Monday, January 28, 2008

Canada may send troops to Kandahar

Mon, 28 Jan 2008 09:28:49
Canada has volunteered to play a greater leading role in the volatile Afghan province of Kandahar by stationing more troops there.

John Manley, chair of the Afghan study panel, told Montreal newspaper Le Devoir that British soldiers were originally to deploy in the provinces of Kandahar and neighboring Helmand.

Manley, the former Liberal foreign affairs minister said Canada insists on taking the reins of security in the unstable province which was accepted by NATO.

Fellow panel member Paul Tellier told the newspaper that NATO allies suggested Canada take on a security role in a safer province.

However, Manley stresses that Canada should not leave Kandahar until the Afghan army is ready to operate independently.

Many Canadian citizens are concerned that the army may never be ready to maintain security and that current instability in Pakistan may affect Afghanistan adversely. They are also concerned about the period of time Canada will have to commit troops to the region.


Mottaki: N-Arms Don't Exist in our Defensive Doctrine


Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in the 38th meeting of the World Economic Forum in the mountainous area of Switzerland " Davos" underlined that nuclear weapon has no place in Iran's defensive doctrine. In a meeting dubbed as " Understanding Iran's foreign policy", which was held in Davos on Saturday evening, Mottaki said, "We believe that if atomic weapons had been able to prevent crisis, they would have prevented many crises in the past."

For example, the Zionist regime, by having more than 200 nuclear warheads, could win war in Lebanon.

He said, "Those who test new generations of atomic weapons should answer why they are looking for more competition in the atomic arsenal." Referring to the imposed war of Iraq against Iran in which Saddam used chemical bombs, Mottaki said, "The European hospitals have witnessed Iranian chemical victims."
Answering a question why Iran wants to produce nuclear fuel, Mottaki said because power plants cannot operate without nuclear fuels. He stressed that Iran's positions on nuclear weapons is clear adding "we are not looking for a nuclear arsenal". The 38th meeting of the World Economic Forum started its work on Wednesday evening in Davos, Switzerland.

More than 2,500 personalities from 88 countries are attending the meeting. Among them, 27 presidents and prime ministers and 113 foreign ministers are participating in the 5-day meeting.

Mottaki called on the Security Council to "exercise restraint" when reviewing a package of new restrictions next week over Tehran's peaceful nuclear program. The minister said Iran could not understand why the new measures were being proposed before the UN's nuclear agency, the IAEA, makes its report on Tehran's nuclear activities in late February or March.

The package was agreed by foreign ministers of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany. "We advise them to exercise restraint ... until the final report of the IAEA comes out," Mottaki told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. "The shared objective is the clarification of the ambiguities that have been insinuated by some parties and answering questions raised by the IAEA," he added.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Afghanistan & Pakistan

Karzai: Iran assisting Afghanistan
Sat, 26 Jan 2008 21:07:44

Hamid Karzai
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says Iran is greatly assisting Kabul, dismissing the allegations of Tehran's support for the Taliban.

When asked by Newsweek-Washington Post's reporter about his government's ties with Iran, Karzai hailed the close relations between Iran and Afghanistan in the past six years.

"We have opened our doors to them. They have been helping us in Afghanistan," said the Afghan President.

Karzai added that the United States had wisely understood that Iran was Afghanistan's neighbor.

He expressed hope that Iran would also understand Kabul-Washington relations.

Washington accuses the Islamic Republic of supplying Taliban insurgents with weapons.

Tehran, however, strongly denies such allegations, saying that it favors the security of its neighboring countries.


Musharraf: US has no magic wand
Sat, 26 Jan 2008 18:38:16

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf says American forces don't have a magic wand which would lead to success in the country.

Commenting on US Defense Secretary Robert Gates' proposal to send a small number of troops to Pakistan, Musharraf said: "This cannot be done by any US force. Please don't think that the US forces have some kind of a magic wand and they'll come and lead to success."

The president reiterated that Pakistan opposes the presence of US forces on its soil.

Talking to security and defense experts at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Musharraf added that there were three areas in which the West misunderstood Pakistan; the notion that the dismissal of judges was somehow a human rights issue, that next month's elections might not be free or fair and that Pakistan's nuclear weapons were not properly secured.

Musharraf is touring Europe in hopes of convincing world leaders that he fully controls and is committed to restoring democracy in Pakistan.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Austria slams Islamophobic politician

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 20:37:09
Right wing hardliner Susanne Winter

FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache has distanced himself from Graz FPO politician Susanne Winter's 'blasphemous' remarks against Islam.

Strache said that he will take care to ensure that party members avoid statements in the future that could be taken out of context. He made the remarks during his visit to Antwerp in Belgium on Friday.

Senior Austrian officials have clobbered right-wing hardliner Susanne Winter for fueling Islamophobia in a recent election campaign.

Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer denounced Winter's 'inexcusable' comments, saying she had absolutely no right to attempt to undermine the values and beliefs of an acknowledged religion.

Vice-Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer also said he would strive to prevent such narrow-minded candidates from entering politics.

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik lamented the fact that such 'deliberate and offensive' remarks had been made.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer described the comments as 'intolerable and outrageous'.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

How Far Can US go in making others suffer?

No success for Iran sanctions

Thu, 17 Jan 2008 12:05:11
Iran's nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, in Beijing

Iran's top nuclear negotiator says those countries that struggled to impose economic sanctions on Iran have not achieved any success.

Upon his arrival in Beijing early Thursday, Saeed Jalili stressed those countries which are seeking additional pressure on Iran will not succeed.

Asked about Iran's expectations of China in its nuclear standoff with the West, Jalili said, “Iran and China are both important countries in regional and international arenas which enjoy amicable ties.”

Jalili added that Iran and China enjoy very good relations and cooperation in political, economic, regional and international matters. He said his trip to China was aimed at exchanging views and consultation with the United Nations veto-wielding state.

Regarding some countries' efforts to keep Iran's nuclear dossier in the UN Security Council, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council exclaimed that some countries sent Iran's nuclear case to the Security Council with no legal justification.

“Their own reports have revealed their allegations to be without foundation. We hope these reports will have an impact on them,” he noted in an indirect reference to the US intelligence report which concluded Iran had no secret nuclear weapons program.


Belligerent attitude of G.W. Bush

Bush: NIE does not reflect my views
Thu, 17 Jan 2008 01:03:46
George W. Bush
The US President says the intelligence agencies are independent and their findings do not reflect his views on Iran's nuclear program.

"I defended our intelligence services, but made it clear that they're an independent agency; that they come to conclusions separate from what I may or may not want," said the US President George W. Bush.

Bush said he still viewed Iran as "a threat" despite a US National Intelligence Estimate, released last month, which confirmed the peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program.

"He told the Israelis that he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that (the NIE's) conclusions don't reflect his own views" about Iran's nuclear-weapons program, an anonymous senior US administration official was quoted as saying in Newsweek magazine.

Asked whether Bush doubted the findings, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino did not answer directly but said "He does not believe that the NIE that was produced ... should provide anyone any comfort that Iran is not a threat."

Political pundits believe the NIE has dampened the Bush administration's attempts to portray Tehran's nuclear program as a threat.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Freedom of Speech and the hypocrisy of the French government

Tue, 15 Jan 2008 21:26:21
By Paul Grubach

This is an open letter to France's Ambassador to the US, Pierre Vimont, By Paul Grubach, January 15, 2008

Dear Ambassador Vimont

It has been reported that revisionist historian Robert Faurisson will face trial on charges that he made statements at the Iran Holocaust Conference in December 2006, which cast doubt on the d Holocaust.

As you know, the Gayssot Act of 1990 prohibits any public doubt in France about the Holocaust. This legal action was apparently initiated by former President Jaques Chirac. The duplicity, hypocritical double standards, and intellectual impotence of the French government are appalling. Offend Zionist Jews and the French government erupts in indignation.

Yet, if someone makes public statements that are offensive to Muslims, this is depicted as an expression of “free speech.”

The case of the high school philosophy teacher and author, Robert Redeker, illustrates the hypocrisy and double standard most clearly. In a commentary in the center-right daily Le Figaro, he made a scathing attack upon the Prophet Mohammed and the Islamic religion.

[Press TV is obliged to omit a certain Robert Redeker's quote from the original text.]

The French government labeled his statements as “expressions of free speech.” He was not put on trial or dismissed from his job. After receiving death threats, including one from an online Islamic forum, Redeker went into hiding under police protection.

In a show of support, the French government came to the defense of Mr. Redeker. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin called the threats "unacceptable." He then added this most blatant falsehood: "We are in a democracy. Everyone has the right to express his views freely, while respecting others, of course." (See The New York Times, 30 September 2006, p. A 3)

That this is an outrageous lie is demonstrated by the plight of Dr. Faurisson. In 1991 he was removed from his university chair on the basis of his Holocaust revisionist views under the Gayssot Act. Many years later he was given a three-month suspended jail term for Holocaust revisionist remarks he made on Iranian television in October 2006.

The double standard here is blatantly obvious. The French government defends a man who insults the Islamic religion, despite the fact that his statements are offensive to millions of Muslims. Indeed, not only did they defend his right to freedom of speech in a well publicized statement, but they offered him police protection as well.

Yet, this same French government allows a French professor to be removed from his university chair, orders criminal probes into his comments, and gives him a suspended jail sentence because of his Holocaust revisionist beliefs. This clearly falsifies Prime Minister Dominque de Villepin's hypocritical claim that France is a democracy “where everyone has the right to express his views freely, while respecting others." One has the right to insult and attack the Islamic religion and deny the existence of God, but Holocaust revisionists are not allowed to freely express their viewpoints. The free speech rights of revisionists like Dr. Faurisson are routinely violated.

Furthermore, it appears as though the policy of the French government to prosecute Holocaust revisionists is simply a reflection of the wishes of influential French Jews. It was reported in the February 4, 2006 issue of The International Jerusalem Post (p.10) that filmmaker Claude Lanzmann wants Holocaust revisionism to be outlawed. In his own words: “How do you fight against Arab denial of the Holocaust? Certainly not like in Western countries. But I don't know, I'm not Sephardic…It has to be outlawed, like in France, that's all.”

If you do prosecute Dr. Faurisson, this will not only demonstrate the French government's hypocrisy, but it will also help to show that the Holocaust legend really is a weak and flimsy ideology that cannot be defended with reason and science. In a word, the Holocaust is a false doctrine that needs oppressive laws and prison sentences to protect it from rational criticism.

Sincerely, Paul Grubach

Holocaust revisionist and researcher Paul Grubach holds an Associate Arts degree in liberal arts, and a Bachelor of Science degree in physics, with a concentration in chemistry and minor in history, from John Carroll University (Ohio).

Another case of ..... victim of freedom of speech
revisionist's lawyer jailed

Tue, 15 Jan 2008 11:18:35
Ernst Zundel's ex-lawyer, Sylvia Stolz
A German court has sentenced the former lawyer of Ernst Zundel to three and a half years in prison for denying the Holocaust herself.

In addition to 3 1/2 years in prison, Sylvia Stolz has also been banned by the court from practicing law for five years.

During the trial of the Holocaust revisionist scholar, Ernst Zundel , Stolz called the Holocaust "the biggest lie in world history".

Stolz has reportedly read a newspaper article to the court about the appearance of world renowned Israeli artist, Gilad Atzmon in Bochum.

In a public statement, Atzmon is quoted as having said that the written history of the Second World War and the Holocaust are a "complete forgery, initiated by Americans and Zionists".

Stolz represented 67-year-old Zundel in his first trial in Germany and was banned from the court for allegedly trying to sabotage the proceedings.

Zundel's second trial ended in February, 2007 with his conviction for denying the Holocaust and was sentenced to the maximum five years in prison.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Latest Robbery/Car-Jack Tactic in Malaysia


My good friend was driving along Kesas Highway with his wife just after Plaza Tol Puchong towards Kajang last Sunday 23rd December at around 11 pm after attending a dinner function at his relative's house in Bandar Sunway.

Suddenly, a motorbike overtook them and the pillion rider threw 2 eggs towards his car windscreen. Within seconds, his whole windscreen was smeared with the messy broken eggs. His immediate reflex action was to turn on the windscreen wipers which quickly covered the whole surface and blurred his vision.

So he immediately slowed his car and brought it to a halt along the emergency lane.

Then he got out of his car and was trying to wipe and wash the windscreen while his wife was seated inside the car. All of a sudden a Proton Satria stopped behind his car and 3 guys came running towards him with Samurai swords screaming at him to surrender his car and wallet.
Luckily my friend, who is attached to the police CID, managed to pull his gun out and fire two warning shots in the air. The 3 guys ran helter skelter back into their car and drove off at a very high speed.
He called up for assistance and was told the getaway car had a false number plate.

Apparently, this tactic has been used quite often in the latest string of road side robberies especially with lady drivers or men driving alone or with women and small children.

So please, should you encounter such a situation,
REMEMBER to make sure:

1) Not to turn on your car windscreen wipers.
2) Continue driving, with whatever available vision, to the nearest petrol station, police station, 7 Eleven store or any other crowded or brightly lit place to attract attention.

Please forward this information to friends and family members.

Be Safe

Monday, January 7, 2008

Did Saddam's execution serve justice?

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 11:18:52
By Daryoush Bavar, Press TV, Tehran
Saddam(R) and Donald Rumsfeld

December 30 marks the first anniversary of the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He was sentenced to death by hanging after being convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal following his trial for the 1982 murder of 148 Iraqi Shias in the town of Dujail.

Saddam was President of Iraq from July 16, 1979 until April 9, 2003, when he was deposed during the 2003 invasion of his country by a US-led force. He was captured by US troops in December 2003 near his hometown of Tikrit.

Saddam faced trial by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. On November 5, 2006, Saddam was sentenced to death. On the 26th of December the court rejected Saddam's appeal of his conviction and death sentence. He was hanged on December 30, 2006.

The former Iraqi dictator, who ran the country under a barbaric rule, was executed at a former military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad's neighborhood of Kazimiyah.

It was an ironic choice of location. During his regime, Saddam had numerous dissidents executed in the facility. At the time of his death, he was in the midst of a second trial, charged with genocide and other crimes for a 1987-88 military crackdown that killed an estimated 180,000 Kurds in northern Iraq. Despite his execution, many believe the court was kept aloof from investigating anything which would disclose how the West, especially the US, had helped build Saddam's Iraq as a buffer or bulwark against Iran.

They argue that Saddam's case was closed prematurely and quickly so as to cover up Washington's help and support for the former Iraqi regime in the 1980s when Saddam invaded Iran and in 1990s when it rolled over into Kuwait.

In mid-September 1980, Saddam invaded Iran. Initially, Iraq advanced far into the Iranian territory. But before long, the war took a different course with Iranian forces pushing back Saddam's invading army. By mid-1982, Iraq was on the defensive. Despite an earlier position that it would remain neuter, in February 1982 Washington removed Iraq from its list of states supporting international terrorism and restored formal relations with Baghdad in November 1984.

Washington's generosity was pouring in even before a 1982 National Security Study Memorandum by US President Ronald Reagan who had instructed a review of America's Middle East policy calling for the US to do whatever necessary to prevent Iraq's defeat in its war with Iran.

In line with the Reagan's administration policy, Washington began providing the regime of Saddam with financial credits, intelligence, weaponry and strategic military support.

On September 20, 1982, the head of US Interests Section in Iraq, William L. Eagleton, Jr. sends a letter to the US Department of Commerce indicating that Iraq's director of agricultural aviation has invited US crop-duster aircraft manufacturers to provide information about helicopters and pilot training (documents available on

This was while, Iran, at that time, was reporting chemical weapons attacks against its forces by Saddam's army.

In November 1983, the US State Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs informed Shultz of credible intelligence confirming Iraq's 'almost daily' use of chemical weapons.

While it had become clear for the US that Iraq was using chemical weapons not only against Iranian soldiers but its own Kurdish population in Dec. 1983, Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Reagan, met Saddam in Baghdad and discussed common US-Iraqi interests. Rumsfeld ensured Saddam of the US efforts to support Iraq in its war against Iran.

When Iran brought to the UN Human Rights Commission a draft resolution on the use of chemical weapons by Saddam's regime, Washington instructed its representative to the UN to lobby other Western missions for a motion of 'no decision.'

Declassified US documents under the Freedom of Information Act indicated that in a bid to hamper Tehran's efforts to condemn Saddam for gassing Iranian soldiers, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Placke discussed a draft UN resolution on use of chemical weapons with a senior Iraqi official, Nizar Hamdoon, on March 29, 1984. Hamdoon said that Iraq would prefer a Security Council presidential statement to a resolution. Placke informed Hamdoon of the US's intention to agree with the Iraqi suggestion.

Voicing the US tacit approval of the use of chemical weapons, Placke reiterated that Washington 'did not want this issue to dominate' bilateral relationship between Baghdad and Washington.

On March 30, 1984, a day after Placke and Hamdoon's meeting, the Security Council issued a presidential statement condemning the use of chemical weapons, but fails to pinpoint Iraq as the offender. A US State Department memo circulating the draft text observed that, "The statement, by the way contains all three elements Hamdoon wanted."

Critics of Saddam's hasty execution say instead of bringing his case to a local court under the influence of the US occupying forces, it could have been sent to the Hague for an international criminal tribunal where all aspects of his crimes and the support he received profusely by other countries could be examined fairly without any wheel and deal. By not sending Saddam to such a tribunal the international community missed a chance to know about his wars and more importantly his supports.


US Military Not Welcome in Pakistan

US Military Not Welcome in Pakistan

06/01/2008 The Pakistani military reacted angrily Sunday to reports that US President George W. Bush is considering covert military operations in the country's volatile tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

"It is not up to the US administration, it is Pakistan's government who is responsible for this country," chief military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said.

"There are no overt or covert US operations inside Pakistan.
Such reports are baseless and we reject them."
The New York Times reported on its website late Saturday that under a proposal being discussed in Washington, CIA operatives based in occupied Afghanistan would be able to call on direct military support for "counter-terrorism" operations in neighboring Pakistan.

Citing unnamed senior administration officials, the newspaper said the proposal called for giving Central Intelligence Agency agents broader powers to strike targets in Pakistan.
The United States now has about 50 soldiers in Pakistan, the report said. The new plan was reportedly discussed by Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and national security aides in the wake of the December 27 assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Pak opposes US operations on its soil

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 14:48:30

US aims to expand anti-Taliban operations in Pakistan.
Pakistan has said it will not allow CIA and the US military to conduct covert operations against al-Qaeda and Taliban on its soil.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry described the recent US report over the expansion of CIA authority in Pakistan as 'speculative', adding that Islamabad will not allow the US forces to operate inside Pakistan's tribal regions, which border Afghanistan, AP reported.

Islamabad's reaction comes after New York Times reported that senior US officials aim to loose reins on the CIA in order to counter the mounting threat of al-Qaeda and Taliban in northwestern Pakistan.

The move has been opposed by some US State Department officials who argue that the US-led military operations in Pakistan near the Afghan border could foment a powerful backlash and thus do more harm than good.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Crude oil hits $100 milestone

Thu, 03 Jan 2008 01:45:42
Nigerian violence has contributed to the price hikes.

Crude oil prices for the first time break the 100-dollar per barrel record due to supply concerns and fresh clashes in Nigeria.

A barrel of light sweet crude for February delivery briefly reached $100 in New York Wednesday, soaring $4.02 per barrel. The prices, however, slipped back to $99.27 a barrel.

London's Brent North Sea crude for February delivery climbed to a record $97.05 a barrel.

The rise in oil prices caused stocks to drop and gold soared $22.10 to $857 an ounce, its highest since 1980.

Fresh clashes in oil-rich Nigeria, concerns over drop in US oil-inventory and cold winter weather in northern hemisphere have pushed prices of oil and gold to record highs.


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