Friday, August 31, 2012

Infatuation with the "Syrian revolution"

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar:  "Infatuation with the Syrian "revolution":  Between Abu Ibrahim and Guevara."

America's "spring" in the Middle East

Comrade Joseph's article on America's "Arab spring" (in Arabic this time).

Walid Phares

Fox News showed Walid Phares smiling widely in the audience during Romney's speech. 

Robert Fisk

When Robert Fisk was writing against the Syrian regime, all supporters of the Syrian opposition were singing his praises. But when he recently wrote about crimes by armed opposition groups, he became an anathema to the same people.  Of course, Fisk is unreliable, no matter what he writes.  He is the Geraldo Rivera of the foreign press.

Hamas sectarianism

Hamas is now anti-Shi`ite sectarian in Arabic and English--but is handsomely rewarded for its sectarianism by its oil and gas sponsors.

Israeli lynching of Arabs turn into positive stories about Israel in the US press

Look at this cliche title about Israel:  "Attacks on Arabs in Israel prompt soul-searching".  Imagine if a story about KKK's lynching was headlined: Blacks lynched. Klansmen engage in soul-searching.

The Amal Movement

Will Amal Movement stop exploiting the case of Musa As-Sadr.  The man is long dead and the Movement issued a statement this week calling for his "liberation".  Who are you fooling?

Meeting of the minds

PA puppet foreign minister, Riyad Al-Maliki, embraces Syrian foreign minister, Walid Al-Mu`allim, while chief PA buffoon, Sa'ib `Urayqat, looks on, amused.   Lebanese Amal foreign minister is to the right.  (thanks Ibrahim)

Saudi Wahhabi export

"Art galleries have been firebombed and ransacked, film directors have been threatened, and a prominent Nahda member was assaulted by an extremist at a recent conference titled "Tolerance in Islam." The fervor echoes the passion of Salafis emerging in Egypt and other nations. But it appears more volatile in Tunisia, even though the population of ultraconservatives is significantly smaller."

Inventing Nasrallah quotations

"A few months after the “Sayed Anwar” stories, the front page of The Washington Times screamed: “Hezbollah calls for global attacks; Wants to export suicide bombings.” This was a new Paul Martin story, written under his own byline. But it turned out to contain at least one fabricated quotation attributed to Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah: “I encourage Palestinians to take suicide bombings worldwide. Don’t be shy about it” (4 December 2002).
The story conveniently appeared at a time when the Canadian government was considering a ban on the Lebanese armed resistance group’s political-social branch. But Neil Macdonald of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation conducted an extensive search of the TV archives in Lebanon and concluded that Nasrallah had never said it, or other quotes in the story.
“I watched the videos. I watched the speeches,” Macdonald told The Toronto Star at the time. “I have done more research than maybe the Canadian government has done, certainly more than Paul Martin has done … He came up with three quotes, one of which, to be charitable, was a gross mistranslation, and the other two were never even uttered” (“Curious silence greets discredited Hezbollah tale,” 13 December 2002).
A Lexis-Nexis database search for the “don’t be shy” quotation found it was first used by Stewart Ain in the 29 November edition of The Jewish Week (“Israel’s Might Examined After Attacks In Kenya …”). The quotation was unsourced." (thanks Asa)

Barry Obama's record

"Moreover, Obama responded to Israel’s obduracy by offering it F-35 fighter jets and other goodies. The U.S. president has since coddled Israel, extending additional military assistance and vetoing U.N. resolutions criticizing settlement activity. He also opposed the Palestinian initiative for statehood last September, delivering the most pro-Israel American speech ever at the U.N. And though it seems of no importance in Washington, the Palestinians are as far from freedom from Israeli subjugation as ever.  Meanwhile, Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, who held a big-money fund-raiser in Jerusalem last month, said last December that when it comes to Palestinian-Israeli policy, “I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say: ‘Would it help if I said this? What would you like me to do?’ ”" (thanks Lina)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jaramana, Syria: an update

From Akram, Angry Arab's correspondent in Syria:
"Jaramana is boiling. This is the least that can be said about a town that, by its calm and hospitality of its people, offered a safe haven to thousands of people that the brutal combats in their villages surrounding this town turned them into refugees.

Two days after a car bomb exploded, during the funeral of two men killed the day before by bombs implanted in their cars, that killed 27 and dozens more injured, another small explosive targeted a car yesterday evening in "The President Square", one of the busiest places in the town. Luckily, no one was killed, though the car driver and his daughter were moderately wounded and transported to a nearby hospital. Few hours later, a clash broke out between a "popular committees" (armed civilians who work under the auspice of the Syrian authorities) checkpoint and gunmen, reports said they were positioning in Beit Sahem, a nearby village the people of which are Sunnis. No one was hurt by this clash.

Jaramana is living a crucial moment. Not only are the rebels responsible in dragging this town, with all what it represents of peaceful coexistence with its majoritarian surrounding, to the fight. Giving up its main responsibility, of protecting the town, to ill-trained civilians who, and this is the most important, belong to minorities (that so far haven't participate in this dirty war), the Syrian regime seems working, deliberately, to compel them to take their part in the fighting, not only in Jaramana, but also in other parts of Syria where they live.

Dangerous game… very dangerous. Nevertheless, the two parties are determined to play to the end..."

Bashshar's tone

In watching Bashshar speak, you dont find in his tone any trace of sorrow or sadness or melancholy or mourning or distress, as if the Syrian victims were from another planet. 

World Policy Journal Index of Autocracy

Notice how political the index is and notice that pro-US dictators receive preferential (i.e. they are not given top billing) in this lousy index. 

the death toll in Syria

According to this source, more than 8000 Syrian regime soldiers and security forces members were killed in Syria.  So the figure of the total death toll that is circulating in Western media excludes those?  And according to the same sources, Syrian regime have killed all the victims in Syria.  Does that mean the regime also killed its own members, just as it has detonated car bombs against its own targets? 

Fake left on Syria

A reader in Paris sent me this:  "You seem to be upset by "Trotskyists" who depict the FSA as progressive. I think that the worst of those "leftist" types are in Paris and actually come from the so-called "Democratic left" (a pro March 14 party) and maybe the SDPP. They are often invited on France24 (nobody watchs it) in its Arabic, French and English version. When you hear them, you ask yourself : do they think that they can fool us so easily ? I mean, they shamelessly assert that all sectarianism in Syria comes from the regime and that there are very few islamists in the armed opposition and that all those islamists were introduced in the opposition by... the regime. Ziad Majed is a good example. This guy is from the "Democratic left". In this debate, (in french) when asked about jihadis, he answers "Il y a des jihadistes, peut-être, je sais pas". Oh, you don't know ? Are you so dumb ? It was in last April. Then another "leftist" opponent goes on saying that the regime sent jihadis in Iraq during the last years... and that it uses these same jihadis now, against itself. Kid you not. It is in the segment from 9:30 to 14:50."

Barry Obama's wars in Africa

Buush from Kenya sent me this:  "Asad if u read that story, Muslims leaders say that there is American hand in the execution of suspected Muslim activists aka terrorist, Sheikh Aboud Rogo was killed broad day light under a hail of bullets, what followed the killings was mayhem in Mombasa, just Google the news on the Sheikhs name and see!"

Israeli lobby in Australia

""THE Israel lobby, Qantas and mining companies are leading the charge in lavishing federal politicians with all-expenses paid junkets and other gifts, a Herald investigation has found.
Billionaires including Gina Rinehart, big drug companies, controversial Chinese technology company Huawei and multinational defence contractors are behind many of the "free" flights and high-level entertainment handed to politicians.  Politicians are being serially wooed by foreign interests, with Israel and Israeli lobby groups giving politicians 44 fully or partly funded trips to Israel and other destinations disclosed in the past two years"" (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

This Lebanese singer is most disgusting and deserves full boycott

"Lebanese-Canadian gay rights advocates in Ottawa and Montreal have succeeded in preventing a visiting Lebanese singer from performing songs they consider homophobic and misogynistic.  The singer, Mohamed Eskandar, is scheduled to perform in Ottawa on Sunday at the El Mazaj Restaurant, a 270-seat venue on Canotek Road. He will also perform in Montreal the night before.  When the flyer for the Ottawa show was noticed by an Ottawa member of HELEM, a Lebanese-Canadian LGBTQ advocacy group, he immediately informed the group's headquarters in Montreal.  Eskandar's lyrics and videos are familiar to the group.  One of the artist's songs, Dod el Enef, is translated from the Arabic as Against Violence. HELEM says the song's title is intended ironically as a way to mock the slogan used by LGBTQ advocates in Lebanon.  An English translation of the lyrics, provided by HELEM, but independently confirmed by the Citizen, includes:
"Without jealousy and real masculinity, women are in trouble. Ever since the military service stopped, half of men became plagued by the disease of femininity.
"If my dad and yours weren't straight, we would not have existed and humans would have become extinct. 
"Don't be tender with your boy and don't treat him like a flower. When he makes a mistake, violence is a must. Let him become strong, violent and macho, otherwise he will only be a 50-per-cent man."
The group was also outraged by another Eskandar song and video that depict the evils that allegedly come from having women in the workforce." (thanks Shawn)

The real secretary-general of the UN

Arabs and Iranians are widely circulating this picture.  But for me the story is that Feltman is now the real secretary-general of the UN.  (thanks Nicholas)

This is not from the Onion

"As more areas in Syria slip from control of the Syrian military, the United States is training local opposition members how to run a local government free from the grip of the Assad regime.
The State Department says it is running "training programs" for the members of opposition local coordinating councils in "liberated" areas who are beginning to re-establish civilian authority. The programs help them on issues of civil administration, human-rights training and other services." (thanks Dirar)

a dictator who pleases Israel is merely a "strongman"

"When Egypt’s longtime leader, Hosni Mubarak, was toppled last year, Israel worried about the loss of a dependable strongman who had helped preserve a reliable if chilly peace."

Revolution, my potato

"“I have never been involved in a revolution before,” another board member, Dr. Naser Danan".  And you are not involved in a revolution now.  A real revolution does not get led by a "former" officer from NATO and it does not received the blessings of Zionists in Washington, DC.

They want Israel

"“We will advocate with whatever means we can to mobilize the United States and other world powers to support the Syrian people, and not just with mere rhetoric.”"

NATO and the Free Syrian Army

"The group became more organized last spring when it formally incorporated, started its Web site and, in May, hired a former NATO political officer, Brian Sayers, as its director of government relations in Washington after finding him through an online employment agency."

donations for Free Syrian Army

"“It’s not for us to determine what the donations are used for,” said one official".  You liar. You have put people in jail here in the US for sending money to Palestinian hospitals.  You now maintain that it is not for you to determine?

Western academics and arms for Syrian armed gangs

It is now the norm, not the exception.  All Western (liberals and conservatives) commentators and academics join in on the discussion of arms for the Syrian armed rebels.  There are American citizens who are now fighting with the Free Syrian Army and the US government has allowed the creation of a lobbying arm for the Free Syrian Army in Washington, DC led by a former NATO official.  You now can fundraise for the FSA here in the US.  It is the season conditioned by Zionists in the capital.  But when Edward Said threw a stone across the border from Palestine in South Lebanon years ago, he was universally attacked.  There were calls for his trial and punishment, even within Columbia University.  People who would never dare throw a stone on Israel, or who would never dare call for throwing stones on Israeli occupation soldiers, now want arms for the gangs of the Free Syrian Army.  Let me be clear: I always believed that armed struggle is not only a method of resistance against Israeli occupation and aggression, but that it is the chief method of resistance against the violent Israeli occupation. 

Judith Butler: why so defensive, Judith?

Judith Butler is a critic of the state of Israel.  In the American context, she is a courageous critic of Israel.  I participated many years ago in a summer seminar on Antigone that she so ably ran.  She has been vilified by critics unfairly: and mostly by people who have a hard time with her philosphical reference points.  I just read her response to the Jerusalem Post: I am rather disappointed.  1) The Israeli critics have made her most defensive.  Every sentence drips with defensiveness.  2) She has to remind her readers how much she is the product of Judaism and Jewish culture.  I mean, we are all products of our upbringing and the milieus in which we are raised by why do we have to bring it and underline it when attacked by sectarian critics.  I can't imagine myself responding to Muslim critics by reminding them about my Muslim family and about childhood experiences in Ramadan.  Why does that matter except to allow the enemies to score a polemical point.  3) she said:  "In my view, there are strong Jewish traditions, even early Zionist traditions, that value co-habitation and that offer ways to oppose violence of all kinds, including state violence."  This sentence is historically false.  There are NO--NONE--early Zionist traditions that "value cohabitation and that offer ways to oppose violence of all kinds, including state violence".  There are none.  When people--usually left Zionists--write words like that they usually are referring to the writings of either Ahad Ha'am or Martin Buber.  But neither of them, nor together, represented "a Zionist tradition".  They were lone personalities and their entire body of writing don't amount to what Butler is describing here.  Again, way too defensive.  4) She tells us here that she is only partly supportive of BDS.  OK.  Sorry for the misunderstanding as we thought that you were supportive of BDS.  I will make sure to remember that.  Imagine that someone said about boycott of apartheid South Africa: that I am only partly supportive of boycott.  But does that mean that you are only partly opposed to Israeli injustices?  5) She then writes this:  "I do not endorse practices of violent resistance and neither do I endorse state violence, cannot, and never have."  (her emphasis).  In this sentence she clearly and unequivocally equates the violence of occupation with the violence of resistance.  6) Lastly, I want to say that whenever our enemies put us on the defensive they win. 

Hamas responds

A Hamas advocate responds to my critique of Khalid Mish`al in a Jordanian Hamas newspaper.  (Of course, the tone is sectarian but what do you expect from those folks really)?

Bashshar and Syrian media

The demeanor of Bashshar Al-Asad in Syrian media is widely different from his demeanor with Western media.  With Western media, he makes an effort to charm (as uncharming as he is) and to appear likable.  In Syrian media, he does not care at all.  Compare his interview with Barbara Walters with the interview on Dunya TV. 

Now Hariri in the New York Times: on Hizbullah

I will say a few words about this piece in the New York Times but I will refer to the writer as "they" because in fairness to her, the propagandists in the Saudi and Hariri media don't really have independent minds and they surrender their personalities and individualities as a condition of employment.  They are mere tools in a larger apparatus of the Hariri press office, which answers to the Saudi intelligence service.  So I will be referring to "them", in reference to the Saudi masters.  But notice that in the context of the Lebanese conflict, the New York Times does not find it necessary to inform readers that Now Lebanon is a Hariri-Saudi website that toes the Saudi political line.  I mean, if the website is loyal to Hizbullah, don't you think that they would tell readers about that?  Now let us begin:  So they talk about the clashes of Tripoli as the work of the Syrian regime.  But how is that?  The clashes according to all accounts were instigated time and time again by the pro-Saudi Salafis in Bab At-Tibbanah in the city: are they implying that those pro-Saudi Salafis are agents of Hizbullah?  And let us say they are, how do the clashes serve the Syrian regimes when they only mobilize against the regime and even sectarianly against `Alawites?   And what about those burning of `Alawite business and stores in Tripoli? Did the Syrian regime instigate that to?  Furthermore, are they implying that the 5% of the city who are `Alawites decide by orders of the Syrian regime to start a fight with the 95% of the city? How insane is that?  I also notice that they refer to Hizbullah as a "beast".  Very precise language in the Times. Do you think that the Times would permit anyone to refer to Israeli terrorist forces as "beast"?   But there is some comic relief in the article:  "It seems that the Lebanese Army has finally received political cover, mainly from President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, to confront Hezbollah".  Wait. Wait. So even though the March 14 coalition in Lebanon, which has a real popular base in Lebanon (half of the Lebanese population support that coalition), failed in confronting Hizbullah, but now the two men with NO REAL POPULAR base have decided to confront Hizbullah?  How funny is that? The supporters of Michel Sulayman in Lebanon can all fit in one falafil hut.  Wait: but the writers have evidence and a solid example:  "On Sunday, 18 armed men from a family with links to Hezbollah were arrested by the Lebanese Army. Two trucks and a warehouse full of weaponry were confiscated.  This arrest is politically significant."  Let me update the story: all the armed men have been released.  Kid you not.  Now that is funny.  So their only real evidence did not materialize either.   But there is another funny part: the article began by saying that Hizbullah is instigating instability in Lebanon on behalf of Syria, but concludes with the claim that Hizbullah is avoiding an explosion in Lebanon on behalf of Iran.  You would require those Hariri propagandists to take a course in basic course of logic for their own good.  But they can't help it.  Orders of Saudi Arabia are orders that can't be refused.  And those token Shi`ites in the Saudi-Hariri media apparatus are required to show extra zeal to justify their employment.  (thanks Sultan)

PS One more thing: how come "their" English is much better than their English when they write on Now Hariri?

If you want sophisticated analysis of international rellations, you will find it here

"This does not augur well for Morsi’s presidency. In fact, he should be ashamed of himself."

It seems that Mr. Ban thinks that he has credibility

"and many diplomats said Mr. Ban would damage his credibility as the leader of the United Nations if he heeded the American and Israeli requests."

GOP Platform

"We recognize the historic nature of the events of the past two years – the Arab Spring – that have unleashed democratic movements leading to the overthrow of dictators who have been menaces to global security for decades."  Is that why those deposed dictators (Mubarak, Bin Ali, and Saleh) all received generous US military and financial assistance during the decades?   Because they were menaces to global security?  (thanks Amer)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Update from Damascus: Akram is back

Akram, the Angry Arab correspondent in Syria, sent me this report:

"After several days of fierce confrontations between the Syrian army and the rebels in Damascus' southern suburbs, the fighting has moved to the northern and eastern parts of the city. The latest clashes in Damascus started at 1:30 on Sunday morning, when 7 to 8 mortar shells hit the vicinity of Abassyieen Stadium, which hosts an air force intelligence branch and some army soldiers, in an operation adopted by a group called Ansar Al-Islam (Islam Supporters) who said the offense was retaliation to Darayia martyrs. This shelling, that caused the killing of 3 civilians who were present in Abassyieen Square, was followed by violent clashes in the area that lasted for more than one hour.

The day went relatively calm with some sporadic far bombardment explosions. But that was, suddenly, ended, at 7:30 on Monday morning, when the rebels launched what seemed to be a coordinated attack against the security check points deployed in Abassyieen and Jobar using automatic weapons and mortar shells that some of them hit the nearby Bab Touma, Zablatany and Kassa'a quarters without causing civilian casualties. The Syrian army responded by violent shelling of Jobar, Kaboun, Zamalka and Harasta and large clouds of dark smoke be seen over the areas hit by the shelling. A helicopter gunship was hovering at an unusual low altitude and targeting heavily these quarters with its machinegun before being downed over Kaboun at about 11 AM. The heavy shelling lasted until the evening. And for the first time since the Syrian uprising erupted, Damascus witnessed a fighter jet flying for half an hour over the city and its outskirts.

The movement in Abassyieen quarter was almost not-existent. Many residents preferred to stay at home and follow the developments through TV, by phone or from the balconies. The bakery of the quarter overcrowded and ambulances were rushing to transport the wounded to the nearby Abassyieen Medical Complex. Meanwhile, the traffic in the surrounding areas down to Bab Touma, Bab Sharqi has been much less than what should to be in a normal working day.

The sole official and pro-regime media coverage of this long day was one sentence of 8 words: A helicopter has fallen near Al-Ghufran Mosque in Al-Qaboun area in Damascus. For the time being, the state-run news agency Sana was busy in covering the activities of the Syrian PM and the statements of his National Reconciliation clown during his visit to Teheran, while Addounia TV, devoted half an hour of its air time to refute the rumors about the defection of the Syrian vice-president Farouk Al-Shara'a, while the recent Damascus confrontations haven't appear in its news bulletins.

Jaramana, a Damascus suburb with a majority of Druze and Christians, is witnessing a grave escalation. On Monday night, two men were assassinated with explosives implanted in their cars. During their funeral on Tuesday afternoon, a car bomb exploded killing 12 people and injured 48 others (today, the number of victims rose to 27). This terrorist attack is latest of less deadly incidents that hit the town in the past two months. Its seriousness doesn't stem from the elevated number of victims, but also from the fact that Jaramana represents a religious variety and that its Druze community hasn't took part in the struggle (please read my previous posts about Jaramana). Today the situation looks very tense, while the elders and civil bodies (Arabic) are working hard to calm the feelings of the residents and prevent a possible outbreak of sectarian strife."

The Hitler Store in India

If there is a store with this name in any Arab or Muslim countries, the story and images would be in all US front pages, and American Zionists would be calling for the bombing of the store, and UNSC would have authorized the use of force against the store. Imagine. (thanks Sabrina)

pro-Syrian politician in Lebanon

What Michel Samahah--the pro-Syrian politician in Lebanese police custody--said in the leaked recording (published in Al-Jumhuriyyah yesterday) is grotesque and repugnant.  It gives you an idea of the quality of pro-Syrian (or pro-Saudi for that matter) politicians in Lebanon. 

Leftist strain

I hate when leftists strain to make a movement--like Free Syrian Army and its cohorts--which is reactionary sound like leftists.  Some Trotskyists often do that, but more on that later.

Nazi salute in Lebanon

""Pierre Gemayel, a sportsman, went to the Berlin Olympics in 1936; he was taken aback by the Nazi "discipline" in Germany. Fascism, whether Italian or Spanish astonished him. Pierre went back to Lebanon where he founded the Phalanges Party (the name was obviously taken from General Franco's Spain). The Christian Phalange party has to this day kept its Fascist ideals as seen in its latest conference below where the Nazi salute remains in place.""

Kardashian news

"Ibn Rushd" sent me this:  "I have big news for you : your students are much smarter than you think.
An astonishingly brilliant Moroccan expert argued recently in Russia Today that the US controls the world through sex and through Kim Kardashian :
"CM: Sex is a big success tool in regards to America's success so far in terms of dominating the world. For the last five decades, the American government has successfully created a world where sex is in control of virtually everything you can talk about. Using the media, they have successfully developed, grown and forced the act of sex worship in virtually every country across the world.
By creating sex symbols, who are sponsored and obedient to the American government, the world population has been controlled for decades and is still been controlled. Kim Khadashian is an example of a sex symbol, she became a big success so-called star after her sex tape was supposedly leaked to the world. It was all pre-planned, there were no leaks. She was been moulded into a sex symbol to serve the imperialistic aims of the US. I use the term 'so-called' because I never knew about her until a couple months back."
Has anyone ever said that the US controls the world through Joe Biden ?"

this is how Aljazeera works

"" The Emir told me: 'If you agree to this initiative, I will change the attitude of Al Jazeera and I will tell [Sheikh] Qaradawi [a popular prelate with a regular slot on the television chain] to support Syria and reconciliation, and I have put down some billions of dollars to rebuild Syria…' .""

Crocodile tears

You know it is not about Syria when Fouad Ajami feign sympathy for the Syrian people.  So basically Ajami--unlike his reputation--can still show sympathy for some Arab people when he receives orders from his Zionist masters.  It is cute how he misses the compassion of George W. Bush.  (thanks Sultan)

standard Israeli injustice

"Civil rights groups say Palestinians and their supporters often face legal hurdles in cases brought against Israeli soldiers. According to a report last year by the Israeli civil-rights group Yesh Din, only 3.5% of complaints alleging crimes committed against Palestinians by Israeli security forces end with an indictment."

somebody needs to explain this to me

Why do "fighters" of Hizbullah and "members" of Iranian Revolutionary Guards only confide in the most anti-Iranian and pro-Israeli Western journalists?  What is the reason, really?  Look at this:  "Iran is sending commanders from its elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and hundreds of foot soldiers to Syria, according to current and former members of the corps."  And notice that former and current members came to this guy and told him over drinks that yes they are sending fighters.  (thanks Dina)

different story?

"" The men and women to whom we could talk, two of whom had lost loved ones on Daraya's day of infamy four days ago, told a story different from the version that has been repeated around the world:..."" (thanks Nu`man)

Qataro royal money

"It was produced as a custom order by one of the world’s wealthiest photography-enthusiasts, Qatari prince Saud bin Muhammed Al Thani, who paid a whopping $2,064,500 for the hefty piece of glass." (thanks Laleh)

American spring?

Comrade Joseph writes: "Hence, unlike the rest of the Arab world where the US and its West European allies quickly moved from sponsoring the dictators to sponsoring the counter-revolutions to restore them or a similar regime in their stead (Yemen) and then later moved to establish a new alliance with the victorious Islamists (in Egypt and Tunisia), they opted to support the uprisings in Libya and Syria and take them over rapidly to ensure an outcome that serves their interests (France, Italy and the United Kingdom secure the oil while the US hopes to move its AFRICOM military command headquarters from Stuttgart to Libya once the dust settles).
While in Libya, the takeover was quick and successfully executed, in Syria, it ran into trouble on account of the differing nature of the regime and the opposition and the class coalitions that support them.
What the US and the new regimes in Tunisia and Egypt are debating at the moment is how much representativity and accountability the new system should have and whether granting certain measures of representativity and accountability could lead to future unpredictable demands for economic rights by the majority of the people in both countries, which could further threaten the interests of the US and its local regime and class allies.
The recent visit by the head of the International Monetary Fund to Cairo to discuss Egypt's request for $4.8bn could result, as in the South African precedent, in introducing further contractual and legal bans on improving the lives of the poor in the country. The next few months will clarify the final arrangement of governance in both countries, especially in light of the increasing and mobilised popular opposition to any anti-democratic measures in both of them.
The uprisings have raised great economic expectations on the part of the majority of Tunisians and Egyptians (not to mention other Arabs across the region) who languish in utter poverty thanks to neoliberal economics, and who are no longer shy in pressing their economic agenda to centrestage.
The battle of the seasons is on; while the Americans are pressing on for an American Spring in the Arab world that will only be experienced as another American-sponsored Summer drought for the majority of the people of the region, the Arab peoples are working to transform the recent uprisings into nothing short of a cold American Winter."

The Bernard Lewis Gala: only racists are welcome

"Dinner chairs for this highly anticipated event are Nobel Peace Prize recipient Henry Kissinger; TAU Board of Governors Chairman Harvey M. Krueger; former Israeli Ambassador and former TAU President Itamar Rabinovich; and U.S. News & World Report editor-in-chief Mort Zuckerman. MacArthur Fellowship winner and notable author Prof. Fouad Ajami will pay a special tribute to the legacy of Prof. Lewis during the event." (thanks Nader)

US Institute for Peace was looking for a token Alawite: they found one

"“If you do anything for yourself, you feel guilty. . . . You have so many more things to do,” said Nakhla, 29, a political asylee who is working as a program specialist at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Until last year, he had been a political science student living in an Alawite section of Damascus.
For many asylees who come to the United States, their political engagement dries up as they lose their connections with home and struggle to earn a living. But Washington, with its think tanks and politically engaged expat communities, offers more opportunities for involvement for people like Nakhla, who is still deeply entrenched in the war in Syria." (thanks Electronic Ali)

Disney BDS

""Abigail Disney – filmmaker, philanthropist and great-niece of the legendary animator Walt Disney – has publicly renounced her share of the family profits from an Israeli firm she claims is exploiting "occupied natural resources. [....] A statement issued by Ms Disney says this is in "direct contravention" of both the 1907 Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention by exploiting natural resources in occupied territory. Settlements are also considered illegal under international law by most of the international community, including Britain. "" (thanks Redouane)

Zionist hoodlums: at it again

"A California resolution against anti-Semitism on colleges and universities also encourages educators to crack down on demonstrations against Israel, angering advocates for Muslim students."  Look at the last part: as if only "advocates for Muslim students" object to a resolution that stifles freedom of speech on college campuses.  Now, I happen to be "an educator" at a US university in California.  Imagine if I am asked to "crack down" on demonstrations against Israel.  Just imagine.  

Dumb propaganda of the New York Times

"Mustafa’s handiwork, which also includes the manufacture of homemade mortar rounds (“We can make, every day, 25 shells,” he said), is part of a grass-roots effort to create the fighters’ diverse and idiosyncratic arsenal. That is an essential component of the rebels’ survival and their recent successes against the professionally trained military with which they are locked in a struggle for Syria’s future." So let me get this straight, the US, France, UK, France, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, and UAE among other "friends" of Syria--I mean, Israel--are all helping the Syrian rebels but that they still need to manufacture homemade mortar rounds?  Who are you kidding with this? How dumb are you or your foreign editor to think that this can fly? Were the surface-to-air missiles also made in people's kitchens?  I mean, a ship of the most advanced weapons was captured on its way to Syria in Lebanon, and this was months ago.  

Bassma Kodmani to join Likud

Bassam Kodmani has resigned from the Syrian National Council.  She announced that she will join Likud because the latter is a better defender of the "Syrian revolution". 

For the umpteenth time, Hizbullah is NOT a progressive party

It is important for progressives in the West and in the Arab world to know that leftists can only identify with Hizbullah's resistance to Israeli aggression and occupation but not with anything else about the party.  It is not a progressive or leftist party.  It has never incorporated social justice in its plank.  It abandons workers' and farmers' struggles at every corner, as they have been abandoning the workers at Spinneys in Beirut.  Not new.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A correction to the correction of the New York Times

I received a copy from the New York Times of the BBC report on Nasrallah speech from 2005, which was cited in the correction today.   The report said:  "“would dry up the sources of finance, end moral, political and material support, stifle voices, whether they are the voices of the resistance or the voices which support the resistance, pressure states which protect the resistance in one way and another, and pressure the Lebanese state, Iran and Iraq, but especially the Lebanese state, in order to classify it as a state which supports terrorism.”  But I looked up the actual speech.  Here is what he actually said:  "Due to the shelving of the military option by the Israelis, they resorted to two option.  The first was to target the leaders of the resistance, and the second was to put a siege on the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, politically and diplomatically, through a comprehensive plan...the Zionist effort seeks to convince countries of the world and the international community that the resistance in Lebanon, which Hizbullah constitutes its most prominent headline, is a terrorist organization...If the Zionists succeed in this, it will mean an international and global war on the resistance under the headline of "war on international terrorism" through a political and financial and media war and to pressure the states that protect the resistance especially in Lebanon, Syria and Iran.  The Zionists who failed in their military and security confrontation in Lebanon are trying through political action and international relations to end the role of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine.  They want from the Lebanese and Palestinians to end the role of the resistance..."  As you can see, it is an entirely different meaning and words altogether.

PS Hamzah found an audio of the speech and he wrote me this:  "Ok I found it's at at minute 15..Funnily, what the US newspapers guys claims from sayyed [Hasan Nasrallah] is what he presents as Israel's thoughts not what he thinks."

PPS And in this full text of the speech he makes it clear that he was not speaking about what could happen but about he Zionist plans which he ridiculed and denied any presence of an international arm of the party--meaning, the entire speech refutes the very premise of the first article in the Times.   He was talking about what the Zionists want to do and said that they think that they can "dry up the sources of funding, and to end the political, moral, and material sources of support, muzzling voices whether they are voices of resistance or voices supportive of resistance, and to pressure the states..."

Residents and activists in Syria

A new line of reporting in the Times:  "Residents and activists said that the helicopter had been used in a government assault on rebel fighters in Jobar and other eastern suburbs of Damascus..."  Residents and activists?  Are residents non-activists and are activists non-residents?  And how are residents OR activists able to verify where the helicopter was used or not used?  I mean, how ridiculous is the press getting. 

administrative punishments suffice

"The U.S. military said on Monday it was disciplining U.S. troops over two incidents that provoked outrage in Afghanistan early this year, one involving a video depicting Marines urinating on corpses and another over burned copies of the Koran.  The administrative punishments -- which could include things like reduce rank or forfeiture of pay -- fell short of criminal prosecution, and it was unclear whether they would satisfy Afghan demands for justice."

Moroccan pledge of allegiance: a big story in Morocco but bec the king is a client of the US it is not covered here

"Morocco’s minister of religious endowments and Islamic affairs has said that the pledge of allegiance to the king is similar to the pledge of allegiance that Muslims made to Prophet Muhammad under the shadow of a tree in al-Hudaybiyah. The minister forgot, or overlooked, the fact that the Prophet Muhammad did not put his personal business interests above those of the people, as the king does, amassing a fortune while the people get poorer. Also, the people never touched the Prophet’s hems like those pledging allegiance to the king, and the Prophet never acted in an unfair or unjust way. Therefore, this analogy is unfair, underestimates the minds of the people and is a blatant attempt to use religious authority to justify political legitimacy. ""

Israeli soul searching

"Ibn Rushd" sent me this:  "Exactly as you wrote a few days ago, even when Palestinian kids get lynched, the New York Times writes about the soul searching of Israeli school students who "confront hate".

The Day After in Syria

This paper will be presented today in Berlin.  It is prepared by the US and sold as an "independent" Syrian NGO effort.  (thanks Joerg)

21 executed in one day by Iraqi sectarian and puppet government of Maliki

"Iraq has executed 21 people convicted of terror-related charges, including three women, on the same day, a justice ministry spokesman said on Tuesday."

Every few years, US newspaper carry those propaganda stories

Every few years, Israeli propaganda apparatus supplies US media with such still stories.

attack on Palestinian shepherd

"Two masked men attacked and wounded Ismail Adara, a 67-year-old Palestinian shepherd on Monday, in the cave village of Bir al Eid in the South Hebron hills, as he was grazing his flock near the village. He was rushed to hospital in Hebron with wounds in the neck and fingers, and with possible head fractures."

Nagla Wafa and Saudi injustice

"Human-rights activists are demanding the release of Nagla Wafa, an Egyptian wedding planner and designer sentenced to 500 lashes and five years in prison in Saudi Arabia following a business dispute with a princess.   Wafa ran afoul of a royal in the Saudi kingdom over the finances of a joint business venture, according to her family. She was reportedly accused of cashing a check from the princess but not following through on their deal to start a restaurant.  “As of May of 2012, Ms. Wafa has been subjected, on a weekly basis, to 50 floggings per week within the ‘Al-Malz’ Prison. She currently faces 200 more floggings ... despite her suffering from distortions to her spine,” the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said in an online statement.  Accusing Saudi Arabian authorities of unlawfully detaining the 39-year-old mother of teenage twins, the organization said the case was a “blatant violation” of human rights and filed a complaint with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs."

US plans to secure chemical weapons in Syria

I received a document detailing US plans to secure chemical weapons in Syria.  The plan goes as follows: Americans show up and yell:  Get out of the way.  US wants to secure chemical weapons in Syria.  Simple but secure plan. 

Difference between Al-Nusrah Front and FSA: the latter wants beheadings to be kept private

"Justice was swift and brutal when fighters of the Al Nusra Front militia caught a man accused of raping and killing a young girl in front of her father. They beheaded the man and left his body in the street.  The presence of women and children didn't deter them. Neither did the appeals of other rebels at the checkpoint in the embattled neighborhood of Salahuddin.  Members of the Free Syrian Army, the main rebel force, said that the man was a member of a pro-government militia and that they had no doubt he was guilty. They also had no objection to killing him, but they did object to a public beheading."

US Intervention in the "Arab spring"

My short piece on "US intervention in the "Arab spring"" for e-International Relations.

My remarks to protesters in Saudi Arabia

I delivered a short audio speech to protesters in Awwamiyyah in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago.  Here is the gist of my words.  (Note: I am not a politician, the description in the headline notwithstanding.)

The New York Times' correction of the Hasan Nasrallah quotation: it still NEEDS A CORRECTION

Finally, the New York Times printed a correction.  The day the story appeared, I told my readers that this quotation is fabricated by Zionists (and repeated by Zionists), and that it was never uttered by Nasrallah.  I communicated with someone in the Times and I was told that they did extensive research and could not find any source for the quotation.  Today, the Times printed this:  "An article on Aug. 16 about Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese Shiite political organization that is considered a terrorist group by the United States and Israel, quoted incorrectly from a statement by Hassan Nasrallah, the group’s secretary general, about the adverse effect that a similar blacklisting by European countries would have on Hezbollah. Mr. Nasrallah said, according to a BBC Monitoring Service transcript, that it “would dry up the sources of finance, end moral, political and material support, stifle voices, whether they are the voices of the resistance or the voices which support the resistance, pressure states which protect the resistance in one way and another, and pressure the Lebanese state, Iran and Iraq, but especially the Lebanese state, in order to classify it as a state which supports terrorism.” Mr. Nasrallah did not say a European blacklisting “would destroy Hezbollah. The sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral political and material support will be destroyed.” (That incorrect quotation, which has been widely attributed to Mr. Nasrallah and has been repeatedly cited in congressional testimony and elsewhere, is based on a paraphrase of the actual quote."  Let me add now this: the quotation that is included in the BBC report cited, is entirely distorted from the original speech and he never meant what is being said in this phrasing cited.  I will find the original passage to show it to you. 

PS I asked a source of the New York Times about the BBC report on the speech.  I was provided a copy of the BBC Monitoring Service report of the speech.  It does not--as I suspected--match the Arabic text from the speech from 19 February, 2005.  

Hassan Daoud

"He is the editor of the ‘Nawafidh’ cultural supplement of the Beirut daily al-Mustaqbal."  Oh, really?  Just that?  editor of Nawafidh in Al-Mustaqbal.  Let us amend: He is the editor of the cultural supplement of the Hariri daily, Al-Mustaqbal.  The supplement steers away from culture and is filled with right-wing, sectarian pro-Saudi propaganda.  It also carries pro-US propaganda from Bush years and beyond.  It is the place where writers compete to show their sorrow and grief over the death of Rafiq Hariri.  If only I have the time to react to everything I read. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

American Government class

More students could name the three Kardashian sisters than name the Vice-president of the US in my American Government class (125 students).


"Responding to the announcement that Brahimi was a contender for the envoy position, Asad AbuKhalil, a leftist commentator on the Arab world, argued that Brahimi was the choice of the US and its allies.  The Algerian had played a minimal role in the Taif Accords, the Lebanese-American political scientist wrote in an editorial for the Lebanese website Al-Akhbar English published last Wednesday.   "He was dispatched to Afghanistan to help in smoothing the American occupation before he was used in Iraq in the same capacity - to smooth over the American occupation there," AbuKhalil wrote."

Abbas asserts: I am a 100% collaborator

"Abbas: “Lieberman and the government of which he is a member know very well that there is 100 percent security cooperation between us and the Israeli security forces,”". (thanks Electronic Ali)

Sabih Al-Masri and the Arab Bank

My friend, the Arab businessman, sent me comments about the press conference by Sabih Al-Masri about the Arab Bank.  He wrote (excerpts) about his defense of Hariri and his constant reference to the bank as a "Jordanian Bank":
"To prostrate to the daman shares and get the daman to vote their shares with him and Harriri thieves
This should give them the largest controlling interest.  That is why he is saying Jordanian to give a sense of calm to little Hasimite.  This will become a Saudi controlled bank ( to counter Bank Al Iskan; now controlled by Qatar: second largest Bank in the little Hashimite Shitdom) and as mentioned earlier the Masri, Harriri (both are Saudi lackies; one for the Sultan Family and the other for Fahad Family) and their cronies will steal the assets of this bank and screw not only the Palestinians but also JORDANDIANS ( especially the little Hashimite ) Yeminies and many others.
These are corrupt selfish very selfish group of money worshipers that will and have sold their mothers for a few additional dollars.  This is another sad very sad day in the struggle of the Arab Nation and especially the Palestinian cause.  Kawar fam$ily is very close to queen utube she used to work as a secreatry for one of them who introduced her to the little hashimite and in turn the kawar was appointed as the little hashmite in USA.  There after Kawar became one of the leading IT security providers in Jordan. Amazing how these people steal and continue to steal.  Sabih is full of shit. The Harriri including the head Harriri Nazek ( who divorced her husband that was employed by her croock husband) and her sons have the bulk of the Harriri Money and Arab Bank Shares.
So the ...Baha and stupid Saad story is irrelevant.  Why is this Masri lacky defending a rival Saudi lacky ( orders from the illiterate Master in Reyadh)  The Masri Kawar and co are part of the Bank destruction that wait and see  The Shuman (the idiot) is a coward the shuman took their money and ran.  They did not fight for the good of all. A bunch of selfish spoiled privilege children that do not want to dirty their hands and fight for what is right for the entire Arab Bank Base that believed in the Bank and remained loyal to it."

How can I take seriously this article when the first paragraph contains this flat out lie???

"One need only glance at the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar to find the Arab revolutions damned tout court as examples of “Political Sunnism”."  The characterization of a trend in the Arab uprisings does not imply castigation of the trends of the uprisings.   (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Fundamentalist madness

""But frankly, you know what it is - I've listened to you very carefully - the contribution of the fundamentalist madness from the United States into the Israelis is probably one of the greatest obstacles to peace in the region."" (thanks Amir)

Rachel Corrie

"Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 28, Haifa District Court in Israel will announce the verdict in the civil lawsuit brought against the State of Israel for the killing of Rachel Corrie in March 2003. For the best part of a decade, Corrie's family has been seeking justice and accountability for the crushing to death by a bulldozer of the American human rights activist.  The lawsuit, originally filed in 2005, charges the State of Israel "with responsibility for Rachel's killing and failure to conduct a full and credible investigation in the case".  I have been given access to professional translations of the legal summaries submitted to the court, which analyse the evidence, court testimonies and legal arguments. Whatever the judge's decision, this case has shed light on Israel's grave breaches of human rights and the impunity enjoyed by its military.   In the summary submitted by the State of Israel, it is claimed that "the IDF is a cautious, proportional, considerate, humanitarian army that acts with caution, proportionality and reasonableness". Yet evidence in the case, corroborated by other incidents external to the killing of Rachel Corrie, suggest that the Israeli army has killed civilians - Palestinians and internationals - as a result of official policy." (thanks Ben)

When Daily Star report on Hizbullah: its sources are "diplomatic sources"

"I know it is the Daily Star and it has not been taken seriously as a media outlet for a long time, but look at this piece and how incredibly sloppy it is, headlined “Hezbollah leadership divided over Syrian crisis”". (thanks Nicholas)

"Did the Western press ever describe Saudi or Bahraini protestors this way?"

Basim sent me this with the title (above):  "The rebels are a mixed bunch, a combination of army defectors, Islamists, intellectuals, laborers and other ordinary people who took up arms against one of the Middle East's most brutal police states."

College Inc

"IMAGINE A business that rakes in billions of dollars in taxpayer funds, but provides its customers with a defective product that fails for more than half of them--though that track record hasn't stopped the business owners from enjoying ever-increasing profits.  Sounds like the parasites of Wall Street or the insurance industry, doesn't it?  But according to a U.S. Senate report, the same is true of a growing number of colleges and universities--the expanding sector of higher education that is run for profit.  The Senate report is a shocking exposé of a new growth industry that turns out to be another scheme for the 1 percent to make money at the expense of some of the most vulnerable people in society.  But anyone who investigates the for-profit college scam will be struck by something else, too--the abuses of College Inc. are extreme examples of a trend toward privatization and business-like operations throughout all of higher education, which threaten to undermine the system as a whole." (thanks Khaled)

A lesson on culture

""They say Samuel Mullet Sr. allowed beatings of those who disobeyed him, had sex with married women to "cleanse them," and then, last fall, instructed his followers to cut the beards and hair of his critics, an act considered deeply offensive in Amish culture."" (thanks Rana)

The New York Times on Syria

Basically, with the passing of Anthony Shadid, there is no new independent reporting by the New York Times on Syria.  None whatsoever.  What you read in the Times is a compilation of unsubstantiated claims by Syrian exile opposition--which has a proven record of exceeding in volume the amount of lies produced by the Syrian regime--plus skypes with contacts in Syria provided to the Times by Syrian exile opposition. 

These are the weapons that the Saudi government says were found among the terrorist cells that were cracked yesterday

I am not making this up: this is the official picture released by Saudi government of the dangerous weapons captured from the dangerous terrorists who were arrested yesterday. 

Syrian regime crimes in Tripoli in the 1980s

The is a good article about the repressive tactics of the Syrian regime in Tripoli which explains present-day attitudes towards the Syrian regime.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lebanese prostrators

"Bob speaks with Mazen Hayek, a spokesman from the Arabic-language news channel Al Arabiya, who responds to Sultan Al-Qassemi's critique. Hayek says the network has a history of covering conflicts without bias, and is doing its best to cover Syria fairly under difficult reporting circumstances."  I mean, what do I expect from a Lebanese right-wing employer of House of Saud? really?  If you ask Mazen Hayek about women's rights in Saudi Arabia, he would say: House of Saud is a feminist family.  I mean, really.  No self-respect with those folks.

Saud Al-Faysal, dead

The Saudi government has announced that Saud Al-Faysal is in good health.  Let me translate Saudspeak for you: the man is dying and it is a matter of days. My shovel is ready. 

an extremely small part of the groups...

""The Syrian conflict serves as a magnet for these groups," said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who is in Antakya, Turkey, near the Syrian border, meeting with opposition figures. "But, and this is important, they're still an extremely small part of the groups that are fighting the Syrian regime.""

Salafi Libyans on a rampage

"A shrine in the Libyan capital Tripoli venerating a Sufi Muslim saint has been partly destroyed - the latest in a series of attacks blamed on ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists. Tripoli residents said men with bulldozers attacked the shrine of al-Shaab al-Dahmani, unimpeded by police. The attack came a day after hardliners were accused of damaging the tomb of a Sufi scholar in the city of Zlitan. People in Tripoli say they saw bulldozers destroy part of the al-Shaab al-Dahmani mosque and Sufi shrine. One, a student named Abdurrahman, told the BBC: "There's a large group of Salafists - they are the one with the bulldozers, and some military police are also present. "They seem to be overseeing the process, rather than preventing it ... There are some bystanders who seem to approve".  He said the Salafists were also handing out pamphlets issued by a Saudi Arabian mufti from the hardline Wahhabi school of Islam." (thanks Basim)

sectarianism of Firas Tlas

Firas Tlas wrote about `Alawites on FB. (thanks "Ibn Rushd")  Woe to the time when we follow the utterances of the likes of Mustafa Tlas family members.  It can't get dirtier.

sectarian prejudice against `Alawites in New York Times: more on the adventures of Damien Cave in Beirut

More on the adventures of a former Rolling Stone reporter who found himself (over his head) in Beirut:  "after five days of extended gun battles between Lebanese Sunnis and Alawites loyal to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad."  Look at this sentence.  Notice that it only refer to `Alawites as "loyal to Syria's president, Bashshar Al-Asad.  Let us assume that Damien Cave, who knows no Arabic, did conduct a survey among Lebanese `Alawites and found out that 100% of them expressed loyalty to Bashshar Al-Asad.  But the question is this: why did he not throw a label or adjective on the Sunnis?  Why did he not say: "Sunnis loyal to Saudi Arabia's king, Abdullah"?  Why not? Certainly, the Saudi King gives more financial and military support to Sunnis in Lebanon than Bashshar gives to Lebanon's `Alawites.

New Egypt

"Egyptian Naval Forces recently rejected a U.S. demand to fire on an Iranian vessel loaded with arms and heading to Syria, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority has told Al Arabiya."

Israeli calls for destruction

If this was a Muslim call for Israel's destruction, it would have made it to the front pages of US newspapers:  "An influential Israeli rabbi has called for prayers for Iran's destruction, a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to court his support for a possible attack on a nuclear program Israel sees as an existential threat."

NATO Salafite gangs in Libya

""Police 'stood by' as Salafi extremist group razed Tripoli mosque in most blatant sectarian attack since Gaddafi's overthrow".  And this "A man who appeared to be overseeing the demolition told
Reuters the interior ministry had authorised the operation after discovering people had been worshipping the graves and practicing "black magic". "" (thanks Raed)

House of Saud media

So the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyyah, explained its daily story about the defection of Faruq Ash-Shar`, which was disproved today by the appearance of Shar` in Damascus.  It said that it did not air a correction because it stands by its story: it said that Ash-Shar` has indeed defected but that he interrupted his defection in Amman to come to Damascus for his meeting with an Iranian official, and that he will return to Amman to resume his defection shortly. 

Syrian regime media

It was brought to my attention that Syrian regime media (propaganda outlets really) have been posting my article from yesterday in Al-Akhbar on Khalid Mish`al but after deleting the reference to "the oppressive Syrian regime in the midst of murdering".  I have indicated before that I don't want anyone to post any of my words if they are altered, doctored, or censored. 


What is the scientific value of walking on the moon? None.

The NATO Salafite Army in Libya

Let me know about this: when Bin Ladenite fanatics went on a rampage in Mali destroying Sufi sites and tombs, there was extensive Western media coverage.  The NATO Salafite gangs in Libya have been doing the same this week, but I have not read coverage of that in the US press. 

Syrian criminals

The Syrian regime and the Free Syrian Army should be excluded from any solution in Syria.  They have committed enough crimes to disqualify them forever. 

terrorist plots

When Saudi Arabia refers to its unarmed opponents as terrorists, Western governments and media react with respect and belief.  And when the Syrian regime does the same with respect to its armed opponents, Western governments and media mock the reference.  Consistency. 

Not making it up: Now Hariri

I have maintained before that Hariri media, like the Saudi media, are the worst example of propaganda.  Now Hariri website is one example.  Look at this article: it attributes a fake story to "sides that follow [the news]." I mean, I have read before stories attributed to "informed sources" or to "reliable sources" but sides that follow?

Let them commit war crimes

This writer in the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Al-Hayat, argues that we should not fault the Free Syrian Army for its war crimes because it is not a regular army. 

This is hilarious: Michael Young reproaches Western media for not reporting Saudi fabrications


"Michael Young@BeirutCalling
Western media behind curve on big story of Farouq al-Sharaa defection. Are they right? ".    As is known, Saudi media and Hariri media have been reporting on the defection of Faruq Ash-Shar` for two weeks.  This "news" has dominated the news of Al-Arabiyyah (the website of the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law).  Just yesterday, Al-Arabiyyah "reported" that Ash-Shar` has been seen in Amman where he is residing after his defection.  The picture above is from Damascus today, with Shar` on right.  There is of course no corrections and no explanation.  They lie, and when the lie is exposed, they fabricate another lie, and so on.  This is the nature of the oil of gas and oil.   Oh, I forgot to mention, that Michael Husyan Young is the well-known expert on offshoots

The Israeli humiliation of Abu Mazen

I relish watching the Israeli official humiliation of Abu Mazen.  I hope that they wipe the floor with him, back and forth.  I hope that they pelt him with eggs and more.  This puppet of Israeli occupation has over-extended his usefulness for the occupiers who installed him in his position.  This servitor of occupation deserves the worst treatment from his masters, just as the Israeli military occupiers left their terrified torturers behind in South Lebanon after the humiliatingly Israeli withdrawal from most of South Lebanon. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

support for Syrian anti-regime fighters

Michael sent me this:  "Look und listen into this video. First, you have the fighter complaining about the lack of support. And than the Jazera-Reporter says the opposite to please their masters in Qatar. Unbelievable!!!"

Daughters fight to save mother from arrest in Nabi Saleh

Zionists for Jihadis

""So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies, we should quietly root for them -- while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames....""  (thanks Nu`man)

Orange County racism

"Boudlal's attorneys also said their Moroccan-born client was repeatedly harassed by her co-workers from the beginning of her employment, receiving insults such as "terrorist," "camel" and "Kunta Kinte," the name of a slave in Alex Haley's 1976 novel, "Roots."" (thanks Joseph)

Regarding Damien Cave's reference to Sunnis and Syria in Tripoli

Al gave a good summary of Tripoli's recent history:
"My wife is from Mina, Tripoli which was a communist stronghold. In the early 80's, gun battles erupted between Islamic Tawheed in Bab tabaneh and the Alewites of the Arab Democratic party. The Tawheed tried to expand their power over Tripoli/Mina by attacking the Communists and seizing Mina and many parts of Tripoli. The SSNP (who were mostly Sunnis) and the Communists still held parts of Tripoli. In the mid 80's, with the help of heavy Syrian artillery, The Communists and the SSNP launched an attack and defeated the Tawheed in Tripoli/Mina and seized the areas the Tawheed controlled (without the Alewites of Jabal Muhsin). The Only Sunnis in the 80's who were against the Syrians were the Tawheed. The most popular Sunni leader in Tripoli was Rashid Karami who was pro-Syrian. The Sunnis in Tripoli remained pro-Syrian until as you mentioned it in 2005."

Jordanian Salafites in Syria

Jordanian Salafite leader brags about his group participation in killing in Syria.  Do you notice that if one--ONLY ONE--Hizbullah fighters was found in Syria it would generate more press than the non-existent coverage of thousands of foreign Jihadis in Syria.  I guess there are foreigners and there are foreigners.  This is like when US military occupiers would brazenly talk about "foreign fighters" in Iraq, assuming that they themselves are natives. (thanks Mick)

Israeli media are desperate for an Egyptian official to talk to them: let them to talk Abraham Foxman

"The phone conversation between Barak and al-Sisi has not been confirmed by other media outlets."

positive sign in Egypt

"The Egyptian government’s decision to officially request an IMF loan is a positive sign that it intends to start dealing with the country’s serious economic problems." (thanks Dina)

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Math Olympiad

Nasir sent me this:  "Students from Saudi Arabia outperformed Israel in the 53rd International Math Olympiad.....wonder this had anything to do with Arab culture?"

One of the worst kinds of grotesque blackmail by Zionist hoodlums

"A pro-Israel organization canceled a protest rally at the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica after the hotel's co-owner condemned anti-Semitism and agreed to donate to Jewish and Israeli causes.
In reaching the agreement with the western region of the Zionist Organization of America, hotel executive Tehmina Adaya sought to defuse reaction to a jury's recent decision that she had discriminated against a Jewish group that held a charity event at the hotel."  Now how did the owner discriminate against Jews?  Here is the story:  "On Aug. 15, a jury in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Monica found that Adaya and the hotel had violated the civil rights of 18 Jewish and non-Jewish plaintiffs when staff, acting on Adaya's instructions, ordered them to remove their literature and banners, get out of the hotel pool and stop handing out T-shirts. The plaintiffs were attending a pool party for young leaders of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces."

now that is what I call a sovereign country

"The drone attack came a day after Pakistan's Foreign Ministry summoned a senior American diplomat to formally protest recent drone strikes."

Kudos to Electronic Ali who led a one-person campaign against the Guardian

"Citing his failure to disclose a major conflict of interest, The Guardian has dumped Joshua Treviño, nine days after it announced it had hired him as a columnist."

Reporting on Aleppo

This report seems quite different from other reports in the Western press.  Does it mean that it is more accurate?
"But despite Barakat’s claims, most of Aleppo remains in government hands, the rebels have lost their major position in the Salahadin neighborhood, and fighting in the city has slowed in the face of fierce government attacks from the air that the rebels seem unlikely to withstand indefinitely, since they do not have anti-aircraft weapons." (thanks Talal)

Read more here:

The (pro-Western, I am sure) clerics of Aleppo on the permissibility of crucifying Shabbihah and of killing journalists

No one in the Western press will be reporting to you about this official statement by the Aleppo clerics on the rule of war.  Someone should translate in full so that I can post here.  (thanks Mohamed)

Drinking Muslims

(thanks Hani)

The Nation magazine on Syria

"“The regime made it so we talk about Alawi/Sunni. They made it sectarian.”"  Well, if the writer (who I knew when he worked for Democracy Now) actually read the regime and opposition media, he would have discovered that there are no sectarian references in regime propaganda (without denying the sectarian bases of the ruling elite), while the opposition media (in all of its forms including FB and Twitter) are full of vulgar and crude sectarian references.  Also, let me get this strait: so the Jihadi Salafites and Ikhwan in Syria would have been secular but that the regime made them sectarian?  Can you run that by me again, Sharif?  This is like silly comment by Golda Meir in which she blamed Arabs for making her kill Arab babies.

Look how the New York Times stigmatizes all `Alawites (even Lebanese `Alawites)

This from an article by the Rolling Stone reporter in Beirut (covering Syria):
"as a Sunni leader was killed by a sniper from a neighborhood dominated by Alawites, members of the sect to which President Bashar al-Assad of Syria belongs."  What is the relevance of linking the Lebanese `Alawites to Bashshar Al-Asad in the sentence?  Why not say the same about the "Sunni leader" (he was in fact a Bin Ladenite Salafite, but who cares anymore when Salafites are now referred to as "pro-Western in the Western media)?  Why not identify the Sunni thus: member of a sect to which Usamah Bin Laden belonged?  Why not identify Barry Obama as: member of a sect to which Ted Bundy belongs. 

The Role of AUB according to its president, Peter Dorman

What message did you bring to those in the US capital?
The message is that we can be a source of information for [US] policymakers."

PS All those who write about Orientalism in the future will be citing this classic interview.  And Dorman, by the way, is a liberal Democrat.