H. E. Frances Guy – Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Lebanon

Audio Lecture given at AUB titled “More fraternity than friction: The role of values and policies in relations between the United Kingdom and the Arab and Islamic world.” I think we can all agree theres lots of friction and no fraternity from the UK Government. Actions speak louder than words and while activists in the UK halted the shipment of bombs through Scotland to Israel, the UK Government was extremely supportive of Israel’s July War.  Guy perhaps hits the nail on the head when she says that the UK involvement in Iraq was based on self interest: maintaining a favourable relationship with the United States.  With that in mind it seems a little naive to say that the UK has no interest in Palestine other than in promoting peace.  The UK has the same interest in Palestine as Iraq of supporting the US position, not to mention UK arms deals with Israel and the importance of supporting Israel to political party funding (both parties have an active “Friends of Israel” group to compete for this).

More fraternity than friction: The role of values and policies in relations between the United Kingdom and the Arab and Islamic world.

Bias BBC: Iraq, why won’t they help us?

“Often, events told a different story: for example when that angry crowd set alight a soldier as he scrambled out of his armoured vehicle – the single best known image of the British in Basra – and not one of the city’s 20,000 police came to help.”

As I recall this was after two SAS soldiers dressed in Arab civilian clothing were stopped at a police check point.  They killed a policeman but failed to escape, were arrested and the car was found to be full of weapons and explosives.  Sounds to me like Black Ops, they were probably going to conduct a terrorist attack at a local religious festival that was on the same day, to heighten sectarian rivalries, the old British “divide and conquer.”

The British Army then attacked the police station to free them during which a civilian threw a petrol bomb on the tank.

All of this goes down Orwell’s memory hole and we are expected to wonder why “not one of the city’s 20,000 police came to help.”

Also a lesser point this sentence is misleading “set alight a soldier as he scrambled out of his armoured vehicle.”  Wasn’t the tank set on fire, the petrol and flames leaked inside and the soldier then scrambled out?  In this report it sounds like he was set on fire while scambling to safety.  Scrambling to safety after attack an Iraqi police station, violating the sovereignty of Iraq and its people.

Its revealing what a mess we have made in that country “for ordinary Basrawis conditions are simply dreadful. Forty-two women have been murdered over the past three months for wearing make-up, or failing to wear the hejab, the Islamic headscarf.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7145597.stm

Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People

This short video on Democracy Now is really excellent! Please watch it!

Where are the human images of Arabs and Arab Americans? That’s the topic of a new film called “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People.” The book and the film explore the American cinematic landscape to reveal a stark pattern of Arab stereotyping and its disturbing similarity to anti-Semitic and other racist caricatures through history. We play excerpts of the film and speak to acclaimed media critic Jack Shaheen, author of the book it’s based on.

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Racism: The Arab Mind

The “Arab Mind”

“Both U.S. and Israeli elites have always believed that the Arabs need to be kept subordinate. However, once the U.S. solidified its alliance with Israel after June 1967, it began to look at Israelis ­ and Israelis projected themselves ­ as experts on the “Arab mind.” Accordingly, the alliance with Israel has abetted the most truculent U.S. policies, Israelis believing that “Arabs only understand the language of force” and every few years this or that Arab country needs to be smashed up. The spectrum of U.S. policy differences might be narrow, but in terms of impact on the real lives of real people in the Arab world these differences are probably meaningful, the Israeli influence making things worse.” Norman Finkelstein

The above Finkelstein quote makes reference to a book called “the arab mind” the Guardian has an article on this titled “its best use is as a doorstop”

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Europe’s Problem with Ariel Sharon

[Great article on Europe and Israel]

by Suzanne Gershowitz and Emanuele Ottolenghi
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2005

The death of Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat together with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s commitment to withdraw from the Gaza Strip may have injected new momentum into Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, but European attitudes toward Israel continue to deteriorate. This antagonism has many causes—anti-Americanism, media antipathy toward the Jewish state, a perception that Israel is an outgrowth of colonialism, and anti-Semitism. An almost irrational hatred of Sharon, though, has catalyzed many of them, channeling anti-Zionism to new levels. The European obsession with Sharon increasingly makes its involvement in Arab-Israeli diplomacy more a hindrance than a help.

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The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)


Whose Mission is it fulfilling?

lebanon-flag.gifFranklin Lamb
UN Headquarters
Naquora, Lebanon
peoplesgeography.com

Ever since one of this student’s favorite Professors, Dr. Ruth Widmeyer, an accomplished and rare beauty still, who was the first woman to receive a PhD in Soviet Studies from Harvard nearly a half century ago, announced to our Political Science class at Portland State University that our class would be representing France at the Model United Nations Session in San Diego, Lamb was smitten: both with Professor Widmeyer and with the United Nations.

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Robert Fisk: Syria denies killing General in car-bomb attack

Published: 13 December 2007

 

So, they assassinated another one yesterday. A general, Francois El-Hajj by name, not known in Europe but a senior officer and the chief of the Lebanese general army staff, whose battle for the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camps earlier this year made him an obvious target for the Syrians, for the Iranians, for the Palestinians, for just about anyone else you care to note.

Although he was an obvious target, the implications for the current army chief and possible future president – General Michel Suleiman – were devastating.

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