U.S. Journalist James Foley Beheaded By Islamic State
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Torture has always been a practice widely used by the United States and many countries of the world; a history that does not end in Iraq.
The almost unanimous condemnation by the American congressmen of the terrible tortures and mistreatments in Abu Ghraib detention center in Baghdad after the CBS (United States) publication of the photos taken in such a center should not be a reason to minimize such practices or to believe they were invented after September 11 attacks, not to mention the operations in Afghanistan led by the very same Afghan people at the end of year 2001, or the defeat of the Iraqi army in March 2003.
Considering the absence of an official and conventional conflict that implies a direct confrontation between two states, the war that Washington sought and got in Iraq has gone beyond all limits of the legal framework established by the Geneva Convention. The war has been launched based on the excuse of a state defense secret. No matter what the authorities of the Bush Administration do, this will never be a real war; this has never looked like a real conflict which has only existed in the official rhetoric and demagogy of the American leaders. It is not about solving a political conflict through the confrontation of two armies; this a colonial conquest aimed at controlling the civil populations and the natural resources. Then, why pretending astonishment when considering the scientifically prepared and adapted images aimed at psychologically contain the real or possible adversary?
Why launching the war against civilians subject to the Shock and Awe until stultification aimed at terrifying these populations through torture until they have no choice but resignation?
In this sense, we have to acknowledge George Soros’ lucidity when in a recent article he said what has shocked the Americans have been the pictures and not the “torture” as such. In an informal interview, Soros has spoken of his experience with Wall Street investors who reached a consensus to implement some measures to fight terrorism: they were mostly in favor of torture but they did not want people to know it.
How can we explain then the different reactions that have arisen in the debate regarding the reestablishment of torture, a fact that has fascinated American lawyers and politicians since the end of year 2002? And how to explain their reaction to the pictures that showed abominable acts though ordered from above? All these can be explained if we accept the idea that such images can lead the public opinion.
We were prudently talking about the “reestablishment of torture” but thanks to the existence of casually recovered and preserved American documents we can see that since the beginning of the 60s such manuals taught tortures and were widely spread in Latin America, specially when counter-insurgence operations or operations against guerrilla groups were carried out in the said continent.
Documents that supported the use of torture in Latin America has also been declassified in the last few years and they show that the allegedly “mistakes”, “outrages” and “beatings” criticized by the U.S. general staff to “wash its hands” is nothing but a vile carefully-studied-planned-and-applied tactic hidden from the press. Tortures have always been one of the best and indissoluble constants of its military and political strategy.
The emergence of the guerrilla revolutionary movements at the beginning of the 60s, the increasing intensity of the Viet Nam war and the first Marxist resistance centers in South America encouraged John Kennedy advisers to design some counter-insurgence methods. They also thought of developing a group of military, political and economic measures to overcome the Third World National Liberation Movements.
Special units like the Green Berets of the army, the marine SEAL (Sea-Air-Land Commands) and air force special task forces were famous in many countries such as Honduras, Indonesia, Thailand or Filipinas for destroying the economic and political independence plans or many social or revolutionary movements.
In year 1963, the first Counterintelligence Interrogation manual was written. It was titled KUBARK. KUBARK was the CIA’s codename to identify this project. The manual was a detailed guide of different methods to be used in order to obtain information or effectively force the “elements of the resistance” to talk. The manual explained the steps to “become a perfect torturer” and quickly get the necessary categories to be a good “interrogator” explaining in detail the coercive techniques to achieve the goals.
Many practical recommendations were also included; among them: «the torturer must be familiarized with the electric current so that he could use the electric transformers and other available conversion devises if needed». It was also suggested the prisoner had to remain standing and deprived of sleeping and of his visual or tactic sensations for a long time with the purpose of overcoming his will.
The manual also explained that if such «ideal» conditions were met, the interrogated developed the feeling of inflicting himself the bad treatments. It indicated too that a barrel full of water or an “artificial lung” were even more effective. In the first pages or the introduction of the manual, torturers were advised “not to be mistakenly considered a person authorized to use such coercive techniques” and “not to forget to find a discreet or secret place where such practices could be implemented”.
Collected excerpts of this manual and of other manuals later recovered by the military espionage during the 60s, known as “Project X” were mixed to write a second “Bible” of the perfect torturer which was titled Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual -1993. The new manuals were largely used again in South America from 1983 to 1987.
This manual taught techniques similar to the ones that have been observed in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The original version stated: «We will only talk about two kinds of techniques: coercive and non-coercive. We do not want to make emphasis on the use of the coercive techniques. We just want you to know them». This last phrase was written to prevent the users of such manual to be accused in case of being discovered.
Later, the Senate of the United States carried out an investigation on the violations of the human rights in Honduras perpetrated by the death squads in 1988 and a paragraph of the torture manual was modified the following way: «yes, we oppose the use of coercive techniques. We just want you to be informed about them so that you can be warned and avoid their use». The manual also warned that «a frequent use of torture demeans the morale of the organization that implement it and corrupt those who depend on ...».
Since year 1966, the famous manuals were a priority in the School of the Americas, headquartered in Panama, later located in Fort Benning (Georgia, U.S.). Another part of the school was transferred to the Political Warfare Academy headquartered in Taiwan (nationalist China). For ten years, the interrogation techniques were taught by South American and Asian military men which were the ones in charge of doing the counter-insurgency dirty work. In 1976, this kind of training was prohibited once an American parliamentarian commission knew about such practices.
In fact, President Carter’s government confirmed such prohibition but the Reagan Administration validated it again reactivating the torture courses of the School of the Americas. For that purpose, a new “changed” edition of the 1983 manual was printed though torturers preferred to use the 1963 old version for it was much more explicit.
By doing this, Reagan’s team tried to be updated: by confirming its will to fight the “pro-Castro” regimes in Central America it did not hesitate for a second to state, through its Secretary of State Alexander Haig, that “international terrorism” -the expression used by the Reagan Administration to identify the revolutionary uprisings and insurrections- “will replace Human Rights as our main worry”.
The translation and massive diffusion of these manuals in South America by the military forces which applied the American doctrine against local counter-insurgencies called the Pentagon’s attention in such a way that in 1992 it made a secret report titled “The Spanish-language Intelligence Training Manuals” which was submitted to Dick Cheney (current vice-president of the United States) then Secretary of Defense of President George H. Bush (father). The report indicated how worried they were regarding “the criminal and doubtful elements included in such manuals”, a fact that could damage the allegedly image of virtue the Southern Command, that is, to promote the respect of Human Rights, at least on paper.
The threat was that the manuals constituted de facto a direct evidence of their wrongdoings and “could damage the image and credibility of the United States which, in addition, could be seriously compromised” by any human rights organization.
Months before, an investigation carried out by the Department of Defense had been interested in the seven problematic manuals that were chaotically spread compromising them in multiple cases which included abuses, blows, abusive imprisonments, executions and serum injections since the 60s. Dick Cheney’s order was to locate, find and destroy all these manuals. The order was executed as part of a “joint correction operation”. By that time, his implemented counter-insurgency program had already proved its effectiveness by subjugating great part of South America, and eliminating many revolutionary movements.
All this was nothing but a useful attempt to hide the evidences of a disastrous plan, previously studied.
In his State of Union address (United States) in year 2003, the current American president George W. Bush said about Saddam Hussein’s regimen: «electrical charges, marks made with hot iron, acid split on the skin, mutilation made through electric drill, tongues pull out and violations. If this is not evil, then this word has no meaning...»
The hidden debate from indiscreet cameras begun at the end of year 2002, and it was only an attempt to accept or demean widely used practices. All this was done by taking advantage of the emotion caused by September 11 attacks, very alive by that time. But this emotion has been slowly disappearing while the number of victims of the “war against terror” has increased so much that there are more victims now than after September 11.
Later, the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (the allegedly right hand of Bin Laden) at the beginning of year 2003, caused a polemic on the legalization of torture and not on the use of torture for it was a common thing in the operations against counter insurgent revolutionaries. The fact of taking prisoners to be tortured in countries where torture was commonly used, for instance, Egypt or Morocco, was already a reality when this news and controversy were published in some diaries.
For example, this is the case of Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni, by that time a CIA suspect of being linked to shoe bomber Richard Reid Iqbal Madni, and secretly taken from Indonesia to Egypt by the American services to be brutally interrogated.
It must be said too that the colonial past in Algeria and France repression in its former colony to subjugate it at the end of the 50s and the beginnings of the 60s so that it could not become independent, called the attention of the Pentagon before the conquest of Iraq in 2003.
This colonial French past easily proved that once the ethic limit for the use of torture is passed, the permanent confrontation is a guaranteed fact. Torture becomes then «the shortest way» to get to the said situation. Maybe this is the reason why the Abu Ghraib revelations have become so famous: it was necessary to put an end once and for all to this permanent confrontation before the situation becomes abominable or uncontrollable, as if the whole things was a time bomb that nobody knows when will blow, as professor David Cole explained to The Nation in March 2003.
Another counter productive element once you reach to uncontrollable situations like the Iraqi chaos caused by the invasion is that uncertainty linked to the threat favors the practice of torture because in moments of doubt and insecurity it can be used in all circumstances with no impunity at all. The French experience in Algeria was reproduced in Israel long before the Israeli Supreme Court legally prohibit it, at least on paper, in 1999: «Very soon, and in rare occasions, torture was a common practice in Israel mainly due to the metaphoric example of the ‘time bomb’ for such concept used by the oppressor becomes a justification of his actions, despite the fact that they can postpone or prolong (manipulate it) as they wish and for their ‘good conciseness», explained too Phil Roth to The Nation.
But before considering torture a method to obtain information, isn’t torture the incarnation and pure essence of state terrorism? Who would dare to say the Iraqi population is not terrified by the idea of being in the hands of torturers in Abu Ghraib prison?
We know that today the United States persistently demands a Resolution of the UN Security Council to be renewed so that its military men won’t be judged at the International Court of Justice. So, the U.S. has a double strategy: on one hand it is carrying out a judicial battle of attrition letting first the High Command to be the responsible and in the worst of the cases it will “burn” some low-ranking officers but the executive direction will be protected. All this is planned to avoid justice. The only thing it has to do later is affirming torture was not used neither by them or its mercenaries or vassal countries. They will also say there are no CIA secret interrogation centers.
The 1983 manual was specially written to spread torture in Central America. All methods were good to prevent civil populations from supporting communists. On the ground, operations were directed by John Negroponte. It is due to his “experience” in such matters that George W. Bush has appointed him ambassador of the United States to Baghdad from July 1, 2004 not to put an end to torture.
With free speech, it's like that: You can make any offending remarks about white men, and the mainstream media and mainstream opinion will applaud you. You can't say anything negative about feminism. Feminism is sacrosanct. Fuck it.
A judge has rejected a request to cut the sentence given to a British man found guilty of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Tirana because he still denies the charge.
Besar Likmeta - BIRN News 29 Jul 13 - Tirana
The judge rejected the request for a sentence reduction on grounds of good behaviour from Robin Arnold, who was jailed in 2010, along with two other British nationals, for abusing and raping scores of young children in a Tirana orphanage, founded by one of the defendants.
Arnold, who was jailed for 15 years for having sexual intercourse with minors, had sought a 90-day reduction in his sentence. He received a similar reduction in 2010, but this time Tirana judge Marjola Xhaka noted that Arnold had yet to show remorse for what he had done.
“Considering the fact the defendant denies committing the criminal act, in light of the nature of this kind of criminal act, the court believes that the defendant is not showing proof of his rehabilitation and the possibility of reintegration into society,” Xhaka wrote in the verdict.
According to Albanian law, a convict can seek a 90-day reduction of their sentence every year, based on good behaviour in prison and proof that they have tried to rehabilitate themselves.
Arnold was convicted of having been part of a paedophile ring which also included two other British nationals, Dino Christodoulou and David Brown, who were both sentenced to 20 years in prison. The three defendants were found guilty of abusing ten Roma children between the ages of four and 14 at the His Children orphanage in Tirana, which was founded in 2001 by Brown, an evangelical Christian charity worker.
Arnold and Christodoulou started visiting the orphanage in 2002, where they had unsupervised access to the children, the trial heard. Acting on a tip-off, police raided the orphanage in May 2006, arresting Brown, while Christodoulou and Arnold were extradited to Albania later.
An investigation by The Guardian newspaper later revealed that Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service, NCIS, received details about the abuse at the children’s home 18 months earlier, in December 2004, but failed to tell its Albanian counterparts. Arnold still has 12 years of imprisonment to serve.
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Unveiling the Middle East’s sex industry
If asked to identify a country with a thriving sex industry, ubiquitous exposure to pornography and rampant homosexual sex, most would point somewhere in the Western world. But what about Egypt, Iran or Saudi Arabia? These would be equally accurate answers, according to John R. Bradley, author of “Behind the Veil of Vice: The Business and Culture of Sex in the Middle East.”
Bradley, a journalist with an expertise in the Arab world, crushes the popular perception of the Middle East as erotically stifled, and the West as the land of sexual expression and freedom. The more nuanced truth, he says, is that these seemingly oppositional cultures have far more in common than we often admit: Both “live under rulers who, under different pretexts and with varying degrees of severity, seek to curb the unruly sex urge as a way of maintaining social control.” There is also a shared “gap between propaganda and reality” and “a vast gulf between public and private morality,” he argues. This fascinating and comprehensive book guides readers through the seedy underbelly of the Middle East — from prostitution in Bahrain to temporary marriages in Iran — but it is just as much a reflection on Western sexual mores.
I recently spoke with Bradley about child brides, temporary marriage and Islamic feminist perspectives on the sex industry.
You frame your book as a look at the cultural sexual similarities between Arabs and Westerners. Can you explain that?
The supposed licentiousness of the West is forever being contrasted, to my mind, in wholly spurious ways, with a sexually barren Middle East. “Behind the Veil of Vice” undermines stereotypes about Arab sexualities that have become entrenched in the English-speaking world, partly by reminding readers that we still have plenty of sexual hang-ups in the West, too. In particular, it debunks the notion, promoted by the likes of Martin Amis, that terrorism carried out by Islamists can be explained away with reference to the repressed, envious Arab male who can only find release by flying airliners into phallic-shaped skyscrapers.
I’ve been based in the region for a decade, and the sexuality in the Middle East I know is every bit as capricious as its Western counterpart, as unruly and multifarious, and occasionally as becalmed. By exploring the diverse sex cultures in countries like Morocco, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and Iran, I try to show that, as in the West, illicit sex continues to thrive in the Middle East, often in the open and despite the increasingly shrill public discourse.
What kind of pornography do you find in Arab countries?
Watching pornography is no longer a big deal for young Arabs, any more than it is for young Americans. It has become a normal part of growing up. Just about anyone in the Middle East with a satellite dish has access to hardcore pornography channels, and just about everyone has a satellite dish. In that sense it’s probably more accessible than in the West. Technically, these porn channels are banned, but even in Saudi Arabia you find guys selling “special” cards for your satellite decoder in the back alleys around the major shopping districts.
Even in countries with governments infamous for blocking political content on the Web, the porn sites are still mostly accessible, and the more secular regimes tend not to view sex as a threat in the way Islamist regimes do. The people who tend to obsess, of course, are the minority Islamists, because for them the personal is always political. Did anyone ever think so much about sex as those who want to ban it? But they are fighting a losing battle when it comes to the proliferation of smut in the Middle East, much as evangelicals are in America.
What impact did the Iraq war have on the sex industry?
The book opens with an evening I spent with a young woman whose family had fled Iraq and who had turned to working as an escort in a Damascus nightclub after her family had run out of money. There are definitely many more Iraqi women like her working as prostitutes or escorts in Syria than there were before the Iraq war. The local women in Damascus working as prostitutes were forever complaining in my conversations with them about how these Iraqis were bad for business, because they charged less than the going rate.
This increase in numbers of Iraqi women working as prostitutes in Syria should come as little surprise. A million refugees, many of them impoverished, flooded into the country from Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion. We should not lose sight of the fact that we are to blame for this situation. We bombed Iraq back into the Stone Age on the back of a pack of lies, have done nothing to bring to justice these war criminals who lead us, and at the same time feign concern and feel all superior when reading about the plight of Iraqi women working as prostitutes in Damascus.
What did you find with regards to sex trafficking in the Middle East?
The issue has unhelpfully come to frame the debate about prostitution in the Middle East, as it has in the West, in the sense that if you advocate legalization and regulation you are accused of being by default in league with the human traffickers. I found no evidence that human trafficking is widespread in the Middle East, and the statistics routinely quoted are almost always unsourced and often wildly contradictory.
Every rich man in his right mind want patriarchy as a social and political system. Men rule, and can have harems, one way or the other. And because women are natural cowards, the more violent a society, the more women will retreat. All by themselves. So, welcome violent migrants. They will finish off feminism. Just take precautions to protect yourself. A dangerous world is one ruled by men.
IN THE aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, those whose job it is to think the unthinkable were conscious that, for all the carnage, it could have been far worse. Fuel-laden aircraft slamming into buildings was bad enough. But the sight of some among the rescue workers picking over the debris with test tubes, followed by the sudden decision to ground all of America's crop-spraying aircraft for several days, pointed to an even more horrible possibility. Were terrorists with so little calculation of restraint to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction—whether chemical, biological or even nuclear—they would surely use them. How real is that threat?
It is certainly not new. Among one of many warnings from American think-tanks and government agencies in recent years, a report released last December by the CIA's National Intelligence Council concluded baldly that, when it came to chemical and biological weapons in particular, “some terrorists or insurgents will attempt to use [these] against United States interests, against the United States itself, its forces or facilities overseas, or its allies.” Governments in America and Europe worry that Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda, the terrorist network thought to be behind the September 11th attacks, may already have access to such weapons, and be planning to use them in response to any American military strikes. The World Health Organisation has called on governments around the world to be better prepared for such an eventuality.
For groups prepared to engage in the kamikaze tactics seen on September 11th, the easiest way to spread poisonous or radioactive materials might simply be to fly into repositories of them, or to use lorries full of them as suicide bombs. As Amy Smithson of the Stimson Centre in Washington, DC, observed in a report released last year, there are some 850,000 sites in the United States alone at which hazardous chemicals are produced, consumed or stored. The arrest in America last week of a number of people who were found to have fraudulently obtained permits to drive trucks that carry such hazardous loads looks like a worrying confirmation of such fears.
It is, nevertheless, likely that terrorist groups around the world are working on more sophisticated approaches to mass destruction than merely blowing up existing storage facilities, or hijacking lorry-loads of noxious substances. Mr bin Laden himself has, in the past, called it a “religious duty” to acquire such weapons. He is reported to have helped his former protectors in Sudan to develop chemical weapons for use in that country's civil war, and has since boasted of buying “a lot of dangerous weapons, maybe chemical weapons” for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that now harbours him.
Even for determined terrorists, however, merely getting hold of chemical, biological or nuclear materials is not enough. Do-it-yourself mass destruction—whether of a nuclear, chemical or biological variety—is far from easy (see article). First, you have to acquire or manufacture sufficient quantities of the lethal agent. Second, you have to deliver it to the target. And third, you have either to detonate it, or to spread it around in a way that will actually harm a lot of people.
The difficulties in doing all these things are illustrated by an attack carried out in 1995 on Tokyo's underground railway. Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese cult, released a potent nerve agent called sarin on five trains. The intention was to kill thousands. In fact, only 12 people died, and some 40 were seriously injured—bad enough, but no worse than the casualty list from a well-placed conventional bomb.
The cult's researchers had spent more than $30m attempting to develop sarin-based weapons, yet they failed to leap any of the three hurdles satisfactorily. They could not produce the chemical in the purity required. Their delivery mechanism was no more sophisticated than carrying it on to the trains in person in plastic bags. And their idea of a distribution system was to pierce those bags with umbrella tips to release the liquid, which would then evaporate.
The attack, in other words, was not a great success. Yet, of the three classes of weapon of mass destruction, those based on chemicals should be the easiest to make. Their ingredients are often commercially available (see table). Their manufacturing techniques are well known. And they have been used from time to time in real warfare, so their deployment is also understood.
Biological weapons are trickier; and nuclear weapons trickier still. Germs need to be coddled, and are hard to spread satisfactorily. (Aum Shinrikyo attempted to develop biological weapons, in the form of anthrax spores, but failed to produce the intended lethal effects.) Making atomic bombs is an even greater technological tour-de-force. Manufacturing weapons-grade nuclear explosives (“enriched” uranium, or the appropriate isotopic mix of plutonium) requires a lot of expensive plant. Detonating those explosives—by rapidly assembling the “critical mass” needed to sustain a chain reaction—is also notoriously difficult.
Terrorist groups working from first principles are thus likely to run into formidable obstacles if they want to get into the mass-destruction business. Nevertheless, there may be ways round these. One quick fix would be to buy in the services of otherwise unemployed or ill-paid weapons specialists from the former Soviet nuclear-, biological- and chemical-weapons establishments. At least some of these people are known to have washed up as far afield as Iran, Iraq, China and North Korea, but none has yet been directly associated with any terrorist group.
In an attempt to reduce the risk of this happening, the United States has, over the past ten years, spent more than $3 billion dismantling former Soviet nuclear weapons, improving security at Russia's nuclear storage sites, and keeping former weaponeers busy on useful civilian work. But, as Ms Smithson points out, only a tiny fraction of this money—itself a drop in a bucket when measured against the scale of Russia's sprawling weapons complex—goes towards safeguarding chemical and biological secrets. And even the nuclear side of things has sprung the odd leak.
Over the past ten years there have been numerous attempts to smuggle nuclear materials out of the former Soviet Union. There have been unconfirmed suspicions that Iran, for one, may have got its hands on a tactical nuclear warhead from Russia. So far, though, police and customs officers have seized mostly low-grade nuclear waste. This could not be turned into a proper atomic bomb, but with enough of it, a terrorist group might hope to build a “radiological” device, to spread radioactive contamination around (see article). Fortunately, the occasional amounts of weapons-grade stuff that have been found so far fall short of the 9-15kg of explosive needed for a crude but workable bomb.
Yet even if a group got hold of enough such explosives, it would still face the hurdle of turning them into a weapon. Hence the most effective way for a terrorist group to obtain one would be to find a sponsoring government that is willing to allow access to its laboratories or its arsenal.
After the Gulf war, UN special inspectors discovered that Iraq had been pursuing not one but several ways to produce weapons-grade material, and had come within months of building an atomic bomb. The effort, however, is thought to have taken a decade and to have cost Saddam Hussein upwards of $10 billion. Much of this was spent on acquiring the bits and pieces needed from foreign companies—sometimes through bribery, sometimes through deception.
In similar ways, he amassed the materials and equipment, much of it with legitimate civilian uses in fermentation plants and vaccine laboratories, for his vast chemical- and biological-weapons programmes. Although most of Iraq's nuclear programme had been unearthed and destroyed, along with much of its missile and chemical arsenal, the inspectors were convinced, when they were thrown out of the country in 1998, that important parts of the biological effort remained hidden.
A glance at the list of state sponsors of international terrorism maintained by America's State Department makes troubling reading. Most of the seven countries included—Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Sudan—have chemical weapons already. Five are suspected of dabbling illegally in the biological black arts, and several have covert nuclear-weapons programmes, too. America's Department of Defence estimated earlier this year that more than two dozen countries have already built weapons of mass destruction, or else are trying to do so.
So far, there is no evidence that any of these governments has helped terrorist groups to acquire such deadly goods. That may, partly, be because of widespread moral revulsion against their use. But self-interest on the part of the states involved is also a significant factor. It is one thing to give terrorist groups financial and logistical support and a place to hide—a favoured tactic of governments on the State Department's list as a deniable way of furthering their own local or regional ends. It is quite another to share such awesome weapons with outfits like al-Qaeda, which no government can fully control.
On top of that, since the September 11th attacks, American officials, from the president down, have gone out of their way to emphasise that not only the terrorists involved in any future assaults, but also the states that shelter them, can expect to find themselves in the cross-hairs.
Iraq has been the worst offender when it comes to wielding any of these weapons. It used chemical weapons in its war with Iran and in attacks against its own Kurdish population. Yet Saddam Hussein's failure to use his chemical and biological-tipped missiles, or the radiological weapons he also had, against western-led coalition forces during the Gulf war showed that, even when morality plays little part, deterrence can still work. America had made clear that, if he had deployed these weapons, he would have brought down massive retribution on both his regime and his country.
The big distinction between the dangers of states obtaining such weapons and the danger of terrorists getting their hands on them, argues Gary Samore of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in London, is precisely that, however hostile they may be, states are more “deterrable”. Mr bin Laden's network has shown that it will stop at nothing. But are states such as Iraq and North Korea, which operate in other ways largely outside international law, deterrable enough to prevent them lending a secret helping hand to a group like Mr bin Laden's?
America's defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, argued this week that it takes no “leap of the imagination” to expect countries harbouring terrorists to help them get access to weapons of mass destruction. Testimony from the trial of four bin Laden operatives convicted earlier this year for the August 1998 bombing of America's embassies in Kenya and Tanzania revealed that their past military interest in Sudan went beyond helping the regime make chemical weapons for its own war. In one case, Mr bin Laden was attempting to purchase uranium via intermediaries.
Meanwhile, intelligence officials trying to assess the range of threats they now face worry that Iraq's past military links with Sudan may have been no coincidence either. In 1998 America bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant which it said showed traces of a precursor chemical for VX, a highly potent nerve gas that inspectors believe Iraq had put into weapon form. Some observers speculate that, even if Sudan's denials that it was manufacturing any such stuff are true, the country may have served as a trans-shipment point for supplies to Iraq. Might some weapons assistance have flowed the other way, possibly reaching Mr bin Laden's network? Iraq denies it has had anything to do with Mr bin Laden, but there have been unconfirmed reports that one of the New York hijackers met a senior Iraqi intelligence official earlier this year in Europe.
Yet even if no direct link is ever proved between a reckless foreign government and last month's terrorist attacks on America, western officials have long fretted that groups such as Mr bin Laden's will be able to exploit emerging new patterns of proliferation to gain access to nuclear, chemical and bug bombs. Despite attempts by western-sponsored supplier cartels—the Missile-Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Australia group, which tries to track the trade in worrying chemicals or biological agents—the number of such suppliers has expanded over the past decade. Countries that were once entirely dependent on outside help for their covert weapons programmes, mostly from Russia and China, are now going into business themselves.
This is particularly disturbing in the context of the third obstacle to the use of these weapons: delivery. Working from original Russian Scud missile designs, North Korea has created a thriving missile- and technology-export business with Iran, Pakistan, Syria and others in the Middle East. Iran, in turn, has started to help Syria and possibly Libya (which had past weapons ties with Serbia and Iraq) to improve their missile technology. Egypt is still building on the expertise developed by a now-defunct missile co-operation programme with Argentina and Iraq.
It is unlikely that such ballistic-missile technology would find its way into terrorist hands any time soon. But two things are true of almost all technologies: as the years pass, they get cheaper, and they spread. Even if there is no immediate threat, it may eventually not be just hijacked aircraft that are flying into places that terrorists have taken a dislike to. And their “warheads” may consist of something even worse than aviation fuel.
The destruction of the Western World will not be achieved by suicide bombers but by arsonists. Suicide bombers are a waste of human resources because the dedication of just one suicide bomber could set hundreds of square kilometers of forests on fire. And the personal risk? A comfortable prison sentence of just a few years.
Ever wonder why straight women have less orgasms than others? A new study has corroborated the well-known phenomenon of the orgasm gap, while also providing some answers to the above question.
Much has been said about the so-called orgasm gap, but the new study from several U.S. institutions – Chapman University, Indiana University, and the Kinsey Institute – analyzed the sexual behaviors of about 52,600 American men and women, and sought to find which specific group has the most or least orgasms, and why this is the case. The groups in question were straight men, gay men, straight women, lesbians, bisexual men, and bisexual women, the Chicago Tribune noted in an exclusive report on the study.
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, lead author David A. Frederick, an assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University, explained that his group launched the study due to the lack of data on how gender and sexual orientation play a role in orgasm frequency, or conversely, the orgasm gap.
“There are actually multiple orgasm gaps. The gap between all men and all women — meaning all groups of men orgasm more frequently than all groups of women — the gap between lesbian women and heterosexual women, and the gap between lesbian women and all men.”
The results of the study might not have come as any surprise, as 95 percent of straight men said that they “usually to always” orgasm when being sexually intimate with their partners. 89 percent of gay men answered to the affirmative for this question, followed by 88 percent of bisexual men, 86 percent of lesbian women, 66 percent of bisexual women, and only 65 percent of straight women. But why do straight women have less orgasms than other groups do?
According to Frederick, it may all boil down to the type of sex they have with their partner; 35 percent of heterosexual women who only have vaginal sex answered “usually to always,” as to 86 percent who received oral sex. There were also other sexually-related factors involved in determining the chances of a straight woman having an orgasm or not.
“Receiving oral sex is by far the strongest predictor of how frequently women orgasm. The second strongest predictor is how long sex lasted — meaning from the time you start being sexually intimate, not just intercourse.” Frederick added that women get best results after more than 30 minutes of sexual intimacy, but are less likely to orgasm if the sex lasts 15 minutes or less.
Interestingly, a report from BBC News noted that oral sex was important as a determinant of orgasms not only in heterosexual women, but also in lesbians, gay men, and bi men and women. This link was noticeably absent in heterosexual men.
According to the BBC, the study also suggested a few other tools men can use to ensure that their straight female partners enjoy greater orgasms in bed. These include asking women what they want in bed, and praising them for something they did during sex. Women may also try wearing sexy lingerie, while both man and woman can consider new sexual positions.
Additionally, Frederick and his associates believe that straight women have less orgasms because of their tendency to be less satisfied in their appearance and figure than men are.
“Many women are dissatisfied with their appearance and weight, are less satisfied with their appearance than men and are more likely than men to be self-conscious about their bodies during sex. Body dissatisfaction interferes with ability to orgasm.” In conclusion, Frederick told the Chicago Tribune the main takeaway of why straight women don’t have as many orgasms as men or women of other sexual orientations do – sexual advice as found in magazines and other resources is all well and good, but it’s more important to single out and determine the factors that cause the phenomenon in the first place.
Feminism in Europe makes second-generation male Muslim immigrants feel entirely worthless. They will never get a girl. That is why they think that a bomb at least is a painless death.
Khmer Rouge terror in Cambodia
Revealed: 'Lolita' isn't just a classic novel; Nabokov's story of sick lust really happened
Vladimir Nabokov's novel is a totem in modern literature, an unflinching look at a monster who has been able to hide behind his education and manners. But it's also more than a classic of 20th century literature. Writer and editor Sarah Weinman has published a long, powerful piece of historical reportage about the largely unknown real story that inspired Nabokov's tale.
11-year-old Sally Horner entered a Camden, N.J., Woolworth's more than 60 years with the intention of stealing a 5-cent notepad. She was 11 years old and the thievery was her initiation into a girl's club. Instead, it would prove another, far more sinister initiation. "On the afternoon of June 13, 1948, she had no idea a simple act of shoplifting would destroy her life," Weinman writes in Hazlitt, an online magazine owned by Penguin Random House.
A middle-aged man wearing a suit and a fedora stopped Sally as she left the store. "I am an FBI agent," he told her. "And you are under arrest."
The man, Frank La Salle, was not a G-man. He was an ex-con and sometime mechanic. And a pedophile. He would kidnap Horner, telling her she had to accompany him to Atlantic City to avoid going to prison for shoplifting. Over the next year-plus they would cross the country, ending up in California. Throughout, he forced himself on her sexually while pretending to be her father. "That five-cent notebook didn't just alter Sally Horner's own life, though," Weinman writes. "It reverberated throughout the culture, and in the process, irrevocably changed the course of 20th-century literature."
Horner's tragic story hit the country's newspapers in 1950. Five years later, Nabokov's novel about charming Humbert Humbert and 12-year-old Dolores Haze (a.k.a., Lolita), his sexual obsession, began to arrive in bookstores. Nabokov, having had his manuscript rejected by multiple prosecution-fearful publishers, loathed being asked to explain "Lolita." Which was fine. Plenty of literary critics were willing to explain it for him, rightly or wrongly.
Elizabeth Janeway, reviewing the book for the New York Times in 1958, called it "one of the funniest and one of the saddest books" she'd ever read. The Atlantic magazine, also in 1958, wrote that "there is not a single obscene term in 'Lolita,' and aficionados of erotica are likely to find it a dud."
This was true enough as far it went. Aficionados of horror, however, would be enthralled. The language isn't obscene when compared to a pornographic text, but it certainly is when the reader remembers that the narrator is a middle-aged man mooning over a 12-year-old girl. Then Humbert's "gagged" discomfort as her "legs twitched a little as they lay across my live lap," will make you want to gag yourself. Writes Nabokov:
I stroked them; there she lolled on in the right-hand corner, almost asprawl, Lola, the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice, losing her slipper, rubbing the heel of her slipperless foot in its sloppy anklet...
On and on it goes, until Humbert Humbert sees himself -- just maybe, just for a moment -- as he really is, forcing him to let out "the last throb of the longest ecstasy man or monster had ever known."
"I want my learned readers to participate in the scene I am about to replay," Humbert tells his audience. And we do, such is the beauty and power of Nabokov's prose. We sink luxuriously into Humbert's perversity; we even -- dear God -- understand Humbert's lust, his need.
The New York Times' Janeway believed that was the point, "to underline the essential, inefficient, painstaking and pain-giving selfishness of all passion, all greed -- of all urges, whatever they may be, that insist on being satisfied without regard to the effect their satisfaction has upon the outside world. Humbert is all of us."
And so Frank La Salle, the real-life monster who defiled Sally Horner, must be all of us as well, even though he had none of the sophistication of his fictional alter ego. Nabokov saved newspaper clippings about the case, which he scribbled detailed notes on, but his debt to the defining experience in Horner's life -- and perhaps the defining experience in La Salle's life as well -- remains largely unknown to the reading public. A 2005 Times Literary Supplement essay pointed out that Horner's story "reads as a rough outline for the second part of 'Lolita.'" A biography of Nabokov mentions Horner in passing. But the real little girl has never really surfaced. Weinman isn't surprised:
"Packed as 'Lolita' is with countless other allusions, leitmotifs, and nested meanings, excavating a real-life case wasn't top priority for Nabokov scholars. Sally's plight was written up extensively in local newspapers at the time, but the New York Times never bothered, and eventually, even the hometown media (in Camden, N.J.) forgot about the case."
Maybe it's just as well. Lolita -- Dolores -- has a short-lived victory of sorts in the novel, escaping Humbert and thus sending her abuser into an emotional free-fall. They inevitably meet up again, and this time Dolores, though poor and pregnant, has the upper hand. "She is now an entirely different person," writes Janeway in the New York Times review, "a triumph for the vital force that has managed to make a life out of the rubble that Humbert's passion created, and the monster's mindless activity merely confirmed."
Horner never had an equivalent triumph. She would eventually break away from her abuser and be reunited with her family, but she had trouble adjusting. Weinman points out that decades before the Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard cases, there was little understanding of the mental state of kidnapped adolescents. Newspaper readers at the time surely wondered why Sally didn't escape earlier: after all, she even went to school during her time with La Salle. "Whatever Sally has done I can forgive her," Horner's mother apparently told a UPI reporter.
Weinman expertly lays out Horner's reentry into "normal" life. Sally had to officially state that La Salle was not her father, which he insisted he was. "My real daddy died when I was six and I remember what he looks like. I never saw this man before that day at the dime store," she said. La Salle was convicted and sent back to prison, but ultimately this did not mean much to Sally Horner. She had been irrevocably damaged. She would come to a tragic end not long after La Salle's conviction -- until being reborn, just a couple of years later, in Nabokov's novel. Ever since she has been a "girl immortalized, and forever trapped," by Nabokov's brilliance -- and her own bad luck.
Feminists have institutionalized violence against men through the legal systems of all Western nations. But women cannot win the violence competition. The more violent societies become, the more women need protection. And the more they need protection, the quicker they will abandon feminism. Rich men should invest their money in fostering violence in all societies. Then they will end up with their own harems. No feminists inside there.
Sexualized Children: Assessment and Treatment of Sexualized Children and Children Who Molest
The authors provide preliminary information based on their combined experience in working with children 12 years old and under who have sexually molested others or who have exhibited problematic sexual behaviors. Chapters also discuss age-appropriate childhood sexuality and provide a way to distinguish "normal sex play" from problematic sexual behaviors. Separate chapters address clinical evaluation, individual therapy, group therapy, family treatment, out-of- home care, and transference and countertransference. The authors advise that sexually abusive behavior by children stems from and affects attachment to parents and peers, creates disregulation in behavior and affect, and disturbs the child's developing sense of self. Effective therapy should focus on developmental issues, relational attachment, emotional/behavioral regulation, and development of self. Appendixes discuss the frequency of sexual behaviors and discriminating items, the testing of children with problematic sexual behaviors, and additional issues related to the goals of group therapy. Appendixes also provide a child sexual behavior checklist, a child sexual behavior inventory, and youthful offenders' family assessment form.
If you are still invested in the real estate of European cities, get out! A terrorist attack with chemical weapons will happen. And it won't be just one. Chemical weapons are just so easy to produce.
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