Monthly Archives: September 2009

Did Surge Result In Surge Of Violence?

For over a year, supporters of the Iraq was have cited the famous “surge” which they claim ended violence and proved America could win the war in Iraq, with or without WMD. General David Petraeus, who designed the surge, now expresses the view of being very concerned about the growing escalation in violence within Iraq– a year after the surge. However, according to General Petraeus while violence is escalating in Iraq, “it is a heck of a lot less than the height of violence in Iraq.”

His comments are reassuring. Now, we know there is an escalation of violence in Iraq, but it is not as bad as two years ago. Question: Exactly when does the surge lead to no more surges in violence?

Can Karzai Be Saved?

During World War II, the corrupt inefficient regime of Chiang Kai-shek resisted efforts by American diplomats to reform his administration in order to win over the people of his country. He refused. During the Vietnam war an inefficient, corrupt series of regimes lost the support of the people and the Viet Cong benefited. Fast forward to 2009 and the corrupt, inefficient regime of President Karzai is losing the support of Afghans and the Taliban are growing in power.

In the recent “democratic election,” Karzai and his buddies blatantly manipulated the results to ensure he won. How does the United States now argue that Karzai “represents the people?” Reality is that Karzai must go and an independent government composed of businessmen, honest politicians and honest military leaders be appointed.

Ahmadinejad And Politics Of Blackmail

Lost in the current state of Iranian politics is the failure on the part of the Iranian government to adhere to Muslim beliefs in honesty, decency and respect for individual rights. President Sarkozy is furious at recent statements by President Ahmadinejad that a French scholar who was arrested in the post election demonstrations might be released in exchange for Iranian criminals now held in French prisons. According to the Iranian president, “there are several Iranians who have been in French prisons for several years” and they also have families.

Sarkozy put it right — this is blackmail. Arrest an innocent French person and use them to secure release of murderers.

Is Integration Working In Sweden?

There is a growing controversy in Sweden over the fact that many areas of the nation possess high concentrations of immigrants and this raises questions as to whether integration is succeeding in the nation. Anders Lago, Mayor of Soertaije, believes “what the statistics show is that our integration policies have totally failed” and noted how many districts might have as high as 84% of its inhabitants be from other nations.

Sweden is experiencing what nations like the United States have confronted for over 150 years. It may be too quick to rush to judgments as to whether integration polices have failed. It is normal for immigrants initially to head for areas where they can find fellow-countrymen and this might necessitate a few decades of living with your own kind. However, it is in the generation of those born in a society where one learns about success or failure of integration. If children feel “Swedish” then integration is on the road to success.

Can Book Banner Head Cultural Agency?

The controversy over the nomination of Egyptian Cultural Minister Faruq Hosny for position to head the UN cultural and scientific body, UNESCO, was finally resolved when Bulgarian Irina Bokova won a close vote for the job. Hosny has long been the favorite but his candidacy ran into trouble when it was revealed he had opposed placement of books from Israel in libraries in Egypt, hardly the mark of a man devoted to the free access of people to contrasting views. Egyptian officials denounced the Bokova victory as caused by a “clash of civilizations” and blamed “America, Europe, and the Jewish lobby” for ending the Hosny candidacy.

Bokova believes she won partly due to the feeling among many for women equity although she admitted the book banner controversy certainly hurt Hosny’s chances. Frankly, it is ludicrous to blame a “Jewish lobby” for victory in an organization which has repeatedly denounced Israel. Perhaps, if Mr.Hosmy respected the right to pursue knowledge without concern for nation of origin, he might have won the UNESCO post

Pope And Holocaust Denier

It remains unclear when the Pope learned about the priest who was a Holocaust denier and what he did, if anything, about this knowledge. A Swedish TV program claims that Vatican officials knew that an ultraconservative British bishop was a Holocaust denier when he received news that his excommunication from the Catholic Church had been lifted. Jews and many Catholics throughout the world were shocked when Pope Benefict XVI lifted the ban on Bishop Robert Wiliamson. After a controversy raged in the world, Pope Benedict insisted he never knew that Williamson was a Holocaust denier.

Naturally, the Vatican proclaimed it was absolutely without foundation to claim the Pope knew about the views of Wiliamson about the Holocaust. Methinks, the Vatican protest too much. Pope Benedict blundered, after all, he is not God, he is only human.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

Each day we offer a sample of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

UAE, Khaleej Times: ‘Police Keep Watch On Public Nuisances”
I guess Glenn Beck and Rush are under surveillance.

Kuwait, Kuwait Times: ‘Mannequins With Headscarves”
We can’t be too careful, first, naked mannequins, then God knows what!

Turkey, Hurriyet: “Education-Stone Throwers”
We sure have come a long way from apples for the teacher.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Brace Self For Massive Art Attack
This is one story I will just brush away.

Sweden, The Local: “Sex Rumors Land Pastor In Hot Water”
All he wanted was a hot time in the old church on Sunday.

Australia, Brisbane Times: “Sarah Palin Pops Up IN Hong Kong”
She thought it was next to Russia, the nation she sees every day by gazing out the window.

South Africa, Argus: “Keep Trying To Do Right Thing”
For Republicans, that means saying ‘no” with gusto!

UK, Guardian: “Who Killed JFK Asks Gadhafi?”
The Israel Lobby?

Sweden, The Local: “Flammable Bras For Female Conscripts”
That is one way to keep men away from their boobs.

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “”Dead Bodies Up For Grabs”
Save a kosher one for me.

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Each day an American soldier dies in Afghanistan. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day an innocent Afghan dies in his own country. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day, President Karzai and his buddies plunder the people of Afghanistan. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day an Afghan woman is assaulted by husband or stranger. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day General McChrystal announces a new strategy to win the war in Afghanistan. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day, a NATO government says it is time to bring their men and women home. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day, the Taliban plant bombs to kill and do nothing to further life. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day President Obama appears on another talk show to explain his Afghanistan strategy. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day, members of Congress shrug their shoulders about Afghanistan and get on with business. Where have all the flowers gone?

Each day a wife or mother cries in her morning coffee worried about someone in Afghanistan. Where have all the flowers gone?

Canadians Urge New Afghan Strategy

There is increased talk in the Canadian parliament about the need to extricate their soldiers from the disaster that is Afghanistan. Canadian military leaders do not have much trust in sending in more troops unless it is linked to a strategy of developing the infrastructure of local villages and give people a reason to support NATO and American forces. Their soldiers are focusing on a “model village” approach which provides villages with solar powered street lights, or work repairing roads in order to get money flowing into the village and restore the economy.

A local leader, Ahmadullah Kazak, noted as a result of the Canadian approach, “the economy is growing day by day and it’s directly affecting the security because if they have a good economy, you are helping the government security.”

The reality of the war in Afghanistan is simple — there is no way sufficient troops will be sent which leaves the alternative strategy of beginning village by village of giving Afghans a reason to oppose the Taliban.

UK Reviews How Rape Cases Handled

Harriet Harman, the equality minister in the British Cabinet, has announced a review of the method by which police deal with rape cases. Many women groups have complained about the bias all too often displayed by police in handling rape cases. According to Harman, “we have had review after review, research project after research project, and still women are not getting the protection of the law when they are raped or suffer domestic violence.” In a nutshell, she is calling for “less talk and more action.”

Last year, 6.5% of alleged rapes led to a conviction. OK, in many cases, there might well be the issue of consent to have sex, but 6.5% merely reflects the lack of protection offered women who have been physically and emotionally assaulted. Yes, less talk, and more action is the solution!