daily archive: 04/16/2005
'...and he's very, very, very devilish'
Michael Jackson - is he or isn't he? (A pedophile) Did he or didn't he? (Molest little boys) And does his music suck or what? (Yes.)
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One of the reasons we named bloggie "Discarded Lies" was Deir Yassin - evariste has said he'll write a post about it sometime. Meanwhile:
This week is the anniversary of the events that took place in the Arab village of Deir Yassin in 1948. In recent years, Deir Yassin has been converted into a bludgeon by the Far Left, the neo-Nazi Right and Israel-bashers in general.
Deir Yassin is the ultimate "Man Bites Dog" news story supposedly based on the inversion of players. It is recited endlessly by the very same people who have nothing to say against a century of countless massacres of Jewish civilians by Arabs. The church in St John's Wood in London is just one of many examples of outfits "commemorating" the "victims" of Deir Yassin this week.
Deir Yassin was a not-at-all innocent Arab village sitting near the only road into Jerusalem in 1948. The previous December, the United Nations had voted to partition what was left of Mandatory Palestine into two states, one a Jewish state and the other, an Arab state to be named Palestine, of approximately equal sizes. The Jews of Israel accepted the plan, while the Arab states and the Palestinian Arab leadership rejected it. Had they accepted it, a Palestinian state would have arisen peacefully in 1948.
In response to the UN resolution, Arabs launched attacks against Jews everywhere in the country and in particular, placed the city of Jerusalem under siege. The Jewish population of Jerusalem was quite literally starving. The only road into the city passed through the area of Deir Yassin, and the Arab militiamen in the town were stopping all convoys from passing through.
Since Israel had yet to be formally proclaimed, the only Jews doing the fighting were members of three poorly-armed militias. The main one was the Haganah, commanded by David Ben-Gurion and the socialist Zionist party. There were two smaller ones operating independently under the command of the dissident "Revisionist Zionist" movement, the Etsel (Irgun) and the Lehi.
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Kissinger: Atomic Iran is the End of Civilization
Henry Kissinger admits that the free world should be prepared for another war if Iran continues with his nuclear plans.
If Iran succeeds in building nuclear weapons, it could touch off an arms race that leads to the end of civilization, Henry Kissinger warned yesterday.Kissinger's Iran nuke alert
The former secretary of state told a panel discussion in midtown [NY] that the world needs to be ready if diplomacy fails to dissuade Iran from halting its nuclear program.
"I do not believe that living in a world with 20 or 30 nuclear states is a situation that civilized life can support," said Kissinger, who served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
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Ethnic Arabs clash with Iran military
Fierce clashes have broken out between Iranian military forces and ethnic Arab Iranians who are calling for an independent state in southern Iran.Ethnic Arabs clash with Iran military
Sources in the region said at least three ethnic Arabs had been killed and many injured in demonstrations in the southern province of Khuzestan.
The demonstrations were called for by the London-based Popular Democratic Front of Ahwazi Arabs in Iran.
More than 250 were reportedly arrested.
A representative of the group, speaking to Aljazeera from London, said there were movements within and outside Iran pressing for independence of the region, home to at least three million Iranians of Arab descent.
"The demonstrations to mark 80 years of Iranian occupation were peaceful but the Iranian authorities confronted the people with violent means and military force," he said.
He said Iranian military units had besieged several ethnically Arab villages after the demonstration.
Iranian political activist Muhammad Navaseri said Arab residents of Ahwaz, the capital of Khuzestan province, gathered on Friday morning, chanting slogans against alleged government plans to move more non-Arabs in the city.
He said they set fire to banks and police stations in Ahwaz before more than 250 of them were arrested.
Another Ahwaz resident, Yusuf Nabitaraf, said protesters smashed the windows of several banks and set at least one police station on fire.
There has been no official comment from Tehran.
Accusations of ethnic cleansing
The London-based front said there will be forcible relocation of about 3 million ethnically Arab Iranians from the Ahwaz region to other areas inside the Islamic republic.
Protests reportedly have spread to other Iranian cities in the south
"This is a form of ethnic cleansing to ensure Iran's national security interests," the group said.
A copy of a letter allegedly signed by former vice-president Muhammad Ali Abtahi outlines a plan for changing the population composition in Ahwaz by relocating non-Arabs to the city to make them the majority.
The letter was widely circulated in Ahwaz and other cities in Khuzestan, an oil-rich province that borders Iraq.
Arabs make up more than 3% of Iran's population; Persians account for 51% of the population thought to be more than 70 million.
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Saudi Arabia's top oilfield in decline
This is pretty interesting: Bank says Saudi's top field in decline
Speculation over the actual size of Saudi Arabia's oil reserves is reaching fever pitch as a major bank says the kingdom's - and the world's - biggest field, Gharwar, is in irreversible decline.
The Bank of Montreal's analyst Don Coxe, working from their Chicago office, is the first mainstream number-cruncher to say that Gharwar's days are fated.
Coxe uses the phrase "Hubbert's Peak" to describe the situation. This refers to the seminal geologist M King Hubbert, who predicted the unavoidable decline of oilfields back in the 1950s.
"The combination of the news that there's no new Saudi Light coming on stream for the next seven years plus the 27% projected decline from existing fields means Hubbert's Peak has arrived in Saudi Arabia," says Coxe, referring to data compiled by the International Energy Association's (IEA) August 2004 monthly report.
Coxe dismisses Saudi claims that the country can produce extra capacity to satisfy surging demand. He notes that Saudi promises to increase production last year failed to materialise. Aramco had pledged an extra 500,000 barrels of oil immediately and an extra 5 million bpd by 2012.
He says the markets had "assumed this first flow would be a half million barrels daily of the benchmark Saudi Light, the high-end product that any oil refinery can process. Instead ... the new oil was heavy, sulphurous oil that only a few refineries had the spare capacity to use".
Continuing, he asks: "What about those 5mbpd of new production by 2012? It turned out that only 2.5 million barrels would be net additions to Saudi output: Declines from existing fields will slash production by 2.5 million bpd."
Read the whole thing. OPEC disincentives to tell the truth about the size of oil reserves, dismal results for new drilling in Saudi, and lack of transparency are all explored.
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The other day I was driving with a friend to grab some lunch. National Public Radio was playing softly on the radio. The segment quoted our Commander-in-chief, who in his Texas drawl, demanded that Syria pull its troops out of Lebanon. The demand came on the heels of the brazen assassination of Rafiq Harriri, a former Lebanese Prime Minister who was leading the political charge to peacefully end Syrian occupation. Most Lebanese -- most of the world – suspect Syrian complicity in Harriri’s murder.
Referring to Bush, my friend commented, “Gosh, I can’t stand that man!�? This struck me as odd because my friend is a liberal progressive. Bush’s demand for Syria -- a terrorist supporting, fascist police state – to vacate Lebanon and allow it to be free and democratic seemed like a position any American could agree with.
The above anecdote got me thinking about the motives of the anti-Bush crowd, most of whom consider themselves to be liberal-minded progressives. How could so many oppose, ignore or scoff at the emergence of democracy in Iraq, for example? How can so many ignore the subsequent democratic ripple effect making its way across the Middle East?
Documentary film-maker Michael Moore, a hero of the anti-Bush crowd, declared not so long ago that, “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win....�?
But who are these “Minutemen�? and what does their “revolution�? stand for? A close examination of Iraq’s demographic makeup can help answer that question.
Iraq is a heterogeneous country composed of Arabs (75-80%), Kurds, (15%-20%) Turkomen, Assyrians and others (5%). [Note: Iraq’s Jewish population, which dates back to antiquity, was stripped of political rights in the 1950’s. Following pogroms and high-profile executions of community leaders, almost the entire community fled to Israel.]
Iraq is predominantly Muslim (97%), but the Muslim population itself is divided between Shi’a (60%-65%) and Sunni (32%-37%). It is important to note that the Islamic world is dominated by Sunnis; the Shi’a are a minority, however in Iraq they are the majority. Christians or others compromise about three percent.
Since independence Iraq has always been ruled by dictators of one sort or another, but they always had one thing in common- all were Sunni Arabs. Thus, Iraq has been dominated for over half a century by a minority that, in order to cement its hold on power, has repressed the Shi’a majority and ethnic Kurdish minority (and other minorities) in some of the most horrific manners, including the use of poison gas attacks and mass executions of civilians.
Iraq’s most notorious dictator is, of course, Saddam Hussein, whose full name is Saddam Hussein al-Takriti. The village of Takrit – where Saddam was born -- is located in the Sunni Arab heartland of Iraq. Saddam relied heavily on fellow Sunni Arabs from Tikrit to rule Iraq, and to a lesser extent other Sunni Arabs.
But since the fall of Saddam’s regime, the playing field has been leveled. For the first time in Iraq’s history – for the first time in the history of the Arab world – a non-Arab has been elected President, namely Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish. Iraq’s new Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jafa’ari, is Shi’a Muslim.
It doesn’t take a Middle East expert to figure out that the backbone of the so-called “insurgency�? are disgruntled Sunni Arabs who want to return to power and who despise the idea sharing it with Kurds or the Shi’a. The “insurgents�? are fortified by Sunni Arabs from neighboring Arab states, because they also hate the idea of non-Sunnis dominating an Arab country. And, as evidenced by al-Qaeda supporter Musab al-Zarqawi, some of the foreign Arab fighters are your usual America-hating, Bin-laden-loving Islamist freakazoids.
Although American troops have certainly been targeted and killed by Moore’s “Minutemen,�? the biggest victims have in fact been Iraqis who support democracy. Indeed, far more Iraqi civilians and police officers have been killed by the “insurgents�? than American soldiers.
People can reasonably disagree about whether going to war to remove Saddam from power was the right thing to do or not. But comparing the “insurgents�? to Minutemen or the Viet Cong is not only politically inaccurate, it’s morally reprehensible and completely distorts the reality of what is really happening in Iraq. We simply cannot abandon the vast majority of Iraqis to the “gentle mercies�? of the suicide-bombing head-choppers- but that is exactly what will happen if we view this conflict through the distorted glasses of some of our friends on the Left.
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