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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

president bush quotes the universal declaration of human rights

i’m guessing he couldn’t be bothered with reading past that first bit that was quoted. these parts seem to have escaped his attention and/or comprehension:

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

you can check the rest here.

in the meantime, this president, in particular, has some serious balls quoting this document, in particular, after his 6-year record of violating the letter and spirit of the universal declaration of human rights.

posted by roj at 12:27 pm  

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

into and through iraq

mother jones gives us a [flash-based] timeline of the deceptions used to justify an invasion of iraq. days later, the united states department of defense sends a report to congress, which we find on the net via paul craig roberts.

i just had to put the two next to each other.

sort of a follow-up to this post

posted by roj at 4:14 am  

Saturday, June 24, 2006

no death penalty in the philippines

just a quick nod to the philippines for their courage in outlawing the death penalty.

posted by roj at 6:05 am  

Friday, March 10, 2006

troubling messages america sends to its friends and allies

my president is “concerned” about the message scuttling the uae-ports world deal sends to our friends and allies, particularly in the middle east.

i only wish my president were equally concerned about the message that torturing prisoners, indefinite detentions, and compromising traditional american values sends to our friends and allies, particularly in the middle east.

posted by roj at 1:10 pm  

Monday, March 6, 2006

global respect

i can’t speak to the accuracy of the translation, but the english version of this interview, copied in its entirety below, is important for all residents of planet earth. you can see the video here [ifilm], and here [windows media, via metafilter].

i will only add that this does not apply only to muslims.

Arab-American Psychologist Wafa Sultan: There Is No Clash of Civilizations but a Clash between the Mentality of the Middle Ages and That of the 21st Century

Following are excerpts from an interview with Arab-American psychologist Wafa Sultan. The interview was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 21, 2006

Wafa Sultan: The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.


Host: I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims?

Wafa Sultan: Yes, that is what I mean.


Host: Who came up with the concept of a clash of civilizations? Was it not Samuel Huntington? It was not Bin Laden. I would like to discuss this issue, if you don’t mind…

Wafa Sultan: The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: “I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.” When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to start this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels.

My colleague has said that he never offends other people’s beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves? Once, he calls them Ahl Al-Dhimma, another time he calls them the “People of the Book,” and yet another time he compares them to apes and pigs, or he calls the Christians “those who incur Allah’s wrath.” Who told you that they are “People of the Book”? They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to call them “those who incur Allah’s wrath,” or “those who have gone astray,” and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others?

I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others’ right to believe in it.

Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli: Are you a heretic?

Wafa Sultan: You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural…

Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli: If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you, since you have blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran…

Wafa Sultan: These are personal matters that do not concern you.


Wafa Sultan: Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don’t throw them at me. You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people’s beliefs are not your concern, whether they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs.


Wafa Sultan: The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.


update [2006.03.09] a great blog i don’t check in on often enough as picked up on this.

posted by roj at 1:23 am  

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

bush on peace and politics

another episode in what might become a real series here, “it sounds good when you say it out loud

“A political party, in order to be viable, is one that professes peace, in my judgement, in order that it will keep the peace,” Bush told the newspaper in an interview Wednesday morning, before polls closed in the election

bush, our war president, admits defeat and that his republican party is not viable?

posted by roj at 10:18 pm  

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

bush on democracy

it sounds good when you say it out loud, doesn’t it?

president george w. bush [2006.01.10]

Compromise and consensus and power sharing are the only path to national unity and lasting democracy

tyranny on the home front while we bomb democracy into those silly foreigners.

posted by roj at 12:55 am  

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

body counts for that other perpetual war

inspired by my own post on iraqi civilian deaths, i thought i’d scratch a little deeper and see what i could find.

two years in iraq (march 2003-march 2005)
iraqi civilian deaths: 24,865 (source)
coalition deaths: 1712 (source)

kill ratio: 14.52 (24,865/1712)

four and a half years in israel (september 2000-april 2005)
palestinian deaths: 3596 (source)
israeli deaths: 953 (source)

kill ratio: 3.77 (3596/953)

i realize this isn’t entirely fair – since there’s lots of room for interpretation in the concept of “civilian” and i’m quite confident that the definition is never going to be the same twice, but… i thought a moment of reflection on the “us vs. them” (and “them vs. us”) was worth a few words.

posted by roj at 7:02 am  

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

missed by just 135

ow available from the folks over at, a report [pdf] documenting 24,865 civilians killed in iraq in the first two years after invasion.

i’m sure the friends (let’s say 10 each) and family (let’s say 4 each) of each of these dead civilians (let’s call that 348,110 friends and family) are very happy with the united states at the moment.

speak truth. all wars are crimes.

posted by roj at 6:50 am  

Saturday, March 19, 2005

happy second wariversary

that is, unless you’re one of the 18, 000 or so dead civilians or one of the 1696 dead soldiers.

posted by roj at 5:53 pm  
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