Another detail of Barack Obama’s tiny Orwellian World has been published yesterday by Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Deveraux on The Intercept. A watchlisting guidance for potential informers (NOMINATORS) who ultimately would put the life of their targets (NOMINEES) at risk, not just off the fly list. It’s about who is a TERRORIST suspect. Next would probably be listing on Obama’s kill list, and then the drones may lift off.

I have briefly scanned the 166 pages and immediately noted excessive use of capitals to alert potential informers about the dangerous TERRORIST suspects. This seems to be really serious. I was even testing whether current war criminals such as Benjamin Netanyahu would fit the REASONABLE SUSPICION category. Maybe Obama has to denounce his entire previous administration, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, not to forget Condi Rice.

It is said that  the Guidance does not stem from Edward Snowden’s leaked NSA files. At least some employees in the American intelligence community seem to sense that this guide does not entirely fit the American constitution.

24 July 2014 @ 7:53 pm.
Last modified July 24, 2014.
Posted in Terrorism, USA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Inappropriate Comparisons

When Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maundered the other day in a CNN interview, apparently nervous, about “telegenic dead Palestinians” for the cause of Hamas in the current ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza, any reasonable friend of the State of Israel was just appalled.

“Blitzer: You see these painful pictures, though, of these Palestinian children, and these refugees thousands of them fleeing their homes. It’s a horrendous sight what’s going on right now, if you look at the images, heart wrenching. What goes through your mind when you see that?”

“Netanyahu: I’m very sad. When I see that I’m very sad. We’re sad for every civilian casualty. They’re not intended. This is the difference between us. The Hamas deliberately target civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians. They embed their rocketeers their rocket caches, their other weaponry from which they fire, which they use to fire on us, in civilian areas. What choice do we have? We have to protect ourselves. We try to target the rocketeers, we do, and all civilian casualties are unintended by us but actually intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can, because somebody said they use, I mean it’s gruesome, they use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.” (Emphasis added.)

Even more appalling was Israeli minister Naftali Bennett’s assessment of the deliberate targeted killing of four Palestinian boys playing football on the beach as “Hamas is committing mass self-suicide,” and “Hamas is butchering its own children,” in another interview by CNN. Most appalling also that the host Wolf Blitzer did not immediately stop the driveling at once but let extremists spread their propaganda to justify the ongoing onslaught of civilians in Gaza.

That Glenn Greenwald now compares Netanyahu’s helpless and confused justification with Joseph Goebbels’ digusting essay “Die Juden sind schuld” of 16 November 1941, where Goebbels justifies that Jews in Germany had to wear the yellow star of David is anyway completely inappropriate. He quotes from the whole scum just a single paragraph.

“Die Juden sehen sich nun allmählich ganz auf sich selbst ge­stellt und versuchen jetzt, einen neuen Trick anzuwenden. Sie kennen doch den gutmütigen deutschen Michel in uns, der immer gerne bereit ist, für eine sentimentale Träne alles ihm angetane Unrecht zu vergessen: plötzlich hat man den Eindruck, als ob es unter den Berliner Juden nur noch putzige kleine Babies, die durch ihre kindliche Hilflosigkeit rühren sollen, oder gebrechliche alte Frauen gibt. Die Juden schicken ihre Mitleidgarde vor. Sie mögen damit einige harmlose Gemüter in momentane Verwirrung bringen, uns nicht. Wir wissen ganz genau, woran wir mit ihnen sind.”

Regardless of the horrendous war crimes Netanjahu and his thugs is again committing in Gaza, Goebbels’ as grandiose as vitriolic tirade could easily have emanated from Hamas, albeit Palestinian hatred is, well, comprehensible.

22 July 2014 @ 9:58 am.
Last modified July 22, 2014.
Posted in Israel, Qom nuclear site | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Else?

After having delayed for more than a week a much awaited The Intercept publication on who has been unlawfully spied on surveilled by NSA, yesterday’s revelation by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain that it is five prominent American Muslim is a bit disappointing. That was actually expected. What would be more interesting and troubling, who else? As people have understood Edward Snowden’s leaks and Glenn Greenwald’s reporting, we all are affected (“sniff it all, collect it all, …”), aren’t we?

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel’s intercepted cell phone, which had created just a mild uproar when revealed by Greenwald in October last year, was not the actual scandal (albeit slightly embarrassing for President Obama), it was intercepting millions of emails of other Germans. After uncovering the second spy working for the Americans this week the political elite found some harsher words and even expelled asked the top U.S. intelligence official at the American Embassy in Berlin to leave the country. An unprecedented act which indicates eventually emerging serious disgruntlement in Germany over America’s paranoid spying demeanor. A political bomb shell which can only faintly be comprehended when assuming, for instance, massive American pressure not to subpoena Snowden to Germany’s parliamentary NSA court of inquiry.

So, who else, Mr. Greenwald?

10 July 2014 @ 6:30 pm.
Last modified July 10, 2014.
Posted in Germany, USA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Not a Caliphate?

When ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) yesterday proclaimed The Islamic State and his leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi caliph, both the Muslim world and non-Muslim world incredulously shook of their heads. What a charade. What kind of fellow Abu Bakr actually is has Juan Cole summarized on his blog.

In Christianity, Caliphate is traditionally connoted with fear and horror. But one should not forget that the Abbasid Caliphs (as Cole outlines, the only Caliphate in Muslim history with at least some legitimacy and authority) had saved science and even civilization for about half a millenium, from 750 to 1258 CE when Baghdad was sacked by the Mongol Hulagu Khan.

Sometimes compared with Christian Protestants who do not need a papal leader, I would compare Sunnis rather with Catholics who are not a sect (as Shi’ites are) but claim to represent the only legitimate church.

Why is a Caliphate such a ridiculous idea in the 21st century? (Abu Bakr’s is, of course). Maybe Muslims would actually benefit from a spiritual leader which could be elected in a sort of conclave. For agnostics, the whole procedure is of course rather foolish. But the institution and especially the theatrical procedure of the Pope’s election has definitely proven to be able to unite in a way the 2.2 billion Christians, protestants and other sects included.

So, why not elect a Muslim pope? (Not Abu Bakr, of course.)

30 June 2014 @ 5:13 pm.
Last modified June 30, 2014.


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Praying and Fasting in Northern Norway

These days I have met several non-Muslims who wonder how Muslims pray and fast during the holy month of Ramadan when living beyond the Arctic Circle. Two years ago, SaudiAramco World had published an article about the pretty large Muslim community in my city, Tromsø in Northern Norway, 69 degrees north latitude. There are two months in summer when the sun is not setting at all, and dusk or dawn (which are relevant for determination of prayer times) won’t be distinguishable for another month. The last time Ramadan was celebrated in July was 33 years ago, 1981. The first Muslims settled in Tromsø in 1986 when 1 Ramadan was end of August and sunset was late but at least happened. In fact, September and October are usually the most normal months here in the north with day and night quite similar as in other places in the world. In the meantime, about 1000 Muslims have arrived. The largest group consists of Moroccans.

But back to the question when to pray. Sandra Maryam Moe, a Norwegian convert who is married to a Palestinian, asked even for professional advice.

“We finally asked a shaykh in Saudi Arabia, and he gave us a fatwa [instruction] with three choices: Follow the timetable of Makkah, follow the timetable of the nearest city that does have a sunrise or sunset, or estimate the time and set a fixed schedule. We decided to follow Makkah for the part of Ramadan that falls under the Midnight Sun or Polar Nights, and then, for the other times, we follow our own sun.”

Well, converts are said to be especially zealous. I’m quite sure that the issue is none for the majority of Muslims here. They have understood that God Almighty may just have overlooked the possibility that anyone would dare to settle in this remote corner of the world. And since He is merciful he certainly shall have sympathy for His creation making the best of the situation.

Ramadan Kareem.

29 June 2014 @ 3:46 pm.
Last modified June 29, 2014.
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