28.6.06

Je déteste les chats

Votre gouvernement conservateur

Le gouvernement Harper se prépare à réactiver un projet de loi qui expira lors de la chute du gourvernement Martin: la possible surveillance aléatoire et sans contrôle juridique de tous les internautes canadiens. C'est Michael Geist qui a flairé la chose en lisant attentivement les nouveaux termes d'utilisation du réseau de Sympatico.

Considérant la bonne blague concernant l'arrestation des fameux terroristes de Toronto, ça risque d'être charmant (à moins, bien sûr, qu'il y ait quelque chose comme une opposition au projet de loi, mais vous me permettrai d'en douter).

Le gouvernement conservateur pourrait ressusciter un projet de loi qui lui permettrait d'espionner les internautes. En tout cas, un des principaux fournisseurs de service Internet au pays prévient ses clients que cette surveillance s'en vient.

Si le projet de loi est déposé à nouveau, il pourrait donner à la police libre accès à des informations personnelles sans mandat préalable, disent des experts.

Bell Sympatico a informé sa clientèle que le service entend surveiller ou enquêter sur le contenu ou l'utilisation que ses clients font des réseaux du fournisseur de service et divulguer toute information requise pour respecter «toute loi, tout règlement ou toute autre demande gouvernementale».

27.6.06

Martineau watch no.976234

Une autre perle de Martineau, en parlant de Dieudonné:

Israël est un pays plus menaçant que l'Iran? Vraiment, il commence à déconner, notre ami Dieudonné... Bientôt, il va nous dire que ce sont les Américains eux-mêmes qui ont fait sauter les tours du World Trade Center...


Et la menace se mesure comment? En nombre de civils étrangers tués depuis 20 ans? En nombre de pays étrangers envahis? En nombre de résolutions de l'ONU violées? En nombre d'ogives nucléaires? Richard, décidémment, t'es en train de devenir une version semi-branchée du Doc Mailloux.

Les prochains formats DVD

Les Blue-Rays et autres HD-DVD seront-ils la rage ou un flop monumental? Je penche du côté du flop: les avantages procurés par les nouveaux formats sont minimaux par rapport aux désavantages. À ranger avec vos 8-pistes, Betamax et vidéo-disques. Pas convaincus? Lisez ceci.

Via Slashdot.

Nés pour un petit pain

Selon un sondage Léger Marketing/Le Journal de Montréal, si des élections générales avaient eu lieu durant le week-end de la Saint-Jean - entre le 22 et 25 juin -, le Parti libéral du Québec aurait récolté 37 pour cent des votes contre 33 pour cent pour le Parti québécois.

Pour sa part, l'Action démocratique du Québec aurait maintenu sensiblement ses appuis avec 17 pour cent des votes alors que le nouveau venu, Québec solidaire, aurait obtenu 6 pour cent des voix.

Le bon vent pour les libéraux se vérifie également dans le taux de satisfaction des Québécois qui, à 39 pour cent, fait un bond favorable de 10 points en comparaison à un sondage en mai où il n'était que de 29 pour cent.

Malgré tout, le taux d'insatisfaction envers le gouvernement Charest demeure élevé, à 59 pour cent.

Le seul point positif pour le Parti québécois est qu'une majorité de francophones continuent à lui accorder son appui (38 % contre 29 % pour le PLQ) et à être insatisfaits à 64 % du gouvernement de Jean Charest.



Il suffit donc de saupoudrer quelques projets de loi qui évitent d'être à tout le moins médiocres, sinon complètement ridicules pendant une semaine pour que la chose se traduise par une remontée dans les sondages. Dans ce contexte, n'est-il pas difficile de blâmer les politiciens pour leurs basses manipulations lorsqu'il est si ridiculement facile de berner la population? Un voleur est-il un voleur si sa victime lui donne son bien convoité?

23.6.06

Répéter les erreurs du passé




Lyndon Baines Bush.
Via Billmon.

Vastel: l'audition pour un film de zombie



Personne ne lui a dit "Heu, Michel, on reprend la photo"?

Argh!

Zylag m'a précédé, mais j'allais vous faire part d'un texte d'une ironie assez juteuse, amusante si elle n'était pas si désolante.

Sur l'opération Mountain Thrust,
William S. Lind:

At present, the bombing is largely tied to the latest Somme-like “Big Push,” Operation Mountain Thrust, in which more than 10,000 U.S.-led troops are trying another failed approach to guerrilla war, the sweep. I have no doubt it would break the Mullah Omar Line, if it existed, which it doesn’t. Even the Brits seem to have drunk the Kool-Aid this time, with the June 19 Washington Times reporting that “British commanders declared for the first time yesterday that their troops were enjoying success in the restive south of Afghanistan after pushing faster than expected into rebel territory.” Should be in Berlin by September, old chap.

Of course, all this is accompanied by claims of many dead Taliban, who are conveniently interchangeable with dead locals who weren’t Taliban. Bombing from the air is the best way to drive up the body count, because you don’t even have to count bodies; you just make estimates based on the claimed effectiveness of your weapons, and feed them to ever-gullible reporters. By the time Operation Mountain Thrust is done thrusting into mountains, we should have killed the Taliban several times over.

Icing this particular cake is a strategic misconception of the nature of the Afghan war that only American generals could swallow. According to the same Post story,

U.S. officials say the activity is a response to an increasingly aggressive Taliban, whose leaders realize that long-term trends are against them as them as the power of the Afghan central government grows.

“I think the Taliban realize they have a window to act,” Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, commander of the 22,000 U.S. troops in the country, said in a recent interview. “The enemy is working against a window that he knows is closing.”

Except that the power of the U.S.-created Afghan government is receding, not growing, and the Taliban’s “window” only closes when Christ comes again.

Aaugh! The last time a nation’s civilian and military leadership was this incapable of learning from experience was under the Ching Dynasty.

Perhaps it’s time to offer a short refresher course in Guerrilla War 101:

*

Air power works against you, not for you. It kills lots of people who weren’t your enemy, recruiting their relatives, friends and fellow tribesmen to become your enemies. In this kind of war, bombers are as useful as 42 cm. siege mortars.
*

Big, noisy, offensives, launched with lots of warning, achieve nothing. The enemy just goes to ground while you pass on through, and he’s still there when you leave. Big Pushes are the opposite of the “ink blot” strategy, which is the only thing that works, when anything can.
*

Putting the Big Push together with lots of bombing in Afghanistan’s Pashtun country means we end up fighting most if not all of the Pashtun. In Afghan wars, the Pashtun always win in the end.
*

Quisling governments fail because they cannot achieve legitimacy.
*

You need closure, but your guerilla enemy doesn’t. He not only can fight until Doomsday, he intends to do just that—if not you, then someone else.
*

The bigger the operations you have to undertake, the more surely your enemy is winning.


C'est Clausewitz qui disait que la guerre n'est que la politique par d'autres moyens. Or, ce qui dérange, c'est que ces guerres sont l'extension de la politique interne des pays engagés, puisque ces soubresauts ne semblent explicables que par des visées électoralistes. Déplorable.

22.6.06

Olmert et Abbas

C'est joli de voir Olmert promettre (d'une façon très vague) à Abbas de tenir des pourparlers dans le but de formuler un accord de paix durable. Si c'est vrai, si on a envie du côté israélien de tenter de régler le dossier, il faudra au moins souligner le timing de la chose: out Arafat, arrive Abbas, on continue à tout (rien) faire dans le but de montrer que la voie du dialogue est effectivement la bonne, les Palestiniens en ont marre et élisent le Hamas, et hop, voilà le processus de paix qui redémarre.

Merci au Hamas, la réelle cause de cette ouverture soudaine. Ironie, quand tu nous tient.

Coulter (suite)

Via Americablog.

Coulter vs Hitler.

Ann Coulter aime le fisting

Via Atrios.


In Coulter's latest book she reveals an interesting obsession.

Page 12:


Liberals used to tell us they were teaching fisting to fourth-graders because ‘kids are going to have sex anyways!’ (Yes, ‘fisting’ is exactly what it sounds like; have a nice day!) Now they’ve dispensed with that and openly concede that they believe virtue is just one of many equally valid points of view that must be counterbalanced with the argument for promiscuity, group sex, fisting, and other lifestyle choices.



Page 175:


Anal sex, oral sex, fisting, dental dams, ‘birthing games’—all that would be foisted on unsuspecting children in order to protect kindergartners from the scourge of AIDS.



Page 251:


From the reaction of the evolutionists, you would think the Dover schools were teaching fisting to twelve-year-olds (when, as any student knows, that’s not covered until junior year).



I'd simply chalk it up to Coulter's understanding of the conservative need to get lots of kinky porn with condemnation, or maybe our Ann is more religious than we give her credit for.

Les dons de Groupaction au PQ

- Si vous decidez de mettre sur pied un gigantesque réseau de redistribution de fric public, soyez sûrs d'en donner aussi à vos adversaires: ça pourrait servir.

- Si vous êtes pris la main dans le sac, soyez sûrs d'éclabousser votre adversaire, à l'aide de votre organe de propagande officiel. C'est ainsi que les dons de Groupaction au PQ sont devenus étrangement similaires aux "malversations" des démocrates dans l'affaire Abramoff aux USA. Mais, pourquoi se priver des stratégies gagnantes du GOP?

20.6.06

Le Québec aurait-il peur de ses musulmans ?

Salah Basalamah (extrait):

Malgré l’inconstitutionnalité des tribunaux d’arbitrage au Québec, l’expression de l’hostilité envers l’islam et les musulmans n’a pas fini de s’atténuer que la députée Fatima Houda-Pépin s’érige en spécialiste du droit musulman et fait une présentation au début du mois mars à l’Assemblée nationale pour « montrer le danger » que constitue l’implantation de la charia dans le droit canadien. L’émotion fut évidemment à la hauteur de la peur qu’un tel discours peut susciter. Et voilà que Mme Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, ministre des Relations internationales du Québec, « exhorte tous les partis politiques fédéraux et provinciaux à clamer leur opposition à la charia. [Elle] pense même que le Québec devrait rejeter toute demande d’immigration d’une personne qui adhère à la loi islamique. » Plutôt grave, mais surtout confinant à l’absurde, puisque pratiquer la prière rituelle, c’est adhérer à la charia, alors tous les citoyens musulmans accomplissant la prière sont en infraction...

Mais la députée libérale de La Pinière n’est pas en reste puisqu’elle fait adopter le 26 mai dernier, une motion par l’Assemblée nationale « contre l’implantation de tribunaux islamiques au Québec et au Canada » s’érigeant ainsi en tutrice de la communauté musulmane désormais infantilisée contre « une mouvance islamiste minoritaire mais agissante, qui cherche à imposer son système de valeurs, au nom d’une certaine idée de Dieu. » Or, il ne suffit pas de prendre acte du soutien de l’Assemblée à une motion peu amène à l’endroit de l’islam et de ses fidèles, il faut encore que le porte-voix radiophonique et télévisuel de l’intelligentsia bien-pensante du Québec, ainsi que la presse locale fassent tous les honneurs à la députée pourfendeuse des islamistes imaginaires, qui ne distingue pas entre charia, jurisprudence musulmane et ses multiples sous-catégories.

Non seulement la motion est discriminatoire à l’endroit des musulmans - puisqu’au nom d’une minorité inventée (pas un nom d’individu ou d’organisme au Québec n’a été mis en cause), elle les stigmatise dans leur ensemble - mais parce qu’en raison de l’opposition que l’on exprime à ce qui se passe en Ontario elle distingue l’islam des autres religions en présence. De plus, alors même que le recours à l’arbitrage religieux n’est pas permis par les lois du Québec, la motion enfonce deux portes ouvertes : la première est entendue puisqu’il n’y a pas lieu d’interdire pour les uns ce qui est déjà interdit pour tout le monde. La seconde en revanche consiste à interdire ce qui n’a jamais été réclamé, ni pour le seul aspect du droit familial, ni pour l’ensemble de la charia (incluant le code pénal), comme le laissent entendre la motion et la plupart des reportages médiatiques de ces derniers mois.

Ainsi, est-il manifeste que les réactions et les prises de position à l’endroit des citoyens musulmans de cette province, à la fois relayées, suscitées et appuyées par les médias québécois, ne constituent pas l’expression la plus « accueillante » pour les concitoyens musulmans qui, au mieux de leurs moyens, tentent d’intégrer positivement la société québécoise tout en restant musulmans. De fait, il est bien étrange que dans le Québec interculturel, souvent présenté comme modèle, la survivance d’un certain orientalisme, voire d’un ethnocentrisme post-européen, continuent à susciter des efforts aussi importants de la part d’une partie de la population pour faire valoir auprès d’une société d’immigration le droit à l’égalité (dont le traitement médiatique). Il serait peut-être temps que les consciences promouvant les valeurs universelles de justice et d’égalité se mobilisent pour retrouver un Québec ouvert, juste et serein, au-delà des complots des marchands de la peur et de la méfiance.

19.6.06

La destruction de la Palestine

La nouvelle m'a échappé la semaine dernière, mais je vous offre ce petit entrefilet daté du 15 juin:


Arms transferred to Abbas with Israeli blessing: official

Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 15-Jun-2006 15:24 hrs

Arms were transferred with Israel's blessing to the forces loyal to Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas, parliamentary foreign affairs committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi said.
"By permitting the transfer of these arms last night, we applied a decision taken three weeks ago by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on a recommendation by the security authorities," Hanegbi told Israeli public radio.

According to the Yediot Aharonot daily, three trucks carrying 950 American M-16 automatic rifles crossed into the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan under Israeli military escort overnight Wednesday and early Thursday.

Some 400 were delivered to Abbas's presidential guard at Ramallah in the West Bank and the remainder went to the same force in Gaza, it said.

The weapons are to enable Abbas "to cope with Hamas", the hardline Islamist group that leads the Palestinian government, Olmert said at the British parliament in London on Tuesday.

His announcement followed a decision in principle by the Israeli authorities, revealed on May 25, to authorise the supply of light weapons to Abbas's 3,000-strong presidential guard, known as Force 17. — AFP


Un fait encore plus amusant: il s'agissait d'une cargaison toute fraîche de M-16, made in the USA. On en est là. On a refusé d'offrir une quelconque nanane à Abbas quand il avait le pouvoir afin de le "rendre légitime" aux yeux des Palestiniens. Ceux-ci, de façon prévisible, appuient le Hamas dans de ce qui fut à peu près une des seules élections démocratiques au Moyen-Orient. On veut maintenant ouvertement détruire ce qui reste d'eux.

Encore une fois, on doit se féliciter de laisser la chose pourrir.

18.6.06

(Not so) fluffy sunday posting

Hertzfeldt:

En l'honneur de Karl Rove..

... qui a récemment réussi à éviter la prison et des stratégies qu'il utilisera pour que Bush puisse sauver les meubles au Congrès à l'automne, je vous offre un vieux Toles.



Quelque chose comme une contribution historique pour la postérité.

Comment se faire des amis hollandais


Fans lose trousers to gain entry
By Harry Peart
BBC sports correspondent, Berlin

Dutch fans watch Ivory Coast match
Hundreds in the crowd were in their underpants
Football's governing body has explained why up to 1,000 Dutch fans watched a World Cup tie wearing no trousers.

Around 1,000 fans arrived for the Ivory Coast tie in their traditional bright orange trousers - but bearing the logo and name of a Dutch brewery.

To protect the rights of the official beer they were denied entry, so the male fans promptly removed the trousers and watched the game in underpants.

Fifa said an attempt at an "ambush" publicity campaign was not allowed.

Fifteen major companies have paid up to $50m (£27m) each for the right to be official partners at this World Cup.

The American firm Anheuser Busch, which makes Budweiser, won the exclusive right to promote and sell its beverage in the stadiums and other venues.

There has been a wider resentment in Germany that a US brewery has the exclusive rights in a country which prides itself on the quality of its beer and has very strict laws governing its composition.


Via Steve Gilliard.

Fox News

... pris en flagrant délit dans un moment de lucidité.



Via C&L.

17.6.06

Bush, l'environnement et PBS

On apprend aujourd'hui les raisons qui ont poussé GWB à protéger une série d'îles au nord de Hawai : il a vu un documentaire sur la chose à PBS (on regarde PBS à la Maison-Blanche?). Via The Carpetbagger:

A turning point came in April, when Bush sat through a 65-minute private White House screening of a PBS documentary that unveiled the beauty of — and perils facing — the archipelago's aquamarine waters and its nesting seabirds, sea turtles and sleepy-eyed monk seals, all threatened by extinction.

The film seemed to catch Bush's imagination, according to senior officials and others in attendance. The president popped up from his front-row seat after the screening; congratulated filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the late underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau; and urged the White House staff to get moving on protecting these waters.

"He was enthusiastic," Cousteau said. "The show had a major impact on him, the way my father's shows had on so many people. I think he really made a discovery — a connection between the quality of our lives and the oceans."


Heureusement pour les républicains, les fonds de la Corporation for Public Broadcasting seront bientôt radicalement amputés, réduisant aisi les chances que George soit à nouveau bombardé de propagande gauchisante.

15.6.06

Chantal Hébert: la démystification de la péréquation

Elle publie ce matin dans le Star, une publication pro-McGuinty - où on sera sans doute malheureux de lire des choses contredisant le discours habituel du premier ministre ontarien - une très bonne explication du fonctionnement de la péréquation et de son enjeu au Québec.

Un (gros) extrait:

Contrary to popular belief in some quarters, there is no scenario by which the Harper government can underwrite the enriched equalization payouts by raiding the treasuries of the richer provinces. The equalization program is funded exclusively out of federal revenues.

Money going to equalization is money spent on some provinces and not on others. If the Harper government accepts the panel's recommendation, it will have about a billion dollars less a year to spend elsewhere.

But the notion that this automatically means the richer provinces will be shortchanged by the equivalent amount is simplistic. It presumes that the money would otherwise be spent on federal-provincial programs rather than, for instance, on income support for farmers or the military.

In the eyes of the federal government, individual taxpayers are equal, regardless of their province of residence. Wealthy Ontarians pay the same amount to the federal government as do wealthy Quebecers with the same annual income.

If the federal government collects more per capita from taxpayers in the richer provinces, it is because the people who live in them make more money.

Equalization payments are based on a per capita formula. That's why Quebec's take always looks so big. The population of other have-not provinces is less than that of the city of Montreal.

In fact, under the current scheme, Quebec receives about half of the amount per capita that most other have-not provinces get. Under the formula proposed last week, only Saskatchewan would get less equalization money per capita than Quebec.

The taxpayers of every province put money in the equalization pot, as they do in the agriculture or the fisheries budgets. The rich provinces get nothing back, the others get more than they put in.

Quebec, through its taxpayers, puts in 21 per cent of the funds; the other have-not provinces less than 3 per cent each. Alberta and British Columbia each put in 12 per cent and Ontario 43 per cent.

No province is less dependent on the program than Quebec. In 2004-05, equalization payments accounted for 5 per cent of the Quebec government's overall revenues vs. 21 per cent of those of P.E.I.

It is a distortion to claim that Quebec pays for its generous social programs out of the taxes that come from the other provinces.

Quebec does spend more on programs, $10,469 per capita last year vs. $8,940 for Ontario.

But the bulk of Quebec's program spending is paid for out of revenues other than equalization.

Take away the portion that is paid for with equalization and Quebec still spends more on programs than Ontario. Quebec made different choices in the '90s. While Ontario cut taxes, Quebec expanded its social safety net.

Quebec taxpayers shoulder the bulk of the burden of the province's social programs by paying more taxes than their fellow Ontarians.

It was Pierre Trudeau who enshrined in the Constitution the notion that money should be redistributed so that every region of the country enjoys the same basic standard of living.

And it is because Quebec has grown only marginally dependent on equalization since then that sovereignists feel they have an increasingly good economic case to make for their option.

[Gerard] Kennedy can rest easy. If there is not enough equalization glue in the pot to seriously bind Quebecers to Canada, there is certainly not enough to bind them to the Conservative party.

14.6.06

Du plaisir?

Le nouveau porte-parole de la Maison-Blanche (et grand enthousiaste de la guerre en Irak), Tony Snow (à gauche) et le conseiller Dan Bartlett de GWB (droite) dans l'hélicoptère qui les mena de l'aéroport de Baghdad vers l'embassade américaine en Irak, lors de la visite surprise de Bush, hier. Les yeux de Snow et de Barlett trahissent clairement un petit je-ne-sais-quoi, rarement vécu par les "poulaigles", les cheerleadeurs de la guerre qui ne veulent surtout pas servir dans cette armée qu'ils aiment bien envoyer - du moins de façon imaginaire - un peu partout, au gré de leur lubies.






Via SparklePony.

La perception des USA dans le monde

Puisqu'il n'est plus là pour repiquer les trucs du Pew Center...



Consolation: il y a peut-être quelque chose que les Chinois aiment dans le style d'administration adopté par GWB.

On the take

Si vous doutiez que la prétention des libéraux d'avoir une politique économique valable n'est autre chose que de la poudre aux yeux cherchant à cacher la distribution de nananes aux tinamis du parti... Le Périscope résume bien la chose.

13.6.06

Mission accomplie

Le fameux "Project for a New American Century", le regroupement néo-conservateur américain qui nous a donné la guerre en Irak, le support inconditionnel à Israël et d'autres joyaux du genre n'est plus:

WashPost:

The doors may be closing shortly on the nine-year-old Project for a New American Century, the neoconservative think tank headed by William Kristol , former chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle and now editor of the Weekly Standard, which is must reading for neocon cogitators and agitators.

The PNAC was short on staff -- having perhaps a half-dozen employees -- but very long on heavy hitters. The founders included Richard B. Cheney , Donald H. Rumsfeld , Paul D. Wolfowitz , Jeb Bush , I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby , William J. Bennett, Zalmay Khalilzad and Quayle.

The goal was to continue the Reaganite, muscular approach to projecting American power and "moral clarity" in a post-Cold War world, the group's manifesto said. The targets were liberal drift and conservative isolationism.

PNAC and its supporters dominated the Bush administration's foreign policy apparatus and championed a policy to get rid of Saddam Hussein long before Sept. 11, 2001.

In its famous 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton , PNAC said "removing Saddam Hussein and his regime . . . now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy." Clinton was urged to use all diplomatic, political and military means to topple him.

Despite the happy chatter before the Iraq invasion about cheering crowds and bouquets and cakewalks and how the war was going to pay for itself, the signatories wrote that "we are fully aware of the dangers of implementing this policy."

There had been debate about PNAC's future, but the feeling, a source said, was of "goal accomplished" and it looks to be heading toward closing. Former executive director Gary J. Schmitt , who had been executive director of President Ronald Reagan 's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, left recently for a post at the American Enterprise Institute. (Not a big move. Actually, only five floors up from PNAC.) Still, seems like a short century.


Pour votre gouverne, voici la déclaration du groupe:


June 3, 1997

American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?

We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital -- both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements -- built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities.

Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

• we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer William J. Bennett Jeb Bush
Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes
Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle
Donald Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad I. Lewis Libby Norman Podhoretz
Dan Quayle Peter W. Rodman Stephen P. Rosen Henry S. Rowen
Donald Rumsfeld Vin Weber George Weigel Paul Wolfowitz

S'excuseront-ils?

Business as usual:

9 killed in Israeli air strike
Jun. 13, 2006. 07:01 AM
ASSOCIATED PRESS

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — An Israeli air strike against a car carrying militants along a main road in Gaza City on Tuesday killed nine Palestinians, including two schoolchildren, Palestinian hospital officials said.

The Israeli military said the militants were on a mission to launch Katyusha rockets at southern Israel. Palestinian witnesses said several missiles were fired, and one of them hit the car. A second missile came two minutes after an initial one, after a crowd had begun to gather around the scene of the attack, witnesses said.

Seven of the Palestinians killed were civilians, hospital officials said, and Islamic Jihad said the other two belonged to the ranks of its militant group. One of them was Hamoud Wadiya, Islamic Jihad’s top rocket launcher. The group identified the other militant as Shawki Sayklia.

Among the dead were two members of the same family, a father and son. Also killed were three medical employees on their way to tend to the wounded from an earlier explosion.

Excusez-moi

Avez-vous dénoncé le Doc Mailloux dernièrement sur la place publique? Jeff Fillion? Quoi? Vous n'êtes pas responsables de ce qu'ils font? Dans ce contexte, pourquoi exiger, de manière générale, que toutes les personnes appartenant à un groupe quelconque (je vous laisse deviner lequel), dénoncent publiquement, et ce, de manière récurrente, les agissements de certains des membres dudit groupe? Vous êtes-vous excusés pour André Arthur? Marc Lépine? Patof? Si la réponse est non, vous êtes sans doute coupables des mêmes crimes.

10.6.06

Fluffy sun^H^H saturday posting

Via Psyfreaks.



Jean-Denis, tu avais l'air si heureux!

Deliberately False Statements

Via SRL:

Deliberately False Statements:

* Self-interest is your only interest, act accordingly.
* The weakness in others is your only power.
* Demand unearned rewards.
* Cover your vice with deceitful labels.
* Satisfy anyone's demand for money, sex, information, favors, approval or anything else.
* Call the truth an insult to avoid accepting it as fact.
* Trick others into accepting your sick schemes as an exciting source for personal success and acceptance.
* Radiate influences of despair and defeat wherever you go.
* Thrill when your hateful remarks make someone's face fall into fearful pain.
* Do anything wrong to gain public approval.
* Deceive and attack others for your own gain, regardless of the pain or loss inflicted upon them
* Appeal to human greed and gullibility for your own sick purposes.

8.6.06

"We've turned the corner"

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi est mort.
On a tout fait pour nous mousser son importance au sein de la résistance irakienne, alors que, de toute évidence, elle n'était que négligeable. On fera bien sûr tout pour nous mousser sa mort. On a les victoires que l'on se donne.

Bill Bennett au TDS

ou l'art d'avoir l'air d'un dinosaure (je vous donne l'entrevue au complet; l'audio est un peu à côté, mais bon).

7.6.06

L'idéologie du Jihad

À lire!
AToL:

Author and scholar Faisal Devji, an assistant professor of history at New York's New School University, has provided Western readers with a small but powerful essay that focuses on militant Islam's message. Devji's "Landscapes of the Jihad" may well be the most thoroughgoing and insightful treatment of al-Qaeda in the West - shorn of the language of America's rising class of terrorologists, Devji refuses to slum with the pundits or accept that what Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants say is "rigmarole".

Reflecting on bin Laden's post-September 11 messages, he provides this exegesis of bin Laden's words: "The hollowness of the World Trade Center, whose imposing towers crumbled so easily in the face of al-Qaeda's attack, represented the void at the heart of Western civilization itself, not least because the attacks of September 11 were followed by a significant if partial breakdown of America's much-vaunted culture of democratic rights and civil liberties, including even a suspension of certain provisions of the Geneva Convention."

Devji then adds: "This fact was not lost upon any participant in the jihad, to whom it demonstrated that the West's moral superiority was not only hypocritical, because its boasted freedom was based upon the un-freedom of others, but hollow as well, because it could not preserve this freedom even for its own citizens."

Osama bin Laden's thinking mirrors the views of America's takfiris - if you simply poke at the West's structure it will crumble like burned paper. In fact, according to bin Laden, the attacks of September 11 were of little account in terms of actual damage, particularly when compared with the damage the US would inflict on itself in its reaction: the United States and its allies would turn in on themselves; they would seal their borders, spy on their own people, expand domestic police powers, detain people without a warrant, hold people without evidence, torture suspects, violate international norms and subvert foreign governments - becoming, in his words, "a suicide state".

So too, it would seem odd that Western governments would deny liberties to their own citizens but grant them to others; more likely we (we in the West, that is) would, and have, demanded that "our" (and the sense of property here is not accidental - for "our" allies are "our" friends in more than a passing sense) allied Kemalists suppress all resistance to the Western anti-terrorism program, accept Western counter-terrorism funding, agree to US military training, open their societies to "our" (Western) monitoring and, finally, suppress Islamic parties participating in free, fair and open elections - because while Islamists might adopt different tactics, there are "no major differences in goals".

This, in fact, is the doctrine of Islamic revolutionaries: that in refusing to differentiate between al-Qaeda and more moderate groups, in refusing to empower them in their own societies, and in denying the peoples of the region the tools of democracy and self-government that the West extols, the United States and its allies would actually help to spread the jihad, just as the Soviet Union had done by its actions in Afghanistan.


[...]

In preparation for this article, we returned to the Middle East region for the specific purpose of discussing the "war of values" between Islam and the West and the deepening despair that seems to grip our societies. We reviewed with our interlocutors our briefings in Washington, London and Brussels and bluntly reviewed the increasingly remote possibility that the West would recognize and differentiate among the several forms of Islamism.

Our Hamas interlocutors found our review of our meetings in Washington particularly compelling, but were angered by the West's rejection of what they viewed as Hamas' good-faith commitment to provide good governance for their people. "How are we to view what you are doing to our people?" a Hamas leader asked. "And we are forced to conclude - when we say we're for democracy you say we're lying, but when you say you're for democracy we know you don't mean it."

Another Islamist leader listened closely to our report, but then issued an emotional response dripping with sarcasm: "So that's why you killed all those people in Fallujah," he said. "It's because they didn't agree with your values."

But by far our most interesting exchange came in Amman, with a respected and dignified Iraqi leader who spent years in the West but has seen his country "ripped apart by your policies, and infiltrated by the jihadists you created". He listened politely to our presentation and thought for a moment. "For years and years we have talked and pleaded with you," he said. "We told you we did not want kings and princes over us, but you did not listen. We told you we wanted a future for the Palestinian people, but you did not listen. We said we wanted a fair price for our resources, but you did not listen. And we said that we wanted you out of our lives and our societies, but still you did not listen.

"And then the great tragedy of September 11 happened and we were sad, but in our hearts we all asked you the only question that matters: 'Are you listening now?'"

And here he paused again, dissatisfied with his metaphor and suddenly discomfited by the meaning behind his words. It was not what he had meant to say and so he shifted uncomfortably, feeling the need to amend what he had said. And so he spoke of his religion, emphasizing the importance of the Koran in the life of a Muslim. "Its central message is so important that it is almost never stated in our societies," he told us, "and it is simply this: God 'speaks' in the Koran and human beings learn by listening."

6.6.06

It brings a whole new meaning to "Joint Terrorism Task Force"

Muffins of mass destruction.

L'étrange parallèle entre la Somalie et l'Afghanistan

Lorsque la seule force qui peut prévenir contre l'anarchie est l'extrémisme religieux, est-il une bonne chose que celui-ci prenne le contrôle du pays?

Extrait du NYT:

June 6, 2006
Somali Islamists Declare Victory; Warlords on Run
By MARC LACEY

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 5 — After months of fierce fighting, Islamic militias declared Monday that they had taken control of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, defeating the warlords widely believed to be backed by the United States and raising questions about whether the country would head down an extremist path.

The battle for Mogadishu has been a proxy war, of sorts, in the Bush administration's campaign against terrorism, with the warlords echoing Washington's goal of rooting out radical Islam and the presence of Al Qaeda in the region.

But as the warlords who have ruled over Mogadishu for the last 15 years went on the run on Monday, it appeared that Washington had backed the losing side, presenting the administration with a major setback at a time of continued sectarian violence in Iraq and the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

[...]

The spokesman for the State Department, Sean McCormack, appeared to repeat those concerns at a news briefing on Monday when asked about the takeover in Mogadishu. "We don't want to see Somalia turn into a safe haven for foreign terrorists," he said. "We do have very real concerns about that."

But some analysts were not surprised that the battle for Mogadishu turned out as it did. "The so-called Islamists provided a sense of stability in Somalia, education and other social services, while the warlords maimed and killed innocent civilians," said Ted Dagne, the Africa analyst at the Congressional Research Service in Washington.

He expressed doubt that the takeover indicated the rise of extremists in the capital. "Somalis are secular Muslims, and the presence of the so-called Islamists is not an introduction of new ideology or religion," Mr. Dagne said in an e-mail message.

Administration officials have not said whether American intelligence agents have made payments to the warlords, though academics, security analysts, politicians in the region and other Africa experts assert that they have. Many in Mogadishu said the common belief that the United States was taking sides only strengthened the Islamists, who accused the warlords of being puppets of Washington.

5.6.06

Robert Newman's History of Oil

Ici. À voir.

Le vol des élections de 2004

Si vous avez 10 minutes, allez lire cet article de Robert Kennedy jr.. En regroupant l'ensemble des faits entourant les agissements des membres du GOP en 2004, il réussit à rendre l'idée selon laquelle les élections de 2004 ont été volées par Bush et cie. très plausible (eh oui, en plus de celles de 2000). Édifiant. Bravo.

Extrait:

But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004 -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes. (See Ohio's Missing Votes) In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots. And that doesn't even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.

4.6.06

La reconstruction de l'Irak

Saviez-vous qu'il n'existe qu'un seul projet de (re?)construction en Irak qui ait respecté son budget et ses échéances?

Giant U.S. Embassy project dismays Iraqis

By Liz Sly
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published May 29, 2006

BAGHDAD -- On the western bank of the Tigris River, scenes of intense activity rarely witnessed in Iraq are unfolding behind the fortified perimeter of the closely guarded Green Zone.

Trucks shuttle building materials to and fro. Cranes, at least a dozen of them, punch toward the sky. Concrete structures are beginning to take form. At a time when most Iraqis are enduring blackouts of up to 22 hours a day, the site is floodlighted by night so work can continue around the clock.

This is to be the new U.S. Embassy in Iraq, and it will be the biggest embassy in the world. It also is the biggest construction project under way in battered Baghdad, where the only other cranes rising from the skyline belong to Saddam Hussein's abandoned project to build the world's biggest mosque.

The irony is not lost on Mohammed Jasim, 48, a truck driver who was forced out of his home last month by sectarian violence and now is squatting in an abandoned building just across the river from the $592million embassy project.

"They could build houses, or they could bring security to Baghdad," Jasim complained as he sat in the shade of a big tree on the riverbank. "But it's clear they only came here for their own benefit because you can see how much money they are spending across the river."

They're baaaack.

Ça aura pris seulement quelques jours.

Fluffy sunday posting

Ban gay marriage?

Must be election time...

Cafferty:



Via C&L.

Les affres du mimétisme

Harper via Canada.com:

"We are a target because of who we are and how we live, our society, our diversity and our values values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law. The values that make Canada great, values that Canadians cherish."


GWB:

"Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other."


J'ignore si Stephen mesure bien ce qu'il fait. En tout cas, il est clair que dans le cours d'une campagne électorale, on ne manquera pas de lui rappeler que sa position aggressive a contribué à placer le Canada sous la loupe de ces groupes. On n'est pas aux USA: personne ne se fera traiter de faux patriote en attaquant Harper ainsi, déjà qu'une majorité ne veut plus que l'on participe au conflit afghan. Sa volonté d'imiter l'administration Bush le poussera jusqu'où?

3.6.06

La tempête à l'horizon

Prenez un premier ministre qui regrette amèrement notre absence de l'Irak et qui semble croire que notre participation au conflit afghan fera de lui un membre du club des "Hommes" (tm).

Prenez quelques jeunes marginaux d'origine musulmane, arrêtés aujourd'hui à Toronto.

Prenez un pays qui vire à droite et qui semble vouloir se débarrasser de son image bienveillante et tolérante.


*Agitez vigoureusement*

Et?

2.6.06

Abstain from this (suite)

Finalement, Bush et les barbus, c'est plutôt le même combat:

US blocking deal on fighting Aids

02 June 2006 01:30
The Bush administration, heavily influence by the Christian right, is blocking key proposals for a new United Nations package to combat HIV/Aids worldwide over the next five years because of its opposition to the distribution of condoms and needle exchanges and references to prostitutes, drug addicts and homosexuals.

The United States is being supported by many Muslim countries, including Egypt, and various conservative African and Latin American nations. "There are a lot of unholy alliances all over the place," said a European official attending UN talks in New York on Thursday night.

Cure thyself of thy gayness

"I was angry at my mother, so..."



Via C&L.

Jean-Robert Sansfaçon

...réussit très bien à synthétiser l'irritation générale causée par tous ces BS en cravate.

En parlant du casino:

Qu'on ne s'y trompe pas : l'important pour le développement d'une ville ou d'un pays, c'est d'offrir à ses habitants une qualité d'infrastructures, de services publics (hôpitaux, écoles, universités, théâtres, etc.) et d'emplois susceptibles de répondre à leurs besoins et d'attirer les nouveaux venus. Telle est la responsabilité fondamentale de l'État.

Pour le reste, nos élites du secteur privé devraient d'abord faire leur autocritique en se demandant ce qu'ils ont investi, eux, sans l'aide déterminante des gouvernements, pour lancer quelque grand projet porteur pour le Québec. On en a assez de ces pleureuses qui se croient nées de la cuisse de Jupiter. Les politiciens ont leurs défauts, que les médias ne manquent pas de cibler, mais ils ont aussi la responsabilité de répondre aux priorités de l'heure pour la population. Et, pour le moment, la priorité n'est pas du côté du divertissement, cela s'entend.

Winning hearts and minds, part 53632

Un autre jour, une autre bavure.

1.6.06

Rupert Murdoch et son chien de poche du NY Post

Kyle Smith, dans ce qui certainement deviendra un classique de la critique de cinéma, nous offre son avis quant au nouveau film d'Al Gore. J'ignore pourquoi il ne l'a pas tout simplement traité de nazi, comme on le fait d'habitude, mais, bon, il fait ce qu'il peut, le pauvre.

Un extrait:

Gore claims, with pie-chart-in-the-sky dreaminess, that unspecified measures can reduce emissions to 1970 levels. He assesses the tradeoff between the economy and the environment with the kind of buffoonery you'd expect in a Marxist comic book, displaying a cartoon of a scale with Earth on one side and bars of gold on the other. "OK, on one side we have gold bars," he says. "Mmm, mmm, don't they look good!"

Why doesn't he get specific and replace the "gold bar" side of the scale with, say, a $50,000 tax on SUVs? The ensuing destruction of the car business would hurt blue-collar workers, not the rich. What if global warming continued unabated? Gore's faith-based pessimism would lead him to call for even more taxes.
People are skeptical about global warming because it builds up to the same chorus as every other lefty hymn: more taxes, more hypocritical scolding (the film is the brainchild of Larry David's wife, Laurie, part of the community of people who drive a Prius to the private plane) and especially more America-bashing.


Via C&L.

Amir Taheri

Vous vous souvenez d'Amir Taheri, celui qui a fabriqué de toute pièce cette histoire de badges en Iran?

Iran Bamboozler Invited to White House as "Expert"
By Paul Kiel - May 31, 2006, 11:35 AM

Two weeks ago, Amir Taheri published an op-ed in Canada's National Post about an Iranian law that forced Jews to wear a yellow stripe. The story, reminiscent of Nazi Germany, quickly provoked outrage, but was just as quickly revealed to be a total fabrication. It also ran in the New York Post.

Apparently this is just the sort of reliable advice that President Bush needs. Yesterday, Taheri had a face-to-face with the President as one of a small group of "experts" on Iraq that visited the White House.

According to Press Secretary Tony Snow, the experts were invited to the White House for their "honest opinions" on Iraq.

Pirate Bay (suite)

Eh bien, on nous annonce déjà que le site sera de retour d'ici quelques jours. En attendant je vous invite à lire l'hilarant pdf de la MPAA, plein de succulents jeux de mots et d'affirmations farferlues du type "nous avons perdu 6 milliars $US en 2005" (!!!!, pourquoi pas 1294832412 $US milliards?). Et on se demande pourquoi les gens téléchargent sans l'ombre d'un remord. Tsk.

P.S. À quand le raid sur Google? Les paris sont ouverts.

P.P.S. Devrait-on plutôt faire appel à lui?