Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Archive: A Month Away

A few eye-catching headlines scribbled during April 2004.

Aside from the temporary (and long term) rearrangement of priorities, the glaring insignificance of the body of work and a few other lame excuses (time, inspiration, risk,…), Abu Shreek must reaffirm that he does not cater to any specific group of people other than his own self, and hence, he felt free to take an unannounced one- month leave of absence. With all due respect to my dear four and a half readers (seriously folks, stop spending that much time reading ridiculously irrelevant e-stuff. You may want to consider a hobby and/or some friends), but if three years don’t make the slightest difference in the collective existence, what is the worth of one month in the marginal lives of the individual?

Looking at now and then one cannot but sarcastically wonder: where would we be now if not for the electronic revolution that allowed for every semi-literate computer user to voice out his/her opinion (and I use the term opinion loosely)?

For entertainment purposes, here are a few pages from the April 2004 news clippings, exactly as they were recorded then:

April 14th:

-Reports about Iranian diplomatic efforts to instigate talks between the Americans and “Al Sader” militias.

-The destruction of a mosque in Fallujah using laser guided missiles.

- Palestinian prisoner day. (More than 7500 Palestinians in the occupation prisons).

-Jewish lobbyist groups ask Google to take the website jewwatch.com off their search listing and Google denies their request.

April 15th:

-Bush meets with Sharon and supports all his plans: the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, maintaining and expanding the illegal settlements in the West Bank, the continuation of occupation of the West Bank and the decisive rejection of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

-Bin Laden offers Europe a truce and his offer is met with the ridicule it deserves.

-19th year on the assassination of Abu Jihad in his home in Tunisia.

-The U.S. accuses AlJazeera and AlArabiyya news channels of promoting anti-American sentiments that triggers violence acts against America forces.

-An Italian hostage is executed on tape by a random militia group, and they threaten to murder three more hostages.

-A rally commemorates April 13th as the day marking the beginning of the Lebanese civil war (which one?).

April 16th:

-The fierce American bombing of Fallujah continues, more than two weeks after the killing and the corpse mutilation of four American contractors. The international community had condemned the American operation a week ago, when the Iraqi death toll was at 400, and remained silent since.

-Various international reactions to Bush’s promises to Sharon: Arabic news papers describe it as the “New Balfour promise”, the Jewish papers describe it as a “Historic triumph” and Sharon describes it as the “Knockout”.
As a reminder, the Bush promises are:
No withdrawal to the 1967 borders
No right of return
Dismantling the settlements is impractical

-The Jordanian field hospital in Iraq was accidentally bombed by American occupation forces.

-A rise on the prices of Falafel in Jordan

-Bush in a press conference: “The WMDs could still be found in Iraq

-The Egyptian journalist union rejects an American fund of 35 million dollars intended to train 50 journalists in American universities, expressing their displeasure with the Bush promises to Sharon.

April 16th:

-Bob Woodward mentions in his book that Colin Powell has warned Bush that the invasion of Iraq will lead to a “you break it, you own it” situation.

-A Saudi man is arrested for participating in a talk show on AlJazeera news channel.

-An emergency landing of a plane, traveling between Doha and Casablanca after an unsuccessful kidnapping attempt without a weapon!

-600 reported cases of German measles in Jordan.

-The King of Jordan tours the United States and abstains from commenting on the Bush promises to Sharon.

-Libya remains on the terrorist states list despite apologizing and paying 4 million dollars to each family of the Pan Am Lockerbie flight victims.

-German police authorities thoroughly search two mosques after Al Juma’a prayers and check the identification documents of hundreds of those who were in the mosque.

-HRH princess Muna Al Hussein recommends Golf for Jordanians as a relaxing sport of many benefits.

-The price of a one pack of locally made Viceroy cigarettes is 85 piasters.

-The assassination of Dr. Abdul Azziz Al Ranteessi. The charismatic Hamas leader was the spokesman of the Palestinians who were deported by the occupation forces and remained trapped in “Marj Al Zohoor” on the Palestinian Lebanese border. The assassination comes after the unconditional American green light.

-Jordan announces that the capital was targeted by a chemical terrorist attack that was estimated to cause 20,000 casualties if the planners were not caught in time.

April 19th:

-The Spanish forces withdraw from Iraq, a month after the Madrid bombings. Total number of troops: 1432. The new Spanish prime minister fulfills his promises to his voters, and announced that Spain’s targets were the WMDs and not fighting terrorism. The country celebrates.

-Pakistan presents a request to the human rights committee in the United Nations to hold a special session to discuss the Israeli assassinations of Palestinian leaders especially the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassine (March 22nd). 53 countries agree, the U.S., Australia and Eritrea reject the proposal.

- A rise on the prices of Electricity in Jordan.

-Is there a bottom to the hole we are sinking in?

April 21st:

-The king of Jordan suspends his meetings with the American president.

-The Zionist state invests 10 million dollars in expanding the West Bank settlements.

-An informal discussion in the America supreme court over the legality of detaining Muslims and Arabs in Guantanamo. Some voices claim that “The American bill of rights does not distinguish between citizens and non-citizens”.

-Massacre in Gaza: Zionist invasion in Gaza results in 12 Palestinian martyrs within 24 hours.

-A bombing in Saudi Arabia, three terrorist killed in Jordan after they tried to attack the Ministry of local affairs, and the death of 69 Iraqis in Basra.

-George Bush insists on using the term “crusade” in describing his war on terror.

April 22nd:

-General Electric and Siemens suspend their work in Iraq.

-A study examining the family incomes of American college students reveals that the distinguished top-tier schools are dominated by those who come from high income families.

-Routine news from Iraq and Palestine: tens are dead, a 16 your old Palestinian dies after taking a bullet in the neck.

-Sudan is accused of committing genocide in Darfur.

-A Swiss bank returns 50 million dollars to the Nigerian government. The money is a portion of the treasury and central bank assets stolen by the Nigerian ex-president Sani Abacha. The estimated total amount that should be returned is 2.2 billion dollars.

-Reports that “Israel” posses 100-400 nuclear war heads and three German submarines capable of carrying nuclear arsenal.

-Bush: “The world leaders owe Sharon many thanks”!

-Reports of wide spread of mercenaries in Iraq, who are operating under the name: private military companies. They do not subscribe to the international war conventions, they are paid up to 10,000 dollars per day, and the majority of them are war criminals from Serbia (White Eagles) or from the remains of South Africa’s apartheid regime.

April 23rd:

-The contract of an employ at an American shipping company working in Kuwait is terminated after she takes a picture of rows of coffins wrapped in American flags carrying the bodies of American soldiers home. The pentagon bans the publication of those pictures.

-A group called “kata2ebb al 7aramain: The brigades of the two holy shrines” announces its responsibility for the latest Riyadh bombings.

-In an African state located between South Africa and Mozambique called “Swaziland”, the king relieved the prime minister of his duties by sending him a text message. The king of Swaziland is the administrative and spiritual head of state and he appoints the prime minister and a small numbers of representatives in the parliament whose majority consists of members elected every 5 years.

-The price of AlRai daily news paper rises from 15 piasters to 20.

April 24th:

-A partial lift of the economic sanctions imposed on Libya (lucky them).

-Sharon threatens to assassinate Yasser Arafat, three weeks after making the statement: “Arafat would be a bad investment for life insurance companies”

-Three Palestinian activists are assassinated in Jewish operation executed by a group of special army forces wearing civil clothes.

-Paul Bremer decides to rehire the so-called ex-Bathist in the respective civil service positions and the appointed Iraqi government council rejects his decision.

April 28th:

-A Saudi student is taken to trial for webmastering several internet sites that are considered to be “promoting Jihad”.

-70,000 Jewish settlers hold a demonstration against the withdrawal from Gaza. The population of Gaza consists of 7,500 Jewish settlers and 1.5 million Palestinians.

-“Israel announces that it will dig a “valley” across the length of the Egyptian-Palestinian border to stop the flow of weapons to the Gaza strip!

-AlGathafi tours Europe promoting Islam.

April 29th:

-The pentagon releases a report claiming that all the resistance acts against the American troops are conducted by “Saddam Hussein agents”.

-PBS broadcasts a documentary-“The Jesus Factor”- demonstrating the Christianity effect on George Bush decision making and his confusion regarding the concept of “separation of state and church”.

-The anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. 54 four deaths and a billion dollar in damages.

-The “Israeli” chess teams participate in the world cup tournament held in Libya!

-Jordanian press reports that Bush considers offering the king of Jordan written guarantees regarding the key issues of “final stage” negotiations :o)

- Saddam Hussein’s birthday.

April 30th:

-American occupation authorities considers turning over AlFallujah to Iraqis to be self-administrated after failing to control it.

-An increase in the American voices opposing the Iraqi occupation especially after releasing photos and videos showing American soldiers torturing prisoners.

-An annual American report defining the various aspects of international terrorism considers Iraq “A central front for terrorism”! The report congratulated Jordan, Morocco, Qatar and Egypt on their efforts in fighting terrorism.

-Abu Mossab Al Zarqawi accuses the Jordanian government of fabricating the “chemical attacks” story and threatens the Jordanian government with serious operations over the coming few years.

-Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta join the European Union.

-A quarter million Jordanian from various parts of the country participates in the “Loyalty to Jordan” march.

-Merriam-Webster dictionary adds the following alternative definitions to “anti-Semitism”: Opposition to Zionism and the sympathy for the opponents of Israel.

Now what?