Archive for August 15th, 2008

Libya to Receive Reparations for Reagan Air Strike

Friday, August 15th, 2008

First we consider paying slave reparations to people who were never slaves. Then we agree to pay reparations to a terrorist regime for an air strike that prevented them from supporting terrorist quite as much. Gee, is there anyone else in the world we haven’t fallen all over ourselves to pay reparations?
Who’s next?

Despite 189 American lives lost in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, the U.S. settled all lawsuits against Libya for terrorist killings and restored diplomatic relations with the country today – with reparations to be paid to Libya.

President Ronald Reagan ordered air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi on April 15, 1986, after Libyan terrorists planted 6 pounds of plastic explosives packed with shrapnel on the dance floor of La Belle discotheque in Berlin, killing three people – including two U.S. soldiers – and maiming 200 others.

Two years later, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded in a terrorist attack by a Libyan intelligence agent. The blast killed 268 people from 21 countries, including 189 Americans. U.S. families filed 26 lawsuits against Libya for the 1988 bombing of the plane en route to New York from London.

The Bush administration began to consider restoring a relationship with the country in 2003 after Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi promised to end production of weapons of mass destruction, halt terrorist activities and reimburse U.S. families of victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and other terrorist bombings. Following its pledge, U.N., U.S. and European sanctions were lifted, Libya was taken off the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism and the country was granted membership in the U.N. Security Council.

An agreement required Libya to complete $2.7 billion in payments it had said it would provide to the families of victims. According to Associated Press reports, a senior Libyan government official claims there were also three lawsuits filed on behalf of Libyan citizens in response to Reagan’s air strikes – attacks that Libya says killed 41 of its people and Gadhafi’s adopted daughter.

Susan Cohen, mother of a 20-year-old woman killed in the Pan Am Flight 103, expressed outrage upon hearing news of the U.S.-Libya settlement.

“Gadhafi is an absolute horror,” Cohen told WND. “He has done many, many terrible things. He blew up the French plane, and he blew up the American plane. And what does the Bush administration do? The Bush administration is far more on the side of the Libyans than it is as far as the victims of terrorism go, though it talks a good line about caring about terrorism. If they can make friends with Moammar Gadhafi because they want his oil, then that tells you where they stand.”

Cohen said she cannot understand why the U.S. would reimburse Libyans for Reagan’s air strikes – attacks that were a result of Gadhafi’s bombing of the disco. She believes the U.S. pushed for diplomatic relations because the agreement could result in more contracts for American oil companies.

“I think this is absolutely horrible,” she said. “It’s really sickening, and it’s really dirty. They are being very private and secretive about it.”

While Libya has given $8 million of the $10 million it owed to many of the 268 families involved in the Pan Am explosion, it had refused to pay $2 million because of a disagreement with the U.S. about reciprocal obligations.

Original Link.

Adult Stem Cells Hold Promise for Genetic Cures

Friday, August 15th, 2008

In other words, there is no reason to use stem cell research as a justification for aborting babies.

Progress has been made in the long road to finding solutions to major medical conditions, with the creation of stem cells for ten genetic diseases.

Harvard scientists have used adult stem cells from small pieces of skin from people who suffer major disorders, according to Dr. David Prentiss of Family Research Council. He adds that a human embryo is not destroyed in the process. “This technique shows you don’t have to do that. You can get to the same point ethically,” said Prentiss.

Scientists will study the stem cells to see how the diseases develop, with the hope that that will lead to cures or at least effective treatments for “[p]retty much all genetic diseases.” He notes there were two forms of muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s, Down Syndrome, and “a host of others that people maybe might not recognize.”

Original Link.

Muslim Nations Ban U.S. Religious Workers – U.S. Allows Entry to 100s of Muslim Clerics

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Has the duplicity of Muslims become apparent yet? I can see how it hasn’t, but here is yet another example.

A new congressional study has found that more than 20 Muslim nations deny entry to American and other foreign religious workers, WND has learned, even as the U.S. State Department grants entry to hundreds of clerics from their countries each year.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and most other Middle Eastern countries still refuse to offer religious visas, and deny entry to U.S. clergy as official policy, according to a report by the Law Library of Congress, the foreign legal research arm of the U.S. Congress. In a shocker, U.S. allies Afghanistan and Iraq also made the list of religious refuseniks.

“Of this group, the vast majority constitute Arab or Muslim states,” said Wendy Zeldin, senior legal research analyst for the Library of Congress.

“Since Islam prohibits proselytism by other religions, foreign religious workers will in effect be denied entry to conduct religious work,” Zeldin wrote in the three-page report, a copy of which was obtained by WND.

At the same time, Washington routinely issues R-1 religious visas to clerics from the Middle East, including jihadi hotbeds Saudi Arabia and Egypt, even though an alarming number of foreign imams have been suspects in terrorism investigations since 9/11.

The Department of Homeland Security, in fact, considers visiting imams as nonthreatening as Buddhist monks. Screening procedures call for both visitors to be treated as the same level of security risk at the border.

Also, R-2 visas are routinely granted to relatives of foreign imams.

By comparison, Saudi religious police recently accused more than a dozen foreign Christians living in the kingdom of worshipping in their homes and ordered them deported.

The deportation conflicts with the message stated just weeks earlier by Saudi King Abdullah, who called for interfaith dialogue and held a summit in Spain with a representatives from several major religions.

“Deporting Christians for worshipping in their private homes shows that King Abdullah’s speech is mere rhetoric and his country is deceiving the international community about their desire for change and reconciliation,” International Christian Concern President Jeff King said.

King Abdullah’s meetings – which drew about 200 representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and other religions – had to be held outside of Saudi Arabia, because, as one journalist observed, “the mere fact that rabbis would be openly invited to the kingdom, a country where in principle Jews are not permitted to visit, would have constituted a turning point.”

Some U.S. lawmakers say the long list of Muslim nations denying non-Muslim religious workers is eye-opening.

“This gives us a better picture of what countries discriminate against us based on religion,” said Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., who instructed the Congressional Research Service to compile the list (see below).

Myrick, who co-chairs of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus, said she is troubled by the one-sided exchange of religious visitors, and plans to introduce a bill to restrict R-1/R-2 religious visas for imams who come from countries that do not allow reciprocal visits by non-Muslim clergy.

Nations not offering religious visas & denying or restricting entry to religious workers:

I. No religious visas, entry denied to foreign religious workers:

Afghanistan
Algeria
Bahrain
Bhutan
Brunei
Egypt
Iran
Iraq
Jordan
Kuwait
Libya
Maldives
Morocco
North Korea
Oman
Palestine
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Syria
Turkmenistan
United Arab Emirates
Uzbekistan
Yemen

II. No religious visas, entry allowed, but with restrictions:

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Burma
Cambodia
China
Georgia
Indonesia
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Russia
Serbia
Solomon Islands
Tajikistan
Tuvalu
Vietnam

Source: Library of Congress

Original Link.

“Russia’s Message to the West” by Hal Lindsey

Friday, August 15th, 2008

There are currently 192 member states of the United Nations. The average person could probably name 20 or so, a news junkie might get 50, but only a person who has committed a list to memory could name all of them. And until last week, one of the least likely countries to come to mind would be the former Soviet state, the Republic of Georgia.

That is, until Russia invaded Georgia last week under the pretense of protecting South Ossetians from Georgian persecution.

The Kremlin initially claimed its interests were limited to protecting the South Ossetians and those of the neighboring Georgian province of Abkhazia. Then, as it moved into Georgia and began attacking Georgian targets, the Kremlin claimed it was in response to Georgian “aggression.”

Georgia’s armed forces (the “aggressors”) number 29,000 troops. (For comparison purposes, the NYPD has 39,000 uniformed officers.)

Georgia has (had) 82 T-72 tanks and seven operational combat aircraft.

Russia (the “defenders”) was fortunately able to repel the “aggressors” using some of Russia’s 641,000 troops, 6,717 battle tanks and 1,206 combat aircraft.

Lost in all the diplomatic doublespeak is the salient fact that the “aggressors” never made it out of Georgia, whereas the “defenders” are at the time of this writing encamped just outside the Georgian capital of Tblisi.

What got Moscow’s knickers in a knot in the first place was a commitment issued last April by NATO to both Georgia and the Ukraine, promising them eventual membership in defiance of Russian objections.

The invasion of Georgia took place most probably because Georgia gave the Kremlin the first excuse to do so. If not, it may have been the Ukraine. The Kremlin had a point to make – and it made it.

Under the NATO Charter, the invasion of Georgia would be a declaration of war against NATO – and all NATO member states. So Russia is playing a dangerous game of chicken, provoking what would mean war with NATO over Georgia.

Russia wanted to make sure nobody missed the point, so it sent its forces into the Georgian port city of Poti, where Russian engineers mined and blew up the port’s oil-exporting facilities.

The Kremlin had previously bombed a major oil pipeline supplying oil to the European Union. That point was clearly taken, as well.

The EU’s Javier Solana’s blistering rhetoric on Monday had considerably softened by mid-week, even as the Russians continued to move toward Tblisi in defiance of a declared cease-fire.

NATO announced that while it was very sorry about the Russian invasion, Georgia wasn’t a full member, and besides, NATO had commitments elsewhere. Further comments were referred to the U.N., which offered no comment.

Although President Bush offered tough talk and a few planeloads of relief supplies, his comments made it just as clear Georgia is pretty much on her own.

None of this was lost on other former Soviet clients. Take Poland, who recently agreed to the deployment of U.S. missile batteries on its soil in defiance of the Kremlin.

Polish President Donald Tusk was moved to comment yesterday: “Poland and the Poles do not want to be in alliances in which assistance comes at some point later – it is no good when assistance comes to dead people. Poland wants to be in alliances where assistance comes in the very first hours of – knock on wood – any possible conflict.”

By 1938, the Allies were well acquainted with the aspirations of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, but they hoped they were wrong, anyway. Instead of stopping him then, they looked the other way, hoping to avoid war. They didn’t avoid it. When war finally came, it began with the invasion of Poland.

President Tusk’s comment about “assistance to dead people” was not meant rhetorically.

Vladimir Putin has made no secret of his own goal for Mother Russia – which is to restore the Soviet Empire under new management.

And Russia is betting the farm that NATO and the West are ready to follow that historical parallel all the way to its logical conclusion.

Original Link.

Russia: Georgia Can ‘Forget’ Regaining Provinces

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Things are getting a bit more tense between Russia and the us.

TBILISI, Georgia — The foreign minister of Russia said Thursday that Georgia could “forget about” getting back its two breakaway provinces, and the former Soviet republic remained on edge as Russia sent tank columns to search out and destroy Georgian military equipment.

Uncertainty about Russia’s intentions and back-and-forth charges clouded the conflict two days after Russia and Georgia signaled acceptance of a French-brokered cease-fire, and a week after Georgia’s crackdown on the two provinces drew a Russian military response.

Diplomats focused on finalizing a fragile cease-fire between the two nations and clear the way for Russian withdrawal. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was heading Friday for Georgia to press the president to sign the deal.

Georgian officials accused Russia of sending a column of tanks and other armored vehicles toward Kutaisi, the second-largest city in Georgia, then said the convey stopped about 35 miles out.

“We have no idea what they’re doing there, why the movement, where they’re going,” Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said in a telephone briefing. “One explanation could be they are trying to rattle the civilian population.”

The U.S. said a move toward Kutaisi would be a matter of great concern, but two defense officials told The Associated Press the Pentagon did not detect any major movement by Russia troops or tanks. There was no immediate response from Russia itself.

“I think the world should think very carefully about what is going on here,” Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said. “We need to stop everything that can be stopped now.”

The Russian president met in the Kremlin with the leaders of the provinces, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a clear sign Moscow could absorb the regions even though the territory is internationally recognized as being within Georgia’s borders. And Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a blunt message to Georgia and the world that appeared to challenge President Bush’s demand a day earlier that Russia must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

“One can forget about any talk about Georgia’s territorial integrity because, I believe, it is impossible to persuade South Ossetia and Abkhazia to agree with the logic that they can be forced back into the Georgian state.”

Original Link.