Archive for February 19, 2006
“Number of U.S. prisoners serving life sentences with no parole for crimes they committed while juveniles: 2,225[Human Rights Watch (N.Y.C.)] Number of prisoners serving such sentences in all other countries worldwide: 12″
Notice that anti-Islam bigots always use Saudi Arabia as “the standard of Islam.” It makes their job easier: “In Saudi Arabia, you can get arrested for wearing a cross or having a Bible in your suitcase, while Muslims in secular Denmark can have their own mosques, cemeteries, schools, TV and radio stations.”
“The troops were members of a [US] counterterrorism force headquartered in Djibouti.”
“Toppling Musharraf: Heat rises on Pakistani leader: His critics call him a Western poodle, the cartoons have fanned the flames, and now Bush is coming to town.”
I watched the interview with Muqtada As-Sadr on AlJazeera. He was quite confused when the interviewer asked him about the intellectual origins of his movement. Maybe he just did not understand. It is all religion, he kept saying. He clearly holds a very fanatical vision of the future, where religion will be imposed on all [...]
I met a man in Toronto who went to graduate school with Thomas Friedman. He told me stories about Friedman at Oxford. But he does not want to be quoted.
Bush’s Book Club: “Over the years, a number of writers have visited President Bush, including Natan Sharansky, Bernard Lewis and John Lewis Gaddis.”
Colonial Ironies: when Arafat was in charge, EU and US insisted that political decision making powers in the PA should reside with the prime minister. Now that Hamas has won, EU and US insist that decision making powers reside with Abu Mazen.
My advise to graduate students has been consistent. The task in graduate school is not to learn; but to unlearn.
Who are they? An-Nahar’s Syrians. There is a group of Syrian writers who make their living by parroting the dogmas of An-Nahar in An-Nahar (and Hariri rag Al-Mustaqbal), and reinforcing the racism and chauvinism of the newspaper against Syrians and Palestinians. Syrian writer Nazih Abu `Afsh once wrote about them in Al-Adab. They are not [...]
Ziyad Ar-Rahbani is back: here is the text of what he said on Sawt Ash-Sha`b radio yesterday.
“Still, President Bush has requested a 13% spending increase for Al Hurra. Yet, according to a recent Zogby poll, only 1% of Arab viewers watch it as their first choice. Al Hurra claims 21.3 million viewers, but it will not publish the Nielsen survey that supposedly supports this figure. The station is rightly regarded by [...]
Distasteful Lebanese politics: Christian allies of Syria (like Sulyaman Franjiyyah, Emile Lahhud, and Charles Ayyub of Ad-Diyar) have resorted to narrow sectarian Christian agitation. They are hoping that this dirty card will save them.
Today I read that the Mufti of the Islamic University of Al-Azhar has requested that the Danish government (no less) apologizes for the cartoons. Equally, Grand (not really) Ayatollah Sistani has issued a stern statement against the cartoons. I did not know that the two dudes even look at cartoons. I wonder if they like [...]
“Shelving of Panel on Mideast Roils School” (thanks Bram)
If somebody goes to this gallery, please send me a picture of Coignet’s A View from Albano. Send it NOW.
I wonder if Hizbullah now feels dumb and foolish for striking an electoral alliance with Jumblat and Hariri in the last election. It should.
View of Albano, near Rome. c. 1835-37. Mikhail Lebedev.
Muqtada As-Sadr’s Excellent Adventure. I have been following the Arab tour of Muqtada As-Sadr. He is proving that he may be just another Islamic cleric for hire in the region. After visiting Saudi Arabia and praising its king, As-Sadr is now visiting Jordan and he also praised the king. As-Sadr will also praise your king, [...]
Propaganda of the NYTimes: you see this headline in the New York Times: “Billions Asked for Afghans and Iraqis.” And then you read the text: “The Bush administration sent a request to Congress on Thursday for $72.4 billion in additional funds for the current fiscal year, largely to pay for military operations and reconstruction efforts [...]