Friday, January 10, 2003

News Feed 20100814

Financial Crisis
»An Argentina-Like Economic Crisis
»The Hindenburg Omen Indicates Stock Market Crash is Coming
»Ali Sina on Ground Zero Mosque, Cordova House
»Frank Gaffney: Obama’s Ground Zero Mosque
»Interior Dept. Documents Detail Obama Admin Plotting to Seize Western Lands Without Congressional Approval
»Obama’s Ramadan Blessing
Europe and the EU
»UK: Westminster’s Most Wanted: The Foreign Supercar Drivers Who Owe £4million in Parking Fines
Israel and the Palestinians
»Looking Ahead at U.S.-Israel and “Peace Process” Issues
»The NY Times Tries and Fails to Explain the Israel-Palestinian “Peace Process”
Middle East
»A Coup in Saudi Avoided or Iranian Disinformation?
»Israeli Strike on Iran Likely After Next July
»Video: Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi: Infidels Should Pay Poll Tax or be Killed
South Asia
»Earthquake Aid Millions Spent Elsewhere, Claims Paper
»India: Audio: ‘Love Jihad’ Used in Islamic Takeover
Far East
»Britain’s BNP Slammed for Attending Tokyo Far-Right Summit
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Uganda Bomber Says He is a Peace-Loving Person Who Only Wanted to Kill Americans

Financial Crisis

An Argentina-Like Economic Crisis

The United States’ economic decline precariously resembles Argentina’s economic collapse, which started in 1998 and landed Argentina in a depression by the end of 2000. What began in Argentina as a recession mushroomed into a full-fledged depression due to bad economic and monetary policy. The Obama administration and its congressional Democrat lackeys are on the precipice of following Argentina’s disastrous economic and monetary policy decisions.

Arguably, the United States economy has been in a two-year-long recession, and while some may posit that the country has started an economic recovery, others suspect the country will plummet into a deeper recession, or perhaps a depression. In the past two years, the United States government instituted economic and/or monetary policies detrimental to American’s short- and long-term economic prosperity.

  • $700-billion TARP bill.
  • $787-billion economic stimulus bill the president deemed necessary to keep unemployment under 8%.
  • $410-billion Omnibus bill with 9,000 pork-barrel projects.
  • $1.3-trillion deficit in fiscal year 2009.
  • $1.4-trillion deficit estimated for fiscal year 2010.
  • $1 trillion or more for a health care bill that the majority of Americans didn’t want.
  • Auto industry bailout with complete disregard to the bankruptcy laws, which turned the U.S. government into an equity owner and granted an ownership stake to the United Auto Workers union.
  • $500-billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • $145-billion bailout of Greece.
  • Billions spent by the Federal Reserve to purchase toxic assets.
  • $10.6-trillion dollar public debt the day Obama took the oath of office. In nineteen months, the public debt stands at $13.3-trillion (a 25% increase).

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Hindenburg Omen Indicates Stock Market Crash is Coming

This week’s plunge in U.S. stocks triggered a technical indicator known as the Hindenburg Omen that may signal a more severe selloff, according to analysts who follow charts to predict market moves.

The market signal, named for a German zeppelin that caught fire and crashed more than seven decades ago, occurs when an unusually high number of companies in the New York Stock Exchange reach 52-week highs and lows. The indicator last occurred in October 2008, according to UBS AG.


The indicator may suggest “a savage equity downturn is imminent,” said Albert Edwards, a London-based strategist at Societe Generale SA, who has told investors to favor bonds over stocks for more than a decade. “Equities are tottering on the edge as increasingly recessionary data becomes apparent. It would not take much to tip them over that edge.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Ali Sina on Ground Zero Mosque, Cordova House

On 9/11 2001, Muslim jihadists butchered 3000 Americans. Nine years later, a Muslim Imam wants to build a 13 story monument two blocks away from the site of that carnage.

Many Americans, particularly the New Yorkers and the families of the victims of that tragedy are outraged at the insensitivity, bordering arrogance of Faisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind this project. Rauf says it is not a mosque but an Islamic center. The name does not change anything. Whatever you call it, it is of extreme poor judgment.

In 2004, Rauf published a book calling it “What is Right with Islam is What is Right with America.” In that book he argued “The American political structure is Sharia compliant. For America to score even higher on the ‘Islamic’ or ‘Sharia compliance’ scale America would need to do two things. Invite the voices of all religions in shaping the nations’ practical life, and allow religious communities more leeway to judge among themselves according to their own laws.”

The truth is that the American constitution and the Sharia law are opposite of each other. It is interesting however, how Rauf composed his statement. He did not say that the Sharia is in compliance with the US constitution, but the other way round. By doing so he wanted to establish the superiority of the Sharia over the US constitution.

The fact is that the American Constitution and the Sharia differ fundamentally. For example, the Sharia does not recognize…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom[Return to headlines]

Frank Gaffney: Obama’s Ground Zero Mosque

At a White House celebration of Ramadan in the company of representatives of several of the Nation’s most prominent Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, President Obama announced his strong support for one of their most immediate objectives: the construction of a mega-mosque and “cultural center” at Ground Zero. In so doing, he publicly embraced the greatest tar-baby of his presidency.

In the process, Mr. Obama also inadvertently served up what he likes to call a “teachable moment” concerning the nature of the enemy we are confronting, and the extent to which it is succeeding in the Brotherhood’s stated mission: “…Eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

As the AP reported, “President Barack Obama on Friday forcefully endorsed building a mosque near Ground Zero saying the country’s founding principles demanded no less. ‘As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,’ Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York and the nation. ‘That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.’

“Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect to those who are different from us—a way of life that stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today.”

So much for the pretense that, as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had previously declared, the President would not get involved because the Ground Zero mosque (GZM) controversy was “a local matter.” (As opposed, say, to the arrest of a Harvard professor on disorderly conduct charges.)

Gone too is the option of continuing to conceal an extraordinary fact: the Obama administration is endorsing not only this “local matter,” but explicitly endorsing the agenda of the imam behind it — Feisal Abdul Rauf. Rauf is the Muslim Brother, who together with his wife Daisy Khan (a.k.a. Daisy Kahn for tax purposes, at least) runs the tellingly named “Cordoba Initiative.” He is believed to be on a taxpayer-underwritten junket and/or fund-raising tour of the Middle East, courtesy of the State Department, which insists that he is a “moderate” in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary. Interestingly, the President’s rhetoric — like that of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other apologists for and boosters of the GZM — tracks perfectly with the Muslim Brotherhood line about why we need to allow what Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin has correctly described as an “Islamist victory arch” close by some of America’s most hallowed ground. It is, we are told, all about “religious freedom” and “tolerance.”

Actually, it is all about submission to shariah — arguably the most intolerant of theo-political-legal codes, ironically particularly when it comes to respect for freedom of religion. Rauf’s mosque complex and the shariah ideology/doctrine that animates it — the same program that animated the jihadists who destroyed the World Trade Center and many of its occupants on 9/11 — has everything to do with power, not faith.

As notable as what the President said is the company he keeps. Consider a few examples from this year’s Iftar dinner guest list:…

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]

Interior Dept. Documents Detail Obama Admin Plotting to Seize Western Lands Without Congressional Approval

Back in February, a leaked memo from the Department of the Interior showed that the Obama administration was considering designating as many as 17 new national monuments throughout the West, effectively closing off huge swaths of land to development. That this was being done without the input of Congress or local authorities angered many.

Now Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus and Ranking Member on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands has uncovered 14 more pages from the document that were previously unavailable.

The new pages show a federal bureaucracy that has contempt for the legislative process and the input of elected representatives. “Should the legislative process not prove fruitful, or if a nationally significant natural or cultural land resource come under threat of imminent harm, the BLM [Bureau of Land Management] would recommend that the Administration consider using the Antiquities Act [to designate a national monument],” reads the new document.

In a statement, Bishop unloaded on the Obama administration. “These 14 pages are further evidence of this Administration’s efforts, under the guidance of Secretary Salazar, to control western lands by unilaterally locking them up without input from local residents and stakeholders nor the approval of Congress. Their plotting behind closed doors is disingenuous at best and flies in the face of this Administration’s so-called ‘transparency’,” said Bishop. “Thousands of westerners whose livelihoods depend upon access to our public lands stand to be affected by these decisions and yet this document blatantly goes out of its way to exclude their input or participation. If there was any question about whether or not this Administration has declared a war on the West, these new documents are evidence enough.”

[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Ramadan Blessing

In blessing the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, Barack Obama added that Islam “is a faith known for great diversity and racial equality” and that it “has always been part of America.”

I have more than a passing knowledge of Islam that includes firsthand experience and a significant amount of study over the last 30 years. But somehow I must have missed the advancements of justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

Honestly, I can think of none.

Did I overlook a reformation in the religion that has resulted in one genocide after another for the last 1,300 years? Racial equality? Has the Quran been rewritten to excise Muhammad’s characterizations of blacks as “ugly,” “raisin heads” and “pug-nosed slaves”?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

UK: Westminster’s Most Wanted: The Foreign Supercar Drivers Who Owe £4million in Parking Fines

Taxpayers have been footing the bill for the past three years as foreign supercar drivers have racked up a tab of unpaid parking fines for nearly £4 million.

Not found on your average driveway, Lamborghinis, Hummers and Rolls Royces can regularly be seen left on yellow lines, in bus lanes or in residents’ parking bays as Middle Eastern drivers ignore parking regulations in central London.

The Westminster City Council is powerless to recoup the money owed from the drivers who cannot be traced due to their number plates being from the Middle East.

A new fashion for the so-called ‘billionaire blingmobiles’, entails having their supercars flown in for the duration of the summer, to race around London’s roads.

A hotspot for these racers includes Knightsbridge’s Lowndes Square, home to some of London’s wealthiest residents including Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich.

Ignoring parking regulations and speed limits with music blaring and while loudly revving their engines, local residents have complained to the council about the boy racers.

Abdulla Saeed Khalfan Al-Dhaheri, 28, and Sultan Khalifa Al-Muhairbi, 35, both from the United Arab Emirates, were arrested last week after a £180,000 supercar spun out of control crashing into four vehicles.

The pair charged with dangerous driving and driving with no insurance walked away from the pile-up, telling a passerby: ‘It’s all right, we’ll pay for the damage.’

Not alone in their disregard for the law, the council are currently left with more than 80% of overseas drivers who are refusing to pay for parking tickets.

The council took the unusual step of revealing ‘high profile’ offenders, such as the owner of a £300,000 Rolls Royce Phantom with the number plate 3HVB, which has racked up 18 tickets and more than £2,000 in fines.

Another high profile offender is the owner of a £1.2 million Bugatti Veyron L’Edition Centenaire — one of the fastest and most expensive production super-cars in the world with a top speed of 250mph — with the number plate 444.

The owner has an outstanding ticket for parking outside a main entrance to Selfridges department store in the heart of the West End dating back to March.

The owner of a £50,000 Hummer with the number plate U19HPS, whose car is registered in America, owed £4,000 after being issued more than 35 tickets. The tickets were written off but the vehicle has since clocked up 10 more tickets and owes £1,100.

Westminster Council is now calling for a change in legislation that would allow local authorities access of overseas driver and vehicle registration data and enable them to enforce parking fines.

Cabinet member for parking, Cllr Lee Rowley, said: ‘British taxpayers can no longer foot the bill for foreign motorists who seem to think the rules of this country do not apply to them.

‘We would like to see a more rigorous system put in place to hold these drivers to account and send a clear message that this blatant disregard of the law will not be tolerated.’

           — Hat tip: CB2[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Looking Ahead at U.S.-Israel and “Peace Process” Issues

by Barry Rubin

What will be the next developments regarding U.S.-Israel relations and the Israel-Palestinian “peace process,” and Israeli politics. It’s possible to make some good predictions, or at least to present the most likely scenarios.

On September 26, Israel’s one-year freeze on building inside West Bank settlements will end. Last October, the original commitment was extended to any construction in Jerusalem outside the pre-1967 ceasefire lines. The Palestinian Authority (PA) now demands this freeze be extended as a precondition for it entering direct talks with Israel. The PA also insists that Israel accept the 1967 borders as defining the boundary between itself and a Palestinian state and an international force to patrol them.

The PA’s goal is to use the bait of direct talks to get the United States to accept these and other preconditions and force them on Israel or, just as good, to blame Israel for not giving in and creating a rift in U.S.-Israel relations. Israel does not have a similar option since whatever happens this U.S. government won’t publicly criticize the PA.

Even if Israel were to meet these conditions, it is not entirely clear that the PA would then talk directly, and either way it would still not have made any compromises of its own on issues vital to Israel. This is, then, the old Palestinian leadership’s game of demanding Israeli concessions, yielding nothing even if it won them, and then insisting that what Israel has given up is now the irreversible basis for future talks during which even more unilateral Israeli concessions are demanded.

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is thus presented with an unpalatable option. It is definitely not going to agree in advance to accept the 1967 borders as the final frontier before negotiations commence. This is beyond what the Israeli government offered at the 2000 Camp David talks and in the Clinton plan of that year, when it proposed what are historically known as “minor border modifications” and later spoke of “territorial swaps.”

Israel is certainly not going to make such a major concession when the issues that it wants resolved-resettlement of Palestinian refugees in the state of Palestine, an end to the conflict, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state (in exchange for recognition of Palestine as an Arab state), the status of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Western Wall of the Temple, and security arrangements-have not even been discussed.

This situation also presents a challenge for U.S. policy. The Obama Administration cannot support all of the PA’s preconditions and succeed. Yet if it doesn’t meet them all, the PA can just keep refusing to talk. And despite the “pressure” Obama is reportedly putting on, given his worldview and strategy, he is unlikely to do anything no matter how the PA behaves. Of course, the PA leadership understands this and, at any rate, is more afraid of its own people and Hamas calling it a traitor than of Obama’s phone calls to Abbas.

This sets up the ridiculous situation—but one common in the era of self-blaming and appeasement-oriented Western diplomacy—in which powerful Western states must beg far weaker and dependent Third World counterparts (or even groups like Hamas or Hizballah) to give them concessions and favors.

After all, supposedly the Palestinians are suffering under an occupation (which mostly ended in 1994-1996) and yearning for a state. Shouldn’t they be eager for a deal, ready to compromise with the United States and make concessions to Israel in order to get their independence? Instead, the bizarre misreading of the situation seems to put the PA, which is now reduced to half the territory (without the Gaza Strip) it claims to rule, in the drivers’ seat.

In Lebanon, Hizballah pushes around a UN force mandated by the world community. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas celebrates its reduction of the embargo by firing rockets at Israel while much of the world criticizes Israel and pleads with Hamas to accept concessions and money.

And so in this topsy-turvey situation it is mostly Netanyahu who will face difficult choices. If he reinstitutes a freeze-despite the fact that there has been absolutely no progress during the one-year of his unilateral concession-there could be serious domestic political repercussions. One or more parties might well walk out of the coalition, forcing him to find substitutes, though he could survive politically far easier than foreign observers think.

Nevertheless, this situation is at odds with Netanyahu’s longer-term plan. He has been hoping to continue in office into 2011, call elections at some point, win, and take another term as prime minister. If he’s in office until 2015 there is plenty of time to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat.

This seems to be a realistic scenario. There’s no other viable candidate. Defense Minister Ehud Barak is widely disliked in his own Labour Party; Tzipi Livni has been a failure as opposition leader and her Kadima party has no alternative policy to offer.

Within his own Likud party, Netanyahu has been able to manage rebellious right-wingers. And the prime minister is popular among a public that understandably sees no other route, is skeptical of more unilateral concessions, and has no illusions about the PA’s willingness or ability to make peace. Terrorism is down and the economy is doing remarkably well, whatever its shortcomings, compared to other countries.

So the problem for Netanyahu is: can he find some formula that will please the United States without causing an internal political battle? An example is to have a freeze without formally announcing it or promising to sustain it a given length of time. In doing so, he knows that this will not result in peace but merely will avoid having Israel shoulder the blame if the PA still refuses to talk.

The PA will, of course, look for any possible way to blame Israel while it happily does everything possible to avoid direct talks. Indeed, it prefers a strategy of blaming Israel plus not negotiating over a strategy of making peace and obtaining a state. If there are talks it will make big demands knowing that the negotiations will break down. Then it will wait for the world to hand it a state on a silver platter. It is willing to wait decades. And that’s probably what will happen.

It is possible that U.S. and European policymakers understand this reality, but for reasons of their own want to pretend that peace is possible in short order. What they really want is direct talks as fast as possible so they can claim something is happening.

Supposedly, this makes the Arab world like them, shows them to be great statesmen, and lets them get on with other issues like Iraq, Iranian nuclear, and Afghanistan.

The Obama Administration is desperate to claim some diplomatic success before the November congressional elections. It will probably not bash Israel before that date. If it has direct talks or has thrown up its hands at frustration with the PA by then, good U.S.-Israel bilateral relations may well continue well into 2011.

For possible scenarios consult the list below:…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin[Return to headlines]

The NY Times Tries and Fails to Explain the Israel-Palestinian “Peace Process”

by Barry Rubin

Forget about The Onion, The National Lampoon, Mad Magazine, and Saturday Night Live (sorry for all those American cultural references). When it comes to satire nobody can beat a New York Times editorial!

Well, this one is funny because the Times is—sort of—trying to praise the Israeli government and criticize the Palestinian Authority (PA) but you can’t help but laugh at the contortions they go through.

Here’s the first one:

“After three months of American-mediated proximity talks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has agreed to direct negotiations on a two-state solution; the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is stubbornly resisting. It is time for him to talk.”

Now is this dishonest or what? The implication is that finally, just now, at the very last minute, and after three months (12 weeks, about 90 days) the U.S. negotiators can wipe the sweat from their brow and say that Netanyahu has agreed to direct negotiations.

But guess what? He publicly agreed to direct negotiations during a visit to Washington about 16 months (64 weeks, about 480 days) ago! So to avoid giving Netanyahu credit for being ready to talk all along the Times pretends that thanks only to a tremendous battle has the Obama Administration landed the big fish.

Ok, though, but at least they have praised Netanyahu and pointed out that Abbas is the barrier to progress? Not exactly. Keep reading:

“There are understandable reasons for Mr. Abbas’s reluctance. We also don’t know whether Mr. Netanyahu, a master manipulator, really wants a deal or whether his hard-line governing coalition would ever let him make one.”

Yeah, Abbas, that Netanyahu is one evil dude! We can hardly blame you for refusing to make peace. I can imagine Abbas saying: “Sorry, I cannot negotiate because Netanyahu is untrustworthy. I read it in the New York Times so it must be true.”

Might one wonder if Abbas is a “master manipulator” or whether his “hard-line government coalition would ever let him make one?” (See below on that point.) In fact, why throw into question Netanyahu’s credentials? What has he done in the last 14 years, during which he has accepted a two-state solution, to make one conclude he is insincere on the issue, rather than just a tough negotiator?

Moreover, his coalition is not “hard-line” at all. Let’s give the Times a little lesson in Israeli politics. The coalition includes six parties with a total of 72 seats, 12 more than is needed:…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin[Return to headlines]

Middle East

A Coup in Saudi Avoided or Iranian Disinformation?

by Claude Salhani

Did King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia narrowly avoid being overthrown by a close member of his own royal family? That seems to be a rumor circulating around some political and intelligence circles in Washington as well as in the Middle East. A Saudi official however denied the allegations saying it was most likely Iranian disinformation.

Indeed, there have been reports…

[Return to headlines]

Israeli Strike on Iran Likely After Next July

There is a better than 50-50 chance that Israel will attack Iran after next July, but many Israeli officials think a better solution to the Iranian nuclear threat would be an American strike on its nuclear facilities, Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg writes.

Under the title of “The Point of No Return, Goldberg’s article describes a probable scenario if sanctions, an internal Iranian revolution or local sabotage does not stop Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his tracks.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Video: Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi: Infidels Should Pay Poll Tax or be Killed

“The Desire to Shed Blood, Smash Skulls, and Sever Limbs for the Sake of Allah Is an Honor for the Believer”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Earthquake Aid Millions Spent Elsewhere, Claims Paper

MORE than £300 million ($520 million) of aid to help rebuild parts of Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake was diverted to other projects, a British newspaper has claimed.

The Daily Telegraph, citing unnamed senior Pakistani officials, said there were fears this diversion of funds would put off foreign donors from giving money to help 20 million people currently affected by heavy floods.

“There’s reluctance, even people in this country are not giving generously into this flood fund because they’re not too sure the money will be spent honestly,” opposition leader Nawaz Sharif told the newspaper.

The paper said more than £300 million of aid for the 2005 earthquake, which killed more than 73,000 people, has yet to be handed over to Pakistan’s Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority.

It cited one senior official in the body as saying they were told in March 2009 that 12 billion Pakistan rupees was being diverted from their budget to other government projects.

“When we have the money we will pay you,” the unnamed official said that ERRA directors had been told. “All the money was given by Western governments, but they said ‘we have so many other problems’.”

In June this year, ERRA staff were again told their budget was being cut, from 43 billion rupees for 2010-11 to just 10 billion, the newspaper said.

The paper also said it had visited the town of Balakot, where 5000 people were killed in the earthquake. Despite a promise to rebuild it on a new site, no new roads had been completed nor had building construction begun.

Pakistan’s finance secretary, Salman Siddiq, denied any foreign aid funds had been diverted and told the paper: “No cuts were imposed last year.”

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that 20 million people had been affected by the worst floods in the country’s history, for which the United Nations has appealed for $US460 million ($513.22 million) in aid.

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

India: Audio: ‘Love Jihad’ Used in Islamic Takeover

Region also targeted with cases of bribery to convert

Aggressive conversion efforts by Muslims in a prominent region of India are being described as a “love jihad” with a little bribery thrown in.

A new report by a New Delhi, India-based think tank says that Kerala state’s Muslim minority is getting ready for a power grab in India’s southern-most state.

And one way they’re planning on capturing control is through what International Christian Concern’s Jonathan Racho calls “love jihad.”

“The Muslim man will deliberately seduce a Christian or a Hindu girl. Once they have a relationship and the man marries the girl and they have children, the man forcibly converts the woman to Islam,” Racho explained.

“Then the children are raised as Muslim children. In this way the Muslims believe they will be the majority of the population in Kerala in another 20 years,” he said.


New Delhi-based Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict founder Animesh Roul says Kerala Muslims can succeed because they are the state’s richest people.

“Kerala Muslims are affluent in comparison to their north Indian brothers. They have very strong Gulf and Saudi links,” Roul stated.

Roul added that a Muslim takeover in Kerala is also possible because of Saudi influence.

[Comments from JD: Audio of interview at url above.]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Far East

Britain’s BNP Slammed for Attending Tokyo Far-Right Summit

LONDON (Kyodo) — The far-right British National Party is rejecting claims of hypocrisy over its decision to attend a conference in Tokyo organized by a group which denies the extent of Japan’s war crimes.

The BNP is one of several European parties sending delegates to an international convention in Japan run by the right-wing movement Issuikai.

The weeklong meeting, which continues through next Wednesday, is designed to help Japan learn lessons from the “experiences and achievements of European nationalist movements,” according to the BNP, which currently has two members in the European Parliament.

But the decision to send one delegate to the event has been criticized by antifascist group Searchlight.

Its spokesman told Kyodo News, “It says a lot about the BNP. At home it campaigns using the iconic image of Winston Churchill and the Spitfire (World War II aircraft)…and present themselves as the most patriotic organization in the country, but in reality they are scuttling off to Tokyo to stand alongside a group which is an apologist for mass murder and rape and seeks to minimize the atrocities which took place” during World War II.

The spokesman claims the BNP has a tendency to say one thing to the British electorate and act in a completely different way with its foreign allies.

But in an e-mail to Kyodo News, BNP spokesman John Walker said that there is “no hypocrisy at all. For example, the Conservative party (in Britain) entered a European Parliament coalition with a Latvian party, some of whose members attend memorials for Latvian units of Hitler’s Waffen-SS, and a Polish politician who has questioned the need to apologize for an anti-Jewish pogrom (during the war). No one suggested the Conservatives agreed with such sentiments.”

The BNP statement said the meeting in Japan will allow “nationalists to debate and discuss the impact of the European Union on national identities, traditions and interests of member states.”

According to Searchlight, a total of 20 delegates from the Association of European Nationalist Movements are visiting Tokyo for the meeting.

They include members from France’s Front National, Italy’s Tricolour Flame, Belgium’s Flemish Interest party, the National Renewal Party from Portugal and Ukraine’s Freedom party.

Searchlight claims FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen will be attending and delegates will pay a visit to the Yasukini Shrine which honors Japan’s war criminals along with the war dead.

Tokyo-based Issuikai was formed in 1972 by admirers of novelist Yukio Mishima, who committed ritual suicide in 1970 after he tried in vain to persuade Self-Defense Forces officers to stage a coup.

It is considered to be one of the leading new-right groups which oppose U.S. hegemony and the Japan-U.S. security treaty.

The group’s leader Mitsuhiro Kimura questions much of the accepted history about Japan’s wartime atrocities and doubts the Japanese army killed hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians in the Nanjing Massacre in 1937.

He also claims there is no clear evidence showing that all of the “comfort women” had really been forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during the war.

(Mainichi Japan) August 14, 2010

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda Bomber Says He is a Peace-Loving Person Who Only Wanted to Kill Americans

“I am very sorry for the loss of life. I was hesitant to pick on Ugandans. My target was the Americans, who I think are responsible for the suffering in the world. I am very sorry to the people, who knew me,” Issa Luyima, described as the mastermind of the blasts, said without emotion.

“I am a peace-loving person but that is the nature of war. It has got many dimensions,” he asserted.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]