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This tableau picture and essay has been published first at my Flickr news-tableau page on the 18th of november 2012. It had over the years 96,875 views. I republish it today on this blog to be used as a reference in the never ending discussion on social-media on who and what is right and wrong in this part of the Middle East. Tjebbe van Tijen 10/4/2018

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HOW TO REPRESENT THE ISRAEL/GAZA CONFRONTATION or if you want GAZA/ISRAEL confrontation of mid november 2012.

This has been on my mind the last days, seeing the usual Pavlov reactions to the conflict of people taking sides for what clearly are the underdogs, without much thought though of the consequences. There have been several demonstrations already that had as their main slogan STOP ATTACK ON GAZA (1) without even mentioning the attacks the other way around, however primitive the missile technology employed by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades the official military arm of Hamas and other para-military groups.

I am neither pro-Israel nor pro Hamas and see with dismay how each time the warriors from both camps take over. As for Hamas they not only endangers others, but also themselves or their dear-ones and neighbours, because Israeli counter-attacks always come. Forgotten in the turmoil of war is, that the exchange of rockets, missiles and bombs does not only sow fear, kill people and damage buildings and infrastructure, it also is an attack on the many good willing initiatives between citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Their activities are not catching the headlines of the world press. Less deadly, less sensational activities that aim at diminish suffering and easing tension: support of joint economic projects and zones; promotion of free border crossing and travel; helping reconciliation; sharing of suffering by parents from both camps who lost their children in the conflict; joint environmental actions especially about water resources; arabic/hebrew language learning in schools; promoting fair trade products from Palestine in Israel; medical assistance; mixed summer camps for kids from Israel, Palestine and other arabic countries; joint academic research and education opportunities; mixed orchestras and theatre companies; training for conflict resolution; face to face dialogues initiatives; to sum up just a part of this positive spectre. (2) All these good willingness from West Bank/Gaza and Israel added by international partners, attempts to resolve the stalemate, are brutally brushed aside, once more.

WHO IS TO BLAME? WHO STARTED IT?

Was it the summary execution by a missile fired by the Israel Defense Forces on a Hamas leader, Ahmed Jabari, last wednesday November the 14th? A missile hitting him in his car while driving along Omar Mukhtar Street in Gaza City, in the middle of a crowded neighbourhood, killing also his bodyguard. The 8th remote control assassination by the Israeli Air Force since January 2010 in the Gaza strip. (3)

Was it the barrage of 26 rockets from Gaza on the 29th of October into the South of Israel, which – by sheer chance – did hit no Israeli people or property? A rocket launch that – according to the BBC message of that day – was in response to an incident whereby a Gaza man at the border had been shot by Israeli troops, because he was – allegedly – attempting to fire a mortar at Israeli troops? A series of incidents that was summarised by this BBC news item with the header: “Violence ends Israel-Gaza truce.”

BBC correspondent Jon Donisson (based in the West Bank) noted on October the 29th. how precarious it is….

“to pinpoint when a specific escalation in violence started – both sides will always remember what they see as a previous act of aggression by the other which enables them to justify their attacks as retaliation” (3)

There are many other sources that tell the story of how it began in differing ways, from the ‘Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ to the ‘Electronic Intifadah’ website, and the British group ‘Media Lense’ specialised in scrutinising what they call the “biased” war reporting of the BBC. (4) The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights sums up a whole range of events starting on Saturday November 10th with Israeli army firing an artillery shell at a group of children playing football on a hill 1500 meters away from the border near the east part of Gaza City, killing two of them and a whole serious of subsequent incidents one involving the killing of two “Palestinian resistance” members by Israeli warplanes.

Apart from what has been the real chain of events (5), with each item added or left out, resulting in a change of classification – assault or retaliation – there is the extra input of political scheming on the Israeli political front in the preparation for legislative elections in January 2013. This – cynically – always stimulates the ‘hawks’ in power or the ones aiming at that, to give or call for ‘a good pre-election military show’ in the occupied territories.

—- interlude —-
It was less than a century ago we could still speak of ‘The Levant’ and see a future beyond the vague historical memories of the Mamluk Sultanate and the more recent Ottoman and British empires. The Levant having regional mixed ethnic and religious demarcations that still carried the potential for a new future with very different borders and states as we know them now. There were many plans of reconstructing ‘imagined nations’ from a past that never existed in the way as imagined by all those ideologists, the historical parade of religious and political leaders with their: Zionism, Greater Syria, Greater Arabia, and similar bordering visions of unity and hegemony like Pan-Arabism and Pan-Turkism, or the even greater idea of Pan-Islamism, the ‘Ummah’ as a unification of all countries in the world, deemed to be or become Islamic States.

The positive potential of the actual population of the East Mediterranean countries with its diverse ethnic and religious mix, has hardly been used as a source of inspiration. Each party seeking, finding and proving by means of archeology their favourite slice of historical time to lay a unilateral claim on the land. Political and religious particularism fired by the disasters of two World Wars have created the violent carving up, expulsion and mass migration that ended in fortification and imprisonment of divided populations, we know now.
———–

So the question in the once more flaring up conflict is:

DEFENSE OF WHAT?

Beyond the flood of ‘psychological warfare’ and ‘internet disinformation’ campaigns, that overwhelm us once again, each trying hard to force a singular ‘truth’ on us, there still is the space for multiple visions, a space that needs to be defended.

There is not only war in Israel and Gaza, there is a related ‘cyber war’, invading our social-networks in countries far away from the actual conflict zone. The Israeli army is real-time on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Partisan web initiatives for the Palestinian cause are counter attacking. ‘Ready Made’ arguments are produced by all sides, that multiply and circulating with just a click of a mouse. It is as if we need to make a choice: for of against israel; for or against Palestine. No other options. No ‘middle ground’. A ‘mass mediated dichotomy’ with many reminiscences of ‘Cold War rhetoric’.

We all know that the state of Israel is many times more powerful – in military sense – than any of its subjected regions and neighbours. This does not imply that we should neglect the relative small violent and criminal acts of its adversaries. Hiding or explaining away a smaller crime because of a related bigger one does not help to overcome what remains to be wrongdoing.

The fact that the confrontations between Palestinians in Gaza and Israelis in Israel tends to be mostly through the air by both advanced and primitive forms of artillery, says it all. Direct communications are failing. Israel certainly is responsible for a great deal of the actual stalemate, but not solely so. Israel persistently – for decades – using hard core military tactics only, failing totally in diplomacy, in social and economic measures to ease the situation of the Gaza-strip inhabitants. Murder having become a state endowed practice with remote control assassination as the highest Israel Defense Force attainment. The opposite side presents us – one can not be surprised – with a mirror image of such practice and mindset.

We are once again flooded with images of the shock and awe of modern weaponry, of fear and death, also similar photographic documentation of the terror spread by the uncontrolled launching of home-made rockets.

Weapons of peace are less spectacular. They are also more radical, in the sense that what is demanded is ‘compromise’, series of small temporary practical solutions that ease the life of the Palestinians, no more great and detailed ‘Peace Plans’ but small steps that need to prove themselves in practice, before the next one is taken. The actual self-righthousness, the shining historically polished positions – diamond hard – on both sides will only lead to further killing and destruction. Many say there is no space for such compromise, that the violence perpetrated now is the only thing that is left to the Palestinians.

I think that is just lazy thinking and it will leave people who have of another opinion trapped within a spiralling violence fired by sequences of misdeeds and retaliation that have become so frequent and continuous that any finger pointing to who started first will be countered by the other party with a reference to an earlier incident or act.

Taking sides in the actual conflict for either the Israeli Army or the Hamas military brigades and associated para-military groups, is equal to abandoning people on both the Israeli and the Palestinian side, who are long fed up by these warriors, who have another agenda, without the force of weapons. They need support. They need space to breath, They need some safeguards – especially within Gaza – to be able to speak out without being threatened or even liquidated by the reigning regime over there. (6)

The creation of a new union of nations forming a 21st century Levant / بلاد الشام Bilād ash-Shām may sound as a totally utopian idea, but anybody can see that the group of nation states that have been created in this part of the world are totally unstable and not able to offer their citizens the minimal level of peace each human should be able to enjoy.

An association of nation states into a Union of the Levant – in some way comparable to the European Union – is not a new idea and it may take a long time to come into existence. Still it will give a positive perspective for the whole region.

There are of course pre-formations of this idea in the Arab League which includes the Palestinians with a special status, with the ‘Arab Peace Initiative’ of 2002 which would normalise the position of Israel if it will withdraw from all occupied territories and make arrangements for the return of Palestinian refugees. This plan has only be sniffed at by some Israeli politicians and for the rest been refuted as a plan that has been made about israel without Israel. Still it has some formal status, not in the least with the Obama administration.

There are major shifts taking place in several of the Arab states that are members of the Arab League, other regional and supra-regional associations of countries could be formed. Circum Mediterranean countries have a potential to associate from Spain to Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. Turkey could over time become a member of both the European Union and such a new Union of Levant countries. These are the macro weapons that need to be forced by diplomacy.

Small arms are needed also for construct a peaceful situation. Opening of borders. Relaxing of social economic interaction between areas that are now sealed off. Freeing ways for all forms of assistance and cultural exchange. De-militarisation and reconciliation initiatives, employment opportunities for all those active in weapon production and military activities, and so on… It all may sound too idealistic and silly… still these are the kind of weapons needed for the self-defence of people against the all overruling violent forces of fear and hate.

—-
NB several years ago the then owner of Flickr (Yahoo) classified all my 700 and so news-tabelaus as ‘adukt material’. Completely wrongly as I do no porn, not even erotics, my tabelaus are well studied picture colages and my texts are all in a well controlled non-onscene language… I have protested this indirect censor measure, but only macjibes did answer me… I do not have the time and money to hire a lw firm to deal with the unjust classification of my materials… so bear with e with some of the links, you may need to click and say that you are aware of the (imposed and wrong) status of my visuals:

1) See my news-tableau on Flickr dated November 16 2012, which is a reaction on a call of the Dutch Palestina Komitee fro a demonstration: “Stop Attack On & From Gaza” stop supporting either war mongers side in the conflict”
www.flickr.com/photos/7141213@N04/8189812045/in/set-72157…

Also another reaction on singular views of the conflict, starting with a cartoon by Simon Farr published in The Guardian in 2008 and used again for a call to demonstrate on November 17, in Amsterdam: “Gaza: Israeli Overkill does not legitimise Palestinian Terror Rockets”
www.flickr.com/photos/7141213@N04/8190530957/in/set-72157…

2) List of fifty or so ‘Arab-Israeli peace projects’ that will be hampered by the “defending” warriors on Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab-Israeli_peace_projects

3) 29 October 2012 Last updated at 19:34 GMT “Violence ends Israel-Gaza truce – Militants in Gaza have fired 26 rockets into Israel, officials say, amid a flare-up in fighting which shattered a brief ceasefire between the two sides.”
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20120505

4) Here short indications and links to non-main stream news sources that challenge the BBC reporting, though I must say that we can not expect a world news organisation to continuously report on each incident. Even when a local correspondent would send in such reports we can be sure that often things more fashionable or deemed more important will come first. In fact is the dilemma of our whole news systems that they only report when something grows out of hand grossly and than time restrictions and the haste of ‘the news’ as such make that the events that did lead up to a crisis deemed big enough to be represented, are simply left out. Social internet media, that is the good part of it, tend to fill up now-a-days the gap. Blaming of mainstream media is understandable and also helpful to keep up the quality of news broadcasts, but the problems are more structural in the whole idea of having ‘world news in half an hour or so’.

– Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: “New Israeli Escalation against the Gaza Strip, 7 Palestinians, Including 3 Children, Killed and 52 Others, Including 6 Women and 12 Children, Wounded; Sunday, 11 November 2012 – 00:00
www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&a…

– Electronic Intifada: “As Israel assaults Gaza, BBC reporting assaults the truth” by Amena Saleem; London 16 November. “On the morning of 15 November, the day after Israel carried out the extrajudicial killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari and unleashed a wave of terror against Gaza’s civilian population, the BBC put an article onto its website headlined: “Gaza rocket arsenal problem for Israel.” / The article goes into minute detail about what the BBC’s diplomatic and defense correspondent Jonathan Marcus describes as “the Palestinian rocket arsenal.” / Nowhere in the article, or elsewhere on the BBC, does Marcus investigate Israel’s weapons stockpile, which is funded to the tune of $3 billion a year by the United States. / There are no reams of paragraphs devoted to describing the different types of bombs, mortar shells, drones, fighter jets, gunboats, tanks, guns, nuclear warheads or white phosphorus shells that are in Israel’s arsenal. Yet, with the exception of nuclear missiles, all of these have been used at some point against the people of Gaza with devastating consequences.”
electronicintifada.net/content/israel-assaults-gaza-bbc-r…

– Media Lens: “Gaza Blitz – Turmoil And Tragicomedy At The BBC” by David Cromwell and David Edwards; November 16, 2012. “The Israeli attacks have routinely been reported as ‘retaliation’ for Palestinian ‘militant rocket attacks’ on southern Israel. In a study of news performance in 2001, the Glasgow Media Group noted that Israelis ‘were six times as likely to be presented as “retaliating” or in some way responding than were the Palestinians.’ A BBC correspondent in Gaza said ‘there are now fears now (sic) of a major escalation of violence’. But the Israeli execution of Ahmed al-Jabari was a major escalation of violence. BBC News reported three Israeli deaths by rockets fired from Gaza with the briefest mention of the earlier deaths of ‘eleven Palestinians – mainly militants but also children’. As ever, there was no explanation of how a Gaza civilian is distinguished from a ‘militant’.”
www.medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=a…

5) A “List of Israeli assassinations” from the 1950s onward can be found on Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_assassinations

There are of course a whole series of lists that involve killing by all sides, from Palestinian rocket attacks to suicide attacks, the index page of these lists can be found at:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Israeli–Palestinian_conf…

6) The non-biased Israeli peace organisation B’Tsalem keeps for many years a refined classification of casualties that helps to understand this point.. For the period 19/1/2009 to 30/9/2012 for the Gaza strip and the West Bank. For the Gaza strip it lists: “Palestinians killed by Palestinians = 45”; “Palestinians executed by the Hamas Government = 14.” The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces over this period for Gaza = 271, of which 158 are detailed as “Palestinians who took part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces.”
old.btselem.org/statistics/english/casualties.asp?sD=19&a…

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The latest Facebook ‘app‘ is of German origin: the Zuckerberg Thumbscrew… an old device of restrain and pain put to new use after the recent FB IPO demise.

There is also an improvised cheap app version of the ‘Zuckerberg Thumbscrew’ which can be found at any hardware store…

There is a flipside to everything including the Facebook singular thump-up-like-strategy and the likejacking/clickjacking that comes with such commercial deviation of social media.

click book cover to read a limited selections from one of the many books how the Zuckberg empire works… “The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook” by Brian Carter (*) Click book cover for GoogleBooks link

BE AWARE: what you and me may see as something semi-privat and social is of course nothing else than selling our vanities to the advertisement industry, or is it more a schizophrenic situtaion with us users also profiting from the profit of Facebook by having handy communication tool for “free”?

“In 2011, Facebook made $4 per user per year. To earn its market cap of $100 billion today, it would have to earn five-times that figure per user. This sets up a tug-of-war over user information.”

Click stats to go source web page “Facebook’s Value: What’s the Price of a Billion People Watching Each Other?” by Derek Thompson of ‘The Atlantic’.

——
(*) To find it in a library nearby  go to worldcat.org for this book and fill in your country

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‎”Flux de bouche” we say in dutchified French, whereas the French say “flux de paroles”, ‘flood of words’ in English. For all those who are following the French TV news (‘Le Journal de France 2 sur TV5’ here in the Netherlands) that is what is awaiting us with the new Parti Socialiste Prime Minster (PS/PM), Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was interviewed yesterday first time by anchor man ‘le toupet’ (our tv-divan pet name for David Pujadas, because of his well groomed hair that seems not to be all his). Ayrault certainly creates a ZAPMOMENT with his autonomous avalanche of memorised catch words making one forget what again was the question posed by the interviewer… It will be a verb soon ‘ayrauliser’ and – by mere chance – it is meaningful as the surname ‘ayrault’ is an older French spelling of ‘herault’ or ‘herald’ in English. Indeed ‘a herald’ does not answer questions, a herald proclaims!

As is often the case with a new dignitary the ‘homophone’, or ‘homonym’, or transliterated versions of his name into other languages, do produce some embarrassment, in this case in Arabic speaking countries, where his name is conceived as the name for the male sex organ (like the name of late Dutch Prime Minister Kok, is perceived as ‘cock’ in English).

Ayrault on his first introductory interview on France 2 news did not get any embarrassing questions – though – from ‘le toupet’, like one about his local ‘favoritisme’ scandal during his office as a mayor of  the town of Nantes, triggered by a municipal contract for a news and publicity service without a public tender. This was fifteen years ago, and it did produce a six-month suspended prison sentence and a fine for Ayrault in 1997. Ayrault did not appeal against this ruling at that time.

As François Hollande did announce during his campaign that his new government would consist of impeccable persons only, tens of thousands professional and self-proclaimed defamers where sitting behind their computers and waiting for the moment the first nomination would appear from the confines of the new master in the Élysée, to cut & paste it into their favourite internet search engine. One of the first to post their resulted defamation was the fifth column of Sarkozy with their Facebook page “Non au PS” (has just 8.753 likes). Their home banner reads: “NON AU SOCIALISTES; NON AUX COMMUNISTES; NON AUX MODEMS, NON AU VERTS; NON A HOLLANDE ET LA GAUCHE” (‘MODEM” is ‘Mouvement Démocrat of François Bayrou; “Verts” is Green Party; “GAUCHE” is left). It is claimed that the post below did get the eager inquiry machine rolling, though the exposed  disgraceful event must have been public knowledge anyhow.

“- The first (premier) “prime minster” nominated with a condemnation of 6 years of prison; – 62 years, must be pensioned by now like he advocates for others.” Click picture to check out the Facebook page with other examples of bashing the socialists.

In times we are progressively losing our ability to remember, because of electronic memory devices that have taken over that function, the instant recall of cases from the past by our ubiquitous digital machines, does pose a problem. The ‘waning of time’ ceases to exist. Forgetfulness which is a social device leading to leniency and clemency , forming the basis of human cohabitation, is made impossible. A “minor affair” from the past is easily turned into a ‘major’ one in the present.

We need to come to terms with this new social phenomenon. I would say that a conviction in the past of someone running for public office, is not necessary a negative thing. A convicted person, who has done his or her term, or who has been given a provisional sentence, can not be excluded from participating into politics or government all his or her life. Also, such a person may have gained – because of a punishing sentence – a better insight in the realities of life, in some cases even better than all those impeccable careerist bureaucrats. The fact that the past of Ayrault could be checked so easily renders his case ‘transparent’, though some sources (Le Monde 15/6/1996; a pay archive link) suggest that the legal construction of the publishing tender in Nantes, were “rather opaque.”  The French web site “@rrets sur l’image” of May 11th 2012 has a detailed overview article on the case with this long title: “AYRAULT ET LA “BOULE PUANTE” : UNE AFFAIRE DE 1997 REFAIT SURFACE – Mais la presse n’a pas mis le nez dans ses archives pour en fournir les détails” (Ayrault and the stink bomb: an affair of 1997 surfaces again – But the press did not put its nose in its (own) archives to supply the details about it).

Scrutiny of acts and proclamations of the new Prime Minster is enhanced by all such bad publicity, which may hopefully help him sobering his ‘flux de paroles’.

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I was reading yet another article about the case of the Chinese dissident Chen Guang Cheng (陈光诚) in Le Monde today which mentioned that his case may be head lines in the world, but not so in China itself (it almost sounds like a definition of what ‘a dissident’ actually is). Chinese media if mentioning the case at all are referring to him as “a marionette of the USA.”

The article brought some emblematic pictures to my mind and so I did an image search on Google on marionettes and ‘puppets on a string’ and the last one brought me the image that opens this small note. Paper puppets that when they act become puppets on a string. It is a typical ready-made image to be sold to web sites for may different uses. So I will put the allegory of the picture to my own use here….

Click picture to do a Google search on: ‘puppets on a string’

With the Chinese dissident case in the head lines of the “free world” we seem to be back all the way in the Cold War and its definition and use of ‘dissidents’ who would raise issues felt  as a danger to the existing rule in their own countries. There are always many more dissents around in far away countries than we will ever hear about, protesting paper puppets hidden from our view. The ones that manage to come on stage are the ones that will get strings attached to them, if they want it or not. The hand of the puppet player may change during the performance.

Smart and lucky dissidents would manage at one moment or another to get their message across their state  borders and raise enough attention elsewhere to create – at some moment in time – an opportunity to be shuffled into what is supposed to be a heroic exile.

The same kind of dissident criticism at home can also be applied to similar circumstances in any of the dissident hosting countries, but as courtesy and realism makes an exiled dissident cautious, exiled dissidents tend to be silent about their host. This is the sad fate of who – in order to safe his own life – is forced to become a hero-dissident, who will nevertheless have a hard time to defend her/himself against accusations of being just a marionette of a foreign power. The possible hosting country of Chen Guang Chen – the United States of America – does have a long long history of schizophrenic political morality and changing interpretations of the the word ‘freedom’. It is unavoidable that the shadow side of a rescuing power will reflect on a rescued dissident.

The manipulating hand of state power with the people as multiplied paper puppet marionettes in the picture is reflecting in the floor space and so the position of the expelled dissident elsewhere becomes a mere mirror image.

Chen Guang Chen – when he manages to get out safely – is said to get the opportunity to study law in the United States. He is not the first and certainly not the last getting such a chance. Imagine when all the world dissidents would gather in the United States and study, discuss and further their insight by exchanging experiences. Then, the mere quantity of dissidence could create a new quality and such a combined insight in world political matters could reflect back onto the United States itself. The marionettes would come alive and become players without strings.

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A sitting president of any nation at the end of his term always has stains on his/her presidential uniform and the frequency with which the presidential suit has to be brought to the state-media-dry-cleaning-services may increase when she or he is so bold to want a second term. Sarkozy is no exception to this rule and indeed his stains are numerous, some are hard to remove older stains on the shirts he was wearing during earlier stages of his career: Karachi-gate (1994)  Bettencourt (2007), La Garde-Tapie (1993-2007), and several stains by ‘the always well documented slander’ of Le Canard Enchainé (like the October 2011 article on how a death sentence of Gaddafi has been instrumented by French Military Intelligence). Last stain thrown at him was by Dominique Strauss Kahn saying his sexual misconduct in New York was manipulated by the French government to keep him from running for President . Yes, the same DSK who is like Sarkozy a master of doing things and than saying he has not done them.

There is a method to remove such scandalous stains  in one go from the president uniform and that is an old governmental recipe: WAGE WAR!

War is is something as glorious as it is dirty and a president that leads a nation into  war – even when it is just a small one – will not be judged anymore for his civil stains. A president in the double role of a warrior wears the military stains that come with that exercise like medals of honour on his uniform.

This understanding of the manipulation of the mood of a nation made me write several weeks ago this small article which may have still some informative relevance today, only one week from the final decisive presidential elections in France.

—————–

Election Marathon for the Presidential Election in France today and how Sarkozy tries to distinguish himself from his opponents… as a world leader taking the lead in liberating an oppressed people and killing the dictator that suppressed them, a man capable of bringing democracy by decisive force. A glorious picture that has more than one layer….

Below some pictures of Sarkozy’s enjoying his greatest moment during a visit to Libya in September 2011. Applauded as the embodiment of the liberating force of France, France  of the Great Revolution centuries ago, still bringing liberty, equality and fraternity.

L’Express September 16., 2011: “A Tripoli, Sarkozy savoure sa victoire libyenne” (in Tripoli Sarkozy savours hisLibyan victory). Pictures from both Benghazi and Tripoli.

“Amis de Benghazi, nous vous demandons une chose: nous croyons dans la Libye unie, pas dans la Libye divisée.” Aujourd’hui, “vous devez montrer un nouveau courage, celui de la réconciliation”. (Friends of Benghazi, we are asking you one thing: we believe in an united Libya, not in a divided Libya.” Today, “you must show a new courage, the one of reconciliation.”)

The words of Sarkozy about a needed ‘reconciliation’ were spoken in Benghazi on the 15th of September 2011.  It is now one year ago that the revolt against the Gaddafi regime in Libya started and the USA, Canada  and its West-European Allies intervened on behalf of  anti-Gaddafi insurgents. The step from support of insurgents – who would not have been able themselves to beat the troops of Gaddafi on a short term – with aerial bombardments, to a civil reconciliation process, has been impossible to take. The way in which a regime change takes place also determines what kind of new social structure will appear. There have been over 25.000 air missions by NATO, but,  throwing bombs from high in the sky and repairing means not only repairing material devastation on the ground. Repairing the social devastation is an even bigger task. The military victory and the jubilant proclamation of a new order leave the population a weak non-elected self-appointed government in Tripoli, secessionist regions, all sorts of retaliation against all kind of layers in society that have been closely allied with the former regime. How else could it be after a regime that has been busy establishing and keeping its power during four decades.

Click image to do a new Google Image Search with the text string “la france forte”


Nota Bene the news tableau has five layers:
1 – the picture in the centre is from Le Petit Journal exactly one hundred years ago glorifies military aviation in its earliest days.

2 – French airplanes returning to their base in Corsica after flying a bombing mission over Libya, article in Los Angeles Times March 21, 2011, taken over by Australian web site. “Gaddafi fervour wanes as bombs hit” is the header of the article.

3 – the picture of Sarkozy with Gaddafi dates from 2007 made at his state visit to Libya posing in the head quarters of Gaddafi Bab-Al-Zizia, which were later bombed by French airplanes. The monument with the clenched fist destroying a jet fighter is a monument commemorating the USA air attack on Gaddafi on April 15th 1986, ordered by the President Reagan government in retaliation of the bomb attack on a dancing in West Berlin which fitted in a whole series of Libyan involvements in terrorist activities (Italian Red Brigades, the German Red Army Fraction (Rote Armee Fraktion)and the Irish republican Army). on From 2003 onward the Gaddafi regime had started a diplomatic normalisation process, moving away from their earlier hard line violent international policies. The header for this article in which this picture appears is: “Libyan market seen as a bonanza.”

Picture as published by US Today on March 8, 2007. With the following caption: “Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi right, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy stand while national anthems are being played, at the Bab Azizia Palace in Tripoli, in this July 25, 2007, file photo. European defense and aviation group EADS said Friday it had finalized two military contracts with Libya to supply anti-tank missiles and communications systems. French Defense Minister Herve Morin said the contracts had not yet been formally signed, despite the comments of a Libyan official, who said Thursday in Tripoli that Libya had signed the contracts. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)”

The same photograph appeared  since 2007 illustrating different articles and also an article that sheds an other light on the Sarkozy Gaddafi ‘amourette’. I just choose one of the many English language articles that followed on a report published by the French journalist research web site ‘MediaPart’ on the history of Sarkozy and Gaddafi contacts starting in the year 2005 (when Sarkozy was Minister of Interior under President Chirac). The web site Business Insider of March 12, 2012 starts of with: “Nicolas Sarkozy allegedly received €50 million ($65.8 million) in illegal campaign contributions from Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi when he first ran for president of France in 2007.” Sarkozy and his party have denied all allegations and “as France’s head of state, Sarkozy cannot be prosecuted while in office, but if he loses the upcoming elections (which seems likely) a full investigation could be conducted into his party’s finances.”

Cropped version of the Michel Euler photograph of Sarkozy’s visit to Gaddafi in 2007.

Somehow the detailed report of Mediapart first published on March 12, 2012, has been maneuvered  out of the public eye and some of the persons cited in the Mediapart documents have publicly distanced themselves from references to them. The allegations are not much part now of the last week debates before the French presidential elections, though suspicion is lingering on. Reading though the complicated relationships of the various ‘strawmen’ and other profiteering intermediaries involved,explains that such wheeling and dealing is part of regular politics, and that the players involved in it have learned enough lessons to obscure and hide their traces. The answer of the Sarkozy election campaign office came this week end with an article in Le Monde “Pour Sarkozy, Mediapart est “une officine au service de la gauche” (for Sarkozy Mediapart is “an office at the service of the Left.”)

The French language web page that refers to the alleged financing of the Sarkozy presidential campaign in the year 2007 (one needs to be subscribed to see the full French text) There is an English summary also, that opens in this way: “According to information contained in a confidential report prepared by a recognised French expert on terrorism and terrorist financing, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign received up to 50 million euros in secret funds from the regime of the late Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.”

Another bit of news shedding light of the Gaddafi-Sarkozy relationship before the French President choose to attack his former ally, is March 16, 2012, interview with the son of Gaddafi for the Television station of EuroNews. Saif al-Islam did survive until now and has not been silenced yet, though he may use some of his knowledge first of all to protect himself. If he ever will face the International criminal Court in The hague, remains doubtful.

21011 March 16, Saif al-Islam: “Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything. The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back to the Libyan people. He was given assistance so that he could help them. But he’s disappointed us: give us back our money. We have all the bank details and documents for the transfer operations and we will make everything public soon.”

4 – Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah, Sunday, March 20.

This map that appeared on many  web sites shows the French participation in the aerial bombardment  in March 2011 of strongholds of the former ally of Sarkozy, Gaddafi.

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Dominique Strauss Kahn flanked by security guards explains how to drag global economy out of its actual slump using the famous 1926 diagram of Fritz Kahn published in "Das Leben des Menschen/Life of Man" as a concrete metaphor of how to stimulate economic growth. Seven steps can be distinguished: 1) Die Geslechtsdrüsse/Sexual glands; 2) Erotische Eindrücke/Erotic impressions; 3) geslechtlige Eregung/Sexual arousal; 4) Hemmungen wie moralische Bedenken/Inhibitions like moral considerations (that have to be overcome); 5) Rückenmark/Spinal cord (transporting the accumulated data to...); 6) Erektionszentrum/Erectional centre; 7) Schwellkörpernadern/Erectile tissue (that will produce the intended rise). ---- click picture for full size view ----

For an inside report of the lecture in the guarded off hall of Cambridge Student’s ‘Union Society’ I can recommend the student’s paper ‘The TAB Cambridgetab.co.uk” in its issue of Saturday, 10 March 2012 which has several readers comments from within the Cambridge student community:

<quote> Dominique Strauss-Kahn managed to talk about economics for most of the evening to an under-capacity Union, but the ex-IMF Chief was forced from home turf when a student asked about rape allegations made earlier this year. Will Lawn, a 3rd year student from King’s College asked Strauss-Kahn to “explain why Diallo had vaginal bruising the day after you met her,” referring to the hotel maid who alleges that DSK raped her in May 2011. Security, who flanked DSK throughout the talk, tried to rush him out, but both Strauss-Kahn and Union President Katie Lam let him finish his question. Strauss-Kahn responded by saying: “I’m not quite sure that’s the topic of this evening. New York dismissed the case… What more do you want?”</quote>

 <quote>But while there was limited opposition within the chamber, outside the Union the atmosphere was vitriolic. Behind the debating chamber over 200 protesters clashed with police and security, parading anti-DSK placards and chanting slogans such as “No more violence, no more rape” and ”DSK, go away, justice for Diallo.” Activists also clashed with a pro-DSK campaigner, ripping the sign he was carrying, which was covered in free speech slogans.</quote>

 <quote>Chants were audible throughout the talk, but when asked about the protests Strauss-Kahn said: ”We live in a culture of freedom; they are allowed to do what they want, even if I think they are wrong.”</quote>

 <quote>In a statement released shortly after the event, the Union emphasised that: “there was no restriction on questions from the audience or on their content”, adding that Lawn was approached by security after his question because “a private security guard mistakenly interpreted this question as an attempt to disrupt the event… his actions had not breached the code of conduct for the event.”</quote>

I id post a reaction on this blog that can be found at the end of this posting. (**)

The lecture took place on Friday, March 9 at the University of Cambridge with a confident Strauss Kahn in spite of protests outside the lecture hall.

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(*) Documentation on the mechanical schemes of the functioning of the human body by Fritz Kahn, can be found here…

(** )My reaction on the TAB Cambridge blog and its comments:

Not guilty until proven” seems to be a strong proDSK argument, but those who use it apparently did NOt follow the way how someone with lots of power and lots of money could wriggle out of almost any justice procedure.

 Casting doubt on the status of a victim is one of the ugly aspects of such a process. Next are conspiracy theories and there were several suggestions of attempts at framing a prospected French President candidate. The the colour of the victim versus the colour of the perpetrator and discriminatory law practices was brought in also, amplified with the aspect of class differences and discrimination of women. Differences also of culture, between a more protective attitude toward private life of politicians and officials in France versus the overt judgemental morality stance taken in the USA further obscured the issue. This bristle cloud of public debate has thrown so much dust in the air that Dominique Strauss Kahn’s lawyers managed to wriggle him out of prison, into a luxurious safe house and finally had him acquitted and free to leave the USA. There is NO Truth to be found in this kind of sensational cases. They do get Mythical and a myth is a unstable piece of lore that – nevertheless – does have some founding in a real event that occurred in whatever way  in the past.

 There was an escapade of DSK in a New York Hotel and the chances that this was just a spontaneous consensual ‘rendezvous’ are at best hypothetical. More important DSK has a history of non-consensual relieve of his libido upon the bodies of ladies of which some have found the courage to express their disgust and anger publicly. All cases not formerly proved, none that has lead to a conviction. Muffling by hired lawyers of free speech, and whatever undisclosed means of pressure available to a man of political power like DSK, form the basis of his actual standing. Arguing that honouring an earlier invitation to the Student Union of Cambridge (as I understood) of DSK should be kept in the name of ‘free speech’ is preposterous.

 What remains is DSK’s record as an economist and his abilities to influence the global market in a remarkable way. None of this seems to be true in the eyes of economists, there are monitoring and evaluation reports of his own International Monetary Fund – nicely put on-line – that take a critical stance at his performance in this field. Here is an introductory text and the source link “The affair DSK and the forgotten IMF self-criticism report of May 20, 2011”: http://wp.me/pw0cu-11S

 My suggestion is a less emotional and more analytical approach to the now historic DSK in Cambridge case. What I did find most ‘endearing’ was not only reading your magazine, but also the photographof the actual crummy stage of the Student Union lecture hall, that must have been such a non-glorious and shaming stand for Dominique Strauss Kahn to end up as a speaker in such an environment. Just compare it with the glamorous settings of his Far East come back attempt as a speaker on an economic conference in Bejing in December 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76fm35fycG4

Comment on TAB student paper blog by 'Cambridge Moonion': Re: "crummy stage". The actual room is a pretty amazing example of Victorian architecture. He was just giving his speech from the back of the room rather than the front because he needed to be near a door for security reasons. The lecture is since monday March 12 also available in video on the official web site of the Cambridge Union Society. (****)

In contrast an image of the Beijing business conference performance of Dominique Strauss Kahn, this come back event was arranged before DSK was once more publicly associated with a prostitution ring embracing two continents, form Lille in the North of France to New York. (***)

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn delivers a speech at an economy conference organized by Chinese Internet company Netease in Beijing, China, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. -- click picture for link to original article ---

(***) Le Monde: Infographie Comprendre l’affaire du Carlton en trois minutes. Mis à jour le 20.02.12. An animated information graphic in the form of a narrated organigram that explains the complicated set up of the Lille/New York prostitution ring (L’Affaire Carlton) in which Dominique Strauss Kahn also plays his own role. The narration is in French.

Comprendre l'affaire du Carlton en trois minutes (Understanding the Carlton Affaire in three minutes) - click image to go directly to the page of Le Monde and click the button 'démarrer' to start the info graphic.

(****) “The global financial climate, globalization and the Eurozone” at http://www.cus.org with several applauding comments in favour of DSK..

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‎”PUTIN ASSASSINATION PLOT DENOUNCED AS RUSSIAN ELECTION SPECTACLE'” The Guardian 27th February 2012. (1)

There are multiple meanings to this news, but they all end up with the same conclusion in favour of strong man Putin running once more for president: a win win situation.

There is first of all a historical analogy and reference…. which fits in with Putin’s role of the new Czar.

An attempt at the life of Putin to take place – as news sources say – in Moscow the day after his election, on his usual ride to work through the capital. Supposedly a bomb attack, which  in the Russian mind traces back to the assassination of Russian Czar Alexandre II in 18881, March the first, by conspirators of the ‘Narodniki’ followers  of the Narodnaya Volya (Peoples’s Will) movement. An act to show to the poor and subjugated majority class of the peasants that the Czar  was not an omnipotent supernatural being, that his life could be taken and their position of powerless could be changed.

Pages from Russian history: Newspaper photograph of a Putin convoy heading to the Kremlin in Moscow May 2007; illustrate magazine engraving reconstructing the bomb attack on Czar Alexandre II 1881 in St. Petersburg. The killing of the Alexandre II - who had a dual policy of allowing some reforms and at the same time strengthening reaction - in 1881 lead to the cancellation of all reforms and a period of a quarter of a century of bolstering of central czarist power.

If the plot against Putin was real, the Chechen conspirators would have revenged the suppression of their revolt against the Moscow reign of Chechen people. An answer to the Second Chechen War, a merciless clamp down strongly supported by Vladimir Putin. An act of tyrannicide by the Chechens as a symbol, a start to liberate themselves from Putin’s yoke. For many Russians such an act of revenge would prove the need of a strong figure like Putin to protect their homeland from the rebellion of insurgent regions, religions and nationalities. Putin as the man to stand up against those threatening the unity of what is left over of the great Russian empire. Something constantly expressed in the core message of Putin’s rhetoric: the protection of the Russian fatherland.

использовать свое воображение (use your imagination)

If the plot was – completely or even half – staged (by provocative methods), Putin’s secret service entourage would have used Putin’s widely expressed negative appraisal to create an event that can be imagined to be true. The proposed story line of a newly elected president killed straight after the day he has been elected fires the imagination and changes – even if it did not actually happen –  his position. We know, that when it would have had happened in real, all forging of election results would be overshadowed by such a drama and soon be forgotten. Putin’s role would have changed from ‘a tyrant’ into ‘a martyr for democracy’. Real or fake, it hardly matters. Putin’s Plot has enough verisimilitude to fire people’s imagination and he will profit from that.

использовать свое воображение (use your imagination)


Tyrannicide is the assassination of a tyrant for the common good. A tyrant in classical Greek history was someone who had taken power in a ‘polis’ by illegal or unconvential means. In the year 514  Aristogeiton (the bearded one) and Harmodius assassinated one of the two sons of the tyrant of  Athens, Peisistratus. Their deed is said to have helped the establishment of Athenian democracy. A bronze statue has been made of the two ‘tyrannicides’ by Antenor and placed to their honour in the Agora, the public meeting space close to the town’s assembly. We all do know that ‘Athenian democracy’ was something meant only for the local male population, excluding women and Athenian residents originating from other poli and not to forget: slaves. 

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(1) A choice of three news source renderings of the alleged plot agains Putin

THE GUARDIAN, Miriam Elder in Moscow, February 27., 2012: “This is part of a clear election campaign,” said Yevgeniya Chirikova, a leader of the protest movement that has brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets of Moscow calling on Putin to quit. “It’s to bring attention to Vladimir Putin, and to develop this idea that there’s a threat everywhere. It’s a spectacle.” Putin’s press secretary described such statements as “blasphemous”. (…) State-run Channel One television reported that two men arrested by Russian and Ukrainian special forces in the Ukrainian port of Odessa earlier this year had been dispatched to kill Putin by Chechen rebel Doku Umarov, the leader of Russia’s separatist Islamist movement. (…) Channel One said it received information about the assassination attempt 10 days ago but did not explain why it did not release the news sooner. (…) Putin’s critics allege that a series of apartment block bombings on the eve of his first election in 2000 were orchestrated by the Kremlin to boost the then unknown politician’s popularity, rather than by Chechen rebels, as claimed. A similar assassination attempt on Putin was allegedly foiled on the day of Russia’s last presidential election in March 2008.”

CBS ATLANTA, Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press, February 27. 2012: “The Ukrainian Security Service said earlier this month it had detained a man sought by Russian authorities on charges of terrorism and two of his accomplices in Odessa on Feb. 4, but said nothing at the time about linked them to an anti-Putin plot. (…) Channel One said the source for its information was Russia’s Federal Security Service, the main KGB successor agency dealing with domestic security. The agency refused to comment. (…) A Chechen rebel website, KavkazCenter, shrugged off the report about the assassination plot as “election propaganda nonsense.” The website noted that the explosion in Odessa was initially reported to be a gas leak and the men were said to be preparing explosives for a contract hit on a local businessman. (…) The nationalist party leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said the assassination plot was invented by political spin doctors and designed to appeal to “poorly educated old ladies” and housewives, the news agency reported.”

KAVKAZ CENTER web site (a channel used regularly by Chechen opposition), February 27., 2012: Putin said that the victory over the Chechen rebels is one of the major achievements of his reign. Putin has counted the victory over Chechen rebels as one of the key achievements of his rule, and the report about the alleged plot is likely to further boost support “, АР reports from Moscow. An influential French daily, Le Monde, writes: “For Frederick Longuet-Marx, chairman of the conference at Caen University, an expert on Islam and national identity in the Caucasus, “it was clearly a pre-election manipulation”. “Vladimir Putin just want to inflate a bit his pre-election rating and play on the fear of the Chechens. Indeed, during his 12 years of rule in Russia, Vladimir Putin has created an image of a strongman over his fierce struggle with Chechen terrorists. “Thanks to the assassinations of 1999, which were clearly the work of Russian secret services, the public opinion was prepared to resume the war against Chechnya”, recalled Frederick Longuet-Marx. Today, the prime minister is opposed by the growing mass of people, and he is forced to use once again the bogey of Chechen terrorism, which helped him so well in the past. However, other people seem to doubt. () “Osmayev is completely unknown in the ranks of the Chechen movement, and the name” Pyaznin” sounds absolutely non-Kazakh”, explains Frederick Longuet-Marx. He has also doubts about the very existence of the alleged terrorist organization. () “For an Islamic terrorist, it makes no sense to take refuge in Ukraine. The laws there are the same as in Russia”. () Another major French newspaper Le Figaro quotes an independent Moscow sociologist Dmitry Oreshkin on KGB anti-putinist radio Ekho Moskvy: () “This is a sign that people from the FSB are trying to use the tools to mobilize public opinion in an old way: “We are surrounded by the enemies. There is only one strong, intelligent and courageous leader, whom they are trying to eliminate”.

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