The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been facing continual harrassment by the government of President Mubarak which seeks to crush a group that offers firm opposition to the current administration of the country. Forty members of the Musim Brotherhood after being exonerated by a civilian court, had their cases transfered to a military tribunal on orders of President Mubarak. Abdel Maqsoud, swpeaking for the MB, “the decision to try the 40 members in a military court is an unfair decision and is an indication of how unjust and provocative our political system is.” He believes the case may once again be postponed to ensure none of the men would be able to stand in the upcoming elections. Several human rights activists are coming to Cairo to monitor the trialsand the Egyptian Organizaiton for Human Rights (EOHR) stated “we are completely against civilians being tried in military courts.”
Neither press nor media will be allowed in the court to witness the trial. The 40 men were acquitted of all charges by the Egyptian Administrative Court but Murbarak intends to crush the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is cited by the United States as an ally in the fight for democracy but those who oppose the rule of Mubarak more commonly face court action to silence their voices. This blog may disagree with the views of the Muslim Brotherhood but their right to express opinions must not be stifled because the only other recourse is violence.
A controversial textbook passage which appears to justify the killing of Turks living in Germany will be deleted from future editions according to the German Embassy in Anakara. Families and students in the German town of Schleswig-holstein, are furious that seventh graders were given a book which apparently explains the reason a German murderer may be have been justified in killing Turks in his country. Markus Buchholz was one of four young men who set afire a house containing a Turkish family and killed some of its inhabitants. According to the passage, “Marcos wanted to teach them a lesson. They should learn that they weren’t wanted here. He just wanted to consternate tham a little so that they would go back to Anatolia…,In any case, their parents are guilty. If they had stayed n Anatolia, nothing would have happened to the two children who died in the fire.”
If the purpose of the author was exploring the mind set of Markus, that might be justified, but it would also entail other views and explanations so a seventh grader could understand the context of the passage. Somehow, we doubt if passages would be published in this manner which explain the thinking of a Turk who murdered Germans.
What next, a passage from Hitler explaining Jews never would have died if only they behaved in the correct manner?
A conference in London was told NATO now regards the threat of cybe warfare s among the greatest risks societies are facing. Online esionage and Internet-based terrorism now represent some of the most important componenents of present and future wars. Suleyman Anil, who heads NATO’s program to deal with cyberwar, says “we have seen more of these attacks and we don’t think this problem will disappear soon.” An important factor in cyber terrorism are attempts to shut down online communication networks or use the Internet to attack official institutions He warned there are rogue nations which are fostering cyber terrorism. Last year, a gang of hackers, believed to be from China, infiltrated computer systems at the Pentagon and launched attacks on government networks in Britain, Germany, and Australia.
The United States government has currently allocated $6 billion to combat cyber terrorism. Of course, we are still in the infant stage of cyber terrorism and few can grasp what lies in the future. Could cyber terrorists foster a star wars type campaign by gaining control of computers?
American and Turkish officials failed to reach an agreement as to when Turkey’s armed forces will be departing from Iraq. Yesterday, President Bush told a press conference, “Turkish troops sh ould withdraw from northern Iraq as soon as possible” while Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Turkish officials in Anakara, “the U.S. believes the current offensive should be as short and precisely targeted as possible.” Turkish Chief of Staff Generl Yasar Buyukanit told Gates, “short term is a relative notion. Sometimes it is a day, sometimes a year.” He pointed out Turkey has been struggling with terrorism for 24 years and noted America has been in Afghanistan for six years.
Prime Minister Erdfogan insists “Turkish soldiers will be returning after achieving their goals” but will not pinpoint the exact time when that task will have been accomplished. On one hand, Gates accepts the complexity of the situation, on the other hand, the United States is protecting the integrity of the Iraqi government. Unfortunately, the two might not coincide in terms of a timetable for withdrawal.
Once again, the Bush administration is living with unintended and unexpected consequences of the ill fated invasion of Iraq. Most experts knew from day one of Bush’s actions to get rid of Saddam Hussein that an important result would be creation of a confusing situation in Kurdistan. Neither Bush, Cheney, nor Rumsfeld had any grasp as to what they were doing in terms of Turkey’s concern over creation of an independent Kurdistan state. Of course, neither did right wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh and the others who still insist the Iraq operation was the right move.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Peace, Politics, Turkey, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Gates, Kurdistan, PKK, Turkish invasion
A new survey of more than 3,400 active and retired field-grade officers found they are downcast about the state of the militay with 60% saying the nation’s armed forces are weaker than they were 5 years ago and 88% believe the war in Iraq had stretched the military “dangerously thin.” Two thirds of rspondents had combat experience although only 10% had served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Mot of them were students at senior-level military schools such as the Army War College.
The survey asked members of the militay if they agreed or disagreed with the following sentence: “Torture is never acceptable.” Although 44% disagreed a majority 53% agreed that torture should never be allowed. Of course, these officers lack the experience of President Bush who dodged combat and was never confronted with the possibility of becoming a prisoner of war.
Those surveyed were greatly concerned about extending any further the armed forces in new battle zones. They ranked the United States Army as the service branch which was most exhausted and not ready to assume new combat roles. Almost two in five wanted the draft reinstated in order to meet contemporary needs of the nation. On a one to 10 scale on having confidence in President Bush only 5.5 expressed this view with 16% stating they had “no confidence at all in the president.” Almost two-thirds of these military men believe America’s currrent crop of civilian leaders “are either somewhat or very uninformed about the U.S. miltary” and only 13% believe civilian leadership has set reasonable goals for the armed forces.
Professor Ole O Moen, a Norwegian expert on US politics, ranked George Bush as the second worst American president. “His adminsitration stands for adangerous blend of arrogance and ignorance.” He argues Bush lacks the ability to listen to, let alone work, with other world leaders. Moen listed a litany of what he considered to be Bush errors going from Iraq to Kyoto to fiscal mismanagement of the budget, and tax policies which widen the gap between rich and poor. Professor Moen ranked Democrat James Buchanan as the next worst president given his role in helping cause the Civil War. He considers Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt as the two most outstanding presidents.
Professor Moen is probably one of those “foreign intellectuals” who think they know more than the combined brilliance of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rove. OK, so George Bush made a minor mistake about some WMD, but why do these foreign critics continue blaming the poor man for thinking something was there that wasn’t? Anyone can make a mistake. OK, so he made a few wrong calls about the economy, big deal. Just remember this man did OK with owning the Texas Ranger baseball team, and I just dare this Professor Moen to rank George Bush as the worst President of a baseball team! The problem with foreign “intellectuals”is they believe they have more kowledge than the brilliant trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. Professor Moen, someday future archeologists will uncover the WMD and won’t you be sorry you blamed our beloved leader for making a mistake!
I would like to know why Professor Moen doesn’t admit George Bush ranks as the best president in having direct contact with God! How many US presidents had a direct hotline to heaven? How many were advised by angels? None of these strengths apparently are of interest to the Norwegian academic. Any way, we Americans will not rank order Norwegian kings and queens so please Professor Moen, allow we Americans to handle our fools.
Posted in Conservatives, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq War, Military, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Norwegian academic, worse president
The extensive dependence on reservists in fighting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars frequently results in rather bizarre encounters between members of the same family. Sgt. Tammi Johnson, a reservist, was deployed to Kirkuk Air base in Iraq only to discover she was taking over work tasks presently being done by her son, Derrrick. “This is all just a big coincidence,” said Derrick, “When I found out that she was coming to replace me, my jaw dropped just wondering what the chances were of this occurring.”
The nonstop deployment and redeployment of members of the military adds considerablly to family pressures and results in such a strange situation. A basic problem is the American military has been too long overseas and the same people have for too long been entrusted with responsibility for fighting wars the vast majority of this nation does not want fought. It would be preferable if the Johnsons could spend time together in America.
A report from the Defence Select Committee of Parliament strongly suggested the importance of extending recruitment efforts in Great Britain in order to bring members of min ority groups into the armed forces. The committee noted: “We are deeply concerned that the armed forces are operating at or above levels of concurrent operations they are resourced and structured to deliver for seven out of the last eight years.” In other words, the British miltary is being asked to accomplish tasks that strain their resources and morale among members of the military is decreasing under the strain.
The British government has concluded that when it ventures into tasks that far exceed the capacity of those coming from majority groups within society, the solution is to reach out to minorities and have them fill the gap. The goal has been to have an 8% recruitment level from minorities in Great Britain but only 5.8% are from this group and the Air Force only has 1.6% from minority groups. Perhaps, the solution is to not get involved in military operations in the first place.
As tourists watched on, a police force swept away an attempt to build a Christmas encampment for the homeless on the banks of the Seine river. The tents had been set up opposite the Notre Dame cathedral, but police used gas gas as they charged the homeless defensive position and due to their courage in the face of smells and bad body odor emanating from the Homeless site, the police gained a final victory by making the enemy flee. Tourists booed the heroic efforts of the police, a protestor fell into the Seine, but in the end the homeless were dispersed. The protest group which established tent city– Les Enfants de Don Quichotte(the children of Don Quxiote) claim the government has failed to construct 27,000 new lodgings for homeless people. Founder of the group, film actor, Augustin Legrand, shouted that over 200,000 people were homeless in France. Minister of Housing, Christine Boutin, who supported last year’s protest, condemned tent city and insisted there were sufficient housing for homeless people in France. Pierre Levene, secretary general of Secours Catholique, insists thousands of homeless people lack housing.
There most probably are homeless people in just about every major city in the world. Many factors add into the issue of homeless people, economic factors, social factors, the time of the year, and the willingness of governments to allocate money for those who don’t vote.
There is growing concern among Olympic officials at the possibility pollution in Beijing may be a factor in Olympic competitions. The extensive coal mining boom in China which is stimulating industrial production has also added considerably to pollution in the nation. Beijing lies in a valley surrounded by mountain ranges which make for difficulty in dispersing pollutants. Khalid Mailk, UN representative in Beijing noted: “You have to bear in mind this is the first time the Olympics are being held in a developing country.” Although China has spent at least $16 billion in preparation for the Olympics attempting to deal with environmental concerns, the presence of adverse pollutants may be a factor in the competitions.