Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My (last?) appearance on Aljazeera from today

My appearance on Aljazeera from today. (thanks anonymous "crazy bear")

On Aljazeera on Wikileaks

I wanted to appear on Aljazeera and say all that I want to say on Wikileaks and Arab rulers, even if this was my last appearance.  It was clear they were not pleased with my statements.

Sons of Zayid: Israel's new best friends in out midst

"He also stated
Israel would be justified to take such action as it must protect its 
citizens just as any nation has the duty to do." (thanks Amer)

Global Thinkers, my potato

The most superficial mind out there is the one behind Foreign Policy's Global Thinker list.  No need to say more.

Zionist leaders now say "Arab countries" when they mean Tyrannical Rulers

"The morning after the first disclosures of WikiLeaks' trove of diplomatic cables, buzz in Israel was somewhere between relief and vindication, and officials were being thankful by keeping quiet. Relations between Israel and the U.S. are based on a tight weave of shared interests, not local incidents, said deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon.  Gradually, more official voices were heard. The revelations show what some of us knew, said President Shimon Peres -- that the Arab countries know they have an enemy, "and it's not Israel.""

Official racism in Israel

"More than 62 percent of Israeli Jewish respondents also said that as long as conflict with the Palestinians continued, the state should not take into account Israeli Arab opinions regarding foreign policy...The study also found that 53 percent of Israeli Jews believe the state has the right to encourage Arab citizens to emigrate, while 55 percent said Jewish cities should receive more government resources than Arab communities." But this is why I--like most Arabs, and don't fool yourselves into thinking that the polygamous rulers of the Gulf speak for all Arabs--believe that the enemy in Israel is the state AND society. (thanks Farah)

Wikileaks: fishy? The seclection

Many in the Arab world are expressing doubts and skepticism about Wikileaks.  I note to them--when they ask me the following.  The selection by the New York Times (and even by Guardian) is rather fishy.  There is not a single document that is embarrassing to Israel.  Not one.  The New York Times did a political hack job with the documents: it used them as a campaign to launch a war on Iran.  Yesterday, they drew a silly chart showing all those Arab leaders calling for a war on Iran.  The documents released is a small fraction of the total documents.  We have to wait for the total release.  Is it possible that the intelligence officer who released them protected Israel by holding off on some documents? The volume is too large for him to go through them, I think.  And most importantly, despite the release and the fanfare and the noise from the White House: there is nothing that is really embarrassing or revealing about the US government.  Only embarrassing about US puppets in the Middle East region.

Puppet regimes

"The picture that emerges from the most prominent leaked documents is of a Middle East utterly dominated by the US and Israel, with Arab dictatorships falling over themselves to support the interests of both. As’ad AbuKhalil notes that the US puppet client states are only concerned about possible Iranian nuclear weapons: it is no secret that their populations may view with a little more concern Israel’s nuclear weapons." (thanks Olivia)

Angry Arab on Democracy now

A tape of my Democracy Now appearance.  (thanks anonymous crazy bear)

PS I was not--rumors to the contrary notwithstanding--wearing a bath robe.  It was a house robe, damn it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Angry Arab on Wikileaks on Aljazeera Arabic

"الرفيق أسعد «غاضب» على أوباما"

Grand (not really) Ayatullah Sistani receiving orders from the US

"The Foreign Minister also suggested that the USG should prod Ayatollah Sistani to speak out in favor of a unified Iraq and national reconciliation among different Iraqi sects and groups. "You have paid a heavy price in blood and treasure, and Sistani and his people have benefited directly. You have every right to ask this of him," Prince Saud al-Faisal said."

When Shapiro of the NSC thinks he is being brilliant in manipulating Lebanon

"He cited the need to provide an alternative to Hizballah, which explains U.S. goals to strengthen the LAF as a counterweight."

Sons of...Zayid and sons of...`Abdul-`Aziz

"Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah has developed good personal relations with Foreign Minister Livni, but the Emiratis are "not ready to do publicly what they say in private." (Note: It was clear from Hadas' remarks that Israel's channel to Saudi Arabia does not run through the Foreign Ministry.)"

Here, France considers freezing the work of the Hariri tribunal to bolster Sanyurah

"MGM said he saw little chance of resolving Lebanon's domestic political crisis prior to the Lebanese presidential election in November 2007. Consequently, some had raised the idea of "putting the tribunal in the freezer" until that time, in hopes that a delay in setting up the tribunal would aid PM Siniora to break the political deadlock. "Of course, we (neither he nor Chirac) are not advocating this idea," MGM stressed at several points. Nevertheless, he continued, the Lebanese themselves might ask the French and the U.S. to put the tribunal on ice, in part because Siniora would need the opposition's help in order to deliver the economic reforms that the GOL is promising at this week's conference. The only other option, MGM continued, would be to change the scope of the tribunal itself -- something France found unacceptable. When pressed on why the French were contemplating a change in their approach to the tribunal at this point -- especially when it was unclear that Lebanon's opposition had the upper hand -- MGM made another (and somewhat jumbled) reference to the need to obtain the opposition's support for economic reform."

Sons of...Zayid heart Sanyurah

"Noting Lebanese PM Siniora's January 16 visit to the UAE, MbZ characterized Siniora as &a good man. We are supporting him." MbZ said that Hizballah has made a "big mistake" in estimating its support in Lebanon, and has "played it wrong -- they do not have the support of the majority of the Lebanese people." MbZ discussed with Abizaid the military technology that Hizballah used in 2006, specifically noting the amount of anti-tank weapons that Hizballah possessed. Abizaid acknowledged that Hizballah has access to weapons technology that most Arab states don't have. MbZ interrupted the conversation to state explicitly that he wants the U.S. to understand that the UAE was not involved in the transfer of those weapons or technologies in any way. Referring to the recent events in Somalia, MbZ commented: "The Somalia job was fantastic.""

UAE leaders on Hamas

"UAE leaders have told us that they consider Hamas a terrorist organization and that they would not fund Hamas unless they denounce violence (refs D and E)."

Mini-Hariri urges war against Iran: (he is visiting Iran this very day)

"“‘Iraq was unnecessary,’ claimed Saad. ‘Iran is necessary.’”
— Quoted in an August 2006 cable telling American officials that they “must be willing to go all the way if need be” to stop Iran’s nuclear program if diplomatic efforts fail."

Arab conspiracy theories and Wikileaks

Many Arabs on Twitter and Facebook are raising questions about the Wikileaks: that the revelations on the Middle East are largely either known or expected.  Some are noticing that nothing damaging to Israel--even diplomatically--has been released.  Some are suggesting that the US government is behind Wikileaks.  Personally, I discount those conspiracy theories although conspiracy theories can be helpful.

Ahmadinajad on Wikileaks

Ahmadinajad never fails to show his stupidity.  Today, he said that Wikileaks are not important and that they will not affect his relationship with Arab countries.  He said that their calls for his overthrow were rather cute and amusing (the last sentence was provided by my imagination).

Al-Arabiyya breaks its silence on Wikileaks

The website of Al-Arabiyya TV (the station of King Fahd-brother-in-law which is now run by `Azzuz--the favorite son of King Fahd) breaks its silence on Wikileaks.  It said that Wikileaks showed that Saudi Arabia and Bahrain called on the US to show "firmness" toward Iran.  I kid you not.  The station is running regular segments showing the Saudi Minister of Health assuring scared humans about the health of the illiterate king.

Comic relief: US government relies on journalists in Saudi media to sense Arab public opinion

And those House of Saud's journalists praised the wisdom of the US: "All of the Arab commentators and news media figures we spoke to agreed that the U.S. "played it right" throughout the post-election crisis by staying away from detailed public comments that could be perceived as interventionist." (thanks Amer)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yossi Melman (best friend of the Israeli military/intelligence apparatus) believes that Arab dictators speak for the Arab public

"It would have been sufficient to read pundits and journalists who cover the Mideast to see that everyone is in agreement on this issue. Everyone would like to see the United States bomb Iran."  Just think this way: if the Arab public (Sunnis and Shi`ites lest you invoke the fashionable interjection) were asked about whether bombing Iran is preferable to bombing Israel, what would their answer be?  I mean, do you need and expert here?

Hariri and Saudi media cover up Wikileaks

Hariri rag, Al-Mustaqbal, ignored the whole affair for example.  Anti-Saudi (Qatari-funded) Al-Quds Al-`Arabi (London based and is probably the closest to Arab public opinion than all other Arab newspapers--yes, including Al-Akhbar because the latter is too leftist and too independent and too feminist for public taste, I feel, despite its great success--put the story about Wikileaks as the major front page headline.

International Crisis Group now advocates occupation

I read the reports of ICG and they are useful and uniformly well-informed (although I may disagree with their political bents).  But their recent report warning against withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is a bizarre endorsement of foreign occupation.

This is how US officials bring human rights in Saudi Arabia; they praise the Kingdom's record--I kid you NOT

"DIALOGUE AND REFORM AS DUTY: In response to Brennan,s praise for the King,s interfaith dialogue initiative, his commitment to advancing rights as reflected by his recent appointment of the first female (deputy education) minister, the King said "Thanks for the sentiment but I did nothing special, only what I thought was my duty. I believe we do our duty as determined by God.""

The illiterate king goes scientific

""I've just thought of something," the King added, and proposed implanting detainees with an electronic chip containing information about them and allowing their movements to be tracked with Bluetooth. This was done with horses and falcons, the King said. Brennan replied, "horses don,t have good lawyers," and that such a proposal would face legal hurdles in the U.S., but agreed that keeping track of detainees was an extremely important issue that he would review with appropriate officials when he returned to the United States."


"Asad pointedly asked in response to Representative McIntyre's question about why Syria had not done more to monitor and staunch the flow of transiting fighters across the Syria-Iraq border. Asad continued: "Can you stop the immigration of Mexicans into the U.S.? No."

Let us talk about Saudi Arabia

"Senator Cardin argued that "when the U.S. is challenged, you see it on the front page of the newspaper" and that such challenges were an important part of a national dialogue. "You do not see this (freedom of expression) anywhere in the region," Asad chuckled in reply, "let's talk about Saudi Arabia.""

Here, the US government issues orders to Saudi officials

"Saudi Arabia should exercise leadership with neighbors in the region and publicly by expressing concerns about Iran,s continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability and destabilizing activities in the region. -- We would appreciate public expressions of support for the P5 1 dual track process including encouragement for Iran to accept the incentives package. -- Saudi Arabia should exercise its influence with China, in particular, to persuade China to reduce its growing energy/economic cooperation and weapons purchases. Such efforts by China run contrary to the spirit of the UNSCRs and the P5 1 dual track strategy. A high level Saudi delegation could communicate to China Saudi concerns about the threat posed by Iran,s actions."

no need for specific evidence

"Prince Torki explained that Saudi Arabia also believes
that Iran is playing an unhelpful role in Yemen.  Dismissing 
the need for specific evidence, he said it was hard to 
explain how the Houthis, as a poor tribal group, managed to 
get so much money so quickly to obtain the heavy armaments 
that they have been using absent the help of some outside 
group.  It is also hard, he argued, to explain the striking 
similarities with techniques that have been used by 
pro-Iranian groups in Iraq."

The feelings of House of Saud were hurt

"Prince Torki said that Saudi Arabia
was not upset about the regulation itself, as it recognized 
the U.S. right and obligation to protect its citizens.  The 
issue, rather, was inclusion on the list with the likes of 
Cuba, which causes Saudi Arabia's friends and enemies to 
question how strong its bilateral relationship with the 
United States really is."

Would the US ambassador in Riyadh dare to mock the Saudi King?

"As he left Zimbabwe in 2007 after three years as ambassador, Christopher W. Dell wrote a sardonic account of Robert Mugabe, that country’s aging and erratic leader. The cable called Mr. Mugabe “a brilliant tactician” but mocked “his deep ignorance on economic issues (coupled with the belief that his 18 doctorates give him the authority to suspend the laws of economics).”"

Yemeni dictator hearts good whiskey

"But a cable’s fly-on-the-wall account of a January meeting between the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, then the American commander in the Middle East, is nonetheless breathtaking.
“We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,” Mr. Saleh said, according to the cable sent by the American ambassador, prompting Yemen’s deputy prime minister to “joke that he had just ‘lied’ by telling Parliament” that Yemeni forces had carried out the strikes.  Mr. Saleh, who at other times resisted American counterterrorism requests, was in a lighthearted mood. The authoritarian ruler of a conservative Muslim country, Mr. Saleh complains of smuggling from nearby Djibouti, but tells General Petraeus that his concerns are drugs and weapons, not whiskey, “provided it’s good whiskey.”"

Wait. So who planted this bomb?

"The bomb, which was in a van parked off Pioneer Courthouse Square, was a fake — planted by F.B.I. agents as part of the elaborate sting..."

A compact disc in Anwar Sadat's tooth: kid you not

A kooky lawyer who appears on MTV (a horrible right-wing sectarian Christian and racist station) regularly.  His name is Wahbi `Ayyash (and is introduced as one whose expertise is "accepted" by the Hariri tribunal).  Today, he said that Israel planted a compact disc in one of Anwar Sadat's tooth.  The dumb anchorperson seemed so impressed with that bit of information.

Mini-Hariri receives a gift in Iran

Iranian Minister of Defense presents a gift (a machine gun) to mini-Hariri. (Iranian agency)

Mubarak farce election

We are busy with Wikileaks but are you aware what a farce and repressive and cruel sham election going on in Egypt today?

You have to see Saudi propaganda

The mouthpiece of Prince Salman (Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat) is out with tomorrow's issue.  Not one item about it in the index.  The front page headline?  Here it is:  "The Servitor of the Two Holy Sites natural treatment and rehabilitation."  I kid you NOTTTTT.

AlArabiyya finally discusses Wikileaks:

Amer reports on Al-Arabiyya TV (the TV station of King Fahd's brother-in-law): "Al-Arabiya just made their news report on wikileaks, gotta watch it. As far as they're concerned, the leaks said something about North Korea and china and badmouthed Qadhafi."

Syria and the US

"Asad argued Syria essentially shared the same position as the U.S. on the majority of these issues"

Can you solve this mystery? Sanyurah links "US security assistance" to the outcome of Lebanese election

"Siniora expressed his thanks for sustained U.S. military assistance to Lebanon and asserted that U.S. security assistance had contributed to the positive outcome of the June 7 Lebanese parliamentary elections."

The US government is capable of producing the worst of the worst in vulgar Orientalism


These Arab tools are worse than the worst accusations

"Israel tried to coordinate the Gaza war with the Palestinian Authority, classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks said on Sunday, adding that both the PA and Egypt refused to take control of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave."

Angry Arab on Democracy Now

For those who don't give a damn, I shall discuss Wikileaks tomorrow on Democracy Now (between 5:00AM to 6:00AM California Pacific Time). (3:00PM to 4:00PM Beirut Time). You may watch live (I will be at home on Skype).

Fu'ad Sanyurah wants the US to push Syria

"Siniora encouraged the U.S. to push Syria to respect the sovereignty of other states (namely Lebanon) as a way to bring Syria back into the Arab fold."

Fuad Sanyurah calls on the US to intervene in Iran

"Siniora agreed that there were definite cracks in the Iranian system and the internal divisions should be exploited."

Wikileaks documents are here now

You may find them here.  (thanks Anjali)

Shame on Aljazeera

To cover up for Saudi Arabia and other Arab governments, Aljazeera is imposing bizarre silence on the substance of Wikileaks.

Mossad Chief is a fan of Fu'ad Sanyurah

"Dagan urged caution with respect to Lebanon, noting that the results of efforts there to bolster the Siniora government would impact Syria and Iraq. The U.S. and Israel, he said, are on the edge of achieving something in Lebanon, and so cannot afford to drop their guard. What is necessary is finding the right way to support PM Siniora. "He is a courageous man," Dagan said. Syria, Iran and Hizballah are working hard against him. Dagan noted that much of what is animating the leadership of Lebanon to take on Syria is personal: "Hariri, Jumblat and others had their parents executed by the Syrians." This anti-Syrian sentiment has forged an alliance based on personal and national interests. Siniora has worked well with the situation, but Dagan suggested that the odds are against him. Under Secretary Burns replied that the U.S. is trying to give PM Siniora as much support as possible, and that we would continue to consult closely with Israel on Lebanon. He noted that he would return to Israel in October."

Morocco: the forgotten oppression

"Human Rights Watch urged Moroccan authorities on Friday to stop what it called the mistreatment of Sahrawi detainees arrested after a deadly clash earlier this month in the disputed Western Sahara desert territory."

AlArabiyya and Aljazeera websites on Wikileaks

On Aljazeera, they have a brief article but without any reference to the revelations about Arab governmental lobbying for an attack on Iran.  Al-Arabiyya is busy with other news: they have one story about how the Saudi King "walked on his own feet" and another saying that the Iranian airline company has a Star of David on its building.  I kid you not.

FLASH: SHOCK: Arab media and Wikileaks

Amer wrote me this (I cite with his permission):  "Arab media outlets are at loss: they are reluctant to publish the content of wikileaks. same with lebanese TVs. They had all been advertizing them, especially al-arabiya: "wikileaks in 10 minutes" etc.. and since then,,,,silence."

Who funds Al-Qa`idah

"The documents show Saudi donors remain chief financiers of militant groups like al Qaeda"

Wikileaks on Sabra Hummus

A secret Wikileaks document confirms that Sabra Hummus tastes worse than an old shoe.

Sultan of Oman (from Wikileaks)

"The Sultan added that despite his busy schedule, he always made time to "watch the news," though he did not elaborate on his preferred media outlet."

Comrade/friend Amer on Wikileaks on the Middle East

Amer sent me this (I cite with his permission):  "when the full sets are published, it will be huge, especially for our
region - riddled with secrecy and lies as it is. It is a real experience reading through the documents, it affirms our most radical conspiracy theories regarding the stances of Arab regimes and March 14. It is a worst-case scenario. I see know why [X] is like he is, he is smart, he could see through the bullshit: he represents a `ameel wing and he decided to act the role."

Mubarak regimes speaks for Arab regimes

"Fourth, Arab states are ready to see an end to "the struggle."" (thanks Farah)

Omar Sulayman states that his Israeli masters are pleased with him after all

"Senator Voinovich asked Soliman why the Israelis continue to report problems with Egypt's anti-smuggling efforts. Soliman said that the Israelis do not complain to him directly, and that GOI-GOE cooperation and exchange of information continues. He was at a loss as to why Israeli politicians continue to criticize Egypt publicly."

Mubarak serves the US to serve Israel (to serve Jamal Mubarak): from wikileaks

"But Egypt will continue to provide the USG with its knowledge and expertise on the critical regional issues, such as Lebanon and Iraq."

Israeli official is pleased with the small Israeli tools in the PA collaborationist appratus

"Buchris acknowledged that the Palestinian Authority was doing a "good job" in the West Bank, noting respect for Palestinian Security Forces (PASF) as they take more control of security -- giving them the chance to succeed was important, Buchris said."

Israeli official analyzes the March 14 parliamentary victory (from wikileaks)

"Shapiro asked if the election results might be the result in part of a backlash in the Christian community against Hizballah; the Policy Research analysts countered that the results were indicative of several factors, including the influx of Saudi money and an unstable opposition camp."

Israel does not believe that Lebanese Army would attack Israel

"Amos Gilad said the GOI does not believe the LAF will attack Israel."

Israel pleased with March 14 election victory

"Buchris acknowledged that the elections in Lebanon were positive"

Zionists are pleased with the Lebanese Army

"A/S Shapiro said the LAF has thus far demonstrated a solid record of accounting for U.S. systems transferred to Lebanon."

It is official: Saudi King does not hate Israel (from Wikileaks)

"On Saudi Arabia, Gilad said that King Abdullah does not hate Israel, but his chief priority is the survival of the regime."

Can someone explain to me what they mean by the waiver here? What is Israel asking?

"The GOI raised the issue of dual citizenship within the context of access to sensitive technology. U.S. participants acknowledged Israeli concerns, noting that the issue is being worked at the highest levels of the USG to reach consensus on how to proceed. The GOI recommended obtaining a waiver similar to the relationship from which Canada or Australia benefit."

How wikileaks were leaked

"The US military believes it knows where the leak originated. A soldier, Bradley Manning, 22, has been held in solitary confinement for the last seven months and is facing a court martial in the new year. The former intelligence analyst is charged with unauthorised downloads of classified material while serving on an army base outside Baghdad. He is suspected of taking copies not only of the state department archive, but also of video of an Apache helicopter crew gunning down civilians in Baghdad, and hundreds of thousands of daily war logs from military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Ian Black analyzes Wikileaks (basically, go back to sleep and turn the lights off)

It is comical when Ian Black (friend of the Israeli military) attempts to vomit analysis of the Middle East.  Notice that he thinks that Saudi King speaks for Arab public opinion:  "Arab-Persian enmity, with a strong undercurrent of rivalry between Sunni and Shia Muslims, dates back centuries but increased markedly after the overthrow of the shah and the Islamic revolution in 1979 and is now viewed as a struggle for hegemony in the region. The conservative Sunni-ruled regimes in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states detect the "hidden hand" of Iranian subversion, sometimes where none exists. Tehran's fervent support for Hezbollah and Hamas are seen as ways of extending Iranian influence."

The sickening friendship between the US and Saudi Arabia (for those who voted for Obama)

"Brennan asserted that the U.S./Saudi alliance must remain strong, and assured the King of President Obama's wishes for a long and healthy U.S./Saudi relationship, and the President's personal commitment that Saudi Arabia had a friend in the White House. The King replied that he appreciated the sentiments and that he had great respect for President Obama. "We (the U.S. and Saudi Arabia) spilled blood together" in Kuwait and Iraq, the King continued, and Saudi Arabia valued this tremendously. Friendship can be a difficult issue that requires work, Abdullah said, but the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have done it for 70 years over three generations. "Our disagreements don,t cut to the bone," he stated."

The illiterate Saudi king misses his horses

"I MISS MY HORSES: The King appeared alert and at times animated, entertaining his guests with anecdotes about his encounters with Iranian leaders (septel), and throwing up his hands in complaint when asked if he spent time with his horses: "I see them on television when they race," he said. "I love horses," he exclaimed, "every couple of weeks I get to see them, and then I have a very calm and restful sleep.""

Muhammad bin Zayid

He wants nothing less than an invasion of Iran:  "MbZ asked Lt. Gen. Dunn whether it would be possible for &anyone8 to "take out" all locations of concern in Iran via air power; Lt. Gen. Dunn voiced doubt that this would be possible given the dispersed locations. "Then it will take ground forces!" MbZ exclaimed. Ambassador noted that the UAE's Director of Military Intelligence, BG">BG Essa al Mazrouei, would pay counterpart visits this week to CENTCOM, J-2, DIA, and CIA for discussions on Iran and Iraq-related matters. MbZ said he looked forward to sharing "contingency planning" scenarios in future conversations."

terrorist shirt

"26-year-old Palestinian from Nablus said Israeli soldiers ordered him to remove his shirt and then confiscated it on Sunday. Nader Rezeq Dweikat said he was walking near his home in Beta village to get fuel for his tractor when three soldiers in a military jeep stopped him."

Wikileaks and Mossad chief

I mean, reading the analysis that the Mossad chief presented to a US official, one is struck (not really) by how unintelligent the Mossad chief is in his analysis of the Middle East.  I guarantee you that lousy chiefs of lousy Arab intelligence services can do a better job.  Another sign that Israel's years are numbered. Read his analysis: an anthology of cliches that he dervies from reading columns by Thomas Friedman.

UN as a tool for Israel

Mossad chief argues:  "Dagan argued that the opposite is true: by enforcing UN resolutions on Lebanon and increasing efforts to disarm Hizballah, the international community can remove the glue that binds Iran and Syria. Enforcing the resolutions would put additional pressure on Assad, who fears being tried for the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri above all else. The advantage of such an approach, continued Dagan, is that the legal ground is already in place for action by the UNSC. This credible threat could sufficiently frighten Syria away from Iran and towards more natural allies in the Arab League."

Mossad chief on Aljazeera and Qatar: from Wikileaks

"Dagan characterized Qatar as "a real problem," and accused Sheikh Hamid of "annoying everyone." In his view, Qatar is trying to play all sides -- Syria, Iran, Hamas -- in an effort to achieve security and some degree of independence. "I think you should remove your bases from there...seriously," said Dagan. "They have confidence only because of the U.S. presence." Dagan predicted, with some humor, that al-Jazeera would be the next cause of war in the Middle East as some Arab leaders (specifically Saudi Arabia) are willing to take drastic steps to shut down the channel, and hold Sheikh Hamid personally responsible for its provocations."

Abu Mazen's son

Forgot to report what I have been told: that Abu Mazen's son in Washington, DC drive a $200,000 car and lives in a $2 million home.  The Revolution continues.

Mossad chief on the PA collaborators

"Departing from official GOI policy, Dagan expressed his personal opinion that after more than a decade of trying to reach a final status agreement with the Palestinians, "nothing will be achieved." Only Israeli military operations against Hamas in the West Bank prevent them from expanding control beyond Gaza, lamented Dagan, without which Fatah would fall within one month and Abbas would join his "mysteriously wealthy" son in Qatar. Offering what he believed to be a conservative estimate, Dagan said that USD 6 billion had been invested in the Palestinian Authority since 1994. "What did it accomplish, other than adding a few more people to the Fortune 500?" asked Dagan. Although he expressed his personal faith in Salam Fayyad, Dagan said that the Palestinian Prime Minister had no power base. Fatah as a party would have to completely reorganize itself in order to regain credibility, argued Dagan, but instead they have turned once again to the "old guard." The Mossad Chief suggested that a completely new approach was required, but did not provide Townsend any additional details." (thanks Yaman)

Wikileaks: the lies of Arab rulers

What is also striking (or not really) is the extent to which those rulers--just as we say about them--say one thing in private to the US and another thing in public to their people.  In public, all those rulers say that they are opposed to war or to a military strike on Iran.  Look at the Qatari prime minister (whose government in public is a friend of the Iranian regime):  "The cables also expose frank, even rude, remarks about Iranian leaders, their trustworthiness and tactics at international meetings. Abdullah told another US diplomat: "The bottom line is that they cannot be trusted." Mubarak told a US congressman: "Iran is always stirring trouble." Others are learning from what they describe as Iranian deception. "They lie to us, and we lie to them," said Qatar's prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim Jaber al-Thani."

Wikileaks on the Middle East

As I read through the documents, it is striking that none of those pathetic Arab clients of the US (those tyrannical leaders of the Arab world) dare say a word about the nuclear weapons of Israel.  They don't exist, as far as they are concerned.  Those leaks prove the worst assumptions we have about those lousy rulers.

by the way, this man is the biggest servant of Israel in the Middle East

"In talks with US officials, Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed favoured action against Iran, sooner rather than later. "I believe this guy is going to take us to war ... It's a matter of time. Personally, I cannot risk it with a guy like [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. He is young and aggressive.""

Zayd Rifa`i

"While Rifai judged a military strike would have "catastrophic impact on the region," he nonetheless thought preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons would pay enough dividends to make it worth the risks (Ref D)."

Jordanian King gives advice on how to get rid of Hizbullah

"In Lebanon, the GOJ fears Iran's Hizballah proxy has been given too much rope and could be poised to increase its political influence during upcoming parliamentary elections. The King sees the Lebanon-Israel War of 2006 as having benefited Iran and Hizballah, by allowing a Sunni Arab street enamored of "resistance" to see past its suspicions of the Shia. And then-Foreign Minister Salah Al-Bashir in late 2008 described the spring 2009 vote as "when we will know who won last May," referring to the outcome of the Doha Accords that put an end to Lebanese infighting. Much like with the Palestinian issue, Jordanian leaders have argued that the only way to pull the rug out from under Hizballah - and by extension their Iranian patrons - would be for Israel to hand over the disputed Sheba'a Farms to Lebanon. With Hizballah lacking the "resistance to occupation" rationale for continued confrontation with Israel, it would lose its raison d'etre and probably domestic support."

Saudi King: proves that he is a Servant of Israeli Interests, no more

"King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme, according to leaked US diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran.  The revelations, in secret memos from US embassies across the Middle East, expose behind-the-scenes pressures in the scramble to contain the Islamic Republic, which the US, Arab states and Israel suspect is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities has hitherto been viewed as a desperate last resort that could ignite a far wider war.

The Saudi king was recorded as having "frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons programme", one cable stated. "He told you [Americans] to cut off the head of the snake," the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir said, according to a report on Abdullah's meeting with the US general David Petraeus in April 2008." (thanks Raed)

Israel: a ghetto for forced and unlimited detention

"A government discussion on the establishment of an "open detention facility" for infiltrators who entered Israel illegally through Egypt is causing panic among African refugees and work migrants. Aid organizations are referring to the new facility as a refugee camp – "a ghetto for forced and unlimited detention.""

He is considered the most liberal: and he considers Arabs on their land to be "foreigners"

"Renting out apartments to Arabs has been forbidden by Safed's rabbis, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has also pointed out that it is forbidden, and many other rabbis remain sheepishly silent on grounds of political correctness and admit that "there is nothing to be done, this is halachic law".   One person who disagrees with these rabbis is the head of the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva, Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, who states that "it is right and correct prefer renting out apartments within our own nation, but it is not right to ban renting out apartments to Arabs."   In an article published in the weekly Maayanei Ha'Yeshuaa which is distributed every Shabbat in synagogues, he explains that: "Jewish sovereignty cannot exist without caring for foreigners who live among us when it comes to housing and employment."

Israeli war criminals receive "unpleasant" letters (and they send letter bombs Palestinians)

"The poster includes a picture of a young child buried in the sand. His head is the only thing sticking out and he appears to be dead. Two hands in the background, apparently belonging to a soldier, are directed at him. The picture's caption reads, "How will you explain this to God?'  The letter was sent in an envelope from Madrid to the homes of Colonel (res.) Gruber and several other IDF officers, including Central Command Chief Avi Mizrahi and outgoing Military Intelligence Director Amos Yadlin. Some of the posters include a picture of an injured or dead young woman being held by a soldier. The English sentence is similar.  The army does not know at this stage the exact number of letters sent to the officers' home. The website included dozens of addresses of IDF officers, most of whom are believed to have received such letters."  (thanks Olivia)

Israel PR campaign seeks to recruit supporters of terrorism to advocate for Zionism

"The Foreign Minister is planning to initiate a new public relations campaign in a number of European capitals early next year. The campaign, which will make extensive use of professional advocacy and public relations experts by Israeli embassies in Europe, aims to also use as many as a thousand people in each country, who will be willing to volunteer to spread Israel's message."  (thanks Sarah)

Feminism in that country known as the "ultimate disgrace unto the nations"?

"Feminism in this country remains a synonym for an esoteric movement of zealots. And while all women generally benefit from the feminists' persistent campaigning, many keep a distance from the struggle.  "I do not define myself as a feminist, because the term has a negative connotation," the non-Israeli Baroness Ariane de Rothschild said in a recent interview with The Marker. What does it mean to not join a just cause because of its reputation? This "negative connotation," to be sure, has been fashioned by men, for their own purposes and uses."
"I speculate that the attack on Wissam Hassan is to undermine the ISF’s work on Israeli spies and Israel’s penetration of the Lebanese telecom network. At Nahass’s conference this week, Wissam Hassan was specifically named as helping out in the investigation of Israel compromising HA phone lines. By labelling him an HA accomplice, the whole Israel angle can be explained away.  The attack on Bellemare and Brammertz are interesting. Whoever fed Macdonald his information must have felt the indictments are not going to come out, or will fail to name HA members. Thus the report serves to indict HA in the media, regardless of the path the STL takes. The whole ‘Getting Away with Murder’ angle is that HA did it, we know they did it, but here’s why the STL won’t indict them. Is someone nervous?  I think the only factual we get out of the whole report was from Bellemare’s press release in which he stated he is working on the draft of the indictment. So we know that’s coming sooner than later.”"

The changing city

Urban distortions in Gulf cities by comrade Omar.

A Concentration Camp for African Immigrants in Israel: Can you imagine the international uproar if an Arab/Muslim country were to do that?

This is truly a disgrace unto the nations:  "Israel's Cabinet voted Sunday to erect a massive detention facility to hold thousands of Africans who have slipped illegally through the porous southern border with Egypt, heating up a debate over how to handle their mounting numbers."

What peace process? What peace?

My article on the "peace process" for Bitterlemons.  "What peace process? What peace?"

Leading headline in Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat's Front Page

This is the actual leading front page headline in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman (Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat):  "The second deputy (crown prince): "The servitor of the two holy sites was able to walk on his feet outside the hospital."   Growing up with such trash media made me the Angry Arab that I am today.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Carlos, the movie: my review translated into English

Arwa kindly translated my critique in Arabic of Carlos, the movie:

"Carlos the Movie: the Palestinian Cause through Zionist Eyes
by As`ad AbuKhalil

Lebanon celebrated the movie “Carlos.” The movie’s director, Oliver Assayas, visited Lebanon. A number of Lebanese participated in the movie including ex-leftist Ahmad Qa’bour. Many parts of “Carlos” were shot in Lebanon and state institutions contributed to its production as indicated by the announcement at the end of the movie. The freak of a homeland is hospitable though it has received humiliation since its establishment.

While “Carlos” was intended for television, it was also played in cinemas. The theatre was overcrowded during the last days it played in San Francisco. The audience didn’t appear bored throughout six continuous hours, which included two breaks. However, the director’s intent was clear: to harm not only Wadie Haddad but the Palestinian struggle overall even when it didn’t involve “foreign operations.” The first scene was indicative: the Mossad assassinated Muhammad Boudia (Abu Dhiya’) in Paris (the movie  failed to mention that Boudia, who had participated in the liberation of Algeria, was the one who introduced “Carlos” to the Palestinian cause at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow). That was preceded by a love scene between Boudia and a French woman. The director wanted to present a classical colonial depiction of the colonized man as a sexual danger that threatens the white man’s women. The Arab man appears as a terrorist and a threat to European women. And this was just the opening scene.

Assayas came to Lebanon and was received warmly. What else would you expect from the land of worship of the white man? Moreover, when a small group of activists (including Anis Naqqash, who was demonized in the movie) expressed their objection to the movie, the velvet society, which sees itself as sophisticated because it strives to mimic and appease the white man, was annoyed. On her show “The House of Saud’s Studio,” Gizelle Khouri was irritated by objections to the movie. The white man is never wrong. Some Lebanese participated in the movie, which was no surprise. Since when has Lebanon seen objection to demonization of Arabs in western culture? On the contrary, both ecclesiastic and non-ecclesiastic sectors have contributed to hostility towards Arabs and Islam in the west. (Israel, not Amin Al-Gemayyel, selected Antoine Fattal, author of a fundamental French orientalist book on Islam’s racism, to lead the May 17 negotiation team).

It is important to note that an American journalist, whose background is unclear, did the movie’s research. He worked as “Steven Smith” while covering the African continent for Le Monde and Liberation newspapers. He wrote a number of books on Africa. To prove the white man’s racism towards the continent’s people, it suffices to point to Senegalese writer Boubacar Boris Diop’s book “Négrophobie” in which he exposes “Smith’s” racism especially in his book “Negrology.” Meaning, Assayas selected a writer who: 1) has a racist history towards Blacks; and 2) has no connection whatsoever to Middle Eastern and Arab causes. Today “Smith is a visiting professor of African Studies at Duke University. I have emailed him asking if he could answer some questions but he never responded. The film’s producer is Daniel Loucont, who is known for his staunch support for neoconservative causes and Israel’s interests as well as his hostility to Arabs in his documentaries and movies. I should have expected the movie would be horrible when the New York Times Magazine, which opposes Arabs and their causes except for those of Muhammad Dahlan, Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas (if they can be considered Arabs), enthusiastically praised the director and the movie’s research. This is important because I found the movie’s political feel, purely American in a racist and Zionist sense (according to the dominant American culture, so as not to generalize about the American people). The movie exaggerates “Carlos’” importance in the Palestinian revolution’s contemporary history and even in Wadie Haddad’s history of organizing. The man was only a footnote in the Palestinian people’s struggle as was “Lawrence of Arabia” a footnote in the lesser “Arab Revolution.” Assayas needed to exaggerate his role in order to market the movie: there are hundreds of revolutionaries with Arab names but nobody has heard of them. In other words, that “Carlos” was famous and Annis Naqqash unknown, indicates the skillfulness of the latter, not the former. Haddad didn’t want to create celebrities; he wanted to create revolutionaries. The revolutionary’s usefulness diminishes with fame and/or its pursuit. Old revolutionaries who lived the Jordan phase (before and after the September massacres) remember “Carlos.” In his first military courses he was notably brave, physically resilient and extremely enthusiastic. Those who trained with him in Jordan know he felt restrained by standing in line and training (it appears that Palestinian groups’ trainings were influenced by that of armies. This is a result of lack of experience in guerilla warfare. See Yazid Sayigh’s book “Armed Struggle and Search for a State” in spite of its right-wing leaning). Carlos used to object and demand more rigorous training. He was also skillful at shooting. This brought him attention as a fighter, not as a revolutionary leader as the movie portrayed.

Here is where the movie’s fiction starts. “Carlos” becomes a Palestinian leader and peer to Wadie Haddad himself. You see him at a meeting of Palestinian groups’ leaders called by Yuri Androbov. “Carlos’” story overshadows the negative aspects of the Palestinian revolution’s experience of attracting people of all backgrounds without exception. Opportunists, hooligans, criminals and intelligence agents joined the revolution. The revolution didn’t examine their backgrounds. A Palestinian entered a training camp in Al-Burj and saw a man training. He angrily asked the political supervisor: what is this man doing here? He was told that he was a comrade from the American University of Beirut. “Comrade?” he exclaimed. “I’ve known him since childhood and he’s an old Phalangist.” He refused to participate in the training (that “comrade’s” colleagues noticed that he completely disappeared after 1982 without trace). The revolution should have scrutinized the backgrounds of those who suddenly appeared in training camps and organization offices and asked to join. Of course, there were sincere internationalists militants but there were opportunists and criminals also.

Who decides “Carlos’” reality? It’s a relative matter. I consider him more of a rash rebel who turned to opportunism after the Vienna operation, if not before. It suffices that his name is connected to the distortion of the Palestinian revolution’s name internationally. The movie tried to depict Palestinian struggle as an opportunist, criminal and terrorist endeavor. There is no mistake that this is the movie’s message. The best proof of the movie’s Zionism is the complete absence of Israel from the plot. Israel is completely absent from criminal and terrorist operations in Europe although Israel had started terrorism in Europe by sending explosives to embassies in the forties (the otherwise serious Economist magazine erred in a recent article as it failed to mention Israel’s pioneering role in sending letter bombs). The movie showed no concern for victims among the Palestinian people and other Arab civilians in Europe or thousands of victims in the Arab world. But it wanted to emphasize for the viewer foreign victims of Arab violence (such as the scene of shooting a pregnant French woman in Beirut. One doesn’t know if this actually occurred or if it was one of the many lies the movie fabricated). During a seventies’ recording of Bassam Abu Sharif explaining the attack on the Zionist Marks and Spencer’s owner in London, the director should have informed the viewer, at least cursorily, that the reason behind burns and wounds on Abu Sharif’s face was the Zionist letter bomb from Israel, which is dear to Assayas and his crew.

Haddad targeted the owner of Marks and Spencer for funding “Herut” party and Zionist causes. The movie wanted to depict the Arab revolutionary as hostile to Jews as Jews (only one German objected to hostility to Jews while in reality the matter was debated among the ranks of the leadership and membership, but the director deliberately mis-portrayed Palestinian organizations and characterized them as fascist and dictatorial. Not all leaders of Palestinian groups were like Yasir Arafat, and even he was questioned by his cohorts especially in the early years).

The movie never touched the reality behind Wadie Haddad’s mystery. Ahmad Qa’bour acted well but didn’t convey Wadie Haddad’s personality. Haddad wasn’t like Ibrahim Qalilat or “Abu Al-Abbas” and didn’t play with a gun during his free or threat time. The director wanted to present all Arab militants as hooligans and criminals. It is true that a number of hooligans and criminals infiltrated the ranks of the Palestinian revolution but those either belonged to the Syrian regime’s (was Al-Sa’iqa organization anything but a group of hooligans, thieves and murderers?) and the Iraqi regime’s intelligence apparatuses and Yasir Arafat’s many shops. Ideological groups such as the Communist Party, the Communist Action Organization, the Arab Socialist Action Party-Lebanon, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Syrian Nationalist Party and Wadie Haddad’s secret organization used to expel hooligans and criminals from among their ranks. I can assert that comrade “Zuhair” of the Communist Action Organization’s military leadership, used to expel those types without hesitation and never accepted them to his organization. This was also true of Haddad’s organization. Ideological parties’ fighters were not hooligans like Yusif Bazzi (the “journalist” in the Hariri family’s daily publication) as he describes himself in his hideous book “Yasir Arafat looked at me and smiled.”

As usual, in movies like this about the Middle East, especially those contaminated with Zionist American hands, are filled with errors and lies. The movie seemed to think that Saddam Hussein assumed presidency from Ahmad Hasan Al-Bakr in the mid-seventies. It repeatedly confuses between the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the secret organization that Haddad organized outside the Front’s framework. The movie didn’t bother with the long, early debate that the Popular Front’s leadership had (since, if not before, the central committee’s 1971 meeting), meaning that violence, especially outside the struggle’s main arena, was not a transient matter for Palestinian leaders and revolutionaries. As usual, the movie conflated the Popular Front (the external operations branch, which spin off under Haddad’s leadership) and the “Black September” organization. The director didn’t understand Wadie Haddad’s methods of organization and militarization: one of the leading members of Wadie Haddad’s organization spoke with me this summer about how they selected individuals to execute operations. He would plan the operation and send to Beirut the candidate’s required profile (for example, I want a trained fighter from a camp, short, blond hair etc.) The director didn’t know that Anis Naqqash never met Wadie Haddad or that he was “sent” by Abu Jihad to examine Haddad’s organization from within.

The movie also confuses Ali Al-Eisawi (who has no relation to “Carlos”) with his borther Salim There is no evidence that “Carlos” was involved in an attempt to assassinate Asim Al-Jundi, as Al-Jundi himself admitted that “Carlos” was innocent. The movie failed to mention that Lebanese authorities (before and until the Taif Accord), which collaborated with foreign intelligence apparatuses, had allowed a French “security official” who was an expert on “counter-terrorism” to reside in Lebanon in order to spy on and sabotage the Palestinian revolution’s organizations. The depiction of Arab characters has no connection to reality. Anyone who has met Anis Naqqash knows that he has no relationship with the nervous, reckless young man presented in the movie. The movie’s characters are built on traditional stereotypes of Palestinian revolutionaries. It is clear that Assayas never met any of those who worked with Wadie Haddad and didn’t try to really know his personality. The director had no concept of how Haddad had unequivocally expelled “Carlos” after he disobeyed orders for the Vienna operation. Haddad didn’t view “Carlos” the way the movie presented it. When Muhamamad Boudia was assassinated in France, “Carlos’” name was not suggested as his replacement except in “Carlos’” imagination. (“Carlos” contradicted several points from the movie in his letter to Al-Akhbar).

However, there is another instance of racism in the movie: the Latin American revolutionaries appeared driven by political principles. The same was true for German elements (which the movie exaggerated perhaps due to German funding). But Arab revolutionaries were hooligans and cared only for money and executing Arab intelligence’s orders.

There is something suspicious about the movie: There is a March 14 whiff in the narration. It appears the director must have met with ex-leftists among the Hariri crowd because the movie focused on “Carlos’” relationship with Syrian intelligence particularly although Libyan and Iraqi intelligence were closer to “Carlos” than Wadie Haddad. Why didn’t the movie make any mention whatsoever about “Carlos’” relationship with Saudi intelligence and his performing operations on their behalf? Khalid Khadr Agha, who had a solid relationship with King Faisal and the Saudi intelligence, pointed to a chair in his house in Beirut and said: “Carlos” sat on this chair and drank bottles of Johnny Walker as he looked into serving the Saudi intelligence. According to Khadr Agha’s account, “Carlos” assassinated a Saudi dissident and received a money transfer for “Mrs. Tutu” in Romania. The movie neglected to mention this.

Why this focus on Saddam Hussein even when he was unknown? Isn’t this to influence the viewer with what is known today about his oppression? Why did the director undermine eastern European intelligence and their relationship to “Carlos”? A prominent leader in the Popular Front mentions how Haddad complained to him in the seventies about the KGB’s control of his organization. Why did the director neglect to cover the long discussions that in the circles of Wadie Haddad’s organization about the importance of avoiding harm to civilians (without denying that harm had befallen civilians as a result of operations Wadie Haddad oversaw? The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine noted this during the long discussion that resulted in severance of working relations between Haddad and the great late George Habash). This doesn’t negate that “external” operations helped to place the name of Palestine on the global map.

There’s the issue of “Michael Mukarbal.” It is important to note that Lebanese authorities arrested Mukarbal and handed him to French authorities after torturing him. He had done no activity whatsoever in Lebanon: all his activity occurred in Europe. But Lebanese authorities, until Amin Al-Gemayyel, opposed all Arab interests. Its security, military and intelligence apparatuses depended completely on foreign intelligence that worked with Israel. Lebanese authorities used to monitor everyone who resisted Israel even if they were outside Lebanon. Joel Bustani (and later Johnny Abdu) should be known to all people in Lebanon and outside Lebanon. “Carlos” insisted that Mukarbal was suspicious, and peddled that at every opportunity. Israeli sources confirmed “Carlos’” suspicions when it discussed Mukarbal’s role in accessing Boudia. The movie depicts Mukarbal as helpless, but the reality is misrepresented. It wasn’t in the Popular Front’s interest to acknowledge the truthfulness of Carlos’ suspicions in this regard.

Next is the question of assessing “Carlos’” work. No doubt, the revolution attracted meddlers, adventurers, criminals, opportunists and daredevils, as it also attracted true revolutionaries. “Carlos” last activity was a statement in which he saluted Bin Ladin and described him as a revolutionary. Who says that “Carlos” gets to decide the Arab revolution’s issues? We have no obligation to support those who support our causes when in fact they harm them.

This movie summarizes Zionist propaganda. Arabs have to investigate every scenario before participating. I remember during my first year in Washington a director was looking for young Arab men to appear in the movie “Protocol” starring Goldie Hawn. The daily compensation was about a hundred dollars. Many young Arabs came to the casting and met the production team. Those selected were later contacted. The casting director called me to tell me I was selected. I told her I wanted to read the script first to make sure it doesn’t demonize Arabs. She laughed and said: do you think you’re going to be an actual actor in the movie? We just want you as extras. I insisted, so she laughed and ended the call. Morocco has gained expertise in hostility towards Arabs and Muslims, in movies such as “Indiana Jones.” Lebanon, as usual, distances itself from Arab sensibilities. On the contrary, some in Lebanon pride themselves on the cooperation between Lebanese police and Israeli interests (in the seventies). But it’s just a movie. Arab rejection of Israel’s existence is undeniable truth. Write that down, o Assayas."

Mubarak election

In preparation for the election this week, the Mubarak regime arrested 1400 Egyptian who committed no crimes and have not been charged with crimes, to my knowledge.   If this was another regime (which does not serve Israel) ,there would have been an uproar and Amnesty and HRW would have issued urgent reports.  But when the arrested are bearded or veiled, Western human rights organizations don't take notice.

PS A correction.  Nadim tells me that Human Rights Watch issued a report and that it is featured on the site.

blogging is dangerous in Kuwait

"Amnesty International has urged the Kuwaiti authorities to release a blogger who was sentenced to one year in prison this week, on charges relating to an article he wrote on his blog criticizing the country's Prime Minister."


"Several of the documents set to be published by WikiLeaks this weekend are believed to show the US has been helping Turkey's Kurdish separatist movement the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party."

Missing: runaway slaves in Lebanon

Look at the missing ads in Hariri rag, Al-Mustaqbal: it puts ads by employers looking for maids who fled their homes.

This is Zionism

"A 12-year-old boy gathering gravel near the Gaza-Israel border was wounded on Saturday by Israeli army fire, officials and witnesses said."

This guy is a historian?

"Six armies descended on the weakly-armed Israeli defenders."  At the height of the conflict, there were some 20,000 Arabs with hunting rifles versus some 60,000 Israeli terrorists armed with the most advanced weaponry of the time and benefiting from the special army that Britain allowed the Zionists to form.

Sensitive racism

""I know personally of people who came to Israel for a conference and were asked if they had met an Arab. After that, they were stripped and their laptop was confiscated," said Ariel Merari, a terrorism expert at Tel Aviv University who has researched aviation security. "There is a lot to be improved in this approach towards innocent, foreign citizens. Also, the attitude towards Israeli Arabs has to be reevaluated.  "The profiling system is good," Merari said. "But it has to be done with more sensitivity.''"  (thanks Sarah)

Look at this Israeli propaganda sheet mocking the boycott effort at Princeton: It seems Zionist hoodlums are upset

"Hummus feeding the 'occupation'? Next week students at New Jersey's Princeton University will be called upon to prevent Sabra-brand hummus from being sold at restaurants and stores on campus.   A number of Palestinian students, joined by a Chilean Jew, decided to campaign against the tasty snack on the grounds that it serves "the occupation"."   Israeli hoodlums don't know that there are many Americans who are neither of Palestinian origin or Chilean (as if being of Palestinian or Chilean origin makes one less of an American) who support the boycott efforts.  (thanks Olivia)

Saudi government cracks another Al-Qa`idah conspiracy

On the front page of Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (the mouthpiece of Prince Salman) and other House of Saud's newspaper, there is news of uncovering another Al-Qa`idah conspiracy.  The picture above is ostensibly of the tools of the dangerous conspiracy that was thwarted.  In reality, real Al-Qa`idah terrorists receive five-star treatment in "rehabilitation" centers run by Prince Nayif.

Husni Mubarak in Qatar

Husni Mubarak visited Doha, Qatar after years of a feud between the two rulers.  (Of course, Mubarak stopped in Abu Dhabi first: the Emir of Qatar told me that Mubarak receives a blank check from the ruler of UAE in every visit--a blank check, literally).  Mubarak wants to make up with Qatar during the "elections" because he worries about AlJazeera coverage.  Unfortunately, his plan will work: Aljazeera's coverage softened greatly after the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Arab rulers can make up while sharpening knives behind the curtain.

Foreign maids in Lebanon

A foreign maid dies in Lebanon from "unknown reasons."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Celebrating Lebanese Independence?

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar:  "Celebrating Lebanese Independence?  It is not the time yet."

Israel destroyed his home: if you are an American liberal who supports Israel, don't talk to me

At the rubble of his home--destroyed by Israeli terrorist soldiers.  (AP)

BBC puts mosque between quotation marks

A group of Palestinian men pray on the ruins of a mosque in Khirbet Yarza

"Israel razes West Bank 'mosque'"   If an Arab puts a "synagogue" between quotation marks, cries of anti-Semitic would follow and the ADL would call on the UN Security Council to convene.  (thanks Rashid)

Prince Turki bin `Abdul-`Aziz

After decades of absence, Prince Turki bin `Abdul-`Aziz (one of the Sudayri brothers in the House of Saud) arrived in Saudi Arabia.  As is well-known, he left after his brothers wanted him to divorce one of his wives who belongs to a family that Saudi princes considered "scandalous."

Mubarak regime

If Mubarak has not been a loyal servant of Israel over the years, you would have heard a word about the shooting at Christian demonstrators by Mubarak armed goons.

"subsequent developments"

"Mrs Clinton spoke of an accord that “reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognised borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”  The wording is crucial. It repeats the aims expressed by the two previous American presidents, Bill Clinton in December 2000 and George Bush in April 2004. “Subsequent developments” refers to the large Jewish settlement blocks, including those such as Beitar and Modiin Ilit, that Israel has built close to the 1967 border and which it would absorb under any workable deal."

Islam in Tennessee: or the danger of one mosque (or the expansion of an existing mosque)

"So perhaps it should not have come as a surprise that three Rutherford County residents filed a lawsuit in September to block construction of the mosque. The plaintiffs believe that they “have been and will be irreparably harmed by the risk of terrorism generated by proselytising for Islam and inciting the practices of sharia law,” which, they claim, “advocates sexual abuse of children, beating and physical abuse of women, death edicts, honour killings, killing of homosexuals, outright lies to Kafirs (those who don’t submit to sharia law), Constitution-free zones, and total world dominion.” Of course, Murfreesboro has had a mosque for decades, and does not seem infested with “Constitution-free zones”; quite how moving to a bigger building in a different location intensifies the risk remains unclear.  The defence called a single witness, who testified that the county’s planning commission followed proper procedure; the plaintiffs called at least 17, including Frank Gaffney, who runs a think-tank in Washington, DC, and speaks often about the dangers of sharia (for whatever that is worth: on the stand he admitted, “I am not an expert on sharia, but I have talked a lot about it as a threat”). Their attorney’s questioning often focused not on the details of open-meetings laws but on the incompatibility of sharia and American law, on whether Islam is a religion (the federal government filed a brief saying that it is) and on whether advocating sharia law ought to be protected by the first amendment.

Isabel Kershner is outraged

1) Israeli leaders, scholars, and journalists belittle or downplay or disregard Muslim and Christian feelings about Jerusalem on regular basis and that does not produce outrage in the articles of the New York Times.  One lone PA guy (in the collaborationist government set up by Israel) writes one article on a website, and the whole world has to know about it.  It becomes major news story.  2)  Kershner said:  "About 200,000 Jews live in areas of East Jerusalem that have been developed since 1967..." Is "developed" another word for occupied now? 3)  Why no article about the Wailing Wall talks about how the Zionist occupation forces destroyed an entire quarter (the Moroccan residential quarter) to make room for more worshipers at the Wall?

The Tea Party and Israel

I don't believe this article one bit.  I think that the Tea Party will come around and support Israel and aid to Israel in the same vehemence like the Republican Party leadership.  Remember: Marco Rubio flew to Israel days after his election victory.

No one asks the tough questions about the Middle East like Jenine Zacharia of the Washington Post

"WP: You enjoy Cuban cigars, I'm told.
Hariri: Hoyo

WP: And motorcycles?
Hariri: Harleys. I have a few here. I never was able to ride them. There was a Harley festival the 1st of October. I was supposed to be on it but security told me (no.)
I collect Harleys. And most of my friends keep their Harleys at my house so when we go out we all go out together in Saudi, in Jeddah."

Mini-Hariri is a fan of Rabin

"At one point you had (Prime Minister Yitzhak) Rabin who wanted peace."

Mini-Hariri and stress

He got this silly question from Jenine Zacharia:
"WP: What's it like for you right now? How do you deal with the stresses that I imagine you are under?
Hariri: Actually everybody asks me this question. I don't feel like it's stress."
Oh, I believe him.  I believe him alright.  I do believe that he is dumb enough to not feel stress and not to appreciate the gravity of the situation under his watch.  Yes, indeed.  Lebanon's prime minister is that dumb.

This clown keeps saying that, even when Israeli planes are bombing Lebanese villages and cities and massacring its children

"Peres told journalists: "We have no conflict with Lebanon." (thanks Rania)

The Washington Post on Hariri: or when Jenine Zacharia sees the Hariri light

This piece on Hariri in the Washington Post by Jenine Zacharia suffers from the same problems that other articles on the Middle East in mainstream US press suffer from.  1) It cites Bruce Riedel on Lebanese affairs. I mean, the man (in the new book by Bob Woodward) is referred to as an authority on Pakistan and Afghanistan.  In the Clinton administration, he was considered a whole Middle East expert.  If you ask me, he knows nothing about the Middle East.  People should refer to the their memory.  Back in the 1990s in the Clinton administration, he was interviewed in the Daniel Pipes' Journal on the Middle East (Middle East Quarterly) and he said at the time that there is no evidence that people in the Arab world are upset over the tight and unjust sanctions on Iraq. Right then I decided that that guy is certifiable dumb on Middle East affairs and lacks basic ability to understand what one can read even with the help of translators.  2) the piece as usual does not interview ONE TOKEN PERSON from the other side. All are pro-Hariri voices (even the one who refused to be identified). 3) Hizbullah and its allies won, not half of the popular vote, but more (although the electoral system of Lebanon gave the majority to the March 14--which means they did win the election--I am not disputing that. 4) The stuff about Hariri cooking all-you-can-eat and in a variety of cuisines is the stuff that is fed by Hariri propagandists to unsuspecting journalists.  Get me someone who has eaten an Indian meal cooked by Sa`d Hariri.  I am not sure that he can tie his own shoes, and this piece wants me to believe that he is making Somosas and Chicken Tikka.  5) It does not mention that he is widely criticized for leaving the country for long duration when the country is on the verge of civil war.  6) It talks about the opposition blocking "key" infra structure projects when the opposition--read the courageous leftist Minister of Tele-communication, Sharbil Nahhas--is really blocking some of the most corrupt financial arrangements that Lebanon has ever seen.  Not a word about Hariri corruption in this article.  7) Hariri did not get his BA from Georgetown.  His daddy got him into the MBA program at Georgetown after making a big contribution to the school which is now named after him.  8) Hariri did not run a thing before his daddy die: his name was merely a letter head name as head of Saudi auger.  Sit with him for 30 minutes and figure whether this guy can run a grocery store.  9) the article does not say a word about the changed rhetoric of Hariri regarding Syria and does not talk about how the Hariri family was a tool of Syrian mukhabarat for years.

PS An American colleague of Zacharia tells me that she is an ardent Zionist and is normally based in Jerusalem.  She knows some Hebrew and knows no Arabic whatsoever.  A typical American foreign correspondent in deed.

PPS Matthew sent me this:  "Actually it is the building, not the school, which is named after Hariri.  No matter how much money an Arab gives, the school will still be named after a White Man (Robert Emmett McDonough, in this case)."

Who says that the prime minister of Lebanon does not appreciate the tension and conflict in Lebanon?

"This month, Hariri flew to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Another Middle Eastern scion was also there: Gamal Mubarak, who many believe could succeed his father, Hosni, as president of Egypt next year." (thanks Olivia)

A.B. Yehoshua: Is Zionism an ideology?

"According to this quite clear definition, Zionism cannot and should not be considered an ideology. As Zionism is a common platform for various and even contradictory social and political ideologies, it therefore cannot in itself be considered an independent ideology."   I will not quibble with Yehoshua on this: Zionism may indeed not be an ideology per se: but it is for sure an ideology of hostility against Arabs.  In that regard, people of different ideological backgrounds may all adhere to the Zionist national thought.  So yes, there are leftists and rightists within the Zionist racist movement, but they all share those ideas: 1) that Jews are superior to all else in the holy land: 2) that the Jewish claims over the land supersedes the claims of all others--be they Muslim or Christian; 3) that all means should be used to impose by force the Zionist rule in the Holy Land and that Arab lives should be treated as cheaper than Jewish lives--always: 4) the use of force against Arabs is preferable to any kind of method; 5) that the Jewish national movement represents a higher end of civilizational development than the Arab national movement; 6) that Arabs are inferior human beings and that they should be treated accordingly: 7) that the hollow democratic claims of Israel should only apply to Jews.  So A B Yehoshua, Zionism may not be an ideology, but the ideology of hate that all Zionists share is...an ideology of hate.  End of story.  (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Sabra Hummus: the real expiration dates

I have obtained the real (not the advertised) expiration dates for Sabra Hummus sold in your stores.  For all those Sabra Hummus containers, the real expiration date is in fact January 1983.  Make sure you note that.  And for your own health: boycott Sabra Hummus.

US statistics

"The gap between rich and poor widened (see table). And the young are doing relatively badly in education." (thanks Julie)

When a Saudi propaganda rag attacks Counterpunch

This is rather a classic definition of irony: a Saudi propaganda rag (Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat--the mouthpiece of lousy Prince Salman) labels Counterpunch as example of "yellow journalism".  For Saudi rags to label a newsite or news outlet "yellow journalism" is like Muhammad Dahlan labeling somebody as "collaborator", or is like Sa`d Hariri calling someone "dumb" or like Saudi King calling someone incompetent and inarticulate.  What irony.  In the past, the folks at Counterpunch got mad at me because I did expose that an alleged interview with Hasan Nasrallah was in fact a hoax.  They got mad at me when I in fact was keen on protecting their credibility.  I am a fan of Counterpunch and it has my support although they may sometimes publish what I may deem as unreliable. The pieces on Lebanon by Franklin Lamb (which are peddled by pro-Iranian media in the Middle East) are very unreliable and he has proven consistently to be wrong in his assessments and predictions.  His last piece attributing stuff to Jeffrey Feltman is clearly--in my mind at least made up.  Most importantly, Walid Jumblat who was a witness--according to the account of Lamb--just denied that story categorically.  The language used in the alleged conversation does not sound like one to be used by a US official--as much as I detest the Zionist Feltman.

positive contributions of the left in Lebanon

Comrade Fida' `Itani writes about the positive contributions of the Left in Lebanon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

When Isabel Kershner shows off that she does not know Arabic

"A stone slab set into the wall of the house is engraved with an image of the Dome of the Rock and the words “Al mulk lillah,” Arabic for “Everything belongs to God.”"  Oh, no, Ms. Kershner.  This means "Property belongs to God."

PS It may have the other meaning of dominion too, as many have suggested to me.

Lebanese Minister of Tele-communication

This brilliant and probably best minister Lebanon has ever had says:  "Their accusation against me of Leftism is a medal on my chest." (thanks Mirvat)

Sect questions at airports

Nir reports:  "so my close Iraqi friend just came to visit me from london. at heathrow airport they asked him if he was sunni or shiite. he said he was atheist. they asked him what his parents were. he said shiite. they asked him if he was from sadr city.  then at JFK they asked him exactly the same questions."

An Arab who urinated too much: Arabs are now permitted one restroom visit per flight

"Law enforcement briefly questioned a passenger Tuesday who alarmed other passengers when he used the airplane's bathroom several times on a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Denver, 9Wants to Know has learned.  The passenger on U.S. Airways flight 1525 was not arrested. Law enforcement is trying to confirm the passenger had a medical condition. He is of Middle Eastern descent."

Fouad Ajami gives his thanks

"It was ultimately two celebrations of great simplicity that appealed to me: Fourth of July and Thanksgiving."  Personally, I only celebrate Potato National Day.  (thanks Ahmad)

Letter to the Editor about the racism of Ethan Bronner

"“When Illusions Are All” (Week in Review, Nov. 21), an analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, says, “It is worth noting that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been largely drained of deadly violence in the past few years.”
Israel’s offensive in Gaza against a largely civilian population in December 2008 and January 2009 left an estimated 1,400 Palestinians dead, including about 300 children.
Rod Such
Redmond, Wash., Nov. 22, 2010"