Archive for the ‘(All Things) CULTURE’ Category

I posted up an old video of Asma al-Assad last week, because I thought her sentiments in the recording really resonated with what has been going on in Syria and the Middle East in recent years.

I didn’t know, however, that a couple of days later the UK newspapers would feature sudden articles calling for the British-born Syrian First Lady to be punished for her marriage to Syria’s President and her contradictions of the Western narratives on the Syrian crisis.

The manner in which most of the newspapers appear to have covered this story presents an incredibly one-sided picture, some even asking whether Asma al-Assad should be considered a ‘War Criminal’. Some of this is almost comically misguided in terms of the language used; but there is a more serious, worrying aspect to this story, which I will come to at the end. (more…)

It is difficult to think of a ‘Muslim’ society as progressive, modernist and liberal as Turkey has traditionally been, particularly as it is also a democracy.

This makes Turkey a relatively unique society in the world and a positive example of how moderate Sunni Islam and modern democratic and secular government and principles can co-exist harmoniously in a society.

At a time when Muslim countries elsewhere are either harsh dictatorships, nations in a state of collapse or war, or aspiring-but-failing quasi-democracies, a Turkey true to its principles would stand as something of a shining beacon of both secular democracy and the modern-day capacity for a Muslim society to exist effectively and happily in that state of secular democracy. (more…)

I was watching some of the BBC news reports from North Korea’s military parade during the ‘Day of the Sun’ celebrations. It was a rare occasion in which select foreign reporters were allowed – under very close supervision (and minus their phones) – into the North Korean capital.

The celebrations happen every year, but the BBC’s presence at the invitation of the regime was planned to coincide with the rising tensions and international focus on North Korea and a feared military confrontation with the United States. (more…)

I came across this old footage of Syria’s First Lady, Asma al-Assad, and found the content of her talk here striking: and also somewhat poignant, given when it was made and what has happened since.

Given the current situation and escalating tensions, I thought this was well worth sharing. In this talk, from way back in 2008, London-born Asma al-Assad (or ‘Emma’ from Acton) is addressing an international charity and talking about Syria in particular and the Middle East in general and her experiences.

In doing so, she touches on the popular international misconceptions about the region, as well as refugees, and the right of the Syrian people to live in peace and with dignity. (more…)

Pearl Jam’s induction into the Hall of Fame could probably have been regarded as inevitable: I’m glad to see it though.

2017 was the first year they were eligible, according to the HoF rules. In a year that saw the legendary Joan Baez also inducted, along with the late rapper Tupac Shakur among others, David Letterman attended to give the speech inducting the Seattle legends. (more…)

And so we’re dragged back to the Ken Livingstone ‘Anti Semitism’ scandal and the torches and pitchforks are back out.

Livingstone, who has been described as “the only truly successful left-wing British politician of modern times”, may have made a comment that was offensive to some: but it was essentially only a historical observation, and the witch-hunt that followed it spiraled out of all proportion and continues now to rumble on. (more…)

Aaaaaannd… here we are again.
Hope you enjoyed the brief break from the Neo-Con/regime-change program: but we’re back to the regularly scheduled program. Chemical attack in Syria against civilians. Assad must go. A line has been crossed. Let loose the dogs of war. Etc. 

Suddenly, after all the false hopes of a changing foreign policy that would accompany the Trump administration’s arrival, President Trump himself now says he has changed his mind (literally) about Bashar Assad.

I’m not particularly surprised by all of this sleight-of-hand and I always have the view that pre-existing, longstanding foreign policy agendas are designed not to be undermined by incoming officials or pesky changes in administration. (more…)

A quick introduction to the work of Eric Garcia – a bad-ass political cartoonist who got in touch me with me a few weeks ago.

Eric began creating his cartoons while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force and he decided to start making fun of the military. He has gone on from there to continue an incisive, cartoon-based assault on perceived political corruption, social injustice and mass media hypocrisy. (more…)

As the days have gone on, it has seemed increasingly like the Westminster attack of 22/3 was probably a state-organised false-flag.

I had thought that anyway, but had initially been a little more reticent in stating it outright. But, one week on, I want to draw a line under the subject and move on.

If this was a staged op, then the Westminster simply takes it place in a long line of staged false-flag ops that seem to have increased in frequency in the last two or three years. Charlie Hebdo, Paris (see here and here), Brussels, Orlando, Nice, Berlin, now London: if we acknowledge the false-flag element to these operations, then we have to continually ask ourselves why these things are being done. (more…)