Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hamas: more than meets the eye.

So, in my hunt to find new blogs, I came across, or Madtom did, Nadz Online. (See the link to the left, for future reference. )

Nadz, as I understand it, is a Palestinian/American woman, who has some very interesting ideas about being a female and a Muslim in America. [See comments. She says she doesn't consider herself a Muslim. I was wrong.]

Today, her post got me thinking. She wrote:

"Hamas' new "anti-corruption" unit (not the PLO's awe-inspiring corruption, but the kind involving women's ankles) killed a woman for walking in public with her fiance. You read that correctly. They then mutilated her body after shooting her, just in case the murder alone didn't convince you that they're a band of crazed, fundamentalist butchers."

Yes, of course, this is awful. Hamas doesn't have a monopoly on this sort of crap though. The Saudis regularly flog women in public for minor infractions and in some cases even behead them. [See The Religious Policeman for more on the Saudis.]

Yet, they are one of the U.S.' closest allies in the Middle East. We invaded Afghanistan partly to stop the Taliban from abusing women, supposedly. The only difference between the Saudis and the Taliban, though, is that they have tons of oil and they don't fight and die for their Jihad, they pay the likes of the Taliban to do it for them.

[See my post on the Saudis from last year for more on their very enlightened rule.]

I felt compelled to post a comment on Nadz's post because this issue is so complex, I felt it needed a little fleshing out.

And here it is: [Sans some bad mispelling and a change at the end.]

"Hamas is undoubtedly an "Islamic fundamentalists" movement, which runs counter to the secular nature of the PLO and Palestinian culture in general.

Just as the "Muslim Brotherhood" in Egypt gained popular support by providing health care, education etc. because the government would not, so Hamas has taken advantage of Israel's crushing occupation and the inablility of the PLO to provide basic services, because of corruption etc.

More than just take advantage, I would point out just for historical perspective, that Mossad actually created Hamas as a divide and conquer strategy.

Events in Palestine don't occure in a vacuum. Israel is the most powerful country in the Middle East. Anything that goes on in the occupied territories, in particular, doesn't go on without Israel's okay.

From Global Research:

"According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, "Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)".Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist movement in Palestine, returning from Cairo in the seventies, established an Islamic charity association.

Prime Minister Golda Meir, saw this as a an opportunity to counterbalance the rise of Arafat’s Fatah movement. According to the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit (October 1987), "The Islamic associations as well as the university had been supported and encouraged by the Israeli military authority" in charge of the (civilian) administration of the West Bank and Gaza. "

They [the Islamic associations and the university] were authorized to receive money payments from abroad."

Many horrible things happen in the occupied territories. An Israeli soldier pumping 15 bullets into a schoolgirl's head just to make sure she was dead is pretty horrific too. He didn't do it because of any religious conviction, but because ultimatly, the occupation has debased both Israel and Palestinian society. It's tragedy all around. There is a pox on both their houses. "

Friday, April 15, 2005

Bush Blog coming soon!

Not so much, these days.

"There ought to be limits to freedom. We're aware of this [web] site, and this guy is just a garbage man, that's all he is." Thus Quoth the dumbass. (W on )


WASHINGTON - President Bush said Thursday that the public should know as much as possible about government decision-making, but national security and personal privacy — including his — need to be protected.

I believe in open government," Bush said at a meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. "I've always believed in open government. I don't e-mail, however. And there's a reason: I don't want you reading my personal stuff."

Well, maybe he ought to speak to the Atorney General about that. He's got no problem reading everybody else's "personal stuff."

"There's got to be a certain sense of privacy," Bush said. "You're entitled to how I make decisions and you're entitled to ask questions, which I answer. I don't think you're entitled to read my mail between my daughters and me." [As long as your name isn't Mohammad, anyway.]

White House records are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which allows reporters and others to obtain unclassified government records that officials would not otherwise release.

He said he will review a Senate bill to create a 16-member panel that would recommend ways to speed FOIA requests, which can drag on for years.

"We look forward to analyzing and working with legislation that would help put a free press' mind at ease that you're not being denied information you shouldn't see," Bush told the editors. "


In 2002 PC reported:

"Something is missing from government Web sites these days. But no one is sure exactly what.

Seeking to fortify national defense in the months following the September 11th terrorist attacks, the U.S. government reevaluated its massive presence on the World Wide Web. But a year later, federal government officials aren't clear on what information remains online, what's been taken off, and whether any of it will ever return."

You know, like embarrassing predictions from government officials about how much the Iraq war would cost...

"On September 15th 2002, White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsay estimated the high limit on the cost to be 1-2% of GNP, or about $100-$200 billion. Mitch Daniels, Director of the Office of Management and Budget subsequently discounted this estimate as “very, very high” and stated that the costs would be between $50-$60 billion "

...and info (Or no info) on condoms and all those other things terrorists could use against us .

But USA Today reports the Rand Corporation said:

"Federal officials should consider reopening public access to about three dozen Web sites withdrawn from the Internet after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a government-financed study says, because the sites pose little or no risk to homeland security. The Rand Corp. said the overwhelming majority of federal Web sites that reveal information about airports, power plants, military bases and other potential terrorist targets need not be censored because similar or better information is easily available elsewhere. "

Well, shut my mouth! Hear that W, you can E-Mail again.

Or check out some blogs.


Blogs for Bush is quite amusing in a very upright, patriot way. Note the "mission accomplished" flightsuit in the header.

A lot of Blogs out there are by soldiers. A Soldier's Blog is one point of view from a service member, then there is "This Fucking War" and "This is Your War." The later is designed to gather stories from all the participants, Iraqis Americans, military, civilian, etc.

Both are very good and have tons of links to various Iraqi Bloggers. Both really good resources.

The The Iraq Model is an excellent link to the world of Middle East Blogs! A must see.

Varifrank is also worth checking our for content and links.

The blogiston post has gone silent but there is a ton of info and links. They say they're purpose is "Money and politics. The Defense Policy Board. Contracts in Iraq." There are about 200 lihnks to everything you can possibly want. Well worth looking into.

I love links.

I've got to run along and hide all my activities so W doesn't know what I'm up to.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Card carrying member?

Speaking of government over reaching:

The Patriot Act comes to mind. You remember:


"Just 45 days after the September 11 attacks, with virtually no debate, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Many parts of this sweeping legislation take away checks on law enforcement and threaten the very rights and freedoms that we are struggling to protect. For example, without a warrant and without probable cause, the FBI now has the power to access your most private medical records, your library records, and your student records... and can prevent anyone from telling you it was done."

USA Today had an interesting Op-Ed today.

"'Trust me' just doesn't fly."

It noted the many drawbacks of the act:

" The law allows secret searches of any home or business by federal agents, with no deadline to notify the owners or occupants that a search has taken place. This has been used against innocent citizens.

• It authorizes collection of personal information from libraries, businesses and medical providers even if there is no evidence of any connection with terrorism. And those ordered to supply the information are barred from letting anyone know that Big Brother is engaging in such activities.

• The law defines domestic terrorism so broadly it could be applied to completely unrelated acts, even peaceful protests.

After months of denials that turned out to be false, the Justice Department reversed itself and acknowledged April 5 that it had secretly searched the home of an Oregon lawyer who was wrongly accused of being a perpetrator of last year's train bombings in Madrid. He was never told of the search.

A Muslim student in Idaho was prosecuted because he posted Internet links to objectionable materials, even though identical links were available on the Web sites of a major news outlet and the government's own expert witness in the case.

And while the granting of unprecedented law-enforcement powers was justified as essential to the special needs of the war on terrorism, the act's provisions have been used in criminal investigations as mundane as a Las Vegas bribery probe."

Contact your congress member, tell them to fix the Patriot Act and let AG Gonzalez know where to get off.

Check out the ACLU web site for all the info on the ACT and where to contact your representitive.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Firdus Square and the numbers game.

Al-Jazeera reports:

"Many supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rallied in Baghdad late Friday, demanding the withdrawal of the U.S. occupation forces on the second anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein"

The demonstrators, carrying anti-U.S. banners, gathered at Baghdad‚ Firdus Square, where a statue of the toppled Iraqi leader was pulled down on April 9, 2003, marking the beginning of the U.S.-led occupation of the country. [A staged media event by the pentagon and Ahmad Chalabi's rent- an- army.]

Sunni leaders also demanded the Iraqis to take part in Saturday's protests.
After Friday noon prayers in Baghdad, Sheik Harith al-Dahri, the leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars, accused occupation forces of "killing the Iraqi people daily."

"I ask all Iraqis to join in peaceful demonstrations tomorrow against the occupation," said Sheikh al-Dhari. "The people must speak with one voice and say: 'No to the occupation; the occupiers must leave. Two years have passed and all we see is bloodshed, destruction and looting,‚ he added. "

One thing everyone in Iraq can agree on; we have to go. I think that's what the elections were all about as well.

Will the president now be beating his chest about freedom being on the march in Iraq? He's all about the Syrians ending their occupation of Lebanon; the shoe is on the other foot now it would appear. Not that the media here is going to see any irony in this whole situation.

The protest in Baghdad did look alot like the rallies in Beriut last month. And the demonstrations in Cairo. The Cairo protests were especially similar because they not only called for Mubarak to go, but for the U.S. to leave Iraq.

Where has Muqtada al-Sadr been these days anyway? The Post writes today:

"Unlike Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who has the broadest support among the country's Shiite majority, Sadr has pronounced a stridently anti-occupation line and reached out to Sunni Muslims who oppose the American presence. "

Funny wording there. It makes it sound like Sistani doesn't oppose the occupation, which he does.

The Post wants everybody to know:

"Sadr's followers had predicted a million people would turn out, but the actual number, while substantial, fell short." [1,500 Sunnis in Ramadi coming out wasn't peanuts, either.]

[But then again, I was at an anti-war protest in D.C. in January of 2004 and the Post said only about 10,000 showed up. Even the D.C. police said later there were over a hundred thousand. (It could have been a lot more.) Don't confuse the Post with the facts, though. The DCPD have a standing policy that they never estimate crowd numbers, except for this one time, because it was so overwhelming. Shhhh...the Post!]
hit counter script Top Blog Lists Favourite Blogs Top List
My Zimbio
Top Stories