These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 6, 2008.
Monday, 6 October 2008
Spike Lee's Falsification Of History In Miracolo A Sant'Anna (in Italian)
Il regista afroamericano racconta senza logica la guerra partigiana
Miracolo a Sant'Anna
Spike Lee, quanti errori
Come perdere la bussola al cospetto della Storia
di PAOLO MEREGHETTI
Fa impressione pensare che prima di Miracolo a Sant'Anna, Spike Lee aveva firmato un capolavoro come When the Levees Broke («Quando si sono rotti gli argini», visto a Venezia 2006 e poi di notte in Rai). Fa impressione perché quello che non funziona nella ricostruzione romanzata dei combattimenti in Toscana intorno alla Linea gotica, nel 1944, è proprio quello che faceva la bellezza e il fascino del documentario su New Orleans devastata dall'uragano Katrina: il rispetto delle persone, delle cose, della realtà. Possibile che un regista capace di restituire l'intensità e la disperazione così autentica e toccante delle persone sconvolte dal disastro meteorologico possa sembrare così falso e retorico quando racconta le persone alle prese con la guerra?
Possibile che il regista di Miracolo a Sant'Anna sia lo stesso di La 25ª ora, dove le angosce di un piccolo spacciatore diventavano le incertezze e le paure di tutta una nazione? Possibile che l'abilissimo burattinaio di Inside Man finisca per ingarbugliare tutto, fili, dita e marionette, raccontando una storia così poco convincente? Perché il vero problema del film che Spike Lee ha tratto dal romanzo omonimo di James McBride e che ha scatenato un mare di polemiche tutte extracinematografiche (sul massacro di Sant'Anna di Stazzema, sull'«onore» dei partigiani, sulle «colpe» dei nazisti) è proprio quello di perdere subito la bussola e mescolare troppi registri e troppe (irrisolte) ambizioni. Al centro di tutto c'è un episodio della guerra che si è combattuta sulle montagne della Garfagnana, intorno al fiume Serchio nell'inverno del 1944. Tra i soldati americani mandati a sfondare la Linea gotica ci sono anche i componenti della 92ª divisione «Buffalo», fatta solo da militari afroamericani: quattro di loro — Aubrey (Derek Luke), Bishop (Michael Ealy), Hector (Laz Alonzo) e il gigantesco Sam (Omar Benson Miller) — restano isolati in territorio nemico e trovano riparo in un paesino di poche case. Con loro hanno portato Angelo (Matteo Sciabordi), un bambino che non parla, ha evidenti turbe nervose e che nasconde un segreto orribile.
La storia di quei combattimenti, però, se è il cuore del film, non ne rappresenta la principale linea narrativa, ma solo un lunghissimo flashback, tornato alla mente di Hector nel 1983 quando, nel suo posto di impiegato in un ufficio postale di Manhattan, aveva estratto improvvisamente la Luger che portava sempre con sé per autodifesa e aveva ucciso un cliente che gli aveva chiesto un francobollo. Per scoprire il perché di questo gesto apparentemente inspiegabile e perché a casa nascondeva una testa marmorea del Quattrocento fiorentino, ci vorranno più o meno due ore (il film ne dura due e mezzo), si dovrà tornare alla Seconda guerra mondiale, a quel durissimo inverno 1944 e al «miracolo» compiuto da Angelo. Anche lì, però, sulle colline contese da nazisti e americani, il film finisce per seguire troppi sentieri, cercando da una parte di raccontare la difficile situazione umana e militare che dovevano sopportare i soldati di colore, umiliati in patria ma disprezzati anche al fronte dai loro superiori bianchi e, dall'altra, raccontando le varie anime della popolazione italiana coinvolta nella guerra: i civili, prima di tutto, dove la disponibile Renata (Valentina Cervi) sembra un po' troppo emancipata per essere una donna del 1944, così come il nostalgico Ludovico (Omero Antonutti) è fin troppo folcloristico per essere uno che tiene il ritratto del Duce in camera; e poi i partigiani, dove l'idealista «Farfalla» (Pier Francesco Favino) si confronta con il corrotto Rodolfo (Sergio Albelli).
Il problema, allora, non è tanto che — a sentire il romanzo e poi il film — la strage di 560 civili a Sant'Anna di Stazzema sarebbe stata la reazione «emotiva» alla mancata consegna da parte di un partigiano traditore del suo capo, quanto il fatto che tutti — americani, nazisti, partigiani e civili — sembrano muoversi secondo le regole del dramma dei pupi o delle marionette (enfatiche, schematiche, monocordi) e non rispondendo invece a una qualche logica di realismo o di verosimiglianza. Nessuno mette in dubbio che nell'esercito americano il razzismo non fosse diverso da quello che i neri subivano negli Stati del Sud, o che anche tra i partigiani ci potessero essere dei traditori, o che non tutti i nazisti fossero aguzzini assetati di sangue o ancora che gli italiani non sempre si comportassero al meglio, ma da un regista come Spike Lee ci saremmo attesi un po' meno qualunquismo e pressappochismo, psicologie meno schematiche, comportamenti più credibili. E soprattutto un finale (alle Bahamas!) meno bamboccesco e gratuito.
Posted on 10/06/2008 12:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 October 2008
Mullah Krekar threatens Kurdish author
I missed this last week from Aftenposten of Norway.
Norway's least welcome refugee Mullah Krekar made headlines again during the weekend, after sending out a written statement and sound file over the Internet in which he claims that a controversial Kurdish author deserves the death penalty.
Translators hesitate to call Krekar's statement a fatwa, but there's little doubt that it can be interpreted as a threat.
Krekar claimed that the author (who isn't being identified by Aftenposten)is no honourable man who people should defend.
Rather, claims Krekar, the author has sold himself and has attacked the religion of an entire nation. "It's said the man should be killed, but I won't implement (such an interpretation) at this point," Krekar claimed, adding later, however, that "we will fight hard against those who attack our Islam, and offend our religion."
The author, who now also lives as a refugee in Norway, wrote a book claiming that the prophet Muhammed had 19 wives, that he married a nine-year-old when he was 54 years old, and that he took part in murder and rape. He told Aftenposten he has received death threats, and an order is out for his arrest in Northern Iraq should he return.
Religious historian Kari Vogt doesn't interpret Krekar's comments as a death threat, or that they urge anyone to kill the author. (Not yet!) "But if someone is a bit out of balance and wants to attack, they can find legitimacy in this type of comment," she said.
Posted on 10/06/2008 4:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 October 2008
The Little Fishes Of The Sea
The Little Fishes Of The Sea,
They Sent An Answer Back To Me.
The Little Fishes’ Answer Was
“We Cannot Do It, Sir, Because...”
It has recently been drawn to my attention that I failed to give you the answers in timeous detail. My apologies to you all for this oversight. I am lazy and sometimes bored by the banality of it all – and arrogant, too. Those three, surely, are good and sufficient reasons for doing as I please, are they not?
I do not propose to give you all the answers all at once. Instead I will bore you all by re-iterating the questions one by one, or, Ark-like, two by two, over the next few weeks, and by giving you the answer to each question as it pleases me to order them. Nasty, ain’t I?
So, Question (5) was ‘Why is bizarre singular?’
The answer which I was looking for is really very simple. The word ‘bizarre’ is the only borrowing into English from the Basque language, Euskara, and that, therefore, makes it quite singular, or unique.
Question (10) was ‘Just because you have had to listen to the sparrows’ twittering is no excuse for staying out on the tiles all night! Just what do you think that you are playing at, eh?’
The answer is, again, simple! You would be playing Mah-jong. The twittering of the sparrows is the noise made as one mixes the tiles before building the walls, according to the more poetically minded amongst us, that is.
What? You’ve never sat up all night playing Mah-jong and drinking far too much Armagnac (Cognac, at a pinch) into the bargain? What manner of a person are you? For Heaven’s sake, wild oats are made to be sown! Get on with it!
Just because I’m nasty and bored I’m also going to give you an extra question, which none of you will, I hope, be able to answer (well, Hugh will be able to, of course, but I hope that he will give the rest of you a chance and send his answer to me privately). Here it is:
What, or where, links Tiberius (the Roman Emperor), rieving, a three-headed giant and radioactivity together? It’s all in the asking, you see! The answer should come to you if you take a warm bath!
More later. Enjoy!
Posted on 10/06/2008 6:37 AM by John Joyce
Monday, 6 October 2008
Uighur Jihadis May Be Released Into U.S.
The Guantanamo detentions have been one of the many ill thought out aspects of the administration's "war on terror" and stems directly from the President's vow to "bring bin Laden to justice" rather than to understand and counter the entire spectrum of jihadist instruments in the greater ideological struggle. From the WaPo (h/t: Andy McCarthy):
A federal judge is considering whether to order a group of detainees held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay released into the United States, in what would instantly become a landmark legal decision in the years-long battle over the rights of terrorism suspects there.
The men, a small band of Chinese Muslims who have been held for nearly seven years, are no longer considered enemy combatants by the U.S. government, but they are caught in a well-documented diplomatic bind. Unlike other captives, they cannot be sent to their home country because Beijing considers them terrorists, and they might be tortured. The government released five of the detainees, known as Uighurs (pronounced "WEE-gurz"), to Albania in 2006, but no other country wants to risk offending China by accepting the others.
The Uighurs' attorneys argue that the men have been confined for too long on flimsy evidence and pose no security threat to the United States. The lawyers want them released into this country -- most likely into the Washington area, where there is a Uighur community -- suggesting that authorities could supervise them much as they monitor criminal defendants released pending trial. Later, the government could find the Uighurs another home, the lawyers say.
At a hearing in August, U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina spoke at length about the case's complex issues and hinted that he was intrigued by the detainees' proposal.
"I don't understand why that would not be a viable option," he said.
Urbina is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday that will examine whether he has the power to order the release of at least five of the Uighurs. Their attorneys have filed court papers asking Urbina to also consider releasing 12 other Uighurs who remain in custody.
Over the years, more than 500 detainees have left Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, an unknown number of whom ultimately were set free. They include about 127 men sent back to Afghanistan, 90 repatriated in Saudi Arabia and 59 returned to Pakistan. Only one detainee, a Saudi, Yaser Esam Hamdi, was moved from Guantanamo Bay to the United States after authorities determined he held U.S. citizenship. He was eventually deported to Saudi Arabia and relinquished his U.S. citizenship....
Posted on 10/06/2008 7:34 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 6 October 2008
What's Become Of South Africa?
New Duranty: DIEPSLOOT, South Africa — A dusty maze of concrete, sheet metal and scrap wood, Diepsloot is like so many of the enormous settlements around Johannesburg, mile after mile of feebly assembled shacks, the impromptu patchwork of the poor, the extremely poor and the hopelessly poor.
Monica Xangathi, 40, lives here in a shanty she shares with her brother’s family. “This is not the way I thought my life would turn out,” she said.
Her disappointment is not only with herself; she is heartsick about her country. Fourteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africa — the global pariah that became a global inspiration — has lapsed into gloom and anxiety about its future, surely not the harmonious “rainbow nation” so celebrated by Nelson Mandela on his inauguration day.
“If only I could make Nelson Mandela come back,” Ms. Xangathi said. “If only I could feed him a potion and make him young again.”
This longing to propel the past into the present is rooted in more than fond reminiscence. Two weeks ago, a vicious power struggle culminated in something like regicide, with the governing African National Congress deposing one of its own, President Thabo Mbeki, and replacing him with a stand-in for Mr. Mbeki’s archrival, Jacob Zuma.
The actual changing of the guard was orderly enough, but months of behind-the-scenes back-stabbing have made many South Africans long for days more abundant with moral clarity, including those fretful about a figure as polarizing as Mr. Zuma.
The past year has been especially unnerving, with one bleak event after another, and it is more than acidic politics that have soured the national mood. Economic growth slowed; prices shot up. Xenophobic riots broke out in several cities, with mobs killing dozens of impoverished foreigners and chasing thousands more from their tumbledown homes.
The country’s power company unfathomably ran out of electricity and rationed supply. Gone was the conceit that South Africa was the one place on the continent immune to such incompetence. The rich purchased generators; the poor muddled through with kerosene and paraffin.
Other grievances were ruefully familiar. South Africa has one of the worst crime rates. But more alarming than the quantity of lawbreaking is the cruelty. Robberies are often accompanied by appalling violence, and people here one-up each other with tales of scalding and shooting and slicing and garroting.
Mr. Mbeki’s political nemesis is Mr. Zuma, whom he once fired as deputy president and who has image problems of his own. In 2006, he was tried on rape charges and acquitted, testifying that his accuser had encouraged him by wearing a short skirt and sitting provocatively. As a Zulu man, he said, he was duty-bound to oblige her. He then showered, as he described it, to “minimize the risk” of contracting the virus that causes AIDS.
Last December, Mr. Zuma won control of the African National Congress, clearing the way for him to assume the presidency after the 2009 elections. Only lingering corruption charges could frustrate his ambitions, and some of his more prominent followers have declared they will “kill” if Mr. Zuma is thwarted. On Sept. 20, party leaders called an early end to the Mbeki years, installing a caretaker, Kgalema Motlanthe. Mr. Zuma remains the president-in-waiting. ...
Posted on 10/06/2008 8:20 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 6 October 2008
The New, Improved Anti-Al Qaeda Taliban
Yes, it's true, the Saudis are sponsoring reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban and apparently Mullah Omar, who may actually have been in Saudi Arabia all this time, will likely return triumphant as a part of the Afghan government.
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Taliban leaders are holding Saudi-brokered talks with the Afghan government to end the country's bloody conflict -- and are severing their ties with al Qaeda, sources close to the historic discussions have told CNN.
The militia, which has been intensifying its attacks on the U.S.-led coalition that toppled it from power in 2001 for harboring Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, has been involved four days of talks hosted by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, says the source.
The talks -- the first of their kind aimed at resolving the lengthy conflict in Afghanistan -- mark a significant move by the Saudi leadership to take a direct role in Afghanistan, hosting delegates who have until recently been their enemies.
They also mark a sidestepping of key "war on terror" ally Pakistan, frequently accused of not doing enough to tackle militants sheltering on its territory, which has previously been a conduit for talks between the Saudis and Afghanistan.
According to the source, fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar -- high on the U.S. military's most-wanted list -- was not present, but his representatives were keen to stress the reclusive cleric is no longer allied to al Qaeda.
Details of the Taliban leader's split with al Qaeda have never been made public before, but the new claims confirm what another source with an intimate knowledge of the militia and Mullah Omar has told CNN in the past.
The current round of talks, said to have been taken two years of intense behind-the-scenes negotiations to come to fruition, is anticipated to be the first step in a long process to secure a negotiated end to the conflict...
Posted on 10/06/2008 9:36 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 6 October 2008
Posted on 10/06/2008 10:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 October 2008
A Musical Interlude: What's The Use? (Isham Jones Orch., voc.Chester Gaylord)
Posted on 10/06/2008 10:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 October 2008
I once wrote"referenced", which led to a kerfuffle and a half. But the possible Vice President of the United States said something far worse. From The Sunday Times:
[R]sponding to Biden’s criticism of the Bush administration’s record in education: “Say it ain’t so, Joe – there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced [sic] your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now, doggone it, let’s look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future.
Preferenced is a whole new ballgame, doggone it.
What is doggone anyway? Is it when you no longer have a dog in the fight because it's done gone?
Posted on 10/06/2008 10:18 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 6 October 2008
The Truthers' New Friends
Cathy Young writes at the Weekly Standard (h/t: Arts & Letters):
As the post-Georgia chill in U.S.-Russian relations continues, the Russian government has repeatedly declared its readiness to resume a friendly partnership if the United States will reciprocate and abandon its Cold War rhetoric. Yet, at the same time, Moscow has encouraged an orgy of anti-American hysteria in the loyalist Russian media. On September 12, the America-bashing reached a new low: a prime-time special on national television peddling the notion that the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks of September 11, 2001, were an inside job by American warmongers.
The special, aired in a program called Closed Screening on the government-controlled Channel One and viewed by up to 30 million people, was built around the documentary Zero made by Italian journalist and European Parliament member Giulietto Chiesa. Ignored in most of Europe and panned by the Italian press, Zero is a hodgepodge of familiar "truth about 9/11" claims (the Twin Towers were brought down by explosives inside the buildings, the Pentagon was hit by a missile, not a plane) accompanied by ominous music and insights from such "experts" as Nobel Prize-winning literary clown Dario Fo.
Chiesa himself, a Soviet-era Italian Communist party apparatchik and Moscow correspondent for the Communist daily L'Unità--who seems to have smoothly transferred his loyalty from the USSR to the corrupt state- capitalist Russia of today--was on hand for the studio discussion. He bitterly lamented his inability to find distributors in Western Europe and the United States; thank heaven Russia still allows a forum for free speech.
Since these are not quite Soviet days, there was at least a semblance of debate. Several panelists, including a building expert and (amusingly) a retired KGB analyst, rejected the conspiracy theory. Vladimir Sukhoi, a former Channel One correspondent who was in Washington, D.C., on the day of the attacks and in New York a few days later, spoke movingly of the horrors he witnessed and said that he could not "betray" those memories by lending credence to Chiesa's thesis. Sukhoi also remarked that he had personally seen debris from Flight 77 at the Pentagon, though Chiesa's coauthor, French 9/11-conspiracy theorist Thierry Meyssan, earnestly assured him that he had not. Sukhoi listened with the patient, bemused expression of someone forced to endure the ravings of a lunatic...
Posted on 10/06/2008 11:50 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 6 October 2008
Islamic school's admissions policy attacked
From The Press Association
An Islamic faith school has been rapped over the knuckles for giving preferential treatment to children attending a private primary school.
The national Schools Adjudicator has ruled that Leicester's Madani High School's admissions arrangements were "socially and economically discriminatory".
The adjudicator was asked to investigate a complaint by Leicester City Council that the state school was giving priority to applicants at the independent Leicester Islamic Academy Primary School (LIA).
Adjudicator Dr Peter Matthews has upheld the complaint and ordered Madani High to change its admissions policy.
Madani describes itself as the country's first purpose built Islamic faith school.
The school, set on a four-acre site in Evington, was built using a £15.2m grant awarded by the then Department for Education and Skills and opened as a voluntary aided state school in 2007.
In his judgment, Dr Matthews said that by naming LIA as its only feeder school, it was effectively "guaranteeing a place to Muslim children whose parents can afford the fees, who thus have priority over Muslim children at large".
He also observed that another admissions criteria, which gave priority to Muslim children who already have a brother or sister at Madani "has the effect of ensuring that only the oldest child in a family need attend the LIA for all siblings to be guaranteed a place".
Dr Matthews also noted that the school appeared to have dropped its commitment to reserving 10% of its places for non-Muslim pupils.
Posted on 10/06/2008 12:16 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 6 October 2008
Cape Of Good Hope, Or Packing For Perth?
Those whites in South Africa who can easily take their profession elsewhere -- such as doctors -- have in fact been steadily leaving over the past two decades. But whites still need not fear wholesale expropriation or expulsion, even if daily life is so worrisome, because there is simply so much more wealth to spread around than in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, and the new black ruling class does not want any of those golden-egg-laying geese to be driven out or killed, not at least until they can get the hang of how to lay those eggs themselves. They are keenly well aware of the need to keep around those who keep things -- especially the economy -- more or less running. The example of Zimbabwe reinforces this understanding. Whatever phony social peace has been maintained since the transfer of political power to black majority rule has been a result of an unstated contract: the black ruling elite gets to help itself to a lot of money, and the whites get to stay. The replacement of Mbeki by Zuma will merely change the list of black beneficiaries, with his courtiers getting pride of place. Anything more drastic will lead to an increase in white emigration, and though at first that would seem attractive – the way those white farms taken over by Mugabe’s “veterans” seemed initially a swell idea – there are too many who understand what would happen to the South African economy, and there is surely fear, among many in the new black elite, that they too could be swept away by the "winds of change." And even the black elite in the government cannot prevent black gangs and invididual criminals from attacking whites, and causing them to leave. And their leaving has obvious consequences for health care, education, and the economy. None of this, of course, will be written about by those writers who were always billed as fearless “truth-tellers” but who are very careful to avoid certain obvious truths about South Africa, the country that was so much easier to write about, and become indignant or sorrowful about, under the old regime.
“On our street alone, just that one small street, three of the husbands in families were killed in carjackings or robberies,” said Antony McKechnie, an electrical engineer who a month ago moved to New Zealand. “If we had stayed and something had happened to any of our three children, we would never be able to forgive ourselves.”
The onslaught of unsettling news has proved too much for some with the means to flee. No reliable numbers are kept on emigration, but “packing for Perth” — a phrase used to describe white flight, not necessarily to the Australian city — is believed to be on the increase.
Since 1996, the black population has risen to a projected 38.5 million from 31.8 million, according to government statistics. The white population has dropped to a projected 4.5 million from 4.8 million.
John Loos, an economist at First National Bank of South Africa, who tracks the reasons given by people who sell homes in white suburban markets, said 9 percent cited emigration in the last quarter of 2007. In the first quarter of 2008, the number rose to 12 percent; in the second quarter it reached 18 percent.
Since May, one of the nation’s best-selling books has been a pep talk titled “Don’t Panic!” by a businessman, Alan Knott-Craig. Aimed primarily at downhearted white people, the book laments the “tsunami of negativity” and discourages those packing for Perth.
Mr. Knott-Craig, 31, said in an interview that 67 of his 72 classmates in an accounting course had emigrated. “People are being bombarded by bad news, and at every water cooler it gets reinforced,” he said. “People thank me for helping them snap out of their negativity.”
And yet perhaps even Mr. Knott-Craig is susceptible to gloom.
In the preface to “Don’t Panic!” he seems to praise South Africa with faint damnation. “Will we still have a viable country in 2020?” he asks himself rhetorically, cautiously concluding, “I think we’ve got a better than 50-50 chance.” [from a New York Times article here]
Posted on 10/06/2008 12:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 October 2008
Dog on it
Posted on 10/06/2008 5:07 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 6 October 2008
Our Afghan Allies
Excerpts from an interview by Scott Pelley with the unnamed head of the Delta Force team given the task of finding and killing Osama bin Laden that appeared on 60 Minutes (October 5, 2008):
“The Delta team had only about 50 men. So the mission would depend on the Afghan militia as guides and muscle. Their leader was a warlord and self-styled general named Ali.
"Ali told us after about 30 seconds of discussion, he kind of listened to me ramble on and then the first thing he said was, 'I don't think you guys can handle it. You can't handle Al Qaeda in these mountains,'" Fury remembers.
Ali met with a CIA officer and accepted millions of dollars in cash from the agency. In short order, his Mujahideen fighters were escorting Delta Force into the mountains.
"Paint the picture for me of these Afghan Mujahideen troops," Pelley asks.
"They range anywhere from maybe 14 up to maybe 80. Various dress. Basically, we would probably consider it rags, which is the standard dress for a Mujahideen warrior.
There is a video of the top secret mission, which has never been seen by the public before, until now. It was recorded by the Delta commandos themselves. Dressed like Afghans, the Americans maneuvered up the mountains, calling in air strikes on al Qaeda. By day they would advance, but at night they soon discovered their Afghan allies went home.
"Well, I have to assume that if you started up the hills of Tora Bora, and you and the Mujahideen took territory, they didn't abandon that at night?" Pelley asks.
"Oh yes they did," Fury says.
He says they gave it up to the enemy. "The Mujahideen would go up, get into a skirmish, firefight, lose a guy or two, maybe kill an al Qaeda guy or two, and then they leave. It was almost like it was an agreement, an understanding between the two forces fighting each other. Almost put on a good show and then leave." In the morning, bin Laden was on the radio. The CIA, Delta, and their Afghan allies were listening.
How did the Afghans react when they heard from bin Laden on the radio?
"Osama Bin Laden is [to] many a Muslim’s hero," Fury says. "These guys in my opinion were more in awe of Osama Bin Laden than they were willing to kill him. When they heard him talking on the radio they would gather around the individual that held that hand held transistor. He would hold it up in the air, almost as if he didn't want the connection to break, almost like they could see the ridge line Osama bin laden happened to be talking from, like if they could almost see him and feel his presence and they just stood there with wide eyes and somewhat in awe that here is the leader of the jihad, the leader of al Qaeda and they’re actually hearing his voice over the radio."
"And these were the men who were supposed to help you capture or kill him? Some allies," Pelley remarks.
Some were better than others," Fury says.
The radio intercepts gave Delta a fix on bin Laden's location. And one of the Delta soldiers narrated his own video.
"This top hill. The very top up there. That’s supposedly where Bin Laden is hiding out….We’ve seen movement along this saddle right here. We don’t know if it’s friendly or not so we haven’t been able to call fire on it," the soldier said on the video.
And then something extraordinary happened: Fury's Afghan allies announced they had negotiated a cease fire with al Qaeda, something the Americans had no interest in. When Fury's team advanced anyway, his Afghan partners drew their weapons on Delta. It took 12 hours to end the bogus cease fire, precious time for al Qaeda to move.
Posted on 10/06/2008 5:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 October 2008
A Musical Interlude: Look For The Silver Lining (Connie Boswell)
Posted on 10/06/2008 5:26 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 October 2008
Pat Condell - alive and kicking at YouTube
Pat Condell was not banned from YouTube but suspended pending. The pending is now pent and he's back with his video "Welcome to Saudi Britain":
Condell has released another video in the last week called "Stop Sharia law in Britain":
In many ways Condell still sees Islam through a glass darkly. He is inaccurate about the legal aspects of Sharia "courts" but right to be worried about them. He distrusts religion in general, and pays lip service - mental lip service, if there is such a thing - to the idea that Saudi Islam is a perversion of Islam. But the following statement shows that he has the measure of Islam. It is very British - reluctant to analyse but viscerally distrustful:
Like many people over the last eleven years, I've realised that a vote for Labour is a vote for Islam. And although I like and admire certain individual Muslims as people, I've seen enough of Islam to know that I don't want it anywhere near me, and I don't want any of its values enshrined in the country I live in.
Foreigners - and Muslims - don't understand the British, but this understated "Hmm, not sure what it is but I don't much like it" speaks volumes.
Posted on 10/06/2008 6:52 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 6 October 2008
Fleeing Into Israel (In German)
Die jüngste “palästinensische“ Beschwerde dreht sich darum, dass Israel nicht jeden einzelnen „Palästinenser“ aus dem Gazastreifen lässt, der – um Gottes Willen aus praktischen Gründen – erstklassige Behandlung haben will – in israelischen Krankenhäusern. Das heißt, sie wollen in den Krankenhäusern behandelt werden, sie fordern dort behandelt zu werden, von genau den Leuten, gegen sie tausende Raketen losgelassen haben und die, würden die Araber im Gazastreifen ihren Willen kriegen, vernichtet und damit für genau diese Araber nicht verfügbar werden. Sie haben keinen Sinn für Ironie, diese Araber aus dem Gazastreifen.
Hier ist die neueste Tränenstory, die dazu geschaffen ist die Herzstränge unserer NGO, der EU oder der UNO zu bewegen:
Ahmed Hisham Abu Shawish ist 46, aber er sieht älter aus. Seine Haut ist grau getönt und er sitzt vorüber gebeugt auf seinem Stuhl. Er hatte Vollzeit in der logistischen Unterstützung an der Islamischen Universität gearbeitet, aber heutzutage muss er sich auf sein Heim im Al-Daraj-Distrikt im nördlichen Gaza Stadt beschränken. ER hat einen aggressiven Krebs und leidet an ernster Hämaturie, d.h. in seinem Urin ist Blut. Er muss alle zwei bis drei Tage ins Krankenhaus, um regelmäßig Bluttransfusionen zu bekommen. „Für meine Behandlung gehe in das European Hospitalin Khan Yunis“, sagt er. Dazu gehört mehrmals die Woche eine schmerzhafte Fahrt mit Sammeltaxis, da das Krankenhaus 30km weit weg liegt und die Familie es sich nicht leisten kann ein privates Taxi für die Fahrt dorthin und wieder nach Hause zu bezahlen.
Ahmed Abu Shawish braucht dringend eine Operation zur Entfernung des Krebses und die Reparatur der inneren Verletzungen. „Der [palästinensische] Gesundheitsminister überwies mich and das Echelof-Krankenhaus in Tel Aviv, zur Behandlung durch einen Spezialisten“, sagt er. „Aber natürlich brauche ich eine Erlaubnis Gaza zu verlassen und mein Gesuch wurde abgelehnt. Also beantragte ich es erneut mit der Hilfe von Menschenrechts-Organisationen.“ Die israelische NGO Physicians for Human Rights und das Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) haben zusammengearbeitet, um die Erlaubnis für Ahmed Abu Shawish zu erhalten, damit er in der Lage ist zum Echelof-Krankenhaus zu fahren. Aber am 18. August wurde die Genehmigung wieder abgelehnt. PCHR hat eine formelle Beschwerde bei der israelischen Staatsanwaltschaft eingereicht, mit Beschreibung der Dringlichkeit von Ahmed Abu Shawishs Fall und der Forderung, dass er unverzüglich eine Genehmigung Israels für seine Fahrt zur Behandlung im Echelof-Krankenhaus ausgestellt würde. So lange ist Ahme Abu Shawish auf die Bewegung in seinem Haus beschränkt, wo er lebt und unter Schmerzen, Unannehmlichkeiten und Ungewissheit wartet.
Wenn Ahmed Abu Shawish keine Genehmigung erhält, die ihm die Fahrt zum Echelof-Krankenhaus in Tel Aviv sehr bald ermöglicht, wird er auf eine Operation im Gazastreifen zurückgreifen müssen. „Die Ärzte im European Hospital rieten mir für meine Behandlung nach Israel zu gehen“, sagt er. „Die Risiken der Behandlung hier sind weitaus größer – und ich sage Ihnen, ich haben Angst bei der Aussicht hier wegen meines Krebses operiert zu werden. Wie, glauben Sie, fühle ich mich, wenn selbst meine Ärzte mir sagen, dass ich zu meinem eigenen Wohl nach Israel fahren und meine Operation in einem Krankenhaus dort haben muss?“
Das ist die Geschichte, da bin ich sicher, die bei uns kein Auge hat trocken bleiben lassen.
Natürlich zeigt dies auch die Idiotie Israels auf. Warum hat es je solchen Leuten erlaubt zu glauben, sie hätten ein Recht überhaupt in israelischen Krankenhäusern behandelt zu werden? Ich bin übrigens auch sicher, dass die Behandlung kostenlos gewährt wird. Denjenigen, die Krieg gegen dich führen, die versuchen dich auszulöschen, sollte nicht die Höflichkeit eines Platzes in unseren Krankenhäusern und Zugang zu fortschrittlicher westlicher Medizin angeboten werden. Sie haben ihre eigenen Krankenhäuser. Sie haben ihre hunderte Millionen Dollars, die sie jährlich von den Ungläubigen bekommen. Sie haben Zugang zu ägyptischen Krankenhäusern, wenn es nötig ist. Oder sind sie alle wie die Eltern von Edward Said, die sogar schon in den 1930-er Jahren nach Jerusalem fuhren, um sich den Vorteil der überlegenen Hygiene und Behandlung zunutze zu machen, die die jüdischen Krankenhäuser boten?
Vor kurzem forderte die „palästinensische“ Autonomiebehörde von Israel, das fast 200 aus dem Gazastreifen geflohenen Mitgliedern und Unterstützern der Fatah Zuflucht und zwei Dutzend Verletzten medizinische Versorgung gab, diese nicht in die arabisch besetzte „Westbank“ weiterzuschicken, sondern sie zurück in den Gazastreifen zu schicken.
Der Grund dafür, wie er von einem „palästinensischen“ Mitglied des Langsamen Jihad (Fatah) angegeben und in einem Artikel der Jerusalem Post zitiert wurde, lautet: „Jeder weiß, dass, wenn wir den Leuten erlauben den Gazastreifen zu verlassen, fast jeder der dortigen Einwohner die Grenze nach Israel überschreiten würden. Wir wollen den Gazastreifen nicht der Hamas überlassen.“
Sie würden – „fast alle“ – „versuchen die Grenze nach Israel zu überschreiten“.
Wissen sie – nach Israel, wohin jeder Araber flieht, wenn er kann, wann immer er sich arabischen Feinden gegenüber sieht. Die Mitglieder des Schwarzen September machten das, als Jordaniens König Husseins Männer sie verfolgten. Sie wateten über den Jordan, ihre Hände erhoben und wissend, dass die Israelis ihnen nichts tun, sondern sie hinein lassen würden. Sie flohen in das Land, das regelmäßig als „naziartig“ oder gar „schlimmer als die Nazis“ denunziert wird. Wir alle erinnern uns daran, wie die Nazis Juden kostenlose medizinische Versorgung und andere Beihilfen anboten, damit sie, wann immer möglich, in von den Nazis gehaltenes Territorium fliehen.
Vergessen Sie nicht diese Art viel sagender Demonstration und den noch mehr sagenden Kommentar des Fatah-Beamten. Vergessen Sie das nicht und vergessen Sie nicht andere daran zu erinnern, wenn die in ihre vom Guardian oder der BBC oder vom Weltkirchenrat oder Amnesty International oder Human Rights Watch oder UNO veranstaltete Verleumdungs-Phrasendreschrei gegen Israel eintauchen. Denken Sie daran, das nicht zu vergessen.
Posted on 10/06/2008 8:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 October 2008
Why Must Infidels Support Those Gigantic Arab Families?
I read the following and initially assumed it was PLO, that is "Palestinian," propaganda. That it is, of course, but it also a UN document.
"The Eid festival, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is traditionally a time of celebration. However, the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip can be forgiven for feeling that there was little to celebrate at Eid this year. The reunion of families and the sharing of food, essential parts of the Eid celebration, have been rendered almost impossible by the Israeli blockade. Food prices in Gaza have risen this year by 32%, according to a recent survey undertaken by UNRWA, WFO and FAO. As a result of these price increases, Palestinians in the besieged territory are now forced to spend around 67% overall – 73% amongst the poorest sector – of their income on food.
In a response to this crisis and in an effort to alleviate the distress of some of Gaza's poorest residents, the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent (UAERC) made a generous contribution to food aid for refugees in Gaza during Ramadan. UAERC's contribution provided food parcels composed of chickpeas, cheese, luncheon meat and other items to 7,000 families from the beginning of the holy month.
The contribution has had a considerable impact on Gaza inhabitants. One beneficiary of the food aid, Siham Majdalawy, a 40 year old resident of Beach camp explained her situation, "I am a mother of 11 kids and our conditions are very difficult. We have Allah and UNRWA only. The support we receive from the UAERC and UNRWA will help us a lot". Despite the continuous evolution of UNWRA's emergency programme to ensure that humanitarian needs are met, resources are still stretched. As Ali Hassan, another 40 year old beneficiary and father of 8, explained "The situation in Gaza is continuously deteriorating and UNRWA's help is so essential but it is not enough. We hope that the agency increases its assistance and thank Allah that UAERC comes back to help us with cooperation with UNRWA".
The UAERC's contribution ensured that, for the inhabitants of Gaza, Eid was more of an occasion for celebration this year. But for many, a true Eid celebration will only be possible when they are once more independent and their lives resume a semblance of normality. The sentiments of Siham Majdalawy and Mieser Alshaer, 48 years old, echoed one another. Siham stated "my real demand is to have a job for my husband and not only to be provided with food", while Mieser will celebrate on the "joyful day when we find a job for my husband and we will not be in need for UNRWA or other associations."
Nota bene, in this article:
"Siham Majdalawy, a 40 year old resident of Beach camp explained her situation, "I am a mother of 11 kids and our conditions are very difficult. We have Allah and UNRWA only/"
"As Ali Hassan, another 40 year old beneficiary and father of 8, explained "The situation in Gaza is continuously deteriorating and UNRWA's help is so essential but it is not enough."
The Jewish villagers who once lived in Gaza, and had every right -- see the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine -- somehow managed to create farms, out of the unpromising soil, and even to grow flowers in greenhouses, to do all sorts of things. They did not, by the way, have families of 11 or 8 children, and did not attend upon aid, aid, aid from others. But the fantastic overbreeding, by the Gazan Arabs, is accompanied by an inshallah-fatalism only strengthened by their cultivated, and baseless, sense of victimhood. And so sure are those in UNRWA who produced this nauseating document, that they make no attempt to hide either the overbreeding, or the inshallah-fatalism. Nothing is said, of course, about the greenhouses that were turned over to the Gazan Arabs, nothing said about their culture of complete dependency on an UNRWA entirely staffed, at this point, by fellow Arabs -- and no one on the UNRWA rolls ever dies, to no family is it suggested that 8 or 11 or 15 children might not, under the circumstances, be advisale, and all kinds of Arabs who never set foot in Mandatory Palestine have, in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Syria, signed up for the UNRWA goodies that are paid for, have always been paid for, by Infidel taxpayers.
The one thing that is unusual in this story is the fact that the plutocrats of the Emirates have decided to provide a little something -- a very little something, considering the hundreds of billions the U.A.E. has piled up -- that is, food parcels for 7,000 families of Gazan Arabs, and this is hailed as generosity. UNRWA should long ago have been shut down, and the Gazan Arabs had it made clear to them that Gaza cannot sustain its present population, much less a population that keeps growing as the Gazan Arabs heedlessly engage in what they see as increasing the demographic weapon, and besides, Allah and UNRWA will always provide. Not every place on the globe can support just any number of people, and Gaza is one of those places. The sooner this is understood by the local Arabs, and they either adjust their family size, or leave the area altogether -(many of them are descemdants of Egyptians who, like other Arabs, were attracted in the period 1900-1940 to Mandatory Palestine, because of the economic bustle that was a result of Jewish immigration) -- the better. The population of Gazan Arabs at present simply cannot be sustained.
The Infidel taxpayers who largely pay for UNRWA are not required to pay indefinitely, nor to pay if the Arabs insist on these gigantic families. We in the West, after all, carefully limit our own family size, often, out of economic considerations. Why should we be paying for Arab families with those having those 8 or 11 children, or 15, or 23? And especially when the Arab and Muslim oil countries have received, without having lifted a finger, more than eleven trillion dollars since 1973 alone?
This makes no sense.
Posted on 10/06/2008 10:39 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 6 October 2008
Today in the "Religion of Peace™"
On October 6th, 1981, president Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt was assassinated by his own troops during a military parade. Nine other people in the stands were killed by the assassins.
Sadat took part in the 1952 coup that overthrew King Farouk, which was partly motivated by the defeat of the Egyptians in 1948 by the Israelis. Following the humiliating defeat by Israel in the Six Day War in 1967, the Israelis made a diplomatic offer to return Gaza to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria, in return for peace agreements, and to begin negotiations to define Israel's border with Jordan. In response, the Arab Summit issued the "three no's" policy: "no peace, no recognition, and no negotiation."
Instead, Sadat planned and carried out the Yom Kippur War against Israel in 1973, in coordination with Syria and Iraq. The surprise attack on the holiest holiday eve of Yom Kippur was chosen by the Muslims intentionally. It also marked the beginning of Ramadan, a holy holiday for Muslims, though obviously in that case "holy" does not infer "peaceful", as Muslims regularly fight wars during Ramadan.
After some early victories in the sneak attack, Egypt's top generals such as Saad El Shazly warned against continuing the offensive, but Sadat ordered the attack to continue. The tide turned, and the result was another humiliating rout of Egyptian forces.
In 1979, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty following the Camp David Accords with President Jimmy Carter, for which they both won the Nobel Prize (as did that other well-known peace advocate, Yassir Arafat, in 1994). In response, the other Arab nations expelled Egypt from the Arab League and from the Islamic Conference. Muslims expressed their displeasure in time-honored fashion, as enraged crowds rioted and threatened Sadat with violence, burning buses and buildings, and destroying nightclubs.
In February 1981, rumors began to circulate about a possible coup attempt. Sadat rounded up the usual suspects: communists, feminists, homosexuals, intellectuals, and Coptic Christians.
Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman wrote the fatwa approving the assassination, in accordance with mainstream Islamic principles. In a very precisely timed operation, during a military parade celebrating the Yom Kippur War, the assassin troops pulled in front of the review stands just as Mirage jet fighters flew overhead, distracting the crowd. The assassins threw grenades, and then began shooting at the review stands. Some of the assassins rushed to the stands to get a better shot. Despite this occuring during a military parade, with literally thousands of Egyptian troops on hand, and with Sadat surrounded by bodyguards, the assassins were able to continue firing unhampered for several minutes.
Sheikh Abdel-Rahman, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and other Egyptian jihadis were arrested for their participation in the murder, but this being Dar al-Islam, they were set free just a few years later. Abdel-Rahman was later arrested in the U.S. for planning the first bombing of the World Trade Center, and al-Zawahiri went to Afghanistan and joined up with Osama bin Laden.
We criticize our leaders for advocating war; they criticize (well, actually, they murder) their leaders for advocating peace.
And now, let us close with some words of wisdom from Anwar Sadat, Nobel Peace Prize winner:
"Fear is, I believe, a most effective tool in destroying the soul of an individual - and the soul of a people."
Previous Days in the "Religion of Peace™":
Oct 3: Black Hawk Down in Mogadishu
Oct 1: Systemic mass murder in Indonesia
Sept 30: Mohammad al-Dura Hoax
Sept 29: Cervantes, jihad survivor
Sept 27: Emir of Kuwait begs UN for help
Posted on 10/06/2008 10:54 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden