Friday, September 28, 2007
A very bizare incident happened in Aleppo Syria. A radical Syrian cleric, who was suspected of recruiting militants to fight in Iraq, was shot dead. I have no doubts the cleric was used by the Syrian regime in its proxy war against the US in Iraq, but could it be that he was killed by the Syrian regime after posing some sort of threat.
It’s well known that anyone who flerted with radicals got bitten at the end. The late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat used Islamists to fight the communists and leftists and he ended up being killed by the same people he resurrected. The US supported radical Islamists during the cold war and it ended up with 911. The Syrian regime is currently flirting with these guys in Lebanon (Fatah al-Islam) and Iraq and it’s very probable that they will turn against the Alawites rulers of Syria.
Did this cleric turn into a threat after he was used by the Syrian regime? That is very probable.
Thus said Michael Totten who wrote a series of awesome reports from Ramadi, an area that was once one of the most dangerous in Iraq.
Check his latest two reports along with great pics here and here.
The quote that got my attention:
“All the mosques now have pro-US messages now,” Major Peters said. “They used to be anti-American, in part because AQI barged in and told them to broadcast anti-Americanism or die.”
“We have excellent relationships with every imam and every mosque in the city,” Colonel Charlton said. “Terrific relations. There are no negative comments about the coalition in mosques whatsoever. Previously there was. Partly because they hated us for a while, and also because AQI said to broadcast anti-American messages or they would be killed.”
Great work my friend Michael. Thumps up for independent journalism. Please consider supporting his reporting from the heart of Iraq by donating. Just click the button at the end of each post.
Splendid. Two brave Saudi girls took matters into their own hands.
Dammam, Asharq Al-Awsat – Members of Khobar’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice were the victims of an attack by two Saudi females, Asharq Al-Awsat can reveal.
According to the head of the commission in Khobar, two girls pepper sprayed members of the commission after they had tried to offer them advice.
Head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Eastern province Dr. Mohamed bin Marshood al-Marshood, told Asharq Al Awsat that two of the Commission’s employees were verbally insulted and attacked by two inappropriately-dressed females, in the old market in Prince Bandar street, an area usually crowded with shoppers during the month of Ramadan.
Consequently, the two girls started verbally abusing the commission members, which then lead to one of the girls pepper-spraying them in the face as the other girl filmed the incident on her mobile phone, while continuing to hurl insults at them.
Well done girls!
(h/t The Arabist)
The Fatah led government in the West Bank came up with an insane idea to appear more “righteous” than Hamas. It has deployed a 12 members molarity police squad to arrest anyone seens drinking or eating during fasting hours.
The 12-member squad appears to be an attempt by President Mahmoud Abbas’ West Bank government to challenge the monopoly on religious righteousness claimed by the militant group Hamas, the rival ruler of Gaza.
The sudden deployment of Ramadan police was unexpected in Ramallah, the seat of Abbas’ government and the most cosmopolitan and well-to-do of the Palestinian cities. Ramadan squads have not been set up in other West Bank towns.
“If anybody violates respect for Ramadan in the street, we take their identity papers and hold them for investigation,” said Qendah, 27, whose officers wear red shoulder badges reading “morality police.”
Police spokesman Adnan al-Damari said police have arrested at least 50 alleged public morality offenders in Ramallah since the start of Ramadan, but would not be going after people who break the fast in their own homes.
“The duty of the morality police is to preserve public manners in public places, and to preserve the feelings of the people who are fasting,” he said. “Violating the holiness of Ramadan is a violation of people’s freedom. “
Now I never understood why someone should “preserve my feelings” if I am fasting. I mean I am fasting, I chose not to eat, why would it offend me if I saw someone eating. Am I so weak to the extend that I’ll rape someone with a sandwich if I saw him/her eating it while I’m hungry? And isn’t the fact that I withstood my hunger and avoided the temptation to eat also an element of fasting? Ahhh, religion!
Although the piety squad has government sanction, Cabinet minister Ashraf al-Ajrami, said he is uncomfortable with the operation and the impression that the government was trying to be more zealous than Hamas.
“We are studying this issue, and there’s a possibility we shall end it,” he said. “We don’t want to change the order of things and appear as if we are following in the footsteps of somebody or imitating somebody.”
Ramadan lanterns displaying Bin Laden proved to be immensely popular in Egypt.
Fanoos, a Ramadan lantern, lighted from inside by a candle, became the symbol of Ramadan in early Islamic Egypt, when women visited relatives with lanterns to break the fast.
Sellers say the immense popularity of the bin Laden lanterns among children can be explained by his long white beard and traditional Islamic clothing which are reminiscent of a popular “cartoon hero.”
“All bin Ladens have already been snatched up” – the newspaper quotes a fanoos merchant in Ismalia, a city on the west bank of the Suez Canal, as saying.
I have posted before about the popularity of Osama Bin Laden. I have said that Bin Laden’s popularity or fame is not derived from what he is or what he does per se. In other words, very few people in the Middle East would want Bin Laden to rule them for example. His appeal is mainly a byproduct of the fact that the US wants him so much, that the US hates him so much. The US’ obsession with catching him; this is what’s making him a star. Want Bin Laden to lose his fame? Change the reward from $50 million to 50 cents.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
A local official in Iraq’s Kurdistan said that Iran shelled targets deep inside northern Iraq. It’s well known that there is a Kurdish seperatist group, the PJAK, is fighting Iran. It seems that they’re getting more and more effective. And me cannot conceal his glee.
I was having lunch with my friend Betsy Heil from the Pittsburg Tribune-Review and we were disussing her recent trip to the Iraq-Iran borders (check out the report here). “I want to fight the jihad, I want to join the PJAK,” I told her.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Ignorant president Ahmadinejad said that Iran has no homosexuals when asked about the country’s treatment of gays.
“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” Ahmadinejad said to howls and boos among the Columbia University audience.
“In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don’t know who has told you that we have it,” he said.
I can’t believe how ignorant this man is. A typical clown living in la la land.
Anyway, I think we’re giving too much importance to Ahmadinejad. In Iran the president literally has zero authority. All powers belong to a certain group of Mullahs headed by Ayatollah Khamenei.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I truely believe the guys who invented Facebook should go down in history as geniuses who invented something so great. I met a guy whom I haven’t seen for over 14 years. He was with me in class at high school. I also bumped into the profiles of people whom I haven’t seen for ages.
Yesterday I met one of my best friends at elementary school. The last time I’ve seen him was when we were like 8 years old. He was my best playground buddy. We always hanged out together. He had this curve that appears in his mouth whenever he speaks. As a little kid I’ve wondered why he does that.
Anyway, yesterday we called each other and decided to meet after 18 years. We meet up, hugged each other, and the first thing I noticed was…the curve. It was still there.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
It seems that it wasn’t just an air rade. Israel actually sent in commandos to seize materials from the site it bombed!
Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem.
The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.
They confirmed that samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.