Friday, July 31, 2009

Arab Women

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Arab Women: Observations on issues of Feminism"

This story of Iraqi gays will not get coverage

"Two gay Iraqi refugees sparked astonishment at a LGBT meeting in Lebanon when they accused US soldiers of committing atrocities against gay Iraqi civilians. An audience at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters last Friday was shown graphic images of beheaded corpses and photographs which apparently depicted US soldiers preparing to execute gays. One of the men, who used the name Hussam, said US soldiers displayed signs such as 'F**k Off Fags' outside their barracks." (thanks Souheil)

A Saudi-Zionist conspiracy? What Saudi-Zionist conspiracy?

"Au cours de ces trente dernières années, le monde arabe a produit trois avancées majeures, sous l'impulsion de trois dirigeants exceptionnels : le président égyptien Anouar El-Sadate, le roi Hussein de Jordanie et le roi Abdallah d'Arabie saoudite." For the background of the notorious Jean Frydman, see here. (thanks Ibn Rushd)

Talking about the issues

Talking about the issues in California. (thanks Caroline)

A stooge for Israel

"As the masses passed by him outside Beersheba's Central Bus Station on Wednesday afternoon, Sheikh Salam al-Hoziel encountered an array of responses to his simple, yet surprising plea." This buffoon has not heard of the more than 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails. (thanks Asa)

PS The Jerusalem Post does not mention this about the stooge: "
Al-Huzayyel said he will continue to fight until Gilad returns home. "There are also Palestinian prisoners who should go back home,' he said." (thanks David)

Maids for...Ramadan

"Finding a maid one or two months before Ramadan has become more difficult in the last few years, because both housemaids and housewives have their own requirements.
“We cannot work in a house where we will not feel comfortable,” said Lia Hernan, an Indonesian maid. She added, “When we ask for certain things, the housewife always accepts all of our demands, but after we arrive at the house, everything changes.”"

Samir Ja`ja` feels like dancing

Samir Ja`ja` (Ga`ga` in Egyptian accent) feels like dancing. (thanks Jad)

Oh, no. Not me.

"Skip has fallen victim to the Ivy League Effect. Check out his articles -- you can definitely go to the Root -- the Web site he is editor in chief of -- if you want to see a repository for the whole masturbatory display. He all but says, “Do I look like that type of (black) person? I was wearing a blazer and a polo shirt!” Gates is Ivy League pissed with a dash of black anger. Not the other way around. Is this to say the police weren’t in the wrong? Hardly. As a person who is familiar with the Cambridge/Boston P.D., I can say that the prospect of some procedural malfeasance on their part is entirely believable, if not an abject certainty."

The lousy Syrian regime

People in Syria are still condemned by the state for things like "undermining the prestige of the state, weakening nationalist sentiment, and spreading false information that could weaken the psyche of the nation." Kid you not. (thanks Sana)

Usurping entity's rank

"The annual Global Peace Index ranked Israel 141 out of 144 countries on its commitment to peace, according to the organization's report released on Thursday."

Armed gangs you like

"America continues to funnel arms and money to Fatah-controlled militias, encouraging them to attack Hamas in the West Bank, sabotaging the possibility of intra-Palestinian reconciliation." (thanks Olivia)

Those who rule Morocco

Those three rule Morocco. (Al-Mustaqbal)

Remember to NOT vote for Lebanon

The Lebanese Forces fans are not pleased with my calls for people to vote for any country except Lebanon (and Israel). (thanks Eddy)

Zee planes, zee planes

"Except for one short flight last year, it has been more than 30 years since the tiny Lebanese air force deployed its antique 1960s-era Hawker Hunter jet fighters, but on Tuesday they once again took to the skies to practise for the military day parade on August 1." (thanks Raed)

The desert bloom? In propaganda movies only

Comrade Rami responds to the Zionist propaganda claim in L'Orient-Le Jour.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

World Bank's Commands to Egypt

The World Bank (US-run) orders Egypt to increase taxes and to decrease subsidies. World Bank imposes economic rules on developing countries that don't apply to the advanced world.

Asian maids in the Middle East

"An Asian housemaid has taken her female sponsor and her sisters to court claiming they physically attacked her and locked her in a room after she refused to help move heavy equipment out of exhaustion. The five women, all sisters, provided entertainment at weddings for a living and after the maid had served coffee and tea and prepared dinner at an event that continued from Monday night until dawn the next day, she refused to help move the equipment. The five women then reportedly attacked her and locked her in her room, but once they had gone to sleep she escaped out into the streets where she was found by a passer-by who took her to hospital." (thanks Sana)

Fox News Misplaces Egypt

Fox News redraws the Middle East map.

Norway and Israeli crimes

"Norway is reexamining its investments in several Israeli companies, in particular Elbit Systems. Two representatives of the Council on Ethics of the Norwegian finance ministry visited Israel at the beginning of June, in the wake of growing criticism of Israel in Norway in the months following last winter’s Israeli offensive in Gaza. The representatives met with, among others, groups of Palestinians and Israelis who claim that Norway invests in businesses directly involved in the Israeli occupation, which, they say, contradicts its commitment to abide by international law and to a just solution for the area." Council of Ethics? I like that but would never imagine such a council in the US, or would imagine one in name only. (thanks Olivia)

Nayla Tuwayni and her non-sectarian marriage

The biggest social news in Lebanon is the marriage of Nayla Tuwayni (manager of An-Nahar---the racist, right-wing, sectarian Christian, anti-Syrian (people), anti-Palestinian (people) newspaper), MP from Beirut, to the Jerry Springer of Lebanon, Malik Maktabi. She is Greek Orthodox and he is Shi`ite and they both went to Cyprus for the marriage that could not be registered in Lebanon across sectarian lines. A relative of the couple (of one of them) sent me a message asking that I show support for Nayla because "The Murr family [her grandparents on her mother's side]...disapproved the wedding and forced her sister not to be in Cyprus with her sister. The only family were present, were Her Uncle Marwan Hamadi and his brother Ali and her mother and Goubran"s wife and the 2 daughters. Ghassan Toueni strongly support Nayla, and is sick enough he could not travel and his days are counted." I told the source that while I support anti-sectarian marriages and gestures, and while I commend any violation of the sectarian rules, laws, and regulation in Lebanon, I would never ever support Tuwayni, and not because of a paper that she has just started "running"--in name. Tuwayni has run a very sectarian campaign and she was part of a very sectarian movement. You can't have it both ways.

Prince Khalid Bin Sultan's Mouthpiece

This Saudi columnist writing in Prince Khalid Bin Sultan's mouthpiece, Al-Hayat, claims that I hate the Saudi government AND the Saudi people. This is such a predictable ploy by advocates of the regimes, just as one writer accused me last week of hating the Jordanian people.

When WSJ talks about Lebanon

This esteemed WSJ reporter said: "Conservative Muslim women might take Banet Taxi to accommodate rules against traveling with unknown men." What rules, o well-informed reporter? My grandparents had no such rules even early in the 20th century. They send those reporters to the Middle East and they think that what applies in Saudi Arabia by virtue of Wahhabiyyah applies to the entire Middle East. And then he said: "Reporting of sexual harassment remains low in a country with much taboo surrounding abuse and victimhood." If this reporter, exhibiting signs of colonial feminism, knows anything about sexual harassment and rape in the US he would have known that the same is true in the US according studies by even the US Justice Department. (thanks Sarah)

On the New York Times' favorite Pakistani

I have posted two days ago about that half-White Pakistani who has been lauded in the New York Times. Adaner sent me this (I cite with his permission): "hope you're well -- i came across your post about NYT's favorite pakistani, Mr. Mueenuddin, and wanted to add--having spent the last twelve months in karachi--that the claim that $84/month represents three times "the going rate" for an enterprising farmhand is absurd. $84/month translates to 6,963 rupees a month. as decreed by our austere government in 2008, before the onset of massive food inflation, minimum wage in this country was set at 6,000 rupees. if you divide the wage that mr. mueenuddin pays his workers by three, it is barbaric (2,321 rupees), not a going rate. anyway, especially with his star shining so brightly and procurement prices going through the roof, i'm sure mr. mueenuddin could afford to pay his poor proletarians a greater share of his loot--especially given that this minimum wage, in real terms, is a pathetic measure of what they will need (because of inordinate commodity inflation, again).
incidentally, let us just make explicit that the position of "farm manager" means that you write bestsellers on mahogany desks while your coolies pick fruit outside your window. "

The Fath movement as an arm of collaboration

Abu Mazen is a habitual liar: since his early and later days. He has been saying that Israel has allowed all Palestinian members of Fath to attend the conference of the movement. He is lying of course. Israel has only allowed the Dahlanist members of Fath to enter the West Bank to attend the conference. Fath regional leader in Lebanon, Munir Al-Maqdah, for example, has been banned by Israel because he has voiced opinion in support of the right of return. I strongly believe that you can't oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine without opposing its arm: the Fath movement.

The Fath Movement

In my youth, the lousy Fath Movement was dubbed "the spinal cord" of the Palestinian Revolution. Today, it would be safe to describe the Fath Movement as "the spinal cord" of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Taghreed El-Khodary: now giving political advice on how best to get rid of Hamas

Of course, I have written before about the lousy reporting and role of Taghreed El-Khodary in service of the Zionist agenda of the New York Times especially during the Israeli assualt on Gaza when she allowed herself to be used to provide token native legitimization for the NYT's endorsement of Zionist war crimes. Look at this comment by El-Khodary. Imagine if she was making the same point about Fath: imagine if she was giving an opinion on how to get rid of the Fath movement. She would be fired the next day. But this tells you something about the foreign policy coverage in US media: certain biases are condemned and other biases are required. "You’ve spoken a lot in the past about working from the ground up, and thinking about the people separately from Hamas. Do you think that that is still possible, and what can be done?
Yes, I think one option is to strengthen the private sector. You have Hamas, and it’s a fact on the ground. The international community says that if we end the siege, Hamas will benefit. But with the siege they also benefit, because they are in complete control of all aspects of society, and the more time, the more support they will attract—especially from among the poor. So why not strengthen the private sector?" And can the thought process of Ms. Khodary be anymore unsophisticated? Private sector? As a solution to her problems with Hamas (or Khamas, as Shimon Peres calls it). (thanks Nir)

Critique of the Arab Human Development Report

Comrade Joseph comments on the Arab Human Development Report.

It is all over now: Prince Sultan has been long gone. Remove the shovels

Amir of Qatar visits Morocco to check on the health of Prince Sultan, as did the Crown Prince of Bahrain (the normalization buffoon). You know what that means, right? It means that they went to attend the funeral and throw flowers on the grave site. (thanks Saeed)

The lousy Syrian government

The Syrian regime has closed down the Al-Mashriq TV station. It was accused of not signing Ba`thist tunes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I did not sign the petition on Gaza

There is a petition that was prepared by good people regarding the blockade of Gaza. I did not sign the petition although I am told that my name appears on it. This was due to an error. I would never sign a petition that calls on the Palestinians to emulate Ghandi.

Attacks on me by Jordanian mukhabarat

You have to credit your enemies, sometimes. Like I would never deny that when it comes to vulgar, crude, and obscene attacks the Jordanian mukhabarat and its advocates are pretty good. Here a family member of Wasfi At-Tal (I think it is his brother, no?), attacks me for criticizing the role of Wasfi At-Tal in Black September. A sample: he calls me a "Zionized Zionist who sold his homeland for a fistful of dollars".

Lebanon's pride: trying to be white

Statements like that tell you why Lebanon and its culture bother me so much. I know of no other Third World country in which (vulgar and distorted) emulation of the White Man is more admired. ""Lebanon's name has always been synonymous with war, but when it comes to fashion ... these designers really make us proud," said Laura Seikaly, 39, who was among a recent crowd of bikini-clad sunbathers on a beach north of Beirut. "I guess it comes from the society itself, the way Lebanese women dress. They're very courageous, even more than Europeans." (thanks Sarah)

Dershowitz: a new Revisionism

"Dershowitz: Palestinians ‘Played A Significant Role In The Holocaust’". When the Zionist lies and fabrications get that big, it tells me that they are desperate and nervous. They have to be. Perhaps Dershowitz did not bother to read Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem about Zionist-Nazi contacts. (thanks Souheil)

Sudanese dictator's misogyny

Today, the Sudanese dictatorship imposes a sentence of 40 lashes against the leftist journalist who dared to wear pants in public. (thanks Sana)

This is Zionism

"Far-right activists distributed fliers to fresh draftees at the Israel Defense Forces induction center in Tel Hashomer on Tuesday urging them not to confide in their commanders and to refrain from cooperating with investigators if they physically abuse Palestinians in the territories."

It is over: a solution to Middle East problems

"Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Christian Zionists that U.S. policies in the Middle East must be "firmly grounded" in Judeo-Christian principles." (thanks Olivia)

"The Family" goes to Lebanon

This has not received the attention of the press yet: "Berns: Does some of the criticism of The Family have an anti-religious bent — in a nation that values religious freedom?
Sharlet: Why is Sen. Tom Coburn (Oklahoma Republican) going to the government of Lebanon, one of the most religiously torn countries in the world, and going as a U.S. senator paid for by The Family — and saying to the government that the solution to their problems is to create more Christian prayer cells, like the one he and his friend Ensign and are in?"

Jamal Bubarak's reforms (and he speaks English)

"" In April an Egyptian blogger, Ahmed Mohsen, was detained on the Orwellian charge of “exploiting the democratic climate to overthrow the government”."" (thanks Raed)

Who funds Taliban?

""More money is coming from the Gulf than is coming from the drug trade to the Taliban," Holbrooke told journalists at NATO headquarters in Brussels. He didn't identify the countries where the sympathizers were donating from, but nations located on the Persian Gulf include Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq." (thanks Maryam)

Mubarak regime

The Mubarak ruling party in Egypt released its own poll of the Egyptian public. It said that some 71% of Egyptians support the government. Next week, the ruling Mubarak party will release a poll that shows that 99% of Egyptians support granting immortality to Husni Mubarak and his descendants.

The new and revised Walid Jumblat

Walid Jumblat calls for the NOs of Khartum. Kid you not. As Ibn Rushd observed to me: he is sounding like Angry Arab these days. (thanks Ibn Rushd)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The list

As-Safir publishes bios of the accused Israeli spies in Lebanon. Notice that the Israeli government which usually pleads innocence has stayed silence over the matter and has not permitted any Israeli media from discussing. It is called freedom of the press--Zionist style. But for me this amusing: the Israeli intelligence service is beaten by the Lebanese intelligence service. Lebanese, for potato's sake.

Dahlan o Dahlan

"Unidentified armed arsonists set fire to the Shopping Festival main stage under the watch of Israeli troops patrolling Nablus’ city center Monday before dawn." (thanks Asa)

Monument in Mali

A Monument to Muhammad Ad-Durra in Mali. (thanks Kathy)

Talibanization of Hamas

It is imperative that the rule of Hamas be opposed as vehemently as the rule of Fath gangs in the West Bank. Neither Fath, nor Hamas. "Gaza Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdul-Raouf Halabi released an edict today mandating that female lawyers must wear long dark clothing under their robes and scarves to cover their hair when they appear in court. The Hamas-appointed judge issued the order to keep women compliant with Islamic law." Of course, I wish that Ms. Magazine expresses outrage over the murder by Israeli of Palestinian women and children just as it expresses outrage over the veiling.

That Arab Human Development Report

A critique by comrade Samah of the Arab Human Development Report

Lousy Lebanese opposition

Comrade Khaled on the lousy Lebanese opposition.

Lies or ignorance

With Israeli propaganda, you never know whether it is out of ignorance or out of habitual lying. "THE UNDP report was largely ignored by the state-controlled Arab media despite containing de rigueur criticism of Israel." Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The Arab media gave ample coverage to the report, including in Saudi-controlled media becasue it was funded by the outfit of Prince Khalid Al-Faysal. Not only did AlJazeera covered it extensively, but it hosted several discussions about it.

Israeli propaganda outlets endorse the AHDR

"Writing from Beirut, Saseen Kawzally quoted approvingly Columbia University's Joseph Massad in damming the report for adopting "the rhetoric and terminology used by the US and Israel." Massad further criticized the English-language version of the report for, supposedly, casting a modicum of blame for the Gaza fighting on Hamas."

Prince Sultan is very dead

"King Abdullah has been satisfied with and reassured of the health of Crown Prince Sultan, the Cabinet was informed Monday by Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior."" You know what that means, don't you? It means that King Abdullah saw his brother dead in Morocco. Get the shovels NOW.

Asian workers in the Middle East

"Solita, a Filipina housemaid, is a victim of rape. A mother of three, the youngest is not more than a year old, she looks frail and in deep trauma. She escaped from a local employment agency here, where she was kept for months with other women domestic workers, after she was raped by the owner of the employment agency who recruited her in Manila. She sought the help of the Philippine Embassy, and is now being sheltered in a safe house of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Eastern Province. “I just want to go home and forget the whole thing – that I was a victim of rape,” she said. “I will keep to myself the bad experience I had; I will forever keep silent and let God’s judgment be delivered upon the person who molested me,” she told Saudi Gazette.""

Saudi sleaze website

I usually don't link to the Saudi sleaze website, Elaph. The website is favored by MEMRI which refers to it as "liberal". This is like calling Hustler magazine "progressive." The site has an article expressing outrage that Lebanese MP (and An-Nahar manager), Nayla Tuwayni, married a Shi`ite man (Malik Maktabi, the Jerry Springer of Lebanon who is now facing a boycott campaign in Saudi Arabia).


"A campaign calling for a boycott of the Lebanese television channel LBC got underway in Saudi Arabia following the telecast of a controversial show. While appearing on The Bold Red Line, a Lebanese television programme, last week, Jeddah resident Mazen Abdul Jawad detailed his sexual exploits, beginning with when he had sex with a neighbour at the age of 14."

Gulf polygamous ties with Israel

"In fact, not too long ago a Gulf official asked me for contacts in the Israeli foreign ministry (which I did not have). It was a casual request, as if I were being asked to introduce a potential business partner." (thanks Sana)

How the New York Times documents its stories on Iran

This is a collection of the documentation of one article on Iran from yesterday's New York Times:
1)"state media reported"
2)"according to the Fararu Web site,"
3)"Opposition Web sites"
4)"according to an account posted on reformist Web sites."
5)"Web sites reported."
6)"Iranian Web sites and news agencies reported."
7)"according to the Tabnak Web site." to Portland to Portland, Oregon. For legal consulting gig. No public speaking events unless I decide to yell and scream in downtown Portland.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saudi blessing

"Most recently, when Bahrain made a public overture to Israel, Saudi Arabia gave its blessing but cautioned its neighbor not to go too far, one Saudi official said." (thanks FLC)

Queen of Beautiful Morals

"With her face and body completely covered by the black head-to-toe abaya mandatory in the conservative Muslim kingdom, 18-year-old Mullah was named 'Queen of Beautiful Morals' late on Thursday, newspapers said." The man above won the title of King of Beautiful Morals. (thanks Nabeel)

Because they are obsessed with Danish cartoons

"Mullahs, imams, and assorted clerics found time to issue fatwas condemning among other practices, Pokémon cartoons, total nudity during sex for married couples, and the use of polio vaccines, not to mention Salman Rushdie. They have yet to find the time to say anything about China's practices toward Uighurs." (thanks Christopher)

Family affair

"Mr. Barzani’s son heads the region’s security forces and intelligence service, while Mr. Barzani’s nephew is the region’s prime minister."

Vote rigging and ballot stuffing that you can live with

"Hours after the voting ended, Gorran issued a statement accusing the two parties of vote rigging and ballot stuffing in Dohuk and Erbil Provinces."

The best puppet your money can buy

"The prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, says an Iraqi officer was wrong to order American soldiers detained after they killed three Iraqis while going after insurgents. In an interview published Sunday in The Washington Post, al-Maliki said the Iraqi officer was "out of line" and "did not understand the agreement" that governs the U.S. military since the withdrawal last month of U.S. combat forces from Iraqi cities. Al-Maliki said he called Baghdad and "made clear that they understand that this demand of handing over the people who killed the Iraqis is wrong."" Don't be surprised if Maliki awarded the offending US soldiers the highest Iraqi medals for bravery.

They care

"The Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act was introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Robert Casey (D-PA) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Among the key features of the VOICE Act:" (thanks Navid)

On a checkpoint that does not exist, but does

"Several weeks ago, the IDF announced with great fanfare that this roadblock has been removed. Since then, the Machsom Watch observers have gone back and found the soldiers still there — though until 12 July merely hanging around and lurking off to the side of the road, behind the Israeli concrete blocks." (thanks M.)

Talibanization of Hamas

This is a good article on Al-Akhbar on the lousy Islamic state that Hamas is constructing in Gaza. They even launched a campaign of "Yes to virtue". I propose a counter-campaign of "No to Hamas".

Saudi man in jail for bragging

"Lewd remarks about sex by a Saudi man in Jeddah that broadcast last week on LBC’s “Red Line” has led to his arrest, Arab News learned on Wednesday. Mazen Abdul Jawad appeared on the program last week in a red button-down shirt and open collar bragging in graphic detail about his sexual conquests." This occurred on the LBC-TV's show, Ahmar: Bil-Khat Al-`Arid, which is a Lebanese imitation of Jerry Springer. There is now a campaign in Saudi Arabia to lead a boycott of LBC-TV because of its "exploitation"--according to campaigners--of Saudi nationals on its sleazy shows. There are some Saudi businesses which pulled out of advertisement on LBC-TV. But no worry: the Lebanese excel at the art of prostration and groveling vis-a-vis oil princes.

PS I forgot to add that LBC quickly moved to appease Saudi Wahhabi authorities: the host of the show, Malik Maktabi, disappeared from the air, and the show stopped airing.


""The American commitment to Israel's security is unshakable and will not change," Mitchell told Defense Minister Ehud Barak." When asked about US relations with Arab countries, he invoked the words of "Shake your booty."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Khumayni versus Sadat

Here, Thomas Friedman does what he does best: offers a silly and very unintelligent cliche about the Middle East, typically reduced to his redundant dualities expressed in English of 8th graders. "Sadat argued that the future should bury the past and that Arabs and Muslims should build their future based on peace with Israel, integration with the West and embracing modernity. Khomeini argued that the past should bury the future and that Persians and Muslims should build their future on hostility to Israel, isolation from the West and subordinating modernity to a puritanical Islam." But here is the problem: what if you are an Arab or an Iranian who cares about democracy and human rights? Both Khumayni and Sadat were enemies of human rights and democracy. And Friedman does not know that Sadat unleashed the Muslim fundamentalists, just as Khumayni did.

Review in the New York Times

The reviewer says this about a book that vomits an ideology of hostility against Muslim immigrants: "Bawer is unquestionably correct, and that fact is quite simply ­terrifying."

Those pesky Palestinians

Patrick Seale on the Palestinians: "while feuding Palestinian factions recklessly squander the unique chance of statehood offered them by the providential figure of U.S. President Barack Obama." Those Palestinians. Here came the US president offering them a state and a beverage and they said no. By the way, Patrick: you know how I feel about that book you wrote about Prince Khalid Bin Sultan's heroism in "Desert Storm". (thanks A.)

The language of the New York Times: Fair but...

This is classic: "a general sense of fair-mindedness (except perhaps toward the Arabs)". So the authors were fair in writing about Israel except in what they wrote about the Arabs. And notice that their unfairness toward Arabs in a book on Israel and its founding is a parenthetical matter for the reviewer. This is so funny. This is like saying: they were rather non-racist, except in their attitude to blacks. Or like saying that someone is non-sexist, except in his attitude toward women. Or that someone is not homophobic, except in his attitude to homosexuals. But the authors were interviewed on C-Span and they were clear that they were avowed Zionists.

Freedom of speech in the usurping entity

"during the Gaza war I felt as though every radio station was staffed by propagandists, every newspaper by a government spokesman or spokeswomen. It was not any law which told them to say and write as they did. There was no need for a law – the journalists and analysts probably felt what I was feeling, that the public had no patience for a different point of view." (thanks Carlos)

Humanizing Zionist fascism

This is a book that if it was written about other leaders or country, liberal protesters would show up daily at the publisher's headquarters. Read what he says about Begin and Sharon: here is an author who find the war crimes of Sharon and Begin to be cute and adorable. Even this lousy sympathetic reviewers in the New York Times had to mention: "But there’s no comparable nuance in Cohen’s portrayal of the Arabs who are crucial to the latter half of his book. Most appear as little more than walk-ons, performing familiar roles: the Nazi-loving grand mufti of Jerusalem; the kaffiyeh-draped Arafat; the Hezbollah leader chillingly declaring, “They love life, and we love death.”" (And the last quotation was fabricated). And do Zionist propagandists know that the Mufti has been long dead? I mean, they need new and fresh material. This schtick about the Mufti is way too old.

Why Professor Gates should not be insulted

"And Gates says that if anyone thinks he’s a fiery black militant, they’ve got the wrong guy, considering he married a white woman, has mixed-race daughters and has white blood himself."

The New York Times Found a Pakistani it likes: he is half-white and his name is Daniel

"Mr. Mueenuddin is also a landlord, though he prefers not to think of himself that way. His family’s wealth started in the 18th century with his great-great-great-grandfather, who grew rich as the governor of Kashmir, a territory that is now disputed by India and Pakistan. “I’m not a landlord,” he said, cringing. “I hope I don’t act that way.”He argues that he is a farm manager whose business does well because he treats his workers fairly. He pays them $84 a month, triple the going rate, and instituted an American-style annual bonus system for managers. Last year, the most profitable producer on the farm received the equivalent of more than two years’ salary."" He is bragging about the $84 a month he pays for his workers, but Sri Lankan maids in Lebanon get paid more. Also, notice this sentence: "IN person, Mr. Mueenuddin is more American than Pakistani." This explains why he earned a long profile in the Times. Also, I need some one to explain this sentence for me: "the Koran instructor in the mosque, Hafiz Sahib, who had been low in the pecking order of the village but was honest." When they add "but was honest", does that mean that it is unusual for a person low on the pecking order to be honest or do they mean that Koran instructors are not usually honest?

Congressional Zionists now feign sympathy for Iranians

"As an Iranian-American who grew up in Iran, I couldn't disagree more with my fellow Iranian-American's opinion that Sen. John McCain cares about human rights in Iran ("An Iranian-American thanks McCain," Letters, Thursday). I wouldn't be fooled by the senator's advocacy to help ordinary Iranians since he has continuously pushed for sanctions against Iran, which hurt the general population there. If he truly cared about Iranians, he would help lift the embargo on non-military equipment, such as civilian-aircraft spare parts, which are desperately needed in Iran at this time. A number of recent aircraft crashes resulting in the loss of hundreds of innocent Iranian lives have been attributed to the U.S. embargo of these spare parts. I will never forget when he sang "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" on one of his campaign stops...If Sen. McCain were sincerely concerned about human rights and freedom, he would also criticize other Muslim countries friendly to the U.S. and which Israel does not consider its enemy, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or Turkey, in which human-rights abuses are much more widespread."

American Intervention in Iranian affairs? No way. The US government is far too innocent and would never ever intervene in Iranian affairs.

"The funding increase for “Internet freedom, ’’ as it is called on Capitol Hill, is part of a State Department budget line item labeled Near East Regional Democracy, but details are secret. A Senate budget committee supported the increase, but recommended that $30 million of the funds be devoted to the expanded Internet effort, according to a draft of the Senate appropriation bill. Congressional aides said they expect the funds to be approved, and that Obama supports the Internet effort...The move to fund Internet activists is not entirely new. Although the Bush administration never funded a special Internet initiative, it spent 25 to 40 percent of its Iran democracy promotion money on Internet-related activities, according to David Denehy, who headed the State Department’s Iran grants from 2005 to 2007. “We did a lot of what we would consider cutting-edge, first-generation development [of tools],’’ said Denehy, now a consultant based in Nashua. “A lot of it is venture capital stuff where people are building stuff from the ground.’’ Under Denehy’s tenure, the State Department gave funds to Freedom House, which translated and disseminated a manual called “Everybody’s Guide to Bypassing Internet Censorship,’’ and another on how to do peaceful protests."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

House of Saud is worried about Israel

Al-Arabiyya TV (the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) just broke with this headline: it said that Iranian Revolutionary Guards "are threatening Israel." Too bad that Prince Salman, Prince Sultan, and King `Abdullah are all out of the country. Otherwise, they would all volunteer in the Israeli terrorist army, just as Rahm Emanuel did back in 1990.

Punishing a journalist

"Rosenberg's coverage of Guantanamo, its terrorism trials and its suicides has been sustained and highly detailed. She has written about a prisoner so afraid of returning to his native Tajikistan that he is asking to stay at the prison in Cuba. She has written about how bottled water there is kept chilled in a 3,470-pound shipping refrigerator meant for the dead. And last year she wrote about one general attacking another as "abusive, bullying, unprofessional" in a dispute over trial tactics at the war court. Jamie McIntyre, a former CNN Pentagon correspondent, said of Rosenberg's interactions with Gordon: "I didn't think there was any sort of sexual abuse, unless you're telling me a naval officer, a sailor, isn't used to hearing anatomical references in anger. It sounds like an overreaction on everybody's part." He said Rosenberg "was always professional in her demeanor when I was around her.""

The royal Saudi photographer

So the Saudi King visited his (dead) brother, Sultan, in Morocco. Notice that all the pictures of Sultan were taken by Prince Bandar Bin Salman, who is now tasked with taking official pictures of Prince Sultan.

Black and White in the US (the self-styled "beacon of freedom")

"A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last July asked: “Have you ever felt you were stopped by the police just because of your race or ethnic background?” Sixty-six percent of black men said yes. Only 9 percent of white men said the same."

New York Times' favorite coup

"Joya Améndola, who apparently operated in the '80s as "Dr. Arranzola," is also named as a founder of the semi-official "Lince" and "Cobra" death squads. Human rights groups in Honduras charge he is responsible for at least 11 extrajudicial executions, as well as the April 1982 kidnapping and torture of six students. He apparently received training in Argentina from Gen. Guillermo Suárez Mason AKA "Pajarito"—who would later be convicted and imprisoned on charges related to 30 murders and 200 kidnappings. (See obituary, The Independent, June 23, 2005.) Joya Améndola also obtained a scholarship from the Honduran army to study in Augusto Pinochet's Chile." (thanks Dale)

Zionist propaganda in L'Orient Le Jour

"À l'honneur des Israéliens tout de même, leur savoir légendaire en matière de transformations géologiques et territoriales. En effet, ils n'ont pas leur pareil pour muer les déserts en champs fertiles..." And this Zionist propaganda is in a paper owned by former Lebanese minister, Michel Iddi (with whom I once had an arguement because he insisted that no Jews died on Sep. 11 because they all had received advanced warning from Israel--according to his kooky version of "events"). But this is not surprising: the friends of Israel in the Arab world are all anti-Semites (King Hasan II, House of Saud, Abu Mazen, Anwar Sadat, the Maronite Patriarchate, etc). Also, the dessert of Negev is still a dessert. Bloom my..potato. (thanks Ibn Rushd)

Defenders of Zionism

"Sophisticated or unsophisticated, defenders of Israeli atrocities and crimes use simple or fancy language to say outrageous things." (thanks Michael)

The real Cedars' homeland

"Imagine you’re a domestic worker who, after six days of working full-time, decided to head to the beach for a well-deserved day in the sun. You purchase a ticket to enter, find the perfect spot, but then, right as you’re about to jump in the pool, the resort manager approaches and tells you to stay out of the water because “people are not used to the sight of workers swimming.” Such discrimination is the rule rather than exception at beach resorts in Lebanon. African and Asian domestic workers are usually allowed into beaches only when accompanied by their employer, and even then they are denied access to facilities."" (thanks Matthew)


If Israel were to bomb the hell out of Iran and kill a large number of its civilians, those same Americans who are now feigning sympathy with the people of Iran would be the first to cheer Israel and call for more bombing.

WSJ explains why Zelaya (not the coup leader) is anti-Democratic

"But in fact, a close look at Mr. Zelaya's time in office reveals a strongly antidemocratic streak. He placed himself in a growing cadre of elected Latin presidents who have tried to stay in power past their designated time to carry out a populist-leftist agenda. These leaders, led by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, have used the region's historic poverty and inequality to gain support from the poor, but created deep divisions in their societies by concentrating power in their own hands and increasing government control over the economy, media and other sectors." (thanks G.)

Not in the US press

"The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Egyptian authorities today to explain why they have detained three bloggers this week without charge. "

Look who now cares about the Iranian people?

The US Congress now cares about the Iranian people. This is as vapid as when the Feminist Majority (which used to sell on its website pieces of Burqah to express solidarity with women in Afghanistan--although it did not sell plastic black eyes to show solidarity with victims of domestic violence here in the US) feigned concern over the women in Afghanistan. I am--and can never be--on the same side with the US Congress, on any issue. You may find this an extreme position, but it really is not. You may say what if the US Congress takes a stand say against global warming? I say: the US Congress is wrong even when it is right: i.e., they must have alterior motives and sinister plot when they advance what may appear as a good cause. And Zionism in Congress makes the difference between Democrats and Republicans on foreign policy non-existent.

Who Speaks for Iran and its people? Hoover and WINEP of course.

Look who is speaking for Iran at the US Congress: "While most of the world has been captivated by events unfolding in Iran, Wednesday's Foreign Affairs Committee hearing concentrated on Iran's nuclear program and the use of sanctions against Iran. The committee hearing included a panel of six witnesses: Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Suzanne Maloney from the Brookings Institution, Abbas Milani of Stanford University, Karim Sadjadpour from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, and Orde Kittrie from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies." So basically the Washington Institute, Hoover Institution, American Enterprise Insitute, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies now speak for the Iranian people. Notice how those people called for sanctions against the Iranian people IN THE NAME of the Iranian people. The next step is predicatable: those same people will call for bombing Iran IN THE NAME of the Iranian people. Those same people will plead with the US Congress to bomb the hell out of the Iranian people in order to liberate Israel--I mean, the Iranian people. Those same people will stress that the Iranian people need to be bombed from the air, in order to liberate the Iranian people. It is a well-known scenario that we saw in Iraq before. Just as Fuad Ajami and Bernard Lewis spoke on behalf of the Iraqi people, the same Zionists will now speak for the Iranian people. And notice that the shift from a Republican to a Democratic administration makes no difference whatsoever when it comes to the Middle East advise and policy on capitol hill.

Who is threatening whom?

Is Iran threatening Israel or is Israel threatening Iran?

The Pro-Western March 14 Movement

I am still amused by Western press reports in which March 14 Movement in Lebanon is described as "pro-Western", thereby ignoring the Salafi component of the movement. Lebanese Hariri MP, Samir Al-Jisr, the spokesperson of the largest Hariri-led March 14 bloc in Parliament (known as the "Lebanon First" bloc) spoke on LBC the other day. He said that it would be unfair to castigate the Salafites of Northern Lebanon (some of whom are in jail for membership or activities with Ben Ladenite groups and Hariri MPs have been advocating on their behalf). He said that "we all are Jihadist" because Jihad is a pillar of Islam. Another element of March 14 is anti-Semitism (now that is clearly "Western" since anti-Semitism was born in the West and raised there). The "prominent" March 14 intellectual, Paul Shawul, who is in charge of the culture section of Hariri rag, Al-Mustaqbal, spoke on Hariri TV. He mentioned the Israeli war on Gaza and clearly and typically spoke in anti-Semitic terms. Shawul said that Israelies are "the savages who came from the Torah." Warning: such statements would not appear in MEMRI bulletin (which specializes these days in airing pro-Saudi writers in Saudi propaganda outlets and referring to them as "liberals") because they may be disturing to allies of the Zionist usurping entity.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Saudi Arabia and Israel

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Saudi Arabia and Israel: The Unannounced Alliance"

The New York Times on Kyrgyzstan

"It is not a police state, and in general, only those who overtly challenge the government are hounded by the security services."

John Burns on Anthony Blunt

"He describes coming under intense pressure from Burgess — depicted in histories of the period as a heavy-drinking, show-stealing egoist but in the memoir as “an extraordinarily persuasive person” — to join him in working for Soviet intelligence." How silly and petty. As if he can't be both: a heavy-drinking egoist who also is very persuasive.


"Who had hope under Zelaya? Neglected black Hondurans" (thanks Nir)

Racism and anti-Semitism in the New York Times

First notice that the word enclave is reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic writings. Secondly, notice how many times the New York Times felt the need to inform the readers in this one article that they are Jews from Syria (lest the White Man think that they are from Europe): "Syrian Jewish enclave..."

Israeli propaganda campaign: Ethan Bronner assisted by Taghreed

"“What did the rockets do for us? Nothing,” Mona Abdelaziz, a 36-year-old lawyer, said in a typical street interview here." Taghreed is back: providing propaganda quotations for the propaganda pieces of Ethan Bronner. Notice that the word "typical" is used. How many interviews did Taghreed conduct before she decided that it was typical? And when people speak against Israel and US, does Taghreed bother to record that? (thanks Electronic Ali)


"An Australian Muslim woman has sparked a row after claiming a Sydney bus driver told her she couldn't board because she was wearing a veil, AFP reported." (thanks Nabeel)

The exemplary police state of Tunisia

"Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard wrote to Tunisian justice minister Béchir Tekkari yesterday calling for human rights activist Khedija Arfaoui's conviction to be quashed. On 4 July, a Tunis court sentenced her to eight years in prison on a charge of "disturbing public order" for posting a message about the rumoured abduction of children for their organs on the social-networking website Facebook."


"Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki paid symbolic tribute to US soldiers killed in Iraq, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery." The Iraqi puppet thinks that they died for his installation.

Still missing in Gaza

"Ma'an news agency had this disturbing report today, in which it listed the names of 59 Gazans still missing since last december's Israeli assault on the Strip, and presumed still buried under the estimated 1.5 million tons of rubble still left uncleared there."

Facebook tools about Israel

"The realization that young people are increasingly living life through their Facebook accounts recently gave birth to a new and potentially powerful tool in the fight for Israel's image. Observing this phenomenon, a group of 23 students from Jerusalem's Hebrew University came up with a small application which uses the Facebook "status line" to inform hundreds of thousands of users at any given moment about positive facts about Israel." I have a better tool. I have installed a special Facebook tool that informs me regularly about facts about Israel: about massacres, wars, aggression, racism, occupation, bombings, fabrications, lies, and stupidity of its intelligence service. (thanks Olivia)

Lashing out

"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." (thanks Seham)

Hamid Dabashi (and Angry Arab) in Campus Watch

Hamid Dabashi winning high praise in Campus Watch. (thanks Jack)

4200 Israeli violations of the UNSC 1701

4200 Israeli violations of the UNSC 1701, according to a Lebanese count.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


"Saudis and others have been known to flood the tiny nation on weekends, filling Manama's bars and hotels, holding alcohol-fueled races through Bahrain's streets and patronizing the many prostitutes who crowd the hotels and clubs."

Obama Doctrine

"Mr. Kaptagaev’s story is not unusual in this poor former Soviet republic in the mountains of Central Asia. Many opposition politicians and independent journalists have been arrested, prosecuted, attacked and even killed over the last year as the Kyrgyz president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has consolidated control in advance of elections on Thursday, which he is all but certain to win. “This is how the authorities rule in Kyrgyzstan,” said Mr. Kaptagaev, 52. “They use criminal methods to keep power.” The United States has remained largely silent in response to this wave of violence, apparently wary of jeopardizing the status of its sprawling air base, on the outskirts of this capital, which supports the mission in Afghanistan. Indeed, the Obama administration has sought to woo the Kyrgyz president since he said in February that he would close the Manas base.""

An election fraud that you will like

"The leading opposition candidate in Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia essentially withdrew from the presidential race on Thursday even before voting had concluded, asserting that widespread fraud had assured the incumbent’s victory."

Value of the space program

I have mocked the space program. I stand corrected. There is after all some value: we now know how to fix a toilet in outer space: "A pump on the recently installed toilet in the American laboratory, Destiny, broke Sunday, contaminating part of the system. The pump’s function was to inject chemicals that helped separate liquids from solid waste.Col. Gennady I. Padalka, the station commander, and Frank De Winne, a flight engineer, replaced some of the parts, and the toilet was operational on Monday."

Coverage of Iran

"Tweets, lies and videotape"

Amos Oz and the rest of the gang of Zionist hypocrisy

A group of Israeli leftist poseurs are now claiming to demand an investigation into "allegations" of war crimes in the Israeli assault on Gaza. It is sufficient to read the name of Amos Oz to smell hypocrisy. Here is a man who always want to have it both ways: he always, ALWAYS, supports every Israeli murder, assault, invasion, war, occupation, but then pretend to oppose "certain excesses" when a large number of people are killed. If there is a personification of the rottenness of Zionism, it is Amos Oz.

Harvard standards

"Despite the blunt admissions of Israeli soldiers widely published in the Israeli press, it was clear from her calm presentation that Sharvit-Baruch and her cohort live in their own rhetorical universe where even language is assaulted. In the Colonel's own terminology, non-existent vocabulary in international law such as "capacity builders" and "revolving doors" is coined to pass over accepted terms such as "civilians" and "non-combatants." Like the US government's "torture memo" authors -- who in contrast to Israel's were not uniformed ranking members of the army -- the Israeli military attempted to reclassify a "civilian" in a manner making it easier to strip them of protections provided by international humanitarian law. "Architecture of words," said one participant. Despite all this, by her own standards, Sharvit-Baruch and her team could not be faulted for their efficiency: in Gaza, banning all media from entering; assaulting the population with air missiles, sniper ground troops, and white phosphorus; condemning all criticism of military actions as contrary to state security; keeping a chin above the law; attaining a teaching position at Tel Aviv University and finally a prestigious opportunity to address Harvard students and faculty." (thanks Maryam)

Resounding failure

"Despite attempts by the operators of the Arrow missile defense system in Israel to portray Wednesday night's aborted test as "a partial success," in reality it was nothing less than a resounding failure. The fact that the interceptor missile failed to launch in the direction of the target is damning proof that the test failed."

Oil workers' union in Iraq

Conflict intensifies between the Iraqi puppet government and the oil workers. (thanks Dina)

News that are not fit to print

"Three major Egyptian Islamist bloggers have been arrested over the last 48 hours". (thanks Olivia)

No jokes about the biggest joke in Pakistan

"Pakistanis who send jokes about Asif Zardari by text message, email or blog risk being arrested and given a 14-year prison sentence. The country's interior minister, Rehman Malik, announced the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been asked to trace electronically transmitted jokes that "slander the political leadership of the country" under the new Cyber Crimes Act." (thanks Hani)

Iran election fraud: votes to go

There is another aspect of potential fraud in the last presidential election in Iran. My sources in Lebanon tell me that the Iranian embassy would contact Iranians in Lebanon and ask them to vote. Diplomats from embassy would bring the ballot boxes to the house of the Iranians in Lebanon and then take the box away.

Censorship in Free Iraq

There is [puppet] government censorship on all books and publications that enter Iraq. (thanks Sinan)

Uncle Dahlan

Would Muhammad Dahlan do something dirty as to bomb the wedding of his own niece in Gaza? Nothing is too dirty for Muhammad Dahlan.

Faruq Qaddumi

Husam Kanafani correctly blasts Faruq Qaddumi and discredits him (while attacking the Dahlans of course).

The New Saudi ambassador in Lebanon

You need to read this hagiographic article on the new Saudi ambassador in Lebanon in An-Nahar (the right-wing, sectarian Christian, anti-Syrian (people), anti-Palestinian (people) which is partly owned by Prince Al-Walid bin Talal and the Greek Orthodox Church in Lebanon). The man comes from a security background and is "an expert" in terrorism. Oh, yeah. (thanks Alain)

Leszek Kolakowski

Tributes for right-wing anti-communist polemicist, Leszek Kolakowski are pouring in. The tributes are uniformly referring to him as this great thinker and even "philosopher." But if you read the works of the man, he did not write like a political thinker or even a conservative philosopher. He was a polemicist against communists, and sometimes he would be vulgar in his attacks. Go back and read his main work, Main Currents of Marxism: the value--if there is a value--of the book is political and not philosophical or academic, just as Khumayni's writings were political and not theological. In writing about Lenin, Marcuse, Adorno, or Mao, Kolkowski often merely sneers and mocks and ridicules. He insisted that the lousy regimes of Eastern Europe were extensions or "interpretation" of Marxism (see Main Currents of Marxism: The Breakdown (vol 3), p. 526. And those who believed in socialism in the 20th century, are dimissed by this hack as no more than "New Left adolescents" (p. 528). So much for the philisophy of of Kolakowski. Look how Kolakowski, for example, argues against Herbert Marcuse: "Not only is Marcuse wrong in proclaiming a logical link between positivism and totalitarian politics, but his assertion of a historical link is currently contrary to facts."(p. 401). The crime of Marcuse of course is that he was critical of both "Soviet Marxism" and modern capitalism. It was not enough to criticize Soviet-dominated systems: you need to express unconditional admiration for capitalism in all its forms, and for Western wars and injustices.

Another item on Arab Human Development Report

Comrade Joseph and comrade Samah blast the new Arab Human Development Report.

Arab Human Development Report

Comrade Khaled provides a succinct critique of the origins and controversy of the new Arab Human Development Report.
PS People should know that the Arab Human Development Report is now funded and managed by the outfit of Prince Khalid Al-Faysal (known as Mu'assasat Al-Fikr Al-`Arabi), and at least two writers of this report spoke of political intervention and pressures by the outfit of Prince Khalid Al-Faysal in the final outcome.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

White shoes in Damascus

Comrade Khaled on neo-liberalism and white shoes in Damascus.


"Israel’s foreign minister ran into controversy on the first day of a Latin American trip Tuesday when an official of Brazil’s ruling party reportedly called him a “fascist.”" (thanks Devin)

Uncle Dahlan

CNN hearts Dahlan.


"AHAVA Dead Sea Laboratories, an Israeli cosmetics company, has situated its main manufacturing plant and showroom at the Israeli Jewish settlement Mitzpe Shalem in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank near the shores of the Dead Sea. Mitzpe Shalem, built on occupied land in 1970, is an illegal settlement, as are all Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Ahava’s capture of Palestinian natural resources from the Dead Sea is, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, a patently illegal use by an occupying power of stolen resources for its own profit. To add insult to injury, Ahava’s labels claim that the country of origin of its products is “The Dead Sea, Israel”—this type of labeling has been decried by Oxfam, among other human rights groups, as blatantly misleading."

All that you have done is registered in OUR notebooks

"The Israeli government will remove references to what Palestinians call the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation from textbooks for Arab schoolchildren, the education minister said Wednesday." (thanks Olivia)

Zionist hoodlums

So Zionist hoodlums are under instructions from Israeli propaganda outlets to write Zionist comments on websites that are opposed to Israel and its wars and occupation. And since I closed down the comments' section, Zionist hoodlums feel very frustrated. They are now resorting to writing under my own name on websites of Israeli newspapers. For the record, I only write on this website, and I would never leave comments on Israeli websites. (thanks Michele)

Being black in the US

Remember this: a black man in the US is 75 times more likely than a white man to be stopped by police.

Knafah Mania

Blame Lebanese influence for this: "Days prior to the Nablus event, rumors spread that 10 keys were going to be hidden inside the kanafeh and whoever found the keys would walk away with a new car. To add madness to an already absurd situation people dug through the kanafeh like hungry cannibals, throwing the kanafeh on the ground in search for the supposed prize. Thirty minutes later, the plate was stripped of the pastry and not a single key was found. Palestinians traditionally serve kanafeh at celebrations. The festive frenzy in Nablus provided a marked contrast with the situation in Gaza. There, 80 percent of the 1.5 million population have been reduced to dependency on UN food handouts as a result of an internationally-backed Israeli blockade imposed ever since Hamas won legislative elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in January 2006. In recent months, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have warned of an alarming rise in indicators of malnutrition in Gaza, including stunting, wasting and underweight children and high rates of anemia among children and pregnant women." (thanks Electronic Ali)

Gen. `Abdul-`Aziz and Israel

A well-informed reader sent me this about Gen. `Abdul-`Aziz of Mauritania. I wanted to share lest people think that I was defending the general. (The writer does not want to be identified): "General Abdelaziz in Mauritania is no opponent of Israel, and he has not been involved in the anti-normalization camp until he found it politically necessary. For decades, he was a key figure in the regime that first opened ties with Israel to improve ties with the US and Europe (after it first wrongly bet on Saddam Hussein and was punished with aid cuts). After he and his associates overthrew that government in 2005, he did not utter a word of protest against the Israeli embassy, and indeed discouraged campaigns to close it. Coincidentally, the forces most opposed to him in the 2005-2008 period were among those most critical of the ties to Israel: the left (UFP), the Ikhwan (Tawassoul), and other such groups who have always been in opposition to the military and which had allied themselves to the corrupt and flawed but democratically legitimate presidency of Abdellahi. After his coup in 2008, when to his surprise he realized that no one (except the king of Morocco) supported his coup, he tried to get Western support by claiming that he wanted to fight al-Qaida, and by aksing Israel to persuade the US to change its line, but with no success (there was a piece on this in Haaretz). Then when this didn't work, and the West cut all aid to his junta, and the AU expelled him, he switched strategy and made a deal with Libya which included shutting down the Israeli embassy (I have heard it is now a Sayf al-Islam office) in return for Qaddafi's mediation and funding. He also won a supportive visit from Iran at the same time, but I don't imagine there was any money in that. Also, it was of course a popular move in the country, so he won some support when his rule seemed to be in danger. Now, the international circumstances have changed, and it unfortunately seems most of the world are prepared to go along with his electoral "victory", to get out of the deadlock. But that is the background of it. He certainly deepened his crisis with the US and EU by breaking with Israel, but it was not the original cause of it. They essentially didn't want to see Mauritania revert to the era of military coups and destructive Algerian-Moroccan meddling, when it finally seemed to be on the way to liberalization and stabilization. No one has anything to gain from an unstable Mauritania, not even the most cynical Imperialist power: they want it to keep terrorism and smuggling down, sell fish and oil, and otherwise - as the French colonial administrators in Mauritania were instructed in the early 1900s - "not be heard from again". (Ok, maybe Qaddafi sees some way to exploit chaos in Mauritania. He has been interested in the country for a long time but was pushed out of its politics by Algeria and then Iraq in the 80s.)"

Ali Allawi: the former puppet defense minister of Iraq

Ali Allawi does not want you to know that he was a puppet defense minister appointed by the Bush administration in Iraq. In this article he merely tells you that he was "a cabinet minister" as if he was serving in London in a democratically elected government. He was puppet minister of defense when the ministry was known for massive corruption (although he was not personally accused of corruption) and for serving obediently the orders of the occupiers. Allawi has decided to reinvent himself as a Western liberal. And like all colonized people who want to praise "the West" they really show ignorance about the West: their West is an imagined West distilled from the writings of Rousseau and Voltaire and not from modern realities. Who would, for example, say this about the US: "The West has accepted secularization as an inevitable consequence of increasing wealth and power." And the first section of the article reminds me of what the New Yorker's Pauline Kael said when Richard Nixon was elected president. She said that she can't believe that Nixon won because "I don't know anybody who voted for him." Similarly, this member of an elite family who grew up in privilege was describing elite Islam to you and then extrapolating on the entire Muslim community of Iraq and beyond. You wonder whether his mommy and daddy allowed him to venture in his white shoes into the slums of Iraq at the time. Notice he still praises the Da`wah party: he objects to sectarianism of Wahhabiyyah but not of the ruling Shi`ite Ayatullah groupies in the government. And you read this long peace and wonder what he wants from all this talk about civilization. Do people think that they sound deep simply by using the word civilization? Read this and tell me what he wants please: "If Muslims want an outer life that is an expression of their innermost faith, however, they must rescue their own civilization from years of inactivity, lassitude, and indifference. Such an achievement requires overcoming conditions of great imbalance and adversity. The challenge is not insurmountable, but it will test to the limit Muslims' commitment to Islam as a complete way of life. Muslims must invent a new means of expressing the outer dimensions of their religion, a new Shariah — ethics-based rather than rules-based, tilted toward social action rather than preserving the status quo. Muslims must confront the twin temptations of seeing the Shariah either as a malleable garb for whatever modernity throws their way, or as a fixed creed of intricately detailed rulings." Don't you hate New Age jargon when mixed with talk about religion? Rescuing "civilization from inactivity"? What does that mean?

Who is scared of whom?

Unarmed Palestinian women facing an Israeli occupation soldier. (Al-Quds Al-`Arabi)

The Iran story (again) and the Revolutionary Guards: a matter of documentation and substantiation

This is not about politics: it is about journalism or even basic methods of documentation. I really want to know about the developments in Iran but know that the media are woefully inadequate: Hizbullah media want us to know that all is well in Iran and that the Western conspiracy against Iran will be smashed (and AlManar TV quotes an Iranian chief of police talking about law and order like Richard Nixon in his presidential campaigns). On the other hand, there is silly propaganda in on CNN and the New York Times. I pointed out when there is damaging story about the enemies of Israel, US media are willing to accept rumors, speculation, and fabrication. I mean, Geoffrey Goldberg (one of the least informed writers on the Middle East in the US--and it shows in his every word) is willing to regale you with stories about Hizbullah presence and power in...Latin America purely on the basis of a conversation he had with a bearded man on a bus. But the Zionists learn from the master: Bernard Lewis. I have pointed out that Lewis is thorough in his documentation when writing about history, but when he writes about current affairs he relies on jokes, cab driver conversation, a letter to the editor, and even a conversation he had with an Arab man at a grocery store (these are actual examples: see my review of Lewis' The Middle East and the West in some issue of Journal of Palestine Studies in the 1990s). All this by way of introduction to a piece by Michael Slackman (who is usually reasonable) about the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. These are the sources for the information in the article:
1. "Experts say": "It runs laser eye-surgery clinics, manufactures cars, builds roads and bridges, develops gas and oil fields and controls black-market smuggling, experts say."
2."a political scientist who worked in Iran for years, but asked not to be identified to avoid antagonizing the authorities."
3. "Muhammad Sahimi, a professor at the University of Southern California, who says he has a network of contacts around the country."
4. "One political analyst said that many of the rank and file were known to have voted for Mohammad Khatami"
5. "The Basiji, who experts say..."
6."The Rand report quoted one member of Iran’s Parliament who estimated that the Revolutionary Guards might do as much as $12 billion in black-market business annually."

And I am not disputing the facts or talking about politics but would this be considered acceptable methods of documentation if the story is about Israel or UK? I kept thinking that if I were to encounter such methods of documentation in an undergraduate paper of one of my students, the student would not receive a passing grade.

Lebanon: the shallow homeland

There was jubilation in Lebanon today. The country has been for a few years on the verge of civil war, Israel has been destroying the country for decades, the Hariri economy has produced a massive debt of $50 billion, the Palestinians in Lebanon are mistreated and the foreign maids are held as slaves but...Jeita Grotto was selected in some finalist selection for some dubios honor on some dumb internet poll. I kid you not. What a country. One of the popes was right when he said: Lebanon is more than a homeland. It is: it is a joke. So please, make sure you vote for any country except Lebanon (or Israel). Shame on As-Safir for putting the silly news on the front page today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

King PlayStation

""Many Palestinians living in Jordan are convinced that the Jordanian authorities are trying to squeeze them out," said Ismail Jaber, a West Bank lawyer who has been living in the kingdom for nearly 20 years. "There is growing discontent and uncertainty among Palestinians here.""

Pentagon Enlists Feminists

"Pentagon Enlists Feminists for War Aims." I can't link to anything written by Tom Hayden without comment: I still remember how he danced aboard Israeli warships in the waters of Lebanon in 1982 (along with Jane Fonda) to cheer the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and its bombers. I know that he has changed his views on Israel since then but I still expect a full apology from him for his role in cheering an invasion that killed AT LEAST 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians (mostly civilians). (thanks Ali)

Not in the US press: the lies of Simon Wiesenthal

The lies of Simon Wisenthal: (but his staunch and unconditional support for Israeli wars and aggression, make his lies acceptable in the US press). Centers are named after him in the US. (thanks Shakib)

"a leading pragmatist of Likud": the lexicon of Isabel Kershner

Of course, with Isabel Kershner (just as with Ethan Bronner) you know that you will get absolute and pure Israeli propaganda. But this attracted my attention yesterday: "a leading pragmatist of Likud." Pragmatist of Likud? This is like a feminist of Wahhabism, or a culturally sensitive of Nazism, or a peace advocate of Bushism, or a secular of Wilayat Faqih, or a lefist of Fasicsm. Also, notice that she ends the report with a reference to "experts say." Who are those expert? Only one: the adviser of Netanyahu himself.

Commander of the Faithful in Rabat

"Cartoon on king’s wealth banned in Morocco"


"However, Israel and the United States seem to have more in common when it comes to the security arena and, despite clear political differences right now, both bring enough to the table to make the relationship worthwhile."The Americans know we need them, but they also know they need us. For example, we have intelligence on this region they don't possess," said Zaki Shalom, an expert on Israeli defense policy at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva.It is generally felt in Israel that the defense relationship will not be affected by the political turmoil."

Ruhi Fattuh

The collaborationist regime of Abu Mazen called for an investigation of the accusations by Faruq Qaddumi. Yeah, the last time I heard about an investigation by that collaborationist regime was when the former speaker of the legistlative council, Ruhi Fattuh was caught smuggling 3000 cellphones in his own car. Fattuh is a close ally of Muhammad Dahlan and he is still enjoying his wealth.

Prince Nayif

New TV aired a picture of what it said was Prince Nayif in its report this evening. That was Prince Muqrin.

Mechanical errors

By the way, the crashing of all helicopters over Afghanistan this month is due to mechanical errors. Only mechanical errors. That is what I read in the newspapers and that is what I believe. I believe all that I read in the newspaper. I follow orders and believe what I read. I am a tool in the capitalist apparatus. Would you like a beverage?

Kingdom of Horrors

"Saudi Arabia has been condemned by Amnesty International for "gross and widespread" human rights abuses by detaining thousands of people in counter-terrorism round-ups and holding many of them for years without charge or trial." (thanks Olivia)

The constant aggression (and calls for additional aggression) by Israel

I was looking through my archives and collected documents (and they are organized according to the potato library classification system), and I came across an old issue of the Washington Post from January 10, 1991. The headline is "Israel Urges Strike Against Saddam [read Iraq]". And the article by Jackson Diehl says that "Israel's government is again lobbying Washington to destroy the military machine of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein [read Iraq]." I mean, I read that and thought. In the 1950s, the government of the usurping entity urged strikes against Egypt and managed to invite UK and France to attack Egypt. In the 1960s, the government of the usurping entity were urging strikes against Egypt and Syria. And in the 1970s, they were urging stirkes on Lebanon. And now they are urgsing strikes on Iran (and on Lebanon). And on and on. What does the government of the usurping entity think about its fate in the region? What is the lesson from this rememberance? It is obvious. The demise of the Zionist usurping entity will be achieved through the same methods that the usurping entity relied on for its expansion and occupations. Oh, and when the Palestinian regugees return to their homes in 1948 Palestine, can the Israeli occupiers turn the lights off on their way out?

Critique of the Arab Human Development Report

Here is a critique of the Arab Human Development Report by one of the contributors. (thanks Mirvat)

The Incoherence of Islamic Fundamentalism

Somebody posted for free my article from 1994 in the Middle East Journal, "The Incoherence of Islamic Fundamentalism: Arab-Islamic Thought at the end of the 20th Century." (thanks Salim)

Arab Human Development Report

I may write (in Arabic) a critique of the just released Arab Human Development Report. I am not finished reading it but I certain was surprised to see tributes paid to "state security". (thanks Cara)

Aljazeera on Iran: a note on the media and the Iran story

I have been critical of US and Saudi media in their coverage of the Iran story. You shall notice this about the US media: their mainstream (and not very high at all) standards of professional journalism are lowered substantially in stories that are related to the pressing foreign policy agendas of the US. For example, Judith Miller's reports in the New York Times based on the anonymous contacts of Ahmad Chalabi would not have been made it into the New York Times if they relate to UK, or more importantly to Israel. If somebody comes with information on the nuclear arsenal of Israel, I don't think that the New York Times would ever publish them and would subject the source to the kind of torturous cross-examination and humiliation that rape victims are subjected to in the justice system of the US. CNN of course is a worse case: here is a network that can only compete with its Fox News rival by an increasing lowering of standards and by daily increase of sensationalism and shallow and fluff journalism. I tell my students the story how I decided to basically (for the most part except when I am in the right mood on rare days) boycott appearances in mainstream (and even non-mainstream) US media a few years ago when I was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN. In the middle of the interview I had a moment in which I heard myself asking (myself): why on earth am I talking to Anderson Cooper on foreign policy? If you want to talk informatively or thoughtfully about foreign policy on CNN you are a mere prop. The coverage of CNN of Iran has been typically sensational, shallow and worse: utterly patronizing about the Iranian people. Typically, when the story of foreign policy relates to a pressing agenda of US foreign policy, the standards are lowered. I mean, I now tell a source on CNN that a cousin of a friend who is a neighbor of somebody who has a cousin in Tehran, told me that Ahmedinajad or the Maximum Leader of North Korea has a potato-like tumor on his head, I would be on the air in a half an hour. Compare that to stories on Israel: when Israeli soldiers told Israeli media that they witnessed Israeli war crimes and partook in them, Ethan Bronner wrote a long article just to discredit them and to dismiss their own claims. I have mocked how the New York Times now covers Iran from Cairo and Beirut and...Toronto (on clear days, you can see Iran from Toronto but not from Vancouver). And it relies (and that is really against the standards of journalism preached in introductory classes of journalism) on what IT CALLS "independent observers" in Tehran. Some suggested to me that I should blame the Iranian regime for expelling the journalists: of course, I do and the regime has not just started to repress freedoms of expression. This has been a staple of the Iranian regime. But I also blame the New York Times for 1) not informing the readers of the restrictions DAILY; 2) for relying on the so-called "independent observers" in Tehran. Of course, the New York Times' dispatches from Israeli are consistently subjected to the military censor in Israel and the New York Times is obligated to inform its readers of that at the bottom of every dispatch: and this is especially important given the highly obnoxious and conceited slogan of the Times on top. And let us not forget the complicity of the American press on the side of successive US administrations in support of the Shah over the decades before the Revolution. Have you read James Bill's The Eagle and the Lion? You have to read that massive and important book which reveals many aspects of US foreign policy towards Iran, especially the gifts of carpets, diamonds, and caviar from the Shah's regime to "prominent" US journalists: liberals and conservatives alike. I will not say much about Al-Arabiyya TV (the station of King Fahd's brother-in-law): it has become so sensational and so wild propagandistically: I have been referring to it as the Michael Jackson-Fahd TV as of late. They just can't get enough of the Jackson story. But I have my own criticisms of AlJazeera TV too: and if I think that the Economist magazine is the best example of print journalism there is, I still think that AlAjazeera Arabic is the best example of visual news. But there are problems: I have always felt that their correspondents in Pakistan and Afghanistan tend to be quite sympathetic (to various degrees) to Taliban and even Al-Qa`idah. But the coverage of Iran has been flawed too: if Al-Arabiyya TV begins its newscasts of Iran developments with reports that are unrealible, propagandistic, sensational and always on the verge of reporting the ultimate collapse of the regime, AlJazeera really pushes the Iran story way to the back of the news. It is covered after reports of elections in a small village in Latin America and I am only slightly exaggerating. But what bothered me yesterday is that they reported on Iran (and after so many other reports) and then the able Majid `Abdul-Hadi narrated a report on Iran in which he talked about the doctrine of Wilayat Al-Faqih as being the central belief of ALL SHI`ITES. That is so untrue and so irresponsible. In fact, I know of no Shi`ites in Lebanon who consider `Ali Khamenei as their "object of emulation." In fact, I once asked Hasan Nasrallah on the matter: what if a member of Hizbullah does not want to consider Khamenei as his/her "object of emulation", I asked? He said that they have to accept the political authority of Khamenei but that they can select some other cleric for emulation on non-political matters, and that there are some who do that. Most Shi`ites in Lebanon follow Sistani or Fadlallah, although there are no studies or figures in that regard. By the way, you need to read the early critique of Wilayat Al-Faqih concept by the late Southern Lebanese cleric, Muhammad Jawad Mughniyyah. His critique (Al-Khumayni wa-d-Dawlah Al-Islamiyyah) was the earliest of its kind. OK, good night.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Being black in the US

"Black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. is accusing a Massachusetts police department of racism after being arrested while trying to get into his locked home near Harvard University."

Gen. `Abdul-`Aziz

Even the Saudi media are admitting that the Gen. won extra support in Mauritania by closing down the Israel embassy in Mauritania. (This is not to rule out vote fraud in Muaritania...or in Iran).

Kooky conspiracy theories

Some Middle East media are falling victims to kooky conspiracy theories regarding the landing on the moon. They are confused: yes, Richard Nixon discussed the possibility of faking a moon landing but that was before the actual landing on the moon.

Ask yourself

If you find yourself on the same side with New York Times, CNN, and the Saudi government, reconsider your position.

threat in the sea

"Fifteen-year-old Palestinians Ahmad Samir Said Najjar's only wish was to go to the sea for the first time in his life, but when the Machsom Watch organization tried to make his wish come true, the [terrorist Israeli] military prevented it for security reasons."

12,000 Palestinian women in Israeli jails

"Palestinian local report Saturday revealed that the Israeli Occupation Forces arrested 12,000 Palestinian women since the occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory in 1967."

News from the kingdom of horrors

"A Saudi Man who married a Filipino woman was hoping to exchange a kidney in addition to wedding vows, Philippine officials said Monday. But his wedding bliss was cut short as authorities caught on to the scam and blocked the planned transplant. The wealthy foreigner proposed to the woman, whose name was not given, in an attempt to bypass the Philippines' strict regulations set up to fight the country's widespread organ trafficking."

Shaykh Al-Azhar

Shaykh Al-Azhar curses Shimon Peres and wishes that he be "damned to the Day of Judgment." (thanks Hisham)

Space programs

With all this coverage about the anniversary of moon landing, were they able to tell us about the scientific value of mood landing. I like it when they cover up the military-propaganda purposes of space missions by talking about "science" and a "cure for cancer." Aside from Tang drinks and some specially equipped watches, I am yet to see the scientific value of those programs. I remember I once heard Chomsky say that the space program is the biggest propaganda program of the 20th century.

The ordeal of a Congolese woman in Lebanon who was forced to undergo an abortion

"Dans des circonstances dignes d'un film d'horreur, la femme est conduite dans le cabinet privé d'un gynécologue qui lui administre une piqûre anesthésiante, avant de procéder à un curetage." (thanks Ibn Rushd)

Bingo for Zionism

"Each dollar spent on bingo by the mostly Latino residents of Hawaiian Gardens, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, helps fund Jewish settlements on Palestinian land in some of the most sensitive areas of occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the Muslim quarter of the old city, and West Bank towns such as Hebron where the Israeli military has forced Arabs out of their properties in their thousands." (thanks Marcy)

Prince Sultan's displeasure

A source shares this about Prince Sultan: "Prince Sultan is out of the country not so much for health reasons, but because he is deeply disappointed with King Abdullah. The King had vast tracts of land 'belonging to' the defense ministry (thus belonging to Sultan) confiscated because they were 'improperly acquired' over many years. To put this into context perhaps, many princes make considerable wealth through land ownership. They can virtually claim any un-owned land as their own and usually sell it to the govt for vast sums. This usually involves areas where large anticipated projects are to be built. However, this was going on mostly in the 70's and 80's , less so in later years when the oil crunch appeared."

Saudi family affair

"A Saudi Arabian princess who had an illegitimate child with a British man has secretly been granted asylum in this country after she claimed she would face the death penalty if she were forced to return home. The young woman, who has been granted anonymity by the courts, won her claim for refugee status after telling a judge that her adulterous affair made her liable to death by stoning." But when was the last time a Saudi princess or prince executed? (thanks Saeed)

Reuters recognizes the coup in Honduras

"Honduras' interim government on Sunday rejected a mediator's proposals for solving a political crisis in the country triggered by the June 28 military coup." Interim government? Since when? (thanks Richard)

Canadia is part of the occupation force, lest you forget

"Two Canadian soldiers shot and killed an Afghan man and wounded three others Friday in an incident the military said may have been an effort to test Canadian security tactics." (thanks Olivia)

From Time magazine: no fact checkers

"The Palestinians ("them") hate the settlements as a reminder of occupation, proof that if and when any agreement with Israel is forged, they will never get back the land they call theirs. The settlements have joined other intractable issues — like the desire of Palestinian refugees to return to villages their families left 60 years ago — that have stymied every effort to find peace in the Middle East for a generation." Oh, no. Their families did not "leave" their homes 60 years ago. Even Israeli sources don't make those allegations anymore.

A test: Al-Arabiyya versus Al-Jazeera

I turned to Al-Arabiyya TV (the TV station of King Fahd's brother-in-law), and they had a report about the dating habits of Prince Harry. I thought it would be interesting to see what AlJazeera is covering: they were having a lengthy interview with a former Egyptian generals who spoke about the Arab-Israeli wars.

Suha Arafat

Suha Arafat (the business partner of Pierre Rizq, the Lebanese Forces' first official "ambassador" in Israel during the open honey moon between Israel and the Lebanese Forces death squads) just spoke about the Qaddumi allegations about Arafat's assassination. She said that Qaddumi is wrong and that Abu Mazen is right. But if we remember correctly, Suha Arafat made similar allegations days after the death of her husband: but she was summoned to a meeting with representatives of the Abu Mazen-Dahlan clique. In the meeting, the elements of her financial settlement were discussed, and after the meeting she stopped making those allegations again.

Dahlan, o Dahlan

According to Dahlan media, Dahlan armed gangs are received with "sweets and flowers" by the Palestinian people. (thanks Electronic Ali)

It is big news when an Israeli does anything, according to the New York Times

And this Israeli player misses "Israeli" food. "“Hummus,” Casspi said, with a hard h and a long u, stressing the first syllable in a way that conveyed utter seriousness. “You don’t have that here, though.”" (thanks Mick)