Sunday, August 2, 2009

SADC Region: Republic of South Africa: Official Opposition in talks with strange bedfellows?

(South African Catholic)


Notation by Marc Aupiais

According to the Cape Argus, a member of the Independent Newspapers (IOL) news group: the Democratic Alliance (DA)- South Africa's Official Opposition: is in behind closed doors unity talks with several smaller parties- including ANC off-shoot: COPE (Congress of the People), the ID (Independent Democrats), and the UDM (United Democratic Front).

While the DA allows their Members of Parliament (MPs) to vote with their conscience, on matters deemed by the DA to be related to morality- the ID and UDM- have both pushed legislation and policies, which are seriously against the moral fibre set out by the Church- including on vitally important issues such as- what marriage should be, and legalising of and pushing of pro-abortion legislation by the state.

Much of the leadership of political fledgling- COPE- jumped ship from the ANC prior the last election- having seemingly been perfectly accepting of the ANC (African National Congress)- when it radically liberalised access to Abortion, and instituted "Civil Unions"- "Gay marriage". On the "Gay Marriage" issue- as our service noted in another article: earlier this year- the ID seemingly wanted to force marriage officers to "marry" gay couples- whatever their conscientious or religious objections.

Exactly what form of alliance would be formed if the alleged talks are successful- is not clear to our service at present.

Whether this would entail close co-operation on some matters between multiple parties, or a new political party- is not clear, although the evidence seems to lend towards the latter- as with the quotations the Cape Argus gives to back up its claims.

Reportedly: Helen Zille has noted a number of areas where the opposition parties could find common ground-

These apparently include: commitment to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996; creating an environment which would offer opportunities to everyone; a market-driven economy, opportunity and delivery and a safety net for the less privileged (c.f. IOL- as linked to below).

Representation of the DA had not replied to a media request from our service at the time of publishing.

C.F. IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 02 / 08 | 2009

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?from=rss_Twitter&set_id=1&click_id=79&art_id=vn20090802061851279C687881

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

South Africa: ANC want to redefine RSA provinces, in move attacked as possible power grabbing

(Scripturelink Voters' Guide; c.f. (IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 29 / 06 | June / 2009 ; (IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 07 / 11 | December / 2008 )

Article by Marc Aupiais

According to IOL in an article by Ainsley Daniels((IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 29 / 06 | June / 2009 ): Sicelo Shiceka, who is The Republic of South Africa's ruling ANC (African National Congress) Minister of the controversial Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Ministry, has made claims of a report allegedly in which the ANC run South African State government, or officials in it are looking into reducing the number of provinces in South Africa. The provincial government of the opposition DA (Democratic Alliance) in the Western Cape (province) had previously alleged interfereance in provincial matters. The minister had claimed that even the Western Cape would be pressured by him. His ministry has certainly not eased tentions.

On December 07th 2008, when he, as a person, represented local government, involving the changes to the Constition of the Republic of South Africa as they related to the contentious and at times violent Khutsong Township issue, he was accused of undermining the central government((IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 07 / 11 | December / 2008). This would certainly be am about turn, if those allegations are true.

During apartheid, there were much fewer provinces, refelcting the politics of pre-apartheid Boer and British colonies, which had formed the Union of South Africa, and the 1910 Union Constitution in compromise, after the Second South African / Boer War, seemingly won by the British.

Any amendment to having 9 provinces, as with a separate effort to get rid of vital aspects of Judicial -Independence,( the latter pushed by minister of Justice and Constitutional reform: Jeff Redebe:) would require amending the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. With the enlargement of the opposition, the ANC could not introduce any of these plans into practice: without the help of opposition parties' Members of Parliament. If I am correct, they would also need the okay of provinces whose borders are affected to successfully legislate the prior. Acting without the confirmation of an applicable province, would require taking away the current Constitutional rights of the provinces to do so. To take away areas of provincial authority was apparently also suggested by the ruling ANC recently.

According to IOL(IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 29 / 06 | June / 2009), critics of redrawing the provinces believe the ANC wants to redraw them to oust their DA opposition from the Western Cape province, where DA head: Helen Zille is premier.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

South Africa: DA Leaders office denies any pro-civil-union discrimination

(Scripturelink Voters guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

In response to a request for clarity on seeming insinuation of DA discrimination for Homosexual candidates, the DA, has responded to our concerns. Gavin Davis, the Chief of Staff of the Da's Office of The Leader, whom I have corresponded with in the past, has responded to our concerns on behalf of Christian voters. The following is an email reply we received from him today:



2009/3/10 Gavin Davis 
Dear Marc

Thank you for your email.
As I mentioned in previous correspondence, DA public representatives have a free vote on issues of conscience including civil unions. To my knowledge, Mr Ollis has never said that the DA is for civil unions. He has expressed his personal view, which he has every right to do. But it does not represent the view of the party.

As far as the DA’s lists are concerned, there is no discrimination either for or against people from any particular group, whether based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

I hope this answers your question.

Kind regards
Gavin


We have asked that the DA monitor their facebook group better, and are pleased that their national policy seems the same. It does seem odd, that Ian Ollis, should make such a point, as he did, and that he seems to have insinuated certain things, which would make the DA a less acceptable party to vote for.

As it is, they maintain their status on our acceptable vote list. Due to the positions of their leadership. We do hope that the DA will look into the claims by Ian Ollis, involving the Gauteng list, and sexual orientation.

South Africa: DA's SA Christian voters lose say?

(Scripturelink Voters Guide)

Note: the DA's leader's office's head of staff replied to our request: http://southafricancatholic.blogspot.com/2009/03/south-africa-da-leaders-office-denies.html

Article By Marc Aupiais

Recently, we came accross the following:

"


Post #1
Ian Ollis wroteon February 25, 2009 at 1:49pm

Ok, so huge numbers of people have been asking about the gay thing, so I decided we should start a discussion on the board! Currently, the DA has a large number of gay (LGBTI) people as public rep's either as MP's MPL's and Councillors around the country. Yes, I am one of them! On our election lists for the 2009 general elections, I was extremely happy to see the number of gay people that have been chosen on the lists for parliament and the various provinces as candidates. A case in point is the Gauteng Parliamentary Candidates list. I am currently one of 5(that I know of) gay or lesbian people in the top 16 positions on the list. That is a huge plus for the party and for our representivity. Show me one other party in SA that has that many? An many of us, like myself, Mike Waters, Paul Willemburg are very out about our sexuality. we are not a pink party however. We support equal rights for gay people, just as we support say, the equal rights of both genders, all races and each language group in the country. For those of you out there who are thinking of voting DA and for whom this is an issue, rest assured, the DA is the party that most represents the rights and views of gay people and not just in words. we have actions that support what we say! Viva Helen Viva!"

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2226300562&topic=7506

Ian Ollis, is the 11th member listed on the DA's GAUTENG NATIONAL ASSEMBLY LIST listing. I see no reason to discount that the person speaking is him.

 Last year, when asking the DA, whether or not they had altered their policy on gay marriage, their answer to our organization was no: they still had no policy. This was after a decision involving Internation Politics, which technically favored "Gay Marriage".

We have requested a reply from the Democratic alliance, on this issue, since, having seen this admittal by a potential MP.

This was posted on their facebook group.

The DA, has also refused to alter the constitution, so that abortion is clearly relegated to the criminal arena, as any South African, no matter their age, can legally request an abortion. The only restrictions in South Africa, seem to focus on protecting the mother's health. The Judiciary, largely seems to have a certain view of the Constitution, and some believe that if South Africa's abortion laws are overturned, they will overturn the nullification of ANC: African National Congress: policy. This trial has yet to occur however.

Such moves either mean nothing, or everything. The DA would not have succeeded in changing the constitution, and so their choice had no effect, but they seemed to say that the constitution was over in 1994.

If the DA values their Pro-life, pro-family, pro-catechism voters, I suggest that they clarify this issue: as one of their representatives seems to be saying that they have purposely placed a large portion of homosexual voters on their parliamentary list high up. Such would mean a pragmatic change in a possibly neutral vote on a pro-life issue: marriage.

Such calls into account: how does the DA stand on other issues of policy, such as abortion: another issue, of importance to Christians voting. If they are that sort of "liberals" now, leaving what I would have thought was the PFP behind, then: where else are they liberal. America's Democratic Party has jumped on both issues, so have many others. Such concern lies not in homosexual ideas, which generally may change from each to each: but what is considered liberalism in many nations.

Both support of "Gay Marriage", and support of abortionist policies, are issues which make a party very unlikely to be the best for Catholic voters. The question is whether or not the DA is still neutral on these issues, or if they simply are officially neutral, but have hidden practical policies.

I would like it if the DA were to reply to my request.

Can the DA say that it is still neutral on these morally concerning issues to Christian voters?

If the man above is not Ian Ollis, I request that the DA inform us, as it is, I suspect it is the DA potential Parliamentarian, and I hope that the DA, is not discriminating against heterosexuals in their representation in parliament.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Africa: SADC: South Africa: Corruption and Politics: Shaik (accused of a currupt relationship with ANC president) shakes off 15 year jail sentence

(Scripturelink Voters guide; Social Justice South Africa; IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) 03 / 03 / 2009; Letters sent to IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) on the 04 / 03 / 2009; IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) 04 / 03 / 2009; IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) 04 / 03 / 2009; 03 / 03 / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Shabir Shaik: convicted of having a "Generally Corrupt" relationship with the Ruling (with a majority capable of changing the constitution of SA, which has changed said constitution numerous times) ANC (African national Congress) President Jacob Zuma, has just been "permanently" let off a 15 year jail sentence for corruption, 2 days after a press release by Jacob Zuma, that he would pardon Shaik on possibly becoming president of South Africa.

"Shaik was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2005 after he was convicted on two counts of corruption and one of fraud. This was based on evidence of a corrupt relationship between himself and then South African and ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma.

At the time of going to press on Monday night, there was a lot of activity at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban, where Shaik had spent a good deal of his incarceration."
(IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) 03 / 03 / 2009)


The ANC, largely backed by uneducated masses of South Africa, who suffer from lack of education, and basic resources: after over a decade of ANC rule, is mooted to win a majority, as usual in this year's elections. When a Constitutional challenge on election rules, preventing South Africans abroad from voting: hit: the ANC set the election date in April: this may well prevent the constitutional claim from succeeding. Millions of South Africans have left the country since 1994, due to openly racist business and other regulations set by the government: which has seen incalculable damage to South Africa's economy, due to a non-white skills shortage, and also the leaving of many South Africans due to crime, and a general perception among many: that whatever they want, the government will do as it desires.

Opposition parties have, in recent years, whether purposeful, or incidently: had the police used against them. DA leader Hellen Zille was arrested in Cape Town, by police, while objecting on crime. ANC offshoot: COPE, was prevented from taking to the streets, to campaign after a national congress, by Riot Police, as the ANC suddenly had a meeting nearby. No mention of Riot Police by the ANC talk was mentioned. With Voter intimidation in recent By-Elections, and ANC supporters alleged by the DA, to have been bussed in, and attempting to blockade a DA rally in a township, these are just some of the worries: not excluding murders in Kwazulu Natal; where IFP and ANC supports are alleged to have taken part in violence in previous elections. High ranking members of the ANC's Triparteid Alliance: have said that they will take up arms for Mr Zuma's cause, and there have been comments regarding what seems, for lack of adequate clarification like a physical annihilation of the DA (Democratic Alliance), South Africa's major opposition party.

According to the State, which has let Shaik off due to "depression", and "high blood Pressure", Shaik will not be sent back to jail, if these "symptoms" suddenly disappear. The State has also refused to release exactly what "terminal" condition Shaik has: only mentioning what could be signs of someone actually being in prison.

"It should be noted that in terms of section 75 (8) of the Correctional Services Act (Act 111 of 1998), the 'decision of the board is final' and can only be reviewed by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Review board, led by a judge," Wolela said."
( IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) 03 / 03 / 2009)


As the law requires a prisoner to be terminally ill to be released, it seems odd, that a terminal illness has not been mentioned. In fact, unless Shaik kicks the bucket within days, or weeks, it raises the question on HIV Positive prisoners, who have been denied parole until their last legs. Perhaps Shaik needs a change in diet, having spent most of his time in hospital, over what many may see as symptoms of stress, and being in jail.

IOL, probably South Africa's most reliable news source, has more to say, by airing letters sent on the issue, which I think are an interesting read:


Like many South Africans: who have seen so much in the interesting way in which ANC supporters of high rank usually don't feel too discomforted when faced with "prison", many South Africans seem suspicious. Others want more details: some think that fraudsters should not go to jail.

(Letters sent to IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) on the 04 / 03 / 2009)

IOL notes that the state is refusing to review the choice, or to give it up to review, despite the fact that the ANC controls the government, and: "Shaik was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2005 on two counts of corruption and one of fraud, which, among other things, related to an alleged bribe he negotiated between Zuma and a French arms company. - Sapa"IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) 04 / 03 / 2009; IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) 04 / 03 / 2009). Zuma is president of the ruling ANC.

The African National Congress denies ( IOL (Independent; South African; Secular) 04 / 03 / 2009) any influence in the release of Shaik, while the DA, among others is seeking some form of action over the surprise the release of Shaik, due to his "High Blood pressure" "etc".

IOL quoted a source, which tries to get prisoners rights insured, it was noted that 2500 prisoners die a year, it seems these did not get this parole. Many prisoners have been subject to denials of medical parole, and it is probably a unique case, that Shaik should get it for depression and high blood ( 03 / 03 / 2009: IOL) pressure, with possible "chest pains". Why the public has been denied so much information on this case is odd, especially due to the following:

"32. Access to information
  1. Everyone has the right of access to
    1. any information held by the state; and
    2. any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.

  2. National legislation must be enacted to give effect to this right, and may provide for reasonable measures to alleviate the administrative and financial burden on the state."
(Bill of Rights, Chapter II of the Constitution of the "Republic of South Africa" 10 December 1996)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Democratic Alliance (Democrats) Launching Election Manifesto

(Scripturelink Voters guide)

Article By Marc Aupiais

The DA (Democratic Alliance), has sent out an email speaking of their manifesto launch. As they are on our acceptable vote list: we have determined to inform you of this:

Details of Email:
"
fromDA News 
to"sanlameer@gmail.com"
date12 February 2009 18:10
subjectDA MANIFESTO LAUNCH LIVE ON TV
"
Contents Of Email:


"DA MANIFESTO LAUNCH LIVE ON TV

Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader Helen Zille and DA Federal Chairperson Joe Seremane will, this Saturday 14 February 2009, launch the DA’s 2009 election manifesto in Johannesburg.
This fully-costed programme of action will set out in detail how the DA intends to make its vision of an open, opportunity society for all a workable and sustainable reality in South Africa.

DATE : Saturday, 14 February 2009
TIME : 11h00 - 12h00
WHERE : Broadcasting live on SABC 2 and SAFM
"

Friday, January 30, 2009

South Africa; SADC Region, Africa: DA (Democratic Alliance) Alleges possible ANC scandal

(Scripturelink Voters Guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

We do not endorse the views of the DA (Democratic Alliance), nor do their views represent us, these quotations are not endorsements, nor guarantees of the accuracy: of the statements made by South Africa's major opposition party.

A letter sent out from Helen Zille, via email today: says:

"Reports surfaced this week that President Kgalema Motlanthe is poised to appoint Muzi Wilfred Mkhize as the next National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) to succeed Advocate Vusi Pikoli.

If this happens, it will trigger a constitutional crisis.

Advocate Mkhize was a member of Jacob Zuma’s defence team when Zuma first appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on corruption charges in October 2005. Under no circumstances should Mkhize be put in a position to decide whether or not his former client should be charged with 783 counts of fraud, bribery and corruption. That would constitute a clear conflict of interests.

If President Motlanthe appoints Mkhize, it will be clear why the ANC nominated Motlanthe as President when Thabo Mbeki was “recalled” last year. The conclusion would be irresistible that the ANC required Motlanthe to appoint a compliant National Director of Public Prosecutions who would make the charges against Zuma go away. Then Zuma would have a clear run for the Presidency without the cloud of an imminent corruption trial over his head. The first step was to fire Pikoli. The second step, according to this line of analysis, is to appoint a Zuma man as the country’s chief prosecutor, in accordance with the ANC’s infamous deployment policy."

Among other things.

The DA, is calling for the NPA to be appointed by an independent body, rather than the government. The DA campaign for elections: is to prevent Mr Zuma getting the Two thirds majority, which the ANC got last elections: which gives them absolute power over South Africa. Motlante was not elected as President of South Africa, and the current ANC leadership, were not elected by the people at the polls.

Thabo Mbeki, the previous president of the country: was president when the ANC were elected into office, once again. The ANC removed him after a judge, not judging Mbeki, but whether or not Mr Zuma, could be tried for multiple corruption charges, alleged a conspiracy against Mr Zuma, by Mr Mbeki. Zuma used the opportunity to rally his forces, and force South Africa's then President to resign: without an Election by the people, Mbeki was replaced by Motlante, in accordance with the laws set out by the communist affiliated ANC government.

Important figures in the ANC, have previously called for the "Annihilation" of the DA, and have said that they are prepared to kill and die for ANC president Jacob Zuma, who dodged rape claims recently: having been found innocent. The woman, who accused him of rape, is an HIV sufferer, currently in exile outside South Africa, fearing for her life, after Zuma supporters stoned a woman, who they thought was her. The ANC only will guarantee her safety, if she withdraws claims of rape. Zuma's supporters, do not deny that he was having extra-marital sex with her. They say that she actually stayed the night: and had breakfast: and that this is a sign that she enjoyed having relations with Mr Zuma. Zuma claimed that he took a shower afterwards: in order to avoid getting aids.

Archbishop Buti, of Johannesburg, recently expressed fears, that South Africa's government would not be accountable to the people after this years constitutionally needed elections, and fears: that Mr Zuma will not receive a trial on corruption charges; that a "political solution" would be used. What he feared, likely referred to the possibility, that Zuma would change South African law: to avoid prosecution. The DA claim, however: is a bit different, they allege the possibility, that what may be seen: as below board methods will be used: to further prevent a Zuma corruption trial, something Zuma, after asking for a day in court, has fought on every level he could.

Fear of electoral violence, after voter intimidation in recent by-elections, and in a mirror image of some previous times: is real, and feared in South Africa. The future, of the important regional power: is murky, and dangerous. If South African mediation efforts, and troops are withdrawn from across the continent, due to local issues: an even more dire situation could occur.

Attacks, or commentary on attacks of President Motlante's private life, appeared in independently run newspapers, and media, recently. Motlante recently refused ANC pressure, to change the board of the SABC, South Africa's government media network, without fair proceedings, even as they had been reportedly pulled into ANC headquarters, and encouraged to give the ANC better coverage. The ANC, has consistently interfered with the running of state television and radio. Local newspapers, years ago: alleged that the state broadcaster was no longer independent. SABC board members, were due to get the sack from communist affiliated Zuma's ANC recently, but Motlante stood against this, and refused to sign that. Motlante: however: has disbanded the "Scorpions", the body, which was investigating Zuma for corruption.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Response of the Office of Helen Zille (DA Leader) on concerns over homosexuality statements

(Scripturelink Voters guide)

Introduction by Marc Aupiais

The following is an Email Response, by the office of Helen Zille, leader of the DA (Democratic Alliance) in South Africa, and Mayor of Cape Town, to concerns raised, over a press release, in which the ANC were lambasted, for not supporting a document, which in addition to the noble cause of decriminalizing Homosexuality, legally: also promoted, and seemed to attempt to legislate "Gender theory": which would insinuate support of Homosexual civil unions: "Gay Marriage", something the church considers to be irreconcilable with Catholic morality, and society.

Date: 19 January 2009 16:06
Email: Leader < leader@da.org.za >
Title: Response from the office of Helen Zille
Respondent: Tammy Evans

Large sections of the Contents of Email Response:

"Dear Mr Aupiais



On behalf of Helen Zille, thank you for your e-mail.



As indicated in the press statement you refer to, the DA supports the decriminalisation of homosexuality in line with our Constitution.



The DA’s position on civil unions is the same as it always has been. Like all issues of conscience, the DA gives its members a free vote to vote in Parliament as they choose.



Giving our members a free vote on civil unions is compatible with the belief that homosexuality is not a crime.



I hope that this e-mail has served to clarify your concerns.



Please feel free to remain in touch with our office.



Sincerely



Tammy Evans



Political Assistant

Office of the Leader - Democratic Alliance

2nd floor, Marks Building, Parliament

Cape Town 8000"


This email (contact details somewhat excluded)

is in response to another by ourselves: to the DA:

"A DA objection, to not voting on a UN proposal by France has caught my attention. My objection, is not the protection of homosexual rights, but the same, as that given by the Vatican, when apposing such a proposal. The proposal promotes Gender theory, and therefore gay marriage. Yes, South Africa should have stated, they supported the principle of freedom from persecution, but support of that proposal means indirectly, seeming: support for Gay marriage (something that the SA populace does not in majority support): an issue that he DA has been neutral on previously. I would like a clarification from the DA: on their neutrality on this issue, as it will affect both my vote, and many others. This does affect moral issues, as the DA is in fact, willingly or not: making a stance on this issue!"
(to: leader@da.org.za;
date: 16 January 2009 15:39;
subject: Clarification needed, I represent a media initiative (3 days ago);
mailed-by gmail.com)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

South Africa: ANC President: only Afrikaaners: true african tribe, out of whites

(Scripturelink Voters Guide; c.f. IOL (Secular; South African; Independent) 12 / Jan / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

While the FF+'s ("Freedom Front Plus") leader Pieter Mulder: called statements, amounting to calling non-Afrikaner whites foreigners: clear political leadership, from ANC ("African National Congress") president, and leader: Jacob Zuma, whose followers have been accused of violence and intimidation, of average citizens, and even judges, and political leaders, many other voices, have seemed to remain silent.

Jacob Zuma, insinuated that having more than one passport, made a South African, not an African, and likened himself to an Afrikaner, saying they "are the only "white tribe" "on the continent" which belongs to Africa "Completely"".

Apartheid, was maintained under the Calvinistic, protestant, Afrikaans: Nationalist Party government, in which those not speaking Afrikaans were second class citizens, including English speaking people of European Descent. Those of different races: had different jobs available, and there was unequal treatment of peoples. Zuma supporters, stoned a woman, who looked like the one, now in exile, with the ANC saying her safety is not guaranteed, until she revokes accusations of rape against Zuma. He also, has tried every trick to escape being tried on corruption, in which his financial advisor, tried before him: was found guilty of a "Generally Corrupt" relationship with him.

Israel keeps her word: unilateral ceasefire, which Hamas has vowed to ignore

(Social Justice South Africa; Scripturelink Voters Guide; c.f. (thanks to a dear friend) CBSNEWS (Secular; Independent; American) 17 / Jan / 2009; c.f. BBC World News (Reliable; Secular; British; Government) 18 / Jan 2009; Archive 15 / Jan / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Israel said it was all about missiles, and considering the more cautious governance, of the ruling political forces, this seemed believable, and appears to be the case. Israel, has declared it would, and seems to have: unilaterally withdrawn offenses on the Gaza Strip, it plans to retain troops for ten more days, however, it will not launch fresh offenses, even as it has vowed that troops will defend themselves if and when Hamas believes it can attack. Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), which the BBC suspects, could be funded by Iran, along with fellow terrorists: Hezbolla in their suspected funders: has itself, as Hamas, vowed to continue fighting, even as Israel has stopped offenses, resulting in a quite night, after about three weeks of fighting.

Israeli troops, remain, so that they and Egypt, can arrange security, to prevent Hamas from smuggling in weapons, to restart offenses. After the Unilateral Ceasefire, Hamas, which still has the destruction of Israel, which they do not recognize as a state: as their goal: still wanted bloodshed. At least one missile was launched against Israel after the truce went into effect, according to CBS, quoting a source called "Bergers".

1200 Palestinians have died in this conflict, as well as at least ten Israelis. What a child and woman is in this conflict is hard to determine. Being under the age of 18 makes one a child: but in Islamist conflicts, women have been suicide bombers, and perhaps could be militants, and children have become militants.

Facilities, and resources of many humanitarian, or relief groups, have been casualty to air-strikes in this conflict, and the UN is worried about the state of hospitals. Israel was accused of disproportionate force in protecting her borders, but countered that their civilians were being hit.

A probable reason for Israeli speed, and proportions; is that the Bush administration is set to leave soon: even with a proportionate response, it is much less likely, that Israel would get away with defending their borders under the Democrat Obama, who in this issue, said, via advisors: he would not cause two authorities, but who has spoken up on almost everything else. It seemed an odd statement to make. Barak Hussein Obama: voted to euthanise abortion survivors, and wants to get rid of parental consent for abortion. He has not, during the fighting: commented on the deathly situation in the Gaza Strip.

This entire conflict, could probably, have been done, and likely would have been done in a smaller, more civilized manner: if Israel knew it could rely on international support, as it protected its borders. Humanitarian casualties, and the entire situation, would probably have been low key in such a situation, whereby those currently in power in Israel, had previously been extremely soft, even to the point of endangering their political future: on the Gaza Strip situation. They only launched offenses: after a period of daily attacks on civilians.

This is not to justify the offensive; it is however to state what appears to be fact: Israel thought this proportion of force was utterly necessary. Considering stances of those in power in Israel, previous stances before this conflict: should they have believed there was an easier, less collateral spewed manner to protect Israel, they likely would have taken it. Before the counterstrike was launched, Israel, had already given up hope of international solutions. Also, efforts by the international community, as we, and any astute analyst would have predicted, and as we did predict: were not the ones to end this conflict: as we predicted, it was ended purely at the whims of Israel, as would be obvious.

As long as the world shows such blatant bias in judging conflicts, rather than realizing the root cause of these, and realizing who started what: civilian casualties will remain high in situations such as this one. If no-one else will look after Israel, Israel will: the problem is, the manner in which they now can: in that a smaller attack would have had as much backlash, and no attack, would mean allowing terrorism against their innocent civilians.

Blame for collateral damage: must be placed equally on Israel, and on Hamas: and on every biased voice which misrepresented this conflict. Refusal to reason by Hamas, and outright provocation, cannot be ignored. The Hague should be consulted on this issue. From all appearances, it appears as though the Israeli hand seemed almost forced: forced by fear of reprisals when Bush left, and by political pressure, by their own women and children, and rabbits, and dogs, and boys and men: and even an infant: by those facing daily terror attacks: in a war between hateful extremists, and civilians: in which a military chose to intervene.

Before the world says "Never Again", and then forgets they have: one must look at the core of the issue: the reason this tragedy has occurred: lies squarely on the arms of the international community: on the international hatred and bias: so evident (Archive 15 / Jan / 2009) in France recently: which had, when this situation was minor: completely ignored the plight of Israel: so that Israel did, as they always had: and put on a display, which cost, in this case, in a way: 1200 or more or less lives.

Friday, January 16, 2009

South Africa: DA (Democratic Alliance): in support of Homosexuality: addition to previous reviews

(Scripturelink Voters guide; c.f. IOL (Independent; Secular; South African) 12 / Jan / 2009; c.f. Archive 03 / Dec / 2008; c.f. Archive 12 / Dec / 2008; c.f. 23 / Dec / 2009; DA Support, on their own website 11 January 2008 (see such))

(Note, while this is not to justify the stance they took on this issue, they have replied to our request for a response via email, we have recorded their response, from Helen Zille: in another post: in which they reaffirm party policy, to allow in the SA Parliament: Freedom of Conscience, on moral issues: Response of the Office of Helen Zille (DA Leader) on concerns over homosexuality statements: http://southafricancatholic.blogspot.com/2009/01/response-of-office-of-helen-zille-da.html )

Article by Marc Aupiais

The DA, who have previously gained a relatively good rating from us, have done something, which calls into question their dignity. Tony Leon, their Foreign Affairs spokesperson, has asked, via questions submitted in parliament: the ANC's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is South Africa's foreign minister, why RSA ("The Republic of South Africa"); did not vote for a UN (United Nations) push, considered as anti-religious discrimination, by the Vatican: which affirmed "Gender Theory", and attacked religious: in a move, claimed to be aimed at legalizing homosexuality throughout the world.

Their stance, if with an understanding of the document: would seem to insinuate support for Gay marriage: a definite seeming change in policy on the issue.

This note is based on an article in IOL: stating that Tony Leon Stated:

""Our failure to translate our domestic constitution and legislation into international support for human rights is clearly motivated by a desire not to offend some of the most retrogressive and authoritarian countries in the world," Leon said."

9IOL (Independent; Secular; South African) 12 / Jan / 2009)

The DA's previous record on "claimed" neutrality on moral issues, seems somewhat broken in this recent escapade. The UN resolution, fronted by France, was apposed by 60 nations, via a direct, joint statement, and in a addition,in a statement, which also rejected calls by those 60 nations: linking homosexuality to child molesting: as incorrect, the Vatican also rejected such: saying that they rejected it: due to clauses which encouraged anti-religious persecution.

66 nations, including the EU: supported the initiative.


The wording of the resolution, was thought by the Vatican to contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in it's affirmation of Gender theory: in so far as the Vatican directly stated: that it would likely lead to persecution of natural, universally accepted marriage: and put pressure on nations to accept "Gay Marriage": something, which the church considers an objective evil. Attacks on marriage: which the church considers the union between one man and one woman, aimed at unity and childcare: are considered enough to disqualify a party: so far as voting is concerned: unless voting for such a party: consists of supporting the lesser of two evils; so as to prevent greater evil.

4 out of 5 (80%) of South Africans, consider homosexual acts to be always wrong.

We have sent an electronic communication to the DA's Guateng Representation, asking for comment on this issue, and informing them of the "Gender Theory" bias of the proposition, they seem to be raising issues about. We will hopefully have a response, or update on this issue soon.

We have also informed the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference of this, we shall hopefully be able to keep you up to date on such things.

The ANC, which is seemingly, politically speaking: "radically" in support of the pro-abortion, and pro-gay marriage camps, as compared definite opposition in South Africa: and their choice to force these issues through (i.e. "radically" when nine out of ten South Africans (90%) appose abortion, and 4 out of 5 think homosexual acts are always wrong: they still chose to force MPs (Members of Parliament) to support such,something which makes them different in this issue, than South Africa's norm in demographics), responded, saying that they simply had not gotten around to signing it, but supported it. The South African ambassador to the UN (United Nations), Dumisani Kumalo, stated that it was not signed: so as not to offend other African nations: of which 6 alone sign it. 47 African Nations did not sign the December 18th proposal.

Abortion laws in South Africa: are considered in Catholic theology, to violate the right of conscientious objection, to participating in the killing of the yet to be born baby.

January 18th, is set forth as a day for the sanctity of Life, in the United States (Of America), under outgoing US (American) President George W Bush, who is doing so, in a stance by the White House against abortion. US (American) President Elect Barak Hussein Obama, has vowed to overturn laws requiring parental consent for abortions, and recently voted to allow a child which survived abortion, to be killed. His most clear promises, seem to be in this field: where he plans to get more funding to abortionists, and wherein, many appointees to vital positions in his administration: are ideologically pro-abortion, raising questions, as to his purpose in appointing these people to such positions.

His vowed legislation, is radical, and seems biased. Many American Catholic bishops, outright apposed him, including a senior Vatican aid. Vatican Representation, say that if legislation, he has promised to pass, passes, such would be seen as an act of war.

One the DA Issue, their own website states:

"TONY LEON, MP
DA SPOKESPERSON ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

On receipt of the news that South Africa refused to support a declaration by the United Nations General Assembly on Human Rights Day in December 2008 calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality I submitted on Friday 9 January 2009 the following questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

1. Whether she can indicate why the South African government failed to support a declaration by the United Nations General Assembly on Human Rights Day, calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

2. whether her Office has considered the ramifications of the South African government’s failure to support this declaration for the South African government’s reputation, both internationally and domestically, in terms of being committed to (a) upholding its Constitution and the values enshrined in it and (b) promoting the freedom of its people as well as the people of other countries; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Our failure to translate our domestic Constitution and legislation into international support for human rights is clearly motivated by a desire not to offend some of the most retrogressive and authoritarian countries in the world. This contradiction between what we practise at home and preach abroad is entirely and unhappily consistent with our role call of dismal votes on the United Nations Security Council during our ill-starred tenure there which ended in December 2008."


(DA (Seular; South African; Political party: Press Release 11 / 01 / 2009; no copyright listed)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our Contact point: at the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, has seen, in the press: the recent judgement on the arms deal curruption case

(Scripturelink Voter's Guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

I, and others on their press releases list: have received an email basically showing that representation of the Bishops, has heard the recent judgment, and seem to be watching events unfolding in the press. We have not, however, had therein: a direct statement clearly on a perspective. So far, they simply brought attention to the verdict, to us, and others who were emailed by our contact there.

I do not endorse the following link, but a source in the hierarchy, sent it to me, so I thought it likely is somewhat accurate (The article), the full judgment (linked to in the article, and indirectly in the email), also: I do not guarantee, nor does this mean that our contact guarantees such.

To my knowledge, they have yet to make any statements as to the current judgment. Representation of the hierarchy, certainly has seen, and is clearly interested in it's importance. It means Jacob Zuma can be retried in court.

On our own analysis, this is ours, not theirs:
It also puts into question the disposing of previous President Thabo Mbeki, who was made to resign, by a Zuma lead ANC, and has implications for the upcoming elections: expected this year.

I do not endorse the following links to the Secular, and Independent : South Africa's "Mail and Guardian": We have not vetted these for accuracy, nor can we guarantee content: These are based on communication with a source within the Hierarchy in South Africa: who simply wanted to alert us and others as to the goings ons occurring, and so: we cannot say either us, or them endorse this source: as we do not have enough information to know how they feel about it. We ourselves do not endorse such, our view is in our article on this: we have not yet read this other article, and therefore cannot endorse it: however, we generally trust much of the accuracy of the facts, in the Mail and Guardian, due to their history, even though we do not guarantee such, nor endorse them, or any of their articles, whatsoever: Also, their world view, and perspective, is not always in line with ours; nor do we endorse their columns nor do we endorse their columnists, or credibility via this:

Mail and Guardian Article (not an endorsement):

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-01-12-court-opens-way-for-new-zuma-charges

Full judgement: Mail and Guardian (not an endorsement):

http://www.mg.co.za/uploads/zumajudgement.pdf

We do neither endorse article content, nor can we endorse these perspectives and views. They are purely the views of those expressing them, and we cannot be held responsible for them. They are not ours, and do not necessarily reflect our views, nor can these perspectives be said to represent those of the Bishops, or any affiliated with them. Nor can we as yet give you their perspective, we can only speculate, which we may do later, and did in (Bloemfontein; South Africa: Zuma Trial Back On: NPA wins: previous judge had no right to submit his "political" opinions 12 / Jan / 2009 ).

Should they desire a press release: we will of course inform you of this: however, there does seem to be interest in this issue: and they do seem to be watching events, as a church hierarchy should be doing in such circumstances.

Bloemfontein; South Africa: Zuma Trial Back On: NPA wins: previous judge had no right to submit his "political" opinions

(Scripturelink Voters Guide; c.f. E News (South African; Secular; Independent)12 / Jan / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

The judgment of a previous Judge : had dethroned South Africa's president: and caused a political crisis. Now the prosecution's case against ANC president Jacob Zuma, by the NPA, has been allowed to proceed. Many of Zuma's actions have been called into question, as well as the previous judgment. Shabir Shaik, Zuma's financial advisor was sent to prison: for a "Generally" "Corrupt" relationship it is alleged he has had with Jacob Zuma. Following this, and recent evidence, as well as Zuma's chances of becoming president heightening: the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) decided to prosecute Zuma, a choice which had been overturned by a lower court, and was upheld today.

Accusations against South Africa's President, at the time, and others of conspiracy against Zuma (discounted as baseless in legal terms: by the overruling judge in the case), during a previous proceeding, under a judge in a lower court, by a certain Judge Nicholson, who had ruled to curb proceedings at the time: of prosecution, had been used by Zuma allies to purge their party of Thabo Mbeki, the president of the country at the time, and of his supporters, even resulting in By-Elections, in which the ANC lost many wards, despite voter intimidation, in areas where they took it apon themselves to register late, and in areas: where they competed for wards, where ANC leaders had once been voted in.

A woman was stoned during other previous proceedings against Zuma, allegedly by his followers, in a case of mistaken identity, when they believed it was the woman (Now in Exile), who accused the current communist affiliated ANC president of rape. If she retracts her statements, and only then, according to local news: will the ANC guarantee her safety in South Africa.

Zuma supporters, have also called for the "annihilation" of the DA, South Africa's current main opposition, also: ANC members have been accused of threatening, or intimidating voters, of political violence, and have said they are prepared to seemingly take up arms and "Kill for Zuma", statements promptly mimicked by Afrikaners, who said they would take up arms to protect the Constitution of South Africa. A judge was accused of meddling in the Zuma trial, by approaching two different judges, and new political Party: COPE, found it odd, when police would not allow them to take to the streets in promotion of their conference: after the ANC, suddenly decided to hold an event nearby: riot police turned up to keep COPE in check.

COPE, gets much of its support, partly from supporters of dethrowned ANC president Thabo Mbecki: who had been resident president since previous elections, in which he got into power: until such time, as Polokwane, when Zuma supporters Voted Jacob Zuma as ANC preident: the officials of the elected ANC, where often replaced.

Many of the members of COPE, like those of the ANC: were previously staunch ANC members, under Mbeki: and perhaps prior this: what is interesting: is that we have not been able to find any objection by leading current members of COPE, such as "Terror" (nicknamed for soccer performance: former defense minister) Lekota, when the ANC forced all Members of Parliament in their party to vote for allowing mass, and radical legal abortion, which violates the "rights" of conscientious objectors to object to partaking in abortion, and they also were not vocal enough, if vocal or absent at all to even be heard by Scripturelink, should it have been possible: when the ANC forced through "gay marriage", if they objected at all: we have no record of such: and which we have no record of, has not had any major statements to the contrary, from these men, as far as we have heard. 9 in every 10 South Africans appose abortion, and 4 out of every 5: consider homosexual acts to always be wrong.

The ANC recently disbanded the Scorpions; in a time, when several ANC members were under investigation for serious crimes. The Constitutional Court of South Africa: recently upheld the move to disband the Scorpions: South Africa's FBI: as constitutional.

All my facts are based on proceedings aired on E Television, and local secular news sources: ETV is South Africa's independent news, and entertainment channel (i.e. the other three are government controlled; while DSTV, is satellite and paid audience). Contact them for any errors, but tell me also.

A South African Bishop, recently also said that due to the actions of men: in which he included the Zuma scenario: that South Africa was on the slide to "Sin and Ruin", this was by Archbishop Buthi of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gaza Strip Situation, Middle East: Lebanon Factor: Hezbolla may have entered the fray: at least 3 missiles, maybe five: launched against Northern Isra

(Social Justice South Africa; Scripturelink Voters guide; C.f. BBC World News (Secular; British; Government) 08 / Jan / 2009; CWNews (Catholic; American; Independent) 07 / Jan / 2009; CWNews (Catholic; American; Independent) 07/01/2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

BBC World News is reporting that the Israeli and Lebanese authorities confirm the launching of three missiles from southern Lebanon, into Northern Israel: creating a situation: where Israel is now being attacked from both sides: complicating the war: as Egypt, and France, are still attempting a ceasefire between Hamas, and Israel. While three are confirmed, some reports, are said to put it at five, according to the BBC.

The attacks (BBC World News (Secular; British; Government) 08 / Jan / 2009) wounded two Israelis, and shell-shocked others. They follow a rise in anti-Israeli rhetoric, by Hezbolla, and 60 Israeli air-strikes on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as well as renewed Israeli interest in a ceasefire.

The Previous war between Israel, and Hezbolla: happened on the back of a conflict between Israel, and Hamas: according to BBC World News. Hezbolla, recently became a major threat to Lebanon again, threatening civil war, over objections to spy networks they had amassed.

Hezbolla, like Hamas: is an obstacle to democracy: in the country in which they are based. Both have as a final goal: the annihilation of Israel, and the destruction of her people. Both: have gained what they have: via brute force, and propaganda. Neither group: is a state: both are known terrorist groupings: whose methods almost always involve the actions of terror tactics, and brute force, or calls for violence, and or propaganda: or political maneuvering, or the like.

Meanwhile the president of Indonesia (according to CWNews (Catholic; American; Independent) 07 / Jan / 2009), has called the Israel-Hamas conflict: not religious, but political: a move by a largely (about 88%) Muslim nation, which is a statement, and move of aid, or rather: benefit, and advantage: to Israel: who have been made to face protests by Muslims, which have dotted, or cross-hashed across many nations within the the Global Scene: Canadian versions of such protests, were met by pro-Israeli Protests, meaning that those protesting, represented the two different sides independently: however: protests in the Islamic world have largely been anti-Israeli. This move by Indonesia, which is another move by an Islamic nation: saying that the conflict is political: also is of aid to any peace process, as Israel, whatever their methods, are attempting to protect their sovereignty, something which is endangered by protests and condemnation: which: if aimed only at Israel: further complicate the entire situation.

A new, tougher stance; by Israel's previously more moderate government: may have been shown recently: whether or not the Lebanon missiles were launched by Hamas, or Hamas sympathizers, or by Hezbolla, seems unclear. Further attacks, by terrorists, on the sovereignty of Israel: could result in an even worse situation, within the region as a whole. The humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is said to be severe: either caused by efforts, at propaganda: for the world: by Hamas, or by bombings, lack of water, and supplies, and the situation around deaths, and bombings: or by both.

Israel, recently accepted a peace agreement, which Hamas rejected: because Hamas desired open borders. However, since this attack, Hamas has become increasingly open to negotiations: something not apparent in a long time. Condemnations of Israel, out of highly partisan, and politically motivated: pro-Hamas nations, and notably out of South Africa: have done nothing to improve the situation much, rather: diplomacy: is credited with every advance gained for the people of Palestine: with Israel claiming: they will listen to their friends: a hinting that nations which distort the situation as purely their fault: will not be heard.

A reported: high level "Vatican" delegation to the Area, according to Catholic World News: is a myth: the only visit currently, by high level church representation, was already scheduled: and is thought not to be anything in addition. In fact, they say: this is an annual trip (CWNews (Catholic; American; Independent) 07/01/2009), and nothing more.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Political solutions: both sides becoming more open as conflict continues: expect statement from SA Bishops on humanitarian situation

(Scripturelink Voters Guide; Social Justice South Africa; c.f. CBS News (American; Secular; independent) 07 / 01 / 2009 )

Article by Marc Aupiais

A peace agreement: accepted by Israel, the Palestinian State ("Authority"), Egypt, and France, and proposed by Egypt and France: to halt the catastrophe in the Gaza Strip: has been rejected by Hamas: who are still waiting for borders to open, and sanctions to be dropped.

Hamas, and Israel: are at this point: both open to viewing non-combative solutions, according to CBS: however: any solution must stop Rocket fire on Israel, and Israel apparently wants assurance Hamas will not rearm. Hamas: wants open borders: so that they can communicate with the world, and trade with it.

South African Church to probably lament humanitarian situation; but not condemn either group

Expect a statement from the South African Catholic Bishops Conference, likely in accordance with other groupings: on the dire humanitarian situation on the ground. Despite talking with sources within the church, we remain, and will continue to remain independent. However, we may start publishing articles: covering some statements released by the local bishops, in as independent manner as we always do so: saying when things are us or others. We will however, either vet this, or do as with our emails from VIS, and Fides. We cannot reveal any source as to our statement about the local bishops likely releasing a statement. If our source is accurate, then you will see a statement. This is not due to a request, but due to certain parts of good practice.

Gaza Update; and viewpoint: a perspective; and some statistics

(Social Justice South Africa; Scripturelink voters Guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Israel claims that Hamas is a terrorist group. This is easily verifiable: any group, which is not a Nation, which takes a territory from a legitimate government, chases away observers, and both fires rockets on civilians, killing indiscriminately, and willfully: injures noncombatants: well: it sounds like a terrorist grouping.

It is claimed that there are large civilian casualties. As verified on the ground, by a Canadian Newspaper; this seems true, as with what they claim: that there are militants in the areas. The UN, however, claims that the attack on the UN school: is unjustified: and denies claims of militants in the area. The UN; being UN representation. Certain representatives of the UN, have periodically done things which are classified as Genocide by the Nations represented in it, again, it has a voice, but International journalists, and an investigation needs to be conducted, before clear facts are established.

Israel is stopping bombing of Gaza for three hours a day: to allow humanitarian aid in. It is thought by some to be due to pressure.

Israel's claims of minimization of Civilian casualties? Well: again; Gaza is densely populated, and Israel claims that Hamas is attempting to get cover from shooting from civilian areas, basically using Palestinians as Human Shields: and at Israeli civilians.

Hamas seems to have the goal of wiping Israel off the map; and does not recognize Israel as a state. A bit of Insider Information, from the anti-apartheid campaign: when someone is arrested: you make as much noise as possible: as it is how to get them out. The same goes for any political source. Exactly what is occuring: is still doubtful: as often: both sides will get as much support as possible from any side viable. In South Africa we have seen organizations supporting "human Rights"; as within the UN itself: being utterly partisan, and seemingly ignoring abuses of such. The UN recently awarded two high level pro-abortion campaigners: awards for their "contribution" to humanity. The UN, is not infallible, and is as partisan as its local structures.

Israel: has of course pointed to other wars, of Western Nations: including that in Afghanistan; and in Iraq: and the what sounded like the Falklands: in attempting to justify attacks.

They still claim: that the moment Israel is safe from rocket-fire: is the moment they withdraw. Their battle is increasingly gaining bad press in some nations: due to a lapse in publicity campaigns: and their propaganda war. When America invaded Iraq: their propaganda war was highly successful: papers across the world: aired their propaganda about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq. Israel could have made wiser decisions: the 72 hour truce suggested: to allow in humanitarian aid: an allowance of the BBC or the like of EuroNews: into Gaza: may have done much: maintaining only air-strikes: could also have been more politically wise.

Some politicians: in Israel: desire the annihilation of Hamas from the scene, but the largely "moderate" government in power: still: is only claiming to be attempting to stop rocket fire.

The fact remains: Hamas; is not a government, not democratically elected, not a state, and not sovereign. They have seized the Gaza Strip: by force: from a legitimate government. They have smuggled in weapons, and are attacking civilians daily. An Israeli infant has been reported as a casualty of a terrorist strike. Hamas has chased away international observers, which were meant to watch smuggling: and consistently there is propaganda spewed throughout the Gaza Strip.

Israel itself, either out of distrust, or as they claim: for their safety; or to cover up what is happening: is not allowing in International Journalists.

Israel, has decided to invade a highly populated area: choosing war: rather than sanctions; and limited tactical bombings, or Police work; with Egypt, which could have aided the situation.

This could be partly due to the unfair partisan way in which many nations have treated Israel: this attack: could well be giving them the same press: as sanctions would have had: in many nations.


If Hamas is a terrorist group which they are, and if they are holding the people of Gaza, as media material, or "Human Shields", then this situation, is much the same: as though terrorists had taken a school: how do governments deal with this: via negotiations; via snipers, via tactical force: which is sure: not to hit civilians, if possible, or via arrests, and court appearances, if possible.

I know of; indirectly (I would be ashamed if they were my friends): many people, including South African politicians: who went to Iraq to be human shields, during the Second Gulf War. It is still the duty, of a civilized authority, not to hit human shields: if viable; at least: I don't think they are combatants: even if they are extremely foolish; after all: companies can't saw environmentalists chained to trees apart.

None the less: an immediate ceasefire by Israel: may be impractical, if not politically impossible to achieve.

Diplomacy and a desire to impress, has seen Israel allow humanitarian aid in, has created suggestions of three hour breaks daily, and has resulted in America largely ignoring the current war. This same desire to impress: is being followed by authorities: which were seen as too weak in their positions on Hamas; and have now regained some "credibility", with their constituencies: something which cannot be ruled out: as a cause of their invasion: their counterstrike.

Until an international non-partisan, independent force is allowed to investigate this situation: it is impossible to know where, when or if each side is breaking international law. Yes, direct terrorist attacks do break the law: Hamas: is a terrorist group: but Israel, is like the owner of the house which is attacked: they too, can be justly arrested if they abuse burglars.

An international tribunal needs to do something about Hamas, they must be Isolated, funding must be cut off, they must be disbanded and arrested. They are the cause of this situation: but if Israel, has mistreated the little child Hamas has brought with: to rob their house: then something must be done. There is no question that what Hamas is doing is both illegal, and terrorism, and unjustifiable evil. Only groups, like South Africa's Communist Affiliated: ANC controlled: government can ignore this. The question is: how legitimate are Israeli claims, that they are acting either as best as possible in extenuating circumstances: or obeying international law.

The real question is not whether Hamas is justified: they are not. The question, is whether or not Israel is obeying international law: and how Israel can act in the right way to sort this situation out. Hamas cannot be expected to do so: they are terrorists, and criminals: if we understand international law. The question: is not whether or not Israel has the right to defend themselves: there is always muttering about them: even when they do something good: the question: is as to their choice of methods in doing so.

A way to withdraw from this war: pride intact: must be given to Israel: or at least, a manner in which some victory (I am not speaking of military, but in general)may be won, by the group. Either, a win-win situation must be gained, or a win-lose: where the loser thinks they have also achieved what they can. Israel: is only doing so, in evidence of how sick the Israeli people are of living in war, in terror.

In the same way: as police brutality is something which is lamented: Israel; could be abusing its position, and going beyond the rights which the International Community gives them, but while any rational person should express worry over statistics; until the fog of war clears, it is unclear what we are dealing with at all.

It was just as unclear in the Russia-Georgia conflict recently; where it is now though by many: that both nations had broken international law.

As it is, the high casualties experienced: must be investigated: and leaving the situation, as is: can no longer be tolerated: the International Community: must force through, even quietly: a way for permanent peace.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Retraction

In an article: http://southafricancatholic.blogspot.com/2008/12/israel-gathers-tanks-at-border-of.html

I stated that Hamas was the same organization that held Lebanon at knife point: this is incorrect: the correct phrase is: same kind of organization. I am assuming it was a slip of the tongue, the two groups being so similar, and sounding almost the same: and an accidental assumption: in any case: for journalistic integrity: this is important enough to issue a retraction.

We Apologize for the error in our facts. Remember, you can always inform us of any factual errors: our main interest in in truth, and reality.

If you subscribe, you should receive emails on smaller retractions, when they are made: such as for spelling errors, etc.

Gaza situation: analysis

(Scripturelink Voters Guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

There is another possible reason for the current Israeli strikes, one not perhaps overly covered. America is entering a Democrats: presidency next year: under a person who has promised to be softer on international relations: this could be bad for Israel: American support ensures they are not conquered by the Arabic Nations around: and Bush is always helpful: he is one international leader who has read the definition of Terrorist; even if he's extrapolated a bit at times: he has condemned Hamas for reopening hostilities with an Israeli government, which has so far been viewed as too soft on the issue: and too friendly to Hamas: who continues to launch terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.

Hamas has political insurance out of fighting, as does the other group: to an extent: Hamas has no interest in the welfare of their people, nor in peace: but Israel: if the International community can make them feel safe: perhaps by funding missile defense systems, or other defensive aids: and by finally taking war crimes to trial: if Israel were to be made to feel safe: the entire situation would begin to end.

As it is, every Israeli attack: while seeming not to end the Catastrophic situation, is motivated by a desire to secure Israeli people's lives. Hamas: is so defiant: because their survival depends on an enemy to fight.

The only way to peace: is to ignore Hamas' desires: and focus on the needs of the people, and not what they have been propagandized into believing they want. With the entire situation: an international force needs to be deployed, and to ensure the Human Rights of both sides: the time for tit for tat negotiation is over: the time for human rights has begun. Negotiations: must have a goal: not simply squabbling: and a reason to negotiate: must be given: even if it is the threat, or realization: of international troops: and the Hague.

Soft solutions: are often the cause of fear: which, along with the feeling of injustice: these create: creates hatred: and a desperation which leads to war: and only results from a lack of hope. Both sides have become desperate: and all the condemnation in the world: cannot release Israel: from their justified fear: even if their methods may not be justified. Politics, and games must end in this conflict: there must be a final solution: one which unlike the Nazi campaign: does not involve wiping persons of a certain political or religious, or cultural group out: there must be international: armed intervention: via peace keepers; as happens everywhere else: and there must be at least the threat of international prosecution in the International Criminal Court: for all involved in crimes.

There must be a reason to negotiate, and a hope for justice and final peace from it: which only comes from a higher power, and I am not Referring to either of the religions, of the two groups: rather I refer to the United Nations.

Only by justice, can concord be restored, and by concord, shall peace largely be regained. At least those who ordered illegal actions: these at least must be prosecuted: unless extenuating circumstances can be proved... and not simply assumed.

I am not saying that peace keepers must fight Israeli troops: what I am saying is that these must be deployed, perhaps after fighting, or maybe in some ingenious manner. Also, why is it that Egypt continually closes their border? would this not help the situation, if it were opened: would it not begin to release Hamas' grip on Palestine?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Helen Suzman Dies: about a month ago she was still taking a stand: this time against crippling corruption in South Africa

(Scripturelink Voters Guide)

Article by Marc Aupiais

She was a Jewish woman, and a hero.

My Grandfather, whose life helped lead me back to the Catholic faith, stood for her party in the Freestate, but never got more than about 10% of the vote. Often, she was the only voice of reason in parliament: and considering what they attempted with my family: I can assure you: it took courage to stand. Without her: many on Robin Island: would have been much worse off: as an MP; she could go there.

I was speaking to someone who knew of her: the amazing thing is: about a month ago: she joined those calling for an Inquiry into the infamous "Arms Deal". Currently the head of the ruling ANC: is constantly managing to prevent this from going to trial: despite the arrest, and conviction of his financial advisor: for having what the judge termed a generally corrupt relationship with the current president of the communist friendly ANC.

Since Apartheid ended: for many South Africans, nothing has changed: instead: foreigners get their government sponsored houses: out of corruption: leading to attacks such as in the Xenophobia; much as it was in Apartheid. White South Africans: have to face discrimination: a company is only allowed to hire so many white people: meaning that due to a shortage, companies used to hire foreigners: until the ANC closed the net. On exiting government: ANC officials, often become successful "Blackchip" CEO's: in that companies have to do a certain amount of business with companies: which are majority black, and large companies must have large percentages of "Black" ownership: resulting in shares often basically being given away: so as to comply with racially motivated laws. Does this change the socio-economic landscape: unfortunately for the worse: while a few politicians and others become rich: and while the standard of business has decreased, and many businesses have collapsed: or hired persons in token positions, the ANC's leaving politicians: often become rich. In fact, the ANC: has taken a co-operating society, and once again resorted to engineering a society, as Apartheid did: more than this, are other results of ANC power: not only causing social tension: and making it harder for those standing for equality, and non-racialism: intimidation, threats of genocide, and annihilation, against political, and legal opposition: resulting in South Africa's version of the FBI: the "Scorpions", being shut down on investigating ANC politicians, and many other issues: including voter intimidation in previous by elections: have made for a landscape of fear, and often made those who stand for non-racialism: have to shut their mouths, for fear of being ridiculed, or shouted down.

Helen Suzman: was brave at all to still be making a stance: those she was apposing, had changed: but she still stood for South Africa: and is a credit to our Jewish brothers.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gaza Strip, Palestine: Israeli attack a "Christmas Present": citizen of Gaza strip

(Scripturelink Voters guide; c.f. Catholic News Service (independent; professional; don't always give full picture) 31/12/2008)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Israel's attack, so near to Christmas: is considered as a Christmas present, by one person interviewed in Gaza: who said that it was his opinion, that most people there hate Hamas, but are to scared of them to voice it. No name for this source was given.

Israel has been in contact with foreigners in the West Bank, extending short periods of permission to again exit the area. Another source said that they didn't talk about politics, rather: only about their immediate situation.

It seems likely that the source of all this information is Catholic people there. The accuracy of it is questionable, as to Hamas being despised, as there is only one source for this: someone who himself seems to dislike a group which he considers as abusive towards Catholics and Muslims in the area.

Condemnation of Israel, by lay Catholics in the Gaza strip, however: is something I personally have not seen since the start of the conflict. It seems, many in Gaza, just like many in Israel: are exhausted of the politically motivated impasse. Hamas continues defiance, and has at our last check: continued terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians: despite heavy losses. Heavy civilian losses, can be ascribed to a sort of human shield method used by the terrorist group: Hamas: which purposely places installations, and launches rockets also: intentionally: in and from heavily populated civilian areas.

As to whether or not this advance is justified: many sources would prefer a peaceful solution, at least: those outside of the Gaza strip, but other than supporters of Hamas: this invasion, seems viewed as relief from terror by some.

In the end, condemnations from Catholic sources fear greater hatred being caused by these battles: how justified this war is: will only be determined, after fighting has stopped. The Israeli government has launched this counterstrike: after hundreds of missiles were launched at Israeli civilians: an embarrassment: to a government; which has risked looking too friendly to Palestine.

The war itself: is a result of the failure of the International Community: in the peace efforts: embarrassing an Israeli government which actually co-operated with such: to the extent of being looked down on by Israeli people. A government, which seems to be fighting its war: for political survival: seen as having been too soft in securing Israel: now, spurred on by the opposition: the Israeli government is making a gesture to its people: a gesture, which has cost hundreds of lives: and which would not have been made, in the case: that this government had not been made to look foolish.

Israel: has decided to lift the corpse from its doorway: for years, it has been condemned for Palestine: often wrongly; it certainly is not implementing Apartheid: it is Palestine, which has taken a territory from Israel, and these are two separate states. The result of consistent calls for her destruction: Israel, has decided to finally rid the world of one of the causes of these.

This recent war, proves: not a failure in Israel, but in the International Community: simply continuing to Condemn Israel, while ignoring hundreds of Missiles launched at it: is a mistake; isolating Israel: despite the fact, their enemies: openly advocate terrorism: has only caused the Jewish nation to go it alone. As long as the International Community condemns violence: it is good publicity: but I have yet to see a real solution given: peace needs hope, and justice: but because Hamas could not survive it: the International Community has not once suggested an international Tribunal: to try members of both sides, and force through peace.

The words of the Israeli people: ignored by the world, as they daily face terror attacks; and endless threats: are so much more poignant in the eyes of their politicians: than a thousand protests, and condemnations. Until Israel is given the voice it deserves: it will continue to insure its safety in the only sure way it knows.

The civilian losses in Palestine are huge: but it needs to be noted: that these losses were intended by Hamas: should there be an attack: they have always used civilian deaths as a banner: and have not withdrawn from heavily populated ares.

This said, while I think there must be a better, peaceful answer to this: as long as the International Community continues to prevent Israel from having this option: by allowing her people to call for blood: out of constant fear: we will not see a solution. Any clever politics mean nothing: when Israel's people: are those forcing this war through: the International Community needs to look sincerely into this situation: rather than simply advocating peace: without giving a way to create it.

Both Israeli, and Palestinian needs: need to be put on the table: and those who are obstacles: unjust obstacles: not perceived ones: to a lasting peace: need to be taken down by the United Nations. Clearly, as seen in their strikes, and pointless fighting: Hamas: has it in their best interests politically: to insure fighting continues, and as long as terrorist attacks continue to hit Israel: any Israeli politician, also has it in their best interests to continue fighting: both sides also only lose face in hearing international voices.

Until the political necessity is reversed on both sides: there is no point in simply condemning fighting: because neither side will edge towards peace: until they think it is of benefit to their personal political interests.

South African Catholic

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