Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump as president

Several times a day since the election, I look at Michele and say: I can't believe that Donald Trump is the president. This is like having Peter Griffen of Family Guy (or an unfunny version of him) becoming president.

So which is more violent? Bible or the Qur'an?

"'Violence more common' in Bible than Quran, text analysis reveals: The Old Testament was found to be more than twice as violent as the Quran"

Bahrain executes 3 stateless torture victims

"Bahrain today executed three torture victims following authorization by King Hamad. Sami Mushaima (42), Ali Al-Singace (21) and Abbas Al-Samea (27) were executed this morning by firing squad, the first people executed in Bahrain since July 2010, and the first Bahrainis executed since March 1996." "We have previously recorded the torture allegations of Abbas Al-Samea and Sami Mushaima, two of the three sentenced to death. Al-Samea, a teacher, was at school at the time of the bombing incident. Sami Mushaima is illiterate. Bahraini authorities subjected them to torture and convicted them of plotting and carrying out the attack."

UK links to Bahrain's 'torture prisons'

"Meanwhile, documents obtained by the legal charity Reprieve reveal that officials from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons visited Bahrain and helped prepare for an official inspection of the country’s most notorious police station, where a number of inmates have alleged ill treatment. The inspection of Bahrain’s CID building took place on 24-25 December 2014, leading to a report that ran to only six pages and failed to mention several high-profile allegations of torture."

US-backed Saudi war on Yemen - millions on brink of famine

"The UN says millions of Yemenis need humanitarian aid as the country slides into a catastrophic famine. This report contains disturbing images of starving children."

Zionists are often anti-Semites: How the Israel lobby political exploits and invents charges of anti-Semitism

"In episode two of The Lobby, Israeli embassy agent Shai Masot is seen telling the undercover reporter that complaints of anti-Semitism should be pursued against long-time anti-racism activist and Labour Party member Jackie Walker. “Do not let it go,” Masot says. He encourages similar tactics against others: “Not just her, all of the party.” " (thanks Amir)

Israeli Mossad experts think that Hizbullah members wear Jalabiyyahs: I am not making this up


Hizbullah attends a memorial for Fidel Castro

Leader of Hizbullah parliamentary bloc, Muhammad Ra`ad, gives a tribute to Fidel Castro.

This is it

This is it. I have finally found the best desk chair there is. I want this exact chair in my new office at school. Look how comfortable it looks. And I am always on the look out for the most comfortable chair.

How Fake News started in the Middle East media: it began with--you guessed it--Israel

In the Syrian war, it has been coming by both sides to invent stories.  But the first time I can remember when fake news were invented was by the dumb Israeli Mossad.  When Israel began its terrorist assault on Lebanon in July 2006, they leaked through a "friendly" sleazy Saudi "news" site, Elaph, among other sources a fake story claiming to be Reuters that suggested that Lebanese mega star, Haifa Wehbe, had criticized Hasan Nasrallah.  Saudi regime media ran with the story but it took only a few days for Haifa to come out and expose the story as a lie.  Since then, regimes have resorted to this kind of fake quotations and citations.  

Fake News in Bahraini regime media

Look at this story.  It cites a Russian paper which cites a Russian intelligence official claiming that Trump has asked British intelligence to "end the services of Sistani", implying that he was their agent.  Something is funny about the Bahraini royal family accusing someone of being an agent for British intelligence--as much as I detest Sistani.

Finally, Kenneth Roth reveals his role model: it is Ronald Reagan

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
At Reykjavik, Reagan stood up to Soviet autocracy. If Trumps meets Putin there, will it just be more adulation?

Saudi Embassy manages the Twitter account of Syrian Coalition

"Qorvis-MSLGROUP’s latest disclosure reveals that the firm has suggested story ideas to The Weekly Standard and NPR, and pitched other interviews on behalf of the Saudi government.  The disclosure also shows that the Saudi Embassy, through Qorvis-MSLGROUP, manages the Twitter account @SyrCoalition, which is touted as the “official” voice of the Syrian opposition to Bashar al-Assad."

PS Sorry. This is an old one form 2014.

Watch how the family of the Palestinian who ran over Israeli terrorist soldiers faced an Israeli TV reporter

Watch the courage of the Palestinian family of the Palestinian man who ran over Israeli terrorist soldiers.  

Joseph Massad's Islam in Liberalism reviewed

Read here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ben Hubbard and Arab media: learning through Zionist eyes

So he wrote this piece about Arab media: nothing original,  just that media are split between two rival camps but:
1) He does not say that Qatari regime and Saudi regime media dominate more than 95% of Arab media, while Iran and Syria control the rest--to varying degrees (for example, he does not mention that Al-Mayadin--which he calls "pro-Iranian" is more pro-Syrian regime as it is not run religiously.  Minor point? Not really if you are writing about the media.
2) He relishes bringing in his pro-Israeli passion: "Once, after militants in Gaza fired a volley of rockets at Israel, I called a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad group to ask who was “responsible” for the attack." Do you think he ever calls Israeli government "after it fires a volley or rockets on Syria or West Bank or Gaza?
3) This is how he defines Hizbullah's mission: "Hezbollah and other groups committed to the destruction of Israel". But Mr. Hubbard does not explain why Hizbullah emerged after the Israeli invasion of 1982, which killed more than 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians and Syrians--mostly civilians. The date of emergence must have been a pure coincidence.
4) He leaves out from his tally the number of Arabic language propaganda media belonging to Israel, US, EU, and even Israel.  
5) As he concludes the article, he talks to two "objective" experts on Arab media. One is a professor of Arabic at Brown.  Fair enough.  The second, however, works for Al-Arabiyya TV, the same channel which he had earlier told us is a propaganda channel for Saudi regime.  Can you imagine if he were to speak to "an expert" on Arab media at...Al-Manar TV?  
6) I left the article learning about Zionist reading of Arab media what I knew not before.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Where was Islam?

Wait: Human Rights Watch released this statement about Jordanian regime's mass arrests against reform advocates

The statement says: "HRW condemns the Syrian regime of Bashshar Al-Asad".

Some wealthy Arabs are too cool to take their shoes off in mosques these days

Why is the Jordanian regime nervous?

Apparently, the reform advocates in Jordan were focusing in their campaign against corruption on the husband of Prince Basma (sister of King Khusayn--as Shimon Peres called him).  This explains the rush by the Jordanian government to ban any criticisms of government on social media because the talk focused on this guy.

William Polk (formerly ME professor at Harvard and Chicago) on his recent visit to Saudi Arabia

In the rest of his email letter about his trip to Saudi Arabai, professor Polk gushes about the hospitality of the King and his sons. They even flew him in a private jet. How nice is that?  

Repression by Iranian clerical regime

"Two women have been arrested for breaking “revolutionary norms and values” after being filmed riding a motorbike in IranOfficials in the city of Dezful said they had “exploited the opportunity” presented by a lack of police in a national park to commit an “obscene act” worsened by the spread of footage online.Colonel Ali Elhami, a local police commander, told the state-controlled IRNA news agency the women “committed an action against revolutionary norms and values by riding a motorcycle”."  You can't pretend you are against repression of women in Iran and not be against repression of women in Saudi Arabia--and vice versa.

John Kerry's speech on Arab-Israeli conflict

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "John Kerry's Speech: Declaring Israel as an Observer Member in the Arab League".

Saudi regime blackmails Lebanon

Saudi regime promised to the visiting Lebanese presidential delegation that they would release $400 million in military aid if Lebanon silences criticisms of Saudi Arabia in Lebanese media (i.e. in one newspaper only, Al-Akhbar).

When Kenneth Roth talks about Russia and Syrian regime he says "slaughter"--but not about US allies

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Another Saudi-led airstrike hits near a Yemen school, killing five including two children.

So When did Charles Lister discover that Nour Ad-Din Zengi is not a "moderate" Syrian rebel group?

The history.

Cory Booker

"Meet Cory Booker's Top Donor: A Right-Wing, Islamophobic, Pro-Israel Outfit That Backs Trump’s Extremist Agenda".  And yet, idiotic Muslims in New Jersey were recently honoring this Booker guy.

Qatari regime media and Lindsay Lohan

They are obsessed with her and they are on the edge of their seats hoping that she would convert to Islam.

The propaganda of Martin Chulov: FAKE NEWS Propaganda in the Guardian newspaper

And here I used to recommend the Guardian newspaper as an alternative to US media after Sep. 11.  Now the Guardian has become indistinguishable from the New York Times and Washington Post in its propaganda coverage of Syria.  This story is--simply put--made up.  As you all know, Syrian rebels regularly, if not daily, produce fake news and spread them throughout  social media and they are often carried in Gulf regime media, which in turn inspire Western media to reproduce them citing the authority of Qatari regime or Saudi regime media.  This story is made up by Ahrar Ash-Sham.  And you will see in dispatches by Western correspondents in Beirut, like Chulov, a reference such as this: "said one senior Lebanese leader".  Lebanon is deeply divided between two camps: one camp is led by HIzbullah and the other is led by the Saudi embassy in Beirut.  To which camp do you think this Lebanese "leader" belongs to?  And they cite "a Lebanese leader" as if any of the Lebanese leaders are independent and neutral about the war in Syria.  This is like citing "a US leader" in a story about Israel.

The battle for human rights worldwide: a priority

The battle for human rights worldwide should now include as a priority a campaign against fraudulent Western human rights organizations, like HRW, for its services to the agendas of Western governments.  

This is how Human Rights Watch whitewashes crimes and repression in Jordan

Can you imagine HRW including in its report on Syria what the regime "promises" about reform and human rights?  Or about Cuba?  "In March 2016, under King Abdullah’s instructions, Jordanian authorities also presented the Comprehensive National Human Rights Plan, a 10-year initiative that calls for changes to numerous laws, policies, and practices. It includes positive changes, such as a commitment to allow suspects the right to a lawyer at the time of arrest and to move jurisdiction over crimes of torture and ill-treatment from the police court to regular courts."

Finally, an Iranian cleric that the West can do business with

"All of the candidates you hear about who could replace Khamenei are much more hardline and have more radical views," said Mehdi Khalaji, a former seminarian from Qom who is a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy." (thanks Basim)

Let us see if Kerry and Obama will speak out against this repression in Saudi Arabia: Sudanese arrested for posting

Don't you like it when Human Rights Watch hand liberal media express concern and worries that Trump may be bad for human rights worldwide as if Obama was ever in his 8 years good about human rights (other in countries which oppose the US).  "Two Sudanese men have been arrested in Saudi Arabia after posting their support for protests in their home country on Facebook, amid signs that ties between the two states are growing stronger following years of tension."

Try to find this in Western media: Mass arrests against reform advocates in Jordan--Western human rights orgs silent

Western human rights organizations and media are all silent about what is happening in Jordan. There was a campaign of mass arrest against opposition and reform advocates after a campaign against corruption spread and calls for publicizing names of corrupt individuals were posted.  Some of those arrested were former military and intelligence people and former MPs.  How could you expect Western human rights organizations to care when you have director of Human Rights Watch posting praise for Jordanian official, Prince Zeid bin Ra`ad, who was appointed in his UN post by the Israeli ambassador at UN.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Charles Lister explains why he was wrong about the Nur Ad-Din Zingi Syrian rebel group

When asked by Max Blumenthal in a public form at the Hariri-Saudi-funded Atlantic Council, Lister explains: yes, he did label the Zingi group as "moderate" and now he thinks that they are not moderate and that they are "disgusting". But the explanation is that the group changed: it was a moderate and secular and feminist and democratic group but something happened to it and changed.  This is like when Saudi royals say that Bin Laden was a very nice guy but that he was corrupted by Ayman Adh-Dhawahiri, or when Western correspondents in Beirut say that the Syrian rebels were all secular and moderate and feminist but that when the regime shot at demonstrators they grew beard the next day and became Jihadis.  

William Polk and the House of Saud

Former Middle East studies professor at Harvard and Chicago (and US government official), William Polk, is still alive.  He recently received an invitation to visit Saudi Arabia from his friend, Sultan bin Salman, who he met in southern France.  So Polk visited the Kingdom and came back with a glowing report which he circulated to some of his friends.  One of them published in a Saudi newspaper.  Don't you like experts on the Middle East when they praise the Saudi kingdom? I am sure it is based on "shared principles" and "love of knowledge".

Adam Shatz and the conventional wisdom about Obama

1) this is not true: "The Arab Spring stirred hopes of reversing this bleak trend, and Mr. Obama initially gambled on its success, defying old allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel and expressing support for pro-democracy movements in Egypt and Tunisia."  Obama clearly favored the pro-US dictatorship and even tried hard to arrange that they stay in power and allowed them to use force to stay but when it became impossible for them to stay, he pretended that he was for democracy.  If anything, Obama was a leader of the counter-revolution movement from day one.
2) Shatz faults Obama because he did not fight a bigger war in Syria. If he did, he would have been declared a man of peace by Shatz.

How Syria is covered in Western media

So Western governments and even Western human rights organizations fund organizations in developing countries and then cite their reports as reliable information by natives.  "The report from the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) found that Syrian regime helicopters dropped 12,958 barrel bombs in 2016 in total. The strikes resulted in the deaths of 653 civilians, SNHR found, including 166 children and 86 women. "

Notice: This guy never uses the word "slaughter" about US and its allies--but uses it daily about Syria and Russia

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
It's not just the Saudis. United Arab Emirates bombers also use Western weapons to kill Yemeni civilians.

Zionist US media are allowed to cover Palestinian protests

But only if they are not against Israel. Daily protests and complaints by Palestinians are ignored but if one protest or demonstration is held against Hamas it is widely covered in the New York Times. Of course, the crisis should be first blamed on Israeli occupation and second on Hamas government.  The size of the demonstration is inflated. 

Al-Ahram's Headline: US gets ready to Confront Muslim Brotherhood

Corruption in Israel

So this Israeli writes in the New York Times to tell you that corruption and rape among politicians in Israel is not a big deal because Israelis do things differently and are cute about it.  Just remember how US media came to Rabin's defense when he opened a secret bank account (against the law in the occupation state).

The Kerry tape: U.S., rather than fighting ISIS, used jihadists to pressure Assad

"Kerry and his associates said we and the Saudis and Qatar and Turkey had provided huge amounts of aid to the rebels, who unfortunately were sort of aligned with extremists." "Combine this with the wikileaks revelation that the US State Department and Hillary Clinton knew our Arab allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar were giving ISIS “clandestine financial and logistic support” as it swept across Iraq and Syria in 2014, and you have the anti-interventionist view of America’s role in the Syrian war all nicely set out by John Kerry and someone in the State Department: We and our Arab allies supplied weapons. This caused the violence to escalate.  The good rebels “kind of” work with extremists, who get direct funding from our Arab allies. We thought the rise of ISIS would prove useful in pressuring Assad, but Putin intervened not because Russia wants to bomb civilians but because of the rise of ISIS."

First week of 2017: Israel demolishes homes of 151 Palestinians

"The number of Palestinian buildings demolished in the first week of January 2017 is almost four times as high as the weekly average for 2016: 20 structures. In 2015, the average was 10 structures a week, according to the records of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In Area C, which is under full Israeli civil and security control, between Monday and Thursday the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration demolished 65 structures in Palestinian communities, and seven rainwater cisterns. The Jerusalem Municipality demolished another two homes in East Jerusalem. Some 151 people, including 90 children, lived in the buildings that were demolished." (thanks Amir)

I don't like flags and I don't like nationalisms but...

for Palestine and the Palestinians anything and everything.