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Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

Because the Pentagon was also attacked on Sept 11. (I know that the Twin Towers are a symbol, but everyone I have read is remembering them. And the people who died on the Pentagon also deserve a remembrance).

😳 I was forgetting. A group of young ex-Muslims are launching today a campaign for the right to abandon Islam, without reprisals. h/t O Insurgente.

Ehsan Jami, the committee’s founder, who rejected Islam after the attack on the twin towers in 2001, has become the most talked-about public figure in the Netherlands. He has been forced into hiding after a series of death threats and a recent attack.

Raised Eyebrow

(+)  Lawhawk has a magnificent post with updates about Ground Zero. h/t Carl in Jerusalem.

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Superb post from Kate about the situation of Venezuelan oposition. An excerpt:

These guys cannot get it through their skulls that there needs to be some sort of united front against Chavez, if for nothing else to create a legitimate opposition. Honestly, if I were chavista, I wouldn’t even bother to write about the opposition; I’d be laughing way too hard to be able to sit down and write something coherent. Primero Justicia wants to vote article by article; the student movement –which has been called sifrino by many in the elite political class– continues, albeit intermittently; COPEI wants to get rid of article 141; AD is nowhere to be found. All the meanwhile, chavistas and the administration are giving opposition forces the run-around by entertaining futile opposition attempts. The saddest part of it all? The opposition are buying into it! They are what my Italian grandmother calls stunods, which are essentially thick-headed people who are gluttons for punishment.

A colombo-americana’s perspective: Trouble in el dizque paraiso de Chavezuela?

You should read it all.

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More about the German plot:

The accused conspirators in a bombing plot disrupted last week in Germany were part of what the authorities say is a small, but growing, flow of militants from Germany and other Western countries who are receiving terrorism training at camps in Pakistan.

Beginning early last year, at least five of the suspects traveled to the tribal regions of Waziristan, where they learned to prepare chemical explosives and military-grade detonators that they intended to use to build three car bombs, according to German officials and a confidential German intelligence document that details the allegations.

[…] As further evidence of traffic between Germany and the tribal areas of Pakistan, intelligence officials said six other men from Germany who had received similar training had been detained in Pakistan, and they suspect that numerous other Germans have attended the camps without being identified by the authorities.

German officials say they are troubled by evidence that Al Qaeda and other groups are training Western-born recruits whose passports allow them easy access to other Western countries.

“They started to look especially for people from Europe, because they wanted to train them and later to use them here in Germany for operations,” said a high-ranking German intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

The accusations in Germany contain similarities to two high-profile cases in Britain.

[…] This summer militants released a 46-minute videotape depicting some 250 graduates of a Taliban training camp near the Afghan-Pakistan border, which included speeches in English by recruits who were grouped by the countries they had been trained to attack, including Germany and the United States.

“We are not only fighting in Afghanistan,” the Taliban leader, Mullah Mansoor, said at the end of the ceremony. “Those American, British, German, French, Canadian and others who have come to finish us, if God wills, we will destroy them with the power of strong faith in God. We will commit suicidal attacks and we will destroy their national assets.”

Read it all.AngryStriaght Face

This also happens in Spain by the way, and specially in Catalonia.

For Islamist terrorist organizations this is something necessary… as they avoid better the police control and the possible suspicions from the neighbourhood.

Also in Germany a rabbi has been stabbed in the stomach:

A rabbi was stabbed in the stomach by another man on a Frankfurt street in what appeared to be a spontaneous attack, police said Saturday.

The 42-year-old rabbi, whose name was not disclosed, underwent surgery after the Friday night attack and appeared to be out of danger, police said.

The rabbi was walking with two other people when they encountered the assailant accompanied by two women, a police statement said. Witnesses said the attacker spoke to the rabbi — who was wearing a yarmulke — in what sounded like Arabic.

The rabbi did not understand, and the attacker then threatened in German to kill him and stabbed him once, police said. The attacker fled and the women who were with him ran in different directions.

So who is the murderer? De Der Spiegel (aquí el link en alemán a la noticia):

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Here in Spain:

a) ETA has accused the Government of “not fulfilling their pacts” (oops, but the Government says there weren’t any…) and that they will continue with the “armed struggle“. Zapatero said that this year was going to be better that the previous one, and the next day the Barajas’ T4 terminal exploded after an ETA’s device went off, killing two persons. Just a few days ago, Zapatero in the independent diary of the morning, that is, EL País, in an interview, blamed on Popular Party the lack of success of the peace process. And today he is accused of not fulfilling his pacts with ETA… Now, that for those who deny Zapatero is a jynx. And a liar…. Liar

And on Monday 10th, a car has exploded in Logroño, although no one has been killed or hurt…

b) the Government wants to impose on the citizens a new subject, which would be taught at the schools: Education for Citizenship. Roughly speaking, this is a subject whose aim is to teach children, leftists are lovers of the arts, peaceful, good in essence, while right-wingers are militarists, professional haters and so on. I will write about that, as it is an important thing to consider for next generations. But if you speak Spanish, you can go here to know more about it.

c) the same foundation which is training the Education for Citizenship’s teachers has advised that the Civil War’s History must be re-written. Hilarion, in Valea’s blog, (Waveto both!) wrote this comment [my translation]:

it was about time that someone tells us the truth about what happened. I am going to advise them to include, at least, these fundamental facts which had been systematically manipulated or hidden:

1) Calvo Sotelo was not killed by assault guards who were supporters of Socialist PSOE. He committed suicide shooting himself twice in the back of his own head.

2) Franco made his Moor forces cross the Strait of Gibraltar in makeshift vessels (=pateras).

3) Carrillo had nothing to do with Paracuellos. He was at a program in El País newspaper’s radio Cadena Ser speaking in a program.

4) Andreu Nin escaped to Brasil with the Bank of Spain’s gold. Only the fascist propaganda said that he dissapeared because the stalinists have killed him and that he gave the gold to Stalin so that the latter could guard it.

5) The Republicans (Reds, communists…) won the Ebro’s Battle. But when they were attacking it, they positioned themselved on the wrong side of the river.

6) The Republic won the war, but the Franco’s propaganda achieved its goal: no one had been able to discover that till now.

7) It is not true that Hemingway and Dos Passos ended with all the reserves of gin in Madrid. What is true is that they were stinking with a known smell, because, when they have just arrived in Madrid, an unknown and not very careful waiter, stinked their clothes with a Beefeater Gin’s bottle and, considering the bad state of finances in the capital then, they weren’t able to change their clothes throughout all the war.

Rolling on the floor

d) the agressions against PP members continue: Angry a New Generations’ militant (New Generations is the association for youths of PP) has been hurt after being beaten heavily. A group of violents have already attacked the PP stand in Alcorcón (celevrating now its patron’s holidays). The party’s spokerperson in Alcorcón, Fernando Díaz, has also suffered some contusions in the face, arm and hand, and has denounced the facts to the Police.

According to their statement, at 7:30 pm, around 15 youths began “to insult and menace the people who were there working inside the stand. When the latter considered what was happenning, they abandoned what they were doing and scaped running“, he said.

But the agressors run after them, pursuing the hurt man, an Italian national, who was beaten severely, and was later driven to Hospital, although he was discharged from hospital later.

The agressors were identified as okupas, “belonging to anti-system groups who came from another caseta with republican flags“.

e) the Prince of Asturias’ daughter has begun going to school. But not to a normal/ordinary school. After repeating in all TV shows, that the Prince and his family are “youths of their age” (though they don’t have to pay mortgage..), the Infanta Leonor is going to a school built for her, whose companions are sons and daughter of the Civil Guard. The school has been built by the Defense Ministry (as if it had a huge budget…) and a third part of it is paid by the Autonomous Community of Madrid (as if they were Kings only of it, instead of Spain… something which would not reduce the general criticism against “the capital”, just because it is the capital…). 🙄

f) On Sunday, the victim no. 56 (of this year) as a result of domestic violence was killed. The Fundación Mujeres (Women Foundation) has released a video to make the women aware of the emotional blackmail a majority of them suffer. That same emotional blackmail is the root of some of them stopping the criminal processes against their husbands/lovers/…

If this proves something is that the Law of Full Protection against Gender Violence has had very little effect in preventing this kind of acts. From my point of view, there are two very interesting things in this law: first, that if a woman beats her husband he has not the same protection as she would have in the same situation; and that if it is a same-sex marriage, the partners are also excluded from the law. And secondly, considering the measures the law imposes, the budget to really make them possible should be enormous. But the budget is not so important as to make that possible…

In fact, this is not a problem of huge budgets or of engaging more policemen or civil servants, but of education. Intelligence, goodness, beauty, honesty, etc. are valors which are not given by nationality, height or sex, but that appear in some individuals while are not present in others. But if both chauvinists and feminists keep on saying their sexes are above the other -while neither of them is right-, the situation will be maintained in the long run. Situation which is aggravated by the immigration which normally comes from places which are even more chauvinistic than Spain.

According to the report from the Spanish General Council of Judicial Power h/t Desde Mi Rincón, these are the numbers:

      Protection orders Presented accusations
  Total   13.472 39.079
Victim Man Spanish>18 1.721 7.690
    Spanish minor 148 494
    Foreign>18 217 1.091
    Foreign minor 37 101
  Woman Spanish>18 8.363 22.612
    Spanish minor 315 678
    Foreign>18 2.832 7.140
    Foreign minor 126 305
Accused Spanish man   8.897 24.326
  Foreign man   3.053 7.639
  Spanish woman   1.197 6.192
  Foreign woman   322 1.316

So some men are suffering mistreatment in silence, aren’t they? No one speaks about this… and campaigns are normally aimed at mistreated women, but no mistreated man is mentioned. Raised Eyebrow And in the present state of things I feel we will have to wait to see that Waiting This is not equality, really. At least, from my point of view. Whistling

g) The socialist Major of Sevilla has supported the Chaves‘ initiative of giving free apartments in Andalucía and has announced that he will raise the Tax on Real State a 50% to the unnoccupied houses. He maintains that his objective is “to make more attractive the renting market” to ensure that the appartments are a “fundamental right” and not a “business“. He has not outlined what criteria will be used to decide if a house is or not occupied. From PP, Javier Arenas considers the Chaves’ initiative a “joke of the worst taste“.

NOTE: Chávez is the Venezuelan Bolivarian blablabla President. Cháves is the President of the Autonomous Community of Andalucia. I know, I also mix them up. I dont know

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Noblesse Oblige writes about Pakistan and the return of Nawaz Sharif, scheduled for Monady 9/10. And… Nawad Sharif was arrested and deported to Saudi Arabia:

After landing in Islamabad he was charged and put on board a plane bound for Saudi Arabia, Religious Affairs Minister Ejaz ul-Haq told BBC News.

Mr Sharif says he wants to challenge President Pervez Musharraf, who ousted him in a 1999 coup, ahead of elections.

Mr Sharif arrived in Pakistan weeks after the country’s Supreme Court affirmed his right to return.

On board the plane which flew him to Pakistan from London, Mr Sharif told the BBC he wanted to help restore the rule of law.

“It’s democracy versus dictatorship,” he said.

Once the plane arrived in Islamabad, paramilitary troops surrounded it and there was a stand-off on board as Mr Sharif refused to hand over his passport to immigration officials for nearly two hours.

Eventually he agreed to leave the plane and was escorted to the airport’s VIP lounge.

But shortly afterwards, he was separated from his entourage, returned to the tarmac and put on board a helicopter. Later, he was transferred to a plane bound for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Officials said he had been charged with money-laundering and corruption.

So, Musharraf wanted reconciliation, didn’t he? Liar

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Oh, and last but not least, Sandmonkey, the best -for me- of Egyptian bloggers is back. Sooo, go there and read… Smug

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 Alarming news indeed:

The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, on Monday outlined what it called “radical” changes to its relations with the countries that border on the union.

Addressing a conference that included ministers from the 16 neighbour countries and the 27 EU members, European Commission Vice President Benita Ferrero-Waldner said the Commission proposes to open up the European markets to workers, services and goods from the EU’s neighbours.

The Commission’s proposal calls for instance for better legal migration, a tougher approach to illegal immigration. In the area of energy, it tables the idea of regional energy partnership that would eliminate the need for the bilateral pacts currently in place with some countries.

EUX.TV – Brussels Minute: ‘Radical’ changes for EU neighbours h/t Millenium Notes.

So, they are going to open all the borders to mainly our Mediterranean brothers, just in case they were not crossing the Mediterranean fast enough. 😡

This is released about the same time in which a suicide bomber has blown up himself in Algeria, killing at least 22 people. The suicide attack aimed at President Bouteflika. When he saw he has been detected by the people around him, he exploded himself before the scheduled moment. (En español)

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From BBC:

Doctors in China have discovered 26 sewing needles embedded in the body of a 31-year-old woman.

They think they were inserted into Luo Cuifen’s body when she was a baby by grandparents upset she was not a boy.  😯

[…] The needles were discovered only when Ms Luo went to hospital complaining of blood in her urine. She was given a routine X-ray, which revealed the needles. Up until then she had been in good health.

Some of these needles have penetrated vital organs, such as the lungs, liver and kidneys. One has even broken into three pieces in the woman’s brain.

[…] But there is no way to confirm this theory, as the grandparents are now dead.

In many rural areas boys were – and still are – valued more highly than girls. One reason is that they can carry on the family name.

Well, the main reason is not that rubbish about the family name, but the one-child policy which favoured during a lot of time, the boys over the girls. The consequence is that there is a great disproportion between the percentage of women and men in China nowadays.

A problem aggravated with a return to an ancient past within China, when mistresses were normal in the higher circles:

Chinese anti-graft investigators have found that 90 percent of the country’s most senior officials brought down in corruption cases in recent years had kept mistresses, drawing a link between sex and misconduct.

Mistresses and “second wives” are common among government officials and businessmen in China and are often blamed for driving officials to seek money through bribes or other abuses of power.

A report by China’s top prosecutor’s office said that of 16 provincial-level officials punished for “serious” graft in the last five years, most were involved in “trading power for sex”, along with gambling, money-laundering and shady land sales to developers, the Beijing News said on Monday.

“Nearly 90 percent kept mistresses, some keeping several,” the paper said.

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In Somalia, while the insurgents (err, well, Al-Qaeda linked tipes…) and the Government are going to talk, one of the insurgents hideouts has been raided:

Nine people have been killed and 20 others seriously injured in Somalia’s capital during a raid on a house by government forces targeting insurgents.

Explosions and gunfire rocked Bakara market in Mogadishu as security forces battled insurgents defending the house thought to be sheltering their leader.

On Wednesday six people were killed during another raid against insurgents.

Mogadishu has seen a rise in violence since Ethiopian-backed government troops ousted Islamists last December

The UN refugee agency says some 400,000 people have fled the fighting in the capital in the past four months.

The BBC’s Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says most of those injured during the fighting are civilians who were caught in the crossfire.

Transitional government forces have been carrying out operations against insurgents for the past two months, but this was the first time a house was targeted, our correspondent says.

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Bin Laden urges American to convert ( 😆 ). Well, I really feel that he is not cool enough no matters how much henna he uses… I mean, with that look, he is not going to be a masses’ idol:

It appears that a texture effect has been added over the entire image. Perhaps the intent is to hide what appears to me to be a very sickly man. The shoulders are pronouncedly slumped, as if he has lost all muscle tone.  It shows serious wasting which many times occurs in Alzheimer patients. (As if we didn’t already know that he was demented). The flesh of his face is sagging. I think this IS a new picture. In November of 2001 Salon.com  conjectured that Osama might be suffering from Marfan syndrome.

Well, perhaps for some leftists-Chomsky-lovers, and such… he is attractive.

(+) More on Bin Laden’s hairdresser’s work.

Characteristically, no one is picking up on the significance of the dye job. The Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence forbids men and women to dye their hair black “except when the intention is jihad…as a show of strength to unbelievers” (‘Umdat al-Salik e.4.4). Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in his The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, says essentially the same thing: “Some of the early Muslims, including some sahabah [companions of Muhammad] such as Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amr, al-Hassan, al-Hussein, Jarir, and others permitted the use of black dye. Some scholars, on the other hand, do not consider the use of black dye as permissible except during time of war, when the enemy might be impressed by the fact that all the soldiers of the Muslim army look young.

As I said, I am not impressed by his hairdresser’s work youthness..

What is significant though is that he thinks he is in war… Now, let’s see if the rest also begin realising we are in a war too…

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President Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan) revived the possibility of an alphabet switch last fall, requesting that the Ministry of Education and Science examine the experiences of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which have all changed to Latin letters. The ministry’s proposed action plan is based primarily on the model used in Uzbekistan. It calls for a six-step program, outlining cost estimates for retraining the country’s workforce to read Latin script, and changing signs on streets and public buildings. The overall cost of switching is estimated at US$300 million.

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Turkmenistan’s role in energy:

The pipeline expansion, provided it actually comes into being, could deal a substantial blow to western interests in Turkmenistan. In particular, it has the potential to deter a long-held goal of the United States – construction of a Trans-Caspian Pipeline that would carry Central Asian energy to Azerbaijan, where it would be distributed to the West.

As one Pentagon official said prior to the announcement of the Russian-Turkmen pipeline agreement: “If there is a new Great Game being played in Central Asia, the most important part is Turkmenistan.”

Western officials in Turkmenistan, however, deny that they have “lost” anything to Russia. “We don’t see it as a zero-sum game, as Russia and other countries in the region do,” said one Western diplomat.

But the diplomat acknowledges that Russia has an advantage in dealing with Turkmenistan; that Moscow doesn’t make the same demands on human rights and democratization as do Washington and Brussels. “We would love to know the real reason [that Russia was awarded the pipeline deal], but that seems to be the logical explanation,” the diplomat said.

Another Western diplomat said a major factor was connected to the fact that Russia devotes more high level attention to Turkmenistan than does the United States or European countries. “When Berdymukhammedov calls the Kremlin, it’s [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who picks up the phone; when he calls Washington it’s a deputy assistant secretary of state. And the presidential level is where you get things done,” the diplomat said.

Exactly the same as China in Sudan, about HR and democratization… 😡

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Two maids beaten to death in Saudi Arabia, accused of practising “black magic” h/t NMJ:

The brutality of attacks on four Indonesian maids last month in the Saudi town of Aflaj shocked even the most hardened observers in this kingdom, where employers have a long history of mistreating their domestic workers.

Accused of practicing black magic on the son of their Saudi employers, these domestic helpers were beaten over a period of two days beginning Aug. 3. Siti Tarwiyah Slamet and Susmiyati Abdul Fulan were killed. Tari Tarsam and Ruminih Surtim survived, but were taken away by Saudi police from the hospital just days after being admitted once they were deemed well enough to be questioned.

Since then, seven Saudi males from the same family have been arrested and are under investigation. The Saudi government never officially informed the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh of the crime, and only after migrant groups and relatives of the maids held two demonstrations outside the Saudi Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, did the Saudi ambassador to Indonesia issue a statement saying that authorities in Riyadh needed more time to complete their investigation before they could send the two surviving maids and the remains of the two slain women home.

😯 Speaking of transparency of the Government… And of inaction:

The brutal killings of these Indonesian domestic helpers occurred in an atmosphere of impunity fostered by government inaction,” says Nisha Varia, senior researcher in the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in New York. “Not only do the authorities typically fail to investigate or prosecute abusive employers, the criminal justice system also obstructs abused workers from seeking redress.”

Go and read it all: it’s shameful. And this people want to teach others morals and good behaviour??

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Hmm, more cowards. And who pays it? The people who are less strong… in this case the children:

A homo-sex-ual foster couple were left free to sex-ually abuse vulnerable boys in their care because social workers feared being accused of discrimination if they investigated complaints, an inquiry concluded yesterday.

G-ay couple left free to abuse boys – because social workers feared being branded hom-ophobic

… one of the first homo-se-xual couples in the country to be officially approved as foster parents.

With no previous convictions, they came across as respectable men who simply wanted to help boys with a variety of problems.

In reality, they were paed-ophiles, who repeatedly abused the children in their care.

My reaction was of 😯 at first, but after reading it entirely (and once I realize what had happened -af first, I could not believe my eyes) was of 😡

And please, go and see the photos. I have not posted them, because I do not want any reader killed after seeing them…

Not all homosexuals are like this, BUT if someone makes such acts must be stopped before it’s too late. What are going to be the consequences for the poor child, hein?

My Pet Jawa links to other case, as gruesome as this one:

Judge Christopher Critchlow heard last week that Howitt and Rae, lovers for more than 10 years, repeatedly sexually abused the tot over a four-year period – simulating sex acts with him and forcing him to have oral sex while he slept.

Look here, I don’t care the sexuality, the gender or whatever. We are very careful about not upsetting grown-ups, just in case they get offended. And the little boys? What happens with them? They get not offended, but raped. What is a bigger problem, then? ________________________________

In Pakistan:

Suspected Islamic militants in north-western Pakistan have beheaded two women they accused of being prostitutes, police say.

The bodies of the two women were found by villagers on the outskirts of the city of Bannu.

A note found on the bodies accused the women of “acts of obscenity”, a term that usually refers to prostitution.

The region is a known base for militants who want to impose their interpretation of Islamic law.

Police said the women were travelling in a three-wheeled vehicle when masked and armed men overpowered them and bundled them into a car.

Senior district police officer Dar Khattak told Reuters news agency it was the first time militants had directly targeted and killed women in the region.

The note read: “We have started doing this to end obscenity in the area.”

First, they even don’t know if the women were actually prostitutes.

But in case they were, prostitutes don’t make “acts of obscenity” alone, but with men (in a 99% of the cases…) and because the men pay for them to do such “acts”. So, if they really want to fight obscenity, just don’t use them. Oohh, yeah, I know, err, yes, well, then don’t blame prostitutes!! You, hypocrites… 😡

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Cinderella, Muslim style h/t Kate: “I’m not going to be able to contradict him. But this is a fairy tale come true” says the bride ( 😯 ). The bridegoom is already married and has five children. He belongs to Dubai Royal House. She is a hotel waitress. Both are Muslims.

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I forgot to write about the Beslan’s anniversary. So I’m linking to Pastorius’ post at IBA about it.

Chechneyan Muslims (with connection to Al Qaeda) stormed an elementary school in Beslan, Chechneya, taking over 1,100 teachers and students hostage. During the ensuing standoff with police, the Jihadis raped young girls, shot teachers, strung the entire school with explosives, and forced children to drink urine.

From the comments:

Beslan is not in Chechya, but in Ingushetia. It is a small autonomous district populated by related but different people, chrystian by their faith.

RIP. And let’s see if Putin learns something…

Infidels are Cool has also another very good post on the subject.

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China denies hacking Pentagon’s computers:

Some people make groundless accusations against China” that its military attacked the Pentagon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news briefing.

China has all along been opposed to and forbids criminal activities undermining computer networks, including hacking,” she said. “China is ready to strengthen cooperation with other countries, including the U.S., in countering Internet crimes.”

The Financial Times report said the Pentagon was still investigating how much information was stolen, but cited an unnamed person as saying that most of it was probably unclassified.

[…] The Pentagon warned earlier this year that China’s army is emphasizing hacking as an offensive weapon. It cited Chinese military exercises in 2005 that included hacking “primarily in first strikes against enemy networks.”

The Associated Press reported in July that the State Department was trying to recover from large-scale network break-ins affecting operations worldwide. The hackers appeared to target the department headquarters and offices dealing with China and North Korea, it was reported.

However, experts have said that China is home to a large number of insecure computers and networks that hackers in other countries could use to disguise their locations and launch attacks.

Well, it’s a good way to disguise an attack from other people, such as terrorists… BUT for China is a golden oportunity: not only they can claim they are innocent, but they can do it and blame others! AND they have been trained for that…

Also UK has complained because the caring and loving and peaceful Taliban are using Chinese-made weapons. This is the most laughable line in all the article: The authorities in Beijing have promised to carry out an investigation. Bet they will say they are sold without permission?

(+) It appears that UK computers have also being hacked from China. What is happening here???

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This year helicopters are 100 years old. See the image gallery from CNETNews.com. The first helicopter was something like this:

In 1907, only a few years had passed since the Wright brothers’ first flight, and automobiles had yet to make much headway against horse-drawn carriages. In France, a number of tinkerers were trying out another novel mode of mechanical locomotion: the helicopter. Well, something vaguely resembling modern helicopters, anyway. But the contraptions did count as the first successful steps, however brief, along the way to manned flight powered by rotary wings. And that makes 2007 the centennial of the helicopter.

Designs by Maurice Leger, Jacques and Louis Breguet, and Paul Cornu all got off the ground in 1907–just barely, and for just a very few seconds. These earliest machines also tended to require steadying from people on the ground. Cornu’s craft, shown here, got airborne in November of that year for as long as 20 seconds at an altitude, if you can call it that, of somewhere between knee-high and eye level. It featured two rotors at opposite ends of the airframe that turned in opposite directions to balance out the torque.

Caption text by Jonathan Skillings, staff writer, CNET News.com Credit: Branger/Getty Images

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New Nike’s marketing campaign. “Being Spanish is not an excuse, it’s a responsibility“.

Just wait and see: all the nationalists from all the autonomous Communities, which call themselves “historic“, are going to boicot Nike…, calling it a “remnant of imperialistic Spain“. 😈

[the man in the picture is Spanish tennis-player Rafael Nadal…]

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Ireland to allow police to wear turbans?

If the uniform requirements of the Garda Reserve were to be waived for a Sikh officer, then they would have to be waived for everyone else who pleaded cultural or religious custom. Male Jewish officers would be allowed to wear the yamulke instead of the cap; female Muslim officers (if their husbands allowed them out) would wear the veil instead of the cap; some might even cover their uniforms with a burqa. Buddhist members (although I’m not sure if their beliefs would allow them to join a force which might be required to use even limited violence against violence) would be able to wear a yellow robe. The possibilities are numerous, and while they might make for a more colourful air around the Phoenix Park and Harcourt Square, it would be the end of uniformity and the discipline it both implies and requires.

Even more to the point, it would further endorse our skewed version of multi-culturalism. The idea of having people of various cultural traditions and ethnic minorities in our defence and garda forces is to ensure integration, not reinforce difference.

I hope they are not revising their previous policy about the uniform…

As Steve says:

Britain opened that Pandora’s Box many years ago when Sikhs were first allowed to ride motorbikes without crash helmets and to work on building sites without hard hats. Their heads are no harder than anyone else’s but health and safety, it seems, took second place to religious feeling.

This reflects our peculiar attitude to cultural minorities which, as I have said before, is a legacy of the Empire. The British establishment would prefer to do deals with the leaders of minority groups than ask them to integrate.

The Met, with its fourteen different minority pressure groups and its concessions to religious demands, is hardly a model to emulate either.

Bad thing altogether. A uniform, as its name says, is to make everyone being the same, to uniform, make all of them of one form, whaever their background. 👿

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from the Persecution Blog: the Martyr’s monument:

More than 70 million Christians have been martyred for their faith since 33 AD. This year an estimated 160,000 believers will die at the hands of their oppressors and over 200 million will be persecuted, arrested, tortured, beaten or jailed. In many nations it is illegal to own a Bible, share your faith, change your faith or allow children under 18 to attend a religious service.

Here is a photo of the monument:

  1. See more photos of the monument here.

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More on Iran: Haleh Esfandiari leaves Iran. by Vicki. But as she says:

Continued prayers for the other Iranian-Americans still detained in Iran: Ali Shakeri and Kian Tajbakhsh, who are still imprisoned, and Parnaz Azima, who is free on bail but is being prevented from leaving Iran.

From FFDB:

Iran President Ahmadinejad states he has “PROOF” that the United States will NOT attack Iran.

But, not to be seen as WEAK, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls the United States and West names – “drunken and arrogant” and says that Iran would never yield to Western pressure over its nuclear program.

And this is how Iran could inflict pain on Western countries:

Other interesting fact: new Head of the Revolutionary Guard IS one of the Iranian who kidnapped US Nationals on Nov 4th, 1979.

The appointment of somebody who was involved in taking US hostage, as the commander of a 200,000 strong military force can be interpreted as a provocation in the current cold war between Tehran and Washington. The important question to ask is: how long before such provocations turn into open confrontation? With the massive breakdown in communications and trust between both sides, one could be forgiven for fearing the worst.

Some quotes from Jafari here. Just read them: peaceful, loving guy…

Meanwhile, the former Head of the Revolutionary Guard has stated: “There are 200,000 vulnerable American forces in the region and we have information about all their bases”. 😯

Ayatollah Mojtahedi. “I wish I was a chick“. 😯 He says that then, all the taxis would stop when he wants one. :mrgreen:

Ahmadinejad:

“Iran’s telecommunication service should transfer the message of our revolution across the whole world….He said it’s vital that we complete this network of communication and from inside these networks, love, hope, faith and modesty should be suggested and the message of Islamic revolution should be transferred througout the world.”

😯

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. 😀

And lastly, a link to laugh about Ahmadinejad:

Hi, my name is Mahmoud Admadinejad. I know it is hard to pronounce so you guys can just call me “Spanky.” After all that is what my Iranian school yard chums nicknamed me.
Listen, I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I’m not all that bad of a guy. Sure the Bush administration is out to paint me as a tyrant and a fascist, but hey, we all know he is really the evil one. Right? Good, now that we have the pleasantries aside, I have some important things to talk about with you, the American people.
If you’ve been too busy ogling scantily clad women in the streets of your American cities you might not have noticed that I’ve been spending some time with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But our alliance isn’t about taking over the West or usurping America’s place in the world, and it isn’t even about how good “Vladi” looks without his shirt off.
Umm, not that I’ve noticed or anything…I just…err…we were just attending this Democratic debate and well…don’t ask, don’t tell.

😆 :mrgreen: Just read it all…

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Other interesting posts to read:

Terrorist attack hits Pakistan. by Sheik Yermami.

5000 new rifles, but no milk from Venezuela. by John Lilyea.

The Dying Soar of a Syphilitic Hunchback. by Scipio. About Russian situation. A very interesting post, really.

Danish police arrest suspected terrorists. by Astute Bloggers.

Abortions on demand in the UK. by David Vance. “in some cases, with the procedure just being carried out by a nurse“. 😯 And the health of the mother how is protected is these cases? -the unborn, well, I even don’t mention that little detail. But as abortions are mostly done to protect the mothers’ health…-.

His “Crime”? He wasn’t a Muslim. by Jeremayakovka. WARNING! Extremely graphic image of this slaughter in Southern Thailand. 😦 😡

Last but not least, to laugh a bit, read this post by Kate. 😆

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Some days ago I wrote about Chinese hackers on German computers, now it’s on US Pentagon’s computers:

The Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network in June in the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department, say American ­officials.

The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defence secretary, but declined to say who it believed was behind the attack.

Current and former officials have told the Financial Times an internal investigation has revealed that the incursion came from the People’s Liberation Army.

One senior US official said the Pentagon had pinpointed the exact origins of the attack. Another person familiar with the event said there was a “very high level of confidence…trending towards total certainty” that the PLA was responsible. The defence ministry in Beijing declined to comment on Monday.

China Military Hacked Into Pentagon « Status of Chinese People

😯

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So now, NYT is worried about Arabs kiling Arabs in Sudan…:

Some of the same Arab tribes accused of massacring civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan are now unleashing their considerable firepower against one another in a battle over the spoils of war that is killing hundreds of people and displacing tens of thousands.

In the past several months, the Terjem and the Mahria, heavily armed Arab tribes that United Nations officials said raped and pillaged together as part of the region’s notorious janjaweed militias, have squared off in South Darfur, fighting from pickup trucks and the backs of camels. They are raiding each other’s villages, according to aid workers and the fighters themselves, and scattering Arab tribesmen into the same kinds of displacement camps that still house some of their earlier victims.

United Nations officials said that thousands of gunmen from each side, including some from hundreds of miles away, were pouring into a strategic river valley called Bulbul, while clashes between two other Arab tribes, the Habanniya and the Salamat, were intensifying farther south.

Darfur’s violence has often been characterized as government-backed Arab tribes slaughtering non-Arab tribes, but this new Arab-versus-Arab dimension seems to be a sign of the evolving complexity of the crisis. What started out four years ago in western Sudan as a rebellion and brutal counterinsurgency has cracked wide open into a fluid, chaotic, confusing free-for-all with dozens of armed groups, a spike in banditry and chronic attacks on aid workers.

No, honey, this is just racism, because the Arabs from the North are white while the Arabs on the South are Black. (By the way, they are not Arabs, they are Muslims…)

By the way, Ban Ki-Moon is in Sudan to press for new talks:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Sudan to “give a push” for a new round of talks to end the four-year regional conflict and mobilize support for the speedy deployment of a new 26,000-member peacekeeping force, a top U.N. official said Monday.

Ban was expected to have dinner with President Omar al-Bashir before heading to southern Sudan on Tuesday to assess implementation of the 2005 agreement that ended a separate 21-year civil war between Sudan’s Muslim government in the north and the mostly Christian southern rebels.

He was then due Wednesday in Darfur to visit a camp for some of the 2.5 million people displaced by the conflict there, which has claimed more than 200,000 lives.

“It is important to move on several fronts,” Jean-Marie Guehenno, the U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, told reporters traveling with Ban. This is why the secretary-general has come to Sudan at this time, he said.

After his behaviour with NK, I don’t quite consider him really pushing for anything anywhere…

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Microsoft copying Google:

This week, it plans to turn that strategy upside down, making available free software that connects its Windows operating system to software services delivered on the Internet, a practice increasingly referred to as “cloud” computing. The initiative is part of an effort to connect Windows more seamlessly to a growing array of Internet services.

The strategy is a major departure for Microsoft, which primarily sells packaged software for personal computers. With this new approach, Microsoft hopes to shield its hundreds of millions of software customers from competitors like Google and Salesforce.com, which already offer software applications through the Internet.

Microsoft’s new Windows Live software suite includes an updated electronic mail program, a photo-sharing application and a writing tool designed for people who keep Web logs.

The new service is an indication that Microsoft plans to compete head-on against archrival Google and others, and not only in the search-engine business where it is at a significant disadvantage. Instead, Microsoft will try to outmaneuver its challengers by becoming the dominant digital curator of all a user’s information, whether it is stored on a PC, a mobile device or on the Internet, industry executives and analysts said.

Well, this is not a surprise…

Brian Hall, general manager for Microsoft’s Windows Live services, said, “We’re taking the communications and sharing components and creating a set of services that become what we believe is the one suite of services and applications for personal and community use across the PC, the Web and the phone.”

The Windows Live service — which will be found at www.live.com — includes new versions of the company’s Hotmail and Messenger communications services as well as Internet storage components. Microsoft executives said there were roughly 300 million active users each on the Hotmail and Messenger services, with some overlap.

The software release will offer PC users the option of downloading a set of the services with a single Unified Installer program, or as separate components. The individual services are Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger 8.5 and Windows Live OneCare Family Safety, a computer security program.

We will see…

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Shameful:

Gustavo Villoldo, 71, was involved in Guevara’s capture in the jungles of Bolivia, according to unclassified U.S. records and other documents. He plans to auction the hair and other items kept in a scrapbook since the joint CIA-Bolivian army mission 40 years ago.

“It’s time for me to put the past behind and pass these on to someone else,” said Villoldo, also a veteran of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

The scrapbook also holds a map used to track down Guevara in Bolivia, photos of Guevara’s body, intercepted messages between Guevara and his rebels and a set of Guevara’s fingerprints taken before his burial.

let’s party afterwards.

Now if you understand Spanish, and want to vomit afterwards, read this interview by moderate centered and objective El País, “the independent diary of the morning“, to Adelaida Guevara, daughter of Ché (thanks Kate for finding it…). And then speak about “the imperialistic Spain in Cuba“. Buaff…

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tiberge writes about the desecration of some French Christian cemeteries with no one raising their voices and no important MSM reporting about it:

Satanic inscriptions in English and swastikas were discovered on Friday in ten vaults of a cemetery in Toulouse (…) Several graves were covered with the words “Damned the Christ” or with swastikas, while flower pots were turned over and signs pointing to various sections of the Terre-Cabade cemetery were damaged,” according to an AFP report.

Elentir writes that in Spain some far-leftist vandals desecrated the cemetery of Paracuellos -where the victims of Communists in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War are buried- and a fascist web published a map of red (=communist) toombs and monuments to desecrate and destroy them.

What surprise me of this people is that they attack the dead. They should see the Dead of Lord of the Rings… You know: “This path is guarded by the Dead. The dead do not suffer the living to pass“. 😈 And this people so brave with the poor dead people were going to run at a huge speed. 😈

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Now for some photos: This is the Bolivarian Embassy in Peru before and after Chávez. And this is the new Bolivarian 5-star hotel in Caracas. 😈 I wonder what the grand-daughter of its owner would think of the move…

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From Demediacratic Nation:

Provisional Friday Prayer Leader of Tehran Ayatollah Mohammad Kashani sermonizing before a standing room only congregation said:

US administration is propagating a certain version of Christianity that is not based on Jesus Christ (PBUH) teachings, but after securing Zionists’ interests. 😯 [US administration is propagating a version of Christianity not based on Jesus Christ?? Well, then, how would you call that? 😉 ].

Based on this mentality, the Jews must gather in Palestine and then in the course of a revolution two thirds of them to get killed, and the remainder should see the reappearance of Jesus (PBUH).

Therefore, they are after gathering the entire Jews of the world in Palestine, which is definitely a move with political and Satanic roots, but the idea is put forth in the framework of an idea behind the hope for reappearance of Messiah. US President George W. Bush is the standard bearer of that mentality. That man is loathed to an extent in the United States today that the mentality he supports, too, has very limited number of supporters.”

Hey, this man should write script or something. What an imagination!! Heh. 😈

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You can also read this post from Red Alerts:

The second YouTube video in as many months where a fairly young guy argues for marrying children based on Islamic values. His argument is straight from the undergraduate liberal arts textbook. He’s preaching moral moral relativism, the flip side of social science doctrine to view cultures without your inherent ethnocentrism. His argument is that since our (westerners) ethics aren’t universally accepted, it isn’t “ethical” to judge other cultures using our moral compass, but we should use the morals and ethics of the society we’re judging to judge them.

[…] Watch to be disgusted, it’s in two parts so settle in. Vid one starts slow, but the last three minutes will make any feminist worth their salt go ballistic. It’s also the verbatim argument made by Jihadi Pervert one who was from California. Odd that the someone from Canada would be repeating the same tripe. It’s almost as if their being self radicalized by hanging around a jihadi propaganda outlet.

And watch the videos inside… 😡 You know, just like the female professor I wrote about yesterday about FGM.

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About censorship to Atlas Shrugs, read 1389 Blog: she has been clasified as “Violence/Hate/Racism blog by SonicWALL, a site of rating for blogs.

Anyway, she has had as ever a beautiful response from readers. Blogpower!

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Announcement from Vigilant Freedom / 910 Blog:

Baron Bodissey of The Gates of Vienna is seeking assistance in producing a Counter-jihad Calendar. Each month of the calendar will feature pictures of famous scenes from various countries under threat from Islamisation, along with a series of links for anti-Islamist blogs in those countries. The following countries will be represented: Britain, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Greece, India, Australia, and the USA. Search your blogrolls for your favorite blogsites which focus on the Islamist threat in these countries, and forward them to Baron at vigilantfreedom dot com.

I’m doing a list on Spanish anti-Jihadi sites. If you’re Spanish and you have an anti-Jihadi blog, you can write a comment in this post with the link and your name so I can forward the complete list in a fortnight. According to Baron this is a summary of what this calendar is about:

The calendar was started to supplement the SIOE demonstration at the EU Parliament in Brussels on September 11th, 2007, to protest the ongoing Islamization of Europe.
SIOE asked me to help with graphics and logos for their efforts, and I was glad to comply. In the process I decided to launch a parallel enterprise, one which fits in with the Brussels demo but which will continue afterwards. I call it the “Counterjihad Calendar Project”, and it will include an iconic image of a notable Western monument for each of the twelve months.
One of the themes of the SIOE rally is “Enough is enough!” With the help of people from the various countries involved, versions of the slogan in nine different European languages were created.
Bearing in mind what has happened to Cordoba Cathedral in Spain, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, and an uncountable number of Hindu temples in India, I wanted to associate a well-known Western building or monument on each page of the calendar. I’ve finished seven months, and have five more to go.
Since our focus at Gates of Vienna is not just on Europe, but on the ongoing Islamization of the entire civilized world, the countries on the calendar will include India, the USA, and Australia.
Some of the monuments used in the images will be well-known to everyone; others will be familiar mainly to the citizens of the countries involved. If all goes well, when the last month is ready, I’ll create a wall calendar that will be sold at our Café Press store.

The kinds of sites I want are those that spend a least 25% of their time posting about Muslim and jihad-related issues. I want to exclude anti-Semitic sites or those that hate Israel, and antything that is truly racist. The issue is the religion and ideology of Islam, and not race.

Thanks for your collaboration.

By the way, please, enter the name of your blog or of someone who has give you express permission. I do not want that later some bloggers complaint about being in the Calendar without their express consentment.

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And now, something pleasant: Let the Kissing begin by Angel. Je:

SARAJEVO (AFP) — Organisers of an event in which almost 7,000 couples kissed simultaneously in a Bosnian town on Saturday said their effort deserved a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Bosnia claims world kissing record
Mus-lim clerics in Tuzla called for a boycott of the event, arguing it was not in line with Mus-lim tradition.

it doesn’t appear in the Quran!!” Bwahahahaha!! Must be because there are no boys kissing old men… 😦

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From AP:

The 95-page survey found that surging economic growth in many developing countries has encouraged people in these countries to express satisfaction with their personal lives, family income and national conditions, said Andrew Kohut, the center’s director.

“It’s a pro-globalization set of findings,” Kohut said.

Most notably, the survey finds large and growing number of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere rejecting Islamic extremism. Ten mainly Muslim countries were surveyed along with the Palestinian territories, as well as five African nations with large Muslim populations.

For example, the percentage of Jordanian Muslims who have confidence in bin Laden as a world leader fell 36 percentage points to 20 percent since 2003 while the proportion who say suicide bombing is sometimes or always justified dropped 20 percent points to 23 percent. Other countries where support for bin Laden declined are Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan and Kuwait.

The report said support for such bombings and terror tactics has dropped since 2002 in seven of the eight countries where data were available. In Lebanon, the proportion of Muslims who say suicide attacks are often or sometimes justified fell to 34 percent from 79 percent while just 9 percent of Pakistanis believe suicide bombings can be justified often or sometimes, down from 33 percent in 2002 and a high of 41 percent in 2004.

Palestinians the exception

But support for suicide bombings is widespread among Palestinians, the report said, with 41 percent saying such attacks are often justified while another 29 percent say they can sometimes be justified. It found that only six percent of Palestinians — the smallest in any Muslim public surveyed — say such attacks are never justified.

Amid continuing sectarian violence in Iraq, the survey found there is broad concern among Muslims that tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims are not limited to that country and represent a growing problem for the Muslim world more generally.

Eighty-eight percent of Lebanese and 73 percent of Kuwaitis — along with smaller majorities or pluralities of Muslims elsewhere in the Middle East — said Sunni-Shiite tensions represent a growing problem for the Muslim world, the report said.

Comment from JW:

“The 95-page survey found that surging economic growth in many developing countries has encouraged people in these countries to express satisfaction with their personal lives, family income and national conditions.” But after the Doctors Plot in Britain, and so many studies that have shown that jihad terrorists are better-educated and wealthier than their peers, I wonder how anyone can seriously maintain that “surging economic growth” will really eradicate jihadist sentiments. One wonders also how Osama bin Laden and other wealthy people (such as Zawahiri) could have been drawn to the jihad, if it is really a simple matter of economic deprivation.

So what does explain this polling data? Could be any number of things. Maybe Muslims are seeing that jihad terrorism isn’t getting them anywhere, although the results, particularly from the Palestinian Authority, suggest otherwise. Maybe they’re being convinced that jihadism doesn’t represent authentic Islam, although there are no significant initiatives afoot to convince them of this. Maybe they have just learned to tell Western pollsters what they want to hear.

Also, the poll deals with means — suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks — and not ends — the imposition of Sharia. The Turkish election shows that there is significant support for the latter, and that, after all, is what the jihadists are fighting for.

Comments from my friend Pastorius over at IBA:

The Pew Research Center does, to my mind, the most accurate polling of any polling company. Why?
Methodology, of course.
They use an automated system, which assures two important things;
1) they can poll a larger number of people,
and
2) each individual question and answer session is conducted in the exact same manner, therefore, eliminating the inddividual pollster’s bias from the process.
Therefore, if you agree with the questions Pew asks, then you would agree with the results.

Well, this is good indeed -except about Palestinians-. I would like to see the amount of people who was interviewed, though. It would be interesting.

[NOTE: I posted some days ago a poll by World Public Opinion as I saw it in a newspaper. The original, whose link they left in my other blog, is here. The data are different from the ones we see here].

See more at Now public.com.

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Troops are killed, some beheaded, in southern Philippines – International Herald Tribune

from Google News


CTV.ca

Troops are killed, some beheaded, in southern Philippines
International Herald Tribune – 1 hour ago
By Carlos H. Conde MANILA:

At least 14 government troops were killed in some of the heaviest fighting with Muslim insurgents in the southern Philippines in recent months, officials said Wednesday.

Military officials said they had recovered the bodies of 14 marines after clashes with suspected Abu Sayyaf militants late Tuesday in Tipo-tipo, a hinterland town on Basilan island, and that at least 10 of them had been beheaded.

A marine spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Caculitan, said in Manila that 50 marines had clashed with more than 300 rebels. “We were totally outnumbered,” he said.

Major General Ben Mohammad Dolorfino suggested that the marines had been beheaded by Abu Sayyaf in retaliation for the slaying of the son of one of the group’s leaders. “They got angry, that’s why they decapitated the marines,” Dolorfino said.

However, leaders of another group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said it was its own fighters who had fought with the marines and killed 23 of them. But the front’s spokesman, Abu Majid, denied the front’s fighters had beheaded the marines. He said this was done by “unidentified groups” after the fighting, and that the front planned to investigate. He said four rebels had been killed and seven wounded.

Kidnapped Italian priest risked danger to be with Philippine flock ABS CBN News
Philippine rebels behead 10 soldiers Guardian Unlimited
People’s Daily OnlineVoice of AmericaGulf NewsCatholic Online: Priests question link between military clash, missionary’s kidnapping.
all 221 news articles

But that is not the only problem facing the Philippines about Islamic terrorism: Terrorists from Jemaah Islamiyah are recruiting women to carry terrorist attacks in Philippines (my translation, link in Spanish):

The Police has ordered its members to be extremely precaucious and to watch every suspicious individual after the Intelligence services detected that in Mindanao, the Jeemah Islamiyah is recruting women to carry bomb attacks.

According to the local newspaper The Philippine Star, the considered “terrorist arm” of Al-Qaeda in South-East Asia, is preparing some attacks against public places, such as bus stations. Also dozens of female policemen have been deployed to friesk the female passengers, and dogs trained in detecting explosives in cars.

Two days ago, a home-made device exploded in an empty bus in Koronadal, city which belongs to the province of South Cotabato, without causing victims. A new local criminal group, called Al-Jobar, claimed responsibility of the attack. Al-jobar can have some relation with Jeemah Islamiyah, police sources say.

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Iran has arrested 20 people including some foreigners near the border with Iraq and accused them of belonging to a spy network, the state-run news agency reported Monday. The IRNA news agency did not provide the nationalities of the foreigners. Iran last month claimed to have uncovered spy rings organized by the United States and its Western allies. IRNA, quoting the head of the intelligence department in the Kerman Shah province, said the 20 were trained by intelligence services “of the enemy” for economic, military, political, cultural and social purposes. It did not elaborate.

Iranian authorities have charged four Iranian-Americans with endangering national security. Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, was jailed in early May. The other four are Kian Tajbakhsh, an urban planning consultant with George Soros’ Open Society Institute; Parnaz Azima, a journalist for the U.S.-funded Radio Farda; and Ali Shakeri, a founding board member of the University of California, Irvine, Center for Citizen Peacebuilding.

Iran arrests 20 people accused of being spies – USATODAY.com

And more:

Iranian police and plainclothes security agents broke up a sit-in marking Monday’s anniversary of a bloody raid on a Tehran university dormitory, then stormed the offices of the country’s main pro-democracy student group, student leaders said.

Fifteen students and a mother were beaten and detained, they said. There was no confirmation by the government, which rarely comments on such arrests.

Iran had banned street protests to mark the anniversary of July 9, 1999 raid by police and hard-line vigilantes on a Tehran University dormitory that killed one person and injured at least 20.

Those attacks triggered six days of nationwide protests, the worst since the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the pro-U.S. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought hard-line clerics to power.

Pouya Ifaei, a student leader, said the students organized their sit-in at Amir Kabir University Monday to protest the continued detention of eight students been in custody since May on vague charges and to mark the anniversary of the 1999 attack.

Six students were attacked, beaten up and then detained by police and plainclothes security agents as they staged a sit-in at the main entrance to Amir Kabir University,” Nariman Mostafavi, another student leader, told The Associated Press.

But there are more bad news from Teheran. My friend Aquiles had sent me a tip (in Spanish) but I have managed to found nearly everything in English. You can read it in the following posts:

Stoning was carried in Iran:

Jafar Kiani, the man who was sentenced to stoning, along with his partner, Makroumeh Ebrahimi, was stoned. The stoning was arranged for two weeks ago, causing huge disgust in the blogosphere which helped aware the public, something which only paused the verdict, he was stoned on Thursday. There is still no news about Makroumeh, who is still held in prison in Qazvin. One of her lawyers has stated his worries about her, “They are going to carry the verdict on her, too”. The couple have married together thirteen years ago, and have an eleven-year-old child. The judge has not accepted their marriage and has called it adultery. The news is both approved by activists (also, also, also) and by the news sources close to the reformists. Reportedly, the public hesitated from attending the stoning and thus the Police stoned the man. The stoning carried out in Aghche-kand village, in Takistan, Qazvin Province. The Judiciary is still not commenting on the news, but local sources have undoubtedly verified it (source: Roozna).

Jafar Kiani was killed yesterday.Kamangir also reports that a blogger has visited the place where the stoning took place: his blood can still be seen.

The woman’s sentence is still pending.

Just read everything in the links posted before.Another 20 members of different gangs will be also executed on charges of rape, acting against God’s rule, and homosexuality. Asked if the execution will be in public, Jamshidi, the Judiciary’s spokesman, said “that depends on the Judiciary’s decision”. “There are other cases in other cities as well”, he added.

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From NYT:

Two suspects in the failed car bombings in Britain made inquiries about working in the United States, the FBI said Friday, and police said an Iraqi doctor arrested at Glasgow airport became the first person charged in the attacks.

Mohammed Jamil Asha , a doctor, and his wife, Marwa (right), a medical technician, were among those arrested. With them are his mother and son.

KHALIL MAZRAAWI / AFP, Getty Images

Mohammed Jamil Asha , a doctor, and his wife, Marwa (right), a medical technician, were among those arrested. With them are his mother and son.

An FBI spokeswoman said Mohammed Asha and another suspect had contacted the Philadelphia-based Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, as first reported in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Asha, a Jordanian physician of Palestinian heritage, contacted the agency within the last year, but apparently did not take the test for foreign medical school graduates, said the spokeswoman, Nancy O’Dowd.

”He was applying, (but) we don’t believe he took the test,” she said. She could not confirm the name of the second suspect to make inquiries.

Later, Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said police should charge 27-year-old Bilal Abdullah, an Iraqi-born physician arrested at Glasgow’s airport after a Jeep Cherokee he was allegedly traveling in rammed into a terminal building.

”I have now made the decision that there is sufficient evidence and authorized the charging of Bilal Abdullah with conspiracy to cause explosions following incidents in London and Glasgow,” said Susan Hemming, an anti-terrorism prosecutor.

More in The Gate:

An Iraqi doctor is the first suspect to be charged in attempting bombings in London and Glasgow, AP reports.

[…] BBC News has just obtained new video of the Glasgow crash; it contains graphic images.

From Forbes:

Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned Britons to expect increased security measures to guard against more attacks, but he expressed confidence investigators were unraveling the group behind the bombing attempts in London and Glasgow.

“From what I know, we are getting to the bottom of this cell that has been responsible for what is happening,” Brown told British Broadcasting Corp.

Police have also searched a property in Cambridge.

British intelligence knew of suspects:

According to various British newspapers, several of those detained were on the databases of domestic intelligence agency MI5 as “people who knew people” that were under observation, according to unnamed government sources cited by the Daily Telegraph.
The Times also reported, citing unidentified security sources, that none of them were under surveillance as part of counter-terrorism operations.
Meanwhile, British media outlets carried comments from Canon Andrew White, who runs Baghdad’s only Anglican parish, in which he says a senior Al-Qaeda figure warned him back in April of plans to attack British targets, reportedly telling him “those who cure you will kill you.”
As evidence of the jittery situation back in Britain, meanwhile, London’s Heathrow Airport was closed for five hours, with thousands of passengers left stranded after police evacuated Terminal Four because of a suspect package.

Al-Qaeda links to terror plot:

British intelligence services also believe that the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow bear the fingerprints of al Qaeda in Iraq.
Intelligence sources tell CBS News that the people behind the attempts were directly recruited by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the present leader of the terror group’s Iraq franchise.
Sources say that al-Muhajir recruited people for the plot between 2004 and 2005, while they were living in the Middle East, upon orders from then-al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Al-Muhajir was told to recruit young men who could easily move into Western countries, assimilate and lay low until the time came to attack. Britain has a fast-track visa program for medical students which makes it easier for them to enter the country.
The belief that this small cell of militants was recruited purposely by a major terror organization for their specific qualifications differentiates the group from the cell of “homegrown” attackers who were behind the bloody July 7, 2005 attack that left 52 people dead on London’s transport network.

Some days ago, I linked to an article in The Observer by , an ex-Jihadist belonging to Al-Muhajiroun, who said that Jihadis laugh when Western politicians blamed terrorism on Western countries’ foreign policy (more today by Sugiero). Well, we have it again…:

Bilal Abdulla, one of the two doctors arrested after a blazing Jeep Cherokee rammed into the Glasgow Airport terminal on Saturday, is a deeply religious Iraqi who was angry that his prominent Sunni family “lost everything” following the 2003 invasion led by the United States and Britain, according to a close family member.

“He was hurt by the destruction of his family’s property in Iraq,” the relative said during a 2 1/2 -hour interview in Cambridge, England. “I think he wanted to be a martyr. He wanted to send out a message to withdraw troops from Iraq. He wanted to cause chaos and fear; he didn’t want to kill people. He fears God, and all he wanted to do was die.”

Yeah, right. There are no other ways to protest against democratic decisions of a sovereign country than to explode bombs but no… he did not want to hurt/kill anyone, he wanted to die only… So the bombs, what were they? Haagen Dazs chocolate ice-cream? Or French baguettes? Or Spanish horchata de chufa?

No, he has been charged of “unlawfully and maliciously conspiring with others to cause explosions of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom” under the 1883 Explosive Substances Act. Exactly the kind of thing someone does without the intention of killing/hurting anyone. And…:

Police in Australia have also seized computers and other material as well as interviewing and subsequently releasing four doctors. A fifth doctor was also being questioned.

About Australian links click here:

Doctors as possible terrorists
“There seems to be some surprise that educated people such as medical professionals could become terrorists. However, a terrorist is a cognitive creation. People are not born terrorists and extreme behaviour does not depend on education or wealth. You can have extreme beliefs no matter whether you are a doctor, a religious person or a politician.”

More in MSNBC:

The seized computers had been used to communicate with Haneef, Keelty said. Haneef, who moved from the United Kingdom last year to take a hospital job in Gold Coast city in Queensland, is related to one of seven suspects in custody Britain, Saleeb Ahmed. The pair worked together at Halton Hospital in northern England in 2005.

Keelty said search warrants were executed at two others premises in Western Australia, which he did not identify.

Medical officials said Thursday that Ahmed, 26, and a second suspect in the British plot, Lebanese doctor Khalid Ahmed, 27, had unsuccessfully applied for medical jobs in the Western Australia public hospital system in the past two years.

State police, working with their federal counterparts, had interviewed four men overnight in connection with the investigation, seizing computers and communication equipment, state Police Deputy Commissioner Murray Lampard said.

You can also read Right Truth.

At the same time:

LONDON, July 5 — A 23-year-old Moroccan-born computer whiz who helped recruit suicide bombers for the al-Qaeda in Iraq insurgent group was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday in the latest case to illustrate Britain’s struggles to contain the spread of Islamic radicalism. Two collaborators were also sentenced.image

Younis Tsouli, who described himself online as a terrorist James Bond, pleaded guilty to running a network of Web sites filled with al-Qaeda beheading videos and other propaganda from his home in London. Prosecutors accused him of acting as an electronic conduit between al-Qaeda in Iraq and militants from around the world looking for a way to volunteer for missions.

He actually served as a kind of travel agent, setting up suicide bombers with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” a top insurgent leader who was killed in a U.S. airstrike last year, said Evan F. Kohlmann, a New York-based private counterterrorism analyst who testified at the trial as a consultant for Scotland Yard. “He represents an unusual phenomenon: someone who is homegrown, who lives in the West, and has managed to make that jump into the world of real terrorism.”

And what these affable-peaceful guys were doing? [Also ugly… smile_sick]

A group of 45 Muslim doctors threatened to use car bombs and rocket grenades in terrorist attacks in the United States during discussions on an extremist internet chat site.
Police found details of the discussions on a site run by one of a three-strong “cyber-terrorist” gang.
They were discovered at the home of Younis Tsouli, 23, Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London heard.

Cool, ehh? And sympathetic these lads… smile_whatchutalkingabout

So we wouldn’t be totally surprised to hear former Imam Sam Solomon saying this:

A former Imam is warning that extremists are aiming to establish sharia law in the UK – and that Britain has become the world ‘number one target’ for Islamic strategists.
He writes: ‘The UK is the number one target of Islamic strategies in the West (because) the former British Empire controlled some of the largest Muslim communities. Immigrants from these countries… have taken full advantage of Britain’s liberal politics.’

A very good reasoning: 100 years ago, Great Britain was an empire. When it ceases of being so, Muslims from former colonies launch an attack against it.

Logic, what this people need is to have an Aristotelian logic class. Their reasoning fails always to cope with logical requirements.

Sent to Open Trackbacks at Blue Star Chronicles, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Dumb Ox, Pirate’s Cove, Women Honor Thyself, Right Voices.

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I have been reading for days about something in blogs that NO MSM has even dare to publish. It is the massacre the inhabitants of an entire Iraqi village by Al Qaeda.

You can see it in Michael Yon page. Also friends Mike and Chaim have blogged about it. Go and read it. It is a complete shame that this is not even considered as little news.

Beheaded children, killed livestock -they even killed the donkeys-, smashed windows, rotten bodies…

Why this dead people is not interesting for the press?Photo-16

Photo-17

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Photo-22

Unhappily, it is because Al-Qaeda did it. It was not American, British, German,… that is, Western soldiers. But specially American soldiers did not do it.

smile_baringteeth

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UPDATE AT THE END.

Pakistan Extends Mosque Deadline; Students Surrender (Update3)

Bloomberg – 42 minutes ago
By Khaleeq Ahmed and Khalid Qayum July 4 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan extended a deadline at Islamabad’s Red Mosque after at least 16 people were killed in gun battles between police and students supporting the chief cleric’s call for Islamic law to be imposed in the city. About 650 students at the mosque surrendered, the government said.

Redmosque372

Police charged chief cleric Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz and his deputy Abdul Rashid Ghazi with murder and terrorism, police spokesman Muhammad Amaar said by telephone. Other charges include damaging state property and interfering in state matters.

The government earlier set a deadline of 11 a.m. Islamabad time for the students to give themselves up and has extended it without setting a specific time, Tariq Azeem, the deputy information minister, said.

Ghazi told Aaj TV earlier the students won’t surrender, potentially deepening a standoff with the government that started after the chief cleric set up an Islamic court on the premises on April 6.

There may be more people dead inside the mosque following the two days of clashes between students and police, Information Secretary Anwar Mahmood said at a news conference in Islamabad.

The government has extended the deadline because “the response has been more than our expectation,” Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani said at the news conference. “Our strategy is that we vacate the mosque with minimum losses.”

There is still time to surrender,” Azeem told a news conference in the Pakistani capital earlier today. “We are showing maximum restraint because we believe the issue can be resolved peacefully.”

The government is offering to pay 5,000 rupees ($82.82) to each student who surrenders, Azeem said. Action will be taken against those students who took up arms against the security forces yesterday, Azeem said.

Between 2,000 and 2,500 people were inside the mosque before the latest surrender, according to Azeem. Ten people, including four security officials, were killed in the clashes overnight and 94 were injured, he said.

Pakistani army seals off radical mosque after day of violence Guardian Unlimited

The talks appear to be heading nowhere,” Abdul Rashid Ghazi, one of two radical brothers who lead the mosque, told Reuters news agency by phone.

The dramatic siege is the culmination of months of simmering tension between authorities and the radical students, whose anti-vice campaign – including kidnapping alleged prostitutes and burning films – has embarrassed the president, General Pervez Musharraf.

The final straw may have been the abduction of seven Chinese employees of a massage parlour, which the militants termed a brothel, last week. The Chinese were released within hours but their government – a key ally of Pakistan – demanded greater security.

The showdown started yesterday after a clash at a security checkpost outside the mosque triggered a five-hour gun battle in the surrounding streets.

Defiant hardcore remain as hundreds surrender at Pakistani mosque Forbes

Women in black burqas and bearded young men streamed out of the compound and passed through metal detectors after the government set and then twice extended a deadline for them to give themselves up.

Around 700 have come out, more are coming. They were provided with transport facilities to go to their homes,’ senior Islamabad administration official Chaudhry Mohammad Ali said.

Musharraf earlier said each of them would receive 5,000 rupees (83 usd).

Security officials said an estimated 1,000 students were left in the building, about half of them female students, and added that it was possible the siege could go into a second night.

Houston Chronicle – Boston Herald – Channel 4 News – International Herald Tribune
all 1,247 news articles »

Global Security.org and Gateway Pundit have more.


Islamic religious students chant slogans in Mansehra July 3, 2007 in protest against clashes at the Red mosque in Islamabad.


Female religious students fleeing from the shooting. For months the students have been defying the authorities in the nation’s capital. (BBC)

Also A Blog for All: The rioting and mayhem has spread, including the torching of two nearby government buildings including the Ministry of Environment. Also see the videos inside the link.

Afghan ministry spokesman arrested for ‘links with Pakistani intelligence’.

Convert to Islam or else: Pakistan Talibanization:

Lawyers in Pakistan are investigating a report that up to 30 men tortured and gang-raped a young Christian man for refusing to convert to Islam. The victim is seriously injured and unable to move, Release International’s partner in Pakistan has reported. However, according to the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) the police are keeping him locked up and have denied him medical treatment. The police are also refusing to register the rape following a counter-claim made by his principal attacker – “a man of influence”, Release International has told Christian Today.

More about this case in English Rose.

More about Pakistan’s Talibanization.

UPDATE: Pakistani cleric captured under burqa

Security forces besieging a radical mosque in the Pakistani capital captured its top cleric Wednesday as he tried to sneak out of the complex in a woman’s burqa, and more than 1,000 of his followers surrendered.

The peaceful arrest of the mosque’s prayer leader, Maulana Abdul Aziz, was a coup for the government. The firebrand Aziz has been a vociferous opponent of Musharraf and has threatened suicide attacks to defend the mosque. His thousands of male students have been at the forefront of anti-government and anti-U.S. rallies in Islamabad.

[…] A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said authorities captured the mosque’s top cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz, after a female police officer tried to search his body, which was concealed by a full-length black burqa.

The officer began shouting “This is not a woman,” the official said, prompting male officers to seize him. “The suspect later turned out to be the mosque’s chief cleric,” the official said.

:mrgreen:

Must have been a scene… which could appear in any good comedy…

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Two other cases of catholic churchs vandalised and, just as the other one, no MSM mentions it.

According to the AINA news agency, two churches were attacked in the Baghdad district of Dora. At St. John the Baptist’s in Hay Al-Athoriyeen, several security guards who protect the church were killed, and St. Jacob’s in Hay al Asya was vandalized and forcibly turned into a mosque. St. Jacob’s had previously been attacked in October of 2004.

h/t American Papist.

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 What is going on here?

JERUSALEM – Two Katyusha rockets fell on northern Israel Sunday, the first fired from Lebanon since last summer’s inconclusive war with Hezbollah guerrillas. No one was hurt, but there was some damage, police and the military said.

Hezbollah denied firing the rockets in a broadcast on the militant group’s Al-Manar television.

The attack raised the possibility of Israeli reprisal and a new flareup between the two countries. It came as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was arriving in the United States for talks.

“Israel will not succumb to this provocation but will monitor the situation carefully,” said an official with Olmert, indicating that Israel would not hit back. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

There was no immediate comment from the Lebanese government.

2 rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon – Yahoo! News

And Pope calls for Middle East peace effort
Times of India – 52 minutes ago
ASSISI (Italy): Pope Benedict XVI called for greater peace efforts across the Middle East on Sunday, using the occasion of a pilgrimage to Assisi to highlight the urgent need for greater dialogue.

“The populations of these countries have known for too long the horrors of combat, of terrorism, of blind violence, the illusion that force can resolve conflicts, the refusal to listen to the reasons of the other and to bring him justice,” Pope Benedict said.
His comments came with no end in sight of years of bloodletting in Iraq and as violence between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah engulfed the Gaza Strip.
“Only a responsible and sincere dialogue, supported by the full backing of the international community, can put an end to so much sadness and give life and dignity to individuals, to institutions and to peoples,” the Pope said.
The pontiff, speaking in Assisi- where John Paul II launched in October 1986 the first day of prayer for world peace- renewed the late Pope’s call, addressing all religions.
“From this town of peace, I want to pay respect to the representatives of other Christian denominations and to other religions,” he said.
“I consider it my duty to launch an urgent and sorrowful appeal to put an end to all the armed conflicts which are bloodying the earth, to silence the weapons and for hate to yield everywhere to love, offense to forgiveness, and discord to union.

Pope Benedict makes pilgrimage to Assisi Canada.com
Pope Benedict Makes Pilgrimage to Assisi FOX News
Reuters – International Herald Tribune – PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung) – NDTV.com
all 157 news articles »

The problem with dialogue is: are terrorists are their supporters willing to submit to the results of dialogue? I do not see Hamas fighters-militants-resistants-insurgents-terrorists very inclined to that, after winning. And I do not see also Al-Fatah because now they would want revenge.

UPDATE:

From Christian Science Monitor:

As Gaza unravels, Palestinians flee

Thousands have already left the coastal strip because of its social and economic degradation.

Jerusalem – By the time the Islamic militant group Hamas declared victory in Gaza Thursday, thousands of Palestinians had already fled the coastal strip.

Recent figures collected by European monitors at Rafah, the crossing into Egypt, show that some 14,000 Palestinians have left Gaza in the past year, driven by a combination of political insecurity and economic strain.

Now, the violence between the two main Palestinian factions, which began to escalate Saturday and turned into brutal street warfare early this week, is driving even more Gazans to find a way out.

And thanks to Lord Nazh, who has given me a tip about Lebanon-Israeli fire:

(more…)

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Daimnation!: The root cause of the violence in Darfur

According to the new UN Secretary, it’s all about global warming [excerpts out of sequence]:Two decades ago, the rains in southern Sudan began to fail. According to U.N. statistics, average precipitation has declined some 40 percent since the early 1980s. Scientists at first considered this to be an unfortunate quirk of nature. But subsequent investigation found that it coincided with a rise in temperatures of the Indian Ocean, disrupting seasonal monsoons. This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming.

It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought. Until then, Arab nomadic herders had lived amicably with settled farmers. A recent Atlantic Monthly article by Stephan Faris describes how black farmers would welcome herders as they crisscrossed the land, grazing their camels and sharing wells. But once the rains stopped, farmers fenced their land for fear it would be ruined by the passing herds. For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out. By 2003, it evolved into the full-fledged tragedy we witness today…

At this point, nothing surprises me about this man at all. But Darfur conflict is mainly an ethnic and religious conflict in which the Government, arming and unleashing the Janjaweed militias, has caused an ethnic and religious cleasing of, firstly, the non-Muslims (Christians and Animists) and of the Black Muslims, afterwards, when the first ones were virtually exterminated. Of course, the huge sea of oil under Darfurian soil has also have something to do with it, specially for China, who is aggresively exploiting it. Hmm, no more blood for petrol!! Eeh, no, it’s China, all for the people…

But of course, for Ban Ki-Moon, the most important reason of all, is the climate change induced, to some extent, by man. Of course, the extent of this man’s influence is not even measured…

Alex de Waal is one of the most important experts on the Horn of Africa: Chasing Ghosts: Alex de Waal on the rise and fall of militant Islam in the Horn of Africa (2005):

Khartoum had been saved from certain military defeat when its adversaries fell out among themselves. In May 1998, Eritrea and Ethiopia went to war over their disputed border, and a couple of months later Ugandan and Rwandan troops fought each other in the occupied Congolese city of Kisangani. As the attempt to found an Islamic state was running into the sand, so was the rival left-wing project of revolutionary militarism. The guerrillas-turned-governments in the four ‘frontline states’ were, like the Sudanese leaders, concerned only with staying in power.

This parallel is more than a neat coincidence. The radical Islamists and their regional enemies shared ideological fervour and organisational discipline. Both believed that enduring problems of state and society could be overcome by revolutionary change; and, as this failed, both reverted to simple power politics. Like other political creeds, jihadist Islamism is shaped by the contours of local politics – and sometimes it vanishes into the landscape.

The demise of grand ideology in the Horn did not mean the end of violence or militancy. Various ideologies have emerged from the ruins of the Islamic state project. Most are regional or tribal. In Darfur and Chad, Arab supremacism took over. Leaders of the infamous Janjawiid militia adhere to the philosophy of Qoreish, according to which the lineal descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and his Qoreish tribe are entitled to rule Muslim lands. This supposedly gives the Arabic-speaking Saharan Bedouin of the Juhayna confederation the right to dominate all the land between the Nile and Lake Chad. While US Special Forces chase a handful of jihadists in the mountains of the central Sahara, they have overlooked this vicious and archaic ideology, which has spread far more havoc just a few miles to the south.

Jihad in Sudan? What Jihad in Sudan? by Robert Spencer – HUMAN EVENTS

For a decade Khartoum has waged what the regime itself calls a jihad against Christians and tribalists in the South. A 1992 fatwa issued by a group of pro-Khartoum Sudanese imams declared: “An insurgent who was previously a Muslim is now an apostate and a non-Muslim is a non-believer standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam, and Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them.” This allowed for the murder of Christians and animists in the south; now it has been turned against the Muslims of Darfur, whose Islam doesn’t measure up to Khartoum’s hardline standards. Yet Annan has never acknowledged that what is going on in Sudan is a jihad. And this is just one manifestation of the by-now inescapable fact that the United Nations is damaged beyond repair. The Islamic states maintain an unbreakable solidarity. The only exception to their unwillingness to condemn other Muslim states came when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq attacked Kuwait.Meanwhile, the Europeans and Chinese have oil interests in Sudan that dovetail nicely at the UN with the Islamic bloc’s determination to repel any criticism. France, the most energetic opponent of UN sanctions against the Khartoum regime, is heavily invested in Sudan through its oil giant ElfTotal. 

The emperor has no clothes, but Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights and
Oxfam are still paying enthusiastic obeisance. A perusal of each of their websites demonstrates that they criticize the UN only with extreme reluctance and in the most muted tones. In a startling recrudescence of the old “white man’s burden” mentality, they tend to focus more anger at the United States and Western Europe for failing to stop killings than at the murderers themselves. And above all, they won’t describe the conflict as what it really is: a jihad, another example of the crying need for large-scale reform within Islam.

Well, Sarkozy has apparently changed the French ideas in this respect, firstly, calling for a Chinese intervention in the crisis, something very dificult to achieve considering the Chinese practices in Sudan. And secondly, by making Darfur, one of his priorities.

[En español]

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The Palestinian Civil War in the Gaza Strip has ended with Hamas defeating Fatah, its long time rival. The fighting over the past six days resulted in over 110 reported deaths, and these are the numbers that can be confirmed. The highly motivated Hamas fighters immediately seized upon the victory to declare its Islamic State, with all the trappings of a strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law.
By the few first hand accounts available from inside the Gaza Strip, the situation has degenerated into a cross of Lord of the Flies and Escape from New York. In less than a week’s fighting, Hamas ran roughshod over the numerically superior, long established and better armed Fatah security forces. Hamas attacked and killed women and children for merely being affiliated with Fatah. Captured Fatah officers were frog marched through the streets in various states of undress, and beat and executed their rivals. Fatah fighters were thrown from roofs of buildings. Executions of Fatah members are said to be ongoing, although Hamas offered an amnesty.
Hamas is now engaged in an orgy of looting. “An AFP correspondent witnessed dozens of Palestinians taking everything they could carry from Dahlan’s villa — furniture, plant pots and even the kitchen sink, complete with the plumbing fixtures… masked gunmen rode on the back of armoured vehicles taken from Abbas’s presidential guard… Windows, doors, toilets, furniture, taps, even the light bulbs were gone.”

The Road to Hamastan (The Fourth Rail)

Go on reading: it’s a very good summary of what’s going on in Gaza.

Because of the international support for Abbas, which has grown in the last days, Newswine consider that the Hamas victory can be a pyrric one. But we should not forget both Syria and Iran who are the main contributors to Hizbollah in Lebanon and to Hamas in Palestine.

The possibility of implementing Sharia Law is one of the first worrying of both the International Community -specially Israel– and of some Palestinians who are not very keen about the posibility.

The Arab league has called for an end of violence, assuring they want “to serve to the Palestinian cause and not to one faction“. But its call sounds as hypocritical as Haniyah’s words, who has denied giving a coup d’état, considering that “we are not against legitimacy because we ARE the legitimacy“.

Last news are that USA has promised to end the embargo to the Palestinian Government if it breaks with Hamas. And that this morning Fatah gunmen have stormed the Palestinian Parliament: they have tried to to seize the Palestinian Legislative Council’s second deputy speaker, Hassan Khuraishah, but staff intervened.

UPDATE: Hamas bids for total control: h/t Committees of Correspondence. [read the whole post].

They’re firing at us, firing RPGs, firing mortars. We’re not Jews,” the brother of Jamal Abu Jediyan, a Fatah commander, pleaded during a live telephone conversation with a Palestinian radio station.

[En español]

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