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

A new symbol of America

by Sirocco Tue Jul 25th, 2006 at 10:01:32 AM EST

The United States of America has no problem with Israel burning the skin off children's bodies with incendiary weapons, reducing cities to rubble, targeting UN positions and Red Cross ambulances, forcing 900,000 civilians to flee, and generally bombing a sovereign, democratic state a generation back in time. On the contrary, it provides munitions, diplomatic support, and moral encouragement for these war crimes, financed in no small part with US tax money, to go on. This is not without implications.

Crossposted from Booman Tribune.

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Condi at labor

by Sirocco Sun Jul 23rd, 2006 at 12:36:56 PM EST

What we're seeing here, in a sense, is the growing -- the birth pangs of a new Middle East. And whatever we do, we have to be certain that we are pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old one.

-- Condoleezza Rice

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The Iraq War is a success

by Sirocco Tue May 2nd, 2006 at 02:12:46 AM EST

Crossposted from Booman Tribune and Daily Kos.

Three years ago, the US President co-piloted a fighter aircraft onto the deck of the USS Lincoln to declare "the end of major hostilities" in Iraq. Above him a banner proclaimed, "Mission Accomplished." Today, a humble 9 percent of Americans believe that the mission has really been such.

Though I respect the majority view, I have to say that it is, in fact, mistaken.

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Tragicomedy in Minsk

by Sirocco Thu Mar 23rd, 2006 at 06:58:23 AM EST

From my local paper, for connoiseurs of the absurd. "Enjoy" — this might be the last time in Europe.

Jailed for swearing

Eystein Røssum, Bergens Tidende, March 23

Translation by Sirocco

— I heard him swear out loud, says the clean-shaven man in black standing in the middle of the floor. The courtroom is tiny with barely enough room for the judge, the defendant, his attorney and an audience of seven.

The policeman belongs to a special unit in the Belarussian riot police. He is testifying about what transpired on Tuesday night when he arrested the newspaper editor Andrej Dynko at October Square in Minsk.

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The right to blasphemy

by Sirocco Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 04:55:23 PM EST

Cross-posted from my blog. Promoted to the front page by Jérôme.

As discussed in this previous story, there is global outcry over the publication in a Danish and a Norwegian newspaper of satirical cartoons on the Prophet Muhammed Mustafa. Everybody who's anybody in the Islamic world, from Chechen rebel leader Sjamil Basajev via the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to the Indonesian foreign ministry, is jumping on the bandwagon. Even the offically secular Syria has recalled its ambassador from Copenhagen.

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North African dreams of Europe

by Sirocco Sun Dec 25th, 2005 at 06:03:42 PM EST

From the front page - welcome back Sirocco! ~ whataboutbob

...and he'd wonder how fourteen kilometers could separate not just two countries, but two wholly different universes.

Laila Lalami: Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits.

Straits of Gibraltar

North Africa has become a transit point for multitudes of sub-Saharan Africans who fling themselves at the walls of Fortress Europe. But sub-Saharans are not alone in scrambling to cross the straits of Gibraltar, Europe's Rio Grande. Every year, for example, tens of thousands of Moroccans risk their lives on ramshackle rafts; countless others strive by other means to join their millions of countrymen in Europe. Of those who make it, 90 percent stay for good. The annual €2-3 billion they send back home are a major source of national income.

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Why I had whale steak for dinner today (reposted on request)

by Sirocco Fri Aug 26th, 2005 at 09:52:59 AM EST

I repost this frontpage story at the request of our member Sybil, who has just returned from travel with poor Internet access. An ardent opponent of whaling, she has promised us a spirited rebuttal of my argument. Let the games begin...

Image hosted by TinyPic.comA confession: I had whale steak for dinner today. And it was delicious, too. Served with potatoes, fresh vegetables, mountain cranberries, and a good Merlot, the meat - a staple food in my childhood - was reminiscent of moose but even tastier.

No doubt some international readers will take strong exception to my choice of dinner and the practice which makes it possible. Below is my apologia.

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Why the foetus has no right to life

by Sirocco Wed Aug 24th, 2005 at 11:57:43 AM EST

According to a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), foetuses cannot feel pain until the last few weeks of a pregnancy, reports the BBC.

The researchers say there is only limited data available on this issue.

But, writing in JAMA, they say pain requires the conscious recognition of an unpleasant stimulus.

This cannot happen until certain brain structures connecting the thalamus and the cerebral cortex develop during the third trimester of pregnancy.

These connections are not usually apparent until the 23rd week of pregnancy and may not begin to be made until the 30th week.


But Julia Millington of the UK's Pro Life Alliance said: "It is not the ability of the victim to feel pain that makes killing objectionable but rather the violation of that individual's most basic human right, the right to life."

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The US as nuclear rogue state. Part II of II

by Sirocco Wed Aug 3rd, 2005 at 03:16:55 AM EST

Part I here.

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The US as nuclear rogue state. Part I of II

by Sirocco Tue Aug 2nd, 2005 at 08:20:13 AM EST

As Iran begins preparations for the resumption of uranium processing, the US is repeating its threats of imposing sanctions through the UN Security Council. "We cannot allow rogue states that violate their commitments and defy the international community to undermine the NPT's fundamental role in strengthening international security," President Bush insisted recently.

As we approach the 60 years anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki annihilations, it is time for some perspective. Notably, it is time to reflect on how, while pretending to do the opposite, the Bush administration has waged total war on the precarious international framework for nuclear arms limitation. In so doing it has not merely violated legally binding commitments, but effectively thwarted humanity's hope of a world free - or at the very least, nearly so - from nuclear weapons.

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