Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Angry Arab, anti-Zionism, and anti-Semitism

I am sometimes asked in the comments why I take notice of Angry Arab at all. He is actually useful in some ways for thinking about the relationship of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Case in point: a post with title "Disgrace unto the nations," a title which AA uses quite often. The body of the post, "How Israel stigmatizes and mistreats AIDS sufferers," is the title of a Ha'aretz article which is quite scathing on the subject of the care given to AIDS patients in Israel and their general place in society, exactly what you would guess from the title. People who call themselves "anti-Zionist" often complain that they are falsely accused of anti-Semitism as part of a ploy which Israel's supporters use to silence its critics. But the author of the AIDS article will never be called an anti-Semite although he is being harshly critical. Maybe he is overstating his case and maybe he isn't, but he writes as if he wants Israel to do something well which in his opinion it is currently doing badly. Angry Arab, by contrast, wants to harm Israel's interests in any way he can. People who would simply call him an "anti-Semite" are being a bit inarticulate, perhaps, but they are not trying to silence criticism of Israel. In the case of Angry Arab and others of his ilk, there is, in fact, no criticism (in the normal sense) to silence.

The non-existent explosion in Isfahan damaged the nuke facility

From The Times (UK) via The Australian:
[...] Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was "no doubt" that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was "no accident". [...]
Don't ask me who is responsible. Even the aliens who have been monitoring the Earth for centuries are pleased.

Update
: Perhaps the Isfahan explosion was actually at an airforce base. See here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Rodong Sinmun Calls for Keeping Keyed-up Attitude to Advance Surge"

Note to newcomers to Juche-oriented blogging: North Korea has the most howlingly insane totalitarian propaganda in the world. Nobody comes remotely close. If you can somehow manage to get through all eight paragraphs of this article, you wont have the same view of world events that you had before:
All the party members and other working people should maintain the keyed-up attitude to accelerate the on-going advance of a great surge for final victory by resolutely shattering the military provocations of the U.S. imperialists and the south Korean group of traitors. Rodong Sinmun Tuesday says this in an editorial.

It is the revolutionary temperament of the army and people of the DPRK to effect a great surge in socialist construction while keeping themselves fully combat ready to cope with the enemies' reckless provocations and war moves, the editorial says, and goes on:

The U.S. imperialists and the south Korean group of traitors are going on the rampage, escalating confrontation with the DPRK, oblivious of the lesson taught by the Yonphyong Island shelling. This situation requires the party members and other working people to live and work in more alert and mobilized posture than ever before.

The building of a thriving nation is militarily guaranteed and the advance of the great surge is being dynamically pushed forward thanks to the key role of the Korean People's Army. The reality convinces the people of victory and reinforces their optimism.

All the servicepersons and people live and work in the revolutionary soldier spirit, united close around the headquarters of the revolution. Herein lies the tremendous politico-ideological might and invincible spirit of Songun Korea.

"Return retaliation for retaliation, all-out war for all-out war!" This is the invariable will of the army and people of the DPRK.

The DPRK is determined to continue socialist construction till midnight even though a war is supposed to break out the next day and mercilessly destroy the aggressors through the heroic death-defying battle involving party, army and the people. If the enemies dare hurt the dignity of the DPRK and fire even a single shell or bullet into its inviolable sea, air and land, it will make the flame on Yonphyong Island to flare up into roaring flames in Chongwadae and the stronghold of the group of traitors.

No force on earth can overwhelm the might of the single-minded unity of the servicepersons and people united close around the headquarters of the revolution. All of them should bring about a great surge in every worksite with matchless bravery and high spirit of annihilating the enemy following the flame kindled in South Hamgyong Province.
Hear that, pig farmers and fertilizer workers? You have to top all your previous great surges.

Ready-Pac recall

Lots of people who keep kosher buy Ready-Pac salad bags. In case you do, here is info on a recent recall.

"Galloway: Syria pressured over resistance stance" (IRIB)

Khomeinist Stoogery:
Former British MP George Galloway on Tuesday said that President Bashar al-Assad wants reform and change to meet the aspirations of his people.

In an interview with al-Manar Channel, Galloway said, "They are trying to pressure Syria and President al-Assad because of the good things that he did such as supporting Palestinian and Lebanese resistance and rejecting to surrender to 'Israel'.

He stressed that Israel is the only side who has interests in the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri.

Concerning the Life Artery 6th Campaign to support Gaza, Galloway said that the Viva Palestine 6th will be launched from all over the world and that they will try to enter places controlled by Israel.

He pointed out that 17 countries will take part in the campaign which will be the largest ever under the title of "The Return" campaign.
And that's Khomeinist stoogery, too.

"Imperialist UK, based on crushing nations: Iran Supreme Leader" (ISNA)

You tell those Brits, Supreme Big Guy!
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali khamenei said Britain has a history of humiliating nations, destroying cultural and civilization heritage and taking control of their resources.

Addressing Iranian naval commanders on Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei said British imperialists are known to convince nations of their ineptitude in order to dominate their resources.

"During the Ghajar and Pahlavi dynasties the country's officials were helpless in the face of the demands of domineering powers … but the Islamic Revolution gifted Iran dignity," the IR Leader added.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that the sense of self-respect that Iran gained because of the Islamic Revolution resulted in the country "single-handedly standing up to the biggest arrogant [powers] and imperialists and crushing their will."

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution stressed that feeling weak in front of the enemy will prevent nations from progress.

"Students are Awake and Hate Britain" (Fars)


Fars has 6 or so articles at the moment about the embassy storming. Here is most of the first:
Hundreds of Iranian university students started a rally in front of the British embassy in Tehran Tuesday afternoon to shout protest against London's hostile policies against Iran.

"Down with Britain", "Down with America", "Down with Israel" and "Students are Awake and Hate Britain" are among the slogans chanted by the protestors.

Protesters who carried photographs of Iran's assassinated nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari and IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, set fire on Britain's flag.

The rally comes as Iran is commemorating the first martyrdom anniversary of its nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari who was assassinated by the Israeli Mossad agency supported by the British MI6.

Protesters are demanding a full cut of ties with Britain.

The Iranian parliament approved a downgrading of ties with Britain on Sunday. The Iranian legislators approved the bill with 179 yes votes, 4 oppositions and 11 abstentions. The 4 oppositions demanded a full cut of ties with London.

The Guardian Council - a powerful vetting body tasked with studying parliament approvals to make sure they are not against Islamic rules and the Constitution - announced its approval over the parliament ratification yesterday.

As the parliament approval calls for downgrading ambassadorial ties with Britain to the level of charge d'affaires, Tehran is now preparing to expel the British Ambassador to Iran Dominick Chilcott. [...]
Fars helpfully numbers these articles. Headline #5: "Police Frees 6 British Staff Member in Qolhak Garden":
The Iranian Law Enforcement Police rescued 6 British staff members in the Qolhak Garden in Northern Tehran, after the protesters raided the orchid and started a sit-in.

FNA dispatches said police could repel the protesters and free the 6 staff members who were surrounded by the protesting students.

Our dispatches also said that students are forced by the police to leave the orchid. [...]
Headline #6: "Police Intensify Clampdown on Embassy Occupiers, Shoot Tear Gas to Disperse Protesters":
Tehran's Law Enforcement Police clashed with protesters and dispersed them with tear gas.

Our evening dispatches from the scene of protests in front of the British embassy compound in Central Tehran said police clashed with the protesting students who occupied the embassy building.

A number of protesters have been wounded during the clashes while police troops are exerting power to force them out of the embassy compound.

One of wounded protesters is reportedly in critical health conditions.

FNA dispatches also said that a number of the police troopers have been injured in the clashes. [...]
So maybe it was an actual spontaneous demonstration after all? Or a government-sponsored one that got out of hand? Or the whole thing is totally choreographed and they thought a police-student clash with injuries added corroborative verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative? Don't ask me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ha'aretz, citing Fars: "Explosion rocks Iran city of Isfahan" PressTV: "No explosion in Isfahan"

There was an explosion or there wasn't. Ha'aretz:
An explosion rocked the western Iranian city of Isfahan on Monday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, adding that the blast was heard in several parts of the city. [...] Speaking to an Iranian news website, the government of Isfahan said that the explosion occurred as a result of a military drill, denying reports that the blast was somehow related to the nearby nuclear facility. [...]
However, according to PressTV:
A top Iranian official has rejected media reports about an explosion being heard in the central city of Isfahan.

Mohammad-Mehdi Ismaili, Isfahan governor's political and security deputy, said on Monday that report was completely baseless and fabricated, IRNA reported.

He added that the Isfahan governor would follow up on the report.

Ismaili made the remarks after certain media outlets reported that a powerful blast had been heard in Isfahan on Monday afternoon.

An official from Isfahan emergency services, Masoud Anayeb, rejected the report as well, saying that there have been no reports of an explosion in the city.
Actually, there were no news reports mentioning an explosion at all. In fact, explosions don't exist.

Will smashed

If you ask me, we smashed our own will:
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei praised the Iranian nation for their resistance against enemies, and said Iran has stood up to the arrogant and colonialist powers alone and smashed their will.

"The Islamic Revolution granted honor to the nation and the country's officials and due to the very same honor and self-esteem, Iran has stood up against the will of the biggest arrogant and colonialist powers alone and shattered their resolve," Ayatollah Khamenei said addressing a meeting with the Iranian Navy commanders and officials on the occasion of the national Navy Day.

Reiterating that the Islamic Revolution has granted a high level of honor and self-esteem to the Iranian nation and officials, the Leader reminded that before the revolution, the colonialist powers, specially Britain, had long sought to make the Iranian nation forget its civilization roots and heritage in a move to inspire them with the idea that they were unable to do anything and needed the colonialist powers.

"At the time of the Qajar and specially the Pahlavi dynasties, the country's officials were too weak," he said, and cautioned "when a nation feels weak against an enemy, it cannot do anything".

"But the Islamic Revolution gifted honor to Iran and everyone should appreciate this honor," the Leader reiterated. [...]

Weapons of the resistance steadfastly and vigilantly fired at Zionist entity

Ha'aretz:
At least four Katyusha rockets were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel on Monday night. The Israel Defense Forces responded soon after, firing a number of artillery shells at "the source of fire," in southern Lebanon. There were no injuries, but some building sustained damage. At this time fire fighters are still combating the blaze caused by the rockets. [...]

Sunday, November 27, 2011

AFP: "Hamas to focus on popular resistance" PIC: "The popular resistance is no substitute for the armed resistance"

AFP two days ago:
Hamas is looking to focus its energies on popular resistance without giving up its right to wage armed struggle against Israel, the Islamist movement's leader Khaled Meshaal told AFP in an interview.

"Every people has the right to fight against occupation in every way, with weapons or otherwise. But at the moment, we want to cooperate with the popular resistance," the group's Damascus-based leader said in the interview late on Thursday.

"We believe in armed resistance but popular resistance is a programme which is common to all the factions," he said. [...]
According to Palestine Information Center, however:
Member of Hamas's political bureau Ezzat Al-Resheq said there was an understanding between his Movement and Fatah faction on the importance of the popular resistance, but this would not be at the expense of the armed resistance or replace it.

"The armed resistance is Hamas's unchangeable and uncompromisable program, and Hamas will remain adherent to the resistance of all forms including the armed one. It is the legitimate right of our people and all peoples under occupation," Resheq stated in a press release on Saturday.

The Hamas official also said that Hamas and Fatah along with other Palestinian factions will set the appropriate mechanisms to activate and expand the popular resistance as a kind of resistance against the occupation, the settlement and the apartheid wall.

The popular resistance is a kind of mobilizing other efforts to stand alongside the armed resistance against the Israeli occupation, he added.
I don't think Israel should provide any services to the new unified Fatah-Hamas entity.

PressTV (Iran): "150,000 Iran missiles awaiting Israel"


Vahidi has a sort-of Klingon look, doesn't he?
Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says Iran will teach Israel a good lesson if the entity tries to attack the Islamic Republic.

Vahidi said on Sunday that Israel will not have a minimal chance of survival after venturing a military attack against Iran, as Iranian armed forces will pound all of Israel with thousands of missiles, Fars News Agency reported.

“The enemy must answer this question, if it attacks Iran, for how long a battle and losing how many of its warships and vessels has it prepared itself?”

“Why is the Zionist regime making threats (against Iran)? How many missiles have they prepared themselves for? 10,000? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000? 150,000 or more?" the Iranian defense minister asked.

He advised the US and its allies to realize Iran's incredible might and know that in the event of a war the Islamic Republic will teach the Americans what war really is and what soldiers are supposed to be like.

Vahidi said Iranian armed forces will not hesitate to defend the country's sovereignty, adding that if the Zionist regime decides to carry out its threats against Iran, Basij forces will take out revenge [on the entity] for years of [the entity] bullying oppressed nations." [...]
That was "the entity" that did all that bullying? Thanks for the clarification.

New attack on gas pipeline

That didn't take long. From JPost:
Saboteurs blew up Egypt's gas pipeline to Jordan and Israel on Monday, witnesses and security sources said, a few hours before the country holds its first free election since president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February. [...]
JPost explains:
Egypt’s 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with the Egyptian public, and critics argue that the Jewish state was not paying enough for the gas. [...]
There is also the cute little fact that a significant segment of the Egyptian population is opposed to any peace treaty with Israel (or any state short of actual war) and any trade relations whatsoever.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ynet: "Assad: Turkey seeking to recapture imperial days"

Speaking of attacks on Turkey:
Syrian President Bashar Assad lashed out at his Turkish critics on Saturday, remarking that "some in Turkey are still clinging to the dream of reinstating the Ottoman Empire." [...]

Speaking to the Arabic-language website Arab Press, Assad called on his supporters not to vandalize any Turkish symbols: "I ask you – don't burn Turkish flags. The Turkish people are a proud nation." [...]

Fars (Iran): "IRGC Commander: Iran to Target NATO Missile Shield if Attacked"

This is actually a threat to attack Turkey, but it strikes a more conciliatory pose in the later paragraphs:
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh underlined Iran's crushing response to any enemy aggression, and warned that Tehran will target the NATO missile shield in Turkey in case it comes under attack.

"We have prepared ourselves, if any threat is staged against Iran, we will target NATO's missile shield in Turkey and will then attack other targets," General Hajizadeh said addressing a congregation of 10,000 Basij (volunteer forces) members in the Western town of Khorramabad on Saturday.

He further described deployment of the NATO missile defense system in Turkey as a deceitful move, saying that the NATO is misusing Turkey to save the Zionist regime.

"We are sure that the missile system is deployed by the US for the sake of the Zionist regime, but to deceive the world people, specially the Turkish people, they allege that the system belongs to the NATO," the general stated.

"Turkey is a member and cover for the NATO. Today NATO has become a cover for the US (moves) while the US itself has turned into a cover for the Zionist regime.

"Yet, the Turkish people are aware (of everything) and we are sure that Turkey's Muslims will stop this plot by themselves," he added.

"We are sure that the Muslim people of Turkey will promptly cut these systems into pieces under threatening conditions," he added.

Many analysts believe that the NATO's anti-missile system to be deployed in Turkey will be aimed at Iran.

Iranian officials have called on Turkey to reverse its decision for hosting the missile shield and withdraw from the plan. Tehran officials have repeatedly cautioned Ankara that the system is meant to create a shield for Israel and is thus seen as a threat to Iran.

Friday, November 25, 2011

(North) Korean News: "U.S., Worst Rogue State in World"

"Misconducts rampant at schools"--not like in the DPRK:
Shortly ago, a 14-year-old student committed suicide in New York unable to endure long torment by rascals, sparking off public furor.

In the United States misdeeds are steadily and drastically increasing and they become diverse in style and form.

Especially, misconducts rampant at schools have become a serious trouble in the country.

In recent years, 77 percent of students throughout the country have undergone or are undergoing spiritual and physical torment by rascals, according to the survey of the U.S. Department of Justice.

160 000 students have reportedly refused to go to school for fear of violence.

It is universal in the U.S. that students go to school with guns. According to the recent survey, 100 000 students now bring guns to school with them. Thus, gun-related crimes are reported one after another from schools.

Meanwhile, gangsters have openly committed all sorts of crimes in the U.S., causing great social unrest and terror-ridden atmosphere.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on October 21 announced that there are about 33 000 groups of gangsters across the country at present.

The said figures and facts go to clearly prove that the U.S. is a hotbed of social evils.
Actually, we have the rascal problem relatively under control.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Abbas and Meshaal "resolved all their differences" but failed "to resolve rifts"


According to Maan News:
President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal on Thursday said they had resolved all their differences, after a meeting in Cairo to implement a unity agreement.

"We want to assure our people and the Arab and Islamic world that we have turned a major new and real page in partnership on everything do to with the Palestinian nation," Mashaal said.

"There are no more differences between us now," added Abbas, who heads the Fatah movement.
According to an AP headline, however, "Palestinian rivals talk, but fail to resolve rifts":
Rival Palestinian leaders on Thursday held their first detailed talks on reconciliation since the Islamic militant Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip more than four years ago, declaring they made progress toward sharing power but failing to resolve key issues.

Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal talked for two hours in Cairo but did not reach agreement on touchy matters like the composition of an interim unity government and a date for elections.

The meeting raised new questions about whether the rivals are serious about sharing power, or just going through the motions. [...]
Is that clear?

On the recent anti-Israel use of the word "Pinkwashing" in the NY Times

You are probably aware by now of a recent Israel-bashing editorial in the NY Times that accuses Israel of "pinkwashing." The editorial defines "pinkwashing" as "a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life." The term has an interesting genealogy. Once upon a time the familiar word "whitewashing" became the inspiration for something called "greenwashing." "Greenwashing," meaning "a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that a company's policies or products are environmentally friendly," was coined in 1986 according to Wikipedia. This lead to other permutations. A Forbes article describes "pinkwashing" as "an unhealthy product trying to improve its image by giving to breast cancer-related efforts." I guess we should call that "Pinkwashing I" while the NY Times definition is "Pinkwashing II."

If you contemplate the definition advanced by Sarah Schulman, the NY Times editorialist, you will notice a shift in the pattern. "Greenwashing" puts a green veneer on something not environmentally-friendly. "Pinkwashing I" means putting a "pink" veneer on something actually unhealthy. "Pinkwashing II," however, doesn't seem to have much to do with how tolerant an actual society is of gays. Schulman tells us that homosexuality was "decriminalized in the West Bank since the 1950s, when anti-sodomy laws imposed under British colonial influence were removed from the Jordanian penal code" and mentions three gay Palestinian groups, one of them devoted to boycotting Israel. Are those "incomplete indicators of human rights," as in her assertion that "gay soldiers and the relative openness of Tel Aviv are incomplete indicators of human rights"? What is that "relative openness" of Tel Aviv "relative" to? The rest of Israel? The rest of the Middle East? Iowa? Is all this of any interest to Schulman's presumed reader? Besides its display of intense hostility to a particular "national origin," this editorial places us in a very spooky and convoluted realm of ultra-progressive identity politics.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ACN (Cuba): "U.S. Political Activist Cindy Sheehan Slams Washington’s Double Standard" (on the "Cuban Five")

I was wondering what she's been up to lately:
“The fact that the five Cuban heroes were imprisoned while real terrorists—such as Luis Posada Carriles—live as free men in U.S. territory, is an embarrassment” noted Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in the war against Iraq.

Sheehan was referring to Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon LabaƱino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, and Rene Gonzalez—internationally known as the Cuban Five—who were arrested in 1998 and given harsh sentences for monitoring anti-Cuba right-wing groups in South Florida that were planning and carrying out terrorist actions against the Caribbean nation.

Hernandez, Guerrero, LabaƱino and Fernando Gonzalez remain unjustly imprisoned while Rene Gonzalez was recently released, but he was forced to stay in U.S. territory for three years on probation.

“I learned about their case during a visit to Venezuela in 2006 and I saw many people, including their mothers and wives, demanding their release. Since then, I joined their just cause until we achieve that goal,” said Sheehan, one of 300 representatives from 45 countries who are participating in the Seventh International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Five and against Terrorism that ends on Saturday in the Cuban eastern province of Holguin.

“The main objective of these men was to prevent terrorist actions from taking place and, incredibly, they remain prisoners of a government that drops bombs against civilians and practices torture all around the world,” she added. [...]
If that's a good description of the US government, then why shouldn't they keep them prisoner?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Irish bagel tax--really

I wonder if Challah is a "premium baked good." From JTA:
Irish bagel lovers aren't having much luck: a 13.5 percent value-added tax will be tacked on to the traditionally Jewish favorite for the first time.

Under new plans by the Irish government to raise desperately needed revenue, bagels, croissants, garlic bread and other premium baked goods will be hit with the tax next month. Consumers are likely to bear the brunt of the cost.

Ordinary bread is exempt from tax in Ireland, but the Irish revenue service changed its determination on bagels this month, saying they were not "sufficiently bread-like" to be exempt from taxes on prepared or "value added" foods.

Bagels, a staple of Ireland's small Jewish community since the late 1800s, started to become widely popular in the country in the late 1990s as consumer tastes changed amid rapidly growing prosperity. Since 2007, that prosperity has reversed dramatically, forcing Ireland into a financial bailout that has left the government scrambling for new sources of revenue.
13.5 percent sounds high enough that people will be motivated to avoid the tax by making other choices. So some segments of the economy will be damaged without any significant increase in revenues?

Rooz: "With Ahmadinejad in Office, Iran Needs no Other Enemies"

Very interesting:
The threats that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his allies have been making about possessing incriminating documents against public figures and officials have resulted in an angry response from the Principlist, a group that at one time supported the president but since the climax of his differences with supreme leader of Iran earlier this year have broken ranks with him. The threat of revealing these documents are said to be what changed the votes in the Majlis last week to give a vote of confidence to cabinet minister of economy who was widely believed to be on his way out of office. In a letter addressed to the president, a Principlist Majlis representative writes that with Ahmadinejad around and the kind of language that he uses in his discourse and statements, there is no longer any need for the Islamic to have an enemy.

After Ahmadinejad first threatened to expose some Principlists (his former allies and supporters) and publish incriminating documents against them, Principlists have launched more criticism against him for his remarks.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had threatened recently that he had only spoken about 10 percent of his mind and that he would speak 25 percent of that if he was forced to. On another event, the president had said that he was not in a position to reveal many issues, but that should he be allowed to talk, things would drastically change. [...]
That's just an excerpt.

(North) Korea News: "Kim Jong Il Enjoys Art Performance Given by Art Squad of KPA Unit Command"

Is all the current news depressing? Well, here's something uplifting, with "great cognitional and educational significance":
Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, enjoyed a performance given by the art squad of the Command of KPA Unit 6556.

Its repertoire included narrative poem and chorus "Nostalgia" and female solo and pangchang "Glory to Our Great Party", male solo "The Country I Am Defending", male chorus "We Are Protecting the Safety of the General", poem and story-telling and song "Trust and Comrade", mixed chorus "Push Back Frontiers of Latest Science and Technology" and chorus poem and chorus "We Will Devotedly Defend the General for All Ages".
How does that work in the past?
The performers strikingly demonstrated that no force on earth can stem the dynamic trend of the great Songun journey in the DPRK as the party, a guiding force, is confidently leading the revolutionary cause of Juche which started on Mt. Paektu, the Supreme Commander and the army are united as firm as a rock and the whole party and army and all the people are dynamically advancing along the chosen path with one and the same objective and breath.
Not everybody gets the same food rations, of course, but what does that matter when you're dynamically advancing?
As the performance was over, Kim Jong Il warmly acknowledged the enthusiastic cheers of the performers, their eyes chocked with tears of emotion.

Expressing great satisfaction over the fact that the members of the art squad of the unit staged a splendid performance with numbers of great cognitional and educational significance as they truthfully reflected the noble spiritual world of the KPA, he highly praised them for their successful performance and extended thanks to them.
I bet he says that to all the revolutionary art squads.
The members of the art squad not only sang well but wrote good poems, in particular, he said, appreciating the efforts made by the creators to produce successful works while breathing the same breath with soldiers in line with the spirit of the era.

The performance given by the art squad today proved that the combination of arms and music represents the unity of idea and emotion, revolution and man and struggle and life and the Songun cause of the DPRK has, therefore, become a cause of the great and beautiful people, he noted.
Why don't imperialist leaders say beautiful things like that?
He expressed expectation and belief that the members of the art squad of the unit would energetically conduct revolutionary and militant performing activities and thus positively help the soldiers perform admirable military feats in defending the socialist country. [...]
The article concludes with a list of other party officials who were present at the great event (in case if you were wondering whether I omitted any dynamic Songun blather.)

LA Times: "Californians willing to pay higher taxes for better schools"

No great insight there. Californians would pay higher taxes for the same schools, or even if they were reasonably sure it would not damage the schools too badly:
A strong majority of California voters is willing to pay higher taxes to boost funding for public schools even in a grim economy, a new poll has found.

After three years of budget cuts that have battered schools with extensive teacher layoffs and deep cuts in art, music and other programs, 64% of those surveyed said they would shell out more for schools.

The consensus was broad, crossing both genders and all races, ages, regions, income and educational levels. One exception was conservative Republicans, with only 34% willing to pay more for schools. But 60% of Republicans who described themselves as moderate or liberal and three-fourths of Democrats said they would support such a move. [...]

Saturday, November 19, 2011

IRIB Radio (Iran): "Wahhabis with US-Zionist support weave web of plot in Syria"

Wahhabis weave web, eh?
The Syrian people and government, because of the their firm stand against the state terrorism of the illegal Zionist entity and the US bid to impose its hegemony on the region, are facing an intricate plot hatched by unelected Arab reactionary regimes led by Saudi Arabia, whose Wahhabi minority rulers as part of the West's plan, are terrorizing the people of Bahrain and Yemen, in addition to laying wild allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran. US-based Iranian journalist, Ismail Salami has written an analytical piece on this conspiracy titled Wahhabis Weave Web of Plot in Syria that recently appeared in Salem News. [...]
There's a lot more if you have the stomach for it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mehr News: "IRGC general censures Israel for expressing delight at Iran blast"

Getting censured by the IRGC is pretty delightful also:
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri has criticized Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak for expressing happiness about the recent blast at an IRGC munitions depot.

Asked on Israel’s Army Radio on Sunday about the scope of damage from the blast, Barak said he did not know, but added, “May there be more like it,” according to Reuters.

Jazayeri stated that the Israelis are evil-minded people “since the explosion that occurred a few days ago, in which a number of our dear IRGC servicemen were killed, delighted the officials of the Zionist regime,” the Mehr News Agency reported.

IRNA: "Larijani: Would the Zionists opt for wheelchair, must attack Iran"

That's the sort of thing Iranian officials say when they make speeches:
Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said here on Wednesday that if the Zionists opted for wheelchair life, they would attack Iran.

Addressing a ceremony commemorating martyrs of Howeizeh, Khuzestan province, he added that the Iranian nation is brave and the Zionists are afraid of Iranians.

He said that the Zionist regime sometime threatens Iran, but, soon afterwards they correct themselves because they know that it will cost them dearly.

Nobody will dare to attack Iran as long the spirit of Jihad is strong among the youth of the country, he asserted.

Larijani said that the US administration is seeking to deal a blow to Iran's economy, adding, 'The government must adopt precautionary measures in the economic field in a way that the people not to be exposed to financial problems.'

The Iranian nation has turned sanctions into an opportunity and has precious experience to solve its problems by its own, he said.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Angry Arab: "There is no such thing as severely disrupted"

The mind boggles at this assertion. A minor disruption could involve, say, a traffic jam. A severe disruption could involve, let's say, rocket attacks. How did AA get an academic job?
So no one was killed or injured but the New York Times had to make Israelis victims no matter what: "Schools in southern Israel were closed, and the daily routine of hundreds of thousands of Israelis was severely disrupted." Oh, the routines were severely disrupted? Do we have to feel sorry for the occupiers? And what is the difference between disrupted and severely disrupted? They are either disrupted or not disrupted. There is no such thing as severely disrupted. If the "daily routine" of Israelis were disrupted, the lives of Palestinians are being disrupted by Israeli terrorists every week. But you are too racist to notice.
It's "racist" to show sympathy for the targets of the rockets rather than the ones firing them? What would that particular bigotry be called? Qassam-o-phobia?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

IRNA: "Iranian govt has always ensured human rights: [Pakistani] MP"

Glad that's cleared up:
Member of Pakistani Parliament on Tuesday said that Iranian government has always ensured human rights and democratic norms.

Speaking to IRNA, Member of the National Assembly and senior lawyer Naseer Bhutta disputed reports by western media that human rights situation in Iran is not upto the international standards.

The politician added that people in Iran are enjoying all democratic rights. He added that Iranian people have elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for second term because they have faith in the government.

The legal expert condemned western propaganda against Iran and said that west is trying to harm the image of Iran.

Alberto Toscano a western analyst in an interview with the BBC said that human rights situation in Iran is poor and people are not getting their basic rights.

“I simply disagree with such remarks against Iran,” Naseer Bhutta said.

He said that despite difficult times, elections in Iran have been regularly taking place.

The lawmaker suggested that the Muslim world should follow the foot steps of Iranian government by implementing strong democratic system in their countries.

He was of the view that Islamic system of governance is very strong in Iran which also ensures fundamental rights of the people.

The Parliamentarian also asked west to respect Iran’s sovereignty and stop propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic.

He said that it is very encouraging to see that Iran despite western propaganda has been progressing in all fields.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

PressTV: "'Iran can thwart Duqu spyware'"

It might be true that they have the virus "under control," but it probably isn't. A recent Iranian press article also mentioned a medicine with "the capability to destroy all malignant cancerous cells":
Iran has developed a software program that can “control” the newly discovered Duqu spyware, the director of Iran's Passive Defense Organization has announced.

“The software, capable of controlling this virus (Duqu), has been provided to organizations and institutions,” IRNA quoted Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali as saying on Sunday.

Duqu, discovered on September 1, 2011, is a sophisticated Trojan which acts as a backdoor into a system and facilitates the theft of private intelligence.

Security software manufacturer Symantec says parts of the Duqu code base are nearly identical to the infamous Stuxnet worm, “but with a completely different purpose.”

The Duqu malware has reportedly infected a number of systems in Iran.

“All of the centers and apparatuses suspected of being infected with the virus are under control,” Jalali said, adding that countering and cleansing processes have been carried out at the infected institutions.

Stuxnet, first indentified by Iranian officials in June 2010, is a malware designed to infect computers using supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems made by the German company Siemens -- which are favored by industries that manage water supplies, oilrigs, and power plants.

In July, media reports claimed that Stuxnet had targeted industrial computers around the globe, with Iran being the main target of the attack. The reports said Iran's newly launched Bushehr nuclear power plant was at the center of the cyber attack.

However, Iranian experts detected the worm in time, averting any damage to the country's industrial sites and resources.

“The (Iranian) cyber defense base is working round the clock to adopt the necessary measures to counter cyber attacks and the infiltration of spyware,” Jalili stated.

Ahmadinejad: "Israel Forging History to Find Historical Roots"

Too bad he doesn't go into details;
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that the Zionist regime of Israel is endangering the world history to create a fake historical root for itself.

"Zionists have created a fake 2,500-year-old culture for themselves in the history and want to dry up the historical roots of the other nations," he said, addressing a ceremony on Tuesday to unveil the artifacts of the Jiroft region in Southeastern Iran.

He said that the West and enemies of the Iranian nation who lack a rich and proper historical background are against any move to introduce the history and civilization of the great Iranian nation.

"They know when a nation loses its identity, it is easily influence by their plots," he added.

Yet, Ahmadinejad underscored that the hegemonic powers are unable to undermine and destroy the Iranian nation's historical and civilization roots and origins.

The "Jiroft Civilization Treasure" ceremony was held today after 18 Iranian historical artifacts smuggled from the ancient Iranian site of Jiroft to Britain almost seven years ago were recently returned to the Islamic Republic. [...]

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Songun Pal propaganda: "Israel's Threats Endanger Abbas' Life: Official"

No Pal propaganda is too stupid for North Korea to echo:
A senior Palestinian official addressed a letter on Friday to the international community saying that the recent Israeli threats to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "would endanger his life."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a letter addressed to members of the UN Security Council and all countries in the world that the Palestinians reject the Israeli campaign of incitement against President Abbas.

"This policy of incitement and the aggressive assault of the Israeli government and its Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman would endanger President Abbas' life and undermine the peace process," said Erekat. [...]

Americans like Bibi better than Barry

Good development, but I'm still freaked out that Obama got elected in the first place. Let's face it, we could have anyone for president next.
President Obama's hot-miked conversation with French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested that he is frustrated with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- but Americans might be more frustrated with Obama than they are irritated by Netanyahu.

"A poll conducted by the group Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found that 52.3 percent of Americans rate Netanyahu positively, compared to 51.5 percent for Obama," reports Israel Today Magazine. "The results of the poll were enthusiastically discussed on Israel's Channel 10 News on Thursday." [...]

IRNA: Iran has glorious martyrdom-seeking work accident, inspiring all regional nations

You may have seen reports on this incident already. Here it is from the Horse's, er, mouth:
Head of IRGC Public Relations Department Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif said on Saturday that 27 IRGC personnel attained martyrdom in a massive explosion at IRGC’s ammunition depot in Malard, Alborz province on Saturday.

Death toll from garrison explosion rises to 27

The incident occurred due to displacement of ammunition and explosives, he said adding that some 16 other IRGC forces sustained injuries in the blast.

Some of the injured are in critical conditions, he said.

The cause of the incident is under investigation and the result will be made public soon, he said.

A huge explosion rocked a garrison in Bidgeneh in the vicinity of Malard city in Alborz province Saturday afternoon.

Bidgeneh village is 45 kilometers from capital city of Tehra
Hmmm, "displacement of ammunition and explosives." PressTV's account reports this as “relocation of ammunition,” which makes a bit more sense.

Update: Richard Silverstein: "The face of the Israeli terror machine has reared its ugly head again in the world." Hey, what's wrong with blowing swords into ploughshares?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Total clarity about Arafat death on horizon

Or maybe not. From Ma'an News:
A nephew of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat says the family will soon release a French medical report revealing Arafat's cause of death.

Naser al-Qudwa says the document is being translated from French before it is released.

Al-Qudwa says the report will answer "many questions," as it is the Palestinian people's right to get a clear answer about how Arafat died. The document has not previously been seen in Arabic.

The report by French doctors describes a platelet disorder and speculates on its cause, al-Qudwa says. The doctors ruled out cancer and an acute infection, he told Ma'an.

A third possibility was poisoning, al-Qudwa says, but the records show that doctors were unable to conclusively determine what poison, if any, was in Arafat's system.

"We have said that it is poisoning," he hinted.

Al-Qudwa has long campaigned for a close examination of his uncle's death, which he has blamed on poisoning in the past. It was not clear when the new documents were to be released.

Arafat died on Nov. 11, 2004 in Paris. Medical records have been closely guarded amid speculation on the cause of a sudden illness that struck the Palestinian leader shortly before his death. [...]
Probably advanced AIDS.

Iran: Don't kill any of our stubbly-beard guys

Especially since their military is now easily two or three times more invincible than it used to be:
A senior Iranian commander threatened to kill "dozens" of American military commanders, should the US kill any Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commanders and officials.

"You also should not forget that American commanders have plenty of presence and travel in the region. If you kill any of us, we will kill dozens of you," Commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Division Genera Amir Ali Hajizadeh told FNA.

Also, another senior Iranian military officials blasted Washington's threats against Iran and Iranian commanders, and cautioned that the Iranian Armed Forces, particularly the IRGC, will give a crushing response to the US terrorist actions.

"It is surprising that a number of US officials are so ill-informed that they do not know their fellow countrymen are in a volatile positions in a region around the Islamic Republic of Iran," Iranian Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff for Cultural Affairs and Defense Publicity Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri told the US Close-up website.

Jazayeri pointed to the US officials' recent call for the assassination of the Islamic Republic's top IRGC commanders, and noted, "The IRGC's response to the US terrorist actions will make Americans repent their actions."

He further warned that the US will be harmed if it does not accept to apologize for it threatening remarks.

His remarks allude to the United States' new plot against Iran. Earlier last week several American neoconservatives, including retired US Army general Jack Keane, urged the Obama administration to use covert action against Iran and target members of the Quds Force, the Guard's special foreign actions unit. [...]

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Juan Cole: Let's believe everything Iran says about its nuclear program

Juan sounds a little desperate here. My favorite proof that Iran is not working on a nuclear weapon is that "[i]n the medieval Muslim law of war, killing innocent non-combatants is forbidden." Tell that to Hizbullah:
Nuclear issues are so complicated that the public is easily misled and frightened by nuclear demagoguery. That is why the new International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s nuclear program will be hyped endlessly.

Iran is a theocracy in which the Supreme Leader has said that nuclear weapons are forbidden in Islamic law. In the medieval Muslim law of war, killing innocent non-combatants is forbidden. The same people who jump up and down about Iran being “medieval” in this regard suddenly dismiss Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s injunctions against nuclear warheads as irrelevant when the latter subject comes up. But if he gave such a fatwa and at the same time undermined it, he would risk a fatal blow to his authority and legitimacy.

The way you tell if a country like Iran is actively working on a nuclear bomb is that it diverts uranium to weapons purposes. Iran has not done that, as the IAEA repeatedly affirms. Almost certainly, if Iran were seriously working on a bomb, it would kick international inspectors out altogether . . .

It is likely that Iran wants “nuclear latency,” or the “Japan option.” That would involve knowing how to construct a bomb in short order if the country was ever directly menaced with an invasion and regime change a la Iraq. From Bush’s announcement of the coming war in September 2002 at the UNGA until there were American boots on the ground in Iraq was about seven months. If Iraq had had “latency” or a “break-out” capability, it could just have made a bomb and blown it up, and there would have been no US invasion. Iran wants to be in that position. It is not the same as constructing an actual bomb. Everything we know about Iran’s nuclear enrichment program points to it mainly being for civilian purposes. [...]
I mean, how can you doubt Supreme Leader pronouncements?

IRNA (Iran): "MP: Forged regime of Israel too wretched to threaten Iran"

Iranian rhetoric gets shriller:
A member of IRI Parliament board of directors referring to forged racist Zionist regime on invading Iran’s nuclear facilities, said here Wednesday that regime is too weak, too wretched, to threaten a great and civilization builder nation like Iran.

MP: Forged regime of Israel too wretched to threaten Iran
According to the IRNA correspondent in Iran’s southern Bandar Abbas port city, Mohammad Ashouri who was speaking with IRNA in an exclusive interview further reiterated, “That fragile regime suffered the humiliation of defeat in confrontation with the spiritual offspring of the Iranian nation in the course of the 33-Day War, whose aftermaths can still be seen in massive demonstrations of the Jews in various cities.”

Member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Islamic Majlis reiterated, “That they would intend to invade Iran is more like a dream and hallucination, because if they would even make the slightest mistake, that would mark the end of their existence.”

Representative of Bandar Abbas, Qeshm, Khamir, and Abu-Moussa at the Parliament said that Iran’s greatest weapon is its enthusiastic and united men and women embodies in the Iranian nation, arguing, “So long as we rely on our nation’s unity and belief in Almighty God, no power in the world is capable of threatening the gallant Iranian nation.”

Elsewhere in the interview he referred to the immense stockpiling of the nuclear weapons in those countries which claim to be peace loving in the world, reiterating, “The Zionist regime is not only not a member of the atomic agency, but has not even once permitted the agency’s inspectors to survey its nuclear facilities, and had furthermore, many times resisted against the demands of many nations for supervision of the agency over its nuclear activities.”

Ashouri emphasized, “The managing director of the agency does not dare to say even one sentence in condemnation of that regime.”

He added, “The agency’s recent report made everyone at the international scene lose the remainder of trust they had in the IAEA, and unfortunately it was the behavior of the agency’s managing director that caused that mistrust.”

Member of the Iranian parliament’s board of directors said that the recent report of the UN nuclear watchdog is the west’s seeking of a pretext for launching a new wave of accusations and sanctions against Iran.

Referring to the recent visit of the IAEA managing director of the United States and his meetings with the US officials right before finalizing his report on Iran, he emphasized, “This report has been prepared beyond doubt aimed at pleasing the demands of the White House officials cent per cent.”

The Iranian MP ended his remarks arguing, “Threatening the Iranian nation, which has regained its new identity in the course of resistance, perseverance and selflessness is sheer stupidity, which the White House officials insist on repeating such stupidity anew once again.”

The dispatches have in recent weeks been carrying an overwhelming volume of reports indicating that the warmonger racist Zionist leaders have been making preparations for “limited attacks” against nuclear targets in Iran, notably Iran’s Parchin nuclear facilities.

But as this top Iranian MP has noted such propagations are more like wishful thinking for the poor Zionists, as Israel is both too vulnerable, and too little in comparison with great Iran to dare make a first slight mistake in this regard, which would as Mr. Ashouri has mentioned be also its last mistake.

New verbs in the Iranian Press

According to a current headline at Fars News: "Senior Legislator: Iran to Level Israel Off If Attacked":
Member of the Iranian parliament's Presiding Board Mohammad Hossein Farhangi warned the Zionist regime against the dire consequences of any military aggression against Iran, and underlined that the Iranian Armed Forces are capable of annihilating Israel completely.

"Iran has the capability to annihilate the Zionist regime forever, if attacked" Farhangi told FNA on Wednesday.

Meantime, he downplayed the importance of the war rhetoric of Israel and its allies against Iran, and said that the Zionist regime and other countries change their views everyday and "even they do not dare to say firmly that they intend to attack the Islamic Iran".

Political observers believe that Israel's failure in its 2006 war on the Lebanese Hezbollah has discouraged the Zionist regime from waging an attack on Iran.

They believe that the Zionist regime of Israel has already tested its military power in its attack on Lebanon and Hezbollah, and knows that it lacks the necessary power and courage to attack Iran.

Iran has warned that it would target Israel and its worldwide interests in case it comes under attack by the Tel Aviv. [...]
According to another Fars headline: "Thousands of Syrian, Palestinian Youths Ready to Blast Israel":
Thousands of Syrian and Palestinian youths in a petition to Damascus government expressed their readiness to conduct martyrdom-seeking operations inside Israel.

In a petition signed by 30,000 well-trained Palestinian and Syrian youths, they said that they are ready to infiltrate Israel and conduct any type of operation.

The call for infiltration into Israel came months after 5 young Palestinians who tried to carry out martyrdom-seeking operation on the Nakba Day were arrested in the occupied territories.

Nakba Day (day of the catastrophe) is generally remembered on May 15. For the Palestinians it is the anniversary of the day of their displacement that followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.

The petition said that those who signed it have passed military, combat and tactical trainings and are ready to tolerate the hardest conditions in Israel.

The move came after Israel intensified its war rhetoric against the Syrian government and its ally, Iran.
If only Juan Cole were here to tell us what this all means. By the way "annihilate" is not one of the new verbs--that one has been used frequently for years.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

(North) Korean News on OWS

"Hundreds of masses"?--each person is a "mass"? Anyway, North Korea approves:
A demonstration against Wall Street took place in Atlanta, Georgia, the U.S. on Nov. 5.

Taking to the streets, hundreds of masses denounced the greed and exploitation by the capitalist class which seeks only its interests in disregard of the poor living conditions of the overwhelming majority of working masses.

The police in suppression gears arrested many demonstrators.

Juan Cole on the Sarcozy/Obama live-mic gaffe

Juan Cole exceeds my expectations regularly. I should revise my expectations, but they are fairly vast already where he is concerned. A paragraph:
President Obama didn’t seem in a hurry to defend Bibi, who has in fact had a long history of prevaricating. His biggest lie? That he wants a “peace process” with the Palestinians. That is sort of like saying that shearers want a “peace process” with the sheep that they fleece.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Fars News (Iran): "Hamas Leader Stresses Palestinians' Ownership of Entire Palestinian Lands"

Hamas makes effective use of its two faces. Let's hear from the one that usually addresses Iran:
A prominent member of the Palestinian Hamas Movement voiced his movement's agreement with the establishment of a Palestinian state, but at the same time rejected any move to surrender the Palestinian territories to the occupying regime of Israel, stressing that Palestinians are the owners of entire Palestine and not just a part of it.

Speaking to FNA in Gaza city on Tuesday, Mahmoud al-Zahar pointed to the Head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas's UN membership bid and establishment of a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, and stated that Hamas supports establishment of such a Palestinian state, no matter it is within the 1967 borders or even on a palm of the Palestinian lands.

"But, the occupying regime should not be recognized and even a span of Palestine's soil should not be ignored," Zahar noted.

"If efforts are directed towards establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, we should unify our efforts. Of course this is not our borders, our borders are well known and cover the entire Palestine and even more than Palestine," Zahar stated.

Many Palestinian groups have blasted Abbas's unilateral move to win the UN's acclaim for a Palestinian state, and said he should have discussed the issue with other Palestinian groups beforehand.

These groups also stress that although establishment of a Palestinian state is necessary, the 1967 borders are not the borderline of the Palestinian lands as Palestine means all the lands belonging to the Palestinians, including the territories occupied in the 1940s.

Also, earlier this month Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for holding a free referendum in the entire Palestinian lands (including those under the Israeli occupation) to determine the fate of the country, and rejected the plans which envisage division of Palestine.

"We neither propose dumping the migrant Jews in the sea nor the UN arbitration, rather our proposal includes a referendum to be participated by all Palestinians," Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing the 5th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada in Tehran at the time.

He also dismissed the West's plots to disintegrate Palestine, and said, "Today the West is standing on a crossroad and it should either leave its age-old bullying and recognize the rights of the Palestinians or wait for harder blows in the near future."

Mehr News (Iran): "No safe place for U.S. in Islamic world: IRGC official"

Interesting way of putting things, no?
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps deputy commander said on Tuesday that there is no safe place for the Unites States and its lackeys and allies in the Muslim world.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami also said the landscape of the Muslim world has changed in a way that hegemons no longer dare to be present in the region, adding that international developments have changed the balance of power in favor of Muslims.