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February 19, 2008

Fidel Castro "Retires," Hollywood In Mourning?

An era has ended:

An ailing Fidel Castro stepped aside as Cuba's leader Tuesday, ending nearly a half-century of rule that saw him become an arch-enemy of 10 U.S. presidents as head of one of the world's last communist nations.

One of the last communist nations...really makes you feel nostaligic, doesn't it? Like when either Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr dies, the other will be "the last remaining Beatle." Anyone have a hankie?

In his letter to his prisoners...I mean "compatriots," the 81-year-old former El Presidente said, "I will not aspire to nor accept — I repeat, I will not aspire to nor accept — the post of President of the Council of State and Commander in Chief." Please, please, do not press him to accept any more honors than you have already bestowed upon him over the last 49 years. He wants to bow out gracefully, so that your memories of him will forever remain sweet and poignant.

The letter in full can be read here, in both English and Spanish.

Anyway, I guess Raul, a young whippersnapper at the age of 76, will continue on as the day-to-day ruler. Will he last 49 years? I'm sure those happy Cubans hope so. They love living like it's 1959.

But my real concern is how Hollywood luminaries like Robert Redford, Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio -- and other enlightened, likeminded fellows -- will take the news that the man who has inspired them all these years will no longer be sitting on his pedestal to be worshiped. Could it be that death is not far off for their compatriota?

My advice to them is not to worry. They still have Hugo Chavez.

UPDATE (Feb. 21, 1:30 PM): Here's a comment by one of my readers...for some reason, the comments section would not let him post it:

"I was scanning the FM dial on the way to work this morning and came across a fund raising drive for WBAI Pacifica Radio (99.5FM in NYC). For a $100 pledge you received a DVD titled Fidel: The Untold Truth. The host described it as the real story of Fidel's coups that toppled American Neo-colonialism and aggression. The excitement in her voice as she described the "hero" of Cuba and oppressed people everywhere and the failed CIA war against him was almost unbelievable. Then I heard her say "We have 7 callers and phone lines are open..." 7 out of a city of 8,000,000 - Come on New York - Where's the love?"



So long...we hardly knew ya...

h/t: Hot Air

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

September 17, 2007

France Grows a Pair

One of those "Believe It or Not" moments:

France's foreign minister warned Sunday that the world should prepare for war if Iran obtains nuclear weapons and said European leaders were considering their own economic sanctions against the Islamic country.

Sanctions, schmanctions. You saw how much they affected Saddam Hussein...he managed to get his funds the sleazy way, via the U.N. Oil for Food program. And he didn't give two hoots for the people anyway...much as, I figure, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't care much for the welfare of the common man. He's too busy trying to figure out how to wipe Israel off the map and how to either cripple or destroy the Great Satan.

But...we may have to abandon our "cheese eating surrender monkeys" moniker for the French. With Nicholas Sarkozy at the helm, it's a whole new ball game.

I wonder how much the Dems want to emulate the French now?

On a tip from Jeanette!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 07:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

December 20, 2006

Iran Claims It Is Now a Nuclear Power

From YNetNews.com (all emphasis below mine):

Iran is now a "nuclear power," its President, Mahmoud Ahamdinejad, delcared Wednesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

During a speech delivered in the Western Iranian province of Javanroud, Ahmadinejad said: "The Islamic Republic of Iran is now a nuclear power, thanks to the hard work of the Iranian people and authorities."

The announcement of Iran as a "nuclear power" is bound to significantly escalate tensions between the West and Iran, and marks a dramatic stage in the Islamic Republic's nuclear campaign.

In recent days, the US military has begun to build up forces around the Gulf, in what is being seen as as a warning to Iran.

Ahmadinejad was also reported to have announced that "Iranian young scientists reached the zenith of science and technology and gained access to the nuclear fuel cycle without the help of big powers."

The Iranian president began the speech by saying that "the powerful Iranian nation resists bullying powers and will defend its rights, including the right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology," the IRNA said.

In a clear rejection of all diplomatic attempts to prevent Iran from going nuclear, Ahmadinejad added in his speech that "the Iranian nation will continue in its nuclear path powerfully and will celebrate a nuclear victory soon."

The IRNA said Ahmadinejad was in Javanroud for a three-day tour along with members of his cabinet.

If all Iran wants is electricity, why is Ahmadinejad calling his country a "nuclear power?" Why is he predicting a "nuclear victory soon"?

For all we know, this could be empty boasting. And even if they have nuclear technology, can they successfully launch a nuclear missile to its destination? None of this is clear at the moment. However, things could get ugly a lot sooner than we anticipated.

UPDATE: Ahmadinejad is also predicting that Western powers will disappear:

"The oppressive powers will disappear while the Iranian people will stay. Any power that is close to God will survive while the powers who are far from God will disappear like the pharaohs," he said Wednesday, according to Iranian news agencies.

"Today, it is the United States, Britain and the Zionist regime which are doomed to disappear as they have moved far away from the teachings of God," he said in a speech in the western town of Javanroud.

"It is a divine promise."

More like a madman's promise. Stay tuned.

Does this nut really have the bomb?

h/t: Cookiewrangler

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:29 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

December 13, 2006

Dodd Plans Talks With Middle East Leaders

Connecticut's other senator, Chris Dodd (D), is planning a trip to the Middle East to conduct what the Hartford Courant calls "his own Middle East peace talks."

And, he's bringing John Kerry with him. The two plan to talk to leaders in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel.

The subheadline to the above linked article says, "Kerry to Join Effort in Sensitive Territory." If it's sensitivity that Dodd wants, he may want to rethink his choice of traveling partner.

Call me cynical, but I find it somewhat pretentious when two senators, both with presidential ambitions, decide to travel to a highly unstable area of the world with the hopes that perhaps they can succeed where others with more qualifications for such activities have failed.

Oh, you didn't know Chris Dodd was planning a run for president? He's very close to throwing his hat into the ring. Never mind that you may not know who he is. (But you may remember Dodd's famous "waitress sandwich" back in 1985, with Teddy Kennedy serving as the other slice of flabby white bread.)

Dodd feels his relative anonymity could be a plus in the race for the Democrats' 2008 nominee. Here's what a few people had to say earlier this year when the rumor of Dodd '08 started flying. Frankly, I wouldn't want to inflict him on the rest of the country. It's bad enough that he represents my state.

The idea that Dodd and Kerry are going to talk to leaders in Syria when the administration is reluctant to do so (and hoping to pass on messages from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) does nothing for our nation. It shows those countries that we continue to be divided on key policy issues such as national security. All these two are doing is stroking their own egos.

Such is the sad nature of politics.

Plans to pave his way to the Oval Office

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:04 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

October 18, 2006

Poll Shows 80% Dissatisfaction with U.S.

Okay, I lied. I figured a headline about America-bashing would get a higher posting in search engines. Truth is, this poll from Japan shows the exact opposite :

About once a year, the [U.S.] embassy contracts a business in Japan to conduct a survey to measure Japanese attitudes toward Americans and the security alliance that allows 50,000 U.S. troops to live in the country.

This year’s poll, taken in May and June, showed 80 percent of the 1,012 adults surveyed across Japan favor the U.S. alliance — the fourth consecutive year that opinion increased, according to Andrew Lee, the embassy’s assistant press attaché.

I found this story on the Stars and Stripes website. Where did you think I found it, on AP or Reuters? (Now if there was a poll that showed how much America was disliked somewhere, you can be sure it would receive top notch coverage from those fine news sources.)

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Posted by Pam Meister at 07:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

October 09, 2006

North Korea's Nuclear Test

Well, Dear Leader Kim Jong Il did it:

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said on Monday it had safely and successfully carried out an underground nuclear test, flying in the face of a warning from the U.N. Security Council.

What gets me is the shocked tone that is popping up in the news stories about the event. Why is anyone surprised when rogue nations such as North Korea defy the UN? The UN is a useless group of self-important windbags that never, ever follows through on any of its warnings or resolutions. Just look at Iraq as an example: under our friend Saddam Hussein it violated over 15 UN resolutions, and the UN did nothing to follow up. The UN is like an ineffective parent who constantly warns of dire consequences if little Johnny doesn't obey the rules, but does nothing and Johnny turns out to be a major brat.

The regime of Kim Jong Il (yes, it's appropriate to use here) has continued North Korea's degeneration into a horror show. Starving people, concentration camps, death...it's all a part of the here and now of North Korea. (And commie wannabes in this country close their eyes to that kind of potential for abuse of power when they have their marches and rallies.)

Along with other free world nations, China has condemned the test...but I am taking that announcement with a grain of salt. China isn't exactly a part of the free world, although it likes to pretend it is.

Who could have guessed that North Korea would double-cross Bill Clinton, who gave them two nuclear reactors so that they could produce power? (Well, they're producing power, all right, but not the kind I like.) I wonder if Chris Wallace were to ask him about this in an interview, what would his reaction be?

Nuclear testing by this character shouldn't exactly come as a surprise

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

July 20, 2006

Putting It Into Perspective

Listening to Rush Limbaugh today, he gave us a quote by former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir about peace in the Middle East (as it pertains to Israel):

There will be no peace until they love their children more than they hate us.

I couldn't agree more.

She knew what she was talking about.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

February 14, 2006

Iran Says "Not Yet"

An Iranian official has been quoted as saying a crucial process to uranium enrichment has not yet begun. Which official? Who knows?

Iran has not yet started running centrifuges to produce enriched uranium, which the West suspects Tehran wants to make atomic weapons, a senior Iranian official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Iran, which says it wants to enrich uranium only to the low level needed for power stations, ordered the resumption uranium enrichment after being reported to the U.N. Security Council earlier this month.

"No work has been done on the centrifuges and no gas has been injected yet," the official said.

I don't know about you, but I feel a heck of a lot better after reading that. After all, the Iranians are so honorable. Why would they make anything up?

After all, they're only looking to create clean energy...

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

December 11, 2005

ICC a Bad Idea

Peter A. Brown, writing for the Orlando Sentinel:

A Spanish judge's effort to extradite three American soldiers in connection with the deaths of two journalists in the Iraq war is worth noting -- and not because the United States is likely to turn over the three men involved in a 2003 firefight in which two journalists, one a Spaniard, were mistakenly killed.

It is important because it illustrates the wisdom of the U.S. decision not to join the International Criminal Court.

We should remember this when, as surely as the sun rises in the east, the 2008 presidential campaign will see the ICC issue resurrected by those who think the United States needs to repair its global image by trading on our sovereignty.

Obviously, countering the view around the globe that the United States does what it pleases regardless of the consequences would be a good thing. And, historically the United States has supported the idea of post-war panels to discipline those who commit genocide.

But a full-time world court is another matter. Especially when it requires that American troops doing their job during wartime be subjected to the whims of those who don't share U.S. views and values.

Read the whole thing.

h/t: GD

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | World Affairs

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