Monday, December 04, 2006

I'm back (News of the Week: Nov. 28 - Dec. 4)

From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Both Between Heaven and Earth and Boycott 2008 comment on Communist China's "opening" of press coverage for the 2008 Olympics (see also BBC). One Free Korea had a busy week, with posts on espionage and vandalism by Stalinist North Korea in the South, how the Administration's attempts to help the people of northern Korea and punish the Stalinists (see also BBC, CNN and Daily NK) are being undermined by, well, the Administration (see also BBC and Daily NK), how some prominent Americans view the Korean situation, the latest silliness from South Korea's ruling leftists (see also Washington Times), the Korean refugee situation (Daily NK), the latest antics of Kim Jong-il, the return of a late Korean War vet (see also Daily NK), forced SNK labor in Europe, and a Stalinist crackdown against a protest (see also Daily NK).

Stalinist North Korea insurance scam revealed: Fox News reports that the Stalinist regime is using apparent false insurance claims to score over $150 million from reinsurance companies - companies that literally insure insurance firms against financial ruin from high claims. SNK has only one regime-run insurance firm, thus the regime can make these claims, "process" them through their insurance arm, and reap the monies from international reinsurers.

More on Communist China's Korean colony: Daily NK reveals the extent of religious persecution in Stalinist North Korea; calls for international action against SNK human rights abuses grow (Daily NK links). The extent of the Stalinists' "military first" policy is exposed again (Daily NK). South Korean experts predict SNK's collapse (Daily NK). Mark Joseph (Fox News) calls for the United States to stand with Japan against SNK. Ellen Bork and Gary Schmitt (Weekly Standard) calls for an "Asian NATO."

Upcoming letter to President Bush on Middle Eastern Proxy Number One (Iran): The Spirit of Man blog is putting together a letter calling on President Bush "to help the people of Iran get rid of this regime and use his influence and power to accelerate this process." This corner eagerly awaits the letter's release, and encourages as many people as possible to contribute to it and spread the word about it.

Enlightened Comment of the Week: Kenneth R. Timmerman (Newsmax) wins the prize for his detailed dissection of the "realist" view that the best solution for Iraq is to leave it to the mullahs and Syrian Ba'athists. There were several honorable mentions (all on Iraq), such as Frank Gaffney (Washington Times), James S. Robbins (National Review Online), the editors of the Washington Times, Michael Rubin (USA Today and NRO), Ralph Peters (Weekly Standard), Jeff Jacoby (Boston Globe), and Mark Steyn (Chicago Sun Times).

Whoops! Eric Margolis (Toronto Sun) bitterly opposed the liberation of Iraq; so one can understand my surprise at his column accidentally explaining why we must stay until it is finished.

Mullahs aiding terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia: What should be shocking and infuriating news is instead shrugged off, leaving only those who report it rightly angered (NRO's The Corner and Worldwide Standard).

More on the Iranian regime: The mullahs were quite the multitaskers this week: acquiring Russian weapons (Newsmax), making louder calls for the U.S. to get out of its way in Iraq (Agence France Presse via Breitbart, BBC and Cybercast News) and leave it alone at the United Nations (Worldwide Standard), threatening to destroy America unless we do exactly what it wants (Newsmax and Washington Times). Sadly, getting tough on the mullahs appears well out of vogue (New York Sun and Washington Times).

On Middle Eastern Proxy Number Two (Syria): Not even Jacques Chirac is falling for the Damascus dance anymore (Worldwide Standard). Sadly, Angela Merkel still is (United Press Int'l via Washington Times); perhaps is she saw this Worldwide Standard post.

On Middle Eastern Proxy Number Three (Hezbollah): The terrorists are still using their political arm to bring down the elected Lebanese government (AFP via Washington Times); the anti-Assad government is holding firm, for now (NBC via MSNBC).

Pakistan is still pushing its Taliban peace deal: The Beijing-backed Pakistani regime is "urging NATO countries to accept the Taliban and negotiate a series of regional peace agreements similar to those that Pakistan has reached in tribal areas along its border with Afghanistan" (London Telegraph via Washington Times). NATO has stubbornly refused to "surrender" to the former harbors of al Qaeda's brain trust.

More on Communist China and the United States: Communist hackers got into the U.S. Naval War College network (Bill Gertz, Washington Times); the undervalued Communist currency limps to a (still undervalued) high against the U.S dollar (BBC).

On Communist China and Canada: The Asian-Pacific Post and the Epoch Times laud Prime Minister Stephen Harper's tough words towards Communist China. Charlie Gillis (Macleans) is more grudging with his praise. Meanwhile, David Van Praagh (Ottawa Citizen) is hoping on Harper will build on this "to play a major role in the struggle to stop China's dictators from dominating Asia and the western Pacific."

Communist organ harvesting worrying outsiders; the organs themselves make them sicker: The Communist use of political prisoners as walking organ banks is leading some to ask pointed questions in Australia (Epoch Times), Japan (Epoch Times), New Zealand (Epoch Times), and the United States (Epoch Times). In South Korea, the questions surround a recent report that more than 1 in 16 Koreans "who received liver transplants in China have been infected with hepatitis B or C" (Yomiuri Shimbun).

More on Communist China and the rest of the world: Jennifer Zheng (Epoch Times) profiles Yang Jun, the man Communist China tried to bribe into helping them get Australia's "Metal Storm" gun; sadly, Australia's opposition Labor party chose an "engagement" supporter to lead them (BBC). Beijing's R&D spending surges past Japan's (BBC). Communist China expands its grip in Africa, one stooge at a time (Washington Post).

On Taiwan: Austin Ramzy (Time) reports from the campaign trail in the island democracy (elections in Taipei and Kaohsiung are this Saturday - for any Taiwanese reading this, please vote DPP). David DeVoss (Daily Standard) details how the United States is making a Taiwan arms deal more difficult than it should be.

One country, one-and-a-half systems rolls on: Zhang Tao (Trend via Epoch Times) examines Communist China's increasing control of Hong Kong media.

Communist China defies Pope Benedict on bishop choice and executes Protestant Christians: The leaders of the Three Grades of Servants underground Christian church were executed, ostensibly for murder (BBC and Epoch Times). The Communists beat their "confessions" out of them. Meanwhile, the Communist regime also named a new bishop for its "Patriotic Catholic" church, in open defiance of Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI (BBC and Epoch Times).

More on Communist China's human rights abuses: Chen Guangcheng will stay in jail (BBC), and his wife was "detained" for good measure (Washington Post). Zhao Yan loses his appeal (BBC). Jia Jia rails against the imprisonment of Gao Zhisheng (Epoch Times). The man who bravely revealed Communist China's persecution of Falun Gong to European Parliament Vice-President Edward McMillan-Scott has in fact been jailed (Epoch Times). The cadres may force bloggers to drop their anonymity (and thus expose them to easier arrest - BBC). Nie Du recounts her experiences in Communist China to the Epoch Times.

More on matters inside Communist China: A cadre rails against "unscrupulous" coal mine owners, but the BBC notes that "as local officials often have shares in the lucrative mines, previous clean-up campaigns have come to nothing." Speaking of corrupt officials, 13 from Shanghai are on the lamb - taking nearly $13 million with them (Epoch Times), while a once-praised tycoon is sent to jail for fraud (BBC). This Washington Times line says it all (last item): "Beijing's fourth-biggest source of drinking water is unfit even for irrigation." Elizabeth Economy calls on Communist China to end its "environmental blame game" (Washington Post). Cadres are worried about mass unemployment in the future (Voice of America via Epoch Times)

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