Saturday, June 28, 2008

Intervention Now

In the course of the last few tumultuous months, I have often had cause to consider what it is that makes a country. I believe a country is the sum of its many parts, and that this is embodied in one thing: its people. The people of my country, Zimbabwe, have borne more than any people should bear. They have been burdened by the world's highest inflation rates, denied the basics of democracy, and are now suffering the worst form of intimidation and violence at the hand of a government purporting to be of and for the people.

Zimbabwe will break if the world does not come to our aid.

Africa has seen this all before, of course. The scenario in Zimbabwe is numbingly familiar. A power-crazed despot holding his people hostage to his delusions, crushing the spirit of his country and casting the international community as fools. As we enter the final days of what has been a taxing period for all Zimbabweans, it is likely that Robert Mugabe will claim the presidency of our country and will seek to further deny its people a space to breath and feel the breeze of freedom.

I can no longer allow Zimbabwe's people to suffer this torture, for I believe they can bear no more crushing force. This is why I decided not to run in the presidential run-off. This is not a political decision. The vote need not occur at all of course, as the Movement for Democratic Change won a majority in the previous election, held in March. This is undisputed even by the pro-Mugabe Zimbabwe electoral commission.

Our call now for intervention seeks to challenge standard procedure in international diplomacy. The quiet diplomacy of South African President Thabo Mbeki has been characteristic of this worn approach, as it sought to massage a defeated dictator rather than show him the door and prod him towards it.

We envision a more energetic and, indeed, activist strategy. Our proposal is one that aims to remove the often debilitating barriers of state sovereignty, which rests on a centuries-old foundation of the sanctity of governments, even those which have proven themselves illegitimate and decrepit. We ask for the UN to go further than its recent resolution, condemning the violence in Zimbabwe, to encompass an active isolation of the dictator Mugabe.

For this we need a force to protect the people.

We do not want armed conflict, but the people of Zimbabwe need the words of indignation from global leaders to be backed by the moral rectitude of military force.

Such a force would be in the role of peacekeepers, not trouble-makers. They would separate the people from their oppressors and cast the protective shield around the democratic process for which Zimbabwe yearns.

The next stage should be a new presidential election. This does indeed burden Zimbabwe and create an atmosphere of limbo. Yet there is hardly a scenario that does not carry an element of pain. The reality is that a new election, devoid of violence and intimidation, is the only way to put Zimbabwe right.

Part of this process would be the introduction of election monitors, from the African Union and the UN. This would also require a recognition of myself as a legitimate candidate. It would be the best chance the people of Zimbabwe would get to see their views recorded fairly and justly.

Intervention is a loaded concept in today's world, of course.

Yet, despite the difficulties inherent in certain high-profile interventions, decisions not to intervene have created similarly dire consequences.

The battle in Zimbabwe today is a battle between democracy and dictatorship, justice and injustice, right and wrong.

It is one in which the international community must become more than a moral participant.

It must become mobilised.

submitted by MoRgAn TsVaNgIrAi

Intervention of the Sabine Women by Jacques-Louis David

Celeb o'the Day - Nadia Bjorlin

Nadia BjorlinNadia Bjorlin

Friday, June 27, 2008

2nd Amendment - Still Lives!!

Well - for those of us who can read plain English and therefore already understood what the 2nd Amendment stated, yesterday's Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling is expected.

Ruling here: link

The court (in a 5-4 decision) upheld the 2nd amendment as an individual right that preceeded the US Constitution and thus cannot be infringed.

Here are some of the relevant parts of the SCOTUS decision;

...In the Second Amendments operative clause (the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed), the phrase the right of the people.creates a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans...

...In the phrase to keep and bear Arms, the word Arms extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding. The phrase keep ... Arms means have weapons. The phrase bear Arms means to carry weapons and was understood as part of the natural right of defense of one’s person or house...

Kudos go out to the SCOTUS for getting this right after a series of disastrous 5-4 decisions, whereby Judge Kennedy was the swing vote with the rest of the wacko liberal judges, in Boumedienne and the Child Rape Case.


Celeb o'the Day - Layla Kayleigh

Layla KayleighLayla Kayleigh

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Celeb o'the Day - Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer LopezJennifer Lopez

Satanicus Giganticus

Here's a prediction: Zimbabwe's Morgan Tsvangirai will win this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

He would be its worthiest recipient since the prize went to Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi (one of the prize's few worthy recipients, period) in 1991. He deserves it for standing up – politically as well as physically – to Robert Mugabe's goon-squad dictatorship for over a decade; for organizing a democratic opposition and winning an election hugely stacked against him; and for refusing to put his own ambition ahead of his people's well-being when the run-off poll became, as he put it last weekend, a "violent, illegitimate sham."

Here's another prediction: Mr. Tsvangirai's Nobel will have about as much effect on the bloody course of Zimbabwe's politics as Aung San Suu Kyi's has had on Burma's.

Effectively, zero.

Zimbabwe is now another spot on the map of the civilized world's troubled conscience. Burma is also there, along with Tibet and Darfur. (Question: When will "Free Zimbabwe" bumper stickers become ubiquitous?) These are uniquely nasty places, and not just because uniquely nasty things are happening. They're nasty because the dissonance between the wider world's professed concern and what it actually does is almost intolerable.

Look at the legislation that has been proposed or passed in the U.S. Congress on Darfur. There is the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act (H.R. 3127), signed by President Bush into law in 2006, which sanctions officials identified as responsible for the genocide. There is House Resolution 992, which urges the president to appoint a special envoy to Sudan. (The president did appoint an envoy; care to remember his name?)

There is the 2007 Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act, which allows (but does not require) U.S. states and municipalities to divest from companies doing business in Sudan. There is Senate Resolution 559, urging the president to enforce a no-fly zone over Darfur. There is the Clinton Amendment, the Reid Amendment, the Menendez Amendment, the Durbin/Leahy Amendment, the Jackson Amendment, the Lieberman Resolution, the Obama/Reid Amendment and the Peace in Darfur Act.

This is a partial list. Meantime, here are the accumulating estimates of the conflict's toll on Darfuri lives. September 2004: 50,000, according to the World Health Organization. May 2005: between 63,000 and 146,000 "excess deaths," according to the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at Belgium's Catholic University of Louvain. March 2008: 200,000 deaths, according to U.N. officials. April 2008: The U.N. acknowledges the previous month's estimate might have undercounted about 100,000 victims.

In a video clip for the Save Darfur coalition, Barack Obama offered that the genocide is "a stain on our souls." His proposal for removing it? "Ratcheting up sanctions" on the Sudanese government and making "firm commitments in terms of the logistics, and the transport and the equipping" of an international peacekeeping mission for Darfur. No word, however, as to whether Mr. Obama would actually risk the lives of American soldiers to stop the slaughter.

It's a similar story in Zimbabwe. The U.N. Security Council met yesterday to discuss the crisis, while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told parliament "the world is of one view: that the status quo cannot continue."

But, of course, the status quo will continue. Just possibly, Mr. Mugabe and his senior ministers will no longer be allowed to travel to Europe, though that does nothing for the people of Zimbabwe. Other sanctions will have no effect: The regime is already busy expelling relief workers and seizing food aid. Mr. Mugabe wants "his people" to die – it means fewer mouths to feed, and fewer potential opposition supporters to jail, maim or murder.

A solution for Zimbabwe's crisis isn't hard to come by: Someone – ideally the British – must remove Mr. Mugabe by force, install Mr. Tsvangirai as president, arm his supporters, prevent any rampages, and leave. "Saving Darfur" is a somewhat different story, but it also involves applying Western military force to whatever degree is necessary to get Khartoum to come to terms with an independent or autonomous Darfur. Burma? Same deal.

International relations theorists, including prominent Obama adviser Susan Rice, justify these sorts of interventions under the rubric of a "Responsibility to Protect" – a concept that comes oddly close to Kipling's White Man's Burden. So close, in fact, that its inherent paternalism has hitherto inhibited many liberals from endorsing the kinds of interventions toward which they are now tip-toeing, thousands of deaths too late.

So let's by all means end the hand-wringing and embrace the responsibility to protect, wherever necessary and feasible. Let's spare the thousands of innocents, punish the wicked, oppose tyrants, and support democrats – both in places where it is now fashionable to do so (Burma) and in places where it is not (Iraq). If that turns out to be Mr. Obama's foreign policy, it will be a worthy one. It does come oddly close to the Bush Doctrine.

submitted by bReT sTePhEnS

Monday, June 23, 2008

Celeb o'the Day - Angelina Jolie

Angelina JolieAngelina Jolie

Strip Tease Redux

The recent kiss and make up betwixt Little Satan and the HAMAS Strip is just the latest in an elaborate strip tease of regional proportions

The world's very first freely elected suicide gov spins it like a win for innocent civilians trapped in a time traveling semi caliphate where death is precious, praised and preferred, stubborn resistence and a def smack down for those wicked wacky neocons and infidel Fatah leaders sucking up to Great Satan and Little Satan

"There is no doubt that the forces of peace and reason on all sides have
won against the forces of bellicosity, hatred and terror, especially in
Washington and Tel Aviv and some other regional capitals as well.

The people of Gaza, the victims of American-Israeli criminality, are
undoubtedly the biggest winners of this deal. At least, they can breathe again,
following 18 nightmarish months of unimagined brutality and ruthlessness

In addition to the gung-ho neocons in Washington and war-drummers in Tel
Aviv who wanted to exterminate Hamas, not a small amount of consternation is
also likely to be permeating now in Ramallah where a Zionized group within Fatah
had been hoping to see the Israeli army overrun Gaza, murder hundreds, and then
hand Gaza over to the Fatah leadership on a silver platter."

HAMAS also says a hudna v4.0 could be good for biz even if Little Satan is a serpentine zionist entity and undeserving of good faith, spokescat Khalid Amayreh realises that the state must hold the monopoly on violence and magically appearing civilian militia rocket artillery brigades in innocent civilian rich turf may not get the PLOld School wink and a smile.

"Hamas should make meticulous efforts to preserve the ceasefire since doing so is
first and foremost a supreme and paramount Palestinian interest.

Hamas should also make it abundantly clear to the military wings of other
Palestinian factions that the security and safety of the people of Gaza must not
be subject to the whims of this or that faction."

And a hudna is good for biz. Like collecting jizrah from foreigners.

"In fact, preserving the ceasefire would send a positive message to the
international community that Hamas is responsible organization with which
"business can be made."

Moreover, a careful abidance by the agreement on Hamas’s part would show
good- will toward Egypt whose support and backing is essential for the survival
of the Gaza Strip, at least at this juncture of the Palestinian struggle for
freedom and liberation from Zionism."

Total smokescreen too. Nary a word about returning abducted citizens.

Super fly smart guy Michael Oren (6 Days of War is worth the price of admission - Faith and Fantasy is nigh essential) disses the smoke and cuts right to it.

"It represents a historic accomplishment for the jihadist forces most
opposed to peace, and defeat for the Palestinians who might still have been
Israel's partners.

Since Little Satan split the Strip way back in '05 and hiked up 'the wall.' Hamas surged in a post electile dysfunction bliss that not only featured an armed coup de tat, the box set blings over an entire K - one thousand! - missiles, rockets and mortars fired at a sovereign democratic neighbor.

The resulting Hudna gave HAMAS breathing space to raid into Little Satan and capture citizens of a sovereign democratic neighbor which audaciously emboldened Hiz'B'Allah to act out in on the act.

"Hamas now felt sufficiently emboldened to overthrow Gaza's Fatah-led
government, and to declare itself regnant in the Strip. Subsequently, Hamas
launched thousands more rocket and mortar salvos against Israel, rendering parts
of the country nearly uninhabitable.

Israel never mounted the rolling, multi-month operation that the IDF had
. Traumatized by his abortive performance in the Lebanon War, hobbled
by financial scandals, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert balked at a military
engagement liable to result in incalculable casualties and United Nations
condemnations, but unlikely to halt Hamas aggression.

Like Hezbollah in 2006, Hamas won because it did not lose. Its leaders
still walked Gaza's streets freely while children in Sderot and other Israeli
border towns cowered in bomb shelters. Like Hezbollah, which recently wrested
unprecedented powers from the Lebanese parliament, Hamas parlayed its military
success into political capital.

The Egyptian-brokered cease-fire yields Hamas greater benefits than it
might have obtained in direct negotiations. In exchange for giving its word to
halt rocket attacks and weapons smuggling, Hamas receives the right to monitor
the main border crossings into Gaza and to enforce a truce in the West Bank,
where Fatah retains formal control.

If quiet is maintained, then Israel will be required to accept a cease-fire
in the West Bank as well. Hamas can regroup and rearm."

This is significant - and where Iran becomes the cat behind the green curtain. This is a great op for the mullahs and their IRGC fanboys to reinforce success (since it looks like Mahdi Army totally sucked at anything other than getting their militia annihilated, incarcerated or co opted).

Taking control of West Bank (Judea in Little Satan speak) will grant Iran frontline access to Little Satan.

Zooming out of Little Satan and her twin client states of the Strip and WB, Iran is deploying her regional assets in a Persian Chess move.

"As the primary sponsor of Hamas, Iran is the cease-fire's ultimate
beneficiary. Having already surrounded Israel on three of its borders -- Gaza,
Lebanon, Syria -- Iran is poised to penetrate the West Bank.

By activating these fronts, Tehran can divert attention from its nuclear program
and block any diplomatic effort.

The advocates of peace between Israelis and Palestinians should recognize that fact when applauding quiet at any price. The cost of this truce may well be war".

Several advocates tend to disregard any jazz about a Persian dominated crescent from Iran to the Med as make believe and way off base for Persian Grand Strategy.

Either way - is Iran buying time to finish WMD witchraft and psychicly determine who Great Satan's electile dysfunction climaxes for in Nov?

With Lebanon devoured, attacking Little Satan could very well be Persia's check move.

Til Iran gets all nukey.