Monday, February 27, 2017

News media would like you to think that Obama and Bush never lied to the American people: Newspeak

"Yet Orwellianism isn’t just about big government; it’s about authoritarianism coupled with lies. Newspeak, as Orwell described it in “1984,” is language that means the exact opposite of what it says. Contemporary examples include the labeling of news organizations as “fake news” and falsehoods as “alternative facts.” "  As if Newspeak does not apply to the Bush and Obama administration, or to the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Liz Sly, yet again, pleads for more arms for Syrian rebels

You read this headline "Syrian rebels are losing out to extremists" and you think that maybe Liz Sly finally gets it that her beloved Syrian rebels are not moderate as she has claimed all along.   But you read the piece and you realize it is yet another plea for more arms to the Syrian rebels. All throughout this war in Syria, she and other Western correspondents in Beirut have been pleading for more arms to Syrian rebels under the pretext that this alone will lead to moderation.  "Suspending the supplies seems guaranteed only to ensure that al-Qaeda continues to expand, the rebel commanders say. “Of course if you cut off the moderate rebels, al-Qaeda will grow more powerful,” Malahifji said."

Human Rights Watch reminds Israel of its pro-Israeli credentials

"Bashi said that in the past year, Human Rights Watch has not only reported on alleged violations by the Israeli government but also investigated and condemned the arbitrary detention of journalists and activists by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and executions by Hamas authorities in Gaza. It also probed and denounced a Jerusalem bus bombing claimed by a suspected affiliate of Hamas, the Islamist militant organization that runs the Gaza Strip and has been designated a terrorist group by the United States and Israel."

Is this not a racist tweet by Kenneth Roth?

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Even Zuma gets it more than Trump: “It is wrong to brandish all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers.”
What does he mean by "even Zuma"? Does he mean that even a black man gets it?  No wonder he is a big champion of the International Criminal Court for the prosecution of black officials.

No debate on the Middle East in DC

The Zionist-Gulf alliance has been reflected in Washington, DC with a rigid restriction on discourse and debate about foreign policy.  There is little room for dissent.  This alliance through their control over the Arab-American and Muslim-American organizations, and through the media presence of Qatari regime media activists, are trying to impose this rigid restriction on speech also on college campuses.  If the Zionist lobby had limited freedom of speech in the US, the Gulf regime alliance with the Zionist lobby has restricted speech even further.  

Hollywood self-delusions

I hate how Hollywood folks really think that they change lives and change the world. So self-delusional.  Their sense of self-importance is worse than Trump's.  Trump is a mere product of the Hollywood mentality.  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Samantha Power on Churkin

She says: "At the same time, Vitaly was a masterful storyteller with an epic sense of humor".  So basically, he was everything that you are not.
She says: "The Russian government has murdered its political opponents, seized territory that belongs to its sovereign neighbors, killed countless civilians in Syria and meddled in democratic elections, including in the United States." US did all that, but only on a much larger scale.
She says: "I challenged him to answer for the carnage, asking during the joint Syrian-Russian-Iranian assault on Aleppo, “Are you truly incapable of shame?”. Yes, here he think that she is being eloquent and witty.  If this is your best memorable line, no wonder you are viewed as boring and vapid.
She says: "I got the sense that he valued Mr. Putin’s restoration of Russia’s relevance on the global stage, but would have preferred peaceful methods. "  Yes, because the US pursues its interests around the world through peaceful means.  Why can't Russia learns from US?

I think that the media should end its pretension that the public did not notice its pro-Democrat bias this election season

The Times makes it as if it is in doubt.

Radioactive weapons are killing innocent civilians in Iraq

"Ironically, the United States went into Iraq in 2003 with the claim that it wanted to destroy weapons of mass destruction. In turn, it was the United States that used weapons of mass destruction inside Iraq. The United States dropped at least 116,000 kgs of DU ammunition during the bombing campaign of the 2003 Iraq War. At that time, A-10 fighter jets were used for these missions, the same planes used in Syria."

Australia joined Iraq war to please the U.S., declassified report

"The report concludes that Howard joined US president George W. Bush in invading Iraq solely to strengthen Australia’s alliance with the US. Howard’s – and later Kevin Rudd’s – claims of enforcing UN resolutions, stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and global terrorism, even rebuilding Iraq after the invasion, are dismissed as “mandatory rhetoric”."

Evangelicals are the only group whose support of a Muslim Ban has gone up

"Just on grounds of compassion and common sense, you’d think people would be aware of how Donald Trump‘s temporary Muslim ban is bad for the country, bad for our national security, and bad for the innocent people affected by the Executive Orders (both the old one and the one scheduled to arrive soon)." "In fact, only one group goes in the opposite direction: white evangelical Christians." (thanks Amir)

Chelsea Clinton, the politician

I am rather surprised that Chelsea Clinton is becoming more and more political. I remember in the 2008, when she traveled around college campuses to speak on behalf of her mother, and how much college students could not stand her.  She has that same famous Clinton streak if insincerity and unprincipled.  But hey, she cares about elephants in Angola. Also, like all the Clinton, she is so boring and has a speaking style which puts insomniacs to sleep.  

I assume she was congratulating him on his longstanding support for repression, war, and human rights violations

Fake News versus Fake News

I am really disgusted with the media consensus and with the media's self-righteousness. The notion that I should prefer the fake news of the New York Times and the Post to the fake news of the administration is ridiculous.  I prefer neither.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pence confused the US flag with the Nicaraguan flag

Do people think that subscribing to the New York Times is an act of resistance?

How insane are those standards. This is like saying that Jeff Bezos represents the working class interests of the US, or that Bill Gates is the socialist alternative to Trump.  The standards are so skewed nowadays.  If you want to undertake an act of resistance, don't subscribe to the New York Times, I say.

The alliance between Zionists & anti-Semites

"History shows that anti-Semitism and pro-Zionism have never been mutually exclusive." "While the white nationalists believe that Jews do not belong in the white nation, they do admire Israel as a model for an ethnically homogeneous nation gutsy enough to dominate or expel Muslims. As the Southern Poverty Law Center reports, one of the major spokesmen of the Alt-right, Richard B. Spencer “has termed his mission a “sort of white Zionism,” that would inspire whites with the dream of such a homeland just as Zionism helped spur the establishment of Israel. A white ethno-state would be an Altneuland—an old, new country—he said, attributing the term to Theodor Herzl, a founding father of Zionism.” "

The Trump Card

The expression has a new meaning.

Trump versus the press;

My stance toward the conflict between Trump versus the press is exactly the same as my stance toward the two rival candidates for DNC chair--which is the same as the stance of Kissinger toward Iraq-Iraq war (he was opposed to both).

DNC's anti-Palestinian bigotry

"Wednesday’s debate raises a question that is all the more urgent at a time when unrestrained bigotry is again widespread in American politics: why can’t would-be leaders of the Democratic Party stand both against anti-Semitism and clearly for Palestinians’ freedom in the face of rampant Israeli violations of their human rights?"

Liberal's fear of Muslims who talk back

"Maher's Islamophobia becomes worse when he rarely discusses white terrorism, whether the recent deadly Quebec mosque shooting by Alexandre Bissonette or this week's string of white terrorist bomb plots. But most glaring, Maher rarely uses his platform to invite Muslims to combat his own islamophobia. Last year Dean Obeidallah wrote that Maher has “A Fear of Muslims Who Talk Back.” “Maher not inviting Muslims to be in his show when he lectures on ‘what Islam is really about’ is like having a discussion on Black Lives Matter with only a panel of white people. True, we see that very thing happen on Fox News, but Maher keeps telling us he's a liberal." " (thanks Amir)

Bashshar Al-Asad welcomes invaders of Syria provided they are "genuine"

""If the Americans are genuine, of course they are welcome. Like any other country, we want to defeat and to fight the terrorists," he said" (thanks Mohammed)

The entry on Al-Akhbar on Wikipedia

Someone should correct this error in the entry of Al-Akhbar on Wikipedia.  Elias Khuri was never a writer at Al-Akhbar.

Discourse of hate about Arabs

Back during the Cold War, Arabs were hated because they were seen as natural allies of communism, and that their Arab Nasserist passions were in synch with Soviet designs.  And Palestinian nationalism was seen as a mere branch of communism: do you remember the books about the PLO when I first came to the US (like books by Neil Lingstone and Jillian Becker) and how authors warned about the dangers of the PLO because it was (as was said about the ANC) under the dangerous influence and control of communists?  Only a decades later, we are now warned that the dangers of the Palestinian national movement is that it is too Islamic and non-secular.  So secularism if expressed in opposition to US/Israel is dangerous, just as anti-secularism if expressed in opposition to US/Israel is dangerous.  Just as anti-secularism if expressed in alliance with the interest of US/Israel (as in Saudi Arabia) is of no danger at all.

Academic freedoms, Zionists and Islamophobes

There is a real danger to academic freedoms of the US: just as the anti-communist fanfics (both Democrats and Republicans--lest we forget the work of Robert Kennedy on the congressional Committee on UnAmerican affairs), imposed a parameter of acceptable debate and discourse, today's Zionists and Islamophobes (and they often work in tandem) are imposing strict guidelines of acceptable discourse and rhetoric in the classroom, Congress, and beyond.  And they have been pretty successful because Congressional and local state legislatures have worked closely with them.  Imagine if discourse about Judaism by professor of Judaic studies is being subjected to the same scrutiny that professors of Islam are being subjected to.  The case of Jonathan Brown is but one recent example--although I disagree with his views and interpretations as I explained yesterday.  But you are telling me that Jewish professors of Judaic studies when they lecture in Jewish centers in the US, they are not apologetic about Judaism, just as Brown is apologetic about Islam, and just as Buddhist professors are quite apologetic about Buddhism.  It should not be the business of political operators or even writers and academics to judge the content of speech to see the extent to which it fits into their political or even moral framework.  By that token, if we were to impose the secular humanist standards (which are only applied on the discourse about Islam) to the discourse about Judaism or about Hinduism, they also will fall short.  People should be free to lecture and even preach about their religions, outside of the university system if they chose too.  But even in the university system: are you saying that Islam professors are sometimes apologetic about islam but Judaism professors are never apologetic about Judaism?   If we apply secular standards to ban apologias about religious then, only us secular atheists would be allowed to teach about religion (which does not bother me, ideologically speaking, if the same standards are applied across the board but it is not).   

James Zogby clarifies: I am not only an apologist of the UAE regime

He explains that he is also an apologist of the Saudi regime: "On my most recent visit to Saudi Arabia, I received a briefing at the Ministry of Education, I was struck by: reforms in early childhood and elementary education; the new emphasis being given to math and science; the training programs that have been developed for teachers and aides preparing them to mainstream children with disabilities; and efforts to provide online and interactive educational opportunities for Saudis of all ages. These changes combined will no doubt produce even greater transformations in the years to come."

iAngry about iMuslims

"Perhaps the most glaring illustration of the problem is when Bunt categorizes the communist, Shiite professor Asad Abukhalil, known as the Angry Arab, as part of the Islamic blogosphere (p. 173). Of course Abukhalil regularly comments on Islamic topics, but so do a large list of bloggers, hacks, and ordinary people on the Net. In fact, the Angry Arab is one of the most secular Arab blogs. Would Abukhalil mind being labeled an iMuslim? The term itself is  not convincing; it sounds a little too much like a different species. Could we for example imagine a book called iChristians, other than perhaps about very fundamentalist Christians online? By subsuming every phenomenon in Muslim contexts, or related to Islam, under an Islamic heading, we risk underwriting claims about Islam as the primary, sometimes the only valid, identity marker. The more interesting debate concerning mass media, perhaps, is how we as scholars can come to grips with contestations and intersections between revivalist Islam and secular modernity."

Friday, February 24, 2017

The comments of Jonathan A.C. Brown

No, not only right-wing commentators are condemning the comments of Brown.  I for one, condemn his apologia of Islamic slavery or his philosophizing of non-consensual sexual relations.  I know that Brown has tried to explain his comments but they are familiar to anyone familiar with the Islamic apologia of...slavery.  As for the non-consensual sexual relations, I don't know what he is talking about but the idea is repulsive regardless of intentions.  I should point out that Talal bin `Abdul-`Aziz (father of the funder of the Center of Christian-Muslim Understanding, after whom it was named) and his brothers owned slaves, not to mention that they engaged in non-conseual sexual relations.  

Johny Abdu

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Testimonies of Johny Abdu: Israel's Candidate to Succeed Bashir Gemayyel".  

"No human being is illegal": a brief comment

I understand the noble sentiments behind the slogan but please don't cite Elie Wiesel as its coiner. This is a statement that does not require originality.  Elie Wiesel the endorse of war crime and ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the apartheid state of Israel should not be our authority on humanitarianism.  Also, I have seen where people out of sympathy with Arab refugees are printing Arabic translations thus: لا يوجد إنسان غير قانوني
I think that the Arabic version should be translated as: لا يوجد إنسان غير شرعي. This carries the sentiment much better. 

Shocking: Gorka hates more than one group

"But an investigation by the Forward into Gorka’s activities from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hungarian politics and journalism, found that he had close ties then to Hungarian far-right circles, and has in the past chosen to work with openly racist and anti-Semitic groups and public figures."

Le Pen and Mahmoud Abbas in one week in Beirut

Beirut never stunk that bad; not even when the trash was accumulating on the streets.

The silly Washington Post motto

It is ridiculous.  And I suspect all along that the Washington Post's campaign against Trump reveals something else: perhaps a feud between two billionaires (the owner of Post and Trump).  

The Washington Media Consensus against Trump

I see now the tweets by mainstream journalists: all are in agreement on Trump.  I saw the other day one New York Times correspondents warning about the dangers of Trump.  I don't get that: 8 years of Bush and 8 years of Obama, and those same people never saw dangers of their policies, but after one month of Trump they see danger?  This is not in defense of Trump but in opposition to the media biased consensus forming.  

Western silence about Mosul civilians

From Basim: "You asked: How come they are silent about the plights of more civilians in Mosul?

My answer: because the city is held by IS, not al-Qaidah-affiliated rebel groups."

Obama and the Washington playbook in US foreign policy

"For those in search of a progressive alternative, the risk is that opposition to Trump's unconventionality will morph into embrace of what President Obama referred to as the “Washington playbook”".  But when and where did Obama defy the Washington Playbook in foreign policy except on Syria, and only partially?

Rumor-mongering versus war-mongering

"French journalists suspect a Kremlin hand in recent rumor-mongering about Emmanuel Macron".   Of course, the US engages in neither.

India approves $2.5bn missile deal with Israel

"India on Friday approved a $2.5 billion deal with Israel to develop medium range surface-to-air missiles for the Indian army, The Hindu reported.
The deal to build the missiles, reported to have a range of 50-70 kilometres, was approved during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the daily reported."

Gen. McMaster on DC think tanks

"Without naming names, McMaster ticked off a few case studies of why he believes the funding of think tanks matters.
“There is a think tank now, for example, that’s about to publish a report on the future of the Army, and it’s bankrolled by a defense firm whose business model is the integration of high technology capabilities and selling them to the Department of Defense,” said McMaster. “What do you think that answer is going to be?”"

Muslims hated more than atheists in the US

"Muslims are the least popular religious group in the U.S. They’re disliked even more than atheists".   In my case, I would be doubly hated: hated for being Muslim-born, and hated for being an atheist.  Too bad I am not transgendered to add more layers of hate.

Veteran spewing racial slurs shoots Indians he thought were Muslims

"Witnesses told local media that Purinton had spewed racial slurs and shouted, "Get out of my country!" before attacking the men. Purinton, a 51-year-old Olathe resident and Navy veteran, was arrested early Thursday morning while drinking at a bar in an Applebee's in Clinton, Missouri." "In Michigan, in December, a man shot a store clerk of Indian descent in the face. The shooter, who also appeared to be a U.S. military veteran, called the clerk a "terrorist," insisted he was a member of ISIS and shouted that he "used to kill people like him in Iraq."

U.S. abandonment of NPT which requires disarmament

"The tough rhetoric against the Iran nuclear deal and the tweeted promise to “greatly strengthen and expand (U.S.) nuclear capability” imply a rejection of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the globally legitimate framework for regulating nuclear policy. Trump might prove receptive to the recommendation from a blue ribbon Pentagon panel to expand U.S. nuclear options by developing an arsenal capable of “limited” nuclear wars, which further undermine the NPT." "Without the NPT, for example, Iran as a sovereign nation would have the same right to develop and test nuclear weapons and missiles as the U.S."

What about Israeli interference in domestic politics of countries? This is bigger than the "Russian scandal"

"The strategy, articulated among others by influential Israeli think tank the Reut Institute, calls for pro-Israel groups to attempt to co-opt so-called soft critics of the state to separate them from “hardcore” critics – principally supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement." "Speaking at the Big Tent For Israel conference in 2011, Newmark encouraged pro-Israel activists to join unions to be “a voice for Israel” and combat boycott motions." (thanks Amir)

Who will speak for the civilians in Mosul?

Western correspondents in Beirut used to tweet around the clock faking tears about the civilians in East Aleppo.  How come they are silent about the plights of more civilians in Mosul? Those don't count in their propaganda campaign? 

militants using hospitals and schools

"Militants often use hospitals, schools and religious buildings in the hopes that coalition forces will be reluctant to bomb them. In this instance, American officials said they had determined that no civilians were present."  Do "militants" in Syria also use schools and hospitals or are militants in Syria different because they are "moderate" and "vetted"?