— The Erimtan Angle —

Archive for July, 2011

The Arab Awakening goes to Israel???

Will the social unrest that has been plaguing the Arab world for the past months now finally make the jump into the Jewish state of Israel??? Are Bibi’s days finally numbered??? The Russian news broadcaster RT seems to think so: ‘The biggest wave of protest rallies in years is due to start shortly in Israel. Demonstrators will take to the streets in seven cities across the country. And activists hope the rally in Tel Aviv alone will attract half-a-million people. Thousands have been camping out across the country for about a week now, calling for social justice and for Prime Minister Netanyahu to go. RT’s Paula Slier is in Tel Aviv’ (30 July 2011).

 Will Bibi go home???  Will Rothschild Boulevard become Israel’s Tahrir???  After all, it is ‘one of the busiest and most expensive streets in Tel Aviv, being one of the city’s main tourist attractions’. At the same time, the Arab uprisings have not reached their objectives either. Particularly in Egypt the population is becoming more and more restless as Mubarak’s departure only marked a cosmetic alteration at the top of Cairo’s rulership but not real regime change.

Below is a picture of an ‘Egyptian demonstrator wav[ing] a national flag on top of a street light in downtown Cairo’s Tahrir square,  July 29, 2011. Tens of thousands packed Cairo’s Tahrir Square, with Islamist groups dominating the protest meant to show unity during a fragile transition from ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s regime (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)’.

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Cynthia McKinney Talks Turkey

Cynthia McKinney tells RT America that the US needs to take care of domestic issues. The financial debt debate has many wondering what is going on with the US financial situation. Many are demanding that the US stop spending on the wars and bring that revenue home to help with domestic issues. Does it make senses to spend billions of dollars on our defense when we are so close to default? Cynthia McKinney, former US Representative and target of O’ Reilly, tells us what’s really going on.

Nabucco’s New Rival: Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline

In opposition to Russia’s dominance of the European energy market, the EU devised an alternative pipeline, reaching from Turkey right into the heart of Europe: Nabucco. This pipeline was supposed to liberate Europe from Putin’s grip . . . and originally, Iran’s oil and gas wealth was to have been part of this sweet deal. Turkey in its new pseudo-Ottoman guise was more than happy to snub Russia and to accommodate its eastern neighbour. But, as a result of shifting alliances and moving priorities, Iran once again became a non-actor on the international scene. In spite of Turkey and Brazil’s joint efforts to usher in a conciliatory solution for Iran’s nuclear problem, the world and the U.S. remained steadfast in their condemnation of Tehran as a purveyor or nuclear threats and Islamic rhetoric unpalatable to the West. Hence, “in the second half of 2010 ‘during a Steering Committee meeting in Ankara, the Nabucco shareholders decided to cut Iran from the supply route’, as I noted in Today’s Zaman [in] November [2010]”.[1]  But now, the Islamic Revolution has come up with its own energy supply route, as conveyed by AFP and NOW Lebanon: ‘Iran, Iraq and Syria inked on Monday [, 25 July 2011] a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of pipelines designed to deliver Iran’s natural gas to the two Arab nations in the next three to five years and possibly to Lebanon and Europe in the future, local media reported’.[2]  Estimated to cost about $10 billion, to stretch across several thousands of kilometres and to be completed within a space of three to five years, this pipeline project could prove to be yet another element in the upcoming New Cold War that seems to emerge in the wake of the current Arab Awakening.[3]  The MoU was signed (or inked) by Iraqi Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi, his Syrian counterpart Sufian Allaw and Iran’s oil ministry caretaker Mohammad Aliabadi. The above-quoted report continues that deputy oil minister and chairman of the Iranian National Gas Company
(NIGC), Javad Ouji ‘hoped the final agreement launching the project could be signed before the end of the year. Iran has the second largest proven gas reserves in the world after Russia. It currently consumes almost all of the approximately 600 million cubic meters per day of gas production, but hopes to double its production and export some 250 million cubic meters per day to its neighbors and to Europe from 2015 through developing a giant offshore gas field in the Gulf, which it shares with Qatar’.[4]

This new project might also prove to be a thorn in Turkey’s thigh as it attempts to ease relations with the EU and the Arab world. Given the current turmoil sweeping through Arab cities across the region, this surreptitious attempt by Iran to bolster Damascus while also trying to regain credibility on the international energy market has to be seen as a conscious challenge to Washington and NATO. The projected missile defence shield which is not officially aimed at Iran but set to be stationed in Turkey is yet another American attempt to ostracise Tehran from the international community. And in this respect, some U.S. Republicans managed to upset Turkish sensibilities as well. The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) recently issued this statement: a ‘letter by Republican Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Mark Kirk of Illinois to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta voiced objections to the stationing of a NATO missile defense radar system in Turkey. The Senators preposterously allege that Turkey is not a reliable US ally and, hence, demand that unless Turkey is completely removed from the system’s operation and its data collection and sharing, it should not be positioned in Turkey. The Senators further demand guarantees that data collected from the system will be shared with Israel, a non-NATO country, placing Turkey and its citizens in the cross hairs in the event of a shooting war between Israel and Iran, a risk Turkey should not have to bear. First, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) categorically rejects the allegations made by the two Senators that Turkey is not a reliable NATO ally. The recent visit by Secretary Clinton to Turkey has demonstrated once again that the foreign and security policy interests of the United States and Turkey converge on nearly all vital issues in the region and beyond. The visit was testimony to the fact that the two countries are working side by side to address the most important challenges that this region and the world face today. It seems like the two senators’ real objective, reflected by their baseless accusations leveled against Turkey, may indeed be to jeopardize the current atmosphere of cooperation and allied spirit between the two countries, while pandering to domestic and foreign special interests. Second, Senator Kyle’s and Senator Kirk’s statements echo the worst uninformed rhetoric about Turkey heard in certain circles in Washington, which may find partial support in the halls of Congress around this significant issue. TCA remains concerned that this kind of rhetoric may create serious contention between Turkey and the United States at this critical period in time, with spill-over effect on other areas where the need for close US-Turkey cooperation is paramount. Turkey is a NATO front-line country in a challenging region. First and foremost, then, both the U.S. and Turkey ought to measure the wisdom of stationing this missile
defense radar in Turkey against any impact it would have on Turkey’s demonstrated ability to constructively engage its neighbors. Preserving this unique regional role of Turkey may provide the greatest peace dividends of all’.[5]

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl is a man well-known for his “liberal” use of language and its manifold meanings as demonstrated in the below clip: not intended to be a factual statement . . .

 


[i] “Pipelineistan in Europe: Nabucco, Turkey, and Russia” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (06 January 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/pipelineistan-in-europe-nabucco-turkey-and-russia/;
C. Erimtan, “A pseudo-Ottoman policy: Turkey’s new station in the world” Today’s Zaman (04 November 2010). http://tiny.cc/6qkki.

[ii] “Iran inks gas pipeline deal with Iraq and Syria” AFP and NOW Lebanon (25 July 2011). http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=294317.

[iii] Cfr. C. Erimtan, “The Arab Awakening and the never-ending Cold War” Hürriyet Daily News (22 June 2011). http://t.co/mdyly4E.

[iv] “Iran inks gas pipeline deal with Iraq and Syria”.

[v] “TCA Protests Senators Kyl and Kirk’s Disrespectful and Untrue Statements Against Turkey” Issues & Information, TCA. http://www.tc-america.org/issues-information/us-turkey-relations/tca-protests-senators-kyl-485.htm.

The Big Picture: The Fingerprints of U.S. Right-Wing Christian Terrorism

More details are emerging now about why Anders Behring-Breivik set off a car bomb next to a government building in downtown Oslo last Friday – and then drove to a political youth retreat on a remote island and gunned down nearly 70 teenagers to cap off the worst day of violence the nation of Norway has seen since World War 2. It turns out Breivik was taking his orders from the very same right-wingers who are spewing hate here in America. Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto included several references to well-known American cranks like Pamela Geller – Frank Gaffney – and David Horowtiz. The manifesto also cited right-wing American organizations like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies – the Middle East Media Research Institutie – and Pajamas Media. Basically – the manifesto reads like a “who’s who” of radical right-wing bloggers – pundits – and phony experts who’ve set up shop – not in Norway – but right here in America to spread fear and hatred of Muslims. And if we don’t start calling these inciters of violence what they are, the next mass murder may happen here in the US.

 

Oklahoma City travels to Scandinavia, #2: The Oslo Suspect borrowed from Unabomber’s Manifesto

 

As reported by AP’s Kristen Wyatt, ‘[p]arts of the manifesto written by the suspect in Norway’s terrorist attack were taken almost word for word from the writings of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski. The passages copied by Anders Behring Breivik appear in the first few pages of Kaczynski’s manifesto. Breivik changed a Kaczynski screed on leftism and what he considered to be leftists’ “feelings of inferiority” — mainly by substituting the words “multiculturalism” or “cultural Marxism” for “leftism.” For instance, Kaczynski wrote: “One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.” Breivik’s manifesto reads: “One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is multiculturalism, so a discussion of the psychology of multiculturalists can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of Western Europe in general.” Breivik did not cite Kaczynski, though he did for many other people whose writings he used in his 1,500-page manifesto. He used at least one portion verbatim: “Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong and capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men”‘. (1)

 

Norway is a small yet extremely affluent country with a tiny population. The North Sea oil has turned Norway into a welfare paradise where Norwergian citizens are enjoying the proverbial good life. This easy lifestyle no doubt aided Breivik in planning and then executing his murderous campaign. As a self-proclaimed Islamophobic Crusader trying to ignite a Europe-wide civil war against Muslims and other dark-skinned people present in the white-skinned and blonde-haired continent, Breivik has taken the rhetoric of the “Clash of Civilizations” to its logical extreme. His reasoning appeared to be that, in the absence of an outright violent Muslim attempt to overthrow Europe, it was up to people like himself to precipitate a violent (re-)action to Islam and Muslims living in Europe. But, was it really such a surprise that a Norwegian would come up with such a plan??? As the New York Times‘ film reviewer Mike Hale informs us, there seems to a whole array of ill-smelling things brewing in Norway: ‘Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell’s absorbing, low-key documentary Until the Light Takes Us recounts how a few Norwegian musicians hijacked an obscure offshoot of heavy metal and made it world famous, by moving from clown paint and anti-Christian imagery into vandalism, church burning and killing. Between interviews, it illustrates the Norwegian context — cold and dark, liberal but ultra-conformist, increasingly globalized — in which these diffident, smart, polite young men came to feel alienated and racially and culturally oppressed’.(2)

 

Hale continue that the ‘film focuses on Varg Vikernes and Gylve Nagell, a Mutt-and-Jeff pairing better known by their black-metal stage names, Count Grishnackh and Fenriz. The doctrinaire Mr. Vikernes is interviewed at the prison in Trondheim where he is serving a maximum sentence for murder and arson; this being Norway, the sentence is 21 years, and colorful curtains hang in the sunny interview room, encapsulating some of the paradoxes of Norwegian rebelliousness. Mr. Nagell, who was not implicated in the violence of the early 1990s and continues to make metal music with his band Darkthrone, is introspective and focused on the art’.(3)  Now, the fact that Anders Behring Breivik, also living in “cold and dark, liberal but ultra-conformist, [and] increasingly globalized” Norway and feeling equally “alienated and racially and culturally oppressed”, has taken the whole discourse to a hitherto unimaginable level might lead to certain changes in Norwegian society, changes which might lead to better relations with Muslims and other minorities living in the “liberal but ultra-conformist” country, or maybe not . . . In the below short television interview, the father of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik disowns his son, saying he “should have taken his own life”.  

 

 

(1) Kristen Wyatt, “Norway suspect borrowed from Unabomber’s manifesto” AP (25 July 2011). http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/national/norway-suspect-borrowed-from-unabombers-manifesto.

(2) Mike Hale, “The Music of Church Burning” The New York Times (04 December 2009). http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/12/04/movies/04until.html?partner=Rotten%20Tomatoes&ei=5083.

(3) Mike Hale, “The Music of Church Burning”.

The DSK Story Continues

 

 

The hotel maid at the centre of rape allegations against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has spoken publicly for the first time. In an interview with Newsweek the 32-year-old said she wanted Strauss-Kahn jailed. It is also the first time Nafissatou Diallo has been named – she said she had no choice after her credibility was questioned. Diallo claims Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her when she entered his room to clean it.

 

In Newsweek, the story is told as follows: ‘The 32-year-old Guinean [Nafissatou Diallo], an employee of the Sofitel hotel, had been told by a room-service waiter that room 2806 was now free for cleaning, “Hello? Housekeeping,” the maid called out again. No reply. The door to the bedroom, to her left, was open, and she could see part of the bed. She glanced around the living room for luggage, saw none. “Hello? Housekeeping.” Then a naked man with white hair suddenly appeared, as if out of nowhere. That’s how Nafissatou Diallo describes the start of the explosive incident on Saturday, May 14, that would forever change her life—and that of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund and, until that moment, the man tipped to be the next president of France. Now the woman known universally as the “DSK maid” has broken her public silence for the first time, talking for more than three hours with NEWSWEEK at the office of her attorneys, Thompson Wigdor, on New York City’s Fifth Avenue’.(1)

The piece continues: ‘“Hello? Housekeeping.” Diallo looked around the living room. She was standing facing the bedroom in the small entrance hall when the naked man with white hair appeared. “Oh, my God,” said Diallo. “I’m so sorry.” And she turned to leave. “You don’t have to be sorry,” he said. But he was like “a crazy man to me.” He clutched at her breasts. He slammed the door of the suite. Diallo is about 5 feet 10, considerably taller than Strauss-Kahn, and she has a sturdy build. “You’re beautiful,” Strauss-Kahn told her, wrestling her toward the bedroom. “I said, ‘Sir, stop this. I don’t want to lose my job,’” Diallo told NEWSWEEK. “He said, ‘You’re not going to lose your job.’ An ugly incident with a guest—any guest—could threaten everything Diallo had worked for. “I don’t look at him. I was so afraid. I didn’t expect anyone in the room.” “He pulls me hard to the bed,” she said. He tried to put his penis in her mouth, she said, and as she told the story she tightened her lips and turned her face from side to side to show how she resisted. “I push him. I get up. I wanted to scare him. I said, ‘Look, there is my supervisor right there.’” But the man said there was nobody out there, and nobody was going to hear. Diallo kept pushing him away: “I don’t want to hurt him,” she told us. “I don’t want to lose my job.” He shoved back, moving her down the hallway from the bedroom toward the bathroom. Diallo’s uniform dress buttoned down the front, but Strauss-Kahn didn’t bother with the buttons, she said. He pulled it up around her thighs and tore down her pantyhose, gripping her crotch so hard that it was still red at the hospital, hours later. He pushed her to her knees, her back to the wall. He forced his penis into her mouth, she said, and he gripped her head on both sides. “He held my head so hard here,” she said, putting her hands to her cranium. “He was moving and making a noise. He was going like ‘uhh, uhh, uhh.’ He said, ‘Suck my’—I don’t want to say.” The report from the hospital where Diallo was taken later for examination notes that “she felt something wet and sour come into her mouth and she spit it out on the carpet.” “I got up,” Diallo told NEWSWEEK. “I was spitting. I run. I run out of there. I don’t turn back. I run to the hallway. I was so nervous; I was so scared. I didn’t want to lose my job.” Diallo says she hid around the corner in the hallway near the service lobby and tried to compose herself. “I was standing there spitting. I was so alone. I was so scared.” Then she saw the man come out of 2806 and head for the elevator. “I don’t know how he got dressed so fast, and with baggage,” she said. “He looked at me like this.” She inclined her head and stared straight ahead. “He said nothing.” The entire incident had taken no more than 15 minutes, and maybe much less. According to a source familiar with the phone records, nine minutes after Diallo entered the room, Strauss-Kahn made a call to his daughter. The maid had left her cleaning supplies in room 2820 when she went to check on Strauss-Kahn’s suite. Now she retrieved them and returned to the suite in which, she says, she had just been attacked. Disoriented, she seems to have sought some kind of solace in resuming her routine. “I went to the room I have to clean,” she explained. But she couldn’t think how or where to start. “I was so, so, so—I don’t know what to do.” Prosecutors, losing faith in Diallo’s credibility, would later raise an issue about this sequence of events. They said she told the grand jury that after the attack she hid in the hallway, but subsequently changed her story to say she cleaned room 2820 and then began to clean the DSK suite. She disputes that she changed her story, and hotel room-access records support what she told NEWSWEEK. Many aspects of Diallo’s account of the alleged attack are mirrored in the hospital records, in which doctors observed five hours afterward that there was “redness” in the area of the vagina where she alleges Strauss-Kahn grabbed her. The medical records also note she complained of “pain to left shoulder.” Weeks later, doctors reexamined the shoulder and found a partial ligament tear, she said. If there is one inconsistency for defense lawyers to dwell on in the hospital records, it is a passage that says her attacker got dressed and left the room, and “said nothing to her during the incident.” In her interview with police and her account to NEWSWEEK, Diallo recalled several statements Strauss-Kahn made during the alleged attack. Defense lawyers are expected to challenge the nature of her injuries, her recollection of events, the veracity of elements of her life story, and her conduct with other men if the case proceeds’.(2)

  (1) Christopher Dickey and John Solomon, “The Maid’s Tale” Newsweek (25 July 2011).  http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/24/dsk-maid-tells-of-her-alleged-rape-by-strauss-kahn-exclusive.html.  

(2) Christopher Dickey and John Solomon, “The Maid’s Tale-2”.  http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/24/dsk-maid-tells-of-her-alleged-rape-by-strauss-kahn-exclusive.html.

Oklahoma City travels to Scandinavia: The Oslo Massacre

 

All around the world, people express their disbelief over the recent events in Norway. Here are David Cameron, Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard expressing their shock and outrage at the attacks that have killed at least 92 people.

On Friday, 22 July, the first part of the two-pronged attack shook the global television audience: ‘a huge bomb has exploded in the very centre of Norway’s capital, Oslo, damaging parliamentary buildings including the Prime Minister’s office. Two deaths have been reported, and at least 15 are injured, but police say more people are still trapped in the shattered buildings. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is said to be safe. Preliminary reports suggest it was a car bomb, but some sources say the explosion took place inside the building of Norway’s biggest tabloid newspaper VG. The blast was so powerful that it smashed all the windows in the 17-storey building. Witnesses say the nearby oil ministry building nearby has caught fire, with thick smoke seen coming from the block. Some reports suggest the blast was followed by a second. Police are evacuating surrounding buildings, and searching the area for more explosives‘.

Following the attack, voices decrying Muslim extremists were heard and fingers quickly pointed at Islamist organisations. But then, the second stage took place removing all doubt: ‘Norwegian police say at least 84 people have been killed in a shooting spree at a youth camp on the island of Utoya, near the capital Oslo. The attack came shortly after a powerful blast shook the government centre in downtown Oslo, claiming at least seven lives. A 32-year-old Norwegian man has been arrested in Norway, in connection with the dual attacks’.

 

This 32-year old turned out to have a name as well: Anders Behring Breivik. CNN’s Jim Boulden reports on a 1,500 page manifesto possibly linked to Oslo bombing and youth camp rampage suspect.

 

 

On Sunday, 24 July, The Economist then posted the following analysis online: ‘EVER since Anders Behring Breivik fired the opening volley of the shooting spree that took the lives of at least 85 youngsters on the small Norwegian island of Utøya on Friday, every few hours has brought some new shock. The latest revelation is that the 32-year-old Norwegian appears to have spent nine years planning the massacre. This, at least, is the claim in an extraordinary 1,500-page document Mr Breivik published on the internet a few hours before the first part of his two-pronged attack–the bombing of a government complex in Oslo. Mr Breivik’s manifesto exposes his preparations as meticulous and obsessive. According to his own testimony he spent several years earning money to finance the attacks. He moved into his mother’s apartment to save money on rent and gradually distanced himself from friends and relatives in order to avoid suspicion. During this time he read and contributed to far-right and Islamophobic websites, and spent many hours learning how to build a bomb. He stage-managed his own image, taking dozens of self-portraits in which he appears in a variety of uniforms–police, paramilitary and traditional Norwegian costume–and publishing them online. His preparations for these photos included visits to tanning salons and beauty parlours. The final phase involved leasing an isolated farmhouse. This gave him solitude, an excuse for buying the huge amount of fertiliser he needed for the bomb, and a barn big enough to store it. Mr Breivik went to elaborate lengths to conceal his purpose. People who wanted to visit were told he was busy with the summer harvest, though he knew nothing of farming. He was apparently content to let a rumour circulate that he had dropped out of circulation in shame over a homosexual affair. Mr Breivik’s manifesto– “2083. A European Declaration of Independence”–also provides some insight into his motivations. His ideology appears to be a form of reactionary Christian fundamentalism, fuelled by hatred of Islam, Marxism and non-whites. Page after page detail his thoughts on politics and society. He rails against the European Union, the United Nations and other transnational organisations. Norwegian politicians are castigated: the right-wing Progress Party (to which he once belonged) is condemned as too tame and the ruling Labour Party comes in for particularly vicious attack’.

A man motivated by “reactionary Christian fundamentalism, [and] fuelled by hatred of Islam, Marxism and non-whites” . . .

 

 . . .

 “Manifesto of a murderer” The Economist (24 July 2011). http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2011/07/norway-attacks