In Brief



Inquisition Revision

International Herald Tribune, June 16

“The Vatican said Tuesday that fewer witches were burned at the stake and fewer heretics tortured into conversion during the dark centuries of the Inquisition than is generally believed …. In a statement, Pope John Paul ii acknowledged that the Inquisition was widely viewed as one of the church’s bleakest periods and that it loomed as a symbol of scandal. But he asked, ‘To what degree is that image faithful to reality? Before seeking forgiveness it is necessary to have precise knowledge of the facts.’ … While many experts agree that the number of executions commonly attributed to the Inquisition is inflated, some wondered if the church was practicing a sort of damage control on a centuries-old blemish.”


Stoiber Writes Off Czechs

Deutsche Welle, May 31

“Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber has called on the Czech government to concede that the post-war expulsion of 3 million ethnic Germans from what was then Czechoslovakia was wrong. Speaking in Nuremberg at the annual meeting of a group representing the Sudeten Germans, Stoiber called on the European Union to put pressure on the Czech government to repeal … a set of decrees that provided for the expulsion of ethnic Germans after World War ii. Observers say the Czech government fears that repealing the decrees could strengthen compensation claims by those who were expelled and their heirs.”

Middle east

Radical Govt. Voted In?

Meet the Press, NBC News, May 16

Tim Russert: “In those free, open and fair elections, if the Iraqi people choose an Islamic theocracy, similar to what we have in Iran, we would accept that?”

U.S.’s Colin Powell: “We will have to accept what the Iraqi people decide upon. …”

Russert: “But, Mr. Secretary, if the Iraqis opt for an Islamic theocracy, which could easily become a haven for terrorists, how then do we explain to the 782 [Americans] who died, or the nearly over 4,000 who were wounded or injured, that this was worth the fight?”

Powell: “I don’t think that’s going to be the case. I think that those who have given their lives in the cause of freedom for the Iraqi people will see that the Iraqi people are interested in creating a democracy.”

Al Qaeda Renewal

Middle East Newsline, May 28

“Al Qaeda, maintaining at least 18,000 operatives along with improved finances, was said to have recovered from the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. The International Institute for Strategic Studies asserted that after an initial setback al Qaeda has reconstituted its network of insurgents in 60 countries. The London-based think tank said al Qaeda’s operations over the last 18 months demonstrated the resiliency and renewal of the insurgency group.”


Who Owns America?, June 18

More than half of the U.S. government bonds now in circulation are owned by foreigners.