|December 30th, 2006||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2005
Blog Entries: 89
Aryan Matters 12
Aryan Matters 12
Blocher calls for repealing Holocaust denial laws
Switzerland’s justice minister has called on the Swiss government to reverse a law which makes historical revisionism illegal.
Minister Christoph Blocher is on a campaign to change the law, according to the Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) newspaper – even if it will impinge upon the sensitivities of minority groups, including the country’s Jewish communities.
Blocher claims that freedom of expression is more important than protecting the sensibilities of minority groups, NZZ wrote.
Blocher just returned from a trip to Turkey where a public discussion of the Armenian genocide is de facto punishable by a court of law. Upon his return home, Blocher said that he believes that Swiss laws needs to be a beacon for other nations.
As far as the minister is concerned, a ban on free speech in Turkey has made an effective public discussion of the Armenian genocide and Kurdish issues there impossible. In effect, he claims that widening the possibilities for freedom of speech in Switzerland might entice other countries to do the same.
The minister, however, is also disgruntled because he claims that such a law is an impediment on Switzerland’s relationship to other countries.
Article 261 of the Swiss criminal code punishes genocide-denial. Currently, anybody is punishable in Switzerland if they “deny, belittle, or relativise genocide or crimes against humanity,” NZZ wrote.
Because of this law, Swiss lawmakers who travel abroad are required to discuss this topic with their counterparts in those countries which have been accused, by the global community, of genocide.
Blocher’s trip to Turkey is a case in point. He believes that his having been required to bring up the topic of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian genocide with his Turkish colleagues will have created unnecessary friction during his meetings in the Eurasian nation. However, the minister’s failure to guarantee that two Kurdish activists, held in Switzerland would be extradited to Turkey has also put a damper on Swiss-Turkish relations, in recent years.
The minister is apparently very much aware that a change in the law will only entice Holocaust deniers to question the existence of gas chambers as well. “I do not want that an opinion cannot be uttered only because someone will be offended by it,” the minister said.
According to the minister, the definition of genocide needs to be decided by historians. “A debate on the subject, however, will have no basis if diverse opinions are banned,” he said.
According to NZZ, the minister made this very point to his Turkish colleague, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek. In response, Cicek told Blocher that Turkey would allow an international historian commission to research the topic of the Armenian genocide and Kurdish matters.
The Turkish government had already announced its intention to form a commission in the past. However, no commission has been set up, to-date. Armenia and Turkey do not hold diplomatic relations. The Armenians fear that a Turkish commission would be mostly composed of revisionist minded historians, NZZ writes.
Although several of Blocher’s meetings were strained by the talk of the Armenian genocide, the minister does believe that his meetings have “created a giant step towards an improvement” in Switzerland’s diplomatic relationship to Turkey.
The reason for the two nations’ extremely strained relationship is Switzerland’s blocking of a Turkish request for the extradition of two activists of the banned Kurdish Communist Party. The Kurds (Turkish citizens) are protected under Swiss law because their extradition to Turkey, which has historically curbed Kurdish freedom of expression, is contradictory to Swiss law – something that Blocher would like to see changed.
During his trip to Ankara, Blocher did say that he would make every effort to have the Swiss legal code changed in order to make an extradition easier. In other words, he hopes that the Turkish government would eventually follow suit and allow the Kurdish political opposition the opportunity to speak its mind, publicly.
However, the extradition will certainly not happen anytime soon – because not only would Swiss codes need to be changed, via parliamentary propositions and a general referendum. However, Turkish laws would also need to be amended.
Most political parties have shown their dismay at Blocher’s proposal – in particular because the Swiss law only went into effect in 1994 after years of debate and compromise.
The Swiss Ombudsman against Racism, Georg Kreis, told NZZ that Blocher’s statements would make everyone believe that the law places sole attention on the Armenian genocide. Kreis went further to criticise Blocher’s promise to his Turkish colleagues in regards to the Kurdish Communist Party.
Blocher’s visited Turkey in order to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Eurasian country’s civil code which was modelled after that of Switzerland.
Iraq is Kike Lieberman's "War of Choice"
Trailing in the polls, Democrat Ned Lamont called the Iraq conflict Sen. Joe Lieberman's "war of choice" and compared his rival to former Republican President Nixon.
Putting a fresh focus on the issue that powered him to victory in August's Democratic primary, Lamont mentioned Vietnam in criticizing Lieberman, who is running as an independent in his re-election bid.
Party endorsed Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate Ned Lamont, left, incumbent U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, center, and Republican nominee Alan Schlesinger, right, get together after their debate in New London, Conn., Monday, Oct. 23, 2006. (AP Photo/Bob Child) (Bob Child - AP)
The body of former president Gerald R. Ford is taken up the East Steps into the Capitol. It will lie in state at the Capitol until Tuesday. (Rich Lipski -- The Washington Post)
"Iraq is Joe's war of choice, and he's been its strongest and staunchest supporter every step of the way," Lamont said in a speech at the University of Hartford. "And in the greatest act of audacity of all, he is now asking Connecticut voters not just for a fourth term, but to hold him harmless for his role in the most dangerous foreign policy blunder of our generation."
The criticisms were some of Lamont's strongest yet of Lieberman.
Lamont recalled that during the Vietnam War, former President Nixon voiced support for bringing the troops home even as he continued to pursue the war at a cost of 9,000 lives. He noted Lieberman has spoke recently of wanting to end the war as soon as possible.
"That's about as credible as Richard Nixon was almost 40 years ago," he said.
Lieberman fired back Tuesday, arguing that Lamont's support for a timetable for withdrawing troops is tantamount to defeat.
"He has no plan for success in Iraq," Lieberman said while campaigning in Cromwell. "He's ready to give up, retreat, and mandate a withdrawal of all our troops by next July 1. I think that would be a disaster for us, and a tremendous victory for the terrorists."
Lamont favors a deadline of about 12 to 18 months for withdrawing U.S. troops.
Lieberman backs the Bush administration view that establishing a timetable for withdrawal would be disastrous.
The senator, however, says he does not support an open-ended deployment of troops in Iraq. He has also criticized the Bush administration for failing to have a plan to win the peace; for not putting enough troops on the ground; and for failing to win allied support before the war.
The war will be on Lamont's agenda again Wednesday when he campaigns with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and a strong anti-war voice.
In recent weeks, Lamont has broadened his campaign message to include issues ranging from education to health care and the environment. Some Democrats have voiced concern that his wider message could undercut his core anti-war appeal in a state where the vast majority of voters oppose the war.
Death of White europe just around the corner
White Europe Lost ?
European Defence Agency paints grim picture of future
The European Union will become older, poorer and increasingly vulnerable to wide-scale immigration from its neighbours, according to a new European Defence Agency report.
The agency also highlights the problems of increasing unemployment and desertification in its 32-page "long-term vision" for European defence needs which will be presented to EU defence ministers meeting in Finland on Tuesday.
The document, described by one diplomat as "pretty bleak", is the result of a year's work identifying the main trends for EU member nations and their defence needs.
The overall picture is of an aging, less prosperous Europe surrounded by regions -- Africa, Middle East, Russia -- "which may be struggling to cope with the consequences of globalisation".
The average age of Europeans, who will only make up six percent of the global population, will rise to 45, while in Africa the average will be 22 years old.
The African population will pass 1.3 billion by 2025 (up 48 percent) with the Middle East seeing a similar percentage rise, according to the report.
Given increased desertificiation and high unemployment, especially in Africa, "the implications for despair, humanitarian disaster and migratory pressures are obvious", the report asserts.
Europe's fragility will be aggravated by its increasing dependence on imports of oil and gas, it added.
Its ally America, focussing all its attention on the rising giant of Asia, will tend to distance itself more and more from Europe, according to the EDA.
"Relatively poorer, older and more anxious about its security, Europe may also find itself increasingly alone in confronting the problems of a difficult neighbourhood."
Europe is also no longer very well armed to confront the mounting dangers it faces, the report adds.
As the falling birth rate increases competition in the job market, the pool of 16-30 year olds available to the armed forces will drop by 15 percent by 2025.
In order to avoid ballooning personnel costs -- already 50 percent of the military budget -- as competition for young employees increases, a reduction in the number of Europeans in uniform, currently around two million, seems inevitable.
Outsourcing, automation and reducing superfluous capacity are among the remedies considered by the EDA.
Neither is the prognosis encouraging for Europe's defence technological and industrial base, which the EDA deems to be already deficient.
"Europe ... must take to heart the facts that US is outspending Europe six to one in defence R and D, that it devotes some 35 percent of its defence expenditure to investment (from a budget more than twice as large as that of the Europeans combined) as against the European level of about 20 percent and that it is increasingly dominant in global export markets".
Among the sources for its report the EDA cited defence ministries, the Paris-based Institute of Security Studies, the EU's military commission, NATO and "numerous specialists".
The agency, under the Council of the European Union, was set up in 2004 to improve EU member states' defence and crisis management and to sustain the European security and defence policy.
HIV-infected Yard Ape infects two down under
A Sydney man who knowingly infected two women with HIV has appealed against the severity of his 12-year jail term.
Stanislas Kanengele-Yondjo lied about his HIV status and had unprotected sex with the two female tourists, one from Ireland and one from Germany, in early 2003.
Both have since been diagnosed as HIV positive.
African-born Kanengele-Yondjo pleaded guilty to two counts of causing grievous bodily harm by knowingly infecting the women with HIV, a charge which carries a maximum seven-year jail term.
He was jailed for a maximum six years on each count, to serve at least nine years behind bars.
He appealed today to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, his barrister arguing that the sentence was excessive.
Insufficient weight had been given to Kanengele-Yondjo's guilty pleas and contrition, said barrister John Stratton SC, arguing that at least part of the sentences should be concurrent.
However, Justice Peter McClellan said "it might be difficult to imagine a worse case".
His fellow appeal judge, Justice Brian Sully, said the criminal culpability of Kanengele-Yondjo's behaviour "was simply appalling".
"Its effect upon the victims is fearful," he said.
Donna Woodburne, for the crown, referred to the remarks made by Acting Judge Warwick Andrews, who sentenced the 42-year-old in the District Court last December.
The judge said the offender showed "a gross, callous and reprehensible disregard for the health and welfare of the victims" and "indifference to human life and suffering".
Ms Woodburne said Kanengele-Yondjo had an obligation to practise safe sex and inform his sexual partners that he was HIV positive.
But he deliberately lied to his victims about his condition, concealed his HIV status and chose not to wear a condom during sex, she said.
"The victims have not only contracted HIV, but they have had appalling suffering inflicted upon them," Ms Woodburne told the court.
Justices McClellan and Sully, and Justice John Hislop, have reserved their decision on the appeal.
Sydney Morning Herald
|December 31st, 2006||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: southern cilicia(the last village from the remainants of ancienct armenian rupiniats kingdom)