Monthly Archives: September 2008

Finnish School Tragedy Raises Unanswered Questions

As the story behind the slaughter of innocent Finnish students becomes better known, many questions remain unanswered about Matti Saari. Students were sitting for an exam that Saari was supposed to take and most of the victims knew their killer. Chief Inspector Jari Neulaniemi, says “he set off with killing in mind, and what we have heard confirms this. He carried out his deed in cold blood and shot and killed classmates that he knew well.” Initial accounts indicate there was no scuffle or attempt to halt the shooting because everything happened so quickly. Saari had frequently spent his free time with students in the class and apparently was close friends with at least one or two. A photograph circulating on Internet shows Saari and one of the victims mugging and making faces. In the picture, Saari jokingly points as his friend’s head with his forefinger.

No one knows who shot the video in which Saari is shown firing a pistol and the police believe one of the victims might have been the person who filmed Saari. It is clear Saari was standing close to each of his victims and they had no opportunity to escape being shot.

As in all of these events, the killer is known to school officials, he is usually an ordinary student with no record of extensive problems. One day, something triggers off anger, that is the unknown — what initiated the action?

Elect Sarah Palin– Avoid Witches In Your Life!

The ongoing saga of Governor Sarah Palin continues to dominate the media even as the nation is struggling with a huge financial crisis. The National Enquirer has printed an article which claims the vice presidential candidate had an affair with a business partner of her husband. The McCain camp is threatening legal action against what they term “the smearing of the Palin family.” However, the Enquirer insists three members of the man’s family insist there was an affair and one made a sworn affidavit to support the incident occurred. But, to make matters worse for the McCain candidacy, a YouTube video shows Sarah Palin being blessed three years ago by a Kenya pastor who prayed for her protection against witchcraft.

The video shows Bishop Muthee saying, “Come on, talk to Go about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan. Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus… Use her to turn this nation the other way round.” After receiving the endorsement of God and Jesus Christ, Sarah Palin filed to run for governor of Alaska.

The video is clear evidence why America must elect the Palin-McCain ticket. Once in office, America does not have to worry about a financial crisis because Palin will simply talk to Jesus who will naturally give billions, if not trillions, to America in the name of Sarah Palin. Why waste our time talking with the financial community, let Jesus handle the problem.

Forced Marriages Major Issue In Modern UK

During the past half century, Great Britain has welcomed to its shores thousands of immigrants from southeast Asia and the Middle East. A majority of these immigrants have successfully integrated their lives within the context of 21st century life, but large numbers cling to traditions and values of their home countries. Hundreds of children from these families, fearing for their lives are taking advantage of a new hot line called Honour Network which provides information and assistance. Many callers seek to escape parental pressure to enter unwanted marriages or fear if they become pregnant a family member will kill them in accordance with the concept of “honor killing.”

The latest figures indicate 62 calls are made each week, one in ten being under the age of 16 and one 14 year-old said she feared being murdered because she had become pregnant. The network is run by the charity Karma Nirvana and is funded by the government Forced Marriage Unit. The charity was founded by Kasvinder Sanghera, who was disowned by her family for refusing a forced marriage. She believes the actual number of forced marriages is much higher than what is revealed by the phone calls. “These numbers will be just the tip of the iceberg.”

Most callers say the source of violence against them comes from family members more often than husbands. Ms. Sanghera says, “it shows how violence is being perpetrated by the entire community.” The issue is how does one best avoid the emergence of such attitudes in a modern post industrial society?

Syrian President Now In Diplomatic Demand

Syria is enjoying a dramatic change in its place in the world since just a few years ago it was atop the Bush list of terrorist nations, but today its President Bashar Assad is courted and welcomed by many countries. Assad has been described by the American government as a prime supporter of terrorism, but Israel now seeks his cooperation in building bridges of peace. Assad is not a charismatic person nor does he pontificate as a populist leader of Arab masses, he is simply an ex ophthalmologist who for some strange reason is head of a nation that can play an important role in dealing with Middle Eastern concerns. Syria lies amidst Israel, Turkey, Iran and Iraq so it can either play a role assisting terrorists to function in other countries or it can clamp down on terrorism and help restore peace to the region.

During the past few months, Assad has been visited by French President Sarkozy, met with German Chancellor Merkel, joined in peace talks with Israel and visited Iran to discuss the nuclear weapon issue. Israel planes a few years ago destroyed what was described as the beginning of a nuclear plant, but today that is forgotten and world leaders work to persuade Assad to abandon the road of terrorism and pursue one of peace.

No one, as of yet, knows exactly which will be the road traveled by Assad.

Beatles And Israel – Palestine Conflict

During the heyday of the Beatles in the 1960s they were blamed for fostering drug use, for causing youth to abandon their morals and a host of other sundry problems, but never were they regarded as the cause of international conflict. Paul McCartney’s visit to Israel has unleashed a propaganda war between Muslims and Israelis over the implication of having a Beatle in your nation. Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor said McCartney’s visit was an historic event in human history. “When one of the most admired musicians in the world not only expresses his willingness to visit Tel Aviv, but also publicly talks about the positive things he’s heard about Israel, this is an Israeli diplomatic and PR success of the first order”

McCartney was warned by several Arab sources his visit to Israel might be his last because suicide bombers would try to kill him. Somehow, one can assume real issues such as construction of illegal housing on the West Bank or the chaos in Gaza might actually be viewed by all sides to the conflict as ranking higher on the priority list of things that deserve attention.

I guess Paul McCartney should hop into his yellow submarine and scoot for safety.

Mystery Of Matti Juhani Saari’s Killing Spree

Those who knew Matti Juhani Saari were shocked at the news he had killed ten students in a school shooting spree. Schoolmates and teachers describe him as sociable and an ordinary student in school. A former classmate who knew him from the beginning of the seventh grade said he was “perhaps quiet but not the solitary type.” There was some indication of a few bullying encounters between Saari and other boys but, for the most part, he had friends and got along in school. Another classmate said “in the ninth grade he started mixing with some rather heavier circles, but I would still have never believed that something like this could happen.”

Teachers report he interacted in class and work well with other students. One said: “he was an average student, whose grades varied from to to five(on a 0 to 5 scale). I thought he was quite a sympathetic type of guy.”

However, he did take part in online chats that discussed American school shootings and Pekka-Eric Auvinen who killed eight Finnish students last year. Investigators found messages in his home that he hated humankind and had been planning the shooting since 2002. His hobbies included computers, the drums, sex, beer, and target practice with his Walther 22 pistol.

Police officials now say they received information last Friday about a possible shooting and they talked with the boy the day before the shooting but no attempt was made to take away his weapon.

The question, as always in these cases, is what was the final reason why he decided to kill. We probably will never know the answer to that question.

Russia Plays Tit For Tat With West

The world of George Bush is one in which the United States has the right to invade nations, construct military bases on the border of friendly nations and extend NATO eastward. The American president has displayed slight interest in the interests of Russia so it is not surprising that Russian leaders are intent on making clear they will not tolerate further humiliation. Yesterday in New York, foreign ministers from major powers cancelled a meeting to discuss further sanctions against Iran after Moscow made known its opposition to such action. Russia’s Foreign Ministry quietly informed the world “we see no fire alarm” that requires any immediate action towards Iran.

The consequences of Bush policies of attempting to intimidate Russia have been wrong for the simple reason the world needs Russian cooperation to deal with a host of issues ranging from Iran to the Middle East to energy. It is time for a new American foreign policy towards Russia which is predicated on respecting the national interests and security issues of that nation and an end to threats.

We Can, No You Can’t Invade Pakistan-Dueling Views!

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the United States has a right to act against terrorist targets in Pakistan if American troops are being threatened by their presence in that country. “I will say to you,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “we will do what is necessary to protect our troops, but it is very important to engage the Pakistan government.” The implication of his remarks has received varied interpretations ranging from America will seek the permission of Pakistan prior to military action to the apparent belief in the Pentagon that US military leaders in Afghanistan have the right of pursuit according to their reading of the UN Charter.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani responded in clear terms to the American interpretation: “I want to declare categorically that we will not tolerate violation of our sovereignty by anyone in the name of combating terrorism.”

Iraq Sunni Leader Accidentally Killed

American troops in Iraq accidentally killed a Sunni leader of the Awakening Councils that have played an important role in reducing violence in the country. Jassim al-Garnout was killed when he rushed to the site of an ambush and in the ensuing exchange of fire between the opposing forces, he was shot. American troops said they had warned their Sunni allies to stay clear of the area but Garnout went to the assistance of US troops. The incident is not important in the general frame of events in Iraq but it does highlight a shift that is occurring in Iraq. The US funded Sunni movement has encountered several such incidents in which friendly fire results in the death of their soldiers.

The Sunni Awakening Councils are growing restive, not simply because of such incidents, but due to the attitude of the Shiite Iraq government which has refused to accord respect to the Sunnis who have played such a key role in lowering the level of violence. The real question is what will happen once American soldiers leave if the Shiites refuse to share power and jobs with the Sunnis.

Iran’s Latest Fight For Freedom–Dress Right Or Else!

The government of Iran makes it a point to stand tall against all forces in the world which they deem to pose a threat to their national independence. Iran refuses to budge on any compromise concerning their nuclear program, and, in the latest example of defying the world, the government of President Ahmadinejad has decided to toughen its laws concerning proper dress. The number of police assigned to enforce dress codes has been doubled as part of a national campaign to crack down on “immoral behavior.” During early stages of the Islamic revolution which threw out the Shah, there was an emphasis on dress codes, but in recent years there has been evidence of some flexibility in the way women dress. The Kargozaran newspaper quoted a high police official as saying, “the crackdown on non-Islamic hijab(Muslim veil) will continue until the society is clean of any immoralities.”

There are reports about 128 women trying to leave the country were detained at the airport because of “bad hijab.” The crackdown may reflect the government’s uneasiness at being the object of threats from the Western world due to the nuclear issue. There are reports men are now being detained for wearing spiky haircuts which are deemed “Western.”