discarded lies: thursday, january 18, 2018 7:48 pm zst
daily archive: 09/15/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
European Security
Europe told to 'rethink security'

"A new study commissioned by the European Union has called for a fundamental rethink of Europe's approach to security. It has also recommended the creation of a European Human Security Response Force, with 15,000 personnel.

The report was written by a study group convened last year at the request of EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana. He asked the group for independent advice on how best to pursue a common security policy for Europe.

In the 21st Century, no country is immune from terrorism, organised crime, or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the study's authors say.

They argue that the security of Europe is indivisible from the security situation in the rest of the world, and conclude that it is in Europe's own interest to tackle the growing global insecurity, within its borders and beyond.

But there is no call for a war on terror here.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
One of Their Own
Ex-Cop Accused of Planning Russia Siege

Russian police investigating the deadly Beslan school siege are looking inside their own squad house: One of the attack organizers was allegedly a former cop who disappeared six years ago.

Russian authorities say one of the plotters behind the attack in Beslan, where more than 330 people died, was Ali Taziyev, a policeman from Ingushetia. Taziyev was allegedly abducted with another officer in October 1998 while guarding the wife of a government official.

The woman was freed in 2000, and the body of Taziyev's partner was found in Chechnya. Later that year, a court in Ingushetia declared Taziyev dead.

Now, Russian officials believe he actually went over to the rebel side, changing his name to Magomed Yevloyev and taking the nom de guerre "Magas" after the new Ingush capital, the Vremya Novostei newspaper reported.

Taziyev, a Muslim, is accused of becoming an adherent of the extreme Wahhabi sect of Islam — the same as al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden — and forming his own small band of fighters.

Islam is the predominant religion in the Caucasus. North Ossetia, where the school siege took place, is unusual in that its predominant faith is Russian Orthodox.

Taziyev allegedly also spearheaded a June raid in Ingushetia that targeted police and security forces and killed 88 people. There were conflicting statements at the time about whether he died in the attack. Several other police officers were arrested for involvement.

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When Things Get Tough
Russia rejects Powell's criticism, joins forces with Israel

While rejecting U.S. and EU criticism of its anti-terrorism reforms, Russia plans to adopt Israel's counter-insurgency methods in Moscow's war against Chechen rebels.

Russian officials said the government in Moscow has agreed to increase security cooperation with Israel and focus on counter-insurgency. The officials said the cooperation would include Israeli training and instruction on a range of issues, including aviation security and civil defense.


Lavrov met Israeli leaders last week and signed an accord meant to pave the way for a joint effort against Islamic insurgency groups.

"I want to express my support that you're giving us to solve security isues," Vasilyev told Israeli reporters at an international conference in Herzliya, which ended on Tuesday. "We will also continue cooperation in the field of protecting public places and will use Israel's experience. To be smarter and tougher, we will have to prepare our citizens."

Russian officials said Moscow was also examining the Israeli model of a civil guard, or auxiliary police, that can carry weapons and conduct searches.

They said this would require new legislation.

Israel and Russia also agreed to expand their intelligence exchange, particularly in the area of Islamic insurgency movements, officials said.

(Hat tip: ploome hineni)
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Meanwhile, in Sudan
In Sudan, Rape's Lasting Hurt

A July report by Amnesty International documented 500 cases of rape in the Darfur region of western Sudan, and added that because of the taboo on discussing rape, that number is probably only a fraction of the total. A UNICEF report said 41 girls and teachers were gang-raped in the village of Tawila alone in February while others were abducted as sex slaves. There were reports the women were branded like cattle.

The trauma of the mass rapes has been deepened by the traditional view that the victims are somehow to blame for what happened and the cultural imperative that a bride be a virgin.

As Fatima Adam ran terrified through the grass during the attack on Tulus last year, two Arab militia fighters chased her down on horseback, leaped to the ground and threw her down to rape her. A third attacker caught up on foot.

"One said, 'This is because you are the Tora Bora,' " Fatima said, the term used by Arab militias to describe the black rebels of Darfur who rose up against the Sudanese government early last year. "I just heard they were insulting me. They shamed me, but I didn't know the meaning of their words."

After the rebellion, Arab militias attacked hundreds of villages across Darfur, raping, pillaging, killing, burning structures and forcing more than 1.2 million blacks from the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa tribes off their land — assaults described as genocide by the U.S. Congress. Human rights groups and Western diplomats believe the militia fighters have had support from the Sudanese government, a claim denied by officials in Khartoum, the capital. The U.N. estimates that 30,000 to 50,000 people have died.

And the brutality is far from over. The team leader at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, David Del Conte, said recently that in the last several months, at least 250 women had been raped in the area southwest of Kass, a southern Darfur city.

A typical militia strategy is to set up camps around a village in the weeks before the main attack, not allowing villagers to fetch water or firewood. Men who venture out are killed, so fathers have to make the terrible decision to send the girls and women to the well outside the village, knowing they face rape but not death.

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One Vietnam Vet to Another
Oliver North wrote an open letter to John Kerry: Bring it on, John

On April 22, 1971, under oath, you told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that you had knowledge that American troops "had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam." And you admitted on television that "yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed."

And for good measure you stated, "(America is) more guilty than any other body, of violations of (the) Geneva Conventions ... the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners."

Your "antiwar" statements and activities were painful for those of us carrying the scars of Vietnam and trying to move on with our lives. And for those who were still there, it was even more hurtful. But those who suffered the most from what you said and did were the hundreds of American prisoners of war being held by Hanoi. Here's what some of them endured because of you, John:

Capt. James Warner had already spent four years in Vietnamese custody when he was handed a copy of your testimony by his captors. Warner says that for his captors, your statements "were proof I deserved to be punished." He wasn't released until March 14, 1973.

Maj. Kenneth Cordier, an Air Force pilot who was in Vietnamese custody for 2,284 days, says his captors "repeated incessantly" your one-liner about being "the last man to die" for a lost cause. Cordier was released March 4, 1973.

Navy Lt. Paul Galanti says your accusations "were as demoralizing as solitary (confinement) ... and a prime reason the war dragged on." He remained in North Vietnamese hands until February 12, 1973.

John, did you think they would forget? When Tim Russert asked about your claim that you and others in Vietnam committed "atrocities," instead of standing by your sworn testimony, you confessed that your words "were a bit over the top." Does that mean you lied under oath? Or does it mean you are a war criminal? You can't have this one both ways, John. Either way, you're not fit to be a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, much less commander in chief."

And this just in: Vietnam Vet: I Lied About Atrocities

Steven Pitkin, an Army combat veteran, told FOX News that Kerry coached him and others to say they had witnessed war crimes, even after Pitkin told Kerry that he had not.

"Before they started the camera, they told me, 'We need you to speak about the atrocities that happened over there.' The whole company line that I initially came out and said, I was coached to say that over and over again," Pitkin said.

(Hat tip: Jim Russell)
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A Slap on the Wrist
U.S. Rebukes Saudis Over Lack of Religious Freedom

The United States on Wednesday accused Saudi Arabia of severe violations of religious freedom in a rare official rebuke of a close ally and key oil supplier that potentially could lead to sanctions.

"Freedom of religion does not exist" in Saudi Arabia, the State Department said in an annual report on religious freedom around the world that included the kingdom for the first time among a list of eight countries "of particular concern."

Wednesday's surprise designation allows for a range of sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but there was no expectation any would be applied on the world's largest oil supplier, where Sunni Islam is the official religion.

"Rather, it's just our way of sending a clear signal to the Saudis that this is a serious issue for us, a problem, and that we want to talk to them about allowing tolerance of religious beliefs and other practices," said a State Department official, who asked not to be named.

Yeah, good luck buddy! Let us know when a synagogue or a church opens in the Magic Kingdom, we'll go visit.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Rosh Hashanah 5765
Dennis Prager on What American Jews need to think about this Rosh Hashanah

"The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, begins at sunset this Wednesday. The holiday's primary purpose is to engage in an "accounting of the soul," and usher in the Ten Days of Repentance, which culminate in the holiest Jewish day, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement."

"...Jews have a special role to play in the world. Whether non-Jews like it or not, and whether Jews are aware of it or not, Jews carry the burden of God-based universal morality in the world. That is why the most evil of any generation direct their venom first at the Jews.

Our generation is no different. Therefore, non-Jews who dismiss the enemies of the Jews as only the Jews' problem are deceiving themselves terribly. Jew-haters come after the Jews first but never the Jews only. Had the world taken Hitler's anti-Semitism seriously earlier, and therefore confronted him earlier, tens of millions of lives would have been saved. Had the world taken the Arab and Muslim terror unleashed on Israel seriously -- and not dismissed it as Israel's problem or even more absurdly, as Israel's fault -- and confronted that terror immediately, much human suffering would probably have been avoided."

To all our friends, L'Shana Tova!
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Big Bang
Bloggers Knew!

The implication that bloggers are slacker dust bunnies has delighted bloggers, the best of whom are lawyers, professors, scientists, renegade journalists and techies of various sorts, such as the brothers Johnson (Charles and Michael) at "Little Green Footballs," whose years of experience in state-of-the-art graphics and Web design at the "pixel level" enabled them to quickly duplicate the CBS memos and demonstrate their likely origin on a very modern computer.

All of which brings me to my premise that the blogosphere isn't just a challenge to journalism in its currently stagnant state, but a potential boon to problem-solving of a higher order. The beauty of the blogosphere is that it is self-igniting, self-propelling and self-selecting, a sort of intellectual ecosystem wherein the best specimens from various disciplines descend from the ethers, converge on an issue and apply their unique talents.

Though virtually newborn, the blogosphere has blossomed exponentially in a matter of Earth-time seconds, from a few random voices to a mighty and diverse chorus of sometimes spectacular talent. Bloggers are the Big Bang of the Information Age.

(Hat tip: Jim Russell)

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