Daily Archives: March 26, 2006

Gadaffi: Lybia’s political system is superior to Western democracies (UPDATED)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi lectured an American audience on democracy via a videoconference link to a New York university on Thursday, stating that Libya was the only real democracy in the world. Gaddafi was addressing an unprecedented gathering of U.S. and Libyan academics prompted by a thaw in relations since the former Pariah State decided in 2003 to abandon nuclear weapons and took responsibility for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

Gaddafi used the rare interaction with Westerners to tout Libya's political system as superior to parliamentary and representative democracies in the West which he said were farcical and fake. Gaddafi also said that nations should not involve themselves with the internal affairs of other nations.

HT: Conservative Blog Therapy.

The question is: superior for who?

UPDATE:  Well, what he said was even worse, from BBC:

In the Middle East, the opposition is quite different
than the opposition in advanced countries. In our countries, the
opposition takes the form of explosions, assassinations, killings

And acknowledging that kind of opposition, he still thinks his system is superior? I'm astonished. 

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Saddam’s camp of fedayeen

Beginning in 1994, the Fedayeen Saddam opened its own paramilitary training camps for volunteers, graduating more than 7,200 “good men racing full with courage and enthusiasm” in the first year. Beginning in 1998, these camps began hosting “Arab volunteers from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, ‘the Gulf,’ and Syria.” It is not clear from available evidence where all of these non-Iraqi volunteers who were “sacrificing for the cause” went to ply their newfound skills. Before the summer of 2002, most volunteers went home upon the completion of training. But these camps were humming with frenzied activity in the months immediately prior to the war. As late as January 2003, the volunteers participated in a special training event called the “Heroes Attack.” This training event was designed in part to prepare regional Fedayeen Saddam commands to “obstruct the enemy from achieving his goal and to support keeping peace and stability in the province.”

Some of this training came under the auspices of the Iraqi Intelligence Service’s “Division 27,” which, according to the study, “supplied the Fedayeen Saddam with silencers, equipment for booby-trapping vehicles, [and] special training on the use of certain explosive timers. The only apparent use for all of this Division 27 equipment was to conduct commando or terrorist operations.”

The publication of the Joint Forces Command study, called the “Iraqi Perspectives Project,” coincides with the release by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of several hundred documents captured in postwar Iraq. There are many more to come. Some of the documents used to complete the study have been made public as part of the ODNI effort; others have not.

The question as Al, from Sir Humphrey’s says, is why the Bush Administration did not push this information earlier. But the problem is, nearly NO important Spanish MSM is reporting on this.

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More about Russia and Saddam

The other day I wrote about Russia informing Saddam of US war-plans. Looks like the responsible for the leaks is the same Russian ambassador who was indicted in the Oil-For-Food scandal:

In that time the members of the sub-committee stated that they found the connections between the Russian companies and illegal dealings within the Oil-for-Food program.

The Senate investigators were able to put the hand on the letters signed by Zhirinovsky, where there was a discussion of oil purchase issues, and the documents of Iraqi Oil Ministry, where it said that leader of LDPR and his party are getting vouchers for the sale of the oil. In 1997 Zhirinovsky wrote a letter to Iraqi Ambassador in Russia, where he said that his party is firmly against the UN economic sanctions, and he promised to use all his political influence to persuade the Duma to widen the economical cooperation with Iraq, including the requests of the contracts in the program Oil-for-Food. American Senators think that this zeal brought Zhirinovsky $8.7 million.

HT: Gateway Pundit.

Of course, now the Russians are denying the leaks.(link in Spanish):

"Ya hemos recibido otras acusaciones similares y sin fundamento en torno al servicio de Inteligencia ruso", indicó el portavoz del servicio de Inteligencia Exterior, Boris Labusov. "No consideramos necesario hacer ningún comentario en torno a las acusaciones".

 

Translation: "We have received several other similar accusations without any basis about the Russian Intelligence service", said the speaker of the Foreign Intelligence service, Boris Ladunov, " We don't consider necessary to make any statement regarding those accusations".

Real translation: we were involved but we cannot say it loudly… 

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Abdul Rahman’s update: charges dropped against him

Looks like the pressure made by a lot of people has succeded:

"The court dismissed today the case against Abdul Rahman for a lack of information and a lot of legal gaps in the case," the official told AP on condition of anonymity.

"The decision about his release will be taken possibly tomorrow," the official added. "They don't have to keep him in jail while the attorney general is looking into the case."

Abdul Wakil Omeri, a spokesman for the Supreme Court, confirmed the case was dismissed because of "problems with the prosecutors' evidence."

"It is the job of the attorney general's office to decide if he is mentally fit to stand trial," he told AP.

Questions are reportedly being raised on whether or not Rahman would stay in Afghanistan, or face exile in another country.

[…] An Afghan Christian in the U.S. who has regular contact with Christians in his home country through his ministry, posted a video clip of Rahman on his website.

Rahman says in the clip, according to Andaryas: "The punishment by hanging? I will accept it gladly, but I am not an infidel. I am not a traitor. I am a follower of Jesus."

These last days, the pressure has come from several fronts. For example, Australian President, John Howard, has linked the fate of Abdul Rahman's to the presence of Australian forces in Afghanistan:

Howard has already written to Afghan President Hamid Karzai asking him to intervene and save the life of Abdul Rahman, condemned to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, and he said Sunday that his government would continue pressuring Kabul over the issue.

“I will not drop off this issue, I will not just be content to write a letter and leave it at that,” he said. “I will continue to press very, very strongly.”

Howard went on to link the case of Rahman, 41, to the deployment of Australian troops who have been fighting Afghanistan’s ousted Taleban regime, a fundamentalist Islamic militia which introduced harsh Sharia law to Afghanistan before being toppled by US-led forces in late 2001.

“I do feel very deeply about this, particularly because there are Australian soldiers risking their lives to fight the Taleban and we’re not fighting the Taleban to allow something like this to happen,” Howard said.

The Pope, that a lot of people were expecting to speak about this issue -including myself-, has also defended the freedom of religion:

Pope Benedict XVI has asked the Afghan president to show clemency towards a man facing possible execution for converting to Christianity. Abdul Rahman has been charged with apostasy, a religious offence.

 

The Vatican said the pontiff had appealed to President Hamid Karzai to respect human rights guarantees enshrined in the Afghan constitution….

The appeal was sent in a letter in Pope Benedict XVI's name by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

The note, excerpts of which were released by the Vatican, said the pope's appeal was inspired by "profound human compassion" and by a "firm belief in the dignity of human life and by respect for every person's freedom of conscience and religion".

Releasing Mr Rahman would "contribute in a most significant way to our common mission to foster mutual understanding and respect among the world's different religions and cultures", it added.

On the other hand, we have had a lot of stupid dhimmies also. The first one, Jack Straw, British FM, who was so quick in speaking against the Danish cartoonists, has been now quiet about this case:

When the row about the Danish cartoons of Mohammed broke, no one was quicker out of the traps than our Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. He roundly condemned what he saw as the irresponsibility of their publication.

It was not clear why Mr Straw felt the need to speak up. Britain has no responsibility for independent, democratic Denmark, nor for the European countries in which the cartoons were republished.

We do, however, bear considerable responsibility for Afghanistan. We helped invade it in 2001 to overthrow the Islamist Taliban government, and ever since then we have helped rebuild government and society there, including the framing of a new constitution. The other day, we sent yet more troops to help keep the uneasy peace. We boast, with some justice, that we have set Afghanistan free.

So the news that a Muslim is threatened with death by an Afghan court simply because he converted to Christianity should surely alarm Mr Straw. So far – and the case has been in the press for more than a week – we have heard nothing audible from him. President Bush has said he is "deeply troubled" by the case. Condoleezza Rice and many European governments have put strong pressure on the Afghan authorities to release the man, Abdul Rahman, citing Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes, in its definition of freedom of conscience, the right to change one's faith.

But Britain's mighty response has been left to one of Mr Straw's juniors at the Foreign Office, Kim Howells. Mr Howells has sought "urgent clarification" from Kabul.

It may provide Mr Howells with some of the clarification that he needs to point out that Mr Rahman's case was predictable. Islamic law (sharia) is enshrined in the new Afghan constitution. All the four schools of law in the majority Sunni Islam agree that the penalty for "apostasy" – abandoning one's Muslim faith – must be death. One states: "When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatises from Islam, he deserves to be killed" and recommends that, when he is killed, he should be "neither given a bath, nor any funeral prayer". Much the same applies in Shia Islam.

Looks like some cartoons are more valuable than one person's life. Well, Spanish Government is even worse because they haven't mentioned it, although there are Spanish soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

Of course, there are also people who are thinking the Rahman's conversion is just a consequence of a Jewish conspiracy:

Another cleric, Ayatullah Asife Muhseni, told a gathering of preachers and intellectuals at a Kabul hotel that the Afghan president had no right to overturn the punishment of an apostate.

He also demanded that clerics be able to question Rahman in jail to discover why he had converted to Christianity. He suggested it could have been the result of a conspiracy by Western nations or Jews.

Well, that would be the poorest of all conspiracies, because the Jews would have achieved a convert to Christianity, not to Judaism. It would certainly be extraordinary. And above all, it is so inimaginable to be a convert to Christianity, hein?

Lastly, I want you to read an article from International Herald Tribune, whose title is: ""Execution of apostates rare in Islamic nations". It's very curious to read: looks like as if it's good that they kill sometimes because of being apostates.

UPDATE: BUT Rahman's is not the only one. You can read here or in general Afghan Times. So we have to ask: are they punishing the authors of these actions? If not, we can say that the Judges are as resposible for that as the killers.

A Lady's Ruminations has also a very good post on the subject. She asks what will be Rahman's situation and how secure he will be. Also The Rolling Barrage asks several questions -very important questions in fact-:

1. Will there be upcoming charges against anyone expressing a minority religious, or non-religious, view?

2. How will the populace respond? Islamic clerics are of the opinion
he is in peril. If so, are the clerics to blame for that danger?

3. Will there be a reaction against the US forces in Afghanistan?

Well, I would change the 3rd question to "Will there be ANY reaction to the Coalition Forces in Iraq?

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Islamists kill 5 in Algeria

 

The other day I wrote about the amnesty that Algerian Government was going to grant to Islamist terrorists in jail. And the killings have continued after it too:

ALGERIAN militants killed five civilians, including a mayor, stepping up attacks days after the start of an amnesty for rebels aimed attending more than a decade of strife, residents and newspapers said overnight.

Suspected members of al Qaeda-linked group the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) shot dead mayor Brahim Jellab outside his house on Friday night in Boumerdes province, 50 km east of the capital Algiers, residents said….

Algeria began an amnesty this month as part of efforts to end violence that broke out when the authorities cancelled elections in1992 that a now-banned Islamic party was poised to win. An estimated200,000 people have been killed since then.

The peace drive includes the mass release of jailed Islamic militants as well as compensation for victims, including the families of about 8,000 missing people.

The amnesty gave those rebels still fighting six months to surrender, provided they were not involved in massacres, rapes or bombings of public places.

Now, they are going to "ask" -that is, begin another campaign of extorsion and , killings and rapes- for the amnesty of the criminals who had been sentenced for these crimes.

NOTE: I have changed "have begun again" for have continued after it", because NOURI, a reader, has informed me that the Islamists of the GSPC have continue killing.

 

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