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Showing posts from September 30, 2007

Juan Cole on Desmond Tutu's Uninvitation to Speak at the University of St. Thomas

Reprinted below. What comment is necessary?
Thursday, October 04, 2007Tutu Excluded
Double Standard at the University of St. Thomas Bishop Desmond Tutu has stood all his life for nonviolent peace-making and an end to racism. Obviously, he would be upset about the Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians, and has said so.

For that stance he was uninvited from speaking at the Catholic University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

The Israel lobby strikes again, limiting what can be heard in public in the United States about those policies of Israel that are contrary to basic human rights norms.

And here is the kicker. UST is guilty of a whopper of a double standard. Two years ago, the university allowed Ann Coulter to speak on its campus.

Ann Coulter once said of Muslims, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Coulter can speak at UST. But not Desmond Tutu.

Iran terror label bites deep, By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

On what it actually means to label Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp a "terrorist organization," as the Congress has done -- soon to be followed by the State Department.

Of course, since every American reads the Asia Times Online, I'm sure this analysis will get through the noise machine. No editor of any major American daily, or TV or radio news program, would ever have heard of it, I'm sure. How convenient. Here's some information on AT's readership.

Just to pick out one nugget: how many Americans, including the president of Columbia University, know this?
US and Israeli hawks don't like to hear this, but in both Bosnia-Herzegovina during the early and mid-1990s and more recently in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, the US military and the IRGC interacted positively. In Bosnia, invited by the Bosnian government under siege, the IRGC trained and armed Bosnian fighte…

Na'ima is threatening the Jewish majority, By Dafna Golan

Clearly, another self-hater at Haaretz.

Apparently, the entire editorial board of this well-regarded and popular Israeli newspaper would qualify as self-hating anti-Semites to the Podhoretz, et al, mentality -- viz. today's editorial, which explicitly labels the situation in Israel/Palestine as apartheid:
Where is the occupation?
By Haaretz Editorial

The occupied territories and the Palestinians living there are slowly becoming virtual realities, distant from the eye and the heart. Palestinian workers have disappeared from our streets. Israelis no longer enter Palestinian towns for shopping. There is a new generation on each side that does not know the other. Even the settlers no longer meet Palestinians because of the different road systems that distinguish between the two populations; one is free and mobile, the other stuck at the roadblocks.

While the politicians argue over dividing the land between two peoples, the public is apathetic. The people feel that the division has already …

Looking for Richard, Al Pacino, 1996

This should be shown in every English-speaking school in the world. Excellent introduction to Shakespeare: part documentary, part dramatization of key scenes in Richard III; often hilarious, always illuminating.

The lines used at the beginning and end of this film are from The Tempest, IV:1, spoken by Prospero, and anyone who so desires can read them at my funeral:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Here's Gielgud's version from Prospero's Books, followed by another great soliloquy from the play...

The Bollinger/Ahmadinejad Farce, Part II

A Bed-Wetter Nation postscript
Submitted by Rick Perlstein on October 2, 2007 - 7:33am.Via our friend Jonathan Schwartz, we learn that, "Wonderfully enough, on the very same day Columbia president Lee Bollinger was castigating Ahmadenijad, the dictator of Turkmenistan was speaking elsewhere at Columbia":The NGO Freedom House gives Iran a political rights score of six, a civil rights score of six and the status of "not free." Turkmenistan gets scores of seven, seven and "not free." So why all the protesters at Ahmadinejad's speech, but nary a peep about Berdymukhammedov? Could it be because no one is agitating for war with Turkmenistan, like they are with Iran?Note a constitutive feature of our new national propensity to pants piddling: a surrender to official authoritarianism. At Columbia, the determination of which leader who gets to be labeled a demon by the university president, and which leader gets off scot free, might as well have been made direc…

What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World: Interviews with David Barsamian, By Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

Hot off the presses -- today -- a new set of excerpt with some links and layout changes courtesy of me:

DB [I assume -- could be Chomsky]: James Traub, in the New York Times Magazine, writes, “Of course, treaties and norms don’t restrain the outlaws. The prohibition on territorial aggression enshrined in the UN Charter didn’t faze Saddam Hussein when he decided to forcibly annex Kuwait.” Then he adds, “When it comes to military force, the United States can, and will, act alone. But diplomacy depends on a united front.” NC: As Traub knows very well, the United States is a leading outlaw state, totally unconstrained by international law, and it openly says so. What we say goes. The United States invaded Iraq, even though that’s a radical violation of the United Nations Charter.If he knows that, why doesn’t he write it in the article?If he wrote that, then he wouldn’t be writing for the New York Times. There is a certain discipline that you have to meet. In a well-run soci…

Shifting Targets, Sy Hersh

The march to Iran, continued. Interview with Hersh from Der Spiegel (in English) here.

Here's some more, from Uri Averny, and a report from Democracy Now! on "The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States" -- Iran-Contra, anyone? Remember that little event, for which Elliott Abrams was convicted (and then pardoned)?

The level of ignorance required to buy any of this hysteria about Iran is amazing. It requires a very careful education to get that stupid.

Update:Hersh on Democracy Now, 10/2. Don't freak out about Amy Goodman's face: she has a temporary facial nerve issue.