Israel Is 'Canceled' in Berlin
Germany's socialists haven't changed. They just don't use the word "National" any more
Iranian calls for the destruction of Israel are almost routine these days. But for a former official of the Islamic Republic to call for the destruction of the Jewish state in the city where the Holocaust was planned adds a repugnant twist - especially as the German government sponsored the event that gave the man from Tehran a Western stage.
At a conference on the Mideast in Berlin on Wednesday, Muhammad Javad Ardashir Larijani said the "Zionist project," which has "created only violence and atrocities," should be "canceled." Mr. Larijani, a former deputy foreign minister, is the brother of Iran's former nuclear negotiator and current parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani.
The conference organizers, the Peace Research Institute of Frankfurt, made a clumsy attempt at damage control. "We very much regret that the feelings of several Israeli participants were hurt," the institute said in a statement, making it sound as if the problem was with oversensitive Israelis rather than with the Iranian's call for the destruction of their country.
While the institute said that it rejects Mr. Larijani's comments, it still defended the decision to invite him. The institute says it wants to provide a "forum where politicians and experts can exchange positions - also controversial ones." But calling for the destruction of a country isn't "controversial" - it's beyond the realm of civilized debate. To give such views a "forum" is to give them legitimacy.
'Human Rights' friends of the Columbian terrorists
As we learn more about the Colombian military's daring hostage rescue last week, one detail stands out: In tricking FARC rebels into putting the hostages aboard a helicopter, undercover special forces simply told the comandantes that the aircraft was being loaned to them by a fictitious nongovernmental organization sympathetic to their cause called the International Humanitarian Mission.
It may have taken years for army intelligence to infiltrate the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and it may have been tough to convincingly impersonate rebels. But what seems to have been a walk in the park was getting the FARC to believe that an NGO was providing resources to help it in the dirty work of ferrying captives to a new location.
I am reminded of President Alvaro Uribe's 2003 statement that some "human rights" organizations in his country were fronts for terrorists. Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd got his back up over Mr. Uribe's statement, and piously lectured the Colombian president about "the importance of democratic values."
But as the helicopter story suggests, Mr. Uribe seems to have been right. How else to explain the fact that the FARC swallowed the line without batting an eye?
Leftist French media give Columbia no credit for rescuing Frenchwoman: "It turns out that Alvaro Uribe is not - at least not directly - responsible for the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt (the other 14 freed hostages seem to have been forgotten in France), according to Fanny Hess. International pressure on the Colombian president is. In the meantime, Beret Vert reports that Ingrid (who compares Colombia's army to Israel's) is herself being compared to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King on French TV, while Uribe is barely mentioned."
And the BBC is no better. They call the rescue of the hostages a release, as if the guerillas did it out of the goodness of their hearts.
Iran back at work on bomb: "The work is aimed at developing the blueprint provided by Dr AQ Khan, the "father" of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, who sold Iran details of how to build atom bombs in the early 1990s. Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which has overall responsibility for the country's nuclear programme, has set up several civilian companies to work on the programme whose activities are being deliberately concealed from the United Nations nuclear inspection teams. The companies, based on the outskirts of Tehran, are working on constructing components for the advanced P2 gas centrifuge, which can enrich uranium to weapons grade two to three times faster than conventional P1 centrifuges."
No poor country ever got rich on a G-8 aid package: "The money too often distorts their economies or falls into the wrong hands. When I meet successful African entrepreneurs, many of them cannot hide their resentment of the years they spent battling with their local bureaucracies. This red tape has frustrated their wealth-creating endeavors at every turn and often meant that they had to cut deals with local officials simply to be in business. The rich nations that feed this bureaucracy should help instead by lowering their trade barriers to the poor. But they are too busy arguing at the World Trade Organization over narrow or arcane agriculture issues, such as hormone-treated beef or support for cotton farmers. Poor countries must take the initiative by opening up their own economies. It is no coincidence that those countries which have lowered their own trade barriers unilaterally, such as China, have grown fastest in recent years."
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)