This goes for all the innocent people suffering and dying in Syria, … in Mali, …in Nigeria, …in Iraq, in Afghanistan, Central africa, Myanmar, Pakistan, … and let’s hope not in Korea …

I won’t even comment.

Think by yourselves.

Or feel.

Or both.


Levant woman

on Easter all i can say to Syria that Smile though your heart is aching.. Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You’ll get by…
A song I recorded in my humble voice and on my humble mobile recorder .. with my sister on the piano.
this song has the most encouraging words but still always makes me cry..
in the time of war there must be a reminder for us to smile
From Syria and to Syria ..

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Shameful Double Standards on Democracy Values. Period.

Obama is saying that Jews need to live apart in Israel or they can’t be truly free. Think about the implications. Something about Jews makes it impossible for them to be really at home anywhere—including in what the right-wing (and presumably Obama) tout as the freest nation in the history of the world. So Jews need an ethno-religiously exclusivist state. That view amounts to a wholesale rejection of the western liberal tradition, which was inclusive and universalist and in which all people have the same rights without being seen as members of a tribe. Isn’t it the official line that this is what made America great? So why is Obama rejecting it? And why is the right-wing conspicuously silent?

Counterpunch:  Shameful Double Standards on Israel .


When Obama achieved presidency, the world became astonished but somehow contagied by hope when he was given a Nobel Peace Prize in a preventive manner, just because of the expectations of change and justice, and the chances to bring a fair end to the israeli-palestinian issue.

As we say in Spain, “Hope is the last thing to loose” BUT

… one can not expect a fair treatment and a true diplomatic effort when after decades, US rejected the first Palestinian serious attempt to achieve the right to be considered a state by the UN.

One can’t expect US to hold a fair position when all reactions to Israel’s policy on occupation, settlements, etc…  are merely rethoric, and they always rejected to apply International Law and UN resolutions dating back from 1967 (not to mention the shameful use of vetto) ,… and now this… c’mon…  zionism can’t be considered a model for democracy.  It’s just another nationalism, born at the end of 19th century as an extreme fruit of french revolution and Napoleonic Wars. That was the same time when germans, italians, turks, serbians, croatians, japanese, australians, indians, basques, hungarians, moldavians, poles, finnish, russians, developed a real identity as MODERN NATIONS.  Even previously inexistent territorial units, such as Italy or Germany, were created from zero.  And same idea crossed the mind of jews.  Simply they had the trouble of noticing that the land they were attached culturally to, was not theirs anymore since almost 2000 years before… and someone else was living there, already.

I agree that exceptional situations require exceptional solutions, and WWII and the nazi attempt to exterminate jews was the most terrible extreme of a millenary record of discrimination, prosecution and social rejection wherever jews settled. Culturally jews also promoted this situations because (same as muslims notice nowadays here in Europe), we don’t like people who create their own social ghettoes, staying away from the people they live with (that is,….us), unable to mix, marry, eat same things, and specially when we are told that we are not as “pure” as they are… add to it the atavic historical conception of jews as “killers of Jesus” and u got a perennial excuse to take profit of a weak social position.

No one would side with them. Same as happens nowadays with muslims. They are not socially considered “one of us” in the Old Continent, even if they were born here. Because they culturally eat different, dress different, drink different, speak different, pray different, and all they bring to our culture comes from outside europe. We never see in them a part from us.  Maybe if Europe was Canada, it would be easier, but we are the ones who created the modern concept of nation and people. We are not multiculturals by definition. And since long ago. It’s not nice, but it’s what we are, let’s face it honestly, liking it or not.

So in base to that concept, and the exceptional circumstances of the holocaust, I always accepted the creation of the state of israel according to the partition plan approved by UN in 1948.

I won’t say this was a fair solution for Palestine arabs. Absolutely not. But they were barely gestating a national project by 1948. A project that was more defended and promoted by their neighbours than by palestinian arabs themselves.

Of course they felt like Palestinians. Of course they knew they belonged there and wanted to get rid of colonialism and brits, same as of ottomans before… but even if they knew who they were : muslim, christian and even jewish! arabs, usually called falasteen,  linked to that ground since generations ago, from semite, beduine, mamaluk, syrian, lebanese, turkish or whatever the origin.. even when they knew they belonged to that land with same or more right than anyone else,… they could not stand up as a nation.

Because there was any serious and firm national project for an arab Palestine after the turks and the brits. Any constitution or declaration, political parties or recognised institutions to deal for that people in 1948’s real world. Anything.

Just maybe the expression of a social will of independence. And the support of other arab nations, who, quite obviously, also hold hidden agendas about territorial claims over those territories.

The same lack of strength for a Palestine Nation could have been used by Faruk of Egypt or the Hashemis of Amman to take that land. In fact I am convinced that most of that initial support was closely guided by the eventual ambition of establishing a “protectorate” or a nominal dominion over that sacred land… if they had succeeded in kicking out the new born israelis, of course.

 But that didn’t happen. And these same jews took advantage of the situation and started a policy of ethnic cleansing that lasts until nowadays.  During decades they were the attacked ones…. the democratic state surrounded by kings and despotic personalist regimes… (as if Lebanon had ever been one of those) and they took profit of it. And kept advancing in the creation “ex-novo” of a whole national identity. Not anymore that of jews in the diaspora. They started to create an Israeli jewish identity. And that is the point where everything started to crash.

The world can’t accept now Israelis as victims. They are the strong dudes now. No country around them is nowadays a direct menace. Not Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, KSA….. or even chaotic Syria. We all can see it. Now it’s just them and Palestinians.

And these palestinians are not the same guys than 30 years ago… they tacitely accept a 2 state solution. A partition. They accept a land for their own and one for Israelis. Not explicitely at first… but we see how they move towards that. Even Hamas is swifting silently towards that.

But now it’s Israelis who want the whole cake.  They even talk openly of annexing the West Bank (Galilee…), leaving without effect a single chance of creating an arab state of Palestine, but just a Jewish National State of Israel. And they need violence to stay, in order to secure all the achievements they reached till now, fairly or not.

This was called Lebensraum in the past…  and Anchluss.

And to be talking about democracy when you apply a social discrimination based in religion and racial or ethnic origin is simply like mixing oil and water. It will never stand.

And we see it.

Israelis now want it all for them. And just for the full glory of the jewish european part of them. Other jewish communities (yemenis, sefardis, moroccan, palestinian, ethiopian,…) are second class nowadays among the jewish nation.

Any plan of full equal national rights for those who stayed in that territory since 1948 till now, and are not jews, (this is, arab israelis, who have been living there for centuries) is a uthopia.

Woody Allen or Steven Spielberg  have it easier to enjoy full israeli citizenship than an israeli arab from East Jerusalem whose family lived there for centuries.

And we see all this.

Not to mention the colonies and the military actions, and the walls, and the cultural, territorial, ethnical, etc… process of expoliation. I am just talking of what Israel is becoming as far as we see it.

Because we see it. Even those like me that are not against the existance of Israel.

I repeat once again:

I WANT ISRAEL TO EXIST… (back on 1967 borders, of course) BUT NOT THIS ISRAEL WE ALL SEE.





All based in the same feeling, that is “that this is OUR land… the land of OURS. It was our RIGHTEOUS posession. Our own homeland for OUR NATION”. Same as said by the boers, for example… or many others you may know.

So what’s next…will our sons have to wait for a new Mandela to see things fixed?

No, Mr. President. I can’t accept that you agree with that idea. You can’t agree with a national supremacist project that says that someone has to change his religion to become a full citizen, and gives more rights to foreigners than to locals, depending on their faith or a family name.

That is not democracy.


Bassem Youssef: The prosecutor-general’s office wanted to investigate two charges against him: ‘insulting Islam’ and ‘insulting the president’.

“Almost a year ago, Egyptians went to the polls for their first free presidential election — the first round delivered what was a nightmare of a result. A representative of the former regime, Ahmad Shafiq, which did nothing but signify a return to the status quo that existed during Hosni Mubarak – and a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation that had shown little commitment to the Egyptian revolution, save as an opportunity to gain power. The day those results came out, I was in Bassem’s office. Many of his team were simply stunned at the result. Bassem, on the other hand, just expressed slight surprise — at all of us. As far as he was concerned, the result just meant one thing — that they’d have a lot of material for political satire. And the revolution would go on.

That’s Bassem.”

Bassem Youssef : A Valuable Egyptian Voice That Will Not Be Silenced.


I discovered this guy while living in Canada, obviously in J0hn Steward’s program, and I truly liked him. He absolutely dominated the situaion and I am pretty sure that he was  able to change the view that many “‘mericns” had abt egyptians… I wish him the best…. and also strength to keep egyptian smiles at work!

Levantine Woman: A voice from “the other side” that is worth listening.

A view from “the other side”,… I ABSOLUTELY agree with her in this.

Levant woman


just this morning when i was surfing the net, I saw that photo. women covered in black from the head to the toe .. they were actually armed women. 

for a moment my imagination started playing that movie in my head.. with a lot of what ifs .. 


what is the revolution if not to make us better people, civilized people.. I am not to be covered, I am not his wife nor his daughter.. I am the start point and the destination.. and no one in this world is allowed to tell me how i am supposed to be .. who i am.. 

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Who is the worst enemy for an arab? In my opinion… an arab.

“I don’t give a damn if Assad is still there,… I just want to get back”

Syria’s women refugees fear sham marriages and rape – YouTube.


What the hell of a social system is that which they perpetuate?… what a level of humiliation will they reach? Where’s their minimal sense of dignity?

Truly I tell you… never met anyone able to mistreat an arab as badly as another arab, because they twist their intentions to a level than any western will ever be able to do.  Simply because he’s not “one of us” who can take advantage of it.

I talk about men from the Gulf Countries, but also from Jordan, Lebanon, Lybia, Turkey, or even Syrians themselves, tribal men who are used to constantly abuse the weak social position of women for their own interests, and are looking for cheap young flesh to share their beds and homes.

They pressure Syrian female refugees for marriage, in a way that is closer to a cattle sale or a cheap “arab horse”  fair than a question of “protecting honor and virtue” for the girls and their families.

News of kidnaps, rapes, dowry sales, and forced marriages, (taking advantage of the desperate situation of broken family groups, made of mothers, daughters and sons, without men and without means) are escalating, and most surely not being avoided by Jordanian policemen, surely tribesmen themselves,  who are aware of what happened with palestinian refugees and don’t want to make syrians feel comfortable for a long term… at all.

Just in case.

If good will, chivalry and some tricky sense of charity was the true motive for marriage seekers, why didn’t they protect equally “the honour” of so many women and girls from Somalia? Sudan? Darfur? Iraq? Afghanistan? Pakistan? the Myanmarese Rohingyas?…

If their motives were merely humanitarian, they should improve Syrian‘s life conditions and help in fixing the Syrian struggle, to allow Syrians to get back home, making it plausible for YOUNG SYRIAN MEN to offer these women a consented and fair marriage, as far as actual situation and surely future conditions will make it hard for them to be able to grow a family.

Charity is when you give freely, not asking for anything. If you don’t do it this way, it can be called usury, egoism, profit, … or merely hipocresy.

What to say? There re not letting me many options.

Shame on you…

Specially for those of age.

You are not worth of being called men.

May God curse your fate and the seed of all of you,  whose brain grew between yer tights… Amen

When rivers are troubled, it’s all gain for fishermen.

This has been happening since always, and will be hard to stop it. If at least people had been trained at schools to valuate their heritage!

… but no… I guess they are now at risk of being trained in turning all those devilish idols and its related memory into dust.

…hey, hold on… why not?…. maybe this lucrative activity can be a terrible thing for archaeologists and history lovers like me… but also…. it may become the major obstacle for the country to instaurate salafi positions shitting about Egypts splendorous pagan society.

If not, we can always remember Bami-Yan, or the destiny of many alexandrian sites in Afghanistan, to guess what would it be to make people forget about their heritage and its value… in any case….

BBC News – Egypt revolution brings golden age for tomb raiders.


Where’s Damietta Jones when the world needs him? … ah… we need him back on track barking orders to everyone! the world does!… the universal order and stability does!





(Regardless of possible abuses of power and corruption, the fact remains that Dr. Zahi Hawass is now an unavoidable face of Ancient Egypt and has helped bring this (previously uninteresting and decidedly not glamorous) field of study into popular culture. Because of him and his work, many people no longer think of archaeological digs and boring and dusty, rather highly interesting, especially when presented in an hour long format (with commercials!). One can only hope that, once all of the dust settles in Egypt, it will again become a place that people want to visit, and Dr. Hawass will likely be right barking on the front lines of that effort.)

A Tour Puts Ramallah in Reach for Israelis

” At one point, Mr. Jubran asked the driver to pull off the road for a closer view of one of the red signs marking the city’s borders. “The entrance for Israeli citizens is forbidden,” it said. “Dangerous to your lives. And is against the Israeli law.”

-“They’re saying it’s like a zoo inside there,” he told the group. “Animals are living there, so it’s dangerous for you. It just gives the very, very bad image about the Palestinians.”

Most Israelis just see the signs as they drive past. This group, at least, went in, …even if it was mostly left to look out the windows.”

A Tour Puts a City in Reach and at Arm’s Length –


Robert Fisk: Lebanon is like a Rolls Royce with square wheels.

“For, to be a modern state, Lebanon must de-confessionalise itself. A nation in which the president must always be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni, the speaker of parliament a Shia, cannot work. But if you take sectarianism out of Lebanon, it will cease to exist – because confessionalism is the identity of Lebanon. It may have beautiful mountains, fine food, an extraordinarily well-educated population, but it is sectarian. It’s a bit like owning a Rolls Royce complete with fresh leather seats, a flat screen television and a cocktail bar – but with square wheels. It doesn’t work.

Hence being prime minister of Lebanon is not a barrel of laughs. You can push the car along with heaps of ministers and MPs all straining in the same direction. But it will only move a few yards. And then the ministers and MPs will start arguing again.”…. so true.

Robert Fisk: Lebanon is like a Rolls Royce with square wheels…it has a lot that’s worthy of praise but it doesn’t run so well

– Comment – Voices – The Independent


I haven’t talked till now abt Syria, and maybe much abt Egypt…

…maybe it’s because it had to be a deeper task than just “giving an opinion”, and fundamentally because I see very few hopes  in the horizon for the growth of any kind of democracy. Egypt of course is having its own issues, same as Tunisia and even Libya, but there’s no comparison with the syrian struggle. The closest comparison I see is the Spanish Civil War, and how it became a training camp for germans and russians prior to WWII, while my people died pushed by their weapons and financial support. The outcome of it was a 40 years long hardline dictatorship.

Syria…  since the very beginning I said that syrian ppl had reasons and rights to ask for change… but the way things soon turned out… I knew I had to be cautious with the way the revolt was going to happen.

It had to start precisely in Hama.  It had to be lead at first by the syrian MB, a much harder movement than their bros in Egypt, … then you add the progressive polarisation of people around different ethnic or sectarian divisions… and there we go… Not exactly an arab spring, but more closely, a balkanisation of middle east.

I always said there were too many “allahu akhbars” every time some syrian got killed on my TV screen,  and that was very different than what we could hear from Tahrir square. And that’s maybe the main cause why I feel time is giving me reasons to stay cautious and not much hopeful… that’s why I needed to elaborate a way to express my point of view.

The night a US Ambassador was killed in Libya, I knew that it meant a Death Sentence for thousands of syrians. No one was going to risk to that again. Common sense told western public opinion that “if that’s the kind of shit they wanna do to us, we should not move a finger for them”… and so we did.

Add to the equation the vetto from Russia and China and you got a perfect excuse to avoid sailing in mirky waters, where u don’t really find your space or expect being welcome at all, … et voilà… We keep watching people die.

Meanwhile someone shouts “allahu akhbar”.

Anyway… the fact is that I was abt to start writing when I found THIS article I’m going to copy-paste from a Blogger user:

The Linoleum Surfer: When Everyone is Wrong: the War on Truth.

I like it because it mostly says the same things I feel… and also because he is omani, arab, and someone with a better perspective than this spaniard, so I’ll let him express my thoughts, instead.

(BTW, He stopped blogging soon after this. If someone knows a thing about his activities, I’ll be glad to know!!)

Now… learn, and enjoy learning!:



OCTOBER 09, 2012

When Everyone is Wrong: the War on Truth

I think I might have made reference before to a Beirut-based British journalist calledRobert Fisk.  He writes for the British daily newspaper “The Independent”, among others.  Over the years, I’ve considered him a bit or a left wing reactionary.  Also, I have to say I’ve also seen him lately as an increasingly rambling old man who’s spent too much team with secular Arab “intellectuals”, to the point that he’s started writing quintessentially Arab op-eds, that leave you wondering “so what is your point, then?”  If you’ve ever had the dubious pleasure of reading a self-consciously “high-brow” editorial think-piece by a prominent Egyptian, you’ll know what I mean (sorry Egyptians, but YOU know what I mean too!)
But he’s back to journalism at the moment, and has been in Syria.  A couple of months ago, I asked readers what they’d like me to write about, and one of the few specific requests was for a viewpoint on what’s happening in Syria.  I’ve been meaning to do so for ages, but either too busy or sometimes just too angry, to try to write something coherent.  However, reading Mr Fisk’s article a few weeks ago reminded me.  And another one yesterday finally brought me to the keyboard.  So it’s back to “ramblings that take three hours to read”, as Mr Mutt put it!
Amidst all the undoubtedly awful, ill-conceived, ill-disciplined and excessive reactions that the Syrian Government has made since the insurgency began, they have finally done something sensible for their own international image: they’ve taken an overt critic of “the Assad regime” (his words not that long ago, and those of most Western media these days) and put him alongside Syrian army soldiers.  The “critic” in question, is Robert Fisk.  A man who has openly condemned Bashar as a “dictator”, and made no equivocation over his support for any and all forces for “democracy” and freedom of speech around the region.  As the region in question is one where shooting oneself in the foot, in public, twice, is the public relations default for most governments, this is quite some progress from the Syrians.
So back to the point: in this article, Fisk describes being allowed to wander alone with ordinary Syrian soldiers, as well as talk to their more on-message senior officers.  He was also allowed to speak alone to foreign terrorist prisoners.  If you’re only ever heard about the “war” or “revolution” from Sky News, Fox, or indeed the increasingly sectarian mainstream Arab media, you might find reading this a surprise.  In short, this is one of the first major news editorials to say credibly, and first hand, that not every Syrian wants to have a sectarian civil war, and that much of it really is being fueled from outside.
Having applied, or been invited, to spend time in Syria as a well-known liberal foreign journalist, it’s refreshing to hear a first-hand story put in such a balanced way.  Contrast quickly with some kevlar-wearing half-wit from Sky talking about “snipers” and “massacres” and “the Free Syrian Army”, and it’s easy to spot the difference between news that comes through a single interpreter (provided by an insurgent group), and news that comes from long-standing experience in the region, at least a basic understanding of Arabic, and talking to both sides.
I suspect the Syrians also chose Fisk to have this privileged access because of his anti-war articles about Iraq, and his generally hostile attitude to GCC “dictatorships”, especially Saudi Arabia.  But their wisdom was in choosing a credible and openly cynical “Middle East expert” of many years’ standing, who would neither be afraid to contradict the prevailing line, nor deviate from his contention that he didn’t like the Syrian Government either.
So when Fisk saw elderly Syrian civilians coming out and hugging the army when they entered Aleppo, he wrote about it, and although he’s second-guessed all the lines he’s been given from Syrian generals etc., they’ve been smart enough to let him have unguarded conversations with ordinary soldiers, foreign jihadis recently arrested, and members of the public who have sympathies either way or neither.  Even though Fisk says he thinks the prisoners have been mistreated on arrest and quotes them saying so, and even though he’s condemning the tactics of the Syrian army in Aleppo, in fact, because he’s doing those things…his message that the Syrian goverment is correct in saying they’re fighting a forieng-sponsored terrorists insurgency, at least to a point, is at last getting out. I hope it goes further, and with such credibility, as I’ve been ranting on about the same for a long time.
To me, this all looks too much like the Libya situation all over again: some genuine popular discontent, much of it based on rivalries and grievances with sectarian, regional, economic, and all sorts of other angles, directed against the government in protests -some peaceful, some not.  All of this inspired, of course, by the domino effect of the “Arab Spring”.  The Syrian government react harshly, as usual, and just as Libya and others did.  But then, just like in Libya, and for what insane reason I still can’t grasp entirely, the “West” not only jump on the bandwagon, but start sponsoring self-proclaimed opposition groups outside Syria.  They also encourage others to fund and arm insurgents (again just like in Libya), and end up backing Al Qaida against a sovereign (and secular) government.  Of course, we’ve seen brought home only last month how grateful extremist groups are a year later  for support from the “West”.  As we now know, prior to the protests about the notorious internet movie – that just provided serendipitous cover on the day- a group planned the storming of the US Consulate in Benghazi, and the assassination of the visiting US Ambassador.
But still the war-mongering and “enemy of my enemy is my friend” fallacy, rumble on.  Thankfully, unlike with Libya, Russia and China have stood in the way of air strikes on the Syrian Government and military infrastructure.  No doubt they are well aware of how the Libyan experiment turned out so far – even though that is a super wealthy country that could theoretically spend its way out of social problems.  Russia also has a strategic base in Syria that might be at risk, but that’s to over-simplify the point, I think.  Not only are China and Russia increasingly confident in this global economic turmoil, but are well aware that neither the American nor British public have any mind to see a war that involves spending more billions, and possibly having familiar pink faces dying in the sand.  And perhaps they can also see that this escapade has no good outcome among the variables.
So, unable to bomb another “dictator” directly, the process of equipping, training, inciting and cheerleading the armed terrorist insurgency in Syria continues.  The Saudis and Qataris provide the money and guns, and encourage the terrorists to go over there.  The Al Qaida types who were in Libya and Tunisia etc, now have a new place to go and shoot at people.  Desperate and despondent suicide bombers are recruited from Palestine, and mind-mangled Salafi converts from Turkey and anywhere else, are invited to the party.  Then alongside them, in an alliance that is so bizarre it’s almost funny, British, American and French special forces (and Turkish, of course), provide intelligence, training and “non-lethal” equipment (actual guns come from Saudi, as I mentioned – “plausible deniability” is the term, I think), to anyone who’s willing to shoot a Syrian policeman in the name of “freedom”.
So, for the love of God, why?  Well, of course Iran has a good relationship with Syria.  Syria is run by non- Sunnis.  Iran is also already running the show in Iraq, through skilled manipulation of its Shia-majority politics.  Whereas Turkey is in NATO, and Sunni.  The GCC countries, aligned firmly with the West, are also run by Sunnis (one notable exception, of course!), and in at least two cases, Sunnis who are trying to control internal strife that they blame on Shia, and Iran.
Therefore, the “revolution” in Syria is a chance for both the West, and the Gulfie Salafis who believe they are already fighting Iran in Bahrain, and to a degree in Saudi Arabia, to knock over an Iranian ally.  The goal seems to be, then, to replace Bashar’s minority Alawite govermnent,  with a Sunni who will be a Saudi ally against Iranian influence.
But of course, they’re all idiots.  Even if this so-called “opposition” won, which it can’t because it’s not one force any more than the Libyan one was, and even if there emerged a new Sunni/Salafi led government hostile to Iran, such a government would not stay a Western ally for long.  It would be far more interested in fighting to liberate the Golan from Israel, than in fighting from a distance with Iran.  With Syria’s own territory, and a newly-repaired common cause with the Palestinians against Israel that would be inevitable, there would be another great irony: just as Iran supports the Salafi-influenced Hamas in Palestine, a reparation, re-arming and re-calibrating of Iranian relations with the “new Syria”, would happen quicker than you can say “f*ck Israel”.
The fact is, in typically Middle Eastern fashion, that for all their rivalries and proxy wars, Saudi Arabia and Iran and their various acolytes, also have common cause from time to time.  If anything, Bashar with his “talk tough but do nothing” policy on Israel, is exactly the kind of secular stability that Israel and indeed the West, would wish for from a strategic point of view.  But a newly theocratic “jihadist” regime in Damascus is going to have to live up to its warlike credentials.  And that will mean less stability, a rapid cooling of relations with the West, a subsequent detachment of the GCC from their sectarian bedmates in fear of the terrorist hydra growing new heads, and ultimately, the headlong rush of the new Syrian government back into bed with Iran.  Not just a state that supports Hamas, but a state that becomes Hamas – secular causes of liberation from the Occupier, Sunni-Salafi religious labels, and money and support from Shia Iran.  No wonder nobody in Washington ever seems to understand what the hell is going on.
But they should.  In Libya now, there is an ex Al Qaida detainee in charge of the armed forces, such as they are, with most armed men who aren’t AQ-affiliated cadres, still belonging to their local or tribal militia rather than under any government control.  There is still no prime minister or cabinet, because nobody will agree to be told what to do by a member of another faction.  The former ruler was buggered with a stick and then murdered in the street on live television, and his son is still being held by the Misrata militia rather than handed over to either a Libyan court or the ICJ, because they want to be paid $12 million “expenses” for him. The East of the country is trying to take over the oil export infrastructure and secede, raising the spectre again of civil war.  And in the mean time, as I mentioned, of course they murdered the US Ambassador to remind everyone whose friends are whose, and whose aren’t.
So it’s been a disaster, because all that talk of freedom and justice has just made Libya into a fragmented, unstable, terrorist-funding mess.  Yet now the idea of exporting that to Syria seems to be popular because western leaders still don’t get it, and because both they and the Saudis, are more interested in poking Iran in the eye than in what actually happens to Syria.  It’s pathetic, and it’s criminal.  Starting civil wars deliberately, to my mind, is a far bigger crime than invading Iraq was supposed to be: at least at that point, the goal was supposed to be to make Iraq better, deal with a (overblown, as it turned out) threat, and do so by putting their own troops on the line to die, while asking the UN to ensure a better system for the future.  Of course, the justifications turned out to be empty – a shallow fabrication by cynical Iraqi exiles, designed to encourage eager and ignorant intelligence officials to rubber stamp a war that would deliver those same exiles into power and prestige.   The Iraqi “regime change” was a disaster too, but at least there were some good intentions initially – however misguided.
The only intentions here, though, are to break something.  Not to deal with a threat (phantom or real), not to liberate or re-construct, not even with some vague notion of “regional stability”.  Just, like Libya, a simple convenient bogeyman.  In the case, a bogeyman who is also Iran’s little friend.  Attacking Iran directly is to messy a prospect.  But undermining an Iranian ally is just fun.
So that’s why i’m glad to hear an independent voice suggest that for all Syria’s lies and infamies, not everything the Syrian Government says is a lie, and not all it does is infamous.  The world needs to know that the image of a cohesive and popular opposition ready to “liberate” the Syrian people, is a nonsense fabricated by the same kind of people who formed the Iraqi “opposition”, and sold fanciful tales of WMD to the CIA.  The reality is that thousands of men in Syria are taking arms from the Gulf, training from the West, facilitation from Turkey, and shooting at the Government for any reason they like.  Some have been wronged, some have a cause, some are religious extremists, and some just want to fight.  Some of them are even Syrian.  But what this civil war isn’t, is good versus bad.
It’s wrong from every possible angle.  Ask the confused, terrified people who hugged the familiar figures of government soldiers as they rolled into Aleppo.  Civil war might be exciting to watch, and support one team over another, in another country.  But imagine that the protesters in your country last year were being armed by, say, Russia or China.  That militiamen from other countries had come to fight for “your freedom” and were camping with their guns in your children’s primary school or church, hoping to draw the police and army into a street battle.  Ask yourself how much you’d love to see that, however much you hate your government.
Yesterday, Mr Fisk wrote about another nonsense, the canard that Syria is now a mighty aggressor attacking poor old Turkey.  I love Turkey, actually, and its people.  But it’s a highly-militarised country, once said to have the largest standing army in NATO, and several times the size of Syria, also richer and more powerful in every possible way.  Syrian soldiers might have been stupid to fire at insurgents over the border, and risking civilian lives is evil.  But so is peddling the myth that some murderous drooling beast in Damascus, some Disney-cartoon villain, is sitting stroking his beard and cackling, perhaps in a turban and curly slippers, plotting with his evil henchmen on how to murder some babies.  Turkey is smuggling arms and armed men into Syria to commit acts of terrorism.  That is a bad thing.  Read this for an interesting allegory.
So there’s another epic rant over for now, and thanks for reading this far.  I’m not an apologist for despotism, Syria, Iran, or even Robert bloody Fisk.  But having seen a little of one, I maintain that War is Always the Greater Evil, and this one is no exception.

Same as it’s said in the comments, one asks himself what will saudis think of this in…. who can say…. 30 years?, 50? from now, when many things change (I think they are about to change in next decades) and young people asks for the recovery of their real roots. History is a great teacher, and I am sure that future generations of muslims and saudis themselves will complain for the behaviour of these wrongly called “wahabbis” ( who spread their “hanabillah-ism” in a way that is familiar to us, westerns (Inquisition, Puritanism,…)

Only a few buildings of the Andalusian arab period were respected in Spain and they are considered jewels, nowadays, and a huge fortune. In my homeland, Valencia, arab heritage is made of food recipes (paella…), towns and villages names (Alzira, Albaida, Russafa, Benicassim, Guadalaviar, Benimuslem, Alcora,…), agriculture traditions… but nothing that could sound “too muslimized” or look too arabic, survived the spanish catholic integrism of those golden XV to XVII centuries.

I am catholic myself. And I lament the huge damage made to my country’s cultural heritage by those who understood my religion in such a way. A lesson to be learnt by many muslims nowadays… and also by many jews, christians, buddhists,… Wrong ways are not an exclusivity.

Now…. read abt what’s happening in a place where people doesn’t move a finger to avoid it, while worry abt women’s right to drive, work, travel… Learn and enjoy.


I will add as well more info, this time about the same process, applied in Medina:

“Muslim silence over the destruction of Mecca and Medina is both disastrous and hypocritical,” says Dr Alawi. “The recent movie about the Prophet Mohamed caused worldwide protests… and yet the destruction of the Prophet’s birthplace, where he prayed and founded Islam has been allowed to continue without any criticism.”

Just imagine right now that any western leader, or even worst, any unknown pastor from a forgotten evangelical community of crazy born-agains stated on internet that all those places and the roots of Islam should be levelled down… geez.

Stephen Liddell

Below is another article which I have recently written for the Muslim Academy site which is run to increase East-West understandings.

If the first church of St. Paul was to be destroyed or the house of Mary, mother of Jesus, were to be razed to the ground there would be a near universal outcry; yet events of a similar scale are happening in Saudi Arabia with hardly any protest whatsoever.

In the last 10 years, there has been the state-sanctioned destruction of 500 historical sites, according to Dr. Irfan al-Alawi, who heads up the Saudi Islamic Heritage Research Foundation.   However, there have been only muted protests by most countries as governments of most Islamic countries are wary to criticise in case it hinders the passage of their citizens through Saudi Arabia, whilst western states remain silent for fear their limited access to archaeological sites in the country may be withdrawn altogether.


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