The people of the North East clearly have a soft spot for Sara Mendes da Costa. Hers is the honeyed voice of BT’s speaking clock, which the region’s council workers felt impelled to call so frequently last year that they ran up a bill of £2,500. The sum may seem a trifle in the grand scheme of council wastefulness, but it indicates a set of problems that one of our remaining quangos will no doubt wish to study. First, is the time nowhere displayed on the computers, phones or walls of Newcastle’s offices? Second, what hope is there for the much-trailed localism agenda when pen-pushers would rather pick up the phone than ask their neighbour the time? And last, like David Brent in The Office, who pretends to sack a friend but rings the speaking clock instead, have time-wasters still not thought of a cleverer way of pretending to look busy?
The Geordies missed a trick. If you really want to waste money, ring the speaking clock and transfer the call to an absent colleague's voicemail. So they tell me.
Brennan, Endowing Al Qaeda With Singular Significance, Makes Too Much Of It Being "On The Ropes"
From The Washington Times:
U.S. counterterror chief: Al Qaeda now on the ropes
By Kimberly Dozier
September 1, 2011
[in this case really worth a thousand words]
President Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, speaks with the Associated Press during an interview in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON (AP) — On a steady slide. On the ropes. Taking shots to the body and head.
That's how White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan described al Qaeda on Wednesday as he offered the first on-record confirmation that al Qaeda's latest second-in-command was killed last week in Pakistan — roughly four months after Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden there.
In an Associated Press interview, Brennan said the death of Atiyah Abd al-Rahman in Pakistan's tribal areas last week was a "huge blow" to the group, damaging the network and keeping al Qaeda's leadership too busy trying to hide to plot new attacks. Al-Rahman reportedly was hit by a CIA drone strike.
In a wide-ranging interview, Brennan credited aggressive U.S. action against militants across the region as the main reason U.S. intelligence has detected no active terror plots before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The former CIA officer described that as proof that the White House has found the right formula to fight al Qaeda, by pairing U.S. intelligence and counterterrorist forces with host nations from Pakistan to Iraq to Yemen, fighting beside them or sometimes through them. The goal is to keep al-Qaida off balance, unable to replace the seasoned terrorists the U.S. campaign is taking out.
"If they're worrying about their security ... they're going to have less time to plot and plan," Brennan said of the militants. "They're going to be constantly looking over their shoulder or up in the air or wherever, and it really has disrupted their operational cadence and ability to carry out attacks."
He pointed to the killing of al-Rahman as an example of how U.S. pressure is degrading the network.
"There's no longer a management grooming program there. They don't stay in place long enough," Brennan said.
Al-Rahman had barely assumed a leadership position since bin Laden's death pushed his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, into the top spot. Brennan described al-Rahman as a "workaholic" and an "operational mastermind" who kept al Qaeda's nodes from Yemen to Europe connected.
"Taking him out of commission is huge," Brennan said. "There's not another bin Laden out there. I don't know if there's another Atiyah Abd al-Rahman out there." [why does Brennan think Al Qaeda so singularly important? What about several dozen other Muslim terror groups? What about Muslims, right smack in the middle of the West, who deliberately choose means other than terror attacks to conduct Jihad, using different instruments -- to attain the same ultimate goals as Al Qaeda, that is the removal of all obstacles, everywhere in the world, to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam?]
Brennan said the key to keeping another al-Rahman from rising is to keep constant pressure on all locations where al-Qaida operates, working through host countries to target operatives who "are flowing sometimes back and forth" among Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and other parts of Africa.
Brennan brushed off some of the major crises in those relationships of late, from Pakistan's strident objections to drone strikes as a continued affront to its sovereignty in the wake of the bin Laden raid, to the revolts across the Mideast that swept from power U.S. counterterror allies in places like Egypt.
He said the relationship with Pakistan is improving.
And he described the Arab revolts as a "speed bump" that only temporarily disrupted cooperation. He said U.S. contacts in Egypt have been able to recover quickly following longtime leader Hosni Mubarak's ouster earlier this year. The counterterrorism relationship with Tunisia, where the so-called Arab Spring movement began, also remains strong, he said.
Brennan said the uprising in Yemen, however, had kept Yemeni forces engaged in a fight for political survival, and had slowed down the fight against arguably the most dangerous bin Laden affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. AQAP, as the affiliate is known, has worked with the rebel tribes to grab large swaths of territory in the south.
The unrest has forced the U.S. to draw down the hundred-plus military and intelligence personnel it had working with Yemeni counterterrorism forces. Those Yemeni forces, led by ailing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's sons, have been reluctant to leave the capital unguarded, even when a brigade of conventional Yemeni troops became trapped by al-Qaida in the Abyan region.
U.S. forces had to air-drop food and water to the embattled unit, which was threatening to surrender. Brennan said the U.S. has since persuaded the Yemenis to send enough forces their way to free them, and he has urged the country's vice president to send more troops into the fight.
"This political tumult is ... leading them to be focused on their positioning for internal political purposes as opposed to doing all they can against AQAP," he said.
Saleh is still recovering in Saudi Arabia, with some 70 percent of his body burned and a lung pierced from an assassination attempt in June, as he was praying in his palace compound.
While Brennan says Saudi Arabia would allow Saleh to return from his temporary medical exile, he repeated the White House's earlier calls for Saleh to stay away and let new elections take place.
"I've told him that I do not believe it's in his interests, Yemen's interests or our interests ... to go back to Yemen," Brennan said.
He called Yemen a "tinderbox" that could erupt into a civil war that al-Qaida would take advantage of.
Chikya Ondeani On Libya, The African Union, And How Arabs Treat Black Africans
Why The African Union Won't Recognize Libyan Rebels !!
WHY AFRICAN UNION IS RIGHT NOT TO RECOGNIZE THE LIBYAN REBELS
Posted by TheBlackList eNewsletter on August 31, 2011
By Chika Onyeani ~
A rebel fighter about to machete another black African to death
"The decision of the African Union as articulated by both President Zuma and Dr. Ping is totally sound; however, not for the reasons they adduced, but for the fact that the rebels need to account for the killings of black Africans, not for the pretensions of "confusing them as mercenaries hired by Gaddafi," but because of the anti-black, racist and innate hatred of black Africans, even though there are a million dark Africans who are Libyan citizens and are maltreated as well. There is no reason beating about the bush with regards to this point: the African Union must finally come to terms about the racist attitude of Arabs and especially Arab-Africans towards mainland Africans. In the past, the African Union had dealt with this issue by sweeping it under the carpet for such a long time in the name of a united Africa. To do otherwise, is a disservice to the millions of mainland Africans who live in the other 48 states of the continent. It is to the ultimate commendation of Dr. Ping to have come out and boldly state the obvious: the so-called Libyan rebels are killing black Africans from mainland Africa, pretending that they are "mercenaries" hired by Gaddafi rather than their innate hatred of black Africans."
Before it was just a 'rumor', but yesterday African Union Commission Chairman, Dr. Jean Ping, came out boldly to state the fact that the Libyan rebels under the so-called Transitional National Council have been engaged in massive killings of black Africans from mainland Africa, as well as Libyans who have darker skins. This is a happening in Libya that the well-oiled propaganda machine of the Western media has conveniently refused to tell, but rather churning out stories about killings by pro-Gaddafi forces. The Western media is in such a frenzied hysteria about hanging Gaddafi that they have totally ignored massive abuses by the Transitional National Council.
Dr. Ping said that Libyan rebels may be indiscriminately killing black people in Libya because they have confused innocent migrant workers with mercenaries. He told reporters Monday that this is one of the reasons the AU is refusing to recognize Libya's rebel Transitional National Council as the country's interim government. He said "We need clarification because the TNC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries. They are killing normal workers."
On Friday, 26th August, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa had made it plain that the African Union would not be recognizing the Libyan rebels soon. This is after the 15-member Peace and Security summit had met, and after an address by Tanzanian-born former foreign minister and now United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro had pleaded for the African Union to recognize the Transitional National Council. Said Dr. Migiro, "We must help the country’s new leaders to establish an effective, legitimate government - a government that represents and speaks for all the country’s diverse people; a government that can deliver on its people’s hope." But the 15-member committee disregard her pleas and voted not to recognize the rebels.
Speaking after the Peace and Security meeting, President Zuma who chaired the meeting, noted that ""The reality on the ground is that there is fighting going on in Tripoli. Is that not a reality? People are still dying [in] very heavy fighting. That is the situation as we understand it, which is a reality in Libya." He continued, "And we are taking our position informed by that reality. We are looking at the reality from our point of view."
The decision of the African Union as articulated by both President Zuma and Dr. Ping is totally sound; however, not for the reasons they adduced, but for the fact that the rebels need to account for the killings of black Africans, not for the pretensions of "confusing them as mercenaries hired by Gaddafi," but because of the anti-black, racist and innate hatred of black Africans, even though there are a million dark Africans who are Libyan citizens and are maltreated as well. There is no reason beating about the bush with regards to this point: the African Union must finally come to terms about the racist attitude of Arabs and especially Arab-Africans towards mainland Africans. In the past, the African Union had dealt with this issue by sweeping it under the carpet for such a long time in the name of a united Africa. To do otherwise, is a disservice to the millions of mainland Africans who live in the other 48 states of the continent. It is to the ultimate commendation of Dr. Ping to have come out and boldly state the obvious: the so-called Libyan rebels are killing black Africans from mainland Africa, pretending that they are "mercenaries" hired by Gaddafi rather than their innate hatred of black Africans.
In a March31, 2011 article, Mr. Wolfgang Weber wrote, "The opposition forces in Libya attempting to march on Tripoli with the assistance of American, French and British bombs are far removed from the image of innocent civilians fighting for freedom and democracy promoted by the media and political circles."
He quoted an article by Gunnar Heinsohn, author of Encyclopaedia of Genocide (Rowohlt, 1998), in which Heinsohn quoted well-known Zimbabwean journalist and film-maker Farai Sevenzo that dealt with the massacres perpetrated by the so-called "rebels" against black Africans. He quotes Sevenzo as writing, "“Because mercenaries from Chad and Mali are presumed to be fighting for him [Gaddafi], the lives of a million African refugees and thousands of African migrants are at risk. A Turkish construction worker told the British radio station BBC: ‘We had seventy to eighty people from Chad working for our company. They were massacred with pruning shears and axes, accused by the attackers of being Gaddafi’s troops. The Sudanese people were massacred. We saw it for ourselves.’ ”
Sevenso further writes, “All the stops of international criminal law have been pulled against those prepared to bloodily defend their power. The material assets at risk are meticulously listed. But neither in the text of the resolution nor in the speeches of US Secretary of State Clinton or French President Sarkozy is any mention made of warnings or legal threats directed to the insurgents. The use of ‘mercenaries’ by the Libyan leadership is expressly condemned. But genocidal acts conducted under the same pretext—such as the mass killings of black African workers reported by Farai Sevenzo—go unmentioned…. A cloak of complete silence is being thrown up surrounding the deeds of his [Gaddafi’s] opponents.”
Weber wrote further as follows, "On February 28, the Arab TV station Al Jazeera reported the racist massacre of black African workers by so-called “freedom fighters” as follows: “Dozens of workers from sub-Saharan Africa, it is feared, have been killed and hundreds are hiding because angry opponents of the government are hunting down black African mercenaries, witnesses reported…. According to official reports, about 90 Kenyans and 64 people from southern Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Burundi landed in Nairobi today.
“One of them, Julius Kiluu, a 60-year-old construction manager, told Reuters: ‘We were attacked by people from the village. They accused us of being murderous mercenaries. But in reality they simply refuse to tolerate us. Our camp was burnt down. Our company and our embassy helped us get to the airport.’
“Hundreds of black immigrants from the poorest African countries, who work mainly as low-wage day laborers in Libya, have been wounded by the rebels. From fear of being killed, some of them have refrained from going to a doctor.”
This is a narrative that the Western media refuses to acknowledge and publish, in their zeal to portray Moamar Gaddafi as a monster, bent on massacring his people. And moreso to lay their hands on Libya's oil and the $110 billion that Gaddafi invested for the Libyan people in Western banks. Already many of these banks have mismanaged billions of dollars of Libyan investment fund, and there is no better way of covering their criminal behaviors than supporting the Transitional National Council, with all the might of NATO. Mind you, what I am saying here has nothing to do with the fact that I vehemently abhor African dictators like Gaddafi who stay in office for life and then engineer their children to take over from them. I am entirely for Gaddafi leaving the stage in Libya, but not with the type of arrogance display of white European messianic zeal that the NATO countries have perpetrated in Libya.
Before the question is asked about the 22 African countries that have recognized the Transitional National Council, let me just say this. The powerhouse of African countries, Nigeria, has been cited as one of the new countries that have recognized the Libyan rebels. I must state here that Nigeria has an axe to grind, legitimately of course, against Gaddafi who had called for the break-up of Nigeria into two countries on religious basis, Muslim and Christians but went further to add insult to injury by calling for the breakup of the countries into six geo-political zones. On the other hand, President Abdoulaye Wade, who was one of the first major African leaders to recognize the rebel group and even flew to Benghazi to offer his support, is trying to curry the favor of Western countries in his quest to stay in office and manipulate himself into a third term. When the time comes, Sarkozy, Cameron, Merkel and Obama will abandon him just as they conspired to effect regime change in Libya.
To deny recognition for the Transitional National Council, is the best decision the African Union has made for a long time now, and it needs to stay steadfast in its position until the rebels in Libya come forward to account for their barbaric and brutal massacre of black Africans from mainland Africa.
Bahrain on edge: Nightly clashes and calls for more protests
September 1, 2011
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — It’s become a nightly duel in Bahrain: Security forces and anti-government protesters waging hit-and-run clashes in one of the simmering conflicts of the Arab Spring.
So far, the skirmishes have failed to gel into another serious challenge to the Gulf nation’s Western-backed monarchy after crushing a reform rebellion months ago. But there are sudden signs that Shiite-led demonstrators could be poised to raise the stakes again on the strategic island, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
Hundreds of demonstrators Wednesday made their boldest attempt in months to reclaim control of a central square in the capital Manama, which was the symbolic hub of the protest movement after it began in February. Riot police used buses to block roads and flooded streets with tear gas to drive back the marchers before dawn.
Hours later, mourners gathered in a Shiite village in another part of Bahrain for a 14-year-old boy they claim was killed by security forces. Clashes flared until early Thursday across the oil hub area of Sitra.
“Don’t give up,” chanted some of the men. “More protests.”
Bahrain remains the outlier of the Arab revolts.
Its Sunni rulers have managed to hold their ground — and even tighten their grip with military help from neighboring Saudi Arabia — against majority Shiites demanding a greater political voice. Washington and Western allies have denounced the punishing crackdowns, but been mild when it comes to Bahrain’s ruling dynasty. The possible risks from a harder line appear too great. They include jeopardizing key Arab military relationships on Iran’s doorstep.
Washington’s Gulf Arab allies argue any gains for Bahrain’s Shiites could open the door for influence by Iran’s Shiite regime.
Bahrain’s Shiite leaders strongly deny any links to Iran. They note that their fight for greater rights goes back decades — and is now re-energized by the pro-democracy wave across the Arab world.
In July, the Shiite political bloc walked out of government-led reconciliation talks, claiming they failed to address key demands such as ending the monarchy’s ability to hand-pick the government. Shiites also appear ready to boycott parliament elections on Sept. 24 — an act that state media has called treason.
Shiites account for about 70 percent of Bahrain’s 525,000 citizens, but claim they face systematic discrimination such as being barred from top political and security posts. Last week, Bahrain’s most senior Shiite cleric, Sheik Isa Qassim, told worshippers that the country’s rulers can either embrace reforms or risk the same fate as Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.
“Can’t they learn from the fall of dictatorships and see what happens to those who denied their people basic rights?” Qassim said as police helicopters patrolled over his mosque. “We now see what happens to the Libyan dictator, just as what happened to Tunisian and Egyptian despots.”
At least 32 people have been killed since the protests began more than six months ago. Activists claim Ali Jawad Ahmad, the 14-year-old buried Wednesday, should be added to the tally.
Opposition groups, including the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, cited witnesses saying the boy died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired at close range by police during the demonstration in the oil hub of Sitra, which has been a hotbed of Shiite protests.
A statement by the Interior Ministry said an investigation was ordered and officials posted a 10,000 dinar ($26,600) reward for information leading to a definitive finding on the death.
The official Bahrain News Agency said an autopsy showed a “neck injury” was the cause of death, and “fractures in that area causing bleeding around the spinal cord.” The report added that the boy had bruises on his chin, face, right hand, pelvic area and knees.
Isa Hassan, an uncle of the dead teen, claimed police overreacted when confronted by a small group of protesters after morning prayers marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Hassan said the tear gas was fired from about 21 feet (seven meters) away directly at the protesters.
“They are supposed to lob the canisters of gas, not shoot them at people,” he said at a memorial gathering for the boy. “Police used it as a weapon.”
The death is almost certain to bring more protesters onto the streets.
Until nearly sunrise Wednesday, groups of demonstrators tried to break through police lines to reclaim control of Pearl Square, a main crossroads that was once a protest encampment modeled after Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Some streets in Manama were scenes of running battles.
Police unleashed huge clouds of tear gas to drive back protesters, who in turn created large oil slicks and left makeshift traps such as nail-studded boards to try to slow the riot units. Some protesters manned ambush points to pelt police with stones.
In Geneva, the spokesman for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Bahraini authorities to account for all those arrested since temporary martial law-style rule was imposed March 15. It was lifted June 1.
“We are concerned that most of the defendants in these cases may be prisoners of conscience, detained only for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association,” Rupert Colville said. “All such detainees must be released.”
BRUSSELS - The European Union will formally adopt a ban on Syrian oil imports Friday, but the embargo will take effect on November 15 for existing contracts after Italy insisted on a delay, according to diplomats.
Just now I've been studying up, in order to know something -- not quite as much as T. Boone Pickens knows -- about the Permian Basin, and the Barnett Shale, and the Anadarko Basin, and what mineral rights leases are going for these days in certain parts of Oklahoma and Texas.
Why? you ask.
Because I'm saddling up, I'm going West, headin' greeley-wards, I'm movin' on, gitalong little dogie. High, wide, and handsome. O give me land, lots of land, to sell the mineral rights leases foran initial three-year primary period, with different prices depending on what share of the royalties I want. I'll make sure - darn tootin' sure -- that I keep east of the Panhandle. And you make sure, please (there are surveyors and little boys with war-bonnets present) to distinguish between the Indian and the Cimarron Meridian, will you? -- that when I wheel and deal to buy up those leases in order to make my certain fortune, I will have done my geological, cadastral, and psychological homework. There is no other way.
Big play in natural gas. Uninhibited fracking among consenting landowners.. Above all, a new craze for horizontal drilling. And a girl of slender means who never got a chance -- but now she might, thanks to some long-neglected acreage left her by a great aunt in Wichita Falls --is now possibly going to get that chance, to become what someone could call, either very wittily or most unwittingly, depending, Une Grande Horizontale.
White Man Congratulates Self on Liberation of Libya
The insufferableBernard-Henri Lévy has a new piece of self-congratulatory garbage up on the Daily Beast, in which he pats himself on the back for personally liberating Libya from the clutches of Col. Muammar Qaddafi, because in BHL's world, the Other can't do shit without the white man. Okay, first let's give credit where credit is due: BHL keeps Nicolas Sarkozy's testicles in a glass jar on his desk, and he pushed the French president to act militarily on behalf of the rebels in Libya. But the headline for BHL's ode to himself says it all — 'Victorious Return to Libya'. Here, he arrives in Tripoli's Green Square to the delight of 6.5 million Libyans and feigns respect in his victory speech to the masses:
But either the news of the arrival of foreigners travels fast, or the excitement of the chebabs escorting us, who are also shooting bi-tube rounds in our honor, attracts attention; people start flooding into the square, more and more of them, brandishing their weapons toward the sky and joining in the scene.
I improvise a few words: "A great day…the beauty of the liberation of a city by its own…images of the liberation of Paris…Libya in your hands…no exactions, nor vengeance…."
The young people cry "Allah Akbar"—I reply, "Libya Hora."
They cheer for France, I salute the Libyan spring.
Then, because you never know if the crowd is actually made up of Fascislamists, BHL adds:
After about 20 minutes, the noise of the riffs of gunfire preventing us from hearing each other and a few, perhaps, finally recognizing a Frenchman whose demonized image they have seen in a loop on Gaddafi's broadcasts for months and taking out their cell phones to film him, our Libyan friends suggest we move.
Later on during his victory lap, BHL finds the "vandalized" remains of the French embassy (oh, the horror!) before returning to battle-scarred Misrata, '"my city," the one that has made me an honorary citizen."' There, he finds the time to reflect on his war, his victory.
BHL's forthcoming Libya War memoir is destined to be a classic.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Doha, Qatar, April 2008.
Karim Jafaar/AFP/Getty Images
As the dust starts to settle from the upheavals of the Arab Spring, two clear winners have emerged: Israel and Qatar. The governments in both countries remained the same, and their ability to project influence throughout the region has greatly increased as their traditional rivals have weakened.
Israel’s stable state structure and advanced military have gained significant new advantages over its neighbors in Egypt and Syria simply by standing pat. The Qataris, meanwhile, have become the flagship of revolution through the influence of the television broadcaster Al Jazeera, privately owned by the Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Al Jazeera
helped overthrow Hosni Mubarak, protected the government of Bahrain through its silence regarding the Shia-majority uprising there, and has now turned against its onetime ally Syria. The victory over Libya—won in part with Qatari money and weapons and fighters, in addition to the soft power of Al Jazeera—may have been the crowning touch. Needless to say, Qatar allowed no street demonstrations at home, and somehow pulled off the incredible feat of overthrowing U.S. allies throughout the region with the acquiescence of Americans—while continuing to host U.S. Central Command, the strategic headquarters of the two Middle Eastern campaigns the United States is waging in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So, why of all times has Israel chosen now to pick a fight with Qatar, this clearly rising power?
Last week the Israeli daily Maarivrelayed a report from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs explaining that Israel is incensed with Qatar and intends to break off relations with the spunky Persian Gulf emirate. Among other complaints Jerusalem has with Doha is its unyielding support of Hamas and efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state, like funding lawfare against Israel, including legal actions regarding the Mavi Marmara incident.
It wasn’t always like this between Jerusalem and Doha. Qatari officials are among the few Arab statesmen who have openly met with Israeli leaders, including Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, and Shimon Peres. Israel even opened an interest office in the Qatari capital in 1996 following a visit by then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
But in the wake of Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008 and 2009, regional pressure mounted on Qatar, which expelled the Israeli delegation from Doha. And so, it is in fact beyond Jerusalem’s ability to break off relations with Qatar—since it was Doha that cashiered the relationship first, more than two years ago. So, why has Israel waited until now to bare its teeth? It’s not like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t have more pressing concerns, like a domestic protest movement, Iran’s nascent nuclear program, and the uncertain future of the 30-year-old peace treaty with Egypt.
As part of its campaign against Qatar, the Maariv report claimed that the Israeli government would no longer allow journalists employed by Al Jazeera, the Qatari emir’s de facto public diplomacy wing, to operate within its precincts. However, the station’s bureau chief is still working from Jerusalem and is in little danger of being chased out of the country. Nonetheless, by shining the spotlight on Al Jazeera, Israel is illuminating the satellite network’s negative influence in the region.
In one of the stolen Wikileaks cables, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan told an American diplomat that Al Jazeera might start the next war in the Middle East. Indeed, during the course of the Arab Spring, a piece of conventional wisdom has emerged: Once Al Jazeera turns its attention to despotic regimes, their days are numbered.
Mainstream Western opinion of Al Jazeera started to turn rosier with the introduction of Al Jazeera English (which Time Warner Cable now offers to its New York City subscribers). [something for people in NY, choosing what cable system to use, might keep in mind] Media critics and policymakers remarked on the useful international programming, informed commentary, notable guests, and the appreciably moderate tone of the station. And it’s true that AJE generally avoids the anti-Semitic, anti-American, and anti-Shia invective of Al Jazeera Arabic, but this is only because the entire purpose of AJE is to legitimize the Al Jazeera brand in the West, and therefore legitimize the goals of the emir and his country’s foreign policy, which included toppling regional rivals like Hosni Mubarak.
To be sure, in the end it is the United States that topples Arab rulers: Either Washington turns its firepower on enemies like Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi or turns its back on allies like Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and compels them to relinquish their power. And it is Western and not Arab media that shape world opinion, including that of the White House. But beginning with the Egyptian revolution, the U.S. press has been challenged to match AJE and its tireless reporting, story by story. Otherwise, it is hard to see how an event taking place in Tahrir Square, two continents removed from the East Coast, could have come to dominate the news cycle for more than a week. When it did, the Obama Administration had little choice but to call for Mubarak to step down.
The most peculiar effect of the Arab Spring is that the Qataris have managed to leave the Obama Administration with the impression that they have been with the United States every step of the way. Doha, via Al Jazeera, also called for Mubarak and Ben Ali to step down; in Libya and Syria there has seemingly been little daylight between American and Qatari policy; and in Bahrain, the United States and Qatar both kept their mouths shut as a friendly, and strategically vital, Sunni government squashed its Shia opposition. Nonetheless, these coincidences hardly mean that Qatar is on the same side as the United States.
Two years before Doha broke off relations with Israel, Meir Dagan was telling U.S. diplomats that Qatar was a problem. If it seemed that the Qataris were playing both sides and engaging all comers, the reality, according to Dagan, is that the Qatari emir was “annoying everyone” in the region. Qatar had relations with both Hezbollah and its pro-democracy March 14 opponents in Lebanon, it dealt with Hamas and Fatah as well as Israel, and, most provocatively, Qatar hosted CENTCOM even as it shared the world’s largest natural gas field with Iran. Washington, Dagan advised, “should remove [its] bases from [Doha].”
The Maariv report essentially echoes the warning that Dagan relayed. Israel is airing out its differences with Qatar in public, but not because the Qataris themselves are ignorant about the state of relations with Jerusalem. The intended recipient of the message is Washington. Perhaps Jerusalem fears that the Obama Administration sees Doha as a more useful ally at present than Israel, or because the Israelis are concerned that the Americans do not understand that Qatar is not a benevolent actor. It seems that Jerusalem believes this is the one place where it can offer its advice to Washington, however obliquely.
From the American perspective, Qatar is extremely appealing. In the Arab Spring, Doha has picked nothing but winners for the last six months. Moreover, an Arab government with ties to the region’s likely rising powers—especially the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Libya, and perhaps Syria—may be a valuable friend as the new regional order begins to take shape. But just because Qatar has dropped the role of middleman and mediator—made evident by its severing of ties with Israel—and is now choosing sides in the region doesn’t mean that it has really opted to side with the United States. From the Israeli perspective, the Americans have been fooled at least once in the last six months, when they misread Egypt as the Qataris, via Al Jazeera, set the tempo and obfuscated the situation. Qatar is also lined up against Israel, which wants to remind the Americans that it is still a U.S. ally—America’s one real friend in the Middle East.
UNITED NATIONS — A United Nations review has found that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is legal and appropriate but that the way its forces boarded a Turkish-based flotilla trying to break that blockade 15 months ago, killing nine passengers, was excessive and unreasonable.
The report, expected to be released on Friday, also found that when Israeli commandos boarded the main ship they faced “organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers” and were therefore required to use force for their own protection. But the report called the force “excessive and unreasonable,” saying the loss of life was unacceptable and the Israeli military’s later treatment of passengers was abusive.
The 105-page report, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, was completed months ago. But its publication was delayed several times as Turkey and Israel sought to reconcile their deteriorating relationship and perhaps avoid making the report public. In reactions from both governments included in the report, as well as in interviews, each objected to conclusions. Both believe the report, which was intended to help mend relations, will instead make reconciliation harder.
Turkey is particularly upset by the conclusion that Israel’s naval blockade is in keeping with international law and that its forces have the right to stop Gaza-bound ships in international waters, which is what happened here. That conclusion oversteps the mandate of the four-member panel appointed by the United Nations secretary general and is at odds with other United Nations decisions, Turkey argued.
The report noted that the panel did not have the power to compel testimony or demand documents, but instead had to rely on information provided by Israel and Turkey. Therefore, its conclusions can not be considered definitive in either fact or law.
The foreign ministries in Turkey and Israel declined to comment publicly on the report, saying they preferred to wait for its official release. No one was available to comment in the office of the United Nations spokesman.
Israel considers the report to be a rare vindication for it in the United Nations. A Security Council statement at the time assailed the loss of life and Israel suffered widespread international condemnation. It thought that by offering to negotiate an agreement with Turkey that would stop publication, Ankara might soften its position.
But the two countries’ negotiations, which focused on some kind of apology from Israel and compensation for the victims — eight Turks and an American of Turkish descent — ended in failure. Israel says it is willing to express regret and pay compensation. But the Turks want a full apology. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel believes that apologizing would demoralize his citizens and broadcast a message of weakness. Aides say he might reconsider at a later date if the Turks soften their position.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey says an apology and compensation would not be sufficient to return his ambassador to Tel Aviv. Israel also has to end its naval blockade of Gaza, he insisted.
The report does recommend that Israel should make “an appropriate statement of regret’ and pay compensation, but the Turks say that formula does not express sufficient remorse.
The United Nations investigation into the events on the Turkish-flagged ship known as the Mavi Marmara, the largest of six vessels that were commandeered by Israeli commandos on May 31, 2010, was headed by Sir Geoffrey Palmer, former prime minister of New Zealand, aided by Álvaro Uribe, former president of Colombia, along with a representative each from Israel and Turkey.
It takes a broadly sympathetic view of Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza.
“Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza,” the report says in its opening paragraphs. “The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
The report is hard on the flotilla, asserting that it “acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade.” It said that while the majority of the hundreds of people aboard the six vessels had no violent intention, that could not be said of IHH, the Turkish aid group that primarily organized the flotilla. It said, “There exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objectives of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH.”
It also said that the Turkish government tried to persuade the organizers to avoid an encounter with Israeli forces but that “more could have been done.”
Regarding the boarding of the ship, the Palmer committee said Israel should have issued warnings closer to the moment of action and should have first turned to nonviolent options.
The report assailed Israel for the way in which the nine were killed and others injured. “Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel,” it says. The report does, however, acknowledge that once on board the commandos had to defend themselves against violent attack. The report also criticizes Israel’s subsequent treatment of passengers, saying it “included physical mistreatment, harassment and intimidation, unjustified confiscation of belongings and the denial of timely consular assistance.”
Like so many elements of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the events on the Mavi Marmara produced two fiercely competing narratives, each full of self-justification and contempt for the other.
An official Israeli investigation found not only that its naval blockade was legal but that everything done by Israel, from the actions of its commandos to the treatment of the passengers afterwards, was honorable and appropriate. The flotilla organizers, it said, included 40 members of a “hard-core group” who were not properly checked before boarding in Turkey.
A Turkish investigation came to precisely the opposite conclusion. It asserted that the blockade was illegal in all aspects, amounting to collective punishment of the Palestinians of Gaza. It said all of the people on board were civilians, all had been checked out and were unarmed and therefore subject to protection from any invasion under international humanitarian law.
The Turks also concluded that Israeli commandos used live fire before landing, leading to death and injury; the Israelis said they had not. The Palmer committee said it was unable to determine who was right.
Those critical of Israeli actions toward Gaza have viewed the naval blockade that began officially in January 2009 as part and parcel of a siege imposed by Israel on the coastal strip shortly after Hamas took full control there in 2007. That siege, which has eased considerably in the past year, prevented the movement of most goods and people.
But the Palmer committee said while it had concerns about that policy and urged that it be loosened further, it saw the naval blockade as a purely security-oriented tool that had been imposed to stop weapons arriving to Gaza by sea. It also expressed strong concern for the thousands of rockets and mortars fired into Israel from Gaza in recent years. It said that because Gaza’s port cannot handle large ships, a naval blockade has little impact on the supply of civilian goods.
Neil MacFarquhar reported from the United Nations and Ethan Bronner from Jerusalem.
This is a dangerous time to be a black African in Libya.
Throughout the conflict that began in February, rebel forces have been rounding up suspected mercenaries whom, they say, have been hired from neighboring countries like Chad and Niger to fight for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
But Libya has a black population of its own, and many black migrant workers were trapped in the country when the conflict began. And it seems that plenty of the black Africans captured as mercenaries were never actually involved in the fight.
On Monday, the chairman of the African Union, Jean Ping, said that Libya’s Transitional National Council “seems to confuse black people with mercenaries,” as my colleagues Kareem Fahim and Neil MacFarquhar reported. (There are documented cases of mercenaries from elsewhere, including an ethnic Croatian named Mario who was interviewed in Time magazine last week.)
Amnesty International issued a statement on Tuesday saying that people suspected of fighting for Colonel Qaddafi, “in particular black Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans, are at high risk of abuse” by rebel forces. The statement said that Amnesty representatives were told on recent visits to detention centers in al-Zawiya and Tripoli that one-third to half of the detainees there were from sub-Saharan Africa.
Alex Thomson, a reporter for Channel 4 News in Britain, recounted a frightening scene he witnessed in Tripoli, where men captured by the rebels insisted they were not mercenaries. Those men, he said, appeared to be in serious danger — and they also appeared to be telling the truth.
“Please,” they begged us, “please don’t go. Don’t leave us. They will kill us.”
Another just asked me: “Will they shoot us? Please tell me Sir. Will they shoot us?”
Herded into a corner, a gunman started slapping them. We asked him to stop.
“They are with Gaddafi. We know this. They had guns.”
“Show me the guns,” I said.
No guns arrived. Some of the men crossed themselves, sweating, praying. One began weeping softly.
Mr. Thomson said the men eventually led the rebels to “their women” who were hiding in the bush nearby. Satisfied that they would not have brought their wives to fight in the war, the rebels let them go.
“To be a black African in the wrong part of town at the wrong time,” Mr. Thomson concluded, “is to be in a very frightening place.
More than 50 Indonesian boat crew members are being held in a police watchhouse in Darwin after two fires at the city's immigration detention centre. An immigration department spokesman said 56 Indonesians from the Northern Immigration Detention Centre were transferred to the watchhouse on Wednesday afternoon. No charges have been laid yet over the fires.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the Indonesians were protesting against a refusal to let them celebrate the end of Ramadan in the way they wanted.
Indonesian detainees angry about their religious rights set fire to the Darwin immigration detention centre earlier today. Smoke billowed from the detention centre this morning after two fires were started about 9:00am in the compound where Indonesian boat crews were held. It is believed rubbish bins and mattresses were set alight.
Sources inside the centre have told the ABC the unrest was in the compound where Indonesians who have been taken into custody for illegal fishing and people smuggling are being held. They say some of the Indonesians are angry about not being able to celebrate the festival of Eid, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
I don't believe they were forbidden to celebrate Eid, just not to allowed out to attend the mosque. ABC again. Still it's all jihad, innit!
Denis Mamadou Cuspert . . . clenched his fists and looked at the tattoos. “Allah will erase them from me one day.”
Mr. Cuspert, once a popular rapper in Germany, today is one of the best-known singers of nasheeds, or Islamic devotional music, in German. Security officials say, though, that he is an influential figure who incites violence and unrest through inflammatory videos and fiery speeches that praise terrorists and attack the West.
German authorities say people like him inspired the fatal shootings of two American airmen at the Frankfurt airport in March. . . Mr. Uka said he was listening on his ipod to nasheeds calling for opposition against occupation forces and the West as he traveled to the airport just before the shootings. “It made me really angry,” Mr. Uka told the judge on Wednesday, referring to the songs’ lyrics.
German terrorism investigators see Mr. Cuspert, 35, (now called Abou Maleeq) as a threat who provokes young people angered by what they see as a Western campaign against Islam;
“After establishing rapport through music, he introduced radical ideology to an audience already receptive to him,” said Raphael F. Perl, who runs the antiterrorism unit for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
In an interview at a mosque here, Mr. Cuspert denied any direct connection to Mr. Uka, though he said he supported his actions. “The brother hasn’t killed civilians,” he said. “He has killed soldiers who had been on their way to kill Muslims.”
That is similar to the message in videos posted on YouTube and jihadi Web sites that have made Mr. Cuspert popular among Al Qaeda supporters in Europe and elsewhere. As evidence of his reach, a man who goes by the name Abu Bilal in the tribal areas in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region said of Mr. Cuspert: “The brother’s voice has reached the hearts of many people here, too.”
Mr. Cuspert says that Shariah, the legal code of Islam based on the Koran, permits self-defense. “My duty is to use my voice for telling people the truth, and the truth is, jihad is a duty,” he said. “I have sworn allegiance to Mullah Muhammad Omar, emir of the Taliban,” he said in the interview, smiling. “He is one of the greatest men.” In his speeches, Mr. Cuspert has expressed outrage over United States drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, Yemen and Somalia, and has said that his biggest wish right now is the death of President Obama, who he said was an enemy of Islam.
The message on his cellphone’s voice mail system makes no secret about his ultimate aim in life. “The martyrdom is the most beautiful,” he says in his recording. “Allah is the greatest.”
Berlusconi On "Shitty" Italy -- At Least He Won't Be Able To "Burn" It Up The Way His Friend Qaddafy Threatens In Libya
From The New York Times:
Berlusconi vows to leave 'shitty' Italy in conversation recorded by police
Transcripts from blackmail investigation reveal the Italian prime minister's frustration with his country
Silvio Berlusconi looks on at the Chamber of Deputies in Rome, Italy, 22 June 2011. Photograph: Alessandro Di Meo/EPA
In a sign of his frustration at the investigations into his alleged crimes and misdemeanours, Silvio Berlusconi vowed in July to leave Italy, which he described as a "shitty country" that "sickened" him.
The Italian prime minister's astonishing remarks are contained in the transcript of a telephone conversation secretly recorded by police investigating claims he was being blackmailed about his sex life.
At dawn on Thursday, police swooped on a flat near Via Veneto – one of Rome's most expensive streets – to arrest Giampaolo Tarantini, a central figure in a scandal that threatened to bring down Berlusconi two years ago.
Tarantini's wife, Angela Devenuto, was also taken into custody and a search launched for a third person. The arrest warrant shows that the three are accused of extorting at least €500,000 (£440,000) "as well as other benefits of economic significance". Berlusconi has admitted paying the couple, but said he did so voluntarily.
Two years ago, Tarantini, a businessman from Bari in southern Italy, said he supplied 30 women for parties at the prime minister's Roman palazzo. He told police at least six women spent the night there.
According to the judicial arrest warrant issued on Thursday, a third person – Valter Lavitola, the editor of a small newspaper – maintained direct contact with Berlusconi and received the cash in monthly instalments from the prime minister's personal secretary.
It was in a phone conversation with Lavitola late on 13 July that Berlusconi was said by the judge to have erupted in anger. "They can say about me that I screw. It's the only thing they can say about me. Is that clear?" he said to the man allegedly blackmailing him. "They can put listening devices where they like. They can tap my telephone calls. I don't give a fuck. I … In a few months, I'm getting out to mind my own fucking business, from somewhere else, and so I'm leaving this shitty country of which I'm sickened."
Berlusconi was speaking four days after a court in Milan dealt him the heaviest blow he has suffered in his long and intensely controversial business career. The court ruled that the firm at the heart of his group of companies should pay €560m to his bitterest commercial rival as compensation for bribing a judge in order to win control of Mondadori, Italy's biggest publisher.
But the conversation also took place at the height of a crisis on the financial markets, and in the midst of frantic efforts in parliament to approve a package of measures designed to eliminate Italy's budget deficit. Berlusconi's public silence during this period attracted comment at the time, particularly in the financial media.
The sex scandal at the origin of the latest allegations was one of several involving Berlusconi in the past three years. He is on trial in Milan charged with paying an underage prostitute and then using his position to cover up the alleged offence, but that case is not related to the one that has now come back to haunt him.
Details of the latest investigation were leaked last month in a news magazine belonging to Berlusconi. The magazine, Panorama, claimed the prosecutors believed Tarantini was being paid to stop him contradicting the prime minister's claim that he was unaware that some of the women who visited his home were prostitutes.
But Panorama said Tarantini had repeatedly confirmed in wiretapped conversations that Berlusconi was indeed oblivious of the payments the women were receiving. Italy's prime minister, who turns 75 later this month, has made much over the years of his talents as a playboy and has insisted he would never pay for sex.
The magazine claimed the main reason the prime minister was passing money to Tarantini was to ensure he did a deal with the prosecutors to avoid a trial and the disclosure of "telephone wiretaps held to be embarrassing". Berlusconi told the magazine: "I helped someone and a family with children who found themselves and continue to find themselves in very serious financial difficulty. I didn't do anything illegal. I limited myself to helping a desperate man without asking for anything in exchange. That's the way I am and nothing will change that."
BBC Proms radio broadcast pulled after Israel protest
Such firey hoops we are having to jump through in preparation for Saturday. Meanwhile the Palestine Solidarity Campaign were allowed to proceed with apparent impunity tonight. From The Telegraph
The BBC was forced to pull a live Proms performance off air on Thursday night after a performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was disrupted by protesters. The orchestra was due to perform at the prestigious BBC Proms in London despite calls for a boycott of its performance.
But the live broadcast of the performance was pulled from air after protesters interrupted the concert at the Royal Albert Hall, west London. A BBC spokeswoman confirmed the live broadcast had been taken off air on Radio 3 "as a result of sustained audience disruption".
The BBC Proms team earlier posted on Twitter, the microblogging site: ''We're sorry that the concert was taken off air following hall disturbance.Glad both pieces were heard by the audience in the RAH.'' Some audience members tweeted that the protesters were shouted at to stop.
It is understood the protests were organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. A spokesman was unavailable for comment.
A BBC spokeswoman said: "We regret that as a result of sustained audience disruption within the concert hall which affected the ability to hear the music, tonight’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prom was taken off air. The invitation to the Orchestra was a purely musical one, offering the opportunity to hear this fine Orchestra in conductor Zubin Metha’s 75th year, so we are disappointed that BBC Radio 3 audiences were not able to enjoy the full performance. BBC Radio 3 broadcast recordings of the same music, however the performance continued in the hall. We will broadcast part of the concert next Wednesday 7 September at 2.30pm."
Ex-pat Libyans in US Hail New Libyan Constitution Grounded in Sharia
Today, we heard from UK PM David Cameron, who believes that Muammar Gaddafi is all but finished, hailing a “new dawn for Libya.” This despite the Libyan dictator’s latest audio recording released today stating ‘no surrender’ and continued armed resistance by he and his clansmen against the rebel forces of the Transitional National Council. Despite his bravado, Gaddafi may be forced to dash for a bolt hole, as did his second wife Safia Farkash and several of his children who were admitted into Algeria. Or he may fight to the bitter end and is either captured, tried or killed. Until that happens we don’t know what to make of the new Libya. Among the rebel leaders are former Libyan Islamic Fighting group ‘graduates’ of al Qaeda. That may be behind the announcement that Gaddafi’s son al-Saadi was negotiating surrender with the rebels. After all, he was an al Qaeda fighter in Iraq.
Yesterday, intrepid colleagues from The United West released a You Tube video of interviews they conducted in central Florida with well educated ex-pat Libyans who jubilantly supported the rebel cause and Gaddafi’s downfall. They thanked both the US and NATO for their support. These US Libyan rebel supporters also expressed the view that the proposed transitional National Council’s constitution grounded in Islamic Sharia Law represented real ‘democracy’.
As the tides shift in Libya, the rebels have released a draft constitution for the transitional period. It calls for a democratic political regime (Art. 4), accession to human rights instruments (Art. 7—Libya is already a member of all the core international instruments) and the rule of law (Arts. 6 and 11). Article 1 provides that Sharia is to be “the principle source of legislation” and that Arabic is the official language; there is no mention of the Berber language Tamazight, though minority linguistic and cultural rights are to be preserved.
Watch this TUW You Tube video interview with Libyan ex-pats Rebel supporters in Florida. Does the West support Libya morphing into an Islamic democracy guided by Sharia law? Those western educated representatives in the Libyan Transitional National council mask what may lurk behind the new regime when it takes power, another Islamic Republic rising.
ADL's Foxman: "Threat of Sharia Law = Matter of Myth Making"
Abe Foxman of the ADL
Adam Taxin of the Philadephia Jewish Culture Examiner has written this latest escapde in media manipulation by Abe Foxman of the ADL published in The Jewish Exponent, a local Federation weekly. We have posted frequently about Foxman's excesses when it comes to his bizarre views of what constitues threats in the US. Sharia is not one of them and he goes to great lengths to criticize its critics like David Yerushalmi, Esq.- see here. He considers Evangelical Christian groups who defend Israel like CUFI as mortal enemies and he has stooped to taking six figure 'fees' for opening doors for White House pardons, as he did for tax-frauster and oil trader Marc Rich in January, 2001 with former Presdient Clinton-see here. Then there is his support for Mega Mosque construction while avoiding the 800 pound gorilla of antisemitism in Islamic Doctrine.
The op-ed section of this week's Jewish Exponent lends a considerable part of its limited space to Abraham Foxman, a man who has hardly been deprived of sufficient soapbox opportunities during the 24 years he has served as the boss of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) (affectionately known by Jewish Culture Examiner as "the Defamation League," due to the way it ongoingly -- and, make no mistake, driven by fundraising concerns -- accuses non-Jews of dire anti-Semitism).
Foxman, whose indefatigable fight against anti-Semitism earned him a salary of over $560,000 in 2009, also considers anti-Sharia legislative efforts “the proverbial solution in search of a problem,” as well as “a form of camouflaged bigotry that enables their proponents to advance an idea that finds fault with the Muslim faith and paints all Muslim Americans as foreigners and anti-American crusaders.”
In his Jewish Exponent piece, Foxman (who told this reporter personally in March that he has no opinion related to Great Britain’s banning of Michael Savage – the U.S.’s most popular Jewish radio host -- from entering the country, [Relevant dialogue: Jewish Culture Examiner: Michael Savage is not allowed in Britain, and he claims... . Foxman: I have no position on that. Jewish Culture Examiner: ... that it's because they're anti-Semitic; they want a Jew in there to balance out the Arabs. Foxman: I have no views on that.]), sermonizes near the end:
We have the option of heading down a path toward a greater tolerance of anti-Muslim xenophobia and fear of the "stranger in our midst," or we can rededicate ourselves to the ideal of an America that is open and welcoming to immigrants as well as minority groups who have been here for decades. Let us hope that the better nature of America will enable us to proceed down the second path and reject those who seek to divide us for political gain, or those who wish to stereotype and scapegoat an entire people because of their religious faith.
Some – presumably those who, as Foxman phrases it in his piece, “pander to bigotry and fear” – were less than laudatory about Foxman’s piece in the JewishExponent.
According to Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the founder and president of the Philadelphia-area-headquartered, unabashedly-Zionist organization Z STREET: “Abe Foxman would do well to focus his energy on protecting Jews and the Jewish State rather than wasting valuable resources (such as space in Jewish media) huffing and puffing over imagined threats to Islam.”
She continued: “Sharia is a political ideology that has no place in American law. American Muslims are free to practice their own religion, but they are not free to impose it on others, which is what the anti-Sharia legislation is intended to prevent. The real myth being perpetrated here is not that there is no threat from sharia, it is that those who oppose the entwining of sharia with American law are a threat. Foxman is the scare-monger.”
Pendant que Dimitri Medvedev enjoignait les 101 milliardaires russes d’aller porter la bonne parole de la réussite aux écoliers sur le thème « l’histoire d’un succès », les musulmans de Russie reprenaient avec enthousiasme le thème de la réussite à leur façon en allant se prosterner en masse dans les rues de la capitale.
Pour l’Aïd Al Fitr célébrant la fin des festins pantagruéliques du ramadan et la remise à un niveau normal de leur taux de cholestérol, ils n’étaient pas moins de 50 000 mâles à envahir les artères de Moscou, les femmes n’ayant pas été conviées à cette communion avec l’Omniscient Jihadiste en raison de leur statut non humain. Les marchands de tapis ont certainement dû se frotter les mains ces derniers jours et d’ailleurs peut-être même que certains sont entrés dans le cercle très fermé des 101 milliardaires du pays.
Les vociférations ardentes de « Allah Akbar » contrastaient étrangement avec l’ambiance ville mécréante morte : rues fermées, tramways arrêtés pour cause de rails occupés, grilles des bâtiments envahies, peuple condamné à se terrer derrière les moucharabiehs… pardon, je veux dire invités courtoisement à rester chez eux pour communier avec les fidèles en contrebas. Une vraie scène… d’occupation !
Et même jusqu’aux lampadaires qui étaient pris d’assaut ! Se maintenir en équilibre avec les jambes enroulées autour d’un lampadaire tout en se tenant par la main gauche tandis que la main droite tourne les pages du coran et parvenir néanmoins à se prosterner vers la Mecque sans se casser la gueule demande forcément une grande piété, un esprit vif et beaucoup de souplesse.
Quelques mécréants certainement racistes ont bien tenté d’utiliser normalement la voie publique mais ces gueux ont fort heureusement été refoulés. N’écoutant que leur étroitesse d’esprit ils se sont laissé aller à des propos honteusement stigmatisants « On ne peut passer nulle part, tout est bloqué et c’est en plein centre de Moscou ! C’est scandaleux ! ».
D’autres plus tolérants ont compati au malheur ostentatoire des adorateurs du croissant-beur « Ce n’est pas de leur faute s’ils sont obligés de s’installer dans la rue pour la prière. Ils ont besoin de prier quelque part et il y a trop peu de mosquées à Moscou ». C’est sûr, quatre mosquées pour environ deux millions de musulmans c’est un peu léger. En comparaison en France nous en avons plus de 2 000 sur le territoire métropolitain pour environ 6 millions dont une partie d’ailleurs ne les fréquente même pas, c’est dire si on les gâte chez nous…
Le choc des photos ayant fait ses preuves, voici de quoi s’émoustiller les pupilles devant cette gigantesque crise de foi.
Vous êtes un des rares hommes politiques français à qui un citoyen aimant son pays et soucieux de préserver son identité peut accorder son estime. Vous ne vous laissez pas embobiner par les pensées à la mode ; vous osez dire souvent : – Le roi est nu » ; vous parlez net… Personnellement, j’apprécie beaucoup vos positions et déclarations sur l’Europe. Je vous demande donc de considérer cette lettre, qui met en question certaines de vos idées sur un sujet important, comme une « remontrance bienveillante » et, en quelque sorte, un hommage à votre honnêteté, votre volonté d’être utile à vos compatriotes et votre courage. C’est parce que je vous crédite de ces qualités que je crois pouvoir vous convaincre de rectifier votre vision de l’islam telle qu’elle m’est apparue à la lecture de l’entretien que vous avez accordée à Riposte laïque.
Le préjugé de base : l’Islam, religion
Je vous le dis sans ambages : A propos de l’Islam, « vous avez tout faux ».
Vous partez de prémices sans réalité. Vous ne pouvez donc aboutir qu’à une politique sans effets ou contre-productives.
Vous basez votre raisonnement et vos actions sur une définition de l’Islam qui est radicalement et totalement erronée : l’Islam est une religion – ce qui vrai – et ce n’est qu’une religion – ce qui est faux. Comme la majorité des gouvernants et parlementaires français, vous pensez que l’Islam ne serait pas très différent, dans sa nature et ses fonctions sociales, du christianisme, une des grandes composantes de notre culture, ou d’autres confessions ou traditions, avec lesquelles nous cohabitons sans problèmes.
Ergo, nos principes, et notamment notre attachement à la liberté de conscience, nous commandent d’accorder à l’Islam le droit de se déployer librement sur notre territoire dès lors que nous prenons quelques précautions, au regard de la laïcité par exemple.
Qu’est-ce que l’Islam ?
Voyons d’abord, si vous le voulez bien, ce qu’il est pour les Musulmans – la moindre des choses, me semble-t-il.
Pour un milliard trois cents millions de Croyants, réduire l’Islam à une religion de la sphère privée, telle qu’est devenu le christianisme, est proprement impensable. Dans la bouche d’un infidèle, une telle affirmation est injurieuse. Proférée par un Musulman, elle est un « blasphème » grave, constitutif de « l’apostasie », deux crimes-péchés caractérisés qui, dans les cinquante-sept pays de l’Organisation de la Conférence Islamique mondiale, sont châtiés durement et, parfois, par la mort.
L’Islam, c’est la Loi d’Allah, éternelle comme Lui et valable pour tous les hommes de tous les temps, au moins depuis Abraham, et de tous les lieux.
Les fondements de cette Loi sont contenus dans le Coran, livre éternel comme Allah, « non créé » (c’est un dogme de toutes les variétés d’Islam), donc non discutable ni révisable. L’autre source de la Loi est constituée par les actes et les dits de Mahomet, « le beau modèle », « sceau de la prophétie »,, et de ses premiers Compagnons, consignés dans les hadîth-s, des textes vénérés jamais étudiés, jamais remis en cause dans les pays musulmans.
Dès sa naissance, l’Islam a fixé des normes et, en conséquence, des sanctions en cas de manquement, pour les actes les plus personnels, les plus privés à nos yeux, voire les plus triviaux. Il régente juridiquement, non seulement ce que nous appelons la religion (les fameux « cinq piliers », le « culte »…), mais la totalité de la vie d’un individu. Ce que nous nommons religion, politique, droit, morale, coutume, comportement individuel… tout est placé sous le signe d’Allah et tout relève de textes sacrés interdits d’examen.
Identité prévalant sur toute autre, système juridique ne laissant rien échapper à sa compétence, l’Islam est un totalitarisme. Et un totalitarisme qui a porté l’emprise sur l’individu à des degrés jamais atteints ailleurs (cf., de nos jours, nos chers alliés l’Arabie saoudite ou les émirats du Golfe).
Par ce caractère totalitaire, qui est de naissance, génétique, l’Islam est à l’opposé de tout ce qui fonde notre civilisation. Il l’est aussi par le contenu de ses principaux articles, issus du Coran et/ou des hadîth-s, donc intouchables : inégalité homme-femme, pas de liberté de conscience, pas de liberté de religion (une Musulmane ne peut épouser un non-Musulman : un Musulman ou un enfant de Musulman ne peut renoncer à l’Islam), etc.
Génétiquement aussi : expansion, guerre, taqiyya
L’Islam, de naissance et constamment au cours de l’histoire, conformément aux prescriptions « définitives » d’Allah, est expansionniste et guerrier. Il ne peut être autre. La lutte contre les civilisations étrangères est « l’ordre » d’Allah, un devoir sacré pour la communauté des Croyants. Le combattant sera récompensé par Allah (selon le Coran, auquel il faut toujours revenir), sur terre par le butin, s’il meurt par l’accès au Paradis. Le monde est divisé entre la Maison de l’Islam et la Maison de la guerre.
Cette Guerre sainte, les Musulmans l’ont toujours menée avec fierté, répandant le sang des Infidèles, les réduisant autant qu’ils le pouvaient à l’état d’esclaves ou d’Untermenschen sociaux (les dhimmî-s).
Cependant, conformément à la tradition guerrière arabe, préislamique, mais validée par le Coran et illustrée par l’exemple du Prophète et de ses Compagnons, il est recommandé aux Musulmans, lorsqu’ils ne sont pas assurés de vaincre dans un combat frontal, d’user de la ruse, du mensonge, du camouflage, de la dissimulation, de l’hypocrisie…, un ensemble de pratiques parfaitement légales que la plupart des juristes musulmans désignent sous le vocable taqiyya.
Une évolution possible ?
En quatorze siècles, l’Islam n’a jamais connu de véritable mouvement de réforme : les déviants ont toujours été rares dans un système d’aliénation parfaitement autocontrôlé et les plus hardis ont été éliminés avant que leurs idées aient pu essaimer. L’histoire, et notamment l’histoire contemporaine, prouve d’autre part que, dès qu’elle est en position de le faire, une communauté musulmane rejette les apports extérieurs (l’innovation – bid‘a – est un crime-péché) et revient à ses pratiques les plus strictes. La dynamique de l’Islam n’est pas la nôtre : ce n’est pas le progrès ; c’est la réaction, l’involution, le conservatisme. Et ce conservatisme est le plus étroit qui soit : non pas d’inspiration, mais d’imitation (jusque dans le costume, la barbe, le voile des femmes…)
En Occident, certains « penseurs » prévoient un renversement de cette tendance génétique sous l’effet de la « mondialisation. Ils tablent sur l’émergence, inévitable selon eux et toute proche, d’une Réforme pour lancer nos pays, dès aujourd’hui, dans une politique irénique avec l’Islam. Un pari fou ! Jusqu’à preuve du contraire, si la mondialisation a dilué dans un premier temps les particularismes, nous assistons maintenant, partout, à un repli des peuples sur leurs identités propres. En Europe même, les immigrés venus des terres d’Islam sont de plus en plus désireux de marquer leur différence et, depuis trente ans, l’Islam le plus traditionnel étend son influence à un rythme croissant parmi les immigrés de culture musulmane. Prénom, voile, ramadan, prière du vendredi… la constatation est facile à faire.
La taqiyya chez nous, pour, d’abord, la libanisation
Je vous prie, Monsieur le député, de de bien vouloir prendre ces réalités en considération et d’en tirer les conclusions qui s’imposent au ras des problèmes que génère en France l’existence de Musulmans, de plus en plus nombreux et de plus en plus « islamisés ».
En premier lieu, le bon sens nous oblige à nous demander ce qu’il faut penser des imams, recteurs, aumôniers… qui, chez nous, prétendent que l’Islam est tout à fait compatible avec nos lois et nos traditions.
Seraient-ils des ignorants. Peu vraisemblable ! L’ignorance, laissons-en le privilège à nos journalistes et intellectuels, à nos hommes politiques aussi, hélas !
Ces Musulmans promoteurs de « l’Islam à la française » sont – et tous, sans exception – des combattants. Des soldats engagés, avec foi, dévouement, désintéressement, dans une guerre par la taqiyya, avec une fonction essentielle dans ce type de conflit : la fonction de taupe. Ils sont l’avant-garde d’une armée conquérante. Et pouvons-nous honnêtement le leur reprocher ? Ils accomplissent un devoir sacré. Que n’imitons-nous leur attachement à leurs valeurs et leur fierté d’appartenance !
Et reconnaissons leur efficacité.
Les mosquées, que ces « religieux » nous présentent comme de modestes « lieux de prière » et qu’ils nous demandent de construire à tire-larigot, sont les bastions avancés dans la conquête. C’est à partir de ces bâtiments qu’ils peuvent affirmer la légitimité de leur totalitarisme au sein même de notre démocratie, qu’ils peuvent ré-islamiser, c’est-à-dire recruter, former, mobiliser, fliquer les tièdes et les indifférents (le mois de ramadan est la grande saison de la chasse aux « mauvais Musulmans »)…
Les « accommodements raisonnables » qu’ils réclament au nom de nos principes de liberté (inconnus ou interdits en terre d’Islam) et que nous leur accordons généreusement ne sont rien d’autre que des grignotages de nos lois, de nos traditions, de nos coutumes, de nos modes de vie… Si nous ne réagissons pas, ces « accommodements » iront, n’en doutons pas, jusqu’à l’octroi de concessions territoriales, d’enclaves, de « places de sûreté » où la Loi d’Allah s’appliquera dans sa monstrueuse intégralité.
Il faut voir les choses en face : les Musulmans sont repartis à la conquête de l’Europe. Mais, cette tentative est bien différente des précédentes. (Est-ce pour cette raison que « nous ne la voyons pas » ?) Elle se fait, non par le cimeterre, mais par la taqiyya. Et nos ennemis disposent d’armes que leurs ancêtres n’avaient pas : la démographie, l’argent… et d’un atout nouveau : notre avachissement moral…. Surtout : ils nous connaissent parfaitement alors que nous ne savons rien d’eux.
L’Islam-religion : cheval de Troie
Pendant les cent cinquante années au cours desquelles nous les avons abaissés, humiliés, déculturés, les Musulmans ont eu le temps d’apprendre qui nous étions, alors que, nous, nous les ignorions avec superbe. Maintenant, ils tirent parti à merveille de nos vanités et de nos ignorances, mais aussi de nos plus nobles valeurs de civilisation, dont ils n’ont « rien à cirer » et qu’ils utilisent contre nous dans un aïkido particulièrement pervers. Ils jouent aussi de la cupidité des prédateurs du Cac 40, toujours en quête d’immigrés à utiliser contre la main d’œuvre autochtone, et des margoulins divers – dont des politiques, disons-le – qui ne résistent pas aux pétrodollars.
Ils jouent surtout de notre mépris à leur égard, qui nous fait négliger la menace qu’ils représentent, parce que, récemment encore, nous les dominions. Quand sortirons-nous de nos fantasmes stupides d’anciens colonisateurs, sûrs de leur supériorité… et aveugles ? Quand nous rappellerons-nous que ces « bougnoules » ont arraché bien des terres et des peuples à notre influence, et sans espoir de retour ? Il serait temps que nous apprenions que, de tout temps, les Musulmans ont été de redoutables guerriers, d’habiles stratèges, maîtres du long terme et, une fois au pouvoir, des policiers hors pairs et des bourreaux impitoyables.
Les stratèges de la taqiyya, rusés comme Allah leur commande d’être, nous ont fait tomber dans un piège que nous avons-nous-même dressé : « l’Islam-religion », cet Islam inexistant, impossible, que nous avons inventé et auquel notre vanité et notre goût du confort nous accrochent. Ils ont trouvé dans ce concept bidon le cheval de Troie qui leur permet d’installer en Europe le vrai Islam, guerrier, expansionniste, destructeur de toute civilisation.
Et avec notre concours actif. Car le mot « religion » nous tétanise, nous frappe de cécité devant les atteintes à notre souveraineté et à notre personnalité, de surdité aux injures. « Religion », et, aussitôt, nous mettons la main à la poche pour construire des « mosquées cathédrales », des centres culturels… « Religion », et nous nous courbons devant des fantoches obscurantistes, nous nous honorons de les inviter dans les palais de la République et de participer à leurs agapes ; nous leur octroyons des places dans nos armées ; nous leur ouvrons nos écoles et nos médias… Et malheur à qui ose dire : – Danger ! » Cet imprudent ne peut être qu’un raciste xénophobe.
On le voit, la stratégie des experts en taqiyya n’est pas celle des fous furieux d’al-Qaida et autres guerriers déclarés que nous nommons « islamistes ». Certes, les uns et les autres lisent le même Coran, vénèrent le même Prophète, obéissent aux mêmes préceptes et œuvrent dans le même but de soumission des autres civilisations à l’Islam. Mais les rôles sont bien distincts. En fait, ils sont synergiques. Les « islamistes » accaparent notre attention et celle de notre police ; ils monopolisent les médias sur les risques d’islamisation ; dans notre imaginaire, ils concentrent sur leurs personnes la violence dont l’Islam est porteur et en exonèrent les autres disciples de Mahomet ; ils focalisent, dans le peuple, la peur instinctive, ancestrale, des Musulmans… Grâce à eux « qui défigurent l’islam authentique », grâce à ces repoussoirs, les taupes de l’Islam à la française et nos perroquets médiatiques peuvent présenter, en contrepoint, un autre Islam, lequel ne saurait être, pour notre plus grand soulagement, qu’une « religion d’amour, de tolérance et de paix ». Les forfaits sanglants des fous d’Allah font écran aux manœuvres subreptices très coordonnées, conduites avec systématisme et continuité, par les soldats de la taqiyya et, par la même, les aident puissamment.
J’ai qualifié la stratégie qui nous est appliqué de « conquête en peau de panthère ». On peut dire aussi « libanisation » – et le mot a l’avantage de faire apparaître aux plus raisonnables le risque d’une guerre civile permanente.
Doutez-vous de ce que j’avance ? Demandez, Monsieur le député, qu’on vous traduise les propos que tient, depuis des années, l’Egypto-qatari Yûsuf al-Qaradâwi, dans son émission hebdomadaire sur al-Jazeera : La Charia et la Vie. Ce Musulman érudit et pieux, donc très motivé pour la Guerre sainte, est un protégé de notre ami, l’émir du Qatar (présent, rappelons-nous, à la tribune du Quatorze juillet, en 2008, à côté de… Bachar el-Assad), qui l’a recueilli après que l’Egypte de Sadat l’eut déchu de sa nationalité et chassé. Ce personnage, quasiment inconnu de nos « élites », n’est pourtant pas n’importe qui ; président de l’Union internationale des savants musulmans (oulémas), président du Conseil supérieur européen pour la fatoua et la recherche (le haut-conseil de la guerre en Europe), il est un des maîtres à penser des Frères musulmans, donc de notre UOIF, Union des organisations Islamiques de France. Du haut de la plus haute chaire audiovisuelle worldwide, lui prêche le vrai Islam, le seul Islam, avec toute la force que lui procure sa certitude de la conquête proche de l’Europe, décidée de toute éternité par Allah et en cours de réalisation grâce aux si efficaces et si louables méthodes de la taqiyya, qu’il aime enseigner, en toute hypocrisie bien sûr, à ses millions de téléspectateurs.
Pour une stratégie de contre-offensive
Nous ne limiterons pas la puissance d’expansion d’un totalitarisme agressif en lui faisant une place dans notre pays. Nous ne ferons que le conforter, le renforcer dans une guerre de conquête à laquelle il ne renoncera que si nous lui opposons une véritable stratégie de contre-offensive. Une stratégie, pas des actions ponctuelles et sans lendemain. Une telle stratégie pourrait commencer par la délimitation stricte des aires légales de tolérance de l’Islam en France, cela en référence à nos valeurs, nos lois et coutumes, nos intérêts – et à rien d’autre. Une noble mission, n’est-ce pas, pour les élus du peuple souverain ?
Monsieur le député, extirpez-vous de la masse confuse de la bien-pensance, où se côtoient le bétail désigné pour la mort et ceux qui le conduisent à l’abattoir. Nous, Français, Européens, nous jouons notre survie en tant que civilisation. Rejoignez les rangs des hommes et des femmes, de toutes origines et de toutes opinions, qui luttent contre l’islamisation de l’Europe. Aidez-les à réveiller les consciences. L’intérêt des Français qui vous font confiance pour les représenter et les défendre vous le conseille. L’honneur vous en fait obligation.
Dans cet espoir, je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur le député, l’expression de ma considération la plus distinguée.
PS : Vos collègues à l’Assemblée lisent-ils le Figaro ? Dans son numéro daté du 26 août, ce journal consacre un article au dernier livre de Bernard Lewis : Le Pouvoir et la Foi. Questions d’islam en Europe et au Moyen-Orient. L’auteur « envisage la possibilité d’une islamisation progressive de l’Europe ». « Les musulmans, écrit-il, ont la ferveur et la conviction qui fait défaut aux Occidentaux, qui se perdent en atermoiements et en autodénigrements. » Il situe l’échéance de « populations majoritairement musulmanes dans certaines villes européennes et même dans certains pays » […] « dans un avenir relativement proche ». Qui, parmi nos « élites », tiendra compte de cet avertissement lancé par un savant que beaucoup tiennent pour le plus grand islamologue vivant ?
Why A Muslim Mob Attacked A Couple At The Place Audin, Algers (In French)
On n’a jamais entendu les belles âmes issues d’Afrique du Nord, à qui on accorde un statut d’intellectuel, qui viennent se pavaner sur les plateaux de télévision, tenir des discours aussi clairs. Ils préfèrent, tels des Malek Chebel, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Mohamed Sifaoui, Mohamed Arkoun et autres, noyer le poisson, nous parler d’un islam des Lumières qui n’a jamais existé, et continuer à nous enfumer avec des discours totalement creux. On ne les a jamais entendus parler de la réalité de leurs sociétés, de l’extraordinaire obscurantisme qui y règne, et de la haine que la femme libre suscite. Est-ce un hasard si, en Egypte, une journaliste américaine venue couvrir ce qu’on a appelé la révolution égyptienne a été agressée sexuellement par un groupe de 200 manifestants surexités ? Est-ce un hasard si des pogroms contre les femmes qui ont le tort de s’habiller à l’occidentale, et de ne pas se voiler, sont légion ?
Autre fait, voici, raconté par un journal algérien, ce qui s’est passé, en plein centre d’Alger, à la veille de la clôture du ramadan, si cher à Delanoé.
L’Inquisition est-elle de retour? La jeune fille porte une tenue vestimentaire légère: un short court et c’est l’ire des passants….
En cette soirée du 27e jour de Ramadhan, Alger-centre est noir de monde. Chacun vaque à ses occupations, profitant des dernières soirées mouvementées de cette année. Les terrasses des cafétérias de la place Audin sont pleines à craquer. Impossible de trouver une place pour s’attabler. L’ambiance était à son comble et tout le monde semble satisfait. Mais subitement, tout a failli basculer et l’ambiance festive gâchée. Un couple de jeunes atterrit à la place Audin. Il est 23h40. La jeune fille porte une tenue vestimentaire légère: un short court.
Cette tenue a aussitôt provoqué l’ire des passants. Le couple est d’abord, chahuté, puis une meute de plus de 60 personnes s’est formée derrière lui. Le malheureux couple presse le pas. Mais mal lui en prit. La foule suit le couple et prend de l’ampleur au fil des mètres. Arrivé en face de la Fac centrale, le couple est totalement assiégé. Après avoir essuyé les insultes des mécontents de cette tenue vestimentaire, il a frôlé le passage à tabac et le lynchage. Il n’a dû son salut qu’à l’intervention rapide des policiers.
«Qu’est-ce qui se passe ici?», s’interroge un passant. «Tu ne vois pas ce qu’elle porte?», lui répond un autre. Cette foule était constituée pour la majorité, de jeunes et d’adolescents dont la moyenne d’âge ne dépassait pas la vingtaine. Aucun parmi eux ne porte une barbe ou un quelconque signe ostentatoire d’ordre religieux. Mieux, certains portaient des shorts courts comme celui de la jeune fille. «Ils sont en train d’exprimer une frustration, car ne supportant pas de voir une fille porter une telle tenue», estime un curieux. Entre-temps, le couple toujours assiégé a été sauvé in extremis par les agents de l’ordre. Ces derniers ont installé le jeune homme dont l’âge ne dépasse pas 20 ans et la jeune fille, environ 17 ans, à l’intérieur du fourgon de la police, posté au niveau de la place Audin, en face du siège d’Air Algérie. Les policiers, pour la plupart en civil, ont intimé l’ordre aux «protestataires» de se disperser. Peine perdue, puisque ces derniers sont toujours aux aguets. En premier lieu, on a donné un pantalon à la jeune fille, à l’intérieur même du fourgon. Mais le pire était à craindre. Finalement, on a dépêché un autre véhicule de la police qui a procédé à l’évacuation du couple, sifflé par la foule. Il est minuit. Le couple a été transporté au commissariat de police du 8e arrondissement, sis rue Didouche-Mourad. Quelques minutes plus tard, un couple, certainement européen, a échangé un baiser, publiquement sans s’attirer la foudre des passants. Comme si de rien n’était. Certains mécontents, devinant la destination du couple évacué par la police, se sont déplacés sur ce commissariat, attendant la sortie du couple qui aurait trop tardé. A minuit donc, alors que le 28e jour du mois sacré venait juste de commencer, le pire a été évité de justesse à la place Audin, au coeur d’Alger.
Voilà la réalité des pays maghrébins, et de 1400 ans d’islam ! On attend avec impatience les commentaires de Sifaoui, de Malek Chebel et autres Tartuffes qui, bien à l’abri en France, refusent d’aider leurs concitoyens à s’émanciper de ce cancer qu’est l’islam, en tenant des discours creux et édulcorants.