Friday, March 31, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Really worth reading. Few choice bits from the interview below:
• The impression that she was not acting of her own free will was reinforced. Interviewers are used to the odd minder guarding a star, but never an entourage as formidable as that surrounding this teenager.
• My hardly racy request to sit next to Shabina at lunch so we can talk is greeted with glares.
• It is her white guards who are the real frights. First up: her powerfully built “celebrity consultant” (really: I have her business card). If this man-munching reptile is alarming, the three dragons from the legal charity opposite breathe fire
• Shabina: she is — if I may venture this — attractive
• “I go shopping a lot with friends and I love bags, shoes, girly stuff,” she smiles. As one of the dragons points out — without irony — “Shabina is British, you know.”
• I ask to heckling from the dragons, whether she has non-Muslim friends. “I do. I advise people that you shouldn’t stay away from them (non-Muslims), they are not evil.” Commendable, but it reveals much about the divisions in Luton life that this even needs saying.
How can a quasi racist statement like ‘non muslims are not evil’ be ‘commendable’? The soft irony in the interviewers style gets somewhat lost on me there. And im not certain the conclusion does anything more than ensure the article sits comfortably next to the 'bla bla style' and 'bla bla beauty' sections in the Times’ Women section. Because of course we're so over rights and more into Prada now?
Ayaan Hirshi ("everyone is afraid to criticize Islam") suggests you challenge stupidity with derision. Shabina isnt stupid, far from it. But you could still use the same principle regards the issue of burqa 'rights' (c/o Life of Brian below!). Whilst we still can.
Or simply ban all religious garb from schools and ensure girls dont jeopordise their futures by using their intelligence on scarily medieval misguided teenage whims.
I wonder if Shabina got to read the article? I hope so. Its written by a man who thinks shes attractive and who should have told her. After all if she realises beauty is a currency she might actually use it.
I do feel, Reg, that any Anti-Imperialist group like ours must reflect such a divergence of interests within its power-base.
Yeah. I think Judith's point of view is very valid, Reg, provided the Movement never forgets that it is the inalienable right of every man--
Or woman... to rid himself--
Thank you, brother.
Or sister. Where was I?
I think you'd finished.
Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man--
Why don't you shut up about women, Stan. You're putting us off.
Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.
Why are you always on about women, Stan?
I want to be one.
I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me 'Loretta'.
It's my right as a man.
Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
I want to have babies.
You want to have babies?!
It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
But... you can't have babies.
Don't you oppress me.
I'm not oppressing you, Stan. You haven't got a womb! Where's the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!
Here! I-- I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the right to have babies.
Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.
What's the point?
What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?!
It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Symbolic of his struggle against reality.
The Free Jack Idema Blogburst
One of the problems faced by those of us who campaign for the release of illegally-imprisoned American Special Forces soldier Jack Idema and his men (Brent Bennett and journalist Ed Caraballo) is the general belief that Afghanistan is now a functioning, modern democracy. Indeed, most casual observers could be forgiven for believing that the war against the Taliban in 2001 swept clerical fascists from power completely, and that anyone falling foul of the law in Afghanistan today would be treated fairly.
This week, however, the mask of moderation finally slipped, and the world got to hear about the case of Abdul Rahman, the man sentenced to death in Afghanistan for the 'crime' of converting to Christianity.
Although it now seems as though Mr. Rahman has been spared, the fact that this only came about because of huge international pressure, and that, further, the judge who sentenced him immediately went on record as urging ordinary Afghans to 'tear Rahman to pieces' upon his release, acted as a wake up call for many of the people who'd believed the days of the Taliban were over.
Of course, for those of us who've followed the Jack Idema story for a while, Mr. Rahman's brush with death came as less of a surprise -- It was a similar, 'ex'-Taliban judge who presided over the travesty of a trial that saw Jack and his team convicted of kidnap and torture in September 2004. Back then, the lunatic presiding over Jack's case, Judge Abdul Baset Bakhtyari, behaved in the following, bizarre fashion:
Announcing to the press his intention to find Idema guilty before the trial had taken place
Refusing to allow Jack and his team to present any evidence in their defence
Allowing prosecution witnesses to give evidence without being sworn-in
Failing to take note of the fact that the prosecution failed to provide any physical evidence that Jack or his team had kidnapped or tortured anyone
Refusing to allow Jack and his team to cross-examine prosecution witnesses
Refusing to allow Brent's court-appointed, female, lawyer into the courtroom (she informed Brent she had been threatened with death if she dared show up)
Engaging in whispered conversations and note-passing with the prosecution team to which the defence were not a party
Refusing to allow interpreters to translate statements made by the defence
Back in 2004, it was near-impossible for Idema to get anyone to listen to his complaints -- It's to be hoped that the Rahman case will illustrate to everyone that they were entirely justified.
So what can we do? Well, anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Apparently i did the wrong thing. Turning up to an unworthy event which i should have boycotted for all the drivel spouted by its organisers about the cartoons. Turning up, saying what i wanted to say, experiencing first hand the Orwellian nature of Blairs rally-vision and sticking my neck out in so doing. Having to wrestle my placard out of the hands of some pissed off muslim youths. That was all wrong also because by rights they shouldnt have been annoyed really should they, given that the event was full of dhimmi appeasers like its organisers. If the event wasnt large enough for everyones liking and we're all being laughed at then whose fault is that. It aint mine. I put in an appearance. Wandered off to the pub to regroup when there was any left wing bleating. At one point i recall wandering across the stage signs aloft to detract from some of the latter, just to make my own point about toonophobia (see left)- geddit??? Of course had we been greater in nos it would have been a stronger point without imho making us all look like a fractured inconsistent bunch. Besides i gather a few complaints came in about the rally having the cartoons on show - which pushes the issue.
The media sniffed around. And its them at the end of the day that push the left wing agenda but apparently its not worth tackling that on their stage. Just ours. But hang on we were asked time and again by passers by about the toon issue because erm..guess what. They dont get to read and have never heard of blogs. They stood around and joined in or mumbled on about wishing theyd known, expressed their annoyance over the dhimmi media in the UK not publishing the cartoons. And i got a chance to direct them to the blogs they need to know about.
Oh and just to make a nose out of joint point even more sour sounding from those on the right who think we all so terribly sucked - apparently we were all silly middle classers who wouldnt dare rock the boat to boot. And this from the comments section of a middle England blog i very rarely visit. Whoa. Being beat up on for being silly middle classers at a rally by...silly middle class right wingers doing nothing very publicly much of their own? You could almost hear a bunch of people rub their hands in glee supping their cocktails whilst 'commenting' from a nice safe un police photographed distance. Nuff already.
Getting My Sign Back
We few, we happy few...remembered not everyone reads blogs:
Controversial Muhammad cartoons appear at free-speech rally
3/25/2006 1:42 PMBy: Associated Press
LONDON -- About 200 people have turned out for a free-speech demonstration in central London. And some of them carried posters of the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that infuriated much of the Muslim world.
Protest organizers had originally invited protesters to display the images on banners and T-shirts. But they later withdrew that invitation to avoid alienating sympathetic Muslims.
The reversal prompted hundreds of angry Internet responses from people who called it political censorship.
Some demonstrators showed their support for the cartoons by carrying signs saying “Stop Toonophobia.''
Others draped themselves in Danish flags.
Nine men identified by police as Muslim counter-protesters were escorted away.
No comment for now other than to say our 'Stop Toonophobia' banner pretty much makes it as the march slogan in the end! More photos including the cartoon renegades tomorrow. A few Americans managed to join us also - 'dont behead me guy' above and the young lady with the Orwell placard.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Me & A as we appear on the BBC tonight along with fellow blogger waving flag. We were arriving, post pub, high spirits at this point. There were plenty of people to follow and a good crowd of about 700 - with plenty of cartoons on show. More on that tomorrow.
Not sure why the BBC chose to focus on an alleged arrest/questioning, can't say i saw that!? And frankly if we'd known we would have asked some pertinent questions. Sure there were police with cameras etc but there was nothing there to create a problem and no obvious issues with the police. God only knows what they are banging on about there. More photos tomorrow.
Friday, March 24, 2006
A Weekend of Protest
COUNTERPROTESTS IN PARIS: InstaPundit reader Kerry Hardy emails:
“Libérte-Chérie, SOS Education, and a number of other groups organised an "anti-blocade/anti-strike" demonstration today here in Paris in response to the violent anti-reform protests that have been taking place at the Sorbonne and elsewhere. Despite the temperature (around 36 degrees) and the hour (2pm), there were still several thousand people. And there will be a new demonstration on Sunday afternoon. There are people in France who are pro-reform, who want to study, who want to work, and who are sick of being stopped from doing so by those who don't---and who understand that labour law reform is essential to job creation. Great ambiance, young and old, lots of leaflet distribution to correct the misunderstandings about the CPE (Contract of First Employment)”.
And This photo
was accompanied by the following on Sky:
“Youths smash home their point as riots erupt on the streets of the French capital against a new law they say gives them even less job security than they have now”
Do we all honestly believe that these guys are on the hunt for employment & just ‘really angrily making their point’ at reform? Hardly. They are nothing more than a bunch of shit stirring idiots out for bit of random destruction. Of course they are far more newsworthy for the same reason, so the media portrays this as ‘French student anger boiling over’. “Hmm I need job security in the future so ill just smash this car windscreen with a hockey stick on national tv”. The MSM lend weight to the opposers campaign, inspire the violent protestors, as they did last November, and it all becomes a self fulfilling prophecy with Villepin fighting his corner. A bit like civil war in Iraq.
This piece of radical legislation is seeking to overturn centuries of old fashioned thinking so of course it will be met with resistance. But its great to see it attempted and its great to see several thousand young people supporting it even with no media to support them. Im expecting the same for us tomorrow at the March here in London eg bugger all media interest.
It was also great fun to read of a French business leader who stood up to his President by presenting in English at the EU Summit. Mr Seilliere, the French president of the employers' association UNICE, said he would address the meeting in English. He defended his position to a shocked Chirac saying that English was the working language of that particular session and the accepted business language of Europe today. Chirac, true to form, threw strop, walked out. You would have been hard pushed to find a Seilliere at the height of the ancient regime years ago though.
French Pride Tested at EU Summit
I work with people like Seilliere and smart young French people like those above daily. I say we offer support to those students and business leaders- instead of languishing in the messy change going on and seeking to frankly perpetuate the crappy image because it suits us – and specifically because a few of their exalted ancient regime leaders chose not to join in in Iraq. I know I wont get many brownie points for saying so but you know…lets move on.
Equally instead of brow beating the UK id feel far more reassured that we were all on board and tackling this Islamic fascism together as One United West.
One of those arrested in the much highlighted 'British bomb conspiracy' case was an American citizen who inspired by 9/11 duly trotted off to Pakistan, met and then joined up with his ‘brothers’ out there and THEN came back to the UK to plot a hideous attack on places like Bluewater shopping centre and a major nightclub in central London. A quick nip over to Little Green Footballs reveals that in their rush to the usual pejorative 'look at em poor Brits' that relevant bit seems to have escaped their attention. He has links to radical muslim groups based in New York where like minded muslims gathered to plot (links to follow).So how many more of him are there in the US?
To me its all been ratcheted up a notch (again) and is a whole lot scarier (again). Im at least relieved and grateful to our security services here for their incredible efforts in stopping that group. Which also seems to have slipped by unnoticed.
Good Luck to everyone at the March for Free Expression tomorrow and good luck to SOS Education France on Sunday.
(Disclaimer: author somewhat tired, drained even. Reserves the right to regret and/or flip flop on the French later)
Thursday, March 23, 2006
July 7 onlookers think Carnage is "Great!", Freed Kember & his Anti Heros + Free Jack Idema
Muslim Peace Activists save Kember…
MCoB successfully Negotiates Hostage Release, Sacranie Elated…
Quite. What irritates me more is that this evenings news is focused on the various groups whose contribution to the actual release of this useful idiot was frankly, minimal or non existent. Somehow I doubt any of them lifted a finger - even towards the phone. So far tonight we’ve had nothing but a smirking Sacranie and co with anecdotes of their ‘efforts’ coupled with the odd ad-lib about the suffering Iraqis - who, lest we forget, face much worse daily than Kember. Of course the irony is that the very people Kember & Co would parade in their anti-peace images would be the very people who waded in risking life and limb to save their backsides. I don’t credit peace activists with a great deal up top. The BBC snapped this young peace activist last weekend at the antiwar demos in London, and paraded her as their beautiful heroine for the weekend. LOL. Shes advertising Mercedes Benz on her well-made-up-for-a-hippy cheek –not CND -(hat tip 'Drinking from Home'). Priceless.
Anyway. The breathtaking bravery of British Special Forces time and again never ceases to cheer me up and i thank the same God Kember praises, that men such as these exist and just get on with it. Men like ex US special forces Jack Idema for example, see Caos Blog right, who wont find any Kembers and fanclub championing their release in the future.
It’s a real relief to learn Idema is okay after two weeks silence on the back of the Afghan prison riots. And todays events demonstrate who we need and why - who saves who at the end of the day (also see Rottweiler Puppy right for latest update). It was the combined efforts of allied forces in apprehending and interrogating Iraqis (with thongs?) that led to the hostage's location.
Walking home tonight I was happy to see the Evening Standard get straight to the point. Sometimes this London paper, actually cheers me up.
As do other papers with comforting images like this one & accompanying headlines (+ scribbles) - headlining the same SAS quickly and bravely apprehending yet more mentalists.
There are also ES accounts of its various vendettas against Ken Livingstone (relating mainly to the famous anti semitic remarks made to its journo) to chuckle over. And occasionally it has hilariously scary “oh my god everyone panic!!!” headlines about topics like bird flu. The classic being weeks ago: “CHICKENS NOT TO BE LOCKED UP” which left me with images of naughty chickens smugly clasping ASBOs.
So I grab a copy of the ES and read the happy events surrounding the ‘text book SAS release’. Then I went on to read about the follow up enquiry into July 7 where passenger witnesses to the harrrowing events were making suggestions about improving Tube communications in the wake of the Islamic Terror that day.
Of course my brief lived fondness for the paper, as with all the MSM, dissipated. Buried at the end of the article, after a sort of ‘intro piece’ or ‘mini msm statement’ towing the multi-culti line (from a victim who doesn’t ‘feel angry’ at the bombers, you understand), was another chap. Scarred for a different but horrific reason:
"Another survivor claimed that 2 mystery passengers had praised the bomber. The man who was injured in the Aldgate bombing that killed 7 people, said two asian men standing by him had looked at the carnage and said “Wow great!”.
“It is something that has stayed with me and haunted me to this day” said the man named as Michael.
It will with me too Michael. The inclusion of the word ‘mystery’ makes Michael seem slightly neurotic of course. But its more than that - this should be a headline. Its not. So im making it one.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Ok. so that was slightly annoying. Shortly after 3pm yesterday my blog went 'whiteout'. Ive no idea why but given the fact that blogger were themselves 'stumped' by the issue i can only figure that i pissed someone off with the images below???
Well, im back - and swinging my pink mac -and not my burqa-in their 'general direction' (to misquote from Monty Pythons Life of Brian)...
The last people to access my blog came via the Freedom of Expression blog. Ironic really. But i can imagine who and i can imagine why.
Wehehehellllll. Ill be there this Saturday highlighting their over sensitive fascist nature, along sides, i trust...many others.
It all just adds to my determination and well...id been meaning to amend my blog for a while now. OK i lost lots and did it in a hurry but i got it all back...in grey. I learned a tonne about html.
And besides. I like grey.
***Wed eve: Finally finished and all back to normal. Huge thanks to Rottweiler Puppy for their help in getting this fixed. I dont think ive missed anyone from the links sidebar but please let me know if i have****
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Saturday, March 18, 2006
A Sign of things to come
A muslim group calling itself Global Civility, behind Februarys London demos, has decided to rally next weekend in objection to the March for Free Expression. These are the banners they’ll be bringing along:
And frankly I really hope they DO bring those gems along as they are doing us all an enormous favour. As Steve over at the excellent Pub Philosopher points out:
"Global Civility is not about civility at all, it is an insidious campaign to persuade western governments to change their laws to protect Islam from scrutiny and criticism. Its unreasonable demands and hysterical opposition to the March for Free Expression show why we need a campaign to protect free speech. If these people are allowed to set the agenda than we will see our right to criticise them slowly whittled away"
These signs of cleverly veiled threats read more like "we are glad suicide bombers who will impose our version of government on you in a second and you WILL apologise and pay for your misbehaviour!!". A smarter way of avoiding incitement to hatred charges (following the late coming arrests) than saying "Europe you will pay Fantastic Four are on their way" but more or less the same thing no?
Its time to put religious and political beliefs to one side and look at this as a one united challenge. After all I don’t agree with the left wing, secularist organizations that are turning up but I agree with their single aim here.
So now, we need turn out.
As one commenter at the March blog puts it:
When they came for the communists, I did not speak out—
After all I was not a communist.
When they came for the socialists, I did not speak out—
After all I was not a socialist.
When they came for the filmmakers, I did not speak out—
After all I was not a filmmaker.
When they came for the cartoonists, I did not speak out—
After all I was not a cartoonist.
Then they came for me—
And there was no one left to speak out...'
I agree with the general gist at least. The March has gained great support and I hope the moderate muslim groups who have lent support to this turn out in force alongside free speech marchers like myself next weekend. Its such a pity that the Tories are so quiet on this - the so called ‘champions of freedoms’. Yeah right.
I understand the Observer are running a piece on the March and its organizers tomorrow, excellent.
And thanks to Islamanazi btw who picked up on Nazanins case below and who goes straight into the links on the right.
Hollywood wants to be the first to examine history. 'Flight 93' releases this Spring:
Rastaman picks up on the latest HW offering hot on the heals of Syriana: 'V for Vendetta' – shot and based in London - features terrorists blowing up the Houses of Parliament. It was filmed just before July 7 and put on hold from its original Nov 5 (Guy Fawkes Day) release date last year. Not sure ill be rushing out to see it either.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Last night Channel 4 showed a documentary on 9/11 which centred around the images of that horrific autumn day. Specifically the 'Falling Man' (also covered in Esquire above). To me the images of people gathered at the top of the WTC hanging out of one of the worlds tallest buildings trying to breath seemed so surreal yet oddly relatable that they managed to truly capture the total horror of the events that morning. The discrepancies of scale, the sinister gothic buildings, their suits and ties. I never liked the WTC when I had the chance to visit. There were several elevator shafts to take you to the top. The building swayed. I felt unsafe and refused to go up to the glass where, my sister informed me, a helicopter was hovering hundreds of feet BELOW us.
The Pulitzer prize winning photographer of this 9/11 image is no stranger to history, as the article notes. He was there when Bobby Kennedy was shot. There is something unsettling about a photographer who can shoot a role of film that documents what is essentially a man moments before his death. I cant for example fully comprehend how the photographer of this famine image was able to take his photo and walk away doing nothing to help that child. That’s an impossible reaction and not one I would have had. He later regretted his actions but stated as a reason that the aid agencies had advised the victims were ‘disease ridden’. It became a Pulitzer prize winning image. Is that documenting history, sick voyeurism or a hunt for glory with a veneer of an excuse?
The Cambodian image is another Pulitzer winner. The image also captures a man nanoseconds before death and freezes it. . His photograph captures history, speaks louder than words. It all feels very uncomfortable.
The Channel 4 footage shows people in real time falling to their deaths that day. Other than the humbling interviews with the relatives, it left me feeling angry. Angry with the overriding suggested angle of the programme that America buries what is uncomfortable and unheroic and that this is a ‘failure’. I didn’t feel that was the case. To a degree maybe. But those images are the last seconds in a fight for life. They are simply too raw, too personal to the families involved. What baffled me was the obsession some journalists had with finding out who the falling man was. What purpose does that serve. Im almost relieved that there was no certainty in his identification and that he remains unidentified now.
Its natural that the US wants images of heroic rescuers raising the flag in the ruins to be the world images that circulate in a time of war. Recently I saw a picture of the London Blitz. It showed a dead woman in a suit on the pavement lying in the rubble following a lunchtime bombing raid. Her legs looked awkward, her clothes awry. Her dignity gone. An airraid warden was checking to see if she was alive. She looked so ordinary and relatable. It was so real. Im sure such images were not publicized during the war even though this was unusual, a great city under attack by air raid for the first time in its history, in any history, its civilians being slaughtered. It is certainly not an image I will forget in a hurry (I couldn’t find it on the net) and it is not one I was ever shown at school or college or in museums.
I do really wonder if there isnt a part of the msm that continues to bury its own images not because they are uncomfortable to look at but because you would feel the way you should? After all in this case if it’s a failure story to beat up the Americans, then im sure the world media would readily oblige. Abu Ghraib is a daily front piece. The msm has never recoiled from horror before.
Why the silence? Because you might end up like me last night, in tears, hot with anger and unable to sleep, reminded of my reaction that day. When I walked to work this morning it still hadn’t disappeared, that sick feeling of anger I felt time and again in the 70s, 80s and all at once that September morning. All I kept thinking: ”you unspeakable bastard”
The images cant be swept under the carpet but equally they musnt be abused. They are a breakaway moment in history. The world pre 9/11 and the world after it. Images like these make you understand, react, learn. There is a burden of responsibility in the future to work out how we deal with our own history captured like this, in real time, by photographers and cameramen - and ensure as we grow up with Abu Ghraib we don’t forget the horror that took us there.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Free Jack Idema
It's been two weeks now since anyone heard from Jack Idema, Brent Bennett or Ed Caraballo, the three Americans illegally imprisoned in Afghanistan. Clearly, this is a worrying situation -- Those of us who've campaigned for Jack's release have never been out of touch with him for so long, and the silence is beginning to seem ominous.
Though this isn't to say that Jack and his men are the only people affected by fallout from the terrorist riots at Pulacharke prison:
A car bombing in the capital targeted Sibghatullah Mujaddedi, a Muslim cleric who briefly served as president in 1992. He now heads the upper house of parliament and leads a commission encouraging Taliban fighters to reconcile with the government.
Mujaddedi escaped with burns to his hands and face, but two bystanders — a girl on her way to school and a man on a motorbike — were killed. Two attackers who drove the explosives-laden station wagon into the convoy also died.
"The explosion was very strong. For a while I couldn't see anything. I was in the front seat of my car. I saw a big fire came toward me," the white-bearded Mujaddedi told a news conference a few hours later.
His hands were wrapped in bandages — burned when he raised them to protect his face from the blast.
The bloodstained road was littered with parts of the attackers' car.
Now, before anyone begins feeling too much sympathy for the injured Mujaddedi, it's worth bearing in mind that in his capacity as Afghanistan's 'Chief of Peace and Amnesty' he's responsible for releasing more Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists back onto the streets than anyone else. Ever.
It's for this reason that both Mujaddedi and his boss, President Karzai, are faced with the problem of figuring out precisely who would want to blow up the Mullah. Not al-Q, obviously. No one seriously thinks they'd attempt to murder the man who's working harder than anyone else to release their compatriots from Afghan prisons. So that leaves -- Who?
Mujaddedi directly accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency for the bombing. He offered no proof.
"We have got information that ISI of Pakistan has launched a plan to kill me," he said.
... So Mujaddedi thinks the Pakistani secret service tried to murder him with a suicide bomb? Well, anything's possible ... Although it is, perhaps, worth bearing in mind that sticking Pakistan with the blame would help Mujaddedi out no end with another of his problems -- He's currently under investigation by his own Parliament for treason on the grounds that he is, himself, a Pakistani agent.
Is it credible that Pakistan would try to murder one of its own, most highly-placed agents? If not, then who, precisely, might Mujaddedi's would-be assassin have been?
Hey stupid, did you ever think it was a brother of a female inmate that was raped and beaten by the terrorist hostage takers that you gave amnesty to? Right folks, no one is talking about the rape of 80 women prisoners because it would be instantaneous civil war in Afghanistan and Karzai would be hanging in Sharanow Park like Dr. Najebullah (another "foreign" president but for the Soviets). Afghans don't like you to look at their women (hence the Burhkas) no less rape them.
This is, of course, the very mess that men like Jack Idema and the Northern Alliance were desperately trying to prevent Afghanistan descending into.
Back in 2001, the Taliban-era was over and the Afghan people were free. All that remained was the work of rounding up and imprisoning the few head-hackers who'd avoided capture as Northern Alliance and U.S./British Special Forces took control of the country.
Then, of course, we turned Afghanistan over to the Karzai-State Department alliance, who chose to pursue a disastrous policy of appeasement with terrorists. Jack Idema was one of the first casualties of this, as evidenced by the wording of the 'wanted' posters the FBI put-out prior to his initial arrest:
Approach With Force
Idema is well connected with the Afghan society, and has dealings with key military, political and local authority figures. He has been working in Afghanistan for three years, and has travelled extensively within the country. Idema is wanted by the FBI. He is known to travel with large and heavily armed soldiers from the illegal Northern Alliance.
The 'illegal' Northern Alliance were, in fact, the men who risked their lives fighting to free Afghanistan from the clutches of the Taliban. Yet, by the summer of 2004, they'd been pushed to one side by the State Department, along with soldiers like Idema who stuck around to finish the job they'd started in 2001.
Fast-forward two more years, and today we can see where these policies have led: Most Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists are back on the streets, enabled by men like Mujaddedi, whose corruption is so complete that he finds himself under attack by an entirely new form of terrorist -- Ordinary Afghans radicalised, not by Western 'aggression', or Abu Ghraib, or Israel, but by the failings of their own President to punish Islamofascists for committing one of the largest gang-rapes in history. Truly, we are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. So what can we do? Well, anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Pot & Kettle (emblazoned with skull)
Reading this article and the difficulties facing the Brazilian police in tackling the slums of Rio, vast shanty towns which straddle the city and from which vantage point druglords pretty much have the upper hand and are merely controlled by the police, I did wonder again what on earth the Brazilian police and government were thinking sending over little taskforces to ‘keep an eye’ on the IPCC investigation last August. Considering their own abysmal approach and track record. I came to the conclusion that it must have been the Mets looking at a Kratos rebranding exercise?
"Amnesty International on Monday urged an end to (Brazilian) police use of six-wheeled armored personnel carriers in shantytowns, saying they promote indiscriminate killing. The vehicle, known as the "caveirao" or big skull, is painted black and emblazoned with a skull impaled on a sword, the emblem of Rio's special operations police."
And that's certainly a robust, government supported, approach they have to their own problems then. I really do wonder if it isn’t just the Brazilian government bleating on cue for the sake of it and simply our hand-wringing msm seizing on this and milking it for their own caiboshing agenda.
(I also cant sometimes help but wonder what would happen if we/they legalized drugs and got a grip of gun control?)
Monday, March 13, 2006
One bedroom, S.E.11, £230,000
Im feeling uninspired at the moment. I was in the mood for a good debate today and wondered over to trusty ATW but even that doesn’t seem to get off the ground for me lately, i got the feeling today that by default being female and 'on the right' in the comment section meant my argument was 'letting the side down', ‘laughable’ or fatuous (this is usually coupled with more leftist clichés like ‘spitting’ ‘bile’ ‘bigot’, ‘racist’..oh and ‘hate’!). *lol!*. Grizzly Mama got it right when she simply suggested the commenter “kiss her ass”. Sometimes being direct is the best course of action! Shame it all kicked off so sourly though, given the topic was excellently raised and is so maddeningly serious (rape).
My mood isn’t helped by ‘house’ hunting. Nothing short of a cool quarter of a million will get you onto the property ladder in London with a reasonable sized property large enough to swing a rat in. Want to know why the (future tax paying) population is dwindling? It isn’t because us terrible career women are disinterested. Hah! Its because some are unable to find anybody other than a wet liberal with commitment difficulties to hook up with, or if you’re lucky enough to be a smug married you both work like crazy, often including weekends, always late into the evening and starting a family seems like a distant dream - along with the home needed to keep that happy family in. Meanwhile I walk past a wonderful centrally located council property, a whole lot better than the places weve been shown round of late, where every morning some carefree asylum mum and her happy little kids trip off to school safe in the knowledge they have a warm happy central London home paid for by the likes of me to come back to. Quite why they need to be centrally located whilst on benefits is beyond me. Surely those of us that work to keep this fantastic city going, and in turn fuel the rest of the country, should get the chance to own such a central property and be in work in five minutes flat. Instead of paying out half our salary on rent for the privilege, whilst the other half goes on bills, bills, more bills, taxes. And those that bleed you dry to feed their distorted view of how a fair multi-culti society should operate are usually some toffy nosed ‘terribly well read darling’ academic types who live in a 4 bedroomed mansion in bloody Hampstead (above left)
OK I know I shouldn’t ‘grumble’. Alex is here and happy in this country and working, ive a good job. But every so often ‘it’ gets to me, which is why I enjoyed this article. Id only correct her when she talks of middle classes. Eh? Oh you mean the new WORKING class, hard working UK loving Brazilian immigrants and all!
Anyway roll on the March for Free Expression. Roll on Spring!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Id like to come back to this story when ive a chance to get a few more details but im short on time at the moment.
Nazanin, 17, was sentenced to death by hanging in Iran in January for defending herself against three rapists.
This is what Amnesty had to say about it:
“Amnesty International has recorded 18 executions of child offenders in Iran since 1990. In 2005 alone, at least eight executions of child offenders were recorded. The Iranian authorities have been reported for about four years to be considering passing legislation to ban the use of the death penalty for offences committed under the age of 18. Despite this, over the past two years, the number of child offenders executed has risen”
Given how serious a situation this is, dealing with the issue of an increase in child execution (another young woman was executed in similar circumstances recently) and given the appauling treatment of women in particular (given no access to lawyers) why is there no further update from this organisation - and more tellingly, guess which story is the feature focus on Amnestys website??
You can complain to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to pressure Iran to free Nazanin. Im not sure what good it will do to be honest.
***Update****: Although it’s a long shot please do make your concerns known via the email address above. And publicizing Nazanins case IS important so please pick up on this story as the MSM have utterly failed to do so. Thanks to Chas for pointing out this one though.
The comments in the article on Amnesty are bang to rights.
The funny thing is Alex’s aunt from Brazil emailed me the other day and wished me a ‘Happy Womens Day’ and I admit I wasn’t really that sure what it was. Surely, it at least should be a day that women in the west learn of cases like Nazanins and lend support to them.
VodkaTonic at Inside the Bubble has picked up on Nazanins case and examines it in the general context of human rights…the latter viewed in an article in Iran Daily... Go check it out:
“I began this article with the plight of Nazanin. Let's look closely at the words "contradicts basic norms of human rights". Let's just START with that. What intrigues me most is the writers use of the word "human". Perhaps he should exchange that for 'male' since 'human' would cover both sexes of the species and from what we know about women and their rights in Iran, they clearly do not fall into the category of 'human'.
And how about: "make contemptuous remarks about our faith and insult the founder of the devine religion and the prophet of mercy and kindness". WHAT mercy and kindness? I'm sure I don't have to give everyone a lesson here on the Christian faith, which our contradictory writer is so quick to put down. And let's not forget the "inhumane attitude" we westerners have when it comes to imprisoning those associated with Al Qaeda, or, as he puts it, "a few narrow minded Muslims". Narrow minded?! Oh well, Nazanin, despite being human is, afterall, just a woman. Perfectly within the norms of human rights to sentence her to death for self-defense and without a fair trial”
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Free Jack Idema Blogburst
Latest update from Rottweiler Puppy and Cao:
For anyone following the Jack Idema story, this week has been as frustrating as last week was eventful.
Last time around, the situation was that Pulacharke prison, where Jack Idema, Brent Bennett and Ed Caraballo are being illegally held, was largely under the control of rioting Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners. Ed was a hostage, while Jack and Brent were holed up in their annex, armed, and protected by a group of Northern Alliance soldiers.
Then, late last Wednesday, a team of Afghan soldiers, led by Colonel Sherzaman (the brother of General Sherzaman, who died protecting Jack during a similar riot a year ago), forced their way into Block 1 and freed Ed Caraballo.
Meanwhile, the Karzai government were working hard to appease the terrorists into ending their protests (along with the gang-rape of female prisoners). Acting through an ex-Taliban 'peace envoy', Mullah Mujahedi, assurances were made that none of the rioters would be punished for their orgy of rape and violence. This move seems to have taken the sting out of the terrorists' will to resist, and Afghan Ministry of Justice troops finally reoccupied the prison during the course of Thursday.
Running alongside these events, however, SuperPatriots were also reporting that President Karzai was demanding that all weapons and communications equipment Jack and Brent were using be confiscated. By last Tuesday (Feb. 28th) afternoon (at around the same time as rioting terrorists were being given amnesty), Karzai seems to have decided to use the Afghan army to back up these demands. This was the result:
Someone, unknown, orders Karzai's National Army to surround Jack's BLOCK 2 ANNEX and take up security. National Army soldiers point guns and Jack, and Jack's MOJ and Panjshir commandos return the favour, resulting in a stand-off between the MOJ and the National Army. It escalates to within seconds of bullets flying when a Karzai National Army soldier occupies the tower and points his weapon at Jack from the tower. After a two hour stand-off, yelling, and swearing on both sides, the National Army is withdrawn and Jack's BLOCK TWO ANNEX falls back to TF SABER and the MOJ.
Plainly, Karzai wasn't happy that Jack had helped publicise the truth about events inside Pulacharke. After all, Karzai and the U.S. State Department had spent the week playing down the scale of the riots, misrepresenting the true number of dead, and denying that the women hostages were being repeatedly raped. The last thing they wanted was to see the truth about what was happening leaking out, and especially not in the days leading up to President Bush's visit.
Added to all this, members of the MSM spent the week of the riots clamouring for interviews with Jack and his team. Although Jack turned them down flat, it's a fair bet that MSM were aware of the information being released through SuperPatriots and blogs, and were pressuring Kazai and Afghan authorities for a truer picture of what was happening inside the prison.
The reason all this matters is because no one has heard from Jack, Brent or Ed since last Wednesday (1st March):
Jack Gone Underground? We are using all of our sources to contact Jack -- Anyone with info advise . What happened to the Americans at Pulacharke? No one can reach them. The US Embassy refuses to comment. Jack no longer answers his phone, and Ministry of Justice will not even acknowledge his whereabouts. Caraballo and Bennett have also disappeared in Afghanistan and literally off the face of the earth. Banderas? No word on him either. Any Afghans reading this should contact Jack's Panjshir soldiers and ask them to send us an email if they have any info. A journalist from AP told us today that he heard the FBI had gone to Pulacharke with the National Police or NDS with orders from Karzai to "deal with the Americans there." What is the real story, and what happened to these guys?
With no news coming out of the prison, it's difficult for any of us to even make a guess as to what's happening. Has Jack been moved out of Pulacharke? If so, by Karzai's people or his friends in the Northern Alliance? Right now, all we can do is wait for news.
So what can we do? Well, anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details using the links under Blogburst on the right.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Silence of the Feminists
Do you remember radical feminists? They marched for the cause, firebombed sex shops, disowned their own sons, formed extreme sects and basically did all but chase men off the planet entirely.
So is this it? A 21st-century world of Blair's babes, metrosexuals and confused men who spent some time being in touch with their feminine side and then reconnected with their masculine side in a hurry – of course picking up some decent pointers on the way ;). Nowadays the closest we get to feminism is to watch the “Vagina Monologues” and shift uncomfortably in our seats. Even that seems like decades ago.
There are a lot of single women out there, mistakenly labelled career women who really are every inch Bridget Jones without the happy ending . And they are as confused as the next man.
I guess, then, that it’s a bit outdated to talk about feminists per se.
Ive certainly benefited from a ‘post feminist’ era. I have choice and political equality. By which I mean those who created choice through extreme sacrifice, gritty determination… who led by example. In the late 1970s, revolutionary feminists marched through the cities, hands held aloft in the international feminist sign of the vagina, demanding to "reclaim the streets". They waved placards and frightened men into terrible bores. Margaret Thatcher didn’t need to do any of that to get into power.
Apparently when Thatcher disbanded the Greater London Council amid the in-fighting and disappointment, the ‘Women's Committee’ aka rad fems, just drifted apart. How lame and typical. So Mags didn’t think much of them either and could see the wood for the trees! All just slogans, manifestos, words, more slogans. But whilst they didn’t really achieve anything, shouting hard enough meant it was a headline issue. And maybe from it and through it, role models, pioneers and exceptionally courageous women of no particular importance set about changing society. Some may argue not always for the better. The femiloons, as with all loons, pushed to it all too far.
Of course Im grateful I have choice in all aspects of my life and that I have political equality. I can choose to stay at home and raise a family - or I can choose not to. Ultimately I think we all end up doing what works best in this modern world, what makes us happiest and life work more smoothly. I tend to view womens ‘rights’ as in everyone’s best interests, common sense in a modern world!
In other countries where ‘rights’ aren’t simply an overused 20C placard slogan, women need our support. In Iran last week some very very brave young women tried to attend a football match when Iran played Costa Rica. They were turned away. When they insisted they were beaten and arrested.
Why isn’t this headline news?
Maybe for the same reason Womens Day and its objectives in Saudi aren’t heralded. Maybe for the same reason Ayaan Hirshi is still a relative unknown. She shouldn’t be. Her courage is an incredible example to us all.
The more militant feminists who used to see everything as mens fault and then camp outside American airbases and bore us all to death with their campfire songs seem to have teamed up with the Socialist Workers party. Either that or they are on maternity leave & *nodding furiously* over Gitmo doing little else. To them, attacking any aspect of Islam is simply and carelessly deemed - racism. The football demonstration of young women in Iran and the courage of those seeking change to womens status via Womens Day in Saudi, seem to have slipped by unnoticed, unsupported, unchampioned. You cant tell me international rights issues aren’t fashionable after Gitmo.
At its core, feminism was a social movement largely focused on limiting or eradicating gender inequality and promoting women's rights, interests, and issues in society - worldwide. Is it still?
Forget it. The main beneficiaries of 20th century feminism seem to think the hijab here in the UK is a ‘right’ and a ‘choice’, and NOT an example of subjugation. Go figure.
Maybe the advent of human rights has muddied the waters. I think Prince Charles is right to suggest they promote the individual over society - to society’s detriment.
This isn’t an attempt to outline what went wrong, what went right. If its confused - its because I am : I’m truly worried that the actions of some desperate and brave young women are an awkward fat white elephant. In the West. In 2006.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Its Oscar Weekend! Oscars for Osama
By Charles Krauthammer WASHINGTON --
Nothing tells you more about Hollywood than what it chooses to honor. Nominated for best foreign film is ``Paradise Now,'' a sympathetic portrayal of two suicide bombers. Nominated for best picture is ``Munich,'' a sympathetic portrayal of yesterday's fashion in barbarism: homicide terrorism.
But until you see "Syriana,'' nominated for best screenplay (and George Clooney, for best supporting actor) you have no idea how self-flagellation and self-loathing pass
for complexity and moral seriousness in Hollywood. "Syriana's'' script has, of
course, the classic liberal tropes such as this stage direction: The Deputy
National Security Advisor, MARILYN RICHARDS, 40's, sculpted hair, with the soul
of a seventy year-old white, Republican male, is in charge''.
Or this piece of over-the-top, Gordon Gekko Republican-speak, placed in the mouth of a Texas oilman: ``Corruption is our protection. Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. ... Corruption ... is how we win''. But that's run-of-the-mill Hollywood.
The true distinction of "Syriana's'' script is the near-incomprehensible plot -- a muddled mix of story lines about a corrupt Kazakhstan oil deal, a succession struggle in an oil-rich Arab kingdom and a giant Texas oil company that pulls the strings at the CIA and, naturally, everywhere else -- amid which, only two things are absolutely clear and coherent: the movie's one political hero and one pure soul. The political hero is the Arab prince who wants to end corruption, inequality and oppression in his country. As he tells his tribal elders, he intends to modernize his country by bringing the rule of law, market efficiency, women's rights and democracy. What do you think happens to him? He, his beautiful wife and beautiful children are murdered, incinerated, by a remote-controlled missile, fired from CIA
headquarters in Langley, no less -- at the very moment that (this passes for
subtle cross-cutting film editing) his evil younger brother, the corrupt rival
to the throne and puppet of the oil company, is being hailed at a suitably
garish "oilman of the year'' celebration populated by fat and ugly Americans.
What is grotesque about this moment of plot clarity is that the overwhelmingly
obvious critique of actual U.S. policy in the real Middle East today is its
excess of Wilsonian idealism in trying to find and promote -- against a tide of
tyranny, intolerance and fanaticism -- local leaders like the Good Prince. Who
in the greater Middle East is closest to "Syriana's'' modernizing, democratizing
paragon? Without a doubt, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, a man of
exemplary -- and quite nonfictional -- personal integrity, physical courage and
Hundreds of brave American and allied NATO soldiers have died
protecting him and the democratic system they established to allow him to
govern. On the very night the Oscars will be honoring "Syriana,'' American
soldiers will be fighting, some perhaps dying, in defense of precisely the kind
of tolerant, modernizing Muslim leader that "Syriana'' shows America
slaughtering. It gets worse. The most pernicious element in the movie is the
character who is at the moral heart of the film: the physically beautiful,
modest, caring, generous Pakistani who becomes a beautiful, modest, caring,
generous ... suicide bomber.
In his final act, the Pure One, dressed in the purest white robes, takes his explosives-laden little motorboat head first into his target. It is a replay of the real-life boat that plunged into the USS Cole in 2000, killing 17 American sailors, except that in "Syriana's'' version, the target is another symbol of American imperialism in the Persian Gulf -- a newly opened liquefied natural gas terminal. The explosion, which would have the force of a nuclear bomb, constitutes the moral high point of the movie, the moment of climactic cleansing, as the Pure One clad in white merges with the great white mass of the huge terminal wall, at which point the screen goes pure white. And reverently silent.
In my naivete, I used to think that Hollywood had achieved its nadir with Oliver
Stone's "JFK,'' a film that taught a generation of Americans that President
Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA and the FBI in collaboration with Lyndon
Johnson. But at least it was for domestic consumption, an internal affair of
only marginal interest to other countries. "Syriana,'' however, is meant for
export, carrying the most vicious and pernicious mendacities about America to a
Most liberalism is angst- and guilt-ridden, seeing moral equivalence everywhere. "Syriana'' is of a different species entirely -- a pathological variety that burns with the certainty of its malign anti-Americanism.
Osama bin Laden could not have scripted this film with more conviction.
I disagree that 'JFK' was thankfully for domestic consumption. My sister - if shes
reading will know what i mean. I was completely taken in by that film as a
teenager & my opinion of America skewed - "Back, and to the left... Back, and to the left...".
The BBC of course lapped it all up.
From Drinking From Home :-
Here are some Clooney quotes from his interview on the programme, talking about
world affairs as only film stars can:
"The truth of the matter is you don’t have to run the cartoons. It's not necessarily censorship. It's maybe just saying, 'It's a little hot right now - let's not push those issues.' Look, I'm a freedom of speech guy. I grew up, you know, I'm the son of an anchor guy so I believe you should be able to say anything."
Except when things get "a little hot", obviously.
"The New York Times - that’s where we get our straightest news from."
Ha ha ha ha!
"Sanctions and inspectors were working."
Yes I suppose they were, in a UN multi-billion dollar fraud kind of way.
So, if like me you've grown a bit sick of the BBC's week-long promotion for George Clooney and the rebirth of 'idealistic cinema', above's the bit in Team America where his head gets blown off
In short & in my humble opinion the films crap, confusing & Clooney doesnt even look good. 'Munich''s better. Thanks to City Troll and Drinking from Home
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Free Jack Idema Blogburst
It's been one hell of a week for Jack Idema, Brent Bennett and Ed Caraballo, the three Americans illegally imprisoned in Afghanistan. For the benefit of those who haven't been following events since last Saturday either here or in the MSM, Pulacharke, the prison Jack, Brent and Ed are being held at, is now effectively under the control of Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners. Jack and Brent are holed up in their Block 2 Annex, armed, and protected by members of the Northern Alliance. Ed Caraballo (left), who was being held in another section of the prison, has been taken hostage by the Taliban, who have threatened to decapitate him if their demands are not met. Other hostages include 50-or-so female prisoners from the womens' block, who the Taliban have now been gang-raping for the last four days. So, yes, this is a mess ... Though you wouldn't think that if you were getting your news from MSM, most of whom have slavishly (and, it must be said, lazily) repeated President Karzai's 'official' line without question. This post continues below - please scroll down & see Jack Idema Blogburst - so you can link into other MSM coverage since Saturday to get the 'total' picture.