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daily archive: 08/31/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The next generation
A Palestinian boy holds a toy gun and Muslim holly book Koran as Hamas supporters celebrate the twin suicide bombing that killed 16 Israeli in Beersheba, in Gaza city August 31, 2004. The Islamist militant group claimed responsibility for the new attacks as vengeance for Israel's assassination of Hamas's two top leaders in helicopter missile strikes. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Kurdo's World has a post and pictures about the twelve Nepali nationals that were beheaded by terrorists in Iraq. Warning: the pictures are graphic.

I don't even know what to say.

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Witch hunt
Iran has arrested dozens of spies, including several who passed secrets about its nuclear program to its enemies, Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi said on Tuesday.

Yunesi said most of those arrested were linked to the Iraq-based Iranian opposition group the People's Mujahideen Organization (MKO). The MKO's political wing, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), made public several undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran in 2002.

But the council denied that any NCRI or MOK informers had been arrested. Former NCRI spokesman, Alireza Jafarzadeh, who broke the news about the nuclear sites, also said his sources were still at large.

Yunesi did not say when the arrests took place, but his remarks came after Iran's "government week" in which ministries catalog their achievements over a broad timeframe.

"The hypocrites (MKO) had the lead role and they have boasted before about spying against Iran in a press conference in America," he added. "We have identified and arrested dozens of spies on various grounds."

Iranian officials label the MKO hypocrites for losing faith in the 1979 Islamic revolution and the government says the group has killed several prominent politicians since the revolution. Washington lists it as a terrorist group.

The NCRI, now labeled a terrorist organization by Washington, has been the source of much reliable information about Iran's atomic program in recent years, as subsequently proven by U.N. inspections.

Iran Says Has Arrested Several Nuclear Spies

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
In Israel, again.


The buses burst into flames about 100 yards apart near a bustling intersection in Beersheba, the largest city in southern Israel, just 10 miles from the West Bank. Hamas issued a leaflet in Hebron — the closest Palestinian city to Beersheba — saying the attack was avenging Israel's assassinations of two of its leaders earlier this year.

Rescue workers scoured the scene, cleaning up body parts and scattered pieces of the wreckage as dozens of onlookers gathered nearby. A hand with a ring lay on the ground, and blood was splattered on the walls of the mangled buses.

In the Gaza Strip, Muslim leaders praised the "heroic operation" over mosque loudspeakers.

Two Bus Bombs kill 15

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Governator
From the WSJ (subscription only)

When Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks tonight at the Republican National Convention, there's every likelihood the media will miss the import of who and what Mr. Schwarzenegger is. It's tough for journalists to see past their own conventional wisdom -- so you'll hear plenty about how surprised pundits are that a global superstar has become a highly effective governor, and plenty about how his liberal-to-moderate social views are giving his conservative party ulcers.

Neither of these predigested storylines is incorrect, of course. Wall Street is so approving of the governor's steady hand (he switched off the auto-pilot left on by Gray Davis and the long-ruling Democrats in the legislature, slashing expected spending for 2004-05 by $8 billion), that S&P has just upgraded California's credit rating from "BBB" to "A- Stable," the third upgrade from a rating agency in four months. Moreover, Mr. Schwarzenegger is pushing an unprecedented effort to force performance measures upon the state's moribund, 325,000-strong bureaucracy. And he's endearing himself to Californians by moving to keep a series of campaign promises, from rolling back a terrorist-friendly law that handed unrestricted driver's licenses to illegal aliens, to wresting away the corrupt worker-comp system from the doctors, lawyers and uninjured workers who milked the state dry.

Mr. Schwarzenegger has done all this while failing to toe the GOP line on issues including abortion and the environment -- and boy, does that bother the media! In a teleconference last week, the national media peppered his staff with disingenuous questions about how he gets away with being pro-choice. The precooked über-story, which journalists are determined to tell, is that Mr. Schwarzenegger is a facade for George Bush, painted onto the podium in New York to lure moderate voters to the polls and obscure the party's true troglodyte nature.

The real story, however, is that Mr. Schwarzenegger is the new face of moderate, mixed-bag, political-mutt America -- the great Muscular Middle, as it were. And he's riding the crest of a big-tent movement in the Republican Party that threatens to leave the increasingly ossified Democratic Party behind. It's no coincidence that four moderate Republicans -- Mr. Schwarzenegger, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Colin Powell -- are the most popular political figures in America. The Democrats can point to no corollary Big Moderates with that level of authority. Each of these superstars is first and foremost a pragmatic problem-solver who can't be bought and speaks his mind. The Democrats must dig deep into their ranks to find the same.


Mr. Schwarzenegger gets what's going on, perhaps better than other top Republican moderates, and certainly better than Democratic ones. Both parties have allowed huge special interests to become the tails wagging their dogs, but the California governor is staking out the radical center. And he's been richly rewarded for it. The Field Poll and others show that he enjoys a high-flying 65% approval rating in California. He has broad support from Schwarzenegger Democrats who put him in office, and almost unanimous support from Republicans. Importantly, his poll numbers ticked upward after he dubbed California's Democrat lawmakers "girlie men" for being so deeply beholden to special interests that they fought cuts in California's deficit-ridden budget.


Most Americans describe themselves as "moderates," and many are still surprisingly soft on their choice for president -- not nearly as "polarized" as the crisis-driven media like to maintain. Against this backdrop, Mr. Schwarzenegger is leading a movement that could grow well beyond California, as voters elsewhere begin to move to the Muscular Middle and demand similar leaders who embrace non-ideological problem-solving.


And he's a sharp dresser too.

(Hat tip: Jim Russell)

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The challenge
"Just days before the beginning of the school year, France has reaffirmed its religious head-scarf ban in the face of death threats against two kidnapped journalists. Radio France International's Christian Chesnot and Le Figaro's Georges Malbrunot seem to be in the hands of Islamist terrorists in Iraq, reportedly the same group that recently murdered an Italian journalist.


France cannot protect itself by wrapping itself in the flag of anti-Americanism. Nor will it be able to address the plague of attacks against French Jews. Last week, French Justice Minister Dominique Perben announced that there had been 298 anti-Semitic attacks already this year, more than triple the rate in 2003.

The war against militant Islamism and against anti-Semitism are intimately intertwined. It is no coincidence that anti-Semitic attacks shot up worldwide after 9/11. Anti-Semitism is not just a challenge for political leaders and law enforcement agencies, it a bellwether of the global challenge to the human ideals France and other democracies stand for. Anti-Semites are emboldened by the "successes" of Islamist terrorism and chastened by its defeats.

Just as the people of France are uniting against the kidnappers, France must unite with the United States (and Israel) against the Islamist threat. France must decide what is more important, asserting its independence from the US, or jointly harnessing the West's tremendous economic and military power to drive all terror-supporting states, particularly Iran and Syria, into compliance with international law."

France's Trauma

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
I spotted a spotted owl!
The Cascadia Forest Defenders strike again:

This week forest defenders across Cascadia united to expose the link between the politicans and corporations that profit from the destruction of US public lands. On Tuesday, 40 Cascadians occupied US Senator Ron Wyden's office. The following day, a protester dressed as a spotted owl locked to a 250 pound stump while others rallied, shutting down Umpqua Bank's flagship branch for several hours.

Both Umpqua Bank and Senator Wyden greenwash their images, depicting themselves as environmentally friendly while supporting and profiting from the destruction of Oregon's native forests. Senator Wyden presents himself as a green politican, and yet of all US politicans he is the fifth highest recipient of campaign contributions from the timber industry. Meanwhile, he sponsors earth-destroying legislation with eco-friendly names like the "Healthy Forest Restoration Act."

Similarly, Umpqua Bank markets itself as a new, hip, eco-conscious bank. In reality "StUmpqua" Bank is run by the dinosaurs of Oregon's ancient forest logging industry. With the past two days of forest actions, local activists are gearing up for the upcoming Earth First! Direct Action Rendezvous in Southwest Oregon the final weekend in August, near the massive Biscuit logging project. The National Earth First! Rendezvous will be held in Oregon in Summer 2005. "

Greenwash! StUmpqua Bank! Ha-ha! Funny.

I used to live in Oregon. Too much rain and way too many trees. Cut the damn things down and build some malls, dudes! Oregonians have like, no places to hang out. No wonder they put owl costumes on and handcuff themselves to tree stumps! Sheesh! It doesn't take a genius...

Cascadia Rising

(Via Indymedia )

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Oh, spirits...
From IowaHawk, my favourite twisted genius:

Connect the Dots

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The second largest anti-war umbrella group to emerge since 9/11 is United for Peace and Justice (UPJ). Like ANSWER, it seems to be a reaction to the events of 9/11. But actually its origins can be traced back to old Soviet-style “agitprop? front groups created during the Cold War.

UPJ commands over 800 local and national groups in the United States, with worldwide affiliates on every continent. Founded in October 2002 by a veteran communist Leslie Cagan, UPJ has claimed responsibility for hundreds of national and global protests, including the two largest in the U.S., on February 15, 2003 and March 22, 2003.


The organizational and ideological support for today’s anti war agitation is traceable to Cagan. As leader of the UPJ, she employs Leninist and Castro-style revolutionary tactics consistent with “Fifth Column? political assaults against the United States. Cagan is one of the most experienced and best organized architects of the war against the war on terror.

The supporter of Castro's Cuba

(Hat tip: Jim Russell)

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