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Israel broke US arms deal terms January 29, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel, USA.
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It appears that Israel broke US arms deal terms.

Israel probably violated the terms of its arms deals with Washington by using US-made cluster bombs in Lebanon last year, a US government report says.

As this article reports:

  • Israel dropped 2–3 million cluster bombs in the 2006 conflict
  • 90% of the strikes dropping these bombs occured in the last 72% hours of the conflict, when a resolution was coming and the end was near
  • There are 770+ cluster bomb sites
  • At least 100,000 and up to one million of the cluster bombs are yet to explode

Cluster bombs are evil things.  According to the BBC article:

Cluster bombs can scatter hundreds of small bomblets over a wide area, and their use has been widely criticised.

Wikipedia has a more detailed description:

A basic cluster bomb is a hollow shell (generally streamlined if intended for carriage by fast aircraft) containing anywhere from three to more than 2,000 submunitions. Some types are dispensers that are designed to be retained by the aircraft after releasing their munitions. The submunitions themselves may be fitted with small parachute retarders or streamers to slow their descent (allowing the aircraft to escape the blast area in low-altitude attacks).

It’s clear that cluster bombs pose a bigger threat to innocent civilians:

98% of 11,044 recorded cluster munitions casualties that are registered with Handicap International are civilians. Cluster munitions are hotly opposed by many individuals and hundreds of groups, such as the Red Cross,[1] the Cluster Munition Coalition and the United Nations, because of the high proportion of civilians that have fallen victim to the weapon. Since February 2005, Handicap International called for cluster munitions to be prohibited and collected hundreds of thousands signatures to support its call

The US government has sent a report to congress, and the state department spokesman, Sean McCormack says that the report is not a final judgement, but agrees that it is likely that Israel broke the terms of the agreement with the US.

Supposedly:

Congress will now consider the report before deciding whether to take any further action against Israel.

The probability of the US taking any action against Israel is nil.  It won’t happen.  Just look at all the times the US has vetoed UN resolutions critical to Israel, or this longer list.  That’s right, the US has used its veto 70 times.

They’ve clearly lost their ability to be impartial, if they ever were to start with.  Bush ignored UN calls for inspectors in Iraq.  The US and coalition forces began the invasion of Iraq without UN approval, a violation of the UN charter.

Why is the US part of the UN anyway?

According to The United Nations: An introduction for students:

The purpose of the United Nations is to bring all nations of the world together to work for peace and development, based on the principles of justice, human dignity and the well-being of all people. It affords the opportunity for countries to balance global interdependence and national interests when addressing international problems.

So, effectively, the UN is a group of nations working together for peace and development, ensuring human justice and the well being of all people.  Surely, if a nation is not aligned with these common goals, then it should be removed from the UN.

This post has deviated a little from the topic, but this topic is a big cause of frustration for me.

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US military unveils heat-ray gun January 25, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in News Commentry, USA.
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The BBC reports that the US military has unveiled a heat ray gun:

“This is a breakthrough technology that’s going to give our forces a capability they don’t now have,” defence official Theodore Barna told Reuters news agency.

“We expect the services to add it to their tool kit. And that could happen as early as 2010.”

That is early.  I’m sure the US will be able to make excuses to hang around in Iraq for a few more years, and then they can use it to try out this new piece of equipment.  After all, they need somewhere to try it out, and wouldn’t dare use it on their own people (ie. crowd control in the US).

The spotlight on an anti-war Muslim January 25, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iraq War, Islam, USA.
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Stumbled across an interesting discussion about the story of Faisal Khetani, a Muslim dude and owner of Discount-Mats.com, amongst other businesses.

An American soldier stationed in Iraq emailed the company enquiring about buying mats, to which an employee replied:

We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.

This has caused quite a media stir, once it was revealed that the owner of the business is Muslim.  He was subsequently interviewed by some major news channels like Fox.

Since the the story broke, he’s has been getting thousands of emails, which is expected, though death threats?  Some people need to chill the hell out.

The story has taken it’s own twist in the blogosphere, with people looking into this person’s background, posting information on his businesses, family links, etc, and going so far as to tell the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to investigate this guy?

A Muslim who is pissed off at the war, like millions of non-Muslims, who makes his voice heard to an American soldier by refusing to serve him and making a stupid statement, has a few online affiliate-type businesses and a brother with a Phd in Biomedical engineering, is not suddenly a terrorist.

Then you have people like Resa Laru Kirkland, who is clearly pro-war, pro-Israel, and hates Islam and Muslims.  She emailed Khetani, to which he replied politely and made his case well.

I neither have the time nor the space to discuss Islam with you and I know that you are not the least bit interested…

I will say this. The political situation in the middle east and the Muslim nations is not what Islam condones at all. Our history has been been rich over the past thousand years where a lot of prosperity took place, where lands open-handedly invited us, and where the Jews and Christians lived in peace even when the Christian lands were not willing to offer the same.

The political situation of the leaders is downright un-islamic and many of them claim it themselves. They do not believe in Shariah and many of them openly claim communism and dictatorship. Even the ones that claim Shariah are not following it at all, as agreed upon by the scholars of Islam.

You have to realize who broke up the Islamic Caliphate and why they did it, causing dissension and separation for their own motives (The British). Ever since then the Muslim world has been in a state of turmoil but we are working hard to restore the image of Islam and the correct practices as peacefully as possible. There are million of Muslims and thousands of Muslim scholars who don’t agree with fundamentalist/terrorist views. Believe it or not many of these scholars are in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Libya.

Other than that, I as well pay taxes, stay free of committing crimes, and treat my neighbors with respect. As far as I see I have the right to be here because I pay to be here just like everyone else and so does my family. We do not committ crimes or injustices against anyone.

Amen brother, amen.  I’ve never met this dude, but I like him.

It seems very much like these people, are joining dots where no lines exist.  As much as we all hate spam, it is not illegal for a person to start and manage various websites to generate money from adverts and affiliate schemes; millions of people are doing this all over the world.

Neither is it illegal for someone to express their opinion.  We live in a nation of supposedly free speech (though some facts would indicate otherwise), and if someone is anti-war, it’s their right to express it, including refusing to sell to the army if they so desire.

No doubt, this would generate nowhere near as much interest if the business owner were not Muslim.

US Senate rejects Iraq plan January 24, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iraq War, News Commentry, USA.
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It’s good to see that the US Senate has more sense than more sense than Bush.

A US Senate committee has rejected President Bush’s plan to send extra troops to Iraq, passing the measure to a full Senate vote likely next week.

It’s absurd of Bush to say that sending an extra 21,500 troops to Iraq in addition to the 140,000 that are already there.  If this is his big plan to fix things, then it’s a sore disappointment.

However:

Both votes are non-binding but may put pressure on Mr Bush to reconsider.

Yes, go on Bush. Reconsider.  You can’t seriously think that sending a further 21,500 troops to the country is going to magically fix the problem.  The problem with Bush is that he pretends to listen, and then goes and does what he wants anyway.

It’s good to see Americans are dismayed by Bush. Kerry may have been a crap contender, but somehow I doubt that even he could have messed up in such a colossal fashion.

Unsurprisingly, Blair is supporting Bush’s pathetic plan.  I don’t think he has ever disagreed with anything Bush has said and done with regards to the war on terror.

How much longer do these losers, Bush and Blair, have in office?  Even a minute more is too long…

An interesting statistic about the Israel-Lebanon war January 22, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel.
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In the Israel-Lebanon war late last year:

About 1,000 Lebanese were killed in the conflict, mostly civilians in Israel’s vast bombardment of the country and land invasion in the south.

The Israeli army lost 116 soldiers. Forty-three Israeli civilians were also killed by more than 4,000 Hezbollah rocket attacks.

[source]

That’s right, Israel killed nearly 1000 innocent civilians, even with their F16’s and laser guided missiles.  On the other hand, Hezbollah only killed 43 civilians with their less sophisticated weapons.

Makes it hard to believe Israel when they say they actively avoid civilian targets.

Man gets denied boarding due to Anti-Bush T-Shirt January 22, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in News Commentry, USA.
1 comment so far

Seems like airlines will ban people for anything these days.  A man was barred from a Qantas Airways flight for wearing an Anti-Bush T-Shirt.  The US has the addition of the terrorist watchlists, but even clothing has become a problem.  It’s kind of ironic that the US went to war to give Iraq freedom, and people in the west are being denied this right.

A passenger barred from a Qantas airlines flight for wearing a T-shirt depicting US President George Bush as a terrorist has threatened legal action.

This is not the first time this has happened.  A very similar incident happened to Raed Jarrar at JFK, where he was barred from flying with JetBlue until he changed his t-shirt, which said ‘We will not be silent’ in Arabic and English.  As he says:

It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days. When you go to the middle east, you are a US tax-payer destroying people’s houses with your money, and when you come back to the US, you are a suspected terrorist and plane hijacker.

It sucks flying to the US. It sucks flying in the US. No wonder people prefer to drive wherever possible nowadays.  Air travel is becoming a traumatic experience.

Another reaction to Iran’s nuclear ambitions January 22, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iran, News Commentry, USA.
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I’ve always thought the BBC was one of the best news sources out there, but it’s increasingly become just like other media sources, and engaging in the pro-America, pro-Israel, anti-Muslim sentiment, bashing Islam at every opportunity.

In this article, Brian Walden speaks about how to respond to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and appears to be supporting an attack from Israel.

But, it’s good to see the comments from people who have more common sense. Some good points raised:

  • Iran has never attacked another country
  • Germany was not surrounded by nations aligned against it, some with nuclear weapons, like Iran is
  • Even if Iran did someday attack Israel, how does this affect the west?
  • The Iranians have signaled many times that they are willing to sit down and talk.
  • It is utter madness to attack another country that is not breaking international law. In fact to do so is breaking international law.
  • Britain is spending billions on a new Trident nuclear weapon system. What hypocrisy to expect other nations such as Iran and North Korea to abandon their quest for nuclear technology, when we in the west are continually building bigger and more devastating weapons.
  • Not every dictator or sharp-tongued head of state is Hitler, and there are other means of dealing with them.

The US wants to have one set of laws for itself, and another for people it doesn’t like. Just recently, the US demanded answers from China over a space test, though from the article:

However, Washington has recently opposed international calls to end such tests – and the US is known to be researching such “satellite-killing” weapons.

Is there no end to the hypocrisy. If the US wants other countries to do such things, then it should lead by example. Instead, it’s spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons and military, whilst simultaneously having the audacity to use heavy-handed tactics against other countries who want to protect themselves from the school yard bully.

The US does not have the right to decide who has weapons, and every country has the right to protect themself.

SA Dentist not al-Qaeda backer January 22, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in News Commentry, USA.
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More US stupidity. Putting more innocent people on their ‘terrorist watchlist’.

A South African dentist and his cousin, a Muslim cleric, have denied having any links to al-Qaeda or the Taleban.

They were put on a UN Security Council terror list after US accusations they were al-Qaeda “facilitators and terrorist financiers”.

The whole watchlist thing is one of the most ridiculous things to come out of the US in the post 9/11 world.  Bruce Schneier has written many in-depth and well-researched articles about this, which are available on his website, Schneier on Security.

According to the article:

Dentist Junaid Ismail Dockrat and cleric Moulana Farhad Ahmed Dockrat have threatened legal action to clear their names.

Come again. Threatened legal action. They have about as much chance of resolving the issue that as an ant fighting an elephant and winning.

This phrases sums it up perfectly:

If one is a Muslim and has Muslim interests at heart, one is considered a terrorist by the United States

Let’s hope that the South African government has more sense than to co-operate with the US over these silly allegations, and protects its law-abiding citizens from such bullying.

Saddam was hanged for the wrong reason January 19, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iraq War.
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Good article in the Jordan Times saying Saddam was hanged for the wrong reason.

It was not the Iraqi government but its American masters that chose to execute Saddam Hussein in a great rush as soon as the first sentence was confirmed, thus cancelling all the other trials on far graver charges that awaited him. The current Iraqi government had nothing to hide if those trials went ahead; the United States government did.

Makes sense. The US were friends with Saddam for some time, and no doubt, they helped him with a lot of dirty work, some of which is known, and much of which is still shrouded in mystery. The speedy execution ensures that exact details never become public knowledge.

You know when a US spokesperson says stuff like this that it’s complete BS.

Saddam was convicted of crimes against humanity in a fair and just trial, the kind of fair and just trial that he never gave any of his victims. The US acted strictly as enabler, allowing Iraqi justice and Islamic Sharia justice to return to Iraq after decades when Saddam had imposed nothing but injustice on Iraq and Iraq’s neighbours.

The translation is from the Dubai@Random blog.  I have to agree with the blogger’s summary:

As a Westerner, I know the telltale signs that indicate when a Western government spokesperson is lying or not lying. In the case of this US spokesman, out of the entire press conference, the only times he was lying were when his lips were moving.

So, so true.

Did Google censor Basra imagery? January 19, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iraq War.
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Came across this interesting discussion online, asking if Google censored Basra imagery. The article is well researched, and links to various sources which are also worth reading.

The comment at the end made me laugh:

Soldiers from the Royal Green Jackets based at the Basra Palace base said they had considered suing Google Earth if they were injured by mortar rounds that had been directed on the camp by the aerial footage.

That’s a pretty stupid thing to say.  If you’re dumb enough to sign up and end up getting shipped out to Iraq, and then get injured by mortar rounds, that’s your fault.

There’s a nice tidbit in the comments; I wasn’t aware that DigitalGlobe was restricted by US laws from selling high resolution images of Israel.  Perhaps Iran should look at putting a high-resolution camera satelite in space, once they’ve got their nuclear ambitions sorted out.