Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 15:23
One survey was conducted by the Civil Alliance for Free Elections (CAFA), a grouping of 76 non-governmental organizations representing all ethnic and religious communities. CAFA held over 1,000 workshops in all of Iraq's 18 provinces in July and August, with more than 40,000 respondents.
The survey showed that more than 80 percent were determined to take part in the constitutional referendum.
The key features of the proposed draft enjoyed considerable support. For example, on the controversial issue of federalism, 44 percent were for and 35 percent against, with the rest having no opinion. Only 21 percent said they wanted a highly-centralized system of government.
On the role of religion in legislation, another controversial issue, 65 percent said they agreed for Islam to be a source of law rather than only source. Twenty-five percent, both Shi'ites and Sunnis, wanted Islam to be the sole source, while nine percent wanted it to have no role.
As for the draft constitution's requirement for 25 percent of lawmakers to be women, 72 percent either agreed or wanted the figure to be higher. Only 10 percent wanted to keep women out.
THE SECOND survey, conducted by the Iraqi Center for Development and International Dialogue (ICDID), showed that 88 per cent of those eligible to vote intend to vote, while six percent remain undecided. Only five percent would not vote.
The poll surveyed the opinions of 3,667 people, aged 18 years and older in 15 of the 18 provinces, including Baghdad. It found that 88 percent believed in the need to hold the referendum under the present circumstances, 10 percent did not believe so, and 2 percent did not respond.
Only 34 percent of the sample thought that Iraq was not an independent and sovereign country at present, largely because it did not have an army and police of its own to ensure internal and external security.
In this survey 46 percent supported a federal or decentralized system of government, while 45 percent wanted a centralized model, indicating that Iraqis are divided on this crucial issue.
About 42 percent supported Islam as a source of legislation and 24 percent supported it as the only source. About 13 percent thought no laws that contradict Islam should be enacted.
About 84 percent supported granting women all freedoms without contradicting Islam, and 13 percent believed the rights of women should be guaranteed through equality with men. About 60 percent supported maintaining the present percentage of women in parliament (25 percent), 21 percent thought women should have 33 percent, and 14 percent thought there should be equal representation of males and females.
About 78 percent expected the security situation to improve after the referendum, 15 percent expected it to remain the same, and 2 percent believed things would become worse. About 85 percent showed interest in the elections to be held in December to choose a National Assembly (parliament), while 10 percent did not show interest. (The assembly will, in turn, name a new government.)
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 15:19
Now Bruce Kesler informs us that there are attempts afoot to transfer control of the internet from the US to that the UN. I hope the US administration unites in just saying NO!
Unfortuantely, I am not sure, Condi Rice's second in command, Robert Zoellick, appreciates the importance of this tool any more than Bill Clinton does. How else, can the fact that he failed to mention China's persistant efforts to censor the internet in his recent speech: Whither China: From membership to Responsibility? when he did not only criticize the growth of Chinese military but also its lack of labor unions? Weird.
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 14:41
Turkey's recent flirtation with anti-Semitic, anti-American books not withstanding, it earned the right to hold such conferences. Not only did the Ottoman Empire open its arms to Jews which Spain ethnically cleansed in the 15th century, but Turkey did so again in the 20th century. Unfortunately, an embarrassing episode demonstrated their remain very real limits to freedom of religion : in Turkey which only serves to demonstrate how far Muslim countries have to go when it comes to freedom of religion in Dar al Islam. Indeed, Islamist called the conference “conspiracy against Islam” and heckled Erdogan's call for Muslim-Jewish reconciliation. No, Karen Hughes is not the only one Islamists sympathizers treat badly. Imagine if he called for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. After all, the black-red coalition is alive, well and kicking and feminists are reds.
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 16:42
Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 19:38
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 21:00
Five years ago, at the request of the U.N. Security Council, Mr. Annan determined that Israel had completely ended its occupation of Lebanon in compliance with council resolutions. The future of Shaba Farms, Mr. Annan's report at the time said, should be resolved as part of negotiations to end Israel's dispute with Syria, which involve the entire Golan Heights area. . . .
Knesset member Ephraim Sneh of the Labor Party told The New York Sun yesterday that the Labor government of Ehud Barak spent much money and effort to coordinate the 2000 withdrawal with U.N. officials. The border, which Mr. Annan later called"the Blue Line," was drawn only after maps and documents going back to the 19th century determined that Shaba Farms, known in Hebrew as Mt. Dov, had never belonged to Lebanon.
Now, Kofi Annan comes to Israel and tells Sharon that that an Israeli-held area known as Shaba Farms is"a thorn" in the region, according to a U.N. spokesman."
Why? Because the Hizballa needs an excuse to continue to hold the myth of Israeli occupation of the Sheba Farms to excuse its failure to disarm. The corrupt head of the UN knows no shame and the UN puts the wishes of terrorist organizations like Hizbala above the decent treatment of a democratic country created by the UN.
The institution is hopeless and efforts to earn its legitimacy backfire.
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 15:30
I have recently attended a private briefing with a senior Israeli diplomat with a extensive intelligence background. He was grilled about Israel's repeated hapless efforts to reach an accomodation with the Palestinians. His strategic answers left much to be desired and he knew it.
Finally he lost his temper and shouted:"It says 'Peace, Peace you shall chase!' Who are we if we don't do that?"
All I could think is, these are my people, these remain my people and wipe a secret tear.
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 15:31
because Gerhard Schröder argues that the election had a"personal component" which"is nothing but a thinly-disguised version of his old belief that he enjoys a stronger bond with the German public than any other politician. Indeed, a man like Schröder sees every election as a plebiscite."
In reality, Merkel's margin of victory may have been less than a full percentage point but that should not matter. Moreover, she received 450,000 more votes than Schroeder. Schroeder's entire behavior reeks of old fashioned German male chauvinism.
I bet the store on this tough minded lady. She is not a good campaigner but clearly, she is a good behind the scenes operator. Otherwise, she would not be leading the conservative party or successfully tilting the leftist media in her favor.
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 15:27
Somali gunmen who hijacked a UN-chartered food aid vessel in June have seized another commercial ship off the eastern coast of the lawless Horn of Africa nation, militia officials said on Monday. . . .
In its weekly piracy report issued on Tuesday, the International Maritime Bureau said at least 21 attacks had been recorded off the Somali coast since March 15 and urged ships in the area to stay as far as possible from the shore.
Does any quick exit strategist remember Voltaire's saying:"Once a philosopher, twice a pervert?"
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 08:28
Israeli authorities announced today the arrest of an Israeli-Arab Hamas activist who played central militant, political and financing roles for the group in coordination with a"Hamas command in Saudi Arabia.
To make matters worse, the Saudis bought a large share stock in Fox.
Cliff May of the FDD asks:"What do you think the Saudis would consider a good return on their investment?" According to Frank Gafni, Turks may ask the same question as much of its recent economic boom may be attributable to Saudi-Islamist seeking a safe haven.
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 15:45
Well done, Reporters Without Borders.
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 15:23
It is part of the Yale's Annals of Communism series and in association with the United States Holocaust Museum, this work details Stalin's anti-Semitic fury outside the better-known 'doctors' plot,' in the last years of the tyrant's life.
In the spring and summer of 1952, 15 Soviet Jews, including five prominent Yiddish writers and poets, were secretly tried and convicted. Multiple executions followed in the basement of the Lubyanka prison. The defendants were falsely charged with treason and espionage because of their involvement in the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee that Stalin himself had created to rally support for the Soviet regime during World War II. The war over, he disbanded it as Jews fell victim to his paranoia.
For many years, a host of myths surrounded the case against the committee. Stalin's Secret Pogrom presents an abridged version of the long-suppressed transcript of the trial, revealing the Kremlin's evil machinations. (DKR)
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 15:41
We do not think of our troops abroad as fighting for women's rights. But they are. This is the titanic struggle of our time, the liberation of fully half of humanity. Islamist terror is only one aspect of it. But we can be certain of two things: In the end, freedom will win. And no society that torments women will succeed in the 21st century.
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 16:08
Now, the Arab horsemen of the apocalypse are venturing into Chad killing 50 villagers. A vicious civil war is about to become an interstate one.
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 16:41
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 19:25
That was not all:
Later, during a meeting with top Saudi editors, Hughes pointedly noted U.S. concern that inflammatory literature not tolerant of other religions -- traced to the Saudi government -- had been found in American mosques. Hughes pressed the government to help"find room to respect people of different faiths and different faith traditions."
Hughes added that Americans were upset that it took so long for Muslim clerics to condemn the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. She urged Saudis that"to speak out and be very vocal" when"you have someone committing these acts in the name of your faith."
Freedom House reported earlier this year that it had collected from more than a dozen mosques in the United States some 200 original documents that condemn democracy as anti-Islamic and assert that Muslims are required by Islam to hate Christians and Jews.
Go, Karen, Go!
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 20:21
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 20:13
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 16:00
IRAQI gunmen last night murdered five teachers and a driver at a primary school as US forces released more than 500 prisoners from the notorious Abu Ghraib jail.
In the school attack, 10 gunmen dressed as policemen dragged the teachers from their classrooms at the Al Jazeera primary school in Muwalha, south of the capital, took them to an empty classroom and shot them, police said.
Posted on Monday, September 26, 2005 - 16:07