Saturday, December 23, 2006

Che Guevara - Persona non Grata, or Business Journal Bigotry?

The big American chain store Target Corp has withdrawn a CD with a portrait of Che Guevara after heavy criticism. Target sold the disc with music for admirors of Che, and with the famous Alberto Diaz or Korda photo. They had slightly altered the photo so that a pair of auriculars were visible.

This was apparently too much for the business press. Columnists from some business papers condemned the selling of the disc with the Che photo. What'll be the next, Investor's Business Daily wrote: "Hitler's knapsack, Pol Pot's kitchen utesils, - or Pinochet underwear?" They think Guevara should be ignored because he presumably helped to promote Castro's communism in Cuba.

This is really hilarious. - And extremely hysterical! It's far beside the point to compare Guevara to Hitler and Pol Pot. He did a lot of good acts in Cuba. It was not his fault that it was difficult to get high economic growth on the island. The American embargo can get part of the blame for that!

These writers in the business journals do not seem to know much about history. Otherwise they would know the difference between a revolutionary leader like Guevara and the dictators mentioned.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Brought to Justice?

Now the marines that did the killings of civilians in Haditha seem to be brought to justice. Al Jazeera writes on December 21st:

Four US marines have been charged with 13 counts of murder in connection with the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha, western Iraq.

Four marines will face other charges related to the killings last November, in the most serious war crime case involving US soldiers since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US army said on Thursday.
The killing of the two dozen men, women and children is one of several incidents in which US troops have been accused of killing civilians and dereliction of duty. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has called the Haditha killings a "terrible crime".

In announcing the charges, Marine Col. Stewart Navarre said a press release issued the day after the killings wrongly reported that 15 Iraqi civilians were killed by a roadside bomb and that Marines and Iraqi army soldiers killed eight insurgents in a subsequent firefight

This is, however, only the tip of the iceberg. A lot more crimes have been committed than just this one, and the few others that have been reported. War always takes its toll on civilians. This war does not appear to be an exception.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Pia Kjaersgaard is moving the middle ground of Danish Politics to the Right

The poster-girl and two of her lieutenants. "A fresh breath of air all over the country" the caption goes.

Dubbed the second most powerful politician in Denmark Pia Kjaersgaard seems busy moving the middle ground of politics in this traditionally Social Democrat welfare democracy to the right. Her way of looking on immigrants is no longer called "hate speech", but is the respectable and normal way of describing the "immigrant problem".

It is not immigration problems that are dealt with in the party's peculiarly national socialist way. The youth branch of the party has started a campaign in schools called "report on your teacher". Pupils and students are encouraged to write to the website or the party and report on indoctrination in schools. Lists of textbooks with a "leftist bias" are formed, and the powerful party has asked the minister of education to make a "textbook board" in the ministry that examines textbooks and forbids books with a "questionable content".

Most Danes do not seem to be aware of how this has happened. Therefore it comes as a big surprise when newspapers report very emotionally about asylum seekers who have been denied asylum and are then expelled from Denmark. Somewhat hypocritically the normal Dane seems to side with the vicitims of the harsh expulsion. The legislation that made it possible was passed by the Danish People's party and the centre-right coalition that it supports with the necessary parlimanentary mandates. Danish voters have only got what they voted for in the first place.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Danish People's Party fires Minister in Danish Government

The Danish People's party which is the parliamentary basis of the Fogh Rasmussen liberal-conservative government has cut the life line to minister of Family Affairs and Nutrition Lars Barfod.

Lars Barfod har been under mounting criticism after a number of revelations of heavy food security risks. The inspectors of food and nutritional standards in the ministry have not visited and sanctioned all production and distributional facilities in the Danish food sector, resulting in serious problems with the quality of meat in some sales outlets around the country.

It's a bit hypocritical, however, to fire the minister, because the problems are due to a shortage of funds and too few inspectors, after cuts in funding in which the Danish People's Party have contributed with their votes.

The dismissal of the conservative minister has angered the Conservative party which is the coalition partner of Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The latter is being criticised for succumbing too easily to pressure from Pia Kjaersgaard from the DPP. The affair may shorten the life span of the Fogh Rasmussen government which is already suffering greatly in opinion polls. The latest surveys of voter intentions show stronger support for the opposition Social Democrats. The latter will be able to form a government after a general election.