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Osama Bin Laden was an American creation, with full support of Saudi Arabia, how else

could nine of the sixteen highjackers learn to fly but not how to land and while training

in America? How else could the Bin Laden fly out of America on 9/11 when no

other planes could fly? Study the House of Saud and the House of Bush!



Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

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On the Death of Osama bin Laden

By Marvin X

Well, well, well, as election season begins, Obama has a feather in his cap, the body of Osama, the most wanted man in American history. Thus the Obama Drama continues for the hoodwinking of those addicted to the world of make believe. As we imagined, Osama was living not in some mountain cave, but in a mansion inside Islamabad, Pakistan, of course whereabouts long known by the Pakistani Intelligence and the CIA.

For better or worse, he was a character created by America, first to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan, then to be the bogeyman of the Global fascists in the American military, finance, corporate, university complex of white supremacy institutions that shall now proceed to reinstitute chattel slavery in America in the form of wage slavery, with little or no benefits for the workers who yet do not have the boldness to seize the means of production and institute a People's Republic Ruled by the Consent of the Governed.

I refer them to the poem “If We Must Die” by Black Renaissance poet Claude McKay. Hopefully this will get their nuts out of the sand and/or vaginas. A coward's death is lighter than a feather; the warrior's death is higher than Mount Tai.

No more jobs for life, no job amenities, no free health insurance, no social security. Your life is a commodity in the free market economy. It shall make money off you at every turn, no free lunches, no free rides, not even to the cemetery, better a cremation in the nomadic European tradition so accustomed by the North American Africans addicted to white supremacy world of make believe perpetuated by the Monkey Mind Media.

Osama Bin Laden [March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011] was an American creation, with full support of Saudi Arabia, how else could nine of the sixteen highjackers learn to fly but not how to land and while training in America? How else could the Bin Laden fly out of America on 9/11 when no other planes could fly? Study the House of Saud and the House of Bush!

And what is Barack Obama but an extension of the Bush White Supremacy Mythology, except in black face. When he imposes a No-fly Zone over the Gaza Concentration Camp, I will support him, until then, I will ride his ass like Roy Rogers on Trigger.

Black ain't black

white ain't white

beware the day

beware the night.

Source: BlackBirdPressNews

posted 3 May 2011

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Rush Limbaugh: 'Thank God For President Obama' (video)

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The Meaning of Osama bin Laden from a Street Perspective

By Marvin X

In the language of the street, Osama bin Laden checked [March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011] the white man. He put traps in the White man's path, allowing us to breathe another day while the white man focused on catching Osama, just as the Black Panther Party took pressure off the Negro people by having the police focus on the Black Panthers as the main threat to the national security of the United States. Can you imagine, some little Negroes with pistols and shotguns are able to challenge the might of the trillion dollar military industrial complex called America! This is a joke of the highest order and should receive an award at the coming Comedy Concert at Oakland's Paramount Theatre on May 14.

What we must learn from Osama is the interconnectedness of all things, especially in the Global Village. On the highest level of so-called civilization, there are only those who rule and those who are ruled. Such ideological and religious personas do not matter in the least, for they all go to the same banks to bankroll their iniquities. It doesn't matter if they are Muslim, Christian, Democrat, Republican, Socialist, Communist, Gay, or Lesbian. Only their interests matter, their narrow minded ideological concerns, all else can be sacrificed, sometimes to the highest bidder.

In the street, there is little distinction from the cops and robbers, they actually work together to keep crime alive. What would the police do with a society free of crime? What would the jailers and social workers, probation, parole officers do? Osama has, beyond his wildest imagination, helped usher in another Age of Man, ultimately helping the downtrodden of humanity get the courage to stand up in the face of oppression.

His main contribution was helping overcoming the fear of death. The suicide bombers gave us ample evidence death is no matter, that a greater life awaits us, if we only rid ourselves of the fear of death, if only we will invoke the dictum my life and my death are all for Allah.

In the Mack God philosophy, death is no matter, except as the price of justice. For whatever twisted ideological perspective he originated, whether Sunni or some weird combination thereof, Osama gave the West its greatest challenge yet.

But in the end the West shall face its greatest challenge as Baraka told us, "In the end the Negro will be the terrorist." Thus forget about Osama bin Ladan and concentrate on the most oppressed sector of American society. They shall and must be liberated by any means necessary, although we suggest by the most scientific means possible.

The American wage slaves can join them or stand on the sidelines, it doesn't matter. The time has come for the liberation of the North American Africans, and America may be destroyed in the process. Who gives a damn?

1 April 2011

Source: BlackBirdPressNews

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Washington Post Obituary: Osama bin Laden Killed at 54

Excerpts by Bradley Graham

2 May 2011

Osama bin Laden, 54, who was born into Saudi riches, only to end up leading a self-declared holy war against the United States as head of one of the most ruthless, far-flung terrorist networks in history, died Sunday in the manner he had often predicted: in a strike by U.S. forces. . . . Little in bin Laden’s privileged upbringing as a scion of a wealthy Saudi Arabian family suggested he would become the self-anointed champion of Islamist extremism and the world's most wanted man, with a $25 million bounty for his capture, dead or alive. Though first exposed to fundamentalist religious teachings during his teenage years, he was as a youth much more pious than political—a tall, shy figure who aspired with his many siblings to join the giant bin Laden family construction business.

His experience in the 1980s leading an Arab contingent against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan engendered a fierce sense of militancy. The subsequent arrival of U.S. troops in the Middle East, initially deployed in 1990 to oust Iraqi forces from Kuwait, served to focus bin Laden's ire on a view of the United States as a domineering, corrosive threat to Islam. . . .

A shrewd propagandist with an understated though commanding presence, he showed particular talent in bringing together terrorist elements under the umbrella of his loose movement. His brazenness in taking on the United States struck a popular chord, and his ability to wrap himself in the imagery of the prophet Muhammad carried deep resonance in the Muslim world. His deft use of international media helped magnify his message of murderous defiance against Western influences and restoration of a long-ago Islamic order. . . . Osama bin Laden’s father, Mohammed bin Laden, emigrated as a youth from the Hadramawt region of Yemen, arriving as a penniless laborer in 1925 in what would become the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Energetic and engaging, Mohammed bin Laden had a knack for engineering and found his way into the construction business.

By the late 1930s, he had established his own firm and was working on palaces for the royal family. In time, he became a favored contractor for the huge projects the kingdom undertook with its ever-growing oil riches.

Mohammed bin Laden had already taken multiple wives and had more than a dozen children when, in 1956, he married 14-year-old Alia al-Ghanem, who came from a Syrian family of citrus farmers. In 1957, Alia gave birth to a son, Osama, which means “young lion” in Arabic.

Mohammed divorced Alia when Osama was a young boy and arranged for her to remarry Mohammed al-Attas, who worked as a midlevel administrator in the bin Laden company. He and Alia had four other children. . . . Attending an elite private school in Jiddah—the al-Thager Model School—Osama bin Laden joined an after-school Islamic study group in eighth or ninth grade. In time, he adopted the beliefs and practices of an insistent piety, praying multiple times a day, letting his beard grow and arguing for a restoration of Islam in Arab politics.

Bin Laden continued this religious study after he entered Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz University in 1976, where he participated in the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization intent on imposing Koranic law throughout Muslim societies.

But he remained quiet and deferential, focused on the search for a pure spiritual life. Only years later did his religiosity harden into a fanatical hatred.

He studied management and economics but never earned a university degree, leaving for a job with the bin Laden family business as a manager in Mecca. By that time, the bin Laden company, headed by Osama’s older brother Salem, had been handed the enormous task of renovating the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

At 17, bin Laden had married his first wife: Najwa, a 14-year-old first cousin whom he had gotten to know during sojourns to Syria to visit his mother’s family. After university, he took a second and then a third wife, women who were better educated than his first. He would marry two more known times and father at least 23 children.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late 1979 profoundly influenced bin Laden’s course. Muslims around the world rallied to the Afghan cause, volunteering to help the mujaheddin resistance against the Soviet army.


For the first years of the war, bin Laden served essentially as a philanthropic activist, traveling back and forth between the war front and Saudi Arabia, carrying donations for the Afghan rebels.—WashingtonPost 

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Allan Nairn on Obama’s Targeted Killing of Bin Laden

It definitely should be an occasion for rethinking everything on a much bigger scale than Afghanistan. The first thing that struck me was seeing the Americans out in the streets celebrating outside the White House, outside the old World Trade Center site, people cheering, people exultant. And while some of that may come from bloodlust, I think a lot of it comes from a sense of justice. People like justice. They want to see it. And in this case, I think many people have the feeling, well, he got what he deserved. This was a man who had massacred civilians; he got what he deserved. And there’s a lot of truth to that.

But if we recognize that someone who is willing to kill civilians en masse, someone who is willing to send young people out with weapons and bombs to, as President Obama put it, see to it that a family doesn’t have a loved one sitting at the dinner table anymore, see to it that a child and a parent never meet again, if we say that someone like that deserves to die, then we have to follow through on that idea, and we have to recognize, OK, if these things really are so enormous, we have to stop them. Killing bin Laden does not stop them. Bin Laden is dead, but the world is still governed by bin Ladens.

People cheer because they thought they saw justice, but this was not justice delivered by—a kind of rough justice delivered by victims. This was one killer killing another, a big killer, the United States government, killing another, someone who’s actually a smaller one, bin Laden. And the bin Laden doctrine that, to take out the CIA office that was at the World Trade Center, it’s OK to blow up the whole World Trade Center, to teach Americans a lesson, it’s OK to slaughter thousands of Americans—that doctrine lives on in the American White House, in the American Pentagon. You know, every day—and in seats of authority all over the world.

Every day, the U.S., directly with its own forces, or indirectly through its proxy forces, its clients, is killing, at a minimum, dozens of people. I mean, just since Obama came in, in the one limited area of drone strikes in Pakistan, something like 1,900 have been killed just under Obama. And that started decades before 9/11. We have to stop these people, these powerful people like Obama, like Bush, like those who run the Pentagon, and who think it’s OK to take civilian life.

And it doesn’t seem that they can be stopped by normal, routine politics, because under the American system, as in most other systems, people don’t even know this is happening. People know the face of bin Laden. They know the evil deeds that he’s done. They see that he is dead, and they say, "Oh, great, we killed bin Laden." But they don’t see the other 20, 30, 50, 100 people who the U.S. killed that day, many of them children, many of them civilians. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be out in the street cheering about those deaths.

We’ve got to stop this practice. And Americans aren’t doing it. Egyptians, Tunisians are doing their part. They’ve risen up against the repression they face. I think we need an American uprising, if we’re to put a stop to this kind of killing of innocent people. And we need an American Romero, someone like Archbishop Romero of Salvador, who, in the face of massacres, of daily massacres of what in the end was more than 70,000 Salvadorans, stood up and said to the army of his country, "Stop the repression. Defy your orders to kill, because there’s a higher principle."

About a little more than a week ago, I was in El Salvador and visited Romero’s old home, which I had never been to before, and saw that on his bookshelf he had Why Not the Best?, a campaign book by Jimmy Carter, which he had apparently been reading. Romero wrote to Jimmy Carter in his capacity as the archbishop in 1980, asking Carter to stop supporting the Salvadoran military that was slaughtering his people. And from what I know of Romero, he probably really believed that Carter would respond. He didn’t. Carter kept sending the aid. And within weeks, Romero himself was assassinated by death squad, that had originated from U.S. backing. Writing letters didn’t work in that case. And it doesn’t work here. You know, we’ve got to put a stop to this. Bin Laden is dead. And bin-Ladenism, if you want to call it that, should die also.DemocracyNow

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Bush rejects Taliban offer to surrender bin Laden

Second week of bombing begins; Media visits village hit by missile

By Andrew Buncombe

Monday, 15 October 2001

After a week of debilitating strikes at targets across Afghanistan, the Taliban repeated an offer to hand over Osama bin Laden, only to be rejected by President Bush. After a week of debilitating strikes at targets across Afghanistan, the Taliban repeated an offer to hand over Osama bin Laden, only to be rejected by President Bush. The offer yesterday from Haji Abdul Kabir, the Taliban's deputy prime minister, to surrender Mr bin Laden if America would halt its bombing and provide evidence against the Saudi-born dissident was not new but it suggested the Taliban are increasingly weary of the air strikes, which have crippled much of their military and communications assets.

The move came as the Taliban granted foreign journalists unprecedented access to the interior for the first time. Reporters were escorted to the village of Karam in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban said up to 200 civilians were killed in an American bombardment last Wednesday. The reporters saw clear evidence that many civilians had been killed in the attack, though they could not confirm the number of deaths. "I ask America not to kill us," pleaded Hussain Khan, who said he had lost four children in the raid. In the rubble of one house, the remains of an arm stuck out from beneath a pile of bricks. A leg had been uncovered near by.

Another old man said: "We are poor people, don't hit us. We have nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. We are innocent people." Washington has not commented on the bombardment. Mr Kabir said: "If America were to step back from the current policy, then we could negotiate." Mr bin Laden could be handed over to a third country for trial, he said. "We could discuss which third country." But as American warplanes entered the second week of the bombing campaign, Washington rejected the Taliban offer out of hand. "When I said no negotiations I meant no negotiations," Mr Bush said. "We know he's guilty. Turn him over. There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt."Independent

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Remarks by the President on Osama Bin Laden

Excerpts by President Barack Obama


Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability.  No Americans were harmed.  They took care to avoid civilian casualties.  After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body. For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies.  The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.  There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.  We must—and we will—remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not—and never will be—at war with Islam.  I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.  Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.  So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was.  That is what we’ve done.  But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.  Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts.  They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations.  And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates. . . . Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are:  one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.—East Room / 2 May 2011  / WhiteHouse

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Letter to America

Excerpts By Osama bin Laden

Think not of those who are killed in the way of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive with their Lord, and they are being provided for. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them from His bounty and rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers." [Quran 3:169-171]

The Nation of victory and success that Allah has promised:

It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it victorious over all other religions even though the Polytheists hate it." [Quran 61:9]

Allah has decreed that 'Verily it is I and My Messengers who shall be victorious.' Verily Allah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty." [Quran 58:21]

The Islamic Nation that was able to dismiss and destroy the previous evil Empires like yourself; the Nation that rejects your attacks, wishes to remove your evils, and is prepared to fight you. You are well aware that the Islamic Nation, from the very core of its soul, despises your haughtiness and arrogance.

If the Americans refuse to listen to our advice and the goodness, guidance and righteousness that we call them to, then be aware that you will lose this Crusade Bush began, just like the other previous Crusades in which you were humiliated by the hands of the Mujahideen, fleeing to your home in great silence and disgrace. If the Americans do not respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup, ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.

This is our message to the Americans, as an answer to theirs. Do they now know why we fight them and over which form of ignorance, by the permission of Allah, we shall be victorious?—Guardian

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Has Osama Bin Laden Been Dead for Seven Years

and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror?

By Sue Reid

11 September 2009

The U.S. State Department offered a reward of $50million for his whereabouts. The FBI named him one of their ten 'most wanted' fugitives, telling the public to watch out for a left-handed, grey-bearded gentleman who walks with a stick. Yet this master terrorist remains elusive. He has escaped the most extensive and expensive man-hunt in history, stretching across Waziristan, the 1,500 miles of mountainous badlands on the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Undeterred, Barack Obama has launched a fresh operation to find him. Working with the Pakistani Army, elite squads of U.S. and British special forces were sent into Waziristan this summer to 'hunt and kill' the shadowy figure intelligence officers still call 'the principal target' of the war on terror. This new offensive is, of course, based on the premise that the 9/11 terrorist is alive. After all, there are the plethora of 'Bin Laden tapes' to prove it.

Yet what if he isn't? What if he has been dead for years, and the British and U.S. intelligence services are actually playing a game of double bluff? What if everything we have seen or heard of him on video and audio tapes since the early days after 9/11 is a fake—and that he is being kept 'alive' by the Western allies to stir up support for the war on terror?

Incredibly, this is the breathtaking theory that is gaining credence among political commentators, respected academics and even terror experts. Of course, there have been any number of conspiracy theories concerning 9/11, and it could be this is just another one. But the weight of opinion now swinging behind the possibility that Bin Laden is dead—and the accumulating evidence that supports it—makes the notion, at the very least, worthy of examination.

The theory first received an airing in the American Spectator magazine earlier this year when former U.S. foreign intelligence officer and senior editor Angelo M. Codevilla, a professor of international relations at Boston University, stated bluntly: 'All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama Bin Laden.' Prof Codevilla pointed to inconsistencies in the videos and claimed there have been no reputable sightings of Bin Laden for years (for instance, all interceptions by the West of communications made by the Al Qaeda leader suddenly ceased in late 2001).

Prof Codevilla asserted: 'The video and audio tapes alleged to be Osama's never convince the impartial observer,' he asserted. 'The guy just does not look like Osama. Some videos show him with a Semitic, aquiline nose, while others show him with a shorter, broader one. Next to that, differences between the colours and styles of his beard are small stuff.' . . . [Professor David Ray] Griffin suggests [in his book Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?] that Western governments used highly sophisticated, special effects film technology to morph together images and vocal recordings of Bin Laden.So if they are fakes, why has Al Qaeda kept quiet about it? And what exactly happened to the real Bin Laden?

The answer to the first question may be that the amorphous terrorist organisation is happy to wage its own propaganda battle in the face of waning support—and goes along with the myth that its charismatic figurehead is still alive to encourage recruitment to its cause. As for the matter of what happened to him, hints of Bin Laden's kidney failure, or that he might be dead, first appeared on January 19, 2002, four months after 9/11.

This was when Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf told America's news show CNN: 'I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a kidney patient. The images of him show he is extremely weak.' In his book, Professor Griffin also endorses this theory. He says Bin Laden was treated for a urinary infection, often linked to kidney disease, at the American Hospital in Dubai in July 2001, two months before 9/11. At the same time, he ordered a mobile dialysis machine to be delivered to Afghanistan.

How could Bin Laden, on the run in snowy mountain caves, have used the machine that many believe was essential to keep him alive? Doctors whom Griffin cites on the subject think it would have been impossible. And what of the telling, small news item that broke on December 26, 2001 in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Wafd? It said a prominent official of the Afghan Taliban had announced that Osama Bin Laden had been buried on or about December 13. . . .

'He suffered serious complications and died a natural, quiet death. He was buried in Tora Bora, a funeral attended by 30 Al Qaeda fighters, close members of his family and friends from the Taliban. By the Wahhabi tradition, no mark was left on the grave,' said the report. The Taliban official, who was not named, said triumphantly that he had seen Bin Laden's face in his shroud. 'He looked pale, but calm, relaxed and confident.'

It was Christmas in Washington DC and London and the report hardly got a mention. Since then, the Bin Laden tapes have emerged with clockwork regularity as billions have been spent and much blood spilt on the hunt for him. Bin Laden has been the central plank of the West's 'war on terror'. Could it be that, for years, he's just been smoke and mirrors?—DailyMail

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Osama bin Laden’s Second Death (Paul Craig Roberts)

Killing One Monster—Unleashing Another (Tim Wise)

Perhaps the only thing more disturbing than the celebrations unleashed in the wake of bin Laden’s demise was the cynical way in which the president suggested that his killing proved “America can do whatever we set our mind to.” If this is, indeed, the lesson of bin Laden’s death, then this only suggests we clearly don’t want to diminish, let alone end, child poverty, excess mortality rates in communities of color, rape and sexual assault of women (including the many thousands who have been victimized in the U.S. military), or food insecurity for millions of families; because we aren’t addressing any of those things with nearly the aplomb as that put to warfare and the killing of our adversaries.

We are, if the president is serious here, a nation that has narrowly constricted its marketable talents to the deployment of violence. We can’t manufacture much of anything, but we can kill you. We can’t fix our schools, or build adequate levees to protect a city like New Orleans from floodwaters. But we can kill you. We can’t reduce infant mortality to anywhere near the level of other industrialized nations with which we like to compare ourselves. But we can kill you. We can’t break the power of Wall Street bankers, or jail any of those bankers and money managers who helped orchestrate the global financial collapse. But we can kill you. We can’t protect LGBT youth from bullying in schools, or ensure equal opportunity for all in the labor market, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or any other factor. But we can kill you. Booyah, bitches.—TimWise 

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The Power of Nightmares, (Part 1/3), “Baby it’s Cold Outside“  /  The Power of Nightmares, (Part 2/3), "The Phantom Victory"

The Power of Nightmares, (Part 3/3), “The Shadows in the Cave”

Immortal Technique--Bin Laden

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On Osama Bin Laden’s Death

By Chris Hedges

I spent a year of my life covering al-Qaida for The New York Times. It was the work in which I, and other investigative reporters, won the Pulitzer Prize. And I spent seven years of my life in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I’m an Arabic speaker. And when someone came over and told Jean and me the news, my stomach sank. I’m not in any way naïve about what al-Qaida is. It’s an organization that terrifies me. I know it intimately.

But I’m also intimately familiar with the collective humiliation that we have imposed on the Muslim world. The expansion of military occupation that took place throughout, in particular the Arab world, following 9/11—and that this presence of American imperial bases, dotted, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Doha—is one that has done more to engender hatred and acts of terror than anything ever orchestrated by Osama bin Laden.

And the killing of bin Laden, who has absolutely no operational role in al-Qaida—that’s clear—he’s kind of a spiritual mentor, a kind of guide . . . he functions in many of the ways that Hitler functioned for the Nazi Party. We were just talking with Warren about Kershaw’s great biography of Hitler, which I read a few months ago, where you hold up a particular ideological ideal and strive for it. That was bin Laden’s role. But all actual acts of terror, which he may have signed off on, he no way planned.—CommonDreams

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Will Osama’s death give Obama new life with voters?

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson


3 May 2011

 President Obama accomplished something historic with the take down of America's and the world's public enemy number one symbol of terrorism, Osama bin Laden. His accomplishment was so unassailable he got such virulent and relentless Obama critics as talk show guru Rush Limbaugh, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to applaud him for his actions.

A number of chronic Obama bashers with varying degrees of enthusiasm cheered the president for the bin Laden kill. Even more gratifying, he got near universal approval from millions of Americans across all ethnic, racial and faith lines for his action. But the cheers, applause, and praise—as politicians, star athletes, and entertainers have found to their bitter chagrin—lasts only so long; as the saying goes what have you done for me today. . . .

The bright side to this is that Obama's resolute action against Osama bin Laden defused the major weapon in the GOP's attack arsenal that they have used to pound Democratic contenders in years past and especially Obama in 2008. And that is the smear that Democrats are soft on the military and the war on terrorism and that Democrat's softness puts America's in mortal danger of terror attacks. . . .

The execution of bin Laden and Obama's willingness to expand the Afghan war has pretty much made that a moot point for the GOP.TheGrio

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Osama bin Laden’s body buried at sea

U.S. moves quickly to bury slain al Qaeda leader in accordance with Muslim tradition

2 May 2011

Osama bin Laden, the long-time figurehead of the al Qaeda terrorist network, has been buried at sea after being killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan. Pentagon officials said Monday that bin Laden's body was be handled in accordance with Muslim traditions, which include strict rules on burial taking place within 24 hours after death. Sources confirmed to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin that his body was released into the sea from a U.S. Navy vessel on Monday, likely into the Indian Ocean.

Bin Laden was a Saudi national, but officials tell CBS News that the Kingdom was unwilling to have his remains repatriated. He was killed in a U.S. raid launched early Monday in the relatively-well-heeled town of Abbottabad, near the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.CBSNews

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 In bin Laden killing, media—as usual—regurgitates false Government claims

Excerpts by Glenn Greenwald


3 May 2011

Yesterday, it was widely reported that bin Laden "resisted" his capture and "engaged in a firefight" with U.S. forces (leaving most people, including me, to say that his killing was legally justified because he was using force). It was also repeatedly claimed that bin Laden used a women—his wife—has a human shield to protect himself, and that she was killed as a result. That image—of a cowardly through violent-to-the-end bin Laden— framed virtually every media narrative of the event all over the globe. And it came from many government officials, principally Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan.

Those claims have turned out to be utterly false. From TPM toda: "It was a fitting end for the America's most wanted man. As President Barack Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan told it, a cowardly Osama bin Laden used his own wife as a human shield in his final moments. Except that apparently wasn't what happened at all. . . . Hours later, other administration officials were clarifying Brennan's account. Turns out the woman that was killed on the compound wasn't bin Laden's wife. Bin Laden may have not even been using a human shield. And he might not have even been holding a gun."

Politico's Josh Gerstein adds: "The White House backed away Monday evening from key details in its narrative about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including claims by senior U.S. officials that the Al Qaeda leader had a weapon and may have fired it during a gun battle with U.S. forces." Gerstein added: "a senior White House official said bin Laden was not armed when he was killed."

 Whether bin Laden actually resisted his capture may not matter to many people; the White House also claimed that they would have captured him if they had the chance, and this fact seems to negate that claim as well. But what does matter is how dutifully American media outlets publish as "news reports" what are absolutely nothing other than official White House statements masquerading as an investigative article.—Salon

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Bin Laden not armed during U.S. raid

He said the decision to kill rather than capture bin Laden was made by forces on the ground, not by the White House, which earlier authorized the rehearsed raid that included contingencies for, but no expectations of, capture.

CIA Chief Leon Panetta, later Tuesday told NBC News, "The authorities we have on Bin Laden are to kill him. And that was made clear. But it was also, as part of their rules of engagement, if he suddenly put up his hands and offered to be captured, then they would have the opportunity, obviously, to capture him. But that opportunity never developed."

U.S. forces faced a firefight throughout the raid, Carney said at the briefing. "We expected a great deal of resistance and were met with a great deal of resistance. There were many other people who were armed in the compound," Carney said. There had been conflicting information about the circumstances under which the al-Qaida leader was killed. Some reports said that bin Laden was armed and that the woman was used as a human shield.

Describing the raid, Carney said two other families lived in the bin Laden compound in the outskirts of Abbottabad, some 60 miles from the capital of Islamabad. One family lived on the first floor of the bin Laden building and one family in a second building. One team began the operation on the first floor of the bin Laden house and worked their way to the third floor; a second team cleared the separate building.

Slate: Dramatic bin Laden death details may be bogus Carney said Navy SEALs encountered two al-Qaida couriers on the first floor of the compound building holding bin Laden and his family. A woman caught in crossfire there died, he said.—MSNBC

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Osama, Obama and Bush: Apt Comparisons, Missed Opportunities

By Bruce A. Dixon


The real difference between Republicans and Democrats in a case like this isn't in how the White House would act. The difference is how rank and file Democrats, the so-called antiwar movement choose to react. If this were 2006 or 2007, many would recall the widespread news reports of Bin Laden's death back in December of 2001, and the fact that Bin Laden audio or video tapes had a habit of emerging at incredibly convenient times for the Bush administration, like the eve of the 2004 election. Why should a government and military establishment, antiwar activists would wonder aloud, that told hundreds of well-documented lies to get us into Iraq alone be trusted to tell the truth now?

The difference is, those are questions that don't get asked with a Democrat in the White House. Democrat Barack Obama doesn't just start with a clean slate. Thanks to the president's bipartisan and visionary policy of “looking forward, not back” atrocities and crimes of administrations past are forgiven and forgotten, and all the excuses offered for them enshrined as unquestioned historical fact.

The Pentagon says they killed Bin Laden in a weekend firefight, won't show pictures and dumped the body at sea. That's it and that's all. Unless another courageous soldier like Bradley Manning comes forth, we'll never know any different, end of story.

Assuming the official story is mostly true, could Bin Laden have been captured alive and put on trial? Not likely.

No matter who was in the White House, the US never had any intention of capturing Bin Laden alive and bringing him to trial. Afghan authorities in the fall of 2001 offered to apprehend and turn Bin Laden in to US officials, if only they were provided with some actual proof he was responsible for 9-11. Bush spurned the offer, preferring to invade and install a new Afghan “government” of feudal warlords, drug smugglers and aid profiteers. The team allegedly sent to kill Bin Laden was not instructed to capture him alive, but to do just what it did. To kill him.—BlackAgendaReport

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Obama decides not to release bin Laden death photo

The White House had been weighing the release of a photo, in part to offer proof that bin Laden was killed during a raid on his compound early Monday. However, officials had cautioned that the photo was gruesome and could prove inflammatory. "It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody shot in the head are not floating around … This is not who we are. We don’t trot this stuff out as trophies," Obama told CBS News, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney.

"Given the graphic nature of these photos, I think releasing them would create some national security risk," the president said, according to Carney's account. The president decided against making the images public after a spirited debate within government over the potential impact of their release.—MSNBC

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Osama bin Laden's death: The US patriot reflex

By Gary Younge

While many nations suffered from al-Qaida's terrorism and few in the world will mourn Bin Laden's death, the United States is the only place where it sparked spontaneous outpourings of raucous jubilation. . . . This was not so much the exercise of American power as the performance of it. Coming eight years to the day after George W Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln to announce "Mission accomplished" in Iraq, news of Bin Laden's death was yet another mediated milestone in this war on an abstract noun. Like the capture of Saddam Hussein, the murder of Bin Laden changes little. Al-Qaida was never a top-down organisation, and was in decline anyhow – and the principal reason for its waning fortunes is the uprisings in the Arab world, revolts that have mostly taken place against America's client states.

But to suggest that "justice has been done", as President Obama did on Sunday night, seems perverse. This was not justice, it was an extra-judicial execution. If you shoot a man twice in the head you do not find him guilty. You find him dead. This was revenge.

And it was served very cold indeed. Given the nature of the 9/11 attacks a popular desire for vengeance in the US is a perfectly understandable and legitimate emotional response. It is not, however, a foreign policy. And if vengeance is a comprehensible human emotion then empathy is no less so.

Americans have a right to grieve and remember those who died on 9/11. But they have no monopoly on memory, grief or anger. Hundreds and thousands of innocent Afghanis, Iraqis and Pakistanis have been murdered as a result of America's response to 9/11. If it's righteous vengeance they're after, Americans would not be first in line. Fortunately it is not a competition, and there is enough misery to go around.

But those who chant "We killed Bin Laden" cannot display their identification with American power so completely and then expect others to understand it as partial. The American military has done many things in this region. Killing Bin Laden is just one of them.

If "they" killed Bin Laden in Abbottabad then "they" also bombed a large number of wedding parties in Afghanistan, "they" murdered 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha and "they" gang-raped a 14-year-old before murdering her, her six-year-old sister and their parents near Mahmudiyah. If "they" don't want to be associated with the atrocities then "they" need to find more to celebrate than an assassination. Vengeance is, in no small part, what got us here. It won't get us out.Guardian

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Deathers take over where birther left off

By Shannon Travis

Now, a surprisingly diverse crop of people are questioning whether Osama bin Laden is actually dead.Some media outlets and bloggers are calling them "deathers." Their claims follow a wide range: Some believe that the world's most-wanted terrorist was not the man killed Sunday, others think bin Laden is dead but was killed many years ago, and still others believe that the September 11 mastermind is alive—and secretly being interrogated.

One Fox Business Network host is not going quite that far. Judge Andrew Napolitano at one point declared that "Osama bin Laden is dead," but he later seemed unconvinced. Napolitano also questioned the president's authority to kill him. Napolitano began his Monday show by saying bin Laden was "killed on the illegal whim of the president."

Moments later, he added, "Osama bin Laden is dead. And the president seems to think he has the right to kill whomever he wants so long as the person is perceived as a monster and the public supports it." And yet the judge also questioned whether officials are "telling us the truth or pulling a fast one to save Obama's lousy presidency." Later in the broadcast, Napolitano asked a guest, "Do you believe he's dead, or do you want some more evidence: a photograph, a testimony of an eyewitness? Something other than the words of a president whose words we have doubted before?"

Others who are questioning bin Laden's death include a libertarian talk radio host, a well-known liberal anti-war activist and some everyday Pakistani students. What their claims all have in common—much like claims that the president was born outside the U.S., instead of in Hawaii—is that they go against the agreed-upon facts.Obama's decision not to release the photos of bin Laden's death seems to be stoking "deather" fires. Alex Jones is a Texas-based talk radio host who also runs various websites and whose YouTube channel claims more than 24 million views. He is sometimes called a right-wing conspiracy theorist.

After the president's announcement of bin Laden's death, Jones told his listeners in one broadcast, "My friends, this is a complete and total hoax." "Where is the body?" Jones asked in another show. "My White House sources nine years ago, on record, confirmed that he had been killed and was frozen on ice." Cindy Sheehan, who is certainly not an ideological ally of Jones', appears to agree with him on bin Laden's death. Sheehan became famous for protesting President George W. Bush's Iraq policy—even camping out at the White House and the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch—after her son was killed in the war. Shortly after the president's bin Laden announcement, Sheehan planted seeds of doubt on her Facebook page and blog.

"It's not that I don't believe Obama about Osama because he's Obama, I don't believe him because he is just one in along line of butt-naked emperors," Sheehan wrote. "The only proof of Osama being dead again that we were offered was Obama telling us that there was a DNA match between the man killed by the Navy SEALs and OBL. Even if it is possible to get DNA done so quickly, and the regime did have bin Laden DNA lying around a lab somewhere—where is the empirical proof?" Sheehan continued.—CNN

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My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death

By Noam Chomsky

6 May 2011

 It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany. . . . Less is said about Pakistani anger that the U.S. invaded their territory to carry out a political assassination. . . . We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.GuernicaMag

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Killing Bin Laden: Hit, Execution or justified military action?

By Ashahed M. Muhammad

[A]n unarmed Osama bin Laden was shot in the chest and head. His body was later taken to the ocean and dumped. According to Obama administration officials, this was done consistent with Islamic burial requirements and rituals.

Imam Dawud Walid of Masjid Wali Muhammad in Detroit, Michigan said if those in charge of the operation were truly concerned with handling the body according to Islamic law, they would have turned the body over to the family of Osama bin Laden to allow them to determine what to do going forward.

“Specific information hasn't been made public about Mr. Bin Laden's so-called Islamic burial, but in terms of traditional Muslim protocols, it is not acceptable to perform a sea burial,” Imam Walid told The Final Call. “Having the (funeral) prayer being said in English and then having a body disposed at sea is outside of traditional Islamic laws,” he added. . . . Mohammed Shafiq, director of the UK-based Ramadhan Foundation, a group working to provide a more positive image of Islam and Muslims, appealed for “calm and extra vigilance.” Reflecting the views of many, he said he would have preferred a trial for Osama bin Laden.

“Osama bin Laden has been responsible for preaching hatred and using terrorism to kill innocent people around the world and it would have been more suitable for him to be captured alive and put on trial in an international court for the crimes he has committed,” said Mr. Shafiq. “Every human should be held responsible for their actions in a court of law and Osama bin Laden is no different.”—FinalCall

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The Targeted Assassination of Osama Bin Laden

By Marjorie Cohn


9 May 2011

When he announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a Navy Seal team in Pakistan, President Barack Obama said, "Justice has been done."  Mr. Obama misused the word, "justice" when he made that statement.  He should have said, "Retaliation has been accomplished." A former professor of constitutional law should know the difference between those two concepts.  The word "justice" implies an act of applying or upholding the law. Targeted assassinations violate well-established principles of international law.  Also called political assassinations, they are extrajudicial executions. These are unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of, or with the acquiescence of, a government, outside any judicial framework.

Extrajudicial executions are unlawful, even in armed conflict. In a 1998 report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions noted that "extrajudicial executions can never be justified under any circumstances, not even in time of war." The U.N. General Assembly and Human Rights Commission, as well as Amnesty International, have all condemned extrajudicial executions. In spite of its illegality, the Obama administration frequently uses targeted assassinations to accomplish its goals.  Five days after executing Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama tried to bring "justice" to U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who has not been charged with any crime in the United States. The unmanned drone attack in Yemen missed al-Awlaki and killed two people "believed to be al Qaeda militants," according to a CBS/AP bulletin.

Two days before the Yemen attack, U.S. drones killed 15 people in Pakistan and wounded four. Since the March 17 drone attack that killed 44 people, also in Pakistan, there have been four drone strikes. In 2010, American drones carried out 111 strikes. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says that 957 civilians were killed in 2010.

The United States disavowed the use of extrajudicial killings under President Gerald Ford. After the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence disclosed in 1975 that the CIA had been involved in several murders or attempted murders of foreign leaders, President Ford issued an executive order banning assassinations. Every succeeding president until George W. Bush renewed that order. However, the Clinton administration targeted Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, but narrowly missed him. . . .CommonDreams

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Abbottabad Pakistan Villagers, Osama Bin Laden Video Was Faked (video)

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Stylish, Beautiful People
Omar bin Laden [born 1981], a metals trader who has been living in Cairo, appears at pains to disassociate himself from his father's belief in political violence. "We want to remind the world that Omar bin Laden, the fourth-born son of our father, always disagreed with our father regarding any violence and always sent messages to our father, that he must change his ways and that no civilians should be attacked under any circumstances," the statement said. . . .  Omar bin Laden) and his mother Najwa bin Laden published a book authored with Jean Sasson in late October 2009, titled Growing Up bin Laden. . . . He married Jane Felix-Browne, legally named Zaina Mohamed Al-Sabah, a parish councillor from Moulton, near Northwich in Cheshire in the United Kingdom, in July 2007.

The marriage was conducted in September 2006 in Islamic ceremonies in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, after which the couple spent three weeks together in Jeddah before Zaina returned to Britain for several months. . . . Omar bin Laden published a complaint on May 10, 2011, that the burial at sea of his father deprived the family of a proper burial. Wikipedia

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Shock and Awe

War is beautiful because it creates new architecture, like that of the big tanks, the geometrical formation flights, the smoke spirals from burning villages . . —Marinetti's Manifesto

Tourism of Death

By Spring Ulmer


The Work of Art

in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936)

By Walter Benjamin

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
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#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
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#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

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#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

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#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Malcolm X

A Life of Reinvention

By Manning Marable

Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties.

Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

*   *   *   *   *

The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.” 

His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.”

Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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Rock the Casbah

Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World

By Robin Wright

While Wright's book, which examines the multifaceted "counter-jihad"—the phenomenon of moderate Muslims confronting violent and authoritarian interpretations of Islam—is consistently engaging, it too often feels more like advocacy than analysis, and tends to be overly coloured by optimism. Wright's Rock the Casbah—taken from the title of the famous Middle East-themed song by The Clash—picks up where her earlier Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East left off. And that's the problem. Wright finds new reform-minded Muslims to praise, but conceptually, this book is almost identical to her previous one. An award-winning journalist, Wright originally set out to write about the counter-jihad in both the Middle East and the West. (The book's working subtitle—still found on some websiteswas How Sheikhs, Comedians, Rappers, and Women Are Challenging Osama Bin Laden.) Her overview of this subject proves quite appealing.TheNational

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Jerusalem: The Biography

By Simon Sebag Montefiore

Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgment Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of three thousand years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the “center of the world” and now the key to peace in the Middle East? In a gripping narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city in its many incarnations, bringing every epoch and character blazingly to life. Jerusalem’s biography is told through the wars, love affairs and revelations of the men and women—kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whores—who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.

As well as the many ordinary Jerusalemites who have left their mark on the city, its cast varies from Solomon, Saladin and Suleiman the Magnificent to Cleopatra, Caligula and Churchill; from Abraham to Jesus and Muhammad; from the ancient world of Jezebel, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod and Nero to the modern times of the Kaiser, Disraeli, Mark Twain, Lincoln, Rasputin, Lawrence of Arabia and Moshe Dayan. Drawing on new archives, current scholarship, his own family papers and a lifetime’s study, Montefiore illuminates the essence of sanctity and mysticism, identity and empire in a unique chronicle of the city that many believe will be the setting for the Apocalypse. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice—in heaven and on earth.

*   *   *   *   *

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

By  Ilan Pappe

It is amazing, according to Pappe, how the media had not managed to see the similarities between the ethnic cleansing that was happening in Bosnia with the one that is happening in Palestine. According to Drazen Petrovic (pg.2-3), who has dealt with the definition of ethnic cleansing, ethnic cleansing is associated with nationalism, the making of new nation states and national struggle all of which are the driving force within the Zionist ideology of Israel. The consultancy council had used the exact same methods as the methods that were later to be used by the Serbs in Bosnia. In fact Pappe argues that such methods were employed in order to establish the state of Israel in 1948.

The book is divided into 12 chapters with 19 illustrations in black and white, with 7 maps of Palestine and 2 tables. These include old photographs of refugee camps, and maps of Palestine before and after the ethnic cleansing of 1948. Pappe continues his writing as a revisionist historian with the intention of stating the bitter truth to his Israeli contemporaries and the fact that they have to face the truth of their nation being built upon an ethnic cleansing of the population of Palestine.

One can sense an optimistic hope in Pappe’s writing when he talks about the few who are in Israel who are aware of their country’s brutal past especially 1948 and the foundation of the state upon ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.—PaLint

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Book of Sins

By Nidaa Khoury

Khoury's poetry is fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time when many of us feel unreal and often spiritually hollow.—Yair Huri, Ben-Gurion University 

Written in water and ink, in between the shed blood. Nidaa Khoury's poems take us to the bosom of an ancient woman  . . . an archetype revived. The secret she whispers is 'smaller than words.'—Karin Karakasli, author, Turkey

Nidaa Khoury was born in Fassouta, Upper Galilee, in 1959. Khoury is the author of seven books published in Arabic and several other languages, including The Barefoot River, which appeared in Arabic and Hebrew and The Bitter Crown, censored in Jordan. The Palestinian poet is studied in Israeli universities and widely reviewed by the Arab press. The founder of the Association of Survival, an NGO for minorities in Israel, Khoury has participated in over 30 international literary and human rights conferences and festivals. Khoury is the subject of the award-winning film, Nidaa Through Silence.

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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