Monday, January 31, 2005

Many Arabs find the constant references in the US media to how the Iraqi elections represent "the first time that Arabs vote" to be wrong and offensive. Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians, and Egyptians began voting in relatively free elections in the...1920s.
"The document reveals astounding data: "Settlement formations" include 1.1 million dunams [275,000 acres] of privately owned Arab land, constituting some 35.6 percent of the area.""
Headline from the Washington Post: "94 Percent of Registered Iraq Ex-Pats Vote." Buried in the text is this: "the number of expatriate Iraqis who registered in a special nine-day campaign represented only 23 percent of the estimated 1.2 million eligible."
"Basra intellectuals united by fear of rise in religious intolerance"

(From right to left) 1) "Before the elections." 2) "After the elections." Posted by Hello
It is very likely that AlJazeera, one of three voices against the House of Saud in the Arab media (the other two are Al-Quds Al-`Arabi and New TV) will be bought with Saudi money. The Qatari government (linked to all 3 media outlets mentioned) does not wish to displease the US government.
"The German government is holding up the signing of a contract for the sale of Dingo armored cars to Israel for fear that the Israel Defense Forces will use them against the Palestinians."

Nurhan Dib, 10, was shot by Israeli occupation forces. Posted by Hello
"The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which runs Rafah Elementary School B, said Norhan Deeb was hit by a rifle bullet apparently fired from an Israeli army observation post 800 metres away. "She suddenly screamed and fell bleeding," a witness said. "The children scattered in all directions." "

Nurhan Dib (10) used to sit at that desk. She was killed by Israeli occupation forces. Her classmates placed flowers at her desk yesterday. Posted by Hello
Pearl of Wisdom of the Day: "Iraqis are basically Iraqis." Amb Paul Bremer on Fox News today.
"Analysts also noted that the Bush administration initially resisted the idea of holding elections this soon and only succumbed under pressure from Iraq's most powerful cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. The original plan, designed by then-U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer, was a complicated formula of regional caucuses to select a national government, which would write a constitution, and then hold the elections. "It was Sistani who demanded one-person, one-vote elections. So to the extent it's a victory, it's a victory for Iraqis. The Americans were maneuvered into having to go along with it," said Juan Cole."
"Margaret Burbidge -- one of the most distinguished astrophysicists of the past half-century, now a professor emeritus at UC San Diego -- recalled how, as a young woman, she applied for a fellowship to observe the stars using the telescopes atop Mount Wilson in Southern California. She was informed "that women were not allowed at Mount Wilson Observatory." Later she managed to get observing time at Mount Wilson, but only because the time was granted in the name of her husband, astrophysicist Geoffrey Burbidge."

Iraqi ballot boxes are SAFELY kept in a US base in Iraq. Iraqi votes are in safe hands. Posted by Hello
U.S. Judge: Guantanamo Tribunals Unconstitutional
Real Victory for Democracy.
"U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote : Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2) WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here. Pending more detailed reports, neither the State Department nor the White House would comment on the balloting or the victory of the military candidates, Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, who was running for president, and Premier Nguyen Cao Ky, the candidate for vicepresident. A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Kyand General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.The purpose of the voting was to give legitimacy to the Saigon Government, which has been founded only on coups and power plays sinceNovember, 1963, when President Ngo Dinh Deim was overthrown by a military junta.Few members of that junta are still around, most having been ousted orexiled in subsequent shifts of power. The fact that the backing of the electorate has gone to the generals who have been ruling South Vietnam for the last two years does not, in the Administration's view, diminish the significance of the constitutional step that has been taken.The hope here is that the new government will be able to maneuver with a confidence and legitimacy long lacking in South Vietnamese politics. That hope could have been dashed either by a small turnout,indicating widespread scorn or a lack of interest in constitutionaldevelopment, or by the Vietcong's disruption of the balloting." (thanks Sofi)
While the Saudi King of Jordan was the first "leader" to call and congratulate Allawi yesterday, his press continues its love affair with Saddam. The Jordanian media has cultivated such a distatesfully favorable picture of Saddam. Just the other day, the Jordanian paper Al-`Arab Al-Yawm published yet another interview with Saddam's pathetic Iraqi lawyer who loves to tell how excited he was when he met his former dictator. You would not know from that interview that Saddam was a detested tyrant. Iraqis (of different stripes) are rightly outraged by any Arab expression of sympathy or praise for Saddam. Yesterday, I heard a well-known Arab nationalist (Ma`n Bashshur of Lebanon) say that he still considers Saddam to be "the president of Iraq." That really is insulting to the Iraqi people who suffered under Saddam. I do not understand why any opposition to US occupation should manifest itself in praise for Saddam.
I know of no Empire, state, or entity that relishes the opportunity to engage in self-praise, self-congratulation, and self-flattery like the US Empire. Ironically, such exercises only reflect a high measure of "insecurity" from a mighty empire.

The City Rises, 1910. Umberto Boccioni. Posted by Hello
This is the essence of Zionism: "Israelis use barrier and 55-year-old law to quietly seize Palestinians' land."
Shocking. Amazing. Read all about it. Arabs can actually insert a piece of paper in a box. Western media are so impressed. They had assumed all along that Arab genetic makeup prevents the arduous process of inserting pieces of papers (with colors and prints) inside a box. And what’s the big deal. I normally confine my consumption of US media to the print media, unless I am driving and then am exposed to US networks through satellite radio. Robin Wright of the Washington Post (for whom I cooked a great meal years ago) made a very important point on CNN: the Bush administration was opposed to the elections in Iraq. It was the Grand Dude (Sistani) who insisted on elections, when the US (backed by its collection of unsavory puppet characters) was insisting on “caucuses” in order to guarantee the rule of its puppets. So now the Iraqis have voted: the Shi`ite largely voted because they were ordered by the Grand Dude, and the Kurds were also voting on secession, to form their own independent state. And Iraqis want a break from Saddam’s horrors, and want a break from US occupation. This is the beginning of a process that will produce a Kurdish state in the north, and an Islamic Shi`ite republic of sorts in the South. Bush will be remembered for bringing an Islamic Shi`ite Republic into Iraq. Salute him, if you are a fan of the rule of the Ayatollahs. I am not, personally. And why is the US media treating the events so festively, as if the Iraqis have voted for Bush and his occupation? On the contrary, Sistani has been insisting on elections because he believes that they will put in place a government that would bring an end to the occupation. So the pro-war advocates in this country should not get too excited too soon. Now, of course, Zarqawi’s kooky discourse against democracy and elections did not, and will not, go well with the Iraqi people. That should not be surprising. Zarqaqi and Bin Ladin and their fanatical kooks will never achieve popular support, nor do they deserve it. The Iraqis also want to put an end to the brutality of Saddam’s rule, and his horrific symbols. But why is Bush taking credit, and for what? He did not install his puppets through “the caucuses” after all, as he had wanted all along. I heard one anchorperson on a US network (I think it was CNNFOXABCCBSNBCCNBC, if I am not mistaken) ask a reporter who just landed in Iraq about the “real feelings” of the Iraqi people. But let us not quibble about voters’ turnout. The “independent” election commission (formed by US occupation) initially claimed that the turnout was 72%. Later on, they said it was more around 60% (the Guardian is saying 57%--but do you doubt that even if the turnout is 1.4% Bush and his chorus in the media will declare that a great success?). When asked to explain the discrepancy, the official in charge said that “oh, we were speculating earlier on the basis of the sight of long lines of voters.” The radical Marxist Iraqi poet, Mudhdhaffar An-Nawwab (whose poetry had appeared on this site before), voted in Syria. He said that “my feeling transcends joy and sadness because I feel a great responsibility that will determine the destiny of Iraq and the region and after 35 years of displacement, exile, sadness, death, and mass graves…It is our duty to call for the withdrawal of foreign forces and in whatever means that are agreed upon by the people including armed struggle but not now and until the people are certain that Americans and foreign forces reject the request of the government for withdrawal…” And by the way, why are the election results have to wait for 10 days? I do not mean to be cynical, especially about the motives of the most benevolent occupation ever. It is also amazing that some US commentators are treating this event as yet another date that is supposed to end US occupation problems and obstacles. If anything, the election can be seen as a form of peaceful resistance to the American occupation, and will empower whatever “government” that will emerge, if it is allowed to emerge that is. Occupation will continue, and opposition (peaceful and otherwise) to the occupation will only increase.
I wish Ramsey Clark would show the same concern for the Iraqi people that he shows for Saddam Husayn.
My article in As-Safir (The Incoherence of the Opposition: Production of Sectarian Dynasties).

Iraqi ballots are in safe hands. Don't be worried.Posted by Hello
The German Shakespeare
In other news... "Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted for in Iraq."
Freedom House's Report: "Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Fill American Mosques." (I am no fan of right-wing Freedom House, or its criteria, but this report is not inaccurate in its reading of Saudi propaganda).
"Why I am not taking part in these phoney elections: Women are the new victims of Islamic groups intent on restoring a medieval barbarity."
"Why U.S. Media Dismissed the Lancet Study of 100,000 Iraqi Civilian Dead"
"In Iraq and Qatar the U.S. has not defended press freedoms."
"Polls Stand Empty in Sunni Stronghold."

This Iraqi terrorist child was trying to sneak in to vote. (It was later revealed that he was an aide to Zarqawi). Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 29, 2005

War, 1896. Arnold Böcklin. Posted by Hello
"America created violent political Islam inadvertently as part of its Cold War strategy, says Mahmood Mamdani."
Look how the US press try very hard to help Bush's propaganda. This is from a front-page headline in the liberal SF Chronicle: "Turnout low, enthusiasm high." (about the Iraqi puppet election). Pardon me, but does not turnout measure enthusiasm? This is like saying: "People are very hungry, but nobody is eating."
"Arab human rights activists say the Iraqi election is deeply flawed and will give democracy a bad name."
"Freed Briton reveals horrors of life inside Guantanamo Bay."
"Research under fire: In the war on terror, academic freedom could wind up as collateral damage."
I wish Palestinian victims of Israeli gunfire get the attention and coverage of Western victims of Israeli gunfire.
How does Michael Ignatieff know that Iraqis are fighting for "a free election"? But then again; Ignatieff knows how to pontificate, and not how to substantiate.
Spinoza invited intellectuals "not to deplore, not to laugh, not to detest, but to understand." I invite intellectuals to deplore, to laugh, to detest, and to (subversively) misunderstand.
"Egypt detains opposition lawmaker." But there is no reason for alarm. Husni Mubarak has expedited normalization with Israel, and has increased pressure on Palestinian groups. That is all what counts.
"Shiites Offer Unified Slate, but Fault Lines Show."
"Kuwait's religious hardliners announced on Saturday the creation of the first political party in the emirate." This newspaper account does not say that US ambassador was present for the announcement. American alliance with fanatical fundamentalism has not ended.
"The Capital of Empty Streets: Baghdad Feels Like a City Preparing for War."

Posters for the Saigon election in 1967. And that one turned out pretty well for US occupation plans, no? Posted by Hello
So how do the US occupation forces treat the Iraqi puppet ministers: "Yes, I was punched by a soldier. I was very calm with him. I just kept talking to him. He kept punching me, and I kept talking to him....We don't have to be terrorists to be against the Americans," Al-Janabi explains. "It's just representing how Iraqis feel.""

Image of Iraqi election. (thanks earljdivoky) Posted by Hello
"Sweets and flowers": A new Zogby poll in Iraq. "Majorities of both Sunni Arabs (82%) and Shiites (69%) also favor U.S. forces withdrawing either immediately or after an elected government is in place."
Unintended Consequences: The Shia Will Inherit Iraq

Being registered to vote by US troops. Posted by Hello
The US government (while preaching "freedoms") has killed AlJazeera: "Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and other Bush administration officials have complained heatedly to Qatari leaders that Al Jazeera's broadcasts have been inflammatory, misleading and occasionally false, especially on Iraq. The pressure has been so intense, a senior Qatari official said, that the government is accelerating plans to put Al Jazeera on the market..."
The enthusiastic pro-Bush's wars advocate John Burns of NYT says: "Much of the problem is that the elections are being held under the dominion of the United States...Many Iraqis, interviews in recent months have shown, do not accept that fundamental choices about the shape of their future political system should be made by a foreign power..."
"Michael Chertoff, who has been picked by President Bush to be the homeland security secretary, advised the Central Intelligence Agency on the legality of coercive interrogation methods on terror suspects under the federal anti-torture statute, current and former administration officials said this week. Depending on the circumstances, he told the intelligence agency, some coercive methods could be legal, but he advised against others."

The Iraqi people between the violent fanaticism of Zarqawi and the violent fanaticism of Bush. (The person in the middle is identified as "the Iraqi people"; the person to the left is identified as "Zarqawi" and his caption says: "Death!Death!Death!"). Posted by Hello
Baghdad and Death by Egyptian poet Ahmad `Abdul-Mu`ti Hijazi (my translation):
"Before he was slaughtered, he was dead
Crying in Baghdad over dead time
looking for his guard
for a poet at his door,
telling are the boy
and seeing only eyes of flames
filling the inside of the palace
with dead horror
and one dead man,
who was not yet dead, still
asking Baghdad..
When is the revenge, when?
Baghdad is a silent path,
and a dome over a gravesite
a fly in the summer, not shaken
by a current of wind
a river that for years has not
and sad songs,
Sadness is stagnant here,
not rebelling!
And a dead man, and
a skeleton of an old man,
a sword on top of the wall,
a dagger from pure gold,
colorful garbs,
covering ribs of chaffs!
and a woman closing
her door on the evening
crying over her loved ones
on its wood
And veiled faces, that do
not reveal
Baghdad is a wall,
without a gate
Baghdad is under the surface
a tunnel
Dawn in it, is as black
as the ink on paper
and sun in it, and the
roundness of the horizon
and a candle around which
black shadows danced
and seven men
their foreheads are
streams of sweat
and their faces are dark
and do not reveal
their eyes do not rest
slipping in the tunnel,
rising up...while Baghdad wailing
walking over old wooden
"Long live the Arabs."!
Baghdad is a night without a star
Baghdad is a flaming and
glowering dawn
Oh, people of Baghdad come out..
Do not leave him!
Baghdad is a land that had been
tilled in its paths,
and one million legs sprouted
crowded, with sleep in their eyes,
and the smell of alleys in their
woe to `Abdul-Ilah,
from the revolt of the dead,
and from the revenge of life!
the poor dead man is throwing
death in the face of the soldiers
searching for the gate of salvation
Do not abandon him!
Do not abandon him! "

The Isle of the Dead, 1880. Arnold Böcklin. Posted by Hello
Curtain up on Kierkegaard

Image of Iraqi puppet elections. Posted by Hello

Friday, January 28, 2005

("Iraq" is written on the man to the left). Posted by Hello

Palestinians bravely facing Israeli occupation soldiers who are stealing lands for the racist separation barrier. Posted by Hello
Fetishism of the ballot box. And Democracy is not possible in the developing world. And if Marx talked about the fetishism of commodities, we now suffer from fetishism of the ballot box. I never was such a believer in capitalist democracy--a contradiction in terms; there is so much fascination with voting itself these days. Democracy is not an ideology, it is a way or a means to select leaders in a variety of political systems. But the fetishism of voting (like in Bush's discourse) is an ideology, intended to spread US Empire through vapid discourse on "liberty" and "freedom." I do not know about you, but I do not seek the "liberty" of Bush's speeches, nor his "freedom." And the propaganda about democracy and liberty, assumes, among many other things, that the person in the "advanced" world is free. Even the homeless, the poor, and the destitute are free, because they have to be free. Otherwise, the (im)moral foundations of the propaganda would collapse. And in the age of US domination over the World Bank, the IMF, and the UN: there are no "free elections" possible in the world. There cannot be. How could elections be free when the IMF suddenly would announce that Russia would obtain $10 B of aid in order to advance the sagging political fortunes of Yelstin during a tough campaign? Is Abu Mazen's election free when the US/Israel suddenly pump money into the coffers of the Palestinian Authority. Or what about the billions of dollars that the US occupation can put in the disposal of the car bomber/embezzler-in-Yemen/former Saddam's henchman (Allawi)? Allawi is running on the platform of US taxpayers' money. His political commercials which run unendingly on Allawi TV (also known as AlArabiyya TV) brag about the US-funded projects of the US occupation enterprise. I would rather the people of Gaza get jobs and freedom from occupation before they get the right "to vote" whatever that means. Hannah Arendt did not even consider voting to be about "democracy." She called it "work." Here, you are supposed to be proud of yourself when you vote, and you wear a special red pin or a purple potato to tell others that you have proudly voted. Well, good for you. Your nation salutes you. Go vote now; vote every day if it makes you feel good. And while you are at it, go vote in the Iraqi election too. You are voting anyway without voting you know. So you might vote twice. It is good for "democracy." Make that a double democracy, or double latte democracy. So am I supposed to be impressed? Look at this silly media (Arab and US) propaganda about democracy. This is a cult, not coverage, really. Results are known: the Grand Ayatollah who does not leave his house will be running against former Saddam henchman turned US occupation henchman. If this is your democracy, please count me as a non-democrat. I do not want to play a role in this affair. Slicing a potato would be more productive for me. And how much money the US has spent on creating polling stations: there is one polling station per 500 Iraqis which is incredible. There are so many polling stations, except in Iran. There are some 50000 eligible Iraqi voters in Iran, but they are the only voters who do not have sufficient polling stations. I guess the American Iraqi "independent" election commission did not want yet more votes to go Sistani's way. Iraqi voters in Iran were complaining about that situation today. But, you will be pleased to know that the US set up polling stations for Iraqis in..............Nashville. I am not kidding. But then again. Was Nashville a Ba`thist bastion in the 1980s? You almost will drag people with a gun to their head to vote in Iraq, literally it seems, so that Bush can tell the American public that the US war, occupation, and devastation was all worth it. The US public, mark my words, will be mightily impressed. Hell. They may even vote for Bush a third time. Let them amend the constitution. Let them vote for Bush as president-for-live. And while you are at it, crown him king too. And there is US tool Kofi Annan addressing himself to the Iraqi people urging them to vote. What business is it of him. Did he address himself to the Iraqi people when they were receiving uninvited US bombs and missiles? And do not forget the special election Jordan, busy closely monitoring the puppet election in Iraq. And I will now monitor every election in Latin America from my living room. It is the same logic. Americans would never stand for an American election in the presence of 10 foreign troops on their lands, but they seem to not notice that the Iraqi puppet elections take place in the presence of 150000 US troops and 38 Macedonian troops (of course, I am only implying that the Macedonian troops are the problem, not the US troops who are merely Heavily Armed Tourists.) I notice that no US or Middle East media (not even AlJazeera) are allowed to refer to the US occupation forces as "occupation forces." Even Angry Arab is now obliged to call them Heavily Armed BUT VERY KIND American Tourists in Iraq.
Report: "PR" spending doubled under Bush
"Hit by U.S. airstrikes, Ansar al Islam fighters fled from the Kurdish north, changing their name and strategies to remain a key threat."
Afghan opium town suffers hard times after ban on drugs bazaar
Execution returns to liberal New England
Higher Ed, Inc.
Democracy and necrology: The dead do not vote, writes my friend Sinan, but neither, in Iraq, are they counted.
Poverty in the US (1959-2003)
U.S. and Iraqi forces have killed or captured 15,000 people over the past year in their fight against an insurgency ravaging Iraq, the commander of U.S. forces in the country said Wednesday. (He later confirmed that every single one of the 15,000 is a confirmed terrorist who deserved to be killed).
Tsunami Aid By the Numbers
Bush's Mentor (oh, and Bush has read a book, according to his aides). The mentor is none other than the fanatical right-wing Israeli demagogic leader, Natan Sharansky. He has a new silly book that apparently (and according to press accounts) influenced Bush's "thinking" and discourse. He met with Cheney and Bush, and others. His book (read it and judge for yourself) has deep thoughts: he says that dictators have to oppress their people; that oppressive governments do not allow people to criticize the government (I am not making this up), and that water boils when heated. He also believes that democracies are peaceful. Well, his country refutes that thesis. Certainly, North Korea has been more peaceful than "democratic" Israel. Sharansky was on Al-Jazeera's From Washington program. The able host (Hafidh Mirazi) asked him whether his "democracy test" applies to Palestinians in Israel or in the West Bank and Gaza. He reminded him that 13 Arab citizens of Israel were shot dead by the Israeli police when they peacefully demonstrated in 2001. He responded by talking about his years of captivity in the Soviet Union.
A Letter to the Village by Syrian poet Muhammad Al-Maghut (my translation):
"With the chanting of nightingales and birds
I plead by god with you my father:
Let go of the gathering of wood
and information about me
and come and pick up my pieces
from the streets
before I get buried by wind
or be scattered by street cleaners
This pen will bring my end
It has led me to every prison
It has made me wipe every sidewalk
and I follow it, mesmerized
like one walking in a dream
In the evening, my father
the cold and desolate--like the depth of the ocean--evening of Damascus
where this one looks for a bar
and another looks for a shelter
I look for a "word"
for a letter that I can place next to another
like an old cat
jumping from a wall to another
in a deserted village
while mewing in search of his cat think I am happy, father?
I have tried over and over again
to shake off ink from this pen
like a dagger shakes off blood
and to leave this city
even on the back of a horse
but I failed
My pen can smell ink
like the male smells the female
whenever it sees a white page
it stops and trembles
like a thief in front of an open window
I sleep
with only my skin on the bed
my skull is in prison
and my feet are in the alleys
my hands are in the grass
like the huge Santiago fish
Only the ribs and eye cavities have
remained of me
Remove me from your memory
Go back to your fork and sad songs
You have been dragged my father
And tomorrow everything is impossible
like stopping the bleeding in the fingers"

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897. Henri Rousseau. Posted by Hello
From the German press: "RANCOR IN THE US RANKS: US Military Personnel Growing Critical of the War in Iraq."
"Researchers Who Rushed Into Print a Study of Iraqi Civilian Deaths Now Wonder Why It Was Ignored" (via buzzflash)
"UN rights expert accuses Israel of war crimes over house demolitions"
"Cut in U.S. Housing Aid Raises Concerns for Poor"
U.S. Apparently Underestimated Size of Insurgency, Top Commander Says (and only slightly exaggerated the size of the stockpiles of Iraqi WMDs)
This is Zionism: 'Palestinian corpse used for IDF anatomy lesson'.
"More than 100 people in the Darfur region of Sudan are believed to have been killed after aircraft bombed a village."
Is the world safer now?
An unusual exchange in Bush's press conference yesterday. A brave US reporter asked about violations of human rights in a country that is constantly praised by Bush for its cooperation with Israel and US on foreign policy and security issues:
"Q Mr. President, let me take you up on that, if I may. Last month in Jordan, a gentleman named Ali Hatar was arrested after delivering a lecture called, "Why We Boycott America." He was charged under section 191 of their penal code for slander of government officials. He stood up for democracy, you might say. And I wonder if here and now, you will specifically condemn this abuse of human rights by a key American ally. And if you won't, sir, then what, in a practical sense, do your fine words mean?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm unaware of the case. You've asked me to comment on something that I didn't know took place. I urge my friend, His Majesty, to make sure that democracy continues to advance in Jordan. I noticed today that he put forth a reform that will help more people participate in future governments of Jordan. I appreciate His Majesty's understanding of the need for democracy to advance in the greater Middle East. We visited with him at the G8, and he has been a strong advocate of the advance of freedom and democracy.
Now, let me finish. Obviously, we're discussing a process. As I said in my speech, not every nation is going to immediately adopt America's vision of democracy, and I fully understand that. But we expect nations to adopt the values inherent in a democracy, which is human rights and human dignity, that every person matters and every person ought to have a voice. And His Majesty is making progress toward that goal.
I can't speak specifically to the case. You're asking me to speak about a case that I don't know the facts."
"Seeking Iraq's oil prize Government may allow foreign petroleum firms to invest: "So I think this is very promising to the American investors and to American enterprises, certainly to oil companies," Finance Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi said at a National Press Club conference in December."
The US government (which used to criticize Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiyya together) now seems pleased with Al-Arabiyya. This from the New York Times: "Mr. Bush made that point in the interview with Al Arabiya, which is considered more moderate toward the Bush administration than its chief competitor, Al Jazeera."
"Female interrogators tried to break Muslim detainees at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay by sexual touching, wearing a miniskirt and thong underwear and in one case smearing a Saudi man's face with fake menstrual blood, according to an insider's written account."
This on the puppet prime minister/car bomber/former Saddam henchman/embezzler-in-Yemen, Allawi: "He is strongly backed in private by both US and British diplomats because he supports their policies in Iraq and keeping him as prime minister would provide continuity. He is also well known to their governments, not least because he worked with the CIA and MI6 in the opposition years."
The US and Britain have privately agreed an exit strategy from Iraq based on doubling the number of local police trainees and setting up Iraqi units that would act as a halfway house between the police and the army.
The expatriate vote by Abbas
I would say, without any reservations, that 100% of the political commercials running non-stop on AlArabiyya TV are US-designed, made, and produced. There is no doubt about it. Only the Iraqi music in the background is good. Also, I like how the puppet electoral commission in Iraq is called: The Independent Electoral Commission. Independent from what or from whom? How could it be independent when it was formed under US occupation. There is no independence under occupation. Even the potatoes in Iraq are not independent. Free Iraqi people (and potatoes). I noticed that the only puppet Sunni candidate (aside from the polygamous puppet president), Adnan Pachachi, in his new political commerical he pledged to work for the "withdrawal of foreign forces" from Iraq. Was he making a reference to the 38 Macedonian soldiers? How rude.
My dear friend Bassam offered (in private communication) his strong objections to a post I wrote against suicide bombings a few days ago (see below). He makes good points (yes, he is foul mouthed):"The fucking hereafter is a byproduct event. Period. Death is, therefore,embraced psychologically as byproduct after the decision is already made.The hereafter is not part of the decision-making even if it appears so from the perspective of the observer.Otherwise, all the muslims everywhere would be doing it.What makes what you're saying problematic, really, is when you say"especially those who are driven . . . by religious motives," as though thehereafter plays any significant role among the other suicide bombers who are not driven by religious motives.Given the racist bullshit in the media and academia, I think these words reflect poor judgement."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Fight Between a Tiger and a Buffalo, 1908. Henri Rousseau. Posted by Hello
"Delusions About Democracy"
"Fantasies and Realities About the Prospects for Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians."
"The US lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, who saw his client, Moazzam Begg, in Guantánamo Bay this month, said the captive had alleged persistent beatings, death threats and psychological torture first at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, then at the Cuba base."
News from "free" Poland: "Poland's communist-era government spokesman was convicted and fined $6,500 for insulting Polish-born Pope John Paul II in a satirical weekly."
"Brazil's Leftists No Longer See President as Their Champion."
This is Zionism: "The report states that thus far Israel has done nothing to continue allowing patients who require medical services unavailable in Gaza to seek such services outside the Strip following the pullout."
"The [Israeli] state prosecutor's office believes it will not be able to defend before the High Court the policy of allocating Jewish National Fund land to Jews only." Well, this has been defended for half a century.
And he wants to "liberate" the world: "Bush administration paying independent commentators."

Palestinian victims have names and faces too. This little girl Rahma Abu Shammas was killed by Israeli occupation forces. Other children bid her farewell. Posted by Hello Remember her when you hear US politicians praising Israeli democracy.
"Lobby groups funded by the US oil industry are targeting Britain in a bid to play down the threat of climate change."
The bizarre puppet election in Iraq: "Rare sight on stump: a candidate in public."
"Arab leaders watch in fear as Shia emancipation draws near." I can report to you that Saudi media are reflecting a state of panic about growing Iranian influence in Iraq. It was refelcted in the interview with Bush on the Allawi TV (Al-Arabiyya TV network). Well: the tyrant Saddam is out, and the Grand Ayatollah is in. No wonder I am not excited. Neither Saddam, nor the Ayatollah, and certainly nor Bush in Iraq.

"Liberation" training. US forces prepare Iraqis for elections. Posted by Hello
It is noteworthy that the head of Saudi (foreign) intelligence (this is the apparatus that founded, trained, and produced Bin Laden and his gang of fanatics over the years--and with US cooperation during the Afghanistan war of the 1980s), Prince Nawwaf Ibn `Abdul-`Aziz, was sacked yesterday. I find it interesting that he was ousted the day after the explosive revelations about Saudi intelligence work through the Az-Zaman media Empire (see my post from yesterday). I will have something to say about that later.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Exotic Landscape, 1908. Henri Rousseau. Posted by Hello
For those who care (and can read Arabic): the transcript of my appearance last week on Al-Jazeera.
Whither Political Islam?
Full text: Global Opinion: The Spread of Anti-Americanism
Coaching Iraq's New Candidates, Discreetly:
U.S.-Funded Programs train the puppets.
Shifting roles of US spies and special forces:
Pentagon takes over some CIA spy operations while US 'super-secret' commandos get duty on US soil.
Terry Eagleton offers his views on suicide bombings. An interesting treatment, but I disagree with him. Not only due to my categorical rejection of all forms of suicide--regardless of motives, but also he is not accurate that sucide bombers do not necesarrily embrace death. Some suicide bombers (especially those who are driven-- even if partially--by religious motives) do embrace death as they look forward to their vision of the hereafter. I am not saying that this is their only motive. But it makes the suicide easier, and thus their relationship with death is affected. This is not to mention the effect that it causes on the society at large, where civilian human life (yours and the enemy's) becomes expendible. I have written on this before, so some of you know my take.
The only democracy in the Middle East is...Cyprus. "Israel is poised to expel a senior BBC journalist it accuses of criminal defiance of censorship laws over an interview with the nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu."
Global poverty targeted as 100,000 gather in Brazil (Bush offered to bomb poor people worldwide to eradicate poverty).

Israeli occupation forces stole her land. Posted by Hello
So the president of Columbia University has organized the most pro-Israeli and unbalanced conference to appease the Zionist activists who have been attacking Middle East studies at Columbia. And then Israel's Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon cancelled his participation. Good, I say.
The Israel Defense Forces have asked Attorney General for permission to clear completely a 300-meter-wide strip along the Gazan-Egyptian border. This would require the demolition of hundreds of Palestinian houses in Rafah.
Sa`d Al-Bazzaz and Saudi Intelligence. This is explosive. In a trial in London, it is revealed that Sa`d Al-Bazzaz's media empire is a front for Saudi intelligence. I have written about this former Goebbels of Saddam Husayn. Nobody has worked harder than this man to produce the personality cult of Saddam, especially during the Iran-Iraq war. He later ostensibly broke with the regime in the 1990s.
Letters of Isaiah Berlin.
I cannot stop pontificating on Yasir `Arafat.
From the poem The Eye in the Wound by Syrian poet Muhammad Al-Maghut (my translation):
"I planted, in the wound, my eye
So my destroyed house appeared
and near my rosy spear
I saw the head of Kulayb,
lightening the face of the camp
saying to me: Do not make peace
saying to me: You are obligated
Blood does not forgive
Will you pay my debt?
Sir..your money is the oath
Your blood burden the forehead
Your blood is our land
and the land will not be
orphaned with the children
Your blood said: who are we?
We escaped from the shroud
from the certificates of
the refugees
from the hands of sad liquid
and we entered time
I planted in the wound my eye
...sir, your love is deep
the tree of poverty deepened it
Hunger and nostalgia attest
and the shredded clothes
the stabbed and the square attest
your love sail in the years
and the fenced borders
Your love, alone, is trust
and with it
the sad one strikes"
Losing the war for hearts and minds in the Middle East: U.S. 'liberty' Policy is provoking resistance and instability (by Michael C Hudson--my dissertation advisor)

The armed Israeli occupiers versus the unarmed natives. Posted by Hello

Defying Israeli soldiers with a flag. Posted by Hello
Sexual assaults in [Texas] state prisons are up sharply
Afghan women still in chains under Karzai (Maybe Bush needs to launch another war on Afghanistan, and maybe Laura Bush will give another speech on women in Afghanistan, and maybe the silly Feminist Majority will collect another bucket of crocodile tears for the women in Afghanistan).
Newly Released Investigative Files Provide Further Evidence: Soldiers Not Held Accountable for Abuse.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Flamingoes, 1907. Henri Rousseau. Posted by Hello