Saudi-backed Bahraini regime continues to torture and kill

Bahrain’s totalitarian regime continues to kill, torture and harass and yet coverage in the international media remains rare.

Also see Physicians for Human Rights report on Bahraini persecution of doctors.

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Beyond bin Laden

Tariq Ali, Fazwaz Gerges and Vali Nasr discuss Usama bin Laden’s assassination on Al Jazeera’s Empire with Marwan Bishara.

Osama bin Laden is dead. The world’s most wanted man has finally been killed after a hunt that lasted more than a decade, triggered global wars, and cost the lives of tens of thousands of people. What does it mean for US wars in the Muslim world? And will the US actions unleash a new wave of attacks around the world?

Khirbat Tuqu’ & the Silent World

It must have been late at night when this rare, short, late-night segment on Channel 10 sneaked by the editors:

Between Judea and Samaria & the West Bank

While I’m astonished that an Israeli mainstream news service would even address this story at all, let alone report in a considerably balanced manner; There are many very basic questions that this 2-and-a-half minute segment whizzes through, that I’d like to comment on.
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Lyrics Alley

This review of Leila Aboulela’s novel was published in the excellent Wasafiri magazine.

It’s the mid twentieth century, as British control over north east Africa fails. Sudanese cotton tycoon Mahmoud Abuzeid, awarded the title Bey by Egypt’s King Farouk, is pulled between his two wives.

“They belonged to different sides of the saraya, to different sides of him. He was the only one to negotiate between these two worlds, to glide between them, to come back and forth at will.”

The two wives share a compound. Sudanese Waheeba in her hoash – a traditional living space half open to the air – represents “decay and ignorance…the stagnant past” to gregarious, multi-lingual Mahmoud. Egyptian Nabilah, much younger, better educated, attempts to recreate Cairo in her Italian-furnished modern salon. She represents “the glitter of the future..sophistication.” But events question such easy distinctions.

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صدمة لم يتلوها أي رعب

مع حلول يوم الجمعة الماضي أعلن النظام السوري الحرب الفعلية على شعبه وقتل على الأقل مئة متظاهراً في ذلك اليوم. وخلال هذا الأسبوع وقعت مناطق سورية عدة تحت وطأة الحصار. الدبابات السورية التي لم تقرب صوب الجولان المحتلة منذ عام 1973 نشطت الآن وتحركت لتدخل درعا عروس الجنوب, فأغلقت الطرق والشوارع فيها وقطعت المياه والكهرباء والاتصالات. ثمة تقارير عن نقص في الغذاء في درعا وهيمنة الذعر العام, وجثث ملقاة في الشوارع تتعفن على مهلها. وفي ضاحية “دوما” ينتشر القناصون ويطلقون الناس على المشاة, أما بانياس الساحلية فتحاصرها الدبابات, بينما أصبحت”مضايا” وهي بلدة جبلية على الحدود اللبنانية, بلدة محتلة.  لا بد أن النظام يتمنى أن يوقف تهريب الأسلحة عبر الحدود أو أنه يتمنى لو يوقف نزوح السوريين وهربهم عبر منافذ التهريب, فلقد عبر الآلاف من سوريا إلى لبنان خلال الأيام الأخيرة ولقد اعتُقِل خمسمئة شخصاً على الأقل وأُودِعوا غرف التعذيب السورية.

يجب أن نلاحظ هنا أن العنف هائل وواسع لكنه أيضاً يُطَبَّق بطريقة تكتيكية, إذ يهدف التصعيد المفاجىء إلى إحداث صدمة عند الشعب ودفعه للانصياع, لكن الذخيرة الحية لم تُستَخدَم في كل مكان ولقد حاولت قوى “الأمن” ألا تقتل المتظاهرين الأكراد في الشمال الشرقي لخوفها من أن يطلق هذا شرارة عصيان مسلح. والمظاهرات التي حصلت في قلب دمشق تم تفريقها بالعصي والغاز المسيل للدموع عوضاً عن إطلاق الرصاص الحي. يبدو أن النظام لا يريد أن يقتل أبناء رجال الأعمال المهمين في دمشق, لكن إلى متى سيبقى النظام على موقفه هذا !

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Killing Qaddafi’s Son

by Nafissa Assed

Today people and media all over the world are wondering about Qaddafi’s son, Saif-Al Arab, being targeted by NATO and perhaps killed. Do we really care? As for me, not really. Qaddafi and his family are welcome to surrender anytime, dead or alive. At the same time as Musa Ibrahim was claiming the death of Qaddafi’s son and his 3 grandchildren, we watched on the national Libyan TV Qaddafi’s thugs gathering in Bab Al-azziziya dancing and singing LIVE! Must be those pills again. If NATO is going to make any advance over Qaddafi, they must seriously consider shutting down Libyan state TV and its incitement. We all know that anything can be expected from Qaddafi and that he is sick enough to even fabricate the report of the death of his own son to stay in power (the al-Arabiya channel claims ‘inner circle’ witnesses say Saif al-Arab is dead, but not his children).

The war is raging in Libya and I am against NATO killing innocent children, even if they happen to be the grandchildren of Qaddafi – because this is not about him, it’s about who the decent Libyans are and the values they stand for. On the other hand,  I believe it’s naïve if anyone thinks the rat Qaddafi and his family were really in that compound last night (30th May), and before anyone can damn NATO for the alleged deaths of Qaddafi’s grandchildren, wait for confirmation that they are his and not the bodies of kids he’s killed (remember the ‘daughter’ of Qaddafi killed by American bombing in 1986 was in fact posthumously adopted).

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HotDocs and CoPro: Entertaining Palestinian Voices

CoPro and HotDocs

Since the second that I’ve realized that the only political action left for people who wish to see Palestinian rights realized is Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, it’s been immediately clear that the Palestinian produce and services, and culture and narrative would have to be simultaneously promoted. This would prove to be tricky after 60 years of ongoing ethnic cleansing and simultaneous economic buildup. The systems that have formed in Israel for the benefit of the Palestinian population have often artificially separated the “social” from the “political” and created institutions that are unable and unwilling to truly improve Palestinian lives. Without political analysis, we are left with institutions that’s sole purpose is to serve as a fig leaf, depicting Israel as a state which promotes Palestinian social care and voices, when in fact, all they do is pat themselves on the back for boxing the Palestinian population into a perpetual state of dependence and forced gratitude.

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You don’t protect children by killing children

Nato is now engaged in open terrorism. Having failed in its ostensible mission to protect the civilians of Ben Ghazi and Misurata, it is now raining bombs on civilians in Tripoli, including a disabled childrens’ school, in a manner not dissimilar to Gaddafi’s. In a clear breach of the UN mandate, it has also tried to assassinate Gaddafi, instead killing his son and grandchildren.

Meanwhile, according to sources on the ground, Misurata’s Qasr Ahmed neighbourhood remains under intense assault from Gaddafi’s Grad rockets.