Friday, April 29, 2005

NEO-NAZI to SPEAK to ISLAMIC GROUP in Florida

Come on down boys and girls and listen to our Neo-Nazi brother, William Baker, talk about Islam, America and the Jooos.... All in the name of peace.

Palm Beach Post reports (hat tip Robert Spencer)

Speech by ex-leader of neo-Nazi group at Islamic gala appears to be on, again

To the disappointment of Jewish leaders, a speech by the former chairman of a neo-Nazi group will go on as planned. A day after a lawyer representing an Islamic group said William Baker probably would not appear at a gala Saturday night, Mohammad Jawad Al-Qazwini said Wednesday he didn't plan to cancel Baker's speech.

"The decision made on our behalf to bring Mr. Baker was not against the Jewish community," said Al-Qazwini, the imam of the Boca Raton-based Assadiq Islamic Educational Foundation.

"He will be strictly speaking about the prophet Mohammed. He will be strictly speaking about the Islamic faith."

Al-Qazwini said he is continuing to investigate Baker's background and might decide to cancel the speech at the celebration of the birthday of Islamic prophet Mohammed at the event at the Boca Raton Marriott Hotel.

"It's still not certain if he's coming or not," he said. "We're still in the process of due diligence."

However, those familiar with Baker said they can't imagine why a background check would take so long.

"A two-minute Internet search would have revealed who they were dealing with," said Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Melrose Park, Pa.

"Mr. Baker has a long track record of extremism, anti-Semitism and associating with Holocaust deniers."

YEAH, I THINK THAT'S THE POINT. LOL... BUT REMEMBER THEY'RE A RELIGIOUS GROUP OF 'PEACE'.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

UN HUMAN JOKES COMMISSION

Laughing stock (hat tip Norman Geras)

If the UN Human Rights Commission was already a laughing stock, what do you do? You could, I suppose, give people yet further reason to laugh at it -

Zimbabwe, the human rights pariah accused of violence, intimidation and suppression of free speech against its people, has been re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Commission for a three-year term over the strong protests of Australia, the US and Canada.

There is an answer to these protests -

Zimbabwe's UN ambassador says no country has a perfect human rights record.

UPDATE:
After destroying the economy which included a large vibrant farming community by having his thugs murder, rape, steal and evict successful farmers from their land and "redistribute" it to his goons of preferrable skin color but no farming skills or inclination Mugabe has a solution.

Zimbabwe's conservation animals to be slaughtered. Animals are again victims of Mugabe's brutal rule -
  • President Robert Mugabe's regime has directed national parks officials to kill animals in state-owned conservation areas to feed hungry rural peasants - a move that could wipe out what remains of Zimbabwe's impalas, kudus, giraffes, elephants and other species.
  • The directive is a major blow to efforts by conservationists to try to rehabilitate the wildlife sector which was devastated after Mugabe ordered his supporters to invade and confiscate white-owned farms in 2000. The chaotic farm invasions saw party militants storming into conservation areas - both private and state-owned - to slaughter animals... [There had] been high hopes among conservationists that Zimbabwe's wildlife sector could be restored to its former glory.

INCITEMENT EXPOSED??

For a good laugh, take a look at this Saudi state sponsored Arab News article about how Israeli textbooks supposedly incite hatred and violence against Arabs. (hat tip Mideastfiles)

Since they couldn't find any of it in Israeli textbooks (just like the British study which attempted to find incitement in both Palestinian and Israeli textbooks was cancelled after it found none on the Israeli side) - they provide this Orwellian title -

  1. "Israeli Textbooks Incite Anti-Arab Hatred, but So Very Subtly."

The article, about a new book that has revealed the depths of Israeli racism through studying Israeli textbooks, begins -

  1. "To say that the Israeli media incite hatred against Arabs is an understatement, especially as Israeli press rarely misses [sic] an opportunity to publish daily reports about the terror the country is subjected to by the Palestinians."

Now, imagine that--The Israeli press rarely misses an opportunity to publish reports about the Palestinian terrorism the country is subjected to? This coming from a country that sponsors Imams to say that you should kill the sons of monkey and pigs, the infidels and their corrupt Western culture? Its kind of ironic that the biggest purveyors and funders of hate, manipulation and lies would accuse anyone else of this?

AND JUST A TASTE FROM THE PA -

But it gets better...... according to the report -
  1. "The Israeli books include stories about the early settlers like 'Jerusalem for me and you', 'I'm the discoverer of Jerusalem', [and] 'Homeland'."

'Jersualem for me and you'? now there's a title that clearly inspires hatred, eh?

IN THE MEANTIME -

Check out this amazing Israeli commercial -

  1. It's a visually powerful, moving commentary on the situation in the Middle East and on the potential for the Internet to bring people together.The slogan on the t-shirt, which rhymes in Hebrew, means "Combat is the best, brother," referring to Israeli army combat units (as opposed to other details in the army). Obviously, it's meant to be ironic here.The translation of the end is: "In life this is still impossible, but on the Internet connections like these are formed every day."

IRAQI WOMAN MP ASSASSINATED

Note, how Reuters combines the wanton terrorist murder of an elected member of Parliament, a woman no less, with the battle of the elected Parliament to form their first full cabinet and funtioning Iraqi government... a soft pedal (check that a blatant) attempt at implying causality. REUTERS -

Iraqi MP Killed; No Government Announced
Wed Apr 27, 2005
By Michael Georgy

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Gunmen assassinated an Iraqi woman member of parliament Wednesday in a fresh shock to politicians whose failure to form a government three months after elections has allowed violence to thrive unchecked.
Iraqi police said Lame'a Abed Khadawi, a member of caretaker Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's political party, was shot dead outside her house in eastern Baghdad. She is the first person in the 275-seat National Assembly to be killed.

Allawi himself survived a suicide car bomb attack on his convoy this month. Khadawi was one of around 90 women elected to the assembly on Jan. 30. By law, a third of the candidates on party lists had to be women.

Pressure has mounted on Iraq's politicians to end months of post-election bickering. America's top general urged them on Tuesday to form a new government quickly to combat an insurgency he said was as strong as it had been a year ago.
Prime minister-designate Ibrahim al-Jaafari told reporters he had sent his proposed cabinet list to the three-man presidential council for approval and said he expected it would go before the National Assembly for a vote Thursday.

"We can't talk about what names are on the list until it is formally approved by the parliament," Jaafari said, adding that said seven women would be included in what is expected to be a cabinet of 32 or 33 ministers.

Hopes of announcing a government have repeatedly been dashed during three months of squabbling over the distribution of ministries to rival sects. Politicians had hoped the election would lead Iraq to stability and economic recovery.

SIGNS OF IMPATIENCE

Air Force General Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said speeding up the political process would be the best way to weaken a relentless
insurgency.

"The political process must go forward," he told a Pentagon briefing. "We must have a cabinet appointed here very quickly. The ministries must continue to work. People must focus on two things: developing a constitution and developing their ministries into functioning ministries that continue to help."

Despite nearly 140,000 U.S. troops and a similar number of Iraqi forces, guerrillas have the same capability to attack as they did a year ago, staging 50 or 60 attacks a day, Myers said.

Myers and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld noted a recent rise in violence coinciding with the political impasse.

Iraq's al Qaeda wing said it had killed two Interior Ministry officials in an ambush on their car in west Baghdad on Wednesday, according to an Internet statement.

The group said it had killed Lieutenant Jihad La'eebee, his son, who was also an Interior Ministry official, and three bodyguards. The statement could not be immediately authenticated.

Iraq's newly powerful Shi'ites and Kurds have been promising to form a government that will also give Sunnis, who lost their grip on power with the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein, an important role in running the country. But Sunni leaders said on Tuesday they were unhappy with their allotment of ministries. (they didn't vote and while Saddam was in power they benefited from the oppression and outright murder of the Kurds and Shiites - this is a conciliatory gift to them!)

Iraqi officials fear insurgents have benefited from the wrangling over key ministries such as defense, interior and oil, each of which is coveted by Shi'ite, Kurdish and
Sunni leaders.

The delays in naming a cabinet have deepened frustrations among millions of Iraqis who braved suicide bombings to vote.

Rebel violence has surged in recent weeks. Two twin car bombings killed 22 people Sunday, and more than 300 Iraqi security personnel have died in the last six weeks.

ROMANIAN HOSTAGES

The captors of three Romanian journalists have threatened to kill them Wednesday unless Bucharest withdraws its troops.

Romania, a staunch U.S. ally, asked the kidnappers to extend the deadline, but did not say if it planned to pull out its 800 soldiers. The government has faced increasing pressure from the public and opposition parties as a result of the hostage crisis.

....Prima TV reporter Marie Jeanne Ion, 32, cameraman Sorin Miscoci, 30, and Romania Libera daily journalist Ovidiu Ohanesian, 37, were snatched in Baghdad on March 28.

In the latest Al Jazeera video tape aired Tuesday, they were shown handcuffed, sitting on the floor and guarded by armed masked men. They appeared haggard and distressed.

Al Jazeera said the journalists made a "final appeal" to Romanian President Traian Basescu, adding that the kidnappers had set 1400 GMT Wednesday as the deadline for killing them. The deadline passed with no fresh word on their
fate.

In a separate tape Al Jazeera showed their translator, Mohamad Munaf, who has U.S., Romanian and Iraqi citizenship, asking President Bush to help save his life.
(Additional reporting by Will Dunham at the Pentagon and Heba Kandil in Dubai)

JIHADISTS REVERED AT BROOKLYN SUPERMARKET

Firefighters stumbled onto photos of Ben Laden, Iraq beheadings in supermarket back room and material from which to make pipe bombs. Authorities however assure that this has nothing to do with terrorism. From the New York Post -

April 27, 2005 -- Firefighters found more than 200 vehicle airbags believed to be stolen in the back room of a Brooklyn supermarket, where newspaper clippings about Osama bin Laden and beheadings in Iraq covered the walls, authorities said.

The firefighters from Ladder Co. 123 conducting a routine inspection, discovered the air bags — which sell for about $750 to $1,000 each — at the Superior Food Market at 1503 St. John's Place in Crown Heights....

Authorities, however, did not believe they had stumbled onto a terrorist cell, even though the room contained some materials that could be used to fashion pipe bombs, sources said..... Audeh Hamdan of Brooklyn owns the three-story building, which has 11 outstanding code violations on file with the city, records show.

Hamdan, 53, of Brooklyn, served jail time in the late 1970s and early 1980s or arson, reckless endangerment, weapons possession and conspiracy, according to the records. He could not be reached for comment.

Hamdan's wife, Sonia, said her husband "has nothing to do with" the market, other than renting it out.

YAALON SAYS MILITANTS ARMING FOR WAR AFTER PULLOUT

Washington Times
Army says fighting likely after pullout
By Joshua Brilliant
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
Published April 28, 2005

TEL AVIV -- Top army officers warn that Palestinian militants are preparing to resume hostilities, possibly after Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank.

......The pullback from Gaza is expected to begin mid-August. The evacuation of Jewish settlers there will take three weeks to a month, after which the defense establishment will take a few weeks to remove infrastructure and the army's installations.

In an interview in Tel Aviv this week, a senior military source told United Press International that the militant Palestinian groups' leaders and operational commanders assume the calming-down period -- or tahadiyah in Arabic -- will not last long..... The source noted that in talks in Cairo, militants committed themselves to maintain quiet this year, but their plans say they must prepare for the day after.

Members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade "whose commitments are conditional" want to resume fighting, the source said. The groups are arming, recruiting, training and planning for the next round of fighting, the senior officer said.

Thousands of guns, including Kalashnikov assault rifles and handguns, are smuggled from Egypt into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Prices have dropped, indicating some of the demand has been met. Other weapons include rocket-propelled grenades, explosives, anti-tank rockets and probably Strella anti-aircraft missiles, the source said. Some go to the Gaza Strip and some are smuggled across Israel's Negev desert to the West Bank. They are sold to individual Palestinians or to groups that store them. Hamas has its own smuggling system, the officer said.

Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are making "a greater effort that in the past" to stop the traffic but are not doing all they can, he said.

They know who the smugglers are but instead of going after them, they try to seal the tunnels that pass under the narrow Israeli strip at the southern edge of Gaza.
In some instances, Israel provided the Palestinian Authority with the smugglers' names.

"They promised to take care of it, and I have not seen that done," the source said. Instead, Palestinian security officials warned smugglers that the Israelis were on their trail, he said. The Egyptians, too, "could do much more to stop the smuggling. They know the smugglers quite well," he added.

The second major Palestinian militant effort is directed at developing rockets that can hit the Israeli town of Ashkelon, north of the Gaza Strip. The town of 100,000 is near strategic sites such an electric power plant.

Palestinian rockets have a range of 5.6 miles, and because militants cannot fire from the Israeli-controlled boundary line, they are working to extend the rockets' range and conduct "very many" test firings into the sea, the source said.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

HASEDIC REGGAE STAR IS THE REAL DEAL!!

He made his television debut recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

  1. Matisyahu's national television debut

Afterwards he braves the snarky tauntings of has been Scott Baio.
He was also apparently on the
Steve Harvey which was his best performance but the video for that I can not find?

THIS IS MY FAVORITE VIDEO. The guy is awesome!
From his website Matisyahu: The Hasidic Reggae Superstar - News
VIDEO/AUDIO -

  1. T3 (Windows Media)
    www.redmusic.com/video/Matisyahu/KingWithoutCrown.asx
    T1/DSL (Real)
    www.redmusic.com/video/Matisyahu/KingWithoutCrown_high.ram
    56K (Real)
    www.redmusic.com/video/Matisyahu/KingWithoutCrown_low.ram

Concert in Paris he jams with Estelle Goldfarb on the violin, who is AWESOME as well!

  1. http://www.jumu.fr/matisyahuconcertbis.html about life in Russia he explains
  2. http://www.jumu.fr/matisyahuconcertbislogo.html another video in Paris jam session in middle is very good.

Estelle Goldfarb at another concert. A song 1492 about Spanish Jews and the Inquisition -

  1. http://www.jumu.fr/hoodiosweb1.html

UPDATE - This review of Matisyahu's sold out Irving Plaza show at the popular indie music blog, Brooklyn Vegan.

  1. So I went to the sold out show at Irving Plaza (capacity 1000?) Sunday night (April 17, 2005), and I realized that he was more than really good. If I do a 'top ten shows of the year,' this one has a serious shot at making the list. And where have I been? There were more people looking for extra tickets than outside The Arcade Fire. There were more people dancing than Bloc Party. There were more people crowd surfing than at Mudvayne.Matisiyahu raps better than M.I.A., sings better than Annie, and is even more inspirational than Kimya Dawson. And as far as reggae goes, he hangs with the best of them. If you don't believe me, look at the flyer for Carifest happening at Randall's Island in NYC on July 10th. (he beatboxes too)

The Associated Press and Rolling Stone (hat tip jewschool)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Orthodox 'Lunatic' Blogger

After reading about this new Orthodox Anarchist blogger on other blogs I decide to check him out. He is suppposedly young, 'hip and irreverant' and despite being Orthodox lets 'loose' if you will. Even if he is a very left wing guy, an anarchist and all, he is the new 'latest rage' worthy of checking out in the blogsphere?

Well it does turn out that he is 'ultra-hip' of course - after all he curses a lot, links to pics of naked woman, berates the Israelis frequently and is against the 'right wing' press and corporate world - how much "hipper can you get"? Well, he approvingly links to the E-Intifadah website, defends the ISM and even ISM lawsuits that are frivolous attempts to intimidate, silence and bankrupt reputable Israeli journalists.... aka CAIR tactics... He summarizes this sooo "even handedly" though here -
  • I think it's a little ridiculous though that this activist would seek justice for herself in an Israeli court. She's positioned herself as an opponent of Israel and an outspoken critic of the injustice perpetuated by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people. Did she really think this same government would find in her favor? Frankly, she's lucky she didn't end up like Brian Avery. Not that she should of, of course. But in a place where such things can transpire and be swept under the rug, she should be thankful that the worst scar she was left with was on her reputation in the radical right-wing press.Who gives a fuck what they think anyway?

Oh, contrare. For a country constantly attacked and besieged from all sides by a war and enemies that have no regard for any rules of humanity, it's incredible how fair and level headed the Israeli courts have been, not to mention how often they rule against or modify government and/or IDF actions. But that's besides the point... every Arab in the Mid East knows very well they'd rather be in Israel or Israeli court than any Arab one. This is evidenced by the East Jerusalem and Uh Fahm Arabs demanding not to become part of any PLO Arab state.

However, this NEXT POST by the 'ORTHODOX ANARCHIST' sums him up better than anything else -

****************************************
Hello, My Name Is Andrew Mickel, And I'm A Shithead
יום חמישי, אפריל 07, 2005
link

WaPo reports,
At 1:27 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2002, Officer David Mobilio of the Red Bluff Police Department was working the graveyard shift when he pulled his cruiser into a gas station in his quiet little farm town. As he stood beside the car, the 31-year-old husband and father of a toddler was shot three times, twice in the back and once in the head, at very close range.

It was a killing that might have never been solved.That is, until a confession appeared on the Internet. Six days after the shooting, a manifesto appeared on more than a dozen Web sites operated by the left-leaning Independent Media Center.

It began: "Hello Everyone, my name's Andy. I killed a Police Officer in Red Bluff, California in a motion to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country. Now I'm coming forward, to explain that this killing was also an action against corporate irresponsibility."

Welp, now we know why flag.blackened.net got subpeonaed. (While he won't tell me what it was in relation to, due to being under gag order, Chuck0 tells me blackened's troubles have naught to do with the Mickel case. Ie., my natural assumption was naturally wrong. Sorry.)

This isn't going to be good for anyone or anything. Not for anarchists, not for freedom of speech, not for anti-capitalist and anti-fascist movements. Oh no. This lone nutbag will be used as the grand excuse to start investigating and prosecuting everyone with a legitimate gripe against the corporate state and a penchant for direct action.

Yay, fucking fun. Considering the backlash this is going to bring, I'd still be unsurprised if he turned out to be an agent provocateur. It fits right in with the agenda.

COMMENTS

  • I don't think he's a shithead...I think he's just sick to fucking death of this prison planet hell hole we're living in. He's already in prison, we all are, and there are few outs, death being one of them. I look in his eyes, and I see a deep, compassionate old and kindred soul and I feel bad that our society is so fucked up that people of genius, arts and genuine are thrown into the gutter or forced into Stepfordism. He fucked up...but, maybe in fucking up what he was doing is giving up. Oh, and speaking of the police state, have you seen this? www.dissidents.us/Video-Alex Jones-Martial_Law.htm Spread far and wide... Gretchen Ross • 04/08/05 04:39pm

    Monday, April 25, 2005

    POPE 'CONVERTED TO ISLAM' BEFORE PASSING!!

    Egyptian rumor: John Paul II converted to Islam
    Sandmonkey blog reports from Egypt. "Do Muslims have self-esteem Issues?"
    • Did you hear that the Pope converted to Islam before he died?
      No, you didn’t? But that’s all over Egypt. It’s the latest rumor of the week. People who support it point to the fact that the Pope had dirt put on his corps ( an Islamic burial tradition) and that he wanted his memoirs burned to hide his secret conversion of course ( why else would he have them burned they would argue), which he showed in his establishing of good relations with the Muslim community and opposition to the Iraq war.

    • The Pope, they would say without a shred of doubt in their voice, died a muslim. And some people actually believed that! Ain't that some shit?

    "HONOR" KILLING IN JORDAN

    Jordanian kills sister over mobile phone photo
    Keep in mind a few things -

    1. Jordan is supposedly a 'moderate' Arab state
    2. The King has tried to implement a law several times 'between Parliament sessions' making very stiff penalties for 'honor killings'. Each time the elected Parliament of Jordan has struck down the law.
    3. The last time a law mandating stiffer penalties for honor killing was rejected on Islamic grounds
    4. The penalty to the brother, husband or father is often a few months in jail if that.

    From AFP -

    • AMMAN - A Jordanian man shot dead his divorced sister after seeing her photo on his friend's camera-equipped mobile phone in the latest "honour" killing in the kingdom, hospital officials said on Monday.
    • The unidentified man shot the 31-year-old mother twice in the head Sunday night and then turned himself in to police saying he committed the murder to "cleanse his family's honour."
    • The incident is the 5th example of a so-called honour killing in Jordan this year. Those found guilty usually face sentences of a maximum of one year in jail under Jordanian law.
    • Last month, a man stabbed his sister to death after finding out she had agreed an unofficial marriage with a man who subsequently disappeared...

    UPDATE AFGHANISTAN -

    Afghan woman killed by father for 'adultery' AP -

    • An Afghan man killed his daughter for allegedly committing adultery, officials said on Sunday, but denied reports that she was stoned to death. Two officials said Mohammed Aslam killed his daughter Amina on Thursday in a remote village of Badakhshan province called Gazan, about 310 kilometres north-west of Kabul.
    • Media reports said the woman was stoned by villagers who caught her in the home of a man other than her husband - a punishment allowed under Islamic law and more commonly reported under the former Taliban government.
    • But police said the reports were mistaken and that Aslam carried out the killing alone.
      "With the fundamentalists and the hardline mullahs who are in that area, these things are not impossible," said Shah Jahan Noori, the provincial police chief, told The Associated Press. "But I know that in this case she was not stoned."

    UN HUMAN "RIGHTS" COMMISSION ON SUDAN GENOCIDE

    UN KEEPS THEIR EYES ON SUDAN -

    The United Nations Human "Rights" Commission has approved by consensus a resolution 'condemning' human rights violations in Sudan. The resolution, which was agreed after long negotiation, does not condemn the Sudanese government by name for atrocities committed in Darfur...... They're just mysteriously occuring out of thin air? Maybe all the hacked bodies are from the 'boogey men', or 'Cropsy'?

    • A vote on human rights in Sudan was originally scheduled for last week, but it was postponed and postponed again while intense negotiations took place between European and African members of the commission......
    • Our correspondent says [the resolution] is a compromise that prevented a messy row, something all sides wanted to avoid at a time when many say the commission lacks credibility.

    Well, just so long as there isn't a messy row.

    VICTIMS OF JIHAD SPEAK

    Deng a former Sudanese Slave
    Apostates and women were the subject of the second part of a side event on Victims of Jihad. Overwhelmed with emotion when evoking past sufferings, Mr. Simon Deng, former Sudanese slave, was not able to finish his statement. However, all the panelists strongly condemned massacres taking place in Sudan. Mr. David G. Littman, historian and writer on human rights, even said that if the Commission did not pass a resolution on Sudan, this would justify it's demise.

    "Jihad is the worst evil facing the world and the people of Sudan have experienced its cruelty more than any other group on earth", began Mr. Simon Deng, former Sudanese slave. He continued by denouncing the Islamization, Arabization and enslavement that Southern Sudanese are currently victims of. These are accompanied by atrocities such as mass murders, slavery, systematic rape, religious persecution, enforced starvation and exile. Perpetrators of these crimes are "the radical jihadist regime in Khartoum". According to Mr. Deng, the only reason for these attacks is the faithfulness to their religion and African culture of the Southern Sudanese.

    "I was a slave. I am not ashamed to say it", Mr. Deng continued. When he was nine years old, his village was raided, children shot dead, disabled or burned in their huts. He was abducted and given to an Arab family as a gift, but "when you look at me, do you see a gift? Do I look like an object?" He was forced to sleep next to the animals and eat his "masters" leftovers. However, "there is no shame in being a slave. It is not a choice. There is only shame in being a master", he stated.

    The former slave also stressed that this genocidal war conducted against Southern Sudanese was conducted in the name of Jihad. He noted that friends in the Arab world, especially Libya, have armed the jihadists.

    Mr. Deng strongly criticized the international community and especially the UN, for being indifferent when "millions of African blacks were being slaughtered". After the Holocaust, after Pol Pot's massacre in Cambodia and even after Rwanda, despite its inaction, the international community said "never again". In the case of Sudan, Mr. Deng argued, "nobody said anything at all. Our fate seems largely invisible to the world".

    He saw two reasons for this silence.
    1. First, because the victims are black, the Southern Sudanese are victims of a global racism;
    2. Second, they are victims of Arabs. Indeed, "when it comes to the ideology of Jihad, the Commission on Human Rights is muted, no one wishes to be seen as anti-Islamic," he explained.

    Finally Mr. Deng called on all Muslims to speak up in order to condemn these crimes. Otherwise it would be assumed that the religion in the name of which they are committed condones them. Since "to be silent is to condone, the international community must accept responsibility for every evil that it could end, yet chooses not to", he concluded.

    Friday, April 22, 2005

    "HELL" of ISRAEL BETTER THAN "PARADISE" of ARAB RULE

    "The Hell of Israel Is Better than the Paradise of Arab Rule"
    In the Palestinian Authority's (PA) elections that took place in January 2005, a significant percentage of Arab Jerusalemites stayed away from the polls out of concern that voting in them might jeopardize their status as residents of Israel.

    "I can't vote. I'm afraid I'll get into trouble. I don't want to take any chances." Asked if he would vote, a taxi driver responded with indignation, "Are you kidding? To bring a corrupt [Palestinian] Authority here. This is just what we are missing."

    "at several balloting locations in the city [of Jerusalem], there were more foreign election observers, journalists, and police forces out than voters." It also explains why, in the previous PA election in 1996, a mere 10 percent of Jerusalem's eligible population voted, far lower than the proportions elsewhere.

    At first blush surprising, the worry about jeopardizing Israeli residency turns out to be widespread among the Palestinians in Israel. No opinion surveys cover this delicate subject, but a substantial record of statements and actions suggest that, despite their anti-Zionist swagger, Israel's most fervid enemies do perceive its political virtues. Even Palestinian leaders, between their fulminations, sometimes let down their guard and acknowledge Israel's virtues.


    This undercurrent of Palestinian love of Zion has hopeful and potentially significant implications. Pro-Israel expressions fall into two main categories:
    1. preferring to remain under Israel rule
    2. praising Israel as better than Arab regimes

    No Thank You, Palestinian Authority
    Palestinians already living in Israel, especially in Jerusalem and the "Galilee Triangle" area, tell, sometimes volubly, how they prefer to remain in Israel.

    Jerusalem. In mid-2000, when it appeared that some Arab-majority parts of Jerusalem would be transferred to Palestinian Authority control, Muslim Jerusalemites expressed less than delight at the prospect. Peering over at Arafat's PA, they saw power monopolized by domineering and corrupt autocrats, a thug-like police force, and a stagnant economy. Arafat's bloated, nonsensical claims ("We are the one true democratic oasis in the Arab region") only exacerbated their apprehensions.

    ‘Abd ar-Razzaq ‘Abid of Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood pointed dubiously to "what's happening in Ramallah, Hebron, and the Gaza Strip" and asked if the residents there were well off. A doctor applying for Israeli papers explained -

    1. The whole world seems to be talking about the future of the Arabs of Jerusalem, but no one has bothered asking us. The international community and the Israeli Left seem to take it for granted that we want to live under Mr. Arafat's control. We don't. Most of us despise Mr. Arafat and the cronies around him, and we want to stay in Israel. At least here I can speak my mind freely without being dumped in prison, as well as having a chance to earn an honest day's wage.
    2. In the colorful words of one Jerusalem resident, "The hell of Israel is better than the paradise of Arafat. We know Israeli rule stinks, but sometimes we feel like Palestinian rule would be worse."

    MAJORITY OF EAST JERUSALEM ARABS PREFER STAY UNDER ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY -

    The director of the Bayt Hanina community council in northern Jerusalem, Husam Watad, found that the prospect of finding themselves living under Arafat's control had people "in a panic. More than 50 percent of east Jerusalem residents live below the poverty line, and you can imagine how the situation would look if residents did not receive [Israeli] National Insurance Institute payments." In the view of Fadal Tahabub, a member of the Palestinian National Council, an estimated 70 percent of the 200,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem preferred to remain under Israeli sovereignty.

    A social worker living in Ras al-‘Amud, one of the areas possibly falling under PA control, said -

    1. "If a secret poll was conducted, I am sure an overwhelming majority of Jerusalem Arabs would say they would prefer to stay in Israel."
    2. "They tell me—we are not like Gaza or the West Bank. We hold Israeli IDs. We are used to a higher standard of living. Even if Israeli rule is not so good, it is still better than that of the PA."
    3. "People look at what is happening inside the Palestinian-controlled areas today and say to themselves, ‘Thank God we have Israeli ID cards.' In fact, most of the Arabs in the city prefer to live under Israeli rule than under a corrupt and tyrannical regime like Yasser Arafat's"

    Hisham Gol of the Mount of Olives community council put it simply -

    1. "I prefer Israeli control."

    An affluent West Bank woman called a friend in Gaza to ask about life under the PA. She heard an ear-full -

    1. "I can only tell you to pray that the Israelis don't leave your town," because "the Jews are more human" than Palestinians.

    Zohair Hamdan of Sur Bahir, a village in the south of metropolitan Jerusalem; he organized a petition of Jerusalem Arabs demanding that a referendum be held before Israel lets the Palestinian Authority take power in Jerusalem.

    1. "For 33 years, we have been part of the State of Israel. But now our rights have been forgotten." Over a year and a half, he collected more than 12,000 signatures (out of an estimated Jerusalem Arab population of 200,000). "We won't accept a situation where we are led like sheep to the slaughterhouse." Hamdan also expressed a personal preference that Sur Bahir remain part of Israel and estimated that the majority of Palestinians reject "Arafat's corrupt and tyrannical rule. Look what he's done in Lebanon, Jordan, and now in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He has brought one disaster after another on his people."

    As Mahmoud Mahajnah, 25, (of the Galilee Triangle) told Agence France-Presse

    1. "Yasir Arafat runs a dictatorship, not a democracy. No one here would accept to live under that regime. I've done my [Israeli] national service; I am a student here and a member of the Israeli Football Association. Why would they transfer me? Is that logical or legitimate?"
    2. one resident was quoted - "the ‘evil' of Israel is better than the ‘heaven' of the West Bank."

    Shu‘a Sa‘d, 22, explained why -

    1. "Here you can say whatever you like and do whatever you want—so long as you don't touch the security of Israel. Over there, if you talk about Arafat, they can arrest you and beat you up."

    Another young man, ‘Isam Abu ‘Alu, 29, put it differently -

    1. "Mr. Sharon seems to want us to join an unknown state that doesn't have a parliament, or a democracy, or even decent universities. We have close family ties in the West Bank, but we prefer to demand our full rights inside Israel."

    The entrance to Umm al-Fahm, the largest Muslim town in Israel, sports the green flags of the Islamic Movement Party that rules the town, along with a billboard denouncing Israel's rule over Jerusalem. That said, Hashim ‘Abd ar-Rahman, mayor and local leader of the Islamic Movement, has no time for Sharon's suggestion (of Umm al-Fahm being ceded to a nascent PLO State)

    1. "Despite the discrimination and injustice faced by Arab citizens, the democracy and justice in Israel is better than the democracy and justice in Arab and Islamic countries." Nor does Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli Arab member of parliament and advisor to Arafat, care for the idea of PA control, which he calls "a dangerous, antidemocratic suggestion."
    • 30 percent of Israel's Arab population, a May 2001 survey found, agree to the Galilee Triangle being annexed to a future Palestinian state
    • February 2004 Haifa-based Arab Center for Applied Social Research said 90 percent then preferred to remain in Israel.
    • 73 percent of Triangle Arabs said they would resort to violence to prevent changes in the border.
    • So intense was the Arab opposition to ceding the Galilee Triangle to the Palestinian Authority that Sharon quickly gave the idea up.

    2004 as Israel built its security fence some Palestinians, like Umm al-Fahm's Ahmed Jabrin, 67, faced a choice on which side of the fence to live. He had no doubts.

    1. "We fought [the Israeli authorities so as] to be inside of the fence, and they moved it so we are still in Israel. We have many links to Israel. What have we to do with the Palestinian Authority?"
    2. His relative, Hisham Jabrin, 31, added: "We are an integral part of Israel and will never be part of a Palestinian state. We have always lived in Israel and there is absolutely no chance that that will change."

    PREFERRING ISRAEL TO ARAB 'REGIMES'

    "We no longer fear the Israelis or the Americans, regardless of their hostility, but we now fear our Arab ‘brothers.'" Or, in the general observation of a Gazan, "The Arabs say they're our friends, and treat us worse than the Israelis do." Here are examples of attitudes toward three states -

    • Syria - Salah Khalaf (a.k.a. Abu Iyad), one of the PLO's top figures, declared in 1983 that crimes committed by the Hafiz al-Assad regime against the Palestinian people "surpassed those of the Israeli enemy." In like spirit, Yasir Arafat addressed a PLO figure murdered at Syrian instigation at his funeral: "The Zionists in the occupied territories tried to kill you, and when they failed, they deported you. However, the Arab Zionists represented by the rulers of Damascus thought this was insufficient, so you fell as a martyr."
    • Jordan - Victor, a Jordanian who once worked as advance man for a senior Saudi government minister, observed in 1994 that Israel was the only Middle Eastern country he admires. "I wish Israel would just take over Jordan," (his brother nodding in vigorous agreement) "The Israelis are the only people around here who are organized, who know how to get things done. And they're not bad people. They're straight. They keep their word. The Arabs can't do anything right. Look at this so-called democracy in Jordan. It's a complete joke."
    • Kuwait - Palestinians collaborated with Iraqi forces occupying Kuwait in 1990, so when the country was liberated, they came in for some rough treatment. One Palestinian newspaper found that in Kuwait, "Palestinians are receiving treatment even worse than they have had at the hands of their enemies, the Israelis." After surviving the Kuwaiti experience, another Palestinian minced no words: "Now I feel Israel is paradise. I love the Israelis now. I know they treat us like humans. The West Bank [still then under Israeli control] is better [than Kuwait]. At least before the Israelis arrest you, they bring you a paper." With less exuberance, Arafat himself concurred - "What Kuwait did to the Palestinian people is worse than what has been done by Israel to Palestinians in the occupied territories."

    Protection of minorities

    Christians and secular Muslims particularly appreciate Israel's protection at a time when Palestinian politics has taken an increasingly Islamist cast. The French weekly L'Express quotes a Christian Palestinian to the effect that when the Palestinian state comes into existence -

    1. "the sacred union against the Zionist enemy will die. It will be time to settle accounts. We will undergo the same as our Lebanese brothers or the Copts in Egypt. It saddens me to say so, but Israeli laws protect us." His fear is in many ways too late, as the Palestinian Christian population has precipitously declined in recent decades, to the point that one analyst asks if Christian life is "to be reduced to empty church buildings and a congregation-less hierarchy with no flock in the birthplace of Christianity?"

    Economic benefits

    Palestinians who live in Israel (including Jerusalem) appreciate Israel's economic success, social services, and many benefits. Salaries in Israel are about five times higher than in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Israel's social security system has no parallel on the Palestinian side. Palestinians living outside of Israel want economically in; when the Israeli government announced the completion of an 85-mile-long section of a security fence to protect the country from Palestinian terrorists, one resident of Qalqiliya, a West Bank border town, reacted with a revealing outrage: "We are living in a big prison."

    Tolerance of homosexuals

    In the West Bank and Gaza, conviction for sodomy brings a three- to ten-year jail term, and gay men tell of being tortured by the PA police. Some of them head for Israel where one estimate finds 300 mostly male gay Palestinians living. Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International comments, "Going to Israel is a one-way ticket, and once there their biggest problem is possibly being sent back."

    Daoud Abu Naim, a medical researcher in Philadelphia, while visiting family in Shuafat -

    1. "There is a difference between the Israeli and the PA occupation...... The Israelis whom I met with over the years have been diverse. Some have been insensitive to our needs, and some have not been. On the other hand, the Arafat/Rajoub regime is more than simply "corrupt." It is exclusively interested in setting up a dictatorship in which Palestinian citizens will have no civil liberties whatsoever."

    Conclusion

    Several themes emerge from this history. First, for all the overheated rhetoric about Israel's "vicious" and "brutal" occupation,

    1. Palestinians are alive to the benefits of its liberal democracy. They appreciate the elections, rule of law, freedom of speech and religion, minority rights, orderly political structures, and the other benefits of a decent polity. There is, in short, a constituency for normality among the Palestinians, difficult as that may be to perceive in the hate-filled crowds that so dominate news coverage.
    2. Second, many of those who have tasted Israel's economic benefits are loathe to forego them; however impervious Palestinians may seem to economics, they know a good deal when they have one.
    3. Third, the percentage of Palestinians who would prefer to live under Israeli control cited in the estimates noted above—an overwhelming majority of 70 to 90 percent—point to this being more than a rarity among Palestinians. This has obvious implications for Israeli concessions on the "right to return," suggesting that Palestinians will move to Israel in large numbers.
    4. Fourth, it implies that some of the more imaginative final status solutions that involve the redrawing of borders will be hard to implement; Palestinians appear no more eager to live under Palestinian Authority rule than are Israelis.

    In word and deed, then, even Palestinians acknowledge Israel as the most civilized state in the Middle East. Amid the gloom of today's political extremism and terrorism, this fact offers wisps of hope.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    GALLOWAY -MEETS- SALAM PAX AND RUNS

    THE PLAYERS

    Galloway - (Baathist Galloway) A former British MP who supposedly took regular $$$$ (bribes) from Saddam to shill for his interests and strongly against the Iraqi War. Lost his seat and got off with a slap on the wrist. Is now running again in a different district (only in Britain) against current MP Ooona King, a black/jewish woman, who is also the daughter of an American Civil Rights leader. Prior Scorecard post details an exchange between the two which provides an example of the warped/moonbat/PC Idotarian thinking of Galloway. (got that?)

    Salam Pax - Iraqi blogger who was one of few native voices available for the outside world during the Iraqi Invasion. (there are now plenty of Iraqi blog voices available) At times became very critical of the Coalition Forces. Later took a reporting job offered to him by the far left - British Guardian.

    BBC story reports Salam crashed a 'platform launch' for George Galloway's RESPECT Party in London. The "Baghdad blogger" was at the event to make a film for Newsnight, and managed to snatch a brief interview with Galloway before the 'Respect' candidate dashed off to his meeting with the lawyers.

    "I know who you are," said Mr Galloway, warily eyeing Mr Pax, whose weblog gave the world an insight into the lives of ordinary Iraqis in the run-up to the US-led invasion.

    Mr Pax wanted to know why Mr Galloway wanted the immediate withdrawal of occupying troops from Iraq.

    Galloway - "I really don't think we are going to agree on this. You supported the war and I opposed it....... You (Salam) welcomed the invasion of foreign armies into your country. I opposed it. So we are not going to agree on this, which is why I didn't think it would be productive to have a discussion with you and I do have to go now."

    But Mr Pax - whose real name has never been revealed - pressed the point.

    Galloway: "I just want to be honest with you. You can not demand that our armed forces occupy your country - that's a matter for us..... It's not a matter for you - it's a matter for us. Now I think there are millions of people in this country who think the war was illegal, was wrong shouldn't have happened and should be immediately withdrawn from. We are entitled to that point of view and we are." Mr Pax "shouldn't have supported" the war in the first place, added Mr Galloway.

    But Mr Pax countered that would be tantamount to supporting the continuation of a regime like Saddam's.

    Galloway: "We are not going to agree on this. You are a supporter of the war. You are a supporter of the occupation and I am an opponent. Your family joined the puppet government."

    Pax: "We are helping to build the new Iraq."

    Galloway: "That's your point of view, it's not our point of view and you are entitled to your opinion, and I welcome you to London, and I am entitled to mine - and let's see what the British people think."

    And with that, Mr Galloway really was gone.

    UPDATE: George Galloway [perhaps realizing a 'Free Saddam' campaign wouldn't go over very well] has instead launched a petition to free Tariq Aziz (Saddam's number #2 man) from American custody. I KID YOU NOT! (hat tip damian penny)

    Signatories so far include -

    Meanwhile, an Arab League Ambassador addressed a group of British Conservative MPs. You know where this went? (I'm sure that you do)

    • "But Washington entered actively into the fray after the terrorist events perpetrated on its own soil in 9/11/01. This was not a good justification for its enmity towards Arabs and Muslims. Israel's hand in the matter is clear."

    Harry's Place and Robert Spencer wonder whether any of the Tories in the audience dared to challenge their guest. In the land of the Michael Moore Conservative I wouldn't count on it.

    • Spencer - "Read it all, if you have the stomach. Amazing that British MPs could have sat through this load of hogwash -- like good dhimmis, I suppose."

    Psssssst - Its only the Joooos mate, don't get all in a 'tiff' bout it.

    OKLAHOMA CITY REVISITED

    A few years ago I read intently about the Oklahoma City bombing and the apparent FBI cover-up of Middle Eastern 'connections' of McVeigh and Nichols. Post 9/11, it's not surprising to learn the FBI was covering up MEast connections for political/bureaucratic reasons.

    John Loftus, (who represents ex FBI-CIA and MI6 Intel agents) has written in depth how the FBI bureaucracy squashed field agents' investigations of Sami Al-Arian - considered one of the top mainland terrorist connections. He was fundraising and coordinating right out of his Florida Atlantic University Office.

    BACK TO Oklahoma City -

    Jayna Davis, a local Oklahoma reporter, was one of the first on the scene in 1995 and later became very disturbed that all leads of a 3rd John Dough were being squashed. Instead a 'tidy' report of 2 American men working alone was put forth. She stayed on the case, gathered substantial evidence and was later subpoened by the FBI. They later told her (unofficially) to take back all her docmented evidence so the Nichols team could not use it as a defense ploy.

    She has been written about in major publications, (Wall Street Journal - Fox News - Washington Times - London Standard - LA Weekly - Indianapolis Star - CNN - Phila Daily News - WorldNetDaily - NewsMax), testified on Capitol Hill and been praised by Senate Investigations, as well as James Woolsey - former head of the CIA.

    Her work was finally compiled in a book last year The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing. It surpassed Clinton's in sales. Amazon review -
    • Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were not the lone conspirators in the Oklahoma City bombing-the attack that killed nearly 170 people in a few short seconds. They were part of a greater scheme, one which involved Islamic terrorists and at least one provable link to Iraq. This book, written by the relentless reporter who first broke the story of the Mideast connection, is filled with new revelations about the case and explains in full detail the complete, and so far untold, story behind the failed investigation-why the FBI closed the door, what further evidence exists to prove the Iraqi connection, why it has been ignored, and what makes it more relevant now than ever. Told with a gripping narrative style and rock-solid investigative journalism and vetted by men such as former CIA director James Woolsey, Davis's piercing account is the first book to set the record straight about what really happened April 19, 1995.

    Bizblogger has lots more

    • During the 9/11 congressional hearings a year ago, there was a common question that the commissioners seemed to enjoy asking: Why was the U.S. not on “war footing” when the 9/11 attack occurred? If the government truly wanted to seek all information regarding intelligence failures leading up to 9/11, the Commission should have asked one of its own members about the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 171 lives (168 plus 3 unborn) a decade ago on April 19, 1995. In one of the biggest cover-ups in the history of the U.S., the federal government purposely avoided investigating incriminating evidence of a plot that pointed directly to Middle East terrorism. The evidence is so extensive and so captivating that I can only hope and suggest that you will read the whole story for yourself.

    Radio Interviews of Ms Davis 2004
    Transcript of another interview

    UPDATE: 20 April-2005

    • Congressman sees Mideast tie to bombing - April 20, 2005
      On the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, a Republican congressman planned to ask in a House floor presentation last night why the FBI ignored strong evidence of a Middle East connection to the attack that killed 171 Americans.

    • Does Nichols' house hold key to OKC secrets? April 19, 2005
      On April 14, in an article headlined "FBI Waited to Check Out Tip on Nichols," the Associated Press finally confirmed a story that we released at WND two weeks earlier. Gregory Scarpa Jr. did give the critical tip that led the FBI to a ...

    • Osama-Saddam links 9-11 Commission missed June 18, 2004

      Overwhelming evidence of connection between al-Qaida, Iraq before attack

    "Mainstream" MEDIA LIES ON LEBANON

    (Hat TipCallimachus)
    Freedom Vanishes

    Pulse of Freedom is a new blog put out by pro-democracy protesters camped out in Beirut. Michael J. Totten at Spirit of America/Democracy in Lebanon blog has the story behind this effort. A few days ago, the Totten noted that the Lebanon drive for freedom seemed to have fallen off the news cycle.

    The Cedar Revolutionaries briefly lost their focus after the million-person demonstration in Martyr's Square. They weren't sure what to do next, exactly, aside from setting up a tent-city next to Rafik Hariri's grave site. Some dissidents felt like they had already won - when they clearly had not. Others were worried they would never be able to bring yet another million people down to the square for demonstrations.
    This is half the story the other half is how quickly the media channels here eagerly dumped the story of a will to democracy in an Arab country, perhaps because it validates modern neo-con beliefs which are an anathema to prevailing editorial opinions.

    How bad is it? I did a search of the Associated Press photo wire tonight for "Lebanon." Got 184 hits, going back to March 30.

    Here's how they broke down -


    • Syrian soldiers: 53 pictures, by far the largest single group of pictures. They all show the Syrians pulling back. In some cases, they wave to Lebanese civilians (not shown), or smile and flash the "V" sign. The impression is of the Syrians all cheerfully obeying U.N. resolution 1559 and going home, waved off by a loving Lebanese populace.

    A typical caption from this group -

    A girl sits in front of the mural featuring Lebanese and
    Syrian flags, reading 'Bashar al-Assad, with you forever' near Anjar, eastern
    Lebanon, Wednesday, April 6, 2005.

    • Politicians: 26 pictures, including three of former Prime Minister-designate Karami (pro-Syrian), 10 of current PM-designate Mikati, and 12 of U.N. special representative Roed-Larsen. Only two pictures show "opposition legislators."
    • Observances of the 30th anniversary of the start of the Lebanese civil war: 22 pictures. This was on April 13. Crowd shots, some speeches and events. Mostly politically neutral.
    • Scenes of the bomb explosion at Broummana shopping center: 19 pictures, mostly straight-up news photos of destruction and aid to the injured.
    • Lebanese mourn the death of Pope John Paul II: 5 pictures.
    • Various anti-Israeli or pro-Palestinian protests: 5 pictures.
    • Miscellaneous: 15 pictures. Artsy shots of architecture or domestic scenes, without political content, for those editors who want to go with the more featury look.
    • Anti-U.S. protests: 37 pictures. The events are dated March 30, April 1 and April 5. Most seem to have been photographed right outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut. Some mention Hizbullah as the organizer, many do not.

    This caption, for instance:

    • Anti-U.S. Lebanese protestors set fire to a U.S. flag during a demonstration near the U.S. Embassy in Aukar northeast of Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday, April 1, 2005. About 2,000 students marched on the U.S. Embassy attacking American interference in Lebanon Friday, chanting "Death to America" and calling on Washington to stay out of Lebanese affairs.

    • Or this one:

    • A Lebanese anti-U.S. protester beats with his shoe a cartoon image of U.S President George W. Bush during a demonstration near the U.S. Embassy in Aukar northeast of Beirut, Lebanon, Friday April 1, 2005. About 2,000 students marched on the U.S. Embassy attacking American interference in Lebanon Friday, chanting "Death to America" and calling on Washington to stay out of Lebanese affairs.

    Or this one:

    Lebanese anti-U.S. protesters carry a mock coffin covered by an American flag with an arabic word writtin on it reading "The Democracy" during a demonstration near the U.S. Embassy in Aukar northeast of Beirut, Lebanon, Friday April 1, 2005. About 2,000 students marched on the U.S. Embassy attacking what they called American interference in Lebanon, chanting "Death to America" and calling on Washington to stay out of Lebanese affairs.

    Now, what about the pro-democracy, pro-free-election voices among the Lebanese people? How many photos did AP devote to them, to balance the 37 pictures of pro-Syrian, anti-American demonstrators?

    One. One picture?

    It was an odd shot of a boy with a scared look on his face, in front of a mock ballot box that some protesters somewhere were using to demonstrate their passion for free and fair elections - online here.

    .... Based on the AP's coverage, I would have no idea there were any pro-democracy events going on anywhere in Lebanon today.

    There are more pictures on the AP news wire of Cookie Monster (three) than of pro-democracy Lebanese.

    Three other pictures in this set seemed to me to have an obvious pro-democracy aspect in their content. But they were presented with that content drained out of them. Two bore this caption:

    Lebanese gather in downtown Beirut, Lebanon Saturday, April 9, 2005. Several thousand people gathered in the area as part of attempts to restore life to the once-vibrant area in the wake of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination.

    The other was this picture, which bore this caption -

    Lebanese girls Linda Arnaut, left, and Suzan Bou Shamha put hand prints onto a white cloth in downtown Beirut, Saturday, April 16, 2005, during a gathering near the grave of slain Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

    Not long ago, Totten recounted a conversation with one of the (invisible to AP) pro-democracy people in Beirut. She told him:

    "If we didn't think we had American support we would never have done this. They would kill us. We need you. It is just a fact."

    I read that, and then I look through the AP's selection of Lebanon coverage, and I shudder for that woman.

    UPDATE MICHAEL TOTTEN FROM BEIRUT REPLIES:

    The single biggest media disaster in the world right now is the Western reporting from Lebanon.....

    It is impossible for me to describe how infuriating it is for me to read that post while hanging out with, and writing about, the democratic opposition here in Beirut.

    All the more reason to help the opposition's new Web site Pulse of Freedom get as much attention as possible. If the media won't report what they have to say, they are just going to have to say it themselves.

    Arabist 'Intellectuals' VS the Middle East

    (Hat Tip Mary Madigan of Michael Totten's blog)

    Arabists vs. the Middle East
    In his TNR (registration required) piece, Juan Cole's 'Informed Comment Blog Efraim Karsh describes the prejudices that influence Cole's Informed Comment -
    Cole suffers from many other common Arabist misconceptions that deeply prejudice and compromise his writing. Having done hardly any independent research on the twentieth-century Middle East, Cole's analysis of this era is essentially derivative, echoing the conventional wisdom among Arabists and Orientalists regarding Islamic and Arab history.. Worse, Cole's discussion of U.S. foreign policy frequently veers toward conspiratorial anti-Semitism. This is hardly the "informed" commentary Cole claims it to be.
    Orientalism is defined by Edward Said as "the western belief that there could be such a thing as an Islamic society, an Arab mind, an Oriental psyche. According to Said, no one “would dare talk about blacks or Jews using such essentialist cliché."

    Said’s works are popular, for the most part, among Islamic fundamentalists and Western academics, whose agree with his views on the “violation of Islam and the Arabs by a predatory West.”

    To Said’s fans, Orientalism is synonymous with colonialism and racism. To them, any criticism of Arabs or Islam is racism and aggression. Which is why they can, with a straight face, call critics of the Arab/Islamic tradition of enslaving blacks “racists”.

    Cole responded to Karsh’s piece by calling the staff of TNR
    "colonialists". Reactionaries are so predicable.

    What is an Arabist? Lebanese blogger Tony of
    Across the Bay defines the term -

    It's replaying that tired Arab nationalist myth that Arabism protects Christians by providing a secular Arab identity. The flip side of course is that only Arab nationalism is a legitimate narrative in the region. Everything. Everything else is a fitna in the heart of the umma. (Both terms by the way are thoroughly Islamic, not that the stupid Christian Arab nationalists ever noticed!) That's why it's no coincidence that in every case of Arab/Muslim - "ethnic minority" tension, Israel and the West/US is brought in. Why? In the case of Israel, it's because it is the only other nationalism that managed to carve for itself a niche in the dominant Arab surrounding. That's why any other ethnic movement is seen as another potential Israel, and thus is painted with the same brush..

    ...This move, that lent credence to the historic lie that the region is exclusively "Arab", is at the heart of the problem. It not only led Edward Said, in his critique of reductionism, to reduce the entire Middle East to mean "the Arab world," it also led to an incredibly hostile and condescending attitude towards all non-Arab ethnicities and identities in the region, not only by the Arab nationalist regimes, but by ympathetic Western scholars, among whom Cole is but an example.

    When describing Cole’s bias, Karsh of TNR notes the similarities between The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’s obsession with the imagined influence of "world Zionism" (and its corresponding ruthless Zionist cabal) and Cole’s similar obsession with the Jewish/Neocon/Likudnik cabal.

    Although Cole claims to provide informed comment on the Middle East, it’s obvious that he does not express the views of the Jews who live there. He also does not express the views of pro-Independence Lebanese, Iraqis, Kurds, Jews, Arab Christians, liberal Arabs or moderate Muslims. Cole, the Arabist, expresses the views of Arab nationalists and their Islamist allies.

    Cole expresses his Arabist views through words. Arab nationalists express their views through the use of terrorism, financial incentives and ethnic cleansing.

    As Tony from Across the Bay says, Cole is but an example.