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Showing posts from July 24, 2007
"The rival camps of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama clashed Tuesday over the meaning of Obama's claim in a Democratic presidential debate that he'd be willing to meet with leaders of rogue nations such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran.

Clinton supporters characterized it as a gaffe that underscored the freshman senator's lack of foreign-policy savvy while Obama's team claimed his response displayed judgment and a repudiation of President Bush's diplomacy."

I have been in this country for the last 17 years. It doesn’t shock me that Obama’s overture to talking to countries America targeted unfairly in the past (because they rejected total submission to USA) interpreted as cowardly. What is that tells me about America’s people looking forward to live in peaceful world in respect to reach out and talk to the “enemy?” nil! It is not only George Bush (who is a war criminal) or his regime which is driving the foreign policy agenda, but it is also the m…

NPR : Gas Flaring Disrupts Life in Oil-Producing Niger Delta

NPR : Gas Flaring Disrupts Life in Oil-Producing Niger Delta
Morning Edition, July 24, 2007 · Every year, millions of dollars are literally going up in smoke in Nigeria, Africa's top crude oil-exporting nation, as companies burn off unwanted natural gas released during oil production.
This flaring and venting produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than any other single source in Africa south of the Sahara, and many who live in Nigeria's oil-producing communities complain of chronic health and environmental problems associated with the gas flares.

listen the report from

In Case You Missed It! American Media.

'The Final Word Is Hooray!': "Weeks after the invasion of Iraq began, Fox News Channel host Brit Hume delivered a scathing speech critiquing the media's supposedly pessimistic assessment of the Iraq War.

'The majority of the American media who were in a position to comment upon the progress of the war in the early going, and even after that, got it wrong,' Hume complained in the April 2003 speech (Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/25/04). 'They didn't get it just a little wrong. They got it completely wrong.'

Hume was perhaps correct--but almost entirely in the opposite sense. Days or weeks into the war, commentators and reporters made premature declarations of victory, offered predictions about lasting political effects and called on the critics of the war to apologize. Three years later, the Iraq War grinds on at the cost of at least tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.

Around the same time as Hume's speech, syndicated colum…

Chechnya Weekly from the Jamestown Foundation

Chechnya Weekly from the Jamestown Foundation: "It has become commonplace for Ramzan Kadyrov’s public statements to be less an expression of his own views and more of a way for one of the Kremlin cliques to shed light on yet another possibility of what will happen to the Russian Presidency in 2008 [1]. Two birds are killed by this one stone – the reaction to a particular approach becomes known, while at the same time there is no need to make any sort of explanation in the media, since no one criticizes a man like Kadyrov.

Vladimir Putin’s upcoming exit from power is spoken of so frequently by high-ranking individuals that one starts to question its reality. If President Putin does leave power, he will do so only to remain close to it and keep alive the possibility of coming back in the name of “saving” his legacy. And though Ramzan Kadyrov might not be the best candidate for putting out feelers regarding Putin’s continued presidency, he is a man that is definitely part of Putin’s …

Voices - My Day in Ramallah

Voices - My Day in Ramallah: "Every time I come to Palestine I am amazed at the patience, endurance and family values of the occupied people. Last Saturday I traveled to Ramallah from Jerusalem; a trip that once took less than fifteen minutes and less than 15 kilometers. It took my driver an hour and a half to get me there...
Saturday the traffic was light, but it took an hour and a half and over 25 km's to reach Ramallah. Numerous roadblocks of sand and large stone boulders were scattered along the dusty unpaved Palestinian streets and two checkpoints were closed. Traffic was thus forced to turn around and search for the one way that was opened. "

Islamic charity's terror trial starts soon

Islamic charity's terror trial starts soon: "Defendants will get their first chance to dispute charges that the group supported Hamas.
By Greg Krikorian
Times Staff Writer

July 23, 2007

DALLAS — Nearly six years after it shut down the nation's largest Islamic charity for alleged ties to terrorism, the U.S. government begins the high-stakes prosecution this week of five top officials of the Holy Land Foundation, accused of funneling money to Palestinian militants.

In a 2001 Rose Garden appearance shortly after Sept. 11, President Bush said the charity was among those that 'do business with terror.'

Holy Land officials denied claims that the charity sent funds to Hamas, and tried unsuccessfully to force the U.S. to prove it in court. Ironically, the criminal case gives the charity officials — all but one of whom are U.S. citizens — their first chance to dispute specific allegations that they supported the terrorist group."

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/21/2007 | U.S. hopes humanitarian aide will ease tensions in Afghanistan

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/21/2007 | U.S. hopes humanitarian aide will ease tensions in Afghanistan: "GERESHK, Afghanistan — Two transport trucks loaded with humanitarian aid, escorted by South Carolina National Guard troops, rolled into the Afghan army base here earlier this month.
The aid - clothes, food and hygiene kits - was delivered after a NATO bombing killed dozens of men, women and children near this town of about 46,000 in the heart of Helmland province.
'The bombings caused a mess,' said Army Maj. Marc Daniels, who commanded the aid convoy. 'You get a hailstorm of people who are upset because you've just blown up their families.'"

Hamas, Fatah in Stalemate in West Bank

Hamas, Fatah in Stalemate in West Bank: "Ramallah is one of five major West Bank towns where Fatah lost control in 2005 local elections, either to Hamas or to a coalition of the Islamists and other opponents. Fatah only retained Jericho, the smallest of the regional centers, and canceled voting in two other cities for fear of losing.
Fatah's biggest loss was Nablus, the West Bank's second-largest city, where Hamas took 13 of 15 City Council seats in 2005, with only two going to Fatah.
By all accounts, the parties worked together well for the first year-and-a-half after the elections.
The council's work became more difficult in May, when Israel retaliated against Hamas rocket fire from Gaza by arresting Hamas leaders in the West Bank. Among those locked up were Nablus Mayor Adli Yaish and two other council members.
In June, the Gaza fighting spilled over into recriminations against Hamas members in the West Bank. Armed men forced Deputy Mayor Khoulud al-Masri of Hamas from…

Kamikaze survivors express regret and anger in new film - Independent Online Edition > Asia

Kamikaze survivors express regret and anger in new film - Independent Online Edition > Asia
Long before 11 September 2001 and today's suicide bomber came the kamikaze, or tokkotai (special attack) pilots as they were known in Japan. Like the jihad martyrs of the Middle East, the Second World War kamikazes were depicted as desperate, fanatical men who burnt with hatred for the US and were ready to die for their god, the emperor. But a new documentary shows a different story.

In Wings of Defeat, directed by Risa Morimoto, a Japanese-American, the dwindling group of ageing pilots who survived express sadness, regret and even anger at their leaders, who told them they were fighting madmen who would kill them all. "They thought they were fighting to end all wars, and they were lied to - as we are being lied to now in Iraq," Morimoto recently told The Japan Times » Blog Archive » Re-Targeting Syria, the “Ho Chi Minh Trail of Terrorists?” » Blog Archive » Re-Targeting Syria, the “Ho Chi Minh Trail of Terrorists?”: "Just when it appears that Israel and Syria may be slowly inching their way towards peace talks with the help of Turkey and Qatar (although Israel’s new president, Shimon Peres, called for direct talks Friday), two hawks at the otherwise realist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) are calling for the Bush administration to carry out punitive attacks against Damascus."

'Why Do They Hate Us?' -

'Why Do They Hate Us?' - "LONDON Recently, I found myself in Dallas, a place I'd never been before. As a Muslim writer, I felt about going there pretty much the way an American writer might have felt about heading to the tribal areas of Pakistan: nervous, with the distinct suspicion that the locals carried guns and weren't too fond of folks who look like me.
So I was surprised by the extraordinary hospitality I encountered on my trip. And I still remember the politeness with which one elderly gentleman addressed me in a bookshop. He held a copy of my latest novel, 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist,' and examined the face on its cover, comparing it to mine. Then he said, nodding once as if to dip the brim of an imaginary hat: 'So tell me, sir. Why do they hate us?'"

Bush's torture ban is full of loopholes | Salon

Bush's torture ban is full of loopholes | Salon
Once upon a time, a U.S. official's condemnation of torture was a statement of moral principle. Today, it is an opportunity for obfuscation. We have learned that when President Bush says, "We don't torture," it's important to read the fine print. So it was once again on July 20, when Bush issued a long-awaited executive order purporting to regulate interrogation tactics used by the CIA in the "war on terror." According to a White House press release, the order provides "clear rules" to implement the Geneva Conventions governing treatment of detainees in wartime -- rules the administration insisted did not even apply to the "war on terror" until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise last summer. But while the new rules reflect a significant retreat by the administration from its initial torture policies, they are anything but "clear," come far too late in the day, and in any eve…

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/23/2007 | After carnage, U.S. and Iraqi authorities compete for control

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/23/2007 | After carnage, U.S. and Iraqi authorities compete for control: "After the blast near a busy shrine in the mostly Shiite Muslim area of Karrada, Iraqi firefighters, medical workers, Iraqi police, traffic police, Iraqi soldiers, American troops, members of two powerful Shiite militias and ordinary residents jostled for control. With so many forces picking through the charred, bloody wreckage, no single group emerged as the one in charge, and the already frenzied scene spiraled into pandemonium."