discarded lies: monday, december 18, 2017 3:13 am zst
strangers in a strange blog
daily archive: 01/14/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Gadhafi: the Opera
I suppose that once the Brits made an opera about Jerry Springer it was inevitable that Gadhafi would be next. Maybe they had left-over sequins and didn't know what to do with them...
Having led his country back into the international mainstream after renouncing ambitions to build weapons of mass destruction, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is now being immortalized by a leading London-based opera company. The English National Opera (ENO) announced in a statement earlier this week that the yet-to-be named commission "examines the creation of a myth." It is about "a man of humble origin," the ENO said, "born into a Bedouin tribe who became a powerful and influential political leader ... the volatile relationship between the Middle East and the West and ... international politics and their representation in the media of both worlds." Libya announced in late 2003 that it was abandoning attempts to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons after months of secret negotiations with London and Washington. This was followed the next March by a landmark trip by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Tripoli. However, Gadhafi remains a deeply controversial figure in Britain due to the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, blamed on Libya. Tripoli has since paid damages to the relatives of the 270 people killed. The new opera is being jointly composed by Steve Chandra Savele, of British rock group Asian Dub Foundation, and playwright Shan Khan.
Perhaps Mick Jagger can play the lead.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
A Primer On Iranian Terrorism
Iran really needs to be next. It's hard to choose between it and Syria because they're both so richly deserving, but every time I read about Iran again I'm convinced of it. This complete overview of Iran's terrorist sponsorship activities-and escaping of consequences for same-should give you pause.
While the world remains fixated on the situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration seems equally concerned with Iran. As the world’s most intense (in quantity and quality) sponsor of international terrorism, and a rogue state in search of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, the specter of an alliance between Al-Qaeda terrorists and the fundamentalist Iran is indeed a scary one. Accusations by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush show that this is indeed the case. This article will examine if the evidence has been stretched or even falsified.

Iran in the past has been responsible for attacks on Americans. Beginning with the hostage crisis of 1979, through the 1980s Lebanon bombings that forced the withdrawal of American troops, and to the recent war in Afghanistan. As the primary sponsor of terrorist groups including the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades (terrorist wing of Fatah which is a branch of the PLO), The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, The PFLP-General Command, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and a wide range of other anti-Israeli organizations, there is a realistic possibility of the forging of an alliance with Al-Qaeda. Beginning in the 1980s, Iran’s openly proclaimed goal through sponsoring militants was to remove Western influence from the region so as to encircle Israel. The linkage the extremists see from the Jewish state of Israel to the United States is that the U.S. is “Big Satan?, while Israel is “Little Satan?, cooperating hand-in-hand on a campaign of genocide against Islam.
Well, get a load of this: Iran is behind a 30-terror group umbrella and arranged meetings for them to plot to attack the US in the mid 90s. Read on...
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Cauldron
In Europe, most discussions about politics and war ultimately focus on Israel, the country we love to obsess about. I guess we've forgotten that we should never trust the Balkans.
About 20’000 ethnic Albanians gathered on 9 January in southern Serbia's Presevo region for the funeral of 16 year-old Dashnim Hajrullahu, who was killed by a Serbian border guard two days earlier as he tried to cross illegally into Macedonia in the border triangle region between southern Serbia, Macedonia, and Kosova. On 8 January, about 1’500 protesters had stormed a government building to demand that local officials talk less and act more in defense of Albanian rights. About 5’000 ethnic Albanians then demonstrated in Presevo on 10 January to protest Hajrullahu's killing. Some speakers called for international troops to replace Serbian soldiers and police in the region. Presevo Mayor Riza Halimi said "if it is the desire of the state to defend its integrity and sovereignty by murdering a child, then such a state has no chance of survival". The teenager had reportedly visited relatives on the Macedonian side of the border and was returning home when he was shot under still unexplained circumstances. Local Albanians were used to visiting relatives and friends throughout the region in Yugoslav times and still often disregard the relatively new frontier boundaries. The Presevo-Bujanovac-Medvedja region of southern Serbia was the scene of an armed Albanian insurgency in 2000-2001 that was ended by a NATO-backed peace plan. Tensions nonetheless remain as the Albanians suspect Belgrade of seeking to curtail their rights and staging periodic crackdowns in order to intimidate the Albanians. They also note that - unlike in Kosova, Slovenia, and Croatia - Serbian law does not provide for guaranteed representation for minorities in the parliament. Local Albanian parties, therefore, do not generally participate in Serbian elections on the grounds that it is impossible for those parties to surmount the nationwide 5 per cent hurdle to obtain representation in the legislature. For its part, Belgrade fears that calls for more home rule in the region are a prelude to the secession of an area many Albanians call "eastern Kosova".
Tense times in Southern Serbia
There have been wars in the Balkans since before the start of recorded history. Since the area has been referred to as the Balkans, notable conflicts have included:

The long conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885)
The Balkan campaigns of World War I (1914–1918)
The Balkan campaigns of World War II (1940–1945)
The Yugoslav wars (1991–1995)
The Kosovo War (1996–1999)
To be continued, I'm sure.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Fingerprints In Passports?
Tom Ridge took a break from baiting and begging terrorists to attack the nation's food supply ("Hey, entire world media! I still don't understand why they haven't attacked our food supply, we're very weak there!") to advocate fingerprints in passports. Well, in chips, in passports, apparently just shmearing your inky thumb all over the inside front page in front of a State Department employee isn't good enough for the feds. You gotta have a chip.
The call by outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge for U.S. passports to bear digital scans of all of the holder's fingerprints highlights one of his successor's looming challenges: applying order to the threatening proliferation of biometric identity verification systems across the world.

Ridge's call, on the eve of a trip to Europe, was couched in the form of an appeal for the United States to show leadership as the international community wrestles with the question of what biometric information to include on passports and visas and how to store the data.

"I, for one, believe if we're going to ask the rest of the world to put fingerprints on their passports, we ought to put our fingerprints on our passports," Ridge told the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "I think you're in a much better position to discuss issues if you have made the commitment to getting them done yourself."
I bet some annoying shrill people somewhere are opposed to this.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
German President: This Is Totally Creepy, But I'll Sign!
Germany just got a new law that says they can shoot down a hijacked jet.
Horst Koehler passed the law, but warned it might contravene human rights clauses by allowing passengers to be "sacrificed" to protect others.

He called for a legal review on the grounds that the constitution prohibits the government from killing citizens.

Interior Minister Otto Schily dismissed Mr Koehler's doubts and said he was wrong to publicly question the law.

President Koehler said he had signed the law into effect because it contained other measures vital to air safety - such as tighter air-traffic controls and more powers for pilots to restrain disruptive passengers.

In a statement issued by his office, however, he expressed "serious doubts" over whether the new law "is compatible with the right to life and physical integrity guaranteed by the constitution".
It's creepy of me to have to say it, but maybe passengers will fight hijackers harder to avoid all dying by being shot down by the government. If they're going to die anyway, they'll die anyway, whether it's by being flown into the Bundestadt or by getting shot down. So why not fight the hijackers to the death if possible? If you incentivize something, you'll usually get more of it. It seems to me like this incentivizes beating the hell out of hijackers rather than submitting to them. Sounds brilliant to me, what do you think?
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Matter of Genocide
As Armenians prepare to mark the 90th anniversary of what they say was a genocide of their people by Ottoman Turkish forces, a leading Turkish historian has called for a multi-national inquiry into what happened.

Armenia says 1.5 million of its people died between 1915 and 1923 on Ottoman territory in a systematic genocide and says the decision to carry it out was taken by the political party then in power in Istanbul, popularly known as the Young Turks.

Ankara denies genocide, saying the Armenians were victims of a partisan war during the first world war, which also claimed many Muslim Turkish lives.

Turkey accuses Armenians of carrying out massacres while siding with invading Russian troops.

"I think we historians, Turkish, American, French, British and Armenian, must come together and form a commission to investigate this issue objectively," Yusuf Halacoglu, head of the Turkish Historical Society, said on Wednesday.

Armenian 'genocide': Probe sought
I think Mr. Halacoglu has the right idea. Not every nation recognizes the Armenian genocide and a multi-national commission of historians to investigate and decide this matter once and for all would be a good start. If nothing else, we should remember what this genocide inspired: "who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Ali G Country
When Jewish organizations lobbied for a law requiring the U.S. Department of State to issue an annual report on antisemitism around the globe, they probably weren't looking to do a favor for Kazakhstan.

The Central Asian country is a frequent target of "Da Ali G Show," the HBO program in which British Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen portrays the character of Borat Sagdiyev — a genial, mustachioed Kazakh reporter who paints a portrait of his homeland as a wild den of misogynistic dog-shooting Gypsy- and Jew-haters. Perhaps the most notorious Borat segment had the disguised Cohen leading patrons at an Arizona country music bar in a rousing chorus of "In My Country There Is Problem" — a catchy song that had the room clapping and singing along to such lyrics as, "Throw the Jew down the well/so my country can be free."
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ev and zorkie in Discarded Lies:
Putting Two Fingers To The Winds Of Change.NET
Note: This marks the start of a recurring featured weekly post from us at Winds of Change.NET. To kick the party off right, we're running a double feature this Friday: a post from the new Children Of The Stoplights series (simulcast here and at Winds of Change.NET) and one from the longer Terra Nostra series (again, simulcast at Winds of Change.NET). The Children Of The Stoplights (a shorter series) is about child trafficking in Europe, and the cold shoulder that European society and authorities turn to the victims of this ghastly trade in human lives. The Terra Nostra series is about the Jewish Holocaust in Greece, righteous gentiles, tales of heroism and simple human will to survive, and the beauty of human souls even in a horrific tableau. We'd like to thank Joe Katzman for offering us a platform to tell these stories. Also: look for zorkie to become part of the HateWatch Briefing team starting in two weeks, along with Lewy14, who's been doing yeoman's work keeping it going all by himself. evariste is already collaborating (and not in a Vichy way) on the Monday Winds of War Briefing with Bill Roggio of the fourth rail. As utterly shameless self-promoters, we'll keep letting you know when our work appears in other blogs, naturally. Armed Liberal, you better keep your powder dry, because Discarded Lies is bent on invading!
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Children of the Stoplights - Part 1
When evariste wrote about sexual slavery in Europe, he mentioned Salonica, my home t own, the destination for many of these women. That subject led to another one: the trafficking of children. In Greece they're called "children of the stoplights" because they hang out at traffic lights selling small packets of tissues or washing windshields for small change.

They're not Greek, these children. Greek children are for the most part loved and well-taken care of, members of large, extended families, spoiled and adored. These kids can barely understand Greek. They use the same few names. The little girls, they all say their name is "Maria," the boys "Yiorgos." They're skinny, their clothes are cheap and ill-fitting, their hair is uncombed, they're Roma, they're Albanian, they're all from some other place. They look weary and scared but they smile easily, like children do. They spend their days and nights at traffic lights, or wandering around the areas their boss has marked for them, restaurants and cafés, but careful not to hang around too long, not to attract too much attention.

But how is it possible not to attract attention? I see the little girl approaching my table, handing out the packet of tissues for sale, head tilted to the side, not even stopping completely, her eyes not completely meeting mine. Everyone sees her. The waiter, the customers, the people walking by, the policemen, handsome in their uniforms, sipping their espresso while leaning on their motorcycles.

I smile and ask how much. I've already bought several packets of kleenex in the last hour between my house and this café from all the other street children. I ask her name. It's Maria, of course, what else would it be. I ask her "is there no school today?" She tells me her classes are in the afternoon. Perfectly plausible since students attend public schools in shifts due to overcrowding. On the other hand...
The Greek government estimates that there are some 3,000 unaccompanied Albanian children in the country, with more coming during the summer months. In oral evidence about the trafficking of Albanian children to Greece, given to the Commission on Human Rights, Terre des Hommes representative Eylay Kadjar-Hamouda said, “A child earns a minimum of €30-€50 per day and gives all the money to his boss. A very small percentage is sent back to his family in Albania but in a very irregular way. Generally several children are exploited at the same time by a boss.�?

In the country of destination, Greece, the children are not considered as victims but as guilty of having illegally entered the country,�? Kadjar-Hamouda noted. “Terre des Hommes is particularly concerned that some of the children placed in centres in Greece simply disappear.�?

The governments of the European Union avert their gaze when it comes to trafficking children, despite having signed on to the Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Trafficking and Child Pornography. A 2002 report by Europol, the European Law Enforcement Agency, on the trafficking of human beings into the EU, shows that most of the 15 member states keep no relevant statistics at all. Only four provide any concrete information, with the majority reporting that figures are “not available�? or “not given.�?

Child trafficking in eastern Europe: A trade in human misery

Children of the Stoplights - Part 2

Children of the Stoplights - Part 3

Children of the Stoplights - Part 4

Children of the Stoplights - Part 5

Children of the Stoplights - Part 6
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Reina Gilberta
Albert and Eda Sciaky got married in the spring of 1939 in Beth-El, the largest synagogue in Salonica, Greece. Their daughter, Reina, was born on the 3rd of April, 1942. By that time Salonica was under German occupation and racial measures were already in effect: Jewish agencies, Jewish newspapers and Jewish shops were closed. The Jewish population was forcibly moved to ghettos, and wearing the yellow star was mandatory. Ten thousand Jewish men were rounded up for forced labour battalions where over a thousand of them died in malaria-infested swamps.

A few months after the birth of his daughter, Albert was able to escape from the city and to join the resistance in the mountains. Eda was left with the baby and no resources. She turned for help to her old classmate, Liliane Fernandes. Liliane and Eda had been friends since they were both students at Saint Joseph, the French lycée in Salonica. The Fernandes family were Jews with Italian citizenship which meant they were exempt from racial measures-for the time being. Liliane had access to transportation, money, and food and was often able to bribe the guards and enter the ghetto. Hundreds of children had died that year from hunger and malnourishment, and there were rumours of upcoming deportations to Poland.

As the German occupation measures became stricter, the Fernandes family decided to leave for Italy, while they still could. Liliane went to see Eda one last time. Realising that once she left Eda would have no one to help her, she asked her to give her the baby. She couldn't take Reina to Italy, she was going to leave her at the convent at St.Joseph's. Eda immediately said no, she would never give her child to the Catholics but Liliane convinced her it was the only way for the baby to survive.

It was Reina's first birthday. After many tears, Eda attached a note to the baby's shirt: "Her name is Reina. May God protect her." She handed the little girl to her best friend. They left, and Eda lost her whole world.
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