Showing posts from November, 2015
"The Department of Defense and others have noted that between 2006 and 2010,  climate-change-fueled droughts  killed off 70 percent of Syrian farmers’ livestock, driving hundreds of thousands of economic refugees into crowded cities. Faced with scarce resources, the many protesting food shortages were polarized against President Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarianism and pushed toward religious extremists who were, as Juan Cole  put it , “everything the state was not” — distributing water, food and oil that Assad had failed to." The War on Climate Change Anthropocene or Capitalocene
"That's a rubbish decision for which John McDonnell bears a considerable responsibility. The unity of the cabinet (which doesn't exist) has been placed higher than maximising our ability to prevent a war. That is an abdication of conscience. This is one reason why I'm not in the Labour Party."   Via  John Rees
The Magical Thinking about ISIS The Wrong Kind of Secularism
 “Capitalism and the ‘war on terror’ not only help to sustain one another but they have this in common: they worship success but are nourished by failure.” (David Keen,  Endless War ?, 2006)
Chomsky and His Critics
"Our way of life" RAF to Look for Any Unbombed Bits of Syria DAVID Cameron has called on Britain to flatten the last remaining bumpy bits of Syria. Making his case for British airstrikes against ISIS, the prime minister told the House of Commons there was an outside lavatory 15 miles from Aleppo that still has its roof attached. He added: “It stands there, being a toilet, brazenly defying our values. If not now, when?” The prime minster then listed seven other small buildings across Syria that remain structurally sound, including a newsagent, a car wash and a fruit kiosk that could be sheltering up 20,000 ISIS maniacs. He added: “We have learned the lessons of Iraq. Too many buildings were left standing in Iraq. And it was in those buildings that ISIS was formed. “We will only bring peace to the Middle East when all the buildings have been destroyed and everyone has to stand around in the street.” Meanwhile, Cameron has not ruled out sending troops to
The Threat is Already Inside And nine other truths about terrorism that nobody wants to hear Good arguments, and facts, by a defender of the system Note: Foreign Policy calls Hamas and Hizbullah "terrorist organizations".
My comment on Paul Rogers's recent article "Its ambitious aim was to cause the overthrow of the 'near enemy' regimes in the Middle East and southwest Asia, replacing them with 'proper' Islamist regimes; to see Zionism destroyed..." Do you have figures and evidence of any attacks on Israel's interests? Are they of any significance? More importantly, you too either has fallen in a trap or that is just your way of working withing the frame work of defending the system, trying to make it better. You are speaking about "the same mistakes being made." They are not mistakes and only an apologist for the state terrorism of the Western regimes would call them mistakes. Occupations, invasions, support of dictators in the Middle East and outside the Middle East, imposed economic policies, support of Israel's state terrorism, support of the so-called Islamist liberals as long as they maintain the status quo of "the free market" and depe
An e-book and interview The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine  (e-book) My interview with Ilan Pappe Syriza's U-turn on Israel is Now Complete
I think this incident is full of metaphor, allegory, images, parabols, etc when put into the context of occupation, ethnic cleansing, rape, plunder, and all other barbaric acts of a state. Tel Aviv, Israel: "a sex worker, who worked 12-hour shifts and slept with up to 30 men a day, hanged herself. Three hours after her body was found, the brothel went back to work."  Source:, 22 August 2015.
Isis: In a borderless world, the days when we could fight foreign wars and be safe at home may  be long gone Robert Fisk, author of The Great War for Civilization . Yes, It Is Islamic Extremism - But Why? Graham E. Fuller is a former vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University, and author of numerous books on the Middle East and Islamic movements. His first novel, “Breaking Faith: A Novel of Espionage and an American’s Crisis of Conscience in Pakistan,” will be out in March 2015.
A photo by Everyday Egypt

A defender of barbarism

Here is how that paper defended the barbaric action of the British state Invading Iraq was the Right Thing to Do, according to The Telegraph
" We resist evil by not being swept away by the surface of things, by stopping ourselves and beginning to think—that is, by reaching another dimension than the horizon of everyday life." Hannah Arendt "Why Do Some Islamist Groups Seem Sadistic, Even Evil?" Read also Are We ISIS? Flag Down
Endless War? The legacies of "The War on Terror". My interview with David Keen (LSE) in 2006. 
In Riyadh, It's Hard to Feel at Home
"A divided Europe will not necessarily replicate the horrors of the early 20th century. History will rhyme, however, at the intersection of several trends running in parallel. The splintering of Europe overlays the   erosion of central authority within the Sykes-Picot borders  in the Middle East — borders that the Europeans created to divide the region and tighten their colonial grip. With those territories in prolonged conflict, the weakening of those regimes and the radical ideologies borne out of power vacuums will risk drawing a minority of European Muslims into battle   while driving migrants   into the heart of Europe, accelerating Europe's path toward  fragmentation." The Fear of the Other Europe The Lucky Generation
The Churchill You Didn't Know
Arab Revolts - Past and Present Joseph Messad
" This morning when I awoke I made the mistake of turning on the television "news". Two of the world's worst murderous thugs, Barack Obama and Francois Hollande were opining about their partnership to destroy Daesh/ISIL and how they would protect our freedoms by bombing the Middle East into rubble and removing Bashar al-Assad from power, and the utter hypocrisy of their verbal nonsense was too much  for me. They continue to up the massive military ante which puts all western citizens at increasing risk in their own countries while systematically stripping away our freedoms, and straight faced they expect us to sop up such blatant drivel. Before the rise in my gorge caused me to lose my breakfast I turned it off, which is what I have been doing consistently since the Paris attack and whenever these so-called leaders of the "free" western countries are pontificating publicly, which is far too often. The television networks must be noticing a precipitous drop
From Left Bank to Left Behind: Where Have the Great Frenceh Thinkers Gone?
"This is the Worst Time for Society to Go on Pscyhopathic Autopilot Frankie Boyle My comment:  1. Boyle mixed up Camus and Sartre. Camus actually opposed the independence of Algeria. " As far as Algeria is concerned, national independence is a formula driven by nothing other than passion. There has never yet been an Algerian nation. The Jews, the Turks, Greeks, Italians, or Berbers would be as entitled to claim the leadership of this potential nation. As things stand, the Arabs do not comprise the whole of Algeria … The French of Algeria are also natives, in the strong sense of the word. Moreover, a purely Arab Algeria could not achieve that economic independence without which political independence is nothing but an illusion." (cited by Said, 1993 p 179). 2. Boyle has fallen in the mainstream discourse of "mistakes" made in the foreign policy. History has shown many times that those "mistakes" are a pattern and part and parcel of the functionin
Turkey: the long good read Kemalism After Kemal
Against Charity
Looking back and forward The Unity Trap A reply to Robert Fisk Dangerous Shortcuts
The Critique of Religious Thought A book review The book in English Sadiq Jalal Al-Azm' critique of Edward Saïd's Orientalism
For the Last Time: "The West"
Atif, 14 years old. Stonemasonry worker in Shaq Al-Thüban area south of Cairo, he takes a salary that varies between 10 to 15 EGP per day.  Atif is cutting stones since he was almost 8, he was seriously injured more than once like hundreds of other children who are doing this dangerous job. Source: Everyday Egypt on Facebook
September 11 and the Functions of the ‘War on Terror’ I wrote this article on 11 September 2006 9/11 saw thousands of innocent people killed in cold blood by an act of terrorism. Yet the impulse to retaliate has already shown us why a ‘war on terror' cannot be won. "Why would other people," asks David Kean, "not feel similar emotions and impulses when  they  are attacked, when  their  innocent people are bombed or shot in the name of somebody else's ‘justice'?" In the words of Shylock, in Shakespeare's  The Merchant of Venice , "He hath disgraced me ... laughed at my losses ... scorned my nation, and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? ... If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" ( The Merchant of Venice , Act 3, Scene 1) The artic
The Iraq Legacies and the Roots of the 'Islamic State'
"Whenever the West is attacked and our innocents are killed, we usually wipe the memory bank. Thus, when reporters told us that the 129 dead in Paris represented the worst atrocity in France since the Second World War, they failed to mention the 1961 Paris massacre of up to 200 Algerians participating in an illegal march against France’s savage colonial war in Algeria. Most were murdered by the French police, many were tortured in the Palais des Sports and their bodies thrown into the Seine. The French only admit 40 dead. The police officer in charge was Maurice Papon, who worked for Petain’s collaborationist Vichy police in the Second World War, deporting more than a thousand Jews to their deaths."  Robert Fisk, the Independent , 17 November 2015 Read also Are We ISIS? Flag Down
France Returns to the State of Exception Gilbert Achcar Human rights? "...  What you call the ‘predominance of human rights’ is an ideological phenomenon that certainly is of symptomatic value, but is not enough to change social structures. There are even ways of using it that hide the varieties of racism that are now developing, paradoxically by way of a ‘humanitarian’ or ‘philanthropic’ discourse that serves to keep populations or categories of individuals in the condition of recipients of help rather than as bearers of equal rights. Differences or incapacities are presented as essential properties, though they are in fact the result of historical conditions and of relations of domination." Étienne Babilbar
Interrogation under torture was widespread. Many of the men were anally raped, using knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels, snakes and scorpions. A favourite technique was to hold a man upside down, his head in a bucket of water, while sand was rammed into his rectum with a stick. Women were gang-raped by the guards. People were mauled by dogs and electrocuted. The British devised a special tool which they used for first crushing and then ripping off testicles. They used pliers to mutilate women's breasts. They cut off inmates' ears and fingers and gouged out their eyes. They dragged people behind Land Rovers until their bodies disintegrated. Men were rolled up in barbed wire and kicked around the compound. Deny the British Empire Crimes?  No, We Ignore Them.
" I'm so sick of seeing the endless debate about "if you care about Paris you don't care about Beirut/Metrojet/now Nigeria" et cetera. The reality is this: Paris, like any American city, is in the first-world protected zone.  Ever since WWII the overall consensus strategy on the part of everyone in the ruling elite of the global North, from the most far-right capitalist to the most left-wing Politb uro member, has been to export conflict from the North into all kinds of global peripheries. We EXPECT to see violence in Beirut because we put it there. Our security states protect us from the blowback of whatever neocolonialist policies we might care to pursue on those peripheries. So what if we fail at nation-building? We'll never have to "fight them over here," not really. ( The attached map , although badly out of date, expresses some of this concept.) So of course when there's a terrorist attack in a core northern city like Paris or New York
Beware the Extremists
"Aren't Arabs terrified? Aren't Iraqis terrified? Don't Arab and Iraqi women weep when their children die?  "What fools we are to live in a generation for which war is a computer game for our children and just an interesting little Channel 4 news item." Tony Benn, 1998
By Imad Abu Shtayya
Are We ISIS? France Escalates Its Already Aggressive Foreign Policy Terreur partout, humanité nulle part La « guerre mondiale contre le terrorisme » a tué au moins 1,3 million de civils
Joseph Needham:  Extrapolation, not Acceleration
In War For OpenDemocracy,  Étienne Balibar  writes in response to the Paris attacks about how populations on 'both shores' of the Mediterranean are taken hostage—and Europe has a nearly irreplaceable function. "Yes, we are at war. Or rather, henceforth, we are all  in  war. We deal blows, and we take blows in turn. We are in mourning, suffering the consequences of these terrible events, in the sad knowledge that others will occur. Each person killed is irreplaceable. But  which war  are we talking about? It is not an easy war to define because it is formed of various types which have been pushed together over time and which today appear inextricable. Wars between states (even a pseudo state like 'ISIS'). National and international civil wars. Wars of 'civilisation' (or something that sees itself as such). Wars of interest and of imperialist patronage. Wars of religions and sects (or justified as such). This is the great  stasis  or ‘s
Youssef here is really expressing my  plight in Britain. I have been openly told not to express what I think in class. In society in general I have learnt not to offend people by refraining from saying what I think.  My Censorship, Your Bigotry
" When Arabs or Muslims die in the hands of the selfsame criminal Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gangs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or Lebanon, they are reduced to their lowest common denominator and presumed sectarian denominations, overcoming and camouflaging our humanity. But when French or British or US citizens are murdered, they are raised to their highest common abstractions and become the universal icons of humanity at large. Why? Are we Muslims not human? Does the murder of one of us not constitute harm to the entire body of humanity?" Hamid Dabashi
Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters ISIS: The Inside Story حكاية الدولة الإسلامية من الداخل Are We ISIS? Madeleine  Albright  ... I think this is a very hard choice, but the price —  we think the price is worth it . Stated on CBS's  60 Minutes  (May 12, 1996) in reply to Lesley Stahl's question "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" Albright was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the time. Hundreds of Civilians Killed in US-Led Strikes on ISIS " I don’t much like it when a head of state speaks of the dead as heroes. It usually happens because citizens have been sent to war and not come back, which is rather the case with the victims of the attack on  Charlie Hebdo . The attack is part of a war declared on France, but can also be seen in the light of the wars France has got itself involved in: conflicts where its participation isn’t
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“We attacked a foreign people and treated them like rebels. As you know, it's all right to treat barbarians barbarically. It's the desire to be barbaric that makes governments call their enemies barbarians.”  ― Bertolt Brecht How to Politicize a Tragedy
"Only when we recognize the war criminals in our midst, will the blood begin to dry." John Pilger "ISIS in Paris" by Tariq Ali
On barbarism "Under these circumstances of social and political disintegration, we should expect a decline in civility in any case, and a growth in barbarism. And yet what has made things worse, what will undoubtedly make them worse in future, is that steady dismantling of the defences which the civilization of the Enlightenment had erected against barbarism... For the worst of it is that we have got used to the inhuman. We have learned to tolerate the intolerable. "Total war and cold war have brainwashed us into accepting barbarity. Even worse: they have made barbarity seem unimportant, compared to more important matters like making money. "Barbarity is a by-product of life in a particular social and historical context." Eric Hobsbawm, On History, 2013 .
"Those to whom evil is done / do evil in return". W. H. Auden Paris Attacks Highlights Western Vulnerability " What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish." W. H. Auden
Why the Syrian Army Remains Loyal
America, America A poem by Saadi Youssef
The Power of a Dollar
The First World War Poppy Day: ‘What did our Boys Fight and Die for’? Nadim Mahjoub
Turkey: The Phantom Election Read also What Does the State Want from Dead Bodies and Turkey's role in the geo-political struggle Whose Side is Turkey on?
How 'Hebrew Labour' Destroyed Arab-Jewish Solidarity
A photograph by Hadeer Mahmoud  Egypt 27 October 2015