I wish that all of Ten O’Clock Live’s clips were on YouTube, as it would be amazing blogfodder — the show is better than The Daily Show most weeks, IMO (I’ve asked, C4 say their lawyers won’t let them because there are got clips of the BBC, Sky, etc, which is some pretty weird fair dealing analysis).
“Better than Daily Show”, det var da alligevel noget. Så mangler vi bare, at en dansk komiker og TV-kanal med respekt for sig selv tager fat på at lave et dansk Daily Show.
Author: Carsten Agger Published: February 26th, 2011
Faktisk kunne en regulær palæstinensisk opstand som dem, vi har set i Libyen, Tunesien og Egypten måske være det, der skal til for at bryde den israelske besættelse og få såvel israelerne som Abbas’ Quislingestyre til at trække sig helt tilbage, spekulerer Larry Derfner i Jerusalem Post:
Something’s going to blow, I figured, and my guess was that Israel would start one war too many, maybe against Iran, or Lebanon, or Gaza, and masses of Israelis as well as foreigners would die, and when the smoke cleared it would be recalled that we started it, and the world would finally run out of patience with us and we would get out of the West Bank in a lather to avoid being ostracized, to save ourselves from becoming a Jewish North Korea.
Again, not my preferred way of ending the occupation. But no “good” way was presenting itself.
And then came Tunisia. And Egypt. And Iran, and Yemen, and Bahrain, and Libya, and no one knows where this is going to stop.
And it became pretty clear to me that this is how Israeli rule in the West Bank is going to end – through Palestinian people power. Masses of Palestinians, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, marching to IDF checkpoints and outposts, marching to Israeli-only roads, to settlements, to the security fence – to the nearest Israeli presence and screaming, “Out! Out!”
And refusing to leave.
WHAT THE hell is the IDF going to do then? Shoot them? Arrest them? With the whole world not only watching but, for the first time, already won over by other unarmed Arab masses facing down their oppressors? What will the IDF do under the eyes of a world that, for the first time, is seeing Arabs as people like themselves who want freedom, who deserve it and who are earning it, to say the least, with their courage?
How will the IDF and the Palestinian Authority police – those who don’t defect – get all these people to go back home and stay there?
I don’t see it. I think we’re going to have grand-scale anarchy on our hands – and we won’t be able to solve it by force, and the world will be on the side of the anarchists.
Impossible? If you say this is impossible, you’ve been on Mars for the last month. If you’ve been on Earth, the idea of the Arab revolt not reaching the West Bank is what seems impossible. To me, it’s inevitable. I’m only surprised it hasn’t started already.
After all, the Palestinians’ “war of the stones,” the first intifada in the late 1980s, was close to being a model for what’s happening in the Middle East now. The Egyptians and other Arab rebels have even adopted the term intifada, which means “shaking off.”
True, the first intifada (not to mention the second one) wasn’t nonviolent – the Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails. But they certainly played David to the IDF’s Goliath. And in recent years, the “popular resistance” – the marches on the security fence in Bil’in and other West Bank villages – has been all but nonviolent, with only a few teenagers throwing stones at IDF troops, usually from far distances.
The Palestinians are the Arab world’s masters at political judo – at turning the enemy’s superior power against him. This is how civil disobedience works, and it’s working wonders in the Middle East, so why on earth shouldn’t it come to the West Bank, too?
It’s a matter of time. Maybe it’ll start Friday with the Palestinians’ “Day of Rage” against the US veto of the UN resolution against settlements. If not Friday, it’ll start soon. Something will set it off.
And yes, I’m hoping it happens. If the only other options are occupation forever or peace following catastrophe – and I think those are the only other options – I prefer people power.
Author: Carsten Agger Published: February 26th, 2011
De danske udlændingeregler er nu så stramme, at selv topdiplomater ikke kan få deres ægtefælle til Danmark, hvis de ender med at få arbejde her i landet. Det vil sige, at folk, der har tjent Danmark som ambassadører i både 20 og 30 år må opgive at bosætte sig her, når de går på pension. Det er på grund af pointsystemerne, som blev indført i 2010, og som Liberal Alliance for nylig reddede i endnu et formentlig karrierebetinget krumspring.
Der er også historien om den kinesiske PhD-studerende, som kom til at indbetale 1600 kroner i stedet for 3025 i gebyr for at søge om at komme til Danmark, fordi Udlændingeservice bragte de forkerte oplysninger på deres hjemmeside. Da fejlen blev opdaget, nægtede de bare at modtage de manglende 1425 kroner og arbejde videre derfra, man måtte have en ny indbetaling og en ny ansøgningsdato, for det andet “kan de administrative systemer ikke håndtere”. Til dato har studenten mistet flybilletten fra Kina og de første måneders husleje i København, men han håber stadig.Men de klogeste har vel efterhånden lært at sætte sig ind i, hvad Danmark er for et land, og holder sig væk.
Og så er der nogen, der ikke kan forstå, at det ikke lykkes at trække turister til landet. Læg hertil den fortsatte historie om Birthe Rønn Hornbechs magtmisbrug og bevidste lovbrug i sagen om statsborgerskab til statsløse palæstinensere, er billedet efterhånden kun alt for klart. Måske man skulle se at få pakket den kuffert, mens man stadig har lov til at rejse her fra Danmarks Demokratiske Rige.
Billede: OneLiners4DK, en udmærket, Danmark-kritisk Facebook-side, som du også kan følge på Twitter.
Author: Carsten Agger Published: February 25th, 2011
… over for undertrykkende arabiske regimer. Efter revolutionerne i Tunesien og Egypten og deres aflæggere i Libyen, Irak, Marokko, Jordan og Bahrain må det være slut med den racistiske, overbærende forestilling om, at arabere er for “umodne” til at leve i et frit og værdigt samfund og at det bedste, de kan håbe på, er et “moderat” diktatur.
Gaddafi, in power since 1969, is best known in the west for his eccentricity, from the voluptuous nurse that accompanies him everywhere to his habit of setting up a bedouin tent during state visits abroad. The focus on such personal foibles, as well as Libya’s alleged role in the Lockerbie bombing, has dominated the portrayal of the country. For most people around the world, Libya was Gaddafi.It turns out there are another 6 million Libyans, many of whom are now rebelling against the Gaddafi family, and that at least 200 have died in the last few days fighting for their freedom. Libya is the Arab world’s North Korea, a near-totalitarian nightmare and an insult to common decency. And as Pyongyang is protected by China, so Tripoli is being given cover by Tony Blair, BP and academics-turned-consultants like Anthony Giddens and Benjamin Barber. The idea is that it was best to try to help countries like Libya “reform”, even if the reforms in question tended to be mostly about making the place more business-friendly.
Men det gælder også netop “moderate” lande som Marokko – styret er i virkeligheden alt andet end “det bedste, folk har at håbe på”, og landets indbyggere har ærligt talt grund til at mene, de har fortjent bedre – også bedre end den endeløse snak om “stabilitet” fra vestlige ledere, når der i virkeligheden er brug for frihed og bedre vilkår:
For 15 years, Morocco has been considered the “best student” in an Arab class of deadenders. Next to Algeria’s traumatised society, Tunisia’s police state or Libya’s sheer hell, who could disagree? Morocco has made great strides since the 90s in terms of human rights, notably holding the Arab world’s first (if somewhat flawed) national reconciliation process and passing progressive laws on women’s rights.But for the last few years something has been increasingly rotten in the kingdom of Morocco. Advances for press freedom made in the 90s have been reversed. A political transition that had been made possible in the late 90s by a historic reconciliation between the opposition and the palace has stalled. A fragile economy has been hampered by a predatory royal holding that creates monopolies for itself.
More and more Moroccans want something akin to what they see in Britain or Spain: a constitutional monarchy where the king is head of state but does not interfere in government. Like the protests elsewhere in the region, the peaceful demonstrations that have taken place in eight cities are about dignity. Moroccans, like other Arabs, are tired of being subjects: they want to be citizens.
They would also like solidarity from the outside world, and to be seen as more than an exotic tourist destination.
Og ja, de har ærligt talt fortjent bedre. Lad os håbe, at bølgen har nået Saudi-Arabien, inden året er omme.
Author: Carsten Agger Published: February 22nd, 2011
Sharif S. Elmusa skriver i den egyptiske avis Al-Masry Al-Youm om, hvordan revolutionerne i Egypten og Tunesien har vækket befolkningens slumrende poetiske bevidsthed, og hvordan netop poesien har været blandt de elementer, der har båret revolutionen frem:
The political comes the morning after, although it’s articulated in slogans, drums and chants during the days of mobilization, and even long before that, in the daily sighs and dreams of the oppressed. Although we may adduce all kinds of “factors” to the eruption of the revolution, we cannot use them to explain its timing. The sudden synergy of hundreds of thousands of people chanting loudly and in unison, their joy drowning their aches as they inhale the air of freedom, defies rational explanation.
Great creative works, like Handel’s symphony The Messiah or Melville’s Moby Dick were made after periods of deep gloom. In the Arab world, revolution has poured out of the deep well of despair and loss of confidence.
The late Nizar Qabbani, the love poet of the Arab world, who also penned much political poetry, wrote “the Arabs have died.” Mahmoud Darwish said “Egypt is not in Egypt.” But pain and suffering were as fertile as Egypt’s soil, green as Tunisia itself. They have reawakened the spirit, opened the portals of the body and the body politic. They have ushered Egypt back into Egypt and Tunisia into Tunisia. You could see the metamorphosis and hear it in the performance of the crowds and their words, in the free wheeling slogans and the rhyming couplets.
They rendered acts of poetry–cleaning the streets, regulating traffic, protecting the national museum, guarding houses, breaking bread with someone–even more poetic. These mundane acts became inspiring moments, like that of a poem, spawning a new spirit, free of the dust that had settled on the conception of work and on those who perform it day after day. Writing a poem and engaging in a revolution are both acts of self-discovery.
The revolution dignifies the ordinary, and elevates it, just as poetry transforms common words into rhythms and meaning.
Never will the privileged person who swept leftover food, cigarette butts and plastic containers into a pile in the street think of the street sweeper as lowly again–just like what a poem about a street sweeper does, it dignifies the person and the work.
Never will the person who helped formed a ring around thugs to prevent agitated comrades from meting out spontaneous justice forget the meaning of magnanimity. A poem that is not imbued with a spirit of forgiveness is an ersatz poem.
Never will the person who guarded the museum go by it again thinking it is just another building. Standing guard by the house of antiquities is like a poem about lost objects, about lives vanished; it keeps them alive for as long they last.
The words that revolutionaries make are poetry, even if they are not meant to be. Language under authoritarian regimes rusts, turns dull, loses its edge and luster. Revolution restores to words their truthfulness, meaning, even magic. The first word of the revolution was “The people want to bring down the regime.” It is the people who want, not the ruler. The declarative statement is economical, uses the active verb, and announces the expiry of the old order. It is in itself an act, a performance.
Sharif forklarer videre, hvordan den egyptiske opstands helt grundlæggende slagord – “Folket ønsker at vælte regimet” – faktisk er en henvisning til et digt af tuneseren Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabbi.
Author: Carsten Agger Published: February 21st, 2011
Det virker underligt at slutte af med et indlæg med titlen “Good Morning, Bahrain!” om demonstranternes tilsyneladende landvinding i Bahrain og så ikke nævne noget om udviklingen i Libyen, hvor Gaddafi og hans regime tilsyneladende er begyndt at beskyde demonstranter fra luften med kampfly.
Al Jazeera English har uden tvivl den bedste live-dækning. Et udpluk af de seneste nyheder:
9:29pm: Ali Richi, the Libyan minister for immigration is in Boston. He denies he has resigned yet, but is calling for all Libyan ambassadors to continue their work independently of he regime.
9:27pm: Residents of Tajura, a suburb to the south-east of Tripoli, tell Al Jazeera the bodies of those killed are being left in the streets, with relatives unable to retrieve them due to the ongoing shooting.
9:24pm: BBC reports Libya’s ambassador to India has resigned. If confirmed, he will be the seventh ambassador to quit their posts in protest at the violent crackdown against civilian demonstrators – and may signal the beginning of a collapse in Libya’s diplomatic corps.
9:19pm: Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, contacts Amr Moussa, Arab League secretary-general, and calls for an extraordinary meeting of the league. The meeting will be held tomorrow morning, we understand.
9:11pm: Footage emerges online showing burnt corpses, reportedly of those killed during fires in Benghazi.
9:09pm: The Libyan deputy foreign minister denies Gaddafi has fled the country, says Reuters.
9:00pm: Al Jazeera is providing rolling coverage of the ongoing crisis in Libya. You can watch our TV stream by clicking here. In the UK, we’re live right now on Freeview. And if you’re in the US, don’t forget, you can Demand Al Jazeera on your cable provider
8:52pm: Qatar’s foreign ministry condemns use of airstrikes against civilians – and also criticises “the silence of the international community over the bloody events in Libya”.
Jyllands-Posten fortæller, at to libyske Mirage-jagerfly er landet på Malta – hoppet af, fordi piloterne fik ordre til at beskyde civile i Benghazi.
Google har sat en telefon-til-twitter-tjeneste op på adressen alive.in/libya/. De nyheder, der kommer ind her, er ikke opmuntrende:
Uhm basically we need help from everybody, we need support, we need medical aid, someone to stop this…he’s sending in mercenaries from…we don’t where, we need help, we this guy to leave the country. I mean everyone basically leaving their houses and saying the shahada (a prayer to God, to accept them into Heaven if they should die), nobody is coming back. It’s really bad out here, everyone is getting killed, worse and worse right now.
Vil Gaddafi falde, efter alt det her? Sagen er, at Gaddafi burde være faldet for fyrre år siden. Libyen er kun en bleg skygge af, hvad dette meget rige og tyndt befolkede land kunne have været under et frit styre. En Twitter-bruger mener ikke, der er nogen tvivl:
Mubarak: Egypt is not Tunisia. Gaddafi: Libya is not Egypt or Tunisia. You fools: the entire Arab world is Tunisia. – Ibrahim Dsouki
Author: Carsten Agger Published: February 20th, 2011
De helt bevidste drab på fredelige demonstranter torsdag og fredag medførte en så voldsom reaktion, at styret i Bahrain lørdag eftermiddag valgte at trække miltær og politi bort fra urolighederne. Kronprins Salman lover dialog og opfordrer folk til at gå hjem, men demonstranterne er vrede og nægter at gå hjem, før deres krav er efterlevet.
Mange har givet udtryk for skuffelse over den amerikanske regerings manglende eller i bedste fald særdeles valne støtte til demokratibevægelserne i den arabiske verden. Den megen tale om “stabilitet” er under alle omstændigheder en fornærmelse – har en undertrykt befolkning brug for stabilitet? Nej, de har brug for frihed, frihed og mere frihed, som den palæstinensiske journalist Naser Alsehli forklarede til et møde om situationen, jeg deltog i forleden.
En anden måde at sige det på er, at det ville være godt, hvis USA fra starten havde tilkendegivet en klar støtte til protesterne i Tunesien og Egypten – for USAs egen skyld! Folk i området er ligeglade og ønsker ikke længere USAs støtte, som Robert Fisk forklarer i The Independent:
“The Americans interfered in our country for 30 years under Mubarak, supporting his regime, arming his soldiers,” an Egyptian student told me in Tahrir Square last week. “Now we would be grateful if they stopped interfering on our side.” At the end of the week, I heard identical voices in Bahrain. “We are getting shot by American weapons fired by American-trained Bahraini soldiers with American-made tanks,” a medical orderly told me on Friday. “And now Obama wants to be on our side?”
Folk er allerede begyndt at tale om den “anden afkolonialisering” – 50-80 år efter, at den arabiske verden holdt op med at være vestlige kolonier af navn, holder de også op med at være det af gavn. Vestens og USAs indflydelse er måske ved at være forbi. Hverken krigen i Irak eller Obamas og Clintons fumlen har gjort det lettere for USA at hoppe på toget. Det er endnu alt for tidligt at sige, hvad det hele ender med, men herfra skal ønskes masser af held og lykke til de gode oprørere i Bahrain, der nu er begyndt at tage deres egen by tilbage. Måtte de få alle deres krav opfyldt.