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Obama promises new tack on Iran January 11, 2009

Posted by Some Muslim in Iran, Israel, News Commentry, USA.
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According to the BBC, Obama is promising a new tack on Iran once he begins his presidency on January 20th 2009:

President-elect Barack Obama says the US will take a new approach to dealings with Iran under his leadership.

Mr Obama said in a US TV interview screened on Sunday that “Iran is going to be one of our biggest challenges”.

He said he was concerned about Iran’s support for Lebanese Shia party Hezbollah and Tehran’s nuclear enrichment programme.

The incoming president told ABC’s This Week presenter George Stephanopoulos he would break away from President George W Bush’s policy on Iran and seek a much broader approach with the Islamic state.

“We are going to have to take a new approach. And I’ve outlined my belief that engagement is the place to start,” Mr Obama said.

Mr Obama, who won the US presidential election in November, takes office on 20 January.

In the interview, he promised “a new emphasis on respect and a new emphasis on being willing to talk, but also a clarity about what our bottom lines are.”

He added he believed his administration would “move swiftly” in its new approach with Tehran.

Mr Obama had earlier said there should be no pre-conditions in discussions with the Iranian leadership.

“Iran is going to be one of our biggest challenges and as I said during the campaign we have a situation in which not only is Iran exporting terrorism through Hamas, through Hezbollah but they are pursuing a nuclear weapon that could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race,” Mr Obama said.

I’m amazed and disappointed that president-elect Obama feels compelled to speak about Iran and say they are exporting terrorism, while failing to say anything about Israel’s terrorist actions against the Palestinians, and their on-going violence against Gaza.

However, he does say:

“What I am doing right now is putting together the team so that on 20 January, starting on day one, we have the best possible people who are going to be immediately engaged in the Middle East peace process as a whole,” Mr Obama said.

Let’s hope this team has some people who have the common sense to speak out against injustice and inhumanity, and hold Israel accountable for its war crimes against Palestine.


Voting for Barack Obama? February 8, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in News Commentry, USA.
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Came across this post from a fellow voting in California, where he quoted a phrase from Barack as one of his reasons for voting:

When I am this party’s nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don’t like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture — because it is never ok… I will end the war in Iraq… I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century: nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, “You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.

He also quoted Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

I’m for Obama knowing perfectly well that, as Bill Clinton suggested, it’s a “roll of the dice”. A roll of the dice for Democrats, for progressives, for those of us who’ve fought so hard against the right-wing frames that Obama sometimes (sometimes craftily, sometimes naively) deploys. Because I think a Hillary Clinton candidacy will be another game of inches, yielding—at best—another four or eight years of knifework in the dark. Because I think an Obama candidacy might actually shake up the whole gameboard, energize good people, create room and space for real change.

Because he seems to know something extraordinarily important, something so frequently missing from progressive politics in this country, in this time: how to hearten people. Because when I watch him speak, I see fearful people becoming brave.

The phrase “knifework in the dark” is a perfect summary of the Clinton years. Bill Clinton was doing the same things as George Bush, except it wasn’t emphasized in the public as much. Being first lady, there’s no doubt Hillary was aware of such on-goings, and there’s no reason to believe she’s going to do anything drastically different to pave the way for a better future if she does become president.

I’m all for Barack and hope he does win. After 8 years with the Bush administration, it’s time for changes. Big changes and new faces.

MPAC Election Guide: Activate 2008 January 18, 2008

Posted by Some Muslim in USA.
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The Muslim Public Affairs Council has put together a document examining five key issues in the election and provides Muslim-Americans with the presidential candidates’ positions in their own words.


Here’s a snippet:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) recently told BeliefNet.com that the prospect of a Muslim in the White House makes him “uncomfortable.” Prior to that, Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s political advisor Congressman Peter King (R-NY) said “unfortunately, there are too many mosques in this country” and accused Muslim Americans of not fully cooperating with law enforcement. In addition, Republican presidential candidate Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) reiterated his support for considering “taking out Muslim holy sites” if another terror attack were to take place on American soil. MPAC seeks to ensure that the rhetoric against Islam and Muslims does not alienate the Muslim American community in this election cycle.

Read it!

Is Bush an “idiot”? September 23, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in USA.
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Funny, and depressing that this is the president of the United States.

Blackwater back at work in Iraq September 21, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iraq War, USA, War on Terror.
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Despite killing 11 people and wounding many others, the US security firm Blackwater is still working in Iraq, the BBC reports.


A separate Iraqi interior ministry investigation has found that Blackwater was “100% guilty” of the incident in which 11 Iraqi civilians were killed.

Clearly, the Iraqi government has no authority if a trigger-happy US security firm kills some civilians, they find the firm guilty, but are then practically ordered by the US to allow the firm to continue working in the country.

A US embassy spokeswoman said the decision to allow Blackwater to resume work had been taken in consultation with the Iraqi government.

Do we really believe this? It’s unlikely that the decision was taken ‘in consultation’ with the Iraqi goverment, but rather forced upon them by the US.

The US embassy said it would not comment on the Iraqi report while its own investigation is under way.

What a waste of time. The US is not going to find Blackwater guilty.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has described the shooting as a “criminal act” and vowed not to tolerate it.

Complete rubbish. By allowing Blackwater to continue operating in Iraq, it sends the message that this behaviour will be tolerated, and that the US can do whatever it wishes as it will not be held accountable.

Iraq shootout firm loses licence September 17, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iraq War, News Commentry, USA, War on Terror.
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The BBC reports:

Iraq has cancelled the licence of the private security firm, Blackwater USA, after it was involved in a gunfight in which at least eight civilians died.

The Iraqi interior ministry said the contractor, based in North Carolina, was now banned from operating in Iraq.

It would appear that it’s not just the US Army who are trigger happy (and have been involved in numerous friendly fire cases, but refuse to liase with British authorities); US private security firms are also joining in and shooting down whoever they feel like.

The Blackwater security guards “opened fire randomly at citizens” after mortars landed near their vehicles, killing eight people and wounding 13 others, interior ministry officials said.

Most of the dead and wounded were bystanders, the officials added. One of those killed was a policeman.

The comment from a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Baghdad is pathetic:

“We are taking it very seriously indeed,” she told the BBC, adding that discussions were still taking place about Blackwater’s status now that they had been ordered to leave.

Can’t expect much more from Condoleeza Rice either:

A spokesman for the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said she wanted to ensure that everything was being done to avoid the loss of innocent life and to make sure this kind of incident never happened again.

If Condie really cared about the loss of innocent life, then she wouldn’t be such a staunch support of the Iraq war until this day.

She is also expected to telephone Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to reassure him that the US had launched its own investigation.

I’d be surprised if US authorities find Blackwater guilty of anything, especially considering that the firm has a reputed $300m contract with the state department.

Air Force probes mistaken transport of nuclear warheads September 5, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in News Commentry, USA.
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Good to see the US is taking good care of it’s nuclear weapons… CNN reports:

Six nuclear warheads on air-launched cruise missiles were mistakenly carried on a flight from North Dakota to Louisiana last week, prompting a major investigation, military officials have confirmed.

The plane took the cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base for decommissioning Thursday, the Air Force said.

Worrying stuff. With a trigger happy president who is happy to wage war whenever he feels like it, I’d certainly be concerned if some nuclear weapons went missing for a few hours.  It’s funny to see how military officials try to underplay things.

“This is serious business but it was not dangerous business,” Shepperd said.

With a quote like that, you know this is a major screw-up. Reminds me of a ridiculous answer from another American:

Judging from her answer, Miss Teen USA South Carolina 2007 would be a perfect fit for the US military.

World owes US a debt, says Brown July 29, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in News Commentry, USA, War on Terror.
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Unsurprisingly, Blair’s replacement is wasting no time getting ‘in bed’ with George Bush saying that the world owes the US a debt.

The world owes a debt to the United States for its leadership in the fight against international terrorism, Gordon Brown has said.

The prime minister described the link with the US as the UK’s “most important bilateral relationship” ahead of his first talks with President George Bush.

Which is strange as the BBC article also says:

A foreign office minister had suggested the two countries would no longer be “joined at the hip” on foreign policy.

Analysts will be looking for signs of the Brown regime distancing itself from the US during the trip.

As BBC political editor Nick Robinson said, Brown is walking a very, very thin line. It’s hard to believe that the countries will no longer be joined at the hip, or that things will be any different under Brown’s leadership, when he says:

… Mr Brown described himself as an “Atlanticist and a great admirer of the American sprit”.

“As Prime Minister I want to do more to strengthen even further our relationship with the US,”

“It is firmly in the British national interest that we have a strong relationship with the US, our single most important bilateral relationship”

It sounds like he has every intention of serving George Bush without question, just as his predecessor did. I’m going to be very surprised if there is any change in the UK’s interactions with the US under this new leader.

US ‘ignored’ UK rendition protest July 25, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iraq War, News Commentry, USA, War on Terror.
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The BBC reports:

British concerns appear to have had no “material affect” on US actions in its “war on terror”, the UK’s intelligence and security committee has said.

The committee, which reports to the prime minister, was probing possible UK involvement in rendition flights.

Does this tell us anything new? It’s no secret that the US doesn’t particular care what the UK thinks. Rumsfeld was prepared to go to war with Iraq without Blair’s support

As Labour MP, Graham Allen said:

“He’s made it very clear that the US can and will go to war without the UK. Our participation is not necessary,”

Why the UK continues to maintain this so called special relationship between itself and the US is anyone’s guess.

US Business ‘terror list’ July 6, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Israel, News Commentry, USA.
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More US stupidity.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has listed firms on its website with business connections to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

Unsuprisingly, Israel is missing from the list, which is supported by many companies.  The Boycott Israel campaign has a list of of brands and products which should be avoided.