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Archive for the ‘South Korea’ Category

 More on the liberation of South Korean hostages: remember the guy who was killed by 10 shots and whose death was blamed on natural causes? Well, really it was not because of natural causes, it was because he did not submit himself to Allah.

The youth pastor who was leading the group of 23 South Korean aid volunteers in Afghanistan was killed for refusing to convert to Islam, the head pastor of the church revealed after the final 19 former hostages arrived home.

Among the 19 hostages who returned on the second (of September), some were asked by the Taliban to convert and when they rejected, they were assaulted and severely beaten,” reported Park Eun-jo, pastor of the hostages’ home church, Saemmul Presbyterian Church in Bundang, just south of the South Korean capital Seoul.

I heard from the hostages that they were threatened with death,” he added, according to Christian Today Korea. “Especially it is known that the reason Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu was murdered was because he refused the Taliban’s demand to convert.”

Infidels Are Cool » Blog Archive » Convert or Die: South Korean Pastor chose death

Is there anything wrong about this??? Well, yeah, have you considered that there is no video showing us the faces of these hostages during their kidnapping asking for release?

But hey, what do you know?? There are idiots -this time is Canadian, but intelligence is not a consequence of nationality so tomorrow it would be from other country- saying that this should be the signal for other countries to start negotiating with the Talibans.

The hostage agreement reached last week between the Taliban and South Korea has profound implications for all countries fighting in Afghanistan. It puts the lie to those, including the current Canadian government, who say it is impossible or counterproductive to strike a deal with the Islamist insurgents. Clearly South Korea found the talks quite productive.

Hey, the Talibans are going to be exultant because of the results of their actions… What a moron!!!

Hehe: at least, one of the kidnappers has had what he deserved. He was already preparing an assault on a police post.

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About the German plot: German police is searching for 10 more people, both inside Germany and abroad:

BERLIN (AFP) – German police have launched an international hunt for 10 accomplices of the three men held over a foiled Islamist plot to blow up airports and US installations in Germany, a top official said Thursday.

“Terrorist attacks need preparation. We are trying to identify all of those who were working in the shadows,” Deputy Interior Minister August Hanning told ARD television.

Police were searching for “the 10 people who were behind this” within Germany and abroad, he added.

 

The arrests were made at a vacation home, pictured, in Oberschledorn. The suspects had rented the house to store chemicals to make explosives, officials said, and were preparing to leave when security forces swooped in.

But there is more about the already detained:

Newspapers reported on Thursday that investigators believed Fritz Martin G. to have been the ringleader of the plotters.

He had been living in Neu-Ulm, a town in southern Germany seen as a hotbed of Islamist radicals, and was involved in a mosque there which German police have long believed to be a base for extremists planning attacks.

Investigators said an Islamic centre in nearby Ulm was among more than 30 places the police raided early Wednesday. Offices seized documents and computers they hope can point them to those who helped to organise and finance the well-advanced bomb plot.

The three main suspects, pictured in the press wearing blue prisoner overalls, appeared before an investigating judge in Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany on Wednesday.

The authorities have said the men gathered at their Sauerland hideaway on Sunday to start making bombs to use in “massive attacks” with the 12 drums of hydrogen peroxide (left) they had stashed in the garage. 

Sources close to the case told AFP the police were looking into the group’s plans to use military detonators to set off bombs because this could provide important clues in the investigation.

They also phoned British colleagues.

Several calls to British numbers are said to been made from mobile telephones linked to two of the men being questioned in Germany. One is said to have been a “known” number.

Remember that there were also 8 people detained in Denmark accused of preparing more Islamist terrorist attacks? Well:

“On August 31, 2007, the Islamist website {name removed}, hosted by SiteGenie LLC in Rochester, Minnesota, posted a document calling for “martyrdom [i.e., suicide] operations” in Denmark. The author, who identified himself as a member of Al-Qaeda, urged the Muslims not to forget the incident of the Danish cartoons, and promised the people of Denmark that the “brigades of martyrdom seekers are on their way… and will soon carry out blessed operations” in their country. He called on the Muslims to register on the site as candidates for these suicide operations.

Once again this means only one thing: they can go from one place to another and they can communicate to each other, very easily. And we are all menaced, whatever the policy our Governments make.

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Elder of Ziyon has an appaling story which happened in London. A woman enters a café in Edgware Road near Marble Arch and asks for a juice. She sits down and waits for it, noticing she is the only female customer. When the waitress brings it to her, she complaints because it was fermented and tells the woman it needed to be conserved in a refrigerator.

But the waitress answers “No– English”. So exasperated, she shouts:

Is there no-one working here who speaks English? This is Paddington – this is still a London neighbourhood.’
A well-dressed man came over and said ‘I speak English.’ I thought he was going to intervene on my behalf but instead came out with this astonishing observation:
You are a racist! You are a racist ape! Look at you– you are an ape!’[…] Shocked, I glared at him, but he had to finish things off : ‘You want them to speak Hebrew, don’t you?

😯 This man has a problem with geography…

I got up from my seat and went over to him and at the top of my voice said I would be proud to speak Hebrew if I could, it being the language of the Torah and of an ancient culture going back six-thousand years. [Heh, imagine the face of the moron…:twisted: ].
He then embarked on a tirade at me about the ‘five million Indians’ slaughtered in genocide in America. [Of course, Muslims have never killed a poor fly in their whole history…]. Meanwhile, the men in the café were in various states of laughter at me, and exhibiting great admiration for him.
Believe it or not, the server had in the meantime brought me a fresh juice which I calmly drank with my very un-Hebrew ham and cheese sandwich, and then I left. I wandered over to the flower shop and found myself commiserating with what seemed to be two Englishwomen who lived in a permanent state of fear in a neighbourhood they had called their own for generations. They told me I must have been mad going into that shop, as ‘all the establishments in Edgware Road are off-limits to us now.’

😯 Not surprised then that the British are going abroad in something very similar to an stampede.

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Once again all of these stories makes this come true:

ejem… I feel this is insulting for the poor pig…

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NYT has run a story critisizing Mother Theresa, and feeling disgusted because normal US nationals know Calcutta not because of its beautiful buildings and educated middle class, but because of her. So what is the problem with her and the liberal media around the world?

As a doctor, I can only shake my head at those sophisticated critics that lament her hospices don’t meet the year 2000 standards of university hospitals. They ignore the question: If Mother Teresa’s hospice was not there, where would the people go? To other Indian hospices? To University hospitals, with private beds and gourmet meals?

… The rest off the criticisms similarly show a strange envy of the good. But why Mother Teresa? Why not slime American born Ram Dass and the Indian doctors and who helped wipe out small pox in India? Or slime Mother Wichiencharoen, a Buddhist nun, for her shelters in Bangkok?But we all know why, don’t we? The NYTimes doesn’t like Catholics.

It’s the sex stupid.

Mother Teresa opposed abortion and promoted chastity. How dare she impose her rigid Catholic morality on poor Hindus, (whose religion, by the way, also opposes abortion and promotes chastity).
But the editors of the NYTimes can’t have a rich American slime Mother Teresa, so they find an Indian born woman to do it.
So let’s destroy the reputation of Mother Teresa, and we won’t feel so guilty at our next cocktail party.

SC&A writes:

We are not all Mother Teresa. That said, because we are not all Mother Teresa, we ought not diminish her status so that we might be her equal. The ability to reach within and bring the very best of who we are isn’t easy. If it were, we’d all be heroes.

We live in a world that trivializes goodness and and character. The virtues of money, sex and inflexibility are celebrated and extolled. ‘Take no prisoners’ has come to define not only political agendas, but moral ones as well. Success often means trading in values that might actualize the very best of who we are, for values that will clearly enslave us.

We do have the ability to reach that part of ourselves that is the best of ourselves and if we choose, we can make that self actualization as natural as breathing. Who we are won’t change- in fact, we can choose to reach out to our own unique potential and evolve into our best selves. Each of us has within our grasp, the opportunity to be our own expression of Mother Teresa.

Read it all: it’s really worth your time.

I have said around the world because in Spain it was El País (yes, you all know how much I love that newspaper) the liberal MSM which was worried about how on earth someone with doubts could be made saint… because she had lost her faith. 😯 Of course, what the article’s writer did not know is that Nowak -secretary of the Congregation for the Saints’ Cause- said: “It is a phenomenon which happens to every great mistic and spiritual teacher, as Saint Teresa of Jesus or Saint Juan de la Cruz, called spiritual night or senses’ night.  They are special periods of the spiritual life of the people who feel themselves abandoned by a God who they feel is very far from them“.

😈 Oh, yeah, but they are independent and objective. Yeah, without doubt…

And, while these liberal media are critisizing and diminishing her so much, the Feast the Missionaries of Charity have given in her honor and her tomb were full of people to mark the 10th anniversary of her death. In the ocassion, Sister Nirmala Joshi, her succesor as Head of the MofC, said:

Only those of an advanced level of spirituality” experience this, Sister Nirmala said, calling it a sign of being close to God. It is like being close “to the sun and so blinded by the brilliance,” she explained.

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Iranian 40.000 human bombs. See the video inside (in English). Is this what gender equality means for the Iranian aytollahs?

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Lastly, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he was “shocked and humbled” by a visit to a refugee camp in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region. Hmm, for someone who has been for so many years in the UN, saying that is errr, well, not very trustful… How on earth he did not know this? For a complete roundup of news regarding this, you can read Passion of the Present.

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Welcome Reuters readers.

With Taliban’s release of Korean Christian hostages, caution for missionaries | csmonitor.com

Views on missionaries whose chief aim is sharing the gospel in hot spots vary widely among the nongovernmental (NGO) and religious communities. But even those who accept missionaries argue that good intentions, enthusiasm, and bravery must conjoin with a professional approach.

To work in dangerous areas you need … deep networks, and deep knowledge,” says Jerome Larchu, a director of the Paris-based Médicins du Monde (Doctors of the World), which has volunteers in 55 countries. “You bring in skilled people, lots of locals – and only then do you send people in.”

In February Médecins du Monde pulled its team out of Darfur for security reasons. But the doctors felt their mission wasn’t over. This summer they put scouts into Sudan for eight weeks to travel, talk with locals, and assess risk – before going back in.

If missionaries or aid workers do not have the proper help and concept, “it is a problem for us,” says Mr. Larchu. “I think anyone has a right to proselytize if they want to. But to locals, an NGO is an NGO; they don’t know who we are. They don’t make a lot of distinctions. They don’t know who is legitimate. So NGOs are interdependent, whether we realize it or not. We have to gain local trust together.”

[…] In the past decade, the number of NGOs has risen sharply, as have incidents of violence against them, say Larchu of Médecins du Monde and Martin of Mercy Corps. “More than 80 humanitarian workers were killed in 2006 – that’s more than UN soldiers,” says Larchu.

The number of religious groups is also rising and work closely with secular groups. “Worldvision, the Aga Khan Foundation, Catholic Relief Services – which makes no attempt to hide its name – they channel their faith into humanitarian efforts,” says Martin. “When they come into a dangerous place, they either sit at the table with us, or work at cooperation. If, like the South Koreans, we don’t know them, and they don’t know us, that makes it more difficult for everyone.”

[…] [Marian McClure, former director of worldwide ministries for the Presbyterian Church (USA), says that] a public misconception abroad is that Christians want to “foist” their beliefs on others. “On the contrary, most Christians today suffer not from a tendency to foist our faith on anyone, but from a tendency to be excessively private about our faith,” she argues. “I have never met a follower of a non-Christian religion who would respect someone who could not and would not express his or her beliefs.”

And she is right… 😦

But doesn’t it look like that the NGOs are blaming the missionaries for their own deaths?

You can read also One Free Korea (there’s an interesting photo inside also):

Various news agenies are reporting that the South Korean government paid a ransom of either $2 million or $20 million. Taliban sources are claiming that it was the higher of those amounts. Either sum is enough to build plenty of IED’s to kill American soldiers. [Another update: Seoul has finally gotten around to denying that it paid ransom — yeah, and Larry Craig’s still denying a few things, too – while the Chosun Ilbo publishes a photograph of the Korean spy who probably negotiated it, and who posed arm-in-arm with the terrorists.]

😯 With these friends who needs enemies??? 😡

We forget that the Taliban helped kill 3,000 Americans in our own country. If our government is serious about halting material support for terrorism, the Treasury Department will track down the South Korean and Saudi entities that funneled this money to the Taliban, invoke Executive Order 13,224, and freeze all of their assets colder than Hillary Clinton’s smile. Ideally, that will happen before the money paid by our “allies” is used by our enemies to kill our soldiers. Government entities, too? Yes, especially government entities.

Now, that would be a good start, if USA want to be considered really tough on terrorism. I personally believe that the war on terrorism is not focusing really hard on the finances of the terrorist groups and there are a lot of people who are making a lot of money with weapons in here. And with markets’ unstability

Are they going to do it? I doubt it. Both South Korea and Saudi Arabia are allies

[…]our alliance with South Korea today is one of the world’s most lopsided in terms of the mutual flow of benefits. South Korea has been useless or worse as an ally against the terrorists, extraordinarily unhelpful with North Korea, an irritant in our regional security framework (since Japan is a part of that), and a self-declared neutral in checking China’s regional ambitions. South Korea is actually cutting its own military, leaving American taxpayers to take up the slack. There doesn’t seem to be much South Korean gratitude for this expensive commitment, either, judging by displays like these, or polls that consistently show South Korea to be one of the most anti-American countries in Asia.

Hmm, curious, isn’t it?? 😡

Were SK women sexually assaulted by the Talibans?

Something that has been left un-said in the media but on most people minds was if the Taliban sexually assaulted the women or not. The hostages are not talking yet but reports are filtering out of Afghanistan that at least four of the hostages were sexually assaulted by Pakistani Taliban which set off a fight between two Taliban groups. The sexual assault of the Korean women would be highly damaging to the Taliban’s effort to cultivate an image of being mujahadeen fighting for a Muslim cause in Afghanistan when they are going around kidnapping and raping women. I’m sure we will find out sooner or later if the report is true or not, but I would not be surprised at all if some of the women were sexually assaulted by these Taliban criminals.

Afghan Lord has more:

Taliban strongly rejected allegations regarding sexual assault on four female Korean captives. Militant spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi told to media they were waging jihad against obscenity, immorality and un-Islamic acts in Afghanistan.

Hmm, so they wage jihad against obscenity, immorality and un-Islamic acts by sexually assaulting girls??? 😯

In a sense, and if you just think about it for a minute, cold way, it’s logical considering their ways

ABC NEWS: I just get sick when I read this kind of comments:

When adherents of any religion are so ill mannered as to venture into another’s area, be it your home or country, with the expressed intention of convincing their targets that they are pursuing the wrong philosophy or way of life, and should adopt the true ways of the proselyte’s, then they should expect, at the very least, rejection. When confronting such as the Taliban,and fundamentalists of any religion, then they should be prepared to reap the harvest of their own ignorance.

Look here. There is NO REASON to kidnap any person, whatever their conditions. And this people are peaceful for God’s sake! They weren’t going to do any harm: if you are Afghan, and don’t want to convert just say so. It’s very simple. It’s called freedom: you use it each time you must decide which option you must follow.

In Spain, there are the famous pairs of Mormons -nearly in all cities-. Well, no one has kidnapped them or anything. Are they proselytising? Yeah. But if they come to me and ask for conversion (I think that three or four times more or less, I have had to hear them 😛 ), just answer them: “I’m a convinced …. I do not want to convert”.

To support the Taliban in what they have done, equating peaceful missionaries with bloody killers and terrorists, is one of the worst equations I have been seeing later.

Last news: From Yonhap:

ANYANG, South Korea, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) — A pastor at the South Korean church whose volunteers were held hostage for six weeks by Afghanistan’s Taliban said some of the captives were “severely beaten” by the insurgents when they refused to convert to Islam.

As JW says, “Feel the love”. 😡

According to the link in Spanish posted below, the Talibans’ spokesman has said that the ransom payed is going to be used to buy weapons and pay for suicide attacks. It also reminds that there are 1 German and 5 Afghans in their power. The German is an aid worker, whose companion had already been killed by peaceful and loving and caring Talibans (hey, Brian, when are you going to film this kidnappings??? 😈 ). The Talibans are also asking Germany to withdraw from Afghanistan and one of their speakers have already said they will not attack citizens from countries which do not have troops on Afghanistan.

Eeh, Zapatero, are you hearing? 😈 What would happen if they kidnap an Spanish? Will you cave in again? What about the Civilizations’ Alliance? Is it also for the Talibans or only for Erdogan’s “Moderate Islam is an offensive and ugly term? What shocking news, eh? Because it means that “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it“. And if you don’t like what there is, hmm, well, just bear it… 😈

Para los que no entienden inglés, podeis leer esta noticia de Reuters:

Lo consideramos (el secuestro) como un brazo que nos puede permitir dar un golpe al enemigo”, declaró a Reuters por teléfono desde un lugar desconocido el portavoz talibán Qari Mohamad Yusuf.

“El secuestro (…) y asesinato de (ciudadanos) cuyos países han venido para la aniquilación de la nación de Afganistán son obras que suprimen al enemigo”, añadió.

Yusuf, uno de los dos portavoces de los talibanes, dijo que no atacarán a los ciudadanos de países que no tienen tropas en este país.

Según el acuerdo alcanzado la semana pasada, Corea del Sur dijo que a finales de agosto retiraría a todos sus ciudadanos de Afganistán, así como al pequeño contingente de 200 soldados e ingenieros a finales de año. La retirada de la misión estaba prevista. [¿A que existe parecido con la retirada de las tropas de Iraq? Si al final han sido los musulmanes integristas…].

[…] Un alto mando talibán dijo hablando a petición de no ser identificado que el acuerdo también incluyó el pago de un rescate de más de 20 millones de dólares (unos 15 millones de euros), que se usarían para comprar armas y financiar atentados suicidas.

[…] En sus manos sigue un cooperante germano secuestrado el mes pasado, al igual que otro alemán secuestrado junto a un compatriota y cinco afganos. Uno de estos dos alemanes fue asesinado por los talibanes, que exigen la retirada de los soldados alemanes.

😯

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Good news from NK:

North Korea has agreed to fully account for and disable its nuclear program by the end of this year, the top U.S. nuclear negotiator said on Sunday.

“We had very good, very substantive talks,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill said after two days of meetings in Geneva to tackle the next phase of an international deal to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear technology and facilities.”One thing that we agreed on is that the DPRK will provide a full declaration of all of their nuclear programs and will disable their nuclear programs by the end of this year, 2007,” Hill told reporters, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Kim Kye-gwan, Pyongyang’s chief nuclear envoy, told reporters he was pleased with the talks.

Now we have to wait to see if this is true or is a new strategy of Kim Jong-Il…

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Father Samir Khalil Samir: Islam: a plan of world domination? His conclusions:

The Muslim World is going through is greatest crisis. The confrontation with modernity, represented and promoted by the West, which has always been viewed as Christian, a competitor and very often an enemy, chips away at Islam’s stable and uncontested order.

Centuries of intellectual stagnation have made this confrontation visible to all. After Islam’s much vaunted greatness in the period running from the 9th to the 11th century, a feeling of decadence has set in!

Some have escaped into the past when Muslims threw themselves into conquering the world (7th century), giving rise to Islam’s ‘Golden Age.’ Others have sought strength through violence and slid into terrorism in God’s name, thinking that this way they would be defending both Islam and God. Others still have sought a way out of Islam, seen as dead weight, a stranglehold or a prison, opting instead for practical form of atheism and sometimes even Christianity.

In turn the Western World, which is rooted in Christianity no matter what negationists might say, is going through its own great crisis. With God treated as a human invention and religion as an addiction (as the opium of the masses), the West has fallen into an ideological and spiritual vacuum. Some who are idealist find refuge in believing in a brighter future, dreaming a better world; others pursue a form of rationalism devoid of an ethical values and spirituality. Then there are those who seek total freedom, even at the cost of self-destruction. Finally, many simply live by relying on a practical form of materialism.

A clash of civilisation is inevitable under the circumstances. Treating conversion (from Islam) as a betrayal worthy of killing someone is one sign of this. Dividing the world into two camps, separating Good from evil, has turned into an obsession. This is the analytical framework that Professor Ratzinger (who now happens to be Pope Benedict XVI) elaborated and presented in his lecture in Regensburg on September 12, 2006. In it he pointed out that in the West we have a form of rationality that lacks a spiritual content (reason without faith), whilst in Islam we find a type of rationality that has turned into violence (faith without reason). These temptations oppose one another but also run parallel to each other.

The solution lies in the hands of believers who are not fanatical—be they Muslim, Christian or from others traditions. Their openness to all that is human can be the basis on which to build, along with others who may or may not believe, a better world.

Related posts about Samir Khalil Samir: About the Egyptian Convert who wants his conversion to appear on his own Identity card.

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There are a lot of people very worried about a possible Bush’s plan to attack Iran. You can read Debbie and Michael.

Last news:

“We have more than 3,000 centrifuges working and every week a new set is installed,” Mr Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by Iranian news agencies.

“[The world powers] were thinking that with each resolution the Iranian nation would retreat. But after each resolution the Iranian nation presented another nuclear achievement.”

The installation of 3,000 centrifuges is seen by Iran as a key medium-term goal – which it had hoped to reach by March this year – for its nuclear programme.There has been no independent verification of Iran’s claim.

The UN has already imposed two sets of sanctions and the US is leading the call for a third set if Iran’s uranium enrichment does not halt.

Only last week the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had agreed a plan with Iran to clear up key questions about its past nuclear activities, calling it a “significant step forward”.

The IAEA has said 3,000 centrifuges would represent a point of no-return for an industrial-scale production of enriched uranium.

But it also suggested last week that Iran had 1,968 operational centrifuges – significantly short of the breakthrough President Ahmadinejad has now announced.

As if Ahmadinejad has also told the truth to UN inspectors….

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The new solution for all your problems. Whether if it is a headache, a heartache or that you’re losing your hair, you can blame it immediately on this. 😆

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Some days ago, I blogged that some Western professors were defending female genital mutilation. Today I have found this article, in which the author quotes Janice Boddy, a female Canadian Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department in Toronto, who defends the practice, calling people against it “Crusaders” and “moralising and polemical“. She also says that the campaign against the practice is  “sustained by imperialistic logic and spurious empathy“.

the women in the village she chose for her anthropological research insisted that she should learn about this practice and see it performed if she hoped to understand them. She followed this advice and eventually concluded that circumcision validates the village women’s lives, safeguards their fertility and establishes “the meaningful parameters of their selfhood.” 😯 [has she passed the experience herself?…]

[…] she boldly addresses this question with her new book, Civilizing Women: British Crusades in Colonial Sudan (Princeton University Press). The fact that she then falls on her face, academically speaking, does not necessarily diminish her bravery.

Her readers discover, almost at the beginning, that she has a limited idea of academic detachment and fairness. A chronology of events at the front of her book twice uses the politics-laden term “propaganda” to describe Britain’s efforts in the 1940s to publicize the harm done by genital cutting. But then she quickly buckles down to her own propaganda project, a storm of disapproval directed at those who argue against the ritual cutting of female genitals.

She also wants the term “Female genital mutilation” changed to “Female genital cutting” (just as abortion should be called free-willing interruption of pregnancy 👿 ) :

She sets the terminology firmly in place, so that she can argue in her own terms. She thinks “female genital cutting” (FGC) properly describes the issue. Apparently she considers that a relatively neutral term. But “female genital mutilation” (FGM) is improperly censorious — an “invidious” label, according to one scholar Boddy approvingly quotes.

As Boddy sees it, those who take a passionately anti-FGM position have no understanding of the context [ 😯 So, what about torture, rape, genocide…??? Well, if you do not endorse them you are not understanding their context?? 😯 ]. She doesn’t much like the argument that FGM can be fatal, particularly when executed by people without medical training, though she won’t quite say it’s false. Nevertheless, that warning is “inflicted on ignorant and powerless women by sadistic men.”

And the article ends:

She obviously can’t endorse FGC, but a careful reading of her book demonstrates that she’s embraced one of the great lies of modern liberalism: Any culture is as good as any other culture and its tradition-endorsed practices (no matter how misguided, harmful and dangerous) deserve respect. Civilizing Women reads in many places like a grotesque parody of academic tolerance but its coherence and its highly detailed account of Sudanese culture reflect years of hard work. The fact that it expresses sympathy for an outlandishly cruel and appalling custom will probably do Boddy no harm in the world of contemporary anthropology.

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Now playing: Howard Shore and Ben del Maestro – Minas Tirith
via FoxyTunes

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From EL Diario Exterior:

 

Todo empezó en abril de 1996 cuando una paciente con una “fiebre innominada” ingresó en un hospital en la provincia central de Henan en China donde trabajaba Gao. La mujer imploraba, “ịNo quiero morir! Mi esposo y mi hijo no pueden vivir sin mí”.

Falleció 10 días más tarde. Durante más de una semana, el marido de la mujer durmió junto a su tumba en un acto de contrición: Había aprobado una transfusión de sangre años antes mediante la cual Gao determinó que la mujer había contraído el SIDA.

“Estaba asombrada de descubrir que la sangre contaminada había provenido de un banco de sangre,” declaró Gao. “Si un banco de sangre ha sido contaminado con HIV, ịciertamente debe existir más de una sola victima!”

Estaba en lo correcto.

En los años 90, los bancos de sangre “no oficiales” florecieron y los campesinos chinos fueron alentados a vender su sangre a fin de recolectar el plasma. Las “clínicas”, en ocasiones dirigidas por políticos locales o militares, debían superar la renuencia de muchos campesinos a dar sangre. Así, se volvió normal reinyectar a los donantes con sangre desprovista de plasma que era extraída de un fondo general. Esa sangre no era examinada para ver si contenía SIDA.

Nadie sabe cuán difundido está el problema resultante.

[…] Según la revista The Economist, “Las Naciones Unidas estiman que a finales de 2005 existían 55.000 donantes comerciales de sangre y plasma infectados con HIV en China….Un experto chino en SIDA, Zhang Ke, informó en 2004 que la cifra para la provincia de Henan…podría ser más de 170.000. El Dr Zhang estimaba que unos 130.000 adicionales en Henan obtuvieron el virus de transfusiones en los hospitales”.

China has now, in these days a grave problem with AIDS. During the 1990’s flourished the blood banks in the countryside. Peasants did not like to give away their blood, but political and medical bodies wanted them to sell it in order to have more plasma. Then they injected repeatedly again the blood-with-no-plasma in the donor’s circulatory system. As these funds did not have any health control, and as the blood was reinjected after been mixed with all the other donors’ blood in a general fund, if one part of it was contaminated everything of it was.

This terrible secret has been discovered by an old woman, Gao Yaojie. This 80-years-old lady, is defying all the Communist Party whose leaders do not want China to meet another scandal in the eve of the Olympic Games.

But the scandal could be monstrous, and the Communist Party is practising a police of “good cop, bad cop“, harrasing her some times and praising her others. For example, she has been placed under house arrest some days to prevent her to go to New York to receive a prize. But the same days one of the leaders of the local Communist Party, stepped by and a photo was made of them both, photo that later was published in the local Communist Party newspaper. The reason? Next year Oympic Games, for obvious reasons.

According to Gao, everything began back in 1996 when a young woman was received in the hospital where Gao was working with “an unknown fever”. The woman began screaming that she did not want to die, because she had a husband and a son. Nothing could be done and the woman died 10 days later. The husband blamed himself because he had approved a blood transfusion several years before. Through the normal procedure, it was determined she had been infected by the blood in the fund.

So Gao says “a lot more people could be infected”.

And she was right. According to The Economist, “UN estimates that in the end of 2005 55.000 donors of blood and plasma were infected with AIDS in China… A Chinese expert in AIDS, Zhang Ke, informed in 2004 that only in the province of Henan…there could be more than 170.000. Dr Zhang estimated that another 130.000 in Henan obtained the virus through transfusions in the hospitals”.

Today NYT has published that 2 activists have been placed under house arest and barred from leaving China:

 

The police barred Hu Jia, 33, and his wife, Zeng Jinyan, 23, from departing from Beijing on a trip to Hong Kong and several European countries, Mr. Hu said. The couple had planned to call attention to what they described as a neglect of AIDS patients and to defend other Chinese campaigners for human rights who had been prosecuted in recent months.

Mr. Hu said the police told him that he and Ms. Zeng were suspected of “endangering national security” and would be required to stay in their home under police watch for an indefinite period.

“Officials are worried that we would set off opposition to Beijing’s hosting of the Olympics,” Mr. Hu said. State security officials almost never offer any information about their activities, but the city is the venue for the 2008 Summer Games and intends to use the event to present China as a sophisticated, modern country that is open to the outside world.

In another indication of the sensitivity of the Games to China, Yang Jiechi, the country’s new foreign minister, on Friday denounced efforts in the United States to link support for Beijing’s serving as host of the Olympics to its policies in Sudan.

China has been criticized for giving strong financial and diplomatic backing to the government of Sudan, which the Bush administration and critics worldwide say has practiced genocide in its southern Darfur region while waging a war against secessionists there. “There is a handful of people who are trying to politicize the Olympic Games,” Mr. Yang told reporters. “This is against the spirit of the Games. It also runs counter to the aspirations of all the people in the world.”

But in recent times it has been the UN and not USA the one who has blamed China -and Russia- about Darfur. Croydonian has more about Chinese involvement in Darfur.

Other South-Asian news:

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After yesterday I blogged about two Cubans who wanted to get out the paradise, also yesterday was announced that 2 NKoreans have defected in a boat:

Four North Koreans have defected to South Korea by boat and are being questioned
by intelligence officials, news reports said Wednesday.
The four arrived on a small wooden boat in waters off Yeonpyeong Island near South Korea’s western sea border with the North late last month, the Chosun Ilbo daily reported, citing an unnamed government official.
Defections by boat are rare, with the vast majority of North Koreans fleeing to the South traveling by land through China and Southeast Asia.
The North Koreans have expressed their wish to defect to South Korea and were being questioned by intelligence officials, the Chosun Ilbo and the Yonhap news agency reported.
Neither the National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s main spy agency, nor the Korea Coast Guard could confirm the reports.
South Korean officials are usually reluctant to talk openly about North Korean defectors, wary of the safety of their relatives still in the North. North Koreans reportedly face harsh punishment by their hardline regime when their relatives flee the country.
The number of North Korean defectors has risen steadily in recent years as they seek to escape chronic food shortages and political oppression.

What??!! What are they saying? Are they mad??

North Korea keeps abducting South Koreans and denying it. South Korea does not fight for them, but is going to seize the land of descendants of collaborators with the Japan conquerors during the period 1910-1945. Of course, Japan conquered the Peninsula and had been accused of proved abuses. But that was 50 years ago!!! And NKorea is abducting SKoreans NOW.
Anyway there are [a lot of] NKorean supporters in South Korea. Especially in unions.
Other news:
  • Explosion in China: 20 miners dead, 10 trapped in central China coal mine explosion. “China’s mines are among the deadliest in the world, with an average of 13 miners dying every day in accidents. Explosions are frequent in Chinese coal mines, whose seams often hold pockets of gas. With coal prices high to feed the booming economy’s energy demand, mine operators often ignore safety regulations to boost production“. Oh, you workers’ defenders, leftists of the world, how on earth this can happen in so a beautiful paradise… Why you’re not burning Chinese flags and doing other peaceful actions to stop this real opression? AS I posted here, there are increasingly more deaths in China because of lung disease, for the same reasons.
  • what China does about abortion: A massive forced abortion campaign is ongoing in China’s Guangxi Province, according to China Aid Organization. “One Christian lady, Ms. Linrong Wei, 7 months pregnant, was dragged into the hospital from her home on April 17 at 8:45 AM (Beijing time) by ten officials from the Population and Family Planning Commission in Baise City, Guangxi. Her husband Yage “James” Liang was formerly a pastor in the government-sanctioned TSPM church before he became a House church pastor a year ago,” the CAA said. CAA said it has eyewitness reports of 40 other pregnant women who were forcefully moved to the Youjiang District People’s Hospital of Baise City on the same day to perform forced abortions. Eyewitnesses told CAA that pastor Liang’s wife was pregnant accidentally and they wanted to keep this baby because of Christian principles, said CAA, adding that “Ms. Wei was injected with medicine to induce birth at 11 AM on April 17.”[I remember that I posted some months ago about a Chinese mother who was forced to have an abortion … because she was not married. CMinor then, pointed me this article about forced abortion in China. A must read.]
And today we are following the French elections: Ségolene was marvelled with the quickness of the Chinese justice. Uff, yeah, they kill inmediately, even in buses to make possible the growing organ market… What happens with French and Chinese? Chinese head of the censorship was awarded Chinese first and more important medal because he is a fan of Chirac!

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From CNN:

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to slap North Korea with trade, travel and other sanctions as punishment for its claimed nuclear weapons test.
President Bush described the U.N. action as a “swift and tough” message that the world is “united in our determination to see to it that the Korean Peninsula is nuclear-weapons free.”
He said North Korea has an opportunity for “a better way forward” and promised help to the impoverished country if it verifiably ends its nuclear weapons program.
North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Pak Gil Yon said Pyongyang “totally rejects the unjustifiable resolution,” calling it “coercive … while neglecting the nuclear threat” he said was posed by the United States against his country.
After the 15-0 vote for Resolution 1718, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said it sent a “clear and strong message” to North Korea, whose claimed nuclear test on Monday poses “one of the gravest threats to peace and security” the council has ever confronted.
Bolton said the resolution calls on Pyongyang to end all nuclear weapons programs. It forbids U.N. member nations from North Korean trade involving nuclear and weapons of mass destruction. North Korean government officials known to be involved in WMD efforts are banned from traveling to member states. It also includes a North Korean ban on “luxury goods.”
If confirmed, it would be the first nuclear weapons test since Pakistan’s underground blast in 1998. The claim has renewed fears of a regional arms race and that North Korea might aid terrorists with nuclear materials or technology.

And why the luxury goods?

The luxury goods mentioned in the sanctions is directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who has a long, documented record of living a life of luxury while his people wasted away in famine. On Friday Bolton said, “The North Korean population’s been losing average height and weight over the years, and maybe this will be a little diet for Kim Jong Il.”

The NKorean Ambassador left quite angry BEFORE the vote. In this video we can see US Ambassador to UN, John Bolton, speaking about this and be questioned about the actions USA was going to take if NKorea test a second nuclear device:

Video found at Atlas Shrugs. Go and read her post. It’s really important.
Flopping Aces has the video in which NKorean representative says that this new resolution is gangster-like

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BBC:

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon has been formally elected the next United Nations secretary general, in a vote in the General Assembly.

The election follows Mr Ban’s nomination to succeed Kofi Annan by the UN Security Council on Monday. 

Mr Annan is due to step down on 31 December after heading the UN for two five-year terms.

Mr Ban, 62, will be the first Asian to head the UN since Burma’s U Thant, who held the post from 1961 to 1971.

More on CNN, Pajamas Media.

Plus dans Le Monde,

Ban Ki-Moon ha sido elegido nuevo Secretario General de Naciones Unidas. Yo no tengo mucha confianza en que lo haga aceptablemente -ya lo he dicho en otras ocasiones e incluso me han tachado de ser demasiado dura con él), pero Koffi Annan no ha dejado muy alto el listón que se diga 😦  

EL MUNDO.

There was not very much information about the other candidates: in All About Latvia we can read something about the Latvian candidate, Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

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USA has pressed for NKorea Sanctions. The proposed US sanctions are:

  • Halting trade in material that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction
  • Inspections of cargo going in and out of North Korea
  • The ending of financial transactions used to support nuclear proliferation
  • A ban on the import of luxury goods

Japan has confirmed the economic restrictions on NKorea and the restrictions to the entry of NKoreans in Japanese land. They are also forgiving NKorean ships to enter Japanese ports. All of these measures can have a very bad efect on NKorean economy as some of their products, as clams or mushrooms, are one of the main methods of achieving foreign currencies, mainly from the Japanese market. Also ferries are the main way of communication between the two countries. [The Guardian]

Of course, Koffi Annan has -in another crisis in his reign– said to the US: please, talk to NKorea…

He urged the US to enter direct talks with North Korea, something which Washington consistently refuses to do. “I have always argued that we should talk to parties whose behaviour we want to change,” Mr Annan said.

And NKorea has threaten to retaliate strongly:

North Korea today threatened “strong” retaliation against Japanese sanctions as UN security council members tried to work out a compromise deal on a response to Pyongyang’s nuclear test.

“We will take strong counter-measures,” Song Il Ho, North Korea’s ambassador in charge of talks with Japan, said when asked about Tokyo’s unilateral sanctions, imposed yesterday. The measures include a ban on North Korean shipping.

In an interview with Japan’s Kyodo news agency, he warned: “We never speak empty words.”

Newsweek asked some days ago if this test will bring down Kim. And also wrote about China:

But U.S. officials had become increasingly frustrated by China’s reluctance to squeeze Pyongyang harder. In the past, even when it was displeased with Kim, Beijing has done little more than temporarily interrupt fuel flows. The hope in Washington is now that Chinese President Hu Jintao will decide he’s finally had enough of his out-of-control former junior partner. With Sunday’s test Kim has now twice rebuffed Hu’s pleas for restraint. The last time was July, when Kim ignored the Chinese leader’s request not to test missiles. This time Kim insulted Hu the day after an important Sino-Japanese summit with Tokyo’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe—a nationalist who will no doubt be probing China’s strategic determination—and on the eve of a big communist party plenary session at which Hu’s reputation will be on the line.

For Washington, almost everything is riding on this hope. U.S. officials are talking tough about beefing up their Proliferation Security Initiative, which mainly involves interdicting suspect shipments on the high seas. But last week they quickly walked back any speculation that Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill’s stark rhetoric from last week—“North Korea can have a future or it can have these weapons. It can’t have both,” Hill said—meant a threat of war. The Pentagon is extremely leery of any military options, with the heavily-populated South Korean capital of Seoul lying vulnerable to missile attack just across the North Korean border. What Hill’s comment meant instead, several U.S. officials said, was that the U.N. Security Council would move to impose sanctions, and key countries such as China, Japan and South Korea would join in, ensuring that the Pyongyang regime remains utterly friendless.

Well, today, from Reuters:

The United States will push formally on Thursday for tough U.N. punishment of North Korea for its reported nuclear test, but is certain to face strong opposition from China.

China, the nearest North Korea has to a backer, openly condemned its communist neighbor after it announced on Monday it had conducted a nuclear test and agreed to limited sanctions.

“In response to North Korea’s actions we’re working with our partners … to ensure there are serious repercussions for the regime in Pyongyang,”U.S. President George W. Bush said on Wednesday after Japan announced new sanctions of its own against North Korea.

But a new U.S. resolution goes further than Beijing wants.

There has not yet been any independent confirmation that Monday’s test was of a nuclear device. But some have speculated that if it was nuclear, it might not have been successful as claimed by Pyongyang.

North Korea has held out the threat of more tests, calling U.S. pressure to rein in its nuclear program tantamount to a “declaration of war”.

A U.N. Security Council vote on the resolution could come on Friday, when the leaders of China and South Korea — on which Pyongyang relies for economic aid and a level of diplomatic protection — are also due to meet in Beijing.

Both countries are anxious to avoid driving the reclusive North — with its 1.2 million-strong army — further into a corner, possibly triggering instability on the Korean peninsula, which has been divided for more than half a century.

USA has softened previous proposal on NKorea.

The new American resolution, to be formally introduced this morning, would declare North Korea’s actions to be a threat to international peace and stability and would require countries to freeze assets related to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs and ban the sale or transfer of materials that could be used in them. It would also ban travel by people involved in the programs and bar the sale of the luxury goods used to reward the regime’s elite, diplomats said late Wednesday.

But unlike an earlier version, it would allow but not require inspections of all cargo going into or out of North Korea, or the freezing of assets related to counterfeiting or narcotics, which American officials say are crucial sources of the hard currency needed to fund the weapons programs. Japanese demands for a ban on allowing North Korean ships or planes to enter other countries were also dropped.

In Beijing today, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry appeared to back away from a statement on Tuesday by the country’s United Nations ambassador expressing support for “punitive” sanctions.

“It’s necessary to express clearly to North Korea that the nuclear test is the wrong practice,” said the spokesman, Liu Jianchao. “As to what measures to take, I think the measures themselves are not punitive action,” he said. “One can say that punishment isn’t the goal.”

Precisely the question now arising in some places is whether or not NKorea really tested a nuclear bomb.

UPDATE: An interesting article from the Telegraph: The West woke up too late to the nuclear threat of rogue states. (Found at Disculpen las Molestias)
EEUU presentó una resolución en la que se imponían una serie de sanciones a Corea del Norte por la prueba nuclear. Estas eran no dejar entrar material que pudiera ser usado para hacer ADM, inspecciones de todos los buques cargueros que entren y salgan de Corea del Norte, el final de todas las transacciones financieras usadas para apoyar la proliferación nuclear y una prohibición para importar bienes de lujo.
Japón por su pare ha establecido restricciones a sus transacciones comerciales con Corea del Norte y sobre los ciudadanos norcoreanos que quieran entrar en el país nipón. Asimismo, también ha prohibido a los barcos norcoreanos atracar en puertos japoneses. Estas medidas pueden ser penosas para la economía norcoreana que recibe muchas divisas procedentes de la exportación de setas y almejas a Japón y cuyo único medio de comunicación con este país son los ferries. Corea del Norte ha anunciado “grandes represalias” contra Japón.
Hace unos días ya escribí que el principal problema para imponer una sanción a Corea del Norte era precisamente China. Pues bien, después de protestar mucho cuando Corea del Norte hizo la prueba nuclear, ahora no es partidaria de que se le impongan muchas sanciones. EEUU ha tenido que presentar una nueva propuesta de resolución en la ONU, en la que ya no se exige un registro de los barcos que entran y salen de Corea del Norte, medida que es vital según los expertos, porque de esa forma se impediría que llegara dinero procedente de drogas o de falsificación, para financiar el programa armamentístico.
Eso sí, Koffi Annan le ha dicho a EEUU que a ver si dialoga con Kim Jong Il, diciendo: “Creo que siempre hay que hablar con las personas cuyo comportamiento debemos cambiar”. NO comments 😦
Mientras crecen las dudas sobre si efectivamente Corea del Norte tiene la bomba realmente.

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