I had assumed that my participation in conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s ‘Restoring Honor’ rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.—held today on the anniversary and at the very location of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech—would be limited to supplying faulty directions to said memorial to a group of tourists clad in “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirts this morning. Out of curiosity I later ended up at the rally myself, where I was informed that the “keynote speaker”, another euphemism for Sarah Palin, had already spoken.
The void left by the termination of Palin’s military rhetoric was now being filled by a bespectacled man near the entrance to the monument grounds wielding a “Who would Jesus bomb?” sign, in response to which conscientious passersby offered such suggestions as Iran. The man with the sign reasoned that, as he had been welcomed neither at the Restoring Honor rally nor at the “leftist gathering” across the street—by which he apparently meant the image of King that had been erected between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol building along with speakers emitting the “I Have a Dream” speech—that he must be nearing the truth, one aspect of which was that wars were for socialists.
Potential additional support for King’s musings on America as a schizophrenic personality then surfaced in the form of a middle-aged father hauling three small children, three posters, and a camera, who hastily distributed one poster to each of the offspring and barked instructions for them to arrange themselves with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. The posters bore slogans such as “President—Hands off of my money”; when the male child proved less than cooperative, he was threateningly reminded that this was a family effort and to “get in there”.
During a meeting at the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, shortly after last year’s coup d’état against President Mel Zelaya—which U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens alternately defined at the meeting as “a clear-cut case of a coup” and a “whatever you call it”—Deputy Mission Chief Simon Henshaw described Honduran soldiers and police as “extremely uneducated” in their physical abuse of peaceful anti-coup protesters, who were variously on the receiving end of tear gas canisters, cigarette butts, vaginally-inserted police batons, and the occasional fatal bullet to the head.
Less than a year later, Llorens had determined that the “whatever you call it” was in fact the result of the “erratic and imprudent course of action” pursued by Zelaya; illegitimate Honduran elections had meanwhile been given the U.S. blessing, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had begun actively campaigning for the reintegration of Honduras into regional organizations from which its anti-democratic behavior had caused its expulsion.
As for whether the exoneration of the coup has been accompanied by a rise in education levels on the part of the Honduran military and police force, this is called into question by the recent violent repression of teachers demonstrating in favor of the return of hundreds of millions of dollars reportedly appropriated from the Teachers’ Savings and Loan and Pension Fund (INPREMA) by the coup regime of Roberto Micheletti. Other presumably erratic and imprudent comportment by the nation’s educators includes an overwhelming opposition to the coup and the current illegitimate government of Pepe Lobo—an attitude which permitted pro-coup media to justify the fatal shooting of professor Roger Vallejo Soriano last year based on the fact that he had “abandoned his classroom” in order to participate in an anti-coup protest.
I cannot recall a visit to my friend’s home in Puglia, southern Italy, in which the Muslim invasion of Europe has not surfaced as a discussion topic. It often initiates when one or more of my friend’s relatives discovers that I have just been to Turkey or Lebanon, for example, and remarks on my good fortune as a female to have avoided being stoned to death.
This year’s discussion started out as an innocent rant by my friend’s cousin against the concomitant invasion of Italy by Romanian criminals, who were said to make Albanian immigrants look well-behaved and who along with the euro constituted proof of the heinous nature of the European Union. A comment on the need to backtrack on a Europe without borders then led to the cousin’s observation that fortified Italian frontiers would additionally prevent Muslims from faking qualifications for asylum in order to continue the quest to absorb Italy into an Islamic caliphate. As for faked qualifications, it was now decided that stoning was not overly oppressive.
Earlier this year in Lebanon, I paid a visit to Roumieh prison outside Beirut to see a Palestinian friend who had ended up there thanks to a business endeavor involving a series of fake checks and a fake ambassador of Somalia. Shouting from behind two metal fences and surrounded by scores of other inmates also shouting to their visitors, my friend informed me that he had additionally been suspected of false patriotism and had been removed from Roumieh last year for a weeklong interrogation session to determine if he was an Israeli spy. Methods of determination reportedly included blindfolding and being inserted into a hole in the ground for several days.
Lebanese suspicion had been aroused in part by the discovery that my friend had been telephoning his relatives in Israel, the descendants of an uncle who had avoided expulsion in 1948. Impediments to phoning the enemy state from Lebanese territory were skirted either via phone cards that directed the calls through a third country or via a certain Western Union in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs of Beirut, where one was permitted to call Israel as long as one referred to it as Occupied Palestine; another way to get around communications restrictions vis-à-vis the occupied entity is presumably to work for Lebanon’s Alfa mobile phone network.
This article was first published on the official website of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.
Shortly after the termination of the July War four years ago, I visited the south Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil—largely destroyed by Israel—and was invited into the home of a family that had only recently returned to south Lebanon after residing in the United States for a number of years.
The family’s 13-year-old daughter Maryam summarized their wartime experience, which had involved spending approximately 10 days in a basement with dozens of relatives and neighbors and attempting to reconcile themselves to the idea of impending liquidation by Israeli surgical precision. The group eventually escaped north in a caravan of vehicles, only the last of which was liquidated; Maryam nonetheless expressed her sincere hope that the U.S. media had not portrayed the full reality of the war, as she was concerned it would have been unnecessarily painful for the American public.
The four-member United Nations panel appointed to investigate the May 31 Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara which killed 9 people is scheduled to have its first meeting today. An August 3 AFP article noting the “surprising U-turn from the Israelis” in deciding to support the flotilla probe—a rare instance of Israeli cooperation with the U.N.—fails to note that the U-turn is perhaps not so surprising given the appointment as panel Vice Chairman of outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, whose expertise in the realm of security will thus not be lost with the end of his presidential term.
Israel and Colombia have been plagued with similar security challenges for decades, such as how to portray victims as aggressors in order to acquire land—although Colombian territorial entitlement admittedly lacks biblical endorsement. Past Israeli training of Colombian death squads may have contributed to current Colombian creativity in retroactively justifying massacres; starting in 2008, for example, it was revealed that the members of the Colombian army had—reportedly in thousands of instances—murdered civilians and then disguised them as guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in order to receive bonuses and additional vacation time. Israeli creativity in the aftermath of the May flotilla massacre meanwhile included Foreign Ministry Flickr postings of photographs of kitchen knives and marbles and declarations that a weapons cache had been found on board the Mavi Marmara, underscoring Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s claim that the humanitarian activists on the ship in fact had ties to “global jihad.”
An April Haaretz article entitled ‘Al-Qaida terrorists may pose as Ethiopians to sneak into Israel’ bears the sub-headline: “In letter to Haaretz, Yemen Islamists say they may send terrorists to Israel disguised as Ethiopian Jews.” The question of whether Al Qaeda always notifies Israeli newspapers of its tactical options is answered in the second paragraph of the article, which specifies that the letter is not in fact from the organization itself but rather from “[Yemeni] Shi’ite rebels” who simply quote from another letter allegedly sent by Al Qaeda to a Salafist group in Gaza. The rebel missive highlighting Al Qaeda’s grasp of the general interchangeability of dark-skinned persons is meanwhile explained as having been submitted with the belief that the “publication in Haaretz [of the Al Qaeda scheme] could influence U.S. policy toward the Shi’ites in Yemen”; no speculation is made as to what sort of effect said publication might have on Israeli policy toward its own Ethiopian population, which until now has merely been subjected to things like housing discrimination and injection with controversial birth control drugs.