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Monday, July 26, 2010

Wikileaks and the US intelligence quagmire



(Social Justice South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais



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"Summary

25th July 2010 5:00 PM EST WikiLeaks has released a document set called the Afghan War Diary, an extraordinary compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.

The reports, while written by soldiers and intelligence officers, and mainly describing lethal military actions involving the United States military, also include intelligence information, reports of meetings with political figures, and related detail.

The document collection is available on a dedicated webpage.

The reports cover most units from the US Army with the exception of most US Special Forces' activities. The reports do not generally cover top secret operations or European and other ISAF Forces operations.

We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from the total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with occasional redactions, and eventually in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.

The data is provided in HTML (web), CSV (comma-separated value) and SQL (database) formats, and also was rendered into KML (Keyhole Markup Language) mapping data that can be used with Google Earth. Please note that the checksums will change."
Wikileaks (a clandestine organization which is known for its use of advanced technological and legal techniques in order to leak top secret government documents to the general public)
26 / 07 | July / 2010

Wikileaks, a site which many journalists wished they worked for, and many others: especially world governments: fear, has done it again. Someone within the US government has downloaded thousands of classified files, which they uploaded to the whistle blower organization: the bane of intelligence and counter-intelligence everywhere.

The site revealed allegedly from the intelligence documents of the US government that US special forces have allegedly been ordered to kill or capture suspected Taliban heads with no form of trial, that Pakistani intelligence has allegedly helped the Taliban in planning their attacks on the coalition efforts, and that over 100 Afghani civilians have allegedly accidentally been shot by US troops' mistakes. PR coups by the coalition claiming that they are ultra-cautious, firing warnings before shooting, and even purposely missing, have thus been called into question. US President Barack Obama, has understandably attempted to call into question Wikileak's ethics, the same man had in the past, amidst controversy asked US citizens to forward him any emails they received seemingly of those with questioning or critical views against him a while ago.

The US is allegedly concerned over US lives due to the wikileaks leak, not seemingly mentioning non-coalition lives. Prior Pakistani intelligence chief, Lieutenant General Hamid Gul (Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI]), says accusations against him are false. Pakistan is internationally known for human rights abuses and other alleged violations of international humanitarian law.

Up to 91 000 (Ninety-one Thousand) documents were leaked by the transparency activists at Wikileaks. Starting in 2004 to about 2010.

Many journalists find the service indispensable, and believe it vital to protecting democracy, other subscribe to its services.

Important quotes:

"The United States has condemned as "irresponsible" the leak of 90,000 military records, saying publication could threaten national security.

The documents released by the Wikileaks website include details of killings of Afghan civilians unreported until now.

Three news organisations had advance access to the records, which also show Nato concerns that Pakistan and Iran are helping the Taliban in Afghanistan."
BBC World News (Secular; Governmental; United Kingdom/British)
26 / 07 | July / 2010


"The papers contain specific claims that Pakistani intelligence helped the Taliban plan attacks on NATO, United Nations and Indian targets.

One refers to an alleged meeting between insurgents and the former Pakistani intelligence chief, Lieutenant General Hamid Gul.

He says the allegations are false."
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Governmental; Australian; Secular)
27 / 07 | July / 2010

Barack Obama, has vastly escalated the US war on Al Qaeda, and others, from the much smaller wars fought by an anti-"terror" crusading George W. Bush. Guantanamo Bay, is still open for business, and America, has increasingly been continuing associations with shifty regimes. The Afghan regime is one which has fronted a strong belief is a need for legally enforced marital rape, and which has allowed the arrest of those who convert away from Islam. A report by French Propaganda station: France 24, shows Afghan soldiers being used as human de-mining tools, being made to walk in front of vehicles, to detonate IEDs, it also alleges massive corruption, and shows an Afghan army hardly capable of putting on its own helmet, never mind fighting a war, and one where many desert having completed training, going to who knows which forces or armies around which could use their skills. It is thought the Taliban will regain Afghanistan the moment the international troops leave the area. Wikileaks has called the leak a hero for their actions.

Wikileaks claim they do not verify sources, but documents. They have purposely created a system they claim to make whistle-blowers untraceable even to themselves.

Many have viewed the leak here:

http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Afghan_War_Diary,_2004-2010




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Sunday, July 18, 2010

A New terror movement gains graduation in Northern Ireland Riots



(Social Justice South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais




Sinn Fein cannot control dissidents, who have increasingly been carrying out bombing attacks, and are beginning to overcome technical aspects

'Sinn Fein are yesterday's men' - Telegraph: "'Intelligence chiefs have warned ministers that splinter groups like the Real and Continuity IRA are on the verge of a wave of killings. We believe a new generation of republican fanatics are planning a campaign. The hardcore are in their twenties and they are building bombs from designs pioneered by the PIRA. Recent bombings, like the bridge at Cullyhanna, show they are overcoming their technical problems with detonators. Our big fear is an attempt to emulate the 1984 Brighton bomb attack. And those preparing for the Conservative conference in Birmingham in October have factored the threat into their security preparations.'"

Protestant celebrations of the defeat of a Catholic king, turn ugly


Northern Ireland dissident bombings, have broken into petrol or other flammables bomb, brick and stone ... hurling rioting, where rioters have used YouTube and mobile/cellular phones in hope of mimicry and support. Almost 100 police officers have been injured.

Dissident IRA splinter groups gain momentum, as first time terrorists are recruited on the spot, while girls allegedly dressed to the 9's for the occasion, encourage every violent act, as though a bizarre flirtation, a price to pay with immodesty for their violent cause. In the eyes of those in Northern Ireland, these riots, where the youths ignore their parents, and are pushed forward, into the chasm, and swirled down beyond boundaries: may be the equivalent of South Africa's June 16, where activists similarly used Youth and peer pressure to build up a movement.

Propaganda and Social Networking, help build on discontent by each malcontent | This problem is more than Northern Ireland

Youths, who like the (surprisingly largely pro-nuclear) Iranian Green movement are using technology, especially YouTube, create pseudo-hero videos of their exploits, in a sort of propaganda. Powerful Laser lights were used to blind police by protesters, sometimes as young as eight years old (Daily Mail 14 / 07 | July / 2010).

How will the more liberal than Yesteryear Tories, and their LibDem partners deal with this, after all, while Northern Ireland has its own parliament, this is up to them? Especially as the former political partner of the cause of the IRA, is no longer such a legitimate force to control the violence, as it did in Yesteryear. And the rioting is only to spread, as with the bombings, given that Sinn Fein and the IRA have no control over the riots!

Verbal attacks from Britain against the pope by Britain's leaders, and press and state officials, mocking Catholic identity probably have not helped the peace efforts either. His visit to Great Britain may well accompany more fuel for the fire, which was also hurt by British comments on Irish sex abuse, seen internally in southern Ireland as an Irish problem. This may be so, even if the Church has always condemned the terrorist attacks of those fighting to be free of Britain in Northern Ireland, where a Catholic culture remains, even if its moral standing in some quarters may be a bit fuzzy.

What had been a number of small attacks by a new, terrible splinter actions alliance of a Real and Continuity Irish Republican Army, without the same efforts to reduce deaths that the IRA had taken in the past: has now turned into a new fully fledged movement. The likely causes cited by the Telegraph are a despair over the direction of their cause, belief that their parents compromised for weakness, and stifling poverty only spurred on by the terrible recent depression. A depression which one may say was: if not in the markets, in their psychology, and their stomachs, and certainly stirred their alleged bigotry or at least their political beliefs or sentiments.

In South Africa, where the poor have begun to feel betrayed by their own parents, and the struggle partners including the ruling ANC, similar scapegoat violence has also begun, largely with foreigners and random persons as the targets, certainly not the ANC, though senior members have been treated much as Sinn Fein leaders, by protesters/rioters. Likewise, a youth which feels left out of hope, has terribly seen hope in the flames of scapegoating the forces of order, perhaps a deathly reminder that peace is not an achievement but a journey.

The Catholic church condemned fully the IRA during its fight for Irish independence in Northern Ireland against Great Britain. A Catholic priest, says the Telegraph, called this "recreational rioting", as though it were some entertainment for bored youths- in order it seems to condemn it as pointless. South Africa's anti-apartheid movement had just as many recreational followers, as did the original IRA.






This violence, while sparked by yet another Protestant celebration, is not a new violence, but one which has been stirred by gradual bombings... and mainly two terrorist groupings. Whether by thugs, as one politician called it, as low class youth often are described as, or by other factors, the violence, condemned by the political spectrum, the violence and new violent cultures do not look to be disappearing soon, all the more if it is to become a pass-time.

Police are looking through pictures and surveillance and have warned that those who showed recognisable features, would be arrested. Likely not the societal saboteur terrorists who had planned for the previously more peaceful protests, to erupt into disorder.

Given the treatment of former IRA Sinn Fein leaders by protesters, it is unlikely that talks will prevent a recurrence of the violence. The Real and Continuity IRA do not it seems have a political voice, and it is uncertain as yet should they seek to gain one. Certainly not if their violence continues to manipulate, and grow: by fear, and social media.





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Saturday, July 17, 2010

USA: Montana: 5 years old's to be taught Sex Ed; "Graphic Images in art help people understand sexuality"


(Social Justice South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais




"Katie Walker, Communications Director for American Life League, appears on CBN News Morning Edition, to discuss Montana's plan to introduce graphic sex curriculum to public school children as young as five."

[ALL talks on the shocking decision on CBN]


From telling high-school kids that graphic sexual images in art help us understand our sexuality "Erotic images in art help understand Sex"- CBN, to graphically describing all sorts of sexual acts verbally to fifth graders, to telling kids in grade 1 about gay's "people can love people of the same gender", a Planned Parenthood Sex Education backed sex education program in Montana, USA, starting with 5 year olds, and up, has sparked controversy.

Planned Parenthood, while paid to teach sex education, makes billions off of abortions, and contraceptive every year. Their funding in education, and abortion has gained much since Barack Obama took the presidency, given the US president's prior relationship with the abortion firm.

The curriculum is also from SEICUS (possible error by ALL in spelling of the acronym) Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, another similar group. The program being which is part of the curriculum put forward by the Montana school board, especially upsets American Life League, as it is believed that by bringing graphic sexuality into the lives of pre-puberty children could cause very negative side effects on teen pregnancy, and on learning ability. ALL calls it child abuse. Allegedly it is an attempt to disrupt children's sexual latency period. Recent research has found that abstinence only education is more effective than contraceptive education, and that children who are exposed to abstinence only education are more likely to use a condom if they do have sex.

In South Africa, it is a statutory crime to purposely expose children to real, or simulated sex, meaning that such a program would likely be termed exposing a minor to pornography in South Africa's strict sexual laws.




CNN, a liberal news network also notes the story, saying that the 5 year old's are taught about correct terms for private parts:



A Blog Also carrying the video





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UNICEF: Islamist Terrorism, Abortion, Contraceptive, surgical sterilizations and Free Love for Teens?




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(Social Justice South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Article summary: article looks into media across the left/right divide and secular/religious divide to explain why funding to UNICEF promotes a leftest agenda which includes promotion of sexual freedom among teens, contraception, abortion, sterilization, and other political agendas which divert from helping children including alleged funding of terrorist propaganda in Palestine.

A reader wrote to our service, to paraphrase:
your article on Selena Gomez was harsh, she's put so much into her fashion line, and wants to do what hundreds of girls fail to do, she wants to succeed in a tough business, and is UNICEF, which sales will help fund really that bad?

This is our service's response.

"Several years ago the Vatican withdrew its support for UNICEF and later Renato Cardinal Martino, then Vatican representative at the UN, asked Catholics to cease donating to the organization."
LifeSiteNews (Catholic; Independent; Canadian; used by the Vatican recently to gain accurate information on Catholic organizations funding abortion)
05 / 06 | June / 2009

While the speech of Renato to the United Nations is hard to find on the only recently existent Vatican website, it does note something similar as well as elaborating on our first issue: promotion of contraceptive and "birth control":



"Among other organizations, we may also mention UNICEF and UNHCR as particularly significant. The former has for some time launched contraceptive and sex education programmes; as is known, the Holy See has suspended its symbolic contribution to UNICEF in the light of the latter’s refusal to guarantee that this contribution would not be used for programmes contrary to Catholic principles.

[...]

The international bodies most affected are, in the UN system, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and the UN Economic Commissions ECA, ECLAC and ESCAP. In particular, UNFPA, together with the [abortion promoting alliance] IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation), has programmes in 157 countries lobbying to change laws and to implement programmes of birth control, with reserves of 335 million US dollars."
Vatican
11 / 02 | February / 2000

American Life League is more direct:

"Until the mid 1960's UNICEF fulfilled its mission and performed a great service to many of the neediest children in the world. However, as the world and the UN began to change, more unscrupulous programs replaced these worthy works and the original mission was lost to population control euphemisms and "reproductive health issues". A recent series of articles in the British medical journal, The Lancet, on the growing number of preventable childhood deaths worldwide provide a clear indication that UNICEF needs to redirect its "emphasis [on] its traditional mission of child survival". (1)

[...]

UNICEF promotes itself and raises funds at Halloween by having children carry its donation boxes door-to-door. It is also financed in large part by U.S. purchasers of UNICEF's Christmas Cards. While contributions may help to provide food, clothing, medicine or the like, chances are they may also go toward various forms of birth control, abortion and sterilization."
Americal Life League (ALL) (American; Independent; Catholic)
05 / 10 | October / 2005


The British Guardian paper, notes UNICEF's direct entry into promoting sexual education, and prevention of pregnancy:

"According to the United Nations agency Unicef, women born into poverty are twice as likely to stay that way if they have their children too soon. They are more likely to be unemployed, to suffer from depression and to become dependent on alcohol or drugs.

[...]

Unicef's explanation is pretty unequivocal. Sweden, for example, radically changed its sex education policies in 1975. "Recommendations of abstinence and sex only within marriage were dropped, contraceptive education was made explicit, and a nationwide network of youth clinics was established specifically to provide confidential contraceptive advice and free contraceptives ... Over the next two decades, Sweden saw its teenage birth rate fall by 80 per cent." Sexually transmitted diseases, in contrast to the rising rates in the UK and the US, declined by 40% in the 1990s.

"Studies of the Dutch experience," Unicef continues, "have concluded that the underlying reason for success has been the combination of a relatively inclusive society with more open attitudes towards sex and sex education, including contraception." Requests for contraceptives there "are not associated with shame or embarrassment", and "the media is willing to carry explicit messages" about them that are "designed for young people". This teeming cesspool has among the lowest abortion and teenage birth rates on earth.

America and the UK, by contrast, are "less inclusive societies" where "contraceptive advice and services may be formally available, but in a 'closed' atmosphere of embarrassment and secrecy". The UK has a higher teenage pregnancy rate not because there is more sex or abortion, but because of "lower rates of contraceptive use"."
Guardian (UK/British; Independent; Secularist; liberal)
11 / 05 | May / 2004

Unfortunately, the opposite trend was recently shown to be more accurate in a modern world: whereby research has found abstinence education both more effective in causing teens to use contraception, as well as successful in causing teen abstinence: Archive 24 / 02 | February / 2010- either way, UNICEF is promoting an accepting atmosphere to extra-marital sex among teens.


To then quote a more conservative group [note, the poor formatting is their's, not ours]:


"UNICEF also helps to fund organizations that promote abortions. One such organization is the Population Council, the group which holds the U.S. patent for the "abortion pill" RU-486. Another is a South African group called LoveLife, which actively encourages teenage girls to have abortions.

LoveLife provides a toll free number to Marie Stopes International abortion clinics, recommending abortion "... if you are happy to pay for the services. Remember, it is your right to get counseling [and] an abortion. If people are unhelpful, don¡¯t get discouraged. Keep trying. You don¡¯t need permission from anybody to have an abortion." LoveLife, which describes an abortion as a "gentle suction," encourages girls to "Talk to someoneþua health worker, a counselor, or someone you can trust." Afterwards, LoveLife tells girls, "You will feel a sense of relief. Some people like to do a ritual to end the processþulight a candle, plant a flower, write a poem or go for a long walk." No mention of post-abortion trauma here, one is merely "ending a process," not taking the life of the child.2"
Population Research Institute (Catholic; Independent; American; pro-life; one of the organizations researching the ageing population problem)
18 / 10 | October / 2010

The Liberal guardian, several years later again quoted UNICEF to promote contraception:

"A report by the United Nations agency Unicef notes that in the Netherlands, which has the world's lowest abortion rate, a sharp reduction in unwanted teenage pregnancies was caused by "the combination of a relatively inclusive society with more open attitudes towards sex and sex education, including contraception". By contrast, in the US and UK, which have the developed world's highest teenage pregnancy rates, "contraceptive advice and services may be formally available, but in a 'closed' atmosphere of embarrassment and secrecy"."
Guardian (UK/British; Independent; Secularist; liberal)
26 / 02 | February / 2008

A UN Lobby, C-FAM, notes that once again, UNICEF has then ignored the plight of children to a degree in their annual report for 2009:

"NEW YORK, NY, January 30, 2009 (C-FAM) - The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, launched its annual report this week claiming that, “Having a child remains one of the biggest health risks for women worldwide,” and dedicated the 168-page flagship publication to the issue of maternal mortality, virtually ignoring the agency’s mandate of child survival. The report recommends increased global financing of UN initiatives aimed at “family planning” and “reproductive health services” as the primary way to reduce maternal deaths, but also provides extensive evidence that there is no reliable data to substantiate its claims.

Entitled, “The State of the World’s Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health,” the study addresses the problem of 536,000 maternal and 4.7 million newborn annual deaths worldwide, focusing on Africa, Asia and Latin America. Yet, the report undercuts at length the validity of its own statistics, stating that a “high degree of uncertainty for maternal mortality ratios indicates that all data points should be interpreted cautiously,” and saying “The [UN’s] 2005 maternal mortality estimates are far from perfect,” merely reflecting “a strong commitment on the part of the international community to continually strive for greater accuracy and precision.” And while it argues that “more than 99 per cent” of maternal deaths “occurred in developing countries,” it goes on to call “commonplace” the absence of data to make such a claim.

In fact, the report admits that only 35 percent of the data used to create the 536,000 number in 2005 was based upon “complete/good” data. A full 35 percent of the 171 countries surveyed to create the number had “no data.” Another 20 percent of the total maternal mortality figure was from “estimates” and “uncertain/poor data.”

Another contradiction in the report is its discussion of abortion. According to the report, abortion complications are the smallest contributor to maternal death in every one of the three developing regions studied. By contrast, hemorrhaging is the cause of nearly 30 percent of maternal deaths in all three regions, followed by hypertension and sepsis. Undefined “other causes” account for nearly a third of deaths in Africa and one fifth of the deaths in Asia and Latin America.

Contradicting this evidence, the report calls for a “continuum of care” that promotes “reproductive health services,” a term used by some UN officials to include abortion. It then puts at the top of its eleven recommended interventions for reducing maternal deaths “promoting access to family planning services, based on individual country policies,” with skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care mentioned as lower priorities.

The report also claims that in 2005, heads of state created “a specific target on reproductive health: Millennium Goal 5, Target B,” which seeks to “Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health” and includes “contraceptive prevalence rate,” and “unmet need for family planning,” as indicators of attaining the target. The UN Population Fund, contradictorily, claims that such a target was created in 2008. In fact, the heads of state rejected the target in 2005, and have never voted on or adopted such a target."
C-Fam (Catholic; Independent; American based: New York, located near the United Nations
30 / 01 | January / 2009


Continuing a policy of pro-abortion efforts in the developing world, a representative UNICEF in June 2009 called any Catholic who opposes its efforts radical:

"PAHO and UNICEF both promote "reproductive health" that is an acknowledged euphemism at the United Nations for the promotion of abortion, abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. UN groups, while stating that their reproductive health policies are in conformity with local laws, also engage in heavy pressure tactics, particularly through committees such as that of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), to change national laws to allow abortion on demand. Earlier this year, UNICEF published a 168-page report that called for massive increases in "reproductive health services," in developing countries.

Several years ago the Vatican withdrew its support for UNICEF and later Renato Cardinal Martino, then Vatican representative at the UN, asked Catholics to cease donating to the organization.

Asked if UNICEF would be willing to give up promotion of their anti-life policies in order to form a partnership with the Catholic Church, Dr. Manrique said that it is only "radicals" in the Catholic Church who oppose those things, not the Church as a whole.

"Well, that may be the recommendation of the Cardinal, but along with the recommendation of the Cardinal there are many other opinions," he said. "There are radicals that do not help the advancement of organizations."

Asked if the promotion of condoms for AIDS prevention, the "reproductive right" of abortion and contraception, and "gender ideology" are in conflict with the Church, Manrique responded, "These three issues ... are perfectly in tune with the Catholic Church.""
LifeSiteNews (Catholic; Independent; Canadian; used by the Vatican recently to gain accurate information on Catholic organizations funding abortion)
05 / 06 | June / 2009


As for a secular source to close off our review of Unicef, we chose major American News Source, the National Review Online:

"Americans mostly know UNICEF through the “trick or treat for UNICEF” campaigns. The “trick” is on the donors who think that UNICEF is all about helping poor children.

UNICEF has been a major financier of Palestinian “summer camps” which encourage children to become suicide bombers. One such camp is named for Wafa Idris, a female suicide bomber.

[...]

UNICEF’s focus on politics and political correctness has come at the expense of saving the lives of the approximately ten million children under the age of five who die each year from preventable causes.

According to UNICEF, the major cause of child poverty in the world is the free market—even though countries with free markets have vastly lower levels of child poverty than do the kleptocratic, statist economies extolled by UNICEF.

A 2003 report praised the North Korean dictatorship:
the particular strength of the DPRK’s policy framework lies in its comprehensiveness, integration and consistency in addressing the interests of children and women. It has been aligned with the collective production system. The Government has proactively broadened and updated its laws and policies on an ongoing basis, also making an effort to harmonize with international innovations and standards.

Given UNICEF’s affinity for the extreme left, it should be no surprise that UNICEF helps fund the gun- prohibition lobby in Brazil.

The Executive Director of UNICEF is traditionally chosen by the United States (although nominally appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General). All of the abuses described above took place during the tenure of Executive Director Carol Bellamy, who was selected by President Clinton in 1995. In May 2005, President Bush chose former Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman as executive director.

While there is no reason to believe that Veneman shares Bellamy’s extreme Left agenda, it would be fair to say that she has a long way to go to fix UNICEF. The organization today stills promotes the Brazilian gun prohibition lobby Viva Rio, and funds the pro-terrorist Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation as one of its “partners” in what it calls “occupied Palestinian territory.” UNICEF also “partners” with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, which uses ambulances to transport terrorists and their weapons, and whose personnel have participated in suicide bombings.

UNICEF’s executive board includes China (whose forced abortion policy is neither pro-life, nor pro-choice, nor pro-child) and Bhutan (where children are among the many victims of the regime’s human rights abuses). UNICEF has doled out unaccountable money to the North Korean regime.

Under Veneman, UNICEF is not as bad as it was under Bellamy, and even under Bellamy, the organization performed some good works. However, most people who give money to groups which help children would prefer that none of their donations be used to finance terrorism, the destruction of civil liberties, or tyranny. "
National Review Online (NRO) (American; Secular; Conservative)
26 / 10 | October / 2007

Whatever the conservative write for the National Review Online says, many of UNICEF's projects for promoting abortion, and also contraception come under the new leadership. SImply because a previous leader was appointed by a Democrat, does not make a Republican any better for the job.

On 8 March 2009 she said in "Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on International Women’s Day 2009":

"In places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where five million people have died in the conflict, sexual violence leaves many survivors with horrific injuries, emotional wounds, HIV and AIDS and unwanted pregnancies. It can inflict devastating long-term consequences on the lives of the affected women and girls, and on entire societies. "
UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund
08 / 03 | March / 2009

But Unicef has changed leadership again, likely once again swinging further left:

"Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Anthony Lake, who served as national security adviser to former President Bill Clinton, has been endorsed by the Obama administration to head the United Nations Children’s Fund, a U.S. official said.

[...]

During President Barack Obama’s campaign for the White House, Lake served as a foreign policy adviser to him."
Bloomberg (Secular; Independent; American)
18 / 02 | February / 2010


Lake was linked to a campaign scandal during his serving under Clinton, according to Time Magazine (American; Secular; Independent; liberal)
24 / 02 | February / 1997
.

He has also continued UNICEF advocacy for girls' "empowerment" and "education" in re "health", possibly a reference to their programs promoting contraception and abortion, and saying that saving mothers' lives is the most important part of saving children, and reducing global poverty:

"Admitting that some progress is being made to save both child and maternal lives, Mr Lake pointed out that the Countdown Decade Report is important in that it reveals the startling truth: “We are not making enough progress: 19 million children and women have died because of treatable causes since the last Countdown report (in 2008).” Mr Lake emphasized that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were inter-connected, linking girl’s education and empowerment to health of women and children: connection between saving mothers’ and children’s lives: “I know that saving mother’s lives (MDG5) is the single most important factor in saving children (and achieving MDG 4)...and reducing global poverty (MDG1).” He concluded by applauding the health care professionals’ work and action: “We can do this, but only by working in partnership with governments, civil society...and most of all, families who are most affected. We have a tremendous responsibility to do what we must do—now!"
WHO World Health Organization
08 / 06 | June / 2010

Countdown Decade Report takes special note of contraceptives, and advocates an increase in funding for "family planning services", also looking into maternal deaths due to abortion.


Although Anthony/Tony Lake does seem to now emphasize the need for skilled birth attendants:

"“Saving women’s lives is an important factor in saving children’s lives, just as improving women’s status in the world may well be the single most important factor in reducing global poverty.

“UNICEF strongly supports the Muskoka Initiative’s emphasis on strengthening health systems to improve maternal and child health. Prenatal care, skilled birth attendants, early and exclusive breast feeding, better primary medical care – these are key interventions we know can prevent the causes of most neonatal and many maternal deaths. To make a sustainable difference, we also need to work together to scale up integrated, community-based services that can save many child lives and are not only cost-effective, but also well designed to reach those in greatest need.

“Today, the G8 countries have renewed their commitment to maternal and child health, and we must all hold ourselves accountable for achieving greater progress on this critical challenge.”"
UNICEF
25 / 06 | June / 2010

The Muskoko Initiative which he praises, once against uses language that makes clear what was already known about G8 efforts, given the controversy of Canada not wanting to fund abortion:

"2. Scope: The Initiative is related to MDGs 4 and 5, as well as elements of MDGs 1 (nutrition) and 6 (HIV/AIDS, malaria). The Initiative is focused on achieving significant progress on health system strengthening in developing countries facing high burdens of maternal and under-five child mortality and an unmet need for family planning. Improving maternal and under-five child health requires comprehensive, high impact and integrated interventions at the community level, across the continuum of care, i.e., pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth, infancy, and early childhood.

3. This Initiative includes elements such as: antenatal care; attended childbirth; post-partum care; sexual and reproductive health care and services, including voluntary family planning; health education; treatment and prevention of diseases including infectious diseases; prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; immunizations; basic nutrition and relevant actions in the field of safe drinking water and sanitation."
Muskoka Initiative
G8 Summit, June 2010

""For American children and parents, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF offers an impactful way to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children," says Selena. "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF was created to support UNICEF, which has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world.""
Seventeen Magazine (American; Secular; Independent)
01 / 07 | July / 2010

Selena may believe her claim on more lives saved, and that may be the case, the problem lies with lives lost due to UNICEF. Her direct linking of buying Dream Out Loud to UNICEF, means that those who buy her product will be supporting UNICEF's efforts in the world. After all, she says her fans can make a difference via Dream Out Loud's support of groups such as Unicef. I do hope she is not intentionally supporting such an organization. Her association with pro-abortion groups, and other issues, are of some concern, although I have never read or seen or heard her directly support abortion, although she linked to a video on her twitter of Pink's Dear Mr President, which was addressed to George Bush, Although Selena linked during Obama's presidency: the song advocates abortion and de jure homosexual "marriage". She is also performing at this year's Lilith Fair, which is concerning given the tour's history with abortion. I do believe our service was justified in our "harsh tone" article, none the less, the reader comment was more than welcome, and enabled this long response, precisely because we so value their opinion, and desire to show our reasoning why we warned our readers.








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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bias in Reuters? :Pentagon says troop survey not biased against gays | Reuters



(Social Justice South Africa)

Analytical Article by Marc Aupiais

Article summary: looks into either an error or a misrepresentation by a Reuters article, as well as into the arguments surrounding a US policy and the law that policy stifles.

Pentagon says troop survey not biased against gays | Reuters

So goes a headline in a Reuters (British; Independent; Secular) piece on the controversial repeal of the policy of don't ask don't tell, or so they inaccurately claim to start. Don't ask don't tell won't be repealed: all it entailed was taking questions on a trooper's sexuality from questionnaires, without lifting the ban on homosexuals in the military: creating the de facto position, that homosexuals who wanted to serve would keep quiet and other troops would not ask if they were that. Pretty much the same as if our army were to get rid of the question of how old a trooper was.

The more concerning issue lies here, to quote their article:

"The Palm Center, a research institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara, was one of the groups critical of the overall polling approach by the Pentagon.

"Why would you ask those questions unless you thought there was something potentially wrong with (that group)?" asked Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin. "You would never have a survey asking: Would you share a shower with a Catholic soldier?""
09 / 07 | July / 2010


It makes it seem as though the man and centre quoted have no specific agenda, not so if one researches his history and the centre's history (interestingly they call it the Palm Center, and not the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military [CSSMM] by which it was often referred to as in the past, before it decided on a name change it seems),

"WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-homosexual group known as Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military (CSSMM), a think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara, claims to have unearthed a current Pentagon document that lists homosexuality as a psychological disorder."
LifesiteNews (Catholic; Independent; Canadian; Read in and trusted in the Vatican) 20 / 06 | June / 2006


The Palm Center is more than simply an activist group, even liberal media such as CNN see it as much more:

"The Palm Center, which circulated the statement calling for the repeal of the "don't ask-don't tell" policy, is looking to President-elect Barack Obama to address the controversial issue of gays in the"
CNN (Activist; Left leaning; American; Independent; Secular) 17 / 12 | November / 2008


In other words, the very group with instituted the call for a change of policy is being quoted like an independent objective source which disagrees.

NRO National Review Online's conservative think tank further notes how the Palm Center has been an active proponent of doing away with the law, without military input why they would possibly oppose any survey:

"Someone needs to break this news to the Michael D. Palm Center, an activist group based at the University of California–Santa Barbara that used to call itself the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military. On Monday the Palm Center issued a pretentious and legally absurd report claiming that President Obama can indeed snap his fingers with an executive order suspending enforcement of the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. That law, Section 654, Title 10, differs from Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” administrative policy because it states that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in uniform.

Even Pennsylvania Democrat Joe Sestak, co-sponsor of a House bill (H.R. 1283) to repeal the 1993 law, recently told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that President Obama should not try to get around Congress on a matter such as this. “We are a nation of laws,” said Sestak, “and in the last administration we saw executive actions that seemed to bend if not break those laws.”

The Palm Center’s desperation strategy seemed to be reflected during last Sunday’s ABC News program “This Week.” Host George Stephanopoulos aggressively questioned Pres. Barack Obama’s national security adviser, James Jones, on the issue of homosexuals in the military. Acknowledging congressional and military resistance to Obama’s position on the issue, Stephanopoulos suggested that the president should try to circumvent the law by suspending enforcement.

The question reflected the Palm Center’s latest polemic, which encourages the president to stop enforcing the law, rendering it essentially meaningless. Using contrived arguments, the Palm Center gay-studies scholars unconvincingly tried to justify unilateral non-enforcement of the law. The document advocates an interpretation based on the rarely used authority that underlies presidential “stop-loss” orders that sometimes are issued to keep troops in the field during a military or national emergency."
National Review Online (American; Independent; Secular; Conservative)analytical editorial on 14 / 05 | May / 2009


The current poll seems to be addressing concerning results in the past which say that there may be a mass exodus of American troops if homosexual troops are allowed to serve de jure in the US military:


"The 2008 Military Times Poll asked a new question that produced jaw-dropping results: “If the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is overturned and gays are allowed to serve openly, how would you respond?” The article emphasized that 71% of respondents said they would continue to serve. But almost 10% said “I would not re-enlist or extend my service,” and 14% said “I would consider not re-enlisting or extending my service.” Only 6% expressed “No Opinion.” Before voting to repeal the law, Section 654, Title 10, members of Congress, and President-elect Barack Obama, ought to do the math.

[...]

The December 2006 news release announcing the often-quoted Zogby Poll on this subject, which was paid for by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military (now called the Michael D. Palm Center), blatantly spun the story by omitting mention of responses to the key question asked — Should homosexuals serve openly in the military? The 26% of Zogby respondents who favored repeal of the law could not compete with the combined 69% of people who said that they were opposed or neutral on that question. This was hardly a mandate for radical cultural change in the military."
National Review Online (American; Independent; Secular; Conservative)analytical editorial on 02 / 01 | January / 2009


Christian Science Monitor, an American secular service which supports lifting of the ban says:

"“Is that where we as a country want to be? I think not,” says Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which is lobbying for a repeal to the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) ban.

More than 25 countries specifically allow gays and lesbians to serve in the military, including all original NATO signatories except the US and Turkey.

Some 16 countries – including Pakistan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen – bar open homosexuals from serving in the military. Across Africa, 37 countries declare homosexuality outright illegal – inside the military or out. Last week, two civilian men in Malawi were convicted and sentenced to serve 14 years in prison for homosexuality.

[...]

Already, US service members serve alongside gays and lesbians. The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, has estimated that some 66,000 gay and lesbian troops serve (pdf download) in the US forces today. And Britain, a key ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, has allowed homosexuals to openly serve in its military for a decade.

Canada and Australia lifted their bans in 1992, followed by Israel in 1993, and South Africa in 1998. The lift on bans did not result in a mass “coming out,” the Palm Center found, nor were there instances of increased harassment of or by gay people.

When Britain looked to repeal its ban, its military initially considered DADT. But they found it was a “disaster,” which “hadn’t worked,” was “unworkable” and was “hypocritical,” according to the Palm Center’s report, "Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010: A Global Primer."

Instead, the British military based its regulations on the Australian model, which simply ban public displays of affection, harassment and inappropriate relationships – regardless of whether the couple was gay or straight. In 2002, the British Ministry of Defense reconfirmed that “there has been no discernible impact on operational effectiveness” as a result of ending the gay ban and that “no further review of the Armed Forces policy on homosexuality” was necessary.


[...]

Concern that the repeal of DADT will reduce the number of volunteers is unfounded, according to Dr. Nathaniel Frank, primary author of the Palm Center Report. In Britain and Canada, roughly two-thirds of the military said it would refuse to serve with open gays, but in reality no more than three people in each country actually resigned, according to the report. [Although it is not resignations which are referred to in American polls but people who refuse to re-enlist]"
28 / 05 | May / 2010


Of course in the cases noted, the countries involved are ones where homosexuals enjoy special political or legal protections, as compared to the vastly polarised United States, and what seemed to be cited as working was a more general ban on relationships in the military, and troops it seems were still too scared to "come out" the Palm Center, once again cited as pushing for the reform, claims. If there is real tolerance in the military structures of these countries, and homosexuals are not intimidated into silence, why would they not "come out", many of the inside concerns related more to unit cohesion in combat than to people resigning. The concern is over lives possibly lost, due to the position homosexuals in a military face. I might note, South Africa is not, and since Apartheid, has not been an ally of America, South Africa is a member of the non-aligned movement and is much more closely linked to China and Cuba, than it is to America. In fact, it is one of the few countries which periodically stands up to America, and 4 of 5 South Africans oppose all homosexual acts, meaning that even if gays were to serve in an organization as dangerous as the underpaid under resourced SANDF, they would be very unlikely to "come out", for fear of reprisals. Once again a fact checking error. Though yes, homosexuals, and HIV/AIDS sufferers are both allowed in the SANDF.

As the US's Catholic Bishop of the Armed Forces opposes the repeal of the ban, our service has determined to research into this issue. I personally am unsure of my own position on this issue, as is our service. However, what I personally do best, and what our service is known for is our fact checking ability, and I thought it important to note this bias, the quoting of a particular source as though a differing opinion, as yet not noting that it is in fact an activist organization, this is done both by Reuters, and by the Christian Science monitor, which take the views of the Palm center as though they were fact on face value. The British Army also has a policy of not shooting to kill where possible, simply because an organization says it has been successful with a strategy does not mean it has been. The questions the US military are asking are exactly the applicable ones. The note of "would you shower with a Catholic" equates sexual preference to religion. Interestingly the biggest opponents to homosexuals openly in the US military are in the Catholic church and hierarchy.

As I noted before, our service has no viewpoint on this matter. We do however affirm the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the norms of marriage set out in Canon law vis-a-vis the theological delict of the recognition of homosexual unions, and the theological delict of homosexual acts, and of endorsing these. I do however think it highly possible, that those who choose to discriminate against homosexuals on duty whether for fear of harassment by them, or due to a general dislike or other reasons, may well choose other methods of discouraging their service in the US military, or of practising their dislike, due to the very different nature of American society. If this law is repealed, it is also almost certain to be used to further the means of Islamist organizations which already have had great success in recruiting militia in their war against America and other western powers, notably due to the sexual mistreatment of prisoners. As this is happening, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which I noted oppose the lifting of the law prior Don't Ask Don't Tell's policy, has banned all people who currently experience strong homosexual urges, from US seminaries, in accordance with Vatican norms on the matter. I think the reason Republicans and the US Catholic hierarchy so opposes the lifting of the ban, lies in the polarisation of America, a tug of war which is beyond reason, whether or not it would be reasonable in the specific US situation for homosexuals to serve in the military.

This move, as with the Obama administration's choice to change "Freedom of Religion" for less tolerant "Freedom of Worship", since an unstable man of what in America is the minority Islamic faith, shot up Fort Hood, as with many other moves the US has made while ignoring conscientious objectors and religious voices in recent times: will certainly be noted by America's enemies, allies and neutrals throughout the world. If bible verses on rifles and bullets were feared to cost American lives, then there may be a very real concern that these moves may even further fuel the fire of America's enemies.

It is however vital that the US military does not ask its questions vaguely. It also is a matter of concern that Reuters did not note exactly who they were quoting. Further, religion is very different than sexual preference, and even more different than acts of a sexual nature. While I strongly oppose America's wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, if it were my country, I would be asking about the mortality statistics and injury statistics in countries which lifted their bans, especially among those suspected by other soldiers of homosexuality, as well as whether Islamist extremists gained more recruits. The first right of any human being gay or straight is the right to life.








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