Wednesday, June 29, 2005

LES DIAFOIRUS DU "NOUS SOMMES TOUS FRERES" (SOURCE: FACE DE CRAIE)

Alain Finkielkraut s'emporte sur RCJ contre les apotres de l'anti-racisme dont regorgent les couloirs de l'Education (On ne rigole pas!) Nationale. Petit tour du Musee des Horreurs avec deux sujets du bac 2005:

- Sciences de la Vie (sic) et de la Terre:
Redigez un texte en faveur de l'Interruption Volontaire de Grossesse.

- Epreuve anticipee de Francaoui Bac Techno:
D'apres la chanson de Pierre Perret "Lily"

"Lily, un an après son installation à Paris, écrit à sa famille restée en Somalie. Elle dénonce l'intolérance et le racisme dont elle est la victime. Vous rédigerez cette lettre en tenant compte des situations évoquées dans le texte de Pierre Perret et en développant l'argumentation de Lily"

On en viendrait presque a se demander pourquoi la-dite Lily s'est arrachee de ce petit paradis qu'est la Somalie pour venir se faire chier chez les babtous.....
PRESIDENT BUSH AT FORT BRAGG

Good evening.

I am pleased to visit
Fort Bragg, home of the airborne and special operations forces. It's an honor to speak before you tonight.
My greatest responsibility as president is to protect the American people. And that's your calling as well.
I thank you for your service, your courage and your sacrifice.
I thank your families, who support you in your vital work.
The soldiers and families of Fort Bragg have contributed mightily to our efforts to secure our country and promote peace. America is grateful, and so is your commander in chief.
The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. The war reached our shores on September 11, 2001.
The terrorists who attacked us and the terrorists we face, murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance and despises all dissent.
Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression by toppling governments, by driving us out of the region and by exporting terror.
To achieve these aims, they have continued to kill: in
Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali and elsewhere.
The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent and, with a few hard blows, they can force us to retreat. They are mistaken.
After September the 11th, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will defend our freedom. We will take the fight to the enemy.
Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war.
Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania.
There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home.
The commander in charge of coalition operations in Iraq, who is also senior commander at this base, General John Vines, put it well the other day. He said, "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."
Our mission in Iraq is clear: We're hunting down the terrorists. We're helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We're advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren.
The work in Iraq is difficult and it is dangerous. Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying, and the suffering is real.
Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it?
It is worth it. And it is vital to the future security of our country. And tonight I will explain the reasons why.
Some of the violence you see in Iraq is being carried out by ruthless killers who are converging on Iraq to fight the advance of peace and freedom.
Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia and Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and
others.
They are making common cause with criminal elements, Iraqi insurgents and remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime who want to restore the old order.
They fight because they know that the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake.
They know that as freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to claim their liberty as well.
And when the Middle East grows in democracy and prosperity and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors, lose their recruits and lose their hopes for turning that region into a base for attacks on America and our allies around the world.
Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate.
Here are the words of Osama bin Laden: "This third world war is raging" in Iraq. "The whole world is watching this war." He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation."
The terrorists know that the outcome will leave them emboldened or defeated. So they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take.
We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who exploded car bombs along a busy shopping street in Baghdad, including one outside a mosque.
We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who sent a suicide bomber to a teaching hospital in Mosul.
We see the nature of the enemy in
terrorists who behead civilian hostages and broadcast their atrocities for the world to see.
These are savage acts of violence, but they have not brought the terrorists any closer to achieving their strategic objectives.
The terrorists, both foreign and Iraqi, failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies.
They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war. They failed to prevent free elections. They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq's diverse population. And they failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large number with the police forces and the army to defend their new democracy.
The lesson of this experience is clear: The terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom.
The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like [Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like bin Laden.
For the sake of our nation's security, this will not happen on my watch.
A little over a year ago, I spoke to the nation and described our coalition's goal in Iraq. I said that America's mission in Iraq is to defeat an enemy and give strength to a friend -- a free, representative government that is an ally in the war on terror and a beacon of hope in a part of the world that is desperate for reform.
I outlined the steps we would take to achieve this goal.
We would hand authority over to a sovereign Iraqi government. We would help Iraqis hold free elections by January 2005. We would continue helping Iraqis rebuild their nation's infrastructure and economy. We would encourage more international support for Iraq's democratic transition. And we would enable Iraqis to take increasing responsibility for their own security and stability.
In the past year, we have made significant progress.
One year ago today, we restored sovereignty to the Iraqi people. In January 2005, more than 8 million Iraqi men and women voted in elections that were free and fair and took time on -- and took place on time.
We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard, and rebuilding while at war is even harder.
Our progress has been uneven, but progress is being made.
We are improving roads and schools and health clinics. We're working to improve basic services like sanitation, electricity and water. And together with our allies, we will help the new Iraqi government deliver a better life for its citizens.
In the past year, the international community has stepped forward with vital assistance. Some 30 nations have troops in Iraq, and many others are contributing non-military assistance.
The United Nations is in Iraq to help Iraqis write a constitution and conduct their next elections.
Thus far, some 40 countries and three international organizations have pledged about $34 billion in assistance for Iraqi reconstruction.
More than 80 countries and international organizations recently came together in Brussels to coordinate their efforts to help Iraqis provide for their security and rebuild their country. And next month, donor countries will meet in Jordan to support Iraqi reconstruction.
Whatever our differences in the past, the world understands that success in Iraq is critical to the security of our nations.
As German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said at the White House yesterday, "There can be no question a stable and democratic Iraq is in the vested interest of not just Germany, but also Europe."
Finally, we have continued our efforts to equip and train Iraqi security forces. We've made gains in both the number and quality of those forces.
Today, Iraq has more than 160,000 security forces trained and equipped for a variety of missions. Iraqi forces have fought bravely, helping to capture terrorists and insurgents in Najaf and Samarra, Falluja and Mosul.
And in the past month, Iraqi forces have led a major anti-terrorist campaign in Baghdad called Operation Lightning, which has led to the capture of hundreds of suspected insurgents.
Like free people everywhere, Iraqis want to be defended by their own countrymen, and we are helping Iraqis assume those duties.
The progress in the past year has been significant, and we have a clear path forward.
To complete the mission, we will continue to hunt down the terrorists and insurgents.
To complete the mission, we will prevent al Qaeda and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban: a safe haven from which they could launch attacks on America and our friends.
And the best way to complete the mission is to help Iraqis build a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself.
So our strategy going forward has both a military track and a political track.
The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists. And that is why we are on the offense.
And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own.
Our strategy can be summed up this way: As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.
We have made progress, but we have a lot more work to do.
Today, Iraqi security forces are at different levels of readiness. Some are capable of taking on the terrorists and insurgents by themselves. A large number can plan and execute anti-terrorist operations with coalition support. The rest are forming and not yet ready to participate fully in security operations.
Our task is to make the Iraqi units fully capable and independent. We are building up Iraqi security forces as quickly as possible so they can assume the lead in defeating the terrorists and insurgents.
Our coalition is devoting considerable resources and manpower to this critical task.
Thousands of coalition troops are involved in the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces.
NATO is establishing a military academy near Baghdad to train the next generation of Iraqi military leaders, and 17 nations are contributing troops to the NATO training mission.
Iraqi army and police are being trained by personnel from Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Romania, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Today, dozens of nations are working toward a common objective: an Iraq that can defend itself, defeat its enemies and secure its freedom.
To further prepare Iraqi forces to fight the enemy on their own, we are taking three new steps.
First, we are partnering coalition units with Iraqi units. These coalition Iraqi teams are conducting operations together in the field. These combined operations are giving Iraqis a chance to experience how the most professional armed forces in the world operate in combat.
Second, we are embedding coalition transition teams inside Iraqi units. These teams are made up of coalition officers and noncommissioned officers who live, work and fight together with their Iraqi comrades.
Under U.S. command, they are providing battlefield advice and assistance to Iraqi forces during combat operations. Between battles, they are assisting the Iraqis with important skills such as urban combat and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance techniques.
Third, we are working with the Iraqi ministries of interior and defense to improve their capabilities to coordinate anti-terrorist operations.
We're helping them develop command and control structures.
We're also providing them with civilian and military leadership training, so Iraq's new leaders can effectively manage their forces in the fight against terror.
The new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every day. More than 2,000 members of Iraqi security forces have given their lives in the line of duty. Thousands more have stepped forward and are now training to serve their nation.
With each engagement, Iraqi soldiers grow more battle-hardened and their officers grow more experienced.
We've learned that Iraqis are courageous and that they need additional skills. And that is why a major part of our mission is to train them so they can do the fighting, and then our troops can come home.
I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I.
Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake.
Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done.
It would send the wrong signal to our troops, who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve.
And it would send the wrong message to the enemy, who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out.
We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed and not a day longer.
Some Americans ask me, "If completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops?"
If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job.
Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave.
As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders.
The other critical element of our strategy is to help ensure that the hopes Iraqis expressed at the polls in January are translated into a secure democracy.
The Iraqi people are emerging from decades of tyranny and oppression.
Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Shia and Kurds were brutally oppressed and the vast majority of Sunni Arabs were also denied their basic rights while senior regime officials enjoyed the privileges of unchecked power.
The challenge facing Iraqis today is to put this past behind them and come together to build a new Iraq that includes all of its people.
They are doing that by building the institutions of a free society -- a society based on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and equal justice under law.
The Iraqis have held free elections and established a transitional national assembly. The next step is to write a good constitution that enshrines these freedoms in permanent law.
The assembly plans to expand its constitutional drafting committee to include more Sunni Arabs. Many Sunnis who opposed the January elections are now taking part in the democratic process, and that is essential to Iraq's future.
After a constitution is written, the Iraqi people will have a chance to vote on it. If approved, Iraqis will go to the polls again, to elect a new government under their new, permanent constitution.
By taking these critical steps and meeting their deadlines, Iraqis will bind their multiethnic society together in a democracy that respects the will of the majority and protects minority rights.
As Iraqis grow confident that the democratic progress they are making is real and permanent, more will join the political process.
And as Iraqis see that their military can protect them, more will step forward with vital intelligence to help defeat the enemies of a free Iraq.
The combination of political and military reform will lay a solid foundation for a free and stable Iraq.
As Iraqis make progress toward a free society, the effects are being felt beyond Iraq's borders.
Before our coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs.
Across the broader Middle East, people are claiming their freedom. In the last few months, we have witnessed elections in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. These elections are inspiring democratic reformers in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Our strategy to defend ourselves and spread freedom is working.
The rise of freedom in this vital region will eliminate the conditions that feed radicalism and ideologies of murder and make our nation safer.
We have more work to do, and there will be tough moments that test America's resolve.
We are fighting against men with blind hatred and armed with lethal weapons who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras.
They are trying to shake our will in Iraq, just as they tried to shake our will on September 11, 2001. They will fail.
The terrorists do not understand America. The American people do not falter under threat, and we will not allow our future to be determined by car bombers and assassins.
America and our friends are in a conflict that demands much of us.
It demands the courage of our fighting men and women. It demands the steadfastness of our allies. And it demands the perseverance of our citizens.
We accept these burdens because we know what is at stake.
We fight today because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world, and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror.
And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand.
So we'll fight them there, we'll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.
America has done difficult work before. From our desperate fight for independence to the darkest days of a civil war to the hard-fought battles against tyranny in the 20th century, there were many chances to lose our heart, our nerve or our way.
But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom entrusted to us in a special way and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.
In this time of testing, our troops can know: The American people are behind you.
Next week, our nation has an opportunity to make sure that support is felt by every soldier, sailor, airman, Coast Guardsman and Marine at every outpost across the world.
This
Fourth of July, I ask you to find a way to thank the men and women defending our freedom, by flying the flag, sending letters to our troops in the field or helping the military family down the street.
The Department of Defense has set up a Web site,
AmericaSupportsYou.mil. You can go there to learn about private efforts in your own community.
At this time when we celebrate our freedom, let us stand with the men and women who defend us all.
To the soldiers in this hall and our service men and women across the globe, I thank you for your courage under fire and your service to our nation.
I thank our military families. The burden of war falls especially hard on you.
In this war, we have lost good men and women who left our shores to defend freedom and did not live to make the journey home.
I've met with families grieving the loss of loved ones who were taken from us too soon. I've been inspired by their strength in the face of such great loss.
We pray for the families. And the best way to honor the lives that have been given in this struggle is to complete the mission.
I thank those of you who've re-enlisted in an hour when your country needs you.
And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our armed forces.
We live in freedom because every generation has produced patriots willing to serve a cause greater than themselves. Those who serve today are taking their rightful place among the greatest generations that have worn our nation's uniform.
When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom.
After September 11, 2001, I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult and that we would prevail. Well, it has been difficult and we are prevailing.
Our enemies are brutal, but they are no match for the United States of America, and they are no match for the men and women of the United States military.
May God bless you all.
Thank you very much.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

LA PETITE PHRASE QUI VA BIEN...

...Prononcee sans ambage par monsieur Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ci-devant maire de Teheran et nouveau dictateur en chef president "ultra-conservateur" Iranien : "We did not have a revolution in order to have democracy".
Des regimes musulmans qui se durcissent, les regimes occidentaux qui se ramolissent (voir ci-dessous), tout se met en place pour le feu d'artifice final. Pendant ce temps, en France, on compte ses points retraite et on pleurniche sans fin.
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TROUVE SUR EVOWEB (Solide estomac necessaire):

Les dhimmis parlent aux cafards

Sur insistance de la Turquie, l'islamophobie est depuis le 17 mai dernier aussi condamnable que l'antisémitisme dans tous les pays du Conseil de l'Europe. En d'autres termes : critiquer la religion des coupeurs de tête est aussi condamnable que promouvoir (voire mettre en oeuvre) le génocide de millions de gens.

"The 3rd Council of Europe summit has for the first time mentioned "Islamophobia" in the
9th paragraph of the Warsaw Declaration* that was accepted on Tuesday, May 17. The Council has reached the following decisions regarding the issue: Condemnation of any kind of intolerance and discrimination based on gender, race and religious beliefs in particular, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, the fight against these within the framework of the Council of Europe and the use of effective mechanisms and rules to combat these problems.
Thus, anti-Islamism as well as anti-Semitism will be dealt with within the framework of legal proceedings."
(
http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&hn=19663)

Ali Sina remarque sur Faith Freedom (via
Dhimmi Watch) que ce rapprochement pose deux problèmes :
C'est mettre sur le même plan une croyance et des personnes : il est considéré aussi grave de critiquer la première que d'agresser les secondes. C'est auto-contradictoire (oxymore). Il résume :

"Il y a une différence fondamentale entre les religions et les personnes. Les uns sont faits de chair et d'os, tandis que les autres ne sont que de simples doctrines. Les personnes doivent être protégées, mais les doctrines n'en ont pas besoin. Elles doivent être disséquées, remises en question, et s'il apparaît qu'elles sont dangereuses ou fausses, alors elles doivent être rejetées. Les doctrines qui défendent la haine des personnes doivent être critiquées et bannies, pas protégées. Comment pourrions-nous protéger en même temps les droits des personnes à la vie et à la liberté et les doctrines qui incitent à les haïr ? Si quelqu'un qualifie les Musulmans de dégoûtant, intouchabes, impurs, c'est de l'incitation à la haine. Il devrait être stoppé. Il s'agit clairement d'une insulte raciale. Mais le Coran nous appellent tous ceux d'entre nous qui ne sont pas musulmans des najis. Najis signifie : dégoûtant, intouchable, impur. Pourquoi critiquer ce livre de haine devrait-il être illégal ? Ne s'agit-il pas là d'un double standard ? De l'hypocrisie ? De la dhimmitude ? Pourquoi les Musulmans devraient-ils être autorisés à insulter tous les autres et critiquer leur doctrine haineuse illégal ?
Cette décision est insensée. C'est une contradiction. Vous ne pouvez pas bannir l'anti-Sémitisme et l'anti-Islamisme en même temps. L'Islam est anti-Juifs et anti-Humains. Les deux ne vont pas ensembles. Ils sont mutuellement exclusifs."
Traduction de :
http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/sina50525.htm

Bien sûr, Ali Sina ne semble pas provenir d'un pays membre du Conseil de l'Europe. Peut-être que la contradiction, l'oxymore qu'il remarque ne correspond-il qu'à une logique extra-européenne ? Peut-être que par chez nous la logique n'est pas la même, et que la contradiction n'existe pas ?

Il n'empêche que quand on peut être accusé d'antisémitisme inconscient simplement pour avoir dévoilé les mensonges de Sigmund Freud, les termes semblent avoir de l'importance. Comment être assuré de ne pas être accusé d'islamophobie ? Un Chrétien, Juif, Bouddhiste ou athée est-il au-to-ma-ti-que-ment islamophobe ? Doit-on le fouetter ? Le lapider ? Le décapiter ?

Peut-être
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia nous donnera une indication de ce qu'il est nécessaire maintenant de faire pour survivre, comme le remarque Alec Rawls sur Error Theory (via Dhimmi Watch) :
"Want to see a truly sick example of al-Newsweek-like dhimmitude? Infoseek's Koran entry describes the Koran as: "Revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad..." It does not say: "Believed by Muslims to be revealed by God." It says "Revealed by God." What dirtbags. I don't care if they are true-believing fundamentalist Muslims. This is an encyclopedia entry, borrowed from The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed., 2005, Columbia University Press. It is supposed to state facts. The fact is that Muslims believe that the Koran is the word of God. It is NOT a fact that the Koran IS the word of God. Anyone who confuses these two is moral trash, which explains a lot about our Islamist enemy, but what explains Columbia University?

Let's see what Infoseek/Columbia says about the Bible. Ah, this is better. The first line reads:
The traditional Christian view of the Bible is that it was written under the guidance of God and that it therefore conveys truth, either literally or figuratively."
(
http://errortheory.blogspot.com/2005/05/its-koran-not-quran-or-quran.html)

Dhimmi : "Protégé" dans un régime islamique. Personne d'une "religion du livre" (Juif ou Chrétien) ayant accepté la soumission à l'Islam, et montrant annuellement sa soumission en payant un impôt de façon infamante. En échange de leurs démonstrations de soumission, les dhimmis parviennent souvent (pas toujours) à conserver la vie sauve.

Cafard : prononciation utilisée par les Islamistes français pour "Kafirh" qui signifie "infidèle". N'ayant pas montré suffisamment leur soumission, les infidèles peuvent être massacrés (voir notamment
les cinq premiers versets de la sourate IX du Coran).

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*Paragraphe 9 de la Declaration de Varsovie:
"We strongly condemn all forms of intolerance and discrimination, in particular those based on sex, race and religion, including antisemitism and islamophobia. We affirm our determination to further develop, within the Council of Europe, rules and effective machinery to prevent and eradicate them. We will also further implement equal opportunity policies in our member states and we will step up our efforts to achieve real equality between women and men in all spheres of our societies. We are committed to eradicating violence against women and children, including domestic violence."

Ceci etant dit, permettez-moi vous presenter un
beau specimen d'abruti "eclaire et progressiste" Made In USA :

Text of My Resolution Regarding Religious Intolerance
I received a large number of comments, and quite a spirited debate, concerning my resolution opposing religious intolerance, including desecration of the Quran. I appreciate all of the comments, both...
I received a large number of comments, and quite a spirited debate, concerning my resolution opposing religious intolerance, including desecration of the Quran. I appreciate all of the comments, both those supporting and opposing my actions. I continue to believe that given recent events, it is worthwhile for the Congress to actually express its support for the freedom of religion. The resolution was drafted to oppose all religious intolerance. To the extent it mentions the Quran and Islam specifically, that is obviously to respond to those who believe our nation would tolerate disrespect of that religion or its holy book. Clearly we should not, at least in my opinion.

Anyway, below in the extended entry is the full text of H. Res. 288. I hope you agree that read in its totality, it is a fair and appropriate resolution.

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning bigotry and religious intolerance, and recognizing that holy books of every religion should be treated with dignity and respect.

Whereas believers of all religions, including the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, should be treated with respect and dignity;

Whereas the word Islam comes from the Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission”;

Whereas there are an estimated 7,000,000 Muslims in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America;

Whereas the Quran is the holy book for Muslims who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity and spirituality;
Whereas it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form;

Whereas mistreatment of prisoners and disrespect toward the holy book of any religion is unacceptable and against civilized humanity;

Whereas the infringement of an individual’s right to freedom of religion violates the Constitution and laws of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic faith;

(2) declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, should be protected;

(3) recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and

(4) calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.

Monday, June 27, 2005

STRONG WORK ETHIC

Sujet deja traite sur d'autres blogs mais franchement trop jouissif pour que je n'y aille pas de mon petit copier/coller:

Une journaliste française sommée de quitter Bagdad (SOURCE: LIBERATION)

La dernière journaliste française résidant de façon permanente à Bagdad, Anne-Sophie Le Mauff, s'est vu intimer l'ordre, hier, par les services du ministère de l'Intérieur irakien, de quitter le pays. «Ils ont vérifié mon passeport et mon visa, ils ont vu que tout était en règle, mais ils m'ont fait comprendre que l'ambassade de France leur avait demandé de m'expulser», a-t-elle affirmé hier, de la capitale irakienne, par téléphone à Libération.

En larmes. La jeune femme, qui travaille comme pigiste pour plusieurs médias (l'Humanité, Sud-Ouest, Radio Monte-Carlo, Radio Vatican, Radio Canada, etc.), et qui est installée à Bagdad depuis quinze mois, était en larmes. «Je ne comprends pas cette décision, dit-elle. Je fais mon boulot, je suis prudente, je ne quitte pas mon hôtel.» Les agents du ministère de l'Intérieur irakien lui ont indiqué qu'elle recevrait aujourd'hui la notification officielle de son expulsion.

Reporters sans frontières a aussitôt dénoncé cette expulsion qui constitue «une grave atteinte à la liberté de la presse». «Si les autorités françaises ont réellement demandé aux Irakiens d'expulser Anne-Sophie Le Mauff, ajoute RSF, cette procédure est inacceptable. Ce n'est en aucun cas aux autorités françaises de décider quel journaliste doit ou ne doit pas rester en Irak. (...) L'interférence d'un gouvernement, même s'il agit pour des raisons de sécurité, n'est pas admissible.»

De son côté, le ministère des Affaires étrangères a démenti avoir réclamé l'expulsion de la journaliste, assurant qu'il s'agit d'une «décision souveraine des autorités irakiennes», motivée par des raisons de sécurité. «Les autorités irakiennes ont fait part à la journaliste française Anne-Sophie Le Mauff de leur décision de l'expulser en raison de menaces pesant sur sa sécurité», indique le Quai d'Orsay dans un communiqué.

Les autorités françaises ne cachaient cependant pas, depuis la libération de Florence Aubenas et de Hussein Hanoun, leur souhait de voir la journaliste quitter l'Irak. «Vous devez vous demander si la liberté et le souci d'informer justifient une telle prise de risques, pour vous et pour les autres, lui avait écrit, début juin, l'ambassadeur de France à Bagdad, Bernard Bajolet. Aucune excuse ne peut justifier la poursuite de vos activités en Irak.» Le Premier ministre, Dominique de Villepin, avait mis en garde, la semaine dernière, les journalistes contre «la situation très dangereuse» qui prévaut actuellement en Irak et les «risques» qu'ils encourent dans un pays où «se développe un véritable marché des otages».


"Je suis prudente....Je ne quitte pas mon hotel", Anne-Sophie Le Mauff ou la vie trepidante d'une vraie journaliste de terrain.

Concessions, compromissions et baisage d'arriere-trains pour en arriver (ou plutot en rester) la ! Bravo a nos elites poliques et intellectuelles:

Le GSPC algérien menacerait la France dans le cadre du "djihad" international (Source: Le Monde)

La menace du terrorisme algérien plane à nouveau sur la France. Les services de renseignement ont relevé avec inquiétude, ces derniers mois, la volonté du Groupe salafiste pour la prédication et le combat (GSPC) d'inscrire son activité dans le cadre du djihad (guerre sainte) international. Organisation islamiste aujourd'hui la plus structurée en Algérie, le GSPC serait entré en contact en octobre 2004 avec le djihadiste jordanien Abou Moussab Al-Zarkaoui, à l'époque où ce dernier, d'abord autonome à la tête de son groupe Unification et Djihad, prêtait allégeance à Oussama Ben Laden et à Al-Qaida, et devenait son chef pour l'Irak.

Le 14 octobre 2004, Abdelmalek Droukdal, spécialiste en explosifs, devenu chef du GSPC après la mort de Nabil Sahraoui dans une opération de l'armée algérienne en juin 2004, a adressé un courrier à Al-Zarkaoui. La missive ressemble à la fois à une offre de services et à une demande d'aide. Interceptée par les services américains et transmise à leurs homologues français, elle commence par un hommage rendu à l'action d'Al-Zarkaoui et de ses hommes en Irak. Elle se poursuit avec une dénonciation de la France, en raison de sa coopération étroite avec le régime algérien et du soutien apporté au président Abdelaziz Bouteflika. La preuve de cette coopération a été, selon l'auteur du courrier, l'implication de la France dans la libération des 32 touristes européens ­ dont 15 Allemands ­ enlevés dans le Sahara en 2003.

En conséquence, Droukdal invite Al-Zarkaoui à inclure les Français parmi les cibles des enlèvements en Irak et à les garder en otage. Le GSPC, pour sa part, affiche son intention d'exercer des pressions de tous ordres sur la France, afin d'obtenir la libération de certains de ses cadres emprisonnés en Algérie. A commencer par Amar Saïfi, dit "Abderrezak le para", capturé par des rebelles tchadiens en 2004 puis extradé vers Alger. Il est considéré comme l'initiateur de l'enlèvement des touristes européens.

RELAIS INCONNUS

Les auditions de ce dernier par les services algériens ont révélé qu'il aurait embrigadé une soixantaine de combattants en Mauritanie, théâtre de la dernière opération spectaculaire revendiquée par le GSPC. Le 3 juin, 15 soldats mauritaniens ont été tués et 17 autres blessés lors d'une attaque menée dans le désert du nord-est du pays contre une base militaire. Il s'agirait de l'oeuvre du Groupe mauritanien pour le prêche et le jihad (GMPJ), nouvelle entité affiliée au GSPC. Son existence confirme les craintes américaines de plus en plus vives sur une extension de l'activisme islamiste dans cette région.

Les nouvelles ambitions internationales du GSPC font l'objet de vifs débats entre experts. L'intention apparaît cependant nettement. Le 11 septembre 2003, le GSPC a annoncé son ralliement à Al-Qaida, dans un communiqué qui n'a toutefois jamais pu être authentifié. Ce même mois, un émissaire yéménite d'Al-Qaida, venu en Algérie afin de lier directement les contacts avec la direction du GSPC, a été tué au cours d'une opération militaire. En février 2005, l'organisation a, pour la première fois, apporté son soutien aux opérations de type kamikaze, confirmant qu'elle se trouvait sur la même ligne qu'Al-Zarkaoui.

Et la France ? La volonté de nuire est établie, notamment dans le courrier intercepté, mais les moyens et les relais demeurent inconnus. Dans un message sonore daté du 18 mai, Al-Zarkaoui s'en était pris à Jacques Chirac, "le chien des croisés, lorsqu'il a ordonné d'ôter le hidjab -voile- des musulmanes en France". Mais il disposerait surtout de relais en Allemagne. Quant au GSPC, la radicalisation de ses positions et sa volonté d'agir en dehors des frontières algériennes font de la France une cible potentielle. "Il est évident que, dans leur esprit, le djihad global commence à Marseille et se termine à Lille" , soupire un haut responsable français de l'antiterrorisme, soulignant l'importance des réseaux algériens dans les attentats perpétrés en France en 1995-1996.

NOUVELLE GÉNÉRATION

Les craintes de la direction de la surveillance du territoire (DST) et des renseignements généraux (RG) portent aussi sur le sort de sympathisants du GSPC ou d'autres structures islamistes algériennes comme le GIA, qui sont récemment sortis de prison ou vont bientôt être relâchés, après avoir été condamnés dans les années 1990 par la justice française. Ces détenus ont souvent bénéficié d'aides financières provenant de trafics de contrefaçon ou de fraudes aux droits sociaux, en région parisienne. Cette donnée confirme, à une échelle réduite, la tendance constatée partout dans le monde : la porosité entre le fanatisme religieux et les activités criminelles.

Cette dizaine d'individus considérés comme radicaux n'ont pas été adoucis par leur incarcération ; au contraire, ils ont souvent converti d'autres détenus non pratiquants. Une fois dehors, certains ont repris contact avec la mouvance islamiste radicale. Les autorités réfléchissent à la manière de les neutraliser, leur surveillance ne pouvant être totalement sûre. Le problème se pose en particulier pour ceux qui disposent de la nationalité française et ne sont pas expulsables. L'idée de les déchoir de leur nationalité pour les éloigner a été envisagée, mais la procédure est très complexe.

Ces vétérans de l'islamisme servent parfois de référence à la nouvelle génération, dont la rapidité de conversion n'a d'égale que sa radicalité. Pour la première fois, certains jeunes envisagent de mourir en martyrs. Exemple significatif : celui de Farid Benyettou, 23 ans, personnage clé de l'enquête sur la "filière irakienne", dont le dernier épisode a été l'interpellation de quatre hommes à Limoges et à Montpellier, le 21 juin. Devenu référent religieux du groupe de jeunes croyants du 19e arrondissement de Paris, Benyettou a été initié par son beau-frère, Youcef Zemmouri, membre d'un réseau logistique de soutien au GSPC, démantelé en mai 1998, à la veille de la Coupe du monde de football organisée en France.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

SANS COMMENTAIRE


Palestinian Woman Heading for Treatment at Israeli Hospital Caught Carrying Explosives

SHIKMA PRISON, Israel (AP) - A badly burned Palestinian woman was alternately defiant and tearful Monday after Israeli soldiers caught her trying to enter Israel with 22 pounds of explosives hidden on her body. The woman, who suffered serious burns on her hands, feet and neck in a kitchen explosion five months ago, had been granted permission to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment when she raised the suspicion of soldiers at the Erez checkpoint.
Video released by the military showed 21-year-old Wafa al-Biss taking off articles of clothing on the orders of soldiers searching for explosives, and rubbing her disfigured neck with her burned hands and screaming.
The military said she tried to blow up the explosives Monday but failed and was not injured.
At the Shikma Prison in Israel's Negev Desert, where the
Shin Bet security service allowed Israeli TV reporters to interview her, al-Biss said she was determined to carry out a suicide attack against Israel because of its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
"My dream was to be a martyr," she said, adding that she was recruited by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a violent offshoot of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement. "I believe in death."
Sitting calmly across from an Israeli TV interviewer, the young woman with large brown eyes and curly dark hair pulled back in a ponytail said her decision had nothing to do with her disfigurement, which might make her less desirable as a bride.
"Don't think that because of how I look I wanted to carry out an attack," said al-Biss. "Since I was a little girl I wanted to carry out an attack."
However, her story grew more contradictory as the interview progressed. After more than an hour, she began to lose her composure and changed her story.
In a separate interview with foreign reporters, she asserted that she had undergone treatment at a Gaza hospital for her burns, where someone apparently planted the explosives on her body without her knowledge.
"I did not intend to carry out an attack," she said, at which point Israeli security officials told reporters she was lying.
"I didn't kill anyone. Do you think they will forgive me? Do you think they will give me any mercy?" she asked. "I hope they show me mercy. I didn't kill anyone."
Then al-Biss terminated the interview, saying she was exhausted.
Israeli military spokeswoman Maj. Sharon Feingold expressed outrage that Palestinian militants used a humanitarian case as a suicide bomber.
"These terror organizations are not only the enemies of the Israelis, but also of the Palestinian people themselves, who suffer as a result of this abuse of the young, the sick, the wounded," she said.
At one point al-Biss agreed with a reporter that she might have been a victim of the militants, breaking down and sobbing, "Forgive me, mother."
JOUR DE DEUIL EN FRANCE: IL FAUT "TRAVAILLER PLUS" !!!

Thierry Breton dresse un constat alarmant de l'économie (SOURCE: LE FIGARO ECONOMIE)

La vérité brute, sans habillage ni louvoiement. «Nous avons une crise à gérer», a indiqué hier Thierry Breton lors de sa conférence de presse trimestrielle. Et d'ajouter. «Il faut avoir le courage de dire, simplement mais gravement, que la France d'aujourd'hui vit au-dessus de ses moyens après avoir accumulé des déficits considérables depuis 25 ans.» Le ministre de l'Économie et des Finances, qui ne cesse de rappeler que seule la transparence permettra de restaurer la confiance des Français, est donc passé à l'acte.
Au regard de la liste des difficultés égrainées, ce n'est pas de «la crise» mais «des crises» qui plombent l'économie française dont a parlé le ministre. L'état catastrophique des finances publiques d'abord. Le remboursement des intérêts de la dette engloutit chaque année 40 milliards d'euros, soit l'intégralité de l'impôt sur le revenu que paient les Français tous les ans. «J'adhère totalement au raisonnement de Thierry Breton et la seule manière d'éviter que la dette ne s'emballe, c'est de réduire les déficits», indiquait hier soir Christian Noyer, le gouverneur de la Banque de France. Autre crise : le faible taux d'activité, jeunes et seniors en tête. «Dans une économie essentiellement tertiarisée, il faut expliquer aux Françaises et aux Français que chaque personne au travail, c'est un peu de croissance en plus», a commenté le ministre qui se refuse à tout discours malthusien sur le sujet. Tout en se gardant bien de prononcer les mots tabous de «contrat de travail» et de «35 heures», Thierry Breton a ajouté que «pour financer notre modèle, il faut travailler plus, et tout au long de sa vie».
Autres crises encore : la démographie qu'une immigration choisie permettrait de résoudre, la taille trop petite des entreprises françaises qui constitue un handicap à l'heure de la mondialisation.
Si Thierry Breton a tiré la sonnette d'alarme, il n'est pas allé au bout du constat. Et a préféré s'en tenir à des mesures conjoncturelles qui permettront peut-être de doper la croissance mais certainement pas de venir à bout des crises structurelles. Il devrait néanmoins proposer en septembre des réflexions sur la dette publique. C'est un premier pas.


Il ne devrait pas tarder a se faire etriller terrible, le Thierry breton! Demander aux assiste-e-s pros de se sortir les doigts du cul, il fallait oser....L'excommunication et le bucher ne sont pas loin!

Thierry Breton dénonce le modèle social "financé à crédit" (SOURCE: LE MONDE)

Changement de discours au ministère de l'économie et des finances. Avant le référendum et la formation du nouveau gouvernement, Thierry Breton se gardait bien d'évoquer trop librement ses convictions économiques et ses doutes sur la croissance. Dès qu'on l'interrogeait, il adoptait la méthode Coué, assurant, envers et contre tous les experts, que l'économie française progresserait en 2005 de "2 à 2,5 %" . Mardi 21 juin, c'est un tout autre ministre qui est apparu pour sa deuxième grande conférence de presse.
L'heure est cette fois au réalisme et à la "pédagogie" . "Il y a clairement eu un trou d'air de quatre mois, de janvier à avril" , reconnaît désormais M. Breton, en commentant la conjoncture économique. S'il ne souhaite pas réviser le chiffre de croissance du budget 2005 avant septembre, il avoue : "le plancher de ma précédente fourchette de prévision -2 à 2,5 %- est devenu plutôt le plafond" . Un plafond que certains économistes jugent encore irréaliste, tablant sur 1,5 %. Le ministre s'y accroche toutefois, assurant qu'"il y a une reprise en mai et juin" . Mais il reconnaît qu'il est inquiet de la flambée inattendue du prix du pétrole (un nouveau record a été franchi avec un baril proche de 60 dollars). Cette envolée coûte d'autant plus cher à tous que, dans le même temps, l'euro a baissé face au dollar.
Surtout, Thierry Breton regrette que l'on n'ait "pas assez expliqué aux Français la situation de nos finances publiques" . Pourtant, à l'écouter, l'heure est grave. La dette des administrations (Etat, collectivités locales, organismes de Sécurité sociale...) atteint 1 067 milliards d'euros. "Il y a vingt-cinq ans, il n'y en avait pas. Cette dette est le travail d'une génération" , accuse-t-il, reprenant un discours cher à ses prédécesseurs à Bercy, Francis Mer et Alain Lambert ou encore Nicolas Sarkozy. Et elle coûte cher : "Il faut dire la vérité aux Français : l'impôt sur le revenu ne sert pas à financer des écoles ou des hôpitaux : il ne sert pratiquement qu'à payer les intérêts de la dette." Cette charge (45,3 milliards d'euros en 2004) pourrait franchir la barre des 50 milliards en 2006 selon le ministère des finances. L'impôt sur le revenu rapporte à peine plus. "Si on ne fait rien, la dette -à la merci d'une hausse des taux d'intérêt- doublera tous les cinq ans" , craint-il. Le ministre souhaite donc créer au plus vite une mission de réflexion sur la manière de gérer cette dette, qui représente déjà plus de 39 900 euros par actif, 17 000 euros par Français et qui passera en 2008 à 46 000 euros par actif, selon les calculs du CCF.

"TRAVAILLER PLUS"

M. Breton ne voit toutefois guère que deux solutions pour sortir de cette spirale : soit on baisse les dépenses de l'Etat drastiquement, "et tout le monde sait que ce n'est pas facile ni souhaitable" , soit on fait de la croissance. "Mais pour avoir de la croissance, dans l'économie comme dans une famille, il faut travailler plus" , prévient le ministre.
"Le modèle social qui est le nôtre, auquel nous sommes si attachés, nous le finançons à crédit, poursuit-il. On a fait croire aux Français que l'on pouvait travailler moins et avoir un système plus protecteur, ce n'est pas vrai."
Reste une question majeure : comment travailler plus, ou même, simplement, commencer ou recommencer à travailler ? M. Breton est convaincu qu'en levant certains "blocages" , on peut relancer l'emploi des seniors et des jeunes et combler les centaines de milliers d'emplois non pourvus. Pour les plus de 50 ans, il reprend les mesures annoncées par le premier ministre (cumul des revenus du travail et de retraite, suppression de la taxe Delalande sur le licenciement de certains salariés de plus de 50 ans, qui dissuaderait l'embauche de seniors, etc.). Pour relancer les embauches, M. Breton compte aussi sur le "contrat nouvelle embauche" , avec une période de deux ans "pour apprendre à se connaître" (il ne veut plus parler de "période d'essai" ) et sur la prise en charge par l'Etat du coût financier supporté par les entreprises lorsqu'elles passent le seuil de 10 salariés. Il précise que la prime de 1 000 euros dont bénéficieront les moins de 26 ans embauchés dans un secteur souffrant de pénurie de main-d'oeuvre (restauration, bâtiment...) entrera en vigueur dès le 1er juillet.
Le ministre a mis à l'étude la création d'un crédit d'impôt de mobilité. Il plaide enfin pour que la politique d'immigration évolue : il a demandé aux services de Bercy un rapport avant l'automne sur "les besoins à moyen terme de main-d'oeuvre" et prévoit déjà d'attirer des étrangers qualifiés pour compenser le recul à partir de 2006 de la population active en France. Il propose de recentrer les bourses des étudiants étrangers sur des "filières stratégiques" et de faciliter "l'obtention d'un titre de résident à toute personne ayant investi au moins 1 million d'euros en France ou créé au moins 10 emplois" .
M. Breton fait donc un pari : dans une économie qui repose pour l'essentiel sur les services, augmenter la population active et aider les PME à grossir générera plus de croissance ("3 à 4 % par an" , ose-t-il avancer) que doper la consommation par diverses primes. Et permettra de supporter une dette que le vieillissement de la population va alourdir.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

LA NOUVELLE SECTE A LA MODE (ou Comment ne jamais en finir avec les bigot-e-s et les illumine-e-s !!!)

What's Behind Hollywood's Fascination with Kabbalah? (SOURCE: ABC NEWS)
New Take on Ancient Jewish Spiritual Teachings Has Drawn Celebrities -- and Criticism

Most people don't have a clue what the spiritual movement Kabbalah is, though they may be aware it has something to do with a parade of stars - from Madonna to Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher to Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton
(Belle brochette de pointures a l'Aura mystique indiscutable...) - wearing red strings on their wrists.
Kabbalah (a non-profit organisation...) has become a multimillion-dollar empire with more than 40 branches all over the world. But is the Kabbalah of the stars the same Kabbalah that Jewish men in Israel have been quietly studying for centuries?
In cryptic and mystical terms, Kabbalah explores the nature of God and the universe. Rabbis have traditionally believed the philosophy behind it is so complicated that it could only be taught to ultra-religious Jewish men over 40 who had spent their lives studying Judaism.
In 1971, with virtually no money, Karen Berg and her husband, Philip Berg — the spiritual leader known to followers as the Rav — opened their first Kabbalah Centre, turning traditional Jewish wisdom upside down by offering Kabbalah study to women and non-Jews. The Bergs had a simple but radical idea: Kabbalah wasn't just for elite Jewish scholars but was something that could be simplified and taught to everyone.
"It wasn't until we started really bringing it to the people that they actually had access to this knowledge," Karen Berg told Elizabeth Vargas in an exclusive "20/20" interview.
Their movement picked up momentum quickly, Berg said. "It was almost like Jesus … talks on the Mount and brought people. And they believed in what he said. And they brought more people … God forbid, I'm not saying that we're messiah consciousness. I'm only saying that we built in the same fashion."
However the Bergs built their movement, many followers say Kabbalah has changed their lives. And the adherents aren't just celebrities.
Don Ellis, a former FBI agent who now practices law and runs a bodyguard service, was raised a Southern Baptist in Texas. He says Kabbalah gave him the spiritual answers he'd been searching for. "I studied a number of different religions, spiritualities, searching for something. And then one day, I saw a CD set called 'Power of Kabbalah.' That's all it took for me was that one series. I haven't looked back since," he told Vargas.There are no Kabbalah Centres near Ellis' home, so he stays connected by listening to their tapes. He said Kabbalah has created spiritual and financial miracles for him.

The Bergs have brought this ancient wisdom out of the dark ages and mass-marketed it, hawking must-have accessories like red strings and Kabbalah water, which the Centre aggressively sells and claims will protect followers from "negative energy." At services and classes, they teach that Kabbalah is not a religion but a "technology for the soul" that plugs anyone into what they call the "Light" or God — a God that has 72 names, which if meditated on, can make your dreams come true.
But rabbis like Yitzchok Adlerstein, a professor of law and ethics at Loyola University in Los Angeles, question some of the practices of the Kabbalah newcomers — like Britney Spears, who tattooed one of God's 72 names in Hebrew on her neck. "Using one of the names of God on her neck is going to bring enough prosperity to Britney as my tattooing Britney's name to my neck. I guarantee you," Adlerstein told "20/20."
"What the Bergs are offering is not remotely Kabbalah," he added.
The Bergs insist their writings are a direct interpretation of the Zohar, an ancient text, dense and complex, that contains a mystical discussion of what God is.
"We go directly to the source, directly to the Zohar. We don't teach anything that's ours. We don't claim to be teachers. We don't even care if anyone respects us or not. Our job is to bring content to people, content that wasn't there before. Nothing we do comes from our brain," said Yehuda Berg, one of the couple's sons, who runs the Kabbalah Centres with his mother and brother, Michael Berg.
Indeed, the Kabbalah Centres' approach to the Zohar is a far cry from the rigorous intellectual pursuit of Jewish scholars. The Bergs teach that merely to have the Zohar in your possession offers one protective powers, a claim scholars say is ridiculous.

Ellis has spent thousands of dollars buying complete sets of the Zohar for his home, office and family. "That's the telephone line to God. All you have to do is plug it in and you're connected," said Ellis, who admits he doesn't know what the ancient Hebrew and Aramaic text he's reading means. "I have no idea what it says. But anyway, that doesn't matter. This is powerful stuff," he said. (What is wrong with you Man ?!)
Karen Berg said the message of the Kabbalah text transcends language barriers "because your brain, your subconscious has a way to pick up what — they're almost like a scanner in a supermarket. You know it's just a code, a bar code. And yet they can manage to take the material they need from it."
Adlerstein says this is nonsense. "The notion that you can mumble a couple of words or find the right mantra, or by focusing on letters with your fingers, is the antithesis of what Kabbalah is," he said.
Le rôle des forces spéciales US : entretien avec le commandant Richard Marcinko
(SOURCE:CHECKPOINT-ONLINE)

Les forces spéciales occupent une place toujours plus grande dans les opérations militaires contemporaines, et notamment depuis le 11 septembre 2001. La guerre contre le terrorisme menée par les Etats-Unis repose ainsi largement sur leur spectre d'actions préventives et décisives.

Le commandant en retraite
Richard Marcinko, de l’US Navy, est un personnage mythique dans les cercles militaires, et l’un des officiers des forces spéciales les plus influents à avoir porté l’uniforme des Forces armées américaines. Il est le fondateur et a été le premier commandant de deux des meilleurs unités d’opérations spéciales de la Navy : le SEAL Team Six, probablement la force contre-terroriste la mieux entraînée du monde, qui a été reconstituée sous la forme du Naval Special Warfare Development Group ou DEVGRU, et RED CELL, une unité SEAL chargée de tester les forces de sécurité de la Navy et des Marines de par le monde.

«... La plupart des hommes sont encore lourdement impliqués dans l'instruction. Ils le sont toujours. Nombre d'entre eux sont stationnés en ex-Union soviétique pour faire de la multiplication de forces. »

Parti à la retraite après 30 ans de service, Marcinko est aujourd’hui PDG et consultant de sécurité de SOS Temps, une société privée qui fournit des services aux gouvernements et aux entreprises du monde entier. Il a entraîné des mercenaires, dont une grande partie sont actuellement engagés et déployés autour du globe. En tant que figure de la culture pop, Marcinko est mieux connu comme l’auteur de nombreux livres, dont son best-seller autobiographique Rogue Warrior.

D’un point de vue issu des opérations spéciales, qu’est-ce que nous faisons de juste en Irak et qu’est-ce que nous pourrions mieux faire ?

C’est pour nous une nouvelle manière de combattre. L’entraînement de base [des armées, note du traducteur] visait par le passé à mener une guerre conventionnelle ou à y mettre un terme. La guerre urbaine que nous affrontons à présent, dans laquelle l’ennemi ne porte pas d’uniforme et n’a pas de drapeau, est vraiment malsaine. De plus, en plus d’être au combat, nos soldats doivent être politiquement corrects. C’est une complication qui ne va pas de soi au cours d’une guerre. Dans une situation normale, avec des bons types et des sales types, il faut tout donner et survivre. Aujourd’hui, nous devons en fait nous battre avec une main dans le dos, ce qui complique les opérations de combat.

Regardez, nous prenons des jeunes de 18, 19 ou 20 ans, et nous leur disons qu’ils ne peuvent pas se battre à fond. Ils doivent à la place être aussi diplomates que
Negroponte, et ils doivent gagner les cœurs et les esprits. C’est beaucoup de pression pour un gosse.

D’un autre côté, nos éléments d’opérations spéciales sont constitués d’hommes plus âgés. Ce sont ceux qui avaient l’habitude de se soucier des cœurs et des esprits, parce qu’ils s’étaient déjà découverts eux-mêmes.

Les jeunes sont donc aujourd’hui en train de se découvrir eux-mêmes – jusqu’à la première balle portant leur nom – en essayant d’identifier qui sont les sales types, en prenant chaque jour le risque, et en étant assez mûrs pour gagner les cœurs et les esprits.

Peut-être devrions-nous moins nous concentrer sur les cœurs et les esprits, et davantage recourir au combat ? Au niveau stratégique, qu’est-ce que nous devons spécifiquement mieux faire ?

Nous devons être davantage présent aux frontières. Nous devons garder un noyau dans les villes avec la population, et y rester – largement comme nous l’avons fait avec les équipes A, B et C à l’époque du Vietnam. Il ne faut pas se déplacer de ville en ville, mais établir une relation et travailler les cœurs comme les esprits à l’intérieur de la ville, en utilisant les Irakiens pour l’épuration. Ils parlent mieux la langue et ils devraient nettoyer leur propre merdier, parce qu’ils vont devoir vivre avec. De la sorte, nous finirons par vraiment être des conseillers, en les aidant, en leur donnant la technologie et le savoir-faire, et en leur fournissant sur demande les appuis de feu qu’ils n’ont pas.

N’est-ce pas pour l’essentiel ce que nous faisons en ce moment ?

Oui, mais nous le faisons avec des compagnies régulières, pas les types plus âgés et plus expérimentés. Le problème, c’est que la priorité numéro 1 est de rester en vie, pas de gagner les cœurs et les esprits. Il est difficile d’envoyer quelqu’un dans une rue et de lui dire de distribuer des chewing-gums et des sucreries, sans être sûr qu’ils ne sont pas attirés dans ce coin par un enfant qui travaille pour un sniper.

Les insurgents utilisent même à présent des chiens suicides, avec des bombes attachées sur eux. Ils ont utilisé des carcasses d’animaux pour infiltrer des tubes et des roquettes dans les villes. C’est le vieux coup du cheval de Troie.

Au-delà de cela, vous avez le fait que Zarqaoui peut être blessé, recevoir un traitement en ville, puis traverser la frontière pour un traitement plus sérieux. Tout ceci signifie que nous devons être présents à l’extérieur, fermer les frontières et simplement faire des ravages sur les routes que les insurgents utilisent pour entrer et sortir. Il faut les attraper en terrain ouvert. C’est là que l’on peut être brutal. Prenons les Marines, comme nous l’avons fait dans le secteur occidental et le long de la frontière syrienne, et disons, ok, attaquons !

Vous mentionnez Zarqaoui ; avec toute notre technologie et des commandos comme les SEALs ou d’autres types des opérations spéciales dans le pays, pourquoi n’avons-nous pas été capables d’en finir avec Zarqaoui ?

Il faut se souvenir que nous avons trouvé Saddam dans un trou. On a donc besoin d’une personnage local qui nous fait assez confiance pour vous dire qu’ils sont là. Et c’est difficile, spécialement lorsque l’on opère dans une zone où le mode de vie des habitants ne s’est pas vraiment amélioré pendant notre présence. Nous n’avons donc pas toujours l’air d’être le ticket gagnant. Et rappelez-vous que la dernière fois où nous avons quitté les chiites, Saddam s’est occupé d’eux par dizaines de milliers. Ils ne vont donc pas nous faire très confiance, sans oublier qu’ils connaissent le potentiel de guerre civile entre eux-mêmes.

Les Américains ont une perception de l’entraînement et des missions des forces d’opérations spéciales qui est essentiellement formée par ce qu’ils voient à la télévision, au cinéma ou dans les livres. Qu’en est-il en réalité ? A part l’Irak et l’Afghanistan, où est-ce que nos forces d’opérations spéciales sont engagées dans le monde, et quels types de missions remplissent-elles ?

La plupart des hommes sont encore lourdement impliqués dans l’instruction. Ils le sont toujours. Nombre d’entre eux sont stationnés en ex-Union soviétique pour faire de la multiplication de forces. Ils construisent un cadre. Ce cadre construit un autre cadre. Ils sont dans tous les « stans » – Pakistan, Ouzbékistan, etc. Ils sont sur ces cols montagneux. Ils établissent des forces dans ces secteurs, parce qu’il y a encore beaucoup de trafics illégaux – drogues et armes – qui peuvent alimenter n’importe quelle insurrection.

Le différend entre le Pakistan et l’Inde est très dangereux. Tous deux ont des capacités nucléaires et une série de frictions mutuelles. Par conséquent, il y a des zones à problèmes le long de la frontière. A présent, bien sûr, l’Iran est en colère avec le Pakistan suite à certaines déclarations récentes sur le développement nucléaire de l’Iran. Il existe donc une haine mutuelle.

Prenez ensuite quelqu’un comme Oussama ben Laden. Il a toujours opéré au sein d’un petit groupe en transit. Ils se déplacent constamment. Le groupe le protège. Je sais qu’il est uniquement un symbole, mais nous aimerions l’attraper, le tuer et le faire savoir à tout le monde. Nous ne voulons pas qu’il soit un fantôme nous faisant en permanence un pied de nez. Mais ces endroits sont accidentés, lointains et difficiles pour un emploi opérationnel. Regardez par exemple l’Afghanistan : il existe seulement deux types de champs là-bas, les champs de mines et les champs de pavot, et jusqu’à ce que nous puissions développer les routes et créer des accès pour la population, c’est tout ce qu’ils ont pour vivre. Aucune puissance mondiale majeure n’a jamais gagné en Afghanistan. Les chefs de guerre tribaux ont simplement épuisé les envahisseurs. Notre horloge et la leur avancent différemment. Ils sont prêt à attendre, attendre et attendre, alors que nous voulons toujours des résultats instantanés.

Ce n’est donc pas qu’une affaire militaire. C’est très complexe, et c’est pourquoi nos forces d’opérations spéciales sont dans ces régions.

De manière générale, qu’est-ce que le futur réserve à nos forces armées déployées et à nous-mêmes ?

Nos soldats sont certainement endurcis. Nous avons des forces armées très expérimentées, aujourd’hui, au moins pour ce qui est de se découvrir. A présent, il s’agit de trouver l’ennemi et de l’épingler. Et en Irak, si nous n’atteignons pas rapidement un certain rétablissement, ce pays finira dans une guerre civile que personne ne pourra contrôler.

Je nous vois là-bas en 2010 – juste dans le fil de la conversation – avec deux installations majeures qui seront des forteresses américaines, avec des infirmeries, des MacDo, des trucs comme ça. Et ces forteresses seront bâties sur quelque chose comme – dans notre langage – une ligne Mason-Dixon [du nom d’une ligne séparant la Pennsylvanie du Maryland, et qui symbolise toujours le passage du Nord au Sud des Etats-Unis, NDT], afin d’empêcher certains groupes de franchir cette ligne. Et je ne sais combien de temps les contribuables américains seront à l’aise avec cela.

L’Irak sera certainement au centre des élections de 2008. Il faut vraiment que nous nous engagions à fond, de façon concentrée, et faire beaucoup en peu de temps.

Vous parlez souvent des soldats et des marins que se « découvrent eux-mêmes. »

Oui. L’entraînement des SEALs est par exemple très intensif. De ce fait, un SEAL se dit lorsqu’il en sort, « ok, maintenant je sais que je peux tout faire. » Mais c’est de l’entraînement. Vous ne savez vraiment pas comment vous allez réagir au combat jusqu’à ce que les premières balles passent au-dessus de votre tête. J’ai vu des gens qui à l’entraînement étaient des tigres, mais des chatons à la guerre. J’ai aussi vu des gens dont je doutais des raisons pour lesquelles je les emmenais à la guerre, et que sur place j’avais du mal à les garder sous contrôle. C’est le facteur humain.

Après mon premier déploiement au Vietnam, le laboratoire de sciences comportementales de la Navy m’a demandé de venir et de leur dire ce qui faisait un bon SEAL. Quel est le prototype ? Est-ce qu’il faut un foyer brisé ? Est-ce qu’il a des cheveux bruns ? Est-ce qu’il mesure 1,80 m ? 1,75 m ? Tout ce qui pourrait leur donner un cadre pour rendre plus facile la sélection des SEALs. Mais ce n’est pas ainsi que cela fonctionne.

J’aime à dire que les SEALs sont au fond une bande de marginaux qui font de la musique ensemble. Ils défient les systèmes. Ils doivent être défiés, sinon ils ont des problèmes.

Est-ce que nous pouvons la guerre contre le terrorisme ?

Il ne s’agit pas de gagner ou de perdre. Il s’agit de savoir si nous pouvons survivre à la guerre. Ce n’est pas quelque chose qui va s’en aller.

J’ai lu récemment un article dans le Washington Post parlant de réévaluation et de où-allons-nous. Mon avis ? Arrêtons d’étudier le problème, attaquons-le ! Al-Qaïda est une franchise. Oui, Oussama ben Laden est une figure de proue. Il peut collecter des fonds. Mais le vrai problème est le fait que nous avons ces petits monstres qui sortent leurs têtes de caves autour du monde, et que nous les pourchasserons pour toujours. Juste après le 11 septembre, on a dit que les recrues d’Al-Qaïda se trouvaient dans 60 pays différents. Nous savons maintenant que leur présence est encore plus étendue. Ce sont tous des guerriers déloyaux. Ils ne portent pas d’uniforme. Ils ne portent pas de drapeau. Ils peuvent se dissimuler partout où ils sont. Ils peuvent attendre plus longtemps que nous. Il est donc impossible d’écrire une stratégie de sortie pour cette guerre, ou prédire que le dernier coup de pistolet sera tiré en 2009.

"BLAME US FIRST" AND DEMOCRATS

Congress is likely to step into the operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention center with legislation on how the U.S. should legally categorize an unorthodox enemy.
Fitting the enemy in the war on terror into the proper niche is challenging. Al Qaeda terrorists do not wear a uniform. They target civilians and never signed the Geneva Convention governing the treatment of wartime detainees.
U.S. officials say al Qaeda members make up the majority of the 520 inmates at Camp Delta in Cuba and include terrorist leader Osama bin Laden's bodyguards and one man who authorities suspect was supposed to be the 20th hijacker on the September 11 flights. The other inmates are suspected of being Taliban members.
The Bush administration set what it thought would be a unilateral and a long-lasting policy after the September 11 attacks. It deemed terrorists caught in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region as enemy combatants entitled to trial only by military commissions. But those plans began unraveling after accusations of detainee mistreatment and a Supreme Court ruling that detainees had a right to court hearings.The lower federal courts are wrestling with the ruling's ramifications, and the commission-style trials have been put on hold.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, convened the first hearing last week on legal issues at the Guantanamo prison. The witnesses provided the first in-depth public discussion of how the Bush administration views al Qaeda detention in the long term. In the process, officials offered a vigorous defense of holding al Qaeda members rather than giving them another chance to kill Americans.
"The detention of enemy combatants serves the vital military objective of preventing captured combatants from rejoining the conflict and gathering intelligence to further the overall war effort and to prevent additional attacks against our country," said J. Michael Wiggins, deputy associate U.S. attorney general. "Some of those individuals are being held at Guantanamo Bay."
Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Hemingway, who is chief legal adviser to the appointing authority for the military commissions, added, "I think that we can hold them as long as the conflict endures. But we have ... a very detailed process for releasing them if they no longer present a threat."
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and a strong advocate for terrorist detainee rights, asked, "Well, we now have a government in Afghanistan, yet the conflict continues. Is that what you're saying?"
Gen. Hemingway replied, "The conflict is not with the government of Afghanistan. The conflict is with a nonstate organization."
Another Democrat,
Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, worried about how the Muslim world viewed Guantanamo, noting, "We have to deal with the 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. And guess what, General? We're doing real badly. We're doing real badly on that part of the war. Matter of fact, it's a disaster."
Part of the screening process involved conducting hearings for each inmate to determine whether he was an enemy combatant. The panels last spring confirmed that all but 38 fall into that category. The Pentagon is releasing the 38, but has had trouble finding countries to take 15 of them.
So far, the Pentagon has released more than 200 detainees. About 10 have resurfaced on the battlefield in Afghanistan and been killed or captured, administration officials said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, endorsed the idea of using some type of stress to induce captured terrorists to talk.
"We need to look at a way to standardize that because I worry about some of our own troops getting prosecuted under our own laws if we don't have standardization," he said.

Monday, June 20, 2005

ASSHOLE OF THE WEEK AWARD....

...Proudly earned by senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) with those unforgettable words:

"Mr. President, there has been a lot of discussion in recent days about whether to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. This debate misses the point. It is not a question of whether detainees are held at Guantanamo Bay or some other location. The question is how we should treat those who have been detained there. Whether we treat them according to the law or not does not depend on their address. It depends on our policy as a nation.

How should we treat them? This is not a new question. We are not writing on a blank slate. We have entered into treaties over the years, saying this is how we will treat wartime detainees. The United States has ratified these treaties. They are the law of the land as much as any statute we passed. They have served our country well in past wars. We have held ourselves to be a civilized country, willing to play by the rules, even in time of war.

Unfortunately, without even consulting Congress, the Bush administration unilaterally decided to set aside these treaties and create their own rules about the treatment of prisoners.

Frankly, this Congress has failed to hold the administration accountable for its failure to follow the law of the land when it comes to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners and detainees.

I am a member of the Judiciary Committee. For two years, I have asked for hearings on this issue. I am glad Chairman Specter will hold a hearing on wartime detention policies tomorrow. I thank him for taking this step. I wish other members of his party would be willing to hold this administration accountable as well.

It is worth reflecting for a moment about how we have reached this point. Many people who read history remember, as World War II began with the attack on Pearl Harbor, a country in fear after being attacked decided one way to protect America was to gather together Japanese Americans and literally imprison them, put them in internment camps for fear they would be traitors and turn on the United States. We did that. Thousands of lives were changed. Thousands of businesses destroyed. Thousands of people, good American citizens, who happened to be of Japanese ancestry, were treated like common criminals.

It took almost 40 years for us to acknowledge that we were wrong, to admit that these people should never have been imprisoned. It was a shameful period in American history and one that very few, if any, try to defend today.

I believe the torture techniques that have been used at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and other places fall into that same category. I am confident, sadly confident, as I stand here, that decades from now people will look back and say: What were they thinking? America, this great, kind leader of a nation, treated people who were detained and imprisoned, interrogated people in the crudest way? I am afraid this is going to be one of the bitter legacies of the invasion of Iraq.

We were attacked on September 11, 2001. We were clearly at war.

We have held prisoners in every armed conflict in which we have engaged. The law was clear, but some of the President's top advisers questioned whether we should follow it or whether we should write new standards.

Alberto Gonzales, then-White House chief counsel, recommended to the President the Geneva Convention should not apply to the war on terrorism.

Colin Powell, who was then Secretary of State, objected strenuously to Alberto Gonzales' conclusions. I give him credit. Colin Powell argued that we could effectively fight the war on terrorism and still follow the law, still comply with the Geneva Conventions. In a memo to Alberto Gonzales, Secretary Powell pointed out the Geneva Conventions would not limit our ability to question the detainees or hold them even indefinitely. He pointed out that under Geneva Conventions, members of al-Qaida and other terrorists would not be considered prisoners of war.

There is a lot of confusion about that so let me repeat it. The Geneva Conventions do not give POW status to terrorists.

In his memo to Gonzales, Secretary Powell went on to say setting aside the Geneva Conventions "will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice... and undermine the protections of the law of war for our own troops... It will undermine public support among critical allies, making military cooperation more difficult to sustain."

When you look at the negative publicity about Guantanamo, Secretary Colin Powell was prophetic.

Unfortunately, the President rejected Secretary Powell's wise counsel, and instead accepted Alberto Gonzales' recommendation, issuing a memo setting aside the Geneva Conventions and concluding that we needed "new thinking in the law of war."

After the President decided to ignore Geneva Conventions, the administration unilaterally created a new detention policy. They claim the right to seize anyone, including even American citizens, anywhere in the world, including in the United States, and hold them until the end of the war on terrorism, whenever that may be.

For example, they have even argued in court they have the right to indefinitely detain an elderly lady from Switzerland who writes checks to what she thinks is a charity that helps orphans but actually is a front that finances terrorism.

They claim a person detained in the war on terrorism has no legal rights -- no right to a lawyer, no right to see the evidence against them, no right to challenge their detention. In fact, the Government has claimed detainees have no right to challenge their detention, even if they claim they were being tortured or executed.

This violates the Geneva Conventions, which protect everyone captured during wartime. The official commentary on the convention states: "Nobody in enemy hands can fall outside the law."

That is clear as it can be. But it was clearly rejected by the Bush administration when Alberto Gonzales as White House counsel recommended otherwise.

U.S. military lawyers called this detention system "a legal black hole." The Red Cross concluded, "U.S. authorities have placed the internees in Guantanamo beyond the law."

Using their new detention policy, the administration has detained thousands of individuals in secret detention centers all around the world, some of them unknown to Members of Congress. While it is the most well-known, Guantanamo Bay is only one of them. Most have been captured in Afghanistan and Iraq, but some people who never raised arms against us have been taken prisoner far from the battlefield.

Who are the Guantanamo detainees? Back in 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld described them as "the hardest of the hard core." However, the administration has since released many of them, and it has now become clear that Secretary Rumsfeld's assertion was not completely true.

Military sources, according to the media, indicate that many detainees have no connection to al-Qaida or the Taliban and were sent to Guantanamo over the objections of intelligence personnel who recommended their release. One military officer said: "We're basically condemning these guys to a long-term imprisonment. If they weren't terrorists before, they certainly could be now."

Last year, in two landmark decisions, the Supreme Court rejected the administration's detention policy. The Court held that the detainees' claims that they were detained for over two years without charge and without access to counsel "unquestionably describe custody in violation of the Constitution, or laws or treaties of the United States."

The Court also held that an American citizen held as an enemy combatant must be told the basis for his detention and have a fair opportunity to challenge the Government's claims. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the majority: "A state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation's citizens."

You would think that would be obvious, wouldn't you? But yet, this administration, in this war, has viewed it much differently.

I had hoped the Supreme Court decision would change the administration policy. Unfortunately, the administration has resisted complying with the Supreme Court's decision.

The administration acknowledges detainees can challenge their detention in court, but it still claims that once they get to court, they have no legal rights. In other words, the administration believes a detainee can get to the courthouse door but cannot come inside.

A Federal court has already held the administration has failed to comply with the Supreme Court's rulings. The court concluded that the detainees do have legal rights, and the administration's policies "deprive the detainees of sufficient notice of the factual bases for their detention and deny them a fair opportunity to challenge their incarceration."

The administration also established a new interrogation policy that allows cruel and inhuman interrogation techniques.

Remember what Secretary of State Colin Powell said? It is not a matter of following the law because we said we would, it is a matter of how our troops will be treated in the future. That is something often overlooked here. If we want standards of civilized conduct to be applied to Americans captured in a warlike situation, we have to extend the same manner and type of treatment to those whom we detain, our prisoners.

Secretary Rumsfeld approved numerous abusive interrogation tactics against prisoners in Guantanamo. The Red Cross concluded that the use of those methods was "a form of torture."

The United States, which each year issues a human rights report, holding the world accountable for outrageous conduct, is engaged in the same outrageous conduct when it comes to these prisoners.

Numerous FBI agents who observed interrogations at Guantanamo Bay complained to their supervisors. In one e-mail that has been made public, an FBI agent complained that interrogators were using "torture techniques."

That phrase did not come from a reporter or politician. It came from an FBI agent describing what Americans were doing to these prisoners.

With no input from Congress, the administration set aside our treaty obligations and secretly created new rules for detention and interrogation. They claim the courts have no right to review these rules. But under our Constitution, it is Congress's job to make the laws, and the court's job to judge whether they are constitutional.

This administration wants all the power: legislator, executive, and judge. Our founding father were warned us about the dangers of the Executive Branch violating the separation of powers during wartime. James Madison wrote: "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

Other Presidents have overreached during times of war, claiming legislative powers, but the courts have reined them back in. During the Korean war, President Truman, faced with a steel strike, issued an Executive order to seize and operate the Nation's steel mills. The Supreme Court found that the seizure was an unconstitutional infringement on the Congress's lawmaking power. Justice Hugo Black, writing for the majority, said: "The Constitution is neither silent nor equivocal about who shall make the laws which the President is to execute ... The Founders of this Nation entrusted the lawmaking power to the Congress alone in both good times and bad."

To win the war on terrorism, we must remain true to the principles upon which our country was founded. This Administration's detention and interrogation policies are placing our troops at risk and making it harder to combat terrorism.

Former Congressman Pete Peterson of Florida, a man I call a good friend and a man I served with in the House of Representatives, is a unique individual. He is one of the most cheerful people you would ever want to meet. You would never know, when you meet him, he was an Air Force pilot taken prisoner of war in Vietnam and spent 6 1/2 years in a Vietnamese prison. Here is what he said about this issue in a letter that he sent to me. Pete Peterson wrote:

From my 6 1/2 years of captivity in Vietnam, I know what life in a foreign prison is like. To a large degree, I credit the Geneva Conventions for my survival....This is one reason the United States has led the world in upholding treaties governing the status and care of enemy prisoners: because these standards also protect us....We need absolute clarity that America will continue to set the gold standard in the treatment of prisoners in wartime.

Abusive detention and interrogation policies make it much more difficult to win the support of people around the world, particularly those in the Muslim world. The war on terrorism is not a popularity contest, but anti-American sentiment breeds sympathy for anti-American terrorist organizations and makes it far easier for them to recruit young terrorists.

Polls show that Muslims have positive attitudes toward the American people and our values. However, overall, favorable ratings toward the United States and its Government are very low. This is driven largely by the negative attitudes toward the policies of this administration.

Muslims respect our values, but we must convince them that our actions reflect these values. That's why the 9/11 Commission recommended: "We should offer an example of moral leadership in the world, committed to treat people humanely, abide by the rule of law, and be generous and caring to our neighbors."

What should we do? Imagine if the President had followed Colin Powell's advice and respected our treaty obligations. How would things have been different?

We still would have the ability to hold detainees and to interrogate them aggressively. Members of al-Qaida would not be prisoners of war. We would be able to do everything we need to do to keep our country safe. The difference is, we would not have damaged our reputation in the international community in the process.

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here -- I almost hesitate to put them in the record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold....On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

It is not too late. I hope we will learn from history. I hope we will change course.

The President could declare the United States will apply the Geneva Conventions to the war on terrorism. He could declare, as he should, that the United States will not, under any circumstances, subject any detainee to torture, or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The administration could give all detainees a meaningful opportunity to challenge their detention before a neutral decisionmaker.

Such
a change of course would dramatically improve our image and it would make us safer. I hope this administration will choose that course. If they do not, Congress must step in.

The issue debated in the press today misses the point. The issue is not about closing Guantanamo Bay. It is not a question of the address of these prisoners. It is a question of how we treat these prisoners. To close down Guantanamo and ship these prisoners off to undisclosed locations in other countries, beyond the reach of publicity, beyond the reach of any surveillance, is to give up on the most basic and fundamental commitment to justice and fairness, a commitment we made when we signed the Geneva Convention and said the United States accepts it as the law of the land, a commitment which we have made over and over again when it comes to the issue of torture. To criticize the rest of the world for using torture and to turn a blind eye to what we are doing in this war is wrong, and it is not American.

During the Civil War, President Lincoln, one of our greatest presidents, suspended habeas corpus, which gives prisoners the right to challenge their detention. The Supreme Court stood up to the President and said prisoners have the right to judicial review even during war.

Let me read what that Court said:

The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions could be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.

Mr. President, those words still ring true today. The Constitution is a law for this administration, equally in war and in peace. If the Constitution could withstand the Civil War, when our nation was literally divided against itself, surely it will withstand the war on terrorism.

I yield the floor."
(Please, and don't let the screen door hit you on your way out!)

UPDATE (june 21, 2005)

Durbin Apologizes for Nazi, Gulag, Pol Pot Remarks ( SOURCE: FOX NEWS)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Dick Durbin went to the Senate floor late Tuesday to offer his apologies to anyone who may have been offended by his comparison of treatment of detainees at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Nazis, Soviet gulags and Cambodia's Pol Pot.
"More than most people, a senator lives by his words ... occasionally words fail us, occasionally we will fail words," Durbin, D-Ill., said.
"I am sorry if anything I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy.
"I am also sorry if anything I said cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military ... I never ever intended any disrespect for them. Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line to them I extend my heartfelt apology," Durbin said, choking on his words.
Durbin said in the course of his remarks on June 14, he raised "legitimate concerns" about U.S. policy toward prisoners and whether their treatment makes America safer.
Durbin read from an FBI report that included descriptions of one case at Gitmo in which a detainee was held in such cold temperatures that he shivered, another in which a prisoner was held in heat passing 100 degrees, one in which prisoners were left in isolation so long they fouled themselves and one where a prisoner was chained to the floor and forced to listen to loud rap music.

"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings," Durbin said last week.
After the uproar that followed those remarks, Durbin said he was not comparing U.S. soldiers to Pol Pot
, Nazis or Soviet guards, but was "attributing this form of interrogation to repressive regimes such as those that I note."
Durbin attempted to clarify his remarks last Thursday evening and then again Friday, saying that he regretted if people did not understand his historic analogies, and he suggested that he could not verify the accuracy of the FBI document.
"If this indeed occurred, it does not represent American values. It does not represent what our country stands for, it is not the sort of conduct we would ever condone ... and that is the point I was making. Now, sadly, we have a situation here where some in the right-wing media have said that I have been insulting men and women in uniform. Nothing could be further from truth," Durbin said.
But on Tuesday, he left little room for second-guessing whether he considered his remarks an error.
"After reading the horrible details in that memo which characterized the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, I then, on my own, my own words, made some characterizations about that memo ... I have come to understand that was a very poor choice of words," he said.
(You bet your ass that was, Moron !!!)
Under Pol Pot's regime, 1.5 million died in death camps and another 200,000 so-called "enemies of the state" were executed. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews and forced hundreds of thousands into slave labor. The USSR's Joseph Stalin sent 25 million people to labor camps where many were worked to death.
While more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers have died helping to liberate Iraq first from Saddam Hussein and then from a deadly insurgency, no detainees at Guantanamo Bay have died in custody.
Durbin pledged to "continue to speak out on the issues that I think are important to the people of Illinois and the nation," but added that he did not mean to diminish the image of the United States in the world.
"I don't want anything in my public career to detract from my love for this country, my respect for those who serve it and this great Senate. I offer my apologies to those who were offended," he said.
Immediately after his remarks, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he thought Durbin made a "heartfelt statement" and he was satisfied with the apology.
"He did the right thing, the courageous thing and I think we can put the situation behind us," McCain said.
In a written statement, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Durbin's apology was "necessary and appropriate."
"Senator Durbin's apology was a necessary and appropriate step in repairing the harm his earlier remarks have had on the image of the millions of fine men and women serving in America's military. As members of Congress we must always be sensitive to the fact that it is their struggles and sacrifices that keep us safe in the War on Terror," he said.
Asked what the next step for Durbin would be, an aide to Frist told FOX News, "Well, when you say something that appears all over Al Jazeera, you have a lot of work to do."


All right, senator ! To make a long story short: Why don't you take your "apology" and deeply shove it where the sun doesn't shine ???