Obama-To Hijab or Not To Hijab

June 5, 2009

It should have been Hillary giving the speech, but it wasn’t.

ObaJunk on sale Egypt

ObaJunk on sale Egypt

But Uh Oh.  Looks like the Middle East is getting misty eyed over the same Obama speechifyin’ rope-a-dope  and pretend fire walking  American progressives are now used to.  From Alarabiya:

President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt is met in the Arab world with unprecedented wave of optimism and hope bordering on the fantasy and the ridiculous.

Does this BBC video mean at least somebody noticed the symbolic, short on solutions sophistry that’s Obie’s stock in trade?

Obama Aida size spectacle

Obama Aida size spectacle

On the way to deliver his umpteenth Lincolnesque, fanfared, speech-of-a-lifetime  with a backdrop resembling the elephant scene in the opera Aida, PrezObama stopped off in Saudi and Egypt, two of the Middle East’s most repressive regimes, and made  sure the speech porridge was just right for the decapitation King O’Oil Abdullah and President-for-life, Mubar-the-rack.  As a result of the friendly chat, he wiped his speech clean of all references to democracy, freedom, rule of law, human rights or women’s rights, all touchy subjects to our allies in that part of the world.

In case you missed it, here’s the text of the speech:

Blablablablablabla, Palestine,blablabla,Israel,blablablablablabla,rockets,blablabla, settlements. More blablabla defending Muslim rights,blablabla.

Then he came to his 6th (yup most important) point.  The right of women everywhere to wear the hijab, a scarf-like covering for the “hair”, required in Taliban country for keeping a woman’s head attached to the neck.  This topic, and the right of Muslim women to not be discriminated against in America was something every woman was hoping he would take a courageous stand on.  Brave words, Obama.

Hillary and Obie in Cairo

Hillary and Obie in Cairo

The Feminist Majority thought so.  They called his speech “revolutionary”.  Check out his pose, Hillary behind him in the approved hijab in the midst of a day-glo (vagina) pink frame.  For chrissakes, what is this picture telling us?!  Co-optation is good! See Hillary!

Again, he stepped out on thin ice to propose enough education for girls;enough so that they can count the change when purchasing a cow or a Kalashnikov, and for their privileges to remain in traditionally (oppressed) “female” roles without feeling the yoke of their Western sisters‘ scorn.  Yay, Obie, you really understand the tiny, minuscule aspirations of half of the world’s population!  And you can expertly play the divide and conquer game.  Jeezuz! Let’s stop bickering over petty bullshit like women’s rights and get on with the business of business.

Clearly, women’s liberty, for Obie, is wrapped up (no pun intended) in the hijab.  The hijab-the must have accessory for the high fashion Muslim female with nothing but time on her hands. It’s just a scarf, after all.  Something women wear to cover their hair, like if it’s windy or maybe they’re  driving their pink convertible  burkas down the road to Mecca, rocking out……

He alluded to Benazir BhuttoShe wore a hijab and only a BULLET stopped her from becoming once and future prime minister of Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto_image

PrezOdumbass swore he would go all the way to the supreme court to defend a woman’s right to wear one unless the wearer is parked in the picture at one of his rallies.

from the Detroit Press 6/19/08:

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign apologized Wednesday after volunteers asked two Muslim women not to stand or sit behind the candidate at a rally in Detroit this week out of concerns about the appearance of traditional Muslim dress in published and broadcast visuals of the events.

Wow.  He didn’t want an hijab within a hundred yards of him.  Someone might think he’s a Muslim.  Ouch.

But he wouldn’t cross the room to protect a woman, from a beheading, a bombing or a burial alive.

Women, our movement is over unless we take it back from these assholes.

Way to go, BO.

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It’s About Oil Part III-China Invades Africa

May 5, 2009

One hundred years ago, the eugenicist Sir Francis Galton,  cousin of Charles Darwin, propounded his belief that the Chinese would and should one day usurp the indigenous peoples of Africa.  China has made a massive and permanent advance into the African continent and intends to do just that. From How China’s Taking Over Africa…..

Chinese President Hu and Dictator Robert Mugabe

Chinese President Hu and Dictator Robert Mugabe

From Nigeria in the north, to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in the west, across Chad and Sudan in the east, and south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, China has seized a vice-like grip on a continent which officials have decided is crucial to the superpower’s long-term survival.

The strategy has been carefully devised by officials in Beijing, where one expert has estimated that China will eventually need to send 300 million people to Africa to solve the problems of over-population and pollution.

The Chinese are all over the place,’ says Trevor Ncube, a prominent African businessman with publishing interests around the continent. ‘If the British were our masters yesterday, the Chinese have taken their place.’Likened to one race deciding to adopt a new home on another planet, Beijing has launched its so-called ‘One China In Africa’ policy because of crippling pressure on its own natural resources in a country where the population has almost trebled from 500 million to 1.3 billion in 50 years.

China is hungry – for land, food and energy. While accounting for a fifth of the world’s population, its oil consumption has risen 35-fold in the past decade and Africa is now providing a third of it; imports of steel, copper and aluminium have also shot up, with Beijing devouring 80 per cent of world supplies.

The pot-holed roads are cluttered with Chinese buses, taking people to markets filled with cheap Chinese goods. More than a thousand miles of new Chinese railroads are crisscrossing the continent, carrying billions of tons of illegally-logged timber, diamonds and gold.

So it isn’t just neo-liberals like Larry Summers, Obama’s Director of the White House Economic Council, that think Africa is the ideal toxic waste dump for the industrialized world.

China has become the most important client for African politicians hoping to join the queue for possibly the biggest ecological disasters imaginable.

China is supplying the arms to fuel the continent’s wars and propping up dictators formerly propped up by other colonialists; madness touched rulers such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.  From the same article:

However, there is a lethal price to pay. There is a sinister aspect to this invasion. Chinese-made war planes roar through the African sky, bombing opponents. Chinese-made assault rifles and grenades are being used to fuel countless murderous civil wars, often over the materials the Chinese are desperate to buy.

Take, for example, Zimbabwe. Recently, a giant container ship from China was due to deliver its cargo of three million rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 3,000 rocket-propelled grenades and 1,500 mortars to President Robert Mugabe’s regime.

or the murderous regime in Sudan’s Darfur region.  Also from the article:

Nowhere is that more true than Sudan. Branded ‘Africa’s Killing Fields’, the massive oil-rich East African state is in the throes of the genocide and slaughter of hundreds of thousands of black, non-Arab peasants in southern Sudan.

In effect, through its supplies of arms and support, China has been accused of underwriting a humanitarian scandal. The atrocities in Sudan have been described by the U.S. as ‘the worst human rights crisis in the world today’.

According to Human Rights First, a leading human rights advocacy organisation, Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifles, grenade launchers and ammunition for rifles and heavy machine guns are continuing to flow into Darfur, which is dotted with giant refugee camps, each containing hundreds of thousands of people.

With all the investments China makes in Africa, Chinese laborers imported into Africa have caused anger. From the article:

There have also been riots in Zambia, Angola and Congo over the flood of Chinese immigrant workers. The Chinese do not use African labour where possible, saying black Africans are lazy and unskilled.

In Angola, the government has agreed that 70 per cent of tendered public works must go to Chinese firms, most of which do not employ Angolans.

As well as enticing hundreds of thousands to settle in Africa, they have even shipped Chinese prisoners to produce the goods cheaply.

In Kenya, for example, only ten textile factories are still producing, compared with 200 factories five years ago, as China undercuts locals in the production of ‘African’ souvenirs.

Not just oil, this time, but the oil helps.


Human Rights Case Against Exxon Mobil Goes Forward

March 20, 2009

http://i1.democracynow.org/1999/1/6/what_did_mobil_know_the_killing

The groups allege that the oil giant gave logistical support to the Indonesian Army, including lending excavating equipment to dig mass graves. Thus far, twelve mass graves have been dug up. An estimated 2,000 Acehnese torture victims have been buried in the Aceh area since 1990.

A federal judge Wednesday said there is sufficient evidence for a jury to decide whether Exxon should be held liable for the actions of Indonesian soldiers who, while guarding Exxon assets, allegedly beat, shot, tortured and raped villagers eight years ago.

Exxon lawyers at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison argue there is no evidence that the soldiers who reportedly injured the plaintiffs were the same guards assigned to protect gas fields and not among the thousands of other troops the Indonesian government deployed to the village of Aceh to restore order there. Exxon also disputes that it had control over the soldiers guarding Exxon facilities.

U.S. District Judge Louis Oberdorfer of the District of Columbia concluded a jury must decide whether to hold Exxon accountable for the alleged actions of the soldiers.

Mobil Oil’s presence goes back at least one hundred years.  The company’s operations expanded between 1965-1968.  During that period the Indonesia army and Islamic coup against Sukarno and the subsequent massacre of a half million to two million suspected leftist, described as one of the worst massacres in history.

An excerpt concerning the nation-wide catastrophe

Kenneth Orr uncovered some information about the killings while studying the Indonesian school system. The stories he recorded give a vivid picture of the different ways in which the killings affected individuals: a schoolteacher sitting on a hastily assembled investigating committee to decide which of his colleagues should die, helping to prevent completely uncontrolled slaughter by doing so; a clever “entrepreneur” making a fortune selling fake PNI membership cards to known PKI leaders; a massive shortage of teachers in the years following the killings; and a girl in the back row crying silently when the events of 1965 were discussed in a civics class in 1981.