A New Goethe Needed 114


The Peacock Throne of the Mughal Emperors was set at the heart of beautiful gardens, fountains and elegant courtyards. Poetry was as important to them as warfare. On the throne was set the inscription: “If there be heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.”

I am in Dubai. If there be hell on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here. Dubai. The land that taste forgot. Apparently designed to gather together as many as possible of the nastiest people from all continents, and give them anything their heart desires. I am sure, if you could just find the right person to chuck a spare million, you could make a snuff movie starring one of the unfortunate little Sri Lankans or Central Asians who are everywhere, doing all the work, but apparently invisible. Then you could go to a Spa.

It is as though someone had given Jordan a trillion dollars and a million slaves and invited her to construct the city of her dreams. For those who believe that consumption is the purpose of life, this is the new Mecca. I think I can sum it up best by saying that I am continually expecting to see Tony and Cherie come round the corner, followed by Mandy, Nat Rothschild, Deripaska and Gulnara. I met nicer people and my soul was less disturbed up country in the middle of the Sierra Leone civil war. My God, I want to get out of here, burn all my clothes and shower for a week.


114 thoughts on “A New Goethe Needed

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  • Uzbek in the UK

    Somehow one of my comments stuck in ‘awaiting moderation’ limbo. Are moderators asleep?

  • Mary

    Live coverage of the repatriation of six bodies at Brize Norton is on both news channels at the moment. It has taken two weeks to return them to the UK. Suppose they had to make sure that they had the right body parts in the right coffin.
    .
    Large crowds are lining the route of course and there are two sanctimonious commentators on both BBC and Sky. ‘His smile could light up a room’, etc etc.
    .
    No mention at all of the recently slain Afghan people.
    .
    Where is bloody Blair who started it all?

  • Mary

    Murder Is Not an Anomaly in War

    By Chris Hedges
    .
    March 19, 2012 “TruthDig” — The war in Afghanistan—where the enemy is elusive and rarely seen, where the cultural and linguistic disconnect makes every trip outside the wire a visit to hostile territory, where it is clear that you are losing despite the vast industrial killing machine at your disposal—feeds the culture of atrocity. The fear and stress, the anger and hatred, reduce all Afghans to the enemy, and this includes women, children and the elderly. Civilians and combatants merge into one detested nameless, faceless mass. The psychological leap to murder is short. And murder happens every day in Afghanistan. It happens in drone strikes, artillery bombardments, airstrikes, missile attacks and the withering suppressing fire unleashed in villages from belt-fed machine guns.
    .
    Military attacks like these in civilian areas make discussions of human rights an absurdity. Robert Bales, a U.S. Army staff sergeant who allegedly killed 16 civilians in two Afghan villages, including nine children, is not an anomaly. To decry the butchery of this case and to defend the wars of occupation we wage is to know nothing about combat. We kill children nearly every day in Afghanistan. We do not usually kill them outside the structure of a military unit. If an American soldier had killed or wounded scores of civilians after the ignition of an improvised explosive device against his convoy, it would not have made the news. Units do not stick around to count their “collateral damage.” But the Afghans know. They hate us for the murderous rampages. They hate us for our hypocrisy.

    .
    /,,
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30857.htm

  • Mary

    http://palsolidarity.org/2012/03/casualties-of-the-last-attacks-on-gaza-visit-to-shifa-hospital/
    .
    Photos and details of some of the injured in Gaza.
    .
    Note that the weapons used by the Israelis were of American manufacture.
    .
    Johnny Barber writes of the Israeli attacks.
    Two Days in Gaza
    {http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/19/two-days-in-gaza/}
    .
    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned “in the strongest terms” the rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel. “We call on those responsible to take immediate action to stop these cowardly acts,” she said in a statement Saturday.
    .
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Meeting with opposition leader Tzipi Livni in New York, Clinton said Israel has the right to defend itself.
    .
    Why is it that the Palestinians have no right to respond to Israeli aggression? If rocket fire into Israel is a “cowardly” act, what exactly is bombing with F-16’s and drones? Why does Israel have a right to defend itself, but no such rights extend to the Palestinian people?
    .
    /.. details of the Israel attacks and who was targeted follow.

  • Komodo

    Uzbek….your story only shows that a good Muslim does not insist on other people following his dietary laws! Personally I am happy to buy booze from an obviously sober Bangladeshi (who recoils from the left hand of a ghiaur and probably sterilises the change when he shuts for the night) – that’s my problem, and not his, if it is a problem. I am reminded of living in a concentratedly Jewish (middle class) area of London, when a girl I knew – au pair and shabat goy for one of these families – told me that they and most of their neighbours had bacon for breakfast. But they could be seen processing to the synagogue at the end of the road every Saturday, just the same.
    It’s not just a Muslim thing 🙂

  • Komodo

    …and I would usually prefer to buy my booze from Ali’s corner shop than from community-trashing Tesco…

  • Vronsky

    “your story only shows that a good Muslim does not insist on other people following his dietary laws!”
    .
    How much less suffering there might have been in the world if the religious kept their superstitions to themselves and left the rest of us alone. There’s a metaphor there which I won’t overwork. But you’re right, Komodo, and the Muslim willingness to sell alcohol for profit seems not to outweigh all principle. I was in our local (Muslim) corner shop when a very much too drunk person was trying to buy more alcohol. The Muslim shopkeeper (broad Glasgow accent, we call him Angus) stoutly refused to sell, arguing in a very patient and friendly manner that the customer had already had enough. This customer was a big guy, and a bit loud and aggressive, and I admired the plain courage of the shopkeeper (an elderly man) in refusing to sell. I hung about in the background in case help was needed but eventually the customer sloped off.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    The criminality of the destruction of the twin towers that has metastasized for a full decade since that catalysing moment in time, is threatening every human on the planet.
    .
    It has grown meaner, uglier, more deadly and far more dangerous. That’s what happens when no one stands up and screams when a crime is committed. There is now a widening window showing that world governments, no longer concerned about keeping U.S. benevolence, are recognizing that if the criminals running the U.S. are not dealt with firmly and decisively, they will lead every nation. and every soul into the abyss of nuclear war, destruction, or abject slavery.
    .
    The truth, is now seeping through the cracks into a major world publication…
    .
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NC21Dj05.html

  • guano

    Uzbek

    Muslim hypocrisy.
    The English have experienced every shade of hypocrisy from the religious over the centuries and of course the relatively newly arrived religion of Islam is under scrutiny for traces of hypocrisy as well.

    Muslim response to UK search for signs of hypocrisy is not met by humility but by aggressive search for UK hypocrisy.

    The Muslims do not understand that the English are looking for a non-hypocritical faith to join and follow.
    Brit: “Excuse me but could you demonstrate to us some aspects of your faith which comply with Gospel criteria?
    Muslim answer: Who are you British to judge us and ask us questions about our faith.
    Don’t go asking Muslims why they don’t practise their faith properly, because you are likely to get kneed in the [email protected]&$£cks.

  • Komodo

    Googled Werritty (last 24 hours). Got this Google entry:

    Removed: embargoed report | UK news | guardian.co.uk
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/20/removed-embargoed-report
    You +1’d this publicly. Undo
    10 hours ago – Removed: Adam Werritty donors also gave to Tory party, data reveals. 9 Apr 2005. FT in clear after World Bank error · EU lifts foot and mouth ban on Britain

    Links to jubilee bollocks page, but cached version (also links to bollocks) showed “removed” space and now shows “preview not available”

    The coverup continues..

  • Mary

    The Star of David is missing from the new stained glass window in Westminster Hall.
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/20/queen-diamond-jubilee-glass
    .
    Did you hear Bercow’s cringemaking tribute to Her Maj? Cameron, fresh from his table- banging antics in the Cabinet in jubilation at the NHS bill passing the Lords, apparently looked unimpressed.
    .
    {http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17447992}
    .
    ‘Ahead of the debate, Conservative and Lib Dem ministers “banged” the table at a cabinet meeting to mark the impending passing of the NHS reforms into law.’
    .
    What a revolting bunch.

  • Komodo

    lol. But the fat cat’s still wearing the crown, while the workhorse is in chains….

  • boniface goncourt

    Nowhere in the Koran is alcohol forbidden. On the contrary,
    the Bonkers Beardie frequently reminds the nutters that there are rivers of wine in heaven for them. In two lucid moments, he says: don’t drink wine while gambling, as it leads to fights; don’t go to the mosque when drunk, as you will not understand the sermon, but sleep it off beforehand. He does not mention beer, whiskey,
    vodka etc. So while in hell the deluded beardies will have boiling water poured down their throats for blasphemy, or on earth their hands cut off for thieving, or, if female, will get 100 lashes
    for being raped, they can get as drunk as they want. Since religion is a form of madness, the only things godbangers can discuss are the details of madness.

  • nevermind

    Does anybody here expect the alledged Al Quaeda Mujahedeen, captured in his House in Toulouse, to be declared ‘crazy’or suffering from PTSD from his alledged visit to Afghanistan?

    Sadly the rabbi’s jumping up and down talking of rightwing oppression and being threatened by a fascist murderer had it all wrong. Ah, well, one musn’t let a good opportunity come in the way of reality….

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ Boniface Goncourt

    .
    You are quite wrong in your perception of alcohol in Islam.
    .
    Here is the summary about alcohol in Holly Quran from wiki.
    .
    “In Islam, alcoholic beverages—or any intoxicant—are generally forbidden in the Qur’an through several separate verses revealed at different times over a period of years. At first, it was forbidden for Muslims to attend to prayers while intoxicated (4:43). Then a later verse was revealed which said that alcohol contains some good and some evil, but the evil is greater than the good (In Surah Al-Baqarah: 219, it states “They ask Thee concerning Wine and Gambling, Say: In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.”). This was the next step in turning people away from consumption of it. Finally, “intoxicants and games of chance” were called “abominations of Satan’s handiwork,” intended to turn people away from God and forget about prayer, and Muslims were ordered to abstain (5:90-91).”

  • Komodo

    Wonder if you can point me to the biblical authority for Christians to ignore the prohibitions on rabbit, pig and lobster?

  • lwtc247

    “For those who believe that consumption is the purpose of life, this is the new Mecca.” – Rather horrible comment Craig. Poor show!

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