Posts filed under ‘Middle East’
Wow, this is an amazing story (I’ve shortened it a lot; go to the original for all the gory details). It’s essentially the back story to Pakistan and North Korea having nuclear bombs and Iran having a “nuclear program.”
Richard Barlow was driving his 13-year-old motorhome through a mountain state’s blizzard the week before Thanksgiving when news broke of the Iran nuclear deal.
Bad memories flooded his mind, not that they’re ever far away. For more than 25 years, ever since he testified behind closed doors on Capitol Hill that the CIA had “scores” of “absolutely reliable” reports on Pakistan’s clandestine efforts to obtain nuclear bomb technology – technology it later gave to Iran – his life has been tumbling through one trapdoor after another.
Barlow’s testimony in 1987 shocked several panel members of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, in part because Army General David Einsel, assigned to the CIA as a top intelligence official, had just told the committee that – despite the recent arrest of a Pakistani caught red-handed buying prohibited nuclear materials – the evidence that Islamabad was pursuing a bomb was inconclusive. The hearing erupted in shouts when Barlow told them differently. “They went through the roof,” he recalled from the road this week. By the time he got back to CIA headquarters, “the phones were ringing off the hook.”
Top Reagan administration officials were in “a panic,” he said, because Pakistan was the crucial player in the CIA operation funneling weapons to Islamic “holy warriors” fighting the Soviet Red Army next door in Afghanistan. If it became known that Pakistan was secretly building a bomb, a law passed by Congress would require a cut-off of military aid.
Obsessed with communism, the administration made a choice: It would turn a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear program in order to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan.
And that meant Barlow, 33 at the time, had to be destroyed.
“If they had busted those [Pakistani] networks,” [Barlow] said last week, “Iran would have no nuclear program, North Korea wouldn’t have a uranium bomb, and Pakistan wouldn’t have over a hundred nuclear weapons they are driving around in vans to hide from us.”
Thanks for the memories Ronnie.
Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb
The biggest thing here in the USofA today has to do with the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine:
The cover story is about how “The [Boston] bomber” Jahar Tsarnaev (above) was a “Popular, Promising Student” who “Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.”
I think the photo choice is brilliant. It makes Rolling Stone’s point: A cool-looking, sexy, regular guy who your daughter goes to school with and might want to date turns into a bomber and a monster when radicalized by what the United States does to his people.
That’s how terrorists are born.
Bombers and “monsters” aren’t born looking like this:
We like to think we can spot them; that they’re somehow obvious, like this guy.
What the Rolling Stone cover/article attempts to teach us is that we can’t spot them and they aren’t obvious. They are everywhere and it’s about time we faced that fact.
What we’re doing as a country — as in killing innocent people with drones and starting wars hither and yawn — is coming back to haunt us and the “monsters” live among us. They are our neighbors and our friends.
The bazillions we’re spending hunting down the very last “bomber” on the planet is getting us nowhere.
Let’s not have a fit about the cover of Rolling Stone. Let’s have a fit about what the U.S. government is doing to turn the Jahar Tsarnaevs of the world against us.
From The Guardian:
As Ramadan begins, more than 100 hunger-strikers in Guantánamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being force-fed. A leaked document sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees. In this four-minute film made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve and Bafta award-winning director Asif Kapadia, US actor and rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), experiences the procedure.
Sign seen in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today (via Sharif Kouddous):
For about an hour this afternoon I had seven or eight twitter feeds open on my desktop as I was following what was happening in Egypt. (Thanks to our corporate media basically ignoring it.)
I read tweets from a reporter from the Guardian, the NYTimes, a local Egyptian blogger, someone from CNN and two or three others whose affiliations I don’t remember now.
Anyway, millions of people demonstrated all across the country (I read estimates of as many as 24 million) against Prime Minister Mohamed Morsi, who has only been in office for a year (as of today). The BBC is saying this is the biggest political demonstration ever. E-v-e-r.
These were Muslims demonstrating against a PM who is from the Muslim Brotherhood. In other words, Muslims demonstrating against a Muslim. Maybe that’s why our corporate media didn’t cover it. They didn’t want us to know that could happen. They want us to see Muslims as a united and terrifying front.
This is my favorite photo of the day:
And this is my favorite tweet of the day:
So they did.
A banner in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today:
They don’t “hate us for our freedoms” as George Bush stupidly said. They hate us for our drones, for our support of dictators, for our bases, for our need to dominate.
The poor Egyptian people. In February, 2011 they massed in Tahrir Square and eventually forced Hosni Mubarak out of office. Then they held an election and elected Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who, per the article below, has been “dreadful.”
Tomorrow they’re taking to the streets again to try to force Morsi out:
Tomorrow, Sunday June 30th, thousands of Egyptians will commemorate the first anniversary of Mohamed Morsi’s presidency by taking to the streets demanding him to step down. The scheduled protests might be the biggest since the revolution of 2011.
Why June 30?
I believe June 30 is inevitable, it is destined to happen regardless of whether you agree with the demands or not. Thanks to the MB’s [Muslim Brotherhood's] mismanagement of the country and their political greed, many “coach party members” who never joined a demonstration will do so on this particular day. In fact, if Tamarod wants to thank someone for the success of their campaign, they should thank the MB themselves.
During Mubarak I would have never imagined that the day would come when Egyptians would lambaste the MB so openly. The MB and their Islamists cohorts were “holy” under Mubarak, they were untouchable, they were God’s people. Today you can hardly get into a Cairo cab without hearing him hurl insults at the MB and Morsi.
So why June 30? Because of the MB’s dreadful rule during the past year.
Will June 30 be big?
Depends on who will join. If we had the same middle class crowd that took to the streets last December following the constitutional decree, then nothing much will happen. These folks demonstrate till 10 pm. If we had a newer segment of the society, namely the lower social economic class, then we’re talking. Judging from events in the Delta during the past days, do expect a new kind of protesters. I don’t know how they will look like, but I know for a fact they won’t look like the neat middle class protesters you all loved on January 2011.
What will happen?
Cairo – clashes might happen if the number of demonstrators was massive and they decided to occupy Cairo. In other words, occupy the institutions of power to force the regime to abdicate. If that happened, the Islamists stationed in Rabaa el Adaweiyah will react and the mini civil war will commence.
The Battle of Cairo?
If massive numbers took to the streets and they decided to take control of the capital, “The Battle of Cairo” will occur.
I recommend reading the whole article; fascinating analysis and I can’t do it justice here by cutting and pasting. It’s a complicated situation.
I also think the author’s Twitter feed will probably be pretty informative when this gets going (unlike the American corporate media). Here’s a link to that.
UPDATED: 6:52 p.m. ET:
This from the Cairo bureau chief for the New York Times:
As usual, the Syrian “uprising” we’ve been hearing about for a few years now is complicated beyond belief and we here in the U.S. are only being told a fraction of the story, thanks to our lame so-called “news media.”
Read this article by Robert Fisk of the U.K. Independent: Iran to Send 4,000 Troops to Aid President Assad Forces in Syria.
The title alone is pretty telling if you think about it for a second: Iran’s defending Syrian President Assad and the U.S. is arming the “rebels.” Great back door way of starting a war with Iran, huh?
Anyway, I suggest reading the whole thing. Robert Fisk is the Independent‘s Middle East expert and he’s been reporting from — and living there — for a long time. He knows of what he speaks.
It’s a tinderbox there — going back hundreds of years (literally) — and the though of the U.S. getting involved is pretty scary. It could lead to very bad things.
Most of the news we get about the endless Israeli/Palestinian conflict implies that the Palestinians just won’t leave the poor Israelis alone. That’s because here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. it’s considered sacrilegious to say anything negative about Israel. Yet it’s amazing to me the Palestinians aren’t more militant than they are what with the Israelis forever picking away at them by doing things like this:
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces destroyed over 1,300 olive trees in the south Hebron hills on Tuesday.
Israeli soldiers accompanied officials from Israel’s civil administration as demolition crews uprooted hundreds of olive trees in the village of Susiya, Ma’an’s reporter said.
According to B’Tselem, there are 26 outstanding Israeli demolition orders in the village.
In February 2012, right-wing settler advocacy group Regavim petitioned Israel’s supreme court on behalf of an Israeli settlement overshadowing the village, calling for Israeli authorities to implement the demolition orders.
Meanwhile, settlers from Karmi Tzur uprooted 30 olive trees east of Halhul, local Saeed Madiyah told Ma’an.
In al-Malih and al-Madareb, in the Jordan Valley, Israeli forces demolished 15 animal shelters belonging to Bedouins in the area.
It’s a heartbreaking situation.
Time will tell how much of this hysterical headline from the New York Post is true:
And then there’s this sentence which is included in the body of the article:
Authorities have a identified a suspect, a Saudi national, who is currently being guarded in a Boston hospital with shrapnel wounds.
Let’s check back in a day or two regarding these ahem, “facts.”
Ten years ago. From CNN:
Dixie Chicks Pulled From Air After Bashing Bush
DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) –There are a lot worse things in country music than your wife leaving you or your dog dying. There’s stations not playing your music because you done gone and said some things against the president.
Music superstars the Dixie Chicks are finding out that criticizing President Bush’s plans for war in Iraq can cost you air play, big time.
Country stations across the United States have pulled the Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
Love how CNN tossed its journalist cred and signaled it was on Bush’s side when it titled its article, “Dixie Chicks Pulled From Air After Bashing Bush.” Bashing Bush? Really?
That’s how insane we were. Bush & Co. said mushroom clouds were on the way and when the Dixie Chicks saw through that, as so many of us did, and said they were “ashamed,” CNN said they were “bashing” Bush when they should have been questioning him too.
Such bad memories.
I’ve read a couple blurbs today about how the American public “just doesn’t want to remember the Iraq war” and I’m kind of in that camp. It’s so upsetting. We went insane, lead by our still-crappy, sheep-like, stenographic, Washington-centric, corporate-owned media.
Sadly, all signs point to it being able to happen again.
I don’t know what to say on this, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I was against the war before it began and I’ve been against it ever since. I thought we were being lied to all along and it turns out, that’s exactly what was happening.
So much misery.
In my opinion the invasion was one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever seen.
(It’s indicative of the fantasyland George Bush lived in when we’re reminded that Bush gave his “mission accomplished” speech six weeks — SIX WEEKS — after the March 19, 2003 invasion. (The war officially ended on December 15, 2011).)
When I hear John McCain urging an attack on Iran (or any other country, which he’s fond of doing), I wonder why anyone listens to him. He got Iraq so, so wrong. As with bankers, there are no consequences.
The Right War for the Right Reasons
The critics also have it wrong when they say that the strategy of the United States for the opening hours of the conflict — likely to involve more than 3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles in the first two days — is intended to damage and demoralize the Iraqi people. It is intended to damage and demoralize the Iraqi military and to dissuade Iraqi leaders from using weapons of mass destruction against our forces or against neighboring countries, and from committing further atrocities against the Iraqi people.
The force our military uses will be less than proportional to the threat of injury we can expect to face should Saddam Hussein continue to build an arsenal of the world’s most destructive weapons.
sn’t it more likely that antipathy toward the United States in the Islamic world might diminish amid the demonstrations of jubilant Iraqis celebrating the end of a regime that has few equals in its ruthlessness?
William Rivers Pitt, a real journalist — we need a thousand more like him — on the run up to the Iraq war:
Over the last few years, MSNBC refashioned itself as the progressive news alternative to networks like Fox and CNN by giving Keith Olbermann an opportunity to do actual journalism on television for a few years, and by putting people like Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz front and center. Even Chris Matthews, the human weathervane, appears to have gotten the memo. But I remember a phone call I got from an MSNBC producer in February of 2003. Hans Blix and his weapons inspectors had not been in Iraq for 100 hours when this woman called me on my cell, told me she’d read my book, and asked me to appear on the network. There was, however, one caveat: she told me I was expected to argue that Blix and the inspectors were doing a terrible job and should be ignored, which just happened to be the exact line being peddled at the time by the Bush administration. I told the producer that I did not agree, that the inspectors needed to be given time to do their jobs, and that undermining them might lead to a devastating war. The MSNBC producer chuffed a cigarette-roughened laugh into my phone and hung up on me.
That happened – I remember the details not only because of how gruesome the conversation was, but because when she hung up on me, I almost lost control of my car and nearly wound up in the Charles River – and the fact of it tells you everything you need to know about MSNBC and the rest of the alphabet-soup cohort that is America’s “mainstream” news media. I did not do what that MSNBC producer asked me to, but you can bet all the money you have that she found someone who would a few phone calls later. You might have even seen it on TV.
The war against Iraq, in the end, was nothing more or less than a massive money-laundering operation that took American taxpayer dollars, soaked them in blood, and redirected them to Certain Friends In High Places. It was, as I said years ago, a smash-and-grab robbery[*] writ large, aided and abetted by an American “news” media which had its own profit motive, and which made a nifty sum off the whole deal. Even better for them, today they get to enjoy the ratings and advertising dollars to come when they broadcast their somber “documentaries” about how terrible it all was, how many lies were told, how many mistakes were made, and all without ever looking inward at their own enormous complicity.
* Halliburton, KBR, United Defense, the Carlyle Group, independent military contractors like Blackwater and a crowd of American oil companies are still counting the riches they earned from their participation in the carnage.
I’m proud to say I was one of the millions of people around the world who demonstrated (more than once) against the war. It has turned out pretty much exactly as I feared.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Lindsay Graham and Erick Erickson Praise Obama’s Drone Plan/Kill list
They’re all warmongers so if they love it, I don’t!
To wild GOP crowd cheers, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman vehemently defend Obama’s assassination policy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.
We no longer have to transport ourselves to a magical alternate reality to ponder what a love child between Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney would look like. Given a Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News, we can conclude that child would look like none other than President Barack Obama.
“Just kill the terrorists before they kill us.” Land of the free and home of the brave? No. When I saw folks tearing up at the Super Bowl over those words I gagged.
We’re a scared bunch of sheeple. We stood by while almost 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam because our leaders told us the commies were coming to get us. Ten years ago yesterday, Colin Powell lied his face off in front of the United Nations Security Council and as a result, we invaded Iraq because they (I’m gagging again) supposedly had WMD and were ready to send a mushroom cloud over the U.S.
None of that was true.
Yet, again, we’re so scared of the lies we’ve told ourselves, all in the name of kill them before they kill us.
Defense spending — our tax dollars! — has doubled since 2001.
Ten years ago there was no such thing as the Department of Homeland Security but now we’re dumping untold billions dollars into that agency because it’s supposedly keeping us “safe.
And now we have drones — millions going to defense contractors for their new toys that we’re paying for — AGAIN, out of our tax dollars that — and President Obama’s kill list predicated on his supposed authority to kill Americans without their Constitutional right to be charged and tried by a jury of their piers.
They tell us these drone strikes are keeping us safe. But they aren’t: “Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred” say Pakistani protesters. Google it yourself. There’s a whole bunch of info out there about how drone attacks are actually making us less after
So when will be again become the land of the free and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and when will we stop being scared little people who sacrifice their future for defense contractors and politicians who want to enrich them?
Simultaneously sad and hilarious:
The lock the Israeli lobby in the United States has on the discussion of Israel’s occupation of Palestine is truly astonishing. Check out what the New York Times — a newspaper which says it offers “the world’s finest journalism” — did today when it told the truth (oops!) about that:
Screenshot #1. Note the headline: “Palestinians Set Up Camp in Israeli-Occupied West Bank Territory:”
Uh oh. Israeli-occupied? That’s basically banned language around here because Israel doesn’t do things like that, or so “the worlds finest” journalists would have us believe. Look at how the headline reads now: “Palestinians Set Up Tents Where Israel Plans Homes:”
Yeah, I know that’s a bit of a shocker of a headline but look at this:
W A R
Amid violence and chaos in Syria, four hundred US troops have been deployed to Turkey with Patriot missile batteries to bolster defenses along the border. NBC’s Annabel Roberts reports.
The way this gets out of control — and fast — is, we send troops to “defend” Turkey. One U.S. soldier gets killed and suddenly we need reinforcements because that soldier shouldn’t die in vain. And then another soldier dies and we need even more troops because now we’ve lost two people and we have to justify their deaths. Then we send helicopters and tanks and we set-up camps and voila, we’ve got 5,000, 10,000, 40,000 troops there.
Syria’s President Assad is a monster and what he’s doing to his people is horrific. I get that. My problem is that suddenly we’re sliding into something that might cost us millions if not billions of dollars while the discussion on the table at home is about austerity and cutting “entitlements,” more honestly known as earned benefits working Americans have paid into.
Let’s put sending troops to Turkey on the table too. Can we afford it? How are we going to pay for another potential war? Democrats don’t want to look like they’re “weak” on defense and Republicans would love it if we ran the budget up even more because then hey, their 30-year dream of slashing those “entitlements” in order to balance the budget might finally come true.
Let’s say no for a sec until we have a national discussion about how we’re going to pay for this. I mean, do We the People have a say in this since we’re the ones who’re going to pay for it?
The State of Israel was established in 1947:
On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the United Nations partition plan of Mandatory Palestine. On 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.”
The Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting over territory ever since, which makes this comment by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu so ridiculous:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized President Shimon Peres on Tuesday, after the latter called him to move forward with Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
“Contrary to voices I’m hearing over the last few days, urging me to rush forward, to give up, to withdraw, I think that in a political process one should act responsibly and not in a rush, with a realistic approach and not a hasty one,” Netanyahu said.
No, let’s not “rush” or make any “hasty” decisions Bibi. Let’s wait another 65 years and who-knows-how-many more deaths. Geezus. What an utter lack of leadership.
This is such good news. The Palestinians have been shunned (thanks to Israel and the United States) long enough. I’m all for any move that gives oppressed people a voice. Bravo to the U.N.:
The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States.
The resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member world body — a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions.
A Palestinian flag was quickly unfurled on the floor of the General Assembly, behind the Palestinian delegation.
Israel and the United States (embarrassingly) voted against the measure.
Thank god a majority of the members of the U.N. are less hateful and vindictive than the U.S. is; a big factor being that the Israeli lobby doesn’t have a choke-hold on their governments.
UPDATE: Here’s a list of the powerhouse (well, not exactly) nine nations that voted no with the U.S. on this:
Voting “no” Thursday were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The Pacific nations typically support the U.S. and Israel at the U.N. on key General Assembly resolutions.
That’s right Americans. The Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau are on your side.
Check out this photo the New York Times ran yesterday under the headline: On This, 2 Sides Agree: Fighting Hardened Positions:
The caption under the photo reads: “Girls at a Gaza school were stunned to find it closed.”
Read the article here or at the link above.
That said, I love the reaction from TheAngryArabNewsService which is spot on:
“Girls at a Gaza school were stunned to find it closed[?]“ No, you smart people of the Times. They are stunned obviously to see all that destruction.
Geezus. The NYTimes can’t get past its own spin. Look at the blown-out windows in the background and the rubble. Who does the NYT think it’s kidding?
Hey, I think I know. Itself.
Does Israel have a long-term plan or strategy for dealing with its seemingly never-ending conflict with the Palestinians in Gaza? Not exactly:
An Israeli official was listening a few days ago to the familiar critique that Israel doesn’t have any strategy in Gaza, just periodic tactical assaults on Hamas. The official finally exploded: “That is our strategy. Don’t you understand? We don’t have any other choice except to punch our adversary in the face every few years.”
They “don’t have any other choice?” Yes they do. Where are the grownups?
Number of Israelis killed by fire from Gaza between January 1st 2012 and November 11th 2012: 1
Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire during the same period: 78
(Source: United Nations)
Number of Israelis killed by fire from Gaza, November 13th-19th 2012: 3
(Source: press reports)
Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire, November 13th-19th: 95
Total number of Israelis killed by rocket, mortar or anti-tank fire from Gaza since 2006: 47
(Source: Wikipedia. This is disputed; another source says 26)
Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire from April 1st 2006 to July 21st 2012: 2,879
(Source: United Nations)
Find little ol’ Gaza on the map above. This is like a fight between an elephant and a mouse.
On a windy night in September, whilst most people were sleeping, wind power reached a record of 64.2% of Spain’s electricity demand.
The vast majority of Spain’s power that night came not from fossil fuels but clean, renewable energy generated by wind turbines on the Spanish hills.
And what couldn’t be used in Spain wasn’t wasted.
Some was exported via giant cables linking Spain to the rest of Europe and some was used to pump water uphill so it could be allowed to flow back down later, when demand was higher.
Pumped storage and interconnectors are just two of the way Spain has found to make sure wind works.
And there’s this:
Germany continues to outstrip the rest of the world in solar power capacity, and is adding new solar faster than any other country as well.
The US energy corporatocracy wants to believe that drilling for oil, fracking and transnational pipelines are the key to energy independence. Believe that at your children’s and your grandchildren’s peril.
Countries like Germany and Spain (despite their financial difficulties) are moving ahead with clean energy yet the US is held hostage by companies who wouldn’t mind destroying the entire planet to make a profit.
This is a must — MUST — watch: “It tells the story of the wars in the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant, since the cavemen until today:”
Seriously. I highly recommend it.
David Kirkpatrick, the New York Times‘ Cairo bureau chief and Steven Erlanger, its Paris bureau chief, just interviewed the President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi. They have been tweeting some fascinating tidbits about the interview for about an hour now. If you’re interested check out their twitter feeds linked to above. (The article resulting from the interview will apparently be posted on the NYT website tonight.)
This tweet really struck me:
Haven’t heard anyone state this so bluntly before. It’s something we Americans need to hear and to know, as in really get and internalize and hopefully, change. (I’m not optimistic on that score given Israel’s power over us.)
America, do we really want to elect someone who inspires headlines like this? Romney says Middle East Peace ‘Unthinkable’
Juan Cole over at Informed Comment is, as usual, the go-to guy for understanding what’s going on in the Middle East. This is the best I could do to (hopefully) convey his main points, cut from a very long article:
Romney Jumps the Shark: Libya, Egypt and the Butterfly Effect
So the Associated Press did a careful investigation of the ‘Sam Bacile’ who supposedly directed the hate film, ‘The Innocence of Muslims.’ And AP found that probably he does not exist, but is a persona used by a convicted Coptic Egyptian fraudster, Nakoula Bassely Nakoula.
But the story gets more complex. Nakoula had Coptic and evangelical associates in the shooting of the film, including Steve Klein, a former Marine and current extremist Christian who has helped train militiamen in California churches and has led “protests outside abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques.” My guess is that most of the Egyptian Copts involved are converts to American-style fundamentalism.
The Egyptian Coptic church has roundly condemned the hateful film they made smearing the Prophet Muhammad.
Anyway, the bigotry of the edited film, directed at Muslims, is part of a movement of religious prejudice that also targets . . . Mormons.
Then it turns out that the film was shot in such a way that there was originally no mention of the Prophet Muhammad in the script, and the cast had no idea what they were getting themselves into, and then the name of Muhammad was clumsily dubbed into the final edit.
So, the film was from the beginning a fraud. It was directed by a fraud. It was promoted by a militia trainer. And Nakoula marketed it fraudulently as the work of a fictitious Israeli-American Jewish real estate agent, ‘Sam Bacile,’ and falsely said it had been funded by “a hundred Jewish donors.”
The group behind the film, in other words, managed to evoke all the classic themes of anti-Semitism as a way of disguising the Coptic and evangelical network out of which the ‘film’ came. When they weren’t busy picketing Mormons and defaming Muslims they were trying to get Jews killed for their own smears of Islam!
Of course, given the strident hatred of Muslims promoted by a handful of Jewish American extremists such as Pamela Geller, David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes and others, in which they gleefully join with white supremacists and Christian fundamentalists, it was only a matter of time before their partners in hate turned on them and used them.
The bad, dubbed ‘film’ only had one theater showing in some dowdy place in LA. Then in July the group had the trailer for it dubbed into Arabic with subtitles as well, and put it on Youtube, where it was found by strident Egyptian Muslim fundamentalist Sheikh Khaled Abdallah, who had it shown on al-Nas television and caused the sensation that led to Tuesday’s demonstrations in Cairo and Benghazi. As I argued yesterday, the vigilante extremists or ‘jihadis’ have been left on the garbage pile of history by the democratic elections in Egypt and Libya, and are whipping up the issue of this film in a desperate attempt to remain relevant.
Aware of the building sensation about the film, an employee of the US embassy in Cairo condemned it as hate speech before the rally began outside its premises.
In other words, this is a non-film and a non-story, a fraud, promoted by the worst people in each culture.
In the end, the violence and extremism of the hardliners on both sides is a phantasm of the past, not a harbinger of the future. The wave of democratic politics sweeping the region has left the haters behind, reducing them to desperate and senseless acts of violence that will gain them no good will, no popularity, no political credibility.
The term “Coptic Egyptian” is new to me. Here is the Wikipedia page for that group.
I absolutely love this post from 972mag because it so perfectly, perfectly!, illustrates the United States’ relationship with Israel for as long as I’ve been alive:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise yesterday to build 851 more housing units in the West Bank got the Americans “angry,” as usual:
“The US position on Israeli settlements is clear – we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. We also oppose any effort to legalize settlement outposts,” the official said.
Yada, yada, yada. Been there, heard that. If I had a buck for every time a State Department official condemned settlement activity, I’d have more than Warren Buffet.
And guess what? Israeli officials don’t even bother to hide how they take America for a dupe. Here’s what Ariel Attias (Shas), Minister of Construction and Housing, said to Army Radio this morning:
They condemn. We build.
It’s a pretty simple game once you get the hang of it.
And on and on it goes.
I am ashamed that the U.S. has looked the other way all these years on the issue of the Israeli settlements. Going against Israel, even when it would be the right thing to do, just isn’t done here.
My heart goes out to the Palestinians. Decade upon decade of this: