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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing
Kristen Gillespie


One of the most powerful men in the Palestinian Authority, Mohammed Dahlan, is under investigation on murder and corruption charges. Palestinian security forces raided Dahlan's home near Ramallah on Thursday, seizing 16 weapons and 12 vehicles, and detaining 12 "illegal" armed men, Al Jazeera reported. A government spokesman said that having armed personal bodyguards violates a law stating that a citizen cannot do so "without the consent of the security services."

Dahlan, who in 2003 then-President George W. Bush called a "good, solid leader" is widely referred to as a "strongman" who sought to crush Hamas in Gaza in the 1990s. Last month, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, broke off ties with Dahlan, who still maintains parliamentary immunity as an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Pan-Arab daily Al Hayat reports on a meeting between Jordan's King Abullah and French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Sources "familiar" with the meeting confirmed Sarkozy as saying "there is no longer any hope for the Syrian regime." The king, citing the totalitarian nature of the Syrian regime and its ubiquitous intelligence services and military structure, said "there is no alternative now to Assad," and expressed hope that Turkey would have a positive influence on events in Syria.

As the Syrian revolt intensifies, the multiplying locations of uprisings across the country appear to outpace the military's efforts to be everywhere at once, to stamp out protests. The tally of unrest reported in 24 hours is long and detailed, with Syrians in cities and towns continuing their efforts to unseat the Assad regime. In Kanaker, a suburb of Damascus, it was "a bloody day," wire agencies reported, with 11 civilians killed, two of them children, ages 7 and 11. In Hasrata, "security forces and the army were deployed in the streets, arrested hundreds, demolished the walls of houses and cut off electricity, water and the Internet." The southern town of Daraa, where the uprising began in March, is "in turmoil" with "widespread, intense security in key areas." The list goes on.

The Syrian Revolution Facebook group posted a video called "The Syrian Arab Army: what it was and what it is now." You don't have to speak Arabic to understand through the montage of clips that the soldiers are perpetrating atrocities against unarmed prisoners.

July 28, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Russian Nuclear Bluff Or The Very Dangerous End Of "Mutually Assured Destruction"?

Retired Major-General Alexander Vladimirov wrote the Russian “war bible.” His words have weight. Now he has declared that the use of nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine is inevitable, citing a justification that consigns the principle of deterrence to the history books.

Photograph of a Russian Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system showcased during the annual Victory Day military parade.

May 9, 2023, Moscow: A Russian Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system during the annual Victory Day military parade.

Gavriil Grigorov/Kremlin Pool/ZUMA
Slavoj Žižek


LJUBLJANANuclear war is the “inevitable” conclusion of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That's the opinion of retired Major-General Alexander Vladimirov, from an interview he gave last week to the journalist Vladislav Shurygin, and reported by the British tabloid The Daily Mail.

The retired general and author of the General Theory of War, which is seen in Moscow as the nation's "war bible," warned: “For the transition to the use of weapons of mass destruction, only one thing is needed – a political decision by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief [Vladimir Putin].” According to Vladimirov, “the goals of Russia and the goals of the West are their survival and historical eternity.”

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That means, he concludes, that they will use all methods at their disposal in this conflict, including nuclear weapons. “I am sure that nuclear weapons will be used in this war – inevitably, and from this, neither we nor the enemy have anywhere to go.”

Recently, Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer sparked outrage in India because it contained an intimate scene that made reference to the Bhagavad Gita. Many people took to Twitter to ask how the censor board could have approved this scene. A press release from the Save Culture, Save India Foundation read: “We do not know the motivation and logic behind this unnecessary scene on life of a scientist. A scene in the movie shows a woman making a man read Bhagwad Geeta aloud (during) sexual intercourse.”

My response to this scene is precisely the opposite: the Bhagavad Gita portrays cruel acts of military slaughter as a sacred duty, so instead we should be protesting that a tender act of bodily passion has been sullied by associating it with a spiritual obscenity. We should be outraged at the evil of “spiritualizing” physical desire.

Isn’t Vladimirov doing something similar in this interview? He is seeking to somehow elevate a (self-destructive, murderous) passion by couching it in obtuse terms such as “historical eternity.”

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