Archive for January 19, 2007
“Thanks. Thanks for feeding one of the most barbarous myths in human history. During virtually every episode of “24,” viewers are treated to scenes in which suspects are tortured and, as a result, valuable and accurate information about terrorist activities is extracted by law enforcement officials.” (thanks Valerie)
“The Pentagon has announced rules for the trials of alleged terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo Bay that allow hearsay evidence and testimony extracted through coercion, including torture, in cases that could result in the death penalty. The use of “evidence obtained by torture” after Dec. 30, 2005, is prohibited under the rules, but judges can [...]
“Rice argues that there is a constellation of forces, such as growing fear of extremist groups by “mainstream” Arabs in the wake of the Lebanon war, that now gives historical antagonists such as Saudi Arabia and Israel common strategic objectives.”
A person who has actually read the (still unpublished–still awaiting for my copy, anonymous) controversial (in Canada that is) Khan report after his ME trip on behalf of the Prime Minister tells me that it has nothing of value or significance. That he only reported what both sides told him. It is also badly written, [...]
“Al Maliki: Ã‚Â«Dicono che il mio governo ÃƒÂ¨ moribondo? CosÃƒÂ¬ la Rice aiuta i terroristiÃ‚Â»” (thanks Danae)
Many of the Arabs that I met on this tour have pointed out to me that my references to puppets and collaborators in the Arab world obscure the reality of popular support that Hariri, Dahlan, Maliki and others have in the Arab world. True: that is due to 1) sectarian agitation and mobilization; 2) spread [...]
I have not had a chance to watch the entire interview with Hasan Nasrallah on Manar TV. I saw the section on Iraq, and thought that his comments about Maliki were woefully inadequte. He could not offer criticisms or denunciations of Maliki, and politely urged him to expose the role of the US in the [...]
“The main umbrella group of American Jewish organizations is set to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi next month in a sign of the growing concern among Sunni regimes over IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nuclear and regional ambitions.” (thanks Laleh)
It is praiseworthy that New TV is doing a special on Lebanese prisoners in Syria right after the meeting between the owner of New TV, Tahsin Khayyat, and Bashshar Al-Asad. I am assuming that they will also talk about Palestinian prisoners (who were taken from Lebanon) in Syria.
What world do they live in? What books and newspapers do they read? Assistant Secretary of Starte for Near East, David Welch, said that Iran should leave Iraq alone. He added that the US has left Iraq alone ever since its withdrew its occupation troops from the country. Wait. No, they did not withdraw. In [...]
Is that bad for my reputation? “I didn’t find Abukhalil particularly desperate, neither angry. He spoke calmly looking at the audience, and only rarely glancing at his notes, for about an hour before taking every question in the room.” (thanks anonymous)
Guess who is reading about the Middle East NOW: “When asked this week about what moments in Arab history inform her thinking, Ms. Rice said she had read about “the British experience” in Mesopotamia in the 1920s.” (thanks Keval)
“Some of the [Israeli] regulations stray into the realm of the absurd. A year ago a military order, for no obvious reason, expanded the list of protected wild plants in the West Bank to include za’atar (hyssop), an abundant herb and Palestinian staple. For a while, soldiers at checkpoints confiscated bunches of it from bewildered [...]
Upon arriving to Calgary this morning, my thoughtful hosts had bags of Japanese Genmaicha Green tea waiting for me. Angry Arab immediately felt less angry.