Revolution is in the Air: 6/7/11: Our News and their News

INDEX (stories follow)



Headlines for June 7, 2011

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by (Democracy Now!)
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Yemenis Celebrate as President Saleh Flees to Saudi Arabia, Transfers Power to Vice President

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by (Democracy Now!)
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Play_saleh_leaves_yemenThousands of people in Yemen are rejoicing at the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The embattled leader is reportedly in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment after being injured in a rocket attack on his presidential compound. Saleh temporarily ceded power to his vice president on Saturday night. His nephew remains in command of the Central Security paramilitary forces, and his son, Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh, still heads the elite Republican Guard. To discuss the implications of Saleh’s departure, we’re joined from Sana’a by Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani, a political analyst and co-founder of the Democratic Awakening Movement. [includes rush transcript]

Trapped in Gaza: Rafah Crossing Closed to Palestinians Soon After Egyptian Pledge to Reopen It

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by (Democracy Now!)
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Rafah_buttonIn the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government has asked Egypt to drop restrictions on the Rafah border crossing, just days after the checkpoint opened last week. In a major policy shift, Egypt’s transition government had unsealed the Rafah border after years of closure under ousted Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak. But less than a week later, Egypt imposed a cap of 400 people per day, turning back busloads of people that had been cleared for passage. On Saturday, the border was sealed completely, causing angry Palestinians to storm the gates in protests. Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar were one of the few teams of foreign journalists to witness the scene at the Rafah border, and they file this report from the Gaza Strip. [includes rush transcript]

Comrade Rami on Nakba protests in Lebanon

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
Rami Zurayk: Every year the Nakba is commemorated and each year, the commemoration becomes more intense, not less. This year the demonstrations were inspired by the Arab Spring, a massive pacifistic resistance with no weapons and under only one flag — the Palestinian flag. So no factions, noPFLP, no Hamas, no Fatah, just everyone flying one flag and wearing white hats emblazoned with the flag. Like the demonstrations in Tahrir Square and throughout Tunisia, the Nakba Day demonstrators were audacious, tenacious and most of all, repetitive. Repetition is why Tahrir worked — you put your body on the line against repression. So that became our modality.
People arrived at the border in 1,000 buses. All in all, we counted 40,000 to 50,000 people. The Arab Spring is a revolution of the disenfranchised and desperate, and the Palestinians who live in Lebanon certainly fit that description. But what was remarkable about the Nakba Day demonstrations was that they also included rich Palestinians who were not from the camps — students from AUB (American University of Beirut) and Lebanese civil society.”

This counts as reform in Saudi Arabia

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“”Earlier this week, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ordered officials to set measures that only allow Saudi women to work at lingerie shops within a month. The step was welcomed by officials and businesswomen.”” (thanks Redouane)

Inciting a revolution in Kuwait

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“Bassem, a ten-year-old Egyptian child residing with his parents in Kuwait, was expelled from school for asking his teacher “Why didn’t you have a revolution in your country?” according to the Kuwaiti Al-Ra’y (The Opinion) newspaper.  In fact, that simple question caused him to be blacklisted from any Kuwaiti school.  The child’s father, a professor at Kuwait University, was shocked to hear the news of his son’s suspension and the reason behind it. After receiving the news from his son, Bassem’s father went to the school to hear it for himself. The administration replied that he was suspended because he was “inciting a revolution in Kuwait.”” (thanks Khaled)

Nepal: Maoists, indigenous protesters stage ongoing strikes

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
For more than a month now, large parts of Nepal have been periodically shut down by a series of bandhs, or civil strikes, called by indigenous groups, regional autonomists and former Maoist rebels. In the town of Hetauda, Makwanpur district, a group led by local businessmen on May 31 held a motorcycle rally to protest the protest campaigns which have demanded a halt to all business and traffic. Local bandhs were called there several days in succession by the Matrika Yadav faction of the CPN-Maoist, and the Sanghiya Loktantrik Party and Tamsaling Autonomous Council, two groups demanding greater autonomy for the Tamsaling region. (Himalayan Times, May 25) Two weeks earlier, a coalition of minority ethnicities and indigenous groups staged a coordinated nationwide bandh, shutting roads and markets across the country to demand greater rights as a new constitution is prepared. (Hindustan Times, May 13)

read more

Day of Retribution in Iraq

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“June 7th has been called ‘The Day of Retribution’ by Iraqi grassroots organizers. Nation-wide protests and sit-ins are planned against the US occupation as well as Nouri al-Maliki’s regime, coinciding with the Prime Minister’s own deadline, set exactly 100 days ago, to address Iraq’s protest movement’s demands. “Changes will be made in light of the evaluation results,” Maliki said in a statement in late February, referring to his cabinet members and their performance.” (thanks Ali)

“There is a Women’s Spring Beginning”: Playwright Eve Ensler and Congolese Activist Christine Schuler Deschryver on Gender Violence in Congo

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by (Democracy Now!)
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Vday_buttonA newly published study in the American Journal of Public Health estimates more than two million women have been raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2006. But women’s advocates say there is also positive news coming from the DRC. The group V-Day, a global movement to stop all forms of gender-based violence, recently held the opening ceremony for the City of Joy, a groundbreaking new community that will be run by women survivors of gender violence in the Congo. We speak with V-Day founder, Eve Ensler, the bestselling author and playwright behind The Vagina Monologues, about gender violence in DRC. We are also joined Christine Schuler Deschryver, director of V-Day Congo and the City of Joy, about the growing number of rape prosecutions in DRC. “The Congolese women are taking their power, because we told them that they don’t have to be ashamed for these rapes. The ones who are doing it have to be ashamed,” says Schuler Deschryver. We also ask Ensler about the growing rate of violence against women in Haiti and get her reaction to the sexual assault charges filed against former International Monetary Fund director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. [includes rush transcript]

Zionists are still freaking out

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“A US delegation of members of both Houses of Congress has been touring the Middle East, beginning with Cairo to identify new aspects of Egypt’s foreign policy. The delegation met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Al-Araby, who briefed them on the most important characteristics of the policy and its impact on various regional issues. Paramount is how Egypt is going to manage its role in the Israel-Palestine conflict; the American delegation is also going to visit Tel Aviv. The meeting included a discussion of the latest regional political and social developments.”

More money for Tantawi

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
The counter-revolution continues its work in Egypt.  Saudi Arabia handed in Tantawi $4 billion in cash.  The US came forward with $1 billion in debt forgiveness and another billion in loan guarantees (a small amount when you think that US extended $10 billion in loan guarantees to Israel back in the late 80s).  And now the IMF gives $3 billion in loans.  What is next?  A cash donation from Pat Robertson?

Saudi Arabia wins favor by moral leadership and religious credentials

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“In Saudi Arabia, which wields substantial if imperfect influence over Yemeni tribes through cash subsidies…”

America’s moral leadership in the Middle East: its power of persuasion

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“The American exit strategy calls for the military to give cash payments of $10,000 a month to 10 tribal leaders.”

The Muslim Brotherhood: enemies of the Arabs and friends of Israel

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
I have argued below that the Muslim Brotherhood is now a key element or tool in the US/Saudi/Israeli/Qatari Arab counter-revolution.  The logical step is for the Brotherhood to inch closer toward peace with Israel.  Just look at the statements on Israeli TV by those two leaders of the Brotherhood (one from Egypt, and the pathetic Hariri tool, `Ali Bayanuni–the former (actually he is still head but has stepped out of leadership for political reasons) head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood).  They will only become more pronounced. (thanks Farah)

When Muslims eat cows it is called a “slaughter” but when Westerners eat cows it is called a “barbecue”

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“and slaughtering cows to mark the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh for medicaltreatment“.

Can you imagine if that was said about Israel? And Israel is more guilty of this than even Qadhdhafi’s Libya

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)
“The Libyan government has a growing record of improbable statements and carefully manipulated news events...”  If a New York Times reporter said that about Israel, he/she would have been fired on the spot, and would have been told that she/her is editorializing “inappropriately” as has happened in some dispatches by reporters.  Of course, John Burns (the writer of this piece) has no credibility on anything related to foreign policy.  He served as cheerleader for Bush, and was rewarded in a special ceremony by Bush Sr. in Texas to thank him for his services to Bush administration.  Burns also ran the Baghdad office for the Times and he ran it like a plantation in the South during Jim Crow laws.  He reportedly would ban Iraqi nationals  from staying overnight at the fortress and they felt that they were always watched by the beefy security guards (a militia really) that the Times hired.

Our News and their News

from Informed Comment by Juan
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Americans live in a late capitalist society where the rich have gotten many times richer and the middle class has gotten poorer, where Wall Street bankers have stolen us blind and blamed us for living above our means, where persistent unemployment is worse than in the Great Depression, where most politicians and some judges have been bought by corporations or special interests, where authorities actively conspire to keep people from voting, where the government spies on citizens assiduously without warrant or probable cause, and where the minds of the sheep are kept off their fleecing by substituting celebrity gossip, sex scandals, and half-disguised bigotry for genuine news.

In the Arab world, masses of 20-year-olds have challenged their corrupt politicians and manipulative billionaires in the streets, demanding transparency, an end to arbitrary secret police, and free and fair elections untainted by influence-peddling and plutocracy. I have Arabic satellite t.v. on in the background most of the day, with its dramatic stories of personal risk and human tragedy and bold challenge to a rotten status quo. And I channel surf over to the American cable news and mostly find fluff or de-contextualized reports or, frankly, propaganda. So here is my life, the day’s news given synoptically, our news and their news.

Our news is about Sarah Palin not knowing fifth grade American history about Paul Revere, and her acolytes changing around Wikipedia to make her right.

Their news is about killing 5 US soldiers in Iraq with rocket fire. After the US pledged to leave Iraq by the end of 2011, attacks on American troops almost stopped. Now that Washington and the Pentagon are pressuring the government of PM Nouri al-Maliki to keep several thousand US troops in Iraq after Jan. 1, 2012, militias and guerrillas are again threatening to target US forces in that country; and not just threatening.

Our news is about a rich old French banker charged with assaulting a poor young Muslim maid in a New York hotel.

Their news is about armed rebels setting an ambush and killing 120 members of the Syrian security forces, as a months-long popular revolt in that country turns more serious than ever. Aljazeera reports:

Our news is about a six-term US congressman from New York who has been sexting.

Their news is that Yemen is on a knife edge over whether Ali Abdullah Saleh will attempt to return to the country after surgery in Saudi Arabia, with social violence and perhaps civil war looming if he does attempt to return.

Our news is about an American politician accused of misusing campaign contributions to hide his mistress.

Their news is that Free Libya forces have used light arms and sheer guts to fight off Qaddafi’s tanks, which had been shelling the southwestern desert town of Yefren, freeing it from bombardment and looming food and water shortages. Aljazeera has video:


Our news is about a state supreme court deciding whether workers in that state have a right to have a union and engage in collective bargaining.

Their news is about Egyptians forming wildcat unions, chasing President Hosni Mubarak from office, now cheekily making demands on the transitional military government for workers’ rights.

They talk to the Taliban so why won’t they align themselves with the Brotherhood?

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by (As’ad AbuKhalil)

I do believe that the new era of US/Saudi/Israeli/Qatari counter-revolution will entail an alliance with (and use of) the Muslim Brotherhood in all its branches.  It is clear that the Brotherhood in Syria have been close to the Americans (and Israelis through the Jordanian mukhabarat and the Lebanese Phalanges since the late 1970s).  In Egypt, the Brotherhood is serving the Military Council and will be rewarded with an American recognition soon.  That should not be surprising: the US was aligned with fanatical reactionary Islamist groups for much of the Cold War, and is now engaged in direct negotiations with the Taliban–the Taliban, for potato’s sake.  So I am saying that all those who support the Arab uprisings are obligated to speak out against the reactionary and opportunist Muslim Brotherhood in all Arab countries.  They are the enemies of the people and in the past they thwarted all progressive ideas in our region, and their enmity toward women has long been established.
This entry was posted in Background & Analysis, Egypt, Events, Human Rights, Imperialism, Imperialist Interference & Views, Libya, Syria, US Foreign Policy, Yemen. Bookmark the permalink.

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