Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lebanon - unresolved thanks to Americaa.

Army Officers Refuse Promotion by Saniora's Govt
Mohamad Shmaysani Readers Number : 477

27/12/2007 Ten pro-February 14 MPs submitted to Parliament's secretariat Thursday a petition to ratify Fouad Saniora's government draft law on a constitutional amendment to enable the election of Army Commander General Michel Suleiman as president.
The petition urges the legislature to adopt a decision to amend paragraph 3 of article 49 of the constitution and to call for an extraordinary parliamentary session starting January 1, 2008 in the event that the ordinary session set for Saturday to elect a new president ended without success. Hezbollah lashed out at Saniora's government blaming it for violations of the constitution and of premeditated usurping of presidential powers. For his part, MP Ali Bazzi, who is a member of Speaker Nabih Berri's bloc, reiterated that Berri will reject the draft law from the "unconstitutional" government, saying the move will increase "complications" rather than finding a solution to the political deadlock.

Saniora has even decided to dive even deeper into taking decisions that will eventually lead to more political strain. On Christmas Eve, the Lebanese had hoped this occasion would pass with minimum political calm between the loyalty and opposition blocs, but it did not. Saniora, or the "head of state" as his entourage now like to call him, has called his ministers to hold a regular session to discuss a number of matters including the status of some employees and retired employees as well as promotions for some military officers. Saniora's decision prompted the opposition to intensify deliberations after it had decided to peacefully pass the holidays. According to Assafir daily, the unconstitutional status of the government has cause a new crisis with the title: "periodic promotion of Lebanese Army officers," including those who would be pensioned off. This perilous move was widely discussed in an expanded military meeting in the MoD headquarters in Yarzeh, presided over by Army Chief General Michel Suleiman. Assafir said the meeting ended with a "unanimous agreement" on the principal that officer promotions would only be accepted after the President's signature.
Officers entitled to promotion with the beginning of 2008 number 1,500.

Loyalty Bloc: Counting on U.S. Leads to Collapse

Hanan Awarekeh Readers Number : 479

26/12/2007 The Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc on Wednesday launched a vehement attack on the unconstitutional government of Fouad Saniora blaming it for a parcel of violations, including "premeditated" usurping of presidential powers and pledged "new complications" to the already tense situation.

The stand was made in a statement issued by the parliamentary bloc following a meeting presided over by its chairman MP Mohammed Raad. A constitutional amendment bill by the unconstitutional government was tantamount to "usurping presidential powers," the statement said.

"That provides clear evidence to the crime of premeditated usurping of authority and a coup against the constitution, despite (the fact) that what has been adopted by the (unconstitutional) government two days ago carries no constitutional or practical values," the statement added.

The alleged constitutional amendment bill, aimed at facilitating the election of Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman president, "is a provocative measure designed to test the opposition's response," the Loyalty bloc charged. It threatened: "such a performance opens the door to new complications for which the authority would be held fully responsible."

The bloc added that the ruling bloc’s rejection to the formation of a "national unity government" in which the Lebanese national opposition enjoys veto powers "exposed" that nominating Gen. Suleiman for the presidency was a mere "maneuver aimed at covering up … their rejection of true national partnership."

NGOs critical of Bali accord, US

Sun, 16 Dec 2007 02:18:31
Green groups say the pact is short of defined goals

Expressing dissatisfaction with the Bali climate agreement, environmental groups have protested the pact fails to set distinct goals.

Among the protesters, the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (OXFAM) noted that the UN-brokered settlement, which obliged concerned nations to hold serious greenhouse gas reduction talks, failed to urge the responsibility for all developed countries thereby freeing them from control measures.

Referring to the hard time the US gave the 186 deputations present over any mention of definite reduction targets in the deal, the relief organization added that the agreement should call for a greenhouse gas reduction of 25-40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

Despite the US's eventual acquiescence to holding talks, the country's pledge of participation was dismissed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as a flimsy promise which was weak on substance.

WWF held that the burden of real commitment to the negotiations, which are going to last until 2009, would weigh heavy on the prospective US president's shoulders.

Joining the protest, the executive director of Greenpeace International Gerd Leipold said "Governments must continue to stand up to this lame-duck US president with his malicious agenda. Industrialized nations must now immediately set ambitious targets to cut emissions".

The group, however, was sanguine about the stress of the two-year deadline forcing the countries to streamline serious emission cuts.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

US army recruits illegal immigrants

Thu, 27 Dec 2007 13:37:16

The US army sends illegal immigrants to the Iraq war
Citizens of northern Mexican state of Sinaloa denounce that the US army recruits illegal immigrants from Mexico to send them to the Iraq war.

Media reports from Culiacan, the capital of that state, quoted statements by civil activist Ildefonso Ortiz Cabrera saying the US officers use young men of Latin American origin to recruit the Mexicans.

Ortiz Cabrera spoke about his own experience in Phoenix, Arizona, where they suggested that he went to a military base, and he decided then to return to El Burrion, his town in Sinaloa.

The case of Carlos Mario Perez was also mentioned, because faced with the serious situation of the US army in Iraq, where the US citizens do not want to go, they tried to recruit him directly, and he returned in fear to Mexican territory a year ago.

In those testimonies, they said other illegal immigrant families from Mexico in the United States have decided to return to their places of origin, because they fear that their adolescent children are taken, with the passing of time, as cannon fodder to an alien war to them.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

See no "Terrorrist", Talk no "terrorist". Listen no "terrorisr"

Afghanistan expels UN, EU officials
Tue, 25 Dec 2007 20:06:53

Two high-ranking officials from the European Union and UN have been ordered to leave Afghanistan over their meetings with the Taliban.

The two men-- a Briton and an Irish-- based in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, had been holding meetings with different tribes and groups, including the Taliban.

They have been given 48 hours to leave the country and the UN has said that it will comply with the request.

"The foreign nationals have been declared persona non grata and their Afghan colleagues have been arrested and are being interrogated, " Homayun Hamidzada, a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.

But officials hope to resolve what they have called a misunderstanding.

They said their role was to try to find out what was happening "on the ground" with tribal elders, government representatives and non-government representatives.

Officials have stressed these discussions should not be interpreted as support for the Taliban.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Political Hollywood at its Best

US withdraws UN resolution on ME
Sat, 01 Dec 2007 08:57:15
Zalmay Khalilzad, US Ambassador to the UN
The United States has withdrawn a draft UN resolution endorsing the agreements reached in a Mideast summit held in Annapolis this week.

The US was withdrawing the resolution from the UN Security Council less than 24 hours after US Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad had introduced it and welcomed what he called the 'very positive' response from the council's members.

After a session, at which the draft was submitted, Khalilzad said Security Council members intended to discuss the text with the parties involved.

The move suggested that Tel Aviv and the Palestinians had not been consulted before the text was drafted and there were even doubts whether the US State Department had been informed that the draft resolution was to be presented Thursday.

The Mideast Conference, which started on November 27 in Annapolis, has been considered as a failure as it did not address the core issues of the Middle East conflict.


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