Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hummus of shame

"In a peaceful gesture two years ago, Syrian President Bashar Assad sent a tub of hummus to then-prime minister Ehud Olmert, Channel 2 reported Thursday." It does not surprise me that the lousy Syrian regime dabbles in Hummus. (thanks Toufic)

British honor crimes

"A man who stabbed his partner and his best friend to death after he found them having sex on his canal boat has been cleared of their murders. William Cranston was convicted of the manslaughter, by reason of provocation, of 39-year-old Kay Morton and 55-year-old Paul Wilkins." (thanks Jamal)

Zionist hooligans

"A visit to Israel by five young American Jews turned into a nightmare on Friday evening when they were set upon by a large gang of intoxicated thugs armed with metal poles, rocks and chairs on a Lake Kinneret beach, in a brutal and unprovoked attack..."This is Israel and I'm Jewish. I came here for many reasons. I always thought this is the place where I would be safe. The men who attacked us were also Jews," he said."

Good protestors and bad protestors

Here is the New York Times' account of the protests in Honduras: "Fierce clashes erupted Monday between thousands of soldiers and thousands of Mr. Zelaya’s backers. The protesters blocked streets, set fires and hurled stones at the soldiers, who fired tear gas in response. But opponents of Mr. Zelaya said they intended to rally Tuesday in support of his ouster."

Removing the president but not a coup

You learn so much from reading the enemy's official media. Read this account in the New York Times: "Still, administration officials said that they did not expect that the military would go so far as to carry out a coup. “There was talk of how they might remove the president from office, how he could be arrested, on whose authority they could do that,” the administration official said. But the official said that the speculation had focused on legal maneuvers to remove the president, not a coup." So the US Obama administration was for removing the president but not for a coup? Please explain that one.


"Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles" (thanks Nadim)

Israeli checkpoints

"The security company also dictates the quantity of items allowed: Five pitas, one container of hummus and canned tuna, one small bottle or can of beverage, one or two slices of cheese, a few spoonfuls of sugar, and 5 to 10 olives. Workers are also not allowed to carry cooking utensils and work tools." (thanks Osama)

French racism: it is official

"La police française pratique à grande échelle des "contrôles au faciès". Une étude scientifique, conduite dans la plus grande confidentialité, montre que les forces de l'ordre effectuent des contrôles d'identité discriminatoires vis-à-vis des Arabes et des Noirs : pour les premiers, la probabilité d'être contrôlé est globalement 7,8 fois plus élevée que pour les Blancs; pour les seconds, elle est six fois plus importante. Ces résultats, publiés mardi 30 juin, ont été obtenus par l'observation du travail policier à Paris (gare du Nord et Châtelet-les Halles) entre octobre 2007 et mai 2008." (thanks Mirvat)

Saudi Arabia: in the lead

"Saudi Arabia leads the field among Arab regimes that practise internet censorship, blocking website content ranging from pornography to politics, but also in waging a highly effective online war against al-Qaida and other jihadi groups." So the last part of the sentence justifies the first?

Paris Hilton and Lebanon: they deserve each other

"This Friday July 3 Beirut is scheduled to party with Paris Hilton at the Forum de Beyrouth. Timmy Vegas, Estelle and Sam La Marc will join the jet-set socialite in Beirut to party with the best." Did you notice how proud An-Nahar (the right-wing, sectarian Christian, anti-Syrian (people), anti-Palestinian (people) newspaper is? (thanks Karim)

That justifies the coup in Honduras

"Mrs. Clinton met with Mr. Zelaya, and he reportedly annoyed her when he summoned her to a private room late in the night after her arrival and had her shake hands with his extended family."

The New York Times has spoken...on behalf of the people of Honduras

"Although the coup has popular support in Honduras." That is quite a scoop, in fact. Only hours after the coup, this writer in the New York Times was able to quickly and swiftly conduct an opinion survey among all the people of Honduras.


"When Manuel Zelaya was elected president on November 27, 2005 in a close victory, he became president of one of the poorest nations in the region, with approximately 70% of its population of 7.5 million living under the poverty line. Though siding himself with the region’s left in recent years as a new member of the leftist trade bloc, Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), Zelaya did sign the Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2004. However, Zelaya has been criticizing and taking on the sweatshop and corporate media industry in his country, and increased the minimum wage by 60%. He said the increase, which angered the country’s elite but expanded his support among unions, would "force the business oligarchy to start paying what is fair.""


"It's day two of the Honduran coup, and the brand new military dictatorship is winning the hearts and minds of the people by, let's see... cutting off teevee feeds and electricity throughout the capital and putting an "indefinite" curfew in effect, for freedom! Thousands of Zelaya supporters are apparently dodging bullets in the streets, which is sort of like Twittering, for poor people. But the salient question remains: "WTF?" There was going to be a referendum, sure, but about what? For more insight we turn to the English language press corps, after the jump!"

When the protestors are not liked by Western media

Photos of repression and protests in Honduras. (thanks Ben)

No calls please

"They say Honduran military officials stopped taking their calls as the crisis unfolded.”" Oh, yeah. That would be plausible. They receive US aid and weapons but refused to talk to the donors.

Obama and Honduras

The statements by Obama on Honduras leads to think that 1) either he is lying and there is a long history of American lies about foreign policy and coups and foreign intervention especially in Latin America; 2) he may be telling the truth and that an arm of the US government is acting on its own and that would not be the first time. I am inclined to believe the former theory.

Some good news out there

"Unwavering support for Israeli policy has eroded dramatically both on American college campuses and within the United States as a whole, according to a group of American university professors who on Sunday concluded an academic exchange program here, sponsored by the Yitzhak Rabin Center." (thanks Olivia)

US media love affair with any Israeli

Here we go again. The New York Times featured this Israeli man, and now the Nation magazine (one of the typical Zionist publications of the so-called American Left) features the same Israeli man under the obnoxious headline: "Israel's Man of Conscience." There are Palestinians and even Americans who have shown the same courage and more at the same site but this guy receives all this fawning coverage because he is an Israeli and has (presumably) served in the Israeli army.

Father and Son

The courageous Egyptian journalist, `Abdul-Halim Qandil (who would be famous and would be winning international awards if he were not pro-Palestinian and opposed to US wars), writes about the "Poverty of Father [Mubarak] and Son". (thanks Dina)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Note to my readers

Zionist hoodlums now regularly write Zionist comments on websites of Israeli newspapers using my name. They usually use "Angry Arab-As`ad" or "Angry Arab-As`ad AbuKhalil". I of course did not write any of those comments, and would never write on Israeli websites, and only write on my blog as Angry Arab and in Al-Akhbar newspaper and Al-Adab magazine using my full name. (thanks Aseel)

Al-Arabiyya TV Report

It is without exaggeration that I compare this TV station of King Fahd's brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyya TV, to the North Korean media or to a more crude and vulgar version of the crude and vulgar media of Saddam Husayn. I was watching a report from Iraq today: I will paraphrase but you need to read it with the voice of a most propagandistic broadcaster from the WWII. It went something like this: and the people of Dora live in harmony and peace while the Iraqi security forces fight heroically aganist terrorists aided by the kind US military forces who are near by. And the people of dora are grateful for their security forces bla bla blah Nayif blah Sultan blah Salman blah Fahd bla `Abdullah blah Badnar blah Khalid blah.

Saudi Wahhabi exclusion

"In Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, transportation is definitely an issue. Women are usually driven around by family members and personal drivers, or are forced to use some other type of private transportation. While the private transport is a booming business, the higher the demand the more expensive the supply becomes...“Limousines could come in handy sometimes but I have to wait in the street to catch one,” she said, explaining how she had to once wait for 20 minutes under the sun for a taxi."

Saudi tribute to Michael Jackson

A Saudi tribute to Michael Jackson. (thanks Sana)

Ayatullah repression

"The Iranian authorities have ordered the family of Neda Agha Soltan out of their Tehran home after shocking images of her death were circulated around the world. Neighbours said that her family no longer lives in the four-floor apartment building on Meshkini Street, in eastern Tehran, having been forced to move since she was killed. The police did not hand the body back to her family, her funeral was cancelled, she was buried without letting her family know and the government banned mourning ceremonies at mosques, the neighbours said." (thanks Laleh)

Nahr Al-Barid: never forgotten

A new film on Nahr Al-Barid. (thanks Marcy)

he was greeted warmly by Palestinians near and far.

"True or not, Mr. Nawi is now in trouble. Having spent several short stints in jail for his activism over the years, he now faces the prospect of a long one. He is due to be sentenced Wednesday for assaulting an Israeli policeman two years ago during a confrontation over an attempt to demolish Palestinians’ shacks on disputed land on the West Bank. The policeman said Mr. Nawi struck him during that encounter. Mr. Nawi denied it, but in March a judge convicted him." (If he was not an Israeli, he would not have been featured in the New York Times, of course). (thanks Olivia)

All that you have done to our people is registered in notebooks

"A Palestinian child died of wounds he sustained during Israel's 22-day offensive on Gaza while he was at an Egyptian hospital, Palestinian medical sources reported on Saturday." (thanks Sumayya)

To Zionist hoodlums: Hear ye, hear ye

To Zionist hoodlums everywhere: hear ye, hear ye, year ye. Joseph Massad has indeed obtained tenure and it is all official and the Board of Trustees at Columbia University has voted already. I have known this for weeks but wanted to wait before I inform Zionist hoodlums everywhere--again. I know that I did alert readers to that early on: when the decision was first taken, but wish to rub it in again. In fact, when I saw Joseph recently in Oslo, I told him that the campaign of his enemies have been good for him, and that his Prada shoes looked even shinier. Read this article (although it is full of errors and mistakes) just to get a sense of Zionist anger and insanity. And of course, you will note that the author did not understand a word that Joseph has said.

Prince Nayef: your friend in need

"U.S. intelligence then intercepted communications from the highest levels of the Saudi government, including interior minister Prince Nayef, to the governor and other officials of Eastern Province instructing them to go through the motions of cooperating with U.S. officials on their investigation but to obstruct it at every turn...The Saudi regime steered the FBI investigation toward Iran and its Saudi Shi’a allies with the apparent intention of keeping U.S. officials away from a trail of evidence that would have led to Osama bin Laden and a complex set of ties between the regime and the Saudi terrorist organiser." (thanks Dina)

Wonders of the world: please vote--but not for Lebanon

The Lebanonese are going crazy. They want Lebanon to be listed among the top 7 wonders of the world according to some silly site. The Phalanges Ministry of Interior has sponsored an expensive media campaign to urge the Lebanese to vote for Lebanon. I urge all my readers to vote--but not for Lebanon (and not for Israel of course). You may select any country in the world except those two. Oh, and vote NOW.

Lebanon's greatness: A Labnah sandwich

The Lebanese are proud. They have accomplishments to brag about. Yet, anther evidence of the genetic superiority of the Lebanese people. A Labnah sandwich that is 150 meters long. If this is not a wonder of the world, nothing is. (As-Safir)

Look how innocent US military intervention is

"The two nations have long had a close military relationship, with an American military task force stationed at a Honduran air base about 50 miles northwest of Tegucigalpa. The unit focuses on training Honduran military forces, counternarcotics operations, search and rescue, and disaster relief missions throughout Central America."

Obama coup

"As the crisis escalated, American officials began in the last few days to talk with Honduran government and military officials..."

When are they heroes? And when are they not?

A demonstrator confront a tank of the anti-democratic coup soldiers in Honduras. Why are those demonstrators not heroic? Can you imagine if this tank were Iranian or Syrian or Cuban? And notice that in the New York Times, the pro-democracy demonstrators become mere supporters of the ousted president. (Reuters)

Those are the Palestinians

A Palestinian child confronts an Israeli terrorist soldier outside of his house in Khalil. (AFP)

Good demonstrators versus bad demonstrators

Just look at how demonstrators (in Honduras) are portrayed when they don't fit the foreign policy agenda of the US empire: "Hundreds of pro-Zelaya protesters, some of them masked and wielding sticks, set up barricades in the center of the capital, Tegucigalpa, and sealed off road access to the presidential palace." This is a popular movement that wishes to preserve democracy. Why is'it not getting the twitter and attention? And the demonstrators in Honduras are not chanting Allahu Akbar and are not calling for the return to the teachings of Khomeini.

Dumb conspiracy theory

This article on Al-Manar TV's website (Hizbullah TV) basically regards the upheaval in Iran as a mere outside conspiracy.

Interference in Iraq

"[US Gen.] Odierno also said Iran continues to "interfere" in Iraq..." He called on all neighbors of Iraq to follow the model of US non-interference in Iraqi affairs.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flash: the Lebanese Army has a plan to confront Israeli aggression

"The Lebanese army is warning people not to respond to recorded phone messages asking for information about missing Israeli soldiers." (thanks Michel)

Obama rules: arming the war criminals of Somalia

"The US has revealed it is sending weapons and cash to the Somali government to aid its fight against al Shabab." (thanks Sumayya)

Sexist names

"Linguistically speaking, the vast majority of Czech women spend their entire lives belonging to one man or another. They're born with their dads' surnames, plus "ova" at the end; tennis champion Martina Navratilova, for example, is the stepdaughter of Miroslav Navratil. Then, after marriage, when a woman takes her spouse's last name with the usual ending, she switches "allegiance" from father to husband." (thanks Toufic)

Israeli praise for Dahlan Armed Collaboration Gangs

"Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog, a senior aide to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, told the same forum that the new forces, most of them drawn straight from high school, are doing a good job. "It's not quite that they can assume full security responsibility, but we are on the right way," he said. "And for the first time, I see some sense of professional pride there that we've never seen in these forces."" (thanks Joe)

Zionist Doctors

"A petition demanding the dismissal of Dr. Yoram Blachar as head of the World Medical Association asserts that Israeli doctors turn a blind eye to the involvement of physicians in torture." (thanks Layali)

Popular vote: Muravchik now poses as a Mid East expert

"Finally, Lebanon held a tense election earlier this month that many expected would result in the triumph of Hezbollah and its allies over the pro-Western March 14 coalition. Instead, the latter carried the popular vote and nailed down a commanding majority in parliament." In fact, the March 14, lost the popular vote but won the majority in the Lebanese parliament. (thanks Souheil)

Wahhabi Harmony

"Aiban said the problem is that under Islamic sharia law, the foundation of the Saudi justice system has no prohibition on child marriage and new regulations have to be crafted in harmony with sharia principles." (thanks Sana)

Prince Muqrin

"Chief of the Saudi General Intelligence Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz is rumored to have been charged with the task of taking care of all what concerns the affairs of Prince Bandar, who still acts as Secretary-General of the Saudi National Security Council (NSC)."

A Lebanese crook: Let An-Nahar be proud

"Tohme has been alternately described as a Saudi Arabian billionaire and an orthopaedic surgeon, but he is actually a Lebanese businessman who does not have a medical licence. At one point, Tohme claimed he was an ambassador at large for Senegal, but the Senegalese embassy said they had never heard of him." (thanks Chrisopher)

The New York Times has selected a new leader for Iran

"What do you make of Ahmadinejad’s rants against Israel?
Of course it’s troubling, and it’s connected again to the viral, violent message embedded in the ideology that was brought about by Khomeini himself at the time of the revolution.
When your father fled Tehran and went into exile, he reportedly took a lot of money with him. Would you describe yourself today as a billionaire?
Those are the recycling of 30-year-old propaganda by the clerical militants of the time. If you were to learn of my net worth, you would be more than surprised."

Mini-Hariri in the New York Times

"During the campaign, his candidates said they would fight to disarm Hezbollah." I don't know where Michael Slackman got this from: not a single Hariri candidate call for disarming Hizbullah, and yet Slackman repeated it twice in this article. Also, he did not say that mini-Hariri met with Hasan Nasrallah for four hours the other day.
PS I stand corrected: the article did refer to the meeting between mini-Hariri and Nasrallah.

Deputy Israeli chief propagandist at the New York Times

From Isabel Kershner's tribute to Shimon Peres in the New York Times: "Mr. Peres combines experience with curiosity and a delight of innovation. He has championed nanotechnology and the electric car, and speaks passionately about emerging industries he believes Israel could excel in..."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Errors and mistakes in Western reporting

"Lebanon's Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, once a classmate of Khamenei in the Iranian holy city of Qom...." Only that Fadlallah studied in Najaf and never in Qom. (thanks Christopher)

Isabel Kershner and her Israeli propaganda

Of course, NYT's Isabel Kershner is incapable of writing anything but crude and vulgar Israeli propaganda. That is her thing. But does she not top herself here: "Instead, Mr. Peres, 85, the last of Israel’s founding fathers in office, seems to have been reborn. Though he was often mocked here in the past as a serial election loser and has commanded less respect for his dovish political views at home than abroad, Mr. Peres is basking in more power and public acceptance than ever before. Youthful looking and elegantly attired, he says he now enjoys “unprecedented popularity, which is almost embarrassing for me — I’m not used to it.” He adds that he has discovered a new force, the “tremendous good will of the people,” which he says can be “more powerful than government.”His eminence has been bolstered by the advent of a predominantly conservative government in Israel and an innate sense among Israelis that such governments, though democratically elected, are harmful to the country’s image — a feeling reinforced by the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman, a blunt and outspoken nationalist, as minister of foreign affairs. Now Mr. Peres, drawing on his considerable influence as an elder statesman and his seemingly boundless energy, is translating the novelty of public acceptance into practical clout. “In almost two years as president,” he said in an interview at his official residence earlier this month, “I did not hear the word ‘no.’ ”

Daily Situation Report: Palestine

Daily Situation Report: Palestine. (thanks Layali)

Saudi intervention

"its effort to recast the entire conflict not as an internal dispute that brought millions of Iranians into the streets, but as one between Iran and outside agents from Europe, the United States and even Saudi Arabia." The last part of this sentence in the article in the New York Times got my attention. It is written as to imply that Saudi intervention is so outlandish when it is most likely.

Sheikh Mo

Sheikh Mo is in Facebook. Yeah. That should save your Dubai and restore its past glory. (thanks Hisham)


I never thought less of Lebanon: mini-Hariri as prime minister is akin to Bashir Gemayyel (the little Lebanese Nazi) as puppet president for Israel.

Pistachio King

Can somebody have the Pistachio King of Iran, Rafsanjani, send me some of his pistachio?

Know your priority

"A deluge of search queries for Michael Jackson led Google News, the news aggregator of Web search engine Google, to initially believe it was under attack, the Internet giant said on Friday."

Closet racism

"“…word went out that Garnier’s hostesses should be BBR — “bleu, blanc, rouge” — the colours of the French flag. The expression is widely recognised in the French recruitment world as a code for white French people born to white French parents…in effect excluding the four million or so members of ethnic minorities in France.”" (thanks Sumayya)

Hariri Tribunal

Behind the scenes, and in utmost secrecy, something is going on with the Hariri tribunal investigation. I can report to you form the most reliable sources that the Hariri tribunal has officially moved away from accusing or suspecting the Syrian regime. Quietly, in the last few months, the tribunal's investigation, has been focusing on Lebanese pro-Syrian organizations and parties, including Hizbullah. The investigator has been requesting interviews with middle level military and political cadres of the organizations in questions. This can only mean one thing: more turmoil, tensions, conflict, mayhem, and clashes in Lebanon.


If I were to select a candidate for the most turmoil and instability in the Arab world in the near future, I select Yemen. The Yemeni dictator there is so nervous and politically insecure that he has become a tool of Saudi Arabia, after being an irritant for the Saudis for decades.

Supreme Iranian Leader

If there is one area of the Iranian political-clerical system that is more at odds with the tradition of Shi`ite theology it is the position of Supreme Leader: or the Guardian Cleric, as the translation should be. In Shi`ite tradition, the Grand Ayatullahs are never appointed or officially designated: they simply rise by reputation, just like a village or rural physician. Khumayni (the mentor of Mr. Moussavi in Iran) reversed that by deciding to first appoint himself (on behalf of the missing 12th Imam), and then to appoint his own successor without regard to clercical seniority. Khamenei is not senior at all among the clerics, and his Ayatullah treatise was rushed AFTER his designation, when Khumayni reversed his decision to designate Mountazari. I would expect that part of the Iranian republic to be the weakest link.

The Wall Street Journal on Shi`ite Theology

It is funny when the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Times pontificate on matters of Islamic theology. Here, the Wall Street Journal was discussing Shi`ite theology: "Syed Ali Amine, the Shiite mufti -- or chief religious authority -- of Tyre and Mount Amel in the south of Lebanon..." In fact, Ali Al Amine was forced out of his position more than a year ago: so he is no more Muftitit of Tyre AND Jabal `Amil, as he is described here. He was a militant Hizbullah cleric allegedly giving fatwawas for kidnapping and murder back in the 1980s, and then became an Amal cleric in the 1990s and then was upset when he was passed over for the position of deputy chair of the Suprme Shi`ite Council, and then he discovered by Hariri and House of Sa`ud, which is his full time job now. In fact, his ouster was quite democratic: people just showed up at his office and asked that he be removed for his connections to Prince Muqrin becamse too clear for the people of the South. I am told that he no more attend funerals or wedding in Tyre becasue people ignore him completely or insult his Saudi sponsorship. (thanks G.)

The people versus a celebrity

Just as the Iranian people (or some of them) were about to feel that the West really cares about them, Michael Jackson died. Now they are realizing that no people and no cause (of the brown people) can rise above the status of a major or minor celebrity.

Zizek: the Iran analyst

Amer reminds me that not too long ago Zizek referred to Iran as an Arab country--but that does not stop him from pontificating.

Dahlan Collaboration Gangs

" Israel has agreed to give the Palestinian security forces more freedom of action in four West Bank cities, Israeli and Palestinian security officials said Thursday, a move that implies a reduction in Israeli military activity in those areas as the Western-backed Palestinian forces assert more control." The New York Times makes it sound like an act of charity when in reality this is a move by the occupation Army to empower its puppet collaboration army--just like in Iraq.


Comrade Rami on Iran: "So the protesters are a heteroclite assemblage of small groups and individuals ranging from bourgeois who would like to see Iran join NATO, to extreme leftists. But many if not most of them are not demanding the overthrow of the regime. According to my bro, what they would settle for is better economic policies to address unemployment and to stop the Ahmadinejad's demagogic disaster, and the removal of dress restrictions for women: veil and coat. Basically people want to live better. Austerity is not the modern youth's favored mode. The Baseej, of course, are on the other side. They support Ahmedinejad and they also form a significantly large group of young people. There are regional differences in the distribution of the relative importance of the two groups, but, unlike what has been implied, not one group has the monopole of the rural or the urban fabric, or of the provincial cities versus Teheran. There is everything everywhere."

Friday, June 26, 2009

For Whom Shall I vote?

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "For Whom Shall I vote? Features of the Best Candidacy"


On May 7th, 2008, Hasan Nasrallah described Walid Jumblat as "liar, thief, and killer." Last week, Hasan Nasrallah and Walid Jumblat had a 3 hours tete-a-tete.


Progressive supporters of Mousavi in Iran keep telling me to ignore the Islamist rhetoric Of Mousavi and his invocation of the teachings of Khomeini and his calls for Allahu Akbar chants. They say that he only does that for political purposes. Back in 1978-79, the Iranian Communist Party made the same argument about Khomeini--until they were arrested and their leader executed.

Zionist excréments

"Mais l’incident le plus choquant est l’occupation du domicile de l’agent consulaire français, Majdi Chakkoura, à Gaza pendant l’attaque israélienne de janvier. En son absence, les soldats israéliens ont complètement ravagé les lieux - pourtant signalés à l’armée israélienne -, volé une grosse somme d’argent, les bijoux de son épouse, son ordinateur et détruit la thèse sur laquelle il travaillait. Et ils ont souillé d’excréments le drapeau français." (thanks Loubna)


"When Ms. Fawcett was cast on “Charlie’s Angels,” she had a clause written into her contract that allowed her to leave the set every day in time to prepare dinner for Mr. Majors."


"After his trial, Mr. Jackson largely left the United States for Bahrain, the island nation in the Persian Gulf, where he was the guest of Sheik Abdullah, a son of the ruler of the country, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. Mr. Jackson would never return to live at his ranch. Instead he remained in Bahrain, Dubai and Ireland for the next several years, managing his increasingly unstable finances. He remained an avid shopper, however, and was spotted at shopping malls in the black robes and veils traditionally worn by Bahraini women."

Al-Ahram is "independent" and Dahlan is virtuous

""We have a very weak opposition. We don't have a civil society. The police are very powerful," said Fahmy Howeidy, a columnist for Ahram, an independent newspaper. "In Iran, at least there are real elections. We've never had any real elections here in 50 years. Our society has been weakened. We have not allowed political groups to grow."" How can I trust foreign correspondents of mainstream American newspapers? How can you rely on dispatches from somebody covering the Middle East (like Sudarsan Raghavan) and who refers to Al-Ahram as "independent newspaper." That reference in itself should get the writer a failing grade. But what about the foreign editor? Why would they not catch such a basic error?

Zionist Sleaze

"Some 37 percent of female Israel Defense Forces soldiers who report they were sexually attacked or harassed refuse to pursue the complaint, according to an IDF report."

Too little, too late

"Two hundred and thirty lecturers from Israeli universities and academic institutions signed a declaration this week to "publicly violate" the proposed Nakba and Citizenship laws, should they pass through the Knesset." (thanks Sumayya)

This is Zionism

"The Jewish youth, Vitaly Sayenko, 18, made a decision to kill Karuwani for no other reason than that Karuwani was an Arab, the prosecution said."

The Lebanese Army and the Knights of Malta

There is an ambassador of the Knights of Malta in Lebanon and he (always he) is very active in meeting with various Lebanese officials. Some know who the knights are and some don't. Yesterday, the Commander-in-chief of the Lebanese Army met with the ambassador of the Knights. (thanks Jamal)

Latino Hizbullah

A US military commander warns of Latino Hizbullah. Latino Hizbullah is not to be confused with Chinese Hizbullah or Swedish Hizbullah. (thanks Michel)

Let us dispel Arab misconceptions about Ms. Dalia Mogahed

Dalia Mogahed was with the Gallup organization. I ran into a director at Gallup recently and he noticed what I notice: that Arab media keep consistently mistakenly referring to Ms. Mogahed as "policy adviser to Obama." This is quite untrue. Ms. Mogahed was appointed to an advisory body, that is all. She has as much policy input as somebody who sits on the Presidential Advisory Council on Physical Fitness.

Blackmail sleazy Zionism

"The couple slept together and then he took her to an office in Tel Aviv, where Israeli security service agents apparently confronted her with a video of her in bed with the man, the prosecutors said. They threatened to pass the video back to her family unless she helped them and also apparently promised her 100,000 shekels (£15,500) if she would pass them regular information about a group of militants in Nablus." (thanks Wardeh)

Obama rules

The Obama administration audaciously criticized Eritrean intervention in Somali affairs, while supporting, sponsoring, and pushing for (another) Ethiopian military intervention in Somalia. The US, as is known, is sponsoring the gangs that rule (part of) Somalia.


Khalid Mish`al's speech yesterday confirmed my early suspicions: that Hamas is on the footsteps of Fath. Don't be surprised if Hamas produces its own Dahlan soon.

Visitors to this site

For more information on visitors to the site, check here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prince Muqrin

Today, the Lebanese parliament held elections for its top posts. In the election for Deputy Speaker, there was one vote for "Prince Muqrin Bin `Abdul-`Aziz." (He is the head of Saudi foreign intelligence service).

Dictators you like

"One of the most generous gift-givers was Libya's Moamar Qaddafi, who seemed particularly grateful for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to Tripoli last year, giving her gifts with a total value of $212,225, including a diamond ring and a locket with his own picture inside, according to a newly-released State Department report."

Diamonds in the land of Hummus

"and Lebanon is exporting more rough diamonds than it imports despite having no local deposits." (thanks Suha)

Aljazeera for sale?

The prime minister of Qatar (who denies that he owns AlJazeera) spoke on AlJazeera yesterday. He said that somebody offered to buy Aljazeera for $5 billion a few years ago. I can report to you that this offer was by Haim Saban. He was planning to make Martin Indyk as chief anchor.

Ahmad Jibril

My sources tell me that Ahmad Jibril will be launching a satellite TV station. It will not be carried by either Arabsat or Nilesat.

PA repression

The arrest of a Palestinian journalist by goons of Abu Mazen (who term in office expired last January) for an article that he wrote went unnoticed in the Western press.

An Arab view of Iran

Azmi Bisharah offers observations on the Iranian situation. (thanks Mirvat)

Meddle: but don't appear to be meddling, as Obama said

"Brent Scowcroft said on Wednesday that "of course" the US had agents in Iran amid the ongoing pressure against the Iranian government by protesters opposed to the official result of its presidential election."


"The premise of Thomas' question was compelling and (contrary to Obama's dismissal) directly relevant to Obama's answers: how is it possible for Obama to pay dramatic tribute to the "heartbreaking" impact of that Neda video in bringing to light the injustices of the Iranian Government's conduct while simultaneously suppressing images that do the same with regard to our own Government's conduct?" (thanks Emily)

MRZine and Iranian state propaganda?

MRZine had a headline about "8 Basijis shot dead during Tehran unrest". The Headline and the link belong to Iranian state Press TV. Why didn't MRZine find it appropriate to put the news of civilian deaths in the headline? (thanks Malihe)

Saudi morality

"One answer is that the Saudi authorities are thoroughly hypocritical when it comes to morality, choosing when to enforce their bizarre moral code and when not to. But it's also about race and class. Filipino workers in the kingdom are expendable. As for Robin Hood and his chums – well, they're white, British and valuable to the Saudis (a point that Cecil Rhodes would certainly have understood). And so Sir William Patey, Knight Commander of St Michael and St George, continues to go about Her Majesty's business in the kingdom unmolested, as do all the other British revellers.Meanwhile, 69 harmless Filipino partygoers are awaiting trial, followed by likely prison sentences and flogging – plus, almost certainly, eventual deportation and loss of their livelihoods."

In one week: tell CNN to twitter this

"- Five Palestinian civilians, including a journalist, and an international human rights defender were wounded.- IOF conducted 19 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.- IOF arrested 22 Palestinian civilians, including two children, in the West Bank.- IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and have isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.- IOF troops positioned at military checkpoints have continued to harass Palestinian civilians.- IOF have continued measures aimed at establishing a Jewish majority in occupied east Jerusalem.- IOF forced two Palestinian civilians to demolish their homes, and issued demolition orders against several homes.- IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property." (thanks Sumayya)

Happens everywhere

"Egypt's National Council for Women, which should by all rights be addressing these issues, is in denial. Mohamed Nasef, a spokesman for the organization, says reports are "exaggerated," but also that harassment "happens everywhere."" I mean, he is right of course, that it happens everywhere. But why do Western media care about harassment in Egypt more than they care about harassment in the US. Just as they cover "honor crimes" in Jordan, but ignore the 24 women who are killed EVERY WEEK in the US by jealous boyfriends or husbands. (thanks Julie)

Alan Dershowitz is considered a liberal in the US

So Prof. Dershowitz. Would you care to define Iran to the readers of the Harvard Crimson: "“This is a suicidal nation,” he said. “It’s a terrorist nation.”" (But is it not funny that the article identified Marvin Kalb thus: "Kennedy School Professor Emeritus Marvin Kalb, whose area of expertise also includes Iran." Kalb was an NBC correspondent who was put at the Kennedy School by a fellow Zionist fundraiser. Now, he has become an expert on Iran only because he cares deeply about the aggression of the state of Israel. Kalb and his brother was known as tools of Kissinger during the shuttle diplomacy adventures. (thanks Maryam)

Arab attitudes to Ahmadinajad

The position of Arab intellectual and public sympathy for Ahmadinajad needs to be explained (not justified). It is not that Arabs like Ahdmadinajad per se: but they really hate his enemies so much that they make the choice. The fact that Ahmadinajad's enemies are the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, not to mention Israel and the US, endears him to many Arabs. Having said that: I personally don't trust the Iranian regime on the question of Palestine. Remember that it dealt with Israel during the Iran-Iraq war. And if there is one that I distrust and despise most, it is Rafsanjani--who one should remember is the fruit of the Iranian regime itself. If the regime was not corrupt at it core, a Rafsanjani would not have emerged. The genuine Iranian reform movement (and I am not talking about the Allahu Akbar crowd of Mousavi) needs to distance itself from Rafsanjani, just as the Syrian opposition movement (finally) distanced itself from `Abdul-Halim Khaddam. By the way, it is hilarious when Zizek dismisses talk about Ahmadinajad as a leftist (and I of course agree because Ahmadinajad and the Islamic regime don't deserve the label of the left), and then implies that Mousavi or Rafsanjani are leftists. In sum, Neither Ahmadinajad, nor Mousavi or Rafsanjani. Chant after me NOW.


"Iranian officials stepped up efforts to crush the remaining resistance to a disputed presidential election on Wednesday, as security forces overwhelmed a small group of protesters with brutal beatings, tear gas and gunshots in the air." Notice that when Western media approve of certain demonstrations or movements, they allow themselves to insert editorial labels and comments into the text of the article itself. I mean, the New York Times would never describe regular Israeli shooting at demonstrators as brutal. What gives?


"Kyrgyzstan has essentially reversed a decision to close an American air base that is central to the NATO mission in nearby Afghanistan, after the United States acceded to sharply higher rent and to minor restrictions on the site, Kyrgyz and American officials said Tuesday." Either the New York Times correspondent is not very bright, or the New York Times assumes that its readers are idiots. Really? You want me to believe that the dispute was all about rent?? We need to know what really happened behind the scenes here.


"After all, when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon assured President George W. Bush of his support for a Palestinian state in April 2004, he referred to Palestinians in the West Bank having what he called “transportation contiguity,” meaning tunnels beneath Israeli bypass roads to settlements that only Israelis could use. That constitutes a viable state?"

Saudi propaganda

Yesterday I was watching Al-Arabiyya TV (the station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) and it was really comical. The Saudi propagandist, or anchor, was yelling at the Iranian guest: he wanted to know why Iran can't conduct a free and fair election. I kid you not, and he seemed agitated.

Zizek Rule

This is Zizek Rule: When Iranian demonstrates against their government, it is good Islam: "And, last but not least, what this means is that there is a genuine liberating potential in Islam – to find a “good” Islam, one doesn’t have to go back to the 10th century, we have it right here, in front of our eyes." But when Palestinian demonstrates against the Israeli occupation, it is bad Islam. Did you get that? Write it down for future purposes. (thanks Yaman)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"We write Moussavi; they read Ahmadi"

"Translation of Iran slogans and signs" (thanks Maryam)

Lebanese achievement

Those Lebanese people. I mean, I know of no people who are more destined for greatness. Look at this: "The Lebanese Student's Association in Montreal, Canada succeeded in placing a testimony on the Guinness Book of World Records by organizing a dabke dance with 4475 participants." By the way, it is rather amusing--NOT really--how the Lebanese think that Guinness Book is some big deal or some scientific standard. (thanks George)


"Conversely, there is a significant segment of the traditional middle class, the bazaaris, that is in fact the beneficiaries of Ahmadinejad's economic policies of governmentally subsidized commodities and services, and thus supports him. As for the "uncouth" among the Iranian peasantry, Eric Hooglund, a senior scholar of Iran with decades of experience in rural areas, has recently said that when he hears reports that Ahmadinejad's support base is rural, he is left quite baffled. "Is it possible that rural Iran," he asks pointedly, "where less than 35 percent of the country's population lives, provided Ahmadinejad the 63 percent of the vote he claims to have won? That would contradict my own research in Iran's villages over the past 30 years, including just recently."" I am not sure that I agree fully: that the class element is not politically salient at all here. So is the claim that Ahmadinjad has no support whatsoever?

Dialectic of Western Technology

"The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet, allowing it to examine the content of individual online communications on a massive scale." (thanks G.)

Gun Zionism

"The aim of these laws is to impose the Israeli nationalist creed by coercion. It's really that simple. Over the last decade, the Knesset has experienced several bursts of legislative activity seeking to restrict freedom of opinion and expression on the questions of the Jewishness of the state and the right to resist occupation. The advocates of these laws are indefatigable. If the proposals fail to pass through any of the necessary stages, they are resubmitted over and over again in the hope of wearing out their opponents." (thanks Marcy)

Zionist sexism

"During a discussion on sexual harassment in the army, MK Zeev said female troops must be instructed so they know "how to behave." Later he said that while some female soldiers would interpret certain acts as sexual harassment, others would view them as a compliment." (thanks Sumayya)


"These reasons explain why over recent weeks while the Iran elections were happening there has been virtually no coverage in most media of demonstrations numbering in the tens of thousands in Georgia or Peru. It has even been reported in Peru that dozens of persons have been killed during the protests, or "clashes" as they've also been labeled (since more than a dozen police have also been killed), more than the reported number killed in Iran." (thanks Matthew)

Whatever scenarios

"In each scenario, Israel stands to benefit." Without arguing with the author, I can assert that eventually--in historical terms--there will be no Israel to benefit or to lose. (thanks May)

Obama Rules: Protecting House of Saud

"Kristen Breitweiser, an advocate for Sept. 11 families, whose husband was killed in the World Trade Center, said in an interview that during a White House meeting in February between President Obama and victims’ families, the president told her that he was willing to make the pages public. But she said she had not heard from the White House since then." (thanks Olivia)

Punishing civilians

"Israel (Reuters) - Hundreds of Israeli protesters temporarily blocked goods from reaching the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, demanding the release of an Israeli soldier who was captured by militants three years ago." Look at the phrasing? The editor at Retuers inerted "Hamas-ruled" to justify the strangulation of the civilian population. (thanks Laleh)


"“My life is in ruin for no reasons. My parents are also not in a position to help me,” said Matin, a father of three children." (thanks Tanweer)

Tony Judt

Yes, I have read Tony Judt's article in the New York Times and no, I did not like it one bit. He begins the piece with a most offensive romanticization of the Kibbutzim and the early "settlers." Again, he is one of those who believe that things were fine and dandy before 1967. Why are we so easy to satisfy? Is it becasue there is little support for Palestine in the US that a mild or logical observation from Jimmy Carter impresses us?

The Ahmadinajad Matter

Last night, just before I went to sleep, I saw a Facebook group (with hundreds of supporters) pledging support for Ahmadinajad. It mostly set up and supported by Arabs, some of whom are on my Facebook list of friends. I was naturally annoyed. I mean, supporting Ahmadinajad on sunny days is objectionable but supporting him now is rather most disturbing if not disgusting. When they support Ahmadinajad now, are they not supporting the shooting at demonstrators? I worry that this issue is really going to create a rift between not only Arab left and Iranian left but between Iranians and Arabs generally. And let us remember that Ahmadinajad's rhetoric on Palestine has been a gift to Zionist propaganda and MEMRI would live to just transcribe and translate his lousy speeches. But Ahmadinajad's rhetoric--I hear from Iranians--has been also hurting the Palestinian cause among Iranians. This is a delicate matter: Iranians who oppose the regime expect a wholesale unconditional support for the movement in Iran (and that kind of support has been provided by the Western media), and many Arabs have been worried that the US and Zionists are fomenting trouble in Iran although one can't accuse the masses of demonstrators of being tools for Zionists even if some may be. What is disturbing to me about the Iranian opposition movement is not the people themselves--who have ample reasons to be angry and to demonstrate and to chant (but please spare me the God is Great chant--see why I have problems with the rhetoric and slogans and some demands of the movement)--but the leadership of the movement who have not even distanced themselves from the very ideology that is responsible for their oppression. But the Iranian people deserve support and that support should not be in the forms of the religious demagogues and looters like Moussavi or Rafsanjani. To those who asked me in the last few days: no, the Palestinian question is not the only injustice in the world but it certainly is the MOST UNSAFE CAUSE in the world especially if you live in the West and especially if you live in the US. I mean, you don't think that people like me wonder why the Western media coverage of Palestine is not as propagandistically sentimental and unconditionally sympathetic as the coverage has been about the Iranian demonstrators? There is also another issue that many Arabs may not be sensitive to. In a poll on AlJazeera yesterday, most Arabs (fifty-six if I remember) believe that Iran is a democracy. Arabs here are comparing the imperfect Iranian politician system with their most imperfect Arab political systems. But Arabs should realize that even if the Iranian political system is more open than their lousy political system, the regime is still unjust and oppressive and deserves to be overthrown. When I was active in my teens long before I came to the US, I used to see Iranian leftists who used to come to Lebanon and join the various Palestinian organizations. In later years, elements of the regime were supporting some pro-Iranian groups although the fundamentalist regime does not support resistance to Israel per se: it only supports fundamentalists groups that resist Israel and that supports the Iranian regime. There is a difference there. And if the enemies of the Arabs are supporting the movement against the regime, this does not mean that the enemies of the Arabs control the demonstrators although it does mean a role exists by the enemies of the Arabs to exploit the situation. One wishes that the demonstrators make an effort to distance themselves from the likes of Fox News or CNN or Zionists in general.

Iranian regime's propaganda: blaming Anarchists

"Apparently what had happened was that anarchists, after hearing Mousavi's speech, which in itself was a wonder, start an attack towards the Basij station at the beginning of MohammadAli Jenah street. The anarchists who were armed with guns, in this barbaric attack, start firing towards a mother and daughter who had taken refuge inside a kindergarten, and martyr them. The green masks do not stop there and using machetes kill or injure other people in a gruesome fashion." I stumbled on this while reading about the propaganda of the Iranian regime. Anarchists? Real anarchists? Or is this one of the ploys that all oppressive regimes (Eastern and Western) use to justify their oppression and crackdowns. Have you seen any real accounts of Anarchists in the Iranian movement thus far?


"By contrast, French mobs in liberated towns behaved appallingly badly. In the épuration sauvage, or unofficial purges, at least 14,000 alleged collaborators were killed. In Brittany, one-third of them were women. French people as well as allied troops were sickened by the treatment meted out to those accused of collaboration horizontale. After undergoing the humiliation of having their heads shaved they were paraded through the streets, occasionally to the sound of drums, as if France was re-enacting the Reign of Terror in the French revolution. Some were daubed with tar, others stripped half naked, many painted with swastikas."

Committee to Protect Certain Journalists Only

I have been receiving almost hourly bulletins about the persecution of journalists in Iran. This deserves coverage and condemnation of course. But in the same few days, the PA's armed goons have been arresting (or kidnapping is more like it) Palestinian journalists who don't follow orders of Dahlan. The kidnapping of Sari Sammur is only a most recent example. (thanks Dina)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

X-Box Hariri

Flash. I have received this information from a very reliable source: the reason why `Uqab Saqr (director of NowHariri website) was put on the Hariri list in Zahlah (and he won a parliamentary seat), is that he has become very close to mini-Hariri because the two play X-box daily.

This is Zionism

"Israeli woman denied social benefits for visiting Palestinian husband." (thanks Yassine)

CNN explains the causes of the Iranian Revolution

Elise Labott of CNN explains the underlying causes of the Iranian Revolution: "Pahlavi has lived in exile since 1979, when his father, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, was overthrown during the Islamic Revolution. Under the shah's regime, Iran saw nationalization of its oil and a strong movement toward modernization. Still, his secular programs and recognition of Israel cost him the support of the country's Shiite clergy, sparking clashes with the religious right and others who resented his pro-West views." (thanks Aliyar)

I don't like flags but...

"Palestinian girls with their faces painted in the colours of their national flag attend a summer camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 21, 2009." (thanks Julie)


"The female driver of the moving train was among the dead." Why did they mention her gender? (thanks Marc)


"Two people asked a Pentagon official cooperating with prosecutors in an investigation into the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to fake his own death to avoid testifying against two pro-Israel lobbyists charged in the case, according to the Justice Department." (thanks Emily)


"Mousavi, prime minister for most of the 1980s, personally selected his point man for the Beirut terror campaign, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-pur, and dispatched him to Damascus as Iran's ambassador, according to former CIA and military officials. The ambassador in turn hosted several meetings of the cell that would carry out the Beirut attacks, which were overheard by the National Security Agency." (thanks Olivia)
PS By the way, Mohtashemi is also supporting the "reform" movement now.

Iran and the Arab world

"As'ad AbuKhalil, Lebanese politics professor at California State University, said Iranian opponents of Ahmadinejad -- if they come out on top -- would still likely promote a nationalist agenda that Riyadh sees as a threat to its interests. Opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi was prime minister under the Islamic Republic's founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. "The site of public demonstrations by the thousands against their leaders ...troubles all Arab leaders," AbuKhalil said, pointing to the lack of popular democracy on a par with that of Iran in most of the Arab countries. "Arab regimes may also fear that if the Iranian regime feels cornered and pressured, it may lash out, and Saudi Arabia may be the first to feel the wrath of the regime," he said."

"We are with you"

"I did what I could and he said, “We are with you” in English." What did he mean by "you"? The White Man? The New York Times? or the Western colonial heritage?

ABC of Iranian developments

Let me explain the ABC of Iranian developments to you. Rafsanjani (the wealthiest and most corrupt man in Iran) represents refrom, and Moussavi (who led one of the most repressive eras in the Iranian revolutionary era and who sponsored Hizbullah in its most horrific phases) represents democracy. Did you get that? Write that down NOW.

Shah's family

The media coverage went from crazy to insane this week. Now, they are--KID YOU NOT--reporting on the reactions of the Shah's family. Some of them at CNN in fact think that the Iranian people are demonstrating to restore the Shah's son to power. I heard that the Shah's widow--taking time from enjoying the wealth of the Iranian people which was embezzled with full American cooperation and complicity--was tearing up on national TV. The plight of the Shah's family will be similar to that of the descendants of the Iraqi Hashemites after the overthrow of Saddam. The royal dude went back to London when he discovered--against Amerian neo-con assurances--that he has no chance on earth.

Didn't know until this week

I discovered this week that Western media are capable of personalizing victims--only when they want, and only when it serves the larger imperial interests. You watch the coverage and want to us some American reporters: you were under the impression that Middle East victims have no faces or names? Did those media note the names and faces of the victims of the American-installed regime of the Shah?

I am back..

May revolutions erupt worldwide.

MEMRI: their hilarious standards

So MEMRI switches from covering religious Ben Ladenite kooks in the Arab world to covering the propagandists of the ruling Arab regimes (minus Syria). In the past, MEMRI would refer to the propagandists of the Saudi And Egyptian regimes as "progresives" and "liberals". Lately, I notice that they are referred to as "moderates of the Arab world"--only to read adn discover that this "moderate is an editor of a mouthpiece of this Saudi prince or that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Washington Post on one suicide bombing

""In an act fraught with symbolic significance, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the mausoleum of the father of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, while unrest continued across Tehran in defiance of a ban on demonstrations."" I wonder if Palestinian bombings were ever described as "fraught with symbolic significance." (thanks Nardine)

Crimes that go on unnoticed

"It apparently takes American pressure to get the Israeli military to allow 350 cows into Gaza today -- the first in nine months. This, it should be noted, is for 1.5 million human beings." (thanks Olivia)


This sentence appears twice in this article: "Israel sees Iran's nuclear development as a threat, due in part to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel to be destroyed." Notice that "due in part" appears also twice. What does that mean? That if Ahmadinajad did not resort to his bellicose rhetoric, Israel would be fine with a nuclear Iran? Does that mean that witout threats, Israel would not oppose nuclear Syria or Lebanon? Is there a propaganda by a state more stupid and more deceptive than that of Israel? I even remember when Israeli propaganda was much less dumb than it is now. Don't get me wrong: I watch with relish and glee the growing signs of the demise of that usurping entity. (thanks Christopher)


I am aware that there are good people among the demonstrators and that there are people who don't like Moussavi. But it is important to dissociate any struggle agianst the Iranian regime from the lousy Moussavi who--like the regime of Ahmadinajad--has blood on his hands--more blood indeed. I also notice that the Shah stooges are jumping in the frey among the Iranians in exile and the largest rally in support of the Iranian protest movement in Paris was sponsored by none other than the pro-Saddam Mujahdin Khalq which sent car bombs into Iran. I am looking for an independent leftist movement that does not chant Islamist slogans (like Moussavi) to support, while identifying with the innocent victims who have been killed. Somebody wrote to me complaining that I don't need to invoke Palestine. Let me explain: I will invoke Palestine at every corner, and every second. If I can, I would skip sleep to invoke Palestine. Not only for the obvious reasons, but also because it is symbolic of the hypocrisy and falsehoods of Western governments and media. If somebody has a problem with my Palestinian refrains, tough...potato. And notice that Western media which usually expresses horrror at any act of suicidal bombing, reacted with a measure of admiration at the act of suicidal bombing against Khomeini shrine. I would really be happy if demonstrations break out against every single regime in the Middle East, and all of them are overthrown. However, I understand that the US and Europe would really panic if the likes of Mubarak or House of Saud or Hashemite KingStation are threatened, let alone overthrown.

There are good protesters and bad protesters

"While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was making a major foreign policy speech at Bar-Ilan University Sunday, Israeli police outside the university attacked international protesters of Israel's invasion of Gaza, illegal settlements and the apartheid wall. Heavy-handed police treatment of the unarmed, peaceful members of the CODEPINK delegation there began immediately after they unfurled several pink banners that read "Free Gaza" and "End the Occupation." CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin and New York activist Zool Zulkowitz were physically dragged across the street from their original protest site next to the entrance gate to Bar Ilan University where audience members and press entered the university complex to attend the speech." (thanks Sana)

Colonialism in the 21st century: classic

"The international community's envoy in Bosnia moved Friday to invoke extraordinary legal powers over the country after Bosnian Serb leaders passed legislation that he said undermined the Dayton peace accords, which ended Bosnia's brutal war in 1995." (thanks Hammouda)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gay and lesbian rights in Arabic

I am very proud to be writing in a paper (Al-Akhbar) that is the only Arabic newspaper in the world that advocates for gay and lesbian rights. But the Western media are more impressed with a lackey of Ayatullah Khomeini who led the purges against leftists, Baha'is, and Jews in Iranian universities in the 1980s.

Western media: sickening

Western media coverage has been sickening me. They prove that they may be a bit independent in their domestic coverage but in foreign policy they always strictly follow the orientations of their respective hypocritical governments. And if they are looking for courageous demonstrations against brutal regimes, I direct them to the weekly demonstrations against the Israeli terrorist occupiers in Ni`lin. And you may twitter my...potato.


I can't support a movement that writes its signs in English, in order to please the White Man, and I can't be in the same trench with Fox News. Yet, I support the overthrow of a regime that fed its people foreign policy slogans and religious jargon and (along with Saudi Arabia) fought all manifestations of secularism, leftism, and feminism in the Middle East since 1979 (much earlier in the case of Saudi Arabia).

Amir Taheri

Saudi media relies on the "analysis" of Amir Taheri in Iranian affairs without telling readers that he is 1) a dedicated Shah's propagandist; 2) that he is working for Prince Salman propaganda apparatus. Western journalists have seen him frequently waiting ouside the office of the waiting room of the waiting room of visitors to Prince Salman.

The usurping entity is nervous

"The war that Israel keeps losing is the war of world opinion, the war for individual hearts and minds. Consider recent stumbles." (thanks Olivia)

Wahhabi Dances

"Prince Faisal ibn Khaled announced yesterday that no musical concerts would be held as part of this year’s Abha Tourism Festival or those in the coming years. Addressing a news conference here, he denied suggestions that concerts would be one of the festival’s important events. However, he said an operetta composed of national songs and traditional dances would be held during the festival that draws a number of tourists from different parts of the Kingdom and neighboring Gulf countries." (thanks Sana)

Two realities

"It is a version with its own lacunae. Investing so much in the reformist opposition, and beguiled by a particular version that emanates from north Tehran's unrepresentative suburbs, it fails to acknowledge either the nature of Mousavi's agenda - a self-described "fundamentalist reformist" who is far less radical than they assume - or the reality of the huge support both for Ahmadinejad in his constituency and the Islamic revolution." (thanks Scott)

Collaborationist Regime: Dayton O Dayton

""What about attacks on Israel?"
"It's been over two years since the last attack from Jenin against Israel. We went to great length to prevent terror attacks, and your people know that." (thanks James)

Media Bribes

Accusation of US military bribes' to Iraqi and non-Iraqi reporters. (thanks Dina)

Western media coverage

As I am still on the road (returning tomorrow night), I have not been able to comment on the developments as much as I have wanted. But I did manage to see some CNN coverage this morning at my hotel. What do you expect from a network that relies on Octavia Nasr as "the senior Middle East" expert for the network? But the hypocrisy is quite stunning. They are admiring the dare of the population when the Palestinian population shows more dare. They are outraged at the level of repressive crackdown by the regime when Israeli crackdowns on demonstrations are far more brutal and savage? They are admiring the participation of women in a national movement, when Palestinian women led the struggle from as far back as the 1930s (see the private papers of Akram Zu`aytir). They are outraged that the Iranian government is repressing media coverage, when the Israeli government is far more strict: when it was perpetrating slaughter in Gaza few months ago, the Western press was not allowed any freedom of movement except the hill of death where Michael Oren led reporters to watch Israeli brutal assualt on the Palestinian civilian population from a distance. The media coverage in the US and UK prove beyond a doubt that increasingly the Western press has been serving as a tool for the various Western government. If the government cheers, the media cheer, if the government condemns, the media condemns, etc. And would the Western media ever be as unrestrained in its glamorization and glorfication of demonstrators and demonstrations in Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Jordan as they are now? There are no claims of even covering a story anymore: it is merely how can we best help the beautiful demonstrators who are not bearded and whose women are more loosely veiled. This is not to say that the Iranian regime is not repressive and needs to be overthrown: far from that. But it is to say that the Iranian regime is as bad (in fact Saudi Arabia and Egypt are probably worse) and as unjust as the various Middle East governments that are supported by the Western governments and Western media. When Western media sit with Saudi and Egyptian leaders, it is as if they are sitting with a friend. And notice that just as in Western media coverage of Lebanon, only one side of the demonstrations are being covered. Yesterday, the Ahmadinajad side mustered tens of thousands in a show of force, yet the three thousands who demonstrated for Khomeini groupie, Mousavi, received far more coverage. It is the bearded demonstrator rule: bearded ones don't deserve coverage and they don't coung. Pro-Saudi media was ecstatic at first but now I sense that they are getting a bit nervous for reasons that I have no time to get into.

The Hypocrite-in-chief

Obama has spoken: "The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights." There is so much that you can do with this statement. The hypocrite in speech is invoking an argument that he himself so blatantly ignores and will continue to ignore to the last day of his presidency. Does he really believe in that right for peoples? Yes, but only in countries where governments are not clients of the US. Will he invoke that argument, say, in Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Morocco or Tunisia or Libya or Jordan or Oman, etc? Of course not. This is only an attempt to justify US imperial policies. And even in Iran, the Empire is nervous because it can't predict the outcome. But make no mistake about it: his earlier statement to the effect that the US can't for historical reasons "appear to be meddling" sets the difference between the Bush and the Obama administration. The Bush administration meddled blatantly and crudely and visibly, while the Obama administration meddles more discreetly and not-so-visibly. Tens of thousands of pens equipped with cameras have been smuggled into Iran: I only wish that the American regime would dare to smuggle them into Saudi Arabia so that the entire world can watch the ritual of public executions around the country.

Dictatorships and double(or triple)standards

Andrew Sullivan responds to my critique ("As'ad AbuKhalil doesn't appreciate Americans' double standards:") by saying this: "Because Iran actually has a population capable of sustaining democracy; and Mousavi is as good as we'll get." Oh, you have to do better than this. What does these cliches mean? That the population "is capable of sustaining democracy"? Hardly the case if you measure it historically: I personally don't believe in the inequality of people as you seem to do; and I don't belive in those culural arguments that assumes one culture is hostile to democracy while others are not. It is fascinating that Iran is largley Islamic so they can't invoke the non-Islamic arugment but Iran has produced two successive forms of dictatorships, so the attempt to separate the genetic makeup of Iranians from the Arabs is historically flawed. And the arugment that Mousavi is "as good as we'll get" can't be reconciled with the history and presence of the man. Just yesterday, he released a statement that was dripping with religious demagoguery and was argument that his mission is really to prove the compatibilty of Islam with the republic. Mousavi does not miss an opportunity to to invoke the memory and teachings of Khomeini. People are forgetting that when Mousavi was prime minister and was engaged in a conflict with the then president Khamenei, Khomeini was invariably siding with Mousavi. So there is a history of close association with this so-called democrat with the teachings of Khomeini. Let us not kid ourselves: it is not about the charactertics of the population and not about the "as good as it gets" bogus argument: it is about cheering for anybody who sides against a government that oppoes the US. (thanks Christopher)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Saudi editor of Al-Watan (former Bin Ladenite turned Wahhabi "liberal", Jamal Khashuqji) has been sacked from his position at the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Al-Faysal by order from Prince Nayif because he criticized the Saudi religious police. In other news, Western governments and media hail the moderation and stability of the kingdom of horrors.

UN food

"The head of the UN’s $955 million (£580 million) aid operation in Somalia has launched an inquiry after being shown footage showing tonnes of food bearing the World Food Programme (WFP) logo widely on sale in Mogadishu, the capital...Peter Goossens, the WFP’s Somalia director, describes food for sale as a “minor phenomenon”."

Would you like some cologne...to drink?

"It seems that in a country with no legal access to alcoholic beverages, i.e., ethanol, there’s a serious health risk that comes from drinking other forms of alcohol, usually methanol. This can be in the form of after shave lotions and perfumes, anti-freeze, or from badly made sadeeqi, home-distilled alcohol. The health risks are so great that, according to the article, the Saudi Ministry of Health is advising health centers to make sure they have sufficient antidote quantities on hand. The antidote for methanol poisoning? Ethanol, the alcohol specifically forbidden." (thanks Sana)

Audacity of the Afghan [puppet] government

"Afghan government asks US military to stop bombing civilian areas." I have one question to the Afghan puppet government: Is this a way to treat your liberator?

Youtube hearts Zionist propaganda

"Youtube has removed my video, “Feeling The Hate In Jerusalem,” on the baseless grounds that it contains “inappropriate content.” They have offered me no further explanation and have stonewalled my inquiries and attempts to rectify the situation. Thus they have censored a video that contains far less inflammatory content than thousands of video they are already hosting. Why?" (thanks Olivia)

Against voting in Lebanon

Comrades Samah is for voting against both sides in Lebanon. (thanks Samah)

Nahr Al-Barid

A new report (thanks a-films)

Language of occupation

"In the U.S., discussion of Palestinian politicians and political movements often relies on a spectrum running from "extreme" to "moderate." The latter sounds appealing; the former clearly applies to those who must be -- must they not? -- beyond the pale. But hardly anyone relying on such terms pauses to ask what they mean. According to whose standard are these manifestly subjective labels assigned?
Meanwhile, Israeli politicians are labeled according to an altogether different standard: They are "doves" or "hawks." Unlike the terms reserved for Palestinians, there's nothing inherently negative about either of those avian terms. So why is no Palestinian leader referred to here as a "hawk"? Why are Israeli politicians rarely labeled "extremists"? Or, for that matter, "militants"? There are countless other examples of these linguistic double standards. American media outlets routinely use the deracinating and deliberately obfuscating term "Israeli Arabs" to refer to the Palestinian citizens of Israel, despite the fact that they call themselves -- and are -- Palestinian." (thanks Ussama)

Reuters' policies

"(Editors' note: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.)" Did Reuters use that disclaimer when reporting on the Israeli massacres in Gaza? (thanks Carlos)

One family

""Hassan Sharif and other Emirati artists including myself refused to participate in the national pavilion," he says. "It is all about one family from Dubai."" (thanks Haifaa)

AP sources

Between AP and Reuters always go for Reuters which has professional and knowledgeable staff in the Middle East unlike the AP. Look at this, and look who they rely on for information: ""The Basij began as cannon fodder for the Revolutionary Guard during the war with Iraq. Now, they are there to do the dirty work for them: breaking up parties, hassling women about their hijab (head covering) and much more violent acts," said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born independent analyst living in Israel. The Basij has leaders based in mosques in every village and city throughout Iran, giving it the widest security network in the country, said Mehdi Khalaji, a senior fellow with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a specialist in Iranian politics." (thanks Christopher)

Iranian Left and Arab Left

I forgot to add to the sentence from yesterday. The rift I sense between Iranian left and Arab left is due to some admiration on the part of some in the Arab left for Ahmadinajad: that really angers people in the Iranian left. (And I am here with the latter group in that regard. I find Ahmadinajad's rhetoric of disservice to Palestine).

Women Migrant Domestic Workers

Women Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon. (thanks Nael)

Royal mercenaries

"Once hailed for its democratic reforms, Bahrain -- a strategic island-state that serves as headquarters of the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet -- is increasingly rocked by sectarian and ethnic strife. Though the majority of Bahrain's 530,000 citizens are Shiites, power remains in the hands of a Sunni royal family, the only such minority regime in the Arab world since the downfall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Suspecting its Shiite citizens of loyalty to nearby Iran, the island's former master, Bahrain's royal family has long relied on Sunni mercenaries from countries such as Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Pakistan to staff Bahrain's army, police and security service." (thanks S.)

that Obama speech

"Asaad Abu-Khalil, writing in his Angry Arab Blog severely criticizes Obama for failing to break from the rhetoric of previous administrations: “It was compiled together from various different elements that were contained in speeches of US presidents before, including speeches by none other than George W. Bush.” Abu-Khalil, like el-Hamalawy
slams the choice of Al-Azhar as the sponsor of the event, because under “American puppets, Sadat and Mubarak, Al-Azhar became a force of obscurantism, fanaticism, misogyny, religious intolerance, and violence.” (thanks Mohamad)

Threatened with flags and t-shirts

"Additionally, the Israeli crackdown hit hard at the March launch of the Arab League-sponsored year of Jerusalem as capital of Arab culture for 2009 (the event was postponed in January due to the large-scale Israeli military operation in Gaza). Rafiq Husseini, a resident of East Jerusalem and a senior advisor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, heads the committee in charge of organizing the activities. The main event was in Bethlehem, due to the ban on PA activities in Jerusalem. The Israeli national police and border police stopped at least eight related events that were organized in Jerusalem, including the release of balloons into the air, the distribution of T-shirts, a soccer match and a visit of students to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The students were waving Palestinian flags and about 20 persons were detained." (thanks Marian)

Piety: at the service of House of Saud

Look at him. Mini-Hariri performing the mini-Hajj (`Umrah) days after the Lebanese elections. Nothing can turn you into an avowed atheist than the images of Lebanese politicians praying. (As-Safir)

What else? On Palestine

Rough transcript of my talk in Arabic to the Palestine House in Oslo. (thanks Nidal)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Listen, o boy

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Listen, O Boy: A lesson about the Lebanese Nazi Party"


Not only are people so friendly in that city, but the country (from what I heard and was told) is so overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian. There is a climate of pro-Palestinian sympathy sweeping Europe if not the world. The years of the Zionist usurping entity are numbered--for sure. (Egyptian literary critic/Arabic professor, Sabri Hafiz, told me that he refers to Israel always as "the state of Zionist [colonial] settlement in Palestine".)

Netanyahu speech

Comrade Fawwaz analyzes Netanyahu speech and Arab official stances. (thanks Mirvat)

Hummus Elections

"In sum, while Lebanon’s June 2009 elections might have been internationally praised as ‘free and fair,’ it represented a step backwards in terms of long-term, socially progressive reform for the Lebanese themselves. On the one hand it has re-entrenched sectarianism, deepened rifts and mistrust between Sunnis and Shia’a communities, and brought out the chauvinist tendencies within the Christian elite." (thanks Karim)

Paris Hilton: the Middle East expert

"“I love the Middle Eastern culture and want to learn more about it. The women here are very beautiful and their dresses are certainly a lot more elegant than what women wear in Hollywood,” Hilton told a press conference held at the Inter Continental hotel." (thanks Olivia)

Racism as a compliment: from the ananls of Zionism

"On Wednesday the minister issued an apology, saying his remark was intended as a compliment for their work."

Sentenced for kissing

A Bahraini woman was sentenced to 20 days in jail for kissing a man in public. (Oh, and they threw in that she insulted police men). (thanks Omar)


Bashir sent me this passage with the title of plagiarism. "In many respects Hizbullah is a Leninist organization, a vanguard party focused on implementing a revolutionary ideology." I had written an article in Middle Eastern Studies back in the early 1990s with this title: "Ideology and Practice of Hizbullah in Lebanon: Islamization of Leninist Organizational Principles', Middle Eastern Studies, 27, July 1991. I will let readers judge although I can't see this author reading Lenin.

Potato flu

""Scientists from Russia’s Ministry of Health are warning in a secret report to Prime Minister Putin that they have discovered a ‘critical link’ between the H1N1 influenza (Swine Flu) virus and genetically modified amylopectin potatoes that are consumed in massive quantities nearly exclusively by Westerners and sold in fast food restaurants as French Fries." (thanks Ben)