Archive for the ‘Politics/Foreign correspondents’ Category
When David Wilkes and Chris Greenwood wrote in today’s Telegraph about the murder of Mohammed Saleem, a defenseless grandfather who was stabbed near a mosque, they also implied that this was part of a Ukrainian/right wing pattern:
The two suspects were on placements at software company Delcam on an industrial estate in Small Heath, Birmingham, one-and-a-half miles from Mr Saleem’s home.
The firm has a training centre in Lutsk, Ukraine, and close links with universities in the country – a known hotbed of anti-Islamic hatred.
Ultra-nationalist party, Svoboda (Freedom) was a shock winner in elections there last year, capturing 10 per cent of the vote.
Members of Ukrainian female protest group Femen demonstrated topless in London to draw attention to what they called ‘bloody Islamist regimes’ taking part in the 2012 Olympics.
Extremists include Terence Gavan, a former British National Party member, who was jailed for 11 years in 2010 after 50 explosive devices and more than 30 guns were found in his concealed room in Batley, West Yorkshire.
The most notorious far-right bomber in the UK was David Copeland, from Yateley, Hampshire, who targeted black people in Brixton, Asians in Brick Lane and gays in Soho with nail bombs. He killed three people and injured 139, including four who lost limbs.
Europe’s most notorious hard right extremist, Anders Breivik, bombed government buildings in Oslo, killing eight, and then shot dead 69 people, mostly teenage members of the Norwegian Labour Party, in July 2011.
This list diverted attention away from the actual atrocities committed. It also suggested that anyone who is to the right of the SWP is part of this malign trend.
When did Femen become one of the usual suspects?
Could it be when they burned a Salafist flag in front of a mosque in Paris? The British government relies on cash from their (and our) Salafist friends. It’s not surprising that the left and the right are no longer happy with Femen’s protests.
When Femen protested against ‘bloody Islamist regimes’ taking part in the 2012 Olympics”, they were criticizing the people who are actually responsible for the majority of terrorist violence taking place around the world.
Kleptocratic regimes like Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar support terrorism and do everything else under the sun to maintain their position as the primary oppressors of the Muslim world.
Saudi Arabia is the hub of worldwide terrorism. Qatar is the primary supporter of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE has a “mixed record” when it comes to support of terrorism, but when we look at their local laws, we see where they stand.
The Islamist regime in Turkey is driving their government like they stole it, brutally oppressing dissent.
Criticizing and protesting these terrorist regimes is not equivalent to murdering defenseless Muslim grandfathers.
Targeting defenseless Muslims is what regimes like Saudi Arabia and Qatar do. If Telegraph writers are determined to lump disparate groups together based on glib priorities, they should pay more attention to what people do, than to what they are.
[link thanks to Benjamin Harvey]
The president of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, Fozan Al Harbi, https://twitter.com/fowzanm was summoned today by Riyad’s Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution. Al Harbi was questioned, and will have to endure an official investigation on Saturday May 11th.
Fozan is one of Saudi’s preeminent human rights defenders, helping political prisoners and their families recognize their rights. Activists in Saudi Arabia believe that their government is targeting Fozan as a part of a campaign to systematically delegitimize his civil right’s association, which has become more active in recent months. Saudi authorities have arrested the majority of its members.
The Association was established in 2009 by eleven human rights activists, calling on Saudi authorities to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The organization’s former president, Suleiman Ibrahim Al Rashoudi has a long history of activism, and was arrested a couple of times, most recently in December 2012, only a few weeks after he was elected president of the Association. Al Roshoudi is now serving a fifteen year prison term in Saudi’s Jaber prison.
These are the people the Saudi government sends to luxury spas
The cushy and luxurious-sounding Riyadh center — which sounds suspiciously like a desert-centered Club Med — reportedly sprawls over an area equivalent to approximately 10 soccer fields. There, AFP reports, prisoners pass their days huddling with counselors and attending seminars on religious affairs aimed at convincing them of the evils of waging murderous jihad.
AFP writes that in between such sessions, prisoners may relax at the center’s Olympic-size, indoor swimming pool, go for a turn in one of its saunas, exercise in the gymnasium, or take in a leisurely showing of their favorite shows in the complex’s television hall.
How do millionaires like Michael Moore and Glenn Beck turn human misery and despair into piles of cash? By never letting a crisis go to waste. Before the blood is washed from the streets, they’re hard at work, spinning crushed bone into gold.
Want to get in on the action? Here’s an outline any aspiring misery vulture can use.
Introduction: Be polite - Make a perfunctory condemnation of the crime
First subtopic: Never let a crisis go to waste – The crime confirms the theories that you’ve been ranting about for years. That’s why you ‘understand’ it and the motives behind the attack. Tell your readers that you know what the criminals want. Make it clear that if they don’t listen to you, they’ll be sorry.
Second subtopic: Tu quoque or “I’m rubber, you’re glue” - Appeal to hypocrisy. Discredit the opponent by showing their failure to act consistently in accordance with their position. Present proof that victim and his tribe/country/religion are just as bad/misguided/wrong as the perpetrator. Make a short but succinct list of all of the crimes and misdemeanors committed by the victims & related citizens throughout history. Exaggerate their faults,
Third subtopic: Fertilize your ideological fever swamp - Imply that their anger and outrage are pathetic and misguided. The only way they will ever be able to save themselves is to heed your advice (and the advice of those who are politically affiliated with you). If no one is on your side, use sockpuppets. If you can’t even manage that, use this quote from Mahatma Ghandi “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
Final summary: Re-state the perfunctory condemnation of attack, followed by a summary of the faults of the victim(s) and all related to them. Follow it up with veiled or not so veiled threats of further crime if your advice goes unheeded.
Mr. Khatib projected an earnest, unpolished persona and never fit the profile of a politician, sometimes failing to build support for controversial moves before announcing them and then posting mournful statements on Facebook about how he had been misunderstood. Some coalition members and anti-government activists in Syria said they wished he had stayed in office to push back against the foreign interference he spoke of, rather than resigning abruptly and emotionally.
A coalition member familiar with Mr. Khatib’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss politically sensitive matters, said Mr. Khatib resigned over interference from Saudi Arabia, a key backer of the Syrian uprising.
The member said that Saudi Arabia threatened to cut off funding and split the coalition if it did not select its favored candidate for prime minister, Assad Mustafa, who had promised to appoint a Saudi favorite as defense minister. That, the member said, enraged members, who then hastily settled on Mr. Hitto, who was backed by Qatar and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Another member, Mustafa Sabagh, who is close to the Saudi government, denied the Saudis had interfered and said he believed Mr. Khatib resigned over the many conditions Western countries had placed on aid to the uprising…
…“We in the Free Syrian Army do not recognize Ghassan Hitto as prime minister because the National Coalition did not reach a consensus,” Louay Mekdad, the Free Syrian Army’s media and political coordinator, said, raising further questions about the interim government’s ability to establish authority.
Mr. Khatib promised to keep working for Syria outside official channels. “The door to freedom has opened and won’t close,” he said, “not just in the face of Syrians but in the face of all peoples.”
Some read that remark as a possible dig at Gulf monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar that support the Syrian uprising but keep a tight political clampdown on their own citizens – but given Mr. Khatib’s oblique style, it was hard to tell.
More about Moaz al Khatib
Via the New York Times: Elisabeth Rosenthal’s Life after oil and gas
As renewable energy gets cheaper and machines and buildings become more energy efficient, a number of countries that two decades ago ran on a fuel mix much like America’s are successfully dialing down their fossil fuel habits. Thirteen countries got more than 30 percent of their electricity from renewable energy in 2011, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, and many are aiming still higher.
Could we? Should we?
A National Research Council report released last week concluded that the United States could halve by 2030 the oil used in cars and trucks compared with 2005 levels by improving the efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles and by relying more on cars that use alternative power sources, like electric batteries and biofuels.
Just days earlier a team of Stanford engineers published a proposal showing how New York State — not windy like the Great Plains, nor sunny like Arizona — could easily produce the power it needs from wind, solar and water power by 2030. In fact there was so much potential power, the researchers found, that renewable power could also fuel our cars.
“It’s absolutely not true that we need natural gas, coal or oil — we think it’s a myth,” said Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the main author of the study, published in the journal Energy Policy. “You could power America with renewables from a technical and economic standpoint. The biggest obstacles are social and political — what you need is the will to do it.”