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Howard Jacobson: I Live in Terror of the Fanatic Who’s Only Read One Book

Calling out Glenn Greenwald’s irresponsible rhetoric
World • Views: 25,556

British author/journalist Howard Jacobson is not impressed with The Mighty Greenwald.

So how fare our investigations into what makes someone want to kill cartoonists? (I’m assuming we know why they want to kill Jews.) Maybe, before pondering the education of a jihadist, we should ask a prior question: what makes a fanatic?

We were given some insight into this on Newsnight earlier this week when Evan Davis, growing nicely into his job, interviewed the lawyer, journalist and associate of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald - a man strikingly deficient in the musculature necessary to essay a smile. The subject was surveillance and David Cameron’s call for more of it. There are, I accept, differing views on this. I, for example, am for having every member of the human family watched day and night by every possible means because the human family is currently dysfunctional and can’t be trusted. But I understand why others don’t think as I do. This puts me in a different category of person from Greenwald, who allows no beliefs that conflict with his and attributes those that do to a cowardly subservience to authority.

Leading Greenwald with expert gentleness into the gated hell that is his mind, Davis put the case for differing viewpoints. Nothing could have been more instructive than Greenwald’s dead expression - his mouth fixed in the rigor mortis of absolute conviction, his eyes unanimated by the pleasure of conversation or the excitement of controversy. Doubt honours a man, but this was the face of someone whom no ghost of a second thought dares visit. No consciousness of absurdity either. As for the humanity whose civil rights he champions with such icy rigidity, for that he had nothing but contempt. We are merely, if we don’t think what he thinks, the playthings of the powerful. This is the terrifying paradox of zealotry: no one hates humanity more than those who believe they know what’s best for it.

I don’t, I must say, see Greenwald launching rockets any time soon. The ideologue is still a long way from being the terrorist. These, though, are the first steps. Expelling doubt. Refusing contrariety. Hating play. Making oneself the human equivalent of a weapon, implacable, well aimed, reduced to a single function.

NPR: Some French Muslims See Conspiracies in Paris Shootings

World • Views: 22,599

MP3 Audio

NPR’s All Things Considered had a segment yesterday on the disturbing support for the Charlie Hebdo terrorists in some Muslim areas of France, and the antisemitic conspiracy theories making the rounds.

For many years the French have been eager to import Muslims for cheap labor but not so eager to actually have them assimilate into French culture. They essentially treat their Muslim population as second class citizens and the suburbs are basically ghettos. It’s a bad situation in which extremists can take root and spread their poison.

Those World Leaders Who Were at the Paris Demonstration? They Weren’t Actually at the Paris Demonstration.

A photo op
World • Views: 39,212

As American media goes into all-out concern troll mode because President Obama didn’t join other world leaders at the demonstration in Paris, it should be pointed out that those world leaders weren’t actually at the demonstration either.

They were in a separate isolated area, under heavy security. This was a staged photo op, made to look like they joined the marchers spontaneously.

Estimated 1 Million People Turn Out in Paris to Support Charlie Hebdo

World • Views: 19,599

An enormous crowd has turned out in Paris for a demonstration of solidarity with French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo, and the US right wing is going utterly batshit nuts denouncing President Obama for not being there. Because everyone knows a US president can just pick up and go anywhere he wants, on the spur of the moment.

Short NYT Documentary From 2006 Shows Charlie Hebdo Staff at Work

The last line is a punch to the gut
World • Views: 25,007

Vimeo

In this short documentary filmed at Charlie Hebdo in 2006, cartoonists and editors design a satirical front page image of Muhammad.

Produced by: Jérôme Lambert and Philippe Picard
Read the story here: nyti.ms
Watch more videos at: nytimes.com
Follow on Twitter: twitter.com

NPR: Paris Attack Suspect Had Known Terrorism Connections

World • Views: 22,566

MP3 Audio

In this NPR clip, former Paris bureau chief for the New York Times Elaine Sciolino talks about terror suspect Cherif Kouachi (whose trial she covered in 2008), describing him as basically a small-timer who fell through the cracks even though he’d been convicted of terror-related crimes before.

AirAsia Flight Loses Contact With Air Traffic Control After Reportedly Asking for “Unusual Route”

World • Views: 26,435

Bad news from Southeast Asia, where another passenger plane has suddenly gone missing.

An AirAsia flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday, Indonesian media said, citing a transport ministry official.

Transport ministry official Hadi Mustofa said the aircraft, flight number QZ 8501, lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control tower at 6.17am local time. (2317 GMT).

The aricraft was said to be an Airbus 320-200 with 155 people on board.

He said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact.

North Korea: “Obama Is Like a Monkey in a Tropical Forest”

International racism
World • Views: 21,456

Kim Jong Un is furious tonight. So furious he sounds like a Tea Party leader.

“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest,” an unidentified spokesman at the commission’s Policy Department said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

He also accused Washington for intermittent outages of North Korea websites this week, after the U.S. had promised to respond to the Sony hack.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House on Saturday.

According to the North Korea commission’s spokesman, “the U.S., a big country, started disturbing the Internet operation of major media of the DPRK, not knowing shame like children playing a tag.”

Obama Forms Coalition of Arab States to Take Action Against ISIS, Right Wing (And Greenwald) Confused, Angry

Strategy
World • Views: 26,575

It’s bizarre to watch the right wing news sites trying to settle on a way to spin President Obama’s action against ISIS inside Syria; they alternate from hand-wringing fear that Obama isn’t doin’ it right, to attacking Obama for doin’ it at all, to completely ignoring the fact that Obama put together a historic coalition of Sunni Arab Muslim states as partners.

They love the bombing part, but it’s Obama doing it. Cognitive whiplash!

But it sure looks like Obama did have a strategy to deal with ISIS after all.

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday hailed the American-led coalition that conducted airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria on Monday night, declaring, “We’re going to do what is necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group.”

Speaking on the South Lawn of the White House just before leaving for New York City to attend the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Obama emphasized that the extensive operation had included Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.

“America is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with these nations on behalf of our common security,” Mr. Obama said. “The strength of this coalition makes clear to the world that this is not just America’s fight alone.”

But look who’s on the exact same page as the far right on this one, ignoring the coalition of Muslim partners and attacking Obama for “bombing a predominantly Muslim country:”

Does Greenwald prefer Syria to this “inspiring group?”

US, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain Launch Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria

World • Views: 27,985

The US is reportedly launching airstrikes inside Syria tonight.

Republicans are on vacation. Enjoy your time off.

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 Frank says:

And now....you are going to dance...like you've never danced before!