Monday 31 July 2006

Somehow, Israel can do no wrong

{All pictures courtesy of The Truth Would Set You Free}

Fine, the Jews are God’s Chosen People, however, I fear for the situation where this is also read as Israel can do no wrong.

The bomb that dropped on Qana yesterday came from Israel, probably beautifully autographed, blessed and prayed over by some God-fearing leaders of Jewish communities and their kids.

Saying a little prayer - Let there be carnage in Qana?

Hezbollah did start this war, but they definitely did not drop that bomb, it is also clear that Israel did not know if Hezbollah rockets came from any of the buildings targeted, nor is it clear if recently any rockets had been fired from that village.

It is all well and good that Israel had the wherewithal to drop leaflets calling on villagers to leave, but did not check if they had left, amidst their bombing of convoys, roads and bridges.

At night, one would also thing their night vision glasses would have indicated that their precision weaponry was going to obliterate so many civilian lives.

The tragedy of a second chaperoning of the angel of death to Qana by Israel in 10 years is sad enough, and then, it targeted people in a UN shelter.

Sunday 30 July 2006

Condi is not welcome in Lebanon

This represents the kind of propaganda we are fed about the Middle-East conflict. I read on CNN a headline, that Condoleezza Rice has cancelled her trip to Lebanon.

Well, the BBC television news, tells me Lebanon has snubbed Condoleezza Rice and told her not to visit Lebanon till a ceasefire has been agreed.

Indeed, Dr Rice would have had cancel her trip, because she has been told quite clearly, you are not welcome, I must say, that appears in the body of text.

Like I said in an earlier blog, regardless of the American aid which is a sop in expiation for seriously letting Lebanon down, Lebanon knows this for sure, America is definitely not a friend in time of need.

Unfortunately, the UN building in Beirut is now taking the brunt of a violent protest as Israel argumentum ad consequentiam passes the blame for bombing up civilians to Hezbollah.

As I am writing, the culmination of events had now lead Dr Rice to request an immediate unconditional ceasefire. So, much for doors and bolted horses – this doctor is some mean gambler.


Sky News: Airstrike 'Kills Or Injures Dozens'

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Dozens killed in Lebanon air raid

No talks with Rice before ceasefire

Rice says "time for ceasefire" after Qana bombing

A poker hand of unintended consequences

A snowflake fascination

I have ranted, riled and disparaged with vehemence the fight-on-till-victor-and-vanquished policy that has spewed forth from Rice, Bush and Blair, but wait a minute; it appears we might be reaching a case of seriously unintended consequences.

Just like what would happen when you shake that fascinating Christmas snowflake glass ball, you deliberately and violently shake it, creating a chaos of flakes, then set it down and watch the snow settle, I see the same in this instance.

You cannot determine where the flakes would fall, though we assume it falls evenly on the Christmas landscape, it is probably a more sophisticated science than the simplicity belies.

It is a resolutions rat-race

So, back at the Middle-East where elaborate but historically futile plans are being put across in trying to introduce a new UN Resolution to bring about a ceasefire and the deployment of a multi-national peace-keeping force in the South of Lebanon.

We really should stop this circus of using resolutions to enforce or chase other resolutions and concentrate on the context that shaped the original ones and forcefully implement them.

Once again, the UN Security Council Resolution 1559 appears to be the gold-standard of implementing a ceasefire. That is fine, now, let us be honest, about implementing the totality of that resolution which is first really about Israel before it is about Lebanon.

Give back first

The first part refers to Lebanon having complete sovereignty over its territory, and then gradually exercising democratically managed military authority over their entire.

The bitter pill in this situation is Shebaa Farms; it is occupied Lebanese territory which Israel contends belongs to Syria as part of their annexation of Golan Heights in 1967.

That is beside the point, between Syria and Lebanon, they have agreed since 1964 that Shebaa Farms is Lebanese and Syria continues to abide by that 42-year old agreement. So, the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanese territory in 2000, regardless of technicalities people might proffer was incomplete. Simple!

The Lebanese plan for peace leading a ceasefire which Hezbollah acquiesces to, includes the return of Shebaa Farms for a viable and enduring ceasefire. Any, right-thinking person would consider that, just and fair, I would suppose.

Stop the occupations

It also means we move on from this idea of new occupations; like a peace-keeping force to assure security, it would be expensive, fraught, dangerous and ineffective if the Shebaa Farms issue is not conclusively resolved.

That Shebaa Farms issue, would help in ensuring that Resolution 1559 is fully implemented to include the disarming of Hezbollah.

Before you heave a sigh of relief, the issue of Shebaa Farms is somewhat inter-twined with Golan Heights in the Israeli psyche. So, why just relinquish one part of illegally annexed and nominally occupied territory?

We have already been sickened and amused by the microphone tête-à-tête between Bush and Blair about Syria telling Hezbollah to stop all this shit going on in Lebanon.

Syria says

Well, Syria has given us the key to all this shit-stopping – the occupation of Arab lands. That would primarily be Shebaa Farms and Golan Heights, these fuel the frenetic activities of Hezbollah in that area, the Palestinian settlement is a distant allusion in this matter.

So, once again, the move is Israel’s – in accordance with UN Resolution 497, conveniently forgotten and dormant since it was unanimously passed in 1981; the return of Golan Heights to the rightful owner – Syria.

In two pre-existing resolutions we have the recognition and implementation of a ceasefire from the current hostilities; the end of Hezbollah’s militancy, such that they can be fully subsumed in Lebanese politics.

The child looks different

That, I submit is the unintended consequence of the “new Middle-East” as alluded to by Condoleezza Rice – the birth pangs would in the end bring forth a child in no likeness to the expected baby.

The bigger picture is more unsavoury for the West than it seems, because the price for peace exerts a serious climb-down from Israel in terms of its legacy of occupied Arab lands, and it also indicates that Western appeasement has continually allowed Israel to act with impunity when they should be adhering to their international obligations.

The Israeli protestations regarding Syria and Lebanon over the years would definitely become a shrill-sounding discomfort to all well-meaning people.

A poker hand bitter lesson in expected outcomes

Better still, if this becomes the final result of this 3-week war, you will have to give it to Hezbollah as they would have deftly out-manoeuvred all those crocodile-tear diplomatic efforts to bring about a just settlement for their struggles.

The other negotiations about the release of prisoners are just minutiae.

America, Britain and Israel, turned this issue into a game of poker thinking they had the best hands, methinks, Hezbollah only started with a Jack and might clear the pot with a Royal Flush – such is the life of gamblers.


A prediction of this war

US envoy foresees 'hard decision'

The Israeli conflict blog archive

A protagonist is a proponent in my book

All comments are still very welcome

And suddenly, a blog written sometime ago gets read and a comment is left pertaining to the subject matter, at other times, some smart chap and I like smart people challenge the ideas, the context, the content and even the usage in grammar of words.

I welcome all this because, I learn by taking on new knowledge or help the contributor see another perspective of my views.

Whilst in some ways, I am a sort of purist – spitting it out with self-loathing – I am exercised by having to engage with people of my ilk. Should I then be a protagonist or proponent of the rightful usage of expression and words in English?

Telling me something new

You left a comment on my blog regarding my use of protagonist in the write-up

You use the term 'peado-protagonists' as though a protagonist meant the supporter or champion of some idea. In fact 'protagonist' is not the antonym of 'antagonist'. The root is not the Latin 'pro', but the Greek 'protos' meaning 'first'. So the protagonist is the main character, and although modern usage seems to allow a pluarality of protagonists, the meaning of 'principle characters' is maintained, whatever they are 'for'

Get the word book

Rather than dispute your views, I simply took this from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and found that I have rightfully adopted usage in relation to the second meaning which infers the supporter of a cause.

Furthermore, Wikipedia suggests that in the 20th Century protagonist is commonly used in place of proponent, in line with your comments where a better synonym might be advocate or champion.

Then my Collins Concise Dictionary ISBN 000470777X (Out of Stock) has this to say.

The use of protagonist as the definition 2 (a supporter) is regarded as unacceptable by some people on the grounds that the word derives from the Greek prõtos first, higher ranking, not from Latin pro in favour of.

While the second sense (a supporter) has undoubtedly developed as a result of confusion over the etymology it is now well established in English; careful writers and speakers may, however, prefer to avoid this use and employ an alternative word such as proponent, champion, or advocate.

In either of its uses, the word has a sense of chief and so does not need to be qualified by this or any similar adjective: a protagonist of the movement not a leading protagonist of the movement.

Language leaving purists behind

The American Heritage Dictionary says this

Nevertheless, the word has been used in the plural to mean “important actors” or “principal characters” since at least 1671 when John Dryden wrote “Tis charg'd upon me that I make debauch'd persons … my protagonists, or the chief persons of the drama.” Some writers may prefer to confine their use of protagonist to refer to a single actor or chief participant, but it is pointless to insist that the broader use is wrong.

Trying to be kind

I have every respect for purists and welcome their contribution to keeping the use of language at a standard of unimpeachable quality; however, in doing so, you failed to exercise the latitude of an erudite that should do requisite research before debunking ideas or usage.

Thanks, for your comment, the knowledge and your time.

Saturday 29 July 2006

Condi knows nothing about birth pangs

No clue about the pain of birth

When Condoleezza Rice visited the Middle-East earlier in the week, we were introduced to a supposedly new role of her being a midwife to a new Middle-East with the expression “Birth Pangs of a New Middle East”.

Birth pangs have pain, great agony and more, especially, if after so many hours of labour, the woman is exhausted in the breathing, pushing and panting. She holds her mate’s hand and crushes the bones as she probably curses that swears never to do this again.

If as the waters break, the baby is found in breach, that, could become a major complication probably requiring more that the regulatory epidural and definitely a Caesarean Section.

I am sorry to say, Condoleezza Rice just like me, a male, does not half know what a birth pang is, or else, she would to advocating an immediate stop to this labour that has already had the baby’s foot stuck somewhere in the pelvis – on the verge of killing the mother.

Not fooled with the supposed outrage

This is sufficient notice to Israel, reading between the lines and taking the cue which now has the US is expressing outrage that the strategic “no immediate ceasefire” concept is being read as an untrammelled sanction to Israel to continue bombing Lebanon.

We, we are not fooled, the non-imposition of a ceasefire in the light of the overwhelming disproportionate military force that seems to be achieving more in terms of humanitarian mystery and destruction.

In the light of this, we also learn that the tide of Arab opinion is turning towards supporting Hezbollah as neighbouring governments are beginning to sound more strident about Israeli aggression.

Dishonest and insincere

The lectures we received from Mr George W. Bush and Mr Tony Blair, left me askance in disbelief as they launched into the psychology and philosophy of Hezbollah trying to win people to their cause through playing the underdog.

These 2 men have not been entirely honest and sincere and this is an utter shame.

If UN Security Council Resolution 1559 is the standard for ensuring peace by allowing Lebanon to have total sovereignty over its lands, then the disputed Shebaa Farms has to come into the equation as to whose territory it really is between Israel, Syria and Lebanon.

History would place that territory in the hands of Lebanon according to a 1964 border agreement with Syria, requiring Israel vacate that territory in entirety; then the need for any militia in Southern Lebanon would be obviated. Hezbollah can return home or move to Golan Heights where another land dispute still awaits action on the part of Israel in favour of Syria.

Partnership with “terrorists”

There is no point continuing to talk down to Syria and Iran, if they are critical to resolving the current crises then America and Britain would have to engage them in some sort of dialogue.

This stony faced mantra of terror, terrorism and terrorists is wearing thin; they are labels of convenience without addressing the core issues at hand. Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorists in the same vein as those that terrorise Iraq – to lump them in the same basket as Al Qaeda is disingenuous.

I find that exaggeration portrayed by the America, Britain and Australia quite offensive and far from the truth, these organisations have a political and democratic mandate and a militant dimension related to a struggle for justice for their people.

This should be incompatible with being in a democracy, but in a situation when Israel represents an untamed aggressive hegemony, occupying territories which fuel dispute and threaten Israeli security, we cannot have America delivering bombs to Israel and blankets to the occupied territories and naively expect these organisations to disarm to the point of complete defenceless.

It just does not add up.

With Condoleezza Rice returning to the Middle-East again, this midwife is probably not going to deliver a healthy baby, regardless of the hopes and fears, the “new Middle-East” is on to becoming a still-born baby, taking the mother along with it.

A double tragedy nursed by America – is there a real doctor in the house, before this gets seriously out of hand?


The battles each day

Birth pangs of a new Middle-East

Friday 28 July 2006

The hills are alive with the sound of croaking

More reality than realisable

There are so many reality shows that on television nowadays, the genre has been flogged into every kind of performance short of a full-blooded pornographic performance of who has the best sex.

Sometimes, programmes like the Apprentice, a US creation - have a bit of civility to it, though it is really a dog-eat-dog situation, it takes a special kind of mind-set to attend a job interview like that.

The Dragon’s Den, a Japanese creation - is another which consists of a few self-made self-conceited money-bags posing as venture-capitalists to people who present all sorts of ideas needing capital investment – you can learn about what to do and what not to do when seeking capital for an entrepreneurship.

These are usually adjudicated by a panel of judges only.
Watch me and rile me

At the common end, where no value accrues but the feeding of base instincts of voyeurism you have Big Brother, a Dutch creation which probably stems from the fact that ground-floor apartments usually do not have curtains drawn, on the premise that only people who have things to hide draw their curtains. The less said about this, the better – however, it draws the largest audiences all around the world.

On the entertainment side we have had every kind of musical variation of talent search with Pop Idol, a UK creation - being the most prominent global franchise.

That’s entertainment

However, Strictly Come Dancing, another UK creation, takes my accolades for the best reality show entertainment. Here, a professional ballroom dancer is paired with a flat-footed celebrity of the opposite sex and we through the weeks see that team develop into magnificent dancers.

In all these, audience participation matters, this is combined with points awarded by a panel of judges. Since the audience needs to phone in to keep their favourite team in the contest, no one talks of the wads of money made for each premium phone call made.

What is your poison?

As the Queen’s birthday approached, a number of celebrity television chefs from the inebriated to the utterly intemperate had a number of contests to determine who would cook for the Queen using ingredients from their native regions.

We then had to contend to food snobs whose delusions of grandeur was to give the impression they had palates that could determine what as good enough for the Queen. Insufferable, they were, however, as long as one concentrated on the cooking experience, that part could be ignored.

Do re mi - So pray she

The new reality show about to land on our screens would make you squirm, a leading lady is required for a London West End musical revival produced by the impresario Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber.

The name of this show would be, How do you Solve a Problem Like Maria? - The Sound of Music – Need I say more?

Nigerian electioneering usurped by uber-thugs

Thugs for power

I cannot begin express the level of anxiety that can consume one in anticipation of the 2007 Elections in Nigeria.

Somehow, the trappings of gaining political power in Nigeria turns what nominally should be a fair contest of civilized people expressing preference for a candidate through the ballot box into a savagery that makes the tribes in King Solomon’s Mines appear like play school.

It is one thing to allow the campaigns that are usually marred with rhetoric that fuels violent clashes between brainwashed supporter thugs, but when the contest landscape is cleaned up through assassinations and murders, it becomes an entirely different matter.

Life is cheap

For some people, life is so cheap to be expendable if anyone has the temerity to rise in opposition to their electoral desires. Whilst they portend to have a following which gives them a kind of leadership status, they are just heads of mobs dressed in deceptively respectable apparel.

These people have not attained a level of maturity worthy of people who can lead such a diverse country like Nigeria.

Unfortunately, the problem is not only that of rich uber-thugs who seek office, they hold sway over jobless, drugged up, hired miscreants who are no better than a pack of greyhounds in a hunt – like hyenas in the bush, they cackle as they are directed to prey that they might kill or carcasses they might scavenge.

The bane of social disparities

The economic conditions in Nigeria where the gap between the utterly stinking rich and the atrociously dirt poor in a country that is the 7th largest oil producer in the world is as yawning as the gap occupied by the Atlantic Ocean.

It only takes peanuts to muster the kind of mob to do your bidding with impunity, their handlers being men in authority leaves the police as onlookers in general and at best the police as referees in managing civil discord in the pursuit of political office. Sometimes, it is about whose mob can shout the loudest and terrify the populace that they are paralysed with fear and foreboding.

Murder most horrid

It is on that frame that one can view the shooting, stabbing or strangling of a gubernatorial aspirant in Lagos State yesterday. A strangling is a murder most horrid in its proximity, violation and terror – nobody should meet such a death in any circumstances.

Only the night before, the police chiefs met with all the aspirants to ask them to curtail their supporters, who have for a while been involved in skirmishes, basically, they were advised to eschew violence – my point exactly.

Knowing the dangers that aspirants can be subject to, apart from having personal staff which included a cook and a PA, 4 heavily armed policemen were posted as sentry to the victim’s premises.

Six assailants still gained access to the premises, tied up the man and caused his death though one of the many means yet to be properly ascertained.

Doing real detective work

It is understandable that the exact time of death might be indeterminate, but I see no professionalism in the way the police are conducting the matter, a fundamental flaw that has left many high-profile murders including the one of a minister of Justice unsolved.

From the news stories, there is no indication that a detective is in charge of the homicide even though every ranking policeman in that region has paid a visit to the premises.

There is no indication that an autopsy would be conducted to scientifically determine the cause of death, nor do I think they have a robust coroner service and facility.

For now, the PA, cook and the policemen have been arrested as suspects and in Nigeria that is possible, just in case these protectors had been bribed to turn a blind eye to the events – unbelievable but very plausible.

Nigeria is just not safe

The bottom-line comes down to this, is Nigeria a safe place to live in and aspire for anything of worth? I have my doubts – that is exemplified in the fact that many of these rich uber-thugs do reside in Nigeria but send their whole families abroad to live large.

In this case, his family resides in the United States, distant from immediate dangers of living in Nigeria but continually anxious about the head of the family who stays to battle it out in the political blood fest that masquerades as the largest democracy in Africa.

Immediately, as the news broke, I was on the phone to my brother, just to be sure everything is fine with them. I thank God, they are all fine.


Nigerian clashes kill at least 9

Gubernatorial frontrunner stabbed to death

Thursday 27 July 2006

11-year old Nigerian boy abandoned in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Aloysius Abacha in Bangladesh

Linkages and Coincidences

There has been some talk about Nigerians in Diaspora and it has excited a lot of commentary about safety and security – the whole topic makes an interesting read at Ayoke’s Exodus.

However, I now read that an 11-year old Nigerian who was purportedly traveling with an aunt called Rosemary was abandoned in Dhaka, Bangladesh en-route to London where the boy’s parents are supposedly resident.

It is uncanny, that the boy’s surname is Abacha which somehow relates to another topic on Ayoke’s Exodus about a tyrannical despotic dictator who ruled and ran Nigeria into the ground before his sudden death, apparently from sexual excess.

Obviously, we should assume, the young boy is in no way related to that rotten man; and even if he is, we should not visit the sins of his forebear on him.

How did he get there?

The mystery is how he ended up in the Dhaka International Airport terminal considering they cannot find video evidence of him arriving in the company of anyone.

If he were a stowaway, he would not have survived a long-haul flight at sub-zero high altitude from wherever he might have embarked to Dhaka, though that route does leave one suspicious of where he might have boarded if he was on his way to London.

A victim of trafficking?

On further analysis, one might wonder if the boy’s name is really Aloysius Abacha, and if it is and that name cannot be found on any of the flight records, under what assumed name was he traveling?

If he was registered under a presumed name, could he have potentially been a victim of child-trafficking, because, by now, the guardian should have notified authorities searching for him.

Conversely, an area which might draw brick-bats is, do the Bangladeshis have efficient and reliable records of passengers that pass through their international airports and do their recording devices record enough information to really ascertain who has been through the airport?

The boy arrived in Dhaka on Sunday and he is now in the care of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association, for his safety and being treated more like a victim of some unfortunate situation – many thanks, to the women.

At 11 years old, I would hope that he is articulate enough to give enough information leading to tracing his relations so that he can be re-united with his loved ones.

If known, contact please

If anyone recognizes this young man, I think it would be expedient and prudent to contact the BNWLA using the following information - Telephone: 88-02-8125866, 8123060, Fax : 88-02-8125866,


Explaining a stolen lunchbox

Summer season news madness

I can only find amusement in what has become a sad tragedy of hysteria that lacks scientific proof but feeds the lynch mob in causing the death of innocent people.

Being the summer season, the newswires are usually bereft of useful intelligent news that anything can be spruced up as news. In the West, that really fetches true, however, in Nigeria, some things can be stranger than fiction.

Only yesterday, my friend in African Shirts lamented the fact that the new Superman was a bit less than a man, having a slightly reduced bulge, especially if you have been assaulted before the watershed with Linford Christie’s lunch-box doing the 100 metre dash, you would know what I mean.

There’s a coal in my pocket

I remember when I was in Nigeria, we were caught in a frenzy that required all men to put a piece of coal in their pockets to prevent the unfortunate loss of their manhood.

Somehow, rumour and some information dispersion mechanism that beggars belief spreads the view that if you rub off on a stranger, your manhood would shrivel into nothingness.

The fact is, I have never seen any real proof of anyone who has a manhood of any significance before the event, then show that his manhood has been a victim of involuntary and violable shrinkage.

However, all you have to do is grab your crouch and scream, better wail, pointing your finger at a hapless passer-by who forgot to say his prayers and that person is attacked and finished off long before someone with more than two grey cells warming up each other seeks the evidence of an alleged penile miniaturisation.

To really look at this matter, after the man has been murdered by the mob, there usually is no Aha! Moment, like dip into his pockets and produce that stolen piece of hardware.

Exposé on the lickle womble

Closer to the truth, I would surmise, the accuser has had a encounter where his endowment might have been one of the dramatis personnel of the nursery rhyme – this little piggie which went wee apart from the fact that it was a wee bit on the rather wee side.

How better to explain the lack of that aspect of male chauvinistic self-assuredness exemplified in the myth of James Brown’s sex-machine if you cannot rue the day you lost your manhood?


Mob kills lecturer over alleged theft of manhood – this site does not keep permanent links to its news items – this link might change after the 27th of July 2006.

Precision-guided resolutions that miss the target

Precision-guided and hitting the wrong target?

I hear the vehement protestations of Israel that the UN post in Southern Lebanon was not deliberately targeted.

That, indeed might be true, at least, the US Ambassador in the UN – John Bolton, exhorts us to take their word for it.

However, it begs the question how after all the communications with the Israeli army as that post came under sustained attack for hours, the attacks were not ceased to ensure the safety of the possibly rather terrified unarmed observers.

Then, we have the second unexplained issue, could a precision-guided missile have deviated from a purposed target to hit the post?

No, further questions …

The UN SC Resolution 1559

Agreed, Condi, we cannot return to status quo ante, that is fine, but let us look at the issue here.

The said United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 has the following basic premises

· Calling upon Lebanon to establish its sovereignty over all of its land

· Calling upon Syria to end their military presence in Lebanon by withdrawing its forces and to cease intervening in internal Lebanese politics.

· The resolution also called on all Lebanese militias to disband.

It would appear Lebanon may not have been able to establish complete sovereignty over its own land. We are lead to believe that Israel completely withdrew from Lebanon six years ago, however, that might not entirely be true.

There is still a disputed region occupied by Israel and it given voice to the reason why Hezbollah has still maintained a military presence in the south of Lebanon. This place is the Shebaa Farms.

The Golan Heights which is also occupied Syrian territory annexed by Israel since 1967 and is the subject of United Nations Security Council Resolution 497 which requires Israel rescind that territory since 1981.

It is interesting how UN Resolutions are imposed with such ferocity against certain nations and ignored in entirety when it pertains to Israel fulfilling its obligations.

It must be said that unusually, Resolution 497 was unanimous and Resolution 1559 was a 9 to 6, in favour against abstentions.

In the end, the list of resolutions passed pertaining to Israel in which they have been condemned in half as many passed makes interesting reading about the lack of fairness in the implementation of international resolve.

Wednesday 26 July 2006

The Red Cross marks the missile target - Updated

Surgical precision targetting

The madness portrayed as strategy by the axis of Israel and American continues adrift as the number of causalities progressively advances to unimaginable figures.

Two events especially make this whole situation dangerously precarious and unsustainable.

As I watched the news yesterday, we were shown patients bandaged up in hospital, having been wounded by some attack whilst they went about their duties.

These patients were ambulance men who at the time of attack were moving other wounded persons to hospital.

Many Israeli propagandists with a spokesperson tag for the army or some other function of government have stressed to distraction that they have been making their strikes as surgical as possible.

It makes one wonder how the crosses on two ambulances ended up becoming the bulls-eye for Israeli missiles. Two separate vehicles, with the internationally recognised Red Cross targeted and destroyed - with precision.

Courtesy of

UN endangered in every place

Then, the UN Secretary General in the person of Kofi Annan lamented the killing of 4 UN observers, who can blame him? Hardly 3 years ago, he lost one of the best diplomatic brains in Iraq in the person of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, as the UN looked for ways to help the Iraqi War move towards probable solutions of democracy and peace.

If the belligerent parties cannot provide adequate protection for UN officials or observers, then they should not resort to the UN to help legitimise their activities.

In the advent of these killings, I would surmise Israel has already lost the battle for the hearts of many in the international community and it is unlike that they would do any better with the battle of the minds.

People of all nations including Nigerians killed

Once again the bomb was a direct hit on the shelter of the observers - surgical - which was clearly marked, in all 12 UN employees have been killed or injured, with a closer to home tragedy of a Nigerian civilian employee of UNIFIL being killed in Tyre along with his wife.

Obviously, Mr Annan is close to being vilified for jumping to conclusions at obvious and blatant unwarranted attacks on places and vehicles that should in any civilised endeavour be protected from the ravages of war.

They can investigate all they can, but the lives have already been lost and the trigger-happy sharp shooters in F16 planes are probably planning another precision and surgical strike on another clearly marked out structure - churches, mosques and hospitals better beware.

The stupor of delusion

Beyond this point one really has to try and phantom the logic of continuing these exchanges and onslaughts be Israel and the militants labelled as terrorists. Like Robert Fisk suggests, it is a complete delusion to expect that the stated goal of weakening Hezbollah and humiliating Iran whilst taming Syria is achievable by any means and definitely not by parading the best weaponry on the market.

To quote the man more clearly - "The problem, surely, is that the United States sees this bloodbath as an 'opportunity' rather than a tragedy".

The world cannot abide a situation like this any longer.


Robert Fisk: Israeli missiles had clearly pierced the very centre of the red cross on the roof of each ambulance

Annan accuses Israel over attack on UN post

Israeli bomb kills UN observers

It cannot become obsolete - that was 1964

It was entertaining yesterday evening as a good friend of mine who works in a record shop had on his first day of the holiday, and had gone on retail therapy, clearing the stores of every classic collection of Streisand, Eurhythmics, Julie Andrews, and James Bond scores.

All had been digitally remastered – whatever that means – I suppose for those musicians dead and buried, they were exhumed to enhance their works of old.

Anyways, out of the many CDs and DVDs he got, there was one LP record – yes, they could be bought from funny shops - from the Original Broadway cast of Funny Girl featuring Barbra Streisand and Sydney Chaplin in 1964.

As I read the album sleeve, I could not help but notice the piece of text at the bottom of the obverse side.

Funny Girl Original Broadway Cast vinyl album 1964

"This monophonic microgroove recording is playable on monophonic and stereo phonographs. It cannot become obsolete. It will continue to be a source of outstanding sound reproduction, providing the finest monophonic performance from any phonograph."

One must note that this LP is a High Fidelity recording.

Forget the obsolete bit - Pray! What is a phonograph?

Tuesday 25 July 2006

Evidence of good medical research

Sorting the post from the most

One postal worker would probably be flooded with more mail than she can handle today she is 28 this day.

As if to underscore the importance of this day, by coincidence after the veto of stemmed understanding of the values of research across the pond,last week. Europe, only yesterday, voted to continue funding embryonic stem cell research.

It is no wonder that major medical breakthroughs like the test-tube baby; heart transplant surgery and cloning were developed outside the United States.

We can expect other medical advancements to occur at a faster pace around the world as the prude and the Puritan wrestle with the politicisation of matters of important medical import.

The said postal worker is Louise Brown, the first person conceived through in-vitro fertilisation.

Happy Birthday, Louise and here is to medical advancements in Europe and all around the world where the pursuit of the well being of mankind transcends feeble religious bunkum.

Pay up or get bombed up

More to the evacuation deal

When I wrote Peace Eludes Our Time with Appeasement exactly a week ago, I received feedback about my oversimplification of rather complex issues.

I can only apologise for getting carried away with the tide of questioning the rationale of events that lead to the evacuation of citizens of Western democracies from Lebanon.

My concern was that this evacuation was looking like a carte blanche raze-and-destroy license to Israel; as the departure of foreign citizens might excite military adventures that would make the then attacks with impunity child's play making current events too unbearable for countenance.

Sue the pants off this lot

Well, a federal suit has now been filed in the United Stated by an Arab-American civil rights group naming Condolezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld as part of the administration that has not worked to secure the safety ofUS citizens in Lebanon.

The beef is more about a less than efficient and effective evacuation, leaving people in great harms way, and it goes on to request that an injunction be placed on the delivery of US weaponry to Israel until US citizens have all been evacuated.

I suppose these points are quite valid.

Pay up or get bombed

The grating part of this whole debacle was the speed of evacuation was held up because the original policy was to demand that American citizens promise to pay up for their evacuation.

That, I would say is the face of the American Enterprise; they acquiesce to Israel's foray into Lebanon, offer to evacuate American citizens who would pay up, whilst they ready a delivery of weapons to Israel which might end up blowing up their poorer citizens, all to get rid Hezbollah.

Sickening beyond vomit

This terrorism elimination prime objective is really looking like an untreated case of rampaging, stark-raving rabid madness. Talk less of foaming from all orifices.

It really makes me sick to my core.

You might call these people ungrateful, my heart goes out to people who cannot expect a better duty of care in times like these from their great country.

Condolezza condoles with aid

Another American security quagmire

Having paid generous if not effusive and concerned lip service to the protection and support for the fragile and fledgling Lebanese democracy, which was still trying to garner the benefits of Syrian withdrawal and a new coalition government; America put its money far from where its mouth is yesterday.

There are only two other places where American dignitaries use Star Trek teleportation to make unannounced appearances to media excitement. Baghdad and Kabul, we can now add to that Beirut.

Having, in all those places allowed security to deteriorate to the state that a pre-notification might endanger the chief of the entourage and their retinue, surprise is the only strategy they have in pretending to becalm the storm they have nurtured.

Take more pain and have some pills

So, as Condolezza Rice make a surprise call on Beirut and the Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, all she could offer was deep concern, no ceasefire, more pain for now and the balm of American aid.

Many might think that was a deft diplomatic hand, hardly, it was a complete sell-out of an almost defenceless people against an onslaught carrying out a scheme that America hopes would weaken Hezbollah and humiliate both Syria and Iran.

The wrecking of Lebanon would bring respite to no one, especially Israel where losses are beginning to mount in what is becoming a war where the victory would at best be Pyrrhic.

More to the terrorist and their aims

The cost to each side can now only be recouped through some negotiated settlement and this would be a test of Dr Rice's ability to really cool the tensions in the Middle-East.

The inordinate quest to get rid of the "terrorism" without resolving the underlying Israeli-Palestinian problem is a fallacy and the sooner that is realised, the earlier we can stem the flow of blood and begin to work on bandaging the wounds.

As for Lebanon, they might have a friend in America, but they are in need of better friends - the lesson here is, indeed America is no friend in the time of need, when Israel features in the matter.

We can all agree that the Lebanese have not been impressed.

Monday 24 July 2006

Verdonk back with new controversy

She is controversy personified and breathing

Sometimes I wonder if this woman courts controversy or exemplifies the evil personification of controversy itself.

Despite the overworked proposals that pertain to almost hapless immigrants who decide to emigrate to this land of a hard and difficult tongue, Mrs Verdonk having kept a lower than low profile with regards to how she wrecked the last cabinet and government is back in the news again.

Double Dutch and triple hurdles

Already, there are hurdles as high as the Israeli wall, which include having to learn to fluency the Dutch at the port of embarkation to the Netherlands.

Anyway, there is no doubt that there should be a way of processing illegal immigrants and deporting them back to ports and locations of embarkation where we are assured that their life, security and well-being would not be compromised.

It cannot be said the Mrs Verdonk as been scrupulous in these matters though, having offered names of asylum seekers to home governments that could waylay the arrival the "traitors" and lead them to situations that would be considered untenable according to our standards.

Besides, being called to the Second Chamber to explain her actions several times which either prejudiced people or make a public spectacle of the Dutch in the most unflattering ways, she remains interesting popular, but also am impediment to good integration policies.

Announcing a new controversial policy

So, her low profile purdah has ended with the news that she intends to make it difficult for once illegal immigrants to return to the Netherlands even if this time they have obtained through proper process the leave to return and settle in the Netherlands.

One wonders what this is supposed to achieve if the once illegal immigrant now legalises their presence in the Netherlands, which should be the right thing to do.

As usual, we are informed that this is not related to any case but some recommendations given in some pre-existing report.

Once illegal now legal to study law

Exactly, as I now note that Taida Pasic, the Kosovan and the unfortunate political pawn immigrant who was thrown out a few months ago within weeks of her examinations, will return in September to study law in the University of Leiden being sponsored fully by an organisation that advocates the emancipation of women.

Somehow, this minister just has a way of presenting policy to make anyone and everyone suspicious of the intentions, motives and goals as one despairs for the sad and sick Machiavellian glee that satisfies the people who craft such dastardly ideas as policy.


Verdonk plans to block former illegals

Verdonk survives censure as she admits more mistakes

Verdonk in the wars again over Syrian deportees

Data authority questions Verdonk's handling of Taida

Student Taida gets permission to return

Blogging for my own pleasure

I am the harbour master

I have a seventh floor apartment overlooking two old harbours with amazing views at sunrise, idyllic views at full moon and have once seen two rainbows side-by-side over the water.

People can visit and be wowed by the views, it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I employed real estate agent who took instructions and did her job with excellence and dispatch.

My castle, my rules

I control access to my apartment with a door which I can fling open to invited guests and a few times to strangers, that is my prerogative.

In my apartment, anyone who comes in with soiled shoes can be asked to leave, if I so desire, I can also insist that they take their shoes off expecting no truculence at that request.

I would in many ways offer to entertain, communicate, play games and socialise, such that my guests feel at home, at ease, at peace and in comfort – that is my pleasure.

Worst than armed robbers

If an argument ensues between my guests, I expect that they reckon that they are in my space and courtesy demands that they handle it with maturity that does not mire the atmosphere of friendship and comfort that others enjoy.

One would consider it utterly disrespectful if in they fail to realise that fact and refuse to respond to my entreaties – I can offer to politely walk them out of my apartment and return to apologise to other guests ensuing that that exchange does not become the highlight of their visit.

Basically, one should not be strong-armed in ones apartment, those who do are no better than armed robbers, if not worse if they are known to you.

My dirt don’t take dirt

There might be dust on my television and my windows might appear dirty, I have allowed that to happen for many reasons – I am lazy; I cannot be bothered; I have good intentions but have no time; my cleaner has not realised it should be done and probably more.

If that condition is observed, you are welcome to pick up a duster or cleaning rag to clean it up, I would be most grateful and appreciative – I would brook no criticism about the condition of my house – I might take some ribbing in jest, that might be good humour, but I would not be talked down to, regarding those matters.

When, I entertain guests, they are free in my house and if they are staying, they are welcome to my home – like they say, an Englishman’s home is his castle.

My blog – my Internet castle

So, are my blog and the blogs that anyone cares to visit – the way in which people use the commenting license to behave as uncultured, uncouth and misbehaving guests is becoming a matter of concern with blogs of friends.

Each person’s blog is their fiefdom, their open access to un-moderated commentary should not be used to behave like drunken, ill-mannered miscreants – knowledgeable and intelligent people comment and dispute on the ideas without abusing the personality.

I once commented somewhere that if the contributor cannot praise, they should attempt to damn with praise, else say nothing.

Use your own toilet

In the end, if the blog is not yours, it is the best of good manners to portray yourself with maturity, dignity and honour – virtues I hope exist in copious amounts in all mankind – if less, well, we should not begin to touch the manner of your breeding or upbringing – that would be getting too truthfully personal.

Saturday 22 July 2006

The land of the matter - The Middle-East Cauldron

Good Intentions

(All images courtesy of Wikipedia)

In November 2002, Jack Straw, the then UK Foreign Secretary lamented what the British Empire had bequeathed places it had vacated as the peoples of those lands sought self-determination.

Chief amongst those was that relating to the establishment of the Nation of Israel.

In 1917, in response to desires of the Zionist movement, the Foreign Secretary of that time Arthur James Balfour wrote to the British representative of the movement Lord Rothschild in the following words.

Foreign Office

November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely, Arthur James Balfour

This formed the basis of what is now known as the Balfour Declaration of 1917, where Britain expressed an interest in the creation of a state of Israel in the land of Palestine, but without prejudicing the rights of the pre-existing non-Jewish communities in that region.

As it transpires, Jack Straw indicates that the assurances given to the Palestinians were not met in an honourable way.

Over time there began conflicts between the Arabs and the Jews, part of which was assuaged by restricting the number of Jewish migrations and barring their acquisition of land.

The British Mandate for Palestine

On the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, Palestinian region which was part of the empire came under the administration of the British Empire as a mandate granted by the League of Nations.

Up till 1947, there were conflicts between the Arabs and the Jews at which point Britain was keen to withdraw from the mandate. UN Resolution 818 ended up with this patchwork plan for Israel and Palestine called the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine with the Jews having 55% of the land and the Palestinian Arabs having 45% even though they the Arabs were in the majority.

The UN voted 33 for, 13 against and 10 abstained including the United Kingdom; however, at this point the Balfour Declaration of 1917 had been unravelled, the fact is, there is no way of not prejudicing the existing communities’ rights in old Palestine – and if the Palestinian Arabs were to suffered a deprecation of rights, it should not have been with their majority in numbers ending up with the minority of the land.

Riots, wars, crises, uprisings ensued, which are fully tabulated in the link provided – Arab-Israeli Conflicts.

Herein lays the general framework of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The conflict of Biblical promise with current realities.

A look at the map of Israel in the biblical times and shows that Gaza which once happened to be the land of Philistines might be the only place the Israeli would be willing to cede of all current Israeli land if the extreme Zionists have their way.

It also shows that the settlers who were unsettled last year did not have any ancient claim to that land for the settlement of the children of Israel. Other maps show changes to that landscape in the 20th Century.

Israel Today

Friday 21 July 2006

Attaching the burden of history to the Middle-East

The Middle-East conflicts

I have been fielding comments on some of my write-ups about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the current events in Gaza and Lebanon.

I am concerned that most commentary fails to gather the sense of history in this conflict that dates back at least 58 years at the creation of the state of Israel, but has it roots in quite a number of earlier events in Europe from the first Aliyah (migration) around 1881 after extensive persecution of Jews around Europe.

Israel and the Jews have a longer history than the events of the last 130 years with biblical and historical commentary about their living in the Promised Land but never exclusively.

The conflict could even date back to the times of Abraham between mother-child Ishmael and mother-child Isaac – that is a completely different story for now.

I have written a series of blogs on the Israeli-Palestinian issue - it would be difficult to read the context of my views from that one blog or my most recent blogs.

The quest to annihilate Israel is as a result of a long-running scenario where Israel was carved out of the then Palestine without due consideration the displaced people.

New organizations for old problems

Hamas (1987), Hezbollah (1982) and Islamic Jihad (Used by different organisations since the 1980s) are relatively new organisations, which have developed as a result of no movement or inadequate leadership required to resolve that issue of the displaced people and the occupied areas.

Up till when Pope John Paul II visited those lands, I did not know that the largest refugee camp of internally displaced people was really in Palestine.

People have been living in camps in their own land since 1948, it is no wonder that Israel can never be at peace till some justice and movement is seen on the part of Israel.

That agenda unfortunately is mostly hijacked by religious interests that are usually not indigenous and political interests that are neither pragmatic nor diplomatic.

It is important that reviewers and commentators get a general overview of the whole historical context on this matter, fork-lifting current events out of that context provides a poor balance of perspective.

I am not claiming to be an historical expert on the conflicts, but my views, I hope, do attempt to review the whole picture for a perspective on today.

Regardless of the strong religious persuasions on the bless-Israel/curse-Israel divide, having a good critique of that situation from all perspectives is essential and it should not preclude seeking a fair and just resolution even if it does not favour the Jews.


The Nation of Israel

Israel related blogs

Palestine related blogs

Thursday 20 July 2006

Losing every flicker of interest in Flickr

Having been snapping away over the last few weekends, I had come to that point where those captured digital moments could be uploaded for viewing.

To safe-guard my original and future activities, I decided it was time to upgrade to the Pro version of Flickr with all its benefits and so on.

Most importantly, it allows me to lodge complaints if I have any and expect prompt, efficient and good service.

I had already gone off Picasa at Google because of the requirement of a Gmail account and the fact that without an introduction the mobile authentication option does not cover Europe.

So here I am with Flickr and I find I have to write the mail below:-

The email

I am interested in upgrading to the 2-year deal but have been met with unfriendly and unreasonable interfaces that are frustrating my request.

I first tried to pay with my Amex card and the moment I chose the Netherlands where I live everything switched to Dutch and I lost the Amex option.

OK! I can read Dutch, so I switch to my Mastercard and on entering my information it tries to force me to use the PayPal service to pay up because it matched my email and credit card details to a PayPal service I rarely use.

Yes, I want to pay to use Flickr, No, I do not want to use Paypal if I choice between that and my credit card.

Is there anyway of removing this extra and extraneous web intelligence such that I can make the choices about the language I want, the way I want to pay without being second-guessed by technology?

Thanks for your help.


I would be lucky if there is any better way to get this done - God forbid that I have to grovel for a Gmail account to get on Picasa - It is a hard life on the web - I sigh!

Attempting to stem the tide of science with one veto

Moral politics stems science

Indeed, there should be ethical concerns related to use of embryos for stem cell research. These issues get assessed time and time again to ensure that the ethics of scientific research does affect moral sensibilities to the extent that it is completely unacceptable to society.

However, some scientific research regardless of the ends they might ultimately achieve can exert the reserves of moral inclinations or religious convictions and sometimes the plain assessment of conscience - but all that has to be weighed in context.

When it comes to the process of procreation as the President of the United States did say we all begin life as a small collection of cells, it is debatable whose moral compass defines the moral boundary that be being crossed.[1]

The value in early life formation

One might definitely see the issue of life beginning at conception rather than the first sign of noticing a pregnancy or at birthday, even though the birth date maintain serious significance to any existence on earth.

This for me is a difficult subject considering I was born at 26 and half weeks just coming to the end of the second trimester of gestation. Even forty years on from then, the viability of babies born at less than 24 weeks [2] is questionable as issues of life first and then that of the quality of life afterwards.

Only recently, scientists discovered that foetuses can feel pain at a lot earlier than the commonly accepted 29 weeks, five weeks earlier in fact.

In five days, Louise Brown would be 28, she was the first test tube baby conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) when human eggs are fertilised outside the body and then transferred to the human's uterus to complete the gestation period.

In January 2007, with all good fortune, we would bear a child having conceived naturally.

IVF - 1977/Stem cell research - 2006

Back in 1977/1978, this issue of test tube babies would have been at the same place we are now with stem cell research - harvesting eggs for unnatural insemination and fertilisation would have had many condemning the heresy, if not the effrontery of man playing God.

The purpose was to bring childbearing to women and families that had heretofore been infertile or to us the more archaic word barren. IVF however, odes not work for every, but it took the work of two doctors Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards to bring this "miracle" of science to pass.

With it came hope for many and obviously, the need for regulation to prevent the abuse of that process. In the UK that is regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) this allows for the weighing of the scientific value and ethical boundaries of work carried out in this field without the politicisation or emotive religiosity that could becloud due process.

The science of pressing the boundaries of knowledge

Once can only be thankful that work gets carried out in these fields because the attention to these issues would be part of why consideration was given to my viability at birth and many others like me.

In the same vein, stem cell is still at the point of research and abortion, which is the forceful ejection of a living foetus from the womb within the first trimester, is already enshrined in law.

I do not believe that scientists and researchers would engage in some embryo manufacture for research and mutilation was we have viewed with animal testing, rather, there is a view that some seriously beneficial purpose could be gained from dealing with hereditary illnesses and diseases.

We all already see a minor application of these ideas in blood type matching before transfusion and gene type matching before transplantation of organs amongst other areas of developing medical science.

Powerless against scientific advancement

There is no doubt that the photo-call with housewives and their toddlers at the announcement of Mr George W. Bush's first veto is significant, but thankfully, what the President has done is just to prevent the use of federal money in stem cell research - he is powerless against the advancement of science in that field globally. I am utterly grateful for that.


[1] - Bush vetoes embryonic stem-cell bill

Bush uses veto on stem cell bill

Emotive power of US stem cell debate

Premature babies' disability risk