November 16th, 2007

The Paradise

Is this paradise or what?

Thanks Ursi.


November 16th, 2007

The dictator

Old news, I forgot to post it, sat in my drafts. Excerpt from CNN

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cautiously welcomed Musharraf’s election timeline, calling it a “positive element,” but stressing “the state of emergency has got to be lifted, and lifted as soon as possible.”

“This is a country that’s going through extraordinarily difficult circumstances,” Rice told ABC’s “This Week.”

“But it is an ally, it is a friend. And we believe that, at a time like this, our best role is to counsel and indeed persuade that Pakistan has got to get back on the democratic path that it had established.”

Speaking at his first news conference since the order, Musharraf restated his vow to step down as military chief once a newly installed Supreme Court approves his third term in office.

“The moment they give a decision … I shall take the oath of office as the civilian president of Pakistan,” he said. “I hope that happens as soon as possible.”

Note: emphasis by me, pun intended. Why am I not surprized? It seems in the W.O.T. anything is allowed, even backing a dictator, who needs to be kicked out of power ASAP. Oh oh, but wait. He said the state of emergency was needed to neutralize Muslim extremists. That was the pass-sentence. In the meantime he stifled opposition, replaced the high judges and now “promises” (read: blackmails) to step down as army chief once he is (illegally) approved president for a third term. Hard to get it right huh? I mean who we support? Iraq was an enemy of Iran too, so it MUST have been a friend of the West. Oh to hell with democracy.

November 16th, 2007

The killing revisited

Sorry this subject returns. From a local newspaper; it didn’t seem to show on CNN’s website.

New York, Nov. 16. The Human Rights Commission of the General Assembly of the UN voted yesterday with a large majority in favor of a moratorium on executions.

99 countries voted in favor, including the Netherlands and other EU countries. 52 States voted against and 33 abstained from voting. In particular, the United States, China and a number of developing countries, particularly in the Islamic world, want to retain the death penalty.

During the at times fierce debate, among others Malaysia, Singapore, Egypt, Botswana, Iran, Barbados and the Bahamas argued against the resolution. Europe has been criticized for imposing Western values on the rest of the world. According to the Singapore UN representer that is “hypocritical and intolerant”.

According to the resolution that was eventually adopted, the death penalty undermines human dignity. In addition to a moratorium on executions it calls for a reduction in the number of offenses for which the death penalty may be imposed.

The ultimate goal of the resolution is for the death penalty to gradually be abolished altogether. The adoption of the non-binding resolution by the General Assembly plenary of the 192 members in December is seen as a formality.

According to human rights organization Amnesty International the resolution adopted Thursday is a “historic and significant step towards universal abolition of the death penalty”.

I pre-translated this using the just released Dutch version of Google translate. Posting the raw result in comments. How sad, now I cannot play the “you have to learn Dutch” game anymore.