=== News Update ===
False prophets : The US loves listening to its Arab/Muslim ‘reformers’. And they love telling the US just what it wants to hear.
For a long time now, I have been meaning to take a cool, reflective look at Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji. The ordeal of keeping calm long enough to write about them and avoiding serious damage to my blood pressure at the same time was mainly what prevented me.
Hirsi Ali and Manji (“the Muslim refusenik”) are the most prominent among several “reformers” of Arab or Muslim origin lionised by the American media and in Britain by the likes of Melanie Phillips.
Editors and TV producers love ‘em. Their strident views make for entertaining television and, of course, the things they say are generally what the US public wants to hear. The trouble is, their approach is so simplistic and confrontational and so insensitive towards the culture they are trying to change that it does more harm than good. Among ordinary Muslims – the people they are supposedly seeking to help – their credibility is virtually zero.
In the academic world, people like Hirsi Ali and Manji are known as “native informants”, though Issandr el-Amrani of the Arabist blog has another term for them: “courageous reformist Arab personalities (CRAP).
Being a CRAP is quite lucrative – Manji reportedly charges $7,500 (£4,000)an hour for giving a talk. If you fancy joining them, there’s a bit of advice here on how to do it. From a media point of view, it helps if you’re a woman. And the latest female addition to the CRAP stable is Wafa Sultan, an ex-Syrian who shot to prominence as a result of some shrill remarks on al-Jazeera television that were then brought to an American audience via Memri.
“Our Brothers”, the Kurds… traitor against muslim!!!
Could not miss this excellent historical documentary on al Jazeera about Mostafa Al Barazani. Mostafa Al Barazani is the father figure “par excellence” of the Kurdish separatist (and I would add chauvinist) movement in Iraq.
- First it was the Soviet Union but their cooperation was short lived when Mostafa found out that the Soviets were arming Iraq.
- Then he turned to the Iraqi Monarchy and that too did not work.
- Then he sought Abdel Kareem Qassem, the nationalist leader who overthrew the Iraqi monarchy in 1958. But even then the alliance was very short lived and Qassem ordered the clamping down of the kurdish separatist movement after this latter started waging attacks on Iraqi civilians.
- Then Mostafa sought an alliance with AbdelSalam Aref and later with his brother AbdelRahman and that too was short lived.
- Seems that Mostafa Al Barazani demands for total autonomy of the “kurdish” areas were not in line with Iraq’s internal or external policies.
- Or maybe the various Iraqi governments simply did not fancy an attack on their territorial sovereignty.
- In 1968, when the Baath came to power, M.H Al-Bakr, the then president of Iraq and Saddam Hussein his young vice president wanted a clean page with Barazani the father.
- Meanwhile, the Kurds headed by M.Barazani were striking political deals with the Shah of Iran…
- On a side note, Barazani who was originally from Iran and finally settled in the Iraqi northern parts, kept telling his men, do not hate the Arabs, we have a problem only with Iraqi Arabs and in particular the Iraqi Government…
- the Kurdish leadership sought out help from the Israeli Mossad and this latter gladly helped.
- An Israeli former mossad agent A.Tasfirini (as I said I am terrible with names, you can have the exact name by writing to:firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The second important development was a secret agreement orchestrated by Henry Kissinger and the Kurdish leadership.
- In fact it was a secret agreement between the CIA and the Kurds and the Iraqi government and Saddam Hussein knew nothing of it.
- In 1979 Mostafa al Barazani fell gravely ill and went to Iran for treatment. He was then flown to the USA for further medical care for advanced cancer and died there.
- In 1981, the Iran-Iraq war took place and Iran forgot all about the Algiers treaty and reopened its borders for separatist chauvinist kurdish infiltrators into Iraq so they can continue pursuing their kurdish state claim there and not on Iranian territory.
- In 1990, the Kurdish areas became an American/ English “protected zone”.
- Massoud Barazani, the prodigal son, took over the leadership from his father and so it continued till the second invasion in 2003 until this very day.
Now “our brothers the Kurds” have their own little flag, have excellent ties with Iran, America and Israel who has continued training their peshmergas since 1974.
Not only that, the “poor oppressed gassed kurds” as so many of you like to moan, are ethnically cleansing Kirkuk of all its Turkmen and Arab inhabitants and conducting massive detention raids and imprisoning hundreds. For your information, Kirkuk’s last population census, the only one available, has these figures:
A roughly even distribution between turkmen and arabs. 40% and 38%. The rest is around 22% kurds and some assyrians. Now with the ethnic cleansing undertaken by the chauvinistic kurds, I am not sure what the new pre-arranged figures are.
I know that they were inflated for the “Free elections” that America promised us in our new democracy…
So what gives? “We come not as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.”
‘[We come not as] conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.’ — Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Maude, Commander in Chief of British forces in Iraq, after entering Baghdad in March 1917.
According to the best estimates, the dozen years of sanctions following Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait led to something like one million deaths in Iraq, including 500,000 children and since the invasion in 2003 a further 650,000 have died as a result of the illegal occupation.
It’s a staggering number of slaughtered people, all done in the name of ‘democracy building’ but it doesn’t stop here, we need to add the slaughtered of the former Yugoslavia and who knows how many massacred in Afghanistan as nobody’s bothering to count. But lest we forget, the invasion and occupation of Vietnam resulted in the slaughter of at least three million Vietnamese and the effects of Agent Orange and the other toxic chemicals dumped on Vietnam is still killing and maiming people to this day.
Redefine, divide and rule
Washington seems determined to fan the flames of internecine conflict in the Middle East.
So, back to the classifications and alliance building game it is. Now, though, the war cry is not the Iraqi, but the Iranian threat. Four years ago, as they prepared for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Americans and their allies across the Atlantic filled the air with talk of Shia persecution by Sunni and the need for their deliverance from the wicked Sunni Ba’ath regime. As the Iranian nuclear project climbed to the top of the Bush administration’s agenda, a new set of terms and concepts had to be manufactured. Out went slogans of democratisation, reform and good governance and in came the fearful “Shia Crescent” blooming from the shores of the Mediterranean to the poppy fields of Afghanistan, only to be confronted by the benevolent forces of Sunni moderation. With it came Condoleezza Rice and her diplomatic envoys, this time gracing the Middle East with their visits to ensure good co-operation with “moderate states” and their secret services.
US blasts elementary school near Ba‘qubah Thursday, killing or wounding 30 children
In a dispatch posted at 4:29pm Makkah time Thursday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that US aircraft attacked an elementary school near Ba‘qubah, about 65km northeast of Baghdad, on Thursday, on the pretext that Resistance fighters were hiding there.
The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported a medical source in Ba‘qubah General Hospital as saying that more than 30 children were killed or injured in the American attack on the al-Maysarah Primary School in al-Mafraq, northeast of Ba‘qubah.
The source indicated that most of the victims were in the sixth grade of primary school and that they were taken to hospitals in the area after the American attack.
War Criminal : Haditha Marine says would make same decision again
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. Marine charged with murdering 18 unarmed civilians in Haditha, Iraq, said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” he regretted the deaths but would make the same decisions today.
Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich admitted shooting five unarmed Iraqi men in the back in the interview and said his actions were justified because he believed the men had hostile intent toward the Marines.
Iraq’s growing refugee crisis
A special report on the millions of refugees fleeing the conflict in their country. Where is the coalition of the willing when it comes to their care?
They’d fled the murderous bloodshed of their homeland. But instead of finding a better life abroad – Iraq’s growing number of refugees are trapped instead in a humanitarian crisis.
U.S.-Occupied Iraq: Women suffer untold violence
The radio news magazine “Between The Lines” interviewed Yifat Susskind, communications director with MADRE, an an international women’s human rights organisation based in New York City. Yifat is also author of a report on violence against Iraqi women titled, “Promising Democracy, Imposing Theocracy: Gender-Based Violence and the US War on Iraq.” The report, made public on March 6 at a meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, exposes what it calls “the incidence, causes, and legalization of gender-based violence in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.”
196 professors killed, more than 100 kidnapped since U.S. invasion
Since the 2003 U.S. invasion 196 university professors have been killed and more than 100 abducted, said Minister of Higher Education Abduldhiyab al-Aujaili.
“I am just like you” says Iraqi teen
While thousands of Iraqis pour across Syria’s borders every day, escaping Iraq’s brutal violence, Danya’s family is one of those caught in the middle. Coming to Syria may ensure one’s physical safety, but the economic reality is harsh. Most Iraqis in Syria are not working, living off their savings instead. Because Danya’s mother has a good job in Iraq the family will remain, at least for now, in Baghdad.
“I’m really scared to go back,” the 14-year old says in English, “but my mother has her work there. I hate my home; it’s very dangerous.”
U.S. to expand Iraq prisons
The United States decided to expand its major detention centers in Iraq after military officials predicted that the ongoing security crackdown in Baghdad will add hundreds or thousands of prisoners to the 17,000 detainees already in U.S. custody, an army spokesman said.
How Sadr and the US helped each other kill Iraqis …
I have read with utter disgust some of the reports on so-called anti-war websites which have pronounced that Muqtada Sadr is the true face of Iraqi resistance.
But Muqtada flees to Iran every time he hears his father wail from hell (read: US forces enter Iraq for some or that security sweep) or the Iraqi resistance manage to take out some of his commanders.
Fanatical, maniacal, Iran and the mullahs who run it are responsible for more carnage than the US military.
Despite the blunders and massacres committed by US troops, the US is seen to be the lesser of two evils in Iraq, more civilized than the Safavids.
Muqtada, resistance? When it was his people who burned down mosques with worshippers inside? When it was his people who pulled three girls from their homes and set them on fire?
This is the face of your resistance? Muqtada who massacres patriotic and nationalistic Shia tribesmen because Iran told him to do it.
What kind of Iraqi resistance leader flees to Iran? Please, do not mistake the verbal flak from Mehdi rabble to be anything other than putting a brave face on the reality of the situation. Muqtada came because of the US. He thrived because of the US. He rebelled against the US because he rebelled against the man they had chosen for Iraq – Iyad Allawi.
A Profile in Cowardice For U.S. and Sadr, Wary Cooperation
Muqtada Sadr: What a coward and a collaborator. He is a tough guy with his drill team when it comes to terrorizing and killing Iraqis and Palestinians in Iraq and when it comes to ethnic cleansing. When it comes to fighting the occupation, all his empty rhetoric has finally yielded to this: open collaboration with the occupiers and the killers of over 600,000 Iraqis. Now he is hiding somewhere, probably in Iran, wearing a woman’s ‘abaya!
Mahdi “army”: Celebrate Now, you cowards!
U.S., Sadr cooperating
BAGHDAD – U.S. troops are conducting security sweeps in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City for the first time in three years, part of a revamped plan to pacify the capital. Yet the Mahdi Army militia of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has not risen up to fight them, despite U.S. raids on militia members’ homes and growing Sunni attacks on Shiites.
Al Sadr’s plan is working.
(NYTimes) Al Sadr’s plan is working. He pulled his people off the street, and now the US is fighting the Sunnis for him
Widow of Abdul Majeed al-Khoei says Sadr order murder of husband
The widow of the slain Shiite Cleric Sayyed Abdul Majeed al-Khoei accused the firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr of ordering the murder of her husband.
Khoei was murdered only days after returning to Iraq from exile in London. He was hacked to death by a mob at the shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf.
Khoei came from a distinguished family of Shiite Muslim clergy who promoted dialogue among Iraq’s various faiths.
Five US troops killed in Iraq as Blair denies civil war
Pentagon report: Iraq faced maximum number of attacks since invasion during last quarter of 2006. The US military announced the deaths of another five US troops.
Four US soldiers killed in bombing
FOUR US soldiers were killed and two wounded today when two roadside bombs ripped through their patrol in eastern Baghdad.
“An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near the unit’s vehicles as they were returning from cordon and search operations,” the military said.
Six American soldiers killed in Iraq
Four deaths on Thursday and two on Wednesday have taken the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq to 3,196.
The U.S. military in Iraq says a roadside bomb explosion in eastern Baghdad killed four American soldiers and wounded two others on Thursday.
British soldier killed ‘unlawfully’
A coroner has ruled that a British soldier who died in a US “friendly fire” attack near the start of the 2003 Iraq war was unlawfully killed.
Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Thursday, 15 March 2007
- American soldier reported killed in Resistance bombing near al-Fallujah Thursday afternoon.
- Five leading Iraqi Resistance groups reportedly form unified command and common organization, in opposition to call to join al-Qa‘idah.
- Four US Marines reported killed in Resistance bomb attack on western Baghdad.
- Iraqi Resistance car bomber targets checkpoint killing two puppet troops Thursday afternoon.
- Attacks continue in Baghdad Thursday.
- US troops shoot Iraqi civilian in Bayji Wednesday.
- US blasts elementary school near Ba‘qubah Thursday, killing or wounding 30 children.
- Resistance car bomber strikes puppet “Shock Troops” in Ba‘qubah Thursday.
- Resistance bomb rips through US Humvee in al-Latifiyah Thursday morning.
- US troops kill Iraqi puppet army soldier by mistake in al-Mawsil Thursday morning.
- Armed men kill Jaysh al-Mahdi commander, puppet policeman in al-Basrah.
9/11 : The ‘Confessions’ Of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
KSM’s confession was announced to the world by the very people who routinely torture prisoners, hold secret military trials behind closed doors, and bar all lawyers and reporters from being anywhere near the courtroom. But you do believe them, don’t you?
9/11 : Heckuva Job, KSM!
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed may have diverted attention from Alberto Gonzales, but the 9/11 plotter’s testimony exposes the flaws in Bush’s ‘war on terror.’
WHAT TIMING! Just when the attorney general and the president were coming under fire for the politicized dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys, the Pentagon released a transcript of a March 10 hearing in which Guantanamo detainee Khalid Shaikh Mohammed confessed to masterminding the 9/11 attacks. Now we can get back to the Bush administration’s preferred topic: What a heck of a job it’s doing in the war on terror.
9/11 : True Confessions? The Amazing Tale of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
JURIST Guest Columnist Anthony D’Amato of Northwestern University School of Law says the sweeping Guantanamo “confessions” of al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed rival the scope of those made in the Stalinist purge trials of the 1930s, and should equally prompt us to question the legal process in which they were made…
Students of the Stalinist purges of the 1930s will recall the astounding confessions made in open court by the accused persons. They had been severely tortured over weeks and months. But they showed up in court without external marks of torture. With all apparent voluntariness, they admitted subverting the Five-Year Plans that would have provided the Soviet people with necessary food items. They sabotaged factories, making sure the production lines were inefficient. They managed to import inferior metals so that Soviet tanks and automobiles would fall apart after a few months’ use. They infiltrated the Soviet Army and through dint of their persuasiveness, convinced the foot soldier that it was absurd to risk his life defending a dictatorial government. In short these accused persons, briefly in court on their way to the firing squad, took responsibility for everything that had gone wrong for the past two decades in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Amnesty International: Fear for safety of human rights defenders in the Occupied Territories
There have been further attacks by Israeli settlers on human rights defenders working in the Occupied Territories. The head of one international organization working in the area has voiced concern that the lives of these human rights defenders could be in danger if the attacks continue.
Bush’s Shadow Army: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Force
Jeremy Scahill reports on the Bush Administration’s growing dependence on private security forces such as Blackwater USA and efforts in Congress to rein them in. This article is adapted from his new book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army (Nation Books).
Torture Investigation Stopped by Canadian Military Officials
Military Law Office:
The complaint involves “a hypothetical determination that a detainee might have been or might in the future be, tortured by Afghanistan authorities – with no evidence or even an allegation that a detainee transferred by the (Forces) was ever tortured.”
The matter covers “a high-level, multi-departmental government of Canada policy regarding the transfer of detainees by the Canadian Forces to Afghanistan authorities and an arrangement made with the government of Afghanistan pursuant to this policy.”
The practice of handing over prisoners is “directed by the operational chair of command and is required to be followed by all (Canadian Forces) members involved in the handling of detainees, not just the military police.”
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW