FTL Show Notes 3-30-7
VNN’s FTL 3-30-7
Contacting the show:
SKYPE ID: VNNFREETALKLIVE
TOPICS TONIGHT: News, Tech, Video
The “angry whites plan Knoxville rally” by Myranda Morgan was posted to AmRen, so welcome new listeners from amren (psst, Jews are your enemy)
al Goldstein is running for pres
it’s a great idea for a ‘kwa interested in truth in advertising
Nazi killer loses citizenship
A Michigan man who sent his Nazi superiors handwritten reports accounting for the ammunition he spent killing Jews was stripped of his citizenship.
John (Ivan) Kalymon, of Troy, Mich., belonged as a young man to the Ukranian Auxiliary Police in Lviv. The Nazi-sponsored unit was responsible for the deaths and displacement of more than 100,000 Jews in the area in 1942-1943, according to the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations. According to contemporary documentation, Kalymon participated in the killings.
“Irrefutable evidence, including a handwritten report prepared by Kalymon in which he accounted to his superiors for ammunition he expended in shooting Jews, proved his participation in Nazi genocide,” OSI director Eli Rosenbaum said in a release Friday. Marianne Battani, a federal judge in Detroit, found that Kalymon’s 1955 citizenship was invalidated because of his Nazi service, and because he concealed it from immigration officials.
Some breaking news
Around the Blogsphere
Blood on the Walls over at Kirksville Today.com
‘We Want Homes and Electricity – and if we don’t get it, we will burn everything down’ from sa is crap.blogspot
The New South African mindset of demand, take, demand, take, demand, take, demand, take, without any concept of where things come from or who is actually paying for them, has been illustrated once again with an outbreak of rioting in the Winterveld Sophisticated Black residential area in “Tshwane” on Wednesday.
Ironically, much of what the SB Population is complaining about, is directly attributable to their own racial comrades’ inability to actually deliver on anything, but that is of course lost on them when they have a chance to engage in a bit of the old mindless vandalism.
The community met at the Bushveld Road and Lucas Mangope Drive intersection where they were addressed by the ward councillor. Listening to the announcements was Oupa Masilela. He said he embarked on the street action because he wanted a roof over his head. “We want a home of our own and electricity. They have been installing lights since the end of last year, but they are taking too long.
“Some people have stolen some equipment, which is making it difficult,” he said.
Ward 9 Councillor Galela Makama said the protest was the result of delayed implementation of electrical supply to about 250 000 households in the area. He said the Tshwane Metro Council started the process last year and about 6 000 homes had received power, but due to lack of manpower and equipment being stolen, the process was taking time. “Three transformers worth R120 000 each and cables were stolen. We have approached the community to form block committees to stop the theft.”
A 1km stretch of Bushveld Road was barricaded with rocks, burning tyres and 5m-long gum poles, some of which had been burnt. Police clashed with the protesters when they moved in to disperse the crowd.
The residents hurled stones at police who responded with rubber bullets, scattering the crowd. Residents said several people were injured in the clashes. Police used a water cannon to douse the burning tyres. Several Nyala armoured personnel carriers loaded with police armed with shotguns and stun-grenades patrolled the area after the clashes, keeping a check on some unruly residents. Some SBGs made use of the opportunity to get drunk and hurl abuse at the police.
Judicial system is ‘failing Jews’ from Aryan awakening.blogspot
The Crown Prosecution Service is to investigate why fewer than one in 10 anti-Semitic incidents results in prosecution, the Government will announce today.
The review follows criticism by MPs that the judicial system is failing Jews, who are more vulnerable to attacks and abuse than at any time for a generation.
Police forces are also overhauling their procedures for recording such incidents after MPs complained that many were “complacent”.
The measures will be announced as part of a Government campaign to combat concerns that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Britain and across Europe.
Ministers are particularly worried about anti-Jewish agitation on university campuses, and have ordered a Government task force to tackle the issue as a “matter of urgency”.
They are to urge the police to use the Public Order Act 1986, which outlaws the spread of racial hatred, where there is enough evidence to bring prosecutions against Islamic extremists for speeches on campuses.
The task force, which is jointly run by the Home Office and the Communities Department, will also step up efforts to counter political extremism and racism
on the internet.
Afghani goes on rampage against non-paying blacks Newsnet14.com
LONG BEACH – The fate of a local physician accused of committing a variety of hate crimes in an effort to evict two black tenants from her Orizaba Avenue rental property now rests in the hands of a Long Beach jury.Dr. Mary Zulfacar, a 66-year-old native of Afghanistan and naturalized U.S. citizen, faces several misdemeanor counts and two hate-crime allegations arising from a dispute over a lease agreement with Kenneth Jackson and his 17-year-old daughter, Jerlean.
Prosecutors allege that on two days in May 2006, Zulfacar punched Jerlean in the stomach when she was five months pregnant, threatened Kenneth with a shovel, vandalized the Jacksons’ car, yelled racial slurs at them, left a manila envelope containing feces in their mailbox and taunted them by hanging a stuffed monkey from a rope next to a sign reading “I.M. LYNCHED.”
In addition to the hate-crime counts, Zulfacar is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, battery, making criminal threats, brandishing a deadly weapon and violating a court order. If convicted, she could face several years in jail.
In her closing argument before a Long Beach Superior Court jury Wednesday, Deputy City Prosecutor Sayge Castillo said there was no question that Zulfacar committed the acts and was motivated by a deep-seated hatred.
“The bottom line is that (lease disputes) are no defense – absolutely no defense – for what she did to this family,” Castillo said. “Whether (the Jacksons) paid the rent, or didn’t pay the rent, is irrelevant.”
AIPAC SCANDAL Washington – New details are emerging about a secret 2003 briefing that could play a key role in the defense of two pro-Israel advocates charged with passing classified information.
Until now, the identities of the participants were not publicly known, except for one of the defendants, Steve Rosen, then policy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In recent weeks, however, the Forward has confirmed that the meeting featured a briefing delivered by top Middle East peace envoy Anthony Zinni and was attended by Jess Hordes, head of the Washington office of the Anti-Defamation League, and Dan Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International.
Defense lawyers have sought the testimony of those in attendance to demonstrate to the jury that meetings between administration officials and Jewish representatives were common practice, and that intelligence was frequently shared during these powwows without the participants knowing the information was classified. But, as first reported in the Forward last month, the Jewish representatives who attended the meeting are refusing to cooperate with the defense team.
Hordes and Mariaschin refused to comment for this story, and the identity of the third Jewish representative who is refusing to testify could not be confirmed.
In Zinni, the defense team would be turning to a harsh critic of both the Iraq War and neoconservatives at the Pentagon, who according to Zinni thought the invasion would stabilize American interests in the Middle East and strengthen Israel’s position.
“I think it’s the worst-kept secret in Washington. That everybody — everybody I talk to in Washington — has known and fully knows what their agenda was and what they were trying to do,” said Zinni in a May 2004 interview with the CBS News program “60 Minutes.”
At the meeting with the Jewish representatives, Zinni discussed the situation in the Middle East and attempts by the Bush administration to promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to sources familiar with the prosecution’s account of the meeting. The sources said that Zinni “spoke very freely” and that he revealed information that was not available to the general public.
The next day, Rosen, who had represented Aipac at the meeting, informed his superiors at the pro-Israel lobby about the information supplied by Zinni.
At the time, Rosen was already under FBI surveillance and his conversations about the meeting with Zinni were monitored. They later appeared in documents presented by the prosecution once Rosen and the other defendant in the case, Aipac’s Iran specialist, Keith Weissman, were indicted.
According to sources close to the case, the Jewish participants in the meeting are refusing to cooperate on the advice of their organizations’ respective legal advisers, who recommend steering clear of the proceedings.
Sources close to the defense expressed disappointment over the reluctance of the Jewish groups to testify. These sources describe it as another sign of the decision by Jewish organizations to distance themselves from the case. One source close to the defense described the response of the Jewish community to the prosecution of the two former senior Aipac staffers as “abandonment,” and said that many Jewish officials and organizations cut off all ties to the defendants after the case was made public.
The U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., will make a decision later this month regarding the government’s request to keep the trial closed and not to allow the public or press to see the evidence or to listen to wiretapping recordings that will be the central pieces of evidence in the case. In a hearing last month, Judge T.S. Ellis III said that no precedent exists for such a request. The judge ordered both sides to prepare arguments for a pretrial hearing on the issue, which is scheduled for mid-April.
If the prosecution’s request for a closed trial is denied, the government will be asked to prepare redacted versions of the evidence to be presented in the courtroom.
Giuliani Faces 9/11 Questions
Friday March 30, 2007 7:46 AM
AP Photo OKSO111
By LARRY McSHANE
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Rudy Giuliani’s White House aspirations are inescapably tied to Sept. 11, 2001 – for better and for worse.
While the former mayor of the nation’s largest city was widely lionized for his post-9/11 leadership – “Churchillian” was one adjective, “America’s mayor” was Oprah Winfrey’s assessment – city firefighters and their families are renewing their attacks on him for his performance before and after the terrorist attack.
“If Rudolph Giuliani was running on anything but 9/11, I would not speak out,” said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was among the 343 FDNY members killed in the terrorist attack. “If he ran on cleaning up Times Square, getting rid of squeegee men, lowering crime – that’s indisputable.
“But when he runs on 9/11, I want the American people to know he was part of the problem.”
Such comments contradict Giuliani’s post-Sept. 11 profile as a hero and symbol of the city’s resilience – the steadfast leader who calmed the nerves of a rattled nation. But as the presidential campaign intensifies, criticisms of his 2001 performance are resurfacing.
Giuliani, the leader in polls of Republican voters for his party’s nomination, has been faulted on two major issues:
– His administration’s failure to provide the World Trade Center’s first responders with adequate radios, a long-standing complaint from relatives of the firefighters killed when the twin towers collapsed. The Sept. 11 Commission noted the firefighters at the World Trade Center were using the same ineffective radios employed by the first responders to the 1993 terrorist attack on the trade center.
Regenhard, at a 2004 commission hearing in Manhattan, screamed at Giuliani, “My son was murdered because of your incompetence!” The hearing was a perfect example of the 9/11 duality: Commission members universally praised Giuliani at the same event.
– A November 2001 decision to step up removal of the massive rubble pile at ground zero. The firefighters were angered when the then-mayor reduced their numbers among the group searching for remains of their lost “brothers,” focusing instead on what they derided as a “scoop and dump” approach. Giuliani agreed to increase the number of firefighters at ground zero just days after ordering the cutback.
More than 5 years later, body parts are still turning up in the trade center site.
“We want America to know what this guy meant to New York City firefighters,” said Peter Gorman, head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. “In our experiences with this man, he disrespected us in the most horrific way.”
The two-term mayor, in his appearance before the Sept. 11 Commission, said the blame for the death and destruction of Sept. 11 belonged solely with the terrorists. “There was not a problem of coordination on Sept. 11,” he testified.
Giuliani was also criticized for locating the city’s emergency center in 7 World Trade Center, a building that contained thousands of gallons of diesel fuel when it collapsed after the terrorist attack.
The lingering ill will between Giuliani and firefighters was resurrected when the International Association of Fire Fighters initially decided not to invite the former mayor to its March 14 candidates forum in Washington. Other prominent presidential hopefuls, including Republican John McCain and Democrats Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards, addressed the nation’s largest firefighters union.
According to the Giuliani camp, the contretemps with the union dates to tough contract negotiations in his second term as mayor. His critics deny any political motivation.
The IAFF drafted a membership letter – it was never sent – that excoriated Giuliani and promised to tell “the real story” about his role in handling the terrorist attack.
The then-mayor’s decision to change policy on the ground zero recovery effort was “an offensive and personal attack” on firefighters, the letter said, going on to say that Giuliani’s “disrespect … has not been forgotten or forgiven.”
Giuliani countered the attacks by releasing an open letter of support from retired firefighter Lee Ielpi, whose firefighter son was among the 2,749 victims on Sept. 11. “Firefighters have no greater friend and supporter than Rudy Giuliani,” Ielpi said.
A contingent of nearly 100 South Carolina firefighters also expressed their support for Giuliani and his White House hopes.
Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran political consultant, predicted the 9/11 criticisms could resonate beyond New York during the presidential campaign.
“These are very emotional people who will touch a responsive chord with a lot of the electorate,” he said. “The things that the 9/11 families say will wind up in television commercials used against Rudy Giuliani.”
The issues also have forced Giuliani to try to strike a balance to avoid the perception that he’s exploiting the attacks for his own personal gain. President Bush faced the same challenge in 2004 when he invoked the attacks to portray himself as a strong and steady leader in the face of terrorism. Some victims’ relatives criticized Bush for using the ruins of the World Trade Center in his campaign commercials, while others defended him.
9/11 and the Evidence
By Paul Craig Roberts
03/27/07 “ICH “ — Professor David Ray Griffin is the nemesis of the official 9/11 conspiracy theory. In his latest book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, Griffin destroys the credibility of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Popular Mechanics reports, annihilates his critics, and proves himself to be a better scientist and engineer than the defenders of the official story.
Griffin’s book is 385 pages divided into four chapters and containing 1,209 footnotes. Without question, the book is the most thorough presentation and examination of all known facts about the 9/11 attacks. Griffin is a person who is sensitive to evidence, logic, and scientific reasoning. There is no counterpart on the official side of the story who is as fully informed on all aspects of the attacks as Griffin.
At the outset, Griffin points out that the reader’s choice is between two conspiracy theories: One is that Muslim fanatics, who were not qualified to fly airplanes, defeated the security apparatus of the US and succeeded in three out of four attacks using passenger jets as weapons. The other is that security failed across the board, not merely partially but totally, because of complicity of some part of the US government.
Griffin points out that there has been no independent investigation of 9/11. What we have are a report by a political commission headed by Bush administration factotum Philip Zelikow, a NIST report produced by the Bush administration’s Department of Commerce, and a journalistic account produced by Popular Mechanics. Various scientists who work for the federal government or are dependent on government grants have issued speculative statements in behalf of the official conspiracy theory, but have not produced meaningful evidence in its behalf.
The relevant skeptics of the official story are approximately 100 independent researchers consisting of experts and professors whose careers have required them to deal with evidence and its analysis. Their individual contributions to 9/11 analysis can be found online.
Griffin has undertaken to absorb the arguments and evidence for the official account and the arguments and evidence against it. In his latest book, which has just been released, he presents the case for the official account and its evidential failure.
Polls show that 36% of Americans do not believe the official story. Setting aside the 25% of the public that is so uninformed or uninvolved as to believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attack, leaves 39% of the public who believe the official story. However, this 39% is essentially relying on the mainstream media’s endorsement of the official story. Griffin believes, perhaps naively, that truth can prevail, and it is his commitment to truth that has motivated him to shoulder the enormous task.
Everyone who believes in the integrity of the US government or the Bush administration will find Griffin’s book to be disturbing. Readers will have to confront such issues as why US authorities seized the forensic evidence resulting from the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings, the attack on the Pentagon and the crashed airliner in Pennsylvania and prevented any forensic examination of any part of the 9/11 attacks.
Despite widespread belief that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the attack, the evidence we have is a suspect video declared to be “bogus” by Bruce Lawrence, perhaps the leading American expert on bin Laden. The US government has never produced the promised report on bin Laden’s responsibility. When the Taliban offered to hand over bin Laden on presentation of evidence, the US government had no evidence to deliver; thus the invasion of Afghanistan.
The fragility of the NIST report is astonishing. The report succeeded because people accepted its assurances without examination.
Griffin shows that the Popular Mechanics report consists of special pleading, circular reasoning, appeals to the authority of the NIST report, straw men, and internal contradictions in the report itself.
There is not space in a review to present the evidence Griffin has mustered. A few highlights should suffice to alert readers to the possibility that the Bush administration has lied about more than Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
The two WTC towers did not collapse. They blew up and disintegrated, as did WTC 7. There is an enormous energy deficit in every account that rules out the use of explosives. Gravitational energy is insufficient to explain the pulverization of the buildings and contents and the severing of the 47 massive center core steel columns in each of the towers into convenient lengths to be picked up and loaded onto trucks; much less can gravitational energy account for the pulverization of the top floors of the towers and ejection of steel beams hundreds of feet horizontally just prior to the disintegration of the floors below.
Damage caused by airliners and short-lived limited fires cannot explain the disintegration of the buildings. The massive steel skeletons of the towers comprised a gigantic heat sink that wicked away whatever heat the limited fires produced.
NIST’s final report stated that of the steel available to it for examination, “only three columns had evidence that the steel reached temperatures above 250 degrees Celsius” (482 degrees Fahrenheit). The self-cleaning ovens in our home kitchens reach temperatures higher than this, and the ovens do not melt or deform.
Steel begins to melt at 1,500 degrees C or 2,800 degrees F. Temperatures of 250 degrees C would have no effect on the strength of steel. The explanation that the buildings collapsed because fire weakened the steel is speculative. Open air fires do not produce temperatures sufficient to deprive steel of its structural integrity. Steel framed buildings have burned 22 hours in raging infernos, and the steel skeletons remained standing. The WTC fires in the towers lasted about one hour and were limited to a few floors. Moreover, it is impossible for fire to account for the sudden, total and symmetrical disintegration of powerfully constructed buildings, much less at free fall speeds that are obtainable only with controlled demolition.
Griffin provides quotes from firefighters, police, and tenants, who heard and experienced a series of explosions prior to the disintegration of the towers. Such witness testimony is generally ignored by defenders of the official conspiracy theory.
Molten steel was found in underground levels of the WTC buildings weeks after the buildings’ destruction. As everyone agrees that the fires did not approach the melting point of steel, a possible explanation is high explosives used in demolitions that produce 5,000 degree temperatures. The possibility that explosives were used remains unexamined except by independent researchers.
Contradictions in the official conspiracy theory leap off the pages and hit the reader in the face. For example, the evidence that Flight 77, a Boeing 757, crashed into the Pentagon is the government’s claim to have obtained from the wreckage enough bodies and body parts to match the DNA for each person on the passenger list and flight crew. Simultaneously, the absence of passenger luggage, fuselage, wing and tail sections–indeed the absence of a 100,000 pound airliner–is attributed to the vaporization of the airplane due to the high speed crash and intense fire. The incompatibility of vaporized metal but recovered flesh and blood stood unnoticed until Griffin pointed it out.
Another striking inconsistency in the official conspiracy theory is the difference in the impact of airliners on the Pentagon and the WTC towers. In the case of the Pentagon, the emphasis is on why the airliner caused so little damage to the building. In the case of the WTC towers, the emphasis is why the airliners caused so much damage.
Perhaps it is merely a coincidence that just prior to 9/11 Cathleen P. Black, who has family connections to the CIA and Pentagon and is president of Hearst Magazines, the owner of Popular Mechanics, fired the magazine’s editor-in-chief and several senior veteran staff members and installed James B. Meigs and Benjamin Chertoff, a cousin of Bush administration factotum Michael Chertoff. It was Meigs and Benjamin Chertoff who produced the Popular Mechanics report that Griffin has eviscerated.
In his conclusion Griffin reminds us that the 9/11 attack has been used to start wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to plan an attack on Iran, to curtail constitutional protections and civil liberties in the US, to radically expand US military budgets and the power of the executive, and to enrich entrenched vested interests. Griffin is definitely correct about this regardless of whether a believable case can ever be made for the government’s version of the 9/11 conspiracy.
ADL Spiked Sept. 11 Blockbuster
Foxman & Crew Pressured Media To Suppress Israeli 9-11 Connection
By Mark Glenn
American Free Press
April 2nd, 2007
“What are you doing putting this stuff out there? You’re killing us!” These were the words of Abraham Foxman, executive director of the infamous Anti-Defamation League, considered by many in the know to be nothing more than a domestic branch of Israel’s intelligence service Mossad.
According to an explosive piece recently appearing in the online edition of Counterpunch, Foxman shouted this during a sit-down he demanded to have with an unnamed Fox News executive shortly after Sept. 11.
The “stuff” that was causing Foxman so much indigestion that day was a damning, four-part investigative series Fox News had been airing after Sept. 11 dealing with the arrests of several hundred Israeli nationals as well as some of the incriminating circumstances surrounding their activities in the United States.
In particular, it was the story dealing with one group, known to investigators and journalists as the “high fivers,” who, according to an arrest report by the Bergen County Police Department, were “seen by New Jersey residents on Sept. 11 making fun of the World Trade Center ruins and going to extreme lengths to photograph themselves in front of the wreckage.”
The same police report also indicated that “maps of the city with certain places highlighted” were found in their vehicle, giving all of it the appearance that “they’re hooked in with this” and that “they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park.”
Since then, Cameron’s reports have been removed by the network from its archives on the Internet. However, the series can still be viewed on web sites around the world.
These men—along with many others arrested around the country after 9-11—were held by U.S. authorities for several months for questioning before being quietly sent back to Israel. What these investigations revealed was that the young Israeli nationals were all intelligence officers working for Mossad, a fact later admitted by Israel and proved by the comments of one of these men in a radio interview he gave after his return home. “We were sent to document the event,” said one of the Israelis.
What is of particular importance in this development, however, was the role that pro-Israel pressure groups—in this case the ADL, AIPAC and the misnamed Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)—played in the cover-up of the role Israel played in the mass murder of not just the 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, but the 3,000+ American servicemen and 700,000 Iraqis subsequently killed in Iraq as well.
In a personal interview with American Free Press, the writer of the report in Counterpunch, Christopher Ketchum, indicated that Foxman just didn’t call upon Fox News. Every major media outlet in America received a visit from the head of the ADL. In addition to Foxman inserting his largesse personally, executives at the highest levels of the various networks were also inundated with phone calls, letters and emails so numerous that they caused the computer networks to crash.
Of equal importance is the fact that according to the several intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies who were contacted, various members of the most powerful Jewish groups in the country visited the White House and petitioned officials at the highest levels to close down all investigations of the Israeli spies.
It is important to remember that the official position of these various Jewish groups has been that the stories circulating on the internet alleging Israeli foreknowledge of 9-11 have been nothing more than an “old canard” dreamt up by anti-Semites and Israel-haters and that there was never any evidence to suggest that such foreknowledge existed.
Had Americans been made aware of the arrests of hundreds of Israeli intelligence officers in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and the highly suspicious circumstances surrounding them, it is unlikely—even as propagandized as they are concerning the Middle East—that they would have signed on to sending their sons and daughters off to fight and die for Israel in Iraq.
Cover-ups are part of the dirty business of the Israeli lobby. Whether it involves the murderous attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli forces in 1967, Israeli foreknowledge of Sept. 11, the attempt to secure the release of major spy Jonathan Pollard or the efforts to gain an acquittal for the two AIPAC executives now standing trial for espionage, the conclusion to which all Americans must arrive is that Israel and her various tentacles collectively make up the most dangerous enemy the United States has ever faced.
Whites have reason to be afraid from the S.A. Star
The heading of Max du Preez’s recent column, “Don’t believe everything you read” (The Star, Opinion and Analysis, March 22 2007) should also be applied to his own views.
White South Africans have every reason to be terrified, given the current breakdown in law and order, as well as President Thabo Mbeki’s anti-white rhetoric.
French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut said during the Parisian race riots of 2005 that “the lofty idea of ‘the war on racism'” was gradually turning into a hideously false ideology.
And this anti-racism will be for the 21st century what communism was for the 20th century: a source of violence.
During the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the infamous Radio-Télévision des Milles Collines broadcast a call to arms to its Hutu listeners by saying “cut down the tall trees” and “kill the cockroaches”.
We all know what happened next, having seen the sanitised version of the events in the movie Hotel Rwanda.
Mbeki’s claims that vast numbers of whites out there call blacks “kaffirs” and flatten their noses in racist caricatures are tantamount to anti-white propaganda.
A few months ago I spent a weekend with a foreign TV journalist and his cameraman.
After showing them a collection of newspaper clippings depicting the carnage that took place in December 2006 when every day more white and especially Afrikaner victims were reported murdered, tortured and raped, he soon stopped me, saying: “I’ve seen enough. What your government has done, is to designate you as targets. They don’t have to kill you; they know someone else will do it for them.”
Max du Preez is living in a dream world if he thinks that South Africa has good race relations and that there is no ethnic motive underlying our rampant murder rate.
In Europe, the murder rate is two per 100 000 per year.
In black ghettoes in the US it rises to about 40.
Among Afrikaner farmers it is more than 300 per 100 000 per year!
That single statistic justifies the hypothesis that we are already in the early stages of anti-Afrikaner genocide.
My children recently visited some friends in a rural area.
Upon returning they told me this about their friends’ mother: “Auntie A drives with her pistol on her lap and when she sees more than one black man getting closer than 10m from her car, she cocks it and gets very nervous.”
I was quite shocked by this narration.
But Auntie A is an amiable, intelligent and liberal woman.
Upon reflection, I had to admit that she was acting entirely rationally, protecting her children in the car, as well as mine.
Du Preez is also wrong when he claims that black people commit 10 times more violent crime than whites, which would be proportionate to their demographic weight within the total population.
The truth is that they commit 50 to 100 times more violent crime, even though such statistics are not generally available.
In the early 1960s, some Afrikaner anthropologists predicted that unbridled urbanisation, coupled with a superficial Western consumerist lifestyle, would not only rob Africans of their soul and unique culture, but also create a nightmare of nihilistic violence in the country.
Bruwer wrote at the time that “the African is in his deepest being a good person when he moves within the embrace of an own cultural tradition”.
Today millions of Africans in this country have indeed ceased to be good and we have reason to fear them.
Anyone who pretends otherwise, as Du Preez does, is simply blind to reality.
Three suspects, one arrest in Pasco rape Last Edited: Thursday, 29 Mar 2007, 9:20 AM EDT Created: Wednesday, 28 Mar 2007, 8:30 PM EDT
NEW PORT RICHEY – The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in connection with the rape of an elderly woman earlier this week.
Deputies have arrested 18-year-old Jathaniel J. McMichael. They say two other suspects are still at large. One is 18-year-old Bobby Lee Black.
Another is a juvenile they are not yet naming.
Pasco Sheriff Bob White said McMichael was already in custody on a drug-related charge.
He was charged in connection with the rape last night.
Sheriff White said investigators contacted Black’s family last night, and they are hoping he will turn himself in. White said that the Sheriff’s Office is devoting “extensive resources” to finding Black.
“It’s only a matter if time. We will catch him,” Sheriff White said.
The 68-year-old rape victim lived in a senior living community, called Ramblewood Mobile Homes in South Zephyrhills.
Her friends told FOX 13 News that the horrific ordeal began when two men broke through her window early Tuesday morning.
The dramatic evening ended with the woman clawing her way out of an abandoned quarry in Zephyrhills that was a muddy pit of water twenty feet below.
The victim and her white minivan were tossed there by the men who robbed and raped her moments before.
Europe, New Right/Antisemitism/Yawn
Communities and Local Government News Release
Government outlines action to stamp out antisemitism
Communities and Local Government News Release 2007/0062
29 March 2007
Race and Faith Minister Phil Woolas today pledged to step up action to eradicate antisemitism in a report strongly condemning the increase in incidents in the UK. Today’s response forms part of a comprehensive cross-government strategy to tackle faith and race hate crime.
The response to the all-party enquiry into antisemitism outlines new work to:
improve recording and reporting of antisemitic incidents;
review and strengthen the prosecution process;
accelerate work to confront extremist groups who spread hate;
promote community cohesion through education about different faiths;
prevent any manifestation of racial or religious intolerance on university campuses.
Ministers recognise and share the Jewish community’s concerns about a rise in antisemitism in the UK and across Europe, and are using this report to underline the importance of society coming together to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism. Measures outlined in the response are on top of legislation introduced since 1997 to protect people from discrimination on the basis of faith at work and in their day to day lives.
Phil Woolas said:
“We will not tolerate racially motivated crime of any kind. We share the concerns of Jewish communities, and fully support the police and prosecuting authorities in taking a tough line to stamp out antisemitism wherever it occurs.
“We have one of the strongest legal frameworks in the world to protect people from discrimination or persecution on the grounds of their faith or race, and this was strengthened by the introduction of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act last year.
“The Government shares the Jewish community’s concerns over recent manifestations of antisemitism. Apart from what may be criminal acts, I am concerned about the tone of the general discourse. Open and public debate is one thing, but rhetoric and an undercurrent of hate and racism is quite another. This is not acceptable.
“I believe local communities are at the heart of the battle to eliminate all forms of hate crime, and my department is driving this agenda forward by supporting local projects that tackle prejudice and discrimination. A local approach will help reach directly into communities and will bring people from different faiths and cultures together to understand their differences and celebrate their shared experiences.
“There is no room for complacency and we are committed to accelerating action to eliminate antisemitism alongside any other form of racism.”
Commenting on the Government’s response, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism, John Mann said:
“I am encouraged that the Government are taking the scourge of antisemitism seriously and I look forward to working with them to confront it head on. We must not allow this alarming rise in incidents and hostility to go unchecked.”
The report published today outlines the following action points the Government is taking forward:
Improving the recording and reporting of antisemitic incidents
The Home Office is now working with the police to identify, nationally, better and more consistent ways of collecting and managing data on hate crimes including antisemitic incidents and crimes. This should be in place by 2008-09.
Local Crime and Disorder Partnerships are encouraged to make it easier for victims and witnesses to report hate crime. Home Office are piloting a 24-hour helpline to encourage people to report in the Yorkshire and Humberside region.
Increasing the effectiveness of the criminal justice system
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is looking at the reasons for antisemitic incidents not resulting in prosecution, and will examine incitement to racial hatred prosecutions. The CPS is currently working with criminal justice system partners on how best to take these recommendations forward.
Confronting the threat from extremist groups
Communities and Local Government is working with local partners, providing them with support in tackling extremist messages of all kinds. This includes working with local government leadership on their communication strategies, myth busting, conflict resolution, and building relationships between communities that support the values of tolerance and multiculturalism.
Task force to tackle and prevent hate crime
A cross-Government team is now working on tackling and preventing hate crime, including antisemitism, jointly chaired by the Home Office, and Communities and Local Government. The key objectives are to drive work to increase reporting, increase the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and other agencies in tackling hate crime, increase confidence in the ability of the Criminal Justice System, develop better use of intelligence and improve the data on the nature and extent of hate crimes. This team will also consider prevention and community activity.
Promoting community cohesion
Communities and Local Government has two major funding streams that deal with hate crime and promoting good community relations. The £18m Connecting Community Plus grant scheme offers grants over a three year period to projects tackling racism and inequality. The £5m Faith Capacity Building Fund supports faith and interfaith organisations to strengthen their capacity to play a fuller part in civil society. It also supports inter faith activities, which bring together people from different faith groups to talk, network and learn from one another.
Ruth Kelly has asked the Commission on Integration and Cohesion, an independent advisory group reporting in June 2007, to consider practical and local solutions to building shared values in communities, and to developing resilience to tensions within communities.
The Government aims to ensure the establishment of interfaith forums in all English upper tier authorities. We are targeting support to local interfaith activity with the aim of tackling faith hate crime and creating trust and understanding between different faith groups.
The Government is working with the Board of Deputies and Muslim groups to consider how best to improve Jewish-Muslim dialogue at national, regional and local levels. Communities and Local Government has supported a Rabbi/Imam event and the first national conference for Muslim and Jewish women.
A new single equalities body, the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, will become operational in Autumn 2007. It will provide a powerful, authoritative, single voice on equality and human rights and play a legal role enforcing equalities legislation. The body will work to ensure that organisations and individuals have access to clear and understandable information in order to foster debate, tackle issues early and encourage a change of culture within institutions.
Education and school twinning
Government has pledged £1.5 million to the Holocaust Educational Trust (established in 1988) to educate young people from every ethnic background about the Holocaust. The funding facilitates visits to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp for more than 6,000 students. The Government supports the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, with an annual grant of £500,000.
New guidance for schools to promote community cohesion as a duty under the 2006 Education Act will recommend twinning as a way of promoting cross-cultural understanding. This will come into effect in September 2007.
Preventing racist incidents on university campuses
A recent publication from the Department for Education and Skills, Guidance for Higher Education providers to help Tackle Violent Extremism in the name of Islam on Campus, provides universities and colleges with a practical tool to assist students and staff to increase community cohesion and tackle violent extremism on campuses.
German company pays Jewish family for Nazi-era confiscation
By Mark Landler
Friday, March 30, 2007
FRANKFURT: Settling the last big property restitution case from the Nazi era, Germany’s largest retailer agreed Friday to pay the heirs of a once-Jewish-owned department store nearly $120 million for the confiscation of what is now prime real estate in Berlin.
The company, KarstadtQuelle, will pay €88 million, or $118 million, to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, a group in New York that filed suit on behalf of the Wertheim family, which founded the elegant Berlin emporium that still bears its name.
The 1.5 hectare, or 5-acre, parcel of land in question lies on the edge of Potsdamer Platz, and is now the site of a glittering complex that includes a Ritz-Carlton and a Marriott Hotel as well as luxury apartments and offices.
“We’ve battled this case for 15 years,” said Gideon Taylor, executive vice president of the claims conference. “Despite the length of time and despite the difficulties we encountered, there is clearly the recognition in Germany that historical injustices must be corrected.”
The settlement is a vindication for the far-flung Wertheim heirs, not least Barbara Principe, the 74-year-old daughter of Gunther Wertheim, who fled Berlin with his family in 1939. Her father settled in southern New Jersey, tending a chicken farm not far from where Principe still lives.
She spearheaded the long quest for restitution, traveling to Berlin in September with two grandsons to raise the pressure on KarstadtQuelle, which inherited the Wertheim family’s expropriated businesses in 1994 through its acquisition of another German chain.
Speaking by telephone from New Jersey, Principe said Germany had made adequate amends. “What more can you do?” she said. “The Nazis are gone. This compensates for a lot of things.”
For KarstadtQuelle – which marked its recovery from years of financial trouble this week by announcing a new name, Arcandor – the settlement closes a lingering and unsavory chapter in its history.
“We are leaving the dark, horrifying past behind us,” Thomas Middelhoff, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview. “Our biggest pending legal problem was this Wertheim issue.”
Middelhoff credited the former German chancellor, Helmut Kohl, for helping to break the logjam between the company and the Jewish claims conference. Kohl, he said, convinced the two sides that they could negotiate in good faith, after years of often bitter legal maneuvering.
The amount of the payment was a compromise – representing roughly a one-third discount to the market value of the real estate, said a person involved in the negotiations.
Middelhoff said: “Of course, they asked for more. Of course, we offered less. This is typical in these cases.”
Like other German-Jewish merchants, the Wertheims lost their property in the late 1930s under Nazi policies that expropriated Jewish-owned businesses and put them in “Aryan” hands. In 1951, when Jews had begun reclaiming property, an adviser to the Wertheims, Arthur Lindgens, persuaded them to sell him the rights to their stores and real estate for a pittance.
He then merged Wertheim with another former Jewish-owned chain, Hertie. That company was taken over by KarstadtQuelle, which still owns the Wertheim department store on the Kurfürstendamm, the prime shopping promenade in West Berlin.
The German restitution authorities ordered KarstadtQuelle to turn over other former Wertheim land in East Berlin. What set this piece apart was its tangled history. In 1949, when Berlin was divided into western and eastern areas of control, the empty lot became part of East German territory.
In 1961 it was cut off from the rest of East Germany when the Soviets put up the Berlin Wall and did not properly follow the lines of demarcation. In 1988, officials from East and West Berlin negotiated a land swap to fix the error, which put the property on Western soil.
Because of that transfer, KarstadtQuelle contended, this parcel was different than the other sites in East Berlin. Complicating matters further, it had sold the land to a developer in 2000 for a huge sum.
Taylor said Middelhoff played a critical role in expediting the settlement. In his previous post as chief of the media conglomerate Bertelsmann, he ordered an unsparing investigation of its war-time activities. (Mr. Middelhoff is on the board of The New York Times Company). “I have responsibilities as a CEO,” he said. “On the other hand, I was watching these people getting older and older without any resolution.”
France Le Pen Buoyed By Outbreak Of Violence
French far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen has received a significant boost from a riot at a Paris train station this week.
French far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen has received a significant boost from a riot at a Paris train station this week, according to an opinion poll ahead of next month’s presidential election.
The leader of the National Front party, who shocked France by coming second in the 2002 ballot, had appeared becalmed in the polls before the violence on Tuesday evening enabled him to play on voter concerns about security.
A poll in Le Parisien daily published on Friday showed support for Le Pen rising two percentage points to 15 percent. Centrist Francois Bayrou is on 19.5 percent, Socialist Segolene Royal on 24.5 and rightist Nicolas Sarkozy 26.
Le Pen reached the second round runoff in 2002 with just 16.86 percent of the vote. Pollsters say opinion polls regularly underestimate his popularity because some supporters refuse to admit openly they are backing him.
While Sarkozy’s rating was steady, Royal and Bayrou dropped back 1.5 percentage points in the Le Parisien poll.
Le Pen’s 2002 success followed a wave of violence in France that drew attention to his hardline security and immigration policies, themes which have returned to the fore thanks to the rioting at Paris’s mainline Gare du Nord station.
Fighting broke out between youths and police following the arrest of a 32-year-old immigrant from Congo who was travelling on the Metro transport system without a ticket.
“What happened at the Gare du Nord shows the reality of the situation. Security has burst into the election campaign,” Le Pen told a televised news conference.
Sarkozy, who stepped down as interior minister last week to concentrate on his campaign, has also used the fighting to promote his hardline credentials and present his mainstream rivals as soft touches when it comes to crime.
Left-leaning newspaper Liberation said on Friday images of the station skirmishes, which mostly involved black youths fighting well-armed riot police, could prove a turning point ahead of the first round vote on April 22.
“Jean-Marie Le Pen rubs his hands as he rediscovers the tone of 2002,” the paper wrote. However, leftist candidates have toughened their own law-and-order policies this time around.
“They call me soft, no? Well, you know me, that’s not me,” Royal told a Socialist rally this week to loud cheers.
Last week Royal stunned some Socialists by urging French families to hang out the national flag at holidays and she has started singing the national anthem at her meetings.
Royal’s decision to drape her campaign in nationalistic colours is regarded as a clear bid to woo back working class voters who turned to Le Pen in their droves in 2002.
Holocaust education touchy in Baltics
Michael J. Jordan
Holocaust education is spotty in the Baltics, where teaching children about atrocities may mean implicating their grandparents and denting national pride.
VILNIUS, Lithuania (JTA) — Inside the Vilnius Zveryno High School, the Lithuanian teens greet a guest to their Tolerance Center as they would a teacher — standing at attention.
Striking Holocaust images painted by the teens cover the blackboard: mostly watercolors of Jews deported, torn from loved ones, trapped behind barbed wire.
In the back of the classroom, a cabinet has become a permanent exhibit, its doors opened to reveal a miniature concentration camp built of wood, clay and paper.
“We need to learn our country’s history and what our ancestors did — it was very cruel,” says Ruta Vastakaite, speaking, like her classmates, in near-flawless English.
“Some thought they were better than the Jews,” Linas Budrys adds, “and that Jews should have no rights.”
“Only when we know our own history can we prevent it from happening again,” Ieva Kerzaite concludes.
The words are an encouraging sign considering that not a single student in the class is Jewish. That’s not surprising in a country that before World War II was a center of Jewish life but which today has no more than 5,000 Jews.
As in the neighboring Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, Holocaust education in Lithuania is a tricky business. Not only were the Jewish populations in the Baltic countries decimated by the Nazis, many of their own countrymen took part in the killings.
Approximately 220,000 of the 250,000 Jews in Lithuania were killed, and 90,000 of 100,000 in Latvia. Only seven of the estimated 1,000 Jews survived the onslaught in Estonia.
Teaching children about those atrocities may mean implicating their own grandparents and denting national pride that was allowed to grow only with independence 16 years ago.
Critics charge that some in these small ex-Soviet republics tend to deal with this complexity with a form of Holocaust denial: not denying the Holocaust per se, but rejecting local culpability and pinning blame entirely on the Germans. Indeed, in contrast to other European countries, no Baltic nation has ever imprisoned a local Nazi war criminal.
“You have to be very savvy about the Holocaust education being taught,” says Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Nazi-hunting office in Israel.
Five years ago the office launched “Operation Last Chance,” which offers cash rewards for information leading to prosecutions of war criminals from the Baltics and other countries.
“Is local complicity an important component?” Zuroff asked. “Or are they engaging in Holocaust deflection, dealing only with the easier part — what Germany and the Nazis did?”
One more question can be added: Are the Vilnius Zveryno students the rule or the exception?
In Latvia, which has about 200 sites where Jews were killed, some youth are in the dark about what happened or feel disconnected from it, says Gita Umanovska, executive director of the Riga Jewish community.
“Maybe in their town of 3,000, 1,000 Jews were killed in the woods,” Umanovska says. “Maybe they don’t know, or don’t want to know. They may feel it happened over there, but we’re over here; it’s not a part of my history, my town, my family.”
In some cases, the government isn’t helping.
President Vaira Vike-Freiberga has apologized for Latvian participation in the Nazi slaughter, but an official Latvian history book — produced in 2005 — described Salaspils, the country’s main concentration camp, as a “corrective working camp.” In reality, some 50,000 people were killed there.
Complicating the picture is that while Lithuania, for example, had one of Europe’s highest rates of collaboration with the Nazis, Yad Vashem has honored 693 Lithuanians as “Righteous Gentiles” among the more than 21,700 so recognized. From Latvia, 103 righteous have been identified; from Estonia, three.
A memoir of more than 100 Lithuanian ghetto and camp survivors, “With a Needle in the Heart,” cites countless instances of ordinary folks helping Jews.
In addition, the Baltic states endured their own wartime trauma: The Soviet “liberators” deported hundreds of thousands of people to Siberia, and executed or imprisoned many others. More attention to crimes against Jews might not resonate here, nor would puncturing these nations’ own sense of victimization.
The Holocaust itself was a taboo topic for a half-century. Soviet propaganda would refer generically to the “Soviet victims of fascism,” never the “Jewish victims.”
Compared with Western countries like France and Austria, which took four decades to confront their past, “I’d say Holocaust education in the Baltics is moving in a positive direction, but the question is the speed and intensity,” says Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international Jewish affairs for the American Jewish Committee. “One can understand, if you’re talking about the Holocaust in general, there’s little opposition — the United Nations itself has recognized it. But when it comes closer to home, it increases sensitivity.
“Here we are trying to peel back decades of history to address a problem never critically reviewed,” he says. “It’s difficult for people who see themselves as victims to imagine their grandparents may also have been perpetrators or bystanders.”
Nevertheless, once the Soviet regime crumbled, the Baltics joined fellow Eastern European countries in saying the right things: apologizing for the Holocaust and vowing to commemorate it, resolve issues like restitution and prosecute war criminals.
Holocaust education essentially was a precondition for any country presenting itself as a decent, modern society with hopes of joining exclusive Western clubs like the European Union or NATO.
The Baltic countries joined both organizations in 2004. But backing up words with action has lagged, leading some to question the sincerity of the mea culpas.
When Council of Europe member nations declared their intention in 2000 to commemorate the Holocaust, Estonia, facing domestic resistance, designated Holocaust Day on Jan. 27, 2003 — not pegged to any date symbolizing local participation but to the liberation of Auschwitz.
Lithuanian officials, though, note that their Holocaust Day was created a decade earlier, before they learned they would join either institution.
“We were doing this for ourselves because everybody knows what happened to the Jews here,” says Rimantas Jokimaitis, a historian who is responsible for history textbooks in Lithuania’s Education and Science Ministry. “I think we do a lot because it’s impossible to discuss Lithuanian history without the Holocaust. It’s a part of our history.”
The ministry also sponsors an annual writing competition for teens entitled “My Grandparents’ Neighbor Was Jewish,” and has compiled the best essays into books. It also provides some funding for the 46 Tolerance Centers like the one at Vilnius Zveryno High School.
But these centers aren’t located in every Lithuanian high school, and their activities are voluntary, held after school.
Lithuania also has no specifically designed Holocaust-studies course. Instead, lessons are folded into the broader history curriculum for students in the fifth, 10th and 12th grades.
Jokimaitis shows a visitor a history book for 16- and 17-year-olds. The Holocaust chapter starts with “Destruction of the Lithuanian Jewish Community.”
Subsections highlight telling anecdotes from the era: a Lithuanian police officer’s letter to superiors explaining how they killed Jews; a police report questioning what to do about a priest who wouldn’t let killers of Jews into his church; a newspaper advertisement proclaiming that Lithuanians who help Jews would share their fate.
Yet the chapter runs just six pages.
“It wasn’t treated as something separate, just a part of history,” Benjaminas Krumas, 23, recalls of his high school lessons in Kaunas, known to Jews as historic Kovno and home to a ghetto liquidated by the Nazis in 1944. “Perhaps the teacher had her own point of view on it or was afraid to discuss it more. But we learned more about it from our grandparents.”
Indeed, history teachers like Arija Melaikiene play a pivotal role. Both the Ministry of Education and the Lithuanian Jewish community recommended the Tolerance Center that Melaikiene founded at Vilnius Zverynas.
It was seven years ago that Melaikiene had an epiphany. She had assigned her students to draw up family trees as a springboard to discussion of Lithuania’s various regions and names, as well as other topics.
One girl, by the name of Finkelsteinaite, turned in her assignment with half the tree lopped off.
“Everyone had died in 1942 or ’43,” Melaikiene recalls. “At first I thought she was too lazy to draw a real family tree. Then I realized what had happened.”
It was cathartic, Melaikiene says.
“I decided that I hadn’t been a very good teacher because I hadn’t been paying attention to the most important facts,” she says.
That led to an immersion in Jewish history, Jewish contributions to Lithuanian culture, visits to Auschwitz and Yad Vashem — and a commitment to preach tolerance.
Melaikiene speaks of three categories of Lithuanians during the Holocaust — those who killed, those who turned a blind eye and those who helped Jews in some way — but admits to treading carefully when broaching the first two categories with students.
“I have to find a middle ground, talking about both good guys and bad guys,” she says. “If there are some students who don’t believe it, I don’t want the other students to think badly of them because they’re rejecting what I’m saying.
“I don’t know whose grandfather did what, but I can guess: If there’s a usually very active student, then we talk about the Holocaust and his activity disappears, I tell them, ‘Don’t hate your grandfather if he killed somebody because he’s still your grandfather and you love him.’ But if he killed someone, then it’s a fact and we have to say this. It’s a tragedy for that family.”
Others trying to connect with students are the Holocaust survivors themselves — like Kaunas-born Fania Brancovskaja-Jocheles, 84, who escaped the Vilnius ghetto alone. Her mother, father and sister were among 50 relatives killed.
In recent years, Brancovskaja-Jocheles has shared her story with classes in Lithuania. She also has traveled to Germany and Austria to recount her experiences.
“I tell them not only who was killing us but who was saving us, which is why I also tell them to talk to their grandmother and grandfather,” Brancovskaja-Jocheles says, pulling mementos from her shelves to show a visitor.
“I don’t want to threaten people, only for them to know the truth,” she says. “Those who were killed cannot speak, so I must. And if you tell them from your heart, even in a little way it may go to their brain and help them prevent bad things from happening in the future.”
Despite such campaigns, observers say the Baltic countries remain prone to anti-Jewish eruptions, especially in the media or on the Internet.
That’s most evident in the torrent of vitriol unleashed amid stalled negotiations to return Jewish property or bring accused Nazi-era war criminals to justice.
“Excluding the good efforts of hundreds of teachers and historians devoting their time to the memory of the Holocaust, the level of reaction and distrust is so great, I’m shocked by the reality 16 years after Lithuanian independence,” says Emanuelis Zingeris, the lone Lithuanian Jewish parliamentarian, who is among the lobbyists for restitution.
With the carrot of Western integration digested, the stick has vanished as well.
Lacking that leverage, Jewish activists like Baker say they now rely on a network of Baltic politicians, historians and teachers like Melaikiene.
Ultimately, though, there is no way to gauge if any of this Holocaust education “works.” As Latvia’s Umanovska says, “We have no special system to check it.”
In her own words: the female sailor held captive in Iran
An exclusive interview with Faye Turney, hours before she was seized
By Terri Judd in Bahrain
Published: 28 March 2007
The woman who was captured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards while serving with the Royal Navy in Iraq spoke of her devotion to both her family and her job just hours before she was seized.
In an interview with The Independent, leading Seaman Specialist Faye Turney described how the crew of HMS Cornwall were well aware of the perils of operating in an area that had been targeted by suicide bombers. The 25-year-old mother, one of 15 sailors and Marines captured on Friday off the coast of Iraq, said: “I know by doing this job I can give [my daughter] everything she wants in life and hopefully by seeing me doing what I do, she’ll grow up knowing that a woman can have a family and have a career at the same time.”
Diplomatic pressure to free the 15 captives is to be stepped up today as defence officials produce evidence to prove the British servicemen and women were in Iraqi waters.
As Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, cut short a visit to Turkey to fly back to Britain for a statement today to the Commons, defence chiefs were planning to produce the global positioning system (GPS) co- ordinates as proof that they were not on Iran’s side of the disputed waterway.
On the day before the British crew was captured Leading Seaman Turney had described how morale on HMS Cornwall had been buoyant since its arrival in the northern Arabian Gulf weeks earlier. She said: “The atmosphere on the boat is really good. We were made aware that some things can be really dodgy. [But] we’ve not really had anything that bad at the moment – that’s always a good sign.
“My parents made sure I was under no illusions that I could, and can, go to war at any time. Sometimes it can be like a cruise being in the Navy but sometimes you may be called upon. And if you are then you just have to get on with it, That’s what you’re paid for.”
For the past few weeks Leading Seaman Turney, along with the rest of the crew of HMS Cornwall, had been part of a massive military operation instigated three years ago after suicide bombers in three dhows attacked the Al Basra and Khawr Al Amaya oil terminals, killing three Americans. A three-kilometre exclusion zone was thrown up around each of the terminals – which pump out 90 per cent of Iraq’s crude oil. They are patrolled by Iraqis, the British, Americans and Australians.
On Friday Leading Seaman Turney was part of a boarding team of 15 in what the British insist were categorically Iraqi waters when they were taken captive by by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in speedboats mounted with machine guns.
A day earlier she had talked of her devotion to her three-year-old daughter, Molly, and the guilt of leaving her behind at home in Plymouth to be cared for by her husband Adam, a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy.
Of her daughter she said: “She’s bubbly, very headstrong, very girly, an absolute gem, a real diamond, a treasure. She’s getting more of a character each day. It’s a shame I’m missing that but she’s a top girl and will grow up to be a very reliable, independent, strong young woman, which is exactly what I want for her.
“I love my job, I really do love my job but I love my daughter also. If I didn’t love my job I wouldn’t be able to do it but if I had to make a choice my daughter would win every time – without a shadow of a doubt, no question about it.
“I’m too up-and-about to sit behind a desk – I would support her if she wanted to do the same. As long as she’s happy, I will support her.”
The captured sailors and Marines have now been held by Iran for five days. The only other member of the group to be named is 21-year-old Paul Barton.
Ministers were yesterday discussing producing photographs of the ship the Royal Navy teams were searching when they were surrounded by the Iranian guards. The ship’s engine had broken down and it is still moored where the incident took place.
Senior diplomatic sources said it was not clear what the Iranians’ motives were, but they were discounting fears that the 15 are being held as hostages.
“It is very difficult to know what the motives are,” said one Whitehall source. “Some say it is a response to our UN resolution over the weekend [imposing sanctions on Iran for its pursuit of a nuclear weapons programme] despite the fact that they were taken on Friday.”
The Foreign Secretary made “robust” protests to the Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran by telephone yesterday over the failure to grant consular access to the 15 detainees. London does not know where they are held, or who is holding them, although there were rumours they were being held in the capital. “What we are looking at is pretty muddled,” said the source. “We don’t know who has got them. We don’t know their location but we are working with people with whom they have contact.”
Tony Blair appeared to threaten an escalation in the diplomatic crisis if they were not released. He said: “I hope we manage to get the Iranians to realise they have to release them. If not, then this will move into a different phase.”
But Downing Street quickly played down suggestions that the Prime Minister was hinting at the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from London or military action.
An official spokesman stressed that London was seeking to defuse the situation, and said Mr Blair was referring to the publication of the evidence that they were not in Iranian waters when they were taken.
As the diplomatic wrangling intensified, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have been clearly stating we are utterly certain that the personnel were in Iraqi waters. We so far have not made explicit why we know that because we don’t want to escalate this.
“We may have to go to the step where we become more explicit why we know. We don’t want to do this too soon because we prefer to resolve this quietly. If that is not possible, we may have to be more explicit.
“We want to resolve this quickly without having a public confrontation with them.”
Asked what proof the British might produce, the spokesman replied: ” There is a boat which we inspected.”
Reports that Iran had fired a missile at a US ship in the Persian Gulf sent oil prices soaring last night, but Lt Cmdr Charlie Brown, of the US Navy, said the rumors were untrue. The British government also said that none of its forces had been attacked.
Iraq diggers ‘contaminated with radiation’ (Jewed up and Spit out)
TWO Australian soldiers who served in the first Iraq war have tested positive to depleted uranium (DU) contamination despite assurances from the Federal Government they had not been exposed, an anti-nuclear group said today.
Any such admission from the Government would leave it open to millions of dollars in compensation, said Pauline Rigby, project co-ordinator for the group Depleted Uranium Silent Killer (DUSK).
Urine samples from each of the men, who served in different areas of Iraq, were sent last year for uranium isotope analysis at the JW Goethe University in Germany at a cost of $1200 each under the auspices of DUSK and the Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC) in Canada, Ms Rigby said.
The results, now being evaluated for publication next month in two scientific journals, showed both men had tested positive to depleted uranium contamination more than 15 years after their return from the first Gulf War.
Ms Rigby said depleted uranium was the toxic and radioactive waste from the nuclear enrichment process.
Denser and heavier than lead, it is used as a projectile to penetrate heavy bunkers and tanks.
“It’s going to be Agent Orange all over again, except this time it’s going to be a little bit worse because the mutations go into the general community from blood and organ donations.”
A 52-year-old Sunshine Coast man, known only as “Frank” (not his real name), said he was one of those tested.
In 1991, he was an army medic in the mountains of northern Iraq, aiding Kurdish refugees fleeing the persecution of Saddam Hussein’s forces.
He cannot work and has suffered skin rashes on his face, arms and neck, swollen joints, chronic fatigue and dizzy spells but his doctor can only treat his symptoms because he is at a loss to explain their cause.
Frank’s wife, from whom he is now separated, had cervical cancer and burning semen syndrome, a condition reported by American Gulf War veterans or their sexual partners since returning from the Persian Gulf.
They or their sexual partners have experienced a burning sensation after skin and/or vaginal contact with semen.
But Frank says he only wants recognition from the Government.
“I’m not looking for millions of dollars in compensation,” Frank said today.
“I just want to be treated fairly and I want our service recognised so that I can clearly have what I am entitled to and so my children can also seek and receive free of charge any and all testing and be honestly told and informed of where they stand.”
A Defence spokesperson said the department had no knowledge of the two men who had allegedly tested positive for DU.
Australia had not used DU munitions since 1990 and Australian personnel were not in “immediate proximity” to sites in Iraq or Afghanistan where DU munitions were used by Australia’s coalition partners.
“Accordingly, it is highly unlikely that any ADF personnel received significant exposure to DU residues in Iraq or Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said.
‘Marriage to an Arab is national treason’ (ynet news)
Recent poll reveals steep rise in racist views against Arabs in Israel; many participants feel hatred, fear when overhearing Arabic, 75 percent don’t approve of shared apartment buildings
03.27.07, 19:55 / Israel News
Over half of the Jewish population in Israel believes the marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is equal to national treason, according to a recent survey by the Geocartography Institute.
The survey, which was conducted for the Center Against Racism, also found that over 75 percent of participants did not approve of apartment buildings being shared between Arabs and Jews. Sixty percent of participants said they would not allow an Arab to visit their home.
Five hundred Jewish men and women participated in the poll, which was published Tuesday.
According to the survey, racism against Arabs in Israel has seen a sharp rise since a similar survey was conducted two years ago.
In 2006, 247 racist acts against Arabs were reported, as opposed to 225 one year prior.
About 40 percent of participants agreed that “Arabs should have their right to vote for Knesset revoked”. The number was 55 percent lower in the previous survey. Also, over half of the participants agreed that Israel should encourage its Arab citizens to immigrate from the country.
Over half of the participants said they would not want to work under the direct management of an Arab, and 55 percent said “Arabs and Jews should be separated at entertainment sites”.
‘Arab culture inferior’
Participants were asked what they felt when they overheard someone speaking Arabic. Thirty-one percent said they felt hatred, while 50 percent said they felt fear.
Over 56 percent of participants said they believed that Israel’s Arab citizens posed both a security and a demographic threat to the country.
When asked what they thought of Arab culture, over 37 percent replied, “The Arab culture is inferior.”
Violations Force Feinstein Military Committee Resignation
A veteran California senator has resigned as chair of a powerful military construction committee after reports that for years she abused her position to award her husband’s companies billions of dollars in government contracts.
During her six years as chair and ranking member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Senator Dianne Feinstein annually supervised the appropriation of billions of dollars for specific military construction projects. The San Francisco lawmaker supervised her own staff of military construction experts and she lobbied Pentagon officials to support her favorite projects.
She wielded quite a bit of power and succeeded in steering hundreds of billions of dollars in military contracts to companies partially owned by her wealthy husband, Richard Blum. One company alone earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by Feinstein’s committee and another $759 million.
The blatant ethics violation and obvious conflict of interest was first exposed earlier this year by a weekly Northern California publication. The story details how Feinstein voted over the years for appropriations that enriched her husband’s firms and that her top legal advisor also happens to be one of her husband’s longtime business partners; in other words, a financial beneficiary of the senator’s decisions.
No wonder Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, is among the wealthiest members of congress. Last year she ranked eighth with a net worth of $42.6 million, boosted by assets she holds with her husband. Most of them are companies that have made their fortune from the very government contracts she has granted them.
Perhaps Feinstein quit her coveted military construction committee position because she is taking her new role as the senate ethics police quite seriously. As the new chair of the Senate Rules Committee Feinstein, for years an ethics violator, is actually in charge of regulating her colleagues’ ethical behavior.
Evil Americans, Poor Mullahs
By Claus Christian Malzahn
Forty-eight percent of Germans think the United States is more dangerous than Iran, a new survey shows, with only 31 percent believing the opposite. Germans’ fundamental hypocrisy about the US suggests that it’s high time for a new bout of re-education.
A German man carries a banner with a picture of Bush as Hitler during a 2003 demonstration against the Iraq war in Leipzig. Bush-bashing is something of a national sport in Germany.
The Germans have believed in many things in the course of their recent history. They’ve believed in colonies in Africa and in the Kaiser. They even believed in the Kaiser when he told them that there would be no more political parties, only soldiers on the front.
Not too long afterwards, they believed that Jews should be placed into ghettos and concentration camps because they were the enemies of the people. Then they believed in the autobahn and that the Third Reich would ultimately be victorious. A few years later, they believed in the Deutsche mark. They believed that the Berlin Wall would be there forever and that their pensions were safe. They believed in recycling as well as in cheap jet travel. They even believed in a German victory at the soccer World Cup.
Now they believe that the United States is a greater threat to world peace than Iran. This was the by-no-means-surprising result of a Forsa opinion poll commissioned by Stern magazine. Young Germans in particular — 57 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds, to be precise — said they considered the United States more dangerous than the religious regime in Iran.
The German political establishment, which will no doubt loudly lament the result of the poll, is largely responsible for this wave of anti-Americanism. For years the country’s foreign ministers fed the Germans the fairy tale of what they called a “critical dialogue” between Europe and Iran. It went something like this: If we are nice to the ayatollahs, cuddle up to them a bit and occasionally wag our fingers at them when they’ve been naughty, they’ll stop condemning their women to death for “unchaste behavior” and they’ll stop building the atom bomb.
That plan failed at some point — an outcome, incidentally, that Washington had long anticipated. Iran continues to work away unhindered on its nuclear program, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reacts to UN demands with an ostentatious show of ignorance. The UN gets upset and drafts a resolution.
Another item on the Iranian president’s wish list is the annihilation of Israel. But that will take a bit longer. In the meantime, just to make sure it doesn’t get out of practice, the regime had 15 British soldiers kidnapped a few days ago. But it’s still all the Americans’ fault — that much is obvious.
We’ve known just what they’re like for a long time. The 19th-century German author Karl May taught us about the American Wild West, and Karl Marx warned us about unbridled capitalism. Besides, we’ve all been there at least once — on vacation, of course. Be it in California or Florida (that’s where you get the best deals on rental cars, you know), we can see right through the Americans.
For us Germans, the Americans are either too fat or too obsessed with exercise, too prudish or too pornographic, too religious or too nihilistic. In terms of history and foreign policy, the Americans have either been too isolationist or too imperialistic. They simply go ahead and invade foreign countries (something we Germans, of course, would never do) and then abandon them, the way they did in Vietnam and will soon do in Iraq.
Worst of all, the Americans won the war in 1945. (Well, with German help, of course — from Einstein and his ilk.) There are some Germans who will never forgive the Americans for VE Day, when they defeated Hitler. After all, Nazism was just an accident, whereas Americans are inherently evil. Just look at President Bush, the man who, as some of SPIEGEL ONLINE’s readers steadfastly believe, “is worse than Hitler.” Now that gives us a chance to kill two birds with one stone. If Bush is the new Hitler, then we Germans have finally unloaded the Führer on to someone else. In fact, we won’t even have to posthumously revoke his German citizenship, as politicians in Lower Saxony recently proposed. No one can hold a candle to our talent for symbolism!
Anti-Americanism is the wonder drug of German politics. If no one believes what you’re saying, take a swing at the Yanks and you’ll be shooting your way back up to the top of the opinion polls in no time. And on the practical side, you can be the head of the Social Democratic Party and endear yourself to the party’s hardcore with a load of anti-American nonsense, and still get invited back to Washington — just look at Gerhard Schröder. In fact, you could, like leading German politicians in the debate over the planned American missile shield in Europe, be accused of having “an almost unbelievable lack of knowledge” by a former NATO general, and even that wouldn’t matter. It’s all about what you believe, not what you know.
Anti-Americanism is hypocrisy at its finest. You can spend your evening catching the latest episode of “24” and then complain about Guantanamo the next morning. You can claim that the Americans have themselves to blame for terrorism, while at the same time calling for tougher restrictions on Muslim immigration to Germany. You can call the American president a mass murderer and book a flight to New York the next day. You can lament the average American’s supposed lack of culture and savvy and meanwhile send off for the documents for the Green Card lottery.
Not a day passes in Germany when someone isn’t making the wildest claims, hurling the vilest insults or spreading the most outlandish conspiracy theories about the United States. But there’s no risk involved and it all serves mainly to boost the German feeling of self-righteousness.
Not so safe
Iran is a different story. The last time someone made a joke on German TV about an Iranian leader, the outcome was not pleasant. Exactly 20 years ago, Dutch entertainer Rudi Carell produced a short TV sketch portraying Ayatollah Khomeini dressed in women’s underwear. Carell received death threats. The piece, which lasted all of a few seconds, led to flights being cancelled and German diplomats being expelled from Tehran. Carell apologized. Jokes about fat Americans are just safer.
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, the American historian who in his 1996 book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” deprived the Germans of the belief that they didn’t know what was going on back in the day, is currently studying the history of genocides in the 20th century. One of the things he has noticed is that the politicians or military leaders who planned genocides and had them carried out rarely concealed their intentions in advance. Whether the victims were Hereros, Armenians, kulaks, Jews or later Bosnians, the perpetrators generally believed that they were justified and had no reason to hide their murderous intentions.
Today, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talks about a world without Israel while dreaming of an atom bomb, it seems obvious that we — as Germans of all people — should be putting two and two together. Why shouldn’t Ahmadinejad mean what he says? But we Germans only know what we believe.
The Americans are more dangerous than the ayatollahs? Perhaps the Americans should take the Germans at their word for a change. It’s high time for a new round of re-education. The last one obviously didn’t do the job.
Pelosi going to Syria despite objections
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Syria, a country President Bush has shunned as a sponsor of terrorism, despite being asked by the administration not to go.
“In our view, it is not the right time to have these sort of high-profile visitors to Syria,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters Friday.
Pelosi arrived in Israel on Friday in what is her second fact-finding trip to the Middle East since taking over leadership of the House in January.
Her repeat trip, an indication she plans to play a role in foreign policy, is also an act of defiance to the administration, which says such diplomatic overtures by lawmakers can do more harm than good.
Pelosi will not be the first member of Congress in recent months to travel to Syria, but as House speaker she is the most senior.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the speaker “should take a step back and think about the message that it sends.”
“This is a country that is a state sponsor of terror, one that is trying to disrupt the Senora government in Lebanon and one that is allowing foreign fighters to flow into Iraq from its borders,” Perino said.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “probably really wants people to come, and have a photo opportunity, and have tea with him, and have discussions about where they’re coming from. But we just think it’s a really bad idea,” Perino said.
Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said the delegation “intends to discuss a wide range of security issues affecting the United States and the Middle East with representatives of governments in the region, including Syria,” as recommended by the Iraq Study Group.
The independent bipartisan commission suggested in December that engaging Syria and Iran could help the war effort. The Bush administration eventually agreed to reach out to the two countries, but only to discuss Iraq.
U.S. officials held their first direct, high-level contact with Syrian representatives in years when they met in Baghdad this month with officials from several Middle East countries to discuss Iraq.
McCormack said the State Department tried to discourage Pelosi and the others from visiting Syria but agreed to give their staffs a pre-trip briefing. The U.S. Embassy in Damascus also is expected to assist the delegation.
Others traveling with Pelosi were Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Henry Waxman and Tom Lantos of California, Louise Slaughter of New York and Nick Rahall of West Virginia, and Ohio Republican David Hobson. Ellison is the first Muslim member of Congress.
The House has adjourned for a two-week spring break.
The group planned to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and to travel to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Ellison’s spokesman, Rick Jauert.
The speaker is expected to address the Israeli Knesset on Sunday, her first speech to a foreign government. She will become the highest-ranking American woman to speak before the Israeli parliament, according to her office.
She is expected to discuss “America’s commitment to Israel and the challenges facing the two nations in the Middle East,” according to a statement.
In late January, Pelosi and a close political ally, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., led a delegation of House members to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and other countries.
The January trip to Baghdad came just days after the president asked Congress in his State of the Union address to give his revised war strategy a chance to work. Bush is sending 21,500 additional combat troops, plus thousands of other support troops, to Iraq in a bid to tamp down sectarian attacks and provide enough security to hasten reconstruction efforts.
Pelosi last week forced legislation through the House that would order all combat troops out of Iraq by September 2008, a measure that resembles legislation approved by the Democratic-run Senate.
Risk-taking in Riyadh
Fri. Mar 30, 2007
As the Forward went to press this week, reports from a senior Israeli journalist currently in Riyadh — those words themselves bespeak a revolution in Arab-Israeli relations — indicate that Saudi Arabia is preparing to roll out an elaborate new peace proposal. Formulated in the course of secret talks with Israeli and American officials, the new proposal reportedly is meant to fill the gaps that Israel finds most worrisome in the existing Saudi peace plan.
The main Saudi plan, first floated in 2002, promises Israel diplomatic relations and permanent peace with all 22 Arab states in return for withdrawal to the 1967 borders, establishment of a Palestinian state and honoring the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return.” Israel, after initially ignoring the plan, has lately taken to calling it “positive,” but rejects the idea of taking in a flood of Palestinian refugees. Israelis also worry about the apparent all-or-nothing nature of the plan; they want to talk it through, haggle over precise borders and build in reliable guarantees of their own security.
Those are the objections that the reputed new Saudi proposals are meant to answer. According to reporter Orly Azoulay, the Washington correspondent of Yediot Aharonot, who was in Riyadh to cover this week’s Arab League summit, the Saudis are developing on a plan to establish joint Israeli-Arab working groups that would negotiate the various specific elements and timing of the overall peace plan. The working groups would include representatives of the diplomatic Quartet — the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia — and would operate under the auspices of an international conference to be convened by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In a separate report, Yediot stated that the Saudis had reached an agreement in secret talks with Washington and Jerusalem on a refugee deal that would give Palestinians a choice between financial compensation in the countries where they now live or applying for resettlement in the new Palestinian state.
The newspaper reported that the new proposals were to be aired only in the most general terms at this week’s Riyadh summit, where the original Saudi plan was to be revived. The plan won unanimous approval when it was first presented to the Arab League in 2002, but reportedly faces bitter opposition this time from Syria and Libya. Other states are likely to seek a middle ground in order to preserve the semblance of consensus, which could spell trouble for the Saudi efforts to move toward Israel.
Israel faces its own minefields. The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was elected on a promise to seek a settlement, and public opinion favors a deal. It’s not clear, though, that Israelis are prepared for the magnitude of the sacrifice that will be demanded of them. Reaching a deal will require leadership and courage, and both of those commodities are in short supply in Jerusalem right now. Olmert’s political career hangs by a dozen fraying threads, and his main challenges come from the right.
This is a fragile moment, fraught with opportunity and danger. Opponents of any Israeli compromise will dredge up every argument in the book to discredit the Saudis and the rest of the Arab states. They’ll question the viability of the plan and the wisdom of Israeli security experts who favor it. Friends of Israel, seeking only to protect the Jewish state from its enemies, may be tempted to join the fray by picking up the warnings and repeating them loudly, thinking they’re building pressure for a better deal.
But that’s the wrong response. The Saudi plan contains risks for Israel, but those are risks that Israelis are capable of navigating. The greatest danger right now is that a genuine opportunity for peace will be lost. The Saudis are taking an enormous risk in exposing themselves to hardliners as Israel’s advocates. They need encouragement, not abuse.
Secret Briefing by Zinni Seen as Key In Aipac Duo Trial
Nathan Guttman | Fri. Mar 30, 2007
‘Apartheid’ Book Exposes Carter-Clinton Rift
Clinton: ‘I Don’t Know Where His Information Came From’
Jennifer Siegel | Fri. Mar 30, 2007
For months, the controversy over former president Jimmy Carter’s book has generally been fueled by bitter criticism from the Jewish community. In recent weeks, however, the debate has shown signs of evolving into a personal clash between the country’s last two Democratic presidents.
Earlier this month, former president Bill Clinton spoke out against Carter’s book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” during an appearance before the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County. “If I were an Israeli I wouldn’t like it, because it’s not factually correct and it’s not fair,” Clinton reportedly said.
This appears to be one of the few times that Clinton has taken a public swipe at the book or spoken out directly against his fellow former president on any matter.
In addition to Clinton’s comments in San Diego, the American Jewish Committee released a letter last week from the former president thanking the group’s executive director, David Harris, for speaking out against the book.
“Thanks so much for your articles about President Carter’s book,” Clinton wrote in a handwritten note dated January 11. “I don’t know where his information (or conclusions) came from, but Dennis Ross has tried to straighten it out, publicly and in two letters to him. At any rate, I’m grateful.”
Clinton appeared to be referring to sections of Carter’s book that denigrate the American-backed land-for-peace final settlement offer that Israel made to the Palestinians in 2000. Ross, who served as Clinton’s envoy to the Middle East, has said publicly that maps he published outlining the Clinton proposal were improperly reprinted, and then mislabeled, by Carter. In doing so, Ross said, Carter wrongly suggested that Israel had not, in fact, offered the Palestinians all of Gaza and roughly 97% of the West Bank, but instead small and isolated islands of Palestinian territory.
In his book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” Carter argues that the terms of Clinton’s peace proposal at Camp David in the summer of 2000 were untenable for the Palestinians.
“There was no possibility that any Palestinian leader could accept such terms and survive,” Carter wrote. “But officials statements from Washington and Jerusalem were successful on placing the entire onus for the failure on Yasir Arafat.”
Word of Clinton’s public criticism of Carter comes as the 2008 presidential contenders, including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, battle for Jewish support and money.
According to Democratic Party insiders, however, Bill Clinton’s recent remarks might be better understood as a temporary break in what has been a long and icy détente between two former presidents who share Southern roots, Baptist Christian faith and foreign policy legacies largely staked on the Middle East.
“Clinton and Carter have a long and tortured relationship,” said Steve Rabinowitz, a Washington media strategist who served as director of media planning in the Clinton White House. “They have never been close, but they have tried to stay out of each other’s way out of political respect.”
If Clinton was initially reluctant to speak out publicly about Carter’s book — unlike Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean — he has not been silent on the issue in private, according to one of his most important backers in the Orthodox community, Rabbi Menachem Genack.
Genack, who heads the kashruth division of the Orthodox Union and is now serving as a finance committee member on Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, told the Forward that Clinton had openly discussed his displeasure with Carter’s book at a New York luncheon for Hillary supporters, held in mid-November. According to Genack, Clinton said that he was at the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations “and this notion that this was Israel’s obstinacy and so on completely conflicted with the reality of the negotiations.”
“He was very uncomfortable with the book,” Genack said.
Both Carter and Clinton doggedly pursued Middle East peace deals during their presidencies and have cited their Baptist upbringings as inspiration for seeking reconciliation between Arabs and Jews. But their personal allegiances to slain leaders, and their experiences at the negotiating table, appear to have driven them to different conclusions about where to cast blame for the continuing conflict.
Carter, in describing the historic peace talks at Camp David that culminated in the groundbreaking Israeli-Egyptian peace deal, has portrayed the late former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat as a visionary and heroic statesman who gave his life for peace, and the late former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin as a difficult interlocutor less prepared to transcend his past as an underground leader of Jewish nationalists.
In sharp contrast, Clinton developed a close personal relationship with Yitzhak Rabin before the Israeli prime minister was assassinated. Years later, after marathon talks at Camp David failed to produce an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, Clinton blamed the stalemate on Yasser Arafat, essentially casting him as a guerilla leader unable to embrace the role of statesman.
Independent of Middle East politics, some of the underlying tensions between Carter and Clinton go back decades.
In his 2004 autobiography, Clinton said that his failed 1980 bid for re-election as governor of Arkansas was damaged by the decision of President Carter to place 20,000 Cuban refugees at a military installation in the state, after some of the refugees had rioted and broken out of the facility as the National Guard looked on.
While Carter and Clinton have both pursued high-profile humanitarian causes as ex-presidents, and plan to participate in a gathering of progressive Baptists early next year, Clinton has often seemed much closer to former president George H.W. Bush, his partner in raising relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and those of the 2004 tsunami. Several political observers told the Forward that Carter’s outspoken political activism since leaving office has caused friction with Clinton and both Bushes.
“There is kind of this tradition that out of respect for the dignity of the office, presidents finish their terms and then sort of… let their successors have their own time at bat,” said Joshua Muravchik, a resident scholar of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute who recently published an article in Commentary magazine that is critical of Carter’s conduct as an ex-president. “Every one of Carter’s successors, including Clinton, has resented his meddling.”
Carter publicly opposed the use of force against Iraq in 1990 during the first Bush administration, and personally contacted United Nations member states to urge them not to support the American request for U.N. authorization of military action. In 1994, Carter successfully lobbied President Clinton to allow him to serve as an envoy to North Korea.
Rabinowitz suspects that his former boss decided to break with his “decades-long” approach of avoiding public criticism of Carter because “it all just got to be a bit too much.”
“This wasn’t one misstatement by Carter,” Rabinowitz said. “Needless to say, Carter didn’t let go.”
New Delhi: The percentage of Indian students going to America for higher studies has decreased.
The US concerned over the issue said it had plans to increase the number of visas for them and also speed up the visa issuance process on Thursday.
“We are very much committed to assuring every Indian student admitted to a legitimate institution of higher education in the US that he or she will be granted visa on time,” US Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Karen P Hughes said.
“We have increased the number of visas for Indian students and we want to further increase the number,” Hughes added.
Hughes is on a week-long visit to India, heading a delegation of six US university presidents in an effort to expand educational partnerships with India.
The delegation also called on Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh to discuss two-way students’ exchange programmes with India.
“We discussed a variety of ideas like faculty exchange programme, student exchange programme and joint degree programme,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Thomas A Farrell said about the meeting.
He said the US was waking up to the reality that it is losing its advantage in drawing top-grade students from countries like India due to visa hurdles.
US FALLING BEHIND
The World Economic Forum, based in Geneva, said in its report that the United States had dropped from first to seventh place in its annual “Networked Readiness Index.”
The new champion, the Forum said, is Denmark, which had an excellent regulatory environment and clear government leadership and vision in application of computer technology.
By contrast, the U.S. decline was mainly due to the relative deterioration of its political and regulatory environment, it said.
But the report added that the country “maintains its primacy in innovation,” driven by its higher-education system and its cooperation with the tech industry and the availability of venture capital.
Executive summary of the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2006-2007
After Denmark, which was third in the 2006 ratings, the latest index showed Sweden in second place, up from eighth last year, Singapore third, Finland fourth, Switzerland fifth and the Netherlands sixth.
The report is produced by the Forum in cooperation with the Instead international business school at Versailles, near Paris. Its conclusions are based on assessments by experts at the two institutions.
The 122 countries surveyed were assessed on the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for technology applications; the readiness of individuals, businesses and governments to use and benefit from that environment; and their actual use of the latest technology.
In Asia, Hong Kong emerged in 12th place, with Taiwan 13th and Japan 14th. India, at 44th, and China, at 59th, had both dropped back, largely due to poor infrastructure, according to the report.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile was leading at 31st in the global ranking, followed by Barbados at 40th. But most countries in the region were improving because of increased government emphasis on technology applications, the report said.
In Africa, almost all countries dropped in the ratings, including South Africa, which was rated 47th, compared with 37th the previous year. But a bright spot was Ethiopia, now spending nearly one-tenth of its gross domestic product annually on technology.
Foreign nations take tech title
Denmark ascends as the U.S. falls behind in technology education, development
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Several European and Asian countries have overtaken the United States as the world’s leaders in leveraging information and communication technology, according to a report from the World Economic Forum.
The United States ranked seventh in the world in the Forum’s 2006-07 Networked Readiness Index, which measures a nation’s ability to participate in and benefit from developments in information and communication technology. Denmark, ranked third last year, took the top spot this year, followed by Sweden, Singapore, Finland and Switzerland.
The study echoes a new report from AEA, an industry trade group in Washington, that says the United States is falling behind other countries that are pouring more resources into technology education and development.
World Economic Forum officials said the United States remains a powerhouse, boasting a healthy market environment, continued innovation and plentiful venture capital. But it warns the country has been bogged down by a complex regulatory environment and a lack of technology adoption by individuals, businesses and government organizations.
This country’s slide from first to seventh in a year also reflects advances by other countries, which are leaping ahead at a faster pace, said Soumitra Dutta, a co-editor of the report.
“The U.S. has to observe trends in technology adoption around the world,” said Dutta. “In many parts of the world, in Asia and Europe, you have societies that are moving forward, leapfrogging the technology.”
Geneva’s World Economic Forum has issued networked readiness surveys since 2001. The latest index, which examined 122 countries, assessed the environment for information and communications technology in a country, the readiness of the industry and its stakeholders, and use of the technologies.
Peter Morici, an economist and a business professor at the University of Maryland, agreed the regulatory environment in the United States needs to be improved. He cited as an example how U.S. communications companies face stifling layers of federal and state regulations.
But he also said the network providers need to get the Internet infrastructure to operate faster instead of worrying about protecting their businesses from competitors.
“We haven’t gone backward, we’re just not moving forward,” said Morici. “We haven’t adequately built out our competitive technologies, and other countries are moving ahead. Unfortunately, it’s in the hands of cable and telecom companies. They’re not always forward-looking companies.”
This year’s leader, Denmark, has been steadily moving up the ladder over the years. Officials cited the relatively light regulatory burden in Denmark and clear vision from the government as contributing to the country’s rise in the rankings.
A new study by AEA, formerly known as the American Electronics Association, makes similar points. The study, “We Are Still Losing the Competitive Advantage: Now Is the Time To Act,” says other countries like South Korea are churning out more engineering graduates; the United States is not maintaining enough funding for basic research and development; and the level of math and science education remains low.
“Two years ago, AEA called the United States the proverbial frog in the pot of water, oblivious to the slowly rising temperature of a world catching up to us.
“Today, the heat is still rising and we are still in the pot. There is hope that we are finally feeling the heat and are poised to do something about it,” William Archey, association president and CEO, said in a statement.
Greensburg family accused of teen enslavement
By Bob Stiles
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Nelson Williams said he heard his caregiver question a teenager about her bruised appearance as she stood outside his Hempfield Township door March 10, delivering his Saturday newspaper.
“What in the world happened to you?” Williams, 66, remembered the caregiver asking the teen.
The teen then broke into tears and recounted that she had been beaten and kept against her will by a Greensburg family for more than six months, said Williams, who invited the teen inside and contacted authorities.
On Tuesday, members of that family, Mark Pollard, 43; his wife, Cynthia Pollard, 41; and children Mark Pollard Jr., 18, Jonathan Pollard, 17, and Tabitha Pollard, 16, all of 506 DelBene Way, were arraigned on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person, false imprisonment and conspiracy.
Mark, Cynthia and Mark Pollard Jr. were jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond after their arraignments before District Judge James Albert, of Greensburg.
Jonathan and Tabitha Pollard, both of whom have been charged as adults, are free on $50,000 unsecured bond. Arrangements were being made for them to stay with relatives.
Greensburg Detective Sgt. Henry Fontana alleges that the Pollards were keeping Emily Nicely, 19, against her will since September. She told police that she was beaten with boots, broom handles, a metal pipe, wooden door slats and other objects if she refused “to do chores,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Nicely, who had attended Greensburg Salem High School, began living with the Pollards last summer in the hope of finishing school there after her family moved out of the district, Fontana said. School district officials said she was last enrolled during the 2004-05 school year.
The abuse started shortly after she moved in, and the family referred to her as their “slave,” according to the affidavit.
“Ms. Nicely was not allowed to be alone or have contact with anyone except the Pollard family. She was not allowed out of the house unless she was with another family member,” the affidavit said.
Williams said that after he and his male caregiver invited the bruised Nicely inside, a woman came to the door and demanded the teen come outside. His caregiver — a tall, muscular man — refused, Williams said, shutting the door in the woman’s face.
“(Nicely) came in and sat,” Williams recalled. “I felt bad. She cried. I said, ‘Just sit here, stay warm. You don’t need to go outside. No one’s going to take you.'”
Two other people were outside his home as Nicely was delivering his copy of the Tribune-Review, Williams said.
Cynthia Pollard told police that members of the family had confrontations with Nicely, but only in self-defense, according to the affidavit. She said Nicely fell down while delivering the newspapers, and that was why she was bruised, court papers said.
After state police arrived at Williams’ home March 10, Nicely was taken for medical treatment at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, and city police were contacted. She is staying with her mother in another county, police said.
Tribune-Review records indicate Mark Jr., Jonathan and Tabitha Pollard serve as independent contractors delivering the newspaper. Each delivers on a different route in Greensburg.
‘Slave’ case neighbors stunned
By Bob Stiles
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tom Sarver said he was shocked when he heard a Greensburg family — his neighbors — allegedly kept a woman enslaved in their home and beat her for months.
“I thought it was terrible,” Sarver said Wednesday. “I didn’t think something like that could go on. And I was wondering about why it didn’t come to light sooner than it did.”
Since September, Mark Pollard, 43; his wife, Cynthia Pollard, 41; and their three children, Mark Pollard Jr., 18, Jonathan Pollard, 17, and Tabitha Pollard, 16, were holding Emily Nicely, 19, against her will at their 506 DelBene Way home, according to Greensburg police.
On Tuesday, the five family members were arraigned on kidnapping and other charges related to repeatedly beating Nicely with their fists and various objects and threatening to harm her and her family if she fled or told anyone, according to court papers. Jonathan and Tabitha Pollard are charged as adults.
Yesterday, other neighbors joined Sarver in voicing their astonishment at the charges and wondering why no one intervened sooner.
“I was shocked,” said Bill McAfee, a retired Greensburg police officer. “It’s always been a nice, quiet neighborhood. You wouldn’t think a block and a half from here that something like that was going on.”
“I don’t understand why someone didn’t notice and do something as far as counseling,” said another neighbor, Colleen Clark. “I don’t know why. I guess I’m as guilty (for not noticing).”
Many neighbors living on the 7th Ward hill with a view of the Westmoreland County courthouse and downtown Greensburg said they tend to keep to themselves and didn’t know the Pollards well.
Others, who asked not to be identified, said police often responded to calls about disturbances at the Pollard’s small, ill-kept house.
Greensburg police Capt. George Seranko confirmed that police had visited 506 DelBene Way, but said nothing tipped off officers about Nicely’s alleged ordeal, which she described as being treated like a slave, according to court papers.
Seranko said evidence shows that Nicely was beaten extensively over a period of time.
“It’s not a bruise; it’s hundreds of bruises,” he said. “You can tell this was a continuous assault. It wasn’t one time.
“It wasn’t bruising from a fall,” he added, referring to a statement Cynthia Pollard made to authorities. “Almost every part of her body had some type of a bruise on it.”
Detective Sgt. Henry Fontana said Nicely was staying with the family in hopes of continuing to attend Greensburg Salem High School after her family moved out of the school district. However, school officials said she was last enrolled in the 2004-05 school year.
All three Pollard children dropped out of school, Greensburg Salem officials said.
At some point, Nicely had dated both Mark Pollard Jr. and Jonathan Pollard, police said.
Nicely told police that she continued living with the family out of fear, according to a probable cause affidavit.
“They told her that if she told anyone or tried to leave, they would put wire around her neck and strangle her,” the affidavit said. “They would then go after her family.”
Authorities became aware of Nicely’s situation after Nelson Williams and his caregiver intervened after Nicely delivered a copy of the Tribune-Review to Williams’ Hempfield Township home March 10. Mark Jr., Jonathan and Tabitha Pollard all served as independent contractors delivering the newspaper, according to company records.
The caregiver questioned Nicely about her badly bruised face, Williams said, and Nicely said she had been beaten and kept imprisoned for more than six months.
They took Nicely inside, ignored Cynthia Pollard as she demanded that Nicely come outside, and called state police, Williams said.
Nicely was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, and doctors contacted city police.
Dr. Janet Squires, director of the Child Advocacy Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, said that in many publicized cases in which someone has been kept a prisoner, people often question why the victim did not try to escape.
In Nicely’s case, Squires said, even though she was 19, she was still childlike.
“Many times, one thing that makes people vulnerable is being threatened,” said Squires, whose center evaluates children and adolescents who may be victims of physical or sexual abuse, or neglect.
Threats can be very powerful, especially when a victim has no resources and no friends or family nearby, Squires said.
“I’ve heard horrific things that were said,” Squires said. “People are belittled. They are told, ‘If only you were good, I wouldn’t have to hit you.'”
After a while, a victim’s self-worth deteriorates.
“This young lady at least had the ego to articulate (what was happening) and report (it),” Squires said.
She said the Hempfield Township man who noticed Nicely’s injuries invited her in and contacted authorities is “a hero.”
“Sometimes the right person in the right place — asking, ‘Are you OK?’ at the right time — can give a victim a chance to ask for help,” Squires said.
Among the items seized during a police search of the Pollards’ home were a belt, a yardstick, window slats, a broom and a pole. Seranko said these items may undergo forensic testing if Nicely says that they were used to beat her.
The Pollards survive on Social Security payments, said Meagan Bilik, who represented the family at their arraignments before District Judge James Albert, of Greensburg.
“To my knowledge, there’s no prior (criminal) records,” the attorney said.
All five Pollards were jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond each.
Tabitha Pollard, who is six months pregnant, was put in jail yesterday after she could not satisfy authorities about an address where she would live on electronic monitoring while awaiting her preliminary hearing, court officials said.
The Pollards’ home is part of a mortgage foreclosure action begun by Citifinancial Services Inc, according to Westmoreland County court records.
Citifinancial alleges that no mortgage payments have been made since October. Nearly $42,000 is owed in principal, interest, late charges and other fees, according to court papers.