March 30th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Labels: Israel, Palestine

March 30th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Labels: Israel, Palestine

Israel accused of ‘apartheid’

March 26th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

A UN human rights envoy has likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in occupied territory to “apartheid”, and said that failure to tackle the situation will make it hard to solve abuses elsewhere.

John Dugard, a UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, made his remarks to the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday.

Dugard, a South African lawyer, said restrictions on movement and separate residential areas gave a sense of “deja vu” to anyone with experience of apartheid, noting that apartheid was “contrary to international law”.

He said: “Of course there are similarities between the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territory] and apartheid South Africa.”

He also told the council that the situation “places in danger the whole international human rights enterprise”.

He said that Western states would never rally support among developing nations for effective action against perceived abuses elsewhere, such as Sudan’s Darfur, unless they tackled the plight of Palestinians.

Israel dismissed the statement and Dugard’s regular reports to the council as “one-sided, highly selective and unreservedly biased”.

Itzhak Levanon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said such language was “inflammatory and inciteful” and would not contribute to a “process of constructive dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians”.

Well, Levanon does have a point. It could be construed as inflammatory and inciteful, but, it is also true.

Labels: Israel

Camerons Tax promise

March 19th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Once again, heard this on Radio 4 in the car:

David Cameron has annouced the Conservatives first election promise, to lower the headline rate of corporate tax.

Thanx then Dave, the corporate tax burden too big is it?



March 15th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Thinking about everything and nothing today, and my train of thought came to the middle east, to oil and then to this.

Viva La Revolution!!

Labels: Odds and Sods, Oil

Barrett M107 Rifle

March 14th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Watch this video…

…and think what Ronnie Barrett could do if he put his mind to something other than weapons…


March 14th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

An extra 1,000 train carriages are expected to be provided for Britain’s railways in a bid to tackle overcrowding, the BBC has learnt.
Ministers will announce that carriages will be used to lengthen trains on the most congested parts of the network.

Much of the extra rolling stock is likely to be used on the jammed network serving London and south-east England, where passenger increases are highest.

We have to pay for the equipment private companies need to provide the service they promised they would as part of the licence conditions.

The government will pay for them, to be leased to the train companies at a cost of about £130 million a year, he says.

I was listening to Radio 4 in the car on the way to work and I’m para phrasing here, ‘cos I was driving at the time:

Interviewer: So the government is paying for the new carriages?

Guest: Yes, because to lay on new carraiges for peak time is not profitable. The carriages will pay for themselves in 5 years or so/long term (remember I’m paraphrasing), but not in the first couple of years.

I: so this is a government subsidy?

G: Yes, repeat answer above.

Soooo, why aren’t the train companies paying for the carriages as a long term investment? Are they going to pay back the ‘subsidy’ once the carriages become profitable? If the train companies can’t turn a profit (which they can) or do not want to invest in essential equipment, tools of their trade, why are they running their franchise?

Why do stuff like this where there is no natural market have to be privatised? The only people that benefit are the directors of the companies?

What I do hate is half arsed privatisation, private companies running stuff, taking a profit and the government still ploughing money into them. If a companiy can’t support itself, then down it goes. If the government is paying for it, profits come back to the government. Simple.

Labels: Capitalism

Behold! The Atheists Nightmare!!

March 6th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Need convincing that there is a god?

Try this guys explanation using a banana!!!

From a Youtube copy called Godtube. Why aren’t these people socially excluded?? Don’t they know how ridiculos they sound?!

Via Bloggerheads

Update: The player above doesn’t seem to be working for some reason, so here is the link on Youtube: GodTube/Bananas

Labels: Odds and Sods, Religion

Pakistan Makes Deal With The Taliban

March 1st, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Nice one Pres Musharraf.

KARACHI – The Pakistani establishment has made a deal with the Taliban through a leading Taliban commander that will extend Islamabad’s influence into southwestern Afghanistan and significantly strengthen the resistance in its push to capture Kabul.

One-legged Mullah Dadullah will be Pakistan’s strongman in a corridor running from the Afghan provinces of Zabul, Urzgan, Kandahar and Helmand across the border into Pakistan’s Balochistan province, according to both Taliban and al-Qaeda contacts Asia Times Online spoke to. Using Pakistani territory and with Islamabad’s support, the Taliban will be able safely to move men, weapons and supplies into southwestern Afghanistan.

The deal with Mullah Dadullah will serve Pakistan’s interests in re-establishing a strong foothold in Afghanistan (the government in Kabul leans much more toward India), and it has resulted in a cooling of the Taliban’s relations with al-Qaeda.

Taliban commanders planning this year’s spring uprising acknowledged that as an independent organization or militia, they could not fight a sustained battle against state resources. They believed they could mobilize the masses, but this would likely bring a rain of death from the skies and the massacre of Taliban sympathizers. Their answer was to find their own state resources, and inevitably they looked toward their former patron, Pakistan.

So Pres. Musharraf, what’s in it for you?

Ever since signing on for the US-led “war on terror” after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, Pakistan has been coerced by Washington to distance itself from the Taliban. The Taliban were, after all, enemy No 1 for harboring Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s training camps.

So when the opportunity arose, Islamabad was quick to tap up Mullah Dadullah. This was the perfect way in which Pakistan could revive its contacts in the Taliban and give the spring uprising some real muscle, so the argument went among the strategic planners in Rawalpindi – in fact, so much muscle that forces led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would be forced into a position to talk peace – and who better than Pakistan to step in as peacemaker and bail out its Western allies?

The next logical step would be the establishment of a pro-Islamabad government in Kabul – delivering a kick in the strategic teeth of India at the same time. After all, Pakistan invested a lot in Afghanistan after the Soviet occupation in the 1980s yet it received little in return. Whether it was former Afghan premier Gulbuddin Hekmatyar or Taliban leader Mullah Omar, they refused to be totally Pakistan’s men.

And Pakistan has been helping the Taliban with their new toys:

A notable addition to what can only be described as a limited Taliban arsenal this year is surface-to-air missiles, notably the SAM-7, which was the first generation of Soviet man-portable SAMs.

The Taliban acquired these missiles in 2005, but they had little idea about how to use them effectively. Arab al-Qaeda members conducted extensive training programs and brought the Taliban up to speed. Nevertheless, the SAM-7s, while useful against helicopters, were no use against the fighter and bomber aircraft that were doing so much damage.

What the Taliban desperately needed were sensors for their missiles. These detect aircraft emissions designed to misdirect the missiles.

And it so happened that Pakistan had such devices, having acquired them from the Americans, though indirectly. The Pakistanis retrieved them from unexploded cruise missiles fired into Afghanistan in 1998, targeting bin Laden. They copied and adapted them to fit other missiles, including the SAMs.

Now that the Taliban and Pakistan have a deal, these missiles will be made available to the Taliban. Much like the Stingers that changed the dynamics of the Afghan resistance against the Soviets, the SAMs could help turn things Mullah Dadullah’s, the Taliban’s and Pakistan’s way.
Complete article


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