These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 30, 2011.
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Muslim born author attacked by Muslim men
From The Toronto Sun
OAKVILLE — Halton police are treating an attack on a first-time author whose self-published book has been branded anti-Muslim as a possible hate crime.
Raised Islamic, Paris Dipersico, 24, reported being dragged from his bicycle Aug. 17, tied up among trees, then beaten briefly unconscious by two Muslim men. Accused of being gay, they then “called me a Jew in Arabic and said the Jews are paying you to write this against Islam,” the author of Wake Up Call said Thursday.
Dipersico said he also received a “death threat” on his Facebook site, then someone stole files and backup writing discs after breaking into the home he shares with cousin Gabrielle Dipersico — who helped design the book and whose photo is on the cover. Believing the threat came “from the Middle East,” he said it demanded he remove offensive language.
. . . Dipersico said Wake Up Call was a self-healing project based on troubling experiences with relatives telling him they are superior to others, while some lied, cheated and committed adultery.
Dipersico wrote “Islam is a religion of ‘peace’ and Muslims will kill you to prove it,” but said “I’m not saying every Muslim is violent or every Muslim is a bad person.”
Relatives criticized Gabrielle’s voluntary cover photo for showing too much flesh, “but I wasn’t coerced,” the 23-year-old said. We are Muslim, but we were raised in Canada,” Paris said. He said they now “don’t leave the house after dark,” notify police when they go out and installed video surveillance.
Det. Sgt. Anthony Odoardi said investigators “believe he was targeted” and are considering “a publication he has written” could be the motive for the attack.
Posted on 08/30/2011 2:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
African Union Head Worries That Libyan Arabs Are Killing Blacks
AU head: Libya rebels may be killing black workers
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Libyan rebels may be indiscriminately killing black people because they have confused innocent migrant workers with mercenaries, the chairman of the African Union said, citing the fears as one reason the continental body has not recognized opposition forces as Libya's interim government.
"NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries," AU chairman Jean Ping said Monday, referring to the rebels' National Transitional Council. "All blacks are mercenaries. If you do that, it means (that the) one-third of the population of Libya, which is black, is also mercenaries. They are killing people, normal workers, mistreating them."
He added: "Maybe it's looters, uncontrolled forces. But then the government should say something, condemn this. We want to see a signal that the African workers that are there, they should be evacuated."
Ping's comments follow concerns from international rights groups about beatings and detentions of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
"I really fear vigilante justice and retribution and attacks by civilians against other civilians," said Richard Sollom, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, who is back from a June fact-finding mission in Misrata, Libya.
Sollom said Monday that his Boston-based group knew of about 500 Darfuris "who are desperately trying to get out of Libya. They have no money, they are basically homeless because they are from Darfur, and they very much fear for their lives because of the color of their skin."
Guest workers from Sudan, Chad, Darfur and other sub-Saharan African locales have been targeted in part because Gadhafi did hire foreign African mercenaries, Sollom said.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said Sunday that the evidence it has collected so far "strongly suggests that (Moammar Gadhafi's) government forces went on a spate of arbitrary killing as Tripoli was falling."
So far, there have been no specific allegations of atrocities carried out by rebel fighters, though human rights groups are continuing to investigate some unsolved cases.
Reporters for The Associated Press have witnessed several episodes of rebels mistreating detainees or sub-Saharan Africans suspected of being hired Gadhafi guns, including an incident where about a dozen black men were detained and some were punched.
Council spokesman Abdel-Hafiz Ghoga denied Ping's claims that rebels were responsible for such killings.
"These allegations have been made during the early days of the revolution," he said. "This never took place."
He added: "If happened, it will be the Gadhafi forces. Until now, we keeping finding mass graves of the newly liberated cities."
Libyan rebels appear to have secured the capital after a week of fierce fighting with loyalists to Gadhafi.
"It is over. The NTC took power ... they won," Ping said. "And now it is time for both sides to stop all the killing."
The AU has so far refused to recognize the council, although some of its member states, including Nigeria and Ethiopia, have done so. The United Nations has urged the AU to "encourage Libya's new leadership" and help unlock billions of dollars in frozen assets that the Libyan rebels say they urgently need to provide social services.
But many African nations have long-held ties with Gadhafi and the AU has had difficulties taking a unanimous position on Libya.
Ping also called for an immediate cease-fire and the formation of a coalition government that reflected the diversity of Libya. He said the world had ignored the AU's suggestions about Libya's crisis but that their roadmap — which calls for a cease-fire but not for Gadhafi to step down — was still relevant.
Ping said some of the Libyan rebel leaders insulted African countries by saying they have favored Gadhafi.
"The (rebels') attitude has been negative all along. I went to Benghazi. We have treated them equally," he said.
Ping said the AU will work with the U.N. and any other partners, including NATO, to find a political solution for Libya that leads to democracy.
Posted on 08/30/2011 6:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Pro-Israel groups counter-protest Islamists in Berlin
From The Jerusalem Post
Annual pro-Iranian Al-Quds day rally in center of German capital’s shopping district calls for Israel’s destruction.
BERLIN– An amalgam of students, Jewish community members, politicians, a leading Iranian dissident and pro-Israel groups pitted themselves on Saturday against roughly 1,000 pro-Iranian regime Islamists, who celebrated Al-Quds Day, which urges the abolition of the Jewish state, in the center of the German capital’s lively shopping district.
Islamists chanted “Israel is a terrorist state” and held signs declaring that “Israel is not a Jewish state” and “Israel out of Palestine.” The mainly German- Muslim supporters also displayed photos of Iran’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and his successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Their calls for the end of Israel were countered with shouts of “Free Gaza from Hamas” and banners reading “Against anti-Semitism and Islamism: No Al-Quds Day” and “Solidarity with Israel!”
Jochen Feilcke, the head of the German-Israeli Friendship Society in Berlin and Potsdam, told the pro-Israel crowd that “we condemn that radical Islamic groups are marching again through Berlin.” He added that “once again a participation from neo-Nazis and others sympathizing with the mullah regime is expected” and their goal is to agitate against Israel.
A Berlin police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that “300-400” pro-Israel demonstrators were present at the event titled “No Al-Quds Day,” to protest the march of extreme Islamists calling for the destruction of Israel.
Two politicians from the German Left Party attended the Israel-solidarity event. Petra Pau, a Left deputy in the Bundestag, and Klaus Lederer, chairman of Berlin’s regional Left Party branch, took part in the counter-demonstration. Sadly March for England and other their friends received no such support from any British institution when they countered the Al Quds march in London last week; only hindrance.
Maya Zehden, the spokeswoman for Berlin’s Jewish community, told the pro-Israel activists that “we are showing our solidarity with Israel because we see Israel as an important place of refuge, as the only state where we can find a safe acceptance, in the event that, we as Jews, elsewhere will be excluded.”
She continued that “in addition to the Iranian regime’s hatred of Israel, Iran’s quest for an atomic bomb is the greatest threat – and not just for Israel...Therefore we support the Iranian opposition in their struggle for a democratic Iran.” Zehden noted that “this [Al- Quds Day] demonstration is controlled by Iran like the term ‘Islamophobia’ which is used as a propaganda counterweight to anti-Semitism.”
Iran’s regime frequently courts Jews from Netorei Karta to attend Holocaust denial conferences and anti-Israeli events because Iran’s leaders believe the presence of a small cadre of Jews, who oppose Israel’s existence based on a bizarre theology, can shield the regime from charges of hardcore anti-Semitism.
A heavy show of police squads were present, including officers in full riot gear, who positioned themselves between the Islamists marching along the shopping strip of Kurfürstendamm and Joachimstaler Square, where the pro-Israel supporters were assembled.
Posted on 08/30/2011 2:32 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Cheney, Utterly Missing The Point
Cheney: I don't think Iraq war hurt U.S. reputation"
Reputation? What does that mean? Who cares who thinks what?
Iraq was folly because two trillion dollars were spent, and nearly 5,000 soldiers killed, and more than 30,000 severely wounded, to promote a theory that was, is, and will be false: that making a Muslim state less despotic and more "democratic" (meaning: having elections from time to time, and counting votes), that attempting to make it economicallymore than merely a rentier-state based on oil-and-gas revenues, and above all trying to minimize the fissures, sectarian and ethnic and tribal, within such states, is both doable and desirable.
It isn't desirable. And it isn't doable.
See Iraq. See Afghanistan.
But Cheney doesn't come to any of that. For him, that's not even a subject of discussion.
He's concerned about refuting something else, something utterly trivial:whether the iraq venture hurt America's "reputation."
Unrepentant, uncomprehending of the folly, right up to the end.
And when the Americans leave, and Iraq descends -- let us pray -- into sectarian violence, and when that violence, the very thing the Americans worked to tamp down, brings in aid -- men, money, materiel -- from co-religionists (in this corner, wearing black trunks, is Shi'a Iran, and in this corner, wearing black trunks, is uber-Sunni Saudi Arabia) -- and the only victory that could ever have been achieved for the West, one that weakens the Camp of Islam, is achieved, will Cheney and his ilk claim credit for having all along intended those unintended consequences?
They'd better not.
Only those who properly defined, and serenely predicted that kind of outcome, that version of victory, deserve the credit. Oh, and possibly a reward. You know, what with the light bill, and the heating bill, and the rent., and the car having had to be junked for $200, and.....
Posted on 08/30/2011 7:33 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
A Musical Interlude: Thinking Of You (Annette Hanshaw)
Posted on 08/30/2011 7:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
P G Wodehouse: filthy traitor or frightful ass?
Nothing will spoil my enjoyment of Jeeves and Wooster. But the jury is still out on his conduct during the Second World War. William Langley in The Telegraph:
Unworldly – or “aworldly”, to borrow biographer Robert McCrum’s description of Wodehouse’s near-total lack of interest in anything going on around him – he seems not have noticed the arrival of the Second World War. Until, one morning, as he would later recall: “I was strolling on the lawn with my wife, when she lowered her voice, and said, ‘Don’t look now, but here comes the German army.’”
Thus began the most mysterious and least amusing passage of Wodehouse’s long, complicated and eccentric life. By the end of the war, he was not so much an expat as an outcast. His books were removed from British libraries, his works banned by the BBC, and his name ranked alongside the nation’s most reviled traitors.
Wodehouse’s defenders have waited a long time for the partial exoneration that came with last week’s release of MI5 files detailing the agency’s post-war investigation into the author’s alleged treachery. While the papers suggest that Wodehouse could have been franker about his links to the Third Reich, the conclusion was that he had not consciously assisted the enemy, and that there were insufficient grounds for prosecution.
The case against him largely rests on five broadcasts he made from Berlin over the Nazi radio network. They followed his release from a year of internment – some of it spent in a lunatic asylum – after the capture of Le Touquet. The talks were primarily aimed at America, where Wodehouse’s social satires, especially those featuring Bertie Wooster, the archetypal upper-class twit, and his artful butler Jeeves, had an enormous following. In Britain, the broadcasts caused outrage.
Revisited today, they evoke the mildly bewildered ramblings of an affable Thirties toff failing to have any idea of what has befallen him. “I have just emerged into the outer world after 49 weeks of civil internment,” he says in the first, “and the effects have not entirely worn off. I have not yet quite recovered the mental balance for which in the past I was so admired by one and all. It’s coming back, mind you. Look me up in a couple of weeks from now and you’ll be surprised. But just at the moment, I feel slightly screwy and inclined to pause at intervals in order to cut out paper dolls and stick straws in my hair – or such of my hair as I still have.”
And so it meanders on. Whimsy and hokum. Nowhere in any of the broadcasts does Wodehouse voice support for the Germans, denigrate the Allies or express much interest in any cause beyond his own wellbeing. He claimed after the war – which the US hadn’t entered when he spoke – that he was simply trying to let his fans know he that was alive and intact. It didn’t matter. In London, Anthony Eden, the foreign secretary, denounced him as an agent of the German propaganda machine. In the newspapers and on the BBC, he became a hate figure comparable to Lord Haw-Haw.
The popular fascination with supposed Nazi collaborators – fashion designer Coco Chanel being the latest to be fingered – means that Wodehouse is unlikely ever to escape the taint. Yet the record suggests that such views as he had on Nazism were disapproving.
In The Code of the Woosters (1938), Wodehouse has Bertie remonstrating with the rising fascist glamour boy Roderick Spode – plainly based on Sir Oswald Mosley. “The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting ‘Heil Spode’ and you imagine it is the voice of the people. That is where you make your bloomer. What the voice of the people is saying is, ‘Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking around in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?’”
The question that the author’s defenders have to answer, then, is this: could he really have been so “aworldly” as not to realise that the Germans were manipulating him? The answer, strangely, is yes. And it isn’t hard to see where the naivety came from.
Wodehouse was born in 1881 into a moderately well-to-do colonial family based in the Far East. As a small boy, he was shipped back to Britain to be raised by a medley of relatives, guardians and boarding school headmasters. He later estimated that from the age of three to 15, he saw his parents for a total of six months.
According to McCrum’s biography, P G Wodehouse: A Life, the painful absence of parental – particularly maternal – affection drove the young man into an imaginary world, where he created his own comforts and generated his own laughs, in the process discovering himself as a storyteller. But in a sense, he never emerged from it. For Wodehouse, nothing was viewed with seriousness: even the cataclysmic events of the 1930s were a kind of grand parlour game. Meanwhile, his marriage to the redoubtable, twice-widowed Ethel Wayman appears to have been contented, but sexless.
In terms of his reputation, Wodehouse still isn’t completely out of the woods. Most likely, he never will be. The MI5 papers reveal that after the war, a senior agent reviewed the files and recommended that if Wodehouse returned to Britain, he should be prosecuted. Not that he ever did. After the war, he settled in America, where until his death in 1975 he continued to feint and tease about what had really happened in Berlin. And when pushed to say unequivocally that he hated the Nazis, he drew elegantly on a cigarette and said: “I do not hate in the plural.”
My mental jury is still out, although I am predisposed to acquit. I believe Wodehouse was negligent in the way he deployed his humour, a gift which can, as Ben MacIntyre argues, be used for evil as well as good. From The Times:
[H]umour cuts both ways. It can undermine and subvert but it can also bolster and sustain a tyranny by making the abhorrent seem normal and releasing the tension.
Wodehouse believed that he was still on the right side of this humour divide, and that his whimsical account of life in a German internment camp might bolster the Allied cause by showing that he had maintained his own stiff upper lip and “kept cheerful under difficult conditions”.
Instead, he played directly into German hands, provoked outrage in Britain and inflicted damage to his own reputation from which it has never recovered.
Posted on 08/30/2011 9:47 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
What would Great Anna say?
She'd be taking counselling. From The Telegraph:
Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey, gave the world many things, notable among them the Reform Act of 1832, but most of us remember him as the man they named a kind of tea after. Earl Grey is a brilliant tea; even its name conjures up both class and softness (most teas taste like they should be called Baron Harsh), and its taste – bergamot, by and large – is unique yet not too disturbing for the British palate.
I love it, and was once even mocked by John Cleese for ordering it at a writers' meeting. ("Earl Grey?! Ooo! Ai'm going to have some AIRL GRAY!!" he yelled in a Monty Python shriek. He had himself ordered some sort of Californian fruit tea, so was not, I felt, in much of a position to criticise.)
Twinings' bizarre plan to change the flavour of Earl Grey seems a misguided one. It has added more lemon and more bergamot to make it even more "wonderful". Leaving aside the fact that only in the world of tea-producing have the words "more bergamot" and "wonderful" ever been combined, you do feel that they have, how can I put it, gone barmy. Earl Grey is Earl Grey. Variants like the apparently popular "Lady Grey" – it's got orange in it – and this new Earl Grey Bergamot City, or whatever it's called, are not really needed. (The Earl Grey-flavoured Kit-Kat was, if Wikipedia is to be believed, fortunately confined to the Japanese market.)
The makers of Earl Grey should recall the disastrous decision by the Coca-Cola company in the 1980s to change the flavour of Coke to "New Coke". I don't know if New Coke had bergamot in it, but its unpopularity led to the Cola Wars and a rout by its watery rival Pepsi.
Twinings has left itself wide open to an all-out assault by its rivals. I envisage a kind of class-based bloodbath (or, I suppose, teabath), with the Tetley Tea Folk raising high the banner of revolution as the tumbrils rattle through the cobbled streets of Yorkshire. Après-moi, as the second Earl might have said, le thé-luge.
Posted on 08/30/2011 10:06 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
One More Of Those Worthless Pollyanna Polls From Pew On "US Muslim Attitudes"
Survey of US Muslim Attitudes Finds Little Support for Extremism
An American flag adorns the stage as worshippers gather for prayer during Eid al-Fitr morning services marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois (File)
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, many Americans have worried about the potential for home grown militancy among Muslims living in the United States. A new survey of American Muslims suggests that a decade after the attacks, there is very little support for extremism.
The survey by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life (http://pewforum.org/)
wforum.orgwas released just ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and on the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
According to the survey of more than 1,000 American Muslims, only one percent said suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians are often justified to defend Islam from its enemies. [and what does that mean? It means nothing, for what would you expect most Muslims to answer? That figure of "one percent" merely reflects those willing to say what they think, and not what those asked for their views actually think].
Pew researcher Gregory Smith says that the findings show very little support for extremism among Muslims in the United States. [what did they expect the results to suggest? The idiocy of the exercise, and the uncrtical treatment of these endless "Pew Reports On How Muslims In America Think" is beginning to get on many nerves, because it is so obviously worthless.]
"The overwhelming number say things like suicide bombings can never be justified," said Smith. "They say they have very unfavorable views of al-Qaida. We also find that Muslims in the United States are very satisfied with their lives. They're satisfied with their communities. They're satisfied with the direction of the country."
Smith notes that the 81 percent of respondents who said suicide attacks are never justified is more than double what surveys have found in some Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East.
The survey also found that around two-thirds of American Muslims say they believe that a way can be found for Israel to exist so that the rights of Palestinians are addressed. [sure -- it can exist as a dhimmi rump state, existing at the whim of its Muslim masters. But it can't be allowed to possess what, legally, morally, and historically, it has a strong claim to possess; it cannot exist as a state truly independent -- that is, independent of depending on constant propitiation of the Muslims in the Muslim sea around it. What an existence. What generosity.] The researchers say that is significantly higher than among Muslims in the Middle East.
The Pew survey shows that many American Muslims say they like their communities. Gregory Smith says that a variety of questions on lifestyle habits such as recycling, watching sports and social networking on the Internet suggest they look very much like the rest of the American public. [oh for god's sake]
"All that said, we shouldn't downplay or forget about that the survey also shows that there are some significant challenges that Muslims face in the United States," he said.
The researchers note that most of the respondents said that it has become more difficult to be a Muslim since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Around one in five said they had been singled out by airport security. [why one in five? shouldn't it be five out of five, given that the terrorists are all Muslims who take their Islam to heart?]
Still, nearly half said Muslim leaders in the United States have not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremists.
Posted on 08/30/2011 10:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Dominic of "Poetix" is, like:
'Thinking about consent as disposition vs consent as speech act. Compare "like" and "Facebook like".
I can FB like things that I do not actually like. I can give consent (speech act) without consenting (willing, being disposed towards).'
So, if you compare like "like" and "Facebook like", are you, like, comparing like with like? To know that, you need to be an intellectual or a homosexual:
Earlier on, I'd been talking about "being (an) intellectual" as being somewhat like "being (a) homosexual" - an analogy that has to break down somewhere, but which captures a particular tension that interests me: that between "extrinsically defined" and "intrinsically motivated" identification. The basic idea is that while both "intellectual" and "homosexual" are socially-created categories (hence "extrinsically defined"), you can't account for the existence of either intellectuals or homosexuals purely in terms of the power of "society" to call them into being in order to fill out arbitrary categorical distinctions. If no-one had the particular "structure of feeling" that characterises the intrinsic motivation of the intellectual, there would be no intellectuals. Such structures of feeling are aetiologically obscure, and there is no obvious mapping from large-scale social distinctions (notably class) to whatever it is that differentiates intellectuals or homosexuals from others around them.
Can you be both? It takes a clever bugger to know that.
Posted on 08/30/2011 10:35 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Lauren Booth: True Believer
It's funny how Jews are all over the map politically with regards to Israel, but Muslims seem to be of one accord. Indeed, they are defined more by their political positions than religious ones, which remain rather ill-defined, actually. Islam is political. When one converts to Islam, she becomes a believer in the political ideology of Islam first and foremost. Arutz Sheva:
Laura [sic] Booth, sister-in-law of Quartet envoy Tony Blair, has called on “Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt liberate Al-Quds [Jerusalem].”
The former British prime minister’s family member has previously sailed illegally to Gaza on a flotilla boat. She joined an anti-Israel rally in London Trafalgar’s Square, where another protest today (Sunday) may be the last as the mayor London vows to crack down on the incitement as the date for the next Olympics approaches.
"The Mayor believes that intolerance of our fellow citizens and hate crimes against specific communities are totally unacceptable, particularly in a city like London and especially in 2012 when the eyes of the world will be on the capital,” said a spokesman for Mayor Boris Johnson, the London Jewish Chronicle reported.
The spokesman added, “The Greater London Authority will not be authorizing political rallies in Trafalgar Square during the Olympic and Paraolympic Games."
The Trafalgar Square rallies against Israel have featured Hizbullah flags.
During last week’s demonstration, Booth went on another rant against Israel. “We say here today to you, Israel, we see your crimes and we loathe your crimes. And to us your nation does not exist, because it is a criminal injustice against humanity. We want to see Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt go to the borders and stop this now. Liberate Al Quds! March to Al Quds!”
Another speaker claimed, somewhat myopically as far as historical accuracy goes, that “the only time that land has seen peace between Muslim, Christian and Jew living side by side was when sincere Islamic rulers ruled with justice.”
During Ottoman Islamic rule, Jews were second-class citizens, called "Dhimmis". The myth of their "peaceful lives" has been debunked by historians, although they were not subject to pogroms as frequently as European Jews..
In fact, Jordan, during its occupation of the Old City and other parts of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria between 1949 and 1967, denied Christians and Jews all access to holy sites except for visiting dignitaries.
Israel opened up the sites to all religions after it restored the areas under its sovereignty in the Six-Day War in 1967.
Posted on 08/30/2011 11:59 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Those Murderous Racist Heroic Rebels In Libya
From The Guardian:
August 30, 2010
Libya's spectacular revolution has been disgraced by racism
The murder of black men in the aftermath of the rebellion speaks of a society deeply divided for decades by Muammar Gaddafi [no, it's about the racism -- anti-black, antisemitic, anti-non-Arab -- that suffuses Arab societies, unrepentently, unembarrassedly.
Men accused of being mercenaries fighting for Muammar Gaddafi sit in a rebel vehicle in Tripoli. Photograph: Youssef Boudlal/Reuters
"This is a bad time to be a black man in Libya," reported Alex Thomson on Channel 4 News on Sunday. Elsewhere, Kim Sengupta reported for the Independent on the 30 bodies lying decomposing in Tripoli. The majority of them, allegedly mercenaries for Muammar Gaddafi, were black. They had been killed at a makeshift hospital, some on stretchers, some in an ambulance. "Libyan people don't like people with dark skins," a militiaman explained in reference to the arrests of black men.
The basis of this is rumours, [but what of the lynchings, then, of black workers, and even a diplomat from Chadin Libya, within the last decade without any such rumors?] disseminated early in the rebellion, of African mercenaries being unleashed on the opposition. Amnesty International's Donatella Rivera was among researchers who examined this allegation and found no evidence for it. Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch similarly had not "identified one mercenary" among the scores of men being arrested and falsely labelled by journalists as such.
Lurking behind this is racism. Libya is an African nation – however, the term "Africans" is used in Libya to reference the country's black minority. The Amnesty International researcher Diana Eltahawy says that the rebels taking control of Libya have tapped into "existing xenophobia". The New York Times refers to "racist overtones", but sometimes the racism is explicit. A rebel slogan painted in Misrata during the fighting salutes "the brigade for purging slaves, black skin". A consequence of this racism has been mass arrests of black men, and gruesome killings – just some of the various atrocities that human rights organisations blame rebels for. The racialisation of this conflict does not end with hatred of "Africans". Graffiti by rebels frequently depicted Gaddafi as a demonic Jew. [but of course -- and in Iran, some of the people who hate Ahmadinejad whisper that his conduct can be explained by the fact that he is, "you see, really a Jew"--as one Iranian in exile in Gloucester, Mass. once confided in me]
How did it come to this? A spectacular revolution, speaking the language of democracy and showing tremendous courage in the face of brutal repression, has been disgraced. Racism did not begin with the rebellion – Gaddafi's regime exploited 2 million migrant workers while discriminating against them – but it has suffused the rebels' hatred of the violently authoritarian regime they have just replaced.
An explanation for this can be found in the weaknesses of the revolt itself. The upsurge beginning on 17 February hinged on an alliance between middle class human rights activists and the working classes in eastern cities such as Benghazi. Rather than wilting under repression, the rebellion spread to new towns and cities. Elements of the regime, seeing the writing on the wall, began to defect. Military leaders, politicians and sections of business and academia sided with the rebels.
But the trouble was that the movement was almost emerging from nowhere. Unlike in Egypt, where a decade of activism and labour insurgency had cultivated networks of activists and trade unionists capable of outfoxing the dictatorship, Libya was not permitted a minimal space for civil society opposition. As a result, there was no institutional structure able to express this movement, no independent trade union movement, and certainly little in the way of an organised left. Into this space stepped those who had the greatest resources – the former regime notables, businessmen and professionals, as well as exiles. It was they who formed the National Transitional Council (NTC).
The dominance of relatively conservative elites and the absence of countervailing pressures skewed the politics of the rebellion. We hear of "the masses", and "solidarity". But masses can be addressed on many grounds – some reactionary. There are also many bases for solidarity – some exclusionary. The scapegoating of black workers makes sense from the perspective of elites. For them, Libya was not a society divided on class lines from which many of them had profited. It was united against a usurper inhabiting an alien compound and surviving through foreign power. Instead, the more success Gaddafi had in stabilising his regime, the more the explanation for this relied on the claim that "Gaddafi is killing us with his Africans ".
A further, unavoidable twist is the alliance with Nato. The February revolt involved hundreds of thousands of people across Libya. By early March the movement was in retreat, overseas special forces were entering Libya, and senior figures in the rebellion called for external intervention. Initially isolated, they gained credibility as Gaddafi gained ground. As a result, the initiative passed from a very large popular base to a relatively small number of armed fighters under the direction of the NTC and Nato. It was the rebel army that subsequently took the lead in persecuting black workers.
Under different conditions, perhaps, unity between the oppressed was possible. But this would probably have required a more radical alliance, one as potentially perilous for those now grooming themselves for office as for Gaddafi. As it is, the success of the rebels contains a tragic defeat. The original emancipatory impulse of February 17 lies, for now, among the corpses of "Africans" in Tripoli.
The writer, R. Seymour, is a predictable ignoramus, full of animus, when it comes to the terrible sins of Israel and the "plight of the Palestinians" -- another way to describe the endless Jihad, Fast (Hamas) and Slow (Fatah) against the Infidel nation-state of Israel. I don't think R. Seymour has ever understood the Mandates system, or the purpose of the particular Mandate for Palestine, or the fact that there are many different non-Arab and non-Muslim peoples in what is too carelessly called "the Arab world" and that for any of them to acquire autonomy, much less independence, there will always be Arabs within those boundaries. A free Kurdistan would have them, and so would a free Berberia. But so what? Why should that prevent non-Arab and non-Muslim peoples from obtaining their little sliver of land, especially if, as in the case of Israel, right up until the declaration of war on them on May 16, 1948 -- a declaration made by action, that is by the attacks of five separate Arab armies -- they paid for every single dunam of land, and only after the war, did they keep land abandoned by their enemies (cf. Tory Row, along Brattle Street in Cambridge, Mass., grand houses inherited by the Americans when their inhabitants fled to Canada or England).
But that makes his article on Arab racism -- even if he tries to explain it away as based on recent events -- even more telling.
Posted on 08/30/2011 12:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Father slit throats of three daughters in 'honour killing' after they were raped by Gaddafi's troops
From The Daily Mail
A Libyan father killed his three daughters after they were raped by Gaddafi's troops to lift the shame on his family, a human rights group said today.
The girls, aged 15, 17 and 18 were allegedly assaulted by soldiers at a school in the town of Tomina, near the war-shattered city of Misrata, during a two-month siege. When they returned home, their father slit their throats in a so-called honour killing, according to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).
The human rights group, which is based in Boston, concluded that there was widespread evidence of war crimes during the siege.
'One father told PHR how (Gadhafi) soldiers forced his two young children to sit on a military tank and threatened the family: "You'll stay here, and if Nato attacks us, you'll die, too."'
Richard Sollom, who was the lead author on the report, concluded that no one had evidence that rape was widespread - but the fear of sexual assault was endemic.'One witness reported that (Gaddafi) forces transformed an elementary school into a detention site where they reportedly raped women and girls as young as 14 years old,' the report noted.
It added that it had found no evidence to confirm or deny reports that Gaddafi troops and loyalists were issued Viagra-type drugs to sustain their systematic rapes.
Researchers also heard reports of suspected honour killings - including the murder of the three sisters by their father.But PHR also noted that 'some in Tomina have stood up against this practice, including a well-known sheik who has publicly advocated for raped women and girls to be seen as brave and bringing honor to their families'.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International, which is based in London, also accused pro-Gaddafi guards of raping child detainees, but added that Libyan rebels are abusing children and holding migrant workers as prisoners.
All three major human rights groups have called on both sides to respect prisoners - and beyond that, to build a post-Gaddafi Libya.
Posted on 08/30/2011 1:01 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Peter King On Another Way Of Looking At The Pew Poll
King: Muslim poll 'very disappointing'
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) says that a new Pew Research Study shows the need for continued congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization in America, after the poll found 21 percent of Muslims have observed support for extremism in their communities.
“I don’t rely on polls, but the fact that 21 percent have seen extremism in their communities reinforces the need for the hearings,” King told POLITICO.
King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, announced in December 2010 that he would hold hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims.
To date, King has held three hearings: examining the extent of radicalization in the Muslim-American community; looking at radicalization in the prison system; and addressing American recruitment by Al-Shabaab, a group of militants based in Somalia.
King’s office told POLITICO that he intends to hold further hearings over the next year, but none have yet been scheduled.
The Long Island lawmaker says he doesn’t believe that the number of radicalized Muslims is very large, and emphasized that he thought most were loyal Americans.
However, he said he was alarmed at the fact that only 43 percent of those surveyed viewed the country’s ongoing anti-terrorist efforts as “sincere.”
“I’ve always said that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are good Americans [but] I’m concerned that only 43 percent of Muslims see anti-terrorism programs are ‘sincere’. I don’t know what world they’re living in… it’s very disappointing,” King said.
Asked if Muslims have legitimate grounds to feel harassed or targeted, King said: “Absolutely not. No more than any Irishman should have felt targeted when the FBI was going into Irish bars. The fact is that al-Qaeda is attempting to recruit American Muslims… Some people just want to be perpetual victims.”
In his view, the Muslim community should be most concerned with finding out who in their community supports al-Qaeda.
“There is a small percentage of American Muslims who are sympathetic to al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda is trying to recruit them. They are the ones we should be looking for – the American Muslim community should be at the forefront of trying to stop them, because they would be in their community,” said King. “What they should be doing is saying that they enthusiastically support these investigations.”
Posted on 08/30/2011 4:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Eid shooting at Copenhagen mosque
From The Telegraph
The attacks came as worshippers left morning prayers on Eid, the festival that ends the Muslim month of fasting.
Police confirmed that the man had died within minutes after he was shot three times in the head, and that a second 50-year-old man was being treated in hospital. A third person, who rushed away in a private car, was shot in the leg.
“The guy who was shot fell down on his back, and then the other guy stood over him and emptied his clip into him,” said Jibran Sarwar, 35, who was leaving the mosque as the shooting began.
. . . Danish Police said that the involvement of racist far-Right groups has been ruled out. “It was between Pakistani people and no one else. It’s not a hate crime or racism or anything like that,” said Deputy Inspector Lau Thygesen. “There was an argument before the shoot out and then one of them pulled a gun. We are sure that it’s not something that was planned.”
Zaid Malik, 40, who has recently moved to Copenhagen from Hull, said the killer had been a plump Pakistani wearing the traditional white shalwar kameez. “It’s narcotics. It’s got to with some kind of gang war,” he said. “I heard firing three weeks ago in other areas as well."
As Hugh always says, the presence of islamic codes of conduct in our countries makes them more dangerous, expensive and unpleasant for us.
Posted on 08/30/2011 1:07 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Adel Shehato Of Islamic Jihad In Egypt: What We Want
Read the transcript of his interview, posted by MEMRI, here.
Posted on 08/30/2011 5:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
CAMERA: Make Sure You Get Your History Straight, And Not Only About San Remo
Israel and Jerusalem in International Law: The Importance of San Remo
The Unity Coalition for Israel (UCI) and the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) have introduced an ECI film which explains, in historical detail, the legal foundation in international law for the modern State of Israel. The film highlights the key importance of the San Remo Conference following World War I: at San Remo, in 1920, the right of the Jewish state to be re-constituted was incorporated into international law and remains in effect to this day.
In April, 2010, upon the 90th anniversary of the San Remo Conference, Eli Hertz writes,
Reaffirming the importance of the San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920 - which included the Balfour Declaration in its entirety - in shaping the map of the modern Middle East, as agreed upon by the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers (Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States acting as an observer), and later approved unanimously by the League of Nations; the Resolution remains irrevocable, legally binding and valid to this day.
He goes on to write,
Jews are in the Land of Israel as of right and not on sufferance. It is important to point out that political right to self-determination as a polity for Arabs, was guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates - in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].
The film can be seen here.
Posted on 08/30/2011 5:45 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Get The San Remo Treaty, Get The Mandate For Palestine, Get Article 80 Of The U.N. Charter Straight
I've gone over this San Remo business many times at this site. And the intent of the Mandates Commission -- the Swiss Professor William Rappard at its head - and about the Mandates system, and about the Preamble (Paragraphs 4 and 6 especially) to the Mandate for Palestine. I've written about the other mandates, and those that should have come into being, but were aborted (that for an independent Kurdistan) or not thought necessary at the time (the Christians in Lebanon/Syria appeared to be safe -- no one could foresee their being demographically swamped by Muslims, nor that the French would cease to be their protector).
Get straight, once and for all, so you can get others straight, or at least so you can intimidate them and shut them up so that they don't dare to discuss the subject in your presence, for fear of how you might come down on them, and show them up -- the legal, moral, and historic claims of Israel to all of Palestine west of the river Jordan. Just because many Israelis are ignorant, or idiotic, or unvigilant with words -- think of how many Israellis use that phrase "Palestinian people" instead of fighting against it, mocking it, every step of the way, as Golda Meir did so wonderfully,
Don't piously proclaim that "if the Palestinians want peace all they have to do is...": Cut the crap. The invention of the "Palestinian people" is simpy a way to disguise the Jihad against Israel. That Jihad is no different from the local Jihads, all over the world, pursued differently -- that is by different means -- depending on the strength of the local Muslims and of the local non-Muslims. But the Qur'an and Sunnah do not tell Muslims to "compromise" or let non-Muslims keep a sliver of territory. The whole world belongs to Allah. And the whole world, inshallah, will belong to Allah and be ruled by the best of people, the Believers.
It's up to you to make sure it doesn't happen. Because, as you can see from the effects of Islam on those who were forced to accept it over the past 1350 years, nothing very good comes of it, and plenty of bad. What do you need, more than to know about how Islam discourages free inquiry, and narrows the possibilites of artistic expression down to calligraphy -- and that not nearly as interesting as that practiced in the Far East -- and architecture.
Look at the mess of Muslim countries. Look at the despotisms. Look at the poverty tempered only by the sous-sol manna of oil and gas, the result not of human effort (save that of the Westerners who discovered, and found ways to extract, and distribute, and use it) but of an accident of geology. Look at the miserable societies, boring beyond belief, giving rise to every sort of fanaticism, aggression, and crazed blame-the-Infidel-for-everything conspiracy-theorizing.
No art, no music, practically no literary output as we understand that term -- and don't tell me about the bookstalls of Mutannabi Street, please, yet one more time. Nothing, nothing, nothing.
Posted on 08/30/2011 5:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Yidl Mitn Fidl (Molly Picon)
Posted on 08/30/2011 5:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Non Vedo L'Ora
The Libyan Rebel Something or Other has given the forces in Misrata (or Misurata) four days to surrender the city.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
That means Saturday is when the attack will begin if there has been no surrender.
That means you now have a god-given chance to both learn, and then to immediately apply, an Italian phrase:
Non vedo l'ora.
I can't wait.
Posted on 08/30/2011 6:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Out Of The Mouths Of Diplomatic Babes
The latest Wikileaks from the American Embassy in Canberra apparently includes the following:
"US diplomats' in Canberra expressed concern that moderate Australian Muslims could be harbouring extremist views."
Those "moderate Australian Muslims" who "could be harbouring extremist views" puzzle. Could it be that the epithet "moderate" -- never a useful term, in any case -- is inappropriate, if these "moderates" manage to nonetheless "harbour extremist views"?
Posted on 08/30/2011 6:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
An Example Of How The Muslim Mindset Can Remain Unaffected By The AmericanEnvironment
Nabil Saaman, brother of Mourad Saaman, murdered his two-year-old daughter in California two weeks ago, and killed himself, in order to deprive his ex-wife-- an Ameican non-Muslim -- from getting sole custody of the child.
A television reporter conducted as nterview (after the murder and suicide were discovered)with tNabil Samaan, to ask him his thoughts. Outwardly completely American in speech and every other way, Nabil Saaman, brother of Mourad Saaman, expresses his approval for his brother's act -- he is repeatedly asked if he means to approve of the killing of the 2-year-girl, , but inwardly -- inwardly, he remains quite different, but unless one had bothered to interview him, or like the horrified interviewer, just to be sure he heard right, re-questioned him, you would never know.
You can watch that interview right here.
Posted on 08/30/2011 8:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
In Yemen, What Al Qaeda Wants
From The Yemen Observer:
: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Aug 30, 2011
Over 26 al-Qaida militants and 10 Yemeni troopers, including a colonel, have been killed in fierce confrontations between the Yemeni forces and insurgents of al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan province, over the past 24 hours, said an official military source on Monday.
The source added that 38 militants and 30 soldiers also were wounded when al-Qaeda militants intercepted advancing army troops in Dawfas, west of Zinjubar, capital of Abyan province.
Also an official source at the ministry of interior said that over 300 al-Qaeda operatives have been killed since the start of the battles between the Yemeni military and security forces and between al-Qaeda militants in Abyan province that broke out in May 2011.
According to local information from Abyan, Nasser Al Wahayshi escaped from Zinjubar to MuKairas on Thursday July 21, 2011 after the government troops and tribesmen tightened the noose on his fighters in the city and its outskirts.
Mukairas is close to Al Wahayshi village, Ghail Al Wahayshi in Al Baidah province.
“We , Mujahideen, the sons of the nations, we are from it and within it, we share with it the happy and unhappy times, and we are within the squares of change and freedom to establish the rule of Sharia, and to make Shura come, security return, and justice prevail,” Al Wahayshi said in his message to his Shaykh Zawahri.
“Our people have gone beyond the political parties that want to take the victory of the Umma for their interest to please the Americans and Crusading West,” He said. “
The parties represent the minority, and they are loyal to the Crusaders.” “As for the American Crusader enemy, they stood incapacitated towards the situation in Yemen, except by doing some intelligence work and air bombing with unmanned planes, with acceptance from the government and the opposition, and with silence from other institutions towards this intervention and penetration of airspace,” Wuhayshi said.
“We will not stand with our hands tied. Our war with this Zionist Crusader campaign is ongoing, for they are the ones who choose war, and their people stood behind them. We are people of war; we were born from its womb and we grew up in its midst. It is as if we were only created to fight them and bother them.” Wuhayshi also said that al Qaeda seeks to impose its brand of Islam across the globe, through force of arms.
“Our project is to institute the Shariah of Allah on Earth and reject the man-made laws and constitutions,” Wuhayshi said. “Nothing will rule the country other than the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger, Allah’s peace and prayer be upon him, [especially] not with words written in a constitution to deceive people: “Islamic Shariah is the source of legislation”.
Meanwhile the Yemen’s supreme defense and security council has hailed the rule of the Yemeni military and security forces in fighting al-Qaeda insurgents in Abyan and said that the troopers have been making heroic epics.
A statement issued by the defense council on Tuesday that coincided with the first days of Eid al-Fitr praised the rule of the Yemeni military and security forces and said that while the people of Yemen have been celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the heroes of the military and security forces have been fighting al-Qaeda insurgents, making heroic battles in defense of the country and its security, stability and its unity.
They also hailed the martyrs that shed their lives and souls for defending the country and kept loyal to the principles of their nations and to the constitution of Yemen until they lost their lives.
Posted on 08/30/2011 10:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald