Archive for September 18, 2005
This will pass as “real reform.” Syria has just organized its first (female) beauty contest. I am sure the World Bank and IMF will be impressed. Sometimes I worry that Lebanonese popular culture pollutes so much of the aesthetics of the Arab world, and is responsible for much of the Culture Industry of Sexism and [...]
From the poem A Commentary on What Happened in the Wahdat* Camp by Egyptian poet Amal Dunqul (my translation): “I had repeatedly told youthat the convoys that passin the parades on [Holy Day] of Al-Fitrand Independence Day(and women cry outfrom windows in astonishment)do not make victories.The cannons that mass at the border,in the desertdo not [...]
“Even as the Pentagon is mulling plans to begin reducing the number of American combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan next spring, the military has more than $1.2 billion in construction under way or on the drawing board to upgrade 16 air bases throughout the Middle East and Southwest Asia. At a time when the [...]
“The United States has poured more than $200 million into reconstruction projects in this city, part of the $10 billion it has spent to rebuild Iraq. Najaf is widely cited by the military as one of the success stories in that effort, but American officers involved in the rebuilding say that reconstruction projects here, as [...]
“A hunger strike at the prison camp at GuantÃƒÂ¡namo Bay, Cuba has unsettled senior commanders there and produced the most serious challenge yet to the military’s effort to manage the detention of hundreds of terrorism suspects”
“Lawrence F. Kaplan just published an essay in which he laments the decline of national greatness not among our leaders but among our citizens, among ordinary Americans who have lost all sense of civic responsibility. It was never any different. It has been the same since 1619. That was when the first ships arrived from [...]
“[O]utgoing U.S. ambassador to Israel said that President George W. Bush would back an Israeli government request to keep larger West Bank settlement areas under its control in a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians”
“Condoleezza Rice turns down a dinner date at the UN general assembly to discuss women’s rights, citing a busy schedule.” (But not too busy for a meeting with mini-Hariri and with the foreign minister of the Libyan dictator).
Another day of Israeli Injustice: “The Israeli justice ministry said yesterday that nobody would be charged over the killing of 13 Israeli Arabs shot in riots against official discrimination five years ago.”
The real Bush’s doctrine: far from establishing democracies in the Middle East, Bush has actually set up two Islamic republics in the region. You know that the Afghan constitution declares the state as an “Islamic republic” don’t you? Don’t you? Taliban fanatics have been replaced with warlord fanatics. How come the Feminist Majority, the cheerleaders [...]
Arab liberals: Right-wing, sectarian Christian Lebanese publisher, Ghassan Tuwayni, who poses as a “liberal”, thus only fooling five or six readers of his newspaper, can’t stop praising King `Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The King summoned him two weeks ago, and the man can’t stop praising him. It must be the “wisdom” of the king that [...]
Proxy Zionism. This is proxy Zionism. Proxy Zionism has been installed the very day the Palestinian Authority was set up. Here you see the irony. The Palestinian Authority is constructing a separation barrier–not that different from the notorious Israeli racist separation barrier, to keep Palestinians locked in and out of Gaza, in order to protect [...]
Rice meeting with the foreign minister of the Libyan dictatorship. She asked him about tips for spreading “liberty” in the region. The Libyan dictatorship, after all, is the embodiment of the glorious Bush’s doctrine.
Bono can use the time that he wastes on his foreign policy adventures to learn one musical instrument. He can actually learn to play the…triangle.
Mini-Hariri’s wife gave birth to a new son in Saudi Arabia today. He was named……`Abdul-`Aziz. Now just because he was named after the founder of the Kingdom of Oppression in no way means that he was trying to please his House of Saud’s patrons. Why would you think that? His father, Rafiq, named one of [...]
Press and Theatre of the Absurd: I mean, Tawfiq Al-Hakim’s play, O, Tree Climber was considered a good representation of the theatre of the absurd. But when it comes to Iraq, what I read is Press of the Absurd, and Claims of the Absurd. I was just reading an interview with Jalal Talbani in Al-Hayat. [...]
The Dilemma of Lebanese Journalists: As we all know, Lebanese journalists have been distraught over the sudden (and really not called for) decision by the King of Saudi Arabia to ban the kissing of his hands. Having failed to reach an agreement with the King, Lebanese journalists have now settled for a solution. They have [...]
The Last of Old Westminster. 1862. James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
Palestinian children celebrating the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.