Saturday, January 31, 2004

Arabic newspapers have reported on the distribution of leaflets by underground Sunni groups in Sunni areas in Iraq, warning those who cooperate with the US (more than 630 US-trained Iraqi policemen have already been killed, by the way), and pledging to implement a plan for the takeover of Sunni cities and towns once the "transfer of power" takes place. This, in my opinion, will herald the fragmentation of Iraq, and may even trigger civil wars. This is the model that Bush and Wolfowitz wanted to promote for world's Muslims.
Hostility grows over US stance
High Suicide Rate For Iraq War GIs
Iraq Still Crippled by Corruption
An interesting (yet another) account of Sistani's life.
This what passes as journalism in the Washington Post: a disgustingly fawning article about Saddam's former henchmanIyad `Alawi, who worked in Saddam's intelligence apparatus. He is now America's hope.
US officials knew in May Iraq possessed no WMD
At least two of the recent 19 deaths during the Nablus Israeli "operation" have the hallmarks of executions.
Microsoft supplied technology used to trap Chinese dissidents, says Amnesty
Distessing and depressing: Woman, three daughters gang-raped in Pakistan, under the rule of America's best friend, dictator Musharraf.
Cheney in Davos.
Full text: Lord WhiteWash Report.
global oil consumption.
“ALL NECESSARY MEANS” - EMPLOYING CIA OPERATIVES IN A WARFIGHTING ROLE ALONGSIDE SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCESby COLONEL KATHRYN STONE,
United States Army
A tribute to `Abdur-Rahman Munif by Tariq `Ali. The Saudi-financed media have been lying: it is true that the corrupt and polygamous Crown Prince `Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has offered the family of Munif through his ambassador in Damascus, money and mansion, etc. But the widow of Munif has turned the offer down, and prevented the ambassador from the Kingdom of Polygamy to visit her. We are now preparing a petition against the Saudi lies, but doubt that many Arab media outlets will run it.
Building democracy from scratch: US to bring in Saddam's brutal torturers for a new intelligence apparatus.
How Many People Will Die Because of This "Mistake", Senator Kerry? (by Sam Husseini--good job Sam).
Good for Georgetown U.: Researchers at the Georgetown University Medical Center, a Catholic institution, are using cells derived from aborted fetuses in medical research.

Friday, January 30, 2004

$395m US aid for Pakistan (have you rewarded a dictator today?)
Statement of Senator Carl Levin at the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing with Dr. David Kay (Good: and I am not a fan of this Senator).
WTO protesters win Seattle cash
Ex-convicts -- many of them barred from government benefits and good jobs -- are denied a second chance in the U.S. They frequently return
to jail.
A British newspaper has noticed that US deaths rise in wake of Saddam capture
The Mullah and Democracy
Working and Poor in the USA
Lula Rising, Dean sinking.
How many times have I reported on this website that US troops have killed innocent villagers in Afghanistan?
If the CIA is innocent on Iraq, guess who is guilty?
All Israeli press reports on the status of Elhanan Tennenbaum are subject to severe censorship and government control, which only proves that he was indeed a Mossad man (which is also being reported in Independent).
If you are wondering what Kofi Annan is up to: he is busy giving permission to Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn to shoot scenes at UN New York headquarters. This is a man who knows his priorities.
The Bush administration will ask Congress to boost spending on missile defense by $1.2 billion next year and nearly double funding to modernize the Army in the $401.7 billion U.S. military budget for 2005, according to Pentagon documents released on Friday.
What Is To Be Done (With Lenin)?, asks Slavoj Zizek I say dump him. For me, when he said (quoted in E.H. Carr's History of the Bolshevik Revolution (vol. 2, I am almsot certain--and reproduced in Richard Pipes' The Unknown Lenin (I know he is a very right-wing historian but the book contains damning documents): Those who are with us, we shall welcome them in; and those who are against us, we shall stand them against the wall" said it all. (Thanks Fahd for introducing me early on to Anarchist criticims of Lenin). Let us not forget his role (with Trotsky) in the crushing of the glorious Kronstadt Rebellion.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Human Rights Watch (see item below): Despite Releases, Children Still Held at Guantanamo.
I cannot believe how so blatantly the Washington Post lies. It says: "The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad wants to hire an advertising agency to sell the Iraqi public on its plans for a new democratic government, even as U.S. officials and Iraqi leaders struggle to decide whether that government should be formed through elections, caucuses or some combination."It means the ad agency will try to sell no-elections to the Iraqis. No elections, for the Washington Post, is "plans for a new democratic government." It would be hilarious if we are not talking about war and occupation. Shirin pointed out this sentence from article: The plan is to "educate the Iraqi population in a non-propaganda style about the electoral process." Do you see why the media in the US are not government-owned? Who needs government-owned media with the Washington Post around.
Female GIs report rapes in Iraq war: 37 seek aid after alleging sex assaults by U.S. soldiers.
Let it be noted: I say that the Bush administration is merciful and compassionate: U.S. releases juveniles from Guantanamo prison. Official says trio returned to Afghanistan after more than a year in captivity.
This is bizarre: Japan Reportedly Paying Y10 Billion (75,052,849 EUR) to Iraqis to Guard its forces in Iraq
The failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq will lead the United States and Britain to invoke humanitarian concerns as the war’s primary justification. The evidence of their long entanglement with Saddam’s regime tells a different story.
Comissar Ashcroft: Bush would veto bill scaling back Patriot Act
Just take the war to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia: "While much of the U.S. military is currently focused on stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan, extremists in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia pose a longer-term strategic challenge to American interests, the senior U.S. military commander in the region said yesterday. "
This man lost any credibility.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday that people concerned about losing freedom to government anti-terrorism efforts should speak out.
Why does not she?
Remember to vote on the new Angry Poll, to the left below (I will make the 100 the cut-off mark).
For those who asked: this is from my new review essay on the Islam Industry in the Middle East Journal (footnotes not included):
"...In present-day studies of Islam, one can easily cite as a source for research “a writer on a Muslim bulletin board.” In Islam and the West (1993), none other than Bernard Lewis cited the authority of “a young man in a shop where I went to make a purchase” or a letter to the editor in the New York Times. In post-September 11th America, Bernard Lewis, who has been accustomed to telling jokes about the Middle East, informs his audiences that jokes are permissible as a source of public opinion orientations because they are the “only authentic and uncensored expression of political opinion.” [In fact, public opinion surveys are conducted and published in many countries of the region.]
Lewis deserves special attention. As is well known, Lewis was brought back from retirement to advise the US government. He has visited the White House, though he refuses to confirm having met with President George W. Bush. Lewis’ recent books, What Went Wrong? and The Crisis of Islam, were on the best seller lists simultaneously, and his older books remain in print. But one finds a contrast between his historical books, where he is thorough and where his scholarship is based on extensive research and knowledge (e.g., his learned book on the emergence of modern Turkey), and his popular books on the Modern Middle East, which are woefully devoid of research and can be quite lacking in basic knowledge about the region.
In writing about contemporary Islam, for years Lewis has been largely recycling his 1976 Commentary article titled “The Return of Islam” (“return” from where?) In this piece, Lewis exhibits his adherence to the most discredited forms of classical Orientalist dogmas by invoking such terms as “the modern Western mind.” He thereby resurrects the notion of an epistemological distinction between “our” mind and “theirs,” as articulated by Ralph Patai in The Arab Mind (which, incidentally, went into a new printing after September 11th). For Lewis, the Muslim mind never seems to change. Every Muslim, or any Muslim, regardless of geography or time, is representative of any or all Muslims. Thus, a quotation from an obscure medieval source is sufficient to explain present-day behavior. Lewis even traces Abu ‘Ammar’s (Yasir ‘Arafat’s) own name to early Islamic history and to the names of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions, though ‘Arafat himself had explained that his name derives from the root ‘amr (a reference to ‘Arafat’s construction activities in Kuwait prior to his ascension within the Palestine Liberation Organization). Because ‘Arafat embraced, literally, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran when he met him, Lewis finds evidence of a universal Islamic bond. When Lewis revised his book years later, he took note in passing of the deep rift that later developed between ‘Arafat and Khomeini by saying simply that “later they parted company.”
The Islam of Bernard Lewis is an unchanging Islam. Indeed, according to Lewis, Islam is religion, culture, history, people, geography, law, outlook, paradigm, and, of course, texts (preferably, ancient religious texts). Muslims are dominated exclusively by Islam. He: “For Muslims, Islam is not merely a system of belief and worship, a compartment of life, so to speak, distinct from other compartments which are the concern of nonreligious authorities administering nonreligious laws. It is rather the whole of life, and its rules include civil, criminal, and even what we would call constitutional law.” The dangers of this view does not lie merely in its impact on college and public education in the United States, where no student of Middle East studies can escape Lewis’ books. Lewis now has access to the highest circles of the US government. None other than Vice-President Richard Cheney once answered a question in public by saying: “I’ve talked to Bernard Lewis about that very subject.”
In Lewis’ two best-selling books, What Went Wrong? and The Crisis of Islam, the reader reads the same passages and anecdotes twice. Lewis relishes recounting that syphilis was imported into the Middle East from the new world. His discussion about Napoleon in Egypt appears in both books, almost verbatim. The second book contain calls for (mostly military) action. In The Crisis of Islam, Lewis asserts: “the West must defend itself by whatever means.” Lewis was an enthusiastic champion of the war on Iraq. In fact, he was one of those who assured the American government that Iraqis (if not all Arabs) would welcome the war on their country. [Vice-President Cheney relied on the authority of Fouad Ajami to assert that not only Iraqis, but all Arabs, would joyously greet American troops -- welcome them with, in Kanan Makiya’s words, “sweets and flowers.”
The Crisis of Modern Islam reveals much about Lewis and the ideology of hostility that permeates his work, especially when he deals with contemporary events of the Arab world. One is astonished to read some of Lewis’ observations on Muslim and Arab sentiments and opinions. He is deeply convinced that Muslims are “pained” by the absence of the caliphate, as if this constitutes a serious demand or goal even for Muslim fundamentalist organizations. One does not see crowds chanting for the restoration of the caliphate. Furthermore, Lewis treats Bin Laden, not as the fanatic that he is, but as a respected theologian, another Ghazzali. In other words, he takes his Islamic pronouncements too seriously, instead of treating his subject as the criminal that he is. Methodologically, he still insists that terrorism by individual Muslims should be considered Islamic terrorism, while terrorism by individual Jews or Christian is never considered Jewish or Christian terrorism. Lewis has a reply to this criticism. He argues that what is unique about Muslim terrorists is that they are the only ones who appropriate the religious label for their actions. Perhaps he is right if one is to ignore some facts: that Israel defines itself as a Jewish state, that Jewish settlers who operate against Palestinians do so in the name of religious conviction, that Christian fundamentalists who have used violence against abortion clinics do so from a religious perspective, and he may have never heard of David Koresh or of Reverend Jim Jones of the Guyana massacre or of those Jewish terrorist organizations that are on the US State Department list of terrorist groups and states.
Lewis is free in his retirement to not even disguise his hostility to Arabs and Muslims, not that this hostility was not suspected by his readers for years. After all, he argued to Dick Cheney before the war, using that dreaded cliché from Zionist and colonial history, that Arabs only understand the language of force. His disdain for the Palestinians is unmasked. Though he lists acts of violence by PLO groups — only the ones that are not directed against Israeli soldiers — he lists not one act of Israeli violence against Palestinians). To discredit the Palestinian national movement, he finds it necessary to tell yet again the story of Hajj Amin Al-Husayni’s visit to Nazi Germany, apparently seeking to stigmatize all Palestinians with that association. His is so disdainful of the Palestinians that he finds their opposition to Britain during the mandate period inexplicable because he believes Britain was alas opposed to Zionism. Lewis is so insistent in attributing Arab popular antipathy to the United States to Nazi influence and inspiration that he actually maintains that Arabs obtained their hostility to the US from reading the likes of Otto Spengler, Freidrich Georg Junger, and Martin Heidegger. This is rather amusing. There is no evidence that the Egyptian masses have been known to devour Sein und Zeit (which, incidentally, does not contain anti-Americanism). But even the Ba‘th Party, for Lewis, has Nazi components (in fact, the Ba‘th, says Lewis, is a mélange of Nazism and Soviet communism)..."
By the way, on Saddam's ambition to be a writer: his advisor Tariq Aziz told Chief Weapons inspector, David Kay, that up to the start of the war, Saddam was sending him his last manuscript to edit. I read Saddam's first novel, Zabibah Wa-l-Malik, and it was such a boring and tedious narrative, very much reflection of Saddam's personality (Saddam is more boring as a speaker than even John Kerry). And the odd thing about the novel (he was too arrogant to write his name on it, so it just said: "by its author."). The novel carries the classic romantic themes and describes the ordeals of this woman, and how the just king (presumably Saddam) was so kind and loving and nice, etc. I do not recommend that novel. But I recommend the new novel, I`jam by my dear Iraqi friend Sinan Antun (just released by Dar Al-Adab in Beirut); it is very powerful and captures the atmosphere of freight and horror under Saddam's rule.
From Maureen Dowd's column of today: "These two would-be world-class tough guys were willing to go to extraordinary lengths to show that they couldn't be pushed around. Their trusted underlings misled them with fanciful information on advanced Iraqi weapons programs that they credulously believed because it fit what they wanted to hear.
Saddam was swept away writing his romance novels, while President Bush was swept away with the romance of rewriting the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf war to finish off the thug who tried to kill his dad.
The two men both had copies of "Crime and Punishment" — Condi Rice gave Mr. Bush the novel on his trip to Russia in 2002, and Saddam had Dostoyevsky down in the spider hole — but neither absorbed its lesson: that you can't put yourself above rules just because you think you're superior."

From the New York Times today: "President Bush plans to scale back requests for money to fight AIDS and poverty in the third world, putting off for several years the fulfillment of his pledges to eventually spend more than $20 billion on these programs.
Hardest hit would be the United Nations-supported Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, whose contribution from the United States would drop to $200 million in fiscal year 2005 from $550 million, according to Congressional officials who have been briefed on the president's budget proposal."

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Not to alarm you: but the US plans to take its war, or one of its many wars, into Pakistan. Pakistanis are thrilled: they want tons of US bombs and missiles to fall over their heads. They know they liberate.
Voting Analysis of New Hampshire.
For those who care: my review essay on the "Islam Industry" (good and bad books on Islam) appears in the new issue of The Middle East Journal.
How often (per day) are we going to hear that John Kerry fought in the Vietnam War, and killed Vietnamese people. His country is very proud of him.
French cabinet ministers on Wednesday adopted a bill to ban all conspicuous religious symbols in public schools. Good.
Aramaic, language of Jesus, lives on in Cyprus (and in a few villages in Syria).
Buying what? Congress recently allocated $180 million for aid to be disbursed directly by US soldiers.
The return of Iraqi communists. They could have had a chance of spreading their message had the silly leadership of the Iraqi Communist Party not served as mere tool of the US occupation. One of their leaders say about the Americans: "we are ready to be of service if we can help." They were rewarded with a silly and corrupt seat on the puppet council). This resulted in splits within the party. One offshoot is pretty active in organizing the unemployed, and is persecuted by the US occupation.
11-year-old boy among eight killed in Israeli tank raid on Gaza City
The European commission clears GM maize 'to please US'.
Paul Berman is a proud imperialist Marxist. And I hate it when he sheds crocodile tears over the plight of "Arab liberals" (by that he means those Arab kings and princes who support US Empire).
A very informative article on present-day conditions of Iraqi Shi`ites by Juan Cole.
My recent talk in Washington, DC on Saudi Arabia.
These are the results of the 1st Angry Poll: (Vote on the New One):
Angry Poll
What is the biggest threat to world peace and stability?

1. World Hunger 4 4%
2. Class Inequality 40 37%
3. George W. Bush 39 36%
4. Pollution 2 2%
5. Our Neighbors in Mars 2 2%
6. Bin Laden 8 7%
7. The new and improved Chicken McNuggets 12 11%

Total Votes: 107

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

This right-wing Lebanese-American columnist, Walid Phares, who was during his Lebanese days a member of the Command Council of the right-wing Christian-oriented Militia known as the Lebanese Forces (their most famous deed was the Sabra and Shatila massacre--when hundreds of Palestinian women and children were killed by militia men, in addition to other massacres and car bombs) criticizes my recent AlJazeera appearance. He, of course, distorts my words. But I did say that when Bush speaks of democracy in the Middle East, seek the safety of bomb shelters. Is it not amazing that this fellow had reinvented himself in the US as a "terrorism expert?"
U.S. Advice To Israelis: Don't Start Syria Talks
In the last two years, I have read in the US press (based on government sources of course) that Zacharia Almousoui was the 20th hijackers; that Ramzi Bin Shibah was the 20th hijacker; today, we read that in fact, Mohamed al-Qahtani was the 20th hijacker. Do not be surprised if the Bush's White House announces next month that in fact Sen. John Kerry was the 20th hijacker.
This is one of those silly corrupt, oppressive and polygamous kingdoms (or princedom or Sultanate) of the Gulf that the US loves so much: Two Kuwaiti lawmakers have submitted a bill calling for jail terms of up to 10 years and hefty fines for anyone who insults the Muslim, Christian or Jewish holy books and religious prophets.
Israel answers to no one on nuclear weapons (or Chemical weapons, or biological weapons, or conventional weapons) but is willing to provide full accounting of its collection of toy guns. Bush hails the move as a contribution to world peace.
Letter from Najaf
Sen. Lugar: More troops needed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Turkey, etc.
Mustafa Dirani testified Tuesday that Israeli interrogators raped him, sodomized him with a club, kept him naked for weeks, and humiliiated him.
Powell: U.S. May Establish Military Bases in Former Soviet Republics
The mess in Afghanistan, by Ahmed Rashid (a fine journalist harmed by post-Sep. 11 media attention). "What I saw was history repeating itself —in some respects in ways that were worse than before. "The Taliban are gathering again in the same places from where they started, it's like a rerun of an old movie," says Ahmed Wali Karzai, the President's brother, who is based in Kandahar."
Healing Rwanda: It would help if Kofi Annan (UN official responsible at the time) is made to account for UN inaction at the time.
John Ashcroft Unplugged: he believes that Iraqi "evil chemistry", "evil biology," evil geography, evil PE, evil Algebra, evil Math, evil arts, evil music, and evil literature justified the war on Iraq. He, however, does not believe that Iraqi physics was evil.
I have no doubt, that in a time that is not very long, people (here in the US) will look back at Bush's war in Iraq and regard it as huge debacle; far worse than a blunder (which reminds one of the famous saying by Napoleon's foreign minister, Charles de Talleyrand , when he described one criminal act as: "Worse than a crime, it was a blunder."). Apparently, Dick Cheney had (before the war) arrogantly expressed the view that: "Once we have victory in Baghdad, all the critics will look like fools," (and this according to a new book published in UK. And who look like fools now? The US is stuck, thanks to Bush. If the US stays it will lose; and if the US withdraws it will lose too. The US now will have to figure out how to handle this inevitable rise of religious fundamentalism and fragmentation in Iraq.
Those (in the US) who insist that all acts of violent resistance in Iraq are perpetrated by Saddam's henchmen are wrong; and those (in the Arab world) who insist that Saddam's henchmen have nothing to do with violent resistance in Iraq are also wrong. Angry Arab, on the other hand, is always right.
Dont forget to cast your vote in the Angry Poll down below (to the left). I am not sure whether I should close it at the 100 vote limit, or 500?
I do not believe the US government when it claims that it has succeeded in killing or capturing 2/3rd of AlQaedah's top leadership. First, nobody knows who the top or low leaders are, and the organization is structured horizontally and not vertically. This is not an organization that is structured like a communist party with a Central Committee. I also worry that the organization has been rejuvenating itself in recent months: they are regrouping in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Iraqi scene is going to provide AlQaedah with an arena that will probably replace Afghanistan. That is how foolish the war on Iraq (paradoxically launched in the name of "war on terrorism") was, and why we opponents of the war were right when we warned that the war will in fact impair the "war on terrorism." On the internet, the group seems to be in a state of frenzied violent mobilization, and its "military" magazine Mu`askar Al-Battar is already giving instructions to its fighters on how best to face the enemy with instructions to carry to GPS, for some reason. There is even a section on diet (Usamah-Jenny Craig?) and why a fast weight loss is not good. The ideological mouthpiece of the group, Sawt Al-Jihad, is very critical of Al-Jazeera TV. Apparently, AlJazeera only aired 14 minutes out of a 40 minutes speech in the most recent Bin Laden tape. Alarmingly, the magazine on p. 17, talks about a "spectacular" strike in the US. You also get the impression that the group is giving a high priority for the overthrow of the House of Saud. Saudi people deserve liberation and freedom, and not some kooky AlQaedah rule in the kingdom. I also notice that AlQaedah and House of Saud are in agreement over domestic issues, but not over foreign policy. In fact, the Bin Laden did not break with House of Saud until 1991, when he disagreed with them about the decision to invite US troops. What is most disturbing about these fanatic kooks of Bin Laden is this: I have never ever read or heard of a group that so casually accepts and justifies the killing of innocent people as AlQaedah does. Even their car bombs in Saudi Arabia are referred to as "battles." Battles? Against unarmed civilians in their beds? The literature is also quite critical of the Syrian government for some reason, and the Syrian rulers are referred to as "brothers of the descendants of apes and pigs" (the latter phrase is a disgusting phrase that AlQaedah uses to refer to Jewish people).
Kofi Annan should be brought up on war crimes charges, I believe. He was the person in charge when the UN ignored the signs that later produced the Rawanda massacres (800,000 in a few months). And now, bowing to US pressures, and using the UN and its staff, once again, as a mere tool for the US war machine, he sends a UN team to the very dangerous setting of Iraq, where public opinion runs wildly against the US (due to sanctions tighly imposed by UN in the 1990s, and due to UN subservience to US during the war).
Arabic newspapers have reported today about a new phenomenon in Iraq: that the US occupation authority and its Iraqi puppets have been organizing public spectacles whereby former members of the Ba`th party would be ushered into a room or hall, offered refreshment and beverages, and made to swear by God (or a god) repudiation of the Ba`th party and its principles. Even the conservative, pro-American Al-Hayat newspaper could not miss the irony of that. That was what Saddam used to do in the 1960s (or Stalin in the 1930s), when he would force Iraqis to publicly repudiate parties and ideologies that he rejected. And does the US colonial authority really think that such spectacles amount to sincere declarations of position, or a way for former Ba`thists to seek employment opportunities with the government? The US was planning (before the war of course) to showcase Iraq as a model for all other Arabs and Muslims. I now sincerely believe that many Arabs living under repressive rule (like in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, etc) would prefer to live under those lousy governments than to have the bloody chaos, and the American-designed anti-democratic caucuses--what an inaccurate name--these are not like the Iowa caucuses, in present-day Iraq. The US American Forces Information Services (thanks Shirin) have posted an item about that, but their story is deceptive and inaccurate.
Those who took bribes from Saddam should be exposed.
The [Iraqi election] is going to get fixed, says Paul Wolfowitz. Of that I am sure.
Israeli Demolitions Leave Many Homeless. Let them live on Mars, says Bush.
U.S. Troops Face Language Barrier in Iraq. NO?
A national survey of student attitudes has found that a record-low percentage of college freshmen said it is very important or essential to "develop a meaningful philosophy of life." Meanwhile, interest in being "very well-off financially" was at the highest level in 13 years.
LBC TV (Lebanon) and some Arabic newspapers have been reporting all day about an assassination attempt on Paul Bremer's life. The news have not been reported in US or European media.
This is hilarious: one of the loudest congressional voices about human rights violation in Libya, who used to yell and scream about Qadhdhafi's dictatorship, left a meeting with the Libyan dictatorcalling for an end to sanctions against Libya. You wonder what the dictator told this fanatic Ariel Sharon fan.
An American appointed Iraqi puppet "rules" (independently of course) that it is not possible to hold elections in Iraq.
I really read the most stupid headlines in the Washington Post (from the internet edition, so it may change): 9/11 Commission Finds Gaps in U.S. Security
Really? We would not have guessed that on our own.
As we made fun of George W. Bush for saying that Ariel Sharon is "a man of peace," we are equally obliged to make fun of Sen. John Kerry (also known as the Boring One) for saying that: "I believe Ariel Sharon is willing to make peace, I really believe it."
Leak Against This War, says Daniel Ellsberg.
More Iraq War lies exposed. An uproar in UK, and Democratic voters have told exit pollsters that they do not care about the Iraq war at this point.
It is not true that Congress is anti-Islam: now the fact that Senators want to investigate this list of charities, and that all are Muslim is purely accidental.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Full Text (huge document): Human Rights Watch, World Report 2004. Note that Human Rights Watch (and I am not a fan of the organization) rejects the characterization of the Iraq war as Humanitarian Intervention, and they say, among many other things, "...The consequence was a steady stream of civilians killed when coalition troops—on edge in the face of regular resistance attacks, many perfidious—mistakenly fired on civilians. That only increased resentment among Iraqis and fueled further attacks..."
I do not mind that the media cover NASA's adventures and missions provided they do so either in the section on Military affairs, or entertainment. Do you know this last trip to Mars cost us (for those two cute vehicles) some $820 million? And where is the science in that, I would like to know? Oh, we will find out whether we can plant potatoes on Mars soil. I see. That is science indeed.
John Kerry, who is famous for two reasons: 1) for winning Iowa caucus; and 2) for being the most boring speaker on the planet, released a press statement on Howard Dean and Israel yesterday. Howard Dean said: “the only way to have a Jewish democracy is to get out of the West Bank at some point because otherwise, you have a democracy; it's not a Jewish state. It's a Jewish state, it's not a democracy.” So Kerry responded by saying: "Every candidate who aspires to be president should know that Israel is a democracy and our closest ally in the region." (thanks Naseer).
American occupation figures, and their Iraqi puppets, always reiterate their belief that the Iraqi people do not want US troops to withdraw from Iraq, although the Iraqi people do not seem to be pelting troops with "flowers and sweets" as occupation apologist Kanaan Makiyya had predicted. And now: the pro-US occupation Iraqi paper Az-Zaman, which is run by Sa`d Al-Bazzaz (who ran Saddam's propaganda efforts in the past and is now part of US propaganda apparatus in Iraq), reports about a new public opinion survey in Iraq conducted on behalf of US occupation authority by an unidentified polling organization (for security reasons, says Az-Zaman). The survey reveals that some 60% of Iraqis are opposed to the continuation of the American occupation, while 12 % are in support of the continuation of occupation (which is less than the percentage of the Kurds in the population--which means that even the Kurds are not all in agreement in support of US occupation).

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Anti-U.S. tunes are big hits in Iraq. But Bush continues to make progress. I like it how US military commanders in Iraq always say that things are really better now, that it is much better than how things were last month. But last month, they were also saying that things are getting so much better, etc.
AIPAC is energized: "The harnessing of the passion, confidence and commitment of politically savvy pro-Israel students on America’s campuses today will keep Israel’s detractors on the margins of influence for years to come. " and "Pro-Israel students also stepped up their involvement in campus political affairs. Many AIPAC-trained activists won Student Government office for the first time last year, while others now advise campus leaders on issues of importance to the pro-Israel community. Activists invited more than 40 members of Congress to address campus audiences on the importance of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and in some cases pro-Israel students even helped facilitate the wider community’s efforts to reach out to specific lawmakers. "
Airport profiling.
I am not making this up: Pakistani military dictator says nuclear arms are safe.So safe, he adds, that he allows his grandchildren to play with them, but with adult supervision.
Iraqi caucus, focus, bogus, raucous.
Another helicopter crashes in Iraq: Official story: it hit a butterfly. Wait a few days, and the truth will come out.
According to Washington Post, Cheney's recently Increased Visibility Intended to Bolster Bush's Image. But how? They make it more confusing when they argue that his visibility will reduce criticisms of his role???
How roadside bombs have become the Iraqi guerrillas' most dangerous weapon
The US is now in the hands of a group of extremists:Fundamentalism has spawned an ideology of American supremacy, argues George Soros
Sunnis in Iraq want US to leave before elections. I do not understand. But would that not prevent them from installing and rigging?
You will NOT hear about those mass graves. Why? Because the killers in this case are allies of the US government. And allies are entitled to their share of mass graves.
Have you embraced a dictator today? Your congressional representatives have, in Libya. I knew this Lebanese politician who was very close to Libyan dictator Qadhdhafi; he told me that he has his picture everywhere in his residence, and kept a huge picture of himself in his bedroom.
Now we found out that US intelligence agencies "exaggerated" [read fabricated] data on Iraqi WMDs; then Powell exaggerated the exaggerations, and finally Bush exaggerated the exaggeration of the exaggerations. The stuff of which propaganda is made.
Howard Dean was bragging today that he was the first governor to push for "Welfare Reform." What a term. A fancy expression to refer to governmental persecution of poor people. He, in fact, was notorious as governor for his insensitivity to poor people.
The New York Times has observed that "Anti-Americanism May Be Fading". Do you know on what basis they make that judgment? Based on the visit to the World Economic Forum at Davos where the registration fee is around $30,000, and where the only people in attendance are billionaires, officials, and international arms dealers. What a representative sample of world population!
It really bothers the American occupation authority that Ayatollah Sistani refuses to meet with American officials. Some newspapers, like the Washington Post, do not even know, or do not want to admit, that Sistani refuses to meet with Americans. In an article about Sistani today in the New York Times, the paper was clearly unhappy that Sistani does not meet with US colonial administrator Paul Bremer, so it says: "Perhaps to distance himself from the day-to-day fray of politics, and to remain on a level above the occupation forces, he has refused to meet with Mr. Bremer himself." What? What kind of explanation is that? And what is that about "distancing himself from day-to-day fray of politics? He meets with officials from the Arab League, UN, the Iraqi puppet council, etc. This will hurt the feelings of the New York Times, but let me deliver it to them: Sistani does NOT want to meet with Bremer because he believes that it may lend legitimacy to the detested occupation. Get it?
You know racism when you see it. I do not like Mel Gibson, and strongly believe that he is a fanatical, right-wing, anti-Semitic, Christian fundamentalist kook. I base that on his views that were expressed in an article in the New Yorker (which I had posted). He even believes that the Second Vatican was a mistake, that the Pope is a liberal, etc. But I was angry (I know, I am supposed to be always angry) when I read in the New York Times on Friday that Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, was angry after he saw the new Mel Gibson's movie about the life of Jesus because Jews in the movie were portrayed as villainous, "with dark beards and eyes like Rasputin". I hate to shock Rabbi Hier but Jews of the Middle East are, surprise surprise, Middle Easterners, who look like Middle Easterners, NOT Europeans with blue eyes and blonde beards. This is incredible. And this dude heads a center that supposedly fights prejudice and bigotry. He can advance the fight against bigotry and racism by resigning, and retiring for good. I even would buy him a retirement watch.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Iraqis Want Saddam's Old U.S. Friends on Trial
Rumsfeld considers striking Hizbullah to provoke Syria.
The 50 lies, exaggerations, distortions and half truths that took this country to war
Changes in U.S. Iraq Plan Explored: but deadline is firm because it is based on re-election calculations.
Laura of Arabia.
The corrupt and polygamous House of Saud is desperate to please US and Israel Saturday's issue of the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasah reports about an upcoming Saudi initiative that would entail full recognition and full normalization between Israel and ALL Arab countries, a declaration of the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and an abolishment of the Palestinian right of return. Israel adds another demand: that a member of the royal family shines the boots of Israeli soldiers daily. 34 princes volunteer for the job.
Colin Powell: It is Possible that Iraq May Have Had No WMDs. He says that now, after the death of thousands of Iraqis, and hundreds of American troops.
Sex workers of the world unite: the Association of Women Prostitutes of Argentina demands government recognition as an official union.
Pentagon and CIA officials appear to have accepted that there is little point in searching for weapons stockpiles in Iraq
Stress epidemic strikes American forces in Iraq
An interesting analysis of Bush's State of the Union Speech by James Fallows who was Jimmy Carter's speech writer.
So the silly Lebanese magazine, Al-Afkar, interviewed this silly TV personality, Razan Mughrabi, and one question went like this: "By the way, you have not mentioned to us your friendship with president Clinton?" Answer: I have met him more than once at the award ceremony for Stars Awards [sic] which is held annually; and I asked him to play the violin, and he excels in that." For those who do not know, Clinton plays the saxophone.
My comments on Islam on CNN.com
A US-trained Iraqi police man, who underwent--US media keep telling us--special courses on human rights and sensitivity--is hitting an old Iraqi man in this picture. Hail the occupation.
There was a discussion about this in the comments' section, so I will provide some information about "sex tourism" which involves the exploitation of often little girls and boys, the trafficking in "sex" slaves. The main source of "sex tourists" are: Canada, USA, Norway, Sweden, UK, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The main destination of "sex tourists" are: Costa Rica, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Hungary, Kenya, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, and Vietnam. For more information: Kathleen Barry, The Prostitution of Sexuality; Judith Ennew, et al., Children and Prostitution; and Joni Seager, The State of the Women in the World Atlas (New Edition).
Make sure that you notice the new Angry Poll section below (to the left). Thanks Krista for the idea, and Neal for the execution.
I take what I had said about the New York Times back. I have said and implied that the New York Times, also known as New York Lies (and it rhymes), is hostile to the Palestinian people. That is no more accurate because there is strong evidence that there is indeed ONE PALESTINIAN who is very much liked by the newspaper. Adel Hussein is LOVED by the New York Times. You see: his ex-wife is an Israeli Jewish woman who lives in Israel, and his son is a combat soldier in the Israeli army. This has really changed the mind of the New York Times and led it to make an exception for its detestation of the Palestinian people as a whole. In fact, when Adel Hussein had the flu last month, the editorial board held a special meeting to discuss his sudden illness. You have to read the long laudatory story of Adel Hussein on Nov. 9th in the paper. It was written as a sob story, and is being remade into a soap Opera, tentatively titled: "All my Israelis."
The greatest living Arab novelist,`Abdur-Rahman Munif, is dead. This brave man was kicked out of Saudi Arabia and stripped of his citizenship in 1963. He moved between different Arab countries, and worked as an economist in Iraq in the 1960s. To his credit (while he was a leading Ba`thist) he saw the dangers of Saddam Husayn very early on and left Iraq to never return to it again. He was a fierce opponent of Saddam when many Arab writers, journalists, intellectuals, officials, and Donald Rumsfeld were hailing him as a hero in the 1980s during his war on Iran. His main work, Cities of Salt, is available in an excellent English translation. Yasir: if you are reading this, I offer my condolences. (Aljazeera obituary mistakenly states that Cities of Salt is in 3 volumes; it is a 5-volume novel). The pro-Saudi newspaper, Al-Hayat, which stinks of Saudi crude oil on every page and in every drop of its ink and which fills its editorial pages with vapid "liberal" discourse, did not dare (on its first page obituary of Munif on Sunday) mention that Munif was stripped of his Saudi citizenship. That would have been too embarrassing for the corrupt and polygamous House of Saud.
While US is occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, and Israel's war against the Palestinians has not stopped, and Israel threatens Lebanon and Syria, you know what Hizbullah is busy doing? Hizbullah is busy celebrating the veiling of 1400 girls (ages 9-13) in Lebanon. (thanks Amer).
The evil of "sex" slavery. (thanks Walter).
Chalabi (the international embezzler) and his rival (the former Saddam's intelligence operative). Both, of course, are dear friends of the Bush administration. And then you wonder why Arabs are so cynical and skeptical about US motives in the Middle East. (thanks Shirin).

Friday, January 23, 2004

This is a verbatim translation from the "liberal" Egyptian magazine Rose El-Youssef, January 23, 2004: "Yet another time, the genius brilliance of the great Egyptian poeple is revealed when they came out with a genuine and unprecedented consenus, selecting Mubarak as president..."
The Hidden State of the Union By George Lakoff
Bin Laden hoax backfires in Lebanon
Bush's Military Record Reveals Grounding and Absence for Two Full Years
Cheny cannot help himself: he continues to peddle his lies on Iraq.
Somebody that nobody has ever heard of (and his name does not appear in any of the writings on Al-Qa`idah), was captured in Iraq, and the US press rushes to claim--without any evidence--that he is a top Qaeda figure. I wish George Soros would fund a Center for the Refutation of US Official and Media Lies. But it would require a staff of 3000.
The new propaganda tactic at play: whenever a chopper is downed by gunfire, they never annouce that anymore. They now say it crashed, and wait a few days, before telling the public that it was downed by Iraqi gunmen. Yet, when a plane or a chopper is hit, but still manages to land safely, they immediately inform that public that it was hit by gunfire. This is the most recent example.
Is Kirkuk exploding?
Look at the classic words of propaganda in the Washington Post: The new incoming chief weapons inspector indicated that he will shift the focus of the hunt in Iraq from finding weapons to learning what became of Hussein's weapons programs. Those words will now be extensively used, remember them: Weapons programs.
A British parliamentarian lost her party job on Friday for saying she would consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were a Palestinian.
Who says that Americans do not have balanced and well-informed views about the Arab-Israeli conflict? According to a poll by the Zionist Organization of America, those are the views of Americans: By 67% To 19%, Americans Oppose Giving The Palestinian Arabs A State; By 65% To 18%, Americans Say Palestinian Authority Can't Be Trusted; By 55% To 21%, Americans Say Palestinian Arabs Seek Destruction Of Israel, By 73% To 15%, Americans Oppose U.S. Aid To The Palestinian Arabs. (thanks Yun).
Of course the White House fears free elections in Iraq
The friends of the US in peril in Iraq: Iraqi informer's family is marked for death
Well, well, well. US official, David Kay, at the helm of the hunt for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction asserted Iraq did not have stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. He then resigns his job. Saddam's WMDs NEVER existed, he says. He is one of those people who should be remembered for staying silent when their words could have averted a devastating war.
The Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, anti-Semite David Duke may be running for Congress. Do you know that if Louisiana did not have black voters, he would have been elected governor a few years ago when he ran and lost? Do you know that US allies in the Gulf (United Arab Emirates and Qatar, primarily) had invited this racist to speak about US foreign policy? You should know the identity of the corrupt allies of the US in the Middle East.
Ambitions of Empire: the Bush Administration Economic Plan for Iraq (and Beyond).by Antonia Juhasz (thanks Nadia)
The New American Century by Arundhati Roy (thanks Kamal)

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I want to draw your attention to a new section. Krista has suggested that I add a poll section on the site. So I asked Neal, and he promptly responded by adding it below (to the left).
Violence sweeps across Iraq
US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld is considering plans to expand the global war on terrorism with multi-pronged attacks against suspected militant bases in countries such as Lebanon and Somalia
Iraq may be on path to civil war, CIA officials warn
Wars 'useful', says US army chief.
Survey hints at National Guard exodus.
Canadian Sues U.S. Officials: Terror Suspect Was Deported to Syria, Jailed and Tortured.
Cheney: Weapons Search Needs Time (but no more than 2 centuries).
Ayatollah Sistani has deemed a U.S. plan for the country's political transition unacceptable in "its totality and its details."
Syrian president, like Arafat, is begging Israel for negotiations. Israel, typically, ignores him. Arab leaders have developed a special skill in begging Israel and US.
More on the Saudi Mufti (the Fanatic-in-Chief)
I could not believe it. Driving from Berkeley, I was listening to the Democratic debate airing on FOX News (on my satellite radio). So Peter Jennings asked Sen. Edwards how much he knows about Islam and its teachings, and Edwards answered him by saying that he is no expert on Islam, but that he met Gen. Musharraf of Pakistan and US Afghan puppet Hamid Karzai. I am not making this up. On another note, I read somewhere that some 40 percent of democrats who participated in Iowa caucuses made their selections not on the bases of first preference but on the basis of ability to defeat Bush. There is a strong mood among liberals and democrats to defeat Bush, obviously. I follow American political process so closely and yet I never vote: not in Lebanon nor in the US. How can I vote for somebody, or anybody, who may in my name do something horrible one day. And I cannot find a party or person with whom I agree fully on anything, not even partly on anything. So I am an amused spectator, who does not cheer.

On another note: it is striking how different the socio-economic backgrounds of my students at UC, Berkeley compared to my students at California State University, Stanislaus. My students at the latter campus struggle with school, jobs, and pressing family situations, and much less resources. Berkeley students are, by and large, far more privileged. It is all about social class, here and elsewhere. I disagree with many aspect of Marx (especially in his disagreements with the Anarchists—read Paul Thomas’ book on that—but find that he is more relevant today, than ever, and this is not to be disrespectful of the thought of Tony Danza. Eric Hobbesbawm has an interesting introduction to the new edition of the Manifesto by Verso.
Make no mistake about it: the continued US pressures on the corrupt and polygamous government of Qatar have achieved results: the nature of political coverage on AlJazeera has changed over the last few months. I notice a difference between the Arabic website of AlJazeera and AlJazeera TV. I have noticed, for example, that they now play down attacks on US troops, or do not mention them at all lest it upsets their American patrons. Just now: they mentioned attacks on Iraqi police, but skipped the news about attacks on US troops in Ba`qubah. Do you know that some 600 Iraqi police have been killed in the last few months? AlJazeera also loves to feature the silly Qatari foreign minister who speaks with the authority of Bismark. Does he not know that he represents a country, the political significance of which matches that of Micronesia? Even Lebanon has more clout (not really, but go along with me in this). And to please the US, and to attain American forgiveness for their past sins of airing Bin Laden and Saddam's tapes, now they feel the need to cover every single utterance by George W. Bush. In fact, just yesterday, I was watching AlJazeera, and they interrupted programming to say this: "This just in: the esteemed President of the US, who is known for his keen intellect, has just sneezed. We will provide more details as they become available."
This is from today's Maureen Dowd's column in New York Times:
"For proof of how intemperate their policy has been, compare this year's State of the Union with last year's. Last year it was all about Iraq's frightening weapons. This year the only reference was to "dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations."
Would Americans have supported a war to go get "program activities?" What is a program activity? Where is the White House speechwriters' ombudsman? " Notice that this comment is quite similar to Angry Arab's below. I used to think that Maureen Dowd represents a decline in political commentary (as she wrote too many fluff pieces, and watches too much TV and films), but now I think that she is one of the sharpest (and bravest) critics of Bush.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Iraqi scientist refutes U.S. weapon claims
Resistance to Patriot Act growing.
Blind Into Baghdad by James Fallows
PATRIOT Act Fears Are Stifling Free Speech, ACLU Says in Challenge to Law
US is not targeting Arabs or Muslims in its terrorist watch lists: only the bad terrorists are on the list. The number of people on that list is a mere.....5 million.
Is Bush changing the world for better? From the The Sydney Morning Herald:
Yes - 13%
No - 83%
Undecided - 2%

Total Votes: 11891
This author claims that the powers of neo-conservatives have been exaggerated. I agree: we can not lose sight of the influence of Christian fundamentalists: they were behind the Sudan deal. US negotiator for the Sudan said in an interview that Bush asks about the Sudan situation every morning (because many victims are Christians, you see).
Calling for free elections in "free and liberated" Iraq may be hazardous to your health. Another Voice of Academia Is Silenced in Iraq. Professor backed Sistani's call for direct elections.
Arabs may be angry, but they occasionally laugh.
One US Senator (and if you have seen him on TV, he really is quite slow) has found Iraqi WMDs:he had a dream that they were hidden in Syria under a chair (a big chair).
Iraqi farmers may not be enjoying their liberation.
270,000 Israelis left country over 10-year period
To the American visitors on this site: I do not mean to hurt your feelings, but Iraqis want their country back.
Will Syria be next? I doubt it very much, and wish that the Syrian government would stop acting so scared and so eager to negotiate with Israel, and please US. The mess of Iraq is such that the US will think thrice before any new adventure.
Sharon is more multi-faceted than we think: in addition to a long and busy career of war crimes, he also takes bribes. Bush declares him a Man of Peace and Bribes. (Bush later dropped "bribes" from the title when Cheney explained its meaning to him).
Measuring morals, whatever they are.
Dick Cheney, who can never tell a lie, claims that the US is still seriously looking for Iraqi WMDs.
Military Lawyer Slams U.S. Terrorism Tribunals
Was it not an amazing scene yesterday, during the state of the union speech, when none other than Ahmad Chalabi--yes, the famous international embezzler, was seated as an honored guest in the special balcony? What does that say about the Bush's Middle East policy? And this week's Newsweek is reporting that this embezzler is strongly urging the US to oppose elections. It makes sense. Aside from the tons of bodyguards who protect him from ordinary Iraqis, nobody would vote for him in elections. The US, aware of the reality of their stooges, agrees. This is called foreign policy vision. And on the State of the Union speech: notice that the war on Iraq is no more a war on Iraq (as it was last year): but it has been submerged in the larger "war on terrorism." He did not mention that no WMDs were found; but he talked about evidence of "program activities." Program Activities? What are program activities? Programs are things you put on paper, how could they have activities? And that is what they found. Paper documents which the Iraqis surrendered even before the war. Unless those papers were moving, dancing, and negotiating with terrorists. And do not be surprised if those activity-prone papers were found, you guessed it again, in Saddam's magical briefcase. Oh, I forgot the link to the Newsweek article.
The position of the mysterious Ayatollah Sistani is still not very clear. (By the way: this is the only knownvideo of him). Do you know that he has not stepped out of his house in 6 years? Muqtada As-Sadr's people are now suspicious about the attention around Sistani; representatives of Sadr have even been quoted in the Arabic press suggesting that he is doing Iran's bidding, and that a "deal" may soon be struck between him and US occupation, that would US plans. Sistani's positions are always such that they can be interpreted in more than one way: when asked by Shi`ites if they should sell and engage in business transactions with the occupiers, he said: "Yes, but ask them politely when they plan to leave Iraq." On the elections: he says that he may change his position if the UN would state that elections are not possible now. Do you know how easy it is for Bush, or any American official far below the rank of Bush, to get to push Annan to do anything, ANYTHING. So UN will send a delegation to Iraq, and they will do as US pleases. Is that how weak Sistani's position is? But I do believe that the public (what they perjoratively call as the "street" in the US) can also influence Sistani, as Sistani can influence the public: the relationship in that context is dialectical, as Marxists would say.
Iraq Occupation, Inc (thanks Rania).
My CNN International appearance from last week.
I thought some of you might get a kick out of this:

(Courtesy of Atrios)



-Affable Anglo

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

More on the Grand Cleric (Mufti) of Saudi Arabia who went crazy because he saw pictures of Saudi women in Saudi newspapers. He is one of those Wahhabi clerics who think that a woman's face is a pudendum that should be covered.
Billions more for defense -- and we may not even know it. Good guess: Double the Pentagon budget.
Defense Outlays in Fiscal Year 2002
(in billions of dollars)
Department of Defense $344.4
Department of Energy 18.5
Department of State 17.6
Department of Veterans Affairs 50.9
Agencies incorporated into Department of Homeland Security 17.5
Department of Justice (homeland security) 2.1
Department of Transportation (homeland security) 1.4
Department of the Treasury (homeland security) 0.1
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (homeland security) 0.2
Other agencies (homeland security) 4.7
Interest attributable to past debt-financed defense outlays 138.7
Total 596.1
Bush-Saudi ties deserve hard look by Kevin Philips.
One US columnist has noticed what is goning on: Give Iraqis the election they want: Despite Bush's rhetoric, the U.S. is opposing true democratic voting
The emperor's new clothes
Iraq's Ex-U.N. Envoy: U.S. Sowing Chaos.
What is going in the House of Saud? (for the full answer, wait for my book): A prince tells a story of kidnapping by another prince (the son of King Fahd).
Norway suspects that Israel bugged its ambassador's home and embassy.
George W Bush and the real state of the Union
Even the Kurds are starting to turn against the US.
Good job Morocco: (no thanks to the corrupt King, but to the women's movement there): Morocco has approved one of the most progressive laws on women's and family rights in the Arab world, which will see polygamy almost completely eradicated from the north African country.
A juridical call for the investigation of UK for Iraq war crimes (US, of course, is above--or below--international law and treaties.
Full text of Bush's speech: "Sep. 11, Sep. 11, Sep. 11, Free, liberty, free, Bin Laden is a Democratic presidential candidate and a friend of Bush's critics, free, Sep. 11, Sep. 11, Sep. 11, and wars make the world safer. What eloquence.
I will believe it when I see the ballot boxes: US set for Iraq election retreat?
Palestinians succeed in breaching Israel's new security fence and barrier system, by using a simple ladder. (thanks Jenny).
For those who get AlJazeera: I shall appear live to comment on Bush's pearls of wisdom.
The chief Saudi cleric, who thinks that it is very likely that the earth is flat, and who does not believe that "man" has been on the moon, has spoken: He Slams 'Evil' Unveiled Women.
A note: as I have repeatedly said: I will not interfere with the comments posted. I will not delete attacks, insults, or slurs against me, no matter how vulgar, provided that writers do not use other people's names. One such person did that today using Shirin's name. I have access to the IP addresses of comments' writers, and in such cases I will deny those addresses access.
Iron Sheik is now blogging. Beware.
Full Text: INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED CORE LABOUR STANDARDS IN THE UNITED STATES, REPORT FOR THE WTO GENERAL COUNCIL REVIEW OF THE TRADE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES.The worst labor conditions in the "developed" world. (thanks S.).

Monday, January 19, 2004

Why is the US so scared of elections in Iraq?
The French Magazine Le Point reveals the secrets of American-Libyan negotiations: "La première concerne le rappel et le remplacement de 46 ambassadeurs libyens en poste dans le monde. La seconde, le renvoi de l'administration libyenne de 180 responsables, dont le beau-frère du colonel Kadhafi, Abdallah Senoussi, et le chef des services secrets, Moussa Koussa. Tout ou partie de ces conditions aurait été accepté. Autre exigence de Washington : l'ouverture de discussions « à haut niveau » avec Israël." The Libyan dictator accepted American conditions, and volunteered to work on Bush-Cheney campaign.
It has been two weeks since the chief cleric of Al-Azhar Islamic University has banned a book. A record for him.
This headline from L.A. Times: "Art-Loving Israelis (not to be confused with art-hating Palestinians) Don't Condemn Envoy's Vandalism."
One year after trumpeting WMD threat, the world tunes in for explanation of US inconsistencies.
Shiite women knock at mosque door in Iraq.
On the clout of Ayatollah Sistani, who wants free elections in Iraq. Is it not irnoic that an Ayatollah supports free elections while the self-declared "leader of the free world" opposes free elections?
John Kerry, who has won in Iowa, has said: "Israel is our ally…and we know that Israel as a partner is fundamental to our security… America has always been committed to Israel's independence and survival." (Click here for more on his views on Israel). I once had a student at Tufts University who worked for him, and he told me that he was very close to the pro-Israeli community, and that some of his key advisors are fanatical supporters of Israel.
How many times we have read this: An American helicopter bombed a village home in southern Afghanistan killing 11 people, four of them children.
Jewish activists opposing the Israeli government's policies face intimidation and harassment via email and on the internet.
UN cuts aid to North Korea: Kofi Annan is busy spending UN money to clean up messes after US wars.
I know that Bush and the unelected puppet council in Iraq do not want elections, but some 100,000 Iraqis disagreed yesterday.
What sexist popular culture does not tell you: Study links breast implants to suicide risk. (thanks Rhiannon).
"Capitalism is the best system ever invented." Howard Dean in Iowa on Sunday, January 18, 2004.
The US aid co-ordinator for Afghanistan has warned that unless donors step up aid efforts, the Taleban will be back.
Conservative US News and World Report says that "A defense contractor got paid big bucks to train Iraqi journalists, and botched the job".
The bogus war on terrorism.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

A new US media favorite: US media love a Muslim who attacks Islam. But they only love those who criticize only Islam, but not other religions. I would promote anybody who attacks all religions, every single religion. And let us face it: how much courage does it take to attack Islam in US or Canada? And will the media promote somebody who attacks, say Judaism or Christianity? Will Washington Post or Fox News feature a Christian or a Jewish person who just wants to air attacks on Christianity or Judaism? Hardly. She also raises a question (Fox News loved that, and invited her to say on the air): "Who is the real colonizer of Muslims -- America or Arabia?" I do not know what that means. Does she mean that "Arabian" armies are now occupying Iraq? And please tell her that the term Arabia is not used anymore. And as far as homosexual rights are concerned, the Old Testament is certainly the most homophoebic "holy" text there is. And anybody who wants to achieve full equality, at all levels of society, you have to see seeds of oppression in ALL religions. Another article about her.
More on space as Rumsfeld's battleground.
New Iraqi parties are also not happy with US plans.
Arabs should be very very very proud. US Marines are undergoing intensive courses in Arabic to facilitate the conquest of Arab lands.
Details on Israel's secret offer to Syria in 2000.
I love this: US and its allies violate human rights around the world, with Israel killing Palestinians regularly, and Iraqi civilians are being shot at at US checkpoints in Iraq, and US newspapers are reporting that the food of Cuban dissidents in jail is not very good. Do these newspapers know that Saudi Arabia still beheads lovers?
People make a big deal that "these" liberals support Bush's wars. These are former liberals, and one of them, Christopher Hitchens, stated that he will be voting for Bush.
Pope to beatify 'buffoon' who was Austria's last emperor.
Wal-Mart under attack for locking in overnight workers in stores. Reason number 48767739 to boycott Wal-Mart.
Mark your calendars: Washington Post discovers on January 18th, 2004 that Bush's foreign credibility is at risk. No kidding. We have assumed that Bush is very popular and liked around the world, especially in the Arab world where his pictures can be seen everywhere. We have assumed that the globe recognized his intellectual brilliance very early on.
Dean implies he would govern like Clinton even though he is running differently. "I governed as a centrist, I balanced budgets, I have positions on most issues that characterize a centrist," says Dean, who talks to Clinton regularly. Dean notes that he supported the first Gulf War and every U.S. military action since, until Iraq, and that he is actually to the right of Clinton on gun control.Dean promises to go to war at the drop of a hat for you if you vote for him.
It is amazing: all Iraqis know that the US is opposed to free elections in Iraq, and they know why; while most Americans are still under the impression that the US is pushing for democracy and elections in Iraq. Well, most Americans still think that Saddam was responsible for Sep. 11 attacks. So we should not be surprised. Here the New York Times, admits that the US is obstructing free elections because it wants to prop up its stooges (notice that the New York Times calls US stooges "moderates." )
Northwest Airlines provided information on millions of passengers for a secret U.S. government air security project soon after the Sept. 11th attacks.
In As-Safir on Saturday, Rana Najjar reports that the institutionas of Hizbullah in Lebanon celebrated the veiling of 1150 girls. But she reports that based on her interviews with some of them, none knew the verses of the Qur'an on which veiling is supposedly based.
Palestinians workers brutalized by Israel.
The Dishonest war by Sen. Ted Kennedy.
While Bush is busy with Iraq, AlQaeda remains active.
I love sugar but this is insane: US sugar barons 'block global war on obesity'.
Avi Shlaim argues for a 2-state solution. Angry Arab argues for one full, democratic, secular, and non-racist state for both peoples, with the right of compensation AND return for all Palestinians.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

What former Bush's Treasury Secretary saw during his tenure: Apparently, Mr O'Neill was astonished to read plans for covert assassinations around the globe designed to remove opponents of the US Government. The plans had virtually no civilian checks and balances.
Pentagon Denying Victims Data on Cold War Weapons Tests.
Mission to Mars also has military benefits, like all other space missions. A few years ago, a committee which included Donald Rumsfeld (not to be confused with Dr. Phil) among its members, stated that: the US "must develop the means both to deter and to defend against hostile acts in and from space."
The war on...our rights, by David Cole.
Even the moderate International Committee of the Red Cross expresses concern over the plight of the prisoners in Guantanamo.
This article by Gary Hart about his contacts with Libyan intelligence officials in 1992 proves beyond a doubt that the change of course by the Libyan regime had nothing to do with the Iraq war. In other news, Bush argues that the Soviet Union collapsed because of the Iraq war; that Hitler killed himself because of the Iraq war, etc.
The Use and Abuse of Martin Luther King Jr. by Israel's Apologists By FADI KIBLAWI and WILL YOUMANS. (thanks Fadi and Will).
Israeli ambassador in Sweden goes crazy: he entered a museum and vandalized art works. He was expelled from the museum. He was immediately appointed distinguished professor of Art History at Harvard University.
Some hundreds of demonstrators in various cities worldwide are protesting what they insist on calling French ban on the veil. They insist on deceiving their constituencies by refusing to tell them that the ban includes a ban on skull-caps and large crosses. It is amazing that some Muslim groups are more outraged about this French plan than about US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and about what Israel is doing in Palestine. What disoriented priorities.
Comments' feature has been fixed. I now am waiting for Neal (who is on his way back to UK) to take care of the necessary procedures. Hurry up NEAL.
U.S. Journalist Quits Pentagon Iraqi Media Project Calling it U.S. Propaganda.
Women's Rights at Risk in US-run "liberated" Iraq.
U.S. Still Holds Child Detainees at Guantanamo.
Don't hold your breath: Bush will not be made to account for his deceptions on Iraqi WMDs.
Election Media Watchdog.
State of the Union Scorecard.
Evidence of abuse of prisoners in US-run Iraq.
California jail immigrants urged to join draft.
Lebanon is proud to resume executions.
You have to read this: Washington Post is really unhappy that Shi`ites are calling for elections in Iraq.
US changes stance to appease Sistani? I will be surprised if US allows a genuinely free election in Iraq. They would lose Chalabi and the other corrupt outsiders.
United against globalization. Bush was not invited.

Friday, January 16, 2004

TV ban on female singers reinstated in "liberated" Afghanistan. (thanks Walter). But Afghanistan's women were liberated by George and Laura Bush a while back, as you may remember.
Powell's shrinking credibility on Iraq.
Nice evaluation of US foreign policy and the Iraq situation by R.A. Norton (thanks Dick). The full article is in Current History.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

There is no state like Israel: Israel simply declares that, after a brief interruption, it will resume its assassinations of Palestinians.
The comments' feature will be returning very shortly, I am told.
Full text: speech by Sen. Kennedy against Bush's war.
Egyptian newspapers and magazines (Al-Usbu`, for example) have been reporting on the Chief cleric of Al-Azhar Islamic University. Apparently, the guy, who loves banning books when he is not praising the president of Egypt, is losing it. In recent months, he threw a shoe at a journalist; slapped another journalist, and Al-Hayat reported on the first page (tomorrow) that he kicked out a female journalist from his office, and yelled curses at her, accusing her parents of not raising her properly.
Full Text:Speech by Dick Cheney in LA yesterday. "The United States needs to be foward-deployed. We don't want to end that practice at all. It's going to be vital for us to maintain our relationships and our alliances around the world to do that. But what we're finding increasingly is we need forces that can move on relatively short notice. We need warm bases, bases we can f