It really doesn’t get much more absurd, much funnier, much more hypocritical than when we listen to Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of the last Shah and the present Spokesperson for a rather dubious group, which calls itself the “National Council of Iran”, calling for a boycott of the elections in Iran and RT television, while having the audacity to criticize human rights abuses in Iran.
Of course, his father’s own human rights abuses are suitably documented and epitomized by its disgusting secret service, SAVAK (“Sāzemān-e Ettelā’āt va Amniyat-e Keshvar, Organization of Intelligence and National Security). Certainly, if there is to be any credible opposition to the rule of the clerics in Iran, it would at least do itself a favour, if it didn’t employ clowns like this who really should just shut up and enjoy their stolen wealth in silence.
The day began strangely as it ended. Early this morning I was sitting in Costa’s supping the flat white and plodding through my latest read, Lesley Hazleton’s narrative of the ongoing rivalry between Shia and Sunni, After the Prophet. The Battle of the Camel, which took place outside Basra in 656 ended the read for today and with that battle came the knowledge that Karbala some twenty four years later only cemented a division that was already inevitable.
How deep that division actually is became all too apparent while perusing the ‘Gulf News’ in the very same Costa’s this evening and while there might be much to fault in Abdullah Al Shayji’s article “Urgent Need to Stem Sectarian Conflict“, there can be no disagreement with his main thesis which is aptly summed up by his quotation of Brookings Institution fellow Geneive Abdo who said:
“it (the Shiite-Sunni divide) is well on its way to displacing the broader conflict between Muslims and the West … and likely to supplant the Palestinian occupation as the central mobilising factor for Arab political life.”
Sensitivities are touched, absurdities abound, and the Saudi Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al Shaikh hails the Egyptian-Qatari Sunni hothead Shaikh Yousuf Al Qaradawi who claims that “Alawaites and Shiites are even worse than Christians and Jews”. Geneive Abdo, it would appear, is correct in his contention.
Yes, my Turkish neighbour’s little joke begins to make sense; an Arab fighting one Turk and ….? Well the Arab has every chance of winning, two Turks and two Arabs ….? and when it gets to three Arabs fighting three Turks, the Turks would win every time, because the Arabs would be fighting among themselves. There we have it, the division is deep, and divide and rule was never easier. The Project for the New American Century remains on course, Iran next stop, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues apace.
Now according to the “wherever did he come from?”, hype man, Mr Barack Obama, we might complain about Big Brother, but a “balance” has been struck. Now, even if we were to give this con artist the benefit of the doubt, what might that balance be and what might it imply?
Again, giving Barack the benefit of the doubt, it could indeed be that nobody is listening to our – and I would include me in that our, after all the reach of the United States and its allies is far and wide – telephone conversations …. at least for the time being. However with the Guardian also reporting that the “top-secret Prism program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Apple and Facebook” we should at least conclude that “they” can look at each and every one of us wherever and whenever they want to. Unfortunately, in the kingdom of the blind, the majority won’t really care, after all, they have been informed by our hypocritical hype man that “surveillance is essential for national security.”
Even if there was some substance in that claim, we could think of a hundred and one other things that might protect the security of the United States and its allies more, such as, stopping their drones killing innocent civilians, siding with tin pot despots here there and everywhere, and, … well rather than arbitrarily implementing Orwellian measures without any accountability resorting to the democratic process. Of course, if that last thing were to happen, we might indeed see the end of the killing of kids, the illegal wars and a much safer America, where there was no need to spy on its people.
Driving around in my wee battered Logan and for the want of something better to do there was me listening to the BBC drivel. “Britain to compensate Kenyans who said that they had been tortured some fifty years ago” - or words to that effect, she, the reporter, said. “Said” that they had been tortured”, I thought, and I thought, …..well Britain is hardly likely to compensate anyone who were just saying that they had been tortured. No, “the mother of the free” is as guilty as they come and maybe, just maybe, we will start dismissing this notion of some special British brand of colonialism as being good for the colonized people.
Still, “credit” where it is due and by late this afternoon the BBC had resorted to saying “were tortured” and strangely enough that change of tune was happening just about the same time as “oor Wullie” was saying “the UK government recognized Kenyans were tortured and it “sincerely regrets” the abuses that took place”.. Good for you Wullie, good for you, and when will you be apologizing for the countless other crimes committed by, and still being committed by, the British government. Of course, I am only saying that, am I not?
Of course, if the number of entries in my blog were a reflection of my life over the last two months then … well, then I have sorted of died, or, at the very least I have been seriously handicapped. Well, handicapped to the extent that my life metamorphosed into a routine of east, sleep, work, and if the weekends have represented a coming up for air that has been mainly in the form of my sleeping more than I do during the week.
Still, the doing nothing has not been unaccompanied; when you can access hundreds of television channels BBC World can be ignored when you are sitting in front of the box, but with there being no real alternative English speaking radio here, at least in my car, it is difficult to avoid its daily drivel 24/7 ….. and the local English speaking dailies, the ‘Gulf Daily News’ and the ‘Bahrain Daily Tribune’ , well, say no more, say no more.
Now, there you have it, a much ado about nothing post, just informing you that I am still out there and with access to ‘Press TV’ and ‘RT News’ , with the VPN doing its job, and with some free time on the horizon, I will be reporting on the nitty-gritty, perhaps of there, maybe of here, but one thing is for sure, it really is time to get myself cognitively engaged with the whole shebang and should Armageddon hit us all in the face, I don’t really want to be left clueless as to why it did.
RT On Air’s ticker informs me that there has been a crackdown on demonstrations in Bahrain ahead of the F1 race. The news is confirmed elsewhere and for all and sundry in the ex-pat Shangri-las, the Costa, Starbucks, shopping mall life of the three wee monkeys continues unabated.
This is a “normal” Sunday, but it is Friday and the fact that it is Friday and not Sunday is pretty much indicative of how “normal” this is. With no smoke rising about the city “The escalated security measures, increased house raids and arbitrary arrests of citizens living in villages located near the Bahrain International Circuit“, have, for the time being at least, imposed “normality” on the city but this really is a three wee monkey existence and Friday is just not Sunday.
“Schein und Sein” (appearance and reality), here there and everywhere and there is news leaking out regarding the Boston marathon bombings that what we might just have here is a false flag operation. Well, Alex Jones at least is coming up with more than a wee bit of evidence that what we might have here is a cover up and a link to Saudi. Still, if Alex fails to convince, you might just want to have a look at Julius Hensel’s blog. What a world, what a world, and wouldn’t life have been so much easier for Dr Josef Goebbels had he turned up eighty or so years later?
There they were playing in the garden one day and being told to pack their bags the following. The Russians were coming and a lot of them weren’t very happy. However, more to the point regarding the story that is unfolding, ego is no longer surprised at how long normal life continued until it was no longer feasible for it to continue. Not quite a “Carry in up the Khyber” scenario, but wouldn’t it have been better for the wife’s mother and her family to have made the move from Silesia westwards just a wee bit earlier in 1945?
Fast forward to 2006 and there is me in my hotel in Beruit’s Hamra area and putting my phone up to the sky to let the good lady listen to the bombs whistling into the south of the city. “Schon gut, sehr interresant, aber ich muss gehen … ich spiele Badmington Heute abend” (“yeah great, very interesting, but I have to go, I am playing badminton this evening.”). Yes, “normal” what doesn’t have too big an effect on our normality.
‘Aljazeera’ informs me that the opposition in Bahrain will be stepping up its demonstrations as the formula one race approaches. At Bahrain City Center Mall they are checking bags as people enter the mall, which, of course, hardly has an effect on “our” normality, which is the “normality” of Juffair, Adliya, Anwaj island, and other little islands of expat …… is it sanity or insanity. Well, it is not civil society that’s for sure, a little world where …. well, just watch the chain smokers in one of the islands many little drinking dens. No, checking the bags will interfere with that “normality” about as much as the long road round – they have closed the Pearl roundabout since I was last here – from Adliya to the city center mall will.
Oh and when does “reality” hit you? Well, I had to think back to Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, Sadaam’s information minister, telling the world press, that the American infidel had been forced out of the city just as two American tanks appeared in the background. Nevertheless, even if the “reality” is unlikely to hit us anytime soon, we might do well to talk to some of the taxi drivers who take that long way round to city center mall, in order to get a glimpse into that reality. After all, even the good lady’s mother understood just why the Russians were more than a trifle pissed off, even if she did take a couple of years or so to realize it.