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Dalibor Svoboda

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Everything posted by Dalibor Svoboda

  1. One of the pedagogical tasks for The Learning Bridge student group will be a digital story made by each student presenting student’s grandmother. By this task we shall get approximately 30 stories containing old pictures and English text or English voices telling about the women’s past. The best one may be published at E-HELP site at the end of this school year, in June 2006.
  2. Today when I came home from my teaching I was able to read a long article published by Financial Times (the thick FT Weekend is always stowed away in my home, seldom given attention right on Sunday morning when it’s delivered) about Paul Wolfowitz, a president of World Bank. The articles name; “Loan wolf” tell the recent story of Wolfowitz new carrier. It starts with introduction; “He is not impressed with all his top staff. He’s already offended some African leaders with his tough talk on corruption and he admits he’s got a lot to learn about his new post. ……….. At least I who did caught glimpses of Wolfowitz name when war on Iraq was debated and described got a better knowledge of the chap by this article, which can be read somehow shortened at: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/8291790e-2a5e-11d...000e2511c8.html
  3. At a meeting after Peters “Gothenburg presentation” we discussed and preliminary decided that all 35 students in subject Learning Bridge should accomplish this. After all most of them does have at home a family photo album and at least one of the parents to ask too.
  4. Is The Boston Globe, the newspaper published in the state of John Kerry and Kennedy family, the Massachusetts “official” newspaper also a part of a FOX News? Or shall I trust “at last” this newspaper when republishing extracts from the article which caught my eye. The whole article can be found at Boston .com : http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial...om_iraq?mode=PF Under the headline Good news from Iraq The article offer a positive description of Iraqis approach to democracy and the election for a new constitution. ”Looking at the political posters throughout Baghdad left over from the January election, I realize there may be a historical and cultural foundation that accepts democracy. And look at what's happened in practice. January's election turnout was astounding; it will certainly be surpassed this fall. A recent poll in the Arabic newspaper Al Hayat reports that 88 percent of Iraqis plan to vote in the October referendum. The Kurds and Shi'ites, comprising 80 percent of the population, embrace the draft constitution. Even disgruntled Sunni Arab leaders are redoubling their efforts to register voters. Many Sunnis will vote in opposition, but opposition in a democracy isn't a bad thing; it's a victory.” Some debaters on Iraq war compared the insurgency to the resistance during Second World War. The Iraqis people attitude towards the insurgency is described in the article in this way. ”And what does this mean for the insurgency? It's a disaster. The insurgency is despised because Iraqi civilians suffer most at their hands. Recently, even the spiritual leader of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist leader, demanded that attacks on civilians cease. And in the spring, Leslie Gelb of the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations took a tour of Iraq and met with local leaders. He observed that while Iraqis are often frustrated with the Americans, they absolutely hate the insurgency and its murderous destruction. Despite threats, Iraqis will continue to defy the insurgency by voting.” And what about the economical progress which besides all negative news coming from Iraq is seldom mentioned. ”Since the prewar period, there has been a 250 percent growth in the use of telephones. Electric power generation has grown above prewar levels, even in the midst of insurgent attacks, and after 40 years of complete neglect by Saddam. Every day schools are renovated (3,100 in the past year), and greater numbers of Iraqis receive medical treatment (healthcare spending is 30 times higher than in the prewar period).” The article is written by By Brian P. Golden in September 16, 2005 (Brian Golden, a major in the US Army Reserve in Iraq, is a commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy.)
  5. We did this debate already in February 2004. The headline then was “Bombing of Dresden” and the debate can be found at: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...wtopic=357&st=0 When rereading today the postings from that time and comparing them with this thread I somehow feel that contributors tried to debate in more carefully manner at that time. Is it because the devastative bombing was done by British RAF and not by Americans? Is it because Dresden bombing and others aerial bombing during Second World War are not so well known as atom bomb droppings on two Japanese cities (but it did in facts killed more people then in Hiroshima and Nagasaki)? I reprint two different postings from “Bombing of Dresden” to show how these are trying to understand and not simply to condemn. Interesting discussion on "war crimes". My dad worked on the A-bomb in WWII. He always felt it was necessary to use it - not to "punish" the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but to convince the Japanese government that it must surrender. It did, in fact, have that effect. Richard Rhodes makes that clear in his Making of the Atomic Bomb. Only the personal intervention of the Emperor forced the Army to concede defeat, and even at that there were those ready to attack the Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945, rather than surrender. Does that mean we had to drop it on populated areas? Hell, I don't know. All we know is that it had the "desired" effect. In the case of Dresden, it is pretty clear that the fire-bombing had no noticeable effect on our war aims. Strategic bombing in Vietnam did not have the effect people like McNamara thought it would. What about aerial bombing in the Gulf War? Did that make the subsequent land battle less costly? Probably.... The bottom line is that war IS a crime and when you get into it, you WILL use criminal methods to attain what you believe to be your aims. Like most other crimes, the fact that it is a crime doesn't mean we'll stop doing it. By Mike Toliver I have been in war. I have experienced hand to hand Infantry combat. I have wrestled with myself and my conscience for my deeds. War is inhumane and brutal and is the worst thing that humans can do to each other. War is inflicted one upon another and when this happens, then if a country wants to be victorious then all the stops have to be pulled. Is it more humane to kill 100,000 thousand people with fire raids, like the Tokyo burn raids or an atomic bomb? Is it more humane to kill everyone in a village with napalm or shoot them all dead? Is it more humane to try to force a surrender by destroying a city with all out bombing or let the war continue because the leaders will not quit? As noted War is Hell. Sadly enough civilians have always been affected by war and sadly they end up dying along with the combatants. As we progress technologically we have the means to destroy more cities and civilians when we have wars. I don't buy into the idea that the bombing of Dresden was a war crime. I don't buy into the idea that the destruction of Hiroshima was an act of terrorism and a war crime. I do buy into the fact that they were acts of war, plain and simple. While tragic, they were deemed necessary at the time. I was not there when RAF Bomber Command and the U.S. 8th AAF made the decisions to destroy Germany from the air so I can't make the judgments if they were right or wrong. To do so is revisionist history and we may be interjecting our own political prejudice into history and not necessarily teaching the truth. By Jim Hudson Even the initiator of the debate, John Simkin is showing in one of his threads inside “Bombing of Dresden” that the issue of "war crimes" could be dealt with in rather different ways: In recent years there has been attempts to defend the terror bombing of Germany. This has culminated in a new book by Frederick Taylor. This is part of a review that appeared in Saturday’s Guardian by Michael Burleigh, one of a new generation of right-wing, nationalistic British historians. Attempts to treat the bombing of Dresden as a war crime perpetrated against the innocent inhabitants of a historical cultural centre of no industrial or military significance began two days after the attack. This was the handiwork of the Nazi propaganda supremo Goebbels, whose "spin doctors" exaggerated the city's population by a factor of four to support the wild claim that two million refugees from the east had been caught by the raids, and who doctored the number of corpses publicly burned (with the help of the SS who had some experience of these tasks) by adding an extra nought to the actual figure of 6,856.... Frederick Taylor's well-researched and unpretentious book is a robust defence of the Dresden raids that counters recent attempts to recast the nation that gave the world Auschwitz as the second world war's principal victims, attempts that stretch back to the time of Goebbels. They continue in the form of criminalizing RAF Bomber Command's supremo Bert "Bomber" Harris for a high-level strategy that was largely designed to show Stalin that his western allies were actually fighting if not in, then at least above, Nazi Germany... Taylor skilfully interweaves various personal accounts of the impact of the raids on the permanent or temporary population of Dresden, including its slave-labour force. But the main thrust of his book is to defend a mission that was merely successful rather than exceptional. It came at the conclusion of a long war that, while generally brutalizing and dulling moral sensitivities, also had clear enough justification in the fight between good and evil.
  6. Today, on 17th of September at 1 o´clock p.m. Virtual school had been officially closed. The two days long closing conference “Beyond Virtual School” was held in the City Conference Centre, “Folkets Hus” (Peoples House) in the downtown of Stockholm. The 62 participants from14 different European countries were first taken on the nostalgic trip during the Friday afternoon when four different departments summarized their past activities under the headline “Highlights from the departments”. On Saturday morning relevant EUN projects and activities were presented. The most successful of these Xplora and eTwinning can be visited at http://www.eun.org/portal/index.htm. The conference was visited by two members of History Department: Anders Macgregor-Thunell and Dalibor Svoboda. In their two short presentations they informed about E-HELP project and its debate forum.
  7. Well, your overall postings and your last answer should probably convince me that the information worth to be achieved must be delivered from other sources than those I choose ....…… What a beautiful thought. In other words you suggest to me that I should visit www.moveon.org or similar places more often to get the RIGHT AND ONLY TRUTH about everything that is going around us …. Well …. Welcome the New World of George Orwell. By the way ……. this thread was debating at the start other things than we are debating right now…. Let’s go back to the debate where Simkin haunted Busch for poorly handling the Katrin disaster.
  8. The Post?? ……. Please inform me …….what are you trying to say? The Post is what ……….? We are mostly European on this Edu Forum … nurtured every morning by newspapers with the names like Dagbladet and Nyheter and Guardian and Le Monde ……. So what is so special with the Post ...... Oh yes … you probably meant Washington Post ….. Is it so bad ??!! …… Really so bad for you … to read this newspaper? Which newspaper do you than read in the morning? Is your morning paper informing you more correctly about the world around you in comparison with the Post?? If you feel that it is … than congratulation to you ...... You anyway didn’t loose the confidence in newspapers.... provided that they are the newspapers of your own choice ….
  9. Well if Charles Krauthammer is a FOX News personality ....... what a beautiful label you put on him ....... meaning that you will ever never bother to consider his argument ....... what about the these quotations bellow? Is it a more balanced information in your view??? Information taken from an article which tries to explain and understand instead of blaming and spreding misunderstanding …… which I feel is today a common way of arguing inside democrats in America and also quite often on this Forum. Poll shows racial divide on storm response By Susan Page and Maria Puente, USA TODAY ………… ”USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Thursday through Sunday finds a stark racial divide on other issues, including attitudes toward the hurricane's victims, the performance of President Bush and the reasons the government's early response was so wanting.” “Six in 10 African-Americans say the fact that most hurricane victims were poor and black was one reason the federal government failed to come to the rescue more quickly. Whites reject that idea; nearly 9 in 10 say those weren't factors.” ” … Rae Clifton, 52, a Web designer in Atlanta who is black and was among those surveyed, is certain that race and class did count. "If it had been a 17-year-old white cheerleader who was caught in the water, somebody would have tried to get there faster," she says. "But because it was poor people ... caught in a situation, it was, 'OK ... we'll get there after a while.' " Craig Betts, 54, a white man from Amityville, N.Y., disagrees. "Fifty years ago it would have been something else, but things are better now" when it comes to equal treatment regardless of race, he says. He attributes the problems to the unpredictable nature of the storm.” ”Overall, the president's job-approval rating is 46%, essentially the same as the 45% rating in the Gallup Poll 10 days earlier. That's at odds with record-low ratings of 38% in a Newsweek poll and 39% in an AP-Ipsos poll, both released on Saturday. An ABC News-Washington Post survey released Monday put Bush's approval rating at a record low 42%.” ”If Katrina has affected Americans' views of themselves, it also affected views of the USA from around the world. Even from friends, the reaction has been shock. "Anarchy in the USA," headlined The Sun, Britain's largest newspaper. "Apocalypse Now" said Germany's Handelsblatt daily. "(Al-Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden, nice and dry in his hideaway, must be killing himself laughing," France's left-leaning Liberation newspaper said. For a country that prides itself on its resourcefulness and take-charge aplomb, these are unfamiliar accusations. Americans tend to see their country as compassionate and competent.” ”Yet Katrina's devastation laid bare some uncomfortable facts: The nation that rescued Europe in World War II, helped Bosnians when they were under attack and repulsed Iraqi forces from Kuwait could not, at least initially, rescue New Orleans. The nation that claims many of the world's wealthiest people also is home to staggering poverty. The nation that champions equal rights around the globe has not resolved its own racial tensions.” ”The Blame Game. Why were so many trapped? One in four of those surveyed blame the mayor of New Orleans; another one in four blame the residents themselves. One in five blame the Bush administration. But blacks are much more likely than whites to hold the federal government responsible. Whites are much more likely to hold the residents responsible.” ”There's wide public support for an independent investigation into the government's slow initial response — 7 of 10 endorse that idea — though many are inclined to feel that congressional Democrats and Republicans are spending too much time at the moment trying to finger-point. About 4 in 10 say they don't have much confidence in the government's ability to respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks next time.” ”And Bush? His strongest political asset — the perception that he is a strong and decisive leader — has eroded to the lowest rating of his presidency, 52%. That's 8 points lower than in the previous poll, and 23 points lower than immediately after 9/11 — when his response reshaped Americans' views of Bush. A majority of Americans say the president doesn't display good judgment in a crisis, doesn't inspire confidence and doesn't "care about the needs of people like you." The rebuilding efforts ahead will take place in the White House as well as along the Gulf Coast, says Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist at the University of Texas. "This goes right to the core of his strength and right to the core of the thing that has enabled him to stay plausible despite the political partisan divide in the country, …… "
  10. It was a pleasure to read this article which is in its balanced views and conclusions far more explanative that postings which absolutely and definitely know how the effect of Katrina should be interpreted ……. And not to forgot whom to blame! I hope that at least some members of Education Forum will find more knowledge and intellectual stimulation by reading “Where to Point Fingers”. washingtonpost.com Where to Point the Fingers By Charles Krauthammer Friday, September 9, 2005; A25 In less enlightened times there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews). A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch. No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush. This kind of stupidity merits no attention whatsoever, but I'll give it a paragraph. There is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period. The problem with the evacuation of New Orleans is not that National Guardsmen in Iraq could not get to New Orleans but that National Guardsmen in Louisiana did not get to New Orleans. As for the Bush tax cuts, administration budget requests for New Orleans flood control during the five Bush years exceed those of the five preceding Clinton years. The notion that the allegedly missing revenue would have been spent wisely by Congress, targeted precisely to the levees of New Orleans, and that the reconstruction would have been completed in time, is a threefold fallacy. The argument ends when you realize that, as The Post noted, "the levees that failed were already completed projects." Let's be clear. The author of this calamity was, first and foremost, Nature (or if you prefer, Nature's God). The suffering was augmented, aided and abetted in descending order of culpability by the following: 1. The mayor of New Orleans. He knows the city. He knows the danger. He knows that during Hurricane Georges in 1998, the use of the Superdome was a disaster and fully two-thirds of residents never got out of the city. Nothing was done. He declared a mandatory evacuation only 24 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit. He did not even declare a voluntary evacuation until the day before that, at 5 p.m. At that time, he explained that he needed to study his legal authority to call a mandatory evacuation and was hesitating to do so lest the city be sued by hotels and other businesses. 2. The governor. It's her job to call up the National Guard and get it to where it has to go. Where the Guard was in the first few days is a mystery. Indeed, she issued an authorization for the National Guard to commandeer school buses to evacuate people on Wednesday afternoon -- more than two days after the hurricane hit and after much of the fleet had already drowned in its parking lots. 3. The head of FEMA. Late, slow and in way over his head. On Thursday, Sept. 2, he said on national television that he didn't even know there were people in the convention center, when anybody watching television could see them there, destitute and desperate. Maybe in his vast bureaucracy he can assign three 20-year-olds to watch cable news and give him updates every hour on what in hell is going on. 4. The president. Late, slow, and simply out of tune with the urgency and magnitude of the disaster. The second he heard that the levees had been breached in New Orleans, he should have canceled his schedule and addressed the country on national television to mobilize it both emotionally and physically to assist in the disaster. His flyover on the way to Washington was the worst possible symbolism. And his Friday visit was so tone-deaf and politically disastrous that he had to fly back three days later. 5. Congress. Now as always playing holier-than-thou. Perhaps it might ask itself who created the Department of Homeland Security in the first place. The congressional response to all crises is the same -- rearrange the bureaucratic boxes, but be sure to add one extra layer. The past four years of DHS have been spent principally on bureaucratic reorganization (and real estate) instead of, say, a workable plan for as predictable a disaster as a Gulf Coast hurricane. 6. The American people. They have made it impossible for any politician to make any responsible energy policy over the past 30 years -- but that is a column for another day. Now is not the time for constructive suggestions. Now is the time for blame, recrimination and sheer astonishment. Mayor Ray Nagin has announced that, as bodies are still being found and as a public health catastrophe descends upon the city, he is sending 60 percent of his cops on city funds for a little R&R, mostly to Vegas hotels. Asked if it was appropriate to party in these circumstances, he responded: "New Orleans is a party town. Get over it."
  11. You are in your answers drifting apart from 1) the content of reprinted article ”A war to Be Proud Of” and 2) my posting from 6th September, 2 o’clock PM. By doing this you are discussing things which do not always connect with what was expressed in these two postings. It’s your privilege to talk about what you choose to talk about but on the other hand it’s my privilege to show dissatisfaction. To my surprise one of your postings (from yesterday where you talk about Teheran and Jalta trying by this to answer to my Munich pact and Jalta agreement) is gone! I answered to this posting of yours by words ”Elegant …. very elegant” . Is somebody tampering with our exchange? Who? Why?
  12. Elegant ….. very elegant. Shall I write that I´m taking my hat of …… Do your arguments stand a scrutiny? In a short run? In a long run? Did you actually answer my questions or just dance past them …… as usual when debates are going on ……. The point is as you probably sensed from my earlier posting …… our debates exchanges ….. that I distrust you deeply ……. You know ..... words ....... and again words ....... when my fellow people have been executed or dying when trying to leave what you created for us........... Talking about justice in today’s world!? In today´s Iraq? I just can’t buy it from people like you ...... Sorry for that.
  13. I think that if you read my first posting (which was a reprint of the article from The Weekly Standard) and then look at your answer ( which sadly enough slightly divert from what was a point of debate in The Weekly Standard) and then follow my answer which focused on comparison between co-operation between democracies and dictatorship-country of Uncle Joe during Second World War and comparing this historical situation with dictatorship of Saddam´s Iraq against Iran in 1980th a dictatorship fed by money from France, Germany , Great Britain and at the early stage by USA…… then you will be on right track ……. It´s nevertheless so that you ( here I mean Great Britain people) are immensely proud of defeating Nazi Germany with the help of dictatorial Soviet Union. You are so proud of victory that Munich Pact and Jalta Agreement where you shamelessly sold millions of Eastern European are two Pacts which are …… well how should I put it ……… somehow a matter of high diplomacy ….. not to be shamed of …… something your kids in school read about without discovering what kind of betrayal it handle about ……! So when you are later critical of the cooperation by your country ( or other countries) with dictators like Saddam I just do not buy it. Such behaviour have been a matter of your diplomacy for centuries! I tried to say that the standard of dishonesty your country set on diplomatic stage during the Second World War created the dishonesty of today’s world. But sorry! I ´m wrong ….. because …… the standard of dishonesty started even earlier! It started when you (Great Brittan) by creating Iraq and giving all the power to Sunni Muslims in 1920th acted in shameless and unprecedented way.. The fact is, that it’s today other countries soldiers who pay with their life for the mess you, Great Britain, an absolute imperialistic country, created in Mesopotamian 85 years ago!
  14. Sorry ….. your answer is not an answer. You take as usual a simple way out of this dilemma. But you tried …………. People of your kind use always to many words ……. To conceal your own short comings. Please go back to the alliance of the Second World War. Do not try to politicise it in the spectre of today’s situation. Try to se it honestly in the prism of today knowledge. Do you have an intellectual power to do this?
  15. Well, during the Second World War the democratic regime of United Kingdom and United States decided to support “Uncle Joe’s” Soviet Union in order to defeat a bigger threat; Nazi Germany. Nobody was at that time unhappy that staunch pillar of democracy co-operated with a totalitarian regime. For the good sake of defeating the evil, democrats at that time co-operated with the Devil itself. Do you know about any debate questioning this?? Conclusion which I try to make is that when democratic regimes accepted the co-operation with “Uncle Joe´s” Empire during the Second World War, which basically afterwards condemned millions of Eastern Europeans to slavery (without any support of so called humanitarian, progressive and against evil demonstrating people of the Free West at that time) the democratic regime broke the rules of decency! Are you trying to say that the co-operation with Saddam Hussein when fighting Khomeini’s Iran was of the same sort as the Alliance fought against Nazis during the Second World War? What is your point then? Please explain ….. if you can. Or are you trying to say in your posting that what was acceptable during the time of the Second World War are nor acceptable today? Or are you trying to tell us that what Roosevelt did was fine ( the outmost cleverness of statesmanship …. it’s called) but what Bush and Clinton and Bush the Elder did is not fine? Explain it for me, please…. David Richardson!
  16. Inability to argue or not …… If debaters decide to leave the Forum with the feelings that their line of arguments are not at all accepted or welcomed you will soon be forced to debate solely with yourself. Your closely to 5000 of postings suggest that it would not be a problem for you! I, on the other hand would found it boring.
  17. Why so many people with different opinions often after trying to argue their point of view decide to leave??? This happened here and there and I feel sad. Debates tend to be one sided and unjust. Is this forum a megaphone for one single view? Or should this forum be a multitude of opinions and debates and ideas and views? Why it’s not so then? How much are we all loosing in our intellectual ability when the “right views” are forcing different other views away?
  18. The project E-Help tries to produce educational modules in the subject History. These modules will be accessible when stored at Forums at internet when finnished. Right now members of E-Help are producing national women’s history from the past 200 years. So far I contributed with four biographies of Czech women. One of the women I wrote about, Milada Horakova went through unprecedented injustice in the hands of communist regime in my country, Czechoslovakia. Therefore I decided to published “her story” not only inside “The Other Half” section of E-Help but also in this section when I previously described my life as a kid and then as a teenager. Maybe some of you reading what I wrote will publish a response ……… A documentary of Milada Horakova trial have been made and shown in Czechoslovakia. When this documentary reach you by your national television network, maybe some of you viewing it will publish here at this Forum a response, a commentary. I think I would appreciate it a lot. Milada Horáková (born 25.12.1901 – died 27.6. 1950) Milada Kralova (her maiden name), was born on Christmas Eve 1901. She was the second child of a middle-class Prague family. Her father was a middle manager in a pencil factory and an ardent Czech patriot. Her mother devoted her life to her family which consisted of Milada’s older sister Marta and a younger brother, Jiri. At the beginning of the First World War, her sister and brother died almost simultaneously thus leaving the family in deep grief. When Milada started her studies at Upper Secondary school, her mother gave birth to yet another child, Vera. When her mother died, the role of bringing up little Vera fell to Milada. Nevertheless, this did not altogether stop young Milada taking part in the turbulent events that occurred at the end of the war. Because of her active participation in demonstrations against the war, where she threw roses over the wall into a soldiers’ camp, she was expelled from school. She restarted her studies at another school where she took her exams after Czechoslovakia was created in October 1918. The new republic gave women equal opportunities to study any subject and to take any degree at university, something that was not possible during the Habsburgs’ reign, a period when women could only visit lectures in medicine and philosophy. Milada subsequently choose to study law at Charles University in Prague, though her first choice, which was not at all approved of by her father, was medicine. The years of studies were also the years in which she took part in cultural and political events in the newly created republic. One of her first engagements was with the Women´s National Council. She also met her first love at this time, Bohuslav, who was studying agricultural management. She took her Ph.D. in 1926. In the same year she also applied for membership of the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party. She married Bohuslav Horak and started her own carrier as a lawyer with the Prague City Council. There, her main task was to deal with social issues such as public housing and unemployment but she was also concerned with the welfare of unmarried and divorced mothers. At the same time, she was in close cooperation with the founder and chairman of the Woman’s National Council, Frantiska Plaminkova. This gave her the opportunity to travel outside the republic and to gain knowledge about how gender questions were deal with in other countries. These activities led to further engagements when new Czech legislation concerning gender issues was discussed and put forward. She was also able to promote her ideas through public speaking and participation at conferences in various parts of the republic. At the end of 1933 she gave birth of a daughter, Jana. After the signing of the Munich Pact in 1938, Milada Horakova, with the help of the Woman’s National Council together with Marie Provaznikova, the Chairwoman of gymnastic movement called Sokol, organised humanitarian help for the tens of thousands of Czech and German refugee families from the Sudetenland through the Committee for the Assistance of Refugees. When Nazi Germany, through the creation of the Böhmen und Mähren protectorate, annexed the rest of Czech territory in March 1939, Milada Horakova joined the Resistance movement. Through the network of the Woman’s National Council, she gathered valuable information and secured safe houses for the members of the underground Resistance. She was also a co-writer of the Charter of Czech Resistance, a document which outlined the goals for free Czechoslovakia and the aim of the Resistance movement. Together with her husband, Milada Horakova was arrested by the Gestapo in September 1940. Despite two long years of torture and interrogation inside Gestapos prisons in Prague Milada Horakova did not give in. From 1942, Milada Horakova was imprisoned at Little Fortress inside the concentration camp in Theresienstadt awaiting the verdict. In 1944, the Gestapo passed the death sentence on Milada, but the court in Dresden changed the sentence to 8 years detention. Her husband was sentenced by the same court to 5 years. It was in Aichach, near Munich that she served her prison sentence, and here she was liberated by American troops at the end of the war. On returning to the liberated republic of Czechoslovakia, Milada Horakova reentered public life, becoming a leading politician within in the Czechoslovak National Socialist party. She was a member of the temporary Czech Parliament, chairman of the Women’s National Council and co-founder of the Union of Political Prisoners and Survivors of Victims of Nazism. In the parliamentary election of 1946, she defended her seat, thus becoming one of the 55 MP’s of the Czechoslovak National Socialist party. This same year she was awarded two medals by President Benes, in commemoration of her anti-Nazi activities during the war. Many of her political stand-offs led her into clashes and confrontations with the Czech Communist party. These started immediately after the war as a result of her public critique of the Communist-dominated People's Courts, which in some cases deliberately sentenced citizens accused of collaboration with Nazis. There were also the Communist party’s indefatigable attempts to infiltrate all other political parties and organizations. As an upright democrat, Milada Horakova tried to prevent these undermining activities at the Women’s National Council and inside the Czechoslovak National Socialist party. Then, in the month of February 1948, after the resignation of the coalition government, the Communist party, together with pro-communist members from other political parties, formed a new Communist government. On the streets of Prague the armed People’s Militia marched in support of communists. The communist created a “people’s democracy” regime and started nationalizing all private property. The non-communist politicians, as well as intellectuals and other opponents to Communism were in many cases forced out of their jobs and positions in society. Many of them tried to leave the republic. Milada Horakova was removed from all her public assignments, but despite advice to emigrate, she would not leave the republic. “My place is at home” was the answer she gave to those who urge her to leave. As a faithful democrat, she felt oblige to fight the upcoming dictatorship. Somehow, naively, she thought that the communists would, in due time, be forced from power by the same forces that defeated the Nazis. On the 10th of March 1948, the popular foreign minister, Jan Masaryk mysteriously died on the pavement bellow the bathroom window of his flat. Milada Horakova left her parliamentary seat on the same day with the words “From now on I will wander a straight path.” A small group of dedicated people began to organize themselves into a movement of resistance against the communist regime. An informal group, centred on the former Czechoslovak National Socialist party MP´s Milada Horakova and Josef Nestaval, was formed. The group tried to keep contact with former ministers from the Czechoslovak National Socialist party. And there were the same tasks to be done as under the Nazi occupation: safe houses and escape routes out of Czechoslovakia for the persecuted. In 1949 the round-ups by the secret police, the StB, of those opposed to the communist regime began and the first harsh prison sentences were passed and executions began. Milada Horakova was arrested on the 27th of September 1949. Even her husband Bohumil was placed under house arrest for a short while, together with their daughter, but he was lucky enough to escape through a window and backyard trying in vain to warn his wife. It was not yet clear what she should or could be tried for. The thirteen people arrested together with Milada Horakova were politically active in three different parties. The scenario of the trial was rewritten several times under the supervision of two Soviet political-trial experts, Lichacov and Makarov, who worked closely with the StB. Finally, the trial was presented as the case against “Milada Horakova and company”. The interrogations of detainees were inhuman. Needless to say, all those accused agreed entirely to confess to the fabricated crimes. As witnessed years later by one of the survivor of the trial, Frantisek Preucil, it was not possible to withstand the interrogation methods: “After seven months in Ruzyne prison I was willing to put my signature to any document, even one stating that I murder my own grandmother.” Preucil also described his confrontation at the trial with Milada Horakova: “Her eyes! Her look wasn’t any more her look. It wasn’t her anymore standing in front of me.” The trial of “Milada Horakova and company” started at 31st of May 1950. During the last months of their detention, all the accused had to memorize and follow carefully the written script of the StB. This included both the questions they would be asked by the prosecutors as well as the answers they were ordered to give. The media, dominated by the Communist Party, described the accused: … “as the traitors of the republic… as the criminals who joined against the people of the republic in order to thrust a dagger in their back …..as the rats plotting from sewers against the working class …. as professional agents of the American, English or French imperialists ….. as the gauleiters and little Hitlers”. People of Czechoslovakia, from factories, shops, offices, universities and military service bases responded with more than 6,000 resolutions, which were delivered to the court during the final days of the trial, demanding the highest possible sentence: the death sentence for all the accused. The verdicts came on the 8th of June 1950. The accused were convicted on charges of high treason and espionage. The verdicts were four death sentences, four life imprisonments and five sentences ranging from 15 to 28 years. One of the four death sentences was passed on Milada Horakova. There were protests from abroad against this harsh injustice by prominent persons like Albert Einstein. Although Milada Horakova’s ageing father, together with her daughter, Jana begged the president, Klement Gottwald for clemency all efforts were in vain. Three days before her execution, Milada Horakova started to write her last letters to her family and friends - eleven letters, in total eighteen pages. They are the writings of an unbroken woman; a woman full of spirit, a woman trying to give those nearest to her some love and hope for the future even though she herself would be absent. The evening before her execution she was allowed a fifteen-minute long visit from her daughter together with Milada´s younger sister Vera and her husband. Milada Horakova was hanged on the morning of the 27th of June 1950. P.S. Between 1948 and 1960, 234 politically motivated executions were carried out in communist Czechoslovakia. 233 men and 1 woman, Milada Horakova. The letters Milada Horakova wrote during her last three days in life were never delivered to the addressees. They were eventually published in a small booklet in Prague in 1990. Milada Horakova expressed a wish to be buried at the family grave alongside her mother. Her ashes were, however, put into an unidentified, common-grave in the Prague-Strasnice graveyard some years after the execution. Bohumil Horak escaped from Czechoslovakia in December 1949. He followed the trial against his wife from the Valka refuge camp situated near Nuremburg in West Germany. In 1951, Bohumil Horak moved to the United States of America. Bohumil Horak died on the 13th October 1976. Jana Horakova, Milada Horakova’s daughter, stayed with the family of Milada’s sister Vera and her husband until 1968. She was allowed to leave Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring when she moved to the United States of America to be with her father. Milada Horakova was finally rehabilitated in 1968 and fully acquitted in 1990. Today, monuments have been raised to her memory and many streets and avenues bear the name of Milada Horakova in cities and towns throughout the Czech Republic. The Czechoslovak National Socialist Party was established 1897. The ranks of the party included industrial and farm workers as well as shopkeepers and small entrepreneurs. A large proportion of railway workers and state employees were also members. It also had a good following among teachers and the intelligentsia. The Czechoslovak National Socialist Party was the only party seriously competing with Social Democrats for workers’ votes. The policy of the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party was to promote the interest of the lower-income groups. After 1918, the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party became the main supporter of Edward Benes, first as Foreign Minister and later when he became President 1935.
  19. Another article which I hope will improve the knowledge about Katrin disaster in New Orleans. And which I hope will end the tries to politicised the catastrophy. Tnhe article is from New York Times and could be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/02/national...artner=homepage September 2, 2005 Government Saw Flood Risk but Not Levee Failure By SCOTT SHANE and ERIC LIPTON WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 - When Michael D. Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, returned in January from a tour of the tsunami devastation in Asia, he urgently gathered his aides to prepare for a similar catastrophe at home. "New Orleans was the No. 1 disaster we were talking about," recalled Eric L. Tolbert, then a top FEMA official. "We were obsessed with New Orleans because of the risk." Disaster officials, who had drawn up dozens of plans and conducted preparedness drills for years, had long known that the low-lying city was especially vulnerable. But despite all the warnings, Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed the very government agencies that had rehearsed for such a calamity. On Thursday, as the flooded city descended into near-anarchy, frantic local officials blasted the federal and state emergency response as woefully sluggish and confused. "We're in our fifth day and adequate help to quell the situation has not arrived yet," said Edwin P. Compass III, the New Orleans police superintendent. The response will be dissected for years. But on Thursday, disaster experts and frustrated officials said a crucial shortcoming may have been the failure to predict that the levees keeping Lake Pontchartrain out of the city would be breached, not just overflow. They also said that evacuation measures were inadequate, leaving far too many city residents behind to suffer severe hardships and, in some cases, join marauding gangs. Large numbers of National Guard troops should have been deployed on flooded streets early in the disaster to keep order, the critics said. And some questioned whether the federal government's intense focus on terrorism had distracted from planning practical steps to cope with a major natural disaster. Disaster experts acknowledged that the impact of Hurricane Katrina posed unprecedented difficulties. "There are amazing challenges and obstacles," said Joe Becker, the top disaster response official at the American Red Cross. Under the circumstances, Mr. Becker said, the government response "has been nothing short of heroic." But he added that the first, life-saving phase of hurricane response, which usually lasts a matter of hours, in this case was stretching over days. While some in New Orleans fault FEMA - Terry Ebbert, homeland security director for New Orleans, called it a "hamstrung" bureaucracy - others say any blame should be more widely spread. Local, state and federal officials, for example, have cooperated on disaster planning. In 2000, they studied the impact of a fictional "Hurricane Zebra"; last year they drilled with "Hurricane Pam." Neither exercise expected the levees to fail. In an interview Thursday on "Good Morning America," President Bush said, "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." He added, "Now we're having to deal with it, and will." Some lapses may have occurred because of budget cuts. For example, Mr. Tolbert, the former FEMA official, said that "funding dried up" for follow-up to the 2004 Hurricane Pam exercise, cutting off work on plans to shelter thousands of survivors. Brian Wolshon, an engineering professor at Louisiana State University who served as a consultant on the state's evacuation plan, said little attention was paid to moving out New Orleans's "low-mobility" population - the elderly, the infirm and the poor without cars or other means of fleeing the city, about 100,000 people. At disaster planning meetings, he said, "the answer was often silence." Inevitably, the involvement of dozens of agencies complicated the response. FEMA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, were in charge of coordinating 14 federal agencies with state and local authorities. But Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans complained Wednesday on CNN that there were too many cooks involved. Unlike a terrorist attack or an earthquake, Hurricane Katrina gave considerable notice of its arrival. It was on Thursday, Aug. 25, that a tropical storm that had formed in the Bahamas reached hurricane strength and got its name. The same day, Katrina made landfall in Florida, dumping up to 18 inches of rain. It then moved slowly out over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, growing by the hour. Though its path remained uncertain, the Gulf Coast was clearly threatened, with New Orleans a possible target. Officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA and the Homeland Security Department said they were taking steps to prepare for the hurricane's arrival. Army Corps personnel, in charge of maintaining the levees in New Orleans, started to secure the locks, floodgates and other equipment, said Greg Breerwood, deputy district engineer for project management at the Army Corps of Engineers. "We knew if it was going to be a Category 5, some levees and some flood walls would be overtopped," he said. "We never did think they would actually be breached." The uncertainty of the storm's course affected Pentagon planning. "We did not have precision on where it would make landfall," said Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, the head of the National Guard Bureau. "It could have been anywhere from Texas all the way over to Florida." Some 10,000 National Guard troops were mobilized, 7,000 of them in Louisiana and Mississippi. But the Defense Department could not put soldiers and equipment directly in the possible path of the storm, General Blum said. On Saturday, at the urging of FEMA, Mr. Bush declared an emergency in Louisiana, allowing the agency to promise financial assistance to state and local governments and to move ready-to-eat meals, medicine, ice, tarpaulins, water and other supplies to the region. By Sunday, Katrina had become a Category 5 hurricane, with winds of 175 miles per hour. The president extended the emergency declaration to Mississippi and Alabama. Mayor Nagin, who had urged New Orleans residents to flee on Saturday, ordered a mandatory evacuation. It would have been up to local officials, a FEMA spokeswoman said, to hire buses to move people without transportation out of the city. Rodney Braxton, the chief lobbyist for New Orleans, said many of the city's poorest "had nowhere to go outside the region and no way to get there." He added: "And there wasn't enough police power to go to each house to say, 'You have to go, come with me.' " In a city with so many residents living in poverty, the hurricane came at the worst possible time: the end of the month, when those depending on public assistance are waiting for their next checks to be mailed on the first of the month. Without the checks, many residents didn't have money for gasoline, bus fare or lodging. City officials said they provided free transportation from pick-up points publicized on television, radio and by people shouting through megaphones on the streets. In addition to the Superdome, officials opened schools and the convention center as shelters. Mr. Braxton said he believed the city was "aggressive enough" in conducting the evacuation. "We had everything we thought we needed in place," he said. "I don't think anybody could ever plan for the magnitude that Katrina ended up being." But Susan Cutter, a geography professor at the University of South Carolina and an emergency preparedness expert, said Mayor Nagin should have ordered a mandatory evacuation on Thursday or Friday. "Evacuation is a precaution," she said. "I don't think they would have taken a political hit if they had ordered it, and it helped." While New Orleans residents fled the city or gathered in the Superdome, federal agencies positioned search and rescue teams and medical assistance teams from Tennessee to Texas, according to Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security. Before it made landfall on Monday, the storm turned slightly to the east, avoiding a direct hit on New Orleans. The winds had eased slightly to 140 miles per hour, reducing Katrina's strength to Category 4, and officials counted themselves lucky. But on Tuesday, when the levees breached, a desperate situation became catastrophic. There was no fast way to fix them, Mr. Breerwood of the Army Corps said, because delivery of heavy-duty equipment was hindered by the destruction. The National Guard was having similar troubles. While troops were stationed in the region, they could not move quickly into the New Orleans area. And in Mississippi, the zone of destruction was so widespread, it was difficult to cover it all quickly, officials said. "It is not a function of more people, but how many people can you move on the road system that exists now in Louisiana and in Mississippi," said General Blum of the National Guard. "How many people can you put through that funnel that a storm has taken four lane highways and turned them into goat trails?" On Wednesday, Mr. Bush, having cut short his vacation, convened a federal task force. With looting spreading throughout New Orleans, Guard officials said they were doubling the call by this weekend, to 21,000 forces, one-third of them military police officers. On Thursday, General Blum said more than 32,000 Guard members would be deployed in the gulf region by Monday. Currently, the states' governors control their National Guard, with the Pentagon and other federal agencies like FEMA, coordinating operations with the state. The administration has resisted federalizing the relief operation, in large part because officials say it would severely limit the National Guard's ability to conduct law enforcement missions for which they are specifically trained. "Federalizing the National Guard for purposes of law enforcement would be a last resort, not a first resort," said Paul McHale, assistant secretary of defense for homeland security, told reporters on Thursday. A 1878 law restricts active-duty military forces from performing domestic law enforcement duties. But in extreme emergencies, like some of the race riots and civil disorders in the 1960's, federal troops have been sent in to restore order. The administration has also balked at ordering active-duty military forces, such as the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C., to intervene in a civilian law enforcement role to stop looting and restore order. Late Tuesday, the Pentagon dispatched five ships to the gulf, but four of the ships are coming from Norfolk, Va., four days' sailing time away. Some military analysts criticized the Pentagon's response. "Is the problem that they are only just now beginning to understand how serious the damage was?" said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity .org, a national security policy group in Washington. "Did they not have a contingency for a disaster of this magnitude?" The chaotic response came despite repeated efforts over many years to plan a coordinated defense if the worst should occur. As recently as July 2004, federal, state and local officials cooperated on the Hurricane Pam drill, which predicted 10 to 15 feet of water in parts of the city and the evacuation of one million people. Martha Madden, who was the Louisiana secretary of environmental quality from 1987-1988, said that the potential for disaster was always obvious and that "FEMA has known this for 20 years." "Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent, in studies, training and contingency plans, scenarios, all of that," said Ms. Madden, now a consultant in strategic planning. The Army Corps, she said, should have had arrangements in place with contractors who had emergency supplies at hand, like sandbags or concrete barriers, the way that environmental planners have contracts to handle oil spills. While his agency is facing harsh criticism, Patrick Rhode, FEMA's deputy director, defended its performance as "probably one of the most efficient and effective responses in the country's history." He recalled that after Mr. Brown, his boss, returned from his tsunami tour, he asked if the United States was better prepared for a disaster than the ravaged countries he had visited. "We felt relatively comfortable that this country could mobilize the response necessary," he said. Reporting for this article was contributed by Eric Schmitt, Thom Shanker and Matthew L. Wald from Washington; Christopher Drew and Susan Saulny from Baton Rouge; Joseph B. Treaster from New Orleans; and David Rohde from New York..
  20. Perhaps this article can add information to this ongoing debate started by John Simkin. It is taken from: National Revue on line …… http://www.nationalreview.com/script/print...00509020719.asp Where are the Guardsmen? Right where they ought to be. So is the war in Iraq causing troop shortfalls for hurricane relief in New Orleans? In a word, no. A look at the numbers should dispel that notion. Take the Army for example. There are 1,012,000 soldiers on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard. Of them, 261,000 are deployed overseas in 120 countries. Iraq accounts for 103,000 soldiers, or 10.2 percent of the Army. That’s all? Yes, 10.2 percent. That datum is significant in itself, a good one to keep handy the next time someone talks about how our forces are stretched too thin, our troops are at the breaking point, and so forth. If you add in Afghanistan (15,000) and the support troops in Kuwait (10,000) you still only have 12.6 percent. So where are the rest? 751,000 (74.2 percent) are in the U.S. About half are active duty, and half Guard and Reserve. The Guard is the real issue of course — the Left wants you to believe that the country has been denuded of its citizen soldiers, and that Louisiana has suffered inordinately because Guardsmen and women who would have been available to be mobilized by the state to stop looting and aid in reconstruction are instead risking their lives in Iraq. Not hardly. According to Lieutenant General H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, 75 percent of the Army and Air National Guard are available nationwide. In addition, the federal government has agreed since the conflict in Iraq started not to mobilize more than 50 percent of Guard assets in any given state, in order to leave sufficient resources for governors to respond to emergencies. In Louisiana only about a third of Guard personnel are deployed, and they will be returning in about a week as part of their normal rotation. The Mississippi Guard has 40 percent overseas. But Louisiana and Mississippi are not alone in this effort — under terms of Emergency Management Assistance Compacts (EMACs) between the states, Guard personnel are heading to the area from West Virginia, D.C., New Mexico, Utah, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Alabama, Washington, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, and Michigan. Thousands have already arrived, and more will over the next day or so. The New York Times has called the military response “a costly game of catch up.” Catching up compared to what, one wonders. National Guard units were mobilized immediately; 7,500 troops from four states were on the ground within 24 hours of Katrina — a commendable response given the disruptions to the transportation infrastructure. The DOD response is well ahead of the 1992 Hurricane Andrew timetable. Back then, the support request took nine days to crawl through the bureaucracy. The reaction this time was less than three days officially, and DOD had been pre-staging assets in anticipation of the aid request from the moment Katrina hit. DOD cannot act independently of course; the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the lead agency. Requests for assistance have to be routed from local officials through FEMA to U.S. Northern Command and then to the necessary components. In practice, this means state officials have to assess damage and determine relief requirements; FEMA has to come up with a plan for integrating the military into the overall effort; DOD has to begin to pack and move the appropriate materiel, and deploy sufficient forces. This has all largely been or is being accomplished. Seven thousand mostly Navy and other specialized assets are currently in the area directly supporting hurricane relief, and a much larger number of other forces are en route. The process has been functioning remarkably smoothly under the circumstances. It is hard to understand what more should, or realistically could have been done up to this point. A disaster of this magnitude is certain to be politicized, but it seems early in the game to be assessing blame for a response effort that has only been underway a few days in a crisis that is still developing; particularly such a rapid response. Moreover, it is simply not plausible to use the situation to critique the force structure in Iraq. The Guard is demonstrating that it can fulfill both its state and federal responsibilities, as it was designed and intended to do. Of course, it is impossible to win in these situations; critics will always find a way. A year ago after Hurricane Charley, the president was accused of responding too quickly, allegedly to curry favor with Florida voters. Back then only a few fringe characters tried to make the Iraq/Guard connection. It is a shame that the Times has drifted in their direction. — James S. Robbins is senior fellow in national-security affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council, a trustee for the Leaders for Liberty Foundation, and an NRO contributor.
  21. Perhaps this article taken from Houston Chronicle (and could be found at http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/politics/3328861) will contribute to develop this debate. Sheehan's acts divide other grieving mothers Some identify with her loss, but others fear what her anti-war effort will do to troops By MELANIE MARKLEY Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Cindy Sheehan's grief and anger about the military death of her son in Iraq has captured international attention since the California woman started protesting near President Bush's ranch outside Crawford earlier this month. But Sheehan is not the only mother to lose a child in the war. And though a group of Houston mothers interviewed by the Houston Chronicle say they can understand Sheehan's profound grief, they don't all agree with how she's expressing it. Leigh Bishop, a psychologist at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, said it's not surprising. "I think the loss of a child is particularly difficult for mothers," said Bishop, also a faculty member with the Menninger Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. "But whether it is one's child, whether one is the mother or father, there are a variety of different factors that may cause different individuals to experience and express that grief in different ways." As the protests and counterprotests continue to swirl around the tiny town of Crawford, some Houston-area women share their thoughts about Sheehan and the war that claimed their sons' lives. So far, at least 30 soldiers from the Greater Houston area have died in Iraq. Barbara Rozier Barbara Rozier, a Katy real estate agent whose son died three days after turning 25 in July 2003, wishes she were in Crawford, but not to support Sheehan's protest against the war. The Katy mom would most assuredly be on the other side of the issue, demonstrating in support of President Bush and his decision to stay the course in Iraq. She resents Sheehan's approach and her efforts to galvanize opposition to the war. "I can identify with her grief," said Rozier. "It can be overwhelming at times, and she certainly has a right to her opinion. But I feel she is being used by the liberals right now, and the media is giving her way too much attention. I think she is entitled to speak, but she does not deserve a platform because she definitely does not speak for me." Rozier's son, Army 1st Lt. Jonathan David Rozier, was killed when his unit was struck by rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire in Baghdad. Her anger is directed at the terrorists, not at Bush. And she says she believes her son died for a very noble cause — fighting terrorism. "Our son, just as Cindy Sheehan's son, volunteered for this privilege, this mission," she said. "And I think when you volunteer for the military, it's pretty much understood you will be defending your country no matter what happens. And they believe in the mission. Otherwise, they would not or should not have volunteered." Amy Branham Amy Branham, whose son died in a car accident days before he was to ship out to Iraq, was at Sheehan's side when the protesting mom was suddenly thrust into the limelight as the voice of anti-war sentiment in America. Branham, of Houston, blames Bush for the February 2004 death of her son, Army Sgt. Jeremy Smith. She said her son never would have been at Fort Hood, near where he died, had he not been going to a war that she now believes is "illegal and unjust." "When my son Jeremy died last year, I was contacted by the media, and I was so angry about the war and about my son's death, and I blamed George Bush, and I still do," she said. "But I didn't want to make his death into some kind of political thing at the time. I wanted to honor his memory and what he had done in his service for the country. "But as time has gone on, and more and more information has come out about this war, and the lies and the way information was altered to bring us to where we are now, I just got more and more angry." Branham said her son believed in the president and believed in his mission, but "I feel that if he were to see what is going on today, he would be very angry like so many people are." Pam Moore Pam Moore still becomes emotional when she talks about the death of her 21-year-old son, Army Pfc. Stuart Moore. She does not side with Sheehan. "Grief is dealt with by each individual in their own way," said Moore, a travel agent in Livingston. "Ours was to support our troops, and hers was to protest the war." Moore's son was killed in December 2003 along with another soldier and an Iraqi translator when a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy. Moore said that people grieve in many ways, and she and her family have turned to their faith, their church, their community and their son's friends to help them deal with their loss. After her son's death, Moore said her family began a communitywide program called "Operation Care." The family has been sending care packages to soldiers for more than a year. Moore worries that the ongoing attention given to Sheehan's protest will only demoralize the troops who need the country's support. "It is of the utmost importance that our troops see and hear that we are supporting them," she said. "It not only improves their morale, but more importantly, they feel comfortable in returning information home of their accomplishments." Velma Moss Velma Moss, of Houston, isn't about to join Sheehan's protest movement, but she said she understands what moves the grieving mother. She finds herself trying to make sense of the death of her son, Army Sgt. Keelan Moss, 23. Moss' son was killed along with seven other soldiers when their helicopter was hit by a missile fired from insurgents near Fallujah in November 2003. "I don't think he died in vain — and I guess I'm contradicting myself — but I don't know why we went over there," said Moss, a medical transcriptionist. "But in order for me to make sense of it, I can't just say he died for nothing. So I have to say he died for a reason, but the reason he went over there in the first place, I fail to understand that." Moss said she is just trying to deal with her loss as best she can and move on with her life. She can't watch the news about Iraq, she said, because it's still so painful. But she said she can't criticize Sheehan for what she is doing. "She has the right to say whatever she feels," she said. "She's grieving, and we all grieve differently. So maybe that is what she needs to do to get through the day. Who has the right to say she is wrong? Everybody didn't choose that path, but you do what you have to do. This is America, and she has the right. That's why we live in America."
  22. Právě když jsem dokončil životopis dr.Milady Horákové obdržel jsem tuhle zprávu: Ještě jsem Ti chtěla napsat, že jsem četla v novinách, že celý proces je natočen a teprve před týdnem byl v Uherském Hradišti poprvé promítán veřejnosti na festivalu dokumentárních filmů. Přál bych si aby někdo kdo film již měl možnost vidět (byl již vysílán v televizi?) se ozval. A snad i film zde na Forum popsal. Životopis dr.Milady Horákové je uveřejněn na: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4011 Hned za životopisy naších ostatních žen o kterých jsem informoval v předchozím článku. A znovu, děkuji předem za připomínky.
  23. I found the article A War to Be Proud Of extremely interesting and by reprinting a few passages from it I hope that I will guide some debaters from this forum to the place where the whole article can be found. The article can be found at: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Publ...05/995phqjw.asp I like the beginning of the article. It’s provocative but it at the same time forces everyone to think and maybe rethink ones own standard approach. ”LET ME BEGIN WITH A simple sentence that, even as I write it, appears less than Swiftian in the modesty of its proposal: "Prison conditions at Abu Ghraib have improved markedly and dramatically since the arrival of Coalition troops in Baghdad." I could undertake to defend that statement against any member of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, and I know in advance that none of them could challenge it, let alone negate it. Before March 2003, Abu Ghraib was an abattoir, a torture chamber, and a concentration camp. Now, and not without reason, it is an international byword for Yankee imperialism and sadism. Yet the improvement is still, unarguably, the difference between night and day. How is it possible that the advocates of a post-Saddam Iraq have been placed on the defensive in this manner? “ A few lines bellow the writer is trying to compare Iraq war with other conflicts and wars recently so poorly handled. “The balance sheet of the Iraq war, if it is to be seriously drawn up, must also involve a confrontation with at least this much of recent history. ....... Was James Baker correct to say, in his delightfully folksy manner, that the United States did not "have a dog in the fight" that involved ethnic cleansing for the mad dream of a Greater Serbia? Was the Clinton administration prudent in its retreat from Somalia, or wise in its opposition to the U.N. resolution that called for a preemptive strengthening of the U.N. forces in Rwanda? I know hardly anybody who comes out of this examination with complete credit. There were neoconservatives who jeered at Rushdie in 1989 and who couldn't see the point when Sarajevo faced obliteration in 1992. There were leftist humanitarians and radicals who rallied to Rushdie and called for solidarity with Bosnia, but who--perhaps because of a bad conscience about Palestine--couldn't face a confrontation with Saddam Hussein even when he annexed a neighbor state that was a full member of the Arab League and of the U.N. …” The article also expresses an appreciation for the statesmanship of Tony Blair. After so many critical words Blair received at this forum I’m delighted to quote them. “The only speech by any statesman that can bear reprinting from that low, dishonest decade came from Tony Blair when he spoke in Chicago in 1999. Welcoming the defeat and overthrow of Milosevic after the Kosovo intervention, he warned against any self-satisfaction and drew attention to an inescapable confrontation that was coming with Saddam Hussein. So far from being an American "poodle," as his taunting and ignorant foes like to sneer, Blair had in fact leaned on Clinton over Kosovo and was insisting on the importance of Iraq while George Bush was still an isolationist governor of Texas.” The reasons for invasion of Iraq are given with the help of following arguments. I know that there are people who will never accept them. I would suggest that we should let the history to judge this. ”This state--Saddam's ruined and tortured and collapsing Iraq--had also met all the conditions under which a country may be deemed to have sacrificed its own legal sovereignty. To recapitulate: It had invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored and nurtured international thugs and killers, and flouted every provision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United Nations, in this crisis, faced with regular insult to its own resolutions and its own character, had managed to set up a system of sanctions-based mutual corruption. In May 2003, had things gone on as they had been going, Saddam Hussein would have been due to fill Iraq's slot as chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Meanwhile, every species of gangster from the hero of the Achille Lauro hijacking to Abu Musab al Zarqawi was finding hospitality under Saddam's crumbling roof.” ...... The case for overthrowing Saddam was unimpeachable. Why, then, is the administration tongue-tied? by Christopher Hitchens at The Weekly Standard, from the September 5 / September 12, 2005 issue.
  24. This thread is about teaching in the classroom (it was amazing how I could recognize different classrooms situations from my own school teaching experience when reading Raymond Blair postings) but also about filmed interviews of older people. I presume that interviewing old people about their life is a good way to make history learning more lively and by this also more attractive. Fifteen years ago I asked my students just before leaving for Christmas leave to interview parents or grandparents about their life. When returning back to school after fourteen days most of them were holding typed papers with their relative’s stories. We made a beautiful booklet containing these stories and I also photocopied it to each of them. And then I tried to disseminate at least some of these stories inside the class and to my sorrow I discover that very few took care. Today I participate when some of my classes make this kind of interviews with the help of modern technique and I see around me almost the same reaction to these products from fellow students. My conclusion is that its fun and it’s a rewarding experience to produce these kinds of products but it is hard to disseminate them in a proper pedagogical way inside the classroom. It is like students did not have time for these kinds of distractions “chased “ by fast flow of exams and work load from all other subjects they have to study during a single day. Do anybody of you have different experience?
  25. It must be more than a year I post my consent to participate in this activity provided that my knowledge enable me to give worthy answers. During the last year I think that I already answered some student’s questions. I will of course continue with this if I recognize that my knowledge will contribute to clarifications. I will also try to bring my students on.
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