Thursday, August 31, 2017

What is it to be a free writer in Saudi Arabia: Jamal Khashoggi explains

He said in an interview with Al-Hurra TV that he is a free writer and then added (verbatim): "We as Saudis listen (to orders) and obey.  The state ordered and directed and we follow the directives of the stare and we stand always in loyalty and support for the government."  Kid you not.  Khashoggi is often identified in the Western media as "a Saudi journalist" or as a "liberal Saudi".

PhD dissertation at the Sorbonne

In `Imad As-Sulh's PhD dissertation at the Sorbonne back in the 1970s about Ahmad Faris Ash-Shidyaq, he listed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his bibliography. How did his supervisor allow this?

The UNIFIL in Lebanon

The New York Times has a long article about UNIFIL but the article makes no mention whatsoever that UNIFIL was created in the wake of Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978, when there was NO Hizbullah.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Yasser Arafat did not kill his opponents

Regarding the assassination of Naji `Ali in London, I am of the view that Israel should be blamed or at least investigated for its role--of course, this will not happen.  I never liked Arafat and detested his political choices and preferences since I was a boy, but I can say categorically that Arafat was not in the business of killing his opponents.  

I am now confused. I thought that none of the Syrian rebels ever hid in hospitals? All Western media denied that for years

But now the US government is officially saying that Syrian ISIS rebels are hiding in hospitals?

George Clooney who is partly responsible for the war crimes in South Sudan is nostalgic to Jim Craw days

"“I was thinking about Edward R. Murrow as we find ourselves nostalgic for when America was great and when the news wasn’t fake.”"  Yeah. America was great for women, and minorities and progressives in those "good old days".

The Washington Post on how NAFTA has been great for Mexico

"Two decades after the North American Free Trade Agreement opened the consumer floodgates here, Mexicans have become accustomed to such luxurious shopping centers, where you can browse Williams Sonoma crockery, try on Steve Madden shoes, eat at Olive Garden, take your kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s, and watch “War for the Planet of the Apes” on the big screen."

This would have been a whole new news story if he were a Muslim. That is for sure.

"German prosecutors believe nurse killed at least 86 patients"

Only now the New York Times concedes the positive contributions of communism in Afghanistan

"The Soviets brought schools and roads, civil institutions and freedoms for women." Well, that is far more than what all Western countries have brought to Afghanistan.  That is for sure.

DO you notice this?

Any claim by Israel (verified or not) is made into a Western media headline. What privilege really.

Tell this to Ben Hubbard who said a few days ago that Israel is uninvolved in the events of the region

"But while Israel has acted with relative impunity in the chaotic environment of Syria..."

Less news coverage of this

"Weeks of flooding across Nepal, Bangladesh and India have killed more than 1,000 people, according to news agencies keeping track of official death tolls." (thanks Basim)

This is the US special envoy on the fight against ISIS

Naji `Ali

We won't be deceived by the re-opening of the case of Naji Ali--decades after his murder. We know how investigations go in Western countries: they suddenly stop if an Israeli link is discovered.  What did the Norwegian police do when they arrested Mossad agents for killing an innocent Moroccan waiter because he was a tall Arab like Abu Hasan Salameh? They were quickly released and shipped out of the country.

Carnegie holds a conference on Palestinian Identity but Palestinians are not invited

Notice: a conference on Palestinian identify when the two speakers are non-Palestinians and both are part of political alliances opposed to any form of Palestinian resistance.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What Dinesh D'Souza does not tell you about W.E.B Du Bois said about Hitler and Nazi Germany

In his article and his new book he portrays Du Bois (and I have never been a fan of Du Bois) as a Nazi sympathizer who never saw Nazi crimes.  He does not tell you that Du Bois also described Nazi war on Jewish people in those terms: "which surpasses in vindictive cruelty and public insult anything I have ever seen."   Yes, he did also say that he suffered more racial insults in US than in Nazi Germany as a black man.  

Those sentences against blasphemers in Iran and Saudi Arabia

How can one not be opposed to a regime based either on a religious identify (like Israel) or be based on religious doctrine (like Saudi Arabia or Iran).  Aside from the different foreign policies, their definition of offenses will always be anathema to the modern age no matter--not that offenses of modern secular Western governments can't also be anathema to the modern age: witness the styles of Western wars on terrorism.

You want another sign of the cluelessness of US correspondents in Beirut?

Imagine a report about developments regarding the fight against ISIS in Lebanon, the New York Times cites the opinion of former Lebanese president, Michel Sleiman.  Michel Sleiman, who has the worst reputation as a man who switched sides for Saudi money.  A man who failed during his presidency to have one member of parliament elected on his lists.

UAE ambassador in DC speaks: he says that there is democracy in the Gulf

What is interesting is this: he always spoke off-the-record to US reporters.  Now, he decided to speak on the record.  Of all the journalists to talk to, he selected a "former" Israeli soldier.  Also, look how he defines democracy: "But we have our own style of democracy. We have something called the majlis system, which is open forums where people address their leaders, where they voice their grievances and they come and they say “I need this” or “This is a problem” or “My son’s school isn’t working,” and this is the Bedouin style of democracy. Is this the Jeffersonian style of democracy? No. But it works for us, it works for our culture, it works for our identity."

Huffington Post Arabic (Qatari regime) refer to Sayyid Qutb, ideologue of modern terrorism, "the leader"

What a tribute to the ideologue of religious fanaticism, Sayyid Qutb.

Are you aware the US envoy to Arab-Israeli issues is bragging that Israel saved Al-Qa`idah lives?

Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45)
Israeli doctors have saved over 3,500 Syrian lives in 4 yrs. If war can bring the 2 sides together, imagine what could be achieved w/ peace?

This guy wants yet more black people put on trial at ICC

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
International Criminal Court needs to better job ensuring victims' voices are heard in prosecutions: @hrw report.

Look at this guy: as if Israel's only problems lies in its friendships

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Despite Netanyahu's selective concern about anti-Semitism… Israel doesn't need and shouldn't want friends like…

What would have happened if a US journalist described an Israeli airport during a Jewish religious holiday as a "madhouse"

"Beirut airport is a madhouse as Haj, Eid, end of summer & start of school collide. Allow 3-4 hours"

Factory for "precise missiles" in Lebanon and Syria

So Israel complained to the UN that Iran has built factories for the production of "precision missiles" in Lebanon and Syria. Does that mean that Israeli occupation state prefers imprecise missiles?  I think that Western human rights organizations would have cheered the move to "precise missiles" if it were by Israel.

Carnegie Endowment: holding a conference

This is what is funny: see how many among the participants are former US officials.  Also, notice that a Saudi regime columnist who spent his career working for various Saudi princes is identified as "a journalist".

The Saudi regime chorus in Lebanon

If Hizbullah fights Israel, they say: it is dragging Lebanon into a war.  If it does not fight Israel, they say: it is an under-the-table agreement with Israel. If it fights ISIS and Al-Qa`idah, they say: where are the human rights? Hizbullah is killing civilians.  If it does not fight ISIS and Al-Qa`idah they say: there is an under-the-table agreement between them.  If Hizbullah fights and defeats ISIS and Al-Qa`idah and expels all their fighters from Lebanon, the same chorus says: why didn't Hizbullah kill and exterminate all the 1100 fighters?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Michael O'Hanlon and his military advice

Ask Michael O'Hanlon about any problem area in the world and he has the same recipe every time; send more troops and train local forces.  Unfailingly.  

Who? They told who?

"A senior Israeli source told the Al-Jadida newspaper".

Can you guess who said this?

Who said: "ISIS is a big lie, and it does not pose a threat to the region".  Answer here.

How ISIS got anti-tank weapons under Timber Sycamore covert program

"But the anti-tank weapons like the Javelin and TOW didn’t just turn up in Iraq and Syria amid the chaos of the 2003 invasion: they were sent there more recently by the U.S.-led coalition in Syria."

FEBS ignores Israel's obstruction of life-saving treatment for the Palestinians

"One of the themes of the conference is the biochemistry of cancer. Rates of cancer are rising, particularly for Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip. But as the scholars point out, Israel actively obstructs life-saving treatment: “The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is as low as 30 percent in Gaza, which Israel has besieged for the past 10 years, as compared to 86 percent in Israel. In 2016, only 44 percent of Gaza patients who requested access to Israeli hospitals were admitted; more than half of those refused entry were cancer patients.” Meanwhile, the health system in Gaza is at the brink of collapse due to Israel’s severe reductions in the energy supply to the territory." (thanks Amir)

I don't understand: so Israel prefers that Iran builds a factory for imprecise missiles?

"Netanyahu to UN Chief: Iran Building Precision Missile Factories in Syria and Lebanon".

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A new war in Saudi Arabia: Sufis versus Salafis

The Saudi regime has been gradually sponsoring some Sufi trends inside the kingdom after breaking with the Muslim Brotherhood. But in the last week, a war has broken out on twitter between supporters of Salafiyyah and Sufi adherents.  Again, the exiled Prince `Abdul-`Aziz bin Fahd (who has become a spokesperson of sorts for the Salafi opposition in the kingdom) is playing a big role in criticizing the Sufis who they accuse of insulting Wahhabis in Mecca. 

Ben Hubbard's article on Hizbullah

See below for my response to Ben Hubbard's article on Hizbullah: I noticed today that a large number of US Zionists and Israeli officials (including Dore Gold) were circulating the article.  

So many aspects about the war in Syria never gets covered in the Western press

Like a week ago, while Damascus hosted the Damascus International Exhibit, Syrian rebels shelled the visitors (naturally indiscriminately).  

The latest about "moderate" Syrian rebels: Founder of Free Syrian Army is "in the lap of Al-Qa`idah"

Do you remember all the laudatory articles and profiles in the Western press about Riyadh Al-As`ad, the founder of the Free Syrian Army, and how he represents the hope of the new Syria? Well, I remember vividly.  The latest about Riyadh Al-As`ad is that elements of the Free Syrian Army are now accusing him of falling "into the lap of Al-Qa`idah" for coordinating with them.  I doubt that Liz Sly and the Western correspondents in Beirut will cover this.

Is Tourism really booming in Saudi Arabia?

According to this report by the arm of the Saudi lobby in DC, tourism is really booming in Saudi Arabia. But the evidence is merely Tourism festivals and this: "Saudi Arabia’s 2017 summer festivals have consisted of a broad array of activities “including cultural, heritage, sports, adventure, environment, entertainment, and shopping events,” SCTH’s media department explained. The boom in tourism and expansion in entertainment have supported Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector. Today, the Kingdom boasts 1,582 hotel options, with 42 hotels expected to open by end of year, and another 219 hotels currently under construction.".  So tourists just travel to stay in hotels and do nothing else?

Conan O'Brien visits Israel

What do you do if you very unfunny? You basically go to Israel because in the US it will guarantee favorable coverage.  O'Brien has not been able to be funny once in his life and thinks that by invoking his Harvard education he compensates for lack of humor.  In visiting Israel, he displays deep ignorance and again total lack of a sense of humor. But he likes Israeli breakfast made of Shakshukeh: Someone needs to explain to me why Israeli dishes have Arabic names.  Anyone?

Middle East Christians and US foreign policy

From Alfred: "This stupid article by Newsweek is trying to suggest that Middle East Christians support "America" meaning American foreign policy (run by the American Israeli lobby) and they like Trump more than former American presidents. The article mentions that in Iraq before the American invasion in 2003 there were more than 1 million Christians and now there are less than a quarter a million Christians. Many Iraqi Shiites did celebrate the overthrow of Saddam Hussein when the US invaded and destroyed Iraq, but NOT Iraqi Christians.  Who do you think they blame for this other than US foreign policy? Most of the Christians who have fled Iraq did not come to America. They immigrated to neighboring Arab countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, or to Europe like Sweden, and Switzerland...states that have least supported US foreign policy.  Trump has not done ANYTHING to help Iraqi Christians! In Syria, there used to be a large number of Christians who criticized president Assad (including some of my relatives), but now they almost all support Assad. Syrian Christians blame the destruction of Syria and their community not only on pro-Israeli states like the US and Britain, but also Gulf Arab States. Trump is hated more than Obama by Syrian Christians  for bombing Syria. In Lebanon, right wing Christians have traditionally supported US foreign policy. But, since 2005, for the first time in Lebanon's history you have the largest Christian party Aoun's FPM, not only allied with Hezbollah who the US calls "terrorist", but is allied with the Syrian and Iranian regimes. Also, since 2005, the "M14" Christians have supported the US (except for US support of Israel), but have been MORE critical of Trump because of his relations with Russia. Russia has supported Assad and Iran, who "M14" Christians oppose. In Egypt, the situation of Egyptian Christians started to go bad when Egypt became an ally of the US after Nasser's death and Sadat became president who he helped strengthen the Ikhwan. The only thing Trump has done since he became president was cut American aid to Egypt, which indirectly hurts the Egyptian people, Muslims AND Christians. In Palestine, Palestinian Christians have been ethnically cleansed and colonized no differently than Palestinian Muslims. Trump is surrounded by more extremist Zionist Americans...who want to even more persecute Palestinians...Muslims and CHRISTIANS."  Of course, we can't generalize on all communities but there are some valid points: I know from the Assyrian community in Central Valley in California that what Alfred is saying is true--whether you like it or not--that many of them in fact supported Saddam and many now support Asad in Syria out of fear of the alternatives.

The law which forgives the rapist if he marries his victim is imported from France

"But while the activism challenging these laws is rooted firmly in the community, it may be surprising to some that the laws themselves are not a product of local tradition. Article 308 is a remnant of the Ottoman rule, but its origin is even more distant – historically and geographically – as the Ottomans had imported it from the French penal code. In countries that were under French colonial rule, such as Lebanon and Tunisia, laws like Article 308 are a direct hangover."

Hitting his wife with the Bible


Foreign fighters in Syria

All references to foreign fighters in Syria in the US press leave out the roles of US and Israel for some reason.

Lebanese Army and Hizbullah and ISIS

It is rather amusing.  US media sill refuse to report that Hizbullah defeated Al-Qa`idah in Syria and kicked them out of Lebanese and Syrian territory near Jurud `Arsal.  And notice that they are reluctant to report that the Lebanese Army was prevented from fighting ISIS by the Saudi regime and its allies in the region, which allowed ISIS terrorists to flee unmolested.  This had nothing to do with Hizbullah which wanted the fight to proceed.

Ben Hubbard of NYT: from parroting Saudi regime propaganda to Israeli occupation propaganda

What an ill-informed article about Hizbullah by Hubbard.  His methods of documentation are as solid as those of the notorious Nichols Blanford.  Here are examples:
1) Here he typically absolves Israel of responsibility: "But as the Middle East has changed, with conflicts often having nothing to do with Israel flaring up around the region".  Name me one conflict in the region where Israel is not involved.  It is involved heavily in Syria and in Yemen on the side of the Saudi regime and in Egypt of the side of Mubarak and later Sisi. It is solidly invested in the Kurdish tribal dictatorship.  Have nothing to do with Israel? Oh, he almost said: poor Israel who minds its own business. Notice in the long boring article he says not one word about Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory and of daily Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty. 
2) Look here: "Hezbollah has evolved into a virtual arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps".  Anyone who says this does not know anything about Hizullah and its relations with Iran.  Hubbard, being ill-informed of Lebanese affairs, just parrots the propaganda of the Saudi camp in Lebanon.  The notion that Hasan Nasrallah takes marching orders from commanders of the Revolutionary Guards is ridiculous.  I will even say this based on knowledge and not speculation: Hasan Nasrallah not only does not take orders from Iran (he surely coordinates) but Iran consults with him on every aspect of its policies in the Middle East region.  This is not Subhi Tufayli who as secretary-general of Hizbullah in the 1980s was a mere tool of Iranian intelligence service.
3) And now documentation by Hubbard: "analysts from nine countries". Nine countries? Let me count them: Lebanon (March 14 side for sure), US, Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, Bahrain, Yemen (the Saudi camp), and France.  Wow.  Impressive.
4) And now this: "In April, members of a Qatari royal hunting party kidnapped by militants in Iraq were released as part of a deal involving Hezbollah in Syria".  Here, Hubbard is dazed and confused: he confused Hizbullah in Iraq with Hizbullah in Lebanon. 
5) Here he fabricates: "They also trumpet their goal of combating American and Israeli interests".  This is a fabrication. Nasrallah makes it clear in speeches that his party is not after US interests in the region or the world.  He has said in fact that the hizb does not want to fight the US, and that its battle is against Israel. But this fabrication is typical of Israeli propaganda in order to rally US support against the Hizb.
6) On Hizb's role in Yemen, he cites a pro-Saudi Yemeni stooge: "Ali Alahmadi, a former Yemeni national security chief". 
7) Here, Hubbard invokes his superior research and documentation skills: "Some analysts say".   Let me guess: Israeli?
8) But give it to Hubbard: he is an objective analyst and thus he cites an objective and neutral observer on Hizbullah: "said Anwar Gargash, minister of state for foreign affairs in the United Arab Emirates".
9) But this is by far my favorite part of the whole article: "Israel, too, has been worried about Iran’s expansionism in Syria, through Hezbollah." Oh, poor Israel.  So Lebanon is not worried about Israel with is massive WMDs arsenal and its history of invasions and bombing of Lebanon, but poor Israel is worried about Hizbullah? Poor Israel.
10) Here, Hubbard refers to Al-Qa`idah and ISIS fighters as "conservative Muslims":  ""“I get disgusted by the way they look, their long beards and shaved mustaches,” he said, referring to the grooming practices of some conservative Muslims."
11) Notice in referring to the founding of Hizbullah he leaves out THE determining factor, i.e., the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which gave birth to Hizbullah, and not the Lebanese civil war in which Hizbullah was not even a participant: "After the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, Iranian leaders sent officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps to organize Shiite militias in the Lebanese civil war."  And with that, Hubbard proves that he is able and willing to serve Saudi regime propaganda not only in covering Saudi Arabia but also in covering the region. Mabruk (I think he will understand this Arabic word as he is one of the few NYT reporters with some study of Arabic).

PS I forgot this funny part: "I met two fighters in April who agreed to speak on the condition that I concealed their identities." Let me guess. One was named Stanley and the other was named Billy Bob Husayn. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The days of the Shah: Iranian embassy gifts to US media stars

From James Bill, The Eagle and the Lion, (YUP),  p. 371.

Lebanese Nazis

There is no question that the Phalanges of Lebanon are the rightful version of local Nazis.  The founder of the party never thought of founding a party until his visit to Berlin during the Olympic Games, and he fell under the spell of Hitler and Nazism.  They also were anti-Semites just as they were anti-Muslims.  What is disturbing is that there is now a revival of the cult of Bashir Gemayyel, the most notorious war criminal in the history of Lebanese civil war. This is a section from New York Times obituary of the man.  

Imagine the uproar if this was a female politician

"Emmanuel Macron spent €26,000 on makeup in three months"

Marry-your-rapist laws

By the way, the Economist section this week about "progress" in the rights of women in the Middle East is really bad.  They talk about the repugnant "marry-your-rapist" laws as if they are peculiar to the Middle East. They have been common in South America and France probably was the first state in nearly 19th century to codify such a law.  

This is from Newsweek magazine: on why Christians of the Middle East are not bad like Muslims

"Middle East Christians, like other minorities from the region, tend to be supporters of Trump. Middle East Christians have never taken up arms against America anywhere in the Middle East. They are the progressives of their societies across the region, forces for moderation."  Yes, Lebanese Christian parties have been really an epitome of moderation over the decades despite their innovations of murder and killing techniques and methods--long before ISIS or Al-Qa`idah was born.  Lebanese Forces in Lebanon used to fill barrels with penises severed from Muslim prisoners. (thanks Basim)

PS The funny part is that George Habash and Wadi` Haddad were also Middle East Christians but I guess Palestinians don't count for Newsweek.  

How to become a "successful" Gulf ambassador in DC: Yusuf Al-Oteiba

My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: "How to become a "successful" Gulf ambassador in DC: Yusuf Al-Oteiba."

Red Cross and the US-Saudi bombing of Yemen

If you read this statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross, you would not even know who is bombing Yemen.  This is typical of all Western NGOs whose attitude toward Saudi-US bombing of Yemen is markedly different from Syrian-Russian bombing in Syria.  (thanks Laure)

Friday, August 25, 2017

By the way, regarding the law that forgives the rapist if he marries the victim

Contrary to media mention, this horrific law is not Islamic.  There was a law like that in Venezuela.  

Don't you like how the colonial mentality still prevails in US media

This is classic colonial ploy: find a native who is hired by colonial powers, and cite him on why the natives wish colonialism to continue: "We need an American commitment to support the defense forces, elections and democratic institutions. America’s reputation is at stake in Afghanistan, and if this all goes bad, America will lose its credibility.” "

This man is now the closest Arab to Israel: Yusuf Al-Oteibah

"“I think the region needs this,” Yousef al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Washington, said in an interview. “If we can make a breakthrough on this right now, it would be a game changer for the region".  Now how many Arabs does Oteibah speak for? 

I don't think that US media will like that

"In Barcelona, a heartening rejection of Islamophobia"

US-backed war on Yemen has created world's worst humanitarian crisis

"After two and a half years of war, little is functioning in Yemen. Repeated bombings have crippled bridges, hospitals and factories." "The United States is also a major donor, as well as a primary supplier of arms to the members of the Saudi-led coalition. Although the United States is not directly involved in the conflict, it has provided military support to the Saudi-led coalition, and Yemenis have often found the remnants of American-made munitions in the ruins left by deadly airstrikes."

Reporting on Afghan escalation omits dead civilians

"US media also continued their rich tradition of not blaming the US or Trump for the war—instead laying responsibility at the feet of some unknown geopolitical dark matter that has forced the US to occupy Afghanistan permanently." "Just as the thousands killed in Yemen by US-backed Saudi bombing don’t inform coverage of the famine there, the causal effect of US military action on poor, faceless brown people is never clearly laid out."

Australia's complicity in war crimes

"Emily Howie, the director of advocacy and research at the Human Rights Law Centre, believes Pine Gap's potential role in drone strikes may leave Australians open to prosecution. "The legal problem that's created by drone strikes is that there may very well be violations of the laws of armed conflict, or war crimes as it's called colloquially, and that Australia may be involved in those potential war crimes through the facility at Pine Gap," she says." "What we have here are credible and really serious allegations made against the personnel at Pine Gap that they could be involved in assisting international crimes — war crimes — and we have absolutely zero transparency around what's happened," she says."

Sisi, hero of Israel

"From Israel’s standpoint, Egypt’s involvement is important. Any country engaged in blocking Iran’s influence in Syria serves Israel’s interests." "During these discussions, Israel will presumably push the superpowers to encourage Egypt’s involvement in Syria, thereby ensuring another Arab partner (alongside Jordan) that will be sympathetic to its interests." (thanks Amir)

I don't trust former Jihadis and former terrorists

I know that Zionists would like to parade those who they call "former terrorists" and "former Jihadis" but I never trust those people.

Hating Islam (and Muslims) as a career

I swear to you.  No one in the Muslim world knows who she is. She keeps talking about the great danger that she is under for her courage.  Maybe they knew her in the Netherland years ago, but no one in the Arab world has ever heard of her for example.  

The Economist on Political Islam

There are many things wrong with the long piece on Political Islam in the Economist.  For one, the review of Morsi's short term in Egypt was most unfair.  Like it or not, his term had the most political freedoms of expression and satire since--ever.  

The Economist magazine stumbles on the most significant insight on Islam

"Democracy was not one of Muhammad’s prescriptions".  No way. SO unlike Moses and Jesus, Muhammad did not prescribe liberal democracy? How could he?

Stop with those stupid surveys of Muslims about Shari`ah

When you ask Muslims in Arabic about Shari`ah it does NOT have the same meaning as it does to Westerners.  For Muslims, they think that this is pertaining to personal status laws, more than anything.  

Yusuf Al-Oteiba on new Israeli opportunities with Gulf potentates

"“This young, dynamic leadership presents opportunities that may not have existed before,” said Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to Washington. The White House clearly shares that view."

Zionists for anti-Semites

"To some it looks as if Mr Netanyahu is more likely to see anti-Semitism in those who oppose his policies."

US history of labor

"The robber barons built their factories and railways without regard to the quality of the air or workers’ safety: in just one year, 1893, 1,567 railway workers were killed and 18,877 injured."

This is a disgusting regime which the West likes and praises (and arms): Ukraine

" This spring Ukraine’s parliament passed a law requiring NGOs and their employees to submit asset declarations, drawing stern rebukes from Western embassies. Ukrainian editors are concerned that security services are carrying out surveillance on journalists. (The president, Petro Poroshenko, denies it.) Anti-corruption activists increasingly find themselves derided as “agents of Putin” or grantoedy (“grant-eaters”). In April a mock funeral procession gathered outside the home of Olga Balytska, a reformist Kiev city-council member, carrying a coffin plastered with her photograph. “It’s one thing when people criticise you on Facebook, it’s another when they threaten death,” Ms Balytska says."

In praise of Tahini

Tahini is good for you.  Wait: now someone will claim that Ariel Sharon had invented it.

Pundits praising presidential violence

"Like clockwork, pundits responded to the news by rushing to praise Trump for his “presidential” decision. There is nothing quite as presidential as expanding an unending war that has left many thousands of Muslim civilians dead. The response from the commentariat echoes similar proclamations just four months ago, immediately lionizing Trump for launching 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base in April (in an attack that effectively helped ISIS)."

Nothing is more presidential than war, in the US

"There is nothing quite as presidential, in Washington’s eyes, as a war. A war allows the most shallow, flailing and destructive presidencies to be redeemed in the eyes of the media, at least for a day. “War and killing are the US media’s pornography,” Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept tweeted." (thanks Amir)

So where does the PA collaborationist regime stand on security cooperation with Israel?

Here are the exact words of the PA as quoted in the correspondent in Ramallah of Al-Quds Al-`Arabi: "Palestinian Authority officials said that the Authority suspended security cooperation with Israel, but  that it is undertaking all of its requirement completely to not give Israel the pretext to impose new sanctions or restrictions on the Palestinians." Word for word.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Percent of GDP committed to Foreign Aid

Percent of GDP Committed to Foreign Aid
1 Sweden 0.99 %
2 Norway 0.88 %
3 Denmark 0.82 %
4 Netherlands 0.80 %
5 Belgium 0.50 %
6 United Kingdom 0.48 %
7 Ireland 0.43 %
8 Finland 0.43 %
9 Spain 0.43 %
10 Switzerland 0.42 %
11 Austria 0.42 %
12 Germany 0.38 %
13 France 0.38 %
14 Canada 0.32 %
15 Australia 0.29 %
16 New Zealand 0.27 %
17 Portugal 0.25 %
18 Italy 0.21 %
19 Greece 0.20 %
20 Japan 0.20 %
21 United States 0.19 %

Is this what makes a despotic regime look good in US eyes?

"Even on the ever-toxic topic of Israel, Qatar invited Israeli leader Shimon Peres to speak in Doha, encouraged a Georgetown University-organized student trip to Israel, welcomed Israeli athletes and, before being pressured by its neighbors to close it in 2009, hosted an Israeli trade mission in Doha." (thanks Basim)

For some reason, there are no Western tears for Syrian civilians when they are killed by US bombs

"U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria are killing hundreds of civilians each month, according to monitoring groups, deepening already grave concerns for thousands of families trapped inside the city. "  In fact, killing Syrian civilians make the US president look "presidential" according to US pundits and journalists.

Trump's attack on anarchism

If I am not mistaken, the last time anarchists were attacked by a sitting US president was in the early 20th century.

The war against ISIS and Al-Qa`idah in Lebanon

Notice that this story failed to mention that Hizbullah had just defeated Al-Qa`idah in Lebanon.  But I understand: Western correspondents in Beirut have nursed a deep appreciation for Al-Qa`idah in Syria--just like Israel has.

Obama is also to be blame for White Supremacy

"But there were more sinister undertones to Obama’s rhetoric, more flaws in his outlook, than Baker acknowledges. Obama often enough lashed black folk in public — belittling Morehouse College graduates in a commencement speech, blaming black people for using poverty as an excuse to commit crime in his address at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, needling black members of Congress with the condescending exhortation to stop complaining, take off their bedroom slippers and put on their marching boots. Obama could identify what he thought of as black pathology in remorselessly granular detail. Yet he could hardly utter a discouraging word to white America, wouldn’t dare take the same liberties with them as he did with his own."

Silly journalism

Whataboutism? As if this is unique to one government or one person?  It is amazing how US media act superior only because they regard US propaganda as being morally superior.

US media is still nostalgic to the corrupt and repressive era of Yeltsin

US media have no credibility on Russia; they covered up the crimes and corruption of the lousy era of Yeltsin only because he was a mere puppet of US imperialism.

In the name of challenging Russian propaganda, US private sector goes to work in censorship and news manipulation

"Russia’s Internet manipulations have spawned a new push by companies and civil society groups to combat such “fake news.” One example is the online “dashboard” created by the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy. It monitors 600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations to collect a regular summary of trending hashtags, topics and URLs. (Note: I’m a GMF trustee.) The world is forewarned now, and partially forearmed. 
●Internet and social-media companies are seeking technology solutions to bots, trolls and fake news. Facebook plans to identify dubious articles and steer them to independent fact-checking organizations, which will warn users if supporting evidence can’t be found. Google is creating algorithms to identify reliable sources from the billions of pages it indexes. Such private-sector efforts are the best hope for sustaining a fact-based electronic environment."  I can only imagine the results.

UAE recruits the business class to spew its political propaganda

Everybody in the UAE is recruited as a propaganda soldier.  Some self-respecting Emeratis chose silence. 

Alan Dershowitz is now advising Trump on the Middle East

Read here.

Lebanese churches ban the movie Annabelle

Do you happen to notice that when Middle Eastern religious establishments--or Jewish for that matter--resorts to censorship and repression, it is never covered in the Western press.  Here, the Lebanese Maronite church banned Annabelle II under the pretext of offense to the core of religion.

This is how the Sudanese war criminal was forgiven

The door of forgiveness for third world despots always pass through the Israeli lobby in DC.

US military experts

Basically, US military experts always give the same "strategic" advice: more troops and more training for local forces. I mean, aside from bad politics, what lack of imagination.

George and Amal Clooney

I have a better idea: why not give a million to the despot of Bahrain, for whom Amal did consulting work, and why not George donate a million to the South Sudanese regime, for which he lobbied?
"George and Amal Clooney give $1 million to combat U.S. hate groups"

The new liberals--or neo-liberals--in Syria: former leftists adjust

An article about former leftism in Syria.

In countries that are not pro-US

Do you notice that in covering countries which are not allies of the US, the US media insist that any accusations of theft or embezzlement or even murder against an opponent of the regime must be bogus.

Netanyaho's spoiled brat lecturing Americans

US money to the poor nation of Isarel

US foreign aid in 2016. ($ billion)

Israel: 3.1
Afghanistan: 1.5
Egypt: 1.4
Jordan: 1.0
Pakistan: 0.8
Kenya: 0.6
Nigeria: 0.6
Ukraine: 0.5 

When does the US media find Trump to be presidential?

Only on two occasions: when he ordered the bombing of Syria, and when he ordered more troops for Afghanistan.  War and bombing always makes a presidential seems presidential in the eyes of the US press corps.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sebastian Gorka's PhD Dissertation

I actually read a while back his PhD dissertation.  My impression is summed up with what Hanna Batatu said about Fouad Ajami's Arab Predicament: not one original insight in the whole work.

PS Although I remember that Gorka was trying to make it clear in the dissertation that what he is saying does not apply to all Muslims, if I remember correctly.  But then again: there are those who say that and then add: this applies to "only" 20 % of all Muslims who are fanatic, which means we are talking about some mere 400 million Muslims.

This is hilarious; Arabiyya English explains why it publishes fabrications

"It is important to note, however, that this article originally appears in Arabic in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat and Al Arabiya English has no authority in changing the original article."

PS This is what is hilarious about this: the same Prince (MbS) own both Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat and Al-Arabiyya.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Apparently, the notion that staring at the eclipse damages the retina is also fake news.

Steven Salaita on AUB

"I didn’t leave AUB; I was ousted, deprived by management of a permanent job for which I had been selected.  For a long time after it happened, I was shocked that Zionist pressure could succeed in the Arab World.  Having suffered that pressure in the United States, I knew the danger of aggravating pro-Israel groups, many of which make a living denying the same right to others.  The affair made me rethink some of my assumptions about Zionism as a settler-colonial project.  I realized that Zionism informs class loyalty as strongly as it does ideological devotion. "

Hillary's new book

Will Hillary be talking about her "family" friendship with Husni Muabrak and other Middle East despot? Will she also feature pictures with the Libyan chief of secret police, Qadhdhafi's son?

This man lost his mind a long time ago and now he will be losing his eyesight.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Western correspondents in Beirut (who can't read Arabic) won't report on this: red flags over the Sudan

A big turnout for the burial of the Sudanese Communist feminist leader, Fatima Ahmad Ibrahim.  Just think about it: there is more about Malala (who only inspires Western government bureaucrats at their desks) getting into Oxford than about this communist Arab/Muslim woman who inspired millions.  

An Israeli Minister qualifies opposition to Nazism

"“Due to the terrific relations with the US, we need to put the declarations about the Nazis in the proper proportion,” Kara said. “We need to condemn antisemitism and any trace of Nazism, and I will do what I can as a minister to stop its spread. But Trump is the best US leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the prime minister of Israel are wonderful, and after enduring the terrible years of Obama, Trump is the unquestioned leader of the free world, and we must not accept anyone harming him.”"

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fracture of the American Empire

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Fracture of the American Empire: Growing Dangers".

An interview with UAE dissident Ahmad Mansour

He also talks about his prison experience.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Neo-Nazis for Israel: a good fit, really


They steal the land and they steal the culture

Someone needs to explain this to me. If Labne, and Tabbuleh, and Hummus and Baba Ghannuj are all part of "Modern Israeli cuisine", what did Arabs eat before the state of Israel was established in 1948? Sometimes I feel the theft of cuisine is almost as offensive as the theft of the land

Finally, scientific and through investigation by Reuters of Syrian chemical weapons use

Here are their sources in this investigation: "according to half a dozen interviews with officials, diplomats, and investigators involved in eliminating Syria's weapons of mass destruction."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"So predictable: Saudi regime media now lauds Muqtada, the astronaut"

"Iraq’s Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s visits to Saudi Arabia and the UAE have changed a few hearts and opened outlets. Muqtada al-Sadr’s steps may seem small to some but they resemble the steps of American astronaut Neil Armstrong in the sense that they are huge for Arabs and Muslims at this difficult time." (thanks Basim)

A DC think tank doubles as a lobbying form and doubles as a brokering institute and doubles as a Zionist recipient of Gulf money

"And by the way, I don't 'broker' meetings. The Washington Institute, like other research organisations/think-tanks, regularly arranges meetings... that bring together all sorts of people, from all range of governments and backgrounds, in a wide variety of formats....Satloff opened his note by thanking the UAE ambassador for "the generous new year's gift"*, without specifying what he had been given."  Yes, sure and no string attached. I always remember that.

*Responding to the reference to the "generous new year's gift, Satloff said that the policies of WINEP prevent any member of the staff from receiving any gift from a foreign government worth more than $20.  So I can only speculate that the gift must have been either a happy meal from McDonald or a box of Kleenex tissues.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Oh, the US Department of State's Annual Report on Religious Freedom found this evidence of anti-Semitism in Syria

"Government-controlled radio and television programming continued to disseminate anti-Semitic news articles and cartoons. SANA frequently reported on the “Zionist enemy” and accused the opposition of serving “the Zionist project.” The government repeated its claim a “Zionist conspiracy” was responsible for the country’s conflict. In April SANA reported on “al-Quds Cultural Day” in Damascus, a monthly event to address the “Judaization” of Jerusalem and “resistance against the Zionist project.”"

Islamism came to Sudan with direct US support to combat the powerful Sudanese Communist Party

The Islamism of Ja`far Numayri was a direct product of his alliance with the US and Saudi camp in the region. Today, a Salafi considered the late Fatimah Ahmad Ibrahim, the Sudanese communist feminist and struggler, as an infidel due to her Marxism.

The farce: it is called the US Department of State Annual Report on Religious freedoms around the world

In Israeli occupation state, the US government found this evidence of religious persecution: "The Waqf continued to restrict non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock shrine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and prohibited individuals from wearing non-Muslim religious symbols on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif."   In Lebanon, the report strains to find evidence of religious persecution so it included silliest material. Also, the report clearly relies on statements and allegations of Lebanese Forces. Worse, it gave bogus numbers of sectarian distribution of the population: "Statistics Lebanon estimates 36.8 percent of the population is Christian." This firm is owned by a Lebanese Forces affiliate and the numbers it provides only fit into the narrative of the right-wing sectarian agenda.  This percentage of Christians in Lebanon is just ridiculous. It is probably less than 30%.  And look at this statement: "In their monthly meeting in February Maronite bishops expressed concern over what they said was discrimination against Christians in terms of access to public offices and state financial resources."  Discrimination against Christians in access to public offices? Where and when?  Also, where did the report find this gem: "In September Hizballah announced a boycott of the Hajj and threatened to expel any party members who traveled to Mecca." Expelling members for visiting Mecca? Is this for real, when the brother of Hizbullah deputy-secretary general, Na`im Qasim, runs a company which organizes Hajj tours.  The report also found evidence of anti-Semitism: "The Jewish Community Council reported continued acts of vandalism against the Jewish cemetery in Beirut during the year. Construction rubble and trash were also thrown into the cemetery. The council complained to the security forces but stated they took no action."  Excuse me: but there is trash in most cemeteries in Lebanon. Would that also mean anti-Islam and anti-Christianity?  And this is the section about Syria: " The Alawite-led government and allied, mostly foreign, Shia militia allies killed, arrested, and physically abused Sunnis and members of targeted religious minority groups, and intentionally destroyed their property, according to numerous reports".  Wait: did the Syrian government go after them because they are Sunni? Is the Alawite-led government ever reluctant to arrest and torture and persecute someone who is Alawi if they revolt against the regime and take up arms?  But this is my favorite section: "According to human rights groups and religious communities, the government continued to monitor and control sermons and to close mosques between prayers. It also continued to monitor and limit the activities of all religious groups, including scrutinizing their fundraising and discouraging proselytizing." So the US urges Saudi and Qatari and Jordanian regimes to monitor sermons and watch mosques but is displeased when that happens by the Syrian regime?  Also, I hate to bother the US government, but does the FBI monitor mosque sermons in the US?  They would not do that, would they, given that the US is the land of the free and home of the brave? Here, the US report criticizes the Syrian government for this evidence of religious persecution: "Throughout the year, Hassoun called for combating “takfiri (Muslims who kill other Muslims who do not follow the same belief structure) mentality” and called for support of the army and leadership, according to the official state news agency. In meetings with Islamic scholars in June, President Bashar al-Asad stated the religious establishment should spread a “correct” understanding of religion."  And here the US government found evidence of sectarianism by the Syrian regime: "Media and academic experts said the government continued to portray the armed resistance in sectarian terms, saying opposition protesters and fighters were associated with “extreme Islamist factions” and terrorists seeking to eliminate the country’s religious minority groups and its secular approach to governance. For instance, the official state news agency, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), reported on the government’s fight against “takfiri terrorist organizations” throughout the year. In a September interview with AFP, President Asad said “most of the militants belong to extremist groups, such as [ISIS], [JAN], [Ahrar al-Sham], and others…every terrorist is an enemy.” According to international media reports, leaders from a number of minority religious groups, such as representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities as well as prominent Druze activists, stated the government had their support because it was their protector against violent Sunni extremists."  I also noticed that the report in the sections on Qatar and Saudi Arabia gave specific examples of anti-Semitism in the press but gave not one example of anti-Shi`ism (far more abundant) in the Qatari and Saudi press.  But the hilarious part of the report is this: when pro-US regimes attack extremist ideologies and organizations it is praised, but when Syrian regime does it, it is criticized as evidence of sectarianism. Notice that the report does not care for insults and offenses against atheists.  They don't count for the Christian government of the US.

PS By the way, the report lied when it said that access to the Wailing Wall is open to all. A Palestinian under occupation told me that access for Arabs was revoked ten years ago.

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Women living in countries w/ more traditional gender roles are MORE likely to major in mathematics & statistics, not less"

Martin Chulov discovered a miracle in Syria: a man who started medical school at age 12 or 13

Martin Chulov--and the whole coverage of the Guardian of Syria--deserves an award for the most undistinguished mainstream ill-informed Western media coverage of the Arab world.  Look at this sentence in Chulov's article: "“I worked as a doctor in Arsal at the Central hospital and at the Islamic hospital,” said Dr Hassan Ammar, 24."  So he was a medical doctor at age 19, which means that he must have started medical school at age 12 or 13 especially if you count years of residency.   (thanks Suheil)

Who is Jamal Abdul-Nassar?

"Throughout Egypt, posters of al-Sisi wearing dark glasses abound, which is reminiscent of Gamal Abdel Nassar".

The Saudi ambassador in the US wears a US flag on his lapel--how patriotic of him

Wait: US media still call Idlib "liberated areas"

From Angry Arab's correspondent in Turkey: "For NYT, Al Qaeda has just taken control of Idilb, of course not right after jihadi coalition lead by Al Qaeda's Syria branch, captured the city from Syrian army in 2015, thanks to US backing."

The UAE grill

"Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found."

When Mattis treated to destroy the people of North Korea

From Kim: "Imagine if an Arab country or Iran where to threaten Israel with the "destruction of its people" There would be cries of genocide and Holocaust from Western MSM. Yet not one peep to that tune when an American Secretary of Defense threatens the genocide of the North Korean people."

Jamal Khashoggi is allowed to resume his...praise of the Saudi regime

اعود للكتابة والتغريد، الشكر لمعالي وزير الاعلام لمساعيه الطيبة والشكر والولاء متصلان لسمو ولي العهد لا كُسر في عهده قلمٌ حر ولا سكت مغرد .

Look how absurd.  Saudi regime advocate, Jamal Khashoggi, expresses his gratitude to the Saudi minister of information for allowing him to resume his services in praise of the Saudi regime and its crimes.  

The human rights poseur is at it again

Saudis should investigate whether their forces are using excessive force in besieged Shia town and let people flee.

When he talks about Russian and Syrian repression, he always uses the word "slaughter".  But for Saudi regime, he uses "excessive force", as if he is talking about killing and massacres by his beloved Israel.