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I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

Month

June 2008

From Angry Arab

In the vein of the Al Hurra experience. Are we waking up ?

LBC-TV had a show on U.S. policies in the Middle East. Shadha `
Amr invited an Arabic speaking diplomat from the State Department to meet with a group of Arab students.

The host wanted so bad that students would praise the U.S., but to no avail. She asked an Iraqi and a Kuwaiti in the audience, hoping that they would praise Bush.
When they clearly did not, and criticized Bush’s wars and policies, she kept going around until she found a Lebanese dude who came to the rescue and urged the Iraqis to give Bush’s war a chance.

And when a young student went on to rail against U.S. wars and occupation and U.S. support for Arab dictatorships, the host was visibly displeased with her. She interrupted her to ask: What about Iran? And then the host turned to a guest from Egypt, hoping that she would get a different message.
She prefaced her question by saying that “Egypt had signed a peace treaty with Israel”…and the student interrupted her by saying: “unfortunately.”

The host clearly displeased asked: why unfortunately? The student went on the criticize U.S. and Israel and the tyranny of Mubarak regime. The host, again, turned to another Egyptian student asking: do you agree with the other Egyptian student? The student agreed.

Next time LBC-TV should invite MEMRI guests. I am sure they would not disappoint LBC-TV or U.S. administration.

But the Lebanese student, Carol Kirbaj, was the star of the program. She provided the most devastating critique of U.S. economic and political programs in the region. She gave a political economy critique and then said that his U.S. discourse on democracy “provokes” her. She even slipped a critique of Saudi Arabia. If somebody in Lebanon knows Carol Kirbaj, please send her my regards.

PS This show was quite interesting. And although the students were clearly screened, and they were very well-behaved and polite, but LBC-TV could not produce the agreeable Arabs that they wanted, with the exception of that Lebanese student (probably Lebanese Forces supporter). Even the Saudi and Kuwait students disappointed the host and her American guest.

This from

Iran : Preparing the Battlefield

by Seymour M. Hersh July 7, 2008

Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.
The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.

READ ON

Al Hurra : rather funny

60 Minutes has been looking into Al Hurra in a project with ProPublica, a new, non-profit news organization dedicated to investigative journalism. With so much at stake at Al Hurra, we were surprised to find what it’s putting on the air. Some of it has supported terrorism and denied the Holocaust; insiders say Al Hurra has been undermined by loose financial and editorial controls, while its executives try to manage 24-hour news in a language most of them don’t understand.

As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, Al Hurra’s symbol is a herd of unbridled horses, and for American taxpayers it’s been a wild ride.

SEE IT HERE

No ice at the North Pole

It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.

“From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water,” said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.
If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.
Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally ice-free North Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by huge swathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.
Full article : Independent.co.uk

Crop circles, a hoax ?

If you have an interest in the crop circles that have been appearing around the world for the last 30 years, you’re not alone. The topic of crop circles has gained more and more popularity over the years, and the recent M. Night Shyamalan movie, Signs , is the focal point of this mystery, which, much like in real life, tells the story of the mysterious appearance of odd patterns made in crop fields.

Fueling debate that has endured the last few decades, many skeptics have discussed whether or not these designs are the creation of humans, supernatural forces, or aliens.

As England is one of the most popular locations for crop circle sightings around the world, it leads the way in popularizing and glamorizing this seemingly unsolved mystery. Ever since the 1970s, when a surge of strange but immaculate circular shapes began appearing in fields in southern England, people from around the globe have sought answers to this enigma.

As hypotheses and explanations were brought forth, two Englishmen came clean about their nocturnal practices in 1991. Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, two men in their 60’s at the time, claimed that they were responsible for the crop circles that everyone was talking about. Armed with planks of wood, garden rollers and string, the men would stomp and mark an area of a field, thus creating crop circles as we know them.

READ ON

Debunking the hoax allegations

Arguing in favor of the hoax

Little mosque on the prairie

When a young lawyer from Toronto decides to become an Imam, he decides to move west to the prairies to pursue his true calling. As the new spiritual leader arrives in his new home, the Muslim community butts heads with locals

First episode : See here

UFO hits Romanian fighter jet

On the 30th of October 2007, the Romanian presented a damaged fighter jet to the astonished public: According to the Romanian military, it must have been an unidentified flying object. More info

Straight Man Accidentally Sees ‘Sex and the City’

‘Terrifying’ Experience, Says Home Depot Clerk

A self-styled heterosexual man from Akron, Ohio said today that he was “traumatized” over the weekend after attending a showing of the new Sarah Jessica Parker film, “Sex and the City.”

Hendrick Colton, 34, said that he bought a ticket to the summer blockbuster “Iron Man” at his neighborhood multiplex but wandered into the theater showing “Sex and the City” instead.

“The minute the movie came on, I knew something was terribly, terribly wrong,” he said.

Mr. Colton, a sales clerk at a Home Depot in the Akron suburbs, said he tried to leave the theater immediately but was seated in the middle of a row, making it impossible to escape without causing commotion.

“Everyone around me was laughing their heads off and shouting ‘You go, girl!'” he said. “It was terrifying.”

A spokesman for New Line Cinema, the company that released “Sex and the City,” said that the film grossed $55 million over the weekend but that Mr. Colton was the only heterosexual man known to have seen it.

Friends of Mr. Colton who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the Akron man seemed shaken by the experience of seeing the movie and was concerned that others might now doubt his longstanding claim of being heterosexual.

Davis Logsdon, a professor of human sexuality at the University of Minnesota, said that a straight man could attend a film such as “Sex and the City” without experiencing any change in his sexual identity.

“A heterosexual man could see that movie and remain heterosexual at its conclusion,” Dr. Logsdon said. “Having said that, it’s totally gay that he did that.”

The article was published by Borowitz

US winter soldiers

US/IRAQ: “Enough Is Enough, It’s Time to Get Out”
By Dahr Jamail

SEATTLE, Jun 2 (IPS) – Dozens of veterans from the U.S. occupation of Iraq converged in this west coast city over the weekend to share stories of atrocities being committed daily in Iraq, in a continuation of the “Winter Soldier” hearings held in Silver Spring, Maryland in March.

At the Seattle Town Hall, some 800 people gathered to hear the testimonies of veterans from Iraq. The event was sponsored by the Northwest Regional Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and endorsed by dozens of local and regional anti-war groups like Veterans for Peace and Students for a Democratic Society.

“I watched Iraqi Police bring in someone to interrogate,” Seth Manzel, a vehicle commander and machine gunner in the U.S. Army, told the audience. “There were four men on the prisoner…one was pummeling his kidneys with his fists, another was inserting a bottle up his rectum. It looked like a frat house gang-rape.”
READ ON

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