Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ghassan bin Jiddu did something masterful on Hiwar Maftuh. He simply showed a 2 minutes clip of the Iraqi puppet parliament voting on the American Permanent Occupation Treaty. The puppet parliment looks more like a zoo, literally as Joe Biden would say. In fact, North Korean parliamentary sessions look more serious than the Iraqi puppet parliament.
Unsi Al-Hajj writes a critical evaluation of the history (and reality) of Lebanese journalism.
"Mr. Clinton has never revealed his contributors, but among those whose identities have become known over the years are the Saudi royal family, the king of Morocco, a foundation linked to the United Arab Emirates, the governments of Kuwait and Qatar and a tycoon who is the son-in-law of Ukraine’s former authoritarian president. For his speeches, Mr. Clinton could command as much as $425,000 for one hour, often paid by foreign companies or individuals who might have an interest in American foreign policy. He gave at least 54 such speeches last year for a total of $10.1 million. Even as his wife was first approached by Mr. Obama about the State Department job this month, the former president was heading to Kuwait to speak at an economic symposium sponsored by the National Bank of Kuwait."
I am opposed to people dragging children to demonstrations. It is the official Angry Arab policy. Let them grow up and then they can make their own decisions.
"BBC Afghanistan correspondent Ian Pannell, granted rare access to the main US Air Force targeting base at an undisclosed location in the Middle East". (thanks Karim)
"Amid the chaos, four other Air Force criminal investigators and I joined an elite team of interrogators attempting to locate Zarqawi. What I soon discovered about our methods astonished me. The Army was still conducting interrogations according to the Guantanamo Bay model: Interrogators were nominally using the methods outlined in the U.S. Army Field Manual, the interrogators' bible, but they were pushing in every way possible to bend the rules -- and often break them. I don't have to belabor the point; dozens of newspaper articles and books have been written about the misconduct that resulted. These interrogations were based on fear and control; they often resulted in torture and abuse." (thanks FLC)
Lebanese prime minister is innocently praying. He does not even know that he was being photographed. He is just quietly and privately and discreetly pious. Do you have a problem with that? And please: if you run into the praying prime minister of Lebanon, don't toss tomatoes or eggs at him. It is not legal in Lebanon.
"Food aid accounts for over two thirds of the 2009 US$462 million requested by UN agencies and NGOs to fund humanitarian aid programmes in the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt)." (thanks Marcy)
"As the drama unfolded, Indian TV commentators veered towards the sensational, frequently invoking "9/11". Whereas attacks in the past mostly hit the marketplaces and trains of the lower middle class and poor – the "overcrowded parts" of the country, as one news anchor indelicately put it – never before have the more genteel climes of Indian society been so brutally assaulted. Prominent Mumbaikars cluttered the 24-hour news channels, recalling their visits to the famous Taj and expressing concern for loved ones and friends currently trapped in the hotel. For an elite that almost always emerges unscathed from violence in the country, the attack cut close to the bone." (thanks Carlos)
""None of the works that will be offered at the auction portray images of exposed women, as this is forbidden according to the Halacha.""
"Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz denied the US is seeking billions from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), including Saudi Arabia, as part of its efforts to overcome the financial crisis. He stressed that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states did not and will not give any amount of money to the US for that purpose." (thanks ls)
" Jewish hardliners rampaged through the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron overnight slashing the tyres and smashing the windscreens of some 30 Palestinian vehicles, Palestinian police said."
This is American "liberation": "Authorities in the southern Iraqi city of Basra have admitted they are powerless to prevent 'honour killings' in the city following a 70 per cent increase in religious murders during the past year." Can you blame Iraqi women if they think that the lousy dictator Saddam was better for their plight than the lousy American occupation? (thanks Olivia)
Thomas Friedman and MEMRI: ALL THAT I KNOW ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST I LEARNED FROM AN ISRAELI PROPAGANDA OUTLET. "The Iraqi newspaper Al-Umma al-Iraqiyya carried an open letter signed by 400 Iraqi intellectuals, both Kurdish and Arab, defending Alusi. That takes a lot of courage and a lot of press freedom. I can’t imagine any other Arab country today where independent judges would tell the government it could not prosecute a parliamentarian for visiting Israel — and intellectuals would openly defend him in the press." Thomas Friedman, now I can tell you, receives his (mis)information on the Middle East from MEMRI. Friedman does not tell you (and he does not know) that this newspaper is the mouthpiece of Allusi himself. He also does not tell you that no intellectual of note signed the petition, and that it was was signed by Allusi cronies and various names he collected. But the newspaper in question carries "independent" articles that are not commissioned by the Lincoln Group on behalf of the Pentagon. For example, this article about "This Greatness of the US" is truly independent and represents the views of the Iraqi people who are begging for the US to get the hell out of their country. Or this "independent" article: "Bush: success in Iraq will undermine Iranian regional ambitions." Oh, yes. But this is a trend: for US liberals and conservative, any Arab (no matter how sleazy how unsavory how anti-Semitic how autocratic how fanatic how blood thirsty how criminal) who calls for peace with Israeli occupation, becomes a hero and is immediately hailed as a champion of freedom. I mean, as we say in the US: what the fuck? Lest you doubt there is a conspiracy, there is an orchestrated fanatic Zionist campaign on behalf of Allusi.

PS Here is the list of signatories on the petition that Thomas Friedman mentioned. If can identify one of the signatories (aside from the famous Arkan `Ala' the "accountant"), Friedman will send you a 10-speed blender.
MEMRI fabrications and deceptions. Like today, MEMRI put out this press release: "In an interview published August 14, 2008 on the reformist website Elaph, Egyptian intellectual and peace activist Amin Al-Mahdi touched on numerous topics". So when ill-informed readers and journalists receive this, they assume that there is a reformist website called Elaph, and that there is an Egyptian intellectual and peace activist, called Amin Al-Mahdi. So let me explain: Elaph is a Saudi websiate that attracts visitors by sleazy and semi-pornographic pictures. You can check it out for yourself. They are obsessed with Britney Spears. Secondly, and more importantly, who is Amin Al-Mahdi? Anybody has heard of Amin Al-Mahdi? So for the ill-informed, this news item sounds impressive and siginficant.
"Mr. Yehoshua, Israel’s most distinguished living novelist, is a dove. But he is one who, like his fellow writers Amos Oz and David Grossman, joins love for the unique qualities of his people with despair over their failure to make room politically and economically — but above all imaginatively — for the Arabs among them." Make room? Make room for the original inhabitants? Excuse me? And then the NYT calls on the Novel Committee: "the Nobel-keepers would notice him if they still noticed Israelis." (thansk David)
I have written about Noah Feldman before. But look at the wisdom that he offers to NYT readers: "Yet despite the surface similarities between Iraq and Afghanistan, the differences run deep, as Gen. David McKiernan, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has acknowledged." I mean, look at that wisdom. I have been under the impression that Iraq and Afghanistan are the same countries until I read this pearl of wisdom. (thanks Nir)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"At least on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then, Friedman’s unbounded self-confidence in his own views is an unearned one, for he has not been seriously interested in learning in depth about the events in recent years, or in correcting his many errors or poorly-grounded arguments as new information and analyses became available. As a result, Friedman’s discussions of the breakdown of the peace process at Camp David and after, as well as his analyses of the causes of the Palestinian intifada, are neither intellectually respectable nor, given his great influence, morally responsible." (thanks Ali)
"Dozens of angry Afghans pelted police with stones after a U.S. military vehicle struck a van and and one civilian was killed and three wounded in the Afghan capital on Friday, officials and witnesses said." Cut the crap. An official US military investigation will exonerate all US military personnel involved.
"Crimes against Humanity: Iraqi academics assassinated during the US-led occupation"
"Well, here's one for the record books: the Middle East Forum has hired Steve Rosen, once the head of policy development for the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen is accused of stealing highly classified information from the U.S. government and passing it on to Israeli government officials."
What do you do when your own puppet complain about you? "Afghan President Hamid Karzai has criticised the seven-year Afghan war, complaining that the US and NATO troops have not made life better." (thanks Olivia)
"They were among some 80 foreign volunteers who have sailed across the Mediterranean to Gaza in three trips since August, defying a closure of the Hamas-ruled territory imposed by Israel and Egypt."
"Israel now sells more than $1 billion in arms annually to India, including the Falcon early-warning system and sea-to-air missiles."
"An Egyptian-born nuclear physicist who said his rights were violated when the Department of Energy revoked his security clearance has returned to his native Egypt."
In this article on Levi-Strauss, there is not one reference to criticisms of his work. But then again, I am sure that NYT agrees with his thesis on the "savage mind."
"A Palestinian child steps on a U.S flag during a protest demanding an end to a blockade on the Gaza Strip by Israel, in Ain el- Hilweh refugee camp near the port city of Sidon, southern Lebanon November 29, 2008." As is well-known, shoes are offensive in Arab culture. (thanks Matt) (Reuters)
The ABC of Zionism: "Another interviewee, 26, went even further when he explained to Brucker about the ideological messages he insists on relaying to the prostitutes. "I give them a lot of Zionism, lots of Zionism. I talk about Israel constantly, about the army, how much I don't like Arabs and that they shouldn't go with Arabs? I tell them I was a paratrooper and that I fought the Arabs who killed my commander. I tell them that in Israel, radical Muslims carry out terror attacks. Somehow it isn't easy to explain it to them, but I try."" (thanks Mick)
I have one question: is there one member of the Lebanese Armed Forces who can pass an physical fitness exam? One? Is there one member of the LAF who can clim a stair? I hear that during lunch, soldiers and officers get really serious and they sometimes fight whether they should have shish tawuq or Kafta or shawirma. They put so much thought and money into that. The Syrian army: you find a distinction between the top generals and the rank-and-file. The rank-and-file soldiers look malutritioned while the Syrain top officers look officers of the Lebanese Army.
"Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners in Israel should be used as human shields to protect Israeli targets around Gaza, according to the suggestion of an Israeli Knesset member published in the Hebrew daily newspaper Maariv in Saturday." (thanks Marcy)
I read the text of American eternal occupation treaty with Iraq: I compared the English and Arabic texts. The translation in Arabic is accurate but it is abundantly clear that this was written in English and then translated into Arabic, not vice versa. But the language is ambiguous and vague enough (especially in reference to those American civilians attached to the mission), to allow a whole army or elephant to pass through.
"They accuse Israel of casting doubt on the effectiveness of their 'brave' Indian commandos, and claim that Israel has a bad record in hostage-rescue operations." Israeli rescue operations? Are you kidding me? Basically, Israeli occupation troops would storm the site and kill everybody in sight, hostages, captors, women and children--just everybody. Then Israeli propaganda would do the following: they would yell and shout. Look, they would say: the terrorists killed women and children and crushed the skull of a child. This is the playbook of Israeli propaganda.
A profile of a leftist struggler from Lebanon. (thanks Mirvat)
This is an important news item that I have not seen in other newspapers. It talks about growing ties between the Qadhdhafi family and the....Bush family.
Comrade Pierre responds to Ilyas Khuri's defamation of me on Hariri TV. I have not been talking about Lebanese novelist, Ilyas Khuri, because there was a famous fight (or heated argument) between me and him some 7 years ago at his home. It was the first and last time that we meet. He invited me to dinner at his house (and there were other people): and I had read his column in Mulhaq An-Nahar that day. And as I was about to sit down, I told him what I thought about this lousy article that day (yes, I can be that obnoxious), and this started a heated argument for the entire evening (for several hours). He is rude and impolite and I can be rude and impolite. I believe that he has turned Mulhaq An-Nahar into a bulletin for racist anti-Syrian (people) and anti-Palestinian (people) sentiments. Suffice to say that he publishes for the blatantly racist anti-Palestinian, Raymond Jbara, who once said that there are no Palestinian civilians. (Fellow writer in Mulhaq An-Nahar, Muhammad `Ali Atais (a talented writer among the untalented bunch there) was outraged and he wrote a response to Jbarah--who once called me a "barking dog".) I don't agree on anything with Khuri and he represents that Lebanonese mentality that I so abhor. He once ran into a graduate student from Stanford at a literary conference. So he asked her what she does: and she said that she was at Stanford. He said (literally as Joe Biden would say): Stanford? We (at New York University where he spends one semester a year) consdider Stanford to be "zbalah" (garbash or trash). This week, a reporter for Hariri media, `Umar Harqus, was beaten up by people from the Syrian Social National Party. Khuri appeared on Hariri TV (I am sure it is known for its liberal leanings, as Thomas Friedman once said), and said that a "pseudo academic" at an important newspaper had attacked Harqus as if my criticisms of Harqus (whom I had merely called "former leftist") are related to his beating by SSNP crowd. Khuri was offended by my reference to Harqus as "former leftist" but not offended by Jbarah calling me a "barking dog" at his weekly supplement which carries his name as editor. Furthermore, Hariri media did not mention that Harqus wrote an entire column to attack me (purely in personal terms saying that I use cheap gel on my hair: and those who know me know that I have never ever used gel on my hair).
PS A comrade also reminded me that Khuri also enthusiastically supported the attack on Nahr Al-Barid. Also, see the criticisms of Khuri's rightistism (parading as leftism) in this article by dear Joseph.
House of Saud and Bin Laden. You have to read his statement by Saudi Minister of Interior, Nayif Bin `Abdul-`Aziz. He claims that Bin Laden is a mere "figure head" and that he "does not know what he does not know." He said that Bin Laden was simply "thrown" from Sudan into Afghanistan. This reminded me yesterday: you can be beheaded in Saudi Arabia for what could be a minor offense in many countries. But do you know which one offense that will not cause you to be beheaded? Al-Qa`idah terrorism. They execute right and left in Saudi Arabia, and for Al-Qa`idah terrorists they offer cushy rehabilitation.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: ""The American Dream': Obama and the Limitations of Democracy".
I was watching CNN. The Israeli anchor asked CNN's in-house expert on terrorism on the best way to protect against terrorist attacks. The expert said: "we" need good intelligence. I was so dazzled and so impressed with that insight that I wished that I studied terrorism in college. I was dying to be able to ask that expert a follow-up question: do we need intelligent intelligence or stupid intelligence to protect against terrorism? Does anybody know?
"Lebanon may not host the largest population of Palestinian refugees but it "is the most difficult place to be a Palestinian refugee." That is the opinion of Zara Sejberg, Child Protection project manager at Save the Children Sweden, at least."
WSJ is impressed with Obama's National Security team. I TOLD YOU SO. (thanks Toufic)
"But in other respects the book verges on hagiography. Faisal may indeed have been a wise leader with a noble vision, but Mr Kéchichian is rather too fulsome in saying so."
"“Long live this shameful peace,”"
"The nearby sandflat of Saadiyat, which will soon be linked to Abu Dhabi by a bridge and by causeways to the mainland, is to house no fewer than four new museums and a vast performing-arts centre, which are themselves the centrepieces of a giant, $27 billion development that includes beach resorts, a giant marina, golf courses and luxury housing for 170,000 people."
"A Palestinian is Leviev's Partner in Dubai"
Irony of the day. Ahmad Chalabi wrote this: "Yet there are still those in Washington’s corridors of power who want to reduce Iraq to being an American puppet state, like Jordan or Egypt, nations governed through a corrosive mix of covert intelligence and military support spoon-fed to a permanent oligarchy." Of course, when Chalabi was the chosen puppet chief, he is all for this arrangement. He only discovered Iraqi sovereignty when he was abandoned by the Americans.
"A court in Iran has ruled that a man who blinded a woman with acid after she spurned his marriage proposals will also be blinded with acid."
Speaking at San Francisco State University memorial for Mahmud Darwish last month (or the month before, I forgot). (thanks Hadeel)
Amnesty International calls for a permanent American occupation of the entire Middle East. "Thousands of Iraqis detained by US forces are at risk of torture or even execution, following the ratification of a security agreement between the US and Iraqi governments. Under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which will take effect on 31 December, around 16,000 prisoners held by the US will be transferred to Iraqi custody." Amnesty International does not think that any of those prisoners were tortured under US custody. And what does Amnesty want? That the US holds all Arab prisoners everywhere to ensure their safety?
"Dozens of angry Afghans pelted police with stones after a U.S. military vehicle struck a van and and one civilian was killed and three wounded in the Afghan capital on Friday, officials and witnesses said." (thanks Olivia)
So Obama made appointments in finance, domestic policy, and foreign policy and national security. Karl Rove, writing in the Wall Street Journal, was very pleased and impressed with Obama's appointments. All represent conservative trends and thinking. I wonder what progressive supporters of Obama will say. They probably will echo the theory of the Nation magazine's Washington editor: that keeping Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense is good for the anti-war effort. This is like the theory that hunger is good for hunger.
A friend asked me what I thought of Maxim Rodinson. I said: without exaggeration, he is one of the biggest intellectual influences on me. My approach to Middle East and Islamic studies is so influenced by his approach. His biography of Muhammad should be read by any student of Middle East studies, as his la fascination de l'islam.
A confidential source (who does not want to be identified) commented on my recent observation that QueenTube's accent has recently become more British. He/she tells me: "I met a British guy (a graduate of Johns Hopkins SAIS program) heading to Jordan to take up a contract as Queen Rania's speech coach/writer."
"Sexual assault is heavily stigmatized in the Middle East." And it is not in the West? (thanks Sinan)
"The PCHR reported that 7 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces, and 32 Palestinians were abducted during 17 separate incursions. Also this week, Israeli settlers wrote racist words on the body of a Palestinian ambulance." We count our victims, one by one, and we remember them, one by one. And we remember the Three NOs of Khartum: No peace, no recognition, and no negotiation with Israel. NEVER.
Singer George Wassuf says that he is not Sri Lankan. (Being called a Sri Lankan is an insult in the racist Lebanese homeland). (thanks Brahim)
"It runs the rumor that the governor of Miranda, Henrique Capriles, will bring Israeli experts to train regional police: I will not allow foreign commandos, would be thrown out of the country, Chavez said in statements to Venezolana de Television." (thanks Matthew)
Flash. Flash. Flash. Stop the presses NOW. Wake up the children and release the pigs from the barn. Amin Gemayyel made a press release (which was prominently featured in all Lebanese newspapers today): he was made an honorary member in "The French Geographic Society." Apparently, he received the (dubious) honor, after successfully identifying France on a world map. The family of Gemayyel and the Lebanese media are celebrating.
""Why is criticism of Israel automatically considered anti-Semitism," Louise Stigsgaard Nissen, Middle East Bureau chief for the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende, asked. "Why can't one criticize Israel as one criticizes the U.S. without being called an anti-Semite?""
Domestic violence...unto the nations. "One-fifth of Israel's civilian prisoners were arrested on charges of domestic violence, a Knesset think tank found after examining data from the Prison Service."
How to "cure" homosexuality? The Lebanese Hariri Inc Solution. As you may remember, Thomas Friedman had referred to Hariri media as "liberal." Here, the official website of the Hariri movement in Lebanon carries an article about homosexuality. It refers to it as "sexual deviance" at several points. It attributes homosexuality to a genetic deformity, or to emulation of adults, or to a "state of self-hate" or even to sexual harrassment. (It offers a variety of kooky theories). But the writer of this article cautions the readers: that homosexuality can be cured if there is a desire for a treatment, and if the homosexual (patient?) seeks medical help.
"India declines Israeli offer of aid delegation to Mumbai." That reminds me of that line in Col. Charles Churchill's book, The Druzes and the Maronites (1862) in which he said that it is better to endure plunder and mayhem by the Druzes than to endure protection by the Turks, or words to that effect.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Comrade Khalid is right: It is "our time" on the left.
I don't eat meat now, but I have strong views about stuffing the turkey. The American stuffing is so boring and unimaginative--not unlike American cuisine. I mean, we in the Middle East really know how to stuff animals (chicken, cows, lambs, etc): with rice, spices, almonds, pine nuts, and minced meat. That is real stuffing--oh, and it is all fat free.
"Egyptian police have arrested a blogger who criticised the government and expressed support for the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, a human rights organisation said on Tuesday." (thanks Mohammed)
"The Israeli occupation troops on Wednesday fired intermittently at a group of children near the northern Gaza Strip crossing of Beit Hanun (Erez)."
The Kurdish province convicts and sentences a Kurdish writer for writing about sex. Don't you like it when pro-war US liberals pretend that the Talbani-Barzani tribal confederation is an enlightened republic? (thanks Ramzi)
"The stated mission of Freedom's Watch has been to "support mainstream conservative public policies" but the focus of the group's lobbying and media campaigns has reflected the staunchly pro-Iraq war and pro-Israeli-Likud Party politics of its chief benefactor." (thanks Mouin)
"Having fled killings, kidnappings, torture, and death threats, about 3,000 Palestinian refugees from Iraq are currently stranded in three camps along the border between Syria and Iraq. Denied asylum and refugee rights, they are extremely vulnerable in poorly situated camps." For this, blame the American occupation, the Iraqi puppet government, the sectarian Shi`ite Badr militia, and the Dahlan puppet army.
"Gaza is people's constant attempt to cling to a normal life, although Israel foists on them abnormal terms of imprisonment, isolation from the rest of the world and deterioration to a state of humiliating dependence on international charity programs." (thanks Marcy)
"Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday he would bring down U.S. planes bombing villages if he could, in a sign of growing tension between Afghanistan and its Western backers as the Taliban insurgency grows in strength." Wow. What if he calls on his US bodyguards to shoot at US planes? (thanks Nabeel)
Full text. Exceptions in the prosecution of Israeli occupation soldiers. (thanks Laleh)
A reader in Damascus tells me that my website is still blocked there. Maybe this will lift the ban: Down with the Syrian regime.
""A lot of the men drivers are young and impatient, and they're not disciplined. Women are simply better drivers."" (thanks Toufic)
Lebanese Navy parade on Independence Day. Those and zee plane, zee plane, will defend Lebanon from Israeli aggression. (thanks Ben and Nate)
The Iraqi Communist Party has historically been responsible for the demise of the Arab Left. "The Communist party, the Iraqi Accord Front (IAF) and the National Dialogue bloc will vote to approve the U.S. troop withdrawal agreement also known as the status-of-forces agreement (SOFA), al-Iraqia satellite television said in a breaking news on Thursday." (thanks Olivia)
Al-Azhar Shaykh (a book burner and a senile man who threw an ashtray at an Egyptian journalist because she dared ask him a question that he did not like) meets Shimon Peres. This Muftitititi-for-hire is willing--for the right fee--to argue that the strangulation of Gaza is justified Islamically. Change in the Arab world has to pass through overthrow of Arab regimes and through the overthrow (or elimination) of Christian, Sunni, and Shi`ite clerical leadership. If I had political power, do you know what I would do with Ayatullah Sistani, this guy, and with the Maronite Patriarch? Ask me again.
House of Saud media: "Meanwhile, I am hearing about a new role for Mohammad Dahlan, or his rehabilitation so that he enters the front lines of Fatah, after his exit from Gaza. Dahlan has fervent supporters, just as he has equally ardent opponents and rivals. There are Arab and non-Arab states that support him. He is bold and intelligent and personally I do not rule out Abbas getting angry one day and resigning, leaving a vacuum. I hope that this does not happen, since he is a guarantee for the Palestinians' future." (thanks ls)
Comrade Samah remembers (fondly) the great struggler, George Habash.

PS I don't understand why the PFLP does not dissolve itself. I mean, it exists only in name, and only as a front for Dahlan's funneled money. Its West Bank leader, `Abdur-Rahim Malluh, is no more than sidekick of Muhammad Dahlan. And its leader in Lebanon, Marwan `Abdul-`Al, is no more than sidekick of Dahlan's ambassador in Lebanon, `Abbas Zaki.
Arafat's (and later Dahlan's) sidekick, Yasir `Abd-Rabbu, is one of the most corrupt, most opportunistic, and most unprincipled Palestinian (I would not call him a leader as he can barely lead his driver and bodyguards) there is. He was (we now know, and he implicity admits that in the long interviews that he has given to the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Al-Hayat) a plant by `Arafat in the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The series of interviews contain many lies but I don't have time to comment on them. But here, he shows his compulsion to lie. He is talking about Arafat's clique's stance when Saddam invaded Kuwait. He says that Arafat and his sidekicks were cynical and skeptical about Saddam's bombastic military claims. That is a blatant lie: those cronies were more excited about Saddam's bombast than Saddam himself. Edward Said told me at the time that `Arafat's sidekick Bassam Abu Sharif (he is a version of `Abd-Rabbu planted in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) was calling Said in New York and telling him about the "miracle" weapons and long-range missiles that Saddam posessed. Said would try to convince those clowns that Saddam will be resoundedly defeated, but they were intoxicated with Saddam's secret arsenal.
The lousy Yasir `Arafat (who if you ask me is not even dead enough) offers the military salute to Ariel Sharon, and then extends his hand to shake his hand, while Sharon ignores him. Arab puppets deserve all the humiliation that is visited upon them: "وكان ياسر عرفات يحب لقب ودور الجنرال أكثر من حبه لأي شيء آخر، لكن شارون لم يقابله بالتحية. أدى له عرفات التحية ومد يده له، لكن الآخر مرّ عليه ولم يسلم. انما ابو عمار التقى أولاد شارون مرات عدة وكان خالد سلام عادة الوسيط لجلبهم الى ابو عمار."
It is official. Syrian foreign policy propagandist, Buthayna Sha`ban, does not understand what she reads. She claims that NYT's article on Hizbullah was favorable to Hizbullah, and she notes changes in Western public opinion that don't exist.
Look who wants a deadline now: ""If there is no deadline, we have the right to find another solution for peace and security, which is negotiations," Karzai said."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sami Amin Gemayyel talks to a French new-Nazi, fascistic group: "Au nom de notre groupe nous vous souhaitons une bonne continuation dans votre action et nous espérons que vous jouerez un rôle important dans la préservation de l’identité et des valeurs françaises qui influence notre action et notre pensée politique à tous les niveaux." This group is so fanatic and extreme that it is shunned by the National Front. (thanks "Ibn Rushd")
World leaders race to have their pictures taken with Bush. (NYT)
One of the most disgusting aspect of the Gaza human tragedy is the extent to which the Saudi media are ignoring it. I just watched Al-Arabiyya TV, and you would think that Gaza is on another planet. But Al-Arabiyya TV (the channel of King Fahd's brother-in-law) is busy promoting the US Permanent Occupation Treaty.
"William Neal, who served on the first Holy Land jury, raised disturbing questions about the prosecution's tactics in an interview with Dallas radio station KRLD 1080. "They never proved -- they kept trying to show us stuff around the case, not the case. They presented to the jury, you know these committees, these organizations controlled by or on the behalf of Hamas, but they kept showing us blown-up buses and they kept showing us little kids in bomb belts reenacting Hamas leaders," he said. "It had nothing to do with the actual charges. It had nothing to do with the defendants."....Holy Land was the largest Muslim charity in the United States when the Bush administration shut it down in December 2001. On the heels of the September 11th attacks, Bush, Ashcroft and company wanted to show they were fighting the "war on terror" by pointing to the Holy Land case, and the arrest of its five officials. In an unusual move, prosecutors unveiled the list of more than 300 un-indicted co-conspirators, something that is kept secret under normal legal protocol. Many of those on the list were respected Muslim leaders who were shocked to find they were under suspicion for involvement in terrorist acts." (thanks Laila)
Lebanese president, Michel Sulayman, admiring Iranian weapons. Lebanese president is pro-Iran in Iran, pro-US in US, pro-Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia, and pro-Syria in Syria. (thanks anonymous)
Clerical kooks versus clerical kooks. "Saudi Arabia's most senior Muslim cleric recently denounced birthday parties as an unwanted foreign influence, but another prominent cleric declared they were OK." Personally, I never consume sweets or candy without consulting with those kooks. I keep one Saudi clerical kook in my garage just for consultation. He sleeps under my car, and I feed him--occasionally.
"A Palestinian tycoon has created a tranquil paradise on a Holy Land mountaintop, with a replica of a famous Renaissance villa, sculpted gardens and a wrought-iron pavilion that once belonged to a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. But even one of the West Bank's richest men cannot entirely shut out Israel's military occupation — army bases and Israeli settlements occupy hills surrounding the 100-acre estate." (I am friendly with his son, but this villa should be housing refugees.)
"For nearly three weeks Israel has blocked access to the Gaza Strip. Foreign journalists are challenging the Gaza ban in court, calling it a 'blow' to freedom of the press."
"Violence against women is the least punished crime in the world."
"The Saudi Ministry of Education recently ordered the removal of two books by a leading intellectul of the Muslim Brotherhood from school libraries because of the extremist ideas they contained, a Saudi newspaper reported on Wednesday." The ministry probably found them not fanatic enough.
This is Zionism: "Research conducted by human rights organization Yesh Din finds only 6 percent of investigations against soldiers accused of harming Palestinian civilians resulted in indictments in last seven years; military courts fail to hand severe sentences for offenses." (thanks Marcy)
"Israel is asking U.S. President George W. Bush to describe to his successor, Barack Obama, the American commitment to ensure that its strategic deterrence is not compromised. The subject was the focus of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's farewell meeting in the White House on Monday with Bush and top administration officials." If I get to pal around with Obama, I can explain to him about Israel myself.
Please meet the new nose of the Lebanese Minister of Defense, Ilyas Al-Murr. This clown (shown to the right), was recently abroad--officially ostensibly to receive treatment for injuries he sustained for an assassination attempt. In reality, he was getting a new nose. It is expected that Lebanese air defenses will now be stronger (coupled with the zee plane, zee plane). (thanks my well-connected, well-placed anonymous source).
We have never been closer to world peace than today. By this step, we can all sleep better tonight. "Lebanon has ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosions on the Earth, according to a press release Tuesday." The Lebanese government, however, made it clear that the Lebanese Nuclear Energy Agency will continue to experiment with new recipes of Hummus and Baba Ghannuj. (thanks Nir)
"Officials in Washington said the administration has withheld the official English translation of the agreement in an effort to suppress a public dispute with the Iraqis until after the Iraqi parliament votes." (thanks FLC)
"Flying chairs and punches thrown by women students at a Gaza university this week may seem a rather minor manifestation of the factional fighting that has riven Palestinian society over the past year or so. But with Hamas and Fatah still smarting from bloody armed clashes in 2007, when the Islamists routed President Mahmoud Abbas's PLO forces in the enclave, the scuffle shows how deep the rift runs." (thanks Olivia)
I received this letter from Lebanon: "You can publish this if you want
Hey, i have a story that might interest you: I have recently rented a house in Tripoli near my university. Last Saturday, a police force raided an apartment in my building and arrested some people(around 7 guys). With the wave of terrorist's arrests being made in the area, you'd naturally think that this was the case here. Well, as it turned out, this was not a terrorist cell,
i asked a local shop-owner, and he told me that they've arrest a "gay network"(shabakit loutyeh, he said). Now, over the next three days, I've told this story to numerous people, friends and family members, trying to see what their reaction would be. As I've anticipated, none of them(except one) felt that there's something wrong about this. I've discussed gay rights with
many people in Lebanon and they all had the same reaction to the topic. I mean most people here are willing to accept me being an atheist, and even let me criticize and make fun of their whole believe system, but when it comes to homosexuals, they instantly go into defensive mode, and usually end up accusing me of being gay, cause apparently that's "the only reason that would make me defend them". I remember you talking about that Saudi writer on Elaph branding homosexuals as pedophiles, and i hate to brake it to you, but I've heard that arguments at least three times before. And i should note that this has nothing to do with religious backgrounds, cause you'll get the same answer from both Muslims and Christians in Lebanon. FYI, the only website blocked by the Lebanese government is a website for the gays of Lebanon. And one last thing, i am not gay, but calling me gay will not offend me"
This Zionist writer reports on my talk at University of Virginia. I have to say that he uncharacteristically quotes me accurately. (thanks Najwa)
This is an excellent guide to the Lebanese parliamentary election. (thanks Amer)
"Mr. Biden has been keeping up with his outreach to foreign leaders; two weeks ago he called the three leading candidates for prime minister of Israel, Tzipi Livni, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak."
And this is supposed to be surprising? "The Israel Defense Forces has assassinated wanted men in apparent defiance of High Court of Justice guidelines for such operations, according to operational briefings obtained by Haaretz. The documents reveal that the IDF approved assassinations in the West Bank even when it could have been possible to arrest the targets instead, and that top-ranking army officers authorized the killings in advance, in writing, even if innocent bystanders would be killed as well."
You have to read this propaganda piece in the New York Times. The title suggests that it deals with reactions of US Muslims to the news that leaders of a Muslim charity were convicted of various charges. Yet, the article becomes a propaganda press release for the Washington, DC-based Dahlan Lobby.
How does Christopher Hitchens prove that Muslims are anti-Semitic? Here, he presents the evidence and documentation: "I have myself heard this alleged at elite dinner parties in Islamabad."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yasir `Abd-Rabbu is probably the most unprincipled Palestinian (and the most opportunistic). Here, he talks about Saudi Arabia and `Arafat (notice that the question from the editor of Prince Khalid bin Sultan is not even a qustion, but a statement):
"> وقدمت السعودية دعماً كبيراً لمنظمة التحرير.

- ربما كانت السعودية الداعم الاول والأكبر وياسر عرفات لم يكن ينكر ذلك على الاطلاق ولم اسمعه مرة واحدة يقول كلمة سلبية عن الدور السعودي، لا الدور السياسي ولا الدور الداعم، بل بالعكس كان يعتقد ان هذا الدور هو الذي اسهم في انهاض «فتح» ومنظمة التحرير. كان يعتبر أن السعودية هي الحليف الاول للفلسطينيين على المستوى السياسي."

Comrade Pierre on Ghassan Tuwayni.
"Israeli forces rolled into southeast Gaza Strip on Tuesday and bulldozers started to flatten farmlands, witnesses and security sources said."
"Half of Gaza's bakeries have closed down and the other half have resorted to animal feed to produce bread as Israel's complete blockade of the coastal territory enters its 19th day." (thanks Chris)
Stop the presses. Wake up the kids and release the pigs from the barn. Aaron David Miller has just solved the Arab-Israeli conflict (and of US problems in the Middle East): "Instead, go all-out for an Israeli-Syrian agreement which is doable and will enhance American credibility to confront Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran over time with tough choices, and improve America's regional standing."
"In the case of the former Iraqi president, al-Yawer, Faulk says his "pillow talk" phone calls were to his fiancé, whom he later married. Faulk says the calls were intercepted by operators in the NSA facility at Ft. Gordon, Back Hall, and posted on the computer system for others to read about and hear." How come we don't hear of this pro-Saudi, polygamous puppet, Al-Yawer, anymore?
"Many migrant and domestic workers still face abuse and exploitation in Middle Eastern and Asian countries because governments have failed to adopt measures needed to protect them, Human Rights Watch said today ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25." (thanks Marcy)
"The Ramallah-based Fatah faction has slammed Monday its veteran political leader Farouk Al-Kaddomi "Abu Allutuf", the chairman of the PLO political bureau, for participating in the International Arab conference for the Right of Return, describing the support of Kaddomi to the RoR as "deviation" from Fatah ideology." The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, boycotted the conference on the right of return, unsurprisingly. Fath has become a mere arm of the Israeli occupation, very much like the South Lebanon Army.
These are Arab regimes. "Yemen - the poorest country in the Arab world - has inaugurated a new mosque big enough for 40,000 worshippers in its capital, Sana'a. The building is named after the country's long-serving president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. It cost $60m to build. The United Nations estimates 42% of Yemenis live in poverty and that one in five is malnourished."" (thanks Nabeel)
"General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann suggested Monday that the international community should consider sanctions against Israel including "boycott, divestment and sanctions" similar to those enacted against South Africa two decades ago." (thanks Omar)
"Officials at Alhurra, the Arab-language station that has received nearly $500 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars, say that of all their broadcasts to the Middle East, they are most proud of their broadcasts to Iraq." (thanks Nir)
On the Phalanges Party by Husam `Itani (thanks Raed)
""Iraqi women have seen their rights eroded in all areas of life while the world observes from afar," warns the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Yakin Ertürk, on the International Day on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November)."
"Amid several bellicose comments about the possibility of an impending Israeli strike against Iran Israeli Defense Ministry officials say they have been contacted by US officials who have asked them to refrain from launching any attacks against Iran until after President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January. Likewise, the officials reportedly have cautioned Israel not to launch its long-reported ground invasion of the Gaza Strip until after the inauguration." (thanks Sellam)
This is Zionism: "On 30 October 2008, at 10:15am, the Israeli army stormed the faculty of the Palestine Technical College in Arroub refugee camp, Hebron and arrested students from some of the classrooms. The students were blindfolded, shackled, and then repeatedly beaten, slapped, and punched all over the body. They were then taken to Gush Etzion military detention center. At 9:00pm two of the boys were released, however, eight of them are still in detention in Ofer Prison. None of the boys are older than 16."
No, he will not. "The rising unemployment could push between 7 and 10 million Americans into poverty according to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released Monday. Census Bureau figures from 2007 show that 12.5% of the population, or over 37 million people, live below the poverty line. The Center warns hat number could increase to up to 47 million."
"Inappropriate displays of affection, mixing between unmarried men and women and offensive writing are a few of the crimes the Saudi religious police are tasked with monitoring, and they appear to be on the rise if recent arrest rates are anything to go by. A report issued by the Saudi religious police indicated a remarkable increase in the number of arrests as well as in the type of cases it dealt with over the past year, local press reported Tuesday, with 19 percent more arrests this year than last." (Compare this to the article from Saudi Arabia yesterday in the New York Times by Robert Worth in which he leaves you with the impression that the religious police has practically disappeared from view). (thanks Olivia)
Palestine: in history, in pictures (thanks Laleh)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Queen Youtube is out of control--literally, as Joe Biden would say. A well-known blogger in the US received this letter from Queen Youtube's office in Amman, Jordan. She allowed me to cite it in full (but she does not want her name mentioned):
Nina M. []
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 9:36 AM
Subject: Blog, Queen Rania and some laughs
Dear ...,
Greetings from the Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. I hope this finds you in good health and that you don't mind me contacting you so randomly. Someone alerted me to your blog...and I thought this might interest you and your readers. Being as connected to 2.0 life as you are, most of you probably already know that on Saturday YouTube hosted its first ever live streaming event. It was a pretty cool variety show, and one of my favorite parts was when they awarded Queen Rania the first ever YouTube Visionary Award because of her dedication to breaking down stereotypes. The Queen accepted the award via taped message, in a very non-traditional format. I thought you might like to be amongst the first to see this, so here's the link -Enjoy! All my best, Nina
"The narrative of frank racism, a word Mr. Herring employs frequently, gains momentum in a discussion of Manifest Destiny, which he says had more to do with an ideology of racial superiority than with altruism. The examples, in 19th-century dealings with continental neighbors like Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua, are as painful as they are numerous. A persistent target was Mexico, which lost huge chunks of its territory to American expansionism. “Americans scorned Mexicans as a mixed breed, even below free blacks and Indians, ‘an imbecile and pusillanimous race,’ ” Mr. Herring writes. He adds a few pages later, “The very racism that drove the United States into Mexico limited its conquests.”"
"The central conclusion of the [official Israeli] report, that “the exertion of a moderate degree of physical pressure cannot be avoided,” has not been changed."
"While this is a tragic accident, the blame can be laid directly at the feet of Israel’s occupation and land confiscation by the wall, which forces a dangerous burden and risk on Palestinian farmers,” says popular committee chairperson and cousin of Emad, Eyad Burnat."
I don't want to break anybody's heart, but you may have to bid farewell soon to Prince Sultan Bin `Abdul-`Aziz. He left the kingdom yesterday to seek medical treatment here in the US. 33 Saudi princes were at the airport to say goodbye, along with the entire council of ministers. Prince Salman is accompanying him in the trip. Don't cry for him, Argentina. He will leave behind many children and tons of bribes.
"It has been two weeks since Israel imposed a complete closure of Gaza, after months when its crossings have been open only for the most minimal of humanitarian supplies. Now it is even worse: two weeks without United Nations food trucks for the 80% of the population entirely dependent on food aid, and no medical supplies or drugs for Gaza's ailing hospitals. No fuel (paid for by the EU) for Gaza's electricity plant, and no fuel for the generators during the long blackouts. Last Monday morning, 33 trucks of food for UN distribution were finally let in – a few days of few supplies for very few, but as the UN asks, then what?" (thanks Marcy)
"The observers are supposed to protect 170,000 Palestinians from 500 settlers, without weapons and without the authority to separate the sides. They do not even have the authority to prevent violent incidents."
"I refused to sign a pledge committing that I would vote to maintain the military superiority of Israel over its neighbors, and that Jerusalem should be its capital city. Other commitments were on that pledge as well, like continued financial assistance to Israel at agreed upon levels."
This also is Zionism: "The High Court of Justice on Sunday gave the government another year to terminate an education budget allocation system it previously deemed discriminatory against Israel's Arab population."
Is there somebody who can convince Queen Youtube of Jordan to stop her insane attempts to stay on the world stage? Politics aside, this is a woman who has nothing to say or offer. And worse, in this clip (which I could not finish--I kid you not) she is making attempts at humor. She is as unfunny as Hillary Clinton, although the latter has a brain. And nothing that the PlayStation couple does is not the results of some PR firm's advice or scheme. And why is her accent becoming increasingly British since she was given that potato throne? Is her speech couch British so that she can sound highly educated in her own mind? (thanks WA)
"The Hamas government is planning to send Gaza's High Court of Justice the petitions of families calling on the government to impose death sentences on people convicted of murdering their kin or of being accessories to their murder." Neither Fath, nor Hamas. The Palestinian people deserve better--much better.
"Palestinian officials have, in the past, expressed support for a NATO deployment in the West Bank. But Israel has refused, saying that only Israeli intelligence forces have the ability to maintain control of the Palestinian population." Of course, Palestinian puppets want NATO forces and not independence because like the puppets in Iraq they fear their own people. (thanks Olivia)
This is Zionism: "Israel's military, which is trying to force the settlers to leave the property in Hebron, said it had removed the graffiti "Muhammad is a pig" from a local mosque and had cleared the cemetery, in which gravestones were sprayed by radicals with Stars of David." (thanks FLC)

This is from a swearing-in ceremony for the US-supported, Lebanese Phalanges Party. Could you tell from the pictures that the founder of the Party, Pierre Gemayyel, was inspired to found his militia after he was most impressed by the Nazi organization during the Olympic games of 1936? (thanks Karim and Matt)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Amal Movemnet's scout organization held a conference in South Lebanon today. Should not the New York Times carry a front-page article by Robert Worth about Nabih Birri's scouts and how they pose a threat to Israel?
The unworthiest man I know said: "At heart I am the worthiest man I know.”"
dear Hanady on Independence Day
"Abu Kamel of the Al-Kurd family, evicted by Israel from their home in Occupied East Jerusalem on the 9th November, has died after suffering from a severe heart-attack."
"Harvesting Saffron in Birjand, Iran" (this is related to something I wrote on my facebook). (thanks Amer)
"Kurdish officials this fall took delivery of three planeloads of small arms and ammunition imported from Bulgaria, three U.S. military officials said, an acquisition that occurred outside the weapons procurement procedures of Iraq's central government." The punchline in this item is the reference to "Iraq's central government".
"The intense stranger introduced himself as Shlomi Michaels. He was a former commando with Israel's elite internal counterterrorism force, the Yamam; he had since become one of the middlemen who work the seams between the worlds of security, intelligence, and international business, along with a few more colorful sidelines including a private investigations/security business in Beverly Hills. Even as ex-Israeli commandos turned security experts go, Bruner thought, this one seemed unusually well connected—his business partner was former Mossad head Danny Yatom. Before arriving in Washington, Michaels, a dual Israel-US citizen, ran a string of businesses in Beverly Hills: a coffee/chocolate shop franchise, a martial arts training outfit, real estate investments, and a high-tech security business aimed at "high worth" Hollywood clients. After 9/11 he left Los Angeles, alighting first in New York (where he taught counterterrorism for a semester at Columbia University) and then in DC, where he would soon launch a lucrative venture to cash in on the Iraq War and its aftermath." (thanks Mouin)
"Yaalon asserted that "Israeli Arabs, with four documents that they wrote over the past two years, are actually rejecting our right to an independent Jewish state. We are settlers, as far as they are concerned." Ehhhh, but you are settlers.
"King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has offered political asylum to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Saturday."
"A Palestinian lawmaker on Saturday said Palestinian security forces still hold four teenagers for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in West Bank. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) "follows the arrest of a group of boys since the security forces detained them in Bethlehem at the end of last month," said Khaled[a] Jarar, a PFLP member of the parliament." (thanks Olivia)
"President Bush’s addresses to the American people after 9/11 and the financial meltdown sound like two versions of the same speech. Both times, he evoked the threat to the American way of life and the need for fast and decisive action. Both times, he called for the partial suspension of American values (guarantees to individual freedom, market capitalism) to save those very values. Where does this similarity come from?"
"Millions of people in Malaysia have been banned from doing yoga because of fears it could corrupt Muslims." (thanks Nabeel)
"Our community thinks we are pirates getting illegal money. But we consider ourselves heroes running away from poverty. We don't see the hijacking as a criminal act but as a road tax because we have no central government to control our sea. With foreign warships now on patrol we have difficulties." (thanks Marcy)
"Members of Saudi Arabia's royal family spent enough during a visit to the Mayo Clinic to give the area's economy a shot in the arm, according to Rochester, Minnesota, officials...Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Brad Jones says a conservative estimate of the royal family's spending on the trip to Mayo Clinic is up to $1.5 million." OK. I have a long-term solution for the economic problems of Minnesota. Keep the man there, FOREVER. (thanks Sinan)
From the Lebanese Air Force's show of force yesterday: zeee planes. Zeee planes.
An Iraqi demonstrator rubbing his shoe on the picture of George W. Bush. (As is known, shoes are tools of affection in....Western culture). (thanks Muhamed)
""Turkey is not an occupied territory where such arrogant behavior is acceptable," he said." (thanks Laleh)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Unsi Al-Hajj wisely warns against Arab public enthusiasm for Obama.
Shimon Peres, the darling of Western liberals, can't say the word Palestinian without following it with the word terror (or teghogh, as he pronounces it), and terrorism (or teghoghism as he pronounces it).
"In some respects, the pirates of Somalia are behaving in the classic tradition. According to reports, they are spending millions of dollars of ransom money on imported food, alcohol, drugs and prostitutes, just as predecessors debauched and befuddled themselves whenever possible with tobacco, rum and whoring. In other ways, though, their behaviour (so far) matches the romantic ideal rather than the brutal reality."
Since 1948, Israeli propaganda media ALWAYS pretend that all those who are accused of spying for Israel anywhere around the world are innocent because Israel never spies and does not emply spies. And remember that the Israeli government initially tried to claim that Pollard was not spying for Israel.
Note to readers: read about the Lavon Affair NOW.
"In interviews with The San Diego Union-Tribune, Gary Maziarz, 39, said “dozens of files” he gave the Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning Group while serving as an intelligence specialist at the base were dossiers on Muslims and Arabs living in Southern California."
"Speaking at the occasion, Meles said Ethiopia and the US have done a lot in ensuring peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia commends the US for assisting Ethiopia toward ensuring peace and stability in the sub-region." (thanks Mick)
"Saudi Arabia said it will join a fleet of NATO warships on an anti-piracy mission, as hijackers bolstered defenses around an oil-laden Saudi tanker captured off the East African coast."
""Salafists using Right-wing (Lebanese) writings to attack the Shi’as..."
It is over. It is all over. I hereby declare the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The entire military balance of the Middle East region has been tipped FOREVER. An-Nahar cites reliable sources to the effect that Walid Jumblat's visit to Washington, DC brought great results. Look how many tanks Lebanon will be getting:
"وأكدت "النهار" ان عدد الدبابات الأميركية المقدمة إلى لبنان هو "دزينات"Few dozens ." (thanks Jeff)
Turn off the lights on the way out, please. "The ``Dubai dream'' may be over because lower oil prices will leave smaller fiscal surpluses among its crude-exporting neighbors to invest in the emirate, said Citigroup Inc.``We believe it is safe to say the Dubai dream is perhaps over,'' Citigroup economist Mushtaq Khan said in a report e- mailed today from London." (thanks ls)
"Homeless and income-less, people at the camps lived uncomfortably. There was little space, diets were unbalanced, and there was no way to work or occupy them each day. IDPs are unwelcome in surrounding communities where they try to rebuild a life. They are ostracized for fear they will take the few jobs available and, most depressing to them, they are forced to pay extortionate fees to bury friends and family that die at the camp." (thanks Marcy)

This is from the Palestine Post , June 8, 1949. While Israeli occupation troops were busy destroying Palestinian villages, and evicting the Palestinian owners of the land (and they were occupying Lebanese lands), the Lebanese Army soldiers were playing soccer with the Israeli occupation army soldiers. And they dare celebrate Lebanon's Independence Day? (thanks Shoghig)
"On Sunday, the Pentagon admitted that 12 juveniles -- those under the age of 18 at the time their alleged crimes took place -- have been held at Guantanamo Bay (as opposed to the figure of eight that was submitted to the UN in May). But a RAW STORY count, drawn from the Pentagon's own records, reveals that the total number of juveniles held at Guantanamo is at least 22 -- nearly double the official Pentagon figure." (thanks Olivia)
"Dubai Municipality is cutting power and water to as many as 200 villas a week in an attempt to evict people who are sharing homes, but some of the tenants are defying authorities and illegally reconnecting services, a senior official said yesterday." (thanks Aida)
"Dozens of Palestinian and international demonstrators choked on teargas at a Friday demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in, near Ramallah, as Israeli forces fired on the crowd, according to a statement received by Ma'an."
I stand corrected. Lebanese Air Force used two zeee planes, zeee planes in the military show today. They were purchased by the Lebanese Air Force in 1959, and they have been used since to defend Lebanon against successive savage Israeli invasions of the country.
Lebanese Air Force's helicopters tried to impress today in the Independence Day military parade and show. The helicopters were supposed to fly in the form of a cedar. I swear: the form looked more like a smashed potato.
I know of no country that does not deserve to celebrate Independence Day more than Lebanon.
My mother read a new book about the Sunni-Shi`ite conflict by French journalist, Martine Gozlan. I asked her what she thought. She said: I was mad at them both for their roles in Islamic history.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photo Album of the Lebanese Air Force's Zee Plane, Zee Plane. (thanks Fadi)
My article in Al-Akhbar: "Crawling, crawling...towards New York: On Tolerance and Beheading."
From an AP photo: "A protester uses his shoe to strike an effigy of U.S. President George. W. Bush, in an expression of contempt, as thousands of followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr converged on Firdous Square in central Baghdad, Iraq for a mass prayer to protest a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security pact on Friday, Nov. 21, 2008." (As is known, shoes are offensive in Arab culture). (thanks Matt and Diane)
This is the Israeli Left. What planet do they inhabit. "She also will sing songs about the poor way Israel sometimes treats its migrant workers from Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa." How humane. How progressive. How leftist of her. And I am sure that the audience will clap and awe when she mentions how Israeli SOMETIMES treats its migrant workers from East Europe, Asia, and Africa. But in other times, Israel treats them well. As for the Arabs in Israel? Who are those? She has never heard of them. She is singing in my home town here, and had I known that she is coming to town, I would have met her at the airport (As is known, shoes are inoffensive in Western culture).
What is Robert Worth's point in this article? I don't understand it especially that he admits that "Officially, the group is like any of the other 29 different scout groups in Lebanon, many of which belong to political parties and serve as feeders for them." He may say that this is bigger. True, but Mr. Worth should know that the Shi`ites constitute the largest sect in Lebanon. Even Amal movement has a scout movement, which Worth does not mention, as do the Phalanges (who actually started this political scout business back in the 1930s). And Mr. Worth: I know that you are taking Arabic classes, but you have a long way to go, I am afraid. For example, what is "This camp is called Tyr fil Say." I took me several minutes to realize he is talking about a town called Tayr Filsa. Also, when you say "Takleef Shara’ee", you really mean Taklif Shar`i, but your transliteration of Arabic is now officially that of Irshad Manji who writes and pronounces "Jihad" as Jeeeehaaaooooddaaaeeee. And he mentions the book by former Hizbullah guy, Rami `Alliq (who was a hard core fanatic and whose book contains sleazy and sexist material), without mentioning what `Alliq mentioned about his experience in the US.
"With sweets and flowers."
When Lebanese don't win awards, they just make them up. Look at this press release from the NowHariri website.
"The ‘dark side’ of US counter-terrorism took center stage Wednesday in the case of a mentally ill Pakistani woman accused of attacking US officers in Afghanistan. A New York federal judge referred to allegations that the accused, Aafia Siddiqui, was abducted and tortured by US or allied forces prior to her extradition from Afghanistan in August.""
"Israel is collectively punishing innocent civilians by withholding and controlling food and medicine to Gaza, says Christian Aid."
"The United States has asked four oil-rich Gulf states for close to 300 billion dollars to help it curb the global financial meltdown, Kuwait's daily Al-Seyassah reported Thursday." It is not known whether the US has also asked for fries and a smoothie with the order.
"After designing a website similar to that of Barack Obama, Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu has now hired two of the US president-elect's advisors to help him in his election campaign." (thanks Marcy)
"Pakistan summoned the U.S. ambassador Thursday to protest a suspected American missile strike deep inside its territory as militants threatened revenge attacks unless the cross-border raids stop." Summon my potato.
"Israeli Prof. Avi Shlaim: Settlements turned Israel into apartheid state." If he is talking about settlements in the land of Palestine from the 19th century, then he is correct. If he is talking about settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, he is wrong because Israel was an apartheid state from the day it was established.
"In its weekly summary of Israeli human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of November 13 - 19, 2008, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights has reported that 4 Palestinians have been killed, and 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip."
As Mahmud Darwish had written:
"All that you have done
to our people is
recorded in notebooks."
"But in the case of the women among these scholars there is another factor at work, too: A systematic bias in many reaches of society that devalues the work and expertise of women, and the continued, steady upward rolling of the male professional elevator in all the relevant fields." (thanks Ali)
"One of Lebanon's sole remaining synagogues was set to get a restoration that has the rare blessing of all the factions in this divided country - even that of the anti-Israeli Hezbollah. But the global financial crisis has scuttled the effort for now, leaving the Magen Abraham chained, padlocked, badly damaged and rife with weeds." No, the Hariri family has been blocking the restoration from the beginning, probably at the behest of their Wahhabi sponsors.
Saudi Arabia threatens force against pirates. Pirates are reported to be...giggling.
I have received this confidential email (it is self-explanatory) and the writer wants his name withheld: " I would like to draw your attention to the terrible thing that is happening at Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. As you know, there was a big storm in the summer, when it became known that Leviev was due to open at diamonds store at the hotel. The Dubai Municipality themselves said that there would be no way that Leviev could open a store in the UAE, because it is an Arab country and a Muslim country that supports our brothers and sisters in Palestine. Sadly, Leviev has gone ahead and opened the store. It is right next to the main lobby, and everybody who goes through to the shopping area walks right passed it. The store is called 'Levant' but it is clear Leviev store. It uses the same lettering and has the locations of the other shops - Moscow, London, New York - on the door. All the display cases in the window are marked Leviev, and there is even a photo of the man behind the counter. You can image what this does to our feelings. Today, I learned that Lev Leviev has been invited as a VIP guest to the grand opening of Atlantis this weekend, when they will hold a big party in Dubai. The whole Palm island will be closed off by security, so VIPs can mingle and watch the fireworks. I cannot believe that such a man will be a guest of Dubai.. I work for a company that works for the Atlantis, so please do not make my name public. However, anything you can do to make people aware of this problem would be very good. I do not believe that the people of Dubai would want this and it is only pressure from the hotel which is not making this fact known."
"Less than a month after deploying in al-Khalil, a US-trained battalion of Palestinian policemen has arrested over 250 Hamas fighters, defense officials revealed to Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. In addition to the Hamas men, the battalion has also arrested over 140 Palestinians, claiming they were "criminal suspects."" (thanks Olivia)
Muhammad Dahlan Scouts. "Glassman, who serves as under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, joined Partnership co-chairs Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine, and Jean Case, chief executive officer of the Case Foundation, at the November 17 opening ceremony of a new youth development and resource center in the West Bank town of Beita. The center is the first of four that the partnership is working to expand. Also working on the expansion are the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Youth and Sports and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)."
"The Taliban are setting up courts and other local-government institutions across southern Afghanistan, challenging U.S. efforts to pacify the country and bolster the authority of the central government in Kabul." (thanks Nabeel)
"Thomas Friedman, the one-time eloquent cheerleader for the Iraq War...."
There is an actual memo ( could not reproduce here as I received first a PDF file, and then an image that could not be uploaded) that I have received and it is from the Lebanese commander-in-chief of the Lebanese Army (which proudly owns zee plane, zee plane, of the Lebanese Air Force). It calls on all members of the Lebanese Armed forces to "go to the internet" to vote on making J`itta Grotto one of the top "wonders of the world." So don't you go around thinking that the Lebanese Army is disregarding its duty to defend the homeland from daily Israeli violations of sovereignty. The commander-in-chief has other priorities. (thanks Ziyad)
This is from a column by Jihad Al-Khazen in Al-Hayat. Enjoy. It is a really "good" representative sample of what you read in the Saudi press:
"وأسعدني هذه المرة أن يدخل علينا في الفندق فجأة الأمير خالد بن سلطان، مساعد وزير الدفاع السعودي، والأمير سعود بن نايف، السفير في مدريد، وجلسنا معاً وحاولت أن أسمع بعض أخبار السياسة السعودية والعربية منهما، قبل أن يحضرا جلسة مجلس الأمناء فهما من الأعضاء المؤسسين. (كان هناك مصورون في ردهات المؤتمر والفندق وجاءني أحدهم يصورني مع الأميرين، وقال إن الصورة ثمنها 30 جنيهاً لا 20 كبقية الصور لأنها للأميرين، وقلت له هما أميران إلا أنني لست أميراً، وساومته حتى قَبِل بالسعر العادي وربما أبيع الصور للأميرين بأربعين جنيهاً وأكسب، وأنوّع مصادر دخلي).
كان هناك كثيرون من الأصدقاء، ولعل أسعدنا كان الأخ خالد التركي، فهو والسيدة زوجته يعملان في مجالي التعليم والشباب، ولهما جهد قديم مستمر، ورأيت الصديق عبدالمقصود خوجة يتفق مع مثقفين مصريين لإصدار ديوان شاعر مصري راحل عمل في السعودية والكويت، فهو دار نشر من رجل واحد. واستضافنا الأخ صالح كامل، ونشاطه في الميديا ينافس أعماله الأخرى، وسرني كثيراً أن أرى السفير السعودي هشام ناظر، «صاحب الوزارتين» والعلاقة معه تسبق وزارتي التخطيط والبترول، والسفير الأردني هاني الملقي الذي عرفته منذ كان وزيراً للخارجية، وأيضاً الصديق الدكتور مصطفى الفقي، وهو أقرب اليّ مفكراً منه سياسياً، خصوصاً عندما يكتب في «الحياة»، ووجدت نفسي في عشاء الى جانب الأخ بكر بن لادن، وهو الوجه الحقيقي لأسرة بن لادن الكريمة، وصديق عزيز كأخيه الراحل سالم بن لادن."
"I argued that Democrats should not abandon their long-standing commitment to democracy and human rights..." Come on Marc. When did the Democrats express this "long-standing commitment to democracy and human rights"? When did the Democrats push for democracy and human rights in the Middle East, for example? The answer: never.
Two maids (separately) "fell" from the balconies of the home where they work in Lebanon: one is from Bangladesh and the other from Ethiopia. The police report said that the first simply "slipped". (thanks Wassim)