Keeping sane.

Aoû 13

“I’ve got a
lot of good
ideas but not
one that
will get me
through
August.” — Eileen Myles

(Source : vscograam, via i-like-your-beard-ok)

(Source : justmakemexscream, via banksyssecretwife)

Fair-Weather Friend

Tehran seems not to mind seeing yet another offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood take a beating. Some in Tehran thought that after the Arab uprisings of 2011, the U.S. had concluded that the Middle East’s future was in the hands of moderate Sunni Islamist national movements — Hamas’s intellectual brethren. For a moment, it seemed that Islamist parties were ready to sweep elections throughout the region. Washington wanted to be on the right side of history.

But to Iran, the United States was tilting towards the wrong Islamic movement. Once in power, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt showed stronger allegiance to its ideological partners in Syria — fighting Tehran’s ally Assad — and spent more time flirting with Saudi Arabia than with Iran. Moreover, Tehran’s suspicion of Washington’s favorable view of the Muslim Brotherhood also fit with another idea it believes America has flirted with: that Turkey’s Islamist democracy, led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s political ally Recep Tayyip Erdogan, presents the best model for the region.

For some in Tehran, the current Gaza war —and Arab states’ reactions to it — show Washington was wrong to side with the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. These Sunni Islamist groups lack the popular support to win the political fight for the region’s future. And most importantly, Tehran believes that these Sunni movements cannot compete with Iran’s ability to stabilize and lead the region. Nor do they have the popular backing to balance Iran’s regional or ideological influence.

Whether Tehran’s perceptions of American calculations are correct or not is, for now, irrelevant. The Iranian government has once again demonstrated — this time through silence rather than venomous rhetoric — that to the Islamic Republic, the Palestinian cause is a means, not an end.

(Source : foreignpolicy.com)

There is another type of election rigging that Imran Khan never talks about. Namely, the rigging that got him into power in KPK. Imran Khan owes his victory there to the Taliban, who relentlessly targeted the ANP for its anti-Taliban stance. Imran got a free pass in KPK because he did not have any competition there, thanks to his Taliban buddies.

Aoû 12

Anonyme a dit: Are you able to posts some pieces regarding ISIS and what's happening in Iraq at the moment? Everything is moving so fast to full grasp details to me.

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/blowback-time/article6185216.ece?homepage=true

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/mother-of-all-battles/article6185067.ece

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n16/patrick-cockburn/isis-consolidates

For the first two article, you will need to register, which is free. 

Sisi is probably still boasting about killing hundreds of Morsi supporters and telling Netanyahu that he ain’t shit when it comes to killing the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Hamas’s Chances

Palestinian protests in solidarity with Gaza have spread. Hamas flags outnumbered those of Fatah at a recent protest in Nablus. The Ramallah leadership, not altogether convincingly, has adopted some of Hamas’s rhetoric, using the word ‘resistance’ and praising Hamas’s fight. Clashes have taken place in the West Bank and East Jerusalem nearly every night. On 24 July, during the Muslim holy night of Laylat al-Qadr, the Qalandiya checkpoint in northern Jerusalem was the site of the largest demonstration on the West Bank since the Second Intifada. Hamas knows it can’t defeat the Israeli military, but the Gaza war holds out the possibility of a distant but no less important prize: stirring up the West Bank, and undermining the Ramallah leadership and the programme of perpetual negotiation, accommodation and US dependency that it stands for.

For many Palestinians, Hamas has once again proved the comparative effectiveness of militancy. Tunnels, which have been central to its successes in the current fighting, have been the source of attacks against Israelis in Gaza since well before Israel’s 2005 withdrawal. Hamas points to a series of tunnel-based attacks, including a deadly December 2004 explosion underneath an Israeli army post in southern Gaza, that helped precipitate Israel’s pullout. Since the fighting in Gaza began this summer, Israel has not announced a single new settlement and has expressed willingness to make certain concessions to Palestinian demands – achievements the Ramallah leadership has not been able to match in years of negotiations. The outcome of the fight will help determine the future path of the Palestinian national movement.

The real barrier to a West Bank uprising has not been, as Hamas has claimed, Abbas’s collaboration with Israel. It has been social and political fragmentation, and the widespread Palestinian acquiescence that national liberation should come second to the largely apolitical and technocratic projects of state-building and economic development. These are far greater obstacles for Hamas. To the extent that the recent fighting has instilled pride in Palestinians who say they’d grown accustomed to feeling shame at the way their leaders grovel at American and Israeli feet, Hamas’s achievement has not been small.

But Hamas has also risked a great deal. It stands to lose everything if Israel reassesses its long-standing reliance on it as Gaza’s policeman, a strategy that has led it to keep Hamas strong enough in Gaza to exercise a near monopoly on the use of force. An irony of the recent weeks of ground combat is that Hamas’s strong showing has put its position in Gaza at risk. Israel may decide it has become too big a threat. Hamas has slowed the Israeli ground incursion and inflicted dozens of losses on Israeli troops, far more than most expected. Two weeks after the ground incursion began, the IDF hadn’t made it past the first line of densely populated urban housing. Thanks to the vast underground tunnel network leading not just into Israel but under Gaza, if Israel decides to enter the city centres, its casualties seem certain to increase. During Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, Israel went far deeper into Gaza and lost only ten soldiers, four of them to friendly fire; today Israeli ground forces have lost more than sixty soldiers. Losses among Hamas militants so far appear to be manageable. For the first time in decades, Israel is defending itself against an army that has penetrated the 1967 borders, by means of tunnels and naval incursions. Hamas rockets produced in Gaza can now reach all of Israel’s largest cities, including Haifa, and it has rocket-equipped drones. It was able to shut down Israel’s main airport for two days. Israelis who live near Gaza have left their homes and are scared to go back since the IDF says that there are probably still tunnels it doesn’t know about. Rockets from Gaza kept Israelis returning to shelters day after day, demonstrating the IDF’s inability to deal with the threat. The war is estimated to have cost the country billions of dollars.

(Source : lrb.co.uk)

حق

حق

“Never explain yourself to anyone,
because the one who likes you wouldn’t need it,
and the one who dislikes you wouldn’t believe it.” — Imam Ali

Aoû 11

Arms sales set to rocket after showcase during Gaza conflict

Since 2000, when the second intifada broke out, Israel has had some form of military operation lasting a few weeks every few years: Defensive Shield (in the West Bank) in 2002; the Second Lebanon War in 2006; Cast Lead in 2008-09; and Pillar of Defense in 2012. In almost every case, new military technology or weapons were used – which had a positive effect on overseas sales.

The numbers show that, after the initial period of criticism against Israel after the various operations quiet down, sales pick up. And there has been continuous growth in defense exports in recent years. In 2002, such exports were worth $2 billion, grew to $3.4 billion in 2006, and were $6 billion in 2012. In 2013, the three largest defense contractors all showed increases in sales: Elbit had annual revenues of $3 billion; IAI $2.65 billion; and Rafael $2 billion. At 15%, Rafael’s sales showed the highest growth rate.

The local defense industries provide jobs – directly and indirectly – for some 150,000 people in Israel. About 1,000 firms are registered with the Defense Ministry as arms suppliers, and 680 have export licenses. Some 320 marketers around the world are registered with the ministry, people who are located overseas and sell the wares supplied by Israeli defense firms.

The ministry refuses to reveal the overall figures on Israeli arms exports, but some of the data was revealed last year after a human-rights activist filed a suit here. It transpired that $3.83 billion-worth of deals were signed in 2012 with Asian countries; $1.73 billion with European nations; $1.1 billion with Canada and the United States; $604 million with Latin America; and $107 million in Africa.

Israel admitted to sales with only five countries – the United States, Spain, Britain, South Korea and Kenya – but Haaretz has found there were deals with at least 33 more countries, including many in the Third World.

(Source : haaretz.com)

I hope that all these mainstream White people who are getting upset at Robin Williams’ death would also shed a tear or two at the deaths in Gaza. It is clearly easy for some people to be sad at the suicide of a famous White man, but at the same time have too many questions as to the humanity and innocence of scores of Brown people in Gaza being mercilessly murdered by Israel.

RIP Robin Williams. 

your faith was strong but you needed proof. you saw her bathing on the roof. her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you.