Archive for massacre

Marine Gets Three Months in Jail for Massacring Two Dozen Civilians

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by loonwatch

This man is responsible for a war crime, and it is totally sick that he is getting away with massacring innocent civilians:

Marine gets three months in jail for massacring two dozen civilians

(RT)

More than six years after Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich led a squad of Marines into two Haditha, Iraq homes and massacred two dozen civilians, the American serviceman in charge has reached a plea deal.

For nine counts of manslaughter, Wuterich will get three months of confinement.

Wuterich is the last of eight men tied to the November 2005 killing that left 24 Iraqis dead, including women, children and the elderly. It was announced on Monday this week that he had reached a plea with prosecutors during his military tribunal and is now expected to be sentenced as early as Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, Wuterich will face a maximum of three months of confinement, the forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay and a rank demotion.

Of the other seven Marines charged with the now-notorious massacre, one was acquitted and six had their charges dismissed. Wuterich’s attorneys have been confident throughout the ordeal that he would see a similar outcome. “He’s going to be glad to have it over because he knows that he’ll be exonerated,” lawyer Neal Puckett told National Public Radio earlier this month.

On November 19, 2005, Wuterich led a squad of men into two separate homes in the town of Haditha and opened fire on everyone in sight. Prosecutors say that a roadside bomb exploded moments before the Marines stormed the home, and were brought into hysterics by seeing a fellow soldier die in the attack. In response, they went on a rampage and for 45 minutes raided the two homes and were never faced with gunfire. Wuterich later said he instructed his team to “shoot first and ask questions later.”

“My Marines responded to the threats they faced in the manner that we all had been trained,” he explained to CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2007. After the roadside bomb was detonated, Wuterich said that, “My responsibility as a squad leader is to make sure that none of the rest of my guys died. And at that point, we were still on the assault.”

Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel, spokesman of the Camp Pendleton marine Corps base near San Diego, California, told the media on Monday that “By pleading guilty to this charge, Staff Sergeant Wuterich has accepted responsibility for his actions.”

Islamophobia, Zionism and the Norway Massacre

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by loonwatch

A very well written piece from Ali Abunimah. The connection between Zionism and the rise in Islamophobia was explored by LW when we wrote an exclusive piece exposing the funding apparatus of Islamophobia, The Connection between Zionism and Organized Islamophobia–The Facts.

In the piece we elaborated on how Aubrey Chernick, a premiere funder of Islamophobes has also donated to, amongst other groups, the ADL which is quite literally taken apart in the article below.

Ali Abunimah writes,

The continued lurch towards extremism in Israel, and among many of its supporters, underscores the truth that anyone who wants to dissociate from ultranationalism, racism and Islamophobia, also has to repudiate Israel’s state ideology, Zionism.

It may not be true that Zionism needs to be absolutely repudiated for one to “dissociate from ultra-nationalism, racism and Islamophobia,” however criticism of Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism or seen as a desire to destroy Israel.

Islamophobia, Zionism and the Norway massacre

by Ali Abunimah (AlJazeeraEnglish)

In a Washington Post op-ed last week, Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the Anti Defamation League, likened the hateful ideology that inspired Anders Behring Breivik to massacre 77 innocent people in Norway to the “deadly” anti-Semitism that infected Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This is a parallel that I, and many others who have been observing with alarm the rise of anti-Muslim incitement in the US and Europe, have made frequently.

Does this mean that Foxman – head of one of the most hardline and influential pro-Israel lobby groups – has found common ground with the Palestine solidarity movement?

That would be a good thing if it helped to fight the growing scourge of racist incitement. But by criticising the ideology that inspired Breivik, and pointing the finger at a few of its purveyors, Foxman appears to be trying to obscure the key role that he and some other pro-Israel advocates have played in mainstreaming the poisonous Islamophobic rhetoric that has now – Foxman himself argues – led to bloodshed in Norway.

Pointing the finger

Foxman describes, in his Washington Post article, “a relatively new, specifically anti-Islamic ideology” which Breivik used to justify his attack. “Growing numbers of people in Europe and the United States subscribe to this belief system”, Foxman writes, “In some instances it borders on hysteria. Adherents of this ideological Islamophobia view Islam as an existential threat to the world, especially to the ‘West.’”

“Moreover”, Foxman explains, “they believe that leaders and governments in the Western world are consciously or unconsciously collaborating to allow Islam to ‘infiltrate’ and eventually conquer democratic societies.”

Just such irrational beliefs underpin the hysteria about “Creeping Sharia” – the utterly baseless claim that Muslims are engaged in a secret conspiracy to impose Islamic law on the United States. So prevalent has this delusional belief become, that legislative efforts have been mounted in about two dozen American states, and have been passed by three, to outlaw Sharia law.

Foxman points the finger – as others have rightly done – at extreme Islamophobic agitators such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, co-founders of “Stop Islamisation of America” – whose hate-filled writings Breivik cited in his manifesto.

So far, Foxman has it right. But then he drops a clue about what really frightens him:

“One bizarre twist to Breivik’s warped worldview was his pro-Zionism – his strongly expressed support for the state of Israel. It is a reminder that we must always be wary of those whose love for the Jewish people is born out of hatred of Muslims or Arabs.”

Who does Foxman think he is kidding? There is nothing “bizarre” about this at all. Indeed Foxman himself has done much to bestow credibility on extremists who have helped popularise the Islamophobic views he now condemns. And he did it all to shore up support for Israel.

After Norway, Foxman may fear that the Islamophobic genie he helped unleash is out of control, and is a dangerous liability for him and for Israel.

Zionists embrace Islamophobia after 9/11

Many American Zionists embraced Islamophobic demagoguery after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Their logic was encapsulated in then-Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s notorious assessment that the attacks – which killed almost 3,000 people – would be beneficial for Israel.

Asked what the 9/11 atrocities would mean for US-Israeli relations, Netanyahu told The New York Times, “It’s very good”, before quickly adding, “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy” and would “strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror”.

In order for Israel and the United States to have the same enemy, the enemy could not just be the Palestinians, who never threatened the United States in any way. It had to be something bigger and even more menacing – and Islam fit the bill. The hyped-up narrative of an all-encompassing Islamic threat allowed Israel to be presented as the bastion of “western” and “Judeo-Christian” civilisation facing down encroaching Muslim barbarity. No audience was more receptive than politically influential, white, right-wing Christian evangelical pastors and their flocks.

Sermons of hate

“Since the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon, on September the 11th, American politicians have tripped over themselves to state that the vast majority of Muslims living in the United States are just ordinary people who love America and are loyal to America. Is that true? Is that really true?”

That is the question Pastor John Hagee, leader of an evangelical megachurch and founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), posed to his followers whom, he said, were becoming more concerned as “mosques appear across the nation”.

In a series of sermons soon after the 9/11 attacks which he titled “Allah and America,” Hagee began a relentless campaign of inciting his followers to fear and hate Muslims and Islam (videos of Hagee’s sermons can be found on YouTube.

Hagee has emerged over the past decade as one of the most prominent Christian Zionist supporters of Israel. His sermons are broadcast on dozens of TV channels and he influences millions of Americans.

As his “Allah and America” sermons progressed, Hagee’s answers became clear: “In the Qur’an, those who do not submit to Islam should be killed. That means death to Christians and death to Jews. Now I ask you, is that tolerant? Is that peaceful? Is that a sister faith to Christianity?”

After reading and distorting “selected verses from the Qur’an, which is the Islamic bible, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, to increase our understanding of the basis of their faith,” Hagee claimed, “the Qur’an insists that no matter how mighty a nation is, it must be fought until it embraces Islam.”

And, apparently knowing that his congregation may hate and fear only taxes as much as Muslims, Hagee told them that the Qur’an’s message to Muslims is “when you get into the government, tax Christians and Jews into poverty until they submit willingly to Islam. Sounds like the IRS [Internal Revenue Service], but not faith.”

Then he offered this warning: “Politicians who are telling America that Islam and Christianity are sister faiths are lying to the people of this country. There is no relationship of any kind between Islam and Christianity. None whatever.”

At every step, Hagee exhorted the faithful that Islam and Muslims were not only a danger to the United States, but specifically to Israel – a country to which they should offer unconditional support.

This sounds a lot like the ideology of generalised fear and loathing of Muslims that Foxman condemned in the Washington Post.

Islamophobic fearmongering, demonisation and dehumanisation, from the likes of Hagee, and bellowed continuously on cable channels and radio stations across America, enabled the US government to legitimise invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and expand wars from Pakistan to Yemen to Somalia. These took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Muslims, under the guise of a “war on terror” – all the while as presidents hosted White House iftars.

What makes Breivik’s attack so shocking and new is that he turned the Islamophobic rhetoric against the white citizens of the Euro-American “homeland”, those whom the officially-sanctioned military slaughter of Muslims abroad was ostensibly meant to protect.

Foxman welcomes Hagee in from the fringes

While Hagee offered his zealous support to Israel (he founded CUFI in 2006), not all of Israel’s supporters returned the love. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, warned in 2007 that the pro-Israel Jewish community’s embrace of far-right ideologues would drive away young, socially-liberal Jews from supporting Israel. He feared it could endanger the bipartisan support Israel always enjoyed in the United States by identifying it with what Yoffie saw as extremist elements.

Yoffie focused his criticism on Hagee, “who is contemptuous of Muslims, dismissive of gays, possesses a truimphalist theology and opposes a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.” He worried about the warm reception Hagee was receiving at conferences of Jewish Federations all over America.

One influential figure who didn’t share Yoffie’s fears about Hagee was Foxman, who told a reporter from the Religion News Service in March 2008, “I don’t have to agree with anybody 100 per cent in order to welcome their support, as long as their support is not conditioned on my agreeing with them on everything or accepting them 100 per cent.”

When it came to light during the 2008 US presidential campaign that Hagee had said in a 1999 sermon that Hitler had been sent by God to drive the Jews to Israel, Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain repudiated Hagee’s endorsement. But Foxman was quick to offer Hagee absolution, issuing a statement accepting the pastor’s “apology”.

Enabling Islamophobia

Foxman’s embrace of Hagee does not even mark the lowest point of his dalliance with Islamophobic extremists. Recall last summer – in the run up to the US midterm elections – the hate campaign targeting a proposal for an Islamic community centre planned for lower Manhattan in New York City.

Dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque” by its critics, it became a cause celebre for the Republican Party – and some gutless Democrats – who claimed that building the institution close to the former site of the World Trade Centre would be an insult to the memory of victims.

The hate campaign was notable for unprecedented anti-Muslim rhetoric that exceeded anything heard in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 attacks. While New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg earned plaudits for defending the right of American Muslims to build the Islamic centre where they wanted, Foxman and his Anti-Defamation League caused consternation when they backed the bigots and came out against the project.

And who was it who helped take a little-noticed plan for a community centre and turn it into “a national political spectacle?” None other than Pam Geller and Robert Spencer – as the Washington Post reported at the time- the same Islamophobic extremists whom Foxman now blames for fueling the kind of hatred that inspired Breivik to kill.

Rescuing Zionism from Islamophobia

Foxman’s claim that Breivik’s support for Israel is “bizarre” is a brazen attempt to deflect attention from the alliance that Foxman and leading Israeli politicians have made with the most racist Islamophobes – ones Foxman accurately likens to anti-Semites.

To be clear, Israel and Zionism have always been racist toward Palestinians and other non-Jews, otherwise how else could they justify the expulsion and exclusion of millions of Palestinians solely on the grounds that they are not Jews? It is the virulent, specifically anti-Muslim trend that has been particularly pronounced since 2001.

But the rot has already gone too far. As a recent article in Der Spiegel underscores, Europe’s far-right anti-Muslim demagogues have found many allies and admirers in Israel, particularly within the upper echelons of the ruling Likud and Yisrael Beitenu parties.

And the feeling is mutual: European ultra-nationalists, such as Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders, have put support for Israel’s right-wing government at the centre of their politics.

Islamophobia welcome in Israel

While the world was united in horror at Breivik’s massacre, several commentators in Israel’s mainstream media were much more understanding of his motives, if not for his actions. An oped on Ynet, the website of Israel’s mass circulation Yediot Aharonot, stated that “the youth movement of the ruling Labour Party” – of which many of the youths murdered on Utoya island were members – “is an organisation of anti-Israeli hate mongers”.

An editorial in The Jerusalem Post offered sympathy for Breivik’s anti-Muslim ideology and called on Norway to act on the concerns expressed in his manifesto, while an op-ed published by the same papersaid that the youth camp Breivik attacked had been engaged in “a pro-terrorist program”.

Meanwhile, an article in the American Jewish newspaper The Forward noted that on many mainstream internet forums, Israelis expressed satisfaction with Breivik’s massacre and thought that Norway got what it deserved.

Clear warning signs

Foxman cannot claim he didn’t see any of this coming. Back in 2003, I interviewed him for an article about the inclusion of Yisrael Beitenu and other parties in Israel’s governing coalition, parties that openly advocated the expulsion of Palestinians. Foxman’s attitude was as indulgent toward those racists and would-be ethnic cleansers as he was to Hagee’s hate-mongering a few years later, and it is those same Israeli parties that have forged the closest ties with European and American anti-Muslim extremists.

The continued lurch towards extremism in Israel, and among many of its supporters, underscores the truth that anyone who wants to dissociate from ultranationalism, racism and Islamophobia, also has to repudiate Israel’s state ideology, Zionism. Universal rights and equality for all human beings are concepts that are anathema to both.

With his panicked and belated jump onto the anti-Islamophobia bandwagon, Foxman hopes we won’t notice, and that organisations like his can continue defending Israel’s racism free from the stain of the deadly anti-Muslim extremism they have done so much to promote.

Ali Abunimah is author of “One Country, A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse”, and is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

In Norway, Ramadan Begins in the Shadow of a Massacre

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by loonwatch

In Norway, Ramadan begins in the shadow of a massacre

By Katell Prigent (AFP)

OSLO — Norway’s Muslims, reviled by the far-right extremist behind the twin attacks of July 22, began an emotional Ramadan Monday amid more funerals and ceremonies commemorating the 77 people killed.

The Muslim fasting month “will be filled with emotions and in honour of the the victims and their families,” said Methab Asfar, who heads the Islamic Council, an umbrella organisation for Muslim groups across Norway.

As in most other countries, Norway’s Muslims began fasting Monday, just 10 days after 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik carried out his deadly attacks in what he described as a battle against a “Muslim invasion” of Europe.

“Ramadan is always a special time, and we pray everyday. Of course we will be praying for the victims of the attacks and their families,” Samaia Elamin, 23, told AFP as she bought fruit and vegetables for the Iftar feast when the fast is broken after sunset.

Not far away, with the red, white and blue crossed flag of Norway flying at half-mast over the parliament building, the Scandinavian country’s political elite, headed by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, gathered inside to pay tribute to the victims.

With King Harald V and his son Crown Prince Haakon among the onlookers, the gathering observed a minute of silence before striking up Norway’s national anthem, “Ja, vi elsker,” meaning “yes, we love” in English and listening to parliament speaker Dag Terje Andersen read each of the victims’ names.

Stoltenberg meanwhile announced that a national day of commemoration and mourning would be held on August 21.

Several Muslims died in the attacks, including a 17-year-old girl of Turkish origin named Gizem Dogan, whose funeral Monday drew more than 1,000 people to the central-western town of Trondheim, including Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The Muslim ceremony was held on a football field, since the local mosque was not big enough to hold the throngs of people carrying roses and pictures of the smiling, brown-haired girl, who wanted to pay their last respects.

“Gizem has gained a hero status in the Turkish people’s hearts,” Davutoglu told the crowd gathered around her white flower-covered coffin turned to face Mecca.

While they were the actual focus of the killer’s hatred, some Muslims felt the brunt of suspicion in the chaotic hours before Behring Breivik was arrested, when many commentators were speculating that Islamist terrorists were responsible.

“Muslims were attacked verbally and physically in the hours after the attacks,” Asfar said, adding that “this kind of thing should not happen in a democratic society. We need to be able to solve our differences without resorting to violence.”

According to official statistics, Norway is home to some 100,000 Muslims out of a total population of nearly five million people.

The Islamic Council chief had only praise however for Norwegian authorities, who he said “handled the situation very well.”

“They never pointed a finger at any group or individual based on ethnicity or religion,” he said.

Behring Breivik’s main target was the ruling Labour Party, which he blamed for its multicultural policies.

He first set off a car bomb in Oslo’s government quarter, killing eight people and damaging the offices of among others Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, before going on a shooting rampage on Utoeya island near Oslo, where the party was holding a youth camp.

Sixty-nine people, most of them teenagers, were killed in the shooting.

“Of course the attacks will leave a mark on Ramadan. Everyone has this in mind and we are especially mindful of the victims’ loved ones,” Asfar told AFP in a telephone interview.

“In one way, it is an entire nation that will be fasting,” Asfar said.

“The aim of the fast is to keep in mind those who are in difficulty. It’s a time for forgiveness, for reflections, for love and warmth. Muslim or not, our thoughts will be with the victims and their families,” he said.

Throughout the month of Ramadan, devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset when they break the fast with the Iftar meal.

The fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which able Muslims should do once in a lifetime.

Muslims and Christians Gather together in Iraq

Posted in Anti-Loons, Feature with tags , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2010 by loonwatch

Muslims and Christians hold their respective holy scriptures at a gathering to support peace amongst the various confessions in Iraq.

 

Gaza Flotilla Massacre: Israeli Pirates of the Mediterranean

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by loonwatch

The Memorial Day weekend is a time for many to sit with their families, barbecue and remember those soldiers who sacrificed their lives in wars. However, news headlines delivered shocking news of Israeli commandos attacking a ship in international waters carrying aid to Gaza, killing at the very least nine peace activists while other reports put the figure higher at 16 and injuring dozens more.

The ship, known as the Mavi Marmara was part of a fleet of six ships that embarked from Greece with the goal of heading to Gaza to break the suffocating siege that Israel has placed on the Palestinian territory. Israel expressed that it would deal harshly with the flotilla and viewed it as an “attack on its sovereignty”. Those were the exact words of Israel’s right wing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The ship never got a chance to get close to Gaza, as Israeli commandos on dinghies and helicopters intercepted the ship. Israel claims it was acting in self-defense, saying the commandos were attacked with wooden batons, metal rods and knives. Yet, Israel imposed a media blackout immediately after the attack and only now are we learning about events from first hand sources.

“This was not an act of self-defence,” said Mr Paech, a politician, as he arrived back in Berlin wrapped in a blue blanket.

“Personally I saw two and a half wooden batons that were used… There was really nothing else. We never saw any knives.

“This was an attack in international waters on a peaceful mission… This was a clear act of piracy,” he added.

Fellow German activist Inge Hoeger said they had been on the ships “for peaceful purposes”.

“We wanted to transport aid to Gaza,” she said. “No-one had a weapon.”

She added: “We were aware that this would not be a simple cruise across the sea to deliver the goods to Gaza. But we did not count on this kind of brutality.”

Activist Bayram Kalyon, arriving back in Istanbul, had also been a passenger on the Mavi Marmara.

“The captain… told us ‘They are firing randomly, they are breaking the windows and entering inside. So you should get out of here as soon as possible’. That was our last conversation with him.”

Condemnation of the attack came from all over the world with leaders from Europe, Africa and the Middle East united in one way or another in deploring the raid and mourning the victims. Turkey was the strongest in its condemnation, labeling the Israeli attack as a “massacre” and an act of”barbarism” and “piracy,” the strong condemnation made sense considering many of those on board the ships were Turkish.

Breakdown of those on board the ship,

Australia 3; Azerbaijan 2; Italy 6; Indonesia 12; Ireland 9; Algeria 28; United States 11; Bulgaria 2; Bosnia 1; Bahrain 4; Belgium 5; Germany 11; South Africa 1; Holland 2; United Kingdom 31; Greece 38; Jordan 30; Kuwait 15; Lebanon 3; Mauritania 3; Malaysia 11; Egypt 3; Macedonia 3; Morocco 7; Norway 3; New Zealand 1; Syria 3; Serbia 1; Oman 1; Pakistan 3; Czech Republic 4; France 9; Kosovo 1; Canada 1; Sweden 11; Turkey 380; Yemen 4.

However, the media has unfortunately in some ways portrayed this as a Turkish-only venture which it certainly was not, it had nationals from all over the world, noble peace laureates, a holocaust survivor, a former US ambassador,  prize winning authors, philosophers, politicians and activists from all walks of life. This diversity of backgrounds came together for the sole purpose of bringing relief to besieged Gazans, but instead they were met with violence.

Israelis burn Turkish flag

This fact also belies the cynical attempt by Israeli PR propagandists to paint this flotilla of peace as an armada of terror. Mark Regev, a face familiar to many during the information blackout that Israel enforced during the 2009 Gaza war was at it again, this time claiming that this flotilla was led by “Islamic Extremists.”

Pamela Geller has already shot off a dozen or more blog posts and articles about the Israeli attack, in her world these were “war ships” that were sent in a “military operation from re-Islamicized Turkey,” where according to her the number #1 best selling book is Mein Kampf (she can’t miss a Hitler reference can she?). Robert Spencer on his site is not to be undone by his partner Pamela, and has also shot off a handful of posts that reproduce articles making the argument that the Israeli attack wasn’t about targeting humanitarian work but about Radical Islam vs. Liberal West, that those on board have possible ties to Al-Qaeda, etc. You get the picture, let the dehumanization begin!

In the end the attack on the ship seems to have served no purpose but to perpetuate violence, and I can only imagine that it will galvanize more people to want to partake in non-violently breaking the blockade of Gaza. As we speak, the Rachel Corrie, an Irish ship, is on its way in an attempt to break through the Israeli blockade. Here’s hoping that the Israeli military won’t react wildly once again and do something crazy like killing innocent civilians on a peace mission.

Ireland to Israel: Let the new aid ship break the Gaza blockade

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen urged Israel to let the vessel to finish its mission. The ship was carrying 15 activists including a northern Irish Nobel Peace laureate.

“The government has formally requested the Israeli government to allow the Irish-owned ship … to be allowed to complete its journey unimpeded and discharge its humanitarian cargo in Gaza,” Cowen told parliament in Dublin.

An Israel Defense Forces officer pledged that the newest ship would also be halted, setting the stage for a fresh confrontation after Monday’s deadly clash.

“We as a unit are studying, and we will carry out professional investigations to reach conclusions,” the lieutenant said, referring to Monday’s confrontation in which his unit shot nine activists aboard a Turkish ferry.

“And we will also be ready for the Rachel Corrie,” he added

But activists said they were determined to follow through with their plan. “We are an initiative to break Israel’s blockade of 1.5 million people in Gaza. Our mission has not changed and this is not going to be the last flotilla,” Free Gaza Movement activist Greta Berlin, based in Cyprus, told Reuters.

Israeli officials were continuing to deport the activists who were aboard the six-ship flotilla. One hundred and twenty of the nearly 700 passengers were transferred Tuesday evening to the border crossing with Jordan, from where they will be returned to their home countries.

Passengers on the MV Rachel Corrie include Northern Irish Nobel peace laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and Denis Halliday, an Irish former senior UN diplomat, and several other Irish citizens.

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin told parliament he had spoken with Halliday on Tuesday afternoon.

“We will be watching this situation very closely — as indeed will the world — and it is imperative that Israel avoid any action which leads to further bloodshed,” Martin said.

Israel’s Army Radio reported that the ship would reach Gazan waters by Wednesday, but activist Berlin said it might not attempt to reach Gaza until early next week.

“We will probably not send her till (next) Monday or Tuesday,” she said of the 1,200 ton cargo ship. The Israeli navy stormed aboard a Turkish ferry leading a six-ship convoy on Monday, killing nine people in what authorities said was self-defense but sparking a world outcry, a crisis in diplomatic relations with Turkey and condemnation from the United Nations Security Council.

The Rachel Corrie was carrying medical equipment, wheelchairs, school supplies and cement, a material Israel has banned in Hamas-ruled Gaza, organizers said.

Mark Daly, a member of Ireland’s upper house of parliament who had been due to join the convoy but was refused permission to leave Cyprus, told Reuters in Dublin that the ship had fallen behind the rest of the convoy because it was slower.

Passengers aboard it had heard about the attacks but decided not to turn back, he said.

“After having a discussion among themselves about what to do, they decided to keep going,” Daly said.

Nearly 700 international activists were processed in and around Israel’s port of Ashdod on Monday evening, where the six ships of the blockade-running convoy had been escorted.

Among the activists were many Turks but they also included Israelis and Palestinians as well as Americans and many Europeans.

The Interior Ministry said 682 activists were ordered deported, and that 45 left on Tuesday, while others were jailed as they challenged the orders, or in hospital being treated for injuries.

 

Hate Mail of the Day: From the Ghost of Baruch Goldstein

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by loonwatch

Hate Mail of the Day

mailbag

Recently we got some hate mail from someone calling themselves Baruch Goldstein. Obviously a reference to the Extremist Jewish settler who killed 30 Muslim worshippers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. It seems the ghost of Baruch Goldstein haunts us still and he came back from the dead to let us know what he thinks about Islam and our website.

Baruch Goldstein

Nice try at obfuscating the supremacist, genocidal ideology of islam from the actions carried out in its name.

I know Armenians that would rip your f**king head off Abdul.

He ends his polite email with the hallmark of the spirit of Goldstein, a call to violence. Goldstein (none of us are Abdul’s by the way), I know Armenians who would happily have a cup of tea with us here at LoonWatch and would rather not rip our heads off.

Cenk Uygur Obliterates Closet Islamophobe

Posted in Loon TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2009 by loonwatch
Cenk, posing as a Bollywood hero
Cenk, posing as a Bollywood hero

Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks Obliterates Closet Islamophobe

Cenk Uygur, the host of The Young Turks, rips this closet Islamophobe a new one.  I especially like how he made sure to mention George Bush’s intention behind invading Iraq (the Biblical prophecy of Gag and Magog), which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.  (But of course those civilians don’t count, since they are brown Moozlems.)

Cenk could have sealed that argument by mentioning the Christian version of Al-Qaeda, none other than the fundamentalist Evangelical Blackwater group, which has killed scores of civilians.  And he could also have mentioned the thousands of Christians who believe in the Joel’s Army theology and the general surge of Christian fanaticism in the U.S. military.

One other point: the conservative loon mentioned the idea that 90% of mosques in America are owned and operated by Saudi Arabia.  This is a blatant lie commonly peddled by Islamophobes.  “But you can google it!”  Believe it or not: but not everything on the interwebs is true.  *gasp*  In fact, the vast majority of mosques in America run on local donations.

Joy "7 million Muslims in the World?" Tiz
Joy “7 million Muslims in the World?” Tiz

Then in that same breath she says that they are funded by the Muslim Brotherhood, when in fact the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood runs contrary to that of the “Wahhabi” (Salafi) strain of Islam followed in Saudi Arabia.

But anyways, I must say that Cenk did a great job (and I give him a 10 out of 10).  Here is the debate:

Cenk vs Conservative [Loon] on Muslims in the Military

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFsV1tHEvzA 300 250]