Thursday, January 04, 2007

blogging condition: light

bump&update - blogging still light. some pix from today from a lavender farm.

tomorrow, blogging still light, fishing & boating will ensue

keep chatting amongst yerselves

blogging condition: light

chat amongst yerselves.


LeeB said...

Lordy. There's an echo in here . . . Is everybody still hung over?

Kathleen reported in . . .

"Hi Guys,

Happy New Year guys, and Merry Little Xmas, Jan 6 the day the 3 wise guys showed up with the loot. I had to put my head on holiday for the holidays so I could get into it, no news, no computer. Then when I got set to get back at it, a wicked wind storm came thru and made a giant mess. Still dealing with broken windows. the glass place said so many windows broke in town, he didn't have any glass left till ths week, so its freezing in my office, well not freeeeezing, but too chilly to sit around. I just needed a big break. Now I've got a sore thoat and temp., but I'll be back soon. Trying to get a roof repaired, shingles blew off, branches down, blaH, BLAH. After Little XMas, I'll figure the holidays are ovah. It''s the 30th anniversary of my moving into this house. gotta celebrate a bit.

Say Hi to the GSF.

Anonymous said...

Maliki must go?...

lukery said...

echo echo echo

rimone said...

fuckin' christ, i came over here still having no voice, a very high fever and i think strep throat or an extremely nasty sore throat...i've GOT to catch up on shit, stuff i totally don't understand and 'blogging is light?' lovely.

i don't know shit anymore. not that i ever did.

sorry for the non-comment. bah.

Simon said...

Joke of the week:

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has said that Saddam Hussein's December 30 execution did not need his approval and that he did not know when it was to take place. Talabani's office released a statement on January 2 saying the president opposes the death penalty, but cannot interfere with the independence of the judiciary.

On a similar vein and whilst it's quiet here then - here's a sampling of the European reaction to the hanging of Saddam, via Wikiquote (my highlighting):

European Union: European Commissioner for Development Aid Louis Michel stated that the execution of Saddam Hussein is against the fundamental principles of the European Union. The EU is against the death penalty, whatever are the crimes committed. "It is not a big day for democracy," Michel stated to the RTBF. "The EU is in fierce opposition to the death penalty and there is no exception to that fundamental principle. Cruelty is not to be answered with cruelty. I believe that there were other possible means to revenge the cruelties committed by Saddam. The death penalty is not the right answer." He fears that the execution of Saddam has a negative impact and that the former dictator will emerge as a martyr. "You don't fight barbarism with acts that I deem as barbaric. The death penalty is not compatible with democracy," he told Reuters.

Austria: "Austria has always campaigned against the impunity of people in the highest positions of political responsibility and supports the effort for an effective international penal jurisdiction. At the same time Austria rejects the death penalty as a matter of principle and stands for its worldwide abolition. This applies without exception and cruelty of the committed crime. Saddam Hussein's guilt in oppressing his own people, the assassination of political enemies and innocent civilians is undoubtedly documented. However, Austria's stance against the death penalty also applies in this case." - Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release

Belgium: The Belgian Foreign Minister, Karel De Gucht, repeated his objection to the execution and death penalty in general. He also expressed the hope that the violence in Iraq would come to an end, now that the personification of the cruel regime had died.

Czech Republic: The Czech Foreign Ministry has welcomed the execution of the former dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein. In a statement the Ministry said his death was an important historic milestone and represented at least partial satisfaction for the families of Saddam's victims. In the short term his killing could cause instability in Iraq, but in the long term the end of the era of Saddam Hussein will move the country closer to stability and democracy, it said. Though the death penalty contradicts European values his execution should be looked at from the perspective of Iraq today, said the Foreign Ministry.

Denmark: The Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said that Denmark condemned the actions of Saddam Hussein, but did not support the capital punishment. "This has been pointed out to the Iraqi government on several occasions and this is also the reason we have not aided the Iraqi Special Tribunal against him," he said in a statement. Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller said to Danish television that he would rather seen that Saddam Hussein had been tried at an international tribunal.

Finland: Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erkki Tuomioja, replied that the European Union opposes capital punishment. "Even if there are no doubts that Saddam Hussein is guilty of very serious crimes against humanity, very serious comments have been made about the court process in Iraq."

France: "France calls upon all Iraqis to look towards the future and work towards reconciliation and national unity. Now more than ever, the objective should be a return to full sovereignty and stability in Iraq. France, which like the rest of its European partners advocates the universal abolition of capital punishment, notes the execution of Saddam Hussein on Saturday. That decision was made by the people and the sovereign authorities of Iraq." — French Foreign Ministry

Germany: "Saddam Hussein was sentenced by an Iraqi court, and this verdict has been executed. We do respect this verdict. However, it is known, that the Federal Government of Germany is against capital punishment. On a day like this, my thoughts are foremost with the many innocent victims of Saddam Hussein. I do wish for the Iraqi people that it will find its way without violence and in peace." — German chancellor Angela Merkel

"The federal government of Germany is against capital punishment, no matter where. However there is no doubt about the crimes of Saddam Hussein." — German Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gernot Erler

Greece: "As known, Greece, together with all member states of the European Union, has abolished the death penalty. The execution of dictator Saddam Hussein is one more dramatic moment added to the troubled history of Iraq. We hope that it is the last. We wish and hope the friendly Iraqi people will follow the route to reconciliation and ethnic unanimity. The only route that can lead to a peaceful, secure and democratic future." Dora Bakoyannis, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs

Iceland: Minister of foreign affairs said that the Iraqi court was legal, and that the Icelandic government accepted the sentence, however that the government of Iceland was opposed to death penalty. Additionally, she stated that all political party leaders in Iceland were afraid of the execution's consequences.

Ireland: "We have to accept the right of the Iraqi judiciary to hand down a sentence. Ireland however, in common with its EU partners, does not approve of capital punishment. I believe Saddam Hussein should have ended his years behind bars for his heinous crimes." - Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern

Italy: "Italy is against the death penalty and so even in such a dramatic case as Saddam Hussein, we still think that the death penalty must not be put into action." - Prime Minister Romano Prodi

Netherlands: "It's understandable that Saddam Hussein received the most severe punishment under Iraqi law. Nevertheless, we are opposed to the death penalty, which is inhumane and barbaric; even in Hussein's case, the sentence should not have been carried out." — Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm

Norway: The Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre stated in a press release that "It is important that the former dictator of Iraq was brought before a court and sentenced for some of his crimes against humanity". However, "Norway opposes the use of the death penalty in principle, and therefore regrets the execution of Saddam Hussein. The execution does not solve Iraq’s political problems, including the serious security situation."

Portugal: "The Portuguese Government reaffirms its total opposition to death penalty in all cases and circumstances."

Russia: "Regrettably, repeated calls by representatives of various nations and international organizations to the Iraqi authorities to refrain from capital punishment were not heard. Saddam Hussein's execution can lead to further aggravation of the military and political situation and the growth of ethnic and confessional tensions." — Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin

Serbia: "We have seen that the situation in Iraq is chaotic. I am afraid this might cause even worse consequences. Serbia strongly objects to the death penalty. Calls against execution made by non-governmental organization such as Amnesty International should have been accepted" — Minister of Justice Zoran Stojkovi?

Spain: "All dictators must answer for their crimes, but I cannot support this kind of punishment, I am against the death penalty." — Government President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero

Sweden: "Sweden and the European Union are without exception against the death penalty. I have earlier expressed the wish for the death sentence of Saddam Hussein being commuted to life in prison." — Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt

Switzerland: "Saddam Hussein was a criminal, but the DFA disapproves of his execution. ... Switzerland advocates the abolition of the death penalty in the context of both its multilateral and in its bilateral diplomacy." — Federal Department of Foreign Affairs press release

United Kingdom: "I welcome the fact that Saddam Hussein has been tried by an Iraqi court for at least some of the appalling crimes he committed against the Iraqi people. He has now been held to account [...] The British government does not support the use of the death penalty, in Iraq or anywhere else [...] We have made our position very clear to the Iraqi authorities, but we respect their decision as that of a sovereign nation." — Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett

Vatican City: "An execution is always tragic news, reason for sadness, even in the case of a person who is guilty of grave crimes." - Holy See spokesperson Federico Lombardi.

"[The execution punishes] a crime with another crime...The death penalty is not a natural death. And no one can give death, not even the state." - Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Mizgîn said...

If Mam Celal (Talabanî) says that he didn't know when the execution would take place, then he's lying.

But it seems I'm the only one bitching about Talabanî:

If it's not the Baker-Hamilton's of the world attempting to manipulate the Iraqi constitution for their own purposes, it's al-Maliki and his Sadrist thugs getting away with it. Why should Kurdistan be in thrall to this?

But, given that there is such flaccid leadership in the South, I guess we can expect nothing else. For example, from a Reuters article, we learn that Talabanî didn't have the guts to invoke his sacred pledge against the death penalty, even though he'd been blabbing about this forever. Instead, his "advisors" doctored up some "letter" to get him out of the dirty job:

Talabani has been reluctant to sign death warrants for personal reasons but the constitution gives him no power of pardon for war crimes. Many of his fellow Kurds were also keen to see Saddam convicted of genocide against them.

In the end, officials said, presidency advisers provided a letter simply stating that no presidential decree was needed and that senior clerics told Maliki the holiday provided no grace.

I wonder what Judge Rizgar would have to say about that cheap little maneuver?

From Opinio Juris, August, 2006:

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, himself a Kurd, said earlier this year that Saddam should be tried for all his crimes before any of the verdicts are implemented and any death penalty could prove controversial.

[ . . . ]

Interestingly, Jalal Talabani, the President of Iraq, is personally opposed to the death penalty. In 2005, he refused to sign the death warrants of the first three Iraqis sentenced to death under the new regime (although he did allow his deputy to sign them). Talabani has made contradictory statements, however, about whether he would authorize the execution of Saddam. Although he has insisted on two occasions that he would resign before doing so, he has said more recently that he would simply be absent when the three-person Presidency Council decided whether to authorize Saddam's execution.

Talabani's most recent comment, it is worth noting, is an inaccurate statement of Iraqi law. As I discuss in my Grotian Moment post, although Paragraph 286 of the Iraqi Code of Civil Procedure traditionally empowered the President of Iraq to commute a death sentence, that provision was superseded by Article 27(1) of the IHT Statute, which specifically provides that “[n]o authority, including the President of the Republic, may grant a pardon or mitigate the punishment issued by the Court.” So if the Presidency Council did refused to sign a death warrant for Saddam, it would do so in direct violation of Iraqi law.

What must Talabanî have been afraid of? Resigning, as he said he would? I think he should be afraid of Kurdish reprisals for his utter cowardice in not defending the continuation of a trial that would have properly documented the Arab genocide of the Kurdish people. Instead, his was the chickenshit way to escape a political battle.

[ . . . ]

Since the Baghdad government doctored up some "letter" to let Talabanî slip out of his presidential duties, and since it violated its own law by executing on a religious festival, then it could have doctored up something or violated its own law again by keeping Saddam alive until all the other trials were concluded . . . including the Anfal trial.

The Baghdad government is Sadrist and al-Maliki is Moqtada's man. Again, how is it that Kurdistan can remain in thrall to a government that pushed for a swift execution for Saddam's murder of 148 Shi'a, while he was still on trial for the murder of 182,000 Kurds? And while other trials, for the Marsh Arabs and the 1991 uprising, were on the horizon?

Let's face it: Kurds don't rate, especially with the Kurdish leadership, who have beat a hasty retreat instead of demanding justice for 182,000 Anfalized Kurds, their survivors, and the entire Kurdish people.

Scandalous and disgusting!

There was some kind of deal cut over something.

noise said...

Finished reading Lance's latest book. Not recommended for Fitzgerald fans. Zelikow, Gorelick and Shnell are three people who seem to have compromised the 9/11 Commission with gross conflicts of interest.

Luke correct me if I'm wrong but I get the impression that the Barlow interview wasn't as expected.

lukery said...

Noise - sorry for the delay. the Barlow interview went well - i'll have to write it up.

Thanks for that re Lance.