Forget About That Corny Corner-Ribbon's Drivel! The Real Secret is HERE Indeed - not over there!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

This Holiday Season - Reflect On These Things:

A young couple looks at the names of Portuguese soldiers
killed in the colonial wars in Africa from 1961 to 1974
at a monument to the fallen, in Lisbon Nov. 24 2007.
A groundbreaking television documentary series
currently being aired on RTP is confronting Portugal
with unsettling aspects of its recent history.
Aspects previously unknown to some...
(AP Photo/Armando Franca)

In Portugal, they are finding out
that, behind polished appearances
and political propaganda,
they are just as bad as the Spaniards,
the Belgian and every other colonizer...
Aye, they are hospitable -
sim, they worship Nosso Senhor
and Nossa Senhora de Fatima -
but they have their dark side too...
(At least, what they did,
well, it wasn't without provocation...!)

In Pakistan, modern-day Christians
are finding out what it was like
for the First Christians -
and to those ignorants who say
that Christians are "not persecuted anymore"
and are, instead, the ones persecuting
and committing "atrocious, unspeakable acts" -
read this:
Muslims in Pakistan are threatening
the lives of the Christian minority
telling them to conform to Islamic Law
or they and their loved ones
(and their homes)
will be bombed to smithereens!
This information has been broadcast
through many sources,
including the VOICE OF ISRAEL!
Now, why would I, for instance,
doubt the veracity of this news story -
when it comes from the Jewish,
whom we accuse of having killed Our Lord?
They are kind to accept the blame
(while looking forward to the advent
of "their" Messiah...)
and hold it not against us to feel as we do
(and we, in turn, have no hatred
in our hearts - for the Lord Jesus Christ
It takes some getting used to the concept,
I suppose...
Not every Rabbi can do it...
I do not expect an Imam to embrace
the concept any more easier!
But I digress...)

In Sudan, of course,
it was all over the news -
an English lady's intent was her life saver
as she had very harmless intentions
and some extremists were still
calling for her head...
Allah showed her Grace
through the Sudanese Premier...
(Thus, quite obviously, there
we found out that, in Sudan too,
there are those with too much zeal
and there are moderate muslims
who will listen to reason.)

In Canada, meanwhile,
in the absence of any significant problem
a parade of little inconveniences
has been going on, in Quebec,
over the "REASONABLE
What people are finding out there,
is that, under all the apparent
gentleness and openness,
(for they still are that, whether
they want to admit it or not,
in the province of Québec)
are truly racist pigs
at the core.
They cry about, lament over
and lambaste because of
truly insignificant little
of everyday life -
the sort of which cannot be avoided
when cultures and religions clash.
It is utterly pathetic -
and totally predictable,
coming from the historical mistake
that is Quebec...

What we can retain from ALL this though
is the following:

Never dare think any class or creed is
"all white" and blameless -
there is good and bad everywhere.
There are zealots everywhere.
There are rotten apples everywhere.
There are dirty secrets everywhere.
There are cover-ups everywhere.
Nothing is "pure" down here,
on this Earth...
Think about that
this holiday season
and watch your guests
under a whole new perspective.
Maybe now, you'll

No rampant paranoia required now -
only calling for CAUTION here!

Don't trust everything
your government tells you
or even your kins, pals
or guru!

And don't follow the masses.



Portugal gets harsh blast from the past

Associated Press Writer
Sun Dec 9, 11:18 AM ET

LISBON, Portugal - The heads of enemy soldiers impaled on roadside trees. Hundreds of prisoners tortured, killed and dumped in mass graves. Napalm dropped on jungles where guerrillas sheltered, and grass-hut villages torched with cigarette lighters.

These gruesome acts were carried out in Portugal's name two generations ago during its colonial wars in Africa. But for most Portuguese, the events aren't history — they're news.

A groundbreaking series aired by public broadcaster Radiotelevisao Portuguesa is confronting Portugal with unsettling aspects of its recent history that for decades have been shrouded in silence. The series has become a top-rated prime-time program and the most-watched documentary in years, regularly drawing more than a million viewers in a country of 10.6 million.

"People had spoken very little about what happened," said Joaquim Furtado, the Portuguese journalist who created the series. "The effect, I think, has been positive. People won't be able to see things in simplistic terms now."

Portugal isn't the only European country being forced to address unpalatable aspects of its colonial legacy.

Three years ago, Belgium was shocked by a documentary portraying King Leopold II's brutal 19th-century exploitation of what was once the Belgian Congo.

In 2002, France had to revisit one of the darkest moments of its recent past when a Paris court convicted an aging French general for "complicity in justifying war crimes," in connection with his best-selling book about atrocities during a seven-year war that ended with Algeria's independence in 1962.

Portugal's wars against independence fighters in its 500-year-old African empire erupted in 1961 in Angola. In surprise attacks, rebels butchered Portuguese settlers, including women and children, on remote Angolan plantations. In revenge, Portuguese militias and troops carried out a vicious campaign of repression, despite pressure from the United States and United Nations to pull out of Africa.

Filmmaker Furtado, a well-known journalist with an almost 40-year career, spent more than six years digging up hundreds of hours of film footage and masses of photographs, some never seen in public. He also gathered firsthand accounts from war veterans on both sides, many of whom hadn't spoken out before.

In the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique, the documentary has been greeted with quiet satisfaction but no calls for an official apology or compensation.

"No one is going to react angrily to the film because it shows the past, not the present. The past is the past, the present is the present," said Custodio Rafael, a journalist with Radio Mozambique.

For Africans, the Portuguese atrocities have long been a matter of historical fact. But in Portugal, it has taken this documentary to explode the nation's myths about its colonial rule, which ended in 1974.

Antonio Salazar's dictatorship, established in the 1930s, kept Portugal in the dark about what was happening thousands of miles away on another continent. His censors killed unfavorable newspaper articles, and state media encouraged the war effort with reports of heroic deeds against insurgents classified as bloodthirsty "terrorists."

Within a year, the Angolan rebellion subsided. But parallel wars broke out in Mozambique and another Portuguese African colony, Guinea-Bissau.

Salazar, mindful that the African colonies enriched his nation and lent it a Cold War stature beyond its size, waged a propaganda battle that included the unremitting government slogan "Angola e nossa!" (Angola is ours!), which was even broadcast over loudspeakers at packed beaches.

Salazar, a flinty and unbending leader, changed the designation of the colonies to "overseas territories" and depicted their peoples as Portuguese who were treated as equals and were eager to remain under Lisbon's wing.

Ask Portuguese nowadays about their colonial administration and they will insist it was benign, so radio phone-in shows and Internet blogs are abuzz over the newly revealed facts.

Luis Quintais, an anthropologist at Portugal's Coimbra University who has written a book about the African conflicts, says they have "been immersed in a huge silence," while Portuguese history is rendered as the chronicle of a small, gentle country bullied by bigger European powers.

"We think of our colonization as having been soft, or mild, compared to other countries. But it wasn't, it was just the same," Quintais said. "We like to portray ourselves as victims, not victimizers."

The unwillingness to look back at those times has also contributed to the neglect of war veterans. About 9,000 soldiers were killed and at least 12,000 wounded in what was Portugal's biggest modern-day military deployment.

Only in 1994 was a monument to the fallen built at a riverside fort in Lisbon, near where the troop ships left for the wars. And post-traumatic stress disorder was officially recognized as a medical condition only in 1999.

When a 1974 army coup ended the dictatorship and installed democracy, the political parties wanted to start with a clean slate.

"Political power was seized by those who had opposed the war. They said, 'It's all in the past now, it shouldn't have happened, let's move on and build a new country,'" said retired Gen. Joaquim Chito Rodrigues, who served for five years in Angola, including a two-year stint as head of operations.


AP Writer Emmanuel Camillo contributed from Maputo, Mozambique.

Copyright © 2007 Yahoo! Inc.
The Associated Press

I would be remiss though if I didn't add my own two cents... here too!

Many thanks, extraordinary dynamic duo of Barry & Emmanuel Camillo, for making mention of what the Angolan rebels did to WOMEN AND CHILDREN. It demanded retaliation.

Salazar was "flinty" - maybe, just a tad, but not any more than Dubya is today...

And it came to me as no surprise that neither of you two *true blue* journalists (me, I am a mere pundit bandit of a blogger here!) would bother to research and find out the name of that "riverside fort" where a monument was erected in 1994, in LisboA... LISBOA, PORTUGAL, sim! ;)

But I digress...

Oh, AP and Yahoo - I merely made sure the article I am commenting on is preserved for posterity HERE, since you might take it off within DAYS - for it never to return or be seen again!

Even Salazar didn't do things that way - he ingeniously came up with different wordings, such as "overseas territories" rather than the hackneyed and heinous word "colonies"... Something the French never thought of, eh?

But that is another story...

On bigotry now...

Maybe the denizens of Quebec, Canada also have a vindictive point there; as they are always called "french frogs" by the rest of their very own country and yet THEY are the stepping stone for the MAJORITY of new immigrant arrivals into the country overall - a major and crucial influx for a population that would, otherwise, be DECLINING ALARMINGLY...

So, although I would never condone it, their racism and resentment is understandable as pure lashing back; giving back a bit of what they get...

A French-speaking population in North America remains an aberration though; the historical mistake I always allude to - although there were many more...
Man is prone to make them - only GOD Is Perfect!

Most of the Western Muslim establishment is comprised of Islamist groups claiming to be moderates. True moderate Muslims reject Islamic supremacy and Sharia; embrace religious equality and democracy.

What is a moderate Muslim? According to a dictionary, a moderate is a person who is opposed to radical or extreme views or measures, especially in politics or religion. Yet, majority of the public seem to be struggling with the definition of a moderate Muslim. Perhaps we can make this task easier by defining a radical Muslim and then defining the moderate as an opposite of the radical.

Muslims Against Sharia compiled a list of issues that differentiate moderate Muslims from Islamic radicals. Hopefully you can help us grow this list. 2008/01/what-is-moderate-muslim.html

Poll: Who is a moderate Muslim? 2008/01/poll-who-is-moderate-muslim.html
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