Sunday, October 26, 2014

Zionism Has Created "Rivers Of Blood"



Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a United States Haredi rabbi, is an activist and spokesman for a branch of Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist grouping of Haredi Jews.

Neturei Karta: http://www.nkusa.org/

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Who Did That To You



Artist: John Legend

Mexican Drug Cartels Are Worse Than ISIL




Western Obsession With The Islamic State Is Fueled More By Bigotry Than Any Genuine Assessment Of Risk Or Atrocities

The horrific rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the world’s attention. Many Western commentators have characterized ISIL’s crimes as unique, no longer practiced anywhere else in the civilized world. They argue that the group’s barbarism is intrinsically Islamic, a product of the aggressive and archaic worldview that dominates the Muslim world. The ignorance of these claims is stunning.
While there are other organized groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, none has engendered the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes?
For example, even as the U.S. media and policymakers radically inflate ISIL’s threat to the Middle East and United States, most Americans appear to be unaware of the scale of the atrocities committed by Mexican drug cartels and the threat they pose to the United States.

Cartels versus ISIL

A recent United Nations report estimated nearly 9,000 civilians have been killed and 17,386 wounded in Iraq in 2014, more than half since ISIL fighters seized large parts on northern Iraq in June. It is likely that the group is responsible another several thousand deaths in Syria. To be sure, these numbers are staggering. 
But in 2013 drug cartels murdered more than 16,000 people in Mexico alone, and another 60,000 from 2006 to 2012 — a rate of more than one killing every half hour for the last seven years. What is worse, these are estimates from the Mexican government, which is known to deflate the actual death toll by about 50 percent.
Statistics alone do not convey the depravity and threat of the cartels. 
They carry out hundreds of beheadings every year. In addition to decapitations, the cartels are known to dismember and otherwise mutilate the corpses of their victims — displaying piles of bodies prominently in towns to terrorize the public into compliance. They routinely target women and children to further intimidate communities. Like ISIL, the cartels use social media to post graphic images of their atrocious crimes.
The narcos also recruit child soldiers, molding boys as young as 11 into assassins or sending them on suicide missions during armed confrontations with Mexico’s army. They kidnap tens of thousands of children every year to use as drug mules or prostitutes or to simply kill and harvest their organs for sale on the black market. Those who dare to call for reforms often end up dead. 


In September, with the apparent assistance of local police, cartels kidnapped and massacred 43 students at a teaching college near the Mexican town ofIguala in response to student protests. A search in the area for the students has uncovered a number of mass graves containing mutilated bodies burned almost beyond recognition, but none of the remains have been confirmed to be of the students.
While the Islamic militants have killed a handful of journalists, the cartels murdered as many as 57 since 2006 for reporting on cartel crimes or exposing government complicity with the criminals. Many of Mexico’s media have been effectively silenced by intimidation or bribes. 
These censorship activities extend beyond professional media, with narcos tracking down and murdering ordinary citizens who criticize them on the Internet, leaving their naked and disemboweled corpses hanging in public squares. 
Yet American intellectuals such as Sam Harris appear to be more outraged when Muslims protest or issue threats in response to blasphemous or anti-Muslim hate speech than when cartels murder dozens of journalists and systematically co-opt an entire country’s media.
Similarly, Westerners across various political spectrums were outraged when ISIL seized 1,500 Yazidi women, committing sexual violence against the captives and using them as slaves. Here again, the cartels’ capture and trafficking of women dwarfs ISIL’s crimes. Narcos hold tens of thousands of Mexican citizens as slaves for their various enterprises and systematically use rape as a weapon of war.
U.S. media have especially hyped ISIL’s violence against Americans. This summer ISIL beheaded two Americans and has warned about executing a third; additionally, one U.S. Marine has died in efforts to combat the group. By contrast, the cartels killed 293 Americans in Mexico from 2007 to 2010 and have repeatedly attacked U.S. consulates in Mexico. While ISIL’s beheadings are no doubt outrageous, the cartels tortured, dismembered and then cooked one of the Americans they captured — possibly eating him or feeding him to dogs.
The US government cannot formulate an effective response to the narcos’ severe threats because the American public is far too busy disparaging Islam while the US military kills Arabs and Muslims abroad. 
The cartels’ atrocities are not restricted to the Mexican side of the border. From 2006 to 2010 as many as 5,700 Americans were killed in the U.S. by cartel-fueled drug violence. By contrast, 2,937 people were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Over the last decade, some 2,349 Americans were killed in Afghanistan, and 4,487 Americans died in Iraq. In four years the cartels have managed to cause the deaths of more Americans than during 9/11 or either of those wars.
Barack Obama’s administration claims ISIL poses a severe threat to U.S. interests and national security. However, the militants were primarily concerned with seizing and holding territory in Iraq and Syria until the U.S. began targeting them. Even now, while they have called for lone wolves to carry out attacks on targets in the United States, so far those arrested in connection to ISIL have been trying to go and fight abroad rather than plotting domestic attacks. To the extent ISIL wants to kill Americans, its primary tactic has been to try to lure U.S. troops to its turf by publicly executing citizens they already hold hostage
In fact, several U.S. intelligence officials have asserted that ISIL poses no credible threat to the United States homeland. 
However, the same cannot be said of the cartels.
Narcos have infiltrated at least 3,000 U.S. cities and are recruiting many Americans, including U.S. troops and law enforcement officers, to their organizations. They have an increasingly sophisticated and robust foundation in the U.S., with Mexican cartels now controlling more than 80 percent of the illicit drug trade in the United States and their top agents deployed to virtually every major metropolitan area. There are no realistic assessments indicating that ISIL could achieve a similar level of penetration in the United States.

Explaining The Dissonance

It is clear that the anti-ISIL campaign is not driven by the group’s relative threat to the United States or the scale or inhumane nature of their atrocities. If these were the primary considerations, the public would be far more terrified of and outraged by the narcos. Perhaps the U.S. would be mobilizing 50 nations to purge Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel rather than shielding it from prosecutionhelping it polish off its rivals or even move drugs into the United States.
Some may argue that despite the asymmetries, the cartels are less of a threat than ISIL because ISIL is unified around an ideology, which is antithetical to the prevailing international order, while the cartels are concerned primarily with money. This is not true.
A good deal of the cartels’ violence is perpetrated ritualistically as part of their religion, which is centered, quite literally, on the worship of death. The narcosbuild and support churches all across Mexico to perpetuate their eschatology. One of the cartels, the Knights Templar (whose name evokes religious warfare), even boasts about its leader’s death and resurrection. When cartel members are killed, they are buried in lavish mausoleums, regarded as martyrs and commemorated in popular songs glorifying their exploits in all their brutality. Many of their members view the “martyrs” as heroes who diedresisting an international order that exploits Latin America and fighting the feckless governments that enable it. The cartels see their role as compensating for state failures in governance. The narco gospel, which derives fromCatholicism, is swiftly making inroads in the United States and Central America. In short, the cartels’ ideological disposition is no less pronounced than ISIL’s, if not worse.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government cannot formulate an effective response to these much more severe threats because the American public is far too busy disparaging Islam while the U.S. military kills Arabs and Muslims abroad. One thing is certain: America’s obsession with ISIL is fueled by Islamophobia rather than any empirical realities
Musa al-Gharbi is an instructor in the Department of Government and Public Service at the University of Arizona, and an affiliate of the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts (SISMEC).



Friday, October 24, 2014

Django Unchained



Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson

Ancora Qui



Ancora qui
ancora tu
ora però io so chi sei
chi sempre sarai
e quando mi vedrai
ricorderai
ancora qui
ancora tu
e spero mi perdonerai
tu con gli stessi occhi
sembri ritornare
a chiedermi di me
di come si sta
e qui dall'altra parte
come va
l'erba verde, l'aria calda
sui miei piedi e sopra i fiori
si alza un vento tra i colori
sembri quasi tu
anche il cielo cambia nome
cosi bianco quel cotone
ch'è veloce, che si muove
perso in mezzo al blu
è un qualcosa in te
è quel che tornerà
com'era già
ancora qui
ancora tu
e quel che è stato è stato ormai
e con gli stessi occhi
sembri ritornare
a chiedermi di me
di come si sta
e in questo strano mondo
come va
ritornerai
e ritornerò
ricorderai
ricorderò
ritornerai, ritornerò
ricorderai, ricoderò
ricorderai, ricorderai, ricorderai, ricorderò
ricorderai,
io ti ricorderò
ricorderai, ricorderò
ricorderai, ricorderò
STILL HERE
Stll here,
still you,
but now I know who you are,
who you will always be
and when you will see me again
you will remember
still here
still you
and I hope you will forgive me
you, with the same eyes
look like you are coming back
to ask me about myself
and how it feels
here from the other side
how does it go
the green grass, the warm air
on my feet and on the flowers
some wind rises up between the colors
it looks nearly you
even the sky change its name
so white that cotton
which is fast, which moves
lost inside the blue
it's something in you
it's what will come back
as it already was
still here
still you
what it has being, it has being by then
and with the same eyes
you look like you are coming back
to ask me about myself
how it feels
in this strange world
how does it go
you will come back
and I will come back
you will remember
and I will remember
you will come back
and I will come back
you will remember
and I will remember
you will remember
and I will remember
you will remember
and I will remember
you will remember
I will remember you
you will remember
and I will remember
you will remember
and I will remember

Artist: Elisa Toffoli

The Difference Between American and Canadian Media



A tragedy in Ottawa, Canada shows us just how different US and Canadian media are.

“Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? 

Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind.” 

― Philip K. Dick

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Freedom



Felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders
Pressure to break or retreat at every turn;
Facing the fear that the truth I discovered;
No telling how all this will work out;
But I've come too far to go back now.

I am looking for freedom, 
And to find it, cost me everything I have.

I know all too well it don’t come easy;
The chains of the world they seem to move in tight;
I try to walk around it, 
But stumbling’s so familiar;
Try to get up but the doubt is so strong;
There’s gotta be a wind in my bones.

Not giving up has always been hard, 
So hard.
But if I do the things the easy way, I won’t get far.

Artists: Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton

Guantanamo: Blacked Out Bay



"We're embarking upon a very dark future" - Terry Colin Holdbrooks Jr.

Almost 800 men have been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility since it was established in 2002. Today, fewer than 150 remain. Despite the fact that more than half of current detainees have been cleared for transfer from the base, and in spite of the executive order signed by President Barack Obama in 2009 ordering the closure of the prison within one year, there's no indication it will be shuttered anytime soon.

VICE News traveled to Guantanamo to find out what the hell is going on. After a tightly controlled yet bizarre tour of the facility, we sought out a former detainee in Sarajevo and a former guard in Phoenix to get their unfiltered impressions of what life is like at Gitmo.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Castle Of Glass



Bring me home in a blinding dream,
Through the secrets that I have seen
Wash the sorrow from off my skin
And show me how to be whole again

Artist: Linkin Park

When The West Wanted Islam To Curb Christian Extremism

Russian and Ottoman forces battle in 1788 over a port on the Black Sea. (Wikimedia Commons)
Russian and Ottoman forces battle in 1788 over a port on the Black Sea. (Wikimedia Commons)


Islam and those who practice it were not always perceived to be such a cultural threat. Just a few decades ago, the U.S. and its allies in the West had no qualms about abetting Islamist militants in their battles with the Soviets in Afghanistan. Look even further, and there was a time when a vocal constituency in the West saw the community of Islam as a direct, ideological counter to a mutual enemy.
Turn back to the 1830s. An influential group of officials in Britain -- then the most powerful empire in the West, with a professed belief in liberal values and free trade -- was growing increasingly concerned about the expanding might of Russia. From Central Asia to the Black Sea, Russia's newly won domains were casting a shadow over British colonial interests in India and the Middle East. The potential Russian capture of Istanbul, capital of the weakening Ottoman Empire, would mean Russia's navy would have free access to the Mediterranean Sea--an almost unthinkable prospect for Britain and other European powers.
And so, among diplomats and in the press, a Russophobic narrative began to emerge. It was ideological, a clash of civilizations. After all, beginning with the Catherine the Great in the late 18th century, the Russians had framed their own conquests in religious terms: to reclaim Istanbul, once the center of Orthodox Christianity, and, as one of her favorite court poetsput it, "advance through a Crusade" to the Holy Lands and "purify the river Jordan."
That sort of Christian zeal won little sympathy among other non-Orthodox Christians. Jerusalem in the 19th century was still the site of acrimonious street battles between Christian sects, policed by the exasperated Ottomans. Russian Orthodox proselytizing of Catholics in Polandinfuriated European Catholic nations further west, such as France.
Baron Ponsonby, the British ambassador to Istanbul for much of the 1830s, decided the job of thwarting Russian expansionism was a "Holy Cause." An article in the "British and Foreign Review" pamphlet, circulated in Britain in 1836, saw the Ottomans as "the only bulwark of Europe against Muscovy, of civilization against barbarism." Russia represented, insome accounts, a backward, superstitious society where peasants still labored in semi-slavery and monarchs ruled as tyrants, unchallenged by parliaments and liberal sentiment. The Ottomans, who were embarking on their own process of reform, looked favorable in comparison.
David Urquhart, an enterprising agent who served a spell with Ponsonby in Istanbul, became one of the most energetic champions of the Ottoman cause and Islamic culture in British policy circles. His writings on the threat of Russia shaped the opinions of many in Britain at the time, including a certain Karl Marx. And Urquhart's time spent among the tribes of the northern Caucasus set the stage for decades of romantic European idealizing of the rugged Muslim fighters in Russia's shadow.
Urquhart returned from his travels in Turkey and elsewhere convinced that the Ottoman lifestyle was better for one's health. "If London were [Muslim]," he wrote, "the population would bathe regularly, have a better-dressed dinner for [its] money, and prefer water to wine or brandy, gin or beer." He would later launch a largely unsuccessful movement to bring theculture of Turkish baths to the cold damp of Victorian Britain.
Casting his eye to the territories the Ottomans controlled, Urquhart praised the empire's rule over a host of Christian communities and other sects -- for example, the warring Druze and Maronites in the Levant, or feuding Greek Orthodox and Armenians. In a passage cited by the historian Orlando Figes in his excellent history of the Crimean War, Urquhart credits Islam under the Ottomans as a specifically "tolerant, moderating force":
What traveler has not observed the fanaticism, the antipathy of all these [Christian] sects – their hostility to each other? Who has traced their actual repose to the toleration of Islamism? Islamism, calm, absorbed, without spirit of dogma, or views of proselytism, imposes at present on the other creeds the reserve and silence which characterize itself. But let this moderator be removed, and the humble professions now confined to the sanctuary would be proclaimed in the court and the military camp; political power and political enmity would combine with religious domination and religious animosity; the empire would be deluged in blood, until a nervous arm – the arm of Russia – appears to restore harmony, by despotism.
Flash forward to 2014, and the conversation has curiously flipped: Pundits bluster about the centuries-old war between Sunnis and Shiites. Christians are a persecuted, beleaguered people in the Middle East. Without ruthless strongmen aligned with the West, we're told, the Muslim world would descend into a chaotic bloodbath where terrorist organizations would gain sway.
The history lesson above is not meant to denigrate the Russians... But it goes to show how much the politics of an era shape its conversation about cultures and peoples. That's no less true now than it was almost two centuries ago.