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You Mean Muslims Make Art?

When Jesus used a good Samaritan to explain the need to appreciate foreigners, he can be forgiven for not having known that so many Samaritans would later convert to Islam.  It's not as if he was omniscient or something!  And think of how much he's forgiven us.  Nonetheless, since we can't reasonably be expected to appreciate Muslims -- at least not while we're teaching young people that Muslims deserve genocide --  that whole parable falls apart.

I doubt one film can solve this problem, but I did just get a chance to preview a beautiful documentary that will be airing on PBS on July 6th, called "Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World."  Susan Sarandon narrates, and the voices are all in English -- no dubbing or subtitles.  They're the voices of professors, art scholars, and artists.  The subtitle could be a reference to cultures of the distant past, as an early comment in the film suggests, or perhaps it carries some sort of religious meaning.

The art in the film is largely but not exclusively religious.  It's all art and architecture of "the Muslim world," taken to mean geographic areas dominated by Muslim culture now or in the past.  We learn about the heavy use of Arabic writing in Islamic art, in calligraphy, and in architectural inscriptions.  We tour great works of architecture in Palestine, Syria, Spain, Turkey, Mali, and India.  In the secular world, apart from the mosques, we see plates, bowls, pitchers, sculptures, and paintings depicting animals and people. 

In Isfahan, in the middle of Iran, so easily bombed, we find the origin of the blue and white ceramics we associate with a nation they spread to: China -- as well as stunning images of a beautiful blue mosque.  During the course of the movie we are told how various Muslim art forms were influenced by Christian or Hindu art.  And of course, the opposite has been just as common.  The interlocking histories of these cultures make it very difficult to speak of one as if it were separate from the others. 

I have to assume that someone who identified with a religion other than Islam could have as easy a time appreciating Islamic art as I do, being an atheist who would prefer to see the world leave religion behind. Some of the experts heard in the film instruct us that various art objects refer to prayer or heaven, or that the art provides the viewer with a religious experience.  And yet if I ignore the commentary what I see are incredible designs and colors developed around natural and mathematical beauty. 

God said: to know me, know my creations, we're told, and yet the flower designs woven into wonderful tapestries in Western Asia inspire even if I'm not trying to know something else that I can know by knowing them, if you know what I mean.

Talk Nation Radio: Bruce Gagnon on U.S. Aggression Toward Russia and China

Bruce Gagnon describes U.S. and NATO plans in the works to militarily surround and threaten both Russia and China.  Gagnon is co-founder and coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space at http://space4peace.org.  He blogs at http://space4peace.blogspot.com He's the author of Come Together Right Now, and of a chapter in The Military Industrial Complex at 50.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.

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Julian Assange Gets Out of Dodge

Julian Assange’s Artful Dodge

June 20, 2012

Editor Note: Faced with extradition from London to Sweden to face sex-abuse allegations, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy and asked for asylum, what ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern considers an artful dodge to avoid possible U.S. persecution.

By Ray McGovern

Barring a CIA drone strike on the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s sudden appeal for asylum there may spare him a prison stay in Sweden or possibly the United States. Assange’s freedom now depends largely on Ecuadorian President Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado, a new breed of independent-minded leader like Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Putin/Obama Talks

  Putin/Obama Talks

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Since reelected in March, Putin and Obama met for the first time on Monday at the Los Cabos, Mexico G20 meeting.

 

Discussions focused on major geopolitical and economic issues. Differences on Syria remain unresolved.

 

Palestinian Footballer Wins Release

  Palestinian Footballer Wins Release

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On June 18, Maan News headlined "Al-Sarsak ends hunger strike in release deal," saying:

 

Ask the President of Ecuador to Protect Julian Assange from Lawless Detention or Death Penalty

RT @davidcnswanson We in the United States beg you @MashiRafael to save #Assange from our government. RT if you oppose jailing/killing journalists.

"Redact This": Help Us Publish This Ebook of Antiwar Art

We need your help to engage a very special intern this summer.  For $1000, we will begin work on an online crowd-funding campaign to produce a two-minute pitch video to highlight the intent and goals of the e-book publishing of Redact This! a fantastic book of images by artists including Fernando Botero, Clinton Fein, Art Hazelwood, Daniel Heyman,  Jenny Holzer, Frances Jetter, Ann Messner, Malaquias Montoya, Richard Serra (creator of the piece above) and David Zung.  It includes text by Peter Selz and Debra Sweet and a timeline by designer and editor David Schwittek.

Please help give a boost to this campaign to raise the funds and get Redact This! published.

Amnesty's Shilling for US-NATO Wars

By Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley

The new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA – Suzanne Nossel – is a recent U.S. government insider. So it’s a safe bet that AI’s decision to seize upon a topic that dovetailed with American foreign policy interests, “women’s rights in Afghanistan,” at the NATO Conference last month in Chicago came directly from her.

Nossel was hired by AI in January 2012. In her early career, Nossel worked for Ambassador Richard Holbrooke under the Clinton Administration at the United Nations. Most recently, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State, where she was responsible for multilateral human rights, humanitarian affairs, women’s issues, public diplomacy, press and congressional relations.

TSA threatens newspaper editor for leaving stuff in pocket

Ah, well, isn’t it nice to know that it’s not just the hoi polloi who get bullied, harassed, and abused by the TSA, but also CongressmenSenators

Fraud at the Polls

  Fraud at the Polls

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

At age 25, Orson Welles co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane. It looks critically at the life and times of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. 

 

Israeli Turned Palestinian Activist

  Israeli Turned Palestinian Activist

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Popular 1965 Hal David/Burt Bacharach lyrics said "What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of." 

 

It applies aptly to how Israel treats Palestinians.

 

Klepetromilitatorship

Which came first, the oil business or the war machine that protects it? Who started this madness, the military that consumes so much of the oil or the corporations that distribute and profit from the filthy stuff?

An answer of sorts can be found in Timothy Mitchell's book, "Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil."

Western oil corporations were never strong enough, Mitchell finds, to monopolize the flow or stoppage of Middle Eastern oil without major military and financial assistance. So, they began talking about their control of Middle Eastern oil as being an imperial interest. When "imperial" went out of fashion, the phrase shifted to "strategic interest."

Washington Arming Syria Insurgents

  Washington Arming Syrian Insurgents

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

It's no surprise. It's an open secret. It's been ongoing since early last year directly and/or indirectly. Rhetorically supporting peace while waging war exposes Washington's transparent hypocrisy.

 

Palestinian Footballer Near Death

  Palestinian Footballer Near Death

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Several Palestinian prisoners continue hunger striking for justice.

 

Footballer Mahmoud Sarsak declined food for 90 days and counting. He's been detained uncharged for nearly three years. He demands release. Israel refuses.

Iran War Weekly - June 17, 2012

Iran War Weekly

June 17, 2012

Hello All – The third round of negotiations re: Iran’s nuclear program begins tomorrow in Moscow.  They are scheduled to last two days.  Though the initial round in Istanbul produced lots of optimism, the second round in Baghdad was viewed by all parties as a failure.  While “the West” maintained that the negotiations failed because of Iran’s intransigence, most analysts not associated with “Western” governments thought that the inflexible and ungenerous bargaining position of the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) was the reason for failure. 

We've come a long way from the Magna Carta to legalizing torture and "kill lists"!

Friday June 15, 2012, happened to be the 797th anniversary of the day certain feudal barons in England confronted King John and asked him to guarantee a "charter of liberties" which eventually became the Magna Carta. So it was an appropriate day in June 2012: Torture Awareness Month, to think about the legal issues that have emerged with Eric Holder's and other Obama lawyers' equating of "due process" with the latest CIA and Pentagon "baseball cards kill list". Passers-by marked the Magna Carta anniversary from 11 am to 1 pm outside the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis by taking a look at our well-footnoted display of visual panels tracing this once-proud history and contemplating some of the hard legal questions that naturally arise.   

The ACLU has brought an active FOIA lawsuit seeking release of the recent Office of Legal Counsel memo that, according to Attorney General Holder, somehow gamely opines that "due process" can be any process that we do.  It does not have to be "judicial process" but can instead be a CIA or Pentagon Power-Point as long as it's carefully and secretly compiled and put on glossy baseball cards.  But some of us who didn't go to Harvard or Yale might question the soundness of this new-fangled targeted killing doctrine that seems to turn the Magna Carta on its head!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/49024523/120611%20TORTURE-TIMELINE-COMPLETE-LARGE-FILE.pdf
 

Washington's Imperial Brinksmanship

  Washington's Imperial Brinksmanship

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Syrian violence rages. Washington bears direct responsibility. Regime change plans are longstanding. Military intervention is planned. Expect it. It's coming.

 

Europe in Crisis

  Europe in Crisis

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Four and a half years after crisis conditions erupted, nothing's been done to resolve them. The smartest guys around haven't fixed things. 

 

On June 14, rumors circulated about coordinated central bank intervention. European banks are especially troubled. Recapitalizing them hasn't worked.

American Humanist Association Awards World Can't Wait Director Debra Sweet

Hello to all the new friends we made at the American Humanist Association conference in New Orleans, especially to the Feminist Caucus who named me "humanist heroine."  The AHA came out publicly last week for "restraint" against attacking Iran, and I believe it's one of the few national organizations to do so.

Video from the American Humanist Association Awards Banquet

Dude, That Is So Killer

Are you aware, I asked a friend, that the guy you're registering new voters to vote for keeps a list of people he intends to kill? Oh well, he replied, you know.

Do I, now?

Weaponized drones should be banned, I tell a group of progressives. What? Oh no, drones are better than armies, because with drones nobody gets killed.

Is that so? Just how far do progressives have left to progress exactly?

How can we shake people out of their acceptance of murder, I ask peace activists. Easy. We'll trumpet the news of the 2,000th U.S. death in Afghanistan.

We will?

German press reports FSA probably conducted Houla massacre

 http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/06/new-faz-piece-on-houla-massacre-the-extermination.html#more    

One of Germany's most respected newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, is reporting that an anti-government militia, under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army, probably conducted the Houla massacre.  This is a critical challenge to the Western narrative of the civil war, as the Houla massacre is being widely held up as a pretext for arming the FSA and for Western military intervention.  

  

      

Scoundrel Media Support for Obama

  Scoundrel Media Support for Obama

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Months before November's election, New York Times editors made their choice: Obama in 2012. Expect an official endorsement to follow.

 

Gaza Blockade's Fifth Anniversary

  Gaza Blockade’s Fifth Anniversary

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Gaza's blockade is illegal. Collective punishment is prohibited. Fourth Geneva's Article 33 states:

 

"No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited."

TSA lies: Prof. Taly Gilat-Schmidt responds

Yesterday and the day before TSA News had two posts on misleading news reports about the supposed safety of backscatter (x-ray) scanners.

Presidential Medal of Freedom Hypocrisy

  Presidential Medal of Freedom Hypocrisy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On July 6, 1945, Harry Truman authorized awarding the Medal of Freedom "to any person....who, or on after December 7, 1941, has performed a meritorious act or service which has aided the United States in the prosecution of a war against an enemy or enemies and for which an award of another United States medal or decoration is considered inappropriate."

 

JPMorgan Chase on Capitol Hill

  JPMorgan Chase on Capitol Hill

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

On June 13, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testified before the Senate Banking Committee. He discussed his firm's recent trading loss and industry practices.

 

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.

Find Events Here.

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