discarded lies: wednesday, march 21, 2018 9:08 am zst
abnormal is the new normal
daily archive: 01/30/2005
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
In Solidarity With The Iraqi People


(a thimbleful of cognac to lawhawk)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Christian in a Saudi Jail
Mr O’Connor is an Anglo-Indian. On April 15, 1998, he arrived in Saudi Arabia to work as a baggage handler for Saudi Arabian Airlines. In his spare time, he organised Bible study sessions in the privacy of his home, especially with Pakistanis and Arabs. He had a hundred or so DVD with biblical themes: quotes, documentaries, films on biblical characters. He also had over 60 Trinity Broadcasting Corporation videotapes showing Rev Benny Hinn’s sermons. He had also installed a digital Bible in his computer.

The Saudi Kingdom is home to Islam’s two holiest sites: Mecca and Medina. The country is ruled by a fundamentalist ideology that prohibits all forms of religion except for Islam. Its religious police—the infamous Muttawah—is ever vigilant against Bibles, rosaries, crosses or Christian gatherings. Although Saudi princes have said that non Muslim religious practices are possible in private, the Muttawah makes no difference between private and public.
Read the rest: Brian O’Connor: “My story, a Christian in a Saudi jail?
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Not important or newsbreaking, I just wanted this story as a keepsake. The title of the link is Pope Loses Battle With Peace-Symbol Dove, but he didn't lose any battle, it's just that the symbols of peace recognised a peacemaker when they saw one. Yeah, I know, I'm sappy.
John Paul prayed that young people, "who so desire peace, become courageous and tenacious builders" of peace.

Each of the children at his side sent a dove flying, but the white birds, perhaps alarmed by Rome's unusual cold spell, almost immediately darted back into his studio.

Laughing, the 84-year-old ailing pontiff seemed determined to set the symbol free. He grabbed one of the doves as an aide returned the birds to the window sill, and he shooed it out the window and playfully patted the boy on the head.

After a quick flight over the square, the bird quickly fluttered inside again as the pope grinned.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Gentleman's Agreement
Haaretz Haharetz sounds like the Onion sometimes; fortunately, we have HTML on our side and therefore can remedy the situation: Hamas, Hezbollah agree to uphold resistance continue terrorism against Israel
Hezbollah and Hamas have agreed to uphold the resistance option continue terrorist attacks against Israel despite U.S. pressure on the militant terrorist Lebanese and Palestinian groups, a Hezbollah statement said Sunday.

The agreement came in a meeting between Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah at the latter's office in south Beirut.
Got an address? IDF will need it to ship that missile we were talking about...
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
A Festival for All Iraqis
This is a designated happy thread - pessimism not allowed on the premises. Today, democracy and freedom won in the face of violence and intimidation. My hat's off to the Iraqis.
Some came on crutches, others walked for miles then struggled to read the ballot, but across most of Iraq millions turned out to vote Sunday, defying insurgent threats of a bloodbath.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Why is there a poster of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted murderer, in a French Gas & Electric utility building?

If the French support the death penalty at home, why do they oppose it abroad? To demand something ELSE, like supplicating penitent explanations from America about their internal affairs?
Go forth and read it: ¡No Pasarán!: THE FABRICATION OF A SEXY BEAST
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
China acquiring capability to destroy CBGs
Adam Yoshida points out a highly disturbing development. The Communist Chinese are seeking to buy the capability to destroy entire carrier battle groups, America's foremost instrument of power and force projection.
Quietly, and beneath the radar of the vast majority of Americans, the People’s Republic of China is building up its armed forces to pose a true threat to the United States. The latest sign of this danger comes in the form of reports that the Chinese are looking into acquiring up to forty TU-22 “Backfire? bombers from Russia.

If you’re a fan of Tom Clancy, or if you’re familiar with the operations of the US Navy during the later stages of the Cold War, the very name should send a shiver down your spine. The Backfire is powerful, long-range, supersonic bomber capable of carrying a number of powerful anti-ship missiles.

In the form of the TU-22, the Soviet Union devised the ultimate anti-carrier weapon. The concept was simple: these bombers would reach out into the Ocean to assault either US troop convoys or Carrier Battle Groups. The bombers would dash in at maximum speed, fire their missiles at supersonic speed, and overwhelm American defenses in a massive barrage.

These weapons were considered dangerous enough the F-14 Tomcat, the AIM-54 air-to-air missile, and the AEGIS air defense system were primarily designed to guard against them. Only through careful concentration of firepower would a US Carrier group be able to overcome a massed bomber strike of the sort that the Soviets were capable of and which the Chinese are apparently reaching for.

If the Chinese are seriously thinking about buying these bombers it’s an obvious sign that China’s entire defense posture is being oriented towards an assault on Taiwan. The TU-22 is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a top-tier ground attack aircraft. It has one primary purpose: attacking and overwhelming US Carrier Groups.

Put into operation, Chinese-run squadrons of Backfires would pose the first serious threat to American Carriers since the end of the Cold War.

Worse still, the Chinese have embarked upon a $10 Billion program of Submarine acquisition. While the exact quality and composition of the force the Chinese are seeking to create is unknown, it’s hard not to be disturbed by the obvious: the amount of money proposed would buy roughly seven Virginia-class Submarines at American prices. Just what will it buy China?

This must be put in the broader context of the broader challenge to American power being put forward by China. A recent report prepared for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld detailed the Chinese effort to gain control of strategic “chokepoints? on the world’s waterways. Most notably, as part of this effort, the Chinese have begun work on a canal (set to be controlled by China) which will allow ships to bypass the often-hazardous Straits of Malacca.

To make things even more concerning, a holding company owned by the Chinese has managed to take de facto control of the Panama Canal.

The truly alarming thing about all of this is just how smart the Chinese have been about all of this. They aren’t going to behave like the Soviet Union and have their Premier pounding his shoe on the desk at the UN. They’re going to smile a knowing smile as they kindly step towards us with their knife in their pocket.

What’s happening is very obvious: the Chinese are working quietly, but steadily, towards the day when their power will be so overwhelming as to make any challenge prohibitive. When they move against Taiwan (and it is only a matter of when, not if) they’ll be powerful enough that American participation in the defense of Formosa will mean the sure loss of at least one Carrier and ten thousand American lives. Faced with that sort of danger, virtually any American President will concede the day.

The thing being ignored in all of that is this: the day that China conquers Taiwan with the acquiescence of the United States and Japan will be the day that China becomes the master of all Asia.

Extreme solutions are the only ones likely to solve this problem. The Chinese have moved so quickly and so stealthily that our only chance to stop them is to take a roll of the dice on any of a number of risky solutions. Either we begin an immediate anti-Chinese military build-up and commit to defend the rest of Asia in the event of aggression by China or we begin to explore less orthodox means of reprisal.

I, for one, suggest that we begin by asking ourselves if, in the case of Taiwan, “proliferation? is such a bad word after all.
8 commentsseo45 left a comment at 8:18 am 03/20
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ev and zorkie in Discarded Lies:
Which NYT opinion editorial columnist are you?
Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You? - Quizilla. We both took this. Guess what? It smacked us right upside the head!

That's right, people. We're both Thomas Friedman. Here's what we look like in bed next to each other:
You are Thomas L. Friedman! You're the foreign affairs expert. You're liberal on most issues,except you're a leading voice in the pro-war movement. You're probably the most popular columnist at the Times, but probably because you play both sides of the Iraq issue and relish your devotion to what you call "fanatical moderatism." You sure can write, but you could work on your sense of humor.
Allah's immortal parody is still the final word on Friedman for us. We can't believe these people for making us Thomas Friedman. evariste thought he'd be William Safire and zorkie thought she'd be Nick Kristof. Here's what our deepest sexual fantasy looked like:

That's zorkie on the left. Isn't she cute? I do kind of like her mustache in the Thomas Friedman one (she's the Thomas Friedman on the left).

Anyway. We hope none of you guys are Maureen Dowd!
no comments yetseo45 left a comment at 8:18 am 03/20
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
It's Psychic!
Ok, turn off the lights, gather 'round the table, light the séance candles and hold hands with the other participants. Now, clear your mind and concentrate...concentrate on the crystal ball...

(a thimbleful of cognac to jim russell)
no comments yetseo45 left a comment at 8:18 am 03/20
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
This Is Democracy
Casting his vote, Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi called it "the first time the Iraqis will determine their destiny." The country's mostly ceremonial president, Ghazi al-Yawer, said it was Iraq's first step "toward joining the free world."

Despite the heavy attacks, turnout was brisk in some Shiite Muslim and mixed Shiite-Sunni neighborhoods. Even in the small town of Askan in the so-called "triangle of death" south of Baghdad — a mixed Sunni-Shiite area — 20 people waited in line at each of several polling centers. More walked toward the polls.

"This is democracy," said Karfia Abbasi, an elderly woman in a black abaya voting south of Baghdad. She held up a thumb stained with purple ink to prove she had voted.

Iraqis Vote in Election, 17 Die in Attacks
This is the beginning of democracy, Mrs Abbasi, you're right. I'm sorry it's a rough start but today I'm very happy for the Iraqi people.
no comments yetseo45 left a comment at 8:18 am 03/20
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