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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

UN flag to fly at Preah Vihear temple.

UN flag to fly at Preah Vihear temple. The UNESCO in Cambodia has decided to fly flags with the UN World Heritage logo and national Cambodian flags at Preah Vihear temple to protect the ancient structure from damage caused by...

Feb 17, 2010 – UN flag to fly at Preah Vihear temple. The UNESCO in Cambodia has decided to fly flags with the UN World Heritage logo and national Cambodian flags at Preah Vihear temple to protect the ancient structure from damage caused by possible gunfire from Thailand during an ongoing border row with Cambodia, officials announced yesterday, newspapers report.

Hang Sot, general director of the Preah Vihear National Authority, said that UNESCO and Cambodian officials agreed during a Wednesday meeting that both the UN and national Cambodian flags will be flown at the entrance to Preah Vihear temple and on its five masonry spires in the near future, Rasmei Kampuchea reports. The agreement came after Cambodia and Thai soldiers exchanged gunfire Oct 15 in an escalating standoff that began when Preah Vihear temple was listed as a Cambodian World Heritage Site in mid July.

Bullets and shrapnel from Thai aggressors have already damaged stone steps, lion statues and other parts of the temple, Rasmei Kampuchea reports. "Last week, we compiled reports with pictures [of the damaged objects] in a video and sent them to the UNESCO in Cambodia," Hang Sot said, adding that UN flags at Preah Vihear would urge Thailand not to fire at Preah Vihear temple. While observers express concern that any armed conflict over disputed border areas near Preah Vihear temple, a potential source of lucrative tourist revenues, would almost certainly cause damage to the ancient sanctuary, talks between Cambodia and Thailand to end the dispute are unlikely to reach an agreement soon, not least because of Thailand's massive political instability. However, military officials from both sides are expected to sign agreements in the Cambodian province of Siem Reap today that will ease tensions, Koh Santepheap reports. Promises to refrain from provocations that likely caused the Oct 15 fire fight that killed three Cambodians and an uncertain number of Thai soldiers are though to be on the cards.

Similar promises could also come from veteran Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his recently-appointed Thai counterpart if they meet during the Asia-Europe summit today and tomorrow, despite the fact that the two countries have reportedly been building up military forces along the border ready for war. Cambodia tours



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Obama is the Best We Will Get

I do not mean that in a negative way. The best presidents have actually been pretty good for the country, despite their flaws. LBJ gave us the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and Medicare. However, he was only invited to the show, because he gave his big corporate donor, Kellog Brown & Root, the quagmire in Vietnam. The U.S. ended up spending several billion (1960s) dollars to build infrastructure in that country during the Johnson administration, and KBR was the big recipient of that corporate welfare

http://www.counterpunch.org/carter12112003.html

Bill Clinton turned the economy around and brought (short term) prosperity for some of the nation’s most oppressed citizens. However, he never held Janet Reno accountable for the massacre of civilians in Waco----an error that would end up costing him dearly when she allowed the Starr Conspiracy to move ahead.

FDR, that most laudable of presidents, who was beholden to no special interests because he was as rich as sin---people do not like to remember what he did to Japanese-Americans during World War II or how he deliberately ignored the plight of Jewish people in Europe, because fighting for non Christians was not politically expedient.

JFK entered office with the hopes of America, sick and tired of red baiting and the Cold War, riding on his head. His administration was dubbed Camelot. And yet, maybe it should have been called Denmark, as in the state in which something was rotten. How else do you explain the Bay of Pigs or the way he and his brother wiretapped Dr. King?
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There never has been and there never will be a “perfect” United States president. The whole notion of perfection in an elected leader is anti-democratic, smacking of divine right---you know, that concept which Founder Tom Paine shot down so eloquently in Common Sense .


  • But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve as monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.

http://www.ushistory.org/paine/commonsense/sense4.htm

Got that? America is only as good as her laws . The president is elected to enforce those laws. We should judge his worth by how well he does that job.

The mark of a truly bad president is not failure to right injustice with a stroke of a pen. A wretched president is one who believes that he is above the law, like Richard Nixon with his illegal invasions of Cambodia and Laos and George W. Bush with his practice of legislation by administrative decree. A bad president tells his DOJ to ignore the Voting Rights Act and his EPA to ignore the Clean Air Act. W.’s ultimate crime, the one that history will hold him accountable for, is the way he broke the law, time after time, whenever it stood in the way of his ambitions.

What are Obama’s sin? He has failed to light a fire under Congress to force them to enact meaningful health care reform. He has failed to prosecute 1) banksters 2) Bush administration officials 3) insert your favorite villain here. He has not vetoed DOMA retroactively----now there is a notion. If voters really want one man to have the power to write and unwrite the law, maybe they should pass a Constitutional amendment giving him that power. It would make things so much simpler. We would not need elections anymore. We could give all the power to Il Duce ---pardon me, the president . Then our chief executive would have no excuse for not doing all the things he said he would do. Show of hands among the self styled “progressives” how many want to see this added to the Constitution?

We all have a constitutionally guaranteed right to bitch and moan about what our elected political leaders are doing. Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to exercise that right against one of their own. It is the very nature of the Party, which tries to include many different types of people with many different points of view. Our motto is “Strength through Diversity.” We expect our leaders to do their best to find common ground that will benefit all, on the theory that when all members of a democracy prosper, the whole democracy is stronger.

Maybe I am just paranoid by nature, but when I see the corporate media paying so much attention to the supposed rift between Obama and the base, I do not see a rift between Obama and the base. I see a corporate media which wants us to believe that there is a rift. Why? Why did the mainstream media conspire to label Al Gore a liar, when W. told so many lies? Why did CBS fire Dan Rather after the Bush AWOL story? Why did reporters give serious coverage to folks that said that Kerry, not Nixon, was responsible for the incursion into Cambodia?

For the two or three readers who do not know what was at stake in the 2000 and 2004 elections, I will remind you. Karl Rove promised the corporate media unlimited mergers and acquisitions. “Give this election to W.” he said “And you can form one big news monopoly with the GOP’s blessing.” Never mind that such a behemoth news company would violate United States law. W. was the hero of the corporate fascists because he was willing the break the law.

The mark of a good Democratic president should be his eagerness to uphold the law.

Now, I understand that even Democrats get corrupted by the more or less universally held notion that “Gee! Wouldn’t it be great if we had a man in Washington who could fix it all?” Read how Noam Chomsky predicted that the executive powers which Nixon grabbed for himself would not be trimmed even in the wake of the Watergate trials.

  • The Watergate affair and the sordid story that has unfolded since are not without significance. They indicate, once again, how frail are the barriers to some form of fascism in a state capitalist system in crisis. There is little prospect for a meaningful reaction to the Watergate disclosures, given the narrow conservatism of American political ideology and the absence of any mass political parties or organized social forces that offer an alternative to the centralization of economic and political power in the major corporations, the law firms that cater to their interests, and the technical intelligentsia who do their bidding, both in the private sector and in state institutions. With no real alternative in view, opposition is immobilized and there is a natural fear, even among the liberal opposition, that the power of the Presidency will be eroded and the ship of state will drift aimlessly. The likely result will therefore be a continuation of the process of centralization of power in the executive, which will continue to be staffed by representatives of those who rule the economy and which will be responsive to their conception of domestic and global order.

http://www.chomsky.info/articles/19730920.htm

I am not afraid of Obama. I am afraid of the American desire for a messianic leader. When did we stop listening to the Founder’s injunction

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

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Japan donates $5.5 mil for mine clearance equipments to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH —
The Japanese government on Wednesday donated mine clearance equipment to Cambodia with a total worth of $5.5 million. In a speech at a ceremony to hand over the equipment, Japanese Ambassador Masafumi Kuroki said Japan’s latest donation brings the total value of the assistance it has rendered to Cambodia for demining activities to $110 million.

He said Japan places a particular emphasis on assisting Cambodia in this area because landmines and unexploded ordnance ‘‘endanger the lives of the people and hinder the development of the country.’‘

The equipment handed over includes more than 600 mine detectors as well as mine destruction vehicles and a mobile maintenance warehouse.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen thanked Japan for its latest donation and said clearance of mines and unexploded ordnance remains one of his government’s priorities.

He said that since the mine clearance activities commenced in 1993, Cambodia with international support has been able to clear 520 square kilometers of land, though another 670 square km has yet to be completely cleared.

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