Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sean Penn in Lebanon

I have just learned that Sean Penn made an unannounced visit to Lebanon and visited the resistance museum in Mlita. 


It appears that Trump is emerging as a compromise candidate for Taliban leadership.  

When CNN reporter does not know the difference between Arabs and Kurds

From a Western correspondent in the region:
"i like how she mentions arab fighters and shows female kurds
that...woman says “arab fighters” like 4 times. like she is stressing what the US military told her to stress...i think all the fighters she showed training were kurds and she interviewed one arab
arab fighters my ass, its just a front for the PKK with a few token arabs who accept kurdish hegemony"

Some argue? Who argue?

"Some argue that Lebanon’s sectarian system of governance is a potential model for other countries composed of multiple sects and ethnicities." (thanks Basim)

Anniversary of Liberation: when Israeli army withdrew humiliatingly from South Lebanon

Today is an important national day in Lebanon. When the Israeli occupation army was humiliatingly kicked out of South Lebanon, and without a humiliating peace treaty imposed on Lebanon.  It is the day when Arabs looked at Israeli differently.  This strategic loss for Israel amounts to more than losing its nuclear arsenal, and it can't be compensated or regained.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

When Iraqi official, `Adil `Abdul-Mahdi, was a raving Marxist-Leninist anti-Imperialist

In 1978, `Adil `Abdul-Mahdi, translated (and published) this book about dependency theory titled "World Capitalist Economy: The Monopoly Phase and Neo-Imperialism".  Now, he is a sectarian Shi`ite. I have written before that i know of no one who has undergone more ideological transformations than this guy, ever: from Fath, to Maoism, to Marxism-Leninism, to Da`wa Party, etc.  

Why MEMRI can't be trusted: they deliberately mistranslated a word from this man's mouth in order to make him say "slave" about Obama which he never did

This is typical. I have always told you that MEMRI can't be trusted not only because it is part of the propaganda outlets of the Israeli occupation enemy but it also can't be trusted in selections of clips and news articles (going soft on Gulf regimes media these days, eh?), but the translation is either ignorant (the Lebanese who works there don't have a good command of Arabic, clearly) and sometimes purposefully distorted.  This loudmouth Algerian journalist is talking about Obama and talks about the history of repression of blacks at the hands of white and then say that the whites "have exploited you" or "subjuctated you" to conquer the Arab world.  So MEMRI's translation made him say: that "they have enslaved you", which he never said, clearly MEMRI wanting to put racist words to the man's references to Obama.   The Arabic word Sakkara does not mean enslave.

James Zogby writes in his own praise

"Because he meant so much to me, I will never forget a compliment Clovis once paid to my work. At a luncheon of local Arab American community leaders he had convened at Washington's Irongate Restaurant, he noted that "there are Arab American groups that pride themselves on being principled, but they are irrelevant. And there are others who work so hard to be relevant, that they end up with no principles, at all. But Jim has managed to create a group that is both relevant and principled.""  No, Jim. You are a great example of someone who is neither principled nor relevant.  

Oh, please: calm down. Bernie Sanders did not appoint Ghassan Kanafani to the Platform Committee of the Democratic Party

What the appointment of James Zogby will do is to ensure that the interests of the UAE ruling dynasty will be well-protected in the Platform.  Jim may insist that the platform includes a statement to the effect that: And the Democratic Party hails the UAE polygamous ruling families for the moderate repression that they have imposed on their people and for the not-so-secret relationship that they have maintained over the years with the enemy state of Israel.  Give me a break.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Elections in Arab countries

Religious kooks united against personal freedoms and women

"Muslim countries join forces with America's religious right"

I am against judging appearances but does this guy looks like a prime minister or a gang leader?

Hizbullah versus the AbuKhalil family in South Lebanon

Look. Hizbullah has a lousy sectarian alliance in elections (especially municipal elections) with the corrupt Amal Movement. Hizbullah can't continue to claim that it is insulated from corruption and that it is not tainted by the corruption of Amal Movement.  The results of the municipal elections in Biqa` and South Lebanon yesterday prove that people of the south, I am talking about Shi`ites specially, can distinguish between their support for Hizbullah in its war against Israel (and even its military intervention in Syria which unfortunately has the support of most Shi`ites) while opposing the political performance of Hizbullah in the cabinet and the political process.  While Hizb Ministers and MPs don't have the reputation of corruption as most other MPs, they are still part of the government which people complain about. Hizbullah does not object to the worst decisions reached by the government and Hizbullah stood by when the great leftist minister, Sharbil Nahhas, was ousted from the cabinet due to his diligence against corruption.  And Hizbullah covers up the corruption of Amal Movement and even covered the Hariri corruption in return for his support for resistance against Israel (verbal support).  People in Lebanon have had it and they are fed up with the entire political class, and Hizbullah is having a hard time convincing people that it does not belong to the political class when it has been in the cabinet for a decade now.  In Qulaylah, the village east of Tyre where most of the AbuKhalils reside, Hizb and Amal typically formed a joint list and the AbuKhalil family refused to join forces and they formed (under some secularist members) an independent list which won yesterday against the list of Amal-Hizbollah. Amal was furious at the result and they sent armed goons to threaten the head of the winning list.  Don't get me wrong: I am not in favor of the AbuKhalil's in elections all the time: they often represent the upper class mentality of remnants of feudal families and they have marginalized those who used to be referred to as "peasant" families, and to their credit, Hizbullah have in fact elevated the status of "peasant families" in South Lebanon. But the notion that people because of support for resistance against Israeli occupation and aggression should support the lousy lists of Amal-Hizbullah in municipal election is silly at best.

Liz Sly claims that Ahrar Ash-Sham never used car bombs and suicide bombers

Liz Sly writes: "The official, Labib Al-Nahhas, denied that Ahrar al-Sham carried out Monday’s attacks. “This is not our modus operandi: we do not target civilians,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter." I asked people on the ground on the matter and they confirmed that of course Ahrar Ash-Sham used car bombs and suicide bombers, and of course killed scores of innocent civilians. But notice how Sly cites the statement by the government but then refutes it and then cites the statement by Ahrar and does not bother to refute it.  

US calls on Russia to stop interfering in Syria: just as US does not interfere

"Votel, who has headed U.S. Central Command for just seven weeks, became the highest-ranking U.S. military officer known to have entered Syria since the U.S. began its campaign to counter the Islamic State group in 2014. The circumstance was exceptional because the U.S. has no combat units in Syria, no diplomatic relations with Syria and for much of the past two years has enveloped much of its Syria military mission in secrecy."

Banned British-made bombs dropped on civilian area in Yemen

"A British-manufactured cluster bomb has been found in a Yemeni village, all but confirming the banned weapons are being used by Saudi-led coalition forces in the Yemeni civil war. The BL-755 cluster bomb is designed to be dropped by UK-manufactured Tornado jets used by the Saudi Arabian Air Force, though the highly controversial weapons were banned in conflict decades ago." (thanks Amir)

More Western media justify car bombs by Syrian rebels

"Bomb blasts killed scores of people in the Syrian coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous on Monday, and wounded many others in the government-controlled territory that hosts Russian military bases monitors and state media said." (thanks Basim)

Academic standards in the UK: professor Angelina Jolie

After LSE hired Angelina Jolie (and we aren't sure if she graduated high school) as a professor at a Center run by William Hague.  Not to be outdone, Oxford has offered a chair in Media Studies to Kim Kardashian.  If an American university were to hire a celebrity to teach a course, UK media and academe would be mocking US universities mercilessly.  

Liz Sly and Washington Post thrice in one story justify the murder of Syrian civilians

First the headline: "Wave of bombings kills scores in area of Syria loyal to Assad".
Second the story: "A wave of coordinated bombings in Syria claimed by the Islamic State killed at least 78 people Monday in the usually calm coastal area where Russian troops are based, Syrian state media reported." 
Third, the story: "The coastal area is populated mostly by members of Assad’s minority Alawite community who have remained loyal to him throughout the war".  Liz Sly personally interviewed the residents and found out that every single one of them, children included, are "loyal to Asad".  Can you imagine if a random bombing in Israel is reported as: "bombings kill scores in area loyal to Netanyahu"?  She would be fired on the spot.

Did An-Nahdah of Tunisia call for separation of religion and state?

Muhammad `Imarah makes a distinction that they merely called for specialization.  I agree with his distinction especially that Ghannushi is a king of deception.  

Islam in Liberalism debated

And comrade Joseph responds.

When moderate Syrian rebels join the ranks of the Jaysh Al-Mujahidin: 10 brigades and battalions of Free Syrian Army join Jaysh Al-Mujahidin

Forgot to add that those Islamist Mujahidin are funded and armed by the US.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The master does not stand up for his follower

If only Americans knew: allies of Al-Qa`idah visits Washington, DC

"A senior figure from a Syrian rebel group with links to al Qaida was allowed into the United States for a brief visit, raising questions about how much the Obama administration will compromise in the search for partners in the conflict."

Read more here:""

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The war is starting: a Saudi columnist in Al-Hayat declares: "Yes, America is the great Satan"

This columnist in the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan, Al-Hayat, lists America's crimes in the century, and threatens that if US goes after Saudi Arabia the world will go after the US.  And he actually calls US "the Great Satan".  Beware.  With "moderate allies" like those, you don't need enemies.

Mahmoud Abbas ordered a street to be named after him: and Palestinians are taking turns celebrating the name

When Western media educate readers about Islam

"Pope Francis (left) is to receive the spiritual leader of the world's Sunni Muslims, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb (right), at the Vatican." I bet you that if you poll Muslims at random, less than 1% would know who Ahmad Tayyib is.  (thanks Basim)

The Statistical methodology of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Of course, it should have happened a long time ago: that this Syrian Observatory should have been discredited a long time ago, and not only for regime funding from Gulf, and not only because of the political ties, but also for something basic: the lack of reliable or accurate methodology when he produces exact numbers.  But for me, it happened last week: this Observatory issued a special statement to say that Nasrallah was lying when he said that Syrian rebels killed Mustafa Badr-Ad-Din and that it was not true.  But since when the Observatory responds to statements by political leaders? Or this one was too tempting politically. But look at this in its latest count: "Abdel Rahman also said that "several thousand people" have died while being held by rebel groups and jihadist factions like the Islamic State group.".  Several thousand people? Is that an exact number?

Syrian businessmen

Remember how early on in the Syrian war Syrian rebels would claim, and Western media would report with a straight face, that they were being funded by "Syrian businessmen"?

Netanyahu is subjected here to tough questioning from an American "progressive"

Middle East Eye

I have received a note from a reporter at Middle East Eye in which he denies that the site is funded by the Qatari regime.  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Clovis Maksud

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Clovis Maksud and the Contradictions of Arab Nationalism".

Bakery owner says customer canceled cake order after finding out she was Muslim

"An Iraq war veteran in Michigan canceled his order for a cake when he discovered the bakery’s owners were Muslim, one of the owners told Fox 17 West Michigan.
Zeinab Mohamed, who co-owns the Sweetcakez bakery in Grand Rapids with her husband, Javon Borst, said the wife of the buyer sent a message to them that read: "Hey actually were going to order our cake somewhere else my husband just found out your Muslim. And I'm not against it but he is because he was in Iraq fighting for our country against your people. He even changed his new doctor because the new one he was referred to was Muslim and he just said somethings and said he doesnt feel comfortable having you make our cake. I'm so sorry." Mohamed said she could hardly believe her eyes." (thanks Michele)

Rewriting of history: now the Times claims that Obama helped push Mubarak from power

The US clung to Mubarak until he could no longer serve.  "Even as the aging Mr. Mubarak fell from power — pushed partly by Mr. Obama in phone calls during the Tahrir Square protests".

Women in GCC countries: UAE to deport woman for checking her husband's phone

"When one woman in the UAE decided to snoop on her husband's mobile phone, little did she expect that it would result in a judge ordering her out of the country."

Can you imagine if this was in reverse? Israeli politician calls for beheading of Arabs

"The man reportedly offered the role of Israeli Defence Minister has called for "disloyal" Arabic citizens of Israel to be beheaded."

This is the story of a mainstream Zionist

"Lieberman has a long history of proposing fascistic policies. In 2003, he asserted that thousands of Palestinian prisoners should be drowned in the Dead Sea, adding that he would happily provide the buses to take them there." "In the 51-day assault, for which human rights organizations accused the Israel Defense Forces of war crimes, almost 150,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed, more than a quarter of Gaza’s population was displaced and 100,000 Palestinians were left homeless. When Israel carried out another brutal bombing campaign in the illegally occupied Gaza Strip in 2002, Lieberman, then infrastructure minister, insisted that the Israeli military should obliterate Palestinian civilian areas."

U.S. anti-Muslim groups fund Europe's Israel lobby

"US funders of the lobby in Europe include billionare casino magnate and key Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, leading Islamophobic demagogue Daniel Pipes and Nina Rosenwald – heir to the Sears Roebuck fortune, dubbed by journalist Max Blumenthal “the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate.” "

The NATO art of destroying Libya

"The United States, along with many of its international partners, wants to be able to supply "necessary lethal arms" to Libya's UN-backed interim Government of National Accord to fight ISIS and other terrorist organizations." "The same day, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook admitted that our military doesn't have a "great picture" of what is happening in Libya." "The West's provision of arms into Libya has been devastating to the country for years," Andrew Feinstein, the executive director of Corruption Watch, told the Washington-based Forum on the Arms Trade on Tuesday."

Crimes committed by U.S. military in Okinawa continue

"Japanese officials protested to the United States on Friday after the police arrested a man identified as a former American Marine in connection with the killing of a woman on the island of Okinawa." "Crimes committed by Americans have long been a source of friction on Okinawa, a small southern island that hosts about half of the roughly 50,000 United States military personnel stationed in Japan. The most notorious incident, the rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl by three American servicemen in 1995, set off mass protests against the United States military presence." (thanks Amir)

The Clinton campaign is disturbed about the use of the term "even-handedness" about US policies in the Middle East

"Clinton aides have said that on a slew of issues, Sanders is not far from the party. But the issue of U.S. policy toward Israel — which a Sanders adviser said “absolutely, legitimately will be a point of
conversation” — has made some of Clinton’s backers nervous.
Speaking last month during a contentious debate with Clinton, Sanders— who declared himself “100 percent pro-Israel” — said that Israel’s 2014 military assault on the Gaza Strip was “disproportionate” to the threat posed by Hamas rockets launched from the Palestinian territory
into Israel.
“On one hand there is not an enormous amount of difference between them. They are both pro-Israel, they are both pro-peace,” said one longtime Clinton supporter. “But in the context of the campaign terms like ‘even-handed’ can come to mean that the United States is signaling a shift” — and Clinton would oppose that."

what is a normal country?

""Well, I didn't have that sense. I thought some of the things the White House was saying, in terms of believing that lifting the sanctions could over time lead the regime and Iran to change its stripes and become a normal country, if you will, I always thought that was a stretch," he said." (thanks Basim)

On the empty Palestinian museum

I am not surprised that the Washington Post and New York Times both relished mocked the opening of an empty Palestinian museum.  The directors should be ashamed for this insanity.  And since when do occupy people worry about opening a mecum--under occupation, mind you--before liberating the land?  A Palestinian friend (a businessman) wrote to me about this matter and I cite anonymously: "I saw that and it is a farce.  Look at the board for this museum and they are all the kids of the super wealthy Palestinians: not  by chance I say plus the company that built the museum is connected to the famous CCC construction Co.!  The next question what will such a museum accomplish given that 80% if not more of the Palestinians cannot get there not to mention the supposedly target audience: the rest of the world  thirdly why build a museum and bring all these exhibits under the occupiers mercy whereby they will either be confiscated, stolen or flat out destroyed by a rocket.  fourthly so what if the building wins an award for sustainability ( design not by a Palestinian..... some european... why we have no Palestinian Architects capable of designing a MUSEUM).....Now the spoiled rich kids can sit in their cafe in London and brag to each other of this monumental accomplishment of their contribution to the liberation of Palestine with the new secret weapon " Empty Museum".......
Yes I am cynical and I know these guys very well... This has nothing to do with the Palestinians nor the liberation thereof, but rather with self gratification and show off among the rich..The true story is that the Chairman of the board and the board had hired some european curator to come up with exhibits 3 years ago and paid him handsomely but the guy did nothing but collect the salary.... How is this board effective.....opening an empty museum is a joke..... in itself.....I have a lot ore to say but I will hold back some"."

Palestine and Syria

I am not in favor of mixing or comparing human tragedies.  Its situation has its uniqueness.  Just as I never favored invoking Nazi analogies regarding the Palestinian question (although there are clear German and Italian nationalist tendencies in the thought and practices of revisionist Zionist and writings of Vladimir Jabotinsky who favored the definition of nationhood through "its racial recipe"), I don't understand the need to compare the Syrian tragedy to Nakbah.  Unless the purpose is to minimize or even absolve the Zionists of their crimes.