These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 25, 2010.
Saturday, 25 September 2010
I hope this clears things up
By Brooke Crothers for Cnet.com:
Intel's Atom chip is already on a road map that shows its circuits shrinking to an infinitesimally small 15-nanometer scale, according to a presentation given this week at the Intel Developer Forum.
How small is 15 nanometers? One nanometer is the width across a few atoms (while DNA molecules measure about 2 nanometers) so, 15 nanometers would be the width of about 60 atoms.
Processors are typically categorized according to some of the smallest circuits formed during the chip's fabrication process--i.e., 45 and 32 nanometer processes. Currently, the most advanced Intel chips are made on a 32-nanometer process.
At an IDF technical session Tuesday entitled "Intel Atom Processor Based System-on-a-chip (SoC)," Raj Yavatkar, an Intel Fellow and director of SOC architecture, displayed the slide above. One of the interesting aspects of the chart is that it shows the number of Atom chips for certain market segments increasing as the process technology gets smaller.
For instance, where the chart shows only one Atom N (Netbook) series at 45 nanometers, at 22 nanometers it shows four N series processors and at 15 nanometers five N series chips. And even more Z series (handhelds and smartphones) and E series (typically embedded in car-related electronics) at 15 nanometers.
Another interesting aspect of the chart is its complete incomprehensibility. For instance, note that for the "CE" series, there are a measly 2 Atom processors at 45 nm, a jaw-dropping 2 Atom processors at 32 nm, a heart-stopping 3 Atom processors at 22 nm, and a kick-to-the-groin-and-cudgel-to-the-solar-plexus 5 Atom processors at 15 nm.
Posted on 09/25/2010 1:31 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Saturday, 25 September 2010
FBI serves terrorism warrants in Minneapolis, Chicago
By Steve Karnowski for AP:
MINNEAPOLIS - The FBI said it searched eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago as part of a terrorism investigation Friday. Warrants suggest agents were looking for connections between local anti-war activists and terrorist groups in Colombia and the Middle East.
FBI spokesman Steve Warfield told The Associated Press agents served six warrants in Minneapolis and two in Chicago.
"These were search warrants only," Warfield said. "We're not anticipating any arrests at this time. They're seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism."
The homes of longtime Minneapolis anti-war activists Mick Kelly, Jess Sundin and Meredith Aby were among those searched, they said. All three were subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago: Aby on Oct. 5, Sundin on Oct. 12 and Kelly on Oct. 19.
"The FBI is harassing anti-war organizers and leaders, folks who opposed U.S. intervention in the Middle East and Latin America," Kelly said before agents confiscated his cell phone.
Sundin said she believes the searches are connected with the Minnesota Anti-War Committee's opposition to U.S. military aid to Colombia and Israel, as well as its opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The majority of people in the U.S. oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Heck, President Obama ran on a platform of opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think this is not simply a case of "harassing anti-war organizers."
The warrant for Kelly's home, provided by his attorney, sought evidence on travel he did as part of his work for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and information on any travel to Colombia, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria or Israel. The warrant for Sundin's home was similar but included a slightly different list of targeted groups.
Kelly's warrant also said agents sought information on contact with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah. The U.S. government considers those three groups terrorist organizations.
Two groups use the name Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one based in Chicago and one in New York. They split several years ago, and the New York group said it was not targeted.
The website for the Chicago group, which describes itself as a "revolutionary socialist and Marxist-Leninist organization," shows Kelly and Sundin have been affiliated with it. Kelly edits FightBack!, a Minneapolis-based website and newspaper for the group.
Kelly's subpoena also commanded him to bring records he might have relating to the Middle East and Colombia, along with "all records of any payment provided directly or indirectly to Hatam Abudayyeh."
The subpoena did not further identify Abudayyeh, but FightBack has interviewed and carried articles by a Hatam Abudayyeh who's the executive director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network. Abudayyeh did not immediately return a phone message left at his office.
Kelly said he went to Lebanon two years ago for a Palestinian solidarity conference, and he's been on Colombian radio by phone from the U.S.
The supposedly leftist Obama Administration is investigating extreme left wing radicals. This is a welcome surprise.
I'm just glad that it is a pro-jihad group that is being investigated in this case.
In the past, those opposed to jihad and sharia have been targeted, despite there having been no acts of violence by anti-jihad groups or individuals, and no support of terrorist groups. Is the government finally starting to catch on to who represents a threat to the nation, and who doesn't?
One can dream, can't one?
Posted on 09/25/2010 2:03 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Saturday, 25 September 2010
More on this past week's Muslim riots in Jerusalem
In a previous posting I included an AFP report upon recent Muslim riots in Jerusalem.
A comparison of that report with the Jerusalem Post account of the same events, was most instructive, despite even the Jerusalem Post being generally reluctant to refer to the Muslim identity of the rioters. Here it is, therefore, pretty much in full. I have bolded certain passages for emphasis.
'Tense calm prevails in e. Jerusalem after violent riots'.
'Ten injured, eight arrested as violence spreads to Old City; Fatah politician - 'This was a "calculated" plan; police to remain on high alert over weekend...
'Police are on heightened alert in east Jerusalem and the Old City, following a day of intense rioting on Wednesday after a private security guard fatally shot a Silwan resident.
'East Jerusalem was relatively calm on Thursday, and Succot events proceeded as planned throughout the city.
'Police reported a few scattered incidents of rock-throwing by dozens of Arab youth in Silwan and near Issawiya, and one incident where a Jewish resident fired into the air following a confrontation with an Arab resident. Both residents, as well as an Israeli security guard, were detained by the police.
'On Thursday evening, rioters burned rubber tires and set off fire crackers near the Dung Gate. Police dispersed the rioting with tear gas and rubber bullets, and no injuries were reported.
'Police said they would continue to have extra forces in east Jerusalem and the Old City to maintain the peace, as widespread riots could be possible after Friday prayers.
That rather gives away the source and motivation of these 'riots', does it not? Islam, Islam, Islam - CM.
They will also enforce age minimums on male worshipers entering the Temple Mount.
'Male worshipers'. But somehow I suspect that it is male Muslims of military age who are, prudently, being profiled here; not Arab Christians, and not Jews, neither of whom may visibly pray on the Temple Mount, whilst Muslims have not one but two mosques there - CM.
'Ten people were injured on Wednesday, including a 35-year-old Israeli in moderate condition after he was stabbed in the back near the Mount of Olives. Police reported that attendees threw stones at officers, vehicles and buses, causing injuries and damage, and that a police vehicle and several others were set alight near Jerusalem's Old City. Eight people were arrested for disturbing the peace, five at the Temple Mount and three on Derech Haofer, the road that leads from the Mount of Olives Cemetery toward the Old City and back to Silwan.
'Three Molotov cocktails were thrown at police stationed in the neighbourhood. Another four Molotov cocktails were hurled at the Beit Orot Yeshiva near the a-Tur neighbourhood, as well.
'On Wednesday afternoon, riot police entered the Temple Mount to halt rock-throwing onto the Western Wall below.
That is: Muslims on top of the Temple Mount were throwing rocks - which they would have carried up there themselves beforehand, expressly for this purpose - down upon the unarmed Jews praying below them -CM.
'Three buses were destroyed by stoning near the Old City, injuring one of the drivers. The buses were missing all of their windows...
And now for the part of the story which tells us all the things that AFP left out when it wrote ' a Jewish settlement guard shot dead a Palestinian' and 'fighting erupted when Arab residents of the Silwan neighbourhood stoned a security guard in his vehicle and he opened fire' - CM.
"Silwan resident Samr Sirkhan, 32, was killed early Wednesday morning when a security guard in a vehicle encountered trash bins blocking his route and fired his weapon after being bombarded with stones.
"According to an initial investigation, the guard encountered a pre-planned ambush that put his life in danger, prompting him to open fire", Jerusalem police chief Cmdr Aharon Franco said on Wednesday evening. The security company called it a "lynch" situation.
Are we reminded of what now happens, very often, to police and ambulance-men and firemen, when they enter Muslim-dominated suburbs in France, in Denmark, in Sweden? - CM.
'Police found two knives and a screwdriver on the body of the victim, who had a previous criminal history and was said to be associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party. (Hmmm: I wonder why AFP left that out? - CM).
'Ofer Rosenman, manager of the security company, told Channel 2 News that Palestinians (sic: Arab Muslims - CM) surrounded the vehicle. "They threw rocks and Molotov cocktails, so the guard exited his vehicle and shot in the air and then shot at one of the people after he felt that they wanted to kidnap him."
'The security guard is employed by Modi'in Ezrahi (Civilian Intelligence) a company that protects Jews living in east Jerusalem including the Muslim quarter of the Old City. The company belongs to the Ministry of Construction and Housing and its role is to prevent attacks on residents and structures.
'The security guard was arrested and taken for investigation by the police, though he was released later that afternoon on restricted bail, according to police.
And now the Jerusalem Post gives us the Arab Muslim version of events. I must say I take it with a large teaspoon of salt -CM.
'A neighbourhood resident said this was the first time a private guard had fatally shot an Arab resident. In two previous incidents, which happened years ago, the guards shot residents in the legs. 'Before they shoot they need to warn us, they need to notify the people, and they didn't," said a neighbour of the victim.
Note that Muslims imperiously demand that others strictly follow moral rules of engagement which Muslims themselves, under similar circumstances, would never for one moment observe - CM.
"Usually they shoot up to the sky, they don't shoot people in the face".
'Sirkhan was a father of five who sold goats and other animals for a living. His oldest son is 12.
And this fine upstanding family man, this sadly-deceased father of five, was at the fore-front of a Muslim mob that ambushed and attempted to lynch or kidnap a Jew. Unluckily for him, he forgot that the Jew in question was armed, and not a cringing dhimmi forbidden to strike a Muslim even in self-defence - CM.
'There's going to be a huge mess in Silwan, something will happen. They killed a man - what should I do, be quiet? What about his family, his little kids?' asked another neighbor of the victim, who wished to remain anonymous in fear of police reprisal.
And if the Jew the Muslims ambushed had not successfully defended himself, and had instead been stoned to pulp or torn limb from limb, or dragged off alive to be used as a bargaining chip, would this same 'neighbour' have been at all perturbed by the sorrow of the Jew's family? Or would he not, rather, be ululating gleefully and handing round the candy? As for the theatrical claim to be afraid of 'police reprisals'...nonsense. Israel's police are not perfect, but they are nowhere near as bad as the corrupt and brutal police of Muslim countries - CM.
Now for a classic piece of turnspeak: a Muslim accusing the non-Muslims of having done what in fact the Muslims themselves have just done. You will note also the 'conspiracy' mindset, and the complete denial of responsibility.
"This was a calculated, violent act with political goals", Dimitri Diliani, the head of Fatah's Social Development Committee, told the Jerusalem Post as he stood with mourners outside the family's house. "We view it as a right-wing Israeli effort to undermine the peace process and to draw Palestinians into violent action so that the right-wing government will be provided with a window of opportunity to escape into national pressure regarding illegal settlement activities."
Oh, it was a calculated, violent act with political goals, alright: but it was initiated by the Muslims who laid the ambush and mobbed the guard, with a pretty fair idea that he might defend himself, producing one or more 'martyrs' who could then be used as grievance du jour for redoubled jihad - CM.
'Hundreds of men gathered outside of Sirkham's house waiting for the body to be delivered. When the convoy of cars carrying his body arrived around 1 pm on Wednesday, the crowd swelled to more than a thousand to accompany the body to the Mount of Olives cemetery.
'Local Fatah and PA leaders spent much of the past two days trying to calm (should that be, 'theatrically trying to calm'?? - CM) the situation in the east Jerusalem neighbourhoods that had experienced violence after Sirkham's death, saying that violence would only provide Israel with a convenient excuse to end peace negotiations....
In other words; when Slow Jihad is working so well, don't spoil things by engaging in too much Fast Jihad, which tends to alarm the kuffar and put them on their guard. Of course, on the other hand, Fatah and co. may simply be playing a 'bad cop/ good cop' game - first surreptitiously unleash the rage of the Muslim mob, then ostentatiously pose as those who alone can cause it to abate - CM.
Posted on 09/25/2010 1:14 AM by Christina McIntosh
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Breaking: Plane forced to land in Sweden over bomb threat
Another run-of-the-mill plane diversion due to Muslims behaving like Muslims. From the Local in Sweden:
A bomb threat has forced an airplane on its way from Canada to Pakistan with 273 passengers on board to land at Stockholm's Arlanda airport.
"The plane has landed," said Stefan Nylén of the Alanda police to the TT news agency.
Warming up that passive voice, in case it's needed later? "Bombs were detonated. Shots were fired. Lives were lost."
According to the Expressen newspaper, the plane landed around 7.30 am and a total of 15 police patrols are on the scene at Arlanda.
"All airports have a special place for where you can allow a threatened plane to come down. We're blocking off and securing the area around the place so that emergency response teams can get there. We're waiting to make contact with the pilot onboard. At this point the air control officers in the tower have contact with the pilot," said Nylén.
According to the police, the pilot alerted the air control officers at Arlanda that a person on board the flight, according to police, was likely carrying explosives.
"The police's bomb experts are on their way to Arlanda right now," Janne Hedlund of the Stockholm county police told TT.
The plane, a Boeing 777 operated by Pakistan International Airlines, was on its way from Toronto to Karachi, Pakistan.
A police special response team in en rout to Arlanada and police are now monitoring the plane and are in constant contact with the pilot.
The man onboard suspected of carry explosives has not been apprehended, but police now know in which seat the man is sitting and will attempt to establish contact with him.
According to Hedlund the mood on the plane is calm, which may be because passengers haven't been informed about why the plane landed at Arlanda.
The landing came about after Canadian police, through the country's air traffic authorities, contacted the pilot in the air and said that there may be a suspicious person onboard.
"It was a woman who contacted the Canadian police and said there was a man onboard who could have explosives with him. It remains unclear who the woman is," said Hedlund.
The suspect is a Pakistani with a Canadian passport.
I figured it was probably a Canadian. Have to keep an eye on those radical Canadians. You know how those Canadians are.
"He's made it through all security checks and screenings and hasn't come up in any similar type of situation previously," said Hedlund, who refused to release any more information about the man.
UPDATE: Passive voice was not needed. Suspect was released. Hoax was played. Travel was once again disrupted. Travelers were inconvenienced.
Posted on 09/25/2010 2:39 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Like a dog to its vomit, people keep coming back to the idea that thousands of everyday expressions are from the Bible. In his new book Begat: The King James Bible and the English Lanugage, David Crystal sorts the wheat from the chaff. From a review by Christopher "If God Build Not The" Howse in this week's Spectator:
The only thing I can remember about a Tesco advertisement on the television the other night is the line: 'No rest for the wicked.' It was meant ironically, of course. The suggestion was not that wicked people alone shop at Tesco's. Nor was the phrase intended as a pious invocation of the Bible, its source, Isaiah, 57:21.
We think someone, Tony Blair perhaps, 'a man after our own heart', 'the salt of the earth', who goes 'from strength to strength', but then we find his administration 'a two-edged sword', and when it begins to rule with 'a rod of iron', we 'kick against the pricks', and make the former prime minister a 'scapegoat', who if he had to 'reap the whirlwind' would escape by 'the skin of his teeth'.
These are not quotations from the Bible, David Crystal makes clear, for quotations are characterised by being used only in settings where their religious application is relevant, and they maintain their original sense while sticking closely to the language of the translator. An example of a quotation from the Bible is 'Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son.' A biblical idiom that has entered the language, by contrast, will also be used by non-believers, very likely with a change of meaning, and it will frequently be adapted, often for humorous effect.
That is where 'No rest for the wicked' comes in, for Isaiah says, in the language of the Authorised Version: 'There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.' The sentence has been adapted so that (in my idiolect, and perhaps in yours) it takes the form 'No peace for the wicked.' Yet for Tesco's ad-men and the great majority of English-speakers, rest has supplanted peace. No one knows why.
In Begat, the indefatigable linguistician David Crystal first asks himself whether it is true, as many say, that 'No book has had greater influence on the English language' than the 399-year-old Authorised Version of the Bible, or the 'King James Bible' as he chooses to call it, in conformity with American usage, though he was born in Ulster and lives in North Wales. In answer, although he discusses the spelling of 'Shibboleth' (in earlier English versions given as 'Sebolech' or even 'Thebolech'), he generally discounts influences in grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation as either too tenuous or too hard to trace, and chooses to focus on idioms. But how many idioms, exactly, is the AV Bible responsible for?
It does not spoil his story to reveal that Professor Crystal's conclusion is 257. That answer depends, of course, on how you count them, but by applying the same criteria to Shakespeare (so stuffed with quotations), he reaches a total for him of only about 100. Yet it would be quite wrong, in his view, to claim for the Bible 'thousands' of influential expressions, as some careless talkers have done.
Of those 257 idioms, only 18 cases take the exact form found in the AV. In 37 cases some unknown process has rewritten the AV antecedent: a fine example is 'fly in the ointment'. In seven cases, the form of the modern idiom may be supplied by a different translation, such as the Catholic Douai-Rheims version of 1582 (New Testament) and 1610 (Old); an example is 'the way of all flesh'. Of the 196 cases left, the form of words in the AV is paralleled by an earlier translation (160 in the Geneva version of 1560; 40 in the 14th-century Wycliffite translations). Crystal gives 38 pages of tables setting out the occurrence of his 257 idioms in six different versions. This is more fun than it sounds.
But is David Crystal saying anything new? How can he, when, as any fule kno, there is nothing new under the sun?
By the way, as Americanisms go, "King James Bible" is not much of a shibboleth.
Posted on 09/25/2010 7:15 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 25 September 2010
New Zealand - Islamic community demand apology
From News Talk ZB, TVNZ and Stuff.
Prime Minister John Key has been asked to reprimand building minister Maurice Williamson for recent jokes he made about Muslims. Williamson last month made jokes about Muslims at a building awards ceremony in Auckland. He also teased the MC Oscar Kightley, the Samoan star of Sione's Wedding, asking if his "papers were in order".
The rest of his routine included jokes such as: "What is the difference between Muslims and Kiwis? Muslims get to commit adultery and get stoned, Kiwis get stoned and commit adultery."
And he used two forms of the Muslim religion to talk about the weather: "Shi'ite in the morning and Sunni in the afternoon".
Kightley told the newspaper the remark made to him was "a bit fresh" but he wasn't offended. He said the audience enjoyed Williamson's performance and he appeared "in fine fettle".
Prime Minister John Key downplayed the remarks and said Williamson was probably being flippant. "Sometimes humour can backfire a little bit and I think this is an example of that, but as a general rule everyone knows that Maurice has got a strong sense of humour and they accept it comes with the minister in question."
The Federation of Islamic Associations New Zealand (FIANZ) wrote to Key demanding an apology fom Williamson more than a week ago but had not had a response, The Dominion Post reported.
"We brought it to the notice of the PM saying that what was said was highly inappropriate and the minister should be reprimanded and apologise," president Anwar Ghani said. He says there's been no apology for Mr Williamson, and he needs to be told it's not on to mock a minority.
Mr Key's spokesman said the letter had been received by Mr Key's office. Asked if Mr Williamson would be made to apologise, he said: "Our correspondence process involves considering, and then drafting a response, and then replying to the author of the letter.That is what will occur in this instance."
Posted on 09/25/2010 7:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 25 September 2010
On second thoughts, perhaps the Authorized Version was authorized by its authors, just as houses get burglarized by burglars.
Posted on 09/25/2010 9:53 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Imam Rauf Off Mic
Posted on 09/25/2010 10:14 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 25 September 2010
You Can't Say That
Christopher Caldwell writes in the Weekly Standard.
September was a turning point in European attitudes towards immigration. On September 14, the French Senate followed the National Assembly in banning the public wearing of the burka. Before the dust had settled, France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was already embroiled in controversy on a wholly different matter: France's expulsion of homeless Romanian gypsies, or les Roms, which European commissioner Viviane Reding attacked as a "disgrace" that reminded her of the Second World War. There was broad public support for Sarkozy when he suggested at a dinner at the Elysée Palace that Reding welcome the gypsies to her native Luxembourg, if she felt that strongly about it.
Last week, the Sweden Democrats, a xenophobic party with far-right antecedents, took 20 seats in Sweden's Riksdag, after airing an extraordinary ad. It explained that all politics is about setting budgetary priorities and then showed an old lady pushing a walker getting trampled by burqa-wearing women with baby carriages running to the front of a welfare line.
But the most important development, over the long run, will have been the publication in Germany of a taboo-breaking book which touched on immigrant themes. It is by Thilo Sarrazin, a member (but not for long, as it turned out) of the Bundesbank's board of governors. Sarrazin's book is Deutschland schafft sich ab (roughly, "The Abolition of Germany"). The controversy it has unleashed resembles the one that America had in 1994 over Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein's book The Bell Curve. That was a book about the role of intelligence in society that wound up being read as a book on race. Sarrazin's is a book about Germany's economic future that detractors have cast as a book about how immigration is ruining Germany's "stock." The widespread criticism the book has received from establishment politicians has not blocked-and may even have spurred-its success. It has been a number-one bestseller for a month. Stores have been sold out for days at a time.
I have not yet read the book, and won't judge its arguments until I do. But genetics is distant from the heart of the book?. It is mainly an account of the actuarial nightmare that confronts the German welfare state, owing to a shrinking working-age population and a leveling off of productivity gains. Mass immigration has been an economic failure, Sarrazin believes, and immigrants from Muslim countries provide-for cultural reasons, it must be stressed-relatively poor raw material for assimilating into German society.
Sarrazin is a serious economist, with a real expertise in budgets and labor markets. He is also a Social Democrat who looks at Germany's highly developed welfare state as the great achievement of its postwar governments. All Social Democrats do, but like American Democrats they are split into two tendencies. There are those who believe that people of the left should demand maximal welfare benefits, to be limited only by countervailing political pressures. Many of these members have lately bolted to join former East German Communists in the Left party (Die Linke). There are also Social Democrats who believe that the first task of politicians is to ensure a stable financial basis for the benefits they dish out. Sarrazin was the leading voice of that latter tendency in the Berlin city-state government, the German equivalent of a Robert Rubin or Larry Summers.
Sarrazin was also a bit of a freelance intellectual. He did not mince words, as most postwar Germans politicians do. In a multicultural city, he laid the blame for a lot of budgetary ills at multiculturalism's door. It was convenient for the city's left-leaning mayor, Klaus Wowereit, to have him exiled to the world of high finance in Frankfurt. But Sarrazin did not keep his counsel when he took his Bundesbank seat in 2009. Interviewed in the magazine Lettre International a year ago, he opined, "I don't have respect for a person who lives off the state while expressing contempt for it, who doesn't plan for the education of his children in a rational way, and is constantly producing new little Kopftuchmädchen"-a coinage of his own that can be translated as "headscarf girls." Sarrazin was demoted to a less glamorous portfolio at the bank. He began writing his book to document what he was talking about. (As if lack of documentation were his failing.)
Continue reading here.
Posted on 09/25/2010 10:35 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 25 September 2010
He Has A Canadian Passport. But In What Other Sense Is This Man A Canadian?
From a story about the Pakistani airline forced to land in Stockholm because of worries about terrorism:
"Canadian authorities contacted the plane while it was in Swedish airspace, Hedlund said.
The man is from Pakistan and has a Canadian passport, Hedlund said.
Authorities do not know whether the man has explosives, what kind of explosives could be in his possession or whether he knows the person who notified authorities, Hedlund said."
Posted on 09/25/2010 10:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Why Should Muslim Iraqis Regard Pre-Islamic Art As Anything Other Than Loot?
En Irak, le pillage des objets d'art continue
C'est l'histoire d'un trésor inestimable, perdu par négligence et retrouvé, lundi 20 septembre, presque par hasard. C'est l'histoire d'un pays dévasté, embourbé depuis vingt ans dans d'incommensurables tragédies, et qui se montre aujourd'hui, plus de sept années après l'invasion anglo-américaine, incapable de sauver un patrimoine historique qui est aussi celui de la plus ancienne civilisation humaine.
En avril 2003, les soldats américains viennent de prendre l'Irak. Chaos général. Des jours entiers, ils laissent, littéralement sous leurs yeux et ceux des journalistes, des hordes de pillards dévaster, entre autres, tous les musées de Bagdad. Le plus riche, le plus important, est le Musée national, situé sur une grande avenue au coeur de la capitale. En quelques jours, au moins 15 000 pièces d'archéologie, des vases et des colliers babyloniens, des bronzes akkadiens, des poteries et des coutelas de Perse ancienne, des tablettes d'argile sumériennes constellées de textes cunéiformes - la plus ancienne écriture humaine connue - disparaissent.
Sept ans après, environ un tiers du butin manquant a été retrouvé. Beaucoup d'objets ont été détruits. D'autres ont rejoint les coffres de collectionneurs privés. Des réseaux s'organisent, la marchandise est revendue aux quatre coins du monde. On en trouve en Europe, aux Etats-Unis, au Moyen- Orient, en Amérique latine...
Toutes ces pièces ne viennent pas des musées. L'Irak possède 12 000 sites archéologiques connus et, sur ces lieux souvent éloignés des villes, le pillage se poursuit de façon systématique et organisée. Au moins 32 000 pièces - simple estimation - ont disparu des sites. Pour récupérer ses trésors, l'Irak a demandé l'aide internationale. Interpol, les polices et douaniers du monde organisé sont en alerte. Ceux des Etats-Unis ont saisi et restitué à Bagdad plus de 1 500 pièces depuis 2003.
Au printemps 2008, 638 statues, fers de lances, verreries et poteries, certaines datant du IIIe millénaire avant notre ère, sont renvoyés en Irak sur ordre du généralissime David Petraeus, aujourd'hui patron des forces américaines en Afghanistan. Photographiées, datées, répertoriées et dûment empaquetées par des experts à New York, les pièces sont livrées, affirme le général américain, "au bureau du premier ministre Nouri Al-Maliki".
Mais le Musée national n'en a pas la trace, et les réclamera pendant deux ans. "On a cherché partout, on ne les a pas", affirment l'un après l'autre les officiels. "Que les Américains nous donnent la preuve qu'ils ont bien livré ces 638 objets", s'énervait encore, le mois dernier, un porte-parole de M. Maliki.
Le 6 septembre, nouvelle livraison américaine d'objets, saisis cette fois directement au ministère des affaires étrangères irakien. Parmi les trésors, une statue sans tête du roi Entémène de Lagash, volée au Musée et datée de 4 400 ans, une paire de boucles d'oreilles en or de Nemrod et 362 tablettes d'écriture cunéiforme. Il y a aussi des objets plus modernes, une kalachnikov chromée aux initiales de Saddam Hussein - trophée de guerre saisi sur un soldat en permission. Une autre, couverte d'or, confisquée par une unité de l'US Army, n'a toujours pas été restituée.
Mais la dernière livraison américaine a relancé les questions : où sont donc les 638 pièces renvoyées en 2008 ? Interrogée dimanche 19 septembre dans son bureau du Musée national par Le Monde, la jeune directrice voilée de l'institution, Amira Eldan Al-Dahab, avoue son impuissance. "Le premier ministre a constitué une commission spéciale pour les retrouver. Jusqu'ici, pas de nouvelles", regrette-t-elle. Au premier étage, nous montons voir Abbas K. Abbas, patron du département de recherche des antiquités disparues. Le sympathique quinquagénaire moustachu ne cache pas son désarroi. Il est chargé de scanner la presse mondiale et le maximum de catalogues des salles d'enchères pour essayer de repérer les ventes d'objets volés dans son pays. Pour effectuer ce travail de titan, il a trois employés (un seul lit l'anglais), deux ordinateurs antédiluviens et "pas de budget" pour se rendre sur le lieu d'une vente suspecte.
Sur les 10 000 hommes, dont le recrutement avait été annoncé en fanfare en 2008 pour constituer une "police du patrimoine", initiée par les Américains, moins de 200 ont été embauchés. "Pas de budget." Ladite police campe à Bagdad, dans des bureaux... La négligence d'un gouvernement qui a certes une énorme tâche de reconstruction sur les bras mais qui dispose quand même d'un budget annuel de 60 milliards de dollars est ici patente.
Pour les 638 objets perdus entre New York et Bagdad, le "hasard" fera bien les choses. Moins de 24 heures après notre visite, Mme Al Dahab nous annonce, triomphante, une conférence de presse avec le ministre du tourisme et antiquités, Qahtan al Jibouri.
"Nous les avons retrouvés !", annonce celui-ci. Faute d'un étiquetage approprié, les boîtes contenant les précieuses reliques "avaient été remisées dans un entrepôt" de matériel de cuisine, s'excuse le ministre.
"Un grand jour pour le Musée !", dira le directeur des antiquités et du patrimoine, Qaïs Hussein Rachid.
Posted on 09/25/2010 11:07 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 September 2010
'Harassment' of British Muslims
The pro-Islam, anti-Semitic Independent is concerned about "racial" profiling. Racial profiling of Arabs, Somalis, Pakistanis, Iranians and white converts? And for no reason at all?
Hundreds of British Muslims leaving and returning from holidays abroad face harassment and intimidation by security forces when they pass through UK airports and seaports, an investigation by The Independent has found.
One man interrogated by police over his British credentials was asked whether he watched Dad's Army, while another was questioned over the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.
New figures seen by this newspaper show that the number of innocent people stopped and questioned at airports and other points of entry to the UK has doubled in the last four years, raising serious concerns about racial profiling. Many British Muslims have cancelled future vacations rather than risk being questioned and held for up to nine hours by anti-terrorist officers
How frustrating not to be able to go for "vacations" - why the Americanism? - in Afghanistan or Pakistan. And that thirteen-year-old will be an old maid if she has to stay at school much longer.
Extra security measures at airports and seaports are a direct result of Islamic jihad. If Muslims must pay some of the price for this, then so be it. Since Muslims are more likely than non-Muslims to be unemployed, it is still the Infidels who foot most of the bill. And if Muslims resent the inconvenience, they should direct their resentment at the Islamic doctrines that have caused it.
Posted on 09/25/2010 4:33 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 25 September 2010
A nice coinage by Thilo Sarrazin, meaning "headscarf girls". But NER's own Esmerelda Weatherwax was there many years ago with "hijabette".
Posted on 09/25/2010 4:51 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Bill Ayers, Emeritus status, and Barack Obama
Having twice been honored with Emeritus status (Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion Emeritus at Florida State University and President Emeritus of the University of Bridgeport), I was more than a little interested to learn that the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Chicago had unanimously voted to reject former weatherman Bill Ayeys' petition for Emeritus status.
Emeritus status is an intangible. It carries no financial advantage over normal retirement. In some institutions, it does carry the right to office space, if available. In most institutions, it grants the holder library privileges. In my case that was enormously important. Although the University of Bridgeport has superlative digital data resources, when I was working on my book, Jihad and Genocide, at home,something was blocking my wireless access to the UB data resources. Since I had Emeritus status at FSU, I had access to the excellent data bases available at the FSU Library. It made all the difference in my research.
Apart from library privileges, Emeritus status is public confirmation by the faculty and trustees of a university that one has honorably fulfilled one's calling, that the person so honored has served his/her university well. It is a source of quiet pride that life's irreversible course has been well spent.
I never could understand how Bill Ayers could have gotten to be a tenured professor in the first place. A founding member of the ultra-radical Weatherman organization, he told a NYT correspondent in a story published on September 11, 2001 of all days, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." He never abandoned his radical ideology. At one time, his wife Bernadine Dohm, was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. This year he was at the border of Gaza on the Egyptian side as an organizer of the Free Gaza group that is seeking to organize another flotilla to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Perhaps family connections helped him to get his start in a respectable occupation in Chicago. His father Thomas G. Ayers, is a former Chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University, the Chicago Symphony, and has served on the boards of many other public and private institutions.
During the 2008 presidential campaign the relationship between Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill Ayers became a matter of controversy. As he did with Jeremiah Wright, Rashid Khalidi, and Edward Said, Obama and his spokespersons attempted to minimize or explain away Obama's radical contacts. Given a sympathetic media elite, they were largely successful.
Ayers' radical past finally caught up with him on September 24, 2010, when the trustees of the University of Illinois declined unanimously to grant him emeritus status. This must have been a shock to him. Normally, motions to confer emeritus status do not come before boards of trustees if there is any likelihood that they will be rejected, but Ayers had dedicated his book Prairie Fire to a list of more than two hundred people-mostly revolutionaries-including Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Kennedy's killer. Robert's son, Christopher, is the current chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Ttrustees. In explaining his position, Kennedy said that he could not confer the honor on " a man whose body of work includes a book dedicated in part to the man who murdered my father."
It has been easy for all too many people to dismiss Ayers' radical record, and even his admitted pride in bombing the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol Building, and a New York Police Station, as youthful indiscretions. Thomas Frank, who used to be Wall Street Journal's liberal columnist, wrote a column, "My Friend Bill Ayers" in which he praised Ayers as ""model citizen" and a scholar whose "work is esteemed by colleagues of different political viewpoints." (WSJ, October 15, 2008).
Finally, Christopher Kennedy put the career of Bill Ayers in proper perspective. It is altogether likely that, when Ayers was developing his dedication list for Prairie Fire, he didn't give much thought to Sirhan Sirhan. Perhaps all he knew was that Sirhan had killed a distinguished American public servant whom the angry Palestinian believed deserved death because of his pro-Israel sympathies. (We didn't use the term jihad much in those days.) For Christopher Kennedy, however, Sirhan was not just one name in two hundred. Kennedy was being asked to bestow a token of academic distinction on the professor who had praised the man who murdered his father, and that he could not do.
Some things can't be swept under the rug. Obama and his campaign tried. CNN and the New York Times concluded that Obama did not have a close relationship with Ayers, but, as we suggest above, it isn't just Ayers that Obama has had to explain away. There are simply too many of them. He has a way of dismissing the significance of each of them, but cumulatively they add up and may explain the very large number of Americans who report that they do not know who or what their president really is.
Posted on 09/25/2010 3:41 PM by Richard L. Rubenstein
Saturday, 25 September 2010
None So Blind?
Posted on 09/25/2010 7:53 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 September 2010
A Musical Interlude: Please Don't Mention It (Al Bowlly, Anona Winn)
Posted on 09/25/2010 7:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 September 2010
More On Malware And Iran
From The New York Times:
Iran Fights Malware Attacking Computers
WASHINGTON - The Iranian government agency that runs the country's nuclear facilities, including those the West suspects are part of a weapons program, has reported that its engineers are trying to protect their facilities from a sophisticated computer worm that has infected industrial plants across Iran.
The agency, the Atomic Energy Organization, did not specify whether the worm had already infected any of its nuclear facilities, including Natanz, the underground enrichment site that for several years has been a main target of American and Israeli covert programs.
But the announcement raised suspicions, and new questions, about the origins and target of the worm, Stuxnet, which computer experts say is a far cry from common computer malware that has affected the Internet for years. A worm is a self-replicating malware computer program. A virus is malware that infects its target by attaching itself to programs or documents.
Stuxnet, which was first publicly identified several months ago, is aimed solely at industrial equipment made by Siemens that controls oil pipelines, electric utilities, nuclear facilities and other large industrial sites. While it is not clear that Iran was the main target - the infection has also been reported in Indonesia, Pakistan, India and elsewhere - a disproportionate number of computers inside Iran appear to have been struck, according to reports by computer security monitors.
Given the sophistication of the worm and its aim at specific industrial systems, many experts believe it is most probably the work of a state, rather than independent hackers. The worm is able to attack computers that are disconnected from the Internet, usually to protect them; in those cases an infected USB drive is plugged into a computer. The worm can then spread itself within a computer network, and possibly to other networks.
The semiofficial Mehr news agency in Iran on Saturday quoted Reza Taghipour, a top official of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, as saying that "the effect and damage of this spy worm in government systems is not serious" and that it had been "more or less" halted.
But another Iranian official, Mahmud Liai of the Ministry of Industry and Mines, was quoted as saying that 30,000 computers had been affected, and that the worm was "part of the electronic warfare against Iran."
ISNA, another Iranian news agency, had reported Friday that officials from Iran's atomic energy agency had been meeting in recent days to discuss how to remove the Stuxnet worm, which exploits some previously unknown weaknesses in Microsoft's Windows software. Microsoft has said in recent days that it is fixing those vulnerabilities.
It is extraordinarily difficult to trace the source of any sophisticated computer worm, and nearly impossible to determine for certain its target.
But the Iranians have reason to suspect they are high on the target list: in the past, they have found evidence of sabotage of imported equipment, notably power supplies to run the centrifuges that are used to enrich uranium at Natanz. The New York Times reported in 2009 that President George W. Bush had authorized new efforts, including some that were experimental, to undermine electrical systems, computer systems and other networks that serve Iran's nuclear program, according to current and former American officials.
The program is among the most secret in the United States government, and it has been accelerated since President Obama took office, according to some American officials. Iran's enrichment program has run into considerable technical difficulties in the past year, but it is not clear whether that is because of the effects of sanctions against the country, poor design for its centrifuges, which it obtained from Pakistan, or sabotage.
"It is easy to look at what we know about Stuxnet and jump to the conclusion that it is of American origin and Iran is the target, but there is no proof of that," said James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and one of the country's leading experts on cyberwar intelligence. "We may not know the real answer for some time."
Based on what he knows of Stuxnet, Mr. Lewis said, the United States is "one of four or five places that could have done it - the Israelis, the British and the Americans are the prime suspects, then the French and Germans, and you can't rule out the Russians and the Chinese."
President Obama has talked extensively about developing better cyberdefenses for the United States, to protect banks, power plants, telecommunications systems and other critical infrastructure. He has said almost nothing about the other side of the cybereffort, billions of dollars spent on offensive capability, much of it based inside the National Security Agency.
The fact that the worm is aimed at Siemens equipment is telling: the company's control systems are used around the world, but have been spotted in many Iranian facilities, say officials and experts who have toured them. Those include the new Bushehr nuclear power plant, built with Russian help.
But Bushehr is considered by
experts to be virtually no help to Iran in its suspected weapons program; there is more concern about the low-enriched uranium produced at Natanz, which could, with a year or more of additional processing, be converted to bomb fuel.
Posted on 09/25/2010 10:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald