February 26, 2009

Black winds blowing...




Okay, Rumsfeld isn't known as the most cultivated guy, but his flippant remark to the looting and destruction of The Iraq National Museum; "stuff happens" seemed cynical to all of us, who'd already shed tears when the bombing of The National Library in Sarajevo burned down thousands of irreplaceable old manuscripts.
But being a long distance witness to the greedy looting of the National Museum in Baghdad in 2003, while US troops and their allies stood idle by, was more than some us could bear. As in Sarajevo it's our history, that's forever lost - And for the peoples of the nations involved, it's a catastrophe beyond words - when you lose your past.


Thousands of works, some over 3.000 years old are lost! Artifacts, Jewelry and object's d'art, some of our civilizations earliest, are gone forever. They are now sitting in secret vaults all over the world, now only for the pleasure of the very few.
The Museum is now (partly) opened, but only half of the sad remains of this invaluable collection will be at display and only for VIPs ?!?




A lot of Iraqis showed up for the big opening, clinging to the iron gates surrounding the Museum. These people were not hoping to see the small exhibition, but rather to get a glimpse of the Prime Minister, while shouting out their needs and their despair. Most of the women there, being some of Iraq's 740.000 widows, most who do not have roof over their heads, neither them nor their fatherless children. These are the true victims of the Iraqi violence. remember the celebrated "shoe thrower"? He did this stunt for the Iraqi war widows and the orphans.
These women was before protected by the extended support system of family, neighbours and mosques. But as the war drag on and on the needs far exceed available help. Iraqi charities are closing down one by one as no help comes from the government or anywhere else.
Some of these widows becomes homeless beggars sifting through garbage, standing outside the mosques asking for handouts or they become prostitutes and some joins the insurgents, becoming suicide bombers for money.
The vast majority are forced into "temporary marriages" - ( Shi'ite trad.) often based on sex, some for hours, some for years, and in this way gets help from government, religious or tribal leaders. A war widow neither has the money nor the clout to pay the bribes needed to oil the offices, where war widow benefits are distributed [50$ a month]
The latest plan from the director of "Baghdad Displacement Committee" is to pay men to marry widows. When asked , why not give the money directly to the women instead? He laughs this preposterous idea off with a; " They'll only spend the money unwisely because they are uneducated and don't know about budgets!" ?!?!

It's the women and the children who pays the full burden of war, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza or anywhere else in world where violence is the order of the day...

Read more in The New York Times

February 24, 2009

There ain't no going back - Thankfully!




It's has been said been stated that; USA now has their very own "Caricature/drawings" issue, but not quite! 
The US case, though it might be or feel severe nationally. Then the original Danish drawing was a provocation aimed at all Muslims, not only in this country but worldwide. That  everyone feigned surprise, when the demonstrations began internationally, can only been seen as either very, very naive or very, very ignorant - Same same, but different!

I know that most Americans imagine, their proud nation being the very epicenter of the world, but the story of the crazy chimp proceeding the drawing didn't go outside the US! The noise over the Washington Post published drawing did...!
And as said before the only target of the rage, will be the Washington Post (Murdoch's excuse, comes a little late, no?) 
Whereas the Danish version had/ has(?) a broader front line; All things Danish, from burning the embassy in Damascus,  jumping and burning the Flag (though some looked more like the Swiss version) to boycotting Danish products in Saudi supermarkets.

Comparing the newly elected president to a Chimp, seems malicious and outrageous to a nation where segregation, Triple K, Race riots and the Civil Rights Movement marching across the country only lies two generations back.  
One in every eight prisoners in the world, is Afro -American! - And with this bit of info; this particular drawing becomes especially  nasty, as it's two of New York Finest, who's depicted and it's in the law enforcement where discrimination is far from a closed chapter!  So poking "fun"  - (or whatever you'd call it - the Danish drawings were not funny neither) - at the first Afro American President calls forth the most fervid feelings of pride and understandably so! And no need for comparing it to anything. The Chimp drawing speaks volumes of tired, old white men and their tired old white world views growing out of date - fast!

                                                
This is NOT one of the original "Danish Drawings" but a spoof on the Danes made by a Dane

February 23, 2009

Love hurts in oh so many ways;

My dearest friend Néné led me to the discovery of a classy video featuring my old hero Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris (She just keeps on getting prettier, with every strand of her grey hair..) Performing  "Love Hurts" on the David Letterman show - 
The host is quite audibly moved by the sheer beauty of their performance.... and so was I ! Well, not to be let behind! And also because I only want to give my readers the very best - I wanted to embed it right here!

But, I then saw this one; "Love hurts" with my man; Keith Richards & Nora Jones - This couple may not have the exquisite elegance of the Elvis And Emmylou act, but they do have an certain allurement (at least to me) which made me stick them in - instead! 

Even if Miss Jones does seem quite awed and maybe even a bit frightened (?) by the presence of the mighty Keith..  Never mind - Enjoy! 


The All Singing All Dancing Oscar Night (mare)




This was a night of; Excessive amounts of ice cream while listening to; silly acceptance speeches with all it's lost moments of really telling it how it is, nervous tears and near fainting spells from young beauties in skintight gowns, weird dress choices, the lack of serious Bling, because of the recession? The surreal experience of seeing someone I actually know (and who actually knows me) winning the award for "Best cinematography" - A well deserved Oscar for his innovative angles and great color frames in Slumdog Millionaire - The grand sweeper movie of the evening!


                                                         

 It was a night of Hugh Wolf(Jack)man doing Fred Astaires "Tophat" routines with Beyonce as his chubby/bootylicious Ginger Rodgers, swirling it in a song & dance medley. This was done in a "We're keeping it low and unglamourous this year" mode - It could have been our local talent night down at the town hall...


                                                           

 And who came up with the idea, of giving an Oscar posthumously? Not that the late Heath Ledger isn't phenomenal in Dark Knight - But that good? And the acceptance speech given by his entire family? Of course it left the whole theater in tears - A true "Kodak Moment" if there ever was one! - Can't shake the feeling of a very calculated moment, thought up by the academy, though!


My Best Oscar Moments ?
1; Danny Boyle doing a Tigger Too jump or two and mentioning a forgotten choreographer of the dancing number in the winning Slumdog Millionaire..
2; The two Japanese winners in different categories, who had very little English under the belt, but still managed to get their message through!
3; Sophia Loren who still oozes sex at 70!
4; Kate Winslet who made her Dad, cat whistle out loud, so she would know where her family were sitting!
5; That even a beauty like Angelina Jolie, who seemingly has it all; Fame, money and love, didn't look the least bit happy nor showed any great affection for her hubby.
6; That Sean Penn finally !!!  Finally took the opportunity of having the whole world watching and made a speech worth his while - and ours! (He remembered the Gay community and the boggled Prop 8 campaign and to welcome Mickey Rourke back to Hollywood- but forgot his wife... ahr, well he is Sean Penn after all!)

And least, but last; the idea of, making 5 former award winners, present the nominees in the "bigger" categories.. That made for some really good TV - And we needed that in this down toned version of the biggest show on earth.


PS; About the photos; I've chosen some of the worst gowns! -We're gonna see the pretty ones until it hurts in the days to come -

PPS; First 'live event' with "Twitter" running simultaneously - A very nice experience and nice chats across the ocean. 140 characters is long enough for a message, But much too short for BullShit, emoticons and such little girliegirlie stuff!
Short, sweet and to the point!

February 22, 2009

Prelude to the Oscars - Alan Keyes tries again!


While we wait for the Oscars; Here's Alan Keyes from the far, far right calling Obama a "radical communist" and airing his fears of America ceasing to exist - But that's just small stuff compared to the allegations of Obama not being a US citizen and voila; Therefore not President of the country!
Mr Keyes obviously is opting for a non supportive award! This is after, he lost to the main character in 2004 -(In the US senate race)

The supreme court turned down a law suit without comment , when the suit tried to bar the inauguration of Obama... 

This "controversy" and all the allegations that comes along with it, is living a life on its own out there in cyberspace; On the net and in emails - Waaaay out there, where no critique of source is necessary, nor serious research is needed to become a truth....  - But here's, what I don't get is, there's actually someone who believes in this circus!






Link to LA Times

Waltzing with Bashir - A Lebanon War Story - revisited!





Well, I wrote about "Waltz with Bashir" - The animated movie about the bombing of the Chatila and Sabra Refugee Camps in Lebanon.. The posting was before the Golden Globe award to Ari Folman, director... And congrats!! - Even if it was a bit disappointing, that he didn't say a word about the war in Gaza, which was full on, at the time of the event. But maybe he'll mention it, in an aside, if Ari Folman wins again tonight at the Oscars?


                                             


 I hadn't seen the film, at the time I wrote the post, but now I have. And I must agree with Gideon Levy in "Haaretz"  in his very harsh critique of the movie. Yes, it does have a propaganda-ish nature, yes it is a beautifully animated and very talented film... Yes, Ari goes to war, sees some horrible things, drinks a bit, cries a lot, calls his therapist at midnight and sings love songs to Lebanon while crushing it under Israeli tanks! Let it roll, baby - what a great Isareli army! But it's not the IDF's hands, that held the guns, that killed the innocent lives in the Palestinian refugee camps on Lebanese territory - And in the end of the film, when the real footage comes up, with real people in real pain - That's where you see the real massacre... But according to this very talented and very astute Israeli filmmaker; 

"Shame on the murderers, but it was not us, we didn't do it!"


February 21, 2009

What! Me worry?


In keeping with the apparent theme of this weekend - And if you're not one of them economics wizards, then maybe you've wondered, how it all got sooooo bad? I know I have.... This fantastic little piece of animation shows all the hows and whys pretty clearly!

In this country we have a first lady, who declared, that she simply can't see any Finance crisis going on - anywhere! But then again, she is a first lady and the way this country is going, her man is not gonna loose his job sometime soon - (Damage - really, for the rest of us, mere mortals!)


PS; Please, don't despair; if you've lost your job, your house and are now living in your car! I'm sure that the Bra Dryer (down below) comes with a car-lighter connection 
- Crisis? What crisis?

February 20, 2009

Oh, by the way;

While we are talking about the economy or rather, the lack of it;
enjoy my man Cash - (no pun intended)



My bills are due, the baby needs shoes and I'm busted!

Tragically Hip & Cool - February edit.




Yes, I know, the recession has gone global! But we have to spend some dough, in order to regenerate more money, jobs & livelihoods and so on... Shopping is not something, you have to do when by your lonesome, or lie to your friends, about the amount of $ you've just spend, nor do you have to duck into alley ways, if you see someone you know, on the other side of the street... Nope, it has been elevated to heroic altitudes. Yes, while the world, as we know it, goes to hell, we'll go shopping! Do it with your head held high, while the president and all of his men will thank you!!!

If you don't know where to go with your altruistic acts of charity - Then I'll help you! 
As an example; Here's a "Bra dryer" for you, my sweet heroine! For the woman, who already has absolutely everything electrical, who doesn't gives a damn about CO2 and all that gobbledygook ! A woman who's tired of the old drier ruining her "Victoria's secrets" she's paid half a mortgage for... !Who doesn't gives a whole lot about global warming, but do care about her precious lingerie! The site won't say anything about prices and such insignificant  details... But who cares, We're saving the world, after all! Buy the darn thing and someone will give you a medal or a monument down at the mall.... one of these days!


 So go do! 
That voodoo! 
That you do!
So well!


February 19, 2009

How to Justify Injustice -A letter from Reem








Justifying Israeli War Crimes
By: Reem Salahi
 
Having left Gaza now, I am trying to come to terms with what I saw, what I heard and honestly, what I don't think I will ever understand – the justification.  While Israel's recent offensive has been the most egregious of any historical attack upon the Palestinians in Gaza, it is just that, one of many.  Gaza has been under Israeli bombardment and sanctions for many years.  Prior to the Israeli pullout in 2005, Gaza was under the complete control and occupation of Israel.  Nearly 8000 Israeli settlers occupied 40% of Gaza while the 1.5 million Palestinians occupied the remaining 60%.  Settlements were located on the most fertile lands and along Gaza's beautiful coastal regions and checkpoints prevented Palestinian mobility.  Despite being one-fifth the size of Rhode Island, 25 miles long by 4-7.5 miles wide, Gaza was divided into three sections and Palestinians had to pass through multiple checkpoints to get from one section to the next.  Often Israeli forces would close these checkpoints and not allow the Palestinians access to the other regions in Gaza as a form of collective punishment.  
 
Yet with Israel's pullout in 2005, the Palestinian experience has not improved.  Rather, it has become even more unpredictable and isolated.  Palestinians who celebrated the exodus of the Israeli settlers and the return of their land could not have imagined what would follow and how Israel would subsequently unleash its brutal force against them.  As the saying goes, nothing in life is free and the Palestinians have paid, and continue to pay, a dear and unforgivable price for Israel's withdrawal from their legally rightful land.
 
From the first moments of Israel's military campaign on December 27, Israel's indifference to civilian casualties was clear.  Its first attacks started at around 11:30 AM, at a time when children leave the morning session of school and the afternoon students arrive.  The streets were packed with civilians – children no less.  Within moments, hundreds of Palestinians were killed and even more Palestinians were injured (at least 280 Palestinians were killed on the first day, and 700 wounded including more than a dozen policemen attending a graduation ceremony at the Gaza City police station).  One of the little girls in Jabalia told me that she was in school when the attacks started.  She fainted from the overwhelming fear and was not able to go home and see her family for days.  When she did go home, she remembers seeing dead and injured bodies stranded all over street and hearing the thundering sound of missiles falling.  
 
In its offensive, Israel attacked UNRWA warehouses, schools, mosques, civilian neighborhoods, businesses, factories, hospitals, universities and the media center.  Its attacks took place during the day, night, during temporary ceasefires, and often without any notice or=2 0warning.  I would ask the Palestinians I met who had lost loved ones in the recent incursion whether they were warned about an oncoming attack by some flyer or radio announcement.  The majority would laugh at my question.  "Why would I stay in my home if I knew that it was going to be attacked?  Do you think I want to die?  Do you think I would want to put my family and children in danger?"  Most of the Palestinians had no notice that they were going to be attacked and bombarded until it was too late, and at that point, all they could do was stay in their homes, far from any window or door, and pray that their house would not be next.
 
Those, like Majid Fathi Abd al-Aziz al-Najjar, who were warned, tended to flee to "safer" areas.  Majid and his wife and children resided in a border town in Khan Younis.  Shortly after the start of its incursion, the Israeli military dropped flyers on his town, a copy of which he showed me.  It said in Arabic that militants had entered your area and as a result we are forced to react and attack this area.  Yet these flyers were only dropped in the center of town and Majid did not even realize that they were dropped until after the attacks on his way to see the rubble that used to be his home.  Realizing that Israeli tanks were planning on entering Gaza and would destroy anything that would block their entry, Majid packed his family and fled to his relatives home far from the border, in an area deemed safe.  Yet at 10 PM on January 3, 2009, a white phosphorus missile strayed off course and rammed right into the home that Majid and his family had taken refuge in, along with 15-20 other Palestinians.  The missile came through the roof and broke through the wall and hit Majid's wife, Hanan Abd al-Ghani al-Najjar, dead center in her chest.  She died immediately upon impact.  Six or seven others, including Hanan's elderly mother and Hanan and Majid's daughter were severely injured by shrapnel and rushed to the hospital.  Whereas Majid thought he had fled from certain death in his home on the border, death followed him to his place of refuge.  Yet the sad reality is that no matter where Majid fled, no place in Gaza was safe.  Hanan's death was not the unpredictable result of a misguided missile, but rather the predictable consequence of a one-sided war waged by the fifth largest army against a population that is trapped within a prison and weakened by decades of occupation and years of blockade.    
 
While Israel has perfected its many excuses in justifying innocent Palestinian death and destruction ("there were militants present…well we thought there were militants present" "we warned the m but they did not to leave" "missiles were being fired from that [insert location here]" "we are investigating this attack" "it was an accident"), Israel has fallen short of providing actual evidence to substantiate killing people like Hanan Al-Najjar, Kassab Shurrab, Mahmoud Masharrawi, Sabha's husband and the majority of others killed.  After attacking the UN-operated al-Fakhura School in Jabalia on January 6, where many families had taken refuge and killing at least 40 innocent women and children and injuring dozens more, Israel made a rare attempt to actually justify its attacks.  Not only did Israel use one of its staple excuses ("militants were firing from inside the school"), but it actually showed a video of militants firing mortars from the school.  Within a matter of days, though, the video was dated to 2007 and till now, Israel has not provided us with another staple excuse of why, two years later, the al-Fakhura School was attacked and the hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed and injured.  
 
How does Israel explain the executions, the shooting of Palestinians point blank in cold blood?  How does it justify Israeli soldiers shooting Kassab Shurrab with five bullets across the chest as he came out of his car with his hands to his side, especially as one of the Palestinian hostages sitting blindfolded by the soldiers heard the commander tell the soldier in Hebrew to shoot the civilians that were driving down the road.  What about the two daughters of Khaled Abed Rabbo, Amal, age 2, and Suaad, age 7, murdered by an Israeli soldier using a semi automatic rifle before their father 's eyes as the other Israeli soldiers ate chips and chocolate?  Let us not forget about Sameer Rashid Mohammad Mohammad, a 43 year old UNRWA worker, who was separated from his family by Israeli soldiers and taken to a separate room and shot in the chest?  For four days after killing Sameer, Israeli soldiers held his family hostage and would make the family prepare the murdered Sameer food.  Only when the Israeli soldiers left their home, did Sameer's children see that their father was executed and by their father's dead and bleeding body were piles of food.  How about Farah al-Halo, 1.5 years of age, who was shot in the stomach when her family was forced to evacuate from their home at 6:30 PM by Israeli soldiers who assured them of their safety?  Only 50 meters down the road they were shot at by other Israeli soldiers.  Farah, with her intestines spilling from her stomach, died on the side of the road a few hours later as the same soldiers that had assured their safety watched.
 
Further, how can Israel explain its use of the Palestinians as human shields?  Upon entering a village, Israeli soldiers would separate the men from the women.  Sami Rashid Mohammad Mohammad, Sameer's brother, was taken as a hostage and forced to accompany the Israeli soldiers for four days.  He was handcuffed and blindfolded and made to walk in front of the Israeli tanks and soldiers as bullets would whiz by.  At other times, he was made to sit on his knees in an open field for hours while Israeli soldiers would shoot from behind him and often at his feet.  These Palestinians were nothing more than entertainment for the soldiers, a child's play toy.  When I asked Sami whether he saw any Palestinian militants during his time as a human shield, he laughed and said that he only saw Israeli soldiers with their blackened faces and camouflage outfits.  "It was only Israeli soldiers shooting at each other," he remarked.  It is thus no wonder that between four to six Israeli soldiers were killed and 24 others injured in "friendly fire." 
 
Additionally, how can Israel explain the humiliation tactics it used against the Palestinians such as forcing Palestinian ambulance drivers to abandon their ambulance cars and drive donkey carts to pick up the dead and wounded as if to equate Palestinians with donkeys?  The soldiers would grant the ambulance drivers half an hour to clear the area using donkey carts and threatened to shoot after half an hour.  And what about the racist remarks painted on the walls of the Palestinian homes?  One of my co-delegates took pictures of the Hebrew writings graffitied on the walls of some of the Palestinian homes we visited in Zeitoun and had a friend translate them.  Among the things written were: "Death to Arabs" "War now between Arabs and Jews" "An Arab brave is an Arab in a grave" "Bad to the Arab=good for me" "He who dreams Givati [Israeli infantry brigade] does not expel Jews. He who dreams Givati kills Arabs!!!"  
 
The reality is that Israel cannot explain or justify any of these things, nor does it even care to do so.  When Israel's staple excuses are not readily consumed or when it is examined under a critical lens, Israel applies another tactic– threat and demonetization.  Israel has created one of the strongest lobby organizations in the U.S., AIPAC, which actively demonizes any opponent or criticizer of the State of Israel.  Due to John Ging's, the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), open opposition to Israel's attacks in Gaza and his call for the investigation of Israeli attacks, he has been demonized and AIPAC recently introduced House Resolution 29 attacking UNRWA and alleging that it supports terrorists.  Even I have received a few threatening emails upon the issuance of NLG's Press Report which documented some of our findings.  One of the emails indicated that I, along with the other attorneys, will have our careers followed.  As the email stated, "Israel is smart not stupid, and will continue to do what they must as will America to survive even over the bodies of their leaders if necessary."
 
Almost every Palestinian I met in Gaza believes that Israel's recent attack will only be followed by another bloodier and more deadly attack on Gaza that will exterminate the Palestinians once and for all.  Considering the history of attacks on Gaza, the level of atrocities recently committed in Gaza and the lack of international redress, I do not think that these statements are mere paranoia.  Israel must be held accountable for its crimes in Gaza lest it commit larger and more egregious crimes in the future.  As one who has been trained in the legal profession, I demand that Israel engage the legal arena and provide the international community with real evidence, and not just staple excuses and dated videos, that can justify every single civilian murder and the widespread destruction of Palestinian civil society.  Until Israel is able to do so, the evidence in Gaza leads anyone willing to visit to the inevitable conclusion that Israel has committed war crimes.

Link to Free Gaza  

February 18, 2009

Wheeling and dealing;


This is the deal; When I encounter injustice, I have a real hard time, not welling up.. It's about the only thing, that has that effect on me! Doesn't matter if it's in public places or not, I can feel the tears bursting through like springtime, when the levee brakes. 

Naught matter if it's injustice done to me directly or to the children denied of a future in a war torn country like Gaza/West bank. When I hear the wails of fear, of a boy, being seized by the DR Congo army, looking for new recruits for their army of boy-soldiers. Or when I talk to a Burkha clad woman, born in a country, where women are sick from lack of sunshine on their skin. I cry, when men of faith, dynamites ancient Buddhas or rob the national library.The tears will come, when my grandmother tells me, how life is lived, when you have to ask for your husbands permission for a passport. Listening to women with death in their eyes, while recounting their nightmares of Darfurs Janjaweed raping and killing their daughters and then raping great-grandmother too.

This great lotto ticket; The wheel of fortune in life, which decides where you're born and under which circumstances.... It's got nothing to do with justice or what you're "entitled" to!

By the way;
 People in this country, Denmark, are really good at being "entitled" to just about everything; From welfare to 42" HD ready TV flat screens....
 The two sentences you hear the most is; "It's just not fair!/ I have the right!"

Well, It's just not fair, that Obama has given a fantasyllion to Wall Street, when I haven't got a dime, because I borrowed too much and are paying 500000000% in interests! - But then again it's not fair that millions of children are working their childhood away to keep hunger down!  - It's all about keeping your perspectives, me thinks.....?

 - Even if it does make me howl of the injustice of it all, when I see that a guy like MC Hammer gets his own reality show...???!!! Thus Paying off his mortgage and then some!

My problem these days are of being thoroughly misunderstood by some people & to top it off, having a very sporadic Internet-connection, which won't let me use my "right of free speech" exactly when I want to!                 
  And I will not stand for, having to wait for my
 instant gratification !!! 
Is that all??  Shame on me - uaaaaargh!;

~0~

"The Sons of Adam are members of a whole
Each is created from a greater, single soul
Whenever Fate to one of them brings pain
No other can without distress remain
You who for others' torment do not care
Cannont the name of 'Human' rightly bear"

Sa'di [1184 - 1291]



February 17, 2009

Out of loop, lately!


Hey everyone..
Been out of the loop, lately - I've been a victim of Pomp & Circumstance - A well meaning neighbour has cut me off;  from the world, basically...or at least from www. - More or less the very same thing...

But now I'm back and I can say to all of my 3-10 readers or so; "Don't despair! I'm back on track!"
 Just have to read up upon a few days worth of news, feeds and what have you - Block out interfering reality and I'll be right there with y'all!
Must admit, that my withdrawal symptoms has been severe, and it'll take a least a moment or two to get my bearings.

February 14, 2009

Palestine on Valentine;" In Gaza, the struggle within me"



© 2009 Łukasz Trzciński


Tuesday, 10 February 2009 09:51

It is a curve, a curvy path. From the very top, till the very bottom. You can trace it with a light touch, from the inclined neck, down to the sensitive nape, around the curve of a yearning breast, around the erecting nipple. The waist moves for your hands to tighten their grip and motion you closer. The line of the hip seduces your tongue to taste its prolonged solitude, in dire need of the warm, damp of the salivary liquid you leave as you go further below. The thighs expand their distance, awaiting a touch, in between a distant cave, that had once existed, now forgotten- Bomb! We all fall down to the ground... a reverie of a longing sensuality broken. Your body does not belong to you any longer. Your sex has suddenly disappeared. You no longer are man, or woman; you are an object subliming in fright, rigidity, terror, trauma, disgust, and anxiety. Love under the bombs? What an alluring, distant broken dream...

Twenty two days, and the coming ones hold more savagery to your body than ever before. The body of Gaza has been barbarically violated, raped. To the images of slaughtering and torn human flesh you awake, you arise, and to the anxiety that you are next, you dwell. Your body, your sex, your self, you lose in the oblivion of an existence you once lived.

I open the tap for warm water, and nothing pours down. I smell of sweat, and a week of non-cleaned flesh, but the yearning for a touch, is left intact despite it all. My hair, too oily to be stroked gently, tangled and shaggy. I am clad in an attire of loose cloths, the only ones I could find, untouched by any other dirt, than that on my body. It removes any form, or curve my figure reveals. I tie the long hair around in several trials to the back. Its length no longer shows. Despite the continuous vibrations of the shelling, shaking the building I am, I struggle to place my kohl. I resist with all my might, "the day shall not rise without the kohl," I jokingly tell myself. "I placed nail polish on," the lady I live with tells me. "I want my spirits uplifted. I cannot take it anymore," she confides in me. She remained home during the twenty two days of death and terror that have not ended yet, now that trauma and shock have replaced them. She is married and has a seven year old boy dependent on her life and wellbeing. I am an activist dedicated to a cause and struggle. I do not stay home. I shall not die home.

The house, without tap water, is a haven of unwashed dishes, smelly bathrooms, and dirty laundry. Nevertheless, it is a roof atop our heads, despite all the broken windows of our house. My host family consists of three individuals, the child and his parents, and now myself. We shared a vacant room, of which we placed a mattress that can support us against the cold of the floor, of which to sleep on during the sleepless nights. There is no privacy to the self, no moment to live to touch yourself, to feel that there is still a body that yearns within you, that sends shocks of vibrations, other than those of the shelling, that cause you to smile, to feel, to climax.

Outside, every man becomes a potential prospect to your loneliness; a companion that can soothe the hunger; the hunger for a loving touch, and the thirst; the thirst for sentimental unity, and the flowing of emotions. ‘Do I still look like a woman?' I ask myself in the empty streets as I walk alone, in a ghost town, with no lights, no electricity to lift the shadow of darkness that has fallen against a million and a half bodies of a land. ‘Can I break a taboo or two? Do I have a right to against these circumstances?' I question the desperate, yearning soul in the human being of me.

Eyes lock with the pedestrians as I move towards my destination. It is still a long walk towards where I am supposed to be. The shelling continues, and the darkness is broken from the White Phosphorous the Israeli Occupation Forces light our skies with. During the day, darkness dwells reflecting the sun rays, as a result of the constant bombings and dark smoke that arises. Our days become nights, and nights turn to day. I fear for my health, as we all do, against the chemicals used. Can we be future cancer victims? How will my body respond to this present in case it has a future to live?

I struggle with myself to resist an occupation and all its influences. I struggle with a body, with no weapon. I struggle to smile, to laugh, to sing, to dance... to live my days as if there is no grander might that can remove my physical self from this being. I struggle to defy death, the killing machine, the loneliness, the fatigue of emotions and sentiments, the extinction of entertainment, the sadness of tales, of unjust facades of an absurd reality. I struggle for a rose, in a black field of death. I struggle for a crimson reality other than that of blood. I struggle for unity against division. I struggle to defy insecurity and its all resulting fragmentations. I struggle to listen to a tune, to touch a man. I struggle and struggle with all that I can, to live the last moments, as if they were the only ones in my life, to allow myself the non-existent pleasures of an already shortened life span.

Gaza the spark of burning coal onto the ears of forgetfulness; Gaza, now the liberating torch against all the evils of occupation, oppression, repression, colonialism and silence; Gaza, the struggle of the politics of identity and the right to self-determination, of a people, of a body, of every child, man and woman.


Link to; Free Gaza

February 12, 2009

Happy birthday, Charlie or "I wanna be just like you"




Today's Darwins birthday and I'll celebrate with doing first some monkey business, then feed the monkey on my back and later I'll go ape-shit....

Seriously;
There is three men, (geniuses?) Who dared to think the exact opposite than every one else of their contemporaries, who were persecuted for their thinking in one way or the other. These three ideas, even though they were conceived a very long time ago, are still the basis for continued study and therefore discussion;
 You might not agree with them or maybe you do, but the fact remains; All of them are giants;

and the notion that earth is not the center of the universe.

and the theory of man descending from the great apes.

and the surprising information; that we are not masters of our own "house"


Darwin was born on Feb.12 1809.  And the "Missing link" discussion is still going strong some 150 years later after it was first published. The percentage of Creationist is 85% in US (!!! That makes me wonder, if they really are to be trusted (";) 
- In Denmark it's the other way round; 80% believes in Darwin's evolution theory.

 
 Still in the year of our lord 2009 the following; "The "Survival of the fittest" is Satan's work and Darwin a Satanist writing on Satan's bidding" - Is one of the so called 'facts', the Creationists bring to the table as to convince me of the truthfulness of their endeavor....!
Darwin was a raised and bred a faithful Christian man , who did not doubt the literal truth of the Bible and who saw adaptations of species as evidence of design. In all; A devout Christian, who later turned to be the agnostic scientist.
 After he came home from his 5 years sea voyage with the Beagle in 1836, it took him until 1859(!)  before publishing "Origin of the species".... Not being a natural traveller, he never left England again.
 - It would have saddened him greatly to hear the outcries against him, being a humble man who only ever wanted peace, quiet, his wife, their 8 living children and never to upset no one.  

Well, if all this info and stats gets you down - read about the infamous "Darwin Awards - A chronicle of enterprising demises" Hilarious stuff...

February 11, 2009

Picking olives under shooting by israeli army


The quality of this video, is not 1.class, but still... This is precisely, what I have been posting about, lately..... 
  - 85 % of the people living in the Gaza strip/ The West Bank would not be in dire need of  foreign aid, if the Israelis abandoned their inhumane blockade and opened up the borders....! 

Give people their lives back, let families be families. Men and women would be able to work proudly and provide for themselves and their children....(We all know how damaging, long term unemployment is to your psyche)  And in this way nurture hope and the will to live in peace, instead of feeding hate and the promise of a better life in Paradise... 
This is not much to ask for..... (If you understand Danish, here's a great LINK to a radio item about the Palestinian Olive farmers harvesting under "Police protection")

But, right now, it seems like the the far Right, has won the post-election chaos in Israel and the future looks even more bleak......


No offence, but don't fence me in......



I know that this is just a small, banal and at times naive blog, where the posts are an expression of my thoughts, when I see injustice done anywhere.
 I appreciate all the readers I have and I would love it, if they sometimes made a comment or gave me feedback on my "layman" views of the world! In that way I would be able to widen my horizon and better myself - Cause I do think, that communication is the the word and the only solution to most problems.... 

How can we even begin to see the end of war, violent conflicts and such on a large scale? When we can't keep peace even with our own neighbours? When people feud over a fence or the shadow of a tree and spend their family fortunes in desperate court cases and the conflict only ends with one of the parties either dying (of old age) or moving away - 

 In New Zealand they have a whole TV-show on warring neighbours!
And in the states they have a whole institution of intermediaries... In Denmark, the problem is growing and the amount of court cases is staggering....

And then we shake our heads in disbelief over warring tribes in Rwanda, DR Congo, Darfur, Afghanistan, Iraq  and not least Israel/Palestine - And we make grumbling noises of why can't they make and hold peace? - They are all fighting because of land and fences... (I haven't seen the outcome of the elections in Israel yet - But I'll write on that later)

Today I'll by some flowers for my next door neighbour, to brighten up their cold winter day...

February 8, 2009

One way of staying forever young? - or not....

                                          


Holy Cow!  Not being a football fan, I hadn't seen this! But apparently there's nothing sacred anymore! Is even Bob Dylan in a financial bind? But even so, advertising for Pepsi, of all things ?

- I'm getting way too old for this, I even might find myself a heart attack one of these days....  - May I have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift.....

Thanks to Jens Unmack for the news!(in Danish)

Israeli settlements - Secret database now published!





In 2005  a group of young female Zionists, finds a riggity, but livable old barn under the shadows of ancient olive trees... The fact that the gnarly old olives is owned by a Farmer; a Palestinian woman, didn't faze the youngsters in the least.... And the squatters settled down for good, saying that they didn't need the Israeli government or any laws to tell them, wherever they could stay or not. They had the only "document" needed; The Bible! The good book telling them that they had the divine right to live there... They are still on the old woman's land and every year, they take a bit more of her lands.... This is what the Israeli Government calls; "A illegal outpost" of which they have no control or knowledge!
(If you ask yourself why the old farmer didn't complain, then you should know that only a mere 8% of all Palestinian complaints result in indictment!)

I Had an in depth Post, halfway written. The post being about the uncovering of the "Spiegel Database of Illegal Israeli settlements" by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz   - These settlements being the main issue and threat to lasting peace in the area... But alas, time somehow escaped me and you'll only get this short version;

The Israeli Government has always distinguished between "legal and illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land" - Saying they have no knowledge of the amounts and whereabouts of the illegal outposts. But neither the "legal" nor the "illegal" is legal in any way, according to The Geneva convention.
 And this database/report now shows, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Israelis are and have all this time been fully aware of how and when...!!
 I just wish that George Mitchell, the US envoy to the Middle East, would have this report in his suitcase, and be the first foreign diplomat openly criticising the Israelis for their policies of cont. land stealing.


Link to the Human Rights Org;
Link to the original programme in Danish. DR radio P1;

February 5, 2009

Email from Eva in Gaza! Israeli-Police harassment continues...





Shooting at farmers, what gives Israel the right?
Tuesday 3rd February, 2009
Eva Bartlett
 
This morning, farmers from Abassan Jadiida (New Abassan), to the east of Khan Younis , the southern region, returned to land they'd been forced off of during and following the war on Gaza. The continual shooting at them by Israeli soldiers while they work the land intensified post-war on Gaza. The Israeli soldiers' shooting was not a new thing, but a resumption of the policy of harassment that Palestinians in the border areas have been enduring for years, a harassment extending to invasions in which agricultural land, chicken farms, and the houses in the region have been targeted, destroyed in many cases.

  Gaza Farmhouse bulldozed.

Today's Abassan farmers wanted to harvest their parsley.

 
Ismail Abu Taima, whose land was being harvested, explained that over the course of the year he invests about $54,000 in planting, watering and maintenance of the monthly crops. From that investment, if all goes well and crops are harvested throughout the year, he can bring in about $10,000/month, meaning that he can pay off the investment and support the 15 families dependent on the harvest.
 
The work began shortly after 11 am, with the handful of farmers working swiftly, cutting swathes of tall parsley and bundling it as rapidly as it was cut. These bundles were then loaded onto a waiting donkey cart. The speed of the farmers was impressive, and one realized that were they able to work 'normally' as any farmer in unoccupied areas, they would be very productive. A lone donkey grazed in an area a little closer to the border fence. When asked if this was not dangerous for the donkey, the farmers replied that they had no other choice: with the borders closed, animal feed is starkly absent. The tragedy of having to worry about being shot once again struck me, as it did when harvesting olives or herding sheep with West Bank Palestinians who are routinely attacked by Israeli settlers and by the Israeli army as they try to work and live on their land.
 
After approximately 2 hours of harvesting, during which the sound of an F-16 overhead was accompanied by Israeli jeeps seen driving along the border area, with at least one stationed directly across from the area in question, Israeli soldiers began firing. At first the shots seemed like warning shots: sharp and intrusive cracks of gunfire. The men kept working, gathering parsley, bunching it, loading it, while the international human rights observers present spread out in a line, to ensure our visibility.
 
It would have been hard to miss or mistake us, with fluorescent yellow vests and visibly unarmed–our hands were in the air.
 
Via bullhorn, we re-iterated our presence to the soldiers, informing them we were all unarmed civilians, the farmers were rightfully working their land, the soldiers were being filmed by an Italian film crew. We also informed some of our embassies of the situation: "we are on Palestinian farmland and are being shot at by Israeli soldiers on the other side of the border fence."
 
For a brief period the shots ceased. Then began anew, again seemingly warning shots, although this time visibly hitting dirt 15 and 20 m from us. Furthest to the south, I heard the whiz of bullets past my ear, though to estimate the proximity would be impossible.
 
As the cracks of gunfire rang more frequently and louder, the shots closer, those of the farmers who hadn't already hit the ground did so, sprawling flat for cover. The international observers continued to stand, brightly visible, hands in the air, bullhorn repeating our message of unarmed presence. The shots continued, from the direction of 3 or 4 visible soldiers on a mound hundreds of metres from us. With my eyeglasses I could make out their shapes, uniforms, the jeep… Certainly with their military equipment they could make out our faces, empty hands, parsley-loaded cart…
 
There was no mistaking the situation or their intent: pure harassment.
 
As the farmers tried to leave with their donkey carts, the shots continued. The two carts were eventually able to make it away, down the ruddy lane, a lane eaten by tank and bulldozer tracks from the land invasion weeks before. Some of us accompanied the carts away, out of firing range, then returned. There were still farmers on the land and they needed to evacuate.
 
As we stood, again arms still raised, still empty-handed, still proclaiming thus, the Israeli soldiers' shooting drew much nearer. Those whizzing rushes were more frequent and undeniably close to my head, our heads. The Italian film crew accompanying us did not stop filming, nor did some of us with video cameras.
 
We announced our intention to move away, the soldiers shot. We stood still, the soldiers shot. At one point I was certain one of the farmers would be killed, as he had hit the ground again but in his panic seemed to want to jump up and run. I urged him to stay flat, stay down, and with our urging he did. The idea was to move as a group, a mixture of the targeted Palestinian farmers and the brightly-noticeable international accompaniers. And so we did, but the shots continued, rapidly, hitting within metres of our feet, flying within metres of our heads.
 
I'm amazed no one was killed today, nor that limbs were not lost, maimed.
 
While we'd been on the land, Ismail Abu Taima had gone to one end, to collect valves from the broken irrigation piping. The pipes themselves had been destroyed by a pre-war on Gaza invasion. "The plants have not been watered since one week before the war," he'd told us. He collected the parts, each valve valuable in a region whose borders are sealed and where replacement parts for everything one could need to replace are unattainable or grossly expensive.
 
He'd also told us of the chicks in the chicken farm who'd first been dying for want of chicken feed, and then been bulldozed when Israeli soldiers attacked the house and building they were in.
 
My embassy rang me up, after we'd managed to get away from the firing: "We're told you are being shot at. Can you give us the precise location, and maybe a landmark, some notable building nearby."
 
I told Heather about the half-demolished house to the south of where we had been, and that we were on Palestinian farmland. After some further questioning, it dawned on her that the shooting was coming from the Israeli side. "How do you know it is Israeli soldiers shooting at you?" she'd asked. I mentioned the 4 jeeps, the soldiers on the mound, the shots from the soldiers on the mound (I didn't have time to go into past experiences with Israeli soldiers in this very area and a little further south, similar experience of farmers being fired upon while we accompanied them.).
 
Heather asked if the soldiers had stopped firing, to which I told her, 'no, they kept firing when we attempted to move away, hands in the air. They fired as we stood still, hands in the air. " She suggested these were 'warning shots' at which I pointed out that warning shots would generally be in the air or 10s of metres away. These were hitting and whizzing past within metres.
 
She had no further thoughts at time, but did call back minutes later with Jordie Elms, the Canadian attache in the Tel Aviv office, who informed us that "Israel has declared the 1 km area along the border to be a 'closed military zone'."
 
When I pointed out that Israel had no legal ability to do such, that this closure is arbitrary and illegal, and that the farmers being kept off of their land or the Palestinians whose homes have been demolished in tandem with this closure had no other options: they needed to work the land, live on it… Jordie had no thoughts. He did, however, add that humanitarian and aid workers need to "know the risk of being in a closed area".
 
Meaning, apparently, that it is OK with Jordie that Israeli soldiers were firing on unarmed civilians, because Israeli authorities have arbitrarily declared an area out of their jurisdiction (because Israel is "not occupying Gaza" right?!) as a 'closed area'.
 
Israel's latest massacre of 1,400 Palestinians –most of whom were civilians –aside, Israel's destruction of over 4,000 houses and 17,000 buildings aside, Israel's cutting off and shutting down of the Gaza Strip since Hamas' election aside, life is pretty wretched for the farmers and civilians in the areas flanking the border with Israel. Last week, the young man from Khan Younis who was shot while working on farmland in the "buffer zone" was actually on land near where we accompanied farmers today. Why do Israeli authorities think they have an uncontested right to allow/instruct their soldiers to shoot at Palestinian farmers trying to work their land?
 
If Israeli authorities recognized Palestinian farmers' need to work the land, Palestinian civilians' right to live in their homes, then they would not have arbitrarily imposed a 1 km ban on existence along the border, from north to south. What gives Israel the right to say that now the previously-imposed 300 m ban on valuable agricultural land next to the order extends to 1 full kilometre, and that this inherently gives Israel the right to have bulldozed 10s of houses in this "buffer zone" and ravaged the farmland with military bulldozers and tanks.
 
Furthermore, what gives Israel the right to assume these impositions are justifiable, and the right to shoot at farmers continuing to live in and work on their land (as if they had a choice. Recall the size of Gaza, the poverty levels)?
 
Nothing does.
 

February 2, 2009

"Outlawed" - Extraordinary Rendition


Obama has signed the documents, as to close down that shame-full place called 'Gitmo'/Guantanamo Bay - And we're all happy about this, but there's still some 20.000 prisoners out there, according to Lawyer Clive Stafford Smith. They're held in prison cells on American military bases all over the world - outside of the law, with no trial (Don't even mention fair in the same sentence)

The rich European countries have been adamantly against the 'Gitmo' set up, but it comes as no surprise, that now, when it's time, to put some action behind all the fine speeches, they held along the way, carrying the torch high, for human-rights and such noble ideologies.
         Our esteemed leaders of the free old world, is falling all over them selves, as not to take one single one of these broken souls. The fact, that all of the former detainees (who're freed, that is) are innocent, does not come into the account.. Our leaders and our newspapers are playing the fear card with success. The very few, who really are guilty, will not be let loose, hence all the headache and hand wringing on the US part -Where and how to prosecute them?

Just saw a interview with a young US soldier, who was 19 when he served at Guantanamo Bay. When asked about; If he'd ever seen torture, he said that the whole concept were torture in its self and that he'd encountered a lot of very dangerous persons there, most of whom were wearing uniform. He will, as will the victims,  suffer the rest of his life... He with feelings of guilt and the victims with the post traumatic stress syndromes + the repercussions of the torture inflicted upon them.. It's not the people serving there, who should be held accountable, but Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush and Gonzales who rewrote the boundaries of torture should stand and be counted.

Here's a documentary about two of the "Very Dangerous Terrorists" now back with their families - if not divorced after having been away without a word for 4-7 years and then come home as broken men - This are their story;