Saturday, January 17, 2015


Q: Why, during the Vietnam war, we did not see millions of refugees leaving South Vietnam and going to the North, even though the South and the North are parts of the same country?

Yet we see over five million Syrians escaping to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan and dying from the cold and hunger in refugee camps.

A: In Vietnam you had a competent leadership and party that organized and directed the fight against the occupier and its local South Vietnamese puppet. It realized that the fight was in the South, and instead of millions of refugees streaming North, the fighters streamed South.

In Syria  you do not have a unified, independent, competent and credible leadership. This made the ordinary Syrians respond to the calls and the whims of regional and international powers who made them evacuate thinking that they would return in a few months. This is so reminiscent of the Palestinian refugees during the Nakba.

Turkey helped create that illusion by promising far more than it could deliver. Now the poor civilian refugees are paying the price.

What will it take for the Syrians to form their own, independent, competent and tough-minded leadership??

وفد الأنبار في واشنطن.. والهدف القضاء على "داعش"

وفد الأنبار في واشنطن.. والهدف القضاء على "داعش"




توجّه وفد حكومي وعشائري من محافظة الأنبار، (غرب البلاد)، إلى واشنطن، لبحث سبل إشراك القادة العسكريين الأميركيين في إعداد خطط لتحرير مناطق المحافظة من سيطرة تنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية" (داعش).
وقال رئيس مجلس محافظة الأنبار، صباح كرحوت، لـ"العربي الجديد"، إن وفدا من مسؤولين محليين وشيوخ عشائر في المحافظة توجهوا إلى واشنطن، بعد حصولهم على موافقات رسمية من الحكومة المركزية".
وأوضح كرحوت، أنّ "الوفد سيلتقي بالرئيس الأميركي، باراك أوباما، لطلب الدعم بالتدريب والتسلّيح من أجل تطهير المحافظة من (داعش)"، مضيفاً أن الهدف من الزيارة "هو شرح قضية الأنبار والمؤامرات التي تمر بها، ونسبة دمار المدن والبنى التحتية، وطرح خطط جديدة لتحرير المناطق".
من جهته، أكّد عضو مجلس محافظة الأنبار، عذال الفهداوي، أن "وفد المحافظة سيناقش مع الإدارة الأميركية ثلاثة محاور، في مقدمتها إشراك القادة العسكريين الأميركيين بوضع الخطط لتحرير الأنبار، إضافة إلى تسليح أبناء العشائر وتدريبهم".
وتابع الفهداوي، أن "الوفد سيناقش كذلك، إنشاء صندوق دولي لدعم الأنبار، بهدف إعادة إعمار البنى التحتية للمحافظة وتعويض المتضررين من العمليات الإرهابية والعسكرية".
إلى ذلك، بيّن قائم مقام حديثة، عبدالحكيم الجغيفي، لـ"العربي الجديد"، أنّ "وفد المحافظة ضم محافظ الأنبار، صهيب الراوي، ورئيس مجلس المحافظة، صباح كرحوت وقائم مقامي الفلوجة، فيصل العيساوي، ورئيس مؤتمر صحوة العراق، أحمد أبوريشة، وشيخ عشيرة البوذياب، حكمت السليمان، وشيخ عشيرة البونمر حكمت الكعود".
وأوضح الجغيفي، أن "هذه الشخصيات التقت قبل أيام، رئيس الوزراء حيدر العبادي، في بغداد، حيث أكدت أن تحرير الأنبار بالكامل من سيطرة (داعش)، سيشكل بوابة مهمة لتحرير بقية مناطق العراق بأسرع وقت، للبدء بعدها بإعادة النازحين وإعمار هذه المناطق".
وتتطلع عشائر الأنبار إلى إقامة شراكة أمنية واقتصادية جديدة طويلة الأمد مع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، غير أن الأخيرة اشترطت على الحكومة العراقية تسليح عشائر المحافظة، لإرسال مستشارين عسكريين إلى هناك".
وفي هذا السياق، قال رئيس هيئة الأركان المشتركة للقوات الأميركية، مارتن ديمبسي، إنه "يتعين على الحكومة العراقية أن تكون مستعدة لتسليح عشائر المحافظة كشرط مسبق للحصول على مستشارين من الخارج للعمل فيها".
وكانت الحكومة العراقية قد رحبت بقرار الولايات المتحدة تسليح العشائر في محافظة الأنبار، وعدّتها خطوة في الاتجاه الصحيح، مشدّدة على أن يكون التسليح تحت مظلة الحكومة وبالتنسيق مع شيوخ العشائر، التي تقاتل تنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية" في المناطق الغربية

ICC preliminary probe on Palestine still a long way from war crimes trials

By Ali Abunimah


International Criminal Court’s move is a first, small step on a long and obstacle-filled road to justice for Palestinian victims of Israeli war crimes.
 (Anne Paq / ActiveStills)
The International Criminal Court in the Hague has opened a preliminary examination into the situation in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Amnesty International said this step “could eventually lead to an ICC investigation into crimes committed by all sides in Israel and the [occupied territories] and break the culture of impunity that has perpetuated a cycle of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
press release today from the ICC said the examination would cover the period since 13 June 2014, which would include Israel’s biggest assault in the occupied West Bank in a decade and its summer attack on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 people.
However, this is only a very small step in what would still be a very long and obstacle-filled road to justice for Palestinian victims of Israeli rights violations.
The ICC said that the Office of the Prosecutor opens a preliminary examination “as a matter of policy and practice” when it receives a valid declaration from a UN member state that it has acceeded to the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the court.
This indicates that the preliminary examination was not taken at the discretion of chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, but rather as a matter of routine.
On 2 January, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accepted as valid documents from the Palestinian Authority that the “State of Palestine” had signed on to the Rome Statute.

No timelines

According to the ICC, “a preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed” with a full investigation.
The press release also notes that there are “no timelines provided in the Rome Statute for a decision on a preliminary examination.”
Based on the preliminary examination, the prosecutor has discretion to decide whether to proceed or whether to “decline to initiate an investigation.”
Amnesty International, among others, has already collected a large amount of evidenceindicating that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza last summer.

US anger

Although the ICC is supposed to be independent, Bensouda is likely to face intense pressure not to proceed with an investigation into Israel’s actions, especially from the US administration of President Barack Obama, which has worked tenaciously to guarantee impunity for Israel.
The US State Department issued a statement that even for the Obama administration was remarkable in its sheer hostility to the notion of justice for Palestinians. It asserted that the ICC’s preliminary examination was “counterproductive to the cause of peace.”
“As we have said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC,” the statement said.
“It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC,” the State Department added, making no mention of the fact that Israel dropped roughly theequivalent of an atomic bomb on Gaza last summer killing and injuring thousands of people and leaving more than 100,000 homeless.
Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman called for the ICC to be dismantled altogether.


The court already suffers from a credibility problem. It has long been criticized for disproportionately focusing on Africa while alleged crimes committed in other countries have been ignored.
In an analysis for The Electronic Intifada last August, international law expert Michael Kearney said that Palestine would present the court with a series of major challenges.
“The political pressure against the Office of the Prosecutor is likely to be immense,” Kearney noted, “and the task of asserting and retaining prosecutorial independence is something to be monitored very closely.”
Nonetheless, Kearney sees potential that Palestinians could eventually use the court to bring prosecutions not only for specific incidents such as those which may have occurred during the attack on Gaza, but also for state-level policies such as Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank and the crime of apartheid.
Another danger is that the PA will continue to use ICC membership as a tactical bargaining chip and will halt or withdraw proceedings in exchange for a resumption of the moribund “peace process.”
But given the total impunity Israeli politicians and military leaders have enjoyed to conquer, destroy, settle and kill at will, many Palestinians are likely to welcome any development, however modest, that could eventually help them find justice.


By Eric Margolis
My father, Henry Margolis, was a Broadway producer, industrialist, gourmet and man about town. Instead of wasting time taking me to play ball in the park, we would go each Saturday to an interesting new restaurant.
One afternoon, we went to lunch at a just-opened place on West 55th called “Lucky Pierre.” Pierre told us that he – like it seems almost everyone else in France during the war – had been in the Resistance. In the course of a sharp battle, our Frenchman dove under an ammunition truck during an air attack. It exploded.
Pierre walked away unscathed. Hence his sobriquet, “Lucky Pierre.”
Alas, Pierre’s food, did not equal his luck. The restaurant closed two months later.
Enter Lucky Pierre #2: France’s President Francois Hollande. Two weeks ago, his polls fell below 10%, making Hollande the most unpopular, derided leader of France in memory. Unemployment kept rising, the ruling Socialists can’t seem to cut the bloated budget, and just about everyone in France was angry at the Hollande.
President Holland’s Socialists sank so low that the hard right National Front of Marine le Pen was expected to oust the left in forthcoming elections in 2017. Even the much hated right-wing leader, Nicholas Sarkozy, was coming to look like the savior of France.
The demoralized Hollande even publicly mused about not serving out his term. Then, in one of life’s amazing surprises, everything changed for Lucky Francois.
Two French of Algerian descent, the by now notorious Kouachi brothers, and a black African radical launched two deadly attacks in Paris, massacring the staff of the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo.
The attack on “Charlie” was not a surprise: it and a rightwing Danish newspaper had made their name demeaning and mocking Islam. “Charlie” was reportedly owned or financed by a French Rothschild. No reason has so far been given for the mindless killing of four Jewish shoppers.
France and much of the western world erupted in high moral outrage over the Paris massacre. Defending the sacred right of free speech was declared a holy war. Politicians fell over themselves to join the crusade of the righteous. Even Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu, who had just killed over 2,000 Palestinians, including some 15 journalists.
Hollande went overnight from a fuddled little man to male Joan of Arc and defender of liberty. All France rallied to the embattled president and gave him a new lease of political life.
Hollande and the National Assembly lost no time in announcing that France would increase and intensify its military operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, East Africa, Abu Dhabi, Iraq, Afghanistan (from where French troops have been withdrawing, as well as covert operations in Syria, Lebanon and Somalia.
In fact, Hollande has been advocating French military intervention in Africa and Asia for much of his term. One would think that Socialists would be less militaristic but such is not the case in France. There is long been an anti-Arab/anti-Muslim core in the Socialists and members with imperial ambitions. Interestingly, it was France’s Socialists who secretly provided Israel with is nuclear arsenal.
The mayhem in Paris certainly reminded many of America’s 9/11 ordeal. In both cases, a floundering, lackluster leader was suddenly catapulted into the role of national champion and heroic war lord. Hollande is a decent man but he is milking the Paris massacre for all its worth.
Meanwhile, the hypocrisy of all the ado about free speech is beginning to sink in. We learn that “Charlie Hebdo” fired one of its cartoonists for mocking the son of Sarkozy’s marriage to a wealthy Jewish heiress. A French-African not very funny comic faced charges of anti-Semitism.
Pro-Palestinian marches in Paris were banned by the free speech government. In France, questioning details of the Holocaust is a crime. The Armenian genocide of World War I is similarly taboo. France has seriously violated its own noble tradition of free speech while hectoring others to observe it.
How all this works out in the end for Hollande’s Socialists remains unclear. A short-term boost for sure. But the far right is on the march. It’s calls to “do something” about France’s 6 million Muslims and bring in draconian laws as America did post 9/11 have much resonance. But do what is the question most French are not yet willing to face.
copyright Eric S. Margolis 2015

إلى متى نبقى نحن العرب فئران تجارب؟

د. فيصل القاسم
تتخبط المجتمعات العربية في بحر من المتغيرات والزلازل السياسية والثقافية والدينية والاجتماعية المخيفة، بحيث لا تستطيع أن ترسو على بر. لماذا؟ لأنها أولاً محكومة بأنظمة سياسية تابعة وغير مستقلة ولا مستقرة، وتنفذ سياسات وضعها الغير لها، وثانياً لأنها ليست أكثر من مختبرات تجارب، إن لم نقل فئران تجارب. فهي مطلوب منها أن تغير نمط حياتها وثقافتها وتوجهاتها وحتى معتقداتها بين عقد وآخر كي تتماشى مع المتحكمين بها خارجياً.
قبل أكثر من نصف قرن من الزمان – وهي فترة قصيرة جداً في عمر الشعوب – سنّت بعض القوى الكبرى المتحكمة بمنطقتنا جغرافياً وديموغرافياً وثقافياً وإعلامياً ما يشبه الفرمانات والمراسيم الملزمة لبعض دولنا كي تتبع نظاماً إسلامياً متزمتاً ومناهج تعليمية متحجرة، لأنها وجدت في مثل هذا النظام الوسيلة الأنجع للوقوف في وجه بعض النظم السياسية العربية الناشئة التي قد تهدد مصالحها في المنطقة كالنظم القومية والاشتراكية التي كانت تابعة بدورها للمعسكر السوفياتي. 
بعبارة أخرى، فإن المجتمعات العربية ذات التوجه الإسلامي أو الاشتراكي أو القومي كانت بمجملها ضرورات أملتها العوامل الخارجية أكثر منها المتطلبات الداخلية. فهذا النظام أقام دولة ‘إسلامية’ كي يرضي أسياده الأمريكيين والأوروبيين، ويحارب إلى جانبهم، وذاك أنشأ نظاماً اشتراكياً نزولاً عند رغبة أسياده السوفيات، بما ينطوي عليه ذلك من فرض وقهر وتوجهات قسرية مخالفة لطبيعة المجتمع وميوله الإنسانية.
وبعد أن تغيرت التحالفات الدولية بعد انتهاء الحرب الباردة وظهور أمريكا كقطب أوحد، كان لا بد للمجتمعات العربية أن تتغير مائة وثمانين درجة كي تواكب سادتها الأمريكيين الجدد الذين لم تعد تناسبهم النظم الاجتماعية التي أمروا بقيامها، ودعموها في النصف الثاني من القرن العشرين.
لهذا السبب تحديداً نرى أن المجتمعات العربية تتخبط منذ سنوات في بحر من الفوضى والاضطرابات والهزات الاجتماعية والسياسية الرهيبة. 
لقد دأبت بعض الأنظمة العربية منذ أكثر من خمسين عاماً على بناء ما تزعم أنه مجتمعات إسلامية الطابع، وجندت لها ميزانيات هائلة كي تكرسها، وتقويها، وتثبت أسسها من خلال وسائل إعلام ونظم تعليمية «متأسلمة». وقد كان الهدف من كل ذلك، في واقع الأمر، ليس إقامة مجتمعات إسلامية، بل من أجل صد التغول الشيوعي في المنطقة العربية الذي كان ينافس الهيمنة الأمريكية.
وقد تطور هذا المجتمع الإسلامي المزعوم في ذروة الصراع السوفييتي الأمريكي في أفغانستان كي يزود من يسمون بالمجاهدين الأفغان بمزيد من المقاتلين العرب العقائديين من أجل طرد «الغازي السوفييتي».
وقد تبين فيما بعد أن الاستخبارات الأمريكية ومعها بعض الأجهزة العربية كانت وراء هذه اللعبة القذرة التي راح ضحيتها الألوف من المضحوك عليهم من السذج العرب الذين تحولوا فجأة من «مجاهدين» إلى إرهابيين في عُرف من صنعوهم.
وقد كان الهدف الأول والرئيسي من تلك الحملة ‘الإيمانية’ الملعوبة جيداً طرد المحتل السوفياتي من أفغانستان كي يحل محله الأمريكيون فيما بعد بطريقة منظمة وملعوبة كالشطرنج في أعقاب أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول/سبتمبر.
لم يعد الإسلام الجهادي مطلوباً بعد أن تخلصت أمريكا من عدوها التقليدي (الشيوعية)، وبالتالي لا بد من تفكيك المجتمعات التي عاشت على الأصولية الإسلامية لعقود. ومطلوب الآن تفصيل إسلام جديد يناسب المجتمعات التي يريدها الغرب.
لا عجب إذن أن قامت بعض المعاهد الغربية بوضع خطط لتكوين إسلام ناعم يتواءم مع المخططات الأمريكية الجديدة في العالم العربي. وكان لا بد للإسلام الجديد أن ينقلب مائة وثمانين درجة على الإسلام الذي كان مطلوباً أيام الحرب الباردة. إنه ‘الإسلام الليبرالي’ الذي يقبل بكل الأطروحات والمفاهيم والقيم الغربية، ويساعد على نشرها وترسيخها في المنطقة.
لا عجب أن رأينا بعض ‘الإسلاميين العرب الجدد’ يقودون الحملة الجديدة لتطهير العالمين العربي والإسلامي من الفيروس الأصولي القديم، ويبشرون بـ’التسامح والمحبة والديموقراطية’. 
من هو المخول والقادر إذن على القيام بهذه المهمة التفكيكية للمجتمعات العربية المطلوب إعادة تركيبها؟ إنه الإعلام، وليس أي إعلام، بل الإعلام الترفيهي التجهيلي الهابط المعتمد على إثارة الغرائز ومسح العقول وتغييب الوعي، خاصة وأن المهمة أمامه شاقة للغاية، وتحديداً في البلدان التي حملت مشعل الإسلام الأصولي. فليس من السهل تحويل اتجاه المتزمتين دينياً بالاتجاه المطلوب إلا بفضائيات رخيصة تنتشر كالفطر البري في السموات العربية، وتغزو عقولهم وقلوبهم بما لذ وطاب من أغان ومسلسلات محلية وأجنبية مدبلجة وأفلام وغانيات كاسيات عاريات وراقصات ومطربات ماجنات واحتكارات فنية شيطانية. في الماضي أرادونا أن نكون متدينين متزمتين. وفي لحظة ما يريدوننا أن نكون راقصات وراقصين وطبالين وزمارين، على أن نكون مستعدين مرة أخرى لنصبح «جهاديين» إذا اقتضت الحاجة.
إلى متى نبقى مجتمعات للتركيب والتفكيك عند الحاجة نزولاً عند رغبة هذه القوة الخارجية أو تلك؟ أما آن الأوان لأن تكون لدينا ثقافتنا الخاصة بنا المنبثقة من طبيعتنا وواقعنا وتاريخنا وتراثنا وأحلأمنا وآمالنا؟ بالطبع. لكن ذلك لن يتحقق إلا عندما تكون لدينا حكومات وأنظمة مختارة داخلياً وليس مفروضة من الخارج. وعيش يا كديش ليطلع الحشيش!
٭ كاتب واعلامي سوري

حرية تعبير على مقاس الدكتاتور- الرسام محمد ابو عفيفة

"Freedom of Expression" in Arab Dictatorships! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

لقاء اليوم - نعوم تشومسكي

Real News Video: Paris Attacks: Rage of the Dispossessed

Chris Hedges says the mass self-exaltation of European leaders is dangerous because with it comes a blindness towards our own culpability


Paris is a warning: there is no insulation from our wars

The Guardian

The official response to every jihadist-inspired terrorist attack in the west since 2001 has been to pour petrol on the flames. That was true after 9/11 when George Bush launched his war on terror, laying waste to countries and spreading terror on a global scale. It was true in Britain after the 2005 London bombings, when Tony Blair ripped up civil liberties and sent thousands of British troops on a disastrous mission to Afghanistan. And it’s been true in the aftermath of last week’s horrific killings at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
In an echo of Bush’s rhetoric, the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy declared a “war of civilisations” in response to attacks on “our freedoms”. Instead of simply standing with the victims – and, say, the vastly larger numbers killed byBoko Haram in Nigeria – the satirical magazine and its depictions of the prophet Muhammad have been elevated into a sacred principle of western liberty. The production on Wednesday of a state-sponsored edition of Charlie Hebdo became the latest test of a “with us or against us” commitment to “our values”, as French MPs voted by 488 votes to one to press on with the military campaign in Iraq. To judge by the record of the past 13 years, it will prove a poisonous combination, and not just for France.
Nothing remotely justifies the murderous assault on Charlie Hebdo’s journalists, still less on the Jewish victims singled out only for their religious and ethnic identity. What has become brutally obvious in the past week, however, is the gulf that separates the official view of French state policy at home and abroad and how it is seen by many of the country’s Muslim citizens. That’s true in Britain too, of course. But what is hailed by white France as a colour-blind secularism that ensures equality for all is experienced by many Muslims as discrimination and denial of basic liberties.
In a country where women are bundled into police vans because of the way they dress, freedom of speech can also look like a one-way street. Charlie Hebdo claims to be an “equal opportunities offender”, abusing all religions alike. The reality, asone of its former journalists put it, has been an “Islamophobic neurosis” that focused its racialised baiting on the most marginalised section of the population. This wasn’t just “depictions” of the prophet, but repeated pornographic humiliation.
For all the talk of freedom of expression being a non-negotiable right, Holocaust denial is outlawed in France, and performances by the antisemitic black comedianDieudonné have been banned. But just as there is a blindness in sections of progressive France about how the secular ideology used to break the grip of the powerful is now used to discipline the powerless, the right to single out one religion for abuse has been raised to the status of a core liberal value.
The absurdity was there for all to see at the “Je suis Charlie” demonstration in Paris on Sunday. A march supposedly to defend freedom of expression wasled by serried ranks of warmongers and autocrats: from Nato war leaders and Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu to Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s foreign minister, who between them have jailed, killed and flogged any number of journalists while staging massacres and interventions that have left hundreds of thousands dead, bombing TV stations from Serbia to Afghanistan as they go.
The scene was beyond satire. But it also highlighted the central role of the war on terror in the Paris atrocities, and how the serried ranks are likely to use them for their own ends. Of course, the cocktail of causes and motivations for the attacks are complex: from an inheritance of savage colonial brutality in Algeria via poverty, racism, criminality and takfiri jihadist ideology.
But without the war waged by western powers, including France, to bring to heel and reoccupy the Arab and Muslim world, last week’s attacks clearly wouldn’t have taken place. That war on terror has lasted 13 years – even if attempts to control the region long predate it – unleashing brutality and destruction on a vast scale.
It’s what the killers say themselves. The Kouachi brothers were radicalised by the Iraq war and trained in Yemen by al-Qaida. Cherif Kouachi insisted the attacks had been carried out in revenge for the “children of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria”. Ahmed Coulibaly said they were a response to France’s attacks on Isis, while claiming the supermarket slaughter was revenge for the deaths of Muslims in Palestine.
Such wanton killings are, of course, entirely counterproductive to the causes they are supposed to promote – and the targets, shaped by a reactionary religious framework, feed the idea that these are some mutant product of European cultural wars. But there were no such attacks in Europe before 2001. The apparent exception was the Paris bombings of 1995, a direct spillover from Algeria’s civil war and France’s role in it. Instead, a form of violent fundamentalism fostered in the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan 30 years ago has blown back into western heartlands.
France famously refused to take part in the US-British aggression against Iraq. But it has been making up for lost time ever since, sending troops to Afghanistan, intervening in one African state after another, from Libya and Mali to Ivory Coast and the Central African Republic, bombing Iraq and backing Syrian rebels. Like Britain, France has been arming and garrisoning the Gulf autocrats, while the French president has declared himself a “partner” to the Egyptian dictator Sisi and “ready” to bomb Libya again.
The former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin, who led opposition to the Iraq war, this week described Isis as the “deformed child” of western policy. The west’s wars in the Muslim world “always nourish new wars” and “terrorism among us”, he wrote, while “we simplify” these conflicts “by seeing only the Islamist symptom”.
He’s right – but he’s not one of the serried ranks who will use the latest attacks to justify more military intervention. Given what has taken place over the past decade, Europeans are fortunate that terrorist outrages have been relatively rare. But a price has been paid in loss of freedoms, growing antisemitism and rampant Islamophobia. So long as we allow this war to continue indefinitely, the threats will grow. In a globalised world, there’s no insulation. What happens there ends up happening here too.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

الواقع العربي - منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية

مصادر متطابقة: إصابة قاسم سليماني بجروح بالغة في سامراء ونقله إلى طهران

لندن ـ «القدس العربي» من محمد المذحجي: نشرت مواقع مقربة من الميليشيات الشيعية في العراق، ومصادر أمريكية أنباء متطابقة عن إصابة قائد فيلق القدس، اللواء قاسم سليماني، بجروح بالغة خلال اليومين الماضيين في عملية انتحارية استهدفت موكبه في مدينة سامراء، وتم نقله إلى مستشفى فيطهران.
ونقل موقع «عصر قانون» الإخباري الإيراني أمـــس الخميـــس، إفادة لمجلة The Algemeiner الأمريكية في تقرير خاص، أن موكب قائد فيلق القدس، اللواء قاسم سليماني، تعرض لعملية انتحارية عند أطراف مدينة سامراء قبل أيام، وأصيب سليماني بجروح بالغة وتم نقله إلى طهران. وذكرت المجلة أن المصادر الرسمية لم تؤكد الخبر.
وفي غضون ذلك، كتبت صحيفة «الوثيقة نت» الإلكترونية العراقية نقلاً عن مصدر مسؤول في «الحشد الشعبي العراقي»، وهي ميليشيات شيعية مدعومة من الحكومة العراقية، أن إيران قررت أن تستبدل قاسم سليماني بشخص آخر، بسبب إصابة قائد فيلق القدس في منطقة الهاشمية القريبة من مدينة سامراء.
وأضاف المصدر المسؤول في قوات الحشد الشعبي، «أصيب قاسم سليماني قرب مدينة سامراء قبل ما يقارب أسبوعين، وتم نقله على الفور إلى بغداد ومن بعدها إلى النجف ولإكمال علاجه انتقل إلى طهران».
وتجدر الإشارة إلى أن الحكومة العراقــــية والمصادر الرسمـــية الإيرانية لم تعلق حول هذه التقارير حتى الآن.

بابا الفاتيكان يندد بالإساءة لمعتقدات الآخرين

البابا اعتبر أن حرية التعبير من حقوق الإنسان ولكن يجب أن تمارس دون إهانة الآخرين (الأوروبية-أرشيف)
ندد البابا فرانشيسكو يوم الخميس بالأعمال التي تستفز أو تهين عقائد الآخرين، معتبرا أن من الطبيعي توقع "رد فعل" على تلك الاستفزازات، في وقت أكد على الربط بين 
حرية الأديان وحرية التعبير باعتبارهما من حقوق الإنسان، وذلك في سياق تعليقه على هجمات باريس الأخيرة.
وعلى متن الطائرة التي تحمله من سريلانكا إلى الفلبين، وهي المحطة الثانية من جولته في آسيا، قال البابا للصحفيين "لا يمكنك أن تستفز الآخرين أو تهين عقائدهم. لا يمكنك أن تسخر من العقيدة".
وأضاف أن حرية الأديان وحرية التعبير حق أساسي من حقوق الإنسان ولكنها يجب أن تمارس "من دون إهانة الآخرين"، موضحا أنه يتحدث تحديدا عن هجمات باريس.
وقال البابا إن "الكل يتمتع بالحرية والحق لكن أيضا بالالتزام بأن يتحدث عما يفكر فيه من أجل الصالح العام... لدينا الحق في أن نتمتع بهذه الحرية بشكل مفتوح دون الإساءة".
ولتوضيح وجهة نظره، التفت البابا إلى أحد مساعديه وقال "صحيح أن المرء ينبغي عليه ألا يقوم بردود فعل عنيفة، لكن رغم أننا أصدقاء جيدين، لكن لو سبّ أمي لينتظر (مني) لكمةً. هذا أمر طبيعي".
وتأتي تصريحات بابا الفاتيكان بعد أكثر من أسبوع على هجمات باريس التي امتدت لثلاثة أيام وقتل خلالها 17 شخصا بينهم صحفيون وأفراد شرطة، وكانت بدايتها بهجوم بالرصاص على صحيفة شارلي إيبدو الأسبوعية التي أعادت مؤخرا نشر رسوم مسيئة لنبي الإسلام عليه الصلاة والسلام.


By Glenn Greenwald
The Intercept

Forty-eight hours after hosting a massive march under the banner of free expression, France opened a criminal investigation of a controversial French comedian for a Facebook post he wrote about the Charlie Hebdo attack, and then this morning, arrested him for that post on charges of “defending terrorism.” The comedian, Dieudonné (above), previously sought elective office in France on what he called an “anti-Zionist” platform, has had his show banned by numerous government officials in cities throughout France, and has been criminally prosecuted several times before for expressing ideas banned in that country.
The apparently criminal viewpoint he posted on Facebook declared: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” Investigators concluded that this was intended to mock the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan and express support for the perpetrator of the Paris supermarket killings (whose last name was “Coulibaly”). Expressing that opinion is evidently a crime in the Republic of Liberté, which prides itself on a line of 20th Century intellectuals – from Sartre and Genet to Foucault and Derrida – whose hallmark was leaving no orthodoxy or convention unmolested, no matter how sacred.
Since that glorious “free speech” march, France has reportedly opened 54 criminal cases for “condoning terrorism.” AP reported this morning that “France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”
As pernicious as this arrest and related “crackdown” on some speech obviously is, it provides a critical value: namely, it underscores the utter scam that was this week’s celebration of free speech in the west. The day before the Charlie Hebdo attack, I coincidentally documented the multiple cases in the west – including in the U.S. – where Muslims have been prosecuted and even imprisoned for their political speech. Vanishingly few of this week’s bold free expression mavens have ever uttered a peep of protest about any of those cases – either before the Charlie Hebdo attack or since. That’s because “free speech,” in the hands of many westerners, actually means: it is vital that the ideas I like be protected, and the right to offend groups I dislike be cherished; anything else is fair game.
It is certainly true that many of Dieudonné’s views and statements are noxious, although he and his supporters insist that they are “satire” and all in good humor. In that regard, the controversy they provoke is similar to the now-much-beloved Charlie Hebdo cartoons (one French leftist insists the cartoonists were mocking rather than adopting racism and bigotry, but Olivier Cyran, a former writer at the magazine who resigned in 2001, wrote a powerful 2013 letter with ample documentation condemning Charlie Hebdo for descending in the post-9/11 era into full-scale, obsessive anti-Muslim bigotry).
Despite the obvious threat to free speech posed by this arrest, it is inconceivable that any mainstream western media figures would start tweeting “#JeSuisDieudonné” or would upload photographs of themselves performing his ugly Nazi-evoking arm gesture in “solidarity” with his free speech rights. That’s true even if he were murdered for his ideas rather than “merely” arrested and prosecuted for them. That’s because last week’s celebration of the Hebdo cartoonists (well beyond mourning their horrifically unjust murders) was at least as much about approval for their anti-Muslim messages as it was about the free speech rights that were invoked in their support - at least as much.

The vast bulk of the stirring “free speech” tributes over the last week have been little more than an attempt to protect and venerate speech that degrades disfavored groups while rendering off-limits speech that does the same to favored groups, all deceitfully masquerading as lofty principles of liberty. In response to my article containing anti-Jewish cartoons on Monday - which I posted to demonstrate the utter selectivity and inauthenticity of this newfound adoration of offensive speech - I was subjected to endless contortions justifying why anti-Muslim speech is perfectly great and noble while anti-Jewish speech is hideously offensive and evil (the most frequently invoked distinction – “Jews are a race/ethnicity while Muslims aren’t” – would come as a huge surprise to the world’s Asian, black, Latino and white Jews, as well as to those who identify as “Muslim” as part of their cultural identity even though they don’t pray five times a day). As always: it’s free speech if it involves ideas I like or attacks groups I dislike, but it’s something different when I’m the one who is offended.
Think about the “defending terrorism” criminal offense for which Dieudonné has been arrested. Should it really be a criminal offense – causing someone to be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned – to say something along these lines: western countries like France have been bringing violence for so long to Muslims in their countries that I now believe it’s justifiable to bring violence to France as a means of making them stop? If you want “terrorism defenses” like that to be criminally prosecuted (as opposed to societally shunned), how about those who justify, cheer for and glorify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, with its “Shock and Awe” slogan signifying an intent to terrorize the civilian population into submission and itsmonstrous tactics in Fallujah? Or how about the psychotic calls from a Fox News host, when discussing Muslims radicals, to “kill them ALL.” Why is one view permissible and the other criminally barred – other than because the force of law is being used to control political discourse and one form of terrorism (violence in the Muslim world) is done by, rather than to, the west?
For those interested, my comprehensive argument against all “hate speech” laws and other attempts to exploit the law to police political discourse ishere. That essay, notably, was written to denounce a proposal by a French minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, to force Twitter to work with the French government to delete tweets which officials like this minister (and future unknown ministers) deem “hateful.” France is about as legitimate a symbol of free expression as Charlie Hebdo, which fired one of its writers in 2009 for a single supposedly anti-Semitic sentence in the midst of publishing an orgy of anti-Muslim (not just anti-Islam) content. This week’s celebration of France – and the gaggle of tyrannical leaders who joined it – had little to do with free speech and much to do with suppressing ideas they dislike while venerating ideas they prefer.
Perhaps the most intellectually corrupted figure in this regard is, unsurprisingly, France’s most celebrated (and easily the world’s most overrated) public intellectual, the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. He demands criminal suppression of anything smacking of anti-Jewish views (he called for Dieudonné’s shows to be banned (“I don’t understand why anyone even sees the need for debate”) and supported the 2009 firing of the Charlie Hebdo writer for a speech offense against Jews), while shamelessly parading around all last week as the Churchillian champion of free expression when it comes to anti-Muslim cartoons.
But that, inevitably, is precisely the goal, and the effect, of laws that criminalize certain ideas and those who support such laws: to codify a system where the views they like are sanctified and the groups to which they belong protected. The views and groups they most dislike – and only them – are fair game for oppression and degradation.
The arrest of this French comedian so soon after the epic Paris free speech march underscores this point more powerfully than anything I could have written about the selectivity and fraud of this week’s “free speech” parade. It also shows – yet again – why those who want to criminalize the ideas they most dislike are at least as dangerous and tyrannical as the ideas they target: at least.
Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images
Correction: This post originally identified Dieudonné as Muslim. That was in error, and the article has been edited to reflect that correction.

Who’s a Charlie? France cracks down on free speech in order to defend it

By Ali Abunimah

An image posted on his official Facebook page shows the French comedian Dieudonné being arrested at his home this morning in connection with comments he made on Facebook.
In grim and supreme irony, French police have fanned out to suppress free speech in order to defend it.
“France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism, announcing Wednesday that 54 people had been arrested for those offenses” since last week, the Associated Press reports.
The news of the arrests comes a week after the murders of 17 people at and near the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo and at a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
It also comes days after dozens of world leaders, led by French President François Hollande, gathered in Paris to demonstrate in support of free speech and in defiance of the killers who sought to silence it.
The most high-profile arrest is undoubtedly that of the comedian Dieudonné, allegedly on grounds of “justifying terrorism,” for a comment he made on Facebook.
I do not find Dieudonné funny and I find much of what he says offensive. In my reading, he and his supporters deliberately blur a line that must be kept sharp between criticizing Zionism and Israel, on the one hand, and attacking Jews as Jews on the other.
This is something I have always spoken against clearly and therefore I do not see Dieudonné as someone in solidarity with Palestinians.
I also do not find Dieudonné’s defense that his bigotry is just “humor” any more convincing from him than when it comes from Charlie Hebdo.

“Justifying terrorism”

But I do not think that the Facebook comment for which Dieudonné was reportedly arrested can by any stretch be described as “justifying terrorism.” Nor do I think that if the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists who were murdered were held to the same standards that much of their work would be considered any less offensive or racist than Dieudonné’s.
And of course the implications go far beyond the personal situation of Dieudonné.
The French daily Le Figaro reports that Dieudonné was arrested by judicial police at his home near Paris for investigation of “apologie de terrorisme” – justifying or making an apologia for terrorism.


Le Figaro published this screenshot of a posting on Dieudonné’s Facebook page that apparently precipitated the arrest. It is dated 11 January, the day of the Paris march.
It states:
After this historic march, what do I say… Legendary! A magic moment equal to the Big Bang that created the universe … or at least (more local) comparable to the crowning of [Gaulish king] Vercingétorix, I’m finally back home. Know that this evening, as far as I am concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.
Amedy Coulibaly was the gunman who killed a police officer and then took hostages and killed four people at a Jewish grocery store.

Who’s a “Charlie”?

By creating the term “Charlie Coulibaly,” Dieudonné is obviously mocking the slogan “Je suis Charlie” heard all over the world in recent days. His words might be objectionable, but are they grounds for arrest for justifying terrorism?
Dieudonné’s meaning becomes clear in a letter he sent to French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve the day after the march.
It begins: “Yesterday we were all Charlie, marching and standing tall for liberties. So that we can all continue to laugh at everything.”
“After coming home from this march I felt quite alone,” Dieudonné writes.
“For a year I have been treated as public enemy number one, even though all I’ve done is try to make people laugh, and to die of laughter, since death is laughing at us, asCharlie knows all too well alas,” Dieudonné states.
He then refers to a “peace” proposal he sent to the government weeks ago to which, he says, he has received no response. And then he says:
“As soon as I speak, you do not try to understand me, you do not want to listen. You look for pretexts to ban me. You consider me to be an Amedy Coulibaly, even though I am no different from Charlie.”
Again, I don’t buy Dieudonné’s line that much of his racist bile is misunderstood satire and humor, but the valid point he is making is that his speech is treated as violence and terrorism and he is treated like a terrorist, while those whose speech is just as disgusting were and are treated like heroes of the republic.
Dieudonné’s arrest this morning ironically vindicates his claim that he is a “Coulibaly” in the eyes of the state.

French “war on terror”

Launching the French government’s newly declared (or re-declared) “war on terrorism,” and its crackdown on dissent, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that “racism, anti-Semitism and justifying terrorism” were “not opinions.”
The arrest of Dieudonné shows that the government will decide what constitutes an “opinion.”
We can be sure that many others whose opinions the state does not like will also be treated as “Coulibaly.” And where France goes, Europe will follow.
France, Germany and other European countries already have “hate speech laws” and it has been much remarked upon how unevenly they are applied.
Why, for example, has a Germany so concerned about “extremism,” and whose leader Angela Merkel marched in Paris, not banned the growing anti-Muslim marches in its own cities?
Europe’s politicians and elites (along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) joined hands to celebrate the vile bigotry of Charlie Hebdo, while Dieudonné was taken away in a morning police raid.

Capitalizing on division, pandering to bigotry and fear

If the French state is looking for a way to increase the influence of and sympathy with Dieudonné, it could not have come up with a better strategy.
Meanwhile, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been tweeting comments in the wake of the attacks that can only be taken as a dog whistle to the bigots and ultra-nationalists he hopes will put him back in office at the next election: “The questions of immigration and Islam have been clearly posed. They must be asked calmy, involving everyone.”

on Twitter

Sarkozy has proposed a host of repressive measures from arming local police to “expelling any imam who holds views that do not respect the values of the republic.”
Could anyone imagine Sarkozy, or any politician, demanding “expulsion” of French Jewish or French Christian clerics if they espouse views that are antithetical to the republic like believing that Israel should be “Jewish” or that France should be “Muslim-free?”
Sarkozy’s clear implication – although he doesn’t say it – is that every Muslim cleric is always already foreign and has some other place outside France to which they more properly belong.
The government’s crackdown appears to be an effort to pander to this authoritarian sentiment and head off Sarkozy’s challenge.

Crackdown on Palestine solidarity

What will happen next? The French state will solidify its alliance with those who claim that criticism of Israel and solidarity with Palestinians is “anti-Semitism” and therefore “not an opinion.”
It was already on such bogus grounds that France banned rallies during the summer protesting Israel’s massacre in Gaza. And for years, France has been prosecuting activists in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
There will be many more people who are treated as Coulibalys instead of Charlies for what they say.
It now remains to be seen if those who adopted the slogan “Je suis Charlie” and insisted on republishing Charlie Hebdo’s racially denigrating and satirically worthless cartoons will rush to declare “Je suis Dieudonné” and repost his most vile and objectionable material.

Background on Dieudonné

French courts have banned Dieudonné from performing because the comedian “frequently sprinkles his act with diatribes against Holocaust remembrance,” as The New York Times’ Robert Mackey reported last year.
He has also been put on trial and fined dozens of times for things he has said.
Dieudonné “invented an obscene salute popular with anti-Semites” known as the “quenelle.” As Mackey reported, the comedian “insists” that the quenelle “was not inspired by the Nazis, but is a gesture of obscene disdain for the French establishment.”
However, Mackey adds, “anti-Semites who read his anti-Zionist rhetoric as a kind of code to skirt French laws against inciting racial hatred now frequently do it at Holocaust memorials and other Jewish sites.”