31 August 2013

WTF with that Syria attack, Mr President: doing a Cameron?

Now it is up to the Congress whether to bomb Syria. I have to say: it's a brilliant move. I don't have to love it, though...

Confused? So:

Should he stay or should he go? (He, of course, is Bashar Assad)

I found this article in The Times of Israel most interesting. As a Western anti-fascist, my reflex response was to see Assad gone, until I thought of the alternatives facing Syria. And the consequences of one or a coalition of the jihadist groups coming out on top. Then I'd wonder again...

Not that it's up to me, of course.

However, trying to discern what's best for Israel, now there's a real conundrum. Especially if you're not an Israeli. This quandary became especially acute when we had some members of the Israeli branch of the family staying for a few days. The consensus among them (there were enough around for the notion of a consensus to be a realistic one) was that he should stay. If he went, the blood-bath among the Alawites would not be pretty, and there didn't seem to be a group or a coalition of groups that would create a stable entity to Israel's north-east.

If Assad were to survive in power, they were arguing, he would be weakened and would know better than to attack Israel, given that he would have a much reduced army, much less effective than before (and it didn't exactly cover itself with glory in 1967 and 1973), facing a powerful, well-trained, full-strength foe.

Well, they're Israelis, they should know, I assumed. Then this article argues otherwise. Here we have two experts, Brig. Gen. (ret) Shlomo Brom, a senior research fellow at the Institute of National Security Studies, and Professor Efraim Inbar, the head of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies. In their slightly different ways, they are saying that the least bad outcome from Israel's point of view was that Assad not stay in power. I'm not sure that I fully follow or agree with their arguments, especially when Brom is quoted as follows: he said that "Assad’s bottom line was “survivability” — a goal that clashed with a major strike against Israel. “Syria is right on our border,” he said. “We can be very effective there… actually, more so than the Americans.” If so, why want him gone? Anyway, their arguments are right there in the article.

By Brian Goldfarb.

New Friends

A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.
                                                                                     Charles Darwin.

Today John Kerry explained which countries are American friends:

"The world is speaking out, and many friends stand ready to respond. the Arab League pledged, quote, "to hold the Syrian regime fully responsible for this crime." The Organization for Islamic Cooperation condemned the regime and said we needed, quote, "to hold the Syrian government legally and morally accountable for this heinous crime." Turkey said there is no doubt that the regime is responsible.  
Our oldest ally, the French, said the regime, quote, "committed this vile action, and it is an outrage to use weapons that the community has banned for the last 90 years in all international conventions." The Australian prime minister said he didn't want history to record that we were, quote, a party to turning such a blind eye.

To sum it up, in the order as they are listed by John Kerry, the US has the following friends:

1. Arab League.  That would be The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (which dominates, hosts, and payrolls  Arab League), and Yemen, and Lebanon, and a bunch of other wonderful countries.

2. Organization for Islamic Cooperation. That would be The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (which dominates, hosts and payrolls OIC), and Yemen, and Lebanon, and Turkey, and a bunch of other wonderful countries.

3.  Turkey.  I feel like I am repeating myself.

4. France.  Has not joined the OIC.  Yet.

5. Australian Prime Minister.  The outgoing Prime Minister, to be precise. 

In summary, we have Saudis  in the first place, Saudis in the second place, Turkish Sultanate in the third place, France (just to spite Britain) and a Prime Minister who is about to lose his job. 

Britain, Canada and Israel  did not make the cut. 

30 August 2013

Great Britain?

Great Britain – seems like they don’t have the stomach for it anymore; Greatness that is.

"Cameron forced to rule out British attack on Syria after MPs reject motion"

Greatness was a colonizer’s idiom that enabled the ever-drizzle island persuade itself that it was a superpower. Great Britain had influence and authority, cultural, industrial and technological aptitude. A culture that exported its language and wares worldwide has shrunk into a self-serving, quivering lower lipped, diminishing entity, with a posterior bow of parliamentary spinelessness. While history will show that PM Cameron is made of the right stuff, his mandated vertebrae - "the people", have misplaced their collective scrotum, and with it, the nation’s stature within global leadership.

The signs have been there for decades. Were it not for US supplied crutches, England would have slipped into provinciality in the 1970’s. Special-Relationship status will not bury the fact that nothing great has come out of that island since. Industrial and technological prowess have long since evaporated, leaving it a client nation with a penchant for self inflicted middling mediocrity. England has now finally placed itself in its correct rank within the global community - just another unremarkable nation that voluntarily relieved itself of universal clout and impact.

As to the Special-Relationship status... time will tell. One thing that we do know is that the US never forgets, its recall-with-a-vengeance has traditionally been cross-partisan, spanning centuries and administrations. Hanging on to the superpower’s coattails will now be that much harder, as one hanger-on relieves its perspiring clutch, a hoard of others vie for that same small piece of sodden textile.

Here's a quote from the bastion of middling mediocrity; the Guardian spins it loony left style:
"In a devastating blow to his authority, the prime minister lost a government motion..."
Edit: John Kerry, in his 'Evidence' media address this evening, recounted a long list of American friends and allies. Great Britain was not one of them.  

Iran threats re Israel: please sort that out, dear Ayatollahs

There were more than two threats this side of the year, but I will choose only two to make the point. Only about six months ago, one of the ranking Iranians issued one:

“Syria’s response to the recent aggression of the Zionist regime against this country will send this regime into a coma,” Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, the deputy chairman of the Iranian Armed Forces, said on Saturday.
To start with, it was made in the name of Syria for some reason, but anyway it's already six months and the only way we are going to become comatose is from the boredom of waiting.

More recently, another Iranian dignitary offered an updated version:
Iran’s chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 Wednesday declaring that “if the US attacks, the Zionists will burn”
The Ayatollahs should make some order in the sequence of the threats their minions issue. Technically it doesn't make a lot of sense to knock your rival into a coma and then burn him/her. Where is the enjoyment of it?

And another thing: the threats are issued by people whose exterior by itself is more frightening than any threats they invent. Take the first threat, about the coma, it was issued by this character:

And the second one by an even more impressive character:

I submit that that the fright value of a threat shouldn't be exceeded by the fright value of its carrier, otherwise there is no sense in making the threat in the first place. The addressee will simply not get it, being mesmerized by the view as he/she definitely is in this case.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

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Simply Che

The long break in the series was simply inexcusable. After a long interruption a low-key one (#18):

29 August 2013

And a bit more on Chelsea Manning

I am not necessarily disagreeing with what Francis says about Ms Manning.

Let's just not forget a few not exactly stellar moments in her story (intended or not is another question):

The betrayal of Belarus dissidents.

The torture and death of Majid Jamali Fashi.

The betrayal of Afghans who had co-operated with American forces and more.

And, most probably, much, much more, knowing the people who received the info Ms Manning will be paying now for by all these years in the nick.

The cry of a Russian soul

A comment to an article on the Moscow's Echo radio site:

"Our life is bad because of the Jews: too many of them left..."


A stray thought

I really shouldn't have driven from the bar yesterday. Especially considering that I've walked to the bar in the first place...

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Obama Wag The Dog Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

28 August 2013

New Alien-like Species Discovered Off Coast Of California?

Them scientists should really get out more and get a life:

Because if this is what they consider to be a strange and alien life form, they surely miss a lot of what is going on in California.

Not an urban legen: just an on-line editor

Click on the picture below, read it and then proceed to the post.

When you read the first few lines of the WaPo article, it is not difficult to understand that the main participants of the story are: a monitor lizard, police officer that shoot it, police Lt. Michael T. Finkelstein and a resident that called 911.

Wouldn't you assume that the picture, seemingly attached to the article, should depict one of the four heroes of that article? Using the elimination method, one can easily conclude that a) this is not a monitor lizard, since the latter usually locomotes on all four; b) it is not a patrolman, since no mere patrolman will allow himself to appear on a photoshoot out of his uniform; c) this could hardly be the anonymous 911 caller, they are usually too shy to appear in newspapers.

So the picture is obviously of the somewhat eccentric Lt. Michael T. Finkelstein... Right?

No, because only after wasting your precious time on that superbly executed logical exercise, you notice the words: Photos of the day under the picture and realize that the picture, after all, doesn't have anything to do with the article.

Now, if you try to match the picture to the following text that offers a few possibilities: Syria agrees to..., Mubarak on trial, Yosemite fires, March on Washington..., you shall find yourself facing the same conundrum as before. No match, right? Unless March on Washington... nah.

So, all things considered, I prefer the eccentric Lt. Michael T. Finkelstein version. The least damaging to my sanity, I say.

I am, probably, going to raise myself a monitor lizard, training it from scratch. When it grows to the length of 8 feet, I shall take it to visit the WaPo building in search for the people responsible for the design of that page. Then we shall see...

27 August 2013

Ayo Kimathi and Department of Homeland Serenity

You know these folks that meet you at the airport with smiles and latex gloves, always ready to give you a full medical to ensure that your flight will be healthy and enjoyable.

It appears that some of their employees are overstressed. Obviously on account of worrying too much about our safety and security. And DHS, in their motherly (or is it fatherly?) wisdom make sure that such employees get their richly deserved rest. Such was the case of one Ayo Kimathi, briefly described in this HuffPost article by Alicia A. Caldwell.

The Homeland Security Department says an employee who runs a racist website predicting and advocating a race war has been put on paid administrative leave.

An acquisitions officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement who deals with small businesses, Ayo Kimathi, operates the website War on the Horizon. It includes descriptions of an "unavoidable, inevitable clash with the white race." Kimathi is black.

Kimathi has been with the department since 2009. He was told Friday that he is being put on paid administrative leave.
Regarding the contents of the offensive site, the only thing Ms Caldwell found necessary to say was:
His website criticizes whites, gays, those of mixed race, and blacks who integrate with whites.
Not much, you would agree. Besides, the man was only "criticizing", so what? I mean, where exactly is the offense, with lots of people criticizing lots of other people? Especially, since the man, as you will hear listening to the news clip attached, got a permit from his mothership department manager. So I just had to let my fingers run over the keyboard to get some more on that curious case. Oh boy... don't I wish I had skipped to another topic!

The mere headline of an article on the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) site DHS Employee Promotes Race War in Spare Time, Advocates Mass Murder of Whites provides more information than the stumbling and mumbling piece in HuffPost. Not to mention the picture of the protagonist:

Off-duty, he calls himself “the Irritated Genie.” He’s a gay-bashing, revenge-seeking black nationalist who advocates on his website – War on the Horizon – the mass murder of whites and the “ethnic cleansing” of “black-skinned Uncle Tom race traitors.”

“Warfare is eminent,” the website declares, “and in order for Black people to survive the 21st century, we are going to have to kill a lot of whites – more than our Christian hearts can possibly count.”

A former supervisor of Kimathi’s at the DHS told Hatewatch, “Everybody in the office is afraid of him.”

“This guy is filled with hate,” the supervisor continued. “People are afraid he will come in with a gun someday and go postal. I am astounded, he’s employed by the federal government, let alone Homeland Security.”
I was astounded too, mostly by that paid administrative leave. Well, as a gist of the matter, that should do, however the devil (and the enjoyment) is in the details. I just had to have a look at the website in question, while it's still intact out there. It is called War on the Horizon and it's chock-full of goodies, starting with the Creed:
War on the Horizon Creed

Afrikan people are an international racial family who share a common: homeland (Afrika), Racial origin, culture, destiny, and a bitter enemy – the white race. We are challenged by our common destiny to eradicate the system of racism white supremacy and its benefactors in order to establish righteous Black Dominion over Planet Earth.

We are mandated by our Creator to return to our proper status as rulers of this world...
Etc. Sounds like a plan, innit? I hope that by now you have started to get the drift of the site and of the man. Now a few more headlines of the site's articles:
  • PanAfrikans Beware: The Faggits Are Coming!
  • God's Gift: How To Be A Good Black Woman To A Strong Black Man
  • Farrakhan's Support for "Homosexuality"
  • Fags in "The Movement": They're Like Roaches in My Cereal!
As you may have noticed, black gays, black women and even some black VIPs don't automatically get an entrance ticket to the righteous Black Dominion over Planet Earth. And, speaking about black VIP's, our Irritated Genie doesn't spare them in his "criticism" (using Ms Caldwell's euphemistic approach):
  • Al Sharpton: a KNOWN promosexual and “Black Conscious” sadistic white-sex offender
  • Lil Wayne: a filthy entertainer who will accept money in exchange for advocating Black self-destruction through violence, sexual abuse...
  • Oprah Winfrey: on the forefront of the Black promosexual agenda. She is a billionaire Black mammy...
  • Nelson Mandela: race traitor and Uncle Tom, who isn’t a white-sex offender - together with Joseph Mobutu, Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey (even though she is a white-sex offender), Morgan Tsvangirai etc...
  • Jesse Jackson: referred to jew york city as “hymie town.” After he faced pressure from whites, he denounced Min. Farrakhan who had provided him free security when no one else would, and has been an integrationist Uncle Tom Negro running from the smallhats ever since.
  • Barack Obama: A treasonous mulatto scum dweller who will fight against reparations for Black people in amerikkka, but in favor of fag rights for freaks in amerikkka and Afrika
That will be enough, only to mention that Jews have a special place in the Irritated Bowel Genie's heart, being called by him "portuguese smallhats (white so-called jews)". Apparently, in the irritated brain, these "portuguese smallhats" "invaded the Afrikan continent, raped Black women, kidnapped the children and raised them in europe". Hm... interesting point that, no doubt. Smells like it came from one David Duke, the Grand Lizard, but should I believe in such a coincidence? Well, yes, I probably should at that.

Well, now we can go back to the Department of Homeland Serenity. The lenience they display (so far, at least) toward the Irritated Genie, is almost (but not quite) on par with their willful blindness when recruiting that character in the first place and allowing him to play around with this Internet conduit of his all-inclusive hate, racism, misogyny, homophobia and other endearing traits.

But (thanks to a commenter Erika at the SPLC article) it appears that the case of Irritated Genie is not unique. Check the case of one Arabic Assassin rapper:
When Bassam Khalaf raps, he's the Arabic Assassin. His obscenity-laced CD, "Terror Alert," includes rhymes about flying a plane into a building and descriptions of himself as a "crazy, suicidal Arabic ... equipped with bombs."

Until last week, Khalaf also worked as a baggage screener at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

"I've been screening your bags for the past six months, and you don't even know it," said Khalaf, who also said Thursday that he is not really a terrorist and that his rhymes are exaggerations meant to gain attention.
I would say that my concern will be not with my suitcase, rather with the suitcases of Khalaf's friends that may somehow slip through his "screening"... Oh well, I never flew from or via Houston anyway.

Someone must clean up his act, I suggest. And I don't mean the Irritated Genie, who is, most probably, an intractable black version of a KKK activist, with a dire need of a padded room to boot. Nor am I concerned with Bassam Khalaf the Arabic Assassin. Only with the folks what meet you at the airport with smiles and latex gloves, and their wise management.

Update: Someone noticed my reference to latex gloves. It appears that latex is out of fashion and has been phased out of TSA operation. Still, one is entitled to be concerned, like this blogger here. Provided one doesn't exaggerate like in this sentence:
This is what happens when authoritarian monopolies shove things down our throat.
I don't think it is the throat that TSA investigates, at least not where the gloves are concerned. Just saying.

Then he looked over all he had made, and he saw...

President Barack Hussein Joad: "Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I won't intervene without a U.N. mandate and clear evidence is presented and international law supports it and I have a coalition to make it work. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll make it abundantly clear that the United States of America deplores what that cop is doing to that guy. . . . I'll be in the way guys yell when they're watching their favorite basketball team and I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready because it was me that fed them by leading from behind, and when our folk eat the stuff they raise an' live in the houses they build— why, I'll be claiming credit for that, too." - John Stenbeck, the Japes of Wrath.

By one and only Terry Glavin. On his Facebook pages, though.

26 August 2013

Syrian official: the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel

I don't know whether you remember the song, but the tune is annoyingly familiar. The same one was sung by Saddam Hussein, the master of underground concealment... well, up to a point, that is:

And now the same idea - of retaliation aimed at Israel, if US attacks Syria, came to the Syrian honchos.
A member of the Syrian Ba'ath national council Halef al-Muftah, until recently the Syrian propaganda minister's aide, said on Monday that Damascus views Israel as "behind the aggression and therefore it will come under fire" should Syria be attacked by the United States.

In an interview for the American radio station Sawa in Arabic, President Bashar Assad's fellow party member said: "We have strategic weapons and we can retaliate. Essentially, the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel."
Yeah... not very original, as you can see. Besides minding the rope, the thinkers of Damascus should consider this map*:

It shows the distance between the current border with Israel and Damascus as 74 km (without avoiding toll roads). A flying crow will estimate the same destination as being about what, 65-70 km away?

Why should Syrians need "strategic weapons" is unclear. IDF will certainly manage without such dramatic means.

Know what I mean (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)?

(*) Google doesn't want to show a driving map from any Israeli city to Damascus, so I have chosen Al Quneitra, which lies on the current border with Israel as sufficient for the rough estimate.

Lisa Goldman - the Open Zion's incoming senior editor. Congrats, Lisa!

Well, Open Zion is a step up from the fledgling +972, I think. And the initial broadside from Lisa in her new post was nothing if not auspicious.

When the children of south Tel Aviv head back to school on Tuesday, kindergarteners will attend facilities that are segregated by race. The children of asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa will go to their kindergartens and all the other kids will go to their own. As of this year, the municipality of Israel's most liberal city decided that separate-but-equal for three-to-six year olds was the way to go—in 2013.
Oh boy, oh boy: not a day on the job, and already such a juicy Zionist atrocity.

Only to be answered by a commenter JJ1987:
I think the main contention of the "racial segregation" argument runs into trouble here (in a paragraph conveniently buried 9 paragraphs in to a 12 paragraph article): "The non-Jewish children from other regions, like Southeast Asia and Europe, will continue to attend the "Jewish" municipal kindergartens. Presumably Ethiopian Jewish children have been attending the mixed schools all along, and will continue to do so."

If in most kindergartens the situation is that Jew, non-Jew, European, Asian and African all mix together (indeed, the author even refers to these kindergartens as "mixed schools"), then arguing that there is "racial segregation" in Tel Aviv kindergartens seems unnecessarily hysterical and actively misleading. There is, in fact, racial mixing in most kindergartens in Tel Aviv. At that point, there just isn't racial segregation - you can't call a racially mixed kindergarten "racially segregated", it's a contradiction in terms.

Indeed, the only distinction that does exist isn't based on race at all, it's based on whether the person is legally a citizen of the country or not. And whilst some people (and it's far from a majority) have an issue with making a distinction on that basis, distinguishing in provision of public services based on whether someone is in a country legally or not is something that basically every country on Earth does to a greater or lesser degree. Tel Aviv, and Israel, are not at all out of the ordinary in that regard. But I suppose a headline saying, "Tel Aviv/Israel does what basically every city/country does", doesn't make much of an impact.
Nothing to add (and the emphasis mine).

Aside of expressing my confusion on one account: being a relatively newly minted anti-Zionist, Lisa is bent on presenting the Zionist Entity in the worst possible light. Being a reporter, she is time after time unable to avoid putting into a generally anti-Zionist article a passage or two that completely destroy the whole edifice. Like in the case described above, or this other recent case. Why is that?

But in the Open Zion she will be tutored by the best, I am sure, so the awkward cases like these will disappear eventually.

Update: and another comment (by Bar) to the same article, a real doozy that must be read in its entirety:
The article from which Goldman sourced this piece includes the following paragraph (translation via Google Translate):
"Yael Gewirtz, who founded the Association Elifelet - Citizens for refugee children, which helps kindergartens, welcomes the initiative of the municipality: "As someone who knows the needs in the field, I think it's a great idea if you really invest the necessary resources to meet the needs of these children and prepare them to their encounter in class a [First grade] with Israeli children are coming into a place of equal opportunities and capabilities."

Obviously, Goldman saw this but instead of respecting the opinion of the local expert whose life revolves around helping these foreign children, she buries it and molests the sentiment by claiming that this woman is somewhat "dubious" about the entire project.

So another way of having reported this piece would have been something along the lines of, "Israel's Most Liberal City Introduces a Program to Help New Asylum Seekers" and its content would elaborate on questions of special language and cultural needs, in light of the significant discrepancies these new arrivals face in coming to Israel and how Tel Aviv, cognizant of these concerns, is creating a program to alleviate the problems and hopefully ease their transition to school and Israeli society.

Don't you worry, dear Open Zion editors, about your professional credibility or is being anti-Israel so "in" these days that it doesn't matter how the truth is twisted as long as the attacked party is Israel?

Read it - but take an Aspirin first

Do you know what? Take two.

From Sameh Naiem Fouad.

25 August 2013

Mossad: "Chemical weapons used by Syrian government forces"

This (translated with the use of Google) I would take very seriously indeed:

According to the findings of Israeli intelligence community, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the gas attack in Damascus. One unit of the Military Intelligence Service Aman, which specializes in wireless spying - "Unit 8200" - listened at the time of the gas attack to the communications of the Syrian army. As a former Mossad officer told FOCUS, analysis has clearly shown that the chemical missiles attack was performed by Syrian government forces.
Of course, freely blabbering Mossad officers, retired or active, exist only in thrillers, but as a premeditated leak, the info could be true.

Hat Tip: Sad Red Earth.

Update: Commenter Ron prefers the following translation:
The German Weekly "Focus" relayed a former Mosad agent saying that the 8200 IDF Intelligence unit intercepted discussions among Syrian administration upper echelon, which prove that the Assad regime ordered the chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus.
Well, I hope that between these two translations, the readers will get the gist. Shouldn't be a problem now.

Iran Army Warns U.S. of 'Harsh Consequences' over Syria

That, fresh from Naharnet:

Methinks the picture attached to the headline is already a harsh enough punishment.

Mercy, please.

P.S. Meanwhile, other threats seem to work.
Syria will allow U.N. inspectors full access to any site of a purported chemical weapons attack, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad told CNN on Sunday.

More globalization: Iranians in Canada caught using fake Israeli passports

The news is not a scoop, really, taking globalization into account. The only fresh aspect of the story is that Canadians were complaining about Israelis using Canadian passports for nefarious purposes, and now the table was turned.

Otherwise, the story could serve for an entertaining exercise:

  1. Canadians caught in Iran using Israeli passports.
  2. Canadians caught in Israel using Iranian passports.
  3. Iranians caught in Israel using Canadian passports.
  4. Iranians caught in Canada using Israeli passports.
  5. Israelis caught in Iran using Canadian passports.
  6. Israelis caught in Canada using Iranian passports.
Sort the above options according to probability and possibility.

Now add other countries judiciously and mix carefully. 

Jewish general Al Sisi and several millenia of Jewish rulers of Egypt

I shall just mention that the Exodus story is really no more than a sideline intended to throw the various Joo-watchers off the scent. Of course, Egypt was ruled by Jews as a matter of routine from times immemorial, no matter whether these Jews called themselves Pharaoh, King or revolutionary in the army uniform.

To mention the latest rulers:

Mubarak, who didn't want to visit Israel for thirty years in the job. But not because, as some short-sighted folks say, he had some problems with Jews. No, it was because he knew he will break down, tear up and start kissing the tarmac in the Ben Gurion airport, and we couldn't have that, could we?

It was proven beyond doubt that Mohamed Morsi is Jewish, although it is hard to say whether this fact lead to his eventual downfall.

Especially in the light of his successor, general Al Sisi, outed as also being Jewish. So one Jew fighting another doesn't make a lot of sense in this situation. Unless these two belonged to two conflicting Jewish outfits, which is doubtful, seeing as how the Elders are micro-managing the whole world.

So here you are, with the current Egyptian JiC (Jew in Charge).

So be it.

Hat tip: Dick Stanley.

24 August 2013

Galloway implicates Israel in Syria chemical weapons deaths

Of course, no one is (or should be) surprised. The only (side) thought I had me after watching that travesty was: William Joyce aka Lord Haw-Haw was reviled by British (and other) people and hanged as a traitor.

George (The Spiv) Galloway, on the other hand, is a member of British Parliament and a fairly powerful wheeler/dealer in British politics. Up to a point, of course, but still - isn't the difference in treatment these two receive somewhat amazing?

Tired of Fighting: Keeping an Eye on the First Front

We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies. We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors.
Howard Rotberg reminds these words of Ehud Olmert which, come to think of it, are not really ancient history. As for the different environment: yes, it is different, but not in the way Olmert intended.

Lower your expectations and clean your guns, seems to be the message of the day. But read the whole article, please.

Idle thoughts about Chelsea Manning

Not that I intend in any way to argue with the US Army justice system, but if one looks at the latest developments soberly, should this girl pay for the sins of some male private?

It hurts. But what hurts me especially is that I wouldn't be able to use this picture for comparison to the transformed private anymore:
Too bad.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

23 August 2013

A real irony!

The really interesting element about this report is where it took place: a protest by Islamic movement members against the violence in Egypt outside the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv. Do you think the protesters appreciated the irony of that?

No, I agree, probably not.

Not a long item, and the first sentence is probably the most important.

By Brian Goldfarb.

What's not to like?

There are those, of course, who won't ever like anything like this. But, then, there are sad people everywhere.

What we have is a photo of a soldierly embrace (hands on the other guys elbows time) between an Israeli high-ranking Israeli intelligence officer and an Egyptian ditto. It was first posted, apparently (according to the Algemeiner report), in 2011 and uploaded to a FaceBook page then. However, only now has it spread into other areas of the blogosphere. Of course, the main dislikers are the Islamists and Jihadists, especially in August 2013, as it shows just how flaky the Egyptian is and always has been. Well, since 1973, at least. Others would call it "realistic", of course. Better to share intelligence on terrorism and terrorists than to come to blows with the real enemy: the ones with tanks, long-range artillery and fighter-bombers.

Among other things, what's being said is that the Islamists "condemned the “apparent coordination between the parties, Egypt and Israel,” which it said was “completely contrary to common logic and health.” It called for the purge of “traitors” from within the Egyptian Army and claimed that “we (the Muslim Brotherhood) are the only ones who can do it,” according to Channel 2′s translation." In other words, we don't care how many non-Islamist members of Egypt's armed forces get killed by the IDF, what's important is ideological purity. As we who come here regularly know, ideological purity kills more people than the post-world-war-one flu epidemic ever did, however you count the bodies.

Go ask! Just don't let the insane take over the asylum. Please!!

By Brian Goldfarb.

22 August 2013

Daniel Seaman's troubles and Steven Plaut to the defense

His words are unacceptable and do not express the position of the government of Israel. He was instructed to immediately cease making such statements,” the National Information Directorate said in a statement regarding Seaman’s offensive posts...
For any other public servant in any other more or less civilized country, this quote would have been a fitting epitaph of the said servant's career.

Taking into account the illustrious career of Daniel Seaman in his different roles related in different ways to the public image of Israel, which career I had rather a misfortune to watch for some time and to blog about in detail, with some additions later, the case is mind-boggling. No matter what manner of public fails was committed by Danny, no matter how many hackles he succeeded to raise on the collective hide of the journalists and other people he was supposed to serve and face during his 10 years as the acting director of our Government Press Office and several years in his next post as deputy director-general of the now defunct Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, he seems to thrive. That the man was made responsible for anything even remotely related to "Public Diplomacy" sounds like a bad joke - if you care to peruse the links above.

But you don't really have to, especially if you suspect your humble of being somehow prejudiced. Just take in the contents of the first link, the one from Times of Israel. I have chosen this link on purpose. First of all, to make sure that it is focused on facts, unlike like the much more aggressive and poisonous one from Haaretz. Secondly, to prevent any possible reader from deflecting the subject from the main issue to the political arena. To concentrate on what is really important: our public image and public diplomacy - the two closely related domains, which, we all can safely agree, are in a state of SNAFU for too many years to count.

And if you read the ToI article, you will quickly reach the conclusion that took me a lot of time and effort to research for these blogposts linked above: the man in charge of our "Public Diplomacy" is quite sure that the best way to deal with any kind of criticism aimed at our real or imaginary faults is to say "fuck you" to the critics as loud and clear as possible. This was, in fact, the essence of his activities as a public servant and the main tool in his arsenal. And this is, in fact, the man who was destined to perform this task:
In his new job, Seaman was tasked with creating a network of advocacy units in Israeli universities...
The only way I can imagine the "advocacy" being carried out by Daniel Seaman is by instructing the students to send numerous e-mails and Tweeter, Facebook, Instagram etc messages, all containing two words: "Fuck you". What other kind of advocacy the man understands, I am afraid to even start to guess.

So yes, it was more than amazing to read this:
Although Daniel Seaman has been suspended and ordered to delete his offensive Facebook posts, he might still get the senior post he was tapped for last month.
Doubly mind-boggling, I have to say.

To be fair: Daniel Seaman's heart may be in the right place. For all I know, he is a true patriot and has our best interests in mind. It is just that his temper and his talents are obviously too far from anything diplomatic, requiring tact and careful consideration. But the fact that the least suitable government positions are being chosen for him only attenuates everything we know about Bibi's chaotic and inexplicable personnel management decisions, which plague his office for years.

And then, of course, there is a curious advent of Prof Steven Plaut coming to the rescue, in a rather unique way. The first I have seen the article Defend Daniel Seaman!, it started with the sentence:
"Israel's fascist Left has a new cause." The word "fascist" was later excised on the linked site, however on two other sites (at least) I have found the original text untreated - Britannia radio:

and Israpundit:
(click on the images to enlarge)
The spirited defense put up by Prof Plaut is akin to defending an arsonist by calling to burn down the courthouse. Or, if you will, defending the man who is at his best saying "fuck you" to all and sundry by saying "fuck you" to all and sundry. And what can be said about this pearl:
Now it turns out that Seaman is sharp tongued in a rather endearing fashion.
Try as I might, I just cannot see very much in all the above with which to disagree!
Obviously the views of the two gentlemen on public diplomacy happen to match. Too bad for our diplomacy. But all in all, not too bad for "freedom of speech" of "poor Daniel Seaman". Not if Bibi goes ahead with that appointment, clear reasons for not doing so notwithstanding.

At least there will be one obvious reason why our public diplomacy continues being fucked. In a rather endearing fashion.

Anna Kendrick naked uncensored

is not going to appear here. Instead watch this bird:

And relax...

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Dog Days Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

21 August 2013

Bradley Manning and his 35 years in the nick

Well, it will be, probably, closer to 15 than to 35. Then, the martyrdom has at least two sides to it: fame and honor on one and suffering (or death) on the other.

And anyone who is stealing secret government documents is bound to experience the second side of the martyrdom, while the first is still not assured.

So there.

El Al Hasbarah story and its possible outcome (see under Lisa Goldman)

As your typical Elder, owner of a black and shriveled heart, I would much prefer to write about the latest shenanigans of the Turkish PM Erdogan, our local yokel. However, a task is a task, and here it is, put on my table by my own careless surfing habits.

Inbar Chomsky of Rehovot, Israel, planned to attend Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, New York for children who suffer from cancer and other hematologic illnesses. The camp program is offered by Chai Lifetime, a non-profit international organization.

On August 8, all 36 children excitedly boarded the El Al flight for their two-week trip to the United States. After they underwent a pre-flight medical examination and were seated, the flight crew began collecting passports, while the plane prepared for takeoff. However, during the process, a flight attendant realized that Chomsky’s passport was missing.
Read the rest of the story at the link above, suffice to say that after the girl was already out of the plane and the plane was taxiing to the runway, the passport was found - on the plane, and here comes the happy ending:
The plane had almost reached the runway when someone located Chomsky’s passport in the backpack of a fellow camper. Immediately, the pilot alerted the control tower, ground crew, and El Al’s offices to see if he could retrieve Chomsky. After 30 minutes of negotiations, the pilot turned the plane around and picked her up, to the cheers of the other passengers.
The important additional point to make about the story as published is that it wasn't written by an Hasbarah employee, just by one Elise Solé, a US Yahoo News writer (it appeared in a few Israeli sources as well later).

So why does this crusty old Elder rehash this story? Just because he expects that in a few days a protest, signed by some uber-progressive elements will appear, nailing the Zionist Hasbarah masters to the wall of shame. And uncovering a Zionist Hasbarah plot, conceived in some sinister government office. Like it has already happened to that story about Israeli hospitals treating wounded Syrians, remember?

If you don't remember, this post by Elder of Ziyon will remind you. I wouldn't agree with Elder only on one point, where he says that Lisa Goldman is a bad reporter. Not true, she has all the right instincts and habits, the proof is in this part of her article:
My friend Gal Beckerman read the comment and decided to look into the matter, emailing Isabel Kershner, who wrote the article, and the New York Times’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren. And it turns out that I was wrong. They discovered the story on their own, and in fact the army tried to prevent them from covering it.
Lisa Goldman proved time and again that there is nothing wrong with her reporting instincts. The main and unfortunate fact is that the political blinkers Lisa decided to put on a few years ago, joining the selected club of strictly anti-Zionist +972, almost physically prevent her from using common sense and step back from bashing Israel, even in cases when it (the bashing) is clearly misdirected and morally wrong. As if there were not enough true reasons...

In short: according to Lisa of today, it is politically incorrect to see them Israelis as people who may do good - even when they do. Because - but read that post by Elder of Ziyon.

Rule5-A: There are even better things than Rule 5

Like this one:

And re the beekeeper: I hope he took it easy, all things considered.

20 August 2013

Erdogan's shocker: Tzipi Livni and Bernard-Henri Levy deposed Morsi

Believe it or not, and I do believe Hurriyet - a far as I am ready to believe any news source. Here is their story:

“This is what has been implemented in Egypt. Who is behind this? Israel. We have evidence,” the prime minister said, citing a meeting between a French intellectual and the Israeli justice minister in France before the 2011 elections.

Erdoğan said the intellectual was Jewish. “‘The Muslim Brotherhood will not be in power even if they win the elections. Because democracy is not the ballot box’: This is what he said at that time,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan refers to Bernard-Henri Levy: Claim

According to claims, Erdoğan was referring to a video "available on the Internet" of a press conference by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy.

A source also told the Associated Press that as far as he knew, that was the only evidence of the claim. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with government rules that bar him from speaking to reporters without prior authorization.
Yep. He nailed it. He nailed the Jooz, so to say. Here is the incriminating clip:

What can I say? That I am still in shock, but not by that latest outbreak of Erdogan's mental disease. The man is beyond certifiable. He is beyond simply meshuggener. He is so bonkers, unglued, batty, haywire, flipped out and demented that his craziness defies all these terms. He could be used as the most efficient and energy saving tool for old carpets removal in your house. He will chew through them in a jiffy, I can assure you. On the other hand I would easily understand the Turkish carpet shop owners if they bar Erdogan from entering their fine establishments...

But this is not what shocks me. I still cannot understand what the heck did Obama do to Bibi to make him agree to that phone call. I mean rapprochement, good vibes and all that - it is totally cool with me. But with this character at the helm? What kind of incentive - or, to put it bluntly, physical atrocity had POTUS applied to Bibi?

You tell me.

Update. Just recalled: Bibi had a  hernia surgery recently. Any link to that Obama's visit and my question? Hm...

If only he would!

The sub-heading to this article is "Nasrallah blames Sunni extremists serving Israel’s interests for Thursday’s deadly car-bombing in Beirut".

Umm, now let's see how many contestable terms there are in that short sentence. We can start with "serving Israel's interests". There has been much writing recently, some of it argued out here, that Israel isn't going to attack Lebanon - not even the bit occupied by Hezbollah - unless and until that bit attacks Israel, which, to say the least, it is hardly in their interest to do at the moment, when they are making such a good job of destroying themselves. Not least, this is because most of Nasrallah's fighters are already fighting for their lives in Syria, against, among others, Al-Qaeda fighters supporting the anti-Assad forces and don't exactly have have many resources left over for Israel. Or the rest of Lebanon for that matter.

(The other terms I'll leave to you, dear readers.)

However, even more interesting, for those of us concerned with Nasrallah's health, both physical and mental, is his statement, contained in the headline, is that “If the battle with these terrorist Takfiris requires for me personally and all of Hezbollah to go to Syria, we will go to Syria”. To repeat the heading to this item, if only he would. The more often terrorist organisations get beheaded, the better, for the rest of us peace-loving infidels. All it would is for a quiet word in the ear of the nearest Syrian Free Army commander as to where exactly Nasrallah was and...job done.

Now that, I'm sure, Israeli intelligence would be delighted to be guilty of.

You can read the rest of Nasrallah's deranged maunderings via the link above.

By Brian Goldfarb.

Annette Bosworth and Che Guavera, her personal bacon

The Babalu blog noticed that Annette Bosworth, "Mother, Wife, Physician, Small Business Owner, (Republican) Candidate for United States Senate", hearts the dead sponsor of T-shirt industry.

When I've seen the picture of Ms Bosworth, I assumed first that she is just into the colors or design of her T-shirt, without really understanding the message.

But the good bloggers of Babalu didn't leave a stone unturned and discovered that the tee wasn't just a random fashion item. They found on her Facebook an entry (now erased) that reads:
"Che Guavera- You are my beacon!"
So, not a spelling Nazi myself, besides being softhearted where a nice looking lady is concerned, I have changed it a bit for the headline of this post. Let it be known that not only Republican candidates are prone to typos - or to a stupid act here and there.

Here is a snapshot of the original FB page (click to read):

Hat tip: Andrew Ian Dodge.

19 August 2013

Craig Murray and the short-term memory issues

In his short post on the (mostly tragic) events in Egypt, Craig Murray* produces an even shorter fallacy in one sentence:

What we are seeing in Egypt is counter-revolution pure and simple, military hardliners who are going to be friendly with Israel and the US, and are committing gross human rights abuse.
What happened in Egypt was a coup (or a putsch, if you prefer this term) perpetrated by the military and followed by a series of massacres that we have not yet seen the end of.

However, when calling it "counter-revolution", the learned author of that post shows very well how prejudice and short-term memory loss work together to create a skewed view of the world. The Egypt revolution has had very little to do with the subsequent ascent of Muslim Brotherhood to the throne. People who made the revolution happen were on one side mostly the young liberals tired of Mubarak's totalitarian rule and on the other side the generals, seeing an opportunity to replace the old and ailing dictator by a younger one. Muslim Brothers, much better organized and disciplined, rode the wave to take over the controls.

What happens today in Egypt is the second step of re-occupying the throne by the military, who are unhappy with the MB's views on power sharing with the army. So simple. So bloody. But a "counter-revolution" it is definitely not, since the army in this case didn't attack the people who made the revolution, no sir. And revolution definitely wasn't about putting MB in power.

And of course, it will not be a post by Craig Murray without mentioning the Big and Little Satans...

Oh well, better read what a real true blood Egyptian has to say about the latest developments.

(*) Craig Murray was a man I felt a great deal of respect to, after his stint in Uzbekistan and his fight with Usmanov and his lawyers. Today, however, he became a kind of a wholesale "progressive", with the typical knee-jerk responses of one and a simplistic black-and-white vision. His blogroll (Glenn Greenwald, Juan Cole, Lenin's Tomb conspicuous there) being a gentle nudge into understanding his leanings. So be it.

P.S. Someone whose opinion I value noticed that my generally negative opinion of what Craig Murray became with time, stems from his statements like this one:
Both the Holocaust and the Nakba were horrific events of human suffering.
Or this one:
But where was all this Western outrage and activity when the Israelis were pouring down white phosphorous and kicking and maiming thousands of women and children in Gaza?
That too. I can suffer bullshit only so far.

Freedom to Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop!

I swear the man must be unfairly persecuted by cops. I bet that every conversation he has with gendarmes follows the same general lines:

Cop: How do you do, sir?
Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop: I am fine, thank you, officer.
Cop: And what is your full name, sir?
Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop: Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop.
Cop: ... say it again, please?
Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop: Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop.
Cop: Hands on the wall and spread them, fella!

And this is the way it goes...

P.S. And I still consider the last "bop" being out of order. But it's his business after all.

18 August 2013

US-Israel Stratetic Partnership is 2427 Years Old

If it is already obvious to you that the American-Israeli special relationship is at least 24 centuries old and that it will last forever more, then there is no need to read further.  If, on the other hand, you could benefit from a simple explanation of just how far back the connection between our two people really is, then read on.  The proof of the pudding is in my back yard.

Here is a photograph I took this morning in my north American garden:

Yep, you guessed it.  American Finch.  This time of the year it visits rather often - it's rather partial to my sunflower seeds. 

Here is a picture of the good old Hoopoe, the national bird of Israel.  As usual, it comes with the Star of David in the background.

Need I say more?  Oh, I do... Okay.  As you will be aware, in 414 BC Aristophanes wrote a play called "Birds".  Both Hoopoe and Finch feature prominently in Aristophane's play; what's more they are close allies throughout the performance.

And their you have it.   Hoopoe, which is the Israeli national bird, and AMERICAN finch, were allies going all the way back to the fifth century BC. 

If you like this proof of just how ancient the US-Israeli partnership really is, you will no doubt appreciate the logic of Israeli archaeologists, who have just discovered the runes of King David's palace.  They know for a fact that it belonged to Kind David, because "Khirbet Qeiyafa is the best example exposed to date of a fortified city from the time of King David".  Proof of the pudding.

Aliens, other scientific wonders and the Pravda way

The Pravda (meaning "truth" in Russian) newspaper, which in modern times became a regular yellow tabloid (but still exceedingly loyal to whoever is at the helm) continues to provide fun and game with its headlines and scant reading comprehension. Which is what happened to an innocent celestial mechanics research titled Slingshot dynamics for self-replicating probes and the effect on exploration timescales by two Scottish doctors: Arwen Nicholson and Duncan H. Forgan from the University of Edinburgh. Their result could indeed provide a sound theoretical basis for a future deep space exploration project. For Pravda, though, it provided a basis for a sensational headline: Alien space probes visited Earth many times. Go figure. Now, it is not that other journos and the scientists themselves are must better. You can see the speculations about alien visitations in other articles on the subject, such as this one. And Dr Forgan himself just had to step into it:

Dr Forgan said that the fact that we have not detected or seen any evidence of alien probes in the solar system suggests there have been no probe-building civilizations in the Milky Way in the last few million years or that the probes are so hi-tech we are unable to detect them. Another possibility is that probes could be programmed to make contact only with civilizations that pass a set measure of intelligence, which could be the ability to detect the probes.
Oh well... at least Dr Forgan understands that there is a very simple explanation: a serious reluctance on the part of the E.T.s to have anything whatsoever to do with us.

And from this relatively simple example of yellow journalism to a less explicable example of a famous person either making a monkey of himself in public or hinting at some revolutionary discovery in physics that will overturn... well, the seats we are used to sit in. This example was provided, wittingly or not, by no other than famous Elon Musk, an entrepreneur of a star caliber indeed. In an interview on his plans for a Hyperloop Alpha design, Mr Musk stated, according to the above linked:
But passengers won't feel the speeds. "The g-forces would always point down," Musk said in a Monday conference call about the design. "It should really feel just super smooth and quiet. And there'd never be any turbulence or anything."
I was kinda flabbergasted by that frivolous attitude to the "g-forces" which are supposed to point exclusively down. Flabbergasted so seriously that I just had to look up the transcript of the original speech, and here we are:
The g-forces would always point down. In other words, you wouldn't really feel any turning.
Hm... Elon Musk's bio data points to a bachelors degree in physics. Either since his graduation our subject made a super-spectacular progress in this discipline and discovered a way to neutralize acceleration, or he found some papers of the late Tesla, where the old genius put paid to all that classical mechanics nonsense.

But at least the journo what wrote the article may consider herself exonerated.

For now.

Rule 5: Hitchhiking

 Due to popular demand, but in a rather unusual venue and method:

17 August 2013

Nasrallah news: is the Beirut groundhog leaving his favorite cellar?

It's already seven years since "sheik" Hassan Nasrallah, the fearless fighter for... (what was it really? I forget by now) went into a cellar, showing his mug to his followers mainly on a TV screen. He certainly looks too pale in recent pictures:

It is either getting some sun or a regular daily intake of food supplements (aka "vitamins"). Otherwise the scurvy, the toenail fungus and other kinds of rot will get the brave one. But the day of emergence seems to be close:
"I will go myself to Syria if it is necessary in the battle against the takfiris (Sunni radicals)," Mr Nasrallah said, on his own TV channel.
He left it open to guesswork, but I think that even this habitual groundhog doesn't mean by "I will go myself to Syria" that "his own TV channel", whatever that means, will be opening in Damascus soon.

In the same breath, the fearless one blamed the above mentioned takfiris in the explosion that occurred in his Beirut neighborhood. Which sounded strange, because for some reason he decided to contradict his buddy the Lebanese president, who declared something entirely different earlier:
On Thursday, Michel Suleiman condemned the explosion in the Dahiyeh quarter saying it had the fingerprints of Israel, and its purpose was to destabilize Lebanon.
Which was hardly surprising to anyone, aside of our President:
President Shimon Peres said in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Friday that he was surprised to learn that the Lebanese president had blamed Israel for Thursday's Beirut bombing.
But being surprised is the privilege of our president, all things considered. We, the simple people, shall be surprised to see Nasrallah, the paleface underground fatso, leading his troops into battle with the Syrian rebels. Or with anyone else, for that matter.

So, as usual, for the readers of Russian: "Опять Насрала".