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The war of the flea, a rambling poem, and the occupied territory

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The war of the flea against the dog is the one of the best metaphors for guerrilla warfare. The dog has too much space to defend against a small and agile enemy. This is course what is driving the formation and spread of guerrilla movements across the world. It's the success of these movements, particulary the VIetnamese in the 60s that is plaguing Obama's little inherited war in Afghanistan, say the Economist.

I feel bad for Obama, I really do. The man really gets people going, but seems to not have backed his words with action, I'm told by fans of the man, because of the nasty nasty legislative assembly of that country. I'll say this much - there's a new joke that goes around the Israeli government offices:

When you're kitchen sink is blocked and the plumbing is leaking and the water heater just broke, what do you do? Why, you get Obama to give a speech of course.

It doesn't translate all that well, but the meaning gets through.

Speaking of Israel, activism around the world is growing quite nicely against the nation's activities in the region it neighbours. One of my favourite bits is Slingshot HIp-Hop, a movement that has made its way out to the bran Van even, and become quite the quite. Amongst those inspired by it is Remi Kanazi, a rather excellent poet who wrote and performed Israel/America: A Rambling Poem.

Today is also the day the 1.4 million Arabs (most of them) will be taking part in a general strike against the practices of the Israeli govt.

Wait, I had a clever quip about guerrilla warfare. So, this Al Qaeda operative wants to blow up the Saudi head of counter terrorism, right? But he wanted to get the bomb next to him without getting caught. He decides to smuggle the bomb there in his rectum. It's getting harder and harder to take Al Q seriously. I mean, they have Bin Laden wearing a "I love Guantanamo" T-shirt.

Somalia's Al Shabab are quite different. The group is getting so ballsy that it wants to take on all the other rebel groups. Africa continues to be the place where anything can happen - from groups of paraplegic musicians in the Congo, to forced marriages meant to ward off evil spirits in Zimbabwe.

In all seriousness, this war against whatever is getting to be callous in every way. Ali Faisal Al-Lami, a former detainee, has released his testimony on the "enhanced interrogation techniques" he underwent. If Al Q is fighting a war to make America flinch, I think they've won already with effects like this.

Arundati Roy has released her analysis on the situation in Kashmir. Equally stirring work, it highlights the way the Indian govt. has gone about trying to break the will of the people there. A bit of rumination on what's going on with occupied territories everywhere.

Ending with what I started, guerrilla warfare, which is kind of somewhat but not the way it was ongoing in Kashmir, I remember what Walter says to the Dude in The Big Lebowski about Vietnam: millions of dead Vietnamese (though, that's not the word he used) and a couple of thousand dead marines. Who wins at the end of the day? He meant America did, but the undertone says that the victor was actual no one.

Oh, and VIFF is almost here. Taqwacore is on my list. It's about Islamic punk rock.

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