Thursday, April 12, 2012

the shaman of the 12th sky

Tony Blair, who was prime minister when MI6 rendered Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a prominent Libyan dissident, to the Gaddafi regime in 2004, says he has "no recollection" of the incident. (The Guardian: link) || Earlier this year, the Australian government decided to settle a case that had been brought against it by Mahmoud Habib, an Australian citizen who had been detained in Pakistan, Egypt, and at various U.S. military bases between October 2001 and January 2005. Habib was later released without charge. (Open Society Case Watch: link) || Nicht nur werden den umschlungenen Millionen die fadenscheinigen aristokratischen Werte vermittelt, sondern sie werden zugleich ins Egalitäre übersetzt, das Kauderwelsch schrankenloser Kommunikation. Seelenadel und Brüderlichkeit sind verschmolzen als Parolen für die Gefolgschaft. | Not enough that faded aristocratic values are fed into egalitarian terms and the jargon of unlimited communication. Spiritual nobility of soul and the sense of fraternity have melted together into slogans for the workforce. (T. Adorno, The Schema of Mass Culture, p.69 - not my transl.) || Here are my Principles, now I vote for a party who pretends to uphold them, and they rush to betray them all and sell my rights to multinational corporations. Oh, I'll show them!! In 4 years I'll vote for the Other Party! (repeat as necessary) || She attempts to dissuade him from his quest, but sends him to Urshanabi the ferryman, who will help him cross the sea to Utnapishtim. Gilgamesh destroys some stone-giants that live with Urshanabi. He tells him his story, but when he asks for his help Urshanabi informs him that he has just destroyed the only creatures who can cross the Waters of Death, which are deadly to the touch. Urshanabi instructs Gilgamesh to cut down 300 trees, and fashion them into punting poles. When they reach the island where Utnapishtim lives, Gilgamesh recounts his story asking him for his help. Utnapishtim reprimands him, declaring that fighting the common fate of humans is futile and diminishes life's joys. (Gilgamesh, Tablet Ten: link) || But just days after the government announced it had settled the case, Habib’s lawyers produced a statement from an Egyptian prison guard saying that an Australian official was indeed present during the interrogations. As a result of this revelation, the new government announced an inquiry by the Inspector-General of Security and Intelligence into the role of Australian agencies in Habib's arrest and detention. (Open Society Case Watch, ibid.)


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