You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Al Jazeera’ tag.

Trump level insanity dissected.

“Since Israel’s brutal 21-day assault on Gaza in the winter of ’08-’09 (dubbed by Israeli politicians as Operation Cast Lead) that led to over 1,400 Palestinian deaths – of which 930 were civilians including many women and children – followed by its deadly raid on a civilian Turkish ship headed to Gaza in June 2010 that resulted in nine casualties and dozens injured, many Palestinians as well as their advocates in the West have spoken of a significant “sea change” in the western media’s once hegemonic support for Israel. However, since this latest military operation began – already claiming more than 30 lives and injuring hundreds – evidence of any changing tide has been scant.”

Well we need to have *some* happy news from the occupied territories no?  It can’t always be more innocents dead and heavy handed state oppression can it?

“Some mainstream liberal media outlets have discussed the imbalance between the rocket launches from Gaza resistance groups and the attacks executed by one of the mightiest armies in the world. While some may take this as a sign of newfound “support” or “empathy” for Palestinians, this is precarious logic. If Hamas’ rockets were to become more powerful, as they are proving to be, will these outlets retract their critique of Israel’s actions? Or is support for Palestinians contingent on them remaining “victims” and will vanish at any sign of their resistance becoming more powerful or effective?”

Perspective is always so important.  The farcical Fox News is readily distinguishable as propaganda, but are we ready to see the propaganda function of other media organizations, the BBC for instance.

“A focus on “who started it?” consumes the mainstream media’s discussion on the latest violence, leading commentators to discuss timelines as though they were opinions rather than verifiable facts to consider and, to a one, even getting that wrong, with media outlets from NPR to the NYT declaring that Israel’s – rather than Hamas’ – strikes were retaliatory.

Meanwhile pundits feverishly try to tease out a political motive to explain Israel’s latest massive assault on Gaza. So far, the realpolitick most commonly alluded to is the impending Israeli election, scheduled for January 22, giving Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak strategic reasons for timing an assault on Gaza now.”

Defending the nation is always a great political platform to run on, even when you are the aggressor.

“When it comes to looking behind the scenes of Israeli military assaults on Gaza (or Lebanon), there is always a general hoping for a promotion, a politician looking for votes, and an arms dealer making profits, but the rationale that enables that triumvirate to enact the lethal policies we are seeing play out in Gaza right now is the same one that allows the Israeli government to calculate how many calories each Palestinian in the Gaza Strip needs to survive, and to then intentionally allow fewer trucks and supplies in to meet that need. And it’s the same rationale that motivates the Israeli occupation authorities to prevent construction in Area C of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, to encourage widespread drug addiction in Area B, and to make near-daily incursions into Area A to arrest political leaders, activists and journalists.

It’s the rationale of a coloniser, who wants land but not the people on it. 

The other pervasive rationale has been that Israel is “testing” the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt as well as, to a degree, President Obama in his second and last term in office.”


It is music’s capacity to take over your mind and invade your inner experience that makes it so terrifying as a potential weapon.

– Thomas Keenan, the director of the  Human Right’s Project at Bard College

Hey, surprise we’re not the good guys.  Ever.  This is all from Al-Jazeera and I guarantee it will not brighten your day.

“In 2003, it transpired that US intelligence services had tortured detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib with music from Sesame Street.

Human rights researcher Thomas Keenan explains: “Prisoners were forced to put on headphones. They were attached to chairs, headphones were attached to their heads, and they were left alone just with the music for very long periods of time. Sometimes hours, even days on end, listening to repeated loud music.”

“The music was so loud,” says Moazzam Begg, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram. “And it was probably some of the worst torture that they faced.”

Stunned by this abuse of his work, Cerf was motivated to find out more about how it could happen.

“In Guantanamo they actually used music to break prisoners. So the idea that my music had a role in that is kind of outrageous,” he says. “This is fascinating to me both because of the horror of music being perverted to serve evil purposes if you like, but I’m also interested in how that’s done. What is it about music that would make it work for that purpose?”

I was surprised when I saw this video up at the AJ news page.  It was a legitimate story on the Teabag Party and how they were going to hold a convention.  The convention failed as tickets to attend were said to be priced at $500 a head.  AJ also says the Teabag Party was instrumental in getting Scott Brown elected in the US senate.

As I watched the video, they had the footage of some of their signs.  Painting Obama as a Adolf Hitler, misidentifying him as a socialist.  For the record, National Socialism has nothing to do with Socialism, it is quite the opposite.

What I see is people who feel like they are cut off from the system rallying hysterically against strawmen and caricatures they have little understanding of.  I believe it is symptomatic of the increasingly fragmented body politic in the US.  People are beginning to realize that neither established party is serving their needs.

A  paradigm for reading news and following events that should really become more popular.  Triangulation.  That grab the same story from several feeds and see what is reported and emphasized and more importantly, what is *not* reported in the story in question.

In our case we have the instance of Hakimullah Mehsud either being allegedly dead or really just doing fine.  The answer depends on whether you look at the report from the CBC, or the report from English Al-Jazeera.

The CBC says:

“The militant leader’s death would be an important success for both Pakistan, which has been battling the Pakistani Taliban, and the U.S., which blames Mehsud for a recent deadly bombing against the CIA in Afghanistan.

The army’s disclosure came shortly after Pakistani state television, citing unnamed “official sources,” reported that Mehsud died in Orakzai, an area in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region where he was reportedly being treated for his injuries.

“We have these reports coming to us,” army spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas told The Associated Press. “We are investigating whether it is true or wrong.”



“There has been a call to a local television station and Qari Hussein, a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban, is said to have denied reports of the death of Hakimullah Mehsud,” Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said.

“There is no concrete evidence to suggest that Hakimullah Mehsud is dead, but there is also some suspicion because there has been no video message to prove that he is alive.”

The AFP news agency reported that a senior Taliban spokesman had said that Mehsud was “alive and safe”.

Now, it is hard to evaluate who has a more accurate reports, as who has information about the sources.  We have to base much of our news on the veracity of sources that we cannot easily verify.

So is the Taliban leader alive or dead?  Who do you believe?

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