Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taliban kill head of Afghan girls' school

Via The Guardian with an H/T to Harry's Place under News that ought to provoke rage throughout the international Left…

...doesn't fit some frame on Empire or what not, for sure, so becomes Progressive non-news that might slow a stand down. Not our problem, folks have to earn liberalism for themselves. G*d forbid it be imposed.
Taliban gunmen have killed the headteacher of a girls' school near the Afghan capital after he ignored warnings to stop teaching girls, government officials have said.

Khan Mohammad, the head of the Porak girls' school in Logar province, was shot dead near his home on Tuesday, said Deen Mohammad Darwish, a spokesman for the Logar governor.

"He was killed because he wanted to run the school," Darwish said.


Development agencies fear that western governments are focusing too heavily on plans to complete a security handover from foreign forces to Afghans by the end of 2014 without cementing gains for women, such as education.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day 2011: such bravery, Christian bravery...

Boston Unitarian says it all for me this year: such bravery, Christian bravery...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Christian Century on Lose Connections

From the Cover Story,
The 1960s should not be taken as the historical norm, notes historian Mark Noll. He contrasts the mid-20th-century model of membership with churches in the 19th century, whose primary income came from renting pews. Finney created a stir when he created a "free church" in New York City—a church no one had to pay to sit down in. Noll notes that denominations in the 19th century survived for years with just three or four staff members at the national level—not the hundreds that came to be employed by denominations in the 20th century. The rise of what Episcopal bishop Greg Rickel calls the "religious-industrial complex" is a phenomenon of the 20th century.

This model of church is threatened by the trend toward loose connections, especially as that trend takes hold among people in their twenties and thirties. Young people are less likely to join either a church or a social club; they stay in one place for less time and connect through informal networks rather than through institutions. Says Wuthnow: "In this demographic, it is less common than was true among their parents to attend church regularly (unless they are married and have children) and more common to engage in church shopping and hopping; i.e., attend sporadically at several different congregations."
Somehow I don't think that complex is going to suggest a loose connections solution if it threatens the complex. That's just human nature.

Footnote: Sorry for mixing Lose and Loose but I'm not alone it seems. I'd correct the title but it breaks the link.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Egyptian bloggers rally against military - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Egyptian bloggers rally against military - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

What obstacle keeps Unitarian Universalist Service Committee or Unitarian Universalist Association voicing solidarity with brave young people like these?

ما يبقي عقبة ديانة الموحدين خدمة اللجنة أو موحد معربا عن جمعية التضامن الكونيين مع الشباب الشجعان مثل هذه؟
Hundreds of Egyptians have staged an unprecedented show of online defiance against their country's military leadership, taking to their blogs to write at times scathing critiques of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that assumed power after longtime president Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February.

The show of anger on Monday came ahead of a "million-man" protest that activists have called for Friday, one they hope will be the largest since the revolution and will demonstrate widespread public support for their call to put former government officials on trial and restrain the power of the armed forces.

Criticising the military in any form is a dangerous act in Egypt and is sometimes considered a crime. Maikel Nabil, a pacifist who blogged against the army, was tried and sentenced to three years in prison by a military court in April. It was the first trial of a blogger since the revolution.

But on Monday, the military appeared to strike a different tone.

"This is freedom of expression, and we have no problem with it," a spokesman told Al Jazeera.

The bloggers - the vast majority of whom published in Arabic, but a few in English - said they believed their sheer numbers, and their tone, would help spare them from arrest. By Monday afternoon, at least 203 blogs criticising the Council had been published, according to one widely cited post on facebook.

Fashion against the evil eye: A vibe of mysticism

Fashion against the evil eye: A vibe of mysticism

It all helps

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011 - Slow Dance: Obama's Romance with the CIA - Sunday, May 15, 2011 - Slow Dance: Obama's Romance with the CIA - Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gotta wonder if Progressives happy with precise and deadly as long as they don't have to know about it.
Some people may still be wondering: Is this really the president we elected? Obama, after all, was supposed to be the inspiring, transformational figure who would restore America’s image as a benign superpower. What is being transformed, instead, is our image of Obama. As it turns out, he is no liberal weenie abroad, no typical Democrat with a passion for human rights and international law. In recent months, Obama has also disappointed many of his fans with his tepid support of Arab democracy protesters. His passions appear to lie elsewhere. What Obama seems enthusiastic about is the use of hard power—lethal force. And the more precise and deadly, the better.

As long as it’s done covertly. And that’s the key.
One senior official inside the CIA is forthright about the issue, at least when speaking anonymously. “It’s a lot simpler and easier for a sniper to shoot or to use a Predator to launch a lawful attack than to detain and interrogate prisoners,” he says. “Once they’re dead, then Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International doesn’t bring a habeas [corpus] case for them. If we’re not going to hold them, we’re ‘pure.’ We may not have information or intelligence, but we do ensure that no one in the human-rights community is yelling and screaming at us.” In addition, the official says, not dealing with detainees has freed up the agency’s resources to focus on the hunt for more terrorists.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Joan Walsh on Cornel West's tragic meltdown

Oh my word, Cornel West says via a link on Joan Walsh's piece in Salon
“I was thinking maybe he has at least some progressive populist instincts that could become more manifest after the cautious policies of being a senator and working with [Sen. Joe] Lieberman as his mentor,” he says. “But it became very clear when I looked at the neoliberal economic team. The first announcement of Summers and Geithner I went ballistic. I said, ‘Oh, my God, I have really been misled at a very deep level.’ And the same is true for Dennis Ross and the other neo-imperial elites. I said, ‘I have been thoroughly misled, all this populist language is just a facade. I was under the impression that he might bring in the voices of brother Joseph Stiglitz and brother Paul Krugman. I figured, OK, given the structure of constraints of the capitalist democratic procedure that’s probably the best he could do. But at least he would have some voices concerned about working people, dealing with issues of jobs and downsizing and banks, some semblance of democratic accountability for Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats who are just running amuck. I was completely wrong.”
Obama was foot solider in the Chicago Regular Democratic Machine. Mentored by Emil Jones, nurtured by Tony Rezko. No more, no less; spare us this foolishness on neo-imperial elites.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Letter to DACOR Regarding Trita Parsi Speech at Forum Lecture Series

I'm one of the signatories and proud to have been asked.
For some background check the Weekly Standard from 2009. DACOR is an organization for Foreign Affairs professionals.

Letter to DACOR Regarding Trita Parsi Speech at Forum Lecture Series

May 19,2011

Sherry Barndollar Rock, Executive Director
1801 F. Street, NW
Washington, DC 2006

Subject: Upcoming Forum Lecture Series with Trita Parsi of NIAC

The honorable members of the board and staff of DACOR,

We, the undersigned, express grave concern regarding your upcoming Forum Lecture Series with Trita Parsi scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011. While we appreciate your attention to issues related to Iran and the U.S. foreign policy towards Iran, The Iranian-American community considers the "self-appointed" Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) an intellectually dishonest regime apologist and an unofficial and unregistered lobby for the Iranian regime. He contributes to the regime’s agenda and serves the interests of those in power in the Islamic Republic of Iran, not the Iranians, nor the Iranian-Americans. In a recent survey, 96% of the Iranian-Americans expressed that Trita is a lobbyist for the Iranian regime.

For over three decades, various governments have used dialogue and diplomacy with the regime in Iran to no avail, starting with the administration of President Jimmy Carter, who did everything possible to assure the new regime of American friendship and failed miserably. Since that time, the more world governments have tried to engage the regime’s leaders, the more belligerent, emboldened and abusive they have become. President Obama in his speech stated: "We support a set of universal rights. Those rights include free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders – whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or Tehran." Well, the regime in Iran has violated all of stated of universal rights and then some. Yet, the West continues to appease this regime. It is time for the United States to support the pro-democracy movements in the region with actions and just the empty rhetoric.

The Islamic regime’s apologists such as NIAC deceptively portray the Islamic government in Iran as a pragmatic and rational entity. They suggest that dialogue and diplomacy are the best way to deal with Iran. They falsely claim that sanctions are not effective and hurt ordinary Iranian people. Recently, primarily due to opposition leaders Mousavi's and Karoubi’s arrests, these apologists are attempting to shift the focus from Iran’s weapons program to what they have decided is more acceptable and palatable human rights issues. They have blamed the regime’s blatant human rights violations, which have recently overtaken China's as the worst in the world, on U.S. pressure and ridiculously claimed that recognition of the IRI would improve the human rights violations in Iran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a study in contrasts. The ruling theocracy is draconian and dangerous. It is a very real and imminent threat not just to our national security but also to world stability. Lobbyists such as Trita Parsi who use the pretext of easing the sanctions to help the ordinary Iranians, are deceitful, and are meant to intentionally misguide the American public, Iranians-Americans and the government officials. NIAC’s recent strategy of advocating human rights is merely a cover to hide its true intention which is carried out behind the scene to ease sanctions so that big corporations can sell nuclear technology, military gear, sophisticated surveillance technologies, electronic hardware and software applications to a criminal regime which uses them to spy on, arrest, torture, rape and kill its own citizens.

Trita Parsi is detested and shunned by the majority of the Iranian American community. Parsi claims to represent Iranian-Americans, but he is not an Iranian-American. Parsi is not a U.S. citizen; he holds passports from Iran and Sweden. Parsi's apologists and corroborators claim his critics have unfairly questioned Parsi's loyalty to this country--or accused Parsi of dual loyalties. If Parsi's loyalties are divided (and it's not clear that they are), then they are divided between Sweden and Iran and not the United States of America.

The Center for Security Policy cites NIAC as a lobby organization for the government of Iran. As a result of a lawsuit, numerous NIAC documents have surfaced that show NIAC lobbies for policies favorable to the regime in Iran. Law enforcement experts, who have reviewed some of NIAC’s emails, memos and board minutes, believe that NIAC has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws. Trita Parsi falsely purports to represent Iranian-American interests in the United States. NIAC, as the Iranian-American's "self-appointed" representative in the U.S., has less than 2,000 members, yet Mr. Parsi asserts that it represents the majority of the nearly one million Iranian-Americans in the USA. We are convinced that NIAC and Parsi will eventually be subjected to criminal prosecution and organizations and individuals that collaborate with NIAC will come to regret their affiliations with them. In addition, NIAC has received millions of dollars in grants-including, outrageously, from the Congressionally-funded National Endowment for Democracy, because of its false claims, which could actually have been allocated to further the interests of real Iranian-American human rights and other important causes in the U.S. and around the world. Instead this money has effectively been redirected to furthering the aims of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Currently, the Middle East is in crisis. Pro-democracy forces are springing up daily to demand basic human rights and better living conditions. It is about time that countries such as the United States truthfully align themselves with the democracy seeking people who have suffered brutally at the hands of rapists, dictators and tyrants. It is time to give honor, dignity, moral imperatives and ethical values precedence over lucrative financial contracts that often occur, wrongly, at the expense of ordinary citizens' lives.

By supporting pro-democracy Iranian opposition groups, the world community not only can avert a regional and potentially global catastrophe, it will help establish a lasting democratic system of government in the region. If Iranians are successful in shaking off the yoke of theocracy, their success could herald the failure of a political and militant Islam. Helping Iran become a democracy is not only is a moral imperative, but should be considered an essential foreign policy priority that will bring a more sustainable and lasting peace to the Middle East.

It might help DACOR to remember that the Islamic government of Iran does not have any regard for the international laws and occupation of the American embassy was the first step to show their disregard for the international conventions, followed by the execution of top ranking Iranian military officers who had remained neutral based on Iran's constitution and their reign of terror, rape, torture, imprisonment, stoning of women and killings, continues to this day.

We respectfully request the cancellation of this event. We do not think you want to be associated with such an organization or a person. Additionally, we suggest that you include in your future Forums representative experts who can provide a more honest and accurate account of the current situation and opposition forces inside and outside Iran. Furthermore, DACOR must have an enduring commitment to encourage democracy and human rights throughout the world and cannot ignore the fact that the current regime in Iran is a major threat to world’s economic stability and world peace.

DACOR must encourage and support every group that truly advocates freedom and the rule of law and oppose any regime that denies such progress. At this time, Iran is dominated by a vicious dictator who has proven his lack of concern for his own people on countless occasions. There should be no question that DACOR must have every ethical, moral and strategic reason to encourage Iranian democratic movements. .


Dr. Arash Irandoost, Founder
Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran


The Honorable H. Hakimi, Retired Ambassador

Dr. Arash Irandoost, Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI)
Kenneth R. Timmerman, President and CEO, Foundation for Democracy in Iran (
Cina Dabestani, Chairman of Constitutionalist Party of Iran, Washington DC Chapter
Walton K. Martin III, Director, the Iran Information Project, USA
Dr. Gill Gillespie, Director, the Iran Information Project, UK
Sayeh Hassan, Barrister & Solicitor, pro-democracy activist, Canada
Mehdi Zolfaghari
Parvin Irandoost, Human Rights Advocate
Dr. A. Samadani
Arman Nouri, Political Activist
Moteza Nouri, Journalist and Political Activist
Bill Baar
Debora M. Andress
Dr. Mansur Rastani
Dr. Siavash Abghari, Professor of Finance
Jeff Baird, CEO, Right Side Publications
Amir Ebrahimi
Shahin khordehpaz
Kevin Shook
Jay Ewasiuk
Fariborz Farhan
Yasamine Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Masooud Nasseri
Saied Shemirani, Political Activist: United Persian Organization (Iranbozorg)
Shabnam Assadollahi, Radio Hamseda
Sheri Alvandin, Human Rights Activist and Publisher
Firouzeh Ghaffarpour, Political Activist
Dr. Bijan Eftekhari, Professor of Economics
Arezou Lotfi
Tony Kantering, Political Activist
Caspian Makan, Filk Maker-Human Rights Activist
Tarek Fatah, Founder, Muslim Canadian Congress
Zohre Mizrahi, Attorney, Human Rights Advocate
Frank Salvato, Executive Director, Director of Terrorism Research,
Yasamine Morteza Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Morteza Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zuckerman, D.D., Chairman, American for Democracy in the Middle-East
Jay Ewasiuk, Edmonton, AB
Behnaz Shariari, Member Stop Child Execution and Human Rights Activist
Hassan Darashti
Roxanne Ganji, Human Rights Activist

cc: The Honorable Senator Mark Kirk

The Honorable Jon Kyl

General Wesley Clark

Al Jazeera journalist recounts detention in Syria

Savage beatings round-the-clock.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Deeds and Creeds

This assertion's simply false: Any repeated statement in religious life has a tendency to become tests....

Geneva Illinois's UU Society's been reciting this covenant every Sunday virtually w/o change since 1843 and it's never been a test or even a pointer towards beliefs. Our beliefs have varied considerably over the century and a half plus; including fundamentally on abolition and World War Two (our founding minister an abolitionist while the congregation wasn't, and our minister during WW2 a Pacifist while I suspect the congregation by-and-large wasn't).

Being desirous of promoting practical goodness in the world, and of aiding each other in our moral and religious improvement, we have associated ourselves together – not as agreeing in opinion, not as having attained universal truth in belief or perfection in character, but as seekers after truth and goodness.

We don't hold one another accountable in belief but only aid each other in improvement.

We seek truth and goodness (goodness once described as God in the original covenant) but whether our seeking bears results or not, or uniform results, has never been the case. Some find truth and goodness, others never do, and each follows their own path.

The reality of our practice in Geneva disproves the statement, and I suspect there are other UU contras out there too.

Kalash: What we can learn from the lost civilisation – The Express Tribune Blog

Kalash: What we can learn from the lost civilisation – The Express Tribune Blog

My family and I were fortunate enough to spend a few nights among the extraordinary Kalash last summer. This unique tribe is tucked away in the isolated mountain valley of Bumberet, hidden from the rest of the world.

Legend has it that 2,300 years ago, when Alexander the Great and his army were pushing deep into South Asia, on their way to India in 327 BC, some of his men remained in the villages of Chitral. As a result the Kalash tribe of roughly 3,500 today consider themselves direct descendants of the Macedonian king.

I worked with a fellow from Texas who would spend summers in Pakistan reading Bible Stories to the Kalash.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The UU Faith Accountability Officer

I fear the Live-Your-Faith accountability officers more than I appreciate any incremental gains in hope, healing, justice, or compassion.

I'd rather take the shame of Sinkford's making nicety-nice with the Butcher in Teheran than embrace new ways of associationalism enforcing accountability on Sinkford's shameful act.

The quote below from here.

That’s another reason the UUA – including all the existing member congregations -- needs to embrace new ways of associationalism – so that people have places to make and hold each other accountable to living in those big promises, to deepening faith, and to working for healing and hope in this world. If folks already are able to do this alone – and given the large number of unaffiliated Unitarian Universalists, the indications are affirmative for that – just imagine how much more hope and healing, justice and compassion, and drawing the world into greater love might happen when we have meaningful religious communities of promise, accountability, aspiration, and practice.
After all, while there may not be a judgement day, History judges and that's Faith accountability enough.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

From Millions Syrian demonstration on Facebook

Arabic to English translation
10:10 am May 10

‫ Cham: Homs:: Urgent: demonstration came after the Asr prayer of Homs, despite the suffocating siege on a street in the pitch Ghouta

Al-Jazeera:: Erdogan says that the armed gangs do not face security, but they are unarmed people and the number exceeds a thousand martyrs

New York Times:: Rami Makhlouf: If the situation continues as it is will be the destruction .. we have a lot of fighters

New York Times:: Rami Makhlouf: We will not go .. .. We will stay here and we will fight until the end .. They must understand that it was inevitable from the torment of the system will not be tormented and alone, but Snazbhm us

Deal: Rural Dara:: Yesterday when the entry of tanks and the security forces and the army of the city of Deal out a child 12 years old, alone and stood up to the army and security and become shouting "God Syria freedom and Old", and was a sniper trying to kill him, but God of peace, came the bullet in his hand The elements of the army entered the house of his family and his ministry.

Rural Dara: Angel:: Login 10 tanks from the Achammalp of the city into the city and shooting air to sow terror and fear

Please post
10:10am May 10

‫شام : حمص :: عاجل : مظاهرة خرجت بعد صلاة العصر من حمص رغم الحصار الخانق في شارع الملعب في الغوطة

قناة الجزيرة :: أردوغان يقول أن لا عصابات مسلحة تواجه الأمن بل هم أناس عزل وعدد الشهداء تجاوز الألف

نيويورك تايمز:: رامي مخلوف : اذا استمر الوضع على ما هو عليه سيكون الدمار..نحن لدينا الكثير من المقاتلين

نيويورك تايمز:: رامي مخلوف : نحن لن نذهب..سنبقى هنا..و سنحارب حتى النهاية.. يجب عليهم ان يفهموا ان كان لا مفر من العذاب للنظام فلن نتعذب وحدنا بل سنعذبهم معنا

داعل: ريف درعا:: يوم أمس حين دخول الدبابات و قوات الأمن و الجيش لمدينة داعل خرج طفل عمره 12 عاماً وحيداً ووقف بوجه الجيش و الأمن وصار يهتف "الله سوريا حرية و بس" فقام أحد القناصة بمحاولة قتله ولكن الله سلم وأتت الرصاصة في يده وقام عناصر من الجيش بإدخاله لبيت أهله وإسعافه.

ريف درعا: انخل:: دخول 10 دبابات من الجهة الشمالة للمدينة إلى داخل المدينة وإطلاق نار بالهواء لزرع الرعب والخوف

يــــــــــــــــــرجـــــى النشــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــر

Monday, May 09, 2011

Iranian Minorities Human Right Organisation (IMHRO)

On the execution of Ahwazi Arabs trying to bring the Arab Spring to Iran,
“This is shameful and unacceptable silence of western English Media such as BBC, AFP, the Times, Reuters, CNN, Fox News, ABC News and rest of them toward coverage of demonstration in Ahwaz which more than 60 people died till now, but Arab Media had published the News. Ahwazi Arabs came out for peaceful demonstration as part of Arab spring and western English media again ignored them. Why western English Media are only interested in reporting bombing campaign in Ahwaz? Is it explosion oil pipe line should make only headlines but execution and death of Ahwazi Arab protestors who killed during peaceful demonstration should be ignores?” said James Kimble, Media director for IMHRO.

IMHRO would help journalists to talk with eye witnesses inside Iran. We would try to keep the world inform of what is going on inside Iran. International journalists are banned from visiting non Persian areas in Iran. They use this excuses for not reporting from minorities area in the Iran.

“The western English Media by poor coverage of News in Ahwaz, does not helping peaceful human rights movements of Ahwazi Arabs in Iran, I could not understand how a journalist could ignore such News” James Kimble had added.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

'Woodbine Willie': After War, Is Faith Possible?

Starting a new blog on the First World War as we approach 2014. I'll have a thread on Chaplains like Woodbine Willie. From a recent reissue of his writings at The Lutterworth Press,
"There are no words foul and filthy enough to describe war." So declared Geoffrey 'Woodbine Willie' Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), a decorated frontline chaplain whose battlefield experiences in World War I transformed him into the most eloquent defender of Christian pacifism of his generation.

Studdert Kennedy was also a tireless champion of the social gospel who wrote a dozen books, scores of articles, hundreds of poems, and preached countless sermons in both the UK and the US promoting economic justice. Studdert Kennedy’s writing and preaching influenced an entire generation. William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, described him as a true prophet.

Even though he has fallen into obscurity with the passage of years, Studdert Kennedy’s message still inspires the likes of Desmond Tutu and Jurgen Moltmann.

This collection of Studdert Kennedy’s work, the first in 60 years, seeks to introduce this most relevant of thinkers to our troubled times. The book pulls together Studdert Kennedy’s most important writings on war and peace, poverty, the problem of evil, the Church’s role in the world, sin and atonement, the suffering God, love versus force as world powers, and the beloved community. Editor Kerry Walters introduces the texts with a biographical and thematic essay.

Deaths reported as Syrian forces storm city - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Deaths reported as Syrian forces storm city - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Praying for Egypt isn't enough | The Christian Century

Praying for Egypt isn't enough | The Christian Century

Old column but it applies to situations now and will continue. It's always odd when a leader in a position to do something, ask people to pray instead.

Gives prayer a bad name.

Do something about Syria now Mr. President. No prayers.

Millions Syrian demonstration on Facebook المظاهرة المليونية السورية على الفيس بوك

A new Syria facebook group describes itself below,

هذه المجموعة تهدف إلى جمع أكبر عدد من المتظاهرين على الإنترنت لنصرة شعبنا السوري، فهو الشعب الحر الذي يحتاج إلى النصر والتأييد بكل ما نستطيع.

الكثير منا لا يستطيع النزول على الشارع لبعده عن الثوار أو لمرضه أو ضعفه فلا أقل من المشاركة في التظاهرة الإلكترونية التي بين أيديكم.

التظاهر في الشارع مع الثوار هو الأصل وهذه المجموع فقط للمساندة وليس كبديل عن الشارع.

This group aims to collect the largest number of demonstrators on the Internet to support the Syrian people, the Syrian people are needed to freedom and victory, and all the support we can.

Many of us cannot go down on the street to its distance from the rebels or illness or weakness, then at least to participate in the demonstration Syrian millions on Facebook.

A demonstration in the street with the rebels is the original, and the group only to support and not as a substitute for the street.

Syrian Security in Homs make sure a protestor just shot is good and dead below.Assad's brutality has been stunning through all of this.  It leaves me numb.

Reform Party of Syria: The Beginning of the End


Friday, May 06, 2011

Obama Air Assault

I think Oliver North got it right here. The Administration and the USA would have been better off with a plain No Comment from Jay Carney,
All the White House had to do once they knew bin Laden was dead was to say nothing. That's the way it's supposed to be for covert operations. When asked, respond with: "No comment."

Such a course of action would no doubt result in extraordinary speculation. Photos of the tail section of a U.S. MH-60 helicopter and images of the dead taken by Pakistani authorities after the raid would still get published, and global "social networks" would be full of rumors, theories and supposition for weeks or months. But intricate details on intelligence means and methods, tactics, techniques and procedures, numbers of U.S. personnel involved and unique communications equipment and capabilities would remain matters of conjecture.

Inevitably, there would be unconfirmed "leaks" from officials in Washington and Islamabad. Yet, the message to America's enemies would still be the same. Be afraid. Be very afraid. After all, that is the reason we have JSOC.

A "we will not confirm or deny" statement from the White House in the aftermath of the JSOC operation would have made it more difficult in the short-term for Obama to appear "decisive" and "hands on." But years from now, when the full story was finally revealed, he would have been seen as more "presidential." It also would have made it easier for those friends we do have in Pakistan to continue cooperating with our military and intelligence services.
I think the US is going to pay a price somewhere along the line for this show of decisiveness. It's wrong on many levels. History won't find Air Assault shirts held up for the press Presidential.

Somber awe for what the United States wrought on a foe, the better response.

Arlene Jones on Illinois's Dream Act

Not every Progressive buys into the Dream Act. The West Side's Arlene Jones over at Austin Weekly News on what I'm sure she'd call a hijack of African American history,
One of the underlying efforts of the illegal immigration movement is to forge the gains made by blacks onto their movement. It is no coincidence that Dr. King is constantly portrayed as limited to his "I Have a Dream" speech. So what word do they come up with to try and give American citizenship to the millions of young illegal immigrants? The Dream Act. Coincidence? No.

And speaking of the Dream Act, the Illinois Senate has been sent a bill to give students who are here illegally money for school and driver's licenses. That's right. The same folks who tell us that we need to up the age for licenses for American young people are quick to want to legitimatize hundreds of thousands of folks who are here illegally with a driver's license. They also want to open up the state's limited coffers so that college saving programs and prepaid tuition programs are for all Illinois residents.

One has to only sit back and marvel at how in less than 30 years, the gains which took one segment of this country centuries are being rewarded to folks who not only just showed up at the table, but showed up uninvited.
Arlene, time for a West Side Tea Party? You'd be the perfect leader.

Syria has become one big prison.

Via Reform Party of Syria

Friday's Challenge. Tomorrow will be another decisive day in our history as millions of Syrians acknowledge the brutality of the regime. The question will be: How many will be out on the street revolting and how many will Assad kill? RPS is aware of at least two new technologies that have reached the Syrian people to enable them to show the world the savagery of the regime.

Real Terror. al-Jazeera is reporting that the people of Dara'a have been told that if they want to receive the dead bodies of their loved ones, they must demonstrate tomorrow in support of Assad and they must tell the UN Human Rights delegation to visit soon that there were terrorists amongst them who did the killing, not the 4th Syrian army of Maher al-Assad. 

Harassta. Many regions on the outskirts of Damascus are under strict control by security men roaming its streets in anticipation of another Friday of protests tomorrow. Syrians are also observing many empty buses to carry the detainees to unknown locations. 

The Mullahs of Iran, Hezbollah, and the Ba'ath Party. When Syrians point their fingers at their butchers, they are pointing them at the Mullahs of Iran, Hezbollah, and the Ba'ath party. A free Syria will clip the wings of Iran, debilitate Hezbollah, and disseminate the Ba'athists. 

Detention Centers. As prisons get filled, the regime has asked Syrian businessmen like Rami Makhluf, Ayman al-Jaber, Khalid Abboud, and Ahmad Anas al-Chami to use their depot and large warehouses as centers of detentions. Syria has become one big prison.

Norm Roth RIP

Norm was very much the kind of person I remember from Third U. Here's his obit from the Oak Park Journal. I found nothing on his passing in the Communist press.

I'll post a piece on his struggles over the years with Carl Shier in UAW local 6.

For now... RIP
Norman Roth, 94, formerly of Oak Park, died peacefully in his sleep in California on Feb. 22, 2011. Born in 1917 on Chicago's West Side, his support for the labor movement began early — at 14, he picketed in support of striking teachers. A few years later he had to drop out of John Marshall High School and take a factory job — $6,000 a year, 60 hours a week. A year later he was lucky, landing a union job as an elevator operator for $24 a week.

In 1939, he attended a Communist Party Workers School. He joined the party after completing courses in labor history and revolutionary philosophy. He joined the Elevator Operators Local 66 and was part of a struggle to replace its corrupt leadership. While a leader of this rank-and-file movement, he led struggles against Jim Crow lynching, the racist poll tax and fascism.

In 1942, Mr. Roth went to work for Douglas Aircraft and participated in the organization of United Auto Workers Local 201, of which he became an elected leader. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in July of 1945, at the close of World War II.

After his discharge, he found work at the International Harvester Company's Melrose Park Tractor Plant. Serving as a shop steward in UAW Local 6, one of the larger UAW locals in Illinois, he was elected to the Local 6 executive board and attended every UAW convention for 17 years. He served three terms as the Local 6 president. After 30 years, he retired.

Mr. Roth worked as a writer and editorial board member of the trade union activist magazine, Labor Today, for 25 years. He maintained his activity on the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, the National Negro Labor Council, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Chicago Peace Council, Third Unitarian Church, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression/Chicago Branch, United Auto Workers Region 4 Retirees Council and the Communist Party USA. In 1991, he ran unsuccessfully for the Oak Park village board.

Norm Roth is survived by his two children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


Below via Reform Party of Syria,

Apart from the Syrian people, no other country has suffered from Syria's Assads as much as Lebanon has. 29 years of occupation, corruption, humiliation, intimidation, and outright terror, the Lebanese people have come to learn about the Assad savagery first hand. 

Many remain courageously defiant against the regime, many have submitted to Assad's will in the hope of escaping his terror, and many, like Hezbollah, have joined his club to terrorize the Lebanese in Assad's absence. 

Today, the Lebanese are rising against Assad in support of the Syrian Revolution. RPS has received a copy of an important Statement of Solidarity signed by many influential Lebanese intellectuals and activists in support of our cause. 

Syrians are thankful for their support and for their courage. After Assad, the relationship between the two independent and sovereign nations will turn a new page in their relations that will be based on respect and not terror, on mutual interests and not intimidation. 

Below is the translation of the Statement in addition to the names of all the courageous Lebanese who signed it.

On the basis of our political and moral obligation to defend the human rights of Arabs pursuing freedom, justice and dignity,

And emphasizing our responsibilities as Lebanese towards the sufferings of a brotherly people that has proved resilient in avoiding the sectarian and ethnic traps while enduring what we have endured from flagrant violations of the most basic of human rights.

And because of our belief that the reforms demanded by the Syrian people will form a substantial base for the construction of natural fraternal relations between Lebanon and Syria, away from the logic of exclusion and coercion, which ruled these relations over the decades.

We, the undersigned, condemn the oppression of the Syrian people and we declare our solidarity with them in their battle to regain their freedom and dignity.

We call upon the Syrian authorities to halt the use of force against their own people and to hold accountable those responsible for massacres and we demand the release of all detainees. We call upon them to stop as well the repeated attempts to export the crisis to Lebanon and to stop pushing the conflict in matters unrelated to it.

We call on the Arab League to assume its responsibilities towards Syria and its people, just as it did against Libya and its people, and immediately intervene to stop the massacres

The Statement of Solidarity was signed by the following 135 courageous Lebanese:

Ibrahim al-Gemayel (Consultant), Ahmad Haidar (Activist), Ahmad Youssef (Teacher), Edmond Rabbat (Consultant), Ossama Wehbe (Activist), Elias Abou A'asi (Professor), Elias al-Zogbi (Activist), Elias Attallah (Ex-MP), Elias Mokhaiber (Lawyer), Aline Karim (Media), Emile Bachkanji (Activist), Elie al-Hajj (Journalist), Elie Kosaifi (Journalist), Ayman Abou Chakra (Media), Ayman Haidar (Engineer), Ihab al-Okda (Media), Asaad Bechara (Journalist), Omna Mansour (Journalist), Ayman Charouf (Activist), Eddeh Abou Lama'h (Professor), Bassel al-Faqih (Activist), Bassel Tayyara (Journalist), Berri al-Assad (Doctor), Bachir Halal (Journalist), Bahjat Rizk (Writer), Bahjat Salameh (Activist), Belinda Ibrahim (Journalist), Jad Gharib (Civil Engineer), Jean Harb (Lawyer), Jean Dubghi (Researcher), Jean-Claude Homsi (Businessman), Jabour al-Doueihy (Professor, Writer), Jihad Moraqadeh (Financial Expert), Jawad Abou Mansour (Activist), George al-Masseeh (Activist), George Mansour (Engineer), Hussein Abdul Hussein (Journalist), Hussein Gharib (Director), Haneen Ghadar (Media), Dahlia Obaid (Researcher), Diala Haidar (Activist), Rana Khoury (Activist), Rania Kattab (Actiivist), Rouba Kabbara (Journalist), Rabee Shantaf (Media), Raja Noujaim (Activist), Roger Azzam (Agriculture Engineer), Roula Mowafak (Journalist), Ryadh Touk (Media), Rayan Majed (Activist), Reem Itani (Activist), Raymond Maalouf (Engineer), Zouhair Abdullah (Writer), Ziad Abed (Activist), Zeina al-Rouz (Journalist), Sara Assaf (Activist), Samia al-Baroudi (Art Design), Saad Kiwan (Journalist), Samir Franjieh (Ex-MP), Sana al-Jack (Journalist), Souha Amer (Activist), Souhail al-Qadmani (Activist), Simon Karam (Lawyer), Chadi Hanoush (Activist), Charles Jabbour (Journalist), Shereen Abdallah (Activist), Saleh al-Mashnouk (Professor), Salah Choaib (Director), Salah Faris (Teacher), Tarek Hachem (Activist), Tanious Chahwan (Researcher), Talal Khoja (Professor), Toni Abou Rohana (Political Writer), Toni Habib (Engineer), Abbas Abou Zeid (Activist), Abdulsalam Moussa (Journalist), Abdullah Khalifa (Management), Abdullah Cesar al-Khoury (Businessman), Afif Diab (Journalist), Ali Abou Zohn (Activist), Ali Shoaib (Professor), Imad Bazzi (Activist), Ammar Aboud (Activist), Omar Harkouss (Journalist), Ghada Saghieyh (Media), Ghanem Zoubian (Activist), Fadi al-Tofaily (Writer, Poet), Fadi Antar (Doctor), Faris Souaid (Ex-MP), Farouk Yacoub (Activist), Fatima Hoho (Journalist), Firas Maksad (Activist), Francois al-Dahdah (Activist), Fouad Farah (Teacher), Philip Saeed (Doctor), Kamal al-Yazigi (Professor), Colette Touma (Activist), Mohammad al-Chami (Activist), Mohammad Harfouch (Media), Mohammad Hussein Shams Eddine (Writer, Politician), Mohammad Hamdan (Media), Mohammad Hamoud (Journalist), Mohammad Charbatah (Media), Mohammad Machmouchi (Journalist), Marwan al-Amin (Activist), Mariam Abdo (Activist), Massoud Mohammad (Political Writer), Mona Fayad (Professor), Mayad Haidar (Lawyer), Michel Touma (Journalist), Michel Hajji Georgiou (Journalist), Michel Douaihy (Professor), Michel Laban (Lawyers' Syndicate), Michel Youssef Khouri (Lawyer), Nadia al-Shaikh (Professor), Nabil al-Halabi (Human Rights Activist), Nabil Karrat (Doctor), Nada Rafeh (Activist), Nada Maatouk (Activist), Nadim Abdul Samad (Politician), Nadim Kotaich (Media), Nazih Darwich (Researcher), Nasr Farah (Activist), Nawal Nasr (Journalist), Harar Houvivian (Professor), Haytham al-Tabsh (Journalist), Haytham Chamas (Director), Wajih al-Ajour (Activist), Wissam Saadeh (Writer, Journalist), Walid Fakhr Eddine (Professor), Yehya Mahmoud (Activist), Youssef al-Zain (Businessman), Youssef Bazzi (Journalist), Youssef Baha' al-Douaihy (Lawyer), Younis Chibli (Doctor).

@QuilliamF tweets....

Quilliam tweets,
In last 24 hrs while world debated #OBL death, jihadists killed 20 in Iraq, 4 in Thailand and more in Somalia. All victims Muslim civilians.

US airstrike targets Saudi al Qaeda commander in Yemen: report - The Long War Journal

US airstrike targets Saudi al Qaeda commander in Yemen: report - The Long War Journal

War's not over....

The Guardian: Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery

Stalin like paranoia overtaking the tyrants. Via The Guardian,
Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).

George Monbiot: Let's face it: none of our environmental fixes break the planet-wrecking project

Monbiot's opener,
You think you're discussing technologies, and you quickly discover that you're discussing belief systems. The battle among environmentalists over how or whether our future energy is supplied is a cipher for something much bigger: who we are, who we want to be, how we want society to evolve. Beside these concerns, technical matters – parts per million, costs per megawatt hour, cancers per sievert – carry little weight. We choose our technology – or absence of technology – according to a set of deep beliefs: beliefs that in some cases remain unexamined.
and closer,
All of us in the environment movement, in other words – whether we propose accommodation, radical downsizing or collapse – are lost. None of us yet has a convincing account of how humanity can get out of this mess. None of our chosen solutions break the atomising, planet-wrecking project. I hope that by laying out the problem I can encourage us to address it more logically, to abandon magical thinking and to recognise the contradictions we confront. But even that could be a tall order
Read everything in between because the unexamined belief system's taken over much of Unitarian Universalism, and the grand dialectic's about cracking it all up. Monbiot explains.

H/T Walter Russell Mead's Blog

Footnote: Mead's take,
Malthusianism is a religious conviction that desperately needs to think of itself as a science. From Thomas Malthus and his mathematical certainties to Paul Ehrlich with his famine timetables and the Club of Rome with its ‘scientific’ predictions of resource exhaustion, Malthusians have made confident predictions about the future and claimed scientific authority for statements that turned out to be contemptibly silly. That is the brutal fate that often awaits people who can’t keep the boundaries between science and religion straight.
Mixing the two may be a deep error in UU thinking.

More coming on that....

Mark Kirk: Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act of 2011 Press Conference

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Is Christianity compatible with libertarianism?

An email from Eric Kohn. If you're in the Chicago area consider attending. I'll try and be there.
Dear Bill,

Is Christianity compatible with libertarianism? Is it alright to be Christian and advocate for a free market economy?

Save the May 25th as the date when we'll be discussing these and other important questions. Our panelists will be announced next week.

Where: Sullivan's Steakhouse, 415 N Dearborn, Chicago
When: Wednesday, May 25th, 6-8 PM (program begins at 7 PM)
RSVP: or on our Facebook event page
Price: $10 per person (includes one drink ticket, payable at the door). Members get free admission.

In the meantime, read this essay hosted by the wonderful group Students for Liberty: Christian Libertarianism, part of their Lessons on Liberty series.

In Liberty,

Eric Kohn
America's Future Foundation- Chicago

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Letter to the Syrian Arab army

From Abdullah Shami on Facebook,

Arabic to English translation

Letter to the Syrian Arab army - Adham Pasha al-AtrashIn the name of God and on behalf of the Syrian people are great, we say
To all honest people in the Syrian Arab army soldiers and urge you proud ranks and leaders ..We also ask you to stand in honor and conscience. And respond to injustice, tyranny and slavery, and refused to humiliation and pro-right and his family. Enough of oppression and humiliation and enslavement, and you alone are able to raise the grievances of our people and protect them and Ifdaihm Boroagm.
Here is to be Inadekm today. Rose up to this overwhelming, and the Rise and Geladina Geladhikm, it is time to free ourselves and Taathrroa, and build together a free Syria, a modern democratic system to achieve all our aspirations and dreams and it should not feature a range of man shall man shall have another. We are all under the law and order from the top of the pyramid to the bottom.Is no longer enough to refuse orders to your leaders and Mrwsekm shot at the demonstrators, but declined fact that you know as you know the serious consequences that await you at the hands of Geladhikm namely Troyekm and Tswejtkm.Therefore, required of you today that you will be a high degree of awareness, responsibility and trust some of you on the other and Tthoroa The Following thugs barbarians because the more pressure they will Izaz mighty and the criminals. Beware of treachery. And based on God, and know that if a void round Vllhak A round and round.
The revolution of our people to reclaim these legitimate simplest usurped our rights, the most important "freedom and democracy"We, the people and the Army ...... The hands of one heart and one goal and one ...... Against humiliation and slavery.Finally, Syria will remain free and win our great
رسالة موجهة إلى الجيش العربي السوري - أدهم باشا الأطرش
بسم الله ثم نيابة عن الشعب السوري العظيم، نقول

إلى كل الشرفاء في الجيش العربي السوري الأبي نناشدكم جنوداً ورتباء وقادة ..
كما نطلبُ منكم الوقوف وقفة شرف وضمير. والتصدي للظلم والطغيان ورفض الإستعباد والذل ومناصرة الحق وأهله. كفانا قهرٌ وذلٌ وإستعبادْ، أنتم وحدكم القادرون على رفع الضيم عن أهلنا وحمايتهم وإفدائهم بأرواحكم.

فها هو الواجب يناديكم اليوم. إنتفضوا على هذا الطاغي، وثوروا على جلادينا وجلاديكم، فقد آن الآوان لنتحرر وتتحرروا، ونبني معاً سورية الحرة ذو نظام عصري ديموقراطي يحقق تطلعاتنا وأحلامنا جميعاً ولا يكون فيه ميزةُ لامرىءٍ عاى امرىءٍ آخر. فكلنا تحت النظام والقانون من رأس الهرم إلى أسفله.
لم يعد يكفي رفض أوامر قادتكم ومرؤسيكم بإطلاق الرصاص على المتظاهرين، كونكم وإن رفضتم نعلم كما أنتم تعلمون العواقب الوخيمة التي تنتظركم على أيدي جلاديكم ألا وهي ترويعكم وتصفيتكم.
لذلك، المطلوب منكم اليوم بأن تكونوا على قدرٍ عالٍ من الوعي والمسؤولية وتثقوا ببعضكم الآخر وتثوروا على هؤولاء السفاحين الهمجيين لأنه كلما إزاذ الضغط عليهم سيزداد بطشهم وإجرامهم. فاحذروا من غدرهم. واتكلوا على الله واعلموا بأن إذا كان للباطل جولة فللحق ألف جولة وجولة.

إن ثورة شعبنا هذه مشروعة لإسترداد أبسط حقوقنا المسلوبة أهمها "الحرية والديمقراطية"
نحن شعبٌ وجيشٌ...... يدٌ واحدة قلبٌ واحد هدفٌ واحد...... ضد الذل والإستعباد.
وأخيراً ستبقى سورية حرةً وسينتصر شعبنا العظيم

Signed by 137 International Filmmakers: A Call from Syrian Filmmakers to Filmmakers Everywhere – Peaceful Syrian citizens are being killed today for their demands of basic rights and liberties.

Via Mesopotamishe Gesellschaft,

It is the same oppression and corruption that kept Syrians prisoners and swallowed their freedom, properties and lives for decades, that is assassinating their bodies and dreams today.

We, the undersigned Syrian filmmakers, believe that a reform which does not start with putting an end to security forces control over our people’s lives and bodies, and with closing an era of shameful political imprisonment for good, is not enough.

Hereby, we call on all filmmakers in the world to contribute to stopping the killing by exposing and denouncing it, and by announcing their solidarity with the Syrian people and with their dreams of justice, equality and freedom.
The Undersigned :

(Filmmakers can join the call by adding their Name, Profession and Country in comment hereunder)
1.          Abbas Fahdel, Filmmaker, Iraq/France
2. ABDEL MESSEEH NAMIR, Director, France
3.         Abdelkader LAGTAÂ, Director, Morocco
4.         Abdenour Zahzah, Filmmaker, Algeria
5.         Abderrahmane Sissako, Author Filmmaker Producer, France – Mali
6.         Abdoul Aziz Cissé, Filmmaker, Sénégal
7.         Abdul-malak Maya, Director,France
8.         Abraham Ségal, Filmmaker, France
9.         Achache Mona, Director, France
10.      Ahmed Abouzeid, Director, Egypt
11.      Ahmed Atef, Filmmaker, Egypt
12.      Ahmed Awaad, Filmmaker, Egypt
13.      Ahmed El Maanouni, Filmmaker, Morocco
14.      Aki Kaurismaki, Director, Finland
15.      Akram Farid, Director, Egypt
16.      Akram Zaatari, Filmmaker/artist, Lebanon
17.   Ala Hlehel, Screenwriter, Palestine
18.      Ala’a Mohsen, Student, Denmark
19.      Alain Saint-Hilaire, Filmmaker Canada
20.      Alan Lyddiard, Theatre & Film Director, UK
21.      Alexandre Cornu, Producer, France
22.      Alexis Vidakis, Producer, Italy
23.      Ali Atassi, Director, Syria
24.   Alice Attie, Artist, USA
25.      Alisa Lebow, Filmmaker/Film Scholar, UK/USA
26.      Aly Badrakhan, Film Maker, Egypt
27.      Amer Shomali, Animator, Palestine
28.      Amr Waked, Actor, Egypt
29.      Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker, India
30.      Andy Green, Filmmaker, UK
31.      Angel Quintana, Critic de cinéma & Professor Of Film, Universidad de Gerona, Spain
32.      Angeliki Petrou, Film Programmer, Greece
33.      Anja UNGER, Filmmaker, France
34.      Anna Da Palma, Director, Portugal
35.      Annemarie Jacir, Director, Palestine
36.      Anne-Marie Lallement, Filmmaker, France
37.      Annick Peigné-Giuly, Présidente de Documentaire sur Grand Ecran, France
38.      Anthea Kennedy, film-maker / lecturer, United Kingdom
39.      Antonia Caccia, Filmmaker, UK
40.      Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Filmmaker, Thailand
41.      APPREDERIS Franck, Director, France
42.      Arlette Girardot , Director, France
43.      Arnt Egil Andreassen, Producer, Norway
44.      Avi Hershkovitz, Filmmaker, Romania
45.      Azza El-Hassan, Filmmaker, Palestine
46.      Azza Shaaban, Filmmaker, Egypt
47.      Aboubakar Sanogo, Film Studies Professor, Canada
48.  Alain MATHIEU zvouk, operator, France
49.   Ana Eliseu, Director, Portugal
50.      Andrew Kavanagh, Filmmaker, Ireland
51.      Abadia Régine, Film director, France
52.      Ady Assumpçao, Director, Brasil
53.      Alegre Greta, Programmer/filmmaker, Belgium
54.      ALI ESSAFI, filmmaker, Morocco
56.      Amar Chebib, Filmmaker, Canada
57.      Ambarien Alqadar, Filmmaker, United States-India
58.      Amil Shivji, Student/Filmmaker, Tanzania
59.      Amina Djahnine, Filmaker, Switzerland
60.      Andrea Franco Batievsky, Filmmaker, Peru
61.      Andrée DAVANTURE, Editor, FRANCE
62.      Anne Marie LUCCIONI, Producer, France
63.      Antonio Gomez Escalonilla, Editor, Spain
64.      Apostolos Karakasis, Filmmaker, Greece
65.      B. Brunet, Editor and author, France
66.      Bahriye Kabadayý, Documentary Filmmaker, Turkey
67.      Basel Ramsis, Filmmaker, Egypt
68.      Bashar Hassuneh, Art director, Palestine
69.      Beatrice Agard, Video Maker, , France
70.     Behrooz Hashemian, film producer, France
71.      Bela Tarr, Director, Hungary
72.      Bensmail Malek, Director, Algeria
73.      BERCOT Emmanuelle, Filmmaker, France
74.      Berke Göl. critic, Turkey
75.      Bertrand Blier, Author Filmmaker Producer, France,
76.   Bertrand Tavernier, Author-Director-Producer, France
77.      BEYNE Marie-Elise, Director, France
78.      Bill Pickard, Semi-Prof Actor/Performer, England
79.      Bindi Gilles, Director, France
80.      Bordier Philipe, Director, France
81.      Bouchra El Haoudi, Director Assistant, France
82.      Brêtas Marie-Pierre, Director, France
83.      Brodin Pierre-françois, Director, France
84.      Burcu Halaç, Student, Turkey
85.      Burosse Alain, Director, France
86.      BAAZIZ Mounir, President – Tunisian filmmakers association, TUNISIA
87.      Baqué, Director, France
88.      Bassam Jarbaw,  Director, Palestine / USA
89.      Bel Hedi Habib, Producer, Tunisia
90.      Ben Russell, Artist, USA
91.      Benedicte Frely, Filmmaker, France
92.      Benhaïem Anne, Filmmaker, France
93.      Benjamin Abitan, actor, France
94.      enjamin Crotty, Director, USA
95.      Benlyazid Farida, Filmaker, Morocco

Bernard STORA, Script writer & Director, FRANCE
97.      Betty Berr, director of program, France
98.      Bouchra KHALILI, Visual Artist, Morocco/France
99.      Camille de Casablanca, Author Filmmaker Producer, France
100.   Can Candan, Director, Turkey
101.   Cann Sylvie, Author-Filmmaker, Francce
102.   Carlos F. Heredero, Director de “Cahiers du cinema, España
103.Carlos Losilla, Film Writer, Spain
104.   Carlos Losilla, Critic de cinéma & Professor de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UFP) , Spain
105.   Carol Mansour, Documentary Filmmaker, Lebanon
106.   Caroline Champier, Filmmaker, France
107.   Casabianca Ugo, Filmmaker, Corsica (France)
108.   Cat Villiers, Film Producer, UK
109.   Catalina Vilar, Filmmaker, France
110.   Catherine Bernstein, Filmmaker, France
111.   Catherine Breillat, Author-Director-Producer, France
112.   Catherine Grel, Producer, France
113.   Catherine Libert, Filmmaker, Italy
114.   Cécile Telerman, Author Filmmaker Producer, France
115.   Chadi Zeneddine, Filmmaker, Lebanon
116.   Chahine Carlos, Actor and filmmaker, France
117.   Chakir Lakhlifi, Filmmaker, Morocco
118.   Chantal Piquet, Editor, France
119.   Chantal Richard, Filmmaker, France
120.   Chara Lampidou, Film Trainig – Curator, Greece
121.   Charlotte Bank, Curator, Germany
122.   Charlotte Silvera, Author Filmmaker Producer, France
123.   CHEVALLIER Laurent, film director, France
124.   Chris Marker, Director, France
125.   Christian Merlhiot Filmmaker, France
126.   Christiane Lehérissey, Director,France
127. Christine Tohme, Director of Ashkal Alwan, Lebanon
128.   Christophe Ruggia, Filmmaker, co-president of “Société des réalisateurs de films” (SRF), France
129.   Claire Burger, Director, France
130.   Claire Denis, Director, France
132.   Colin Hickey Filmmaker, Ireland
133.   Constance Meyer Filmmaker, France
134.   Cosson, Producer, France
136.   Cousin Mathilde, editor, France
137.   Christiane Rorato, Director,

Monday, May 02, 2011

Damascus May 2, 2011 Women demonstrating in Arnous Square

via Reform Party of Syria
Damascus. A short Video of women leading a small demonstration in the Arnous Square in Damascus. One sign reads: No to Killing.

Homs. A Video of a demonstration that started right after evening prayers from the Mureijeh Mosque.
Bab Dreib. A Video of a new town rising in support of Dara'a.
Barzeh. A Video of a demonstration on the outskirts of Damascus about 2 hours old in support of Dara'a. 

Syria: ... thousands are still alive and about to die, isn't that more important?

Bumped up from a Reform Party of Syria presser below,

Interesting Note. Arab TV networks have been concentrating their coverage on Bin Laden's death. Many Syrians on Facebook are angry saying thousands are still alive and about to die, isn't that more important?

Killing and Detaining Children. RPS learned today that four people were killed in Homs on Saturday, one of them was a 12-years old child. As if this is not savage enough, the regime also detained on Friday April 28 two 13-years old children named Mohammad Husrieyh and Tarek al-Hayek. 

Torture. In Douma alone, 1,000 people were detained over the last 3 days. UNCONFIRMED. Of those released, many had their fingers pulled, cigarette burns on their bodies, and barbaric beatings. The army sits around the town but the  the "shabbeeha" are roaming the streets fully armed.

Jableh. Next of kin are forced to sign documents stating that their sons were killed armed infiltrators. Anyone who does not sign is immediately detained.  

Syria. Assad will take advantage during this time the world is paying attention to the death of Bin Laden to bomb Dara'a out of existence, detain thousands of Syrians (Already under way), and continue his siege against cities and towns to starve our people. GOOD RIDDANCE OF BIN LADEN, CAN WE PAY ATTENTION TO THE STILL ALIVE NOW?

Zabadani. Five busloads left Zabadani full of detained Syrians. Bursts of fire can be heard in the city, which has been sealed completely. The names of those detained are trickling in. Considering the abhorring conditions under which detainees are housed and tortured, it is imperative for the human rights organizations to call the attention of the world to what is happening inside Syria. Incidentally, Syria is not the most oppressive regime in the Arab world but the whole world. No other family treats its citizens the way the Assads do killing at will. Their DNA belong in the museums, not in palaces or on the streets. 

Saraqeb. A small town next to Idlib. 27 people have been detained this morning.  

Deir el-Zour. During a burial, people discovered, upon collecting the body from the hospital, several Kurdish dead soldiers who have been delivered by the security men. It is estimated they were killed because they refused to fire on unarmed civilians.

Al Qaeda emir Osama bin Laden confirmed killed by US forces in Pakistan - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda emir Osama bin Laden confirmed killed by US forces in Pakistan - The Long War Journal

Bill Roggio's Long War Journal has the best coverage (He always has). All I care to say at the moment.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

RIP: Siamak Pourzand

Longtime Iranian dissident kills self ‘to prove his disgust for regime´ - Washington Times

A leading Iranian dissident has killed himself in what appeared to be a final act of defiance against the Iranian regime that had nearly ruined him.

Farsi-language websites reported over the weekend the death Friday of Siamak Pourzand, an 80-year-old journalist and essayist who was one of his country’s leading political and cultural writers before the 1979 revolution that later brought a theocratic regime to power.

After the revolution, Mr. Pourzand became one of the main writers affiliated with Iran’s domestic secular opposition in the 1990s.

According to his children, Mr. Pourzand jumped from the sixth-floor balcony of his apartment in Tehran, where he has been under house arrest for the last five years.

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فلاش-امراءه من سوريا تواجه الرصاص بصدرها ج A Woman from Syria faces lead

General strike and civil disobedience against the injustice and corruption in Syria

A translatioin of the facebook group الإضراب العام والعصيان المدني ضد الظلم والفساد في سوريا

Arabic to English translation

Welcome to the general strike and civil disobedience against the injustice and corruption in SyriaO great people, the Syrian ...
We have suffered our people in more than forty years of oppression and terrorism, murder, arrest, imprisonment and disappearances, and exile and assassination, and the pursuit of national at home and abroad, and repression and exclusion of the other, and corruption and abuse of power, and profit from formal jobs and favor Cognations and plunder the riches of the country.
Regime not only so, but I have decorated his days tyrant father massacres terrible crimes against humanity in the cities of Syria in general and in the city of Hama brave private, which claimed the lives of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, and not only so, but targeted prisoners in their prisons, and thousands of missing persons who did not reveal on the fate Thirty years ago, and not only this system history shameful murder and torture against our people, but resulted in his true face who tried to coverage promises of reform launched since the ten years, returned to the perpetration of massacres against the people, who swear to work to take care of its interests, all to the people using the right guaranteed by the Constitution of peaceful demonstrations and sit-in, calling for freedom, which raised the slogan for more than sixty years of his party, and reform, which has long promised, Kavan people that in March against most types of cruelty and crime, and arrested children and display to the most types of physical and psychological torture.
We have proved this corrupt system which has been bombarding us with false promises to the futility of waiting, how many tens of years, we must grant him time to get back to his senses.
Dear People's hero:
Experiments proved that peaceful methods of the most effective in responding to injustice and tyranny is the general strike and civil disobedience.
Has proved its worth with the adverse occupier harsh unjust Sam the country with iron and fire is obligatory for him in the end to yield to the demands of the people and comply with the Declaration of Independence.
It is time to eradicate corruption and to prosecute perpetrators and restore the usurped rights to their respective owners
Vhbwa to declare a general strike and civil disobedience in all parts of Syria are committed by individuals and groups, traders and staff, students and industrialists, to free ourselves from this nightmare dark.
And us a lesson of what happened in 1932 in Syria of the longest general strike in the history of the Arabs over seven months against the tyranny and corruption, said people in the end his speech.
Voalnoha peaceful and boycotted companies that looted resources of this country and its economy and boycotted institutions ousted corrupt state, and pulled down to the streets in groups and individuals, and protect Mkedzbatkm of those who would toy, try the system and his gang thwart your steps, but let us be one hand against corruption and injustice and to cry out for freedom and justice.
And sit in the main fields in all cities of the dictators understand that there is no place for them in Syria and they have to leave the day before tomorrow, and will recover the usurped rights and freedoms and to restore its glory and elegance Syria again.
God bless the will of the loyal men, lived and lived Syria
And God help you!