Link to Video of the week:
Link to Video of the week:
Talkin’ about news & Stuff….& possibly things.
Egypt Referendum & Newton Shooting
With news circulating that Iran has pulled the film ‘A Cube of Sugar’ from consideration at the Oscars over the anti-Islam film I can’t help but let out a large sigh.
I have tried to avoid writing anything about this subject mainly because I kept wrongly thinking the fuss would all die down. But to no avail as a couple of weeks in from the film first scouting controversy people are still talking, tweeting and protesting about it. Not to mention the fact that the controversy surrounding that damned film has been topically name dropped by nearly all the relevant leaders in their recent speech’s at the UN summit.
So not wanting to be left out of the fray, here are my two cents on the subject.
First things first, I believe the outrageously violent protests that were sparked by this film were firstly un-called for. I don’t care how offensive it was, you don’t respond to a movie that practically labels the people who follow the faith of Islam as savages by acting like savages. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Go ahead and protest, that is a right afforded to all, but protest like dam human beings. Having said that there were of course many protests that were carried out peacefully in many locations around the world. But with the world being the way it is, peaceful protests don’t enlist the media coverage as well as some angry flag-burning insult taunting Muslims losing their general shiz at a US embassy do.
US Focal point:
Another thing that has also annoyed me with regard to these violent protest is the fact they seem to be all aimed at US embassies or, in some cases, US franchises. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but last time I checked it wasn’t Barack Obama or any US senator or government official that was listed as a producer, director or even simple stage-hand in the credits of this nonsensical film. Too boot, I don’t remember any governmental budgets being set aside and stipulated for funding films *and to be honest, even calling it a film is in my mind giving it way too much credit* that spout hate-filled nonsense. This film was made by some twat who happened to have a U.S. citizenship. Hitler was born in Poland but you didn’t see the allied powers aiming all their ammo at Austria for simply being the homeland of the damned Fuhrer as opposed to Germany where boy had clearly set up shop during the war. Him being American is beside the point.
Another issue I find with all this controversy is the fact that the idiot who produced this beyond-a-low-budget-film-its-practically-replacing-the-Dead-Sea-as-the-lowest-point-on-Earth is that this tool has achieved what he set out to do. He has not only offended the people he set out to offend but also enraged a minority of those people enough to publicly make a**holes of themselves and further reinforce this negative ‘Muslamic Ray Guns’ rage stereotype of muslims. It’s like we Muslims aren’t complete unless we are seething with anger and burning a flag or 2. It’s utterly disgraceful. Adding to the fact that with all this extreme protesting more attention has been drawn to this film therefore affording it more publicity. The publicity means that more people are being exposed to the films insufferable views. Plus a point to note is that all the hits that are garnered on this video on Youtube do translate into money being paid to the uploader. The guy must be minted by now.
Priorities: Messed up:
And lastly I feel like these protesters who are so vehemently protesting the vilification of their prophet and religion are missing the bigger picture. Yes, the video was offensive, yes it was tacky. But can you not maybe think in this day and age of anything worse occurring that might be bringing a greater harm to your people? If you care so much about the muslim ‘ummah’ and the image of Islam surely you should be more outraged at the thousands of muslims being massacred in Syria? Have none of these hardcore touting muslims ever read this ayah in the Quran?
‘On that account We ordained for the Children of Isra`il that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole humanity: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the whole humanity.’ Surah 5, verse 32
So where is the unbridled outrage at the death toll which numbers in the tens of thousands and which by far over-shadows the one person metaphor in this ayah? Or can the US flags you have stockpiled not wait to go up in flames?
I think the adequate response to a video like this is to simply give it the attention it deserves…which is none at all. It isn’t worth anyone’s time of day. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe as a Muslim this the movie is disrespectful, grossly offensive, racist and intolerant. I just believe the response to the hate eschewed in this film shouldn’t be more exaggerated and violent hate. You don’t win by one up-ing bigots.
Today an Israeli newspaper reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjimin Netenyahu and his Defense minister would like to attack Iran’s nuclear sites before the November U.S elections. Despite their strident views they lack crucial support both within their cabinet and their military. That coupled with the fact that If a war with Iran was to be launched this would considerably shake and rupture the bedrock of ties between Israel and the US as the latter country has made it clear about its desire to avoid any conflict of sorts.
Israel Israel Israel, what are we going to do with you and your fixated paranoia? If Israel was a person by now there would be a restraining order out on its ass. The problem with all this isn’t that Israel has a problem with Iran, after all, many countries do, it’s how it goes about justifying and then exaggerating its problems. The ironic fact about this latest report by Israel is that US officials only just yesterday released a report highlighting that Iran is not only not on the verge of having a nuclear weapon but that Tehran has not even made a decision on whether or not it should pursue one. Now how Netanyahu missed this tid bit of information goes beyond me, but what this statement does is virtually punch massive holes into Israel’s current war rampant tirade.
This Israeli paranio and ‘blame Iran’ mantra was even extended to the recent attacks in Egypt which left 16 Egyptian border police dead. Israel was quick on the mark, pointing the finger startlingly at Iran. This claim against Iran is largely unfounded as even when Israel accused it of the attack it didn’t offer up a shred of evidence to justify its claim. This kind of behavior literally reminds me of playground politics. It’s like when there is a kid you don’t like in nursery because he has taken your shovel in the sand pit whilst you were busy dilly dallying about with bucket… you try and snatch it back (in kids terms that amounts to; excuse me sir, but I happen to notice that thou has attained thee’s shovel whilst thy was unaware) but the kid refuses to hand it back…so you shove over a plant pot and when asked what happened automatically say ‘Ayatollah did it’…….even though you are at home and a week has passed by and said Ayatollah is holidaying in Iran (Came together nicely in the end didn’t it?).
Now yea that analogy is a complete curve ball and if you think about it doesn’t reeeeeeally make that much sense but I just wanted to give a young kid named Ayatollah his 5 seconds of fame in this drama. Point is Israel, stop waging war on an unimagined reality. You don’t need to make-up vices against Iran to have a grudge against the country. The more you fabricate the less ingenious any of your claims will be. Plus, you know the people at the top in Israel are waning in their judgment (more so than usual) when they are ready to throw the towel in with the US for the sake of meting out this undue punishment to Iran. The funny thing is, Iran and Israel are two faces of the same coin in many respects. They both like throwing around wild accusations at their enemies whilst turning a blind eye to their disdainful policies back home. They both like to take on this ‘me against the world’, ‘David vs Goliath’ attitude when it comes to defining their place on the world map. Also they are both largely seen to be pariahs in the region they reside in. So yea, practically twins.
Basically put your spears and war paint away Israel and settle right down … because unless you’re looking to be the newly added member of the Expandables cast, you’ve got no reason to be going anywhere with your battle cry, anytime soon.
On April 4th 2012 the Pentagon finally approved the charges brought forth against 5 Guantanamo bay prisoners accused of playing a part in the terrorist attacks that rocked America on September 11th. Amongst these 5 prisoners is Khaled Sheikh Mohammed who admitted during a military hearing to being the ‘mastermind’ behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They are expected to stand trial in a U.S base in Cuba in front of a military Judge in May of this year. If convicted of the charges of murder and terrorism brought forth against them, they may find themselves facing the death penalty.
11 years on and there is ultimately no clear verdict on these men’s fate and the other men like them who are still holed up in Guantanamo Bay. In this lengthy time there have been questions dogging the administration over how to try them, where to try them (civilian or military courts) and when to try them. There have also been countless questions surrounding the legality of detaining them in Guantanamo bay, with promises that Obama had made to close this controversial site down being ultimately scrapped early on in his first term in office due to ‘logistics’. Throughout all this, questions of legality and the breach of Human rights have been paramount in the highly contentious debates about both Guantanamo bay as a compound and its detainees.
But these men, who are accused in partaking in one way or another in the act which single handedly ignited America’s new age of warfare against the ever impending threat of ‘terrorism’, have been given a lengthy sentence in purgatory. A long time some would say, but even longer considering that it only took the U.S administration less than a month to declare its war on Afghanistan. The war on Afghanistan started October 7th 2001 and this was, in the eyes of the administration, ample enough time for them to launch a full-fledged war on a country which had been historically ravaged time and time again by many different foreign forces. From the Brits to the Soviets to the Mongols, everyone it seems had tried and failed to stably secure this land under their military guise. Yet this did not seem to deter the U.S administration in their quest to seek ‘justice’ for the attacks on their soil.
As of April 3rd 2012 there have been 2,853 coalition deaths in Afghanistan with the casualty figures of Afghan civilians in the tens of thousands. Unlike the deaths of coalition forces, the deaths of Afghan civilians are unfortunately not afforded the same prompt and detailed records so the estimates vary depending on which source you rely on. Afghanistan as a state is ravaged with internal conflict, corruption, lawlessness and injustice. Opium production has drastically risen since the war began contrary to the wishes and aims of the U.S. administration. The faux guise of democracy afforded to Hamid Karzai’s government also does not hide the chronic underlying problems facing the government’s structure and base, that it is weak and dysfunctional. One cannot deny that the state Afghanistan is currently in is less than ideal, but some argue nonetheless it is better than what it had before the war. I will not contest this claim but what I will contest is the idea that Afghanistan should have to settle for ‘slightly better than worse’. The reason why Afghanistan is in such a bad state is the simple fact that not enough (or hardly any) time was spent dealing with the logistics of the aftershock of war.
The issue here isn’t that people shouldn’t be given a fair and just trial regardless of how long it takes, but that this same logic of justice and more importantly time, is also afforded to the people whose lives you will ultimately change and affect when you finally decide to ‘drop that bomb’ for whatever cause. When you declare war you are ultimately passing judgment on thousands of people’s lives, be it troops and their families, or Afghan civilians and their livelihoods and lives. The balance we afford to one life over another is ironically dependent on some part on their geographic placement in the world. In our custody and on our soil the ideals of democracy, justice and fair trail are extolled in defense of what, at times, may seem like the indefensible. While the lives of the soldiers and civilians whose fate inextricably lie with the administration’s decisions, seem to be all too easily written off as ‘collateral damage’.
The logistics of war it seems are easier to handle than the logistics of the Guantanamo bay detainees. Wars are waged too easily without a thorough enough thought given to the consequences and aftershocks that it will inevitably bring. Invading and occupying a country is never going to be easy, lest one with as much of a troubled past as that of Afghanistan. Every action has its opposite reaction and consequences are born out of actions. As the U.S. has found in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, you might have won the battle but the war has clearly not been so easily won.
So if the name Kony means nothing to you I suggest you firstly:
A) relocate yourself from under that quaint little rock u’v been living under and
B) watch the attached Youtube clip below before reading this article…
So ever since this clip became a viral sensation last Tuesday night the internet and media have been alight with debate and discussion over not only the organizations credentials but its aims. There have been a plethora of replies criticisms and backlashes over the whole campaign. So I thought it best to maybe put all this in perspective and answer some of the criticisms. Bearing in mind that this article won’t necessarily vouch for the organization itself but focus on the impact the organization has made.
Firstly let’s get one thing straight, this campaign has already achieved one of its aims. That is it has made KONY a ‘celebrity’ and pushed this reclusive figure and oft forgotten warlord onto the world stage and subsequently onto the radar of the mainstream media. Whether we like it or not, and whether you agree with the campaigns aims or not, the fact people are talking about Kony is a PLUS because it means that he isn’t confined to international purgatory and is subsequently no longer ‘out of sight and out of mind’.
By the force of people sharing this clip some people have conversely started thinking deeper about this issue and have flung open the debate on this topic. I think that’s a positive in itself because it is only through an open and healthy debate that issues can be resolved. Ironically, some of the campaigns harshest critics wouldn’t have had the platform they have now to discuss their views on this issue if it wasn’t for the video they so loudly denounce.
Another major complaint about the video is that the people who are tweeting, sharing and spreading the word about this campaign are meerily ‘jumping’ on a bandwagon engaging no critical thought on the debate and are merely acting as mindless sheep. To this I say, yes, but so what? I’d rather have these drones tweeting and talking about Kony then sharing their qualms over which celebrity is dating who and what Justin Beiber has decided to do with his hair. Because at the end of the day the blather of these sheep does help in amplyfing the issue to the ears of people who do genuinely care. Also, I am not one to belittle any sense of educational knowledge of Kony and his atrocities being imparted on this generation no matter how basic this knowledge is.
Another issue which links to this issue of the people who are spreading this campaign being seemingly ‘under-educated’ would be some of the posts I have come across which condescendingly state; ‘I’ll listen to you about Kony if you sow me where Uganda is on a map’
Now excuse me if I am wrong, but just because someone is not a walking talking geography book doesn’t mean they lack the means to empathize and care about an issue. That isn’t to say I don’t encourage them to find out more about Uganda just that these type of posts don’t really prove much of a point. Empathy isn’t tied up with a knowledge of the world’s borders. There are hundred’s of countries around the world and in every country there is bound to be some form of injustice occurring no matter how big or small. Plus since we are talking about peoples geographic knowledge, why not take this thought process a step further and demand people know the city locations of some areas that are being attacked i.e. How many people know where Homs or Baba Amar are located in Syria?
Another thing that has grinded my gears is this talk about the linking up of the Kony campaign to the U.S’s hegemonic interests. Firstly, let’s get one thing straight, it wasn’t the government who initiated this campaign, it’s a campaign which has been in the making for 9 years and has been largely ignored by the government for these 9 years. So it isn’t simply an overnight phenomonan but a project which was years in the making. Secondly, the U.S won’t invade Uganda over Kony, it has no reason to. This is because as the campaign itself points out on its website and in the video, the conflict has moved on from Uganda to other areas in Africa. So Kony is no longer at large in Uganda, though of course the aftermath of his presence in the country can still be felt.
Thirdly, people need to differentiate between ‘military advisors’ and ‘combat troops’. These 100 of military advisers in Uganda aren’t G.I. Joe and aren’t waging an ‘Expandables’ type war on the nations grounds. All they are doing is simply advising the Ugandan military on how to best capture Kony. Which in my regards, is fairly docile. Plus, people need to wake up, there are a plethora of American military bases stationed around the world which do similar things which no one is kicking up a fuss about. It’s just that people always like to think in conspiracy terms when it comes to dealing with these global issues, its all about being ‘hipster’ and sticking it to the powers that be. Its more exciting to think of the world as a Hollywood production stage and that every issue has clearly delineated bad and good guys with an intricate plot to unravel.
Yes Uganda has oil, and the military advisors in Uganda have not been sent there because the U.S. has suddenly seen the light and is determined to make sure justice is carried out. At the end of the day, as the clip itself briefly mentions, the U.S. largely ignored Uganda’s plight because it wasn’t in their foreign policy interests to intervene. In other words, the U.S had nothing to gain from helping Uganda. So what gives? Why the sudden change of heart? The sending of troops and assistance of sorts are tried and tested mechanism the U.S and other foreign countries have used before which help in building diplomatic links with countries. We for example, send you troops to advise your military as a sign of ‘good will’ and we will surely be rewarded with some oil will.
The last thing I want to comment on is something that I truly find disheartening. This issue revolves around the incessant need to compete between different casues. i.e. between massacres as in x, y, z amount of people have died in this conflict and everyone is campaigning about Kony killing x,y, z amount of people. This is the COMPLETE wrong attitude, you may be a Syrian for example but you could just have easily been born a Ugandan. You can’t call yourself a humanitarian if you close your heart off to the rest of humanity. ANY life lost no matter where is a life to many and every injustice deserves to be heard. But in trying to raise awareness of an injustice don’t trample on other people’s pain or belittle their cause to gain some ground. Because at the end of the day it’s NOT a competition.
Don’t let your ethnicity limit your humanism.