Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ik wou dat ik twee burgers was

"Hoe kon uit zuinige rupsen dit hummervolk onststaan?"
"How could out of thrifty caterpillars this HUMMER people come?"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rethinking immigration

Former RNC Chair Jim Nicholson recently spoke out on his party’s electoral gaps, urging Republicans to reach out to Latino voters.

Pat Buchanan is about to release a new book "Immigration and the 2008 Republican Defeat", in which he seems to be defending the exact opposite view.

At first glance the two positions seem to be mutual exclusive. And most parties, for lack of vision, treat the two positions as such. But I have been noticing a very strong relationship between the two. Both are concerned with debate, democratic development and representation. Courageous leadership would therefore be to embark on the risky road of informing, motivating and aligning immigrant voters. It would be a strong message to those who are scared of immigrants, that the party is not willing to compromize it's core business: democratic development. A fair debate on immigration within a political party can only start when representation of immigrants is ensured. It's time for courages leadership among party leaders, to fight the fear of immigrants, not just by formulating a position on immigration, but by actually using the party as a vehicle for debate between immigrants and non-immigrants. European political parties should listen to the words of Jim Nicholson:
“We have to better inform and motivate and align with the Hispanic voters,” Nicholson said in an interview with Politico. “That’s one of the key issues that the party and its leaders need to convene and, you know, have a very open, transparent discussion about developing a party position on."
In fact, I have not heard any of the party presidents of dutch political parties speak so clearly on the importance of informing, motivating and aligning with immigrant voters.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who will be the next U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator?

ACT UP AIDS activists protested at the United 
Nations when Uganda's successful 
HIV prevention program was undermined by 
PEPFAR, the U.S. financed AIDS relief plan with 
its restictions to prevention efforts promoting 
August 30, 2005.

by Ann Garrison

From RH (Reproductive Health) Reality Check, 01/28/2009:

AIDS Advocates Call for Open Process to Choose the Next Global AIDS Coordinator

I wrote about Obama's un-reappointment of Mark Dybul last week, 01/22/2009, and about the issue of who will become the next U.S. Global AIDS Coodinator, so let me just add, this week, that I hope Reverend Rick Warren will not play a large role in this decision, though he is very interested, and he has been very much involved in PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, thus far:

Victory for Africa; Obama Dumps Ambassador Mark Dybul, Bush's U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Imperial Evangelism: Rev. Rick Warren in Africa

Reverend Rick Warren has made U.S. allies Rwanda and 
Uganda his first "purpose driven nations," in accordance with 
his best-selling evangelical manual, The Purpose Driven Life.  
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President 
Yoweri Museveni, both authoritarian extremists, insist that 
homosexuality does not exist in their nations and that homosexuals, 
who do not exist there, will not receive 
state health care, including U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS 
care.  Both Presidents Kagame and Museveni have made 
war on neighboring D.R. Congo since 1996, in 
U.S./Anglophone imperial interest.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Victory for Africa; Obama Dumps Ambassador Mark Dybul, Bush's U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator

Mark Dybul, George Bush's U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, 
reappointed by Barack Obama on 01/09/2009, un-reappointed
by Barack Obama on 01/21/2009.

I spent several hours today writing a Colored Opinions blog post titled, "Is Rick Warren making AIDS, and Africa, policy, in the Obama Administration?" with regard to Obama's reappointment of Rick Warren ally, Ambassador Mark Dybul.

Several hours later I picked up the stellar news that Obama "ditched Dybul" before a petition calling on him to do so, circulated by , had gathered more than 65 of its 5,000 signature goal.  

The International Women’s Health Coalition and the Sexuality Information & Education Council of the United States, which, according to the Washington Blade, advocates, among other things, for gay-sensitive sex education, were pressuring Obama about this too, as was the entire responsible reproductive health and rights community.

This is a victory, albeit tentative, not only for reproductive health and rights, but also for Africa.  Mark Dybul has been the head of PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and, in that role, he has advanced "abstinence only" HIV infection prevention, which has actually spread HIV infection in Africa, along with the evangelical and moral agenda of Reverend Rick Warren, cause for great controversy and consternation after Barack Obama invited him to give the opening prayers at his inauguration.  

In defense of his invitation to Rick Warren, Obama had alarmed many even further by saying
that Rick Warren's benevolence was evidenced by his HIV/AIDS work in Africa.  Nevertheless, it looks as though Barack Obama may prove true to the unequivocal disagreement with Reverend Rick Warren, re HIV prevention and education, that he expressed in Warren's own Saddleback Church, on World AIDS Day, in 2006:

. . . I also believe that we cannot ignore that abstinence and fidelity may too often be the ideal and not the reality - that we are dealing with flesh and blood men and women and not abstractions - and that if condoms and potentially microbicides can prevent millions of deaths, they should be made more widely available.  I know that there are those who, out of sincere religious conviction, oppose such measures. And with these folks, I must respectfully but unequivocally disagree. I do not accept the notion that those who make mistakes in their lives should be given an effective death sentence.  Nor am I willing to stand by and allow those who are entirely innocent - wives who, because of the culture they live in, often have no power to refuse sex with their husbands, or children who are born with the infection as a consequence of their parent's behavior -suffer when condoms or other measures would have kept them from harm.
--Barack Obama, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California, World AIDS Day, 01.01.2006

Who will replace Mark Dybul?  

That, and the answer to these questions, will determine how large a win this is:

1)  Will Obama, the new U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, the Democratic Congress, and the reproductive health and rights community working with them manage to remove the "abstinence only till heterosexual married monogamy restrictions" on U.S. HIV/AIDS prevention efforts, and direct more funding, intelligence, and effort to real HIV prevention, 
instead of just treating greater and greater numbers of AIDS patients, in Africa, as HIV infection continues to spread?

2)  Will the U.S. call for an end to the severe LGBT persecution in African states like Rwanda and Uganda, where both governments insist that homosexuality does not exist,  and for their inclusion in U.S.-funded HIV/AIDs prevention and treatment, as a condition for funding prevention and treatment?  

Because the Rwandan and Ugandan governments insist that there are no homosexuals in their countries, they refuse to treat homosexuals in the state health care system,, which includes U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS  care, and they most certainly do not include honesty, or education about safe, gay sex, in HIV prevention efforts. 

3)  Will US AIDS funding continue to be largely administered by USAID, whose mission is to advance U.S. interests abroad, in cooperation with the Department of Defense?  

The problem with PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, has been not only that its so-called HIV prevention efforts actually cause HIV infection rates to rise, because so much funding for prevention is restricted to faith-based "abstinence only" efforts, but also that PEPFAR is used, in a number of ways, to advance U.S. imperial interests, military, military industrial, and corporate.  

The use of foreign aid to advance imperial interests, through USAID, is longstanding U.S. foreign policy that cannot be reversed with a single replacement of a Bush appointee.  That would require abolishing many of the most evil military and security bureaucracies in Washington D.C. , and, most likely, the American empire itself.

However, the case for making U.S. AIDS relief in Africa a truly charitable, rather than imperial effort, is very easy to make, morally, spiritually, and humanely.  

Perhaps we can join the reproductive health and rights community in advancing this argument as well.  

Is Rick Warren making HIV/AIDs, and Africa, policy, in the Obama Administration?

Evangelical, gay intolerant, Reverend Rick Warren,
campaigns for "abstinence only" HIV infection
"prevention," most of all in Africa, through PEPFAR,
the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

by Ann Garrison

When Barack Obama invited LGBTIQ intolerant evangelical preacher Rick Warren to give the "invocation," meaning the opening prayers, at his inauguration, on January 20, 2009, the LGBTIQ community and their supporters reacted with alarm.  Reverend Rick Warren is Pastor of the Saddleback Church, in Orange County, in the State of California, where he was a fervent and effective campaigner for Proposition 8, the referendum which banned same sex marriage, and thus overturned the California State Supreme Court's earlier decision, on May 16, 2008, which had struck down an earlier same sex marriage ban.

Many Obama supporters responded that there was nothing to worry about because Reverend Rick Warren would simply say the opening prayers at the inauguration, but would not make policy thereafter.

However, Reverend Rick Warren is already an international power broker, here and in Africa. He lobbied George Bush heavily for the passage of PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and for PEPFAR's notorious "abstinence only" HIV AIDS "prevention" strategies.   
Five years after the passage of PEPFAR, in 2003, its consequence has been the spread of HIV, most of all in Africa, and unprecedented, long-term African drug dependence, on anti-retroviral drugs manufactured in the U.S.

On World AIDS Day in 2006, Barack Obama appeared at Reverend Rick Warren's Saddleback Church and stated that he unequivocally disagreed with Rick Warren's abstiinence-only, until heterosexual married monogamy HIV prevention strategy.

Having said that, I also believe that we cannot ignore that abstinence and fidelity may too often be the ideal and not the reality - that we are dealing with flesh and blood men and women and not abstractions - and that if condoms and potentially microbicides can prevent millions of deaths, they should be made more widely available.
I know that there are those who, out of sincere religious conviction, oppose such measures. And with these folks, I must respectfully but unequivocally disagree. I do not accept the notion that those who make mistakes in their lives should be given an effective death sentence.
Nor am I willing to stand by and allow those who are entirely innocent - wives who, because of the culture they live in, often have no power to refuse sex with their husbands, or children who are born with the infection as a consequence of their parent's behavior -suffer when condoms or other measures would have kept them from harm.
--Barack Obama, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California, World AIDS Day, 01.01.2006

Nevertheless, on January 12, 2009, Barack Obama alarmed responsible reproductive health professionals by reappointing George Bush's Ambassador Mark Dybul, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, who is a close ally of Reverend Rick Warren's, and who has consistently advanced and defended Warren's abstinence-only HIV/AIDS agenda, as the head of PEPFAR
, which is, most of all, an African AIDS program.  

Ambassador Mark Dybul, Rick Warren's openly gay, and, gay married, ally

Mark Dybul is not only openly gay, but also, essentially, married, to his gay life partner, Jason Claire. Despite George Bush's famously anti-LGBTIQ rights, and anti-gay marriage stance, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice swore Dybul in as Global AIDS Coordinator, an Ambassador level position, and, at the ceremony, to Claire's mother as Mark Dybul's "mother-in-law." Needless to say, this upset many on the religious right. Reverend Rick Warren's alliance with Mark Dybul is strange indeed, but, much of the concern about Mark Dybul's reappointment as U.S. Global AIDS coordinator is concern about his alliance with Rick Warren in PEPFAR's abstinence only restrictions.

Indeed, this alliance suggests that not all is as it seems, with regard to Barack Obama, Rick Warren, Mark Dybul, and PEPFAR, in Africa, and, PEPFAR, which is, most of all a U.S. AIDS project in Africa, at work in 13 African "focus countries," Botswana, Cote d'Ivore, Ethipioa, Guyana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, and in Haiti and Vietnam.

All of PEPFAR's "focus countries," including not only these African nations, but also Haiti and Vietnam, are nations that the U.S. State Department, and military, have been unusually, even for the U.S., determined to control.

The U.S. uses PEPFAR "focus country" Rwanda, as Britain uses "focus country" Uganda, to control the mineral wealth of D.R. Congo.

And, Reverend Rick Warren, who sits on the U.S. Council of Foreign Relations, and attends the World Economic Forum, in Davos Switzerland, has not only advanced his abstinence-only HIV/AIDS agenda, through PEPFAR, but has also turned Rwanda and Uganda into his first two "purpose-driven nations," in accordance with his best-selling evangelical manual, "The Purpose-Driven Life."

However, no matter what anyone might conclude about the relationship between Barack Obama, Rick Warren, Mark Dybul, PEPFAR, and U.S. foreign policy in PEPFAR "focus countries," most of all in Africa, responsible HIV/AIDS care and treatment professionals and organizations, have called upon Barack Obama to "Ditch Dybul, the abstinence-only AIDS campaigner" in accordance with the convictions he expressed, on World AIDS Day, 2006, in Reverend Rick Warren's own Saddleback Church.

Pamela Merritt, writing in RH (Reproductive Health) Reality Check, explains the urgency of ditching Dybul and appointing someone who "gets it," about the spread, and prevention of HIV infection, and asks the rest of us to sign an electronic petition calling for a new U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.

My shoe is too good for you- Doc Jazz

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No military solution to political problems!

Commenting on the military operation of Rwandan troops inside the Congo, which started yesterday, Victoire Ingabire, chairperson of the opposition United Democratic Forces (UDF), told reporters by phone from the Netherlands:
"The use of force is a bad choice. The path of dialogue should always be favoured,"
"In the entire region, (Rwandan President Paul) Kagame's regime is the only one that refuses to talk to the opposition... There is no military solution to political problems," she said.

Victoire Ingabire has united the exiled Rwandan opposition parties and lives in the Netherlands. In an interview with the largest dutch newspaper ´de telegraaf` on january 7 misses Ingabire tells us she recently visited the US where she met the future US President, Barack Obama. He assured her personally that he would monitor the situation closely.

Her view is in sync with the view expressed by former MONUC force Commander, General Patrick Cammaert. As I have reported some months ago in the article "FDLR no threat to Rwanda". General Patrick Cammert was interviewed on dutch tv concerning the war in eastern Congo in which he said this:
"The problems have to be solved politicallly. That is true also concerning the genocidal hutus. President Kagame is strongly (involved) in that. The president of Rwanda sees the genocide-hutus as a threat to his country, I don't agree with that, I don't think that those genocide-hutus represent a threat to his country at all. However, that is what he says."
Patrick Cammaert has stressed the need for a "political solution" before, as in this interview on youtube.

From her home in Zevenhuizen Victoire Ingabire worked hard to unite the many different coaltionparties in her country. And in that she succeeded. Against the ruling RPF there now is the FDU, in which all opposition parties are united. Kagame has announced elections will be held in 2010. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza will in all likelyhood be an important candidate for the FDU to participate in this election. If these elections will really take place is not certain. It is possible Kagame calls of the elections at the last moment, says Victoire Ingabire. Therefore the support of Barack Obama is very important.
`The fact that Obama now supports our participation in these elections, it will be much harder for Kagame to call off these elections`
, she says. And she adds that she can then try to introduce democracy in Rwanda as it exists in the Netherlands.

You can also read the interview with Paul Kagame and please tell me, does he convince you that Rwanda is not involved in Congo.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let Justice Roll Down

Cynthia McKinney on AIPAC and Israeli Espionage
Pat Buchanan : "But You sit here and tell me that the Israely people or the Israely nation have treated the Palestinian people with any kind of justice, the towns hit by the rockets are former Palestinian towns".
Articles by Pat Buchanan:
Is Ehud's poodle acting up?
In this article Pat Buchanan gives us his view on neoconservatism and the war on terror:
"But no nation can "end evil." Evil has existed since Cain rose up against his brother Abel and slew him. A propensity to evil can be found in every human heart. And if God accepts the existence of evil, how do Frum and Perle propose to “end” it? Nor can any nation "win the war on terror." Terrorism is simply a term for the murder of non-combatants for political ends."

Since when the pressclub invites terrorists?

Russell Mokhiber and others asked some legitimate questions about Israel's crimes in Gaza the last couple of weeks. Russell seems to have a history of excentric journalism in the US, good to follow. Anyone know more about the press conference and how it went? Russel Mokhiber has some interesting articles online, an example: Make way for the wartime opportunists.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Emery Lumumba

Patrice Emery Lumumba,
2 July 1925 – 17 January 1961

"We are not alone. Africa, Asia, and free and liberated people everywhere will always be on the side of the Congolese."
----Patrice Emery Lumumba

by Ann Garrison

On Saturday, January 17th, Congolese immigrants, students, and supporters rallied around the world to Save Congo!, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire, now also known as Congo-Kinshasa. The Congolese people continue to suffer staggering casualties in the ongoing African holocaust, also known as the African World War, which has cost between five and six million Congolese lives, since 1996, and which continues to cost 45,000 lives a month.

Corporate news outlets including Reuters, the New York Times, and the BBC, have cited these casualty figures ever since a widely respected NGO, the International Rescue Committee, sent researchers into both the cities, and the most remote wartorn regions of Congo, and then concluded, in 2007, that 5.4 million Congolese had died in the Congo War. The International Rescue Committee also says that a third or more of Congo's war dead are children who died of starvation or easily curable diseases like diptheria, because the war has so disrupted indigenous agriculture and health care services, and, created the largest population of internally displaced people in the world.

Today's January 17th rallies, most notably in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Washington D.C., followed by a D.C. forum on Lumumba and the future of Congo, were held on the 48th anniversary of the Belgian and CIA assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of what was then, briefly, called the Independent Republic of Congo, after Congo declared its independence from Belgium, on January 27, 1960.

This week the nation of Belgium formally apologized to the Congolese people, for assassinating Lumumba, who, 48 years after his death, remains one of the most admired leaders in Africa. The United States government has not yet apologized for their collaborating with Belgium in assassinating Lumumba, and for thus truncating Congolese lives and possibilities for the next 48 years. Nor have they withdrawn weapons shipments, military training, or "most favored nation" trading status from Rwanda, Congo's neighbor, even though the United Nations, on December 12th, declared that Rwanda supports the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple, (CNDP), in its war on the Eastern Congolese people, waged in order to smuggle vast Congolese mineral wealth over the Congolese border, for export from Rwanda.

In 2006, Barack Obama won passage of the Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006 , but, though Obama has already promised a Clinton-Bush-Obama Middle East policy continuum, and he has not given any indication that he will break with Clinton-Bush policy in Congo, and neighboring Rwanda, or apologize for the CIA's 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba.

His appointment of Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, and of Susan Rice, Bill Clinton's former Secretary of State for African Affairs, as UN Envoy, do not bode well for the Congolese people. But, Congolese activists have rallied nevertheless, to save their homeland, and to call on Barack Obama, who is himself of half-African parentage, to withdraw U.S. military support from Rwanda, and thus help bring and end to the ongoing African holocaust.

I'd like to apologize myself, right now, as a U.S. citizen, for the CIA assassination of Congo's towering leader, Patrice Lumumba, and hope for a larger movement, to apologize, and to end U.S. military intervention in Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, and all Africa.

I'd also like to share this November 27, 2006 KPFA Radio archive on the assassination of Patrice Lumumba:
Africa Today - November 27, 2006 at 7:00pm

Click to listen (or download)

See also Friends of the Congo.

Patrice Émery Lumumba and US backed revolution

Patrice Émery Lumumba was murdered by the CIA January 17 1961. He can be seen as a symbol of anti-colonial struggle. The former USSR used him as a martyr for their communist cause and named their international peoples university after him. If some Lumumba alumni would read this, to post a reply, would like to get in contact with you.

Lumumba was replaced by Mobutu. A general who was supported by the US. Mobutu provided logistical support for Jonas Savimbi and was thus a strong and reliable US ally in Africa during the cold war. At the end of Mobutu's reign, Mobutu had many ennemies in Africa. Especially South-Africa and Angola, because of his support for Savimbi. Angola and South-Africa therefore helped the rebellion fight Mobutu. In my view it was a a strategic mistake by Mobutu to step on that boat in the river Congo together with Mandela and Laurent Désiré Kabila to broker some deal. It was that meeting that gave Kabila the stature of a future president. Mandela represented the coalition of countries that wanted to topple Mobutu, he didn't represent an African brother as the media stated at the time.

After ten years we now know that this "revolution" has caused the lives of more then 5 million congolese and has not brought about democratic development as was promised at the start. In my view it is quite possible that Rwanda and Angola have the same interest in keeping Congo weak and not solving the simmering war in the east. It's in the interest of Des Santos to divert the attention from the problems in Angola.

It's quite ironic how the US actually actively supported the toppling of Mobutu. After killing Patrice Lumumba and fighting the communist for all those years in Africa, the US ended up supporting revolutionary movements in many parts of Africa. Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Sudan. People like Jon Prendergast, Samantha Powers and Roger Winter all think democracy can be helped by sending weapons to some rebel groups. It's time this fallacy gets full exposure. Revolutionary movements have brought death and destruction to Africa, nothing else. As we say in dutch, its "trading led for old iron".

Friday, January 16, 2009

wronging rights: For Serious, Prendergast?

wronging rights: For Serious, Prendergast?good obvservation, Prendergast removing wrongingrights from blogrol because he was critisized on that blog about his article in the Christian Science monitor in which he said among other things, that the first Congo war was a succesfull intervention.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Barack Obama inherits Africom, Bush's plot against Africa

George Bush and authoritarian Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a major recipient of U.S. military aid.

by Ann Garrison

Barack Obama has now inherited Africom, Bush's plot against Africa, a plot to expand U.S. militarization and domination of Africa.

What will he do? What will his new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, do? Bill Clinton's ongoing perfidy in Rwanda and Congo was not even mentioned in Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.  The U.N. agrees that the Congo War is now the deadliest conflict in the world, and that Paul Kagame's U.S.-armed and trained Rwandan Army wages war on the Congolese people, in Eastern Congo.  

Six million Congolese people have died, in the Congo Wa, since 1996. However, most Americans, including many anguished by Israel's war on Gaza, remain barely aware of the Congo War, fought by Rwandan and Ugandan proxy armies, in U.S./Anglophone interest.

Reist Africom, .

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blood, swet and tears, André Hazes

André, geloof a.u.b. niet in je eigen karikatuur

Ik begrijp niet dat mensen die een belangrijke rol vervullen in de christelijke politiek in Nederland, zoals André Rouvoet in dit artikel de vooroordelen die er zijn over " het Calvinisme" uitdragen als wezenskenmerken daarvan:

"Nog altijd worden spaarzaamheid, sober leven en hard werken als uitvloeisel van een ,,calvinistische mentaliteit’’ herkend. In die zin, aldus Rouvoet, geldt voor ,,christen, socialist of liberaal: calvinisten zijn we allemaal’’.

Dat wat Rouvoet niet noemt in zijn typering van het Calvinisme is de manier waarop Abraham Kuyper invulling gaf aan het begrip "Calvinisme" om dit te gebruiken in zijn strijd voor democratisering van Nederland aan het eind van de 19de eeuw. Lees eens je geschiedenisboeken er op na, je vertegenwoordigt per slot van rekening een achterban die verwacht dat je een waardig vertegenwoordiger bent van de antirevolutionaire politieke erfenis. Als je in je eigen karikatuur gaat geloven dan ben je wel heel erg ver van huis.

Palestinian surgeon from Sneek: Tariq Shadid

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Arie Slob's houding ten opzichte van allochtonen

"Vooral richting allochtonen is dit een slecht signaal. Zij hebben op grond van hun religie al een bepaalde houding richting Israël. Die wordt door dit soort uitlatingen versterkt." zegt hij in op de website van de ChristenUnie in een artikel waarin hij zijn mening geeft over de oorlog in Gaza.

Kennelijk redeneert Arie Slob meer vanuit zijn culturele achtergrond, dan vanuit een burgerschapsvisie. Want uit deze woorden blijkt bovendien dat Arie Slob bezig is om christelijke politiek in Nederland kapot te maken. Naast onbewuste, maar diep gewortelde minachting tegen zijn allochtonene medeburgers, spreekt hieruit ook ontstellende onkunde over de principiele achtergrond van christelijke politiek en haar doel.

Arie Slob wil met zijn woorden veel van de mensen in zijn achterban naar de mond praten, mensen die pro-Israel zijn vanwege een bijbelvisie die ten opzichte van traditionele gereformeerde en katholieke theologie als ketterij moet worden aangemerkt.

Monday, January 12, 2009

LeBron James' Crab Dribble

Obama and the Pastor: Inaugural Prayers or Inaugural Shoes?

By Ann Garrison

The controversy over Barack Obama's invitation to evangelical Pastor Rick Warren, to give the opening prayers at his inauguration, rages on.

I agree with those who've suggested that Barack Obama should swear in on the U.S. Constitution that he was elected to uphold, instead of the Bible. That's supposed to be his job now, upholding the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, which is supposed to protect freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. So why is Obama swearing in on the Bible? Well, Obama is a Christian, without doubt; we all became acutely aware of that amidst last year's uproar over Obama's longtime pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, of the United Church of Christ:

In April, 2008, then presidential candidate Obama felt compelled to severe his ties with Reverend Wright after the U.S.A.'s big corporate media played Wright's magnificent "Goddamn America!!!" oration all over network TV.

At the time, most fans of both Reverend Wright and Barack Obama shrugged and accepted the political expediency of Obama's decision. However, more of us, far from all of us, but more of us, finally parted ways with Barack Obama over the 180-degree shift from Reverend Jeremiah Wright to LGBT intolerant, fundamentalist evangelical Reverend Rick Warren:

Obama claimed, in essence, to be building bridges between the diverse constituencies who voted to put him on top, even between those of us who absolutely detest one another, including Rick Warren, who believes that homosexuals, should not even exist, and that most of the rest of us will ultimately burn in a lake of fire, while he and his flock ascend to heaven to nestle, bare-ass naked, at the side of the Lord, on Judgment Day.

Obama said that he had not only invited a famous Civil Rights minister, Reverend Joseph Lowery, to pray at the end of his inauguration, but had even invited a gay marching band to perform, ,

This was getting pretty funny till Obama, on the defense, started pointing to Pastor Rick's HIV/AIDS interventions in Africa, as proof of his benevolence, because Pastor Rick's actions in Central Africa are some of his most malevolent, in effect, no matter what their intent. Indeed, Pastor Rick's campaign against Proposition 8 is his mild side, when compared to his participation in the worst extremes of gay persecution in Africa, where he insists, with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, that homosexuality not only cannot, but does not exist, and that homosexuals will therefore not be treated in their state health care systems, including U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS care:

This is so far from funny for some, including myself, that we're now calling for SHOES!!! , in honor of Iraq's global hero, Munthadar al-Zaidi, and LGBTQI Africa, at the Obama Inauguration:

The people of Gaza may well be ready to send any old shoes they have left, to the Obama Inauguration now. I know the world cheered for Obama, the first African American president, and yes indeed, the U.S.A. did need to get at least that far past 500 plus years of Eurocentric colonialism, slavery, mass slaughter, and bigotry, but now we've got Reverend Rick Warren praying at the Obama Inauguration. And, now we've got Barack Obama not only promising to sustain the continuum of the Clinton/Bush Middle East policy, but also trying to worry us about Iran fomenting terrorism, through Hammas and Hezbollah.

And, even trying to worry us about whether or not Iran might build a nuclear weapon like the 5,500 plus nuclear weapons that the U.S. has stockpiled, .

Time to haul out some more anti-imperial shoes.

Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections

"The Central Elections Committee on Monday banned Arab political parties from running in next month's parliamentary elections." Many development countries that receive budget support are reviewed on a regular basis on good governance, human rights and democratic development. Israel is a country that receives a whole lot of money from US taxpayers. Isn't it time Israel is judged by standards that apply to all other nations?

Hannity and Colmes is history !

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Israeli political leadership should be brought to justice

Asma Assad on suffering in Gaza

Alvin Toffler and 4th generation warfare

I went to a secondhand shop on may day off yesterday and run in to a book with the title "War and Anti-War. Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century" by Alvin Toffler. It seems to be a book used by military to define the impact of globalisation and information technology on warfare. When I was studying the war in Congo, I came across lots of information relating to military involvement of US contractors in the great lakes region. The website smallwarsjournal is a website about this new concept of warfare. Alvin Toffler has a website, some say he is one of the most influential people of the earth. Especially in relation to the subject of democratic development it's worthwhile to know what Alvin Toffler has to say. A quote:
"The illiterate of the future are not those that cannot read or write. They are those that can not learn, unlearn, relearn."

The dutch scientific council for government policy published a repot titled "Dynamism in Islamic activism". This study has an alternative view on how to deal with Islamic militant movements like Hamas. It's worth while to compare this report with the article "Recent trends in thinking about warfare" by Albert A. Nofi.
Albert A. Nofi gives us this interesting quote:
"When Hezbollah, which had developed a quasi-state in south Lebanon,attempted to support Hamas, it also found that it had acquired the liabilities and vulnerabilities of a territorial state. This vulnerability,
if properly exploited, could have forced Hezbollah to return to being purely non-state actors, and in doing so would have delivered a disastrous blow to its credibility.145 That this did not occur, was because the Israeli response did not properly exploit Hezbollah's vulnerabilities, and failed in the information dimension, leaving the outcome of the “war” as a draw, with both sides claiming “victory.”

Combining this with Kevin Tracy's article: "Is Hamas a legitimate government?", we can allmost predict that the outcome of the War Israel is waging in Gaza, will end in a "victory" for Hamas. One of the intriguing aspects of the conflict in Gaza is the engagement of many across the globe in supporting either Israel or the Palestinians. This phenomenon is also visible in Congo, where you got some staunch Kagame supporters, and many who accuse him of great many attrocities. And off course, those who read my blog regularly, know that I am a strong critic of Stephen Kinzer's view on Rwanda. The problem is more accute for political parties who have followers of different camps inside their bodies. What should be the approach of for instance a political party in the Netherlands when dealing with issues of foreign policy? What criteria should they use to determine which group and which reality they let prevail? Does it depend on how many smart lobbyists one group has (for instance the pro-Israel Lobby in the US, or the RPF lobby for Rwanda in the beginning of the 90's)? Does it depend on the number of protesters in the European capitals? Does it depend on opinion polls?
In my view all of those answers are not satisfactory. These are just symptoms of the underlying challenge which I outlined in my proposition to the dutch government "Migrants as ambassadors for democratic development":
"Political institutions in the Netherlands have a distinctly national character. The Dutch parliament represents the Dutch people on Dutch territory. But how well defined are these boundaries nowadays?"

"The correlation of democratization, development and security forms the new challenge of our time"
. Which I translated to my proposition:
"There is a strong relation between democratization on the one hand and the war against international terrorism on the other. With that in mind it is of eminent importance to involve migrants and migrant organizations from developing countries in democratization."
(both at home and abroad)

further reading: "Creating Adaptive Organizations" (Alvin Toffler)
"The crucial Role of Migrant Worker Rights in a Vibrant Democracy"
Redeem Foundation, Congolese Women in the Netherlands

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Israel targeting journalists

Apparently the Israely army thinks that they are above international law. Well I got some news for them, they are not, as Martin Luther King said:" The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice".

Crossing Don Scoggins

May 18 I posted the article "Don Scoggins, Huckabee supporter votes Obama", which was taken from the website Rocky Mountain News and written by Bill Johnson under the title of "This campaign inspires, befuddles black men".

I got this reaction from Don Scoggins June 18th, 2008:

"Normally I wouldn't respond to such a fraudulent fabrication. And, at this time I deny any and all quotes attributable to me saying "I would cross over and vote for Obama." Anyone who believes such unverified nonsense coming from an unsourced publication is not too bright and doesn't deserve to participate in our voting process. While admiring Senator Obama's historic achievements I never said I would vote for him. I do find his politics dangerously too liberal.
I am available to speak to anyone personally who cares to further discuss who I plan to support in November, and be reached anytime at 703-565-6771."

Nevertheless I somehow wasn't very surprised when I read the article "Obama Saves the GOP" written by Don Scoggins november 1st 2008 in which he says:

"After much soul searching and conceding not agreeing totally with his political views I concluded Senator Barack Obama is the person most fitting to lead the U. S. and reinvigorate the GOP."

Don Scoggins had decided to cross over to Obama if Huckabee wasn't the nominee, that was clear in february 2008. I wrote that truth down in may, he reacted in june with the following comment:

"Anyone who believes such unverified nonsense coming from an unsourced publication is not too bright and doesn't deserve to participate in our voting process"

To me it's therefore clear that he owes me and my readers an explanation. I am waiting.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Paul Biya fighting democratic development

December 30th 2008, Mister Paul Biya, President of Cameroun and President of the state-party RDPC, has proceeded in designating the head of the electoral Council, the director and the deputy-director of the ELECAM, organism charged in principle with the logistics of the elections in Cameroun.

Shanda Tonme, who is a possible candidate in future elections in Cameroun, writes in this article, published 2d of january 2009 in Africa Presse: "Both the director and the deputy director have shown their contempt in regard to the idea of democratic change, good governance, promotion of civil liberties and electoral transparance"

Christopher Ambe Shu wrote about this too on his blog

Another blog explaining what Paul Biya is up to is Cameroun2001

The Imperial Congo Crisis


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Barack Obama, Reverend Rick Warren, and HIV/AIDS in Africa, KPFA Radio News

Evangelical American pastor Reverend Rick Warren with authoritarian Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Rwanda, where the government says that homosexuality does not exist, and that it therefore will not include homosexuals in Rwanda's state health care system, including U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

The U.S.A.'s angel in Gaza and Congo: Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, advocates for the people of both Gaza and Congo, and for an end to U.S. weapons exports used against them.

On October 30th, 2009, former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney called on President-Elect Barack Obama to "say something" about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and to withdraw military aid to Israel, after the Israeli Navy rammed and damaged the boat she was traveling on.  She and a team of doctors were trying to reach Gaza, from Cyprus, with 2.5 tons of medical relief supplies.  After damaging their boat, the Israeli Navy escorted them to shore in Lebanon.

When will Cynthia McKinney try to reach not only Gaza, but also the "humanitarian corridor," in Congo's North Kivu Province, with food and medical supplies? When will she call on Barack Obama to "Say Something" about Congo's humanitarian crisis? And to stop sending weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. military training, to Rwanda?

When enough of us can explain that, most fundamentally, Rwanda is Israel, Congo is Gaza, the weapons are made in the U.S.A., and, six million Congolese people have died, in the Congo War, since 1996.

Cynthia McKinney knows this as well as anyone, having held Congressional hearings on the U.S. role in the "Rwandan Genoicide" and the Congo War, in 2001. (

However, the Congo War, the deadliest war in the world, is a covert war.   Cynthia McKinney might well also travel to Congo and speak, from there, to Barack Obama and the world, as she spoke, so powerfully, from Gaza, but only if her action could be comprehended in the world's vocabulary for understanding Congo.

Much of the world has now turned its attention to Gaza, as it well should, but the covert Congo War, the deadliest conflict in the world today, rages on, little noted, protested, or understood.  

If the subject comes up at all, most people unconsciously repeat the pervasive propaganda of corporate media and U.S. State Department, sighing that the Congo War is an insoluble, human tragedy caused by unending ethnic conflict.   Most fundamentally, however, the Congo War is a covert imperial war for Congo's unparalleled mineral wealth and other natural resources and we in the U.S., and the rest of the world, could call upon Barack Obama to end it by withdrawing support from Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a U.S./Anglophone imperial ally.

We could all help Cynthia McKinney break the deafening silence.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rwanda according to Stephen Kinzer

While the world turns it's eyes away from the war in Congo to the war in Gaza, Stephen Kinzer is using this to help his friends in Kigali. Yesterday he published this article "Accessories to the crime" in the Guardian about the ICTR sentencing to life imprisonment of Colonel Theoneste Bagosora after convicting him of
"genocide and crimes against humanity and war crimes" He then adds: "One thing will be missing, though. In the modern age, prisons that hold war criminals, political murderers and other terrorists are populated mostly by brutes like Bagosora – people easily portrayed as thugs from thuggish places. So the newly convicted genocide mastermind will not have the chance to exchange thoughts with his more genteel enablers.

In a just world, Bagosora might have French company in his cell block. Without steadfast support from France, which armed the genocidal regime and helped train its killers, the slaughter would have been impossible. So it seems only fair that a few French aristocrats be held responsible. One candidate would be former foreign minister Alain Juppe, who built a framework within which the slaughter could be carried out by telling the world that it was not genocide but "tribal war" in which opposing groups were equally guilty. There could also be room in the block for others who shielded the Rwandan regime as it killed, among them Edouard Balladur, Dominique de Villepin and Hubert Vedrine.

No one ever took more delight in these men's company than the lifelong Francophone Boutros Boutros-Ghali, so it would be a shame to leave him off the cellblock.
By some standards Bill Clinton too could qualify for a cell on Bagosora's block.
Kevin John Heller wrote on Opinio Juris november 19th 2008:
"Concerning the RPF’s actions, however, Kinzer is completely silent. No mention of the tens of thousands of innocent Hutus that the RPF murdered before, during, and after its rebellion. No mention of the the RPF’s authoritarian rule over Rwanda. No mention of Rwanda’s invasions of the Congo, which helped trigger the genocides there. No mention of Rwanda’s open support of the murderous Congolese rebel, Laurent Nkunda."

40 officers of the Rwandan army have been accused of crimes against humanity and acts of genocide by a spanish court, but Stephen Kinzer stays completely silent on that too.

Peter Erlinder of William Mitchell College of Law and a Lead Defense Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), says in this article "Rwanda: No Conspiracy, No Genocide Planning ... No Genocide?"
"that if - as the ICTR recently ruled in the "Military I" trial - alleged "masterminds" Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and fellow top Rwandan military officers engaged in no conspiracy and no planning to kill ethnic civilians, the tragedy that engulfed Rwanda in 1994 may not properly be called a "genocide" at all... "

We don't read anything about this in Stephen's article, apparently Erlinder does not need an answer either.

Recently a UN report confirmed the sordid role Rwanda is playing in supporting Nkunda. The Netherlands and Sweden blocked budgetsupport for the regime in Kigali. The sordid role Rwanda and Uganda have played in the Great Lakes region, the military support of the US army for these countries. The hundreds of thousands of people kept in Rwandan prison without proper trial. All of these issues are not mentioned in Stephen Kinzer's article. That leads to the inevitable conclusion that Stephen Kinzer is actually spreading propaganda for the current undemocratic regime in Kigali. Propaganda that has enabled them to garner enormous amounts of money, arms and political support in the US and the UK. Kinzer's article is aimed at making sure the US keeps up it's military and financial support of this undemocratic regime.As I wrote on november 14th:
For those who have been following the Rwandan news from a "Kinzer" perspective over the last decade will wake up one day to see that they actually have been lied to for a very long time. And that the suffering of the people in Congo is actually extended every time these articles get published in influential media in the west.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Spinning the media on Gaza and Hamas

For those who have been following Ushahidi in Kenya and Congo, Ushahidi is now also active in GAZA.

The human rights violations committed by Israel this last week caught my attention through the cowardly attack of Cynthia Mckinney's boat by Israeli military the other day.Israel has planned and prepared this attack on palestinians long ahead, public relationswise. A "Special spin body gets media on message, says Israel". The former representative from Georgia hasn't been the only foreigner that has been refused entry to Gaza. International journalists have been refused to enter, and theseForeign journalists ask court for access to Gaza. UN's special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk has been refused entry, Richard Falk is professor of international law at Princeton University and the UN's special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, he was refused entry to Israel earalier this month. Today some 400 foreigners will be able to leave Gaza, that is scary news in this context. I also want to point your attention to "Is Hamas A Legitimate Government?", in which Kevin Tracy starts a very essential debate on how Hamas should be defined by western goverments.