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Showing posts from May 15, 2008

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The War On Terror... And The Real Concern
The preferred media framework for making sense of US actions closely parallels cold war mythology. We are to believe the US is passionately, even blindly, battling ideological enemies in an effort to protect itself and the West. Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland could be relied upon to paint this picture of events:

“A fortnight ago the Ethiopians entered Somalia to topple the Islamist forces who had just taken Mogadishu. Americans dislike that Islamist movement, fearing it has the makings of an African Taliban, so they backed the Ethiopians to take it out. According to Patrick Smith, the editor of Africa Confidential, the war on terror is fast becoming a cold war for the 21st century, with the US finding proxy allies to fight proxy enemies in faraway places.” (Freedland, ‘Like a deluded compulsive gambler, Bush is fuelling a new cold war,’ The Guardian, January 10, 2007)

If this sounds curiously simplistic, even childish, it is. I…

Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller wish Israel happy anniversary - Haaretz - Israel News

Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller wish Israel happy anniversary - Haaretz - Israel News: "Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Kirk and Michael Douglas make up a list of some of the Hollywood glitterati that beginning Tuesday can be seen on giant screens in New York's Times Square sending Independence Day greetings on the 60th anniversary of Israel's establishment."

Ahmadinejad predicts Israel will be 'swept away' by Palestinians - Haaretz - Israel News

Ahmadinejad predicts Israel will be 'swept away' by Palestinians - Haaretz - Israel News: "In Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest verbal outburst against Israel, the Iranian President said Tuesday that it would 'be soon swept away' by the Palestinians.

'This terrorist and criminal state is backed by foreign powers, but this regime would soon be swept away by the Palestinians,' Ahmadinejad said in a press conference in Tehran."

 Gulf Seen Between Democracy in Theory and Practice: Survey : Information Clearing House - ICH

 Gulf Seen Between Democracy in Theory and Practice: Survey : Information Clearing House - ICH
The belief that governments were being run by "a few big interests" was particularly pervasive in Ukraine (84 percent), Mexico (83 percent), the United States (80 percent), Nigeria and South Korea (78 percent), and Argentina (71 percent).

Al Jazeera English - News - Palestinians Mark The 'Nakba'

Al Jazeera English - News - Palestinians Mark The 'Nakba': "Palestinians have held protests across the occupied territories to mark the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, or 'catastrophe', when they were uprooted from their homes by the establishment of Israel.

In the West Bank on Thursday, rallies and sirens commemorated the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 war."

Informed Comment: Is Obama the Apostate, or is Bush? A Reply to Luttwak

Informed Comment: Is Obama the Apostate, or is Bush? A Reply to Luttwak

Barack Obama never accepted or practiced Islam as an adult (which would be age 15 in Islamic law) and therefore according to classical Islamic jurisprudence cannot be an apostate. Peters and DeVries are Arabists and are among the foremost scholars on Islamic law, unlike Luttwak, who does not have the slightest idea what he is talking about.

Luttwak has no doubt been misled by some Salafi, modernist-fundamentalist fatwa, which departs from the great Islamic legal traditions, and he has mistakenly taken it to be representative of Islamic law. Or, I don't know, maybe some minor jurist in the minority Hanbali tradition dissents. But to characterize these minority traditions or idiosyncratic views as representative of Islam as a whole would be like declaring Pat Robertson's interpretation of Christianity more legitimate than that of Saint Thomas Aquinas.