The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

Torture: brought to you by white evangelicals

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White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

—a Pew Forum study reported by CNN.com

Egad.

Aren’t the torturers the bad guys in the stories of Jesus?  And weren’t there religious patriots cheering them on, calling out, “We have no god but Caesar?”

Why have evangelicals traded the imitation of Christ for the ruthlessness of Rome?

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Iranian reformers unite; seek ouster of Ahmadinejad

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Ahmadinejad may be losing support. Is it a new day for Iran?
clipped from www.nytimes.com
Mohammad Khatami, the reformist former president, has decided to withdraw from the June presidential race to support a political ally [...]

Mohammad Khatami

“The most important goal is to prevent Mr. Ahmadinejad from re-election, not to get Mr. Khatami elected,” [...]

Mr. Mousavi [the candidate Khatami will support], who is also a painter and architect, stayed out of politics for the past two decades and had turned down calls to run as presidential candidate in previous elections. His wife, Zahra Rahnavard, was the dean of the prestigious women’s university, Al Zahra, from 1998 to 2006 and is close ally of Mr. Khatami.[...]

President Ahmadinejad is supported by the conservative Iranian establishment, but his economic policies have unleashed economic inflation of over 25 percent, and two major setbacks last week suggested that he might be losing support ahead of elections.[...]

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Could be a breakthrough.  The election is June 12.


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Written by Monte

March 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Iran’s enriched uranium ready for bombs? Not by a long shot.

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Iran does not have the capability of making weapons-grade enriched uranium.

I know, you heard that there was more enriched uranium there than previously thought. But there are, apparently, many grades of enriched uranium, and bomb material is far cry from what Iran has.

Here’s U of Michigan Prof. Juan Cole:

clipped from www.juancole.com

Pie-graphs showing the relative proportions of...

Image via Wikipedia

Iran Nuclear Program Hyped again

Note to mainstream media:

Iran cannot construct nuclear bombs with uranium enriched only to less than 4%.

It needs to be enriched to something like 90% to make a bomb. Iran is not known even to have that capability, and no it cannot be done in 2 months (try a decade), assuming they were trying to do it, which our $40 bn. a year intelligence agencies say they are not.

So all the silly articles on Friday about how iran now has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb are just illiterate.

Moreover, the report in question actually says that Iran is slowing its enrichment activities.

h/t Jay McDonough.

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Reason for panic? Threat to world peace? Justification for a strike from Israel?

Hardly.

Why is it “reasons for war” stories are so rarely true?


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Palestinian Loss of Land and American Manifest Destiny

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If it were, say, Iowa, and Century Farmers had been evicted at gunpoint since WWII by more recent immigrants, things would look mighty different. (h/t Clipmarks friend Jimbo1000)
clipped from www.ifamericansknew.org

Palestinian Loss of Land 1946-2005

four maps of shrinking Palestine
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Native Americans flee from the allegorical rep...
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Tragically, Israelis may owe much to an American model. Their expansion so reminds me of the American doctrine called Manifest Destiny. It assumed all the territory that would become the USA was divinely given to white people. MD was used to justify the moving, killing, containment and lasting impoverishment of Native Americans. Indeed, westward expansion’s completion and total dominance of the indigenous people of the contiguous United States (not to mention Hawaii and Alaska) was only thirty years old at Israel’s birth in 1946: about as recent in American memory as the Vietnam conflict is today.

I would guess that the writings of the Hebrew Bible were used to encourage westward expansion in the USA; they are still, of course, the claim some Zionists stake (and some evangelicals support) to all the territory in and around Israel.

Such dominance—in either American or Israeli history—is starkly at odds with the ways of Jesus Christ, of course.


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“They are bombing 1.5 million people in a cage”

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A Norwegian doctor in Gaza describes serving 2500 wounded, 50% of them women and children (naturally:  half the Palestinian population is under 15 ).  He has seen only one military casualty. Surgery goes on around the clock.
clipped from www.juancole.com

“It’s Hell in Here”
“They are Bombing 1.5 million People in a Cage”

He says he has seen one military casualty come into the hospital. Of 2500 wounded, 50% are women and children. Doing surgery around the clock. There are injuries you do not want to see– children coming in with open abdomens, with injured legs, we had to amputate both of them. This is a war on the civilian population of Gaza. It is a very young population. They cannot flee. They are fenced in. They are bombing one and a half million people in a cage.

Also please write your representative and senator, send this link, and demand that the US intervene diplomatically to stop this atrocity.
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(NO SALE, NO ARCHIV...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

FAR FROM IT: Rather than working on a plan for intervention, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is planning a resolution of support for Israel.


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UN Investigator: Israel commits “massive violations of international law”

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Richard Falk, U. N. Special Investigator for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, spells it out (h/t PeoplesGeography):

clipped from www.russiatoday.com
The Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Convention, both in regard to the obligations of an occupying power and in the requirements of the laws of war.
'Israeli air strikes represent massive violations of international law'Those violations include:Collective punishment – the entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants. [...]

Targeting civilians – the air strikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world [...]

Disproportionate military response – the air strikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza’s elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians [...]

Earlier Israeli actions, specifically the complete sealing off of entry and exit to and from the Gaza Strip, have led to severe shortages of medicine and fuel (as well as food), resulting in the inability of ambulances to respond to the injured, the inability of hospitals to adequately provide medicine or necessary equipment for the injured, and the inability of Gaza’s besieged doctors and other medical workers to sufficiently treat the victims. [...]

Certainly the rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel are unlawful. But that illegality does not give Israel any right … to violate international humanitarian law and commit war crimes … in its response [...] The one Israeli killed today … is the first in over a year. [...]

The Israeli air strikes today, and the catastrophic human toll that they have caused, challenge those countries that have been and remain complicit, either directly or indirectly, in Israel’s violations of international law. That complicity includes those countries knowingly providing the military equipment including warplanes and missiles used in these illegal attacks, as well as those countries which have supported and participated in the siege of Gaza, which itself has caused a humanitarian catastrophe

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Since 2000, fewer than 20 Israelis have been killed by Hamas’ primitive rockets – and only one in the last 12 months. By contrast, 3,000 Palestinians have died, and 300 of them perished in the last few days.

Israel’s enabler is the USA, which provides American gunships, missiles, and bombs. Israel kills with impunity because the US vetoes near-unanimous UN rebukes.

Dispensationalism’s blind faith that Israel’s barbarous government is the Israel of prophecy demands re-evaluation. For the pogroms this outfit carries out make it more resemble the Third Reich than the children of Abraham.

And the USA—with the backing of the Christian conservative set—once again has blood on its hands.


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Young heroes of peace in Israel – in prison

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They’re called Shministim – Israeli teenagers who refuse conscription into the Israeli army because of its apartheid treatment of innocent Palestinians.  Listen to their voices in this quiet and moving two-minute video:

I have signed the letter they mention; I invite you to, as well, by going to Tell Israel – Free the Shministim!

Let’s change the world.


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