Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi's son says the US will open an embassy in Tripoli within days, and that Libya will be removed from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism by the year's end.
Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, who runs the Qadhafi International Association for Charitable Organisations and who has assumed an increasingly prominent international role, said on Monday that Libya would also soon open its embassy in the American capital.
"The Libyan and American flags will be raised in Tripoli and Washington within the coming days," he said.
There was no immediate confirmation from the US State Department.
Al-Qadhafi said American and Libyan officials were negotiating the embassy reopening in the Libyan capital and removal of the Libyan government from the list of countries sponsoring terrorist acts.
He was speaking a day after visiting Senator Richard Lugar, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
This is the part where everybody expects me to be a good little pundit and denounce the irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric of a member of the lunatic fringe. But you know what? Screw that. Hugo Chavez is a fucking monster. Let me count the ways.I couldn't have said it any better myself. In fact, I didn't. Jeff nailed it.
In 1992 Chavez led a military coup to take over the government of Venezuela, killing eighteen people in the process. For this he spent a paltry two years in prison before being pardoned by a sympathetic political ally. Chavez “won" an “election" in 1998 running on a platform so radical and repellant that even Stalin would have balked at it. Of course, no election that installs a government that abolishes fundamental civil rights and tramples over the sovereignty of the body politic could ever be considered legitimate or valid by reasonable people, but as long as the ballot boxes have padlocks on them, the much-lauded “international observers" are satisfied. Leave out the fact that the populace is entirely uneducated and functionally illiterate and that the “winning" candidate got to the top of the pile by promising utopian dreams that even a four-year-old should know better than to believe. But hey, there were ballots involved, so let’s all call it an election and pretend that Venezuela is a democracy.
After less than a year in office, Chavez effectively dissolved both the judicial and legislative branches of government. A new, absurd constitution was drawn up and forced through a popular referendum (see above re: illiterate populace and pretend democracy), and after packing a new rubber-stamp legislative body with supporters, Chavez managed to get a law passed giving him the power to rule as an autocrat. He has called capitalism “the road to hell," and considered himself a close personal friend of Saddam Hussein. His closest political ally is Fidel Castro. Castro, for God’s sake.
As if that weren’t enough, he’s begun to make some very scary noises about what he calls “Latin American integration," which appears to be a politically correct term for what we used to call “panamericanism." From all appearances, Chavez dreams of reunifying Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama to reestablish what used to be called Greater Colombia, and uniting it with a remade Federal Republic of Central America to create a single, unified “socialist paradise" that stretches all the way north to Chiapas.
Do I have to tell you that the vision of a theaterwide war of totalitarian unification right on top of one of the biggest deposits of oil in the Western hemisphere is a very fucking scary prospect?
Basically the picture you should be getting here is that Hugo Chavez is evil, a power-mad dictator with delusions of grandeur. He’s fucking Palpatine without the robe, guys. Seriously.
I think Pat Robertson absolutely has a point. I think a lot of Latin America’s impending problems could be solved once and for all by a busboy with a silencer. And I’ve about had it with people who are too squeamish to admit it.
The United States isn’t just-another-country. We’re the world’s only superpower. We have a responsibility to lead the world not because we choose to, or because we deserve to, but because we can, and God knows the world needs leading. The Venezuelan people got themselves manipulated into installing an expansionist autocrat as their absolute dictator. Like the guy who sees that his neighbor’s house is on fire, we have a responsibility to run over there with a bucket and help him put it out.
And if the best way to put out the fire is to kill a power-mad dictator, then so be it.
So yeah, as much as I disagree with Pat Robertson on some things, I think he’s doing a valuable service today by calling national attention to a huge geopolitical time bomb ticking away on our own back steps.
Two men were arrested in Istanbul while trying to sell uranium of Russian origin in a sting operation conducted by Turkish special police, Russian media reported Wednesday.
The men’s names and nationalities were not released by Turkish authorities, but they where taken into custody while trying to hock a glass tube containing 173 grams of uranium-235 and uranium-238 for a price tag of $7m to Turkish law enforcement agents posing as potential buyers.
The detainees said they had smuggled the uranium from Russia, the mosnews.ru Web site reported Wednesday. Turkish authorities fear the substance was eventually headed for terrorist hands.
Authorities are concerned that incidents in recent years involving the seizure of uranium in Turkey are becoming more common. A spokesman for the Turkish security services said: “The only place where the uranium could eventually land is in the hands of terrorists," the Itar-Tass news agency reported.
A source at Rosatom, who declined to be named, said in a telephone interview with Bellona Web from Moscow that he was aware of the seizure and confirmed the material had “most likely come from Russia," but added he could not disclose from what facility the radioactive substance might have been taken. It was unclear whether Rosatom, in fact, knew.
Sources in the Turkish security forces noted that the uranium had the capacity to meet one-year’s worth of New York City’s electricity requirement, Turkey’s Anatolia news agency reported.
Courageous words: Not everyone in the Arab world praises Osama Bin Laden and terror groups as heroes. Indeed, some Arabs have issues scathing attacks on radical Islamic groups and they manner in which they interpret Islam.As a sidenote, "Jazeera" simply means peninsula (the Arabian peninsula natch), and you can't assume that everything called Jazeera has anything to do with the terrorist-loving satellite channel.
The criticism leveled at extremists by Saudi journalist Muhammad al al-Sheikh, however, is unusual in its harshness. In two pieces published
in Saudi newspaper al-Jazeera, and presented courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute, al-Sheikh charged radical Islamists hold a similar, and even worse, ideology than radical Islam, and should be treated as Europeans coped with Nazism.
The first article was published in July 10, following the release of an extremist spiritual leader from prison. The release raises many questions, al-Sheikh said.
“The man is one of the forefathers of terrorism and he is the one who raised, through his books and radical interpretations, many of those belonging to terror groups."
“They say a Jordanian court acquitted him of charges that include the blowing up of American facilities…however, this dangerous terrorist did something much worse: he seized upon the down-and-out situation of many Muslim youths today in order to perpetuate violence, murder and destruction forever. In order to plant deep roots for the idea of suicide and to incite kids to commit suicide."
“This is the root of the problem," said al-Sheikh.
‘Hating the other’
According to al-Sheikh, “eradicating terror will only be possible by doing away with the ideas that come from our society. A military solution is not enough," he said.
“We must treat modern Jihad parties just as the Europeans treated Naziism," he added.
“The ideas of radical Islam are similar to the ideas that drove the Nazi ideology. If the economic freeze and national depression in 1930 led to the emergency to murderous Nazism, we can say that the economic and cultural failure that grip Arab and Muslim countries today, together with the frustration of many Muslims, are once again driving this murderous philosophy."
Similarly, the common denominator is hatred and physical elimination of the other, al-Sheikh said
“I still believe that one of the first tasks for the international community today should be to reconstruct its experience with Nazism and cope with this barbaric, dangerous culture as it did with the Nazi culture," al-Sheikh wrote.
“If this isn’t done, the coming days could be very eventful and their implications for the whole of humanity would be much more severe than those of the World War," he concluded somberly..
The U.S. Military's new nemesis in Iraq is named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, and he is not a Baathist or a member of al-Qaeda. He is working for Iran. According to a U.S. military-intelligence document obtained by TIME, al-Sheibani heads a network of insurgents created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express purpose of committing violence against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Over the past eight months, his group has introduced a new breed of roadside bomb more lethal than any seen before; based on a design from the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia Hizballah, the weapon employs "shaped" explosive charges that can punch through a battle tank's armor like a fist through the wall. According to the document, the U.S. believes al-Sheibani's team consists of 280 members, divided into 17 bombmaking teams and death squads. The U.S. believes they train in Lebanon, in Baghdad's predominantly Shi'ite Sadr City district and "in another country" and have detonated at least 37 bombs against U.S. forces this year in Baghdad alone.
Since the start of the insurgency in Iraq, the most persistent danger to U.S. troops has come from the Sunni Arab insurgents and terrorists who roam the center and west of the country. But some U.S. officials are worried about a potentially greater challenge to order in Iraq and U.S. interests there: the growing influence of Iran. With an elected Shi'ite-dominated government in place in Baghdad and the U.S. preoccupied with quelling the Sunni-led insurgency, the Iranian regime has deepened its imprint on the political and social fabric of Iraq, buying influence in the new Iraqi government, running intelligence-gathering networks and funneling money and guns to Shi'ite militant groups--all with the aim of fostering a Shi'ite-run state friendly to Iran. In parts of southern Iraq, fundamentalist Shi'ite militias--some of them funded and armed by Iran--have imposed restrictions on the daily lives of Iraqis, banning alcohol and curbing the rights of women. Iraq's Shi'ite leaders, including Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, have tried to forge a strategic alliance with Tehran, even seeking to have Iranians recognized as a minority group under Iraq's proposed constitution. "We have to think anything we tell or share with the Iraqi government ends up in Tehran," says a Western diplomat.