Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/6/2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/6/2009Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense under Lyndon Johnson, has died at the age of 93. LBJ stuck him with a war that McNamara didn’t want to fight (and that LBJ restrained him from fighting fully), and McNamara ended up bearing the brunt of the blame. As a coincidental counterpoint, read the WND article about how military victory in Vietnam was turned into defeat by the relentless and inaccurate spin of our traitorous domestic media machine.

In other news, the rioting by Uighurs in Xinjiang has escalated, and more than 150 people have been killed.

Thanks to Barry Rubin, CSP, Gaia, Insubria, islam o’phobe, JD, KGS, Steen, TB, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
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Bombshell: Supreme Court Now Has Obama Citizenship
Jihad Sites Hail Vote to Celebrate Islam in Schools
Robert McNamara, Architect of Vietnam War, Dies at 93
Europe and the EU
Aerospace: Thales-ESA Deal for New European Shuttle
Cinema: Tales of Italians in Morocco
Danes Fear Race Riots
Denmark: Police Fear Renewed Gang Violence After Second Shooting
Denmark: Fighter Jets Over Copenhagen
EU Boss’s £156,000 Wage Rise
EU: Industrial Output; Med Down, Italy and Spain Up
German Killing of Headscarved Woman at Court Raises Fears in Europe
Holocaust: EU; Prague Conference Backs Compensation for Jews
Interview With Geert Wilders: I’m in Favour of Romania and Bulgaria Leaving the EU
Ireland: Capital’s Murder Rate One of the Highest in Europe
Opposition Party Wins Bulgarian Elections
Sweden: Young Man Gets Nine Years for Murder
Sweden: 61 of 70 Pizzerias Fail Hygiene Inspection
UK: Handing Over Britons to the US Department of Injustice
Wilders Now Biggest Party in All Polls
North Africa
Agriculture: Moroccan Citrus Exports in Decline
Israel and the Palestinians
Barry Rubin: Israel Offers a Peace Plan That Can Work
U.S. ‘Partner’ Warns Don’t Deal With Israel
Middle East
Iran ‘Ready to Respond’ To Israeli Attack
‘Iran Nuke Could Wipe Israel Off Map in Seconds’
Muslim Scientists Exhibition Bridges Cultures
Frank Gaffney: Your Deterrent (What’s at Stake at the Moscow Summit)
South Asia
Danish Troops Play Major Role in Afghan Operation
Karachi Girl ‘Dumped in Manhole’
Far East
China Riots: 140 People Killed as Muslim Separatists Go on the Rampage in Xinjiang
China Blames Muslims for Xinjiang Unrest
Finally! A War Story the State-Run Media Hate to Reveal
Sub-Saharan Africa
Justice Yemen-Style: Paedophile Who Raped Boy, 11, Shot in the Head in Front of Hundreds of Spectators
Nigeria Militants Seize Ship Crew
US Warns Ethiopia on Somali Role
Flurry of Diplomacy on Migrants


Bombshell: Supreme Court Now Has Obama Citizenship

AP- WASHINGTON D.C. — In a move certain to fuel the debate over Obama’s qualifications for the presidency, the group Americans for Freedom of Information has Released copies of President Obama’s college transcripts from Occidental College Released today, the transcript indicates that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate at the school. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suit brought by the group in the Superior Court of California. The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship. This document would seem to provide the smoking gun that many of Obama’s detractors have been seeking.

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]

Jihad Sites Hail Vote to Celebrate Islam in Schools

Resolution could dictate New Yorkers observe Muslim holidays on 9-11

Islamist websites associated with terrorist organizations, WND has learned, hailed over the weekend a recent New York City Council resolution recommending the city’s school system shut down to commemorate two of the most important Muslim holidays.

The nonbinding resolution passed last week was the subject of extensive coverage in the pan-Arab media, including on the Al Jazeera and Al-Arabiya satellite networks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Robert McNamara, Architect of Vietnam War, Dies at 93

Robert Strange McNamara, the former secretary of defense whose record as a leading executive of industry and a chieftain of foreign financial aid was all but erased from public memory by his reputation as the primary architect of U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam, died early this morning at age 93.

Family members said McNamara died at his home in Northwest Washington. They did not give a cause of death.

McNamara was secretary of defense during the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson. In that capacity he directed a U.S. military buildup in Southeast Asia during the critical early years of a Vietnamese conflict that escalated into one of the most divisive and bitter wars in U.S. history. When the war was over, 58,000 Americans were dead and the national social fabric had been torn asunder…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Aerospace: Thales-ESA Deal for New European Shuttle

(ANSAmed) — LE BOURGET, JUNE 16 — The European Space Agency (ESA) and Thales Alenia Aerospace will develop a European space shuttle, called IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle). The deal was made today at the Paris Air Show, an event dedicated to the aviation industry, currently under way in Bourget, Paris. The aircraft, said Thales, will be entirely produced in Italy in factories in Turin and will allow for the development of an autonomous European system of atmospheric entry, with high performance aerodynamics and special thermal protection. Thales Alenia Space, 66% owned by French electronic systems company Thales, and 33% by Finmeccanica through their subsidiary Alenia, will lead a consortium formed by the main European aerospace industries. “This responsibility is an acknowledgement of the industrial abilities of our company, especially in the space transport sector,” said Luigi Maria Quaglino, senior vice-president and general manager of Thales Alenia Space. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cinema: Tales of Italians in Morocco

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JULY 2 — Italians in Morocco. Rather, a couple of young Italians looking for their father in Marrakech. 31-year-old Claudio Giovannesi tells the tale of reverse migration in his first feature film, “La casa sulle nuvole” (the home in the clouds), which was shown last night in the context of the Mediterranean event that is being held in Rome’s Cinema Island’. Twelve years earlier their father (played by Emilio Bonucci) abandoned Italy and his family, he himself the son (as narrated by the director) of a rebel era, the ‘68 generation, and of the dream of a free life spent between the Moroccan sands and paradise in Marrakech. The now balding dreamer calls it ‘longing for Africa” in order to justify his choices to his sons, who loved and hated him for years because he abandoned them along with their mother and simply disappeared. But the life he walked into is anything but successful. Previously debt had made him sell, without warning anyone, the home in Italy where his children grew up and still lived. The discovery of this matter drove the two young men (Adriano Giannini and Emanuele Bosi) to search for their father. And to discover a new world in Marrakech’s Italian community, rooted in its habits and businesses, but also in touch with the stories of other migrants, showered with the charm of the city and the hospitality of its people. However, the main connection is with another story of migration and lost roots, the tale of beautiful Amina (Moroccan actress Fatne Ben Haj Hassen), their father’s new and young partner. Amina also left her village in southern Morocco to go to live in the big city and lead a lifestyle that was strongly criticised by her more traditional countrymen. Only the love for her daughter will drive her back to her origins, and keep her there for some time while she regains her lost identity. Reverse migration for her as well. The movie is the result of cooperation between Italy’s General office for Cultural Heritage, Rai Cinema, Istituto Lucé and Rome’s Centro sperimentale di Cinematografià (the centre for experimental cinematography). (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Danes Fear Race Riots

Danes are afraid that the current gang warfare will develop into race riots.

Almost two-thirds of Danes fear that the current conflict between the Hells Angels and immigrant gangs will develop into a regular racial conflict, according to a Megafon poll for Politiken and TV2.

Some 65 percent of those asked say that they fear that the gang war will develop into race riots, street warfare and general unrest.

Police downplay conflict

Police authorities, however, do not believe that race riots are a likely scenario in Denmark.

“But I can understand that people are worried. I would urge people to look at what is actually happening, rather than listening to the rhetoric from the various parties to the conflict. There is no basis for the concern that people are showing — the conflict between the gangs and bikers is about crime and not race,” says Kim Klever of the National Investigation Centre (NEC).

The opinion poll comes a week after the Hells Angels published its ‘Jackal Manifesto’ — a controversial statement in which the group says that the ongoing gang war is not about criminal markets but rather a defence against ‘a mentality found predominantly among certain young people with an immigant background — called ‘jackals’ by HAMC.’

War continues

There have been two murders in the past week, which police say are gang-related. A total of six people have been killed since 2008.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Police Fear Renewed Gang Violence After Second Shooting

One man remains held in custody in connection with the second execution-style murder in one week

A year-long conflict between biker and immigrant gangs is on the verge of flaring up after two young men were shot and killed this past week.

‘It’s fair to call two killings in a week an escalation,’ said Henrik Svindt, head of the Copenhagen police gang unit.

Due to the on-going nature of the investigations, Svindt would not confirm that Wednesday’s shooting in Christiania and Saturday evening’s shooting in the Nordvest district were gang-related.

Olcay Ünal, 33, was shot 11 times on Saturday as he emerged from a memorial ceremony for the victim of Wednesday’s shooting, Ahmad Reza Jamali, 26, who was reported to be an acquaintance of Ünal.

According to eyewitnesses, Ünal was gunned down by a single man who fled the scene in a car together with four other men.

Police arrested three suspects the same evening, based on eyewitness accounts of the getaway car. Two more people were subsequently arrested on Sunday.

All five were brought before a judge, but despite eyewitness accounts from about 20 people, only one suspect remains held on remand.

Svindt said police had yet to establish a motive for the shooting, but said they were convinced the two slayings were related. The information so far suggested that drugs or gangs or both were involved, he said.

‘Some of the people involved on Saturday are involved in gangs, so we’re looking into whether there is a connection.’

Svindt would not confirm rumours that Ünal was a member of the Hells Angels gang. Spokesman Jørn ‘Jønke’ Nielsen, from the Hells Angels, referred to him as a ‘dear friend’ of the gang, but not a member.

Ünal had been involved with a number of run-ins with the police including a conviction for making a death threat, suspicion of bank robbery and taking part in the breakout of a police suspect who was being treated at Rigshospitalet. During the breakout, shots were fired at a guard.

With last week’s shootings, six people have now died in gang-related violence since last August.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Fighter Jets Over Copenhagen

Air Force F-16s will be on the wing over Copenhagen to take the first reconnaissance pictures of the city since the Cold War

Copenhagen residents concerned that the city is under attack from above can breathe easy. Multiple F-16 fighter jet flyovers this week are being carried out by the Air Force as part of the first photographic mapping mission of the city since during the Cold War.

The reconnaissance flights will be taking place starting on Monday and are expected to be completed by Friday.

‘We’re taking pictures of Copenhagen in order to have up-to-date detailed pictures of the city and all its buildings for officials to use in conjunction with a possible terror attack or natural disaster,’ said Lt Col O.J. Nielsen.

Although the jets will fly above 600 metres in order to reduce noise pollution, they should be clearly visible and clearly audible.

Such flights, according to the Air Force, were common during the Cold War.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

EU Boss’s £156,000 Wage Rise

THE next European Parliament president is set to get an EXTRA £113,016 to rent a home PLUS £43,704 for entertaining on TOP of the current £36,778-a-year living allowance.

The planned £156,720 pay rise, detailed in secret EU documents leaked to the News of the World, is to give the parliament president “more dignity”.

This would make his total yearly income around £214,000.

The rise equates to £9,418 a month for rent and £3,642 for entertaining. The president is currently German politician Hans-Gert Pöttering.

His 21/2-year term ends later this month and his successor is due to get the new allowances.

The rent benefit alone is enough to hire a seven-bedroom mansion with four bathrooms, a swimming pool, tennis court and extensive grounds in Brussels.

In the running for the job is British Lib Dem Graham Watson, who would trouser a £64,000-a-year wage, the £37k living allowance and extra £113k. Elite

The leaked document, uncovered by the UK Independence Party, says the changes will put the president in the same pay bracket as the head of the European Commission, who is in charge of the EU’s day-to-day running.

UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen said: “The political elite think these obscene sums should be thrown at their feet without any thought of the people that pay for their feather-bedded lifestyle — the taxpayers.”

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]

EU: Industrial Output; Med Down, Italy and Spain Up

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, JUNE 12 — Industrial production in EU countries on the Mediterranean has fallen considerably, with the exception of Spain and Italy, where production has increased for the first time in several months. The news was reported by the European Union Institute of Statistics, Eurostat. During April, industrial production in the eurozone fell 1.9% compared to the previous month, a negative trend in line with the -1.4% registered in March, while the yearly variation was -21.6%. The EU27 registered a monthly contraction of 0.9% while the yearly contraction was 19.4%. Amongst EU countries on the Mediterranean, the highest negative monthly variation was registered in Slovenia (-3.8%), followed by Greece (-2.1%), France (-1.4%) and Portugal (-0.7%). Spain and Italy have instead registered a growth of 2.0% and 1.1%, respectively. On the yearly variation of industrial production, during April all Mediterranean countries registered two digit contractions with Slovenia falling 24.9%, Italy 24.2%, Spain 19.7%, France 19.4% Greece 12.2% and Portugal 11.1%. Data for Cyprus and Malta is not yet available (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

German Killing of Headscarved Woman at Court Raises Fears in Europe

The killing of the Muslim woman raises many questions regarding inter-racial relationships and co-existence in Europe.

European Muslims faced another hate crime with killing of a headscarved woman by a German man in a court room on on July 1st, German and Egyptian media reported.

Marwa Sherbini, a 32-year-old Egyptian national who was suing her attacker after he insulted her for wearing the Islamic headscarf.

Sherbini stood in court to give evidence against court appeal, the 28-year old man took out a knife and stabbed her 18 times.

Marwa took her 3-year old son Mostapha to play in a Dresden park. A German man, identified only as Axel W, insulted her because of wearing headscarf and called her a “terrorist”. She filed a case against him in German courts after the incident.

When she won the case and the court fined him the €780 for having abused her. But German man appealed against the verdict, German media said.

Also, her husband and her son were present in the court room. When the assailant attacked Marwa her husband ran to rescue her. But the assailant stabbed him 3 times. Meanwhile, a German security officer in court shot the husband in the leg too.

The husband Elwy Okaz lapsed into a coma and was taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries to the stomach and liver.

Marwa Sherbini was a star pupil at her Alexandria School, El Nasr Girls’ College (EGC), one of the oldest and most prestigious educational establishments for girls in Alexandria. Her personality and academic achievements led to her selection as Head Girl of the school before she joined the Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University, graduating in 2000 with flying colors. After she got married to Elwy Okaz, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute, she moved with him to Germany.

Crime ignored

It’s been too long since Egyptian bloggers came together under the same opinion. But the new hate crime that took place in Germany against Sherbini, was one good reason for them to unite again, condemning international media for ignoring such incidents against Muslims in the West.

German officials did not acknowleged about bloody event which is taken in front of the 3 year old son’s eyes during 24 hours and did not informed Marva’s family or Egyptian embassy..

According to father of MArwa who spoked to an Egyptian TV, they learned the killing from a family friend after on a phone conversation after 24 hours.

“My daughter was pregnant in her third month,” the heartbroken mother told Egypt’s Al-Masri Al-Youm daily on Sunday, July 5.

“I never imagined she would be a victim of terrorism and we would see her pictures in the media.”

Also, the media reported that German officials put the son of Sherbinis, Mostafa in an orphanage, rejecting to hand him over Egyptian embassy for send him to family members.

The state-owned Egyptian Gazette reported the hate crime as saying the attacker stabbed Sherbini “shortly before she was to give evidence in an appeal lodged by the man against a conviction for insulting her over wearing the hijab.”

“The investigation into this bloody crime is bound to show there are some indications the suspect was hostile toward foreigners — the signs are there,” said Saxony police chief Bernd Merbitz told German media.

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

Holocaust: EU; Prague Conference Backs Compensation for Jews

(ANSAmed) — PRAGUE, JUNE 30 — Forty-six delegations attending the Prague Conference on the Holocaust have declared that they are in favour of seeking compensation for the Jews persecuted by the Nazis during the Third Reich. The ‘Terezin Declaration” — named after the Czech city which the Nazis transformed into a concentration camp for Jews — includes the representatives’ calls to “rectify the consequences of property seizures, forced sales and the persecution of innocent people” by the Nazis. In total, 49 European and world countries are attending the conference, which opened on Friday in Prague and Terezin and with its closure today brings the current six-month Czech Presidency of the EU to a close. “We have the most far reaching and comprehensive declaration dealing with the assets of the Holocaust and touches on issues never before dealt with regarding welfare for survivors and the restitution of private property”, declared Stuart Eizenstat, former US Secretary of State, who is leading the American delegation. Other than the declaration, the EU has also committed to founding the “European Shoah Legacy Institute”, which will guarantee the continuity of the process of restitutions, above all in central and eastern Europe. The total value of the goods confiscated from Jews by the Nazis was valued at the end of the war at over 17 billion dollars. “Until today only a small part has been given back or compensated for”, notes the document. The declaration, which will be signed today, has also received the backing of Russia, on the condition that international post-war peace accords remain respected. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Interview With Geert Wilders: I’m in Favour of Romania and Bulgaria Leaving the EU

Geert Wilders is the leader of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, a political group described as “Islamophobic”. The party performed well in the recent European elections. Wilders’ anti-Islamic and anti-EU rhetoric seems to win over more and more Dutch people, mostly those who are scared about immigration and enlargement. euronews interviewed Wilders in a bunker-like meeting room of the Dutch parliament in the Hague. That was said to be for security reasons, because Wilders has been granted special protection due to his controversial anti-Koran movie and provocative anti-Islamic speeches.

euronews: Geert Wilder, welcome to euronews. Are you concerned for the future of Europe?

Wilders: I’m very concerned for the future of Europe. I believe Europe is a beautiful continent with strong countries, but unfortunately, because of the influx of the mass immigration and the Islamisation of our societies, I’m afraid that at the end of the day it will cost us our freedom. So, indeed yes, I’m very concerned…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Ireland: Capital’s Murder Rate One of the Highest in Europe

In the space of a decade, Dublin has gone from having one of the lowest homicide rates of any European capital city to having possibly the highest, and certainly the highest for gang-related murders.

The extraordinary rate of gangland murders in the capital — and Limerick — has prompted Justice Minister Dermot Ahern to bring forward new legislation making it an offence punishable by up to life imprisonment to direct a criminal gang; moving organised crime trials to the Special Criminal Court; and allowing gardai to give hearsay evidence in court to the effect that they believe a person to be a leader or member of an organised gang.

The gardai have also increased raids on intermediate drug dealers in Dublin, raiding 120 homes and premises and arresting 70 people across the city on Thursday. Similar operations co-ordinated by the National Drugs Unit are expected to follow on a regular basis to break up the major drugs operations in the city.

Within the Dublin City Council boundaries, 11 men have been shot dead in gang-related feuding since the start of the year. Another four have been shot dead in gang feuds on the outskirts of the city and another two murdered in Spain and Amsterdam as a direct result of feuds in Dublin but only one in Limerick.

The 17 gun deaths in greater Dublin in the first six months of this year have surpassed the last “record” year of 16 gang murders for greater Dublin in 2006.

The city currently has a homicide rate of over two per 100,000, putting it high up the European homicide league, but still beneath Glasgow and the Baltic state capitals, where drunken stabbings and beatings are endemic.

Dublin will gain the dubious distinction of topping the league for gun murders if the current rate of around two to three a month keeps up.

A matter of concern for the minister has been the low clear-up rate in gang-related murders, which has been running at only around five per cent in the past 10 years.

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]

Opposition Party Wins Bulgarian Elections

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgaria’s conservative opposition won elections by a wide margin as voters punished the governing Socialists for failing to crack down on corruption, according to final results released Monday.

Departing Socialist Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev conceded defeat hours after polls closed late Sunday, clearing the way for Sofia Mayor Boiko Borisov to form the next government.

Bulgaria, which joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007, has been battered by allegations of serious corruption that hurt Mr. Stanishev’s government and prompted the EU to freeze millions in aid last year.

With all ballots counted, the Central Election Commission said Mr. Borisov’s newly founded GERB Party won 39.7% of the vote, while the Socialists garnered 17.7%.

It wasn’t clear whether Mr. Borisov would have an overall majority of parliamentary seats needed to govern without forming a coalition. The distribution of seats in the 240-seat Parliament was to be announced later this week, though the election commission said GERB was just shy of a majority with 116 seats, according to a provisional count.

Mr. Borisov, a 50-year-old former bodyguard and national team karate coach, founded the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, or GERB, in 2006 and galvanized the often-split conservative vote.

His campaign focused heavily on fighting corruption, with a pledge to jail corrupt officials and crime bosses.

Mr. Stanishev, whose coalition survived a series of censure motions from the opposition in parliament, conceded the Socialists had suffered a “serious loss” at the polls.

His government was credited with securing EU membership for Bulgaria, but it has widely been blamed for failing to crack down on corruption and improve the quality of life for Bulgaria’s 7.6 million people.

Bulgaria is the poorest member of the 27-nation European Union, with an average salary of â‚300 ($419) a month. At least 700,000 Bulgarians have left the country over the last two decades for better job opportunities and living standards.

Monday’s final results also showed the Socialists’ junior partner, the mainly ethnic Turkish-dominated MRF, won 14.5% of the vote. The election commission said the nationalist Attack Party finished fourth with 9.3%, followed by the right-wing Blue Coalition with 6.8%.

The Blue Coalition and another small rightist group, the Law, Order and Justice party, both said they were willing to join a new governing coalition.

Some 60% of Bulgaria’s 6.8 million eligible voters cast ballots, according to the election commission. The new parliament will be convened on July 14.

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Young Man Gets Nine Years for Murder

A 19-year-old man was sentenced on Monday to nine years in prison after shooting a man to death and burning the body in a Stockholm suburb.

The body was found in a garage in the neighbourhood of Skärholmen in west Stockholm in January.

The 19-year-old was found guilty of murder, aggravated arson and disturbing the peace of the dead (brott mot griftefrid) by Södertörn district court.

The seriousness of the crime is such that the 19-year-old would have been sentenced to life in prison had he been older, the court said in its judgement. He had not yet turned 19 when he committed the crime. Police found a pair of shoes and a pair of gloves with blood traces from the victim at the 19-year-old’s residence.

The 36-year-old was shot twice in a cellar connected to the property and was then placed in the back seat of a car the 19-year-old ignited with petrol. The court stated that the 19-year-old must have had help to move the body, but it has not proved possible to discover who else might have been involved.

A 21-year-old man, who was charged as an accessory to arson, is thought to have purchased a container of petrol and given it to the 19-year-old. The court did not, however, find beyond a reasonable doubt that the 21-year-old knew what the petrol was to be used for and he was subsequently acquitted.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Sweden: 61 of 70 Pizzerias Fail Hygiene Inspection

Food safety authorities in Halmstad in western Sweden have been shocked to find minimum hygiene standards observed by just nine out of seventy restaurants serving pizzas in the town, newspaper Hallands-Posten reports.

Inspectors carried out unannounced checks in the coastal town all through the spring and were horrified by the unacceptably low standards on display at the vast majority of restaurants.

“we’re quite shocked. We actually didn’t think it would be this bad,” food safety inspector Ulrika Cederberg told Hallands-Posten.

Inspectors ordered the immediate closure of one restaurant, which was infested with a sort of beetle that lives on meat, cheese and dried fish.

Another restaurant in a similarly appalling state was given a stay of execution when staff stayed up all night to rectify the many hygienic shortcomings detailed by the inspectors.

The unexpected guests even found cases where food was stored in the toilets. Facilities for washing hands were also in short supply.

“There were nineteen places that didn’t have access to a functioning washbasin with soap and paper towels,” Cederberg told Expressen.

The authorities have already begun reinspecting the 61 premises that failed to make the grade, with the cost of the second inspection to be borne by the restaurants themselves.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

UK: Handing Over Britons to the US Department of Injustice

This impending extadition of the naive computer hacker, Gary McKinnon, to the United States ought to worry Britons for a lot more reasons than just the ease with which the US Justice Department can now demand the Home Secretary hand over a British subject.

McKinnon is a 43-year old computer nerd who suffers from the form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome. His obsession is to prove the existence of ‘little green men.’ The US authorities say he is a ‘cyber-terrorist’ who hacked into top-secret and NASA computers in 2002. And he may well have done so: but he was looking for ‘suppressed’ evidence on space aliens.

However, UFO flakiness is not what McKinnon will be put on trial for if the new Home Secretary Alan Johnson allows his extradition. He will be facing up to 60 years in a federal prison on terrorist charges.

The clue to the rot in American federal prosecutions is evident from the attempt by the US Justice Department to persuade McKinnon to agree to extradition without a legal fight in return for a short sentence. Part of such deals are always an agreement to plead guilty to a lesser charge. If McKinnon does not accept the deal, and insists on pleading innocent at a jury trial, the Feds will charge him with everything possible and threaten the full 60 years sentence.

This is disgusting behaviour by any outfit with ‘justice’ in its name, but it is the way ‘justice’ works in America today. Almost all felony charges — and I mean 95-97 percent — are now settled by just such a coerced plea. That means almost every felony conviction in America is reached without a jury ever having heard any evidence.

Plenty of Americas are disturbed by this. And the ones fighting hardest against it are not the usual left-wing so-called civil libertarians. Old style conservatives such as Paul Craig Roberts, assistant secretry of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, and research fellow of Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, has been warning about this destruction of justice for years.

This, from one of his syndicated columns published in 2005: ‘Until it happens to them or to a member of their family, Americans are clueless to the corruption in the criminal justice (sic) system. Most prosecutors are focused on their conviction rates, and judges are focused on clearing their court dockets. Defendants are processed accordingly, not in terms of guilt or innocence.’

‘The system is so loaded against a defendant that very few people, including the totally innocent, dare to risk a trial…By withholding exculpatory evidence, suborning perjury, fabricating evidence, and lying to jurors, prosecutors have made the risks of a trial too great even for the innocent. Consequently, the prosecutors’ cases and police evidence are almost never tested in court. Defendants are simply intimidated into self-incrimination rather than risk the terrors of trial.’

‘According to Yale University law professor John Langbein, “The parallels between the modern American plea bargaining system and the ancient system of judicial torture are many and chilling.” Just as the person on the rack admitted to guilt in order to stop the pain, the present day defendant succumbs to psychological torture and cops a plea, whether he is innocent or guilty, in order to avoid ever more charges.

It is into this ‘guilty when accused’ torture chamber that the Home Secretary is about to send the mentally-fragile Gary McKinnon.

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]

Wilders Now Biggest Party in All Polls

THE HAGUE, 04/07/09 — For the first time, the Party for Freedom (PVV) is the top-scoring party in both leading opinion polls. Geert Wilders’ party reached this position in Maurice de Hond’s poll three months ago, and has now come top in the Synovate poll as well.

According to the Synovate Political Barometer, the PVV would win 32 of the 150 Lower House seats if elections were held now. This makes it the largest party, although the Christian Democrats (CDA) also score 32 seats. The PVV currently holds 9 Lower House seats and the CDA 41.

Without apparent reason, the PVV has jumped from 23 to 32 seats in the Political Barometer, drawn up on behalf of TV programme Nova, over the past month. In the polls held by Maurice de Hond, the PVV has been stable at or around 32 seats for months.

In the latest barometer, Labour (PvdA) scores 21 seats. The socialists (SP) also show a substantial loss, with 13 seats. Centre-left D66 and the conservatives (VVD) both have 15 seats. The leftwing Greens (GroenLinks) scored 10 seats in the poll, progressive Christian party ChristenUnie 7, Party for Animals (PvdD) 3 and orthodox Christian party SGP 2. Proud of the Netherlands (TON) would win no seats at all.

In a TNS NIPO poll as well, the PVV is the biggest party: with 28 seats against 24 for CDA. D66 would win no less than 22 seats and the PvdA, only 19. The VVD is also at 19. SP would win 14 seats, ChristenUnie 8 and GroenLinks 7. TNS NIPO has proved to be the least reliable pollster in earlier elections, and is less influential.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

North Africa

Agriculture: Moroccan Citrus Exports in Decline

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JUNE 12 — According to Morocco’s citrus producers association ASPAM, exports of citrus products from Morocco has dropped sharply with only 480 thousand tonnes due for export this year, 100,000 fewer than the 581,000 seen in 2008. The figures reported by the website, which noted that the figure is nearly 170,000 tonnes less than initial forecasts. Navel oranges are amongst the products in decline, sliding from 31,700 to 24,150 tonnes. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Barry Rubin: Israel Offers a Peace Plan That Can Work

Israel has put forward a serious peace plan which deserves international support from anyone serious about solving the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict.

The cabinet’s five-point proposal states:

“The need for explicit Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people.

“The demilitarization of a Palestinian state in such a manner that all of Israel’s security needs will be met.

“International backing of these security arrangements in the form of explicit international guarantees.

“The problem of refugees must be resolved outside the borders of Israel.

“The agreement be an end to the conflict. This is to say that the Palestinians will not be able to raise additional claims following the signing of a peace agreement.”

If these conditions are met, Israel will recognize an independent Palestinian state. Note that the plan claims no territory on the West Bank or even claims east Jerusalem.

This program should be quite uncontroversial and represents what Israel needs to get to justify taking risks, making concessions, and believing the result will be a real, lasting peace.

Why, then, is this plan so unacceptable to the Palestinian leadership?…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin [Return to headlines]

U.S. ‘Partner’ Warns Don’t Deal With Israel

Believes Obama will push Jewish state to give in without Arab concessions

JERUSALEM — The Palestinian Authority, once called a U.S. “peace partner” in the Mideast, has launched a behind-the-scenes diplomatic campaign to lobby Arab countries against accepting normalized ties with Israel, even if the acceptance is exchanged for a freeze on Jewish construction in the strategic West Bank, WND has learned.

[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iran ‘Ready to Respond’ To Israeli Attack

( Iranian parliamentary official Alaeddin Broujerdi said Monday that his country is ready to take “real and decisive” action in response to an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities. He spoke out while attending a summit in Tokyo.

“Both the U.S. and Israel are aware of the consequences of an erroneous decision,” Broujerdi said. “I believe our response will be real and decisive.”

The Iranian’s comments came a day after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said his country would not stand in Israel’s way if it decided to attack. “We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do,” he said.

Recent reports of preparations for a pre-emptive stike in Iran have come in the wake of growing doubts that the Obama administration’s diplomatic arm-twisiting and economic sanctions can convince Iran not to enrich uranium and use it for a nuclear weapon.

John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in the Washington Post last week that America’s attempts are doomed to failure and that an Israeli strike on Iran is the only hope to stop Tehran from becoming a nuclear threat to the entire Western world.

Concerning Iran’s internal affairs, Iran’s Broujerdi defended his country’s crackdown on protestors over the contested Iranian presidential election results, saying the police acted to maintain order. “There is no confusion,” he said. “It is now a totally peaceful situation in Iran.”

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]

‘Iran Nuke Could Wipe Israel Off Map in Seconds’

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, on Friday warned that an Iranian atomic bomb could “wipe Israel off the map in a matter of seconds,” and that the Iranians could “accomplish in a matter of seconds what they denied Hitler did, and kill 6 million Jews, literally.”

Oren made his comments in a conversation with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado.

The newly appointed ambassador warned, “There are clocks ticking all around,” with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue. “One of those clocks is the uranium enrichment clock, which will show that by a certain date the Iranians will have sufficient, highly enriched uranium materials to create a bomb that could literally wipe Israel off the map in a matter of seconds.”

Oren said the world must remain vigilant about what happens in Iran during the country’s tumultuous post-election period.

“It’s very important that we watch carefully what happens in Iran — the events in Iran have unmasked to the world the true nature of this regime,” said Oren. “This is a regime that’s willing to kill its own citizens; it will certainly have no compunctions killing other people in the region, Jews and Sunni Arabs alike.”

Oren added that he would not “second-guess” the Obama administration’s next move in dealing with Tehran’s nuclear aspirations, and added that he was certain Obama had “the best interests of the U.S. and the interest of Israel at heart.” Israel, he said, was concerned mainly about the “timing and timeline” of dealing with Iran.

Oren also addressed the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have stoked tensions in recent weeks between Israel and its close ally.

“I never said settlements are not an issue — but they’re not the issue,” he said.

[Return to headlines]

Muslim Scientists Exhibition Bridges Cultures

Inventions of Muslim scientists on display in Texas

Some of the world’s top Muslim scientists and their inventions were on display last week in an exhibition held at an Islamic center in Houston, Texas, where organizers aim to build cultural bridges by highlighting some of the lesser known aspects of Islamic civilization.

The exhibition, Sultans of Science: 1000 Years of Knowledge Rediscovered, is a two month long display that honors the contributions of Muslim scientists from the eighth century right through to the eighteenth, an era known as the Golden Age of the Islamic world.

The name Abbas Ibn Firnas may not be known to western science buffs but the ninth century Muslim scholar was the first man in aviation history to attempt to fly, beating the infamous Wright brothers and Charles Lindbergh.

Firnas was credited for the first piloted flight in human history as he tied himself to a feathered glider in Cordoba, Spain.

“Increasing awareness of Muslims’ contributions to the civilization and the field of learning is vital for building cultural bridges between different peoples,” said Joanne Herring King, a member of the exhibition committee.

Shedding some light on the importance of Muslim civilization will show a different view of Muslims, which King said has been “obscured in the smoke of war generated by the bad ones.”

Islamic inventions

Another inventor is the tenth century optician and physicist Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham, simply known as al-Haytham, who invented the pinhole camera and discovered how the eye works.

From art and astronomy, to optical sciences, mathematics and architecture, the exhibit offers visitors hands-on activities using models of artefacts and inventions that recreate what it was like to be a scientist in the middle ages.

Visitors, for instance, can map their pulse using a sensor that displays their heartbeats against a backdrop of famous scientist Ibn Nafi’s ninth century diagram of the human circulatory system.

Or they can get a feel of medieval “photography” through conducting experiments at al-Haytham’s recreated optical laboratory using the camera model he invented along with concave and convex lenses.

“We knew this nonreligious exhibit would attract people of Houston for its self-guided and non-imposing nature,” said Ameer Abuhalimeh, executive director of the Islamic Da’wah Center.

Ibn Battuta

Another feature of the exhibition will include small replicas of Islamic scientific inventions designed for the Ibn Battuta Mall, a massive shopping center in Dubai featuring the travels of the infamous 14th century Moroccan traveler, who visited 40, 000 countries and crossed 75,000 miles in three decades.

The Houston museum of Natural Sciences will also feature the IMAX film Journey to Mecca, which documents Ibn Battuta’s extensive voyage.

“The exhibition sends a powerful message about the way we evaluate history and the need to embrace multi-cultural knowledge,” said Ludo Verheyen, CEO of MTE Studios, the Cape Town and Dubai-based company which owns the exhibition.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]


Frank Gaffney: Your Deterrent (What’s at Stake at the Moscow Summit)

When President Obama wheels and deals this week with his double-headed Russian counterpart — Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, please keep one thing in mind: As he proposes to make further, dramatic cuts in and otherwise weakens the United States’ nuclear arsenal, it’s your deterrent that is being compromised.

That’s right. You and those you love are the ultimate beneficiaries of a nuclear deterrent that helps keep us safe in a dangerous world. The arsenal we have fielded for the past sixty-four years has not only prevented nuclear attacks against this country and our allies. It has kept you, or someone you love, from having to fight and possibly die in the kind of global cataclysm using non-nuclear (or “conventional”) weapons that engulfed our countrymen and untold millions of others twice in the last century, before the dawn of the nuclear age.

           — Hat tip: CSP [Return to headlines]

South Asia

Danish Troops Play Major Role in Afghan Operation

Troops from the Danish Battle Group have been securing key bridge links in the Taliban stronghold of the Helmand province in Afghanistan

Danish soldiers have played a key role in the major offensive launched last week by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, said the Danish Defence Command.

News of Operation Panchai Palang, meaning Panther’s Claw, has been leaking slowly to the media since the offensive against the Taliban started on 1 July, but a number of injuries and casualties have already been reported.

The majority of the Danish Battle Group and more than 700 British troops are taking part in the operation in the Helmand province.

Thorbjorn Forsbjerg, press officer with the Danish Battle Group, said that the main tasks for the Danish troops included securing key bridge crossings in the area, taking part in armed combat and providing logistic support to front line troops.

‘It has been especially necessary to bring large amounts of water to the front as the temperatures have been at least 43 degrees,’ said Forsbjerg.

On the first day of the operation a Danish soldier was seriously injured in an explosion and has been flown home for medical treatment. A second soldier is also due to return home following gunshot wounds, while a further four were slightly injured.

By Saturday, the British forces had reported four wounded and two dead from the offensive that sees the joint ISAF operation aim to retake control of Taliban stronghold between the towns of Gereshk and Lashkar Gah.

There are currently around 700 Danish troops in Afghanistan and while the exact details of how many are taking part in the ongoing operation is unknown, Politiken newspaper reports that there are between 55 and 65 troops from the Hunter Corps special forces unit currently in Afghanistan.

Parliament announced a few weeks ago that Hunter Corps troops would be sent to Afghanistan for the first time since 2002, to help secure the area ahead of presidential elections in August, but their tasks were not revealed.

The Danish and British operation was held to coincide with a massive offensive launched by almost 4,000 US Marines along with the Afghan army and police further south in the Helmand province.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Karachi Girl ‘Dumped in Manhole’

Two policemen in the Pakistani city of Karachi have been detained in connection with the alleged murder of a three-year-old girl, officials say.

The girl went missing from her home in a working-class neighbourhood on Friday. Her body was later recovered from a manhole elsewhere in the city.

The two men were taken into custody shortly after the girl went missing. Police say they deny killing her.

Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial capital, has an extremely high crime rate.

The two men were taken into custody in the Korangi neighbourhood in the south of Karachi, which is where the girl lived.

After she went missing on Friday, her family registered a missing person report at the local police station.

But her body was not discovered until Sunday when a relative of hers said that she had last seen the girl with one of the policemen, who lives in the same neighbourhood.

“We have been given the men’s custody till the 17th,” Pervez Umrani, Superintendent of Police for Korangi, told the BBC.

“We are having the DNA, finger prints and medical tests done on them. The girl’s autopsy has been done and DNA samples taken,” he said.

“Once we collect the evidence from the men, we will match it with the girl’s medical data.”

Police said that the two men confessed to having disposed of the girl’s body. An investigation is currently underway.

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]

Far East

China Riots: 140 People Killed as Muslim Separatists Go on the Rampage in Xinjiang

About 140 people have been killed and another 828 injured following riots in the capital of China’s volatile Xinjiang region.

Members of a Muslim ethnic group, the Uighers, clashed with police in Urumqi after a peaceful protest yesterday involving about 3,000 people.

Rioters overturned barricades, and attacked vehicles and houses. Uigher exile groups said the violence started only after police began violently cracking down on the peaceful protest.

Wu Nong, director of the news office of the Xinjiang provincial government, said more than 260 vehicles were attacked or set on fire and 203 houses were damaged. He said 140 people were killed and 828 injured in the violence.

The official Xinhua News Agency also said 140 people died and that the death toll ‘was still climbing’.

State television aired footage that showed protesters attacking and kicking people on the ground. Other people sat dazed with blood pouring down their faces.

Adam Grode, an American Fulbright scholar studying in Urumqi, said he heard explosions and also saw a few people being carried off on stretchers and a Han Chinese man with blood on his shirt entering a hospital.

He said he saw police pushing people back with tear gas, fire hoses and batons, and protesters knocking over police barriers and smashing bus windows.

‘Every time the police showed some force, the people would jump the barriers and get back on the street. It was like a cat-and-mouse sort of game,’ said Grode, 26.

Mobile phone service provided by at least one company was cut this morning to stop people from organizing further action in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang’s government accused Uighur exiles led by a former businesswoman now living in America, Rebiya Kadeer, of fomenting the violence via the telephone and Internet.

Xinjiang Governor Nur Bekri said in a televised address early Monday that ‘Rebiya had phone conversations with people in China on July 5 in order to incite and Web sites … were used to orchestrate the incitement and spread propaganda.’

A government statement quoted by Xinhua said the violence was ‘a pre-empted, organised violent crime. It is instigated and directed from abroad and carried out by outlaws in the country.’

Kadeer’s spokesman, Alim Seytoff, said by telephone from Washington, D.C., that the accusations were baseless.

‘It’s common practice for the Chinese government to accuse Ms. Kadeer for any unrest in East Turkestan and His Holiness the Dalai Lama for any unrest in Tibet,’ he said.

The protest started on Sunday with demonstrators demanding a probe into a fight between Uighurs and Han Chinese workers at a southern China factory last month.

Accounts differed over what happened next in Urumqi, but the violence seemed to have started when a crowd of protesters — who started out peaceful — refused to disperse.

Uigher exile groups said the violence started when Chinese security forces cracked down on the peaceful protest.

‘We are extremely saddened by the heavy-handed use of force by the Chinese security forces against the peaceful demonstrators,’ said Seytoff, vice president of the Washington-based Uyghur American Association.

‘We ask the international community to condemn China’s killing of innocent Uihgurs. This is a very dark day in the history of the Uighur people,’ he said.

The association, led by a former businesswoman now living in America, Rebiya Kadeer, estimated that 1,000 to 3,000 people took part in the protest.

Four Uighur detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba were recently released and relocated to Bermuda despite Beijing’s objections because U.S. officials have said they fear the men would be executed if they returned to China. Officials have also been trying to transfer 13 others to the Pacific nation of Palau.

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

China Blames Muslims for Xinjiang Unrest

Residents say Urumqi under “martial law” as 156 killed

At least 156 people have been killed in the worst case of ethnic unrest the capital of China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang has seen in years, prompting the government to shut down the Internet Monday and blame exiled Muslim separatists.

Hundreds of rioters have been arrested, the official Xinhua news agency reported, after rock-throwing Uighurs, who are Muslim, took to the streets of Urumqi Sunday, some burning and smashing vehicles and confronting ranks of anti-riot police.

The United States “deeply” regreted the deaths caused by the ethnic violence in the region, a state department spokesman said.

Urumqi residents were unable to access the Internet, several said.

“The city is basically under martial law,” Yang Jin, a dried fruit merchant, said by telephone.

“Since yesterday evening I haven’t been able to get online,” store owner Han Zhenyu told Reuters by telephone.

News of the apparent outage was also spread by messages on social networking services like Twitter and its Chinese competitors.

The unrest underscores the volatile ethnic tensions that have accompanied China’s growing economic and political stake in its western frontiers.

A senior official swiftly delivered the government claim that the unrest was the work of extremist forces abroad, signaling a security crackdown in the strategic region near Pakistan and central Asia.

Li Zhi, the Communist Party boss of Urumqi told a news conference that the death toll from the rioting had risen to 140, the semi-official China News Agency said. Xinhua said 816 people were injured and hospitalized.

“Police have tightened security in downtown Urumqi streets and at key institutions such as power and natural gas companies and TV stations to prevent large-scale riots,” Xinhua quoted Xinjiang police chief Liu Yaohua as saying.

Police rounded up “several hundred” who participated in the violence, including more than 10 key players who fanned unrest, Xinhua said, and are searching for 90 others.

The riot in Urumqi, a city of 2.3 million residents 3,270 km (2,050 miles) west of Beijing, followed a protest against government handling of a June clash between Han Chinese and Uighur farm workers in southern China, where two Uighurs died in Shaoguan.

Extremist forces abroad

The government’s English-mouthpiece China Daily put the number of protesters at 300 to 500 while the exiled Uighur American Association (UAA) gave estimates as high as 3,000.

“After the (Shaoguan) incident, the three forces abroad strived to beat this up and seized it as an opportunity to attack us, inciting street protests,” Xinjiang governor and a Uigur hmself, Nuer Baikeli, said in a speech shown on Xinjiang television.

The “three forces” refer to groups the government says engage in separatism, militant action and religious extremism.

An unnamed Chinese official said the “unrest was masterminded by the World Uyghur Congress led by Rebiya Kadeer,” according to Xinhua. “This was a crime of violence that was pre-meditated and organized,” said the report.

Kadeer is a Uighur businesswoman now in exile in the United States after years in jail, and accused of separatist activities. She did not answer calls for comment.

But exiled Uighur groups adamantly rejected the Chinese government claim of a plot. They said the riot was an outpouring of pent-up anger over government policies and Han Chinese dominance of economic opportunities.

“They’re blaming us as a way to distract the Uighurs’ attention from the discrimination and oppression that sparked this protest,” said Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress in exile in Sweden.

The government’s claims of conspiracy by pro-independence exiles echo the handling of rioting across Tibetan areas in March last year, which Beijing also called a plot hatched abroad.

Xinjiang is the doorway to China’s trade and energy ties with central Asia, and is itself rich in gas, minerals and farm produce. But many Uighurs say they see little of that wealth.

Chinese state television showed rioters throwing rocks at police and overturning a police car, and smoke billowing from burning vehicles.

“I personally saw several Han people being stabbed. Many people on buses were scared witless,” Zhang Wanxin, a Urumqi resident, said by telephone.

The UAA’s Alim Seytoff, in Washington D.C., emailed pictures showing hundreds of locals confronting police in Urumqi, armored riot-control vehicles patrolling streets, wounded and bloodied civilians lying on streets, and ranks of anti-riot police with shields and clubs.

Almost half of Xinjiang’s 20 million people are Uighurs and most are most of Urumqi is Han Chinese. The city is under tight police security even in normal times.

Xinjiang is a rugged region of vast deserts and mountains that border central Asia, and the Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking people who have closer cultural links to their regional neighbors than the Han Chinese.

This year marks 60 years since communist Chinese troops entered Xinjiang and “peacefully liberated” the region. Advocates of independence for the area have maintained the move was an invasion.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Finally! A War Story the State-Run Media Hate to Reveal

Forget what you think you know, here’s the real Vietnam account

Everything Americans know about the end of the Vietnam War is wrong, contends Richard Botkin, author of “Ride the Thunder” and former Marine infantry officer. He reveals the heroic, untold story of how Vietnamese Marines and their U.S. advisers fought valiantly, turning the tide of an unpopular war and actually winning — while Americans 8,000 miles away were being fed only one version of the story.

“From the American side, I think most people have a completely uninformed or misinformed opinion of the Vietnam War,” Botkin told WND. “Most Americans, including people who served in Vietnam, didn’t appreciate the level of sacrifice of the South Vietnamese. These people love freedom.”

Botkin toured former battlefields in Vietnam and chronicled accounts of the Vietnamese Marines, or TQLC, and their American Marine advisers, an extraordinary “band of brothers” who fought, bled, endured and triumphed against the growing cancer of communism.

The Viet Cong, a band of communist guerrillas in South Vietnam, blended in with the civilian population and even posed as police officers. Known for their stealth and deception, they often poisoned wells and intimidated civilians into silence, forcing them to endure classes of communist propaganda and indoctrination.

Soldiers of the communist North Vietnamese Army, or NVA, routinely attacked thousands of helpless civilian refugees — including young women, elderly citizens and crying children — with intentional and indiscriminate artillery fire. In 1968, communists murdered between 3,000 and 6,000 innocent civilians and buried them in mass graves. Families endured pain, suffering, and indignities that many Americans might never imagine while communists released propaganda readily consumed by Western critics of the Vietnam War.

“The communists were masters at using propaganda against us,” Botkin said. “They would even place high-value targets near civilian centers.”

To further distort U.S. perception of the war tally, the NVA tied jungle vines to soldiers’ ankles so their comrades could quickly drag them from the battlefield and prevent Americans from obtaining accurate body counts.

[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Justice Yemen-Style: Paedophile Who Raped Boy, 11, Shot in the Head in Front of Hundreds of Spectators

A barber has been publicly executed in Yemen after he was found guilty of raping and killing an 11-year-old boy who came to his shop for a haircut.

Pictures of the execution Monday in the capital of San’a showed hundreds of people gathered around as Yehya Hussein was killed.

The images showed the barber lying face down on a large piece of red cloth, his hands bound behind him, as Yemeni police official stood over him with what appeared to be a machine gun.

According to the news agency, SAB’A, the barber was arrested in December 2008 and confessed during a January trial to raping the boy inside his salon, killing him and cutting his body to pieces before dumping it outside San’a.

Elsewhere in the country, a court sentenced seven rebels from a Shia Muslim sect to be executed after convicting them of causing deaths in clashes with army in 2008.

Hundreds of people died in the conflict and thousands fled their homes in battles between government forces and the rebels in the north, which have raged on and off since 2004.

The state security court also jailed for terms of 12-15 years another five of the rebels accused of seeking to install Shi’ite Islamic rule in the country, which borders the world’s biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia.

In July 2008, President Ali Abdullah Saleh said the battles with the rebels, known as the Houthis, had ended and that dialogue should replace fighting. The rebels belong to the Shi’ite Zaydi sect and are led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

Officials have often said the rebels want to restore a form of clerical rule prevalent in the country until the 1960s. The rebels, who want Zaydi schools and oppose the government’s alliance with the United States, say they are defending their villages against government oppression.

Sunni Muslims form a majority of Yemen’s 19 million population, while most of the rest are Shi’ite Zaydis.

One of the poorest countries outside Africa, Yemen is also grappling with a violent campaign by al Qaeda militants, dwindling oil and water resources, unemployment, corruption and a growing community of Somali refugees.

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

Nigeria Militants Seize Ship Crew

Militants in Nigeria are holding six members of the crew of an oil tanker, including its Russian captain.

A statement from the managers of the ship, the Sichem Peace, said armed men boarded the vessel near Escravos and forced the men to come ashore.

The ship was released and the remaining 13 crew moved it further offshore.

A statement from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) said it was holding the men — three Russians, two Filipinos and an Indian.

Root issues

It said it had kidnapped the crew because they had disregarded its earlier warning to keep away from the Niger Delta.

“Their arrest is meant to serve as a warning to others that there are root issues that have to be resolved with the Nigerian government before normalcy can resume,” the group said.

This is the latest in a series of violent incidents in the Niger Delta, which has sharply cut Nigeria’s oil production.

The Sichem Peace, which was seized about 20 nautical miles (37 km) from Escravos, was built in 2005 and sails under the flag of Singapore.

Its managers, EMS Ship Management, said it was “working with the relevant authorities and professional advisors, and doing everything possible to secure the timely and safe release of the crew members.”

It added that the safety of the crew was its “absolute priority”.

The ship, it said, was now 100 miles offshore, and under the control of the remaining crew.

Escravos is one of Nigeria’s main oil complexes, including a gas-to-liquids project and export terminal.

Amnesty offer

Earlier, Mend said it had blown up a major oil pipeline belonging to US firm Chevron, and an oil well head operated by Royal Dutch Shell.

The statement has not been verified and there has been no response from Chevron.

Last month Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua offered a 60-day amnesty to the militants of the Niger Delta, if they gave up their struggle.

But Mend says it will not disarm until the government releases one of its leaders, Henry Okah.

Mend says it wants the people of the Niger Delta to derive greater benefits from the region’s oil.

But many criminal gangs have taken advantage of the lawlessness in the area.

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]

US Warns Ethiopia on Somali Role

The US has urged Ethiopia not to send its troops back into Somalia.

The senior US official for African policy Johnnie Carson told Reuters news agency such a move would be against the interests of both nations.

Ethiopia invaded Somalia in late 2006 to topple an Islamist movement in the capital Mogadishu, sparking an insurgency which is still raging.

Ethiopian troops pulled out in January but witness say their forces continue to make regular incursions.

“The Ethiopian government continues to look very closely at developments in Somalia,” said Mr Carson before a scheduled trip to Addis Ababa on Monday.

“Given the long-standing enmity between Somalis and Ethiopians, I will encourage the Ethiopians not to re-engage in Somalia,” he said.

He said such a move could prove “counterproductive” for Somalia’s fragile transitional government.

Ethiopia’s troops invaded in 2006 in support of the transitional government after Islamist rebels had declared a jihad on Ethiopia.

The US allied itself with Ethiopia and is widely reported to have provided Ethiopian forces with intelligence support during the conflict.

Since Ethiopian forces pulled out, Somalia’s long-running civil war has continued apace.

Since May more than 165,000 people have fled Mogadishu amid fighting between Islamists hardliners and government forces.

The African Union has 4,300 soldiers in Mogadishu attempting to protect the capital.

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]


Flurry of Diplomacy on Migrants

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday appealed to conservative MEPs to recognize the fact that illegal immigration is a European Union problem as Interior Minister Pro-kopis Pavlopoulos accompanied Jacques Barrot, the European commissioner for justice and security, on a tour of Aegean islands that host migrant reception centers.

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis issued an official response to comments made during an exclusive interview for Kathimerini by Turkey’s minister for European affairs, Egemen Bagis, according to which Ankara will not honor a bilateral agreement with Greece providing for repatriation of migrants. “We realize that Turkey has a problem with illegal immigrants. Our intention is to help Turkey sign its own repatriation pacts with the countries with which it faces the same problem,” Bakoyannis said, referring to countries from which many would-be migrants originate such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Karamanlis, addressing a summit of the center-right European People’s Party in the coastal suburb of Vouliagmeni, said that the burgeoning influx of migrants from these and other war-torn states was a problem for the EU as a whole. “Our country is shouldering a greater burden than other European states but the problem concerns us all, as illegal immigrants are coming to all the countries of Europe,” the Greek premier said. He also stressed the need for “active solidarity and the fair distribution of responsibility in tackling [the problem].”

At around the same time as Karamanlis was delivering his speech, Pavlopoulos was accompanying Barrot on a tour of the eastern Aegean, showing the commissioner the islands on which Greece has set up reception facilities to accommodate thousands of migrants arriving from the Turkish coast in smugglers’ boats. Barrot reportedly expressed his understanding for Greece’s difficult predicament and underlined the need for agreements with migrants’ countries of origin and transit countries such as Turkey aimed at repatriating economic migrants.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

17 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/6/2009

  1. And, by the way, we didn’t lose the Vietnam War because of our “traitorous domestic media machine.” We lost it because it turned out that the North Vietnamese wanted to win, and needed to win, much more than we did, and history has indeed shown that, in the long run, our loss in Vietnam had no long-term negative effects. (see, e.g. 1989)

    It had some negative effects for a lot of Vietnamese, unfortunately. And a lot of them ended up in our nation, where you undoubtedly don’t want them. I, on the other hand, looking at actual data and facts, can see that they have been quite a net positive for our nation.

  2. Contrary to the premise that McNamara was a ‘victim’ of US policy, he was one of the principal causes of the Vietnam debacle. Specifically, he consistently refused to listen to the advice of the Joint Chiefs and was guilty of applying business management practices to war fighting. From his own words before the Democratic Platform Committee in 1964, he stated… “The engine of defense must be so harnessed that its vast power may be unleashed to the precise degree by whatever threat we face.”

    This led to the disastrous strategy of ‘graduated response’ that contributed heavily to our defeat.

  3. Can I add something here please? I really am a fan of the Gates of Vienna blog, whose purpose I see in the broadest sense as warning us all about third-worldism coming to Europe…

    Now I know you’re all pro-Israel (who isn’t) and this party has an unsavoury (or perhaps maligned? – it’s so hard to get balance in the modern media) reputation with respect to anti-semitism. But a journalist friend has just sent me this story about events in Budapest, Hungary at the weekend.

    You can, barely, get more info here.
    And read about the use of language in the comments section here.

    Now what seems to have happened is unsavouriness all round, but, if you read between the lines something startling emerges.

    In a week when the European press were up in arms about a “threat” to arrest an Iranian opposition leader; a major European opposition politician (15% in EP elections, incumbent government at 17%) was pepper-sprayed, arrested and banged-up in jail by the state.

    Meanwhile an unelected judiciary court directive, has banned a rather distasteful political movement. Fine. But it’d existed for two years and hadn’t broken a single law. Thus contravening their own national constitutional provisions, and all the European and UDHR articles on free political association.

    Central Europe is rapidly turning into Central America, and we in Western Europe are not hearing an undistorted peep about it!

  4. I try to avoid reading Nodrog’s comments as a waste of time, but they draw the eye like a multi-vehicle pile up.

    Let’s see. He opens with yet another bizarro tie between the Baron and “Germans” with Hitler only implied this time “we all know where that leads”.

    Then he comes up with this series of howlers:
    “We lost it (the Vietnam War) because it turned out that the North Vietnamese wanted to win, and needed to win, much more than we did, and history has indeed shown that, in the long run, our loss in Vietnam had no long-term negative effects. (see, e.g. 1989)

    It had some negative effects for a lot of Vietnamese, unfortunately. And a lot of them ended up in our nation, where you undoubtedly don’t want them…”

    1) No, we lost because the American Left wanted to lose the war as a means to grab domestic power. No less an authority than the victorious Colonel Giap credits them: the American Left was “essential to our strategy.” He elaborated to the Wall Street Journal, “Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9AM to follow the growth of the antiwar movement.”
    And Giap added that anti-war activists, “Gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war.”

    2) No long term negative effects? The United States has been perceived as cutting and running ever since leading to escalating anti-American provocations culminating in 9/11. President Bush with his perseverance in Iraq restored both domestic safety and fear of American military might which go hand in hand but as soon as sister Obama took over, everyone went back to thumbing their noses (including Iran’s thugs who beat their people down almost as soon as Obama’s Cairo tongue massage of Muslims was over).

    And gee, Nodrog admits that it didn’t work out too well for “some” Vietnamese but neglects to mention Cambodians on the killing fields and others totaling between one and two million dead at Communist hands. Happily, these inconsequential deaths did not prevent the long run from working out really well. It’s uncanny how when nodrogians blather on they eventually and oh so casually reveal their basic racism.

    3) Nodrog apparently reads minds and knows that the Baron is unhappy about Vietnamese refugees arriving in America. Are they trying to change the United States into something resembling Vietnam? Are they attacking non-Vietnamese around the world? Are they oppressing and even killing their womenfolk as a cultural droit? Are they disproportionately criminal and/or a drain on social services?

    If not, I don’t believe they fall in any category of immigrant unwelcomed by the Baron.

    Well, enough rubbernecking at the scene of this terrible accident.

  5. History lesson for Laine:

    Yes, Laine, we could have won in Vietnam. It would have required turning Hanoi and Haiphong into smoking heaps of rubble at the level of Dresden or Hiroshima, and poisoning the rest of the country so that nothing would grow there for a decade or so.

    But that only happens in science fiction movies, Laine – oh yeah, also in the fetid imaginations of people like you. And I suspect that many more millions of Vietnamese would have been killed than actually occurred in real time.

    The reason anything less would have failed, Laine, is because the North Vietnamese leadership, for better or worse, were identified as the nationalist movement for Vietnamese independence, and the South Vietnamese leadership was identified by their countrymen as a bunch of colonialist puppets and stooges. We had the deck stacked against us big time in Vietnam, Laine, and only utter destruction of the country by American forces would have overcome this.

    And even then, it might not have. We’ve been talkin’ Adolph Hitler lately on this site, Laine, and ol’ Adolph and the Nazis sure took a “total destruction” attitude toward resistance movements in conquered Europe. Yet those resistance movements still managed to survive and even score some big hits, in Yugoslavia, Poland, occupied Russia, Greece, and Czechoslovakia.

    So to win in Vietnam, we would have had to make Adolph Hitler look like a wuss. Perhaps you and your fetid imagination were willing to do this, Laine, but the rest of us don’t take “Terminator” movies seriously.

  6. “So to win in Vietnam, we would have had to make Adolph Hitler look like a wuss”

    No, what victory would have required is an American President and SecDef that were committed to winning as opposed to lying to the American public, committing the strategic error or gradualization and micromanaging the war effort that they allowed to occur. Vietnam was a distraction from larger Johnson goals, namely the programs of the Great Society.

    Praising the North Vietnamese effort is equally fallacious. The PAVN army lost over one million soldiers, nearly one in six of the available population. In a democratic society, Giap would have at the very least been fired for such a tragic waste of resources; in the early Greek societies, he would have been put on trial. Additionally, without the aid rendered by the Soviets and Chinese in manpower and materiel, the outcome may have been quite different.

    Viewed differently, look at a satellite photo of Vietnam at night. The total darkness speaks volumes about their ‘victory’.

    McNamara’s mismanagement of the war was further evident when he took over the reigns of the World Bank. Perhaps he was a success at Ford and Harvard, but at war he was an utter failure.

  7. jhstuart,

    “Viewed differently, look at a satellite photo of Vietnam at night. The total darkness speaks volumes about their ‘victory’.”

    Vietnam isn’t in total darkness in this satellite photo. Were you maybe thinking of this famous photo of North Korea?

  8. Big case of leftist projection for Nodrog of the fetid imagination. The North Vietnamese forces were on the ropes after the Tet offensive as Giap himself admitted on the record. The Left in the United States presented Tet as a defeat, old liar Walter Cronkite at the forefront. That’s all fact, for Nodrog who doesn’t know the difference and lives in some bizarre Twilight Zone of alternate history.

    Leftists like Nodrog are always very concerned about hypothetical millions being killed in ways their fetid imaginations conjure up. Yet they’re not a jot concerned about actual deaths of millions their stupid actions got killed like the predictable slaughter by communist troops after American troops were withdrawn.
    Communist victories throughout history have resulted in these kinds of massacres. After an American victory, the defeated have always been treated decently and eventually thrived.

    Another example is exhorting people to beggar themselves to “save” hypothetical millions who will die a hundred years from now of non-existent global warming. Meanwhile, the millions of Africans, mainly children who died needlessly of malaria because of the Left’s last junk science binge on DDT…got not a single tear.

    Pretending concern for hypothetical people in the future to manipulate useful idiots into supporting socialist policies that kill living breathing people is a leftist trademark and Nodrog is an excellent example of this moral inversion.

    As Zenster said in another thread, the only mystery is why leftists have a shred of credibility left.

    Everything they predict is wrong. Everything they do ends up having the opposite effect. Yet like evil children they’re off to wreak the next disaster, never learning from the last one.

  9. Laine says: “After an American victory, the defeated have always been treated decently and eventually thrived.”

    True of World War I and II, but thanks to Rumsfeld and Cheney decency was in shorter supply in Iraq.

    More importantly, Laine, try reading a little history, by looking up “Philippine-American War” on wikipedia. Unless you are completely deluded, you will retract your blanket statement.

  10. Nodrog: True of World War I and II, but thanks to Rumsfeld and Cheney decency was in shorter supply in Iraq.




    Check your math, Nodrog. Upon being informed that the USA would hand over to national interests the Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, said inmates begged their American jailers to stay in place.

    As to the Philippines: Have you ever been there?.

    I have visited the Philippines and while America’s administration over this unique Asian republic may have been less than stellar, the end result remains something far more decent than the legacy of any other Asian occupation in the region.

    As the only Christian Nation in all of Asia, the Philippines has benefited from English being taught as a primary language in all of its schools.

    Unlike many of its Asian neighbors, the Philippines also enjoys the benefit of elected representation. While its crippling corruption cannot be blamed upon America, at least this benevolent Asian country has the legacy of a bipartisan government and worthwhile educational system.

  11. Zenster, you have conveniently changed the time frame of our Philippines analysis. I wasn’t talking about the later colonial period, leading to independence in 1946. I was talking about the savage war against Filipino independence fighters by American colonizers after the 1898 Spanish American war, for the next decade.

    Nice try at dissembling.

  12. Nodgog: Zenster, you have conveniently changed the time frame of our Philippines analysis.

    And you have sidestepped a direct question.

    Have you ever been to the Philippines?.

    I have and Americans are generally well-respected for having helped liberate their country from the Japanese.

    If you are expecting me to feel the least guilt about something that happened over ONE HUNDRED YEARS ago, please don’t hold your breath.

    I am also obliged to note your usual America-hating tone in your previous reply.

    America’s overall track record of returning land conquered during wartime to its original people is unprecedented in all history.

    What’s more, at least the Iraqi people are no longer being lowered feet-first into industrial shredders or subjected to the brutality of rape rooms. That Muslims in general simply cannot resist the urge to immediately re-subject themselves to shari’a law is a matter of their own idiocy.

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