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31 July 2014

question re boring Middle East politics and military affairs / Bob salutes the Euro colonial legacy, thanks guys

Click to enlarge, but it won't get prettier.

has left a new comment on your post "return of son of The Spanish prisoner / sounds hot...":

yo bob, what's the "for dummies" version of what's going down in palestine, gaza, west bank and israel?

Posted by abbas to Vleeptron_Z at Thursday, 31 July, 2014


As every dummy knows, the Ibrahamic God has commanded all His children ceaselessly to slaughter each other -- not merely soldier versus soldier, but including infants and unarmed civilians. The United Nations relief organizations and, I assume, International Red Cross / Red Crescent notes that the Gaza situation is particularly ghastly because Gaza has now been denuded of nearly all medical supplies and resources. (Egypt blocks supplies from the south, Israel blockades Gaza from the north.) Yesterday an Israeli strike took out Gaza City's electric power, which runs the fresh water system's pumps. My diabetes is somewhat mild, so if I were otherwise unscathed in Gaza, the lack of refrigeration for what insulin may be available would take a few weeks or a month to kill me. All Gaza's diabetics face slow, ghastly death this way.

Vleeptron will refrain from illustrating this post with photographs of dead or maimed babies. Those who want to see more such photos this week should have no difficulties finding them.

I wish to take special note of the USA's last presidential campaign. In his secret speech to Republican donors (which was rudely filmed and distributed to YouTube, I think by a startled waiter with a cel phone), Mitt Romney discussed Mideast Peace. If elected, he told the gazillionaires, he would just "kick the can down the road" -- i.e., do nothing to try to bring about peace between Israel and Palestinians, as he and all practical conservative leaders believed there was nothing USA leadership could do, so why even try? (I, like the majority of American Jews, voted for Obama in both his campaigns.)

Of course the dreadful never-ending hatred and violence in the region are the lingering legacy of the rule of European colonial powers. They're long gone -- they got kicked out of the region, and kicked out of India and what was partitioned into the two Pakistans, around 1948. The Mideast has been in regular violence and warfare ever since, as have Pakistan and India. Today many of the combatant nations in both theaters possess nuclear weapons and reasonably effective delivery systems. (Israel's delivery systems are by far the best in the region, and it's believed Israel possesses both fission and fusion bombs -- they have never acknowledged that they possess nuclear weapons.)

My family -- "Diaspora Jews," and lifelong sympathizers with Israel's right to exist in safety as a sovereign sanctuary for Jews -- has a long tradition of Lefty Peaceniks, and I make special mention of a favorite nephew who travelled to the West Bank to stand in front of Caterpillar (tm) bulldozers that the IDF soldiers were using to knock down Palestinian homes (to prepare for the construction of new Jewish settlements).

In our times, we are witnessing the total collapse of regional and international political leadership. In Israel -- which proudly describes itself as a parliamentary democracy -- only one national institution is respected and trusted by the Israeli people: The IDF, the Israeli military. From its historically victorious war generals, Israeli party politics regularly choose the next "tough guy" Prime Minister. Netanyahu is the surviving brother of the only IDF combat death of the successful hostage rescue raid in Idi Amin's Uganda, which made "Bibi" (a famed philanderer, I think he has twice had to apologize on TV) a sort of proxy war hero.

If you are waiting for me to say something nice about Hamas ...

Another casualty of this catastrophic breakdown of leadership has been the ancient respectful alliance -- dating from Ottoman times -- between Jews, Israel and Turkey. Turkey's disturbing shift from Ataturk secularism to
Erdoğan's "faith-based" form of government/politics has allowed Erdogan to break Turkey's friendship with Israel and take an active pro-Palestinian role in the region. It's unlikely I'll ever join the Erdoğan Fan Club, but one of his provocations was indeed necessary and important -- sponsoring merchant vessels with food and medical supplies to besieged Gaza.

It's inevitable and easy for the world's independent media to cover war and dead babies.

What nobody (that I've yet seen) has yet covered is the Israeli anti-war Refusenik Peacenik political pushback. (Israel has long had a fringe party called Gush Shalom -- I suspect these are excellent recruiting days for this party. That's their anti-blockade ship in foto above.)

As an interesting footnote to this new war, Israel is about to make a historic change and end the automatic conscription exemption for its Ultra-Orthodox Jews -- who are the most rabid anti-Palestinians in Israel, but have never had to wear a uniform and do the icky business of killing Palestinians themselves. Universal conscription also drafts women into the IDF. I can't wait to see how that will work for the Ultra-Orthodox. There were women soldiers when I was in the USA Army, but I don't think they had a military job specialty of bearing multiple children.

In October 1973, Israel made considerable sympathetic propaganda when it was attacked by an Arab coalition on the holiest of Jewish days, and has since been known as the Yom Kippur War.

I now officially dub this Gaza disaster the Ramadan War. I think that could grow legs historically. People in the region will remember the calendar timing of the Israeli offensive for a long time.

Eid Mubarak, Abbas, and I love ya, buddy, but your request for my Feelings about this wretched business is making me sick, and I got to take some tranquilizers and blood pressure medicine.

Great question, though!

27 July 2014

return of son of The Spanish prisoner / sounds hot, i'll hit [REPLY] & surprise my wife when we get the payoff

From Mr.Alexander Kofi Mensah Mould
CEO Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC)

I am Mr.Alexander Kofi Mensah Mould? the CEO Ghana National Petroleum Corporation which awards contract in the Department of Petroleum Resources of Ghana. I head a seven man Tenders Board Committee in charge of contract award and Payment approvals. I came to know of you in my search for a reliable and reputable person to handle a very confidential transaction, which involves
the transfer of a huge sum of money to a foreign account.

There were series of contracts executed by a consortium of Multinationals in the oil industry in favour of the (GNPC) among which were;

1) The expansion of Pipeline network within Ghana for crude oil and downstream products distribution and subsequent evacuation -  US$2 Billion.

2)    Contract for Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of Refinery in the country.

3)    The construction of Storage Tanks for Petroleum Product (Depots)-US$94 Million.

The original value of of these contracts  were deliberately over invoiced in the sum of Twenty Five million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars $25,500,000.00) which has recently been approved and now ready to be transferred. However the companies that actually executed the aforementioned contract have been fully paid and the projects officially commissioned.

Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount into your account for subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/or operating foreign accounts in our names.

Needless to say, the trust reposed in you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed amongst ourselves to offer you 40% of the transferred sum, 10% shall be set aside for any incidental expenses during the course of this transaction, you will then be mandated to revert the balance to us in due course.

You must however NOTE that this transaction is subject to the following terms and conditions; our conviction of your transparent honesty and diligence, that you must accord this transaction with utmost confidentiality and secrecy.

Modalities have been worked out at the highest levels of the Ministry 0f Finance, Central Bank of Ghana and the Presidential Task Force on Contract Payment for the immediate remittance of the funds within 5 - 7 working days subject to your satisfaction of the above terms.

Our assurance is that your role shall be totally risk free. To accord this transaction the legality it deserves, and for mutual security of funds, the whole procedures shall be legally processed with your name or any company you may nominate as the bonafide final beneficiary.

Once more, I want you to understand that having put in over 20 years in the Civil Service of my country, I am very  much averse to having my image and career dented. This matter should therefore be treated with utmost secrecy and urgency. Kindly expedite immediate action as we are well behind schedule to enable us include this transfer in the second batch of the 2014 fiscal year contract payments.

Best Regards.
Mr.Alexander Kofi Mensah Mould
CEO Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC)

07 July 2014

Ramadan Kareem -- a Generous Month of Ramadan / Salam, Peace

Click to enlarge.

Personal matters have slowed and delayed me, and this is not the first time I have been late to wish all my Muslim neighbors Ramadan Kareem -- a generous month of Ramadan.

But better late than never.

This crude greeting image -- well, crude, yes, but it's also slightly brave, because I didn't filch a much prettier and more proper Ramadan Kareem card from the web. I think this might be the first time I'm not the Web Thief of Ramadan. This year I'm the talentless, ignorant graffiti tagger of Ramadan.

During this lunar month, the Prophet Mohammed received the words of the Quran. I have only read much of the Quran in English translation, the Penguin translation by the Anglo-Iraqi Dawood -- which is apparently the best-selling Quran in a language other than the original Arabic.

(Dawood also translated a lovely, delicious collection of stories from the 1001 Nights / the Arabian Nights / Alf Layla iwa Layla," also for Penguin.)

If you stick "Ramadan" in the Vleeptron search engine, you should see my efforts to wish the Umma Ramadan Kareem for, oh, at least 10 years. 

Last year's was particularly beautiful: with his kind permission, a very talented astronomer's photo of the crescent moon near a single bright star. God and Nature make the most beautiful images.

I'll stop here, else I betray more of my profound ignorance about these matters. 

All I can add is that this is a very troubled moment for many of the Muslim parts of the world. So if you pray, pray for Salam, Selam, Salamet, Shalom, Paz, Pax, Paix, Pace. Peace however you say it.

But please Leave A Comment about these things. Keep the dialogue going. Think generous thoughts all month.