30
Jun
08

Talking points 30 June

Thanks to Mike for holding the fort while we were having a couple of days off. Unsurprisingly yesterday Robert Mugabe was sworn in for a sixth term as Zimbabwe’s President after an election which saw just him standing. Intimidation, murder and state sponsored violence against opposition supporters led his only opponent Morgan Tsvangirai to back out of the contest.

So today Mugabe faces his African counterparts at the AU summit in Sharm El Sheik. While questions continue about how much pressure will be placed on him by other African leaders, pressure is growing on companies investing in Zimbabwe to pull out and stop supporting a corrupt regime.

Investing in Zimbabwe

But why shouldn’t these companies invest in Zimbabwe? Anglo American, the London based mining company, wants to build a £200 million mine at Unki, in central Zimbabwe. The company employs 188 people and a further 450 contractors at Unki and hopes to be producing platinum, one of the world’s most expensive metals, by 2010. A spokesman for Anglo said: “We are developing the Unki platinum project because we have responsibility to our employees, contractors and the local community. We are keeping the situation in Zimbabwe under close watch.”

British American Tobacco and Barclays Bank also have operations in Zimbabwe. Both companies said that they would remain for the good of their local employees but neither would expand there. And BP and Shell jointly own a chain of petrol stations. It’s now emerged that some British Mp’s also have business interests in Zimbabwe.

So should companies stay and provide work for people who desperately need money in a country on it’s knees? Or is it propping up a regime which terrorises it’s people? Why should companies turn their back on Zimbabwe now? WHYS regular Gugulethu Moyo wrote this piece in Britain’s Independent newspaper, saying “all multinational businesses operating in Zimbabwe directly subsidise Mugabe’s network of thuggery”

Israel v Iran

A former head of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, has said that in the course of the next year Israel has to make a decision – destroy Iran’s embryonic nuclear programme or face the risk of nuclear attack. That stark statement goes to the heart of one of the most sensitive questions in the middle east; last week the israeli airforce was engaged in long-range training exercise which some thought was simulating an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Tehran has threatened to treat such a raid as a declaration of war. The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen explains here the escalating situation.

As the stand off continues, how close is the Middle East to this nightmare scenario? Is this a signal of Israel’s intention to attack or little more than posturing? Should the international community step in and would it make any difference if they did? Or does Israel have to accept that Iran has a right to a nuclear programme? After all Israel has it’s own nuclear weapons. Is this a simple case of do as I say, not as I do?

Gay pride?
India saw it’s largest ever gay pride marches yesterday, the first ever in Bangalore and New Delhi. It was a big step for a society in which many indians believe that homosexuality is deviant behaviour that can be cured.

Last week Cuba’s first gay pride event was cancelled in Havana because it wasn’t officially sanctioned. At least 20 people were injured when the Czech Republic’s first ever Gay Pride parade was attacked by rightwing extremists armed with tear gas even before the event was due to begin in the city of Brno. In Bulgaria police arrested 60 skinheads who tried to disrupt the country’s first Gay Pride parade.

Should we all accept homosexuality?


52 Responses to “Talking points 30 June”


  1. 1 Bob in Queensland
    June 30, 2008 at 11:03

    Will Mugabe be censured at the AU meeting? I think the World Service news report I heard earlier today summed it up. Since more than half the heads of state at the meeting aren’t democratically elected either, it’s unlikely they’ll rock the boat.

    Should companies continue trading in Zimbabwe? I’m afraid I’m a cynic and doubt their motives are “looking after their local staff”. They’re in there for the money. Fortunately, Mugabe is so unpredictable that they’re just as likely to lose everything as to make a profit.

  2. 2 Omunyaruguru
    June 30, 2008 at 11:10

    If investors pulled out of Zimbabwe now, there is one factor that would remain constant- Mugabe. Employees of the companies would suffer but Mugabe wouldn’t. Mugabe as we see him today is a product of western imperialistic influences – both directly and indirectly.
    Investment in Zimbabwe is important for stabilisation of the country, in addition to discussions between MDC and ZANU. The Kenyan arrangement is a model to follow. Unless we choose the path of bloodshed, which nobody wants to see, The western world should change its current approach to Mugabe.
    Before the elections, Mugabe believed he was popular and invincible. The elections woke him up. And what he is fighting off now is the humiliation and embarassment. I predict that Mugabe, after going through this period of gross humiliation, is going to change.

  3. June 30, 2008 at 11:34

    Should we all accept homosexuality?

    Well a question posed to those who want to discriminate: Would you want to be discriminated against for your lifestyle choices which do not harm or involve those discriminating? Would you want to be tear gassed, beat up, called names, even killed for your choice in life partners?

    And to answer the origional question, yes, accept it. It has been around forever, it is not going anywhere, deal with it and learn to accept others which may not be like you.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

    PS. I missed all of you! Can’t wait to get back into the swing of things after my little vaca 🙂

  4. 4 steve
    June 30, 2008 at 11:58

    I doubt Israel would have a problem with an Iranian nuclear power program, but obviously, Iran wants nuclear weapons, and their “wipe Israel off the map” talk doesn’t make things look very innocent for Iran. Remember, Iran is a theocracy, lead by religious fanatics, who aren’t rational. A nuclear deterrance only works when both sides are led by rational people. Hence why there was never a threat of real nuclear war between the USA and the USSR due to mutually assured destruction. That won’t work if the other side is led by fanatics.

    Gay Pride Parades:

    I think these hurt the cause of homosexuals, because it plays up every stereotype there is. Decadence, flamboyance, etc. Rather than out there saying “accept us, we’re just like you”, they’re out there perpetrating every single stereotype there is, and then are like “accept us”. I have a feeling if they were out there wearing business suits, rather than leather hats, chaps, etc, they might get more support. But instead, I think these parades are counterproductive. I mean, really, are you going to win over support when you do “Drag queen races”?

  5. 5 Omunyaruguru
    June 30, 2008 at 12:01

    With the permission of the bloggers on WHYS, I would like to think aloud:

    – What went wrong with democracy in Africa?
    – What did the colonial masters expect when they were giving African countries independence? That there would be a western type democracy straight away?
    – Is it possible that there was a naive belief that the the power struggles/wars reminiscent of pre-independence African societies would all cease at independence?
    – Is it possible that the colonial masters needed to wean the baby-states progressively over time till they come to maturity?

    May I submit therefore that it is unfair for the west to expect democracy to grow in a garden that was not well tilled, was planted with ‘tares’ and not ‘wheat’, and was never weeded.

    Africa was never set up for democracy!!! Period.
    Democracy, is being imposed on an immature population just like a 13 year old girl being given out in marriage.

    Therefore, What do you expect of Mugabe?

  6. 6 Bob in Queensland
    June 30, 2008 at 12:18

    Should we all accept homosexuality?

    You might as well ask “should we all accept trees?” or “should we all accept cats?” Homosexuality is just as much part of nature as trees or cats–indeed there are homosexuals amongst most mammals, including cats and dogs.

    The prejudice against homosexuality is a human invention.

  7. 7 Pangolin-California
    June 30, 2008 at 12:26

    Could Israel please get on with it and attack Iran before my commodities options expire? If they don’t toss some hardware soon I’m going to barely break even,

    The pretense that Israel could somehow prevail in a war with Iran without the US acting like the bullies big brother is ludicrous. The Iranian facilities are surely bunkered underground and will not be easily disrupted. Tunnel boring machines have come a long way since the 90’s and you can bet the Iranians have more than a few.

    Peace would be a better option for all parties.

  8. June 30, 2008 at 12:27

    I mean, really, are you going to win over support when you do “Drag queen races”?

    a VERY valid point.

  9. 9 umoh, amos (from NIgeri)
    June 30, 2008 at 12:31

    Hope the world followed the criminal electoral comedy of Zimbabwe? The time to send a more clearer and tougher message is NOW. The AU cannot shy away from one of her constitutional responsibilities.

  10. 10 selena
    June 30, 2008 at 12:36

    @ I don’t know why we we still talking about homosexuality in terms of acceptance or non acceptance.

    Homosexuals are as normal as the air we breathe.

  11. 11 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 30, 2008 at 12:39

    Should we all accept homosexuality?

    I think we should accept homosexuality. I don’t have problems with individuals of a different sexual orientation. I personally don’t agree with it but I keep my personal thoughts to myself. I would not want someone to judge me so I don’t judge other people. Eventually gay marriage will be legal everywhere.

  12. June 30, 2008 at 13:14

    Hi Chloe,
    Akbar here in Tehran

    Israeli threats of attacking Iran or destroying Iran’s nuclear capabilities are for the tabloids, nothing more.
    The nearest thing to an ultra-orthodox Jew is a fundamentalist Muslim, don’t forget: Looking after shrines, cashing in on pilgrims and the odd miracle here and there, we are in the same business.
    The June 23rd 2008 EU Council sanctions on Iran have had devastating effects. Travel bans have been served on some nineteen generals and top brass. Financial restraints are undermining the economy. These are tough times, but nothing to do with Israel. Iran’s nuclear dossier is back with Europe. The so called 5+1 proposal package, – five UN Security Council members and Germany – contains a droit d’ingérence clause, – designating a supervisory, regulatory role for EU. Europe can virtually drag anyone to the Hague Tribunal, make arrests inside the country, take over particular agencies and departments. On a brighter note, perhaps, Syria and Hamas, Iran’s staunch allies, are drawing nearer to Israel, Tehran is sure to follow.

  13. 13 Bob in Queensland
    June 30, 2008 at 13:16

    @ Umoh, Amos

    The AU cannot shy away from one of her constitutional responsibilities.

    Cannot? They certainly shouldn’t…but, alas, I bet they do.

  14. 14 Julie P
    June 30, 2008 at 13:21

    On the gay question what caught my eye was “deviant behaviour that can be cured.” Medieval view point s still prevails in modern societies; if only those could be cured.

  15. 15 steve
    June 30, 2008 at 13:26

    @ Angela

    If you think gay marriage will be legal in Muslim nations, I have a bridge in brooklyn to sell you. The thing is, why in the west, does the state even recognize marriage? It’s a religious institution. The state shouldn’t even have anything to do with it. If people want to civilly tie the knot, more power to them. But the state shouldn’t be in the business of saying who can be married to who, or not, and then give them benefits for it. If you want to marry 15 women, more power to you. If you want to marry your toilet, more power to you. So long as the people are of age of majority and are willing participants (I guess a toilet cannot agree to marriage) then let people do what they want, but don’t give them any benefits for it.

  16. 16 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 30, 2008 at 13:46

    This is completely off topic. I was wondering how many people work with people that cheat on their spouses? I was talking to my best friend in Philadelphia and she said that many of her married co-workers are having affairs with each other. At first I was surprised but I found out several people at my job are the same way. It really surprised me when I found out that this girl that got married a month ago is cheating on her husband with a co-worker.

    I apologize that this is off subject.

    @Steve

    You never know, some people may want to marry their toilet.

  17. 17 1430a
    June 30, 2008 at 13:52

    To what selena said:
    ” I don’t know why we we still talking about homosexuality in terms of acceptance or non acceptance.”

    “Homosexuals are as normal as the air we breathe.”
    my friend it is that way in Europe and America but not in ASIA.Here a homosexual is looked upon as the lowest cast in the society.no wonder they come up in a parade and speak to be equal here.after all we all are humans and whatever we inherit is god given-be that the level of genius or homosexuality.

  18. 18 steve
    June 30, 2008 at 13:57

    @ Angela

    I’ve found people in Philadelphia to be the most immoral people I’ve ever met in my life. At an old job I used to have a female coworker from Philadelphia, and she would, er, you know, with every lawyer at the firm. I was the first, then she started targetting the married ones. All this while she had a boyfriend back in Philadelphia, and was cheating with her boyfriend’s best friend. I found out this stuff afterwards. Apparently she had sex with every lawyer in DC and has moved onto NYC now. I’ve had girlfriends from Philadelphia, and they further confirmed my suspicions. I had friends in college from Philadelphia, and would cheat on their girlfriends or boyfriends like it’s going out of style. I can only imagine how their marriages are going. However, something tells me this isn’t limited to Philadelphia. I think in this entitlement, and I want it right now society, if thigns aren’t perfect, they’ll just go and stray, because they feel entitled to it.

  19. June 30, 2008 at 14:04

    Hi Steve
    Your comment is very poignant and sensible.
    Iran has turned another chapter. The nation is returning to the civil agenda and Parliamentary rule. The notion of theocracy in the third millenium simply hasn’t worked.
    We are coping with petrol rationing, inflation, drought and falling incomes. Scrappng subsidies after thirty years has dragged 10 million people below the poverty line.
    It will be interesting to see what the forthcoming French presidency of EU in July will achieve for Iran.

  20. 20 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 30, 2008 at 14:05

    @Steve

    Thanks, I was just wondering. I was surprised with the girl from work because she is from Puerto Rico and talks about the importance of family and her strong ties but she still cheats. I think you shouldn’t get married if you are not going to be faithful.

    I can agree with the people from Philadelpia, very low morals.

  21. 21 Colleen
    June 30, 2008 at 14:18

    Whoa!!! I’m from Philadelphia!! What horrible generalizations you’re making!

  22. June 30, 2008 at 14:19

    No one should be surprised at the election results in Zimbabwe. All this talk of “pressure” and “sanctions” is nothing but steam blown by unconcerned politicians and commentators. Did anyone really expect anyone else to take any action?

    No, the international community, especially the EU and AU is filled with moral and political cowards who would do anything BUT “rock the boat”. You’ll see that nothing happens to Mugabe and this issue, like many others before it, will simply disappear from the headline news as people tire from hearing about it.

  23. 23 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 30, 2008 at 14:23

    @Colleen

    I did not mean that all people from Philadelphia are that way. I apologize if it came off offensive.

  24. 24 steve
    June 30, 2008 at 14:28

    @ colleen

    Sorry, but that has been my experience with people from Philly or the suburbs (ie Delaware County). Of course it cannot mean all people, but if you look at philadelphia as a whole, it’s notorious for being full of fat, ugly people. Didn’t philadelphia win the award for the “ugliest city” last year? I don’t know if they were referring just to looks, or personality, but I found the people there to just be absolutely nasty. It’s a shame, I love the history and the architecture. I wish DC could have the history that Philadelphia has, and those old, beautiful buildings. Couldn’t you at least admit, that in general, people in Pittsburg are a lot nicer than the people in Philadelphia?

  25. 25 Omunyaruguru
    June 30, 2008 at 14:36

    Am getting pulled into this one and I don’t like it. Steve and Angela, if it is immoral to sleep around and have sex with whomever I wish, then by the same standards homosexuality is immoral. If I have sexual freedom, then nobody should judge me by who and how many I have sex with as long as it is consensual. It is my right and I am as human as the rest of you. Having multiple sexual partners is as ‘normal as the air we breath.’ NO DOUBLE STANDARDS. Ha Ha.

  26. 26 Colleen
    June 30, 2008 at 14:40

    @ angela, thanks!

    @ steve, no i definitely could not admit that because it would be a completely unfounded generalization.

  27. 27 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 30, 2008 at 14:41

    @Steve

    I have to disagree about people from Pittsburgh. I work with a lot of people from their and I think my friends from Philly are nicer and look a lot better than people from Pittsburgh. I am not saying that everyone from Pittsburgh is ugly, since I have dated several people from there.

    When I was in Philadelphia, I saw a lot of really good looking guys and pretty girls. You cannot say the same about Pittsburgh. You may see a couple of good looking people. Plus, the same thing applies to DC. I think a lot of people in this area are ugly. There were a lot more attractive people down South. Although I am Southern, so I am partial.

  28. 28 Dan
    June 30, 2008 at 14:44

    If Iran gets a nuclear weapon then every other Arab Islamic nation will want one and the Middle East with it unstable regimes and radical Islamists will become nuclearized with absolutely no rational controls on those weapons.
    Presently willing to murder other Muslims, destroy the houses of their God and destroy the world and even God himself, why would anyone want people who would explode a nuclear weapon in a civilian city then dance around like naked wood nymphs and scream Allah Akbar?
    If Iran gets a nuclear weapon they have the human delivery system (Hamas & Hezbollah) to deliver it.
    They must be stopped at all costs and if some Muslim is “offended” by what I have said here my question to them is why haven’t they stood up against the radicals that control their “religion” and destiny?

  29. 29 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 30, 2008 at 14:48

    @Omunyaruguru

    If you want to sleep around that is your choice. I am not judging anyone. If you are married and sleeping around, it is adultery. It is none of my business of what you do but if you just want to do that, you shouldn’t get married. If you are being safe, then it is fine to sleep around. I don’t think it is normal to be promiscuous.

  30. 30 Julie P
    June 30, 2008 at 14:59

    @Omunyaruguru,

    I belive the point they were making is that they frowning upon people who engage in the act of self destructive behavior of sleeping around. Sleeping around at the office is very destructive and can ruin a career.

  31. 31 steve
    June 30, 2008 at 15:03

    @ omanyaraguru

    If you want to have sex with a lot of people, then don’t get married.

  32. June 30, 2008 at 15:06

    If ever there was a time for big business to invest in Zimbabwe, this is it! Buy into a bankrupt, resource-rich spread, and laugh all the way to the bank as you render it increasingly viable.

    Why not? The people are starving. Give them employment at low wages; it’s better than nothing. Bob Mugabe has to die sometime, and then a fresh-faced idealist tyrant-in-the making will replace him.

    Yes, big business, go grab your share! As long as you’re big enough to call the shots, rather than being shot…

    Mugabe, the Final Solution: Summon him to Buckingham Palace, and have the queen give him a good talking to.

  33. 33 Omunyaruguru
    June 30, 2008 at 15:30

    OK, am going deeper than I wanted to. Fidelity in marriage is culturaly defined. We now leave in a tiny village called a globe and need to know what happens else where. In a culture 400 miles away from where I currently live, it is OK for a woman to ‘serve’ the brothers of the man she is married to. All the boy has to do is place his spear at the entrance to the hut and the husband of the woman will know that his brother is in. He will then have to look around for whichever hut is ‘free.’ No paternity suits here. No DNA tests.

    The words promiscuous and adulterous are culturaly defined and moralising on these issues is the same as moralising about homosexuality.

    In another culture about 160 miles from me, the king used to help himself to the boys in his courts (before western religion came in). Actualy, one of the titles the men use when refering to the king is “our husband.”

    And I have many more examples.

    Julie P, if I can do it in office and still do my work well, then why not? Nothing destructive about that. It can actually be very exciting.

    My point is this: We are all agreed that we should not be judgemental towards same sex couples. Similarly, we should not frown on people like me who like to have many partners – Variety! That is how am geneticaly wired. Accept me as you accept the Homos.

  34. 34 Shirley
    June 30, 2008 at 15:40

    I’m going to double-post this here and on the Africa page. Hopefully not bad on me?

    Will Africa take action against Zimbabwe’s Mugabe? Mon Jun 30 Christian Science Monitor

    Monday, at a meeting of African leaders in Egypt, Mugabe faces a critical personal test. Will the African Union join the international community in pushing for new sanctions, even military intervention, in Zimbabwe?

    “We are saying we want the African Union to send troops to Zimbabwe,” Kenya’s Prime Minster Raila Odinga said on Saturday. “The time has come for the African continent to stand firm in unity to end dictatorship.” This call is echoed by retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, while East African nations are calling on Mugabe and his opponents to negotiate a peaceful power-sharing deal.

    The article gives more details about the force and violence that surrounded the elections, as well as ways in which opposition supporters acted out. It is a good read.

  35. 35 steve
    June 30, 2008 at 15:45

    @ Omunyaruguru

    Because certain places have rules against such things. I think in DC it’s actually illegal for someone who has supervisory authority over a coworker to have sex with them. It comes to a problem when there is a complaint, say they break up, and then one sues the other for sexual harassment, putting the employer at risk. The employer doesn’t want to be sued for the actions of its employees. So I don’t think even the bosses want coworkers having sex with each other, unless they are the ones doing it, which probably happens a lot.

    I had to sit in a room for months with that coworker after we did it, knowing she was going after every other guy there, and believe me, it sucked being around her 10 hours a day for months.

  36. 36 steve
    June 30, 2008 at 15:49

    @ Angela

    “I don’t think it is normal to be promiscuous.”

    I have to disagree. I think people try to delude themselves into thinking that monogamy is natural. However, being monogamous is wise, as you limit your STD exposure. Just realize most people aren’t the innocent angels they protray themselves as.

  37. 37 Omunyaruguru
    June 30, 2008 at 15:50

    @Shirley. Thank you for the post on Mugabe. Am right now listening to BBC radio with updates from Egypt. The Chairman of the AU CONGRATULATED the people of Zimbabwe on their election. Was that the best he could do?

  38. 38 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 30, 2008 at 15:57

    @Steve

    I did not mean that monogamy is natural. However, being primiscuous is sleeping with many people. I think it is normal to have partners over a lifetime, but not normal to just sleep with many people for the fun of it. Not saying that is what he meant. As you stated, it is not wise to have many many partners today.

  39. 39 Angela in Washington D.C.
    June 30, 2008 at 16:01

    @Omunyaruguru

    I understand that is your culture and you do as you please. As you stated, these are consenting adults. I cannot judge you or anyone else. I will not live by those standards but I cannot frown on you.

  40. 40 Omunyaruguru
    June 30, 2008 at 16:01

    I think I get your points Steve, Angela and the rest. My point is on the moralising (or is my english coming out right. It’s one of ten languages I speak you know). Am not talking about STD/AIDS and wisdom. I am saying that if you accept the homosexuals, then accept the polysexuals too with no judgementalism and moralism.

  41. 41 selena
    June 30, 2008 at 16:07

    @Steve

    You must be generalizing for effect. I really can’t believe you mean any of this stuff you are spouting.

    🙂

  42. 42 Julie P
    June 30, 2008 at 16:14

    @Omunyaruguru,

    There are legal ramifications to have affairs at the workplace. Also, humans being what they are, have a propensity for gossip. Like it or not, people will pass jugdment which can make it difficult to continue working there, and in certain professions, can get them, for want of a better word, blacklisted. I have seen that happen in one profession that I worked in for a completely different reason. The person got a nasty reputation, word got around, consequently no one would hire them.

  43. 43 Count Iblis
    June 30, 2008 at 16:43

    ….Or does Israel have to accept that Iran has a right to a nuclear programme?

    Of course they must. Iran is a sovereign country. We have arrived at a situation where when Iran makes a comment about Israel, saying that Israel will be wiped of the map, but this in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict when they mean that Israel belongs to the Palestinians, that is taken out of context and used to make propaganda.

    Somehow the world’s media prints this propaganda as if it is the truth. The fact that Iran’s nuclear program is within the NPT framework, subject to inspections is ignored.

    Let’s take a look at what we demand that Iran must give up:

    Iran is not allowed to mine their own uranium, and then putting that into their own centrifuges and then use the enriched uranium in their own nuclear powerplants.

    Surely this is an unacceptable infringement of Iranian sovereign rights. Even if Iran wanted to make nuclear weapons, they could legally do so by leaving the NPT treaty. But Iran actually wants to stay in the NPT. They are ready to negotiate about inspections etc. But they are not willing to give up their sovereign rights.

    Israel constantly demands that they be recognized as a sovereign State, even though no country is in a position to actually infringe on their sovereign rights. E.g. while Hamas hasn’t recognized Israel, Hamas is not able to invade Israel and keep parts of it occupied. Nevertheless for Israel and the West this is a very important issue.

  44. 44 Shirley
    June 30, 2008 at 17:08

    Interesting News & Notes from Palestine
    PCHR Weekly Report: 3 Palestinians killed, 18 wounded (Friday June 27, 2008 – 03:06 ) In its weekly summary of Israeli attacks for the week of 19 – 25 June 2008, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports that Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinians in illegal extrajudical assassinations. 18 Palestinians were wounded, 12 in one village. In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinians and wounded 13 others, including 5 children. [By deduction,] one was killed and five wounded in the Gaza Strip. The death occurred hours before the commencement of the truce; and the injuries on 23 June, when children were shot at; and 24 June, when an elderly man was shot. I am especially horrified at the attack by an Israeli fighter jet that occurred just a couple of hours before the truce began. If the same were to occur between two Western nations embarking on a cease-fire, obviously there would be widespread condemnation, even though said cease-fire had not yet begun. I was shocked and disgusted by this action and the ensuing silence.

    UN Sources: “7 out of 8 truce violations were carried by Israel” (Fri 27 Jun) The reported violations do not include three rockets fired in response to the Israeli violations. In two separate incidences on 20 June, the Israeli army opened fire for five minutes or more at Palestinian farmers attempting to reach their lands close to the border in Gaza. Soldiers also shot at Palestinian fishermen twice: once on 20 June, and once on 21 June. On 21 June, soldiers shot at more farmers. On June 23, soldiers shot at Palestinian loggers, resulting in the first reported injury in breach of the truce. The only Palestinian violation was carried out on June 24, when fighters of the Al Quds Brigades fired two homemade shells. They claimed to have done so in retaliation to the assassination of one of their leaders in Nablus. On June 26, Israeli soldiers fired at several farmers. An 82-year-old was wounded when he was standing near his house, which is next to the border. UN sources said that the army will not allow anybody to get close to the fence. See also this and this. Facts are facts. It really does seem that Israel has been more violent, and unreasonably so, even since the truce has been in effect. It is noteworthy that Israel was the first to violate the terms of the truce and even appears to have stepped up violence against Palestinians in the West Bank since the truce began.

    US “concerned” over a UN draft demanding Israel to halt settlement activities Last week, US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, demanded the that the Security Council should not intervene in the issue of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Russian envoy demanded to delay the discussions because he wanted to watch a soccer match. The United States will most likely demand fundamental changes to the draft. Several months ago Arab members of the Security Council refused an American demand to change some phrases on a statement condemning the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. Ultimately the draft was completely dropped. This is what I mean when I say that the U.S. is part of the reason that the U.N. does not accomplish much.

  45. 45 Shirley
    June 30, 2008 at 17:12

    More from the IMEMC
    Israeli military attacks funeral near Hebron with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets Eight-year-old Hadeel Al-Sumairi was killed when her home in southeastern Gaza was shelled by Israeli troops. Parts of eight-year-old Aya’s body…were scattered over a distance of more than 150 meters after an earlier missile attack. The Israeli army kills a Palestinian boy near Hebron. Youth killed by Israeli army in Tubas. Three civilians wound in an Israeli attack on Hebron. Israeli actions against Ramallah and refugee camp. Israeli army invades the city of Jenin and surrounding villages.

    This is from an AP report on Yahoo News.
    Egypt to reopen Gaza border Egypt will reopen its Rafah border crossing with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip for two days this week to allow hundreds of stranded on both sides to cross, a Palestinian diplomat in Cairo said Monday.

  46. 46 Shirley
    June 30, 2008 at 17:15

    Hi there, could a mod please check the spam for a couple posts of mine? I don’t see them in the “waiting moderation” thingie that normally comes up. I’m sorry (again); and thank you for your patience while I learn the hard way just how many links are ok to include in a post. :=s

    Over the week-end, someone expressed interest in hearing discussion about Asia. This was interesting to me, because it seems to be an attack against terrorists by average folk. Explosion at militant compound in Pakistan Do correct me if I was wrong in my understanding of the situation.

    This is disappointing to me. I feel that the nature of the film and his remarks, as described in the article, are indeed hate speech and dangerous, coming from a politician. Dutch anti-Islam politician won’t be charged: Dutch legislator Geert Wilders will not be prosecuted for inciting hatred of Muslims with his film denouncing the Quran, prosecutor said Monday. The film [“Fitna”] juxtaposed Quranic verses against a background of violent film clips and images of terrorism by Islamic radicals. Wilders also was investigated for remarks published in the newspaper De Volkskrant calling the Quran fascist. “I’ve had enough of Islam in the Netherlands; let not one more Muslim immigrate,” he wrote in the paper. “I’ve had enough of the Quran in the Netherlands: Forbid that fascist book.” Prosecution spokeswoman Hanneke Festen said Wilders’ statements were allowable under Dutch law, which forbids inciting hatred against groups on the basis of their race or creed but also grants leeway to freedom of speech.

  47. 47 selena
    June 30, 2008 at 17:16

    @ Count Iblis

    Good points.

    I wish we would stop all the rhetoric and call a spade a spade.

    If democracy goes as we plan, democracy is fine. If sovereign states do as we say they are fine.

    But heaven forbid we don’t get our own way.

  48. 48 Shirley
    June 30, 2008 at 18:48

    Long WHYS Pages:
    Jonathan, if I don’t tweak things, scrolling can cause a shutdown of IE when there are more than 15 posts on a page. I’ve been saving them, deleting all relevent temporary files, and viewing the pages offline. I like best the fact that I can now see numbers sext to posts. I wish that such were available in the online version, as well. I also do a view source and crtl+f for author”>shirley until there are no more to find my last post.

    It would take quite a bit of work to have new TP or Blank pages split off after 100 or so posts, or in blank pages, per day. If the WHYS admin staff want something like that to happen, we laypeople should expect to wait seom time before seeing any tangibl results. Patience is key.

    Btw, no top or bottom for me, just straight through the middle. Neopolitan, as you can imagine, gets confusing for me.

  49. 49 Shirley
    June 30, 2008 at 20:19

    A former head of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, has said that in the course of the next year Israel has to make a decision – destroy Iran’s embryonic nuclear programme or face the risk of nuclear attack.

    I feel that such a comment by a higher-ranking intel officer lacks intellect and foresight. What does Iran have to gain by dropping a nuclear bomb in a region where the radioactive fallout would severely negatively impact Iran’s allies? With Quds Day being something of a national holiday (I think), why would Iran want to essentially decimate the Palesitnian people and render their homeland useless forever as a Palestinian home? It does not take a genius to determine that the chance of a nuclear attack against Israel by Iran is about nil, unless Iran feels suicidal. I think that this is mere warmongering posturing that is designed to increase the tenseness of the situation in preparation for an invasion and occupation by Western forces. My question is what econoic gain could be got by Western nations who would be interested in such a move, since invasions and occupations of resource-rich countries are rarely for the benefit of the invaded peoples. Perhaps there are more oil fields to de-nationalise?

  50. 50 steve
    June 30, 2008 at 20:28

    @ Shirley, you’re making the mistake of thinking rationally. That’s why it’s not that bad when rational enemies have nukes. They won’t use them. However, Iran isn’t led by rational people. Certainly their allies like hezbollah, aren’t rational. Despite being right next to Israel, Hezbollah would nuke israel in a heartbeat, even if it would kill all of lebannon, solely because they hate israel. That’s what irrational people do. The Iranian leadership is irrational, how irrational, I’m not sure, but you cannot think they think the same way you do.

  51. 51 Tino
    July 1, 2008 at 01:21

    “I feel that the nature of the film and his remarks, as described in the article, are indeed hate speech and dangerous, coming from a politician.”

    Are you absolutely kidding me?! Where was the hate speech, did you even watch the video? Please, point out EXACTLY what you said that you think is inciting hatred against Muslims/hate speech. He used Qur’an quotes and juxtaposed them with Muslims following them…

    He has every right to say what he did in free societies, just as you have every right to say that they aren’t following YOUR ‘true’ version of Islam – despite him presenting what is in my opinion some pretty damning evidence to the contrary.

  52. 52 Tino
    July 1, 2008 at 01:21

    “point out EXACTLY what you said that you think is inciting hatred against Muslims/hate speech. ”

    Should be exactly what he said, not you said.


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