Fisk on the Syrian Uprising

The veteran Middle East reporter for the UK’s Independent newspaper discusses the shooting of protesters on “Great Friday”.

Fisk argues that the Syrian president is fast losing control of the situation, though he is unlikely to go quietly.

With his belated concessions, Assad is “is now enduring the failures that he committed 11 years ago,” the journalist says.

Rebel Workshop

The rebel army which John Pilger and other Western leftists tell us is a front for CIA.

Facing superior firepower on the battlefield, fighters seeking to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are left renovating ageing, abandoned military hardware.

As the rebels refurbish old tanks and make launching systems from doorbells, they appeal for new weapons.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Benghazi, has more from the rebels’ workshop.

Of Niqabs, Monsters, and Decolonial Feminisms

By Huma Dar

A woman in niqab being arrested in Paris, April 12, 2011, copyright EPA

Of Civilities and Dignities

On 22 June 2009, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, asserted that burqas (or the burqa-clad?) are “not welcome” in France, adding that “[i]n our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity” and that “the veils reduced dignity.” France’s Muslim minority is Western Europe’s largest Muslim minority, estimated at six-million-strong.  And this is just an approximation, as the French Republic implicitly claims to be post-race and post-religion via a prohibition on any census that would take into account the race or religion of its citizens. (This anxiety mirrors the brouhaha in Indian media àpropos the much-contested enumeration of OBCs or Other Backward Castes in the Indian census surveys of 2011, or the urgency to declare some spaces post-caste, post-feminist, and post-racist while casteism, patriarchy and racism continue unabated.)

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Who are the Libyan revolutionaries?

Jihan Hafiz of the Real News on the Libyan revolutionaries. (Also see Part 2)

Recently returned from Bengazi, Hafiz reports on rebel fighters, supporters and early stages of the Libyan uprising.

James Bays of Al Jazeera reports from the frontline:

Jon Lee Anderson of the New Yorker, who wrote the acclaimed biography of Che Guevara, also spent some time with the rebels. Here’s an excerpt:

During weeks of reporting in Benghazi and along the chaotic, shifting front line, I’ve spent a great deal of time with these volunteers. The hard core of the fighters has been the shabab—the young people whose protests in mid-February sparked the uprising. They range from street toughs to university students (many in computer science, engineering, or medicine), and have been joined by unemployed hipsters and middle-aged mechanics, merchants, and storekeepers. There is a contingent of workers for foreign companies: oil and maritime engineers, construction supervisors, translators. There are former soldiers, their gunstocks painted red, green, and black—the suddenly ubiquitous colors of the pre-Qaddafi Libyan flag.

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