Shaker Aamer


I know a lot has gone on since the last post here on Miscellany101 and I think it is better for time to go by in order to see things from a more vintage, aged perspective than to immediately post the news of the massacre/terror of Paris and San Bernardino.  They will be touched on later….God willing, but this story of Shaker Aamer, imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for 14 years does meet that standard. The link above has some in-depth background on who Aamer is and the circumstance surrounding his imprisonment and the video interview below personalizes his story.  Although it is lengthy it is well worth your time.

Altered images


Interesting find by the BBC; an act of terrorism committed by a terrorist who was first identified as the picture on the left.  Imagine all of the negative connotations conjured up by that image and it was for just those reasons it was released when in fact it’s the image on the right that belongs to the official document of the perpetrator.  altered states  The western world’s desire to incite the war of civilizations is so reflexive the even go to the extreme of altering images to make this a reality. 

Hours after six people died in a bus suicide bombing, pictures of a passport – showing the suspect wearing a headscarf – were aired on Russian TV. But they were soon called into question.

The first page of Naida Asiyalova’s passport had been published via a National Anti-Terrorism Committee Twitter account, recalls twice-weekly paper Novaya Gazeta. It says that initially no-one picked up on the fact that, under Russian law, it’s forbidden to be photographed for documents in a hijab and simply reported that it had been found at the blast scene. “Only individual bloggers began to wax indignant,” it reports, noting that Asiyalova would not have been able to board a long-distance bus to get from her home in Dagestan to the scene of Monday’s blast, in Volgograd, with that photo in her passport.

 

My heroes of the day


I want to congratulate two men who took a principled  stand at the risk of their careers and even their lives when you look at who they are and what they represent, to categorically denounce positions taken that were detrimental to the people suffering in Gaza.

Tayyip Erdogan, whose country Turkey is trying to get admitted into the European Union as well as NATO probably jeopardized those chances when he made an impassioned plea at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland against the Israeli aggression and genocide in Gaza.  He criticised the audience of international officials and corporate chiefs for applauding Peres’s emotional defence of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead. Not sparing any measure, Erdogan said what needs to be said to an Israel that seems to think it is above reproach.  You can view his comments, translated into English, here

Imagine all the things in store for Turkey now that he, its prime minister, did what he did?  Threats will be made against the country’s application to the world bodies it wants to enter, as well as against Erdogan himself and the usual cries of anti-semitism will come from every corner of the world, but the substance of his remarks, that Israel engaged in wholesale slaughter of a population, much like that which occured between Turkey and Armenia which will be thrown in Erdogan’s face, will be ignored.  Nevertheless, kudos for Tayyip Erdogan for being principled.

My other hero is Mohammad Baredei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who said a BBC decision not to air an aid appeal for victims in Gaza violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people, irrespective of who is right or wrong.  The BBC said it wasn’t airing the appeal because, now hold on to your seats, it would get in the way of their objectivity in covering the events in Gaza.  Several other channels in England aired the appeal, but the BBC and SkyNews, owned by James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, *ahem* refused to do so.  As a result Baradei has cancelled planned interviews with the BBC, without mentioning how long such a boycott would last.  Kudos to him as well.  He too chose principle over political expediency, taking a position in light of today’s news which is necessary to stem the Israeli juggernaut that refuses to accept any criticism or consequences of and for its actions.   Here is the highly milquetoast ad the BBC refused to air.