Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Al-Qa`idah in Syria

Western governments called on the Syrian government to protect all Al-Qa`idah terrorists who infiltrate into Syria and held the Syrian government responsible for their safety and well-being.  

Marking `Alawite houses in Turkey

This is an article about a new trend in Turkey: marking `Alawite houses.  This did not start in Turkey: it started with the religious fanatics in Homs who did that on `Alawite homes.  And to the media, they justify their acts as being directed only against Shabbihah.

Critique of Syrian referendum

Comrade Fawwaz has an excellent critique of the Syrian referendum.

Free Syrian Army showing footage from Chechnya as if it is from Syria

Comrade Raed sent me this:  "first this video, going back to last year, showing a mujahid of some sort shooting down a helicopter
now some islamist dumbass channel pretending it was the doing of the "Free Syrian Army"

PS The lie was exposed and the site now admits that it was not from Free Syrian Army.

More brutal than the Syrian assault on Baba Amru?

I was thinking.  The lousy Syrian regime assault on Baba Amru is brutal.  But have there been more brutal cases? Certainly, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982: which killed some 20,000 (mostly civilian) Lebanese, Palestinians, and Syrians in a matter of few months only.  Furthermore, the American assault on Fallujah was probably the most savage and brutal assault on a civilian quarter since the US incinerated city blocks, night after night, in Tokyo during WWII.  

Colonial powers divide Yemen

France writes the constitution of Yemen, and US handles security, and British handles political dialogue.  Long live democratic transition managed by GCC.  "Les travaux préparatoires en vue de la rédaction d’une nouvelle Constitution ont été confiés aux diplomates français à Sanaa, qui seront aidés par un juriste venu de Paris.   La prochaine Loi fondamentale yéménite devrait privilégier un système fédéral. «Les partis d’opposition veulent tourner la page du présidentialisme, qu’ils associent à la dictature de l’ancien président Saleh», estime-t-on généralement à Sanaa.  Les séparatistes au sud et les rebelles houthis d’inspiration chiites au nord plaident en faveur d’un large fédéralisme. Lundi, l’ex-raïs déchu a solennellement cédé le pouvoir au président élu Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.  Dans le cadre de la transition négociée entre les partisans de Saleh et l’opposition, plusieurs pays occidentaux se sont vu attribuer certains «dossiers» : la réforme de la sécurité a été prise en main par les Américains, très en pointe dans la lutte contre al Qaida au Yémen, et le dialogue politique par les Britanniques." (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

All that Israel knows it fetches from Wikipedia

"" The IDI is operating on the assumption that Yemen will be completely out of water in eight years. I asked if this was their own assessment and source said, "No, it's public information. You can find it on Wikipedia." "" (thanks Asa)

casualty lists in Syria

"“We cannot give exact figures,” said the spokesman, Eduardo Del Buey, calling the new number “a reasonable estimate building off the previously provided figures and the regular, credible daily reports of casualties since.” The United Nations halted its official count of the dead in Syria after it passed 5,400 in January, saying the situation on the ground had made it impossible to verify the numbers."  Wait: so the UN says that it is impossible to verify numbers but that it will rely on "credibly daily reports" by Ikhwan media? How on earth does that make sense?

Unbelievable. Thomas Friedman is still mourning the Mubarak family

" President Hosni Mubarak’s more reform-minded son, Gamal"...(thanks Ahmet)

Brotherly Arab dictators

"At one point during Friday's meeting, the Saudi foreign ministerreportedly stormed out, self-righteously complaining about "inaction" (though some reports deny it). Later, asked if arming the Syrian opposition would be a good idea, he replied: "I think it's an excellent idea." Indeed, some suspect the Saudis are already doing just that.  Meanwhile Qatar, a less oppressive autocracy than Saudi Arabia but an autocracy nevertheless, called for the creation of "an Arab force" for Syria.  None of that bodes well for Syria's future. The Saudis, who have banned all forms of demonstrations on their own turf and are not averse toshooting protesters, have deliberately messed up two Arab revolutions over the past year – first by sending troops into Bahrain to preserve the monarchy there, and then by manipulating the Yemeni uprising to ensure that nothing much would change after they abandoned President Saleh.
Given that, there was a curious irony to the banners hung around the conference area in Tunis on Friday. The English "Friends of Syria" had been changed in Arabic to say "Friends of the Syrian people" – as if to emphasise that they had the interests of ordinary Syrians uppermost in their hearts.  The reality, of course, is that for all countries attending, national interests (or what they perceive as their national interests) come first and the Syrian people second. In some cases a distant second, even among the "brotherly" Arabs."

Take the Ugandan anti-gay bill

This is an American affair through and through.  The campaign against gays has been led by American evangelicals, and the campaign against the bill is led by American government.  And here is the question: which would kill more people: the proposed bill or the Zionist bill--in place since 1948 in Palestine? 

Egyptians accuse the US of interfering in their affairs? Why? How dare they

"The prosecution has been cheered on by state media and by many Egyptians, who accuse the United States of interfering in their affairs."

THIS IS INCREDIBLE. US Congress decides to make US aid conditional on democratic reform AFTER Egypt became democratic and after the fall of the dictator

Of course, it is about the treaty and not about democratic reform.  I mean, why did they not think of this legislation during the 40 years of US-imposed dictatorship in Egypt?  "Under new legislation adopted by Congress late last year, American aid to Egypt cannot be delivered until certain requirements are met. Officials in Washington say the criminal case would almost certainly prevent that. In the case of $1.3 billion in military assistance, including arms sales, the aid can be delivered only if Mrs. Clinton and the State Department certify that Egypt is adopting basic democratic reforms, including freedom of speech and association.  All other aid, including economic assistance and support for democracy, is subject to the department’s certification that Egypt will continue to adhere to the Camp David peace treaty with Israel."

meet the secular rebels of the Ikhwan and their fanatical comrades in Syria

" Abu Ali fled his life as a Shiite cleric and student in Homs, the besieged Syrian city at the center of an increasingly bloody uprising, but it was not the government he feared.
It was the rebels, who he said killed three of his cousins in December and dumped a body in the family garbage bin.  “I can’t be in Homs because I will get killed there,” he said from this religious city in Iraq where he has taken refuge. “Not just me, but all Shiites.”  Like his fellow Shiites in Iraq, Abu Ali, who used his nickname to protect his family back in Syria, said he regards the Syrian rebels as terrorists, not freedom fighters, underscoring one of the complexities of a bloody civil conflict that has persisted as diplomatic efforts have failed."


Do you notice that only Israel in the Middle East is accorded the honor of labeling its attacks always as either retaliatory or preemptive?  So even when Israel attacks (offends), it basically is defending.  So it can never be offensive that state?  Can you imagine a Western paper writing: that Hizbullah launched a preemptive attack on Israel? Or that Hamas struck in retaliation? 

Don't forget Gaza

Egyptian columnist, Fahmi Huwaydi, remembers Gaza and reminds Egyptians.

Syrian casualty lists

"The “list” has become widely recognized – if not specifically, then certainly when the numbers are bandied about: 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 – sometimes more. These are not mere numbers; they represent dead Syrians.
But this is where the dangers of perception begin. There are many competing Syrian casualty lists with different counts – how does one, for instance gauge if X is an accurate number of deaths? How have the deaths been verified? Who verifies them and do they have a vested interest? Are the dead all civilians? Are they pro-regime or anti-regime civilians? Do these lists include the approximately 2,000 dead Syrian security forces? Do they include members of armed groups? How does the list-aggregator tell the difference between a civilian and a plain-clothes militia member?
Even the logistics baffle. How do they make accurate counts across Syria every single day? A member of the Lebanese fact-finding team investigating the 15 May 2011 shooting deaths of Palestinian protesters by Israelis at the Lebanese border told me that it took them three weeks to discover there were only six fatalities, and not the 11 counted on the day of the incident. And in that case, the entire confrontation lasted a mere few hours.
How then does one count 20, 40, or 200 casualties in a few hours while conflict continues to rage around them?
My first port of call in trying to answer these questions about the casualty list was the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which seemed likely to be the most reliable source of information on the Syrian death toll – until it stopped keeping track last month.
The UN began its effort to provide a Syrian casualty count in September 2011, based primarily on lists provided by five different sources. Three of their sources were named: The Violations Documenting Center (VDC), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the Syrian Shuhada website. At that time, the lists varied in number from around 2,400 to 3,800 victims.
The non-UN casualty list most frequently quoted in the general media is the one from the Syrian Observatory – or SOHR.
Last month, SOHR made some headlines of its own when news of a rift over political viewpoints and body counts erupted. Two competing SOHRs claimed authenticity, but the group headed by Rami Abdul Rahman is the one recognized by Amnesty International."

A grand mosque for the worship of the dictator

"Religious Affairs Minister Bouabdallah Ghlamallah declared that the grand mosque which will overlook the seafront in the east of Algiers would be a "one-of-a-kind".  "There will be nothing like it in the world -- religiously, touristically and economically," he said.  Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika "wants to leave his mark" through the building of the mosque". (thanks Basim)

From House of Khalifah to House of Saud

This is funny.  Bahrain royal family outfit bestows on the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Al-Hayat, the title of the "best Arabic newspaper" presumably for propaganda services rendered to the Bahrain royal family.

Syrian regime propaganda

I was looking at Syrian regime newspaper, Al-Watan, and saw a headline about violations of press freedoms.  I was surprised: I thought maybe a new trend in Syrian regime media.  I looked at the article and it turns out that they are covering press violations in the occupied territories.

From Queen Rania to Queen of Syria

According to this account, Queen Rania calls Asma Al-Asad to check on her.  But Asma then responds to the call by saying: but WE are the ones who are worried about you.  We hear of trouble in Jordan.  Not a joke.

Moral issues in the Syrian case

Tamim Barghuti writes on the moral issues in the Syrian case. (thanks Mirvat)

The Combatant Vanguard

The Muslim Brotherhood has a long history of creating small organizations and front and they deny the association if the work of the organizations becomes controversial.  This goes back all the way to Hasan Banna's day.  Even now, they created the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as a front for their propaganda and the entire Western press is snookered.  In Syria during the regime of Hafidh Al-Asad, the Muslims Brotherhood created a terrorist organization, At-Tali`ah Al-Muqatilah, to confront the terrorism of the Syrian regime.  The head of that terrorist arm was none other than Riyad Ash-Shaqfah (Gardens, the piece in Arabic).  But to understand the sectarian ideology and the thrust of those terrorists, you need to read the account by the commander of the Combatant Vanguard, Ayman Ash-Shurbaji.  You will understand that there outlook is purely sectarian.  

The new Moroccan foreign minister

I am told that the new Moroccan foreign minister is a long-time supporter of Palestinians and a fierce opponent of the Zionist entity.  But the prime minister is a tool of the King.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Burning of the Qur'ans

My latest blog post on the burning of the Qur'ans in Afghanistan.

Free Syrian Army

Syrian National Council says that the Free Syrian Army is only there to protect Syrian civilians.  Well, can't we say that it has failed miserably in its mission?


When it comes to numbers, Western and Arab (read Saudi and Qatari) media basically regurgitate whatever numbers they receive from Syrian Ikhwan-dominated opposition media.  Yesterday, I heard "an activist" on the BBC say that there are 100,000 injured in Syria. Today, on Aljazeera, a member of the Syrian National Council said that there are 36,000 injured.  

A Qatari female student challenges Qatari prime minister

This brave Qatari female students challenges the Qatari prime minister on Qatar's relations with the US and Israel. (thanks Samah)

Syrian polling station

Director of a Syrian polling station insists that voting was transparent although he confirms that all voted yes.  (thanks Dirar)

Western policies

"Now the same voices that helped the Islamists take over Libya — and then feigned surprise when they introduced a new, perhaps even worse type of despotism — are calling for yet another armed revolution in Syria. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that, should their insurrection succeed, the new regime might cause untold suffering for the Syrian people, most of whom (it is not often reported) have not joined the uprising. Why would they? They have plenty of justification for fearing that what will come after Assad could prove far more repressive culturally, and potentially murderous. The Nato-sponsored government-in-exile, the Syrian National Council, is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.   The ranks of the Free Syrian Army have been swelled by radical Islamists from as far afield as Iraq and Libya, who are being armed and funded by Qatar via Lebanon and Turkey. The Emir of Qatar, darling of the West, has at least had the decency to make his own intentions in this crystal clear: he wishes to overthrow the last secular Arab regime. The Emir recently renamed the tiny island’s main mosque after Mohammed ibn Abul Wahhab, founder of the insane Wahhabi cult that hijacked this so-called Arab Spring at the outset. He has installed its proxies in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, and aims to do the same in Syria." (thanks John)

Syrian regime

We should plead with the Syrian regime to desist in its reforms.  The Syrian people can't handle more reforms.  I mean, out of mercy for the Syrian people, we urge on the lousy regime to halt its reforms.  More reforms the Syrian people can't take.  They had enough reforms, please.  

Arab journalists celebrating Bahrain repression

Those journalists should be shamed (Muhammad Krishan from Aljazeera, Jamal Khashuqji from the new news station of Prince Al-Walid, Rima Maktabi of CNN, a guy from Elaph, Zavin of Hariri TV, and others) come to Bahrain to speak about media under the sponsorship of the repressive king.  (thanks Andrew)

Sharbil Nahhas' farewell statement

The best minister in Lebanese history, the Marxist economist, Sharbil Nahhas, makes his farewell statement.  (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

There is a new intruder on Middle East studies: and he shows his skills here

"Saudi Arabia and Morocco have a good chance of becoming more constitutionally-oriented democracies in the next five years."


"It is not that people in Tahrir were oblivious of the role traditionally played by Saudi Arabia, Israel or the US over the past three decades in bolstering Mubarak and his defunct regime. Rather, it is that Egyptians (and I suspect Tunisians, Libyans, Yemenis, Syrians and millions of other Arabs) have felt, probably for the first time in a hundred years, that they don’t have to take their cue from Washington, London or Paris; that they are the ones who write their own history, and that they are the shapers of their own destiny...For while she is going after US and German pro-democracy organizations, she seems to be unconcerned about the millions of US dollars that state media itself said Saudi Arabia and Qatar had sent to numerous Salafi organizations. Nor does she seem to be concerned about the fact that this money was used to finance candidates in the parliamentary elections, in a clear violation not only of the NGO law, but also of the elections law and the parties' laws." (thanks Laura)

Gilad Atzmon

People have been asking me about him a lot as of late: in the UK and the US.  I make it very clear: this is somebody that we should reject from the pro-Palestinian advocacy movement.  He is anti-Jewish and his offensive language against Jews and Judaism should be categorically rejected.  I would put the name of Israel Shamir in the same category.  Anti-Semites belong to the Zionist side, and not to our side.

As if Saudi Arabia did not nurture fanatics with the full support of the US

"But the Saudis didn't simply counter communism. They fueled a generation of zealous Islamist fighters who later caused bigger problems elsewhere. These Islamists were instrumental to the Saudis after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. Inspired by the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and armed with Saudi funds and weapons, Arab mujahideen poured into Afghanistan. (An estimated 175,000 to 250,000 Arabs and Afghans fought there at any given time during the war, according to terrorism analyst Peter Bergen.) After a decade of guerrilla war during which the Soviets sustained heavy losses, the Red Army withdrew, and their puppet government in Kabul fell soon thereafter." (thanks Sultan)

right of Arabs to rebel, non-peacefully

Of course, I support the right of Arabs to overthrow their violent oppressive regimes by all means necessary, including armed struggle.  Of course, I am against NATO or GCC countries providing arms or support.  Of course, I am against Bin Ladenite and Ikhwan fanatics using arms for any reason.  Those never go against Israel and specialize in targeting innocent civilians.

The self-humiliation of `Abdullah Nafisi

You need to search this blog for `Abdullah Nafisi. This guy went from leftism to Arab socialism to Islamism and now to serving GCC interests whatever they are.  Here, you see him first propose that the Tunisian revolutionaries should kidnap Bin `Ali from Saudi Arabia to put him on trial and punish him for his crimes. Later in the video, he retracted his suggestion under instructions from Saudi media.  I have never seen an Arab intellectual humiliate himself in this manner.  Wait.  No, I have.  Never mind.

human trafficking

""Twenty-two women, including several minors, bound for Dubai and eventually Syria, Jordan and Lebanon were rescued by government operatives from alleged human traffickers in Parañaque City on Monday. The women, mostly from Mindanao, said they were promised jobs as household workers and that they would know their final destination and who their employers are upon arrival in Dubai.""

Stratfor teaches about gender in the Middle East

"Gender does matter. Sending a woman to interrogate a Muslim creates vast problems for example. These are different cultures, different views of gender and human lives are at stake. Using women in societies that hold them in contempt might be satisfying to American ideals and principles, but they can get people killed. My daughter was ran an interrogation center in Iraq where the result of failure was death to many mericans. She couldn't be effective in that environment and had the grace to know it, so she did not do her job but handed off to men. Iraqi men who would talk to American men would possibly be willing to die rather than talk to women." (thanks J.)

John McCain rule

Let me give you a rule: if you find yourself on the same side of any issue--foreign or domestic--with Sen. John McCain, reexamine your positions.  Something is really wrong with your position.  

Academic panels on arming Syrian groups

I was thinking--I know I am harping but it is really bothering me.  If academic panels were held at US universities in which academics discuss the best ways to arm Palestinian resistance groups and the best weapons that need to be supplied to them (as they are doing in the case of Syria), campus police would be brought in.  The US government would most likely prosecute those academics under laws pertaining to terrorism.  

The case for those detained journalists is not famous

These are not famous because: 1) because they work for an Iranian media channel.  2) because they are detailed by NATO militias in Libya.  "A Tripoli-based militia from Misrata should immediately transfer to the Libyan government two illegally detained British journalists and the three Libyans who were traveling with them, Human Rights Watch said today. The men are among thousands of people held illegally by militias in Libya.  The Saraya Swehli militia, commanded by Faraj Swehli, detained Nicholas Davies-Jones, 32, and Gareth Montgomery-Johnson, 37, both British citizens, in Tripoli early on February 21, 2012, Human Rights Watch said. The names of the two Libyans with the journalists and the taxi driver detained with them are unknown. The two journalists were freelancers working mostly with the Iranian state-owned Press TV."

class analysis of Syrian protests

I only watched comrade Bassam's remarks on Syria in this panel.  Also, watch his excellent answer to the last question posed to him in the Q & A session.

Western academics discussing the option of arming the Syrian rebels

In the next episode of an Israeli assault on a country in the Middle East, or on a refugee camp, I will watch closely.  I want to see if the same Western academics who called for--or who even debated the option of--arming the Syrian protesters will also hold debates and discussions about which weapons would best suit Palestinian rebels.  

Primitive Afghanistan

"Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey called the shooting deaths of two American advisers in Afghanistan "outrageous" on NBC Nightly News on Saturday and said the killings demonstrate the "shallow impact [the United States] has on this primitive society."" (thanks Ahmet)

University of Michigan

I will participate in a panel on Syria at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor next Wednesday, March 7th.

Nazis for a Jewish state: the case of Musa Shahbandar

This is from the declassified documents of the British Foreign Office (provided to me by an American PhD student doing research).  It is about Musa Shahbandar: a foreign minister in Rashid `Ali Kilani's government and probably one of the most ardent Nazis of his time.  1) he was rehabilitated by the British in the 1950s.  2) he seems to support a Jewish state in Palestine when Arab public opinion was uniformly opposed. 


The GCC almost wants to tell Syrians that the best way to move toward democracy is to adopt a constitution like the Saudi constitution.

PS Israel and Saudi Arabia don't have constitutions and for the same reasons: fanatics in both places there believe that God words are the constitution.  

Israeli intelligence brains?

I try to read whatever is attributed to intelligence assessments by the Israeli military-intelligence apparatus, and I read interviews with former Mossad directors.  What strikes me is this: those people have very unimpressive brain and knowledge powers.  Some of my undergraduate students would have provided more insightful assessments than this state-the-obvious report.  It is good that Arabs now see Israel as it is: and not as it falsely presented itself to us through psychological operations.

Monday, February 27, 2012

How Bashshar Al-Asad learns from the US

"And of course, there’s no way to evaluate whether the vote that happened represented anything like a referendum even on the ridiculous proposal that he put forward when the guns and the tanks and the artillery are now – are still firing into Homs and Hama and cities all over the country. So how could you possibly have any kind of a democratic process in conditions like that?" Well, Ms. Nuland.  He learned from the US.  US occupiers managed several elections in Iraq and Afghanistan while their tanks, and guns and FIGHTER JETS and drones were shooting all over the countries.

Voting on behalf of her entire family in Syria

This is hilarious.  She admits (and then was interrupted) that she voted on behalf of members of the family. (thanks Raed)

Western press scandal

Just in the case of Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion, the Western press is acting with the same degree of political cowardice.  They are afraid of writing or covering anything that conflicts with the foreign policies of Western governments.  Is is not scandalous that there was not one article detailing to readers what Arab League monitors said about the situation in Syria, especially that the dispatch of the team was a key demand of Western governments?  Not one voice of dissent.  Not one critical article against the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army.  

Syrian National Council solves its problem

Syrian National Council solved its problem: that it has failed to represent various elements of Syrian society.  Yesterday, it issued a press release in which it "extended its hand" to `Alawites.  This step--taken under US pressure--is expected to change the picture in Syria.  In fact, there are reports already that thousands of `Alawites took to the streets and extended their hands in the air back at the Syrian National Council.  Of course, the Ikhwan's Syrian National Council did not speak about the assassination of innocent `Alawites.

An-Nahar newspaper

I rarely now cite An-Nahar newspaper (the right-wing, sectarian Christian, racist anti-Syrian (people), anti-Palestinian (people).  It is rarely read in Lebanon and I thought that I should ignore it as well.  Yet, sometimes people share items with it.  Here, the writer said that the Saudi king "represents the conscience of the Arab people." Kid you not.  (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

News from Morocco

Joerg from Germany sent me this:  "it was not only that Al Jazeera did not air the documentary about the February 20th movement. Secretary Clinton cancelled a meeting with opposition groups and met the former foreign minister Fassi Fihri (from Istiqlal) before she met his successor Othmani (from PJD).

Here is something funny:

(but of course it is not funny in a Moroccan prison...)

And here is a film about February 20, in English:

A Marxist for Muslim Brotherhood?

I personally don't understand this.  (thanks Sultan)

More Gene Sharp

"Yet others include US political scientist Gene Sharp, known for his theory of non-violent resistance which inspired some of the key figures behind the Arab Spring, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki who was brought to power in 2011 by the revolution in his country, and television news channel Al-Jazeera." (thanks Mouin)

Covering Syria in the New York Times

Look at this article in the New York Times.  According to the Times--and forget about politics and stick to rules of basic journalism--there are no supporters for Asad in Syria except `Alawites.  Now that is factually untrue.  Notice that only the sect of the one supporter of Asad was identified but not for the rest.  "n downtown Damascus, where there were marginally more voters, Hala, a 36-year-old woman from the same Alawite clan as the president and the wife of a soldier, said she was voting for a “new Syria.”"  In fact, various news account I saw indicated that there were voters in Damascus and I saw scenes of people standing in line.  I don't understand why people who are willing to concede that royal gulf regimes have supporters don't want to accept that regimes that are on bad terms with GCC countries may also have supporters.  Does that bother Zionists? Is that the reason?

referenda in the Arab world

"Mr. Assad won more than 97 percent of the vote in the two previous referendums on his presidency in 2000 and 2007".   True. But you know who did better than Mr. Asad?  The new US-produced president of Yemen who got 99% of the vote just two days ago in what was described as a sign of democratic transition in Yemen (midwifed by the GCC).  So mock that won, Mr.

Sadiq Jalal Al-Azm

Is Sadiq Jalal Al-Azm not well?  The one I have known was very smart so how could he sign his name to this absurdity:  "but one that also has a genesis of its own in the Lebanese Cedar Revolution of 2005-6".  The "Cedar Revolution" was Saudi-sponsored and was aligned closely with the Mubarak regime and with every Arab tyranny except the Syrian tyranny.  So you are now convinced that it inspired the Arab uprisings?  This has been promoted in Hariri propaganda media and I am sure that Al-Azm did not write it but it will shame him (and shame his intelligence) for putting his name to this.  Finally, it is very ironic that Sadiq Al-Azm now wants a NATO military force in Syria when he during his career has basically accused every rival Arab intellectual of being a CIA agent or a Mossad agent (read his 1978 polemical book, Ziyarat As-Sadat wa Bu's As-Salam Al-`Adil).

A split in the Syrian National Council

This is an inconvenient news for the Western media that does not report anything that is not consistent with the propaganda interests of the Syrian National Council and its sponsors (in the region and the world).  There has been a major split in the leadership of the Syrian National Council and you won't read about it in the Western press.

Mocking former Crown Prince Hasan of Jordan

This is a good critique of former Crown Prince Hasan of Jordan: he poses as an intellectual in Western capitals (although he never vomited any idea in his life) and he threatens protesters in Amman on Jordanian TV, and brags about his ancestors.

Israel Shamir and the 1973 War

Many of you sent me this article by Israel Shamir and asked for a reaction.  OK, here it is: 1) I don't like Shamir and I don't trust him.  He has a recent history of anti-Jewish pronouncements.  So he does not belong to the pro-Palestinian camp on two counts: a) for being anti-Jewish; b) for bragging about his exploits in the 1973 war.  2) Regarding the article: it is silly and conspiratorial in the nutty sense. You read the whole thing and you almost forget that it is all based on the conspiracy theory--not the information or intelligence--of the Soviet ambassador in Egypt, Mr. Vinogradov.  It is clear that this was Vinogradov's take without any evidence or even logic.  So the war was entirely a conspiracy and that the Israelis were on it too.  3) It is worse than being nutty conspiracy: it is rather suspicious, and hence my distrust of Shamir.  So according to him, the Israelis were not really humiliated in the first few days of war on the battle field.  That Gold Meir was on the game herself.  This is just silly: no, this is worse and could be a Mossad planted story to preserve the invincible image of Israeli terrorist army.  So I rule this scenario out of hand, although the motives of Sadat are now clear to all of us and we have known that all along.

Error messages: the Royal Film Commission of Jordan

I am told that this item was causing the error messages.  It is now fixed.

Looking for Lebanese origins

"Né le 24 mai 1972 à Paris, Thomas Langmann, producteur, acteur, réalisateur et scénariste, est le fils du producteur et réalisateur Claude Berri (né Claude Berel Langmann) et d’Anne-Marie Rassam, Libanaise issue de la grande bourgeoisie."  I like "le grande bourgeoisie".  

problems with site

If you are experiencing problems with my site, just press cancel when you get the screen of

Sunday, February 26, 2012

UAE political inhospitality

"Emirati authorities have cancelled the residencies of dozens of Syrians for taking part in a protest against their regime outside the consulate in Dubai, Syrian activists told AFP on Sunday.  Two of them have already fled the Gulf country, arriving in Cairo on Saturday, after "all efforts failed to convince Emirati authorities to retract the decision," one of the activists said."  Just watch. The lousy Syrian National Council would not dare say a word in protest.

Friends of Syria?

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "Friends of Syria"?

Pacifists for Western military intervention in Syria

""What support can the world give the nonviolent protestors? Perhaps paradoxically the answer is a buildup of a coercive strategy that threatens the apparatus of repression in Syria with violence used in ultimate instance if the regime doesn’t stop the killing.""  So if I understand this correctly, they believe that violence by Arabs is harmful but can be useful by Western powers?  Or wait: they mean that only military intervention may save the non-violence of the Syrian revolution?  Or wait: they mean that Western violence may be the only way to save the non-violence of the Syrian uprising?  OK. Thanks.  (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

PS I stopped taking Sadiq Jalal Al-Azm seriously in 1994, when, after an argument over Israel, he blurted to me: they won, ya As`ad. The Jews won. We lost. Khalas.

US concerns for a humanitarian Islam

We remember how hard the US government came on Saudi Arabia and other Muslim governments whenever any of their clerics spoke against Jews or ruled against occupation or called for Jihad in Palestine or Iraq or wherever else the US was liberating.  The US claimed that it would be bad for world peace for those voices to be made.  The Saudi government of course responded and muzzled many of those voices. But Saudi clerics have been loud and clear against `Alawites and against Shi`ites and calling for Jihad and killings and assassinations in Syria. I noticed that the US government did not express any disagreements and I also noticed that there were no congressional hearings on the matter.  I know that hostility and hatred of Jews is considered worse than hostility and hatred of other religions in this country, but should not hatred be treated as hatred regardless of the object of hatred?  I am asking rhetorically of course because I know the answers to those questions.  So we now can tell this: "Jihadi Islam" is not really bothersome to the US and Israel: it is only bothersome if directed against US and Israel, but have been embraced when directed against communists or Qadhdhafi during NATO intervention and now in Syria.  So the US, it can be said, favors some Jihadi fanatics over other Jihadi fanatics.  OK. OK.

Wahhabi fatwawawa

Saudi cleric, `A'id Al-Qarani issues a fatwawa for the killing of Bashshar.  Yet, his statement is also sprinkled with anti-Semitism--characteristic of Wahhabi religious rhetoric.  


So Hillary Clinton has called on Syrian "security forces" to overthrow the regime.  So those who are killing the Syrian people should be in charge of democratic change, according to Hillary? 

Al-Arabiyyah News Channel

From the New York Times:  "according to Al Arabiya television, a private Saudi-owned news channel."  Private Saudi-owned news channel? Private? It is owned by King Fahd's brother-in-law, and run by King Fahd's son, `Abdul-`Aziz (who is the nephew of the King).  How private is that, damn it?

Ikhwan deals

"To judge from a recent scene in Cairo, that may take some time. The Ikhwan is far from smugly comfortable following their sweep of Egypt’s elections, even after decades of sporadic but often vicious persecution. During a huge demonstration in Tahrir Square commemorating the revolution’s first anniversary last month, hecklers continually surrounded a marquee featuring Brotherhood speakers. “Beea beea ya Badeea,” they chanted, taunting Mr Badeea to “sell, sell out,” the revolution.  Despite the legitimacy conferred by success at the ballot box, Egypt’s Brothers are on the defensive. Secular critics suspect them of cutting a deal with the army generals who emerged from the shadows following the fall of the old regime. In exchange for a free hand in the legislature, it is rumoured, the Brothers have quietly agreed to extend the long lease of Egypt’s military-backed “deep state”."

An earlier sexual revolution

"This rupture was far more dramatic than anything that happened in 1963 when, according to the poet Philip Larkin, “sexual intercourse began”. Less than 100 years after the execution for adultery of Mary Latham, a young woman in Puritan New England, many people were thinking about sex in ways that would make some contemporary readers blush. The wealthy and powerful proudly and openly displayed their mistresses. A public agog for salacious gossip followed the lives of courtesans and high-society prostitutes (such as the oft-painted Kitty Fisher), and pornography was widely available."

Americans don't need licenses, damn it

"The 16 Americans and 27 others face criminal charges of working for unlicensed nonprofit groups and accepting foreign money to operate them."  I am sure that the US government would be very lenient and relaxed about Arabs and Arab groups operating illegally in the US.  I mean, the US is known for its permissive attitude to things Arab in the country.  Damn it.

I can't believe that the Egyptian judiciary is no more taking orders from the US: the audacity

"American officials say they have tried to find Egyptian counterparts who might intercede, but Egyptian leaders say they cannot intervene in the judicial process."

Dore Gold converts to Sunni Islam--and speaks on its behalf

"Many Sunni Arab countries are in fact more worried by the threat coming from the Persian Shias of Iran than by Israel, reckons Dore Gold, a former official who posits an opportunity for pacts of mutual interest. “What pulled Europe together was not coal and steel but fear of the Soviet Union,” he says."

This bragging is accepted in the West

"“We are the strongest power within a 1,500-km radius,” says Efraim Halevy, a former head of Mossad, a spy agency."  And yet, the liars of Mossad insist that Egypt (in the 1960s) or Iran or Iraq (under Saddam) is the strongest military in the world in order to justify wars on those countries.  

Meet the GCC-sponsored Syrian opposition

"But even with much coaxing from Western powers, products of the uprising such as the Syrian National Council (SNC) and a rival group, the National Co-ordination Body (NCB), have gained little diplomatic traction. Neither do they have much influence in Syria, where local committees organise resistance. The two main opposition groupings have bickered over strategy, as the NCB at first counselled dialogue with the state and the SNC backed foreign intervention. In fact, neither course has proved fruitful. Some Syrians suspect the Muslim Brotherhood of being too powerful within the SNC, whereas others say it is a tool of America. Even the head of the Free Syrian Army has complained that the exiled opposition groups are dominated by plotters and traitors."

The new puppet president of Yemen

"Opposition to the deal is also strong in other regions. Southern Yemen, a separate country before unification with the more populous north in 1991, has been increasingly racked by separatist unrest. Despite being a southerner himself, Mr Hadi is disliked for his commanding role in a 1994 war that saw the north violently crush a bid for renewed southern independence. Not surprisingly, voter turnout across the south was poor—albeit this was partly due to armed assaults on polling stations, such as one in the port city of Aden that killed several soldiers and sent foreign election-observers scampering for cover. The election was also widely ignored in the far north, where a rebel group known as the Houthis has taken advantage of the year’s unrest to strengthen its grip."

Amman Royal Film Commission

A source in Amman sent me this:  "...the map on the globe they had in the office, so I took a picture with my phone: The images show occupied Palestine (captioned 22 on the map) labeled as "Israel." If that wasn't bad enough number 21 - also "Israel" - does not key to anything. I assume because the area which is Jordan is not numbered that it would have to be "21." I don't know what else to make out of it, but it is very strange that Israel is captioned twice. If you re-post the images, please don't mention my name or...."

PS To the person who sent me this, please resend as the image disappeared. and I deleted your message. Send it to me NOW.

Donate now, damn it

Support Electronic Intifada.  When Israel goes down, EI will provide live minute-by-minutes updates.

Why Israel is going down--one of the many reasons

"Many who used to call themselves Israeli Arabs now prefer the term “Palestinians with Israeli citizenship”. A growing number of Israeli-Arab lecturers and students are enrolling at West Bank universities. Many also go there to shop or dine, after the army lifted a ban on Israeli Arabs—but not Jews—entering West Bank cities. A recent meeting of Arab parliamentarians from Israel’s Knesset and Palestine’s Legislative Council discussed how, one day, to turn their common identity into a political unit."

Syrian opposition media

Between the Syrian regime media and the Syrian opposition media one is bombarded with lies and fabrications.  I treat both as utterly unreliable.  Of course, Western media and Arab (read Saudi and Qatari) media treat Syrian opposition media as always reliable.   Syrian opposition media are insisting that Syrians are being forced to vote today.  If the lousy Syrian regime can still force people, they would be forced to not protest and to not shoot. This claim of "forcing" is no longer valid when the wall of fear has been broken by the Syrian people themselves (maybe the exiled Qatari funded opposition is unaware of that).  There are Syrians who send me messages against the regime in Syria and use their full names now when in the past they used to hide behind code names.  But the Syrian opposition media is so dogmatic: any fact or any reality that does not fit into the narrative, has to be discarded.  And their premise is that there is no single Syrian who supports Bashshar.  I argued with opponents of the regime who really believe that.  They really believe that people who demonstrate in support of Bashshar are forced to by the regime when there are Syrians living in the US who also support Bashshar.  Of the Syrian opposition sources, Al-Haqiqah remains more reliable (albeit controversial): it attacks both the regime and the Syrian National Council opposition.  I met its founder and he has contacts in various key areas of Syrian politics and society.  

Parvin Ahmadinejad

This is sister of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  There is some resemblance, no?

Women and education in the US

"A larger proportion of women than men had completed high school or more education.  3 A larger proportion of men had received at least a bachelor’s degree. However, because women 25 years old and over outnumber men aged 25 and over, the number of women with bachelor’s degrees is larger than the number of men with these degrees. Among people aged 25 to 34, the percentage of women with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 35 percent compared with 27 percent of men."

If you disagree with Le Monde's coverage of Syria, you are an agent of Bashshar

This once serious newspaper now relies on Walid Jumblat for analysis of Syria.  "Après les attaques lancées par les robots spammeurs de "l'armée électronique syrienne" au printemps puis à l'été dernier, nos réseaux sociaux sont désormais la cible d'autres commentaires de lecteurs. Les nuances sont plus difficiles à cerner que lorsqu'il s'agissait de textes automatiquement postés une vingtaine de fois, à la gloire de Bachar Al-Assad."  So it is not possible to disagree with them without being a stooge of Bashshar? (thanks John)

Aljazeera and Morocco

Yassine sent met this:  "So al-Jazeera decided not to air the documentary on Morocco and the 20th of February Movement (nuqta sakhina), which they had been promoting for more than a week. Why not? Again? (In November the same thing happened (back then the al-Jazeera crew was forbidden to go to Tanger and the al-Hoceima area: two centers of the Moroccan uprising).  The Moroccan king recently 'gave' the Qatari emir some 4 5.000 hectares (=450 km²) in the Guelmim area so that the Qatari emir could go hunt there. And also, these two weeks al-Jazeera has been negotiating a possible return to Morocco with the new minister of information. So I guess the negotiations are concluded. Perhaps the documentary was just a card in the negotiation-process. This is Gulf-media""

Anthony Shadid

This article carries translations from my yesterday's long article about him in Al-Akhbar Arabic. (thanks M.)

Syrian regime media fabrications

I am sick and tired having to expose every other day news fabrications by Syrian regime media. Here is another one: the interview with `Adil Imam (the Egyptian so-called comedian) in which he said that he was jailed in Egypt because he supported Bashshar is fake.  It does not sound like him at all.  Another media fabrication by the Asad regime.  

That silly survey that claimed that Syrians support Bashshar

"Looking closely at the survey report, it does not say explicitly how many of the 1,000 people who responded were from Syria. But it does say that 211 were polled in the Levant region, 46%of whom were in Syria.  Doing the sums, this suggests that only 97 people took part. When the BBC checked with YouGov Siraj for the exact breakdown, the company said that in fact there were 98 respondents from Syria (the difference arising from the fact that averages given in the survey report were rounded)." (thanks Aghyan)

Look how nice US intervention is

"After Saturday's shooting deaths of the two Americans at the Interior Ministry, Allen recalled all Western military personnel working in ministries "for obvious force-protection reasons," a serious blow after years of American efforts to make the ministries more efficient and less corrupt. "

shoddy journalism of Aljazeera

Aljazeera "reports" on an op-ed piece by the right-wing advocate of ethnic cleansing, Israeli historian Benny Morris, about the Iranian threat and basically claims that his views were the views of the Los Angeles Times.  

Why Muslim Brotherhood supports Gulf tyrannies

""“It is against our interest to ‘export the revolution’ to the Gulf in the meaning of exporting chaos,” he said. He then added that the Brotherhood “encourages stable and continuous development in the region”. Qazzaz told me that the Muslim Brotherhood was “concerned with stability of the Gulf states” since it is in Egypt’s own interest."" (thanks Ali)

Egypt and Saudi Arabia

"And secondly, I believe that if Egypt and Saudi Arabia change, then everywhere else will change..."

Ma'mun Al-Humsi

Ma'mun Al-Humsi is one of the most repulsive characters in an already most umimpressive groups of exile Syrian opposition.  He is mocked constantly for one saying in a press conference in Lebanon: that he does not take money from the Hariri family and that the Hariri family does not deal with people through money.  People are still having a laugh about that to this very day.  And most recently, he issued a threat to `Alawites: that they would all be exterminated.  So you really can count him as a liberal and secular member of the Syrian opposition in exile.  Here is more:  "Mamoun Al-Homsi is pictured above at the Prague Security Conference (NeoCon) with the Israeli-Italian right wing politician and hardline Zionist, Fiamma Nirenstein. Nirenstein who is a neocon Zionist has spent much of her life in an illegal East Jerusalem Settlement called Gilo where she still maintains a home.   Nirenstein is known for translating books of Nathan Sharansky, Bernard Lewis and Ruthie Bloom; she led efforts on behalf of the Israeli government to thwart the Palestinian bid for full UN membership and Statehood." (thanks A.)

The ideology of the Free Syrian Army

Watch this video and listen to the chants of those folks.  Anyone wants to argue with me that they are seculars? Or that they are not fanatical Islamists?  (thanks Amer)

On the footsteps of the Asad regime

"Syria’s revolution strives to liberate the Syrian people from the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, not to establish a government that will attack Israel, according to Riad Muasses, the France-based Syrian National Council (SNC) press spokesman." (thanks Ahmet)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Aljazeera leaks

Here is a report in Al-Akhbar about Aljazeera leaks. (thanks Khaled)

Santorum communists

It seems that Sen. Santorum comes from an Italian communist family. (thanks James)

When US and GCC manage a transition to democracy

It was a glorious day in Yemen.  Incredible, really.  The US and GCC gently managed the transition to something--not sure what it is but certainly not democracy.  The features of the election are this: 1) there was one candidate only--even Iran allows more than one.  2) The winner received 99% of the votes.  Does this not signal a new beginning in Yemen? I mean, he could have received 100% of the votes but he did not because Yemen is a GCC-managed democracy now.  And silly Tawakul Karman hails the election and hails the fact that the new president comes from the South. Yes, Ms. Nobel Prize. He was the butcher who enforced the violent annexation of the South.  (thanks Farah)


"Some American personnel work within Afghan ministries as mentors and advisers, particularly on military operations and intelligence."

Saudi Arabia and repression

"Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, pointedly expressed frustration that the world was not doing enough, though his government represses dissent at home. "

Killing `Alawites

The Ikhwan are back to their old trick: of targeting `Alawites: which they did with a vengeance back in the 1970s and 1980s.  Look at this:  "Another exile activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported that in the northern city of Aleppo, unknown gunmen shot and killed Mohammad Ramadan, a businessman who supported the government. "  When you read that someone was killed for "supporting the government", it usually means he was `Alawites.  We know the propaganda tricks of the Ikhwan.

PS I am told that he is Sunni, and that is brother of Ahmad who is in the leadership of Syrian National Council. I am told that the Free Syrian Army killed him to punish the council and the regime.

small scale war crimes

"The 72-page report said that the insurgent Free Syrian Army, made up of defectors from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, had also committed abuses, but that those were “not comparable in scale and organization to those carried out by the state.”"

Burhan Ghalyun

Burhan Ghalyun has lived in the West longer than I have. Yet, yesterday, he had no qualms about speaking on behalf of the whole Syrian people.  No wonder he threw a fit and threatened to resign when the Syrian National Council refused to extend his term as supreme leader.

Anti-Jewish rant

This section of Hasan Nasrallah's speech yesterday was so distasteful: he talks about "Jewish conduct" and condemns how "they" treated their own prophets.  It does not make it better if he said "between quotation marks." (thanks Sameer)

Saudi-, Qatari-led Syrian opposition

"Isaac Herzog, a member of Parliament with the Labor Party, said he had been in touch with Syrian opposition leaders in France and the United States"...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Imad Mustafa is in another world: the new Syrian ambassador in China

This former Syrian ambassador in DC is now ambassador in China and he is blogging about...Chinese calligraphy.  (thanks Yaman)

Anthony Shadid, remembered

My weekly article in Al-Akhabr:  "Anthony Shadid and Western media coverage of the Middle East".

Syrian regime media is covering repression now

Syrian regime media are now covering Israeli repression in Jerusalem.

What is significant financial support?

"Although the Qatari government picked up the bill for the Doha meeting and for frequent travel, council members said that no significant financial support from Arab or Western governments had materialized despite repeated promises..."

Wahhabi misogyny

On the front page of this Qatari daily, a "report" that women driving increases car accidents. (thanks Eyas)

Kofi Annan

So Kofi Annan who minded the UN peacekeeping store during the Rwanda massacres will now mind the massacres in Syria?

growing rebellion in Saudi Arabia

"Imagine their shock, then, when Khaled al-Johani, a teacher and father of five, walked straight up to the BBC crew, and said: "The royal family don't own us! We have a right to speak." As government minders closed in on the group, he grew more emphatic: "If you speak, they will put you in jail after five minutes!" When the BBC reporter asked him what would happen to him, he replied, "I will go in the jail with a big smile - because I am already in a jail!"(Al-Johani was arrested that day, and has been in prison since March. He stood trial in a closed court on February 22; the verdict has not been made public.)""

Joint Arab armies

Do people know that the token force of Arab armies that was dispatched to Palestine in May 1948, began its mission of the defense of Palestine by shooting at one another? We don't have an exact figure of many Arab soldiers were killed by fellow Arab soldiers.     

`Ali `Aqlah `Ursan

Look at this long article. `Ursan is a long-time propagandist for the Asad regime and no one outside of Syria knows who he is. But look how extensive this article is and notice that it was all based on MEMRI's dispatches.  I mean, of course, there are fools as propagandists in Syria an in Saudi Arabia, but now is the season.  Also, there are many Israeli racists and fools who won awards in Western capitals but would the New York Times express outrage at those cases?  

Notice that they are not releasing the number of Qur`ans that were burnt

"The potential scope of the fallout from the burning of several copies of the Koran by American military personnel..." Several? How many are several?

Hamid Karzai

"“The president said that ‘according to our investigation we have found that American soldiers mistakenly insulted the Koran and we will accept their apology,’".  How does one mistakenly burn unsaid numbers of Qur'ans in garbage dump?  Wait. I can see that happening.  Let us say one is walking somewhere and then one mistakenly picks up hundreds of copies of the Qur`an, and then mistakenly gently placing them in a garbage dump, and then mistakenly setting them on fire.  I can see that, yeah.

Innocent people are never shot at by NATO troops or their puppets

Imagine if US media talk about "protesters died in Syria during clashes".  Look at this language:  "Four Afghans were killed in confrontations..."

Non-violence in Syria

For how the long the notion of non-violent struggle in Syria will continue?  "The international community can draw on the power of nonviolence..."

Arab armies in Syria

I am in fact in favor of sending Arab armies into Syria.  Let the Arab armies fight it out.  Those armies don't fight Israel and they only fight their own people.  And this would make for good TV.

House of Saud's Shari`ah

So according to House of Saud: demonstrations in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are against Shari`ah, but they are obligatory in Syria.  Kid you not.

Who is dying in Syria?

Syrian regime media only acknowledges that its security forces and soldiers are killed in Syria, and on occasions they say that they killed members of "armed terrorist groups".  And the Ikhwan media only say that innocent people are being killed in Syria by regime troops.  One thing is for sure: members of the Saudi and Qatari royal families are not dying in Syria.

Dumb president of Lebanon

Yesterday, the president of Lebanon responded toughly to a statement by Netanyahu.  Sulayman bragged about Lebanese humiliation of the Israeli army as if the Lebanese Army did not the job, and not young volunteers in the resistance movement.  Now, Nasrallah pointed out that there was no statement by Netanyahu.  But he should have said that the statement was invented by the Syrian regime's propaganda machine.  Every day they invent an interview or a statement or a news story.

Western academics as military experts

She is not a Middle East expert, but what the hell. Everybody is these days, as long as you are fanatic supporter of Israeli aggression.  Look at this: "Establishing these zones would require nations like Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to arm the opposition soldiers with anti-tank, countersniper and portable antiaircraft weapons. Special forces from countries like Qatar, Turkey and possibly Britain and France could offer tactical and strategic advice to the Free Syrian Army forces. Sending them in is logistically and politically feasible; some may be there already."  I mean, here is what sinister about these casual calls for arming groups (some of which are Bin Ladenites by US admission): can you imagine those experts debating on the pages of New York Times ways to arm Palestinian groups during various successive Israeli wars of aggression and massacres?  Would any of them dare suggest that the Palestinians be armed with stones and pebbles?  Would they dare?  Ask any of those who are merely debating the options.  Would they dare debate options of arming the Palestinian resistance?

Flash II

Many demonstrators are protesting Arab GCC countries and the US in Tunisia.  The Hariri anchorwoman at Al-Arabiyyah (news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law), Najwa Qassim, insisted that those protesters are Syrian shabbihah (armed goons).  Here correspondent on the ground in Tunis had to correct her: he said that they are Tunisians and not Syrians.  


Clashes outside the meeting place of the "Friends of the US" conference in Tunisia.

Mouncif Marzouki is now a fan of GCC "solutions"

"Mr Marzouki said he believed the best way forward would be to push for what he called a "Yemeni solution", where Syria's President Bashar al Assad, like Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, would be given immunity from prosecution and encouraged to leave the country."  Why should any Arab dictator be given immunity?  Marzouki rightly accuses the Syrian president of perpetrating massacres but then calls for giving him immunity?  Secondly, the recipe of the GCC in Yemen basically preserves the regime and protects the dictator.  Is that what the Syrian people want? (thanks Ahmet)

Conspiracy in Syria: Bin Laden and Brzezinski

This piece on Syria makes no sense to me, whatsoever.  It basically represents the conventional wisdom in the Western press where certain things have to be claimed: that there is no conspiracy in Syria; that the uprising is led by radical socialists and feminists; that Syrian opposition is not tied to reactionary countries, etc.  Forget about responding to the article (comrade Dirar Hakim does a good job responding to her in the comment below), but at least one point: Yes, Bashshar Al-Asad talks about conspiracy in Syria.  The writer polemically but not persuasively wants reader to reject the presence of a conspiracy just because Bashshar alleges it.  I mean, what logic is that?  Of course, there is a conspiracy in Syria: it is not a conspiracy when the conspirators are gathering today in Tunisia looking for way to help their clients in the Syrian opposition.  The conspiracy is even more transparent than the conspiracy that preceded the American invasion of Iraq--although I discount the possibility of an American military intervention in Syria.  Bashshar, of course, is disingenuous: because he conveniently relies on a counter-conspiracy led by Russia and includes Iran and a few other countries.  But the US/Israeli conspiracy in Syria is now quite open: the statements of Bassma Kodmani only reinforces that. To be sure: the nature of the conspiracy is not to be understood in the framework of the dumb and kooky Syrian regime media which lately have been relying on kooky Western websites.  Yesterday, in a report on Dunya regime TV, they presented what they said was a picture of Z. Brzezinski with Bin Laden.  Kid you not.  They find the most nutty scenarios on the internet and they bring it to viewer.  Kookiness of Syrian regime media notwithstanding, there is a conspiracy in Syria that is so massive and big that it reminds me of Suez 56.  Of course, Bashshar is no Nasser: he can't dream of being anything but a regular, over the counter petty dictator, like the rest of the Arab dictators.