discarded lies: friday, march 23, 2018 11:06 am zst
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daily archive: 12/26/2004
evariste in Discarded Lies:
"The UN's Abu Ghraib"-But The Legacy Media Hits Snooze
Still it continues even today...what will it take to make the UN clean up its act? Maybe nations whose soldiers behave like this can face some kind of genuine punishment? Sanctions or something? Maybe a nation that proves it can't control its troops can be "sent home"-take your soldiers back, and don't contribute any more troops until you can demonstrate to a satisfactory degree that they can behave. I really don't know what to say about this, psychopaths run rampant and a culture of rape and exploitation-it's entirely too disturbing and repulsive. I would suggest "let's let only democracies send troops" but that's no panacea-Canadians and Frenchmen are involved in the very worst abuses, after all.
On the other hand, the Canadian and the Frenchman will almost certainly face genuine punishment. Will the Moroccan who was hidden for a year after raping a young girl? Will the Russian pilots who fled the area after getting a tip-off? While limiting UN troop deployments to democratic nations might not limit abuses, it would certainly deter them by the threat of prosecution and punishment. How practical would it be? Are there enough troops from democratic nations to go around?

HOME-MADE pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN’s Abu Ghraib.

The expert was a Frenchman who worked at Goma airport as part of the UN’s $700 million-a-year effort to rebuild the war-shattered country. When police raided his home they discovered that he had turned his bedroom into a studio for videotaping and photographing sex sessions with young girls.

The bed was surrounded by large mirrors on three sides, according to a senior Congolese police officer. On the fourth side was a camera that he could operate from the bed with a remote control.

When the police arrived the man was allegedly about to rape a 12-year-old girl sent to him in a sting operation. Three home-made porn videos and more than 50 photographs were found.

The case has highlighted the apparently rampant sexual exploitation of Congolese girls and women by the UN’s 11,000 peacekeepers and 1,000 civilians at a time when the UN is facing many problems, including the Iraqi “oil-for-food? scandal and accusations of sexual harassment by senior UN staff in Geneva and New York.

The prospect of the pornographic videos and photographs — now on sale in Congo — becoming public worries senior UN officials, who fear a UN version of the scandal at the American-run Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. “It would be a pretty big problem for the UN if these pictures come out,? one senior official said.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
I Fancy No France
I dare you to look at this map and not giggle uncontrollably...

Imagine a world without France... Is it possible? For centuries scholars have pondered the problem of France - trying to balance their hatred of France with their natural reluctance to destroy a whole country and all of its inhabitants.

In recent years the problem has been resolved: By smashing their heads repeatedly against hard, gravelly surfaces, the scholars discovered that the more pain that they were in, the less they cared about the moral implications of destroying France. So - blood pouring from their gashed foreheads - the great leaders of the world organised for France to be removed.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Cry of the Peacock
There's so little known about Iranian Jews. Before I read Gina Nahai's Cry Of The Peacock I had no idea that not only was there a Jewish community in Iran but it was the oldest community in diaspora, a people largely unknown to the world. This is a book about the last two hundred years of Jewish history in Iran, beautifully written, exotic and rich and magical.
In a dizzying melange of history, myth, and magical realism, first novelist Barkhordar-Nahai chronicles the tragedies and triumphs of Iran's Jewish community. The novel follows the fortunes of one family from the late 18th century, when Jews weren't allowed to go out in the rain for fear that a Jewish raindrop would contaminate a Muslim, through Khomeini's Islamic revolution, when Jews only one generation from the ghetto again became the victims of Islamic fundamentalism. From Esther the Soothsayer, who can predict the deaths of Shahs, through 116-year-old Peacock, born into poverty in the ghetto who lives to see the emancipation of Jews and then their eventual destruction by the mullahs, characters suffer unspeakable horrors and yet retain an unquenchable spirit of survival.

Read an excerpt after the jump.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
What We Want From The Elected President
This sounded so good when I read the first two paragraphs...The call to cease attacks on Israel and expand democracy and reform in Palestine, it sounded wonderful. But a few paragraphs later, the calls for no compromise on territorial claims, including east Jerusalem, and release of Palestinian prisoners as a prerequisite to negotiations, made me feel that if this is the progressive edge of the Palestinian leadership then hopes for immediate peace are dimmer than I thought. On the other hand, I'm all for any Palestinian voices calling for democracy, reform and an end to killing Israelis.
Some 600 prominent Palestinians, including top officials, cabinet ministers, legislators, intellectuals and poets, have called for an end to armed attacks on Israel and urged the Palestinian Authority to push for democratic reforms.

The appeal was made in an open letter to the Palestinian leadership published in Palestinian newspapers on Sunday.

(with many thanks to jim russell)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Ethnic Cleansing
Ariel Natan Pasko has an excellent question: why do the Jews have to leave?
If Arabs can live as equal citizens in Israel, able to be elected to the Knesset, or serve on Israel's Supreme Court, why can't Jews be equal citizens in the democratic Palestinian state in the making, with full rights, responsibilities, and privileges?

The comparison between Israel and the old South Africa doesn't fly, but the comparison between the Palestinian state that they're trying to sell us, and the old racist South Africa, fits quite nicely.

On the other hand, the correct comparison is between Israel and the new multi-racial South Africa. The population of South Africa today is about 75% black, with the remainder made up of white, coloreds, and Indians. Israel's population is about 80% Jewish, with the remainder Arab, Druze, Bedouin, Circassian, Armenian, etc. Both are democracies with a dominant majority and minorities sharing equal rights.

The proposed Palestinian state will have an estimated population of between 2.4 and 2.9 million people, and almost 10% of the population is Jews. In Judea and Samaria - the West Bank - there are about 1.5 to 1.8 million Arabs and almost 250,000 Jews, or about 15%. When you include the post-1967 parts of Eastern Jerusalem that some want to make into the Palestinian capital city, it brings the total number of Jews in the so-called "occupied territories" to about a half a million, or almost 20% of the proposed Palestinian state.

So why exactly can't Jews stay in "democratic" Palestine?
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Democrats' Vernacular Knowledge Of Election-Stealing
From the American Thinker, a look at Democrat election-stealing tactics and the commonalities between the contested WA governor race and the 1960 Presidential election.

The late Chicago columnist Mike Royko often told a story about election night 1960 in Illinois, and the Presidential contest between then-Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon. As Kennedy’s lead over Nixon in Illinois kept falling through the night, Robert (Bobby) Kennedy, the Senator’s campaign manager, nervously kept calling then-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, the father of the current Mayor Daley, to get an update on the race. Daley kept assuring Bobby that there was nothing to worry about. Illinois would come through in the end for his brother. Kennedy continued to remain one state short of victory in the Electoral College as night turned into day at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. Bobby’s growing nervousness finally caused him to blow up at Daley and demand an explanation as to why the Mayor could be so sure of eventual victory in the state. Daley told Bobby that he was “holding out? some precincts in the city, to which Bobby replied: “How do you know they will be enough?? Daley replied: “I assure you they will be enough?.

One might have hoped that 44 years on, we would have evolved into a somewhat more transparent and legitimate way of deciding elections, particularly close ones.

Unfortunately, the events unfolding in Washington State the past few weeks in the very tightly contested race for Governor, suggest the Daley approach to politics is still being practiced. When your candidate (in this case, the Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire) appears to be coming up short, the Party works to find some “missing? votes. When they are still short at the end of the count, they have a recount, and find some more that need to be counted. When that still fails to put their candidate over the top, they demand and pay for a statewide hand recount, and “find? some more. The process, as in Florida in the 2000 Presidential race, is to keep counting and finding votes until your candidate eventually takes the lead. Then you stop counting. In Washington State in 2004, Democrats in King County are behaving like Chicago Democrats in 1960, and Broward, Dade and Palm Beach County Democrats in 2000.
Read it all, and be enlightened.
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ev and zorkie in Discarded Lies:
Thousands Dead, Millions Homeless
While we worry about weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists, a weapon of mass destruction is on the loose and no one controls it: the forces of nature and they're accountable to no one. The earth unleashed its fury on millions of people in SE Asia yesterday as an earthquake rocked the Indian ocean, unleashed tsunamis and disturbed the rotation of the earth. The quake was 8.9 on the Richter scale, the same destructive force as millions of nuclear bombs. The only defence against the earth's mass casualty terrorism is technolgy, modern medicine and modern construction. Even though it stuck an undeveloped part of the world, the death toll measured in the thousands. A few hundred years ago it would have been measured in the millions. Millions of people have been displaced and made homeless and only modern medicine will prevent catastrophic epidemics from ravaging them. We mourn the dead and will be on the lookout for ways we can aid the survivors.
The world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive tidal waves that slammed into villages and seaside resorts across southern and southeast Asia on Sunday, killing more than 7,200 people in six countries.

UPDATE: The Command Post is rounding up the news from the region and they also have ways to help.
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guest author: packen in Discarded Lies:
The "Hinge Generation"
As with so many members of this “hinge generation,�? the Holocaust was not spoken of in my home, but, rather, was conveyed by strained silences and disconnected emotions.

As a representative of this “hinge generation�? I can surely attest to that. My parents rarely spoke about Holocaust, and when they did, it was like pulling teeth. They strongly believed that children should be protected from such horrors. I also had the honor, although unbeknownst to me as a child, of growing up with a Righteous Man-–my grandfather, the only grandfather I ever knew, who lived with us until his death at the age of 83.

One of my favored pastimes as a child was crawling up next to him in his favored arm chair and pester him, for the umpteenth time, to tell me stories of “how he was little�?. And that he did, regaling me with dozens of stories of him growing up in Czarist Russia. What he never told me was how he came to rescue my then 12-year old mother from certain death, while risking his own life day after day after day. What kind of courage does it take to go to bed every night knowing that this may be your last one--to save a stranger who doesn’t even speak your language? And to treat this feat for the rest of your life as if it was an everyday occurrence, not even worthy of dwelling on?

Over the years I’ve managed to gather bits and pieces of the story from my mother, never a coherent narrative, and never to become one, with my mother’s death earlier this year. There is, however, one story, which has been haunting me for many years, for some reason, which has to do with another Righteous Man, whose name I don’t even know–-the Unknown German Soldier. It’s a kind of story that can happen only in real life, a story without much point, without a neat ending or moral lesson, and since I’m most likely the last person in this world with any kind of memory of it, let it be a tribute to this man.

His duty was to guard Jewish laborers brought every day from the nearby ghetto to work on a damaged bridge, every able-bodied person, including my 12-year-old mother. As soon as he was left alone with the Jews, he would unwrap a package full of food and urge them to “Eat fast, before the dogs see you�? (the dogs being his comrades-in-arms). He did this for months, and needless to say, he became the ray of hope for the Jews, whatever little hope they still held for humanity, and they prayed for him endlessly. Until the day when he was no longer there and they found out through the grapevine that he drowned the night before. The circumstances of his death remain unknown, but most likely he simply got drunk and was carried away by a swift current. My mother said that whatever belief in God she still held until then, disappeared that day. Why him, she said. Indeed, why him?
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Tony Blair Does The Right Thing In Sudan
He may make me unhappy with him a lot, but when it matters, Tony Blair is such a standup guy. He went with principle when it came to Iraq and he's putting his Territorial Army's muscle behind his words.

Tony Blair has ordered military chiefs to prepare to send British troops to intervene in Sudan in the New Year.

The Prime Minister has waved aside concerns that the Army is already too committed in Iraq and Afghanistan to make a significant contribution to a peace-keeping mission in Africa.

Chiefs of staff have been told to prepare plans to send up to 3,000 troops to the troubled Darfur region amid concern that the humanitarian crisis will dramatically worsen. The deployment will be discussed early next month at a meeting with senior military officials. "When you decide to make an intervention you have got to be able to move fast," a minister told The Independent on Sunday.

Troops would be sent as part of the new European Union Rapid Reaction Force which Mr Blair has said he wants to be operational "as soon as possible in 2005". He added during a visit to Ethiopia in October that Africa should be the "top priority" for the new force. Any deployment to Africa would stretch the military to its limits. Britain already has more than 40,000 service personnel, around a fifth of its total, serving abroad.
Thank you, Tony.
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guest author: Semite5000 in Discarded Lies:
I call 'em as I see 'em and food I ate yesterday
Dear all,

In writing my reports from Korea I have tried to convey what I have been experiencing as honestly as possible. Apparently my last posting offended a person whom I've been exchanging news stories and ideas with over the last year. This person demanded I take her off the list for having the "gall" to make any criticisms of the off-duty US soldiers my friends and I encountered in Itaewon. She sited the 37,000 US soldiers who died defending South Korea from the North, as well as the American soldiers who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan. She claimed I called all of these brave heroes "idiots."

I re-read what I wrote, and she was simply wrong. The only soldiers I referred to as idiots were the soldiers acting like idiots in Itaewon that night.

Were they as bad as I described them? I asked Nyeema if I was too harsh in my description, but she said I was accurate.

Yes, the United States made great sacrifices for South Korea. Many South Koreans are well aware of that, and as I posted previously, they are grateful. That said, I believe that making those sacrifices does not give some of us a a free ticket to walk around this country acting like asses some 50 years later.

I don't mean to preach, but this person's email disturbed me and so I just wanted to clear the air. I have the utmost respect for the vast majority of the members of our armed forces. But just because you are a member of the military does not make you immune to criticism.


Jenna and Aiden took myself, Michael and Samara to a place called In Sa Dong yesterday. It is sort of a tourist area, although many of the tourists were Koreans. I hardly felt out of place walking about with my camera as many Koreans were also flashing pictures left and right. In Sa Dong reminded me of State Street in Madison, minus the American college students and plus throngs of Koreans.

We entered a restaurant that had a very Japanese feel: thin walls, sliding doors and tightly woven floor mats made of bamboo fibers. We removed our shoes and sat on cushions. There were also a number of Buddhist monks with shaved heads eating there.

Each one of us was served a tray that had a large bowl of rice mixed with various vegetables and sea food creatures. Then there were little dishes containing various side dishes, each with its own distinctive flavor. Jenna also insisted we order "mountain pig" which I thought sounded hilarious. I've heard of "mountain spring water" or "mountain berries" but "mountain pig?" Sounded funny to me, but it tasted great.

(Rabbi Avruch, you must be cringing at my descriptions of shellfish and pork- but at least I didn't put cheese on it! Ha ha )

Later we went to a mall. It was huge, or seemed huge. I mean, it was certainly bigger than any mall I've been at in America, but at the same time it had less floor space and many more floors (6 floors, I think), which perhaps made it feel bigger and more packed with merchandise. Nevertheless, the amount of products really was mind-boggling. Seoul has to be one of the world's biggest shoppers' paradise. You can get everything here and some. The only thing I bought was under-arm deodorant, which I had been searching for since my arrival (I left mine at home on accident. Oh , and a few days ago I went into a pharmacy inquiring about deodorant. The pharmacist sold me what I thought was deodorant but realized upon leaving the store was actually hair remover. That would have been a nasty surprise!)

Later that evening we went to another restaurant for dinner. There I had some of the spiciest kimche yet. My nose was running like a faucet. There was also little plates with chopped garlic and chopped hot peppers. These were added to a spicy red-colored sauce used for dipping. There was a burner in the center of the table and a pot of hot water was placed on top. Once it began boiling we added various vegetables. We ate some of those. Then we added thin slices of beef. The water slowly turned to a vegetable beef broth. Naturally we ate the beef as well. After that, a HUGE platter of raw sea food was brought to the table. It consisted of squid, yellow fin fish eggs (which are in pouches, so it doesn't look like fish eggs but rather a brown morsel), squid eggs (also in its natural pouch), shrimp (head and all), clams and other stuff which tasted great but I don't recall what it was. This was all dumped into the boiling broth and once eaten some of the broth was drained and then rice was placed inside. The rice soaked up the rest of the broth, giving it an amazing flavor. I was stuffed. This meal cost the a little under $15 dollars! It would cost at least twice as much in America.

Later we walked around the area, which was very swank, stopped for a drink and then took a cab home. All in all it was another great day in Seoul. If anybody is considering going on a vacation, I highly recommend coming to Seoul. There is lot's to see, do and eat.

Bye for now.

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