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European Breakfast - Feb. 15

by Fran Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:16:13 AM EST

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

William Shakespeare


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EUROPEAN NEWS
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:17:03 AM EST
Independent: Thousands protest ahead of 'Polish plumber' vote

Tens of thousands of protesters jammed the streets of Strasbourg as the fate of the law at the heart of the EU's economic reform plans prompted fierce last-minute wrangling.

MEPs were holding tense talks ahead of a crucial vote tomorrow on the proposed so-called services directive, which prompted fears in France of an invasion of Polish plumbers. Although the measure is certain to be watered down, the precise outcome of the vote on more than 400 amendments in the European Parliament will be seen as a yardstick of the EU's commitment to economic reform.

It is also a chance for the parliament to extend its influence since, if it delivers a large majority in favour of a compromise, it will be hard for member states or the European Commission to overturn it.

The row in France over the services directive was widely blamed for contributing to the country's "no" vote in a referendum on the EU constitution. Since then, law-makers have remained divided over the future of the EU's efforts to open up the multibillion- euro market in services.

Negotiators in the two main political blocs have already agreed to water down the text of the draft law which prompted last year's ructions. Last night, they were trying to sell these amendments to their respective MEPs.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:28:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I were a polish plumber I'd be suing left and right for defamation.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:42:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dawn: Italian minister puts cartoon on T-shirts

ROME, Feb 14: Italy's Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli has had T-shirts made emblazoned with the anti-Islam cartoons in a move that could embarrass Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government.

Mr Calderoli, a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League, told Ansa news agency on Tuesday that the West had to stand up against Muslim extremists and offered to hand out the T-shirts to anyone who wanted them.

"I have had T-shirts made with the cartoons that have upset Islam and I will start wearing them today," Ansa quoted Mr Calderoli as saying.

He said the T-shirts were not meant to be a provocation, but added that he saw no point trying to appease extremists.

"We have to put an end to this story that we can talk to these people. They only want to humiliate people. Full stop. And what are we becoming? The civilisation of melted butter?" Mr Calderoli said.

The League has long opposed mass immigration into Italy and its leaders say violence over the cartoon shows the dangers of allowing Muslim immigrants to settle here.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:35:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Danish Cartoon Battle so far has only served the Muslim extremists and their Western counterparts.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:32:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both you and Jérôme speak wisdom, DoDo.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:15:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is it only the hard right that fights for freedom of speech? Why is the left (with some honorable exceptions) giving up on this - and thus allowing only "extremists" and provocateurs to fight for that freedom?

Why didn't our governments protest against the outrageous attacks against various embassies?

This is all pathetic.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:40:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fights for freedom of speech? You think that fucker is fighting for freedom of speech? You think that offensive t-shirts designed to win cheap poliical points are weapons in the fight for freedom of speech? In any case, whose freedom of speech is threatened here? Are the Danes going to pass laws against this? What proposal to limit free speech is there?

Why aren't we fighting for David Irving's freedom of speech? Where are the protests from the left on that?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:36:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I'm working on that!

The world's northernmost desert wind.
by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:40:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which bit?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:41:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The freedom of speech of the scandalized pseudo-historian to be tried in Austria next week bit.

The world's northernmost desert wind.
by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:44:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good. You're working on a story?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:47:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I know what I'm going to say and that it needs to be said.

The world's northernmost desert wind.
by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:52:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's exactly what I'm saying. Why is it that it seems you get only those that want a clash of civilisations to speak up on this?

The left - and a surprising number of people here - seem to be saying that we should avoid confronting Islam on this because it's needlessly provocative, and we should meekly turn the other cheek.

Well, I'll be on the line of the Canard Enchaîné (How about zero intolerance?) and keep on telling people to stop trying to impose their religions on society.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because everyone else has already said that while these fuckers have a right to freedom of speech they're a pack of offensive shits who abused their right to pointlessly offend a group of people already in a precarious situation. Which was then exploited by groups of people complicit in causing and exacerbating that precarious situation for their advantage.

However, people being rational doesn't make headlines, does it?

Why must we confront Islam? What good does it do? The correct response was "We're sorry about those prats, but that's the price of freedom of speech. It's the same freedom of speech that allows you speak out against us. If you want to live here you have to learn to accept it. Sorry, part of the package." Instead the situation has been exploited for circulation and political advantage.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:58:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The correct response was "We're sorry about those prats, but that's the price of freedom of speech. It's the same freedom of speech that allows you speak out against us. If you want to live here you have to learn to accept it. Sorry, part of the package."

But that's exactly what's been done, and that's precisely what has been called "confronting Islam" or "bullying the weak" by afew, DeAnander et al.

so Colman, are with us or against us?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:16:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
are with us or against us
Now you're channelling King George.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:20:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, that was self-derision. I figured it was a pretty obvious way to show that I don't take myself too seriously, and am aware of the dangers of pushing a point too far, but it obviouly failed miserably.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:41:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the context of the rest of your comments on this breakfast thread, you'll have to forgive me for not seeing the self-derision.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:42:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sad to hear this, and, I must say, deeply offended!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:51:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll have to say it again.

Forgive me for not seeing the self-derision.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:55:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. I don't hold grudges (not on ET anyway).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:59:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is becoming a meta debate on a meta snark.
When Jérôme says he is deeply offended, you can be sure he is joking... I speak under his control, but when  deeply offended, he does not respond at all.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:28:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I ask you what's wrong with it being a meta debate on a meta snark does that become a meta meta debate on a meta snark?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:33:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll admit to taking it seriously for a split second as well, but on the presumption of good intent I took it for what it was after a moments thought.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:50:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm against repeated republishing of the cartoons as an act of defiance. That's perhaps commendable in the weak, but not in the strong. And I'm afraid here that the European secularists are the strong ones here.

Look, what are you trying to achieve? How does repeating the offence move those aims forward? My aim is to maintain the progress we've made in Europe while trying to help the middle east away from the despotic governments and fundamentalists. This doesn't help that at all. Quite the opposite: it helps out both the despots and the loonies.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:22:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point was not about republishing the cartoons, but about making a hell of a lot more noise about the threats, the violence against persons, and the attacks on embassies (as part of the point on violence, and as ultra-basic rules of diplomacy).

Ultimately, we are saying that they can do it, because that's the kind of things "they" do, and it's pretty damn racist on its own. Yeah, they are run by savage, manipulating dictatures or fundamentalist preachers, that's how they are, and there's nothing to say about it. I disagree.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:46:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I'm afraid here that the European secularists are the strong ones here.

In the context of a Danish peninsula in September last year, perhaps they were. But 20 percent of humanity (1.3 billion) are Muslim. It's the world's most practiced religion. How, after this issue has been internationalized so as to cause outrage from Indonesia to Morocco, are the European secularists "the strong ones"? Numerically and economically, they sure as hell are not.


The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:03:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are 800 million europeans according to the Council of Europe. That includes 70 million secular muslim turks and a few percent (up to 40 million, maybe?) other muslim immigrants.

So, compared with 1.3 Billion people, mostly in developing countries, I think Europe is economically stronger and numerically comparable.

What really, really worries me about this whole thing is that the left is on the brink of signing up to "fortress Europa" and reneging on the right of refugees (including political and religious) to obtain asylum in Europe without having to go through ideological (including religious) litmis tests. THAT is what I'm worried the European left is about ready to sacrifice. I don't want ideological litmus tests imposed on human rights.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:10:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are 800 million europeans according to the Council of Europe.

And these are all secularists? News to me.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:24:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So then the problem are not the muslims, are they?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:27:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And all Muslims were outraged?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:31:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are 800 million europeans according to the Council of Europe.
And these are all secularists? News to me.
I actually got pilloried in the cartoon debates for suggesting that secularism and freedom of speech are not necessarily fundamental to being European. So, is Europe secular and committed to free speech, or is it not? If it is, then you have 800 million on your side. It it's not, well, then you have to win your battle within Europe before going on to fight the backwards muslim immigrants.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:32:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually got pilloried in the cartoon debates for suggesting that secularism and freedom of speech are not necessarily fundamental to being European. So, is Europe secular and committed to free speech, or is it not?

A false dilemma. Secular people (let alone "secularists," your original term) are of course a mere subset of the free speech supporters. A big proportion of European Christians, say, would accept the right to lampoon Christianity. It wasn't always thus, but let's face it: Life of Brian - which makes fun and games of the Crucifixion - routinely runs on primetime TV in large European countries with nary a protest, let alone cries for cencorship. This despite the fact that even in Norway, the world's most secular country, fully 50 percent believe in God.

However, there are blasphemy paragraphs in a number of legal codes including ours. Hereabouts it is dormant, with the last prosecution, which led to acquittal, taking place in 1933. But leading Muslim spokesmen and organizations now call for reviving it.

While I doubt they will get this through, I sure don't appreciate the effort.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:01:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there have been two prosecutions in Spain on what are akin to blasphemy charges (though it's not called that) according to article 525 of the 1995 criminal code. Both led ultimately to acquittal, but the first one was initially convicted. The conviction was thrown out on the hilarious argument that "the photograph in question was intended to cause scandal, but the spelling mistakes in the accompanying text were already scandalous enough". Just to show that the apellate judges have both common sense and a sense of humour.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:12:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...even in Norway, the world's most secular country, fully 50 percent believe in God.

You forgot about the Czech Republic, Sweden and Russia. (There is East Germany too.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:46:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Norway and Sweden have state churches.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:46:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So does Russia in a way, they have an autocephalous Russian Orthodox church.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:48:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ditch Russia. I was using 1998 data, but found that a 2005 poll showed increase (?) of theism to 58%.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:56:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A recent international survey pegged Norway as the most secular in the world. I'm not going to dive for the source, but it can be googled.

The world's northernmost desert wind.
by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:07:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks you saw headlines about this. However, note that Japan is even more secular (first in five out of six measures), Norway is not so well on the creationism front, and no formerly communist countries were included. (About two thirds of the Czech profess to be atheists/don't believe in a god in several polls, the figure in East Germany is above three-quarters.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 11:58:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, you really are putting words in my mouth with that "bullying the weak".

I consider Muslims a minority among us, certainly. I have never said that explaining our principles was bullying. I am saying that explaining our principles requires encouragment of the moderates so we have people we can speak to. But that kind of virtuous movement has been compromised by the cartoon controversy. So I will not take sides with the provocateurs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:27:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DeAnander certainly made that point, and you mostly agreed with her arguments, but I'll be happy to retract if you feel I am twisting your words.

But you are essentially saying that we should explain our principles, but not use them because that's "provocative", so we come agaisnt that dead-end again.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:48:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, only just got to this comment.

Forget about the "bullying" for the moment, you're twisting what I'm saying even more with this:

explain our principles, but not use them because that's "provocative"

I have used the term "provocation" to talk about the publication of the cartoons, and I'll add the deliberate piling-on of republication. I have not used the term in relation to principles like, we have women teachers and doctors (since you offered those examples). I have said clearly that we should refuse to accept extremist demands on these.

You persist in conflating the issue of the cartoons with other issues in everyday life and its organization.

Now some questions for you, tough guy (up to you to decide how far that's a joke, since apparently that's what we have to do with your comments...):

What do you mean exactly by "use" our principles? Just what do you propose to do? How are you going to stop the (admittedly manipulated and outrageous) protests in the Middle East? What are you going to do to European Muslims to force them to accept our piddling right to draw funny pics of Mohammed? Go on publishing and republishing cartoons until... Until what? And what purpose will you have served at the end of it?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:10:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The price of freedom of speech is that someone can get offended enough to assault you as a result. Then you can win a court case for assault.

End result: an injured, vindicated free speaker; and a jailed, offended violent idiot. Also, the original speech and the court arguments during the assault trial (where the defence will try to argue on the basis of the offensive speech) will be informative to the general public.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:40:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The price of freedom of speech is that someone can get offended enough to assault you as a result. Then you can win a court case for assault.

Or you can be dead. Or, as in the case of Rushdie's Norwegian publisher William Nygaard, who was gunned down on the street in Oslo, you can survive but the attacker gets away.

Are you fine with this type of situation? Because it sounds as though you are.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:51:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, what else do you suggest? How on earth are you going to prevent anyone from killing anyone else over what they wrote? Assuming you don't advocate a totalitarian police state.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:54:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I just wondered whether you are fine with it, as you sounded somewhat sanguine about the "end result":

an injured, vindicated free speaker; and a jailed, offended violent idiot. Also, the original speech and the court arguments during the assault trial (where the defence will try to argue on the basis of the offensive speech) will be informative to the general public.

As to remedies, well, giving in to threats is certainly not going to help in the long run. In that regard (if in no other) it's good that Ayaan Hirsi Ali & co are working on a sequel to van Gogh's film, and that several European papers republished those cartoons. This communicates to potential attackers that their violence isn't going to work.


The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:17:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's completely unfair. Migeru simply explained what happens, not what should happen.

You're assuming that potential attackers are sane and rational. Odds are they won't be.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:19:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru simply explained what happens, not what should happen.

His wording suggested that this is a fact of life we must accept, and even has a silver lining.

You're assuming that potential attackers are sane and rational. Odds are they won't be.

I disagree. It's a common mistake among the civilized to assume that violent scum aren't sane and rational. In a political context, they frighteningly often are.

Just to illustrate (since anecdotal evidence of course proves nothing) the attacker in the Nygaard case is believed to have been either a hitman or an Iranian government operative. His tracks disappeared at the Iranian embassy.

For that matter, the thug who stabbed Theo van Gogh is also jugded to be sane. Anna Lindh's killer, too. Both appear to have been politically motivated murders.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:42:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have asked you to explain how you intend to prevent (not punish) ideologically (includes religiously) motivated crimes.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both appear to have been politically motivated murders.

What motivated them?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:02:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you requesting information?

The world's northernmost desert wind.
by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:33:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he isn't, I am now.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anna Lindh: Swedish foreign minister, stabbed to death in 2003 by a Serbo-Swede enraged by her position in the Kosovo War. The killer, Mihajlo Mihajlovich, was initially diagnosed as insane during the act, but this conclusion was overturned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Lindh

Theo van Gogh: Dutch filmmaker, stabbed and shot to death in 2004 by a Dutch radical Islamist with terrorist connections in retribution for a 10-minute film about suppression of women in Islam. On his body the killer appended a note which threatened Western governments, Jews, and the politician A. Hirshi Ali, on whose book the film was based.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_%28film_director%29

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:04:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Allegedly Olof Palme's was also a political assassination.

Now, how do you suggest Europe can prevent political assassinations from happening other than instituting some sort of thought police?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:07:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Allegedly Olof Palme's was also a political assassination.

Probably, but that's never been resolved.

Now, how do you suggest Europe can prevent political assassinations from happening other than instituting some sort of thought police?

I have never said I believe it can be prevented outright. That would be pretty daft.

I have said that yielding to threats is not going to help. Rather it will encourage those making such threats.

Keeping known extremist factions under surveillance, as is being done all over Europe, is obviously also wise.
 

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:15:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Van Gogh, killed Van Gogh simply because of his own interpretation (the salafism/wahabism) of Islam. Bouyeri viewed Van Gogh as an infidel and, what's worse, an enemy of (his) Islam, giving him enough justification to slaughter Van Gogh. That's it. End of story. He was sane, he was perfectly rational in his own little fucked-up world, which he attempted to defend during his last case and the current one, the Hofstad case. In both cases, his  attempts to be a scholar of Islam texts were distorted, rudimental and selective, so say other Arabists.
by Nomad on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:07:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I have to be sanguine about the end result because the only way I can envision a different end result is by means of some sort of police state.

In modern épée fencing there is the possibility of a "double touch" with both fencers scoring a point on a simultaneous hit. One of the most renowned fencing masters (of the classical school) of the 20th century used to say "double touch: two dead idiots".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:23:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...and that several European papers republished those cartoons. This communicates to potential attackers that their violence isn't going to work.

In what world do you live in? Can you give one example when the violent learned that violence isn't going to work?

What you overlook is that the violent (and the culture warriors in the West, and the far-right in the West) also fight for domestic popularity and recruits, and the cartoons culture war gave them that in droves.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have time to debate a whole swarm.

In what world do you live in?

Third planet out from the Sun. And you?

Can you give one example when the violent learned that violence isn't going to work?

Yeah, this dude down the street, let me see where I have his telephone number. Come on, this is silly.

What you overlook is that the violent (and the culture warriors in the West, and the far-right in the West) also fight for domestic popularity and recruits, and the cartoons culture war gave them that in droves.

Give me some credit of intelligence, huh? How could I "overlook" that?

As I have said repeatedly, I don't approve of the original publication. However, given that it occurred and was whipped into a global campaign for editorial and diplomatic apologies as well as censorship, and where threats of violence abound against the newspapers and even countries involved, the solidarity is called for. Sure, deescalate whereever possible; sometimes it isn't. "If you pay the Dane-geld," an old saying goes, "you never get rid of the Dane."

That said, there are two sides to this republication question; my position is all-things-considered. Unlike the issue of whether freedom of speech is negotiable.


The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:28:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jérôme, it would be interesting to explain why only the front page of Le Canard Enchaïné is available on line -you know, the Madelin (correct ?) story.
With hindsight it is compelling that the main satirical French paper is prevented from editing on the web because someone else owns the name.

I fully agree with you, religious beliefs should remain in the intimate sphere of the human soul where they belong, not be publicly brought up for debate, justify acts of violence and used as political tools.
And that is the opinion of someone who is not atheist so cannot be blamed of being anti clerically biased.
Besides, religion and faith are two different things.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:25:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They choose not to be present on the web, because they only make money from selling their paper (no advertisement). They own all the website addresses that sound like their name, to avoid others using them.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:46:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here, for one. And here and here. I don't like standing up for him because he is an anti-semitic wanker - but if I accept that he is not allowed freedom of speech, then I cannot consistently claim it for myself.

As for the cartoons, I've already spoken up on my own blog about publishers having an absolute right to publish them.  Freedom os speech means nothing if it is restricted to the "freedom" to publish only what others find inoffensive.  I think many of those publishing are likewise wankers, who are doing it simply to bait and taunt their local Muslim communities and push a xenophobic, anti-islamic agenda (Calderoli is a perfect example of this), but again, that's something they're allowed to do in a free society.  And if we deplore it, then we should speak up and say so, and call these people wankers, while defending their right to be so.

by IdiotSavant on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:48:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What proposal to limit free speech is there?

Also, there are threats to free speech besides government interference. Notably, the one which Jyllands-Posten originally set out to defy, however misguided its approach.

And this threat does not just apply to cartoons on the prophet Muhammed. To illustrate, here's from a blog post by my favorite religious affairs writer, Andrew Brown:

As the for question of fear, I know that I have been frightened in the past myself. I did a long piece for the Sunday Telegraph some years ago about the oldest known fragments of the Koran, which Dominic Lawson spiked. I haven't busted a gut to publish it since. But I now think this was wrong. There is a hugely important principle at stake. Censoring universities is much more important than censoring newspapers. We shall see what happens when I start asking questions.

A commenter remarked:

Re: the Qurâ??an, even European scholars tend to fear applying the same sort of textual and historical analysis that they would to, say, The Bible or The Book of Mormon. Thereâ??s a deadly-dull tome called â??The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Qurâ??anâ?? which argues that parts were derived from earlier Christian Aramaic texts that were actually misinterpreted by Islamic scholars. The bloke who wrote it struggled to find a publisher, and eventually had to resort to a pseudonym - Christopher Luxenberg â?? for fear of retribution. Then there was the Palestinian scholar, Suleyman Bashir, who maintained that Islam developed gradually rather than emerging in one of those â??Hey Presto!â?? moments from the mouth of Muhammad. He ended up being thrown out of a second-story window at Nablus University for his troubles.

If you go ahead with your piece, place soft mattresses around your house. Or assume a pseudonym. All the best people do.

I don't know about you, but I don't like it this way.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:07:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel Online: EUROPEAN DIS-UNITY - Cartoon Conflict Shows Cracks in the EU

When Danish embassies began going up in flames last week, some in the European Union wanted a firm response. But nothing happened. The most the EU could agree on were a few wishy-washy statements.

In the Brussels language school "English Academy," a cultural war has broken out. While Danes and Germans -- and even the often contentious Flemings and Walloons -- peacefully learn foreign languages together, Belgian Muslims are stirring up a bit of a ruckus. In language class, they don't want to be "discriminated against anymore," they say.

What's their beef? Politics, religion, sex, love and other such topics with their roots in Western decadence are offensive and should no longer be allowed in the classroom. And women teachers? An impertinence. The group has already found a lawyer to represent its offended sensibilities, and the heads of the "English Academy" have no idea how they should respond. Understand and accept? Negotiate a compromise? Or just chuck the rebels out of class?

Down the block, interestingly enough, the same debate is playing out on a slightly larger playing field -- namely in the glass palace of the European Union headquarters. And the debate is a much more explosive one.

Golden opportunity wasted

Ever since a Danish newspaper published 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and triggered sometimes violent protests against Denmark and the West in the Muslim world, the European Union has been casting about for a common position. So far, though, without success -- and as the EU lack of action on the issue becomes more and more obvious, the realization grows that the 25-member European club has let a golden opportunity slip through its fingers. For years, Europe has repeated the mantra that real international relevance will only come with the development of a common foreign and security policy. The problem, though, has been that whenever difficult decisions need to be made, EU members can't agree. Like right now.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:38:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The News: EU chief defends Denmark in cartoons row

COPENHAGEN: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso defended Denmark on Tuesday in the cartoons row, telling the Danish media that freedom of expression was "not negotiable".

"Freedom of expression is not something that we can negotiate, because it is an essential value in our open and democratic European society," Barroso was quoted as saying in Tuesday's edition of the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende.

Barroso said he understood "that these drawings made a lot of Muslims in the world uncomfortable and angry. But I want to say at the same time that the principle of non-violence and freedom of expression is decisive for democracy".

The 12 caricatures first appeared in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten on Sept 30 and have since been reprinted in numerous newspapers around the world. Muslims' reactions have in some places been violent, with three Danish embassy buildings set on fire, five official diplomatic missions closed, Danish products boycotted and a price put on Danes' heads in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Barroso said the attacks on the Danish embassies in Damascus, Beirut and Teheran were "totally unacceptable". "That's why we are expressing our solidarity with Denmark. What has happened is unfair (because) Denmark has a long tradition of openness and tolerance, and also of helping others, of dialogue and of culture," he said.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:44:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is concerning is that the cartoon crisis has escalated to unimaginable proportions (with major depredations going on). One of the cartoons Jérôme posted featured a Muslim extremist (I guess) leader saying that "politically, they (cartoons) make his day".

One of the questions I have is that how the Muslim governments would react if the French, the Brits or the Americans were burning Saudi Arabia embassies because the oil price is too high. I am snappy and over-doing that on purpose, to evidence how insane it is all getting.
What will the next step be? Burn the French Ministry of Education buildings because they recommend Muslim girls can go to the gym the same as their fellow schoolmates ?

But I guess this has already been widely debated on all the cartoon issue dedicated threads here on ET.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:12:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can a muslim school girl refuse to go to the gym?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:14:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Theoretically not, but I am not up to date enough on what actually happens in school yards.
My understanding is that this was to be dealt on "a case by case basis." ie no clear rules in practise.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: Solana Mediates in Cartoon Dispute

The EU's foreign policy chief has begun a tour of the Middle East to defuse the row over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. Meanwhile, new cartoons in a German paper have sparked anger from Iran.

The European Union's chief diplomat has said Europe and the Muslim world must maintain strong relations despite the clash over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday discussed mechanisms to protect religious symbols and beliefs. On the second leg of his Middle East tour, Solana said he had a "profound desire to recuperate relations between the EU and the Muslim world."

On Monday, Solana met with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), in Jeddah. The OIC is a pan-Islamic body representing 57 nations. In a joint press conference, Solana said continued dialogue was crucial.

"We must not allow the latest events to erode the solid relationship we have built up over so many years," Solana said after meeting with Ihsanoglu. "We need each other, we have to work together, and we have to respect each other."

Solana said he and Ihsanoglu also agreed on "the importance of mutual tolerance and the inadmissibility of violence."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:50:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what should that school do? I'd like to hear from those that argued that the cartoons were needlessly provovcative: how would YOU react to the demands?

And what do you then think of French requirements that girls practise sports at school? and what about demands that they be treated in hospitals not by whatever doctor is on duty, whether male or female, but only by female doctors?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:43:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"So what should that school do?"

Come off it, Jérôme, you don't expect us to take that crappy journalism seriously.

If this were a well-researched and well-written article about that language school, which established the facts and examined what was happening and listened to the different points of view, and if it then became clear that religious extremists were attempting to change the normal practice of the school in order to make it fit with their beliefs, then of course I would say they should be politely told they were free to leave if they didn't like the teaching.

But you are trying to conflate this with the cartoons (as Hans-Jürgen Schlamp does in his sneaky civilization-clash article in the Spiegel), and they are not the same thing.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Come on, afew, you know that these things are happening all the time now in schools and hospitals in France. How would you deal with that?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:36:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've indicated what I think. But you are conflating problems of everyday life in society, which call for discussion and no doubt clear principles -- and which above all call for encouragement of the large numbers of moderate, progessive Muslims in Europe who rightly believe they can be free to practise their religion and be integrated into European society -- with a right-wing provocation which has (deliberately) caused polarization and immense trouble.

I see a great difference between extremists (not only Muslim) challenging the way different institutions, like schools or hospitals, already work in our societies (in which case, if their demands appear to us unacceptable, we should tell them we refuse), and reactions to deliberate provocation by the xenophobic right.

What matters most to me is that we push back the extremes and promote the moderates. And that we stop feeding pernicious idiots like Philippe de Villiers whom I heard once again say this morning that French suburbs are "handed over to Islam".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:55:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're mostly in agreement, I think, but I do include finding cartoons in my paper (including those making fun of religious people) a part of my daily life.

The only way to fight off the scaremongerers like de Villiers is precisely to speak up as progressives on the topic and say that the Muslims stepped over a line (in calling for violence and in actually conducting violence) while fully acknowledging their right to say they are offended and their right to protest them peacefully.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:08:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some Muslims, not "the Muslims".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:10:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, you're right, sorry about that one.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:12:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What you say is the only way to fight off Le Pen channelers like de Villiers is pretty much what you characterize as "meekly turning the other cheek" in another comment.

As for your point about cartoons, please. Cartoons are not about to disappear. We are not in danger.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:18:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cartoons will not disappear, true. Cartoons critical of Islam in mainstream media may be another matter.

To give just one example, there's a hard-hitting cartoonist named Finn Graff working for the liberal Norwegian daily Dagbladet. This guy has a serious problem with authority; allegedly his wife and sister are tasked with erasing as many erect penises as possible from his sketches of authority figures. I remember one of his offerings featuring an elephant screwing another (which had its head draped in the Stars and Stripes) with a crucifix. This prompted a furious letter to the editor from Republicans Abroad.

Graff freely admits that he wouldn't dare draw Muhammed. But apparently that is not enough. When interviewed on TV recently, he nervously displayed an old cartoon slamming the treatment of women under Islamic law. A minaret played the part of an erect male member. Now, al-Jazeera's man in Oslo deliberately refrained from reporting this back to his HQ, since the existence of this cartoon, as he put it, would be sure to "unleash hell." This despite there being no representation of Muhammed.

Morten Kristiansen, editorial cartoonist at the country's biggest newspaper Verdens Gang, says he has often received complaints from Christians when drawing Jesus and from Muslims when drawing their religious leaders, but that in recent years the feedback from the latter has increasingly included threats. I wager you will find the same phenomenon across Europe.


The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My answer to that is that I'm interested in outcomes. We have to learn to live peacefully and tolerantly with the Muslims among us, and, of course, vice versa. The way we can reach this is by framing and funding policies that integrate Islam as one of the religions practised here, and that encourage responsible, moderate Muslims who want integration, not conflict, and who would be happy to see their religion evolve. There are plenty of Muslims who fit that description. They are the leaven (and are feared as such by the extremists outside Europe, who don't want new ideas to seep back).

This kind of process may take a little time. It's already under way. But we must support the movement. I've seen (TV) moderate Muslims in Denmark complain that the cartoon controversy has set them back and they have lost influence. A young woman who is working and dressing in a European manner no doubt has a daily struggle to persuade the older, more conservative elements in her family that this is OK. Now she's not being listened to, because the Prophet has been insulted (fundamental symbol), and for her it's now go back to the beginning and start again.

The day will come when Muslims themselves will be doing the cartoons, and I'll be hugely happy to see that and to support the cartoonists. In the meantime, what purpose (other than those of the xenophobic right) do we serve if we seek to face down the extremists by insisting on our absolute right to caricature sacred aspects of Islam? We have won the freedom to do that as regards our own historical religion (and I support that freedom), but let's encourage those who will make Islam evolve so that they will one day have that freedom. For the moment, is it so huge a problem to lay aside the rather arrogant notion that our caustic wit is going to change a religion to which we don't have personal or historical links, and to exercise some understanding and restraint?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:33:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A more than slanted article from Hans-Jürgen Schlamp.

Is it surprising that the EU has difficulty finding a common position on this complex issue? In what way would "a common foreign and security policy" magically solve the problem? What was the "golden opportunity" that the EU is supposed to have let slip, exactly? What "action" does Schlamp expect the EU to take?

He doesn't say -- beyond claiming that the EU has done "little to satisfy the European public" (without saying what that public, according to him, is supposed to think), and should have reacted "responsibly but confidently -- and without kowtowing to Mecca".

As for the unsubstantiated, unexamined, undiscussed anecdote at the beginning of the article, it is exactly what it looks like: a shabby hook.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:59:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the school is a private school and the courses are not mandatory, those who object to the staff or the course content are free not to enrol.

If the course fulfills a state requirement or the school is public, the issue is more complex.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:45:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Out of interest, how along ago did mixed secondary level schools become normal in Spain? Thirty  years ago there would have been very few in Ireland.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:49:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean gender-mixed? In my lifetime the only schools that were segregated were private religious schools. And even that has begun to change.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:51:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very interesting point here, Migeru.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, religious practise in France is supposed a strictly private matter and thanks no Jules Ferry, state (ie public schools) deliver the same instruction to all pupils, whatever their religious mainstream.
If parents want their children to have a religious education as a part of the school or high school program, they are free to send them to a private school.

The cornerstone of all this is the French concept of laïcité.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:00:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Financial Times: Ailing German unions mount rearguard action

Germany's first public sector strike in 14 years is barely a week old but, as the uncollected rubbish piles up, Gerhard Widder, mayor of Mannheim, is already warning of rat-infested mountains of burning rubbish in the streets.

"Rubbish is a hazard. Once it gets warmer, it could catch fire. It can even explode," he warns.

Exploding bins have yetto be reported, but the dispute is shaping up as Germany's toughest industrial action for decades. It is about more than just working hours, the union's stated target. At stake is the credibility of the labour movement.

"The unions are fighting against their own decline. Their margin of movement is decreasing," says Klaus Zimmermann, head of the Berlin DIW economic institute. "It will be a tough battle."

Ostensibly, Verdi, the service sector union behind the stoppages, opposes a move by public sector employers to raise the working week from 38.5 to 40 hours.

Verdi wants Germany's 16 states to sign the framework deal on wages and working time it struck last year with the federal government and local authorities.

It also seeks to reverse a decision by local authorities in three states to opt out of the deal and increase working hours for their employees.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:41:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DIW as independent observer. 'Ostensibly'. LOL.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:35:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't you read, Mr DoDo?

It's in the title: Ailing rearguard.

It's in the body: Exploding rubbish.

When will you people at last catch on?

Afew Exploding Rubbish Technology ™
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:18:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You forgot "rat-infested"

I am also noting that the wording flagged a couple of days ago is spreading:


Fresh dispute threatens deal on services (FT)

Last week senior MEPs from the centre-right European People's party and the Socialists agreed to water down plans to liberalise the European services market in an attempt to end two years of fighting over the proposal.

(...)

The disagreement highlights the deep division between protectionist and liberal lawmakers, as well as broader tensions between the European Union's old and new member states.

liberal = good, but sadly being "diluted" by the opposition, which is no longer social, or socialist, but "protectionist". Where's the Protectionist (Bogeyman) Party.

JEROME NOTCH TECHNOLOGY.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:49:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, "rat-infested" gets done every time there's a rubbish-collection strike.

"Exploding rubbish" I found new and refreshing.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:35:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tehran Times: Turkey to build first nuclear plant on Black Sea

ANKARA (Reuters) -- Turkey has decided to build its first nuclear power plant at Sinop on the Black Sea coast, energy officials said on Tuesday.

"The prime minister's office and the energy ministry have decided to build the nuclear plant at Sinop, taking into account such factors as geological faultlines and cooling water," an energy official told Reuters.

Turkey straddles seismic faultlines and is highly prone to earthquakes. Sinop is located in the central stretch of Turkey's lengthy Black Sea coast.

The country has no nuclear power plants at present, but a preliminary study envisages the construction of between three and five plants with a total capacity of 5,000 megawatts.

The energy officials said Turkey's National Security Council, which groups the president, top politicians and army generals, would examine the issue of building nuclear power plants at its next meeting on Feb. 28.

Oil and natural gas imports, along with coal and hydro-electric power, account for most of Turkey's current energy needs.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Moscow Times: French Back Mideast Initiatives

Russia and France on Tuesday called on Iran to halt uranium enrichment, reinforcing international pressure on Tehran, and French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin urged Palestinian militant group Hamas to listen to Russia's calls to disarm.

In a joint statement by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Villepin in Moscow, the two countries said Iran must fulfill the demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Russia and France call on Iran to fully comply with the February resolution and the demands of the board of governors of the IAEA, including on uranium enrichment," said the statement posted on the Kremlin's web site.

Fradkov said he was "concerned about the way events are unfolding" around Iran's nuclear program.

"We made a series of proposals that, in our view, could significantly ease the situation in the course of a search for a solution," Fradkov said at a joint news conference with Villepin, adding that the potential for a positive outcome was "not yet exhausted."

On Monday, Tehran abruptly postponed talks scheduled for this week on Moscow's uranium enrichment offer. Russia is now considering Iran's request for the Moscow talks to be held next Monday, news agencies quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin as saying.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:55:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IHT: Grand awakening of Spain's young, elegant architects

Is there any show more overdue than a major one about contemporary Spanish architecture? For years now, architects and planners have been jetting to places like Barcelona, Bilbao and Merida in an attempt to decipher one of the great architectural success stories in modern history.

The endurance of Spain's grand experiment is remarkable. It started, you could argue, during the final years of Franco's rule in the early 1970s, as Spain began to awaken from the isolation of a four-decade dictatorship. It began to flower in earnest after 1986, when the country joined the European Union and money began flowing into large-scale public works projects.

Since then, Spanish architects have produced architecture of unusual depth, often with a firm connection to the land, a sense of humility and a way of conveying continuity with the past while embracing the present. As the building boom unfolds, international talents pour into the country to share in the creative foment.

"On Site: New Architecture in Spain," which opened Sunday and runs through May 1 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, skates rather lightly over this back story. Packed with pretty images and elegant models, the exhibition lacks the scholarly depth you might have hoped for on a subject that has mesmerized architects and planners since the 1980s.

Also missing is the kind of basic information - historical background, a clear sense of a building's context, the architects' ages and nationalities - that would make the show accessible to a broad audience.

What's more, the show's nationalist subject is a tricky one. A more tightly focused exhibition on, say, Catalonian architecture might have made a more compelling story, given the region's longstanding and determined struggle to assert its cultural independence from Madrid.

And the starting date for the work on view - 1998 - has no particular resonance in Spain's recent architectural history.

But if the show feels undercooked, there is much to see. The final exhibition organized by Terence Riley, who steps down next month as the Modern's chief curator of architecture and design, it includes the work of 47 architectural firms, many still largely unknown outside Spain. It's heartening to encounter so many young talents, some still in their 30s. They breathe life into the show just as you begin to despair of finding something to sink your teeth into.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:04:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: Montenegro plans independence bid

The BBC's Matt Prodger examines the shaky union of Serbia and Montenegro and the gulf that has opened up between them.

There can be few places more beautiful than Lake Skadar on a sunny winter's day.

From the lakeside in Montenegro you can look across an expanse of blue water to the snow-capped mountains of Albania.

It is scenery like this which is rapidly making Montenegro a hit among tourists and Western bargain-hunters snapping up second homes.

Milo Dobric, a Montenegrin born and bred, is banking on a prosperous future.

He runs pleasure boat cruises on the lake, and has plans to build a resort to cater for British birdwatchers.

"Tourism is definitely the future," he says. "During the summer we have many tourists here. This summer we are expecting much more."

But before the tourists arrive this summer, Milo and his countrymen expect to make a big decision.

Referendum

For more than 80 years, this tiny republic of little more than 600,000 people has been in some sort of union with its much bigger neighbour, Serbia.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:12:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just yesterday, vbo was claiming Montenegro would never break off from Serbia.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:49:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a really complicated issue, I am sure you know.
Despite having worked for 3 years covering the Balkans area, I still fall short of fully understanding what is at stake there.

It would be interesting to have a diary on the Balkans history, highlighting how far away the recent conflicts are heading, but I do not qualify for that task.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:29:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: Germany Backs Israel's Demands of Hamas

On a trip to the Middle East, Germany's foreign minister said Hamas should be shunned unless it renounces violence and recognizes Israel. He made the remarks after talks on Monday with the acting Israeli prime minister.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier's trip to the Middle East is clearly the most difficult mission since he became foreign minister in Germany's new grand coalition government. Following tradition, he starts political talks today with political leaders in Israel before he moves on to the Palestinian territories and later to Turkey

"It's a difficult trip to a difficult region," Steinmeier said.

There are several delicate issues that the foreign minister will have to maneuver, including the election results in the Palestinian territories, where the militant group Hamas won a majority. The West is still struggling with working out how to respond. Elections in Israel are approaching, although they have been overshadowed by the critical health condition of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

On Monday, after meeting with the Ehud Olmert, Israel's acting prime minister, Steinmeier said Germany backed Israel not be recognized unless it backs away from militancy and acknowledges Israel's right to exist. Hamas openly seeks Israel's destruction and has carried out scores of suicide bombings.

"I want to let Israel know that it can count on our solidarity, especially after the Palestinian election," he said.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:23:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany's foreign minister said Hamas should be shunned unless it renounces violence and recognizes Israel.

I say the Israeli government should be shunned unless it renounces violence and recognizes Palestine.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:38:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"You move." "No, you move." "No, you move first." "No, no, you move first."

There is no longer such a thing as a gambit possible between Israel and the Palestinians. My feeling that the resolution is only found if both parties will move simultaneously - as was attempted so many times before.

But I do want to make note that Israel has a point to not sit around the table with the men who still stick to their vow to destroy them. Not a great way to start a conversation.

by Nomad on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:26:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, vows against bulldozers, Israel destroying parts of Palestine every day, not to mention taking over by building settlements or 'securing' water-rich areas along the Jordan river, methinks the balance tilts the other way. In the same manner, I was criticising the hypocrisy of the German foreign minister's argument with a snarky mirroring, I wasn't expressing my own opinion (which is that given the democratic mandate of both, and the insane violence from both sides, there should be talks without preconditions).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:59:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The independent: US and Israel 'try to force new elections by starving Hamas'
Hamas denounced the governments of US and Israel for "interference" and "collective punishment" after it was reported that they were discussing ways of using a halt to funding to oust it from power later this year.

Both countries denied they had a deliberate plan to force elections in the hope of an early end to Hamas's majority in the newly elected Palestinian Legislative Council, which meets for the first time on Saturday.

I'm willing to wager that, if the US and Israel manage to force a repeat election in this way, Hamas will win an even bigger majority next time.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:02:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or a total discrediting of the democratic process for a generation or two.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:03:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, vows against violence, against bulldozers, against settlement expansion and hostile take-over of water supplies are at least issues people can come together and sit around a table to have a good yell at one another. If one party is constantly saying, "We will not rest to kill all of you" then, good luck to the chairman leading that one.

That's not setting preconditions on what grounds you want to talk, there's simply no ground for a talk. You walk away from it. Or at least, I would. So, I don't share your view it's hypocrite - in this case. There's plenty of hypocrisy in Israel.

by Nomad on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:47:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You completely misread me. I weighted the vows for eradicating Israel (are they that anyway? Or is Hamas officially merely denying Israel's right to exist, as many right-wing Israelis deny Palestine's right to exist?) against not vows but very real acts of bulldozing fields and houses, expanding settlements and take over control of water supplies. To counter you this time, what could there be talk about when acts talk an opposite language?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 08:02:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps I just can't wrap my mind around it.

To me you're comparing pears with apples. If we're starting to pry on the thread of acts, the whole carpet gets unraveled. Since I could counter with Hamas terrorist attacks and the whole tit-for-tat Israel policy that is so extremely self-defeating. We're talking about promises by words, or at least, I was. Your point conveys that acts speak louder than words.

Well, you've to start somewhere. If both parties at least agree by words that they shouldn't eradicate each other, there is the start of a bridge. Acts will have to follow the words. But in a conflict, it has to start with the words, not with the acts. Hamas is lacking those words - so far.

So I hope that also explains why I find your counter point unanswerable.

And yes, Hamas vows for eradicating Israel and the Israeli people. (And they have acted accordingly.)

Anyway. I wonder whether this gets read. Onto the next crisis.

by Nomad on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:02:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To me you're comparing pears with apples. If we're starting to pry on the thread of acts, the whole carpet gets unraveled. Since I could counter with Hamas terrorist attacks and the whole tit-for-tat Israel policy that is so extremely self-defeating.

Nope. Israeli colonisation of Palestine is not tit-for-tat for anything, it is land-taking pure and simple. Hamas terrorism vs Israeli wanton bombing and destruction vs. Hamas terrorism vs. Israeli etc. is tit-for-tat. Suicide bombers and AK-47's won't drive a nuclear power into the sea. Any Hamas word about eradicating Israel is only empty rhetoric, it doesn't and won't get the means for that - but Israel's land-taking is not just a real intention but something carried out. And that for a lot longer than the existence of Hamas. (Indeed Hamas only got this strong because Israel in the eighties thought that a strong Hamas would weaken the then uniting force for Palestinians, the PLO.) To illustrate what you and Steinmeier demand in my view, imagine:

Your in-law moves in on your estate. Then he takes over three-quarters of it and brings his aunt and son. Then he builds a fence, but continually relocates it so that the one quarter left to you is further reduced, he drives his car across your lawn, tears down the tent you camp in, his son makes noises about throwing you out, and he ocassionally peppers your ass with a shotgun.

Now, to resolve this situation, is the first prerequisite really that you stop throwing stones across your in-law's fence and stop yelling that you want an eviction order on him?

And yes, Hamas vows for eradicating Israel and the Israeli people. (And they have acted accordingly.)

How so, beyond the rhetoric from Israel and neocon-inspired press? You may want to read this and this. The second is one example how Hamas is often misrepresented in the Western press (which doesn't mean that the original message is something I'd approve of). From the former:

The real stumbling block, of course, lies in the Hamas charter with its promise to eradicate the Israeli state, which the leadership probably cannot abandon.  Yet, even Sheikh Abdessalam Yacine, shortly before his death at Israel's hands, had hinted that Hamas could live with and accept political realities so that - in practice - accommodation could be possible.  And the yearlong ceasefire suggests that violence is not the only path that Hamas will follow.

Indeed the assassination of Sheikh Yassin (one of the Israeli extrajudicial killings called 'targeted assassination' that wasn't even a retaliation for a prior attack), just after he made those noises, was a clear message from Sharon's government that they don't want peace. And Hamas's unilateral ceasefire is another indication that Hamas is pragmatist enough.

Finally, I recommend that you read this article in full. It was written by a CIA analyst on Hamas. Quote from the conclusion:

In the end the Israeli occupation remains the central problem, from which all other problems--despair, rage, and terrorism--flow. We must start by treating the core of the problem and not its symptoms. If the trajectory of other democratically-based Islamist parties is any indicator, there are reasonable hopes that Hamas, given the chance, will continue its evolution towards hard-headed pragmatism, even while not yielding its bargaining cards for free in advance.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 16th, 2006 at 03:48:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WORLD NEWS
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:17:32 AM EST
Guardian: America's Long War

Last week US defence chiefs unveiled their plan for battling global Islamist extremism. They envisage a conflict fought in dozens of countries and for decades to come. Today we look in detail at this seismic shift in strategic thinking, and what it will mean for Britain

The message from General Peter Pace, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, was apocalyptic. "We are at a critical time in the history of this great country and find ourselves challenged in ways we did not expect. We face a ruthless enemy intent on destroying our way of life and an uncertain future."

Gen Pace was endorsing the Pentagon's four-yearly strategy review, presented to Congress last week. The report sets out a plan for prosecuting what the the Pentagon describes in the preface as "The Long War", which replaces the "war on terror". The long war represents more than just a linguistic shift: it reflects the ongoing development of US strategic thinking since the September 11 attacks.

Looking beyond the Iraq and Afghan battlefields, US commanders envisage a war unlimited in time and space against global Islamist extremism. "The struggle ... may well be fought in dozens of other countries simultaneously and for many years to come," the report says. The emphasis switches from large-scale, conventional military operations, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, towards a rapid deployment of highly mobile, often covert, counter-terrorist forces.

Among specific measures proposed are: an increase in special operations forces by 15%; an extra 3,700 personnel in psychological operations and civil affairs units - an increase of 33%; nearly double the number of unmanned aerial drones; the conversion of submarine-launched Trident nuclear missiles for use in conventional strikes; new close-to-shore, high-speed naval capabilities; special teams trained to detect and render safe nuclear weapons quickly anywhere in the world; and a new long-range bomber force.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:24:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1984.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. 911.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:51:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyway, here are people who have a "common foreign and defence policy"*, unlike the namby-pamby EU: decades of warfare to come.

About time we lined up?

*see Spiegel article above.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:27:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. 27 February.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:59:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Asia Times: India's Iranian gas: Talk about a non-starter

NEW DELHI - Along with the possibility of international sanctions hanging over Iran, the future of a 2,600-kilometer pipeline to transport natural gas to India from Iran through Pakistan, which is actively opposed by Washington, has fallen into jeopardy.

While the three regional governments are going through the motions of planning for the US$7 billion project and say it will be unaffected by an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) referral of Iran's nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council, analysts say chances of the pipeline being built are now remote.

Pakistani Oil Minister Amanullah Khan Jadoon is scheduled to visit India this Friday and Saturday to resume talks on the pipeline with Murli Deora, India's newly appointed minister for petroleum and natural gas.

Significantly, Deora is perceived as belonging to the pro-US lobby within India's ruling Congress party while Mani Shankar Aiyar, the man he replaced two weeks ago, has openly socialist views.

The change of petroleum ministers came amid speculation that New Delhi was having second thoughts about going ahead with the ambitious pipeline project after voting against Iran at the IAEA. There is a May deadline for India to join the project.

Top independent commentators in India have criticized the easing out of Aiyar. Writing in the Outlook weekly, Prem Shankar Jha said Aiyar may have been moved out as a side-effect of the long-term energy-security plans he was beginning to implement, which would have shifted control of the energy market in this region away from the United States.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:32:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

the long-term energy-security plans he was beginning to implement, which would have shifted control of the energy market in this region away from the United States.

I'd take this with a grain of salt. The last I heard, India (presumably under this guy's leadership) was not even willing to commit to buying gas from that pipeline on a long term basis, which is the most basic commitment you need to actually get going with a pipeline.

This will be a extraordinarily difficult projet in the best case; I seriously doubt that we'll see these 3 countries do it on their own. Ever.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IHT: The wrong man in Iraq

In selecting Ibrahim al-Jaafari as its nominee for a second prime ministerial term, the dominant Shiite bloc has betrayed the hopes of all those who have wanted Iraq's first constitutionally elected government to make a fresh start at reunifying the country, rebuilding the economy and putting an end to the beating, torture and murder of civilians by Shiite militia members in and out of the official security forces.

Jaafari has been a spectacular failure on all these fronts over the past 10 months. He is unlikely to do a better job if he gets the job a second time, particularly since he owes his selection to a political deal with the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, a man whose own armed gang, the Mahdi Army, is very much part of the problem.

The Mahdi Army controls the Shiite slums of Baghdad and, with allies, controls the slums of Basra as well, imposing fundamentalist Islamic mores, Taliban style, on those deemed insufficiently devout.

The support of the Sadr bloc was crucial to Jaafari's one-vote victory over a more promising opponent. Sadr's spokesman has already made it clear that the price for those votes will be support for Sadr's political program, which includes solidarity with the governments of Iran and Syria and has inspired Mahdi Army attacks on American and British troops.

Jaafari's nomination by the Shiite bloc is not quite tantamount to his election by the new Parliament. By itself, the bloc controls only 130 of Parliament's 275 seats, while a two-thirds majority is required to approve the new prime minister and the cabinet.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. Just LOL. The NYT can't get over the American failure to snuff out Sadr, and continues to misrepresent the situation in every way - curiously, emphasizing stuff that would be in the way of - the neocon programme against Iraq's neighbours. Of course, in truth, the occupation-tolerating exile Shi'a parties have much more to do with Iran than the Sadrists, and Mahdi Army attacks weren't inspired by Sadr's political program but Bremer's and Negroponte's amateurish attempts to get Muqtada.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:44:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Asia Times: The clash of fundamentalisms

We live in an era when two types of fundamentalisms are running rampant. One is religious fundamentalism, the other is its secular version. Both types of fundamentalism are equally dangerous, especially since neither side realizes how treacherous it is, and also because the people on both sides are convinced that they are so right and other side is so wrong.

Muslim hardliners have been most visible in their practice of extremism since the 1990s, if not earlier. Then their ranks were taken over by the likes of al-Qaeda, who declared a global jihad against the United States.

There is no denying that because of the absence of any distance between religion and politics in Islam, most Muslim grievances are couched in the language of religion. One has to look at the history of Islam to validate it. In the 19th century, Islam also became an anti-colonial force. As such, its forces fought losing battles with European colonialists. By the same token, Islamic forces of the early 20th century (the so-called "Basmachis") clashed with the communist czars of Russia and met the same fate, when they put up bloody resistance against the communist takeover of their homeland in Central Asia.

In the era between the two world wars, Islam remained in the background, while Arab and other Muslim countries were busy emancipating themselves from the yoke of colonialism-imperialism. In Indonesia, Sukarno championed socialism and secularism, since it was in vogue among all major leaders of the so-called non-aligned countries.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:16:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no denying that because of the absence of any distance between religion and politics in Islam, most Muslim grievances are couched in the language of religion.

This is an important point I tried to articulate in earlier threads. 'Radical Islamists' can be people who found Islamic fundamentalism as an ideological framework in which they can express grievances, and you will hear people use that language even while not living according to dogma. This was very apparent to me in some newspaper portrayals of Iraqi resitance fighters. (Of course, terrorist groups can 'brainwash' recruits to switch to seeing the dogma as central.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:52:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What the flying fuck is "secular fundamentalism"?
I'd realy like to know, seriously.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A reaction to the modern world resorted to by the secular when they feel they're under threat - no matter how irrationally? A literal and strict adherence to certain principles? Declaring heretic those who don't feel that a literal and strict adherence is always the best course?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:28:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does "heretic" mean?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:38:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A despicable outcast to be at best shunned by the faithful.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:40:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The previous meaning of "shunned" was pouring hot metal in your mouth, wans't it?

And doesn't "despictable" come form the same root as "picture"? Interesting...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:51:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's "despicable," not "despictable".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 04:54:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's channelling Daffy Duck again.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:02:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny typo, but the point stands, doesn't it?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:03:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure what the point was?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:04:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the linguistic link between "despicable" and "picture"

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:11:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think so. I 'm trying to look the etimology on the Oxford English Dictionary and it seems it's related to 'spec' as in 'look'.

Despicable means 'that should be looked down upon'.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:13:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And it gives shun as being from old english with unknown derivation.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:14:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The root of "despicable" means "to look down on".

(The "spic" bit = "spec", not "pic" from "pict", which has to do with pigments and colours).

Just sayin'

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:12:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:17:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any ideology, including secular humanism, can become "fundamentalist".

<snark>If you are a secular humanist and disagree, you may be a secular fundamentalist yourself.</snark>

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:01:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So presumably you can be a extremist "tolerantist" as well? An fundamentalist scientist? A fundamentalist doubtist? Or, in your case, an extremist snarkist.

This is getting seriously silly.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:10:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When did you move from fundamentalist to extremist? I'm not sure they're the same thing at all.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:13:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What distinction do you make in practice?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:18:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about 'uncompromising secularist'?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:22:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How much do you know about religion? I'm not being snarky: some of the things you say seem to indicate that it's not something you're very expert on.

The distinction is between fundamentalist religion and other religion. You can be an extremist fundamentalist or not. The fundamentalist religions are branches of the underlying religions, not on the main trunk. You can be an extremist Catholic without being  a Catholic fundamentalist.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:27:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not much, I'll freely admit to that. I do see that religious people seem to get offended pretty easily. In fact, only Republicans come close to their levels of expressed outrage at any slight.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:58:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, hardly true of all religious people.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:58:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All religious people are not offended, but most (vocally) offended people are religious.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:08:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's true: defensiveness is a core value of fundamentalism.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:16:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know how to I say this diplomatically. You lack both knowledge and empathy. That's a poor place to fight a battle from.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:10:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what battle? My battle is in refusing to let any person motivated first of all by its religion to set the terms of any public debate.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:19:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgive me too, but in my view, you are doing the opposite: you don't let any person argue in terms different than those you set (e.g. fight for free speech).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:25:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The cheap shot here would be to suggest that you're denying them freedom of speech and expression by doing that, so I'm going to avoid that line of thought.

I think there are wider issues that are important.  I think fundamentalism is terribly dangerous. It needs to go. However by it's nature it can't be destroyed by a frontal attack.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:42:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, to you secularism is fundamental. You are also taking an extreme, uncompromising position. It may be the correct position to take, but I don't know. I am quite happy to let you "win the debate" by answering "I don't know" when you ask
I'd like to hear from those that argued that the cartoons were needlessly provovcative: how would YOU react to the demands?
Since you know how to react, go ahead and react. What I am not very inclined to accept is
are you with us or against us?


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So I am a fundamentalist and an extremist because I made a joke?

I'll put this on your anti-French bias.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:55:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgive and forget my misunderstanding of your joke...

Then again, you seem to have an answer to the cluster of issues surrounding the cartoons. I have admitted I am not sure what to make of the whole thing, nor what the right course of action is. End of story. You can argue your point more forcefully bacause of the certainty you have in the rightness of your position, which I lack about my position.

Ok?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 05:59:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey forgive me too. The above was, again, a joke, and a slightly cruel one, I'll admit.

I don't have an "answer". I think there are some points worth making, even if there are real consequences which would cause us not to make such points in other circumstances (and which I acknowledge). I also think that the issue is not going to go away and that it is simpler to take a stand now.
It's not a matter of certainty, it's my opinion today, I very much think it is right but I don't know for sure - and that's the whole point of this debate, to have some perspective, and all of you guys have provided a lot of it, for which I am grateful even if I argue against some of the arguments provided.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:07:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why Jérôme doesn't qualify as a fundamentalist: he allows for the possibility of error.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:09:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To reiterate Fran's quote: "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool"
by Nomad on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:06:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is : does he allow for the possibility of an error for the others as well as for himself ? :) I'd say he does, and that's why we like him.

I guess the reason why sometimes some of us over-react to snarks is that irony  always carries a part of truth with itself. That's what Kundera wrote in one of his novels. Irony is sometimes a way to make one's point while disguising a direct confrontation.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:16:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Irony is sometimes a way to make one's point while disguising a direct confrontation.

Really?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:18:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, Okay, still sometimes it is good to kick open already open doors (rusty translation again).
What's the equivalent English for that saying ?

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:20:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beating on a dead horse.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:22:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Flogging a dead horse.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:43:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't seem like the epitome of self-doubt here:
So what should that school do? I'd like to hear from those that argued that the cartoons were needlessly provovcative: how would YOU react to the demands?
But I may have misunderstood, too. So forgive me if I did.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:13:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How on earth can asking a question be taken as a proof of certainty???

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"see, I was right! How would you react to this one?"

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:25:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you read my posts, you should always be in doubt whether I am writing seriously, as a rhetorical point, in jest or in snark. Doubt is good. It makes you ask questions.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:29:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should apply yourself the advice you give me, and make <snark> explicit.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:54:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jérôme, you cannot be serious demanding that. Trust is the line you have to draw and not go beyond : if we have to wonder all the time whether what you say is serious or a slighjtly provocative joke, how can limited (and touchy) minds  as mine not feel at a loss ?

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:10:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome's mine field - step in at your own peril.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:14:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are right. It is a good exercise.
One's value is to be assessed by the number of contenders, not of supporters.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:23:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quality is better than quantity.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru, as Alex in Toulouse once wrote, if you want Jérôme to really start the beginning of a civilised fight with you, raise the topic religion ;)

I don't know how much that's worth, but I'll share something personal with you.
As a Pole I was brought up in catholic religion, and what I have retained as an adult is faith.
As a teenager, I went to a public school and truly do not believe that signs of religious belonging are essential to demonstrate your faith. God does not care about that.

I'll object to Jérôme that being religious do not automatically imply that the person is going to be narrow minded and reluctant to open to different views. What is true is that some people have been raised in a very traditional way and religious education is most of time part of this traditional way.
Whether they are able to discriminate by themselves is not a question of education or religion though, but of being wise enough.
Sorry for the rusty English.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:44:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Being a Spanish atheist I am as blisteringly anticlerical as anyone else. I rebelled against catholicism when I refused to go to catechism to prepare for communion (so I took no communion). My sister was more vulnerable to peer pressure (this is, after all a social issue among schoolchildren) and did take communion. Our parents couldn't care less.

On the other hand, just because I am an atheist doesn't mean that I don't recognize the religious experience [this is what all that fashionable "spiritual but not religious" nonsense is about]. To DoDo I argued that being an apatriot does not prevent me from recognizing the national experience. I suppose I should start arguing to Jerome that just because I am a secularist doesn't mean I don't recognize the reality of confessionalism.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:53:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know I would be the last one to prevent you form arguing with Jérôme :)
As to spirituality but no religion, I agree with you, it is mostly a socialite-fashion addicted way of reasoning. One day buddhism, the following day, kabale.One does not embrace a religions like it were a new style of dress.
In my specific case, I consider myself religious as I go the the church, but do not approve for that of all what the catholic Church advocates, nor do I approve of the slaughters that were committed in the name of the catholic religion.
God, if he exists as I believe he does, would not approve of that either, IMVHO. One must be out of one's mind to believe that God supports the extermination of any human creature.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:05:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If religion is a style of dress, I'm a nudist.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:09:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you. I needed that image. Really.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:15:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
fashionable spiritualities are a kind of dress.
Yet they may be also very harmful, like Scientology.
It is definitely not a good idea to debate religion right here but out of sheer curiosity, on what grounds does it belong to "religions" in the US whereas in Europe it fall into to the "sect" category?

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:35:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is it not a good idea to debate religion?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:37:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I have nothing against it, even if we may have crows looming over the field after the battle :)
Just joking.
Felling pretty comfortable in my see-through dress, I have nothing against it. :)

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:40:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A better image from my point of view, but not one I needed.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:40:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems you do not like images today, Colman...
A gentle joke did never debunk religious beliefs.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:41:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All the nude people dancing in my head are distracting, that's all.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How many nude angels can dance on a pinhead?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:44:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do nude angels have feathers?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:45:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It depends on whether you think the wings are part of the angel or part of the costume.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:46:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I keep your ideas in mind for the next instalment of Gone with the windmill.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:48:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brilliant! How many angels in see-through costumes can dance on the blades of a windmill?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A turbine is three-blade, a blade is several meters long, so I guess quite a bunch of them, assuming angels are weightless.
Maybe Jérôme could contribute with his technical knowledge of windmills.
When I stopped looking at that business, the most powerful turbines were 3MW ones, I guess this has evolved and the length of the blades accordingly.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not right here as this is Fran's breakfast. Maybe a diary?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suggest you go read the Wikipedia articles on Scientology. Then you can come back and report your best answer to your own question in a diary.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:43:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So presumably you can be a extremist "tolerantist" as well?

Indeed that's what is derided as US-style multiculturalism in France. A fundamentalist tolerantist would tolerate female circumcision.

An fundamentalist scientist?

Positivist.

A fundamentalist doubtist?

Postmodernist :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:21:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well then I am obviosuly not an extremist tolerantist.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My problem with your idea of tolerance is that it extends very generously to xenophobic shit-stirrers, but brakes hard in front of religion.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:46:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you, a fundamentalist doubtist, correct ? ;-)

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:31:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What the flying fuck is "secular fundamentalism"?

Strict adherence to dogmas not related to any god.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:14:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh nonono. That's way too easy. That would mean that ALL ideological extremism not linked to religion are "secular fundamentalisms". Thus you can tar me with fascism, stalinism and nazism. Cute.

I defend secularism, not any ideology. Secular fundamentalism is like science fundamentalism or doubt fundamentalism - it's like saying that I have absolute certainty that there cannot be too much doubt.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:22:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would mean that ALL ideological extremism not linked to religion are "secular fundamentalisms".

Well, that's exactly how I understood the term, but I see Colman disagrees.

Thus you can tar me with fascism, stalinism and nazism.

Please. I haven't tarred you with anything. Unless you believe that al-Qaida terrorism tars Hindus, there is no connection.

I defend secularism, not any ideology.

That, too, can become a fundamentalism the way I understood the term (but again Colman apparently doesn't), if you stick to secular principles in an infexible unresponding way (i.e. using secular principles as the sole standard to judge issues). (For example, I would consider a blank rejection of the German practice of church tax and religion courses at public schools secular fundamentalism, a rejection after considering the practical positives and negatives not.)

I note I myself am quite close to secular fundamentalism, even if I am at loggerheads with you on the cartoons issue. (I support the French ban on religious symbols and the shroud in school for example, dismissing a lot of counterarguments I read on progressive British blogs.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:35:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Strict adherence to dogmas is insufficient for fundamentalism.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:23:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it is that by definition, but I would be curious what you think is also required.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 06:40:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See front page.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 07:17:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Secular fundamentalism? Try free market ideology.

They have a point. Personally I'm not seeing any huge difference between fundie Islam and fundie Adam Smith-ism at this point. From here they both look equally moonbat. The Islamites seem to be more overtly excitable, but the Smith-ites just do their calm supposedly reasoned juggernaut thing instead - and indirectly, as the market turns, a lot of people get ground to a pulp under the wheels.

The Smith-ites are usually better dressed and travel first rather than coach, but if you're looking at metrics of violence, oppression and general social damage, I'd wonder if perhaps the Smith-ites aren't ahead.

Us vs Them isn't the issue. I wish the West would realise that it doesn't have the high ground in terms of free speech or openness. In the West the only reason you're allowed to say what you want is that mostly it doesn't matter to the ruling elites. Both sides are addicted to violence and posturing, but Western violence is exported and kept out of sight, so it doesn't have the same immediate impact.

Is there really such a huge difference between a mullah calling for a fatwa, or a Wall St analsyst explaining why AIDS drugs can't be sold at generic prices because it would be bad for business? In terms of fatalities, which kills more people?

'Clash of Civilisations' is right. The problem is that at this point, neither of the civlisations is all that convincingly civilised.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 11:57:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wsws: Billionaire investor demands General Motors slash jobs, health care, pensions

Last week the board of directors of General Motors voted to give a seat to Jerry York, a senior advisor to billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian and a former chief financial officer known for his drastic cost-cutting measures at Chrysler Corporation and International Business Machines. Kerkorian is a Las Vegas casino mogul who owns nearly 10 percent of the automaker's stocks.

The GM board also voted at its February 6 meeting to accelerate the "turnaround" strategy of job cuts and reductions in workers' health and retirement benefits, as demanded by Kerkorian.

GM capped salaried retiree health benefits at 2006 levels starting in January, affecting roughly 100,000 white-collar retirees and about 25,000 employees who have yet to retire. Next year GM will "reassess" medical benefits for white-collar retirees and consider the imposition of higher monthly contributions, deductibles, coinsurance and other options, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The company said it will freeze the accrual of pension benefits for salaried workers next month and will probably replace GM's traditional defined benefit plan with a cash balance or a 401(k) plan that would put more of the burden for retirement savings on workers.

Late last year GM imposed unprecedented healthcare takeaways on active and retired United Auto Workers members and announced plans to wipe out 30,000 jobs by 2008, eliminating shifts or carrying out closures at a dozen plants in Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Ontario, Canada.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:21:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Never mind that Kerkorian got at loggerheads with the German overlords of DaimlerChrysler, and Chrysler is fine now not because of any Kerkorian-inspired cost-cutting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 02:59:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Caribean News: US defends actions in Cuba sanctions row with Mexico

WASHINGTON, USA (AFP): The United States Monday defended its actions in pressuring a US-owned hotel in Mexico earlier this month to expel Cuban officials, creating a diplomatic row.

A US Treasury official said the US embargo on Cuba applies to American firms operating anywhere in the world, and that the "alert" it issued over the presence of Cuban officials at the hotel was a normal part of US law enforcement.

"We're not looking to irritate our friends in Mexico, but the law is clear," Assistant US Treasury Secretary Tony Fratto told reporters. "US firms must not engage in activities with the government of Cuba."

Fratto added that "Wherever US firms operate, they have to operate within the scope of US law."

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:29:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sydney Morning Herald: The photos America doesn't want seen

MORE photographs have been leaked of Iraqi citizens tortured by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Tonight the SBS Dateline program plans to broadcast about 60 previously unpublished photographs that the US Government has been fighting to keep secret in a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Although a US judge last year granted the union access to the photographs following a freedom-of-information request, the US Administration has appealed against the decision on the grounds their release would fuel anti-American sentiment.

Some of the photos are similar to those published in 2004, others are different. They include photographs of six corpses, although the circumstances of their deaths are not clear. There are also pictures of what appear to be burns and wounds from shotgun pellets.

The executive producer of Dateline, Mike Carey, said he was showing the pictures leaked to his program because it was important people understood what had happened at Abu Ghraib.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 01:35:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tex of UnFairWitness posted up the photos. Warning: even with dead eyes and genitals covered, there is enough to shock the light-hearted.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 03:09:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UPI: Today is Wednesday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2006 with 319 to follow.

The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Jupiter, Pluto and Venus. The evening stars are Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Mercury.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei in 1564; jeweler Charles Tiffany in 1812; feminist pioneer Susan B. Anthony in 1820; political leader and diplomat Elihu Root in 1845; philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead in 1861; songwriter Harold Arlen in 1905; actors John Barrymore in 1882, Cesar Romero in 1907, Harvey Korman in 1927 (age 79) and Claire Bloom in 1931 (age 75); astronaut Roger Chaffee, killed in a fire on the ground during a 1967 Apollo I test, in 1935; actress Marisa Berenson in 1948 (age 58); actress Jane Seymour and singer Melissa Manchester, both in 1951 (age 55); "Simpsons" cartoonist Matt Groening in 1954 (age 52); comedian Chris Farley in 1964; and actress Renee O'Connor (Gabrielle on "Xena: Warrior Princess") in 1971 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor, killing 260 crewmen and leading to a U.S. declaration of war against Spain.

In 1933, President-elect Franklin Roosevelt narrowly escaped assassination in Miami when a fanatic fired several bullets at him, fatally wounding Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak instead.

In 1942, the British bastion of Singapore surrendered to the Japanese army in World War II.

In 1965, Canada adopted a new national flag featuring a maple leaf emblem.

In 1982, the oil-drilling rig Ocean Ranger capsized and sank in a storm off Newfoundland. All 84 people aboard were lost.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush had a drug summit in Colombia with the presidents of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

Also in 1990, Washington Mayor Marion Barry was indicted on eight counts of perjury and drug possession.

In 1991, Iraq announced that it was ready to withdraw from Kuwait but added a number of conditions, including Israel's return of the occupied territories.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 15th, 2006 at 12:20:55 AM EST


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