Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Courrier International

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks: On how the leaks affected “Arab Spring” uprising

Julian Assange gave an extensive interview to Hans Ulrich Obrist, published in 4 parts in the French weekly Courrier International.  To the question on the contribution of WikiLeaks on Arab uprising, Assange had this to say:

“We tried in WikiLeaks to have an impact on the Arab societies. At least, we managed to pour oil on the fire.  Studying the interactions among the leaks and the uprising are still to be written.  The Lebanese daily Al Akhbar (The Stories) started publishing in December 2010 analyses of the US diplomatic telegrams that related to Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The domain name of Al Akhbar was attacked and redirected to a porno site in Saudi Arabia.  As Al Akhbar recovered from the attack, it had to face denials of services, and dealing with hackers erasing the contents of cables, articles, and pieces of analyses.  WikiLeakes supporters intervened and redirected to us the official Tunisian sites.

The New Yorker divulged a leak from the US ambassador to Tunisia, exposing the rampant corruption of President Ben Ali and his entourage. One leak announced the readiness of the US to supporting the Tunisian army against Ben Ali.  This piece of intelligence was a strong message and a signal to getting on the move.  When we witnessed the Tunisian uprising, we knew that Egypt of Mubarak is next in line.

Consequently, we worked hard to release leaks concerning Mubarak’s vast and deep network of collaborators and far-reaching corruption to even small municipalities and shop owners. In collaboration with the British The Daily Telegraph, we published 480 telegram leaks on Libya of Qadhafi.

These leaks tarnished and weakened the massive support that the US and western States lavished on Mubarak and Qadhafi.

For example, vice President Joseph Biden, refrained from repeating that “The regime of Mubarak is most probably democratic“.  Leaks exposed the close cooperation and technical support of the FBI with Egypt internal security services and procedures for torture activities, against human rights…

For example, another leaks divulged instructions to soccer clubs to not using Facebook and Twitter. The Egyptian revolutionary had a field day disseminating this leak of forbidding the usage of social platform.

From the 20 dailies we cooperated with, only The Daily Telegram thought it worthwhile analyzing leaks on Egypt and Libya and publishing any articles relative to these leaks they had.

Worst ecological disaster: Who is Pablo Fajardo Mendoza?

Texaco started oil operations in the State of Equator in 1964.  The location was in the Amazon provinces of Sucumbios and Orellana; the main towns are Largo Agrio and Shushufindi up north.  Texaco dug around 356 oil wells.  For every well, Texaco constructed five open-air basins for storing toxic waste and polluted water used for the operations of the wells.  All these basins were located by the river Rio Victoria so that the wastes are conveniently emptied to save on the safety requirements.  Roads were drenched with oil instead of asphalt.  For five decades, water, air, soil smelled and tasted oil. Texaco had built a 550 km pipeline to the pacific shore.

Texaco claimed that oil does not pollute, that the Amazon basin is an oil land and nobody should be living there, that oil is biodegradable and its effects disappear within weeks, that cancer cases were related to the hygiene standards in the region…

Two of the five indigenous tribes in the region, the Tetete and Sansahuari, are extinct.  The other three tribes were forced to join the cheap labor force for lack of fishing and surviving of the forest bounties.  An ecological catastrophe devastated the entire region,  a calamity 30 times larger than the Exxon Valdez in Alaska.

Pablo Fajardo Mendoza was 14 of age, and the fifth of ten kids, when his parents moved from the province of Manabi to the town of Sushufindi, two decades ago.  At the age of 16, Pablo was leading groups of contestants to the ecological catastrophe: He was fired.

Pablo continued his education with the help of catholic Capuchin priests and obtained his law degree by correspondence at the age of 32.  Every time Pablo and his groups file suite, the Equator government would require a lawyer to represent them. Consequently, Pablo figured out that he will be the lawyer.  Pablo was under the strong impression that the government did its best to facilitate Texaco businesses.

As Pablo was resuming his high school education, the lawyer Judith Kimberling published “Amazon Crude” that made a long fire. In 1993, three separate US lawyers filed a suit in New York tribunals.  The US tribunals claimed their incompetence in the matter and suggested that the lawsuit be presented in Equator. In 2002, nine years later, the court of appeal decided that the case can be carried out in Equator.

By 2003, Pablo Mendoza lodged another lawsuit in the province of Sucumbio. 106 expert reports were presented, among them 56 of them financed by Chevron.  The cost of the 30,000 Equatorian plaintiffs was covered by the Philadelphia law firm of Kohn, Swift, and Graf.  The US law firm estimated the victims will cash in $28 billion in damages.

In 2004, 8 days before the start of the expertise phase in the judicial process, Pablo’s brother (28) was savagely assassinated.  Pablo escaped and scattered his family members for security reasons.

In February 2011, the tribunal in Lago Agria issued its verdict: Texaco-Chevron will pay $8.5 billion in damages, the saving that Texaco generated by flaunting the safety and health standards in the oil production.

The US judge Lewis Kaplan of South New York district declared that the verdict cannot be executed in the USA.  Texaco-Chevron have interests in 50 other States around the world, and damages will be collected from everywhere Chevron is doing business.

Note 1:  This article was inspired by a piece published in the French weekly “Courrier International” number 1078

Note 2: Texaco was purchased by Chevron in 2001.  Texaco was replaced by the State operator Petroecuador in 1990.

Note 3: The irony is that Texaco-Chevron invoked in 2010 the Federal law of “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act” to dismiss the case.  The plaintiffs are members of an organized criminal association!

What’s going on in the Gulf Arab Emirate States?  Mercenaries of Erik Prince got a lucrative contract?

Why these Gulf  “Arab” Emirate States, about seven of them, recognized by the UN in 1971-72, at the instigation of the British previous colonial power, are frenziedly hiring Western mercenaries?  These absolute monarchies of previous nomadic tribe leaders are named Abou Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah,  Ajman, Umm al Qaiwan, Ras al Khaimah,  and Fujirah.  Abou Dhabi is the political Capital, while Dubai is the economic Capital.

Are Pakistanis no longer good enough to defend these fictitious States from the ingenious and historically powerful neighbor Iran?  The Emirates don’t want to hire Moslem mercenaries because they cannot guarantee that Moslems would consistently murder Moslems.

In November, dozens of Colombian mercenaries landed in Abu Dhabi airport, late at night, and intelligence service personnel facilitated the bypassing of control processes and inspection of the alleged construction workers.  The group was whisked to a military complex, to be integrated to Erik Prince “Reflex Response (R2)” newly named mercenary enterprise.  The cost of the contract is about $530 million.  When Erik Prince enterprise pays $42 million for flaunting the US regulations in training troops in Jordan and other countries, that is samll pittance.  Implicitly, Erik is getting green light from the US government for these illicit contracts.

For example, the FBI agent Ricky Chambers (CT), is facilitating recruitment from ex-military personnel who participated in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The hired mercenary is paid about $200,000 per year.  The Thor Global Enterprises, located in the Caribbean Island of Tortala is subcontracted for hiring the mercenaries from Latin America.

The Colombian Calixto Rincon (42 year-old) said in an interview that the Emirates were on the lookout, since the year 2010, for combatants from troubled countries like Columbia.  He said: “We were confined in our camp, except for our morning jogging exercises.”  Occasionally, buses drive these mercenaries to hotels in Dubai to meet with prostitutes.

Basically, Erik Prince is planning to locate the major business of training mercenaries to the Gulf Arab Emirates, securing contracts in the billion of dollars.

The New York Times divulged this piece of intelligence that the Crown prince is planning to hire a battalion of 800 foreign mercenaries. Officially, the mercenaries are to defend oil pipelines from sabotage attacks and high rises.  Everybody understand that this battalion is to trained to counter internal revolts, particularly these populous camps trapping foreign and “Arab” workforce.

The training military camp is baptized Zayed Military City.  Humvees and diesel trucks are aligned in covered garages. American, British and German ex-special operation officers, as well as French Foreign Legion are the major cadres.

Worse, the Gulf Emirate States have signed a contract with South Korea in 2009 to build four nuclear power plants, costing over $15 billion.

How do these Gulf States forcefully erected an enemy, when full cooperation with Iran should have been the most useful and sustainable in the long-term?

Note 1:  Most information were gathered from an article published in the French weekly “Le Courrier International”

Note 2: A friend of mine living in the Emirates told me that the government forced the company he is working for to hire Eric Prince’s employees as guards, instead of the far less expensive Indians at the employ of his company.  More than 50% of the pay of the newly hired goes to the security company…

Placebo is neutral and inexpensive? Think again!

Placebo are supposed to have neutral effects in double-blind experiments on the effects of medicines, and they are thought to be very inexpensive products.

First, do you know that 80% of published peer-reviewed clinical research failed to describe the contents in ingredients and the components of placebo used in the experiments?  Fact is, placebo are not mere sugar, plain water, saline solutions… They do have ingredients “considered to be safe or neutral” by the researcher.  Remember the case of olive oil used as placebo while cod oil was the medicine of cure?  They both lowered cholesterol level!

Second, placebo are not cheap!  Placebo are usually more expensive than the actual manufactured medicine to test.  The placebo has to exactly resemble the medicine in form, shape, color, consistency, taste, credible in the logo and inscriptions… The pharmaceutical manufacturer has to redesign a new product for small quantities:  Thus, placebo are far more expensive than normally budgeted in the research grant. 

Actually, a new field is emerging for graphic designers called “placebo designers” with objective of finding creative and credible placebo.

Third, autosuggestion that placebo is the proper medicine has demonstrated to be a potent factor in the cure of many patients.  For example, in 17% of the cases when patients were informed to be taking placebo, it had a positive influence.  Fabrizio Benedetti used saline solution on Parkinson patients.  The activities in the corresponding cerebral region diminished significantly:  The trembling ceased.

Do you know that between 2001 and 2006, the number of “faked medicines” on the market that didn’t reach phase 2 in the testing (limited number of patients experimented on) increased 20%?  That marketed faked medicines that didn’t pass phase 3 increased 11%?

Do you know that the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry revealed in April 2011 that 20% of medical practitioners administered placebo on their patients without the knowledge of the patients?  That 35% of the prescribed medicines had low weak doses of potent ingredients?

Using placebo in chronic patients, familiar with the taste and consistency of the real medicine, generate negative counter-reactions in the mind of patients and called “nocebo”:  The chronic patients are no fools and can discriminate a placebo from normal medicines; they are used to taking regularly particular medicines. 

The role of autosuggest is very important in curing patients.  Consequently, unless the clinical experimenter is thoroughly aware of the types of illnesses that can be cured by autosuggest, if he fails to factor-in this variable in controlling the experiment, the results would be confounding:  Further investigations, analysis, or redoing the experiment with a reviewed design would be required.

Note:  Idea extracted from an article in the “Courrier International”

Who are the Akas pygmies; their songs? Who is Louis Sarno?

Deep in the equatorial Congo forest, live the African pygmies; one of the tribes is the Akas, famous for their melodious songs.

The pygmies number in the 100,000 and dwindling as their neighboring tribes the Bantous or (Bilos as called by the Akas), more numerous and of higher stature, have deforested extensively and have been using guns for killing animals.

For the Bilos, the Akas are no better than slaves and chimpanzees since they don’t live in houses.

Louis Sarno was born in the New Jersey (USA) in 1954, studied literature and loved to listen to Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler,and the classics.

Louis also liked to read Jack Kerouac and Albert Camus, reading shared by his roommate Jim Jarmusch (the director of “Dead Man” (1995) and “Ghost Dog” (1999), both movies were inspired by Sarno experience among the pygmies).

Louis married with a young Netherlands girl and moved to Amsterdam .  The marriage didn’t last. One winter night in 1980, Louis heard songs on the Netherlands radio that hypnotized him, nothing that he ever heard before in his life by his attuned ears.  He said: “A web of polyphonic feminine voices, of refined yodel kinds, a melody that keeps going back and forth without ending.  These exotic harmonies were pure magic and I had to meet these people who produced such songs. It was a chant that attracted me to the heart of Africa”

With $500 and a tape recorder, Sarno purchased in 1985 a one-way ticket to Bangui in Central Africa. Louis said: “In exchange for initiating me to their music, the Akas demanded that I live among them. It was a win deal for me.”

Sarno has been living there for the last 25 years.

A team from the German daily Die Zeit (Hamburg) were impressed by the book “Song from the Forest“, written by Louis Sarno and published in 1990.  This team, headed by Michael Obert, decided to meet with Sarno in the jungle without any warning.  The team landed in Yaounde (Capital of Cameroon), crossed the borders of Central Africa via the river Sangha, and walked to the village of Yandoumbe.

The team was welcomed by pygmies pointing spears at them.  The women with tattooed faces and pointed incisive grab them by their shirts.  Suddenly, the shouts stop and a white man, (two feet taller than the men around him 190 cm), bare chest and bare feet, with elongated and skinny face, arrives carrying two babies in his arms.

The piercing black eyes of Sarno are expressing displeasure.  Then, a six-year old child takes our hands and starts to sing.  Sarno melts and changes to a friendly guy.

We mentioned the book that was the catalyst for their adventure and Sarno replied: “Never mention this book: I didn’t know much of the Akas at the time of writing the book. In New York they made fun of me calling me “The King of the Pygmies

Louis Sarno is already a legend: He recorded 400 hours of the Akas music and songs, survived typhus, hepatitis, and all kinds of equatorial diseases. Inside his rudimentary hut made of branches, you find no television, or phones…

Actually, there is no electricity or running water.  The radio and taping recorder function on batteries.

When asked how people can find their way in this jungle, Louis says: “The forest is an orchestra and the Akas add their solo pieces.  The songs of birds and the sounds of the animals and branches have their special directional orientation.  They can hear the river from long distances. For example, a woman knows that her husband had a good hunt by the birds singing variations”

Louis Sarno married a pygmy girl and has two sons, the elder is Bokumbe (12 year-old) and Yambi (7).

They divorced because Louis never learned to climb trees and bring in the wild honey “Without honey, do not expect honey in return!”  The children wear T-shirt of Harry potter, Tokio Hotel, Vodafone

The Akas name Sarno Looyay because they cannot pronounce Louis. He became their guardian angel since he is in contact with officials in order to preserving the Akas rights. Louis says: “The Akas are my family and the forest is my home”

Recently, Louis’s mother of 83 sent him an e-mail with an plane ticket to visit her.  Sarno is in New York for a short visit in order to record more Akas songs and generate money for the tribe. Louis purchased a Panasonic LS86, a DVD reader for showing the favorite movies of his two sons, Bruce Lee and Fantastic Mister Fox…

Note 1: You may listen to the Akas music such as “Bayaka”: The extraordinary music of the Babenzele pygmies and their Forest Home-a book and CD by Louis Sarno”, or “Central Africa Pygmies Akas: Chants of hunting, love, and mockery-a CD Ocora-Radio (France)”, or “Central Africa: Antology of pygmy music– a CD Ocora-Radio (France)”

Note 2: This story was taken from “Courrier International #1067”

Note 3: The neurosurgeon, Saul Schwarz, MD (E-mail : sent me this request:  “I am one of Louis’ closest friends, through high school and college. We were last together in the mid-1990’s, when he stayed with me in our home in North Carolina. Can you give him my contact info? Greatly appreciated. Denver, CO. USA.

Note 4: Patti Waters sends this message to Louis: “When I was a teenager, my friend Louis and I would create stories where we imagined a different life. I know he indeed has a life that we could not have imagined then. If he would like to contact me I would welcome that. With love and respect.”

Poor Bangladesh out-pacing India: What is “Human development indicators”?

How many of you have heard of Bangladesh?

Bangladesh, named Eastern Pakistan, was split from Pakistan in early 1970 after the war between India and Pakistan.

In the 70’s and early 80’s, Bangladesh was the worst State in the list of the poorest States in the world.  Bangladesh was frequently front page news, particularly in period of monsoon.

Ten of thousands of Bangladesh citizens, living by the seashores and on river tributaries, were found washed out in the ocean and on the seashore.  What’s going on in Bangladesh?

Are the horrors of tsunamis displacing the daily calamities befalling in Bangladesh or somethings good is developing in Bangladesh?

Sure enough, Bangladesh is a flat country on the East India ocean and crossed by mighty rivers.

If you look at a detailed map, you discover that Bangladesh is a vast delta of river tributaries and swamps, deep for hundreds of miles within the country, crisscrossing the country.  You may imagine a giant archaic Noah boat, leaking from everywhere and no dry land around for miles.

The per capita income for the average citizen in Bangladesh is half of India ($1550 versus $3250), but the human development indicators in Bangladesh are better.  For example,

The infantile-juvenile mortality rate of people below 5 year-old is 52 per 1,000 versus 66 in India.

Life expectancy is 67 years compared to 64 in India.

The proportion of children suffering from famine is 41% compared to 44% in India.

Years of formal schooling is 5 compared to 4 in India.

Female in Bangladesh are far more literate than in India and are more integrated in the economy and society.

Public health in Bangladesh is much better than India.

In India, health security is taken care by private physicians who have limited qualifications, and increases in the numbers of charlatans and impostors. Many provinces in India lack public health institutions and facilities.

Consequently, although India GNP has been growing at 7% for many years, and its budget increasing 4 folds in two decades, India’s expenses on public formal schooling, basic public health and security, and indicators relevant to human development were comparatively of no match to Bangladesh public relevant spending.   Youth in poor Bangladesh must be feeling happier than those in India.

As side notes, Bangladesh is mostly of  Moslems.

Yet, India has more Moslems than Bangladesh, but Hinduism is the vast majority with archaic caste religious system that rob the lower classes and the “untouchables” from ever hoping to accede to better life conditions.

Can you believe it?  In many provinces in India, the lowest caste class “citizens” are asked to empty the shit pots of the upper classes, while many families of the “untouchables” have their own current water toilets.

Bangladesh was attached to Pakistan by the British colonial power, as Eastern Pakistan, in 1948.  India separated the two parts of Pakistan after its war with Pakistan around 1973!   Thus, East Pakistan got its independence in 1974 as Bangladesh, after an unbalanced war between India and Western Pakistan.

The name of the game is no longer the World Bank criteria for economic development, but essentially the UN human development indicators.  What a State does with its wealth to enhance quality of life to its citizens is what counts.

Note 1:  Statistics and the topic were extracted from an article written by Amartya Sen, Indian Nobel laureate in economics, in the French weekly, Courrier International.

Amartya Sen has published “Rethinking inequality”, “Identity and violence, 2010”, and “The idea of Justice, 2010”

Note 2: This May 2013, 1015 people perished under the rubble of buildings hosting cheap women and child labor for manufacturing garment to multinationals like Gap… Apparently, the government has closed down a dozen of such building meant for habitation, and not for parking a multitude of heavy machines

Joe Sacco, US journalist from Portland and originally from the small island of Malta, investigated the catastrophic phenomenon of boat immigrants landing in various part of Europe.  Sacco focused and interviewed those hapless immigrants who landed on Malta in the summer of 2009.  Joe published his comic strip of 48 pages in Virginia Quarterly Review.  The French weekly “Courrier International” is publishing the strips in series. I am reviewing the three series so far published.

There are estimates that 10,000 African people died so far undertaking these perilous crossings by desert and open seas.  Most of these hapless immigrants were eventually returned to their “Homelands” that they fled from for serious reasons.  What can “advanced nations” do with this flux of poor and “colored” people?

Italian and French fishing boats criss-cross the Mediterranean Sea to capture tuna and deliver them to farms in Malta.  After processing, the tuna is delivered to Japan.  These fishing boats are wondering why tiny open boats carrying immigrants want to land in Malta.  Occasionally, they offer the immigrants food and water.  The immigrants usually ask the route to Sicily:  They are not anxious to land in close by tiny Malta; crowded with 400,000 citizens.  The fishermen reason as follow: If they are from Somalia then, it is the responsibility of the ex-colonial power of Italy. The same reasoning goes to French, Belgium, and England colonies.

Once, fishing boats from Malta witnessed immigrants hanging to their fishing nets but they refused them to board.  The immigrants had to wait for an Italian navy to rescue them.  Malta had opened a center in 2001 with capacity to accommodate 80 clandestine immigrants.  The next year, Malta had to deal with 1,600 immigrants.  In 2008, over 3,500 immigrants landed by open boats.  First, the immigrants are processed for 18 months in special centers and then, they are transfered to open centers close to samll communities where they can mingle with people from Malta communities.

Sacco recounts the adventure of an Eritrean citizen (representative of the thousands of desert and open sea immigrants).  The hero is called John.   In 2001, many Eritrean students refused to serve summer forced labor.  Consequently, 2000 students were sent to prisons in region where temperature reach 44 degrees celsius.  They were left in open air without food for 4 days. After prison term, the students were to serve military service and forced labor.  In 2002, Malta returned 200 Eritreans; back home the immigrants were incarcerated, tortured, and many died from harsh treatments.

John was one Eritrean who managed to cross to the Sudan border and ran the entire night before reaching the UNO refugee camp at Kassala.  Eritrean forces made frequent incursions in that camp; thus, John decided to leave the camp fast heading to Khartoum (Capital of Sudan).  First, John had to leave his ID in the camp so that the UN make sure that he will return.  John had no intention to return.  His family sent him some money knowing that John is better off not to return to Eritrea.

John paid $200 to Sudanese passers.  One hundred immigrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan were loaded in just three land cruisers.  The trip in the desert lasted three days.  Each immigrant caughed up another $300 to be taken care by Libyan passers.

The Libyan passers loaded the 100 immigrants in three land cruisers and deposed them in an oasis in the Sahara.  They returned immediately to pick up another group of immigrants in order to cut off on competitive passers.  The next morning, Sudanese “Resistance” militias showed up and collected ransoms.

Twelve days later, as supplies were dwindling, the Libyan passers came back with fresh cargo of another 100 immigrants.  Faced with revolt, the Libyan passers agreed to push forward for another two days of travel in exchange of an additional $50 each immigrant.

They were dropped in the neighborhood of the city of Benghazi (Libya).  A slave merchant bought the cargo of immigrants and received another $20 from each immigrant to facilitate their “transfer”.  The next passers were Ethiopians who got another $200 from each one and packed them in a tomato lorry; they crossed one thousand kilometers in a closed lorry before they reached the Capital Tripoli.  The kids demanded money from the immigrants lest their knives do serious damages.

A Ethiopian slave trafficker lodged them in an apartment.  The police raided the place within two days and relocated the immigrants in the concentration camp of Koufra.  Those who managed to escape police roundups or foresaw the coming calamity were whisked in boats in open seas.  The first boat capsized and passengers were drowned.  The second group took chances and boarded another open boat.  They elected a Captain from Ghana who claimed to have some expertise in the matter.  Instead of 8 hours to reach Malta, the boat needed over two days to land on a beach.  They waited for the Malta police to arrive and start the “processing procedures”.

I have many questions but I might focus on just two:

First, if an immigrant manages to collect a few thousand dollars from family members to undertake a harrowing adventure to greener pastures then, with a little imagination he could land in the US with far more comfortable means of transportation (merchant ships for example) and then get lost in a metropolis.  Police never ventures in dangerous quarters: They don’t pay their salaries.  Maybe the immigrants prefers Europe and avoid American “reserved” quarters.

Second, how immigrants manage to hide their money?  Would it not be easier for bandits to lighten up the immigrants of all their savings and then distribute the razzia among the various passer groups in cohort with them?

Plagiarism: Any problem to you? (Apr. 6, 2010)

            “Original “works in all fields (scientific or artistic) are extremely rare.  In fact, originality is constantly pending until antecedent works are discovered in other languages, other dying languages, very ancient languages and myths.  All works basically are borrowing processes of ideas, notions, imaginations, methods, or myths.  Goethe has written something to that effect: “We always talk about originality.  What would that mean?  As we are born, the world around us affects us and we interact with our environment and people till we die.  Then, what is my own particular world and my originality? If we could recall all that we owe to our family, relatives, community, teachers, mentors, the books we read, our predecessor and current influences, would anything remains of our knowledge and ideas that we could claim to be ours?”

            Charles Baxter in “The soul thief” wrote: “Note that he never claimed the paternity of any of his ideas. He is in a kind of Artaud’s state of mind: all ideas have no origins and no sources.  In applying this axiom, then anyone may claim other people’s ideas as his own.  The end result is adapting to or adopting the inner lives of everyone else.”

            For example, a young German girl of 18, Helene Hegemann published her first book “Axoloti Roadkill” and sold a lot of this good book; she was even nominated for the “Leipzig book fair” until the blogger Deef Pirmasens revealed that most of the content, context, and paragraphs were copied from an unknown novel “Strobo” that was published on internet by an anonymous blogger named Airen.  Airen said: “I was just recounting my life problems as a therapeutic exercise to demonize my delirious state of mind.”  Airen is no longer writing because he fell in love and is happily married.  Hegemann is unperturbed; she said: “Originality does not exist; what exists is authenticity.”  I feel that even authenticity does not apply to Helene’s case since she didn’t experience anything of the events in her novel.  Helene got rich and Airen got married!  Airen replied candidly: “Axoloti Roadkill would still be a super novel even without the plagiary process of texts”

            Thomas Jefferson once said: “Who receives from me an idea is receiving knowledge without diminishing mine; it is as if you lighted your candle off my lighted candle:  You got light and didn’t diminish my light.”  There are many books describing plagiarism over the centuries.  I will give a few examples.  Virgil claimed that he was plainly mining the pearls out of Quintus Ennius’ dung.  Brecht confessed that is was fundamentally lax in referring to authors he abundantly borrowed from. Goethe published “The divan (seat)” in 1819 that was composed of a variety of borrowed text mixtures. Elfriede Jelinek received the Nobel Prize for literature in 2008 though most of her citations were based on Holderlin, Kafka, and Heidegger.  Elaine Sturtevant got famous copying artistic works of unknown but promising artists such as Duchamp, Beuys, Warhol, Stella, and Gonzalez-Torres.

            In this age of internet everyone is heavily borrowing by the shovel full; we call this process “dissemination of culture and knowledge” or adopting alternative states of mind.  There is nothing wrong borrowing and adopting ideas if they are useful changing your life.  My problem is to not making what you borrowed part of your life, for example to making money as in marketing what is the customs or mode in order to be projected in the limelight or becoming a public figure: that would be total hypocrisy.  The great artist or author is the one who plugs in relentlessly until one day he feels that he became a true artist out of sheer will, work, and energy expenditure.

Note 1:  Current books on plagiarism are: David Shields in “Reality Hunger, 2007”; Marie Darrieussecq in “Police report, 2010”; Anne Fadiman in “Nothing new under the sun”; Jonathan Lethem has issued a long article on cut a paste works based on the works of Walter Benjamin “The book of passage”, Graham Rawle “Diary of an amateur photographer”, Eduardo Paolozzi “Kex”, David Shields, and Pamela Jackson.

Note 2:  The topic was inspired from “Courrier International” number 1012.

Bi-Weekly Report (#24) on the Middle East and Lebanon (May 28, 2009)


            The weekly “Courrier International” failed to do its job on analyzing Syria’s policies.  Instead of investigating and doing leg works it opted to rely on the Washington Post and Now Lebanon, totally biased against anything related to Syria, for spreading its nonsense.  This weekly publishing is repeating the old story of what the successive US Administrations want from Syria with respect to facilitating the job of US military presence in Iraq. As usual, the catchy “Damascus does not get it” and “Could we have confidence in Bashar Assad ” summarizes the topic. As if the job and responsibilities of President Assad is to cajole and obey the US dicta for nothing in return, such as the Golan Heights that was captured by Israel since 1973.

The Washington Post and supposed “reporter” Karen De Young would like us to believe that the increase of “terrorist activities” in Iraq and in Mossoul last month can be linked to the laxity of Syria’s border patrols.  It seems that Al Qaeda has been active shipping “martyr terrorists” from northern African Arab States to blow up Iraqi Shiaa. What about the other sects, such as the minority Christian sects? The report stated that the Iraqi border patrols cannot do effectively their jobs because of lack of carburant. The Iraqi government has a depleted budget because of low oil prices on the international market and thus the border patrols drive along the vast borders with Syria 15 days out of 30; thus, Syria is to be blamed for the US insufficient funding for borders control.


The monthly “Le Monde Diplomatique” did its job concerning Albania and Kosovo. The US Administration is pushing to finish quickly the fast highway linking Pristina (the Capital of Kosovo) to the Adriatic Sea at the Albanian seaport of Durres. Apparently, the OTAN needs this strategic highway so that the 5th fleet could discharge military hardware and soldiers.  Close to the highway in Kosovo there is the largest US Camp Bondsteel military base by the town of Urosevac.  Close to the highway in the town of Kukes in Albania the US has finished a functional airport used by military cargo and denied access to civilian use and at the expense of the Albanian tax payers.  The story boils down to a Greek bank Alpha lent the Albanian government 300 millions Euros (guaranteed by the US) to build the super highway; the trick is that 65% of the Albanian budget is reserved for the infrastructure ministry and 75% of the budget of this ministry is allocated to this super highway.  The bombshell is that the US  Bechtel multinational will reap 44% profit on the cost of this super highway. The newly “independent” States of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia are quickly becoming the dumping ground for the NATO and the European Union economic, military, and environmental policies.


I watched the highly informative interview of retired General Jameel Al Sayyed with Maggie Farah on the OTV channel.  Jameel Al Sayyed was released recently from 4 years of detention with no formal court cases after the International Tribunal judged his imprisonment illegal and ordered him out along with 3 other officers. General Al Sayyed returned two day ago from France after resuming his depositions on Millis (former investigator to the assassination of Rafic Hariri) and Johnny Abdou (former retired Lebanon military intelligence chief) who fabricated the climate for Al Sayyed unjustified detention.   Al Sayyed will also work out the courts in Germany with respect to Millis.  Al Sayyed is a highly interesting character and a well spoken intelligent and honest personality. Al Sayyed said that it was the Lebanese officials who drew the Syrian counterparts into suspect transactions and corruptions.  Although every political leader in Lebanon has dealing with foreign States, Al Sayyed lambasted Saad Hariri and Samir Geaja for their incapacity in using proper “valves” that can shut down foreign interests to destabilizing Lebanon.


 The German daily Der Spiegel reported excerpts from internet blogs posted by Syrian dissidents six months ago claiming that a special team of Hezbollah masterminded the assassination of late Lebanon Rafic Hariri PM.  The timing of that report, which the International Tribunal denied any knowledge, was evidence that the real perpetrators were scared shit of the victory of the opposition in Lebanon at the next Parliamentary election on June 7.  It meant that the opposition is not about to let the assassination case linger any longer and will pursue its own investigation or force the International Tribunal to move swiftly and close the doors to further political manipulations of that case. What exacerbated the political climate is that Lebanon has started dismantling systematically Israel’s spy webs and dangerous intelligence are accumulating relative to Israel involvement in many of the string of assassination cases in Lebanon since the murder of Rafic 2005. 

The US Vice President Biden visited Lebanon for 6 hours before the publishing of the report and met with the leaders of the government alliances.  Lebanon has to expect the worst every time a US official pay us visit to give orders that Lebanon cannot satisfy.

Thanks to Walid Jumblat, one of the principal allies to the government, he quickly and adamantly lambasted this chimerical and fabricated report and proclaimed that the report was intended to draw Lebanon into another civil war between the Shiaa and the Sunni Moslem sects.  Saad Hariri (leader of the Future movement) and Seniora PM were forced into suspect silence; proof that they were aware of the plan that backfired on them, a plan that is backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and the USA.




June 2023

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