Thursday, August 31, 2006

Iraq: Fouad Ajami on What Went Wrong

Lebanese-born Shia Fouad Ajami supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

In a new book, The Foreigner's Gift, he writes about went wrong with that war. Ajami says the Arab world was prejudiced against the Shia Muslims who were poised to lead Iraq, and it was prejudiced against the Americans who confidently expected to help them do it.

He traveled to Iraq several times while writing a book called The Foreigner's Gift. To Ajami, that gift was supposed to be liberty for Iraq and a new political order for the Arab world. He says the disaster came when Arab governments, Muslim imams, even Western-leaning intellectuals, rejected that gift.

One notable contribution Ajami made in the September October 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs was a rebuttal to Samuel Huntington’s "The Clash of Civilizations?", regarding the state and future of international relations after the Cold War. Ajami's critiques of Huntington had a resounding effect on views of the East-West dichotomy, offering an important alternative assessment of future relations.

Huntington presents a world divided at the highest level into eight civilizations, and includes a number of countries that are “torn” between two civilizations, arguing that these civilizational divides are far more fundamental than economic interests, ideology, and regimes, and that the world is becoming a smaller place with increasingly close interactions. He further claims that the pre-eminence of a so-called "kin-country" syndrome will provide a civilizational rallying point that will replace political ideology and traditional "balance of power" considerations for relations between states and nations, resulting in a division between the West and "the rest" creating a backlash against Western values (which supposedly "differ fundamentally" from those prevalent in other civilizations).

In his article “The Summoning”, Ajami criticises Huntington for ignoring the empirical complexities and state interests which drive conflicts in and between civilizations. Ajami believes that states will remain the dominant factor influencing the global framework and interaction. He also argues that civilizational ties are only utilized by states and groups when it is in their best interest to do so and that modernity and secularism are here to stay, especially in places with considerable struggles to obtain them, and he cites the example of the Indian Middle class. Ajami also believes that civilizations do not control states; rather, states control civilizations.

Throughout his career, Ajami has variously espoused Nasserism, Shia sectarianism, the Palestinian cause, the Israeli government cause, and the US invasion of Iraq. He has been criticized by all sides so maybe he is doing something right - maybe he is doing his best to tell the truth from each perspective...

Heart of Darkness: From Zarqawi to the man on the street, Sunni Arabs fear Shiite emancipation, Fouad Ajami (WSJ: September 28, 2005)
The Autumn of the Autocrats, Fouad Ajami (Foreign Affairs: May/June 2005)
The Falseness of Anti-Americanism, Fouad Ajami (Foreign Policy: Sept/Oct 1993)

Chinese characters for the word "Greece."

+ View News From Greece. ++++ View News Around The World.

Friday, August 25, 2006

War In Iraq - Death Squads & Democracy

Iraqi deaths:
40671 min. reported, 45227 max reported (Iraq Body Count)

US Armed Forces deaths:
2621 total deaths, 19,323 combat wounded (8,773 evacuated), plus an unknown number of non-combat injuries. (Wiki and Iraq Coalition Casuality Count)

Armed forces of other coalition countries - deaths:
229 (115 British, 32 Italian, 18 Ukrainian, 17 Polish, 13 Bulgarian, 11 Spanish, 4 Danes, 4 Salvadorans, 3 Slovaks, 2 Australians, 2 Dutch, 2 Estonians, 2 Romanians, 2 Thai, 1 Fijian, 1 Hungarian, 1 Kazakh, 1 Latvian.) (Wiki)

Non-Iraqi civilian deaths:
In total, at least 568 non-Iraqi individuals have been killed since the 2003 invasion (311 contractors, 87 journalists, 20 media support workers, and 150 aid workers). (Wiki)

Since 2003 America has been trying to build Washington's democracy beachhead in the Middle East. It's now 2006 and US Defence officials finally concede that the violence in Iraq is at its worst - by the body count, by public support and by the ease with which Sunni and Shiite militias exploit gaps in American forces which are spread far too thinly to make a difference.

"Nobody's ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq" -- U.S. President George W. Bush

" Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria..." (MSNBC)

"There’s an ethnic cleansing in progress and it’s impossible to deny. People are being killed according to their ID card. Extremists on both sides are making life impossible. Some of them work for ‘Zarqawi’, and the others work for the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. We hear about Shia being killed in the ‘Sunni triangle’ and corpses of Sunnis named ‘Omar’ (a Sunni name) arriving by the dozen at the Baghdad morgue. I never thought I’d actually miss the car bombs. At least a car bomb is indiscriminate. It doesn’t seek you out because you’re Sunni or Shia."

Operation Iraqi Freedom - Official website of the Multi-Force in Iraq ~~ The United States Army ~~ Iraq Under Occupation (Al Jazeera Special)
Iraqi death squads ~~ Iraq: Civil War

Iraqi Airways luggage tag.

In the news:

...ok, it's news from Feb 2006 ;-)
A Greek hiker found a 6,500-year-old gold pendant in a field and handed it over to authorities, an archaeologist said Thursday.
The flat, roughly ring-shaped prehistoric pendant probably had religious significance and would have been worn on a necklace by a prominent member of society. Only three such gold artifacts have been discovered during organized digs, archaeologist Georgia Karamitrou-Mendesidi, head of the Greek archaeological service in the northern region where the discovery was made, told The Associated Press.
Greek hiker found a 6,500-year-old gold pendant
+ +

KISUMU, Kenya (CNN) -- Tens of thousands of Kenyans lined the streets of Kisumu on Saturday, giving U.S. Sen. Barack Obama a hero's welcome as he arrived to visit the nearby village where his late father and grandfather lived.

+ View News From Greece. +++ View News Around The World.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This I Believe...

"I am an American Muslim. I believe in pluralism. In the Holy Quran, God tells us, "I created you into diverse nations and tribes that you may come to know one another." I believe America is humanity's best opportunity to make God's wish that we come to know one another a reality."

This I believe...
We Are Each Other's Business


"But it's hard to be kind. We're not trained for it. Kindness is for sissies; we learn that early. "Nice guys finish last." If they even get invited to the race. Kindness is taken for weakness, rube-ishness, stupidity. No one seems to respect the kind. They respect the killer."

This I believe...
The Gift of Kindness
"I believe that it is only through empathy, that the pain experienced by an Algerian woman, a North Korean dissident, a Rwandan child or an Iraqi prisoner, becomes real to me and not just passing news.

And it is at times like this when I ask myself, am I prepared -- like Huck Finn -- to give up Sunday school heaven for the kind of hell that Huck chose? "

This I believe... The Mysterious Connections that Link Us Together


"I believe there is God,
I believe God is merciful and just,
But if man desires to destroy himself
I believe God will not save him."

This I believe... Human Existence is in Peril

Read more "This I Believe..." essays...

In other news...Jill Carroll's hostage story

"...the head of the mujahedeen cell I spent most of my time with, once had told me that when they let me go they would give me a gold necklace...Money and gold, that was my ticket to freedom. I figured that if they did give me those things, then the end might truly be at hand...They rushed me into a car waiting outside. I still didn't have gold. I still didn't have money. I began to panic. Abu Rasha was next to me in the back seat. He leaned over me, or so it felt, as I panted, blind, beneath three black scarves.
'Now we're going to kill you' "

Jill Carroll's story on CNN

Jill Carroll's story on The Christian Science Monitor

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Athens: Freedom to demonstrate

The call by Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras for a public discussion about how authorities can limit the problems caused by hundreds of demonstrations in downtown Athens every year has been rejected. The proposal triggered the good old democratic reflex, as many rushed to defend the constitutionally safeguarded right to public protest.
The traffic jams in downtown Athens will continue but that's a small price to pay.

+ Greek student protest turns violent

Greece beat Qatar 84-64 on Saturday in its first Group C match for the 2006 World Basketball Cup taking place in Japan. The 10-minute intervals had the following results: 7-18, 38-31, 56-45 and 84-64. Greece's next match, expected to be far more difficult, will be against Lithuania at 13.30 on Sunday. Get out your Greek t-shirts and flags out...(whoops, forgot, we always have them out)

China, Iran, stolen Icon, Nick Berg (#27)

LONDON (AFP) - China's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, throwing diplomatic language to the wind, has told the United States in no uncertain terms to "shut up and keep quiet" on the subject of Beijing's growing military spending.

"The China population is six times or five times that of the United States," he said. "Why blame China?... It's better for the US to shut up and keep quiet. It's much, much better."
Top Chinese diplomat tells US to 'shut up' on arms spending

A Lebanese student has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planting bombs on trains last month which are believed to have been a failed terror attack. + Lebanese held over 'terror plot'

The icon of the Virgin Mary, at the monastery of Elona, symbolised Greek freedom during a 19th-Century campaign to expel the Turkish Ottoman empire. +
Greek police hunt for stolen icon

Iran had a democractically elected nationalist Prime Minister - Mohammed Mossadeq.

The United States and Britain, through a now-admitted covert operation of the
CIA called Operation Ajax, conducted from US Embassy in Tehran, helped organize protests to overthrow Moussadeq and return the Shah to Iran.

After his return from brief exile, Iran's fledgling attempts at democracy quickly descended into dictatorship as the Shah dismantled the constitutional limitations on his office and began to rule as an absolute monarch.

US, Britain sowed the seeds of Iranian Revolution

Nicholas Evan Berg (April 2, 1978 – May 7, 2004) was an American businessman seeking telecommunications work in Iraq during the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. He was abducted and later beheaded in May 2004 by Islamic militants.

The CIA claimed that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi personally beheaded Berg. The decapitation, the first of a series of such killings of foreign hostages in Iraq, received worldwide attention because it was filmed, and the footage was subsequently released on the Internet.

On May 11, 2004, the website of the militant Islamist group Muntada al-Ansar posted a video with the opening title of "Abu Musa'b al-Zarqawi slaughters an American", which shows Berg being decapitated.

+ View News From Greece. ++++ View News Around The World.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Egypt: Christian Copts-Muslim Relations

Photo: Islamic protesters throw stones at the Coptic church and police officers.

BBC: 'Conversion' sparks Copt protest
More generally, however, Copts complain that they often face discrimination and that they are vastly under-represented in senior government positions and in the army and the police.
Also, allegations of forced conversions surface every year.
The rise of an assertive Islamist movement in Egyptian society in the last three decades has produced tensions in Coptic-Muslim relations.

US State Dept 2005 Report on Religious Freedom in Egypt: (interesting read...)

+ In February, hundreds of Christians demonstrated in Fayoum, protesting what they viewed as the kidnapping and forced conversion of two young women to Islam. However, there were reliable reports indicating that the women went willingly to the security directorate to convert, after falling in love with Muslim men.

+ On December 5, 2004, in the Upper Egyptian village of Mankatien, Minya Governorate, a Muslim mob reportedly attacked a new Coptic church and damaged property belonging to Christians. Sources reported that a Christian-owned pharmacy and home were burned down, while the mob's attempt to burn down the church reportedly failed. In reaction to the incidents, police imposed a curfew and arrested 15 local Muslims, but some Christians alleged the police had been too slow to react. None of the victims received any compensation for the damages resulting from this incident.

+ On March 25, near Mankatien, a Muslim motorist allegedly ran over a group of Christian children who were walking home after attending Friday church classes. Nermeen Kamal Malak, an 8-year old girl, was killed; others received minor injuries. Christian villagers described the accident as deliberate. In response, many Christian villagers in Mankatien demonstrated, demanding an end to their 28-year wait for approval for a reconstruction permit.

+ As of late June 2005, there were 49 other cases involving individuals who converted to Islam and then back to Christianity, who were attempting to recover their original Christian identities. All of these cases were before the same judge of the Cairo Administrative Court who ruled in the Gibran case. Of these 49 individuals, approximately 8 had received verdicts allowing them to recover their Christian identities

+ In May 2003, SSIS arrested Metwalli Ibrahim Metwalli Saleh, apparently because of his progressive views on Islam. Metwalli's unpublished research, which he distributed to religious scholars and several embassies prior to his arrest, refuted the idea that it is a Muslim's religious duty to kill an "apostate"

Three killed in Egypt church riot
"Protesters threw stones at the Coptic church and police officersThree people have died during a riot outside a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt, after a protest against a play accused of offending Islam.
Coptic Christian leaders have said the play depicts the dangers of extremism, not of Islam.
"Copts would never tolerate anyone insulting Islam," Coptic Bishop Armia is quoted by Egypt's official Mena news agency as saying. "

Three thousand Coptic demonstrators in Cairo, el-Minia, el-Behara and Assiut provinces gathered on December 5 and 6, 2004 to protest the abduction and forced conversion to Islam of Wafaa Constantine, the wife of a Coptic priest. Demonstrators further protested President Mubarak’s inattention to Coptic pleas for protection from government persecution. The on-going two-day protest is a response to the predominantly Muslim Egyptian government’s sanction of anti-Coptic hate crimes such as arson, torture, murder, and the abduction, rape, and forced conversion of young Coptic women. Although Egypt’s native Christian Copts—numbering between 12-15 million and constituting approximately 15% of Egypt’s population—have long been targets for Muslim extremists, a recent rise in anti-Coptic sentiment has prompted an escalation in violence against Copts.

Coptic Christian nun on the ground after being stabbed by then 18-yr old Islamic extremist.

View News From Greece. ++++ View News Around The World.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Al Jazeera

View the trailer for Control Room, a documentary about Al Jazeera and its relations with the US Central Command, as well as the other news organizations that covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Al Jazeera staff in a symbolic gathering outside their offices in Doha in protest against the bombing allegation memo ++Al Jazeera's english site

Al Jazeera is one of my favorite media outlets (I'm proud to call two of it's reporters my friends). Al Jazeera is not the "mouthpiece of radical Islam" as many in the Bush administration have labeled it. It is fair (for the most part) in it's reporting of events in the Middle East. Of course, there is the occasional bias, but it's no more than the amount of bias contained in American and British reporting.

From Wiki: "Al Jazeera (
Arabic: الجزيرة‎) , meaning "The Island" and/or "The Peninsula" is an Arabic-language television channel based in Doha, Qatar. Its willingness to broadcast dissenting views, including on call-in shows, created controversies in the autocratic Persian Gulf Arab States. The station gained worldwide attention following the September 11, 2001 attacks, when it broadcast video statements by Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders...Al Jazeera claims to be the only politically independent television station in the Middle East. It now rivals the BBC in worldwide audiences with an estimated 50 million viewers...It is widely believed internationally that inhabitants of the Arab world are given limited information by their governments and media, and that what is conveyed is biased towards the governments' views. Many people see Al Jazeera as a more trustworthy source of information than government and foreign channels. Some scholars and commentators use the notion of contextual objectivity, which highlights the tension between objectivity and audience appeal, to describe the station's controversial yet popular news approach. As a result, it is probably the most watched news channel in the Middle East.

Increasingly, Al Jazeera's exclusive interviews and other footage are being rebroadcast in American, British, and other western media outlets such as CNN and the BBC. In January 2003, the BBC announced that it had signed an agreement with Al Jazeera for sharing facilities and information, including news footage."
Read more at Wikipedia.

There's a great documentary called
Control Room (2004). It is about Al Jazeera and its relations with the US Central Command, as well as the other news organizations that covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Made by Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, the film was distributed by Magnolia Pictures and can be found in most major video rental shops in large cities throughout Europe and North America.

News From Greece ++++ News Around The World

Monday, August 14, 2006

Freedom to blog...except in Iran.

Ahmad Batebi
Iran's regime continues to clamp down on internet freedom by banning blogs that criticize the Mullahs and by restricting access to certain web sites. The AP's Brian Murphy reports on how Iran is "stepping up arrests and pressure on popular bloggers as part of a wider Internet clampdown launched after hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president last year, ending years of freewheeling Web access that once made Iran among the most vibrant online locales in the Middle East."

The Iranian Mullahs haven't blocked everything - The Jerusalem Post, The AP and are still accessible - but it seems to be getting more and more difficult to voice dissenting and critical opinions in Iran. Read more here.

Ahmad Batebi (photo) - Disappearance confirmed

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Ahmad Batebi, the Iranian student jailed four years ago for displaying the bloody shirt of a friend wounded in clashes with the regime’s security forces has disappeared after meeting with Ambeyi Ligabo, the United Nations’s Special Rapporteur, his lawyer, Mr. Ne’mat Ahmadi confirmed Wednesday.Batebi was arrested after his Jesus Christ-looking picture displaying the blood stained T-shirt over his head was printed on the cover page of the influential British weekly "The Economist", convicted of endangering national security.
Read more here.

Read about Akbar Mohammadi.

Jill Carroll In other news:
Read Jill Carroll's story in her own words in
Hostage: The Jill Carroll story

Bush: 'Hezbollah suffered a defeat'
+ Full text: UN Lebanon resolution
Cluster bombs await returning Lebanese

+ View News From Greece. ++
View News Around The World.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Greek Diaspora

Wherever I go, Greeks are always in my face:

Astoria, NY (the largest Greek pop. in New York state)
Dallas, Texas Greek Festival (50th Yr.)
Houston, Texas Greek Festival (40th Yr. Greeks first came to Houston back in 1917)
+ Lebanese & Syrian Diaspora
New Orleans Greek Festival
Roanoke Greek Festival (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)
Santa Cruz Greek Festival (California)
Sydney Greek Festival (Australia)
Taste of the Danforth (Toronto, Canada)

A Greek soldier gives instructions to a Lebanese family that will board a Greek warship, waiting in Beirut port to aid in the evacuation, July 19, 2006. (Reuters/Adnan Hajj)

View News From Greece.

View News Around The World.

Rebetiko & Greek-speaking towns of Apulia, Italy

Rebetiko, plural rebetika, (Greek ρεμπέτικο and ρεμπέτικα respectively) is the name for a type of urban Greek music. Rebetika were the songs of the Greek underworld, sung by the so-called rebetes (ρεμπέτης) who first appeared after the
Greek War of Independence of 1821. The basic instruments for the performance of rebetika songs are the bouzouki, baglamas, Pontian Lyra (all three shown in image at left) and whatever similar instruments one might care to include (e.g. the tzouras). Additional instruments used include the tambourine Turkish, accordion, guitar, tonbak, finger-cymbals (comparable to castanets).

The songs, often compared to genres like American
blues, are full of grief, passion, romance, and bitterness. They are generally melancholic songs telling of the misfortunes of simple ordinary men. Read more at Wiki.

You can listen to some amazing Rebetika here.

Soleto is one of the nine
Greek-speaking towns in the province of Apulia, Italy. Their inhabitants are descendants of the first wave of Greek settlers in Italy and Sicily in the 8th century BC. The dialect they speak is derived from the Doric Greek of the original settlers, but evolved separately from Hellenistic Greek. The people of these towns call themselves Grekos, from the Latin Graecus, and consider themselves Hellenes (Wiki)

View News From Greece.

View News Around The World.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Twenty-four people were arrested on Thursday in police raids in London, the south of England and Birmingham after a police investigation into a plot to blow up several trans-Atlantic airliners. Their names are Abdula Ahmed Ali, Cossor Ali, Shazad Khuram Ali, Nabeel Hussain, Tanvir Hussain, Umair Hussain, Umar Islam, Waseem Kayani, Assan Abdullah Khan, Waheed Arafat Khan, Osman Adam Khatib, Abdul Muneem Patel, Tayib Rauf, Muhammed Usman Saddique, Assad Sarwar, Ibrahim Savant, Amin Asmin Tariq, Shamin Mohammed Uddin and Waheed Zaman. The oldest person on the list, Shamin Mohammed Uddin, is 35. The youngest, Abdul Muneem Patel, is 17. Most of these are London residents. + Read the Al Jazeera story

explosions (BBC) that rocked the Mumbai commuter rail on July 11, killing more than 180 people and injuring some 700, were just the latest episode in India's decades-long struggle with terrorism. According to the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, last year India suffered more fatalities due to terrorism than any other nation but Iraq, and the U.S. State Department reports that India endures hundreds of terrorist attacks every year. + Read more at the Council On Foreign Relations.

In other news...

Greek Orthodox Christian fasting lowers cholesterol ++++ Greece: illegal antiquities found by police
+ Greek-Americans in U.S. 2006 House and Senate races

+ British troops under-equipped, overstretched in Iraq ++++ Foreign Affairs Special: What to Do in Iraq
China typhoon's death toll rises

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

Palestinian children playing with tanks
Former Israeli Air Force Captain Yonatan Shapira reports at least two Israeli fighter pilots have reportedly deliberately missed bombing targets in Lebanon because they were concerned they were being ordered to bomb civilians. Yonatan's brother refused to serve in Lebanon earlier this week, and was sent to jail.
Audio & Video here.

One of my favorite sites out there is
Kevin Sites' In The HotZone. How can I explain it? The HotZone explains it best: "a nexus of backpack journalism, narrative story-telling techniques, and the Internet, designed to reach a global audience hungry for information...To cover every armed conflict in the world within one year, and in doing so to provide a clear idea of the combatants, victims, causes, and costs of each of these struggles - and their global impact. With honest, thoughtful reporting we'll strive to establish Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone as a forum for information and involvement. Users will not only learn about the scope of world conflict, but will find ways to be part of the solutions- through dialogue, debate, and avenues for action."

The videos on Kevin's site from Lebanon, Cambodia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and other places are incredible, powerful, thought-provoking and keep me glued to my computer for hours. As I watch the images and videos from the Israeli-Hizbullah conflict I feel huge pangs of guilt as the images of bodies of innocent people flicker across my eyes as I sit here on my leather couch, in my home that's intact, the dog beside me snoring, a beautiful summer day outside my window...

Abused child bride in Afghanistan

Married at the age of four, an Afghan girl (photo at left) was subjected to years of beatings and torture, finally escaping to discover that within all the world's cruelty, there is also some kindness.
Child Bride in Afghanistan

+ Kenya and South Africa are among emerging democracies that have done well in guaranteeing freedom, says a new study (Zimbabwe, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Kazakhstan and Bahrain were the five weakest performers on the anti-corruption measure. Zimbabwe was the worst performer of all 30 countries)

Israel and Palestinians in Gaza (Israel's destruction of Gaza’s only electrical plant needlessly punishes the civilian population and has created the potential for a serious humanitarian crisis, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch also said that Palestinian militant groups are committing a war crime by using a captured Israeli soldier as a hostage to seek the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.)

Early Congo election results

+ Keep on bloggin in the free world: some countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran censor and repress Internet users because of political, religious or cultural reasons.
Read more here.

"Apathy isn't it." -- John Lennon

Monday, August 07, 2006

Battle of Salamis: Freedom defeats Tyranny

The battle of Salamis has been described by many historians (among them Victor Davis Hanson, Donald Kagan and John Keegan) as the single most significant battle in human history.

The Greek victory over the Persian Empire protected the nascent and singular traditions of
democracy and individual rights, as well as guarding Greek philosophy and culture. This meant the eventual flowering of Western culture, which would likely have been snuffed out completely, had the Persians overrun Greece.

Due to the enormous and wide-ranging influence of Western culture on all of human civilization, as well as the huge success of Western culture in its own right, it is literally possible that the world today would be utterly and basically different had the Greeks lost at Salamis. (from Wikipedia)

Read more about this significant turning point in history

Ω, παίδες Ελλήνων, ίτε
Ελευθερούτε πατρίδ' ελευθερούτε δε
παίδας, γυναίκας, θεών τε πατρώων έδη,
θήκας τε προγόνων,
νύν υπέρ παντών αγών

Children of the Greeks go on
Free the motherland, also free
Children, women, and the altars of the gods
And the graves of your ancestors,
Now above all is the fight.

"One day I want my children to say, ' father chose to die in blood, rather than to live in shit.' -- Greek anti-Nazi resistance fighter slogan

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Middle East Analysis

+ Foreign Affairs magazine ++++ When the Shiites Rise
Women, Islam, and the New Iraq ++++ Seeing Baghdad, Thinking Saigon
Why a Multinational Force is Essential in Lebanon ++++ North Africa studies
Hizballah Finances: Funding the Party of God ++++ Middle East ~ Wikipedia
Egypt studies: Washington Institute for Near East Policy ++++ Middle East Institute
The Israeli-Palestinian Dispute ~ A Century of Conflict ++++ Ansar Burney Trust
The Middle East and The West: A Troubled History ++++ Al Jazeera Online
BBC News: Middle East Section ++++ New York Times: Middle East section
Washinton Post: Middle East Section

Think there's a link I should post? Please leave a comment. Have an opinion on the Middle East? Please post a comment.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Miss Greece & Miss Cyprus 2006

Olympia Hopsonidou - Miss Greece @ the 2006 Miss Universe contest

Eleni Ierodiakonou - Miss Cyprus @ the 2006 Miss Universe contest

Tα Nέα & Images from the Middle East

George Hasrooni shows the unexploded Israeli artillery shell lying in the bathroom of his house in Ein Ebel, a Christian village located a few miles from the Israeli border

Christians in the southern Lebanese village of Ein Abel are trapped between combatants Israel and Hezbollah. Guerrillas have fired rockets from just outside the village, drawing Israeli return fire. Parts of Ein Abel are in ruins.

Hezbollah guerrillas fired more than 190 rockets into Israel on Wednesday, killing one person and wounding more than a dozen, medics said. Israeli commandos have struck deep into Lebanon, snatching five suspected Hezbollah guerrillas in a helicopter raid that spectacularly snubbed international pressure for an end to the three-week-old conflict. There are an estimated 10, 000 Israeli troops within the borders of Lebanon.

(photo directly above, left) The body of Lebanese victim Awad Jamaleddin, 58, one of seven villagers killed in an attack by Israeli warplane missiles, is carried toward the cemetery by a bulldozer at the village of Al Jamaliyeh near the northeastern city of Baalbek, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006. (photo directly above, right) is a funeral in Israel for a slain Israeli soldier. Israel launched its deepest ground strike into Lebanon on Wednesday, claiming it had killed 10 Hezbollah guerrillas and captured five in the northeastern city of Baalbek while nearby air strikes killed at least 15 civilians.

We Greeks continue to pray for the innocent being killed in Lebanon and in Israel and throughout the planet. We Greeks know war. We have fought many wars in our 8,000+ year history and we have been invaders and we have been invaded. Today we live in peace and we wish every nation can experience the blessing of peace, God willing.

More Greeks from Lebanon return to Athens via Cyprus
+ Arabs and Jews buying up prime property in Northern Cyprus
Bakoyannis reveals Turkey policy
+ Work begins on Thessaloniki metro
Athens offers to ferry humanitarian supplies from EU to Beirut for free
Crete: Mycenaeane-era Theseus ring, dating from the 15th century BC
+ Greece says not asked to send peacekeeping force to Lebanon
Greek Q2 GDP growth seen reaching 4 pct - finance minister
They don’t approve of Bush in Greece (OpEd)
Hellenic Air Force (HAF) awards Raytheon a $96m contract

At least 532 Lebanese have been killed, including 461 civilians and 25 Lebanese soldiers and at least 46 Hezbollah guerrillas. The health minister said the toll could be as high as 750, including those still buried in rubble or missing. Fifty-four Israelis have died — 36 soldiers, as well as 18 civilians killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks.
Lebanon estimates $2 billion in damage from Israeli attacks

+ Day 25: Mideast fight ramps up despite diplomacy
Day 23: More airstrikes, more rocket attacks
Commandos raid Hezbollah-run hospital ++ U.S. cracks down on Iraq death squads
Christian villagers have nowhere to run
IDF hacks Nasrallah's TV channel ++ 215 rockets slamming into northern Israel
As Mideast fighting rages, Iran's Jews steer clear ++ Nasrallah reaching 'legendary' status

+ Blair: Kashmir, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, West Asia — part of an over-arching "arc of Muslim extremism" across the world.
+ 'We are ready to strap explosives to our children and send them to Israel'
+ Charity Wins Deep Loyalty for Hezbollah
+ Radical Muslims killing Buddhists and Muslims in Southern Thailand

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hellenic Armed Forces - Any Target Any Time

Greek Troops Regular & Special Forces: Greece's standing army is 150,000 troops and can be increased to 2.3 million in wartime.

Always prepared to defend Greece (and Greeks worldwide).

One Greek woman can defeat two of your men any day.

He can defeat a whole platoon of your men.

  DO NOT SUBMIT    Canadian Women's Army Corps.