Saturday, February 28, 2009

Secret Member of the US occupation force?

"Among the revelations, which we encourage the press to review in detail, is Jordan's presense as secret member of the US lead occupation force, the ISAF." (thanks Nasser)


It is cruel of me to mock An-Nahar newspaper. I mean, the right-wing, sectarian Christian (and racist Anti-Palestinian (people), anti-Syrian (people) is now led by Naylah Tuwayni. Enough said.

Hariri Tribunal

For those who--unlike me--are interested in the Hariri tribunal, I will summarize developments for you regularly. My first update: blah blah blah blah and blah. Oh, and more blah.


"Taxi drivers complain their customers are gone. State-run companies, which drive much of the local economy, have slashed jobs and pared back expansion plans. Work on some construction sites has stopped altogether. “Dubai has done a good job of diversifying its economy away from oil. The problem is it's diversified into highly cyclical sectors, like real estate, tourism, financial services and trade. All of these sectors are now being impacted by the global economic crisis,” Mr. Cooper said."


"Mitchell in 2001 authored a plan to reduce tensions and make progress that both Israelis and Palestinians embraced as fair, although it was never implemented. In a conference call with Jewish-American leaders earlier this month, Mitchell said that when he reread his report he was struck by how much had changed in the past eight years, according to an account of the conversation published by JTA, a Jewish news service. Iran, he said, was not mentioned in the report but the problem of Iranian influence was brought up by every leader in the region during his initial tour."

No insults?

"The Romanian head coach of Saudi Arabia’s top soccer team was sacked and ordered out of the country on Saturday for an insult against the Saudi royal family a day after his team won the Crown Prince Cup." (thanks Saeed)

Intellectual of Foreign occuption

Fakhri Karim (former communist and present day propagandist for Jalal Talbani and present-day praiser of Hafidh Al-Asad because the Syrian regimes reportedly facilitates Karim's media and businesses in Syria) awarded Al-Arabiyya TV a special award for its coverage in Iraq. I kid you not. In his capacity as "cultural" (cultur in the sense that Goring understood culture) adviser to Talbani, Karim rewarded Al-Arabiyya TV's services for the American occupation.

Am I supposed to cry?

"For the prince, whose net worth was most recently estimated by Forbes at $21 billion, the new government action is just his latest investment setback. Early this year, his company, Kingdom Holdings, reported a $7.9 billion loss as some of his biggest portfolio investments, like the News Corporation, Time Warner and Songbird Estates, which manages the Canary Wharf office development in London, have plummeted. He has suffered further indignity at home, where the share price of Kingdom has lost more than half its value since the company went public on the Saudi stock exchange in July 2007. The Abu Dhabi authority, like all global investors, has also been hit by the world economic downturn, as well as lower oil prices — and it has tended to have a much larger position in equities, especially those in emerging markets, than other funds. Brad W. Setser, an analyst at the Council of Foreign Relations, estimates that the Abu Dhabi fund lost more than 30 percent last year, bringing its size down to about $300 billion from a peak of $480 billion — a figure that is much lower than some of the larger public estimates and one that executives within the authority acknowledge is closer to the truth.""

In flames

"The 34-year-old’s experience isn’t unique in the German capital. At least 29 vehicles were destroyed in arson attacks this year, most of them luxury cars, according to police. The number is already about 30 percent of the total for 2008. The latest to go up in flames was a Porsche, on Feb. 14, two days after a Mercedes was set alight in a public car park."

I wish it is true

"Obama Declares War on Investors, Entrepreneurs, Businesses, And More"

Embedded Racism

"“Lieberman's politics are truly odious, racist and incompatible with any notion of democracy and equality in a modern state,” said Ali Abunimah, a fellow at the Palestine Center in Washington. He added that “much of the anti-Arab racism he expresses publicly is deeply embedded in Israel's society, economy, and political system and tacitly endorsed by all the other major Zionist parties.”" (thanks Toufic)

The Middle East Militry Balance

This will surely tip the Middle East military balance and will deter Israeli aggression, no doubt: "The United States told visiting Army Commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji it will provide the military with "Raven" unmanned aircrafts to help "boost border control and combating terrorism" across Lebanon, the U.S. embassy in Beirut said Friday."

Obama wars

"Obama's plan, as his advisors have often said, is subject to "conditions on the ground," meaning it can be altered at any point between now and 2011. Underscoring this point, a spokesperson for New York Rep. John McHugh, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said on Friday that Obama "assured [McHugh] he will revisit the tempo of the withdrawal, or he will revisit the withdrawal plan if the situation on the ground dictates it. … The president assured him that there was a Plan B.""

Now we learn

"The US military said on Friday that four soldiers killed last month when two helicopters crashed in northern Iraq had been the target of enemy fire. An investigation "determined that the two OH-58 helicopters involved in the January 25 incident in Kirkuk province were engaged and struck by hostile fire," army spokesman for north Iraq Lieutenant Colonel David Doherty told AFP." This is why you really can't believe that American official statements on developments in Iraq. There is so much deception going on. Like they did not know that on the same day? It needed a month of investigation? (thanks Olivia)

This is Zionism

"Furthermore, it is not only the settlements which constitute the occupation. By themselves, the settlers consume only 3% of the West Bank; however, the public utility and military infrastructures which unite them to the state of Israel consume over 40%. Total control of our borders and economy is compounded by 700 checkpoints and movement restrictions, a race-based regime of roads and tunnels, a massive cement Wall and barrier which is twice the length of our internationally recognized border and built almost entirely inside the West Bank, and on top of this, we play host to nearly half a million hostile ideologues who consume 80% of our water resources." (thanks Nabil)

Another intruder on Middle East studies (no expertise)

Look how this guy measures Muslim tolerance: "Kosovo is overwhelmingly pro-American, and its relations with Israel are excellent as well." (thanks Nader)

My appearance at Oxford

For those who asked, I shall post information about my talks in UK next week. This one is about my talk at Oxford University.

Barring Muslims

"A retired judge wants two Ontario universities to bar Muslim students from being awarded scholarships he has established, though the spokesperson for one institution says her school won't support a proposal that "flies in the face of everything we stand for."" (thanks Hicham)

Obama rules

"The United States has decided to boycott an upcoming UN conference on racism unless its final document is changed to drop all references to Israel." (thanks Marcy)

Israeli propaganda trickery

Look at those kind of articles in the US press: hostility to Israeli propagandists equated with anti-Semitism. Do they think that with this kind of polemical trickery, that they can silence our voices against Israeli terrorism? So according to the articles if hostility is displayed toward the counsel general of the usurping entity of Israel it indicates anti-Semitism? (thanks Zainab)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Arab Communism: Some causes of Demise

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Arab Communism: Some causes of Demise"


"The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), across the Persian Gulf from Iran, signed military deals worth 18.4 billion dirhams ($5 billion) during an arms exhibition in Abu Dhabi this week, a senior officer has said." (thanks Laleh)

Tomato news

"But when asked if it is reasonable to assume that an American who has eaten a fresh tomato from a grocery store or food-service company during the winter has eaten fruit picked by the hand of a slave, Molloy said, “It is not an assumption. It is a fact.”" (thanks Ema)

The real Saddam: eager for Zionist approval

"In early summer 1995, a few months before his assassination, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin asked Jordan's King Hussein to approach Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on his behalf and arrange a joint visit by Rabin and Hussein to Baghdad, according to Nigel Ashton, author of "King Hussein: A political Life" (Yale University Press)."

Again, Quantum communications

"Mr. ROHRABACHER. How much is the contract with Quantum?
Mr. KLEINMAN. We don't actually have a fixed contract. We don't have an obligation to them. We basically pay based on the show, on a show-by-show, episode-by-episode basis. Any agreement that we had with them and still have with them is cancellable and is not a commitment. Joe Stanton, our CFO, do you want to talk for a minute about the contractual structure?" (thanks David)

Spare me your crocodile tears

US media sometimes have sympathy for the Palestinian people but only if they can argue that their victimizers are not Israel.

Dahlan Foreign Minister finds courage

"Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said on Thursday the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) condemns the U.S. embargo against Cuba."

Something perverse

"As with "Beaufort," then, "Bashir" leaves you with the impression that Israeli soldiers are nice kids, scared shitless - contrary to the brutality evinced on television news footage. If the facts of the human condition that the film depicts do evoke pity and fear from the audience, it's not because your estimation of these boys has diminished. In Folman's narrative, occupation does not make good people do bad things; rather it makes good people watch bad people (aka "the Lebanese") do bad things. There is something laughably predictable in the orientalism embedded in Cnaan's analysis of the Phalange: "There was something erotic about the Phalangists' relationship with Bashir," he observes sagely. "Avenging his death was, for them, like taking revenge for the killing of a wife." Worse, "Waltz with Bashir" asks the audience to feel as much sympathy for those that made the Sabra-Shatila massacre possible as you do for the victims themselves. There is something perverse in this." (thanks Nour)

War by other names

"It would be superfluous in us to point out that a plan to "end" a war which includes the continued garrisoning of up to 50,000 troops in a hostile land is, in reality, a continuation of that war, not its cessation." (thanks Shehadeh)
"Summerfield’s article provoked hundreds of responses, about 550 of which the BMJ published as rapid responses.2 Of these, a small proportion were broadly supportive of Summerfield’s article, but most were hostile. Reading them might give the impression of a civilised debate in progress, but the published responses were a skewed sample of what had been received, as abusive and obscene contributions were not posted." (thanks Ali)

Thuggish dictator

"For instance, the King is using international forums and other international gatherings for merely public image and propaganda to show his western audience and his foreign interlocutors that he is a real democrat believing in democracy and human rights. Truly, he is a young yet growing thuggish dictator in the heart of the Middle East." (thanks J.)

Boycott, NOW

"The LEGO group contributed two large containers holding a thousand boxes of 'duplos' – large-sized Lego blocks. The Danish toys will be distributed among 170 WIZO pre-schools across Israel and particularly to the 35 pre-schools located in southern communities, where residents are still suffering from rocket-fire." (thanks Asa)

Cedar tribunal

The special tribunal for Lebanon has pictures of the cedars. (thanks Emily)


"An Egyptian woman, who went to file a complaint at a police station on 19 January, has since been subjected to torture, ill-treatment and death threats against her and her family by members of the local police force." (thanks Olivia)

All that you have done, is registered in notebooks

"According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 19 - 26 Feb. 2009, a Palestinian child died of wounds sustained during the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza. In addition, Israeli troops injured 19 Palestinians, 17 of whom were unarmed civilians, of whom eight were children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The injured include a radio reporter from the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Israeli forces carried out intensive air strikes along the border with Egypt, forcing residents from their homes."

Key difference

"As a result, Palestinians are less important to the Israeli economy than India was to Britain. Their marginalization and de-development are intentional and serve to facilitate Israeli expropriation of valuable water, land, and other resources. Moreover, Israel receives significant financial and military “aid” from the United States which also reduces its need to integrate economically with its neighbors. The lack of economic dependency makes non-violent resistance much less effective as a weapon in fighting the occupation. Any economic levers the Palestinians may have had were further diminished (intentionally) via their PA leadership’s dependency on and distribution of foreign “aid.” This had the double effects of corrupting and ensuring the cooptation and cooperation of the leadership, as well as minimizing the size and role of an educated middle class that could lead the struggle – as was the case in India. A fourth difference is the lack of a charismatic leader like Gandhi."" (But Abu Mazen is charismatic, truth be told)

A personal and international tragedy

"Mr. Wiesel’s charity lost $15.2 million, and he and his wife, Marion, lost their life savings. “This was a personal tragedy where we discovered all of a sudden what we had done in 40 years — my books, my lectures, everything — was gone,” said Mr. Wiesel, who shared his story as part of a panel discussion on the Madoff scandal on Thursday."

Training of Dahlan gangs

"So there is cooperation. An Israeli officer inaugurated the firing range here, shooting a Palestinian weapon to test it and give his seal of approval."

Ethan Bronner on Dahlan Gangs

Here, Ethan Bronner describes Dahlan armed gangs: "But his commitment to helping the Palestinians build a responsible and serious security force is enormous."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wahhabi Philospher

So MEMRI always tries to prop up the credentials of columnists in Prince Salman's mouthpiece, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, when they go after Israel's enemies. Today, in a bulletin they referred to Hashim Salih as "philospher."

Zionist-Saudi alliance

Christopher asked me whether I have noticed that Zionist fanatics, like Martin Kramer, are now regularly and consistently peddling editorials from Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (Prince Salman's mouthpiece). I said: yes, I have noticed indeed.

Not popular

"Asked specifically about the US naval forces based in the Persian Gulf, there is widespread opposition across the Muslim world. Across eight Muslim publics on average, 66 percent said it was a bad idea; only 13 percent called it a good idea. Opposition is largest in Egypt (91%) and among the Palestinians (90%), but opposition is also large in America's NATO ally Turkey (77%)." (thanks Melanie)

If she was Muslim, it would be on the front page of NYT

"A 14-year-old Israeli girl has got a divorce from her 17-year-old husband, making her what media are describing as the country's youngest divorcee. The divorce came after a rabbinical court ruled that their wedding met the major requirements of Jewish law." (thanks John)


"what really happened was more Sylvester The Cat slapstick than Superman bravado" (thanks David)

Prince Sultan's Funeral

Have you decided what to wear for Prince Sultan's funeral? It has to be somber for the occasion.

Michael Totten: the Middle East Expert

This man now reports to you from Lebanon: "The young man said something sinister-sounding in Arabic. “Do you speak English?” I said." How dare the natives not speak and curse in English to the White Man? (thanks Emily)
PS Dane alerted me to this postscript by Totten: "Post-script: Adventures like this one aren’t exactly part of my job, but I’d rather not get roughed up in Beirut for free. If these dispatches are worth something to you, please consider a contribution and help make independent writing economically viable. And stay tuned for much more from Beirut and Baghdad. You can make a one-time donation through Pay Pal." So he wants to be paid to be roughed up in Arab cities?


""The call 'No Arabs - no terror' is tainted with racism because it connects the entire Arab population, without any differentiation among its members, and the execution of heinous terror acts," Judge Shulamit Dotan wrote in her February 18 ruling. "It thus shows hostility and enmity toward an entire populace, only because of its national-ethnic origin."" Tell that judge to go and play in a playground, as we say in Arabic. If she was consistent she would have ruled against the very existence of the state of Israel. (thanks Asa)

Terrorist campus

"The landscaped $5 million campus is now a heap of concrete slabs and rubble, blasted by Israel in a predawn air strike Jan. 3 during its 22-day military offensive against Hamas. Rebuilding may take as long as two years, as Obaid, 17, and the other students go to classes in temporary quarters." (thanks Stan)

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye

The Maronite Patriarch issues a formal declaration threatening "Great excommunication" against any one who offends the Patriarch. Damn. This can't apply to me. Damn. But the decree does not mention if the threat applies to those who innocently hurl trash or rotten vegetables at the esteemed patriarch.


"The claim by Craig Monteilh, a 46-year-old Irvine resident, that he had been sent by the FBI to infiltrate several Orange County mosques could affect the government's case against Ahmadullah Sais Niazi."

This is Zionism

"Israel plans to demolish 88 homes in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, to make way for a new archaeological park, adding new fuel the slow-burning dispute over Jerusalem." You must be morally repugnant to forgive this state for its unending crimes.

When American Liberals embrace Israeli homophobia

Do you notice that American liberals find Israeli homophobia to be cute? "The Jerusalem Municipality has replaced dozens of plastic garbage bins with noncombustible metal ones, this after recurring ultra-Orthodox riots in protest of the annual Gay Pride Parade have cost the city more than a million shekels over the past five years."

A state that will be forgotten in historical terms

"Rabbi Haim Druckman, who heads Bnei Akiva, said that "fighting our enemies is a commandment. To serve in the IDF is a commandment. We must remember that we could not carry out this commandment for 2,000 years. How happy we must be that we live in this great and special time, a time in which we have returned to our land, seen the founding of our state, the ingathering of exiles.""

Terrorist pasta

"At first, Israeli officials said that they wanted to make sure that the macaroni wasn't destined for a Hamas charity. Then they said macaroni was banned because they didn't consider it an essential food item."

How come the religion of the murderer is not mentioned?

"Miami-Dade police say Amador, 54, shot and killed wife Maria Joy, 47, and two daughters, Priscila, 14, and Rosa, 13, shortly before 6 a.m. Son Javier, 16, called 911 and ran from the home unharmed. Bea, a student at the University of Miami, was not home." If he were a Muslim, the religion would be in the headline. (thanks Toufic)

Pleasing Israel

There is a simple formula that Anwar Sadat and Yasser `Arafat discovered long time ago: to win US praise you need to prostrate yourself before Israel and Zionists. The New York Times today hailed King `Abdullah's "reforms." I bet that the more Saudi Arabia pleases Israel, the more impressive his "reforms" will look in US eyes.

Do you need to read further?

You read this and realize where this is going: "Having just returned from a trip to the country arranged by the top American commander there, Gen. Ray Odierno, we agree that Iraq continues to make tremendous strides, thanks to American assistance and, increasingly, the efforts of Iraqi politicians and security forces." Of course, there is a comical segment as they refer to Iraqi mullah-stan as "young democracy." And they declare the end of sectarianism too.

Phony Image

"“Every brick in the wall of this phony image allows the Israeli Army to throw 10 more tons of explosives and more phosphorus bombs.”" (thanks Narrima)


"The government has admitted that British troops in Iraq handed over terror suspects to the US, which then secretly rendered them to a prison in Afghanistan."

Dahlan Media

"While reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah continue, officials in Mahmoud Abbas' movement are preparing to establish a television station and other media outlets, in a bid to counter the influence of Hamas' highly popular television and radio stations." I am pleased. No, really I am. I would like to see a weekly program featuring the heroism of the Dahlan Army (seen above). Or we can have show on Dancing with Dahlan Soldiers, or Cooking with Dahlan Soldier, or the Basics of Collaboration with Dahlan soldiers. (thanks Olivia)

House of Saud's lifestyle

OK. I always notice that Saudi kings and princes always have kleenex tissues next to them. I notice that but I don't want to know why they are desperate to have them so close by even in meetings with heads of state. I don't know what those Saudi royals and princes ooze all hours of the day. But then you think of their lifestyles. I mean, the medical records of King Fahd must have read like the Encyclopedia of STDs. But here is the Saudi King meeting with the Syrian foreign minister. What on earth is that feast in front of the Saudi king? I mean, I like Arabic sweets more than anything--almost more than anything--but come on. And are the sweets and candy within reach of the Syrian foreign minister? Did he offer him any? (AP)

Listing Angry Arab

So Robert Johnson sent me this (I cite with his permission): "As`ad, So, I'm doing my job of synopsizing academic books for a book catalogue, and in the collection International Blogging (Full title of the book is "International Blogging: Identity, Politics and Networked Publics") (Russell & Echchaibi) there is an article on "Theorizing the Muslim Blogosphere" by Eugenia Siapera. Did you know that you were part of the Muslim blogosphere? I thought you were an atheist. Anyway, she says that "most of [your] analyses are informed, well researched, and elegantly written.""

Resisting annihilation

"The facts are simple enough. And yet that is not at all how current media narratives present the struggle. It is never referred to as one for liberation and freedom. Resistance to the oppressive occupation and to the expansionist and dispossessing Israeli state is never presented as a right, despite the self-evident moral and legal principle, that as the (occupying) aggressor, Israel cannot justify violence against resistance to its own initial aggression.3 And yet, in this last massacre, Gazans who are starving, imprisoned, mostly refugees from the original displacement that happened with Israel’s creation, and who have qualitatively modest (but technologically improving — distance/reach) weapons, are the ones being blamed for “starting” or inviting the attack on themselves. This is objectionable on several levels. Fundamentally, the framing of the story that equates Palestinian resistance with the fourth strongest army in the world is inherently deceptive. Additionally, it blames the victim for resisting annihilation."

Hitchens in Beirut, again

I was just informed that the boring travel companion of Hitchens in Beirut, i.e., Michael Totten, confirms that Hitchens indeed tried to deface the SSNP's commemorative sign near Wimpy which notes the brave operation by Khalid `Alwan, a Beiruti young man, against Israeli terrorist soldiers who were sitting in the cafe defacing our capital. A small sign was mounted on the location of the brave operation. Hitchens and his boring travel companion are making noises about the ideology of the SSNP and they have been referring to its "inverted" swastika. Now I have never been a fan of the SSNP and have been critical of its ideology, but the real Nazi party in Lebanon--for anybody who knows anything about Lebanon, which does not include Hitchens and Totten and that infamous Forbes writer who could not even get the date of March 14 right-- is none other than the party that invited and hosted Hitchens in Beirut. The right-wing Zionist apologists, Hitchens et al, were in Beirut at the invitation of the sleaziest political group imaginable: the so-called Now Lebanon media outfit (I call it Now Hariri), which is tied to Future (Hariri) media, which is tied to Quantum group which is tied to Lebanon Renaissance Foundation, which is tied to nepharious political projects in Lebanon with the stamp of Cheney-Bush-Hariri-House of Saud-Gemayyel. The leader of Lebanon Renaissance Foundation, is none other than Elie Khoury who led Saatchi and Saatchi which reportedly helped the US occupation in Iraq to sell its mission in Arabic, and helped design (for a hefty sum) the slogan of the Hariri family in Lebanon: Lebanon first. Brilliant, huh? The political coalition that hosted Hitchens in Lebanon include the Phalanges Party and Khoury's political affiliations are with the Lebanese Forces. So the closest to the Lebanese Nazis--the closest to the Nazies of the Arab world--are none other than the Phalanges and the Lebanese Forces, and one wonders if Hitchens heroic claims are true, why he was not seen defacing the crosses or the cedars of the true Lebanese Nazis. But then again: has there any credibility left to somebody like Hitchens whose political commentaries have been amounting to nothing more than the slogans drafted by speech writers of Bush's White House? This is a man who now it seems supports every sitting American president and who waits for a president to leave office before he dares to offer criticisms of his administration. The champion of Bush is now posing as champion of Obama: enough said. A man with no principles and no credibility left was astouned to face sandniggers at the American University of Beirut campus who challenged his positions on every issue in foreign policy. What was most shocking for Hitchens and his neo-conservative clique is that those who challenged him on the AUB campus were not Islamic fundamnetalists who he can dismiss as "Islamofascists"--a term he regularly uses but he cowardly avoided using during his Hariri trip in Lebanon--but seclar leftists from different sects in Lebanon. There are people who would lament the political transformations of Hitchens and talk about his not only championing of Bush's wars but his change of views on the Palestinian question. In other words, the man is a fraud because he argues that Sep. 11 opened his eyes to the threat of Islamofascists but he can't explain why he also conveniently stopped criticizing Israel--something he was willing to do for a small fee back in the 1980s and 1990s. Personally, I did not like Hitchens during his leftist poseur days, and like him less now, and his sleazy, sexist, and vulgar tone regarding women is rather repulsive to me. Back in the 1980s, when I read that he was claiming on every media that would host him that he once interviewed Abu Nidal, I knew that this guy is a fabricator and liar.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chutzpah update

"Barak: Time running out on stopping Iranian nuke program". Angry Arab: Time has already run out on stopping Israeli nuclear program."

But they like beating demons in the US

"How many Americans know that Jindal boasted of participating in an exorcism that purged the spirit of Satan from a college girlfriend? So far, Jindal’s tale of “beating a demon” remains behind the subscription wall of New Oxford Review, an obscure Catholic magazine; only a few major blogs have seized on the story."

Nothing to Hide

"Justice Secretary Jack Straw has vetoed the publication of minutes of key cabinet meetings held in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003." (thanks Rashid)

Pupppet indignant

"Asked at a security conference in Munich last weekend whether the Americans wanted to dump him, Mr Karzai told a German newspaper: “The Afghans determine who leads Afghanistan…We are not a colony.”" When you think of the name Karzai, you can only think of national pride, sovereignty, dignity, and extreme independence. (thanks Asa)

Isn't that special?

"The State Department on Tuesday reaffirmed its support for Israel, telling Haaretz that the U.S. viewed its relations with Jerusalem as "special" and lasting. When asked whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's declaration that "There will be no pigeion-holing, no exclusivity, we're reaching out to the entire world" could affect the U.S.' ties with Israel, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said: "U.S. has special relations with Israel, it will continue strong with no doubt.""

Brains on the road

"At a two-hour lunch event on March 17, described as "a conversation with George W Bush", the 43rd president will address 1,500 invited guests - and emphatically no journalists - at the invitation of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. The brochure advertising Bush's appearance promises discussion of his "eight momentous years in the Oval Office," and "the momentous challenges facing the world in the 21st century." Local activists have promised protests. The Calgary fee is a secret, although the Canadian agency involved did reportedly pay Bill Clinton $150,000 for a similar engagement three years ago. Even an ex-leader as unpopular as Bush should manage easily to exceed the presidential salary of $400,000." (thanks Marcy)

Torture exports

"However, this is not the end of the US- and UK-endorsed use of extreme pain to break people in custody. Ever since the fateful attacks on 11 September 2001 and in truth, long before that in covert operations, these two states have outsourced torture to some of the most lawless regions in the world or to regimes which commonly use physical and psychological coercion in exchange for influence or cash. There is no sign yet that Obama means to outlaw renditions, secret abductions by the CIA, or the unrecorded movement of prisoners. The fear is that these clandestine activities will continue. Shutting down the – always provocative – Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre is possibly a way to placate protesters and carry on regardless."

Goskel amazed

"To illustrate his point, he mentioned the "underground cities" of tunnels and bunkers that the group built across the border from Israel around 2000. "They did it under roads I drove on everyday and no one saw it. Now tell me, if they didn't have the support of the people, could they have done that?" Apparently, there were no traces of soil removed from the ground anywhere in the vicinity, which would have alerted the UNIFIL troops that something was happening. This still amazes Goksel. "Where did that soil go? Whenever I go to the south I ask the people I know, 'one day tell me how you did it.'""" (thanks Saeed)

It would be on front page of NYT if they were Arabs

"It is an all too familiar scene: the Israeli bus, travelling near predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem, is pelted with stones that smash windows and startle passengers. Except this time the stone-throwers are not Arabs but Jews. The violence is part of an unholy war in which strident elements of the ultra-Orthodox community in Mea Shearim are trying to force Israel's leading bus company – and, by extension, Israeli society – to defer to their strict religious teachings and sensibilities."


"A US congressman plans to brief fellow members of Congress and the Obama administration about his recent trip to Gaza, saying the US should pressure Israel regarding border closures and reassess its military support for the Jewish state." And then he will be assigned a post on the potato committee. (thanks Olivia)

Kingdom of Horrors has no fitting rooms

"Worse still, the kingdom's religious police forbid lingerie shops even to have fitting rooms. So if a customer wants to try an item on, she first has to pay for it, and then traipse to a public toilet to see if it fits." (thanks Nabeel)

Let him die: he is gone. It is over.

"Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, underwent a successful surgical operation at a hospital in New York City on Monday, a Royal Court announcement said." (thanks Laleh)

Introducing Palestinian women in the Western press

"The Islamic courts were among the last male-only bastions in Palestinian society, where women have been presidential candidates, police officers and even suicide bombers." (thanks Saleema)


"Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn said the most remarkable statement to any of the women was that she would have an improved chance of finding a partner if she had her breasts enlarged. "It's incredibly surprising that a doctor would say that. Talk about playing to people's insecurities," Mr Zinn said. Most concerning was failure to explain the dangers, such as leakage and scarring."" (thanks Julie)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Plot Thickens: Quantum and US money in Lebanon

"One of the biggest beneficiaries of Alhurra’s largesse has been a network of Lebanon-based companies revolving around a Harb friend named Eli Khoury. He is the top executive at the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency franchise in Beirut and a partner or shareholder in two affiliated companies, Quantum Communications and Brand Central. Khoury's firms have obtained sole-source contracts worth at least "a few million dollars," according to MBN officials and other knowledgeable sources. Both MBN and Tomlinson’s oversight board have refused to disclose the exact amounts paid to Khoury's companies. They insist that MBN -- as a taxpayer-funded "private" corporation -- is not required to disclose such "proprietary" information." (thanks David)

Glorificaton of bigotry

"Republican Jon Kyl sponsoring screening of Geert Wilders' film, says 'all too often, people who have the courage to point out the dangers of militant Islamists find themselves vilified and endangered'"

In the US, it is called terrorist olive oil

"In an unintended consequence of Israel's offensive in Gaza last month, sales of Palestinian olive oil in Britain are soaring, importers have said."

Rational capitalism?

"In the 1930s Keynes decried the growing dominance of financial capital, which threatened to reduce the real economy to “a bubble on a whirlpool of speculation,” and recommended the “euthanasia of the rentier.” However, financialization is so essential to the monopoly-finance capital of today, that such a “euthanasia of the rentier” cannot be achieved—in contravention of Keynes’s dream of a more rational capitalism—without moving beyond the system itself. In this sense we are clearly at a global turning point, where the world will perhaps finally be ready to take the step, as Keynes also envisioned, of repudiating an alienated moral code of “fair is foul and foul is fair”—used to justify the greed and exploitation necessary for the accumulation of capital—turning it inside-out to create a more rational social order. 49 To do this, though, it is necessary for the population to seize control of their political economy, replacing the present system of capitalism with something amounting to a real political and economic democracy; what the present rulers of the world fear and decry most—as “socialism.”50" (thanks Jake)

Dahlan o Dahlan

Did you see the Dahlan tribute/interview in Saudi sleaze website, Elaph? It is good. No, really it is if you want to induce puking.

War criminals

"Israel continues to obstruct independent investigations into allegations of laws of war violations by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas military forces in Gaza by preventing independent human rights monitors from entering Gaza, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem said today. After submitting applications for permission to enter via the Erez crossing in January 2009, the groups faced continued delays from the IDF unit reviewing the applications. In February, the IDF told Human Rights Watch that it had rejected its application. The Israeli military denied B’Tselem's first request to enter Gaza and has failed to respond to a second."

Zionist racism

Do you notice that American Zionists really think that Fascist Zionists are rather cute? "Joe Lieberman told the local press he "wanted to meet Lieberman, because he will play an important role in the next government, so it's important that we in the US get to know him well."" (thanks Sellam)

Hamid Karzai is nice, no?

"The pilots do not need to be told that civilian deaths soared last year in Afghanistan, the majority from Taliban attacks, but others from airstrikes called in by American and British troops under fire. President Hamid Karzai has so angrily condemned the strikes that in December he was invited to visit the Roosevelt, so that officers could try to persuade him that they took care where they aimed their bombs. As Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, the commander of United States naval forces in the region, put it: “We don’t drop when we’re unsure.” The visit, by the Navy’s account at least, went well. Mr. Karzai watched jets take off from the flight deck and was briefed on how the pilots try to minimize “collateral damage.” Afterward, he sent the ship one of his trademark karakul hats and a Christmas card. But for the pilots, tensions remain."

Iranian Jews

"“Let them say ‘Death to Israel,’ ” he said. “I’ve been in this store 43 years and never had a problem. I’ve visited my relatives in Israel, but when I see something like the attack on Gaza, I demonstrate, too, as an Iranian.”" (thanks Marcy)

Canada is no more innocent: was it ever?

"Dozens of angry protesters shouted "death to Canadians" and paraded the bloody bodies of two dead boys in front of a government office in Kandahar Monday, after an explosion southwest of the city near a village for disabled people." (thanks Olivia)


Gen. Michel `Awn's comments on Jews are anti-Semitic.

Some ethnic cleansing is not that bad for you, according to this columnist

"Israel, too, engaged some in ethnic cleansing -- or why else all those Palestinian refugees? But the attempt was both chaotic and, as we can see, not wholly successful." (thanks Sarah)

Hitchens on Lebanese women

This is what Hitchens said on Lebanese women: "Speaking of sex, said NOW Lebanon, just incidentally, what did you think of Lebanese women? "Ah," he said, "the fragrant and lustrous womanhood of Lebanon requires no endorsement, it's already established itself." And it was, he added, "very much on show, if that isn't too cheap and gaudy a way of putting it, [at the Hariri memorial]. And strangely," he continued meditatively, "hardly less on show when we went to the big tent of the Party of God." It seems appropriate to draw a veil over his remarks on the salacious glances of female Hezbollah supporters." This is from the media outfit known as Now Lebanon but I call it Now Hariri. This reactionary outfit invited Hitchens to Lebanon. I have been hearing a lot about this outfit and I receive inside information on it as I receive about the Daily Star in Beirut but there is much that I can't use because the senders work there and fear for their jobs if I were to reveal what they tell me. But I can tell you that this outfit is run by a a reactionary organization called Quantum, and is run overall by a Lebanese Forces guy called Elie Khuri who has been running the Saatchi and Saatchi regional office and who allegedly help the US war to advertise the war in Arabic, and received a contract from the Hariri family to stage the Potato Revolution. Quantum is largely funded by Hariri but allegedly receives "external" funding according to some sources. The English section of Now Lebanon is separate from the Arabic section: Michael Young (the neo-conservative tedious writer for Daily Star) has an editorial role in Now Lebanon (the English section), while the Arabic section features the same faces of Hariri media in Lebanon (`Uqab Saqr, Mufffaq Harb (of the Hurra TV infamy), Walid `Abbud, among others). But their is a high turnover rate as two of the three left already. (thanks anonymous 1 and thanks anonymous 2 and thanks anonymous 3)

Zizek on Munich

Khalil sent me this: "thought you might like this quote from Slavoj Zizek's In Defense of Lost Causes. In his first chapter, Happiness and Torture in the Atonal World, Human, all too human, he states the following ideas about Munich, which also deal with the same themes in Waltz with Bachir and many other films, novels, etc.:

In contrast to the simplistic opposition of good guys and bad guys, spy thrillers with artistic pretensions display all the "realistic psychological complexity" of the characters from "our" side. Far from signaling a balanced view, however, this "honest" acknowledgment of our own "dark side" stands for its very opposite, for the hidden assertion of our supremacy: we are "psychologically complex," full of doubts, while the opponents are one-dimensional fanatical killing machines. Therein resides the lie of Spielberg's Munich: it wants to be "objective," presenting moral complexity and ambiguity, psychological doubts, the problematic nature of revenge, of the Israeli perspective, but what its "realism" does is redeem the Mossad agents still further: "look, they are not just cold killers, but human beings with their doubts- they have doubts, whereas the Palestinian terrorists..." One cannot but sympathize with the hostility with which the surviving Mossad agents who really carried out the revenge killings reacted to the film ("there were no psychological doubts, we just did what we had to do") for there is much more honesty in their stance. (p11)"

About the Amos Oz post yesterday

Asa sent me this comment about Stephen's point on Oz (I cite with his permission): "Stephen's overall point is of course correct, however for the sake of accuracy I feel I should point out that his calculations are not quite right since the population figures in the CIA World Factbook include the Palestinian refugees in Gaza and West Bank camps (1,813,847 according to UNWRA:) So the figure for refugees he should have added to the West Bank and Gaza populations is 2,786,153 (i.e. 6,686,153 in total if the refugees returned to only the West Bank and Gaza) which would give a population density of ~1,114 per square km. And yes, Amos Oz is still an idiot."

At least I will no more read about the genius of Sheikh Mo

"Dubai’s stock market rallied Monday, a day after the United Arab Emirates announced a $10 billion bond purchase to shore up the debt-ridden city-state, which had been hit hard by collapsing real estate prices and tight credit in recent months."

Monday, February 23, 2009

The heart of the collapse

"At the heart of the collapse of the financial system and the economic recession lies the unparalleled greed of the banks coupled with the declining wages of poor working people exacerbated by a racist social division of labor. The solution to problem may well continue to lie in the repayment in full of a centuries-old debt. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, capitalism’s promissory note is still marked, “Insufficient Funds.”" (thanks Jake)

Prince Sultan

An official Saudi source having denied that Prince Sultan had any medical problems just announced that the Prince had a "successful operation." In official Saudi terminology, that can mean one thing only: the man is about to drop dead any minute now.

Waltz with a Potato

I did not watch the academy awards yesterday (and who calls it "an academy"? How can an entity be called an "academy" when Tony Danza is a member?). But I just checked to see if Waltz with a Potato would win. It did not. I went back to sleep.

Dahlan o Dahlan

"The Palestinian Authority banned a planned symposium on the Palestine Liberation Organization scheduled for Sunday in the northern West Bank city of Nablus."

For freedoms

There was a demonstration in Beirut in favor of gay and lesbian rights and against sexual harassment. (As-Safir)

"Cultural shock"

"To females traveling to Egypt, I say: Be wary. Cover up. And mentally prepare yourself to accept a culture that is more tolerant of sexual harassment than your own." To females traveling to US, I say: Be wary. Crimes against women in US are worse than crimes against women in Egypt--this while not downplaying the severity of sexual harassment in Egypt. And the culture in the US seems more tolerant of crimes against women than in Egypt. (thanks Hani)
PS I received a few emails about it. As I said: I am not downplaying the problem in Egypt, and I have heard from friends of mine who traveled there. But it is important that we don't draw some imaginary lines of liberation of women between East and West. 22% to 35% of women who visit a hospital emergency room in the US do so because of domestic violence. On average, 23 women a week are killed by "intimates" in the US. Of all the women murdered between 1976 and 2005, 42% were killed by an intimate or other family members. 74% of all murders of women from domestic violence occur after the woman has left the relationship, filed for divorce, or sought a restraining order against her "partner." (All data is from Joni Seager, The Penguin Atlas of women in the World, fourth edition).

House of Saud in Space

House of Saud wants to establish a space center. I bet the House of Saud's space station would have a casino, a brothel, and a bar--oh, and a Wahhabi propaganda center to feign piety. (thanks Dan)

Embargo: at least

"Amnesty International called on Monday for a global arms embargo against Israel, accusing it of using white phosphorous and other weapons supplied by the United States to commit war crimes in the Gaza Strip." (thanks Olivia)

Living and dying in Shatila

Living and dying in Shatila camp. (thanks Marcy)

Sons of...Zayid

"Abu Dhabi is negotiating an commercial deal with Israel that would grant the Arabian emirate access to the Israeli-built Eros B satellite and its high-resolution imagery, in addition to services it already receives from its precursor, the Eros A."

Zionist exploitation of anti-Semitism

You need to read this racist article: "The global economic meltdown, and the rise in anti-Semitism should be leveraged to increase aliya from the former USSR, US, Europe, Latin America and South Africa." (thanks Asa)

Pelted with shoes

"During a talk at the Apollo Hotel in Amsterdam on Sunday, Israeli speaker Ron Edelheit was pelted with shoes thrown by members of the audience. Mr Edelheit was a spokesman for the Israeli army during its recent offensive in the Gaza Strip. Police arrested two men and one woman, all in their early twenties. Outside the hotel, around fifty others protested against Mr Edelheit's visit, in what police said was a peaceful manner. According to the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel, the location for the event was changed at the last moment, after the College Hotel received threats." (thanks Mariam)

Not in the US

"University workers in the Canadian University of Public Employees have passed a controversial motion calling for an academic boycott of Israel, and union members from at least one Toronto university are planning to pressure their school to cut any financial ties with the country." (thanks Rashid)


"In 1994, his two adult sons died within months of each other: one in a hit-and-run accident, the other in a disappearance from a boat off Florida." No, the family lied. Alex did not die from a "hit-and-run accident". He shot himself. I knew Alex well in the 1980s when I lived in Washington, DC and he was doing graduate work at George Washington University. And the book on Kuklinski also repeats the lie.

Let Amos Oz go to Belgium

Stephen sent me this message (I cite with his permission): "In a recent interview in the Guardian, Amos Oz claimed that if all the Palestinian refugees returned to the West Bank and Gaza, then they would still be less densely populated than Belgium. A life in writing: Amos Oz 'If every last Palestinian refugee was settled in the West Bank and Gaza, it would still be less crowded than Belgium' Having visited Belgium quite often, I knew this was probably untrue. After checking with data from the CIA World Factbook, I now know it is untrue. The workings are: The CIA World Factbook gives the land area of the West Bank as 5,640 sq kms and the land area of Gaza as 360 sq kms, so the total land area is 6,000 sq kms. The CIA World Factbook gives the population of the West Bank as 2,400,000 and the population of Gaza as 1,500,000. The UNRWA gives the number of registered Palestinian refugees as 4,600,000. So the total number of Palestinians would be 8,500,000 living in an area of 6,000 sq kms. This gives a population density of ~1,400 per sq km. The CIA World Factbook gives the land area of Belgium as 30,528 sq kms and the population of Belgium as 10,400,000. This gives a population density of 340 per sq km. If doing the maths was too difficult for Mr Oz, then perhaps he should have looked at country population densities on Wikipedia where he would have seen that Palestine, without the return of refugees, has a population density of 667 per sq km while Belgium has a population density of 341 per sq km. wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_density"

The singer Wadad (or Widad)

I received the following message (I cite with the permission of its author): "I read your note about the late singer Wadad, Bahiyya 3awwad. She was my grand father's wife, so the step mother of my late mother (By the way she named herself Wadad after my mother, the eldest daughter of her husband at that time.. ). Abdel Jalil Wehbe (my grand father) was a famous song writer that I am sure you heard of. He wrote more than 5000 popular Lebanese songs (3alloma lloma lloma, ya bou el3ouyon helwin, babouri rayeh rayeh babouri jay, habibi bi heb el tech, etc..). So in all the boring condolences articles about Wadad, NO ONE mentioned that she was Jewish, one of the very few Lebanese Jews who stayed in Lebanon after the war. She still has a sister living in Beirut. She was a very funny life loving woman and was very loyal to Lebanon. I think it was a detail worth mentioning and I hate the fact that they burried her on Islamic Sharia rules whereas, to my knowledge, never changed her religion."

International Zionism

"More than 20 countries sold Israel weapons and munitions whose use during Operation Cast Lead could constitute war crimes and might pose serious infractions of international law, according to a report to be released by Amnesty International on Monday. The United States is at the top of the list of arms exporters to Israel, but France, Romania, Bosnia and Serbia are listed as well. Amnesty's report, entitled, "Fueling Conflict: Foreign Arms supplies to Israel/Gaza," details arms sales to Israel between 2004 and 2007, and publishes some of the organization's findings on the use of such weapons against civilians and civilian targets."

Was Hitchens attacked in Beirut?

According to a Lebanese police sources cited in Al-Akhbar, Hitchens was not attacked in Beirut. And the SSNP also denied the story and said that they had no posters in Beirut. If this story is made up it would not be a first: remember that Hitchens claimed to have interviewed Abu Nidal, when there is no evidence whatsoever for that interview. (The source who first sent me the story need to follow up NOW). (thanks Saeed)

It is called boycott, even if it offends Ms. Borgmann

Since when does Ms. Borgmann speak for the Lebanese people? And does Ms. Borgmann know the difference between boycott and censorship? ""I think a lot of Lebanese regret very much that they are not able to see this film," she says. "I hope in the future that Lebanon will change its censorship law and the film will be allowed, because a lot of Lebanese are waiting to see this film.""
PS This is really bothering me. The White Man/Woman comes to our lands and thinks that he/she can teach and civilize the population, and tell them how to conduct their affairs and how to manage their foreign policies, even against the enemy that still occupies its lands. Quelle Chutzpah.

US Tanks for Lebanon: but can't be used for defense

US ambassador in Lebanon confirms that US will sell (old and used) tanks to Lebanon but that they can't be used against Israel and its invasions. They can be only used against Syria and for purposes of internal repression.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let them read Herzl and Oz

"The current school year at the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) in Virginia began with fewer textbooks after US pressure groups accused the school of inciting violence through its curriculum, a development that raises concerns about the future of Islamic education at the institute."

The new and improved Abu Ghraib

"Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison which became notorious for detainee abuse by US forces in 2004, is being officially re-opened in a new incarnation. It has been handed over to the Iraqis and renamed Baghdad Central Prison. The site has been extensively renovated, with upgraded facilities and amenities, including a hospital, rest rooms and visiting rooms. Work is continuing on the prison, which will eventually be the city's main jail, holding about 12,000 inmates."" (thanks Marcy)


"A videotape played Thursday in the trial of a U.S. soldier shows him describing how he shot two of four bound and blindfolded Iraqi prisoners in March 2007." (thanks May)

Cognitive dissonance

"The vast majority of Israeli Jews does not have negative feelings toward Christians living in Israel, but nearly the same proportion believes the state should not allow land to be used for constructing new churches in Jerusalem, according to a study published Thursday."

Don't incite "others"

"On February 8, Students Against Israeli Apartheid at Carleton University put up 100 posters for "Israeli Apartheid Week", a series of lectures and public events that will occur on campuses in over 40 cities around the world. On February 9, these posters were taken down at the request of Carleton's Equity Services, under the rationale that the posters "could be seen to incite others to infringe rights protected in the Ontario Human Rights code" and are "insensitive to the norms of civil discourse in a free and democratic society" (thanks Mohamad)

Did I not tell you?

"UPDATE: A well-placed pro-Israel source says there's "no amount of good will" that would soften reaction to that appointment because "they might as well have appointed Bandar."" (By the way, Freeman once told me that he saw a Nazi dagger with a swastika (a gift from Hitler to King `Abdul-`Aziz) on King `Abdullah's desk (when he was crown prince). (thanks David)

Myth of the Mossad

By the way, did you read (linked below) the account of the Israeli "spymaster" in Haaretz? Read it again. It will help in dispelling the myth of the mighty Mossad. I mean, notice that the guy (who was deputy director of the Mossad) has nothing intelligent or interesting to say. I am sure that there are people in Jordanian or Syrian mukhabarat who are more competent and knowledgeable than this guy. You read the account and understand that the Mossad orchestrated the kidnapping of a worker from Biqa` because they thought he was Hasan Nasrallah of Hizbullah. The Mossad also orchestrated the hijacking of a Syrian plane in the 1980s because they thought that George Habash was on board. Mossad belongs now to the Pink Panther movies and not to the Superman movies.

Obama (in)Justice

"The Justice Department this week missed the opportunity to bring transparency to the controversy over deleted White House e-mail from the Bush administration by allowing briefing to continue on a motion that had been developed by the Bush Administration." (thanks Jad)

too good to be true in the US

"The Food Co-op is NOT — repeat not — considering a ban on Israeli products" (thanks David)


"Or is the answer potentially more alarming: Was his descent into unrepentant radicalism an unintended consequence of his incarceration?"

Obama's Guantanamo

"Less than a month after signing an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, President Barack Obama has quietly agreed to keep denying the right to trial to hundreds more terror suspects held at a makeshift camp in Afghanistan that human rights lawyers have dubbed “Obama’s Guantanamo”." (thanks Laleh)

"Zghorta is not Zimbabwe"

One of the ways in which Lebanonese politicians express their deep racism against Africans and against all dark-skinned people (they foolishly think of themselves as whites), and in which they express their worship for the White Man, is in their constant glorification of their country by insisting that it can't be compared to an African country. Zimbabwe is her used by former leftist, Samir Franjiyyah, who insists here that his hometown is not like the backhward Africa. (thanks Jamal)

Obama bombs

"U.S. military airstrikes in western Afghanistan killed 13 Afghan civilians and only three militants, the U.S. said Saturday, three days after an American general traveled to the site to investigate."

Sa`id `Aql: unplugged

You really have to read this long interview with Sa`id `Aql if you want to understand the malady in Lebanon's political and popular cultures. This man's mental illness has really infected Lebanon's culture. See what kind of greatness he attributes to Lebanon, and see how he cites obscure White Men to "prove" the greatness of Lebanon. And notice that he has never read Mahmud Darwish--his anti-Palestinian racism prevents him from reading anything by Palestinians. And notice that this kook is extremely and deeply sexsit: notice that he wants the woman to be sexless to ear respect and he considers a woman who enages in sex to be "filthy". This is a man who served as a mid-wife for the The Guardians of the Cedar which openly called on each Lebanese to kill a Palestinain at the onset of the civil war (the organization was armed, financed, and sponsored by the Israeli terrorist government, and its founder, Abu Arz, still resides in Israel and receives Israeli support). (Yet, I must concdede: as much I detest and despise this kook, his love poetry is one of the best in Arabic. His volume Qasa'id Min Daftariha, is one of my favorite collection of Arabic love poetry).

No praise for Hampshire College

""The decision was entirely unrelated to Israel or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," they wrote." (thanks Olivia)

Lebanese stooges for Zionism

"In January 1982, at a meeting in Beirut with top Christian leaders - Pierre Gemayel, Camille Chamoun, Georges Adwan and Etienne Saqr (Abu Arz) - Sharon set forth the battle plans." (thanks Saleh)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wadad is dead

I wrote about the singer Wadad before. She died. Here is her best song.


"The 15,000 member food co-op in Park Slope is considering a ban on Israeli products because of the conflict in the Mideast. Officials there are now debating making an international statement after a member's proposal to take a symbolic stand against Israel."

Hariri in Tyre?

Why did the leftist Tadamun Club in Tyre host a panel on Rafiq Hariri? What gives?

Sally Quinn and women in the Middle East

Even Sally Quinn has to pontificate on women in the Middle East. This is as offensive as Christopher Hitchens' pontifications on Lebanese affairs. (thanks Julie)

Hitchens' heroics battles in the streets of Beirut

"He described how he was knocked to the floor, ended up with his shirt covered with blood after he cut his arm in the fall, and "skinned" two fingers on one hand. Hitchens added that he was walking with a limp for several days after. "They were after me because I was the one who had defaced the poster," he said."" What a brave man. After supporting Bush's liberation of Iraqis and Afghans, he was doing his share to contribute to the liberation of Beirutis. That man's courage knows no bound. (Notice that the new expert on Lebanon got the name of Jumblat's party wrong. And notice that this freedom crusader is not bothered by his Saudi-Hariri sponsors, nor by his sectarian-feudal-warlord protection in Beirut. And notice that he identified all his critics at AUB as supporters of SSNP when many were communists and socialists--real socialits and not like his Jumblat protectors.) (thanks Sarah)

Jihad Al-Khazin Fled the scene

A producer at Press TV in London told me that Jihad Al-Khazen, who was a guest on the show on Saudi Arabia this morning, came to the studio and then suddenly fled the scene and turned off his mobile just was the show was supposed to start.


"A Pentagon report requested by President Obama on the conditions at the Guantánamo Bay detention center concluded that the prison complies with the humane-treatment requirements of the Geneva Conventions."

No way

"Sources tell The Cable that Chas W. Freeman, Jr., the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, will become chairman of the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community's primary big-think shop and the lead body in producing national intelligence estimates." I don't believe it, and Zionists in DC will be able to reverse the decision if one is taken.

Finding Bin Laden

Finding Bin Laden (thanks Saeed)

Obama wars

"The strikes are another sign that President Obama is continuing, and in some cases extending, Bush administration policy in using American spy agencies against terrorism suspects in Pakistan, as he had promised to do during his presidential campaign."

I told you so, damn it

"The Obama administration, siding with the Bush White House, contended Friday that detainees in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights."

Dancing terrorists

"A new ambassador of culture will now join Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua, and he too will be considered fabulously enlightened - so different from the bloodthirsty soldiers at the checkpoints, the pilots who bomb residential neighborhoods, the artillerymen who shell women and children, and the combat engineers who rip up streets. Here, instead, is the opposite picture. Animated, too. Of enlightened, beautiful Israel, anguished and self-righteous, dancing a waltz, with and without Bashir. Why do we need propagandists, officers, commentators and spokespersons who will convey "information"? We have this waltz." (thanks Mouin)


"Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!), a San Francisco Bay Area solidarity group, is calling on international Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and Queer filmmakers not to participate in the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival this June. QUIT!'s call for filmmakers to respect the cultural boycott of Israel initiated by more than 100 organizations of Palestinian civil society. The call has been joined by members of South West Asian and North African Bay Area Queers (SWANABAQ) and a founder of Trikone, the largest South Asian LGBT organization in the world." (thanks Emilie)

Very funny indeed

"“Considering myself a rebel all my life, being hugged by the head of the IDF just before I flew here is kind of weird,” he said. “I’m being harassed by my crew—they think I’m from the Mossad now!”" (thanks N.)

Women in Birkinis

The article from CNN about men and their objectification of women in bikinis contained a horrible headline and concluding sentences. It seemed to put the blame on women for the objectification, and not on men. Here is a critique. (thanks Maryam)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dance of Death

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Dance of Death: 'Waltz with Bashir' and Sympathy for the Killer"

Press TV

For those who care, I will discuss Saudi affairs on Press TV in one hour from now. I warned the producer that i will make sure to slip in criticisms of Iran too. She said it would be fine. Other guests are Al-Hayat columnist, Jihad Al-Khazin, and Saudi dissident, Muhammad Al-Mas`ari.

Saudi princes

"Prince Sultan started out calmly, but grew increasingly agitated. Addressing each of the three commentators in turn, he chastised them for being disrespectful and not knowing what they were talking about. "You are all ignorant!" he shouted. He accused former coach Jassim al-Harbi of saying "awful things" about the team manager, asking sarcastically: "You're evaluating managerial competencies now too, Jasim, you and your likes?" Unable to get a word in edgewise, the three squirmed in their chairs – a scene viewed thousands of times on YouTube. Then the prince turned to former player Faisal Abu Thnain. "We work day and night and you just sit here blabbering away on television ... I do not want to hear this talk again. I have tolerated you long enough. You must exercise self-restraint. And you must behave... If you have not been raised properly, we can certainly raise you ourselves." It was this last sentence that shocked the viewing audience, for to accuse someone of not being well brought up is a deep insult in Saudi culture, on par with shoe-throwing in Iraq. Mr. Abu Thnain did not let the prince's comment pass. "No, thank God, we have all been raised well and we know our limits and the repercussions of our actions," he retorted before the prince hung up." (But it shocked me that Murphy said in this article that Saudi princes are "held in high esteem". By whom, Ms. Murphy? Only by...other Saudi princes.)

Take back NYU

"This is for the students who work three jobs to attend the school of their dreams. This is for the students in Gaza, whose university is destroyed and can no longer study. This is for workers in Abu Dhabi building our facilities with no human rights to speak of. We are a global university and our actions are connected to world events, whether we like it or not. It is our responsibility." (thanks Ahmad)

Mubarak Republic

"Add to this the political opposition to Egypt-Israel economic relations by Egyptian leftists, Arab nationalists and radical Islamic groups. Though Egypt and Israel share full diplomatic relations since the signing of the peace treaty in 1979, the relations are often strained, particularly when tension rises between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Egypt itself faces potential political turmoil and unknown political future as its leader for the past 27 years President Hosni Mubarak is facing his 81st birthday. Should the Mubarak regime be replaced by a less friendly one, Israel's energy security could be easily compromised."


"Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide against the Palestinian Children in the Gaza Strip" (thanks Adriano)

The Obama Surge

"The United States will have to keep about 60,000 troops in Afghanistan for at least the next three to four years to combat an increasingly violent insurgency, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said yesterday, warning that 2009 will be "a tough year.""

Obama Bombs

"US forces killed at least one child, video footage obtained by Reuters on Wednesday showed, in an air strike in western Afghanistan that police say killed 12 civilians and US forces said killed 16 militants."

I meant to ask: is Kufiyyah anti-Semitic?

"Two seniors at Gateway High School were told they could not attend class while wearing their kaffiyeh, a checkered scarf worn by many men in the Middle East, in what school officials said was a bid to lessen tensions with Jewish students." (thanks Dan)

Bribes are crying, worldwide

"Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz left for new medical tests in New York late on Thursday from Morocco where he has been convalescing since January 10, the official SPA news agency reported."

A terrorist Army

""What kind of army is this, which can't break into one house where there are armed men?" Abed Rabbo asked himself."

Dahlan o Dahlan

"A company established by Avigdor Lieberman did business to the tune of over NIS 1 million with officials in the Palestinian Authority, apparently selling wood in 2000 and 2001 when Lieberman was an MK." (thanks FLC)

Will not leave

""We told him that these were lands we inherited from our parents, and we were not going to give them up," said Fathi Abu Diab, a member of the residents' committee. "We were born here, and our children were born here too."" (thanks Asa)

Why the word "terrorism" has no meanting for Zionists

"War crimes charges brought abroad against Israeli soldiers and officers involved in Operation Cast Lead are nothing but "legal terrorism," Col. Liron Liebman, who heads the military prosecution's international law department, said Wednesday." (thanks Olivia)

The Beirut Slave Trade

The Beirut slave trade (thanks Mats)

The Islamic Language

A former Senator, while flaunting his knowledge of Islam, refers to the "Islamic language."

Neither Hamas, nor Fatah

"Hamas is not the beginning or the end of this conflict, a movement that has been around for just the last third of Israel's 60 years. The Hamas Charter is not a Palestinian national manifesto, and nor is it even particularly central to today's organisation. Before Hamas existed, Israel was colonising the occupied territories, and maintaining an ethnic exclusivist regime; if Hamas disappeared tomorrow, Israeli colonisation certainly would not." (thanks Ben)

Three options

"there are only three other plausible future relationships of Israel and the Palestinians:"

Ari Folman and the Mossad?

A reliable source tells me that she heard that Ari Folman was trained by the public relations arm of the Mossad. She does not have any confirmation of this, so if anybody has any information, please share.

Colonial Feminism

There is no end to the absurdities and racism of Liberal Feminists in the US. The notion of Colonial Feminism was rather an abstract notion until The National Organization of Women and the Feminist Majority both agitated and cheered the American invasion of Afghanistan. Yet, they both went dead silence after the establishment of patriarchal war lords' regime in Afghanistan. And now this: "The New York president of the National Organization for Women, Marcia Pappas, condemned prosecutors for referring to the death as an apparent case of domestic violence. "This was, apparently, a terroristic version of 'honor killing,'" a statement from NOW said. Nadia Shahram, who teaches family law and Islam at the University at Buffalo Law School, explained honor killing as a practice still accepted among fanatical Muslim men who feel betrayed by their wives. "If a woman breaks the law which the husband or father has placed for the wife or daughter, honor killing has been justified," said Shahram, who was a regular panelist on a law show produced by Bridges TV. "It happens all the time. It's been practiced in countries such as Pakistan and in India."" So let us what this NOW chapter president is saying. First, what is "a terroristic version of honor killing"? And is this crime different from crimes against women that go on daily in the US because the killer is a Muslim? And notice how they always roll out some expert on Islam to justify their racism and their ignorance. Personally, I have never heard of Nadia Shahram and I am sure you have not either. And notice the scientific verdict of Professor Shahram--based on empirical research I am sure--, when she says that "It happens all the time." Excuse me? The beheading of women goes on all the time in "those countries"? Can you give us more evidence, please? If the killer was a Christian, would the country be engaged in such bigoted explanations? And notice how they link "honor crime" with religion.


"Men see bikini-clad women as objects, psychologists say" (thanks Brenda)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hitchens and Lee Smith rescuing Lebanese Shi`ites

This is funny. A group of Zionist Western journalists are trying to cultivate "new" agreeable Shi`ites in Lebanon. Good luck. (thanks Mirvat)

impersonating me on Israeli sites

I am being alerted that Zionist hoodlums are also using my trade-marked name to write comments on this website too.


"To say that Palestinians are absent in Waltz with Bashir, to say that it is a film that deals not with Palestinians but with Israelis who served in Lebanon, only barely begins to describe the violence that this film commits against Palestinians. There is nothing interesting or new in the depiction of Palestinians -- they have no names, they don't speak, they are anonymous. But they are not simply faceless victims. Instead, the victims in the story that Waltz with Bashir tells are Israeli soldiers. Their anguish, their questioning, their confusion, their pain -- it is this that is intended to pull us." (thanks Matthew)

Che was a Marxist-Leninist

I sometimes defend AlJazeera but sometimes I criticize AlJazeera. Today, I was quite upset with the lousy documentary that AlJazeera aired on Che. First, it was shallow. Secondly, they gloss over the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the man: just as his popularization in Lebanon has rendered him into an unpolitical figure to the point that a right-wing (sectarian and racist) politicain, Jubran Tuwayni, used to display his portrait in his office. Thirdly, I was really pissed that they aired a clip from the most reactionary and propaganda film on Che starring none other than Omar Sharif. Casting Charif as Che is akin to casting Sylvester Stallone as Hegel. The film is a piece of propaganda trash and there are rumors that it may have received covert propaganda funding at the time. Fourthly, in talking about revolutionaism the director insterted Bin Laden. Bin Laden (as a fanatical terrorist) does not belong in the same league with Che and Nasser in the movie, and there is nothing revolutionary about Bin Laden. Bin Laden is reactionary and he wants to take us back to 610AD: that is not revolutionary. That was quite odd. The movie should have focused on real inheritors of Che in the Arab world: like Gueverra Gaza: who was mentioned in passing in the film.

Sons of...Zayid

"Israel's Andy Ram has been given a visa to play in next week's Dubai Championships, after compatriot Shahar Peer was denied entry this week." (thanks Khaled)

To Sixty Hells with Nobel

When they asked Tayyib Salih about the requirements for Arab recepients of Nobel (that they be "obedient" on Israel), he said: "To sixty hells with Nobel." (thanks Chris)

Hitchens and theocracies

Do you notice that when Hitchens criticizes theocracies he leaves Saudi Arabia out of it? Of course, this is unrelated to the fact that a Saudi-Hariri group hosted him in Beirut. Another example of the Zionist-Wahhabi alliance.

Cry for mini-Hariri

I mean, who does this work? Like some adviser of mini-Hariri told him that it would look cute if he seats a picture of his dead father on a chair next to him when he meets with foreign dignitaries? Like he thinks he is some kid and that those visitors will feel sorry for him when they see a picture of his dead father? How idiotic is that? What bothers me about Lebanon--among many, many things--is that some Lebanonese think that their stupid and silly ideas are rather brilliant. (Al-Mustaqbal)

Hitchens on Lebanon

"In order to illustrate how he knows so much more about Lebanon than anyone else in the room, when pressed, the only “true revolutionary” he could come up with was Walid Joumblatt. To this, the audience mostly just laughed out loud. I would have felt sorry for Hitchens if he hadn’t been such a pompous ass." (thanks Sarah)

I mean, even the Tennis Channel is Zionist?

"The Tennis Channel has refused to broadcast the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, in protest of the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant an entry visa to top Israeli player Shahar Pe'er, The New York Times reported Tuesday." (thanks Laleh)

Two long days

"“It took two longs days before Obama dispelled any notions of a change in US Middle East policy,” said As’ad Abu Khalil, Lebanese-born and pro-Palestinian professor of political science at California State Univerity." (thanks Olivia)

Yusuf Qaradawi's son: it is official

So in the last three months, two shows by NBN broadcaster, Maria Ma`luf were banned. One featured Muhammad Dahlan and the other featured Yusuf Qaradawi's son, `Abdur-Rahman. Yesterday, I asked Maria about that. She explained (and I have her permission to share the responses): the show about Dahlan was cancelled after intervention by Hamas and Hizbullah who did not want to give Dahlan a free platform on NBC (Nabih Birri TV). As for the more controversial show by Yusuf Qaradawi: she said that she indeed confirmed in the interview with him that he had converted to Shi`ism, and that he wrote a poem about Khumayni. He told her that he fully supported Hizbullah. After the interview was conducted, high officials from the Qatari government called Nabih Birri and asked that the show be canceled and that was that.

Words are too frail

""Words are simply too frail to express to you adequately the depth of my gratitude for the magnificent letter," Valenti wrote. "This is something I shall always treasure.""

US Policy toward Lebanon

There is an undeclared new shift in US policy toward Lebanon. This policy started under Bush and continues under Obama. The policy is this: boycott of the Shi`ites in Lebanon. All US dignitaries in Lebanon now strictly boycott all meetings with Shi`ite officials. Of course, I am not talking about Hizbullah as they never met with them, although a Hizbullah minister, Trad Hamadi, did visit Washington, DC and met with US officials in the Bush administration. But American officials used to meet with Nabih Birri and now they meet only with Druze, Sunni, and Christian officials only. Another smart twist to US Middle East policy. Why bother and meet with representatives of the single largest sect in Lebanon? Really. I mean, Sen. Kerry yesterday refused to meet with the Foreign Minister of Lebanon, just becasue he is Shi`ite (and the man is neither a member of Hizbullah nor of Amal).