Tag Archives: Western world

RT News London on Libya: “This is Not A No fly Zone. This is the Bombardment of Civilians By Allied Forces.”

21 Mar

Copyright 2011-3011 Alternative News Forum, All Rights Reserved.

“Barack Obama has now fired more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace prize winners combined http://t.co/MnaXVe1 “

US Lawmakers Back Libya Military Action. They’re Just Not Sure What It Is.

March 2011 has brought Americans yet another dire omen of political and foreign policy ill winds to come: we are now inching toward becoming embroiled in Libya, against all better common sense and judgment. I do not agree with Sarah Palin on this one. Sometimes you just have to let these nations work out their own destinies without sticking your foreign policy fingers and your overbearing cruise missiles into the mix, thus making it all potentially much worse.

Anymore, what we used to call “foreign policy” in America has seemingly become just one long intellectual justification for the U.S. military machine to do whatever the hell it wants to, whenever and where ever it wants to.

Whatever happened to the will and consent of the American people in all this? It’s our money that’s being spent here.

While the US military rained down at least 100 cruise missiles onto Libya, causing more than 60 civilian casualties, Barack Obama gave a speech on human rights in Brazil. The resulting utter political and humane cognitive dissonance was loud enough to be heard back in the states all the way from South America.

As the Obama White House adds yet another overseas military Op to it’s list of “things to do when you are utterly bankrupt”, it seems more and more that the US does not exactly “go to war” in a definitive manner anymore. We just kind of kick around, hands in pockets, muse it all over, then more or less sort of “stumble in”, and fall into some kind of rote in so doing that makes me really wonder not only who’s really in charge, but what kind of thinking allows that in the shape we are in financially here at home, what orchard where money grows on trees are we now plucking from now to justify the cost of yet another military intervention?

I am sick over this, just sick over it. I am sick of death, and men and their ridiculous wars, and the insane justifications that are conjured up each time our military does this. We literally can’t afford to do this. I avoided reporting on it for a week because I just COULD NOT BELIEVE that in the wake of Iraq, that we were going to crank up yet another overseas military involvement. Our miserable UN assigned “job” as the world’s military police force has bankrupted our nation, cost thousands of precious young American lives, and is now soon to incite world war three in the Mideast if we don’t stop this.

If we are now going to intervene in Libya, it would stand to reason we would then intervene throughout the entire Mideast region. Nothing makes sense anymore.

Just the mere thought of Barack Obama making a speech in Brazil on human rights as US military intervention cranks up in Libya makes me ill with the utter sight of the duplicity of it all. I have never wanted a man OUT of the White House like I want this man OUT. It goes without saying that this is the most disastrous president I have seen in my lifetime. 2012 cannot get here fast enough for me. Vote this incompetent SOB out of the White House in 2012 before he leads us straight into a final nuclear conflagration in the Mideast that could spread all around the world.

CK Hunter

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In Saudi Arabia, Playing Rock & Roll Means Risking Everything

14 Feb

Re-post courtesy of trueslant.com

2.14.2010

Under the Radar, They’re Rocking and Rolling in Saudi Arabia

Saturday, February 13, 2010
By Richard Byrne Reilly


Saudi rock musician and journalist Hasan Hatrash, left, must contend with the unwelcome attention of Saudi Arabia’s religious police, which frowns on Western-style music and dress.

Saudi rock musician and journalist Hasan Hatrash, left, must contend with the unwelcome attention of Saudi Arabia’s religious police, which frowns on Western-style music and dress.

For young musicians in Saudi Arabia, rocking and rolling can mean risking everything.

The last three years have seen an explosion in the kingdom’s underground music scene, with bands playing everything from hip-hop and rock to punk and death metal. There are currently more than 40 bands quietly rocking the nation, playing gigs in private homes, in residential compounds that house foreign workers and in tents in the middle of the vast Saudi desert.

But rocking in Riyadh and moshing in Mecca have their risks. The dreaded Mutaween — the Saudi religious police tasked with enforcing Shariah, the nation’s strict Islamic law, feel you have to suffer if you want to sing the blues. They’ve arrested band members for holding concerts without permits, and they’ve charged some concert organizers with money laundering, according to Saudi musicians and human rights organizations that monitor the oil-rich kingdom.

The threat to the Saudi regime isn’t the music itself, but rather the kingdom’s teenagers and young adults, who have grown up with computers, iPhones and satellite TVs, said human rights advocate Ali Alyami.

“The biggest threat to Saudi stability isn’t Al Qaeda. It’s the Saudi youth. None of their needs or demands are being met.

“There’s no jobs and people can’t date. They see what their counterparts around the world have, and they want it too.”

More than half of the kingdom’s 28 million residents are under 25, and educated and tech-savvy youths who are drawn to the sounds of the West are using Internet tools like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to get their ya-ya’s out.

“These young people want an outlet. They’re not allowed to drink or date girls, and so one of the few things they can do is start bands,” said Alyami, director for the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, a non-profit based in Washington D.C.

“Unfortunately the fear from the government side is that they consider this a threat to the system, and so they arrest them.”

The numbers of musicians and concert organizers who have been arrested and jailed is a closely guarded government secret, Saudi watchers say. While Western-style music is technically not outlawed, there are no concert venues or clubs to hold shows, and bands must obtain permits from the government in order to play.

Saudi musicians say their music offers them a creative outlet to get their styles and messages out to fans and like-minded rockers in Europe, the U.S. and the rest of the Middle East. They say their sound helps dispel the notion that Muslims are interested only in terrorism and spreading jihad.

“Having long hair or being dressed in black with monster drawings on our shirts is considered to be abnormal here, buts it’s not like we worship Satan or perform voodoo,” said Jude Jd Aldajani, 24, who plays in a death metal band in Jeddah.

“We are proud of being Muslims rather than being hated by millions throughout the world.”

But the Mutaween, who answer directly to King Abdullah and hold virtually unlimited power, view music as contradicting Wahhabi ideology and as a distraction from God, critics of the regime say.

Officials at the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C. did not return calls seeking comment.

With no studios available for them to record, Saudi musicians import their own equipment from the West and cut their own records in home studios, and they distribute their CDs for free, said guitarist and singer Mohammed Al-Hajjaj.

“We’re fighting for acceptance and we are doing our best. We don’t have any interest in politics. All we care about is the art and playing gigs,” said Al-Hajjaj, who lives in the eastern port city of Damman and plays in a band called Sound of Ruby.

Al-Hajjaj, 30, has a degree in marketing and has recorded eight full-length CDs. He’s now recording his first solo album in a home studio for a Saudi-based music label. He said he and his fellow band members were arrested at their first concert for not having a permit.

To get around the permit problem, musicians now get the word out on Facebook and other Web sites, and they perform word-of-mouth gigs in private homes and residential compounds that house Westerners, which are off-limits to the Mutaween.

Sound of Ruby has also performed across the border in music-friendly Dubai, which attracts big-name rock acts from all over the world.

Some Saudi watchers say the regime is slowly loosening restrictions. In 2008, the government for the first time allowed a mixed-gender audience to attend a Mozart performance sponsored by the German Embassy.

But slow isn’t nearly fast enough in the age of the Internet, and the Web is rapidly bringing Western musical influences into the kingdom, which — unlike China — doesn’t block access to Facebook and Twitter.

Hasan Hatrash, a Saudi journalist and rock musician, says government restriction of rock performances just makes the underground scene stronger.

“It’s sad that a lot of talent is going to waste, especially with the lack of a regulated music scene,” he said. “But on the other hand, it is this hard situation that really makes an artist and brings out the best in you, because you’re expressing the reality in your work.”

Hatrash said the underground gigs are packed, sometimes with as many as 500 fans, a feat accomplished through online buzz and organization, according to Aldajani, the death metal musician.

“The Internet has helped all sorts of musicians and artists in spreading their messages. Web sites like Twitter and iLike are helping fans reach us. Our music scene here is bursting and spreading to other countries, and we thank the Internet for our free marketing,” Aldajani said.

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