Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité... Terms and Conditions Apply!

Paris, 3 days ago, the news dispatch from the AFP reads:

A French senior civil servant has been sacked for publishing a violent anti-Israeli diatribe on a web site, the interior ministry said. Bruno Guigue, deputy prefect of the south-western town of Saintes, wrote in an online column this month that Israel was "the only state where snipers shoot down little girls outside their school gates." The author of several books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Guigue wrote of the "Israeli jails where -- thanks to religious law -- they stop torturing on the Sabbath." Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie dismissed the official after learning of the column on Wednesday, the ministry said.

Bruno Guigue wrote the piece (fr) on a website,, in which he criticized some French neocons and proIsrael advocates, who launched a frenzied campaign against the UN Council on HR. The article is a rare demonstration of eloquent courage. Refreshingly honest and quite significant given the rank and quality of the author.

[...] As for terrorism, the state of Israel can boast of unrivalled achievements. The awful attacks of september 11, 2001 have caused ten times less victims than the 1982 siege of Beirut by Tsahal. Western admirers of Israel must be mesmerized by an army capable of killing children using cruise missiles [...] wrote the author.

Guigue commented on the biased and openly defamatory campaign by a bunch of French intellos who proclaimed themselves contemporary defenders of French values, and paramount of all is of course the right to express one's self. The likes of Pascal Bruckner, Alain Finkielkraut (the equivalent in France of Norman Podhoretz), Claude Lanzmann, Elie Wiesel, Pierre-André Taguieff, Frédéric Encel, George Frêche, Robert Redecker (the gutter geek of French intelligentsia) and many others, most of whom open Islamophobes, periodically popping-up on screens to explain how it is important for France not to pander to "Islamofascists." They supported the publication of the Danish cartoons -fair enough- but they added that Western values are in big danger of being eroded by an ever growing Muslim population (some have even invented the term of Eurabia). Yesterday, I browsed over some prominent French newspapers and news websites, but haven't found a word from those same auteurs de la bien-pensance -or preachers of the well thinking as they are sometimes sarcastically called- who seem to consider that the freedom and values they are allegedly defending, exclude obvious offenders like Israel who has the money to buy out their bloody conscience.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Five Years of Protectorate

Five years after the US-led invasion of Iraq and the installation of a puppet regime, Iraqis are still waiting for the seventh heaven promised by Bush and Co.

The slight decline in the inter-ethnic violence must be the result of the almost now complete segregation of the Iraqi society. Iraq has been fragmented, shattered according to the whim of the invaders. Divide Et Imperia.

The stooge government doesn't have much authority nor enjoys any meaningful sovereignty, having to constantly be monitored and protected by the American master. A little illustration:

Gun-waving soldiers first cleared all traffic from the streets. Then four black armored cars, each with three machine gunners on the roof, raced out of a heavily fortified exit from the Green Zone, followed by sand-coloured American Humvees and more armoured cars. Finally, in the middle of the speeding convoy, we saw six identical bullet proof vehicles with black windows, one of which must have carried Mr Maliki. [...] The Iraqi prime minister was only going to the headquarters of the Dawa party to which he belongs and which are only half a mile from the Green Zone but his hundreds of security guards acted as if they were entering enemy territory.
Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad.

Over one million Iraqis have died as a result of the illegal invasion of their country according to many sources. More than four million Iraqis have now either left the country or been forced to move from their homes and neighbourhoods in order to aggregate with fellow ethnic or sectarian peers. And those numbers are now acknowledged by the Americans themselves, who so far have lost around four thousand of their soldiers for the sake of Chevron, Exxon-Mobile, Carlyle, and the like. Democracy and justice will have to wait.

Picture Courtesy of Carlos Latuff.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Non-Violent Dissent Pays

Fouad Mourtada reportedly freed yesterday after being granted royal amnesty, having spent nearly two mouths in prison for no tangible reason other than committing a crime of lèse-majesté. Even in Morocco, resilient, perseverant and honest non-violent dissent pays.

The news from Morocco (if confirmed) is a real sigh of relief for many bloggers, and HR activists who campaigned hard to make the case of Fouad known and widely published. But this is not a victory for democracy nor for HR (as the Moroccan writer Laila Lalami rightly pointed out on her blog) because the institutions of the monarchy have acted in clear subservience to the central power. And I don't think that one can feel comfortable yet in a country where people are being imprisoned and later released according to the will and whims of one single person. Anyway, Fouad is now a free man. Until Mourtada's arrest, Moroccans have enjoyed reasonably free access to the internet compared to the regional standards. They rightly spotted the danger of imprisoning Mourtada and they succesfully named and shamed the Moroccan government for what it did. Throughout the Arab World, though, many bloggers and other prisoners of opinion still languish in prisons sometimes without due process or any legal recourse.

By the way, Aid Maulid a'Nabawi Saîd (happy Maulid feast).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chutzpah & Rekindling Hope in Obama

According to the Israeli TV and to Al-Quds Al-Arabi (as translated by the Missing Link and reported by eatbees), the Israeli cabinet has decided to forcibly evacuate northern Gaza. "[Defence Minister Ehud] Barak intends to plan for the removal of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the northern Gaza Strip, namely from the region that the resistance uses for the launch of these rockets, and to move them toward Gaza City and to confine them there," said the television report.

Chutzpah means shameless, arrogant audacity and effrontery in Hebrew, a feeling well known and "enjoyed" amongst Israelis those days. Contemptuous as they are, of the lives of hundreds of thousands they have destroyed, of the cry for reason and peace of millions who marched for justice around the world. This unmitigated effrontery, betrays in fact the levels of confidence Israel and its supporters have today, on their ability of taming most of international bodies and most importantly, the capacity to control US's foreign policy and dictate their own interests to the American decision makers.

Talking about American decision makers, I've had a protracted and interesting discussion with my friend eatbees, about the ability for someone like Sen. Barak Obama to force change in an already corrupt political system, deeply plagued by the anti-democratic influence of lobbies and pressure groups. And we evoked the relationship Obama has with the Israel lobby. The speech he gave in front of the AIPAC gathering last year, wasn't a straightforward neocon-style obsequious eulogy, but was nonetheless quite in favour of the Zionist state and it's recent actions, including its criminal destruction of neighbouring Lebanon, some mounts before. A support he reiterated in some of hes recent comments. Eatbees referred me to
this article, in which I learned that the man had in 1998, attended a dinner keynoted by the late Columbia Professor Edward Said -that must be a first for a presidential hopeful,- and that one of Obama's colleagues at the university of Chicago was the Palestinian scholar at Columbia, Rashid Khalidi. George Galloway, the pro-Palestinian British MP and radio host, answered in favour of Obama when I phoned his program last year to quote parts of Barak's address in front of AIPAC. Galloway claims that Obama's body-language betrayed the feeling of unease he must have experienced in such sycophantic place, much to the dismay of many of Israel supporters who attended the speech. Obama was indeed attacked virulently recently by some prominent Israel lobby muggers, who clearly want to force him into the polemic.

Now, of course, I don't think that having dinner with Said is by any stretch of the imagination, a guarantee that a future Obama administration would at last play the role of the honest broker other administrations ought to have played for decades, but surely Obama comes at a time when many great taboos in American politics are collapsing. The lobby might have retained an enormous influence, but many analysts have decided not to succumb to its intimidations anymore and have began to expose its mafia-like machinery. What's more, the traditional fund-raising mechanisms which the Israel supporters have long dominated can now effectively be bypassed through the usage of Internet. Obama proved that to be efficient!

Will Obama be the providential emperor who will put an end to that damn Chutzpah? I prefer to wait and see.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Politics of Sorcerer's Apprentices II

Inside Story - The backfired plan - 05 March 08. Courtesy of Aljazeera.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Politics of Sorcerer's Apprentices

At the Roots of Today's Catastrophy in Gaza is the Old-New American Doctrine: My-Enemy's-Enemy-is-My-Friend.

The Magazine Vanity Fair, publishes a reminder on how the American strategy of trying to topple the Hamas-led, though democratically elected government of Palestine has failed and eventually back-fired. "the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs." "With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials," the author confirms what everybody, with eyes to see, knew already.

> Here is an interesting interview with the author.

Stating the Obvious

Amnesty International, CARE International UK, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Médecins du Monde UK, Oxfam, Save the Children UK and Trócaire - say that "Israel’s blockade of Gaza is a collective punishment of the entire Gazan civilian population of 1.5 million" and that "the Israeli government's policy of blockade is unacceptable, illegal and fails to deliver security for Palestinians and Israelis alike."

"The situation for 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is worse now than it has ever been since the start of the Israeli military occupation in 1967. The current situation in Gaza is man-made, completely avoidable and, with the necessary political will, can also be reversed."

> See Full report here.
(Picture Courtesy of Álvaro Herraiz)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who Does He Think He's Fooling?

Change, We Can('t) Believe In!

For those who got mesmerized by Obama's speaking skills or his quite charming character, this is a reminder of what he pledged in march, last year in front of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC):

[...] At the same time, we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defence relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defence programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza. And when Israel is attacked, we must stand up for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself. Last summer, Hezbollah attacked Israel. By using Lebanon as an outpost for terrorism, and innocent people as shields, Hezbollah has also engulfed that entire nation in violence and conflict, and threatened the fledgling movement for democracy there [...]

Last week, Obama felt the need to recomfort his pro-Israel sponsors. on the NBC's Democratic Presidential debate, he said he has long been a "stalwart friend of Israel's," believing the country to be one of the United States' "most important allies in the region," and even going as far as to call the security of Israel "sacrosanct," (See Joshua Frank's piece on CounterPunch) adding: "Now the gravest threat ... to Israel today, I believe, is from Iran. There the radical regime continues to pursue its capacity to build a nuclear weapon and continues to support terrorism across the region [...] Threats of Israel's destruction can not be dismissed as rhetoric. The threat from Iran is real and my goal as president would be to eliminate that threat."

Any objections?
P.S.: on the same course, I fully recommend this truthful article on the Israeli psyche at times of aggressive and criminal wars, by the indefatigable peace activist Uri Avnery.
(Picture Courtesy of Joe Crimmings)

Beautiful Faces


> Watch pictures of Fouad supporters here.

Thanks Amine for keeping me updated... as always!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gazan Holocaust Continues Whilst the World Doesn't Give a F...

The World is watching while Israel collectively punish the Palestinians... The dirty work of getting rid of Arab Untermenschen continues unabated. Concerning the visit of Condee to the region, I've come across this quite funny invective:
"Give all Arab Leaders a Visa, and Take them with you Misses Condoleeza"

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Free Fouad! Free all Political Prisonners!

The Moroccan community in France, mobilized yesterday, in support of Fouad's cause and that of all political prisonners in Morocco.
> related post.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Zionism in Action

A 24/7 Massacre-Courtesy of Aljazeera.

And in the mean time, what do you think Arab leaders might spend their Saturday night working at? Those incompetent, gutless jackasses wouldn't be able of finding their way out of a paper bag let alone defend the rights of the Palestinians. Arab leaders are guilty of dishonouring their function; guilty of letting us all down.

While the gangster called Mohamed Dahlan (as the 'AgryArab' rightly described him) and his protector, Abu Mazen, the puppet president chosen by the Israeli-American cabal to better tear the Palestinian body apart; while those two wait in the safety of the West Bank, their fellow Palestinians are being systematically massacred and executed in the Gaza concentration camp,under the noses of a somnolent 'international community' and a biased, complaisant western media.

We are being robbed (We: Arabs). In the same way Sykes and Picot robbed and fragmented the Arab World and manufactured regimes to rule the region and suit the superpowers of the time, in the same way Zionists came from nowhere and stole the Palestinian properties and land, Arab so-called 'leaders' today are stealing our hopes, our wealth, our future, our dignity.

Will it one day be possible to erase and rewind: looking back at the failures of the past, and the so-many missed opportunities, easy defeats, miscalculated policies... irrecoverable mistakes, you hope that the opportunity will be given one day to erase the frustrations and former disasters, fix the damage done and restore some of the dignity lost.

Arab leaders must be held to account... they must pay, for this calamity can not carry on forever!

This is what the late Edward Said wrote in a 2001 brilliant article of hes:

When our historians look back to the first 50 years of Israel's existence, an enormous historical responsibility shall rest damningly on the shoulders of the Arab leaders who have criminally -- yes, criminally -- allowed this to go on without even the most meagre and half-hearted response. Instead, each of them has fought each of the others, or has relied on the hopelessly self-serving theory that by trying to ingratiate themselves with the American government (even becoming clients of the US) they would assure themselves of longevity in power, regardless of whether Arab interests were being served or not. So deeply ingrained has this notion become that even the Palestinian leadership has subscribed to it [...] The average American hasn't the slightest inkling that there is a narrative of Palestinian suffering and dispossession at least as old as Israel itself. Meanwhile Arab leaders come running to Washington begging for American protection without even understanding that three generations of Americans have been brought up on Israeli propaganda to believe that Arabs are lying terrorists and that it is wrong to do business with them, let alone protect them [...]

Since 1948, Arab leaders have never bothered to confront Israeli propaganda in the US. All the immense amounts of Arab money invested in military spending (first on Soviet, then Western arms) have come to nought because Arab efforts have been neither protected by information nor explained by patient, systematic organising. The result is that literally hundred of thousands of lost Arab lives have gone for nothing, nothing at all. The citizens of the world's only superpower have been led to believe that everything Arabs do and are is wasteful, violent, fanatical and anti-Semitic. Israel is "our" only ally. And so $92 billion in aid since 1967 have gone unquestioningly from the US taxpayer to the Jewish state. As I said earlier, a total absence of planning and thought vis-à-vis the US political and cultural arena is hugely (but not exclusively) to blame for the astounding amount of Arab land and lives lost to Israel (subsidised by the US) since 1948, a major political crime which I hope the Arab leaders one day answer for.

[latest Update: according to The Independent, "An Israeli government minister warned yesterday that increasing rocket fire from Gaza would bring Palestinians a Shoah – the Hebrew word normally used to denote the Nazi Holocaust inflicted on Jews during the Second World War..." ... No comment!]