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Puzzled thoughts of a self-confessed ignoramus

Unlike most bloggers, I am by no means an Egypt specialist, never been and never will be.  In fact, let me begin this post by confessing to the fact that I am a self-confessed Egypt ignoramus.  Please keep that in mind and forgive me all the nonsense I am about to write below and let me begin by saying that I am very disturbed not only by the events in

40 human beings are force-fed everyday in Guantánamo Bay – see for yourself what this procedure looks like (UPDATED!)

As Ramadan begins, more than 100 hunger-strikers in Guantánamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being force-fed. A leaked document sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees. In this four-minute film made by Human Rights organization Reprieve and Bafta award-winning director Asif Kapadia, US actor and rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), experiences the procedure:  UPDATE:Today I came across

Russian lawmakers seek return of spy from U.S.

The LA Times reports:Seeking to make a political point, a group of Russian lawmakers is initiating a request to seek extradition from the United States of a Russian intelligence officer, Col. Alexander Poteyev, who escaped to America in 2010 after betraying a major network of Russian spies in the U.S. The lawmakers are comparing the case of Poteyev to that of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who remains holed up in

Egypt’s revolution betrayed: Fuel for al-Qaeda fires

(Though I am personally far more critical of Morsi and his gang of losers, I do agree with Eric that Egypt future looks extremely bad – The Saker) by Eric Walberg During the past few months, dozens of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members have been murdered and their offices sacked and burned. The police openly refuse to protect them. Rather than ordering the opposition to drop their demand that Egypt’s

Unasur Confirms Special Summit in Bolivia

Radio Cadena Agramonte reports:General Secretary of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ali Rodríguez, confirmed today to Prensa Latina that a special meeting of the Council of Heads of State will be held tomorrow in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The summit of presidents, at a request made by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, has been scheduled for 16:00 local time in that Bolivian city. Rodriguez told Prensa Latina by phone from Caracas

So why are we all celebrating again?!

I have to admit that I am quite amazed at the celebratory tone of much of the blogosphere in regards to Egypt.  Let me say immediately that I have no use for Morsi or his al Ikhwan al Muslimun but, guys, is it not apparent what is going to happen now?Kaveh L Afrasiabi aptly summarized it for the Asia Times: Henceforth, a post-Morsi Egypt will likely embed itself more firmly

Either the BBC is stupid, or its lying again

Latest BBC headline: Snowden case: France apologises in Bolivia plane row.  Then this, further down the article:The French foreign ministry issued a statement on the incident. Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said: “The foreign minister called his Bolivian counterpart to tell him about France’s regrets after the incident caused by the late confirmation of permission for President Morales’ plane to fly over [French] territory.” In diplomatic language, “regrets” mean something very specific. 

Short update on the fallout following the “Imperial Skyjacking”

Here is a short update on the fallout following the “Imperial Skyjacking” of President Evo Morales’ airplane over Europe. Paris expressed “regrets” but did not present excuses. Demonstrators threw stones at the French Embassy in La Paz The Bolivian Parliament will demand the expulsion of the French, Italian and Portuguese ambassadors The Argentinian President Christina Fernandez de Krichner has declared that the Europeans “they have all gone completely insane!” UNASUR

The EU – acting on behalf of Uncle Sam – commits an act of piracy against a head of state!

Just on Monday I called the entire European political class “the worst hypocrites on the planet” along with a few other less-than-complimentary things. And this morning I learn this: ‘Imperial Skyjacking’: Bolivian presidential plane grounded in Austria over Snowden stowaway suspicions: not only did the governments of France, Portugal, Spain and Italy illegally close their airspace to President Morales’ presidential plane, the Austrians actually had the nerve to search it

Snowden, Putin and the rest of them

According to Wikileaks and the BBC, Snowden has submitted a request for political asylum to 21 countries: Austria Bolivia Brazil China Cuba Ecuador Finland France Germany Iceland India Italy Ireland Netherlands Nicaragua Norway Poland Russia (withdrawn) Spain Switzerland Venezuela I reproduce the full list here as I think that this shows something very important: Snowden does not appear to have had a clear plan for his flight or, if he

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me

European politicians must be the worst hypocrites on the planet!

I have read a report about all the outrage the so-called “Snowden revelation” have triggered in Europe.  I was particularly amused by German politicians asking why New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the UK were *allegedly* excluded from the NSA spying program while Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, has ordered a massive security sweep of the EC offices.What massive load of bovine excreta!! First, let me assure you

Syria: The Faces Behind The Terror

by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich In her extraordinarily bold and direct speech addressed to the Irish Parliament, Clare Daly (TD, Dublin North) called Obama a “war criminal” and “hypocrite of the century”. In describing the fawned reception of Obama in Ireland akin to pimping and prostituting of that nation, Ms. Daly hit the nail on the head. Sadly, America dwarfs Ireland and elsewhere in the undignified category of prostitution – the 29

Reflexions on my outburst yesterday and on how to best deal with the Wahabi phenomenon

This morning when I woke up and re-read my post yesterday and the comments it elicited – in particular the amazing comment by Lysander –  I felt that this was such an important issue that I decided to return to it in a separate post rather than to do so in the comments section.First, I have to admit that what I posted yesterday was not so much a post as

How fair and how logical is it to support the idea of Geneva II negotiations between the Syrian government and the multi-national terrorist of the FSA?

First, a disclaimer: I do not know when this video was shot, nor do I speak Arabic, so I cannot comment on what is said in Arabic in this video.  However, I can confirm that I clearly hear a voice saying in Russian “move to the side” and, later, “don’t stand in groups”.  It is also clear that at least one person in this video is wearing an Afghan “Pakol“. 

Egypt being pushed into sectarian violence

by Crescent online Saudi preacher, Muhammad al-Arifi, has issued a fatwa saying prostitution by Muslim girls to service takfiri fighters in Syria is permissible.  Has the Ummah (Muslim world) fallen so low that such filthy fatwas can be issued and Muslims remain silent? At the same time, Arifi and Sheikh al-Qaradawi have launched an anti-Shia crusade leading to the lynching of four Shias in a village outside Cairo. Muhammad al-Arifi

Edward Snowden probably does not know anything of interest to Russia or China

When I hear the corporate media and even most of the blogosphere say that Edward Snowden was a “CIA agent” or “NSA agent” with access to some super dooper secret information I smile: this is mostly likely not the case at all.  Yes, sure, Uncle Sam AND those who dislike the US Empire all have a stake in presenting Snowden as a real hot potato, but in real life he

Why I am afraid that Iceland will probably be Snowden’s (very bad) choice

Having just shared some fun speculations with you, I will now tell you what I think Snowden will do: I think that he will pick Iceland.  Why? Iceland does have a tradition of granting asylum to good people persecuted by Uncle Sam, like Bobby Fischer. Iceland has a powerful political movement which supports civil rights and an open society. Iceland is not associated in the mind of the typical American

Let’s have some innocent fun with the Snowden saga

So, as predicted, Snowden was not on the Aeroflot Su150 flight to Havana yesterday.  So let’ indulge into some totally baseless but entertaining speculations: were could he be?Until this morning I had this “Jamesbondesque” vision of the FSB whisking Snowden away into a Tu-95MS which would then fly a very long range track over the Atlantic (or even Pacific) to bring Snowden to Ecuador or Havana.  While rather uncomfortable (the

A couple of small comments about Edward Snowden flight

A couple of small points about Edward Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong:1) US politicians are making all sorts of threats against China, Russia and anybody else who would help Snowden.  This is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.  Even if the US considers Snowden is a common spy – does anybody remember the long list of spies, including Russian ones, who found refuge in the USA (think Poteev here)?2) It is most

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