Archive for July, 2006

And Today…….(Update)

July 31, 2006

There is no cease fire:

Israeli PM Says No Cease-Fire Coming Now

Lebanese fled north in overflowing trucks and cars Monday, taking advantage of a lull in Israeli bombardment. Israel’s prime minister took a tough line, apologizing for the deaths of dozens of Lebanese civilians in a single strike but declaring there will be no cease-fire.

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“There is no cease-fire, there will be no cease-fire,” he said. “We are determined to succeed in this struggle. We will not give up on our goal to live a life free of terror.”

Big surprise there. Meanwhile, Syria is on full alert:

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the Syrian military on Monday to raise its readiness, pledging not to abandon support for Lebanese resistance against Israel.

In an annual address on the anniversary of the foundation of the Syria Arab Army, Assad called on the military to “work on more preparedness and raise readiness of all units.

“We are facing international circumstances and regional challenges that require caution, alertness, readiness and preparedness,” Assad said in the written address.

Diplomats in Damascus say the Syrian army has been on alert since the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon began on July 12 after Hizbollah fighters captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border operation.

Egypt is voicing it’s disgust for Israel’s bloodlust:

Egypt summons Israeli ambassador over Qana attack

CAIRO, July 30 (Reuters) – Egypt summoned Israel’s ambassador to Cairo on Sunday to express its outrage over an Israeli air strike in Lebanon that killed more than 60 civilians, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, following his return from a brief trip to Damascus, summoned the Israeli ambassador to Cairo Shalom Cohen to inform him of Egypt’s severe anger and complete condemnation of the Israeli strike on civilians in Lebanon,” the statement said.

Even Senator Hagel is stepping up and calling for a cease fire:

Key Republican breaks with Bush on Mideast

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Urging President Bush to turn all U.S. efforts toward “ending this madness,” a leading Republican senator Monday broke with the Bush administration and called for an immediate cease-fire in the Mideast.

“The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now,” Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel said. “President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop.”

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“How do we realistically believe that a continuation of the systematic destruction of an American friend — the country and people of Lebanon — is going to enhance America’s image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East?” asked Hagel, the No. 2 Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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He called on Bush to name “a statesman of global stature” as his personal envoy to the region. And he urged the administration to open direct talks with Hezbollah’s backers, Iran and Syria, both of which Washington also accuses of meddling in Iraq.

“Our relationship with Israel is special and historic,” he said. “But it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice.”

Bill, of the Clinton variety, says NATO troops would be a good choice for keeping the peace:

Clinton Says NATO Could Provide Security In Mideast

Former President Clinton says a NATO or NATO-led force might be the best coalition to maintain peace between Israel and Lebanon.

In Little Rock Monday, Clinton told The Associated Press he was hopeful that an effective cease-fire would be reached in the region.

Clinton said with a cease-fire, the next step would be to secure the border between Israel and Lebanon. He said a NATO force might be the best alternative because NATO countries have experience working together on peacekeeping missions and because the United Nations security forces aren’t well enough armed.

As for the Democrats, the ones in office:

Democrats side with Bush on Israel

WASHINGTON – While President Bush routinely faces criticism from congressional Democrats over the Iraq War and his domestic policies, there’s been little criticism over his stance on Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Even as much of the world expressed outrage Sunday about an Israeli airstrike that killed more than three dozen Lebanese children, a leading Democrat echoed Bush’s defense of Israel.

“I have no criticism of the president on this issue because I think he is doing the right thing,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told CNN. “I know some in the world have called for an immediate cease-fire. But that says Hezbollah has a gun to Israel’s head; let’s let them continue to keep the gun there, which they can use at will. It’s just not fair to Israel.”

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. expressed a similar view. The resolution supporting Israel’s invasion passed, 410-8.

“Israel is absolutely justified in undertaking the defense of its territory and its people,” Hoyer said.

And:

US stance delights neo-cons, dismays moderates

Last week Hillary Clinton, a potential presidential candidate, scolded Nouri al-Maliki, the visiting Iraqi prime minister, for having criticised Israel.

“His refusal to denounce Hizbollah and his condemnation of Israel send exactly the wrong message about the importance of fighting terrorism and bringing stability and peace to the Middle East,” said Mrs Clinton. “[He should] recognise the right of Israel to defend itself from terrorist aggression.”

At least some people get it:

“It is absolutely baffling to me and almost everyone I know – Republican or Democrat – how Ms Rice and Mr Bush think this strategy will achieve their objectives,” said Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former head of the National Security Council. “The Bush administration is allowing itself to be suckered into believing it can achieve political goals through military means. They seem to have learned nothing from Iraq.”

Mr Armitage, the last senior US official to talk to the government of Syria in 2004, said he “completely disagreed” with Ms Rice’s des-cription of the conflict as the “birth pangs of a new Middle East”. He said: “The administration has an irrational fear that talking is a sign of weakness. It is the best way of gathering information and influencing events.”

Did I miss anyone? Hello, Democrats, remember how you got your asses handed to you over supporting the invasion of Iraq? It’s time to stand up and rally against Bush’s failed foriegn policies. It’s time to stop this madness before something really bad happens, before the whole region falls into war. Goddammit, get some balls and prove you deserve to win in 2006 and 2008.

Update-Ok, I missed someone. As much as this pains me:

Dean calls Iraqi PM an ‘anti-Semite’

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean on Wednesday called Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki an “anti-Semite” for failing to denounce Hezbollah for its attacks against Israel.

Al-Maliki has condemned Israel’s offensive, prompting several Democrats to boycott his address to a joint meeting of Congress and others to criticize him. Dean’s comments were the strongest to date.

“The Iraqi prime minister is an anti-Semite,” the Democratic leader told a gathering of business leaders in Florida. “We don’t need to spend $200 and $300 and $500 billion bringing democracy to Iraq to turn it over to people who believe that Israel doesn’t have a right to defend itself and who refuse to condemn Hezbollah.”

I wonder how the Doctor fells now having seen the pictures coming out of Qana.

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I Wonder

July 30, 2006

So, now that the Qana massacre is the news of the day, will any of the Democrats who agreed to H. Res. 921 or S. RES. 534 be calling for a cease fire tomorrow? Will any of them come out against Israel and its insane destruction of Lebanon? Any bets?

Another Day, Another Massacre

July 30, 2006

For those of you following the news about the massacre in Qana, Lebanon, just remember that this is not the first time Israel has slaughtered innocent people in the town. In 1996 Israel committed an even more violent massacre there, killing 100 people, many of them children.

Qana Massacre

The Independent, 4/19/96

It was a massacre. Not since Sabra and Chatila had I seen the innocent slaughtered like this. The Lebanese refugee women and children and men lay in heaps, their hands or arms or legs missing, beheaded or disembowelled. There were well over a hundred of them. A baby lay without a head. The Israeli shells had scythed through them as they lay in the United Nations shelter, believing that they were safe under the world’s protection. Like the Muslims of Srebrenica, the Muslims of Qana were wrong.

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“The Israelis have just told us they’ll stop shelling the area”, a UN soldier said, shaking with anger. “Are we supposed to thank them?” In the remains of a burning building — the conference room of the Fijian UN headquarters — a pile of corpses was burning. The roof had crashed in flames onto their bodies, cremating them in front of my eyes. When I walked towards them, I slipped on a human hand …

Israel’s slaughter of civilians in this terrible 10-day offensive — 206 by last night — has been so cavalier, so ferocious, that not a Lebanese will forgive this massacre. There had been the ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day before, the 2-year-old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a family of 12 — the youngest was a four- day-old baby — when Israeli helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home.

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The blood of all the refugees ran quite literally in streams from the shell-smashed UN compound restaurant in which the Shiite Muslims from the hill villages of southern Lebanon — who had heeded Israel’s order to leave their homes — had pathetically sought shelter. Fijian and French soldiers heaved another group of dead — they lay with their arms tightly wrapped around each other — into blankets.

The Israelis say it was a mistake.

Israel still insists the 1996 shelling was an accident and that its forces had a legitimate militant target – a Hezbollah military unit that had fired mortars and rockets from near the Qana base.

Then, as now, Israel accused Hezbollah of using the civilian population as human shields when they launched their attacks.

However, a UN investigation reported in May 1996 that the deaths at the Qana base were unlikely to have been the result of an accident as claimed by the Israelis.

The UN report cited the repeated use of airburst shells over the small UN compound, which sent down a deadly torrent of shrapnel that caused terrible injuries among the unprotected civilians.

The UN also noted the presence of Israeli helicopters and a drone in the skies over Qana which must have witnessed the bloodbath.

Fast forward to today:

Israeli air attack kills 60 civilians, including 19 children
Israel: Strike was ‘mistake’; Rice returning to Washington

Israel said it mistakenly destroyed a four-story building near a Hezbollah rocket-launching site in Qana, Lebanon, on Sunday where officials said 60 people died, including 19 children.

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A Red Cross official said the Qana airstrikes hit a residential building that housed refugees, which Israel said was near Hezbollah rocket launching sites. Officials said they believed at least another 11 children were still under the rubble.

More than 60 bodies have been pulled from the rubble, Lebanese representative to the United Nations Nohad Mahmoud said.

“I saw several bodies of children, women and old men,” reported CNN’s Ben Wedeman. “Residents were digging with the their bare hands, taking more and more bodies out. Parts of the town were completely bombarded, as if hit by a giant mallet in many places. I was told by one Lebanese army officer that they counted more than 80 individual strikes on the town.”

The UN building in Beirut has been stormed in protest.

Thousands of protesters have stormed the UN building in Beirut in fury after more than 50 civilians were killed in an Israeli air strike on Qana in southern Lebanon.

Hundreds of demonstrators ran through corridors in the building smashing offices as they vented their anger of the deaths.

Smoke was seen rising from parts of the building as UN security troops struggled to contain crowds.

Condi cancelled her trip to Lebanon and is returning home with her tail between her legs.

Ms. Rice, on her way back to the region from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had praised the Lebanese government, which includes two Hezbollah ministers, for agreeing on the outlines of a possible cease-fire package.

Ms. Rice told Mr. Siniora that she felt that “this would not be the day for her to come to Beirut,” according to R. Nicholas Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs.

And perhaps Tony Blair is starting to rebel against his US puppet masters in calling for a cease fire.

Lebanon crisis ‘cannot continue’

Tony Blair has said the “tragedy” in Qana shows the situation in the Middle East “simply cannot continue”.

The prime minister said there was basis for agreement to allow a UN resolution to stop hostilities on both sides, adding “we have to get it now”.

Mr Blair said he was making urgent calls to world leaders, including Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

His comments followed the air strike on Qana in south Lebanon where more than 54 civilians, mostly children, died.

Mr Blair said “there is no basis for hostilities to continue”, describing the Qana destruction as an “absolutely tragic situation”.

“We have to speed this entire process up, get a resolution now, and on the passing an agreement of that resolution, then the hostilities have got to stop, and stop on all sides,” he said.

Somehow I don’t see Bolton helping much.

Warcrimes

July 24, 2006

War:

1. A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.
2. The period of such conflict.
3. The techniques and procedures of war; military science.

War crime:

An act committed usually during an international war for which individual criminal liability will be imposed by a domestic or international tribunal; specifically : a violation of the laws or customs of war as embodied or recognized by international treaty, court decisions, or established practice.

All’s fair in love and war.

Let’s get real. All acts of war are crimes. We can argue semantics all we want. Crimes against humanity, against nature, against common sense and logic. Through war we destroy our past, ravage our present and cripple our future. We pollute our environment and ourselves. And most of all we throw out what small strides we have made as conscience beings in becoming a matured and enlightened species.

War brings out the absolute worst in us. We quickly rationalize horrific acts against each other through dehumanization. We waste untold resources in a world where those resources are growing more scarce by the day. Our environment, that thing that makes our whole existance possible in the first place, becomes filled with the toxic leftovers of our weapons and destruction.

Yet onward into battle we march. Because we never learn. We glorify war, we rally around symbols of division, we deify those who wage war.

But why do we fight wars in the first place? What do we wish to achieve through their execution? And please don’t tell me it’s to create peace.

Humanity seems to have this default, this impulse that always leads every society to the same action of war. Us against them. This same attitude exists throughout our institutions, be they government, religion, national identity, sports and all the other ways we divide ourselves. In our need to identify who we are, what we each stand for, we generate the seeds of conflict.

I have said this a thousand times and I will continue to say it until my last breathe: We are all in this together.

For The Record

July 19, 2006

Fuck Israel.

That is all.

No, on second thought, that is not all. Read the four other posts in the category titled Israel.

Ok, now fuck Israel.

News from around the World

July 19, 2006

So, just what is going on in our world today?

Let’s start with Africa:

Burundi: Rebels Attack Civilians As Ceasefire Talks Continue

The Forces nationales de liberation (FNL), Burundi’s remaining active rebel group, has continued to attack civilians even as it continues ceasefire negotiations with the government in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania.

SUDAN: Tension in southern town after soldiers rampage

Four soldiers and seven civilians were killed in the southern Sudanese town of Rubkona after soldiers of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) opened fire in the middle of town, according to residents.

Millions starving in Kenya after severe drought

NAIROBI, Kenya (Reuters) — Millions of Kenyan herders still need food aid after a severe drought this year almost wiped out their herds, the U.N. World Food Program said on Wednesday, appealing for $90 million to feed them.

Alert at Somali Islamist advance

Heavily armed militia loyal to Somalia’s Islamic courts have arrived in Burhakaba, a town 60km from the base of the interim government in Baidoa.

Niger: Protests Against Soaring Cost of Living

Hundreds of people turned out on the streets of Niamey on Tuesday to protest against high costs for fuel and other essential commodities.

Silent food crisis plagues Mauritania

Nouakchott – A food shortage crisis threatens hundreds of thousands of people in the West African nation of Mauritania, a United Nations humanitarian official warned on Thursday, appealing urgently for aid.

Killings raise fears before Congo election

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) — Gunmen have killed up to seven people at an election rally in eastern Congo in an attack that revived fears violence could disrupt the country’s historic election this month, officials said Tuesday.

And now off to Asia:

Indonesia Hit by 6.2 Magnitude Quake in Sunda Straits

Indonesia was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.2 in magnitude, striking the Sunda Straits separating the country’s Sumatra island from Java island, the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.

The temblor, which swayed buildings in the capital Jakarta, is the second major quake in three days. On July 17, a 7.7- magnitude quake triggered a tsunami that killed at least 450 people, wounded 717 and left 110 people missing, according to figures from the Health Ministry.

Timor needs ‘substantial’ police force

UN special envoy Ian Martin has stressed the need for a “substantial” UN police presence in volatile East Timor to create the conditions for credible parliamentary and presidential elections next year.

Manila raises alert due to threats against Arroyo”

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine security forces raised the alert level in Manila on Tuesday over an alleged plot by some rogue troops and communist rebels to topple President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

More than 100 dead or missing in North Korea floods, landslides: aid group

SEOUL — Floods and landslides in North Korea have left more than 100 people dead or missing, an aid group operating in the communist nation said Wednesday, as the North’s official media acknowledged the harsh weather had caused “tremendous losses.”

Meanwhile, North Korea launches wartime alert: Report

North Korea has launched a wartime alert, putting its armed forces and nationals in a state of a war mobilisation, an unconfirmed news report said on Wednesday.

From a somewhat biased site, Russian eliminated in Chechnya

11 Russian kafirs (infidels) were eliminated by Mujahideen on July 15 in sabotage actions and attacks on invaders’ positions in capital Jokhar and in Nozhai Yurt district in the south of Chechnya, told a spokesman of Military Council of CRI Majlisul Shura State Defense Caouncil to Kavkaz Center news agency.

Sri Lanka urges antiterror regional front

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, July 19 (UPI) — Sri Lanka’s fragile cease-fire between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the government is unraveling.

More air strikes on Afganistan than Iraq

COALITION aircraft have dropped twice as many bombs on targets in Afghanistan in the past three months than on insurgents in Iraq.

Nepal peace talks may be postponed

KATHMANDU: A second round of high-level peace talks between Nepal’s PM and rebel Maoist leaders may be delayed as the rebels pledged to extend a three month ceasefire.

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The rebels and the government, reinstated at the end of April after King Gyanendra was forced to end 14 months of direct rule, have been observing a ceasefire for three months.

Nearly three weeks of pro-democracy protests organized by sidelined political parties in concert with rebel Maoists crippled the country, leaving 19 people dead and forcing the king to back down.

India should be serious in talks with Pakistan: Fairda Behan Jee

SRINAGAR: Condemning Mumbai bomb blasts, president Jammu and Kashmir Mass Movement (JKMM), Farida Behan Jee has said that killing innocent citizens was illogical adding that India should not stall peace talks with Pakistan making it a pretension.

And what about the Middle East?

Turkey Moves Forward on Push Into Iraq

The Turkish military is moving forward with plans to send forces into northern Iraq to clear out Turkish Kurdish guerrilla bases, the prime minister said Wednesday.

Civilian death toll in Iraq continues to soar

BAGHDAD: Almost 6000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the past two months as casualties rise.

Israel kills 15 Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli troops killed 15 Palestinians in clashes in Gaza and the occupied West Bank on Wednesday in one of the worst days of violence since Israel launched an offensive to free an abducted soldier.

Lebanon ‘has been torn to shreds’

The Lebanese prime minister has called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah militants, saying his country “has been torn to shreds”.

Meanwhile, in Europe:

Wrap: Russia-Georgia peacekeeping dispute gains momentum

MOSCOW/TBILISI, July 19 (RIA Novosti) – Georgia and Russia continued to trade accusations Wednesday after the Caucasus state’s parliament demanded the pullout of Russian peacekeepers from conflict zones in its territory.

The Georgian parliament passed a resolution Tuesday advising the government to suspend peacekeeping operations in the breakaway regions and replace Russian troops with an international contingent, thereby to terminate the 1992 and 1994 bilateral agreements authorizing Russia’s peacekeeping missions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia respectively.

Relations With Ukraine to Remain Rocky

Despite the near certain rise of Party of the Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych to the prime minister’s post, Ukraine is unlikely to abandon the Western course it embarked on after the 2004 Orange Revolution and return to the Russian fold.

Instead, the country, which remains politically and culturally torn 15 years after the Soviet collapse, is expected to continue forging ahead with plans to join NATO and the European Union.

U.S. Condemns Sentencing of Belarus Opposition Leader

The United States has condemned the conviction and sentencing on July 13 of former Belarusian presidential candidate Aleksandr Kozulin, the State Department official website says.

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In June, President Bush imposed targeted financial sanctions on Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and nine other top officials in his government. In May, Bush banned travel to the United States by Lukashenko and those associated with his regime.

Europe tries to avert new heat-wave disaster

LONDON European governments scrambled to save lives in record high temperatures Wednesday, hoping to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic heat wave of 2003, which killed thousands of people across the Continent.

And in South America?

U.S. Stance Against Venezuela Has Dangers

The United States is lobbying hard to block Venezuela’s bid for a seat on the U.N. Security Council, fearful that Hugo Chavez, its fiercely anti-American president, will disrupt the body as it confronts hot issues such as Iran and Sudan.

But interviews with some 15 diplomats of member states reveal substantial wariness about the U.S. effort, with the critics warning it could boomerang against the U.S. choice, Guatemala, when the General Assembly votes in October.

And back here in the US? Bush casts his first veto on stem-cell bill

WASHINGTON, July 19 (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush cast his first veto on Wednesday to block legislation to expand embryonic stem cell research, putting him at odds with top scientists, most Americans and some fellow Republicans.

“It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect, so I vetoed it,” Bush said of the research that involves tiny human embryos.

Bush Blocked Ethics Inquiry, Gonzales Says

WASHINGTON, July 17 Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that President Bush had personally decided to block the Justice Department ethics unit from examining the role played by government lawyers in approving the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program.

Is your head spinning yet? Mine is. Anyone up for a drink?

Because

July 8, 2006

I’m too lazy to write a real post, go play with this automatic Advertising Slogan Generator.

My favorites:

Because Annatopia is Complicated Enough.

The Annatopia That Eats Like A Meal.

Schhh… You Know Annatopia.

All You Add Is Annatopia.

The Cream of Annatopia.

You Like Annatopia. Annatopia Likes You.

You’ll Wonder Where the Yellow Went, When You Brush Your Teeth with Annatopia.

I could go on forever, but we are off to see Fiona Apple tonite.