Over seven years have passed since President Bush declared victory in Iraq, and two months have now gone by since Obama declared that same conflict to be over, but for Christians in the Middle East, such talk of victory is hollow. For centuries, Christians living under Muslim domination have endured cycles of persecution and tolerance, but now an virtually unprecedented exodus of Christians from the region is underway.
On October 27, AFP news service quoted from a statement issued by Russia’s foreign ministry calling for "clemency" for former Iraqi Deputy Premier Tariq Aziz, who had been sentenced to death by hanging by Iraq's top criminal court a day earlier.
Voice of America and other news sources reported on October 25 that Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, has been sentenced to death by hanging by Iraq's top criminal court. Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic, was the only Christian in Saddam Hussein’s government, which was dominated by Sunni Muslims.
U.S. taxpayers, it seems, are not the only ones being taken for a ride by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The New York Times reported on October 23 that Iranian taxpayers, too, are being forced to pony up millions of dollars for the Karzai regime, a story that was confirmed, at least in part, by Karzai himself two days later.
The publication of nearly 400,000 secret U.S. military documents about the Iraq war by the whistleblower WikiLeaks earned condemnation from governments on three continents within hours of their posting on the Internet. The U.S. government, the British defense ministry, and the Iraqi prime minister's office all quickly condemned the documents being revealed to the public.
The Associated Press reported on October 21 that government officials in China had taken a woman from her home during her eighth month of pregnancy and forcibly aborted her baby.The report cited a statement made by the woman’s husband, Luo Yanquan — identified as a construction worker — who said that his wife “was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on October 10 and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.”
Liu Xiaobo, co-author of "Charter 08," was arrested two days before that freedom manifesto was published on December 10, 2008, and was finally sentenced on Christmas Day 2009 to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” Late last week he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his trouble.
Pakistani authorities on October 10 reopened the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan for NATO forces, ending an 11-day blockade. The Pakistani government imposed the blockade in response to a September 30 NATO airstrike at the border post, which resulted in the killing of three Pakistani troops. On October 5, the United States took responsibility for the helicopter attack and issued an apology, explaining that the pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents. “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life and will continue to work with the Pakistan military and government to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said General David H. Petraeus.
Totalitarian nations have always viewed procreation as an activity that is state business, not the hopes and dreams of ordinary people. Nazi Germany encouraged the right sort of people (in the eyes of the State) to have as many children as they could, and then made sure that the wrong sort of people could not procreate at all. The Fascists, less obsessed with race than the Nazis, also encouraged Italian families to have as many children as possible.
Officials report that the Pakistani government blocked oil tankers and trucks carrying NATO supplies into Afghanistan. The Pakistani government claims that the blockage is in response to an alleged NATO airstrike at a border post that resulted in the murder of three Pakistani troops.
Item: A senior Chinese general, reported Xinhua, China’s state news agency, on September 1, just met in Beijing “with the head of a leading U.S. think tank and discussed the building of strong military ties between the two countries, despite military exchanges between the two nations having been frozen since January. ‘A sound and stable China-U.S. military relationship is good for bilateral strategic trust and regional peace and stability,’ Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Ma Xiaotian told John Hamre, president of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).... ‘China has always attached great importance to developing military ties with the United States and has made efforts in this regard,’” said Ma.