One picture, said Mao Tse-Tung, is worth a thousand words, and in a sense he was right. A thousand words cannot describe adequately your current visual field, or even the tiniest part of it (I don’t think you should even try); but neither can pictures adequately convey what you are able to say in words. We don’t have different faculties for nothing. more>>>
Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, known as Mullah Krekar, was the original leader of an Iraqi jihadist group with links to al-Qaeda, and once called Osama bin Laden a “jewel in the crown of Islam”. The Norwegian Supreme Court has declared him a threat to national security, but Norway cannot deport him because he faces a potential death sentence in his native Iraq.
The Norwegian government came up with a novel solution to the problem, ordering Krekar’s relocation to Kyrksæterøra, (a remote village of 2,500 people, 300 miles from Oslo) where it believes he will be able to do less harm.
But Krekar has appealed against the ruling, saying it is an infringement of his human rights. A court hearing on Friday was unable to come to a decision on the case, and adjourned it to Monday. The Oslo government wants to force Krekar into the rural retreat in an area which is 70 miles from the nearest settlement of any size, Trondheim, and has no mosque.
Krekar, who is on a UN terror list, and has just been released from jail after serving part of a five-year sentence for making repeated death threats against Norwegian politicians. Under the government plan, he will be housed in a hostel for asylum-seekers, and will have to report to local police three times a week, effectively confining him to the remote community. Krekar said the decision will separate him from his wife and four children, who live in Oslo. Laywers have argued the move is against the Norwegian constitution.
“Of course I wish we had an agreement to return him [to Iraq] in place, but we do what we can within the framework of human rights,” Anders Anundsen, Norwegian justice minister, told NRK.
...just two days after the heinous attack, (at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris earlier this month ) Muslim youths were outside the store gloating.
A group of French Muslims posted photos of themselves in front of the supermarket to Facebook just after the attack, making rude gestures with their middle fingers in the pictures reports the French-languageLe Monde Juifwhich provided screenshots.
In the caption of the photos posted by user "Abdellah du Futur" reads vile messages such as "Charlie's a mother (expletive)." The statement is a reference to the "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) campaign of support after Islamist terrorists murdered 12 at the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo for making cartoons of Mohammed, founder of Islam, two days before the supermarket attack.
Another caption reads in French "Allahu Akbar ratatatata ahhhh," mimicking the shouts of Allah is Greater shouted by Muslim terrorists, the sounds of gunfire and the victims' cries of pain.
One of the photos also included hashtags referencing anti-Semitic French comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who was detained after identifying with the terrorist Coulibaly, Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin-Laden, and Mohammed Merah, who in 2012 murdered three Jewish children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse, along with three police officers.
The representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), the umbrella organization of all French Jewish organizations, strongly condemned the outrageous photos, reporting them.
Insults in bad taste are not bullets, but it is indicative of the boys attitude, which were they to be given a gun . . .
PAKISTAN - Anti-Charlie Hebdo protesters storm Christian school
Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - 300 Muslim students armed with iron bars and sticks protesting against the French satirical newspaper "Charlie Hebdo" for publishing blasphemous cartoons of the prophet Mohammed stormed a Christian boys’ school in the city of Bannu, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in northern Pakistan, demanding its closure. As reported to Fides, the protesting students entered the "Panel High School" after jumping its outer walls and forcibly opened the gates. Four Christian students were injured in the attack. The school has been closed for two days and the Headmaster has decided to take additional security measures.
Christian Nasir Saeed, director of the NGO "Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement" (CLAAS) declares: "It is very sad that Islamic radicals attack Pakistani Christians because of Charlie Hebdo. . . Whenever incidents occur in western countries, the faithful Pakistanis are attacked. Christians, who are already living under constant fear for their lives, become even more vulnerable. . ."
Egyptian Islamic State Affiliate kills 40 In Sinai Attacks
Family Members of Egyptian Security Forces Killed in Sinai by Ansar Beit Al Magdis
The menace of the Islamic State (Daesh in Arabic) has spread to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Gulf Newsreported that Ansar Beit Al Maqdis attacked police and military facilities in the Northern Sinai killing more than 40 security and military personnel and civilians. Another 36 wounded have been reported by health authorities, “prompting President Al-Sisi to cut short his trip to Ethiopia.”. Gulf News provided details:
The provincial security headquarters, intelligence buildings and an army officers club as well as a newspaper office and army checkpoints were all hit by mortar fire and car bombs, security officials said.
The militant group, which last year pledged allegiance to the jihadist militia, claimed responsibility for the attacks - the deadliest blow to Egyptian security forces in years.
On a website used by the Daesh for official announcements, the group said it had targeted an army base and a security compound in Al Arish, the capital city of northern Sinai, with three car bombs and "infiltrators."
The group, now calling itself the Sinai Province of Daesh, also claimed to have hit eight checkpoints in Al Arish, the town of Rafah on the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, and elsewhere in the area.
For more insight, into what is occuring in Egypt's Sinai we offer this exchange with Dr. Raymond Stock, Shillman Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum in a forthcoming interview with him to be published in the February New Enmglish Review:
Gordon: Has the Islamic State supplanted the Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood movements?
Stock: In a sense, yes, but the situation is actually quite complex. Ideologically, IS—like al-Qa`ida--is an extension of the Salafist movement and the MB (itself established as a Salafi organization in the Salafi library in Ismailiya, Egypt in 1928). IS, because of its uncompromising Islamist purity, harshness, brutality and its dramatic seizure of so much territory in Iraq and Syria, coupled with its incredibly savvy use of social media, has largely eclipsed all of its predecessors in recruitment of fighters to the Middle East. It also outpaced all of them in its creation of lone wolves and sleeper cells in Europe, America and elsewhere. That includes Egypt, where the MB-and-AQ aligned Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) organization is responsible for most of the attacks in the country over the past two years. ABM, along with its allies controls much of North Sinai and has declared its allegiance to IS. The MB, as noted, still retains a very strong base, as does the Salafi al-Nour Party which has pragmatically allied itself with Al-Sisi. The appeal of IS may frustrate their ability to draw younger members--yet it is far from clear that IS will do any better in the long run. So have many of the Islamists in Libya, the eastern half of which IS now controls, and may soon run Tripoli as well. The stunning success of IS provides further inspiration to groups like Boko Haram, which has overrun much of northeastern Nigeria and has recently spread into Cameroon, as well as al-Shabaab in Somalia. IS also now has a presence in southern Afghanistan and beyond. Unless it is destroyed militarily in the very near future--which is virtually impossible so long as Obama is President--IS threatens every state with a significant Muslim population, as well as the West, which is its ultimate target.
Boris branding Jihadists 'porn-driven losers' is akin to TERRORISM, claims leading Muslim
I don't think there are many people unaware of what London mayor Boris Johnson said about young male Muslim jihadists yesterday "If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. . . "
This has not gone down well. Well it wouldn't would it? The music station I listen to during the day has hourly news which I think they take from Sky. At 4pm an irate young man with an accent best described as northern asian complained about disrespec'.At 5pm was a clip from the Friday sermon of the Iman of a Leeds mosque. Also irate. I can't find a link to him but a link to two peeved young men can be found here.
However from the newspapers:
General Secretary for the Muslim Women's Network Mussurut Zia slammed the Conservative politician's comments as "irresponsible" and "the definition of terrorism". Ms Zia said the "sweeping comment" made by Mr Johnson labelled "all young Muslim men as losers". "If you look at the definition of terrorism it is to incite fear into the hearts of people – this is what he is doing," she added. “I feel they are going to lead to a greater divide.”
Khalid Mahmood, a leading Muslim MP, attacked the mayor for his “crude” terminology. . . accused the Tory politician of promoting inaccurate views of young men susceptible to radicalisation. “It is those in higher education with in-depth knowledge of Islam who are more likely to become trapped by warped ideology.” A* in Practical Chemistry doesn't stop them being obsessed with porn and do what.
There is an election in 99 days; we live in interesting times.
Funeral Cortege for late Alberto Nisman La Tablada Jewish Cemetery 1-29-15 Buenos Aires Source: AP
Yesterday, the late Argentine Prosecutor, Alberto Nisman was laid to rest in the La Tablada Jewish Community in Buenos Aires amidst a veritable firestorm of controversy that stretched from Argentina to Israel. There were signs of “Justice for Nisman” and “Thank You” in the throng of hundreds outside La Tablada cemetery. Nisman was appropriately interred in the Martyrs Section reserved for the Jewish victims of the July 18, 1994 AMIA blast. A separate section in La Tablada is reserved for suicides. The obituary in La Nacion contained the Hebrew abbreviation z”l of blessed memory.’ Many in the Argentine Jewish Community considered that appropriate as they deemed him the “86th victim” of the AMIA blast. In effect his burial in the Martyrs section repudiated initial official assessments from President Cristina de Fernandez Kirchner and the investigating prosecutor that he may have been a suicide. Kirchner quickly changed her story to a likely murder by rogue intelligence elements who had “manipulated” Nisman.
Among the mourners at his funeral were his two daughters 7-year old Ila and 15 year old Kala, his sister, mother and ex-wife, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado. The Times of Israel (TOI) report noted:
“This is burying part of our republic,” said Patricia Bullrich, an opposition member of Congress, before entering the cemetery. “It’s a day of reflection and sadness for all of Argentina.”
A farewell letter written by Nisman’s daughters to their father was published Thursday in Argentine papers. “We hope now you can rest in peace. We will guard in our hearts the beautiful moments we lived together,” they wrote.
In a separate funeral notice, Nisman’s ex-wife Salgado said she felt “profound sorrow” for their daughters. “I say goodbye to you, hoping you find the peace that your dedication to your job did not let you fully enjoy,” it said.
Hundreds of protesters, convinced that he was a victim of foul play, gathered in front of the cemetery, some holding placards demanding “Justice for Nisman”.
“It is a great injustice. He was threatened,” said Cristina Paredes, 53, who said Nisman’s death “is the straw the broke the camel’s back” for Argentineans fed up with Kirchner and accusations of corruption by her administration.
The death was mourned as far away as Israel, which hailed Nisman – son of a textile merchant who had studied law at the University of Buenos Aires – as “courageous”.
A friend in Geneva, Switzerland, Imre Herzog, who had forwarded several of our Iconoclast posts on Nisman death to members of the Argentine Jewish community, reported a woman commenting, “There is no Justice in Argentina.”
Nisman was found dead shot with a 22 caliber pistol delivered to him on January 17th by Diego Lagomarsino, the IT manager of the Special Investigative Unit. Lagomarsino, the last person to see Nisman, told a news conference the Prosecutor “didn’t trust his security detail.” Moreover, as the TOIreported, Nisman had chilling evidence of a threat on his life from alleged Iranian sources. He played a recorded voice message recorded while one of his daughters visited him. Ironically, Lagomarsino is being accused of violating Argentinean laws regarding conveying unregistered weapons. Nisman’s death on Sunday January 18th occurred on the cusp of his scheduled testimony at a Congressional hearing on a 289 page Compliant his Special Investigative Unit had prepared. It contained accusations of a cover up by President Kirchner and Foreign Minister Timerman of a trade deal with Iran in exchange for dropping charges against Iranian officials involved in the 1994 AMIA Bombing. Nisman’s murder might have been by members of his security detail on orders of shadowy Argentine opponents or a professional hitman from Hezbollah. Iran and proxy Hezbollah have operatives in the Triple Frontier border zone, where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil meet considered the Iron Triangle of terrorism in Latin America.
The 1994 AMIA blast that created the Martyrs section in the La Tablada cemetery was attributed to 29 year old Lebanese Hezbollah suicide bomber, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, who was driving a Renault Trafic van packed with 275 kilograms of shaped explosives using ammonium nitrate fertilizer and a fuel oil mixture. 85 were killed and hundreds were injured in the blast that tore off the façade of the Jewish community facility causing it to collapse. The explosion spread death, havoc and injuries in the street in a crowded Buenos Aires central commercial district. Berro had been identified by his brothers in Michigan as a Hezbollah member. They gave Nisman a photograph that matched an artist rendering of a description from other eye- witnesses who had briefly glimpsed Berro driving to his fateful end. Nisman remarked, "The brothers' testimony was substantial, rich in detail and showed that he was the one who was killed”.
Nisman’s relentless pursuit of who organized this pre-9/11 action led him to obtain an Interpol red tag warrant for the arrest and prosecution of senior Iranian officials and Hezbollah terrorist mastermind, Imad Mughniyah. Mughniyah was brought to justice when on February 12, 2008 he was killed in a car bombing when he stepped into his Mitsubishi Pajero leaving a celebration of the 1979 Islamic Revolution at the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria. Many believe that this may have been by Mossad in retribution for Mughniyah’s role in planning and executing both the 1992 Israeli Embassy and 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombings in Buenos Aires. Others identified in the 2007 Compliant, approved by a majority vote of the Interpol Assembly meeting in Morocco, were several Iranian officials including former President Rafsanjani and current President Rouhani. They had all been present at a meeting in Mashad, Iran in August 14, 1993 that authorized the operation with the proviso that it “kill without leaving a trace”- the title of a book on Nisman’s investigations by Israeli-Argentinean Gustavo Perednik. The animus for these murderous attacks against Israelis and Argentineans is alleged to be Argentina’s suspension of a nuclear transfer agreement that same year that began during the era of the late Shah. Immediately following the AMIA blast, a Panamanian commuter flight on August 19, 1994 was blown up in mid-air by an Arab passenger carrying forged Columbian documents. All 21 passengers and crew were killed, including 12 Jewish businessmen bound for Panama City from Colon. Panamanian and US investigators deemed that a terrorist action.
One aspect of the Nisman saga affects the US, as well. In an interview with Lou Dobbs of Fox News, Claudia Rosett, Journalist- in- Residence at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies told of Nisman being barred by the Argentine Justice Ministry from appearing at a 2013 Congressional Hearing on Iranian-Hezbollah terror networks. Networks as Rosett pointed out that originated in the Triple Frontier, spread throughout all of Latin America to Mexico and even here in the US. Think of the Quds Force deal with a Mexican Cartel and an Iranian émigré in Texas seeking to arrange the assassination of the Saudi Ambassador to the US at a Washington, DC restaurant. Despite Nisman being barred from testifying before the Congressional Committee, an empty chair with a place card bearing his name was placed in front at the Hearing. A testament to the esteem and his courage in warning us of Iran’s long reach of state sponsored terrorism that have claimed over hundreds of lives of innocent victims and now, Nisman. His legacy cries out for independent Argentine/US/Israeli filings before the International Criminal Court at The Hague to finally bring to justice Iranian officials who organized the crimes and corrupt Argentinean officials complicit in the monstrous cover up.
Watch the Fox News Lou Dobbs interview with Claudia Rosett:
The earth may not have shaken, but it was a delightful surprise that at an informal meeting of the plenary of the United Nations General Assembly, held on January 22, 2015, representatives of 37 nations convened to register their disapproval of anti-Semitism. Perhaps most surprising was the comment by the Saudi Arabian representative that anti-Semitism, like Islamophobia, is a crime based on religious hate.
Can the virus of anti-Semitism be controlled? More than a century ago, the Russian doctor and Zionist Leo Pinsker was pessimistic. He wrote of the virus, “As a psychic aberration, it is hereditary; as a disease transmitted for 2,000 years it is incurable.” It is poignant but realistic to say that anti-Semitism is the longest continuing form of hatred in history, and moreover, it is the only form of hatred of peoples or countries that is global, even in countries where no Jews have ever been present. At its worst, Jews are seen as an absolute metaphysical evil.
Reports on various countries indicate that anti-Semitic attitudes and anti-Israeli frenzy have been increasing in recent years. A poll by ADL of people in 100 countries concluded that 26% of adults – about one billion people – harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. Among the causes of this increase in anti-Semitic beliefs, in prejudice against Jews, and in hate crimes is the impact of social media and the internet, which have expanded the scale of communication transmitting hate through websites, blogs, and chat rooms. This transmission spreads fantasies of Jewish conspiracies and of the supposed power of “Jewish lobbies” throughout the world, along with automatic denunciation of any policy of the State of Israel or action in its self-defense against aggression.
Intolerance, harassment, and discrimination against Jews have metastasized even in schools, on college campuses, and in sports arenas. The campus issue has meant not only frequent anti-Israeli demonstrations, but also lack of respect for observant Jewish students and calendar requirements for exams. On college campuses, hateful conduct by Palestinian and other anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli students has interfered with the learning process for Jewish students and prevented the voicing of pro-Israeli sentiments. Aggravated offenses during sports games have caused the British Football Association to make soccer clubs more liable for the conduct of their fans.
A discomfiting report was recently issued in Britain by the Campaign against Antisemitism. According to various data, it shows that anti-Semitism in Britain has increased, particularly as a result of criticism of Israel for its actions in 2014 in Gaza. In 2013, the last full year of records, there were 529 anti-Semitic incidents in the U.K., a hundred more than in France.
However, care has to be taken in evaluating the analysis of the data and the perceptions of Jews in Britain on the issue. The data of the general attitudes shows the following: 10% believe that Jews are not as honest as most people; 17% think that Jews have too much power; 20% hold that Jews are less loyal to Britain than are non-Jews; 13% think Jews talk too much about the Holocaust.
Of the 250,000 British Jews, 29% say they have experienced personal anti-Semitic harassments, and more than half say they have witnessed more anti-Semitism in the past two years than ever before. Almost half feel threatened by Islamic extremism. They fear direct violent attacks; they worry about security at schools their children attend; they have spoken of desecration of Jewish gravestones and of anti-Semitic graffiti on public and private property; they have witnessed hate mail on the internet, and anti-Semitism on college campuses.
British Jews consider boycott of businesses selling Israeli products a form of anti-Semitic intimidation. After the massacre at the kosher shop, Hyper Cacher, in Paris on January 9, 2015, they are expressing anxiety about going to Jewish shops in London. The British Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson has spoken of “radical uncertainty which makes one very jittery.”
Concerned political leaders in the Western world are increasingly aware of the problem. At least fourteen Western nations have refused to participate in the planned United Nations Durban III Conference. They realize that this supposed forum for human rights, first held in South Africa in 2001, has degenerated into a platform for anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli vitriol, largely on the part of Asian and African countries.
It is now almost a truism that Israel is the canary in the coal mine. Anti-Semitism is not simply a pernicious evil of hate and intolerance, nor simply a threat to the Jewish people as a whole and to the State of Israel in particular. The greater danger, as expressed so succinctly by Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, is that “[t]hose who would hate and destroy the Jewish people would ultimately hate and destroy the rest of us as well.” A similar point was made at the UNGA conference by Harlem Désir, French minister for European affairs, who remarked, “Whenever someone attacks a Jew because of what he is, he is attacking all of us, the community of nations.”
Again, we are confronted with the problem of the limits of free speech. Anti-Semitic utterances have led to violence, and of course to the Holocaust, to persecution, and to disturbance of life. The problem is compounded by the link between expressions of anti-Semitism and attitudes to Israel expressed by Palestinians and others.
A perplexing example of this link was the making of foreign policy by the Muslim mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London, in which about a third of the population comes from Bangladesh. The mayor flew Palestinian flags and a black Islamist flag like that of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on City Hall. Defying a threatening gang of thugs, a courageous 77-year-old Catholic nun, who runs a charity supporting residents in the area, removed the black flag. Similar Muslim makers of foreign policy are the mayors of Bradford and Preston, both of whom flew Palestinian flags on their official public buildings.
In Britain, a stunning instance of anti-Israeli insensitivity was the conduct of a judge, George Bathurst-Norman, in June 2010. In his summing up in a criminal damage trial concerning a company in Brighton involved in the manufacture of weapons components for Israeli F-16 fighter jets, he implicitly compared the Israeli government with the Nazi regime. He said there was no word other than “horrors” for what Israel was doing in Gaza; there were scenes, he said, which one would rather have hoped to have disappeared with the Nazi regime of the last war. Not surprisingly, all the accused were acquitted of conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
In France, after the murders by an Islamist terrorist of four Jews in the kosher shop in Paris, Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that France without Jews is not France. British home secretary Theresa May, who was shocked by the extent in Britain of anti-Semitism, verbal, physical, and online, made a similar statement: “Modern Britain without a thriving Jewish community would not be Britain. The Jewish community is a vital part of what makes Britain tick.”
What is to be done? At a minimum, May called for tough penalties on hate crime, some control over hate speech on campus, and extra security for Jewish schools, synagogues, and communal institutions. But more is necessary, and perhaps that will follow after the UNGA conference. There must be a collective universal effort of education and political persuasion to dispose of anti-Semitic ideology and indoctrination. That effort should dispose of the myths of Jewish conspiracies to control the world. It should counter the argument that Jews are not loyal to the countries in which they are living. It should inform individuals of the true history of the Holocaust. It should penalize the policies or advocacy of those policies to kill or harm Jews in the name of extremist Islamist ideology
The international community should heed the words of U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon on June 21, 2004. He said, “The UN emerged from the ashes of the Holocaust. And a human rights agenda that fails to address anti-Semitism denies its own history.”
Sharp rise in halal abattoirs slaughtering animals without stunning them first
The number of animals killed in halal abattoirs without being stunned first soared in the last year, figures have revealed. Campaigning by Muslims for traditional methods of slaughter has led to a 60 percent rise in the number of non-pain free killings, industry experts said.
Last year 2.4 million sheep and goats had their throats cut without being stunned in halal and kosher abattoirs, according to the British Veterinary Association (BVA). In halal premium, 37 per cent of sheep and goats, 25 per cent of cattle and 16 per cent of poultry were killed without being stunned first.
For meat to be halal, the animal must be alive when its throat is cut and die from loss of blood.
Cattle take up to two minutes to lose consciousness after their throats are cut, while sheep are awake for only 20 seconds, according to the European Food Safety Authority. Critics say such practices harm the welfare of animals. John Blackwell, president of the BVA, said that the practice “unnecessarily compromises animal welfare at the time of death”.
Awal Foneini, certification manager of the Halal Food Authority, told The Times that the rise in non-stun killings was due to “stronger campaigning” from Muslims who wrongly believed that stunning killed animals.
Last week a petition demanding an outright ban on slaughtering animals without stunning them first attracted more than 100,000 backers. However the Government insisted it still had "no intention" of outlawing religious slaughter.
Sky News says:- Dutch national broadcaster NOS temporarily went off air after an man armed with a gun entered the building and demanded airtime. The RTL press agency said a building belonging to NOS in Hilversum was cleared on Thursday evening after the man walked into the building.
He was later arrested at the scene, the agency added.
Reports claimed the man was aged 19 and claimed to be from a "hackers collective". He was led into an empty studio by a security guard, and after pacing the studio said: "This is taking too long." Police then stormed into the studio, ordered the man to lie down and he gave up without a struggle.
In a statement, they said he demanded airtime and threatened that bombs would go off at several locations if his demand was not met.
The BBC says:- Police have stormed the studio of the Dutch national broadcaster to arrest an armed man who demanded airtime. Thursday's evening edition of the news was not broadcast. NOS director Jan de Jong initially said it was not clear how the man got through tight security.
The Guardian has some video of his apprehension here.
And while I didn't hear any 'allah akbaring' from him Dutch News has some information about him that the British press are not mentioning.
The young man who forced his way into the headquarters of Dutch public broadcaster Nos on Thursday evening is a 19-year-old youth from Pijnacker, close to Delft, the public prosecution department told a news conference.
The youth, who gave himself up when ordered to by police, had demanded access to airtime. He has been named on social media as Tarik Zahzah and according to unconfirmed reports is a student of chemistry at Delft University of Technology.
The resurgence of Islam is a constant theme in the writings of J.B. Kelly from the 1980s to his death in 2009, and it is appropriate, therefore, that it should be reflected in the title of this third, and final, volume of his collected essays and reviews. The title was, in fact, originally a phrase which he gave to a lecture he delivered to the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. in 1980. It captures the surreal, Alice in Wonderland, nature of Middle Eastern politics. He intended that the lecture, given to promote his new book on Arabia, the Gulf and the West (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Basic Books,1980), should enable his American audience to peer through the looking glass of the Middle East and to understand how to navigate the political labyrinth of the Persian Gulf and the wider region. His subsequent essays and reviews written while he was in Washington D.C. were intended to serve the same purpose. The introduction by the editor gives readers a guide to the political context of his writings, especially his involvement in the struggle over the sale of F-15 enhancements and AWACS to Saudi Arabia. The later writings in this volume are the fruits of his retirement in France, from whence he tried to counter the received wisdom about Western policy towards Iraq and other matters.
Reading the essays in this volume one is struck by their relevance to our understanding of the causes of the revolts in the Middle East in 2011 and after against the last generation of oriental despots, and the resurgence of militant Islam. This volume, like the earlier ones, should be required reading for policy-makers in the West.
A second item from the German edition of The Local
Cologne's planned Charlie Hebdo float in its Rosenmontag parade was a false start, after the organising committee scrapped its construction over security concerns.
The Festival Committee of the Cologne Carnival said in a statement on Wednesday that despite the overwhelming support for the Charlie Hebdo float, construction on it was halted. "The Festival Committee wants everyone to be able to celebrate in safety and without concerns," it said in a press release on Wednesday.
Reports had already said that no other floats wanted to directly precede or follow the Charlie Hebdo float out of safety reasons. The Festival committee said that this wasn't true. "Many members contacted the festival committee directly to say they wanted to accompany this float to show they support freedom of expression," read the press statement.
The parade is always known for its floats that don't shy away from making a political statement. "The Rosenmontag parade in Cologne lives for freedom of expression with its parodies every year," the statement said.