Sunday, October 31, 2004

By Rafiq Sharaf (20th century). Posted by Hello

Palestinians insist on living, to the dismay of Israel. Posted by Hello
Helen Thomas: Bush Win Would Mean Dark Times: World Would Perceive Support For Preemptive War.
"Both Bush and Kerry have plans that depend on newly trained Iraqis. But insurgents are killing recruits, and infiltrating the forces."
"A U.S. agent hidden under a head-to-toe veil on Sunday sparked fear of a suicide attack in the Afghan capital by fleeing from police who tried to search her."
In Iraq: neither Bush nor Kerry seems popular.
The boring and unfunny Thomas Friedman wants to vote for: "the man who understands the necessity of using energetic U.S. diplomacy to make Israel more secure..."
Kerry and Bush Compete for the Role of Israel's Best Friend.
Concern Rises in Pakistan of a War Without End.
Both Parties Are Getting Out the U.S. Vote in Israel.
Another kind of "liberation"? Koreans Quietly Introducing Jesus to Muslims in Mideast.
Indian farmers given firearms licences as an incentive to curb population growth.
Andrea Dworkin is voting.
The human casualties of Brazil's rainforest disaster.
The competition between the Arabic news channels AlJazeera and AlArabiyya is getting to be silly and absurd. AlArabiyya for example would never admit that the Bin Laden tape aired on AlJazeera. It would only say that it aired on "several media and internet sites." On the other hand, when AlArabiyya's offices in Baghdad were bombed yesterday, AlJazeera would not even mention that the offices of its rival were hit, and that some of its staff members were killed and injured. It only mentioned a bombing in a street in Baghdad. Grow up.
Sinan tells me that Kanan Makiyya will be the next Iraqi puppet ambassador in US. He is being rewarded for his accurate prediction that invading US forces in Iraq would be weclomed with "sweets and flowers."
Guns and leaflets, but still no sign of the enemy.
The left is rising in...Uruguay, comrades.

By Lebanese artist Rafiq Sharaf (20th century). (He is very good, but tends to repeat himself). Posted by Hello
George Bin Laden and Usamah W. Bush: Recent Bin Laden Tape and Republican Dirty Tricks Part II: Those who have been reading me here know that I am particularly skeptical and cynical about political life. So cynical and skeptical I am, that--unlike people who are only mildly cynical and skeptical and who are drawn to conspiracy theories--I am also skeptical about conspiracy theories, unless there is a provable or convincing evidence. But the more I think and read about the recent Bin Laden tape, the more I smell a fishy conspiracy. First, I read today in the New York Times that the original tape of Bin Laden was only 5 minutes long, but just read in tomorrow's Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat that the original tape is 17 minutes long. The tape is dated last Sunday, but AlJazeera never rushes to air tapes. Another thing struck me about the tape: Bin Laden's tapes are all now produced by the Sahab Foundation (some audio-visual company linked to Al-Qa`idah), and they all are high quality in production and resolution. This was very low quality and resolution is grainy, although it was not retrieved from the internet (or "internets" as Bush calls it), but was hand delivered to AlJazeera's correspondent in Pakistan (Ahmad Zaydan) who seems close Al-Qa`idah people. And US officials are leaking to Arab and US media that they tried to pressure Qatari government to not air the tape. What! Did the US government try to pressure Fox News and ABC News to not air the constantly shown tape of a nobody terrorist (who has no leadership position anywhere and whose identity is even a mystery to the US government) and which is more horrific and gruesome than even the Bin Laden tape? And AlJazeera has only aired a few minutes of the tape (not one minute as NYTimes claims) but AlJazeera usually airs most or all of the tape in one special segment. Not this time. And the only segment airing is the one dealing with election and the Bush family and Floreeeeeeeeeeeeeeda. There is a whole section on Iraq, but AlJazeera has not aired it. And the Bin Laden's message is devoid of his typical violent and kooky religious preachment. And AlJazeera waits for weeks and months before airing tapes, and yet this time they aired it a few days before the election. Am I saying that AlJazeera (or more accurately the Qatari government) may be complicit here? You bet. Everybody noticed also that Bin Laden looked much healthier (and younger?) than the 2003 tape. Unless he has been in a bungalow in Hawaii for all this time, this is rather bizarre for somebody in hiding and constantly moving between Pakistan and Afghanistan with his dialysis machine, as the US government claims.
Spreading Democracy, By Eric J. Hobsbawm: "The United States has been ready with the necessary combination of megalomania and messianism, derived from its revolutionary origins. Today’s United States is unchallengeable in its techno-military supremacy, convinced of the superiority of its social system, and, since 1989, no longer reminded—as even the greatest conquering empires always had been—that its material power has limits....The effort to spread democracy is also dangerous in a more indirect way: It conveys to those who do not enjoy this form of government the illusion that it actually governs those who do. But does it? We now know something about how the actual decisions to go to war in Iraq were taken in at least two states of unquestionable democratic bona fides: the United States and the United Kingdom. Other than creating complex problems of deceit and concealment, electoral democracy and representative assemblies had little to do with that process. Decisions were taken among small groups of people in private, not very different from the way they would have been taken in nondemocratic countries. Fortunately, media independence could not be so easily circumvented in the United Kingdom. But it is not electoral democracy that necessarily ensures effective freedom of the press, citizen rights, and an independent judiciary. "

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Poland Attracts Plastic Surgery 'Tourism'.
Un-deciding disengagement.
Constitutional Democracy Colloquium.
In Pakistan, U.S. Policies Foster Suspicion and Hatred.
Who cares when the sand niggers die? "The Pentagon is collecting figures on local casualties in Iraq, contrary to its public claims, but the results are classified, according to one of the authors of an independent study which reported last week that the war has killed at least 100,000 Iraqis."
Cherie Blair lambasts Bush over human rights. (Angry Arab lambasts Cherie's husband over human rights).
Part of 9/11 Report Remains Unreleased.
Arendt's Biographer Corrects a 22-Year-Old Mistake Linking the Philosopher to a Jewish Terrorist Group.
From the editorial of the best magazine there is, the Economist (which had endorsed Bush in 2000): "...and meanwhile Mr Bush's credibility has been considerably undermined not just by Guantánamo but also by two big things: by the sheer incompetence and hubristic thinking evident in the way in which his team set about the rebuilding of Iraq, once Saddam Hussein's regime had been toppled; and by the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, which strengthened the suspicion that the mistreatment or even torture of prisoners was being condoned....But changing the regime so incompetently was a huge mistake. By having far too few soldiers to provide security and by failing to pay Saddam's remnant army, a task that was always going to be long and hard has been made much, much harder. Such incompetence is no mere detail: thousands of Iraqis have died as a result and hundreds of American soldiers."
I love but by Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad (my translation):
I love to be able to flip
life over its head for you
and to end tyranny
and to burn every rapist
and to ignite a hell
under our old world
with long flames
and to make the poorest
of the poor eat from
plates of diamonds and gold
and to walk in trousers
of expensive threads
and to demolish his hut...
and to build for him
a palace on the clouds
I love to be able to
flip life over its head for you
But...things have a nature
that is stronger than
desires and anger
Impatience is eating you
up, but has it achieved results?
Steadfastness, oh people that I love
Patience with misery
Place the sun in the eyes
and steel in the nerves
Your hands can achieve
the most splendid of dreams..
they can make the most
incredible of what is incredible

Friday, October 29, 2004

By Mustafa Farrukh (20th century). Posted by Hello

This boy is inspecting American reconstruction work in Iraq. Posted by Hello
Military Assault in Falluja Is Likely.
Eyewitness to a failure in Iraq (I cannot stand this guy).
This is a deception story; I do not believe it. They could have stopped it if they wanted it.
4 ex-detainees sue Rumsfeld, 10 others.

Arab Americans could help sway crucial states.

Arafat is presumbly too sick to send millions to the account of Suha Arafat in Paris. I have noticed that the Israeli government (which has killed thousands of Palestinian artists, poets, bystanders, leaders, activists, intellectuals, commanders, and children) is now very keen to do its best to keep this American/Israeli puppet clown alive. Posted by Hello
War Can't Be Won.
Bin Laden and Republican Dirty Tricks? It is ironic, is it not? I mean US media and government complain about AlJazeera's past airing of Bin Laden tapes and now I see that Fox News cannot stop airing the gruesome threats issued by some masked kook speaking in a very odd tone and language. (You may remember that I had told that you since Sep. 11, AlJazeera TV aired some 11 hours of Bin Laden tapes versus more than 500 hours of Bush's "tapes." You cannot but wonder who is more dangerous? Who is more fanatic? Bin Laden or Bush? How similar and how different are those two--the beard and turban difference notwithstanding)? The Fox News (and ABC News) tape was very odd. There was this man who had his face covered by a Kufiyyah, and issuing horrific threats of "blood in the streets." I cannot but wonder why did the US media decide to air such a tape? What is the news value of a tape by somebody who does not occupy any position of authority in any group or gang anywhere? He is a nobody, even in the world of violent fanatical groups. Why should Fox News (the "responsible"--and fair and balanced, always--channel which has been referring to AlJazeera as the "Bin Laden network") give a free airing to the threats of an anonymous kook whose face cannot be even seen. His eyes may look familiar. Could it be Karl Rove in disguise? Would he sink that low? No way. I have watched the Bin Laden tape on AlJazeera. First, it puts to rest the theory of the most ignorant and bigoted writers on the Middle East: Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens has been going around confidently asserting that Bin Laden is dead. Well, he is alive, and he looks far healthier than the last December 2001 video tape of him. His hands were also moving, although I could not see his kidney to judge whether he was ill. He was standing behind a podium, and was not dressed in the garb of his Afghanistan phase; I noticed that in one audio tape of Bin Laden it was accompanied by old footage of him showing him wearing Afghanistan traditional attire, as if to want to convince his enemies that he was still in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. I noted here then that I suspected Bin Laden may not be where we think (and where he wants us to think) he is. Today, he was dressed the way he would be dressed in...Saudi Arabia. Am I saying that Bin Laden is hiding in Saudi Arabia? I did not say that, but will not rule that out, especially when I read in the Sep. 11 Commission Report that Bin Laden was last whisked out of Saudi Arabia with the the help of a member of the House of Saud. I have always suspected that Bin Laden must feel secure where he is to release tapes and videos (now). He could be in Saudi Arabia, or Yemen, or somewhere else. The statement was different, I felt. He made too many specific references to American politics (although he pronounced Florida as Floreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeda). He may have seen Fahrenheit 9-11 as he made fun of Bush being occupied with the reading of the "goat story" on Sep. 11. He went on to suggest that George Bush's Sr. was so impressed with the tyrannies of the Gulf regimes that he constructed corrupt structures of government in the US modeled after those governments. His address to the American public was not what it was in past statements. As if he wanted to appease the American people, not that he will ever succeed. If this was intended as an attempt to drive a wedge between the American people and Bush, it will certainly fail. But that makes me more suspicious. Bin Laden is many bad things, but he is not that dumb. Would he really think that any American (not to mention others) would really listen to his message in the same tape in which he takes full (and criminally proud) responsibility for the horrors of Sep. 11? And please, for all of you conspiracy theorists who do not believe that Bin Laden was behind Sep. 11 (and some of you write comments on this site), read the transcript of this tape. Bin Laden is here very clear and unequivocal in his claim of responsibility of Sep. 11, and he talks about HE got the idea for the attacks. So can we now once and for all just rule out any of the bizarre conspiracy theories out there? Now? And he claims here that he was inspired to punish the US for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Having barely survived that horrific mass terrorist invasion, I have to say that Bin Laden is lying here. How could he trace his resentment toward the US to 1982, when he continued to cooperate with the US in the war in Afghanistan into the early 1990s (until 1994 according to British Intelligence sources quoted in Economist magazine--the best magazine there is)? And why did he not bring up the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon in earlier statements and interviews if it was the factor behind his attacks? This is like somebody committing an act of murder and later searching for his motive; a motive that would get him the most support among his people. This is what the ancient Greeks called demagoguery. Now on the dirty tricks: I know AlJazeera's operations well. I suspect that they had the tape for a while. I do not believe that it has just reached them. The former director of Aljazeera once showed me tapes of Bin Laden in his drawer that were never aired. The Qatari government (a client government of the US) would not allow AlJazeera management to decide on the status of the tapes without it giving the green light. And the Qatari government has been coming under increasing pressures from the US over AlJazeera's coverage, and the Qatari Ruler was not invited to the G-8 summit as a punishment. So I strongly suspect that the Qatari government sought the permission of the Bush administration, which must have seen in it a propaganda bonanza in a context of an easily manipulated and ill-informed American public. Something is brewing.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

What do you expect. A lousy article on the Columbia matter in New York Times. You may protest by signing the petition.

By Mustafa Farrukh (20th century). Posted by Hello
Three Palestinians, including an eight-year-old girl, were killed by Israeli forces.
He will never learn: Paul Wolfowitz defends his war.
For those attending the Middle East Studies Association meeting in SF: observe the boycott of Hyatt Regency. (thanks Shawna for alerting me).

Iraqis "liberated": Face Down. Posted by Hello
The Road to Abu Ghraib: The biggest scandal of the Bush administration began at the top. (via Abu Aardvark)
Grad School's International Glow Is Dimmed by Security Concerns.
"The United Nations official charged with monitoring compliance with international prohibitions against torture has sharply criticized several practices adopted by the Bush administration in its campaign against terrorism."
Provincial Capital Near Falluja Is Rapidly Slipping Into Chaos.
"The invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by coalition forces has lead to the death of at least 100,000 civilians, reveals the first scientific study to examine the issue. The majority of these deaths, which are in addition those normally expected from natural causes, illness and accidents, have been among women and children, finds the study, released early by The Lancet on Thursday." (thanks Salih)
The poem Promises of the Storm by Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish (my translation):
So let it be...
I have to reject death
and to burn the tears of
the songs that are soaked with blood
and to strip naked the olive trees
from all the fake bushes
And if I am singing for joy
from behind the frightened
it is because the storm
promised me wine...
and new toasts
and rainbows
and because the storm
brushed away the sound
of lazy birds
and the borrowed bushes
from the standing trees
And let it be...
I have to brag about you,
oh, wound of the city
You are the portrait of
lightening in our
sad nights
The street frowns at my face
and you protect me from
the shadow and the looks
of hate
I will sing for joy
from behind the frightened
since the storm hit
my homeland
It promised me wine,
and rainbows

By Lebanese artist Mustafa Farrukh (20th century). Posted by Hello

An Iraqi woman watches the "liberation" of her husband by US troops. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Let it be noted. I will not shed a tear over the death of Yasir `Arafat. This has been a lousy leader who has spent his career trying to please Arab royalty, Israel, and the US, and failing miserably in his efforts. He is responsible for the massive corruption in the PLO and the PA, and has used corruption to play rivals against one another. `Arafat has compounded the wounds and sufferings of the Palestinian people, and is responsible for the assassination of Palestinian writers and intellectuals (like the cartoonist Naji Al-`Ali). He is responsible for the kidnappying and killing of Saudi dissident Nasir As-Sa`id on behalf of the Saudi royal family, and has supported Palestinian infighting when it served his selfish political interests. He launched a war on Palestinian camps in North Lebanon in 1983, and for that he should not be forgiven. Having said that, it is Zionism that is responsible for the birth of Palestinian national suffering. I will write more about him when he dies.
Seymour Hersh: Man On Fire.
C.I.A. Is Accused of Delaying Internal Report.
Public Opinion Poll Indicates Iraqis Favor Kerry over Bush (their "liberator") in U.S. Presidential Race.
Guantanamo Bay Britons sue US officials for £22m.
This is the most fair and most balanced article about the campaign against my dear friend Joseph Massad at Columbia. It has just appeared in NY Jewish Week magazine.
US claims that it is concerned about the extension of the term of the Lebanese president, but is not concerned at all about the renewal of the term of the Tunisian dictator. Help support American dictators, NOW.
"The Israeli army on Tuesday arrested an officer accused of repeatedly shooting a 13-year-old Palestinian girl point-blank to make sure she was dead, as his soldiers pleaded with him to stop. A preliminary hearing by army commanders had cleared the officer, but further investigation by military police raised suspicions that he gave false testimony, an army statement said."
"Liberated" Iraq is deadliest country for journalists.
Iraqi puppet prime minister/car bomber/former Saddam's henchman/embezller-in-Yemen is critical of US. The puppet shall be replaced with another puppet (no moustache allowed).
Fighters in Congo have raped at least 40,000 women and girls in the past six years, yet the country's crippled health service can offer the victims little help.
I know. The Joseph Massad--Academic Freedoms' petition cannot be reached now. I do not know why. I do not know whether it was hacked. Keep checking.
"BBC World Service and Global News director Richard Sambrook on Tuesday took the U.S. news nets to task on their own turf for "wrapping themselves in the flag" and not asking the tough questions about the Bush administration's reasons for going to war in Iraq."
Full text: Amnesty International Report. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Human dignity denied; Torture and accountability in the ‘war on terror’.
Global ranking of press freedoms: East Asia and Middle East have worst press freedom records.
Clinton, Campaigning in Florida, Calls Kerry a Stalwart Friend of Israel.

Monday, October 25, 2004

By Mustafa Farrukh (20th century). Posted by Hello
About 200 colleagues of kidnapped aid worker Margaret Hassan, who went missing a week ago today, gathered at a rally in Baghdad to demand her release.
Secret report: terrorism spreading across Iraq.
Prewar intelligence predicted Iraqi insurgency.
Massacre suggests insurgents infiltrating Iraq security forces to mount attacks.
To people around the world, please read and sign this petition in support of academic freedoms. I urge you not because it deals with a close friend of mine (Joseph Massad) but because he is being subjected to a very nasty and sinister campaign by Zionist hoodlums. A sleazy member of Congress from New York has even called on the president of Columbia University to "fire" him. Joseph has written against anti-Semitism and anti-Semites in Arabic and English, and those hoodlums are trying to creat a caricature of Joseph that has no relation to reality. I particularly appeal to my friends and colleagues (students and faculty) at colleges and universities around the world to help circulate this petition widely and to gather as many signatures as we can to help defeat the forces of intimidation and harassment. For academics who wish to add their signatures to a letter that will be sent to president of Columbia University, please email Neville Hoad at .
For More Teenage Girls, Adult Plastic Surgery: Rise in Breast Implants, Other Procedures Raises Doubts About Long-Term Effects.
Increase In War Funding Sought: Bush to Request $70 Billion More.
Kerry and Bush send in top guns to woo AIPAC.
Sunni boycott threat to Iraqi election:
Also, poll says religious parties more popular than interim government.
Free elections my....potato: "While publicly stressing the need for Iraqis to control their own destiny, the Bush administration is working behind the scenes to coax its closest Iraqi allies into a coalition that could dominate elections scheduled for January."
350 tons of explosives go missing in Iraq.

This is Zionism: This child was shot by Israeli gunfire in Khan Yunis yesterday. Posted by Hello
A review of my book in Jordan Times (thanks Isa).
Hip-hop on the frontline: Globalised rap music may have lost its bite, but in the Middle East it's giving voice to both sides in the conflict.
For those who care, and who know how to operate a radio or navigate the web, I shall appear live (on tape) on KPFA's Flashpoints tonight at 5:00PM (Pacific Time). You may listen live.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

By Mustafa Farrukh (20th century). Posted by Hello
Index of corruption worldwide (note Lebanon's and Iraq's rank).
Iraqi oil money can't cover reconstruction despite U.S. predictions.
Karl Rove: America's Mullah.
"A speech by U.S. President George W. Bush's national security adviser to a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group in Florida eight days before the election caps a concerted Republican drive for Jewish votes that has so far yielded minimal results."
For Roma, a Revolution of Expectations:
Slovakia's Long-Oppressed Minority Is Rising Up Against Stereotypes.
Abu Ghraib Guards Kept a Log Of Prison Conditions, Practices.
Why America Has Waged a Losing Battle on Fallouja.
Injustice is served: "The Army has denied most of the thousands of compensation claims Iraqis have made against the U.S. military, determining that combat accounted for most of the deaths, injuries and property damage."
A conflict between the violent fanatics and violent ultra-fanatics.
Now he is speaking? Bush exploits suffering of 9/11, says Carter.
To people around the world, please read and sign this petition in support of academic freedoms. I urge you not because it deals with a close friend of mine (Joseph Massad) but because he is being subjected to a very nasty and sinister campaign by Zionist hoodlums. A sleazy member of Congress from New York has even called on the president of Columbia University to "fire" him. Joseph has written against anti-Semitism and anti-Semites in Arabic and English, and those hoodlums are trying to creat a caricature of Joseph that has no relation to reality. I particularly appeal to my friends and colleagues (students and faculty) at the following colleges: Colorado College, UC, Berkeley, UC Davis, California State University, Stanislaus, UC, Riverside, UCLA, UC, Santa Barbara, USC, UC, San Diego, Stanford University, SFSU, UCSF, UC, Santa Cruz, UC, Irvine, U of Washington, Washington State University, University of Arizona, Arizona State, AUC, Princeton University, University of Maryland, Rutgers University, AUB, LAU, University of Paris, University of Mainz, Upsala University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, University of Durham, University of London, University of Chicago, NYU, Georgetown University, American University, George Washington University, University of Virginia, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Mills College, University of New Hampshire, Brown University, Harvard University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Boston College, Boston University, Duke University, Emory University, University of Florida, University of New Mexico, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, SUNY, CUNY, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth College, St. John University, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Modesto Junior College, University of Wisconsin, and everywhere else, to help circulate this petition and to gather as many signatures as we can to help defeat the forces of intimidation and harassment.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

By Mustafa Farrukh (A contemporary Lebanese artist born in Beirut in the year 1901.) Posted by Hello
Iraq veterans open up on mishandling of war.

Wounded by US bombs in Fallujah. He was mistaken for Abu Mus`ab Az-Zarqawi (same height and features). Posted by Hello
Liberal Hawk Down.
"So who is Mr. [Mansoor] Ijaz?"
Estimates by U.S. See More Rebels With More Funds.
Fighting Words For A Secular America.
Only for those who enjoy fruit pies.
An excellent article: The Truth About Muslims.
Tariq Ali v. Christopher Hitchens: A Debate. (Ali was much better in a previous debate on the same program).
"Alan Dershowitz: Legally and morally both Israel and the United States would have the right to launch preemptive strikes against Iran's nuclear program."
"Hey Irshad, Your 15 Minutes Are Up."
After Terror, a Secret Rewriting of Military Law.
Here, Henry Kissinger asks the Israeli Ambassador whether the US should veto a UN resolution.
Sen. Levin's investigation into the Iraq-Al-Qa`idah "links."
Moustache or no Moustache? When you follow present-day Iraqi political culture, you notice a big rift between "the inside Iraqis" and the "outside Iraqis" who came with US tanks to Iraq. Inside Iraqis seem very insistent on the need for an Iraqi political leadership that comprises individuals who suffered under Saddam's brutal rule and the cruel UN sanctions. They want leaders who stayed inside, and did not sit out the long years of agony and suffering in the fancy hotels of UK and US. I also noticed this: Iraqi men always don moustaches. It is a macho sign of Iraqi men. The Iraqi leaders of the inside all have moustaches, and US puppet Iraqis all have no moustaches (Pachachi, `Allawi, Chalabi, Qanbar, etc). Having read this, `Allawi is now growing a moustache as we speak.
From the poem Last Prayer by Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish (my translation):
It appears to me that my life is short
and that I am a tourist on earth
and that the girlfriend of my
drunken heart will cheat if
I am away from her
that she will drink wine
and write poetry
for somebody else,
because I am a tourist
on earth!
It appears to me
that a dagger of betrayal
will dig in my back
And a newspaper will write:
"He was struggling"
And my folks and neighbors
will be sad
and our enemies will rejoice
And after a few months
they will say: He was!...
It appears to me that
the sea of ashes
will grow after me
wine and wheat
And that I will not feed it
Because I am alone
in my grave with my skull
And on my lips is a
smile of relief
because I made with others
the yeast of future days
and the wood of our ship
in the sea of ashes
It appears to me that
my life is short
and that I am a tourist
on this earth
And if one heart beat
stays in my blood
to bring me back to life
If I
depart from the thorns
of our ascending paths
I would have said:
Bury me now
I am the twin of the gigantic summit!!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Bahram Gur Tramples a Bearded Figure Under the Hooves of His Horse, Page from a Manuscript of the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdawsi (1525-1575). Turkey (?) Posted by Hello
US Journalists: as they really are. Ted Koppel talks to Hengry Kissinger.
The Second Invasion: Al Hurra TV.
Now he is speaking: Former CIA Director Says War on Iraq 'Wrong'.
"Insurgents funded by Saudis, U.S. says."
Scowcroft calls Iraq a failing venture.
"Brazil's new Resende nuclear plant has the potential to produce enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs every year, U.S. researchers said Friday. Brazil denied the claim."
Jon Stewart's Fake Journalism Enjoys Real Political Impact.
Documents Provide More Details on Prisoner Abuse Allegations.
"The very idea that the Arab countries would agree to function as Israel's storm troopers for the occupation is a mad notion, bordering on chutzpah."
(In)justice in the age of Bush: "Three members of the military panel established to hear the cases of Guantanamo Bay prisoners have been removed because of concerns about their lack of impartiality. But the officer acting as the senior "judge", who has close links to the Pentagon official overseeing the hearings, has been allowed to retain his job."
Child soldiers, sex slaves, and cannibalism at gunpoint: the horrors of Uganda's north.
My friend Hala just returned from Iraq. These are her reflections. (thanks Hala).
Thus spoke a war criminal/idiot.
AIPAC Annual Summit.
Despite globalisation, nation states show no sign of going into decline.
Braving Springfield's anti-gay backlash.
Zionist hoodlums and Columbia University: I am most distressed over the nasty campaign by Zionist hoodlums directed at my dear friend Joseph Massad of Columbia University. Joseph is a man of great integrity, honesty, and scholarship. He is free of any prejudice. Now, a demagogic member of Congress (who doubles as a Zionist fanatic and is (most likely) running for Mayor of New York City next year) is asking for Joseph's dismissal from Columbia. If there is anything worse than this blatant and vulgar political interference in academic affairs I have not seen it. For those who do not know him, Joseph has written courageously in Arabic and English against anti-Semitism and anti-Semites. The propaganda lies spread about him have no basis in reality. I shall initiate a petition in his support, and will post information here. You may in the meanwhile feel free to write to the president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger (his, to protest this thuggish intimidation of a courageous academic. (His address: Office of the President, Columbia University, Mail Code 4309, New York, NY 10027).

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Raksh, the Steed of Rustam, Impaled in a Pit, Page from a Manuscript of the Shahnama (Book of Kings) (1525-1575). Turkey?
 Posted by Hello
The invisibility of the poor in this campaign:
Kerry on Israel. (thanks Shadi).
"Journalism by Remote Control".
"Hedy Epstein, an 80-year-old Holocaust survivor and champion of the Palestinian cause in Israel, spoke at the History Corner last night to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The event, which was sponsored by the Coalition for Justice in the Middle East and the Muslim Student Awareness Network, was marked by tensions from the outset." (thanks R.S).
How Americans view Bush and Kerry on foreign policy.
"SAN FRANCISCO The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit today against the F-B-I. The organization is trying to get more information about the F-B-I's questioning of Muslims and Arabs as it investigates the possibility of pre-election terror attacks."
"He says US President George W. Bush is a liar. Journalists should stop dancing around the issue and name Bush for what he is, the ever surly Bradlee says in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview."
"What does it tell you about a president that his grounds for war are so weak that the only way he can justify it is by believing God wants it? Or that his only Iraq policy now - as our troops fight a vicious insurgency and the dream of a stable democracy falls apart - is a belief in miracles? Miracles make the incurious even more incurious. People who live by religious certainties don't have to waste time with recalcitrant facts or moral doubts. They do not need to torture themselves, for example, about dispatching American kids into a sand trap with ghostly enemies and without the proper backup, armor, expectations or cultural training."
Neither Bush nor Kerry cares about the poor: "Federal banking regulators in the Bush administration are poised to limit the nation's primary law requiring small banks to serve low-income residents in their own neighborhoods through housing investments and development projects."
The war against women in Iraq: "Four of the women were killed when gunmen opened fire from a minivan that had pulled alongside a bus filled mostly with female employees of Iraqi Airways and the Civil Aviation Ministry on their way to work at Baghdad International Airport. One woman, a member of an airport cleaning crew, died at the scene and three others died after being rushed to a nearby hospital, according to an Iraqi Airways employee who was riding in a second bus."
I was asked to give my opinion of those ostensibly captured documents from Saddam's intelligence service. And I said: "But having looked at the documents: there are some problems, although I am not ready to make a judgment either way about authenticity. But on p. 6, for example, he refers to a group by Abu Dawud, and his "perpetration of Fida'i activities" while in reality the man (Abu Dawud) had long retired, and has not been known to have been involved in any acts since the 1980s. The one document that refers to to "hunting down" Americans in Somalia is most odd in phraseology: the verb used (iqtinas) is never used in Arabic in that context." But for those who know Arabic, you may judge for yourselves. (thanks Christopher).

Sultan Mehmet III (r.1595-1603) Enthroned, Attended by Two Janissaries, Turkey (about 1600). Posted by Hello
More Iraqis say their country is headed in the wrong direction and they blame the poor security situation.
Pat Robertson says Bush told him there would be no casualties in Iraq war.
"Iraq Called 'Springboard' for Insurgency Figure."
"A US soldier on trial for abusing Iraqi prisoners told a Baghdad court martial yesterday that he hooked up wires around a hooded detainee in a mock electrocution at the behest of military and civilian intelligence officials."
A Palestinian schoolgirl riddled with bullets. And no one is to blame: Questions remain after Israeli unit commander is cleared of Palestinian pupil's death.
"A U.S. soldier pleaded guilty on Wednesday before a court martial to abusing prisoners in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, including forcing one to masturbate and photographing naked prisoners."
"Intelligence officials were convinced that American soldiers would be greeted warmly when they pushed into southern Iraq, so a C.I.A. operative suggested sneaking hundreds of small American flags into the country for grateful Iraqis to wave at their liberators. The agency would capture the spectacle on film and beam it throughout the Arab world. It would be the ultimate information operation...The land forces command printed 100,000 maps of the southern Iraq oilfields, which the Marines were to secure."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Tyre: 19th century. My grandfather's house is on a site visible here. (It was destroyed by Israeli bombing in 1982). Posted by Hello

Palestinians: that was their school before its destruction by Israeli forces. Posted by Hello
Drug smugglers exploit Iraq chaos.

His house was destroyed by Israeli forces. Posted by Hello
"[T]he head of a U.S. Presbyterian Church delegation called on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories and said Monday that his church may withhold investments to pressure Israel."
Karzai Opponents Tally Complaints.
Study: Israeli Settlements get more aid money than other towns.
Military flashes more steel in Iraq: Will it work? (Ehhhhhhh, NO.)
Thinktank: invasion aided al-Qaida.
For those who care, are in the Bay area, and do not like Raymond, I will be speaking (and signing books) at Black Oak Books in Berkeley on Wednesday night at 7:30PM.
France, Germany, Russia, and US bought oil from Saddam: The US Man Who Bought the Oil From Iraq.
(Even the New York Times has noticed). How Many Iraqis Are Dying? By One Count, 208 in a Week.
BUSH's 'CATASTROPHIC SUCCESS': The Strategy to Secure Iraq Did Not Foresee a 2nd War.
France and Spain block asylum camp plan.

Monday, October 18, 2004

A Couple in Amorous Embrace, 1744 (Adullah Bukhari, Turkey). Posted by Hello
Civil Liberties, Three Years After 9/11:
The Other War.
"As Chechen guerrillas increasingly recruit female suicide bombers, Russian forces are sweeping through Chechnya abducting women from their homes as well as men."
This is about the farce puppet elections in Iraq that most likely will not take place: "The United Nations has failed to fully staff its operation in Iraq, imperiling the timing and quality of the elections there and forcing inexperienced Iraqis to take the lead in preparing for the country's" elections.
For Afghan women, there are still bigger battles than the right to vote: More mothers die in childbirth than anywhere else in the world.
U.S. Reportedly Blocked Bid for Muslim Forces.
U.S. elections: A global view / Bush bashing, but not in Israel.
Indian girl who weeps stones in plea for help.

The caption on top says: "one of the hostages who is being held in a secret location." On the couch it says: "The Arab people." The TV screen shows a scene from Baghdad with the headline "Live: Baghdad is Being Shelled." Posted by Hello

This Kindergarten school was destroyed by Israeli forces. Posted by Hello
Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes 'violates international law'.
I read several Arabic newspapers a day. I cannot believe how much the gap between Arab reportage on Iraq and American reportage on Iraq has been increasingly expanding as of late. In fact, a WP (see yesterday) reporter admitted that American reporters in Iraq can no longer report from the country. What you get in US newspapers on Iraq these days is exactly what Cheney wants you to know about the developments there. I read in AlHayat yesterday about the US ambassador in Iraq, John Negroponte. Apparently, he went to Najaf hoping to meet with the Grand Ayatollahs in the city. Not even the tiny Ayatollahs were willing to meet with him. And a spokesperson for one of the four Grand Ayatollahs (Ishaq Fayyad) reiterated the collective position of the senior Shi`ite clergy in rejecting any meetings with any representatives of the US occupation in Iraq. I had read about Powell (and Bremer repeatedly) also trying to meet with Sistani to no avail. Also, apparently the attack inside the Green Zone a few days ago was worse than what was reported. AlQuds Al-`Arabi (tomorrow's edition) is reporting that one of the three attackers who managed to sneak into the Green Zone survived and took American hostages, but was later shot by an American sniper. In other news, and as Bush keeps bragging about the highly inflated numbers of Iraqi (puppet) security and army forces, Iyad `Allawi announced that some 40,000 Iraqi puppet troops have been relieved of their duties due to "suspicions about their backgrounds" according to one Arabic TV news report. `Allawi (the former Ba`thist henchman of Saddam) also announced that Ba`thists will be allowed to run for (puppet) elections.

Wealth Gap Widens For Blacks, Hispanics. Posted by Hello