Archive for June, 2010

Government-run tour

June 24, 2010

Hello everyone…my apologies for not posting in a while. I have been quite busy…and as you can see, my time away from the blog has been well worth it. On Tuesday evening I returned from a trip to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico — the flash point in Mexico’s drug war. I have been following the situation in this city even when I was in South Asia.

The Federal Police allowed me to embed in one of their convoys and make this video. I know the sound of the wind and the traffic sort of gets in the way, but I feel its important for people — particularly Americans — to see how hard the police in Mexico are working. Remember, this is one of the most violent cities in the world.

I’m in the process of putting together a story together for the newspaper about this and it should be published next week.


Foot-in-mouth disease

June 5, 2010

Lately I have been thinking about the growing number of international thugs, organizers of genocide, terrorists, and autocrats who have taken hypocrisy to an almost unimaginable level. Well, its getting worse. Over on Michael J. Totten’s blog, I told some of my fellow commentators that Sri Lanka — the emerging dictatorship that literally blasted its way through refugee camps to kill its enemies — would probably join the anti-Israel chorus. Well, here it is…

A propaganda poster for Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, seen shortly after the military crushed the Tamil rebellion in the north (photo/Corey Hunt).

Colombo, 03 June, (

The Sri Lankan government today (June 2) condemned Israel’s attack on an aid flotilla which was carrying supplies for Palestinian people on Monday.

On Monday’s predawn operation carried out by the Israeli defence forces at least ten civilians who were in the boats which were carrying, food, medicine and essential items were killed.

The attack had taken place off the coast of Gaza in international waters in a bid to thwart a blockade in Gaza.

Sri Lanka today joined hands with several other counties that brought international condemnation to Israel’s barbaric act.

The reports of attacks during the Israeli military operation on boats carrying supplies for Palestinian people in international waters off the coast of Gaza have caused grave distress to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka, states the Ministry of External Affairs.

“Sri Lanka deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from this operation. Indiscriminate use of force to prevent the carriage of supplies for people under occupation is condemned,” it stated.

“The attack has caused grave distress to the government and the people of Sri Lanka,” the statement said.

Sri Lanka needs to appoint a minister in the department of hypocrisy and propaganda affairs — its surprising they have time to condemn Israel since they have been so busy defending the “heroic” actions of their soldiers during last years’ final conflict with the Tamil Tigers. You know, like when Sri Lankan commandos lobbed mortars into a makeshift hospital and incinerated almost 50 already-injured people. Or maybe the biggest accomplishment of the Sri Lankan State is that fact that the final operations of its civil war killed about 10 times as many civilians as the Israeli attack on Gaza last year. Yes, commanders from the Israeli Defense Forces should be sent to Sri Lanka to learn about how officers and their soldiers should properly conduct themselves when fighting a guerrilla force.

Then again, maybe the Government of Sri Lanka and its power-usurping president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, should just shut their mouths and lead by example — perhaps they could begin treating their Tamil citizens like humans and apologize for killing wounded civilians at hospitals. After that, they should accept an international probe into atrocities committed by its military — like the one that is being demanded for Israel. As the embers left behind from Sri Lanka’s civil war continue to smolder in the scorched-earth northern parts of the country, international hypocrisy is exploding at the seams.

Hypocrisy is the new world order

June 1, 2010

As the aftermath of the Israeli raid on the “Free Gaza” flotilla continues, a false comparison is already being drawn up by politicians, activists, and most of the others jumping on the anti-Israel pile-on. That would be the assertion, stated here by Glenn Greenwald, among others, that the United States and the international community would be irate and protests would break out across the world if it was Iran that had attacked an aid ship instead of Israel.

Exactly what on earth is that supposed to mean? There have been protests and a world response…in fact, the world is so busy focusing on Israel that its seemingly no big deal that an unapologetic, genocidal country like Turkey — that is involved in a brutal repression of its Kurdish population — is leading the “international condemnation”. And yes, President Barack Obama has “remained silent” on the situation, but he also remained silent when the Iranian government unleashed a ragtag band of army rejects (the “Basiji”) with guns, knives, and clubs on unarmed students last year.  Ironically, many of the so-called “peace activists” — as well as their right-wing allies like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan, praised his approach to “non-intervention” at the time. Am I going too far by suggesting that these people aren’t really interested in “peace” and instead have their own agenda that involves hatred of Israel and sympathy the “Islamic Republic”?

Let’s go back to the Iran-Israel comparison. About a month ago, the UN elected Khamenei’s Iran –yes, a society that stones women and forces them to cover their heads — to the “Women’s rights commission”, effectively slapping not only the Iranian people in the face, but also anyone who has ever cared about Iranian democracy. This was the UN’s response to images of Basij smashing iron rods and truncheons down on the heads of young Iranians, including many women (I’m starting to wonder if the “elite” Basij and Revolutionary Guards trained the “peace activists” on board the Gaza flotilla in the art of clubbing and other stupid acts of violence). Therefore, if Iran attacked a civilian vessel in the Persian Gulf, they would probably be elected to an anti-piracy commission or something like that. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a second expecting a UN Security Council summit.

I’m not saying the Israelis did not botch this raid…but the way I see it, this “international outcry” crumbled and went up in flames before it even got off the ground. There is no way for this to be taken seriously when despotic, third-world regimes and genocidal nationalists are leading the charge. Reason has been drowned by hypocrisy in this sad world…because only without the former could countries like Turkey and Pakistan — two “occupation” states responsible for carnage far, FAR worse than anything Israel has ever done — criticize Israel, let alone lead global criticism and preach to the world about human rights. Turkey tried to conquer the entire Middle East before World War I (yes, including Palestine) and Pakistan is a fundamentalist state carved out of India — in other words, an “occupation”. Its culture of intolerance was brought out in full display just days ago when armed men in suicide vests shot up two mosques in Lahore and ruthlessly culled 100 people who did not follow the “correct” interpretation of Islam (yesterday, several of the attackers who escaped during the assault attempted to storm a hospital and finish off some of the wounded). Has anyone seen any global protests against this? Because I haven’t…

Now these two countries and others are going before the United Nations. Between Iran’s ascent to the “Women’s rights council” and the world body’s obsession with hating Israel, the UN’s current actions are rivaled only by its “oil for food”  debacle in Iraq and the shameful acts of its “peacekeepers” during the Rwandan Genocide.