April 25th, 2009

Anzac Day – April 25

when will we ever learn?

Waltzing Matilda, performed by Redgum:

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February 8th, 2009

Winter in Holland

Dutch winter is, I guess, a bit different than, say, Alaskan. More moderate, and well, we haven’t had some serious natural ice for 12 years. So when it arrived in early January, well, it makes for a few pictures I would like to share. Get out the skates! The conversion to flash is not flawless, but hey, I am not going to post PowerPoint files here. Ignore the captions and enjoy. Click for next slide.

August 5th, 2008

The olympics

This is the best comment I read in ages.

There’s been questions coming our way about the olympics – are we going to promote it on The Pirate Bay or not. The answer is ‘No!’

First of all, sports are not that interesting! Politics however is. Helping out promoting a country like China is not in anyones interest besides their oppressive government. I’m quite surprised that the discussions about China versus human rights have been so quiet during the olympics. In my opinion the olympics should never be held in a country like that.

I feel a bit sick in my body when I see that journalists are upset that they would have to use a restricted Internet during their stay in China – and that they’re OK with going there anyhow, when the restrictions are lifted for them, personally. It’s sickening! Everybody needs to demand freedom for the people, not only freedom for some lucky ones. It’s spineless.

My emphasis. Peter is “Pirate Bay“. Thanks.

June 23rd, 2008

The refugee

Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe and his party rule the country with intimidation and violence. Until Tsvangirai, the popular opposition leader finally challenged him. In the last presidential election, he won by a substantial margin, but the rigged election committee declared the victory JUST not enough, so a second round was needed. In the meantime, Mugabe’s criminal lot organized widespread violence against Tsvangirai’s supporters and he had to face this tough decision, just before the second election: withdraw, save his supporters from the killings and intimidation, and stay the winner of the first round, or go on, spiraling in more violence, organized by Mugabe’s mob, and almost certainly be the second round’s looser. No supporter in his right mind would dare to vote, and even if he won again, a new rig is easily organized. Terrorism: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.

He caved, and I think it is wise. And he also sought refuge, ending up in the embassy of my country.

NRC: Dutch Emassy in Harare

I hope our people treat him as the statesman he is entitled to be.

In the meantime, what can we do? Well, we should NOT go there. The Europeans (and yes, the US too) would be regarded as again the arrogant colonists. We should support the regions pressure on Mugabe, especially on South Africa, which has taken a too soft stance of the criminals. And we should freeze the money on a global scale. The EU countries blocked the accounts of Mugabe and his 130 most loyal henchmen. It’s more than time the other civilized countries did the same.

May 28th, 2008

The cluster bombs re-re-revisited

In Dublin Ireland, negotiations are proceeding about the ban on cluster bombs. My country’s administration is partnering with the United Kingdom, France and Germany on this subject. It cried loudly for a ban, but oh erm, wanted to keep the 9 bomblet M261 rocket grenade for the Apache attack helicopter. That one will have to go too. That is pretty good news huh? But wait, there is a little spin here eh? Foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen:

“In his opinion the treaty text in all reality means a ban on all existing and known [cluster] ammunition, but he doesn’t rule out new cluster ammunition will be developed that will be compatible with the treaty (emphasis added).

Verhagen also assumes it will remain possible to co-operate with allies that have not signed the treaty, such as the United States.

Hey, pst, can your guys hang one of those fancy thingies under my wing if we go in there together?

Earlier on the nest: US is investigating Cluster Bombs “fair use” in Lebanon, The cluster bombs revisited, The cluster bombs re-revisted.

By the way: Today we also decided to buy 2 JSF test aircraft as a pre-ample to buy 50+ to replace the aging F-16. The stealthy JSF will be useless in peace-keeping missions a la Afghanistan and it heavy reliance on stealth technology will be obsoleted by improved rada technology way before we get the real thing. What a waste.

May 24th, 2008

The arrest

This is what can happen to war criminals, how the process works. The MLC, was a violent guerilla movement, operating in Congo. It is now a political party. In 2002-2003 it is said to have committed serious crimes against humanity: rape, torture and some say even cannibalism. Multi-Millionaire Bemba is the leader of the gang.

Pre-Trial Chamber III found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that in the context of a protracted armed conflict in the Central African Republic from about 25 October 2002 to 15 March 2003, MLC forces led by Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo carried out a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population during which rape, torture, outrages upon personal dignity and pillaging were committed in, but not limited to, the localities of PK 12, Bossongoa and Mongoumba.

Pre-Trial Chamber III also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, as President and Commander in Chief of the MLC, was vested with de facto and de jure authority by the members of the MLC to take all political and military decisions.

Two days ago, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a secret arrest warrant for Bemba. A day later he was arrested in Belgium and after a hearing at a Belgium court, he is expected to be transferred to The Hague in the next few weeks.

The Pre-Trial Chamber issued a warrant of arrest on 23 May 2008. This arrest warrant remained under seal until his arrest on 24 May 2008.

Mr. Bemba’s arrest is a warning to all those who commit, who encourage, or who tolerate sexual crimes.  There is a new law called the Rome Statute. Under this new law, they will be prosecuted” said the Prosecutor.

There are no excuses for hundreds of rapes. There are no excuse for the rape of a little girl, with her parents watching. There are no excuses for commanders ordering, authorizing or acquiescing to the commission of rapes and looting by their forces. We have evidence that Mr Bemba committed crimes.. With the Rome Statute, nobody is beyond the reach of international criminal justice. Nobody can side with the criminals and against the victims.  Bosco Ntaganda, who committed crimes in Ituri and continues to commit crimes today in the Kivus, Joseph Kony of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, Ahmed Harun, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs for the Sudan, will also end up in jail.”

I went to CAR, I met the victims, those who survived the violence, those who survived AIDS.  We cannot erase the scars. But we can give them justice. Their testimonies will be strong evidence for the Prosecution. The victims will tell their stories in Court, this power will be theirs.”

Yes, I can see the rationale behind the Jesse Helms masterpiece act. Ruth will love this.

March 26th, 2008

The games

France is munching on boycotting the opening ceremony of the Olympics, given the state of things in Tibet.

Belgium is munching on not going at all to the opening ceremony either.

Good on them, seriously. My prediction: A couple of fine words from the Chinese, a temporary withdrawal of some troops, happy games including the French and the Belgians, I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to Beijing eh, and then, more charges. Cynical? Yes.

Added April 5th: It was stated by a member of the French administration that mr Sarkozy will not attent the opening ceremony unless some serious changes re. Tibet are implemented, including an investigation into the recent unrest and a serious dialog with the Dalai Lama. Overruled. No conditions set.

March 17th, 2008

The situation in T*bet

Coincidence? The US removed China (by far the worst official non-wartime killer of it’s own citizens) from the list of 10 worst human rights violators. A few months before the Olympics. And T*bet (although I do see some smart timing from the folks in T*bet too). I know this blog is not blocked in China, so while the chances are slim ANYONE reads it, let me at least try it.

The Chinese army is violently smashing down protests against the Chinese let’s say ruling in T*bet. Numbers of citizens killed are very unclear but mark my words, it will go in the hundreds if not thousands. What can we do? How about:

  • Quit buying Chinese goods (that will be the toughest, though most effective one)
  • Start pissing off Olympics sponsors like Lenovo (the Chinese PC maker, formerly known as IBM), Volkswagen, McDOnald’s, Coca Cola, Samsung, Adidas, General Electric, etc. Here is a good article in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Inform Chinese contacts, chat mates, foreign students, etcetera.

I agree to NOT press sporters into an impossible split. They are there to do their thing and to ask them to boycott the games or speak out aloud (remember, they are in China, governed by Chinese laws, as would foreigners in US based games.

Earlier on the nest: lots

March 6th, 2008

The thief and the driver revisited

Germaine C., the driver who killed the Moroccan thief of her purse by reversing and crushing him between her car and a tree, was convicted convicted to 180 hours of civil service and probational withdrawal of her drivers license for 6 months with a probation period of 2.5 years. The basis for this verdict is reckless driving, causing death. She was not convicted manslaughter, for which the procecutor had claimed 2.5 years of imprisonment. She will appeal the courts decision and go for complete acquittal. Right wing politicians spinning this of course.

March 6th, 2008

The movie

Danish cartoons rings a bell? Well, we’re next. Single issue anti-Islam politician G.W. is putting out a 15 minutes movie which as it turns out now no network will air, so it will be internet only. While nobody has seen it yet, there have been (staged?) protest in i.e. Pakistan and Afghanistan with calls for boycotts and worse. The protesters have no grasp of the right on free speech we have here here and that the administration cannot (and will not) lawfully stop this irresponsible nutcrack. I won’t mention his name here, nor the title of the movie, as the only thing that keeps him well afloat is the constant stirring up he does. Not airing his “work of art” is the first sensible thing the networks have done in ages regarding this man. National Security Coordinator raised the threat level. This is so insane I don’t even know where to start.

The whole idea of a movie is a straight rip of the movie “Submission” Theo van Gogh and Ayaan Hirshi Ali made. Theo was the guy shot and stabbed to death by a fanatic Muslim in Amsterdam, the act that is regarded as the only (succeeded) terrorist act in this country; I call it a hate-murder. Ayaan Hirshi Ali, now that is a different story. I will write about her later, and yes, there is a very US-connection there.

Earlier on the nest: The motives of terrorists