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15 Nov, Thursday
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Is Ayann Hirsi Ali a Victim of Her Own Success?

THE move this week by hardline Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk to revoke the citizenship of Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali because she allegedly lied on her application for asylum in the Netherlands, has raised many questions.
Hirsi claims that she was coached by immigration groups in 1992 to lie about her origins. She told authorities she had fled war-torn Somalia. In fact, she had left a comfortable family home in Nairobi, Kenya. That she was fleeing an arranged marriage was never in doubt.
But she used her renunciation of her Islamic faith and criticism of the oppression of Muslim women as a quick way into the hearts of the liberal and increasingly Islamophobic Dutch people.
Now, some of the same intolerant people she sided with in her political life have turned on her and given her a dose of her own medicine.
Ian Buruma has an interesting Opinion piece on this in the New York Times, and the Middle East editor of Radio Netherlands also has a thoughtful piece on her predicament here. In the Christian Science Monitor, Bruce Bawer, the author of “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within”, wonders whether Hirsi can find the freedom she yearns for in the United States.
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Middle Class Flees Iraq

NOT surprisingly, with the continued daily violence of bombings and targeted assassinations in Iraq, the NYT reports today that a growing number of the Iraqi middle class are leaving the country in order to survive.
With the Iraqi government incapable of providing adequate security at the moment, it seems normal to leave to safer ground until the situation stabilizes in Iraq.
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THE US Senate has voted to make English the national language in the continued debate on whether or not the US is being overrun by hungry immigrants south of the border, desperate for jobs and a better life.
While it is true that the US has become addicted to this cheap foreign labor, one would like to see an organized system of allowing foreigners into America to work, rather than just continuing to allow immigrants to sneak across the border and live as illegals for years on end.
Designating English as the national language does not seem like an extreme thing to me. With large parts of Florida, Texas and California inhabited by Hispanic immigrants who never bother to learn English properly, I think it’s important to make English fluency a requirement to get US citizenship.
Just go to certain areas in Miami where only Spanish is spoken and you’ll see what I mean. It’s as if you’re in a foreign country and not the US.
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FINALLY, the Christian Science Monitor had an interesting story on Thursday on how the German CIA had used journalists as spies and had also spied on journalists for years.
This, of course, is nothing new. The American CIA for decades used journalists as undercover operatives abroad until Congress forbade it to do so in the 1980s.
The German government has promised to stop using journalists as spies, but I find it hard to believe that they will completely stop doing so since journalists have access to many areas that are closed off to government officials. The danger here of course is that it unnecessarily puts the lives of all journalists at risk, since governments around the world will continue to remain suspicious of the motives of naturally-curious journalists.