These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 12, 2013.
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Ship Out Sheik Ismail Al-Wahwah, Says Queensland Liberal MP Steve Ciobo
A response from the young Federal Member for Moncrieff in Queensland, Australia to the boasting and threats of the chief jihad gang boss and sharia-pusher of Hizb ut Tahrir in Australia, Sheik Ismail al-Wahwah.
As seen in the Daily Telegraph, Henry Budd reporting.
'Ship Out Sheik Ismail Al-Wahwah, Says Queensland Liberal MP Steve Ciobo'.
'A radical sheik (that is, a thoroughly orthodox Islamic cleric - CM) who has called for Australia to become an Islamic state ruled by sharia law should be "slapped down" by moderate Muslims, according to a federal MP.
That part of Ciobo's response is not the part that exhibits commonsense. For the commonsense bit, you have to read the rest of the story. - CM
'Sheik Ismail Al-Wahwah, the Australian head of extremist Islamic group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (that is, of the classically Islamic organisation, Hizb ut Tahrir - CM) suggested during a Christmas Eve sermon that jihad should be used to implement hardline teachings.
Mr Budd should have written: 'that jihad should be used to make all Australians subject to Muslim rule and sharia law' - CM
'Queensland Liberal MP Steve Ciobo said the sheik should adopt Australia's values of tolerance and a fair go for all (fat chance; orthodox Muslims cannot admit the right of non-Muslims to be treated decently and given 'a fair go' - CM) or "pack up and ship off".
"Frankly, we have had a gutful of people who deliberately incite hatred and people who want to overturn the foundation principles of this country", he said.
Hear! hear! - CM
"This Sheik Al Wah-Wah needs to be slapped down from moderate Muslim supporters who recognise there is no place in Australia fro these kinds of attitudes".
Don't hold your breath waiting for them to do it, Mr Ciobo. - CM
'The Sheik told supporters it was their duty to "carry the light of Islam to the rest of the world...Not with flowers. It was the army of Muslims which started from Medina, and they went to China, India, and the Maghreb. That is Jihad".
'He said under an Islamic government, alcohol would be banned, a strict dress code enforced for all Australians (with all of us Christians and Jews forced to wear humiliating dhimmi garb, eh, Mr Al-Wahwah? and paying the jizya? - CM) and languages other than Arabic banned in schools.
Forced Islamisation = Forced Arabisation. Yup, Islam is the Arab Imperial Religion, or rather, Cult. - CM
'Mr Ciobo said if Mr Al-Wahwah held dual citizenship, the government should facilitate his move to another country more to his liking.
Now that - unlike the futile call for 'moderate' Muslims to discipline the sheik - is simple commonsense. - CM
"I couldn't care less if he preaches to five people or 5000", he said. "It only takes one or two crazies (that is, one or two Muslims who take Islam fully to heart - CM) to take his message of Jihad and to cause problems.
"If he's going to preach a message that this country needs to be under sharia law then he should go to where he can live under sharia law - and that is not in Australia".
Hear! Hear! - CM
Posted on 01/12/2013 1:26 AM by Christina McIntosh
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Gunships lead French operation against rebels in Mali
From The Telegraph
Gunships and special forces lead French operation which turns back al-Qaeda linked rebels in Mali. French helicopter gunships have launched attacks on rebels in Mali, in the first act of what appears to be a dramatic new western military intervention.
French special forces and government soldiers then drove out rebels who support al-Qaeda from a key desert town on Saturday, turning back a rebel advance.
Britain and America announced their support for the operation, ordered by French President Francois Hollande after the Islamists threatened to break out of their northern stronghold and invade the south of the country.
A simultaneous commando operation was launched to try to rescue a French hostage held in Somalia by Shabab fighters who are loosely allied with the Mali rebels, apparently amid fears that he could be executed in revenge.
President Hollande said he ordered the operation at the request of President Dioncounda Traore, Mali's president, who has declared a state of emergency. The French president described the rebels as terrorist groups, drug traffickers and extremists, and said they "show a brutality that threatens us all." He said the operation would last "as long as necessary."
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Senegal and Nigeria also responded to the appeal for help to counter the militants.
Sanda Abou Moahmed, a spokesman for the main rebel Ansar Dine group, mocked the Malian president for calling French troops into their former colony.
"While Dioncounda Traore asked for help from France, we ask for guidance from Allah and from other Muslims in our sub-region because this war has become a war against the crusaders," he said by telephone from Timbuktu.
The raid in Somali was launched to try to rescue a kidnapped military adviser who was kidnapped in the capital Mogadishu in 2009, according to a Somalian intelligence source. "We heard a series of explosions followed by gunfire just seconds after a helicopter flew over the town," Mohamed Ali, a resident of the town of Bulomarer, told The Associated Press by telephone. "We don't know exactly what happened but the place was an al-Shabab base and checkpoint." Reports said several Shebab fighters had been killed.
The operation in Mali is the first military intervention under the leadership of President Hollande, just weeks after he pulled France's last combat troops out of Afghanistan.
Posted on 01/12/2013 4:07 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Salafistsâ€� Interrupt Friday Prayer at Grand Mosque in Tunis Suburb
From Tunisia Live
A group of men, described as “followers of the Salafist current,” interrupted today’s Friday prayer at the Grand Mosque of Denden in Tunis’ southern suburbs.
Worshipers saw their Friday prayer prematurely ended when the intruders in question entered the mosque, interrupting the lecture being given by Imam Ghofran Hsaini. The attendees of the Friday prayer were subject to physical aggression, and three-quarters of those present were forced to leave the mosque, recounted the Imam and Ismail Shili, the mosque’s muezzin, to Tunisia Live. Only a small number of worshipers stayed to pray under the lead of the “Salafists,” they said.
Hsaini, only 28 years old, is a PhD student in religious studies and holds a master’s degree in the memorization and recitation of the Holy Koran. The imam describes his speech as moderate and scholarly, denouncing all rumors of having any political affiliation. “I do not serve political purposes, and I do not belong to any party,” Hsaini asserted.
The intruders in question have previously issued threats to the imam. Nevertheless, the motives of the aggressors were not necessarily personal, but rather looked to take ideological control over the mosque, the imam said. He mentioned that the “Salafists” emphasize the necessity of Jihad in the ongoing Syrian conflict.
According to the Imam, the mosque at Denden was not the only one targeted today. The Omar Ibn Khattab and Fattouma Bourguiba mosques in the Bardo suburb of Tunis experienced similar encroachment, he claimed.
Posted on 01/12/2013 4:46 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Ill-Fares-The-Land Department: China, Where The GDP Soars, And People Can't Breathe
The air smells of coal dust and car fumes
Air pollution in the Chinese capital Beijing has reached levels judged as hazardous to human health.
Readings from both official and unofficial monitoring stations suggested that Saturday's pollution has soared past danger levels outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The air tastes of coal dust and car fumes, two of the main sources of pollution, says a BBC correspondent.
Economic growth has left air quality in many cities notoriously poor.
A heavy smog has smothered Beijing for many days, says the BBC's Damian Grammaticas, in the capital.
By Saturday afternoon it was so thick you could see just a few hundred metres in the city centre, our correspondent says, with tower blocks vanishing into the greyness.
Even indoors the air looked hazy, he says.
Some people are wearing masks
WHO guidelines say average concentrations of the tiniest pollution particles - called PM2.5 - should be no more than 25 microgrammes per cubic metre.
Air is unhealthy above 100 microgrammes. At 300, all children and elderly people should remain indoors.
Official Beijing city readings on Saturday suggested pollution levels over 400. Unofficial reading from a monitor at the US embassy recorded 800.
Once inhaled, the tiny particles can cause respiratory infections, as well as increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease.
Last year Chinese authorities warned the US embassy not to publish its data. But the embassy said the measurements were for the benefit of embassy personnel and were not citywide.
Posted on 01/12/2013 7:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Socialist Workers Party in disarray
Martin Smith of the SWP and UAF (Unite against Fascism) has had a lot to say about the evil English Defence League these last couple of years. There he was in Walthamstow last year, urging the SWP sub-group We Are Waltham Forest to defy the ban on marching; that sort of thing only applied to the plebs of the EDL, not the bourgeois elite of WAWF.
He shared a platform with Stella Creasy the MP on the day and tweets passed between them earlier on the subject of the WAWF march.
He has a criminal record of course, for kicking a policeman in a delicate place. The young officer concerned was from an ethnic minority, but not all ethnic minorities are equal, other than when the Association of Black Police Officers are complaining about being investigated for corruption, or passed over at promotion for better qualified white officers.
There have been rumours about him, but as he shares the same name as a different man who has convictions for sex offences I gave him the benefit of the doubt in that area of life.
However, step forward Comrade Delta and face the music.
During the week a former journalists for Socialist Worker wrote in the Weekly Worker, the online newspaper of the Communist Party who he had left the Socialist Workers Party. He wrote:-
The Socialist Workers Party is in deep crisis - as it has been for several months now. The reason is simple: an allegation of rape against Martin Smith, the then central committee member now referred to on some parts of the internet as comrade Delta, and the way it was handled by the party.
After much reflection, I have decided the immediate aftermath also means that I have no option other than to resign not just from the paper, but from the party, and encourage others to do likewise.
. . . The disputes committee should never have been allowed to investigate and rule on a rape accusation, under any circumstances, period. The case should have been investigated by authorities competent to do so. The disputes committee’s extra-legal nature means its finding that this comrade is innocent is meaningless. One person, even on this committee stacked in his favour, believes sexual harassment at least is likely.
The disputes committee hearing - and by extension the entire mess that followed - should simply never have happened. To be honest, it is nothing short of incredible that it was allowed to go ahead. What right does the party have to organise its very own ‘kangaroo court’ investigation and judgment over such serious allegations against a leading member? None whatsoever.
Of course, I am dead set against the capitalist police and courts, and the way they treat people. That doesn’t mean we can go off and set up our own. The SWP itself called for Julian Assange to face rape charges in Sweden, in a Socialist Worker article I am proud to have written.
I do not see why what is good enough for Assange is not good enough for the party’s leaders. . . Though I believe they took the case deeply seriously, this was not a jury of his peers, but a jury of his mates.
It is stated that the accuser did not want to go to the police, as is her absolute right if that was truly her decision. However, knowing the culture of the SWP, I doubt that was a decision she made entirely free from pressure.
…comrade Smith turned up in Hackney on the evening of Tuesday January 8, representing the party at a Unite Against Fascism meeting as if nothing had happened. Next week he is off to Athens, again as part of the party’s work. He may have been booted off the CC, but he lingers on, rubbing it in our faces. Frankly it is sick.
Socialist Unity have put the entire transcript of the SWP conference discussion of the Disputes Committee meeting on-line here. It’s rather long; Harry’s Place has an edited version here.
In September 2012, a comrade who we’ve called W, a woman, made a complaint of rape against Comrade Delta, a member of the party’s central committee….The disputes committee found that the charges were not proved. We didn’t think that Comrade Delta raped W. And it was not proved to the disputes committee that Comrade Delta had sexually assaulted, harassed or abused W….
The disputes committee didn’t recommend any disciplinary action against Comrade Delta, and that final report was backed by six out of seven of the panel members…..
[We] all [on the Disputes Committee] knew Comrade Delta. We knew his important role in the party and on the central committee, and none of us knew W or knew her well….
Sara B: Comrades, we have to welcome the fact that we have a disputes committee. We have no faith in the bourgeois court system to deliver justice.
Charlie Kimber, National Secretary of the SWP, has written to Socialist Unity and had this to say: I am shocked and outraged that you have published a transcript of the Disputes Committee session at the recent SWP conference….You should never have published the transcript and should take it down immediately.
Andy Newman of Socialist Unity has not (at least as the time of writing) agreed to this request. However, if he does, it is fair to say that some people might have kept a copy of the transcript.
This was doing the rounds of the internet groups yesterday but now the National Press have the story. This is the Independent. They spoke to Andy Newman who runs the Socialist Unity blog.
He told The Independent that SWP members contacted him anonymously because they were furious about the way the party had handled the rape allegations.
“I believe that the SWP think they’re outside the law,” he said. “It’s quite clear reading their account of what’s going on that they sort of see themselves as an alternative group in society that is not part of mainstream society. They think someone couldn’t or shouldn’t go to the police because it would damage the party.”
Mr Newman likened the SWP’s disciplinary hearing to an extrajudicial “sharia” system or the much criticised investigations by the Roman Catholic church into clerical abuse that bypassed reporting allegations to the authorities.
The Independent contacted the SWP head office for comment on the allegations but received no reply.
Now that the Daily Mail is also carrying the story this afternoon I hope the police do investigate. Leaving aside the distress this must be causing the woman complainant this unsavoury matter is important for two reasons.
First – Martin Smith and his sidekick Weyman (you can keep the women if I can eat all the pies) Bennett have been united in smearing patriots with lies and filth. It is a delectable piece of schadenfreude to see them revealed as no better than they ought to be.
But secondly, and even more important it gives a little insight into something that has exercised the minds of many. Ie, why does the left fail to oppose sexism, (and by extension homophobia, racism by races who are not white Western, animal cruelty, child abuse etc) by Muslims.
This woman has made an allegation which has been swept under the carpet. It transpires that she is not alone. Harry’s Place details the experiences of Anna Chen the former press officer of the Stop the War Coalition, and others.
It has been my personal opinion for a long time that while to social conservatives like myself women’s equality, children’s wellbeing, animal welfare and the right of consenting adults to live and love in peace are good things to be aspired to in the own right, to the far left the efforts to achieve them are merely among a range of weapons with which to pursue an end. And that end is the destruction of Western Judeo-Christian society. And for that left social reform was the softening up; their big gun is Islam. They think they can control that big gun.
In Iran, and now in Egypt and Tunisia the world is noticing that they can’t. How long before the left-winger’s themselves notice?
Posted on 01/12/2013 9:22 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Oh For God's Sake, What Does It Take To Come Up With The Obvious?
The Daily Star-Jan 4, 2013
BEIRUT: Hezbollah and Syria, Iran's two allies in the region, are unlikely to help Tehran in any military confrontation with Israel given the ...
Posted on 01/12/2013 12:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 12 January 2013
5000 Hezbollah Reinforcements To Syria?
Hope the Saudi daily is telilng -- just for the hell of it -- the truth, and wish that Hezbollah fighters can take on Jubhat Al-Nusra and a good time be had by all:
The Times of Israel-Jan 7, 2013
Some 5,000 Hezbollah combatants entered Syria in December to aid the faltering regime of Bashar Assad, a Saudi daily reported on Monday.
Posted on 01/12/2013 1:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 12 January 2013
A Musical Interlude: Let's Break The Good News (Billy Thorburn's Band)
Posted on 01/12/2013 1:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 12 January 2013
France orders tighter security following Mali operation
From France 24 and Reuters
President François Hollande on Saturday ordered security in France to be tightened following the launch of French military operations in Mali to combat Islamist rebels.
Mali’s militants warned France on Friday that it would seek revenge for its involvement.
“France will pay the price for this action,” a spokesman for the Islamist militants told France24. “We are not weak. We have crushed France in Afghanistan. (...) We don’t have aircraft or missiles but we have our religious beliefs, which will guide us to victory, God willing.”
The Malian army said Saturday that it was attacking the "last pockets of resistance" from Islamist insurgents in Konna, after recapturing the town the day before with the backing of French air power.
France's Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that hundreds of French troops were involved in an operation that destroyed a command center of Islamic rebels in Mali.
An army officer at the headquarters of Mali's former military junta in Bamako said nearly 30 vehicles carrying Islamist fighters had been bombed and "over 100" rebels had been killed in fighting. "We have driven them out, we are effectively in Konna," Malian Defence Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Diaran Kone told Reuters. "We don't know if they have planted mines or other traps, so we are moving with caution. There were many deaths on both sides."
A resident in the town of Gao, the stronghold of the MUJWA Islamist group, said fighters had begun arriving with their dead on Friday. "Electric power is available at the mortuary, which is not always the case. And the Islamists have bought plenty of burial mats," the man said.
A French helicopter pilot died of his wounds in the operation, which involved air strikes on three rebel targets overnight.
Le Drian said France was compelled to act quickly to stop the Islamist offensive, which he said could allow “a terrorist state at the doorstep of France and Europe”. Hollande said France would not stand by to watch the rebels push southward. Paris has repeatedly warned that the Islamists’ seizure of the country’s north in April gave them a base to attack neighbouring African countries and Europe.
“There’s absolutely no other major power who could act in the region on such short notice,” said Douglas Yates, a political science professor and Africa analyst at the American University of Paris. “France has prepositioned troops in this region; that has enabled France to act decisively – it stopped the advance.”
The French Foreign Ministry stepped up its security alert on Mali and parts of neighbouring Mauritania and Niger on Friday, extending its red alert - the highest level - to include Bamako. France has eight nationals in Islamist hands in the Sahara after a string of kidnappings. The families of the hostages said they feared for their loved ones. Jean-Pierre Verdon, father of a hostage, told FRANCE 24: “We are petrified. Actions are being taken very fast and the situation is extremely intense. We are sitting in front of the TV all the time.”
You can see why they are worried. This is from The Telegraph
A French soldier was feared to have been captured by Islamic militants in Somalia following a failed attempt to rescue a hostage by French special forces that left another solider and the kidnapped man dead.
French commandos were engaged in fierce battle with al-Shabaab militants in the Somalian town of Bulo-Marer during a night time raid to rescue a hostage who was kidnapped in the country in 2009.
One French solider was killed in the operation and the hostage, Frenchman Denis Allex, was also believed to have died, according to the French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drain. A second soldier was also missing after the operation. In a statement released by al-Shabaab, the group claimed to have captured an injured solider.
Around 17 Somalian militants are thought to have been killed in the operation.
The rescue attempt is thought to have been triggered because they feared that Mr Allex would be executed in revenge for France's military involvement in Mali, a former French colony. Both the Mali rebels and al-Shabaab are known to support al Qaeda.
Posted on 01/12/2013 1:06 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Extremists attend more than 200 university events
From the Telegraph
Islamic extremists preached at more than 200 university events last year raising fresh fears over radicalisation on campus. A dozen events featured speakers with links to the fanatical group Hizb ut Tahrir – a controversial organisation banned by the National Union of Students.
Extremists were invited to a host of events despite criticism from Theresa May, the Home Secretary, that universities were “complacent” in tackling the risk of radicalisation.
The research, by campaign group Student Rights, found a total of 214 university events featured known extremists last year. The most frequent speaker was Hamza Tzortzis who was promoted at 48 events,
Mr Tzortzis has called for an Islamic state, expressed his hostility towards Western values and stated that: "We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even of freedom."
Hizb ut-Tahrir was represented at six per cent of the events even thought the NUS has a policy not to give the organisation a platform.
The research also found eight events were moved off campuses following complaints (ah - the joys of being a keyboard warrior) while another ten were cancelled.
Last year a report by Student Rights and the Henry Jackson Society warned Islamic extremists were using social networking sites to radicalise students. Videos of armed insurgents and hate-filled speeches from al Qaeda figures had been posted on websites linked to Islamic societies at several leading universities.
Posted on 01/12/2013 1:45 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Fitzgerald: Anti-Muslim rhetoric? Really?
[Re-posted from August 2, 2005]
Muslims today, at the O.I.C., the U.N., and everywhere else complain about "Islamophobia" -- a construct of their own making, in every sense -- used to describe it more simply as t"anti-Muslim rhetoric." One Akbar Ahmed, a MESA smoothie and Ibh Khaldun Professor of Something at an American university -- how these people infiltrate, one by one, then hire each other and keep out those who know too much, and the takeover of many of what should be centers of academic enlightenment proceeds apace, takes issue with that "anti-Muslim rhetoric" here:
"The anti-Muslim rhetoric, which has saturated public discourse, has left the impression that Islam and its followers are being targeted for annihilation. The reaction from the Muslim community has been to strike out in violence to defend its survival and restore its honor and restore dignity." --- from this article
What "anti-Muslim rhetoric" has "saturated public discourse" would that be? The constant references by every single political figure in the Western world who counts to Islam as a "religion" of "peace" and "tolerance" (Bush, Blair), a "great religion" (Rice), a "proud religion" (Stephen Hadley) whose adherents are horrified by those who do terrible things "in the name of Islam" while they violate the essence of this "peaceful" and "tolerant" and "great" and "proud" religion? Do you, inhabitant of the Western world, feel that anti-Muslim rhetoric has saturated public discourse? Do you feel that way even given how the major newspapers and radio and television can hardly bring themselves even to mention the word "terrorist" (with the BBC being the gold standard of appeasement)? Do you feel that way even after 1350 years of Muslim conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims -- or if we ignore that, after decades of Muslim Jihad in Kashmir, Israel, West Africa and East Africa, India, and within the Muslim lands the continued persecution and murder of non-Muslims (chiefly Christians and Hindus) -- or if we ignore even that, then simply the last four years of attacks, some of them famous, with many victims, some of them hardly noted, with few victims, some of them attacks warded off or foiled so they get no attention at all (there have been 25,000 would-be terrorist attacks in Israel in the past four years)? Anti-Muslim rhetoric has saturated public discourse? This is nonsense.
Muslims are not "striking out" in reaction to any of the quite modest measures undertaken so far to deal with Muslim terrorism. It is fantastic, after all, that many of the mosques tied to terrorism have not been permanently shut, or that all Muslim immigration has not as yet permanently been closed down -- as if we somehow have a duty to allow into our midst those whose belief-system tells them that they must hate us, must not take us as friends, but must only feignedly do so at times in order to further the cause of Islam, and that Muslims everywhere have a duty to participate, collectively and sometimes individually, in the Jihad to spread Islam, using whatever instruments are available and most effective.
Muslims are doing what they have always done whenever they have the chance. What has changed are three things:
1) The permitted migration of large numbers of Muslims into Bilad al-Kufr, the Lands of the Infidels;
2) The gigantic increase in Arab and Muslim wealth, entirely the product of an accident of geology -- with that money providing the wherewithal for the vast support for the building and maintenance of a network of mosques and madrasas all over the world, including the Infidel lands, and money for propaganda: for the hiring of public relations agents, lawyers, businessmen, diplomats, intelligence agents, and academics all of whom work, some in this way, some in that, to be apologists both for Islam. Often they work, more specifically, for Saudi Arabia and its objectives in promoting, as all Muslims inevitably must if they are good Muslims, the Jihad to spread Islam across the globe -- for Islam "must dominate and is not to be dominated";
3) The technological developments that have permitted the spreading of the full message of Islam into every nook and cranny of the Muslim world, so that even the simple illiterate villager, the pious man who might say his prayers but go no further than that, can now be exposed to propaganda on tapes (think of what those tapes did for the Ayatollah Khomeini when he was still in his French exile -- those tapes that spread all over Iran with his violent and implacable message, so thoroughly Islamic) and on videocassettes (now also spread around -- how wonderful to see those decapitations of various Infidels, the knife going in, the blood spurting -- what a recruitment tool! what an inspiration to Muslims everywhere!), and of course satellite channels (such as Rached Ghannouchi’s ongoing attempts to undermine Tunisian secularism via satellite from London).
Unhindered migration behind Infidel lines, vast sums of money, and technological advances in the West and by the West, exploited by Muslims who were themselves completely incapable of such advances, or indeed of creating economies that would earn them the kind of revenues the oil bonanza allows them -- these are the three developments that explain the problem.
Jihad was not born yesterday. The pseudo-moderate Kamal Nawash insisted on the BBC yesterday the the "problem" for non-Muslims with Islam somehow began, for reasons he carefully does not identify, about 20 years ago That’s right: while admitting that the current problem is not to be attributed to this or that specific grievance, whether that grievance is summarily identified as "Iraq" or "Palestine," Nawash carefully insisted to Claire Bolderson that "the problem started about 20 years ago." In other words, even as he goes through the motions of being a "brave" and "outspoken" reformer -- which these days, in order to win the hearts, and mindes, and especailly the pocketbooks of those dispensers of grant money and private contributions and even government funding -- Nawash is clearly diverting attention from, for example, the analysis that correctly labels the Arab Muslim (and Arab islamochristian) war on Israel as a classic Jihad, and would like to make the problem seem to be one that does not extend as far back as the creation of Islam, but is simply a matter of some "20 years." Well, to say such a thing shows the phoniness, or possibly the incomplete miscomprehension (or possibly the complete comprehension) of Islamic doctrine by Mr. Kamal Nawash.
The "problem" did not start "20 years ago." The "problem" -- to which there is no "solution" -- started 1350 years ago, with an ideology. The ability to spread that ideology, the ability to pay for the spread of that ideology by supporting Muslims, and therefore Muslim demands, and conduct of Da'wa, in the West -- that is a function of several things happening all at once, roughly over the past 40 years. First, there was the beginning of North African immigration into France in the mid-late 1960s, after the Algerian War ended, and the nearly-simultaneous beginnings of Turkish gastarbeiter going to West Germany (Ludwig Erhard's wunderbar economic boom, don't forget), and Pakistanis to England. The flow increased, and to it were added Moroccans in Spain, Somalis and North Africans and Egyptians in Italy. Everywhere, Saudi and other Arab money helped to fortify the presence of Muslims and the potential for the future conduct of Da'wa.
That is the how it happened. This is how we got to where we are today.
Posted on 01/12/2013 7:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 12 January 2013
French All Over The Muslim Lands Now Threatened
And if a hair on the head of one of those people should be touched, then as an obvious act of retaliatin, and also as the most obvious form of self-defense, the French should start expelling Muslims from the French lands -- that is, from France. And if the French government keeps it up, acoompanying the move with intelligent and open discussion of why it makes sense, it will be amazed to discover just how popular a measure it is, what a relief the entire country will feel, and so will others, in the other presently-paralyzed countries in Western Europe, as hey, too, realize that such measures of civilisational self-defense can be intelligently and convincingly justified, to a public that is well-prepared or at least prepared to do the study that will make them well-prepared.
Here's the story at lefigaro.fr:
Après l'intervention française au Mali, "il y a des conséquences, non seulement pour les otages français, mais aussi pour tous les ressortissants français où qu'ils se trouvent dans le monde musulman", a déclaré à l'agence Reuters un porte-parole de Ansar Dine.
Posted on 01/12/2013 7:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 12 January 2013
The Waste Of Endless Aid To Haiti
Haiti: Three years later
Global aid effort in Haiti a dismal failure, author says
REUTERS/AP PHOTOS The Hyppolite iron market in downtown Port-au-Prince -- at left after the earthquake as it burned on January 29, 2010, and at right on Jan. 10, 2013. Left image: Reuters Photo/Jorge Silva. Right: AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery.
It was that hot, newsless period between Christmas and Carnival, another day of phones not ringing, when the gwo machin went rumbling by.
Gwo machin — big truck — the constant cavalry of Port-au-Prince, the capital’s persistently cacophonous soundtrack.
This is how it sounded at 4:53 p.m. to Jonathan Katz, The Associated Press correspondent in Haiti, who thought, in the instant, that he was hearing a water truck.
Until the bed started to vibrate.
Until Katz founded himself at the epicentre, three years ago Saturday, of the deadliest natural disaster in the Western Hemisphere, documented now in his just-released The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster.
Note the timing: on Tuesday, the day of the book’s release, Julian Fantino’s office issued what was meant to be a clarifying statement on the government’s position on Haiti, summed up thusly: “Canada’s assistance will not be a blank cheque. We expect accountability, we expect transparency and we expect tangible results for those most in need.”
Katz noted what he calls a “walking back” of the international co-operation minister’s earlier comments, made to La Presse, that Canada’s assistance to the perennially stricken nation is “on ice.” In an interview with the Star, Katz noted dryly, “You don’t normally see Hillary Clinton or (USAID administrator) Rajiv Shah. . . just sort of walking down the street and then accidentally making policy as they’re giving an interview to one newspaper or another.”
Even the policy clarification was an elision. From 2006 to 2012, the Canadian International Development Agency has disbursed $925.6 million to Haiti (2012 numbers are preliminary), but almost all of that has been directed through bilateral and multilateral arrangements that run the gamut from a $50,000 payment to a magazine for the production of three on-the-ground features in Haiti, to $20 million to the Pan American Health Organization for free-of-charge health services delivered in-country through a network of hospitals and medical clinics.
CIDA did not respond to a request to provide a dollar figure for direct budget support to the government of Haiti, but the most recent analysis from the office of the special envoy for Haiti, released this week, reveals that just 2.4 per cent of all bilateral funding has been directed to the Haitian treasury. Haiti’s minister of economy and finance, Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie, was quoted saying Haiti has not “one gourde” from Canada in its budget.
The scattered, indirect funding has played perfectly into Katz’s book launch. “If they want to make the case that they have to go around governments and fund the UN and NGOs and their own NGOs and their projects and priorities, then they can make that case,” he says, on the phone from book promotion in New York. “But then they need to be held accountable whether or not they have achieved the goals they have set for themselves and when those goals are not achieved. It needs to be an honest accounting and it needs to say, look, we didn’t give all this money to the Haitian government. They didn’t steal it. Maybe they would have stolen it if we had given it to them, but we didn’t even try that.”
Katz had been in Haiti for two and a half years when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit. Prior to that moment he had decided that he was “done” with the island nation. Haiti’s a hard full-time file for a journalist and Katz had already waded through disaster, including the four hurricanes and tropical storms that struck the island in a space of just four weeks in August and September 2008.
Donors, Katz writes, “had spent years promising engineering projects and long-term investments to keep the rivers from flooding again, but only a small percentage of the pledged funds had been delivered, and much of it had been committed to reports, pilot projects and overhead. In the end, the same exact rivers flooded in the same exact way they had flooded a few years before, and the aid workers simply came back.”
There’s plenty enough material with which Katz sets the scene for the post-earthquake “betrayal” by the international community. And, as is often the case in Haiti, the stories are packed with ironies and sadnesses.
Such is the story of Collège la Promesse Evangelique, a school in the ravine below the grand homes of Pétionville, run by a protestant preacher named Fortin Augustin. “In the summer of 2008, hoping to cash in on the slum’s growth, he added a third storey,” Katz writes. “To save money, as he had with the floors below, he instructed his crew to use low-quality concrete made of sand blasted from hillsides. The workers mixed it with extra water to stretch the material. Augustin also skimped on the iron rebar that reinforced load-bearing walls.”
On the morning of Nov. 7, 2008, a Friday, the school collapsed. “Down the precipitous slope, two and a half stories’ worth of concrete keeled toward the ravine. Hundreds of men dug with sledgehammers and their bare hands, pulling out whomever they could find.” Men carried the bodies of broken children, Katz writes, some already dead. Perhaps 100 dead in all. The mayor of Port-au-Prince would later tell him that 60 per cent of the city’s buildings were unsafe and should be razed. Yes there was, ostensibly, a building code. No, it was not followed.
René Préval became obsessed with the school’s collapse. Katz reports that the president would harangue foreign envoys, requesting metal classroom trailers to replace the unstable concrete schools. “Diplomats wondered openly if he’d started drinking again,” writes Katz, who noted the president’s frequent return to La Promesse, which, for $200 a year, promised a better future for the children of impoverished Haitians. Again and again Préval returned, “until no one cared that he was there.”
Prior to the tragedy of La Promesse, Préval addressed the United Nations in New York, reflecting on the hurricane assistance that had come flooding in to his country. “I am worried,” he said, before a sadly small audience, “because I dread that once the first wave of solidarity and human compassion has dried up, we will be left, as always, alone but truly alone, to deal with new catastrophes and to see restarted, as if in a ritual, the same exercises of mobilization.”
It is from this place of deep knowing and understanding that Katz, on the fateful January afternoon, began what may ultimately rest as the most thorough in-the-moment account of the earthquake.
“I lowered myself, or maybe I fell. Then a shove came the other way. Then another, and another. Suddenly the house was an airplane in the storm. . . The world turned grey and everything blurred, things falling, long after there should have been nothing left to fall.”
Katz lived, as did the preponderance of employees from the UN and the embassies and the NGOs, in the “Blan Bubble” — the nuance of the Kreyòl word blan meaning more broadly foreigner than white.
Hard and caring work was done. “The problem often was that these individuals were merely the vanguard of distant, massive organizations whose managers seemed less interested in nuances or painful lessons on the ground,” Katz writes. “And their — our — ability to report back those nuances was inhibited by the fact that we were viewing life through a bubble, separated by language, class and divisions that stretched back farther than Haitian history.”
Post-earthquake, the bubble emerged in the form of the UN briefings, held behind concertina wire on the UN’s Logbase way out by the airport, and in the cluster system established to deal with the emergency. “Haitians other than government officials and especially blessed representatives of this group or that group weren’t able to get in,” says Katz. “So despite the fact they were holding these meetings in Haiti, they were holding them very much at a remove.” He calls the cluster system “crazy.”
Katz recounts a moment when he viewed, scrawled on a Logbase bathroom stall, the message, in all caps:
“Haiti: Hell on Earth, what do we do now?”
To which another scribe had appended:
“The Answer is not in Logbase or in your email.”
“That kind of parallax was going on in Haiti,” says Katz. “Yeah, it was bad. It was bad because when you’re cut off like that, you’re not talking to people who are actually living the lives that you’re trying to improve.”
Still, Katz held out hope. After the hurricanes, after the floods, Katz was among those who believed that a game changer, something “massive and transformative” would surely break the cycle of the past failures of international efforts, having faith in the words of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowing that there would not be a return to “failed strategies.”
“There was that commitment and that bomb did go off and that wasn’t enough to break the cycle.”
There is heartbreak in the search and rescue, as Katz joined the throngs of the desperately impoverished of Carrefour, hand-digging at rubble, hearing of the high-end rescue being deployed at the swish Hotel Montana. “You could see the military planes overhead, so they knew they were there,” he recalls. “They were very confused. They couldn’t understand why this help was coming to Haiti but it was not coming to them.”
There is the heartbreak in the country’s first-ever cholera epidemic, which Katz aggressively pursued to a UN base in the central plateau and which today has claimed more than 7,000 lives. That, he says, was a major factor in framing his post-disaster outlook, “that it was brought by the United Nations, that it was brought by ostensible responders and then those responders refused to be held accountable for their actions or even consider their own accountability.”
There is deep disappointment that the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, led by Bill Clinton and designed to be an interim step to a long-term Haitian led recovery commission, went nowhere. Katz calls it an “epic failure.”
Yes, rubble has been cleared and many tent camps have been emptied. But, Katz writes, “Nearly all who return to standing homes, even the several thousand repaired with money in the aid effort, are back in buildings just like those that collapsed before the earthquake.”
Building successes include what Katz calls “high-priced hotels for foreigners” and an industrial park, Caracol, backed by South Korea’s Sae-A Trading Co. and meant to create as many as 20,000 jobs. Caracol’s funding, however, was teed up prior to the earthquake, part of Haiti’s U.S.-supported initiative to grow jobs in garment manufacture. “It’s not a success in terms of responding to the earthquake and I think the argument is very hard to make that it’s going to contribute to the long-term amelioration of the situation in Haiti,” says Katz.
Meanwhile, a diminishing NGO community has led to a drop in consumption, which in turn has led to recession, says Haitian economist Pierre Marie Boisson. Food costs are rising.
In The Big Truck That Went By, Katz recalls the morning of Jan. 13, when “what had been concealed by the darkness was now impossible to ignore.” His recount is part self-reflection, looking into the moment when he chose to stay reporter instead of rescuer, when he chose to do what he believed would be the best good. In the immediate horror, he became, he writes, “increasingly agnostic on the question of whether I was still alive.”
He doesn’t say at what precise moment he took the time to study photographs he had taken, blindly, in the dusty dark of the night before. He knows that in the gloom of Jan. 12 he took a photo, “Deep in the dark expanse,” of a man unseen to him at the time. Only with the photo could he make out clearly this man, clearly in terrible pain, a man who was trying to say something.
Katz writes plainly: “At 9:21 p.m. on January 12, 2010, that man was alive.”
“The one thing that always haunts you is the notion that you could have done more,” he says.
He has done. By writing Big Truck, by exposing what went awry, Katz is asking for a reassessment of the very fundamentals of what we mean by “aid.”
“And that way,” he says, “we don’t have confusing conversations where three years after a major disaster like this, we say, ‘Well, why didn’t this work?’”
Posted on 01/12/2013 8:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald