Archive for  September 2008

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McCain is such a disgusting pig.

I remember there was a story about politician in the old days in Iran that said, “if I have to shove my beard into the ass of a donkey to get the position I want, I will do it”, I am afraid McCain is willing to do more than that to become a president.

It is really funny that the media in the US are sucking up to this ass-hole and not calling up his lies.


Can you imagine if Obama has said Horeshit during the debate? He would have been crucified by the media and all over the world, but this jack ass can get away with murder when Obama highlights his stupidity that he does not know that Spain in not in South America and is actually a NATO member.

Iran’s “Song of Sparrows” at Oscars

TEHRAN, Sept. 26 (Mehr News Agency) — “The Song of Sparrows” is representing Iran at the 81st Annual Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Films category. Directed by Majid Majidi, “The Song of Sparrows” is a bittersweet parable about the struggles of a family living in a rural area outside Tehran.

The film was chosen by a selection board from among a collection that also included “So Simple”, “Night Bus”, and “Persian Carpet”.

The board members, selected by the Farabi Cinematic Foundation (FCF), included the director of the FCF’s International Relations Section Amir Esfandiari, film director Mohammad Bozorgnia, screenwriter Frahad Tohidi, film critic Azizollah Haji-Mashhadi, cameraman Mohammad Davari, musician Mohammad Sarir, producer Alireza Shojanuri, filmmaker Rasul Sadr-Ameli, and actress Fatemeh Motamed-Aria.

Reza Naji won the Silver Bear prize for best actor at the 58th annual Berlin International Film Festival for his role in “The Song of Sparrows”.

Leading actor Reza Naji (left) and director Majid Majidi. Naji, won the Silver Bear Award of 58th Berlin Film Festival.

The film has previously received several accolades at the Iranian festival.

In 1999, “The Children of Heaven”, Majidi’s film depicting the face of poverty in an Iranian family, was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Films category at the Academy Awards.

In addition, his “The Color of Paradise” and “Baran” were nominated for an Oscar in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

… Payvand News – 09/26/08 …

When the world loses its faith in the land of the brave – World –

When the world loses its faith in the land of the brave

Anne Davies in Washington
September 22, 2008

AMERICA, the land of credit cards and seemingly endless debt financing, is standing on a precipice. For the first time, the US Government is having to consider what might happen if the world was to decide that America was not such a sure bet to pay back what it owes to the rest of the world.

What if investors ceased buying investments denominated in US dollars? What if they stopped investing? The possible consequences for a nation that depends on Chinese savings and Arab oil wealth to fund its lifestyle are so horrifying that nobody – not George Bush nor the Treasury secretary, Hank Paulson – is prepared to contemplate it.

On Saturday President Bush announced an unprecedented plan to bail out Wall Street with a $US700 billion taxpayer-funded plan to buy up poorly performing mortgage-backed securities.

The hope is that this show of shock and awe will so reassure investors about American markets that the fear of further collapses will recede – and with it fears about American creditworthiness.

But the announcement is a blow to the supporters of free-market philosophy in the US.

For the first time the US may have to come to terms with the rules of economics that most countries, including Australia, have laboured under for years: that if you run big deficits and accumulate foreign debt, eventually the rest of the world will punish you, beginning with your currency and your interest rates and ending with a decision to invest elsewhere.

Announcing the first details of the Wall Street bail-out, Mr Bush said his first instinct was to leave the markets to deal with their own investment decisions. But over recent days he had become convinced that the contagion could spread to the broader economy and start affecting Americans’ ability to get a home loan or a college loan.

“There’s going to be billions – hundreds of billions of dollars at risk,” he said. “This is a big package because it was a big problem.”

Mr Bush is asking for bipartisan support for a scheme that would generally find greater backing from the Democrats than his own party – because at heart it is a massive nationalisation of risk. Yet he is urging a pragmatic approach to markets that have largely gone unregulated under his own Administration.

When the bill comes before Congress next week, it is certain to lay bare a fissure in the Republican Party. The party’s presidential candidate, John McCain, having initially signalled he might favour leaving Wall Street to market forces, has tried to seize the initiative by announcing his own rescue package on Friday.

“This financial crisis requires leadership and action in order to restore a sound foundation to financial markets, get our economy on its feet, and eliminate this burden on hard-working, middle-class Americans.”

His Mortgage and Financial Institutions trust plan strives to “resolve” troubled institutions, enforce discipline on management and shareholders, and “minimise the burden on the taxpayer”.

The Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, has kept his powder dry so far but from his party’s perspective, the issue is just as complex. A Rasmussun poll last Wednesday, taken in the early stages of the meltdown, showed that only 7 per cent of people supported bailing out Wall Street.

The Democrats are almost certain to push for a part of the package that helps ordinary Americans, whether it be more help for people trapped by subprime loans or a second stimulus package.

Asking American taxpayers to stump $2000 each for Wall Street is a big deal. Its raised a chorus of complaints about why it is fine to expand the deficit to bail out Wall Street, but not to fund a national health care scheme. The Administration hopes it will serve as a kind of inoculation against the worst version of a Wall Street collapse.

Robert Fisk’s World: Why does the US think it can win in Afghanistan? – Robert Fisk, Commentators – The Independent

Robert Fisk’s World: Why does the US think it can win in Afghanistan?

The Taliban are better trained, and – sad to say – increasingly tolerated by the local civilian population

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Poor old Algerians. They are being served the same old pap from their cruel government. In 1997, the Pouvoir announced a “final victory” over their vicious Islamist enemies. On at least three occasions, I reported – not, of course, without appropriate cynicism – that the Algerian authorities believed their enemies were finally beaten because the “terrorists” were so desperate that they were beheading every man, woman and child in the villages they captured in the mountains around Algiers and Oran.

And now they’re at it again. After a ferocious resurgence of car bombing by their newly merged “al-Qa’ida in the Maghreb” antagonists, the decrepit old FLN government in Algiers has announced the “terminal phase” in its battle against armed Islamists. As the Algerian journalist Hocine Belaffoufi said with consummate wit the other day, “According to this political discourse … the increase in attacks represents undeniable proof of the defeat of terrorism. The more terrorism collapsed, the more the attacks increased … so the stronger (terrorism) becomes, the fewer attacks there will be.”

We, of course, have been peddling this crackpot nonsense for years in south-west Asia. First of all, back in 2001, we won the war in Afghanistan by overthrowing the Taliban. Then we marched off to win the war in Iraq. Now – with at least one suicide bombing a day and the nation carved up into mutually antagonistic sectarian enclaves – we have won the war in Iraq and are heading back to re-win the war in Afghanistan where the Taliban, so thoroughly trounced by our chaps seven years ago, have proved their moral and political bankruptcy by recapturing half the country.

It seems an age since Donald “Stuff Happens” Rumsfeld declared,”A government has been put in place (in Afghanistan), and the Islamists are no more the law in Kabul. Of course, from time to time a hand grenade, a mortar explodes – but in New York and in San Francisco, victims also fall. As for me, I’m full of hope.” Oddly, back in the Eighties, I heard exactly the same from a Soviet general at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan – yes, the very same Bagram airbase where the CIA lads tortured to death a few of the Afghans who escaped the earlier Russian massacres. Only “terrorist remnants” remained in the Afghan mountains, the jolly Russian general assured us. Afghan troops, along with the limited Soviet “intervention” forces, were restoring peace to democratic Afghanistan.

And now? After the “unimaginable” progress in Iraq – I am quoting the fantasist who still occupies the White House – the Americans are going to hip-hop 8,000 soldiers out of Mesopotamia and dump another 4,700 into the hellfire of Afghanistan. Too few, too late, too slow, as one of my French colleagues commented acidly. It would need at least another 10,000 troops to hope to put an end to these Taliban devils who are now equipped with more sophisticated weapons, better trained and increasingly – sad to say – tolerated by the local civilian population. For Afghanistan, read Irakistan.

Back in the late 19th century, the Taliban – yes, the British actually called their black-turbaned enemies “Talibs” – would cut the throats of captured British soldiers. Now this unhappy tradition is repeated – and we are surprised! Two of the American soldiers seized when the Taliban stormed into their mountain base on 13 July this year were executed by their captors.

And now it turns out that four of the 10 French troops killed in Afghanistan on 18 August surrendered to the Taliban, and were almost immediately executed. Their interpreter had apparently disappeared shortly before their mission began – no prizes for what this might mean – and the two French helicopters which might have helped to save the day were too busy guarding the hopeless and impotent Afghan President Hamid Karzai to intervene on behalf of their own troops. A French soldier described the Taliban with brutal frankness. “They are good soldiers but pitiless enemies.”

The Soviet general at Bagram now has his amanuensis in General David McKiernan, the senior US officer in Afghanistan, who proudly announced last month that US forces had killed “between 30 and 35 Taliban” in a raid on Azizabad near Herat. “In the light of emerging evidence pertaining (sic) to civilian casualties in the … counter-insurgency operation,” the luckless general now says, he feels it “prudent” – another big sic here – to review his original investigation. The evidence “pertaining”, of course, is that the Americans probably killed 90 people in Azizabad, most of them women and children. We – let us be frank and own up to our role in the hapless Nato alliance in Afghanistan – have now slaughtered more than 500 Afghan civilians this year alone. These include a Nato missile attack on a wedding party in July when we splattered 47 of the guests all over the village of Deh Bala.

And Obama and McCain really think they’re going to win in Afghanistan – before, I suppose, rushing their soldiers back to Iraq when the Baghdad government collapses. What the British couldn’t do in the 19th century and what the Russians couldn’t do at the end of the 20th century, we’re going to achieve at the start of the 21 century, taking our terrible war into nuclear-armed Pakistan just for good measure. Fantasy again.

Joseph Conrad, who understood the powerlessness of powerful nations, would surely have made something of this. Yes, we have lost after we won in Afghanistan and now we will lose as we try to win again. Stuff happens.