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Sorry son, we cannot let the terrorists win.

The illegal and unjust occupation of Palestine continues on as usual.  The Israelis, under the pretense, of security are withhold vital supplies and services from the people of the Gaza Strip.  However, and aid convey dispatched from Turkey aims to break the illegal siege with a shipment of humanitarian aid. Al Jazeera reports:

“The biggest attempt by international aid groups to break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip has gotten underway.

Nine ships under the banner, Freedom Flotilla, began their journey to Gaza on Saturday, despite warnings from Israel that they will be stopped for “breaching Israeli law”.

The vessels are carrying 5,000 tonnes of reconstruction materials, school supplies and medical equipment.”

Despite the virtual news blackout about the atrocities being perpetuated in Gaza people still know about the injustice and are making bold moves to stop it.

“Mohammad Sawalha, the vice president of the international committee to break the siege of Gaza, one of the organisers of the mission, told Al Jazeera that a global movement, made up of people who want to send the message that the situation in Gaza is unacceptable, was growing.

“We are trying to send a message to everybody that the situation in Gaza will not go on,” Sawalha said.

“No one can accept what is going on now in Gaza – preventing people from having the food and medicine they need. This is a crime.”

The convoy is from the UK, Ireland, Algeria, Kuwait, Greece and Turkey, and is comprised of 800 people from 50 nationalities. It is made up of three cargo ships and five passengers boats.”

The response from Israel is predictable:

Naor Gilon, a deputy director general at the foreign ministry, said the action would be a “provocation and breach of Israeli law”.

Ah yes, law and order becomes a priority only when it serves Israeli interests.  Like the US and international law, which is followed only when it mirrors imperial policy.

“Israel should not be under any illusion whatsoever that their threats or intimidation will stop us or even that their violence against us will stop us,” Huwaida Arraf, from the Free Gaza Movement, said.

Kahel Mazen, from EGESG, added: “If they [the Israelis] choose to resort to destruction and death, our mission is to try to open a window of hope for the people of Gaza.”

Quite the pickle indeed for the Israelis.  Blowing up Turkish and European ships with aid for civilians will most definitely put them back on the negative press radar.  What is galling is that it takes this dramatic action to evoke even the smallest of ripples in the Western media.

None too young for 'sexy time' with Mo!

The delusional are really frothing at the moment, so much supercilious froth that a national government has taken notice and decided to ban facebook from being viewed from their county.  Way to go Pakistan, your pandering to bullshit stories and fatuous mythologies being peddled by the inane demagogues of Islam makes you an international laughing stock.

“The Pakistani government has blocked the popular social networking website Facebook because of a page inviting users to submit pictures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The page, titled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!”, was created in April to protest threats made by a Muslim group against the creators of the cartoon television show South Park after they depicted Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode earlier this year.”

Let me slow this down for you – drawing a picture, yes folks, a mere picture of Mohammad is enough to send the batshite crazies into a frenzy.

“But it has sparked outrage in Pakistan, where many Muslims consider images of the prophet, even favourable ones, to be blasphemous.

On Wednesday, the Lahore High Court ordered government officials to block the site until May 31, according to the deputy attorney general of Punjab province, Naveed Inayat Malik.

The Pakistani government on Tuesday ordered internet service providers in the country to block the page only, said

Take that, Heathens!! Allah denies you your status updates!

Khurram Ali, a spokesman for the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, which regulates the telecommunications network in the country.”

Lawyers with the Islamic Lawyers Forum appealed to the higher court on Wednesday, saying the entire site should be blocked because it had allowed the page to be posted in the first place, Malik said.

Oh, it is blasphemous. Now that is great reason to restrict access to the internet.  Your particular sky daddy get pissed off when he’s drawn?  Time to grow the frack up Pakistan and stop drinking the religious kool-aid.  But what tasty kool-aid it is.

“Lawyers outside the courtroom hailed the ruling, chanting “down with Facebook.”

In the southern city of Karachi, 2,000 female students rallied demanding that Facebook be banned for tolerating the controversial web page. Several dozen male students held a rally nearby, with some holding signs that urged Islamic holy war against those who blaspheme the prophet.”

You have no place in the 21st century.  When your kooky religion hits the internet it has and will continue to be exposed as the dangerously magical tripe that it is.

[the creators of the facebook draw mohammed page said]”We simply want to show the extremists that threaten to harm people because of their Mohammed depictions that we’re not afraid of them,” they wrote. “That they can’t take away our right to freedom of speech by trying to scare us into silence.”

Absolutely.  Keep your religious bullcookery private, and you will not be ridiculed.  Bring it out front and into the pubic sphere expect nothing less the the mockery that it deserves.

Meh.

Emotive pictures.  Coastline desecrated.  Ecosystem torn asunder.  Will people address the systematic causes of catastrophes like this.  Doubtful.

How deep does rape culture go?  How deeply ingrained is the patriarchally approved objectification of women in our ‘civil’ society?

Observe.

Unfortunately wordpress fails at embedded video.  I need to redirect you to the Feminsting blog to watch the clips in question.

This scene is played a total of 4 times, with a white couple and a black couple.  In each clip the women are made up to look as if they had been recently abused.  The difference between clip #1 and clip #2 is that the women are dressed provocatively in clip #2.  Nothing over the top, but what would, on a Saturday night out be considered normal attire.

This is not a particularly scientific experiment, but rather a useful (and disturbing) insight on how our rape culture operates.

Let me boil it down.  When women are dressed conservatively, they are more likely to receive help and people coming to their aid.  While dressed ‘provocatively’ the story changes completely.  People do not come to their aid, they avert their eyes, they tell the wait staff or ask to be moved… but do they intervene as the woman is being verbally and physically abused?  Not one patron in the restaurant lifts a finger.

How you are dressed determines if you are candidate for help.

The two middle aged women in the second clip, the ones that asked to be moved, speculate that the abused woman in question is a prostitute as they disdainfully glare at her.  Well she is dressed slutty and therefore obviously she deserves what she gets is the subtext of their reactions.

There is much to digest and compare between the two clips, and most of it is quite disgusting and disheartening.

Women are still looked upon as objects in our society.  They are not judged as human beings, but as mere objects.  More to the point, objects that deserve the abuse they receive based on how they look.

I’m done for awhile with this post.

I have read much of what Mr.Chomsky has written, his historical accuracy and meticulous fact checking make him a great resource to better understand how our world works.  This is a long interview, but worth every second of your time.

I found the transcripts and can highlight a few of the more poignant parts of the interview:

ES: You say one of the great hypocrisies here is that the United States, as you say, is a leading terrorist state…

Chomsky: Well, these two examples illustrate it. And these are minor ones. You know there are much more serious ones than this.

ES: The question that arises is if the United States is a leading terrorist state, if as you say, Britain is another example of a terrorist state, how do you distinguish between what you describe as terrorism and what they are saying — Osama Bin Laden who’s a terrorist? Make the distinction.

Chomsky: It’s very simple. If they do it, it’s terrorism. If we do it, it’s counter-terrorism. That’s a historical universal. Go back to Nazi propaganda. The most extreme mass murderers ever. If you look at Nazi propaganda, that’s exactly what they said. They said they’re defending the populations and the legitimate governments of Europe like Vichy from the terrorist partisans who are directed from London. That’s the basic propaganda line. And like all propaganda, no matter how vulgar, it has an element of truth. The partisans did carry out terror, they were directed from London. The Vichy government is about as legitimate as half the governments the US has installed around the world and supports, so yes, there was a minor element of truth to it, and that’s the way it works. If somebody else carries it out, it’s terror. If we carry it out, it’s counter-terror. I think perhaps one of the most dramatic examples right at this moment is a place where I just was a couple of weeks ago, southeastern Turkey. Southeastern Turkey is the site of some of the worst terrorist atrocities of the 1990s.

—–

ES: Robert Kaplan writes about foreign policy. I spoke to him recently about his book Warrior Politics, and I put some of your points to him and he said, about the distinction between the terrorist states that you call Israel, America, and the terrorist states that America calls the Taliban, “I wish Noam Chomsky had been with me in Romania in the 70s or the 80s, just one of the seven or eight Warsaw States, with just one of the 7 or 8 prison systems with 700,000 political prisoners. Adult choice of foreign policy is made on distinctions. The argument that Chomsky makes has no distinctions because there’s a difference between the quantity and the kind of dictators that America supported and the quantity and the kind of things that went on in the Communist world for 44 years.”

Chomsky: OK, so let’s take his example, Romania under Ceausescu. Hideous regime, which he forgot to tell you the United States supported. Supported right until the end, as did Britain. When Ceausescu came to London he was feted by Margaret Thatcher. When George Bush the First came into office, I think the first person he invited to Washington was Ceausescu. Yes, Romania was a miserable, brutal regime supported by the United States right to the end, as Robert Kaplan knows very well, so the example he gave is a perfect example.

ES: It wasn’t supported by the States in the 70s though?

Chomsky: In the 70s, in the 80s, right to the end of Ceausescu’s rule. It was supported by the United States. The reasons had to do with great power politics. They were sort of breaking Warsaw Pact policies and so on, but the very example he picks illustrates it and we can proceed onward.

So the very example he gives shows the absurdity of his position and it’s a small example because we support much more brutal regimes. It has nothing to do with Cold War issues.

I gave an example in South Eastern Turkey, several million refugees, tens of thousands of people killed, a country devastated, that’s rather serious.

Nobody accused Milosevic of that in Kosovo.

Suharto was one of the worst killers and torturers of the late twentieth century. The United States and Britain supported him throughout. He’s “our kind of guy,” as the Clinton administration said in 1995. Horrible atrocities, in fact, when he came into office in 1965 with a coup the CIA compared it to Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

It led to total euphoria in the United States and Britain, and massive support when he carried out even worse atrocities, comparable atrocities in East Timor —  over 200,000 people killed — full support continued right through the end of his rule, in fact, continued past his rule. In late 1999 when they were rampaging and destroying what was left of East Timor, the US and Britain continued to support him and I can continue through the world like this…

—–

ES: Should there be an organizing hegemon, do we need a constabulary, a force, a central force? In this case it’s America because it’s a superpower. Sometimes it use unjust means in the service of just causes.

Chomsky: What are the just causes? What was the just cause in, for example, slaughtering Kurds in southeastern Turkey? What was the just cause in supporting Suharto? When he killed a couple hundred thousand landless peasants in Indonesia, went on to become one of the biggest torturers in the world and slaughtered one-third of the population in East Timor, what was the just cause?

What was the just cause when we invaded South Vietnam 40 years ago? This is the 40th anniversary of the public announcement of the U.S. attack on South Vietnam, ending up killing millions of people, leaving the country devastated. They’re still dying from chemical warfare. What was the just cause?

What was the just cause when we fought a war to a large extent against the Catholic Church in Central America in the 1980s, killing hundreds of thousands of people, every imaginable kind of torture and devastation, what was the just cause? The just cause for people like Kaplan was yes, we did it, therefore it’s a just cause. You can read that in the Nazi archives too.

Can Trust be Restored?

ES: It’s no great secret that we function by self-interest. Self-interest is part of foreign policy. We’re here to protect our policy, protect the interests of our policy, in this case of the Americans.

Chomsky: Was the self-interest of the American people served by slaughters in southeastern Turkey, or by destroying Vietnam, or by turning El Salvador and Guatemala into cemeteries?

Was the self-interest of the American people served by that? No. The self-interest served by that is foreign policy elites and the power-centers they represent, which are not protecting the American people, they’re protecting their own power, profit, dominance and hegemony, like others around the world.

And they count on intellectuals of the Robert Kaplan type to applaud any atrocity they carry out.

Well our Prime minister has enough sense not to tamper with women’s rights (well at least while he has a minority government).

You womenz can keep your rights... for now.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he opposes any new abortion law for Canada and will vote against any of his backbenchers’ attempts to bring in such legislation.”

Furthermore he clarifies with regards to private members bills:

“My position is quite clear: I will oppose any attempt to create a new abortion law,” he told reporters in Niagara Falls.”

I have no doubt that his political pragmatism has gotten the best of him.  We can breathe a small sigh of relief, but must remain vigilant as the Conservatives will continue to chip away at women’s rights.

Look at how ignorant of history I actually am!

Thanks Think Progress.

Pictures sometimes often insight into situations that mere words cannot describe.  The level of wing-nuttery is quite amazing as these two fine stupified individuals can attest to.  The problem is, it gets worse.

I will kill you for attempting to establish what the rest of the industialized world already has!

Take that Communism!  Take that National Socialism!  We are prepared to kill people who do not agree with us.  I can feel the debate broadening already with these fine open minded induhviduals.   Oh..and throw in some delusional religious douchatude for flavour, because we all know GOD is completely against universal healthcare.

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