News & Opinion

  • MSNBC: Russian ultimatum— Russia gives IOC president 24 hours to address what it calls ‘unfair judging’ or it will leave Olympics
  • MSNBC: Killed by captors, Video shows kidnapped reporter Pearl is dead – What incredibly sad news. I heard today on NPR’s All Things Considered that Pearl’s now-widowed wife is 7 months pregnant with their first child. Anytime a journalist is killed is a very sad thing, but especially under these circumstances. I think we forget what sacrificed journalists go through to bring us the truth.
  • AP/Washington Post: Bush backs Columbian crackdown on rebels — Crazy whack. This has all the makings of Latin American Vietnam war.
  • The Independent: Geneva conventions are outdated, says US envoy — Even more crazy whack. I still wonder why the US is strident against granting Geneva convention protections… are they torturing the detainees or what? What are they hiding? If everything is on the up and up, then why not grant them Geneva Convention status?
  • The Independent: Middle East slips towards war as Arafat peace offer rebuffed
  • BBC: Bush takes message to Chinese youth — This story has some of the best news I’ve heard in some time. Here are some excerpts…
      US President George W Bush is due to end his visit to China on Friday with a speech on American values which will be broadcast live across the Communist state. . .

      Aides to the president were quoted as saying the scheduled speech at Tsinghua University would be a call to new generations of Chinese to espouse American values such as freedom, openness and faith.

      Mr Bush would seek to convey a “description of America, what makes life in America the way it is, a description of the values of the American people, how our government relates to its people”, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.

      It would “challenge these young people to find those best values in this society as it moves through this period of rapid change”, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice added.

      At his news conference with President Jiang on Thursday, Mr Bush already strongly defended the right of Chinese people to be “free to choose how they live, how they worship and how they work”. . .

      Wow!!! On national television Bush is going to speak out in favor of religious and political freedom!!! This is such an answer to prayer, to actually have a President who will speak out against the evil that is being done to men and women of faith in the most populous nation on earth.

      But if the visit appears to have achieved few concrete results, reports from the presidential banquet on Thursday suggest a much warmer atmosphere.

      Mr Jiang danced with Mr Bush’s wife Laura as well as Condoleezza Rice and the wife of the US ambassador to American favourites such as “Moon River”, played by a Chinese military band.

      And, according to Mr Fleischer, he serenaded Mr Bush with the Italian aria “O Sole Mio”, backed by an accordionist.

      “He was kicking up his heels and singing songs,” said Mr Fleischer. “It really was just a delightful touch.”

      I am impressed by Bush’s diplomatic abilities. I still am not (and doubt I will ever) be a full-fledged member of the Dub-ya fan club (sorry but appointing fascists to cabinent positions is hard to forget), but I am starting to like him a little more. Bush’s interactions with Jiang and with Putin remind me so much of how Reagan & Gorbechav’s friendship helped open the door to friendlier relations with the Evil Empire.

  • BBC: A profile of Chinese President Jiang
  • In pictures: Koreans protest against Bush
  • BBC: Analysis: Neither enemies nor friends
      President Bush wants China to give a clear commitment to end such exports. China has made such promises before, but this time America wants it in writing.

      Mr Bush is also reported to be deeply unhappy about the treatment of China’s millions of Christians. As a born-again Christian himself its a very personal issue for the US President.

      He is expected to push China hard to recognise the Vatican and the Pope’s leadership of the Catholic church, and to legalise the tens of thousands of underground church groups across China that are currently forced to practice outside the law.

      Reading this story and the stories before it from the BBC, I am appalled that I had to read these stories in the British press. Why isn’t the US press reporting on Bush’s stands for religious freedom in China? I guess the big media giants can’t afford to offend the totalitarian oppressors of the Chinese people, if they want to cash in on the furthering enslavement of those people.

      American corporate media sucks!

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