Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

China and Middle East uncertainty

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-01

With pro-democracy protests springing up across the middle east, predicting the overall outcomes is nigh impossible.

There is little talk of how China might view opportunities in the region, despite China’s skill gaining access to resources such as rare earths in Africa, despite the diplomatic opportunities when everything is up in the air.

Those diplomatic opportunities for China are considerable.

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Posted in China, International, Middle East, Politics, USA | Leave a Comment »

Release of Egyptian rendition records would be explosive

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-01

It’s a fair bet by anyone familiar with Egypt’s Ministry of the Interior, that this ministry was a subcontractor providing torture services to some great powers, and the details of those services were well-known by the governments of middle and lesser powers to.

In Western countries, any government in power since rendition entered the vocabulary of the well-read will be desperately hoping Egyptian records proving Western complicity in torture will never become public knowledge.

Who benefits most if the Ministry of the Interior is burnt, if paper and electronic records can’t get leaked to the press or the wider internet?

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Posted in Australia, Civil rights, International, Middle East, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Jewish Lobby a bit player in Israeli power

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-03-29

The recent actions of Israel in using fake official documents of "friendly" countries to commit murder in another state not at war with Israel would have been treated seriously by countries such as the US and Australia were it not for the power Israel has over many countries, not necessarily through the power of well-financed lobby groups, not through a misplaced respect on the part of many Christians for an older Abrahamic religion, but by Israel’s expertise in dark arts that can destroy other nations almost instantly, using powers that terrorists can only wish for.

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Posted in Information Management, International, Middle East, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Heartless in Gaza

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-22

Israel wants to change the rules about war crimes (The Age, 2009-10-21), using the "must combat terrorism" furphy.

I hope someone goes through the watering down proposed by the Israeli warmongers, and looks at what would have happened if the British Mandate of Palestine had used the same lack of morality to control the Zionist terrorists who were busy blowing up stuff and people in a successful effort to create a state, a state established by terrorists (UN Security Council Resolution 57 of 18 September 1948), a nuclear renegade state that keeps IAEA inspectors away from the 200-odd nuclear warheads in it’s arsenal, an arsenal that makes Kim Jong Mentally-Ill look harmless.

No, Britain let all the terrorists off scot free, to be declared heroes by the terrorist-established state, and some to become Prime Ministers.

I’d imagine that if the British had used the methods Israel now wants legitimized, the state of Israel would never have existed… and the boats bringing the ethnic cleansers to Palestine after the second world war would have been blown out of the water.

But then, we only have to look at the genocide verses of Joshua and Exodus to see what the Zionist tradition considers absolutely fine – as long as it’s only done to us goyim.

After all, what did the Solicitor for the Commonwealth of Australia, seeking to justice tougher counter-terrorism measures, say in 2007 about the historical pretext used by Zionists to justify their land claims:

History provides numerous examples of situations where it has been necessary for a polity to defend itself against a body other than a sovereign state. One could start with the book of Joshua in the Bible. If the Canaanite cities had had a federation with section 51(vi) in it there is little doubt that it could have been invoked against the children of Israel, although at that stage one could hardly describe them as a sovereign state in the traditional sense. Their only territory was the territory they were about conquer.

Posted in Civil rights, Europe, International, Middle East | Leave a Comment »

Director of the Orchestra

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-02-11

I’ve seen a lot of cartoons critical of Israel in Gaza (and Lebanon), and the failures of USA governments to do anything but give funds to Israel (and therefore encouragement).

But the following cartoon does take a bit more of a broad education to appreciate than those I typically see.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised: it’s from the same site that gives you Fidel’s blog, and Cuba does have a literacy rate as good as, if not better than, Australia’s (if you care to look at the CIA World Fact Book – hardly an organ for socialist propaganda!).

Director of the Orchestra

Director of the Orchestra

And if you don’t recognize the artistic reference… go here.

Source: granma.cu

Posted in Media, Middle East, Politics, USA | Leave a Comment »

How to save Israeli lives with bombs: target the pubs

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-06

If Israel wants to use bombs to protect Israeli Jewish lives, then bombing alcohol outlets within Israel would be much more effective than bombing Gaza.

Israeli deaths from road accidents kill more than one person a day, every day.  In 2007, 431 died.

So, what does the Israeli government do about this?  Cut funding to the National Road Safety Authority by US$55 million for 2009, or about a third of its budget.  The "Sheinin committee" plan to cut road deaths to 360 p.a. by 2010 is in tatters.

It’s a fair bet that drunk driving is a large contributor to the toll, hence my remark about bombing or running tanks over the top of liquor stores.  It’s certainly not the most efficient way, but as Israel apparently takes such care to avoid civilian death and injury in military operations, I’m sure that such bombing would be safe to its own citizens, or at least within the bounds of what Israel thinks are acceptable losses of Gazan civilians.

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Posted in Governance, Humor, Middle East, Politics | 2 Comments »

Can you hear the tears hitting the keyboard?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-06

The Australian Intercultural Society newsletter hit my intray today.  The AIS does things like organize inter-religious celebrations (like open days at mosques, churches and synagogues), and though an atheist, I certainly support the objectives of the AIS.

Those putting the letter together must be tearing their hair out over the current conflict in the Middle East, so I’ll quote some of it supportively over the fold (even though I’m atheist).

You can keep up with AIS events through the website or even the Facebok page.

You can almost hear the tears of the authors of the newsletter as you read it, but I’ll give you just a part, one that is secular (my bolding).

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Posted in Civil rights, Ethics, Middle East, Society, Theology and Religion | 1 Comment »

Middle East conflict and use of language

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-05

Here is an expanded and extensively hyperlinked version of a letter I wrote, published in the Melbourne Age in June 2006 during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon under the heading "Categorical Errors".


Too many discussions about the current Israeli incursions into Lebanon and an increase in anti-Israeli sentiment make categorical errors that prevent an accurate understanding of what commentators actually mean.

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Posted in International, Language Use, Middle East, Politics | 5 Comments »

UN Security Council should be abolished

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-01-05

I cannot see the difference between the essentially self-appointed UN Security Council and the essentially self-appointed Council of Guardians of Iran, which is basically an "upper house" of theocrats that consistently stymies the efforts of the democratically elected "lower house" and any reformist efforts of any President.

Both structures are anti-democratic and lead to poor (if not downright disastrous) outcomes, with the current problems in Gaza being the most obvious failure.

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Posted in International, Middle East, Politics | 4 Comments »

Genocide justified by Jewish scripture

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-12-29

The continuing violence by Israel against others is hardly consistent with principles of proportionality, but what can we expect from those with a god that not only condones, but orders genocide?  (See Joshua quotes over the fold).

At least violence against non-combatants by islamists can be proven hypocritical and contrary to the Koran (See my 2007-07-07 discussion of work by 19th century moslem Moulavi Gerágh Ali).

While the "sword verses" of the Koran take a fair bit of stretching and taking-out-of-context to condone violence against non-believers, the "genocide verses" in the Tanakh (specifically the Nevi’im) are unequivocally in favor of genocide and the forced acquisition of land held by those who don’t descend from Israel.  Have a look at the actions of Joshua, praised in the Tanakh and by modern Zionists:

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Posted in Ethics, Middle East, Politics, Theology and Religion | 11 Comments »

Gilgamesh chugs along

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-02-03

While I’m grateful to those regulars who go for the political rants in this blog, it’s kind of nice that an artsy-fartsy post is getting steady readership.  My notes on the Gilgamesh epic, its relevance to the modern world, and my very short rendering seems to have been a worthwhile exercise.

If anyone has thoughts about which stanzas need the most rework to improve parsing, I welcome the criticism and will try to make them better.  If anyone has suggestions for improvements, feel free to make them, or publish you’re modified version elsewhere (as long as we link to each other’s sites).

So, thanks to the readers, I hope there are a few that have got tips for assignments, and I hope a few who were unaware of our oldest literature were encouraged to find out more.

Posted in Arts, Middle East | Leave a Comment »

Which threatens the US most: Iran or Saudi?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-29

Iran is in the sights of the US for a whole heap of reasons.  Should this be the case?  A new post at the Democracy in America blog at The Economist gives an alternative.

The article goes through a list of things that certainly would trouble the US, with the word "Iran" in each.  Then comes the twist:

So, are you convinced that the time for action is upon us?  Now replace “Iran” with “Saudi Arabia”, because that is the country that’s pursuing this destabilising agenda. Still convinced?

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Posted in Governance, Middle East, USA | Leave a Comment »

Looks like Bush is funding radical Islamists

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-05-24

Disturbing news from The Economist "Democracy in America" blog, with the original post, entitled "Known unknowns" here

AS ABC News has reported, George Bush has authorized the use of covert operations to destabilize the regime in Iran. One disturbing part of the article is the apparent American support for Jundullah, a fanatical Sunni militant organisation conducting raids into Iran from bases on the Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The group is reportedly funded by the Afghan and Pakistani militaries. But, given Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s close cooperation with America, Jundullah might as well be getting the funding from America itself.
 
The parallel to America’s support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s seems almost too obvious. Back then the American government could, perhaps, be forgiven for allowing the threat of communism to trump all other considerations (like the danger inherent in arming Islamic extremists).

Scary! Unsurprisingly hypocritical!

Posted in Middle East, Politics, USA | Leave a Comment »

A 1777 Conservative critique of the Iraq War

Posted by Dave Bath on 2006-11-02

Edmund Burke, a representative of Bristol in the late 1770s, is claimed by conservatives as one of their leading lights, yet his famous 1777 letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol on the Affairs of America (available for free download from Project Gutenberg) provides an excellent critique of the methods used by the Coalition of the Willing in domestic and international matters.

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Posted in Civil rights, Ethics, History, Middle East, Politics, USA | 2 Comments »

 
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