First the New York Times and now the Guardian: articles about the clothes of Theresa May.
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Daily Beast on foreign policy is the National Inquirer of US political journalism: Roy Gutman's journalism
"The sources of Mr. Gutman’s articles read like mini versions of Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi connections. They are advocates for the rebel cause, who will say whatever they believe will convince the United States to invade Syria and depose Assad. They see no problem in stretching the truth if it can lead to foreign military action. After all, they have concluded that only U.S. military action can remove Assad and bring victory to the opposition. Mr. Gutman meets most of his opposition contacts at a coffee shop in Istanbul; they spent hours offering him spectacular details on how the government bombed its own capital, assassinated its highest government security officials, and trained lethal Islamists to run terror organizations that have killed thousands of his best soldiers. All of this in order to convince the world that ISIS and al-Qaida are not products of the Sunni opposition but rather the Frankensteins of Assad’s invention. “Kill Assad,” they seem to be saying, “and you will kill the jihadists and win the war on terror.” This is all too good to be true, of course. They insist that Assad’s war against jihadists is fake. Faithful to his sources, Roy Gutman argues that President Assad is not only in cahoots with ISIS, but that he “built ISIS.”Gutman relates that one opposition source explained that President Bashar al-Assad himself issued an order to remove roadblocks in Damascus so that a car bomber, claiming to be Nusra, could have easy access to a Damascus neighborhood, set off his huge explosion and make it look like the capital was being attacked by jihadists. This explosion was a false flag operation, Gutman argues, masterminded by Assad himself in order to deceive the world into believing that jihadists were a menace when they were not. Never mind that James Clapper, the director of U.S. National Intelligence, told Congress in mid-February that the explosions “had all the earmarks of an al Qaeda-like attack and so we believe al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria.” Never mind that Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani, the head of al-Qaida’s surrogate in Syria, the al-Nusra terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the explosion. Gutman insists that his source is telling the truth and everyone else, including the intelligence services of the United States are deceived by Assad propaganda. Why would U.S. news services publish these assertions? They make no sense. They reek of conspiracy theory, are transparently self-serving, and defy logic."...If this is not crazy enough, Mr. Gutman offers an even more preposterous story to explain why Iran would blow up its ally’s leading security chieftains. Gutman, once again quoting sources “within Assad’s entourage” insists that Iran killed Shawkat, the President’s relative, in order to place their own man, Ali Mamlouk, as the head of intelligence. All of this is preposterous. It includes stories about Assad’s mother and brother, who are part of this great plot. They are intimately involved in this family intrigue. How could Gutman’s low level defectors possibly know the details of this Assad family saga? The simple answer, of course, is they couldn’t. Gutman repeatedly expresses outrage and consternation at the perfidy and incompetence of the CIA for not debriefing his Syrian opposition contacts to find out the deepest secrets of the Assad regime that he has found out. The Daily Beast, which publishes Gutman’s revelations, shares his outrage. Little wonder that so many Americans are having a hard time figuring out how to evaluate the “post-truth” age, when their news organs feed them such pablum. How in the world could Iran, Assad and Hizbollah be winning this regional war against Turkey, the Gulf States, Israel and a large array of Sunni rebel militias if Iran were blowing up the leadership of its closest ally? Certainly, it is comforting to believe that one’s enemies are incompetent, malevolent killers, but could they really have maintained a thirty-five year alliance if they were busy killing off family members and security chieftains of each other? These sorts of explanations for what is happening in Syria beggar belief. Such conspiracy theories are attractive in the absence of facts. Here is what I can reconstruct from a few sources who in a position to know.""
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 8:14 AM
The Value of Human Victims of War: is a function of the extent to which the sides of conflict are aligned with US interests. If the regime doing the killing is aligned with US interests, the value of human victims increases (Israel and Yemen).
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 8:05 AM
So he wrote on Facebook that the shoes of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is worth more than the Lebanese flag, cedars and such. The unit of "internet crimes" (there is such a unit in Lebanon) immediately ordered his arrest. Notice that Lebanese repression doesn't get much attention from Western human rights groups especially Human Rights Watch because Human Rights Watch in Lebanon is in the same camp with March 14, which runs the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:41 AM
No one among Western correspondents in Beirut is tweeting about those children: "Yemen Conflict: UN Official accuses World of Ignoring Crisis".
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:38 AM
"In the Cuban Drumbeat your main message is that the Cuban foreign policy under Fidel Castro is unparalleled. Why is it so?
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:49 AM
"For months now, SOFREP has been writing a series of articles about how badly things are going for the Special Forces soldiers assigned to covert and clandestine programs in Syria, Turkey, and Jordan." "However, the Green Berets assigned to this mission are outraged for another reason: many of the “moderate” rebels they are charged with training are actually ISIS and al-Nusra collaborators." "However, the article also glosses over the complaints that Green Berets have made about the Timber Sycamore program in which “moderate” rebels actually turn out to be Jihadists." When confronted with this story, Liz Sly of the Washington Post commented: but those are liberal and secular Jihadis, no?
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:48 AM
" “If God rules in the halls of legislation, it’s the pulpit’s benefit of being there, being on site and standing up and speaking the law of God to our elected leaders and praying for them,” Walker said. “It’s been the absence of the pulpits is the reason why Satan has ruled in the halls of legislation.” " (thanks Amir)
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:46 AM
Listen to this speech by Muhammad bin Zayid: how he draws upon the worst common dominators of his listeners and how he appeals to the atavistic and ancient impulses regarding notions of revenge. An Orientalist would love this.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:43 AM
"Confidential documents seen by the Guardian show that the country’s repressive rulers donated the sum to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) over the last five years.The documents also reveal that IISS and the Bahraini royals agreed to “take all necessary steps” to keep most of the donations secret. The Bahrain donations make up more than a quarter of IISS’s income."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:40 AM
Bahrain royal and Western think tanks: The experts of this institute are always everywhere cited about Syria
"British thinktank received £25m from Bahraini royals, documents reveal"
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:39 AM
For decades, Zionists protested fiercely when Palestinians and their supporters (not me) resorted to Holocaust imageries to refer to Palestinian suffering and to Israeli brutality. Zionists argued that such analogies are demeaning to the victims of the Holocaust. Yet, during the last few years of the Syrian war, no one has used Zionist imageries more than the same Zionists and their supporters. Here is but one recent example. I am confident that if such analogies were made about Palestinian suffering and Israeli brutality in such manner, the writers would have been immediately fired and called anti-Semitic. I have no doubt.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:32 AM
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
This Maronite Lebanese (I say so before you rush to your short-cut Orientalist theology-centric assumptions) woman, Jacqueline Isbir, has died. She was active in the Armed Revolutionary Lebanese Units and was accused of killing a Mossad agent in Paris back in 1982. She also had ties to Red Army Fraction.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 5:33 PM
According to the Qatari regime newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, the Syrian regime was able to confiscate not only arms from the rebels but also warehouses of food. But were we not told by Western correspondents in Beirut that people had no food left in Aleppo and that they were starving? Who do I believe about Syria when I disbelieve both sides and I disbelieve especially Western correspondents in Beirut who are reduced to writing in English what Syrian rebels say in Arabic?
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 5:26 PM
Excuse me but: Human Rights Watch was outraged over the flyers that Syrian regime and Russian planes dropped over Aleppo but it has not expressed outrage and has not (mis)translated the flyers that Iraqi regime dropped over Mosul. What gives? Are they human rights violations over Aleppo but not over Mosul?
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 5:19 PM
From Nabeel: "Qatari royals in Pakistan to hunt endangered birds, Houbara Bustards, in return for writing a letter to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif claiming his Panama wealth was a gift by Prince Jasim's father....Its similar to Saudis helping Malaysia PM Nahib Razak with his corruption when he got millions in a bank transfer."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 4:44 PM
Now we have to suffer through the jubilant triumphalism of the Syrian regime and its supporters, as if the battles in Syria are bloodless (on either side). I feel alone in saying this: there are no winners in Syrian wars, only losers.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 4:12 PM
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 1:01 PM
Monday, December 05, 2016
"Swiss authorities have seized cultural relics looted from Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, as well as from Libya and Yemen, which were being stored in Geneva’s free ports." "Most of the items reached Switzerland via Qatar and were taken by looters, Geneva’s public prosecutor said in a statement."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:56 AM
"Abby Martin goes on-the-ground to the epicenters of state-backed settler terrorism in Palestine’s West Bank, in Part II of her report on illegal Israeli settlements and home demolitions. This installment visits both the rural countryside of Duma—interviewing the surviving members of the Dawabsheh family, victims of a horrific arson attack that left three dead—and the urban center of Hebron, a glaring example of Israeli apartheid under intense military occupation."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:55 AM
"With the support of lawmakers from the provincial Liberal government and the right-wing opposition Progressive Conservatives, the motion passed by 49-5. Only the center-left New Democratic Party (NDP) voted against it." “People around the world and here in Canada have a right to dissent and to criticize,” Singh said, drawing an analogy with those criticizing Canada’s own atrocious human rights record, namely its “deplorable treatment of the indigenous community.” “From direct genocides to a cultural genocide based on residential schools, the ongoing systemic discrimination of indigenous people and their deplorable conditions – people would be fully justified to raise a concern about the treatment of indigenous people,” Singh stated."
"If the bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act were to pass, and thereby become legally enforceable, it would join a growing list of US legislation which targets Palestine solidarity efforts, including Senate Bill S6086 and Assembly Bill 8220, both of which have the intent of penalising those boycotting Israel. The advocacy group Palestine Legal reports that anti-BDS legislation has already been enacted in 13 states—the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act compounds the threat against freedom of speech, and, whether it passes or not, it highlights the mounting struggle facing Palestine solidarity activists and organisers." (thanks Amir)
Aside from his non-credible propaganda tweets: can someone tell him that he is neither funny or witty?
Liz Sly and Anne Barnard and other Western correspondents in Beirut often bolster their propaganda on behalf of Syrian rebels by linking to youtube videos posted by Syrian rebels themselves. Yet, there has been videos and interviews with Syrian civilians who fled East Aleppo and who have a story to tell about life and misery and repression and shooting at civilians by Syrian rebels. Not one mainstream US newspaper reported on that to my knowledge.
Basically, the article is arguing that the Syrian Jihadi groups could become more Jihadi because of lack of Western support. So the Post wants the West to dump more weapons into the arms of Al-Qa`idah and ISIS in order to avoid them becoming anti-West.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:50 AM
As long as the propaganda job is served, no one cares: "Assad, in an interview the week after Trump’s election, called the United States a “natural” counterterrorism ally." Of course, he never said such a thing and his statement had more qualifications than US expression of support for Palestinian rights. He said that IF the US were to....
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:48 AM
Ask Anne Barnard: "The advances did not halt the shelling of the government-held western districts. Fares Shehabi, a Parliament member from Aleppo, said that nine people were killed on Saturday and that the military hospital and a hotel had been hit. Dozens of shells fell on Sunday, killing several people, other residents said."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:46 AM
I don't know whether that is a real account or not but I do know this: Syrian rebels and their supporters and their US-designated PR firms on K street have been unabashed in their crude and vulgar exploitation of Syrian children for propaganda purposes. By the way, whatever happened to the account of the Syrian lesbian woman in Damascus? Do you remember that one? The thing is this Syrian toddler writes perfect English in a country known for lousy teaching of foreign languages in school. But regardless, Western media think that the political exploitation of this little girl for political purposes (assuming that is really a little girl behind that account and not an American PR consultant) is rather cute?
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:44 AM
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:22 AM
"The United States has a higher tolerance for torture than any other country on the U.N. Security Council, and Americans are more comfortable with torture than citizens of war-ravaged countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:20 AM