Saturday, September 30, 2017

Arafat's negotiations with the US in the summer of 1982: beginning of Oslo

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Arafat's negotiations with the US in the summer of 1982: beginning of Oslo".

Why you can't trust anything in Western media about Syria: so he killed Orouba and Hala Barkat in Istanbul? Mystery solved

As soon as the story of the murder of Hala and Orouba Barakat in Istanbul was spread, ALL Western media and correspondents in official media and on social media insisted that the regime was behind the killing (although the killing was by stabbing and strangulation which--if you watch Dateline on NBC--always indicate personal motives).  Here is the Washington Post on the story: "News of the killings sent shock waves through the community of activists who have sought sanctuary in Turkey as dissidents are targeted by Assad’s security forces in their native Syria....In recent months, her Twitter postings commemorated the lives of civil defense workers killed in bombings by pro-Assad forces and lamented the destruction of the northern city of Aleppo, much of it a rebel stronghold until it was recaptured after a punishing government bombardment in December."  But today, the Turkish government found the culprit (shown above): he is a relative who wanted to marry Hala but she turned him down.  He also had fought with the Syrian rebels.  No corrections will be printed in Western media about this.  

PS You guessed it.  Gulf media now have updated the story: they say that this guy (above) was sent by Syrian mukhabarat on orders from Bashshar to kill the two women, despite the jilted lover story.

An official report of Human Rights Watch refers to "rumors" that Hashd killed ISIS prisoners

There no questions that HRW and other Western human rights organizations adhere to different standards when it comes to enemies of Israel and US.  Similarly, they refer to much stricter and higher standards of evidence when it comes to crimes and human rights violations by allies of Israel and US.  This official report of HRW refers to "rumors" regarding killings by Hashd in Iraq.  Do you think that this organization would ever dare to refer to rumors when it comes to war crimes by Israel or its allies in the region?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Do you notice that avalanche of commissioned articles praising the Saudi lifting of the ban on female driving?

I can't believe the extent to which Western media are hailing the Saudi regime for lifting the ban on female driving.  It shows the hypocrisy of Western governments and media. Let me give you an example: if Iranian regime or Syrian regime were to cancel the death penalty--they won't, but stay along for the argument--do you think that any one in Western media would dare write in praise of such a gesture?  But now that we know the extent of GCC funding of DC and London think tanks, we know that those articles praising the Saudi regime are the results of the "string-attached".

Paid Parental leave across OECD

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Mustafa Barazani and Saddam Husayn


Notice that Western media--and purely because Barazani is an ally of Israel--never talks about the massive corruption, cruelty, and repression which characterize the rule of the Barazanis.

There are no enemies of the Arabs with which Masoud Barazani and his father did not strike alliances

Do you know how hated Levy is in the whole Arab world?

Liz Sly reporting from Beirut: she wrote that there were demonstrations in Sidon

'A Lebanese court just sentenced the Islamist cleric Ahmed al-Asir to death for his role in 2013 clashes. Demonstrations in Sidon now."

Ahmad Al-Asir, the fanatic Al-Qa`idah style Islamist was sentenced to death.  Liz Sly reported "demonstrations" in Sidon in response. I asked people in Sidon, and they reported no demonstrations and said that only wives of the gang of Asir showed up and then were disbanded. See picture from what Liz Sly calls "demonstrations in Sidon".

And this is the picture that people sent me from Sidon.

A Driver's license for an Egyptian woman in 1920

The first Somali fighter jet pilot in 1976

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Saudi "reformers" who support the regime are praised and lauded in Western media

But Iranian and Syrian "reformers" who support their regimes are mocked and dismissed as stooges and shabbihah.

Parental-leave packages vary widely across the OECD (you have to click to see the very end, where US is featured).

Do you think that Western media would be as excited if Iranian regime or Syrian regime were to announce a certain reform?

Bravo to MBS for this big step on women's rights. Hope he moves on other reforms, too, and creates a truly modern KSA

Get a hold of yourself. You are about to fall over.

Cherif Bassiouni and BDS

Why Declan Walsh (and many Western correspondents) are clueless about the Middle East: on Mashrou` Leila

"Mashrou’ Leila is a wildly popular band across the Middle East,".  No one who knows anything about Arab culture would say that they are wildly popular.  They have their fans but not to the ridiculous degree described here.  Yesterday, when I read this, I asked a well-known Lebanese musician and singer about this.  He said that they are popular in underground music circles in big urban cities.  But certainly not "wildly popular".  If you pick 100 Arabs at random and ask them about Mashrou` Leila: I would be surprised if more than 1% have heard of them.  Western correspondents are not always reliable on Arab politics, and they are certainly less reliable on Arab culture, especially given the language deficiencies.  

US government urges "dialogue" in response to the secession of Kurdistan

So US government urges Iraqi to engage in dialogue in response to the declaration of independence by the Kurdish tribal feudal and corrupt leadership of Barazani. How did the US federal government react to the secession of the South?  By dialogue?  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Manal Al-Sharif is identified as a "reformer" in Western media: here she says: "they blame me for loving you"

ويلوموني في حبك ❤️

To put things in perspective: Latifah An-Nadi (From Egypt) got a license to drive planes back in 1933

She was the first Arab woman to fly planes.

Cherif Bassiouni died

I never met Bassiouni but heard about him and read about him over the years.  What is missing from obituaries about him are references to his role in Anwar Sadat's trip to Israeli occupation state.  Bassiouni was very close to Anwar Sadat and I don't know the origins of the relationship but I know that he managed to have Sadat visit Chicago in 1975 during Sadat's trip to US.  He was very close to him during the period which led to the Camp David accords, and even wrote in a Chicago paper in support of the peace agreement and referred to the moderation of fanatic Menachem Begin.  He "crowned" his career by a lousy commission for the Bahraini regime, which basically legitimized its repression and oppression.  

Colonialism and Third World Quarterly

I am rather shocked about the controversy regarding the pro-colonialism article in Third World Quarterly.  I met the editor of TWQ, Shahid Qadir, when I was still a graduate student at Georgetown University.  I received support and encouragement from Shahid who struck me as a progressive thinker who wanted to bring attention to Middle East issues and causes.  He also invited me to contribute to the annual Third World Affairs.  I never doubted his commitment to "Third World" issues.  But I always got the impression that he exercises editorial authority beyond the powers of a regular editor of an academic journal, which makes him doubly responsible for the publishing of that piece.  

He was banned from UAE for being a born Shi`ite, and yet he provides justification for UAE-Saudi sectarianism

Look at this passage: "I am also a Shiite Muslim born in Lebanon. The U.A.E., like Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states, are worried about Iran’s regional ascendance and its influence over Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. This anxiety fuels a fear that virtually any Shiite in the region could pose a security threat — and could be linked to Iran or its allies."  Imagine if one were to provide similar justification for a ban on Jewish people.

Monday, September 25, 2017

"No, only one side claimed victory"

From Basim: "Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006 that caused heavy casualties, and both sides claimed victory."

Court ok's Hebrew country-club denying membership to surrounding Arabs

From Eyal: "With court approval, Kokhav Yair to continue restricting entry of Tira
residents to the swimming pool

"The Lod (A-Llyd) District Court rejected the petition on grounds of discrimination and authorized that the local country club to sell 90% of its subscriptions only to residents of the settlement (Kokhav Yair - Tzur Yigal). The judge wrote: 'The fear that opening the registry may 
harm the sense of belonging is legitimate.'"
And note that:
* If you think the 10% will actually materialize - don't worry, they're apparently allowed to discriminate further in pre-registration for membership.
* The settlement is named after Yair Stern, leader of the Stern Gang (Lehi); it was unified with Tzur Yigal several years back. They are built on the western side of the 1967 green line - just North of Qalqilya.
* Many top Israeli military officers live or have lived in Kohav Yair, including Lt. Gen. Ehud Bakar, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, Shin-Bet head Danny Yatom, Shin-Bet head Gideon Ezra, Maj. Gen. Menahem Einan and Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan."

Racists, anti-Semitic, Holocaust-deniers love Israel

"But, like many far-right parties in Europe and elsewhere, the AfD presents itself as staunchly supportive of Israel. According to a wide-ranging poll commissioned by a group promoting German-Israeli relations, most AfD politicians profess to care deeply about Israel’s security, support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, reject unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state, and generally support a stronger relationship between Jerusalem and Berlin. Nearly 90% of the 35 AfD members who were surveyed totally or somewhat support Chancellor Angela Merkel’s dictum that “Israel’s security is Germany’s raison d’etre.” "

New Feminists? By the great Joan W. Scott

""Many of these new feminists and nationalists turned their attention to the veils worn by Muslim women, arguing that they were the very symbol of the immigrants’ purported backwardness, the sign of an intolerable gender inequality alien to the West. The push to rescue Muslim women, Farris argues, was the result of what she terms the “ideological convergence” of calls for gender equality with xenophobic anti-immigrant campaigns—the “femonationalism” mentioned in the subtitle of her book. Femonationalism, she explains, “describes, on the one hand, the attempts of Western European right-wing parties and neoliberals to advance xenophobic and racist politics through the touting of gender equality while, on the other hand, it captures the involvement of various well-known and quite visible feminists and femocrats in the current framing of Islam as a quintessentially misogynistic religion and culture.” ""

Casually, the Washington Post provides justifications for Israeli bombings

"Analysts and former senior Israeli military officers say Israel is showing that it will act with force to protect its interests, while using just enough of it to limit its enemies without sparking a war."

Who is the objective observer cited in an article on Hizbullah in the Washington Post?

A fellow at the Rafiq Hariri center at the Saudi-Hariri-UAE-funded Atlantic Council.  

U.S. arms most dictatorships in the world

"The United States currently supports over 73 percent of the world's dictatorships!" (thanks Amir)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The original book by Bachir Saade on Hizbullah

"Clearly there are many truths in this, but it seems that most understanding of Hizbullah have invariably assumed the existence of a coherent ideology that informs the party’s actions, political practice, and agenda. It is definitely the case that Hizbullah is more effective in a variety of domains, than other political organizations in the region, and so looking at the nature of the ideological and its importance in the political process seemed to me timely more than ever. I gradually discovered through my studies of early writings and media production, that an overarching understanding of ideology was far from being a given, and that in the place of seeing coherent slogans being brandished, it was a particular use of these discursive materials that seems more important to the political process rather than taking at face value their content.
Soon enough, the book became a contribution to a new understanding of what we mean by “ideology” through the study of what I thought was a fascinating political phenomenon of the last three decades. The objective was to explore what is meant by the ideological, in the case of Hizbullah, and on the other to engage in an intellectual history of the party, especially focusing on the early years. As I explain in the book, what was articulated early on became the main template for later ideological production. "

The AUB student publication, Outlook, won't appear for the first time since 1949 due to censorship and restrictions from Fadlo

See the statement here.

Look how Western liberal media celebrate Saudi regime schticks, no matter how small and shallow

"Saudi Arabia allows women into stadium as it steps up reforms". What is next: the Guardian will honor the Saudi royal family for allowing women to ride bicycles? 

This is how Saudi regime stances evolved over the decades

King Faisal: Calls for Jihad and anti-Semitic discourse against Jews and vocal condemnation of Jewish people for their contribution to communism.
King Fahd: while Jihad calls continued, he proposed a solution named after him, which proposed the right of Israel to exist in return for a transitional period in the West Bank and Gaza, followed by a mini-state.
King Abdullah: the Beirut summit proposal, according to which Israel would get full peace AND normalization (as if Saudi regime speaks for all Arabs) in return for a mini-state in West Bank and Gaza.  And he also used "religious dialogue" as a cover for Israeli-Saudi meetings.
King Salman: a declaration of the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The irony, is that Israel throughout this period and evolution of the Saudi stance, did not cede one inch of Palestine, and didnt desist in its aggression and war.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Zafir Al-Khatib

My weekly article n Al-Akhbar: "Zafir Al-Khatib: The Lebanese Hero who should be (widely) known".

Look at the colonial mentality of Human Rights Watch

He gave the Pakistan Prime Minister "a chance". Who does he think he is?  Some colonial viceroy? The arrogance of a white man burdened with a sense of privilege and superiority.

I gave Pakistan's new prime minister a chance to show moral leadership against death sentences for "blasphemy." He utterly failed.

Friday, September 22, 2017

capitalism and war

"To be successful, Mattis and Tillerson decided they should use talking points and commentary with which they believed Trump would be most familiar: the role that the military, intelligence officers and diplomats play in making the world safe for American businesses, like The Trump Organization, to operate and expand abroad."

Al-Khalifah and Israel

"In recent years, Bahrain has begun to slowly externalize its relations with Israel." "Nonetheless, diplomatic sources claim that Bahrain’s changed attitude reflects Saudi Arabia’s stance. Statements such as the one by Bahrain’s king are not made without receiving the go-ahead from Riyadh. It is likely, they argue, that Saudi Arabia was the one encouraging Bahrain to step forward in regard to Israel."

Israel and Al-Qa`idah: if only Americans knew

"Israel has even provided air cover to Syrian al-Qaeda. In June, journalist Nour Samaha published a lengthy article interviewing Syrian rebels in the illegally occupied Golan Heights who openly spoke of how Israel has supported them." (thanks Amir)

How Western media celebrate Jamal Khashoggi

Khashoggi, who worked for various Saudi princes (Prince Khalid bin Faisal, and then Turki bin Faisal, and then Walid bin Talal, among others) never ever protested Saudi regime repression. He only spoke out when he was muzzled repeatedly and when some of his friends (pro-regime people) also spoke out.  Mr. Khashoggi is clear at what he wants: he wants repression in the country to go back to what it was a month ago.  Then, it was a democratic paradise for him.  He was very clear when he was asked about twitter: he wanted revolutions in Arab countries but not in Saudi Arabia because he thinks it constitutes an exemplary democracy.  A sample of the accolades he has been getting. Also, if a supporter of the Asad regime or the Iranian regime spoke out and said: I want things to go back to the repression of a month ago, would he/she be lionized in Western media?
Ben Hubbard (@NYTBen)
Quite a cri de coeur from Saudi journalist @JKhashoggi: Saudi wasn’t always this repressive. Now it’s unbearable.

Another Hizbullah commander confess to an anti-hizbollah site

"a commander told Middle East Eye."  Does this commander drink thick black coffee like the commander who spoke to NBC news?

Ben Hubbard does what he does best: produces propaganda for the Saudi royal family

Look he summed up the life of King Faisal: "One ruled Saudi Arabia for 11 years, outlawed slavery, spread public education and introduced television to his country."  This is the man who was first to declare Jihad (in the religious fanatical meaning of the word), the man who fought progressive, secular movements thoruhogut the world, the man who was a benefactor of every reactionary anti-communist movement in the region and beyond, the man who inspired the alliance of Islamist political forces in the Cold War, the man who sponsored the fanaticism of Ibn Baz, who would inspire Bin Laden and his ilk, the man who used the oil wealth to fight the war in Yemen, the man who solidified the alliance between the house of Saudi and the religious Wahhabi establishment.  King Faisal was one of the most notorious anti-Semites in the entire contemporary history of the region, and he funded anti-Semites in the world.  But for Ben Hubbard, he "ended slavery and brought television".  In fact, he did not want to end slavery but the regime of King Saud in its last year, championed progressive issues especially in the economic and oil sphere, and Faisal did not want to appear less progressive and Western powers supported his coup in return for the ostensible reforms which he announced.  Slavery in the kingdom did NOT end in 1964. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

You know what the funniest joke on the planet? Freedom House and its ranking of freedom worldwide

In their latest report, Jordan is placed in the same category of Lebanon.  But for Freedom House, having good relations with the Israeli state, earn you freedom points in its kooky scale.

Terrorist clown

And this is supposed to be the sane and rational alternative to Trump?

"Clinton says U.S. could "totally obliterate" Iran"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

About the humiliation of the Israeli occupation army in South Lebanon in 2006

From the deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration: "especially since the 34-day war in the summer of 2006 in which it defeated Israel". (thanks Basim)

In Lebanon, you can get a menicure while a foreign domestic worker holds you hookah pipe

A protest at AUB this morning against Samir Khalaf who insulted a student for wearing the Hijab

ADC Convention

How much the ADC has changed since I came to US in 1983.  It was an expression of the progressive and fiercely pro-Palestinian sentiments of Arab-Americans.  I read that ADC will be given the Hala Salam Maksoud award to Phalange-sympathizer, May Rihani.  Why not give an award to Bashir Gemayyel while you are at it?  Hala Salam was a progressive fiercely pro-Palestinian leader.  Her name should not be associated with Lebanese nationalist Phalange-sympathizers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Another version of the picture

Outcry at the American University of Beirut: a professor insults a student for wearing a hijab

The story is here as recounted by the student.

A Sisi meeting

Human Rights all around

No, opposition to Jihadism or Ikhwan or Wahhabiyyah is NOT Islamophobia

While it is true that many progressive and mostly liberals support dictatorial rules in Syria or Egypt or Tunisia or Jordan or Gulf regime out of a desire to crush Islamists and Ikhwan, but opposition to Jihadism or Ikhwan or Wahhabiyyah is NOT in itself Islamophobia, just as opposition to Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitism.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Jamal Khashoggi speaks out in the washington Post

1) He never ever said a word about arrests and repression in Saudi Arabia.
2) He only spoke out now because repression is affecting him and his friends.
3) He basically is only speaking out because those who were banned or arrested are people who support the regime.  In other words, Mr. Khashoggi does not mind repression, arrests, and beheading of opponents of the regime. He only gets upset when people like him--long standing supporters and propagandists of the regime--are banned.
4) When was Saudi Arabia ever not repressive and cruel?
5) He says tat the Crown Prince is popular: how do you measure that when criticisms of the man is illegal and can get you long prison sentences? And who does he talk to? Does he talk to anyone who is not like him a supporter of the regime?

Look how many US lawmakers visited Israel sponsored by AIPAC

A week after Liz Sly posted a false report that Israel only once violated Lebanese airspace since 2006

Liz Sly was promoted a week after posting a false report that Israel violated Lebanese airspace only once since 2006 (when the real number is over 7000 by 2012).  Real journalism warrants real rewards in the US, especially when Zionism is concerned.

NYTimes opened up its pages for the Saudi regime to justify its repression

Can you imagine the New York Times providing free space for the Iranian or Syrian regime to justify their repression, the way the Times provided free space for Saudi regime to justify its repression?  

Why the US allowed ISIS convoy to proceed

So when Hizbullah expelled ISIS terrorists from the Lebanese borders, Western correspondents in Beirut were up in arms (taking their cues from propagandists of the Saudi regime camp in the Middle East--as they always do).  Yet, when the US allowed the ISIS convoy to proceed, they simply provided justifications.

Guess who is back? And guess who Hizbullah commanders and fighters chose to confide their secrets to?

This is what a seasoned Western correspondents in the Middle East told me about his/her theory regarding all those Western correspondents in Beirut who claim that Hizbullah fighters and commanders confide in them although they all have a record of hostility to Hizbullah and sympathy for Israel.  He/she believes that those correspondents rely on fixers--as we all know and on local translators and drivers and bodyguards and cooks and groomers and butlers--and those fixers for a fee would produce "Hizbullah commanders" who in reality are local thugs and who are willing to play the role for a fee.  I remembers when I worked with NBC News back in the 1980s how local "fixers" in Beirut would also claim that they have tapes with American hostages in Lebanon and would sell them before screening to NBC office in Beirut only to find out that the tapes were blank.  The same here.  Also, why do Hizbullah commanders and fighters sound so markedly different in tone and bravado than real Hizbullah commanders and fighters in the rare occasions when they talk to reporters in Lebanon IN ARABIC?    Notice this claim by Israeli terrorist commanders how it went unchecked and refuted in the same article: "Israel adopted a policy of specifically targeting Hezbollah and trying to avoid the Lebanese army as well as the country’s infrastructure and citizens."  Of course, Israeli terrorist state did target Lebanese Army even at their headquarters in Yarze.  And notice how the Israeli occupation state casually threatens to destroy Lebanon: "Lebanon will be destroyed in a few days.”"

Sunday, September 17, 2017

AUB President agrees with Kim Ghattas: colonial times were the best times in the Middle East

Dr. Fadlo Khuri (@DrFadloKhuri)
Reflective, poignant article by @BBCKimGhattas on Lebanon and Beirut, enduring, but endangered communal…

The lies and fabrications of the Israeli lobby

AIPAC says: "In addition to extortive taxes and fees levied against the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese Shia under its jurisdiction".  A blatant lie. As if Hizbullah is not the people of South Lebanon--or some of them anyway.  The extended members of the AbuKhalil family in Tyre and Qulaylah village live in areas where Hizbullah is dominant and they don't pay a penny to Hizbullah.

Is Huffington Post renting out space on its website? I am serious.

I know that the Arabic version of Huffington Post was sold to the Qatari regime which made it into the sleaziest most misogynistic Arabic site there is.  But now the US Huffington Post is putting out stupid propaganda in praise of wealthy Arab.  It is hilarious that they called Lebanese billionaire, Fouad Makhzoumi "a beloved public figure".  That would crack up most Lebanese if they hear it.

When the US almost invaded Lebanon in 1969

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "When the US almost invaded Lebanon in 1969: a new document".

PS I am grateful to James Stoker for alerting me to this document that he found in the archives.

Friday, September 15, 2017

King Salman mingles freely around his people in Mecca--but surrounded by a whole army

Homophobia in Israel

"But after the lawmaker, Yigal Guetta, revealed in the radio interview that he had attended the wedding of a gay nephew, his chatty appeal to a broader audience of potential Shas voters appeared to backfire. Rabbis and party activists revolted and demanded that he resign. Under pressure from the critics, Mr. Guetta, 51, told Aryeh Deri, the party leader, this week that he was resigning, and Mr. Deri agreed."

The Saudi "reformer": Jamal Khashoggi argues that protests are legitimate in Syria and Libya but not in Saudi Arabia

He agrees with the Saudi regime senior clerics that protests should be banned in Saudi Arabia and says that: "The Kingdom is a successful model among failed republics.  Revolutions there could not be stopped.  The Kingdom needs reforms and not revolutions".

Replying to 
سأعتبر انك جاد وأجيبك، لأن المملكة نموذج ناجح بين جمهوريات فاشلة ، الثورات هناك ما كان لأحد ان يوقفها ، المملكة تحتاج إصلاحات لا ثورات

Ben Hubbard does what he does best: promote the propaganda interests of the Saudi regime

"While many of the proposed changes are popular with Saudis and hailed as necessary for the kingdom’s future".  How did he know that they are popular when expression of disagreement with those "changes" would land you in jail? Did he conduct a survey?

Israel has the worst child poverty rate: a disgrace unto the nations

Child poverty rate.

Israel: 28.5%
Mexico: 26%
Spain: 21.7%
US: 20.5%
Italy: 17.3%
Japan: 15.7%
France: 10.8%
UK: 9.5%
Germany: 8.1%


Senior Clerics in Saudi Arabia rules against protests in Saudi Arabia (but they support it in Syria, Libya, and Iran)

This has been mocked: how Saudi clerics rule against protests in Saudi Arabia but rules in its favor in countries not aligned with Saudi regime.

Criticisms of Hizbullah's political role in Al-Akhbar

Al-Akhbar's publisher, Ibrahim Al-Amin, published a scathing critique of Hizbullah and its corrupt role in Lebanese domestic politics.  He takes on the party for its reluctance to engage in social justice struggle. But the party is not a progressive party so it is not surprising--to me.

How the US wants to win Arab "hearts and minds": by a salutation to Zionism

This has been mocked by Arabs.  The new (even more Zionist) management of the failed project of Al-Hurra TV (the Arabic US propaganda TV) wants to win Arab hearts and minds, so it commissioned an Arabic article to salute Zionism.  Kid you not.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kim Ghattas: her ignorance of Middle East history and her utter racism and sectarianism

"But after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, World War II, and decolonization, cosmopolitanism clashed with nationalism across the Arab world. The expulsions of minorities, who were often associated with the colonizing powers, led to increasing cultural and social homogenization."  Who expelled minorities? Which minorities? You certainly are not talking about the explosion of Palestinians from their homeland.  Zionists claimed for decades that Egyptian Jews were expelled from Egypt while recently they are now condeding that such explosion never actually took place.  And what is Ghattas claiming? That the Middle East was a great tolerant place until the Arab Jews and foreigners left the region and then it became backward?  But look at her internalized racism: she basically says that when the European and Jews left everything went down hill.  If only colonialism can come back, o Ms. Ghattas.  You would be most happy.  She says: "Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser kicking out thousands of French, Greeks, Italians, and Jews, putting an end to the golden age of Alexandria."  And look at her racism against Syrian refugees: "many worry about the long-term impact of the influx in recent years of around a million mostly Sunni, mostly conservative Syrian refugees on the fabric of society."  So she is saying that if only those refugees are Christians then they would have been civilized.  And she claims that Iran is settling Shi`ites in Syria.  This fabrication is just that: a fabrication and has never been proven.  I thought I could never find anything more distasteful than her hagiography of Hillary Clinton. This is even worse.

Qatari regime: how to please Trump

"The Qatar Investment Authority has deployed more than half of the $45 billion earmarked for the United States since 2015 and most of its future investments will go to the infrastructure sector, its chief executive said on Wednesday."

U.S. sent weapons to Syria through Ramstein military base

"The US military has been using its massive air base in western Germany to arm rebel groups in Syria without Berlin's permission, according to a report from German newspaperSüddeutsche Zeitung published on Wednesday."

Arrests in Saudi Arabia

The lies by the government of Saudi Arabia regarding the arrests are staggering.  The detainees are sometimes accused of terrorism and sometimes of "extremism", making it clear that none are really accused of terrorism as they range in ideological orientations.  And the regime claimed in their media that they were arrested for "intelligence links" but claims in the same charge that they were interrogated before and released after a warning.  So you are telling me that the Saudi regime knew of their outside links to intelligence services (either Qatar or Iran, is being implied) and the government did not punish them? they need to work on their lies.

Israel sponsors Evangelical media summit

"According to Maltz, the Israeli government -- which is sponsoring the gathering of broadcasters and journalists, and paying for the participant's accommodations – is "hoping to explain the country and its often controversial policies to this new target audience." While many issues will be discussed at the first-of-its-kind Summit, it is possible that high up on the list is solidifying opposition to those promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel." (thanks Amir)

"In Vaccines we Trust? The Effects of Anti-vaccine Propaganda on Immunization: Evidence from Pakistan"

"In July 2011, the Pakistani public unexpectedly learnt that the CIA had conducted a fake vaccination campaign as part of the operations to capture Osama Bin Laden. This episode was extensively used by Taliban groups to discredit the health system and vaccination campaigns. We implement a Difference-in-Differences strategy to document the effect of the disclosure of this information on demand for health services. We use survey data to compare vaccination rates before and after the disclosure of this information, across regions with different levels of electoral support for Islamist groups. Our results suggest that the disclosure of information on the fake vaccination campaign had a substantial negative effect on immunization rates: a one standard deviation increase in support for Islamist groups lead to a 9 to 13% decline in immunization rates over the sample mean. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the disclosure of the vaccination ruse eroded the degree of trust in medical services, and consequently, lead parents to actively refuse the use of formal medicine and vaccines, in particular." 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

From the profile of the Saudi ambassador in the New York Times: no wonder Saudi regime media are circulating it

"The prince’s allies say his youth is a strength. Captain Mohammad al-Ajmi, an officer in the Saudi air force who said he flew dozens of missions in Yemen and Syria with Prince Khalid, said in an interview that his friend was unassuming and energetic. He has seen the prince quit only once. “He doesn’t know how to ski,” Captain Ajmi, 29, said. “That’s the only thing he gave up on.”"  This is what I call investigative journalism.

Crackdown in Saudi Arabia

Unlike what some in the media are writing on social media, this crackdown is not directed against dissidents.  Many of those arrested are loyal propagandists for the Saudi regime.  They are being punished not for what they say but for what they are not saying: they are being punished for not being vocal against Qatar and against the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

When Two Saudi regime writers battle it out

Nasir Salih As-Sirami (above) is commenting on the latest tweet by Jamal Khashoggi who wrote: "You arrest `Isam Az-Zamil!! `Isam was here in DC serving his country accompanying an official delegation.  Those are the best of the sons of my country. What is happening?"   So As-Sirami says: "Don't worry, brother Jamal.  Enjoy America and your spacious home which was bought to you by Saudi Arabia as an advisor to its embassy then.  And don't forget the London home too."  

What is happening in Saudi Arabia: arresting `Isam Az-Zamil

The arrest of `Isam Az-Zamil today adds to a climate of fear and nervousness in the kingdom.  The new regime seems to be insecure and showing it.  MbS has not left the kingdom since he was appointed Crown Prince, and that is telling (unless it was him who secretly visited Israel, as was reported.  Az-Zamil was an economic analyst who was close to the regime.  The arrests seem to target those who were accused of Islamist Ikhwan sympathies or Qatar sympathies or Turkish sympathies.  I can't see how this reign will last when it is floundering before it has started.  I told you: you can bank on MbS to do more damage to the rule of House of Saudi than all their opponents throughout contemporary history.

It seems that Nasrallah convinced Iran to commit to fight for the protection of the Syrian regime--not the other way round

In this private account of a speech given by Hasan Nasrallah, it seems that it was Nasrallah who had to convince Iran--not the other way round--to fight in Syria to protect the Syrian regime.

Al-Akhbar covers North Korea...from North Korea

Al-Akhbar reporter, Sabah Ayyoub, was able to visit North Korea for a sport event and she wrote three articles on it.  They are quite different from what you read in Western media, and even the pictures she took are different.  

This reminds me when Israel courted Lebanese "hearts and minds" to keep PLO away: they got Hizbullah instead

"Israel is courting Syrian ‘hearts and minds’ to keep Hezbollah away".  

PS The article is typical propaganda piece which should be billed as paid PR ad for the government of Israel.  It talks about humanitarian aid without mentioning Israel support for Jihadi terrorist groups, like Al-Qa`idah.  This reminds me of US media propaganda piece about US humanitarian work in Lebanon, when Israel was arming and financing the right-wing death squad militias of the Phalanges and their ilk.

Yet, Western correspondents in Beirut never bother to write about this

"A former U.S. official said Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Shi‘ite militias in Iraq have been “very helpful” in recapturing vast swaths of the caliphate that Islamic State declared in Syria and Iran in 2014."

Monday, September 11, 2017

Jamal Khashggi

It seems that Khashoggi, despite many years of loyalty and fealty to various Saudi princes, will be next on the arrest list, judging from his public disagreements on Twitter with recent arrests.

PS Hilarious. Minutes after I wrote this, I read that Al-Hayat, mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan, just ordered a ban on the writings of Khashoggi.

Islamism and Liberalism in Saudi Arabia

This is the dilemma of the Saudi regime: it has cultivated an Islamist trend in the kingdom.  But the regime can deliver on islamism.  In recent years, the regime has cultivated a fake liberal trend (only to combat Islamist trends in the kingdom) but the regime is incapable of delivering on any liberal promise.  So the regime will have to go back to Islamism for its legitimacy.  

U.S. after Saudi money

"The Trump Administration is “desperate for Saudi money, especially infrastructure investments in the Rust Belt,” the former official told me. An influx of Saudi dollars could generate jobs and thus redound to Trump’s political benefit. As a cynical douceur, the Saudis, derided by Trump during his campaign as “people that kill women and treat women horribly,” joined the United Arab Emirates in pledging $100 million for a women’s-empowerment initiative spearheaded by Ivanka Trump."

Evangelical leader: Trump is anointed by God

"White was also asked about comments she made on the “Jim Bakker Show” about Trump being anointed by God." "White is one of a few dozen evangelical leaders who meet regularly — and informally — as an advisory board to Trump. White goes to Washington at least every couple weeks to visit with him."

Sep. 11, US

Who would have believed that US relations with Saudi regime actually improved AFTER Sep. 11? 

Another Sep. 11

"Chile’s armed forces stage a coup d’état against the government of President Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected Marxist leader in Latin America." "The U.S. government and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had worked for three years to foment a coup against Allende, who was regarded by the Nixon administration as a threat to democracy in Chile and Latin America. Ironically, the democratically elected Allende was succeeded by the brutal dictator General Augusto Pinochet, who ruled over Chile with an iron fist for the next 17 years." (thanks Amir)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Liz Sly deleted the tweet (see below)

I can't believe that a correspondent in Beirut would make the claim that Israel was violating Lebanese airspace for the first time since 2006 when those violations are daily (see below).  When this was pointed out to her, she deleted the original tweet.  Now she resides in Beirut to cover Syria but now I wonder: does she reside in Cairo to cover Syria from Beirut?

Corruption charges in Israel

Israel is certainly not a model for transparency and the rule of law--and I am talking about when it relate to Jewish citizens (when it comes to Arab, Zionism imposes the rule of brute force and savage occupation).  But notice whenever there are corruption charges (and every prime minister has been involved to a degree or another with corruption) prosecution always drags its feet and leaks are intended to soften the impact, and sentencing is always a slap-on-the-wrist.  So don't give me the malarky that Israel provides a shining example to Arab countries--certainly not when a former Israeli president spent a career raping women.  

When Liz Sly "clarifies" (see below): she is wrong again, of course

Replying to 
"To clarify, Israeli warplanes overfly Lebanon every day, in violation of UN resolutions. But it's rare for them to buzz so low & fast"

This is the Washington Post correspondent in Beirut

Imagine.  By 2010, the Lebanese government reported more than 7000 Israeli violations of Lebanese Airspace.   

For the 1st time perhaps since 2006, Israeli warplanes buzz Lebanon. Broke the sound barrier in Sidon, windows crack