Friday, May 26, 2006

MEDDLE MEDDLE MEDDLE

Is all Bush can do. I ask my readers in Britain: does Mr. Bush's opinion have any effect on your opinion of Mr. Blair? Does it?

Of course, in his recent press conference with Tony Blair, Bush wasn't ham-fisted about everything, and for that we should commend Our President.


Pressed on mistakes in Iraq, Mr Bush admitted some of his rhetoric might have been misjudged. "Saying 'bring it on,' kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people," he said.

"I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner - you know, 'wanted dead or alive,' that kind of talk."


Now that Mr. Bush is leaving the Jon Bon Jovi school of political discourse, America will have to project its will by other means.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Abu Mazen Works For Whom?

First off, I think that the Hamas position calling for the destruction of Israel is irresponsible warmongering talk, and is of course very unproductive. That said, the recognition of Israel was never more than a symbolic issue, held back by Hamas and the likes eventually as a bargaining chip. Perhaps it would not have worked, as Israel under its current leadership is intent on subverting the Hamas government (and with reasonable cause, I'd imagine). Mahmoud Abbas' recent proposal to hold a referendum on the recognition of Israel forces the hand of Hamas, which is a great service to Israelis. Abbas, perhaps for his own reasons, is attempting to limit the bargaining power and indeed the very legitimacy of Hamas with regard to the peace process (granted they have no legitimacy anyhow until they fully renounce terror).

While it may seem to be a shrewd move, what are the chances that it could backfire and the referendum would reaffirm the hardline Hamas position? Hamas MP Salah Bardawil claimed that "We are not afraid of a referendum, the election was a referendum and the majority of the people chose us." The relevant question, of course, is whether a large enough proportion of Hamas voters in this year's election also endorsed Hamas' position on Israel. I predict that President Abbas will run into trouble here, but Olmert and Kadima's unilateral "convergence" plan would be vindicated by the failure or near-failure of an olive branch referendum such as the one proposed by Abbas and the Fatah & Hamas prisoners. Furthermore, does President Abbas really help the public perception of Fatah going into such a referendum by accepting arms directly from Israel while clashing with Hamas? This could very well play into Olmert's hand and leave Abu Mazen (Pres. Abbas) as a lame duck with no negotiations and a future of only unilateral action on both sides for the next several years. Risky game.

Roundup

Some good opinion pieces on Iran, here and especially here.

Analysis coming when I have time for it.

Confessions of a Propagandist

From the National Post


' Our mistake: Note to readers

Last Friday, the National Post ran a story prominently on the front page alleging that the Iranian parliament had passed a law that, if enacted, would require Jews and other religious minorities in Iran to wear badges that would identify them as such in public. It is now clear the story is not true. Given the seriousness of the error, I felt it necessary to explain to our readers how this happened. '


Can't seem to be able to read the rest. I'm sure one of my readers has a subscription to this prestigious newspaper--anyone?

Here's another article from the author of the lies, Amir Taheri, self-hating Persian, neocon lapdog, and pathetic traitor. The only people who write in neocon rags like the Nat'l Post are those desperate fools who can't get published anywhere else. Believing doesn't make it so, Amir jan.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Despicable

Intrepid reporting from the Hartford Courant.

Has Rumsfeld done anything about this?

Rebunking

John McCain, unswerving maverick and dedicated straight-talker has finally said what has been on our minds since 2003:


“One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, ‘Stop the bullshit,’”


Indeed, he would straight-talk them into cutting their civil war short. Ex-Baathists, Salafi Jihadis, Shi'i fundamentalist paramilitaries, and Kurdish peshmerga have just been sitting on their hands waiting for Bush to tell them all to 'Stop the bullshit.' The Iraqi people have been anxiously standing by, watching the destruction of their country day by day, as their close family members are turned into pincushions for IED shrapnel, ethnic strife, and the frustration and anger of their next-door neighbors, praying to God that please, please let an American tell them to 'Stop the bullshit.'

Thank the Christian Lord in Heaven Above the Islamic "Heaven" Which Is Actually A Cesspool of Bloody Limbs and Hummus that we finally have a plan for victory in Iraq.


“He was fantastic,” said Ms. DioGuardi, the wife of former Republican U.S. Representative Joseph DioGuardi, who was also in attendance. “His appeal is that he is definitely a man of integrity. He has a vision for what should happen to this country.”

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Patch Story Planted?

Juan Cole, ever my favorite blogger to link, has an interesting new post in which he makes an argument that the story about legislation in Iran forcing religious minorities to wear patches is false, and was planted in the National Post of Canada--run by a notorious right-wing media mogul 'second only to Rupert Murdoch'--as part of a psyops plot to stir resentment towards the Islamic Republic. The Jewish community's elected representative to the Iranian parliament as well as many journalists have rejected the story, which has been shown to be a complete fabrication. There is no copy of the bill anywhere to be found, but the author of the story stands by his unverifiable claims. The aftermath of this revelation of the propaganda machine's fiction has been muted, of course, but perhaps the community of critical minds will be able to call neoconservative lunatics on their bullshit more frequently and loudly. Probably not.

Without going into one of my hated diatribes of justice, I must admit that the idea of media moguls manufacturing stories meant to portray my country (un-democratic as its government may be) as "moving closer to the ideology of the Nazis" irks me just a bit.

The interesting question here is whether the Jewish anti-anti-Semitism group led by Rabbi Hier (mentioned in yesterday's post) was responding so promptly to this Canadian newspaper article or whether they were somehow connected to war-drumming. Any ideas?

Friday, May 19, 2006

'Fashion' Patches

are set to become all the rage in my homeland.

This is very unfortunate, especially for its historical parallels, but it doesn't necessarily imply that Iran is "moving closer to the ideology of the Nazis"; there are and will be no camps in Iran and there really aren't enough Jews or Christians to cause that much of a problem. Don't get me wrong--singling out minority groups is always a disaster, but this is not an ideological question and I challenge my detractors to find evidence that it is ideological. In the article, Rabbi Hier says that "we need to...deal with this person", and in saying that, reveals that he understands nothing about Iran or her politics ('this person' has no power and 'dealing' with him would be highly ineffective, since he is just a manifestation of what the truly powerful want the world to see of Iran at this moment). Certainly this is disturbing, but there is no overarching hate-dogma behind it. This type of patch identification was practiced in medieval Islam, and usually nothing bad came of it. This isn't the ideology of Hitler, it's just the regressive, hyper-conservative identity politics of a failing state (and no, I'm not talking about Bush's immigration reform). It is purely a political move designed to provoke reactions such as Rabbi Hier's, and I don't even think it will be implemented. Take that to the bank.

Of course, if the law is implemented, it will still be a political move, and it will also be yet another human rights violation to add to the list for the coming trials. You know, as soon as the Iranian people rise up, which will be, you know, later.

Ed. Note: After some research, I can tell you that this is clearly a government bailout of their cronies in the Iranian patch industry.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Despair

When parents truly love their children, joy spreads throughout the village:

Dr. Srinivasa Rao Kothapalli, a prominent cardiologist in Beaumont, Tex., is more than willing to relinquish his checkbook. His daughter Priya turned 16 earlier this month, and she is in the throes of planning a joint birthday-graduation party with her elder sister, Divya, 18. "If you can afford to have a grand celebration, then why not," said Dr. Kothapalli, who immigrated to the United States from India in the mid-1980's. "It's the American way. You work hard and you play hard."

...[T]hey will make their grand entrance on litters, during an elaborate procession led by elephants. The sisters, who plan to perform a choreographed routine at their to-do next month, are also taking dance lessons, and they've enlisted the help of a trainer.

"We both want to lose three pounds," said Priya, who received a Mercedes convertible and an assortment of diamond jewelry for her birthday. Her sister's graduation gift package included a Bentley, diamonds and two homes in India.

"I was really surprised," Divya said, "because I was only expecting a Bentley and one house."

I've recently been asked to be more earnest in my posts. Here it is, masses. The phrase 'work hard, play hard' is nauseating. If you're pretty well and satisfied about yourself, why the hell are you preaching about it? Aside from the sequentialized nature of the proposal, which gives the sense that the individual perceives or rather approaches experience as somehow coming in single-servings (a day at work followed by a few hours of animal relief, as Marx said, is the ultimately alienating pudding cup of experience. But the bastards that tell us to 'work hard, play hard' swear by the shit.

Whether or not I make a valid point, do you really want to live your life like an alcoholic Wall Street douchebag? Don't fool yourself, 'work hard' in this usage doesn't mean anything. If you 'work hard' six months of the year as a migrant day laborer in a tomato orchard or some bullshit, 'playing hard' is still seen as irresponsible. The phrase only applies to those of us privileged idiots who have the presence of mind to actually forget about the rest of the world and focus on our own sensory pleasure. The Actual Rod also seeks sensory pleasure from time to time, but he assures his readers that misery is never far from his heart. Later in the NYTimes article (no longer available without a Delino Select membership) one of the Hindoo princesses relates that invitations to her party were handed out by bodybuilders who had been instructed not to smile, because "assistants shouldn't smile."

That is, of course, because assistants can not work hard and play hard like their overlords.

Oh, and also, this. And this. Don't forget this either while you're buying houses. Work hard. Play hard. &c.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Shimon Peres: Filthy Scumsucking Shit-Demon

Shimon Peres, the Stephon Marbury of Israeli Politics, has never been one for peace. Don't wave that Nobel in my face, Shimon, you ignorant wrinkly gasbag piece of shit bigot, we all know who else won that prize. Of course, Arafat didn't deserve it, but Peres and Rabin, they were sincere. They're good people. White (Russian). Not Arab. You know, good people.

So I'm saying Peres didn't deserve his Nobel. Why? Peres is a cynical, backstabbing, but most of all self-promoting shit, and the death of innocents means less to him than the loss of a pawn on a chessboard (also, Oslo didn't work out so well, and it wasn't only Arafat's fault). For Shimon Peres, it's always about Shimon Peres, and not even the creeping gaze of death can change that. Peres deserved the Nobel but Arafat didn't. Iran is now responsible for beginning an arms race in the Middle East (of course Israel has no nukes, so his position in this argument is immaculate). You think Ahmadinejad is scary? You think a mistranslated speech (of Cole-Hitchens fame, more on that later) echoing decades of anti-Israel rhetoric out of the ruling clerical establishment of Iran is any more despicable and warmongering than saying that "Iran too can be destroyed?"

But, though Iran is a country of some 75,000,000 people, the rhetoric of its quasi-elected officials is threatening to the world, while Israel (of a population roughly one-tenth of the above) threatening to blow up the oldest country in the world is really just defensive and justifiable.

Israelis clearly have better translators.

Another nut quote from Shimon: "If Iran becomes nuclear many other countries will follow suit... and whoever will have a conflict will produce a bomb, and finally some bombs will reach the hands of terror." I'd like to probe the levels of hypocrisy ingrained in this message, but my head seems to be exploding. If you don't get it, I suppose you won't.

Anything else? Oh yes. Hitchens is pathetic not because he's an ignorant drunk but because he is a hatchet-man for the most disgusting regime ever to be democratically elected by free men (ok, I can think of a few more). Because he purports to be a journalist while really being the worst kind of pencildick propagandist in the business, an attack artist plain and simple. Hitchens hasn't discussed anything substantive for years, and knows next to nothing about the Middle East. He is a low-life with an army of unresolved issues which turn themselves into mildly-nauseating self-righteous blather. So, to all Hitchens fans reading: fuck you. You've been had. Have you noticed that yet? Hitchens and the neocons were/continue to be wrong on Iraq. But you're not interested in his ideas, because he doesn't have any. You're in love with his anger, with his vitriol, and perhaps most disturbingly you're in love with his dysfunction. Juan Cole's only mistake was engaging the bastard in the first place. Hitchens deserves to be ignored.