These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 17, 2011.
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Azerbaijan threatens to down Armenian flights
Nagorno-Karabakh is another one of those murky fog-of-war hotspots in which, based on mainstream media coverage, it is impossible to figure out who is fighting whom, and why. Let's dispell some of that fog and murk: Azerbaijan is 99% Muslim, while Armenia is 98% Christian. As recently as 100 years ago, the Muslim population of Nagorno-Karabakh was negligible. Today, Nagorno-Karabakh is populated by 75% Christian Armenians, and 23% Muslim Azerbaijanis. It is geographically surrounded by Azerbaijan, but has voted for independence, and has voted to remain allied with Armenia, of which it has historically long been part. Since the 1980's Afghan and Chechen mujahadeen have waged jihad from Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh. Predictably, the OIC and UN have condemned the Armenian "occupation" of Nagorno-Karabakh as a "crime against humanity." Now, let's proceed.
Azerbaijan has threatened to shoot down civilian planes flying to disputed Nagorny Karabakh if the separatist Armenian authorities who control the region reopen an airport there.
Azerbaijan considers Karabakh to be occupied by the Armenians, and Baku’s state aviation agency said it has told the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that the region’s airspace was closed and any flights would be unauthorised.
“According to the law on aviation, it is even possible to physically destroy aeroplanes heading there,” said Arif Mammadov, the director of Azerbaijan’s Civil Aviation Administration, in comments to local media.
That's right, the director of Azerbaijan's Civil Aviation Administration believes that aviation law permits shooting down civilian airliners. Well, maybe sharia aviation law permits it.
“We asked the ICAO to notify the opposing side in order to prevent incidents,” he said.
The separatist Karabakh authorities have been rebuilding the airport near their capital Stepanakert and plan to restart commercial flights to Yerevan in May.
The airport has been closed since the outbreak of the Karabakh war in the early 1990s, which saw ethnic Armenian forces backed by Yerevan seize control over the region from Baku amid fighting that left an estimated 30,000 dead.
An official at the separatist Karabakh presidential office said that “criminal” threats would not stop the planned flights, which are set to begin amid increasing tensions and exchanges of gunfire across the ceasefire line which has divided the two sides since the end of the war.
“We are determined to open the airport, no matter whom it vexes in Azerbaijan,” the official, David Babaian, told the PanArmenian news agency.
“Any slight attempt Azerbaijan might take will be fraught with unpredictable repercussions for Azerbaijan itself,” he said.
Azerbaijan has threatened to use force to win back Karabakh if peace talks do not yield satisfactory results, while Armenia has warned of large-scale retaliation if Baku launches any military action.
In a sane world with informed leaders, we (the West) would be supporting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in their defensive war against offensive jihad, and would have long ago abandoned Iraq and Afghanistan to their fates. We would have taken note of the fact that almost every major war on almost every continent is being waged by Muslims against non-Muslims (and fellow Muslims). We would have taken appropriate steps to curtail and contain Islamic expansion.
I offer the links for the following items, as a sort of in memoriam for the Fogel family.
One is a clip of the lovely Israeli singer Ofra Haza, who was of Yemeni Jewish origin, singing a piece called 'Kaddish' ( I don't know whether it's a setting of the actual Kaddish prayer, or a piece inspired by it). But it's beautiful.
The next piece which is absolutely haunting. is an extraordinary visual and musical meditation upon the traditional Sabbath hymn Ya ribon olam, which was written in Aramaic in the 16th century in Gaza, by Israel ben Najara, who died in 1625. I thought of it because the Fogel family also lived in Gaza, before Israel chose to leave the place. And because they were killed on the Sabbath. The last meal they ate together as a family would have been the Sabbath meal.
Here is an English translation of the text of ya ribon olam, as provided here:
G-d the Master of all Worlds, You are the Ruler, above all rulers. Your mighty deeds and wonders, it is beautiful to declare before You.
I will sing Your praises in the morning and the evenings, to You Holy G-d Who created every soul, the angels above, all people, and the beasts that roam the grounds and the birds of the sky.
Your creations are great and awesome, You Who lowers the high ones and straightens out the bent ones, even if a man lives a thousand years he wont be able to understand Your greatness, or that even a thousand years aren’t enough for a man to calculate Your greatness.
G-d to You is the honor and glory, please redeem Your sheep from the clenched teeth of the lions who prey on them and take Your nation out of exile.
Return to Your temple and to the Holy of Holies where every soul and spirit shall sing Your praises in Jerusalem the city of beauty."
The controversial East End Gay Pride march next month has been scrapped after claims that the far right English Defence League was using it as a ‘smokescreen’ to attack Muslims.
Organisers today withdrew the event after a wave of criticism which has split East London’s gay community.
They blamed the decision on personal attacks within the gay community on the man who dreamed up the march, Raymond Berry, which was in response to homophobic stickers (pictured) appearing on walls and lamp-posts declaring a ‘gay free’ zone under Allah.
He stepped down yesterday (Tues), accusing the critics of jealousy and “shameful” behaviour. “They’ve made a simple pride event something difficult and unpleasant through sour grapes and jealousy,” he said.
But pressure continued and within 24 hours organisers scuppered the march itself that was planned for April 2. Terry Stewart, coordinator of OutEast, part of Rainbow Hamlets umbrella organisation of East London gay, lesbian and other groups, claimed the EDL would use the march to drive a wedge between gays and Muslims.
But East End Gay Pride organisers accused him of “lies.” Their statement today said: “In a day and age where the gay community of East London should be working together to combat hatred, we have found it shocking that East Out and Rainbow Hamlets has set out to divide the community."
But Terry Stewart refuted allegations of lying and accused the organisers, instead, of allowing the EDL to use the “tainted” march as a smoke-screen. He told the Advertiser, “. . . we’ve stopped people masquerading under the banner of ‘homophobia’ to set communities apart. That’s why this event had to be scrapped. It was tainted with the EDL."
Regular readers will recall that my daughter spotted one of the earliest examples of these Gay Free Zone stickers in Whitechapel last year. They then spread around Tower Hamlets and into the neighbouring London Borough of Hackney, specifically Shoreditch and Stoke Newington. Even though it has been reported that men of 'asian appearance' have been seen placing the stickers on street furniture (I believe the word asian was used as there was nothing about their clothing to confirm their being Muslims, despite it being highly unlikely that they were HIndu or Jain), and an Asian men was arrested with the stickers about his person but released without charge, some people insist they are the work of 'far right' groups, as can bee seen from these comments at the Hackney Citizen last month.
The involvement of the Gay Muslim group Imaan is intriguing. Despite the penalties attached to their situation under Sharia law they remain faithful to Islam first. This is from the Hackney Hive.
Many observers had long suspected an EDL influence from the beginning, something Berry, a transport worker from East London and the group denied. But it began to be apparent when the group first welcomed EDL support of the march, with several members of the EDL and ‘less progressive groups’ began joining East End Gay Pride Facebook group page and voicing their opinions.
According to Muslim GLBT group Imaan, Mr Berry fell out with officials at the Rail and Maritime Trades Union (RMT) last September over his political affiliations to the English Defense League, and claims they have seen correspondence in which he states he was a founding member, although he is no longer a member following a dispute over leadership. They also allege Berry still holds strong views against Sharia law, “Islamification of Britain” and is involved with various anti-Muslim groups.
Further proof that our Trades Union's are no longer the friend of the working man. And this is Pink News
Mr Tatchell said: “OutRage! is not supporting East London Gay Pride, following the revelation of links between some of the organisers and the right-wing English Defence League. I have also withdrawn my personal support.
“We fear the march will be exploited and hijacked by the far right to create divisions and stir up intolerance against Muslim people. While defending the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people to protest against homophobia and the ‘Gay Free Zone’ stickers, it would be best if the march was postponed until a later date and organised by a broad-based grassroots and community coalition, untainted by associations with the EDL.”
Mr Tatchell said that Muslim organisations and speakers should be invited to participate in the rescheduled Pride, although he said that the East London Mosque should “bear some responsibility for previously stoking homophobia” by inviting anti-gay speakers.
With homophobic abuse now a frequent feature of London Borough of Tower Hamlets council meetings under the austices of Islamiclly controlled mayor Lutfur Rahman, when the cranes over the Spitalfields development site start to dangle gays experiencing the full force of Sharia law, maybe you will understand why Mr Berry holds "strong views against Sharia law".
Indian-Malaysian woman loses court battle to become Shariah lawyer but vows to fight on
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — An ethnic Indian lawyer lost a court battle Thursday to practice Shariah law in Malaysia because she is not a Muslim. The suit by Victoria Jayaseele Martin, 49, was the first challenge against a Shariah court in this predominantly Muslim nation, where ethnic minorities have long complained that their legal rights are being trampled on.
Her lawyer Ranjit Singh said the High Court ruled that the Kuala Lumpur Islamic court's decision in 2009 to refuse to admit Martin was constitutional. Islamic authorities have said only Muslims can be accepted as Shariah lawyers to prevent confusion and protect the sanctity of Islam.
"I lost but I will be appealing," Martin told The Associated Press. "We respect the judge's decision but we say she misinterpreted the law. Our view is that this is unconstitutional," Ranjit added.
Martin, who has practiced civil law since 1991, said she obtained her diploma in Shariah law from a local university in 2004 and she was qualified to practice. She said she wanted to become a Shariah lawyer because of the growing number of interfaith disputes in which she felt non-Muslims had difficulty getting fair representation.
From NER's "no shit, Sherlock" department, here is a quick quiz.
In today's Times (subscription required) I read of a "woman" who kept another woman as a slave. Mwanahamisi Mruke, from Tanzania, worked 18-hour days for three years, sleeping on a mattress on the kitchen floor of a home worth £500,000.
No word of a google, what do readers suspect was the name of the this modern-day slave owner?
A Jennifer Peters
B Paula Baldaccino
C Saeeda Khan
D Jaitinder Singh
Michael J. Totten: What About Our Hearts And Minds?
He doesn't mention the effect of Islam, nor how, with the Kurds, an alternative identity (that of being a Kurd) works against Islam while the Arab identity reinforces Islam. But the article, in the popular press (the N. Y. Post) expresses a widely-shared popular anger with Arab attitudes -- with the Arab League telling us now to hop to it in Libya, but at the same time make sure there is no "military intervention" while you establish that No-Fly Zone the Arab League demands when it summons from afar its "blue-eyed slaves" (as a Saudi princeling famously called the American airmen stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War), is useful nonetheless.
Here it is:
What about our hearts and minds?
By MICHAEL J. TOTTEN
March 15, 2011
As forces loyal to Libya's cruel and de ranged tyrant Moammar Khadafy re conquer one rebel-held city after an other, the Arab League and the Arabic press are calling for a no-fly zone over the country to tip, or at least even, the odds. While I'm inclined to help the Libyans on humanitarian grounds and to advance our own national interests, the American public's appetite is low for intervening on behalf of the rebels -- and it's largely the Arab world's fault.
Last time Americans led a coalition to topple a mass-murdering dictatorship in the Middle East, the Arab League and the Arabic press hysterically denounced us as imperialist crusaders fighting a war for oil and Israel. Egged on by al-Jazeera, they cheerleaded the "resistance" that killed thousands of our soldiers with roadside bombs in the years that followed.
Here at home, liberals fear and loathe the very idea of another Iraq, which to them is "Vietnam" conjugated in Arabic -- and many conservatives are hardly more willing to risk American treasure and lives for people who aren't necessarily our friends, who may well take shots at us after they're liberated and who might build a new aggressive regime of their own.
Few expected Iraq to transition smoothly to a stable democracy after so many years of repression, sanctions and war -- but if Iraqis hadn't responded with such a vicious campaign of violence against our soldiers and each other, the thought of helping Libyans who suffer under similar circumstances wouldn't frighten or disgust quite so many of us.
Iraqis didn't have to attack us after we toppled Saddam Hussein. Contrary to what some seem to believe, guerrilla warfare and terrorism weren't the only options available. The Kurds in Northern Iraq certainly didn't shoot at us -- they like us and welcomed us. They are some of the most pro-American people on earth. Not one person in their autonomous region ever attacked US forces. Only Arabs in central and southern Iraq thought a violent insurgency was the right way to proceed.
The White House, Leon Wieseltier wrote in The New Republic a couple of days ago, "is so haunted by past Arab anger at American action in the Middle East that it cannot recognize present Arab anger at American inaction in the Middle East." I think he's right -- but it's not President Obama's fault that the United States is damned in the Arab Middle East if it acts and damned if it doesn't.
In the Arab world, the United States is just damned. This was true before Obama was president, and it will remain true after Obama is gone, no matter what he decides to do or not do. [but if you won't or can't mention Islam, then you leave the impression that it may be support of Israel is the only thing standing in the way -- why not, at this point, talk about the same attitude in Pakistan, or among people in Afghanistan?]
Americans fret constantly about whether or not we're doing the right thing to win the hearts and minds of the Arabs. That's one reason Obama was elected (though I can't help but wonder how many Libyans wish John McCain were in the White House right now). This may be a good time for Arab leaders and opinion makers to ask themselves what they can do to win over the hearts and minds of Americans. [again -- no mention of Islam. Why?]
They might find that if they treated us more like the Kurds do, more of us will be willing to help them in the future -- rather than shun them as hostiles who deserve to be left to their fate.
That's what Bernard-Henri Levy ("writer and philosopher" according to the radio) said on NPR this morning. He thought Obama was going to be "another Kennedy" (what exactly did Kennedy do of value, in his brief time in office, save for a few bon mots and the Bouvier window-display?) and, like Kennedy when he said "Ich bin ein Berliner" ("I'm a jelly-filled German doughnut"), Obama should now say "Ich bin ein Libyen."
This kind of comic episode befits a place that allows itself to be called, that encourages itself to be called, that makes the innocent hapless hopeless students hyper-conscious of the fact that Harvard, you see, is in everything it does -- "world-class."
Instead Of Sensibly Suggesting The Arabs Do It Themselves
The Arab League, remember, demanded that there be a "No-Fly Zone" and, at the same time, that there be "no military intervention." Okay. They think they can have it both ways. Let them do it. Why should the American or other Western governments. Since something will not turn out to the liking of the Arabs, why give them a further excuse to blame others? Let them take care of their Black Sheep, Colonel Qaddafy. And note that not a single Arab state, nor any of those Egyptian "revolutionaries" who have been so fulsomely hailed, have deplored the entry of foreign -- Saudi, Emirati, possibly Kuwaiti too -- troops into Bahrain. Nor did they ever call for foreign intervention when Saddam Hussein was killing far more people than Qaddafy ever did -- 182,000 Kurds, in Operation Anfal, and hundreds of thousands of Shi'a, after the Gulf War. But that was a case of Kurds and Shi'a being killed. Qaddafy is killing fellow Sunni Arabs. And that, to the Arab League, is what constitutes -- the only thing that constitutes -- an injustice.
Arab role in Libya intervention discussed: Clinton
March 17, 2011
TUNIS (Reuters) - Discussions are under way on the possible direct involvement of Arab nations in any international military action against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters on a visit to Tunisia, Clinton also said the international community was debating how best to stop Gaddafi from overrunning rebels fighting to end his four-decade long rule.
Asked if Arab nations would have to take part by providing pilots or by bombing or otherwise being directly involved in carrying out any eventual military operation against Gaddafi, Clinton replied: "That is also being discussed."
U.S. officials said on Thursday that Washington, in a sharp shift in tone, wanted the United Nations to authorize not just a no-fly zone to aid Libyan rebels but also air strikes against Libyan tanks and heavy artillery.
Referring to a U.N. resolution on Libya that Washington hopes will be passed later on Thursday, Clinton said:
"It is important to recognize that military experts across the world know that a no-fly zone requires certain actions taken to protect the planes and the pilots, including bombing targets like the Libyan defense system.
"There are many ways to write a resolution. Some would be a more general authorization with certain goals laid out. Some would be more specific listing of what was or wasn't authorized," she added.
Journalists, like ambulances, are used as weapons of war in the Arab lands, and so journalists, even Western journalists, like ambulances (even Red Cross ambulances), become targets too when there is open war in Arab lands.
Who snatched Anthony Shadid and the other three Times journalists?
The assumption seems to be that it must be the forces of Qaddafy.
But if one looks at what Shadid had been writing during the past week, one realizes how critical he was, even mocking in the details he presented, of the "rebels" in their mixture of motives, their slapdash behavior, their crazed blend of bravado and whininess about the West.
Were I a member of the anti-Qaddafy forces, I would not have been pleased with the less-than-rapturous coverage by Anthony Shadid, especially if I had been expecting to receive the same hysterical praise that the Times and other Western outlets gave to the Egyptian protesters -- in Tahrir Square, which if you are to believe the Western press, were without exception apparently so well-behaved, so thoroughly secular (with Muslims and Copts -- or at least one Copt, Sally Moore), so young and with-it and Western and working-for-Google that there was nothing to worry about (and younger members of the Muslim Brotherhood made sure to tell their bruvvers to put away the Qur'ans they were holding and waving, at least while the Western cameramen were around). I might have wanted to punish Anthony Shadid, who was not getting with the program.
On the other hand, Qaddafy and Sons, or Libya, as it is also known, now being the family concern it is -- By Appointment To His Majesty Muammar Qaddafy Since 1969 -- it's possible that the four journalists have just been confined to quarters for the duration of hostilities. Anything is possible in the permanent bedlam and farce of Arab Muslim states.
Muslims in France have asked for the use of empty Catholic churches, saying that this would "prevent Muslims from having to pray in the streets." Father Samir Khalil Samir, a Jesuit expert on Islam, explains why the proposal is absurd.
Christian churches are consecrated: sacred places, dedicated to worship, Father Samir says. If they are now empty, it is not by design; they are intended to be filled by a Christian community. To make them appropriate for Muslim worship would mean removing Christian elements and bringing in Islamic ones. Muslims would undoubtedly object if, later, the churches were returned to Christian worship.
Father Samir adds:
Finally, imagine for a moment the opposite. If in a Muslim country (Egypt or Algeria, for example) the indigenous Christians (in Egypt) or immigrant Christians (in Algeria) asked Muslims to give them a mosque, since they have many, or to lend them one for Sunday, or only for important celebrations: Christmas, Epiphany, the beginning of Lent, Easter, Pentecost and the Assumption, what would the reaction of Muslims be?
Turkish Columnist Burak Bekdil Attacks Erdogan For His Selective Morality
Turkish columnist slams Erdogan for ignoring Itamar attack
Hurriyet opinion article criticizes Turkey PM for condemning Israel's killing of children while remaining silent on the murder of a 3-month-old baby.
An op-ed in one of Turkey's leading newspapers initiated an unlikely attack on the country's prime minister earlier this week, for what it considered his hypocrisy in condemning Israel's attacks on the Palestinian civilian population, while completely ignoring the deadly stabbing attack at the West Bank settlement of Itamar.
Last Friday, Itamar's Fogel family - father Udi, 37, mother Ruth, 36, 10-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad, and three-month-old Hadas - were all stabbed to death in their home.
Quoting a 2010 statement by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hurriyet columnist Burak Bekdil, said that while the Turkish PM accused Israel of seeing "babies in their cradles as a threat," and of killing "babies in their mothers’ arms," he nonetheless remained conspicuously silent regarding the murderous attack in Itamar.
Bekdil quoted yet another instance in which Erdogan reprimanded Israel for its alleged war crimes from June of last year: "I am speaking to them in their own language. The sixth commandment says 'thou shalt not kill'. Did you not understand?"
"I'll say [it] again. I say in English 'you shall not kill'. Did you still not understand? So I'll say to you in your own language. I say in Hebrew 'Lo Tirtzakh'," he said in a televised speech to supporters of his Islamist-leaning AK Party.
However, in his column released earlier this week, the Turkish journalist, addressing Erdogan wrote: "Most predictably, we have not heard Mr. ErdoÄŸan saying 'You shall not kill' in Arabic, and we probably never will."
"That’s hardly surprising since we have never heard Mr. ErdoÄŸan speaking 'indiscriminately' in the past against the killing of children and defenseless people in Itamar, or elsewhere in Israel – for Saturday’s attack in Itamar was not the first of its kind," Bekdil added.
Quoting a statement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, regarding his hopes for a "bright day" without Israel, the Turkish columnist said ironically: "With five 'Jooos' having disappeared from earth after the Itamar attack, that bright day must be arriving sooner."
"I am still curious, however, about what rank the 3-month old Israeli 'soldier' held," Bekdil said, adding: "Captain? Lieutenant colonel? Certainly too young to be a general."
EU Confused But Self-Assured Sentimentalists Denounce EU For All The Wrong Reasons
The EU bureacracy deserve to be denounced for their foreign and domestic policies, for doing nothing to halt and reverse Muslim immigration into Europe, for taking the side of the Arabs in their war -- their Jihad-without-end -- against Israel, and for their attempt to override national attempts at self-defense by the imposition of crazed "civil liberties" standards and by rules on admission of "refugees" that, if those rules continue to be followed, will lead to the auto-destruction of high European civilization -- the third blow, after World War I and Word War II.
But the EU's reluctance to get involved when Muslims make war on Muslims is to be applauded, not denounced.
And here are the sentimentalists doing the denouncing:
Angry Euro MPs blast EU inaction on Libya
AFP, 16 Mar 2011
European Parliament members charge the EU with being weak in dealing with Muammar Gaddafi following military attacks on civilians in Libya
Angry members of the European Parliament on Wednesday blasted a weak, divided EU for failing to stand up and act against Muammar Gaddafi, saying Europe was repeating the errors of the past.
As one after another MEP stood up to lament the EU's refusal to back a bid by Britain and France to win UN approval for a no-fly zone, a former Belgian prime minister said to repeated rounds of applause: "This makes me sick!"
"In Libya we can change the course of events," said ex-premier Guy Verhofstadt of the Liberals group.
"There are thousands of heroes," he added. "We know who they are but Gaddafi knows as well. He knows their names and their families. If he takes Benghazi it will be nothing more than a massacre, a new Srebrenica, a new Rwanda, a new Darfur.
"This makes me sick of the EU," he said to applause. "We have learnt nothing at all from history.
"When Gaddafi is back shall we say business as usual? Are we going to close our eyes again? Will we add one black page more to European history?
"I count on France, on Britain, on the US to take action — not on the EU!" he added
As Britain, France and Lebanon—on behalf of the Arab League—tried to rustle up support for a UN Security Council no-fly resolution, European Union members Germany and Italy again rejected the use of military might.
A Baker's Half-Dozen Questions For Suave Abderrahim Foukarra Of Al Jazeera
1. When will Al-Jazeera do more than mere reporting about unrest in Arab lands, and more investigation of the conditions that cause unhappiness before open unrest needs to be covered?
2. When will Al-Jazeera cover -- critically -- for Western viewers if not for the Arabic-language version, which is quite different from that in English -- the Al-Thani family and their rule in Qatar? Soon? Never? Western channels routinely carry criticism of all Western countries and those who are in positions of power. The test of Al-Jazeera, or one test, is surely how it covers Qatar. So let's find out.
3. Will Al-Jazeera allow back onto YouTube the handful of appearances of Wafa Sultan on Al Jazeera that the network has apparently refused to allow to be posted?
4. Will Al-Jazeera ever have programs or reports in which the following question is discussed, and not by the easily-rebutted comically ill-informed and ill-prepared:
The role of Islam, in explaining the political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral failures of Muslim states and societies.
5. Will Al-Jazeera (English-language and Arabic-language editions) ever run pieces on the treatment of non-Muslims (Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians) in Muslim-ruled lands, and discuss the textual basis for the mistreatment -- as we in the advanced West see it -- of those many different communities of non-Muslims.
6. Will Al-Jazeera (English-language and Arabic-language editions) ever run programs, or even shorter pieces, on the Arab attitude toward non-Arab Muslims, and discuss -- have non-Arab Muslims discuss -- the role of Islam as a vehicle for Arab supremacism? Will Al-Jazeera run, for example, discussions by Berbers, Kurds, and black African Muslims in Darfur, analyzing the ways in which Islam is necessarily, immutably, in its texts and tenets, in Qur'an and Sunnah, that vehicle for Arab imperialism, which many of us believe to be the most successful and longest-running imperialism in human history?
These are only a half-dozen of the questions to be asked of Al-Jazeera, or rather of nice, winning, suave, plausible, thoughtful (brow-furrowiing proves it) Abderrahim Foukarra. who is the big shot at Al-Jazeerta's deceptively "professional" Washington bureau (the English-language Potemkin village runs interference for the Arabic-languagve version)/ And until answers are received that we in the West deem satsifactory, there is no reason to regard Al-Jazeera as anything more than what, iits Arabic-lanague and its cunningly toned-down for Western audiences English-language version, what it has hitherto been: not a real news station, but a a sweetly-sinister Arab and Muslim propaganda channel, cleverly disguised for the unwary, but transparent to the well-prepared.
Until these questions are answered satisfactorilly, and two dozen others I'm holding in reserve, it would be madness for the Americans not to continue blocking Al Jazeera in this country. We have quite enough propaganda, home-grown, on behalf of Arabs and Muslims, as it is. We don't need the fine Qatari hand, that is of the Al-Thani sheiks and sheiklettes who pay the bills, to beam further propaganda into our homes.
Hot Off The Press: America Falls Into The Trap Of Its Own Making, U.N. Authorizes-Demands Open-Ended Military Action In Libya
And who will enforce the No-Fly zone?
And who will bomb Libyan airfields and air-defense systems?
And what happens if that doesn't work to save one primitive side from the other primitive side?
Egypt is right there. The Egyptian military have been given $40 billion by the Americans alone, with another $40 billion in economic aid. Both kinds of aid have permitted the permanent stratokleptocracy to flourish.
Now Egypt should be asked to show what it can do -- other than prepare for war with Israel -- with all that military aid.
It's been more than forty years since Nasser sent his pilots and his MIGs to stafe helpless black African villagers, Christian Igbo in Nigeria, and about the same time since Nasser sent parts of his army to fight "the Royalists" (backed by Saudi Arabia) in Yemen. Apparently, the only enemy that the Egyptian army has in mind to prepare to make war on, using all that American equipment it has, and the more advanced stuff it keeps asking for, is Israel, which turned over the entire Sinai in return for Egypt's promise -- one that should not expire just because of a regime change in Egypt -- to make peace, and not merely a hudna or truce, with Israel.
So let the Egyptain army, of the brand-new wonderful democractic state of Egypt, post-Jasmine Revolution Egypt, to show that it can perform against Qaddafi, and on behalf of all those wonderful rebels, standing no doubt for all the same things that Wael Ghonim and the other Egyptian young people of whom so much was made, stood and stand for -- you know, those bearded men in Benghazi we are supposed to uncritically endorse and protect and defend, because first the Arab League, and now the U.N. -- two morally advanced institutions, bien entendu -- have demanded it.
Meanwhile In Benghazi Celebratory Gunfire Is Being Heard
On CNN you could see crowds of cutthroats -- some of them actually holding up knives and making a sign across their own throats, others shouting clearly "Allahu Akbar" - in the re-runs CNN had the wit to turn the sound off at that point, so that American viewers would not hear what was being said, and all of them certain that the Americans, or the French, or the Americans and the French, would be there to "save them." Save them from what? From Qaddafy, who says that he will not enter Benghazi and that he will not attack those who surrender?
And what will happen if, in the end, a maddened Qaddafy sets fire to oil wells -- remember what Saddam Hussein did after the Gulf War defeat? What will the price of oil go to? The Arab League, that inveigled America into this, won't care -- their revenues will skyrocket. But every oil-consuming country, and its citizens, will suffer, from act of sentimentalism and idiocy, Jellybyism run riot.
Qaddafy and his sons will never be the kind of threat to the West they once were allowed to be. Why not let his son Saif inherit the country, and bring a semblance, a simulacrum, not of "democracy" -- let's not be silly, in the Muslim and Arab world (save in those places where secularism had a chance to be enforced by despots -- Turkey under Ataturak, Tunisia under Bourguiba -- who had the luxury of decades without CNN and the U.N. looking in and reporting on their stern methods)-- but of something less cruel and unjust than what Qaddafy the Father has offered, in his attempts to make himself not King of the Arabs -- he failed at that -- but King of Africa and, not incidentally, a tiersmondisant anti-American beacon, made much of by the likes of Chavez of Venezuela, another character playing a stock part, that of the el-senor-presidente caudillo.
Let's watch as first one Arab state, and then another, finds excuses for bowing out of particpating in the military underaking -- the No-Flly Zone and the open-ended unspecified further actions that the U.N. Resolution calls for -- the very thing that the Arab League members unanimously demanded, but not because they love "democracy" or "justice." Rather, Qaddafy has always been an odd man out, critical of "the Arabs," a real pain in the neck, a thorn in their side, an enemy of the monarchs too, including the assorted Saudi kings who right now in Bahrain are, with the rulers and Sunni peoples of Kuwait and the Emirates, showing just how much they care for "democracy." The Arambs wouldn't mind seeing Qaddafy removed, but only in order to have someone just as or even more dangerous to the West replace him, as long as that someone is more willing to fit in with the larger Arab and Muslim onslaught on the West, and not to keep going off on frolics and detours of his own, as Qaddafy, waving his Green Book and handing out money to paramount chiefs in black Africa, so often did.
The Most Fashionable Among The Latest Lexical Ludicrosities
"Genocide" (a word used by locals -- in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen -- to describe, in a war situation, between Arab and Arab, a handful, or a few dozen, or a few hundred, or even -- as in Libya -- perhaps a few thousand casualties on one side or another.). This is described as "genocide"
Who, In Abstaining On The LIbya Vote, Decided Not To Be "On The Right Side Of History"?
Not minor countries. Not countries known for their naivete in world affairs.Not countries easily excited, or stampeded into things, and especially such things as an Arab League vote, or a press that falls all over itself heralding the "historic" changes in the Arab world, or those who keep telling us that we must be on, or get on if we are not yet on, "the right side of history."
But, picking up the Infidel Man's Burden, the Americans, as so often before self-consciously proud to do the "moral" thing, the "right" thing (and being easily manipulated by the Arab League) , and never quite stopping to think things through, along with he French (Alain Juppe and the excitable Nicolas Sarkozy) and the British (William Hague, whose gravel-voiced pseudo-solemnity -- a Palmerston, forsooth! -- doesn't quite jibe with the unforgettable photograph of him, all leather jacket and tight pants, that sticks in my mind). Oh, what a galere.
Yes, there's America again. Three trillion dollars squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of billions going still to mendacious cruel Pakistan, that has with American billions more than doubled its nuclear arsenal over the past few years. And all that hyseterical talk about getting "on the right side of history" as "the Arab world" is said to "embrace democracy" etc.
But in the midst of the eighth-grade boyscoutism, others coolly took the measure of things and chose to abstain.
Which countries, again?
China. Russia. India. Brazil. Germany.
They must feel terrible.
We, on the other hand, should be so very proud of ourselves. We've done the right thing. We're on the right side of history. We always are. That's what we've been doing for the past ten years, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Winning hearts. Winning minds. Never ever refusing to pick up the Infidel Man's Burden.
Getting, and staying, and staying, and staying (and over the past decade inflicting great damage on our finances, on our military, on our morale, and on our ability to payu attention to, and focus on, far graver matters than whether Saddam Hussein remains in power or Al-Qaeda has a base or two in Afghanistan, easily monitored from the air), such as Muslim demographic power undermining the security, from within,, of our civilisational allies in Western Europe, and the rise of an economically insatiable China, and the consequences, in food production, and population decline, and wars still to come, of unstoppable global warming), "on the right side of history."