Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jaffa on my mind

I have been reading about Jaffa as of late.  What the Zionist gangs did to Jaffa (from the late 19th century) is sufficient to maintain anger at Zionism for eternity.  The Zionist battle against Jaffa was really the introduction of barrel bombs--which never bothers Western conscience when deployed against by Zionist gangs.  

What is not (or rarely) in US media: US killing of Syrian civilians

"The figures from the U.S. Central Command show a rate of one civilian death for every 200 strikes that U.S. planes have launched in Iraq and Syria.
That’s a vastly lower figure than the war in Afghanistan at its height — a rate of one dead civilian for about every 15 strikes — or during six years of counter­terrorism strikes in countries including Pakistan and Yemen, where the White House in a recent study found that a civilian died for every four to seven strikes." Source.

Sirhan Bisharah Sirhan

Some of us, Arabs in the US, feel that Sirhan Bisharah Sirhan, has been singled out for harsh treatment because of his ethnicity.  There is no question about it.  Arabs in the US are afraid of even mentioning Sirhan (not to lionize him and not to exonerate him but to speak about his rights as a prisoner).  I spoke to his brother this week and it is clear that Sirhan has been punished illegally for his ethnicity.  For example: he has been keen on preserving his Arabic while in prison, so he keeps a copy of the Qur'an in his cell. This basically led the prison guards and the prisoners to treat him after Sep. 11 like a dangerous Jihadi terrorist--Sirhan is Christian by the way.  There should be more coverage of this case, but Arab-American and Muslim-American organizations are busy lobbying for arms sales for polygamous Gulf dynasties.  Sirhan has been isolated ever since they found the Qur'an in his cell.

I love cats more than anyone and our cats (Bailey and Aaden) are like our children but...

Stray cats in Jerusalem gets better coverage than Palestinians in Jerusalem. (thanks Gregory) 

The lies of Uri Avnery and Amos Kenan

From James: "Uri Avnery on Kenan: “Amos Kenan was a moral person.”

Amos Kenan, “The Legacy of Lydda: Four Decades of Blood Vengeance.” The Nation 248.5 (Feb. 6, 1989).
In the afternoon, those of us who couldn't take it any more would steal off to Tel Aviv for a few hours, on one excuse or another. At night, those of us who couldn't restrain ourselves would go into the prison compounds to fuck Arab women. I want very much to assume, and perhaps even can, that those who couldn't restrain themselves did what they thought the Arabs would have done to them had they won the war.

George Habash’s response: “A Reply To Amos Kenan’s ‘The Legacy of Lydda’and An Interview With PFLP Leader Dr. George Habash.”
“My own memories of Lydda completely contradict Kenan’s lies. . . .  When I reached Lydda I found my sister seriously ill with typhoid. She was my eldest sister who was married and had six children. The curfew made it impossible to obtain medicines or even to move about. I found the Clinic had been removed to what had been the CMS Hospital and was now barely a clinic. Nevertheless I felt obliged to stay there in order to take care of patients because there were no doctors left in the city to treat the sick and the wounded. Someone managed to get to the clinic to tell me that my sister was dead. I had to go to her home which was some distance from the Clinic. When I went outside and found my way through the streets, I saw terrible sights: dozens of bodies lay on the ground in pools of blood, old and young had been shot. Among the dead I recognized one elderly man, a good old neighbor who had a small Falafel shop, a man who had never carried a gun. The Israelis were killing defenseless, unarmed people indiscriminately.”"

According to the Post, the Mugabe government "violently" suppresses a protest: let us look at the details

"Anti-Mugabe protest violently quashed:  Zimbabwean police used batons, tear gas and water cannons to crush an anti-government protest in the capital Friday".  You have noticed the irony, have you not? Even when Israel faces Palestinian demonstrators with live ammunition, the Israeli methods are NOT referred to as violent.  Yet, water cannons by Mugabe's elected government are called "violent".  

A most silly review of a book on Karl Marx

"He was an avid reader of The Economist, while publicly dismissing it as the “European organ of the aristocracy of finance”."  I didn't get this: that because he was an avid reader he should have praised it in public?

Saudi UAE alliance with Israel

"In addition, Israel has established separate official channels of communication with Saudi Arabia, as well as with the United Arab Emirates, and these channels are considered “real and significant,” according to Daniel Levy, president of the U.S./Middle East Project."  The funny part of this NYT editorial is that the Zionist publication is faulting the Arab Islamic regime for not caring about the Palestinians.  

A Phoenician colony in Appalachia?

"They are said to be the progeny of Phoenicians who fled the Roman sacking of Carthage, or of pre-Columbian Turkish explorers (making them America’s first Muslims)."

"elections" in Jordan

There is no fake elections in the Middle East as farcical as those in Jordan.  Yet, there is no mention in the Western press about the various blatant intrusions and violations of laws and rules set up by the regime itself.  It is such a joke without any negative press in the US.  There are no elections in Jordan: the regime arranges for largely tribal envoys to sit together in a building but without any powers whatsoever.  Look what happened to the Islamists: it is not that the regime dissolved their party, but took it away and gave it to stooges of the palace.  And yesterday, the regime just like that cancelled an election announcement of candidates, for no reason.  Yet, from Jon Stewart to Meet the Press they invite the buffoonish king to speak about the Arab youth--like he speaks for them.

Left and Right in European elections.

This new account of Musa As-Sadir is interesting if there is any evidence to it

"Cooper writes that Sadr feared Khomeini’s rise to power and had secretly contacted the shah. “This is the juice of a sick mind,” he told a close aide of the shah about Khomeini. In July 1978, Sadr sent a message to the shah, offering to help him and speak to Khomeini on his behalf, the mediator between the two men told Cooper.  The shah welcomed the gesture and saw him as a means of blocking Khomeini’s power grab. Sadr, in the meantime, harbored a dream of returning to Iran to play a role in public life. Other moderate clerics viewed Sadr as the only charismatic leader who was capable of standing up to Khomeini. “By the summer of 1978, he and the shah were two men in search of a lifeline,” Cooper writes. The shah agreed to send a representative to West Germany to meet Sadr. A week before the meeting, Sadr traveled to Tripoli to meet Ayatollah Mohammed Beheshti, Khomeini’s aide. Beheshti never came. Instead, he told Gaddafi over the phone that his “guest” was “a threat to Khomeini.” Drawing on a variety of sources, Cooper deduces that Sadr was eventually killed on the orders of Gaddafi."   In those Western accounts of As-Sadr, there is one missing element of the story: that the closest ally (throughout his career from 1970 until his "disappearance") was the Asad regime.  If you forget that As-Sadr aligned with the Asad regime throughout the civil war, even when the Asad regime supported and armed the right-wing sectarian militia, maybe then you can fill in the blanks.  (thanks Basim)

PS By the way, the "variety of sources" minted in the review are along the lines: someone who told me and he knew someone who was very close to an aide to an assistant of As-Sadr.

PPS I told the story before: As-Sadr was once in my father's office, while the Shah's ambassador in Beirut arrived for an appointment with the speaker of Lebanese parliament, and As-Sadr would not even acknowledge him or greet him.

New York Times story about Russian disinformation campaigns

You read this long article and there is not one evidence to substantiate the claims of the story.  And here are the sources: "numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect".  Don't you like "numerous analysts"?  Can you imagine an undergraduate using such language for a source in a research paper?  And now this passage about the innocence of US government: "The planting of false stories is nothing new; the Soviet Union devoted considerable resources to that during the ideological battles of the Cold War."  Why not write something like this: the US government can never tell a lie.  But this is the best part: when the New York Times attributes negative perceptions of the US in Czech republic to...Russian disinformation; that there could not be another reason for such negative perception: "poll this summer by European Values, a think tank in Prague, found that 51 percent of Czechs viewed the United States’ role in Europe negatively".  And the article concludes by maintaining that any person, left or right, who deviates from US narrative of world affairs is merely a victim of Russian disinformation.  Increasingly, US media remind me of media back home in the Middle East.  The subtlety of the propaganda has all but disappeared.  

Why there is no debate on Syria: why there is only one point of view allowed in US press

It is simple. Just as there is no debate on Israel in the US, the Zionists have appropriated the Syrian issue and its rhetoric in the US (including the lionization of the Syrian rebels.  Have you met one Zionist in the US who has not championed Syrian rebels?  So just as Zionists only impose one point of view and one standard terminology on Israel, they also have permitted the same narrow parameters of debate on Syria.  I was thinking yesterday: there are at least three sides to the Syrian conflict: those who are pro-Syrian regime, those who are pro-Syrian rebels, and those who abhor both sides.  Who among the three groups were permitted space in US media: from the New York Times to Democracy Now? Who?

The Dean of Columbia's school of journalism conflates Jihadi Syrian rebels with civilians

"If Aleppo’s rebels and its civilian volunteers". This must be the cutest apology I have seen for Syrian Jihadi rebels.  Why not attach them to civilians (or civilian volunteers) and thus make them part of the civilian population.  So the civilians living under duress in the lands of ISIS and Nusrah are mere civilian volunteers?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Paul Wolfowitz

American liberals are bragging that Paul Wolfowitz may vote for Hillary.  

The Clinton Era

Doctors without Borders

I noticed that their reaction to Saudi bombs on their hospital in Yemen has been quite muted.  I wonder why.

The New York Times confirms: US bombs and rockets never hit civilian areas in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan

"although Syrian and Russian attacks have repeatedly hit predominantly Arab rebel groups backed by the United States, as well as hospitals, schools and civilian areas."

US media won't cover this: A Palestinian female poet is arrested by Israel for her poetry

A Palestinian female poet is arrested by the Israeli occupation state for her poetry.  

Sources of American Zionist concerns

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar:  "Sources of American Zionist Disquiet: The Unrestrained American Generation".  

Friday, August 26, 2016

I am embarrassed to say that this is from IC (my elementary-to-high school) school in Beirut: from its alumni magazine.

Roger Cohen of the Times refers to Jihadi groups (including Al-Qa`idah and Islamic Turkistan Islamic Party) as Syrian "opposition"

"Today, as then, Aleppo is divided between a beleaguered eastern sector controlled by opposition groups and a larger western sector controlled by Assad’s brutal regime."  Which reminds me, how come all the fanatic Zionists of the US are such fanatic supporters of Syrian Jihadi groups and the Syrian "revolution"? Is there a correlation between the two positions?  

It is official: Israel is found innocent of war crime charges...according to Israel

"The Israeli military on Wednesday cleared its forces of wrongdoing in three deadly incidents that occurred during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip, including an airstrike that killed 15 members of one family.  Israel’s investigative process is at the heart of a Palestinian case to press for war-crimes charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The Palestinians say Israel has a poor record of prosecuting wrongdoing in its ranks.  The Israeli military said Wednesday that it had closed a total of seven probes without filing charges after a special team collected testimony from Gaza residents and Israeli officers."

How US government promoted Jihadi terrorism among children of Afghanistan during the Cold War

"The United States spent millions printing textbooks for Afghan children and adults that encouraged violence against non-Muslim “infidels” like Soviet troops, as in this excerpt from a book for Pashto-speaking first graders."

So in a long article about Saudi Arabia in the Times, who comes to the defense of Saudi despotism? The same guy who wants democracy in Syria

"“Americans like to have someone to blame — a person, a political party or country,” said Robert S. Ford, a former United States ambassador to Syria and Algeria. “But it’s a lot more complicated than that. I’d be careful about blaming the Saudis.”  Of course, Ford is a fellow at the Saudi-Hariri-funded Atlantic Council (of course, Saudi funding in Washington comes with no-strings-attached).

"What Orthodox Women Wear to the Beach Is No Different From a Burkini"

"Moshe Sebbag, the rabbi of the Grand Synagogue of Paris, announced this week that he supports the French ban on burkinis, the modest swimwear some Muslim women wear to cover up on the beach. Wearing a burkini, he said, is not “innocent” and it sends a message.  But, we ask Sebbag, what difference exactly is there between the garb Orthodox Jewish women wear to the beach than the burkinis that some Muslim women wear?  And why should one religious group of women be allowed to follow their traditions over another?"

Decades of U.S. policy of propping up pro-U.S. tyrants

"Is Clinton loyalty really so strong that people are going to argue with a straight face that the reason the Saudi, Qatari, Kuwaiti and Emirates regimes donated large amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation is because those regimes simply want to help the foundation achieve its magnanimous goals?" "Was she doing it as a favor in return for those donations, or simply because she has a proven affinity for Gulf State and Arab dictators, or because she was merely continuing decades of U.S. policy of propping up pro-U.S. tyrants in the region?"

"America is the only developed nation that lets drugmakers set their own prices on life-saving medications."

"America is the only developed nation that lets drugmakers set their own prices on life-saving medications."

Saudi media and the North Korean potentate

Do you know that Saudi regime media now refer to the North Korean leader as "dictator"? Those Saudi regime media just can't stomach dictatorships.

Israeli services to homicidal regimes

"Now that the coup has restored Honduras to its rightful position as glorious hub of right-wing extremism, it’s even easier to bring the Israelis in. And current Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández knows it." "Documenting Israel’s “considerable” services to various homicidal Central American outfits through 1983—when Fateful Triangle was first published—Chomsky notes that the particular significance of Israeli assistance to Honduras had to do with Ronald Reagan’s “increasingly visible efforts to foment disorder and strife by supporting the Somozist National Guard based in Honduras in their forays into Nicaragua, where they torture and destroy in the manner in which they were trained by the United States for many years.” According to Chomsky, Argentine neo-Nazis had initially been considered for the role of U.S. proxy in Central America, but the Israelis apparently beat them to it." (thanks Amir)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The dirty hands of Israel

"One of the world’s most evasive digital arms dealers is believed to have been taking advantage of three security vulnerabilities in popular Apple products in its efforts to spy on dissidents and journalists.  Investigators discovered that a company called the NSO Group, an Israeli outfit that sells software that invisibly tracks a target’s mobile phone, was responsible for the intrusions. The NSO Group’s software can read text messages and emails and track calls and contacts. It can even record sounds, collect passwords and trace the whereabouts of the phone user.  In response, Apple on Thursday released a patched version of its mobile software, iOS 9.3.5. Users can get the patch through a normal software update."

Israeli cyber arms dealer

It appears that the company that provided the spyware and the zero-day exploits to the hackers targeting Mansoor is a little-known Israeli surveillance vendor called NSO Group, which Lookout’s vice president of research Mike Murray labeled as “basically a cyber arms dealer.”

Nicholas Kristof: the liberal who wants more US bombing of Syria

"In The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof wrote (in response to the siege of Aleppo, but before the photo went viral): “Many experts recommend trying to ground Syria’s Air Force so it can no longer drop barrel bombs on hospitals and civilians. One oft-heard idea is to fire missiles from outside Syria to crater military runways to make them unusable.”"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Religious police and the secular police

So an armed man in Saudi Arabia is forcing a Muslim woman to cover up, while an armed man in Nice, France is forcing a Muslim woman to uncover herself.  And both speak in the name of some higher (religious ore secular) virtue.  

I will never again say that the world does not care about Gaza

"Rescued Gaza zoo animals move to new sanctuaries" outside of Palestine.  Let the people go Gaza suffer but let the animals live in safe sanctuaries in the West.

An Egyptian who was sentenced in Saudi Arabia for leaking a secret document to Iran

If you read your ruling, the man was also convicted of dabbling in magic.  I am not making this up.

Arabs in America as "low hanging fruit"

"The FBI informant went after a “low hanging fruit” by targeting Hamdan, Weiss said. Weiss said when the informant kept bringing up Hezbollah, Hamdan kept saying: “I am not interested”, and that he could not join even if he wanted to. “The other individual, undaunted, would say, ‘We have connections; we can do things,’” Weiss continued. “Hamdan responded he’s not interested in connections.” The maximum sentence for Hamdan’s offense is eight years. But he agreed with the prosecutor to serve five years and three months, as a part of his plea deal, according to his attorney. He has already spent more than two years in jail, as he was denied bond." (thanks Basim)

What would happen if French police were to remove the covering of an orthodox Jewish woman on a Nice beach?

I think if that were to happen, the laws against anti-Semitism would kick in, and the law would protect the Jewish woman from being forced to remove her covering.  But if a Muslim woman were allowed to use the Nice beach covered in a burkini, the laws against anti-secularism would kick in, and she would be forced to remove her burkini.   

In 1925, French police made sure that women on the beach adhered to the appropriate length of the swimsuit

Repressive secularism: or the day that will live in infamy in the history of Western attitudes toward Islam

There is no picture that captures the crux of Western Islamopohobia like this image from the French beach of Nice.  It is the illustration of Colonial feminism.  It has not generated much uproar in Western societies but it has stirred quite an uproar this morning on Arab social media.  The immediate comparison is being made to the Saudi religious police (the Mutawa`ah): Saudi regime has a religious police and France has a secular police and both apparatuses of the state are being used against Muslim women: either to dress them or to undress them.  Both impose a strict order and dress code on women: either in the name of religious virtue or in the name of liberal secular virtue, but both see the female body as a threat to the moral and political order.  This picture, no matter what will happen next, will serve as convenient tool of recruitment and mobilization by Jihadi groups in the world over--by groups and individuals who preach a civilizational conflict between "the Islam" and "the West".  In the West, it will also serve as a recruitment and mobilization tool by Right-wing fanatical politicians and parties, and that ALWAYS includes French socialists.  Yet again, since the days of the National Front in the 1930s, the ugly face of French socialist colonialism is being uncovered for Arabs and Muslims to see. The remarks of the French prime minister were quite blunt and quite candid.  It is quite telling about the fake invocation of "secularism"--only in the face of Muslims, that the state which never allowed its theoretical adherence to secularism to interfere in its official and declared sensitivity to the Jewish question after WWII (and that is a good thing given the past anti-Semitism of the state and society).  No one can be convinced that this law against the Burkini could be invoked against say a Christian nun or an Orthodox Jewish woman.  There would be world-wide outrage, but conservative Muslim women who are covered have now become a threat to the Western political and moral order--very much the same argument (in reverse) of the fanatical Muslims who want to impose a dress code on women.  But that is what women are for those fanatics on both sides: a body and a sexual object: to be covered or uncovered, that is the question.  No matter what will happen next, the pictures of this scene will live in infamy and no matter what France does or does not do, it can't be erased. This is what it has boiled down to: the repressive powers of the state are used against a Muslim women, in the name of her own liberation.  It is always the Western colonial white man who knows what is best for Muslim women, because she can't speak for herself and because the Western man is on a mission to liberate her--by force, naturally.  At least this morning, Arabs (secularists and religious, leftists and conservative) are in agreement: this is a very ugly face of the French republic.  

By foremost cartoonist of the Arab world

Page Liked · 3 hrsEdited
#Khartoon - Laws - To cover or uncover? Women in France are having their liberties stripped in the name of freedom, while others in the name of religion"

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hummus and Muhammara news

Public Service announcement: 1) All Hummus packaged at Trader Joe's-are Listeria-contaminated Sabra Hummus which should be avoided like the plague; 2) Trader Joe's, even in Modesto, carries a Muhammara dish which is rather delicious.

PS Thanks to Fred Lawson for the tip about the Muhammara.
PPS It is a matter of time before the Israeli occupation state declares Muhammara an Israeli dish, and before Sabra produces a Listeria-contaminated version of it.

"Viggo Mortensen Takes Aim at Israel's 'State Terrorism' "

The actor asserted, "No one in the media seems to have a problem with anyone criticizing Palestinian terrorism, but if anyone dares express any objection to the Israeli government's acts of state terrorism against Palestinian civilians, one is rapidly vilified and censored."...He bemoaned in the interview that not much progress had been made over the past five years since the declaration. "Sadly, very little has changed in terms of the free rein that the government of Israel is given by the U.S. and other influential governments in terms of their handling of the Palestinian question," he said."

The role of U.S. president is to support the decisions made by Israel

"The latest batch of Clinton emails show that then-Secretary of State Clinton was shuffling her schedule to meet with big Clinton Foundation donors who care about Israel. “I’m on shuttle w Avigdor Liberman…. I want to stop by to see hrc tonite for 10 mins,” wrote one of them. When Donald Trump tried to take a “neutral” position on Israel, Hillary Clinton told the leading Israel lobby group AIPAC that he had “no business” being president and she was going to take the relationship with Israel “to the next level.” When Bernie Sanders tried to stake out a neutral position on Israel, Clinton’s catspaw at the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, complained privately, “The Israel stuff is disturbing.” Or as Anne Lewis, Clinton’s political guru who is also a Zionist, said, “The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel.” " (thanks Amir)