Oops

From the 2007-09-01 print of the Beijing Paper (新京报) on page A18 in the International Section–Headlines. A three part spread: article, investigation, and link. Written by Feng Wuyong, Zhang Le, and Feng Wuyong again, respectively. The latter author wrote it for the Xinhua Press. This one isn’t exactly about America, but it takes place on American soil…well, sort of. Honestly I think it’s a sort of silly affair. Imagine, oversights like these happen all the time, everywhere, in every department of every government in the world. In fact, the world is one giant oversight.

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Lethal Gas Found in United Nations Office Building

- It came from Iraq; employees were completely unaware they worked around dangerous substances for 10 years, which fortunately never leaked.

On August 30 a United Nations official said that U.N. weapons inspectors, while cleaning out items in a U.N. building from a previous inspection of an Iraqi chemical factory, unexpectedly found the dangerous material phosgene, which can be used in the manufacturing of chemical weapons.

Phosgene is a colorless volatile liquid or gas, and if inhaled it can seriously injure the respiratory system with fatal results.

Used In Large Quantities During World War I

The complex the phosgene was discovered in includes the office building of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Committee (UNMOVIC), and is located on New York’s east side, a block away from the United Nations headquarters.

On August 30 the Deputy Spokeswoman for the U.N. Secretary General, Maria Okabe, said that on August 24, UNMOVIC workers discovered several suspicious chemical preparations while they were tidying up, but at first did not know what they were. Then on August 29 the workers finally understood that the chemical preparation was the dangerous material phosgene. During the first World War, Phosgene was used in great quantities on the battlefields.

Okabe said that these preparations were among items stored from a weapons inspection made by a U.N. examiners in Iraq in 1996, and should be from a chemical weapons plant. “At present there is no risk or danger.” Okabe said that it is also unnecessary to evacuate the building’s personnel.

The Deadly Poison Was Forgotten Early On

Buchanan, an UNMOVIC spokesperson, said that the phosgene was stored in a container about the size of a soda can, and was in its liquid state in oil. The container was sealed in a plastic bag, and aside from the phosgene there were other “unknown liquids, stored in metal or glass containers”.

Buchanan said that in another sealed plastic bag were many different chemical samples, which had been placed in sealed glass test tubes. He said that these items were all locked in a room’s safety cabinet, and the only identifying markings on the items were inventory numbers.

In order to check what these numbers represented, the staff had to look through a heap of files several hundred meters tall, until they finally found the corresponding descriptions of the contents.

“The only information we found was that these items came from a 1996 inspection, and some of the containers contained phosgene, which is an old-fashioned chemical weapon preparation,” said Okabe.

Afterwards these items were immediately sealed and stored. United Nations specialists also inspected the office the chemicals were discovered in as well as the surrounding area. Buchanan said the the inspection revealed that, “There weren’t any traces of chemicals found in the air”, and so there is no danger to the public. The inspectors will continue their work in their original location.

A Leak Could Have Fatally Poisoned Over A Dozen People

UNMOVIC’s Russian specialist Regina was spooked by the event. She said that if the packaged phosgene’s container had leaked, there would have been a fatal outcome, “There would have been over a dozen casualties”.

High level UNMOVIC official Muladi said that for the sake of safety, the workers looked through the remaining items to see whether or not there were other dangerous substances, but there weren’t any found.

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Under the heading “Investigation”:

The FBI Gets Involved in the Poison Gas Incident

- The police said that the poison gas was mistakenly sent to the office 10 years ago.

On August 30 the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) became involved in the investigation of the poison gas found in the United Nations office. The police said that 10 years ago the poison gas should have been sent to a laboratory, but the reason for why it was mistakenly sent to the office is unknown.

After the incident occurred, a team of dangerous material research specialists from the FBI and the New York City Police Department immediately rushed to the seen, and sealed off the northern area of the United Nations headquarters.

The police transferred the chemical materials to the suburbs, and according to reports they were then transported to a military facility for more detailed analyses by specialists. FBI investigators also used chemical weapons detectors to inspect the air inside the office for phosgene, but they didn’t discover any traces of the poison.

On August 30 Tony Snow, the White House spokesperson, said that the American government is already cooperating with the involved United Nations organizations to transfer these materials to a suitable location. He also said, “We believe that there are definitely going to be many people arguing until they’re red in the face about how these things were sent to a United Nations office.” Snow said that the relevant departments will use all of their power to solve the case.

The local authorities said that these dangerous materials have been in the the United Nations office building since 1996, when they were mistakenly sent to the office, rather than a chemical laboratory.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Under the heading “Link”:

The Iraq Inspectors Will Soon Be “Parting Sadly”

- Were once responsible for seeing that Iraq destroyed its chemical and biological weapons, as well as its ballistic missiles.

In December of 1999 the United Nations Security Council decided to establish the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Committee (UNMOVIC), in order to replace the United Nations Special Committee for the Supervision of the Destruction of Iraqi Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Weapons(UNSCOM), and were responsible for inspecting Iraq’s destruction of chemical and biological weapons, as well as ballistic missiles.

They could inspect, without any conditions or limitations, suspicious places, facilities, files, etc.

In March of 2003, on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq, the United Nations weapons inspectors were pulled out of the country. At the end of June in the same year, the Security Council decided to forthwith halt UNMOVIC’s mission, and UNMOVIC is currently carrying out the last of its clean up work.



Translator’s notes:
- Haha, I don’t think the writer of this article is familiar with New York’s urban geography. I would say Manhattan’s East Side. But I won’t hold it against him, and neither should you, dear reader.
- Maria Okabe’s name really threw me off, in the paper it’s 冈部万里江, or gangbuwanlijiang, or Mountain Ridge Ten Thousand Mile River (Okabe is the mountain ridge part). But then I realized it was a Japanese name! I’d thought Okabe was from some African language at first. Chinese speakers can usually recognize a Japanese name they use Chinese characters, but with different pronunciations, and with a different structure than Chinese names, which are usually 2 or 3 syllables, from front to back.
- Okay, there are some punctuation errors in the original article; periods occur after fragments of a sentence or two, and I’m also pretty sure that they couldn’t have looked through a pile of files hundreds of meters tall. I don’t think that is an idiomatic expression either. Unless they meant several hundred files piled a meter high. But then that doesn’t sound like very much at all; I feel like several hundred files would be much taller.
- “Parting Sadly”, in the title of the Links section, is actually a chengyu (4 character idiom), 曲终人散, literally “song finish people part”, meaning after the song concludes everyone will separate, or “sadness following a joyful reunion”.
- I know that one sentence about the replacement of UNSCOM with UNMOVIC is a little redundant, but it’s how it’s written!

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Phase Three: Profit!

This one’s from the 2007-08-31 print of the Beijing Paper (新京报) on page A31 in the International News–Middle East, Americas, and Africa section. Written by Tang Shuo, and it’s from the Xinhua Press. This one takes us back to the good old contiguous 48, and a terror threat scam. I feel like it’s sort of out of place among the “Reports on Iraq”, “Protests in Chile”, and “Political Machinations in Congress and Parliament”, but I suppose the plethora of “terror threats” justifies its placement here. And to alleviate any potential anxiety the thought of “terror threats” might cause you (Don’t Panic), I’ll tell you now they’re not really “terror threats” as in “terrorism”. And sorry to spoil the fun, but it says, at the very end, that the culprits seem to be from Portugal. Damned Portuguese.

Ah, and Wikipedia is blocked entirely now.

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U.S. Supermarkets Receive A Series of “Mystery” Terror Threats


- In a week 15 U.S. supermarkets and convenience stores have received terror threats; the police still haven’t arrested any suspects.


Throughout America, large scale convenience stores, supermarkets, and banks have been receiving a succession of “mystery” phone threats. The callers normally threaten to set off a bomb, and require shop employees to wire money to an overseas account. On the 29th American police and the FBI confirmed that they’ve already opened up an investigation.

Banks Also Received Threatening Phone Calls

Investigators already know that the first terror threat case occurred on the 23rd. The caller threatened a Safeway Supermarket chain-store in Sandy, Oregon. Sandy police chief Harold Skelton said that, in the beginning, the caller claimed that he was holding a gun and watching the supermarket, and he demanded that the shop employee wire money. When he was refused, he said that he had a bomb.

On the 30th the American media reported, that in the past week at the very least 15 convenience stores and supermarkets in 11 states have phone threats. And several banks have also received the same type of calls. A few supermarkets, whose employees were frightened by the caller’s threats, complied with their demands and sent several thousand U.S. dollars to an assigned overseas account. A few store personnel immediately called the police. After receiving those calls the police and bomb squad dispersed the staff in the supermarkets, and began long searches, but did not discover any bombs. As of today, this series of threatening calls still hasn’t resulted in any casualties, and the police have yet to apprehend any suspects.

A U.S. Security Bureau official said that the callers say they have placed a bomb in the stores, and demand that the supermarket wire money to a specified account. The callers often also say that they can see what’s happening inside the supermarket. But investigators believe that this is just a threatening tactic, and the callers are probably thousands of miles away.

General Anxiety in Supermarkets After the Terror Threats

From Newport, Rhode Island to Vista, California, after supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the country have received threatening calls, there is popular anxiety.

In Buchanan, Michigan a Hardings Supermarket received a threatening phone call on the 27th. The caller ordered the shop employees to lock the main door, sit on the ground, and demanded US$3,000 to be wired. Because he worried that getting a call from the police would make the ruffian set off the bomb, the extremely fearful store manager went so far as to hang up the incoming police line. Berrien County police sheriff Paul Bailey said that in order to make a more distinct threat, the caller also gave the police department a call, and told them that they were hold the shop employees as “hostages”.

In a Dillons Convenience store in Hutchinson, Kansas received a threatening call on the 28th. The caller ordered all the employees and customers to take off their clothes. A customer named James Peterson said that at the time people were frightened and lost their heads, “Many people were pulling off their clothes, yelling ‘No! No!’“

On the 29th a threatening call was made to a Hannaford Supermarket in Millinocket, Maine. The state’s Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said that an employee going to work was amazed to discover the supermarket’s door locked, and inside the store all the employees and customers were sitting on the ground in a circle.

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The second section under the heading “Developments”:

The Phone Threat Came From Portugal

After a Safeway in Prescott, Arizona received a threatening call on the 28th, the FBI began to take notice of this phone threat affair, and suspected that there was a link existing between all of them.

“We are aware that Safeway Supermarket chains throughout the country have received similar threats,” said FBI special agent Deborah McCarley, “We are now investigating whether or not they are related”. FBI spokesperson Rich Kolko said that the phone threat cases are all similar, “And it is probably the same individual or group of individuals”, which are targeting banks and supermarkets across America with this scam. The FBI is currently investigating whether or not the phone threats came outside the United States. Investigators already firmly believe that the phone call made to the Prescott Safeway Supermarket came from Portugal.

Western Union spokesperson Shelly Johnson says that the company is now cooperating with the FBI’s investigative work, tracking where the wired money went. Wal-Mart Superstore, Inc. also said that they are cooperating with the investigation.



Translator’s Notes:
- It’s kind of difficult to know exactly what this article translates types of stores as. Because in China the most prevalent type of foodstuff/stuff store is a 超市, literally a portmanteau for a supermarket. But in America supermarkets almost exclusively offer food, well, there’s plenty of other household goods/cleaners available, but it’s not to the extent of the 超市. Not many supermarkets back home, that I know of, sell clothing for instance. And now there’s this new word (new to me) in this article, 杂货店 (lit. many-goods shop, trans. general/convenience store) which I suppose I’ll used convenience store for. But both general store and convenience store seem a little too small-scale for what was going on here, and who says general store anymore? Oh, but Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart wherever you go. So is Ikea.
- Interesting, it seems like you can’t say “an U.S. something”, you have to say “a U.S. something”. I guess the a/an rule doesn’t apply to long u vowel starts.
- Concerning the popular anxiety introduction. It seems kind of ambiguous to me, whether I should translate this as just those store’s staff and shoppers getting anxious or a nationwide anxiety. Big difference, I know.
- The writer uses 歹徒, which translates as ruffian or evildoer. Another good word that I will translate directly just because it sounds more fun, and you don’t see ruffian or evildoer enough in print these days.
- Not sure about the Western Union spokesperson’s name, Shelley Johnson is an educated guess.

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No Bombs for You

This is from the 2007-08-30 print of the Beijing Paper (新京报), on page A30 in the International News–Middle East, Americas, and Africa section. From the Xinhua Press, two parts to it. This is sort of a strange article. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I think it mostly has to do with the sparse amount of information or speculation about the purpose of the American actions. And it is interesting that an Iranian source is used.

-=-=-=-=-=-

The American Army in Iraq Arrests and Releases 7 Iranians

- Including one Iranian embassy employee and six members of a delegation from Iran’s Energy Ministry.

On the evening of the 28th, the U.S. Military stationed in Iraq made a surprise raid on a hotel in central Baghdad, arresting 10 people, including one Iranian embassy employee and six members of a delegation sent to Iraq by Iran’s Energy Ministry. On the 29th an official from Iran’s Iraqi embassy said that seven Iranians have already been released.

A spokesperson for the U.S. military in Iraq, Christopher Jiafu, declined to comment, only saying that these arrests were part of a developing military operation.

Iran’s Islamic Republic Press reported that the U.S. military arrested members of an Iranian delegation sent to conclude an electricity agreement in Iraq. The report pointed out that the delegation had been invited to Iraq by an Iraqi minister.

The report said, “On the evening of the 28th the U.S. military arrested members of a delegation sent to Iraq by the Iranian Energy Ministry.” The report described how the U.S. military surrounded the hotel the delegation was staying at, searched their rooms and individual possessions, and then took them away. The report did not say how many of those arrested were delegation representatives.

The Associated Press video recording shows the U.S. soldiers leading 10 men, blindfolded and handcuffed, out of the hotel. Other U.S. soldiers are carrying baggage and other items out of the hotel, among which were an official document bag and a notebook computer.

In January of this year the United States arrested 5 Iranians in Arbil, a city in Northern Iraq, saying that they were members of an Iranian revolutionary force. However Iran insists that they are diplomats, and currently the 5 still haven’t been released.

-=-=-=-=–

Second part of the article, under the heading “News Link”:

Bush States an Iranian “Nuclear Holocaust” Will Be Prevented


On the 28th U.S. President George W. Bush said that once Iran gets nuclear weapons the Middle East region will be faced with a “nuclear holocaust”, and that America will prevent this type of situation from occurring.

“Iran is actively seeking to develop nuclear technologies, which will envelop the already unstable Middle East region in the shadow of a nuclear holocaust,” said Bush in a speech he gave in Nevada that day. He expressed that the United States will work hard to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, joining other allies together to isolate Iran, instituting economic sanctions, and hold Iran back from becoming a threat.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a little earlier on the same day, that Iran is already a “nuclear country”, and that it will continue to push forward its plan for peaceful atomic energy use. He was disdainful of the idea that America might invade Iran.

The Iranian President also mocked French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s lack of experience, saying that he has just come into power, “And his experience isn’t enough, it seems like he can’t even understand what he’s saying himself.”

On the 27th Sarkozy had said that France will not accept a “nuclear-armed Iran”, and that he will continue to increase sanctions against Iran.


Translator’s notes:
- Chinese news articles, or at least the one’s from the newspaper I read (which gets a ton of its articles from the Xinhua Press though, the biggest news agency in China), all seem really repetitive sometimes.
- This is the first time I’ve seen Bush’s name in full, usually it’s just 布什(Bush) or 小布什(Little Bush, haha, which I’m fairly certain isn’t malicious in Chinese, maybe a tiny bit satirical but nothing like it would be in English).
- In Chinese they use 屠杀 for holocaust here, which is usually translated as massacre, like the 南京大屠杀 (Nanjing Massacre).
- This is an English article on the same story:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2346624.ece

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Tendentious Editing

This one’s from the 2007-08-26 print of the 新京报 (The Beijing Paper), page B07 in the Global Publications–Uncovering Secrets section. This one is another departure into unexplored translation territory, it’s about everyone’s favorite Wikipedia. Written by Ren Yagang.

Wikipedia’s Chinese entries are currently blocked in China. I can access English ones without any problem, with the exception of a few (like the ‘Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989’ entry). When I try to log onto one of those I get a message saying the connection with the server was reset, and then for a minute or two I still can’t get on to Wikipedia, not any entry at all. But afterwards everything that’s allowed is still allowed. The same thing happens when I try and log onto Chinese entries.

The most annoying thing about this is that I would often use Wikipedia entries to get equivalent translations of certain names or concepts from English to Chinese, but now I just have to google things and hope that one of the results will contain a convenient answer.

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Who’s Distorting Wikipedia Behind the Scenes?


- The CIA’s “Evil Backstage Manipulation”


The United States is where Wikipedia grew up, and it’s also where the “Wikigate” affair first erupted. Recently the English media reported that the “WikiScanner” (an IP address tracking program) revealed that there have been people using CIA and FBI computers to edit Wikipedia articles about the War in Iraq and the Guantanamo detention center.

The edits made using CIA computers include the American military 2003 casualty count in Iraq, former head of the CIA Willam Kolby’s personal achievements, reports about the Guantanamo detention center, and even the picture of Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Furthermore, the “WikiScanner” has also traced people using the federal government’s computers to alter the personal biographies of former U.S. presidents Reagan and Nixon. In some infamous edits by a “username Wahhhhhh”, the table of American casualties in the Iraqi war was changed, and at the same time a vilifying picture of Iranian President Ahmadinejad was put up. According to the “WikiScanner”, the recorded IP address of the computer that these changes came from was from the Central Intelligence Agency. Facing challenges from the media and pressure from the public, the CIA had no choice but to come forth with an explanation, and CIA spokesperson Lituo said that although it cannot now be confirmed that the changes were made by CIA staff, it is true that the people who made the changes used CIA computers.

- The Australian Cabinet is Also Involved

As with many government organizations in America, the Australian cabinet has also been pointed out for making a large number of alterations to Wikipedia, even deleting negative content unfavorable to them. The Australian media revealed that many Australian departments have maliciously altered Wikipedia entries; the ministerial and cabinet departmental organizations made over 126 alterations, altering content touching upon a great deal of sensitive information. The Australian Defense Department was the most frequent editor of Wikipedia content out of the many guilty departments, with edits made to over 5000 Wikipedia articles. Again, with no choice but to respond, on the 23rd the Defense Department said that it has already forbidden its employees from visiting Wikipedia. The Australian government’s “Wikigate” has already provided the opposition party with an opportunity to attack the Howard Administation. Opposition party leader Kevin Rudd has criticized the Prime minister for ordering government employees to revise history, calling such behavior “honestly disgraceful”. Coming before the general elections in November, “Wikigate” has already become a factor that will influence the outcome of the election.

In addition, England’s Labor Party and
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. have also been pointed out for having made alterations in Wikipidia information unfavorable to their own organizations. In order to maintain the Labor Party’s image, one party member deleted all the information that was dangerous to the Labor Party’s interests. And Wal-Mart has also been caught for altering unfavorable information in Wikipedia. One user’s entry had once stated the following information, that “Wal-Mart’s staff salaries are 20% lower than other chain stores”, and not soon after a user on a Wal-Mart computer altered the above information to “Wal-Mart’s average salary is almost twice as high as the federal minimum wage”.

- The “Scanner” Tracks and Follows Clues

Wikipedia’s ability to investigate the behind the scenes manipulators owes its success to 24 year old Virgil Griffith, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology. He developed the “WikiScanner” tracking program, which can trace every alteration operation back to the IP address, and which sets up a database which looks at the statistical data and can discover which IP addresses consistently alter which entries.

The development of Griffith’s “WikiScanner” came from a chance idea. In 2006, after the scandal in which the distortion of Wikipedia entries by U.S. Congressional Offices was exposed, out of curiosity Griffith thought, other government organizations and a few large companies are probably changing related articles for their personal gain. He thereupon developed software that could track the IP addresses of editors. Because Wikipedia allows anyone to freely change entries they’re interested in, when users edit content there is a record made that includes the IP address, the article that was changed, the revised information, and so on. This information is all recorded by Wikipedia’s servers. Even if a few people use fake names to change entries, their IP addresses are still recorded in the servers, so Griffith downloaded Wikipedia’s editing record. After contrasting entries’ editing records with the editor’s IP addresses, Griffith discovered that Wikipedia had a total of 2.6 million users who edited 34 million entries, and surprisingly among the editors’ IP addresses were those of Sony, Wal-Mart, The U.S. Homeland Security department, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation among others.

- The “Wiki” Issues a Warning

The release of “WikiScanner” has influenced Wikipedia’s free editing practice, and has also frightened malicious alterers of Wikipedia entries. According to reports, “WikiScanner” has already discovered a large number of anonymous users who have altered Wikipedia entries using computers linked to government agencies. The entries include articles ranging from 1980s cartoons to those about current politics, and they were altered in ways that were found displeasing to people. After “WikiScanner” exposed the malicious editing scandal, the Wikipedia website spokesperson stated that these editing operations probably violate Wikipedia’s conflict-of-interest policies. Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales sternly admonished, “Recently everyone has become aware of your (the few government organizations and private business groups) malicious editing of entries, so we are warning you to immediately stop these types of actions.” Wales said, “Free editing is one of the founding principles of Wikipedia, we will not abandon free editing. But this is not the only principle, and we do not operate without any flexibility.”

-=-=-=-=-

Under the section heading - “Observations”:

Can Wikipedia Still Be Freely Edited?


- Scholars suggest that the government establish legal guidelines to increase supervision.

Wikipedia was founded in January of 2001, and today it already has 1.9 million English entries, and every day 10 million users log in the website to browse for information; it is the main source of information on the internet. But only recently has the public come to know who has been revising the information it searches for. And if the malicious alterations force it to change its editing policies, will Wikipedia be able to maintain its free editing?

China’s People’s University Public Opinion Research Institute head Yu Guoming said, that Wikipedia is an internet encyclopedia, and the free editing policy has let it accumulate a large amount of information and users, and it could be said that it is the foundation of its development. According to Wikipedia’s free editing guidelines, a user only needs to register and log in, and is then able to make edits to any entry they are interested in. But the users’ powers of free editing are limited; they can not violate Wikipedia’s guidelines and policies, and at the same time they are not allowed to injure the interests of others. When the average user edits entries, they all respect these rules, but with regards to government organizations or large corporate groups, the situation is entirely different. Because these types of organizations hold background manipulation technologies, they are able to easily break through Wikipedia’s technological barriers, and then at their own whim alter or delete entries which contain information detrimental to themselves. This type of action is considered malicious editing.

Yu Guoming said, that if the government doesn’t establish clear legal principles, then it may be that public organizations and business groups, if they don’t strictly abide by the rules, will continue with this malicious editing. “This malicious editing occurs very often, and what was revealed of it this time is only the tip of the iceberg. Wikipedia is for-profit company, and in the website’s open environment it is not possible for the company to supervise all the editing that’s going on; moreover, when it comes to the public organizations and business groups that have the technology, Wikipedia has no way to completely lock them out and stop their ‘invasion’.”




Translator’s notes:
- ‘Scenes’ is one of those words that looks like it’s really not a real world at all, or should be pronounced differently at least.
- Haha, I’m sorry, my dictionary translates “黑手” (literally ‘black hand’) as “evil backstage manipulator”. For instance, 黑手党 (literally ‘black hand party’) is the translation for Mafia. But evil backstage manipulator is too good of a phrase to pass up.
- Okay, from now on I’m just not even going to try and translate spokespeople’s names. They’re obviously much less important than I thought.
- The ‘Observation’ section seems really silly to me. Maybe the guy doesn’t get the point about Wikipedia. I’m assuming the ‘for-profit company’ bit is a misprint, because Wikipedia is non-profit, and I have no idea why he’s saying big corporations and big business have the “technology to get through Wikipedia’s technological barriers”. There aren’t any technological blocks in place. The only technology they need is a computer with an internet connection, a keyboard, and a monitor. Maybe if the guy actually got to use Wikipedia he’d have a better idea of what he’s talking about.
- I’m really glad Wikipedia stood up to the Chinese government and refused to self-censor. It’s such a weird untenable position for the Communist Party to hold, I mean the foremost source of free information in the rest of the world, and 1.3 billion people (well, however many hundred million internet users) aren’t privy to it, unless they can read English fine.

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One Step Forward

This is from the 2007-8-25 print of the 新京报 (The Beijing Paper), on page A22 in the International News–Middle East, Americas, and Africa section. This one’s about the report on Iraq that came out recently in the States.

-=-=-=-=-

American Report Says Political Resolution in Iraq is Uncertain

- Armed Iraqi forces still have the ability to wage war on a large scope; the Maliki administration cannot be replaced.

On August 23 the U.S. intelligence department released an assessment report on the the situation in Iraq which said that America has already made definite developments in military affairs, but political progress is still at a standstill, and the power of the Iraqi government’s leaders is worrying.

- The Iraqi Military Doesn’t Have Enough Power to Stand on It’s Own

This U.S. Intelligence Estimate, entitled “Iraq’s Prospects for Stability: Some Improvements but Political Resolution is Uncertain”, is formulated from 16 American intelligence organizations, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense intelligence organization, and the intelligence agencies of every branch of the U.S. military.

The report said the America has achieved definite progress in Iraqi military affairs. For example, the American military has encouraged the Iraqi government to incorporate Sunni armed personnel into their own forces, and the effort to achieve a ceasefire with armed Sunni forces has already achieved preliminary results, and in a few areas armed Sunni personal are already attacking “al-Qaeda” organizations. The report further points out that if the American military continues to maintain its strict policies, and at the same time continues to train Iraqi police forces, the the Iraqi security situation will make “moderate headway” within six to twelve months.

The report also says that al-Qaeda and other armed organizations still attempt to and have the ability to carry out large scale attacks, while the Iraqi security forces are clearly not strong enough to independently wage war. When they cooperate with American forces in battle they are “passable”, but if once they lose the support of the American military or other outside support, then their fighting ability suffers a “large detraction”.

- Almost No Improvement in Political Progress

Directed at Iraqi political progress, the report expresses deep worry, and intensely questions the power of the Iraqi government’s leaders. The New York Times, citing a U.S. congressman, reported that the political progress in Iraq “until today still has not achieved any progress”, and “the possibility of achieving any future political gains is equally pessimistic.

The report forecasts that because of criticism from the Shi’a factions and its leader, the Grand Ayatollah Husaini al-Sistani, the Sunni factions, and the Kurdish members of government, the Iraqi government in the next six to twelve months will become even more unstable. Furthermore, even though the Maliki’s actions to push for political resolution have no power, there is no way to replace him.

Citing a government official, the Associated Press reports that there is no discussion in the White House about needing to change the Iraqi leadership, because the White House believes that anyone would have to face the same problems that Maliki is currently facing.

=-=-=-=-=

Under the heading ‘Analysis’:

Both Sending and Withdrawing Troops Are Reasonable

An Associated Press article said the White House will probably use the report to support the argument to continue stationing troops in Iraq.

The report warns that reducing the strength of the American military in Iraq will cause the security situation in Iraq to backpedal. This fits exactly with the White House’s oppostion to withdrawing the military. In January of this year Bush decided to send more troops to Iraq, insisting that this move was aimed at increasing security in Iraq.

Democratic party leader Harry Reid said, that this report also proves that Bush’s strategy to add more troops has already failed. “Our military has already gotten caught in Iraq’s civil war, and the President’s strategy to send more troops has still failed to achieve the political results that he promised,” Reid said, “If we continue to maintain the President’s flawed strategy, then every day we wont have any real security.”


Translator’s notes:
- Nouri Kamel Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki is the current Prime Minister of the Iraqi government.
- In the first paragraph, the Chinese doesn’t say whether the government’s leader’s power is worrying, or their lack of power is worrying. I would assume the latter, but I’m going with the literal translation for now. Edit: Lack of power.
- Haha, ever since I’ve been following the news about the Middle East in the Chinese papers I keep seeing references to “base” organizations or “base” groups, and it’s confused the hell out of me. Turns out it’s a semantic translation, because “al-Qaeda” means “The Base”. Case closed.
- The Analysis’ title is much catchier in Chinese, literally “Add Soldiers Withdraw Army Each Has Reason”
- Recently the amount of military news about Russia has also been on par with that about the US, but I haven’t been reading the content at all, I wonder what they say about them? I feel like translating articles actually takes a lot of my time away from reading others!

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Goloden Kak Volf

This article is from the 2007-08-24 print of the Beijing Paper (新京报), on page A28 under the International News - Middle East, America, and Africa section (they pick really weird groupings of continents for this paper). It’s a short article about American military affairs, with an additional little background blurb. The authors are Yang Qingquan and Pan Yunzhao, and this is from a Xinhua Press release.

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US Military Plans to Move the “Wolf’s Den” to the Surface

- The anti-missile core command organization will be moved out from underground; the purpose is to integrate resources.

In an August 22 media report, despite opposition from some Congressmen, the US military decided to move its aerospace and anti-missile defense core command structure, known as the “Wolf’s Den”, out of it’s Cheyenne Mountain Operation center. It will move the command center, located deep underneath Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain, to surface facilities in Peterson Air Force Base, located 19 kilometers away.

In charge of the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, and the commander of both the North American Air Defense Command and the Northern Command, Leiniuete said that although moving this well-guarded subterranean defense center to the surface will decease its security, it will merge the scattered command structures of the Cheyenne Mountain deep subterranean command post and the Peterson Air Force Base command post, optimizing the use of resources. This will allow American military leaders to receive information more quickly and promptly mount a response in the case of a surprise attack on American soil.

But the moving plan has met with some opposition from American military specialists. They assert that with Russia now putting her long range strategic bombers back on flight status, and with the tense relationship between America and Russia, moving the Air Defense and Anti-Missile Operation’s core control organization out of the well protected underground command post is not a wise move. A few congressmen have gone so far as to threatening to halt the allocation of funds for the building of the Peterson Air Force Base command post.

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The second part was under the heading “Uncovering Secrets”:

Cheyenne Mountain Operation Center

In 1966 the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center was officially consigned for use, and is today the central command center of the US North American Aerospace Defense Command, the US Air Force Space Command, the US Strategic Command, and the US Northern Command. Together they have the heavy responsibilities of aerospace defense, missile defense, and homeland defense, and this place is known in America as the “Wolf’s Den”. It would serve as America’s last shelter in the case of nuclear war, and is also known as the sturdiest command center in the world.

The command post is located over 400 meters underground, and is covered by granite about 380 meters thick, and is able to withstand even the power of a high yield atomic explosion. The stocks of food, water, and energy inside are enough to maintain 800 people for 30 continuous days of work.



Translator’s notes:
- The Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center is actually now known as the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate. Apparently a lot of its functions have already been moved to Peterson Air Force Base.
- I can’t find the name of the general.
- All I want to know is what are they going to do with the Stargate and the SkyNet AI mainframe!!!

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