China criticised Taiwan’s ruling party on Sunday for mobilising its supporters in a rally demanding United Nations membership for the island.
A day after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in two rival marches in support of UN membership, the Taiwan Affairs Office – the Chinese government’s policy body – said that the Beijing authorities were “preparing for a serious situation” without giving any further detail.
China has a standing threat to take military action against Taiwan if the island were to declare formal independence.
Chinese values exist in a parallel universe, one in which our white is their black and their black our white. The United States and China can form a symbiotic relationship, one that benefits mankind and stabilizes the rest of the century, but only if the U.S. rejects cultural absolutism. When we open our eyes to how they perceive things, we will not like what we see. But we have no choice, unless we prefer conflict to co-existence.
China is not evolving towards democracy in the Western sense (i.e., one-man-one vote, not merely distaste for corruption). Even more unsettling to Americans is that “new generation” Chinese, in some ways so much “like us,” do not want democracy. Advertising folk fancy themselves as quasi-anthropologists, perched at the intersection of Commerce and Culture. During my nine years in Shanghai, I have learned how to sell Nikes to mainland teenagers (avoid brash, U.S.-style rebellion) and HSBC Premier accounts to the nouveau riche (alchemize superior service into life advancement). By probing minds for “insight” – i.e., deep motivations that explain behavior – we can sell more Kellogg’s cold cereal and Lipton milk tea. But we can also, almost inadvertently, uncover riddles that lie at heart of China’s surging, irrepressibly dynamic economy.
Hmm, interesting defense of relativism. If we consider that our values are the best, why on earth are we not going to defend them?
If we assume that we have no choice but to recognise our values are not universal, that our values are not natural to human beings, that they are not given by birth to each and all human beings just because they are such, then we are recognising that we consider that not all human beings are equal. And that we can divide them between 1st class ones and second class ones.
And that would be against human dignity and, as such, totally unjust.
Whatever this professor says about China -and knowing that the reality is that Chinese are both very nationalistic and have a culture of more than 3000 years-, Western countries must stick to our values, and defend them wherever they can be defended. The rest of the world is not going to do it. If we value our civilization and its values and consider that they are worth the effort, that is.
At the same time, China does not want an open conflict with the Vatican and is going to install the new Vatican-approved Catholic Bishop.
The Russian wanted by Britain on suspicion of killing Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko said on Monday he would stand for election to parliament and would like to become president of Russia.
Andrei Lugovoy, a former KGB security service officer, said he would represent the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), which is headed by ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky. (that moron who wanted to oblige single Russian women to marry in polygamy with Russian men, because that way Russian blood was not mixed with foreign people and Russian single women would marry at last... and supported Chechen #@€#@€ Kadyrov in polygamy. I repeat: WHAT A MORON! -un badulaque total - ).
He denied seeking immunity from prosecution that election to parliament would give him. Russian prosecutors have said there was no basis for a criminal case against him, he said.
When asked by a reporter what other political aspirations he had beyond being a member of parliament, Lugovoy said with a smile: “Like any other citizen of the Russian Federation, I would like to be president.”
You get the picture.
Can you tell me about your Citizen Journalism activities? How did it get started? How is it doing? How does traditional media view what you are doing?
If it is ok, I will quote my report for OhmyNews International Forum 2007. [Shel note: I did some extracting and condensing to the following portion-SI]
Practically all Russian TV is state-owned and “censored” (I use quote marks because censorship is Constitutionally prohibited but exists de facto). Most Russian national newspapers are also controlled by authorities. Most regional media is controlled by regional governments.
There are only a few independent national radio stations, as well as a few national independent newspapers. Some regions have independent media, but practically all of them are under pressure.
Freedom of press has been gradually worsening since 2000, when Vladimir Putin took office.
I have to state that we have no freedom of expression and freedom of press in today’s Russia. It means that mass media doesn’t play a watchdog role for democracy and doesn’t serve public interest as they must.
Only the Internet still remains as an absolutely free mediasphere in Russia where all viewpoints can be expressed, where all political leanings are represented. [well, this is familiar to me... in Spain happens more or less the same... ).
I don't know why authorities haven't tried to control the Internet yet. Maybe because only one-third of Russians use it, so the Internet is less influential than TV.
Thus, it's not surprising that blogs became popular for hosting public discussions on topics the traditional mass media ignore and for spreading information that cannot be published or broadcast by Big Media.
The American blog-hosting service LiveJournal.com has become especially popular in Russia. Today it hosts about one million Russian blogs who come form intellectual elite, journalists, politicians, active citizens and so on. LiveJournal represents Russian civic society as it is. That's why the roots of citizen journalism and citizen reporting in Russia are in LiveJournal.
Until last November, there were no citizen journalism sites in the Russian part of the Web, ones like OhmyNews and many other sites that attract user-created news stories just weren't here.
I graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations in summer of last year. My diploma work was about blogs and citizen journalism. Being inspired by successful examples of citizen journalism sites in the US and, of course, by OhmyNews, I had strong desire to launch the first Russian site that would attract citizen reporting and become a mass-medium without any kind of censorship that affects traditional media.
[...] 3. So, is there a future for citizen journalism in Russia?
What makes me optimistic is the speed of growth in the Russian blogosphere.
But still, there is a long way to go before we can bring the culture of citizen journalism to Russia. Because citizen journalism isn’t only blogging.
Realno.info will continue work in this sphere. Now we’re preparing the second Moscow conference on citizen media, which will take place in Moscow next spring. I hope, we’ll be able to invite some of you to this conference to speak about your own experiences in citizen journalism.
Real.info news (in Russian).
-and are spying on the United States nearly as much as they did during the Cold War, according to the top U.S. intelligence official.
Mike McConnell, the, says in testimony prepared for a Tuesday congressional hearing that a law passed last month expanding the U.S. government’s eavesdropping power is needed to protect not just against terrorists but also against more traditional potential adversaries, such as those two Cold War foes.
“China and Russia’s foreign intelligence services are among the most aggressive in collecting against sensitive and protected U.S. systems, facilities and development projects, and their efforts are approaching Cold War levels,” McConnell says in his testimony. “Foreign intelligence information concerning the plans, activities and intentions of foreign powers and their agents is critical to protect the nation and preserve our security.”
I have written about the new Mohammed cartoons, Muslims have protested about. Al-Qaeda has menaced the cartoonist “with slaughtering him like a lamb“, peaceful and merciful and … way of expressing dissent. Now the cartoonist has been obliged to go into hiding.
The Swedish cartoonist at the centre of a row over drawings of the Prophet Muhammad says police have taken him to a secret location for his own safety.
Lars Vilks said he was only able to pick up a few things when he returned from Germany at the weekend before police escorted him from his home.
The purported head of al-Qaeda in Iraq has offered $100,000 (£49,310) to anyone who kills Mr Vilks.
Muslims regard visual representation of the Prophet as blasphemous.
Several Muslim countries have protested against the cartoon.
Mr Vilks said the Swedish secret services considered the threat against him as “very serious”.
“The police guard was non-existent before this. It’s 100% now,” Mr Vilks said in a telephone interview with Associated Press agency.
“I can’t live in my home, I’ve only been allowed to pick up some things.”
Makes me feel wonderful…. Mr Fundamentalist/Muslim/ whatever you want to call yourself, look quietly and directly into my eyes: It is only a cartoon. Don’t you think that Allah, if he was really angry, would not kill him immediately, without any of you meddling in the affair?
From Counterterrorism Blog: there are some questions to make about this affair:
1. Why would al Qaeda Iraq and not another branch offer such a bounty? The Cartoonist is Swedish and the al Qaeda Iraq fights against the US in Iraq. Where is the link here? Many voices in the debate on the War on Terror have been saying that al Qaeda came to Iraq just because the US invaded the country. What about Sweden? (No, Sweden is not in Iraq ).
2. Why is al Qaeda-Iraq offering a bounty for the killing of an editor in Scandinavia? Why offering money for Jihad? Well, when a Jihadi group begins to offer financial rewards, it means that the ideological reward isn’t enough. Hmmm….
3. Will such a call be heeded in Sweden? Does al Qaeda have cells -dormant or not- that far north? Reports tells us that the Salafists are propagating this ideology across Scandinavia. Very few realized that an assassination of a film maker in Amsterdam was imaginable before Theo Van Gogh was killed.
4. Will al Qaeda or other Jihadists attack Swedish companies or individuals worldwide? In fact orders were given but it depends on whom would consider themselves the “infantry” and actually take action. It will also depend on what the Swedish Government and Multinational Corporations would state in public or do in private. Sweden has had decades of neutrality regarding many challenges in international relations, and its foreign policy wasn’t comparable at all to NATO countries in their struggle against Terror. However, this is the greatest litmus test yet to be addressed.
We will see how this evolves.
One small step at a time, America is joining the umma, the global community of nations dominated by Islam. The latest example comes from Indianapolis, where the new billion dollar-plus airport terminal will include foot bath facilities designed specifically for the use of Muslim cab drivers performing ritual ablutions.
The blog Advance Indiana raises the right questions about this misguided enterprise:
If the foot baths are for everybody’s use, as [airport spokesman] Dawson contends, why aren’t they being installed in all of the bathrooms at the new airport? And if they are being installed to accommodate Muslim taxi cab drivers as is obviously the case, then why aren’t similar accommodations being provided for Muslim airline passengers who patronize the airport? It looks like a slippery slope to me. What do you think?
[...] While it may seem harmless to some to enable Muslim cab drivers to perform this ritual, the fact is that similar accommodations would never be tolerated for other religious groups (how about Holy Water founts for Catholic passengers praying for safety prior to boarding flights?). This is evidence that will be understood by Muslims seeking to establish the Global Caliphate that America lacks the will to oppose their domination, so long as it takes one step at a time. Treating Islam more favorably than other religions is demanded by Muslims and accommodated whenever they attain a critical mass. It is a sure indicator of Dhimmitude.
As Dumb OX says “We’re surrounded by idiots. Defend yourself“.
Jihad against schools: Jihad Boom Postcards with threatening cartoons sent to nine schools h/t Pamela:
Investigators in Marion County, Fla., are searching for the author of nine postcards sent to different schools on the same day with the words Jihad-Boom and handwritten cartoons of a building apparently exploding with people inside.
Investigators released the postcards with the threatening drawings on them Monday in hopes of generating leads in the case. Officials said that the postcards are made up of various and traditional themes, and each one has a distinctive hand-drawn cartoon on it. Several of the threats arrived on postcards featuring Walt Disney World. Detectives said the threat-maker crossed his or her No. 7s and attached a suffix to the address. Six of the nine postcards spell the word “Jihad” correctly, while the others are incorrect.
Go and read her post.
Related post: Could US suffer a new Beslan?
This would be a slight modification from the plan…
And no, nothing has been said of this in Spain.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy didn’t mention the bomb right away. Instead, he took a little detour by way of atomic energy: Whoever is serious about averting global warming should build more nuclear power plants, he told Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier during last week’s informal meeting in Meseberg palace (more…), the German government’s guest residence north of Berlin. Then came the surprise offer.
Seeing as they were discussing the benefits of all things atomic, the French president continued, he had another suggestion as well: Because the French nuclear umbrella protected France’s neighbors as well as La Grande Nation itself, perhaps the Germans would consider taking a political stake in the French atomic arsenal?
Both the chancellor and her foreign minister were speechless. The idea of possessing nuclear weapons is taboo in Germany. Sarzoky’s predecessor Jacques Chirac cautiously brought up the issue 12 years ago, but he quickly realized it was pointless to pursue it.
Steinmeier was the first to regain his composure, explaining that Germany did not seek to become a nuclear power, which is why the country had signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1975. Merkel offered a friendly smile and backed up her foreign minister.
Hmmm, don’t know what to make of this really…
From Gallia Watch:
An article in Le Figaro brings us the not-unexpected news that France may be actively aiding and abetting the entry of Turkey in the EU. Until now, article 88-5 of the French Constitution required a referendum before a new candidate country could be officially admitted to the body. However that may be changing:
During a meeting of Edouard Balladur’s committee on institutional reform, secretary of State for European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet’s suggestion that article 88-5 of the Constitution be eliminated came as a bolt out of the blue.
The referendum had been sought by Jacques Chirac, then voted on by French parliamentarians at a convention in 2005 in Versailles, and is supposed to apply to all new memberships following that of Croatia in 2010, hence Turkey in particular. “Is it necessary to keep this requirement, or should we eliminate it?” asked Jean-Pierre Jouyet, who quickly added that it would be rather “delicate” to go back on a commitment that lies at the heart of the Constitution. The secretary of State declared that he was expressing his own personal opinion. Huh!
“The occupants of the Elysee (the French presidential palace) have become the executors of the will of the White House and have adopted a tone that is… even more inflammatory and more illogical than that of Washington,” IRNA news agency said.
On Monday Mr Kouchner said even in the absence of UN action, the European Union should prepare its own sanctions against Iran.
Following talks in Paris, his Dutch counterpart Maxime Verhagen said his government would be willing “to apply EU sanctions in common with the United States sanctions“.
Mr Kouchner later travelled to Moscow, where he is to hold talks with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday.
Russia has a UN Security Council veto over any new sanctions, and its support is seen as vital for any new approach to try to force Iran to give up enrichment.
But, hey, from Deustche-Welle:
In a bid to play down the controversy, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Monday, Sept. 17, that tensions with Iran were “extreme” but insisted there was still room for diplomacy in the nuclear stand-off.
“Everything must be done to avoid war,” Fillon told reporters. “The Iranians must understand that tension has reached an extreme point.”
While saying that Kouchner was right to call the situation with Iran dangerous, Fillon added that a confrontation was “the last option that any political leader would want.”
The French foreign minister called on the European Union to impose economic sanctions on Tehran outside of those imposed by the United Nations.
“These would be European sanctions that each country, individually, must put in place with its own banking, commercial and industrial system,” Kouchner said.
And now, the hilarious part, considering that Iran keeps on menacing Israel (and please take a look at the photo in the link ):
Iranian Vice-President Reza Aghazadeh, who is also the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Western countries “have always chosen the path of confrontation instead of the path of understanding and cordial relations.”
Of course Ahmi has ever chosen the peaceful way with Israel….
Uuuyyyyyyyy, Ahmi, what a smile…. You must be careful: Do you remember Khatami shaking hands with a young lady in Italy and the following scandal? Well, he has a legal suite awaiting for him at court.
Hmm, take care, it’s a Western computer. What are you going to search with that?
Both pictures thanks to Kamangir.net.
About Syrian-North Korean affair, read this entire post by One Free Korea, because it analyses the different theories about the Israeli strike on Syria last week. I’m only reproducing an excerpt which is interesting enough about what we really know:
North Korea is believed to be the source of North Korea’s SCUD-C missiles and precursors for its chemical weapons, but the transfer of nuclear weapons, equipment, or technology would be a major escalation of that relationship. Diplomats have noted considerable escalation in the cooperation betweent the two nations recently. Both the Times of London, quoting Israeli sources, and Fox News, quoting American sources, note increased sightings of Syrians moving in and out of North Korea by air and by rail, via China . It wasn’t all whispers and surveillance, either:
On August 14, the North Korean minister of foreign trade, Rim Kyong Man, was in Syria to sign a protocol on “co-operation in trade and science and technology.” His delegation held the fifth meeting of a “joint economic committee” with its Syrian counterparts. No details were disclosed. [Times of London]
We had previously heard that Iranians were present at the July 4, 2006 missile tests in North Korea. The Times now reports that Syrians were present, too (you can’t help wondering how they know that). Readers may even recall that after the Ryongchon explosion, one theory had it that the explosive substance was Syrian-bound missile fuel, and that the explosion killed several Syrian scientists.
Finally, the Times claims that Syria has served as a transshipment conduit for missiles components and technology headed from Iran for Syria. IMHO, that one just defies logic. Iran has plenty of perfectly fine seaports, while Iran and Syria don’t even share a land border. (doesn’t seem very logical, no… )
The world’s going nuts… And what suprises are in the making?
- Augean Stables wants you to sign this petition.
- Instapundit: GOOD THING WE HAVEN’T abandoned them yet. “American commanders in southern Iraq say Shiite sheiks are showing interest in joining forces with the U.S. military against extremists, in much the same way that Sunni clansmen in the western part of the country have worked with American forces against Al Qaeda.”