Monday, February 28, 2011

Ahmadinejad's latest blather

Not to be outdone by Gadaffi, Ahmadinejad proclaims that Iran is a shining beacon of human rights:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lauded the country's Islamic ruling system for enshrining divine and human rights.

In a message to the 1st National Forum of Citizens Rights read to the participants by Vice-President for Legal Affairs Fatemeh Bodaqi, Ahmadinejad underlined the importance of human and citizens rights in Islam and the holy book, Quran.

He called spirituality, love, sublimity and justice as the main features of a correct move towards the materialization of humans and citizens' rights in essence.

President Ahmadinejad further noted that the Islamic ruling system in Iran and its advanced Constitution have granted with the most valuable and successful experience (on citizen rights) to the contemporary man.

"The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran in its Articles 19 to 42, specially Article 56, has underlined the four aforementioned features and stressed the different aspects of human and citizenship rights," Ahmadinejad stated in his message.

The president said that all the world and Muslim nations, specially those in the region, have pinned hope on the Iranian nation and the great achievements of the Islamic Revolution. [...]

Saturday, February 26, 2011

North Korea explains what's wrong with capitalism

A recent Washington Post headline reads "Starving N. Korea begs for food," but the North Korean Press still proclaims the superiority of its economic system:
[...] The bourgeoisie in the West regard human beings as no more than a means for material production and worthless beings able to work which can be traded as commodities.

The power in the capitalist society is not in the hands of the toiling masses who account for the overwhelming majority of the population but in those of a tiny handful of the privileged circles.

The moneyless and poor in the capitalist society can never have any opportunity to become a managing official of the state no matter how able they are.

The means of production in the capitalist society are in the hands of a tiny handful of capitalists, not in those of the toiling masses. They are used as means for bringing profits to the capitalists and tools for fleecing the people.

The bourgeoisie assert that the economic operation based on the private ownership of production means is the most effective managing method making it possible to enhance the producers' zeal for production and produce more goods per hour.

This is a reactionary doctrine aimed to reduce the toiling masses to de facto commodities and impose upon them the fate of being tools for material production.

The capitalists are further intensifying the exploitation of the workers with intelligence in the field of IT development by boosting their labor intensity.

They are utterly indifferent to the labor conditions and health of the workers.

They fire those workers without mercy when they get disabled and sick while on the job.

The life of the people in the capitalist countries is getting harder as various kinds of taxes are on the steady increase whereas the expenses for social measures are dwindling.

The toiling masses in the capitalist society are denied treatment as human beings and cannot enjoy a worthwhile life, much less holding their due status. It is only in the socialist society where the people can lead a genuine life as they are considered as the most valuable beings.
We also learn at (North) Korean News that "General Secretary Kim Jong Il received honorary title 'Great Defender' from the Loja City Government of Loja Province of Ecuador on the occasion of his birthday." Have a Songun week!

Update: Start off your Songun week with the latest Haveil Havalim.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Qaradawi explains what the "Rocks and Trees" Hadith means

This is from Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic reporting on the work of Mark Gardner and Dave Rich "analyzing the Egyptian cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi's 2003 book, Fatawa Min Ajl Falastin, or Fatwas on Palestine":
[W]e believe that the battle between us and the Jews is coming ... Such a battle is not driven by nationalistic causes or patriotic belonging; it is rather driven by religious incentives. This battle is not going to happen between Arabs and Zionists, or between Jews and Palestinians, or between Jews or anybody else. It is between Muslims and Jews as is clearly stated in the hadith. This battle will occur between the collective body of Muslims and the
collective body of Jews i.e. all Muslims and all Jews.
And while we're on the subject of hair-raising Qaradawi quotes:
‘Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the (Jews) people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.’

Is the Jamahiriya News Agency defunct?

The website seems to be defunct, anyway. Click on it now and you get something called "Webhost4life." It is the end of an era. Can it really be true? No more will the IDF be referred to as the "Zionist Terrorist Army Organization Forces"? No more articles with titles like "The Green Book Emancipates Humanity From its Bonds"? No more will we learn about how the ""Libyan Women Masses mark second annual celebrations for . . . the day they had the honor of meeting with Leader of the Revolution for the first time"? No more will we learn that the Leader "was very suave"? If all those goofy articles are cached somewhere on the internet, someone should work on preserving them. Laughs aside, they are part of history, no?

Venezuela stands by Gaddafi

Pundits on the Right and Left are scrambling to dig up examples of the other side pandering to Gadaffi in the past, and in the meantime Venezuela is standing by Gaddafi now. Amazing.
Venezuela's top diplomat on Thursday echoed Fidel Castro's accusation that Washington and its allies are fomenting unrest in Libya to justify an invasion to seize North African nation's oil reserves.

Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro claimed the United States and other powerful countries are trying to create a movement inside Libya aimed at toppling Moammar Gadhafi. [...]

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

According to Korean News the "invincible might of Songun Korea" is achieving all sorts of "continued miracles and feats"

Let's see, "a shining victory in the present advance of great surge for improvement of the people's living standard":
The spirit of the Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea should be strictly implemented to work continued miracles and feats in the ongoing general offensive and fully display the stamina of Songun Korea making leap forward. [...]

The spirit of the WPK Conference is the spirit of single-minded unity for keeping the centre of unity and leadership no matter how much water may flow under the bridge. It is also the indomitable spirit of forced march for building a prosperous and powerful country despite manifold trials and difficulties and the spirit of uninterrupted revolution for accomplishing the cause of revolution under the leadership of the Party.

To implement this spirit is essential for giving full play to the invincible might of Songun Korea, where the leader, the army and people have become a harmonious whole, in the general offensive and for achieving a shining victory in the present advance of great surge for improvement of the people's living standard. [...]
Shame on the Imperialist Press for its headline: "Starving N. Korea begs for food, but U.S. has concerns about resuming aid":
North Korea recently took the unusual step of begging for food handouts from the foreign governments it usually threatens.
It would be foolish not to give them the food. Their army is invincible.

Angry Arab wonders "Religious loonies from Israel: why they are ignored in the WEst"

Here's the post:
"IDF deputy chief: Israel's army needs faith in God more than tanks: Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh said the events currently shaking the Arab world 'were ordained from above' by a guiding hand."
That's all? Don't you wish Muslim "religious loonies" merely emphasized faith in G-d and the Providential hand in current events?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Qaradawi issues Fatwa calling for assassination of Gaddafi

From Al-Jazeera:
Yusuf Al Qardawi, a leading Sunni cleric, has just issued a fatwa on Al Jazeera Arabic, encouraging the assassination of Gaddafi.
He is no doubt hoping to take credit for it if it happens. If he had said it a week ago, that would have taken some guts.

JANA (Libya): Unrest in Libya "a scheme which has been declared previously by Israeli general ( Amos Yadeen )"

This is an article in two parts. Part one:
Some Libyan cities are exposed since last Tuesday to sabotage and burning operations targeting hospitals , banks , courts, prisons , Public Security Posts, Military Police Posts and other public installations and private properties .

Reliable sources said, in a statement today to Jamahiriya News Agency that these attacks aimed at blundering banks and burning of files of criminal cases in courts .

The sources added that these attacks on public security and military police posts aims at steeling arms and to use them .

These sources disclosed that Public Security organs were able to arrest dozens of foreign network elements trained to stir up chaos and to destabilize Libya's security and its national unity .

The same sources close to investigations indicated that these elements belong to the following nationalities : ( Tunisian , Egyptian , Sudanese , Turkish , Palestinian and Syrian ) who were asked to stimulate such violent actions according to a specific programs .
Part two:
These sources said that investigations are going on with the elements of this network which seems to be linked with a scheme which has been declared previously by Israeli general ( Amos Yadeen ) the former chief of Israeli Military Intelligence about the success of this body to implant spying cells in Libya , Tunisia , Morocco , Sudan , Egypt , Lebanon and Iran .

The former Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence said : '' The activities of these networks target components of these countries, adding that , these networks were actually able to provide us with what we want and that they are capable of negative influence on the situations in Libya , Tunisia , and Morocco , after the big achievement made in Iraq , Yemen , and Sudan , and very shortly in Lebanon ".

About Egypt, the Israeli General confirmed that our planed scheme since 1979 has succeeded in creating political, economic , security and military break through .

He went on to say : '' We have succeeded in stirring up tension and social and sectarian congestion to create a state of permanent division inside the Egyptian state and society ''.

( In Sudan, we have linked a sea route to finance separation forces in southern Sudan and we set up a n intelligence body to help them in realizing their project of establishing a state in the South and we have deployed other networks in the south and in Darfur capable of working endlessly).
I sometimes clean up the formatting of JANA articles, but all I did this time was to skip lines between "paragraphs." I wonder if JANA will be providing us with precious blog-fodder for too much longer. By the way, the General mentioned in the article is probably this fellow:Yasher Koach, General!

Update: Yasher Koach, also, for the latest Haveil Havalim.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Meanwhile, in an alternate universe . . .

Yes, Libyan students "took to the streets" in Washington to proclaim their undying loyalty to the Leader of the Revolution:
Libyan Students studying in the in the USA took to the streets of Washington to assure supporting the Leader of the Revolution and their adherence to People's Authority as a historic and strategic option and to confront any scheme targeting Libya's stability and its national security.

"The Libyan students raised portraits of the leader of the Revolution and green banners confirming loyalty to their leader, "Muammar al-Gathafi" and adherence to people's authority.

The students chanted long live the leader to realize more glories to the Libyan people and to promote its stability and national unity.

The Libyan students in the USA underlined in an allegiance document sent to the leader of the Revolution that they are following his pattern and that what has been transmitted by certain mass media to create division and discord make them closer to the leader and loyalty to him, the Revolution and the homeland.

Glory be to the Revolution and shame on traitors and agents".
In other revolutionary triumph news, we learn at Fars News that "the Opposition call for riots and unrests in Tehran failed to attract supporters and calm and everyday life prevailed in the Iranian capital as usual." Everything is also great in Bahrain:
The kingdom will emerge stronger than ever from this critical moment, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa said as he received thousands of Bahrainis, who turned up in front of his palace to pledge allegiance, hailing his wise leadership.

HRH the Premier thanked the citizens, praising their patriotic feelings and loyalty to the leadership.
I like happy news.

More protests--this time it's China

I don't have much hope for Egypt, but maybe democracy will make some gains somewhere:
Jittery Chinese authorities staged a concerted show of force Sunday to squelch a mysterious online call for a "Jasmine Revolution" apparently modeled after pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East.

(North) Korean News:"If Cuba takes a legal action against anti-state criminals, the U.S. terms it 'crackdown'"

Those imperialists had better stop right now:
The United States has accused Cuba again of its "human rights problem".

The U.S. urges Cuba to ensure "human rights" of criminals, describing them as "people desirous of freedom". If Cuba takes a legal action against anti-state criminals, the U.S. terms it "crackdown".

The U.S. even demands that Cuba launch a western-style "political reform".

Meanwhile, it slaps an international pressure upon Cuba, labeling it as a "sponsor of terrorism", prompted by a sinister political intention.

It is a worldwide understanding that Cuba has nothing to do with terrorism.

In order to overthrow socialist society in Cuba, however, the U.S. resorts to such a psychological warfare as anti-Cuba broadcasting.

Through 30 frequencies from 19 sites in the mainland, the U.S. is openly stirring up terrorism in Cuba.

The U.S. anti-Cuba broadcasting has further expanded over past decades. In a nutshell, what the U.S. seeks in its anti-Cuba policy is to instigate rebellious elements to create discontent, distrust and antagonism among Cuban people and overthrow the socialist system.
In article entitled "US Plan for Arms Upgrading," we also learn that "The U.S. arms modernization is aimed to wreck the world's strategic balance, contain other powers and put the world under its control." Most of the current items at Korean News report positive developments, however:
General Secretary Kim Jong Il received a floral basket and a congratulatory message from former Palestinian Ambassador to the DPRK and his daughter Jindalrae on the occasion of his birthday.
Feel better?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

JANA (Libya): "Popular Rallies Continue to Assert Masses' Adherence to Leader of the Revolution"

The English version of JANA has been on the blink for months. Now it is back in action just in time to counter all those silly imperialist news reports of suppression of anti-government protests:
More popular and youth mass rallies from the different Shabias continued on Thursday to assert masses' adherence to the Leader of the Revolution and that there is no alternative other than the historic choice of the people's authority.

Popular and youth rallies in the basic people's congresses of Traghen, Fegal, Al-Zaitouna of Murzeq Shabia took out the streets and asserted their adherence to the leader.

Masses lifted portraits of the leader and green banner, and chanted with the life of Al-Fateh Revolution and its leader.

Popular and youth masses took out the streets in Wadi Al-Shati, Um Al-Araneb, Ghat and Sebha Shabias, Al-Jmail, Al-Gatroun who also asserted their adherence to the leader of the Revolution and that there is no alternative to the people's authority.
JANA's return was worth the wait, don't you think?

Iranian press reports pro-oppression demonstrations

Besides that, according to this anti-government protestors fired on police. What are the odds that the opposite is true?
Tens of thousands of Iranian demonstrators in Tehran called for a swift trial of the masterminds of the recent riots in the capital, underlining that the Iranian nation can no more tolerate seditious moves in the country.

The prayers worshipers in Tehran on Friday staged protests after weekly Friday prayers congregation against the post-presidential-election riots' leaders.

Condemning those acting against the Islamic Republic establishment after the 2009 presidential elections, the worshipers called on the Judiciary to take action against them.

The demonstrations came after Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani stressed that the country's judiciary system will pursue the case with seditionists, and added that the judiciary will not tolerate any act harming the Islamic ruling system.

Speaking on Thursday, Ayatollah Larijani described the anti-government protests as "treachery" and said that while taking "Islamic compassion" into consideration, the Judiciary "will not tolerate acts that would intend to harm the Islamic establishment."

"We call on all people to allow the Judiciary to investigate cases within the framework of the law and in accordance with the interests of the state," Ayatollah Larijani stated.

He pledged that the Judiciary will take appropriate steps to halt efforts by "the leaders of sedition to publicize their statements", calling on the Iranian nation to exercise "patience and vigilance."

Earlier, a senior Iranian judiciary official on Wednesday pointed to the Iranian nation's massive and strong call for the trial of the leaders of recent unrests in the country, and said that the judiciary will definitely try sedition masterminds Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

"The judiciary will definitely fulfill its duty with regard to the trial of Mousavi and Karroubi," Deputy Chief of the Judiciary for Legal and Judicial Development Hojjatoleslam Ali Razini told FNA.

"People should know that the judiciary will not ignore its duty with regard to the trial of sedition masterminds and will try them in due time," the senior judiciary official underlined.

Also on Wednesday, Iran's Prosecutor-General and Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeii said that Tehran would certainly punish those who masterminded the Monday unrests in the capital.

"Elements behind this incident should be punished since riot, insecurity, damage to public properties and invitation to chaos cannot be ignored."

Several groups of seditionists staged riots in western Tehran on Monday afternoon. Rioters damaged public amenities and private buildings and properties and set up roadblocks by setting fire on garbage cans during the rush hour in the Iranian capital.

Rioters opened fire at the public and police troops, killing one university student on the scene and wounding 9 more. One of those wounded in the incident also died at the hospital.

Tehran's police tried to disperse the rioters, but did not reciprocate the gunfire. Police officials announced yesterday that most of those wounded in the incident are security and police troops.

According to police officials, the seditionists had hatched a plot to get the police and security forces involved in armed clashes to allege that they had been treated violently, but they failed to do so.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why News Agencies don't inform

Yaacov Lozowick has a good current post on media coverage of Qaradawi's return to Egypt. Why don't the BBC and CNN provide suitable background information?
You'd expect top-notch news organizations to have someone in their editorial rooms who know something. Even if not, however, there's always Google, which might send one to this informative page about Qaradawi, as posted by the respectable Investigative Project on Terrorism. He has been banned from entering the United States, for example, and in the past two years alone he has publicly said all sorts of unsavory things.
Part of the problem is that facts have become politicized. The ban against Qaradawi's entry into the United States is a fact, but it is potentially also a "talking point." Mentioning it would be taking sides with the "Islamophobic" view of current events in Egypt. To be fair, certain other facts are also avoided from time to time as taking the other side, depending on the news agency. The safest thing to do is not inform the reader of anything except the most banal details of the event at hand or endlessly repeated, formulaic background pseudo-facts.

"The Palestinians," we are endlessly told, "want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state." You can't imagine a news agency writing "Some Palestinian leaders have suggested they would accept a peace agreement involving the return of all pre-1967 East Jerusalem although other leaders reject any notion of a permanent peace with Israel." The later statement is more accurate and informative and these qualities are almost the exact things that make it unthinkable in a contemporary news article from one of the major newspapers or wire services.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Mysterious" halo appears over Mt. Paektu, holy mountain of revolution, on Dear Leader's birthday

It has been almost two years since my immortal "Wonder of Mt. Paektu Acclaiming Its Master" post. The waiting is the hardest part, but articles like this new Songun masterpiece make Juche-oriented blogging worthwhile:
A mysterious natural wonder happened in the area of Mt. Paektu on the morning of February 16, the birthday of General Secretary Kim Jong Il.

Warmer temperature than the average had persisted in this area since February 12, according to the observation by the Group for Comprehensive Exploration of Lake Chon on Mt. Paektu and the Paektusan Secret Camp Meteorological Observatory.

At the dawn of February 16 the sky over the mountain was very bright and clear. Strong wind of over 25 meters per second blew there and the sound of ice breaking shook Lake Chon.

At the break of the dawn the weather became windless again and the impressive sunrise over Mt. Paektu started.

The bright sun rose up, throwing its brilliant rays and the area of the Paektusan Secret Camp turned into a fascinating picturesque of spring.

Then rarely big and bright halo persisted in the sky above Jong Il Peak for an hour, starting at 09:30.

IRIB (Iran): "Judiciary will not tolerate acts against Islamic system"

Iran's government-controlled press often seems to just admit that the regime is oppressive:
IRI's Judiciary has pledged to bring to justice those behind the recent seditions, saying it will tolerate no act aimed at harming the Islamic establishment.

"We call on all people to allow the Judiciary to investigate cases within the framework of the law and in accordance with the interests of the state," Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani said on Thursday.

He pledged that the Judiciary will take appropriate steps to halt efforts by "the leaders of sedition to publicize their statements", calling on the Iranian nation to exercise "patience and vigilance."

Ayatollah Larijani described the protests as "treachery" and said that while taking "Islamic compassion" into consideration, the Judiciary "will not tolerate acts that would intend to harm the Islamic establishment."

He said that it was known to everyone that the US, Britain and the Zionist regime sponsored such seditious efforts and added that intelligence services and propaganda machines of Western countries provoked such agitations against the magnificent Bahman 22 (February 11) rallies, which involved the participation of millions of Iranians.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Angry Arab quotes Thomas Friedman and then comments

Endless blog-fodder:
"The Arab tyrants, precisely because they were illegitimate, were the ones who fed their people hatred of Israel as a diversion." Of course, it is the other day round. Arab tyrants are friends of Israel and the bit of anti-Israel rhetoric that comes out of them is forced by the people on them.
If we could sort-of merge them, we would get a true statement, wouldn't we?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy to oblige, Comrade As'ad

A recent Angry Arab post:
The man who is assigned to head the committee to revise the constitution of Egypt is a supporter of the struggle of the Palestinians and a foe of Israel. Please tweet that, o Zionists.
This is post is not a tweet actually, but heck I'll tweet it, too.


What could be more heartwarming than Songun Palestinians wishing the Dear Leader a Juche birthday? Is Mondoweiss covering this? They'll be so happy!
The director of Ilal Amam, an organ of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, issued a statement on Feb. 8 to celebrate the birthday of General Secretary Kim Jong Il.

The statement said:

We warmly congratulate General Secretary Kim Jong Il on his birthday.

His good health is the wish of not only the Korean people but also the Palestinian people and all other fighters for freedom in the world.

President Kim Il Sung is a close friend who helped in blood the Arabian people in the struggle for justice and rendered mental and material assistance to them.

Kim Jong Il is now perfectly carrying forward the cause of the President.

The DPRK has become the symbol of indomitable fighting spirit and stubbornness as it is led by him pursuing the Songun politics in face of the hostile forces' challenges.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kristof: It's morning in Arabia

He begins: "It’s a new day in the Arab world — and, let’s hope, in American relations to the Arab world." A later paragraph:
Too many Americans bought into a lazy stereotype that Arab countries were inhospitable for democracy, or that the beneficiaries of popular rule would be extremists like Osama bin Laden. Tunisians and Egyptians have shattered that stereotype, and the biggest loser will be Al Qaeda. We don’t know what lies ahead for Egypt — and there is a considerable risk that those in power will attempt to preserve Mubarakism without Mr. Mubarak — but already Egyptians have demonstrated the power of nonviolence in a way that undermines the entire extremist narrative. It will be fascinating to see whether more Palestinians embrace mass nonviolent protests in the West Bank as a strategy to confront illegal Israeli settlements and land grabs.
Mr. Kristof seems to be a few players short of a full score-card. How will the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas (not mentioned in the article) fare on this "new day"? I guess one doesn't ask those sorts of questions in Kristof-land.

(North) Korean News: "US Troubled by Smartphone"

The imperialist news agencies only print propaganda. If you really want to know what is going on in the non-Juche entity, you have to read the North Korean press:
The United States has been troubled by smartphones in hands of prisoners.

The multi-functional phone helps them smuggle drug and pistols into jails and even communicate with each other to stage a mass breakout from jails.

A criminal syndicate boss reportedly issued orders to his men outside jail.

The phone also helps detainees expose jailers' maltreatment, defaming the United States styling itself a "champion of human rights".

In a bid to solve the problem, jamming and monitoring devices have been installed in jails. But it seems that they are not enough to put all of the several million detainees under surveillance.

Besides, the U.S. communication law does not allow blocking licensed frequency wave.

Another plan to solve the problem is to detect smartphones with the help of sniper dogs, but it is also viewed not to be a good idea.
I can't help but concur there.
Many Americans are of the opinion that an effective remedy is to sharply reduce the number of detainees.

But it is unlikely that criminals will be decreased in the United States, where all manners of social evil and injustice stalk.
If only we had a leader like Kim Jong Il. Recent editions of Haveil Havalim are sure to be untroubled by not-good ideas about sniper dogs.

Do most Jewish children now live in Israel?

This article contains these intriguing sentences:
In 2000, 48.35% of Jewish children 14 and under lived in Israel. By 2020, that number is expected to reach 59.20%.
That suggests that by now, 2011, the percentage of Jewish children living in Israel has passed the 50% mark. I would like to be able to state this fact, if it is a true fact, with confidence. Anyone have any handy sources that support or contradict this conclusion?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Poll, possibly significant, possibly not

We will probably be seeing a great deal of this poll in coming days. LGF's summary of its findings suggests, as he puts it, that the Egyptian revolution is "Not an Islamic Uprising." This poll, it should be pointed out, is limited to Cairo and Alexandria. I wonder if this is why it differs so much from the more alarming Pew poll.

Angry Arab's new "Tunnel" theme

They all have a gloating tone. Here is the most recent:
I have received word that the Egyptian train service will now be going through the Gaza tunnels. Please purchase your tickets in advance. Tunnels have been crowded in the last few days as tanks have been making their way.
Here is the previous one:
Please, please. Those who are entering through the Gaza tunnels, try to observe the newly-installed traffic lights to avoid traffic jams. We need to get organized
And the one before that:
I was thinking: it is now possible to "smuggle" a shopping mall through the Gaza tunnels.
And yet another one:
Volunteers are needed in the Gaza tunnels to help deal with added traffic especially as sixteen wheels trucks are now busy transporting "goods" into Gaza.
And before that:
Name the biggest tunnels in the world as of today? The Gaza tunnels of course.
It is fair to say that fighter jets will now be smuggled through the Gaza tunnels. Ha
And now one on a non-tunnel subject . . . just joking!
2 million Egyptians are missing: they entered through the Gaza tunnels.
There is probably an element of fantasy to these posts, but AA is not alone, I'm sure, in harboring this sort of fantasy. And there might be some truth there, too. Who knows? He is itching to see Hamas with a much-improved arsenal although that would not be such great news for a population largely viewed as martyrdom fodder by its current overlords. AA doesn't care.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"10-day film shows opened in the DPRK to celebrate General Secretary Kim Jong Il's birthday."

Kim Jong Il's birthday season continues. The great day (February 16th) is now less than a week away. I was wondering if the Dear Leader Birthday Season actually lasts beyond the date itself. Perhaps the reference here to "10-day film shows" answers my question. I hope the audiences get to go home sometimes:
10-day film shows opened in the DPRK to celebrate General Secretary Kim Jong Il's birthday.

To be screened at cinemas and cultural halls in Pyongyang and local areas are documentaries including "Care Shown to Make Their Lives Shine" and "Led by Great Brilliant Commander" and feature films including "Inheritance" and "White Gem".
If there is a choice, I think I would go with the feature films. A number of other current articles at Korean News are devoted to the great event, but some are devoted to less cheerful subjects. We learn, for instance, that "Imperialists' Ideological and Cultural Poisoning Aims at Aggression." Boo, Imperialists!
The imperialists' ideological and cultural poisoning precedes aggression and plunder, domination and subjugation of other countries, Rodong Sinmun, a major newspaper in the DPRK, says in a bylined article Wednesday.

This is mainly aimed to spread corrupt bourgeois ideology and culture and capitalist lifestyle in anti-imperialist and independent countries, the article says, and goes on:

Through the ideological and cultural poisoning the imperialists seek to break the unity and cohesion in socialist states and harm the socialist way of life.

The imperialist ideology and culture are poison which undermines and degenerates the socialist and anti-imperialist and independent countries and makes people spiritual cripples.

The confrontation with the imperialists in the ideological and cultural front is a serious class struggle and stand-off of ideologies.

Revolutionaries should not make even a step backward in this struggle but stand firm against the imperialists' moves to make their ideology and culture pervade among people.

The Korean people's history for socialist construction is shining as a glorious one in which they firmly adhered to Juche-oriented ideology and culture and steadily strengthened its front by frustrating those moves.

The Korean people will always resolutely foil those reactionary moves of the imperialists and consolidate the politico-ideological position of Korean-style socialism.
The Dear leader also enjoyed yet another performance of the Art Squad of the KPA:
[...] Its colorful performance included numbers like "DPRK in February," "Glory to Our Great Party", "Huichon News" and "We Will Always Protect the General with Our Own Lives".

When the performance was over, he acknowledged the enthusiastic cheers of the performers and audience and congratulated the artistes on their successful performance.

He expressed great satisfaction over the truthful and powerful performance staged by the members of the art squad with the numbers fully reflecting the inexhaustible mental power of the soldiers of the KPA. He highly appreciated their success in the presentation and extended thanks to them.

The members of the art squad are dynamically conducting political and economic agitation in the work sites for a great surge including the construction site of the Huichon Power Station, an outpost for building a thriving nation, as befitting the artistes of the revolutionary army, instilling the conviction of sure victory, optimism and the spirit and courage to wipe out the enemy into the soldiers, he said. [...]
Nice touch.

Great News! "Iran builds nuclear fusion reactor"

From PressTV:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has developed a nuclear fusion reactor, becoming the sixth country in the world to possess fusion technology.

Iranian scientists at the Atomic Energy Organization or Iran (AEOI) have designed and built a nuclear fusion device, named IR-IECF, IRNA reported on Thursday.

The research and work on the reactor was carried out by scientists from the Plasma Physics and Nuclear Fusion Laboratory of the AEOI Nuclear Science and Technology Research Center.

The device uses Inertial Electrostatic Confinement method and can produce isotopes and radioisotopes used in diagnosing and curing cancer. [...]
According to Wikipedia,"The copious neutrons from a fusion reactor could be used to breed plutonium for an atomic bomb, but not without extensive redesign of the reactor, so that production would be difficult to conceal." What if you are already into concealing things?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

PressTV: "Nasrallah exposes Israel's Egypt plot"

Khomeinist stooges are so eloquent on the subject of dictatorship:
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has revealed to the Arab and Islamic world another Israeli "scenario" regarding the Egyptian revolution.

"Israel is putting pressure on every political circle in the world to protect Mubarak's regime," Nasrallah said in his speech on Monday.

He noted that the recent revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia have made Israel "reconsider its national security strategies" as it finds itself isolated in the Middle East after losing its regional allies, one by one.

Nasrallah warned that some accuse the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions of being the creations of the United States and its military and intelligence agencies.

The Hezbollah chief described such accusations as "unjust and an insult" to both North African nations.

"Who can believe that the US is deliberately trying to overthrow a regime that meets all the demands of the US administration, a regime which is protecting US interests and projects in the region?" he argued.

Nasrallah also warned the people and all resistance movements, "They (the US) are trying to present themselves as if they defend the people and their rights and will, after years of supporting one of the worst dictatorships that we have seen in our region."

As public opinion polls conducted by US academic institutions show, the majority of the people in the region are against US policies, he pointed out.

Nasrallah noted that as a result, "If people move against a regime in a certain country, the US administration will stand in the middle ground, and it will not support bloody confrontations with the people, because it knows the results will be catastrophic for itself and its allies."

"It tries to present itself as a protector of the people and tries to guarantee some kind of a transition of power to an authority or to a leadership, which preserves its relationship with it and protects its interests," he added.

Nasrallah explained that the US has no problem with the ideologies of the regimes and its only concern is that the regime should be committed to American and Israeli interests. [...]

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Fars News: "Official Describes Uprising in Egypt as Result of West's Islamophobia Attempts"

The following Fars News article has been picked up by Memeorandum. In the coming days we are going to see clumsy attempts by various Iranian officials to connect events in Egypt with everything and anything on the Iranian agenda.
A senior Iranian official blasted the western countries for their attempts to propagate Islamophobia in the world, and said that such biased efforts made Egyptians revolt against their leaders.

"The current events in Egypt are the result of 30 years of attempts made by the western media to propagate Islamophobia," Head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines Mohammad Nahavandian told reporters on Saturday.

He also reiterated that when analyzing the conditions in Egypt, the western media are still making the very same mistake that they made before and try to propagate Islamophobia.

Nahavandian described the uprisings and movements in Egypt as an emphasis on the Islamic identity of the Egyptian nation, and said that the western media will not be able to understand this fact unless they come along with it. [...]

IRNA: "Egyptian protesters thank Iran for supporting freedom movement"

Iran generally appears as the beacon of freedom and democracy in its recent coverage of events in Egypt:
Masses of protestors in Egypt on Sunday thanked the Iranian nation for supporting the freedom movement in Egypt.

According to IRNA correspondents in Cairo, tens of thousands of Egyptian on Sunday continued their protests and called for regime change in Egypt to put an end to the conspiracies of the US against Arab nations.

During the demonstrations, the people pledged to continue with campaign to topple the US-backed regime.

An Egyptian citizen said people should also hold their protests in front of US and Zionist regime embassies.

Embassies of US, UK and Zionist regime have been under tight security control.

Another protester said reestablishment of brotherly ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Egypt would be in line with the interest of Muslim World.

Egypt as one of the leading countries in the Muslim World and should find its real status, said the protestor.

Egyptian people respect Iranian people and believe that Iran Embassy should reopen in Cairo as soon as possible. [...]
According to an IRIB headline "US bribed Mubarak to support 'Israel'":
A political analyst says the United States paid massive aid to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to get his support for Israel in the cost of abandoning Palestinian human rights.

"Israel is very connected to pretty much everything that goes on in the region in some way or another and is extremely connected to US policy" in the Middle East, Alison Weir, Executive Director of If Americans Knew, told Press TV on Saturday.

Since the beginning of its creation Israel has been seeking to establish a "military domination" in the region, to "divide and conquer" and is extremely opposed to any form of democracy in the Middle East region, she noted. [...]
Maybe Iran will invite her to their next rally to help "crash" a coffin labeled "liberal democracy."

Kim Jong Il birthday season continues

I was going to write that there are only eleven days left, but the season probably continues after the blessed date as well:
Events were held abroad to celebrate February 16, the birthday of General Secretary Kim Jong Il.

They included lectures and a film show in Guinea and Russia between January 25 and 27.

Participants in the film show watched Korean film "The Arch of Triumph".

The chairman of the Group for the Study of the Juche Idea at Kankan University referred to the fact in a lecture that Kim Jong Il has attached great importance to achieving the unity and cohesion in thinking and will based on the revolutionary idea of President Kim Il Sung so that the party might creditably perform its mission and role as the staff of the revolution since he started his work at the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

He made public various works in recent years, too, dynamically arousing the Korean people to the building of a thriving nation, the chairman noted, adding that the socialist cause in the DPRK led by him is sure to triumph.

The chief of the February 16 Art Group of Guinea said in a lecture that Kim Jong Il is lauded as the great father taking care of all the children of the country.
Isn't stunted growth what every parent wants for his children?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Contentions blog on Jerry Brown

Brown's budget does not, of course, really address California's financial problems. J. E. Dyer comments:
At some point, it may occur to California voters that they’re being asked to do all the adjusting so that the state government need suffer no interruption in imposing an ideological vision on them.
Well put, but what else did they think would be the result of voting for him?

Kristol backs democracy in Egypt

He offers some counter-examples here to the examples we are seeing cited frequently of revolutions that led to dictatorships. Ultimately, we should not let the outcomes of other countries determine our course of action in Egypt. What counts is not what happened in Iran (or in Indoneseia, as Kristol points out).

What do we know about the Egyptian people's inclinations? What I've seen cited most frequently is a recent Pew survey. I am now going to correctly paraphrase its often carelessly paraphrased findings: Unlike Turkey and Pakistan, where most respondents who thought Islamists and "Modernizers" are in conflict sided with the Modernizers, in Egypt, most respondents who saw a conflict sided with the Islamists. Majorities in Egypt also want hands cut off for theft and the death penalty for apostasy, as is not the case in Indonesia and elsewhere. So yes, if the choices are a democracy or continued dictatorship, the West should support free elections. If the real choice is the army or the Ikhwan, the West should try to keep the army in power. If there is Egypt-specific evidence that the first possibility is actually the case, I would like to see it.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sandmonkey beaten up!

I tweeted a few days ago that I hope his optimism is justified. I wasn't trying to be prophetic. He writes:
I am ok. I got out. I was ambushed & beaten by the police, my phone confiscated , my car ripped apar& supplies taken
See here also.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Interesting clarification

From a J-Post editorial:
We’re reading that the most recent Pew Research Center poll on Egyptian attitudes found that 59 percent of the public identifies with the Islamists and only 27% with the "modernizers."

In fact, that was the breakdown within the minority of Egyptians – 31% – who told Pew that there’s a struggle in their country between Islamists and modernizers. The majority who said there isn’t a struggle – 61% – weren’t asked which side they support.
That doesn't necessarily mean we would like the answer, of course, but this looks like a good clarification.

Update: Here is a relevant paragraph from the Pew Report itself:
Among Muslims who see a struggle between modernizers and Islamic fundamentalists, majorities in Lebanon (84%), Turkey (74%), Pakistan (61%) and Indonesia (54%) side with those who want to modernize their countries; a plurality of Jordanian Muslims who say there is a struggle in their country also side with the modernizers (48%). In Egypt and Nigeria, however, most Muslims who see a struggle in their countries say they identify with Islamic fundamentalists (59% and 58%, respectively).
I think that means we're back to being pessimistic.

ElBaradei avoids correctly stating Western and Israeli concerns

According to an AFP story entitled "ElBaradei tries to ease US, Israeli concerns":
"The hype that once Egypt becomes a democracy, it will become hostile to the US and hostile to Israel... these are the two hypes, and are fictions," ElBaradei told CBS News.
No, the worry is that it will have a one-time election and become an "Islamic Republic." If Egypt manages to become a functioning democracy, it will in all likelihood seek good relations with the other democracies. It just doesn't seem likely that it will--although I can't imagine a development that would make me more pleased to be wrong.

Another popular obfuscation of Western concerns is deployed in a recent Angry Arab post entitled "The sand niggers don't know how to establish democracy." Sometimes this is stated as the "racist" belief that Arabs "aren't capable of democracy." Of course, it isn't a question of whether Arabs are "capable" of democracy, but of how many actually support truly democratic movements. The same issues exist in non-sandy countries.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The pride of California State University, Stanislaus shares his thoughts

At least he admits that the new Egypt is likely to emerge as Israel's enemy. That's more than you can say for many of the leftists who include him in their blogrolls:
I have been saying this to Arabs for years. Arabs can't live, and breathe, and prosper with Israel in their midst. Look at the developments in Egypt. The removal of the Zionist entity from out midst and the liberation of Palestine from the sea to the river is a matter of national security. We can then have a peaceful state where Arabs and Jews can live together and were Arabs can chart their own destiny away from Israeli dirty plots and conspiracies.

Weiss exults

We're all about to be liberated from the shackles of not thinking like Norman Finkelstein.

John Kerry: "Allying Ourselves With the Next Egypt"

Kerry comes up with a catchy title for an editorial that he is too stupid to realize essentially calls for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over. Who does he think would win an "honest and open" election? (I just used the word "stupid" in two posts in a row. Is my new snarling persona emerging?)

Big Satan "open to a role for Islamists in new Egypt government"

Time to rename the Big Satan. How about the Stupid Satan?
The Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamist organization, in a reformed Egyptian government. [...]

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that a reformed government "has to include a whole host of important nonsecular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be [a] stable and reliable partner."

Gibbs said the U.S. government has had no contact with the Muslim Brotherhood because of questions over its commitment to the rule of law, democracy and nonviolence. But the group is not listed on U.S. terrorism lists, as the militant Hamas and Hezbollah organizations are. [...]
Which is really beside the point. It would be a bit detrimental to US interests if its next-to-last allies in the Middle East were to declare war on its last ally in the Middle East