Friday, December 03, 2004
Read it. If you agree, copy it and send it to your senator. If a few Senators threatened to introduce the Bill, it might turn up the heat on the UN and get the Congress more cooperation. HERE'S THE LETTER:
In the 1990's Congress passed the Helms-Biden act - withholding dues fro the UN until they reformed. It worked.
It's time to at least threaten the same thing now: Either the UN starts cooperating with the Congressional investigations in the "Oil for Food Scandal" or we will withhold dues.
This is all about accountability. The American people expect the UN to be accountable. Your committee should demand it on behalf of the American people - and Iraqis. The embezzled monies - maybe as much as $27 billion - must be found and returned to the Iraqi people. A Congressional investigation could help accomplish this - if the UN cooperated. IF YOU PASS A NEW BILL WITHHOLDING DUES UNTIL THEY COOPERATE! THEY WILL THEN COOPERATE!
Thanks for your time.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
It recommends enlarging the UNSC. With an expanded UNSC, there could NEVER ever be any authorized war/attack/counter-attack.
Kerry would've acceded to this crap - it's his "global test."
No GOP prez ever will. No patriot could.
BTW: where's the frickin UNSC now that Congo and Rwanda are back at war - one that has killed 3MILLION people in the last 8 years while the UN has its peace-keeping forces RIGHT EFFIN THERE!
The UN: it'd be a bad joke... if it wasn't a counter-productive nightmare.
It's time to pull the plug on our financing them. It's time for HELMS BIDEN REDUX!
BUSH IMPLIES SUPPORT FOR WITHHOLDING U.N. DUES IF THE U.N. WON'T COOPERATE WITH THE SENATE'S INVESTIGATION INTO THE OIL-FOR-FOOD SCANDAL
"I look forward to the full disclosure of the facts, get an honest appraisal of that which went on. And it's important for the integrity of the organization to have a full and open disclosure of all that took place with the oil-for-food program," Bush said. "On this issue, it's very important for the United Nations to understand that there ought to be a full and fair and open accounting of the oil-for-food program," he said. "In order for the taxpayers of the United States to feel comfortable about supporting the United Nations, there has to be an open accounting," he said.
The number of people out of work in Europe's largest economy has risen for the tenth straight month as growth remains stubbornly slow. German unemployment rose 7,000 in November to 4.464 million people, or 10.8% of the workforce. [...] Among the new initiatives are the so-called "one-euro jobs" which top up unemployment benefit. The scheme's formal launch is January, but hirings for these positions are already taking place and affecting the unemployment statistics, economists said. "The deterioration of the labour market does not come as a surprise," said Isabelle Kronawitter at Hypovereinsbank. "Job creation measures probably prevented a stronger increase in the seasonally adjusted numbers."
By Ron Popeski
KIEV ("Reuters") - A new Ukrainian poll of some sort looks increasingly likely as parliament and the Supreme Court press ahead with efforts to resolve a national crisis over a disputed presidential election. ... No more talks were scheduled pending a ruling by the Supreme Court on Yushchenko's complaint of electoral fraud in the November 21 run-off for the presidency. ... Parliament meets on Thursday to begin drafting changes to legislation necessary to implement reforms. Yushchenko said he believed agreement would take 24 hours, but EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, one of the international mediators, said a month was needed for amendments.
(AMMAN) A network of Syrian mosques is sending men, money and weapons to Iraq, fuelling the insurgency. An investigation by the Telegraph has shown that Arab volunteers are streaming across the border despite Damascus government claims that it is curbing cross-border terrorism. [...] Several hundred Syrians are recruited, equipped and sent to Iraq every month. Iraqi exiles say that members of Saddam's former Ba'athist regime pay £1,600 a month to the families of the fighters. A senior American official said: "Most of what is bad that comes into Iraq comes from Syria and I have seen little to change my mind about that." The US military says there may be as many as 2,000 foreign fighters in Iraq, many from Syria.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2004 -- Successful military operations in Fallujah, Iraq, have put insurgents and foreign fighters on the run, and the military commander of coalition forces in Iraq said today the city is "no longer held hostage to terror.""We now intend to keep the heat on the terrorists by pursuing them into the new locations that they've gone into and to continue the disruption of their efforts while we have them on the run," he added. ... In the aftermath of Fallujah, Casey said, the coalition hopes to focus efforts on providing better security in Ramadi, capital of the Anbar province, as well as in Mosul and Baghdad. ... "So what you'll see in the next 60 days is a series of operations to enhance security in those three critical regions," he said.
"Breaking News - Agreement Signed -- From the press conference at Marinskiy Palace. From what I'm hearing, President Kuchma announced:
1. All parties have signed an agreement. It was a "genuine compromise."There is going to be a revote, though I don't think the type has been decided yet.
2. There is going to be an expert working group to look at the legal issues of the election. They will follow the recommendations of the Supreme Court.
3. All sides are renouncing violence.
4. The protesters are going to stop blocking government buildings.
5. There will be constitutional reform during the upcoming period."
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Associates of Marwan Barghouti said Wednesday the jailed Palestinian uprising leader has decided to run for president, reversing an earlier decision and throwing Palestinian politics into disarray. Barghouti's candidacy would undermine the prospects of interim Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the presidential candidate of the ruling Fatah movement. Fatah officials have warned that a bid by Barghouti, who is a leading Fatah member and more popular than the staid Abbas, could split the movement.
This does not bode well for the Palestinians...
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
And here are two key graphs that make me think that North Korea has reached the tipping point:
"Refugees also indicate that opposition has become more open and daring. More and more pamphlets and banners are appearing calling for Kim's overthrow. Almost all refugees report seeing slogans such as "Down with Kim Jong Il" painted on walls, pylons, and railway carriages throughout the country. Statues and murals of the Kims have been defaced, and the halls erected for worship of the Kim family have been burnt down. Some officials have been found killed in their homes. Although the food crisis is easing, with the World Food Program reporting a good harvest for this year, the country remains on the brink of starvation."
(Other TAB posts on North Korea here and here.)
(In the preceding week (or so), others may have linked, too - but my referral-tracking function was down so I missed'em. So if I missed you: a belated and apologetic Thanks!)
I especially want to thank to everyone who stops by to read something! I try to link tostuff others aren't linking to, or to take an angle on things that others may be missing. So I hope you always find something different here - maybe even thought provoking...
Monday, November 29, 2004
Washington's ambassador to the United Nations has urged Secretary-General Kofi Annan to promptly release all information concerning the scandal-ridden Iraq oil-for-food program. The world body was rocked over the weekend by revelations that a key oil-for food contractor made regular payments to Mr. Annan's son. U.S. Ambassador John Danforth met privately with the secretary-general Monday to discuss the burgeoning investigation into alleged corruption in the oil for food program. [...] Ambassador Danforth called allegations of oil for food corruption "serious", and said he had advised the secretary-general to release all facts in the case promptly. "It is important to have the facts presented in a comprehensive way so the public, the international public but certainly the American public is convinced there has been no cover-up, nothing has been withheld, everything is out there, everything has been investigated, every lead has been run down, every relevant piece of paper examined," he said. "All the facts are out there, everything is known. I'm not for prejudging anything. I'm for the absolute laying out of all evidence." [...] But Ambassador Danforth Monday called on Mr. Annan to cooperate fully with U.S. congressional investigations. "Clearly it is within the right of Congress to conduct investigations on matters that pertain to national policy, the international affairs of the United States, the relationship between the U.S. and the U.N. All this is clearly within purview of the U.S. Congress," he said. "Congressional committees are going to insist on that right, they have that right."
And yes: They may in fact be a minority, and their leadership may have tried to steal the election, but they are part of humanity, too. We should not dehumanize them. We should support a free and fair election, and all the efforts underway to make sure that they are free and fair which are non-violent - if possible. But that doesn’t include denigrating the other side, IMHO. Not now, and not after a proper election, either.
Luskin expanded: Luskin argued that the Left don’t like Condi’s appointment because it's a form of poaching - Bush is encroaching on Liberal turf - as if blacks and women "belonged" to the Left and the Democrat Party.
I want to expand what on both proffered, and offer what I think is the underlying reason for the Left’s critique of Condi, and Bush’s other high profile appointments of blacks Hispanics and women (see this post for a dramatic description of the breadth and depth of Bush’s appointments) :
The Left’s core beliefs are dominated by a post-modernist moral relativism which holds that a person’s identity and agency is defined by which groups they belong to –not by the “illusion” of the individual volition or agency.
Central to the Left’s worldview is that we are who we are because of which classes or groups we belong to: our economic class, or race, our gender, our sexual identity, our educational status, our religion and degree of religiousness – all of these define not merely who we are, but how we should behave. The Left wants an activist government to enforce equal results based on measuring achievements according to groups; the Left wants each of to "get" whatever anybody else "gets" as determined by analyzing results by group. (The Right expects each person to have the opportunity to EARN whatever they can based on their own individual merits and efforts.)
The Left argues against individual agency and individual rights – they do not believe in Natural Rights or Natural Law. This is a prime reason why the Left has always argued that criminals are made by their bad socio-economic situations and that therefore we shouldn’t hold them personally accountable for their actions: street gangs are the result of poverty and bad public school systems, not a bad value system based on broken families and the lack of a good father figure in the home.
To the Left, people do what their race and gender and class tells them to do – if they are “authentic.” When people go against that – do whatever they want to do based on who they are as individuals - they’re “selfish” and they violate their membership status in their group; they are inauthentic – they are traitors.
In Condi’s case, the Left says she’s an Aunt Jemima; they said Powell was a “house-slave;” and maligned Paige, too – indeed, the Left maligned the rest of the conservative women, blacks, and Hispanics in Bush’s administration or in the GOP as inauthentic traitors. HECK: When AARP endorsed Bush’s Medicare Prescription Plan, many on the Left said they were traitors to old people!
The GOP, and Bush – and the Right believe in Natural Law and Natural Rights - arguing that we are each unique, and that our individual rights are "OURS" because we are each endowed them by the Creator at birth. The Right argues that our rights are not bestowed upon us by the government or by our membership in any earthly or man-made group. That’s why the Right is principally opposed to Affirmative Action based on one’s membership in any group, whether it be race, or gender, or ethnicity. The Right believes that persons should be judged on their own merits, (in this case, Condi simply merits the appointment).
Most people who believe in Natural Law believe in God, are pro-Life, and are for small government - and are on the Right. Most people who believe in the French concept of the Social Contract (as first described by Rousseau) are on the Left; they are pro-choice, and they want big government.