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Amnesty International condemns human rights abuses in China in a recent report. Excerpt from the news story:

In a report released Monday, the group cataloged a wide range of continuing human rights abuses, including extensive use of detention-without-trial by police, persecution of civil-rights activists, and the use of new methods to rein in the domestic media and censor the Internet.

Amnesty International web site. From the Amnesty press release:

In its latest assessment of China's progress towards its promised human rights improvements ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Amnesty International also found that the Olympics is apparently acting as a catalyst to extend the use of detention without trial, at least in Beijing.

Yes indeed, economic liberalization will lead inevitably to political liberty. Bullfeathers.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a heroine of our times, gives a brief interview to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on her new book Defiant Infidel. Link from The Netherlands Post.
Gateway Pundit has the info on the recent lesbian wedding in Nigeria and the aftermath: the theatre bulldozed and the participants in hiding. According to the Sharia Law (Islamic Law) of that state in Nigeria these women face death by stoning. The Nigerian interpretation is not unique, homosexuals have been hanged in Iran.

I am not an advocate of same-sex practice, as readers of this blog know.

My point here is that in a rational world San Francisco would today be erupting in protests against Sharia Law, gay and lesbian activist groups would be holding vigils in Washington, and Rosie O'Donnell would be on television, along with Ellen Degeneres, condemning Islamic intolerance. But none of this will happen. The left is so locked in to hatred of Bush, and so committed to multiculturalism, that no response will be forthcoming. The groups that most naturally would lead the fight against Islamic jihad are silent. Perhaps some forms of liberalism indeed are a mental disease.
Some Chinese Christians trying to hold their government responsible for mistreatment. Here. Link from Institute on Religion and Democracy.
Australia recently cracked down on the spread of radical Islam in its SuperMax prison. Story here. We need to take a proactive approach here.
Another reason not to buy Made in China. The contamination in the pet food appears to have begun as intentional chemical introductions to protein concentrates from China. The chemical introduced enhances the readings on protein content tests. Story here. Hat tip Photognome.

Buy American.
Tocquevill points out that three workers at a Bible publisher in Turkey recently were bound and had their throats slit. Here. This is an outrage.

Also an outrage is the way the MSM covered the incident. Note that the attackers are labeled "nationalists." Wrong. Turkish nationalism is secular. Those who slit the throats of Bible publishers are not motivated by nationalism. The Religion Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken was at it again.
In all politics, French included, I echo Farmer's thought: nobody knows nuthin. But, the next French government may indeed move away from big-state socialism. Here. We'll know more after Sunday's first round of voting. Perhaps there is hope for Europe yet.

Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants for U.S. Democrats.
A Dutch businessman faces genocide charges for selling chemicals to the Saddam regime that were used for poison gas attacks during the Iran/Iraq War and against the Kurds. Story here.
As I have pointed out before, we are not alone in our fight against radical Islamists. Here is an embed account of fighting by British troops in Iraq. Link from Instapundit.
From time to time we need to remind ourselves that we have allies fighting with us against radical Islam. Recently in Afghanistan

Australia is sending more troops.

Canada recently suffered its heaviest losses in a single day since Korea.

The Dutch Army is trying its own approach.

Germany is sending more planes.

British Marines on the offensive.
From Dean Barnett this morning:

"Fighting Back Was Not An Option"

"Thatís what the released English marines said. They were outnumbered and outgunned. The Iranians had them surrounded. They donít regret a thing. They couldnít have won.

"'Fighting back was not an option' - Will those words someday be the epitaph of the Western World?"

Wow! Unlikely that poems will be written about this incident. I doubt that Tennyson could have done much with that brand of fighting spirit.

Just for old times sake:


"The Charge of the Light Brigade"
Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

» Read More

04/04: Comin' Home

Posted by: A Waco Farmer
A good friend of mine is in the Middle East this week on business (unconnected to matters of state). His remarks are worth sharing with our blogging community. Although I do not have his permission to pass them along (not quite possible at this moment), I am confident that he will extend some mercy for my presumptuousness. Enjoy.

Guest Blogger: Linguist

Doha, Qatar, less than two hours to boarding.

Yo, good people of Seventh!

It hasn't been easy, all this food and fancy hotel and so on, but I felt it had to be done to make the way smooth for '09 (our motto: "It'll be fine in '09!"), checking out the scene around London, etc. And tonight, a farewell dinner that included Scots, so I can claim I was researching that part of the proposed trip as well.

Explanation: along with another couple from church, we are planning a European trip in two years.

The whole thing has been nutty, and I must say I'm glad to hear that the Brit sailors have been wisely released by the poker-playing Iranians, since my host here printed out a couple of articles today predicting missile strikes against Iran on Good Friday, just when I was hoping for some quiet meditation, call me selfish!

Seriously, though, there's nothing to be gained by violence, and my encounters with Iranians in the souk (market) today reinforced that impression: they were effusing about renewed friendship between the US and Iran. Heck, all they want to do is sell souvenirs, after all, and I obliged them.

Likewise talking to a Lebanese Christian (Francophone) perfume-selling lady last night at one of the malls: all optimistic about her country's future despite last summer's devastation which we were indirectly responsible for - people still want to love us, warts and all. If they're willing to forgive us Abu Ghraib, that's all very well, but we shouldn't be quick to forgive ourselves. She waxed lyrical about God's providing for them, and I seconded the motion. I wished her and all the other good Christians I met here, Filipinos, Indians (Goans, Keralites), Lebanese Maronites, Egyptian Copts (I learned that the very word Egypt comes from the old word for those early Christians: Gpt=Cpt) a Happy Easter.

In the spirit of ecumenism, in fact, I just wished an Israeli fellow-passenger a happy belated Passover, pointing out that I live near Crawford and that no American candidate for the presidency can proceed without the AIPAC's blessing. He loved it. I wished him mazel tov as well: it's the closest I could get to 'bon voyage.

I just want you to know I've been sacrificing, and it'll take another glass of that Chassagne-Montrachet (or maybe I'll switch to white...) and some of the baklava on offer here (maybe the cute little ones with pistachio filling) at the fancy lounge to get me though to boarding time and my flat-reclining seat. Whew! The things I won't do to be able to report to the team on what current conditions in Europe are like for a preview of the Big Trip! Well, someone's gotta do it!

Well, Lord willing and Andy Jackson's treaties with the Indigenous Peoples working out, I'll be back among you this weekend. Till then, keep the faith!

~~L.