There are Liars and There are Those Who Use Statistics

guydewhitney heretics crusade defending western civilization from world hunger and military spending

I came across this wonderful bit of distortion on Google+ today trying to blame world hunger on US politicians…

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Tonja Kilby  –  9:46 AM  –  Limited
This makes me SICK
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John Newmark – If this makes you sick, consider this.  The figures come from 2008. World Military Spending is 35 times higher than in 2007.  So what took 8 days back then…

10:15 AM   

 Here is my little contribution of reality… I actually LOOKED AT THE DATA! Yes, Virginia, I know that they consider that cheating in the partisan world but, who cares?
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Guy DeWhitney – Tell it to the ones escalating.
Here is some analysis from that bunch of data.MIL SPENDING – PERCENTAGE OF GDP
Korea, North 25.00%
Saudi Arabia 10.00%
Jordan 8.60%
Yemen 6.60%
Syria 5.90%
Turkey 5.30%
United States 5.25%MIL SPENDING – INCREASES SINCE 2005:
China $53,357,142,857
United States $39,400,000,000
India $10,428,571,429
Saudi Arabia $6,848,333,333
Turkey $4,304,337,500
Indonesia $3,929,428,571
Iran $2,043,437,500
Korea, South $1,959,250,000
Colombia $1,725,833,333
United Kingdom $1,358,666,667
Germany $890,625,000

And the scary one – PERCENTAGE of increase since 2005:
China 5846%
Indonesia 2216%
Syria 693%
Cuba 607%
India 484%
Iran 480%
Chad 442%
Belarus 401%
Colombia 396%
Yemen 386%
Turkey 382%
Saudi Arabia 328%
Bangladesh 313%
Lebanon 309%
United Arab Emirates 220%
Korea, North 200%
Jordan 198%
Korea, South 174%
Chile 168%
Israel 161%
Germany 120%
United Kingdom 119%
United States 119%
Egypt 112%

Amnesty slams Arab treatment of human rights advocates


Amnesty International published a report on Wednesday that highlights the plight of human rights activists in the Middle East and North Africa and commends the work done by Israeli and Palestinian rights groups.

Israel & Region | World Titled “Challenging Repression,” the report cited the success Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups have had in challenging Israeli policies by petitioning the High Court of Justice, which had led to “a landmark ruling which effectively outlawed the use of torture by the IDF.”

According to the report, human rights activists in the Middle East and North Africa still face imprisonment, torture, persecution and repression. Activists are intimidated, harassed, threatened, arrested and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment or death after unfair trials.

Some rights advocates are held without access to the outside world for days or weeks, without charge or trial, and tortured, the report said.

“Some have been subjected to repeated arrest or to assault in the street apparently to deter them from continuing their activities; others have been detained and tried on trumped-up charges for daring to express dissent or for exposing government abuses,” Amnesty said.

Some are forced to sign confessions to crimes they say they have not committed, or pledges to stop their human rights activities.

In other countries, such as Egypt and Syria, decades-long states of emergency are also invoked to hand down severe punishments after unfair trials, Amnesty said.

“Across the region, those who stand up for human rights and expose violations by state authorities often incur great risks by doing so,” said Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa program. “Governments should be heralding the crucial role of human rights defenders in promoting and defending universal rights.

“Instead, too often, they brand them as subversives or trouble-makers and use oppressive means to impede their activities. People are languishing in jails across the region simply for peacefully exercising their right to expression, association or assembly,” Smart said.

Since the US-led war on terror began, the environment for human rights defenders in the region had generally worsened, as it has provided an additional pretext to silence dissent and to adopt counterterrorism laws, Amnesty said.

The UAE Decree Law on the fight against terrorist crimes penalizes even nonviolent attempts to “disrupt public order, undermine security, expose people to danger or wreak destruction of the environment.”

Similarly, the Anti-terrorism Law adopted in 2003 in Tunisia contains a very broad definition of terrorism, extending it to cover acts such as illegitimately “influencing state policy” and “disturbing public order,” which could seriously impinge upon the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, the report said.

Despite the repression and hardships, the persistence of activists in combating human rights violations has slowly led to change, Amnesty said.

In Iran, campaigning by women’s movements, including the Campaign for Equality, led to the removal of two controversial articles from a draft Family Protection Law under discussion by the parliament in mid-2008. Bloggers in Egypt have been instrumental in exposing torture and other ill-treatment in police stations. They posted several videos, taken on mobile phones, of torture and other ill-treatment, Amnesty said.

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Optimism in Teheran

From Mar 5, 2009 22:37 | Updated Mar 6, 2009 8:19

It isn’t everyday we’re given insight into the strategic thinking of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But on Wednesday he addressed the Fourth International Conference for Support of Palestine in Teheran. Among the luminaries rumored to be in attendance was Hizbullah’s Hassan Nasrallah.

Iranian presidents come and go; the supreme leader, who sits atop the regime’s political, judicial and military hierarchy, rules for life.

Khamenei professed to be in an optimistic mood following the “amazing military and political defeats” Israel suffered in the Second Lebanon War and more recently in Gaza. Still, he was bitter about what the “Zionist criminals” did – “impaling of infants” for instance. Fortunately, he noted, “advances in technology” (read al-Jazeera) have exposed “the magnitude” of Israel’s atrocities.

He denounced Muslim “pragmatists” who, in the mistaken belief that Israel was too strong to destroy, have been willing to temporarily accept its existence. And he had even less patience for those who genuinely “entertained hopes of peaceful coexistence.”

After 60 years of “occupation” the “illegitimacy” of the Zionist regime stands undiminished. The Holocaust must be denied because it “served as an excuse for the usurpation of Palestine.” On the bright side, he noted that Israel’s image has never been more tarnished and lauded the “spontaneous” protests conducted by Israel’s enemies around the world. Israel was a “fake and counterfeit nation” a “cancerous tumor” that could not be negotiated with – though some Palestinian leaders make the mistake of doing so. The only way for Muslims and Palestinians to achieve victory over the “Zionist usurper” is “resistance.”

Claiming that “the question of Palestine is the most urgent problem of the Islamic world,” Khamenei denounced the Obama administration for its “unconditional commitment to Israel’s security.” It’s a policy that amounts “to the same crooked ways of the Bush administration and nothing else.”

Khamenei proposed that a referendum be held of “all those who have a legitimate stake in the territory of Palestine, including Muslims, Christians and Jews” wherever they may be. He presumed, however, that just as the West did not honor the genuinely free election of Hamas among Palestinians, so too, it would not allow the future of Palestine to be determined by a worldwide plebiscite of Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Typical Western hypocrisy, Khamenei concluded.

THE IDEA that Khamenei will modify so perverted, so deep-seated, a worldview as a result of Obama administration suasion, or European economic incentives and political inducements, is risible.

For Khamenei, Israel is a cancer alright, but America, Britain and Western values generally are the carcinogens; excising Israel alone will not bring the supreme leader the global caliphate he seeks.

Thus the more propitiously President Barack Obama “engages” with Teheran, the quicker Khamenei’s creed will come to the fore, and the more transparent it should be that candidate Obama’s pledge: “I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” deserves to be honored.

For all its homicidal tendencies, there is no evidence that, at its apex, Iran’s regime is suicidal. Yet its most loyal cadre has been whipped-up by a messianic dogma that blends Persian imperialism with Shi’ite embitterment – belligerence, victimization and martyrdom. One shudders to think that if Iran’s nuclear ambitions aren’t foiled, some overly zealous revolutionary guard might have more than a tractor at his disposal. The Soviet-era template of containment and deterrence simply won’t apply.

This week, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal urged the Arabs to come together in the face of the “Iranian challenge.” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told Iran to stop interfering in Palestinian affairs. While the Arabs fret about the instability wrought by Teheran in Gaza, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan they, like Europeans and Africans, are hedging their bets.

So the longer Obama takes to crystallize his policy, the harder it will be to stop the Iranian bomb.

No wonder Khamenei feels optimistic.

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Saudi women ‘kept in childhood’

From the BBC

Women cannot make even simple decisions on children, the report says
Saudi women are being kept in perpetual childhood so male relatives can exercise “guardianship” over them, the Human Rights Watch group has said.

The New York-based group says Saudi women have to obtain permission from male relatives to work, travel, study, marry or even receive health care.

Their access to justice is also severely constrained, it says.

The group says the Saudi establishment sacrifices basic human rights to maintain male control over women.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive.

Saudi clerics see the guardianship of women’s honour as a key to the country’s social and moral order.

‘No progress’

The report, Perpetual Minors: Human Rights Abuses Stemming from Male Guardianship and Sex Segregation in Saudi Arabia, draws on more than 100 interviews with Saudi women.

Read the full HRW report

The report says that Saudi women are denied the legal right to make even trivial decisions for their children – women cannot open bank accounts for children, enrol them in school, obtain school files or travel with their children without written permission from the child’s father.

Human Rights Watch says that Saudi women are prevented from accessing government agencies that have no established female sections unless they have a male representative.

The need to establish separate office spaces for women is a disincentive to hiring female employees, and female students are often relegated to unequal facilities with unequal academic opportunities, the report says.

Male guardianship over adult women also contributes to their risk of exposure to violence within the family as victims of violence find it difficult to seek protection or redress from the courts.

Social workers, physicians and lawyers say that it is nearly impossible to remove guardianship from male guardians who are abusive, the group says.

“It’s astonishing that the Saudi government denies adult women the right to make decisions for themselves but holds them criminally responsible for their actions at puberty,” said Ms Deif.

“For Saudi women, reaching adulthood brings no rights, only responsibilities.”

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