Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saudis could be jailed for 10 years for questioning integrity of king

I received this from Amnesty International:

"Recently, Amnesty International obtained the secret draft of a proposed anti-terrorism law in Saudi Arabia. We were stunned by its contents.

We had no choice but to alert you, our supporters, of its draconian nature.

Last Friday, we posted our analysis of this law to our international website, as well as the law itself in English and Arabic. By Saturday, that website had been blocked all across Saudi Arabia.

It seems Saudi authorities didn't want you to know that a person could be jailed for a minimum of 10 years for "questioning the integrity" of the king. They didn't want you to find out about all those peaceful activists who could be held in detention indefinitely under the vague definition of "terrorist crimes".

The Saudi Arabian government may not want you to know these awful truths, but we do!"

Friday, July 29, 2011

Miracle in the Marshes of Iraq

A great documentary about the restoration of Iraq's southern marshes:

Also watch Part 2 and Part 3.

Thanks Hayder for sharing on facebook!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arabs have naming rights

Baghdad was once the intellectual center of the world. The astronomer in this video (I've seen him interviewed on shows for Discovery and History Channel but I forgot his name) discusses the progress Muslims made between 800 and 1100, and their subsequent decline. What caused the decline? I have asked before.

Thanks dad for sending this!

"Challenges to security still exist"

'The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution to extend for a year the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) as the current mandate is set to expire on July 31, 2011.

The resolution, which was drafted by the United States, stressed that "challenges to security in Iraq still exist and that improvements need to be sustained through meaningful political and national unity".'

Monday, July 25, 2011

Norwegian killer was influenced by American blogger

It appears the Norwegian mass murderer was influenced by conservative American blogger Robert Spencer, the author of Jihad Watch.

I love "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" - he always talks about the important stuff and he concisely points out the shocking comments from the right wing media. Tonight there was much to talk about, and some shocking comments to point out. Glen Beck was featured as Worst Person in the World because on his radio show today he said the island youth camp in Norway sounded to him like the "Hitler youth or whatever". Wow. Also watch that clip to see examples of people on FOX News blaming Muslims for the attack.

The clip below shows one of tonight's guests, who calls the extremist writing on the internet one of the "unintended consequences" of the first amendment, of free speech. It is the same with right wing Islamist rhetoric. Free speech cannot be denied, even if it is hate speech.

I watched some MSNBC earlier and I'm watching again now. They are all focused on the debt ceiling debate and the President's speech. It is important news, and it shows how much the President is compromising, and how much the Republicans are not. I was a bit surprised to see no coverage of the tragedy in Norway on MSNBC. Maybe I missed it.

Keith Olbermann talked about the Consequences of No Budget Deal, the tragedy in Norway and FOX News' reaction to it, the continuing grilling of the Murdochs, and he even had time to interview Maysoon Zayid. Incredible.

Most Americans don't know Obama is Christian

USA Today: "Not only do most Americans fail to identify President Obama as Christian, three in four don't know Mitt Romney is a Mormon, according to a new survey."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some media first assumed the attacks in Norway were committed by "jihadists"

Think Progress: 'some pundits, mostly right-wing neoconservatives, proclaimed that this bore all the hallmarks of Islamic terrorism, even going so far as to draw policy prescriptions. At the Washington Post, normally a well-respected news outlet, Jennifer Rubin quoted the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies‘ Thomas Joscelyn and AEI scholar Gary Schmitt to say that the attacks were the result of Islamic terrorism. She then concluded the “jihadist” attack on Oslo means the U.S. shouldn’t cut military spending"

This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists. [...] Some irresponsible lawmakers on both sides of the aisle…would have us believe that enormous defense cuts would not affect our national security. Obama would have us believe that al-Qaeda is almost caput and that we can wrap up things in Afghanistan. All of these are rationalizations for doing something very rash, namely curbing our ability to defend the United States and our allies in a very dangerous world.

The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, rushed up an editorial Friday, blaming “jidhadists” for the attacks and exclaiming, “Norway is targeted for being true to Western norms”:

…in jihadist eyes, [Norway] will always remain guilty of being what it is: a liberal nation committed to freedom of speech and conscience, equality between the sexes, representative democracy, and every other freedom that defines the West. For being true to those ideals, Norwegians have now been asked to pay a terrible price..

As more information came out about the attacks and the attacker, the WSJ rewrote the online version of the editorial, albeit by removing any trace of the above paragraph. Instead, it mentioned that it had falsely attributed the attacks to jihadists and called the attacker an al Qaeda “copycat.” '

Read more here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norway is a wonderful socialist country

In light of the horrible news about a right wing extremist who mass murdered his fellow Norwegians, including children, I wanted to post this clip from "Sicko", a documentary by Michael Moore. I haven't seen the documentary. I know it got great reviews (except from the right wing media owned by Rupert Murdoch) and I wanted to see it, but I forgot about it. I think tonight I will see it on Netflix, and soon I want to visit Norway!

Thank you Kirk Richards for posting this on facebook!

About the killer: "Another Norwegian news account, as translated by Google, indicated that Breivik harbored anti-Islam sentiment. The report said he identified strongly with nationalism and posted on an anti-Islam right-wing website, where he expressed views in opposition to multiculturalism and internationalism. He also expressed admiration for controversial Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders’s party."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Uday, the Devil's Double

I've noticed during the last few weeks the rising number of people who've been referred to my blog by searching "uday hussein". In the last month, according to Blogger stats, "uday hussein" was the top search keyword that resulted in somebody looking at my blog. 76 searches of "uday hussein" with 31 searches of "iraqi mojo" at a distant second. A Google search of "uday hussein" yields one of my posts called "I WAS UDAY HUSSEIN", a Viceland article about Latif Yahia, who was forced to be Uday's double. It was the most viewed post on my blog in the last month, and the second most viewed post all time. For that post, on July 10 David All commented 'Latif's horrifying tale has been made into a movie, "The Devil's Double" that is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 29th. You can read more about it at'. Thanks David All for that comment!

I have seen at least two commercials for the movie, and tonight I found a description of the movie in Wikipedia:

The Devil's Double is a 2011 drama film directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Dominic Cooper, Philip Quast, Ludivine Sagnier and Raad Rawi. It was released on January 22, 2011 at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and will be released in limited theaters on July 29, 2011 by Lionsgate and Herrick Entertainment.[1] Story: Based on a gripping, unbelievable true story of money, power and opulent decadence, Lionsgate's THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE takes a white-knuckle ride deep into the lawless playground of excess and violence known as Baghdad, 1987. Summoned from the frontline to Saddam Hussein's palace, Iraqi army lieutenant 'Latif Yahia' (Dominic Cooper) is thrust into the highest echelons of the "royal family" when he's ordered to become the 'fiday' -- or body double -- to Saddam's son, the notorious "Black Prince" Uday Hussein (also Dominic Cooper), a reckless, sadistic party-boy with a rabid hunger for sex and brutality. With his and his family's lives at stake, Latif must surrender his former self forever as he learns to walk, talk and act like Uday. But nothing could have prepared him for the horror of the Black Prince's psychotic, drug-addled life of fast cars, easy women and impulsive violence. With one wrong move costing him his life, Latif forges an intimate bond with Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier), Uday's seductive mistress who's haunted by her own secrets. But as war looms with Kuwait and Uday's depraved gangster regime threatens to destroy them all, Latif realizes that escape from the devil's den will only come at the highest possible cost.

So now I know why there have been so many views of the post "I WAS UDAY HUSSEIN". I am looking forward to watching this movie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Only 4.7% of foreign investment in Iraq comes from US companies

USA Today: "U.S. companies have been slow to get in on the investment opportunities in Iraq, even lagging behind countries that opposed the war, such as France.

Last year, French companies represented 9.9% of the foreign investment in Iraq, compared with 4.7% for American companies, the Dunia report says."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bush policies mostly responsible for huge deficits

I found this on "The Chart That Should Accompany Every Discussion of Deficits" after seeing it on my friend Heather's facebook page.

Why didn't Obama change the variables that could be changed? Why continue the huge defense spending? And why not raise taxes, at least on the rich?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Iraq wants US fighter jets

"Iraq has quietly started negotiations to buy U.S. fighter jets and air-defense systems worth billions of dollars, a purchase Washington hopes will help counter Iranian influences and cement long-term ties with Baghdad after American troops pull out."

I read yesterday about a possible German deal to sell Saudi Arabia a bunch of tanks. I didn't even know Germany still makes tanks. I saw on fb today something in German that I didn't understand, but I gathered the deal is off. I wonder why.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bahraini footballers tortured

"According to a report published in the Australian Saturday via the Times of London, several Bahraini soccer players including stars of the country's national team, were tortured while held in detainment after their arrest by security forces for participating in a protest against Bahrain's ruling Al-Khalifa family in March."

Remember how the Arabs & Muslims reacted to torture and abuse committed by Americans at Abu Ghraib? Apparently the Arabs are against torture only when Americans do it.

Thanks Homam for posting on fb.

PS: Iraq appeals to Bahrain for footballer's release

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Car bomb kills 36 municipal employees outside Baghdad

LAT: "A car bomb and a smaller explosive device detonated Tuesday morning close to a parking area for municipal employees in a town outside Baghdad, leaving 36 people dead and 54 wounded, according to police and hospital sources."

Insurgents are still targeting government employees, after all these years. It's not as bad as it used to be. Meanwhile, the US government is saying they are willing to keep 10,000 troops in Iraq past the end of the year, as long as Iraq makes the request.