Friday, March 24, 2017

When our two cats (Bailey and Aaden) meet there is more intelligence in the room than in this picture

US and its allies beat Russia in the race to kill civilians in the Middle East

Why not release the birth name of the British terrorist?

From a reader: "Hello Mr. AbuKhalil. I was reading the Telegraph article about the London killer and I spotted a certain fact and thought I'd point it out to you.
Please read the article but I'll paste what I thought was interesting.
"Scotland Yard held back key information about Masood. He was born in Kent on Christmas Day 1964 under a different name before changing it by deed poll, but the authorities had refused to release his birth name."  Would Scotland Yard call him John Smith if he had changed his name to Smith from Masod? I think not.  Here's the full article

The New York Times offers sympathy for the Israeli terrorist who threatened to bomb synagogues and airlines

Look at the language and notice how many times the word "teenager" appeared in the article: "But officials made it clear that they considered the teenager, who lived in the Ashkelon area of southern Israel, to be the primary source of the threats, though they did not offer a motive. “This is the guy we are talking about,” an Israeli police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said."  Also: "The teenager, who was born in Israel, has a brain tumor that can affect his cognitive abilities and lead to “irrational” behavior, his lawyer, Galit Bash, said. She would not say whether her client, who she said did not have a criminal record, had admitted or denied involvement. Ms. Bash and the father’s lawyer, Eran Rau, who are both from the Office of the Israeli Public Defender, said the young man was an only child who lived with his parents and had been home-schooled, which is unusual in Israel. While most Israelis are drafted into military service, the teenager was rejected, which Ms. Bash said was because of his medical condition. Israeli news media reported that she had said in court that he had the tumor since he was 14."  Stop this bullshit.  People who get tumors don't go and threaten to bomb synagogues, Jewish centers and airlines.  If someone published this about an Arab terrorist, he/she would rightly be accused of sympathy for terrorism.

Chelsea Clinton is exciting the Democratic base

You know that the Democrats don't have much hope when they are excited over another Clinton--another very boring uninspiring Clinton.

What about Israeli terrorism?

Two Palestinians killed in two days and barely any mention or condemnation of Israeli terrorism i the US media. 

The Israeli terrorist who who sent threats to synagogues and Jewish centers worldwide

Notice that the coverage about this case is minimal.  Imagine if he was an Arab and not an Israeli. How different would the coverage have been.  And if an Arab is 19-years old he would not be called "a teen" or a "boy" in US and Israeli media.  Yesterday, the New York Times quickly moved the story from the top stories section to US section.  

Eye doctor story

I posted this on Facebook:"Remember that annoying eye doctor I told you about? The one who asks me every year (whenever I go for an eye exam) about Beirut? Every year whenever I go for my eye exam he asks me: where are you from originally? And I say Lebanon. And then he says: oh, it is terrible there. Oh, it must be violent there. Year after year, I have to go through this, and I can't take it anymore. And every year I realize that he forgot our last conversation a year ago. And I always have to answer him that he is mistaken about his perceptions. But I can't be too firm or too nasty with him because my delicate eyes are in his hands and near his sharp metal objects. But I have had it with him. I was prepared this year. I go in this afternoon and he says: you are from Lebanon, right? I said: yes. He says: it is a mess there, right? I said: not at all. It is safer than any American city. I went on (with plenty of exaggerations): people in Lebanon don't even lock their doors or cars. It is that safe. He then asks: but they did not rebuild Lebanon. I said: no, they did (I did not share my opinion about the lousy reconstruction plans of Beirut). He then stopped. But that was not enough: he goes on to tell me that he worked for five years in Cape Town, South Africa. I braced myself. He said that he visited last year for the first time in 45 years. He said that he was "surprised" that things did not "get worse". He said that he found out that things are the same. I said: they are not the same, Apartheid is gone. He said: oh, yeah, there are political changes. I said: and social changes. He said: yes, there is "black rule" now. I said: no, there is majority rule now. He said: oh, yes. He then felt awkward and asked: have you traveled anywhere recently? I said: i just returned from Morocco and immediately interjected: it is very safe and vary calm--in case you are wondering. I am not seeing this doctor again, and it is high time for him to retire. I am willing to buy his retirement plastic watch for him." And then I heard from one of my former student. It turned out that the same doctor told her recently upon hearing that she was in Hawaii: ""there are no Arabs clubbing you on the head.""

The Nation Magazine has yet another lousy article about the Middle East: this time about Hizbullah

This one of the most stupid pieces that I have seen. It is dumber than the coverage by Nicholas Blanford and Prothro. As long as you invent a "commander", you can attribute anything to him: "“Hezbollah is like the cane that Iran uses,” says Commander Samir". Basically, commander Samir all but said to him: we are a bunch of lousy terrorists and we are tools of Iran. He then proceeded to tell him that they don't care about the Palestinians. I always wonder this: Ibrahim Al-Amin is close to Hasan Nasrallah and to all the top leaders of Hizbullah: yet, those Hizb commanders choose to divulge their secrets not to Ibrahim Al-Amin but to...Jesse above in the Nation. Journalism. Notice that Jesse thinks that the civil war ended in 1985.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This is an Obama appointee

"Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday that he believes President Donald Trump "has the potential to be a great president," and suggested that the Trump administration's issuance of an emergency order banning passengers from carrying larger electronic devices on certain flights from the Middle East and North Africa to the United States would be good for national security. "I actually believe that Donald Trump — and I told him this when I met with him in December — I actually believe that Donald Trump has the potential to be a great president in sort of the Nixon-goes-to-China way, or Reagan-goes-to-the-Soviet-Union way, if he can find a way to rein in some of the more unhealthy impulses, listen to his staff, bring on a full complement of political appointees who will help him govern," Johnson said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday."

Zionism is a war crime

"For years, Israeli settlers have chased Ibrahim’s tractor, threatened him, yelled at his Israeli soldier escorts, tried to burn his fields and warned that letting him farm would risk bloodshed, according to the Israeli group Rabbis for Human Rights."

Liz Sly, who has been spot on throughout the Syrian war, makes another prediction: Syrian regime is collapsing

Liz Sly assures readers, yet again, for the 340th times, that Bashshar's days are numbered and that the regime is collapsing and that activists told her that, and that the rebels ("moderate" rebels aligned with Al-Qa`idah using car bombs and suicide attacks) are about to take over Damascus.  It is a matter of hours, she says.

I am not sure what Gopal is saying. That ISIS should be left in Palmyra?

"In Palmyra, for instance, U.S. warplanes in February carried out 45 strikes to help the Syrian government forces — the only forces on the ground — recapture the city from ISIS."

US is investigating

"At least 30 Syrian civilians were killed in an airstrike by the United States-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in a rural area of Raqqa Province early Tuesday, according to residents, activists and state television. The coalition said it had no indications that an airstrike hit civilians, but in its daily report on coalition strikes, the United States military acknowledged that strikes were carried out in the area. It said that coalition warplanes carried out 19 airstrikes on Tuesday — an unusually high number for a single day — on a range of Islamic State facilities near the city of Raqqa. The attack, which hit a school in the town of Mansoura, where civilians had taken shelter on Tuesday night, was the second time in a week that Syrians had accused the United States of involvement in a strike that killed dozens of noncombatants. Forty-nine people died last week when American warplanes fired on a target in Al Jinah, a village in western Aleppo Province. United States officials said the attack had hit a building where Qaeda operatives were meeting, but residents said the warplanes had struck a mosque where hundreds of people had gathered for a weekly religious meeting."

The fables of Thomas Friedman

"I had several young Arabs from around the region tell me that when America lets its own leader get away with lying, hiding information and smearing the press or a political opponent, it is taken as a license by all Middle Eastern leaders, or the leaders of Turkey or Russia, to do the exact same thing and say: “See, the American president does it, why shouldn’t we?”"  I bet that this never happened. I bet that he made it up.  I mean, those young Arabs are not used to their leaders lying? Those Arab leaders never lied before Trump became president?  

Hilarious: Washington Post claims that obama "harangued" Arab allies about human rights

"Gone are the days of President Barack Obama haranguing Arab allies about their records on human rights".   When was that? When he was selling them billions worth of arms?  You want fake news? This is fake news.

Muslim coverts to Christianity

I am always amused when I read about Christian celebrations of Muslim conversion to Christianity.  It reminds me of the hopes of early American missionaries in Lebanon.  There was one Muslim convert from Beirut and they wrote a book about him.  They thought that their moment has come.  Muslims don't make for good converts as their self-satisfaction within their religion seems to be very high.  This story on Fox News is rather amusing.  They talk about a conversion by 300, assuming it is real and assuming it is sincere.  When I came to US and watched some TV evangelists, I almost believed that American evangelical missionaries in the Middle East succeeded in taking away half of the Muslim population.  

Zionism, as a war crime

"The very idea that Israel is guilty of the crime of Apartheid, one of the two gravest crimes against humanity (second only to Genocide), is, in itself, one that should give everyone pause. But there is another explosion in the report. Israel and its patrons have desperately sought to shelve a discussion about Zionism as a racist ideology. The Apartheid report brings it back to the front. The report renders invalid all those apologetic ‘warnings’ of Apartheid that have been part of mainstream Israeli and American leadership rhetoric for years now (for instance, John Kerry, 2014). The report’s implication is that Apartheid is not something that is soon to arrive or has just arrived; it is something that has been there all along, from the very birth of the state — in the “State’s essentially racist character.” "The discussion is bound to roll back to another shelved document – the UN Resolution 3379 (1975), which equates Zionism with racism."

Iraqi prisoners were beaten with stick on their way to latrine

" “There's levels of torture and for me that was torture," he said. "I mean how can you go ahead and handcuff a person next to each other, for days, let them defecate, let them urinate over themselves, don't [let them] take a shower, don't feed them?" The allegations describe conduct that likely violated the Geneva Conventions and the Torture Convention, both a part of U.S. law, said Andrea Prasow, Deputy Washington Director for Human Rights Watch." "Another military officer who participated in the investigation confirmed Claudio’s version, but asked to remain anonymous. “They weren’t only tied by the hands to each other, when they took them to the latrines they beat them with a stick,” he said." 

New Zealand soldiers killed Afghan civilians, admits former DM

"The former New Zealand defence minister has admitted for the first time that civilians were killed during a bungled raid by New Zealand SAS troops in Afghanistan in 2010." "The new book says New Zealand SAS troopers, backed by US helicopters and Afghan commandos, raided two villages but that ultimately 21 people were killed and wounded, none of whom were insurgents and most of whom were women and children. The book suggests most were killed by the US helicopter gunships, but that some of the bodies showed signs that suggested they might have been killed by New Zealand snipers in the hills around the villages."

Anti-Semitism is a real menace but people like this man hurts the real cause of fighting anti-Semitism

"A Jewish man has been accused of spray-painting swastikas on his own house after he reported the incident to police as a hate crime. Andrew King claimed he found two swastikas on his home in Schenectady, New York, last month." (thanks Amer)

This man authored a book titled "Hatred's Kingdom" back in 2003: now he is in love with Saudi regime

Dr. Dore Gold (@DrDoreGold)
At @AIPAC conference, where I will discuss positive trends in #SaudiArabia, as illustrated in this bold letter to…

I wonder what Tillerson meant by "population groups"

What does he mean by "population groups"? Does that mean Muslims versus non-Muslim?

Will the Israeli who sent bomb threats to synagogues and Jewish centers worldwide be described as a terrorist?

I mean, he is the definition of a cyber-terrorist, no?

So US bombs killed close to a 100 civilians in two days of bombing over Syria

Do you notice that Western correspondents in Beirut don't weep on social media when US bombs kill Syrian civilians? I wonder why (not really).

So let us cut to the chase: an Israeli citizen was behind the bomb threats against synagogues and Jewish centers worldwide

But notice this: there is now a rush to describe the 19-year old citizen as "a teen".  NBC News quickly referred to him as an "18 year old".  Israeli media are describing him as either a teen or a boy.  I won't be surprised if he will be described as a "toddler" by tomorrow.  Also, why did the Israeli courts impose a "gag order" on the case? Why is there no release of his name? And where did he obtain the advanced technology equipments which changed his IP address locations? Finally, do you really blame Arabs for subscribing to conspiracy theories?

When the anti-Semitic Saudi regime tries to appease the occupation state of Israel

"A Message to the Israeli and Jewish People – Joining Forces
Having outlined the great potential of Prince Mohammad bin Salman's role and of Saudi leadership in the Islamic world, I raise one more issue of high priority. I would like to address a message to the Israeli people and to Jews around the world. Our Holy Koran confirms that you are an integral part of this region. Your civilization and the history of your ancestors was and still is part of our region’s history. Your State is a product of your civilization as well.  You have also left a mark in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, as well as in Najran and Khaibar and Medina, which remains visible to this day.
The policies of the Iranian regime are alarmingly similar to the Nazi policies that aimed to exterminate your people. Thus, the Iranian and Nazi regimes are two faces of the same coin in their enmity and hatred of you and the danger they pose. Nevertheless, please be assured that peace can be achieved, and your historical role in our region secured, within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative. This process would also promote the achievement of peace with Israel within the framework of the Saudi (Arab) Peace Initiative. If achieved, it will save the region from the flames fueled by the Iranian regime, and also allow Saudi Arabia to openly partner with the many technological advances Israel offers. 
Thus, of all the priorities that Prince Mohammed bin Salman must address, the most burning is the need to confront Iran in order to preserve the fate of this region. In today’s political reality, you and we are in the same trench in opposing the Iranian menace, with the terrorism and fanaticism Tehran spawns and exports around the world. In fulfilling the destiny of all our ancestors, neither you nor we can afford to be bystanders in confronting this evil. Let us be united and of one voice in order to save our cultures and civilizations from the neo-Nazi threat in its Iranian guise, for the sake of peace."  Notice that this Saudi propagandist conflates the Jews throughout history and in the world with the occupation state of Israel--which is quite anti-Semitic.  So according to this anti-Semitic writer, all Jews in history are responsible for the crimes of the occupation state of israel? But he can't help himself because like all anti-Semites they can't be not anti-Semitic.  Ironically, the Zionists of the US and Israel welcome the anti-Semitism of the Saudi regime (just as they welcomed the anti-Semitism of Anwar Sadat) as long as it serves the immediate propaganda and military interests of Israel.  

For Royal Jordanian and UAE Emirates airlines

Can you stop trying to be cute and publish the products for Western PR companies and do what the Turkish Airline has done (along among all Middle Eastern airlines affected by the new ban): which is to protest the new ban?  Jordanian Airline has the wit of the Jordanian royal buffoon.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Israeli occupation state targets Omar Barghouti

"Israeli media have reported that Barghouti, who lives in the coastal city of Akka in present-day Israel, is suspected of tax evasion. The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee accused the Israeli government of “fabricating a case” against him. Barghouti and his wife were detained for 16 hours on Sunday and Barghouti was being interrogated for the fourth consecutive day, the committee said on Wednesday. The committee said the investigation of Barghouti was part of Israel’s “systematic efforts to criminalize the BDS movement, intimidate activists and stop free speech.” Barghouti “has for years been subjected to intense threats, intimidation and repression by various arms of the far-right Israeli government, particularly after it considered the movement a ‘strategic threat’ to its entire system of injustice against Palestinians,” the committee added. Last year the Tel Aviv newspaper Haartez reported that Israel had established a “dirty tricks” or “tarnishing” unit which would target BDS groups. The committee said that the case against Barghouti was an attempt to “tarnish his image and intimidate him.”"

Arabness and citizenship in the US

"This Article examines the legal origins of Arab-American identity during the racially restrictive Naturalization Era (1790 through 1952), when whiteness was a prerequisite for American citizenship. Ten of the 53 naturalization hearings during this era involved a petitioner from the Arab World. Judges during the Naturalization Era viewed “Arab” as synonymous with “Muslim” identity. Because Muslims were presumed to be non-white, and Arabs were presumed to be Muslims, Arabs were presumptively ineligible for citizenship. But this presumption could be rebutted. Arab Christians could – and did – invoke the fact of their Christianity to argue that they were white. These arguments sometimes secured citizenship for Christian petitioners, but did not always rebut the presumption that every immigrant from the Arab World was Muslim. "

National Security--my potato

""The official said no American carriers are impacted by the ban, which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday by the Homeland Security Department.""( thanks Suheil)

Israel's never-ending war crimes

"Beyond the less-than-subtle endorsement of war crimes, there’s another major problem with Bennett’s reasoning - which is that Israel has never been overly preoccupied with civilian-military distinctions in the first place. For one thing, all of the items on his list of “legitimate targets” were already bombed in 2006." "In 2006, most of the estimated 1,200 killed in Lebanon were civilians, including the children slaughtered at close range by Israeli helicopter while attempting to evacuate their villages under explicit Israeli orders. Also obviously qualifying as civilians were the more than 100 refugees wiped out by Israel in 1996 while sheltering at a United Nations compound in the south Lebanese town of Qana."

US-made famine in Yemen

"Meanwhile, US weapons makers, including General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, profit massively from weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. In December, 2017, Medea Benjamin wrote: “Despite the repressive nature of the Saudi regime, U.S. governments have not only supported the Saudis on the diplomatic front, but militarily. Under the Obama administration, this has translated into massive weapons sales of $115 billion.” At this critical juncture, all member states of the UN must call for an end to the blockade and airstrikes, a silencing of all guns, and a negotiated settlement to the war in Yemen. The worst malefactors, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, must abandon cynical maneuvering against rivals like Iran, in the face of such an unspeakable human cost as Yemen is being made to pay. U.S. people bear responsibility to demand a radical departure from U.S. policy which exacerbates the deadly tragedy faced by people living in Yemen." (thanks Amir)

Existential angst of American youth--according to the Nation magazine

""Those kids in Cancún were raised on what is in effect a giant pirate ship masquerading as a country, the children of unending war, taught to believe that their jurisdiction is universal, their writ is global, even as their resentment—a feeling that they live in a nation under siege—is exceptional. Build that wall. ""

What did Khamenei actually say about gender equality?

Look. I am no fan of Khamenei but it seems to me that the headline and the opening line does not correspond with the text.  He said: "“Making women a commodity and an object of gratification in the Western world is most likely among Zionist plots aiming to destroy the society,” he said, according to a translation on the Shia Muslim leader’s official website."  How does that become "Iran’s Supreme Leader claims gender equality is 'Zionist plot' aiming to corrupt role of women in society", according to the Independent headline.  Here is what he said about gender equality--as terrible as it is: "“Today, Western thinkers and those who pursue issues such as gender equality regret the corruption which it has brought about.”"  This is about accuracy in reporting and in headlining and it seems to me that Western media exercise different standards towards governments not aligned with Western governments.

God and oil in Saudi Arabia: it seems that Muhammad bin Salman is God's gift to humanity

"Prince Mohammad bin Salman may well be God’s chosen to help lead Saudi Arabia through the political, economic, and social challenges it faces." (thanks Jamal)

PS It is fitting that a website linked to the Israeli lobby would publish this.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Israel and ISIS

From a reader:  Israeli commandos save Islamic militants from Syria | Daily Mail

Israel acknowledges it is helping Syrian rebel fighters | Times of Israel
UN Reveals Israeli Links With Syrian Rebels | Haaretz

Exclusive: Israel Is Tending to Wounded Syrian Rebels | Foreign Policy
Israel Helps ISIS Recruit Militants In Syria | Middle East Press
Israel Key Link in Exporting ISIS Oil | The Real News Network

US-fueled war has benefited al-Qaeda

"Well over 10,000 airstrikes later, at least one-third of which have hit civilian areas, more than 10,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed — and the relentless bombing continues." "Meanwhile, the group that has benefited the most from the destructive US-fueled war has been al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the most violent branch of the global extremist group."

Canadian police says threat to shoot Muslims not motivated by hate

"A 24-year-old London man has been arrested for uttering threats after police say he threatened to shoot worshipers at the London Muslim Mosque. But in a release issued Monday, police say the incident was not motivated by hate." (thanks Amir)

Look how Ben Hubbard of the New York Times peddles fake Israeli news

Ben Hubbard (@NYTBen)
Israel's army chief says Hezbollah killed its own leader in Syria because of internal rifts. Truth or PSYOP?

Look regardless whether he said "Truth or PSYOP", by posting it he ensured its circulation.  Anyone who knows something about the party knows it is a flat out lie (and the party which rarely issued denials issued a denial on this one but Hubbard did not notice).  Do you think that Hubbard would dare post lies and fabrications by Hamas and Hizbullah?

A New York Times correspondent writes a most pathetically fawning tribute to a billionaire

"In later years, I sometimes traded letters with D.R." Why do I feel that you wrote him weekly and he never replied.

Idiotic Homeland Security

How dumb is this new ban when travelers from Middle East airports can simply change flights in Europe?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Can you imagine an Arab potentate carrying a soldier on his back? I can't.

On all flights from Middle East countries

This just in: Homeland Security has ordered that men flying on all fights coming to US from Middle East countries won't be allowed to wear pants.

Whenever you read that this Republican nominee will "face tough questioning from Democrats in Congress" know that this Republican will have the easiest confirmation process ever imagined.