This kinda news....
Iraq throws open door to foreign oil firms
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." * Martin Luther King Jr. // * "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them." * George Orwell // Want to contact the Stubble Jumping Redneck? Shoot her an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org
"The reason: Al Qaeda has gone too far even for many jihadists to stomach. They are horrified by Al Qaeda's brutal campaign in Iraq, by the reality that most of Al Qaeda's victims around the world are Muslim and by the fact that the terror network has continued to target civilians for slaughter in the West."...
"Recent polls show that Al Qaeda has hemorrhaged support in places where its terrorist campaign has reached people's doorsteps. By one measure, pro-Al Qaeda sentiment is now down to 10% in Saudi Arabia - and has dropped from 70% to 4% in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. The number of Al Qaeda sympathizers in Britain fell dramatically after the 2005 London bombings."
"Syria's vice president said Wednesday night his country allowed UN nuclear inspectors to visit a site in the remote eastern desert destroyed by Israeli jets last year to prove that US allegations of a covert Syrian nuclear program were false.
Farouk al-Sharaa said however that the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors would not be allowed to probe beyond the Al Kibar site, despite a UN request to visit three other suspect locations."
"The Pakistani-born Nazir-Ali has caught the mood of the nation as no other bishop has; his boycott of Lambeth will remind us all that the C of E has utterly failed to grapple with the challenge of radical Islam."For those who don't know, Nazir Ali is a British Anglican Bishop of Pakistani origin who is taking a stand against the ridiculous position taken by his boss, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, on the intrusion of Sharia law into British society. Several months ago, Williams achieved international notoriety for advocating the acceptance of sharia in England.
"The West should be thankful that it has in US President George W Bush a warrior who shoots first and tells the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to ask questions later. Rarely in its long history has the West suffered by going to war too soon. On the contrary: among the wars of Western history, the bloodiest were those that started too late."h/t Jay Currie
"Benedict XVI may preach against violence, but in his own fashion he takes a tougher stance than the American president. That surely is not the way it looks at first glance. Bush invaded an Arab country, while Benedict preaches reason to the Muslim world, receiving in the past few months Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah as well as delegations from Iran. He has agreed to a meeting with a group of 138 Muslim scholars at the Vatican in November. Why should Muslims fear Benedict? "
"For the first time, perhaps, since the time of Mohammed, large parts of the Islamic world are vulnerable to Christian efforts to convert them, for tens of millions of Muslims now dwell as minorities in predominantly Christian countries. The Muslim migration to Europe is a double-edged sword. Eventually this migration may lead to a Muslim Europe, but it also puts large numbers of Muslims within reach of Christian missionaries for the first time in history."
"Muslims are in dialogue with a pope who evidently does not merely want to exchange pleasantries about coexistence, but to convert them. This no doubt will offend Muslim sensibilities, but Muslim leaders are well-advised to remain on good terms with Benedict XVI. Worse things await them. There are 100 million new Chinese Christians, and some of them speak of marching to Jerusalem - from the East. A website entitled Back to Jerusalem proclaims, "From the Great Wall of China through Central Asia along the silk roads, the Chinese house churches are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ all the way back to Jerusalem."
Islam is in danger for the first time since its founding. The evangelical Christianity to which George W Bush adheres and the emerging Asian church are competitors with whom it never had to reckon in the past. The European Church may be weak, but no weaker, perhaps, than in the 8th century after the depopulation of Europe and the fall of Rome. An evangelizing European Church might yet repopulate Europe with new Christians as it did more than a millennium ago. "
All Iranian young people say: " Islam is a satanic and an anti humanism religion. "
تمام جوانان ایران می گویند : " اسلام یک دین اهریمنی و یک دین ضد بشر است."
Alle iranske unge si: "Islam er en satanic og en anti humanisme religion."
Todos los jóvenes iraníes dicen: "El Islam es un satánico y un humanismo de lucha contra la religión."
جميع الشباب الايراني يقول : "الاسلام هو شيطانيه ومناهضه للدين الانسانيه".
Tous les jeunes iraniens dire: "L'islam est une satanique et un humanisme de lutte contre la religion".
Alle iranske unge sige: "Islam er en sataniske og en anti humanisme religion."
Alle Iraanse jongeren zeggen: "De islam is een satanische en een anti humanisme religie."
Все иранские молодые люди говорят: "Ислам является сатанинские и анти религия гуманизма".
ایا - حزب سبز لبه تاریکی ایران
"The role of the Inspectors is to monitor and verify the disarmament of Iraq as demanded by the international community at the end of the Gulf War, 12 years ago. Inspectors are not a detective agency: They can only work effectively if the Iraqi Regime co-operates pro-actively with the Inspectors. We know this can be done successfully: South Africa did it.Perhaps Sean, you were too busy with your studies, working your way through what must have been six, maybe seven or eight years of university, chasing the girl who would become your wife and what not, to be paying attention. You're a young guy with your life ahead of you, so who can blame you for having other priorities. But, Sean, the concealment, deception and intimidation (otherwise known as the cat and mouse game) had gone on for over a decade and continued right up until Baghdad fell. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you were not be aware of this. But if you were, then you really are in bed with the devil.
But Iraq has singularly failed to do this."(Emphasis mine)
"Instead, the ISG report says in its conclusion that there was evidence to suggest the Iraqi regime planned to restart its illegal weapons programmes if UN sanctions were lifted."and as we all know, the sanctions regime was rapidly breaking down, and it was not Saddam Hussein who suffered as a result of those sanctions in any case, but rather, due largely to his ability to circumvent them and exploit Western dupes through the display of sick and dead children, it was the Iraqi people who suffered.
"In a report which might alternately be termed “stunning” or “terrifying”, United Nations weapons inspectors confirmed last week not merely that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but that he smuggled them out of his country, before, during and after the war."including Canada:
"Addressing a group of 700 university researchers and business leaders in Montreal last month, (Canada's Prime Minister, Paul) Martin stated bluntly that terrorists have acquired WMDs from Saddam. “The fact is that there is now, we know well, a proliferation of nuclear weapons, and that many weapons that Saddam Huseein (sic) had, we don't know where they are…. [T]errorists have access to all of them,” the Canadian premier warned."and:
"Every intelligence agency in the world -- French, British, German, Russian, Czech, you name it -- agreed before the war; Jordanian intelligence can certainly confirm their opinion today."
"Violence in all of Iraq is the lowest since March 2004. The two largest cities, Baghdad and Basra, are calmer than they have been for years. The third largest, Mosul, is in the midst of a major security operation. On Thursday, Iraqi forces swept unopposed through the southern city of Amara, which has been controlled by Shiite militias. There is a sense that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s government has more political traction than any of its predecessors."[---]
"While the increase in American troops and their support behind the scenes in the recent operations has helped tamp down the violence, there are signs that both the Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi government are making strides. There are simply more Iraqi troops for the government to deploy, partly because fewer are needed to fight the Sunni insurgents, who have defected to the Sunni Awakening movement. They are paid to keep the peace."Of course, there's the usual generous sprinkling of "Yes, but...", but at least we're finally getting a full picture rather than just the downside.
"Gallup's annual update on confidence in institutions finds just 12% of Americans expressing confidence in Congress, the lowest of the 16 institutions tested this year, and the worst rating Gallup has measured for any institution in the 35-year history of this question."But of course we all know that if the American voters fail to put the Democrat into the Oval Office this November it will be because of - oooooooh - RACISM!!!!
"Muhammad Parvez, 57, is now facing first-degree murder, Peel Regional Police said on Tuesday.Death penalty or deportation. Take your pick.
Parvez was originally charged second-degree murder in the death of his daughter, Aqsa."
“The Iraqis themselves, with their army, their administration, are taking charge of their own problems.”
--Dr. Bernard Kouchner, Foreign Minister of France, June 2, 2008
With the U.S. presidential primaries dominating the headlines in the mainstream media, the continued improvements in Iraq have largely gone unreported. Since General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker last testified before Congress, the Iraqi government and its citizens have continued to take an increasing role in their struggle against extremist groups, and their effort to build a stable and secure state. As many have noted over the past month, the progress form the surge has not regressed and is now stimulating development in the political realm. While much work remains, Iraq is clearly heading in the right direction.RTWT
"Further, Canadians have poured close to half a billion tax dollars into the Palestinian regime, only to see it spent on ever-increasing incitement and hatred, and disappear in corruption, theft and a bloated bureaucracy"Me too!!
"The governing charter of the Palestinian Authority clearly states that "Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine" (article 9) and "Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own" (article 20).
The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade -- an affiliate of Fatah, the party of the Palestinian Authority -- is an illegal terror organization under Canadian law, and has proudly claimed credit for the murder of Israelis, Americans and fellow Palestinians, all in keeping with Fatah's charter. The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade was among the first to take credit for a suicide bombing by a female. A Canadian who directly or indirectly funds such an illegal organization can be prosecuted and jailed, and the same prohibition must apply to our foreign aid.
"Without tough and transparent conditions, Canadian aid will continue to move the Middle East further from peace," said Naresh Raghubeer, CCD's executive director. "Until the PA changes its governing charter to recognize Israel, until violence against Israel stops for at least two years, and until the PA ends genocidal incitement in its schools and media, Canada must withhold its funding."
"The argument is made that the government of Israel supports our funding of the PA," added Gordon. "Canada's foreign policy must be determined by elected representatives in Ottawa, not in Jerusalem.
"Billions in foreign aid to the Palestinians have succeeded only in creating more violence, hatred and dependency. We hope that the tough conditions set by Minister Bernier will mark the end of an aid strategy that has for decades denied the Palestinians their right to modernity, self-sufficiency, dignity, and peace."
"..the key dynamic to watch is Islamist vs. Secular, with the seculars making some inroads.Nibras, by the way, has a pretty good track record for predicting outcomes in Iraq. So file this away for reference come October.
With all that I know about Iraq, I still find this stuff confusing. However, there’s an exhilaration over the ‘newness’ of if all. These are real elections, with unknown answers that only the ballot boxes will reveal."
"Our relationships with Russia and China are complex and characterized simultaneously by competition and cooperation. But in the absence of workable relations with both of these states, diplomatic solutions to many international problems would be elusive. Transnational terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change and instability stemming from poverty and disease -- these are dangers to all successful states, including those that might in another time have been violent rivals. It is incumbent on the United States to find areas of cooperation and strategic agreement with Russia and China, even when there are significant differences."
"This is why President Bush has made clear his support for a reasonable expansion of the UN Security Council."[---]
Indeed. She has interesting things to say about just about every region in the world. I am, of course, interested in her thoughts on the Middle East.
"As important as relations are with Russia and China, it is our work with our allies, those with whom we share values, that is transforming international politics -- for this work presents an opportunity to expand the ranks of well-governed, law-abiding democratic states in our world and to defeat challenges to this vision of international order. Cooperation with our democratic allies, therefore, should not be judged simply by how we relate to one another. It should be judged by the work we do together to defeat terrorism and extremism, meet global challenges, defend human rights and dignity, and support new democracies.In the Americas, this has meant strengthening our ties with strategic democracies such as Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Chile in order to further the democratic development of our hemisphere. Together, we have supported struggling states, such as Haiti, in locking in their transitions to democracy and security. Together, we are defending ourselves against drug traffickers, criminal gangs, and the few autocratic outliers in our democratic hemisphere."
"Is it really possible in the long run for governments to respect their citizen's talents but not their rights? I, for one, doubt it."
"One response would have been to fight the terrorists without addressing this underlying cause. Perhaps it would have been possible to manage these suppressed tensions for a while. Indeed, the quest for justice and a new equilibrium on which the nations of the broader Middle East are now embarked is very turbulent. But is it really worse than the situation before? Worse than when Lebanon suffered under the boot of Syrian military occupation? Worse than when the self-appointed rulers of the Palestinians personally pocketed the world's generosity and squandered their best chance for a two-state peace? Worse than when the international community imposed sanctions on innocent Iraqis in order to punish the man who tyrannized them, threatened Iraq's neighbors, and bulldozed 300,000 human beings into unmarked mass graves? Or worse than the decades of oppression and denied opportunity that spawned hopelessness, fed hatreds, and led to the sort of radicalization that brought about the ideology behind the September 11 attacks? Far from being the model of stability that some seem to remember, the Middle East from 1945 on was wracked repeatedly by civil conflicts and cross-border wars. Our current course is certainly difficult, but let us not romanticize the old bargains of the Middle East -- for they yielded neither justice nor stability."And, in particular, her analysis of Iraq, which includes, among others, this passage:
"After we fought one war against Saddam and then remained in a formal state of hostilities with him for over a decade, our containment policy began to erode. The community of nations was losing its will to enforce containment, and Iraq's ruler was getting increasingly good at exploiting it through programs such as oil-for-food -- indeed, more than we knew at the time. The failure of containment was increasingly evident in the UN Security Council resolutions that were passed and then violated, in our regular clashes in the no-fly zones, and in President Bill Clinton's decision to launch air strikes in 1998 and then join with Congress to make "regime change" our government's official policy in Iraq. If Saddam was not a threat, why did the community of nations keep the Iraqi people under the most brutal sanctions in modern history? In fact, as the Iraq Survey Group showed, Saddam was ready and willing to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction programs as soon as international pressure had dissipated."BINGO!!!
"The court, established in 2002 as the first permanent war crimes tribunal, has no police to enforce its warrants. Sudan does not recognize the Court and has repeatedly refused to turn over Harun and Kushayb."The ICC is as effective as the United Nations. In other words, it's a toothless farce.
"It is odd...that critics have launched a new attack on the origins of the war at precisely the time a new order in Iraq is taking hold. But American liberal opinion is obsessive today."[snip]
"The nation was gripped by legitimate concern over gathering dangers in the aftermath of 9/11. Kabul and the war against the Taliban had not sufficed, for those were Arabs who struck America on 9/11. A war of deterrence had to be waged against Arab radicalism, and Saddam Hussein had drawn the short straw. He had not ducked, he had not scurried for cover. He openly mocked America's grief, taunted its power."[snip]
"Before America struck into Iraq, a mere 18 months after 9/11, there had been glee in the Arab world, a sense that America had gotten its comeuppance. There were regimes hunkering down, feigning friendship with America while aiding and abetting the forces of terror."[snip]
"If Islamism is on the ropes, if the regimes in the saddle in key Arab states now show greater resolve in taking on the forces of radicalism, no small credit ought to be given to this American project in Iraq."[snip]
"In the narrow sense of command and power, this war in Iraq is Mr. Bush's war. But it is an evasion of responsibility to leave this war at his doorstep. This was a war fought with congressional authorization, with the warrant of popular acceptance, and the sanction of United Nations resolutions which called for Iraq's disarmament."[snip]
"With the luxury of hindsight, the critics of the war now depict the arguments made for it as a case of manipulation and deceit. This is odd and misplaced: The claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were to prove incorrect, but they were made in good faith."[snip]
"America had not been prepared for nation-building in Iraq; we had not known Iraq and Iraqis or understood the depth of Iraq's breakdown. But there was nothing so startling or unusual about the connection George W. Bush made between American security and the "reform" of the Arab condition. As America's pact with the Arab autocrats had hatched a monster, it was logical and prudent to look for a new way."[snip]
"The war put on notice regimes and conspirators who had harbored dark thoughts about America and who, in the course of the 1990s, were led to believe that terrible deeds against America would go unpunished. A different lesson was taught in Iraq. Nowadays, the burden of the war, in blood and treasure, is easy to see, while the gains, subtle and real, are harder to demonstrate. Last month, American casualties in Iraq were at their lowest since 2003. The Sunnis also have broken with al Qaeda, and the Shiite-led government has taken the war to the Mahdi Army: Is it any wonder that the critics have returned to the origins of the war?"
"In 1968 the Democrats were spooked by Richard Nixon. In 2008 they remain obsessed with George W. Bush, while turning their backs on Iraq, as uncaring and oblivious of the consequences as they were in abandoning Vietnam."
"It is obvious that in the Middle East there's a real war raging between the supporters of extremism and totalitarianism and those of democracy and tolerance. The choice before the world is whether it will support one side by doing something, or the other by doing nothing."Funny, that just a few days ago, a Canadian left of centre journalist/blogger got a piece in the National Post that describes the fight against Islamism in Afghanistan as Our Generation's Spanish Civil War. I believe that is exactly Mohammed's point, too. Glad to see some people on the left actually get it.