betrayal : warming hands around the pyre

Some twisted ideology, getting the upper hand on common sense. But, then to some common sense is…..Is there a possibility of living outside of violence? Is pessimism an option option for thinking?  Hope and despair,much like the seeming opposites of the sacred and the profane, the good, the bad, and the ugly, cannot really be considered as a historical or political concept; in as much as they assume the potential  of making sense, of making coherence from the incoherence. Its all predicated on the basic belief that our world can make sense. That there is a divine order.  That possibility is not an obvious one, or self-evident , perhaps indicative that we are not framing the problem of societal violence beyond what could be considered an affront to bourgeois property and sensibility and something inherent to our cherished version of civilization, where each feed off the the luxury and guilt of moral dilettantism where attraction and repulsion dynamics hinder and deter thinking of violence as anything but negative, something on the lines of Walter Benjamin and his messianic violence, a nihilism that establishes ultimate order….

Read More: President Nicolas Sarkozy said it would allow Libyans "to free themselves from the dictatorial and violent regime." There were confusing reports of Gaddafi's capture and death, and questions remained over exactly how he was killed. Arab broadcasters showed graphic images of the balding, goateed Gaddafi - wounded, with a bloodied face and shirt - but alive. Later video showed fighters rolling Gaddafi's lifeless body over on the pavement, stripped to the waist and a pool of blood under his head. While he was still alive, the fighters drove him around lying on the hood of a truck, perhaps to parade him in public. One fighter held him down, pressing on his thigh with a pair of shoes in a show of contempt. Standing upright, he is shoved along a Sirte road by fighters who chanted "God is great." Gaddafi appears to struggle against them, stumbling and shouting as the fighters push him onto the hood of a pickup truck. "We want him alive. We want him alive," one man shouted before Gaddafi is dragged away, some fighters pulling his hair, toward an ambulance.---

Christie Blatchford: It’s the Canadian Maple Leaf that flies high over the picturesque locks at Kingston Mills near this historic city, but on the night of June 30, 2009, it might just as well have been the black-red-and-green flag of Afghanistan, with its sacred line proclaiming the greatness of Allah. What happened at the locks that night, Crown prosecutors alleged in Ontario Superior Court Thursday, was a so-called “honour killing,” the culmination of a violent misogynist Afghan culture that had been transplanted holus-bolus years earlier into the heart of central Canada. “May the devil s— on their graves,” Mohammad Shafia told his second wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 20 days after the bodies of the couple’s three teenage daughters and Mr. Shafia’s first wife were recovered from a car in the water at the locks….

Read More: Ben Farmer:Col. Gaddafi was not found with many possessions, but those he was carrying were displayed among the fighters as spoils. Outside the hospital in Sirte, a young fighter proudly brandished what he said was the strongman's golden gun. Mohammed Shaban, who said he took part in Col. Gaddafi's capture, said, "His blood is on my shirt. I'll never wash it." Another fighter held a daintylooking man's black leather boot that he said had been stripped from Col. Gaddafi's foot. Rebels marked the spot by spraypainting above the drain the words, "This is the place where the rat Gaddafi was hiding." In Tripoli, as the first reports of his capture came through, crowds gathered in the streets, chanting: "God is great, God is great." Their jubilant shouts were accompanied by the inevitable celebratory gunfire.

Found dead by drowning in a black Nissan Mr. Shafia had bought just eight days earlier – the suggestion implicit that he got it for that very purpose — were Rona Amir Mohammad, the barren wife who had been presented to the children and outsiders both as an “auntie,” and rebellious daughters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and 13-year-old Geeti. Charged with four counts each of first-degree murder are Mr. Shafia, Ms. Yahya and their oldest son Hamid, who was 18 at the time. All are pleading not guilty.The ghastly conversation was captured on a Kingston Police wiretap, prosecutor Laurie Lacelle told Judge Robert Maranger and a jury….Read More:

You can consider the above mentioned family like terrorists, perceiving themselves as only brief flashes against a world caught  up in its own smartness.  The Black Panthers knew they would disappear. Symbionese Liberation Army, Red Brigades, Baader Meinhoff, etc. know that their traces will vanish in a blinking of eyes. Truncated lives. Perhaps the only possibility for existence is to have the fulfillment of having been dangerous for a mili-second, one sparkle in what Hannah Arendt called the pulse of time, an irregular heartbeat that vanishes. Of course its easy to dismiss these examples as addicts of romantic vitalism, actors destined to fall onto their own swords. Perhaps. But then, even the wealthy man accused of killing his daughters may have felt he had nothing left to lose. How could he expect to dodge such an event scot-free ? A world in which morality and terror are seen in the abstract with no practical consequences.; a private affirmation of personal freedom, something perceived to be of immediate finitude; something at the very edge of transforming itself into a metamorphosis. Its a world very far removed from that of human life having value; but likely for him, women were unpersons. Even if they were his flesh and blood.

…In another snippet recorded by the device police had placed in a family car, Mr. Shafia told Ms. Yahya, “They committed treason themselves. They betrayed humankind. They betrayed Islam. They betrayed our religion…they betrayed everything.” He said whenever he saw the pictures taken by Zainab and Sahar on their cell phones – these were goofy shots of them posing in bras and panties, or with their forbidden boyfriends — “I am consoled.

Read More: ---But while honor killings have elicited considerable attention and outrage, human rights activists argue that they should be regarded as part of a much larger problem of violence against women. In India, for example, more than 5,000 brides die annually because their dowries are considered insufficient, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Crimes of passion, which are treated extremely leniently in Latin America, are the same thing with a different name, some rights advocates say. "In countries where Islam is practiced, they're called honor killings, but dowry deaths and so-called crimes of passion have a similar dynamic in that the women are killed by male family members and the crimes are perceived as excusable or understandable," said Widney Brown, advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. The practice, she said, "goes across cultures and across religions." Complicity by other women in the family and the community strengthens the concept of women as property and the perception that violence against family members is a family and not a judicial issue.---

“I say to myself, ‘You did well.’ Were they to come to life, I would do it again.” In a detailed opening address of 90 minutes, Ms. Lacelle told the jurors they would hear from a variety of witnesses, including those to whom Rona Mohammad and the children had confided their fear of Mr. Shafia and Hamid. In fact, what was most galling about the prosecutor’s overview of the evidence to come was how very openly the teenagers had rebelled against their parents — once, from a street corner in Montreal where the family lived, they begged a stranger to call 911 for them because they were so afraid to go home — and how little Canadian authorities and Canadian law helped them. In fact, Quebec child protection authorities twice investigated complaints from Sahar’s school, once little more than three weeks before the four bodies were found….

…In the second instance, though police in Montreal interviewed the children separately and had them open up about their maltreatment – including the fact that Mr. Shafia allegedly “often threatened to kill them” – the child protection worker interviewed the girls in the presence of their parents. Unsurprisingly, they clammed up or recanted their earlier allegations, and the worker closed the file….She left a diary, found by police, which detailed the alleged beatings she suffered at her husband’s hands and the cruelty dished out to her by her fertile replacement, Ms. Yahya, who allegedly told her, “Your life is in my hands” and, “You are not his wife; you are my servant.”

Though Mr. Shafia and Hamid may have appeared the picture of successful and Westernized men – the father was wealthy, owned a shopping mall in Laval and had contracted to build an upscale home, and the family had lived in Pakistan, Australia and Dubai – behind closed doors, they might as well have been back in Afghanistan. The oldest son Hamid was the head of the household when Mr. Shafia was away. He had a driver’s licence and his own cell phone, used his father’s silver Lexus, and helped him in business.The daughters, meanwhile, had phones registered to either father or son, and Zainab wa

pt out of school for a full year after the family discovered she had a boyfriend….

There is a line of thought that asserts that violence causes thinking.Is at its origin. Violence as the  possibility of thinking. By extension, this idea considers that peace , or a state of peace would inhibit any occasion to think.As if thinking were dependent on tension, anxiety and hysteria in spite of all efforts to make death and killing clinical.   Thinking as an articulation of violent multiplicity. Thinking is a sort of a weapon, but what of thinking that does not think about its thinking, thinking without reflection on thinking, then thinking can be violent. So, maybe its not the thinking, but unconscious thinking, which may not be thinking at all, but an activity that disrupts the existential process and places the individual in a complementary position with respect to  madness, physical suffering, and death.

…It was her running away, in the spring of 2009, to a women’s shelter which sparked the family’s downward spiral, Ms. Lacelle told the jurors.But Sahar, too, was rebelling. She had a boyfriend. She loved makeup and clothes, like her big sister. She wanted to be a gynecologist, and was moved by the plight of her native sisters in Afghanistan. Once, miserable at facing the prospect of having to wear a hijab, she tried to kill herself. According to Rona Mohammad’s diary, Ms. Yahya snapped, “She can go to hell; let her kill herself.”But it was the little girl, Geeti, who fought her parents most ferociously and who begged most blatantly for help. “She told her school,” Ms. Lacelle said. “She told the police. She told youth protection.” What she told them was that she wanted to be out of her family home, to be placed with a foster family….

So, there are consequences of thinking.  It does not mean we cannot take sides on an issue;  we always take sides. The central consideration does not revolve around which camp to bet on, which is the classic liberal structure,  but to create  sides that seem beyond our imagination, being as we are, myopic and short-sighted, sideswiped by the vestiges of feudal tribalism, status and distinction considerations, the structure of the nation state. A problem  is not which politics, which ism to profess, but to bring the potential of the political into being: new possibilities which do not precedes nor survives and endure after their  happening.Limited shelf life. The present Occupy Wall Street and their global manifestation can be viewed as an effort to make a political happening, which is not just an opposition, contradictory to a specific given regime, but the whole kit-and-kaboodle of the standard liberal disposition which has been erected with no other  purpose except to  obviate and obfuscate any possibility of the political altogether, through the ingenious marketing of democracy, liberty, freedom and equality but not equivalence.

…The teen was failing at school, late coming home, was caught shoplifting and was even sent from school for wearing revealing clothing. Just weeks before she died, the school vice-principal phoned and told Ms. Yahya why she was being sent home.It was Ms. Yahya who convinced Zainab to leave the shelter, who promised she could marry her boyfriend. On May 18, she did get married, a ceremony witnessed, of course, only by the male members of the family. At a later family dinner, her husband’s family refused to attend, and the marriage was annulled the same day. Plans were put in place for her to marry a cousin….Read More:


The interpreter seeks his own salvation, as he is in danger of annihilation with the vagueness and the void resulting from current false consensus. In Benjamin’s thought, as in traditional Judaism, “the messianic time” bursts into the “now-time.” However, in his philosophy it momentarily penetrates the continuity of the vain progress of catastrophic time and creates in it a special extra-temporal point, at which time ceases to flow and a redeemed space of time is constituted, and at which it is possible to try to call things by their true name and to fight the “evil”‘ celebrating its victory. The struggle for knowledge turns out to be a moral struggle for the good life by an isolated individual, who at most can hope to break the continuum which in principle is always victorious, and to which historical “progress” has been handed over ever since the “first sin.” Within this context, redemption is disclosed as an overcoming of history, and as a rescue of the very possibility of moral struggle for the institution of authentic selfhood through the defeat of the principle of individuation and by regarding the other as an object for manipulation for the sake of realizing selfish goals. This salvation proves dependent on a kind of knowledge different from the teleological, the violent, the victorious knowledge, which is always produced out of the vain progress. What is the source of this power of truth and what is the status of our present ignorance that enables us to identify and recollect this messianic appearance in the vanity of the present continuum? What in our continuum, we should ask Benjamin, enables us to decide what is the voice of the myth and what is the appearance of the messianic since we are imprisoned in the present where myth is the sole prince of reality? In such a present we cannot trust “proofs” and “evidence.” What, then, will be the ontological and epistemological status of Benjamin’s conception of redemption? Read More:

…Most central to Benjamin’s project is the critique of allegory, understood as a real religious position. In a surrealistic manner his position is close to the Cabalistic, lacking a positive religious faith. His pessimism discloses the presence of violent conflict between two tendencies: a positive optimistic utopian tendency and a pessimistic – the latter culminating in a negative utopianism and merging into the tradition of thought of Jewish redemption. His pessimism discloses the presence of violence within the continuity of “the whole time everything is the same” as a cosmic fate, a fate grounded in mystic necessity. He regards reality as essentially tragic, jet not as a partial historical stage or as an accident, but as normality itself. “The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’, in which we live is not an exception, but a rule.” The fact that “everything continues as usual” is the eternal “catastrophe,” which according to Benjamin discloses the boundless dominance of the mythical. This is the basis of the “Kafka-like situation,” which determines the subject as described in the article “Franz Kafka.” The “original sin” makes itself present at each moment in history, and according to Benjamin it turns out to be a reaction to the subject’s being a victim of cosmic injustice permanently directed against him.( ibid.)

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>