band annie's Weblog

I have a parallel blog in French at


January 2016

Why Not?


Posted: 15 Jan 2016 10:58 AM PST

Switzerland joins Denmark in confiscating the assets of refugees. Why not? Go ahead, take everything. From Damascus to Berlin, the journey of a Syrian refugee, or any refugee, is to be exploited thoroughly. The road to sanctuary, dignity and self respect as a human being lies through a gauntlet of lies, abuse and degradation. Syrians have to debase themselves utterly before they are worthy of pity. Why not? It starts from home. It starts from a country where you are fleeced as soon as you start trying to make a living. As early as you can remember you are taught in Syria that to get by you have to bribe somebody. Nothing is impossible, and when something isn’t working properly, be it a university exam that you just can’t seem to pass, to a job or work transaction that seems to never progress, it’s all about finding the man at the choke point, the man who wants a favour.

In the days when Syrians could, only just, travel the world and return back, they were greeted by the fat security officials at the airport who would single a suitable “victim”, someone with a Syrian passport, of course. It wouldn’t do to show somebody with a real passport, a human being’s passport, how barbaric we are. No, that wouldn’t do at all. But a Syrian or Arab is OK, because he could be exploited.

“Have you any presents for us?” the official would ask, rubbing his hands. If you don’t understand what he means, he’ll make you understand. He’ll um and ah, at the things in your suitcase. “Oh this wouldn’t do at all. Oh this might need to be taxed. Oh this might be banned under the new security regulations”, he’d say. Then, out of sheer frustration, you would pay him. Something, anything. Cigarettes would do, anything. Just pay so you can be on your way.

You leave the stable called Syria behind, and you get people smugglers, you get corrupt soldiers on the border. If you aren’t driving an expensive car and look average, border police make you wait in the sun and keep you “in line” while beating you with rubber hoses – that’s what they did on the border crossings to Lebanon by the way. You make it somewhere else, like Turkey, and you pay somebody to find you a flat, you pay them extra, just a place, any place. They raise the prices. If somebody else pays them more, you get turfed out. Then you have to pay money for visas, for transport, for “arrangements”. It might pay off, it might not. You might end up as fish food in the sea, or your body turns into a leaky bag of skin and fluids after you suffocate in a refrigerator in wheels somewhere on a motorway in Austria.

Why not? Let’s exploit Syrians, everybody else has. These refugees are “rich”, “they have money”. They are all “coming to rape European women” after all. Besides, they have diseases, they “hide terrorists” amongst each other. Why not? Fleece them. Maybe next Europe can start putting refugees in specially walled off compounds, and force them to wear special badges – no, badges won’t do, it’ll be special identity cards or papers. To mark them as special, to watch, to keep an eye on. Why not? A people with no home, no sanctuary, no respect or dignity even from their own, why should anybody else respect them? Why not also force Syrians – because that’s what the word ‘refugee’ has become synonymous with – to walk barefoot across Europe, wearing sack cloth and with ash on their heads? That way everyone can be sure that they really are desperate and worthy of assistance.

Egyptian Novelist Ahmed Naji and Editor Tarek al-Taher Will Go Back to Court in ‘Public Morals’ Case

Experimental novelist Ahmed Naji and Akhbar al-Adab editor Tarek al-Taher will return to court in February for another trial after their acquittal earlier this month:



Naji announced on Facebook and Twitter yesterday that prosecutors had challenged the January 2 acquittal in the case of whether an excerpt from Naji’s novel The Use of Life had harmed public morals. He and al-Taher, he said, will be retried. The trial is set to resume February 6, and both could face jail time.

The Associated Press reportedthat their lawyer, Mahmoud Othman, said “Naji faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,245) if found guilty of violating a law against publishing material deemed contrary to public morals.”


During the first case, the prosecution had asked for the maximum penalty, which is two years in prison.

The case began when an Akhbar al-Adab reader filed a lawsuit, claiming his health was harmed by an excerpt of Naji’s novel. Prosecutors decided to take up the reader’s complaint against the excerpt.

Naji’s experimental novel, which mixes elements of a prose and a graphic novel, was published in 2014 and was approved by Egyptian censors. Novels published in Egypt don’t have to pass through this step, but Naji’s novel was published in Lebanon and imported into Egypt.

The excerpt in question was published in Akhbar al-Adab in August 2014. Throughout the case, the prosecutor has conflated fact and fiction, suggesting that writing fiction about an act was essentially the same as admitting to having done it.

“The prosecutor is dealing with it as if it’s my own confession,” Naji said in a Skype interview last November. The prosecutor has already referred to the characters in the novel as though they were real people, Naji said. Because drug use is discussed, the prosecutor has threatened that he could add charges against Naji for “dealing with hash.”

During the case, the prosecution asserted that “the defendant went too far with his intellectual abnormality by describing sinful sexual relationships using terms that turn humans into animals that chase after their desires,” according to Egypt’s Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression. The case was less about the sexual acts themselves and more about the sorts of words that Naji used to describe them.

After the acquittal, Othman told Mada Masr that the testimonies of former Egyptian culture minister Gaber Asfour, head of the Egyptian Writers Union Mohamed Salmawy, and internationally acclaimed novelist Sonallah Ibrahim strengthened his case. Now, this groundwork will have to be laid all over again.

As Naji wrote on Facebook: We’ll start again from scratch and reinvent the wheel in order to explain what’s creative freedom and what’s literature again.

Naji also thanked all who’d supported him and his editor through the first trial, and said he hoped the support would continue through this appeal.


From translator Elisabetta Rossi: What’s the Real Nature of Ahmed Naji’s Novel ‘The Use of Life’?

From author Youssef Rakha: Busted: The Trial of Ahmed Naje

Weather Warfare Documentary (History Channel)

Climate Engineering Weather Warfare, and the Collapse of Civilization

For additional articles and presentations on the critical issue of global geoengineering see the links below:……
Planet Earth is under an all out weather warfare assault.
In this video, Dane Wigington gives another presentation in Northern California on the harmful effects of Geoengineering, declaring that there is virtually NO NATURAL WEATHER due to the massive global climate engineering. The very essentials needed to sustain life on earth are being recklessly destroyed by these programs. This is not a topic that will begin to affect us in several years, but is now already causing massive animal and plant die off around the world, as well as human illness. 

The debate over whether geoengineering programs are going on is now a moot point. We have more than enough data to confirm it. We have actual footage showing tankers spraying. The materials showing up on the ground are exactly the same materials mentioned in the numerous geoengineering patents and documents. Visit our website for a list of these government patents and documents.

Our skies today are simply not normal or natural. Upon examination and observation, this cannot be denied. Our skies have been filled with grid patterns, horizon to horizon trails, and other forms of sprayed aerosol cloud formations for so long now that most now accept this completely unnatural cloud cover as “normal”. Sadly, the fact is that people do not even look up. 

To be clear, what we are seeing is not cloud seeding to increase rainfall. These jet sprayed nano particulates of heavy metals and chemicals are designed to block the sun and manipulate the jet stream. Dane explains how this is contributing to the droughts and deluges being experienced around the globe.

Our atmosphere is nothing but a massive physics lab to geoengineering scientists who have no concern whatsoever about the consequences to humanity or any living thing, including themselves. The experiments are literally derailing Earth’s climate system and decimating the entire web of life.

Dane reports, among other things, on:
• Geoengineering related climate disruptions, extreme drought and deluge
• Ozone depletion
• Methane release
• Drastic reduction in arctic sea ice 
• Global oxygen content reductions
• Oceans on the brink of collapse
• Massive fish die offs
• 200 species becoming extinct every single day
• A drastic rise in Autism, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia
• Crisis level forest reductions
• The sterilization of soils making it impossible for plants to grow without Monsanto’s aluminum resistant seeds

Dane Wigington presents hard data which reveals what these catastrophic programs have done to our planet to date and what they will do if they are allowed to continue. Please take the time to watch this video, follow up with some investigation of your own on our site —, and share this information far and wide.

Thank you,
GeoengineeringWatch Staff

For Dane Wigington’s most recent presentation “Geoengineering, A Clear And Present Danger” click here…
To view “Geoengineering Investigation Demanded By Numerous Experts” click here…

Hard to believe they mean it

Does America Really “Share Values” With Today’s Israel?

A group of settlers protesting against the demolition of a synagogue in the settlement of Givat Ze'ev, November 2015.
In the late sixties or early seventies, when I served as the executive head of the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating body for certain social action and interreligious activities of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform national rabbinical and congregational organizations in the United States, I had a private conversation—one of many—with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who was considered the leader of modern Orthodoxy in the United States, if not the world.
Rabbi Soloveitchik had just completed a high-level seminar attended by a select group of rabbis and Christian ministers. I asked him if he would agree to lead another such a seminar on the Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and the concept of “kedushat haaretz” (the holiness of the land), and how these are to be differentiated from concepts such as “blut und boden” (blood and land) at the heart of German fascism and other totalitarian regimes.
Soloveitchik’s answer surprised me, for I was then not only a practicing Orthodox Jew but an ardent Zionist who identified with the religious nationalist branch of the Zionist movement. He told me he could not lead such a seminar because “I would have difficulty explaining that difference even to my own children.”
I never lost my love for the idea of a Jewish state, although I long ago lost my innocence about Palestine being “a land without a people for a people without a land”—a founding Zionist motto—not to speak of my loss of innocence about the theological premises of Orthodoxy. But I did not fully understand Soloveitchik’s refusal to tackle the subject of implications of the concept of the land’s holiness until I saw the video of settlers —young Orthodox Jews with the longest payot (side curls), thetzitzit (ritual fringes) and largest skull caps—asserting their Jewish and Zionist authenticity by reenacting and celebrating the incineration of a Palestinian baby.
Of course, Netanyahu and his ministers condemned this revolting display, and I do not question the sincerity of their denunciations. But they do not begin to understand what Soloveitchik apparently feared—that an unbridled nationalism that sanctifies the nation and its land may lead to the dehumanization of the Other and the desecration of human life.
Netanyahu and his far-right government have not only been indifferent to this danger, they have actively encouraged it.
As I wrote these lines, Netanyahu’s government decided to support legislation introduced in Israel’s Knesset that would punish Israeli NGO’s devoted to the protection of the rights of Israel’s non-Jewish minorities and to the prevention of abuses of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories by Israel’s military and security forces. Since these NGO’s are dependent on support from the U.S. and the European Union, the legislation seeks to deprive them of that support in the expectation that this will shut them down.
The reason for these NGO’s dependence on foreign support is that Netanyahu and Israel’s right-wingers, who have come to dominate Israel’s political culture, have so brutally demonized Israeli human rights organizations that most Israelis see them as collaborators with Israel’s enemies. It is not at all uncommon for the diminishing “leftists” in Israel—a term that in the past signified no more than supporters of a peace accord with the Palestinians—to be told: “Why don’t you move to Gaza.”
Yet Netanyahu’s government’s support for this despicable legislation is not the worst of it. The worst of it is Netanyahu’s appointment of Ayelet Shaked as his Minister of Justice. On July 1st 2014, Shaked posted on her Facebook page an article whose author, Uri Elitzur, a settler leader she admired, wrote that “Israel should target not only the militants but the mothers of the martyrs who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
An Israeli prime minister who appoints as his minister of justice an advocate of the murder of mothers of Palestinian terrorists and considers Palestinian babies little snakes that should be exterminated cannot disclaim his paternity of settlers who celebrate the incineration of Palestinian babies.
Nor can Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Education who heads the Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) Party and aspires to inherit Netanyahu’s prime ministerial post, disclaim his paternity. In 2013, he famously said during a cabinet debate that, “if you catch terrorists, you simply have to kill them.” When reproached by the National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror that “this is not legal,” he replied, “I have killed lots of Arabs in my life, and there is no problem with that.”
And neither Bennett nor Netanyahu can claim that the Jewish terrorists they are now denouncing are distinguishable from ISIS decapitators. They have their hands full just distinguishing their own past pronouncements from the behavior of these settlers.
The only unanswered question is how much longer will President Obama insist there can be no daylight between the U.S. and Israel because of the values they share.
Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He served as a Senior Fellow on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations and as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, SOAS, University of London. He formerly headed the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America>

Blog at

Up ↑