Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for January 2009

"Child soldiers" trial begins in The Hague


Reuters reports:

Jan 26 – A Congolese militia leader goes on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague accused of training child soldiers to kill, pillage and rape.

Prosecutors say Thomas Lubanga enlisted children under 15 to his Union of Congolese Patriots in eastern Congo during the 1998-2003 war to kill members of a rival ethnic group.

Lubanga is pleading not guilty to the charges.

Some of the evidence being used in the trial consists of two documentary videos.

Saint Rod Blagojevich, pray for us

(Crossposted at C4O Democrats)

Who knew?  Here we thought that Rod Blagojevich was a lying, foul mouth, abysmally corrupt politician interested in absolutely nothing but what he could get out of whatever came his way.  It seems that we got it all wrong.  Rod Blagojevich is a saint.  I stand corrected, and I abjectly apologize to the Governor that I misjudged him.

Taking It To The Streets

In his first televised interview as President, Barack Obama sits down with Al-Arabiya [full text here] and lays serious smackdown at the feet of Al Qaeda.

Osama bin Laden and the death-cult dead enders are spinning in their caves.  How exactly do you paint Barack Hussein Obama as the Evil West?

Education, Bravery and the Hideousness of Fanaticism.

(cross posted at kickin it with cg)

Several news outlets are revisiting the heinous acts that occurred back in November when 15 Afghani schoolgirls and their female teachers were viciously attacked by men on motorcycles in Kandahar.

One morning two months ago, Shamsia Husseini and her sister were walking through the muddy streets to the local girls school when a man pulled alongside them on a motorcycle and posed what seemed like an ordinary question.

“Are you going to school?”

The men squirted the acid from water bottles onto three groups of females and the act was meant to terrorize them into staying home. A literal violent attempt to expunge any element of free will in their minds, to burn or sear obedience into them. These despicable acts are an apt expression of the medieval thinking that characterized the rule of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001 in Afghanistan and at which times girls were banned from schools.

For a few days after the attacks, parents kept their children away from the 5 year old Mirwais School for Girls built by the Japanese government. Then the headmaster, Mahmood Qadari – a man – reached out to the parents, and promised them greater police protection. “If you don’t send your daughters to school, then the enemy wins,” Qadari told the New York Times. “I told them not to give in to darkness. Education is the way to improve our society.”

And then an amazing thing happened, they began to come back. Today most of the school’s 1,300 girls, including nearly all of the wounded ones, have refused to be cowed. “My parents told me to keep coming to school even if I am killed,” Shamsia, 17, told The Times. “The people who did this to me don’t want women to be educated. They want us to be stupid things.”  The girls’ have learned to be brave — and are providing an inspirational lesson in defiance.

Eduction is integral to any constructive future Afghanistan might have. Of the 5.7 million students enrolled last year, according to Afghan government data, 35% are girls. About 800,000 of the total were new students, and 40% of them are girls. The high schools graduated 69,000 students, of whom 25% are girls.

During Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearing last Tuesday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, of California, saidno woman or girl should have to grow up and face persecution for having being born female“, and referred to acid attacks common against women in Pakistan. Clinton said the issue is “central to our foreign policy.”

“It is heartbreaking beyond words that, you know, young girls are attacked on their way to school by Taliban sympathizers and members who do not want young women to be educated.” Clinton responded, “This is not culture. This is not custom. This is criminal. And it will be my hope to persuade more government … that we cannot have a free, prosperous, peaceful, progressive world if women are treated in such a discriminatory and violent way.”

Some people disfigure little girls because of religious fanaticism. Some people deny Israel the right to exist because of religious fanaticism. Some people deny Palestinians the right to sovereignty because of religious fanaticism. Some people deny women the right to abortions because of religious fanaticism. Some people deny gay people the right to marry because of religious fanaticism.

In my humble opinion, the world could do without religious fanatics.

Do You Have a Case of the Muundays? Tubing Might Help.

Today is the first day that it really hit me. We have a President for the first time in eight long years. On one hand, this realization gives me a great deal of pleasure and very real feeling of trust and security. On the other hand, the great morass that awaits President Obama is giving me an extremely a sick feeling in my tummy. I wonder how he feels?

Monday January 26, 2009. The day in 100 seconds.

Sexy and Mysterious: What would you do?

.. Pictures, Images and Photos

You have in your hands solid proof  disproving all religions.

Their is irrefutable proof that God, a higher power, and religion in general is completely untrue.

Anyone who sees this proof becomes convinced that it is true.

There’s a lot of things that can be done.

A lot of consequences.

What would you do with it?

Would you tell the world?

A Letter from Helmand

What follows is an edited diary sent to me by a friend, Chris Lincoln Jones, who has spent the last eight months in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He would have posted this himself, except for communication problems. Hopefully his account will help to inform and inspire debate about Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan.

The good intentions of writing lots of pieces about life here never really survived contact with the enemy; the enemy being a daily diet of office work involving constant writing. Yesterday was rather different, as I have taken on the rather grandiose title of Brigade Patrol Master.  

I am looking across Helmand and trying to identify the patterns we set that are subsequently exploited by our enemy when he lays his mines and I try to devise ways to counter his wickedness.

So yesterday I went out on patrol with J Company…

After Prop H8: Looking Back, Thinking Ahead

(Proudly cross-posted at C4O Democrats)

In a typically rare occasion, I had to cross “The Orange Curtain” last weekend to attend two major LGBT civil rights events in Los Angeles, Equality Summit and Camp Courage. And even though I hardly got any sleep Saturday night, I’m glad I did both. One helped me understand what went wrong with the No on H8 campaign in California last year, while the other helped me realize what needs to be done to make it right in 2009 and 2010.

Obama Sympathizes with Terrorists

This is what we were told.  It is what many who voted for Sarah Palin believed.  It is what a gentleman here in Sarasota believed enough to say to me directly a few days before the election: “Obama sympathizes with terrorists.”

On Friday, the US sent two Hellfire missiles from Afghanistan-based Predator drones into Zharki Village in Pakistan’s Waziristan region, accepted as the home of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda leadership.  Eighteen people were reported killed in the two locations, locals report that the Taliban removed eight of the bodies:

Resident Allah Noor Wazir said he attended funerals for the owner of the targeted house, Din Faraz, his three sons and a guest.

“I also heard that three bodies had been taken away by Taliban. They say they belong to foreigners,” Wazir told the AP by telephone.

I feel for the innocent victims of these missile strikes (I will assume there were some family members killed who were not directly a part of the war), but from early reports it seems that the buildings they were in were valid military targets.

Loco Dudes and Diluting Your Brand.

(cross posted at kickin it with cg)

Much has been debated as to whether the United Nations is an effective organization or is losing relevancy. But this diary isn’t about that, rather that I came across a stunning bit of information about one of its representatives and thought it was extremely telling in why the UN is viewed by some as a wavering.

Ever heard of Richard Falk?  In his Nation magazine biography, he is described as:

Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law and practice at Princeton University, is the United Nations Human Rights Rapporteur in the Occupied Territories and a member of the Nation editorial board. He is the author of many books, including The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and World Order After Iraq.

Falk made some headlines for being deported from Israel in December and recently made the claim that:

Hamas, he pointed out, consistently urged the continuation of its July 2008 Egypt-sponsored ceasefire with Israel and even its extension for up to 10 years. According to the respected British newsweekly, The Economist, Falk noted, Hamas proposed an extension of up to 20 years. “What is so revealing is the Israeli refusal to even acknowledge that this was a diplomatic initiative that would have probably ended any violence.”

Clearly this is false.  But that is neither here nor there.  What I found extremely shocking was when I looked a bit further in Falk’s more interesting views and history.

1. Falk supported the Iranian revolution and attacked Jimmy Carter for labeling the Ayatollah Khomeini a religious fanatic.

2.  Falk is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

3.  Falk argues that Vietnam war protesters were entitled to bomb facilities in the US as a form of protest.

4. Compares Israel to Nazi Germany.

So yeah – Mr Falk is clearly a mixed bag and not shall we say a huge champion of human rights in the total sense of supporting the rights of all humans  And more importantly – he is representing the Palestinians people in this regard for the United Nations.  Maybe this needs to be rethought.