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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Well, Well, My Radioactive Chickadees

AP News is a real blast today. Let's see.... First we have an article commenting that Italians are unsure about who will now succeed to control of the Mafia, juxtaposed with the news that Romano Prodi won over Berlusconi. This was narrow; Prodi won the lower house with a margin of 25,000 votes out of the 38 million votes cast. Berlusconi contends that there were "irregularities" and that nothing is settled. I want to stress that these articles discuss two different leadership positions.

One of Prodi's campaign promises was to cut payroll taxes. I feel like electing him myself. I think the major issue in the US is the decapitalization and wage depression for the bottom 1/3rd of population. We will not see true prosperity return until it returns for them. Real wages for them are declining.

In other Italian news brought to you by Dust My Broom, a famous porn star is willing to trade her body for a promise of peace from Bin Laden. Since she is 55, word has it that Bin Laden is insulted and planning an immediate retaliatory strike. Previously, she made a similar generous offer to Saddam Hussein. Not a good omen, eh?

And then we have Iran's delightful announcement that it has succeeded in enriching uranium:
Iran said it successfully enriched uranium using 164 centrifuges. For large-scale enrichment, Iran needs tens of thousands of centrifuges.

Iran's nuclear boss, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, said Iran aims to expand the process to use 3,000 centrifuges in the last quarter of 2006, meaning Iran is preparing for a semi-industrial scale enrichment.
Enrichment typically starts out with a gas that is 0.7 percent uranium-235. It must be boosted to around 4 percent to produce fuel for a reactor -- or 90 percent for the material for a warhead.

But getting a series of 164 centrifuges to work is an accomplishment. The same principles can be used to add on more centrifuges -- though the more that come on line the more opportunities there are for technical problems.

The pipe connections between the devices is complex and fragile, and any imperfection can cause a breakdown, Iranian nuclear scientist Mohammad Afarideh said.
Some of this is being done in an underground complex. I would not be sleeping comfortably over it, that's for sure. Howard of Oraculations wants you to see this about Iran and the bomb. I think you should too. I think these bozos are more of a threat to their own population than to us or Israel for a year or so. I'm all for allowing them to blow themselves up.

The Anchoress posted a conversation with Ali (a reformist-minded Muslim) of Unwilling Self Negation. Naturally she took some grief for it, but never mind, Anchoress. Your gracious spirit will transcend all that.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred picked up the baton with this post, writing that we owe moderate Muslims a respectful ear:
We do not have to treat Eteraz and reformists with kid gloves. We only need to treat them as equals. If their arguments are weak, they want to know. They cannot succeed without a strong foundation. Eteraz knows very well the new realities. Words are no longer the currency of foreign policy or the basis of bilateral relationships. Reality today is predicated on actions and behaviors. The Americans, Europeans and Israelis will not make the 'Arafat Error' again. They will not tolerate 30 years of doublespeak and deceit. For Hamas and Abbas, it's 'show me the money' time. They will perform or they will suffer the consequences.
Those who would reform Islam understand precisely what Mr Bolton stands for, because they want to (be) measured by their actions and not by the words of Osama bin Laden, Arafat, Assad, Qaddafi and the Wahhabis. Reformist Muslims have as much to lose as anyone else. If they don't reform and redefine Islam, they will have sacrificed their future and the future of succeeding generations.
From your mouth to the ears of bloggers everywhere, SC&A, but I doubt the Europeans are able to break the appeasement cycle. Consider this article about Euro-speak on terrorism from Dust My Broom:
The European Union, tiptoeing through a minefield of religious and cultural sensitivities, is discreetly reviewing the language it uses to describe terrorists who claim to act in the name of Islam.
The lexicon would set down guidelines for EU officials and politicians.

“Certainly ‘Islamic terrorism’ is something we will not use … we talk about ‘terrorists who abusively invoke Islam’,” an EU official told Reuters.
So I am afraid that Europe will not greet moderate Muslims with open arms. The tragedy of the Ali's and the Big Pharoah's is that Europe is afraid of radical Muslims, and thus will not help moderate Muslims. After all, they don't threaten to bomb cities to make their points! But this only highlights the need for what The Anchoress and SC&A are doing. If we do not listen when they speak, where will they get a voice? During the Danish cartoon riots, ME newspaper editors who dared to criticize the hysteria lost their jobs and were in some cases imprisoned. It is grossly unfair to criticize Muslims for not being moderate when they are being attacked and suffering persecution if they take moderate positions in public in the ME and get no credence and no hearing when they speak in the west.

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