2008-01-26

Weekend Roundup

Denver Post:
COLORADO SPRINGS — M. Zuhdi Jasser said he is tired of being asked how American Muslims will vote this presidential election.

The Phoenix-based founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy said he doesn't believe there is such a thing as a Muslim voting bloc, or anything monolithic about Muslims in America.

Furthermore, Jasser said, almost seven years after the 9/11 attacks, Americans still don't understand they are not fighting a war on terrorism.

"Terrorism is a tactic. To call this a war against terrorism doesn't make sense," Jasser said Wednesday. "Muslim terrorists have a goal, and that is Islamic theocracy. "

It should be seen as a war against theocracy, Jasser said. ...

Go to the link for the rest.

Log Cabin Republicans, via e-mail release:
Log Cabin is pleased to announce that former UN Ambassador John Bolton will be speaking at the 2008 Log Cabin Republicans National Convention in San Diego. Ambassador Bolton is a leading voice in American foreign policy. He's not afraid to stand up for his beliefs and speak candidly about our role in the world today. We encourage all Log Cabin members to register now for San Diego so you can hear first hand Ambassador Bolton's insightful views on American foreign policy. If you hurry, you can still save $70 by registering for the convention today!

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Ambassador Bolton talk about the challenges our country faces abroad from regimes that proliferate weapons of mass destruction, suppress democracy and pose threats to the United States and its allies.

The convention is April 10-13, 2008 in San Diego, CA.


Azarmehr
One must not always criticise without giving credit when it is due. There has been some worthwhile improvements in VOA Persian programs recently. Most noteworthy was a very professionally managed program presented by Shahla Arasteh who had invited Gene Sharp as her guest. The program started with some good background footage in civil disobedience, appropriate questions were asked in a coherent manner by the presenter, and professionally interpreted from Persian to English and vice versa.

Also what I liked was how an IRI plant intent on causing embarrassment during the first call was quickly recognised and dealt with quickly. ...

Read the rest at the link.

Ocean Guy makes a compelling case against term limits:
I’ve written numerous times about my opposition to term limits legislation applied to elected officials. The ballot box should be all the power we need to “t’row da bums out.” Having lived in two different European countries, Italy and England, and having served as the US representative to a European based international organization, I have witnessed the problems caused by civil servants accumulating too much power and influence. If we decide to place term limits on our elected officials we will simply invite the congressional staffers to take more and more authority and power than a government elected by the people, for the people should have. ...


Syria regime blasted by David Satterfield, Bernard Kouchner, and ... John Kerry?

Yup. Here it is at Across the Bay:
"Syria must be held accountable"

In an interview with UPI, Satterfield said: "The Syrian government bears responsibility for the political crisis in Lebanon, and is obstructing the election of a new president in order to peddle its demands in that country, seeking to restore its hegemony over it. This behavior is rejected by us and is unacceptable to the democratic majority in Lebanon itself, and should be rejected also by the region and the international community."

He added that Syria must be held accountable "for its obstruction of the election of a president for Lebanon and preventing the Lebanese from deciding their own future by themselves."

Regarding the recent meeting between President Bush and Syrian dissidents, Satterfield said that the meeting "reflects our interest in supporting the voices calling for change and freedom and democracy in Syria." ...

Kouchner: Talks with Syria lead nowhere

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner also lambasted the Syrians for their subversive interference in Lebanon, and acknowledged what we've been saying all along, that talking to Syria leads absolutely nowhere. Engagement with Syria has always been and continues to be a disastrous failure. ...

Go to the post for the whole thing, and don't miss the exchange between Senator John Kerry and "Bashar groupie, propagandist and court biographer, David Lesch", where you can find out in what context Tony Bey reports that "Kerry then cut through the BS".

Yes, really.

In any case, it's good to see the likes of Bernard Kouchner, David Satterfield, and even Senator Kerry agreeing on the need to get serious about Syria. As Tony says, "Onward with the tribunal -- full throttle. Let's get those indictments."

Transsexual neocon Zoe at A. E. Brain clears up a few points:
1. First, we're all human beings. That needs saying because we too often lose sight of the fact that everyone, even those we don't identify with, even those we feel uncomfortable being around, have human rights. And I speak as a conservative neo-con, not a tree-hugging kumbayah-singing liberal.

2. Then some of us are GLBT - people who do not fit in in some way with the standard bigendered model, where men look and act in accordance with society's norm for men and are only attracted to women, and women look and act accordance with society's norm for women and are only attracted to men. About the only thing such people have in common with each other is that it's the same people who persecute them. Many in this conglomerate - that is, a matrix containing parts of very different nature - don't remotely understand each other, and there's both phobia - fear - and loathing even when they do understand.

There's Androphobic Lesbians who see men, even Gay men, as a threat, Gynaphobic Gays who see anything redolent of femininity as beneath contempt, Homophobic Transsexuals who resent being conflated with those they see as morally corrupt, you name it. And straight Intersexed people who don't see why having an unusual medical condition automatically drafts them into a political activist group made up of weirdoes like mentally ill Transsexuals, Fetishistic Crossdressers, and perverted GLBs.

3. The there are some who are T. This is where it really gets confusing. T for Transgender. And what that word means changes from day to day. ...

Go read it all.

Strategy Page:
But the Internet also spreads technical knowledge, and the growth of higher education, and the economy (which continues to expand at 10-11 percent a year) is being used to provide China with more military power. The government believes that, in the next few years, China will surpass South Korea in technical abilities, and Germany in GDP. While China is still a minor player in the world of military high tech, the government is putting lots of money and effort into changing this. Expensive, and long term, efforts are being made to produce high tech items like jet engines, missiles and military electronics. At the current rate of progress, Chinese military technology will match that of the United States in a decade or so.


Strategy Page:
January 20, 2008: Israel conducted another test of its Jericho 3 ballistic missile on January 17th. This missile went into production last year, after three years, of reports that it was close to entering service. With a range of nearly 5,000 kilometers, the Jericho 3 can drop a nuke anywhere in the Middle East. The Jericho 3 is apparently a variant of the Shavit satellite launcher. The Jericho is a 30 ton, solid fuel, two stage missile, with a half ton payload. Israel is believed to have 50-100 of the shorter range Jericho 2. This is a 26 ton missile with a max range of about 1,500 kilometers. The Jericho 2 was the basis for the Shavit satellite launcher, which has put several satellites in orbit since 1995. The Jericho 1, developed with French assistance, entered service in 1973. This 500 kilometers range missile was replaced by the 1,400 kilometers range Jericho 2, which entered service in 1989.