Archive for March 1st, 2011
Wikileaks has released a defence of Assange’s racist statements:
“On Tuesday 1st March 2011, @wikileaks said:
Because WikiLeaks has some Jewish staff and enjoys wide spread Jewish support, its staff have frequently been smeared by its opponents, political or competitive, as being agents of the Mossad or of George Soros. These smears are completely false. A good overview of some of the allegations can be here:
A Washington intelligence firm was recently exposed as being behind a $2M plan to destroy WikiLeaks reputation and target supportive journalists:
The intelligence firm was referred by the US Department of Justice.
But smears against WikiLeaks cross the geopolitical spectrum. Ian Hislop, editor of the weekly satirical current affairs magazine Private Eye, recently wrote an article “as much as he could remember”, about an off the record conversation with Julian Assange who complained that a previous article, appearing in Private Eye, was based on falsehoods spread by opponents and calculated to undermine WikiLeaks strong Jewish support. The problems stem from a November the 1st, 2010 legal dispute with the Guardian, which were trigged by the actions of one particular journalist, David Leigh. Leigh deliberately, and secretly, broke an agreement signed by the Guardian’s editor-in-chief stating that 1. the Guardian was not to publish WikiLeaks cables 2. the Guardian was to keep them confidential. 3. the Guardian was to not store them on an internet connected computer system. Leigh had previously shown himself to be a competent journalist, but secretly broke all elements of the contract. On being notified that the German news weekly Der Spiegel was writing a book (in German) that would expose this breach, Leigh attempted to cover his actions, first by laundering an distorted version of the events through a friend at Vanity Fair then by writing his own book, which he had published through the Guardian. WikiLeaks has not previously covered this or many other process and reputational issues, due to the opportunity cost of removing writers from our core mission which has never been more important.
Mr. Leigh has since continued to shore up his own power position by spreading malicious libels, targeted at WikiLeaks principle support bases. A brief look through the focus of Leigh’s Twitter account http://twitter.com/davidleigh3 shows the sort of game in play. Although the damage done to the Guardian’s reputation by these actions is an ongoing concern to many Guardian staff, Leigh is perceived, by them, wrongly or rightly, to be protected through his marriage to the sister of the editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger.
Julian Assange said “Hislop has distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase. In particular, ‘Jewish conspiracy’ is completely false, in spirit and in word. It is serious and upsetting. Rather than correct a smear, Mr. Hislop has attempted, perhaps not surprisingly, to justify one smear with another in the same direction. That he has a reputation for this, and is famed to have received more libel suits in the UK than any other journalist as a result, does not mean that it is right. WikiLeaks promotes the ideal of “scientific journalism” – where the underlaying evidence of all articles is available to the reader precisely inorder to avoid these type of distortions. We treasure our strong Jewish support and staff, just as we treasure the support from pan-Arab democracy activists and others who share our hope for a just world.”
That “some of my best friends are Jewish” excuse is very weak.
But it still doesn’t explain Israel Shamir and Wikileaks’ connection.
Why is the organisation in league with a Far Right antisemite like Shamir?
Update 1:Not forgetting:
First, on twitter there was a suggestion that Assange had told Private Eye that his woes were caused by a Jewish conspiracy.
Soon after Liberal Conspiracy posted a scan of the article, confirming it.
I can’t say I’m surprised. That was his trajectory.
Conspiracy theories and racist lies about Jews go hand-in-hand, so where you find one the other is often found.
That’s not to say that all conspiracy theorists are anti-Jewish racists, but most anti-Jewish racists tend to believe in conspiracy theories, even if they don’t realise it.
I am sure this is probably just the start of Assange’s racist outbursts.
I think anyone watching the events unfolding in Libya must wonder, whether or not foreign intervention would help.
Clearly, Governments toned down their rhetoric whilst their nationals were in Libya and potentially under danger, but what now?
Sanctions are utterly useless, as they don’t address the here and now.
But shouldn’t more be done to aid the Libyans?
I think so but any foreign intervention would, in my view, be disastrous, for a number of reasons:
1) Such action would only bolster Gadaffi, it would allow him to argue that it was really imperialists that wanted to take over his country, in the first place, and that his people loved him but they were puppets of Western imperialism.
2) It would come too late and take precedence over the Libyans’ views, which should be paramount.
3) The Libyans, above all, should oversee their own emancipation and probably have sufficient resources now to complete it.
Ultimately, I think any western intervention in Libya would be counterproductive, I think aid and support for the refugees should be expedited, but that’s a different issue.
In the last few weeks there has been a fair few examples of anti-Jewish racism invoked during the revolts in the Middle East, but not only that, Mubarak’s regime deliberately put it about that foreign journalists were “Zionist” spies and induce their supporters to attack the media accordingly.
The BBC’s John Simpson experienced this firsthand.
Now we have the ruler of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, doing his part to invoke conspiracy theories, AFP reports:
“Huge crowds poured into the centre of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Tuesday in response to an opposition call for a mass rally against President Ali Abdullah, in power since 1978, drawing angry accusations from the veteran leader that it was all the work of Israel and the United States.
“The people want Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave,” the protesters chanted. “The people want to overthrow the regime.”
Saleh hit back, in an address to university professors at Sanaa University. “The events from Tunisia to Oman are a storm orchestrated from Tel Aviv and and under Washington’s supervision,” he said.
“What is taking place on Yemen’s streets is just a copycat attempt.”
Update 1: Yahoo news goes into more detail:
“However, in a speech to about 500 students and academics at Sanaa University, Saleh appeared to be turning on his ally, claiming the U.S., along with Israel, is behind the protest movement.
“I am going to reveal a secret,” he said. “There is an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world. The operations room is in Tel Aviv and run by the White House,” he said.
He said opposition figures meet regularly with the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa to coordinate efforts.
“Regrettably those (opposition figures) are sitting day and night with the American ambassador where they hand him reports and he gives them instructions,” Saleh alleged.
“The Americans also talk with the government officials about this (the protests), but they tell them `allow these people to demonstrate in the streets’,” Saleh said. “We say that this is a Zionist agenda.”
The wave of political unrest sweeping across the Arab world is a “conspiracy that serves Israel and the Zionists,” he added. “
Update 1: Kellie has provided a link to conspiracy theories at Al Jazzeera, Google translated:
“Israeli source revealed information about parking and Israeli security institution – and with the authorization of the Israeli government – of sending groups of mercenaries Africans to Libya for the attack on the rebels who took nearly two weeks ago in most parts of the country, demanding to drop the system, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi .
The source – a reporter for Yediot Ahronot on condition of anonymity – that the security leaks that Israel views the Libyan Revolution from the perspective of strategic security, and considers that the fall of the Gaddafi regime would open the door to the “Islamic regime” in Libya.
The source reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have taken in a tripartite meeting on February 18 a resolution last recruiting African mercenaries fighting alongside al-Qadhafi
Confirmed leaks security, the meeting approved a request from Gen. Yisrael Ziv – the director of the security consulting “Global CSI T” which is active in many African countries – developed sets mercenary paramilitary Guinea, Nigeria, Chad and Central African Republic, Mali, Senegal and members of the rebel movements in In the Darfur region of southern Sudan at the disposal of Libyan intelligence official, Abdallah al-Sanusi.
According to the same source has confirmed the military intelligence chief Gen. Aviv Kokhvi during the meeting – also attended by Chairman of the Division of North Africa in the Foreign Shalom Cohen – The follow-up and accurate monitoring penetrans showed that the Revolution of Libya is dominated by “character of religious and fundamentalist,” and that the Muslim Brotherhood have a hand the upper, particularly in eastern Libya, and specifically the city of Benghazi .
He Kokhvi that if the regime fell, the Gaddafi alternative system would be “Islamic system”, which provides strategic depth of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan and Sudan.
Revealed that the falsity of the leaks and Gen. Yossi Koprsawr and former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, former Israeli Ambassador in Paris is located in the breeze Zueli Senegal met with leaders of the Sanusi Libyan pro-Gaddafi at a military base in the Chadian capital N’djamena.
Billions of dollars
At this meeting View Sanusi on the falsity of his institution to provide security – that possession of an African military groups and units of military advisers and trainers – Libyan Arab Jamahiriya groups of members of this squad specially trained to fight in civil wars.
In return, Libya paid to the Israeli establishment to five billion dollars can be increased if the mercenaries proved their effectiveness in addressing the rebels Libyans.
It was also agreed on the transfer of these groups of African armed forces to Chad, then there is an air-borne from Libyan or Chadian into several regions and cities of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, such as the Sabha in the south and Tripoli in the center and walked in the north.
The same source said that the number of members of these groups amounted to fifty thousand equipped with a variety of weapons from the Russian-made and American, British and Israeli, including Kalashnikov rifles, “Tavor” developed and improved in Israel
Pledges to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
According to the source itself, the party has given guarantees Libyan Foundation grant, “Global CSI T” – after the end of the revolution against Gaddafi – concessions in the field of exploration, extraction and export of Libyan oil and gas fields in several areas Sabha, Tobruk, Benghazi and Kufra.
Libyans also pledged to conclude a contract with the Israeli establishment active in the formation of military and security forces, preparation and training in Africa and Latin America, the Caucasus, in order to rebuild the forces and Libyan security bodies.
The Libyan side promised to allow the institution as well as the Israeli activity in the security field in Libya and the freedom to work from Libya for the activity in a number of neighboring countries, especially in the Darfur region of western Sudan, Niger and northern Chad. “
If you don’t laugh at this I would be very surprised, Tyler Perry’s The President’s Speech:
Mauritania is often forgotten about, but its people are up in arms too, Reuters explains things:
“NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) – Hundreds of people took to the streets in Mauritania on Friday calling for better living conditions and more jobs in the vast, impoverished desert nation that straddles black and Arab Africa.
Such demonstrations are rare in the West African country and few expect to see protests on the scale of those that have rocked Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and to a lesser extent, neighbouring Algeria.
A handful in the crowd of 1,000-1,500 mostly young people who took part in the peaceful protest demanded the departure of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, but they were in the minority and there was only a light security presence.
“The president has to respect his people. Aziz has always said he’s the president of the poor; now the poor are in front of you asking for dialogue,” said Mocktar Mohammed Mahmoud, a social worker who said he had got involved through Facebook.
“There is no party behind us, there is no particular tribe behind this. We are behind you in your war against terrorism but you’ve got to stand behind us in our war against hunger.”
Abdel Aziz came to power first in a 2008 coup and then won an election in 2009, which has largely restored stability to the nation but failed to bridge the gap between the mostly rich Arab elite and the largely poorer African classes. “
Yahoo has more:
“The United Nations Development Program indicates the life expectancy for Mauritanians is 57.3 years.
* The U.N. Human Development Index ranks Mauritania 136th out of 169 countries, placing it high among the countries rated as having low human development. It is rated below Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia, all North African countries that have experienced protests and uprisings in the past two months.
* Half the population relies on agriculture and livestock, and the country is rich in iron ore, its main export. Fishing is a major, though threatened, resource and oil reserves have not materialized to the extent expected. “
Whilst ordinary Libyans are murdered in the streets most Western expats have been repatriated from Libya and a few are held up within their compounds, but what we shouldn’t forget is the real refugees from this revolt, workers from the developed world.
Libya was a temporary home for workers from around the world and whereas Western governments have made some effort, even dispatching naval ships, that hasn’t always been possible for countries from the developed world.
Their workers, their citizens, are left to defend themselves, many have made it to Tunisia and are living off of the charity of the Tunisians or Libyans.
But that isn’t good enough.
The United Nations, with its wealth of experience of such crises should have seen this coming and made arrangements for those workers stuck in Libya unable to get out or fend for themselves, ABC News has more:
“The UN refugee agency says a “humanitarian emergency” is underway as the situation at Libya’s western border worsens and foreign workers continue to flee fighting within the country.
Thousands fled Libya over the weekend in a mass exodus of foreigners from the strife-torn country by air, land and sea.
The agency says almost 100,000 migrant workers, mostly from Egypt and Tunisia, have fled Libya in the past week and many remain stranded at the Libya-Tunisia border as Libyan customs officers desert their posts.
“We call upon the international community to respond quickly and generously to enable these governments to cope with this humanitarian emergency,” said Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
As night fell and the line of cars, trucks and buses ferrying refugees further into Tunisia thinned out, one Tunisian official said there was still 7,000 more foreign workers at the Libyan frontier waiting to get across.
When they do, they will join the chaotic scenes as mostly Egyptian men sleep in clumps on roads or on open land in frigid conditions. “
Western countries are always very concerned, or like to be seen as if they are, about their own citizens, but rarely seem to think of what will happen to “other” ex-pats, from developing countries, so in the end colonial thinking is still very much alive and well in the 21st century, but not in the way that most people would imagine.