February 10, 2009
Quote of the Day: “Let them arrest me in Heathrow.”
Geert Wilders declared persona non grata in the UK, plans to go anyway to show Fitna.
August 16, 2007
Rice Presents Power-Sharing Plan To Pakistani President
Benazir Bhutto is reportedly the subject of "hush-hush" talks between Washington and Pakistan's President Musharraf. According to AFP, Secretary of State Condi Rice presented a power-sharing plan to Musharraf by phone last week:
From AFP - US officials believe that an alliance with Bhutto would be Musharraf's best chance of remaining president, the report said, noting declining domestic support for the military general, a key US "war on terror" ally.
The White House said Thursday that top US officials had met with major Pakistani political players in an effort to bring about "a moderate political center" and free and fair elections there.
"We support free and fair elections in Pakistan. We have met with various parties there. This is ultimately decisions for the people of Pakistan to make," said national security council spokesman Gordon Johndroe in Crawford as Bush took a vacation on his Texas ranch.
"What the United States wants to see is a peaceful, prosperous, secure, stable Pakistan -- that's in the interests of the Pakistanis, the interests of the region, and interests of the whole world. We want to see a moderate political center form there, following democratic processes," he added.
But Johndroe stopped short of confirming reports that Washington was prodding Musharraf to share power with Bhutto.
Bhutto has a long and sordid political history, and her performance has rarely lived up to her pre-election rhetoric. However, in this case, it seems she is prepared to make good on her recent promise to return to Pakistan from her self-imposed exile before the end of 2007.
It appears the U.S. government is hoping to usher in round three of Bhutto's political career.
Somehow, I doubt that will be a good thing for America in the long run.
January 16, 2007
Malaysia's Islamic Regions Tops in Porn Surfing
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Internet surfers from Malaysia’s fundamentalist Islamic state in Kelantan has topped the list of surfers who visited pornographic websites in the country, a newspaper has reported.
The Star daily’s Sunday paper cited research from Google Trends as saying that Internet surfers in the city of Kota Baru in northeastern Kelantan and the town of Kuantan in neighbouring Pahang had the highest number of porn surfers.
It said the most popular searched words are Malay-language words –”bogel” (nudity), “gambar bogel” (nude pictures), “seks Melayu” (sex involving Malays) and “cerita seks” (sex stories). ...
The fundamentalist Islamic party, PAS, that governs Kelantan imposes strict conservative Islamic rules in the sate, which often segregates men and women in society.
October 05, 2005
Security Scare at Eleven Embassies
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Embassies of eleven countries were subjected to security scares when envelopes suspected of containing anthrax powder were received. The first envelope arrived Tuesday at the Japanese Embassy at 1440 local time and, subsequently, envelopes were received by the Thai, German, Canadian, Singaporean, and Philippine foreign missions. Although emergency and hazardous materials teams were mobilized, apparently only harmless substances were found in the envelopes.
On Wednesday, the Australian, American, British, French, and Russian foreign missions in Malaysia received similar suspicious packages by mail. According to Abdul Aziz Bulat of the Kuala Lumpur Police, the parcels contained messages which "warned of retaliation for perceived injustices against the Muslim world."
Kuala Lumpur Chief Police Officer Deputy Commissioner Datuk Mustafa Abdullah believed that it was the work of pranksters.As a prank, it's sick. As a project, it seems to have required a plan, at least a modicum of money, and some coordination to assure that the parcels all arrived at their destinations within a short time frame. In my opinion, it seems like a lot of effort and complexity for a simple hoax.
"We checked the first two parcels. I believe that it was just some harmless liquid, some kind of oil," he said.
He said the envelope addressed to the Japanese Ambassador, bearing a Kelantan stamp, had a note which read: "Now you have biological weapons. You deserve what is happening to you after what you have done to Muslims."
Companion at Interested-Participant.
September 19, 2005
North Korea Stands Down
In an agreement that can be seen as a step back to the Clinton or an agreement to appease the North Korean government North Korea has decided to stop it's nuclear program in exchange for economic and energy benefits, an agreement to keep the NKs safe, and an open door to later start back up their program later.
BEIJING (AP) -- North Korea pledged to drop its nuclear weapons development and rejoin international arms treaties in a unanimous agreement Monday with other countries at six-party arms talks. The joint statement was the first ever after more than two years of negotiations.
The North "promised to drop all nuclear weapons and current nuclear programs and to get back to the (Nuclear) Nonproliferation Treaty as soon as possible and to accept inspections" by the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the agreement by the six countries at the talks.
"All six parties emphasized that to realize the inspectable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the target of the six-party talks," the statement said.
The North and United States also pledged in the agreement to respect each other's sovereignty and right to peaceful coexistence, and also to take steps to normalize relations.
"The United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade (North Korea) with nuclear or conventional weapons," according to the statement, assurances echoed by South Korea.
Negotiators agreed to hold more talks in November, where they were expected to move on to concrete discussions about implementing the broad principles outlined in Monday's agreement. The main U.S. envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, has warned that could still be a long process.
Putting aside the question for now, the joint statement said: "The other parties expressed their respect and agreed to discuss at an appropriate time the subject of the provision of light-water reactor" to North Korea.
Pyongyang has also refused to totally disarm without getting concessions along the way, while Washington has said it wants to see the weapons programs totally dismantled before granting rewards. The statement, however, says the sides agree to take steps to implement the agreement "in a phased manner in line with the principle of 'commitment for commitment, action for action.'"
he other countries at the talks said they were willing give energy assistance to the North, including a South Korean plan to deliver electricity across the heavily armed border dividing the peninsula.
While I'm okay with North Korea giving up its nuke program I'm not exactly sure that giving the Communist North what it needs to survive another ten to fifteen years is the best course of action. Let their economy fail and let their people overthrow the communists. A free North Korea is better than a communist one struggling to get what it needs from the rest of the world to survive.
January 02, 2005
Sit Still While Thousands Perish
I'm sick and freaking tired of pundits, journalists and world leaders lambasting the United States' response to the tsunami in SE Asia. President Bush has pledged $350 million to the cause and set up a coallition of nations (Australia, Japan, India and the U.S.) to spearhead support to the region and its inhabitants.
The Diplomad is inside of the effected area and reports the combined efforts of the U.S. and Australia have been the only deliverers of food aid to the region while the UN is setting up camp. While I care not what the UN does because I believe it is nothing more than a paper government that has done virtually nothing in the past 20 years, this is the area where the UN is supposed to excel. However they are not excelling and are dragging their feet slower than a young boy going to church.
While there are those even inside the UN talking down about President Bush's late response, the UN itself hasn't even done anything but start to set up shop. So I ask you, good readers, if you were there when the tsunami hit, starving, lost members of your family and several friends, are you going to give a rat's ass whether or not the UN headquarters that is supposed to be giving aid to you has a roof over it's head or pictures on their walls?
Why on earth are we even debating whether or not President Bush acted quickly enough? Why can't we focus our attention on what matters, the people directly effected or the people who have lost their homes, instead of this partisan bullsh*%?
There are even shows on television where members of the Bush Administration have to defend their reasoning, not because they are giving too little or too much money, but because President Bush didn't "officially" end his vaction fast enough according to these pundits.
A memo to the UN, pundits, journalists and others of your ilk: Grow up, grow a pair and put your own money where your mouth is. Donate money, food, supplies, etc. to the millions of people who are starving to death while people try to turn a disaster into a political weapon.
Cross-posted at In the Bullpen
December 30, 2004
The Politics of Disaster
Greetings, Jawa Report Readers. I am Mike, otherwise known as The Maximum Leader from Nakedvillainy.com. The good Dr. Rusty invited me to guest blog during his vacation, and I am now going to take him up on his offer. First I would like to tip my hat to the other guest bloggers here who have really done a tremendous job in Rustyâ€™s absence. (Hummâ€¦ Perhaps doing a better job than Rusty himself? Do I smell a coup?)
I wanted to comment on the ongoing tsunami disaster. I, aside from the feelings of compassion for the victims and survivors of the Asian Tsunami that we all feel, have some other comments to make on this disaster.
And by the way, check out the Command Post for a comprehensive listing of charities to which you could donate.
Some of the science concerning what has happened is quite fascinating. The Earth's rotation itself may have been affected. And islands around the earthquake area may have actually moved. Some islands, rather than moving, appear to have been swallowed by the sea.
Scientists also are reporting that while there will be aftershocks, they do not anticipate more killer waves. One hopes this is a minor blessing.
And, outside the science of the tsunami there is, as always, the politics of disasters. Much hay has been made concerning the "stingy" comment from Jan Egeland of the United Nations. At the time the comment was made the US had contributed $15 million to disaster relief. At the time the comment was made, that $15 million represented the largest donation from a western nation to date. The US has now donated $35 million to relief. President Bush pledges more money and other aid.
I was stung by the "stingy" comment. As were many others. That comment showed a number of things. First off it showed the insularity of the world in which so many UN officals live. They don't understand anything outside their organization, and they only see the UN as an altruistic world-government-in-waiting that only needs more money from rich countries to solve the world's problems.
The second thing it showed was a stupendous ignorance of how the US appropriates money. In case you didn't know (and I donâ€™t suspect the informed readers of The Jawa Report wouldnâ€™t know this), the President or Secretary of State don't just take money out of the Treasury and spend it. It is appropriated by Congress. It can only be appropriated by Congress. Every year the Congress appropriates money for the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) for disaster relief. Money is also appropriated for other departments to be spend for disaster relief. It is this previously appropriated money that is being spent now. Additional funds will need to be voted on and approved by Congress. And in case commentators didn't know it, Congress is not in session right now. Our nations law-makers (and money appropriators) are on holiday and will not be back until around January 10. This limits the amount of money the United States has to allocate to relief at this point. Why isn't that little tidbit being reported?
Do not fear, we will donate more. We will be the leader in this effort. Just as we always are. In 2004 nearly a quarter of all money given in relief for natural disasters around the world came from the US. We are the largest donor in these situations. We may have been a little slow to act (and even that claim is debatable), but we are in it for the long haul.
And all this talk of relief by governments doesn't even begin to count the millions that will come from normal Americans donating their own money from their own pockets to help those people around the world they've never met, seen, or in some cases heard of before. We are the most generous people in the world, and we rarely get credit for it.
Now I mentioned that we may have been a little slow on the uptake. I believe that President Bush was too slow in making some sort of visible public statement of compassion. I do not feel that the President doesn't feel compassion for the suffering (as was implied by Matt Lauer on the Today Show this morning â€“ Lauer and his guests speculated that the President didnâ€™t care because he didnâ€™t know anything about the region). The President and his staff probably wanted to wait and get more information before speaking publicly about what the US response would be. While that may be a smart move tactically, it was not a smart move from the perspective of image-building. The President should have made some brief remarks sooner and said that details of the US response would be forthcoming.
I do not doubt that the role of the US will be great in this relief effort. I only hope that the full role of the US will be appreciated when all is said and done. That is very unlikely, but I can still hope.
This was cross posted on Nakedvillainy.com
December 28, 2004
Tsunami Death Toll Exceeds 55,000
The extent of the disastrous undersea earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra is becoming clearer. Channel AsiaNews reports confirmed deaths at 27,174 in Indonesia, more than 17,640 in Sri Lanka, 8,523 in India, 4,000 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 1,439 in Thailand, 65 in Malaysia, 90 in Myanmar, 55 in The Maldives, 100 in Somalia, 10 in Tanzania, 2 in Bangladesh for a total greater than 55,000. Xinhua reports similar numbers.
Officials warn that the figures are expected to rise steeply.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
Beheading Video Shown at Rock Concert
(Urayasu, Japan) For more than ten minutes, a rock band named Klack showed a video of the terrorist beheading of 24-year-old backpacker Shosei Koda at a concert Sunday. It's not clear how many people expressed outrage, however, the sponsoring Tokyo Broadcasting System angrily stated it had no foreknowledge of the stunt and voiced apologies to all who were offended.
If the members of the group Klack believes that a beheading video enhances their concerts, just how bad is their music. Obviously, they're shamelessly inconsiderate of the sensibilities of the public and the family and friends of Shosei Koda.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.
December 21, 2004
U.S. To Post Military Officers To Taiwan
(Taipei, Taiwan) According to American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokeswoman Dana Smith, the United States will station active duty military officers to its de facto embassy in Taiwan for the first time since 1979 in a reversal of a long-standing policy. Historically, the AIT has employed retired military personnel to coordinate diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
The announcement of closer military cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan is expected to anger China which has vowed to invade the island if independence is declared. However, according to Jane's Defense Weekly, a protest from Beijing is not as worrisome to Washington as the "growing unease over China's military ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region."
Companion post at Interested-Participant.