Spanish journalist Ángela Rodicio: “Iran is a diabolical experiment”

You emphasized throughout the book that the riots that took place in Iran in 2009 was the germ of the massive protests that have taken place in the Arab world in recent months …

More than the germ of all the revolutions that have taken place in Arab countries, what I’m saying is that these states have the same characteristics: a huge youth population (in the case of Iran, 70 % of the people under 30 years), high unemployment and a considerable degree of desperation. All this tension germinated in the protests of 2009 that have subsequently led to the revolt of the Arab world.

Do not forget that Iran is a diabolical experiment in vacuum given all the social elements of other countries, but with the added difficulty that it’s a closed, tight dictatorship.

Why those claims have not borne fruit in Iran?

Because the regime is so repressive that it would need a counterrevolution. We must remember that the actual players are those who revolted in 1979 against the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Thus, the old revolutionaries, the current representative,heard it all.

The pressure faced by the dissidents and the opposition is huge. Thus, I think it will take longer to materialize change. Although I am not a prophet, yes I am of the view that Iran is going to draw a similar path to that of other Arab countries.

Interview found here.

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood’s party has been authorized

Logo Muslim Brotherhood

Image via Wikipedia

The real result of the “Arab spring” is not more democracy, but more islamization:

The Committee on Political Affairs of Egypt on Monday authorized the founding of Freedom and Justice Party, created by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, so that it can now engage in political activities.

“Freedom and Justice Party is officially recognized today because it meets all requirements of the New Parties’ Act, ” says a statement from the Committee. Its secretary general, Mohamed Saad al Katatny, launched last May 17 to obtain the necessary documents legalizing the formation.

Climate Change UN Summit: from prayers to Mayan goddess to Bolivian anger

Mayan Goddess Ixchel

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, noting that Ixchel was not only goddess of the moon, but also “the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you — because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools.”

She called for “a balanced outcome” which would marry financial and emissions commitments from industrialized countries aimed at combating climate change with “the understanding of fairness that will guide long-term mitigation efforts.”

Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful interlacing of many threads,” said Figueres, who hails from Costa Rica and started her greetings in Spanish before switching to English. “I am convinced that 20 years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel.”

via Global Warming Summit in Cancun Opens with Prayer to Pagan Goddess Ixchel | NewsBusters.org.

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Lieberman: Omitting 'Islamic' Terrorism From Security Document Dishonest, 'Offensive'

Looks like there is someone with common sense in this matter at least. What Obama has done ommitting “Jihad” and “Islamic terrorism” is not really useful:

Joe Lieberman

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Sen. Joe Lieberman slammed the Obama administration Sunday for stripping terms like “Islamic extremism” from a key national security document, calling the move dishonest, wrong-headed and disrespectful to the majority of Muslims who are not terrorists.

The Connecticut independent revealed that he wrote a letter Friday to top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan urging the administration to “identify accurately the ideological source” of the threat against the United States. He wrote that failing to identify “violent Islamist extremism” as the enemy is “offensive.”

via FOXNews.com – Lieberman: Omitting ‘Islamic’ Terrorism From Security Document Dishonest, ‘Offensive’.

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Yemen: Dead child bride tied up and raped, says mum

This is an update on this story:

A 13-year-old Yemeni child bride who bled to death shortly after marriage was tied down and forced to have sex by her husband, according to interviews with the child’s mother, police and medical reports.

The mother, Nijma Ahmad, 50, said that before her daughter lost consciousness, she said her husband had tied her up and forced himself on her. “She looked like she was butchered,” she said about her daughter’s injuries.

Elham Assi, 13, bled to death hours after she spoke to her mother and just days after she was married to a 23-year-old man. She died on April 2 in the Yemeni village of Shueba, 200 kilometres northwest of the capital. Her husband, Abed Al Hikmi, is in police custody.

The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen where a quarter of all females marry before the age of 15, according to a 2009 report by the country’s Ministry of Social Affairs. Continue reading

New Zealand: Pro-Arabs Trying to Ban Israel Embassy

John Key, leader of the New Zealand National Party

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Prime Minister John Key, who has family in Israel and is the son a Jewish refugee from Austria, told local media, “There’s no reason why New Zealand can’t enjoy good diplomatic relations with Israel”.

However, a coalition of pro-Arab and anti-Zionist groups called No Israeli Embassy in Wellington (NIEW) has vowed to stop the embassy from re-opening. NIEW spokesperson Alistair Reith told the New Zealand web site voxy.co.nz, “Wherever the embassy goes, it’ll be a noisy neighborhood. We can’t make it as bad as Israel makes it for the people under military siege in Gaza, but everyone will know we will be laying protest siege to wherever they finally locate the Embassy.”

NIEW originally was established to back anti-Israeli boycotts and divestment and is backed by approximately 70 pro-Arab groups.

via Pro-Arabs Trying to Ban Israel Embassy in New Zealand – Politics & Gov’t – Israel News – Israel National News.

Israeli victims don’t count for this people, do they?

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Mumbai attacks: India May Get Access To Headley

Only One Word - Fear !

This is an update on this story:

India may get access to American national David Coleman Headley, accused of plotting the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, within 30 days of sending a letter of request, indicated government on Monday in New Delhi.

Today evening a meeting was held between Home Minister P Chidambaram and US Ambassador Timothy Roemer to discuss the matter.

After the meeting Roemer said, “This is an issue that is being taken up at the highest levels of the US government day and night constantly.”

…Roemer further said, “I just had a very successful meeting with the Home Minister where I talked about working very closely for cooperation with government of India and government of US on counter-terrorism issues.”

via India May Get Access To Headley | Daily News, Breaking News, India News, Punjab News.

India should have access to this man, because it was the country attacked with his collaboration. Pakistan, the Indian arch-enemy, shouldn’t oppose a measure like that, despite the attacks being plotted in its soil (or precisely because of that).

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UK: Muslims fear being spied on by govt scheme

This is interesting, isn’t it? After watching several documentaries on British Islamization (Generation Jihad 1, 2 & 3 (GJ) and Undercover Mosque, for example) and after knowing what’s going on in Tower Hamlets, for example, one can only draw one conclusion: there is a extremist ideology going on in the name of Allah in some mosques at least. This ideology considers that unbelievers are subhumans, that woman are “deficient” and that Muslims are entiled to lie if that’s good for converting people to Islam. That doesn’t mean that ALL Muslims think like that, as there is proof in GJ’s videos, but of course, Muslims tend to be the ones supporting that ideology more than non-Muslims. So whe should the police look for terrorists? Where they actually exist.

But this statement goes further: the Prevent scheme tries to stop radicalisation, that is, that extremist ideology that supports murdering people in the name of Islam. Isn’t that something good? Something that any normal person would support to stop non-Muslims considering Islam linked to terrorism? Meeecccccccc… error. It seems that targeting Muslims to stop them being radicalised is “bad”.

Of course, Jihad has nothing to do with terrorism. The only roots are “foreign policy” (excepts when China attacks Uighurs or Russia says it’s going to be “even crueler” with Chechen terrorists and of course, no word about non-Muslim persecution in Islamic countries), “deprivation” (no word either about theocracies in Islamic world such as Saudi Arabia or Iran…) or “alienation” (no protests either about Mecca’s prohibition to non-Muslims).

British House of Commons at the Palace of West...

British Muslims feel they are being spied on by a government scheme, which aims to stem terrorism, a committee of lawmakers said on Tuesday.

Many also feel that the Prevent scheme has “stigmatised and alienated” them, said a report from the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee.

Ministers were criticised for a “persistent preoccupation” with the alleged theological roots of radicalisation, when “evidence suggests that foreign policy, deprivation and alienation” also play major roles, the scrutiny body’s chair Phyllis Starkey said.

The Prevent scheme is part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy and aims to stop people supporting terror.

“Many witnesses made plain they believe Prevent has been used to ‘spy’ on Muslim communities,” Starkey said.

“Information required to manage Prevent has been confused with intelligence gathering undertaken by the police to combat crime and surveillance used by the security services to actively pursue terrorism suspects,” he said. “These allegations of spying under Prevent will retain widespread credibility within some communities until the government commissions an independent investigation into the allegations,” Starkey said.

Some British Muslims also believe that the government has been trying to “engineer a moderate form of Islam”, by only supporting groups which follow that model, he said.

via Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – UK Muslims fear being spied on by govt scheme.

“The Govt has been trying to engineer a moderate form of Islam, by only supporting groups which follow that model”. So, are they saying that the real Islam is not moderate?

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Germany: Merkel calls for 'bilingualism and integration' for Turkish immigrants

Angela Merkel
Image by arne.list via Flickr

Is assimilation the same as “bilingualism and integration”? Has Merkel really softened her stance as I feared some days ago?

She said both languages should be taught, highlighting the importance of bilingualism and the integration of immigrants into German society.

“What is unacceptable is for this to be an excuse for Turks living in Germany not to learn the German language. The language of the country one lives in is the precondition for good integration,” said Merkel, stressing that the goal was not assimilation.

“This is about everybody keeping their roots, their culture and their belief, but those of the third and fourth generation living in Germany should be able to participate in our social life.”

via Merkel calls for ‘bilingualism and integration’ for Turkish immigrants | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 29.03.2010.

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Balawi: How Suicide Bomber Lured CIA Agents to Their Deaths

Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency of the...

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So this was the way it was done:

In December, Balawi sent a coded message to his handlers that suggested he was getting close to a key CIA target: al Qaeda‘s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The message said that Zawahiri needed a change in the dosage of his medication, and that Balawi would be providing Zawahiri with the medicine through a courier. Officials briefed on the case said Balawi did not specify which illness Zawahiri was allegedly suffering, or what medication he was providing. The message made the agents think that Balawi might soon lead them to Osama bin Laden‘s chief lieutenant. The CIA agents wanted to meet their supposed mole in person for the first time.

Prior to the meeting, said the current and former intelligence officials, the Jordanian intelligence agent who was “running” Balawi told the CIA agents that the day of the proposed meeting was Balawi’s birthday and that they should have a cake ready. Balawi passed through three rings of security into a CIA’s base near Khost, Afghanistan without being checked. A group of as many as a dozen Americans waited with the birthday cake for Balawi to exit his car. Survivors of the blast, including the CIA’s second-highest ranking officer in Afghanistan, have told CIA officials that Balawi kept one hand in his pocket as he got out of the vehicle and began to recite a martyrdom prayer just before he triggered his suicide belt.

via Balawi: How Suicide Bomber Lured CIA Agents to Their Deaths – ABC News.

Of course, I am no one in the intelligence world. But isn’t it somewhat strange that an informant says someone has an illness and is not asked about what illness he is speaking about?

Before:

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UK: Labour more trusted on economy than Conservatives, a poll says

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 22:  Ch...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Labour received a post-Budget boost yesterday as a poll suggested that voters trust Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling over David Cameron and George Osborne to steer Britain through the economic downturn.

via More voters trust Labour than Tories on economy – UK Politics, UK – The Independent.

Are they mad? Labour is not cutting expenditure and creating a new tax for 1st-time home buyers and they are trusted??? 😯

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Foreign policy: EU Spanish Presidency and the Maghreb

Coat of arms of Morocco

Image via Wikipedia

I read this interesting topic in an article by the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security (IPRIS.org), thanks to Delito de Opiniao.

Little comment: I believe that the EUMorocco Union is not very beneficial for EU. Firstly, because Morocco has not obliged itself to anything on Human Rights inside its territory or about the illegal immigration business that crosses the country from South to North. Censorship is regularly applied to MSM or publications discussing the Monarchy role, Islam or the territory of the Kingdom. I have spoken about this before. There is also a worrying trend of arresting Christians, a trend explained here.

Secondly, because the EU-Morocco means basically the creation of a United Economic Space between the EU and Morocco, something tremendously beneficial for the Maghreb country but not so ideal for Europe. That Space means that Moroccan citizens will be given freedom to stablish their own businesses in Europe, in fact meaning they can enter without the normal obligations of every other foreign citizen.

Of course, this relates specially with Morocco. I agree more or less with the rest of the article.

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Generation Jihad Ep 3

Previous parts can be watched here and here.

It’s interesting that the notion of Jihad is an Islamic one, but they feel “outraged” at being watched but, as an imam says later, the community does not speak about Jihad. That opacity could lead to further attacks, because young people can consider that the truth is being hidden for them and that the only people speaking openly about the issue are Osama and Co. Meanwhile they are so worried about being objects of police scrutiny, they are not watching at potential terrorist wannabees.Smiley

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Germany: Merkel against Erdogan's initiative of Turkish schools' net

{{de|Angela Merkel bei der Eröffnung des Paul ...

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Some days ago Erdogan stated he wanted Turkish people abroad not to integrate in those countries, but to influence their policies.

German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has showed her opposition to Turkish Preisdent Erdogan’s initiative, of creating a Turkish schools’ net in Germany with teachings imparted in Turkish language, because that would fuel discrimination.

“The idea that all Turkish schoolchildren should study in Turkish schools is not acceptable”, says Merkel in an statement published by German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse, a few days before her visit to Ankara.

German Government’s chief considers that the ideal solution is that “children and teenagers of Turkish origins go to German schools” to make it easy their integration in Germany, where more than 2.5 million of Turkish origins live.

via Merkel rechaza crear colegios turcos en Alemania | FACTUAL.es – Diario digital libre.

Turkish community in Germany is also against Erdogan’s proposed measure.

So Erdogan’s measure has not been very welcomed, has it? Smiley Hope that she is not convinced while in Turkey of the contrary…Smiley

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Freedom: middle classes living in dictatorships aren't very anxious to end them

These new middle classes in developing countries are still fragile and fear unstability. They are ready to accept authoritarian regimes which offer some kind of order, in exchange of those regimes not slowing, with corruption or patronage their ambition of social progress, their aspiration to compete under equal conditions and their desire for giving their sons and daughters a better future”, says the British historian Lawrence James, author of  The Middle Class: a history.

(via).

The article refers to people living under dictatorships such as Chinese citizens. It’s a particularly interesting analysis, specially when it says that maybe that lack of interest in democracy has its basis in the inexistence of a history of democracy or, at least, of fighting for it throughout an important period of time. So, the citizens get used to live with no individual freedoms, as servants of the State. That produces fear, so they are not going to denounce something if they consider they can be hurt in any form by that State. The latter of course, knows this so it reinforces the fear through subtle means (censorship of new ideas or of ideas not liked by the regime, for example) or less subtle and more brutal means (such as the imprisonment of dissidents).

We’ll see what are the consequences for average Chinese people, now that both Google and GoDaddy have announced they are not operating in China anymore.

Turkish constitutional reform plans anger judges

Considering the influence of the Fethullah Gulen movement in Turkish politics, this comes as no surprise.

Turkey’s Islamic-based government fired the opening salvo in a brewing confrontation with the country’s secular judiciary today by unveiling a radical constitutional reform package that would give politicians greater power to appoint judges and make it harder to shut political parties.

Ministers in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) justified the planned changes as essential to meet the conditions of EU membership. But in a sign of the rancour to come, senior judges condemned the reforms as unconstitutional and said they were designed to strip the judiciary of its independence.

We sense that the constitutional package is aimed at decreasing the power of the judiciary. We are definitely objecting to this,” Judge Hasan Gerceker, chief of the supreme court, told the Turkish television channel NTV.

The attacks came as the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) vowed to oppose the package in a parliamentary vote. Other opposition parties have indicated they will also reject the changes, meaning the government will probably lack the two-thirds majority needed to force them through.

In that case, the government, led by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said it will call a referendum, likely be held in June. A referendum campaign is bound to be bitter and would provide a fresh forum for the AKP’s critics to accuse it of pursuing an Islamist agenda in breach of Turkey’s secular constitution, a charge the party vehemently denies.

via Turkish constitutional reform plans anger judges | World news | guardian.co.uk.

(For comments go to T&P 2.0).

Saudi Arabia: a woman critizises Muslim clerics in TV poetry contest

Hissa Hilal performing on Millions Poet. She is guaranteed a prize of at least Dh1 million. Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage

And of course she has received death threats from Islamists:

It was a startling voice of protest at a startling venue. Covered head-to-toe in black, a Saudi woman lashed out at hard-line Muslim clerics’s harsh religious edicts in verse on live TV at a popular Arabic version of “American Idol.”

Well, not quite “American Idol”: Contestants compete not in singing but in traditional Arabic poetry. Over the past episodes, poets sitting on an elaborate stage before a live audience have recited odes to the beauty of Bedouin life and the glories of their rulers or mourning the gap between rich and poor.

Then last week, Hissa Hilal, only her eyes visible through her black veil, delivered a blistering poem against Muslim preachers “who sit in the position of power” but are “frightening” people with their fatwas, or religious edicts, and “preying like a wolf” on those seeking peace.

via Protesting in verse: A Saudi woman criticizes Muslim clerics’ in a TV poetry contest – latimes.com. Continue reading

Venezuela: Chávez will write a blog

Chávez has announced he will write a blog from his official residence in Miraflores Palace. He says he wants not only Venezuelans but also foreigners to read what he has to write. He wants everyone to comment, so he says they have to be prepared for all the comments he is going to receive. He wants also to answer “the enemy, a battle is a battle, an assault is an assault”.

(via).

It’s pretty interesting that someone who has called for Internet controls (Mashable titles Venezuelan President makes threat against the Open Web), wants to open a blog. Chávez has also several TV program, among others, the famous “Aló Presidente” and a radio program, “Suddenly Chávez“. Never was this cartoon truer than now:

Hugo Chávez

One last question: is it my imagination or this guy now has dentures? :mrgreen:

Technorati technorati tags: , , , , , , , ,

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US: Bipartisan Senate majority pushing Clinton on Western Sahara

Map of Western Sahara

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“We are writing to urge to make the resolution of the Western Sahara stalemate a U.S. foreign policy priority for North Africa,” the senators wrote to Clinton. “We are very concerned about the mounting evidence of growing instability in North Africa.  Terrorist activities are increasing and countries in the region are under substantial pressure from a growing and restless youth population and a precarious economic base.”

Specifically, the senators urge Clinton to pursue a “serious and credible” 2007 proposal by Morocco that would establish autonomy in the region except for symbols of Moroccan sovereignty such as currency as well as border control and foreign policy. Morocco, a major U.S. ally, reclaimed the area from Spain in the 1970s. The plan is being opposed by the Polisario, a Sahrawi rebel movement that is pushing for a regional referendum that would offer independence. A cease-fire agreement between the two sides has been in place since 1991, monitored by a special United Nations peacekeeping force.

via Bipartisan Senate majority pushing Clinton on Western Sahara – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room.

Well, the only thing these guys are doing is throwing Polisario, which has not being a terrorist organization, into Al-Qaeda‘s hands. Morocco has tortured these guys, have condemned them to live as refugees and has imprisoned them for attending peaceful demonstrations. Morocco can be a “US ally” but it’s nothing more than a terrible dictatorship to the best glory of King Mohammed VI. He blocks newspapers that critisize the regime or Islamic mores and arrests Christians for proselytising. Specially important are the restrictions on press freedom and the country has also protested against drawings of Muhammad in foreign publications and blocked the latter inside Moroccan territory. Morocco has also accused and imprisoned people on homosexuality charges.

So this is not the least intelligent, I’m afraid.

File:Empty Town Western Sahara.JPG

One of the many empty towns built in Western Sahara by Morocco (Author: Dexcel)

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Vilks' cartoons: Iranian Basij students call to suspend relations with Sweden

Iranian official news agency reports:

After Swedish newspapers republished a sacrilegious cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Iranian Basij students call on the Foreign Ministry to suspend relations with Sweden.In a letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Basij students from eight main universities in Tehran urged Iranian diplomatic authorities to swiftly cut ties with Sweden until Swedish officials apologize for the move and take meaningful measures against the insensitive media sources.

The letter said that Muslims have been suffering from such biased publicity by certain Western countries in the name of freedom and democracy. It described the move as a Westerm trend backed by the “international Zionism” in recent years and added that its aim was to violate the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

We are witnessing the repeat of this nasty conspiracy by certain Swedish newspapers. They hold a grudge against the greatness of Islam and Qur’an,” it said.

via Iranian students urge suspension of ties with Sweden.

Before:

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