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17 Dec 2012
Al-Akhbar today published an important interview with Syrian VP Farouk Al-Sharaa. We tried to obtain the transcript but weren't able to, so we tried to reconstruct it from Al-Akhbar's version:
AA: What is your opinion about what’s happening now in Syria?
FAS: In the beginning let me say they I trust the wisdom of Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei and I admire the resilience of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. They could have played an important role in reaching an early political solution to the Syrian crisis. Obviously, what we need is a 100% Syrian solution to this crisis.
AA: What is your vision for a solution?
FAS: Did I mention that I trust the wisdom of Iran’s spiritual leader? And Hassan Nasrallah? Because they are instrumental to any Syrian-Syrian solution to the crisis.
|How Klaus Kinski might look in the role of Julian Assange|
I woke up with a stiff neck this morning. It comes from my habit of sleeping with my arms stretched perpendicular to me body and my neck head tilted to the side. Like Jesus. In his own way, Jesus was a kind of Julian Assange. He took information that was guarded in secret by the rabbis and opened it up to everyone.
14 Dec 2012
10 Dec 2012
The proliferation of radical Islamist groups fighting in Syria is beginning to resemble the Jihadi Olympics in the words of one observer. (Me). They span the entire political spectrum, from extreme militant Salafist to Nihilist Al-Qaeda franchise. But to the untrained eye it’s difficult to tell them apart or know what each stands for. So we prepared this brief but handy guide to help you differentiate between The Lions of Damascus Brigades and The Damascus Lions Brigade. As a general rule, the more hard consonants there are in a group’s name, the more hardcore they are. Groups with 3 vowels or more are often dismissed as ‘liberals’.
8 Dec 2012
This Guardian editorial on the crisis in Egypt was written on 7 December 2012. Below is the same editorial re-imagined as if it were written in January 2011, with minor changes like replacing Morsi with Mubarak. Makes for interesting reading.
As the crisis in Egypt develops, it is becoming increasingly clear what it is not about. It is not about the elections, or the economic crisis, or Egypt’s relationship with Israel. Nor is it about the arrangements for a successor to the president. Nor even is it about the temporary but absolute powers that the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, assumed for himself – for a mere thirty years, and which will lapse the moment the Egyptian people stop making a fuss.
5 Dec 2012
President Morsi of Egypt is having an eventful period recently, which we are commemorating with this adaptation of The Twelve Days of Christmas:
And one hell of a decree!
On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
One hell of a decree...
On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve Salafists screaming,
Eleven newspapers a-striking,
Ten feloul a-weeping,
Nine protesters a-chanting,
Eight opposition leaders a-spying,
Seven judges a-declining,
Six IMF geese a-loaning,
Five palace-fleeing wings,
Four foolish words, (Planet of the Apes)
Three State Department friends,
Two Israeli doves,