Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Egypt - Border to Gaza now Open

Today, the revolutionary government of Egypt decided to open the Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza despite warnings from Israel that Palestinian Hamas might then pile up further arms in Gaza. At the beginning, the border should be open to traffic during daylight only. This will facilitate life in the Gaza strip for most Palestinian families who are now suffering from all kinds of shortcomings.

The border to Egypt had been closed for many years after the bilateral peace treaty between former Egyptian president Sadat and Israel. During the Mubarak era, the border had only been contemporarily opened for humanitarian aid to the population of Gaza. At the same time, the border between Gaza and Israel had been frequently closed by Israeli forces or used for military incursions into Gaza that did much damage to Gaza's infrastructure.

Two days before, U.S. President Obama made a statement on the Palestian subject with the following words: "We can't afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace ..."

U.S. President Obama delivering a historic speech to British politicians at Westminster Hall, London. Rather an honour to speak there after the pope, the queen and Nelson Mandela than the beginning of a very funny joke like: "After the pope and the queen, here come the negroes from the colonies."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pakistan - Naval Airbase Attacked

In Karachi, Pakistan, a naval airbase is being attacked by unknown gunmen. Up to now, at least four persons died during the firefight. It seems that one of the buildings has been seized by the attackers. Because of ongoing fighting, ambulances are being held up.

This comes only five days after a Taliban commander announced his organization's firm will to take revenge on Pakistan and the U.S. for the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taliban: Revenge for Bin Laden - Pakistani Nukes

Umer Khalid, a commander of the Taliban, announces Taliban plans to take revenge for the death of former al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden. Pakistani and U.S. targets will be on their hitlist including members of the U.S. intelligence community. [Al-Jazeera]

According to CNN News, the former Egyptian security officer Saif al-Adel (سيف العدل "Sword of Justice", right photo below) should become the interim leader of al-Qaeda after the death of Bin Laden. Al-Adel is known as the "caretaker" of al-Qaeda. Sooner or later, he might be replaced in his new position by al-Zawahiri (left photo below), the long-standing deputy of Bin Laden.

Last audio message
from Osama Bin Laden:

Tunisia had the first glory,
and with the speed of light
the knights of Egypt were in-
spired by the free Tunisians.
And a mighty revolution has
started, and what a revolution.
A revolution of destiny
for all Egypt.

Bin Laden's widdow:
The woman that was near
to him in his final hour.

Pakistan plans to enhance its production of enriched plutonium in order to assemble enough of weapon's grade material for the production of further nuclear weapons. Their goal is to reach a maximum capacity of 200 nuclear devices by 2021. That would match the actual British capacity of 195 nuclear weapons.

No Dime More !

Libya - Warning to Gadafi - Oil Minister Defected

At about the same time when the international court in Den Haag issued a warning to Colonel Gadafi not to cover up criminal activities of his troops, the Libyan oil minister defected. In the meantime, heavy fighting between rebels and Gadafi troops continues together with Nato air raids. Furthermore, rebel units are approaching the borders to neighbouring Sudan and Tchad while the Tunisian border seems to be already under their control.

تحذير للقذافي

Monday, May 16, 2011

U.S. Court - No Mercy for Strauss-Kahn

According to the Assistant U.S. District Attorney John Mcconnell who handles the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, DSK "poses a flight risk" and cannot be immediately set free on the basis of a bailing deal between the court and DSK's lawyer. For the next days he has to be kept in a single cell of Rikers Island State Prison. At least, DSK's attorney Benjamin Brafman seems to be an efficient specialist of the matter and is known from similar cases. Below are photos of three of his clients, Michael Jackson being among them.

What I didn't know the day before: The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn is already notorious for his "affaires amoureuses". In 2008, he became subject of an IMF enquiry upon his sexual relationship with a married Hungarian employee and who had been working in the African department of the IMF. Besides, he is known for his "straightforward approach of women in numerous cases and that should have resembled some kind of harrassment".
Sources: Blog of the French daily "Libération" on October 18, 2008.
U.S. paper "Wall Street Journaql" on October 18, 2008.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Palestine - Anniversary of the Catastrophe النكبة

قرابة 80% يؤيدون وثيقة الوفاق الوطني التي تم التوقيع عليها في
القاهرة, بينما أظهرت النتائج أن 70% يتوقعون انتفاضة ثالثة في
ظل تعثر المفاوضات الفلسطينية الإسرائيلية

القدس العربية

Today, on the Anniversary of the Catastrophe (al-Nakba) and which marks for the Palestinians the foundation of the Jewish state, the Palestinian Daily "Arabic Jerusalem" (al-Quds al-Arabiya) published the following lines:

"About 80% are in support of the document of national agreement (1)
which has come to be signed in Kairo [and] which is clarifying the
consequences [of the fact] that 70% are foreseeing a third Intifada
(2) in the shadow of the futile negociations between Palestinians and

1 = recent agreement between Palestinian organizations Hamas and PLO
2 = referring to earlier waves of uprising of Palestinians against Israel

Strauss-Kahn - Constructed Charges Against IMF Boss

Constructed Charges Against French Politician ?
Cas Construit Contre Politicien Français ?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), president of the International Monetary Fund IMF and one of the most profiled politicians in France, has been arrested in New York on charges of sexual harrassment and intended rape of a 33-year old colored chamber maid in a hotel belonging to the French chain Sofitel. After having left his hotel in a hurry, letting behind his cellphone and other personal belongings, he was arrested at JFK airport on board of an Air France plane bound for Paris and ready to take off. He is now being questioned at a police station in Haarlem while his alleged victim is reportedly held in an artificial coma. As charges against DSK are considered to be especially grave, he might be awaiting a sentence of many years in a U.S. prison, if this story turns out to be true.

First reactions of high-ranking French politicians are showing astonishment and rather disbelieve as he was not expected to suffer from the proverbial "Berlusconi syndrome". The overall reaction seems to be that "this does not resemble him". Ségolène Royal, a highly profiled politician in France as well, pointed out that "all is still waiting to be proved".

DSK was expected to leave New York that day in order to meet with Angela Merkel the German chancellor. His acceptance within his own country can be imagined from an opinion poll that put him into the first position of all socialist candidates in the French Primary Elections. Even though being known as an activist of the Socialist Party, DSK is respected by all of his colleagues whatever party they might represent. That is why even Marie Le Pen, leader of the right-wing party Front National has been showing her astonishment upon the charges awaiting Strauss-Kahn.

............... [Source: i-Télé, France] ...............

Dominique Strauss-Kahn DSK, le président de l'IMF (Fond Monétaire Internationale), a été inculpé d'agression sexuelle et de tentative de viol d'une femme colorée de chambre à l'hôtel Sofitel de New York. DSK était arrêté à l'aéroport JFK de N.Y. dans un avion prêt à décoller, ayant quitté sa chambre en toute hâte et en oubliant son portable et d'autres effets personnels. DSK était expecté de se rencontrer ces jours-ci avec le chancellier allemand Angela Merkel après la visite aux États Unies.

Au moment, DSK est détenu dans une station de police à Haarlem alors que la femme attaquée de 33 ans était transférée à un hôpital où elle serait tenue dans un coma artificiel. Le socialiste DSK est l'un des politiciens les plus acceptés de la France. Même ses adversaires lui respectent. C'est pourquoi beaucoup de ses compatriotes ne sont pas inclinés à croire les évènements qui se seraient déroulées dans cette chambre d'hôtel newyorkais. L'opinion qui prévaut: "Ça ne lui semble pas."

UPDATE: i-Télé evening news / les nouvelles du soir

The French TV broadcast includes a summary of the facts to be known at the moment and an evaluation of Strauss-Kahn's immediate arrest that is related to the efficient work of a special victim's unit of New York police. That police unit is in charge of all similar cases and known to be fast working in a town where crimes of sexual harrassment and rape are happening every minute. It seems that DSK's identification and tracking to JFK airport was simple routine work facilitated by the Patriot's Act against terrorism. DSK's status as a high-ranking politician of international importance was not known to New York police at this moment.

New evidence: Another colored employee of Sofitel New York and who wants to remain unknown to the public said to i-Télé that DSK behaved that morning like any other day and showed no hurry when he left the hotel.

The news are followed by a discussion between members of the French press on how much damage that development would bring to the Socialist Party in the frame of the following primary elections where DSK has been expected to be the prevailing socialist candidate.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Libya - Crazy Gadafi

In his ferocious speech shortly after the uprising began, Gadafi said
he would fight for "each piece of earth, each house, each residence
and each road" (شبر شبر بيت بيت دار دار زنقة زنقة)
That uncompromising text of his has been mixed with some kind of
stereotyped music and launched in different versions. Here is an
example which I consider to be among the best music videos on this
Zenga Zenga Song Official Music Video
By the way, "Zenga Zenga" means "street or road" and is taken from
the above text in Arabic.

The following video document is showing Colonel Gadafi delivering a
speech to the people of Guinea at Conakry. In his speech he tells
them not to sell raw materials for a low price to the Coca Cola
Company or to Pepsi Cola but instead to produce their own Cola.
Gadafi Fighting Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola

For further "amusement", here are the latest screenshots of Royal
Airforce attacks on Ghadafi's facilities in the Tripolis area:

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Bin Laden Videos - Osama Watching Osama

Today, the Pentagon released 5 videos that had been captured during the raid on Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. On one of those videos, Bin Laden can be seen watching TV and even watching himself:

Osama Bin Laden watching a famous video of himself (above and below)

"90% of Fight
is in the Media"
(Bin Laden)

Statement of the Taliban
Retaliation for Bin Laden

Today and after their statement on the U.S. killing of Bin Laden, the Taliban have launched four simultaneous attacks on government compounds in their "spiritual capital" of Kandahar in the Southern part of Afghanistan. One of their targets was the residence of the provincial governor of Kandahar province who remained unharmed.

Obama Addressing U.S. Troops

President Obama after the Killing of Osama Bin Laden

Tonight, only two hours ago and in the aftermath of the Bin Laden killing, President Obama spoke to U.S. troops at one of the greatest military bases inside the U.S.A.. Here is what he said. Some comments added by me are intended to give background information:

In his speech to Afghanistan veterans at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Obama said that the U.S. lived a "historic week in the life of their nation". He referred to his visit at Ground Zero in New York the day before and mentioned his visit, shortly before his speech, of the Navy SEAL team that killed Osama Bin Laden. "Those Navy SEALs deserve credit", he said and added: "Job well done!"

A president's visit of a U.S. military unit is considered to be the highest honour to be granted to U.S. servicemen. According to CNN, the SEAL team that came into action was most probably team No. 6 which seemed to be the best team, both, in size and training to fit the task of killing Bin Laden at Abbottabad. It was better suited for that mission than a 12-member team of the Green Barrets that would have been to small for a raid on the vast compound where Osama Bin Laden had been living for some time. The Navy SEAL unit had been originally founded in 1962 and is now stationed in the small town of Virginia Beach, Virginia, where inhabitants don't know much about them as they are behaving very discreetly.

The president then addressed his troops with a remark on the right treatment of wounded soldiers. He said: "You, on the front lines for nearly 10 years, deserve the best healthcare in the world when you are getting wounded."

At this point, I would like to mention earlier difficulties of wounded servicemen to get their treatment paid by the Veterans' Organization, a government run institution that is in charge of caring for wounded and retired soldiers of the U.S. army. Under the former Bush administration, an explosion of treatment costs, due to an increase of military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan, led the Veteran's Organization near to bankruptcy. There is one case that became widely known where the organization denied treatment to a wounded soldier and declared his wounds (parts of a shrapnel inside the body) as being inflicted by "non-combat activity".

Later, Obama praised the troops and said: "We're making progress in Afghanistan and have turned momentum of the Taliban. During my time, pressure on the Taliban has been greater than ever since November 11." And he spoke of a 14-year-old girl that lost her father on September 11 when she was 4. At that time, her father had been trapped in one of the twin-towers. During the last moments of his life and before the building toppled, he phoned his family and spoke to her mother. Her mother then handed over to her 4-year-old daughter who heard her father's voice for the last time, telling her that he would always be near her and watch over her. Obama learned her story from a letter the girl wrote to him. While telling that story to the soldiers, President Obama was obviously moved.

Finally, Obama reminded his troops of the importance of overcoming race discrimination and added an example where coloured students were finally able to study and develop their talents.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Bin Laden Raid - Further Pictures

Here are the "bad guys":

According to CNN, a courier who allegedly led the Navy Seals to Osama's residence and his brother were among the first who opened fire on the special unit. They died near to their master. The woman who protected Bin Laden was only wounded. Earlier reports said that she died at his side. Bin Laden himself was not armed but "tried to defend himself". That's why he was shot at once.

Screenshot and processed picture => Click to the photo !

U.S. special forces used modified Seahawk choppers to approach Bin Laden's residence. One of them exploded during the firefight and was left behind. It is obviously equipped with some stealth technology that helped to enter Pakistani airspace and approach the garrison town of Abbottabad without being noticed. Pakistani authorities are not amused:

Monday, May 02, 2011

Obama: U.S. Forces Killed Osama Bin Laden

أوباما: قوة أمريكية خاصة قادت العملية التي قتل فيها أسامة بن لادن زعيم تنظيم القاعدة
"Obama: American special forces conducted the operation during
which Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda organisation, was

Osama Bin Laden was shot in the head by U.S. special forces who took his dead body with them as a proof. Bin Laden was targeted in his hide-out, a fortified compound situated in a densely populated area of Abbottabad which is a rather medium-sized town about 30 miles away from Pakistan's capital Islamabad. These circumstances made it an especially difficult task for the special units to prevail. In a televised speech, President Obama pointed out that there were no U.S. losses during the firefight between U.S. Navy Seals and Al-Qaeda fighters.

According to the president who gave the direct order to attack, the whereabouts of Bin Laden had already been known for a certain time. Former media reports about Osama Bin Laden hiding in either Afghanistan or in the bordering tribal areas of Pakistan (i.e. Waziristan) did therefore not match reality.

Even though it is still dark night in New York and Washington, lots and lots of people are steadily gathering at Ground Zero (N.Y.) and in front of the White House, such celebrating that historical event.

Latest News:
- According to special unit's report, Bin Laden should have used a woman as a human shield when being shot at. That woman died with him. => Refer to the picture below.
- After tests had been made to ensure the identity of Bin Laden, the dead body was dropped into the Arabic Sea from a U.S. aircraft carrier and in the frame of a burial ceremony "according to Muslimic belief". The procedure of burial has been disapproved by some Muslims, among them the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Paris, because the body was not properly buried on firm ground as requested by the Koran [Source: i-Télé, France]. Nevertheless, the U.S. decided to stick to a burial on sea in order to avoid generating a place of pilgrimage for Bin Laden's followers.
- Some voices like that of Prof. Tariq Ramadan and who is representing a French institute of historic studies of the Arab world, are saying they would rather have liked to see Bin Laden alive in order to listen to what he has to say [i-Télé, France].

Place of fighting:

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Nato Air Raid - Gadafi Son Killed

One of Gadafi's sons, Saif al-Arab, was killed together with his wife in
a Nato air raid on his house in Tripolis. Some of Gadafi's grandchildren
were killed as well. Muamar al-Gadafi who stayed in the same building at
that time remained unhurt. Saif al-Arab kept a relatively low profile in
comparison with his brother Saif al-Islam and who openly defended his
father [CNN].

Subtitles by Al-Jazeera, Arabic TV:

النيتو يقول إن إحدى غارات استهدفت مركز قيادة في باب العزيزية بطرابلس
"Nato says that some [of its] attacks intended to concentrate
on the [military] command (*) at Bab al-Azizia in Tripolis."

* = The subtitle given by Al-Jazeera includes an expression that could
be translated either as "[military] command" or as "leadership". As the
related CNN report stressed that Nato was not targeting Libyan leader
Muamar al-Gadafi, the right translation should be "military command".

معارضون يشككون في إعلان طرابلس عن مقتل ابن القذافي و يصفونه بأنه سعي لكسب التعاطف
"Controversion and doubts over the declaration from Tripolis that a son
of Gadafi should have been killed and his characterisation that is trying
to gain him sympathy."

The above subtitle was added hours after the news of
Saif al-Arab's death became known for the first time.

Additional remarks by Ulysses:

According to a German radio source, Saif al-Arab once studied in Munich,
Germany. At that time, a member of the Gadafi clan, probably Saif al-
Arab, became known to Munich police for a nightly town racing during
which he crushed his expensive car. As being protected by his diplomatic
passport, he could not be charged for his breaking of different laws.

On this occasion, I would like to remember an Interpol request that
reached authorities in the area already controlled by freedom fighters.
This request was published by Al-Jazeera on March 5, 2011:

الإنتربول يصدر تحذيرا دوليا بشأن خطورة القذافي و 15 من عائلته و أعوانه
Interpol has released an international alert concerning imminent
danger from Gadafi and 15 [members] of his family and his helpers.

The Interpol request consists of different notes on different
subjects involved. Here are only two of them, characterized by
their vague style, which I tried to reconstruct from the Arabic

Red Note:
[This note] brings about a request on the conditions of arrest of
persons on the run and being sought after on the purpose of [their]
extradition to [certain] countries [on behalf of such countries'
security sources]. .....

Blue Note:
Request of additional information on a person related with criminal

There is also a "Green Note", a "Yellow Note" and a "Black Note"
from Interpol.