These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 28, 2012.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
While Everyone Cheers for the Sunni Muslims Who Intend To Become Top Dogs in Syria, Nobody Lifts A Finger to Stop Papua's Indigenous Non-Muslims From Being Crushed By Sunni-Muslim-Dominated Colonial Overlord, Indonesia
From the 7.30 Report on Australia's ABC, Hayden Cooper and Lisa Main reporting.
'West Papua Resistance Losing Fight For Freedom'.
'Resistance leaders in the restive Indonesian region of West Papua say they are losing their struggle for independence as authorities step up a decades-long campaign of abuse and intimidation.
'Restive'. Usually, these days, describes a region where an aggressive Muslim minority is pursuing jihad against the circumambient Infidels, or against fellow Muslims whom they deem insufficiently Islamic. In this case, however - as was the case in East Timor for decades, and as was the case in Sudan for some fifty years and more - a powerful majority-Muslim and Muslim-dominated state has seized a region to which it had no real historical claim, and whose non-Muslim population is ethnically and linguistically distinct from itself, and is proceeding to strip it of its resources and subdue or wipe out the native inhabitants, who are desperately trying to put up a fight. - CM
'After almost 50 years of indonesian rule, the reins of control are being pulled tighter than ever, with human rights groups saying the frequency and ferocity of abuse is on the rise.
'There are even claims that an elite counter-terrorism unit, one that has been funded and trained by Australia (why? why? why? no non-Muslim entity should ever assist any Muslim entity to become a better-equipped, better-armed and more efficient fighting force - CM) is operating in West Papua where it is accused of targeting and killing independence leaders.
I wouldn't be surprised if this is so. For Muslims, 'terrorism' = anything non-Muslims do to defy or resist Muslim dominance. Resisting Jihad = Terrorism. Jihadists, on the other hand, are merely 'opening' the way for the 'peace' of Islam.. - CM
'The ABC's Hayden Cooper went undercover in the secretive Indonesian provinces, where he discovered a police state operating with impunity.
Kudos to Mr Cooper for getting in, and for getting word out. - CM
'The sheer scale of the police and miiitary presence is obvious from the moment of arrival in the ruggedly beautiful region - a treasure trove of mineral wealth and a place where two vibrant cultures meet and struggle for the right to rule.
No. A place where the easternmost edge of the Ummah, the Empire of Islam, which John Quincy Adams once inimitably defined as 'desolation and delusion' (for more on what Islam does to every place it touches, and its effect on Indonesia in particular, see V S Naipaul, 'Among the Believers' and 'Beyond Belief') is relentlessly absorbing and annihilating a group of small, ill-armed, Christian tribespeople. - CM.
'Police and military outposts dotting roads at almost every kilometre are augmented by an unmarked, plain-clothed brigade of motorbikes - many of them allegedly police - and a coordinated web of police informants.
'Mostly Indonesian (and, I would hazard the guess, mostly Muslim - CM) the informants could be shop owners, taxi drivers, hotel workers who watch the independence groups and pass information back up the chain to police for money.
'Andreas Harsono, from Human Rights Watch, says West Papuans live in a constant state of fear.
I am reminded of the writings of the Muslim Sufi 'saint', Sirhindi, who in the 17th century wrote that the dhimmis - non-Muslims living within a Muslim state - must be kept 'terrified and trembling'. - CM
"The Papuan people live in fear, in a constant fear, because of how many human rights abuses they suffered over the past five decades", he said.
'And the heavy security presence keeps the closest eye on the independence leaders, including Victor Yeimo, the chairman of the West Papua national committee (KNBP).
'Speaking from a safe-house in the capital, Mr Yeimo told 7.30 his organisation was peaceful and simply pushing for a referendum on Papuan sovereignty.
Muslim-majority Muslim-domianted Indonesia - having lost their grip on non-Muslim East Timor after just such a referendum, and having then also seen majority non-Muslim South Sudan, vote overwhelmingly to secede from the abusive Muslim colonial entity which had been robbing and murdering them for decades - is hardly likely to grant such a referendum unless at least some of the world's strongest non-Muslim states were to apply some serious pressure. - CM
"No we don't use violence. We believe that in the open era, we believe one of the best methods we have to use is civil power now", he said.
"I don't th ink about how Indonesian they will attack me or target me, I don't feel about that - I don't think about that. What I'm thinking is how I can bring my people to freedom".
'But the Indonesian security forces are determined to crush that struggle.
'At the Papuan National Congress last October, Indonesian forces took the extraordinary step of opening fire on the gathering, killing three people.
'Extraordinary'? Perhaps in a major town; but who knows what has been done out of sight and out of mind in many a remote Christian village...- CM
'Human rights activists say the security forces responsible for abuses like these included the elite counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, a unit funded and trained by Australia.
Why? In God's name, why? - CM
'It is now operating in West Papua, where it is accused of targeting and killing independence leaders.
'Violence like this stretches back to the 1960s, when the Dutch colonial rulers pulled out.
'At the time Papuans faced a choice - independence or Indonesia - and amid widespread reports of beatings and intimidation, 1,000 elders specially selected by Jakarta voted for the latter.
Force and fraud. The usual means by which the Ummah seizes turf from Infidels. - CM
'To this day Papuans consider it a travesty, and they have fought to overturn it, with Amnesty International estimating that at least 100,000 Papuans have been killed since the 1960s.
Given that this conflict involves a Muslim-dominated colonial state determined to crush a non-Muslim population, I would hazard the guess that it's a good deal more than 100 000 people who have been killed. - CM
'Extra-judicial killings in Papua still happen frequently - in 2010 alone, the Asian Human Rights Commission reported a dozen cases, and video of torture and abuse at the hands of Indonesian forces is common.
'The death toll from the past three months alone speaks for itself, with five KNBP activists targetted and killed by police or military forces.
'And just eight weeks ago the Indonesian army went on a violent rampage, attacking a town near Wamena in the country's Highlands.
"That day the army soldiers came and punished us", one witness said. "I got geaten and had to have six stitches in my hand also 20 stiitches in my head. They beat me in the legs and now it is hard to walk. That's how they punished us."
'The witnesses say 300 soldiers destroyed the village in retaliation for the death of one of their own, injuring dozens of villagers, killing one man and burning down 87 houses.
"My house was burnt down by the battalion and I still haven't been compensated" another witness said.
"This house was built when I was a child. Now we are living in huts, in tents".
'Andreas Harsono sees it as an all-too-common example of the military acting without boundary.
"The army says they are investigating the soldiers", he said.
"But from what I know, the witnesses, survivors, the people whose houses were burnt, none of them, especially the prominent ones, the most articulate ones, none of them say they have ever been questioned by military police over the rampage.
"So these are things happening over and over again in Papua."
'Despite the overwhelming odds, Mr Yeimo says he is determined to keep fighting, even if it means his name could soon be added to the list of the dead.
"That is the consequence of the struggle", he said. "We know that we will die, we will be shot by them. It's not a rare thing, it's not a new story, we have been killed by them - many of our elder have already been killed by Indonesia.
"But we will struggle for freedom, because if not me, who? There's no way - we will struggle, we will fight or we will be lost from this country. We know it".
No dhimmi he..- CM
Posted on 08/28/2012 1:02 AM by Christina McIntosh
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
St Rachel of the Put-Upon Palestinians
Dozy bint of the decade Rachel Corrie had only herself to blame. At best stupid and at worst wicked, this terrorist-enabler is no loss. Her death raised the average IQ in the Middle East, although, like other "human shields", she had just enough brain cells to choose a soft target for her "activism". Brendan O'Neill in The Telegraph:
A court in Israel has ruled that the death of Rachel Corrie, a Palestinian solidarity activist who was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah in 2003, was accidental rather than being caused by the negligence of the Israeli army. The ruling will not please Corrie’s supporters. Over the past decade they have elevated her to saintly status, turning her into a paragon of virtue who wanted merely to “protect Palestinians” from Israel’s raging war machine. They have long depicted her death as a simple case of “murder” by the marauding forces of the Israeli state, which apparently is not only happy to kill uppity Palestinians but also virtuous white Americans who want only to “help Palestinians”. This secular beatification of Corrie, who has effectively been turned into St Rachel of the Put-Upon Palestinians, captures everything that is wrong with modern-day solidarity with Palestine.
Corrie’s cheerleaders – which includes actor Alan Rickman, who turned her writings into a hit play – seem unaware of how much their sanctification of Corrie echoes the old crusading Christian desire to save foreigners from wickedness. Corrie is treated as a uniquely good Westerner whose sole motivation was to “save” Palestinians, especially Palestinian children, from what Corrie herself described as Israel’s attempt to “erase” them. So one writer praises Corrie’s purity of soul, the fact that she eschewed “having a good time experimenting with drugs, booze and sex”, and even turned her back on her “Ivy League University”, in the name of travelling thousands of miles and “giving her life to save Palestinian homes and families”. Here, Corrie is turned into a kind of Christ-like figure, rejecting the shallow joys of Western privilege in favour of venturing into the desert to “give her life” for others.
Corrie is a “blessed and generous spirit”, we are told. “She died for them”; she committed a “sublime sacrifice”. “I thought people like Rachel Corrie only existed in books and movies”, writers gush. This “human shield” for Palestinian families was “brimming with idealism” and a determination to halt Israel’s “chronic, insidious genocide”. Part-Oskar Schindler, part Rudyard Kipling, part Jesus of Nazareth, Corrie is depicted as a blessed individual who gave herself up in order to save the less fortunate, the destitute and the downtrodden of “Over There”, from the brutal forces of repression.
The transformation of Corrie’s life and death into a black-and-white morality tale – featuring a well-off white American who was pure of heart, poor little brown people who have no hope, and a Zionist entity that is supremely evil – sums up the boneheadedness of modern-day Palestinian solidarity. There was a time when supporting Palestine meant looking upon Palestinians as a people capable of governing their own lives, even of running their own state, free from the meddling or bossing-about of outsiders. Now, Palestinian solidarity is all about treating Palestinians as the ultimate victims, as helpless, hapless, sad-eyed creatures who need decent Westerners, ideally well-educated ones brought up in Amnesty-supporting households, to come over and “save” them, in a not dissimilar way to how Bible-wielding white folk once tried to saved the savages of Africa.
Palestinian solidarity has become creepily anthropological. It increasingly treats Palestinians, not as a people who simply need more political independence, but as a threatened tribe that must be protected from further harm by “human shields” from the enlightened west. Decked out in Arafat-style keffiyehs (a PC form of blacking up), and possessed of a conviction that it falls to white-skinned, iPhone-armed westerners to expose Israel’s “genocidal” crimes to the world media, solidarity activists who travel to Palestinian territories are becoming more and more like secular versions of the crusaders of old. They are effectively going to Palestine to find themselves, to try to give meaning to their potentially shallow lives through imagining that they can “save” an entire people and halt a “genocide” by standing in front of a tank or writing some blog posts about how tragic are the lives of cute Palestinian children. It is a peculiar form of solidarity that reduces an entire foreign people to the level of child-like victims who need the likes of St Rachel to save them.
O'Neill misses an important point, namely that "Palestinians" are an invented people who have never had a state, and will never be capable of joining the modern world as long as they follow Islam. "Political independence" for "Palestine" is not the aim of Jihad, although if it entails cutting off Western aid and leaving "Palestinians" and other Arab Muslims to stew in their own juice, then bring it on.
Posted on 08/28/2012 5:29 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
What Muslim Turks In Germany Ardently Await: "Today Germany, Tomorrow The World"
Germany: Turkish Muslims Hope for More Muslims Than Christians
by Soeren Kern
August 27, 2012
Integration may even be unattainable if the younger generation of Turkish-Germans increasingly continues to embrace Islam.
Nearly half of all Turks living in Germany say they hope there will be more Muslims than Christians in Germany in the future, according to a new survey of Turkish-German mores and attitudes.
The study also shows that Islam is becoming an increasingly important component of the value structure of Turks in Germany, especially among the younger generation of Turkish-Germans, who hold religious views more radical than their elders' views are.
The findings have filled many Germans with a sense of foreboding and are certain to contribute to the ongoing debate (here, here and here) about Muslim integration (or, rather, lack of it) in Germany.
The 103-page study, "German-Turkish Life and Values" (abridged version in German here), was jointly produced by the Berlin-based INFO polling institute and the Antalya, Turkey-based Liljeberg research firm, and was released to the public on August 17, as a follow-up to similar studies conducted in 2009 and 2010. It aims to determine just how satisfied the estimated 2.7 million Turks living in Germany are with their life there.
Of those Turks surveyed, 27% were born in Germany (77% of 15- to 29-year-olds were born in Germany) and 39% have lived in Germany for at least 30 years. Only 15% of Turks, however, consider Germany to be their home -- compared to 21% in 2009, and 18% in 2010.
The survey also shows that labor migration is no longer the main reason why Turks immigrate to Germany; only one in five respondents said they had gone to Germany to look for work. Rather, the most important reason Turks gave for immigrating to Germany was to marry a partner who lived there. More than half of the Turkish women interviewed said they moved to Germany for that reason.
In the area of language, the survey shows a major generational gap. Overall, only 37% of Turkish-origin men and 27% of Turkish-origin women speak better German than Turkish. Nevertheless, in the 15 to 29 age category, 75% of those surveyed speak better German than Turkish. Meanwhile, those in the 30 to 49 age category, 71% of those surveyed speak better Turkish than German.
While 91% of Turks surveyed believe that Turkish-origin children need to learn German from an early age, 90% also say that children absolutely must learn Turkish. A growing number of Turks (53%) believe that German teachers of Turkish-origin children need to understand the Turkish language to be able to help children having difficulty with the German language.
In the area of hypothetical voting patterns, the vast majority (80%) of Turks surveyed say they would vote for leftwing or far-leftwing parties if they were able to vote in Germany. 50% said they would vote for the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), 26% would vote for the leftwing Green party and 5% would vote for the far-left Die Linke. Only 13% would vote for the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU).
Almost all Turks surveyed (95%) said it is absolutely necessary for them to preserve their Turkish identity; in a sign indicating that efforts at integration have a long way to go, 62% said they would rather be around Turks than around Germans (in the 2010 survey, it was 40%). Only 39% of Turks said that Germans were trustworthy.
At the same time, 87% of those surveyed said they believe that German society should make a great effort to be considerate of the customs and traditions of Turkish immigrants.
Of those Turks surveyed, 72% believe that Islam is the only true religion (in the 2010 survey, it was 69%); 18% say Jews are inferior people and 10% say Christians are inferior.
Arguably the most sobering finding of the study is that 46% of Turks say they hope that Germany will one day have more Muslims than Christians (in the 2010 survey, it was 33%). More than half of Turks (55%) believe that Germany should build more mosques.
More than 90% of Turks surveyed consider themselves to be religious; only 9% label themselves as "not religious" (37% say they are highly religious). The survey shows high levels of religiosity (91%) among the younger generation of Turks (ages 15 to 29) living in Germany.
The study also finds that 63% of Turks aged 15 to 29 year-olds approve of the radical Islamist campaign to distribute a Koran to every household in Germany, and 36% of the young people said they would be willing to support the Salafist campaign financially with donations.
By contrast, 69% of those over the age of 50 (the older generation was heavily influenced by Kemalism) are opposed to the campaign called Project "READ!"
The authors of the study say this data reflects the increasing role of Islam among the younger generation, who consider the religion to be a "gateway to a politicization which could lead to group building"-- that is, the growing attraction to political Islam.
Overall, the new survey largely corroborates a 764-page study released by the German Interior Ministry in March 2012, which found that 48% of Muslims living in Germany "strongly leaned toward separation" and clearly rejected the culture of the German majority. .
That study, "The Daily Life of Young Muslims in Germany," also showed that among Muslims between the ages of 14 and 32 there is a "subgroup" of religious extremists who hold anti-Western views and are reportedly prepared to use violence.
Taken together, the combined research reaffirms that Germany faces significant difficulties ahead in integrating immigrant Muslim population, and that over the long-run integration may even be unattainable if the younger generation of Turkish-Germans increasingly continues to embrace Islam.
Posted on 08/28/2012 7:44 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
A Musical Interlude: Der Fuehrer's Face (Spike Jones Orch.)
Posted on 08/28/2012 7:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Consciousness in Animals
I really don't see how anyone who has ever had a pet can think animals are not conscious. They are not self-conscious to the degree humans are and they certainly are not conscious of their consciousness the way humans are, but without doubt they share our emotions and have a sensitive and nuanced awareness of reality and are flexible in their conscious response to it. They are not just instinct machines, the way some scientists would have had us believe. See here.
An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are -- a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus.
Evidence of near human-like levels of consciousness has been most dramatically observed in African grey parrots.
I can attest to that.
Posted on 08/28/2012 7:39 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Hezbollah Military Parade, Or,
Watch, and listen, here.
And if you want a little more, see here.
I chose to put up the very videos that Hezbollah is proudest of; I could have done the same for Hamas, Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, Lashkar Jihad, or any of the dozens of groups, and thousands of groupuscules, all of which are essentially the same "Slaves of Allah" proclaiming their endless hatred for the Infidels of this world, and especially for those Infidels unwilling to submit to Muslims and live as permanent dhimmis.
For more on Arab leaders, clerics, journalists, "intellectuals," spend an hour or so wallowing in the swamp that, thanks to www.MEMRI.org, is now available for inspection and study by those in the West who want to learn more -- unmediated by the BBC, Le Monde, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and so on -- about the World of Islam, and those who lead or represent or guide it.
Posted on 08/28/2012 7:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Kenya cleric killing: Grenade attack on Mombasa police
From the BBC
A grenade has been thrown at police in the Kenyan city of Mombasa, reportedly killing two people and wounding 16. Muslim youths have been involved in running battles with the police since Monday after the murder of radical preacher Aboud Rogo Mohammed.
Mr Rogo, who the US accuses of backing Islamist fighters in Somalia, was killed in a drive-by shooting.
Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga has appealed for calm, saying the country should avoid an "inter-religious war". Sixteen policemen were wounded in the attack, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports.
Ben Lawrence of Human Rights Watch told the BBC that he saw running battles between the police and protesters.
"I saw at the end of the street... billowing smoke and running battles between police and rioters. It came towards us, down the side street where I was located. People shut up their shops and ran in the opposite direction," he said. "There's been shops set on fire, looting, police trying to control the situation with tear gas but so far apparently failing."
Posted on 08/28/2012 10:24 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Urgently Needed: Rabbis for Romney
On Tuesday August 21, the Obama campaign launched “Rabbis for Obama,” with a list of some 613 rabbis who had declared their support for the President’s reelection. The announcement came after a sequence of events that began when it became known that the White House had agreed, at Turkey’s insistence, to the exclusion of Israel from the Global Antiterrorism Forum. Among the participating nations are Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Turkey, the Forum co-chair, has steadfastly been opposed to naming Hamas as a terrorist entity, thereby indicating its view that its rocket and kidnapping attacks against Israel are legitimate acts of self-defense.
On July 18, the anniversary of the Iranian-Hezbollah attack on the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in which 87 people were killed and 100 injured, a tourist bus in a Black Sea resort in Bulgaria was blown up by a Hezbollah suicide bomber. In addition to the bomber, seven vacationing Israelis were killed and dozens were wounded.
The very next day the White House invited rabbis of all major denominations to participate in a conference call with representatives of the FBI and the department of Homeland Security “to discuss the terrorist attack in Bulgaria” and “to address questions and concerns you may have.” Shortly thereafter, the Obama campaign announced the formation of Rabbis for Obama.
There are many reasons why I believe the rabbis who have signed on are fundamentally mistaken. The issues are urgent and rabbinic trust in President Obama is sadly and mistakenly misplaced. Boiled down to essentials, here is why I see the need for the formation of a Rabbis for Romney:
The supreme lesson of the Shoah for today’s Jews is that when an enemy threatens to destroy Israel and/or the Jewish people and seek the weaponry with which to implement the threat, Jews must believe that the enemy is not lying. From the time of the 1917 Balfour Declaration to today, some Muslims and other Arabs have promised to destroy the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Palestine), the State of Israel and its people, Nevertheless, no enemy has proven as dangerous as the revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran with its population of 75 million and the resources with which to become a nuclear power. Moreover, the theocratic leaders of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and their successors have not only have promised to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, they have used a religious term to designate Israel, “little Satan,” thereby indicating that they regard Israel’s destruction as a non-negotiable religious imperative.
They have also used the term “great Satan” to refer to the United States. And, what has been the American response? Ineffective sanctions and dilatory delaying tactics, while using every possible pressure tactic to prevent Israel from seeking to destroy the Iranian weapons program before it is too late.
On August 19, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted as saying that Israel and the United States are operating on different timetables. “They,” he said “are living with an existential concern that we are not living with.” Implicit in his frank remarks was the current administration’s belief that it can live with a nuclear Iran. Unfortunately, one or two nuclear missiles could make Israel’s survival impossible. Whatever his motives, Obama is doing everything possible to frustrate Israeli attempts to deal with Iran on its own timetable. In 2007, President Bush was also opposed to Israel’s plans to destroy the nuclear reactor Syria was building with North Korean assistance. Nevertheless, when Prime Minister Olmert told the President that Israel had done what it had to, Bush’s response was, “Thank you!” There is little chance that Israel would get a similar response from President Obama if it attacks Iran. Moreover, assurances that diplomacy still has time to work ignore the numerous intelligence failures of the CIA and other American security agencies, not excluding 9/11. Israel simply cannot afford such a failure.
I have no illusions concerning Romney. As president, he will do what he believes is in America’s national interest. That is his proper role. However, if Israel does attack, I am convinced that his response will be more like that of President Bush than anything President Obama would be likely to utter.
Some of those who have signed on with Rabbis for Obama have indicated that they do not object to the State of Israel but to Israel’s “occupation of Palestinian land.” And, that, of course, has been a principal demand of the Obama administration. When will they ever learn? Every time Israel has ceded territory, that territory has been turned into a base from which to attack her-Gaza, South Lebanon, and now Sinai. Nothing that Israel surrenders will bring peace. On the contrary, it will only facilitate her enemy’s destructive promises. It was Albert Einstein who once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Richard L. Rubenstein is President Emeritus of the University of Bridgeport. His most recent book is Jihad and Genocide (Rowman and Littlefield: 2011).
Posted on 08/28/2012 10:56 AM by Richard L. Rubenstein
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Franceâ€™s â€˜No-Goâ€™ Zones: Where Non-Muslims Dare Not Tread
From The Jewish Press
The French government has announced a plan to boost policing in 15 of the most crime-ridden parts of France in an effort to reassert state control over the country’s so-called “no-go” zones: Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims.
These crime-infested districts, which the French Interior Ministry has officially designated “Priority Security Zones” (zones de sécurité prioritaires, or ZSP), include heavily Muslim parts of Paris, Marseilles, Strasbourg, Lille and Amiens, where Muslim youths recently went on a two-day arson rampage that caused extensive property damage and injured more than a dozen police officers.
The crackdown on lawlessness in the no-go zones is set to begin in September, when French Interior Minister Manuel Valls plans to deploy riot police, detectives and intelligence agents into the selected areas. The hope is that a “North American-style” war on crime can prevent France’s impoverished suburbs from descending into turmoil.
Many of these new Priority Security Zones coincide with Muslim neighborhoods that previous French governments have considered to be Sensitive Urban Zones. (Zones Urbaine Sensibles, or ZUS) – which were also “no-go” zones for French police.
At last count, there were a total of 751 Sensitive Urban Zones, a comprehensive list of which can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated five million Muslims live in these “Sensitive Urban Zones” — parts of France over which the French state has essentially lost control.
AN(OTHER) example of an official Priority Security Zone is department of La Somme, which includes the northern French city of Amiens. On August 12 and 13, around 100 Muslim youths in the impoverished Fafet-Brossolette district of Amiens went on a rampage after police arrested a man for driving without a license.
Muslims viewed that arrest as “insensitive” because it came as many residents of the neighborhood were attending a funeral for Nadir Hadji, a 20-year-old Algerian youth who had died in a motorcycle accident on August 9. The reality was that police were called to the scene because of reports that youths were loading fireworks into a car. When the police arrived, they also discovered the ingredients for petrol bombs, including empty bottles and a canister of gasoline.
Gilles Demailly, the Socialist mayor of Amiens, said the violence reflected a descent into lawlessness orchestrated by ever younger troublemakers: “There have been regular incidents here but it has been years since we’ve known a night as violent as this with so much damage done. The confrontations were very, very violent.”
Posted on 08/28/2012 11:30 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Spare a thought for Rachel Corrie. If you can spare a thought from watching paint dry. Here is a "poem" by Hilda Silverman:
Whatever words might have been adequate
have become a high fluting cry
like the keening whit-tu-tu
of the unseen bird outside
my window. All day I have been trying
to break free from the bulldozer’s
blade, piled earth, steel treads fracturing
skull and chest, that moment of resistance
and protest, stilled frame reverberating
beyond the moment, like the kid
in Tiananmen Square before the tank.
Her bright orange jacket
Her kind and tired eyes.
All day I have been pierced
by the high note of helplessness,
the ragged beat of despair.
Shrouded body with its blur of blood.
The quiet hands of mourners
bearing her, flag-sheathed, across the town.
Bla bla bla ....
Whatever words we have are useless
against this cruel weight. The bird’s cry
keens from every crack in the edifice
of history. Before she died, Rachel Corrie wrote
of the privilege granted her, an outsider,
but denied to those under occupation.
"I have a home.
I am allowed to go see the ocean."
E. J. Throbb, aged 17¾, wrote a shorter poem:
So farewell, then, Rachel
Non fit injuria. That was a
Catch phrase she never knew.
I never knew Rachel
Corrie. But I knew her
Posted on 08/28/2012 1:23 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Goldman On Morsi's Egypt, Running On Empty
North Korea on the Nile
Posted At PJMedia By David P. Goldman
August 27, 2012 | 39 Comments
The New York Times is shocked–shocked–to discover that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president wants to bring Iran into a quartet of Muslim countries to manage the Syria crisis. In fact, Asia Times’ M.K. Bhadrakumar, a former senior Indian diplomat, reported this story more than a week ago. There is a bigger, and more frightening picture, including Egypt’s deployment of tanks into the Sinai in violation of its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, and the collapse of Egypt’s economy. “Worse is better,” the Bolsheviks said in 1917: the more hunger and the more chaos, the better the chances for a Bolshevik coup. The Muslim Brotherhood’s intention, it appears, is to turn Egypt into North Korea on the Nile: a starvation in state in which one’s chances of eating depend on loyalty to the ruling party.
Below are extracts from my weekly essay in Asia Times Online. America faces a foreign policy meltdown, the worst since the fall of Vietnam, with the collusion of the Republican establishment as well as the Obama administration. The one thing that might pull America’s chestnuts out of the fire is a successful Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons program. (Note: Footnotes with hyperlinks to sources can be found in the original on the Asia Times site).
* * * * *
North Korea on the Nile
Reports that Egypt’s oil suppliers are cutting shipments to the nearly-bankrupt nation coincide with a dramatic diplomatic shift towards Iran by President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi’s attendance at the Non-Aligned Summit in Teheran today denotes the end of Iran’s diplomatic isolation in the Sunni Arab world.
In addition, as my Asia Times Online colleague M K Bhadrakumar noted in his Indian Punchline blog, Morsi proposed to include Iran in a four-nation contact group to resolve the Syrian crisis, along with Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. Morsi’s outreach to Iran at the August 15 Organization of Islamic Coordination summit in Mecca was welcomed by Iran’s Foreign Ministry.  
At the same time, Egypt has become a prospective threat to Israel for the first time in more than three decades. The deployment of Egyptian tanks in the Sinai, supposedly in pursuit of terrorists, violates the 33-year-old peace treaty with Israel, and persuades some Israeli analysts that Egypt might threaten Israel’s southern border in the event of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“If Netanyahu finally decides to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, shouldn’t he consider a possible scenario, in which Morsi (soon to visit Tehran for a conference), orders two army divisions to cross the Suez Canal into Sinai?,” asks Amos Harel, the senior defense analyst at Ha’aretz. 
American analysts had assumed that Egypt’s massive need for external aid would keep Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood on Washington’s leash. On the contrary, the Brotherhood indicated its intent to benefit from economic chaos months ago, as I wrote in this space last April (see Muslim Brotherhood chooses chaos, Asia Times Online, April 11, 2012). Now the gravity of the situation is beginning to sink in.
“Just two months after coming to power, Morsi is pursuing a rapprochement with Tehran and articulating a newfound ambition to jettison billions in US foreign assistance dollars and financing from Western financial institutions,” wrote David Shenker and Christina Lin in the April 24 Los Angeles Times. 
Economic privation, up to and including starvation, is not necessarily a hindrance to the exercise of power. As the Bolsheviks demonstrated in 1917, the Somali warlords during the 1990s, and North Korea for the past two decades, starvation benefits a totalitarian party ruthless enough to employ it as a weapon of social control. Reports from Egypt indicate that Morsi has begun rationing of daily essentials, reinforcing the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip on power.
The Egypt Independent reports, “The government decided to lower subsidies on oil products from LE95.5 billion [US$$15.5 billion] in the 2011-2012 budget to LE25.5 billion in the 2012-2013 budget by applying a coupon system on butane, gas and diesel in addition to other procedures for rationalizing energy consumption.”
And according to Magda Kankil of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies, Egypt will move to a ration card system for bread as well.  If Egyptians want to eat, or cook dinner with propane, they can apply for a ration card to the local Muslim Brotherhood office.
Egypt spends roughly US$25 billion a year on fuel, and the present subsidy of 95.5 Egyptian pounds is a life-and-death matter for the Egyptian poor. According to the Wall Street Journal on March 22, “Subsidies already absorb at least 28% of Egypt’s budget outlay of 476 billion Egyptian pounds ($79 billion).  About two-thirds of that goes toward fuel and energy, with the rest aimed at reducing food prices, particularly for wheat.”
A massive reduction in subsidies combined with rationing will put the existence of half of Egypt’s people under the immediate control of the state. Morsi’s apparent disregard of Egypt’s economic crisis conceals a deeper agenda, namely the entrenchment of the Muslim Brotherhood in the kind of power arrangement that characterizes modern totalitarian states. That is the source of his contempt for American diplomacy.
It is hard to recall an American foreign policy failure so catastrophic, and at the same time so bi-partisan. As M K Bhadrakumar – the only English-language journalist to predict Egypt’s turn – put it in the August 21 Asia Times, the US offered “an invitation to Obama to Morsi to visit Washington. And Morsi is instead traveling to China and Iran.” (See Egypt thumbs nose at US, Asia Times Online, August 21, 2012).
Morsi has undertaken what Schenker and Lin call “a foreign policy shift rivaling the scope of president Anwar Sadat’s expulsion of the Soviets in 1972 and subsequent reorientation to the West” when his country is almost out of cash. Liquid foreign exchange reserves at the Bank of Egypt fell to $5.9 billion in July, enough to cover barely a month of imports.
“Egypt is finding it increasingly difficult to import fuel as foreign banks and traders pull the plug on credit,” Reuters reported August 23. “In the strongest evidence to date of rising fuel import difficulties, traders said Egypt had to cancel a tender to buy crude earlier this month after receiving no bids, and also had to scrap parts of a gasoline import tender because the prices on offer were too high.” 
The country’s economy faces paralysis due to an endemic shortage of gasoline and diesel fuel, leading to regular electricity blackouts. Lack of fuel has forced the shutdown of bakeries, leading to regional shortages of the subsidized bread that makes up most of the caloric consumption of half of Egypt’s population living on less than $2 a day. 
Egypt received a cash deposit of $500 million from Qatar and a pledge of an additional $1.5 billion after the August 10 visit of Emir Al-Thani to Cairo. The same day, President Morsi purged Egypt’s senior officers and grabbed key constitutional powers from the military. Qatar’s contribution, though, is a stopgap; the tiny emirate has just $20 billion in total resources, less than Egypt’s annual requirement for external financing.
Morsi’s government is negotiating a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, enough to get through a few months – if and when the money arrives.
It has been, or should have been obvious all year that a dual power situation (as the Bolsheviks described it in 1917) has been gestating. The remains of the military-led government controlled the official levers of state, while the Muslim Brotherhood distributed food and fuel on the street. As I wrote on April 11 on this site:
The Brotherhood believes that widespread hunger will strengthen its political position, and is probably correct to believe this. As the central government’s corrupt and rickety system of subsidies collapses, local Islamist organizations will take control of food distribution and establish a virtual dictatorship on the streets. American analysts mistook the protestors of Tahrir Square for revolutionaries. The Muslim Brotherhood now reveals itself to be a revolutionary organization on the Leninist or Nazi model.
The Brotherhood’s revolutionary program has been gestating for some time. As food and fuel shortages emerged in the first months of after the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak last year, Islamist organizations already began to fill the vacuum left by the breakdown of the old civil regime. The Ministry of Solidarity and Social Justice began forming “revolutionary committees” to mete out street justice to bakeries, propane dealers and street vendors who “charge more than the price prescribed by law”, the Federation of Egyptian Radio and Television reported on May 3, 2011. According to the ministry, “Thugs are in control of bread and butane prices” and “people’s committees” are required to stop them. (See Muslim Brotherhood chooses chaos, Asia Times Online, April 11, 2012).
Like the Shah’s generals in 1979 Iran, the Egyptian generals have something to fall back on – the townhouse in Chelsea or the yacht in Monaco. The younger officers who replaced them after Morsi’s August 10 purge have no hope of enriching themselves as their commanders once did, because there is nothing more to steal. In retrospect, the military’s failure to fight back against the Muslim Brotherhood could have been inferred from its behavior since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in January 2011. As foreign exchange reserves vanished last year, I asked last October:
Egypt’s economic route calls to mind the country’s military disaster during the 1967 war, when – according to the Egyptian government’s later evaluation – the military collapsed in part because of “the army’s fear of telling [President Gamal Abdul] Nasser the truth”.
It appears at first glance that the army does not want to tell itself the truth about Egypt’s economy. The truth probably is simpler, and more sinister … When the civil societies of developing countries disintegrate, the authorities often appear to be paralyzed. In most cases, the anonymous little men in charge of big functions are hard at work, making down payments on Paris apartments and private jets. Are the Generals Stealing Egypt?, Asia Times Online, October 18, 2011.)
America is confronted by a new and unwelcome set of alliances in the Middle East. Its cluster of allies – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Israel – is reduced to only two. Saudi Arabia rails in vain at the “summit aligned towards Iran”, as Emad El Bin Adeeb derided the Non-Aligned movement event on August 23 in the Saudi newspaper Asharq Alawsat. 
Israel was wrong-footed by the Egyptian government’s challenge to the Camp David treaty, and is absorbed in a wrenching debate over the merits of a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program. Turkey, whose Islamist government was promoted as a model of Islamic democracy by the Bush administration as well as by President Obama, is paralyzed by the chaos on its border, fearful that the Kurdish problem will spill over into its own territory. Jordan’s monarchy hopes to survive by making concession after concession to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Russia plays all sides, negotiating with Israel for the price of denying advanced anti-missile systems to Iran, while sustaining Iran’s allies in Syria’s beleaguered Assad regime. As the world’s largest oil producer, Russia stands to gain from the insecurity of Persian Gulf oil supplies. China watches on the sidelines wondering which of the pieces are worth acquiring.
If and when Iran acquires deliverable nuclear weapons, the Middle East will shift irreparably into a state that Americans barely can begin to fathom. Paradoxically, an Israeli strike on Iran – in open defiance of the Obama administration’s wishes – might offer the only hope of restoring America’s failing position.
A former Israeli diplomat, Yoram Ettinger, draws a parallel to Levi Eshkol’s decision to preempt a building Arab attack on Israel in the June 1967 war. Eshkol, he observed on August 17, “preempted the anti-US Arab axis; devastated a clear and present danger to vital Western interests; rescued the House of Saud from the wrath of Nasser; expedited the end of the pro-Soviet Nasser regime and the rise of the pro-US Sadat regime in Egypt; dealt a major setback to Soviet interests; and demonstrated Israel’s capability to snatch the hottest chestnuts out of the fire, without a single US boot on the ground.” 
With Iran neutralized, the Assad regime in Syria would become a friendless, purposeless hulk, and the Morsi regime in Egypt the proprietor of a failed and hungry state. Iraq, absent Iranian influence, would settle down into low-intensity violence without regional implications. Once again, the House of Saud would be rescued from the wrath of an overreaching Egyptian leader and US influence would predominate in the Gulf.
Egypt is a lost cause where Washington is concerned, but it could be a ruined cause for anyone else. As I wrote in May
Interdicting the Brotherhood, in turn, requires an uncharacteristic harshness on the part of American policy. War correspondent Peter Arnett might have concocted the notorious statement, “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” supposedly said by an American officer of the Vietnamese provincial capital Ben Tre in 1968. Something like that might be the outcome for Egypt. (See The Horror and the pita, Asia Times Online, May 1, 2012)
It may sound cold, but someone has to say it.
Posted on 08/28/2012 7:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
In Syria, Iran Has Its Own Tarbaby
Iranian general admits 'fighting every aspect of a war' in defending Syria's Assad
August 28, 2012
Iran, in continuing to support the Syrian government’s crackdown against protestors, publicly stated that it is sending military personnel from its elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to Syria.
“Today, we are involved in fighting every aspect of a war, a military -- one in Syria, and a cultural one as well,” Gen. Salar Abnoush, a Revolutionary Guard commander said in addressing a group of volunteer trainees Monday, as reported by Daneshjoo News Agency, an online pro-regime student-run media platform.
Though many have pointed for quite some time to the symbiotic relationship between Tehran and Damascus, including Iran’s training of Syrian cyber police and sending tactical support and cash, the statement appears to be the Iranian regime’s first public account of military participation in Syria.
More than 23,000 Syrians, including many women and children, have been massacred in over 17 months of uprising against the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Public acknowledgment of Iran’s manpower support and military involvement in Syria comes at a time when international pressure against Syria is at its peak and the Syrian regime’s massacre against its civilians is most violent. Syrian military defections are on the rise, and many soldiers are often unwilling to fire at protesting crowds.
“Today, Syria is resisting as our front’s surrogate, and we all have a responsibility to support it and to not let the line fall,” Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Mullah Hussein Taeb as saying. Taeb is a well-known suppressor of the 2009 Iranian uprisings, as head of intelligence for the Revolutionary Guard, and right-hand man to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Earlier this month, Syrian rebels in Damascus captured 48 Iranians, who they believed were members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The Iranian government replied that the 48, including some retired members of the Revolutionary Guard, were on pilgrimage visiting a Shiite shrine.
The acknowledgement Monday coincides with Iran hosting a six-day Non-Aligned Movement summit this week to oppose the sanctions and Western isolation that are aimed at punishing the Islamic Republic for its nuclear agenda.
Iranian officials hope to unify participants of the 120-nation summit, including new Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi, the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, to stand behind the Iranian regime’s ongoing proliferation program.
A second item on the agenda will be a detailed game plan for Syria presented by the Iranian government.
Iran is still eager to host talks between al-Assad’s government and the opposition, according to Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission. Boroujerdi is currently in Syria and met with regime officials Sunday, according to the Iran's state-owned broadcasting service Press TV.
Many Iranians feel betrayed by their government helping Syria at a time when their own economy is in dire decline.
“The people of Iran are more upset about the financial help that the regime gives Syria, when our own people did not receive the proper help and rescue during the recent earthquake,” said Marjan, a former journalist living in Iran. “We don’t have enough hospitals beds to care for all the victims, and then we hear the government is sending ambulances to Syria.”
Many social media groups and campaigns focus on the solidarity between the Iranian and Syrian people, both wanting to break free of dictatorships.
“The future of our country and the future of Iran’s government are two separate things,” writes one political blogger in Persian. “If this regime continues to do whatever it takes to keep Assad in power, not only must we live in famine, even our children will have to pay.”
Another Iranian activist writes to Fox News in an email: “The Iranian people are against aiding Assad’s government. The Iranian regime believes that if they keep Assad in power, it will strengthen their own reign at home. They are mistaken.”
In February, documents revealed that the Iranian government had given the Syrian regime more than $1 billion to help relieve pressures of an international oil embargo and other restrictive measures on travel and trade through its central bank. Currently, the U.S., Turkey, European Union and Arab League have imposed crippling sanctions on Syria’s trade, banking and oil exports in order to deter its massacring of citizens.
Posted on 08/28/2012 10:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
A Musical Interlude: I've Found A New Baby (Ethel Waters)
Posted on 08/28/2012 11:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald