Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

European Breakfast - July 21

by Fran Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:43:29 AM EST

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love."


by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:44:17 AM EST
Business News: Prodi eschews Berlusconi's US-leaning foreign policy  

ITALIAN Prime Minister Romano Prodi made a clean break with Berlusconi-era foreign policy during the recent Group of Eight (G-8) summit in St Petersburg, signalling an end to the cosy relationship his predecessor forged with Washington.

"We've seen an important change. Italy and Romano Prodi are now perceived as further from the American and British positions and I think that's an important change," noted Franco Pavoncello, a political scientist at John Cabot University in Rome.

"The Prodi government is demonstrating that it is more capable of playing a mediation role than the government of Silvio Berlusconi, considered as more superficial," Pavoncello said.

In Russia, the former European Commission president trod the world stage for the first time since becoming prime minister in April, and lost no time in ringing the changes in his country's foreign policy.

The daily La Stampa noted that Prodi used the summit to make personal contacts with a broad range of leaders, eschewing the cosiness with Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush for which Berlusconi was known. "Prodi spoke separately to Bush, Blair, (United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi) Annan, China's President Hu Jintao, and on the telephone with Israeli Prime Minister (Ehud) Olmert, Lebanese leader (Fouad) Siniora and Iran's (Ari) Larijani," the newspaper reported.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is great news that Italy is throwing off its shadow. Now if only the UK can begin to end its own nightmare.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 05:34:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would seem pretty unlikely since all the likely alternatives to the present government cling just as tenaciously to the "special relationship". It's no different than the US where electing Democrats is unlikely to change foreign policy. The Anglo saxon drive to run the world is deeply embedded.
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 10:00:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depressing but true

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 11:01:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, do you think the Tories will vote against Trident just to give Blair a black eye?
Guardian: MPs to get vote on Trident (July 20, 2006)
The leader of the House of Commons, Jack Straw, confirmed today that MPs will get a vote on the decision to replace Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent.

Mr Straw reassured MPs that they would get a say on the future of the UK's nuclear weapons after many on the Labour benches expressed concern that Tony Blair had failed to specifically guarantee a vote.

And in case there was any doubt that Blair wants to mortgage the UK's future for decades to come, unnecessarily,
Britain's four Trident missile submarines are expected to reach the end of their operational life within 20 years.
Why the rush to approve the replacement this year?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 11:08:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Secrecy ruling by judge on Blair-Bush talk  

The public must be prevented from learning the contents of a conversation between Tony Blair and President George Bush about the conduct of the war in Iraq - crucial evidence in a forthcoming official secrets trial - an Old Bailey judge ruled yesterday.

Any discussion of an already partially leaked document - in which Mr Bush purportedly said in April 2004 that he wanted to bomb the Arabic satellite TV station al-Jazeera, and Mr Blair expressed concern about US military tactics in the Iraqi city of Falluja - must be heard behind closed doors, Mr Justice Aikens ruled. He also banned the public and the media from hearing the prosecution's arguments on the grounds of national security.

Defence lawyers who have seen the four-page document argue that its contents are at most embarrassing. A number of newspapers are planning to challenge yesterday's ruling.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 01:04:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've arrived at the point where I suspect tha the release of any discussions involving Tony Blair would be embarrassing.

I am beyond disgusted with this Govt. At least with Thatcher or Major it was possible to pretend that another Govt would be better, but with Cameron forced to grub in the same trough of political faeces, Blair has managed to even steal the last hope from our hearts.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 05:39:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Times Online: Blair's swansong may have a familiar ring

A LONG-SERVING prime minister, supporter of a close ties with the US President, attends a summit in eastern Germany only to be replaced after a political upheaval at home. Winston Churchill in July 1945 or Tony Blair in July 2008?

The Potsdam option now looks a plausible finale to the Blair premiership. When Mr Blair said last weekend that he was looking forward to the next G8 summit in Germany -- he could hardly have said that he was not -- he may not have been aware how uncanny the parallels are.

In 1945 Churchill went to Potsdam for the last wartime summit with Stalin and Truman. The meeting was adjourned for the British election results (delayed by the postal votes of troops overseas). Labour duly won by a landslide and Clement Attlee replaced Churchill, returning to Potsdam in his place.

Summits are shorter these days, but the G8 meeting next summer at the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm could mark Mr Blair's swansong.

This is not entirely whimsy or diverting gossip, like the story in the latest Spectator that Alastair Campbell had told Boris Johnson, hardly his soulmate, this week that Mr Blair would move on in "a year and a bit".

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 01:10:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not entirely whimsy or diverting gossip

Ah? And here was I thinking...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 03:22:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So Blair's been told by the boss to hand in his cards. End 2007 is too late !!

Damn the parliamentary labour party for being so cowardly they won't rise up and throw him out. Even if it's just a coronation for Brown at least it would give him an honest chance to present himself. If he fails on those terms he too could be displaced. But if he can barely get his feet under the table before 2008 then he can claim he was never given a chance and will ruin chances for re-election in 2013/4.

BLAIR MUST GO !! Even Polly Toynbee has finally admitted it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 05:43:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IHT: Spanish minister objects - Says criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic

Spain's top diplomat on Thursday angrily dismissed accusations that the Socialist government was anti-Semitic after Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero criticized Israel's attacks on Lebanon and posed in a Palestinian-style keffiyeh scarf.

Zapatero, speaking at a rally for young Socialists on Wednesday, said of Israel: "No one should defend themselves with abusive force that does not protect innocent human beings."

He later allowed himself to be photographed wearing the scarf, which had been offered to him during the rally.

A spokesman for the opposition Popular Party accused Zapatero of "anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and Israelophobia," and Israel's ambassador to Spain said Thursday that the two countries' relations had been damaged.

"Criticism of Israel here has been very harsh and very unjust," said the ambassador, Victor Harel.

But Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos asserted that Madrid was not anti-Semitic and said it was "intolerable" for anyone to claim otherwise.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 01:30:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IHT: In France, an intriguing a story of love, politics and rivalry

When Ségolène Royal, the Socialist Party's front-runner in opinion polls, and her companion, François Hollande, the party leader, head to the Côte d'Azur on vacation next week, they will not just sunbathe and play badminton with their four children. They will also consider the pressing matter of who will run for president of France next spring - she or he?

Royal, 52, leads not just Hollande, 51, but also all the other would-be candidates in their camp. But opinion surveys have proved unreliable in past French presidential campaigns. As party chief, Hollande has considerable clout among the Socialist rank and file who will designate the party's official candidate in November.

Both Royal and Hollande, their friends say, have been dreaming for two years of succeeding President Jacques Chirac at the Élysée Palace.

"It is an intriguing story of love, politics and rivalry," said Bernard Kouchner, a fellow Socialist and veteran politician who has known the couple for more than two decades. "It reads like a novel."

She an officer's daughter from a broken home and he a brilliant young student activist, they fell in love at the École Nationale d'Administration, France's elite breeding ground for civil servants. Upon graduating in 1980, both were recruited by François Mitterrand's presidential campaign team, and they stayed on after he was elected in 1981. They both won their first parliamentary seats in 1988.

He then rose through the ranks, becoming party chief in 1997, while she held three ministerial portfolios in Socialist governments from 1992 to 2002. A key moment came in March 2004, when he led the party to a sweeping victory in regional elections and she became the incarnation of that victory by winning on the home turf of France's center-right prime minister. Both found themselves catapulted into the group of "présidentiables."

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 01:34:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, in their mobile home by the sea (Camping Les Flots***), they look deep into each other's eyes over the corn flakes while the kids squabble about who gets the diving goggles, and wonder: Do I love her/him enough to let her/him reach for the greatest prize?

<bring on the violins>

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 03:34:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You should pitch that to a program director because it's an excellent premise for a TV show.

You just need to decide whether it's soap opera or reality TV.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:16:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, reality TV.

  • Set: three or four mobile homes (cheap!).
  • Cast: three or four happily married (or just united) couples with children.
  • Carrot: some really big prize either father or mother could go for.
  • Slick twist: mother might just stand a better chance.
  • Recipe: cameras everywhere, watch the couples fall apart.

Are you sure I should pitch that one? (Frankly, I wouldn't sleep).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:41:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And then the second year you can have the "celebrity" version, including the Right Honourable Margaret Beckett Member of Parliament.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:56:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Go ahead - pitch it!

Just be unprincipled - you'll be rich.

Or vice versa.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 08:09:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kölner Stadtanzeiger: Ahmanidejad's Letter "Rather Confused" (in German)

Berlin - According to government sources in Berlin, Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad does not discuss the nuclear dispute between his nation and the international community in his letter to Chancellor  Angela Merkel

Rather, the ten-page letter contains numerous passages highly critical of Israel and Jewish persons, a government source familiar with the letter told Reuters on Thursday. "The whole thing's about Germany, about Zionism and about how we can solve the Palestinian problem," reported the source. "It's rather confused." He added that the letter is extremely awkward for the German government.  

"There's a lot of propaganda against Israel and Jews," said the government aid. He added that it was still unclear whether and how the letter should be answered. However, the letter is reportedly conciliatory in tone, in contrast to that sent to President George Bush some months ago. "It's not negative, it doesn't criticize Germany. It's mainly about how we can work together to solve the world's problems."

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:44:38 AM EST
This is the frontpage of the Independent today. Thought is says more than words!

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:47:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Britain and US defy demand for immediate ceasefire now

Israeli warplanes continued their bombardment of Lebanon yesterday, defying a demand by Kofi Annan for an immediate end to fighting on the ninth day of a war that has led to the "collective punishment of the Lebanese people" .

Two countries, the US and Britain, defiantly refused to back the international clamour for an immediate ceasfire between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas. Their ambivalence about civilian deaths in Lebanon has given Israel a powerful signal that it can continue its attacks with impunity.

However, Israel's ground offensive against Hizbollah was blunted when four of its soldiers were reported killed in clashes in south Lebanon. Across the country clouds of smoke appeared as the aerial bombardment continued and the evacuation of foreign nationals, including Americans, was stepped up. Israel said it would allow humanitarian aid to flow into Lebanon as international outrage grew over civilian casualties which are now above 300.

Mr Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations, used his emotive statement to the Security Council to reflect the deep-seated international unease about the human cost of Israel's response to the onslaught of rockets from Hizbollah guerrillas backed by Syria and Iran. "What is most urgently needed is an immediate cessation of hostilities," he said. However, he added that there were "serious obstacles to reaching a ceasefire, or even to diminishing the violence quickly."

An official close to the secretary general said he had taken soundings with "everyone" before making the statement. Mr Annan was also due to brief the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, last night on the findings of a UN mission which concluded there should be a temporary cessation of hostilities.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:49:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The small strapline at the top of the NO group reads "Margaret Beckett, Foreign Secretary, addressing the cabinet yesterday, said "What people are really syaing is they want a ceasefire with rockets still going into Israel"

Does she really believe that ? A ceasefire involves only one side and is not brokered between two warring parties ? Although as most Israeli ceasefires have been unilateral she might be excused for believing that if she's been briefed by the Israelis (or the americans - same thing).

I really don't know why we bother having inquisitions of the Foreign secretary or the Prime Minister anymore. Why don't we just ask the White House for their opinion and cut out the middleman ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 05:51:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deutsche Welle: Tears, Fears and Anger as Foreigners Evacuate Lebanon

As Israeli bombs continue to rain down on Lebanon, thousands of foreigners being evacuated from the war-torn country expressed sadness, rage and panic at the escalating situation in the Middle East.

As the campaign to help thousands of stranded foreigners stepped up in the ninth day of fighting in Lebanon, evacuees fleeing on ships and on roads out of the country expressed a range of emotions over their hastily-arranged departure.

"We were constantly afraid of being bombed but we had no choice," one German woman on a bus convoy to Syria told reporters. The road has been targeted by the Israelis in the past few days.

Others disembarking in Larnaca, Cyprus, expressed relief that they made it to safety.

"I am so sad to be going back to France," Zeina, 40, who was on holiday with her family said. "But I was so frightened by the first bombs. It is such a relief to be here."

Some expressed fear over those they left behind.

Dunia Shabaan, a Lebanese-German woman came to the German embassy meeting point with her young children. "We feel bad leaving our parents behind but we have to leave because our children are terrified by the sounds of the bombs," she said, crying.

"I don't know if my parents will be alive when I reach Germany."

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:52:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ICH/Fisk: The child lies like a rag doll - a symbol of the latest Lebanon war

07/20/06 "The Independent" -- -- How soon must we use the words "war crime"? How many children must be scattered in the rubble of Israeli air attacks before we reject the obscene phrase "collateral damage" and start talking about prosecution for crimes against humanity?

The child whose dead body lies like a rag doll beside the cars which were supposedly taking her and her family to safety is a symbol of the latest Lebanon war; she was hurled from the vehicle in which she and her family were traveling in southern Lebanon as they fled their village - on Israel's own instructions. Because her parents were apparently killed in the same Israeli air attack, her name is still unknown. Not an unknown warrior, but an unknown child.

The story of her death, however, is well documented. On Saturday, the inhabitants of the tiny border village of Marwaheen were ordered by Israeli troops - apparently using a bullhorn - to leave their homes by 6pm. Marwaheen lies closest to the spot where Hizbollah guerrillas broke through the frontier wire a week ago to capture two Israeli soldiers and kill three others, the attack which provoked this latest cruel war in Lebanon. The villagers obeyed the Israeli orders and initially appealed to local UN troops of the Ghanaian battalion for protection.

But the Ghanaian soldiers, obeying guidelines set down by the UN's headquarters in New York in 1996, refused to permit the Lebanese civilians to enter their base. By terrible irony, the UN's rules had been drawn up after their soldiers gave protection to civilians during an Israeli bombardment of southern Lebanon in 1996 in which 106 Lebanese, more than half of them children, were slaughtered when the Israelis shelled the UN compound at Qana, in which they had been given sanctuary.

So the people of Marwaheen set off for the north in a convoy of cars which only minutes later, close to the village of Tel Harfa, were attacked by an Israeli F-16 fighter-bomber. It bombed all the cars and killed at least 20 of the civilians travelling in them, many of them women and children. Twelve people were burnt alive in their vehicles but others, including the child who lies like a rag doll near the charred civilian convoy, whose photograph was taken - at great risk - by an Associated Press photographer, Nasser Nasser, were blown clear of the cars by the blast of the bombs and fell into fields and a valley near the scene of the attack. There has been no apology or expression of regret from Israel for these deaths.

The innocent continued to die yesterday in Israeli air attacks across Lebanon. Five civilians were killed when an Israeli missile struck a house near the town of Nabatea. Three members of the Hamed family were killed along with their Sri Lankan maid. In the village of Srifa, in the south, Israeli air strikes flattened 15 houses which were homes to at least 23 people but - with no lifting vehicles able to reach that part of the country - there was no way of rescuing anyone alive trapped in the buildings.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:53:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Asia Times: Lebanon left for dead

All according to plan

The world has seen this movie before. The seed for understanding the New Middle East war was sown 10 years ago, in 1996. Everything keeps pointing back to the infamous paper "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm", prepared by neo-cons such as Richard Perle, David and Meyrav Wurmser and Douglas Feith for Likud hardliner Benyamin Netanyahu. [1]

The "getting rid of Saddam" part has already been accomplished. The total degradation of the Palestinians is ongoing. The "destabilizing of Syria in Lebanon" took place last year. The next step would be hitting at both Syria and Iran via Lebanon.

Five months ago, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, warned in a public speech that if Israel did not release the Lebanese prisoners it was holding, "we will try to get an Israeli soldier". That's exactly what happened. Israel knew it and had five months to prepare for an invasion and/or the current "pinpoint" bombing of Lebanon's infrastructure - something that any military strategist knows cannot be prepared in a day or two.

The fact that the Bush administration and the Olmert government in tandem blame both Syria and Iran follows the Clean Break plan to the letter. And the plan could have been fine-tuned very recently. Former Likudnik Olmert went to the US in May and Likud chairman Netanyahu followed him in June - and landed in neo-con heaven, participating in a meeting with US Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a conference organized by the American Enterprise Institute in Colorado.

As far as Bush's "get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit" is concerned, it makes absolutely no sense: it was Bush himself who forced Syria out of Lebanon last year, to clear the way for Israel to attack Lebanon facing no resistance. As for the Israel-Iran confrontation, it has nothing to do with ideology, as the Bush administration puts it. It's pure power play. Israel and Iran are two regional military powers entangled in a battle for regional supremacy. And even the guessing game on Syria and/or Iran supporting Hezbollah is also irrelevant.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:54:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: TV war correspondents rescued from angry mob by Hizbullah

Two British journalists were recovering in Beirut last night after being attacked by a mob which surrounded their car for almost an hour, smashing windows and trying to force them out.

The journalists from GMTV, and their Lebanese interpreter and driver were rescued when two men thought to be Hizbullah officials pushed through the crowd, grabbed them and drove them to a safe house, television colleagues said.

GMTV's roaming correspondent Richard Gaisford and producer Dave Mason were driving back to their hotel after reporting in western Beirut when a crowd began to follow them. "Richard said he had been surrounded in the car with the windows smashed and the keys taken," a television colleague said. Mr Gaisford had said he had feared for his life.

The Hizbullah officials took them to a safe house where they were interrogated before the police were called.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reuters: Israel's Peres questions Lebanon's casualty toll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres on Wednesday questioned the reported casualty count in Lebanon after days of pounding by Israeli warplanes.

Lebanese government and police sources and local residents have reported at least 299 people killed in Lebanon, in the conflict triggered in retaliation for Hizbollah's July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid.

In Israel, 29 people have been killed, according to accounts from the Israeli Army and medics.

"The numbers of the victims (in Lebanon) are not acceptable. We think that information coming from Lebanon is totally unreliable," Peres said in an interview on CNN.

Peres did not offer a casualty figure.

He said the Israeli military was taking steps to make sure "no civilian life will be hit, that no civilian infrastructure will be destroyed."

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 01:01:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He said the Israeli military was taking steps to make sure "no civilian life will be hit, that no civilian infrastructure will be destroyed."
Now the press will forget about "there will be no safe place in Lebanon" and about all the news stories in which they told us Israel bombed the harbours, airport and the road to Syria in order to [i.e., on purpose] isolate Lebanon.

Peres is totally unreliable. It's just PR for damage control.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 03:01:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Peres has said nothing in the last few days that has not been hardball damage control.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, they don't "deliberately" target civilians, they're happy to hit targets in civilian areas.

If Hezbolah have an office in a city, then anything in the neighbourhood is likely to become collateral damage. If American learnt its "peacekeeping" tactics from the Israelis in the run up to the Iraq war, then Israel seems to have learnt how to wage a war against insurgents from the destruction of Fallujah.

This will boost Hezbollah, not destroy it. I can't think of a better way to boost an enemy than this. Isreal is so neocon-stupid it is incapable of learning from last week, let alone last century.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 06:04:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NOT wanting to sing adolf's tune here AT ALL, but does the old adage 'follow the money' have any valence here?

if the jewish faction of banking decided to pull crucial support here and here, would the banking systems of these countries immediately fall apart?

down adolf!  bad boy!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 03:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This may spark an active subthread. (no?)

You say you don't want to sing Adolf's tune, melo, and I believe you, but "the jewish faction of banking" that controls the world behind the scenes... You know, it kinda sounds like Adolf's tune...

What if all "those countries" pulled "crucial support" for US/UK/Israel? What would happen then?

I mean, "the jewish faction of banking" (whatever that is) doesn't have all the economic/financial power in the world, and "those countries" do have rather a lot.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:28:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless by "those countries" you mean US/UK, in which case I'll still say most of what I said.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or maybe the liberal "jews" in Hollywood the neocons are always going on about will make films porraying muslims s good guys and jews as bad. There have beene so many, but I can't quite bring any to mind right now.

With the exception of one or two firms, the upper echelons of most financial firms are run by the greediest most ruthless bastards available, qualities that more readily comes down the father's side than the mother's. Think Cheney and his hell-spawn, not like their mother at all apparently.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 06:09:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 thanks for sidestepping the landmines with me on this stroll, blogbuddies...

i mean, if my tribe had been stateless for millennia, i'd train my sons to go for the powerpositions in the host society too...it's the reasonable thing to do, n'est ce pas?

banking and entertainment.

wasn't adlf pissed because they wouldn't lend him $ for his madcap schemes?

when is megalomania ever a good investment?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jul 22nd, 2006 at 06:53:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you really think "Jewish bankers" would pull money based on possible political views? I would think they, as well as all other bankers, would pull money only if it could add to their profits.
Sometimes, staying up too late makes for silly comments.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

i do a good silly, especially for an alien...

i'd expect the leverage to be less than obvious, a hushed call, a cryptic whisper, and someone wouldn't get that cheap loan they had arranged to build that bullet factory outside houston,

but scaled up enough to slow down a whole defence dept, perhaps.

or finance the next bang-bang-wow blockbuster, where the good guys beat the  evil terra-ists..

and we never tire of lapping it up, it seems.

adolf was a genocidal maniac, the world've have been a better place were he stillborn, but just suppose....in the middle of all that deluson and insane confusion, that raving dementia, he had one perception right?

i repeat, for those thick enough to think i contribute here to troll, i think the actions of a diaspora'd people to defend their tribe by aiming to place their families in power positions in host countries is entirely reasonable-

they were thought of as a subspecies by hitler's barking ilk, what i fear is who gets the blowback for that madness, and if people kill for reasons of race or religion, does it make them any better than their erstwhile victimisers?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jul 22nd, 2006 at 07:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't have to look for covert Jewish banking or Hollywood conspiracies. Just look to AIPAC. AIPAC controls the U.S. Congress practically 100% on any question of Israel. It's right out there in the open- in your face.
Why is that? I don't know. My own personal theory is that Israel is a contractor with the "military industrial complex" to do it's field testing of advanced weapons. Hell, Israel is almost our 52nd state, just after our 51st, Iraq.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Jul 22nd, 2006 at 07:38:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scotsman: Turkish PM raps US attitude to fighting terrorism

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan rapped the United States on Tuesday for tolerating Israel's attacks on its enemies in Lebanon while refusing to allow Ankara to crush Kurdish rebels hiding in northern Iraq.

Erdogan is under mounting domestic pressure to get tough with the rebels, who have killed 16 Turkish security personnel in separate attacks over the past week.

"The way they look at terror there (in Israel) and in Turkey is not the same. They show tolerance towards country A (fighting terrorism) and show a different approach to country B. This is unacceptable," Erdogan said.

He did not mention the United States or Israel by name but it was clear to whom he was referring. Erdogan, whose roots are in political Islam, has previously criticised Israel's actions.

Erdogan also repeated hints that Turkey might send troops across the border into Iraq to tackle the rebels if U.S. and Iraqi troops continued to ignore Ankara's demands to act.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:52:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not killing civilians that's wrong, it's that some are allowed to and some other aren't.

Gotta love Erdogan.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 02:58:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And gotta realize that Turkey in the EU is looking a slimmer and slimmer possibility.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 04:33:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they're getting to the point where they don't care. Some "gifts" aren't worth the price.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 06:11:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the tenor of Erdogan's lovely comment, I'd say that might work both ways.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:55:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: UN warning on Mid-East war crimes

War crimes could have been committed in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza, a senior UN official has said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said international law stressed the need to protect civilians.

There is an obligation on all parties to respect the "principle of proportionality", she said.

About 300 Lebanese, most of them civilians, have been killed in the violence. Thirty Israelis, including 15 civilians, have also been killed.

The UN reported on Wednesday that about 100 Palestinians, civilians and fighters, have been killed since the start of the Israeli offensive in Gaza in late June.

Both crises were precipitated by the capture by Hamas and Hezbollah of Israeli soldiers in cross-border operations into Israel.

Along with a massive shelling campaign across Lebanon and Gaza by Israel, Hezbollah has been firing barrages of missiles into northern Israel, targeting urban areas, and Palestinian militants continue their rocket fire into Israel.

"Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians," Ms Arbour said.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 01:07:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This was in yesterday's breakfast and was also posted yeasterday by Talos in the "Modest Proposal" thread.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 02:57:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:45:02 AM EST
BBC: Bed sharing 'drains men's brains'

Sharing a bed with someone could temporarily reduce your brain power - at least if you are a man - Austrian scientists suggest.

When men spend the night with a bed mate their sleep is disturbed, whether they make love or not, and this impairs their mental ability the next day.

The lack of sleep also increases a man's stress hormone levels.

According to the New Scientist study, women who share a bed fare better because they sleep more deeply.

Sleepless nights

Professor Gerhard Kloesch and colleagues at the University of Vienna studied eight unmarried, childless couples in their 20s.

Each couple was asked to spend 10 nights sleeping together and 10 apart while the scientists assessed their rest patterns with questionnaires and wrist activity monitors.

The next day the couples were asked to perform simple cognitive tests and had their stress hormone levels checked.

Although the men reported they had slept better with a partner, they fared worse in the tests, with their results suggesting they actually had more disturbed sleep.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:51:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Blair accused of leaving GM-contaminated legacy

Tony Blair's legacy will be a British countryside contaminated by genetically modified crops, a leading environmental campaigner has warned. The attack was prompted by a government decision to open a consultation on ground rules for growing GM crops.

Ministers said that was separate from any decision on whether to allow GM crops to be grown commercially, which is not expected before 2009. The only GM crops now grown in the UK are strictly controlled scientific trials. Ian Pearson, the Environment minister, insisted the new proposals were "not a green light for GM crops".

"Our top priority is protecting consumers and the environment," he said. "We have a strict EU regime which ensures only GM crops safe for human health and the environment could be grown in the UK. No GMs suitable for UK conditions have met this requirement so far. But we have a responsibility to be fully prepared if crops which meet the safety criteria are developed and grown here."

Environmentalists say the document was written with a view to making it easy for GM crops to be grown in the UK on a large commercial scale because they suspect Mr Blair is determined to make the UK a major producer of GM crops, despite evidence that Britons are against it.

The consultation sets out the size of the mandatory buffer zones between GM and non-GM crops. It would allow farmers to plant GM oilseed rape just 35 metres from non-GM crops. The minimum distances for GM maize would be longer, 80 metres for forage maize, and 110 metres for grain maize.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 01:28:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Independent: Cost of food grows to 18m tons of carbon dioxide

Cars, lorries and planes are emitting a record 18 million tons of carbon dioxide a year transporting food around Britain, new figures from the Government showed yesterday.

A jump of 6 per cent was recorded in the number of "food miles" by road and air in 2004, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The figures will heighten concern about the damage done by the supermarkets' policy of flying in products like sweetcorn from Thailand, prawns from Ecuador, or apples from New Zealand. They are also a blow to the Government's commitment - made in its Food Industry Sustainability Strategy earlier this year - to cut the social and environmental costs of food miles on 1990 levels by 20 per cent by 2012.

Environmental campaigners said the figures showed ministers should be doing more to curb emissions of carbon dioxide (Co2), which causes climate change, which has been blamed for this summer's extreme heat.

Food miles are clocked up by air freighting produce often thousands of miles to the UK, trundling lorries round the motorway network and by customers travelling to and from shops.

Amid the rise of the supermarket chains and the all-year round stocking of fruit and vegetable varieties, Co2 emissions from food miles have soared in the past decade. They rose by 15 per cent from 1992 to 2002 and by a 4 per cent between 2002 and 2004, according to Defra.

by Fran on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 02:07:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bullet points from the bottom of the article:

  • Food miles cost the country £9bn every year in delays, pollution and road accidents.

  • Lorries did 5.5 million miles in food miles in 2004, according to Defra, while cars did 4.2 billion.

  • Air travel was responsible for 17 million miles but it has been rising fast. It rose by 136 per cent from 1992 to 2002. Between 2002 and 2004, it rose 31 per cent.

  • Some products are flown 12,000 miles to supermarkets.

  • In a survey last year, Greenpeace found two-thirds of apples on sale at supermarket had been air-freighted from abroad - at the height of the British apple growing season.

One complaint: not a word about Europe. (For example, British apple-growing season = European apple-growing season). You once again get the impression the UK is a flying island that is not part of the EU.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 05:04:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is a "food mile"? If I drive a mile with a boot-load of groceries and a lorry drives a mile with several tons of groceries, are they both a "food mile"?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 05:24:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is really a quibble about local distribution. The real problem is the long distances food is transported, and in particular the rapid growth in air transport.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 06:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the article the computation includes the miles accrued by people driving to the grocery store, which I think won't be a negligible fraction of the total miles, even if they are a negligible fraction of the tonne-miles.

Well, so tax air fuel.

If you go to google Defra and "food mile" you'll find a recent report showing that "food miles" are an inadequate indicator.

How about tonnes, mile-tonnes and miles?

Finally, in the vein of our biofuels calculation, if the UK wanted to be self-sufficient in food, would they have enough land?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 06:27:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally, in the vein of our biofuels calculation, if the UK wanted to be self-sufficient in food, would they have enough land?

According to gov statistics the UK is 60% self-sufficient - a much higher percentage than I was expecting.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 08:33:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As for biofuels, it would be a question of self-sufficient in what kind of food. Stop producing so much meat and bad dairy (at least, intensively), and a lot of area would be freed...

I see your point about the food-miles unit. Not much use.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:46:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a minor point, but there are regular complaints that it is very rare to see a British apple on sale in a British supermarket. Even at the height of the British apple season.

And I don't like european dessert apples. I don't seem to be alone in this. Golden delicious are anything but delicious, so bland it's hard to object to them unless you actually wanted fruit that tastes of something.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 06:18:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Golden Delicious are in fact delicious, the crap that is mass-produced, picked too early, and cold-stored to death (it's a long shelf-life fruit if suitably mistreated), gives the variety a bad name.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 21st, 2006 at 12:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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