No Revolution in Syria: An Interview with Camille Otrakji by Elias Muhanna

3 May 2011 — MRZine

Camille Otrakji is a Syrian political blogger based in Montreal.  Although he tends to keep a low profile, Otrakji has been, for the past several years, at the forefront of many of the most interesting and influential online initiatives relating to Syrian politics.  He is one of the authors and moderators at Joshua Landis’s Syria Comment, and the founder of Creative Syria, a constellation of websites including Mideast Image (a vast collection of original old photographs of Middle Eastern subjects) and Syrian Think Tank (an online debate site hosting many of Syria’s top analysts).  Last year, Otrakji courted controversy with a new initiative devoted to the subject of Syrian-Israeli peace, entitled  He agreed to speak with me about the latest events in Syria, and I’m sure that his views will generate plenty of discussion.

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Battle for Algiers

5 May 2011

Time to remind folks about France’s role in North Africa. Trailer for Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece, Battle of Algiers (who also made the brilliant anti-colonial movie Burn (Quimada in the original) that starred Marlon Brando as a British Naval intelligence officer sent to put down a slave revolt (a role he considered his finest). Unfortunately only a mangled and heavily cut version is available of Burn.

Media Lens: Fallujah, Iraq 2004 – Misrata, Libya 2011

5 May 2011 — Media Lens

Operation Phantom Fury

In November 2004, the UN‘s Integrated Regional Information Network reported the impact of Operation Phantom Fury, a combined USUK offensive, on Iraq’s third city, Fallujah:

‘Approximately 70 per cent of the houses and shops were destroyed in the city and those still standing are riddled with bullets.’ (‘Fallujah still needs more supplies despite aid arrival,’, November 30, 2004)

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Killing Gaddafi’s Grandbabies By Glen Ford

4 May 2011 — Black Agenda Report – News, commentary and analysis from the black left

obama-war-libya.jpgWhen the U.S. and Europeans needed a way to get on the ‘right’ side of the Arab Awakening – and thereby crush it – they chose to re-demonize Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi as the evil from which the Euro-Americans would rescue North Africa. ‘Gaddafi was perfect, having long existed in cartoon form for western consumption.’ Killing Gaddafi’s son and three grandchildren was no crime, since ‘in American eyes they are no more than satanic versions of Daffy Duck’s cartoon nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.’

Killing Gaddafi’s Grandbabies by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

‘These modern Crusaders require ritual bloodletting before expropriating the lands and goods of their victims.’

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Black Agenda Report 4 May 2011: Obama Killing Spree / Brazil in Haiti / Obama Needs Birthers

4 May 2011 — BAR – News, commentary and analysis from the black left

Osama, Obama and Bush: Apt Comparisons, Missed Opportunities

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
bush-to-obama.jpgIllustration by Leon Kuhn. More of his work at
This weekend the White House announced the extrajudicial killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the secret disposal of his body at sea. Are we any safer now? And would it be any different if George W. Bush were making the same announcement four years ago?

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European Social Movements Research Network‏

5 May 2011

An Invitation to Join the European Social Movements Research Network

This is to invite you to join a newly-formed European Social Movements Research Network organized under the auspices of the Council for European Studies at Columbia University. Potential participants are broadly defined as anyone researching social movements in European countries, east or west, including of course transnational, comparative and historical work. Please note that the network is open to researchers from anywhere in the world who study social movements in Europe, from a range of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. The network is multilingual as far as scholarly work goes although we expect that administrative / coordinating discussions will be through English.

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Bahrain mostly mainstream newslinks 5 May 2011: Bahrain renews emergency law as repression persists

5 May 2011 —

BAHRAIN: Medical staff face prosecution, alleged torture after aiding anti …
Los Angeles Times
Nearly 50 doctors, nurses and other medical staff have been detained in
Bahrain in connection with treating anti-government protesters,
human-rights officials said Wednesday. Those detained included 24 doctors
and 23 nurses and paramedics, according to …

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VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 4 May, 2011: An independent homeland or bantustan in disguise?

4 May, 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Soldiers Attack Nabi Saleh Procession Celebrating Unity
IMEMC – Thursday May 05, 2011 – 03:44, Israeli soldiers attacked on Wednesday a nonviolent procession in Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Nablus, as dozens of residents marched in the streets celebrating the signing of the Palestinian unity agreement.

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Information Clearing House Newsletter 4 May, 2011: US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005 – The story behind the story

4 May 2011 — Information Clearing House

Cross and Double Cross With Gitmo Files
US Knew Where Osama Was Since 2005

By Israel Shamir
Now we’ll give you the story behind the story: who crossed and double crossed whom, which information was redacted and how did it lead to OBL?

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Obit: Osama bin Laden (1957–2011) By Eric Walberg

5 May 2011 — Eric Walberg

Osama bin Laden was born 10 March 1957 in Riyad to Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a Yemeni-born Saudi construction billionaire with close ties to the Saudi royal family, and was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan 2 May 2011 in a CIA-directed targeted assassination. He was the 17th of 52 children, the only son of Mohammed bin Laden’s tenth wife, the Syrian beauty Alia Ghanem, who Mohammed divorced soon after Osama’s birth. She remarried and Osama grew up with his mother, stepfather and their four children. He studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University and wrote poetry, inherited an estimated $300m in 1967, and had four wives and 24 children.

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Haiti: Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse By Bev Bell

4 May 2011 —

We may soon look back on this period in Haiti with greater appreciation. Amidst the world-historic levels of death and suffering from last January’s earthquake, citizens have at least been spared the scale of government violence that has marked much of their nation’s past (not-with-standing attacks against internally displaced persons during forced evictions, and occasionally against street protesters.)

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Will Martelly Really “Change the System” ?

5 May 2011 —

Upon returning from his three day trip to the U.S. last week, President-elect Joseph Michel Martelly summarized the different meetings he had during a press conference last Tuesday, Apr. 26.

In his presentation, Martelly contradicted statements he had made only shortly ago, such as about the Haitian Army’s restoration. “On the matter of the country’s security, when journalists asked us, we said that we were going to establish a force which will be called the Nation of Haiti’s Territorial Defense Force,” Martelly said. “It could cost between $10 to $15 million as opposed to the MINUSTAH [U.N. Mission to Stabilize Haiti] which costs $864 million. We all know that MINUSTAH was supposed to be something provisional, isn’t it?”

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Martelly – Haiti's second great disaster By Greg Grandin

5 May 2011 — HLLN

Martelly: Haiti’s second great disaster by Greg Grandin | | Al Jazeera

Haiti’s new president is a friend of coup-plotters, fascists, and armed right-wing groups in his country and abroad.

No sooner had Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly been confirmed the winner in Haiti’s deeply flawed presidential election than he jumped on a plane and headed to Washington, where he met with his country’s real power brokers: officials from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the US Chamber of Commerce and the State Department.

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U.N. admits it imported Cholera disease to Haiti | UN-imported cholera to Haiti could affect 800000 people people by year end

5 May 2011 — HLLN

Recommended HLLN Link:
Haiti’s case against the UN for importing cholera epidemic, by Ezili Dantò of HLLN, Oct 28, 2010
(Written less than one month after the outbreak by Ezili Dantò of HLLN:)
Is Haiti’s deadly cholera outbreak an imported disease?

The virus had been eradicated in Haiti, the Health Ministry said.

– UN-imported cholera to Haiti could affect 800000 people (Rwanda Genocide figures) people by year end : study

– Health experts say UN troops could have caused Haiti cholera outbreak, call for investigation

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