you. He is the leader of Uzbekistan and is notorious for boiling political prisoners to death.)

By Blogger DJEB, at May 04, 2006 2:50 pm  

Nah, personally I'll tell one shouldn't just see the picture, try also to see who is getting tortured. If he is an innocent university lecturer of Iraq, this kind of behaviour should be condemned. Very bad. Shame on you Mr. Bush for not been able to check this.
But, if this is a picture of one of Saddam's chief army officer who personally looked after those genocides, or the ISI / Taliban incharge of Iraq, or something similar, I don't see there's anything wrong in what's happening. And I think the US soldiers didn't go to Iraq to arrest and torture innocents of that country.
And if you consider him as a terrorist, or something similar, how else can you treat the terrorists? Do you want to invite him in your house for a supper? There are some people who only understands one language, torture. What do you think they would have done to US soldiers had they been taken as prisoners?
Let's be realistic. Personally I feel that the world has become so much polluted by these terrorists, who are killing hundreds of innocents daily around the globe, that nothing is unfair against them.

By Blogger ParisGuy, at May 04, 2006 11:34 pm  

Can you tell us 'parisguy' Of any examples (apart from the TV show 24) in the real world where torture works ?o any lives that have been saved ?

Torture does not work it is that simple.

Try it :-) torture your family ! , what you end up with is someone who will tell you anything you want to hear to make the pain stop.


they will tell you that the newyork subway will be attacked with prams . They will tell you that the broklyn bridge is going to be cut down (erm slowly of a number of months)

sadly what they wont tell you is anything you can act apon. for there are far more effective methods of interigation than torture.

Torture does not work , US generals seem to agree . that is not to say it performs no purpose otherwise evil and sick dictators such as saddam or the old soviet block and china wouldnt do it would they.

But it would be unwise to believe they are poking them with burning hot metal rods in order to protect your safety in fact all you can gain from such places as gitmo is a new generation of terrorists who will come back to haunt you for decades to come.

Israel has been torturing Palastinain militins for decades and have gained nothing from it but more bus bombs and more widows

It looks great on TV but please dont think it is protecting you. why do you think those Kidnapped in Iraq get forced into those stupid orange jump suits.

stupid acts as stupid sees , If its ok for the US then its ok for everyone.

The same applies to the concept of premtive strike . other countries France / North Korea etc have now introduced such policies into their beliefs

the US sets the standards that all follow and now we all know that it is ok to diregard the geneva convention and the rights of soveriegn nations , the united nations charter and more , because America has shown us that its all ok to do

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 05, 2006 2:36 am  

'Personally I feel that the world has become so much polluted by these terrorists, who are killing hundreds of innocents daily around the globe, that nothing is unfair against them.'

I could say...

Personally I feel that the world has become so much polluted by America's unfair policies (lust for cheap oil), who are killing hundreds of innocents daily around the globe, that nothing is unfair against them.

This is about business in the short term, world domination in the long term for neo-cons. We all know what happens to the world domination types. buhhbye!

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 08, 2006 10:16 pm  

True hype

The best way to show the fallacy in someone view its to reflect the Image back with a mirror .. so often they will complain about what they see when in the end what they see is their own reflection

By Blogger _H_, at May 09, 2006 4:19 am  

Grandmother deployed to Iraq

A grandmother in eastern Iowa is getting one last call to duty.








Janet Grass, 52, had planned to retire from the military in about 10 months after spending 19 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Instead, she has been ordered to leave her job as a special-education teacher in Cascade to do security work in the Middle East.

"They're changing my career just as I'm retiring," she said. "I guess they wanted to try one more thing for me."

Grass boarded an airplane Thursday at the Dubuque Regional Airport amid emotional goodbyes from her family, which includes four children and six grandchildren. Grass will train in California and Texas before deploying to Iraq for 12 to 18 months.

"Being over there is being in a different world," said her son Tim, who has also served in the military. "It's about being mentally strong to face things that will confront her. She's good. She'll do fine."

Grass, a petty officer first class, recalled how her son had also served in Iraq in 2003.

"I'm taking over for Tim," she said, smiling as she prepared to board the airplane. "I get to play in the big sandbox and teach them to play nice. That's the teacher in me."

Grass said the toughest part of shipping out was saying goodbye to 300 youngsters at Cascade Elementary School, where a send-off assembly was conducted in her honor. "It was a rough one," she said.

As Grass prepared to board the airplane, a grandson grabbed her leg in embrace. She smiled at the boy. "I'll be back," she said.

Her sisters Julie Small and Jolene Petesch stood nearby, sobbing and holding each other in support. Tim Grass, holding a small American flag, watched his mother pass through the terminal gate as other family members questioned the timing of the deployment.

"I think it's wrong," Jolene Petesch said, noting that her sister was about to retire from the military. "The military screwed up there, and I'm angry about it.

"It's another Vietnam. We don't belong there, but I still support our troops."

Source : Here.

How sad. Hope everything works out.

By Blogger herooftime01, at May 03, 2006 2:09 am  

volunteer force... no free lunch there. Hate it for her, but dont try to tug heart strings over this one, she surely got her pay and assistance from the Government for 20+ years... it's under the agreement that when they need you, they need you. Sucks that she's almost going to retire, but thats the way it is.

By Blogger G_in_AL, at May 03, 2006 4:53 pm  

And out of the mist rises a beutiful story, yet, in a way, an ugly story! The US government should be ashamed! Thank you for posting this. i have been inspired to pen some verse! :>) I'll link you here!

By Blogger thepoetryman, at May 03, 2006 5:25 pm  

"beautiful" :>(

By Blogger thepoetryman, at May 03, 2006 5:25 pm  

"It's another Vietnam. We don't belong there, but I still support our troops."

ain't that the truth!

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 6:28 pm  

Hype

Good to see you again :-) . Those were the words that hit home to me too

Poetry man.

I have been reading your work, fantastic stuff. I look forward to popping by and reading your latest.


G

Not tugging heart strings , I just think its sad.

By Blogger _H_, at May 03, 2006 6:46 pm  

BTW, have you heard all the talk about Colbert laying down a serious smackdown at the correspondent's dinner?

The video is all over the place. Simply delicious!

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 6:49 pm  

I also hear Rove is going down this week or next. (Nothing official yet)

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 6:54 pm  

I did notice it being mentioned on the daily show . will check it out

....

Rove ... oh god i hope so , If only we still had dissent :-( these stories are perfect for dionysus.

still the fight goes on ...

By Blogger _H_, at May 03, 2006 6:59 pm  

you have to see the video of Colbert. if you haven't been watching Colbert on Comedy Central then you might not get it.

Colbert is sooo good at what he does that even I didn't get him at first.

His show gets better every night. He plays the fake O'Riley character very well.

"Reality has a well known Liberal Bias." --Stephen Colbert

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 7:20 pm  

That is life, power corrupt. absolute power corrupt absolutely. I do wish ther is still soviet union. at least there will be somebody to check on the US

By Blogger Atuque the Old, at May 03, 2006 8:26 pm  

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Once more unto the breach

This article is the work of Scott Ritter (The former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, 1991-1998.)The original can be found at the source Here






The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has just released a report concerning Iran's nuclear programme, in which it notes that Iran has failed to comply with the UN security council's demands to cease its nuclear enrichment programmes. The IAEA report finds that Iran has, in defiance of the security council, in fact carried out a successful test to enrich uranium to the low levels needed in the production of nuclear energy. The IAEA also found that Iran had failed to provide a level of cooperation and transparency necessary for the IAEA to exclude the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapons programme being carried out under the guise of civilian nuclear energy activities.

While the IAEA's report has underscored Iran's disturbing disregard for responding to the concerns of both the IAEA and the UN security council, it does not certify Iran as a clear and present danger, requiring a strong and immediate response from the international community. And yet the IAEA report has generated rhetoric from both the United States and Europe that seems well beyond that which the content of the report seems to merit. The British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, has joined US officials in condemning the Iranian government for its failure to halt its nuclear enrichment efforts, and has called for the UN security council to "increase the pressure on Iran". Many officials in Europe have echoed the UK position, believing, it seems, that such action represents a manifestation of President George Bush's stated objective of resolving the Iranian matter "diplomatically and peacefully".

Just how naive can Europe be? While public sentiment against the US-led invasion (and ongoing occupation) of Iraq remains high, manifesting itself in the reduction of the original "coalition of the willing" to pathetic levels, Europe ("old" and "new") continues to behave as if the current conflict with Iraq and the potential of future conflict with Iran remain two separate and distinct issues.

It is shocking to see European officials, skilled in the heavily nuanced world of EU diplomacy, accept without question the sophomoric equivocation by the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice that "Iran is not Iraq". This phrase has been used repeatedly by Rice to deflect any query as to whether or not there are any parallels between the current US "diplomatic" stance on Iran and the "diplomacy" undertaken in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, which has widely been acknowledged as representing little more than a smokescreen behind which the Bush administration prepared for a war already decided upon.

Iran may not be Iraq, but these two nations are inextricably linked through the Machiavellian machinations of a US national security strategy that not only embraces the legitimacy of pre-emptive war, but also the notion of America's inherent right to pursue a policy of "regional transformation" in the Middle East, a policy that has as its core operational thematic pre-emptive military action to remove the regimes of so-called "failed" and "rogue" states. In the 2006 version of this national security strategy, Iran is named 16 times as the leading threat to the national security of the United States. I would hope every European diplomat has read this document, and takes its contents to heart. The national security strategy of the United States, circa 2006, can leave no doubt as to what the true intent of the Bush administration is regarding Iran: regime change. The current "crisis" regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions represents nothing more than an emotionally-charged facilitator for war.

Europe continues to act as if the American policy objective of regime change is nothing more than the irresponsible blathering of rightwing media pundits. The self-delusion that encompasses this way of thinking holds that Europe's stance vis-á-vis Iran serves more as a brake toward conflict, than the accelerant it actually is. As such, the European nations taking the lead on the Iranian issue - the UK, France and Germany - will meet on May 2 in Paris with representatives from Russia, China and the United States as a precursor for a meeting of the security council on May 3. The United States has already made clear its intent to introduce a draft resolution under Chapter VII of the UN charter, elevating Iran's obstinacy to the level of a clear and present danger to international peace and security, and paving the way for the imposition of stringent economic sanctions against Iran. The United States will be lobbying quite hard for such a resolution, and is looking to a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Paris group in New York on May 9 as the time and place for bringing this issue to a head.

While such measures appear on the surface to represent sound, measured diplomatic responses, the reality is that once the United States introduces a Chapter VII resolution, even in draft form, war with Iran is all but assured. Russia and China, both permanent members of the security council with veto powers, have made clear their collective objection to any Chapter VII action against Iran. However, by endorsing the transfer of the Iranian issue from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the security council, as well as the original security council "warning" against Iran, both Russia and China have played into the hands of US policy-makers, who have and will continue to use these actions as a clear endorsement of their position that Iran and its nuclear programme represents a threat to international security.

If the Russians and Chinese balk over the imposition of Chapter VII-linked measures against Iran, as they have indicated they will, then the Bush administration will simply declare that the security council has become impotent and irrelevant in dealing with threats that it has itself declared to exist, and, as such, the United States, not wanting to have its own national security interests so hijacked, will have no choice but to move forward void of any security council endorsement or authorisation. This model of action directly parallels that undertaken by the US and UK regarding Iraq, and has been strongly alluded to in recent statements made by Vice-President Cheney, the US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, and Rice.

The United States has positioned itself masterfully in this regard. But the sense of urgency being pushed by the Bush administration does not match the reality painted by its own director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, who recently testified before the US Congress that Iran was, at best, 10 years away from having a nuclear weapons capability. As such, there is no need for the security council to pursue this matter under the guise of a Chapter VII resolution. In fact, there is no need for the security council to be engaged on this issue at all, at least at this time.

The one real hope of side-stepping this mad rush towards war with Iran lays in a statement made by the Iranian government, offering to deal openly and transparently with the concerns listed in the IAEA's report within a matter of weeks, if the Iranian nuclear issue is transferred away from the security council and back to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The best thing the Europeans could do at this time would be to join ranks with the Russians and Chinese to take up the Iranian offer, defusing a very tense and dangerous situation that, as it currently stands, seems to be spinning close toward yet another needless war in the Middle East.

If Iran's purpose for enriching uranium is so peacfull, why their anti Semitic rethoric and refusal to cooperate with the IAEA?

Why does Iran link their energy developement with the destruction of Isreal?

Not so bening I think.

Does Scott Ritter think that Iran is developing nuclear capabilities in a vacumn?

Does he really think that 10 years is realistic given the desires of the Russians and the Chinese to capitalize on Irans possecion of a nuclear weapon?

And is it lost on Ritter the fact that Venezuela is now exporting Uranium to Iran?

What do you suppose Iran will give Chavez in return, a thank you card?

Ritter's agenda is clear and he is as devoid of credability as Irans president is of good will towards Isreal.

I only wish we could just sit and wait "10" years to see what Iran will do with its nuclear capabilities. Would be very interesting indeed.

By Blogger AP, at May 03, 2006 5:06 pm  

Iran has every right to learn and protect themselves. Damn information police are trying to control ideas and thoughts. ...and they might have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for those damn blogger kids.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 6:30 pm  

AP

These are all Non sequiturs ,(IE it does not follow)

The rhetoric of Iran towards Israel ( or on the flip side the way the Israelis treat the palestinians) is of no connection to Iran peaceful (or not) program to enrich Uranium.

Why do you link Iran's Energy development with the 'destruction of Israel ?

Iran has complied with the IAEA under the terms accepted by there signatory within the NPT. In fact the most recent IAEA report said there had not been...

"any diversion of nuclear material to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices",

They merely 'requested'

Iran to substantially increase its cooperation with the IAEA inspectors as the agency has not been able "to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran."

You see , it depends whether you actually read the full content of the words of the IAEA or just the rhetoric and hype of the US government and western press. So why are you assuming Iran is not working with the IAEA ?

The IAEA found no smoking gun. Just concern that Iran was not following United nations security council requests.

The IAEA and the UNSC are not the same thing. Iran has always been an NPT signatory. Hence, the Safeguards Agreement covering all its a) "source or special nuclear materials," b) facilities where such materials are stored, and c) activities involving the chemical or physical transformation of such materials, remains in force only so long as Iran is a signatory to the NPT.

For more than two years, Iran has negotiating an Additional Protocol to its existing Safeguards Agreement, and was, until recently, "cooperating" with the IAEA as if the Additional Protocol were actually in force. But it isn't, yet, and probably never will be, since the Iranian Parliament has directed its Atomic Energy Agency to stop "cooperating" as if it were. Which is their right

The NPT does not require non-nuke NPT signatories to negotiate and conclude an Additional Protocol to their IAEA Safeguards Agreements. Hence, the IAEA Board most certainly cannot make such a requirement of Iran.

Iran does not have to follow the requests of the UNSC for it is not their jurisdiction to define policy under the terms of the NPT

Here is the IAEA conclusion, which others will not quote for you at such length:

' 33. All the nuclear material declared by Iran to the Agency is accounted for. Apart from the small quantities previously reported to the Board, the Agency has found no other undeclared nuclear material in Iran. However, gaps remain in the Agency’s knowledge with respect to the scope and content of Iran’s centrifuge programme. Because of this, and other gaps in the Agency’s knowledge, including the role of the military in Iran’s nuclear programme, the Agency is unable to make progress in its efforts to provide assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.

34. After more than three years of Agency efforts to seek clarity about all aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme, the existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern. '
This ambiguity is being twisted by the Bush administration to make it seem as though Iran has done something illegal. The report can be read to say that there is no evidence that Iran is doing anything illegal.

In fact, under the NPT, countries do have the right to do the sort of experiments Iran is doing. Most of the complaints are not about substance but about something else

Why do you concern yourself with countries who are signed up to the non proliferation treaty when there clearly are countries whom do have the dreaded bomb who are not signed up to the NPT such as India and Israel ?

Why would you accept reports of Iran importing uranium when it is a natural resource of their own country ?

Did you also believe them when they said Iraq was importing Uranium from Niger ? (when they too have Uranium as a natural resource)

Finally why would you attempt to discredit a qualified UN inspector without stating what qualifications and what ground experience that you yourself have that makes you qualified to judge Mr ritter ?

It sounds to me like your more politically motivated then factually motivated in fact the words of the infamous downing street memos come to mind

The facts are being fixed around the policy

By Blogger _H_, at May 03, 2006 6:38 pm  

damn good response H. I would add that this rift runs deep.

please read about the CIA's activities in Iran before the hostage crisis.

Here is a good resource:

http://www.thememoryhole.org/espionage_den/

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 7:01 pm  

Most US young people can't find Iraq on map

Most American young people can't find Iraq on a map, even though U.S. troops have been there for more than three years, according to a new geographic literacy study released on Tuesday.






Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans aged 18-24 in a survey could place Iraq on an unlabeled map of the Middle East, a study conducted for National Geographic found. Only about one-quarter of respondents could find Iran and Israel on the same map.

Sixty-nine percent of young people picked out China on a map of Asia, but only about half could find India and Japan and only 12 percent correctly located Afghanistan.

"I'm not sure how important it is that young adults can find Afghanistan on a map. But ... that is symptomatic of the bigger issue, and that's (U.S. young adults) not having a sense that things around the world really matter that much," said John Fahey, president of the National Geographic Society.

The study results confirm Fahey's concern: 21 percent said it was "not too important" to know where countries in the news are located.

Half of respondents said it was "absolutely necessary" to know how to read a map, but a large percentage lacked basic practical map-reading skills.

For example, most young people were able to locate a port city on a fictitious map, but one-third would have gone in the wrong direction in the event of an evacuation.

In general, natural disasters appear to have a limited impact on young Americans' view of the world, the study found.

Only 35 percent identified Pakistan as the country hit by a catastrophic earthquake last October, killing over 70,000 people; 29 percent thought it happened in Sri Lanka.

Most respondents could find Louisiana and Mississippi, but still more than one-third failed to find those two states that were the subject of daily news coverage after the onslaught of hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year.

There were some positive signs: young people who go online for news and who use two or more different news sources show a greater knowledge of geography, the study found.

Source Here

No problem. I am told that even their president in the White House is not a specialist in geography. Why should he.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 03, 2006 4:50 pm  

That's just sad. Reminds me of an Aussie spoof news show where they fooled loads of Americans into placing little "number 1" (to go in the war against terror) flags on Australia just because they had written "N. Korea / Iraq / France / Iran" on it. One guy said "Oh my god I never realised North Korea was so much larger than South Korea" S. Korea being Tasmania in this case.

By Blogger St.Jimmy, at May 03, 2006 4:59 pm  

st.jimmy

I remember it well , in fact you can watch the clip you mention on this site here ( i posted on it last year)

By Blogger _H_, at May 03, 2006 6:56 pm  

As President of the White House, it is not geography that Bush should have a grasp of, but international relations, international war, and therefore foreign issues, which entails geographic knowledge.

Bush is a business executive - a poor one of that. Being surrounded by intelectuals in different fields of international relations does not equal experise on the Presidents behalf. As long as the decision maker - where 'the buck stops here' - is ignorant to such issues and the workings of the world, there judgements will always be flawed. Especially with a Presdient like George Bush, whose decisions are based upon pre-concieved objectives - his assistants being merely that, assistants.

Since Bush has come into power, he has had issues with Colin Powell, Condeleza Rice and Paul Bremner to name but a few. Why? Because they dare to express concern about his policies.

Yet, his close associates who cock up at every term, such as Donald Rumsfield and Dick Cheney (the latter who continues to lie on some issues such as Saddam Hussein and 9/11), are kept close at hand. Why? Becuase they share an ideology, which they do not qustion.

For individual American's themselves, I can not really blame them. This is not the exception. The majority of people around the world arent competant with a map. Why should they be?

Yet, to have a sufficient opinion on world events, it is necessary to know a bit about the world. It seems a lot of these people accpet unquestioned George Bush's rhetoric and promises of security, simply because they do not personally eplore the issue at hand.

But why should they? Not everyone is an analyst. In a country such as the US, people are contempt with living thier confortable personal lives in thier own nation. That is something that can be both envied and rejected, however you view it. It is the reason why electoral turnouts are so low in nations such as the US and Britain - people are confortable. They still have opinions on issues of terrorism - things which threaten them - yet those opinions are deeply, deeply, uneducated.

But ti depends on your political stances. For example, I can pick out virtually ay country on a worldmap. Yet I cant name the counties of England (infact, im more competant in naming American states than British counties). Im not concerned about Britain as much as the rest of the world - im niether a nationalist or a patriot. I am interested in world affairs. Someone who specialises in British domestic affaris would probably be appalled by my lack of knowledge regaridng British geography.

I've never trusted or followed opinion polls for this reason. The majority of people have an opinion, but an uneducated one of that (by uneducated, I mean they have not read widely on the topic). For executive leaders of nations to be guided by ingorance and apthy is appalling, especially when they are the,selves ignorant and apthetic to world events.

By Anonymous JMN, at May 07, 2006 3:40 pm  

Geography may be bad but I am sure your hearing is fine .. Being in wales it must be hard to confuse your location. Accents make locations simple in the UK , know the accent .. then you know the location , they seem to change about every 20 miles in every direction

More seriously , another Intesting read. one question. As an observer of current world events and political theatre do you not feel obliged to take any form of action to attempt to influence (in any tiny way) what is so predictably ahead. Or is merely being an observer enough to satisfy your intellectual needs

By Blogger _H_, at May 09, 2006 4:16 am  

Neil Young 'Living with the war' (full album)

Listen to the whole album Here

Neil Young is among the minority here in America. However, the tide has certainly changed.

Thankfully, we see more creative freedom and less restriction, whether it is self imposed or not.

Remember the Dixie Chicks?

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 7:03 pm  

I can't stand Neil Young and his whinny sounding voice.He can keep his opinions to himself.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 04, 2006 8:24 pm  

"Naturally. Only state approved opinions count. Jeese, talk about whinny" [sic].

By Blogger DJEB, at May 06, 2006 12:17 am  

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rare interview with Moqtada al-Sadr

Newsweek has been granted a rare interview with the populist Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. A year ago the US military wanted him captured dead or alive. Just over twelve months later, Sadr, who has more than three million supporters holds the balance of power in the new Iraqi parliament.

Sadr is no friend of the West , in fact he has clearly stated that he will use his militia to attack any country that uses force against Iran or any other neighbouring Muslim country.

Below are some excerpts from the interview with the firebrand cleric who has transformed his position from one of being wanted for the murder of US and UK soldiers to that of a major player in the new Iraqi government.

NEWSWEEK: In 2003, the Americans and various Iraqi parties described you and your followers as a minor force. Clearly no one would say that now.

SADR: Time elapsed; things became clear and resulted in the Sadr trend—a powerful, loyal political and military force. At the same time, I reach out my hand to cooperate [and] to make peace in Iraq, to drive away the shadow of the armies of darkness. The occupation is the creator of all problems. I pray to Allah to take away the problems and their creator.

At one point the U.S. military and [American] political spokesmen said it was their aim to "kill or capture" you. Your reaction now?

Their threats are still on, and my life is cheap as a price for the service of Islam. America is baring its teeth against Shiite mosques and sanctuaries.

What happened to the murder warrant issued against you and some other people in the matter of Ayatollah [Abdel Majid] al-Khoei [Khoei was killed in April 2003]?

The arrest warrant was issued by the occupation, not by the Iraqi courts, and this is not legal. Many people were arrested over this matter, and they were released. This is true evidence that they are innocent.

It is said that you have made some contacts with Sunni resistance figures. Do you still have such relationships with them in the wake of the [attack on the Askariya shrine in Samarra]?

There is no Sunni or Shia resistance; there is an Iraqi Islamic resistance. But I address the Sunnis through NEWSWEEK: One, they should specify their stance toward attacks on civilians. After the attack in Samarra, the Sunnis didn't have a clear stance. Two, their stance toward Takfiris [adherents to the extremist ideology espoused by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] is not clear. Three, they should specify their stance toward the Shia. Are we Muslims or not? Four, they should demand the execution of Saddam Hussein. And five, they should specify their stance toward families who have been displaced.

You blamed the Askariya shrine bombing on the Americans, in part. Can you explain your thinking?

There is only an incomplete sovereignty in Iraq, which means that the occupation is the decision maker. Any attack is their responsibility. The U.S. ambassador and Rumsfeld have ignited the sectarian crisis here

The Mahdi Army is supposedly the only faction that hasn't signed on to an agreement to incorporate militias into governing bodies. Can you explain why?

The Mahdi Army is not a militia. I issued a statement recently limiting the Mahdi Army personnel to cultural, social and religious acts.

Many people claim that Mahdi Army militiamen have been responsible for sectarian attacks in recent weeks. Others say they're simply defending their neighborhoods. What do you say?

Mahdi Army personnel are not sinless. But they are integrating themselves despite the harsh circumstances they live in.

You've become part of the political establishment now. Are you more moderate?

Everyone builds Iraq the way he sees fit. The most important issue is the timetable for the U.S. withdrawal. We know there will be no justice under occupation, at any time and any place. In fact, there will be no stability for anyone, since Iraq defines the destiny of the world. You can see the families of U.S. soldiers waiting for their sons, brothers, men to return home peacefully. Where is the distribution of justice and peace there?

Your partners in the ruling coalition are very much against insisting that the Americans leave immediately from Iraq; [they think] it would be a disaster.

We want to build our country by our own hands. I demand a timetable. Even if it is for a long time, it doesn't mean it isn't possible to have a timetable for it.

Isn't it true that American advisers are not allowed into the ministries you control?

Yes, it is forbidden, and it is prohibited for anyone to deal with them. Otherwise he will be disobedient to God and I will have no relation with him.

Can you tell us something about yourself personally? Married? Children?

I am married; I have no children. I was 25 when my father was assassinated. If he were alive, the U.S. would never have been able to come to Iraq.

This is sooo serious. The chickenhawks don't realize that kicking the bee hive is not smart. We have the technology to kill the bee hive but not before we are stung all over and possibly dead.

-Hype

By Blogger Hype, at May 03, 2006 7:05 pm