News & Propaganda: Metro Center Edition

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's a rainy Thursday morning here in the imperial metropole, and I have to head to the office! I love the fact that the name of the metro station near my workplace is "Metro Center," aka the center of the metropole, the center of the very center! It sounds a little like it could have been the subway station Winston Smith used on his way to work. But for me, it's just exciting. It's fun to walk out of that station and then down to Pennsylvania Avenue, and from there to the Reagan building. It's less fun to get the TSA treatment when I enter my building but still, I guess even that can be somewhat exciting.

It's fun taking the metro to work

Anyway, here's some news from the metro center, as well as from other parts of the world. In other words, it's your N & P:


Why is the head of Libya's national bank in Istanbul?

Here is a New York Times piece that looks at the cash reserves currently available to Qaddafi.

So is a Qaddafi-friendly AKP government in Turkey allowing Qaddafi's banker to conduct business on behalf of Qaddafi in Turkey, or is this guy simply trying to look for a safe place to stay outside of Libya?

Yigal Schleifler has an informative piece up about the AKP and the Libyan government more generally.

Only a few weeks ago, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was in the vanguard of those calling for political change in Egypt. These days, Erdogan’s government in Ankara is taking a very different approach toward the uprising in Libya.
Turkey is opposing the imposition of sanctions against the regime of strongman Muammar Qaddafi, as well as resisting any NATO-led military intervention in the country. Erdogan also pointedly refused suggestions that he return a “human rights” prize awarded to him in 2009 in Tripoli by a Qaddafi family foundation.

While Erdogan’s position on the Egyptian crisis helped raise Turkey’s profile in the Middle East, experts say Ankara’s stance on Libya – a large part of it dictated by concerns over the fate of large-scale Turkish investments in the North African country – could prove problematic, possibly diminishing some of the country’s newfound regional prestige.
Here's an RFE piece on Turkey's reluctance to impose sanctions on Qaddafi.

Useful idiots: European parliamentarians drink the Ergenekon Kool-Aid, get used by AKP cheerleader Today's Zaman.

I'm sure those European parliamentarians would have been happy to see the Turkish Daily Tattler's piece on the use of 'secret evidence' in the Ergenekon trials.

Getting the impression, from Ergenekon coverage et al, that all journalists in Turkey are oppressed? Not true! Huseyin Uzmez, who used to write for the AKP-supporting Vakit newspaper, has been released from prison!

Uzmez had admitted to carrying on a sexual relationship with a 14 year-old girl. After a team of experts voted, 24-10, that the girl had indeed been traumatized by the relationship, the team wrote a report saying she had not, in fact, been traumatized, and Uzmez was released.

Greece, Turkey resolve 80 year-old embassy deadlock.

Still pissed off: German leaders angry over Erdogan's campaigning in Germany.

Still dead: World Bulletin writes on Turkish politician Necmettin Erbakan, who died this past Sunday.

Russia and ex-USSR

A book written by the head of Russia's council of muftis has been banned.

The head of the Russian Council of muftis, Ravil Gainutdin, has come under fire from the judiciary, which intends to censor one of his books as extremist literature. In his defence, Gainutdin has called for the intervention of the prosecutor general, the influential Yuri Chaika.
It all began two weeks ago when the district attorney of Gai, in the Orenburg region, Sergei Chelyshev, asked that certain publications by leading figures of Russia’s Muslim community be declared "extremist literature". In addition to the book "Salvation in prayer" by Gainutdin and and the rector Islamic University of Moscow, Marat Murtazin, the district attorney’s list includes: "The Salah through the prism of thoughts" by the deputy head of the European Russian Muslim spiritual commission Mustafa Kyutyukchu, the "Forty Hadith” of the Prophet Muhammad and the" Gardens of the Faithful” by the Imam an-Navavi.
Here's another short piece on the story.

Azerbaijan's chief psychiatrist sez Facebook users have mental problems.

A March 11 rally against Azerbaijan's government, heavily promoted on Facebook, may or may not prove a real "day of rage," but Azerbaijani police are not taking any chances. Nor is Azerbaijan's chief psychiatrist, who would most likely advise the country's Facebook activists to visit their doctors for treatment of "mental problems." 
Here's a related post on police tactics that are supposedly being used to counter social media-type activism in Azerbaijan.

And here's another piece on arrests leading up to the planned protest.

RFE reports on the Balkars marking the 67th anniversary of their deportation from the northern Caucasus to Central Asia.

Balkars are a small, Turkic-speaking Muslim group in the volatile North Caucasus.

On March 8, 1944, all Balkars -- approximately 38,000 people and mainly women and children -- were deported to Central Asia by the Soviet regime for alleged collaboration with Nazi Germans.

Those who survived the deportation were able to return back to the North Caucasus in 1957, after the Soviet Union's Supreme Council restored the Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian Federation.

Roza Otunbayeva, the president of Kyrgyzstan, is in Washington, DC on an official visit. She received the "Women of courage" award from the US State Department yesterday.

Here's something else on her visit.

Russian resolve breaks, Moscow recognizes beer is alcohol.

The Russian parliament has moved to legally classify beer as alcohol for the first time, the Telegraph reported Feb. 23. It is currently classified as food.

Uzbek state TV: Rock 'n roll and rap music satanic. Techno still okay.

US & World
The NY Times has a piece on NY Representative Peter King, who plans to hold hearings which examine Muslim radicalism in the US. King has supported the IRA in the past. Here is an excerpt from a speech he gave in the early 1980s.
“We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry,” Mr. King told a pro-I.R.A. rally on Long Island, where he was serving as Nassau County comptroller, in 1982. Three years later he declared, “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.”
And King isn't the first US lawmaker to support terrorist groups.

Juan Cole comments informedly on Tunisia abolishing secret police, censorship.

Two pieces against intervening in Libya. George Will asks some good questions, while former Iraq war supporter Anne Applebaum reminds us against the dangers of a second Iraq!

Here's another good piece, from Salon, that rejects the idea.

America's 'Midwest Spring' spreads to Michigan!

It was a show of force rarely seen in Lansing as hundreds of union supporters filled the Capitol rotunda and halls Tuesday morning, chanting so loudly that some had to be gaveled to quiet down in the Senate chamber.At issue is legislation to give state-appointed emergency financial managers more power to resolve fiscal crises, including dissolving employee contracts. Unionists call it an attack on collective bargaining.

Cool editorial on labeling energy consumption in the products we use.
____ you think all those dead dolphins floating up on the Gulf coast have anything to do with the Deepwater Horizon spill? I'll pass on that Gulf coast seafood, thanks...

Ohio State Buckeyes caught lying and cheating, but does anybody care?

ESPN is sweeping the story under the rug, just like they (initially) did with the Reggie Bush scandal at USC.

Where is the justice, people?

Someday I'm going to have to write a long takedown of ESPN. Even Pravda didn't have this much control over sports news reporting.

But that will have to be another day, because right now the Metro Center is calling my name...

More links, commentary and photographs available poolside at the Borderlands Lounge

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