discarded lies: monday, december 18, 2017 3:09 am zst
a twirl in life
daily archive: 01/12/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Misinformation at Best
Edmund Hanauer, an American Jewish human rights activist and director of Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel, writes a column published in several newspapers across the country. I'm glad someone is holding him accountable for his words.
Hanauer implies that Israel prevented a Palestinian state from forming in 1948. “In the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israeli wars,? he states, "Israel seized the areas intended for the Palestinian state.?

Contrary to this claim, it was Egypt and Jordan–not Israel–that seized the land meant for a Palestinian state in 1948. This was after the Palestinians rejected the international plan which would have given them an independent state. These areas remained in Arab hands for the next 19 years, during which time no Palestinian state was formed. When the Six Day War in 1967 left Israel in control of those territories, Israeli leaders immediately signaled readiness to cede land in exchange for peace. The Arab countries and the Palestinians responded at the notorious Arab League Summit in Khartoum with the infamous “3 No’s?: no to peace, no to negotiations, and no to recognizing Israel.

He claims that the international community “naively assumed Israel would return all of the land occupied in 1967,? and that international law calls for Israel to withdraw to the Green Line, calling it “the 1967 internationally recognized boundary.?
Read the whole thing.

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Immigration Reform
I think immigration is a good thing. First of all, this is a country of immigrants and second, how else could we get Thai food? Inevitably, our borders are open and porous, people are able to cross even though the risks have increased over the years and as border security measures became even stricter. And what's so wrong with documenting immigrants who already have jobs here? Santiago, who comes and helps my mom dig drainage ditches in the yard for $20 and a couple of beers, may or may not be legal but he's still a friend and he works very hard.

Uh-oh...am I benefitting from cheap labor?
Bush in an interview with the Washington Times published on Wednesday said he plans to force a debate in Congress this year on his proposal that would allow some illegal immigrants to obtain legal work permits in the United States.

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, who heads the House Immigration Reform Caucus, said he was determined to block the legislation. The caucus, which had 71 members in the last Congress, argues for stronger action to stop illegal immigration and a reduction of legal migration.

"Why is this so important to the president?" Tancredo said. "Is it just the corporate interests who benefit from cheap labor? Do they have such a strong grip on our president so that he is actually willing to put our nation at risk, because open borders do put our nation at risk?

"Is it petulance, because we were able to stop it in the last Congress? Why is it so important to give amnesty to people who have broken the law?" Tancredo said.

"I'm willing to lead a fight against this and I would say there are at least 180 members of our Republican caucus who are willing at least to stop amnesty for illegal immigrants," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Bush has repeatedly said he views immigration reform as an important issue for his second term. In the Washington Times interview, he said it was near the top of his agenda.

"Look, whether or not you agree with the solution or not, we have a problem in America when you've got 8 million undocumented workers here," he said.
Republican to Lead Immigration Revolt Against Bush
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Le Pen Le Fou
The Nazi occupation of France was not particularly brutal, French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was quoted as saying.

The comments by the National Front leader were published in the small extreme-right newspaper Rivarol.

"In France at least, the German occupation was not particularly inhuman, even if there were a few blunders," he was quoted as saying. Such things were "inevitable" in a country of 220,000 square miles, he said.

Le Pen's office confirmed the interview had taken place but said it could not verify the exact comments, as no one had checked them against a recording. The remarks were published in the paper's Jan. 7 edition but did not come to wider attention until Wednesday.

CRIF, an umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, said it was "particularly shocked" by the comments. During the war, some 76,000 Jews, including 12,000 children, were deported from France, many to Auschwitz. Only 2,500 survived.

"These comments taint the memory of all victims of Nazism — deportees and the Resistance, and the entire French population, which was subjected for more than four years to the most atrocious of occupations and humiliations," CRIF said in a statement.

Le Pen, 76, has a history of making such remarks, and he has been convicted of racism or anti-Semitism at least six times. He once called the Nazi gas chambers "a detail of the history of the Second World War."

The National Front leader blames immigrants, especially from North Africa, for high unemployment. He wants to deport all illegal immigrants and tighten border controls.
Before you dismiss Le Pen as another anti-Semitic extremist, keep in mind that
Le Pen startled France and the world by qualifying for a one-on-one runoff against President Jacques Chirac in presidential elections in 2002.
France's Le Pen Denouces Occupation

P.S. I have no idea what "denouces" means.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Two to Four Years
According to the chief of Israeli Military Intelligence:
...if Tehran did not stop its uranium enrichment activities, Iran would develop its first atomic weapon between 2007 and 2009.
And who sleeps happily through this?
"The Iranians can reach Portugal with nuclear weapons," Ze'evi said. "This doesn't worry the Europeans. They tell me that during the Soviet regime as well they were under a nuclear threat, and I try to explain to them that Iran is a different story."
Eurabian Times: Farkash: Iran will have nukes 2007-2009
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Syria's Next
Matt pointed out a Debka piece saying the US would attack Syria in February. Final Historian was at first skeptical but later warmed to the idea. Now comes more confirmation from Washington Times: Both Allawi and US officials want a strike on Syria.
Bush administration hard-liners have been considering launching selected military strikes at insurgent training camps in Syria and border-crossing points used by Islamist guerrillas to enter Iraq in an effort to bolster security for the upcoming elections, according to former and current administration officials.


Pressure for some form of military action is also coming from interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, these sources said.

Some former and serving U.S. intelligence officials who have usually been opposed to any expansion of U.S. military activities in the region are expressing support for such strikes.

A former senior U.S. intelligence official told United Press International, "I don't usually find myself in sympathy with the Bush neo-cons, but I think there is enough fire under this smoke to justify such action."

Referring to the escalating attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq by Iraqi insurgents, he added, "Syria is complicit in the (anti-U.S.) insurgency up to its eyeballs."

"Syria is the No. 1 crossing point" for guerrillas entering Iraq," Gary Gambill, editor of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, said. He added that Damascus "does nothing about it."

An administration official said Syria has "camps in which Syrians are training Iraqis for the insurgency and others where Iraqis are training Syrians for the same purpose" which could be hit by U.S. air strikes.

Gal Luft, a former Israeli military official with ties to Israeli and U.S. intelligence, said, "I have heard of the same thing about the camps."

Recently, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said that senior Baath Party officials from Iraq are operating from Syria where they provide financing and direction to the cells of Iraqi insurgents killing Americans, sparking new discussions within the administration about possible measures against Syria.

"There are all sorts of discussions going on, the White House, the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs," said former CIA counterterrorism chief, Vince Cannistraro.

He felt the talk of strikes "is part of a general plan of intimidation."

The White House did not return phone calls.

U.S. officials told United Press International that money, direction, weapons and personnel are flowing into Iraq from Syria, ending up in Iraqi cities such as Iskanderiya, Baqouba, Latafiya and Fallujah.

Damascus is also home to associates of a top insurgency commander now affiliated with al-Qaida, Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi, who is responsible for many major suicide bombing attacks in Iraq, U.S. officials said.

The presence of a Zarqawi branch in Damascus, discovered last summer, was said to have acted as a major spur in uniting France and the United States in supporting U.N. Resolution 1559 that demanded Syria withdraw from Lebanon and that elections be held in April 2005, U.S. officials said.
Hey, that's interesting! That's why France went along with us on this? Okay...There's much more inside. Assad as the prisoner of Zenda? CIA official says US should obliterate the Mukhabarat HQ in Damascus? Read on.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Taiwanese Competition for Stryker and M113 APCs
Taiwan has developed an armored personnel carrier optimized for operations in mountainous terrain like Taiwan's. I wonder if we could use these in Afghanistan. They also have a new supersonic anti-ship missile, which will help them kill invading Chinese ships.
The Taiwanese armed forces, currently undergoing an overhaul to ward off any threat from China, on Tuesday introduced a new locally-produced armored personnel carrier (APC) to its arsenal. Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian unveiled the vehicle only days after the country successfully test-fired a supersonic anti-ship missile. The new missile system and APC were showcased by Taiwan at a time when China was preparing legal measures aimed at pressuring the renegade island republic. "Beijing has continued to suppress Taiwan's space in the international community and even attempts to create a legal basis for the use of force against Taiwan in the so-called anti-secession law," Chen said at a military base in central Taiwan. China is in the process of enacting a new law that would “authorize? Beijing to retake Taiwan by force or force it to accept reunification. Chen named the new armored vehicle "Yun Pao" (Cloud Leopard) and praised its mobility, speed, and firepower. The Yun Pao was jointly developed by military and commercial research institutions in a US$21.88 million project launched in 2002. The APC has a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour and is specially designed for operations in Taiwan's mountainous topography. Equipped with 25-millimeter automatic cannons and 7.62-mm machine guns, the APC will become the army's most powerful when mass production starts in 2007. The China Times, a Chinese language daily, reported yesterday that Taiwan had successfully test-fired the prototype of an anti-ship missile that was being developed to boost Taipei's maritime defenses against China. "The military's Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology has successfully test-fired - several times – a Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile," the paper quoted an unnamed military source as saying. The tests reportedly began early last month at the Chiu Peng Missile Base in southeastern Taiwan. The missile was fired in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, and it corrected its course several times before hitting the target, the daily said. According to the paper, the Chungshan Institute began developing the Hsiung Feng III missile ten years ago, and had test-fired it unsuccessfully over the last two years. The breakthrough came last month and the first test launch succeeded in early December. The Hsiung Feng III is the third generation of Taiwan's locally-built Hsiung Feng-series of anti-ship missiles. Taiwan, worried about China's growing military strength, has been upgrading its weapons research and development capabilities in recent years. Taiwan is separated from China by the 120km-wide Taiwan Strait.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Allawi seeking election delay?
Allawi apparently wants the elections delayed about a month to get more time to kill bad guys. Sounds good (pretty much) to me. He thinks he can get a commitment from the Sunnis to vote if he delays it.
Iraq's interim government has met U.S. officials and Iraqi politicians regarding a postponement of the Jan. 30 elections.

Iraqi officials said Prime Minister Iyad Alawi and Defense Minister Hazem Shalaan have determined that insurgents would torpedo Sunni participation in the elections, a move that could split the country.

"Alawi sees no point in the elections, but doesn't want to do anything without a consensus that would include the United States," an Iraqi official said. "He has been talking to everybody to ensure that any delay would be limited and agreed by all."

Sunni insurgents have stepped up attacks against both the coalition and the Iraqi government, Middle East Newsline reported. Over the weekend, insurgents abducted three senior Iraqi officials and killed at least five people who worked for the U.S. military.

Officials said Alawi and other senior ministers have assessed that the rise in insurgency attacks in Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle would dissuade most Sunni voters from traveling to the polling stations. They said Alawi has been concerned that a Sunni boycott would mark a huge victory for Saddam Hussein loyalists.

"I think a worst case is where they have a series of horrific attacks that cause mass casualties in some spectacular fashion in the days leading up to the elections," Brig. Gen. Erv Lessel, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said. "If you look over the last six months, they have steadily escalated the barbaric nature of the attacks they have been committing. A year ago, you didn't see these kinds of horrific things."

[On Monday, the deputy police chief of Baghdad, Brig. Gen. Amr Ali Nayef, and his son, also a police officer, were shot dead in Baghdad. Later, a suicide car bomb disguised as a police vehicle was detonated inside a police station courtyard. At least four officers were killed.]

So far, Alawi has proposed a postponement of the elections for about one month. Officials said coalition and Iraqi forces have made a dent in the violence and over the next few weeks could be utilized for an intensive effort against Saddam loyalists and the Tawhid and Jihad group headed by Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi. One option, they said, was the formation of a joint U.S.-Iraqi squad to hunt down and kill insurgency leaders.

Officials said Shi'ite politicians have also been considering a delay in the elections, a proposal urged by European Union and Arab states. They said the United States does not oppose a delay as long as Shi'ite leaders, particularly Ayatollah Ali Sistani and Kurdish politicians, announce their consent and Sunni leaders pledge to participate in rescheduled elections.

Alawi's proposal would set a new date for elections that would not be revised, officials said. They said the proposed delay would comprise the final opportunity for the Sunni community to participate in an elected post-Saddam government.

"We all want elections, but we are seeking fair and free elections," Sheik Mahmoud Al Somaidie, a member of the Sunnis' Association of Muslim Scholars, said. "Those of us who are calling for postponement are seeking that for the benefit of the country. Elections have to be an Iraqi demand, not the demand of the foreign countries."
If they do this, I think it's a good idea to have more time to kill members of the reactionary death squads that haunt Iraq, and give the Sunnis one last chance to participate in the election and save face over their prior refusal as well. Like it or not (me: not), face is a significant factor and the Sunni clerics' association isn't going to back down in front of their followers without a face-saving measure.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Ritchie Boys
Did you know that during WWII there was a special U.S. Army unit made up mainly of young Jewish refugees from Germany? A documentary finally tells their story, further dispelling the myth that Jews didn't fight against the Nazis.
From the beaches of Normandy until the end of the war, the Ritchie Boys served on and behind the frontlines as interrogators, psychological warriors, authors of anti-Nazi leaflets and broadcasts, experts on the inner workings of the German war machine and concentration camp liberators.

Urging German soldiers to surrender from trucks equipped with loudspeakers, they became a favorite target of enemy artillery. They encountered their greatest danger in the Battle of the Bulge.

During a last, desperate push, the German army infiltrated English-speaking German soldiers in GI uniforms into the American lines. The infiltrators often spoke English with the same German accent as the Ritchie boys.

In the heat of battle, the Ritchie boys were likely to be shot by their fellow GIs, and a worse fate awaited them if they were captured by the Germans.

Ten of the Ritchie veterans, now mostly in their 80s but with sharp minds and memories, recall their experiences in the 90-minute film.

“Our teams were bright,? Victor Brombert says, “not always courageous, not the best military, but our hearts were in it.?

The Battle of the Bulge also proved to be one of their most frustrating experiences. Through interrogations of civilians and POWs, a Ritchie team realized that the enemy was building up a massive force of troops and tanks.

Some of the team drove through the night to corps headquarters to warn of the imminent assault, only to be told to stop worrying and go back to their units. The Germans struck within hours.

Not all the recollections are grim. With the fall of Berlin, some of the boys concocted a story that they had captured Hitler’s personal toilet and latrine orderly, which made headlines across the world.

Among the 10 veterans interviewed, two went on to become distinguished university professors, while a third, Fred Howard, gained fame of a different kind by inventing L’eggs, the pantyhose packaged in eggshell replicas.
New documentary sheds light on story of Jewish refugee GIs
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