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Keep Calm and Carry On
daily archive: 01/21/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Hizballah Threatens Suicide Attacks in the UK
Hizballah is threatening Britain with suicide attacks if a television channel is not banned within thirty days. For a background on this story, read our previous post about MA-TV and make sure you read Azadeh's post as well.
HIZBOLLAH, the hardline religious group, yesterday threatened to carry out suicide attacks in London in an attempt to kill a UK-based Iranian exile television presenter said to have made insulting comments about Islam.

Manouchehr Fouladvand, on the US-based Farsi language MA-TV, has been accused of mocking Mohammed and the Koran. There have been demands in Iran for the broadcaster's death.

Mojtaba Bigdeli, spokesman for Iran's Hizbollah group, warned the British government must ban the satellite channel, run by Iranian exiles, within 30 days or face the consequences. "After one month, our commandos will carry out suicide attacks in London against the shameless presenter of the channel. He has crossed our red lines by insulting our prophet and Islamic values."

Mr Bigdeli said Hizbollah had the approval of leading clerics to kill him.

The case echoes the Iranian fatwa against the author, Salman Rushdie. The government has hinted at special protection for Mr Fouladvan.
So what is Britain going to do about this?

Via internet haganah
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Guns and Hypocrites Celebrities
Filmmaker Michael Moore's bodyguard was arrested for carrying an unlicensed weapon in New York's JFK airport Wednesday night.

Police took Patrick Burke, who says Moore employs him, into custody after he declared he was carrying a firearm at a ticket counter. Burke is licensed to carry a firearm in Florida and California, but not in New York. Burke was taken to Queens central booking and could potentially be charged with a felony for the incident.

Moore's 2003 Oscar-winning film "Bowling for Columbine" criticizes what Moore calls America's "culture of fear" and its obsession with guns.
And who can forget this little gem: "I think there should be a law -- and I know this is extreme -- that no one can have a gun in the U.S. If you have a gun, you go to jail."

(many thanks to jim russell)

UPDATE: Check out Moorewatch for an update to this story. There are inaccuracies in the Fox article but as JimK puts it,
...the hypocrisy of Moore...in my opinion it still stands. It goes back to the first time we heard that Moore was hiring armed guards. He considers his own safety paramount, and feels that a weapon can protect him, but he doesn’t want the average American to have that same protection.
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guest author: Semite5000 in Discarded Lies:
Thoughts on Freedom and Idealism
Here is Victor Davis Hanson on Bush’s inaugural speech and my thoughts:
FREEDOM AND IDEALISM [Victor Davis Hanson]
This is the first time that an American president has committed the United States to side with democratic reformers worldwide. The end of the cold war has allowed us such parameters, but the American people also should be aware of the hard and necessary decisions entailed in such idealism that go way beyond the easy rhetoric of calling for change in Cuba, Syria, or Iran-distancing ourselves from the Saudi Royal Family, pressuring the Mubarak dynasty to hold real elections, hoping that a Pakistan can liberalize without becoming a theocracy, and navigating with Putin in matters of the former Soviet republics, all the while pressuring nuclear China, swaggering with cash and confidence, to allow its citizens real liberty. I wholeheartedly endorse the president's historic stance, but also accept that we live in an Orwellian world, where, for example, the liberal-talking Europeans are reactionary-doing realists who trade with anyone who pays and appease anyone who has arms-confident in their culture's ability always to package that abject realpolitik in the highest utopian rhetoric. But nonetheless the president has formally declared that we at least will be on the right side of history and thus we have to let his critics sort of their own moral calculus.
Posted at 01:48 PM

I’ve noticed a propensity on behalf of critics of America, both foreign and domestic, to sneer at the very idea of a more idealistic, pro-liberty and pro-democracy foreign policy. Many such critics cite previous American support for unsavory characters during the Cold War -- when we did throw our support behind (almost) any party so long as they were anti-Communist -- as rationale today for rejecting a new foreign policy inspired by the very freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

But I believe such thinking is foolhardy and morally misguided. The logic supposes that because the US once sided with the “lesser evil�? during the Cold War – i.e. say the Afghan Mujahadeen against the USSR, or certain South American actors opposed to communism -- we therefore should not promote our ideals of liberal democracy to parts of the world that are un-free today. In other words, because in the past our foreign policy was less-than-perfect (and hindsight is always twenty-twenty), today we must ignore oppression; that we have no right to promote freedom.

The most ironic thing of all is that those who sneer at the idea of promoting liberty abroad are more often than not our very own domestic liberals! Oh, the irony!

I believe humanity on a whole is on a steady, albeit slow, march from tyranny towards increased freedom and liberty. This is what we are taught every year at Passover when we commemorate our own freedom from slavery. That so many liberals – and not a few Jews among them – reject this simple truth, is shocking to me. No doubt a big reason so many erstwhile liberals sneer at the idea of pro-freedom foreign policy is because it is being articulated by President Bush. It is appalling to allow political partisanship to trump what you know deep-down to be morally correct.

Freedom always wins over tyranny- eventually. This truth is not based in Judaism or Christianity; nay, Judaism and Christianity identified and internalized that eternal truth (and perhaps Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, etc also promote such ideals, but I am not as familiar with those faiths).
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Argentina's Dirty War
From the testimony in the trial of Argentine naval officer Adolfo Scilingo, we're getting a glimpse of what happened to los desaparecidos:
In excerpts played Thursday, Scilingo tells how pregnant detainees had their newborn babies taken away from them and given away in adoption to officers at the school.

"For humanitarian reasons, the pregnant women could not be moved. I mean, eliminated. We had to wait until they gave birth," Scilingo is heard saying. He did not specify how many cases he knew of, saying just "several."

Doctors who delivered babies signed birth certificates in which the children were given the names of the people adopting them, he said.

The goal of these illegal adoptions, he said, "was to keep the children from falling into the subversive mentality of their parents," Scilingo is heard saying.

Scilingo, who was the chief electrician at the school, also speaks in the excerpts of how officials there cremated the bodies of people who died of injuries while under interrogation.

He said these cremations were referred to as "asados" — which translates as roastings — and as chief electrician he was once asked to supply diesel fuel or oil for them to be carried out.

"There were instructions from superiors for all of us at the school to take part. I did not go. It seemed very gruesome to me," Scilingo says in the tape.

Spanish authorities recorded the tape during an interrogation with National Court Judge Baltasar Garzon when Scilingo first came to Spain voluntarily in 1997 to testify about what he saw at the school, one of the Argentine regime's most notorious torture centers. Garzon ended up jailing Scilingo and indicting him.
Argentine Witness Gives Grisly Testimony
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Russia's Homegrown Reconnaisance UAV
First cruise missiles, now UAV capability? Russia's making great strides, probably thanks to the proliferation of cheap computing recently. They've always had high-caliber minds, of course. Russia completing tests of unmanned spy plane

The new modification of the Stroy-PD air reconnaissance system, fitted with the Pchela-1K UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle], is about to complete state tests.
"The Defence Ministry is expected to return a preliminary conclusion on the feasibility of fielding the new air reconnaissance system in the first quarter of 2005," a source in the Russian defence industry told Interfax-Military News Agency.
He noted that the preliminary conclusion of the customer was necessary to launch the new system into mass production and field it with manoeuvre units later on.
According to the source, the main feature of the upgraded Pchela-1K UAV consists in the new avionics, comprising both infrared and TV equipment, as well as special devices, allowing the system to operate both by day and night.
The source also said that the Kulon Research and Development Institute was the flagship developer of the Stroy-PD, while the Pchela-1K UAV had been developed by the Yakovlev design bureau.
According to unofficial sources, the 2005 state defence order envisages procuring a single air reconnaissance system, fitted with the Pchela-1K UAV.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Fact of Life
La France is finally seeing the monster she has created and has made fighting anti-Semitism a "national priority." Let's see how things will be twenty years down the road. Somehow, images of a Judenrein France come to mind, with Jews having fled to Israel for their safety.
"Filthy Jew!" schoolchildren howl at a classmate. "Jews only want money and power," they tell their teachers. "Death to the Jews" graffiti appear on school walls outside Paris and other French cities.

These are not scenes from the wartime Nazi occupation or a fictional France where the far-right has taken control. Outright anti-Semitism like this is a fact of life these days in the poor suburbs where much of France's Muslim minority lives.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Europeans- they're all heart
TSUNAMI-struck Thailand has been told by the European Commission that it must buy six A380 Airbus aircraft if it wants to escape the tariffs against its fishing industry.

While millions of Europeans are sending aid to Thailand to help its recovery, trade authorities in Brussels are demanding that Thai Airlines, its national carrier, pays �1.3 billion to buy its double-decker aircraft.

The demand will come as a deep embarrassment to Peter Mandelson, the trade commissioner, whose officials started the negotiation before the disaster struck Thailand - killing tens of thousands of people and damaging its economy.

While aid workers from across Europe are helping to rebuild Thai livelihoods, trade officials in Brussels are concluding a jets-for-prawns deal, which they had hoped to announce next month.

As the world’s largest producer of prawns, Thailand has become so efficient that its wares are half the price of those caught by Norway, the main producer of prawns for the EU.

To ensure the Thais cannot compete, EU officials five years ago removed its shrimp industry from the EU’s generalised system of preferential tariffs - designed to share Western wealth with developing countries by trade.

The EU has instead slapped a tariff of 12 per cent on its fish - three times that imposed on prawns from Malaysia, its neighbour. This is still less than the US tariff on Thai prawns: 97 per cent.

The prawn tax is one in a series of protectionist measures expected to cost east Asia some �130 million each year - money being taken from its economies while EU citizens donate millions in charity.

Five days after the tsunami struck, the EU legislated against Thailand by slapping a new tariff designed to extinguish its booming trade in cumarin, a plant extract used in perfume.

On 31 December, the EU imposed duties of €3,480 (�2,430) a tonne for Thai exports of cumarin - a move entirely designed to protect Rhodia, a French chemicals firm and the EU’s only producer of cumarin.

Oxfam has attacked the tariffs, saying: "When countries are lying prostrate before us, it is criminal to continue to tax them on what they sell."
Is this how they plan on marketing those new Airbus planes? So basically, Airbus sales can be considered to be subsidized not only with up-front "launch aid" but also by tariff reduction deals. Looked at another way, EU citizens pay higher prices for imported goods so that the EU's trade c'mish can negotiate away the same tariffs to support EU-sponsored sales of goods. Explain to me how that's not taxation by the EU to support Airbus for exclusively political reasons. We're supposed to be impressed by this?! Oh, good for "good old Europe"-their Airbus corporation, founded and continuously financed by three European executive branches (the UK, France and Germany), has built a giant, in two senses. In one sense, it's an enormous machine on a purely physical level. In another sense, it's a government boondoggle of epic proportions and if they're having to extort and threaten tsunami-stricken third world countries in order to get sales of this plane (which has never flown and won't fly commercially till spring). Well, I don't think they have a whole lot of hope. The foolish pride at this manifestation of Eurogigantisme reminds me of the charming boast that the Soviet Union makes the fastest watches and the largest microprocessors in the world.

Take it easy on them, it only took Schroeder two days less than a year after Rummy zinged them as "old Europe" to come up with a witty retort. It's that trademark leaden Teutonic humor. Ja!
For German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Tuesday's ceremony was too good an opportunity to miss for a slight dig at the US.

"There is the tradition of good old Europe that has made this possible," he said defiantly, sounding almost triumphant as he deliberately redefined the phrase previously used by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Ha ha ha! That sly Schroeder!
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Liliane Fernandes
This is also our featured post this week over at Winds of Change.NET.

Liliane Fernandes was the first person to save baby Reina Gilberta's life. Liliane was Reina's mother's best friend, and entrusted her to a convent. (Click on Reina Gilberta's name to read her story if you missed it last week).

The Fernandes family was one of the most prominent in pre-WWII Salonica, one of the familias excelentes. They were originally from Italy and had kept their Italian citizenship. The house they built, Casa Bianca, was one of the most beautiful in the city, large and sunny, decorated with rare works of art. Bianca and Dino Fernandes had two children, Pierre and Aline. Aline had married Spyros Aliberti, an officer in the Greek army, despite her parents' dismay about converting to Christianity in order to marry him. Pierre was married to Liliane, a beautiful girl, also from one of the oldest Jewish families in the city.

Their Italian citizenship afforded them a modicum of freedom in German-occupied Salonica. They were exempt from racial measures and they didn't have to move to the ghetto but as time passed they felt the danger growing and decided to escape to Italy while they still could. Pierre Fernandes was able to procure fake papers and passports through the Italian Consulate in Salonica and the family left.

Bianca, Dino, Pierre, Liliane and their three children rented rooms in a hotel in Meina, a small village resort on Lago Maggiore. Hotel “Meina? belonged to an Istanbul Jew by the name of Alberto Behar, who felt safe because of his Turkish citizenship. In Meina, they met with two other Jewish families from Salonica, the Torres family and the Mosseri family, and Daniel Modiano, also from Salonica but living in Milan.

Here's what happened next:
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