One Small Post

While cleaning up my website, updating the pages in, I have noticed that I didn’t write a blog post in… Years! Obviously the reason behind that we now have Social Media… Social Media that have been devouring our conscious, senses, time and mental capacity so that we have no energy to do anything else online other than paying our bills and maybe checking some important information here or there.

Social Media is the real productivity killer and the greatest time waster in the 21st century. The thing is that people are not willing to read blog posts anymore, they want something short, quick and that can be concluded in less than a minute: anything longer than that would be ignored and skipped after the 0:59 mark. People nowadays hate long paragraphs, and youngsters DON’T have ANY sort of patience to read and get valuable knowledge, unlike the rubbish information they get from Social Media!

Social Media have been used by agencies and governments worldwide to manipulate Public Opinion, Spy on People and last but not least to drive you, me and everyone there from having a clear idea of what’s really, really going on…

I won’t make this any longer, I just hope this gets read by an understanding person one day who would look back and see how different things were 10 or even 20 years ago.


Qassoom, staring Red Coin as Fareed!

Well well well…

It seems that I joined the light-camera-action crews! Finally!

If I was asked 3 years ago whether I would appear in a film – not mentioning staring one – I would have absolutely deny any chance of that…

But hey, I am on the poster of my first short film staring it!

I spent over 30 hours acting in this film, and indeed it is an amazing experience that I would like to repeat in another film soon!

The story is about a workaholic guy in his late 30s with much financial burden in his life struggling to get things going, between bills, rent, a demanding wife and a very unhelpful boss. We’ll see how things will go and how will Fareed (that’s me!) will be able to continue his life to live & see another day.

RED COIN an ELEMENTS CINE production, staring QASIM AL KHUZAIE (me!) & directed by FADI TANNOUS. Trailer is below!

 More info here!

Cheers! 😀

Happy New Year 2K11!

I wish it would be a year better than the ones before 🙂

Things are getting better for me personally, better than the second half of 2007, 2008 & surely better than 2009… Having a road map in hand (although still not very clear with some humps & obstacles right in front of me, but at the end of the day… Surely I managed to survive some challenges & had them aced…

May 2K11 be full of success & excellence 🙂

Dear God,

No wars for 2011 (at least at the domestic level!)

End of world suffer (Nationally to be more precise)…

A year of happiness & joy to me and my family members…

Let’s hope for the best! 🙂

Lowering the flag on the American Century

The Guns of August

Lowering the flag on the American Century

by Chalmers Johnson

In 1962, the historian Barbara Tuchman published a book about the start of World War I and called it The Guns of August.
It went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.
She was, of course, looking back at events that had occurred almost 50 years earlier and had at her disposal documents and information not available to participants.
They were acting, as Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put it, in the fog of war.

So where are we this August of 2010, with guns blazing in one war in Afghanistan even as we try to extricate ourselves from another in Iraq?

Where are we, as we impose sanctions on Iran and North Korea (and threaten worse), while sending our latest wonder weapons, pilotless drones armed with bombs and missiles, into Pakistan’s tribal borderlands, Yemen, and who knows where else, tasked with endless “targeted killings” which, in blunter times, used to be called assassinations?

Where exactly are we, as we continue to garrison much of the globe even as our country finds itself incapable of paying for basic services?

I wish I had a crystal ball to peer into and see what historians will make of our own guns of August in 2060.
The fog of war, after all, is just a stand-in for what might be called “the fog of the future,” the inability of humans to peer with any accuracy far into the world to come.
Let me nonetheless try to offer a few glimpses of what that foggy landscape some years ahead might reveal, and even hazard a few predictions about what possibilities await still-imperial America.

Let me begin by asking: What harm would befall the United States if we actually decided, against all odds, to close those hundreds and hundreds of bases, large and small, that we garrison around the world?
What if we actually dismantled our empire, and came home?
Would Genghis Khan-like hordes descend on us? Not likely.
Neither a land nor a sea invasion of the U.S. is even conceivable.

Would 9/11-type attacks accelerate? It seems far likelier to me that, as our overseas profile shrank, the possibility of such attacks would shrink with it.

Would various countries we’ve invaded, sometimes occupied, and tried to set on the path of righteousness and democracy decline into “failed states”?
Probably some would, and preventing or controlling this should be the function of the United Nations or of neighboring states.
(It is well to remember that the murderous Cambodian regime of Pol Pot was finally brought to an end not by us, but by neighboring Vietnam.)

Sagging Empire

In other words, the main fears you might hear in Washington – if anyone even bothered to wonder what would happen, should we begin to dismantle our empire – would prove but chimeras.
They would, in fact, be remarkably similar to Washington’s dire predictions in the 1970s about states all over Asia, then Africa, and beyond falling, like so many dominoes, to communist domination if we did not win the war in Vietnam.

What, then, would the world be like if the U.S. lost control globally – Washington’s greatest fear and deepest reflection of its own overblown sense of self-worth – as is in fact happening now despite our best efforts?
What would that world be like if the U.S. just gave it all up?
What would happen to us if we were no longer the “sole superpower” or the world’s self-appointed policeman?

In fact, we would still be a large and powerful nation-state with a host of internal and external problems.
An immigration and drug crisis on our southern border, soaring health-care costs, a weakening education system, an aging population, an aging infrastructure, an unending recession – none of these are likely to go away soon, nor are any of them likely to be tackled in a serious or successful way as long as we continue to spend our wealth on armies, weapons, wars, global garrisons, and bribes for petty dictators.

Even without our interference, the Middle East would continue to export oil, and if China has been buying up an ever larger share of what remains underground in those lands, perhaps that should spur us into conserving more and moving more rapidly into the field of alternative energies.

Rising Power

Meanwhile, whether we dismantle our empire or not, China will become (if it isn’t already) the world’s next superpower.

It, too, faces a host of internal problems, including many of the same ones we have.
However, it has a booming economy, a favorable balance of payments vis-à-vis much of the rest of the world (particularly the U.S., which is currently running an annual trade deficit with China of $227 billion), and a government and population determined to develop the country into a powerful, economically dominant nation-state.

Fifty years ago, when I began my academic career as a scholar of China and Japan, I was fascinated by the modern history of both countries.
My first book dealt with the way the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s spurred Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party he headed on a trajectory to power, thanks to its nationalist resistance to that foreign invader.

Incidentally, it is not difficult to find many examples of this process in which a domestic political group gains power because it champions resistance to foreign troops.
In the immediate post-WWII period, it occurred in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia; with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, all over Eastern Europe; and today, it is surely occurring in Afghanistan and probably in Iraq as well.

Once the Cultural Revolution began in China in 1966, I temporarily lost interest in studying the country.
I thought I knew where that disastrous internal upheaval was taking China and so turned back to Japan, which by then was well launched on its amazing recovery from World War II, thanks to state-guided, but not state-owned, economic growth.

This pattern of economic development, sometimes called the “developmental state,” differed fundamentally from both Soviet-type control of the economy and the laissez-faire approach of the U.S. Despite Japan’s success, by the 1990s its increasingly sclerotic bureaucracy had led the country into a prolonged period of deflation and stagnation.
Meanwhile, post-U.S.S.R. Russia, briefly in thrall to U.S. economic advice, fell captive to rapacious oligarchs who dismantled the command economy only to enrich themselves.

In China, Communist Party leader Deng Xiaoping and his successors were able to watch developments in Japan and Russia, learning from them both.
They have clearly adopted effective aspects of both systems for their economy and society.
With a modicum of luck, economic and otherwise, and a continuation of its present well-informed, rational leadership, China should continue to prosper without either threatening its neighbors or the United States.

To imagine that China might want to start a war with the U.S. – even over an issue as deeply emotional as the ultimate political status of Taiwan – would mean projecting a very different path for that country than the one it is currently embarked on.

Lowering the Flag on the American Century

Thirty-five years from now, America’s official century of being top dog (1945-2045) will have come to an end; its time may, in fact, be running out right now.

We are likely to begin to look ever more like a giant version of England at the end of its imperial run, as we come face-to-face with, if not necessarily to terms with, our aging infrastructure, declining international clout, and sagging economy.

It may, for all we know, still be Hollywood’s century decades from now, and so we may still make waves on the cultural scene, just as Britain did in the 1960s with the Beatles and Twiggy.
Tourists will undoubtedly still visit some of our natural wonders and perhaps a few of our less scruffy cities, partly because the dollar-exchange rate is likely to be in their favor.

If, however, we were to dismantle our empire of military bases and redirect our economy toward productive, instead of destructive, industries; if we maintained our volunteer armed forces primarily to defend our own shores (and perhaps to be used at the behest of the United Nations); if we began to invest in our infrastructure, education, health care, and savings, then we might have a chance to reinvent ourselves as a productive, normal nation.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.

Peering into that foggy future, I simply can’t imagine the U.S. dismantling its empire voluntarily, which doesn’t mean that, like all sets of imperial garrisons, our bases won’t go someday.

Instead, I foresee the U.S. drifting along, much as the Obama administration seems to be drifting along in the war in Afghanistan.

The common talk among economists today is that high unemployment may linger for another decade.
Add in low investment and depressed spending (except perhaps by the government) and I fear T.S. Eliot had it right when he wrote: “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.”

I have always been a political analyst rather than an activist.

That is one reason why I briefly became a consultant to the CIA’s top analytical branch, and why I now favor disbanding the Agency.

Not only has the CIA lost its raison d’être by allowing its intelligence gathering to become politically tainted, but its clandestine operations have created a climate of impunity in which the U.S. can assassinate, torture, and imprison people at will worldwide.

Just as I lost interest in China when that country’s leadership headed so blindly down the wrong path during the Cultural Revolution, so I’m afraid I’m losing interest in continuing to analyze and dissect the prospects for the U.S. over the next few years.

I applaud the efforts of young journalists to tell it like it is, and of scholars to assemble the data that will one day enable historians to describe where and when we went astray.

I especially admire insights from the inside, such as those of ex-military men like Andrew Bacevich and Chuck Spinney.

And I am filled with awe by men and women who are willing to risk their careers, incomes, freedom, and even lives to protest – such as the priests and nuns of SOA Watch, who regularly picket the School of the Americas and call attention to the presence of American military bases and misbehavior in South America.

I’m impressed as well with Pfc. Bradley Manning, if he is indeed the person responsible for potentially making public 92,000 secret documents about the war in Afghanistan. Daniel Ellsberg has long been calling for someone to do what he himself did when he released the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War.
He must be surprised that his call has now been answered – and in such an unlikely way.

My own role these past 20 years has been that of Cassandra, whom the gods gave the gift of foreseeing the future, but also cursed because no one believed her.

I wish I could be more optimistic about what’s in store for the U.S.

Instead, there isn’t a day that our own guns of August don’t continue to haunt me.

Chalmers Johnson is the author of Blowback (2000), The Sorrows of Empire (2004), and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (2006), among other works.

His newest book, Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope (Metropolitan Books), has just been published.

Is the Universe a Giant Hologram?

Is the Universe a Giant Hologram?

Some days the questions I get are easy, and some days I get questions from our longtime reader, Ben. This past week, there have been reports all over the news that our world may be a giant hologram. Let’s take a look at what’s going on.


In Hanover, Germany, there’s an experiment called GEO600. These are two perpendicular lasers, and they shoot out for thousands of feet, get reflected, and come back to their original location to make an interference pattern.


Now the reason this is important is because gravitational waves cause ripples in space in a certain way. These perpendicular lasers are particularly sensitive to what gravitational waves do, and the interference pattern will shift in a very particular way if gravitational waves pass through them. This is the same idea that’s behind the upcoming LISA mission.


Now, GEO600, like every laser interferometer we’ve ever built, has not seen any evidence for gravitational waves. But it has seen something that it can’t explain, and that’s always interesting for an experiment.

It found some extra noise, above and beyond what can be predicted/explained by things like the vibrations of the Earth, temperature fluctuations, or instrumental noise. What does this look like? Whenever you do your experiment, you do your best to understand what noise you expect to see, and then you look for deviations from this. GEO600 saw something like this:


So there are two possibilities now: either there’s a source of noise they haven’t figured out, or something physically interesting and novel is causing this. Now, historically, whenever experiments are done, it’s almost always unexpected noise that causes something like this to happen. But once in awhile, there really is a new effect that we have going on.

It’s very important to state, clearly and unambiguously, before we go any further, that this may simply turn out to be noise. This may not be a physical effect at all, and that no other similar experiments (such as LIGO) see these effects.

But if it is a physical effect, Craig Hogan of Fermilab has come up with an extremely interesting possible explanation. He says that this excess noise could be a sign that our Universe has an extra dimension to it. How does this work? Let’s think of a hologram:


A hologram has all the information you could ever want about the dimensions of a 3-D object, but it has it all in two dimensions. For instance, you could tell some object’s (or someone’s) length, width, and depth just from looking at a 2-D hologram. All of the information is encoded in there.


Well, our Universe may be the same exact way. We know about our 3 space dimensions and our 1 time dimension. But we may have more dimensions of space than we know about; many interesting theories have them. One possible consequence is that these extra dimensions could cause extra “blurring” of our 3 regular space dimensions at very small lengths.


Now, this is very interesting, because the noise we see in the GEO600 experiment causes the laser light to blur on scales of about 10-16 meters and below. This is smaller than the size of a single proton, but amazingly, our technology is sensitive enough that we can detect it! But is this blurring due to extra dimensions? Let’s see what the people connected with the experiment say about Craig Hogan’s idea:

However Danzmann is cautious about Hogan’s proposal and believes more theoretical work needs to be done. “It’s intriguing,” he says. “But it’s not really a theory yet, more just an idea.” Like many others, Danzmann agrees it is too early to make any definitive claims. “Let’s wait and see,” he says. “We think it’s at least a year too early to get excited.”

The longer the puzzle remains, however, the stronger the motivation becomes to build a dedicated instrument to probe holographic noise. John Cramer of the University of Washington in Seattle agrees. It was a “lucky accident” that Hogan’s predictions could be connected to the GEO600 experiment, he says. “It seems clear that much better experimental investigations could be mounted if they were focused specifically on the measurement and characterisation of holographic noise and related phenomena.”

So it looks like this is worth further investigation, but it’s way too early to draw any definitive conclusions. But it’s a possibility, and for something as grand as this, for something that would forever change the way we view our Universe, I think it’s worth investigating further, and so does the entire GEO600 team.

What do you think?

Doodles & Sketches

Today I have been sketching & drawing on a piece of paper more than any other day at work this year. Many thoughts have been going into my mind, represented in the lines & sketches I drew on that notebook beside me. Mostly random, but many of them contained questions & statements without a direct answer to those questions. Not sure whether these have something to do with leaving 2Connect, applying for Masters abroad & finally deciding to start a goal-oriented life afterward: getting a proper job (or even starting my own business), get married from a girl with a pretty look, good reputation & high morals.

People around me have been nagging on me to get married since 2007: when are you gonna get married? You are old enough! Most of your colleagues got married already, when are you gonna do the same? Hey man, you’re next!!! That Dia’a friend of yours when you were at Primary School have 2 children already!!!!!!!!!! Look at that gray hair on your head! (yes, I DO have some gray hair on my head, genetically inherited from Dad… Don’t worry, you may have not noticed it if I didn’t mention it here). See that girl! She’s related to your aunt’s husband brother, isn’t she pretty, don’t ou have any intention to propose to her? (I talked with her before as a colleague, and guess what: the answer is – politely – no 🙂  ). You missed that girl! She’s getting married tonight, she’s soooooooooooo wonderful, with great morals AND she’s from a well-known family… I told you before to go ahead & propose… But see, she is getting married from another man!!!!

PEOPLE… I MUST AT LEAST SPEAK WITH THAT GIRL, GET TO KNOW THAT GIRL, (INTERACT) WITH THAT GIRL… THEN… The final decision would come to public: NEVER try to suggest “a” girl without finding a method for me to do the actions I previously talked about… AND – MOST IMPORTANTLY – NEVER GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT I WOULD MARRY HER RIGHT AWAY AFTER THAT: maybe I simply won’t… Maybe I wouldn’t like her… Who knows? Just a decent way of talking, chatting,  going together to a restaurant, movie, maybe even “cook” with her… Any sort of activity would be great, BUT without any promises in advance! It’s like being a friend with that person 1st, know how that person acts & reacts, what taste that person has what are the dos & don’ts, she’ll get to know me more, & she’ll be able to project a better picture of my own self! 🙂

People, I SHOULDN’T announce engagement