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Lugh Ildánach

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  1. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Hugh Green on Pubs & Irish Culture   
    Was actually just discussing this with a comrade in Belfast the other night, over pints. In terms of dedicated political activists I see little harm in alcohol consumption. For example we had just come from a meeting of the Republican Congress in Queen's and went out for the night after that. The next evening we did a leaflet drop in the Short Strand. Could the 5 hours we spent drinking and the 5 hours the next morning slightly immobilised by a hangover be put to better use? probably.
    But I don't think everyone is a Lenin character, getting up at the crack of dawn and writing revolutionary agit-prop and attending rallies till dusk! Some people need to live a life outside of politics as well. In the long run being able to balance your life between activism and recreation will probably mean you stay involved longer, rather than just going hell for leather obsessive for a short burst of a few years. Revolution is a marathon, not a sprint, and if socialising with alcohol is your recreational choice (as long as you don't become addicted obviously) then there's nothing to say it impedes the progress of revolution.
    But the van-guard (not in any Leninist desire to be so, just in the reality of what political activists are in comparison to the a-political masses at the moment) is one thing. The van-guard can usually balance their social habits with political activism, but for the apolitical their social habits become the be all and end all. So it becomes all about the X-factor or all about the Premiership, and this is all they talk about even during the week, while I might watch the sport with them in the pub at the weekend, when it's over that's it.
    Ironically, I think one of the most counter-productive pass times these days is sport and the gym and the body beautiful desire. The amount of hours many people waste in the gym is incredible. Once they attain, if they ever do, their desired look then their life is complete and nothing else accept maintaining that matters. This all ties in with their other materialistic desires such as clothes, cars or whatever.
    The link between the development of Association Soccer and other organised sports during Industrial Revolution England is a case and point. These orgs sprang up to channel the restlessness of the proletariat into sport once they had achieved their worker's rights of an 8 hours for recreation. The GAA is similarly conducive to channelling revolutionary potential today, even though it began with such an ethos that brought about 1916, it has now been completely de-politicised and is "only about the sport"
  2. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to S.Down Republican. in IRSP Picket in Support of POWs   
    The F&F block of POWs have made it clear that they do not wish to see any unity with the rest of the pows, and that included collie.
    They made the feelings known in private but then publicly pay lip service.
    They have spun their way to get speaking at the bloody Sunday event witch is coming up, and i and a good few who i have spoke to will either not attend at all or will walk away as soon as they get up to speak.
    Sad situation but F&F have been holding this anti republican stance for to long now.
    I believe it is time for the truth.
    Support all POWs, End the Eliteism NOW
  3. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Laoch na nGael in IRSP Picket in Support of POWs   
    The I.R.S.P, R.N.U and 32s were all at the I.R.S.P's protest. That's good unity and fair play to R.N.U and the 32s for going!
  4. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in IRSP Picket in Support of POWs   
    The IRSP held a white line picket in Belfast today in support of Irish political prisoners in Maghaberry Gaol.









  5. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in European Court in favour of Employers in Contract Case   
    The EU, and its court, the ECJ, are based on the principle of free movement of workers. This of course does not mean that they are free in any human sense of the word, simply free to be moved around as capital requires. The freedom of the movement of capital takes primacy over everything, it is the raison d'etre of the EU. Nobody should be surprised by this decision.
    The same freedom that is facilitated to capital however is not reflected in any of the social sectors of the EU. Labour laws remain individualised to each country, with very few minimum standards for workers to rely on. No EU court complains that diverging labour law standards interferes with the freedom of labour to organise across national borders. National borders are used by capital to divide workers when it suits it, and ignored with impunity when it suits it.
  6. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in European Court in favour of Employers in Contract Case   
    Big business wins yet again!!
  7. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Foreign Language Music   
    Not excatly foreign language, but foreign folk music:

  8. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Foreign Language Music   
    Assasinated last year:

  9. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in Hugh Green on Pubs & Irish Culture   
    One of Hugh Greens posts while he was still blogging from May 2010 (gave up as he perceived not many read his blog, but what a loss):
    On the road to Drogheda there’s an advertisement for a housing estate that displays the name of the estate in the shape of the Carlsberg logo. It appeared to be saying: buy your own house so you can drink to your heart’s content. I don’t know if this is a stupid or intelligent piece of advertising, but the point is that alcohol is an integral component of life itself.
    Alcohol, and alcohol advertising, permeates all facets of life on this island, from sports tournament sponsorship to pre-sporting event activities to political organising. In the glaring absence of other public amenities, the pub -a site where the primary activity is drinking- becomes the default location for all manner of political meetings.
    Although ‘pub’ is short for ‘public house’, these are by no means people’s spaces: many of the capital’s bars belong to companies traded on the stock market (the biggest of these belonged to the not-inappropriately-named but ill-fated ‘Capital Bars’) or are the property of would-be or once-were oligarchs (Buswells Hotel and Quinn’s in Drumcondra belong to the Quinn Group: instances of the politial-media-sport-financial-alcohol complex).
    There is a popular romantic mythology that pubs are hotbeds of seditious collusion; the reality is that most pubs take active depoliticising measures in the interests of raising profitability, whether by raising the volume of music so as to render conversation impossible, or by erecting huge TV screens for sports events, placing sport at the centre of common interest.
    It’s well known that alcohol consumption has devastating effects on mental health, but it is a priority of the State to keep people drinking. In a sop to the drinks industry in the last Budget, under the guise of stemming the flow of shoppers north of the border, Excise Duty was reduced on Beer and Cider by 12 cent (VAT inclusive) per pint, on Spirits by 14 cent (VAT inclusive) per half glass, and on Wine by 60 cent (VAT inclusive) per 75cl bottle. It’s therefore strangely fitting that the minister with responsibility for mental health is also a publican (grimly enough, he is also an undertaker).
    There have been many people wondering out loud on airwaves and in media publications as to why the Irish population has been so apathetic in the face of such brutal attacks on living standards. Many explanations resort to simplistic diagnoses of congenital defects; the more refined point to the docility induced via the combination of massive household debt, low levels of trade union membership, and the burgeoning reserve army of the unemployed. The latter explanations are more accurate, but they do not tell the full story. The role of alcohol consumption habits also needs to be examined.
    As someone who has had more drinking sessions than I could care to remember, it’s only now starting to hit me how much alcohol fulfils a disciplinary function in social gatherings. In the company of people engaged in a drinking session, people who have no good reason not to be drinking, usually in the form of a set of car keys or liver disease, are often felt to be subverting the occasion, a lot of the time the butt of taunts and cajoling which occasionally borders on the menacing. A person who never drinks is viewed with equal parts suspicion and bafflement. Someone who advocates temperance or abstinence is inevitably viewed -perhaps on account of the Catholic Church’s activities in this field- as a freakish puritan, possibly in league with the Taliban.
    With this in mind, the CNT‘s monthly journal, which is always a good read, has a report by Félix Rodrigo Mora on sessions held in Valladolid by the Straight Edge movement. What follows is a translation of most of his report, at which he gave a presentation. It’s not quite where I’m at, but it’s food for thought nonetheless.

    ‘The movement is linked to the ‘hardcore’ (punk) musical style, which militantly opposes alcohol, drugs and tobacco, and is both vegan and anti-system . There were sports sessions, chats, assemblies, debates, presentation and distribution of fanzines, showings of documentaries, all in an excellent, harmonious, healthy and dynamic environment, radical and free of drink, tobacco and drugs.
    Among the reading materials to be found was “The dirty business of bars”, “Addiction is obsession, obsession is submission”, “Drug free”, “Psychiatric drugs: medicine or quackery?” and “Drugs and social movements”, among others.
    The movement is a response to the terrifying rise in the consumption of alcohol and drugs in contemporary societies, a grim reality of clear political significance, since behind this we find state apparatuses, in particular the police and secret services, as well as a large part of communications media, not to mention the perfidious academic and aesthetocratic intellectual castes. All this takes place in circumstances in which a proportion of revolutionary-minded people has lowered its guard on these matters, adopting either a dangerously permissive or indifferent position towards narcotics or alcoholic drinks, to say nothing of psychiatric drugs, which the “public” (state) health system imposes, particularly on women.
    We need to recover the old and magnificient traditions of the workers’ movement in our country, especially up to the civil war, of resistance to the great evil of alcoholism and tobacconism (el tabaquismo), in which many conscious working men and women neither smoked nor drank. Back then it was well understood that alcoholization is a weapon of capital and the state entity, a conviction which, today, regrettably, is quite distorted and weakened.
    In the present, drink and certain drugs (the joint for starters), have been surrounded by an aura of false radicality, of being ‘transgressive’ and ‘anti-system’ products, of being substances which facilitate relationships between people. They must lose this, in order to appear what they are: weapons of constituted power to degrade, to brutalise, disorganise and even to kill, since 20,000 people die every year from alcohol in our country. At the same time, alcohol and tobacco are a healthy source of fiscal funding for the State, as well as branches of capitalist production which allow enormous profits and capital accumulation.
    An innovative aspect of the Straight Edge movement is the emphasis placed on the development of physical vigour and bodily exertion, breaking with the dire habit of laziness, apathy and sloth, so common among people dependent on hashish and beer: a habit which has grown in a worrying fashion, to the point of seriously compromising emancipatory activities.
    In the 2nd Meeting I had to lay out “No Piss-ups. Past, present and future of the rejection of alcoholisation”. I presented a script which, corrected and improved during the debate, will be published as a leaflet or fanzine.
    In it it is shown that our country was free of mass alcoholism until 1965-1985, during which, through joint action of francoism, and then, the party-parliamentary dictatorship imposed by the constitution of 1978, it developed in a very short amount of time, until becoming a fearsome mass phenomenon. The worst years were between 1977 and 1985, in which the institutional left, in particular the PSOE in central government since 1982, and also the PCE (Spanish Communist Party) and its new brand, IU, would bring forward a plan for the alcoholization and drug addiction of the popular classes, imitating what Bolshevism in the USSR.
    It emphasises the role in that vile activity played by the then PSOE mayor of Madrid, Enríque Tierno Galván, with his catchphrase “get loaded everyone!” (‘ ¡a colocarse todos! ‘), and with his policy of generous subsidies for innumerable shitholes ( tugurios ) dedicated to the consumption of alcohol and drugs, out of which came the “movida madrileña”, led by narcotics apologists as notable as Almodóvar, Almudena Grandes and other intimates of the progressive “anti-francoist” intelligentsia.
    As a consequence, by 1985 a society had been formed in which drunkenness is a mass phenomenon that has continued to grow since then, with new inventions, such as the dreadful botellón (basically, a massive street drinking session).
    It refutes the pretension of considering as “nonconformist” and “rebellious” the activities of drinking and taking drugs: an idiocy cooked up by the counterculture of the 60s and 70s of the past century, by showing that it has been apparatuses of domination, from the CIA to diverse police forces of all countries, who have done most to popularise drug-taking, of whom the counterculture was a propaganda agency, at least in this respect. I challenge the bourgeois anticlericalism, which tries to classify as ‘moralism’ and even ‘clericalism’, temperance and sobriety, showing that in the past the best militants of the workers’ movement, in general non-religious and atheist, fiercely opposed alcohol, as well as tobacconism. It points to the slogan of Mothers United Against Drugs, chanted in their demonstrations, “Drugs and Police, the same filth.”
    All this ended in slaughter, since, as a result of drugs, more people have died in our country in the last 25 years than in the Civil War of 1936-39. If this was butchery with firearms, to save the constituted order, alcoholisation and mass drug addiction, promoted above all by the left and progressivism, is another slaughter, of political significance, carried out to enforce fealty to the current parliamentary, party-cratic ( partitocrática ) and constitutional dictatorship, governed by the intolerable “Spanish Constitution” of 1978.
    Refraining from treating the issue of alcoholism in a facile, superficial and reductionist manner, four blocks of causes are established (for deeper study of which I refer to my book “Democracy and the triumph of the State”): -the doctrinal, the structural, those concerning the auto-construction of the subject, and the existential- dedicating some space to the examination of each of these. The conclusion is that in the face of such a grave problem, and one which will get progressively worse, since the State and capital are not going to put down this weapon, the total transformation of the social and juridico-political order (revolution) is an inexcusable necessity, but insufficient, in that complementary tasks are demanded, such as the elaboration of a system of ideas for the free and autonomous building of the subject, and a reflection on the existential problems of the human condition, until now forgotten.
    Finally, I have a go at sketching out a first draft of a strategy against the great evil of the alcoholisation of the multitudes in fully modern societies, in the hope that the input from other collectives and persons allow a move forward in its correction, expansion and improvement.
    Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Or not.
  10. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh in 32CSM New Year Statement   
    As 2011 draws to a close we send greetings to our supporters and activists at home and abroad. We salute the dedication and enthusiasm shown by all during the past year. It has been a difficult year for Republicans, we have seen ever increasing levels of harassment of our activists on both sides of the border. This has extended beyond the targeting of individuals and is now being used as a tool of coercion against extended families and whole communities. The true nature of the six county state has been revealed as in the past year it has reverted to type. We have witnessed the reintroduction of the supergrass trial, political policing, sectarian marches and the criminalizing of Republican POWs.
    The 32CSM salutes the courage of the POWs in both Maghaberry and Portlaoise in the past year. An agreement that was signed in good faith by the POWs was reneged on by the prison service, but it is the British government and their accomplices at Stormont who bare the ultimate responsibility for the ongoing crisis. We call on them to recognize the agreement and to end the degrading and unnecessary strip searches.
    We send greetings and solidarity to Marian Price, interned once again in a British gaol. Marian’s case should not be of interest only to republicans but to all who profess a concern for human rights and justice. The 32CSM will step up and expand our campaign in 2012 to highlight this blatant disregard for Marian’s human rights. We will not stop until she is back with her family and comrades.
    The economic situation in Ireland has not only deteriorated in the past year it has exposed the fundamental contradiction in Capitalism and those who adhere to it in this country. Whilst the majority are told to shoulder the burden of the few, those who exploit and betray the working class remain immune. The 32CSM has laid out the framework for a new Ireland, sovereign politically, economically and socially on the basis that it is the people of Ireland who must decide how their country functions. The occupation of the six counties by an Imperialist power is mirrored now in the 26 counties by an administration that is directed by the IMF. The power wielded by both imperialism and capitalism in Ireland is an impediment to the Republic envisioned by Connolly, Lalor, Pearse and Tone.
    The forces of resistance ranged against these twin impediments to progress are multifaceted in both their approach and character. The 32CSM recognizes that whilst the cause of the conflict in Ireland is left out of political discourse then the solution will remain out of reach. The IRA has struck against the forces of the occupation and the capitalist institutions that enable and compliment the efforts of normalization. The IRA are not the cause of conflict in Ireland they are a response to the conditions created by Imperialism in Ireland. The 32CSM believes that there is no room for ambiguity on the issue of resistance. To refuse to engage with those who acknowledge that resistance is inevitable and legitimate is to endorse the establishment narrative.
    The 32CSM in 2011 showed our resolute commitment to make our Republicanism an active and relevant ideology. Our activists have been to the forefront in an array of campaigns across Ireland. Whether it is the issue of drug abuse in working class communities or right wing economic cuts against services we have recognized that it is imperative for us to respond to the needs of our communities. In the coming year we will enhance and broaden this social commitment and articulate our vision of a Republicanism that will meet the needs of the people of Ireland and provide a framework for political and social liberation.
    We will continue the struggle in the coming year and we are confident that with courage and a sincere commitment to Republican values it will be a year of success and a defiant response to those who seek to destroy our movement and all it stands for.
    Beir Bua
  11. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in A Dublin Worker's co-op café/restaurant   
    Some excellent ideas here. Lugh hit the nail on the head. The problem with existing autonomous spaces - or indeed activism in general - is that it is insular. In most cases preaching to the converted. Even ODS has reached the stage where it is the same people doing the actions (even though they are 'new' faces on the scene). With these 'anti-' campaigns we will see the ULA and others begin to do some 'outreach' activism, properly organising amongst the community on bread and butter issues. But once the campaign is gone - no community/social structures are left.
    In relation to the community shop idea. In my little dreaming head they would be 'distribution outlets' for the produce produced through community gardens etc. Free to those who partake in production, subsidised pricing for those who do not. Maybe other stuff not produced could be ordered in aswell which would of course have to be sold at some price.
    Im not so sure about a cafe. Iv been in that one in Belfast. While it is great to have a space for cultural events, talks, film showings etc - I would wonder how conducive a 'cafe' is to ordinary people? I have percieved cafes and 'cafe culture' as almost a middle class cultural development.
    But certainly, something more practical needs to be done.
  12. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Occupy Movement, promise or pointless?   
    Fair play to them for this protest, although its still not on the same wave length as the occupation of the bank in Belfast.
  13. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in UK bans Iran's Press TV   
    I've read on other sites that you can still get it by adding the channel manually (the same way you have to add UTV manually if you live in the 26 Counties), I've tried it but it doesn't seem to work, but feel free to try.
    You go to System Setup, and then Add Channels. You programme in the following:
    11.222 MHz
    FEC 2/3
    Symbol Rate 27.5
    This will show a series of different channels, and if you go on to the second page, Press TV is listed, but when I add the programme it still isn't showing any picture.
  14. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Fodla32 in Occupy Movement, promise or pointless?   
    Fair play to them for this protest, although its still not on the same wave length as the occupation of the bank in Belfast.
  15. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Connolly16 in A Dublin Worker's co-op café/restaurant   
    There are two ways of getting a suitable space. You can of course go out and look for it, although there would be a lot of work involved in this.
    But also if you already have a few projects up and running, you'll make the contacts with people from all over the place and come across a suitable space soon enough where someone has some links that can make things easier. Any and all ideas welcomed, and I do think that this cafe idea is something that will come together soon enough. We had thought about doing homemade food for the comedy club when it was based up in seomra spraoi, but we were out of there before we got the chance to explore the idea.
    We have also discussed the idea of doing a community shop (to give people in estates an alternative to the local rip-off Spar/Centra) in the near future, although again its something that would probably need the involvement of another group and more people. Its important to get these ideas out there, and then when an opportunity comes up, we can jump straight in!
  16. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Connolly16 in A Dublin Worker's co-op café/restaurant   
    With its coffee flown in directly from Zapatista communities in Chiapas! They do actually do this!
    I do think though that its important for any social space like the one that you describe not to be insular, it has to connect with the working class at every level. Other autonomous spaces tend to be very isolated from the community, doing their own thing while the rest of the world ignores them, even looks down their noses or laughs at them. If they aren't linked into the community at large, they can't bring about a revolutionary dymnamic, they're just spaces for people to dream away their lives. Dreams are important, and I think even those isolated autonomous spaces do fulfill a very important function, but they have so much more potential to change the world that is often missed.
  17. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in UK bans Iran's Press TV   
    I think it might be a case of repositioning the dish towards a different satelite. The main one used in Ireland is the Astra/Eurob satelite I think the problem with that is that the digibox only tunes in to one satelite at a time.
    So its either press tv and a pile of forign language stations or no press tv and CH4, ITV, BBC etc.
    But it just goes to show how reliant we are on the British for our information....
  18. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Connolly16 in A Dublin Worker's co-op café/restaurant   
    Maybe we could couple the idea of a community shop with the Café? Theglory of the Café is that it would be a complete revolutionary space. My vision of the Café would be a place that sourced all its ingredients from other revolutionary co-ops, showcased socialist art and film, held talks, classes and events aswell as being a working Co-op in the heart of a very bourgeois city.
  19. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Connolly16 in Foreign Language Music   
    great thread a chara! Don't forget the Bollywood Maoists!!

  20. Like
    Lugh Ildánach got a reaction from Connolly16 in A Dublin Worker's co-op café/restaurant   
    There are two ways of getting a suitable space. You can of course go out and look for it, although there would be a lot of work involved in this.
    But also if you already have a few projects up and running, you'll make the contacts with people from all over the place and come across a suitable space soon enough where someone has some links that can make things easier. Any and all ideas welcomed, and I do think that this cafe idea is something that will come together soon enough. We had thought about doing homemade food for the comedy club when it was based up in seomra spraoi, but we were out of there before we got the chance to explore the idea.
    We have also discussed the idea of doing a community shop (to give people in estates an alternative to the local rip-off Spar/Centra) in the near future, although again its something that would probably need the involvement of another group and more people. Its important to get these ideas out there, and then when an opportunity comes up, we can jump straight in!
  21. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in John O'Reilly and Ta Power: Fallen Comrades of the IRSM   
    Fallen Comrades of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement
    John O'Reilly
    Chief of Staff - Irish National Liberation Army
    Assassinated on 20 January 1987
    John O'Reilly, a 26-year-old from Eliza Street in South Belfast, began
    his career as a republican activist in the 1970s as a member of the
    Official Irish Republican Army's youth wing. As an adult he joined the
    INLA, where he was instrumental in securing its European arms supply
    network and eventually succeeded Dominic McGlinchey as its chief of
    In 1986, individuals who had resigned or been purged from the Irish
    Republican Socialist Movement came together as the Irish People's
    Liberation Organisation to attack the IRSM.
    O'Reilly, along with Thomas "Ta" Power and two other INLA members,
    went to Drogheda to meet with representatives of the IPLO to discuss
    avoiding conflict between the two organisations. Under a flag of
    truce, the IPLO attacked the four INLA members, killing O'Reilly and
    Thomas "Ta" Power
    Staff Officer - Irish National Liberation Army
    Assassinated on 20 January 1987
    Thomas "Ta" Power, age 34, was from Friendly Street in the Markets
    area of South Belfast. He was a member of the Official Irish
    Republican Army before joining the INLA in 1975 while in the Long
    Kesh prison camp. His brother Jim was an INLA staff officer who was
    killed in 1981.
    Noted for having spent the longest time on remand (four years and four
    months) based on the testimony of informer Harry Kirkpatrick, he had
    been released from Crumlin Road Gaol in North Belfast a short time
    before he was killed.
    He was widely respected in republican circles as a thinker and a
    theorist, having drawn up a plan while in prison for the
    reorganisation of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. This
    ambitious plan, known as the Ta Power Document, called for the INLA
    to be subordinate to the political direction of the Irish Republican
    Socialist Party. It was adopted by the INLA shortly before his death
    but wasn't fully implemented until 1995.
    He was assassinated in Drogheda, along with INLA chief of staff John
    O'Reilly, by the Irish People's Liberation Organisation, an
    organisation composed of individuals who had resigned or been purged
    from the IRSM and then came together to attack it.
    The Ta Power Document:
    A memorial to O'Reilly, Power, and two other comrades was unveiled in
    the Markets area of South Belfast on 11 May 2003.
    Article about the memorial unveiling:
  22. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in FRELIMO & Samora Machel   
  23. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to nico in They Do Not Exist - Film by Mustafa Abu Ali   
    In the late 1960s, a group of young Arab women and men devoted to the struggle for Palestinian freedom chose to contribute to the resistance through filmmaking — recording their lives, hopes, and their fight for justice. Working in both fiction and documentary, they strived to tell the stories of Palestine and to create a new kind of cinema.
    These filmmakers included founders Mustafa Abu Ali, Sulafa Jadallah, and Hani Jawhariya. Others were Khadija Abu Ali, Ismael Shammout, Rafiq Hijjar, Nabiha Lutfi, Fuad Zentut, Jean Chamoun and Samir Nimr. Most were refugees, exiled from their homes in Palestine. And additionally there were fellow Arabs who stood in solidarity with them, devoting their work to a just cause. Their films screened across the Arab world and internationally but never in Palestine. None of the filmmakers were allowed into Palestine, or what became known as Israel, let alone their celluloid prints.
    Read more...http://electronicint...ian-cinema/6780
  24. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted to Fodla32 in Zabadani: Under Terrorist or Syrian Army control?   
    Zabadani: Under terrorist or Syrian Army control?
    Lizzy Phelan reports:

    About four days ago I visited Zabadani late at night after watching an Al-Arabiya report that stated thousands of so-called "Free Syrian Army" officers had taken the city. Later the channel showed footage of a convoy of approximately 10 cars filled with armed fighters apparently in the city.
    This is what I saw when I visited shortly after those reports (Zabadani is about a 30 minute drive from Damascus).
    When I drove into the city, there was just one checkpoint on the way in. The legitimate Syrian Army soldiers there who were busy building a fire to keep warm in light snow waved us through. We drove for about ten minutes into the city and the streets were completely dead, nno gunshots no "Free Syrian Army" checkpoints, nothing.
    On the way out we stopped at the checkpoint leaving Zabadani to speak to the legitimate Syrian Army soldiers. They told us that if we wanted, we were free to turn back around and drive through Zabadani all the way to Lebanon. Hardly what they would say if the city was in the process of being "taken" by insurgents.
    Today the BBC's Jeremy Bowen, claiming to be in the city, reported that the town was under "full control of opposition forces", without presenting any credible evidence whatsoever.
    We do know that being so close to the Lebanese border there are certainly armed insurgents in the city. And I also know that the road to Zabadani remains much as it was when I visited. So, when does a city become taken? There was hardly a battle between the army and insurgents and government forces are definitely moving through parts of the city although I cannot confirm that this is the case for the whole city. Are images we see of Zabadani, like in Libya before it, of a few insurgents surrounded by some "anti-Asad" protesters being sent to news channels so they can say that the city has been taken? It wouldn't be the first time the Qataris were so desperate for some return on their investment that they fabricate a "victory".
    Of course the problem for the military is not that they are overpowered by the terrorists. As usual the difficulty is when they embed themselves amongst a civilian population, it is extremely difficult for the army to respond without endangering civilian life. And in the meantime the terrorists terrorise communities and increase their grip of power over them.
  25. Like
    Lugh Ildánach reacted in US troops order pampers nappies   
    Diapered U.S. soldiers
    Sunday, 22 January 2012 12:40 Hanif Hammad
    There have been startling reports in the different blogs and websites and media release circulating around “diaper scarcity” or “the US-NATO troops in diapers” over the past couple of weeks.
    Few days ago, I came upon an amusingly newsworthy report under the title “diapered soldier” or so that I’d kind of like to share with you.
    According to the newspaper reports, the US authorities have quietly and unofficially requested the Pakistani authorities for the immediate provision of the tissue paper and pampers in the recent times.
    A diplomatic source and press release said that the highly-secured and well-equipped US-NATO troops can not venture out of the heavily-protected armored personnel carriers to relieve themselves for the fear of facing Mujahideen, as a result, the only option the US-NATO troops are left with is to have on pampers so that they ease themselves comfortably while confronting Taliban.
    To put it simply, the latter choice for the US-NATO in case of lack of diapers while fighting Taliban would be quite an embarrassing and humiliating one. Can you imagine what it would be?” pissing their paints during the fight.”!!!
    I'll let you into a little secret though; some press release has even revealed that the US-NATO forces uncontrollably pee in their pants during the fight with Mujahideen, or for the fear of attack by Taliban.
    Mind you, I, for one, guess it is a fairly good idea for the US-NATO forces to wear diapers without any fear of soiling their uniforms.
    So 'Let us not stand between a US soldier and his diaper, as the news reports put it.
    Ansar Abbasi, an eminent writer and editor for one of the newspapers from Pakistan, The News International has surfaced interesting facts by issuing a funny column” Pamper (Diaper) Army (US).”
    He said the spokesman of ISAf in Afghanistan was contacted regarding this issue who argued that he was neither a soldier nor did he know that the US Marines and NATO soldiers wear diapers while fighting their war against Taliban inside Afghanistan.
    Ansar Abbasi further said in his article that US Embassy spokesman Mark Stroh sent through a mobile SMS, what he called, a “denial” of the reality and The News story (a brazen denial by Mark Stroh), adding that besides him the Isaf Deputy PAO Col Gary Kolb could also be cited to have said this.
    Since the emergence of the issue of “ diaper crisis faced by US-NATO forces on the ground and its resulting consequences” the Pakistani authorities have refused to allow the provision of the US-NATO supplies on an urgent basis.
    However, it is believed that the Pakistan government has been advised to retrieve a large supply of diapers from the Nato containers and urgently send them to the US forces in Afghanistan which, on the one hand, would be of a humanitarian assistance; on the other hand, would clear the Pakistan government further of charges and involvement in the issue. Further delay in supplies by Pakistani authorities and failure to comply with the US demands may lead to the emergence of a far more fatally toxic stench in Afghanistan than that of phosphorus and uranium bombs previously exercised by US which would turn the sweet-smelling aroma of flowers and roses of the upcoming spring into the smell of death and mourning!
    To tell you the truth, the current Afghan War in connection with the very heated issue opened up a whole new chapter in the global history from the combative aspect as there used to be weaponry such as sword, shield, javelin which developed into gun, artillery. rocket, armored tank, fighter craft, pilotless plane in the modern sense of the word and so forth, while “ a US soldier wearing a military nappy” is the most up-to-the-minute term the we have recently come across for the first time in the world history and his” diaper” is an unusually extraordinary weapon and armor, isn't it?
    It is the destiny of a country with the most modern industry and state-of-the-art technology worldwide, strange as it may seem.
    It reminds me of a well-know Arabic quotation” السیف بالساعد لا الساعد بالسیف” which, figuratively speaking, indicates that it is the hand that uses the sword, not the sword that uses the hand ,that is, the actual power behind the sword is that of a powerful hand, or the sword is of no use without a stronger hand which leads us to the conclusion that you have to be man enough to use your weapon in the battle field or will certainly need to use a diaper to help support the weapon and avoid the side effect.
    It is a proven fact that when the faith goes out of some one and belief, courage, and spirit desert their hearts, the worldly arms and logistic support would never do them any good. On the other way round, anyone equipped with power of true faith and spirit of Jihad will singlehandedly have the entire army taste embarrassing defeat and humiliation no matter how arrogant and exploitive it may be.
    The likelihood is that the America and her allies, by now, may have realized the fact their pipe-dream would no longer come true in Afghanistan; they had better leave our country or they are sure to ask Pakistan for the their soldiers’ coffins, too, along with the toilet papers and diapers.