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New York City News

Ikonos photo of World Trade Center

I know next to nothing about the Middle East, so I’m hungry for anything that can educate me about the history, religion- anything that can help me take a few steps towards understanding why those people did what they did.
I found a lengthy article on Islamic terrorism on the website of The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, India. If you read it and want to discuss it, please email me.
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The Ikonos satellite took a great picture of the twin towers before they fell.

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News

CIA unprepared

Scary prescient article in The Atlantic 2 months ago.

A former senior Near East Division operative says, “The CIA probably doesn’t have a single truly qualified Arabic-speaking officer of Middle Eastern background who can play a believable Muslim fundamentalist who would volunteer to spend years of his life with shitty food and no women in the mountains of Afghanistan. For Christ’s sake, most case officers live in the suburbs of Virginia. We don’t do that kind of thing.” A younger case officer boils the problem down even further: “Operations that include diarrhea as a way of life don’t happen.”

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News

Halberstam on Apocalypse Now

David Halberstam on “Apocalypse Now”
— it’s in great contrast to what we see today. Look at “Pearl Harbor.” “Pearl Harbor” is nearly a blood libel against the event. The people who made that movie should be ashamed of themselves. Then you see “Apocalypse” and you see what real filmmaking really is.

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News

school shootings and white denial

This article by an ER MD at Salon.com was phenomenal.
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The Tim Wise article on the school shootings and white denial is worth a read.
What went wrong is that we allowed ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security by media representations of crime and violence that portray both as the province of those who are anything but white like us. We ignore the warning signs, because in our minds the warning signs don’t live in our neighborhood, but across town, in that place where we lock our car doors on the rare occasion we have to drive there. That false sense of security — the result of racist and classist stereotypes — then gets people killed. And still we act amazed.
But listen up my fellow white Americans: your children are no better, no nicer, no more moral, no more decent than anyone else. Dysfunction is all around you, whether you choose to recognize it or not.

Alikah Monifah shows the support Wise has received from communities of color due to his recent celebrated article.

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News

Nelson Mandela

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But if needs be, my lord, it is an ideal for which I am ready to die.”
Nelson Mandela (RealAudio) at the Rivonia trial, 20 April 1964, before he was sentenced to life in prison.