As horrific and twisted as it sounds, there is a real possibility that an Iranian girl named Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi may be executed for the "crime" of defending herself from a rapist. Read about her story here and sign the petition.
(Via Relapsed Catholic.)
Free Piglet! Down with Dhimmitude!
Incidentally, I now have a craving for Sweet & Sour Pork.
Pastors for what?
Babalu Blog is a Cuban-American blog that focuses on exposing Castro's regime for what it really is. The main poster is Val Prieto, but there are some other posters helping him out right now as he takes a break. In a recent post, Mora asks the so-called Pastors for Peace, "What god do you worship, Pastors?"
What purpose these frauds could have by paying tribute to a cold blooded killer like che [guevara] is well beyond what I can fathom. Perhaps they are being trotted around by castro to confuse Cuban people who are long deprived of any knowledge of God or religion. These pastors are here to tell Cubans that their god is che and that this is how to be religious. There's something utterly repulsive about this near-satanic spectacle. People of God may forgive brutal killers; they may turn the other cheek; they may sacrifice to make up for the killers' deeds. But they sure as heck don't pay tribute - TRIBUTE! - to monsters who hated God. And who, as che did, made a special venomous effort to murder those who kept their faith in God as authentic Christian martyrs.
Well said. And I find it more than a little incongruous that these pastors are supposedly for "peace", but yet glorify a man who liked to torture and murder people (especially Christians).
London Terrorist Attack
Dean's World has a comprehensive post with lots of links on this developing story. One observation by Dean:
They're saying on the news now that the explosions have been going off over a period of two hours and that there have been multiple cases of these delayed double-bombs. They're saying that's an old IRA trick but something in my gut says this isn't the IRA this time.
Same here. I'm sure we'll know soon enough.
Takin' Out the Eurotrash!
Sometimes you have to tell certain people off, even if it is "unprofessional".
(Thanks to Kathy Shaidle, Recovering Liberal.)
Tsunami Tragedy in Asia
I feel bad for not posting about this sooner. This tragedy has been very much on my mind even though I've been dealing with other things in my life. I just don't know what to say about such a tremendous loss of life. The death toll keeps climbing, and it could exceed 100,000. It's overwhelming and sad.
I have heard of bickering and accusations about who is giving the most aid and who is being "stingy". I wish it would stop. Just help the survivors and leave the pettiness aside. Personally, I gave to Mercy Corps, but there many options for those who want to help in some way. There is also the SEA-EAT blog, which is a clearinghouse for information about this tragedy.
Prayers for Beslan
The Pope -- Again
(Via Twisted Spinster.)
Happenings in Iran
It looks like something is going on in Iran, although the mainstream media hasn't caught on yet. Cox & Forkum has a good overview of what's been going on. So does Joshua Claybourn. And be sure to check Free Iran News for updates.
Fallout from the 3/11 Attack
There are two responses to terrorists. You can gather your strength, stand up to them and say, "No more!" Or you can cower and say, "Please don't hurt me again...I'll do whatever you want." Spain has decided to do the latter. In the meantime, many continue to be angry at America because we did the former. Appeasement will only bring more attacks and more trouble. This is something to keep in mind with the upcoming election.
Neal Boortz says it best:
So, you think this election is about jobs and health care? There are about 200 people in Spain who will no longer benefit from any health care, and another 1200 who probably won't be going to work for today .. or for a while ... or maybe never. Is Al-Qaeda back? Maybe they never left! The supposedly peaceful religion of Islam has struck again, brutally murdering 192 people, and wounding more than 1200. If you think the war on terror isn't important, then it's time to get your head out of the sand, or whatever dark region you have it stored.
Unless you have been living under a rock, by now you have heard what happened. 10 backpack bombs exploded within a 15-minute span, starting at about 7:40am yesterday aboard commuter trains. Police also detonated three more bombs. A stolen van was found near Madrid containing seven detonators and an Arabic tape with Koran verses on it. The Spanish government initially pointed the finger at a separatist group, but then a letter was faxed to Reuters by an Al-Qaeda-backed group. They referred to the attack as "operation death trains." The attack occurred 911 days after September 11th. Another letter was faxed to the Associated Press office in Cairo warning that America was next. That's right; Al-Qaeda says America is next.
You have a role to play here. You have a decision to make ... and that decision will be made on November 2nd. You will decide who is going to lead this country in this time of peril .. this era of Islamic terrorism. Maybe you'll want to chose someone who has proven that he will use the American military and whatever resources are available to him to hunt these terrorists down and kill them. Or maybe you'll want to chose the man who says that this is all a law enforcement problem; someone who, if he does manage to catch these Islamic predators with his glorified police force, will then turn them over to some international tribunal for trial. As the great Og Mandino once said, "Use wisely your power of choice."
Via Blog Iran comes a couple of items worth reading.
First, there's this column: Iran - Hope for a Cure in 2004?
If one wants to understand the frustration and negative opinions of the Iranian public with respect to the European Union - in particular Britain, Germany and France – it suffices merely to stroll through the streets of Tehran and listen to people’s complaints. We know that during the last 4 years the European Union has tried everything possible to support the reformist camp in Iran lead by Mohammad Khatami, trying to defuse the chaotic political situation in Iran as well as in the international arena. Nonetheless it has not produced any positive results. The public scepticism is palpable.[...]
At the same time the war in Iraq, led by the United States, has created hope amongst the Iranian public. A hope that sooner or later, once the Iraq issue has been resolved, the west will realise how deeply and strongly the Iranian people wish for radical change in Iran, and will therefore help those Iranians who are struggling to restore democracy, freedom, and a secular regime in this ancient land. Both the reformist and the conservative camps in Iran are fully aware of this feeling and have thus set in motion new tactics in order to distract public opinion at home and abroad. They are trying to destabilise Iraq as much as they can with the help of radical Shiites, by facilitating easy cross-border travel for international terrorists in the hope that the US will pull out its forces from Iraq and thus ease the pressure on Iran.
Though it hasn't been entirely silent, the human rights community has been less critical, so far, of efforts to censor the Internet than one might expect. Presumably, it has been kept too busy by criticism of the United States' activities in Guantanamo to address something as trivial as the empowerment of worldwide censorship.[...]
National and transnational bureaucrats don't, as a rule, like free speech -- or, as the choice of Libya indicates, human rights in general. And they don't like it that you can read Reporters Without Borders' criticism of them on the web, without needing permission from some government official. That's because free and open international communication is an enormous threat to bureaucracies, both national and transnational, that owe much of their power to their ability to keep people in the dark about what they're doing, and to pretend that voices criticizing their policies don't exist. The Internet, as I've written here before, has become a huge threat to the power of these folks, and it's expecting too much to think that they won't fight back. They are, and they will.
Bali: One Year Later
A survivor of the Bali attack takes on the root-causers:
To the terrorists who killed these two and 200 others last October 12, it doesn't matter what any of us looked like, before or after. Or who we were. They didn't care. They killed Indonesians, Australians, English, Germans, Koreans, Danish, French, Americans, New Zealanders, Japanese, Italians, Dutch – people from 20 countries. They worked hard to make sure they killed as many random people as possible. The van that blew up at the Sari Club had its back seats taken out so they could screw four filing cabinets full of explosives to the floor. The attack was planned for months.
And I keep hearing that it was our fault. That we caused it.
People who think this crime was caused by anyone other than the terrorists are kidding themselves. People who blame the West and blame Australia and blame John Howard should blame the cowards who actually detonated the bombs, and the bastards who financed them. It isn't difficult to work out.
(First seen on NZPundit.)
As I'm sure you know by now, the events of today were as follows: The student protests were cancelled because of threats of violence. Iranian student leaders were kidnapped. Despite the crackdown, there have been street fights between vigilantes who support the current regime and pro-democracy youths.
Here's a roundup of posts about the situation in Iran:
- Rev. Mike says: Brothers and Sisters, It's Time to Excise the Tumor. In the same post, he also has a timeline of events in Iran.
- Joel Fuhrmann has a roundup that includes this left-wing view of the Iranian pro-democracy movement.
- Jeff Jarvis' BuzzMachine has had continuing updates throughout the day.
- Michael Totten posts an open letter to the people of Iran. (First seen on BuzzMachine.)
- Winds of Change has a huge roundup of Iran-related posts: July 9 Carnival of the Liberties.
- Michele at A Small Victory also has a great roundup of posts and links.
- And finally, in today's Bleat, Lileks remembers an Iranian friend.
Update: Here's another good post I noticed: Joyful Christian has some interesting links about the theocratic government of Iran.
A Message to the People of Iran (Reprint)
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. It is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran today.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties.
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny.
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranian people's ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come.
Judgment Day for the Mullahs?
We just celebrated America's Independence Day. People throughout the world deserve freedom as well. As lovers of freedom we should all join the Iranian-American community and stand in solidarity with the people of Iran.
Judgment Day is approaching for those who have shed the blood of tens of thousands of innocent Iranians. Judgment Day is approaching for those who have ordered the stoning of women. Judgment Day is approaching for those who ordered the bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina. Judgment Day is approaching for those who ordered the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon and the Khobar Towers in Riyadh. Judgment Day is approaching for those who started the chant: "Death to America" and everything America stands for. Judgment Day is approaching for the Islamic Republic of Iran. It may not be tomorrow, but soon this evil regime will join the other evil regimes in the dustbin of history. Judgment Day will come.
July 9th - Iran's Independence Day?
Via the Command Post:
Whether this effort will lead to an ultimate showdown with the mullahs, or result in a crackdown on pro-democracy activists like the one that took place on July 9, 1999, nobody knows. But as terrorism expert Michael Ledeen has pointed out on the National Review's Web site, the mullahs, having arrested 4,000 demonstrators last month, are taking this tense situation very seriously. The regime itself admitted that just a quarter of its arrests were students. "The rest came from other walks of life," Ledeen writes. "In other words, the demonstrations were not restricted to a single sector of Iranian society, but were, for the first time, a truly national protest, both sociologically and geographically."
Iranian-born author and journalist Amir Taheri has recently elaborated on the democracy movement's varied nature. Writing on Townhall.com, he reports that democratic sympathies in Iran extend from the working class to the intellectual elite, and include the nearly two-thirds of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) that have petitioned "to transform Iran from a despotic-theocratic regime into a democratic one."
Meanwhile, Iranian Girl awaits tomorrow with hope and apprehension:
Tomorrow is July 9...the day that Iranians will show what they really want, & will prove that they're not a kind of people who leave alone the students & the young guys who are spending they life in prisons, just because they wanted freedom for all Iranians. I really hope that they do it well & I myself will try my best to do whatever I can as a young girl, we must also encourage each other; that's very important… Anyway, I know that all people in the world support us spiritually, & pray for all fighters of freedom. I wish that they also show their support by whatever they can do; I'm sure that bloggers & writers from other countries will not forget us. Oh, I feel that I'm making a will!!! You know, I can not ignore this feeling of anxiety...Ok, let's see what is waiting for Iranians in their destiny.
Iran: I have much to learn...
Tomorrow is the day that bloggers are to show their support for Iranian democracy. I'm going to try to post some things this evening, since I usually don't have time to post during the day.
I know the government is an Islamic theocracy. I know that many of the citizens wish to be free of this type of government. I remember when the current regime there took over and I remember the American hostages being held for 444 days. I was only 12 and 13-years-old at the time, but I remember.
So, that's about it. And it's not enough. But I want to learn.
Column of the week:
Let them eat...nothing!
You know, I recently read a blog post -- by an American -- that ranted on and on about how evil and greedy America is and how other nations are so much more caring and generous when it comes to taking care of their own people and sending aid to Third World countries.
Well, after seeing this item by Andrea Harris, all I can do is shake my head at such Amerikkka-sucks-and-everyone-else-is-pure-and-unselfish nonsense.
It seems that a bunch of protesters would rather see poor people starve than eat bio-engineered foods. You see, these foods must be bad because some eee-vil American corporation developed them. Never mind that these foods, such as golden rice, will feed hungry people and give them proper nutrition. And it seems that the oh-so-compassionate EU has banned this type of food -- but not because of any genuine concern for the well-being of the poor.
Why the West Is Successful
Update: Joel Fuhrmann has more on this subject. He makes a really good point here:
If colonialism is the cause of third world poverty, then why is the US so rich today? After all, we were a colony too, about the same time as many other countries were. The cause of third world poverty is obviously something other than colonialism by itself -- I'd say bad government and bad economic systems, by the very governments in control of the poorest countries.
Bene Diction has a must-read post about the things that are being done to rebuild Iraq and provide relief. Someone who was in Iraq on behalf of Operation Blessing tells about the conditions there and the things that are being done to help the Iraqi people. This account was first posted at Fructus Ventris. Here's a short excerpt:
The medical standards at the hospitals are 30 years behind. The doctors told us they had no outside information available since Saddam came into power, and he confiscated all the western medical texts. I carried in 15 up to date medical textbooks, which were gratefully received, and I was told that the doctors would all read them. These were 3 inch reference books! And I bet they *will* all read them cover to cover!
If you wish, you can donate to Operation Blessing, since there is still so much to be done.
Understanding America and Americans
LT Smash explains three important guidelines for understanding Americans:
Quote of the Week
From this article about Margaret Thatcher:
Lady Thatcher warned that America and Britain faced “a pervasive culture of anti-Westernism" that needed to be challenged. "There are too many people who imagine that there is something sophisticated about always believing the best of those who hate your country, and the worst of those who defend it."
Ain't that the truth...
I haven't jumped on the bash-France bandwagon, because I don't like to make broad assumptions about an entire country based on what the leaders or a few protesters do. However, I want to point out a couple of posts that take a serious look at where France stands.
First of all, Joshua Claybourn points out that France may have violated the UN embargo on Iraq while also playing a large part in making UN resolutions meaningless.
Next, Midwest Conservative Journal has this post on what French journalist Guy Milliere has to say about France. According to Milliere, France is now deeply anti-Semitic and anti-American. France is also becoming increasingly identified with radical Islam. (Many posters over at LGF joke that France will be the first European country to institute Shari'a. If what Milliere says is accurate, it may not be a joke after all.)
I think America should be wary of France. While I wouldn't necessarily say that France is an enemy yet, she could become one eventually.
"There were lots of group squabbles," said Benjamin Joffe-Walt, 23, an American paramedic. "Very few people knew each other. I did not know any of them, and it was difficult to organize it. There were lots of different ideas on when to go to bed, how long to spend on the bus."
Mark Steyn takes on Canadian and European anti-American snobbery: They'll have to think again about the Quiet American
In fairness to the late Ayatollah Khomeini, when he dubbed the US the Great Satan he at least understood that America is a tempter, a seducer: his slur attempts to explain its appeal. Calling America the Great Moron, by contrast, is just feeble. I happen to like moral clarity myself, but I can appreciate that for some tastes Bush's habit of dividing the world into "good" and "evil" and using these terms non-ironically might seem a little simplistic. But it's nowhere near as simplistic as dividing the world into "I'm right" and "you're stupid".
For Republicans, this is an old song. "President Reagan's library burned down. Both books," drawled Gore Vidal from his exile in Italy. "The tragedy was he had not finished colouring the books." This is the guy who won the Cold War. In the 1950s, Eisenhower was a smiling dummy who cared most about his golf. This is the fellow who won the Second World War. But long after everything else has crumbled away the intellectual arrogance of the anti-Americans is indestructible. "A man like George W Bush is simply not possible in our politics," I was told by an elegant, cultured Parisian this spring. "For a creature of such crude, simplistic and extreme views to be one of the two principal candidates in a presidential election would be inconceivable here. Inconceivable!" Two weeks later, Jean Marie Le Pen made it into the final round of the French election.
All this Bush-is-a-dummy garbage is beyond tiresome. However, I say let the Bush-is-a-dummy crowd continue to underestimate Bush. Because when they underestimate Bush (and America in general), they lose.