10 June 2004

Reagan steals the credit from Gorbachev

[source, source]

[…] the Iron Curtain’s collapse was hardly Ronald Reagan’s doing.

It was Mikhail Gorbachev, who with a sweeping democratic revolution at home and one peace initiative after another abroad, backed the Gipper into a corner, leaving him little choice — actors don’t like to be upstaged — but to concede there was a whole new world opening up over there.

[…] the U.S. administration was reeling. Polls were beginning to show that, of all things unimaginable, a Soviet leader was the greatest force for world peace. An embarrassed Mr. Reagan finally responded in kind. Nearing the end of his presidency, he came to Moscow and he signed a major arms-control agreement and warmly embraced Mr. Gorbachev.

[…] In fact, Mr. Gorbachev could have well perpetuated the old totalitarian system. He still had the giant Soviet armies, the daunting nuclear might and the chilling KGB apparatus at his disposal.

But he had decided that the continuing clash of East-West ideologies was senseless, that his sick and obsolescent society was desperate for democratic air. […]

What’s really odd here is the admission that the USSR was “sick and obsolescent”. I thought Big Media still considered Communism the wave of the future.

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Turkey releases Kurdish activitists


Four prominent Kurdish activists, including award-winning ex-MP Leyla Zana, have been freed from Turkish jail pending an appeal.


Turkish Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said those who opposed Turkey’s entry into the EU should think again.

“This is the last bargaining chip in the hands of those who were seeking excuses in Turkey’s EU bid,” Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying.

Interesting that Turkey is doing this to humour the EU while they’re facing a possible Kurdistan on their border.

P.S. Interestingly, the BBC considers Turkey to be part of Europe - this was filed under “European” news.

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EUlite terror funding

[source, source]

Bayerische Rundfunk (Bavarian TV) reported that 246 million euro of EU money, granted to the Palestinian Authority by the European Commission, ended up in fully uncontrollable bank accounts. Bayerische Rundfunk said, on the basis of a letter by Arafat that it had obtained, that the Palestinian leader personally ordered terrorist attacks, using the accounts where the EU money ended up.

That seems kind of counter-productive - if Israel is destroyed won’t many Jews head back to Europe?

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But the dialog is open!

[source, source, source]

(Brussels, June 7, 2004) — The Iranian government has intensified its campaign of torture, arbitrary arrests, and detentions against political critics, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Iran’s outgoing reformist parliament in May passed legislation to prohibit torture, but without effective implementation, the law remains an empty gesture.


The report called on the European Union to increase pressure on Iran to take strong steps to end torture and ill-treatment in detention and restore freedom of expression. The ongoing EU-Iran human rights dialogue will have its next meeting in Tehran on June 14 and 15. The dialogue, entering its third year, has failed to achieve any tangible results. In fact, the human rights situation in Iran has markedly deteriorated since the inception of the dialogue. “The European Union’s weak response to continuing human rights violations in Iran is deeply disturbing,” said Whitson, “It’s time for the European Union to condemn Iran’s record of persecution and torture and to set real benchmarks that the government must meet.”

But the EU is doing something - they’re talking to Iran. How could that not be effective?

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