discarded lies: sunday, march 26, 2017 4:25 am zst
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daily archive: 11/04/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Challenging Islam
Irshad Manji:
Tuesday's slaying of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who criticized Islamic practices, reminds all of a nagging truth: More than 15 years after the government of Iran issued a death warrant against novelist Salman Rushdie, challenging Muslims remains a risky business.
Challenging Islam is Risky

How different would Islam be today if dissent was allowed?
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Headlines
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Avraham Kotsuji
Japanese Jews? I had never even heard of Japanese Jews. A very uplifting and little known story: Seek and Save
As more and more Jewish refugees streamed into Japan, anti-Semitic sentiments skyrocketed. Germany, at the time Japan's ally, attempted to persuade Japan to expel its Jews. Poisonous anti-Semitic propaganda flooded the Japanese media and revolting caricatures of Jews were regularly plastered throughout Japanese newspapers.

In 1941, on the eve of Japan's war against the United States, Japan and Germany became closer still. And anti-Semitism in Japan, a country which had barely any Jews, intensified to the point that high ranking Japanese leaders publicly blamed the Jews for both World Wars, claiming that wherever Jews go, they spread havoc.

Prof. Kotsuji countered these accusations by waging a vigorous and brave battle against anti-Semitic incitement. Determined to halt it, and to portray the Jews to the Japanese in a positive light, he published a book, titled "The True Character of the Jewish Nation". In it he exploded all of the German myths and lies about the Jews, and portrayed the Jewish Nation as highly ethical and as the Chosen Nation to whom G-d bequeathed the true faith.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
What's In a Name?
Bush wins second term, immediately proceeds to piss off Greece. (And boy, are they upset...) Washington Overrules Greece, Recognizes Macedonia
The United States has recognized the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia as "Macedonia," the name strongly rejected by neighbor Greece for the past 13 years, President Branko Crvenkovski said on Thursday.

It was the first major policy move announced by Washington following re-election of President Bush on Wednesday.

There was jubilation in Macedonia, an ally of the Americans in the Iraq military coalition, but outrage in Greece, a NATO ally, where the news came out of the blue. The European Union also did not appear to have been informed in advance.

But in Athens, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis called in U.S. Ambassador Thomas Miller to formally protest at what he called "this unilateral U.S. decision." It would have "many negative effects," Molyviatis added, without elaborating.

Athens has opposed the name ever since the republic of two million won independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Until now it had the support of all NATO allies, except Turkey, for refusing recognition. They refer to it in all documents by the acronym FYROM, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Greece blockaded landlocked Macedonia for 18 months in the 1990s, cutting off vital access to the sea until Skopje agreed to change the Macedonian flag and alter the constitution.

Greek investment in Macedonia has since flourished. But usurping the name that Greece has cherished down through the millennia remains one of the most emotive issues for the homeland of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonians.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Arafat's al-Khudaibiya
Uri Dromi, director of international outreach at the Israel Democracy Institute, and chief spokesman for the Israeli government under Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, writes about Yasser Arafat.
A decade ago, as chief spokesman for the Israeli government, I went with then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin to Cairo for the signing of an agreement on the handing over of Gaza and Jericho to the Palestinians. Like my boss, I was fully committed to the peace process, but even during those heady early days of Oslo, I was quickly coming to suspect that the now-ailing Yasser Arafat was a leader who would never be capable of making peace with us.

The signing, in May 1994, was to have been no more than a formality, but the night before the ceremony, it suddenly appeared as if there might not be an agreement at all. While the Israeli and Palestinian security chiefs hugged each other most amicably upon meeting in the corridors of Cairo's Ittihadia Palace, the politicians' discussions inside the chambers were going astray.

Once in a while, a door would slam and a fuming Arafat would storm past us advisers. Each time, our host, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, followed after him, going out of his way to mend fences. Finally, just before dawn, all seemed to be settled. We parted ways to catch some sleep before the ceremony.

We reconvened a few hours later in front of a festive crowd assembled in Cairo's convention center. Then, with the whole world watching on television, Arafat did the unbelievable.

At first, the ceremony seemed to proceed as planned. Arafat solemnly signed the voluminous agreement, after which he returned to his place on the podium, alongside the other dignitaries.

In turn, Rabin picked up his pen and started signing. Suddenly he stopped, his face reddened and he muttered something inaudible. Yoel Zinger, the Israeli legal adviser, rushed to the stage. A commotion started; the crowd grew restless. Nobody new what was happening.

We soon found out. Yasser Arafat, at a historic moment that was meant to bring his people closer than they had ever been to fulfilling their dream of statehood, simply couldn't help himself.
Read the rest. What a disservice Arafat has done to the Palestinian people.

Adieu, Yasser Arafat[bugmenot]
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Investigation Exposes Major Terror Finance Conduit, High-Level Corruption In Romania
Scotland's Sunday Herald reports:
Romania’s public prosecutor, Ilie Botos, has stunned the country by announcing that “Arab sympathiser groups established in Romania? are providing cash to help finance terrorist activities in the West.

“We are conducting an investigation into an important source of finance for certain terrorist networks abroad,? said Botos.

The investigations are focusing on a Romanian wheeler-dealer from the southern town of Craiova and a number of resident Arab businessmen associated with his financial group. The FBI, Europol and Eurojust are also involved in the Romanian secret service investigations, and there have been a series of arrests.

Botos’s disclosures come hard on the heels of a leaked SRI (Romania’s intelligence service) report alleging that the “nuclei of terrorist organisations are now established on Romanian soil?. The revelations have increased fears of terrorist attacks in the country.

There have been persistent reports of large-scale money-laundering operations and other shady deals involving Romanian middlemen and Middle Eastern entrepreneurs, but the paper trail usually went quickly cold in the labyrinth of Balkan corruption. However, this is the first time that Arab businessmen resident in Romania have been openly accused of using Romanian businesses to finance al-Qaeda terror cells in the West.
the Herald quotes a Romanian opposition newspaper on the extent of the corruption. Disturbingly (but typically for Eastern European and former Soviet states) it reaches much of the way to the top.
Muscalu added: “The activities of the Arabs linked to the Boerica group have been carefully watched. We are trying, with the help of the state security apparatus, to monitor every aspect of the activities of these foreign citizens while in Romania in order to prevent the financing of certain terrorist actions [abroad]. What the investigations have established is this: large sums of money, obtained by businessmen of Arab nationality, have been regularly transferred to off-shore fiscal paradises where the paper trail goes cold.?

The Bucharest opposition daily Evenimentul Zilei claims it has come into the possession of secret service reports “listing those highly placed officials who have protected Genica Boerica and his Arab business friends. They include MPs, heads of key state offices, among them the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering, the General Inspectorate of Police, courts, appeal courts and county police. On Boerica’s payroll were also police generals, colonels, public prosecutors, judges and chief financial inspectors.?
The EU seems only mildly concerned about this.
The list of recipients of Arab bribes speaks for itself. The extent and high level of corruption can explain the easy success of the alleged Arab backers of “Terror Finance Inc? in Romania.

In spite of the stench of corruption, the Council of Europe has just given Romania a clean bill of health, saying the country is on track to join the European Union in 2007. In giving the go-ahead for the start of accession negotiations next year, the council states that “Romania will be able to fulfil all the criteria for joining the EU in January 2007?.

That there is room for concern is quietly admitted. “Corruption remains a serious and widespread problem which affects almost all aspects of society,? it states, adding, “Romania remains a country of origin, transit and destination for victims of trafficking in human beings.? Because of this, the report recommends a “safeguard clause? that could delay the country’s entry if its economic and administrative reforms falter.
Hopefully the EU's desired "safeguard clause" spurs major reforms and ends the use of Romania as a sex slave transit point and terror financial mecca.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Breaking: Arafat Dead?
Our reader Jim Russell says so. No confirmation yet. Let's hope...
UPDATE: Ha'aretz: French doctor: No chance Arafat emerging from coma
Guysen:
19:04 the services penitentiaries reinforced safety in the possibility of the death of Yasser Arafat in the security prisons where the Palestinian terrorists are held. (Guysen.Israël.News)
18:55 Arafat: answering the question of a journalist requesting his initial reaction to him from the advertisement of died of Yasser Arafat, American president George Bush would have answered '' God has his heart ''. (Guysen.Israël.News)
18:38 Arafat: a spokesman of the military hospital Percy announced that Yasser Arafat was still in life, although its health is considered critical. (Guysen.Israël.News)
18:31 Arafat: according to chain Al Arabiya, the Prime Minister Abou Ala would have contradicted the death of Yasser Arafat. (Guysen.Israël.News)
18:26 Arafat: the second chain of Israeli television as well as the radio operator soldier Galei Tsahal announced the death of Yasser Arafat. (Guysen.Israël.News)
18:23 Arafat: The Monte Carlo radio announced the brain death of Yasser Arafat. (Guysen.Israël.News)
18:22 Arafat: Nonofficial sources announced the death of Yasser Arafat a few minutes ago. (Guysen.Israël.News)
UPDATE Ha'aretz Flash News:
19:47 Arafat`s doctor Ashraf al-Kurdi says Arafat is not brain dead but his condition is getting worse
19:26 Luxembourg PM Juncker retracts statement on Arafat`s death after speaking to French President Chirac
18:57 Arafat`s chief of staff, Ramzi Khoury says the PA Chairman is in `grave condition`
18:39 French hospital spokesman: Arafat`s medical situation is complex, he is not dead
18:37 Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker says PA Chairman Arafat died 15 minutes ago
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Puritanism And Deficits
In the Wall Street Journal today, David Wessel declares shopworn trope recycling day! It's immoral to have deficits because we're robbing our children and grandchildren, he says. Puh-leeze!
"Can the moral issue of running deficits, of borrowing from our future and of promising benefits without deciding how to pay for them force a bipartisan effort to make changes that need to be made?" asks Bill Hoagland, top budget aide to Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist.

It isn't campaign-style spinning. The real reason to worry about the deficits projected for the next couple of decades isn't that they are causing economic trouble today or that they are leading the bond market to boost long-term interest rates now; they aren't.

The real reason is that we are robbing our children and grandchildren. We are buying now and figuring they will pay later. We are enjoying the benefits of more government spending and subsidies today and ignoring the fact that they will have to settle for fewer benefits and a slower growing economy as a result. Oh sure, borrowing today to invest in something that pays lasting dividends makes sense, but that accounts for a very small slice of today's government spending.

Pete Peterson, the Wall Street anti-deficit evangelist, says he once told George W. Bush that reforming increasingly costly government-benefit programs was both a philosophical and moral issue. "I told him," Mr. Peterson writes in his book, "Running on Empty," published this year, "that...the philosophical issue was whether a modern media-driven democracy...could respond effectively to...a silent, slow-motion, long-term crisis." Mr. Bush said it could, and talked eagerly about fixing Social Security.

Then Mr. Peterson turned to preaching about "the huge debt burden we would be passing onto our children" and argued that "long-term tax cuts, particularly for us fat cats, should wait until entitlement reforms had been completed." Mr. Bush looked stunned, and said, "I don't think tax cuts are immoral," Mr. Peterson recalls. He countered that cutting taxes before "we have taken care of our long-term obligations to our children" was immoral. That ended the conversation.

If Mr. Bush wants to leave federal finances in better shape than he found them and make good on his promise to prepare Social Security for the retirement of the baby boomers, he may want to reopen that conversation. These moral arguments are legitimate; they also may be more successful than wonky economic arguments.
Oh for crying out loud. I'm disturbed that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's top budget aide buys into this garbage. Two pieces I read last year debunked the idea thoroughly, and you'd think they'd have gained wide currency in Republican circles. Ja, come inside and read the debunkings, whydoncha?

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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Spain Targets Jihadis Organizing In Spanish Prisons
It's not only in America's jail system that muslim prisoners are proving to be a dangerous menace and radicalizing each other in jail. Spain, too, is experiencing this. Unlike us, they're doing something about the situation.
The discovery of a new cell of Islamic militants who met in prison and planned to assassinate the judges investigating them has exposed Spain's crowded penal system as a breeding ground for terrorists, officials say.

Alarmed that prisons have become a center for hatching plots, the government last week ordered hundreds of inmates to be transferred or isolated as part of a range of measures aimed at separating suspected and convicted Muslim extremists and preventing them from recruiting new allies, authorities said.

Mercedes Gallizo, general director of the country's penal system, said wardens and guards would be instructed to monitor foreign-born prisoners more closely.

The crackdown comes after a government investigative committee announced that the leader of the recently discovered cell had met and recruited his associates during two stints in a Salamanca prison from June 2000 to June 2002.

The suspect, Mohammed Achraf, an Algerian, is currently in jail in Switzerland but was named last month by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon as the ringleader of a plot to blow up Madrid's National Court building with a truck carrying more than 1,000 pounds of explosives. Spain is seeking his extradition.

Garzon filed terrorism charges against 17 other suspects — one Spaniard and 16 Moroccans and Algerians — in connection with the alleged plot. Several had spent time in the Salamanca prison, mostly for common crimes such as theft.

There are approximately 7,000 Muslims — the vast majority of them immigrants — in Spain's 77 jails and prisons, roughly 12% of the penal population. Only 73 are terrorism-related incarcerations.

"We observed a radical change in Muslim prisoners after Sept. 11," 2001, said Juan Figueroa, vice president of the prison employees union.

"After Sept. 11, the inmates radicalized," Figueroa said. "Groups of hard-core Muslims began to form, and they pressured other Muslims."

Since 1999, Figueroa said, six out of 10 new prisoners processed into the penal system have been foreigners.
Later in the LA Times piece,
Figueroa, whose organization has been warning officials of the growing problem of radicalization in the prisons, described what he called the paramilitary structure of hard-core groups.

Typically, he said, a Muslim clique would look to an imam or spiritual leader among them, whose authority is enforced by one or two "colonels," who oblige all Muslims in the cellblock to comply with Islamic rules.

The majority of Muslim inmates, he said, are poor and illiterate. Most are incarcerated for common crimes.

"It's an easy breeding ground," he said.

The new measures ordered in the prisons raise civil rights concerns, since inmates could be separated, isolated or punished on the basis of suspicion rather than concrete wrongdoing.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Anti-Terrorism Laws in France
You think the Patriot Act is bad? Take a look at France:
In many countries of Europe, former inmates of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been relishing their freedom. In Spain, Denmark and Britain, recently released detainees have railed in public about their treatment at Guantanamo, winning sympathy from local politicians and newspapers. In Sweden, the government has agreed to help one Guantanamo veteran sue his American captors for damages.

Not so in France, where four prisoners from the U.S. naval base were arrested as soon as they arrived home in July, and haven't been heard from since. Under French law, they could remain locked up for as long as three years while authorities decide whether to put them on trial -- a legal limbo that their attorneys charge is not much different than what they faced at Guantanamo.

Armed with some of the strictest anti-terrorism laws and policies in Europe, the French government has aggressively targeted Islamic radicals and other people deemed a potential terrorist threat. While other Western countries debate the proper balance between security and individual rights, France has experienced scant public dissent over tactics that would be controversial, if not illegal, in the United States and some other countries.
French Push Limits in Fight On Terrorism [bugmenot]

Now back to criticising the U.S.
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