Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"I got the distinct sense from reading Lake’s piece that Giuliani’s campaign is simply seeking some distance, albeit artificial, from its controversial advisors. For example, Podhoretz told the Sun, “I have told a million people that I don’t speak for Giuliani. I express my views mainly through email communications to the foreign policy team. Rudy is free to accept or reject them.” In other words, he advises the campaign. As to Pipes, I contacted him in late August and asked him if he was advising Giuliani’s campaign, as a source had told me. He denied it and so I left him off my original list of Giuliani advisors. The next day Pipes emailed again to say that he had, just that day, joined the Giuliani campaign, which is when I wrote a follow-up item saying so."
"As political scientist Asad AbuKhalil, the self–described ‘angry Arab’ currently serving as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, puts it, such analysis “absolves the Bush administration, any administration, from any responsibility because they become portrayed as helpless victims of an all–powerful lobby.” Similarly, Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad—who regularly endures attacks by the Israel Lobby for his defense of Palestinian rights—contends that the attraction of Mearsheimer and Walt’s argument is that “it exonerates the United States government from all the responsibility and guilt that it deserves for its policies in the Arab world.”"
Why should I be mad at the US for the insignificance of the anti-war movement when there is no voice for the anti-war movement in the Arab world. To be fair, I have to be angry at both: the US and the Arab world. But in fairness, I can easily agitate the Arab/Muslim masses if I dangle Danish cartoons before their eyes, and I can easily agitate American public opinion if I...increase their taxes.
Martin Indyk: anchorperson on Al-Jazeera. "THE Brookings Institution announced yesterday that it will open its centre for public policy research and current affairs programming in Qatar, in February 2008. The centre, a project of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, will be the first Brookings facility in the Muslim world. According to a spokesman, the centre will undertake research on socio-economic and geopolitical issues facing the Muslim world as well as encouraging more understanding between US and Muslim policy-makers." Don't be surprised if the Qatari government, always eager to please and appease the US, appoints Indyk as the main anchorperson on Al-Jazeera.
Muhammad Qabbani (a Lebanese MP) is an ex-Leftist. He was a leading figure in the Beirut council of the Lebanese National Movement during the war. Listen to him now writing on the anniversary of Rafiq Hariri's birthday: "Before he was a prime minister and leader, Rafiq Hairir was a courageous knight, and a human being with refined sentiments. And knighthood in my conviction is the most important characteristic of manhood. On November 1st 1944, the Hariri family received the gift of a child, and a knight was born in Lebanon." Do you know understand why I am an Angry Arab??? Do you? Answer me, damn it.
Syrian singer, George Wassuf, in jail. (And Raghib `Alamah and `Ali Ad-Dik are free?)
Karen Hughes resigned. Look. She did what she could to win hearts, minds, and livers in the Muslim world. She even wore a Persian carpet on her head on the belief that women in the region wear Persian carpet on their heads. She even received adequate briefings on shoes in Arab culture, and she made sure that she never threw shoes at the face of Arabs because they--unlike people in Western cultures--take strong offense.
"Palestinian refugees in Lebanon face discrimination in employment and a lack of access to adequate education and housing. A new Amnesty International report: Exiled and Suffering: Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, examines the wide range of restrictions that continue to impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees."
A critique of my article on Muhsin Ibrahim.
Monitor of Labor Activities in Egypt. (thanks John)
From mini-Hariri's press conference yesterday (He was talking about a Syrian assassination plot against his gifted person): "Q: “Do you have proof?

A: “Things are very clear and do not require proof." (thanks Nicholas)
"The French first lady, the one in a role where wives traditionally ignored and overlooked their husbands’ peccadilloes for the greater gain of keeping their marriages intact and running the Élysée Palace, has fled her gilded perch, acting all-American and brimming over with feelings and feminist impulses." Oh, yeah o New York Times columnist. You thought that US taught France about feminism? It is the other way round, o esteemed columnist.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"The ritual of chopping off heads was graphically described by an Irish witness to a triple execution in Jeddah in 1997. "Standing to the left of the first prisoner, and a little behind him, the executioner focused on his quarry ... I watched as the sword was being drawn back with the right hand. A one-handed back swing of a golf club came to mind ... the down-swing begins ... the blade met the neck and cut through it like ... a heavy cleaver cutting through a melon ... a crisp moist smack. The head fell and rolled a little. The torso slumped neatly. I see now why they tied wrists to feet ... the brain had no time to tell the heart to stop, and the final beat bumped a gush of blood out of the headless torso on to the plinth." And you can bet they won't be talking about this at Buckingham Palace today." (thanks As`ad--not me).
"When I was at Harvard, a very close friend lost someone to the violence in Israel. I felt so helpless watching her pain. I really wanted to do something, but I didn’t know where to begin. Coming from Israel, I know how polarized that part of the world scene in a can be. I had always really admired Queen Rania of Jordan. She’s the most high-profile Palestinian woman in the Middle East, and she’s so compassionate and smart. I realize that not everyone can do this, but I picked up the phone that very day to track her down and ask her for advice. I was able to meet her later, and she talked to me about the “hope gap.”"
""He was shrewd and pleasant and surprisingly frank, and at 82 still as sharp-minded as ever."" (thanks John)
"Sudanese troops used force in an effort to relocate hundreds of homeless Darfur families, loading their possessions on to lorries and surrounding them with machine guns mounted on pick-up trucks late on Sunday evening, UN humanitarian officials said yesterday."
It is a University, alright. The horrific Saudi Minister of Interior has his own university. I kid you not. It is called Nayif Arab University for Security Sciences. It offers degrees in electrocution of genitals, removal of nails, flogging, stoning of women, whipping based on Hanbalite penal measures, and it also gives graduate degrees in beheading.
This is how Arab liberal columnist, Hazim Saghiyyah, refers to Israeli attacks on Gaza: "The Israelis were in the meanwhile responding to a military operation that targeted them in Gaza..." This was published in the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al-Liberal Saud.
Al-Akhbar referred to protests against King `Abdullah on the front page.
In the Democratic presidential debate today, Sen. Clinton referred to her experience as "an activist." An activist? Was that when she sat on the board of Wallmart? An activist my...potato.
Language skills of mini-Hariri. The linguistic skills of mini-Hariri were in full display today in Cairo. He invoked the Egyptian colloquial word "da" (this). How impressive. He now lists Egyptian as one of the languages he masters (just as Walid Phares lists "Lebanese" as one of the languages he knows).
Jumblat on US election. So Walid Jumblat gave an interview to AlJazeera. This leader of the sovereignty movement in Lebanon, and who called for the use of car bombs in his talk at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that Dennis Ross "will" be appointed Secretary of State if Hillary Clinton is elected president. These little Lebanese leaders, get invited to Washington, to be used and misused and used again, think that by serving as small tools of empire they have been elevated to partners in policy making in Washington, DC. People like Jumblat think that they have become US politicians: today he was surprised that he was not on the stage with the Democratic candidates (although he is a Republican in passion). He does not know what we all know: that it does not take much for an Arab to be invited to DC and to meet with US senators, and to be given the dubious honor of addressing the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. An Arab baboon who attacks the enemies of the US, and who refrains from criticizing Israel will be immediately invited to Washington, DC and a meeting with Steven (or Steve as Jumblat calls him) Hadley would be arranged.
Do you know that the toes (remember the famous breaking news story when comatose Ariel Sharon moved his toe?) and prostates of Israeli prime ministers receive more coverage in the US and Saudi media than the thousands of Palestinians who are killed and injured regularly by Israeli gunfire?
"[Israeli] Police Commissioner David Cohen announced Tuesday afternoon he would appoint a committee of inquiry to investigate a western Galilee clash between police and Druze residents, which left 40 people injured."
""When I met President Bush I told him directly that some of your policies concerned, I have some reservations. But as a person, I love you. I mention like that."" (thanks Amina)

"That same Pew survey found that only 25 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of their nation. That 40-point gap between private and public happiness is the fourth-largest gap in the world — behind only Israel, Mexico and Brazil."
""The only way to turn off the anti-U.S. war machine is to end the radical Shiite revolution against the Sunni Muslim world and the West."" (thanks Niki)
""We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain but unfortunately no action was taken. And it may have been able maybe to avert the tragedy." His claims were denied outright by the Foreign Office and domestic security service MI5 and criticised by newspapers including The Independent, which demanded: "How dare this king give us a lecture on terrorism?""

Monday, October 29, 2007

"For one thing, there isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination. The term came into vogue only because it was a way for Iraq hawks to gloss over the awkward transition from pursuing Osama bin Laden, who attacked America, to Saddam Hussein, who didn’t."
The official Jumblat's translation of his speech before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy omitted his reference to being "honored" to speak at this "prestigious" institute.
In a week, they will accuse them of terrorism. "The laborers ignored the threat of deportation and refused to go to work, staging protests at a labor camp in Dubai's Jebel Ali Industrial Zone and on a construction site in Al Qusais residential neighborhood. They demanded pay increases, improved housing and better transportation services to construction sites. On Saturday, workers threw stones at the riot police and damaged to police cars. Emirates' Minister of Labor Ali bin Abdullah al-Kaabi described workers' behavior as "uncivilized," saying they were tampering with national security and endangering residents' safety."
The other side of Dubai. "Labour permits of hundreds of workers, including many Indians, involved in Saturday's violent protest outside the Jebel Ali Labour Camp have been cancelled and a life ban put on their entry to the UAE."
As-Safir reports that Hizbullah and Amal boycotted the Lebanese Communist Party rally. It was too secular for them?
You will not read this in your newspapers. Israeli violated Lebanese sovereignty 366 times in less than 4 months.
Kooky Takfiri clerics continue their campaigns against Egyptian poet, Hilmi Salim.
Please write your own captions. (AP)
Lebanese Communist Party celebrates its anniversary.
For purely sectarian reasons, Saudi media are now rehabilitating Saddam's propagandists and henchmen. They hosted (in two episodes) a lousy Iraqi poet, `Abbas Jijan, who specialized in writing fawning and praise poetry of Saddam and his family--although lately he also praised other leaders, like Shaykh Zayid. And when it became fashionable, he wrote a poem against Saddam, yet he wrote a poem in praise of Saddam when he was executed.
The Voice of Arabic. I woke up and wanted to watch the news. I split my screen between Aljazeera (Arabic) and Al-Arabiya TV. AlJazeera started the news cast with yet another Israeli invasion in the West Bank in which a child and a disabled Palestinian, among others, were killed. They covered it well, and interviewed people on the ground. Al-Arabiya TV started the newscast with a round up and left the Palestinian story to the very end, and it said that Palestinians died "in clashes." The newscast then opened with a story that I tried to no avail to find on the Fox News' site. In fact, I could not find it elsewhere. It said that Iran was threatening suicide attacks in the Gulf, and went on to report on Iranian threats. After an extensive story, the newscast covered Iraq. It reported in passing the news of bombings (the Hariri anchorperson, Najwa Qasim, added proudly that the bombings were not in Baghdad--as if victims outside of Baghdad don't count). It immediately followed that story--and this has been the trend on this lousy network--with a happy, good news story from Iraq. It reported that the Iraqi puppet Ministry of Tourism is ready to welcome tourists to the Hubbaniyya Lake area. I kid you not. It was like theater of the absurd. It then reported about other stories, and more than 25 minutes after the beginning of the newscast, it reported on the Israeli killing with the headline: "Israeli forces withdraw...." There was no report on the ground and no interviews on the scene. Instead, we were treated with a report on the prostate of Olmert.
"Backing an Iraqi Leader Again, This Time for a Fee". Notice that there is also a name of a Lebanese party (Fu'ad Makhzumi's little party, a member of March 8) (thanks Amina)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Saudi king's state visit to Britain faces protests and boycotts" (although the New York Times has just declared him a non-corrupt reformer). This news item will be censored from all Arab media--I better see it in Al-Akhbar and As-Safir. But one prince explains that this is an old bribe after all: "Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi ambassador to Britain, insisted his government had nothing to say on the BAE affair. "This is a British controversy," he told reporters. "The future of our relationship will not be held hostage because of an issue that happened a long time ago.""
"If the French Terror had a slogan, it was that attributed to the great orator Louis de Saint-Just: “No liberty for the enemies of liberty.” Saint-Just’s pithy phrase (like President Bush’s variant, “We must not let foreign enemies use the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself”) could serve as the very antithesis of the Western liberal tradition." (thanks Abdirahman)
A critique of my article on Muhsin Ibrahim.
This passes as a debate in Saudi media. The able (but misguided) Shadha `Amr hosted a discussion on US attack on Iran on her show, Al-Hadath on LBC-TV. To represent the Arab view, she invited Husayn Shubukji (a House of Saud propagandist--in fact, is he not one of those who cheered for Bin Laden when under orders, and then transformed into a Wahhabi liberal under orders too?) who said that "reliable" reports confirm that an attack on Iran will come in a few months--he said it smiling. To represent the Iranian point of view, an Iranian living in London was invited. He spent much of his time praising the Hariri family and the House of Saud, and even went on in praise of King Fahd. He also blamed the Arabs for Israeli wars on them. `Azmi Bisharah was the voice of reason. He was very good and effective, although he looked frustrated--you can't blame him. He criticized all Arab regimes, and described Iranian foreign policy as "opportunistic" but added: "But US foreign policy is colonialist."
Nahr Al-Barid Update from Angry Sister. My sister Mirvat (who does not like my red shirt--see below), sent me this (I did not edit or change):
"The letter your received is so mild compared to what I saw.....I am really so ashamed to be Lebanese...
Displaced families from Bared are still occupying classrooms in UNRWA school in Baddawi (An-Nasra School), open spaces, uncompleted constuctions, courtyards. No water except UNRWA reservoirs. Showers and WCs are shared by men and women. NGOs are no longer as active as before in relief as they used to be during the onset of the events. Sewage are all around, sick people are looking for treatment. There are still medicines remaining from AUB team. Hariri is still offering on a daily basis one meal: rice and yogurt, for him this is what the Palestinian people deserve!! The pride Palestinian are throwing the food away, let him know that nobody needs his rice and yogurt!!! When it rained many who were living in rather open spaces got their living area flooded. No winter clothes, no blankets, nothing..The school is expected to open soon to students from both camps Baddawi and Bared (around 9,000 students: elementary, intermediate and secondary). There will be three shifts: from 7.00 am till 7.00pm. For girls in the third shift, they will not be able to go back to Bared as the military checkpoint closes at 8.00 pm). No way that the families will be able to go back to Bared soon (today there were almost 1000 families back in what is known the "new camp"). UNRWA is expected to use prefabricated houses, rent apartments as schools..
This is the real tragedy..On my way to the camp, Safa'a, a young children's animator from Bared was telling me about how rude and humilating the Lebanese military were with them on the checkpoint on the entrance of the camp. Did you ever heard of women being searched and having their sanitary pads removed..Well today I have heard about it, this has been carried out on a daily basis, with Bared inhabitants..She continued telling me that the Shiites military were the nicest, they would not search them. Druze were very mean, but the worse were the Sunnites..On Friday there was a wedding (the first one in Bared after theri return, yes it happens that Palestinian love life too), a young shiite military came and presented a bouquet to the couple..Everybdoy was moved: it is so unheard of nowadays. We entered the new camp (the only accessible one): Zone B. If you enter the Zone B, you are not allowed to enter the other zones: A, C, D and E. You feel immediately as if you were entering an occupied territory: you are suspect until you prove your innocence. You have to wait for at least half an hour before they will let you in (although we had an authorization from a health organzation)..
Media are NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER.. If they succeed to enter, their article or other will be later on subject to control and censorship by the army.. All houses were set on fires. Even the house of Marwan Abdel-Al [the lousy PFLP leader in Lebanon who shut his big mouth during the entire ordeal in Nahr Al-Bard and who was coopted by Fath gang in Lebanon--this sentence is written by Angry Arab and not by his sister] that happened to be located on the outer boundary of the camp that was occupied by the Army the second day of war, was set on fire after two weeks from the date of the end of the war. No water, no electricity..There is one generator s distributing electricity five hours a day in the evening. At the bridge built by the Bared refugees recently as they have no access to the original bridge (the army, always the patriotic Lebanese army) next to Bared river, we could see a checkpoint for the army that was a landmark separating the old camp from the new one. You could see the military occupying skeletons of houses listening to very loud music to Hani Shaker celebrating their victory over the Palestinian refugees..On the wall we saw obsene sentences insulting the Palestinian people as if they did not deserve to live, not only in Lebanon, but on this planet.. But children were happy playing on the sandy roads and rubbles. NEITHER A SINGLE NGO NOR A COMPANY (NOT EVEN UNRWA) tried to clean the mountains of rubbles..It is being done by the Palestinian themselves with their friends the volunteers..Abu Jaber told me that they kept them as such expecting that people would go back to Baddawi after seeing earthquakes that destroyed their camp. But Bared refugees, knew more than anybody else that they have no alternative but to come back, even on rubbles..The burned house of Marwan has been rehabilitated to accomodate a sort of clinic and pharmacy since health is the priority for people in spite of the black houses.. The military would not leave a house or place without robbing it and then burn it.. Many families checked their houses before bringing their families, but when they were back, they found them black and empty (although they were not as such the first time they saw it. People are planning to come back gradually (tomorrow some 100 families are planning to go back to bared) without caring about the provocative attitude of the military..
I will have the pictures and the film in the coming days..MEDIA IS SO IMPORTANT..Every body should know about the plight of the Palestinian refugees of Nahr El-Bared
Stay tuned."
The Arab internet war. This pro-Hariri site is hacked, and this anti-Hariri site is also hacked.
You have to read this movie review. Notice that the NYT guards the interests of Zionist aggression in every section in the paper, including in the movie and dining sections.
"Often the reasoning in this book is downright perverse. For instance Mr. Podhoretz contends that the continuing violence in Iraq is actually “a tribute to the enormous strides that had been made in democratizing and unifying the country under a workable federal system.”
"“All I can say is that it was used in the Spanish Inquisition, it was used in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia, and there are reports that it is being used against Buddhist monks today,” Mr. McCain, who spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, said in a telephone interview. Of presidential candidates like Mr. Giuliani, who say that they are unsure whether waterboarding is torture, Mr. McCain said: “They should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture.”"
Breast cancer, Saudi media, and Laura Bush. Instead of interviewing an Arab scientist who can speak in Arabic--and there are Arab scientists and physicians who are females--Saudi media don't know that--, Al-Arabiya TV (the official propaganda outlet of the Bush administration after the demise of Al-Hurra TV) hosted Laura Bush for half an hour to talk about breast cancer. It was the most informative 30 minutes of TV you can ever watch. She was asked such probing questions as: Tell us. Why is breast cancer bad? But I don't mean to mock that interview. I learned. I mean, after watching the interview, Laura Bush informed me that breast cancer is "bad." All these years, I was under the impression that breast cancer is good.
People have noticed that AlJazeera is far less critical of Arab regimes as of late. Its daring show, Al-Ittijah Al-Mu`akis, is now focusing almost exclusively on the US and not on affairs inside Arab countries. The fruits of the Saudi-Qatari understanding. I am suffering.
I heard the word "refugees" so I thought that AlArabiya TV is finally airing a report on the horrific conditions of Palestinian refugees who were displaced from the refugee camp in Nahr Al-Barid. It turned out the report was about Tom Hanks and his friends who were displaced in the Malibu fires. I kid you not.
This is how the NYT identifies a White supremacist: "Dr. Watson, who has long had a reputation for challenging scientific orthodoxy and for sometimes incendiary off-the-cuff remarks..."
This article by Thananassi Cambanis in the NYT about Saudi Arabia so propagandistic that it can easily be included in Saudi propaganda brochures. Cambanis does not know that there are Saudi critics and dissidents. In the US press, their idea of Saudi criticisms is a quotation from the a House of Saud journalist--Jamal Khashuqji (a former Bin Ladenite turned Wahhabi "liberal"), who works for Prince Khalid Al-Faysal (before working for Prince Turki Al-Faysal). If such a propaganda article were to appear about Iran or Syria, there would certainly be a congressional and FCC investigation.
I have received this letter (the author permitted me to quote and to use her name):
"Dear Asaad,
I'm not entirely sure why I'm sending this to you but I read your blog all the time and I feel the urge to share this with you. I am a business senior at AUB; yesterday I went to Nahr el Bared with a group of 11 AUB students. We teamed up with an NGO called... (they got us the security clearance we needed to get in to the camp) and we had a small clean-up campaign for the houses that were not completely dilapidated--there were very little of these. I was infuriated with what I saw in Nahr el Bared, so much that I decided to write Siniora a letter. Could you check it out? It would mean a lot.

Dear Mr. Siniora,
write to you as a Lebanese citizen with pressing concerns. Today, on the 27th of October 2007, I, along with a group of ten AUB students, made the journey north to Nahr el Bared. We went there with the purpose of carrying out a clean-up campaign for the homes of returning refugees. What we found in the homes made our heads spin.
The houses we worked in were located in the so-called new camp. They were mostly villas with three or more bedrooms. Evidently, they were spaces that not so long ago housed large families. We found on the floors tiny Reebok shoes and dolls and toys. We found gardens and we found orange trees. But the little reebok shoes were torn and weathered, the dolls had disembodied heads and limbs, the gardens were not green and the orange trees did not bear oranges. We found mountains of rubble where there should have been refrigerators. We found harrowingly blank spaces, Mr. Siniora, where there should have been stoves, tables, beds and sofas. We found that the walls of the children rooms were covered with anti-Palestinian slurs and imprecations so vile that I cannot reproduce them on paper. When we were at the gates of the camp, we were told that cameras would not be allowed into the camp and we were searched scrupulously for them. I did not understand why this was at first, but now I do, because now I am feeling disillusioned and angry and I know that had the rest of the world seen the images that my peers and I saw today, the rest of the world would feel disillusioned and angry, too.
Mr. Siniora, I would like to know why it is that mass looting and mass vandalism has been allowed to take place under the nose of an army that the country has for the last four months uniformly rallied behind. I would like to know this because I was one of the hundreds of thousands who stood on Martyr’s square on the 14th of March 2005 calling for a sovereign, democratic Lebanon. I was one of the hundreds of thousands who demanded democracy, and democracy as I know it means that all those that are under the rule of government be treated equally and fairly. What my peers and I have witnessed today defeats that very notion. The Palestinians of Nahr el Bared--that we who claim to be democratic have the responsibility to protect--have been stripped of their wealth and, more importantly, their dignity for something that they were never responsible for. And you, Mr. Siniora, were the first to say this. What happened to the Palestinian-Lebanese brotherhood that you championed in your letter to the Palestinian community on the first week of the Nahr El Bared impasse? What happened to democracy? I did not see any of it today and I am deeply disheartened because I truly believed we would become a democracy on the 14th of March, 2005 when a nation was supposed to have been born. The beyond palpable opression of the Palestinian community in Nahr el Bared has been perpetuated in my name as a Lebanese citizen and that is what distresses me the most
Mr. Siniora, this is not an attack on the government or on the army. To me, the war in Nahr el Bared is a nebulous haze; its onset, its protracted ending and everything in between raises many questions in my head and I will not broach the topic. What I know is what I saw today and it has disturbed me beyond belief. Thus, I ask you, as a citizen asking a public servant, to look into the current treatment of refugees and end the oppression in Nahr el Bared. I ask that you bring to us the democracy that you have promised us.
Tamara Keblaoui"

"Other sources of advice have been former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross..." This is like asking Pat Robertson for advice on feminism.
Jimmy Carter: a candidate for the Nobel Prize in moral and political cowardice. So I was listening to a Washington Post interview with Carter on one XM station. He was asked about the book by Mershheimer and Walt. He said that he never read the article or the book. He was then asked to comment about the argument: the interviewer told him that the book claimed that the Israeli lobby has a great and sometimes nefarious influence over US foreign policy, and asked him to comment. Carter said that he can't comment on that and that he has no knowledge of the Israeli lobby. I kid you not.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"He added that the image had been collected as part of the company’s agenda of building a large archive of global images." OK. I believe him. I also like the phrase "large archive of global images." I wish he would send me a global image of a potato.
"Horowitz is probably the best organizer the left has these days." (thanks Mahmoud)
Arab Regimes and the Palestine Problem. I always tell this story. It is so symptomatic. "...and Musa Alami, having sized up the local situation, set off in February 1948 on a tour of the Arab capitals in order to discover how much help the brethren were really likely to give...His first stop, in Damascus, gave him a foretaste of what he was to find everywhere. 'I am happy to tell you', the Syrian president assured him, "that our Army and its equipment are of the highest order and well able to deal with a few Jews; and I can tell you in confidence that we even have an atomic bomb'; and seeing Musa's expression of incredulity, he went on, 'Yes, it was made locally; we fortunately found a very clever fellow, a tinsmith...." (Sir Geoffrey Furlonge, Palestine is My Country: The Story of Musa Alami, (NY: Praeger, 1969), p. 152.
"Some have been secretly transferred to their home countries, where they remain in detention and out of public view, according to interviews in Pakistan and Europe with government officials, human rights groups and lawyers for the detainees. Others have disappeared without a trace and may or may not still be under CIA control. The bulk of the ghost prisoners were captured in Pakistan, where they scattered after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001."
"I read Anthony Giddens' book, which contains the theory out of which arose the so-called "Third Way". There's nothing of a third way in it - it's the "way" taken by every turncoat in this world. Oh, I could see that it was aimed against the social-security state achieved by the Europeans: fewer resources for the retired, less aid to the unemployed, because [aid] turns [the unemployed] into a bunch of lazy bums - according to this theory - who then won't work, you have to force them in some way."
Controversy in Egypt: Egyptian movie star, Nur Ash-Sharif, appears naked in a movie depicting the events of Abu Ghraib (known as "the effort of nobility" by Fouad Ajami).

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Lebanon and Imperialism" by Iskandar Mansour.
"'I didn't suggest we kill Palestinians'" (thanks May)
"Times Foreign Desk Shake-up!" (thanks anonymous)
Read this: "Hassan Fattah, who has been an anchor for us in Dubai, dashing off to story after story around the region, is resigning to take up an exciting opportunity, becoming managing editor of a new English-language pan-Arab daily. Hassan originally came to our attention through his work founding Iraq Today, an English-language newspaper in Iraq. He will be mentoring young Arab journalists, and we wish him well."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Report: Fatah instigating conflict between Islamic Jihad, Hamas" (thanks David)
"Al-Qaida sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq."
My comments on AlJazeera-net on the private security firms in Iraq. (My sister does not like this shirt).
Here is a game for you. Look at the site of Al-Arabiya TV and try to find a news story or article that is not intended as a free service for the propaganda of the Bush administration. (You may ask your kids and neighbors to play along too).
"The New McCarthyism" (thanks Laleh)
Mustlim Brotherhood. The first deputy of the "General Guide"--that is his title--really--confirmed that the new program of the Ikhwan will reiterate its traditional ban on women and copts as heads of state.
Such insights about Lebanon: "This is wrong. Lebanon needs a president; it needs political consensus. It needs an end to this enfeebling stalemate. Lebanon has been a hostage too long."
Whether you agree or disagree with him, Lebanese historian, Kamal Salibi, is always interesting.
My article in Al-Akhbar: "Muhsin Ibrahim: If he were to speak, we would have asked him."
"But, when he arrived at the Israeli border crossing, Hiyya said, Israeli intelligence offered him a deal: Tell us about your brother, a wanted militant, and we'll let you enter Israel for the operation you need. When Hiyya refused, they turned him away."
""This is an insult," said Firoz Fadhil Abbas, whose brother Osama was killed in a barrage of bullets. "The funeral and the wake cost more than what they offered. My brother who got killed was responsible for four families.""
My theory for the rescheduling of the King `Abdullah "documentary" on Al-Arabiya TV. The promos for the "documentary" have included clips of Prince Bandar Bin Bribes talking extensively about the time in 2002 when the Saudi King told Bush that he was freezing Saudi-American relations, and that he has proven to be hostile to Arabs and Muslims. I think that this entire section will be re-edited to spare the US administration any embarrassing coverage especially that Al-Arabiya is getting more and more extreme by the day in its advocacy on behalf of Bush propaganda (and AlJazeera seems to be following the footsteps of Al-Arabiya TV--just wait). Al-Arabiya TV hosted (in the studio as they always do when the guest is a US military person) Gen. Petraeus. It was quite an incredible interview. The questions were as hard-hitting as when Larry King bombarded Frank Sinatra with such hard-hitting questions: Why do we love you so much, Frank? Why are you so good at what you do, Frank? Is it difficult being the best, Frank?
In Arabic, we say "sleep is sultan."
"Hamas and Fatah both accused of torturing their opponents." That only proves my theory: neither Fath, nor Hamas. The Palestinian people deserve better. Much better.
"But in developing his views, Mr. Giuliani is consulting with, among others, a particularly hawkish group of advisers and neoconservative thinkers."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"The Shin Bet is refusing to allow a 21-year-old Rafiah man who is sick with cancer and in need of immediate medical care to come to Israel, even though he obtained permission from the Israeli Defense Forces' Coordination and Liaison Administration."
Today I was re-reading (for a class) Evan Wilson's Decision on Palestine: How the US Came to Recognize Israel. It is still very readable after all those years. I strongly recommend it.
To my readers outside of the US. This is considered sophisticated foreign policy analysis in the US: "Boy, am I glad we finally got out of Iraq. It was so painful waking up every morning and reading the news from there. It’s just such a relief to have it out of mind and behind us. Huh? Say what? You say we’re still there? But how could that be — nobody in Washington is talking about it anymore?"
A kooky committee at the kooky Al-Azhar has just accused Egyptian poet, Hilmi Salim, of "kufr and zandaqah."
"Saudi Arabia has banned the latest issue of the Arabic-language edition of Forbes magazine for an article about the wealth of the king and other Arab leaders, its managing editor said on Wednesday. "The reason was a two-page report on the wealth of 15 ruling dynasties, seven of which are Arab," Refaat Jaafar, managing editor of Dubai-based Forbes Arabia, told Reuters."
For inexplicable reasons, Al-Arabiya TV has postponed the airing of its "documentary" on the wisdom of the Saudi King. It has been promoted to the tune of 3 times per...MINUTE.
Two Palestinian children (12 and 14) were injured from an Israeli rocket.
Rafi Madoyan accuses a Saudi salafi network of Hariri's assassination.
"Hamas, which sought international legitimacy after winning the Palestinian Authority elections in early 2006, seems to have forgotten about its own electoral victory. Since assuming power, Hamas has behaved like a gang of thugs and not like a government that respects the rule of law. It terrorizes Palestinians, kills them extrajudicially, violates basic democratic rights and even forcibly prevents collective prayer."
PS The author of the article tells me that her piece was radically edited (she sent me the original), and criticisms of Abu Mazen and Fath were deleted in the final version.
Media feminism: "OK, concedes Halliwell, maybe she is a feminist: but she has a few distinct caveats. One objection seems to be that she fears feminism will emasculate and demoralise men: but her bigger problem is its image. "It's about labelling. For me feminism is bra-burning lesbianism. It's very unglamorous. I'd like to see it rebranded. We need to see a celebration of our femininity and softness."" (thanks Ema)
"The government's terrorist watch list has swelled to more than 755,000 names, according to a new government report that has raised worries about the list's effectiveness."
"Israel's largest cable provider to drop CNN for Al-Jazeera" (thanks Adam)
""The elections commission turned down my application. I have the constitutional right to run in the polls, but I am being targeted for trying to fight corruption, which rules in Jordan," Tujan Faisal, 58, a vocal critic of Jordanian governments, told AFP." (thanks Amina)
"Independent experts." Independent? Are they similar to the independent experts at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy? Or are they similar to the independent experts who were interviewed in the Washington Post prior to the war on Iraq and who confirmed that Iraq possessed a vast arsenal of WMDs? Independent experts my...potato.
""Actually, just look at what Osama - Barack Obama - said just yesterday. Barack Obama, calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. That is the battlefield. ... It's almost as if the Democratic contenders for president are living in fantasyland. Their idea for jihad is to retreat, and their idea for the economy is to also retreat. And in my view, both efforts are wrongheaded.""
"President George Bush will have spent more than $1 trillion on military adventures by the time he leaves office at the end of next year, more than the entire amount spent on the Korean and Vietnam wars combined." (thanks Kamal)
"Particularly misleading, Mr. Noiriel said, is that the Ministry of National Education’s official document of instructions to schools omits the fact that Mr. Môquet was a Communist."
" Yet out of the public eye, a chillingly similar battle has been under way on the Iraqi border with Iran. Kurdish guerrillas ambush and kill Iranian forces and retreat to their hide-outs in Iraq. The Americans offer Iran little sympathy."
"Gunfire from an American helicopter killed 11 people, including women and children, after it came under fire north of Baghdad on Tuesday, according to a statement by the military. The episode was the second this week in which multiple Iraqi deaths resulted from a United States combat action."
Flash. This represents a major change in US foreign policy. "President Bush is planning to issue a stern warning Wednesday that the United States will not accept a political transition in Saudi Arabia in which power changes from one House of Saud brother to another, rather than to the Saudi people."
"He was so uninspiring a speaker they didn’t even really heckle him. I will give credit to the Muslim Student Association and the other groups who were there in opposition, they maintained more decorum than Mr. Horowitz. By the end he was saying “Well I guess you just aren’t able to read” and “I don’t know what to do if you can’t add two and two and get four.” …" (thanks Amina)
"Iraqi refugees turn to prostitution" (thanks Mouin)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Time magazine covers the poetry of dear Sinan (typical of this silly magazine; it did not do justice to his writings).
"Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has seen a UFO"
"The US political elite and media that conceals the brutality of the Israeli occupation for sectional political gains are accomplices to this sadism, and their silence endangers the security of the United States. When we cannot understand why Arab audiences, who are perfectly aware of what the Israeli army has been doing to Palestinians for decades, are outraged, it leads us into policy mistakes in dealing with the Middle East. No one in the US media ever talks about Zionofascism, and the campus groups who yoke the word 'fascism' to other religions and peoples are most often trying to divert attention from their own authoritarianism and approval of brutality."
""Everything has changed. In the times of my father and grandfather, there was no difference between Muslims and Christians," said Ibrahim Ayad, another brother of the victim. "The Islamic revival has also brought intolerance in its wake." . He said he would leave Gaza as soon as he had identified his brother's killers and got retribution."
The evacuation of Tom Hanks from his house in Malibu pained me. The news for me is more important than the tragedies and wars around the world.
Former Senator Rick Santorum is considered an expert on Islam in the right-wing camp in the US. He is speaking on the subject on college campuses this week as part of the festival of hate orchestrated by a group of right-wing loonies. I saw Santorum on Fox News this morning. He said that Muslim fundamentalists are those who believe in "fulfilling the prophesies" of Muhammad.
This week, Al-Arabiya TV will start airing its "documentary" about King `Abdullah. It should be considered an investigative film. His brothers are the main sources of knowledge and analysis about him in the film. If that is not objective and "professional", nothing is.
"An official at Afghanistan's embassy in Germany has been replaced for inviting an Israeli diplomat to a function, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday." (thanks Sellam)
"One prisoner was mortally injured by the wardens' crowd dispersal equipment." Oh, yeah. It was all the fault of "crowd dispersal equipment." In fact, I often get injured while handling "crowd dispersal equipment." Also, how do you explain the large number of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli troops over the years? It is all the fault of "crowd dispersal equipment." Wait. I have to go. A "crowd dispersal equipment" is now injuring my toe. (thanks Emily)
How courageous of Laura Bush. She went all the way to the Middle East to tell women there that breast cancer is bad. You see, in Middle East madrasssaaaaaaaa, they teach them that breast cancer is good.
PS Is it me or is the woman to the right smiling? (thanks Asa)
"Prosecutors said the committees were controlled by Hamas and contributed to terrorism by helping Hamas spread its ideology and recruit supporters. The government relied on Israeli intelligence agents, using pseudonyms, to testify in support of this theory."
"A large proportion of respondents said Afghans did not feel free to express their political opinions in the area where they live, and 69 percent agreed it was not acceptable to speak critically about the government in public."

Monday, October 22, 2007

On Fouad Ajami, Again. I was reading in Fouad Ajami's The Foreigner's Gift today. First, what a silly title. Secondly, he out did himself this time. Thirdly, he is so devoid of insights and original ideas, that he resorts to relying on the Middle East expertise of the literary editor of the New Republic. Fourthly, did you see how touching was his tributes to Ahmad Chalabi and his family in the acknowledgment? Fifthly, there is the latest Fouad Ajami's take on the Middle East: let me tell you about the Middle East, but everything I tell you runs counter to every available evidence from the region. But the reason for this contradiction is that Arabs are liars "in coffee houses"--he always has to add a reference to coffee houses in order to sound authentic with a feel for the flavor of the culture. Sixth, this is the best book to read about the psychology of the man: he has a most deep need to be accepted as an American, and this needs colors his judgment on everything he writes. His references to the "bravery" of US troops is more demagogic than the rhetoric of US politicians. Even Abu Ghraib is a sign of US greatness (he talks about the "nobility of the effort" there (p. xxviii). Seventh, he has no insights: as Hanna Batatu used to say about The Arab Predicament, there are no original insights there. I do sometimes assign that book in classes because he translates into English debates in Arabic. But even his translations are problematic: as one Israeli reviewer once said, he makes crude rhetoricians sound poetic with his flowery language. Eight, he offers thanks to this or that foundation for their funding of his "research". What is Ajami's research? Does he call his Pentagon's sponsored trips to Iraq, and his tete-a-tete with Maliki or with US generals "research"? What age is this? Ninth. Can he stop it with this same repetitious flowery language that he uses about "the fate was sealed" or "the tale of Araby" and on and on? This may have been cute the first time around in 1978, but it is quite annoying now. Tenth, is it not ovbious: how specific he is when he criticizes US enemies in the region, but gets very vague in his references to "the kingdoms" when he talks about US friends. As the late Muhsin Mahdi once told me, this is a media phenomenon with no connection to academia. I remember how offended Mahdi was when Harvard University extended an invitation to him to join its faculty (he declined, no less). Personally, I was not surprised at all. I live at a time when the dead body of Raphael Patai may one day holds a chair in Arab and Islamic Studies Harvard or Princeton or both. Finally, his view of the Arab people is so sectarian: like Elie Kedourie, he sees in the Arab his/her sect, first and foremost.
A deal will be reached in Lebanon: it will be rotten. This confirms my theory: if you pin your hope on any side in Lebanon (in the March 14th camp or in the March 8th camp), you will surely be disappointed.
Do you notice that the world does not notice that Israel has not stopped killing Palestinians in the last several days, weeks, months, etc?
One Iraqi poet, Sa`di Yusuf, eulogizes another (Sarkun Bulus)
Khalid Saghiyyah on Jumblat's visit to US.
New TV yesterday ran a "report" on the number of Jewish ambassadors among US ambassadors in the Middle East. I was most disappointed. I never thought that New TV would stoop to this level. Anti-Semitism is also the last refuge of the fools and lazy-minded.
"Dr. Bernard Lewis explained the terrorists' reasoning this way..." (thanks Laleh)
Former chief of Syrian internal security, Bahjat Sulayman, responds to my criticisms of the Syrian regime. (thanks Ziad)
This is how the Washington Institute for Near East Policy is identified in the New York Times: "foreign policy speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a research organization."
Learning to be white: "It is a theme that seems to have informed the youthful Republican congressman’s every step, from his decision at age 4 to jettison his given name of Piyush for that of a character in the television series “The Brady Bunch” to the attentive faith-infused courting of conservatives that led to his victory on Saturday with 54 percent of the vote....Mr. Jindal is a technocrat and a Roman Catholic convert, a policy aficionado well-versed in free-market solutions to the crisis in health insurance and a proponent of “intelligent design” as an alternative theory to evolution, suggesting it may be appropriate in school science classes."
Iraqi poet, Sarkun Bulus, dead. (thanks Sinan)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"The Bush administration is exerting heavy pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to appoint senior Fatah figure Muhammad Dahlan as his deputy, sources in Ramallah said Sunday." (thanks Joey)
The last general who wanted to rule Egypt
The last Pope was right. Lebanon is more than a is a joke. A lousy joke.
No Arab publication exhibits the inferiority complexes towards the White Man more than An-Nahar (the right-wing, sectarian Christian, anti-Syrian (people), anti-Palestinian (people) Lebanese daily). Here, they interview an expert on American politics who has nothing to do with the Middle East and they ask him detailed questions about the Middle East and the potato homeland.
Against the police state in Lebanon
Their relatives were killed this time by the gangs of Gaza (including the gang of Hamas).
`Azmi Bisharah salutes the Lebanese Communist Party
"War and Deliverance" (thanks F guy)
"The scandalous silence" by Khalid Saghiyyah
Don't you like it when the US pats itself on the back? The US never misses an opportunity to pat itself on the back. The occasion? You see a non-white was elected as a candidate--candidate--for governor in Louisiana. It is a big thing, in the US, I guess.
"Banned and Denounced in the Middle East, Renowned Lebanese Musician Hits Unexpected Roadblock in U.S.A.: Discrimination in San Diego Will Not Stop Arab Oud Master & Composer’s Extensive North American Fall Tour" (thanks Fadi)
PS I don't like the "denounced" in the Middle East reference in the headline. In fact, he is widely admired in the Middle East even if he has been criticized by one kooky cleric or two.
"A study by an Israeli psychologist into the violent behaviour of the country's soldiers is provoking bitter controversy and has awakened urgent questions about the way the army conducts itself in the Gaza Strip and West Bank."
"You’re a Muslim, yes? I’m not a religious person at all.
Your books denounce Islamic fanaticism, particularly as it curtails the rights of women. Is that your main theme? Oh, no, not at all. I don’t consider myself as a feminist but more a humanist.
Still, in your work, you are constantly contrasting your love of food, smoking and sensual pleasures with the acts of self-denial demanded by the mullahs, like wearing a chador. It’s a problem for women no matter the religion or the society. If in Muslim countries they try to cover the woman, in America they try to make them look like a piece of meat.
Are you suggesting that veiling and unveiling women are equally reductive? I disagree. We have to look at ourselves here also. Why do all the women get plastic surgery? Why? Why? Why should we look like some freaks with big lips that look like an anus? What is so sexy about that? What is sexy about having something that looks like a goose anus?
I never really thought about goose anatomy. I looked when I was on a farm in France." (thanks Laleh)
HRW: "Israel is arbitrarily blocking, delaying and harassing people with emergency medical problems who need to leave the Gaza Strip for urgent care, Human Rights Watch said today. At least three patients denied exit permits have died since June, and others have lost limbs or sight due to injuries and disease that have gone without proper treatment." (thanks Nadim)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I can understand how Hamas can blame Fath for its clashes with its gangs in Gaza. But how can Hamas justify its clashes with Islamic Jihad, and sometimes with average citizens, in Gaza? Hamas is proving that it also can operate like an armed gang--just like Fath. That only proves my theory: neither Fath, nor Hamas.
Shibli Al-Mallat, the Lyndon La Rouche of Lebanon, was on LBC-TV this week. He was asked about why he was in Washington, DC. He said that he was in Washington, DC to "help guide the future of Lebanon." I kid you not. This was on Kalam An-Nas. He also said that he represents "advanced thought ahead of everything else that is presented" to the Lebanese.
A secular organization in Lebanon asked a number of people (Angry Arab included) for their views on secularism.
Walid Jumblat is "honored" to speak at the "prestigious" Washington Institute for Near East Policy, just as he is honored to prostrate himself before the prestigious king of Saudi Arabia, just as he was honored to prostrate himself before the prestigious chief of Syrian mukhabarat in Lebanon.
PS In the audio, but not in the video version, you can listen to the Q and A. You can hear Jumblat calling on the US to send "car bombs" to Damascus. The Zionist audience thought that the idea of "car bombs" in Damascus quite hilarious. They all seemed to laugh. (A few minutes later he said that he was joking. Is it not a Federal crime in the US to joke about bombs?)
Pearls of Wisdom from the Dalai Lama: ""We know each other, and we have developed, I think, a very close friendship — something like a reunion of one family," the Dalai Lama said, speaking of Bush."
"A pro-Israel organization that monitors press coverage of the Jewish state will hold a conference Sunday about high-profile Jews who speak out against Israel's policies and, in some cases, its right to exist." (thanks Badis)
"A prominent Somali lyricist has been arrested by the security forces in Mogadishu on Friday morning, witnesses said." (A sure sign that Somalia has indeed been liberated). (thanks Mick)
"More than 30,000 foreign troops are enlisted in the US Army, many of them serving in Iraq. Their reward for risking their lives for their adopted country is US citizenship." (thanks Kamal)
"A Palestinian farmer residing in the Tal village adjacent to Kedumim was stoned by settlers from the Gilad outpost while harvesting olives. The man was treated at the site and evacuated to hospital." (thanks Sellam)
Potatoes of the World, Unite. "On World Food Day, the United Nations launched the International Year of the Potato which will spotlight the humble vegetable discovered in Peru that has become a staple in diets around the globe and the world's fourth largest source of food." (thanks F.)
50 years later: "France has handed Algeria details of where its forces laid millions of landmines on the country's eastern and western borders half-a-century ago, the French embassy in Algiers said Saturday." (thanks Walid)
Does it not sound absurd when Iraqi puppet officials speak about what "the constitution" and Iraqi puppet laws have to say. Do they think that they are believed? You talk to me about laws and constitution when foreign mercenaries in Iraq have more power than any Iraqi puppet official?
If Anderson Cooper is a journalist, then I am a dentist.
"The United Nations said an interpreter responsible for an erroneous report that Syria has a nuclear facility has been reprimanded and the organization has apologized to Syria's UN Mission." He probably will be appointed the official interpreter for the US Congress.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lebanese reporter, Fida' `Itani, has been writing a series of articles in Al-Akhbar dealing with the interrogation of Salafi activists in Lebanon, and they deal with the assassination plot against Rafiq Hariri. The series were ignored by the Lebanese and Arabic press--not to mention the American press busy with Paris Hilton updates--and the "Democratically-elected" government of Fu'ad Sanyurah took immediate action to prosecute Al-Akhbar for daring to publish. Here is an account from Mideast wire (no link):
"Fida’a Ittani of Al Akhbar, an independent pro-opposition newspaper, wrote on October 9: “How was the assassination of Al-Hariri planned and who equipped the alleged suicide bomber Ahmad Abu Adas who carried out the attack? Who handled the monitoring? And where was the truck used in the explosion rigged with explosives? And who is the real suicide bomber? A force of the elite division of the internal security forces enters Roumieh prison and starts beating up some of the detainees in the prison accused of belonging to the Fatah Al-Islam organization and to a logistical support group for the Iraqi resistance known as the Hassan Naba’h group or the group of 13. Despite many reports about the discovery and foiling of an attempt to escape from the prison which were denied by the interior minister Hassan Al-Sab’a, the reports about cooperation of one of the prison guards with the Islamic extremists and the discovery of communications from inside the prison to outside of it were accurate. “But the attack on the detainees who suffered from beatings, searches, and insults that reached the extent of tearing apart Qur’ans and insulting their religious beliefs, returned the matter to a critical point in the relations that were managed indirectly between the detainees and active political factions in the country and posed new questions about the identity of this group and the charges against it. The group that was interrogated in batches includes members from many nationalities: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. The interrogation was carried out in the centers of the internal security forces and the confessions were signed by the head of the information branch in the internal security forces. This group was also interrogated by non-Lebanese security forces, including American and Saudi factions without the detainees learning who they were being interrogated by." (thanks Nicholas)
" She said Israelis are justifiably concerned about the consequences of withdrawing from the West Bank..." Just as the French were concerned about the consequences of withdrawing from Algeria.
"These groups accuse OneVoice of being pro-Israel in its politics or, at the very least, insufficiently alert to a long list of Palestinian grievances they blame on Israel." (thanks Rashid)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This is Zionism. "Israel Defense Forces Brigadier-General Yair Golan was censured on Thursday for allowing soldiers to use Palestinian civilians as "human shields" during military operations in the West Bank."
"The United Nations is becoming increasingly convinced that the Shaba Farms area belongs to Lebanon, according to UN envoy Geir Pedersen." As if the people of Shib` farms needed a UN official to know that they are Lebanese. Wait. It is not Lebanese under international law unless the White Man verifies the matter.
"A senior Pentagon official said Thursday the U.S. military would like to see a strategic partnership with Lebanon's army to strengthen the country's forces so that Hezbollah would have no excuse to bear arms." (thanks Joey)
Na'ilah (and Michel) Mu`awwad in Washington, DC
My article in Al-Akhbar: "The Ex-Leftist"
The pride of the Cedars: Slavery in Lebanon (thanks Riad)
"Canada: a nation of bigots?" (thanks Amal)
The Potato crisis in Lebanon (thanks Hicham)
"According to the study, these Jews, who represent American Judaism's prospects in the next generation, are growing increasingly alienated from Israel. They are less concerned with its welfare than previous generations and, unbelievably, less comfortable with the very idea of a Jewish state."
"A Swedish prosecutor has dropped an inquiry into Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's blog after allegations it carried anti-Palestinian comments, news agency TT reported Wednesday. The comments, posted by readers of Bildt's blog, were alleged to have "incited hatred against a people," but prosecutor Joergen Lindberg said there was not enough evidence to conduct an inquiry." (thanks May)
The chief Palestinian buffoon, Sa'ib `Urayqat, is not incapable of saying one sentence without making a reference to "the vision of President Bush." Well, Mr. `Urayqat. I have a vision of you in my head, and it is not flattering at at all.
""Journalists use 'neoconservative' to describe me, editors include my writings in a neoconservative anthology, critics plumb my views for insight into neoconservative thinking, and event hosts invite me to represent the neoconservative viewpoint." That said, if the term currently requires having supported George W. Bush's Middle East-related policies, then I am not a neoconservative." (thanks Laleh)
The Zionist Organization of America, not to be confused with the Zionist Organization of Ramallah, took up a full page ad in the New York Times today in which it lambasted the Fath Movement. I was not surprised. So Fath is not qualified to lead the Palestinian National Movement, and is not qualified to be the puppet/client organization of Zionism.
""Washington officially asks to change Lebanon into an allied military base" Trans.
As Safir, an independent leftist newspaper, wrote on October 18: "Why are top ranking American military and political officials and commanders coming to Lebanon in an almost constant stream since the Israeli war on Lebanon in July 2006 which reached its peak this week with the visit by the American undersecretary of defence for political affairs Eric Edelman at the head of a delegation from the Pentagon? What have the previous military delegations suggested and what is this top official carrying? What is the truth in the diplomatic and journalistic reports which talked about the possibility of the establishment of American military bases in Lebanon? What is the truth about the discussions between official factions about the demands for changing the ideology of the Lebanese army?" (the word "ideology" should have been "doctrine" the better translation for `aqdiah). (thanks Paul)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"In Egypt, "we didn't choose Sadat, we didn't choose Mubarak, and we're not choosing the next one," Zakaria Nahla, a 52-year-old salesman of cheap furniture, said in a Cairo market crowded with beeping scooters and veiled women picking through racks of clothes."
Oral Roberts and Sex Education. (via counterpunch)
"Israel is the biggest polluter in the eastern Mediterranean, dumping over 140 tons of heavy metals into the sea every year with government approval, an environmental group claimed in a recently published report"
"A bill to revoke the citizenship of people accused of betraying the state passed its first reading in the Knesset on Wednesday."
Al-Quds Al-`Arabi is reporting that Mahmoud Abbas is investigating Faruq Qaddumi (the most senior Fath leader) because he committed "harm" to the person of Abbas. Has the Cedar Revolution move to Palestine, I wonder?
Bashir Da`uq: dead. A touching tribute by Ma`n Bashshur for Bashir Ad-Da`uq. I don't have time to write about Da`uq but he deserves mention. This London-trained economist returned to Lebanon and joined the Ba`th Party. But that was not his real contribution. His contribution was founding Dar At-Tali`ah and the journal Dirasat `Arabiyyah. The monthly journal played a most important role in the 1960s--much more than Adonis' Mawaqif. It served as a pan-Arab platform for Arab intellectuals worldwide. It was on its pages that I discovered the writings of Sadiq Al-`Adhm and Al-`Afif Al-Akhdar (when I re-read them now, I am struck by the crude Orientalist cliches contained in them). But Da`uq was not dogmatic, and he atypically permitted a wide parameter of debate and expression. His publishing house played a most important role in the 1960s and 1970s, and he was responsible for collecting the articles of Michel `Aflaq. He later married the Syrian writer/journalist Ghada As-Samman who overshadowed him. Da`uq was very low key, and avoided the limelight. The Arab intellectual school of self-criticisms after 1967--with all its limitations and shortcomings and problems--owe a lot to him.
"There were slightly fewer press freedom violations in the United States (48th) and blogger Josh Wolf was freed after 224 days in prison. But the detention of Al-Jazeera’s Sudanese cameraman, Sami Al-Haj, since 13 June 2002 at the military base of Guantanamo and the murder of Chauncey Bailey in Oakland in August mean the United States is still unable to join the lead group."
This is Lebanon. An Ethiopian domestic servant in Lebanon (born in 1986) tried to commit suicide in the village of Duwayr in South Lebanon by tying an electric cord around her neck. She was taken to the hospital and her employer took her to court because her suicide attempt cost her money.
The few Palestinian families who were allowed into Nahr Al-Barid camp found these insults on their walls.
"Gala Dinner: Celebrating the U.S.-Israel Relationship"
An American reporter in Baghdad tells me that many of the members of the private "security companies" are--surprise, surprise--Lebanese, and some even brag about their background in the Lebanese Forces militia during the war.
"The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has sent a cable of condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia on the death of Prince Khaled bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Saud. The Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has also sent a cable to the Saudi King containing his condolences on the death of prince Khaled bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Saud. The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H H Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani has also sent a similar cable to the Saudi King." (thanks Eric)
"Eagleton, a 64-year-old intellectual, one of the world’s leading literary theorists, threw down a challenge calculated to inflame his younger adversary. Accusing Amis of Islamophobia for suggesting a clampdown on Muslims, he attacked the novelist’s late father Kingsley as “a racist, antisemitic boor, a drink-sodden, self-hating reviler of women, gays and liberals”. Amis fils, he sneered, “clearly learnt more from him than how to turn a shapely phrase”."
"A composite image of Jean Charles de Menezes was doctored to make him look more like terrorist Hussain Osman, the Old Bailey heard today. The picture, containing half the face of innocent Brazilian Mr de Menezes and half the face of terrorist Osman was produced at the force's Old Bailey trial." (thanks Badis)
"Outside interference by Israel's supporters has plunged one U.S. campus after another into crisis. They have introduced crudely political -- rather than strictly academic or scholarly -- criteria into hiring, promotion and other decisions at a number of universities, including Columbia, Yale, Wayne State, Barnard and DePaul, which recently denied tenure to the Jewish American scholar Norman Finkelstein following an especially ugly campaign spearheaded by Alan Dershowitz, one of Israel's most ardent American defenders. Our campuses are being poisoned by an atmosphere of surveillance and harassment. However, the disruption of academic freedom has grave implications beyond campus walls." (thanks Karim)
"What do you hope Washington will do?
We all know that the Syrian regime is doing this. Action must be taken against Syria" (thanks N.)
"As Turkey reacted angrily to the House committee action in the last few days, members began responding to arguments that the resolution posed a national security threat. Those arguments were put forth by the Bush administration, Mr. Livingston and another prominent lobbyist, Richard A. Gephardt, of Missouri, the former House majority leader and a Democrat."
"Rudy Roughs Up Arabs"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Walid Jumblat and the Washington Institute (thanks Amer)
""She realizes that her legacy right now is really very poor,""
"The Solomon Islands will export 28 live dolphins to Dubai despite protests by conservation groups after a four-year ban on the trade was overturned."
"Ms Amelung reveals details such as how she cooked his favourite meat dishes such as leg of mutton with rosemary and garlic, brawn, entrails soup, calf's brains and artichokes in vinaigrette. She produced the dishes for him on demand to keep him sustained while he wrote. On peeling the onions, a task he avoided, she writes: "The tears were shooting out of my eyes. Herr Grass was showing signs of schadenfreude and said to his wife: 'Look at our Margarethe, she's crying tears of joy - over the onions.'""
Al-Quds Al-`Arabi is reporting that Mu`ammar Al-Qadhdhafi has purchased a house in Malta for Suha `Arafat, who still misses the millions that her late and corrupt and lousy husband used to transfer to her.
Do you have doubts that the entire meeting was devoted to democracy and human rights?
Ban Ki-Moon thought that Marwan Hamadah was Walid Jumblat (he also thought that Bush was God).
The entire Arab press has been ignoring the explosive articles by Fida' `Itani in Al-Akhbar about interrogations with fanatical Salafi members who revealed information about the plot to assassinate Rafiq Hairri.
Two days ago, a Saudi prince died in the city of Junyah in Lebanon. There was one brief mention of it in one Lebanese newspaper. Does anybody know about that? Let me know NOW.
"“I think the American government does give Egypt leeway to deal with the domestic opposition so long as Egypt supports the American foreign policy in the region,” said Mustapha Kamel el-Sayyid, a political science professor at the American University in Cairo."
How obscene and absurd is this? "Israeli Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Palestinian Minister Of Tourism and Antiquities Khuloud Daibes met recently in Jerusalem to discuss promoting joint tourism projects, the two ministries said."
""The worse the security situation is in Lebanon, the more we can grow," says Ali." (thanks Laayla)
"Abbas and his unelected cronies are seen by many Palestinians as petty collaborators determined to do all they can to retain their place at the master's table. Despite an overwhelming desire among Palestinians for unity, Abbas, blackmailed and bribed by the EU and US, refuses to talk to Hamas to heal the rifts caused by the efforts of Fatah militias armed and supported by Israel and the US to overturn the results of the January 2006 election won by Hamas."

Monday, October 15, 2007

""You can see the image of a person in the flames and I think it is the servant of God, Pope John Paul II," he said."
The fasting Saudi royal astronaut regales us with fatwawawa stories.
An interesting interview with secularist thinker Sadiq Jalal Al-`Adhm (and read about when Yasir `Abd-Rabbuh told him: "We are always right.")
It is over. The matter has been settled. You may open the potato bottles to celebrate. "This week the Catholic News Service reported that the cause for the canonization of Mother Teresa could "cross its last hurdle" if the Vatican validated a cure reported by a priest in Guwahati, India, on Sept. 5, the 10th anniversary of the beloved nun's death. The cure in question, originally reported by the Asian Catholic news agency UCA News, was described as "the disappearance of a half-inch kidney stone in his lower ureter."" (thanks Tim)
"The US 'wali' in Lebanon keeps Minister Murr under a very close watchful eye"
"The bigger question may be what it symbolizes. "Younger women run from the word 'feminist' without quite knowing why, or what the word has stood for," writes Deborah Siegel in "Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild." "The movement's architects are aging, some are dying, and the names of others are hardly known." According to a 2005 CBS News poll, while 69 percent of women said the women's movement had made their lives better—compared with 43 percent in 1997—only 24 percent said they considered themselves feminists. Almost 80 percent were uncertain who Gloria Steinem is. Steinem, whose name was once synonymous with ERA-era feminism, is in her 70s, and feminist icons Betty Friedan, Andrea Dworkin and Shirley Chisholm have died in the past few years."
The "Scholarship" of Hirsi Ali. "So I had already decided I didn’t want to run for elections, and wanted instead to go back to being a scholar. Cynthia Schneider, who was then the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, said she’d be delighted to take me around in the United States and introduce me—to the Brookings Institution, the Johns Hopkins Institute, Georgetown University, the RAND Corporation. I balked at paying a visit to the American Enterprise Institute, though.
Reason: Why the initial aversion?
Hirsi Ali: Because I thought they would be religious, and I had become an atheist. And I don’t consider myself a conservative. I consider myself a classical liberal. Anyway, the Brookings Institution did not react. Johns Hopkins said they didn’t have enough money. The RAND Corporation wants its people to spend their days and nights in libraries figuring out statistics, and I’m very bad at statistics. But at AEI they were enthusiastic. It turns out that I have complete freedom of thought, freedom of expression. No one here imposed their religion on me, and I don’t impose my atheism on them.
Reason: Do you see eye to eye with high-profile AEI hawks such as former Bush speechwriter David Frum and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton?
Hirsi Ali: Most of the time I do. For instance, I completely and utterly agree with John Bolton that talking to Iran is a sheer waste of time."
And here, she shares the results of her research and "scholarship":

"Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.
Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?
Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.
Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?
Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.
Reason: Militarily?
Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed."
Can you imagine the uproar if somebody, anybody, in the West spoke about "defeating" Judaism, for example?

"Amongst Parisian artists and writers, whose first sexual encounters were often with prostitutes and who disdained condoms, the level seems to have been much higher — the roll call of famous French syphilitics includes Gustave Flaubert, Charles Baudelaire, Guy de Maupassant, Eduoard Manet, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, and Paul Gaugin. The art dealer Theo van Gogh was a long-term sufferer, and his brother Vincent may have been driven to his famous ear-lopping incident by syphilis. The disease was almost accepted as an inevitable part of life, and many bohemians even saw their first STD as a badge of honor. “I’ve got the pox!” crowed the novelist de Maupassant in his 20s. “At last! The real thing!” He did his part as a carrier by having sex with six prostitutes in quick succession while friends watched on. It was even associated with possible romantic genius, as syphilitics were sometimes granted flashes of brilliance. When the poet Baudelaire was hit by seizures in the streets of Paris in 1862, he wrote with a certain pride, “I felt pass over me the wind of the wings of madness.”"