Sunday, April 30, 2006

WALT & MEARSHEIMER PAPER PART II

I just read Meryl's post sumarizing Benny Morris's complete evisceration of Walt and Mearsheimer's rejecting Israel's right to exist Israel Lobby screed.

WAIT WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

You're the average person you want the conflict to go away and you want Israel to be fair to the Palestinians and the Palestinians to stop teaching sub human hate and trying to destroy Israel. Sound reasonable?
So........ you mosey down to Walt and Mearsheimer's piece... and read part of it thinking maybe the Israeli lobby has too much influence on Congress perhaps?

Or perhaps..... you're a "really smart Progressive". You read and pay attention and know a lot more than EVERYone else on the planet, especially right wingers. Your politics are refined and thus very left-wing/"Progressive" especially on regarding the Conflict. You don't like AIPAC or the Jewish Federations politics, too "right wing" for you and supportive of Israel. So you eagerly look up the piece and read it with great anticipation.

Or perhaps......... you're an anti-Israeli zealot... from let's see.... the far left, the Isolationist right, the white supremacist/neo nazi crowd, Arab and/or Muslim crowd, etc.... You hate Israel and love nothing more than to impugn and harm it. So you mosey on down the yellow brick road and check it this "fine" piece of writing.

Now if you fit category 3 you're expecially pleased. You get plenty to chew on - lots of words, pages, accusations, innuendo, and 1 impressive name on the cover. You even temporarily had the Kennedy School of Gov't included.

However, most except all of category 3 and part of category 2 are confused when reading it? The piece is long and ramlbing. It is embarrissingly un-scholarly and appears to be a 3rd rate copy of a typical state run Arab piece of propoganda.

But the most surprising thing is the piece is not about the 'grand' influence and power the lobby has. No instead you get a piece that tries to -

  • question the underdog role of Israel even in 1948
  • blame the Refugee problem solely on Israel
  • "teach" the history of Israel rejecting Partition in 48
  • portray the Palestinians as innocents who had no part in their destiny befre or after 48
  • besmirch Israel's name
Bascially, what the F does any of this have to do with whether or not AIPAC has too much influence on Congress and the US? These guys are supposed to be reasoned strong thinkers who would provde a powerful piece of researched shcolarship?

Well unfortunately for the two clowns Benny Morris whom they heavily cite to build their case read the piece and eviscerates the piece
below... WELL..
  • Like many pro-Arab propagandists at work today, Mearsheimer and Walt often cite my own books, sometimes quoting directly from them, in apparent corroboration of their arguments. Yet their work is a travesty of the history that I have studied and written for the past two decades. Their work is riddled with shoddiness and defiled by mendacity. Were “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” an actual person, I would have to say that he did not have a single honest bone in his body.

He then addresses W-M's lies about Israeli military superiority via numbers:

  • Mearsheimer and Walt write that “Israel is often portrayed as weak and besieged, a Jewish David surrounded by a hostile Arab Goliath … but the opposite image is closer to the truth.” For some reason, weakness is commonly seen as entailing moral superiority, an illogical proposition.

    I would recommend that they take a look at any atlas and yearbook for the key years of the conflict–1948, 1956, 1967, 1973. Even a child would notice that the Arab world, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf, does actually “surround” Israel and is infinitely larger than the eight-thousand-square-mile Jewish state (which is the size of New Hampshire). He would notice also that the population of the confrontation states–Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, who were often joined in their wars with Israel by expeditionary forces from Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Yemen–has always been at least twenty times greater than Israel’s; and in 1948 it was about fifty times greater. The material resources of the Arab world similarly have been (as they still are) infinitely larger than Israel’s.

  • It is true that Israel’s “organizational ability” has enabled it to concentrate and focus its resources where they count in wartime, on the successive battlefields, with far greater efficiency than the Arabs; and it is true that Israel’s troops, and especially its officer corps, have always been of a far higher caliber than the Arabs’ counterparts; and it is true that the motivation of Israel’s troops–often with their backs to the wall–has generally been superior to that of their Arab foes. But this is still a far cry from implying, as Mearsheimer and Walt do, regarding the war in 1947-1949, that Israel won its wars because “the Zionists had larger, better-equipped” forces than the Arabs.

    During the October (or Yom Kippur) War in 1973, the Egyptians mustered about one million men under arms, and their Syrian allies some 400,000, when they launched their surprise attacks across the Suez Canal and on the Golan Heights. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fielded 350,000 to 400,000 troops at most. The Israelis won that war because of superior “grit” and better quality of troops and organization, even though the wings of their better air force and tank corps were badly clipped by the Arabs’ massive deployment of state-of-the-art missile shields.

On the two-state solution W-M try and to imply that Israel has always rejected it and of course do not mention anything about the Arab's positions past and presnt:

  • Mearsheimer and Walt imply that down to (and maybe even beyond) 1948, the Zionist leadership rejected the partition of Palestine. This is simply false, no matter what misleading quotations they cull from eminent Israeli historians.

  • […] By November 1947, the Zionists’ reconciliation to a partial realization of their dreams was complete (except on the fringes of the movement), and Zionism’s mainstream, led by Ben-Gurion and Weizmann, once and for all internalized the necessity of partition and accepted the U.N. partition resolution. The 1948 war was fought by Israel with a partitionist outlook, and it ended in partition (with the West Bank and East Jerusalem under Jordanian rule and the Gaza Strip controlled by Egypt), despite Israel’s military superiority at its conclusion. During the following two decades, down to June 1967, there was a general acceptance by the Israeli mainstream of the fact, and the permanence, of partition.

    […] The Palestinian story was different. The Palestinian national movement, from its inception up to 2000, from Haj Amin al Husseini to Yasser Arafat, backed by the Arab world, rejected a two-state solution. There was no great debate. The Palestinian leadership rejected the 1937 and 1947 partition plans (and the Begin-Sadat “autonomy plan” of 1978, which would have led to a two-state solution), and insisted that the Jews had no right to even an inch of Palestine. And the Palestinian government of today, led by the popularly elected Hamas, continues to espouse this uncompromising, anti-partitionist one-state position. All of this is completely ignored in Mearsheimer and Walt’s “history.”

On “transfer” and terrorism:

  • In other words, the surge in thinking about transfer in the late 1930s among mainstream Zionist leaders was in part a response to the expulsionist mentality of the Palestinians, which was reinforced by ongoing Arab violence and terrorism. The violence resulted in Britain’s severely curtailing immigration to Palestine, thus assuring that many Jews who otherwise might have been saved were left stranded in Europe (and consigned to death), while at the same time foreclosing the traditional Zionist option and aim of achieving a Jewish majority in Palestine through immigration. Mearsheimer and Walt rightly take to task the anti-Arab terrorism of the Irgun in those years; but they omit to mention that the Irgun unleashed its bloody operations in response to Arab terrorism, and that in any case it represented only the fringe right wing of the Zionist movement, of which the mainstream–unlike the Palestinian Arab national movement–consistently rejected and condemned terrorism.

On the palestinian refugee problem:

  • From Mearsheimer and Walt, you would never suspect that the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948 occurred against the backdrop, and as the result, of a war–a war that for the Jews was a matter of survival, and which those same Palestinians and their Arab brothers had launched. To omit this historical background is bad history–and stark dishonesty. It is quite true, and quite understandable, that the Israeli government during the war decided to bar a return of the refugees to their homes–to bar the return of those who, before becoming refugees, had attempted to destroy the Jewish state and whose continued loyalty to the Jewish state, if they were readmitted, would have been more than questionable. There was nothing “innocent,” as Mearsheimer and Walt put it, about the Palestinians and their behavior before their eviction-evacuation in 1947-1948 (as there was nothing innocent about Haj Amin al Husseini’s work for the Nazis in Berlin from 1941 to 1945, broadcasting anti-Allied propaganda and recruiting Muslim troops for the Wehrmacht). And what befell the Palestinians was not “a moral crime,” whatever that might mean; it was something the Palestinians brought down upon themselves, with their own decisions and actions, their own historical agency. But they like to deny their historical agency, and many “sympathetic” outsiders like to abet them in this illusion, which is significantly responsible for their continued statelessness.

On W-M’s numerical errors:

  • Consider some other examples. On page 6, Mearsheimer and Walt assert that Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish-American naval intelligence analyst in the 1980s, provided Israel with classified American material, “which Israel reportedly passed onto the Soviet Union to gain more exit visas for Soviet Jewry.” To the best of my knowledge, this is a lie. On page 9, Mearsheimer and Walt write that “citizenship [of Israel] is based on the principle of blood kinship.” This is an outrageous assertion, with the worst possible echoes. The truth is that since the state’s inception, 15 to 20 percent of Israel’s citizens have been Muslim and Christian Arabs. In 1948-1949, citizenship was granted to all persons living in the country, regardless of race or religion, and it is granted by law after five years of residency and the satisfaction of various qualifications (as in all western democracies) to applicants today regardless of race or religion–though it is true that Jewish immigrants can and do receive citizenship upon arrival in Israel, and it is also true that Israel is a Jewish state, as France is (and, I hope, will remain) a French state and Britain is a British state. On page 12, Mearsheimer and Walt write, referring to my book Israel’s Border Wars, 1949-1956, that Israel’s retaliatory strikes in the early 1950s “were actually part of a broader effort to expand Israel’s borders.” This is incorrect–and had they used my book honestly, they could not have reached such a conclusion. On page 10, they observe that “The Arabs … had been in continuous possession of [Palestine] for 1300 years,” which is incorrect, and that there were “only about 15,000 Jews in Palestine” in 1882, which is also incorrect. (Typically, Mearsheimer and Walt cite as their authority Justin McCarthy’s The Population of Palestine, without noting that he also assumed the existence of additional thousands of Jews in Palestine who were not Ottoman citizens.) And so on.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

BENNY MORRIS KILLS WALT MEARSHEIMER PIECE - JUAN COLE HITCHES HIS WAGON TO IT

Previously I posted on Juan Cole's self promotion campaign and linked to Tony's excellent post. Tony points out how Cole used 1 slightly off quote cited in this John Fund WSJ piece (critical of Cole) as a red herring (avoiding all others) and now he has shamelessly hitched his wagon to the Walt and Mearsheimer controversy as an attempt at shameless self-promotion. Classic Cole.
....I speculated that the reason Cole has made such a stink about one particular quote that he singled out from the John Fund piece (and ignored all the other damning ones) was because it was the perfect quote for him to use as a red herring to claim that indeed "Likudniks" are trying to smear him for criticizing "the policies of Ariel Sharon," and thus abusing the label of anti-Semitism.

I had also wanted to note that the quote Cole chose to single out had the potential of hooking up with the Walt and Mearsheimer piece in its reference to Israel being "the most dangerous regime to US interests in the Middle East." I decided to leave it out, but I should've known better.

I should've known that this man would try to hitch his bandwagon to the Walt and Mearsheimer fiasco, and use it for his own benefit (and get the additional bonus of basking in "realist" glory, by coopting their mantle). This is vintage Cole.

So what does he do? He
launches a petition, exclusively for college and university teachers (are you guys at Yale paying attention?), in defense of Walt and Mearsheimer!

This is pure Cole for you. Marvel at the depth of this man's disingenuousness. He's leaching on to the big fish, to launch a petition on behalf of no one else but himself. As I said, Yale or bust. He will do anything to get there.
Now Lynn notes

Meryl Yourish and Rick Richman..... to this long essay by Benny Morris at TNR eviscerating (literally) John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's Israel Lobby screed.

This is especially interesting because Mearsheimer and Walt cited Morris as support for several of their more egregious assertions.

Make time to read the whole thing.

You know, every time this happens...... academics who continue to support M&W's "work" (Juan Cole's petition) look more and more foolish. If that's possible.

Juan Cole's original "Freedom of Speech on the Israel Lobby Petition," has already been deactivated at the author's request. Probably because of stuff like what I've copied in the extended entry below.

....Cole's got a new petition up that he claims is troll-proof. Whatever...... you should definitely check out the names and institutions on this list first.

Friday, April 28, 2006

3 ARAB ACCOUNTS OF THE ARAB WORLD AND ITS PROBLEMS

Ecce Libano has a great post. He also links to this great post by Tony who (as he puts it) splendidly profiles 3 Arab intellectuals takes on the State of the Arab Middle East. Ali Salem is very fondly reviewed by Tony. My previous post on Mr. Salem.

Identity and Memory

Here are three pieces dealing with a central topic in ME affairs: identity narratives.
  • The first is by obsolete relic and Pan-Arab propagandist, Patrick Seale.
  • The second is by liberal Egyptian playwright, Ali Salem.
  • The third (Arabic) is by Syrian thinker Nabil Fayyad.

Seale's piece, if you can actually figure out what it's about, repeats age-old clichés of the Arab nationalists, especially the Pan-Arabists. It's also quite derivative in a more direct sense, drawing on other people's works, and not producing any coherent synthesis.

As usual, you have your musts:

  • "Indeed, Lebanon's problems - and its present dependence on Syria - are part of the general crisis which has afflicted the region since World War I, when Britain and France, to suit their own imperial interests, carved up the Arab provinces of the defeated Ottoman Empire. After World War II, these powers were forced to make way for the regional ambitions of the United States and of its local ally, the newly emergent state of Israel, which today, in their turn, seek to dominate and subdue the Arabs.

    What further evidence of these ambitions is required than America's war in Iraq and Israel's ruthless oppression of the Palestinians, together with the inability of the Arab states to confront or contain either one or the other"?

Yawn...

And while we're high, let's add some more Arabist psychedelic hallucinations:

  • "The early fragmentation of the region into rival states, often harboring irredentist grievances against each other, as well as the repeated interventions by outside powers, have gravely compromised the Arab struggle for independence. Most Arabs would themselves admit that the goal of full independence has not yet been achieved, and remains tantalizingly out of reach."

This passage in a nutshell exemplifies how silly the Arabists and their cheer leaders (i.e. Seale et al.) are. It puts forth contradictory points, based on a common confusion between "independence" and "Pan-Arab unity."

Seale's basically complaining that the völkisch destiny of the "Arab nation" has been heretofore hindered by the "imperialists" and the "outsiders." Being the relic that he is, he hasn't realized that all this garbage is long gone. Sati' al-Husri is dead, thank the Lord.

Moreover, the notion that the imperial powers "fragmented the region into rival states, often harboring irredentist grievances against each other" is problematic on two levels: 1- it assumes that the region was/is a homogenous Arab geo-political whole, that was unnaturally broken up. 2- It's paradoxical and self-defeating as it runs counter to the earlier claim! If the states are rivals and "harbor irredentist grievances against each other" then the notion of an Arab nation marching towards its destiny rests on shaky grounds indeed!

But Seale is on a bad trip bent on reinventing Husri and all the Arabist fools. That's why he quotes the drivel by Raymond Hinnebusch:

  • "To many Arabs and Muslims, the struggle with imperialism, far from being mere history, continues, as imperialism reinvents itself in new forms. The Middle East has become the one world region where anti-imperialist nationalism, obsolete elsewhere, remains alive and where an indigenous ideology, Islam, provides a world view still resistant to West-centric globalization."

That must make nice tea-time conversation among idiotic principled Third-Worldists, but frankly, it's utterly boring.

Anyway, after all this standard sleepy-time trash, Seale jumps to what supposedly was the point of his piece -- Lebanon and Arabism. He just had to stop and recite the creed for an hour before actually coming to the point!

Once again relying on others' work, Seale regurgitates Raghid el-Solh's book:

  • "Solh describes how Lebanon developed from being a "foyer of French influence" and a "Maronite homeland," into a country with an "Arab face," as declared by President Bishara al-Khuri and Prime Minister Riad el-Solh, leaders of the first independent state in 1943."

There's a basic anachronism here. The Lebanon he's talking about is in fact two different political entities. The idea of a Maronite or Christian homeland was not extended to Greater Lebanon which included large numbers of Muslims. That's why Emile Edde was opposed to the annexation of, e.g., Tripoli and Sidon because they would create a demographical problem and eliminate the idea of a majority Christian homeland.

Seale moves on to recite Solh's story line of modern Lebanon:

  • "This formula was meant to "accommodate both the aspira1tions of the Lebanese nationalists for safeguarding the country's sovereignty and independence and the unionist aims of the Arab nationalists." But, as Solh explains, the "Arab face" formula left a door open to differing interpretations of Lebanon's Arabism.

    Lebanese nationalists took it to mean that Lebanon was less Arab than other Arab states; for some it even implied being "non-Arab," an attitude which led to controversial alliances with other anti-Arab forces in the region. Fierce Lebanese particularism led, in addition, to attempts to exclude Arab nationalists from politics and Parliament, and thereby hampered the development of Lebanon's democracy and civil society."

Oh those nasty Lebanese nationalists (read Maronites)! I wish Seale would have given specific examples, as there were plenty of Arab nationalists in high places of government all along! Secondly, who exactly attempted to exclude Arab nationalists from Parliament!? Parliament members are elected not appointed. Was there a conspiracy in the elections aimed at excluding Arab nationalists!? What nonsense!

Furthermore, nowhere in Seale's cute historical sketch is there any mention of the attempts by Nasserist Arab nationalists at undermining the state. Of course not, because after all, that's the "Arab nation's destiny." Also, there is no exploration of why Lebanonists rejected Arabism as their identity, and the problems created by the pressure for Arabization.

Seale then enlightens us with Solh's simple cure for Lebanon's ills:

  • "Solh argues that for Lebanon to have developed into a foyer of democracy in the Arab world, it would have had to internalize and develop the principles and institutions of democracy, to create mass parties cutting across sectarian differences, and to play a more active role in the Arab collective system, especially in the 1940s, when the ruling elite in Lebanon was on close terms with the ruling elites in other Arab states."

I see. How wonderful, and so simple too! In fact, it's utterly simplistic and useless. Seale doesn't examine why there were no "mass parties cutting across sectarian differences." In fact, he doesn't even explain the meaning and function of "sectarianism" and how that functioned vis à vis the state, creating a consociational system of limited central government. Of course not, because Seale believes in the heavily centralized governments of the Arab order. But here again, he fails to elaborate. What on earth is "the Arab collective system?" Lebanon went in on the Arab League. But the charter of the Arab League itself reflected not the anti-imperialism that Seale is babling about. Rather, it reflected deep distrust among the members! It set forth rules and regulations on how no Arab state should interfere in the affairs of another. Of course, this went in opposition to the basic tenet of Pan-Arabism!

Needless to say, this agreement was never really implemented. That's why you had Nasser napalming Yemen, Syria bombing and invading Lebanon (and before that attempting to pressure Lebanon into the ill-fated United Arab Republic), and Saddam's Iraq invading and brutalizing Kuwait, etc. Further still, the war of 1948 was, as Joshua Landis and Elie Kedourie before him have argued, not a war against Zionists as much as it was a war (pushed for esp. by Syria) to counter a levantine Pan-Arabist dream by Abdullah!

But all this is brushed aside in an instant, as it interferes too much with Seale's hallucinatory trip. That's why he writes:

  • "The 1948 Arab defeat, in particular, was seen as a defeat of Arabism, which eventually contributed to the disarray of Lebanese Arab nationalists."

He brilliantly misses the point! The military defeat of 1948 per se was not the defeat of Arabism! The defeat of '48 was very much anticipated by Quwwatli, and his going to war was not to defend Arabism, but exactly the opposite: to prevent it from undermining Syria's independence. For Syria's role in 1948, see Landis' essay -- which is the best of the bunch -- in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948 (Cambridge, 2001). A longer version of that article is available online, courtesy of Joshua Landis.

But Seale's incoherence continues:

  • "The chapter entitled "Greater Lebanon and the League of Arab States" is a masterly analysis of how the politician Henri Pharaon and other "Mediterraneanists" managed to bring down the government of Riad el-Solh, largely because they saw the Alexandria Protocol of 1944, which he helped draft, as a blueprint for an Arab supra-state or federation. In Cairo in 1945, when the Arab League statutes were being finalized, Pharaon, then Lebanon's foreign minister, managed to water down the protocol and replace it with a minimal form of Arab cooperation - no doubt a source of the league's present ineffectiveness."

So Riad el-Solh was working toward a Pan-Arab vision of sorts. Wait, I thought Arabists were kept out of Lebanese positions of power. He must have slipped in. Seale is once again playing the song of "nasty people cutting the wings of the Arab nation, preventing it from fulfilling its destiny." So Henri Pharaon is now singlehandedly responsible for the dysfunction of the Arab League! He basically did via peaceful diplomatic means what Quwwatli tried to do with a catastrophic war, doomed to failure! He tried to safeguard the Republic from a super-imposed Pan-Arabist arrangement. After all, that was the spirit of the Lebanese pact of '43 that Seale mentioned! But of course someone has to pay, and for Seale it's those "Mediterraneanists."

Then comes the great finale, the peak of vagueness and abruptness:

  • "However, Solh comments that Syria's "special relationship" with Lebanon was "not necessarily rooted in Arab nationalism." As they contemplate their future, Syrians and Lebanese should read and ponder Raghid el-Solh's rich text."

Marvelous. What the hell does this mean!? Seale provides no answer, ending his piece on this ambiguous note. He's only interested in snickering at the label "Mediterraneanist."

Unfortunately for Seale, that label is not restricted to "misguided" Lebanese Christians. Ali Salem resurrects and reformulates that very same label, that was once championed by Taha Hussein. Not only is it an alternative to Arabism, it doesn't have any of its hang ups toward the West:

  • "You may consider me one of its [the Mediterranean] followers or disciples, and definitely I'm one of its residents. I still remember that I used to stare at its surface looking to the far horizon, as if I wanted to see my neighbors there, in Italy, Greece, Spain and France. They are Europe and I'm Africa. We are neighbors, separated by two continents, unified by one sea."

It's a vision that's built on a far more complex understanding of identity. Salem has no problem incorporating Arabic into his construct, he simply doesn't agree that identity should be singular and homogenous, or exclusively Arab:

  • "The Arabs are my fathers, but the Egyptians are my forefathers; do you advise me to inherit from my fathers and ignore the treasures left to me by my forefathers?"

It's a vision that is also at peace with the pre-Arabo-Islamic era and heritage:

  • ""Egypt itself is of the Mediterranean," I responded. "One day, thousands of years ago, this sea was just a lake, crossed by ships loaded by thoughts and art toward Greece, carrying the product of minds and souls, returning from there, loaded with other products of minds and souls.""

Later in the piece, Salem also invokes his love and appreciation of Pharaonic Egypt, and incorporates it into his Egyptian identity.

Notably, this is a vision that exalts a "globalization" of sorts, based on cosmopolitanism (cf. Adnan al-Atasi's attraction to the Greek Polis in his Azmat al-Hukm fi Souriya, "The Crisis of Government in Syria" (1951). I owe this reference to Joshua Landis) as well as international relations and trade of goods and ideas. As such, it's a vision that's strikingly similar to the Lebanese Mediterraneanists, or Phoenicianists. I mentioned Michel Chiha before, and his quasi Braudelian model based on the mountain and the Mediterranean, as well as mercantilism. Despite its problems, it resonates well with Salem's vision.

Like I said earlier, this is a reformulation of a vision championed by Taha Hussein. On that point Albert Hourani paraphrases Hussein:

  • "[S]he [Egypt] was herself one of the creators of Mediterranean civilization, and throughout ancient times the tide of influence flowed both ways between her and Greece." (Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age 1798-1939, p. 331).

One crucial difference between this view and Arab nationalism, a difference that allows a complex construct of identity, is one that Hourani notices and that is that Arab nationalism is based on German ideas, while Mediterraneanism is based on French and even American models.

Indeed, Sati' al-Husri based his vision on Fichte and Herder and their language-based nationalism, while totally rejecting Renan's nationalité elective. Therefore, to anyone who had a more complex identity, or a varying narrative, Husri had this to say:

  • "Every Arab-speaking people is an Arab people. Every individual belonging to one of these Arabic-speaking peoples is an Arab. And if he does not recognize this, and if he is not proud of his Arabism, then we must look for the reasons that have made him take this stand. It may be an expression of ignorance; in that case we must teach him the truth. It may spring from an indifference or false consciousness; in that case we must enlighten him and lead him to the right path. It may result from extreme egoism; in that case we must limit his egoism. But under no circumstances, should we say: "As long as he does not wish to be an Arab, and as long as he is disdainful of his Arabness, then he is not an Arab." He is an Arab regardless of his own wishes. Whether ignorant, indifferent, undutiful, or disloyal, he is an Arab, but an Arab without consciousness or feeling, and perhaps even without conscience." (Translation from Adeed Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair [Princeton and Oxford, 2003] p. 72. See also Martin Kramer's "Arab Nationalism: Mistaken Identity".)

It is precisely this spirit that Salem's satire is making fun of, as well as the equally fascist spirit of Islamism:

  • ""You didn't mention that you are an Arab," he pointed out.

    “The Arabs are my fathers, but the Egyptians are my forefathers; do you advise me to inherit from my fathers and ignore the treasures left to me by my forefathers?" I asked him.

    "I don't advise you, I order you."

    "Who are you sir, to order me?"

    "I'm the mohtasib (inspector) of the Nile Valley Street."

    "Show me your papers."

    "They are standing in front of you now. I'm the person and the document."

    "Who gave you the right to ... ?"

    "I gave it to myself."

    "What is it that you want sir?"

    "For you not to think of the Mediterranean," he replied.

    "I couldn't do that, even if I wanted to."

    "You are thinking in a dangerous way. You don't belong to the Mediterranean or to Egypt or to Africa. You belong to the kingdom of God and you are one of His subjects."

    "The whole universe belongs to His Almighty Kingdom, but I have an address, a place of residence, a location, a site, a history, laws, a constitution ... I have rights.
    "You have to forget the sea. Did you try to enjoy the charms of the sands?"

    "Look sir, I love deserts, forests, lakes and valleys, but I'm mad about the sea."

    "So I'm talking to a mad person."

    "Yes, if that answer makes you happy.""

This is also in many ways a reenactment of the Husri-Hussein debate over Arabism (I owe this insight, as well as the reference below, to Lee Smith). Hussein correctly diagnosed Arab nationalism and its Pan-Arab vision as a fanatical reformulation of Islam, a charge that Husri vehemently denied. For a discussion, see Bassam Tibi's Arab Nationalism, pp. 186-88.

Nabil Fayyad also takes on the pillar of Husri's system, namely language, and its applicability to Syria (all my translation):

  • "[N]one of the aforementioned elements [i.e. language, religion, some common history] apply to Syria for us to say that it is a purely Arab country.

    On the one hand Arabic is not the only dominant language in Syria. Kurdish for example is the language of hundreds of thousands of the Syrian people. Syriac-Aramaic is the language and origin of the Syrian people before the Islamic invasion. Add to that several important linguistic islands such as Armenian, Circassian, Dagestanian, and Turkmeni... etc."

Fayyad tries, with mixed success, to avoid the errors of Antoun Saade, which were the same errors of al-Husri (a unitary identity based on a völkisch organic view), saying:

  • "To talk about a singular identity for Syria misreads Syrian history, ancient and modern, and is blind to the Syrian demographic reality which is built on pluralism."

But her goes beyond that to address the same Mediterraneanist idea that Salem adopts, with its cross-cultural interaction:

  • "Syria has always been part of the Mediterranean civilization established by the Greek philosophers, who were in turn influenced by the ancient Syrian epistemological repertoire."

Fayyad, paralleling Salem's metaphors of attraction to the desert or the sea, concludes:

  • "Ethnic identity, in our opinion which we force on no one, is not based on linguistic silliness or religious fairy tales. Rather, its basic element is cultural-epistemological. What ties us culturally, as Syrians, across ancient times, with the Mediterranean civilized peoples such as the Greeks, the Italians and the French, is incomparably stronger than what ties us to the desert Wahhabists in the Empty Quarter and Yemen and Najd."

Clearly, this concept of Mediterraneanism has serious weaknesses and needs much refinement. However, it has several advantages over the poisonous Arabism:

1- It's not defined in terms of opposition to the West. Instead, it's based on a vision of cultural and economic interaction with it.

2- It's based on a more complex and textured understanding of identity, contrary to that of Husri's Arabism. In that same spirit, Amin Maalouf writes in his Les Identités Meurtrières:

  • "Lorsqu'on me demande ce que je suis 'au fin fond de moi-même', cela suppose qu'il y a, 'au fin fond' de chacun, une seule appartenance qui compte, sa 'vérité profonde' en quelque sorte, son 'essence', déterminée une fois pour toutes à la naissance et qui ne changera plus; comme si le reste, tout le reste -- sa trajectoire d'homme libre, ses convictions acquises, ses préférences, sa sensibilité propre, ses affinités, sa vie, en somme -- , ne comptait pour rien." (pp. 10-11). (Transl. "When they ask me who I am 'deep down inside', that assumes that there is, 'deep down inside' everyone, one single belonging that counts, his/her 'deep truth' of sorts, his/her 'essence', determined once and for all at birth and that will never change; as if the rest, all the rest -- his/her trajectory as a free human being, his/her acquired convictions, his/her preferences, his/her proper sensibility, his/her affinities, his/her life, in sum --, counts for nothing.")

This attitude allows for admission of, and reconciliation with, all that precedes, and follows, the Arab and Islamic advent. It's a vision of pluralism, and thus true acceptance of the other as other. It's a broad vision of enrichment, not a narrow vision of narcissism.

3- It's a vision that allows for a true concept of citizenship based on a finite political entity, a country. It's not hanging onto a utopian supra-national Volk.

4- As such, it's a liberal vision, based on French, British and American models rather than a Romantic German or a fascist one.

Therefore, Peter Speetjens completely missed the point! I'll hold off on him for now, hoping to pick up on his piece and its errors in the course of the ensuing discussion. Stay tuned!

JIHADIS FROM SAUDI ARABIA CONDUCT CYBERJIHAD TODAY

Today several American weblogs were shut down most of the day and some are still not up due to a Cyber attack from apparent "Jihadis" in Saudi Arabia.

Hosting matters was hit but apparently right of center and anti-Jihadi weblogs were attacked. Aaron who regularly searches and finds Jihadist funding and recruiting web sites has been hacked several times in the past month alone and is still down.

Michelle has more of the details.

On a side note. Sorry Michelle but Katie Couric is very cute and you posting her High School Cheerleading picture at your site is only further displaying that. :-)

CLOONEYS IN SUDAN SAY ORGANIZED GENOCIDE URGE ACTION

(Previous post on Sudan at the UN Security Council here)

I just watched Nick and George Clooney on Fox with Shepard Smith. They'll be on the news shows as well. George and his father Nick traveled through Sudan via a single engine plane. They said it is an organized and planned Genocide and that they could not imagine the depth of cruelty they saw. GEORGE.... paraphrased -
  • "The Government sends in planes to bomb towns and villages. As the resident flee into the mountains the Janaweed then murder the villagers fleeing for their life....... we went to an area where 1000 displaced families were living under trees without food or water... when the rainy season comes they will be flooded out and die.........
  • (film clip George took shown with his voice over) The Arab militias are murdering the black population in an organized Genocide"

George then mentions that it changes you when you see cruelty like this.

  • We are witnessing a Genocide in front of our eyes and we can do something about it now..."
  • "There are problems. China and Russia are resisting Security Council Resolutions and France has been shaky on it as well...... but something can be done and pressure can be brought..... etc....."

What I still find ASTOUNGING is how the word Arab and Muslim are barely ever used when describing this Genocide.

Unfortunately perhaps it's not Whites, Europeans or Christians committing this heinous Genocide? Then we might see blaring and scathing attention from the Western press and general public Consciousness.

The Arab world and Al Jazeera would be endlessly trumpeting out pictures! Louis Farakhan and Jesse Jackson as well as the Arab League would be going nuts... Al Sharpton and Congressman Rangel have attended small rallies outside the Sudan Embassy in NY. However, overall the reaction is astoundingly PASSIVE.

Sudan's biggest financial backers are Egypt and Saudi Arabia and the Arab League prevents any action at the UN General Assembly. As I noted previously Clooney above China and Russia as well as France have been preventing UN Security Council action.

BUT - How many public demonstrations and "peace rallies" in Europe and the US have we sern regarding Iraq? How many "peace activists" actually went to Iraq to protect the Hussein regime before the war?

The EU and BBC (which has had extensive coverage) only softly and rarely describe the Genocidal party involved.

It strongly appears as Western self-censored fear of sounding too critical of Arabs or Muslims.. This is reverse (soft) racism and results in carelessness to Genocide!!

It is even described as -

  • "rebels" fighting the "gov't forces"....

Rebels? Starving defenseless Civilians being slaughtered, raped and enslaved described the same way as Zarquawi's Murderers are? Can you imagine?

How about SCREAMING -

  • "Genocide committed by the Arab Muslim militias and Government in Khartoum.... against the unarmed starving Black population in Darfur...

The groups themselves describe the conflict as - Arabs and Blacks. It has other dimensions and the Northern Arabs are darker than some other Arabs (if this could even be a universal color anyway) and often similar in color to the Black populations. However, make no mistake about it this is an Arab - Ethnic and Cultural Genocide on Black Africans.

Note the Arab Militias in the North first committed Genocide on the Black ChristiansAnimists in the South - Manute Bol's people and now the Black Muslims in Darfur..

Tony Badran explains -

  • He never once mentions that the terms "black" and "Arab" are in fact used by the parties in the conflict themselves. The Arabs call the Fur, Masalit, Baggara and Zaghawa, zurga ("black") and identify themselves as Arab (and are called "Arabs" by the Fur et al.) Regardless of the fact that they both share the same skin color, or the same religion or language! This is very much an "ethnic conflict"! These are ethnic boundaries, regardless of whether we can tell them apart in pictures!
  • It's cognitive. And the fact that they use terms like "zurga" or "Arab" means that these are meaningful ethnic boundaries for them.

Here is Manute Bol's best friend (a Sudanese Christian) describing the Genocide on HBO Real Sports recently -

  • ....told them the greatest threat they would face in the future would be from Islamist Fundamentalism, at which most (Congressmen he and Bol met with in the 90's) laughed.

Meanwhile, as I previously noted Tony describes Arabism at Arab States at Its Ugliest. Nouri describes how most money and attention in the Arab world goes to the Palestine Industry, as she calls it while there are far greater tragedies occurring.

George Clooney Travel to Darfur Calls for International Aid

Nick and George urge International Aid

Christian Persecution and Emigration in the Middle East - George Kattan

Arab intellectual George Kattan on the deteriorating situation of Christians in Arab countries:
  • During the [Arab] Renaissance, many Christians played a prominent role in introducing concepts from the Enlightenment [into the Arab world], reexamining the Arabic language, highlighting the uniqueness of Arab culture, challenging Ottoman backwardness and tyranny, and calling for the establishment of a modern state based on national, rather than religious, affiliation...

    "Their unique participation [in public life] reached its peak in the 'liberal period,' during the second half of the previous century, when there were prominent [Christian] philosophers, intellectuals, ministers, parliament members and party members.

    "With the ascent of the semi-secular military regimes, with their pan-Arab and socialist slogans - especially in Egypt, Iraq and Syria - there was a decrease in the participation of Christians in the political arena. Though these regimes did not persecute the Christians, their absolute tyranny was the main reason for the advent of extremist fundamentalist Islamism, which calls for [the establishment of] an Islamic state that would discriminate against religious minorities, marginalize them and encourage them to emigrate...

    "The spreading of the Islamic movement and extremist Salafi views throughout Egyptian society led to the removal of Copts from the Parliament, municipalities, labor unions and [other] prominent positions, and limitations began to be imposed on the building and renovation of churches. Some [churches] were [even] attacked and burned down, and Christians were accused of heresy. [...]

    "During its last years in power, Saddam's regime in Iraq gave the Salafi movements freedom of action, and after its fall [these movements] led the terrorist activity along with the remnants of the old regime... Among their most conspicuous actions was the bombing of six churches on a single Sunday, resulting in massive Christian emigration. Since the Gulf War, at least a third of Iraq's Christian population has emigrated [to other countries]...

    "In the West Bank and Gaza, armed Islamic movements regard Palestine as a Muslim waqf [religious endowment], and call to defend the places holy to the Muslims while disregarding places holy to the Christians... The few Christian women living in Gaza have to wear a veil out of fear of the extremists. A few weeks ago, the last shop selling wines in Gaza was bombed, even though it belonged to international organizations...

    "The Christians of Saudi Arabia were rooted out centuries ago. The hundreds of thousands of Christians who now work in Saudi Arabia, arriving from the neighboring countries or from far-away lands, are not allowed to build churches there. [Moreover], they risk beatings, imprisonment, and deportation, [even] if they hold their ceremonies in secret, in their own homes. At the same time, the Saudi regime uses its oil profits to build grandiose mosques all over 'heretical' Europe.

    "The Christians in Lebanon have diminished from 50% before the civil war to 35% today. Christians comprise 3.5 million out of the 5 million Lebanese emigrants living in the West...

    "While in ancient times, discrimination, marginalization, accusations of heresy, and persecution drove many [Christians] to convert to Islam, today they are driven to emigrate, as long as the gates remain open. This may cause Christianity to decline in its original home in the East.

    "Are we moving towards exclusively Muslim societies? Will this deterioration stop here, or will it lead, after the Eastern countries are emptied of Christians, to [a state] of sectarian purity in each country?

JUAN COLE SELF PROMOTION CAMPAIGN CONTINUES...

Tony at Across the Bay has posted again on Juan Cole's latest breathtaking self promotion. This guy's disingenous self-importance has no bounds. As Tony noted he will do anything It's Yale or Bust.

A little
HISTORY on this guy.... He's got a long history of slander, conspiracy mongering, arrogance, getting facts embarrassingly wrong, and low down classlessness.

Just one example from above.

In September 2004 the Iraqi Brothers at Iraq the Model poltely destroyed the credibility of a Iraqi blogger treasured by Juan Cole Who's lying?

Then in November 2004 Iraqi brothers Ali and Mohammed at Iraq the Model
noted how Juan and Professor Kahlidi at Columbia, used completely flawed history as the cruxt of their entire story on Iraq. They were using this story to demonstrate the naiivete/ignornace of the American siege on Fallujah.
Iraq Pundit noted as well
  • If figures like Khalidi and Cole want to put their scholarly reputations at risk to pursue their political ends, that is their affair. But there is much more at stake here than academic politics.Arabism cost the Arab world the latter half of the 20th century; now some Arabist intellectuals of the West are doing what they can to derail the hope of a liberalized Iraq, including the distortion of Iraqi history. That's why the resistance provided by such sites as Iraq the Model and Across the Bay is important.

So what did Professor Cole do? He painted the Iraqi brothers as being CIA feted front men.

Across the Bay has a good rundown in his Kommisr Cole post.

Ali of Iraq the Model responded The Return of the Professor (12-13-04)

And responded politely again to Cole's weak reply here. Answers and clarifications (12-16-04)

The entire blogsphere jumped all over Cole though
Iraq Pundit further pointed out his ignorance.
Even Dean Esmay had to note the Emasculation of Juan Cole continues

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

STORY THAT WILL MAKE YOU CRY

It's tragic, eerie and touching at the same time.

The one and only Head Heeb (his eminence of the blogsphere) points out this story.

It's been a while since any any Holocaust story made me as emotional as this one, about three Slovakian Jews who -

  • On Tuesday, 61 years after they parted ways for the last time, Ladislav-Yehuda Reich and Robert-Yehoshua Bichler met their good friend Fritz Steiner. The three men, who were born in Slovakia and survived one of the last selections conducted at the children's shed in Birkenau-Auschwitz, have three consecutive numbers tattooed on their arms: B14564, B14565, B14566.

  • On Tuesday they were reunited once again, looked at the numbers on their arms, held each other's hands and said to one another in tears: Who would believe we would survive the horror, stay alive and meet here in Israel?

It's trite at this point to describe the Holocaust as one of the twentieth century's great tragedies, but some of its stories have proven remarkably life-affirming. There probably won't be too many more reunions like this one, but it's oddly comforting to know that even a catastrophe like this can bring lives together.

Also check out his post on Nepal . I don't share his optimism on the Sudan but hope his instincts are on target. He is one of the most knowledgeable people on the internet. Manute Bol's words have seered me with skepticism when it comes to anything concerning the Genocide Regime in Khartoum

ANOTHER JOHN BOLTON - US VICTORY AT THE UN

Remember John Bolton - our UN Rep the Democrats squashed a vote on in the Sentaate?

First, he secured the first ever UN Sec Resolution against Syria's occupation of Lebanon, then got the first ever Resolution condemning Hezbollah by name for cross border attacks on Israel. He then attempted to re-organize the completely dis-respected UN Human Rights 'Sadists' Commission. Jimmy Carter unilaterally decided he was still President and subverted a standing Government Embassador.

Captain Ed now reports due to his tenacity (again) Bolton secured a first ever UN Sec Council Resolution concerning Sudan and the on going Genocide there.

(Also check out Across the Bay's post on the Sudan 'Arabism at Its Most Ugly'. Tony, the writer, is Arabic and grew up in Lebanon and about to receive his Doctorate in MEast Studies from NYU. He lays it out pretty bluntly)

John Bolton successfully pushed through sanctions on four Sudanese that have participated in war crimes despite earlier resistance from genocide-apologists Russia and China.

  • The UN Security Council voted unanimously, with three key abstentions, to block the assets and travel of the quartet:
  • The Security Council passed a resolution on Tuesday imposing the first sanctions in the violence that has killed more than 200,000 villagers and driven two million people from their homes in Darfur, in western Sudan.
  • Twelve members of the 15-nation Council voted in favor of the American-drafted measure, which will freeze the assets of four Sudanese accused of war crimes and instructs nations to block their entry
  • Three countries — China, Qatar and Russia — abstained.

Note, Sudan, China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Libya all serve on the UN Human Rights Commission - the one Jimmy Carter protected.

Bolton is quoted -

  • "I think today's sanction resolution shows that the Security Council is serious, that its resolutions have to be complied with, that it is prepared to take enforcement steps if they are not complied with,"

Here is how he pushed through the Resolution -

  • Bolton had previously tried to have sanctions imposed on the four through quiet channels available at the UNSC, which allows resolutions to pass by acclamation as long as no one voices a public objection to it.

  • Russia and China balked at the sanctions, even though Bolton had carefully focused the punishment on four individuals responsible for the atrocities rather than on the nation as a whole.

  • Earlier American envoys may have shelved the effort at that point to retain comity among the members, but instead Bolton went public and upped the ante, allowing the obstructionism of Russia and China to be seen clearly.

  • It represents a victory not just for Bolton but for human rights and justice. His bold approach managed to embarrass Russia and China, at least temporarily. It sends a signal to both nations that the US has lost patience with their protection for terrorists and genocidists, a lesson that has more application to bigger issues than Sudan. The lack of a veto indicates that the message has been received.

UPDATE: calls the Security Council Resolution a symbolic gesture and cites this BBC artice -

  • The UN Security Council has passed a resolution imposing sanctions against four Sudanese nationals accused of war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region.

    The four include two rebel leaders, a former Sudanese air force chief, and the leader of a pro-government militia, accused of widespread atrocities.

    In Darfur itself, a BBC correspondent has found evidence of continuing attacks on civilians by militias.

    Violence in Darfur has killed some 100,000 people and created 2m refugees.

    Last week, the top UN aid official said the humanitarian situation in Darfur was as bad as when the conflict came to the world's attention in 2004.

    The BBC's Orla Guerin in Darfur met streams of civilians who said they were fleeing their remote village of Jogana.

    They said they had been attacked by government aircraft and militiamen that were fighting rebel forces in the area.

    Our correspondent said she could hear the sound of bombing from 40km (25 miles) away.

    African Union (AU) peacekeepers met the civilians and gave them water but did not intervene in the fighting.

    African Union (AU) peacekeepers met the civilians and gave them water but did not intervene in the fighting.

    'Tough to enforce'

    The UN resolution was sponsored by the US, which says a genocide is being committed against black Africans in Darfur.

    The war crimes suspects - Adam Yacub Shant, Gabril Abdul Kareem Badri, Gaffar Mohamed Elhassan and Sheikh Musa Hilal - would be subject to a ban on foreign travel and have any assets held abroad frozen.

    The BBC's correspondent at the UN headquarters in New York, Laura Trevelyan, said it had taken weeks to get to this point and the sanctions could be difficult to enforce.

    Russia and China, both permanent members of the Security Council with the power to veto the resolution, had initially opposed this move, but chose to abstain because the African nations supported the sanctions.

    This is the first time those involved in Darfur's atrocities have been directly targeted.

    However the BBC's Jonah Fisher in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, says the effect of the sanctions will be more psychological than physical.......

  • Sudan's governments has consistently said the scale of the problem in Darfur is being exaggerated for political reasons.

    It denies backing the Arab Janjaweed militias accused of mass rape, killing and looting.

    The UN is also considering taking control of the peace mission from the cash-strapped AU.

    Sudan opposes such moves, saying extra funding should instead be given to the 7,000 hard-pressed AU peacekeepers already in Darfur.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

49% of Egyhptians Say Israel Blew Up Dahab Resort

I first reported on the terrorist attack in the Sinai resort town of Dahab yesterday. At the time I noted how an Egyptian General had already gone on Al Jazeera and blamed the Israeli Mossad as the smoke was still smoldering and the bodies 'still warm'.. (no disrespect intended) Thinking - 'there is always some idiot exception that Al Jazeera is going to prop up to blame Israel.......'

Well, silly me how I was wrong. Al Jazeera is of course only playing to its audience's core beliefs and pyschoses.

Big Pharaoh notes a recent online poll at Egypt's #1 web portal. The question asks people whom they think was behind the bombings in Dahab yesterday.

  • 48.9% of the respondents so far think that the Israeli Mossad
  • 4.2% believe it was Al-Qaeda
  • 21% think it was the work of internal terrorist groups

Now, does anyone want to talk about the minority of people who hold radical beliefs? And why Osama Bin Laden is so good at winning popular support in the Arab world.

Richard Silverstein (a 'Progressive') has another post up showing how we can avoid giving Osama a further good name in the neighborhood. Of course by leaving Iraq, demanding Israel leave every inch of land, and stay out of Sudan as well. The point is the Arab Street or State of Mind is dysfunctional and that is the root cause and underlying problem.

What will fix it?

  1. If you read Big Pharaoh or Nouri's - posts - It May Take a War the prospects for the far out-numbered Arab liberal minority IS NOT GOOD.

  2. **I detail this in this post the Mental State of War**

I note Mental War in the Arab Islamic World, in this case Egypt who has a Peace Agreement with Israel. The MSMedia's clueless reporting or editing out lying to the public relevant information under the guise of Multicultural Sensitivity that might be critical of the problems in the Arab or Islamic world is only adding fuel to the fire.

IRONICALLY or SADLY Allison (from Israel) notes this yesterday -

  • The news broke into the Israeli television programming on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day. From the depressing to the upsetting.
  • Israel is offering medical assistance to the Egyptian Red Crescent organization -- the Eilat hospital is very close to the areas, the ambulances are ready, but so far, the television anchors are saying the Egyptians aren't interested.
  • There are definitely a lot of Egyptian victims, and some Europeans as well. The timing seems somewhat off -- that sounds harsh, but it's true. Last week, that area would have been teeming with both Europeans on Easter vacation and Israelis on Passover vacation.
    Israelis were warned very strongly not to go to Sinai. Some did anyway, but after last year's Sinai attack, most people heeded the warning this time. Israeli pundits on TV are saying that this was no surprise to anybody, and that the Egyptian authorities knew something was brewing -- that they tried to track them down, and obviously failed.
  • Fox News says it was aimed at Coptic Christians who were in Dahab celebrating something.

Big Pharaoh (copied below) then notes a conversation with his well educated friends...... as well his personal feelings - which you should read and seer into your brain.

  • Two of my friend, both very educated and belong to the upper class, believe that Israel killed 23 people in Dahab yesterday. When I asked why they think so, one of them had this to say.
  • "Israeli tourists don't go to Eilat (a southern Israeli resort) anymore. Dahab and Sinai is much more cheaper and so they come to Egypt instead of spending their holidays in Israel" she explained.
  • "So you're telling me Israel targeted a resort that is frequented by its own people and could have killed Israelis just to stop them from sunbathing in Sinai???" I asked.
  • "Yes. They could kill a few of their citizens to save the tourism industry there" she shot back.
  • I wanted to bang my head against a wall!
"Up till now we don't want to look in the mirror and see what's wrong with us and with our culture. This is the reason why I don't see light at the end of tunnel anytime soon as far as our Arab/Islamic world is concerned."

I have said countless times before that the root cause of the darkness we're living in is our unwillingness to look in the mirror and start criticizing ourselves and the cult of death we allowed to infect our society.

  1. We don't want to admit that many of our children are willing to kill themselves in order to massacre others.
  2. We don't want to admit that religion needs renewal and reform to suit the year 2006 and not 1006.
  3. We don't want to admit anything of that. Do you know why ladies and gentlemen we don't want to do that?
  4. We're just busy and in a constant state of denial. We're busy hating America. We're busy blaming Israel.
  5. We are also living in a disgusting state of narcissism. We think we are the best nation handpicked by God. Our nations have the best religion approved by heaven. Nothing wrong can be in us, nothing wrong can be in our culture, and nothing wrong can be in our religious beliefs. It must be the evil "outsiders."

....I am referring to our general condition that gave birth to murderers from Bali to New York. Many are to blame here. Our repressive governments, the economic disaster they created, the humiliation millions of youth are feeling, and above all the deadly religious rhetoric that wants to draw us hundreds of years backward.

I thought we'll finally start looking in the mirror once we ourselves get bombed by terrorists. I thought that once we get torn into pieces by suicide bombers we'll realize that the Palestinian suicide bomber will not end up in paradise but in the lowest pit of hell.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. We're still so busy to look in the mirror and see the ugly face there.

UPDATE: Here is the Conspiratorial Hate that that showed up at Big Pharaoh and Karim's (One Arab World) Blog (prior to further Sinai attacks) -

Memo said:“God damn it they just refuse to leave us alone killers”

Exactly WHO? are you referring to?
written by gsrwave at 2006/04/24 - 22:55:09

COMEDY CENTRAL SOUTH PARK WIMP OUT AND TRY TO COVER

This article about an Arab Airline that has hijacked character images from South Park has some great information on the Comedy Central hypocrisy - editing out the image of Mohammed. Another words a show that lampoons everything made special accomdations after the fact for 1 group. Note, the image of Mohammed wasn't even offensive and the same show had an image of Jesus shitting on GW and the flag.
  1. Reason - Intoonfada Reborn: Self-Censorship An Insult to American Muslims
  2. Super Best Friends No More

From WND article -

  • "South Park" has made its mark on society by poking fun at countless people and topics, and Fox noted there are certain liberties people can take to skewer others. "As satirists we can do that," he said. "Satire is protected by the First Amendment."

  • [....]As WND reported, Comedy Central barred the program from showing an image of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in an episode last week, but did allow a scene in which an image of Jesus Christ defecates on President Bush and the American flag.

  • The network issued a statement in connection with that, saying: "In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision."

The show notorious for being offensive and satirical is suddenly concerned about being PC. Ironically, the show itself that night has characters questioning the oppressing of free speech.

VIDEO MOHAMMED SHOW 1 HERE
VIDEO MOHAMMED SHOW 2 HERE

  • "South Park" actually depicted Muhammad, without protest, in a 2001 episode.

  • William Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights took aim at Parker and Stone for allowing the network to censor their work in last night's episode.

  • "The ultimate hypocrite is not Comedy Central – that's their decision not to show the image of Muhammad or not – it's Parker and Stone," Donohue said. "Like little whores, they'll sit there and grab the bucks. They'll sit there and they'll whine and they'll take their shot at Jesus. That's their stock in trade."

OUCH! Assumably, it was somehow OK in 2001 to depict Mohammed... just not now? In 'light of world events' that is?

SCIENTOLOGY - TOM CRUISE - VIACOM MONOPOLY

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SCIENTOLOGY EPISODE (hilarious)

The aired the episode last fall. I assume they're not afraid of Tom or millions of Scientology adherents though.... so it's ok to (justifably) mock the shit out of them. I might add in a hilarious episode.

Chef Isaac comments -
  • "There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old Hayes said in a statement.
Isaace (Shaft) is the man, but come on get serious. You've been on a show that has mocked everything for years now and haven't said a word. Suddenly after a show on Scientology you're "offended"?
  • "Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued, never mentioning the Scientology episode, but citing the global controversy over cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad. "As a civil-rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."
Yeah, ok Isaac. Now you're co-opting the Mohammed controversy and suddenly your Civil Rights badckground is offended?.... Pathetic. You said NADA and cashed your checks for how long now? and said what? after all the Jesus episodes.
  • The creators, whose show recently won a prestigious Peabody Award, struck back with an episode in which Chef appeared to be killed and then have his brains scrambled by the "Super Adventure Club," which turns members into pedophiles.

These guys are friggin too much!

South Park Scientology Saga Staggers On: Chef is Back--Or is He??!

UPDATE: EdMorrisey states Comedy Central/South Park caved in on showing a repeat of the Scientology "Tom Come out of the Closet" episode this past March.

  • I'm not sure that new viewers of the show will get the censorship gag. Comedy Central pulled the "Trapped In The Closet" episode after Isaac Hayes quit the show, and rumor has it that Viacom star Tom Cruise pressured the company to force it out of the rotation. South Park has depicted Mohammed in the past, as I noted last week. The black slides were all about spanking CC, not caving to Islamists. The two-episode set targeted wimpy broadcast executives and hypersensitive viewers as well as the Islamofascist lunatics. The Anchoress gets it.
  • Comedy Central confirmed with NRO's Steven Spruiell that they indeed censored the South Park episode to block the depiction of Mohammed. I'm flabbergasted; I cannot comprehend how they could do that while still leaving the "Super Best Friends" episode in the rotation and a depiction of Mohammed in the opening credits. After their cave-in on "Trapped In The Closet", I suppose I should not have been so surprised, but I really am. And very disappointed. On the plus side, we finally got Michelle to watch the show ...

Media Blog at NRO has more on the Scientology episode controversy -

Tom Can't Handle the Truth...

... so he threatened to boycott Mission Impossible III publicity efforts unless Paramount pressured Viacom to pressure Comedy Central to pull an episode of South Park that makes fun of Scientologists:

  • HOLLYWOOD bully Tom Cruise got Comedy Central to cancel Wednesday night's cablecast of a controversial "South Park" episode about Scientology by warning that he'd refuse to promote "Mission Impossible 3," insiders say.

  • Since Paramount is banking on "MI3" to rake in blockbuster profits this summer, and Paramount is owned by Viacom, which also owns Comedy Central, the tactic worked.

  • The "South Park" episode, "Trapped in the Closet," pokes fun at Scientology and shows Cruise, John Travolta and R. Kelly (who is not a Scientologist, but has a song called "Trapped in the Closet") literally in a closet.

  • The episode, which first aired last November, was set to rerun Wednesday night, but was mysteriously pulled at the last minute.

I usually don't get worked up over the media-consolidation bogeyman, but if it means our entertainment choices can be held hostage by Scientologists, I might have to reconsider my free-market views.

  • View part of the episode here, or download the whole thing here. Hilarious.
  • Chef Gate website dedicated to the 'controversy'
  • See the amazing episode that has been stopped by Tom Cruise! Episode available online here (RealMedia) and here (web streaming) and here (AVI).

Stone and Parker (writers of South Park) strike back

  • So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!-Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu[ 03/17/2006 01:46 PM ]