Tuesday, May 31, 2011

For fans of Juche-oriented blogging

Yaacov Lozowick links to photo collections here and here, showing field guidance from the Dear Leader, people who would be rallying closely around the headquarters of the revolution if they were not posing at attention in front of tractors, etc. Soon Imperialist lands will be permeated with the Juche idea! (h/t Soccer Dad)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tehran Times: "Zionist regime on verge of collapse"

Interesting illustration of what the Iranian press and Iranian leaders mean by the sort of rhetoric used in the headline:
[...] Many Israeli analysts, and especially those working for the strategic institutes of the Zionist regime, are frightened by the accelerating rate of change produced by the revolution. They believe that the popular uprising in Egypt is on exactly the same path as Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, and sooner or later Egypt will stand beside countries like Turkey and Syria in the resistance front under the leadership of Iran.

And if developments continue to move in this direction, Israel will eventually be surrounded. Moreover, if the wave of revolutions reaches Jordan, it will overthrow the country’s monarchist system and Israel will have no more allies in the region. [...]
So, as used here, being on the "verge of collapse," although that normally refers to some sort of inner weakness, means being in danger of a military invasion? I am making this point because pundits on the left sometimes downplay the violent implications of Iranian statements about Israel.

IRIB (Iran): "IR Leader warns about new enemy scenario"

Mr. Supreme blames the World Arrogance for his spat with Ahmadinejad?
The domineering powers now seek to deal a blow to the Islamic Republic by torpedoing the economy, dividing the authorities and undermining the Islamic beliefs among the nation, Islamic Revolution Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei told members of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) Sunday.

Ayatollah Khamenei thanked the parliament for its decisive stance against the US conspiracies and said it was a divine blessing that the Iranian nation commands a good and clear understanding about the goals of the hegemoniy system.

"The arrogance seeks to trouble the situation and impede the nations from getting a true understanding however the Iranian nation has increasingly got a better understanding of their conspiracies," Ayatollah Khamenei said. [...]
Articles based on Supreme Leader speeches are hard to tell apart because of the horoscope-like vague language: Extra vigilance is necessary today to thwart all World Arrogance plots. In the evening you will get a a good and clear understanding about the goals of the hegemony system . . .

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mehr (Iran): "U.S. itself is laying the ground for reign of Islam in world: Basij commander"

What is the US doing? "Expanding communications."
Basij Commander Mohammad-Reza Naqdi has said that the United States is setting the stage for the future dominance of Islam over the world by its own hands.

“The United States, through expanding communications, is developing the infrastructures for the universal reign of Islam. Expansion of communications in the world has provided a historic opportunity for the faster and wider propagation of the Islamic Revolution and the thoughts of the Late Imam (Khomeini, the Founder of the Islamic Republic) throughout the world and (the opportunity) must be used appropriately,” Naqdi stated in Tehran on Sunday.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Basij commander made a mockery of U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent call for Israel to halt its settlement activity in the West Bank and said, “Our recommendation to the Zionists is that they push ahead with their settlement activity in the occupied territories, regardless of the U.S. president’s remarks so that the Palestinians, who will return to their homeland soon, would not face housing problems.”

Naqdi also said, “Today the world’s nations have chosen the Islamic Republic as their leader, and as a first step, Muslims in the region will soon bring the borders of the Middle East back to the lines set before 1919.”

He was referring to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, organized by the victors of World War I to negotiate the peace treaties between the Allied and Associated Powers and the defeated Central Powers, which led to the conclusion of a number of peace treaties that reshaped the map of Europe and the world.

In addition, Naqdi announced that a new branch of the Basij organization, made up of members from the engineering graduates in the field of information and communication technology, will be established in the near future.
According to another Mehr headline "‘Zionism has hijacked the identity of Judaism.'" The article is devoted to pronouncements from a Neturei Karta leader who visited Iran to "attend the International Conference on Global Alliance against Terrorism for a Just Peace." You are hereby spared having to read any of it.

Fars (Iran): "Hamas Leader: Fatah Still Pursuing Failed Policies"

Hamas leaders don't say the same things they say to Western journalists when they are covered by Iranian news agencies. It is very puzzling:
A senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, lambasted the Fatah movement for pursuing the failed experiences of the past which created a wide gap among the different Palestinian groups.

"The Fatah movement has opted for deception and intrigues after signing the national reconciliation agreement and seeks to bypass the Constitution," Younus al-Astal told FNA on Sunday.

He criticized Fatah's proposal for the members of the government to take their oath before the Head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, instead of the parliament, and said this means that Fatah is still moving on the same old wrong way.

Astal cautioned that the Fatah movement has hatched a plot to materialize the wishes and aspirations of the US and the Zionist regime, and said they seek to persuade us to desist from resistance and recognize the Zionist regime, but this is a wish which will never come true.

Also yesterday, another senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, had reiterated that the group will not implement the national reconciliation agreement unless its members imprisoned in the Palestinian Authority's jails are freed.

"Palestinians' national reconciliation will not be materialized as along as the members of the (Hamas) movement in the West Bank are not freed from the PA prisons," Hussein Abu Kawik told FNA on Saturday. [...]

Saturday, May 28, 2011

IRNA (Iran): "Spokesman: US new move is another failed experience"

Gotta love that title:
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mihman-parast said that the US new move to impose sanctions against Venezuelan State Oil Company for having ties with Iran is another failed experience.

According to the report of Foreign Ministry Media Department on Saturday evening, Mihman-parast added that US resorting to unilateral sanctions indicated isolation of the country in the world and insulting other nations intention in choosing their trade and political partners.

Referring to expressed strong stances by Venezuelan president and other senior officials of the country, Mehman-parast said the stances indicated that illegal and arrogant measures of the USA have no effect on independent nations.

The spokesman said that the US policy is in direction of measures like imposing sanctions or threating independent governments and supporting dictatorial regimes characterize a collapsing power.

"The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela communicated by telephone with his brother, the President of the Syrian Arab Republic"

According to "Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine," or more properly, its e-zine, this is a communiqué from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry. Heartwarming:
The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela communicated by telephone with his brother, the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar al-Assad, in order to convey to him a personal greeting full of affection and hope at a moment when the imperialist forces are unleashing violence against the Syrian people.

President Hugo Chávez received from President Bashar al-Assad a complete picture of the real situation in this brother Arab nation, where a fascist conspiracy is seeking to sow chaos and disorder, with the goal of subjecting the nation to the dictates of the Western powers. President Bashar explained to his Venezuelan counterpart that these outbreaks of minoritarian violence had been repudiated by the vast majority of Syrians and that the situation had begun to get back to normal thanks to the action of the institutions and government of Syria.

President Hugo Chávez was able to hear firsthand the important process of reforms that President Bashar has pushed forward for the purposes of responding to the legitimate needs and demands of those who have exercised their right to demonstrate peacefully and who have nothing to do with the extremist groups armed and financed from abroad. Especially, the Syrian president highlighted the new social policies implemented by his government to support the poorest strata of the population.

President Hugo Chávez passed on to his Syrian counterpart the expressions of solidarity from numerous Latin American and Caribbean leaders and took this occasion to express his most firm political and personal support, conveying his absolute conviction that the dignity of the Syrian people and government will make peace prevail, defeating the imperial aggressions.
In the meantime, of course, Chavez's "brother" has been outdoing himself. And I'd just like to welcome Monthly Review to the Judeopundit family of content-providers. (h/t: Harry's Place)

ISNA (Iran): "Zionist acts for spread of Semitism in Baku"

"Spread of Semitism"? So I'm allowed to call this an anti-Semitic article?
The Director of Azeri TV of Sahar Universal Network Borhan Heshmati called for Azerbaijan's media not to gloss over Zionist acts for spread of Semitism in Baku.

The request came after many residential towers in Baku had used to be left without any inhabitant.
Dig that Irangrish.
Heshmati said Zionist regime is trying to penetrate into the Republic of Azerbaijan and secure its interests through the Muslim state bordering Iran.

He also said, "Sahar Universal Network has been warning for years over Zionist regime's attempts to penetrate into political and economic domains in Central Asia and particularly Azerbaijan which neighbors Iran."

He added, "the towers have been left without any inhabitant and their rent is so high that nobody can afford it, it represents that these towers were constructed with special intentions."

"Evidence show that the towers have been constructed to house 7,000 jews in Baku," he said adding, "Zionist regime's officials have been calling the Republic of Azerbaijan as a country which represents no threat to them and they (Zionists) feel safe and secure there as they feel in their home. The republic of Azerbaijan's ruling system frequently stresses the country is safe for Jews. It is not surprising at all if semi-official sources in the Republic of Azerbaijan declare that the residential units have been prepared for Jews who are to be brought to Baku from other countries and Palestine's occupied lands."

"Currently, Jews' presence has risen in Azerbaijan and Zionist lobbies are clearly visible in Azerbaijan, trying to secure their positions in different fields. A synagogue was built in Baku a month ago," Heshmatian noted.
How Zionist.

(North) Korean News: "Superior Korean Language"

We have seen that the DPRK believes in Juche genes. Here we learn why their language is "superior":
Some time ago, the DPRK observed the 45th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's work "On Correctly Preserving the National Characteristics of the Korean Language."

The Korean language is rich in pronunciation and expression.

The language has 19 consonants and 21 vowels, 40 in all.

It makes it possible to correctly pronounce any difficult and complicated words and properly express delicate feelings and subtle differences between things.

The Korean language provides favorable conditions for pronouncing other languages distinctly.

It has different tones and good intonation so that it sounds beautiful.

The distribution rate of the open syllables in practice is some 65 percent.

The pronunciation rules are also well framed.
And that's the key to linguistic superiority, as we all know.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Interesting article on Salafism at Ikhwanweb

I'm a bit distrustful of this article, but it is certainly interesting, especially the following paragraphs:
[...] Kharajites are Takfiris who believe that they alone are capable of distinguishing Islam from unbelief and that they have an obligation to kill unbelievers. Their view is that anyone who has committed a serious sin is a kafir and deserves death. This orientation is almost as old as Islam and is generally understood as heresy. Historically Kharajites have condemned as unbelievers almost all Muslim leaders, including the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law Ali, who is beloved by all other Muslims. The Kharajites killed him, a crime for which the Muslim community has never forgiven them. They are a tiny, but dangerous, minority of the world’s Muslims.

The Saudi royal family and other Muslim elites fear Kharajites, and with good reason. Many Muslim scholars, Wahhabi and non-Wahhabi alike, have used this term to describe Usama bin-Laden and his supporters. This judgment is entirely reasonable because Al-Qaeda and associates denounce Muslim rulers as kafir and kill them whenever possible. The Saudis would like to believe, and would like others to believe, that Kharajite thinking is on the decline. This is wishful thinking. Public recantations by a handful of jailed and most likely tortured terrorists count for very little. Torture works. When it is severe and prolonged enough victims will say almost anything that perpetrators want them to. It makes for bad intelligence but good propaganda. On this point I agree with Scheuer.

There is little that Western governments can do the influence the war of ideas that rages in the Muslim World. It would be the height of absurdity to think that Muslim governments could influence the war of ideas raging within the Anglican Communion concerning homosexual bishops. It is equally absurd to entertain the notion that US public diplomacy can shape the direction of Muslim discourse. [...]
This much makes sense, and it is not what many on the left believe.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

(North) Korean News: "New Health Drink Developed"

And it comes in three flavors: Paektu Punch, Juche Julep, and Grape Leap Forward:
The Central Experiment Analytical Institute of the State Academy of Sciences developed a new drink with Kumgang medical stone.

The drink contains microelements and other mineral matters essential for human body.

The mineral water enriches protein and fat and promotes nucleic acid metabolism and function of cells.

It helps control osmotic pressure, promote movement of the tissue fluid, absorption and excretion and keeps acid-base equilibrium and pH in good state in human body.

It is also useful for the development of humors, bone, muscle and tooth and disinfection of water contaminated by microorganism.

The drink has already proved effective in treatment of diseases.
Very good for ideological deviation, I hear.

(North) Korean News: "Hamas: Reconciliation Boosts Armed Struggle against Israel"

And that's a good thing if you are rallying closely around the headquarters of the revolution in Songun North Korea:
A Hamas official said Sunday that the reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah boosts armed struggle against Israel.

"Resistance is the only one capable of ending the (Israeli) occupation," the official said.

Ynet (quoting an Iranian cleric): "'Ahmadinejad wants friendship with Israel'"

Mesha'ei's statement, if it is the well-known one that got him in significant hot water, did not exactly call for "friendly ties" "with the Jewish State." Ynet should stress more that the cleric's claim is just an attempt to hurt Ahmadinejad. That seems obvious to me, at any rate:
Unprecedented accusation against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: a Muslim cleric accused the Iranian president of wanting "friendship with Israel," an Iranian website associated with the opposition reported on Thursday.

According to religious scholar Mahmoud Nubian, Ahmadinejad's top adviser Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei stated three years ago that Iran should have "friendly ties" with the Jewish State, but Ahmadinejad has refrained from reiterating this position in public because of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's fierce objection.

Nubian further claimed that the Iranian president personally told him that he supported Mashaei's statement, but couldn’t say anything out of respect to the leader. [...]
He said publicly that there was nothing non-Khomeinisticly correct about the statement. In a related development . . .

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scottish book boycott goes forward

From Ynet:
Scottish citizens might not be able to purchase English translations of Israeli masterpieces such as "A tale of love and darkness" by Amos Oz and "Someone to run with" by David Grossman, due to a boycott on Israeli books.

Two and a half years ago, shortly after Operation Cast Lead, the West Dunbartonshire Regional Council, located west of Glasgow, approved a bill that called to boycott goods produced in Israel.

According to the law, the council and all public bodies under its jurisdiction are forbidden to sell goods that originated from Israel.

Following the botched raid on the Turkish Flotilla to Gaza last May, the council expanded the boycott to include a ban on the purchase of English translations of Israeli books and the distribution of these books in public libraries throughout the council's jurisdiction.

West Dunbartonshire was joined by the large Scottish city Dundee, which decided to issue a recommendation to boycott all goods produced in Israel.

Legal advisers instructed Dundee's mayor to refrain from legally enforcing the boycott in order to avoid future lawsuits. Instead, the municipality plans to distribute posters throughout the city, calling on some 150,000 residents to refrain from buying Israeli goods, and will also apply a special mark on Israeli products, in order to make them easily identifiable. [...]
The article is not so clear. Does the category "public bodies under its jurisdiction" include private bookstores? The point of the legal advice is that private bookstores aren't included? Or the point is that banning books is going too far? Read the rest of the article for an interesting discussion of why Scotland is not banning books from Syria and Libya (assuming there is anything to ban) and other matters. The first commenter in the comment thread starts to suggest boycotting single-malt scotch and then regains his composure. Right, let's not get carried way . . .

PIC: "UNRWA strikers enraged after being 'blackmailed'"

This is not as dramatic as the headlines about how John Ging had to obtain machine guns for his bodyguards, but all is not well in UNRWA-land:
UNRWA's ”blackmail” and threats to dock strikers for the two days of work they missed for protests ”will only increase the staff's determination to defend their cause and rights,” said a statement released Sunday night by the UNRWA labor union.

Union members have convened constantly and will gather this Thursday to evaluate the situation after volunteers intervened to help defuse the crisis, the statement says.

It adds that ”negative results by the UNRWA administration has inevitably led to escalated and more powerful action”.

The union declared that it would ”give a new margin for talks with the UNRWA administration”.

All UNRWA facilities in the Gaza Strip went on strike on Wednesday and Thursday after the administration dismissed three men who were exonerated of various charges by the Palestinian courts.

In a related development, a teacher at an UNRWA school in Gaza has filed a claim against UNRWA after he was dismissed from his job unfairly.

He was reported to have been fired for alleged political activity ”outside of UNRWA's framework”.

Mazin al-Sheikh, an active member of the teachers union, said he was invited to attend a youth conference in Sweden, but his application for visa was rejected because Germany and Belgium rejected his entry to Europe.

Sheikh added that he was surprised that the German News Agency published a news item saying that Sweden refuses entry of Mazin al-Sheikh as a representative of Hamas.

Former UNRWA director of operations John Ging summoned Sheikh and asked him about the news item, and Sheikh told him that he was invited to participate in the conference as an active member of the teachers union and not to represent any political party but Ging went on to ask him to choose between resignation and dismissal because of what he called exercise of political activity outside the framework of UNRWA, according to Sheikh.

Sheikh says he has an impeccable record as a teacher at UNRWA schools and that he was unfairly dismissed because of Israeli and European dictates to UNRWA.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ahmadinejad: "Iranian women, flag-bearers of human perfection"

IRIB Radio always gives Ahmadinejad the title "Dr." He has a doctorate in blather, evidently:
President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the Iranian women are the flag-bearer of human perfection in the world.

According to IRIB, in an address to conference held to laud Iranian women, on Monday, President Ahmadinejad added that Iranian women are, today, a source of honor for the Iranians and all the freedom-seeking people in the world.

In further remarks, President Ahmadinejad reminded that the capitalist world has trampled upon women’s dignity, and uses women to publicize its products.

President underlined that in the wake of betrayal of women during the era of Marxism and Capitalism, selfishness and expansionism gained power, and individuals emerged that found the murder of human beings as joyous.

President Ahmadinejad added in an opinion poll of married women in a European country, 70% of these women announced that they have been repeatedly battered by their husbands, but remain silent to maintain the foundation of their families.

Moreover, President Ahmadinejad underscored that a community, in which women do not have a sense of identity and do not maintain a historical mission and perfection, is dead and will never experience the essence of prosperity.

It's that time of year again

The anniversary of when the Supreme Leader met the Great Leader:
A Korean photo exhibition, a film show and round-table talks were held at the Iran-Korea Friendship Magsal Agro-Stock Farm on May 17 to mark the 22nd anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's meeting with Seyed Ali Khamenei, leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran.

On display in the venue of the events were photos of Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il providing field guidance to the work in different fields of the national economy.

Among those present at the events were personages and employees of the farm and the DPRK ambassador to Iran and his embassy officials.

The participants of the events looked round photos on display and watched the Korean film "HE Seyed Ali Khamenei, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Visits Our Country".

The manager of the farm in his speech at the round-table talks praised Kim Il Sung as a great man who recorded a great chapter in the history of world politics.

He said that the Iranian people would always remember the exploits performed by Kim Il Sung for the development of the friendly relations between the two countries.

The friendly and cooperative relations between the peoples of the two countries standing together on the common front of the struggle against imperialism and the U.S. would grow stronger, he stressed.
Read about last year's festivities!

Update: It is also that time of the week. Haveil Havalim is up!

Heretical thought for the day

Bibi stood up to Obama? That must have been the Arab Spring coming to Israel.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Great news! "Iran to Launch Human Rights News Agency"

The source of this little news tidbit is also cool: (North) Korean News!
A senior Iranian Lawmaker announced on Monday that Tehran would soon launch an English-language news agency to review the latest human rights abuses in the West, specially in the UK and the U.S.

Vice-Chairman of the Parliament's Human Rights Committee Mohammad Karim Abedi said the Human Rights News Agency will exclusively deal with human rights issues in English language.
Move over IRNA, here comes HeRNiA?

Bin Laden wives "turning on each other in custody"

And I suppose Obama has an exit-strategy for this? From the Australian:
THE three widows of Osama bin Laden are turning on each other in custody, with two older Saudi women blaming a much younger Yemeni wife for leading US intelligence to their hideout.

"It's vicious," said a Pakistani official briefed on the interrogation of the widows.

"The older wives think the younger one tipped off the Americans or was tracked when she came to join him." [...]

Egypt "disintegrating"

How's that Arab Spring going? From J-Post:
Egypt is disintegrating socially and its economy “is bust,” said Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency and possible candidate for the Egyptian presidency.

“Right now, socially, we are disintegrating,” ElBaradei said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” scheduled to air Sunday. “Economically we are not in the best state. Politically it’s -- it’s like a black hole. We do not know where we are heading.” [...]

He also expressed concern about the influence of the Islamic group the Muslim Brotherhood, which has had longer to organize than other nascent political contenders. ElBaradei said the election may slip to next year given the uncertainty. [...]

ElBaradei said the Egyptian economy is suffering from no investment, inflation, a budget deficit and lack of tourism. He urged more outside investment in the country to spur an economic recovery. [...]

Not to be outdone by SF, Simcha Monica gets its own anti-circumcision measure

I don't expect these measures to pass, not even in San Francisco, but their appearance on actual ballots is impressive testimony to the march of craziness:
Santa Monica residents may get to vote soon on whether circumcisions can be done in the beach city.

San Francisco residents learned this week that a measure will be on their November ballot allowing them to vote on whether or not to ban circumcision in their city. Now, if a petition about to begin circulating succeeds in garnering enough signatures, residents of Santa Monica could soon have the same opportunity, The Journal has learned. Santa Monica City officials were not available late Friday to say how many signatures will be needed.

Sources provided The Journal with a copy of memorandum from the Santa Monica City clerk addressed to the city attorney, along with a Notice of Intent to Ciruculate a Petition, filed with the Santa Monica City Clerk on Thursday, May 19, which proposes adding an initiative prohibiting “Genital Cutting of Male Minors” to a ballot in a future election in Santa Monica. [...]

Saturday, May 21, 2011

SANA (Syria): "1,900 Children Sign Loyalty for Motherland Painting in Sweida"

Isn't that heart-warming?
More than 1,900 from Shahba area in Sweida Province on Saturday accomplished the "The Loyalty for the Motherland" painting which was started on May 11th, and they wrote on it with their spontaneity national phrases with the colors of the Syrian flag.

Supervising the event, Principal, Naziha Dannoun, said that the length of the painting reached 105 meters and it carried a letter at its end with 2-meter long which included a drawing of a ship named 'Syria…the Steadfastness'. [...]
Also at SANA: "Oratorical Festival in Kuwait to Stress Standing by Syria in Face of Conspiracy":
Elite from the Kuwaiti parliament, clergymen, political activists, academics and lawyers held on Friday an oratorical festival entitled "Loyalty to Syria".

Scores of Syrians living in Kuwait participated in the event.

The participants expressed their standing by Syria in the face of the conspiracy, stressing that the aim of that plot is punishing Syria for its honest and courageous stances concerning supporting the resistance and opposing the Zionist schemes. [...]
That's why conspiracies are always targeting Iran.

Fars News: "[Basij] Commander: Freedom-Seeking Moves Spreading to Europe"

Iranian news sites frequently feature pronouncements from various Iranian officials that make the same points. The comparison to "the spread of Islam to Europe via Spain" is pretty interesting, however. I could not resist adding the picture of the good general which accompanies the article. Yeah, that guy's interested in freedom:
The growing waves of awakening and freedom-seeking are now spreading from the Middle-East to Europe, a senior Iranian commander said.

"Less than a month after Supreme Leader's perception about spread of the waves of freedom-seeking to Europe, we are witnessing freedom-seeking camps being erected in European countries," Commander of Iran's Basij (volunteer) forces Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi told reporters here in Tehran on Saturday.

Similar to the spread of Islam to Europe via Spain several centuries ago, the growing waves of awakening seem to be spreading from the Middle-East and North Africa to Europe via the same country, where thousands of Spanish protesters have started rallies since a few days ago.

Some 25,000 protesters have defied a government ban and camped out overnight in a square in the capital, Madrid.

The demonstrations who woke Saturday in Puerta del Sol plaza had made up on the largest crowd yet in nearly a full week of protests.

The protesters are angry with the government's economic policies and have occupied the area for the past week.

Earlier this month, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei stressed that the European continent will soon experience popular uprisings and revolutions sweeping the Middle-East and North of Africa at present.

Addressing a large number of Iranian teachers and university professors here in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that the growing wave of Islamic awakening in the Middle-East, North Africa and other parts of the Muslim world has been inspired by Iran's Islamic Revolution, and said this awakening will definitely spread to the European countries.

"This awakening move will certainly advance to the very heart of the Europe and the European nations will rise against their politicians and rulers who have fully surrendered to the US and the Zionists' cultural and economic policies," he said.

In relevant remarks earlier this year, a prominent American analyst had said that the wave of Erhal (Get Out) revolutions in the Middle-East and North Africa is now growing to the European continent.

"Due to the financial corruption dominating most of the European governments and the pervasive bottlenecks and crises that have arisen in the western countries these days, it is predicted that the growing trend of such discontents will soon turn into a series of revolutions known as the Erhal Revolutions" in the Middle-East and North Africa, Dr. James Anderson said late March.

He said the European countries have not witnessed a major development and political leap after the Renaissance, the World War II, the Cold War and formation of the European Union (EU), but now the time is ripe for the European people to get ready for political revolutions and change in their ruling structures.

Dr. Anderson also described the current protests and rallies in London as a prelude to Erhal revolutions in Europe, and said many European countries will soon be Erhalized and the world will soon witness that Erhalization has no boundaries.
And then what? The Erhalization of Mars?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Los Angeles created a special bureau to make ticket-fixing more convenient!

LA Times reports:
Approximately 1,000 Los Angeles city parking citations over a two-year period were dismissed — some without justification — through an obscure service known as the "Gold Card Desk" that allows the mayor and other elected officials to fast-track citation reviews, a new audit has found.

The service, which few outside of city government appear to know about, partly involves a plastic parking bureau "Gold Card" that is distributed to city offices. It includes a special phone number to call and on the back side notes that the holder may have an "urgent need to resolve any parking citation matter which requires special attention." It promises "you will be immediately connected to our Gold Card Specialist." [...]
Operators are standing by! California is so progressive and idealistic.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Carlos the Jackal calls Osama "martyr"

Via Arab News:
The notorious Cold War terrorist Carlos the Jackal says in an interview to be aired Thursday that Osama Bin Laden is a martyr who earned himself a place in history through terrorism.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

In the interview with Swedish national television, the Venezuelan terrorist said the former Al-Qaeda leader will still be remembered in 100 years’ time because “of what he has done, the example he gave.” He said “nobody” will remember President Barack Obama. [...]
Carlos has been talking like this for some time.

A further thought on the speech

Many, including Netanyahu and the mainstream media, are interpreting Obama's reference to the '67 borders as an endorsement of Palestinian maximalism. I think the reference to "land swaps" could mean something like what was offered at Camp David. Obama has a history of thinking he is being uncontroversial and then having to backtrack. Remember the remark about an "undivided Jerusalem"? I think Obama should be given a chance to clarify what he meant.

Update: Israel Matzav disagrees.

IRNA (Iran): "Germans urged to be vanguard in resisting Zionist apartheid regime"

You have to be a Khomeinist to follow the strange logic:
A leading Palestinian activist, Lubna Masarwa, called on Germans to be vanguard in directing the struggle against the Zionist regime.

'German people should be the first to resist this type of oppressive and apartheid and occupation regime because of the history of Germany,' Masarwa said in an exclusive interview with IRNA in Berlin.

She was referring to the mass killing of Jews during the Nazi era.

Masarwa, a cofounder of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, pointed to her plans to mobilize hundreds of people around Europe to fly to Israel on July 8 to highlight the plight of the Palestinian nation.

The activist stressed it was 'important' to have the German people involved in the July 8 campaign.

She slammed European governments for 'not taking any real action against Israel violating all international laws.'

Masarwa made it clear that the international community had to take 'real action' against this type of Israeli policy.

The Palestinian campaigner reiterated that she was frustrated by the pro-Israel policies of the European governments.

'I had a chance to work in the European parliament in Brussels for the last four months. I was completely disappointed from the government and I somehow lost my faith in the governments because Israel is the spoiled son of the governments in Europe and this is why I target the community and I think the international community has to put pressure on the governments,' Masarwa said. [...]

Tip for analyzing the president's speech

I looked at the summary of the president's speech at four or five news sites, and it doesn't appear to have included anything remarkable. Clinton and Barak offered a deal at Camp David based on the '67 borders with land swaps. Somebody once made a point that really impressed me about the peace process: Pretend that discourse about the peace-process is actually about jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. After the requisite substitutions are made, you end up with sentences like the following: "It may be true that there is no parachute, but the situation here inside the plane is untenable, so our friend the skydiver has to be bold and creative . . . and um . . . bold . . . and creative . . . "

Fars News (Iran): "Ahmadinejad: Enemies Seeking to Create Water Crisis in Asian States"

This is apparently one of those paranoid Ahmadinejad pronouncements in reaction to some real (although innocuous) event in the news. Anyone know which "western politician" he is referring to?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blasted the attempts made by certain western countries to prevent the rainy clouds from reaching the eastern world to create water crisis in the region, specially in the Asian countries.

Ahmadinejad reiterated that some western countries are planning to cause droughts in some areas of the world including Iran.

During his speech in the inauguration ceremony of a dam in Markazi province, central Iran, Thursday morning, President Ahmadinejad referred to an essay by a western politician who said certain world areas extending from Iran and Turkey to east of Asia will be hit by the water crisis in the next 3 decades.

He said the area highlighted in the essay cover countries which scare the west most for their capacity to initiate civilizations and influential cultures.

Some European countries using especial equipment have prevented the rainy clouds from reaching certain some eastern areas including Iran, the President said.

"The legal sources in the country will pursue this issue," Iran's President said, stressing that such dark actions should not repeated again.

Ahmadinejad further said the European countries seek to create tension in world states which share joint sea borders.

The next war will be the case of 'water war,' President noted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

IRIB Radio: "'US killed Bin Laden clone in Pakistan'"

Cloning Bin Laden was not such a great achievement, but getting him from birth to middle-age in three years--that was a real undying feat worthy of the Zionist conspiracy!
The US operation that allegedly killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has actually led to the death of a clone of the al-Qaeda leader, working under CIA operative Raymond Davis.

Gordon Duff, senior editor of Ohio-based Veterans Today, in an interview with Press TV's US Desk, said: "The real bin Laden died years ago after receiving treatment in American hospitals for his various illnesses."

Duff wrote in a May 9 article titled 'Was Raymond Davis CIA's Bin Laden Handler?' that: "His [bin Laden] body was frozen and kept in storage for a date when it would be of advantage to the United States to use it for maximum advantage."

Duff says that according to the US intelligence community, bin Laden's body was recovered in 2001 by American Special Forces in Afghanistan.

Duff said: "The CIA maintained a safe house at Abbottabad where it kept agents right next to the compound that 'bin Laden' was allegedly killed at."

Duff went on to say that the CIA facility next door to the alleged bin Laden's compound was filled with armed agents possibly protecting the phony bin Laden.

Duff also emphasized on the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has failed to present any evidence linking bin Laden to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US soil about ten year ago.

Analysts have raised serious questions as to why US officials did not allow for the application of a DNA test to formally confirm the identity of the corpse before his burial at sea.
Wouldn't a clone have the same DNA? I guess IRIB is not using the word "clone" so precisely.

ISNA (Iran): "Iran says it arrests no Baha'i individual"

The human rights for Baha'is proclaimed in this article last about two paragraphs.
The Head of Iran's High Council for Human Rights said no Iranian citizen from Baha'i community has been arrested so far.

"No Iranian citizen has been arrested or put in jail because of being a member of Baha'i community. The Baha'is enjoy citizenship rights in Iran as any other Iranian citizen do, but Iran's judiciary deals with them as it does regarding other citizens if they commit any crime," Mohammad Javad Larijani told a press conference with South African reporters in Tehran on Saturday.

He said, "Baha'ism is not a religion in Iran but a diversionary sect and that based on Iran's law, publicity in favor of the Baha'ism is a crime, but the Baha'is enjoy complete freedom in their personal issues and nobody opposes them."

Also concerning death of al-Qaeda Leader, he said, "the way Osama bin Laden was killed by the US troops goes against international rules and is a terrorist measure."

"Based on the Human Rights Declaration and International rules, any suspect even Osama Bin Laden has the right to enjoy a fair court."

He said, "the US measure showed that it does not abide by its claims on human rights, we had called for trial of bin Laden due to his numerous terrorist acts to reveal facts for others. We believe that Americans had better made bin laden stand trial and then issued the verdict."
I have always said that Khomeinism has a strong Chomsky/Ron Paul streak.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ron Paul channels his inner Chomsky

I have been worried recently by talk of Ron Paul's prospects as Republican presidential candidate. So this is a relief:
Ron Paul says he would not have authorized the mission that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, and that President Barack Obama should have worked with the Pakistani government instead of authorizing a raid.
Continue Reading

"I think things could have been done somewhat differently," Paul said this week. "I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he's been in prison. Why can't we work with the government?"

Asked by WHO Radio's Simon Conway whether he would have given the go-ahead to kill bin Laden if it meant entering another country, Paul shot back that it "absolutely was not necessary."

"I don't think it was necessary, no. It absolutely was not necessary," Paul said during his Tuesday comments. "I think respect for the rule of law and world law and international law. What if he'd been in a hotel in London? We wanted to keep it secret, so would we have sent the airplane, you know the helicopters into London, because they were afraid the information would get out?"
Even Obama figured out the folly of "cooperating with Pakistan" and also what the American people overwhelmingly expect to be done with something like the prospect of killing OBL. Good, so much for Ron Paul. See Hot Air for more extended Fisking.

SANA (Syria): "Libya condemns conspiracy against Syria"

Libya on Monday strongly condemned the conspiracy against Syria which targets its national security and its Arab principled stances.

The Libyan General Public Committee for External Communication and International Cooperation called in a statement to stop the foreign intervention, stressing the unity of stance between the Syrian and Libyan peoples against conspiracies being hatched by hegemony powers and in the face of media distorting campaigns which try to destabilize Syria.

Fars: "Palestinians Ask Iran to Open Embassy in Gaza"

It would be nice to say that these developments spell the demise of some leftist delusions:
Representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement in Tehran Nasser Abu Sharif called on Iran to open a mission in Gaza, and said this would be a natural move, considering the presence of Palestinian diplomats in Tehran.

"It would be a natural move for Iran to open an embassy or representative office in Gaza," Abu Sharif told FNA, adding, "Gaza is now a region almost free of occupation and Iran can have an active embassy in Gaza as it will have the same kind of mission in Egypt in future."

"Iran was the first government which recognized Palestine and allowed opening of the Palestinian embassy and today the Palestinian ambassador is active in Iran," he added.

His remarks came days after 13 Palestinian groups including, Fatah and Hamas, signed a landmark unity deal ending their long-running division.

According to internal sources, the landmark agreement will include formation of a caretaker government until elections take place in both the West Bank and Gaza.

Iran welcomed the Palestinian reconciliation agreement, and called it a positive move towards the materialization of the Palestinian people's goals and rights.

After Tehran's positive position, Palestinian Ambassador to Tehran Salah al-Zawawi welcomed the reconciliation agreement signed between the main two Palestinian resistance movements, Fatah and Hamas, and praised Iran's efforts and assistance to the formation of a national unity government in Palestine.

"During my mission as Palestine's ambassador to Iran, I have witnessed the Iranian nation and government's support for the victory of Palestine and establishment of a new (national unity) government," he said, brushing aside the allegations that Iran has ordered the Hamas movement to evade reconciliation with Fatah.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

100,000+ Osama posters sold in Pakistan--to be used as dart-boards?

We live in very strange times. The US finally bagged the man responsible for the worst attack on the US since Pearl Harbor and we are discovering a vast realm of possibilities for how to spin that death and what it means for Western-Muslim relations. One strange CBS 2-part headline proclaimed "Local Muslims Glad Bin Laden Gone, But Some Not Thrilled With Method--Say U.S. Should Be Bigger Than Using Force To Solve Problems." Is there a non-forceful way to kill someone? Now we learn that Osama posters are a good investment for the enterprising Pakistani retailer. And all this for a man, according to one article, who espoused a theology which constituted "a radical break with traditional Islam." (Like the Ahmadis?) We learn in that article that a Bin Ladenist "major deviation" was "the targeting of noncombatants." Isn't Bin Laden in pretty good company there? Or are Muslim-Brotherhood-offshoot Hamas and Khomeinist Hezbollah major deviants also?

In any event, Osama appears to have been Muslim enough so that his burial at sea is a major affront to the Muslim world (which is otherwise mostly "indifferent" to Osama's actual death?) A recent CNN article pronounces Osama's watery wake a "sad miscalculation" and quotes a number of authorities on Islamic law who buttress their rejection of the Islamic-correctness of this procedure with other choice remarks about contradicting "all humanitarian principles" and the "mutilation" of dead bodies. Weren't some Muslim servicemen involved in Osama's burial? Do you have to be on the faculty of Al-Azhar to know what Muslim burial customs are? Can you imagine the list of "sad miscalculations" the US would now be accumulating in its treatment of the captive Osama that many Muslims and leftists think we should have vastly preferred to a dead one? Maybe an inherently final "sad miscalculation" or two is the best the US could have hoped for. (h/t: Memeorandum)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mehr News acknowledges something is going on

The current power struggle between Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah finally produces a ripple on the propaganda pond, albeit a ripple of denial:
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has advised Iranian officials and media outlets against disseminating information that would provide the enemies with pretexts to create a commotion about the country.

The Leader made the remarks during a meeting with a number of police officials in Tehran on Sunday in reference to the commotion created by certain media outlets about Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi’s resignation, which was accepted by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but was rejected by the Leader.

On April 19, certain media outlets reported that the president insisted on his decision to accept the intelligence minister’s resignation. But some of the president’s close allies rejected the reports and said that the president has always obeyed the Leader’s orders.

The Leader said that Iranian officials, the intelligentsia, and media outlets should not speak in a way or write something that would undermine peace in the country and create discord, since that would not be in the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran at this juncture.

He also pointed to the enemies’ attempts to blow certain disagreements between Iranian officials out of proportion, saying, “Pretexts should not be provided for the enemies.”
I think the pretexts are already out of the bag.

North Korean hygiene-promoting soup?

This is from an article on Dear Leader field guidance at "Light Industrial Factories." I didn't make up the part about the "washing soups"--I just report what I find:
The third leg of his guidance was the Ponghwa Soup Factory.

Watching varieties of quality washing soups churning out in an endless stream, he expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the workers and technicians of the factory have successfully built the soup production processes to greatly contribute to the people's cultured practice in hygiene and radically increased the production by devoting their wisdom and enthusiasm.

Greatly satisfied to hear a report that "Ponghwa" washing soups are high in people's demand as they are high in their quality, he was pleased that it has become possible to provide the people with a sufficient amount of quality washing soups.
OK, so they aren't so good at spelling . . .

Update: The latest Haveil Havalim greatly contributes to the people's cultured practice.

Ahmadinejad-Ayatollah conflict turns into street-fighting

From Pajamas Media:
[...] According to reports from Iran, serious clashes between the rank and file supporters of Khamenei and the supporters of Ahmadinejad erupted on Saturday. Many were severely injured with clubs and machetes. The clashes are said to have been so fierce that the security guards did not intervene and stood aside, watching the brawl. [...]
Getting interesting.

More on Ahmadinejad vs. Ayatollah (from Juan Cole's blog)

Not from Cole himself, but courtesy of one "Dr Farhang Jahanpour." Here is a paragraph:
A few weeks ago, a series of documentary films were released called “The Reappearance is Near.” The films referred to the reappearance of the Hidden Imam who according to the Shi’is went into hiding as a child and who will return in the Last Days to crush the enemies of Islam and to establish a reign of justice and peace. A number of people will supposedly accompany the Hidden Imam on his return. The films openly stated that President Ahmadinejad is the embodiment of Shu’ayb bin Salih, one of the saintly figures who will accompany the Hidden Imam. This would give the president a special place above all the ruling clerics as a special companion of the Hidden Imam. In fact, the president frequently takes the entire cabinet to pray next to a well near Qom, from where the Hidden Imam is supposed to emerge. He also starts all his speeches, including the ones that he has delivered at the United Nations, with a prayer for the speedy return of the Hidden Imam.
The rest is worthwhile.

SANA (Syria): "More than 5000 Al-Jazeera Sport Subscription Cards Burned in Tartous"

Syrian "youths" support their leader. Why would you need a "subscription card" for a satellite channel? Anyway, this is obviously in the great tradition of draft-card burning except for the minor point that it is pro-establishment:
Hundreds of youths in Tartous burned more than 5000 al-Jazeera Sport Channels subscription cards, sending a strong signal in reaction to the Channel's coverage of the events in Syria.

The youths expressed condemnation of al-Jazeera's tackling of the events in Syria which is devoid of professionalism, seeing that it promotes sedition and chaos by fabricating news and photos.

The youths raised banners lambasting al-Jazeera coverage which focuses on making negative psychological impact on the Syrians by generating a flood of lies refuted by the situation on the ground.

They urged their fellow youths to boycott the Channel economically and delete it from their TVs, stressing that belittling the Syrians' awareness through lies circulated by eyewitnesses and fabricated videos aims at intimidating the Syrian people.

"This move is a direct response to al-Jazeera fact-twisting and fabrication of events in Syria," said one of the youths, hailing the role played by the Syrian media.

Mustapha Asha said the initiative is a symbol of real boycott, adding that the Syrians are now certain that al-Jazeera and fellow tendentious channels seek destruction of their country.

Hundreds in Tartous staged a sit-in few days ago, censuring the coverage of tendentious media of events in Syria. They considered that the coverage is meant to tarnish the reputation of the country and stir chaos in violation of the principles of journalistic work and the international and local laws regulating it.
Also at SANA, "Interior Ministry: 915 of Those Involved in Riot Acts Turn Themselves in":
The number of those involved in riot acts who turned themselves in to the competent authorities has so far reached 915 persons from different provinces, who were released immediately after pledging not to repeat acts that may harm the security of the homeland and the citizens.

An official source at the Interior Ministry said many of those involved continue to come to police stations and security centers to turn themselves in.

The source called for those who were misled into participating in or committing unlawful acts punishable by law including carrying weapons, disrupting security or giving false statements to turn themselves in and hand over their weapons to the competent authorities.

The Ministry reiterated calls for informing authorities about saboteurs and terrorists and the whereabouts of weapons.

Those who turn themselves in prior to 15 / 5 / 2011, according to the Ministry's source, will be exempted from punishment and the legal consequences and prosecutions.
What more could you ask for?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Rooz: Ahmadinejad "delusional"

If you want some analysis of the current stand-off between Mr. Supreme Leader and Ahmadinejad, this looks useful. A, according to this writer, does not have much in the way of prospects:
[...] First, the plan has a delusional element to it because it is not based on a realistic assessment of the situation. The main base of support for Ahmadinejad’s team was always the supreme leader’s absolute support, which no longer exists. Obviously, a significant portion of Ahmadinejad’s base of support will abandon him with the supreme leader. He must thus be able to attract new bases of support, outside the regime’s usual base.

Further, some of Ahmadinejad’s supporters backed him on because he was in power. History shows that many senior figures in the Islamic Republic have switched sides whenever their side was in a weaker position. If Ahmadinejad severs his relationship with the supreme leader, many of his supporters will abandon him.

Ahmadinejad’s only option now is to break the regime’s internal deadlock by attracting the support of the silent majority. But this quest faces serious obstacles. [...]
Read the rest.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Fars News:"Lawmaker Adores Hamas-Fatah Unity Deal"

And a female "lawmaker" at that, although I think the use of the word "adore" in the headline simply shows an odd sense of English diction ("I just adore the Hamas-Fatah unity deal, Darling"):
A senior member of the Iranian parliament welcomed reconciliation among Palestinian groups, describing the recent deal between Hamas and Fatah as a source of concern for Washington and Tel Aviv.

"The recent unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas caused grave concerns in the United States and the Zionist regime [of Israel] as they … used to achieve their objectives in the region by creating division and sowing discord," member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Zohreh Elahian told MNA on Thursday.

Thirteen Palestinian groups including, Fatah and Hamas, have signed a landmark unity deal ending their long-running division. In a ceremony at the Egyptian capital Cairo, representatives from the groups endorsed the deal they agreed on last week.

The Iranian legislator added that the US has threatened to cut its aid to Fatah after the deal, and noted that Washington's reaction is indicative of the US anger over unity between Palestinian factions.

She expressed the Islamic Republic's support for the Hamas-Fatah unity deal and expressed hope that such agreements would lead to the victory of the Palestinian people.

"Iranian parliament proposes active Palestinian groups to use all their potential to fight the Zionist regime [of Israel] and avoid differences," Elahian concluded.
If you are into the "peace process," you should not be too happy at the moment--Jimmy Carter notwithstanding.

Guardian: "Close allies" of Ahmadinejad "accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies"

I guess it's bad form to have a big enough cult of personality to overshadow the Supreme Leader.
Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).

Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as "a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds".

The arrests come amid a growing rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei which has prompted several MPs to call for the president to be impeached. [...]
The rest of the article has more background on the current power struggle.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Firas Press: "Zahar: Israel could assassinate President Abbas"

This is unedited auto-translation, but it seems fairly clear:
The leader of the movement 'Hamas' Mahmoud Zahar, the 'reconciliation agreement with the Fatah movement, to be signed tomorrow morning in Cairo, one of the most important fruits of the Egyptian revolution, which he said it completely changed the way the Egypt of the Palestinian issue'.

He denied Zahar, in an interview with the newspaper 'Al Masry Al Youm', 'subjected to any pressure from the movement by the Egyptian authorities to complete the reconciliation, or to dictate any terms of the movement's leaders to Egypt for reconciliation'.

And denounced the accused some of them by 'Hamas' leaders and the smuggling of Palestinian prisoners from the prisons of Egypt or involvement in the commission of any terrorist operations against Egypt', saying that 'such accusations are just empty words'.

He also expressed fear of the 'Israel has committed any more games now, to abort the signing of reconciliation', pointing out that the 'Tel Aviv might try to assassinate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to reach its goal, although the former Egyptian straining on the' Hamas 'to make concessions in favor of the Fatah movement' .

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Fars News (Iran): "Commander: Americans Exhausted with US Rulers' Oppressive Behavior"

If you want to know what's going on in the USA, the man to ask is Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi:
Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi underlined on Wednesday that growing protests in different parts of the US indicate that Americans are exhausted with the oppressive and tyrannical behaviors of their rulers.

"The huge popular moves which are held in pursuit of different incentives in the US everyday show that the US society is tired of the oppression and cruelty of the rulers of the country," Firouzabadi said.

He also reiterated that the Islamic awakening sweeping the Middle-Eastern and North African countries has enlightened the American people about Barack Obama's failures and delinquencies as well as the excessive attention he pays to the interests of few Zionist capital holders.

The United States is knee-deep in at least three international military conflicts at the moment - in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

American lives are being lost. Innocent civilians are being killed. Several of the engagements appear to be primed for protraction. The wars are expensive in other ways, too.

At least since the stormy 1960s, whenever America got involved in deadly combat on foreign soil, large crowds of peace-promoting citizens have gathered in Washington and other cities to demonstrate against war.

It happened in 2007, when tens of thousands congregated on the National Mall and heard actors Sean Penn, Jane Fonda and Danny Glover speak out against President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. [...]
In the immortal words of the Bonzo Dog Band, "Really wild, General!"

Monday, May 02, 2011

Angry Arab and Bin Laden's death as Rorschach Blot

I expect that the death of Bin Laden will prove to be a Rorschach Blot for a number of people, but get a load of this moment of self-revelation. The post is entitled "This is a Lie":
"The U.S. special forces team that hunted down Osama bin Laden was under orders to kill the al Qaeda mastermind, not capture him, a U.S. national security official told Reuters." This is an obvious lie and for obvious reason. I am certain that the orders were to capture him alive: his capture alive would have been far more humiliating for him, just as the capture of Saddam. I hate those propaganda spins after the fact.
I don't think it would have occurred to me that an overriding goal of hunting down Bin Laden was to humiliate him. I suppose it was more humiliating for Saddam Hussein to be a prisoner at the end, but in many ways a captive Bin Laden would have been quite awkward, especially for a president who just wanted to show that progressives always get their man. Imagine the dreary debate about what sort of trial to give Bin Laden. And yet AA is so convinced that humiliation was the aim, and that the immediate goal therefore was capture, that anyone who says otherwise must be a liar. Did he feel humiliated himself by Saddam's end?

Fars News (Iran): "Former Pakistani Top Security Official Holds Deep Doubts about Bin Laden's Death"

Let the conspiracist spin begin:
Former Director of Pakistan's Military Intelligence Organization General Hamid Gol questioned the authenticity and reliability of the pictures showing the al-Qaeda Leader, Osama bin Laden, as dead, and said certain ambiguities have made him suspicious of the American account of bin Laden's death.

Speaking to FNA in Islamabad on Monday, General Gol said "the pictures of bin Laden's dead body and the dark relations between the American and Pakistani intelligence agencies" can made everyone suspicious of the US report on the death of the al-Qaeda leader.

"The pictures of bin Laden's corpse show him agile and strong, while the al-Qaeda leader was sick and was receiving medical treatment for his illness. Hence, we cannot rest assured that bin Laden was killed during the last night operations," Gol said.

General Gol said killing bin Laden is not a great job as it was years ago, because bin Laden was a used card for the West's ominous goals in the Muslim countries and he was no more important in the campaign on terrorism, specially considering that the al-Qaeda is now stronger than the past and has even found strong footholds in Europe. [...}
Interesting last bit.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

SANA (Syria): "Interior Ministry calls upon citizens who were misled into participating in or committing unlawful acts to turn themselves in"

Let's make a deal--enemies of the revolution come on down!
The Ministry of Interior issued the following statement on Sunday evening:

In accordance to laws and in order to preserve lives and protect security, stability and national unity that the country's enemies are working to undermine by every means, the Ministry calls upon citizens who were misled into participating in or committing acts punishable by law including carrying weapons, disrupting security or issuing false statements to turn themselves in and hand over their weapons to the relevant authorities.

The statement also called for informing authorities about vandals and terrorists and the locations of weapons, and that those who turn themselves in will be exempted from punishment, legal repercussions and prosecutions from 1/5/2011 until 15/5/2011.
Our operators are standing by! Another SANA headline proclaims "Palestinian Reconciliation… Great Achievement Crowning Syria's and Arab Efforts":
Syria has always exerted great efforts at all levels to achieve the national Palestinian reconciliation out of its awareness of the danger of the continued Palestinian division on the Palestinian unity and on the Palestinian people's legitimate rights.

Syria was among the first to welcome the positive outcomes of the efforts which led to realizing the Palestinian reconciliation, as it considered the reconciliation agreement, due to be signed soon, as a great victory to the cause of the Palestinian people in their just struggle to liberate their occupied territories and restore their rights.

Despite the Israeli pressures exercised on some of the Palestinian leaderships under the American cover, the efforts succeeded in bringing together representatives of Hamas and Fatah in Cairo to sign in initials the minutes of understanding on the Palestinian reconciliation agreement last Wednesday.

The two sides will put their final signature on the reconciliation agreement next Wednesday and Thursday, opening the gate for an efficient political movement that is able to defend the Palestinian rights and confront the Israeli occupation. [...]
Tell them what they won, Don Pardo!

Bin Laden body decomposing, soul forced to listen to "Having my baby" by Paul Anka

It appears to be true. Obama made a speech about it and everything. Cue up "Having my baby" one more time!

Philip Weiss sentence of the day

Reporting on a debate between Peter Beinart and Yossi Klein Halevi sponsored by the American Jewish Committee:
The AJC must be thanked for pitting Zionists-- and Beinart must be congratulated for his bracing acknowledgments of Jewish political power and Jewish murderousness as reflected in the genocidal Purim story, which you will find near the end of the remarks I transcribe below.
Beinart is bad enough, but "Jewish murderousness" is pure Weiss, of course. The word "anti-Semitism" as a quick label to put on a person or utterance has a too much baggage and too little precision, perhaps, and "self-hatred" has drawbacks also--how do you describe an obvious Narcissist as "self-hating"?--but we need a term for this sort of thing.