These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 29, 2011.
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Lee Smith: Minority Report
The torment, the confusion, the fear born of being non-Muslims in Muslim lands, can be seen in the phenomenon of the islamochristian, that is the Arabic-speaking Christian (who has been taught to identify himself as an Arab) who may parrot the Muslim worldview, and especially Muslim hostility to Israel and its supporters, in order to get along in a circumambient threatening Muslim sea. It can also be seen in the behavior of Christians in Syria, who are protected by the Alawites (not because the Alawites are especially kind, but because they need allies to help them in the mighty contest with the Sunni Arabs who otherwise would overwhelm both Alawites and Christians).
Lee Smith discusses the astonishing case of a non-Muslim people who in the MIddle East managed to recover their ancient homeland, against Muslims who wished to forever condemn them to lives as dhimmis: the Jews of Israel.
Here's his article, from The Tablet:
By establishing a Jewish majority in Palestine, Israel distinguished itself from other Middle East minority groups, which suffer physical fear and intellectual confusion, even if they hold power
Jun 29, 2011 7:00 AM
CREDIT: Collage: Tablet Magazine; black and white photos: Library of Congress; color photos: AFP/Getty Images.
At a recent event in Dearborn, Mich., a crowd welcomed  Syria’s ambassador to Washington, Imad Mustapha, who led  a rally on behalf of his country’s President Bashar al-Assad. The scene was outrageous for a number of reasons, including that these were American citizens gathered in support of a regime responsible for the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. But perhaps even more notable was the tragedy at the heart of the scene: These Syrian-Americans—Christians and members of Muslim minority sects like the Alawites, Druze, and Ismailis—are still writhing from their emotional experience as Middle Eastern minorities. No matter how far they get from the region, they are plagued with a vulnerability that leaves them terrified, angry, and often crazy.
And what they throw into sharp relief is a larger lesson: Among all the minorities of the Middle East, only the Jews have escaped this unhealthy condition, thanks to the fact that for over 60 years now they have had their own state and can defend themselves against their adversaries. Theodor Herzl asserted that Israel would allow the Jews to live like normal people, and as it turns out—contrary to what nearly all Arabs, most Europeans, and many Israelis believe—he has largely been proven right.
But to understand why he was right, we have to put aside Herzl and Europe and look at Israel in a Middle Eastern context, as a refuge for a religious minority: the Jews of the Middle East. Many people, including many Jews, still see Israel as the end product of a European ideological movement that found an awful but undeniable justification in the Holocaust. Yet, as many Arabs argue, that narrative is unconnected to the Middle East. No matter how many Arab ideologues collaborated with the Nazis or adopted Nazi ideas about Jews, there is no reason that the Palestinians should have to pay for a European crime. It makes more sense, then, to look at minorities in the Middle East generally, the Jews specifically, and to evaluate the success or failure of Zionism by the standards of the region.
Anyone who previously wrote off as a right-wing Zionist myth the idea that Middle Eastern minorities are oppressed by the regional Sunni majority needs only consider the situation of Coptic Christians in Egypt over the last few months. Even many observers who did acknowledge the reality in Egypt are surprised now in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution to note the uptick in violence against Christians—the kidnappings of Coptic girls and the burning of churches, among other incidents. After all, it was commonly believed before the revolution that sectarian violence was the fault of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who, in this view, had empowered the Islamist movement and thus animosity against non-Muslim communities. But Egypt’s Muslim-Christian divide was not about Mubarak, any more than the United States was responsible for the murder of Christians in Iraq or Israel is responsible for the flight of Christians from Bethlehem and other towns in the West Bank.
Nor did sectarianism begin, as many believe it did, with the age of European colonialism, or with the Ottomans. While the French, the British, and the Ottomans hardly played constructive roles in taming the region’s sectarian furies, the problem goes back much further, at least to the Arab conquest of what we have come to call the Arabic-speaking Middle East.
The pact of Omar, named for Omar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph after Muhammad, stipulated the various laws and restrictions under which non-Muslims would be allowed to conduct their affairs. Their relative freedom, or burden, depended on the disposition of the particular caliph or the local authorities, but their legal status was never equal to that of Muslims. They were protected people, known as dhimmis.
Some regional minorities, by dint of their temperament and accidents of geography, were able to defend themselves with some success. Lebanon’s Maronite and Druze communities, for instance, made their strongholds in the mountains where they could cut intruders to ribbons. It is well known that the Druze community tends to align itself with the local power regardless of whether they’re based in Lebanon, Syria, or Israel. Historically the Maronites are somewhat more stubborn, and perhaps one of the great tragedies of the Lebanese civil war is that in its aftermath large parts of this proud community under the leadership of Gen. Michel Aoun have aligned themselves with the country’s Shia militia, Hezbollah. Part of the reason for that is the Maronites’ historical fear and hatred of the Sunnis and the wish, as Aoun has explained, to be protected against them by the Shia. This is the same reason why those Syrian-Americans in Michigan rallied in support of Assad: They feared what the Sunnis might do to their relatives.
The price of being a dhimmi is not just physical fear but intellectual confusion and moral corruption. Arab nationalism is largely the work of ideologues drawn from Middle Eastern minorities like the Syrian theorist of Baathism Michel ’Aflaq, who was Greek Orthodox. Arab identity, at least in its earliest iterations, was largely a product of the minorities’ desire to hide their sectarian identities from the Sunni majority. The minorities believed they had a better chance of blending in as part of one massive super-tribe, the Arabs, when as Christians or members of heterodox Shia sects like Alawites they were vulnerable. Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father and Syria’s former president, embraced Arab nationalism in order to legitimize his rule over Syria’s Sunni majority and protect his Alawite community. The present uprising in Syria shows that the thread is starting to become undone—sectarianism is starting to rear its head, and the minorities are terrified of the mostly Sunni opposition in the streets of Syrian cities.
It is hard not to sympathize with the regional minorities and their fear. However, it is also difficult not to be appalled by their support for a regime that is slaughtering children. One picture from the Dearborn event shows three Christian clergymen in the front row, all of them evidently supporters of Bashar al-Assad, which is unfortunately a common position among Syria’s Christian clergy, Catholics , and the Orthodox . “Definitely the Christians in Syria support Bashar al-Assad,” Yohana Ibrahim, the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo told Reuters last month. “They hope that this storm will not spread.” The rather inconvenient fact for the archbishop is that Assad is trying to quell that storm by torturing and murdering people. The question is: What can be the point of preserving a Christian community if its values have been so thoroughly perverted? Or how many Sunni corpses is a church worth?
It’s not just Christians and Muslim minority sects who are afflicted with this moral sickness, but Jews as well. Jack Avital, head of the Sephardic National Alliance and a leader of the Syrian-Jewish community of North America, has been in touch with Syrian officials in Damascus and in the United States and seems to think  Assad is an “honest guy” who is “protecting the minute Jewish community still in place in Damascus.” Avital thinks a regime that buries its opponents in mass graves is OK because in Syria “the Jewish community is doing well.” Compare this repugnant calculation to the position of all of Israel’s senior officials, from the prime minister and president to the defense and foreign ministers, who have condemned Assad’s massacre.
How did the Middle East’s Jewish minority escape this sickness? The state of Israel. Of all the Middle Eastern states carved up in the aftermath of World War I, Israel is the sole success story—politically, economically, socially, and technologically. Moreover, it has safeguarded the lives of a regional minority with minimal oppression of and maximum participation by other groups who are also citizens of the state. By establishing a Jewish majority in Palestine, Israel distinguished itself from other regional minority groups that succeeded in gaining control of a state while remaining minorities, like the Alawites in Syria, whose record has been one of stagnation, oppression, and plunder.
So, when it comes to the Holocaust, maybe the Arabs are right: The crimes of Europe need not justify the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. There is plenty of justification to be found in the Middle East. Without Israel, the region would lose its one success story—and the Jews of the Middle East would be yet another group of fearful, oppressed, and vulnerable dhimmis.
Posted on 06/29/2011 4:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Nato helicopters end siege at Kabul Intercontinental hotel
From The Telegraph
A Nato helicopter gunship and Western special forces teams including snipers ended a five-hour siege at the Intercontinental hotel in Kabul in which 10 people were killed.
Six Taliban commandos fought their way into the hotel, one of the most high-profile in the Afghan capital, by destroying the security checkpoint when one of them detonated a suicide bomb. They had been able to approach the gates unhindered because they were wearing Afghan police or army uniforms, reports suggested. There were reports that the suicide bomber had hidden in a room of the hotel overnight before detonating his device.
The remaining five raiders, armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades and some wearing explosive suicide vests, then swarmed into the lobby. The gunmen began to hunt for Westerners, floor by floor and room by room. Several people were shot by the poolside. All the dead are believed to be Afghans.
Three of the gunmen got to the roof and began firing indiscriminately and dropping grenades before the Nato gunship arrived and quickly killed them all. Afghan forces arrived but it was Nato ground units, armed with suppressed sub-machine guns and covered by comrades with high-powered sniper rifles, who entered the hotel to end the siege.
After dawn, with parts of the hotel still on fire, a squad of troopers were seen leaving, bloodied but apparently not wounded.
A spokesman for the Afghan government said all the Taliban commandos had been killed.
The assault appears to have been modelled on the Mumbai siege of 2008
Tight security at the Intercontinental makes it a favoured haunt of foreign journalists, aid workers and government officials. Guests have to pass through three checkpoints to reach the entrance, prompting speculation that the attackers were dressed in police uniforms or had help from hotel staff.
On Tuesday night a delegation of provincial governors was also believed to be staying at the hotel for a conference.
The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility in a series of phone calls to news organisations. A spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the gunmen were targeting foreigners and described chilling scenes inside the hotel. "They are ramming down doors because the guests have locked themselves in their rooms," he said in a statement. "They are going after the guests."
Bilal Sarwary, a BBC journalist tweeting from the scene, said the assault marked a new departure in Kabul. "This was a well planned attack. Terrorists change of tactic, attack during night, surprised everyone,"
Tuesday night's attack suggests the Taliban is now intent on bringing chaos back to Afghanistan's capital.
Posted on 06/29/2011 2:25 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Yard seizes banned Islamic preacher
From The London Evening Standard
Detectives in London arrested the banned Islamic extremist who embarrassed the Government when he was allowed to enter the country unchallenged.
Scotland Yard officers and Border Agency officials acting under the direct orders of Home Secretary Theresa May seized Raed Salah late last night after he returned to the capital from making a speech in Birmingham.
Today the cleric, who walked through immigration controls at Heathrow on Saturday days after being excluded from the UK, was being questioned at a police station.
It is understood Mr Salah's lawyers were exploring legal avenues to fight the travel ban sanctioned by Mrs May after he was accused of "virulent anti-Semitism".
Despite his official exclusion, the preacher was allowed in and gave two speeches to British Muslims - including one on the Arab Spring at Conway Hall in Holborn. In another embarrassing blunder, the Standard has learned that police looking for Mr Salah at the event on Monday night failed to arrest him despite the cleric giving a speech from the platform.
Mrs May is angry with UK Border Agency staff as they failed to serve Mr Salah with exclusion papers before he left for Britain. In a statement today, Ms May said: "We do not normally comment on individual cases but in this case I think it is important to do so. I can confirm he was excluded and that he managed to enter the UK. He has now been detained and the UK Border Agency is now making arrangements to remove him. A full investigation is taking place into how he was able to enter."
Too many Civil Servants are young and inexperienced. A few (a that few is too many) are from backgrounds that are not notable for their loyalty to the Crown. But like all incompetence by an official body they will say 'lessons will be learnt' but they will do nothing to stop the rot, because they started the rot deliberately.
Posted on 06/29/2011 6:47 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
The Cost Of Wars To "Transform" The Muslim World And A Successful Strategy That Costs Very Little
I have been using the figure $3 trillion dollars for years. But even that, it turns out, though far higher than the absurdly low figures given out by the government -- which also understates, almost deliberately, the amount of aid it has given Pakistan (not $20 billion but more than $30 billion, including aid hidden in the Pentagon budget), and Egypt (more than $80 billion, while many continually, and wrongly, use a figure of $1.3 billion a year which is only the military component).
This money has been spent on the greatest folly in American history, in which it seems that no one can think clearly because no one starts from the understanding that Islam itself, those who take Islam to heart, are a permanent threat, and that whatever differences there may be to identify and exploit within the Camp of Islam, the very idea of a Camp of Islam needs to be grasped, for what separates Islam from non-Islam is greater than any sectarian or ethnic or economic differences within that Camp of Islam, and that includes that greatly-exaggerated unhelpful, and soothing idea that we can isolate, and defeat, the "extremists" while pouring aid of all kinds into the "moderate" Muslims so that they, somehow, and for all time, will be able to ignore the texts and tenets of Islam that those "extremists" have been relying on.
It turns out I may have underestimated.
A study to be released today, on the total cost of these wars -- I don't yet know if it includes the aid to Muslim countries -- puts it at $3.7 trillion.
Will this get attention? Will this lead some to be so horrrified at the expense of the folly, that they will at long last come to see it as folly?
And will they do this not because, in ron-paul village-idiot style, they decide that there is no problem with Islam, if we just "get out of the Middle East" and "stop occupying their countries" (Ron Paul, himself, is able to ignore how Muslims have regarded, and treated, non-Muslims -- both under and outside Muslim rule -- for more than 1300 years, and he wishes, above all, for the American government not only not to fight Islam, but to abandon Israel because, in Ron Paul's view, it is that kind of "occupation of Muslim lands" that explains Muslim hostility, and not the ideology of Islam).
Perhaps rage at the expense will force some to grasp the nature of the menace, and hence the right response.
1) Preventing Muslim states from acquiring, or being able to deliver if, as in the case of Pakistan, they were allowed to acquire through the West's crimnal negligence, weapons of mass destruction. Iran can't wait.
2) Preventing Muslims from settling in the West, and exploiting misconceptions, and pieties about diversity and crazy inattention to what Islam inculcates, while plenty of attention is given to such trivia as the observation of Ramadan, and Iftar dinners, and cute little girls in just the cutest hijabs, who wouldn't -- we are led to believe couldn't and wouldn't hurt a fly. But ask non-Muslims who in the Middle East, and elsewhere, have had to live under Muslim domination. If they are Copts, or Maronites, or Assyrians or Chaldeans from Iraq, or Christian converts in Algeria, or Hindus or Christians from Pakistan, or Buddhists, too, from Bangladesh, from Malaysia, from famously easygoing because syncretistic Indonesia, you'll get quite a different story. And you will get quite a different story, too, from the indigenous non-Muslims who, all over Western Europe, have been and are and will suffer because there are now so many Muslims in their midst. And don't be fooled by those stories about how in American Muslims are different, as if American exceptionalism now were also to mean that once Muslims came to America they began to behave, outwardly, and think, inwardly, as no other Muslims on earth do -- because, well because America is America, and everything is different here. The Qur'an and the Sunnah here are the same Qur'an and Sunnah as elsewhere. If you take the texts of Islam to heart, you are dangerous to all non-Muslims whether or not you yourself participate directly in violent Jihad.
3) Identify and exploit those fissures --sectarian, ethnic, and economic (resentment of the oil-rich Arabs by the others).
This means doing nothing to prevent Sunnis and Shi'a from attacking each other, and in Iraq, such attacks might have useful spillover effects both in the immediate area -- surely fear of Shi'a power explains the swift and violent reaction of Sunnis to the challenge of the Shi'a majority in tiny Bahrain (including an increase in Sunni-Shi'a hostility and warfare in Lebanon where fear by Sunnis of the aggressive Hezbollah, increased by Hezbollah's defense of the Alawite suppression of the Sunnis in Syria) Saudi Arabia (the Eastern, oil-bearing province where most Shi'a in Saudi Arabia are to be found), Pakistan (where for decades Sunnis have been attacking Shi'a as a pastime and a sport), are located. Then there is Yemen where Sunnis fear of the Shi'a in the north, including that "Houthi rebellion" in the northwest of the country, right on the Saudi border, Kuwait (where one-quarter of the population is Shi'a), Bahrain (where the ruler is Sunni, and 70% of the ruled are Shi'a). This means getting out of the way in Iraq, and instead of holding Black Pete and Black Bart apart any longer, exiting the saloon -- they'd both like to kill you anyway -- and standing outside to overhear the fight that then ensues once you, that quakerish peace-keeper, have left.
Ethnic divisions within the Camp of Islam include those between identifiable peoples. The world of Islam, the mental world, and hence the real world, is one in which violence is ever-present, and violence and authority are intertwined. The ruler rules by violence or its threat; those who wish to depose him, or his ruling family, clique, tribe, sect, people, also resort to violence. Elections are viewed nowadays as a possible way to attain power, but if you lose, violence remains as a permanent and sensible option.
The Americans and others in Iraq tried to stop Sunni-Shi'a aggression, though willing to encourage "moderate" Sunnis to attack immoderate ones, those in Al Qaeda, and to encourage "moderate" Shi'a to attack immoderate ones, that is the Mahdi Army. But never did the Americans dare to encourage Sunni-Shi'a hostilities, and they have made superhuman efforts, and spent huge sums, trying to prevent exactly that which they should have welcomed.
In Afghanistan, they have tried to create a unified and centralized state where one has never existed. They have ignored the depth, and violence, or rather the depth of the violence, that is endemic to Afghanistan, in which travellers used to report the main pastime was shooting at neighbors.The Americans did manage to exploit the resentment felt by the ethnic Uzbeks and Tadzhiks in northern Afghanistan for the Pashtuns, because the Taliban (a group formed, and trained, by Pakistanis from among the Pashtuns who had fled to camps in Pakistan during the war with the Soviet Union). was identified with the Pashtuns, and that meant anti-Pashtun sentiment among the northern peoples could be exploited.
But why continue to spend money and lives to make a tribal society into a Western nation-state? It can't be done, unless that is to be the main project for the American people? Why would they want to try to keep Muslims from being at each other's throats? What sense is there in that? Why try to spread technology, to bring it to Afghan villages, if that means the full message of Islam can be brought to villagers who were once illiterate, ignorant of the full message of Islam, or at least had not had that full anti-Infidel message drummed into them in all the ways that are now, through Western technology, available.
And the biggest ethnic conflict within the Camp of Islam is not that between Uzbeks and Tadjiks and Pashtuns, but between Arabs and non-Arabs. For non-Arabs constitute 80% of the world's Muslims. Yet, islamization has always meant an attempt -- usually successful -- at some degree of arabization. Muslims must pray facing Mecca five times a day. They must read the Qur'an, ideally, in Arabic, must study the Qur'an in Arabic in madrasas, must memorize the Qur'an in Arabic, a language that for most of the world's Muslims is not understood. They must take as their models of conduct Muhammad and, to a lesser extent, his Helpers, the Ansar, which means they must, ideally, mimic the mores of seventh-century Arabia. They must, ideally, take Arab names. Some of them wish to become Arabs, wish to pretend to have a lineage that extents back to the Quraysh. How many Pakistanis are running around with a fake Arab lineage, calling themselves "sayids"?
But what if the Western world, as part of its campaign not to obtain "victory" -- the word does not apply -- nor to "end the conflict with Islam" -- there is no end to this -- were to encourage the recognition, by non-Arab Muslims, of all the ways -- I have briefly listed some of them above -- that Islam makes Muslims believe that the ideal is Arab, and that Arabs are the best Muslims, the ones who possess the greatest authority in all matters having to do with Islam, which because of the nature of Islam means, for Muslims, in all matters. What if many in the West were to discuss openly, discuss endlessly, all the ways that Islam has served as a vehicle for Arab imperialism? Non-Muslims would have a hard time denying the truths that would be uttered; Arabs would only be able to scream "don't listen to them, they're trying to divide us, it's the whisperings of Shaytan." But it would all be true, it would all make sense to those non-Muslims who find themselves, almost unwillingly, willing to listen.
Finally, there is the economic resentment, felt by those Muslims who do not have the manna of oil-and-gas revenue trillions. This can already be experienced in Egypt, and Syria, where the visiting Arabs from the Gulf have done nothing to endear themselves, and whose fabulous unearned wealth is displayed in the predictable and unseemly ways, angering the locals. It is especially galling to those who flatter themselves as being the "advanced" and "cultured" Arabs as compared to the desert Arabs, the Arabs of Arabia and the Gulf, that is the crude boorish desert peasants who happen to have suddenly come into great fortunes.
This resentment is also felt in Indonesia, in Malaysia, even in Pakistan (that most Muslim, and most wannabe-Arab, of non-Arab states), and it is partly encouraged by experiences of locals working as domestics -- as house-slaves rather than field hands -- for cruel Saudi, Kuwaiti, Emirati, Qatari masters. For a long time governments eager not to rock boats did not protest, and even suppressed stories of maltreatment of their citizens by the Arabs, but now there are too many returnees -- some never returned, having been killed -- who talk of what they endured in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. And that is having its effect.
Imagine if the West stopped suppling the poorer Muslim states with the tens of billions that they have been supplying, and told the peoples of Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, and so on that from now on, they should seek aid from fellow members, fabulously rich members, of the Umma? The Umma, the Community of Believers. Let them put the Umma, and the supposed unity of the Muslims, to a test that does not involve uniting in opposition to Infidels. Let the test be money. Let's see how much the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, the Emiratis, the Qataris, come up with to support the bottomless pits in Yemen, or Egypt, or Pakistan. Think of the resentments, on either side, if they do give some money -- it will never be as much as the generous gullible Westerners gave -- and the resentments, on either side -- if they don't.
Nothing I have described above, and all of which I have been harping on for seven years until my pixels have grown hoarse, costs anything like the $3.7 trillion spent so far on the "war on terrorism." The war of self-defense against Islam is almost entirely -- save for a military matter that really can't wait in Natanz and Qom -- an ideological war. As for fighting, the Muslims will do that for themselves -- among themselves. It's mostly a strategy based on not doing things, not spending money to make Muslims prosperous and united, not continuing to hide from them, or from ourselves, all the ways that the many failures -- political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral -- of Muslim states, and Muslim peoples -- are a result of Islam itself.
But that recognition must first come in the West, among non-Muslims. And that recognition depends in turn on having some knowledge of what is in the texts, and of how, over time and across space, Muslims have acted on the basis of those texts. Such knowledge need not be complete, or in great detail, because the texts, and commentary on them, are easily accessible on the Internet. And the history of Muslim conquest, the history of Muslim suppression of non-Muslims and their own histories (think of how the Copts in Egypt have had their country taken away from them), is also easy to find on the Internet, especially on those sites run by ex-Muslims, or non-Muslims who have been raised in a Muslim-dominated milieu, and know the truth.
We might have saved, say, 3.5 of that 3.7 trillion. Wouldn't that money have come in handy? I could have bought a better computer. I could have bought a car. What might you have bought?
Posted on 06/29/2011 5:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Child sex survey finds 26% of abusers Asian, but warns data 'poor quality'
This is the Guardian and the BBC, those bastions of policital correctness and multiculturalism.
The first attempt at a nationwide assessment of patterns of child sexual exploitation reveals that 26% of those who engage in on-street grooming of young girls are Asian. But Peter Davies, the director of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (Ceop), which carried out the research warned against jumping to any conclusions from the findings on the ethnicity of offenders because the data gathered by his investigators was incomplete, not nationwide and of poor quality.
"I would send a note of caution about trying to extrapolate anything from this. Looking at this issue through the lens of ethnicity does not do the victims any favours," he said.
ethnicity had not been recorded in 32% of cases. The data also showed 38% of offenders were white and a small number were black or Chinese. Ceop said it had evidence of 230 gangs, mostly young men, who were identifying and grooming children for systematic sexual abuse. Some groups were large enough to be considered organised crime enterprises that were supplying victims to be raped by paying clients.
Investigators were only able to establish reliable information about half of the offenders, the majority of whom were aged between 18 and 24.
In almost a third of the remaining cases, agencies had insufficient information to draw any conclusions about ethnicity. Of those that remained, 38% were white and 26% were Asian.
The report said that the majority of victims were white girls - although in a third of cases the ethnicity was not known.
The Ceop assessment was commissioned after national debate over what some people had identified as a pattern of Asian men operating in gangs to groom young white girls and sexually abuse them. Davies said the findings did not support this suggestion.
First things first. We don't say that men from the continent of Asia are raping our girls; the survey says that only a small number are Chinese. Even if we define 'Asian' as from the area south of the Himalayas that I was taught to define as 'the Indian sub-continent' we are still not accusing men of the HIndu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist or Christian faith, or of no faith, of such crimes out of all proportion to their distribution in British society. The men disproportionately responsible are Muslim.
Let's turn this round. A small number are black or Chinese. 38% are white. I think the last census showed that the white indigenous British were 91% of the population, although I read somewhere that this years census is expected to show immigrants as 15% of the population which makes us natives some 85% of the population. Leaving aside that a few of that 38% white men could be Poles, Portuguese or German that means that white British men are considerably under-represented in the ranks of child rapists. 38% white + 26% asian + 3% black and 1% Chinese = 68%. The percentage of Chinese is much less than 1% but I have rounded it up. What are the other 32%? My money is on Turks, Albanians, North Africans and Arabs. And what ideology are they likely to follow?
Peter Davis can warn and caution all he likes. That figure of 38% of abusers who are white men shows that the situation is even worse than we feared.
62% of child sex abusers are not white, so far as is recorded, in a country where officially 15% of the population are not white.
Posted on 06/29/2011 6:59 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Forget About The "Arab Spring" And Concentrate On Iran
UK: Iran conducting secret ballistic missile tests alongside public military maneuvers
By Associated Press
LONDON — Britain’s foreign secretary says Iran has conducted covert tests of ballistic missiles alongside a 10-day program of public military maneuvers.
William Hague told the House of Commons on Wednesday that there had been secret experiments with missiles and rocket launchers.
Iran is conducting 10 days of war games in an apparent show of strength to the West and on Tuesday fired 14 missiles in public tests.
Britain believes Tehran has conducted at least three secret tests of medium-range ballistic missiles since October.
Iran and the West remain in dispute over its nuclear program. The U.S. and its allies insist it is aimed at developing atomic weapons — a charge Iran rejects.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted on 06/29/2011 7:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Vices To Be Avoided By Innocent Saudis Abroad: Drink, Drugs, Sex, Becoming "More Religious"
Going abroad with fun-seeking pals? Avoiding vice would be very wise
Jun 29, 2011
JEDDAH: With the start of the summer vacation, many Saudi families have packed up in order to spend some time abroad to rest and for entertainment. [and who would not want to visit the West, and get out of dismal Dar al-Islam?]
Young Saudis sometimes prefer to travel with their friends rather than accompany their families. While this ensures their personal freedom, it might also cause them trouble or make them commit fatal mistakes. They might fall prey to organized gangs.
In extreme cases, these gangs could steal their money by making them drug addicts and womanizers, or have them rebel against their country. [Nota Bene: "rebel against their own country" means to rebel against rule by the corrupt and greedy Al-Saud] There are many ways of misguiding young and lonely Saudis who travel without knowing what lies ahead for them abroad.
Arab News spoke to a number of young Saudis about their experiences abroad. One of them, who preferred anonymity so as not to embarrass his family, told a painful story: “My friends convinced me to travel with them instead of my family. They told me that my family would carefully watch all my moves and would not allow me to enjoy myself. I liked the idea, despite opposition from my family. We traveled to a European country where I saw all kinds of irresistible temptations — nightclubs, casinos, theaters, bars, and the streets.”
The things he liked most was that he could smoke freely, drink and go out with girls without anyone harassing him. “I committed a number of un-Islamic acts that I have not tried before in my own country. I spent all my money on illegal pleasures and had to borrow from my friends and ask my family back home for more money. I liked the experience and wanted to repeat it the following year.”
However, the price was too high — he tested HIV positive. “I regretted my outside travels and wished that I had listened to my father, who always asked me not to travel alone or in the company of bad friends. I am left alone now, just waiting in my room for my death, which is not far away.”
Khaled Abdullah Al-Qahtani, another young Saudi, said he refused to listen to his family and traveled abroad with his friends.
“In a European country I had alcohol for the first time. I even smoked hashish and tried all kinds of drugs that we got from one of the girls from that country. She was working for a dangerous gang, involved in drug trafficking and prostitution. The drugs and women depleted my money fast. I was obliged to borrow drugs from the gang after promising to give them the money in a week when I received it from my father. Unfortunately, for some reasons my father was unable to send me money. The gang confiscated my passport and all my belongings so that I could not escape. I had no choice but to take my case to the Saudi Embassy, which returned me to the Kingdom safe and sound, but as a drug addict. I had to go to Al-Amal Hospital for Rehabilitation. I took a solemn oath never to travel abroad without my family.”
Saudi national Abdullah Al-Otaibi’s only son traveled with his friends to an Arab country to spend the summer vacation. “For two months, there was no news from him: His mobile was switched off. However, he suddenly came back, but as a different man. He became more religious and always wanted to be left alone. I only discovered what had happened to him when he was caught by security forces on charges of plotting to execute a terrorist operation.” [he had gone wrong not because he wanted to kill Infidels but because, having "become more religious," he now believed that the corrupt and decadent Al-Saud family and its regime should be regarded, and treated, as Infidels]
Commenting on these experiences, sociologist Faiz Abdullah Al-Hoshan of the College of Social Sciences at King Saud University said society is to blame largely for the mistakes committed by young Saudis when they travel abroad alone.
He pointed out that young Saudis without their families outside were easy targets for organized gangs and were liable to commit mistakes. “They are vulnerable because they are not immune against the hazards they may face outside,” he said.
Al-Hoshan said that social and religious enlightenment was the weapon we should arm our youths with. “We should not shy away from arming our young men and women with sexual, cultural and health awareness,” he said.
“We should increase the dose of social awareness through media, the Internet and other forums,” he added.
Al-Hoshan warned that the outside world looked at the young Saudis from a very narrow perspective, thinking they are only out for booze, drugs and women. This makes them an easy prey for organized gangs, he said.
Posted on 06/29/2011 8:26 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Send These Tunisians Back, Now That Ben Ali Is Gone And Everything Is Wonderful In Tunisia
Tunisians discover secret archive in Paris
Homeless migrants sheltering in former Tunisian government building discover thousands of documents from ousted regime.
In their quest to find a refuge from the streets of Paris, a group of Tunisian migrants have unwittingly become the centre of controversy.
They were amongst the thousands of Tunisians who fled economic and political uncertainty in their homeland early in the year, in the heady days after an uprising forced Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the country's former president, from power.
There are an estimated 600 Tunisians now living on the streets of the French capital, mostly from southern Tunisia, with little assistance from either the French authorities or their own government. [why have they not been sent back? What is wrong with the French state, that is supposed to keep out undesired immigrants who simply want to enjoy the benefits of a well-run and generous non-Muslim nation-state, but without jettisoning Islam, the source of misrule in their own countries?]
The French government has taken a hard line against these children of the revolution, with police playing cat-and-mouse, chasing them from camp to camp.
A 30 year old man from the southern Tunisian town of Zarzis, who preferred to go by the name of Karim, told Al Jazeera how he took a boat to the Italian island of Lampadusa on February 10, then took a train to Paris after five days.
Since then, Karim says, he has not stopped moving from place to place in search of somewhere to spend the night.
"Now we are really in the sh*t," he said.
Disillusioned, many want to return home, but have no way to buy a ticket back.
"There are many people who want to go back to Tunisia but have no support," Ali Gargouri, a French-Tunisian activist who has lived in France for many years, told Al Jazeera. "The Tunisian embassy is doing nothing to help them."
One particular group of recent migrants turned to what they thought would be a legitimate sleeping place. On May 31, around 30 Tunisians took up camp in an abandoned building that had been officially known as the Tunisian Cultural Centre.
They quickly discovered that the site at 36, rue Botzaris, in a northeastern neighbourhood of Paris, had in fact belonged to Ben Ali's now disbanded political party, the Rally for Constitutional Democracy (RCD).
They had stumbled across thousands of pages of archives from the former ruling party.
The migrants found two rooms filled with photos, correspondence, financial records, lists of RCD members in France, information on Tunisian dissidents, along with files on French political figures and journalists, sources told Al Jazeera.
The documents, activists promise, could contain many explosive scandals, particularly when it comes to French politicians.
Gargouri told Al Jazeera that a committee has been created to decide on what should be done with the documents, which are drawing considerable interest from media. For now, their contents remain a mystery.
A week later, the French police evicted them - at the request of the Tunisian embassy. With nowhere else to go, the group returned to the former "Cultural Centre" a few hours after they had been forcibly removed.
Yet the Tunisian authorities, who had paid little attention to this building until the migrants moved in, persisted in their efforts to assert their ownership of this building, which had been owned privately.The state has effectively taken over RCD properties elsewhere, after a Tunisian court dissolved the former ruling party and liquidated its assets and funds in March.
According to a statement from the Tunisian embassy in Paris on June 9, the decision to expel the migrants was made because of acts of vandalism, violence and complaints from the neighbours.
Then, on June 16, French police officers returned, forcing the Tunisians out definitively.
The statement adds that, with its annexation of the building, it "benefits henceforth from the cover of diplomatic immunity".
Embassy officials refused to offer further comment to Al Jazeera.
Knowledge could be power
Paul Da Silva, a French activist who lobbies for freedom of information, says that the documents contain explosive revelations about French ties with the former regime's leading figures.
"That's why we're here, to remind everyone that French politicians have been complicit with Ben Ali," he said.
Much of the RCD's official records disappeared in the chaos that followed Ben Ali's fall from power on January 14, with document-burning sprees reported in public buildings across the country.
For lawyers and activists, the document stash in Paris gives them a second chance to comb through the RCD's activities.
There have been reports in French media that some of the files were sold, and commentators note that some of those aware of the archive have had months to remove sensitive material. Al Jazeera is unable to confirm these reports.
The only major French political party to speak out about the episode is Europe Ecology (EELV), which condemned France's failure to support the migrants at a time when Tunisia has itself offered refugee to some 500,000 migrants fleeing the conflict in Libya.
"It's surprising that the French authorities have devoted so many resources to the protection of buildings and archives belong to the old [Tunisian] regime and have showed so little concern about the lack of any humanitarian reception for the Tunisians," Cécile Duflot, the Ecology party's national secretary, said.
The discovery of the alleged archives has coincided with the opening of an investigation into Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's assets in France.
With questions hanging over just how deep Tunisia's political class is willing to dig into the alleged abuses and corruption that was so rife under the former regime, the documents could be a means for independent lawyers and activists to push for justice, whether in French or Tunisian courtrooms, on their own terms.
Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi were found guilty in absentia of theft and of charges relating to the illegal possession of arms and jewelry a week ago. The former president and those close to him will face many more trials over extensive allegations in the weeks and months to come.
Yet critics of the legal process say it is not going far enough, noting that the court dealt the first conviction during the trial in absentia lasted a mere 24 hours, leaving little opportunity for investigators to lay bare the bones of the regime. Activists argue that corruption extended well beyond the former president, and that knowing the truth is essential if Tunisia is to successfully make the transition to democracy.
"The Tunisian judiciary system is still not independent or unbiased," Gargouri said. "People are focusing on the Ben Ali trial rather than looking too closely at the government that's in power now."
A judicial investigation targeting Ben Ali and the former Egyptian president, Hosni Moubarak, for money laundering allegations was opened in France on June 14.
As early as January 17, three organisations - the Arab Commission for Human Rights, SHERPA and Transparence International France - filed a complaint with the French public prosecutor urging a judicial inquiry into the assets held by the Ben Ali and Trabelsi families in France.
Myriam Svy, head of research at Transparency International France, told Al Jazeera that the French judicial authorities opened the investigation on June 9.
"Our objective is that a deep investigation is carried so that all the properties, all the money, can be returned to the Tunisian people," Svy said.
The former Tunisian leader has issued a press release claiming he owns no property or bank accounts in France or any other foreign country.
Habib Essid, the Tunisian interior minister, visited Paris on June 15, the evening before the French authorities forcibly evicted the migrants from the former RCD property. No official reason was given for the visit and the Tunisian interior ministry did not respond to Al Jazeera's queries regarding the reason for trip.
Since the eviction, the building - along with all the remaining documents - is under guard by a private security company 24 hours a day.
The Tunisian embassy chose to legally annex the building at 36, rue Botzaris on June 17 - a decision which throws a cloak of diplomatic immunity over the building, which means any remaining documents are effectively beyond the reach of the French legal system.
Ahead of the eviction, Gargouri and Soumaya Taboubi, French-Tunisian lawyer, transferred one-third of the documents to a "secure place".
The activists removed well over 1,000 documents, Gargouri said, after some documents began disappearing.
Tip of the iceberg
As for the Tunisian migrants, they have been forced to scatter under continuing police pressure.
After their eviction, the group moved to the Buttes Chaumount Park across the street from the building. There, they faced daily visits from the police.
"The police are coming daily in unmarked cars to try to scare them," Gargouri said. "It's a question of intimidating and pressuring migrants."
One night, it was teargas. Then their camp was destroyed by a squad of 50 police. On Wednesday, 22 Tunisians were arrested, only to be released within 24 hours.
A handful of French activists visited them daily, with some, including Paul Da Silva, spending several nights in the park.
Their case is but one example of how the French government's approach to the unprecedented influx of migrants has been to turn up the repression, activists say.
According to the EU's Frontex agency, more than 22,000 people were intercepted crossing into Italy from January to March, a 99 per cent increase on the number taking the same route in the same period last year.
In many ways, groups living on the streets are the lucky ones. Some 1,387 Libyan and Tunisian migrants drowned trying to make the trip to Europe between January and March, UNITED, a European NGO, told Al Jazeera.
Pascale Boistard, associate for integration and foreigners from outside the EU for the Paris city council, told Al Jazeera that France's national government was neglecting its legal responsibility to assist the migrants.
Boistard argues that the Socialist-controlled city authorities are doing everything they can to help thousands of Tunisian migrants who travelled to France, including providing food and assistance to many of them.
The municipality has provided housing to some 310 of the recent Tunisian migrants, Boistard said, even though this is something the national government should be dealing with.
"It's the state and the government that is doing nothing," Boistard, a member of France's Socialist Party, said.
"On April 22, we wrote to Claude Gueant [France's interior minister and immigration minister] to alert him of the humanitarian situation. His response was to say that we should arrest the Tunisians."
Gueant told the Paris municipal authorities that no assistance should be offered to the Tunisians migrants, because, according to him, they were in France illegally - including those who had been issued with temporary residency permits by the Italian authorities.
"We are in a situation where the migrants are constantly being arrested, then released immediately after," Boistard said.
Boistard added that the government was ignoring an agreement President Nicolas Sarkozy had signed with Ben Ali in 2008, under which France agreed to offer assistance to 9,000 Tunisian migrants a year to help them return home.
Since January, the government has frozen the processing of repatriation requests, a move which is further exacerbating the humanitarian situation, Boistard told Al Jazeera.
In the interest of maintaining the government's image as being "tough" on immigration, nothing is being done to help the migrants, she argued.
In the case of the Botzaris group, she denied that the municipal authorities had anything to do with the request to evict them. The decision was made either by police, or came via the interior ministry, she said.
"The Tunisians in the building were evicted at the request of the [Tunisian] embassy. We weren't informed by the police that the eviction was going to take place."
"I find that France is not living up to its history, and the values that it embodies," she said.
Neither the immigration ministry or the interior ministry, both run by Gueant, responded to Al Jazeera's requests for comment. The Paris police department also refused to comment.
Bertrand Delanoë, Paris' Socialist mayor, has set aside $1.2mn for Tunisian migrants in Paris. Activists working with the Botzaris group, however, say they have yet to see this any of this emergency fund go towards supporting these migrants.
At the time of writing, no solution for accomadation has been found, and few French NGOs working with the homeless had showed up to offer assistance.
"The organistions say there's still a problem and that the money is not enough," explained Da Silva.
Politicians in Tunisia, busy preparing for the October election, have largely been silent on the plight of their compatriots.
"These political parties, they'll be governing the country in a few months. Normally, they should be intervening with the French authorities on behalf of these migrants," Gargouri said.
The Democratic Forum for Work and Freedoms (Ettakatol-FDTL), a leftwing Tunisian opposition party, questioned this explanation, calling on the Tunisian embassy to publically clarify "the real reasons for its eviction request".
Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the party's general-secretary, wrote to Sarkozy, saying that is was hard to understand why the young people, "neither delinquents or terrorists … should be hunted down like criminals and abuses simply because of their nationality, in a friendly country that has also told them that it was the birthplace of the Declaration of Human Rights".
In contrast to the official indifference, a vibrant social media campaign has emerged in support of the "Botzaris" migrants.
Thanks to a handful of devoted activists, supporters have been able to follow Twitter and a website set up for the group for constant news, photos and video of the group's difficulties and to respond to calls for solidarity or advice.
The conversation taking place on Twitter, under the hashtag #Botzaris36 was the second highest trending topic in France within days of the group's eviction.
The nightly police raids have had their effect, however, and most of the group have abandoned their attempts to sleep in the shelter of the Buttes Chaumount Park.
"We've suffered many difficulties: with the police, the French state, even with the Tunisian state," Karim said. "Now we must keeping going until the end, that's all we can do. What other choice is there?"
Posted on 06/29/2011 8:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
The Flowers Of That "Arab Spring" In Egypt Keep On Blooming
From The Guardian:
June 29, 2011
Cairo street clashes leave more than 1,000 injured
Fighting between police and protesters is worst since Mubarak's fall as new leaders accused of same slow tactics on reform
An Egyptian protester injured during clashes with security forces evacuated from Tahrir square in the worst violence since Mubarak's fall. Photograph: Amel Pain/EPA
The fiercest street fighting seen in central Cairo since the fall of Hosni Mubarak has left more than 1,000 people injured, as popular dissatisfaction with the military-led transitional government boiled over into violence.
In what analysts have labelled a "critical turning point" in Egypt's ongoing revolution, several thousand people clashed with heavily armed riot police in and around Tahrir Square on Tuesday night, leading to dozens of arrests.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces blamed "sedition" for the unrest and vowed to hunt down those responsible. Throughout Tuesday night and yesterday morning protesters chanted demands for the resignation of Egypt's de facto leader, Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, as security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds.
The demonstrations follow five months of accumulated frustration among many sections of the Egyptian public over the slow pace of reform since an 18-day uprising toppled Mubarak and ushered in a military junta, which has promised to hand over power to a democratically elected civilian government later this year.
There has been particular anger over the perceived lack of accountability for stalwarts of the old regime. Although some former government ministers have been found guilty of corruption, the trials of the former justice minister Habib al-Adly and Mubarak himself – the two men many hold responsible for the killing of unarmed demonstrators by police – are yet to take place, while police officers accused of unlawful killing continue in their posts and families of the victims report being bribed or threatened to drop their legal cases.
"These clashes are the result of Egypt's new regime trying to reproduce the authoritarian policies and brutal, unaccountable security apparatus that were the tools of dictatorship for the old regime, and they are a critical turning point for the revolution," said Nabil Abdel Fattah, a political analyst at the al-Ahram Centre.
"We are seeing the same tactics – tear gas, bullets, state violence – that Mubarak used, and more importantly we are hearing the same discourse from Egypt's interim rulers. 'This is a plot to destabilise the country, there are shadowy groups trying to sow discord,' claim the cabinet and the army generals, but where is this plot and who is writing it? In fact the only 'plot' is the anger of the people against a political elite that has initiated no real change, and a government that marginalises the poorest in Egyptian society and has little credibility in the eyes of the masses."
The Guardian has spoken to residents in the downtown area who claim that central security forces (CSF) asked them to come and help defend the interior ministry from "criminal thugs" who were allegedly smashing up shops and cars in the area. "We stood with the police for some time and threw rocks at the civilians on the other side," said one man who preferred not to be named.
"We genuinely thought the CSF needed our help – they told us that if the thugs saw ordinary people standing side by side with the police, they would be scared off and calm would be restored. But the CSF then made the situation much worse by deliberately firing into the crowds, which brought lots of peaceful protesters on to the scene and it turned into a big battle. I don't know why the CSF did that but it felt like they wanted to make trouble."
Demonstrators claim that far from being criminals, the civilians on the street were families of those killed during January's uprising. For the past few months the terms "thugs", "criminals" and "counter-revolutionaries" have been regularly deployed by the authorities to describe anyone deemed to be provoking instability in the post-Mubarak era.
The events of the past 48 hours are likely to increase the pressure on the interim prime minister, Essam Sharaf.
"Sharaf is honest and gentle but has offered nothing substantive in terms of change; he's been reduced to a mouthpiece of the military and he must resign," said Abdel Fattah.
"People are realising that despite the rhetoric, no reform is going to be initiated by the political elite. It has to come from the street and I think the next major demonstration in Tahrir which is planned for 8 July will be an example of that."
Posted on 06/29/2011 4:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
No Need For The West To Keep Funding Egypt's Military
Mubarak may have been sacrificed, but the most malevolent force in Egypt --until the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafis come to power -- has been, since 1952, when the ancien regime of waddling chemin-de-fer-and-petites-filles Farouk was overturned, and the military took over: Naguib and Nasser, and then Nasser, until 1969 (he survived, just, his self-generated defeat in the Six-Day War by only two years), and then Sadat, and then Mubarak. The rule by thieving military required the invention of a word to describe it -- stratokleptocracy -- which google -- and that rule continues. There is no reason for American taxpayers to have shelled out more than $80 billion for Egypt, half going to keep Egyptians from beginning to recognize the limits of their own growth (the Egyptian population has, like other Arab populations, been exploding -- with subsidies on staples made possible with Western non-Muslim aid), and half going to the malign military who are preparing for war only with one country,a country that deserves not to be surrounded by potent enemies,enemies made potent by Western arms -- Israel.
Cut off the aid to the Egyptian military. And then the econoimc aid too. Let Saudis, Kuwaitis, Emiratis, Qataris show that they can deliver a message to fellow members of the Umma. (Message: I Care). Non-Muslims have enough to worry about, having spent trillions trying to drag Muslims out of their violence, aggression, inshallah-fatalism, interncine warfare, inability to compromise in the war over political power and hence over the distribution of national wealth, and all the rest to be observed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, dappertutto.
Posted on 06/29/2011 4:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
A Musical Interlude: Egyptian Ella (Ted Lewis Orch. & voc.)
Posted on 06/29/2011 4:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
The Size Of The Squander, Or, That 3.7 Trillion Dollar War
From CBS News:
Study: Post-9/11 wars cost U.S. at least $3.7T
U.S. Army Pvt. Howard Terrel uses binoculars to scan the horizon from Combat Outpost Bowri Tana in Gorbuz, Afghanistan, on the border with Pakistan, June 28, 2011.
The final bill American taxpayers will end up paying for the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq will be much more than the total amount put forward by the Congress and the federal government, the Reuters news agency reported Wednesday.
The Reuters article focused on a Brown University research project released Wednesday titled "Costs of War." In the end, between at least $3.7 trillion and $4.4 trillion -- mostly in taxpayer dollars -- will have been spent on wartime expenses, mostly on the U.S. military's missions in the respective countries that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein once called home. [note the misplaced epithet "respective" which should be adverbized and come after Hussein: "respectively"]
The report's release comes as President Obama and congressional Republicans negotiate a deal on federal spending and the national debt. The Treasury Department warns that the United States will default unless the government receives by Aug. 2 the required congressional approval to borrow more money.
The research project's publication also comes a week after Mr. Obama announced his plan to withdraw the so-called "surge" of 33,000 American troops from Afghanistan before Election Day 2012 and the majority of U.S. service members from the country by 2014.
Reuters noted that Mr. Obama told viewers of his prime-time speech in which he announced the drawdown that "over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war." The Congressional Research Service reported in March that the estimated cost of war funding since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks are $1.4 trillion through 2012, Reuters reports.
"I don't know what the president knows, but I wish it were a trillion," Boston University professor Neta Crawford, a co-director of the report, told Reuters. "It would be better if it were a trillion."
Reuters reports the Brown University research project includes in its total price tag the costs of:
Projected benefits for veterans through 2050: Between $589 billion and $934 billion
Additional Pentagon appropriations: Between $326 billion and $652 billion
Projected war-related spending between 2012 and 2020: $453 billion
Homeland security spending: $401 billion
"Social costs" paid by service members and their families: Between $295 billion and $400 billion
Interest payments for debt incurred from borrowing for war spending: $185 billion
War-related foreign aid: $74 billion
The study doesn't include what Reuters estimates to be at least $1 trillion more in interest that must be paid.
The research project also focuses on the human cost of the wars. As of this writing, The Associated Press reports that 4,466 American troops have died in Iraq, and at least 1,534 U.S. service members have died in the Afghan war. The study estimates that wartime actions directly resulted in the deaths of between 224,000 and 258,000 people, including 125,000 Iraq civilians.
However, one of the project's co-directors told Reuters that the Pentagon's tally of troops who died from the wars should include those who come home and commit suicide or die in car accidents.
"The rate of chaotic behavior is high," said Catherine Lutz, head of Brown's anthropology department.
Lutz told Reuters that the study aimed to answer whether the wars were ultimately worth it in the eyes of Americans.
"I hope that when we look back, whenever this ends," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told Reuters, "something very good has come out of it."_____________________
If "good" is defined correctly as weakening the Camp of Islam, that can only be achieved not by having been in Iraq and Afghanistan, and getting entangled with -- and sending large amounts of aid to -- other Muslim states such as Pakistan and Egypt, but by removing ourselves and letting the internecine squabbles play themselves out, and they won't end quickly, because once despots have been removed in Muslim countries, the natural violence and aggression to be found in states suffused with Islam will make it difficult for things to die down.
And that -- after the withdrawals -- will constitute the only "victory" that makes sense.
Posted on 06/29/2011 5:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
In "Arab Spring" Tunisia, Secularists Fight To Keep Control
Tunisia Islamists arrested after clashes in capital
Tue Jun 28, 2011
By Andrew Hammond and Tarek Amara
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian police arrested 26 Islamists on Tuesday after they clashed with a group of lawyers, a witness and a government official said, as tensions rise over the country's post-revolutionary future.
The Islamists had been demanding the release of seven fellow fundamentalists when they got into a confrontation outside the justice ministry with a group of lawyers, who generally favour a secular course for the nation after January's revolution.
The violence, in which one lawyer was hospitalised, flared two days after dozens of Islamist fundamentalists known as Salafis attacked a cinema in central Tunis over of a Tunisian short film whose title they regarded as offensive.
Police arrested seven men after that incident, an interior ministry official said, and this led to Tuesday's incident.
"Around 100 men gathered in front of the ministry of justice to demand the release of the seven men," a witness said on Tuesday. "There was a verbal exchange with five lawyers. Then they attacked the lawyers and one was taken to hospital."
An interior ministry official said 26 men were later arrested and identified them as Salafi, a term for Sunni Muslim traditionalists who advocate returning to what they consider to be the practices of early Muslims.
Islamists have become a stronger force in Tunisia since the fall of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled for over 23 years with an iron security grip, in the popular uprising.
An interim government is overseeing a transition to democracy via elections in October to a body charged with writing a new constitution, before parliamentary and presidential elections next year.
Ben Ali made the small North African, Arab country of 10 million a citadel of pro-Western secularism where Islamists were allowed no say in public life.
But Islamists are seen as a strong force in society, while al Qaeda has a north African wing that the government fears is trying to take advantage of the transition period and civil war in neighbouring Libya.
The interior ministry says suspected al Qaeda militants opened fire on security forces last month in north Tunisia, killing four people, while three of the nine assailants were shot dead.
The authorities have licensed the once-banned Ennahda party to operate in Tunisia, a moderate Islamist group [see Martin Kramer in Rachid Gannouchi for more on this "moderate Islamist" party] close to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. It is seen as the country's strongest political group. However, the Salafi Tahrir party has been refused a licence to operate.
Tunisia's state news agency reported earlier this week that men it called Salafis stormed into a cinema on Sunday using teargas to stop the showing of the film called "No God, No Master".
"The people want to criminalise atheism," they shouted, according to the report -- a variation on the phrase "the people want to bring down the regime" used by protesters across the Arab world in uprisings this year.
"After Ben Ali's fall, Tunisia is witnessing the rise of leftist, nationalist and Islamist forces who are wrestling among themselves over control of public space and win over the biggest number of voters," the daily al-Sarih said on Tuesday. ["nationalist" means secular; attention to Tunisia means delibate inattention to the Umma, or possibly -- it's still unclear -- the pan-Arab subset of, only superficially an alternative to, pan-Islam sentiment].
Posted on 06/29/2011 7:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
A Gentleman In A Dustcoat Trying
Re-posted from August 2010:
I’ve been a waiter, a soda jerk, a lumberjack, a taxi driver, a taxidermist (my red-cheeked cordon-bleu has won prizes), a car hop, a bellhop, an usher, a wedding singer, a singing waiter, and a gandy dancer on the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe. I’ve been a security guard, a lifeguard, a guardian ad litem, a landscape gardener, a funeral home attendant, an exceedingly grave digger, a nightclub singer of songs about love, loss, and longing, a wheat farmer in central Iowa, and the editor of the four-volume correspondence of Braccio Poggiolini. And recently I’ve done something having to do with Pressing Topics of the Day, about which there is actually such a limited amount to say, that one must keep spicing up the material with a special secret blend of home-made rhetoric to make the subject interesting for oneself and for others. But as it is now going to be time to seek pastures or venues new or at least avenues leading away from the boulevard of broken dreams, all reasonable suggestions and offers as to other employment – life coach, editor, spiritual advisor to a hedge fund operator are some that come to mind-- will be examined with appropriate gratitude. This is not a joke. There is no such thing right now as a joke. So feel free. I will be waiting here for responses. I hope there are some. The lights are going out in the gardens of the West, and I’m not feeling so well myself.
Posted on 06/29/2011 5:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Moldovan police thwart uranium sale to African Muslim
From ABC Australia
Authorities in Moldova say they have detained six men and seized a quantity of enriched uranium. The seized uranium can be used to arm nuclear weapons and is valued at nearly $29 million.An interior ministry official said it came from Russia.
The six men are accused of trying to sell at least a kilo to a Muslim national from an unnamed African country.
"The container with uranium has been in Chisinau for a week," senior police investigator Vitalie Briceag told reporters.
Four detainees were Moldovans and two were citizens of the unrecognised Transdniestria, a breakaway region of the former Moldavian Soviet republic.
"We have been helped by experts from Ukraine, Germany and the United States," Mr Briceag said.
Posted on 06/29/2011 5:41 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Senator Lugar, The Obama Administration, And A Constitutional Question
Sen. Dick Lugar Slams Obama over War Powers Authority
Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Republican Leader of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, prepared the following remarks for a committee hearing Tuesday on the legality of President Obama’s war in Libya.
I thank Chairman Kerry for meeting to consider the legal and Constitutional basis for ongoing U.S. military operations in Libya. The President declined to seek Congressional authorization before initiating hostilities. Subsequently, he has carried them out for more than three months without seeking or receiving Congressional authorization.
This state of affairs is at odds with the Constitution, and it is at odds with the President’s own pronouncements on war powers during his presidential candidacy. For example, in December 2007, he responded to a Boston Globe question by saying: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Before our discussion turns to Constitutional and legal issues, I believe it is important to make a more fundamental point. Even if one believes that the President somehow had the legal authority to initiate and continue U.S. military operations in Libya, it does not mean that going to war without Congress was either wise or helpful to the operation.
The vast majority of members of Congress, constitutional scholars, and military authorities would endorse the view that Presidents should seek Congressional authorization for war when circumstances allow. There is a near uniformity of opinion that the chances for success in a war are enhanced by the unity, clarity of mission, and constitutional certainty that such an authorization and debate provide.
There was no good reason why President Obama should have failed to seek Congressional authorization to go to war in Libya. A few excuses have been offered ranging from an impending Congressional recess to the authority provided by a UN Security Council Resolution. But these excuses do not justify the President’s lack of Constitutional discipline. Twelve days before the United States launched hostilities I called for the President to seek a declaration of war before taking military action. The Arab League resolution, which is cited as a key event in calculations on the war was passed a full week before we started launching cruise missiles. There was time to seek Congressional approval, and Congress would have debated a war resolution if the President had presented one.
This debate would not have been easy. But Presidents should not be able to avoid Constitutional responsibilities merely because engaging the people’s representatives is inconvenient or uncertain. If the outcome of a congressional vote on war is in doubt, it is all the more reason why a President should seek a debate. If he does not, he is taking the extraordinary position that his plans for war are too important to be upset by a disapproving vote in Congress.
The Founders believed that Presidents alone should not be trusted with war making authority, and they constructed checks against executive unilateralism. James Madison, in a 1797 letter to Thomas Jefferson stated, “The Constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature.”
Clearly, there are circumstances under which a President might be justified in employing military force without Congressional authorization. But as Senator Webb has pointed out systematically, none of the reasons apply to the Libyan case. Our country was not attacked or threatened with an attack. We weren’t obligated under a treaty to defend the Libyan people. We were not rescuing Americans or launching a one-time punitive retaliation. Nor did the operation require surprise that would have made a public debate impractical.
In this case, President Obama made a deliberate decision not to seek a Congressional authorization of his action, either before it commenced or during the last three months. This was a fundamental failure of leadership that placed expedience above Constitutional responsibility.
Some will say that President Obama is not the first President to employ American forces overseas in controversial circumstances without a congressional authorization. But saying that Presidents have exceeded their Constitutional authority before is little comfort. Moreover, the highly dubious arguments offered by the Obama Administration for not needing congressional approval break new ground in justifying a unilateral Presidential decision to use force. The accrual of even more war making authority in the hands of the Executive is not in our country’s best interest, especially at a time when our nation is deeply in debt and our military is heavily committed overseas.
At the outset of the conflict, the President asserted that U.S. military operations in Libya would be “limited in their nature, duration, and scope.” On this basis, the Administration asserted that the actions did not require a declaration of war. Three months later, these assurances ring hollow. American and coalition military activities have expanded to an all but declared campaign to drive Qadhafi from power. The Administration is unable to specify any applicable limits to the duration of the operations. And the scope has grown from efforts to protect civilians under imminent threat to obliterating Libya’s military arsenal, command and control structure, and leadership apparatus.
Most recently, the Administration has sought to avoid its obligations under the War Powers Resolution by making the incredible assertion that U.S. military operations in Libya do not constitute hostilities. Even some prominent supporters of the war have refused to accept this claim.
The Administration’s own description of the operations in Libya underscores the fallacy of this position. U.S. warplanes have reportedly struck Libya air defenses some sixty times since NATO assumed the lead role in the Libya campaign. Predator drones reportedly have fired missiles on some 30 occasions. Most significantly, the broader range of airstrikes being carried out by other NATO forces depend on the essential support functions provided by the United States.
The War Powers Resolution required the President to terminate the introduction of U.S. forces into hostilities in Libya on May 20, sixty days after he notified Congress of the commencement of the operation. The Administration declined to offer any explanation of its view that U.S. forces were not engaged in hostilities in Libya until nearly a month later, on June 15. Even at that point, the Administration’s explanation was limited to four perfunctory sentences in a 32-page report on the Libya operations.
Administration analysis focuses on the question of whether U.S. casualties are likely to occur, thereby minimizing other considerations relevant to the use of force. If this definition of hostilities were accepted, Presidents would have significant scope to conduct warfare through remote means such as missiles and drones. It would deny Congress a say in other questions implicated in decisions to go to war, including the war’s impact on U.S. strategic interests, on our relations with other countries, and on our ability to meet competing national security priorities.
The Administration’s report also implies that because allied nations are flying most of the missions over Libya, the U.S. operations are not significant enough to require Congressional authorization. This characterization underplays the centrality of the U.S. contribution to the NATO operations in Libya. We are contributing 70 percent of the coalition’s intelligence capabilities and the majority of its refueling assets. The fact that we are leaving most of the shooting to other countries does not mean that the United States is not involved in acts of war. If the United States encountered persons performing similar activities in support of al Qaeda or Taliban operations, we certainly would deem them to be participating in hostilities against us. Moreover, the language of the War Powers Resolution clearly encompasses the kinds of operations U.S. military forces are performing in support of other NATO countries.
These concerns are compounded by indications that the Administration’s legal position was the result of a disputed decision process. According to press reports, the President made the decision to adopt this position without the Department of Justice having the opportunity to develop a unified legal opinion. It is regrettable that the Administration has refused our requests to make witnesses from the Departments of Defense and Justice available for today’s hearing.
Finally, one would expect the Administration to be fully forthcoming on consultations about Libya to compensate, in some measure, for the lack of Congressional authorization for the war. Although consultations in no way substitute for formal authorization – a view corroborated in the legal scholarship of Mr. Koh — they serve a vital purpose in unifying the government and providing Congress with a basis for decision making on the war. For the most part, for example, the Clinton Administration and President Clinton, himself, consulted meaningfully with Congress during the U.S. intervention in the Balkans.
In sharp contrast, the Obama Administration’s efforts to consult with Congress have been perfunctory, incomplete, and dismissive of reasonable requests. This Committee alone has experienced at least three occasions when briefings were canceled or relevant witnesses were denied without explanation. As Senator Corker has pointed out, very basic questions about the operation have gone unanswered. Deputy Secretary of State Steinberg declined to address certain questions on the basis that they could only be answered by the military, and yet the Administration has refused to provide the Committee with Defense Department witnesses. This inexplicable behavior contributes to the damage that the Libya precedent might create in the future.
I do not doubt that President Obama elected to launch this war because of altruistic impulses. But that does not make the U.S. intervention in Libya any less of a war of election. Nor does the fig leaf that American pilots are flying a minority of the missions within the coalition justify the contention that we are not engaged in hostilities, especially since U.S. participation enables most of the operations underway.
The President does not have the authority to substitute his judgment for Constitutional process when there is no emergency that threatens the United States and our vital interests. The world is full of examples of local and regional violence, to which the U.S. military could be applied for some altruistic purpose. Under the Constitution, the Congress is vested with the authority to determine which, if any, of these circumstances justify the consequences of American military intervention. I thank the Chairman.
Read more: http://www.thestatecolumn.com/indiana/sen-dick-lugar-slams-obama-over-war-powers-authority/#ixzz1QiadEmom
Posted on 06/29/2011 8:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
More On That Maunder Minimum, And How It Might Be Misunderstood
Read Georg Feulner, and the comments on his paper and the topic, here.
Posted on 06/29/2011 8:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Magdi Allam Denounces The Favoring Of Islam And Muslims By Mayor Pisapia And Cardinal Tettamanzi
Giuliano Pisapia is a political figure -- the newly-elected mayor of Milan, with a standard Italian left -- defending terrorists etc. -- background. Dionigi. Tettamanzi is a Cardinal and the Archbisop Emeritus of Millan who is also complacent about Muslims in Italy, and guilty of that simpering Christian goody-goodiness that used to drive the implacably intelligent Oriana Fallaci --an unyielding atheist -- crazy. .
Tettamanzi has just been replaced, because of his age, by Cardinal Scola (formerly in Venice), who is now the new Archbishop of Milan. What is worrisome is that Scola appears to be in the Pisapia-Tettamanzi line, a line denounced by Magdi Allam in a recent article in Il Giornale. .
Read that article, and the comments, in Il Giornale, here.
And perhaps Scola is in the same line. Cacciari, the Mayor of Venice, says -- admiringly -- that Scola does want to make Muslims feel welcome, and is enthusiastic about "dialogue." At this point, anyone in the Western world who puts any trust in "dialogue" with Muslims -- a dialogue with the Muslim deaf, who are only trying to score points for Islam. That is what interfaith dialogue is for Muslims -- a way of inveigling innocent, ignorant, unwary fool-me-please Christians and Jews into helping to make the case for that deceptive "three abrahamic faiths" business, that "three great monotheisms" business, that conceal and obfuscate, and prevent disturbing truths from being attained.
Posted on 06/29/2011 8:47 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
A Dance Interlude: Ginger Rogers Tap-Dancing (Roxie Hart)
Posted on 06/29/2011 9:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
After A Decade Of Americans In Afghanistan: "They Cannot Live Without Foreigners"
From The New York Times:
Attack at Kabul Hotel Deflates Security Hopes in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan — Nazir Amini, an Afghan visiting from his home in Germany, had just returned from the buffet with a bowl of ice cream when two men with an AK-47 rifle and a machine gun started shooting guests around the pool at the Intercontinental Hotel, one of the capital’s most fortified buildings.
Women and children screamed. Chairs tipped backward. Food slid onto the lawn as people started to run. Mr. Amini said he saw police officers running, too, tightly gripping their own AK-47s as they raced away from the gunmen.
“I said, ‘Why don’t you shoot? Shoot!’ ” he recalled. “But they just said, ‘Get away from them.’ And we all ran together.”
Six hours later, at least 21 people were dead, including the nine suicide bombers who managed to penetrate several rings of security on Tuesday night to carry out the attack. The assault has shaken public confidence in the ability of Afghan forces, especially the police, to assume responsibility for security, even here in the capital.
The scene painted by Mr. Amini and several other guests at the hotel vividly demonstrated the challenges facing the Afghan government as it prepares to defend its country without NATO troops after 2014. Last week, President Obama announced that the American military had inflicted enough damage on the insurgency to allow him to begin withdrawing some troops. This week is supposed to be the beginning of the transition to Afghan control, with Kabul, one of the country’s safest cities, scheduled to be among the first places to carry out the transfer.
“We talk about the transition to Afghan security, but the Afghan forces are not ready to take over their security and their country,” said Maulavi Mohammadullah Rusgi, chairman of the Takhar provincial council in northern Afghanistan, who was having dinner at the hotel with friends when the attack commenced. Three of his friends were killed.
“The security forces cannot even protect a few people inside the hotel,” he said. “How can they protect the whole country?”
The assault ended only after NATO helicopters joined the battle, killing three of the insurgents on the hotel’s roof. Still, NATO officials took a more sanguine view of the performance of the Afghan police, saying that they had fought well, once they had their forces arrayed at the scene. “They acquitted themselves pretty well — it could have been a whole lot worse,” said a Western official. [whistling in the dark]
But for the hotel guests, many of whom jumped over the perimeter walls, plunged into irrigation ditches or cowered in closets to escape the attackers, the police response was not only slow, but also cowardly. Several witnesses said police officers ran away or refused to shoot.
Guests milling outside the hotel on Wednesday morning said that without the assistance of the NATO forces, the mayhem would have gone on much longer.
“The main question in Kabul, and on the cusp of transition, is, Are they ready?” said another Western official here, referring to the police. “The Intercontinental attack introduces doubt, and if the transition is supposed to be based on the security conditions, then the conditions haven’t been met.”
Sowing doubt was clearly the intent of the Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the attack. The difficulty the Afghan security forces faced in fending off the assault and in putting out the fire that destroyed half the roof of the building — the blaze took more than an hour to tame — gave the insurgents a propaganda victory, even if the death toll was relatively low compared with other spectacular attacks of recent years. The dead included a Spanish pilot and at least two Afghan police officers.
Mr. Rusgi, the provincial council official from Takhar, said that even after the shooting stopped at 5 a.m., the police were reluctant to enter the hotel, defying the orders of their commander, the police chief, Mohammed Ayoub Salangi.
“The police chief, Salangi, kept telling his people to march — to go, to go ahead into the hotel — but they didn’t go,” he said.
Mr. Rusgi and 11 friends were at dinner when the attack erupted.
“When the gunmen started shooting,” he recounted, “me and my friend Judge Abdul Hanan jumped into a ditch, and I silenced my cellphone to make sure the phone did not make noise so that the gunmen would not shoot us.
“Then Judge Abdul Hanan got out of the ditch and bullets were coming from every direction, and we heard his cellphone ringing, and I told another guy who was with me inside the ditch, ‘See, Judge Hanan is going to make problems for us, and the gunmen will find out we’re here if the cellphones keep ringing.’ ”
Ten minutes later, when the shooting abated, Mr. Rusgi climbed out of the ditch to ask Judge Hanan to turn off his phone. “Then I saw he was bowing toward the ground, and when I moved his head I saw blood all on his body, and he was shot in his chest and belly, and at the same time his cellphone was ringing and I think his family was trying to call him.”
Moments later Mr. Rusgi found two other friends, who had been shot in the head as they tried to hide behind a tree.
A spokesman for the Afghan National Directorate of Security, Lutfullah Mashal, said that there were “loopholes” and “negligence” in the hotel security. He suggested that the attackers might have been able to penetrate the well-fortified hotel, which sits atop a hill overlooking the capital, with help from guards at the compound or by disguising themselves as laborers, because part of the hotel is under renovation. Since the attack, the hotel has been closed, indefinitely.
The security lapses further weaken the public’s confidence that Afghan forces are ready to defend the country. Mr. Amini, who is a car dealer in Germany, was deeply pessimistic.
“Forty-five countries have troops here, but security is still fragile — you cannot serve dinner in one of the largest and most secure restaurants in Kabul,” he said.
“Now we are hearing about a security transition to Afghan forces,” he added. “If they give the security responsibility to the current government at 10:00 a.m., the government will collapse around 12 noon. They cannot live without foreigners.”
Posted on 06/29/2011 9:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Chinese Immigrants In Paris Fear Attacks By North African Muslims
Enquête sur les Chinois de Paris, communauté en plein désarroi
Par Hélène Duvigneau | Journaliste | 26/06/2011 |
Cible facile pour les délinquants, ils ne se sentent pas écoutés par les autorités et tentent se s'organiser pour peser davantage.
Dimanche 19 juin, plusieurs milliers de Chinois et de Français d'origine chinoise ont défilé dans les rues de Paris pour protester contre les agressions répétées dont ils sont victimes.
Pour cette communauté peu habituée à battre le pavé parisien, l'itinéraire est resté classique (de République à Nation), mais leur a offert plus d'espace que l'an dernier, lorsqu'ils avaient été confinés entre Belleville et Colonel-Fabien.
Malgré le mot d'ordre sécuritaire, les slogans ne sont pas sortis du cadre républicain : « Liberté, égalité, fraternité et sécurité », « Sécurité pour tous ! », ou encore « Cessez la violence ! »…
Tout comme la manif organisée le 20 juin 2010 sur la même thématique, mais qui avait rassemblé deux fois plus de monde, c'est un fait divers qui a mis le feu aux poudres : le tabassage, fin mai, d'un employé de restaurant à Belleville. L'homme est toujours dans le coma et une photo le montrant sur son lit d'hôpital tourne sur le Web.
« Les Chinois circulent avec beaucoup d'argent en liquide »
L'édition 2011 s'est déroulée sans accroc, contrairement à l'an dernier, mais six agressions, dont cinq de Chinois, ont été recensées dans les 24 heures suivantes à Belleville. (Voir le diaporama)
La situation des Chinois de Belleville, la préfecture de police la connaît par cœur. En une dizaine d'années, les Chinois de la région de Wenzhou, une ville au sud de Shanghai, ont racheté la plupart des commerces du bas Belleville, où la communauté maghrébine était implantée depuis les années 60.
« Il y a manifestement des agressions qui ont lieu envers la communauté asiatique », reconnaît le directeur de communication de la préfecture de police :
« Les agressions ne sont pas liées à des problèmes raciaux, mais au fait que beaucoup de Chinois ont l'habitude de circuler en transportant sur eux de grosses sommes en liquide. Il y a les recettes des commerçants, les enveloppes rouges des mariages ou l'argent du jeu, les Chinois étant assez joueurs. »
Une délinquance en baisse selon les chiffres, pas les habitants
A la préfecture comme à la mairie du XIe, l'un des quatre arrondissements sur lesquels s'étend Belleville, on assure que la délinquance a diminué depuis un an.
« L'actualité se charge de nous rappeler qu'il y a encore du travail, mais dans l'ensemble, les agressions sur les personnes ont diminué de 8,7% en cinq mois sur l'ensemble de la capitale », explique la police, en prenant appui sur les chiffres de l'Office national de la délinquance (OND).
Mais pour la population, il n'en va pas de même. Wei Ming, 27 ans, arrivé en France à 15 ans, gère une auto-école à Belleville. Il brandit une montagne de photocopies : les dizaines de plaintes pour vols et agressions déposées en quelques mois par les Chinois de Belleville. « Et là, il n'y en a qu'un tiers ! Quand est-ce qu'on va finir par arrêter ces voyous ? »
Membre de l'association des commerçants de Belleville, qui a participé à l'organisation de la manif, il est très remonté contre les pouvoirs publics. « Depuis la dernière réunion du comité de pilotage en septembre, il ne s'est rien passé. On nous abandonne. »
Des migrants qui rechignent souvent à porter plainte
Dans la manif, il est rare que les Chinois interrogés n'aient pas d'exemples à citer de vols à l'arraché ou avec violence. Pour eux, rien n'a changé.
En 2009, un sondage réalisé par l'association Huiji auprès de 183 jeunes Chinois vivant en France révélait qu'un tiers d'entre eux avaient subi une agression physique le plus souvent accompagnée d'un vol. En cause ? « Une délinquance juvénile commune à tous les groupes vulnérables. »
Outre leur habitude du cash, qu'elle soit avouable (culturelle) ou non (économie souterraine) les Chinois ont aussi du mal à s'en référer aux institutions (police, justice) pour faire valoir leurs droits. Souvent arrivés sans-papiers, les migrants survivent en travaillant dans la clandestinité et nourrissent une peur du képi qui ne les incite pas à porter plainte en cas d'agression.
Pour Samir, patron du café Le Pataquès, dans le haut Belleville, la délinquance touche les Chinois, mais pas seulement :
« Les attaques ne sont pas liées à un racisme anti-chinois, et les agresseurs cherchent avant tout de l'argent. Du coup, les vols touchent aussi des non-Asiatiques. »[yes, other non-Muslims are also attacked]
Des agresseurs qui auraient une forme de « racisme de suspicion »
A en croire Richard Béraha, ancien président de l'association Huiji, il existe pourtant une forme de « racisme de suspicion » :
« La police identifie des jeunes en déshérence spécialisés dans l'agression de Chinois, mais elle y consacre peu de temps.
Ce sont souvent des mineurs issus eux aussi de l'immigration et qui développent une vision raciste et discriminatoire à l'encontre des Chinois, proche de celle qui stigmatise les juifs. Ils ont de la thune, en liquide, et le risque est diminué dans la mesure où ils ne portent pas plainte. »
Ce « racisme de suspicion » n'est pas uniquement présent chez ces jeunes, mais aussi chez ceux qui stigmatisent les migrants, notamment l'enrichissement de certains.
Interrogés pendant la manif, plusieurs Chinois mettent en cause, dans un français balbutiant, les jeunes « noirs et arabes » comme étant les auteurs de vols.
Des propos « à prendre avec des pincettes », estime Olivier Wang, porte-parole du collectif des associations asiatiques de France, qui a organisé la manifestation :
« Les gens font un constat, ils décrivent un délinquant, mais cela ne veut pas dire qu'il faille stigmatiser l'ensemble d'une communauté et en monter une contre une autre. Nous-mêmes sommes déjà victimes de stigmatisation. »
Une brigade spéciale pour Belleville… surtout présente le jour
Du côté de la préfecture, on explique qu'un travail est fait auprès des Chinois pour les inciter à être plus prudents. Des brochures ont également été éditées en chinois pour expliquer pourquoi et comment porter plainte.
L'initiative a d'ailleurs entraîné une recrudescence des dépôts de plainte. Depuis janvier, une brigade spéciale de terrain (BST) de 25 hommes patrouille aussi chaque jour entre 14 heures et 22h30, et les correspondants de nuit de la mairie de Paris, chargé de surveiller les zones chaudes, ont élargi leur territoire.
Reste que pour Olivier Wang, ces mesures sont mal ficelées :
« Les agressions ont lieu en général la nuit, une fois que les brigades ont fini leurs rondes. Avec les mêmes moyens, elles pourraient être beaucoup plus efficaces. »
Le soir du 19 juin, Mme Hu, restauratrice et parente de l'homme qui est toujours dans le coma, a été violemment agressée en sortant de son restaurant, à 1h30 du matin. Preuve que la prudence n'est pas encore de mise, elle transportait la recette de son établissement, à savoir 5 000 euros.
La mairie du XXe pas ravie de voir l'ambassade chinoise s'impliquer
Face à ces problèmes, la maire du XXe arrondissement Frédérique Calandra réclame des moyens supplémentaires. Et notamment les patrouilleurs, à l'efficacité vantée par le ministère de l'Intérieur. Elle regrette aussi la difficulté de communication avec la communauté chinoise :
« Cette année, nous n'avons pas été formellement invités à cette manifestation, et nous n'avons pas bien compris qui organisait. »
L'élue relève aussi la « barrière de la langue », la « difficulté à trouver des interlocuteurs représentatifs », mais aussi à « surmonter la crainte naturelle que les Chinois ont lorsqu'il s'agit d'évoquer leurs problèmes ».
Elle s'étonne aussi que lors de l'inauguration de l'association des commerçants de Belleville, dont la mairie a suscité la création en 2010, un représentant de l'ambassade de Chine ait été invité :
« Je souhaite que ces commerçants deviennent surtout des citoyens de Belleville, et je ne suis pas convaincue que la présence d'un représentant de l'ambassade arrange la spontanéité des rencontres. »
Pour Frédérique Calandra, la production de sécurité est l'affaire de tous :
« Tout ce qui tend à déréguler l'espace public, comme la mauvaise gestion des bacs de poubelles, le stockage illégal de denrées sur la voie publique… est générateur d'insécurité. Et puis il y a pas mal d'évasion fiscale. Or l'impôt permet, entre autres, de payer des policiers. » [a point that should not be lost on these Chinese immigrants]
« Entretenir une stratégie de tension avant les élections »
Hamou Bouakkaz, adjoint au maire de Paris chargé de la démocratie locale et de la vie associative, est le seul élu (PS) à avoir discrètement fait le déplacement à la manif de dimanche :
« J'ai rappelé que les questions de sécurité dépendent de la préfecture de police et non de la mairie. Et qu'à ce titre, comme nous sommes en période pré-électorale, vouloir entretenir une stratégie de tension n'est peut-être pas complètement anodin.
Je me suis aussi réjoui de l'émergence du fait associatif chez les Franco-Chinois, ce qui me paraît être un signe d'inclusion dans la société française. »
Un message politique de la gauche municipale dans une manifestation qui manquait justement d'hommes politiques, et alors que l'électorat asiatique est traditionnellement acquis à la droite.
Contrairement aux apparences, les organisateurs de la manifestation ne sont pas les mêmes que ceux de l'an dernier. « En 2010, la manifestation avait été organisée de manière conventionnelle et très institutionnelle », souligne Huong
Tan, membre actif de la diaspora d'origine cambodgienne, employé de la mairie de Paris et proche des réseaux chinois.
« Personne n'aurait imaginé que nous aurions manifesté »
De fait, la manif s'est organisée de manière plus spontanée cette année, en deux ou trois semaines. « Il y a un mois, personne n'aurait imaginé que nous aurions manifesté », souligne Olivier Wang, porte-parole du Collectif des associations asiatiques de France et leurs amis français, organisateur de l'événement.
La plus vieille association de représentants des Chinois en France, l'Association des Chinois résidants en France, surnommée parfois le « mini-consulat », n'a pas été conviée aux réunions de préparation, alors qu'elle avait piloté le défilé de l'an dernier :
« L'association qui a fait la demande de manifestation, l'Association chinoise pour le progrès des citoyens (ACPC), met en avant des valeurs que je ne partage pas », poursuit Huong Tan, qui est aussi le conseiller du président de l'Association des Chinois résidant en France :
« Et comme je ne savais pas comment cela allait être organisé, la prudence m'a incité à ne pas participer. »
Côte français et côté chinois, la peur de dérives racistes
Il faut dire que côté chinois comme français, la crainte de dérives racistes et la présence de partisans d'extrême droite dans le cortège de l'an dernier, a sans doute joué dans la décision de ne pas s'impliquer. Des représentants de l'ambassade de Chine, peu désireux de voir dériver l'événement, auraient essayé de dissuader les organisateurs, et prévu un autre événement au même moment.
Qui plus est, Pékin, qui refuse traditionnellement d'intervenir dans la politique intérieure des pays étrangers, n'avait sans doute pas intérêt à participer à une manifestation qui risquait de donner lieu à des débordements, au moment même où la Chine connaît un vent de révoltes sociales.
Pour Guy, ami des organisateurs et habitant du quartier, ces tensions au sein de la communauté chinoise relèvent également du conflit de générations. « Il y a des jeunes qui veulent manifester, veulent s'intégrer, et refusent d'être récupérés. »
Le collectif organisateur n'a pas de réalité juridique et leurs membres se considèrent plus comme un mouvement de terrain que comme une institution bien structurée.
Plutôt que l'ACPC, jeune structure d'aide aux migrants dont le site Internet est entièrement en chinois, ce sont surtout les commerçants de Belleville qui ont pris en main l'organisation de la manif, aidés par quelques amis du quartier.
Le budget de l'événement, publié sur le site Huarenjie, s'élève à 10 544 euros. L'ensemble a été financé par des dons d'associations et de commerçants.Vingt-et-une personnes ont été recrutées bénévolement pour assurer le service d'ordre et 300 casquettes ont été commandées pour les personnes chargées d'encadrer la manif et d'éviter les débordements.
« L'erreur fut d'avoir des slogans et des drapeaux en chinois »
En deux semaines, trois réunions de préparation ont donné lieu à d'âpres débats, principalement sur la question de l'image à renvoyer.
Faut-il ou pas venir avec des drapeaux et si oui lesquels ? Quels slogans porter ? Comment prévenir les gens ? « Nous sommes des novices », reconnaît Olivier Wang, il y a certainement des choses que nous n'avons pas fait dans les formes. » Comme par exemple ne pas avoir créé de site Internet ou diffusé les contacts des organisateurs…
Autre surprise : ce jeune avocat de 27 ans a été désigné porte-parole du collectif en raison de sa faconde, alors même que son association, l'AJCF, n'a pas participé officiellement à la manif.
Olivier a beaucoup aidé à coacher l'association de commerçants pour éviter de reproduire les erreurs de l'an passé :
« Ce que l'on ne voulait pas c'est d'être accusés de communautarisme. L'an dernier, l'erreur fut d'avoir des slogans en chinois et des drapeaux chinois. Cette année, nous nous sommes dits que nous étions français, du moins une bonne partie d'entre nous, et qu'il fallait nous approprier les symboles français »
« Les jeunes pensent qu'il est temps de participer à la vie citoyenne »
« Ils sont passés sans transition des drapeaux chinois aux Français », s'amuse Guy. « Si pour les Français, manifester avec 300 drapeaux paraît excessif, ce n'est pas le cas des Chinois. »
Pour les organisateurs, il s'agissait surtout d'exprimer un ras-le-bol général, et de défendre l'intérêt des commerçants, tout en dépassant les clivages politiques. Ils n'ont cependant pas toujours bien perçu les risques de récupération, explique Guy :
« C'est compliqué en France de défiler sur cette thématique, car il y a toujours un risque que ce soit perçu comme une campagne d'extrême droite. » [and whose fault is that, if not the media that present any protest against Muslim anti-Infidel attitudes and behavior, as "far-right"]
Cette année, des sites d'extrême droite [what makes them "extreme right"? Nothing at all -- except that they are anti-Islam, against the growth of Muslim numbers, and the Muslim presence, Muslim power, in France] avaient d'ailleurs relayé très tôt l'événement. Autre particularité de la manif : la présence de nombreux jeunes. « Ils sont là parce qu'ils considèrent que la France est leur avenir et qu'il est temps de se réveiller pour participer à la vie citoyenne », analyse Olivier Wang.
Et contrairement à leurs parents, qui ont dû trimer et se taire, eux sont beaucoup plus revendicatifs.
« Les Chinois n'ont en quelque sorte pas “tué le père” »
Pourtant, malgré ces deux manifs, les jeunes ont l'impression que les responsables politiques se désintéressent de la communauté chinoise, traditionnellement considérée comme sans problèmes. Contrairement à d'autres, la communauté asiatique française n'a pas suscité beaucoup de vocations politiques et ne s'est pas non plus dotée d'une instance de représentation.
Deux organismes ont certes discrètement déposé leurs statuts cette année : le Conseil représentatif des associations asiatiques de France (Craaf) et le Conseil national des asiatiques de France (Cnaf).
Mais ils ne font pas l'unanimité. Zhao, membre de l'association des Jeunes chinois de France (AJCF), estime qu'il n'y a « pas encore de vrai leader », et refuse par principe les instances liées à des partis politiques comme c'est le cas du Craaf, dont le fondateur, Chenva Tieu, vient d'être nommé secrétaire national de l'UMP aux affaires étrangères en charge de l'Asie.
Les associations sont par ailleurs souvent soupçonnées d'entretenir un lien plus ou moins lâche avec le régime chinois. Leurs représentants ont la réputation d'avoir chèrement acheté leur fonction et de s'en servir comme carte de visite en Chine. Richard Béraha analyse :
« Les Chinois n'ont en quelque sorte pas “tué le père”. En Chine, travail et famille sont liés, et la piété filiale, très importante, implique aussi bien le respect de la famille que de la hiérarchie. Résultat, le réseau social est la principale ressource et il est difficile de s'en affranchir complètement. »
C'est d'autant plus vrai quand on fait du commerce avec la Chine et que pays monte en puissance. Mais les jeunes de la deuxième génération, et notamment ceux de l'AJCF qui ont grandi en France, veulent que les choses changent.
Désireux de s'affranchir des tutelles, ils se considèrent d'abord comme Français vivant en France, et entendent participer davantage à la vie civique.
One more time:
"The large-scale presence of Muslims in the West has created a situation, for both the indigenous non-Muslims, and for non-Muslim immigrants, that is far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous than would be the case without such a large-scale Muslim presence."
Posted on 06/29/2011 9:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Iran Sends A Message Of "Peace And Friendship"
From Press TV (Iranian propaganda station):
'Israel jolted by Iran naval might'
Commander of Iran's Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari
Iran's Navy says its presence in the high seas despite the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by the West has jolted the enemies of the country, particularly Israel.
“As a powerful country, we have the right and can be present in the high seas,” Fars News Agency quoted Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari as saying on Wednesday.
“This [presence] began in late 2008 and today the 14th Army-dispatched naval group is present in international waters,” he added.
The official pointed to the country's 12th naval group being dispatched to the Red Sea and the Mediterranean and said, “This naval group succeeded, for the first time, in passing through the Bab-el-Mandeb [in] the Red Sea and Suez Canal and entering the Mediterranean Sea,” he said.
The Iranian commander added that this feat jolted the country's enemies “particularly the Zionist regime [of Israel], which did not believe that we could achieve this great achievement,” considering the sanctions imposed against the country.
The United States and its allies accuse Iran of developing a military nuclear program, and used this pretext to pressure the UN to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Iran's financial and military sectors in June 2010.
Iranian officials have repeatedly refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran has a right to use peaceful nuclear technology.
Sayyari also said the Iranian submarine Yunes, which on its maiden mission accompanied the 14th naval group, has just arrived in the Omani capital of Muscat.
He said the submarine has nearly finished its trip and is due back soon.
The official stressed that the presence of Iran's Navy in international waters sends a message of peace and friendship.
Posted on 06/29/2011 9:53 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
In Yemen, "Arab Spring" Weakens The Power Of The State
Strategic Site Is Captured by Militants in Yemen
By LAURA KASINOF
SANA, Yemen — Islamic militants linked to Al Qaeda gained ground on Wednesday in fierce fighting with security forces just outside the southern port city of Zinjibar.
At least 47 people were killed in the clashes, including 5 civilians, according to local military and government officials. The insurgents took over a sports stadium about five miles east of Zinjibar, which is the capital of Abyan Province, and the fighting continued into the night.
The militants took control of Zinjibar on May 29, after having seized the nearby city of Jaar in late March. They call themselves Ansar al Sharia, meaning supporters of Shariah, Islamic religious law; the name was identified by Qaeda leaders this year as an alternate name for their own organization in Yemen.
The stadium they seized has significant strategic value, because it is next to a military base commanded by Gen. Muhammad al-Somli, who has been leading the effort to combat the militants. The stadium had been used to store food and other provisions for about 2,000 soldiers under his command.
A military official in Aden, Yemen, said that 25 soldiers and 11 militants had been killed in the battle for the stadium. There were about 300 militants, said a reporter who was just outside Zinjibar, Ziad Mohammed, and they used machine guns, Katyusha-type rockets and rocket-propelled grenades.
The inability of 2,000 soldiers to hold the stadium against an attack by a few hundred militants appeared to reflect the security forces’ struggle to subdue the militants, who are taking advantage of the security vacuum in the country.
Zinjibar residents reached by telephone said that General Somli had largely been trapped at his base and had been battling over the past few weeks from the outskirts of Zinjibar.
In other fighting in the Zinjibar area, six militants were killed in an airstrike conducted by the Air Defense Forces within the city, said the military official in Aden, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.
Another airstrike during the battle for the stadium accidentally hit a bus full of civilians, killing 5 people and injuring 20, said Ghassan al-Sheikh Faraj, leader of the local government council in Zinjibar. Mr. Faraj has fled to Aden.
Thousands of civilians have also left Zinjibar for Aden, which is about 35 miles away, and many are living in schools there.
The militants’ activity is a serious concern for the United States, which has been pressing the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, once an important ally in the fight against terrorism, to leave office after months of antigovernment protests.
In another development, Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi said in an interview with CNN that Mr. Saleh’s injuries from an attack on June 3 were sufficiently severe that “it could be months” before he can return to Yemen from receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. “This is a decision up to the doctors,” Mr. Hadi said, CNN reported.
Posted on 06/29/2011 9:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Fitzgerald: The Errors Of The Deux-Rivistes
[Re-posted from 2006]
"…still did not fully understand the complexities of the Mediterranean." -- from this article, describing Josep Borrell, president of the European Parliament
Perhaps Josep Borrell can begin to understand the complexities of the Mediterranean starting with the following:
In France successive governments over the past 35 years thought that France, and through France Europe, could be strengthened, could become a counterweight to mighty America, if there were some kind of alliance with the newly-rich and therefore newly-powerful (so it was felt) Arabs. They believed in the policy of "Deux-Rivisme," in which both banks (rives) of the Mediterranean would be seen to have much in common, with the only thing dividing them of importance being the Mediterranean itself. In other words, a feature of geography, and not much more, divided France from, say, Algeria.
That was the theory. On that theory, the French allowed millions of Algerians, and large numbers of Moroccans and Tunisians, to settle within Metropolitan France. The promoters of this policy never thought to ask themselves what Islam was all about, even as millions of Muslims made their taciturn way into France. Of course they were there for economic reasons. Of course it was easy for the French to assume, without more, that these Muslim Arabs would in the end integrate into society, just the way the Portuguese immigrants in the 1950s had, or the Vietnamese immigrants. It was not to be. The strength of the belief-system of Islam, which works against integration, works against acceptance of Infidel neighbors and against loyalty to the institutions of the Infidel nation-state, its laws, its customs, its understandings. But this was not made clear to the rulers by those they counted on for advice. A case of criminal negligence, at all levels of government.
Yet these deux-rivistes are still in power, and it is they who danced to the Arab tune (Mr. Josep Borrell should be sent, posthaste, a copy of Bat Ye’or’s seminal Eurabia). They were hoping, in many cases, to be able themselves, or to have their friends, relatives, and business associates recycle petrodollars, which would naturally be directed to those toward whom the Muslim Arabs felt had done the most to promote Arab interests and the Muslim agenda. And that included giving the Arabs a large say in who taught what about Islam, and where, in France. And this too had consequences.
The deux-rivistes -- of whom Dominique de Villepin is a perfect example, with his gush about Islamic greatness, his conceit that because he was born in 1953 in Sale, next to Rabat, he therefore "understands" the Arabs -- are coming a cropper today. But they still do not realize it. Nor do those who in other countries parroted the same nonsense, the nonsense which says: the only real division between Europe and North Africa is that pesky Mediterranean sea.
No, that sea is the least of it. There is a gulf that divides North Africans from Europeans. That gulf is called Islam. That is what Josep Borell should be studying -- but who can he trust to guide him through the Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, and understand their effect on Believers, when a small army of apologists for Islam has been deployed all over Western Europe, and now constitutes an army of occupation that controls much of what it is possible to learn about Islam, and what is off-limits for investigation and discussion?
In the 1970s, at the end of his life, the distinguished French scholar of Islam Charles-Emmanuel Dufourcq foresaw the terrible consequences of the heedlessness of French immigration policy, and the madness of believing that any Euro-Arab Dialogue could lead to anything but another occasion in which the persistent, relentless, and cunning Arab side would wear down or trick the European side and gain every advantage. And that is exactly what happened, and happens still. The Arabs and Muslims were given a large say in how Islam would be perceived and taught in France and elsewhere in Europe, and they took full advantage of that. Meanwhile, those who had nothing like the scholarly background of Dufroucq, Abel, Fagnan, and other French Orientalists, managed to rise high as advisors on Islam. Deplorable and missing-the-point researchers (conductors of state-supported "recherches" on this and on that) such as Gilles "Wrong Again" Kepel and Olivier "Always Wrong" Roy rose high and are still in place, misleading yet another group of French leaders who, no matter what good grades they may have obtained at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), never learned to think for themselves.
Posted on 06/29/2011 10:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Johann Hari Comes Undone
From the blog GuidoFawkes:
Guido is fairly sure Johann Hari has breached Article 1 of the PCC Code. He has admitted misleading his readers. Despite the desperate attempts by his editor, Simon Kelner, to spin that his favorite son is being attacked for political reasons, the Hari-wagon is coming off of the tracks.
The Telegraph are coming down on him heavily. Firstly there is Brenden O’Neil rightly pointing out that “the notion that one can reach “the truth” by manipulating reality should be anathema to anyone who calls himself a journalist.” Janet Daley weighs in with a valid arguement:
“Many, if not most, of his interviewees were people whom he admired and whose political views he shared. By replacing what he admits were often their less-than-articulate responses to live questions with text from their published works, he was performing a service to their reputations which was worthy of a spin doctor or a professional propagandist.”
Toby Young points us to the career ending decision:
“His fate now turns on whether the committee that awarded him the Orwell Prize for Journalism asks him to return the prize (and the £3,000 prize money). It is hard to see how they could do otherwise, given that Hari still doesn’t seem to think his cut-and-paste habits are anything to be ashamed of.”
And in a slap to Kelner’s face and reputation, this issue goes beyond any left or right divide. The New Statesman is being particularly thorough in making sure the golden child of the left is held to the level of accountability that his platform and reputation deserve. The most damning revelation of the day so far comes from the Staggers, who reveal that Hari directly lifted other peoples work for an “interview” he did with Chavez in 2006. The dictionary definition of plagiarism.
Meanwhile The Guardian have provided a helpful poll on whether you think Hari’s apology was enough, needless to say it’s not looking good for him. Guido is digging around rumours of Hari being fired from his student paper for “making things up in order to make a story stronger”. He also bought you two more accusations of plagiarism earlier and Forbes have compiled cases of Hari getting his facts completely wrong, deliberately perhaps. Hilariously historian Guy Walters has found Hari lifted text Ann Leslie’s biography for his own interview with her. No wonder she said he wasn’t “a real journalist” on Newsnight last night. Brian Whelan, who triggered this onslaught has found another smoking gun.
Right now hundreds of articles by the disgraced bard are being scrutinised, fact-checked, cross-referenced and flagged up. You shake one branch…
More on Johann Hari at NER -- begrudging praise for a seeming nascent grasp of Islam, followed by a comment that is less hopeful -- can be found here.
Posted on 06/29/2011 10:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald