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Posts Tagged ‘Iran

From Tehran, for a Clearer Picture

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Iran has supplied sophisticated radar to Syria that can monitor Israeli air force sorties and threaten its ability to attack Iranian nuclear targets by surprise, Reuters quotes the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ quotes – unnamed by Reuters – Israeli and US officials.

A spokesman for the Syrian embassy in WashingtonAhmed Salkini, denounced the allegation as “classic Israeli PR stunts aimed at diverting the world’s attention from the atrocities they are committing in Gaza and other occupied territories”.

The tech transfer was reportedly carried out about a year ago. In 2007, Israeli fighter jets bombed a Syrian site that the Israelis said housed a nuclear reactor in the final stages of construction. The BBC points out that there has been a UN ban on Iran since 2007 to sell or supply weapons to other countries.

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad travelled Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, and Argentina last week. MercoPress (Montevideo) writes that Syrian communities are very strong and economically influential in Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina, advocating the establishment of “a new and more just international order” by including Brazil in the U.N. Security Council.

On June 29, Radio Damascus, in a commentary, noted that

The countries currently visited by president al-Assad – Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba – all adopt stands that support the just Arab cause. At the same time, their stands confront the policies of hegemony, war, and terrorism in the whole world. Those states have suffered a lot from the American policies and interference in the affairs of states and peoples. The previous American administrations supported dictatorial regimes, and supported them against their peoples.

Now, Damascus apparently believes, it is time for America to support Syria’s dictatorial regime. And no more distractions, please.


Written by taide

July 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

How Israel screws its Reputation

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Israel’s government press office passed on a link to a youtube video – by “Caroline Glick and the Flotila Band” –  to journalists on June 4, five days after the IDF raided the Turkish cruising ship Mavi Marmara on May 31 which was on its way to Gaza to “bring in humanitarian aid and supplies”, defying the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.

"Caroline Glick and the Flotila Band"

youtube video: "Caroline Glick and the Flotila Band"

The video, “We con the world”, had been posted on youtube on June 3, produced by the Latma website. Maybe the “joke” could have worked if it had lasted up to twenty seconds – but “We con the world”, based on the 1980s song by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, takes painful five minutes, too long even if it had been a good skit. Israelis act as “Arab” and “Turkish” activists (or gangsters?), and with strained attempts to produce funny lines: “The greatest bluff of all”, “We’ll make them all believe that the Hamas Is Momma Theresa” (by the way, the old nun spelled her name Teresa) are not really funny.

The press office apparently had second thoughts about the “fun”, too. Der Spiegel quotes Dutch  news agency BNO as reporting that the office had contacting them with the intention to retract the email with the link.

The main problem with the video isn’t that it is using stereotypes. That could still be funny. The real problem, I believe, is that Mrs Glick and the Flotila Band didn’t enjoy their own show. It was a hasty propaganda measure, and the Israeli government’s press office dived for it like for a last straw.

The American “Center for Security Policy”, a conservative organization, is a major donor to latma.tv, Der Spiegel wrote on June 5. Caroline Glick, who took part in the “Flotila Band” production, moved from Hyde Park, Chicago to Israel in the 1990s and is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the “Center for Security Policy”. Yesterday, she posted another “funny” one: “The Three Terrors”, i. e. Ahmadinejad (Iran), Erdogan (Turkey), and al-Assad (Syria). The comments to her post don’t suggest that the viewers really had fun either. It’s fear, loathing, and little else.

It is obvious that the “Free Gaza” movement gives a rat’s ass on how life and Hamas are treating the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. The only thing that matters is what Israel does to Gaza. The “Free Gaza” movement wouldn’t have cared either if Hamas had taken the cargo from the Mavi Marmara and distributed it among the Palestinian people there in accordance with their allegiance to the Hamas regime.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the IDF raided the Mavi Marmara in international waters, and that the operation took the lives of nine “activists” who, after all, may have carried lots of knives and clubs – but no guns.

Sometimes, it would be nice if people like Mrs Glick and her Flotila Band would just shut up.

Their recent activities show that their mouths are no smaller than those of the people they fear and hate. Maybe they know each other only too well.

Written by taide

June 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Robert Enke, One of the Last Defenders

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Once in a while, I’m teasing a friend from Portugal. Portugal is the country where the evening news start with soccer results, and more soccer results, and lots of backgrounders, and comments from coaches and managers, and outfield players, and of course the last defenders. And may be after tons of information of that kind, the Portuguese will be informed about a big tax reform, rates of unemployment, or the death of their president (if their president passed away).

I won’t tease my Portuguese friend again. Maybe the Portuguese are a bit dumber than us, but we will soon catch up with them.

Robert Enke was a German football goalkeeper. He played at Barcelona, Benfica Lisbon, and Fenerbahce Istanbul, and until Tuesday, at Hannover 96. He was also one of the German national soccer team’s goalkeepers.

He was 32 years old when he died. He used a train and its drivers to get killed. In the media accounts, he “apparently threw himself in front of a train”. Or maybe he just stood there and waited for the train to hit him.

Bishop Margot Käßmann, recently elected to lead Germany’s Lutherans (“church must be where the citizens are. This is true for the sunday services, but also for radio and television”) led an initial memorial service in Hannover.

Enke and his wife had suffered a stroke from fate when they lost their daughter at an age of only two, and Enke had suffered from depressions for several years.

Now, everyone is very sad, which brings a line from the incomparable British Queen to my mind, after the death of Princess Diana, and H.M.’s immanent beheading for not showing her feelings (or so it appeared):

“Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her. I for one believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death.”

Can there be a more subtle way to criticize a howling mob?

Robert Enke was probably an admirable man. Even more so, as he was ambitious, but not showy. He played a constructive role in public life, without the annoying attitude of a popstar. And he did his job as a last defender as long as he could. That he didn’t seek help when he needed it is a tragedy, but no exceptional tragedy.

Let’s hope that the train drivers – one colleague was making another familiar with the section around Hannover when their train struck Robert Enke – will be able continue their work, without a trauma. Very little is said about them.

And let’s hope that Mr Enke’s widow, Teresa Enke, will get what she asked the fans for: a funeral limited to family people and close friends. It’s a natural and legitimate request.

The fans should figure out someone who actually needs their sympathy. A soccer club is no family.

Written by taide

November 14, 2009 at 10:22 am

Tehran: Taide taps Ahmadinejad’s Telephone

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the phone, reacting to Ruhollah Hosseinian‘s information that several top Revolutionary Guardians have been killed in a suicide attack in Southeastern Iran:

What the fuck?! A suicide attack without our permission?!”

Written by taide

October 18, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Syria Hurts Maliki’s Pride

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Damascus might find itself in the role of a broker between the Iraqi Ba’ath Party – once Saddam Hussein’s party in Iraq, and still Bashar al-Assad’s political vehicle in Syria.

Aleppo Baghdad Station: Staying Connected

Aleppo Baghdad Station: Staying Connected

An American military delegation led by Major General Michael Moeller of US Central Command had two days of talks in Syria – in Baghdad however, a lot of people aren’t pleased with the first indicators of a possible thaw between Washington and Damascus. Nuri al-Maliki announced a trip of his own to Syria for the next week – “It is not the duty of the American delegation to negotiate on behalf of Iraq,” his spokesman is quoted as saying. As the American troops withdrew from the Iraqi streets and cities on July 1, and Maliki announced on the occasion that it was the national united government [which] had succeeded in putting down the sectarian war that was threatening the unity and the sovereignty of Iraq, he will now be very sensitive about any possible loss of face.

Syria will be interested in bringing Saddam Hussein’s former deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri (who has lived in Damascus since 2003), back into the game in Iraq. He is said to have been behind guerilla campaigns against the American occupation – and here lies a bone of contention between Damascus and Washington, as the U.S. demand the arrest of about a dozen of high-ranking supporters – or facilitators – of those campaigns.

The Iraqi Ba’ath Party is still seems to be sound and to be taking orders. Its cadres have received orders to resume political activity, writes The Telegraph.

If the new (or old) Ba’ath Party establishes itself in Iraq as a palladium of national resistance and gets legalised, and if it facilitates a rapprochement between Baghdad and Damascus, Iran might find its influence on Iraq further reduced – most Iraqis are Shia, just like most Iranians. But most Iraqis also see their country as Arabic, rather than as easy Iranian proxy. Saudi Arabia’s worries about a handover of Iraq to Iran could turn out to be unjustified.

And America may have restored an old business friend in Baghdad – not in control as it was during Rummy’s and Saddam Hussein’s happiest days, but still a substantial one. And Syria may get shopping options beyond Russia again. That said, its need for arms of a defensive character won’t be unlimited.

Written by taide

August 15, 2009 at 8:42 pm

UN “Racism Conference” – Cui Bono?

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The ‘Ndrangheta is asking for a rule that would ban “derogatory remarks” on the mafia. Besides, the UN Racism Conference starts looking like my mom’s kitchen garden – only bigger and messier.

To prepare yourselves mentally for the Conference, here is a nice piece of music for you. Omerta, Onure e Sangu means Silence, Honour, and Blood. Exactly the kind of stuff the religion behind the conference’s key document makes me think of. Silence and Blood, anyway. Silencing and blood.

This is no conference to attend for decent people. Let the hypocrites stay among themselves.

Written by taide

March 14, 2009 at 7:41 am

Iran: a Car, designed specifically for Women

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Iran’s biggest car producer, Iran Khodro, has announced plans for a new car, designed specifically for women.
“Its features will include automatic transmission, parking and navigation aids and a jack for changing tyres without getting grease on your chador“, reports the BBC.

I see some big flaws in this concept.
1. The car doesn’t make women invisible.
2. The windows can be opened, and this could blow the drivers’ headscarves away.
3. The car will come in a range of (feminine) colours. — Colours?!
4. The idea dangerously suggests that women can drive at all.
Time for the Guardian Council to step in and to put an end to this bullshit.

Written by taide

October 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Posted in cars, society

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