|Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 154):|
Quoting Baroque (Reply 153):
Actually in Singapore the death penalty is for trafficking - defined as 15 gms or more of heroin
In fact it says on the immigration entry form anything over 12 gm is punishable by death, no mention if it was for trafficking or personal use.
Happy to accept a correction to 12 gm, but they use the quantity to figure out if you are intent on trafficking. They probably do not think you will answer truthfully when questioned. For example, you will likely try to explain that the 2 kilograms they just found you with are for personal use and yes, you are a heavy user. So they just say more than - whatever - and get out the rope.
Still does not make it an acceptable policy. I am not sure about Singapore, but a draconian set of laws does not seem to be keeping Indonesia drug free.
I know, there is another program explaining exactly who it was and what happened. Not a happy episode. The Saudi government got into a heck of a state and tried to cut off trade - which must have indicated severe disapproval because trade with the UK at the time (1980) included some arms deals that appear to have been quite beneficial to certain parties within SA
. One assumes that Bxx would not have been too happy to keep paying, assuming of course they were paying in the first instance!!!
But again getting back onto the houses, there is an Israeli out in Aus at present who is opposed to the development of settlements. Just listened to him while returning from the Post Office on our PM
program. There will be a podcast posted and a transcript, but the site only has up to Tues 10 Mar and this item was on Wed 11 March 2009.
I think he will be on either or both of Late Night Live and Lateline so when he appears I will post a link. His basic thesis is that Israel has gone too far down the settlement route for it to be reversed even though he is strongly opposed to there being any settlements.
He (sorry do not remember name, but he is part of a major Israeli grouping opposed to settlements) thinks that the settlements have removed the possibility of a two state solution. And the real ground for discussion now is what will happen to Palestinians inside the borders of Israel + Palestine - or the old mandated territory.
He also commented that the Israelis are largely to blame for the choicen being between the corrupt Fatah and the extremist (not the word he used, but my memory is not that good!!) Hamas due to the policy of killing or locking up leaders or potential leaders of the Palestinians. You could argue that the Israelis are just as enthusiastic at beheading as the Saudis except they do it to political organizations. He asked rhetorically how many groups would still produce good leaders after 40 years of beheading of the leadership. Seemed a fair point I thought!!!
Meanwhile Emile Nakhleh's book looks to be essential reading.
Someone will point this out so:
No Bush administration fan
It is clear that Emile Nakhleh is no fan of the Bush administration and I don’t blame him. His eye-witness testimony in the book’s second chapter concerning Dick Cheney’s bullying of Agency analysts to produce the story the administration wanted to hear as opposed to the story that was true regarding Saddam Hussein’s supposed possession of WMD and his supposed links to Al Qaeda prior to the 2003 invasion rings loud and clear.
Oops, so much for the CIA
being in ignorance of it all. More positively:
Yet what makes A Necessary Engagement particularly well worth reading is Turkey - Bezirgan - New Mosque II 9-20-06
Nakhleh’s nuanced description of the developing political awareness of the 1.4 billion people – many young, undereducated and unemployed – in the Muslim world but, in particular, the increasingly important and largely constructive role being played in that world by reformist thinkers and mainstream Islamic political parties – from AKP in Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan, the Islamic Party in Malaysia to Hamas in Palestine. Many of these parties, he points out, have won elections fair and square, and despite rhetoric to the contrary, participate in the rules of the democratic game. Nakhleh further argues that for the Israelis and the Bush administration to have refused to recognize the Hamas electoral victory in Gaza after insisting upon free and fair elections there is perceived as the height of hypocrisy throughout the Islamic world.
Nakhleh writes that it is crucial for Americans to distinguish among the relatively small number of secularists with whom the West is most comfortable, the vast pool of mainstream Muslims, the reformist Muslim thinkers and the tiny percentage of militant Muslims whose unrealistic goal it is to turn the multiethnic, multidimensional Islamic world into a one-world caliphate governed by the most backward and repressive interpretations of Islamic law.
Fissures within Islam
He stresses that we need to be cognizant of the fissures within Islam – not only from the perspective of the Sunni-Shiia divide but also the importance of struggles for power within Muslim majority and minority nations and of “mainstream reformist Islam” in the battle for Muslim “hearts and minds.”
There is an interview with Nakhleh at
MARK COLVIN: So in practical terms, in terms of Western governments' foreign policy, what do you do if you're faced with the choice between a corrupt government and something that may end up looking like Hamas or Hezbollah?
EMILE NAKHLEH: There are many Muslim Islamic political groups that have participated in government, and behaved, after they reached the national legislature, like any other party.
So we've, in our analysis, Hezbollah has elected members to the Lebanese national legislature, to the Lebanese Parliament. The members of Hezbollah there, as indeed the members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian Parliament, or the members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, after reaching that national legislature, not one of them has raised the spectre of Sharia, Islamic law. Not one of them has demanded that Islamic law be instituted because they were elected to government.
Not sure that is in accord with Indonesian experience, but it is his view.