Anti-Islam Film, The Truth Emerges

As I previously commented, the background information to this tawdry and poorly produced anti-Islam film was questionable.

I was surprised that the Wall Street Journal took at face value the statements from the supposed producer.

We are meant to believe that he was “an Israeli-American” and the more laughable element that he had “100 Jewish donors”.

To me that didn’t ring true, and the details coming out from America confirmed that.

It is fairly obvious that one aim of this crude project, by anti-Muslim bigots, was to stoke up hatred towards Jews. Why else pretend to be an “an Israeli-American” and talk of “100 Jewish donors”?

ABC has more information:

“The controversial “Innocence of Muslims” was written, produced and directed by a convicted drug manufacturer and scam artist, who has told authorities he actually wrote the script in federal prison and began production two months after his June 2011 release from custody.

Authorities say Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, of Cerritos, California, admitted his role in the film, after seeking help from law enforcement in dealing with death threats he has received since the release of the film. Excerpts from the film led to outrage and violence in the Arab world.

Authorities told ABC News that Nakoula told them he and his son, Abanob Basseley, 21, were responsible for producing the movie which, he reportedly said, cost between $50,000 and $60,000 and was shot in a little over 12 days.

Authorities say he claimed the money for the movie came from his wife’s family in Egypt.”

Rob Eshman made the point, How Nakoula Basseley Nakoula aka ‘Sam Bacile” Libeled Jews.

This is Time’s who is who on that film.

Jeff Goldberg spotted these issues a few days ago.

I can’t disagree with Jeff’s summation:


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Anti-Islamic Film, Who, What and Where?

There has been considerable discussion and research into the controversial anti-Islamic film which apparently sparked riots.

The initial information looked questionable, but even Glenn Greenwald couldn’t see the obvious.

Why would the originator of the film claim to be an Israeli-American and say “”cost $5m to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors”.

Only Jewish donors? It doesn’t ring true, sounds like the sort of statement that a bigot might make.

Now Gawkers has more, It Makes Me Sick’: Actress in Muhammed Movie Says She Was Deceived, Had No Idea It Was About Islam:

“The story of the Muhammed movie which sparked deadly protests in Libya and Egypt gets weirder. The actors who appeared in it had no idea they were starring in anti-Islam propaganda which depicts Muhammed as a child molester and thug. They were deceived by the film’s director, believing they were appearing in a film about the life of a generic Egyptian 2,000 years ago.

Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress from Bakersfield, Calif., has a small role in the Muhammed movie as a woman whose young daughter is given to Muhammed to marry. But in a phone interview this afternoon, Garcia told us she had no idea she was participating in an offensive spoof on the life of Muhammed when she answered a casting call through an agency last summer and got the part.

The script she was given was titled simply Desert Warriors. “

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Balochistan And The Berber Revival.

The plight of women and girls in Balochistan goes unreported so this piece from the IRIN is all the more important:

“QUETTA, 29 November 2011 (IRIN) – Gehava Bibi, 9, is very excited. She is visiting the city of Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Balochistan, with her father to buy some basic school supplies. She has never held a pencil or piece of chalk. “This seems like magic,” she told IRIN as she awkwardly drew a few squiggly lines across a piece of paper offered to her by the shop-owner.

Bibi has never been to school; there is no educational facility in her village in the Bolan district, some 154km southeast of Quetta, and like 90 percent of women in rural Balochistan, according to official figures, she is illiterate.

However, recently, an elderly villager, who had spent many years in the southern port city of Karachi, has returned to Bolan and offered to provide the girls in the village with some basic education.

Fazila Aliani, a social activist, educationist and former member of the Balochistan provincial assembly, recently told the media the reason for the lack of educational facilities was the “insurgency” in the province, “while a lack of necessary funds, absence of a well-defined education policy, lack of girls’ schools, acute shortage of teaching staff, and poverty are other factors which contribute to the backwardness”.

She said that except for Quetta, educational institutions were “non-existent in Baloch-dominated areas of the province”. Aliani also said foreign donors seeking to set up schools in Balochistan struggled to do so because of the lack of security and government resistance.”

Elsewhere in Libya, Berbers are hoping to revive their language and culture after decades of repression under Gaddafi:

“After the Arab conquests in the seventh century and Arabization policies promoted by populist, modern-day Middle Eastern leaders, Berber culture has been slowly driven nearer and nearer to extinction. In Libya, Muammar Qaddafi championed the country’s Arab heritage and even its African roots, but would never acknowledge the country’s original inhabitants, savagely suppressing their language and culture.

Qaddafi banned Libyans from writing or owning books in Tamazight and arrested Amazigh activists — including Buzakhar and his twin brother — to suppress the group and keep them from organizing against his rule. It was little surprise, then, when Amazighs became some of the fiercest fighters in Libya’s revolt against Qaddafi’s rule. Brigades from the Amazigh-heavy Nafusa mountains helped lead the final assault on Tripoli in August.

Now with Qaddafi gone, the Amazigh are taking advantage of their newfound freedom and trying to reclaim their long-suppressed heritage. Cultural organizations, spearheaded by eager young people in the Nafusa mountains and Tripoli, are working hard to spark a cultural revival. Women’s groups, arts societies, and education centers are teaching Tamazight script and trying to preserve Amazigh cultural sites.”

Reflecting On Gaddafi, His Toupee and Last Days

There’s a great deal of coverage of Gaddafi’s death, but not so much on how Libyans view him, Ted Anthony considers those issues:

“Whatever ultimately happens with Gadhafi’s body, the impact of its visibility will endure. Christopher Hitchens, writing in Slate about his objections to the Libyan leader’s end, nevertheless acknowledged the sentiment of many in the Arab world: “At the close of an obscene regime,” he wrote, “it is natural for people to hope for something like an exorcism. It is satisfying to see the cadaver of the monster and be sure that he can’t come back.”

That’s the very definition of “habeas corpus” – “you have the body.” And now, in an age when a device we keep in our pockets can reveal a dictator’s demise, it has never been more relevant. Whether it’s Saddam hanging from a rope, Nicolae Ceausescu dead in his suit and tie, or Gadhafi beaten and confused and then dead and gone, the sight of the body is one of the most powerful political and emotional totems of all.

Gadhafi’s former subjects attested to that in the city of Misrata this weekend. In long lines curling around corners and into the street, they waited to enter a produce locker in a run-down shopping plaza. There, upon that blood-stained mattress, they saw a man they held responsible for years of misery and ruined lives.

They looked down upon his shirtless remains, his toupee gone, his slight pot belly visible, his oft-facelifted visage sagging. They smiled and they ogled and they wept. They were the ones who had the power now. The man who had carefully built himself into a curious myth was rendered unto those he once ruled as something diminished and frail, hurtling toward impermanence and irrelevance.

Great and terrible in life, in death these mythologized despots and masterminds are revealed at last as the much smaller men behind the curtain – shorn of the outsized facades that frightened and mesmerized so many for so long. The stars, in the end, are just like us.”

A cousin of Colonel Gaddafi adds to the story:

“MISURATA, Libya — After 42 years of absolute power in Libya, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi spent his last days hovering between defiance and delusion, surviving on rice and pasta his guards scrounged from the emptied civilian houses he moved between every few days, according to a senior security official captured with him.

Under siege by the former rebels for weeks, Colonel Qaddafi grew impatient with life on the run in the city of Surt, said the official, Mansour Dhao Ibrahim, the leader of the feared People’s Guard, a network of loyalists, volunteers and informants. “He would say: ‘Why is there no electricity? Why is there no water?’ ”

Mr. Dhao, who stayed close to Colonel Qaddafi throughout the siege, said that he and other aides repeatedly counseled the colonel to leave power or the country, but that the colonel and one of his sons, Muatassim, would not even consider the option. “

Colonel Gaddafi, A Hidden Billionaire

When most of us think of billionaires our minds turn to the likes of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates or those running Facebook.

But they are poor by comparison.

Compared that is, to Colonel Gaddafi, who according to the LA Times had hidden away billions, and billions:

“During his 42 years in power, Kadafi steered aid and investment to benefit his own family and tribe, but denied support for much of the country, especially the eastern region that historically resisted his family’s despotic grip on power.

Obama administration officials were stunned last spring when they found $37 billion in Libyan regime accounts and investments in the United States, and they quickly froze the assets before Kadafi or his aides could move them.

Governments in France, Italy, England and Germany seized control of another $30 billion or so. Investigators estimated that Kadafi had stashed perhaps another $30 billion elsewhere in the world, for a total of about $100 billion.

But subsequent investigations by American, European and Libyan authorities determined that Kadafi secretly sent tens of billions more abroad over the years and made sometimes lucrative investments in nearly every major country, including much of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, officials said Friday.

Most of the money was under the name of government institutions such as the Central Bank of Libya, the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, the Libyan National Oil Corp. and the Libya African Investment Portfolio. But investigators said Kadafi and his family members could access any of the money if they chose to.

The new $200 billion figure is about double the prewar annual economic output of Libya, which has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa. “

Even supposing that the final figures come to half of that, say, $100 billion, it would mean that Colonel Gaddafi was wealthier than Bill Gates ($59 billion) and towers over Warren Buffet ($39 billion).

Far from the Green Book and its socialistic slogans Colonel Gaddafi was more concerned with stuffing his pockets full of the Libyan people’s money.

Just what you would expect from a dictator that’s been in power for 42 years, stealing every day of the week.

Update 1: Kevin Connolly’s piece is good:

“Gaddafi made you wonder if dictatorship attracts the mad, or maddens those attracted to it.

He was an old-fashioned, theatrical sort of tyrant, whose lineage you can trace from the bombastic ravings of Mussolini, through the kilted debauchery of Idi Amin, to the platform-heeled kleptocracy of Omar Bongo of Gabon.

He recruited a corps of Amazonian female bodyguards, drove a golf buggy and permanently closed every cinema in the country – apparently in case movie-goers plotted against him.

With Gaddafi, though, with all of them, the darkness was always there. He sponsored terrorism overseas and in Libya, at his behest, fingernails were ripped out and eyes were gouged; homes and hearts were broken.

He corrupted the soul of the nation. Everyone wondered if everyone else was an informer.

One middle-aged woman told me, at the beginning of this last revolution in the battered centre of the city of Benghazi, that she thought the worst thing about living under a dictatorship was that it made you ashamed that you did not resist, that you were not a hero.

“You pass the habit of fear on to your children,” she said.

She could remember the leaders of a previous student rising in Benghazi being hanged from lamp-posts in the city centre.

Hands behind their backs, their bodies dangled on long stretches of electrical cable with their feet just a metre or so off the ground.

Life choked out of them slowly and agonisingly. And when they were close to death, a well-known sidekick of Gaddafi’s finished them off by hugging them around the knees and tugging down on their helpless bodies. “