THINGS WHICH MUST BE DISSEMINATED

Pulse Media

28.9.06

More from that guy down there



The Death of Retail Price

Anti-Borat hard-liners have pulled the plug on borat.kz, Borat's Kazakhstan-based Website after his frequent displays of anti-Semitism and his portrayal of Kazakh culture.
Funny considering Borat's creator is Sacha Baron Cohen, a Jew.

And indeed...

In the video, Borat said, "In response to Mr. Ashykbayev's comments, I'd like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my Government's decision to sue this Jew. "
Is it really possible, that people can be that dumb as to believe Borat represents the real Kazakh people? I guess so...but in that case he is merely the messenger.

Blog of this day


The Death of Retail Price

It started with alcohol which naturally lead her to weed

Such a profound statement yet so rarely heard.

My moral of the story would be: don't let anyone you care for sink so low. Who you care for is your own choice...

anti-Americanism

No Pasaran

Azerty: Do these polls distinguish George W. Bush from the United States? It strikes me many French like the United States but rather they mistrust Bush...

Ted Stanger: Indeed, the French are somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to the United States. You'd have to be really disabled in the eyes and ears not to notice that US cultural products enjoy great success in France but it is the American model of society that is not appreciated and that is even, in my view, demonized, sometimes excessively [Hunh ?! — Ed.]. Nowadays in France, one defines an anti-American as one who hates the United States more than is necessary.


What is schizophrenic about that? And who decides when it is 'more than necessary'? Americans? The US must be the only country-with the exception of Israel-the policies of which it is impossible to criticise without being called a racist. There's no such word as anti-Frenchism (in French) or anti-Britishism, of that I am sure.

27.9.06

Desmond Tutu on South Africa's unfinished struggle


iafrica

"We must take seriously the cry of those who say in the past we were not white enough, today we are not black enough – even if they are wrong. We must take seriously their perception and try to change it.

"Many a truth is uttered in jest"

"So, let us hear the cry of those who complain about a Nguni-ocracy and even of a Xhosa-ocracy. Many a truth is uttered in jest.


Steve Biko, who was murdered whilst in detention in 1977, had an "all-consuming passion to strive for the liberation of his people". He strongly believed that, by internalising a negative self-image, black people collaborated in their own oppression. The Black Consciousness movement was meant to "exorcise this demon".

Black consciousness is not finished – Tutu

In his address, Tutu stressed that the work of black consciousness is not finished – we still do not respect ourselves and each other. "Fundamentally we do not respect one another…the fact of the matter is that we still, depressingly, do not respect one another."

Tutu went on to point out the moral degeneration of South African society and the disregard for the value of life inherent in "horrendous" acts of rape and murder. "Perhaps we did not realise just how much apartheid damaged us, so that we seem to have lost our sense of right and wrong."

26.9.06

My two pennies worth

I have just watched Newsnight on the BBC doing an experimental poll with 30 people on what they thought of the potential labour candidates in the next election.

I will now post my disclaimer: I trust none of them, and will be spoiling my vote (bar a crisis!).

I have to say, I can't believe how maleable people can be. And these were fairly 'educated' people who were fairly politically aware.
The reaction of many seemed to be, that Brown was insincere in his praise for Blair. While this is no doubt at least partially true, which politician is sincere? John Reid? Well, according to many of them, yes. At least it gives the lie to the idea, that a Scotsman can't be trusted to lead Britain!
What on earth can persuade anyone with half a rational mind, that a populist like Reid could be sincere? Have we not learnt, that a politican saying what people want to hear is usually dishonest?
It's amazing, despite most people rejecting politicans as dishonest and liars, people still fall for the same techniques of flattery, plain speaking etc.

25.9.06

Unitarian Jihad

Communique

Beware! Unless you people shut up and begin acting like grown-ups with brains enough to understand the difference between political belief and personal faith, the Unitarian Jihad will begin a series of terrorist-like actions. We will take over television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of the day. We will not try for "balance" by hiring fruitcakes; we will try for balance by hiring non-ideologues who have carefully thought through the issues.

No religious war

This is not a religious war. There is no reason, that Jews and Christians and Muslims and Hindus should not live and work in peace.

23.9.06

Face to Face

Michael Stone, former Ulster Defence Association comes face to face with the family of Dermot Hackett, killed by him in 1987 in presence of Desmond Tutu and Donna Hicks of Harvard University.
I condemn all use of violence against another human being (other than self defence). If the vicitm is innocent it is all the more unjustifiable.
Michael Stone says Dermot Hackett was an IRA member. As I have pointed out, this does not make his killing less worthy of condemnation.
What is true, though, wether or not Mr Hackett was a 'soldier', is, that as Mr Stone says, in a war you dehumanise yourself. In a war, there are victims, innocent and guilty. That a 'paramilitary' or 'terrorist' dehumanises himself should not be any more shocking than if he were a soldier in a regular army. When a plane fires missiles and drops bombs on cities full of innocent civilians, the soldier is dehumanising himself. Of course, it's obvious, that he will feel less horror being so far removed from the victims. Are his victims any less deserving of sorrow and 'healing' and 'closure' (in the words of Desmond Tutu)?

Toxic Sludge is good for you, selling wars

They lied then. Are you sure they wouldn't lie now?

Memphis, Egypt

WikipediaIf you disagree with this text, go change it at Wikipedia, and let me know!

Memphis, coordinates 29°50′40.8″N, 31°15′3.3″E, was the ancient capital of the first nome of Lower Egypt, and of the Old Kingdom of Egypt from its foundation until around 1300 BC. Its Ancient Egyptian name was Ineb Hedj ("The White Walls"). The name "Memphis" is the Greek deformation of the Egyptian name of Pepi I's (VIth dynasty) pyramid, Men-nefer. The modern city of Mit-Rahineh, south of Cairo, lies nearby (29°50′58.8″N, 31°15′15.4″E). The ruins are 19 km (12 miles) south of Cairo on the West Bank of the Nile.
The city was founded around 3100 BC by Menes of Tanis, who united the two kingdoms of Egypt; with some 30,000 inhabitants, it was by far the largest settlement worldwide at the time. Memphis reached a peak of prestige under the 6th Dynasty as a centre of the cult of Ptah. It declined briefly after the 18th Dynasty with the rise of Thebes and was revived under the Persian satraps before falling into firm second place following the foundation of Alexandria. Under the Roman Empire, Alexandria remained the most important city. It remained the second city of Egypt until the establishment of Al Fustat (or Fostat) in 641. Memphis was then largely abandoned and became a source of stone for the surrounding settlements. It was still an imposing set of ruins in the 12th century but soon became little more than an expanse of low ruins and scattered stone.
The remains of the temple of Ptah and of Apis have been uncovered at the site as well as a few statues, including two four metre ones in alabaster of Ramesses II. The Saqqara necropolis is close to Memphis.
It is believed by Tertius Chandler that Memphis was the largest city in the world from its foundation until around 2250 BC and from 1557 to 1400 BC. Its population was over 30,000. [1]
The Greek historian Manetho referred to Memphis as Hi-Ku-P'tah ("Place of Ptah"), which he wrote in Greek as Aί γυ πτoς (Ai-gu-ptos), giving us the Latin AEGYPTVS and the modern English Egypt.
In the Bible Memphis is called Moph or Noph.

Only Americans can criticise their president

Robert's Rationale

There has been a lot of attention paid to big-name Democrats coming out against Hugo Chavez’s ridiculous UN speech. I agree that the speech was unprofessional, un-presidential and way overblown, but Charlie Rangel’s assertion that only Americans can criticize Bush is also wrong.

22.9.06

Blah blah environmentalists

George Monbiot

Environmentalism has always been characterised as a middle-class concern; while this has often been unfair, there is now an undeniable nexus of class politics and morally superior consumerism. People allow themselves to believe that their impact on the planet is lower than that of the great unwashed because they shop at Waitrose rather than Asda, buy Tomme de Savoie instead of processed cheese slices and take eco-safaris in the Serengeti instead of package holidays in Torremolinos. In reality, carbon emissions are closely related to income: the richer you are, the more likely you are to be wrecking the planet, however much stripped wood and hand-thrown crockery there is in your kitchen.

Death Penalty

Village Voice

During the continuous coverage in this country of Iran's nuclear threat and its crucial support of terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, there has been scarcely any mention of this horrifying dimension of the culture of Iran : sangsar, the stoning to death of women.
Death penalty info

18. March 10, 1992. Oklahoma. Robyn Lee Parks. Lethal Injection. Parks had a violent reaction to the drugs used in the lethal injection. Two minutes after the drugs were dispensed, the muscles in his jaw, neck, and abdomen began to react spasmodically for approximately 45 seconds. Parks continued to gasp and violently gag until death came, some eleven minutes after the drugs were first administered. Tulsa World reporter Wayne Greene wrote that the execution looked "painful and ugly," and "scary." "It was overwhelming, stunning, disturbing -- an intrusion into a moment so personal that reporters, taught for years that intrusion is their business, had trouble looking each other in the eyes after it was over."27

Medical News Today

“Capital punishment is not only an atrocity, but also a stain on the record of the world's most powerful democracy. Doctors should not be in the job of killing. Those who do participate in this barbaric act are shameful examples of how a profession has allowed its values to be corrupted by state violence.”


The death penalty is a stain on democracy. If democracy is to exist, then the death penalty should have no place in our society. Whether it is done by stoning, by hanging or by lethal injection.
Of course, democracy is not the West's primary concern. What concerns 'our' leaders is the balance of power, ie. "we have power (nuclear); you don't."

Persian Jews


Yahoo

But I ask him if there's been any change in the climate since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent remarks both questioning the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map." He's clearly uncomfortable with the topic and says my questions are getting political. But I press him on it. "As far as daily life goes here, there hasn't been an impact on us," he says, "We don't see any difference in our lives. But maybe others feel differently." He continues, saying the Iranian government has made a clear effort to distinguish between Zionism and Judaism. "Zionism is a political party that enjoys Jewish symbols and ideals, but it's not the same thing," he says. "The law that is being enforced in Israel is not Jewish law, it's not religious, its anti-religious." In the nearby synagogue, David Zakaria, who owns a rubber factory, agrees. "His comments were directed more to Israel as a political entity," he says of President Ahmadinejad. "I'm connected to Israel religiously, it's the Holy Land, but not politically."

Obviously, Jews are discriminated against by definition in Iran, as are Christians and other non muslims, since Iran is an Islamic republic. It is the same as non Jews in Israel. By definition, they can not be equal to Jews, since Israel is a Jewish state.

21.9.06

Control_Room

The media as a combattant unit - Note: Press pause and let the video fully download before watching. This may help sound/image syncronicity. Then again, it might not!

Thai coup (blogger reaction)

An interesting take from blogger Christao.

It reminds me of the case after the invasion of Iraq where we saw the images of mobs of people toppling the statue of Sadam Hussein in Baghdad. Later on we learned (source: Control Room) the the pictures of the crowds bringing down the statue were deceptive: upon viewing a wider angle view of that square, there was only a small group of people, not the masses that it appeared in close-up. Plus, those people turned out not to be Baghdad locals but people who had been brought in from outside for the event. Interesting.

Pull the wool of your eyes.

Thai Coup

Thai Coup

On the streets of Bangkok



Interesting take from blogger Christao. Pull the wool of your eyes.

20.9.06

Nukes and independence

BBC

We have forgotten that Khomeini's revolution was also a declaration of independence from British and American control.

In more honest english, that would read "we have chose to ignore the fact that Khomeini's revolution was also a declaration of independence from British and American control."
Just like the 'terrorists' Iran supposedly supports, and those it most clearly doesn't, Iran's fight is a nationalistic one, not a fundamentalist one.

But, if President Ahmadinejad wants to attack Israel, there are simpler ways than building a nuclear bomb.

Iran's close ally, the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah, armed and trained by Iran, launched a highly successful brief war against Israel.

Indeed, as we know, nuclear power, when it's purpose is not to be an energy source, is used as a threat. The Soviet Union, once the world's second super power never attacked the US or anybody with nuclear power, because it knew it would be blown away in turn. How long could Iranians hope to survive if they sent a nuke to Israel? Nuclear power, if it is not a source of energy, which it most certainly is for the West as well as the 'others', is about balance of power. That is not something the 'West' wishes to share with anybody other than close allies (Pakistan, India, Israel...).

17.9.06

Irreverent corner

Mary Higgins Clark tells how a study has been done on the most popular books since the invention of printing, and it has been found, that these are books about deity, God, books about the monarchy, books about sex, and suspense. So, a software is developped to come up with the perfect book with this study in mind. Everyone gathers around the computer, a key is pressed, and up comes the first sentence of the book:
"My God!" said the Queen, "I've been raped." But who done it...?

15.9.06

An Israeli point of view

Amira Hass in Ha'aretz

But it cannot be that those who are appalled over every swastika painted on a Jewish grave in France and over every anti-Semitic headline in a Spanish local newspaper will not know how to reach this information, and will not be appalled and outraged.

As Jews we all enjoy the privilege Israel gives us, what makes us all collaborators. The question is what does every one of us do in an active and direct daily manner to minimize cooperation with a dispossessing, suppressing regime that never has its fill. Signing a petition and tutting will not do. Israel is a democracy for its Jews. We are not in danger of our lives, we will not be jailed in concentration camps, our livelihood will not be damaged and recreation in the countryside or abroad will not be denied to us. Therefore, the burden of collaboration and direct responsibility is immeasurably heavy.

Antizionism, antisemitism and refusal to criticise

Anthony Loewenstein in Counter Punch

Lipski argued for uncritical reporting. He encouraged a newspaper that shamelessly ignored the rights of Palestinians, Lebanese and Arabs. And he celebrated perspectives that blindly supported the Jewish state, with no questions asked. Lipski must be a very insecure man if he can't handle criticism of his beloved homeland. Besides, such debate is currently occurring within Israel itself, where a majority of Israelis now realise they lost the recent war against Hizbollah. Lipski's anti-intellectualism was unsurprising for a Jewish leadership that refuses to recognise that we no longer live in 1943 Poland.

14.9.06

The Euston Manifesto

Euston Manifesto

My response:

I have read your manifesto.Not only do you use emotional language, such as "jihadist and baathist thugs" which could be compared to Bush's "islamo-fascists", but there are several instances in which you fail to point out or clarify the undemocratic tendencies of those countries you call 'democracies'
Among these are the following:
While it is possible, that some see 'antizionism' as an excuse for 'antisemitism', I have seen little evidence of this. I have seen open antisemitism and I have seen open antizionism. The fact, that certain antisemites have been invited by antizionists does not automatically mean the latter are antisemites. There are many Jews as well as Israelis (Meron Benvenisti and the 'binational state' movement for eg.) who oppose zionism as it is percieved today. This you have not clarified.
You also fail to clarify, that 'democracies' practice torture and support 'tyrannical' regimes. You allude to the former, by mentioning Abu Graib and Guantanamo, but remain vague. You don't (unless I missed it) point out Western support for Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and in the past for Saddam Hussein in Irak, militias in Central America, Pinochet in Chile etc.
You allude to the 'democratic' nature of the US and Western nations. It is for this reason, that most progressive thinkers and commentators criticise first and foremost the undemocratic actions of souch nations. 'Tyrannical' regimes are by definition undemocratic. That does not mean they should not be exposed, but, by shining the spotlight on such governments as those of the US, the UK or Israel, Western progressives are simply pointing out the hypocrisy 'at home'. We expect 'enlightened' Arabs and Muslims to denounce the crimes of 'their' leaders, and so, it is our responsibility to do the same, straightforwardly and without self-censorship.
It seems your manifesto is simply either an apology aimed at the reactionary right for being progressive, or a thin veil for right-wing reactionary tendencies on your part.
There is something to be said for logical criticism, and in particular for pointing out, that the undemocratic tendencies of the US government should not be blamed on all Americans, as is the case with Britons or Israelis, but the same goes for citizens of 'tyrannical' regimes. The glaring difference, of course, is, that the first three examples are 'democracies' in which presumeably the citizens can kick 'their' leaders out, which is presumeably not the case in 'tyrannical' regimes. I think we all know, that 'democracy' in our countries is much more limited than that, though.

Sincerely,

11.9.06

US declassified documents

Click below to see evidence plans to use terrorist actions against US citizens and interests by the Pentagon in 1962.

National Security Archive


Page 8 §3

The desired resultant from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western hemisphere.

Page 10 Note

Such a plan would permit the evaluation of individual projects within the context of cumulative, correlated actions designed to leaad inexorably to the objective of adequate justification for US military intervention in Cuba.

Page 11 §3

A "Remember the Maine" incident could be arranged in several forms:
a. We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.

§4
We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington.
The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding instances to be widely publicized.
Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government.
For background go here

9-11 Remembered

Last photo of Allende alive.

9.9.06

Terrorism in Japan


Asahi Shimbun

It will soon be five years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York and other U.S. targets. Since then, in response to U.S. President George W. Bush, who declared "a war against terrorism," Koizumi has supported the U.S. initiative and even went so far as to dispatch Self-Defense Forces personnel to Iraq.

I thought "war against terrorism" was a key phrase of the Koizumi era. If so, why isn't he prepared to fight "right-wing terrorism" on the home front?


It's been said over and over again: terror is terror. Wether it is homegrown or not. Maybe it is easier to fight a foreign enemy than to deal with the enemy within. Or maybe patritotic terrorists are not seen as enemies.

6.9.06

Remembering Steve















His showmanship was over the top - maddeningly so at times. But his commitment to conservation was unquestionable. I went to the Australia Zoo twice in 2004 (the photo above is from the last trip) and found that half the zoo was reserved for the care of sick and injured wildlife. And the Irwins had bought a huge chunk of bush as a koala reserve to create a safe home for injured koalas.

Steve seemed to be indestructable - often bitten by nonvenomous animals and never bitten by the venomous ones. Of all the people to be stabbed in the heart by a stingray, you'd never think it would be Steve. Yet, of all the people to be stabbed in the heart by a stingray, you'd believe it would happen to Steve.

Crickey, mate. May your afterlife be full of 7 metre crocodiles.

Tolerance

From Timothy Garton Ash's forum


Citizenship education has been added to the National Curriculum and its aims to teach pupils: about the origins and implications of the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding. The introduction to the National Curriculum proclaims: promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through citizenship.

In an ideal world, Muslims would have integrated schools where people of different faiths could specialize in them within the curriculum. But we are a long way from that and as a consequence I think we have no choice but to have state funded Muslim schools. All the evidence shows that faith schools raise pupils’ confidence and self esteem better than state schools do. If you understand the moral parameters of your own faith properly and are confident in who you are, that makes you a good citizen, it means that you do not feel threatened by others and you are not susceptible to extremism. Muslim schools give a strong moral and spiritual out look on the world, the children feel secure. Muslims are no longer considered to be merely part of the sub-continent immigrant labouring class. They are British and part of the British society in all walks of life. Muslims schools are worthy of support. Parents of private Muslim schools are taxpayers too and are entitled to a share of the education budget. Muslim schools are promoting good citizenship and are promoting a better understanding of people and communities around them.

Islamic school does not foster separatism and hatred. There is ample evidence that state schools foster intolerance, hate and bullying. There is no evidence that Islamic schools indoctrinate children with values that endanger shared society. David Bell, the chief school’s inspector was wrong to say that Islamic schools must do more to promote social cohesion. There is no evidence that there is a link between Islamic schools and terrorism. Islamic education actively discourages terrorism. Muslim parents want their children to keep their faith, culture and languages and not fall into Western way such as binge drinking, yobish culture and loose morals. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. It is the state schools who have been producing intolerance.

Citizenship lessons do not make full sense” unless they are taught within the context of Islam. In the same way Multicultural studies should also be taught in the context of Islam. Just because people do not throw bricks at each other on a daily basis, does not mean everything is rosy in the garden. We do need a common sense of British Identity but it has nothing to do with “common values or shared culture”. We can learn from Ottoman multi ethnic empire which achieved remarkable degree of religious tolerance.

Terrorism is nothing to do with British Muslim community. It is an international problem, created by the unjust policies of the West towards Muslims. Government measures to tackle terrorism are creating a climate of fear among Muslims and risk encouraging Islomophobic attacks. Recent government proposals to screen clerics and close down Masajid were sending out a message that Muslims cannot be trusted.
Iftikhar Ahmad
www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

A baby boy


Japan Times

Let's hope the boy meets a blue eyed lass. A flaming redhead would be even better!

3.9.06

Integration Continued

Young British muslims place their religion above their nationality? What do you expect? Religion is faith. Nationality is accidental for those born here. I am a white British (and French) humanist. I place my humanistic ideals above my nationality.
Furthermore, Britain is an officially Anglican state. The head of state is head of the church. How can young British muslims identify with an anglican state? If it is so important, that they identify with the state, perhaps separation of church and state is the answer. In that sense, secularism is the best way of integrating all.
Personally, I think separation of church and state would be a symbolic gesture - though symbolically meaningful. I call it symbolic from a French point of view. France has separation of church and state, and yet there is not a sense of equality among different faiths and their believers. While in theory no expression of faith is tolerated in public life, some faiths are more tolerated than others. Despite it's supposedly strong secularist model, France remains a predominantly Catholic country.
Britain does not separate the church from the state, and yet there seems to be far more tolerance of non-Christian faiths than in many other Christian countries, including the US, another 'secular' state. No doubt this is an over-simplification of reality. However, I think it does show, that it is not enough claim "all are equal!".

Missing boys?

BBC

They came in their thousands, on a muggy evening at the end of August, to ask a simple question: "What's become of our missing boys?" - the three Israeli soldiers, whose abductions triggered the parallel crises in Gaza and Lebanon.

First inexactitude: prior to the kidnap of Gilad Shalit by Palestinian militants, thousands of Palestinians - presumed to be militants - have been kidnapped in Gaza and the West Bank by the Israeli miltary. The last ones prior to the kidnap of an israeli were two palestinian brothers, Osama Muantar and his brother Mustafa.

A few blocks away, another "missing boy", a lone figure, tormented and filled with his own private despair, prepared to make his dramatic protest.
In this case a civilian, not a soldier. Yet for the BBC, he is the palestinian equivalent to the Israeli "missing boys". These two cases are not comparable. And yet I am forced to compare them: on the one hand, three combattants are kidnapped during a war (Israel continues to oppress the Palestinians while professing to make peace; Israel and Lebanon have never made peace and were still technically at war when Hezbollah captured the Israeli combattants-indeed Israel had kidnapped scores of Hezbollah combattants prior to the Hezbollah 'provocation'); on the other hand a Palestinian civilian used by the Israeli occupier as a snitch and abandoned to the mercy of the Palestinian resistance to be treated as a traitor or used against Israel. Finally, though tecnically on British soil to request asylum he is removed by Israeli anti-terrorist police. Would the British embassy in Karthoum or Harare have acted in this way? This complicity makes me sick. And the BBC needs to review its impartiality too.

2.9.06

Failure of British integration model?

Here is an article by Timothy Garton Ash and my response below.

Your comments are more than welcom. As usual.

Mr Ash,

I sincerely hope you read this. I would have rather written to you personally, because this is a very important issue for me, but you don't see to have a contact address. Never mind. Other people will be able to read my comments, which is always good.

I am Franco-British, was brought up in England and France, went to university in Scotland and now live in France. I don't wish to seem arrogant, but I think I have a good viewpoint on the differences between the two countries, cultures and systems.
I read your recent article on the 'failure' of the British model of integration in which you compared it to the French Rebublicanist model. I read it first in French.
I think it's great you bring up questions. After all, that's your job as a historian, a journalist. I must react, however, because despite the closeness of Britain and France, geographically as well as politically and culturally, there seem to be a lot of misunderstandings on both sides.
You are quite right, I believe, when you say one reason the recent discontent of the muslim population of Britain is that Blair has allied our country to the US in the 'war on terror'. I think it is the main reason. Given, I have not spent enough time, especially recently, in Britain to define all the reasons for the difficult 'race relations', but you just have to look at the history of 'terrorist' attacks in Britain: 7/7 was the first and last 'islamic' attack on British soil. We are much more used to Irish republican and British army (in Ulster) 'terrorism'. France, on the other hand has experienced several 'islamic terrorist' attacks, dating back over twenty years. France has also experienced 'race riots' far more recently than Britain.
I don't think the idea, that British muslims place their religion above their nationality makes them less integrated than French muslims. That is the nature of Britain it seems. Many Scots will call themselves Scottish before British. As do many Welsh. On the other hand, many Asians might choose to call themselves British rather than English, Scottish, Welsh or N.Irish. I believe, as you apparently did, that the British 'vagueness' is a good thing.
You probably have more insight into the situation in Britain than I do, but is it not true, that the 'deterioration' in 'race relations' you mention is a recent problem? I think accusing the 'British model' is to deflect attention from the responsibility of Blair and his pals in angering British muslims, even if you do mention this.
What I can assure you, is that French muslims are not integrated, definitely no more than British muslims. They may be assimilated, but that's hardly the same thing. You just have to compare the media and popular culture in both countries. The dearth of arab (or other minority) representation in those areas in France compared with Britain is...well sickening!

I hope this comes to your attention, and I would sincerely like to have your reaction.

All the best,

1.9.06

Brian Springer - Spin

Using the 1992 presidential election as his springboard, documentary filmmaker Brian Springer captures the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of politicians and newscasters in the early 1990s. Pat Robertson banters about "homos," Al Gore learns how to avoid abortion questions, George Bush talks to Larry King about halcyon -- all presuming they're off camera. Composed of 100% unauthorized satellite footage, Spin is a surreal expose of media-constructed reality.

Irresponsable?

BBC

Spokesman Gretchen Essell said: "I cannot support a video that would dramatise the assassination of our president, real or imagined."

"The greater reality is that terrorism still exists in our world. It is obvious that the war on terror is not over.

She added: "I find this shocking, I find it disturbing. I don't know if there are many people in America who would want to watch something like that."

Poor woman, she is delusional