These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 13, 2011.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Tunisians Riot, Want To Remain In Well-Run Infidel Lands
Tunisian migrants riot on Italian island
The deal allows migrants who arrived on the island before April 5 to have short-term residence permits [Reuters]
Tunisian migrants being held in a compound on the Italian island of Lampedusa have rioted after a controversial deal struck between Rome and Tunis last week paved the way for their deportation.
Some of the migrants shouted "Freedom! Freedom!" at the centre where hundreds are being held. Other migrants started a small fire on Monday which was quickly put out by the fire brigade, local media reported, and dozens fled the enclosure.
Several of the escapees later returned to the immigrant detention centre.
Under the deal, Italy agreed to grant six-month residence permits to migrants who arrived before April 5, while Tunisia agreed to the deportation of anyone arriving after that date.[this is madness]
Lampedusa measures just 20sq km and is closer to North Africa than to mainland Italy. More than 25,000 migrants have arrived in fishing boats from North Africa since the start of the year and most have been moved to detention centres on the Italian mainland.
Two planes carrying dozens of migrants flew out of Lampedusa to Tunisia's capital, Tunis, during the day despite protests by the deportees that delayed the second flight.
A first planeload of deportees left Italy for Tunisia on Sunday with around 30 migrants on board escorted by around 60 police officers.
Meanwhile, two boats carrying 226 migrants arrived on the island on Monday, bringing to around 1,500 the number of boat people currently on Lampedusa.
Around 1,000 of the migrants on Lampedusa are believed to be Tunisians; the others are refugees from sub-Saharan Africa who have been fleeing Libya.
Italy has accused the European Union and France, Tunisia's former colonial master, of failing to help it deal with the wave of immigration. The issue topped the agenda of a heated meeting of interior ministers in Luxembourg. [France was Tunisia's "colonial master" for all of forty years, and in any case that role ended more than fifty years ago]
Roberto Maroni, the Italian foreign minister, said: "A document has been approved, with my abstention, that doesn't gives us a concrete measure. We expressed solidarity when we had the economic crisis facing Greece, Portugal and Ireland
"But when faced with this social, geo-political crisis, the response from governments is: 'dear Italy, you must do everything and do it by yourself'. We have done everything we can and will continue to do so."
His German counterpart, Hans-Peter Friedrich, said it was up to Italy to deal with the wave of migrants and find a solution with Tunisian authorities to stop people from reaching Europe's shores.
"We cannot accept numerous economic migrants arriving in Europe through Italy," Friedrich said. "This is why we expect Italy to respect the existing legal rules and uphold its duty in discussions with the Tunisians."
Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's prime minister, said on Sunday that 80 per cent of the more than 21,000 Tunisian migrants who have arrived since the start of the year wanted to join friends and relatives in France. [who cares what country they want to go to? Even to bring that up is idiotic. They should not be in Europe. They have no right to enter Europe. They should promptly be returned to Tunisia, by Italy. End of story.]
Posted on 04/13/2011 8:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
More evidence about the disturbed and disturbing Rio shooter
An update to the story of Wellington Oliveira, whom Esmerelda and Rebecca wrote about previously. By Juliana Barbassa for AP:
RIO DE JANEIRO – Two days before Wellington Oliveira walked into his former school and shot 12 students to death, he recorded a video in which he rambles in an emotionless tone about his plans for the attack and says it was part of a fight "against cruel, cowardly people."
The video, obtained by Globo TV, first aired Tuesday night and posted on the television station's website Wednesday, shows a close-up of the young man with his back against a wall in a video he apparently recorded himself. He's cleanshaven, in a white shirt, and speaks in a slow, flat voice that betrays nothing of the massacre he has planned.
"The fight for which many brothers in the past have died, and I will die, is not exclusively for what is known as bullying," he says in the video. "Our fight is against cruel, cowardly people who take advantage of the kindness, the innocence, the weakness of people who are incapable of defending themselves."
He says he shaved the beard he'd been wearing because he was planning to scout out the school and didn't want to attract any attention. Oliveira said he'd been there, months before, and had gone again on Monday, three days before the shooting. He dates the video as Tuesday, April 5, two days before the shooting.
Shaving facial hair and wearing white clothes before a "martyrdom operation" is suggestive of his beliefs. He certainly feels like he belongs to some persecuted group of people, and certainly feels like his violent vengeance on behalf of that group of "kind, innocent, and weak" people is justified.
There is also this article from globo.com in Portugese, which Wikipedia summarizes as:
A neighbor said Mr. Oliveira had turned to Islam two years beforehand. Texts found at Wellington's home suggest that he was obssessed with terrorist acts and Islam whom he described as the most correct religion. In his letters, Wellington states that he attended the mosque in downtown Rio and that he would study the Koran 4 hours daily. He also describes his association with "Abdul", who came from overseas and who boasted as to having taken part in the September 11 attacks. He also indicated his desire to move to a Muslim majority country, either Egypt or Malaysia.
These details are simply not being reported by the English-speaking press.
Again, when it comes to mental illness vs. Islam, it's not either/or. One can be mentally ill, and follow mainstream Islamic teachings. The question is, why does Islam hold such an appeal to people with violent antisocial desires, and with organic brain dysfunction? Why don't these homicidal psychopaths turn to Buddhism, with its concept of karma, or to Christianity, with its concept of forgiveness? What is it about Islam that meshes perfectly with their pathological victimhood, unrestrained rage, and urge to kill?
Posted on 04/13/2011 10:28 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Fears that university has been infiltrated by Islamist extremists
From The London Evening Standard
A leading London university student union has elected two senior officials with links to an extremist Islamist organisation. Westminster University union has elected the pair despite a strict ban on radical groups by the National Union of Students.
Arabic student Jamal Achchi, 26 - voted vice-president this month - has circulated documents published by Hizb ut Tahrir, a group that Prime Minister David Cameron said should be banned as it "seeks to poison young minds against our country". Mr Achchi used Scribd, a social networking site, to post Hizb ut Tahrir memos calling on Muslims to overthrow democracy and establish the Khilafah, a worldwide Islamic theocracy run by mullahs.
In his union election manifesto, he wrote: "I have been a politically active student throughout the duration of my studies... I am a fighter, and NEVER back down!"
He ran on a ticket with Tarik Mahri, 23, voted president in the election on April 1. Just under 13 per cent of 23,000 students voted. Concerns have also been raised about Mr Mahri's ideological beliefs. He is a member of the "Global Ideas" society which was banned by the university last year for inviting senior Hizb ut Tahrir member Jamal Harwood to address students.
Mr Mahri has posted anti-capitalist messages with the hashtag #bringbackkhilafah on his Twitter page. He also posted on Facebook a rap he wrote titled "Khilafah's Coming Back" which refers to "the Kufr", a derogatory term for non-Muslims.
Steve Barfield, 48, an English literature lecturer at Westminster, said: "How can they represent women or gay and lesbian students who are already struggling against sexism and homophobia, if this seems to be their political agenda?" Mr Mahri won with 1,084 votes. His closest rival got 742. Mr Achchi won with 1,132 votes, a majority of 112.
When NUS president Aaron Porter discovered Mr Mahri and Mr Achchi had won the election, he contacted Westminster student president Robin Law to air his concerns. Aaron Porter said: "Our rules state individuals or members of organisations or groups identified as holding racist or fascist views are not allowed to stand for election or go to, speak at or take part in conferences, meetings or any other events." He said the issues surrounding the Westminster University vote "will be considered formally next month by the relevant committee".
The University of Westmonster is one of the new universities given that status in 1992, with most other polytechnics. The core college was founded in 1838 and was one of the best polytechnics in the country for engineering and practical courses. As a university it was ranked by the Sunday Times at No 72 in the country academically, and bottom of the student experience survey. There is an international venture - The Westminster International University in Uzbekistan.
Posted on 04/13/2011 2:36 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
AP: 'Reprisals rock Ivory Coast after strongman deposed'
It seems like it was just yesterday that we were told that "The nightmare is over for the people of Ivory Coast". By Michelle Faul for AP:
GUIGLO, Ivory Coast – The young man in civilian clothes didn't have the right answers for troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara and they suspected he was a fighter backing his rival for the presidency. So one of the soldiers kicked the man in the teeth.
Fifteen minutes later, an Associated Press reporter saw his body, the chest torn open by bullets, dumped outside this western town.
Reprisal killings erupted as Ouattara's fighters made a lightning assault to force his rival Laurent Gbagbo from power. And although Gbagbo was captured Monday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's commercial capital, suspected Gbagbo supporters [i.e. Christians] are still being rounded up in cities and villages, especially in western Ivory Coast.
Parishioners are reporting the kidnappings of dozens of young men in San Pedro, said a Catholic priest in the cocoa-exporting port city in southwestern Ivory Coast. He asked not to be named, explaining: "We [non-Muslims] are all in danger."
"Every day the (U.N) peacekeepers are collecting and burying bodies," he said. "There is lots of dense bush here. Who knows how many bodies there are."
I wonder if the UN peacekeepers are tallying the bodies that they are burying, and if they are breaking down the victims according to whether they are "pro-Gbagbo" (Christian) or "pro-Ouattara" (Muslim), and if those tallies will ever be released to the public.
The pro-Ouattara fighters pushed the youths back from barricades at the entrance to the city and chased them to the Cathedral of St. Pierre downtown. Near the cathedral an unknown number of Young Patriots were killed, the priest said.
Then the invaders surrounded the cathedral with all-terrain vehicles, shot open the gate and fired into a crowd of 5,000 residents who had taken refuge there. The priest said the refugees belonged to the Bete, Guere and other tribes that support Gbagbo.
The pro-Ouattara forces stopped shooting after one man was killed and several people were wounded, he said.
A woman at the cathedral who was too scared to give her name said her neighbor, the headmaster of the Catholic primary school, was killed Monday night at his home because he belonged the wrong tribe.
AP is careful to couch this in terms of tribal rivalries. But tribal lines are also religious lines; the tribes of the north are mainly Muslim, and the tribes of the south are mainly Christian.
On Monday, on a road north of San Pedro, a reporter saw pro-Ouattara fighters at a roadblock outside the cocoa farming center of Soubre order people off a minibus, separate three young men from the group and drag the trio into the thick bush.
On Sunday, in the western town of Guiglo, a reporter detained for three hours by pro-Ouattara forces watched as four young men were interrogated in succession, then taken away. It's not clear what happened to the first three.
The fourth, who looked about 25, claimed to come from a nearby town, but he was unable to name a single neighborhood there. The soldiers became angry.
Half an hour later, the interrogation of the fourth young man centered on his tribe, and on which tribes his parents belonged to.
"Toura and Yacouba," he said again and again, like a mantra, the tribes of his mother and father which generally support Gbagbo.
When the kneeling man was unable to name his purported hometown's neighborhoods, one of the soldiers got up and kicked him in the mouth with his combat boot.
The man spat out blood and two teeth.
Siloue remonstrated with the soldiers, not for assaulting the man, but for doing it in front of a journalist. "Go and do that elsewhere," he ordered him. The man was bundled into a closed van together with his attacker.
Fifteen minutes later, when the released journalist was driving out of town, she saw a body on the other side of a bridge just outside town. Half the torso and feet were hidden in bush, but the man's chest, torn open by bullets, lay exposed. His head touched the tarmac, blood still dribbling from his mouth.
The "war" is over, Gbagbo is in custody. Why aren't the "pro-Ouattara" forces celebrating their victory, and reaching out to the Christians who were vanquished by French and UN troops?
The worst atrocities [against Christians, of course] occurred in a western triangle of three towns, Duekoue, Guiglo and Blolequin, where aid groups agree that hundreds [of Christians] have died. But there is so much contention about the number of victims that the U.N. has launched an investigation.
Questions have also been raised about what nearly 1,000 Moroccan U.N. peacekeepers based in Duekoue did to fulfill their mandate of protecting civilians. The U.N. has said the majority of the force was deployed around a Catholic mission to defend some 30,000 civilians who had sought refuge there.
Several residents of Carrefour, a neighborhood of Duekoue where many died, said a white U.N. helicopter flew low over the neighborhood three times each day during three days of killings, indicating the peacekeepers could witnessed [sic] the bloodshed taking place below.
I wonder if any of the survivors of Duekoue will have anything to say about the role of the Moroccan UN soldiers in the massacres, whether passive or active. During WWII, Moroccan Goumier troops were infamous for "murdering, raping, and pillaging their way across the Italian countryside," in what was named "Marocchinate".
In a civil war between Muslims and Christians, what kind of organization of geniuses would assign Muslim troops to protect Christians from Muslim troops?
Posted on 04/13/2011 1:55 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Munich - trial starts of seven German members of "Global Islamic Media Front"
From Deutsche Welle
A trial of eight people accused of spreading Islamist propaganda over the Internet opened in Munich on Tuesday. Prosecutors say the defendents used Internet forums and blogs to call for a holy war. Seven men and one woman are accused of inciting terrorism and releasing brutal videos of bombings and beheadings as part of the German section of a group known as the "Global Islamic Media Front."
According to the federal prosecutor, the suspects published German translations of Al-Qaeda propaganda material as well as their own material on the Internet between August 2006 and March 2008, in order to attract new members and support for terrorist organizations abroad.
The defendants are now all between 18 and 30 years old, but some of them were minors at the time. Most had never met before the trial, relying on the Internet to communicate from their homes across Germany. Attorney for the defense Nicole Lehmbruck said that the prosecution was making an example out of the young people.
But the German prosecutor said he was disinclined to handle charges of inciting terrorism lightly, especially after a Muslim man suspected of having been radicalized shot two US airmen at Frankfurt airport last month. "We see Islamist Internet propaganda as the most dangerous tool currently in the hands of Jihadi international terrorism," said prosecutor Michael Bruns, "and that's why we want to set a clear line in the sand."
Posted on 04/13/2011 3:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Nature Worship at the UN
UNITED NATIONS — Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.
The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.
The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.
That document speaks of the country's natural resources as "blessings," and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.
It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature's complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state.
"If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) who have rights are humans or companies, then how can you reach balance?" Pablo Salon, Bolivia's ambassador to the UN, told Postmedia News. "But if you recognize that nature too has rights, and (if you provide) legal forms to protect and preserve those rights, then you can achieve balance."...
Posted on 04/13/2011 5:54 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Hague Wants To Set Up Fund To Support Libyan Rebels
UK calls for fund to help pay for Libyan rebels' bills
DOHA, April 13 (Reuters) - Britain called on Wednesday for a temporary financial mechanism to be set up to help pay for public sector costs in rebel-held areas of Libya.
"We should ... move forward quickly to ensure that nations wishing to support the (rebel Libyan) interim National Council in meeting its public sector costs can do so in a transparent manner," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said at the start of a meeting of an international contact group on Libya.
"So I hope we can agree to set up a temporary financial mechanism in the region for the benefit of the interim National Council-controlled areas of Libya," he said.
Posted on 04/13/2011 7:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Walthamstow: Police hunt woman in burka over knife attacks
Not only did this only make the local paper, it wasn't even that prominent there, which is why I have only just seen it. From the Waltham Forest Guardian, another good argument for the burka ban. And it may well have been the true burka that she was wearing and not the style otherwise known as niqab or abaya. I have seen the Afghan style burka with the mesh over the eyes worn in Walthamstow Market. And a right shudder it gave me too; to see nothing where the eyes should be.
A WOMAN wearing a burka attacked two shoppers with a knife on separate occasions last week. The two men were attacked as they looked at a shop window in Walthamstow's St James's Street, near Ladbrokes. St James Street is at the top of Walthamstow High Street where the market ends.
A 55-year-old received a graze to the leg in the first incident, which happened at around 11.30am on Friday (April 1). A 42-year-old was stabbed in the leg, but not seriously, when he was attacked on Saturday (April 2) at about 3.40pm.
Police say they cannot establish a motive for the attacks. (Contact your colleagues in Newham who dealt with Roshonara Choudhary)
The woman, described as Asian, wore a full length black burka with mesh covering her eyes and a cream cotton jacket during the first attack.
She wore a full face covering head scarf, pink trousers and a beige jacket the second time. On both occasions she was seen running off along Station Road and into Clacton Road. A police spokesman said the weapon used was a black handled kitchen knife in both cases.
Posted on 04/13/2011 8:28 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Not A Single Cent Should Come From The West To Pay For Anything More In Oil-Rich Libya
So Hague now wants, on top of the billions NATO is now expending -- not in defense of the nations of the West, but as one more example of the West rescuing Arabs and Muslims from the consequences of their own Islam-induced failures, failures of governance, or economic failures, or social or intellectual and moral failures.
That almost every Muslim Arab state is one form of despotism or another, is a truth now so obvious that even Tom Friedman can dimly discern it, even if he cannot connect the dots to islam. The exception to this rule is Lebanon, because of the effect of its large and once-powerful Christian minority on the Muslims/ Indeed, among the 57 member states of the O.I.C. -- the Organization of the Islamic Conference -- the only non-Arab Muslim states that have some chance of democracy subsisting, if only in a rudimentary sense subsisting exist can be attributed to the power of locals to contain Islam, as in Turkey ( which because of Ataturk had systematically constrained for nearly 80 years the political and social power of Islam, thus allowing -- between army coups, intermittently required to keep Kemalism unchallenged -- for something like democracy) and, latterly, in two Asian countries. The first is Bangladesh , where historical experience (the war for Bangladeshi independence against West Pakistan and its army, which army was supported by the most fanatical local Muslims, ) and national character (the emotional makeup of the Bengali locals), putting a break on fanaticism, have allowed for some intermittent display of democracy. The second is Indonesia, never conquered through war for the forces of Islam, and still possessing, so visibly, many cultural elements of a pre-Islamic Indo-Buddhist culture (includiing the festivals, the gamelans, the temple complexes) that help to brighten Indonesian life, in defiance of the dourness dictated by monochromatic humorless Islam)
The Arab League got this whole Libya thing going when it grandly gave its bland permission --or was it a command? -- for the West to do its bidding with a No-Fly Zone over Libya, and, once the West had taken the second, apparently equally necessary step, of jumping dutifully through the hoop of a U.N. vote, and obtained a second signature on its permission slip, two members of that Arab League even pretended to do their part with a brief inconsequential flyover by a plane or two from Qatar -- or was it the U.A.E.? It now turns out that NATO is running low on missiles, having fired hundreds of them, and the cost of these missions is running into many billions. But not a word from anyone in the West -- not from gravelly-voiced grave Hague, nor louche and suave Juppe, nor Boy Cameron nor volatile Sarkozy -- suggesting that the Arab League members, rolling in trillions of unmerited wealth, should contribute, not only to pay for the wellbeing of fellow Arabs and Muslims -- the "rebels" in eastern Libya -- but to reimburse NATO for the fantastic expenses it has incurred in doing the Arab League's bidding, fulfilling the Arab League's mission.
Posted on 04/13/2011 7:07 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
A Musical Interlude: Fais-moi Mal, Johnny (Magali NoÃ«l )
The famous song of Boris Vian, in Magali Noël 's authoritative rendition, can be listened to here.
Imagine Carla singing this, in her own parody of a parody, to Nicolas.
Posted on 04/13/2011 9:24 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Tony Badran: The Shabbiha And The Assad Regime
From The Weekly Standard:
Who Are the Shabbiha?
April 12, 2011
Reporters covering the ongoing popular revolt in Syria were recently introduced to a new term from the sociopolitical lexicon of the Levant—the shabbiha.
The shabbiha refers to a phenomenon originating in the coastal region of northwest Syria – where the ruling Alawite clan is from – and describes gangs of young thugs working for members of the Assad family, but in no official capacity. In recent days, these unofficial regime affiliates have played a central role in attacking opposition demonstrators in the coastal cities of Latakia, Banias, Tartous and Jable. And that is how the shabbiha appeared on the radar of reporters, Arab and Western alike, who scrambled to properly understand and explain its exact meaning.
The Saudi satellite station Al Arabiya led the way with a short segment introducing the shabbiha to its broader Arab viewers, most of whom are equally unfamiliar with this Levantine term and the specifically Syrian phenomenon it describes. The Al Arabiya reporter defined them as “gangs who consider themselves to be above the law, and who impose their authority by force and muscle”—a fairly accurate, but generic definition.
Attempting to dig deeper into the etymology of the term, the reporter speculated that the root of the term conjured the Arabic word for “ghost” (shabah), intimating the stealth with which these gangs appeared to wreak havoc at any particular moment. This false etymology was adopted by some Western reporters, but in reality, the etymology likely signifies someone with a “long reach”—that is to say, a license to pillage with impunity, with few constraints and little fear of legal repercussion. To them, all criminal activity is permissible, everything is there for the taking, and the shabbiha are entitled to it all.
As the Al Arabiya report explained: “members of these gangs derive this power from the absolute support they receive from powerful figures, especially those who are not visible at the political forefront of the country.”
The powerful figures in question belong to the extended Assad clan. During the days of Bashar’s father, Hafez Assad, one of the most notorious shabbiha gangs belonged to his brother, Jamil, and his sons, Munzir and Fawwaz. Nikolaos Van Dam notes in his excellent book on Syria how they were armed through the military units commanded by Hafez’s other brother, Rifaat, who in turn maintained his own gang, including among the small Alawite community in northern Lebanon.
They, and other shabbiha working for other members of the Assad clan, wreaked havoc in towns such as Latakia, the main city in an area where the Alawites are heavily concentrated, where they had free reign, treating it as their own personal patrimony.
Their criminal exploits were marked by typical mobster behavior, including extortion, assault, flaunting weapons and stolen cars, and private use of public property and roads, to name but a few. Their crime of choice was smuggling, especially Lebanese goods which they resold in Syria. During the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, the shabbiha operated particularly in the border region of the Bekaa, where they enjoyed the protection of the Syrian intelligence apparatuses, and the patronage of whatever Assad family member or regime big shot they worked for.
Various Alawite barons and their shabbiha fought over smuggling routes and rights—turf wars that continue to play out today. Often the sporadic crackdowns and arrests that the regime sells as part of Bashar’s reform program are nothing but evidence of how the regime fights over racketeering privileges and delineates the power hierarchy. For instance, in the late 1990s, as Bashar was paving the way for his inheritance of power, he began to curb the activity of his small time cousins and their shabbiha.
However, his cousins continue to exercise their perceived right to ransack at will. In 2006, an infamous security camera video emerged on YouTube showing one of Bashar’s second cousins, Numayr, as he robbed a currency exchange office at gunpoint and in broad daylight. He was briefly arrested, but broke out shortly thereafter and is now said to be living openly in Latakia. This is what the Assads are all about: a mob family operating at state level.
Today, the shabbiha realize that if they want to maintain their privilege, it’s time to serve the larger interests of the regime—as paramilitary mercenaries terrorizing peaceful protesters. Their unofficial status offers the regime a useful instrument—the shabbiha can kill and intimidate while Assad still has plausible deniability. Moreover, insofar as the shabbiha’s indiscriminate, drive-by-shooting-style violence is likely responsible for the deaths of policemen and soldiers (as Syrian activist Ammar Abdulhamid notes), the regime has used the confusion to label the protestors as the perpetrators of violence. Accordingly, shabbiha bloodshed, now attributed to the opposition, has become the Assad regime’s pretext for the full-blown military crackdown now underway in towns such as Banias, besieged by army tanks.
(For videos highlighting the shabbiha, see Ammar Abdulhamid’s post over at the “Syrian Revolution Digest,” here. See also the videos on the “Syrian Revolution” site, here.)
Posted on 04/13/2011 10:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
The Parodic Impulse As A Sign Of A Faith's Intellectual Health
News of a new book by Holger Michael Zellentin, with an intriguing title, was just forwarded to me by an academic friend.
That title: Rabbinic Parodies of Jewish and Christian Literature.
You can read the first part of the book, up to page 125, or look at the contents, here.
Posted on 04/13/2011 11:38 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
American Planes Still Bombing Libyan Targets
US fighters still bombing Libya air defenses: official
WASHINGTON — US fighter jets are still carrying out bombing raids on Libya's air defenses, the Pentagon said Wednesday, days after saying American combat aircraft had withdrawn from NATO operations.
Spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters "we have fighter aircraft that NATO has, that they can use as part of the air tasking order for suppression of air defense missions, and they have conducted some of those missions."
Lapan did not say how many tactical fighter jets were assigned to the NATO-led mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, but he confirmed that the US aircraft had carried out a number of bombing raids against air defenses since NATO assumed command of the operation on April 4.
The US military had previously said its combat aircraft had been pulled back after a handover to NATO, and that air strikes would be carried out by allies while the United States would play a supporting role.
Lapan said American warplanes were not participating in bombing runs against tanks or other targets related to a UN mandate to protect civilians from Moamer Kadhafi's forces. US ground-attack aircraft and other warplanes remain on standby for that mission pending a request from NATO, he said.
It was unclear why the Pentagon had waited to reveal the role of US fighter jets in the enforcement of the no-fly zone but the details emerged amid divisions within the NATO alliance over the air campaign.
Britain and France, which led the calls for international intervention to stop Kadhafi's attacks on his people, have pressed NATO allies to share more of the burden for the air campaign and deploy more combat aircraft.
President Barack Obama's administration, which has nearly 100,000 troops fighting a grinding war in Afghanistan while it tries to wind down the US mission in Iraq, has been eager for Western allies to bear the brunt of the Libya operation.
The Pentagon insisted that the United States was playing a secondary role despite the revelation that United States was still bombing Libyan targets.
"We are in a support role," Lapan said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other top officers have said the US military's effort would be confined to mid-air refueling, surveillance flights and search and rescue missions.
Posted on 04/13/2011 12:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
That "Ready For Statehood" Palestinian Authority Has Big Plans For Its Financing
Report: Palestinian Authority wants $5 billion to build state
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- The Palestinian Authority is asking Western countries for nearly $5 billion in order to develop a Palestinian state.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was set to make the pitch to representatives of Western countries during a meeting Wednesday in Brussels, Reuters reported.
The plan, obtained by Reuters, calls for $1.467 billion in 2011, $1.754 billion in 2012 and $1.596 billion for 2013. It reportedly will be presented formally to donor countries at a pledging conference in June.
"The journey has been long and arduous, but the end is now in sight. [as long as the "journey" for the Jews who waited 2000 years for the chance to reestablish themselves in their ancient homeland, and who during the time of the Zionist pioneers who came to farm and build, and even during the establishment of the state and the ingathering of millions of completely impoverished Jewish refugees, received not a cent from the West-- American aid only came after 1967 -- but could rely only on what fellow Jews managed to contribute] We are now in the home stretch to freedom," Fayyad wrote in the plan's introduction, according to Reuters. "Now it is time for us to be the masters of our own destiny in a state of our own." [no, it is not and never will be time for a 23rd Arab Muslim state on land that was always to be part of the Jewish National Home, and only was held by Jordan, for 19 years, without any legal or historic claim. When Israel won, by force of arms, in the Six-Day War, those parts of Judea and Samaria that the Jordanians had renamed as "the West Bank," this gave Israel the abilty to enforce its legal and historic claim, which the 1948-49 war did not affect in any way , but was not the source of the claim itself.]
The plan calls for a private sector-led economy and increasing spending on development.
A United Nations report issued Tuesday found that the Palestinian Authority is ready to operate as a sovereign government by September, [tiens! less than six months from now] the target date of independence for a Palestinian state. Similar declarations came last week from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund [the World Bank and IMF report was farcical, because the Palestinian Authority has for its entire life been kept alive on the economic life-support of Western -- European and American - aid, much of it diverted, or disappeared, or misused, to support a dozen different security systems, and to build the bank accounts and real estate holdings of Arafat and then of his henchmen, and their children. And it continues to rely on the kindness of Infidel strangers -- for the main activity of the P.A., that is of the Slow Jihadists of Fatah, is raising up in permanent hate its own children, and making life as unpleasant as possible ]
The Palestinian Authority has said it will ask the United Nations in September to declare an independent state on all areas captured by Israel in 1967.[the U.N. has no power to undo the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine, which is what such a declaration would mean -- see Article 80 of the U.N. Charter], and its interpretation] Israel continues to insist that the only path to statehood is to restart peace negotiations, which the Palestinians walked out on last September.
The U.N. report said a restart of peace talks is necessary to continue the reform process.
Posted on 04/13/2011 1:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Carlos Bledsoe Confesses to His First "Jihad Operation" - A Murder in Nashville
Bob Smietana of The Tennessean will have an even harder time trying to convincing us that Bledsoe became "radicalized in Yemen" when this jihad murder occurred before he went to Yemen. This article was written by Andy Humbles, whose title, "Ex TSU Student Says he killed man in '06" tries to deflect attention from the jihad aspects of this case.
The former Tennessee State University student now waiting trial in the death of a soldier and wounding another in Arkansas almost two years ago wrote to a judge that he also killed a Nashville man in 2006.
Abdulhakim Muhammad, whose birth name is Carlos Bledsoe, claims responsibility for a shooting death in East Nashville five years ago in a letter written to Pulaski County, Ark., Circuit Judge Herb Wright.
The Metro Police Department plans to send Cold Case unit detectives to Arkansas to interview Muhammad.
Police did not comment on whether Muhammad is or could be a suspect in a specific unsolved homicide case.
“We don’t know what his motives are, so we would like (Muhammad) to give the details,’’ Metro Police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford said. “We may have a case in mind, but what if he is taking credit for a murder he really didn’t commit?’’
Muhammad titled the correspondence to the judge “A Confession Letter.’’ He describes the shooting as his first “jihad operation.’’
The letter did not include a victim’s name, a date or an exact location of the shooting.
Muhammad saysin the letter that the victim was targeted because he “robbed and terrorized elderly Muslims and Muslim women at gunpoint.’’
The letter states the victim was shot several times with a Chinese model AK-47 that belonged to Muhammad.
Muhammad is awaiting trial in Arkansas on charges he killed Pvt. William Long and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula at a military recruiting station in June 2009. Muhammad has said the shooting was in retaliation for U.S. military action in the Middle East.
Muhammad is a Memphis native who attended TSU from 2003 to 2005.
According to past reports, Muhammad has claimed a desire to plead guilty, which is not allowed in Arkansas for cases that seek the death penalty.
His attorney, Claiborne Ferguson of Memphis, was unaware of any investigation based in Nashville that focuses on his client.
“I don’t believe this changes any of the current circumstances,’’ Ferguson said.
It changes the circumstances for Bob Smietana and The Tennessean. Maybe, just maybe, our nice Muslim neighbors aren't telling them the entire truth. Time to face the music, my friends.
Posted on 04/13/2011 2:22 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
The Jihad-State Of "Palestine" Wants The West, Not Arabs, To Bankroll It
The many billions in Western aid that disappeared when Arafat died appear to have been forgotten Arafat. Pund for pound, he was far more grasping than Mubarak. Indeed, Arafat turns out to have been,,relative to the "national wealth" (consisting entirely of Western aid money) that he was helping himself to, greediest crook in all of Muslim Araby. For though the Al-Sabah, Al-Maktoum, Al-Thani, Al-Nayhan, Al-Saud all help themselves to even more than Arafat did, they have hundreds of billions or even trillions in oil wealth from which to grab their personal loot. Araft diverted and stole for himself and such loyal henchmen as Mahmoud Abbas, the current propped-up-by-the-West-and-Israel head of the "Palestinian Authority" (if Israel stopped protecting the P.A., Hamas would sweep it aside) not oil trillions, but the billions in American and European aid that the local Arabs, the shock troops who have been re-named the "Palestinians" and who want to convince the world to undo or forget the Mandate for Palestine and the rights of the Jews, the most persecuted of all the non-Muslim and non-Arab peoples whom Muslim Arabs wish to harry and harm until their state, a fantastic achievement, is no more. The "Palestine" that these local Arabs -- renamed "Palestinians" after the defeat of the Arabs in the Six-Day War -- contemplate is one that will not, can not, live "in permanent peace" with "its Israeli neighbor," as Western politicians so unctuously pretend to believe. It will exist in order to carry on war, by all means possible including, if they find it possible, military means,, on the very territory that by right belongs to the Jewish state of Israel, the only intended inheritor of the territory set aside by the League of Nations in the Mandate for Palestine.
Everyone must keep this complicated story straight. According to the League of Nations and its Mandates Commission, whiich was composed of learned men who understood how with justice to properly apportion the vast territories that had formerly been part of the Ottoman Empire, and who thought it outrage enough when Great Britain, in order to further its own imperial ends, decided to unilaterally block the application of the Mandate for Palestine's provisions to all of Eastern Palestine, which instead of being kept as part of a future Jewish state was incorporated into a hastily-constructed Emirate of Transjordan (the story has to do with satisfying Abdullah, older brother of Feisal who was installed by the British on the throne of Mesopotamia, and thereby heading off Abdullah's claims on Syria, and his potential trouble-making for the British with the French in Syria).
Perhaps you have read that that now support Arafat's pretend-wife, or that have gone into the bank accounts of various Arafat henchmen and their gilded children (you can start with the children -- now well-off "businessmen" -- of Mahmoud Abbas)-- start by looking into the villas, and the business interests, of Mahmoud Abbas
Posted on 04/13/2011 1:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
A Musical Interlude: Is You Is Or You Is You Ain't My Baby? (Louis Jordan)
Posted on 04/13/2011 3:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
What kind of a name is Moussa Koussa?
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Posted on 04/13/2011 3:24 PM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Will America Fall For It, When Called Back By Unpopular (Cameron, Hague, Sarkozy, Juppe) Demand?
Libya: US urged to return to front line
The United States was on Wednesday night facing calls to return to the front line in Libya, amid growing fears that Nato is failing to make progress against Col Muammar Gaddafi's forces.
Rebel leaders said that Washington should reverse its decision to step back from offensive operations in Libya and once again take part in ground attacks.
Meeting in Paris, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy of France called on Nato allies to "increase the momentum" of the military intervention in Libya.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, hinted that the Americans should deploy more firepower, saying: "It would improve the situation if we had that greater ground strike capability overall."
After leading the first stage of the Libyan intervention, the US earlier this month withdrew its forces from offensive operations, ceding control to Nato and its Arab allies.
Britain, France and the rebels are increasingly frustrated that neither other Nato allies nor the Arab states are prepared to attack Gaddafi's forces, insisting they will only help enforce a no-fly zone.
With Britain and France bearing the burden of the ground attack operation, there are fears that the allies lack the military force to shake the Libyan regime.
Mahmoud Shamman, a spokesman for the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council, said the Nato had allowed Col Gaddafi to regain the initiative on the battlefield since it took over from the US.
"When the Americans were involved the mission was very active and it as more leaning toward protecting the civilians," he said. "Nato is very slow responding to these attacks on the civilians. We'd like to see more work toward protecting the civilians."
A French official suggested that the US should deploy its specialist ground-attack aircraft including A-10 Thunderbolt tankbusters and AC-130 Spectre gunships, assets that Britain and France lack.
"If the United States provided resources to the current operation, so much the better," the official said.
In an ITV interview, Mr Hague refused to say if he was discussing a request for more American firepower.
"I'm not going to go into individual countries about this because our discussions with them are of course confidential," he said.
The Pentagon last night said that US forces continued to attack targets in Libya, but admitted those were "air defence" sites like missile batteries, and did not include tanks and other ground forces.
In a joint statement, Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy agreed that said that Nato "must continue to increase the momentum of action" against Gaddafi's forces.
Stepping up his criticism of Gaddafi, the Prime Minister accused the dictator of personally ordering the "murder" of Libyan civilians, including children.
"He is murdering his own citizens, including children. The orders come directly from him."
Posted on 04/13/2011 4:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Isabel Kershner Goldstones At The New York Times
There in the middle of a silly article about Justin Bieber's visit to Israel, The New York Times' Isabel Kershner goldstones Israel.
"Last Thursday, a 16-year-old Israeli boy was critically wounded by an antitank missile fired by Hamas militants at a school bus in [SIC] Gaza.* That triggered days of intense exchanges of fire, during which 18 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, were killed."
So how much is "about half" of 18? How many dead civilians? Eight? Nine? Ten?
Actually, the real number of civilians killed is five. It's relatively easy to find out just by looking at Arab sources in English. And according to Arab sources, four were in close proximity to terrorists firing missiles at Israel.
--- Late Breaking: See Ms. Kershner's response below ---
A list of the 18 dead can be found below and on the site of Muslim News. Next to the names, I identified them as "fighters" or "civilians." That determination is based on linked articles in the Muslim News, the Palestinian Maan News Agency or Human Rights Watch.
1. Mahmoud Al Manasra, 50, Al Shijaeyya. Civilian
2. Mohammad Al Mahmoum, 25, Rafah. Fighter
3. Mosab Al Sufi, 18, Rafah. Fighter
4. Saleh Al Tarabeen, 38, Rafah. Fighter
5. Khaled Ad-Dabary, 23, Rafah. Fighter
6. Mo’taz Abu Jame’, Khan Younis. Fighter
7. Abdullah Al Qarra, Khan Younis. Fighter
8. Nidal Qdeih, 21, Khan Younis. Civilian
9. Najah Qdeih, 48, Khan Younis. Civilian
10. Talal Abu Taha, 55, Khan Younis. Civilian
11. Raed Shihada, 27, northern Gaza. Fighter
12. Bilal Al ‘Ar’ir, 23, Al Shijaeyya. Fighter
13. Mahmoud Al Jaro, 10, Al Shijaeyya. Civilian
14. Ahmad Ghorab, northern Gaza. Fighter
15. Mohammad Awaja, Rafah. Fighter
16. Taiseer Abu Sneima, Rafah. Fighter
17. Ahmad Al Zeitouniyya, northern Gaza. Fighter
18. Zuheir Al Bir, Al Zeitoun neighborhood – Gaza. Fighter
According to Human Rights Watch, "Kamal al-Manasra, a relative of Mahmoud Al Mansara (number 1), who lives next door, and Sami Harazen, said that about 3 p.m. they heard what sounded like a small rocket being launched from somewhere in or near the neighborhood.... 'Two minutes after the rocket, I heard a shell hit my uncle's [Mahmoud's] house,' said Kamal al-Manasra. 'My uncle and his son and brother went over to check on the house, and while they were returning another shell fell on my uncle and killed him.' Harazen gave a similar account, though he believed the Israeli response occurred less than one minute after the rocket launch."
In the case of Nidal (8) and Najah (9) Qdeih, Nidal's uncle Fayez Qdeiah told Human Rights Watch that "he heard three mortars fired by Palestinian armed groups from somewhere nearby."
Human Rights Watch also places another civilian next to a rocket-launching terrorist. "Residents of Shajaiya told Human Rights Watch that members of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad fired mortar rounds from a cemetery in the middle of the neighborhood.... Shortly after the mortar attack, at around 7 p.m., an Israeli strike hit the cemetery but caused no casualties, residents said. About 10 to 15 children from the area ran into the cemetery to look at the strike site. Five minutes later, residents said, a second strike hit the area, killing one of the children, Mahmoud Wael al-Jaro (13), and a member of Islamic Jihad named Bilal al-Areer (12).
View the rocket in the cemetery in this video released by the Israel Defense Forces.
I am thankful for Ms. Kirshner's rapid response:
The school bus in Gaza was obviously an editing error, and I have asked for it to be corrected.
As for the civilian casualty figures, our reporting of the numbers has been based on the information provided by our correspondent in Gaza. I can already see a discrepancy in that your list has all the men killed in Rafah as fighters, whereas he identified three of four killed there on the first day as civilians collecting gravel near the old airport, if I remember rightly. Anyway we have asked for a thorough check and hope to have results soon.
The Times' reliance on local Palestinian stringers and reporters is a serious problem for the western press in general. During the second Intifada, it meant that many reports and dispatches were not factual, to say the least. I responded to The New York Times correspondent:
The listing of the four Rafah men as “fighters” is based on this Maan news report. Notice the pictures of the military funerals, as well. It appears pretty conclusive.
Thursday's Gaza dead laid to rest
Published Friday 08/04/2011 (updated) 09/04/2011 12:00
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Thousands marched in Rafah, Khan Younis and Gaza City after Friday prayers, carrying the bodies of seven men killed by Israeli fire the day before. Six of the dead were Al-Qassam fighters, and a seventh a 50-year-old civilian. In Rafah, Al-Qassam members Saleh At-Tarabeen, 38, Mus’ab As-Sufi, 18, Mohammad Al-Mahmoum, 25, and Khaled Ad-Diyari, 33, were marched from the Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, toward their homes, and then to the Ash-Shuhda Cemetery for burial….
We are looking forward to the Times' "thorough check."
* The Times corrected the location of the bus attack: "Last Thursday, a 16-year-old Israeli boy was critically wounded by an antitank missile fired by Hamas militants from Gaza at a school bus in Israel. That triggered days of intense exchanges of fire, during which 18 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, were killed." Sphere: Related Content
Posted on 04/13/2011 4:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Grasping Arianna Soon, One Hopes, To Receive Her Comeuppance
Huffington Post sued by unpaid bloggers
April 12, 2011
The Huffington Post is being sued for $105 million on behalf of the roughly 9,000 bloggers who have contributed content to the Web site, which was recently acquired by AOL for $315 million.
The suit, which names Arianna Huffington and AOL as co-defendants, was announced by Jonathan Tasini, a labor organizer and journalist who started writing for the Web site in 2005.
Tasini, who won a well-known case in 2001 against The New York Times in defense of independent contributors and who also has an active political past, said that based on the recent purchase of the Huffington Post by AOL for $315 million, many of the contributors thought their work would start being remunerated immediately.
"The value added by the content provided by (the unpaid bloggers) to TheHuffingtonPost.com's price was at least $105 million, none of which was shared," the lawsuit says.
"The Huffington Post was, is and will never be, anything without the thousands of people who create the content," Tasini said in a post on his own Web site. "Ms. Huffington is acting like every Robber Baron CEO - from Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs) to the Waltons (owners of Wal-Mart) - who believes that they, and only they, should pocket huge riches, while the rest of the peons struggle to survive."
"Arianna Huffington is a hypocrite. While reaping money and building her 'brand' based on books and speeches decrying the growing divide between rich and poor ... Ms. Huffington is precisely acting to impoverish bloggers," Tasini said.
For now, the activist says that "no one should be writing for the Huffington Post until justice is done" and says that anyone who does is "scab."
He recalled that the Newspaper Guild and National Writers Union called for a strike and boycott of the Huffington Post.
He also plans to publish Wednesday an open letter to "a long list of (named) progressive leaders" who write for Huffington, asking them to join the strike and calling on readers not to visit the Web site and to boycott the founder's participation in any public event of a progressive nature until the case is settled.
In response to the lawsuit, a Huffington spokesperson said: "As we've said before, our bloggers use our platform - as well as other unpaid group blogs across the web - to connect and help their work be seen by as many people as possible. It's the same reason people go on TV shows: to promote their views and ideas."
Posted on 04/13/2011 5:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
As Feared, The West Agrees To Pay For The Lbyan Rebels
April 13, 2011
Western and Arab diplomats have defended international military efforts in Libya and pledged to offer more monetary, political and humanitarian support for the Libyan opposition.
Diplomats from around the world met in Qatar Wednesday to coordinate an international aid response for the Libyan people.
Members of the so-called Libyan contact group include representatives from the U.S., Britain, France and other countries lending military support in Libya. They agreed in a final statement to look into a “temporary financial mechanism” to help the rebels access and manage funds.
After the meeting, Qatar's crown prince urged Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down in a way that is “wise” and “peaceful.” He announced that Italy would host the group's next meeting during the first week of May.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the international community's actions to protect Libyan civilians caught in the country's bloody conflict are “necessary, legal and right.” An international alliance has been providing military support through NATO-led airstrikes.
In Benghazi, a spokesman for the rebels' Transitional National Council told reporters there is a possibility that three nations could supply them with arms. He said discussions with these three nations were positive, but did not reveal which countries were involved in the talks.
Another rebel spokesman told delegates in Qatar that NATO is not doing enough to protect civilians. However, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon defended the international community's efforts to suppress Mr. Gadhafi's military, saying the major powers have taken “decisive action” in Libya.
In Washington, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday that U.S. fighter jets have been conducting strikes against Libya's air defenses during the past 10 days. Although U.S. officials had announced earlier that America's role in Libya was now one of support rather than active combat, a Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Dave Lapan, said the U.S. has transferred an unspecified number of fighter jets to NATO command to conduct air strikes as assigned.
NATO took over command of the operation over Libya from the United States on March 31. The alliance has carried out airstrikes against government forces in Libya to enforce a U.N.-authorized “no fly” zone and protect civilians from attack by Mr. Gadhafi's forces.
Witnesses near the Libyan capital heard loud explosions close to Tripoli's airport Wednesday, but little news has trickled out about fighting on the main eastern and western fronts.
In Berlin Wednesday, Germany expelled five Libyan diplomats for allegedly intimidating Libyan citizens living in the country. Germany's foreign ministry said the five must leave the country within a week.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron plan to hold talks in Paris late Wednesday to discuss the Libyan crisis.
Posted on 04/13/2011 5:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Rival Military Forces Clash In Yemen -- Hope That It Spreads, And Does Not End Soon
From The New York Times:
Rival Military Factions Clash in Yemen
By LAURA KASINOF
SANA, Yemen — Fighting broke out early Wednesday between rival military factions in the capital, Sana, leaving at least two people dead, Yemeni officials said.
It was the first clash between government forces and those commanded by Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar, who announced his support for the country’s antigovernment protest movement three weeks ago.
An official from General Ahmar’s First Armored Division, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with reporters, said about 100 members of the Republican Guard and Central Security Forces, elite military units commanded by President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son and nephew, seized control of a checkpoint from General Ahmar’s troops in the northern part of Sana.
During the attack, one soldier was shot dead and six were wounded.
A government official said at least one person was also killed from the government side. But he denied that the Republican Guards and Central Security Forces were involved in the clash, saying the fighting was between General Ahmar’s soldiers and the police.
“Police clashed with the First Armored Division; their forces drew back, and then attacked again,” said the official, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the episode.
Residents near the attack said that they heard heavy gunfire and the sound of explosions for about half an hour around midnight.
General Ahmar, who comes from the same tribe as Mr. Saleh, announced on March 21 that his soldiers would protect antigovernment demonstrators in Sana and called for Mr. Saleh to step down after snipers linked to the government killed 52 protesters. Several other high-ranking commanders joined General Ahmar that day.
On Wednesday morning, an exchange of gunfire between demonstrators and security forces in the southern port city of Aden resulted in the death of one protester, according to a local journalist. Protests erupted in neighborhoods throughout Aden afterward.
While antigovernment demonstrations in Sana and other cities have largely involved continuous sit-ins, the protests in Aden appear to be more spontaneous, with hundreds marching through the streets calling for the end of Mr. Saleh’s government.
Yemen’s opposition is still negotiating its response to a plan laid out by the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-nation regional coalition, for a transfer of power. The proposal, unveiled Sunday, called for presidential powers to be transferred to Yemen’s vice president but did not include a demand for Mr. Saleh to resign.
But Qatar’s prime minister, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, told reporters last week that the council wanted Mr. Saleh to leave office, prompting Mr. Saleh to publicly lash out at Qatar. The council’s plan would grant Mr. Saleh and his family immunity from prosecution.
The Yemeni government official said that the detention of Hosni Mubarak, the ousted Egyptian president, and his two sons on Wednesday appeared to further dissuade Mr. Saleh from leaving power. Yemen’s youth-led protest movement is demanding that he be prosecuted upon stepping down.
Posted on 04/13/2011 5:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
The Ruling Family In Qatar Could Use Its Allowance To Finance The Libyan Business Itself
Why is the West continuing to promise money here, there, and everywhere to help Muslim Arabs? Why, when there already are several trillion dollars in the surpluses of the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and -- the Arab state seemingly most concerned about "civilians" in Libya -- Qatar?
Let Qatar's waddling emirs of the Al-Thani family open just one of their safe deposit boxes and donate the cash -- and let the female Al-Thanis empty their minaudières onto the table and donate the jewels that fall out to be sold -- to pay for the LIbyan operation.
Why should Western Infidels pay for the wellbeing, real or imagined, of Muslim Arabs, for or against this or that despot, for or against the despot who will replace him, when neither despot nor those whom he rules can conceivably wish those Western Infidels well, or anything like well?
What's wrong with the leaders of the Western world? How much squandering, how much waste, how much failure to think, how much ignorance of Islam, how much sheer all-round stupidity, can their long-suffering populations be expected to endure?
Posted on 04/13/2011 5:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald