In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Links of the Day 3/2/2008 Money Paid to Super - Delegates Must Be Returned >.<

Hey Howard Dean I do not like being voter caged by the republicans but I hate it even more that paid Democratic Super Delegates are caging me too.

Where is DEMOCRACY in the democratic party?

Nope I don’t like it one bit this paying of Super Delegates. Money for a vote is a despicable practice that should be eliminated. I am ashamed of my party for allowing such a thing to continue.

We Democratic voters should not stand for the undermining of our votes by these Super Delegates who vote by whomever pays them the most cash. Our presidential candidates are giving our hard earned donations to them and handing it over to these Super Delegates.

I’m asking you to call Howard Dean and the DNC or email or fax or snail mail to stop the practice of vote buying and undermining DEMOCRACY!

Mailing Address:
Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

Main Phone Number:
202-863-8000
(For questions about contributions, please call 877-336-7200)

To contact the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, click here.


To contact the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, click here.

http://www.democrats.org/contact.html

It’s bad enough that republican’s have been caging some democrats but what these Super Delegates votes do is gage us all. Every single penny paid to the Super Delegates should be returned immediately without haste.

Our presidential candidates should win on the issues not on who paid the Super Delegates the most money >.<

If the Super Delegates void the vote of WE THE PEOPLE I will NEVER vote again for a democrat >.<>

February 28, 2008 | The close race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continues to place the superdelegates in a pivotal position to determine the Democratic nominee. Two weeks ago, Capital Eye reported a connection that superdelegates have to the candidates that voters and pledged delegates don't—nearly $1 million in campaign contributions. As the uncommitted superdelegates have been deciding which candidate to support at this summer's nominating convention, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has identified an additional $42,800 that flowed in the last three years from Clinton or Obama's coffers into the hands of superdelegates with campaign accounts, bringing the total to $947,000.

Clinton's updated total to superdelegates, who include Democratic members of Congress, Democratic National Committee members, former party leaders and state governors, is $236,100 for 2005-2008, compared to Obama's $710,900. Looking back before the 2006 election cycle, though, the two are on more even ground. Clinton's leadership political action committee, HILLPAC, which was formed during the 2002 election cycle, in addition to her Senate campaign committee, gave politicians now serving as superdelegates about $617,500 in the 2002 and 2004 election cycles, bringing her total since 2001 to at least $853,600. This includes a $10,000 contribution to Obama's Senate committee in 2004; his PAC, Hope Fund, made a $4,200 contribution to her Senate re-election in 2006.

Obama's Senate committee gave $18,000 to candidates who are now superdelegates during the 2004 cycle, which would bring his total to $729,000 if contributions prior to 2005 were included. Obama was not a federal candidate until the 2004 election cycle and did not establish a leadership PAC until after he was elected to the Senate that year, so in its original study, the Center included only contributions made to superdelegates once both Clinton and Obama had active leadership PACs. While neither may have had a presidential bid in mind back then, they both appear to have favors to call in from those Democratic officials with whom they established relationships.

For those elected officials who had endorsed a candidate as of Feb. 25, the presidential candidate who gave more money to the superdelegate received the endorsement 82 percent of the time. In cases where Obama had made a contribution since 2005 but Clinton had given the superdelegate nothing, Obama got the superdelegate's support 85 percent of the time. And Clinton got the support of 75 percent of superdelegates who got money from her but not from Obama. For this update to the Feb. 14 study the Center combined contribution data with a list of superdelegates and their endorsements compiled by The Politico as of Feb. 25.

See http://www.capitaleye.org/superdelegates.asp for an updated chart of contributions made to superdelegates since 2005 (additions since the Feb. 14 report are in bold). (YOU MUST READ THE REPORT it does not include non politicians who are super delegates )

More Information

Feb. 14 superdelegate story



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John McCain Should Denounce Hagee Endorsement, Anti-Catholic Remarks

February 29, 2008

In his struggle to shore up his base, John McCain has once again cast aside his principles by embracing Rev. John Hagee, saying he was "pleased to have the endorsement of Pastor John Hagee," despite his intolerant comments about Catholics, women, African Americans, Muslims and LGBT Americans. He repeated his support today, saying "I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people…I am not endorsing some of their positions." [McCain Media Availability, 2/29/08]

So which Hagee positions does John McCain endorse? His position that Hurricane Katrina was punishment from God because "New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that." Or his position that "all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06] Or his "slave sale" where he announced that participants should "make plans to come and go home with a slave." [San Antonio Express-News 3/7/96]

Hagee has already come under fire for his anti-Catholic remarks. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said McCain should "retract his embrace of Hagee," and said Hagee "has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church." Chris Korzen, Executive Director of Catholics United, said "We hope Senator McCain will take the principled position of publicly and unequivocally distancing himself from Pastor Hagee's anti-Catholic comments. Intolerance and bigotry do not belong in American politics."

"As a Catholic, I am personally offended by John McCain's embrace of such a divisive figure. I join many others in the Catholic community calling on Sen. McCain to immediately distance himself from Hagee and denounce his remarks," said DNC Executive Director Tom McMahon. "As an American, I'm also offended by Hagee's denigration of African Americans, Muslims, women, and LGBT Americans. Hagee's hate speech has no place in public discourse and McCain's embrace of this figure raises serious questions about John McCain's character and his willingness to do anything to win."

McCain on John Hagee


"Well I think it's important to note that pastor John Hagee who has supported and endorsed my candidacy supports what I stand for and believe in. When he endorses me, it does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for and believes. And I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people and I am proud of his commitment to the independence and the freedom of the state of Israel. That does not mean that I support or endorse or agree with some of the things that Pastor John Hagee might have said or positions that he may have taken on other issues. I don't have to agree with everyone who endorses my candidacy. They are supporting my candidacy. I am not endorsing some of their positions." [McCain Media Availability, 2/29/08]

John Hagee on the Issues…


Hagee on Hurricane Katrina

"All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on Islamic Beliefs

Fresh Air host Terry Gross asked if Hagee believed that "all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews," to which Hagee replied, "Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very clearly." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on African-Americans

The San Antonio Express-News reported that Hagee was going to "meet with black religious leaders privately at an unspecified future date to discuss comments he made in his newsletter about a 'slave sale,' an East Side minister said Wednesday." The Express-News reported:

"Hagee, pastor of the 16,000-member Cornerstone Church, last week had announced a 'slave sale' to raise funds for high school seniors in his church bulletin, 'The Cluster.'

"The item was introduced with the sentence 'Slavery in America is returning to Cornerstone" and ended with "Make plans to come and go home with a slave." [San Antonio Express-News 3/7/96]

Hagee on Catholicism

"Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews." [Jerusalem Countdown by John Hagee]

Hagee on Women
"Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist." [God's Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, Sarah Posner]

"[T]he feminist movement today is throwing off authority in rebellion against God's pattern for the family." ["Bible Positions on Political Issues," John Hagee]

Hagee on LGBT Americans

"The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on Iran
"The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty," Hagee wrote [in 2006] in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. "Israel and America must confront Iran's nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide." [The Nation, 8/8/2006, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060814/new_christian_zionism]

Direct Link http://www.democrats.org/a/2008/02/john_mccain_sho.php


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DNC Releases Governor Dean's 2003 FEC Letter

Posted by Matt Ortega on February 26, 2008 at 01:13 PM


John McCain's attempt to skirt federal election law is starting to catch up to him. Word of the FEC complaint filed by the DNC yesterday was all over the news. McCain claimed that his campaign did exactly what Governor Dean did when he ran for president.

John McCain is wrong.

To prove it, the DNC released Governor Dean's 2003 FEC letter granting him permission to withdraw from public financing. (The letter is embedded below for your viewing convenience.)

You can add your name to the growing list of others supporting our FEC complaint against the McCain campaign here. If you already signed your name, be sure to invite your friends and family to read Governor Dean's 2003 FEC letter, and add their names in support.

http://www.democrats.org/a/2008/02/dnc_releases_go.php


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Ahmadinejad in landmark Iraq visit

UPDATED ON:
SUNDAY, MARCH 02, 2008
9:20 MECCA TIME, 6:20 GMT

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has arrived in Iraq on a state visit.

He is the first Iranian president to visit Iraq since the two neighbours fought a war in the 1980s that killed more than a million people.

Ahmadinejad went straight into talks on Sunday with Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, and Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister.

His trip is expected to be as much about symbolism as it will be about cementing ties between Iran and Baghdad's Shia-led government.

It will be closely watched by the US, which has more than 150,000 troops in Iraq.

"The talks we had were very positive," Ahmadinejad said at a joint news conference with Talabani.

"We have had good talks in a friendly and constructive environment. We have the same understanding of things and the two parties are determined to strengthen their political, economic and cultural co-operation."

He said the people of Iraq were going through "tough" times.

Iranian influence

Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna reporting from Baghdad said that Ahmadinejad hopes to establish economic and political ties with Iraq.

He said: "The overriding theme, however, is an attempt to improve the security situation in the country."

"Iran's influence in Iraq is well-known, and it is believed that Tehran is more influential than the US, despite its huge military presence."

Ahmadinejad has said that the US is to blame for violence in Iraq and called for US troops to leave.

"Security for Iraq is security for Iran, and this does not suit the enemy because they do not want stability for the region, so they can continue their meddling in its affairs and justify the presence of its military," he said in an interview with Iraqi journalists.

Speaking on the eve of his trip to Baghdad, Ahmadinejad said his visit would help improve security in Iraq.

He said: "It will surely help strengthen the Iraqi nation and the government ... and peace and security in the region."

"Withdrawal of the occupying forces is in everyone's advantage."

Ahmadinejad's visit to Iraq is set to underline Western concerns about Iranian influence in the region and according to Washington, extends to aiding fighters in Iraq as well as destabilising Lebanon.

Washington says Tehran supplies weapons and training to fighters to attack US troops, a charge Tehran denies.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/500D41C2-8A6D-4E49-BF5D-1E4A42C2083E.htm


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Have you noticed articles in Al Jazeera rarely have the authors name? They do this so the journalist is not kidnapped an assassinated.

UN chief deplores Gaza assault

UPDATED ON:
SUNDAY, MARCH 02, 2008
13:56 MECCA TIME, 10:56 GMT

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has condemned Israel for using "excessive" force in the Gaza Strip and demanded a halt to its offensive after troops killed at least 100 people over five days - more than 60 on Saturday alone.

At least a third of those killed have been children, according to medical sources in Gaza.

Addressing an emergency session of the security council in New York on Sunday, Ban also called on Palestinian fighters to stop firing rockets into Israel.

Ban said: "While recognising Israel's right to defend itself, I condemn the disproportionate and excessive use of force that has killed and injured so many civilians, including children ... I call on Israel to cease such attacks."

"I condemn Palestinian rocket attacks and call for the immediate cessation of such acts of terrorism."

However, there is no sign that the Israeli government is ready to call off an offensive that took troops deeper into Gaza on Saturday and in larger numbers than at any time since Israel ended a military occupation of Gaza in 2005.

Rafah opening

On Sunday, fresh Israeli strikes killed three Palestinians in northern Gaza.

Earlier, witnesses said Israeli aircraft attacked the office of Ismail Haniya, the ousted Palestinian prime minister, in Gaza City.

As Gazans mourned the dead, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops erupted in the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, Hebron, and Belin as well as other areas across the West Bank.

Hundreds of West Bank residents, holding Hamas and Fatah flags, also staged rallies and appealed for national unity.

In a related development, Egypt has agreed to open the Rafah border crossing to let injured Palestinians receive medical treatment, Al Jazeera’s correspondent reported.

Daniel Carmon, a senior Israeli diplomat, dismissed suggestions Israel was guilty of war crimes.

"Hamas bears sole responsibility for the violence," he told the security council.

Jacky Rowland, reporting from Gaza, said that Hamas officials were being targeted in the ongoing Israeli operations.
She said: "Police officers have been told to leave their posts, as there is mounting speculation that police stations are now targeted by the Israeli military."

"Also, Haniya appeared on Friday - the first time he was seen in public for quite a while, adding to the possibility that Hamas officials are avoiding public appearances."

UN discussion


Al Jazeera's John Terret, reporting from New York, said that members of the UN security council discussed a draft resolution regarding the conflict in Gaza.


He said: "The Libyan delegation representing the Palestinians have put forward a draft, and it is now subject to debate from the members."

But diplomats have reportedly said that the security council was unlikely to adopt a Libyan resolution that condemns Israel's killing of civilians, but makes no mention of Palestinian rocket fire.

Western diplomats say the Libyan resolution would not pass unless it was amended to condemn the Palestinian rocket attacks and dropped language suggesting Israel was guilty of terrorism.

The blooshed in Gaza jeopardises US-backed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Ahmed Qurei, the chief Palestinian negotiator, called off a meeting scheduled for Monday with Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister.

'International terrorism'

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, accused Israel of "international terrorism", saying its assault on Gaza constitutes "more than a holocaust".
"It's very regrettable that what is happening is more than a holocaust," Abbas told reporters in Ramallah.

"Children who are barely five-months old are being bombed by the Israeli army."

"We tell the world to see with its own eyes and judge for itself what is happening and who is carrying out international terrorism."

Khaled Meshaal, the exiled Hamas leader living in Syria, denounced the Israeli attacks against Gaza's civilians as "the real holocaust"

.

Children killed

Rana el-Hindi from Save the Children, speaking from inside the Gaza Strip, told Al Jazeera that children were suffering greatly from the Israeli bombardment.

"In the last three days at least 19 children have been killed ... it's a real concern for all organisations here," she said.

"Most of the time, when we go into the field and talk to the children about their fears and concerns, they are always afraid of a new [Israeli] invasion to the Gaza Strip - and obviously the current situation is just ... what they fear."

She said the number of children being hospitalised was increasing "day after day".

Eissam Younis, director of the Al Mizan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, told Al Jazeera that the Israeli army was "intentionally and systematically targeting civilians" and criticised world powers for their muted response.

"Israel puts itself above the law because the international community is always silent," he said.

Israeli incursion

The main Israeli operation began before dawn on Saturday.

Israeli tanks, supported by helicopters, pushed into the town and refugee camp of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip and continued the assault throughout the day.

More than 150 people were wounded in the operation, Dr Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza's emergency services, said.

At least 16 of the Palestinians killed were fighters - including 13 from Hamas, two from Islamic Jihad and one from the Popular Resistance Committees.

Witnesses said many of the deaths in Jabaliya occurred as a result of gun battles between Palestinian fighters and Israeli soldiers.

Tariq Dardouna, a Palestinian resident trapped in his house in east Jabaliya, told Al Jazeera that Israeli forces were targeting civilians.

"The Israeli army opens fire at everything in our area, including children and houses. There are injured children bleeding inside their houses," Dardouna said.

'Possible escalation'

Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, has said that Israel needed to prepare for a possible escalation of military action in the Gaza Strip.

"We will continue our action with all our strength and we need to prepare for escalation, because a broad ground operation is real and tangible," he said.

One aim of any large-scale incursion into Gaza would be to "weaken the Hamas rule ... in the right circumstances even bring it down," he said.

In Israel, six people were wounded, one of them seriously, by long-range rockets fired from the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the Israeli army said. Fighters in Gaza fired over 40 rockets and mortars at southern Israel. Eight of the missiles were long-range rockets that travelled as far as the seaside Israeli town of Ashkelon, some 11km north of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian fighters have launched frequent volleys of rockets and mortars at Israeli communities near the Gaza border, though the missile attacks rarely cause injuries.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/385F4780-0D7E-4144-AEBD-E8B2E0404125.htm


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My friends, dare to think about what the future could be… :

I’ve watched the recent Turkish invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan closely.

I have not commented until now because I have written extensively about what’s needed previously.

What I will now say I’ve largely said before, but it’s now time to reassert what I believe to be hard truths to two friends.

I cannot condemn Ankara’s decision to invade Iraqi Kurdistan anymore than I could condemn Israel’s decision to go after Arabs who target Jews from Gaza, Judea and Samaria (renamed only recently in history the “West Bank”), and so forth. I’m glad to see that, for whatever reasons, the Turks have now withdrawn.

The PKK’s refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan was an open invitation for a Turkish invasion. I’m surprised it took so long in the coming. And I wrote that in the Kurdish media itself long ago.

Having said this, there’s another hard series of truths…

Unlike the plight of one fifth of Turkey’s population who are Kurds, Israel’s Arab population (also one fifth of Israel) are the freest Arabs anywhere in the Middle East.

Despite many of the latter composing a real fifth column (siding with fellow Arabs who call for Israel’s total destruction), Arab language, culture, political rights, and so forth flourish in the land of the Jews.

Perfection? No…but compared to the plight of non-Arabs in so-called “Arab ” lands--especially those whom the Arabs call “their” kilab yahud (Jew dogs), the Jews who are left (more Jews fled those lands to Israel than Arabs who fled Israel)--Israeli Arabs live in Paradise. Just ask black African Sudanese in Darfur and southern Sudan, for starters (and Copts, Kurds, Assyrians, Amazigh/Berbers, and so forth).

I was pleased to hear that the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) recently invited Turkey to hold talks to resolve differences, while the President of Iraq's Kurdistan Region, Masud Barzani, expressed readiness to contribute to finding a peaceful solution to the problem. This is not the first time they’ve extended these invitations either.

In a statement, the PKK expressed a readiness to seek a peaceful solution to the issue of Kurds in Turkey through mediation by the government of Iraq's Kurdish Region and supported the KRG’s call for establishing dialogue.

On his part, President Barzani expressed his readiness to "actively participate" in finding a peaceful solution to the PKK-Turkish problem, which he hoped would "end violence in the region and build better relations of cooperation and consolidate security and stability for our people."

On the surface, this might appear to just be just wishful thinking. But U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s statement openly addressing the need for Ankara to address the real grievances of Turkish Kurds seems to be a welcome new development. I don’t recall an American official vocalizing this as firmly prior to now.

Let’s step back again…

Over the past century in particular, after the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire in the wake of World War I, the Kurds were renamed Mountain Turks, had their language and culture outlawed, etc. and so forth to insure that the new, constricted Turkey which arose with Mustafa Kemal--Ataturk--would suffer no further geographical losses. Understandable, but not a just solution to the problem. After all, long before a Turk or Arab was in that vicinity, Kurds long lived there.

Turkey has been a valuable ally of America and has resisted Islamic extremism better than any other Muslim country. It also has relatively good relations with Israel…especially when its relations with neighboring Syria take a dive.

So, as with my Kurdish friends, I truly wish nothing but good for our Turkish friends as well.

But, as I’ve written often before and will repeat until it sinks in, friends should be able to disagree and still remain friends.

When Israel goes after Hamas terror masters, Ankara is quick to criticize and lecture about the need to create the Arabs’ 22nd state and second, not first, one in “Palestine”--Jordan having surfaced on some 80% of the original April 25, 1920 territory over the past century. Turkey knows full well what the Arabs’ plans are for the Jewish State, yet makes these demands anyway. But talk about the need for justice for 35 million truly stateless Kurds, and Ankara goes ballistic.

Turkey is some forty times as large as Israel geographically and eleven times larger in population.

Despite this, Ankara sees nothing wrong, after demanding the creation of the Arabs’ 22nd state, with telling Kurds--who have been massacred and subjugated in all the lands where they have lived in the new nationalist era--that they must remain forever in that stateless condition because of the potential threat independence in Iraqi Kurdistan might have to Turkey. The Turks fear the effect this will have on their own large, adjacent--and suppressed-- Kurdish population.

As we all know, the fear is well founded, and I understand it.

But if a Turkey which dwarfs Israel in size and population has reason to fear this, then what is Israel to say?

Again, one fifth of Israel is Arab…like the fifth of Turkey which is Kurd. Yet the Jews are told by virtually all--including Turks--that they must allow yet another Arab state, dedicated to their very destruction, to be set up in their backyard.

Keep in mind that whatever its flaws may be, the PKK does not seek Turkey’s destruction. The calls for independence by some largely are sired by real, unaddressed grievances--as Secretary Gates acknowledged.

Despite the potential for problems, justice does not demand that Kurds remain forever politically powerless in the nationalist age. A miniscule Israel faces worse problems regarding such things but is expected to allow for the creation of yet another rejectionist Arab state.

So, what’s to be done?

Once again repeating what I’ve written earlier, there is no doubt that the Kurds must do what the Arabs refuse to do…

Iraqi Kurdistan must show Ankara that an independent or highly autonomous Iraqi federal Kurdish region will not be a threat. Had it done so earlier, a Turkish invasion--even with Ankara eying Kurdish oil--would not have occurred or at least wouldn’t have been justified.

As President Barzani (whose late father will forever be a hero of mine) has stated above, there must be serious discussions with the PKK about what the greater good for Kurdistan will require. This means Kurdish leaders must get their own acts together as well…beyond protecting their own virtual fiefdoms--be they Talabani, Barzani, or whomever. If need be, they must use military force to subdue their own extremists.

Hopefully, it will not come to this. And nothing will be expected in this regard if the Turks don’t show that they will be willing to grant Iraqi Kurds the same right to have in one of which they expect Israel to allow Arabs to have almost two dozen of. Ankara must also seriously address the rights of Turkish Kurds as well instead of collaborating with both Syria and Iran in suppression of their respective Kurdish populations.

There is room for coexistence and cooperation if both peoples can get beyond their fears. A brighter future awaits them. Besides problems with the PKK, there are already real benefits materializing for Turks in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Both have a history of opposing Islamic extremism, though some are to be counted amongst both populations.

Kurds from Turkey, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere wanting to live in an independent Kurdish state can have in Iraqi Kurdistan what Jews have in a reborn Israel.

Like formerly truly stateless Jews, Kurds have suffered greatly because of this political powerlessness.

Again, renaming Arabs “Palestinians” (most of whom came from elsewhere) does not change the fact that Arabs have almost two dozen states--conquered from mostly non-Arab peoples. If there is a rough analogy to the Jews, it is the Kurds, not the Arabs. The Turks especially must also understand this since, besides Turkey, there are also a half dozen other Turkish states.

Both Turks and Kurds must examine each others needs and fears.

The future can be a promising one for both peoples.

While Arabs of different stripes blow each other apart, Turks and Kurds have mostly shown that they want no part of this sort of thing. Positive nationalism is better than negative nationalism.

Think of the possibilities which can arise if both peoples can get themselves to grant each other the humanity and respect both deserve.

Turkish Kurds must understand that the realm of the Turks will not see itself geographically split again. But this does not mean that Kurds should continue to be suppressed in Turkey. To insure Turkey’s integrity, the Turks have demanded Turkification of all who live there. This needs to be changed drastically. Imagine the outcry if Israel was doing this sort of thing to Arabs.

Ironically, Kurdish autonomy or independence in Iraqi Kurdistan has the potential to ease these very problems…under the right conditions.

Having the potential to live in a Kurdish-ruled area will give Kurds everywhere less grievance and reason to resort to violence.

Will there be risks and problems?

Of course. There is much that will be needed to be worked out. And all thirty or forty million Kurds will not fit into Iraqi Kurdistan.

But reasonable people can come up with reasonable solutions.

It’s time for both peoples to look ahead for a better future for both of their children…something Arabs who use their kids as human shields and who send them on suicide missions in pursuit of their own one-sided version of justice have proven incapable of doing.

http://www.kurdmedia.com/article.aspx?id=14624


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Blast in southern Russian region as country votes

Sun Mar 2, 2008 5:21am EST

MAKHACHKALA, Russia, March 2 (Reuters) - An explosion injured two men in the southern Russian region of Dagestan on Sunday as Russians voted for a new president, local police said. The blast took place in the town of Khasavyurt, west of the regional capital Makhachkala. A member of the Khasavyurt police force said it was not linked to the election and had not taken place near polling booths.

Police could not confirm reports of a second explosion.

Kremlin critics have said the presidential election was slanted in favour of 42-year-old Dmitry Medvedev, who is backed by President Vladimir Putin, whose crushing of Chechen separatist rule helped build his popularity.

Two wars in Chechnya since 1994 have scarred the entire north Caucasus region and violence has spilt over into the neighbouring regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia. (Writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman)

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL02376506


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Egyptian Dictator speaks to American students about freedom, democracy and religion. Freedom from a man who has women jailed because they dared to have a business meeting alone with a man in public. Give me a break!

King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein

My Message to America on the Urgency of Forging Peace in the Middle East and Creating a New Strategic Relationship with the Arab World

King Abdullah addressed the students and faculty of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University today, to urge long-term American commitment to the Middle East's development and to support the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a way that can change the region's strategic landscape for years to come.

Direct link

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/king-abdullah-ii-ibn-al-hussein/my-message-to-america-on-_b_89205.html




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Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Failure in the War on Terror

Published On Monday, February 25, 2008 10:44 PM (Harvard Crimson)
By SAMAD KHURRAM

It's not Osama, but Musharraf

The former head of the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence's (ISI) political cell recently confessed that he was responsible for political manipulation in Pakistan's 2002 elections that led to Islamists coming to power in two provinces and gaining 59 seats in the National Assembly.

This fraud was the work of the America's supposedly unfaltering ally in the War on Terror, General (ret.) Pervez Musharraf and his desire to paint an image of Pakistan as an extremely dangerous, unstable country ready to fall into the hands of extremists the moment he leaves.


Musharraf pretends that he is the only hope for the US in Pakistan. Closer analysis, however, suggests that his claims are far from true. In the 2008 elections—which were much freer and fairer than those of 2002—only 6 seats went to the Islamists. In addition, a secular party won the majority of seats from the North-West Frontier Province where the War on Terror is actually taking place.

These results prove that the people of Pakistan are against religious fundamentalism, something the US has largely ignored. In 1999, Pakistan was a stable country with a moderate political party in power. There were no suicide bombings, no abductions by extremists, and people were free to move about without security personnel. By 2007, Pakistan was among the world's most dangerous places. This transformation is the result of Musharraf's long, incompetent rule.

There are many other pieces of evidence to support that Musharraf is not committed to fighting terrorism now, or if he ever was. Musharraf's own speeches and words, such as, "[I am] not going around trying to locate Osama bin Laden and Zawahri, frankly" are the biggest confirmation of his indifference. In addition, Washington has been shocked by news reports that the majority of the funds given to Pakistan are not used for the War on Terror. This news is corroborated by widely available pictures of troops in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas moving around in traditional 'chappals' (open foot shoes) and poor equipment. If even a small portion of the U.S. aid were spent on weapons upgrades, bullet proof jackets, reconnaissance devices and training, the results would have been much better. The Pakistan Army would have performed better: more terrorists caught, fewer casualties and more leads to Osama bin Laden.

Over the past eight years, Pakistan has received $11 billion from the U.S. in direct aid for fighting terrorism, billions from other countries for curbing extremism and development projects, and access to secret intelligence. In response to this, Musharraf has been repeatedly diverting funds in efforts to retain his support within the army, upgrade weapons to be used against India, or pay his supporters and crackdown on political opponents. His long, highly extravagant foreign tours to publicize his book or beg for more aid are hardly helpful in fighting terrorism.

Musharraf's political ambitions have led to many serious lapses and failures in the War on Terror: Rashid Rauf, a high profile terrorist involved in a failed attempt to blow up transatlantic planes, escaped from Pakistani police custody. Militants have been capturing forts and have intercepted NATO's supplies. A radical mosque built up a brigade of terrorists adjacent to the Pakistan Intelligence's building in Islamabad, the capital. The intelligence agencies are not to be blamed; they have more important tasks to do—update files on and blackmail political opponents of Musharraf.

Last November, on the pretext of fighting terrorism a "state of emergency" was declared in Pakistan, and resulted in a country-wide crackdown on the judiciary, media, human rights activists, and anyone who could possibly oppose Musharraf. This was followed by the release of 25 high profile terrorists including former Taliban Defence Minister Mullah Obaidullah, who has close ties to Osama bin Laden and is the highest-ranking Taliban official ever captured. With Musharraf releasing arrested Taliban figures, U.S. taxpayers can be assured the $11 billion pumped into Musharraf's regime has gone to waste.

Musharraf is a major liability in the War on Terror, yet the Bush Administration fails to see this and continues to provide him unfaltering support. However, Musharraf does not have any support in Pakistan, as evidenced by the strong anti-Musharraf vote in the Feb. 18 elections. If the U.S. continues to support Musharraf it will further alienate the people of Pakistan from the War on Terror and augment anti-U.S. sentiments.

When the U.S, backed a highly unpopular dictator in Iran, it back-fired resulting in an extremist Islamic revolution. The world cannot afford a nuclear power like Pakistan to turn into another Iran. The U.S. must use all its capabilities to return Pakistan to the rule of law and to have the Supreme Court judges deposed by Musharraf restored. Musharraf must be tried for his crimes in the War on Terror as well as his crimes against the people of Pakistan by the real Supreme Court of Pakistan. This will send a clear message to the next government that it cannot take the war on terror lightly and that the U.S. will not allow itself to be manipulated by Pakistani leaders.

Posted by The Neem Revolution at 9:53 PM

http://pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com/2008/03/failure-in-war-on-terror.html


Looks like March is off to a good start.

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