I.N. Daily Monday-Tuesday August 1st, 2005
I.N. Daily Monday-Tuesday August 1st, 2005
Ø Council of Europe condemns British government on human rights
Ø Why is the Parliamentary Press Gallery so white?
Ø Banned hijacker to talk in Belfast via video link
Ø Israeli Security to Protect London 's Underground
Ø Thomas Friedman, Liberal Sadist?
Ø Is Iran Being Set Up?
Ø Arabs shouldn't have to apologize
Ø The ridiculousness of racial profiling
Ø Jihadists v. fools on the bench
Ø Straw admits UK part of Iraq problem
Ø Spain unveils West-Islam alliance plan
Council of Europe condemns British government on human rights
By Robert Stevens, 1 August 2005
The Council of Europe Office recently released two reports criticising the British government of Prime Minister Tony Blair for its worsening human rights record. The 46-nation Council of Europe regularly reports on its members’ compliance with the European human rights convention. It is a separate and older body than the European Union.
In June, Alvaro Gil-Robles, the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner, reported on his visit to the United Kingdom from November 4-12, 2004. The second report was issued the same month by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT).
Why is the Parliamentary Press Gallery so white?
The Hill Time s, August 1st, 2005, By Bea Vongdouangchanh
Only five per cent of the journalists who report on the country's federal government and national politics are visible minorities. How come?
Only 18 of the 368 members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa who cover federal politics and the federal government, or 5.1 per cent, are visible minorities which some media experts say is alarming, pointing out that diversity affects national coverage and considering that visible minorities make up 13.4 per cent of the total population.
Ryerson University professor John Miller, who conducted two surveys on diversity in the newsrooms across the country, one in 1994 and another in 2004, said from his perspective, the numbers indicate "a systemic bias" against hiring visible minorities in news agencies that cover federal politics in Ottawa .
"There's a tendency for people to hire people they identify with, that they're comfortable with," he told The Hill Time s. "I think there is a systemic bias against visible minorities, unfortunately. It might not be a conscious bias, but nevertheless, the numbers speak for themselves."
When the foreign correspondents who are members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery are taken out of the picture, however, the percentage goes down slightly to 4.2 per cent, or 14 of 351 domestic members.
The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as "persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour, including the following groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, Japanese, Korean and Pacific Islander."
Banned hijacker to talk in Belfast via video link
A FORMER Palestinian terrorist will address a conference in west Belfast by video link from Dublin after she was refused a visa to visit Northern Ireland by the British government.
Leila Khaled, who gained iconic status in her homeland after she took part in two plane hijackings in her youth, was scheduled to speak at a festival organised by republican activists on Tuesday. Instead, she will now address the crowd via a video link from Dublin , which she has been granted a visa to visit.
She has visited Britain before but was refused a visa on this occasion, amid mounting security concerns in Britain . A visa for the republic was only requested when the British permission was slow in forthcoming and was promptly furnished.
Israeli Security to Protect London 's Underground
An Israeli security firm has been chosen to provide security for London ’s Underground train network.
Verint Systems, a subsidiary of Israel 's Comverse Technology announced that Metronet Rail has selected Verint's networked video solution to enhance security of the London Underground, according to an Israel21c report.
After extensive testing of Verint’s networked video system, including pilot installation on selected rail lines, Metronet Rail selected it to be installed on the entire Underground. The system will enable security personnel to monitor passenger platforms and certain remote portions of the track.
Verint president and CEO Dan Bodner told Israel21c: "We have significant experience working with transportation authorities and are committed to delivering innovative networked video security solutions for the transportation industry."
Thomas Friedman, Liberal Sadist?
By Norman Solomon , t r u t h o u t | Perspective, Wednesday 27 July 2005
The acclaimed New York Time s columnist Thomas Friedman has often voiced enthusiasm for violent destruction by the US government. Hidden in plain sight, his glee about such carnage is worth pondering.
Many people view Friedman as notably articulate, while others find him overly glib, but there's no doubt that he is an influential commentator with inherently respectable views. When Friedman makes his case for a shift in foreign policy, the conventional media wisdom is that he's providing a sober assessment. Yet beneath his liberal exterior is a penchant for remedies that rely on massive Pentagon firepower.
And so, his July 27 column in the Time s - after urging Americans "to thoughtfully plan ahead and to sacrifice today for a big gain tomorrow" - scolds the commander in chief for being too much of a wimp and failing to demand enough human sacrifice. Friedman poses a rhetorical question begging for a militaristic answer and then dutifully supplies one: "If you were president, would you really say to the nation, in the face of the chaos in Iraq , 'If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them,' but they have not asked. It is not what the generals are asking you, Mr. President - it is what you are asking them, namely: 'What do you need to win?' Because it is clear we are not winning, and we are not winning because we have never made Iraq a secure place where normal politics could emerge."
Such a line of reasoning points to sending still more US troops to Iraq . The result, predictably, would be even more mass slaughter from various directions. But there's no reason to believe such a result would chasten Friedman, as long as the eminent pundit figures the Washington-backed killing is for a righteous cause. In recent years Friedman has expressed much enthusiasm - even relish - for launching and continuing wars underwritten by US taxpayers.
Is Iran Being Set Up?
Safe from Attack? or Doomed After Next 9/11?
By Prof. Gary Leupp, July 27, 2005 gleupp@...
A recent article by Juan Cole depicts Iran as the real victor in the Iraq War. This is because Iran , which Washington officially designates "evil," has been able to establish warm relations with the government ushered into power by U.S. occupation forces in neighboring Iraq .
In his state visit to Iran Prime Minister al-Jaafari was offered electricity, wheat, pipeline projects, use of Iranian ports to transship goods to Iraq . Jaafari paid a pilgrimage to the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the most vilified characters in the history of U.S. foreign relations. He blamed the Iran- Iraq War (in which the U.S. backed Baghdad ) on Saddam Hussein and accepted Iraq i culpability. He promised that Iraq would not allow any attack on Iran from its soil.
Reports about the recent flurry of Iran- Iraq diplomacy must shock the neocons. Things are not going at all according to plan. Neocon ally Chalabi should be in power, hosting the Israeli prime minister's official visit and mapping a common strategy against Iran . Just 30,000 U.S. soldiers should be in Iraq , living on permanent bases. The privatized oil industry should be paying for the nearly completed reconstruction of the country. Instead, devout Shiites who revere Khomeini are in power, Iraq is far from recognizing Israel , 130,000 U.S. forces are bogged down in a guerrilla war, the oil industry hasn't recovered to pre-2001 levels, and the costs of the war and reconstruction fall on the American taxpayer. No, this is not at all what the neocons expected.
Arabs shouldn't have to apologize
Mansour El-Kikhia, San Antonio Express-News - July 29, 2005
I am fed up with the ceaseless requests by columnists, religious personalities and other American public figures for Arabs and Muslims to apologize for terrorist acts committed by thugs and murderers in the name of Islam.
As far as I am concerned, the final straw came a couple of weeks ago when the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, paid for a national advertisement repudiating terrorism in the name of Islam.
As soon as the advertisement was broadcast on America 's media, I read a column by one of the nation's most ardent Islam-phobic columnists, Cal Thomas, now also a FOX News personality, which plowed into CAIR's reconciliation efforts. Long before 9-11, Thomas' writings were full of venom for Arabs and Muslims. He represents a despicable and ignorant attitude that, unfortunately, a sizable segment of America has come to share. There is nothing American Muslims can do to satisfy this group short of packing up and leaving the United States .
The ridiculousness of racial profiling
By Hussein Ibish, The Chicago Tribune, 31 July 2005
The attacks on the London mass-transport system and the random searches now in place on the New York City subways have again raised the issue of racial profiling against Arab-Americans and Muslims.
The New York Police Department insists that the searches will be just that--random--and one should presume that its officers will hold to that standard.
Those who urge the government to ask officers enforcing security policies like New York's random searches to engage in profiling of Arab-Americans and Muslims based on appearance are not only advocating something degrading and pointless--they are asking for the impossible.
Leaving aside the fact that more than half of the Arabs in the United States are Christians, Arabs simply do not possess to any set of physical characteristics that either plainly bind them together or set them apart from many other American communities.
Arabs are a very diverse ethnic group who can resemble almost any group of southern Europeans, Latin Americans, Central and South Asians or Africans.
Jihadists v. fools on the bench
August 1, 2005 - Washington Time s
One would hardly know it from the tendentious political speech delivered by federal District Judge John Coughenour Wednesday in sentencing al Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ressam to 22 years in prison for plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport, but the Ressam case shows what is wrong with a strategy of using the courts as our primary means of fighting terror -- as the Clinton administration did for eight years. The case also serves as an illustration of the potentially catastrophic consequences to Americans that can result from lax border-enforcement, asylum and welfare policies in countries like France and Canada .
In sentencing Ressam, Judge Coughenour rejected the government's request for a 35-year sentence; prosecutors had sought to use the threat of more prison time as leverage to persuade Ressam, who has stopped cooperating with the government, to testify against two alleged co-conspirators who plotted with him to bomb the airport at or around Jan. 1, 2000. Ressam had originally faced up to 130 years in prison for his role in what has become known as the "millennium bombing" plot.
Straw admits UK part of Iraq problem
Tuesday 02 August 2005,
The British foreign secretary has admitted that the presence of British and US troops in Iraq is fuelling the uprising there, and the Polish prime minister has said post-war nation-building efforts have "failed totally".
In an interview on Tuesday with Britain 's Financial Time s newspaper, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said it was crucial Iraq 's draft constitution was ready by a mid-August deadline to pave the way for a troop withdrawal.
"The more certainty you have on that (the constitution), the more you can have a programme for the draw-down of troops which is important for the Iraq is," he said.
"Because - unlike in Afghanistan - although we are part of the security solution there, we are also part of the problem."
The Iraq i panel d rawi ng up the constitution has come under intense US pressure to submit a draft on time.
Spain unveils West-Islam alliance plan
Tuesday 02 August 2005,
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has announced that an "alliance of civilisations" between Western and Muslim countries in the fight against terrorism will begin work in November.
Zapatero said on Monday that Spain would host a first high-level meeting in the Balearic Islands .
The Socialist leader first mooted the idea after coming to power in April last year in a bid to bring Western and Muslim countries together and overcome mutual misunderstandings caused by issues such as the war in Iraq .
The Observatoire international sur le racisme et les discriminations http://www.criec.uqam.ca/observatoire/veille.htm
Boycott Israel and Israeli products:
Échec à la Guerre “Québec Peace movement” http://www.echecalaguerre.org/
Stop the War: http://www.stopwar.org.uk/march20/
The New Israel: http://www.thenewisrael.com/
Occupation Watch: http://occupationwatch.org/
Syrian History http://www.syrianhistory.com/