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   Politicsforeign affairs, unchaperoned

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To: Karen Lawrence who wrote (191)9/3/2004 6:25:03 AM
   of 261
Re: Then I read that organized crime places their people in low-level bank jobs to steal IDs. In other words, identity theft is actually an inside job.

Karen, you ain't seen nothing yet....

Where a bribe can buy an unsuspecting bride

Sharon LaFraniere/NYT

Thursday, September 2, 2004

The first Sylvia Tshigo knew of her marriage was the day her husband showed up at her door in March 2003, requesting a divorce. The 37-year-old Nigerian husband had in hand an official marriage certificate from South Africa's Department of Home Affairs. The certificate declared that she had married him in 2000, she said. He wanted to dissolve the marriage, he told her, because his mother in Nigeria was critically ill and he had to go home. At first, Tshigo said, she was flabbergasted. Then she was furious at the man and at the South African Ministry of Home Affairs, which handles immigration and passports, for marrying her off without so much as a fare-thee-well. "Home Affairs is supposed to be people who can be trusted," Tshigo, 31, said in a telephone interview. "I am so very disappointed."

Thousands of South African women would agree. In the past three years, the Home Affairs agency has ruefully admitted, 3,387 bewildered brides have complained that their recorded "I do's" were really "I never did's." More than 2,000 marriages have been annulled so far. Another 1,000 or so cases are under review.

The ministry itself is also under intense scrutiny. As investigators have discovered, marrying a South African woman without her knowledge was as simple as paying a bribe, averaging about $750, to one of many willing Home Affairs officials. The certificates were valuable because a foreigner who marries a South African is automatically entitled to permanent residence and a work permit.

As the most advanced nation in the region, South Africa is a magnet for immigrants seeking a new life and criminals seeking new identities. After Tshigo's ersatz marriage, for instance, her husband was hired as a doctor at a public hospital in Pretoria, enjoying the rights of a South African citizen. "That man," she said bitterly, "he has benefited a lot with my name."

Oh, and before I forget: My greetings to Manolo, your charming Mexican spouse...


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To: teevee who wrote (222)9/3/2004 8:04:26 AM
From: Chas.
   of 261
I agree with what you say but then we move on into the darker side of reality and it becomes really depressing...

I wonder if Marcos has already moved through this dark reality side of life and that is why he is such a pacifist....

it keeps coming back to Tribal mentality.........

have a good one


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To: Chas. who wrote (224)9/4/2004 5:21:44 AM
   of 261
Get used to it, Europe: Bush could win again
Roger Cohen IHT

Saturday, September 4, 2004

When Wolfgang Ischinger, the German ambassador to the United States, receives visitors from the Bundestag these days, they ask him what the result of the American election is likely to be.

"Well," Ischinger says. "The vote is very close. But the likelihood of President Bush winning is at least 50 percent."

The usual reaction is: "Mr. Ambassador, you cannot be serious. Are you suggesting Bush could be reelected?"

To judge by the Republican National Convention, which took over midtown Manhattan this week, Europeans and the rest of the world had better get over their incredulity and get used to the notion that four more years of Bush is a real possibility. This is a seesaw election: The candidate who looks like dead meat one week looks like a hungry hunter the next. Another swing could be just around the corner. But right now, Bush has seized the initiative.

The president has been helped by sloppy moves from the Democratic candidate, John Kerry, who got himself photographed this week windsurfing off Nantucket, an island retreat of the well-heeled. With less than 60 days to the vote, Americans want hard work from Kerry and fewer reminders of his wealth.

The Kerry campaign has given the impression of groping for a theme, or at least a sound bite, to derail the barreling Bush bandwagon.

In theory, the mixed economy should provide such a theme. But this first national election since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks seems driven by foreign and national security policy. In this area, and in ways that have illustrated the gulf between the United States and much of Europe, the Bush team has been relentless in attacking Kerry.

Here, for example, is the view of Senator Zell Miller, a Democrat from Georgia who has embraced Bush. "Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations. Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide."

This derision - with no basis in what Kerry has said - comes just a few days after Jacques Chirac, the French president, told his ambassadors in Paris that the ground rules for the world should be set from the "United Nations charter, which is the law that applies to all of us."

On this side of the Atlantic, among Republicans, contempt for the UN is very much in vogue, with contempt for France not far behind.

The moral framework within which this election is being framed by the Bush team is this: The United States is at a crossroads, faced by a nihilistic terrorist enemy bent on its destruction, and must take the fight to this enemy, whatever the UN thinks, under the unwavering guidance of its current savior-president.

The alternative: Armageddon on its shores as a Kerry administration wavers.

The message is not very subtle. It overlooks several troubling questions - the loss of American credibility due to unfound weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the loss of American moral stature due to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, the loss of American popularity due to a wide international perception of bullying - but it is a message that hits home in the heartland.

For a long time, the United States has defined itself against an enemy that threatened the freedom whose spread throughout the world it sees as a central national calling. That enemy was a Nazi, then a Communist, now a jihadist.

The Bush administration has seized this central truth, couched it in the moralizing and religious idiom that is the language of the Republican Party base, and developed an overarching argument designed to make Kerry look like a conciliatory wimp unprepared to defend America in its hour of need.

To many Europeans, the arguments - full of references to heroes and glory and the mystical forces that Bush, in his concluding speech, identified as "a calling from beyond the stars" - look simplistic, even dangerous.

Ana Palacio, the former Spanish foreign minister in a government that was friendly to Bush, put it this way during a visit to New York this week. "A widespread European view is that it is the very aggression of the United States - and of Israel - that is generating terrorism."

But such ideas do not impinge on Republican certainties expressed with a force insistent enough to frame the debate in America. The chants of "USA, USA, USA," that have risen repeatedly from the crowd in Madison Square Garden, most deafeningly when Bush said he would "never relent in defending America, whatever it takes," are indicative of a restive national mood.

While the nations of Europe have quietly retired from history - at least the history of great national combats - and placed their faith in international institutions and laws, the United States has entered upon another epic struggle that it sees as defining for the future of mankind. "A struggle of historic proportions," Bush called it, waged by "the greatest force for good on this earth."

A day earlier, Vice President Dick Cheney said, "The election of 2004 is one of the most important, not just in our lives, but in our history." On it, he suggested, hinged the security of the American people.

But, Cheney went on, "Senator Kerry denounces American action when other countries don't approve."

Then came the punch line: "George W. Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the American people."

Because those Bundestag visitors still do not believe Bush may win, Ischinger does not get asked about the consequences of such a victory.

But privately he is worried about the future of trans-Atlantic relations. "I can see the European editorials," he says, "the expressions of disbelief."

This week has made the roots of that disbelief clear: A big part of the United States is pumped up for a mission to demonstrate in the Middle East what Bush called "the transformative power of liberty."

Transformative upheaval is not the European thing these days: Been there, done that. So the Continent is worried.

Roger Cohen can be reached at

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To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (225)9/4/2004 9:04:26 AM
From: Chas.
   of 261
Excellent article, enjoyed reading it.....

there is a lot of over reaction going on at present.....

one needs only to check the historical records to see that USA is on the side of right, freedom, liberty and justice for all....

however we all have our own

Chirac has no creditability left since being caught in Saddam Husseins back pocket with "Food for Oil" favors and side deals...along with Germany, Russia and I wonder about Belgium......

the unfortunate reality of USA politics is that the best the Democrats could come up with is John Kerry(2nd choice) and not a very good one in any event.....

our 2 party system needs an overhaul in my estimation, especially regards the primary nomination process....

I remain a staunch conservative irregardless and would rather see Bush and the NeoCons in power than the Clinton/Albright act of Kerry/Edwards team.....

have a good one


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To: Chas. who wrote (224)9/5/2004 10:21:23 AM
From: teevee
   of 261
Iran Sees Nuclear Lesson in Iraq, N.Korea -Experts

Thu Sep 2, 5:15 PM ET By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration may think tough talk will discourage Iran's nuclear ambitions, but U.S. policy on Iraq (news - web sites) and North Korea (news - web sites) has left the Islamic state believing that only nuclear weapons can deter the possibility of U.S. invasion, experts said on Thursday.

Iran, which President Bush (news - web sites) has branded part of an "axis of evil" along with North Korea and prewar Iraq, saw Baghdad fall to U.S.-led forces in April 2003, the same month that North Korea told the United States it possessed nuclear weapons.

Now, with 138,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and North Korean diplomatic talks promising attractive benefits for Pyongyang, Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations said the message to Iran was clear.

"You've got to become North Korea, or you will be Iraq," said Takeyh, the council's senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies.

"Biological and chemical weapons don't deter the U.S. military and are no guarantee of territorial integrity or sovereignty," he said. "But nuclear weapons have a bargaining utility."

Added Vali Nasr, a Middle East expert who teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School: "(Iran has) come to believe, rightly or wrongly, that they're more likely to manage a threat to the regime if they have a nuclear capability."

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said in a new report that Iran plans to process 37 tonnes of raw uranium. That could give the country enough material for five bombs, though the IAEA found no conclusive evidence of an Iranian arms program.

Tehran insists the only purpose of its nuclear program is the peaceful generation of electricity.

The Bush administration, which accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons, intends to try to persuade the IAEA board, at a meeting later this month, to find Iran is not in compliance with its nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations and to send the issue to the U.N. Security Council.

The United States, which severed diplomatic ties with Tehran after the 1979 Islamic revolution, has refused to rule out the possibility of military action against Iran.

But some experts doubt Iran can be stopped from acquiring nuclear weapons given the country's industrial development and the momentum of its nuclear program, which began in the 1970s under the U.S.-backed shah.

"The most important entity to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability is the Iranian government itself," said Rand Corp. analyst John Parachini.

Army War College professor Sherifa Zuhur said the challenge of getting Iran to divulge its nuclear status will test the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 nonproliferation policy.

"You can't begin any further process of nonproliferation unless you know where everyone is," she said.

The administration has held out Libya's voluntary disarmament as an example for Iran, while trying to encourage democratic change inside the country by supporting reformers.

But experts said Libya offers no comparison with Iran and warned that domestic politics may not offer a solution.

"This issue's viewed the same way it is in India and Pakistan. It's a source of national prestige," said Nasr.

"There are pragmatic politicians who believe this is the only issue where the regime can possibly be seen on the right side of things by an otherwise unhappy population."

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To: marcos who wrote (182)9/6/2004 1:12:39 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261
The difference is that nobody claims Lindy is anything but a RW extremist. It's like the difference between Pravda and the NY Times. Sure, Pravda lied about Russian imperialism. Everyone knew that, including the Russian people. The NY Times lies about American imperialism, while masquerading as a neutral intellectual newspaper. In fact, the Times is more often accused of anti-American (a.k.a. liberal) bias than of pro-American bias.


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To: Chas. who wrote (205)9/6/2004 1:19:16 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261
Zell Miller, Dick Cheney tell it like it is...

You really think so?

"John Kerry is one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders -- and a good friend. John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment."

--- Zell Miller


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To: Karen Lawrence who wrote (218)9/6/2004 1:25:01 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261
GA loved Zell's speech. He came off as an angry and ignorant. That's his voter base. -g-


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To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (223)9/6/2004 1:26:19 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261

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To: Chas. who wrote (226)9/6/2004 1:28:52 AM
From: Thomas M.
   of 261
I remain a staunch conservative

Nothing conservative about you. You are a radical reactionary.


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