April 23, 2009

Welcome back, Carter

I'm not an expert on foreign policy or politics (or anything, really, come to think of it) but when a significant part of the country thinks you're a wee bit soft on the "Death to America" crowd, well, this might not be a wise move...

The Obama administration has asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit against Iran filed by Americans held hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran 30 years ago.

The request comes in a $6.6 billion class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington. Fifty-two American diplomats and military officials were held captive for more than a year at the end of Jimmy Carter's presidency by a group of Islamist students who supported the Iranian revolution.

[...]

In court papers filed Tuesday night without any announcement, the Justice Department argued that the agreement to release the hostages, known as the Algiers Accords, precluded lawsuits against Iran.

I'll be the first to admit that I know jack shit about the Algiers Accords, but why have the DOJ step in and ask the judge to throw out the lawsuit? If it has no merit under the terms of the accords, the plaintiffs would likely lose, right?

Why, it's almost as if there was some other rationale at work here. Some kind of "smart diplo-something-or-other" rationale, perhaps. No, that's just paranoid wingnut nonsense. Racist, too, probably.

Oh, and this is just awesome:

"The gratitude of the United States for the service and dedication of these brave individuals cannot be overstated, nor can the suffering and abuse they endured on behalf of this country be exaggerated; these matters are beyond dispute," the Justice Department wrote in its filing.

The article doesn't go on to mention the massive "but" (heh heh heh) that likely follows that statement, but it does mention that the lawsuit claims that the hostages were beaten, threatened with death, and tortured. I'm guessing that torture probably didn't involve putting panties on their heads or smearing them with fake menstrual blood. But again, I'm not an expert.

(Via Jeff G.)

Posted by: Sean M. at 02:44 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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April 20, 2009

What did they expect?

It's no secret that I'm not exactly a fan of Barack Obama, but at least he made the right call by deciding to boycott this ridiculous anti-Semitic freakshow. Unlike some other countries that really should have known better:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad smiled as European diplomats left in protest over his opening address to a controversial UN summit to fight racism.

President Ahmadinejad, speaking as Israelis prepare to commemorate the Holocaust on Tuesday, described Jews and Israel's creation as the "ugly face" of a Western conspiracy.

"They sent migrants from Europe, the United States in order to establish a racist government in the occupied Palestine," he said.

"The word Zionism personifies racism that falsely resorts to religion and abuses religious sentiments to hide their hatred and ugly faces."

EU diplomats launched a walk out when Mr Ahmadinejad claimed that the "pretext of Jewish suffering", a reference to the Holocaust, had been used to create Israel.

The "EU diplomats" included representatives from Britain. What the fuck were they thinking he was going to say? "Perhaps we've been a little hard on the Jews in the past, what with all the stuff about them being the 'descendants of pigs and apes'"?

Oh, and I just loved this little detail (with my emphasis)...

Mr Ahmadinejad has previously described the Holocaust as a myth and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map". His speech at the UN conference coincided with the 120th anniversary of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's birth.

I'm sure that was just a coincidence. Yeah.

Posted by: Sean M. at 08:22 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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April 10, 2009

Giving our President the benefit of the doubt

Must be a headbutt /

I've figured out what Obama was doing here, all you wingnuts looking to find fault with every move Our President makes can shut the hell up.

It's really obvious - President Obama, in all his testosterone-filled glory, was overcome with the urge to headbutt King Abdullah and see him *poof!* into a cloud of dust. At the last moment, President Obama, in his magnificent wisdom, recognized that annihilating another country's head of state would be a poor diplomatic move and restrained himself.

Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit:

BARBARA WALTERS: I understand that now that you are king, you prohibited your subjects from kissing your hand. Were you embarrassed to have your hand kissed?

KING ABDULLAH:I have tremendous distaste for such matters because I believe that one only bows before one's God, not before another human being.

(h/t Jossip for the pic and the Walters interview - I went looking for the picture and got more than I had hoped for. I think their take on the incident is blurred by Obama glasses, though.)

Posted by: Alice H at 08:08 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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April 04, 2009

Legalized spousal rape

WTF kind of country is it where the men are universally so undesirable that it has to be legislated that wives have to put out twice a week?

"As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night," Article 132 of the law says. "Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband."
There's a strange sort of incongruity that Hillary Clinton is being called upon  to put pressure on the Afghanistani president to repeal this law. She did such a wonderful job with an American president's sexual harassment, I'm sure she can channel that experience into her dealings with Hamid Karzai.

Posted by: Alice H at 02:36 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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