Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/29/2008

Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/29/2008Besides the latest from Mumbai, the most interesting news tonight concerns the BNP. The Labour government’s policy of overt persecution towards the BNP and other dissenters has backfired, and the BNP is gaining in strength. There are a couple of reports below about yesterday’s BNP demonstration in Liverpool, which was mounted as a response to the arrest of three party members for handing out leaflets.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Conservative Swede, Diana West, Gaia, GLT, Insubria, JD, Paul Green, Steen, TB, VH, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
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USA
Doublespeak and American Socialism
 
Europe and the EU
Energy: Spanish Gov’t Won’t Prevent Lukoil Entering Repsol
Europe: Draft Manifesto Pse, ‘People First’
Geert Wilders: ‘Our Culture is Better’
Islamic Finance and Sharia, Europe’s Suicide
No Two Ways About it
Rioting in Iceland
Salsa-Dancing British Army Corporal Jailed for 10 Years for Spying for Iran
Sweden: Pre-Teen Joyrider Bitten by Police Dog
UK: BNP Claims the Streets of Liverpool
Victory for BNP as Liverpool Police Drop All Charges Against Activists
 
Balkans
Serbia: Italy Donates 6 Million Euro of Medical Equipment
Serbia: Car Collectors Want Last Yugo (Zastava)
 
Mediterranean Union
Med: Spread of Knowledge in Arab World Key to Sharing
Planes: Italy’s Storm Aircraft Heads for Tunisia
 
North Africa
Islam: Egypt; Doll With Veil for Muslim Girls
 
Israel and the Palestinians
Finmeccanica: Interest in Israeli Defence Industry Projects
Made in Italy: Marcegaglia, Israeli, Hi-Tech Excellence
Middle East: European Union Extends Palestinian Police Training
 
Middle East
Defence: Turkey Manufactures Fuselage of Military Plane
Energy: EU to Speed Up Nabucco Project, Says Commissioner
Jordan: Gov’t Allocates USD 65 Mln to Subsidize Heating Gas
Saudi Minister: Teachers and Students, Reject Extremism
The Worrying Tayyip Erdogan
 
Caucasus
Georgia: We Started War in South Ossetia — Georgian Diplomat
 
South Asia
India: Al-Qaeda Websites Rejoice Over Mumbai Attacks
Indonesia: MUI Leader Cholil Ridwan Says Kompas Newspaper is a Western Papist Tool for Attacking Islam
Mumbai Photographer: I Wish I’d Had a Gun, Not a Camera
Pakistani Girls Reclaiming Virginity
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
British and Irish Anti-Piracy Experts Rescued — After Pirates Attack
Foreign Africans, White S. Africans Face Genocide — Expert Warns
South Africa: Two Port Elizabeth Girls Raped Because They Were White
Young Whites Emigrate, Young Blacks Die of TB-AIDS in S. Africa
 
Immigration
Immigration is a Resource Say African and European Migrants
 
General
Berlusconi: No-One Feels the Need for Another Cold War
Sociology is Not a Science
Turkish Aerospace to Cooperate With Grumman for New Fighter
UN General Assembly President Accuses Israel of Apartheid
We Triggered Financial Crisis — Al Qaeda

USA

Doublespeak and American Socialism

“Mortgage Rates Fall as U.S. Expands Rescue” was the page-one headline in the November 26 Wall Street Journal. The story concerned a promise from federal officials to “pump” another $800 billion into the economy, bringing the grand total of the cost of various bailouts to something over $8 trillion. The term “rescue” is laughable but is used for the obvious purpose of confusing people about the calamity that has befallen our nation. If we’re not bankrupt now, we will be someday because we are being “rescued” by the federal government. This is the ultimate in what William Lutz, in his 1997 book of the same name, called “doublespeak.”

Ronald Reagan always warned of government officials who said they were there to help you.

I would have written that Journal story under the headline, “U.S. Plunges Deeper into Socialism.” But, of course, I’m biased.

It’s not fashionable these days to tell the truth about our financial and economic problems. The reason is simple — the media want to keep the American people in the dark about what is happening to their country. It is a catastrophe of historical proportions. And the obvious danger is that the loss of political liberty will follow the loss of economic liberty…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Energy: Spanish Gov’t Won’t Prevent Lukoil Entering Repsol

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 26 — Premier José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has once again said today in Congress that the government would support and defend Repsol and its Spanish shareholders, but would not intervene to hinder the entrance of the Russian company Lukoil as shareholder in the Spanish oil group. “The criterion is very clear,” said Zapatero, quoted by the agency EFE, “it is our obligation to defend and support Spanish companies”. However, he did not explain how, and he stressed that the government would be retaining this position despite “the harsh criticism received.” The premier replied in this manner to the opposition leader, Mariano Rajoy of the Peoplés Party, who said that the government had the tools to intervene in the sales operation for the share of Repsol in which Lukoil is interested and that, if it were not to do so, then it would be accusing the head of the government of “being responsible for an enormous scandal.” Zapatero also ruled out public intervention by way of a state presence in among Repsol shareholders. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Europe: Draft Manifesto Pse, ‘People First’

(AGI) — Rome, 28 Nov. — ‘People first. A new direction for Europe’. This is the title of the new socialist manifesto of the PSE that socialist leaders from around Europe will sign on Monday in Madrid in preparation for the upcoming European elections. For Italy the manifesto will be signed by Riccardo Nencini (Socialist Party) and Mercedes Bresso (President of the Local Socialist Administrators in Europe). The Democratic Party will not sign the manifesto. There will be the signature of Piero Fassino, but as the representative of the Democratic Socialists. The manifesto — according to what is understood — will have the objective of creating a single message for the PSE for all of Europe for the upcoming election campaign. In the draft, the primary points are listed for the socialist policies. “In the last five years — as read in he draft of the manifesto — conservatives have had the majority in Europe. What have they done? Have they addressed the global financial crisis? Have they done some thing about increasing food and energy prices? Have they fought against poverty and inequality? Is society better than it was five years ago? Have they encouraged our initiatives to develop and improve work? They follow the market alone and leave the rich to become ever richer at the expense of everyone else. We believe in solidarity among the generations, not in the individualism of the right wing”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Geert Wilders: ‘Our Culture is Better’

Champion of freedom or anti-Islamic provocateur? Both.

By his own description, Geert Wilders is not a typical Dutch politician. “We are a country of consensus,” he tells me on a recent Saturday morning at his midtown Manhattan hotel. “I hate consensus. I like confrontation. I am not a consensus politician. . . . This is something that is really very un-Dutch.”

Yet the 45-year-old Mr. Wilders says he is the most famous politician in the Netherlands: “Everybody knows me. . . . There is no other politician — not even the prime minister — who is as well-known. . . . People hate me, or they love me. There’s nothing in between. There is no gray area.”

To his admirers, Mr. Wilders is a champion of Western values on a continent that has lost confidence in them. To his detractors, he is an anti-Islamic provocateur. Both sides have a point…

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]


Islamic Finance and Sharia, Europe’s Suicide

The plan to bring Islamic finance to Great Britain caters to a great bluff. But it is a sign of false European tolerance which is submitting itself ever more to sharia. The Catholic project alone can save what is good in the West.

Islam is invading Europe, with millions of immigrants, but also with the millions of dollars of Muslim countries. It was reported yesterday that the British government is preparing legislation that will encourage the development of Islamic finance.. The Treasury Ministry defined this project as a “top priority.”

In a statement to AFP, Treasury Secretary Ed Balls said that it is necessary to ensure that “the tax system and rules encourage the development of sharia-compliant products” and to make the United Kingdom “a centre for international Islamic finance.”

Lebanon and Great Britain are also working to revitalize and create the most important Islamic bank in the United Kingdom. Both moves are certainly measures for attracting Islamic capital, but they are also yet another sign of bowing down to sharia demands, which show to what extent Europe has become a prey to the Islamization project of Muslim fundamentalists.

The British tradition of welcoming, the generosity of its asylum rights, its religious tolerance and its attachment to freedom and cultural diversity have made London the political and financial capital of international Islamism for more than 20 years. In fact, it is very easy to finance networks throughout the world, from a country that protects 4000 charity associations and some 50 Islamic banks. Zakat, the legal Muslim tax, amounts each year to some 5 million euros, without counting sadaqa, private donations. Furthermore, British policy is to not stand in the way of extremists, but to keep them under observation. Such a project is intrinsically irrational for at least two reasons.

The first is that Islamic banks are a big bluff. They are based on the principle that the Koran prohibits loans requiring interest payments. Actually, though, that sacred book does not accept “riba”, loan sharking (interest was not known at the time of the Koran!). For that matter, the Church too condemns loan sharking.

The second reason is that the founders of Islamic banks — which appeared about 50 years ago — are two fundamentalist figures who were not well-versed in economics. They are Abul A’la Mawdudi (1903-1979) and Sayyed Qutb (1906-1966), an ideologue of the Muslim Brothers.

Not knowing much about contemporary economics, they made an enormous mistake, because they did not put inflation into the calculation, therefore a loan without interest always results in a loss. Their modern followers developed the theory that there is no interest, but rather co-participation, in Islamic banks. Thus, at the end of the year, the overall profits are divvied up.

Actually, though, the Islamic world has always had to find tricks for repaying debts and interest. There have also been, in the past, big scandals, particularly in Egypt, subsequently covered by Saudi Arabia, to safeguard the Islamic bank principle…

           — Hat tip: GLT[Return to headlines]


No Two Ways About it

by Diana West

What Robert Spencer calls “the reliably dhimmi Wall Street Journal” lives up to its reputation this weekend in an interview by James Taranto of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, one of the great and brave and precious few defenders of Western civilization to fight against its existential and intertwining enemies, cultural relativism and Islam.

The WSJ headline reveals the soft, gooey underpinnings on which the interview is premised: ‘Our Culture Is Better’—a quote from Wilders—over the following subhead: “Champion of Freedom or Anti-Islamic Provacateur? Both.” Taranto writes:

By his own description, Geert Wilders is not a typical Dutch politician. “We are a country of consensus,” he tells me on a recent Saturday morning at his midtown Manhattan hotel. “I hate consensus. I like confrontation. I am not a consensus politician. . . . This is something that is really very un-Dutch.”

Yet the 45-year-old Mr. Wilders says he is the most famous politician in the Netherlands: “Everybody knows me. . . . There is no other politician — not even the prime minister — who is as well-known. . . . People hate me, or they love me. There’s nothing in between. There is no gray area.”

To his admirers, Mr. Wilders is a champion of Western values on a continent that has lost confidence in them. To his detractors, he is an anti-Islamic provocateur. Both sides have a point.

“Both sides have a point”?

Ahem: To his admirers, Winston Churchill is a champion of liberty on a continent that has seen the end of liberty. To his detractors, he is an anti-Nazi provacateur. Both sides have a point….To his admirers, Ronald Reagan is a champion of Western freedom to peoples yearning to be free. To his detractors, he is an anti-Communist provacateur. Both sides have a point…Or, to flip it around: To his admirerers, Adolph Hitler is a champion of Aryan values on a continent that has grown soft from cosmopolitan impurities. To his detractors, he is anti-Semitic provacateur. Both sides have point…

Need I go on?…

           — Hat tip: Diana West[Return to headlines]


Rioting in Iceland

[…] Completely unreported outside Iceland: Icelanders are rioting [Iceland Riots Precursor To U.S. Civil Unrest?; video: Protestors clash with police in Iceland] in reaction to government mismanagement of the crisis.

Gudrun Jonsdottir, a 36-year-old office worker, said: “I’ve just had enough of this whole thing. I don’t trust the government, I don’t trust the banks, I don’t trust the political parties, and I don’t trust the IMF. “We had a good country and they ruined it.”

These aren’t the actions of unwieldy mobs in third world countries, we’re talking about a country that had one of the highest living standards in Europe and a relatively wealthy and sedate population, the vast majority of whom are now in revolt over mass redundancies and the fast disappearing values of their paychecks and savings.

The EUnion is ‘helping’ our economies, but doesn’t want you to know about it. Probably with good reason: ECB Adopts New Collateral Guidelines, Leaves Public In Dark. Having warned of a sinking quality of the ECB’s balance sheet in January that were followed by an update of collateral guidelines in September, this move signals another milestone on the road to monetary hyper inflation. […]

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]


Salsa-Dancing British Army Corporal Jailed for 10 Years for Spying for Iran

Security chiefs faced serious questions last night over how an Iranian-born immigrant suspected of marrying to obtain a UK passport could have been given a highly sensitive job in the Army.

Daniel James, jailed for ten years for spying yesterday, threatened the lives of British soldiers in Afghanistan by becoming an informant to an Iranian handler.

As an interpreter to General David Richards, British commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan at the time, he was in a unique position to obtain intelligence that would benefit Iran and indirectly the gunmen targeting Allied soldiers.

How James, 45, an embittered and disillusioned Territorial Army corporal, came to be in such a position of trust and why alarm bells did not ring earlier are disturbing aspects of the case.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Sweden: Pre-Teen Joyrider Bitten by Police Dog

An 11-year-old boy was bitten by a police dog on Friday evening after the stolen car that he was driving was stopped. The boy and his three accomplices tried to flee on foot but he was unable to outrun the chasing dog.

The four young people sat in the car in Bålsta north of Stockholm while the police checked the ownership of the vehicle. Police discovered that the car had been reported stolen, according to local media reports.

Police then challenged the children who tried to drive away from the police patrol. They got as far as a road barrier and elected to continue their flight on foot.

Police let loose a tracker dog which managed to find the 11-year-old driver and a 14-year-old female accomplice. The boy was bitten by the dog as he resisted its advances but is reported to have suffered only minor injuries.

Both children were admitted to hospital to get their wounds dressed.

Uppsala police expressed surprise at the age of the joyriders.

“I have never experienced, in my 25 years anyway, such young people,” said Tommy Rinaldo at Uppsala police to news agency TT.

Police know the identities of the other two youths involved in the incident. They are reported to be 14 and 15 years of age.

The 15-year-old is thus the only member of the gang of four that is of the age of criminal responsibility although police were unable to confirm on Saturday morning whether they were suspected of any offence.

The four children had by Saturday morning been handed over to their parents.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


UK: BNP Claims the Streets of Liverpool

Liverpool, previously one of the most militant leftist cities in Britain, today gave a rapturous welcome to a 150-strong BNP demonstration in support of free speech.

Thousands of ‘Racism Cuts Both Ways’ booklets and other BNP leaflets were distributed in a co-ordinated day of campaigning in the city centre, which saw the Truth Truck and three other A-frame advertising vehicles sweep through large parts of the surrounding suburbs, all proudly carrying the party’s message to thousands of well wishers.

The BNP activists on foot — which included party chairman Nick Griffin, deputy leader Simon Darby, Greater London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook — then converged on the city centre at around midday, occupying one of the major pedestrianised intersections.

There, with flags flying, the BNP activists, which included an age range spread from pensioners to youngsters, continued distributing leaflets and recruiting from members of the public. A small crowd of bussed-in leftists were kept at bay by a police presence.

After an hour and half, the BNP crowd moved to the steps of St. George’s Hall in the city centre, where Mr Griffin gave a short address, pointing out that it was the preparedness of the BNP activists to be arrested en masse which had driven the police to withdraw all charges against the ‘Liverpool 13’ earlier in the day.

“Those charges would have hung over our people’s families until February if it had not been for the fact that hundreds of BNP activists were quite prepared to be arrested today,” Mr Griffin said…

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]


Victory for BNP as Liverpool Police Drop All Charges Against Activists

Police have dropped all charges against the BNP’s ‘Liverpool 13’, admitting that there is no evidence to substantiate any of the allegations of ‘racism.’

The remarkable move came early this morning, when all thirteen men were hand delivered letters by members of the Liverpool constabulary. The letters, which formally advised the men that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to pursue charges, were pushed through their doors by policemen, who then quickly left before being forced to talk to anybody to explain.

“The looming BNP demonstration in the city centre, set for this morning, was clearly too much for the political chiefs of the Liverpool police,” said Nick Griffin, BNP chairman.

“We knew all along that there was nothing wrong with the ‘Racism Cuts Both Ways’ booklets, but the rapidity of the police climbdown is testament to the boldness and dedication of BNP activists,” Mr Griffin said.

“The realisation that their Gestapo-like tactics had engendered a broad public revulsion and had energised the BNP, is probably the primary reason for their decision to drop all charges,” he continued.

“The final straw must have come when they realised there was nothing racist in the BNP’s material. In fact, the booklet in question is an anti-racist publication.”

Mr Griffin praised the dedication of all the BNP activists who had sworn to attend this morning’s protest meeting in Liverpool city centre, saying that this was obviously a factor in forcing the police’s hand as well.

“We are still going ahead with an activity today in Liverpool, even if it might be something slightly different,” Mr Griffin said…

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Balkans

Serbia: Italy Donates 6 Million Euro of Medical Equipment

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, NOVEMBER 20 — Medical equipment for a total of six million euro will be donated by Italy to Serbia as part of a cooperation project for development, aimed at modernising the health sector of the largest of the former Yugoslav republics. The Serb Government announced today that the ceremony to hand over the equipment will take place tomorrow in Belgrade in front of Health Minister Tomislav Milosavljevic, the Italian ambassador in Serbia Alessandro Merola, and the local head of Italian cooperation Anna Zambrano. The donation includes specialist gynaecological equipment and latest generation dialysis machines. Italy has worked on numerous cooperation projects in recent years with the new democratic Serbia (along with other Balkan states), from culture to social services, as well as consolidating its position as one of the main investors and western partners with Belgrade, and the standard bearer for a speedy process of integration for the country into Europe. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Serbia: Last Zastava Car Gets Off Assembly Line Today

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, NOVEMBER 21 — The last car produced by the Kragujevac-based car factory Zastava, type Zastava 101 with a serial number 1,045,258, got off its assembly line today, Zastava Deputy Director Dejan Markovic told Tanjug news agency. “The production of the basic line of cars of Zastava, which has produced more than 4.1 million vehicles since 1953, thus ended. During that period Zastava exported about 650,000 vehicles to 76 countries,” said Markovic. The production of YUGO ended last week with a serial number 794, 428, while the production of the Florida type cars ended earlier with a serial number 29,950. The end of the production of the basic program at the Zastava Automobili factory was agreed by the contract signed by the Serbian government and Italy’s Fiat, which set up a joint company which will start producing a completely new type of cars in early 2010. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Serbia: Car Collectors Want Last Yugo (Zastava)

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, NOVEMBER 27 — Since the announcement that the popular Yugo shall not be in production any more, many people showed interest to purchase the last unit of this car model, reports daily Blic. According to Zastava employees even more than 20 potential buyers called the factory interested in purchase the last unit. The price of it being rumored around is even 50,000 euro. Potential buyers expect to get an explicit factory certificate proving that the unit in question is really “the last one”. There are also rumors of possible auction to be held in the town of Kragujevac that would attract potential buyers from all over the world. In the meantime Zoran Radojevic, the general director of Zastava said that it has been agreed with the Fiat management that the last units of Florida, Yugo and 101 models will be exhibited in a museum.(ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Med: Spread of Knowledge in Arab World Key to Sharing

(ANSAmed) — ROME, NOVEMBER 14 — Does the Mediterranean really exist, or is it just a figment of our imagination? Is unification possible? And above all, will its citizens believe in the newly created Union for the Mediterranean? These are some of the questions to which the meeting “The Circulation of Men in the Mediterranean: Permanence and Rift”, organised by the French Embassy in Italy as apart of the ‘Quinzaine of the Mediterranean’ event, will try to find an answer. “It isn’t possible to deny the existence of the Mediterranean”, the philosopher and historian at the University of Rabat, Abdessalam Cheddadi, affirms. “Even with the many rivalries, the radical changes in the balance between Islam and Christianity over the course of the centuries — he sustained — the Mediterranean has always been present. Today, however, it is necessary to understand which role this political space wants to cut out for the future”. The historian Maurice Aymard agrees with this idea, already director of studies at the French School of Rome, who said: “today’s Mediterranean is a completely European construction, it is the product of the economic and cultural conquest of a maritime and geographic space, resulting from the movement of goods and men”. In the current epoch, the big problem for Europe is that of managing the flow of immigrants that come primarily from the southern coast of our sea. For Professor Predrag Matvejevic, teacher of Slavic literature at the University of Zagreb, Paris and Rome, and author of the famous ‘Mediterranean Compendium’, “when the theme of the circulation of people is concerned, of immigration, we speak too much of quantity and not enough of quality. More than thirteen years ago — he reminded — he proposed the institution of summer courses for training young people from the southern shores in Italy, to create a laic group of intellectuals able, once returned to their country of origin, to fight against fundamentalism, better than we as in their eyes we aren’t believable”. As for the knowledge that the countries in the basin should focus on: “To make it possible for the people who inhabit this area to believe in the Union for the Mediterranean — Cheddadi, who is also an expert on the important Arab thinker, Ibn Khaldoun, concluded — we have to aim at spreading knowledge throughout the Arab world. To the end that countries on both sides of the Mediterranean live in harmony, and the Arab middle class must have access to education”. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Planes: Italy’s Storm Aircraft Heads for Tunisia

(by Diego Minuti) (ANSAmed) — ROME, NOVEMBER 27 — It is considered one of the toughest competitors of the American colossal Cessna and, until now, had its portfolio, heart, head and hands in Latina (Rome). However, from January the future of Storm Aircraft, a factory of light-weight aircraft based in Latina, will resume its race from Mateur, Tunisia, where this company of excellence in Italian industry has decided to move its production plant. Others had set the precedent before it, even others in the aeronautics industry such as the French colossal Dassault, which for its factory in the North African country focused on components production. The history of the Italian company is unique in its own way since, as they say with pride in the Latina headquarters, it worked its way up to excellence through different productive experiences, from the “tubes and canvas” to the metallic plane and then on to compound materials. However, it always made use of its own patents. Nevertheless, it is not a case of total delocalization since, as Storm Aircraft managing director Giovanni Salsedo said, Latina will remain at the “heart” of its administrative and marketing activities, and will still be the place of a workshop for maintenance and servicing. The rest will be moving to Tunisia: about seventy people — its “specialized staff” — will still be Italians. All the other staff have already been recruited in Tunisia, with a level of professionalism that surprised even Salsedo himself: “We found personnel of the highest professional level, graduates prepared to go back to studying for an important job opportunity. The response that we had was surprising: they got through the training course in less time than we had optimistically predicted.” The transfer of Storm Aircraft production from Latina to Tunisia comes at the end of a project which got underway five years ago, which the construction of the Mateur plant finalizes. The company has a turnover of about seven million euro per year and, if we have to pick out a problem from which it suffers , it would be that of keeping up with the market in which it is present especially in the United States and Australia, with orders frequently over its productive capacities. Once up and running, the Tunisian plant will have a productive potential of about 300 aircraft per year. The choice to move production from Latina to Tunisa was not dictated only by logistical reasons, due to better transport conditions and therefore lower costs, but especially economic ones. Tunisia has now for years offered to the entrepreneurs choosing it for their productive activities tempting tax allowances; exemption form taxes for the first ten years, and 40% of that due beginning in the eleventh year. It is a “siren” to which ever more Italian companies are responding. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Islam: Egypt; Doll With Veil for Muslim Girls

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 27 — It has wide eyes, highlighted by brushstrokes which look like long eyebrows and long eyelashes, but the rest of the face is covered: the mouth to above the nose, from the neck of the flowered dress, and the hair is hidden under a beige scarf which crosses at the forehead and holds it under the light-coloured veil. It is a doll, made in China, to an Egyptian design and in the toyshops of Cairo at a price of 36 and 42 Egyptian pounds (around 5 euro) it is what Egyptian newspaper Al Badil (The Alternative) is talking about in its item “Islamic doll corners the market”. It is sold in three versions: one with a veil and normal clothes, one with the niqab, the veil which shows only the eyes, and one in a bridal gown with a veil. But it doesn’t have a name. “The sale of this doll is to get little girls used to wearing the veil, because usually girls copy the dolls they play with” said toy shopkeeper Ayman Salem. Another shopkeeper says he is proud of the Egyptian design: “the Chinese do not know our traditions so we sent them the design for our market”. More than a hundred a month are imported and around half have been sold in the last six months. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Finmeccanica: Interest in Israeli Defence Industry Projects

(ANSAmed) — JERUSALEM, NOVEMBER 27 — Finmeccanica is interested in joint projects with some of the major Israeli military industries: IAI (aeronautics industry) Rafael (agency for war weaponry development) and Elbit (military and civilian electronics). Reports were found today in the Israeli economic daily paper the Marker, which cites sources involved in contacts between the two companies. According to these sources, the parties are interested in identifying future apparatuses in the military field, their development and production. Finmeccanica, as the paper reports, is also interested in a collaboration on world markets with its partners. In addition, Finmeccanica is in advanced talks with the office of the Head Scientist of the Israeli Industry and Business Ministry with an agreement to likely be signed soon, already underwritten by ten multinationals, with the aim of encouraging cooperation among large foreign companies and Israeli enterprises. The signing is to take place during the visit of a Finmeccanica mission scheduled in February 2009. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Made in Italy: Marcegaglia, Israeli, Hi-Tech Excellence

(ANSAmed) — JERUSALEM, NOVEMBER 24 — “For us, Israel is a symbol of excellence for everything regarding high technology and electronics, and Italian companies are interested in Israeli companies in the sector”. This was stated by Confindustria (Confederation of Italian Industry) President, Emma Marcegaglia in an interview appearing today in Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper for the arrival in Israel of a delegation of industrialists led by her. The interest of Italian companies, she added, extends to other sectors, like infrastructure and agriculture especially for irrigation and water desalinisation. In the delegation are also representatives from the fashion sector, textile industry, and real estate interested in the Israeli market. Italy, said Marcegaglia, “can be an excellent partner for Israel in the industrial phase of product technology. Israeli is strong in the field of technological renewal and we can offer our production experience”. Despite the complex and conflict filled regional political situation, stated Marcegaglia, “there is (in Italy) great interest in Israel which is an objective of investments and trade for the Italian market”. “There is no doubt — she added — that good political relations between Italy and Israel help”. To the question of how Italian industrialists would respond if the United Nations were to widen economic sanctions against Iran, she responded: “commercial relations between Italy and Iran are strong. The business world, from it’s point of view, will have to act with caution but it is clear that it will not be able to ignore the political and security problems”. On the crisis that is devastating the world economy, the Confindustria president said: “it is not an easy period to get out of. It is important to manage this emergency correctly. I am worried because the situation is difficult, but I am also sure that growth will return, and my responsibility is to help Italian industry in difficult times in a way that it is ready to reap the benefits that will arrive from economic recovery”. (ANSAmed)

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Middle East: European Union Extends Palestinian Police Training

Brussels, 28 Nov. (AKI) — The European Union has decided to extend by two years its training mission of Palestinian police, mission chief Colin Smith told journalists in Brussels on Friday. Smith said he was satisfied by the level of training of Palestinian police achieved so far by the EU mission.

The European Union is helping Palestinians build the institutions of a future Palestinians state and strengthen the rule of law in the Palestinian territories, he said.

Smith described the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip as “very serious” and regretted Israel’s continuing blockade against the aid-dependent territory. But he said he was optimistic that a unified Palestinian police force could be created for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

When he began his mandate in 2005, the EU mission trained 18,000 or 19,000 Palestinian police, he said. This figure fell to 7,000 after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in June last year.

The EU mission was set up in June 2004 with the goal of improving the Palestinian security forces and judicial apparatus.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Defence: Turkey Manufactures Fuselage of Military Plane

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, OCTOBER 27 — Turkish Aerospace Industries (Tusas) has been manufacturing fuselage of the Airbus A400M aircraft, Europe’s biggest and most modern military transport aircraft, the first plane to be ready for delivery in 2012, military sources revealed. The $20 billion project was initiated in 2003 by seven partner nations (Turkey, Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg) to renew their military cargo planes line. Designed by Airbus Military the A400M is a four engine turboprop military cargo aircraft equipped with new technologies doubling cargo capacity over existing airplanes both in payload and volume. The A400M has a capacity of 37 tons (120 fully equipped troops or paratroops, up to 66 stretchers accompanied by 10 medical personnel and 2 helicopters). Its Mtow (maximum takeoff weight) is 136.5 tons and maximum cruising speed 560 km/h.Under the program 180 aircraft will be delivered to seven partner nations and Turkey will receive 10 models. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Energy: EU to Speed Up Nabucco Project, Says Commissioner

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, NOVEMBER 6 — EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said Thursday that the Union would accelerate the Nabucco project, a pipeline project to pump Asian natural gas from Turkey to Europe, Anadolu news agency reports. Piebalgs, who held talks with Turkish energy officials in Ankara, stressed Turkey’s importance for the project and said that talks were going well with Turkey. The 3,300-kilometer Nabucco project is a planned natural gas pipeline that will transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. It will run from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March, a major natural gas hub in Austria. Around 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year will be transported to Europe after the Nabucco project is completed. Turkish energy officials said EU and Turkey could sign a transit deal by the end of this year, adding that the Union attaches great importance to the project as EU leaders do not want to be energy dependent on Russia. The Nabucco project is also supported by the United States as it would be an alternative to natural gas supply from Russia, biggest supplier of Europe. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Energy: Turkey, Israel, India to Meet for Pipeline Project

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, NOVEMBER 24 — Turkey’s Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said he would meet his Israeli and Indian counterparts in the coming days for the Ceyhan-Red Sea oil pipeline project, as Hurriyet daily website reports today. “The highest amount of cargo allowed to pass from the Turkish Straits is set as 130 thousand tonnes while ships carrying 400 thousand tons of cargo can come to Ceyhan Port in southern Turkey,” Guler, who is currently in India to accompany Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, told reporters. “On the other hand, it takes 39 days for a ship to arrive in the Red Sea after passing from the Turkish Straits, and only 16 days from Ceyhan to India. These are significant advantages for India,” Guler added. He said he would meet his Israeli and Indian counterparts in the coming days to talk about the Ceyhan-Red Sea oil pipeline project. Guler also said Indian oil company had been cooperating with the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) in Libya, and similar cooperation should be made in other countries. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Jordan: Gov’t Allocates USD 65 Mln to Subsidize Heating Gas

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN, NOVEMBER 27 — Jordan’s government has allocated nearly USD 65 million to fund subsidies programme that would help impoverished citizens purchase heating gasoline during winter, an official said today. The funds have been allocated in the 2009 budget, to be approved by the Parliament in the coming days, according to Esmael Zaghloul, head of the budget department at the Finance Ministry. “We will distribute money on needy people once it is approved by the Parliament and signed by the king,” said Zaghloul. Officials said the funds will be granted through smart cards given to citizens below poverty line during the winter season. At the start of 2009, the government lifted subsidies on fuel in a bid to end dependence on state aid and help trim growing budget deficit. The move lead to an unprecedented increase in cost of fuel, with the leading members of Parliament urging the authorities to find measures to help poor citezens during the winter period. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Saudi Minister: Teachers and Students, Reject Extremism

The task of Muslims is to spread the message of Islam in a convincing way. “Islam is a way of life that conforms to man’s nature. It’s suitable for all ages and places.” Teachers and students should make their contribution to resolve the problems and crises facing humanity.

Riyadh (AsiaNews) — An urgent appeal from the Saudi interior minister to teachers and students, to eradicate extremism and spread the teaching of moderate Islam, which promotes tolerance. Speaking to those working and studying at the Islamic University in Medina, Prince Naif affirms that those who are blessed with the eternal divine message have the duty of asserting peace, justice, and stability in the world.

“I have told King Saud and Imam Muhammad bin Saud universities some Saudis were drawn into terrorism and how we can solve this problem,” said the minister, as quoted by the Saudi Press Agency. Prince Naif has launched an online video channel for the universities, intended to combat distorted opinions and ideas.

The minister’s objective is to highlight the role of Muslims in spreading the message of Islam in a convincing way. “Islam is a way of life that conforms to man’s nature. It’s suitable for all ages and places.” Teachers and students should make their contribution to resolve the problems and crises facing humanity.

Saudi Arabia, which is one of the main targets for Islamic fundamentalism, is working hard against domestic terrorism. Together with hundreds of arrests, the government has launched a program to rehabilitate those who have been involved in fundamentalism, and in July, grand mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al al Sheikh called upon Saudis and foreigners to “not offer refuge and protection to the terrorists,” because this is “a grave sin.”

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]


The Worrying Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey’s prime minister once promised big reforms to bring his country closer to the European Union. He seems no longer to be pushing them

WHEN Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his Justice and Development (AK) Party narrowly escaped banning by the constitutional court in July, the big question was which Erdogan would then come to the fore. Would it be the non-ideological pragmatist, whose bold reforms had helped Turkey to secure the start of membership talks with the European Union in 2005? Or would it be the dogmatic and erratic leader who had provoked Turkey’s meddlesome generals, always anxious to undermine the AK Party because of its Islamist roots, by seeking soon after his election victory in July 2007 to ease the ban on the Islamic-style headscarf in universities?

The question of which version of Mr Erdogan is in charge has gained extra urgency because Turkey is grappling with mounting violence in the mainly Kurdish south-east. It also matters to the financial markets as the government tries to protect its fragile economy from the global financial typhoon. Worryingly, the answer seems to be: the second version. Mr Erdogan appears increasingly autocratic and out of touch. And because he lacks any credible political opponents, either within or beyond the AK Party, this is making Turkey look stagnant and adrift—and further away from EU membership than ever…

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Caucasus

Georgia: We Started War in South Ossetia — Georgian Diplomat

Georgia’s former ambassador to Russia Erosi Kitsmarishvili has accused his own country of starting the war in South Ossetia. His comments almost led to a fistfight between politicians.

“It was the Georgian government that launched the military action. It doesn’t matter whether it was provoked or not,” he told the Georgian parliamentary commission analysing the August events. “As for the fact that Russia was prepared for it, Moscow was ready to perform the actions it did, because they were part of Russia’s overall plan. I am not saying Georgia is to blame for everything, because Russia was not an innocent lamb either.”

Erosi Kitsmarishvili was one of the founders of the ‘Rose Revolution’ and the former head of Georgia’s Rustavi-2 TV station. This, however, didn’t prevent the anger of one member of the commission on hearing his statement. He threw a pen at the former ambassador and seemed ready to fight.

“Today’s session is a vivid example of how the Saakashvili regime is collapsing,” commented Pikriya Chikhradze, a leader of the Georgian opposition party, New Rightists. “The behaviour of the commission members who assaulted Erosi Kitsmarishvili, shows that they are interested not in listening to a person who possesses really important information, but in publicly denying it.”

Kitsmarishvili had more revelations about his conversations with President Saakashvili.

“The President told me he wanted to relocate the Georgian capital to Sukhum in Abkhazia in August,” he said. “I told him there wasn’t any peaceful way to reach this goal in four months and asked how we could develop relations with such plans in mind?”

Kitsmarishvili’s controversial comments are seen by some as evidence of a growing battle in Georgian politics.

“A tough political fight is developing in Georgia between Saakashvili’s team and the opposition. And the Georgian opposition consists of former allies of the incumbent president,” said Vladimir Zharikhin, Deputy Head of the Institute of CIS countries. “The West knew that Saakashvili started the war. Yet there was an attempt to tell this story differently. But such distortion of the picture is possible only for a short term.”…

           — Hat tip: Conservative Swede[Return to headlines]


Saakashvili Plans to Flee Country — Opposition Leader

TBILISI, November 28 (RIA Novosti) — A senior Georgian opposition party figure said on Friday that President Mikheil Saakashvili and his immediate circle were preparing to flee the country, and had already started transferring money into foreign banks.

“Saakashvili and his government have already packed their suitcases in the hope that they will be able to live abroad calmly and without any worries on the property they stole here,” Georgy Gugava, one of the Labor Party’s leaders, told journalists.

He also said that his party would request that world governments freeze “their bank accounts, as was done with the president of Zimbabwe.”

Gugava also said that Saakashvili’s brother had transferred last year “a huge amount of money made at the expense of the oil business to Indonesia.” He also said Georgian Defense Minister David Kezerashvili had transferred $80 million to Israel.

“Tens of millions of dollars were transferred by representatives of the ruling forces to banks in Mexico and Switzerland. The Labor Party has sufficient proof of this,” he went on.

“All this property belongs to the Georgian state and the Georgian nation, and when Saakashvili and his ministers come before the court, it will be returned to the people,” Gugava said.

Saakashvili came to power in the former Soviet republic on the back of the so-called rose revolution in 2003.

Last November, Georgia was rocked by opposition rallies for six days as protestors occupied central Tbilisi, demanding Saakashvili’s resignation over allegations of corruption and increasing authoritarianism.

The Georgian leader responded by sending in riot police to crack down on protestors on November 7. Over 500 people were injured, according to the U.S. group Human Rights Watch, when police used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to break up the demonstrations.

Saakashvili subsequently called early elections for January and was reelected with 53% of the vote.

He has recently come under criticism in Georgia over a five-day war with Russia in August that began when Georgian forces attacked breakaway South Ossetia. Domestic critics say that Saakashvili acted recklessly in involving Georgia in a war which it could not possibly hope to win.

           — Hat tip: Conservative Swede[Return to headlines]


Saakashvili Says ‘We Started the War’

For the first time ever, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has admitted that his country started the military conflict in South Ossetia in August. But the Georgian leader is adamant the action was justified. He was testifying before a parliamentary commission investigating the five-day war.

According to Saakashvili, the attack on the South Ossetian capital, which involved night shelling of residential areas with multiple rocket launcher systems, was aimed at protecting Georgian citizens. He said it was a response to Russia’s “intervention” in the region.

“We did start military action to take control of Tskhinvali and other unruly areas. But we took this difficult decision to fend off our territory from intervention and save the people who were dying. It was inevitable,” Saakavili said.

[…]

Ex-ambassador’s allegations ‘groundless’

Mikhail Saakashvili dismissed as nonsense the allegations voiced earlier this week by the former Georgian ambassador to Moscow, Erossi Kitsmarishvili. The diplomat said Tbilisi had been preparing the military campaign against South Ossetia for several years and put the blame for the bloodshed on Mikhail Saakashvili.

“Kitsmarishvili’s allegations are groundless; his status was not high enough to attend the Security Council meetings where the country’s foreign policy was decided. He could not know our plans, and those certainly have nothing to do with his version,” the Georgian leader said on Friday…

           — Hat tip: Conservative Swede[Return to headlines]

South Asia

India: Al-Qaeda Websites Rejoice Over Mumbai Attacks

Mumbai, 27 Nov. (AKI) — Al-Qaeda websites on Thursday were swamped with messages from people who were celebrating the devastating Mumbai attacks which have left over 100 people dead and 281 injured. “Oh Allah, destroy the Hindus and do it in the worst of ways,” was one of the comments that appeared on Islamist forums on the Internet immediately after the attacks.

“The battle that is underway in Mumbai is a battle for Allah between its servants and the infidels,” said another message published on the al-Falluja forum.

Several Al-Qaeda sites also posted several pictures of the victims in Mumbai and provocative statements.

Some media reports are saying that a group calling itself Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks, but this has not yet been confirmed.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]


Indonesia: MUI Leader Cholil Ridwan Says Kompas Newspaper is a Western Papist Tool for Attacking Islam

In early October the fundamentalist Islamic journal Suara Islam (Islamic Voice) published The Way Kompas Incites Hatred, in which Cholil Ridwan, co-chairman of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI; “Council of Muslim Scholars of Indonesia”), said: They will publish anything that harms the Muslim community, including attacks on the MUI.

Cholil Ridwan was quoted in para-phrase terms as saying that Kompas was a Roman Catholic “tool”, with a (religious) “mission”.

Kompas, Indonesia’s most widely read newspaper, is owned by the Kompas-Gramedia group, founded in 1965 by P.K. Ojong and Jacob Oetama, Roman Catholics. These days, Cholil said, many people were paid to advance western ideas and interests in Indonesia: If they’re not anti-MUI, if they don’t attack the MUI, they won’t get work.

Cholil was particularly annoyed by an 8th September 2008 story by Sumanto Al Qurtuby in which the MUI was said to be the prime mover and inspiration for sectarian violence in Indonesia, because of its hostile approach to heretical sects such as Ahmadiyah. […]

In general terms the article complained that Kompas never lost an opportunity to criticise the MUI, promote the liberal Islam cause, spread “syphilis” (sipilis, an acronym for secularism, pluralism and liberalism), oppose the new pornography law, and defend Catholic mass murderers Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva, and Marinus Riwu*.

— Note from VH:

* Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva, and Marinus Riwu were executed for their supposed roles in “inter-religious” violence in central Sulawesi in 2000. In the aftermath of the executions in September 2006, Christians in various parts of the country staged a number of sometimes violent protests, both locally in and around Poso and in towns in Flores such as Atambua. In one such protest on 23rd September 2006 a mob of Christians set up a roadblock on the Trans Sulawesi road and stopped motorists to inspect their identity papers.

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]


Mumbai: Preparations Began Four Months Back

The mission being carried out by the security forces to flush terrorists out of the Taj finally ended on Saturday morning. After more than 60 hours of intense encounter, the guns fell silent and the bloodshed stopped.

The encounter, that lasted the longest, ended with the killing of four terrorists holed up inside. But Mumbai has paid a heavy price for it.

Almost 200 people are dead and these numbers do not include the casualties at the Taj yet. At least 18 foreigners are among the dead.

The security forces have managed to kill nine terrorists. One of them, Ajmal Amir Qasab, was caught alive and is currently being interrogated by Mumbai Police.

During his preliminary interrogation, Qasad believed to have reportedly told police, “I have done right and I have no regrets.” He has also admitted to being a member of the Lashkar.

Qasab also told the police that he and his associate Ismail Khan were the ones who shot Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte.

According to the police, Qasab had booked rooms in the Taj where the explosives were kept.

Terrorists showed Mauritian ID Cards and posed as students to the hotel. Indian ID cards were recovered from two terrorists at the Oberoi Trident.

A recce of all the locations were done around four months ago by a different group of terrorists.

They studied the satellite pictures of the hotels, various locations and made detailed maps.

Qasab, 21, according to the sources, is from Faridkot in Pakistan, and was involved in the indiscriminate firings carried out at least three locations — Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Cama and Albless Hospital and Metro Cinema areas — all located within a radius of one km.

An unspecified quantity of arms and ammunition has been recovered from him.

He has been remanded to police custody till December 8.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Mumbai Photographer: I Wish I’d Had a Gun, Not a Camera

Armed police would not fire back

It is the photograph that has dominated the world’s front pages, casting an astonishing light on the fresh-faced killers who brought terror to the heart of India’s most vibrant city. Now it can be revealed how the astonishing picture came to be taken by a newspaper photographer who hid inside a train carriage as gunfire erupted all around him.

Sebastian D’Souza, a picture editor at the Mumbai Mirror, whose offices are just opposite the city’s Chhatrapati Shivaji station, heard the gunfire erupt and ran towards the terminus. “I ran into the first carriage of one of the trains on the platform to try and get a shot but couldn’t get a good angle, so I moved to the second carriage and waited for the gunmen to walk by,” he said. “They were shooting from waist height and fired at anything that moved. I briefly had time to take a couple of frames using a telephoto lens. I think they saw me taking photographs but theydidn’t seem to care.”

[…]

But what angered Mr D’Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.”

As the gunmen fired at policemen taking cover across the street, Mr D’Souza realised a train was pulling into the station unaware of the horror within. “I couldn’t believe it. We rushed to the platform and told everyone to head towards the back of the station. Those who were older and couldn’t run, we told them to stay put.”

The militants returned inside the station and headed towards a rear exit towards Chowpatty Beach. Mr D’Souza added: “I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them. What is the point if having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them? I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera.”

           — Hat tip: Paul Green[Return to headlines]


Pakistani Girls Reclaiming Virginity

By Amir Mir

LAHORE: Hymenoplasty or the restoration of hymen in a female body has now turned out to be the latest fad in the booming medicinal sciences of Pakistan; a country where marital bliss on the wedding night amongst other factors deeply depends upon the ‘cherry popping’ of the bride. Howsoever fleeting one’s imagination can go about the concepts of modernity; a man will always want to be the first one. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen many a times.

Hymenoplasty ruptured hymen was one medical secret most Pakistanis knew was practised clandestinely. They would whisper the addresses of doctors performing the surgery to harried girls keen to reclaim their virginity weeks before their nupital night. Call it the irony or hypocrisy of our times, but even as Islamists seek to impose their moral values on a schizophrenic society, hymenoplasty is witnessing a veritable boom time. Pakistani doctors now advertise in English newspapers, on the internet and walls of shops located on busy streets.

All this is good news for girls who have had pre-marital sex but didn’t, for one reason or another, marry their partners, as it is for those who tore their hymen accidentally. They dread marriage, and those persuaded or compelled into betrothal live in extreme fear of the wedding night. In a society where premarital sex is considered a social crime, and where family honour is popularly perceived to rest between the daughter’s thighs, many a women have paid with their lives for not bleeding on the wedding night, strangulated, stabbed or divorced for not being virgins.

For girls daring or liberal, restoration of hymen enables them to throw a cloak around their past acts that the orthodox considers inexcusable…

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

British and Irish Anti-Piracy Experts Rescued — After Pirates Attack

Two British and one Irish security guard were plucked from the sea by a military helicopter yesterday after they jumped from a tanker seized by pirates off Somalia, leaving behind more than two dozen crew members.

Their decision to abandon the vessel that their company was paid handsomely to protect attracted some criticism. One Western aid official in the region told The Times that after calls for commercial vessels to hire security guards, it was “somewhat ironic that they jump overboard to save themselves”.

Their British employer, however, insisted that the three former soldiers were heroes who had resisted a sustained attack by heavily armed pirates with great courage and would have been killed if they had stayed any longer. “They were unarmed. They had no other option. As far as I’m concerned they deserve a medal,” said Nick Davis, a former British Army pilot who runs AntiPiracy Maritime Security Solutions (APMSS) out of Poole, Dorset…

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]


Foreign Africans, White S. Africans Face Genocide — Expert Warns

South Africa ‘s black foreign Africans and white South Africans alike are being targetted by a renewed stream of murders, rapes, hate-speech, demonisation, terror and death threats.

[…] Both the burgeoning foreign African communities and the rapidly-shrinking Afrikaner minority in South Africa are increasingly targetted by such genocidal attack groups. Both groups are targetted by hate-speech and threats of ethnic-cleansing. In the case of the black Africans, it’s referred to as ‘xenophobia’. […]

To the north, in the country’s capital city of Pretoria, 2,400 Afrikaans children walked onto a rugby field this week, bearing white crosses, and laid down on the grass in silent protest.

These white Afrikaner children said they were now too terrified to even leave their homes or go to bed at night — because these working-class smallholders in greater Pretoria are being targetted by an unprecendented wave of armed attacks, murders and rapes. Thus far this year, 49 Afrikaners — mostly the male breadwinners — have been gunned down inside their barricaded, fortress-like homesteads in greater Pretoria. More than 1,5-million ‘whites’ — mostly Afrikaners — have already fled the country to get away from this violence. […]

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]


South Africa: Two Port Elizabeth Girls Raped Because They Were White

Two black knifemen risked being electrocuted while crawling through a 22-strand, high-voltage fence to reach the Afrikaans family at the high-security St Augustine complex in Mangold Park on Sunday at around 1am.

The two sisters, 21 and 25, had fallen asleep in front of the TV when they were attacked by the two knifemen. The black rapists told their white victims: “it’s your fault we don’t have jobs, because you are white…’ There’s no report that anything of any value was looted.

The two terrified girls now are battling to come to terms with their horrifying ordeal and have moved in with their mother at the family farm. They asked their mom to remove the couches they were raped on, their mother said. “The rapists entered through the sliding door in my room, which didn’t have a security gate. “They told my daughters it was their fault that they didn’t have jobs, because the girls are white.” […]

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]


Young Whites Emigrate, Young Blacks Die of TB-AIDS in S. Africa

Young, skilled white S. Africans are emigrating enmasse; and young black S.Africans are increasingly dying of AIDS, writes the SA Institute of Race Relations on November 26 2008.

The SA Institute of Race Relations noted in its annual demographic report that educated, young white families are emigrating from South Africa in a very distinct ‘pattern of emigration’. Its demographic researcher Gail Eddy says there has been a drastic reduction in the number of white South Africans when compared to the national average of 43.9 in this age group. […]

Fewer white babies, too:

The proportion of white South Africans in the age group 15-39 was 33.1% in 2008 — much lower than the national average of 43.9% in this age group, she noted in her report. This trend continued in the age group 0-15, with 18.3% of the white population being in this age group, compared to a national average of 32.2%. “The only explanation is emigration,’ Ms Eddy said. “This departure of the country’s best-educated working-age group has far-reaching implications for the growing South African skills shortage,’ she also warned. […]

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]

Immigration

Immigration is a Resource Say African and European Migrants

“The foreigner cannot be seen as a threat or a problem, but more (…) as a migrant or a refugee to be welcomed as a child of God….and as such one who possesses dignity and inalienable rights”, said the bishops at a seminar of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE) and the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). In the message published at the end of the seminar, entitled ““I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”, the global character of the migration phenomenon was highlighted. “We are convinced — said the bishops — that the migrant is an opportunity from divine grace, which brings with tie a new wealth of culture, spirituality, intelligence, understanding and especially humanity”. The meetings in Liverpool, held between November 19 and 23, were marked by reflections on the nature of ‘welcoming’ and the pastoral care for migrants. “The Episcopal regional and national conferences must give priority to the study of this phenomenon — said the bishops — such as to discover the roots of migration and of the flows of migrants, exiles, asylum seekers and people without citizenship. We should concentrate on human rights and the social dignity of these people, who are our brothers and our sisters, and their families, their identity and their cultural treasure, which should in no way be compromised”. Monsignor Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants was also present at the Liverpool meeting. Marchetto opened the conference by stressing the need for an adequate education of priests and lay persons to confront “the problems raised by the pastoral care for migrants”.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

General

Berlusconi: No-One Feels the Need for Another Cold War

(AGI) — Rome, 11, Nov. — The meeting of the G20 in Washington and the G8, now widened to members of developing countries, will take place next year on the island of Maddalena. These were the themes discussed by President Berlusconi and President Lula. “I placed attention on — the President explained during the Press Conference- the efforts Italy is making on the political-diplomatic level to put an end to the absurd conflict between the United States and the Russian Federation and between the Atlantic Alliance and the Russian Federation”. The President made reference above all to the ‘quarrels’ which broke out over the installation of missiles in Poland and Kaliningrad. “No-one feels the need to return to the Cold War.

We need to help the United States and the Russian Federation- Berlusconi continued — and I am happy that President Medveded and President Obama have, at our insistence, accepted to meet each other soon.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Sociology is Not a Science

Sociology is not a science. It is a system of strategies being used to reach a particular goal.

What is that goal?

“the entire systematisation of human life on the basis of the preponderance of the heart over the intellect.”

That is what Auguste Comte, the father of sociology, revealed in 1851 in the preface to the first volume of his System of Positive Polity

[…]

Later, he explained:

“ . . . what is meant is, that the intellect should devote itself exclusively to the problems which the heart suggests, . .” SPP. P. 15

That’s it! That is basis for the whole sociological dictatorship. Suggest problems for emotional involvement and demand the intellect devise social solutions. It can turn any personal problem into a social problem, a social problem into a national problem, and a national problem into an international problem belonging to all humanity. Social science treats life as a series of problems for “society” or united “Humanity” to solve. When all the problems the social scientists can concoct from any part of the world become social problems for the WORld Management System (WORMS) to solve, the sociological dictatorship will be complete.

The basic tactic for turning personal problems into social problems is to promote otherism. To be otheristic one must abandon all thought of self and think constantly of the problems of others. The French word Comte coined to explain this concept is “altruism.”…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Turkish Aerospace to Cooperate With Grumman for New Fighter

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, NOVEMBER 7 — Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), a major international supplier to Us Northrop Grumman Corporation on the F-35 Lightning II program, opened a new facility dedicated to producing composite subassemblies for the new international, multi-role fighter, a Grumman statement said. The opening of the 74,000 square foot facility represents TAI’s latest progress towards becoming a second source producer of F-35 center fuselages for Northrop Grumman. Under a Letter of Intent signed with Northrop Grumman in February 2007 TAI plans to produce and assemble at least 400 center fuselages. “This composites facility represents a significant investment by Turkish Aerospace Industries in the long-term success and affordability of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program”, Mark Tucker, vice president of tactical systems and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector, said at TAI’s opening ceremony. Northrop Grumman, a principal and founding member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 Lightning II team, is responsible for the design and production of center fuselages for all three variants of F-35 aircraft: conventional take-off and landing; short take-off, vertical landing; and carrier-compatible. The F-35 Lightning II program expects to build more than 3,000 aircraft. (ANSAmed)

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


UN General Assembly President Accuses Israel of Apartheid

Calls for a Campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel [and left out the flag of the member state of Israel]

NEW YORK — The President of the UN General Assembly has launched an unprecedented attack on a UN member state from the Assembly podium. Going beyond even existing UN resolutions, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua accused Israel of apartheid and called for “a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions” against it. Reminiscent of a classic antisemitic slur, Brockmann (himself a Roman Catholic priest and one-time official of the World Council of Churches) also claimed our Palestinian “brothers and sisters are being crucified” by Israel.

His remarks were made on November 24, 2008 during the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This annual event marks the adoption of the General Assembly’s partition resolution which called for the creation of a Jewish and an Arab state on November 29, 1947.

“Brockmann’s assault is a gross abuse of the position of Assembly President,” commented Anne Bayefsky, Editor of EYEontheUN. “He knows full well that his outrageous personal views will be translated into six languages and webcast around the world.” Brockmann assumed the Presidency in September 2008, having been nominated by the Latin American and Caribbean regional group.

Brockmann made the apartheid allegation twice in one day, once in the morning at the annual meeting of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and again in the General Assembly in the afternoon. […]

The adoption of the 1947 partition resolution, accepted by Jews and rejected by Arabs, is now bemoaned by the UN. Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan described Palestinian Solidarity Day as “a day of mourning and a day of grief.” This year, as in years past, the UN used the occasion to fly only two flags, that of “Palestine” and that of the United Nations. Though the resolution was ostensibly the UN’s first commitment to a two-state solution, today the flag of the member state of Israel is left out.

[picture] The Palestinian flag is on the left, the United Nations flag on the right. Speakers from left to right who voiced no difficulty with the omission of the flag of Israel:

Riyad Malki, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority; Jorge Urbina, Representative of the President of the Security Council; Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the General Assembly; Paul Badji, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories; and the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]


We Triggered Financial Crisis — Al Qaeda

Al-Qaeda is indirectly responsible for the financial crisis, one of the terrorist group’s leaders has said in a video posted on the internet. According to Reuters, Ayman al-Zawahiri said American taxpayers were paying the price for the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda’s second-in-command and the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad said: “The ones shouldering the burden are taxpayers, whose money was spent to rescue senior capitalists and to protect the fraudulent interest-based system from collapse.”

In the video posted on Islamist websites, al-Zawahiri described the crisis one of “the series of American economic hemorrhages after the strikes of September 11”. Bin Laden’s number two added that these “will continue as long as the foolish American policy of wading in Muslim blood continues.”

In the 80-minute long video, the Egyptian militant also claimed that the US military action against al-Qaeda-backed tribal regions of northern Pakistan would see no success even though more troops are being sent to neighbouring Afghanistan. “I challenge you [George Bush], if you are really a man, to send the entire American army to Pakistan and the tribal regions for it to end up in hell,” al-Zawahiri said.

In another video, which was released on November 19, Al-Qaeda’s deputy leader branded U.S. President-elect Barack Obama a ‘house negro’. An insult meant to underline Obama is a black man doing the bidding of whites. He also criticised his foreign policy and especially Obama’s plans to send more troops to Afghanistan. “Be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them,” he said.

The 57-year-old is suspected of helping organise the 1997 massacre of 67 foreign tourists at Luxor and was indicted by the US in connection with the 1998 bombings of American embassies in East Africa. The US has promised a $US 25 million reward for Bin Laden’s most senior lieutenant.

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]

16 comments:

Homophobic Horse said...

Caucasus:

Compare and contrast Conswede's Russia today links with the masterpiece of spin and weasel words that is the New York Time's report.

"Russia has asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for an inquiry into the accounts of military observers stationed in the South Ossetian separatist capital of Tskhinvali on the night of Aug. 7, when it was shelled by Georgian forces."

Then it says:

"The conflict in Georgia, which brought Russia into tense confrontation with the West, had been simmering for days before Aug. 7. Georgia has said it carried out the attack because a Russian invasion was under way, but Western intelligence agencies have not been able to confirm [Manufacture] that account."

My personal favourite quote:

"The conflict in Georgia, which brought Russia into tense confrontation with the West, "

This ought to read:

"The conflict in Georgia, during which Russia was defamed by the West..."

Homophobic Horse said...

Oh I ought to add:

"Russia has asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for an inquiry into the accounts of military observers stationed in the South Ossetian separatist capital of Tskhinvali on the night of Aug. 7, when it was shelled by Georgian forces."

That ought to read: "Russia has asked the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for an inquiry into the accounts of military observers stationed in the South Ossetian separatist capital of Tskhinvali on the night of Aug. 7, when Tskhinvali was indiscriminately bombarded by NATO backed Georgian racists intent on ethnically cleansing the whole city."

Paul Green said...

Erratum above:

The author of the Belfast Telegraph story about the news photographer who witnessed the Mumbai police hiding from the terrs is Jerome Taylor, not Sebastian D'Souza, who is the photographer in question.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Be wary of anything on "Russia Today", it is a Russian government sponsored propaganda outlet in the old "Izvestija" line.

Interesting, the BBC had an article on the BNP 13 being arrested, but appears to have nothing about their exonoration and release,......

Conservative Swede said...

Fellow Peacekeeper,

What exactly is it that you suggest should be disbelieved in this story, which is being reported and discussed all across the world, including in Georgia (of course)?

You can watch Erosi Kitsmarishvili saying these things himself here.

Are you suggesting that Erosi Kitsmarishvili was never Georgia's ambassador to Russia, and that Russia Today made that up?

Or are you suggesting that Russia Today hired an actor that is walking around there in Georgia's parliament's conference rooms and corridors? Did they hire the big crowd of journalists following him with cameras and microphones too?

If you are not suggesting any of this, then what is your point? Erosi Kitsmarishvili said these things, and he was being filmed while saying it. Deal with it!

A news item does not go away because you do not like the source.

But of course in this case the source is Erosi Kitsmarishvili...

Here you can read about the story in several different news sources. Do you believe it now?

Conservative Swede said...

FP:
"Russia Today", it is a Russian government sponsored propaganda outlet

So which media outlet is not a propaganda tool, according to you?

At least Russia Today is untainted by Saudi money and influence, as so many Western media outlets are. Such as for example Fox News.

Conservative Swede said...

Is a Georgian paper good enough for you? Here's The Georgia Times:

Ex-ambassador leaves session in protest

Do you believe it now?

Georgia's former ambassador to the Russian Federation Erosi Kitsmarishvili has answered the questions of the temporary parliamentary commission for investigation of the August war with Russia. This was the first session of the commission which ended with scandal. Former ambassador, one of the four leaders of the rose revolution, left the session in protest after having conflict with MP Givi Targamadze, who threw a pen to the former diplomat.

Earlier, the former ambassador spoke about the pre-history of the August war. Kitsmarishvili said in April 2008 he was informed by one of the senior authorities that Georgia had a green light from the West for beginning fighting in it's breakaway region.

[...]

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

CS, did I mention not believing the story? Nowhere.

Caveat emptor, thats all. Check sources as always. Double and triple check with sources like RT, which are intrinsically duplicitous.

I do point out this in comparison to most western main stream media which are effectively propaganda providers for one part or another, they are not direct government subsidiaries and do sometimes bite the hand that feeds them. Russia Today however is as much a government subsidiary as is Voice of America, but RT masquerades as something else. Once that is taken into account RT become useful as a barometer of the "official" Russian government line to any particular news. Personally, I find their pathetic efforts to put up a pretense of objectivity rather tiresome.

The article? No spin? Riiight, RT have chosen to churn some objectively trivial* remarks into a story of disintegration and infighting in the Georgian government (Which is infamously fractious. Threw a pen? Man, after the likes of Gamsakhurdia and Schevardnaze that is closer to being proof of restrained and polite discourse).

*trivial : that Georgia fell into a long prepared Russian trap, by starting hostilities, after months of provocations by Russian sponsored Ossetian fighters is not news. They may have wanted to expand on the intial part of the remarks a little though, about provocation. A little context, which also probably has some spin :).

There is spin, in God we fact check, the rest we fact check twice.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

While on the deconstruction of news....

My bad, it seems the BBC have admitted the BNP 13 were released without charge, they just filed it so low down it didn't even make the "UK" news section sublines :). They are however pretty much headlining the Green affair ... interesting ....

The left Guardian shamelessly blames the police and presumes to exonerate the government, but at the Beeb accusations against the Home Secretary are covered extensively ... one wonders what they are leaving out ... ahhh, all the accusations are couched as quotes and attributed to various Tory types, even things pretty much factually established ... perhaps keeping it all in the realm of opinion not calling anything a fact? Interesting ....

James Higham said...

I think it was more a case of objection to the data protection abuse than any overt support for the BNP.

Baron Bodissey said...

Thanks, Paul. I've corrected it.

Conservative Swede said...

Fellow Peacekeeper,

Ironically enough you are doing the opposite of your own advice. If you had indeed double and triple checked the sources, then you would have read some more about this story and found that there is indeed a lot going on in Georgia right now. But admit, you did do this, simply since you did not like those news. So you turn away the focus from what's happening in Georgia and onto your dislike of Russia Today.

And the only one spinning things here is you. The story of infighting and disintegration in Georgia is reduced by you into a matter of "throwing a pen". I guess you know nothing about the events in Georgia, since you are not following it, since you do not like those news. But the problem with your spin is that there are so many protests against Saakashvili, both from the opposition and the public, and he is indeed hanging very loose. A good spin should be a delusion that people can hold on to at least until the matter has been forgotten. But your "it's only about the trowing of a pen" will look pretty stupid if Saakashvili falls, won't you agree?

And finally your other spin, the "objectively trivial", how "Georgia fell into a long prepared Russian trap". That's a classic big lie of war propaganda. Saying that even though Georgia started the war, Russia really did it anyway. Neat! But you cannot even say it with a straight face yourself anymore, as your comment "A little context, which also probably has some spin :)" with it's little smiley reveals.

"Objectively trivial" indeed... I have heard this sort of phrase before. I guess this means it is forbidden to ask for CONCRETE evidence. That asking for concrete evidence would undermine that spin, so anyone doing so should be considered evil and be shouted down.

Conservative Swede said...

FP,

I guess you completely missed this story from November 7:

NYT: Protesters Condemn President of Georgia

TBILISI, Georgia — Thousands of antigovernment demonstrators poured into the streets of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, on Friday, hoping to weaken the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili as it strives to maintain power despite a catastrophic war with Russia and a growing economic malaise at home.

The large, though generally subdued, demonstration occurred one year after black-helmeted riot police officers violently quashed opposition protests in Tbilisi, pelting unarmed civilians with clubs and rubber bullets, and using tear gas and water cannons to chase the protesters from the streets.

That event roused accusations domestically and internationally that the president’s promises of democracy and reform, which he made upon taking power in a bloodless coup in 2003, had fallen short, leaving Georgia only slightly more democratic than the country’s post-Soviet neighbors, including Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia.

But while Mr. Saakashvili is perhaps still off kilter after last year’s political tumult and the war with Russia in August — which many see as a humiliation for Georgia that the president may have provoked — he remains popular and appears still to be very much in control.

At Friday’s protest, opposition politicians condemned Mr. Saakashvili’s handling of the war and blamed the president for losing two separatist Georgian enclaves, South Ossetia, over which the war was fought, and Abkhazia. Russia has consolidated its control of both enclaves and now recognizes them as independent states, despite widespread international disapproval of the move.

Protesting opposition members also repeated accusations of fraud in presidential and parliamentary elections held this year, and they called for early elections to be held in the spring.


I used the New York Times, so that it would be a source that you feel comfortable with. But I could provide several other sources, if you want, and with different sorts of "spins". But you would always double check with other sources automatically won't you?

Conservative Swede said...

And since my Georgian source above didn't impress you, let's take the original story again from the New York Times:

Ex-Diplomat Says Georgia Started War With Russia

A parliamentary hearing on the origins of the war between Georgia and Russia in August ended in a furor on Tuesday after a former Georgian diplomat testified that Georgian authorities were responsible for starting the conflict.

Erosi Kitsmarishvili, Tbilisi’s former ambassador to Moscow, testified for three hours before he was shouted down by members of Parliament.

A former confidant of President Mikheil Saakashvili, Mr. Kitsmarishvili said Georgian officials told him in April that they planned to start a war in Abkhazia, one of two breakaway regions at issue in the war, and had received a green light from the United States government to do so. He said the Georgian government later decided to start the war in South Ossetia, the other region, and continue into Abkhazia.

He would not name the officials who he said had told him about planned actions in Abkhazia, saying that identifying them would endanger their lives.

American officials have consistently said that they had warned Mr. Saakashvili against taking action in the two enclaves, where Russian peacekeepers were stationed.

Mr. Kitsmarishvili’s testimony in front of a parliamentary commission, shown live on Georgian television, met with forceful and immediate denials. One commission member, Givi Targamadze, threw a pen and then lunged toward Mr. Kitsmarishvili, but was restrained by his colleagues.

Conservative Swede said...

And here NYT is questioning the "objectively trivial":

Georgia Claims on Russia War Called Into Question

TBILISI, Georgia — Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.

Georgia moved forces toward the border of the breakaway region of South Ossetia on Aug. 7, at the start of what it called a defensive war with separatists there and with Russian forces.

Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.

The accounts are neither fully conclusive nor broad enough to settle the many lingering disputes over blame in a war that hardened relations between the Kremlin and the West. But they raise questions about the accuracy and honesty of Georgia’s insistence that its shelling of Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, was a precise operation. Georgia has variously defended the shelling as necessary to stop heavy Ossetian shelling of Georgian villages, bring order to the region or counter a Russian invasion.

President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia has characterized the attack as a precise and defensive act. But according to observations of the monitors, documented Aug. 7 and Aug. 8, Georgian artillery rounds and rockets were falling throughout the city at intervals of 15 to 20 seconds between explosions, and within the first hour of the bombardment at least 48 rounds landed in a civilian area. The monitors have also said they were unable to verify that ethnic Georgian villages were under heavy bombardment that evening, calling to question one of Mr. Saakashvili’s main justifications for the attack.

Conservative Swede said...

BTW, in order to login to NYT and read the whole articles, use www.bugmenot.com