http://spectator.org/archives/2012/05/14/obamas-media-contrived-courage We know who’s side the media are on — but does Mitt Romney? If you want to gauge how the presidential campaign is going, all you need to do is strap sphygmomanometers to the arms of a fewNew York Times editorial writers, Washington Postreporters, and MSNBC hosts. The higher their average blood pressure, the [...]
WELL THE NYTIMES CLIMBS TO A NEW LOW…..YOU DIDN’T KNOW DID YOU THAT BEHIND EVERY TERRORIST THERE COULD BE AN IBN MILTON, ALI YAETS OR MEHMET COLERIDGE?
The Poetry of Al Qaeda and the Taliban
READERS going through the cache of letters that were released early this month from Osama bin Laden’s hideaway in Abbottabad, Pakistan, may have been taken aback by a reference — in the midst of discussions of tactics, regional politics and exchange rates for ransom money — to poetry.
One letter written by Bin Laden and perhaps an associate went from criticizing the news media’s coverage of Al Qaeda to commenting on a pre-Islamic tradition of satirical poetry called hija, which Arab tribes once used to mock their enemies. It’s easy to imagine that counterterrorism analysts wondered how to interpret that one.In fact, poetry has long been a part of Muslim radicalism; the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran, for example, was the author of a large collection of verse. Today, the Taliban’s Web site features poems written by the group’s members and sympathizers, both men and women. Recitations are frequently recorded and stored on cellphones and transferred from one person to another by way of Bluetooth technology.
Many Afghan and Al Qaeda poems — which come from distinct but hybrid literary traditions — are, as might be expected, political. In a statement broadcast on Al Jazeera in December 2001, Osama bin Laden quoted the following verses from one of his favorite contemporary poets, Yusuf Abu Hilala, changing the last line and replacing the word “castles” in the original with “towers,” as a reference to the destruction of the World Trade Center:
Though the clothes of darkness enveloped us and the poisoned tooth bit us,
Though our homes overflowed with blood and the assailant desecrated our land,
Though from the squares the shining of swords and horses vanished,
And sound of drums was growing
The fighters’ winds blew, striking their towers and telling them:
We will not cease our raids until you leave our fields.
If Al Qaeda’s writers tend to be preoccupied with what they see as Islam’s long and global history of conflict with Christendom, from the Crusades to the war on terror, Taliban poets tend to refer to the literature produced in their part of the world by nationalist and socialist movements over the course of the 20th century. And if Al Qaeda poems are characterized by the swords, charging horses and fiery deserts of pre-Islamic lore, Taliban poets praise more recent warriors like Malalai, a 19th-century battlefield heroine. The chief examples of historical conflict in Taliban poetry are the Anglo-Afghan wars, of which today’s United States-led war in Afghanistan is seen as a pale reflection.
That conflict figures in a poem on clouds, ducks, turbans and the White House by a poet known as Janbaz, one of many contemporary writers whose works have been translated into English for “Poetry of the Taliban,” an anthology edited by Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn.
White clouds and white hills in the sky;
White, white dew had descended from there.
Sometimes, it came to our place;
It was the Kunar river’s white, white duck.
This became a martyr’s shroud in the Laili desert;
It was the Talib’s beautiful white, white turban
That survived this attack.
The cunning enemy’s palace was white, white.
Another, by a poet called Jawad, is more explicit:
Hot, hot trenches are full of joy;
Attacks on the enemy are full of joy.
Guns in our hands and magazine belts over my shoulders;
Grenades on my chest are full of joy.
However, violent ideological conflict is far from the sole, or even the most popular, subject of militant poetry. In fact, explicit political statements are a recent adaptation. They are absent from Ayatollah Khomeini’s more traditional work, in which mystical couplets portray God as an alluring woman and divine knowledge as intoxicating wine. Although the arid piety of cleric and mosque are rejected in these poems for the pleasures of the bedroom and tavern, they do not display a prurient interest in sin but rather an exercise in freedom, where even the most observant Muslim can adopt a critical distance from the regulations of his faith.
Most contemporary poets are as interested in pastoral landscapes and love as in revenge and war. Abdul Hai Mutmain, who has been a Taliban spokesman, writes of the wind in the trees:
It is late afternoon and the wind speeds up and then stops;
It brushes against the pine needles and makes a low noise….
The pine tree with its strong structure bows and straightens its head back;
It hangs its branches loose down its face, and dances while standing on one leg.
These poems are not merely propagandistic; they move beyond the hard politics of the Taliban to form a bridge to the world outside the movement. And the rest of the world would do well to pay attention, because their ideals are more likely than any Taliban communiqué to survive the insurgency and to play a role in the remaking of Afghanistan. These poets criticize the idea of human rights that coalition forces are supposedly fighting to protect in their country. Instead, they voice notions of humanity that are linked to private duties like generosity, compassion and, indeed, nonviolence. In the collection of Taliban poetry, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi has this to say about what he takes to be the hypocrisy of humanitarian intervention:
The cloaked magician wanders like a beggar,
Trying to find some more forces to kill me.
The green parrots of the United Nations are mute;
Those who talk of human rights have sealed their mouths shut.
And here is the poet Samiullah Khalid Sahak on the way the war has dehumanized all its participants, including the Taliban themselves:
We are not animals,
I say this with certainty.
Humanity has been forgotten by us,
And I don’t know when it will come back.
May Allah give it to us,
And decorate us with this jewelry.
By excluding the aesthetic dimension from our analyses of militant texts like those recovered from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani lair, we miss a crucial opportunity to confront the humanity of their authors. As the poet Sadullah Saeed Zabuli put it in a recording made during the 1990s, comparing the desire for freedom to that of a famous literary lover for his mistress: “The beautiful Laila of freedom is shining in her beauty,/The Talib is half-drunk for her, approaching like Majnun.”
A fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and the author of the preface for the forthcoming anthology “Poetry of the Taliban.”
Gulf leaders to discuss EU-style union
Monday, May 14, 2012
The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council will hold a meeting Monday in Saudi Arabia to discuss transforming their six nations into a union, similar to the European Union
Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz1uqVFFJG1
The Amateur: Obama’s conceitful incompetence
Monday, May 14, 2012
Edward Klein’s new book on Barack Obama, The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, is a withering portrayal of a radical adrift, in over his head, drowning in his own incompetency. Read more…
Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz1uqVPZWep
CURL: Team Obama panics, and it’s only May
CURL: Team Obama panics, and it’s only May
It’s mushroom cloud after mushroom cloud for President Obama. We’ll never see the internal polls, but the externals are awful: Down 8 percent to challenger Mitt Romney in the latest poll, with fewer than 180 days; disillusioned college kids, independents and the white working-class fleeing in droves. Read more…
Read more: http://times247.com/#ixzz1uqVh5x8y
http://frontpagemag.com/2012/05/14/israel-why-land-matters-part-i/ In the years that followed the 1967 Six Day War a prevailing conventional wisdom developed among Western policy makers – especially in Washington — that simultaneously contends that a “strong and secure Israel” should have, as per UN Resolution 242, “secure and recognized boundaries” or simply “defensible borders,” yet nonetheless calls on Israel to [...]
When Egypt’s election commission published the final list of those who will be allowed to run in the first presidential election since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak last year, the list ended up with 13 names out of 23 that had initially applied.
Two high-profile candidates have been barred, Omar Suleiman, the former vice president and spy chief under Hosni Mubarak and Khairat al-Shater, the main nominee of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Suleiman was deemed ineligible because he had not submitted enough endorsing signatures to qualify. Shater was disqualified because he had been imprisoned and Egyptian law bans criminal convicts from running for president.
After Shater was disqualified the Muslim Brotherhood nominated their backup, Mohamed Morsi, the Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau.
Two others of the Egyptian presidential front-runners faced off during the country’s first televised presidential debate on Thursday. The hot topics were religion, Islamic law and Israel.
Calling socialists liberals is as deceptive as calling goose gizzards foie gras. It fools no one but the epistemologically blinkered. The term liberal allows liberals to pose as concerned, generous and forward-thinking individuals and to act under what was once an honorable term for anyone who advocated or endorsed liberty. And as any well-read American knows, liberals do not advocate liberty. Quite the opposite.
The subject here is the devolution of the term liberal, not its evolution.
Even out-and-out communists are called liberals. President Barack Obama is called a “liberal.” The late Senator Ted Kennedy was called a “liberal.” Barney Frank is a liberal. Obama’s cabinet is largely staffed by liberals (unless outed, as self-confessed communist Van Jones was). Communism and socialism still carry a bad reputation, so everyone, including the Main Stream Media, and even well-intentioned pundits and commentators friendly to liberty, use the term liberal. The MSM, however, does it to dodge the reputation. Others use it from habit or ignorance, or because calling liberals socialists or communists in drag might open a can of worms they couldn’t handle. This is courtesy carried to a fault. Underlying the fault is a fear of the inevitable clash between those who advocate freedom, and those who do not.
Obama’s campaign slogan, “Forward,” is simply a Progressive marching order. “Forward” to what? To socialism. To communism. To a command economy and a slave state, one half governed by bureaucrats, the other half by an alliance of Islam and quivering religionists of various stripes, willing to pay jizya to Islam in order to be granted their “religious freedom.”
The Washington Post trumpeted “Forward” with no reservations or even curiosity about its Communist and Nazi origins. But then the Washington Post has been in the Saul Alinsky camp for over a generation.
One Alinsky benefactor was Wall Street investment banker Eugene Meyer, who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1930 to 1933. Meyer and his wife Agnes co-owned The Washington Post. They used their newspaper to promote Alinsky.
http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2012/05/the_spy_on_your_cell_phone_is_a_professional.html Every day in the United States, professional cyber-spies are stealing tremendous amounts of information. Mainly from Russia and China, these spies target computer networks and increasingly seek entryways through mobile phones. Modern mobile phones — Smartphones — are powerful, networked computers, but they lack the firewalls and safeguards typically installed on PCs. What protection [...]
“When the number of Muslims proliferates, so does the number of bombs; the kind that al-Asiri makes and the kind that Arafat and the House of Saud made. The kind that blow up right away and the kind that tick slowly away from generation to generation, embedding themselves into a society, undermining it, chipping away at its roots, until it is time for them to go off. But whatever kind of bombs they are, when they go off they destroy our lives and our freedoms. And when there are enough Muslims around us, then life is a bomb.”
Good news for those of you who enjoy taking your shoes off in airports. Al-Qaeda’s chief bombmaker, a cheerful fellow named Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who sent his younger brother off on a suicide bombing mission with a bomb up his rectum, has been working on turning everything into a bomb. Cameras, printer cartridges and even pets.
The good news is that al-Asiri isn’t very good at it. His bomb did a good job of killing his brother, but not much else. The original underwear bomb worn by the Christmas bomber didn’t work out. The bad news is that with enough cannon fodder and enough attempts, sooner or later al-Asri or another college dropout will get it right. But even if he doesn’t, the force multiplier of the threat alone will do the job.
All it took was one shoe bomber to get us to take off our shoes. A failed plan to blow up airliners with liquid explosives led to the liquid ban. In the age of underwear bombs we have naked scanners. What is going to happen when the next plot involves explosives embedded in a laptop or surgically implanted in a pet?
The UN and the Terrorism Trade http://pjmedia.com/claudiarosett/ Compensation of victims of terrorism sounds like a good idea. But is this something the United Nations should be involved with? Fresh from the Guardian newspaper comes a dispatch headlined “UN moves to compensate the victims of terror: Report will recommend far-reaching changes to rebalance international law in [...]
Arianna Huffington, a liberal media prima donna and Internet purveyor of celebrity gossip, offers the silliest advice we have heard so far to the beleaguered people of Greece in today’s New York Times. Her missive sets a new high water mark for liberal stupidity, both for the author, and for the newspaper that chose to print it.
Greece should default on its foreign debt, she avers, like Argentina:
Argentina, which defaulted and restructured beginning in 2001, offers a point of comparison. The austerity crowd warned that Argentina would collapse if it stopped pegging the peso to the dollar and defaulted on its debt. There are many differences between Argentina and Greece. But Argentina’s default was followed by a few short months of economic crisis and then many years of steady economic growth — a dramatically different direction than the one Greece is now taking toward a potentially endless path of contraction that is destroying millions of lives and crippling the indomitable Greek spirit.
The trouble is that Greece is another banana republic without bananas. Argentina is a commodity exporter that won the lottery when commodity prices soared. In 2010 the country exported $68 billion worth of goods, mainly food, oil and metals, and imported $56 billion, with a trade surplus at about 3% of GDP. If you have a trade surplus, you don’t need the international lending market. You can pay cash.
Greece, by contrast, had a trade deficit in 2010 of $22 billion, equal to 7% of GDP. In 2011, both the deficit and GDP shrank, and the deficit remained at 6% of GDP. If Greece defaults, it will be unable to borrow the 6% of GDP it requires to finance this deficit, and it will be reduced to cash-and-carry trade–which means that it will cut imports by the equivalent of 6% of GDP. It appears that arithmetic wasn’t on the syllabus when Mrs. Huffington went up to Cambridge.
Her encomium begins with a sentimental portrait of her self-sacrificing mother, and concludes:
Greece, like my mother, has always been devoted above all else to its children. When the future of those children is diminished, the future — and life — of the country will be diminished, too.