Sunday, June 29, 2008
Source: Reuters NAIROBI, June 29 (Reuters) - The African Union (AU) should deploy troops in Zimbabwe to resolve a crisis that has become an "embarrassment" to the continent, Kenya's Prime Minister Raila ...
Personally, I'm struggling with any African country having a moral mandate for change or democracy. Time for South Africa to step up and lead instead of waiting on the sidelines and worrying about making tribal groups angry.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Source: Reuters KABUL, June 28 (Reuters) - Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops killed 32 Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan, including some who dressed as women in an attempt to escape, the U.S. military said ...
ABC News: International
... in clashes with terrorists belonging to the al- Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group, Algerian media reported Saturday, citing security sources. ...
Source: Reuters SEOUL, June 28 (Reuters) - North Korea still has not responded to U.S. suspicions of proliferating nuclear technology and enriching uranium for weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said ...
Friday, June 27, 2008
When I was quite young I tended to follow Israeli issues closely, I think my mom kept putting it there and forcing me to think about it. Israel matters, a bunch. When I reached young adult though I started to go like many "progressives" and started to really favor the popular "can't Israel just learn to get along" theory. They are somewhat socialized and haven't been nearly as free with civil rights.
Finally I have grown in mid-life to a point of realizing that Israel is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East. They are a very important ally, and they are under constant attack from the terror that we've really only seen a couple times in the last four decades.
If Israel has strong indications that Iran has nukes, then I would agree they will probably strike Iran preemptively. The Economist seems to be against preemption, but that's no surprise since they tend to be a little more "progressive."
I've never been a big fan of boycotts, but that's easy to say when you live in the United States and you can vote for anyone you want. In this case these people weren't given a real choice, a lot like Cuba, and the only chance for a free vote went away when the opposition candidate was beaten into pulling out of the race. What then?
In a city that has become known across the province for more than 500 reconciliations of local men with U.S. and Iraqi Security Forces, a broader reconciliation has been ongoing between Shia tribes who dominate the city and Sunni tribes who ring the outlying towns.
Balad was infamous for sectarian bloodshed in 2006. More than 57 people were killed when Sunni insurgents killed at least 14 Shiite farmworkers. Shias killed scores of Sunni in reprisals. U.S. forces were accused of not intervening soon enough to stop the killings. The Iraqi Army was finally sent to step in.
Iraqi reporters, who Tuesday went to Balad to cover reconciliation progress, know first hand about the terrible rifts caused by sectarianism. Mustafa, an Iraqi TV reporter from Baghdad, told a story of a young man who witnessed two brothers killed in front of a third brother. The man said to the killers, what do you expect him to learn, forgiveness?
But now there is a place for blood enemies to meet and discuss their differences. In April a former Ba’ath party building was transformed into a neutral meeting ground for sheiks to discuss tribal reconciliations in the area. So far all the regions Sunni tribes have come to meet with the Shia powerbrokers but the Al Jabouri tribe, who are set to reconcile soon, Sheik Bajit said.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
from Gateway Pundit by Gateway Pundit
There's more than one way to win an election.Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai announced today that he is pulling out of Friday's presidential run-off and essentially handing victory to tyrant Robert Mugabe, the BBC reported.Morgan Tsvangirai believed there would be no point in running in the latest election since it would be rigged anyway.The opposition is beaten.
This is terrible, I can't blame the poor guy for dropping out though. Police had been stopping him almost daily and in some cases threatening him if he continued rallies.
This is a dictatorship of the worst kind.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The scientists behind NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander mission now know that they had their first close-up look at Martian ice — because it has vanished from the picture.
Days ago, streaks and bits of whitish material were spotted at the bottom of a trench dug by the lander's robotic scoop, leading scientists to speculate that the stuff was either ice or salt. An initial chemical analysis was inconclusive, but scientists said they could tell by seeing if the material disappeared after exposure to the thin Martian atmosphere. (Source: MSNBC)
I can't say I understand all the details, but in essence, if there is provable water on Mars, then it's possible there was or has been life at some point. Do you think that life on Mars was or is possible?
Monday, June 16, 2008
However, the Iraqi news service Aswat Al-Iraq reported this historic news:
U.S. President George Bush on Monday announced the withdrawal of 30,000 troops by July, highlighting that any further withdrawal of the troops will depend on the security conditions in the country.More... Ace has the Iraq quote of the day from the AP:
This came during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London.
The U.S. president linked any further withdrawal of U.S. forces with the improvement of Iraqi forces’ capabilities and their abilities to bear more responsibilities, as well as the economic improvement and more progress regarding political reconciliation.
“This strategy aims at handing Iraqis more responsibilities,” Bush said.
For his part, Brown denied any impact of the political argument on his government’s stance.
“There is a work to do in Iraq and we will continue our work,” Brown added, stressing that he would not outline any time table for British forces withdrawal.
"Those positive signs are attracting little attention in the United States."
Update: The major media aren't reporting because it will hurt Obama's chances of winning the Presidency. Who needs to hate Bush, if we're winning the peace.
In a sudden death overtime win, after 18 holes of playoff today, Tiger Woods completes his 14th major title. Some thoughts:
- Rocco Mediate is a terrific spokesman for the game of golf, his poise and charisma were powerful. I hope to see him again in another major, perhaps even a win
- Tiger Woods shows again that even when he's injured he is the best golfer on the planet
- The game of golf is the big winner, a game of rules that are followed and not cheated, a game where the best is only as good as his or her last outing.
Woods brings out top ratings for US Open
US Open = Hole-In-One For City
I watched and was logged into Twitter for the last few holes and the sudden death hole. On a business Monday twitter was crazy with posts. It didn't matter who you wanted to win, today Golf won.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Links ~ 14 June 2008 from This is Zimbabwe.
You really want to head over and read thru all the links and summaries.
Basically the dictator won't let go, the opposition is getting harrassed by the government, other African countries are actually taking notice. This is a line of demarcation event, a successful transfer of power is key to stemming the tide of dictators and repression on the African continent.
Mugabe says ready to hand power to a party faithful
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been quoted as saying he would be willing to hand power to a ruling party ally when he was sure the country was safe from "sellouts" and from British interference.
But the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper said he gave no time-frame and again vowed to stop the opposition taking power.
Mr Mugabe is fighting for re-election in a June 27 run-off against Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The opposition leader won the first round in March but not with enough votes to take the presidency.
The veteran leader, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, has threatened to go to war to stop a Tsvangirai victory.
The Mail said Mr Mugabe told a campaign rally late on Saturday that his "leadership was prepared to relinquish power to those [ZANU-PF officials] that uphold the country's [independence] legacy".
"This country cannot be sold at the stroke of a pen," he said, repeating a vow not to let the MDC, whom he has branded as British puppets, rule the country.
The Mail said Mr Mugabe urged supporters to concentrate on defending his government's land nationalisation and black economic empowerment policies, and not on complaints by what he called "sellouts" that ZANU-PF has been in power for too long.
Zimbabwe's agricultural sector, once one of the most prosperous in Africa, has collapsed, and shortages of bread, milk and meat are common. Inflation is running at 165,000 per cent and unemployment is 80 per cent.
Two top officials, including former finance minister Simba Makoni, who stood against him in presidential elections in March, quit Mr Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party early this year, saying he did not want to retire.
British foreign secretary David Miliband says the Zimbabwean Government's treatment of its people amounts to sadism.
Mr Miliband said it was important for the international community to speak out plainly against the reports of killing, torture and beatings in Zimbabwe.
He said more election monitors were needed in addition to the 150 from African countries already there.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
For the last year I have kept one eye on the Kosovo Independence movement. While also continuing to write here on other international problems and crisis. Today I have one eye firmly on Zimbabwe and the struggle there for democracy to take firm root. While reading Gateway Pundit earlier tonite, he referred to the site This is Zimbabwe ... so I headed over to read that the man who won the popular vote has been detained yet again. This site was actually posting live updates, and informing people of the phone numbers to call the police and inform them that the world is watching! Now that's powerful stuff.
If you know more than me, and that wouldn't be hard, leave some comments. If you feel I'm reporting old news, or news that's been spun by someone, let me know that too. I've done that before and was always glad to stand corrected and get the truth.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Gaza 2008 is a reality bordering on the impossible: 70% of the 1.3 million residents are welfare recipients whose lives depend on various aid organizations. About 60% make less than $2 a day and live below the poverty line. (click link above for whole article)
Why do the people in Gaza put up with this terror group running them into the ground? Why did they vote for a terror group when they had a choice of a group that was making progress?
When people vote terrorists into office, do we have the same responsibilities to support them from a humanitarian standpoint?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
From One Jerusalem
As Olmert talks about cutting deals with Hamas, Shas has indicated that it will join Labour and vote to dissolve the Olmert Government on June 25. While Labour continues to talk about the desire for stability this action will most certainly bring about elections for a new Government.
Carl in Jerusalem documents Olmert's effort to change Shas's mind.
Who leads next?
Monday, June 09, 2008
The majority of the Israeli public believes Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is currently under investigation for allegedly receiving unlawful funds from American businessman Morris Talansky, should step down immediately; even before Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and the State Prosecutor's Office decide whether or not an indictment is warranted in his case. More
from ABC News: International
Saudi Arabia seeks a meeting of oil-producing countries to rein in oil prices.
I will stand with others online and suggest that we'll see $50 oil yet this year. That doesn't mean oil will never go back up, or even top $200 at some point, but this irrational exuberrance is out of line with market realities.
Builder wants to buy Glass Chimney
from IndyStar.com - Top Stories
An Indianapolis commercial builder has plans to purchase a landmark fine-dining restaurant in Carmel. Tom and Jennifer Taggart and Tom's brother-in-law, Tom Zackowictz, of Norfolk, Va., will close on The Glass Chimney, 12901 Old Meridian St., on June 18. They plan to re-open the restaurant, which has been closed since late April, on June 20.
Although I usually post on international affairs here on this blog, I had to pause to celebrate the eventual re-opening of the restaurant that my wife and I visited for our engagement now almost 20 years ago!
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Update: Zimbabwe is still not a legitimate democracy, perhaps most similar our own hemispheric problem countries Cuba and Venezuela. Sure they have an election, but it's staged and the choices aren't legitimate.