Daily Archives: May 29, 2008

Bush compares Iraq, Afghan wars to World War II

President Bush told the 2008 graduating class at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Wednesday that the “only way America could lose the war on terror is if we defeat ourselves.”

Speaking on a cloudy day at Falcon Stadium, the president compared the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to America’s earlier conflicts, particularly World War II.

“Our nation is once again contending with an ideology that seeks to sow anger, hatred and despair: the ideology of Islamic extremism,” he said.

“In today’s struggle, we are once again facing evil men who despise freedom and despise America and aim to subject millions to their violent rule.

The man has serious issues with his ego but …we already knew it!!!

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Deal reached to ban cluster bombs

More than 100 nations meeting in Dublin, Ireland, agreed Wednesday on a treaty that would immediately ban all cluster bombs, a spokesman for the Cluster Munition Coalition told the news agencies.

The accord calls for a total, immediate ban of the weapons, strong standards to protect those injured by them, contaminated areas to be cleaned up as quickly as possible and for the weapons to be immediately destroyed, he said.

Thomas Nash, coordinator of the CMC campaigning organization, said: “This is a great achievement for everyone who has been working hard to see the end of 40 years of suffering from these weapons.”

Though some of the biggest makers of cluster bombs, including the United States, Russia, China and Israel, were not involved in the talks and have not signed the accord, organizers predicted that those nations would nevertheless be pressured into compliance.

“Take the United States,” Nash said. “Almost all of its allies are here. They’ve decided to ban these weapons. That’s going to make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the United States to ever use these weapons again, either on its own or in joint operations.”

So how difficult it is for these 100 to ban all kinds of bombs and then persuade or better press the rest to do the same?

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Ålanders for self-sufficiency

The Åland Islands are aiming for greater self-sufficiency. The semi-autonomous province between Finland and Sweden already produces much of its own food and energy.

A quarter of its electricity supply comes from wind power, and the Ålanders plan to double that. In a symbolic move two weeks ago, the province ran entirely on its own electricity for one hour.

The maritime province produces 80 percent of its own milk and enough eggs, fish, wheat and produce to export, including apples, berries and vegetables. The main island’s organic produce sector is booming, but is held back by a labor shortage.

Perhaps this will be a lesson for Finland that instead using what nature gave builds a fifth and a sixth nuclear plan for energy!

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Ex-aide criticizes Bush over Iraq

Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan has said US President George W Bush was not “open and forthright” on Iraq and rushed to an unnecessary war. In simple language, he …lied!!!

In a new book, Mr. McClellan says Mr. Bush relied on a “political propaganda campaign” to sell the war. His handling of Hurricane Katrina is also attacked. From July 2003 to his resignation in April 2006, Mr. McClellan was a loyal defender of the Bush administration. In response, a White House spokeswoman said Mr. McClellan was “disgruntled”.

Dana Perino added: “For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad – this is not the Scott we knew.” Mr. McClellan was a long-standing member of Mr. Bush’s inner circle, having worked for him when he was Texas governor before following him to the White House.

Not much good for history to remember George W. Bush, even the …mice are leaving the boat before sinking to the bottom of …forgetness!

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No to refugee camps

South Africa‘s government has denied it is setting up massive migrant or refugee camps for the tens of thousands of foreigners who fled recent attacks.

Aid agencies had said the government would reveal plans to set up seven camps for up to 70,000 people. But a home affairs spokeswoman said temporary shelters accommodating 2,000 each would be set up instead. A formal announcement will be made on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the UN said it is helping South Africa plan relief efforts. It is conducting a survey of the conditions in the police stations and municipal halls in which the displaced people are currently living, UN spokesman George Nsiah said.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) has warned that those sheltering in makeshift camps or outdoors have been left without protection – either physical or legal. “It’s very cold at night; it’s almost like one or two degrees. It’s been raining in the last few days,” said MSF South Africa programme director Muriel Cornelis.

“And then legal protection – most of them do not have any status, no legal status, no temporary status.” A spokesman for the UNHCR said very few of the displaced foreigners fit the formal definition of “refugee”.

Nevertheless, the government is coming under considerable pressure to organize better accommodation than the makeshift camps currently housing most of the displaced people. Correspondents say it has made it clear that any option which isolates rather than integrates foreigners into the community would be contrary to its policy.

That’s one thing I found really difficult to believe and I’m happy is not true, refugee camps in South Africa, that was …going too far!!!

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China and Taiwan to restart talks

Taiwan has accepted an invitation from China to restart bilateral talks that have been suspended for a decade, in a further signal of warming relations.

China invited Taiwanese officials to attend talks in Beijing from 11 June, with the focus on tourism and charter flights.

Accepting the invitation, Taiwan said it would organize a delegation. On Wednesday, the head of Taiwan’s ruling party held landmark talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Restart? Why, when did they started for the first time and we didn’t know? :)))

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Trying to relieve Iraq’s debt

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has said he will ask the international community to relieve the country’s debt, as envoys gather for a UN forum.

Officials said the move was aimed mainly at Arab countries, to which Iraq owes most of its $67bn debt. Meanwhile US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged countries to stand by Iraq during reconstruction.

Nearly 100 countries are represented at the economic and political reform forum near Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki are also in Sweden.

The gathering is aimed at supporting Iraq’s efforts to restore stability and rebuild a functioning economy. Correspondents say progress in these areas remains fragile. The UN called the conference to review a five-year package it brokered last year, called the International Compact with Iraq. On the eve of the forum the largest Sunni Muslim bloc suspended talks on rejoining Iraq’s Shia-led government.

Shouldn’t the ones who promised the reconstruction of the country to …pay the bill for the damaged they helped to be done?

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