Monthly Archives: September 2007

Dictator Mugabe Lectures Bush On Human Rights

President Robert Mugabe, who has driven his nation into utter economic ruin and bullied and tortured opponents, gave a fiery speech at the UN denouncing George Bush as a hypocrite. “His hands drip with innocent blood,” shouted the president of Zimbabwe, “of many nationalities. He kills in Iraq. He kills in Afghanistan. And he is supposed to be our master on human rights?” George Bush still doesn’t grasp how his failure to adhere to basic human rights and his boasting about violence do not lead people to regard him a a defender of individual rights. It is sad that America is being given a lecture on human rights by a notorious brute who has never been a supporter of such rights to fellow Zimbabweans.

New Law Proects Families Of Wounded Military From Losing Jobs

A new law speeding its way through Congress protects spouses, parents, children and next of kin of a member of the military who suffers serious injury while on active duty. They now will be entitled to up to six months of unpaid leave to care for the wounded soldier or veteran and can not be fired. The bill was attached to the legislation which expands child medical insurance that President Bush has vowed to vet.

There are two important pieces of legislation coming to President Bush who complains Congress isn’t doing anything — one protecting kin of wounded soldiers and one to ensure children are protected against illness. Chances are highly likely he will veto them.

Israel Attacks In Gaza To End Rocket Launches

The Israel Defense Force continued its attempt to wipe out Palestinians who are sending rockets into Israel. A reported 11 terrorists were killed in missile attacks, but apparently about a dozen civilians were also killed or wounded. President Mahmoud Abbas urged Palestinians to unite in the face of Israel’s “abuse, aggression and war crimes” while Hamas leaders promised Israel would pay for its attacks in Gaza. israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak is warning there might be a “broad and complex operation in Gaza.”

The US upcoming Middle Eastern Conference appears doomed before it even begins. Both sides are trading insults and resorting to violence because apparently violence is the only measure which provides a sense of accomplishment. This is the time for America to insist Israel “stand down” and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations must demand that Hamas and other groups end rocket attacks. Those rockets are coming from Middle Eastern nations and they must be halted.

Afghan Protestors Shout Death to Canada

Hundreds of Afghan protestors marched through the streets of Khandar shouting ‘Death to Canada” and “Death to Foreigners” after a series of Coalition raids led to the death of an important religious leader and his brother. Their bodies still lay in the open as demonstrators proclaimed their anger at what they believed to be a botched raid that was probably the result of incorrect information provided by an informer. A Canadian reporter was told, The day is not far off when these innocent civilians will stand against NATO and other foreign troops.”

During the past several months hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians have either been killed by the Taliban or by coalition forces. The use of bombing raids invariably results in killing innocent bystanders since Taliban forces hide among villagers. We are living in the aftermath of America’s failure to follow through on its successful invasion of Afghanistan by using a large army to decisively defeat the Taliban. Instead, we got diverted to Iraq.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Feels Under Appreciated

Roumen Petkov, Bulgarian Minister of the Interior sent off a blistering comment to members of the press for their failure to respect his efforts at reducing crime. He noted that murders and rapes were down as well as most categories of serious crime. The editors of the Sofia Echo had a somewhat different version of crime in Bulgaria. They noted that members of the Roma community and other ethnic minorities were still being abused including excessive use of force by the police. They pointed out there were 55 law suits against policemen for brutality and that the police had used rough measures in handling striking coal miners. As for the drop in crime, say the editors, “Rather it would seem that those involved in organized crime are growing increasingly sophisticated and subtle, infesting their activities within the formal economy.”

Abuse of members of the Roma community is common, not merely within Bulgaria, but throughout most of eastern Europe. There are simply too many reports of failure on the part of Bulgarian police to take decisive action against discrimination and hatred toward ethnic minorities.

Rough Times In Georgia-The Country, Not The State

Georgia’s former Defense Minister, Irakli Okruashvili, claimed that President Mikhell Saakashvili of Georgia, had instructed him to kill a businessman who opposed the president as well as take hostile action against a member of the opposition party in parliament. “I immediately realized it was a trap: if the order was fulfilled, they would later kill me.” He also claimed a former prime minister whose body was found in a friend’s apartment had been killed elsewhere. A spokesperson for the government of Georgia derided Okruashvili’s statements as those of a man who is “out of his mind.”

Standing on the outside and not that knowledgeable of affairs in Georgia, it is difficult to make a judgment about these claims. Where there’s smoke, is there fire?

War Protestor Returns Medals To Rumsfeld

A veteran of the Iraq War announced to a war protest rally that he had sent his combat medals to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld because he felt participation in the war was wrong. Josh Gaines told everyone he was proud to be an American and explained in a letter to Rumsfeld why serving in Iraq had been wrong and in opposition to what he believed were American values.

There are no reports of Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney or George Bush returning any medals, given they never earned any such citations.

General Pace Willing To Allow Gays In Service

Several months ago, General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Chicago newspaper, “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that the (US military) should not condone immoral acts.” Yesterday, five days before stepping down from his role on the Joint Chiefs, General Pace turned around and stated his willingness to allow gays to serve in the military. “I would be very willing and able and supportive of any description, whatever change, to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell, would continue to allow the homosexual community to contribute to the nation without condoning what I believe to be activity, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual that in my upbringing is not right.”

Each person is allowed to maintain his/her personal beliefs about life, but when one puts on the uniform of the United States military, those beliefs can not interfere with the rights of other members of the military. It is comforting knowing that General Pace has changed his views and he should be respected for making that change.

Bush Environment Conference Goal- Pollute On As Usual

The opening paragraph by Leonard Dolye of an article appearing in The Independent expresses European cynicism of George Bush’s attitude toward greenhouse emissions. “For the first time in 16 years a major environment conference opens in Washington hosted by the Bush administration. But no concrete results are expected, and that-say European participants- is the point of this high-level meeting.” Britain is not sending any high level diplomat to waste his/her time at a meeting called by the world’s worst polluter to undermine UN efforts at protecting the environment. It is politics as usual for Bush who is against the Kyoto agreement, against controls over emissions, and standing fast in protection of a status quo which urges polluters to continue their efforts to increase pollution.

This meeting is undoubtedly a Bush attempt to prove to the world he is “for the environment.” The president is a master at using words of the opposition to prove he is for policies he opposes.

Indonesia Urges Myanmar Military To Be Peaceful

Hassan Wirayuda, Foreign Minister of Indonesia urged the military junta controlling Myanmar to avoid resorting to violence means in handling peaceful demonstrations which have filled the streets of their nation with thousands of marching monks. He said: “Indonesia urges Myanmar not to resort to coercive measures in handling peaceful rallies.” The foreign minister expressed doubt criticism from abroad would have any effect on Burmese military leaders who have lived for years under sanctions. The latest reports indicate soldiers are firing in the air, and, in some cases, at demonstrators. There are also video shots of soldiers charging into monk demonstrators and beating up monks.

Myanmar is one of those situations in which the outside world can only stand on the outside observing corrupt violent leaders impose their will upon a resisting nation. Outside of armed intervention, nothing will change their attitudes.