Archive for September, 2007

Darfurther Nonsense XLV

Multiple choice question. The smart choice was to:

a) Stay out of Iraq, and stay out of Darfur
b) Go into Iraq, and go into Darfur
c) Go into Iraq, but stay the hell out of Darfur
d) Stay the hell out of Iraq, and blunder into Darfur

I don’t know. I’m more of a “c” guy myself, but maybe none of the of above is a better option.

A large force of rebels stormed an African Union peacekeeping base in Darfur, killing at least a dozen soldiers and wounding several others in the biggest attack on the mission so far, the AU said Sunday.

More than 50 AU peacekeepers and support personnel are missing in action since the attack on the base in northern Darfur just after sunset on Saturday.

“There is a war going on between the rebels and the government, and the AU is crunched in the middle,” said a senior AU officer who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

I’m not much more optimistic about UN troops either, should they ever arrive.

The United Nations is attempting to deploy up to 26,000 troops and police to protect civilians in Sudan’s western region, where tens of thousands of people have died and more than 2.5 million have been expelled from their homes.

The U.N. and Khartoum, backed by the African Union, have different views on the composition of the force, with Sudan insisting on an all-African infantry.

Ban said he would “leave no stone unturned to end the tragedy in Darfur.”

Most of those would be headstones, I fear.

At least the UN troops would have a welcoming committee:

Al Qaeda urged Sudanese Muslims on Thursday to fight African Union and United Nations peacekeeping troops in Darfur as rebels cast doubt on whether peace talks to pave the way for the force could succeed.

Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri called for a holy war on the troops that he said were invading Darfur, and criticized Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for accepting the 26,000-strong joint A.U.-U.N. operation.

Weird Al Zawahiri—I didn’t know you cared.

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974 Nights in Hamastan

Love thy neighbor, I always say—and thank God he’s not Palestinian:

Hamas and Fatah loyalists clashed Saturday at a mosque in the southern Gaza Strip, leaving nine people wounded in the latest flare-up of violence between the two factions, witnesses and medical officials said.

The melee erupted after Hamas tried to replace an independent cleric at a mosque in the town of Khan Yunis with one of its own religious leaders, witnesses said.

What began as fistfights soon degenerated into face-offs with stones and knives. Hamas security officials who arrived at the scene fired rounds in the air, then came under fire themselves from a nearby area, witnesses said.

And this was at a house of worship.

The fourth estate is having no easier time than the first:

Assailants have broken into the offices of two Gaza newspapers with ties to opposition groups, and the Palestinian journalists’ union on Saturday held Hamas responsible for the burglaries.

The Palestinian journalists’ union said in a statement Saturday that it held Hamas supporters responsible for the break-ins at Al Watan and Al Istiqlal.

“We call on them to stop the ongoing assault against the media and freedom of speech,” the statement said.

I’m not convinced that one party’s trashing of another party’s house organ rivals Times v. Sullivan—but okay.

This gets a little more personal:

Hamas security forces arrested early Sunday an influential member of Fatah in the Gaza Strip, the forces and his family said.

Rabah, who is in his 70s, was the Palestinian ambassador to Yemen for more than 20 years.

Don’t act surprised. They just beat up an 80-year-old Christian lady the other day.

Not that they need them, but Hamass reinforcements are on the way:

Egypt abruptly allowed about 100 Palestinians who had been stranded in Egypt since Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in mid-June to return home before dawn on Sunday, witnesses said. Most were supporters of Hamas or gunmen from other factions wanted by Israel, they said.

Israel had opposed the return of the group, and it was not immediately clear why Egypt allowed them to cross into Gaza at this time. There was no advance announcement and Hamas security officials confiscated film from photographers and cameramen alerted to the scene.

But here’s one atrocity evidently not committed by the Palestinians:

In the context of the Hamas-Fatah power struggle, Fatah officials and security agents have distributed a video documenting the alleged killing of a 16-year-old girl in the Gaza Strip.

But it has emerged that that the footage was taken in Iraq, where a 16-year-old girl was killed for “dishonoring” her family.

For the past few years, both Fatah and Hamas have been involved in a smear campaign against each other. The two parties have devoted tremendous efforts to manipulate the media, often feeding reporters with false information.

Last week Fatah managed to sell another hoax to reporters when it claimed that its security forces had discovered rocket launchers in Bethlehem that were directed against Jerusalem. It later turned out that the “rockets” were simple pipes that has been set up by children who were trying to imitate Hamas.

A lovely vignette of Palestinian “society”, don’t you think?

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A Game Mice Rarely Win

Anger and fear may drive mice to square off against the fiercest cat—but my money’s still on the cat.

A source in Myanmar told CNN that students and other civilians “are playing a terrible game of cat and mouse” with security forces.

“The boldest 100 stand about three blocks away from the line of soldiers and shout slogans and taunts at them,” the source said.

In one area of the city, police were seen rounding up and arresting anti-government activists, a report posted on Mizzima.com said.

It would certainly be safer for them to play cat-and-mouse with a different cat—an amoral one, rather than an immoral one:

[I]nvesting in Myanmar has brought accusations that petroleum corporations offer economic support to the country’s repressive regime, and in some cases are complicit in human rights abuses. This week’s bloody clampdowns on protests have escalated the activists’ calls for energy companies to pull out of the country.

“It is business as usual,” said Sidhichai Jayamt, [PTTEP]‘s manager for external relations. “When we have a contract with the government, it doesn’t really matter who the government is.”

Another appropriate last word on the subject.

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Boobs on Display

Topless ones, too:

Five women and one man from the group Breasts not Bombs staged the event in Lafayette Park across from the White House. And it wasn’t the bombs that were on display.

Spokeswoman Janine Boneparth says going topless is just another way to oppose the Iraq carnage. She says what’s obscene is not the protest, but President Bush’s conduct of the war.

I’m just concerned that the guy had the biggest rack.

This is the level of discourse among the Code Pink crowd. Their IQ has dropped to the level of the drunkest frat boy, who, when he can think of nothing else to say, cries “show us your tits!” These ladies didn’t wait to be asked, though visual evidence suggests no invitations were likely to be forthcoming.

War may be indecent, as the sign says, but I know obscenities when I see them.

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The Bottom Line on Burma

Burma may be the new Darfur or the new Kosovo—but that’s hardly comforting news when you think about it.

Southeast Asian leaders delivered their strongest condemnation of a neighbor and the U.S. ordered limited sanctions, but the international community has few pressure points on the brutal military junta that has ruled Myanmar for decades.

Diplomats and analysts say Myanmar’s resources, including natural gas and oil fields that foreign companies are vying to tap, make many nations reluctant to impose economic sanctions or other measures as punishment for the bloody assault on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Just as important, the generals who rule Myanmar have long been steadfast in ignoring criticism and international pressure over its tough handling of dissidents, including killing thousands during a democracy uprising in 1988 and jailing Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

“I don’t get the sense that this regime is in the business of being conciliatory.”

Let’s leave this as the last word on the subject for now.

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1 – 30

We’re nothing if not fair here, so when the Taliban racks up a big score, we report it:

A Taliban suicide bomber wearing an Afghan army uniform set off a huge explosion Saturday while trying to board a military bus in the capital, killing 30 people, most of them soldiers, officials said. Hours later, the Afghan president offered to meet personally with the Taliban leader for peace talks and give the militants a position in government.

“If I find their address, there is no need for them to come to me, I’ll personally go there and get in touch with them,” Karzai said. “Esteemed Mullah, sir, and esteemed Hekmatyar, sir, why are you destroying the country?”

I like to think more of this would be likely to make them sue for peace:

170 militants dead in Afghanistan

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UN, as in UNbalanced

While on the subject of humiliating anti-Semitic climbdowns (see post on British boycott below), here’s something I thought I’d never see:

The UN Human Rights Council has failed to handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a balanced fashion, the council’s chair Doru Costea said in an interview published Saturday.

Costea suggested in the interview with the daily Le Temps that the council was concentrating too much on human rights abuses by Israel, adding that he was dissatisfied.

“On this point, the council has failed,” he said, days after US President George W. Bush attacked the body for perceived anti-Israeli bias.

“The council must remain simple, and concentrate on the human rights dimension, but it must look at the stance of all sides, not only one country.”

A drop in the ocean, but a drop nevertheless.

“This body has been silent on repression by regimes from Havana to Caracas to Pyongyang and Tehran while focusing its criticism excessively on Israel,” Bush said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

President Bush, right again.

PS: Anne Bayefsky agrees.

When President Bush told the United Nations General Assembly this week “the American people are disappointed by the failures of the Human Rights Council,” his words could not have been more timely or deserved.[...] On Friday, the Council piled the dung heap higher. It wrapped up another session in Geneva by adopting two more resolutions against Israel and no resolutions critical of the human-rights record of any of the other 191 U.N. member states.

This brings the total of anti-Israel resolutions and decisions adopted by the “Human Rights” Council — in only the first 15 months of its operation — to 14. Another four very weak decisions and resolutions have been applied to Sudan. And the Council finally decided to hold a special session of the Council on Myanmar. So adding up the highly selective concerns of the U.N.’s lead human-rights agency: 74 percent of the Council’s moves against individual states have been directed at Israel, 21 percent at Sudan, 5 percent at Myanmar, and the rest of the world has been given a free pass.

Hey HRC, how does it feel to get beaten up by a girl?

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Cease and Detest

I don’t have the expertise, but maybe an Alert Reader in Uttar Pradesh could spawn a website called:

ShoveIt.up

Okay, maybe not.

Over at mm.com, I report on MoveOn.org’s bullying of t-shirt/mug designers who have satirized the left-wing group and received cease-and-desist letters.

Check out the banned logos that caused the moonbats to sic lawyers on Cafe Press shop operators.

Feel free to send in your submissions!

GloveOn.org: the OJ defense PAC?
Tuvan.org: fan site for ethnic East-Central Russians?
Zevon.org: what more need be said?

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In the Cooler

I don’t like to kick a man when he’s down—but first he’s got to go down:

Before searching Rep. William J. Jefferson’s New Orleans home in August 2005, FBI agents confronted him with a video that showed him accepting $100,000 from a government informant, according to a prosecution document filed yesterday in federal court in Alexandria.

Afterward, the Louisiana Democrat sank back into a couch in his living room and “with total dejection remarked ‘what a waste,’ ” according to the government account, which did not elaborate on his comment.

Jefferson then “questioned how his reputation could survive” and expressed concern whether the search warrant affidavit could be permanently sealed to keep the information from being made public, according to the document.

If he wants his reputation to survive, he might start by making a complete and unqualified admission of everything. Weasels have no reputations.

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Acadumics

They get no credit here for climbing down. I hope they accept their humilation—but I don’t expect it.

A British academic union dropped controversial plans to boycott Israeli universities Friday, after it decided that the proposed boycott would be illegal and could not be implemented.

Britain’s University and College Union (UCU) had been considering whether to halt funding, visits, conferences and joint publishing with Israeli institutions.

In May, the union voted to promote a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, accusing Israeli scholars of “cooperating in the occupation” of the Palestinian territories, which the motion said had denied education to Palestinians.

Since then UCU has sought extensive legal advice in order to try to implement congress policy while protecting the position of members and of the union itself.

The legal advice makes it clear that making a call to boycott Israeli institutions would run a serious risk of violating U.K. anti-discrimination legislation.

The proposed boycott is also considered to be outside the aims and objects of the UCU.

Yeah, no [bleep]. Wankers.

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A Fallen Knight in Tunisia

And speaking of snuffing jihadists (see below), another one bites the ample dust of Iraq.

U.S. military commander Friday reported the death of a senior al Qaeda in Iraq leader, a Tunisian who was considered the “emir of foreign terrorists in Iraq.”

U.S.-led coalition forces killed militant leader Abu Usama al-Tunisi on Tuesday in Mussayib, south of Baghdad, said Army Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson, speaking to Pentagon reporters via teleconference from Iraq.

Anderson called the death “a significant blow” to al Qaeda in Iraq — a Sunni-dominated militant group that takes its inspiration from Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda.

If you look at his picture, you’ll see how easy he was to identify. Guy could have been an extra on “Close Encounters”.

But I wonder if this could be the same “Al Qaeda in Iraq” that certain organs of the media assure us is a domestic uprising. Is Tunisia another one of those disputed provinces in that part of the world, like Kuwait and Bahrain? I coulda sworn there was, like, an ocean or something in between.

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Apartheid State Update X

Another in a series of stories on the peculiar Israeli interpretation of “apartheid”:

When Adam arrived at Yemin Orde Youth Village as a frightened and bewildered 17-year-old, in June 2006, it was the end of one long journey and the start of another.

His odyssey began four years earlier when Janjaweed militiamen attacked his village in Darfur, Sudan, sending him fleeing for his life.

Alone and separated from his family, Adam trekked from one village to another, eluding rebels, sleeping rough and spending time in jail, before escaping to Egypt.

One night, in Sinai, he says, he saw the twinkling lights of Israel and simply walked across the border. He was arrested, jailed again, then sent to live on a kibbutz.

Man, those Israelis know how to play hardball. Actually, Egypt plays hardball literally with Sudanese refugees.

“The children who come here are not necessarily Jewish, but we believe all children who reach the shores of Israel are our business.”

“It’s as international a community as there can be,” says Dr Peri. “It epitomises Israel.”

Like I say, I don’t recognize it as apartheid, but if Jimmy Carter does, that’s good enough for me.

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