Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The generalizations of the correspondent of the New York Times in Iran: Thomas Erdbrink

Look at the size of the crowd in the picture and then read this sentence by this arrogant correspondent who is not reluctant to speak on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Iranians: "Afterward, most in the audience were confused, friend and foe."  How on earth did you know that "most in the audience" were confused? How did you measure that?

The United States is resuming security aid to Bahrain’s military forces: due to “meaningful progress” on human rights

"The United States is resuming security aid to Bahrain’s military forces, saying there had been “meaningful progress” on human rights four years after the kingdom’s deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters." "At least 89 people have been killed in confrontations with Bahrain security forces since 2011, and hundreds have been arrested and put on trial, rights groups say." “Bahrain’s logistical and operational support enables the US to lead a 30-nation military coalition that counters piracy and terrorism, maintains the free flow of commerce and energy resources through the strait of Hormuz and demonstrates international resolve to Iran”, state department officials said."

""Left-wing" Israeli lobby groups"

"B’Tselem and the US Israel lobby group J Street are offered as prime examples of such “left-wing” assets in Israel’s fight against BDS." (thanks Amir)

Typical Western media account about Arab Jews: TV serial The Jewish Quarter

"The military’s real-life role in expelling Egypt’s Jews under President Gamal Abdel Nasser is omitted completely." Kirkpatrick does not mention the Lavon Affair and the role Israeli crimes and dirty covert operation and the callous recruitment of Egyptian Jews for Israeli terrorist operations inside Egypt. None of that.  2) it is not the most-talked about TV serial of Ramadan. Not at all. 3) the characterization by Kirkpatrick is typical of the Zionist rhetoric about Jews in Arab countries: if they stay inside the country, Zionists in the West yell: they are being held as prisoners. They are hostages. They should be allowed to leave and get exist visas. And when they leave, the same Zionists of the West yell: look. They kicked them out. They kicked them out and for that, the Palestinian refugees should never be allowed back into Palestine just because.

PS Don't you like the new trend among Western correspondents like Mr. Kirkpatrick? In the past, they regaled us with tales of a cab driver. Now they regale us with a comment by an anonymous Arab on a page on Facebook as representative of Arab public opinion.

Dia Hadid of the New York Times

So this token Arab correspondent at the Times is allowed to cover Palestinian suffering but only when the suffering can be blamed on Palestinians themselves. That is her gig.

This is how Turkey screens those who wish to enter into Syria

Iraqi Communist Party statement from 1946, signed by comrade Fahd

Compare this to the lousy Iraqi Communist Party of Paul Bremer.

Moderate Islam of SISI (and US)

Al-Zahar chief cleric refuses to declare the infidelity of ISIS.

Saudi regime pressures Thailand to accuse "Iran or Hizbullah" of assassinations

Monday, June 29, 2015

China's annual report on US Human Rights record for 2014

"Full text: The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2014"

Grimaces of Muhammad bin Salman

Haqqani had a Saudi passport

"The cables, published by WikiLeaks, have provided a rare insight into the contacts between Saudi officials and the Haqqani network in the recent past, even though the two are said to have had a long-standing relationship, going back to the days of CIA-funded jihad in Afghanistan." "Jalaluddin has been on the UN Sanctions list since January 31, 2001. The provisions of the UNSC resolutions 1267 (1999), and 1333 (2000) apply to him, which, among other things, bar the international travel of listed individuals and prevent any assistance to them. The Saudi cables show that Jalaluddin carried a Saudi passport since the days of the Afghan jihad."

Primary task of Saudi embassy

"More significantly, the leaked documents provide evidence that the Saudi embassy is deeply involved in the religious life and politics of Australia’s Islamic communities, with the particular goal of spreading and strengthening their puritanical Wahhabist branch of Sunni Islam. Indeed, Saudi foreign ministry instructions leave little doubt that engagement in Islamic religious affairs and the wider politics of Australia’s Islamic communities are primary tasks for the embassy."

"UN Human Rights Council operates just like FIFA"

"But the leaked Saudi diplomatic papers suggest human rights issues receive scant attention in the bilateral relationship, at least as far as the Saudis are concerned. One exception was Saudi Arabia’s offer of support for the election of Australian legal academic Professor James Crawford to be a judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, in exchange for Australian support for the kingdom to be elected to serve on the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva." (thanks Amir)

When Israel kills, destroys, demolishes, occupies, and massacres it does so peacefully--according to Western terminology

"Israeli navy peacefully intercepts Gaza-bound vessel".  Did it also peacefully kill the passengers back in 2010?  (thanks Basim)

Saudi cables on Egypt: standing in line for Saudi cash

All those journalists and even an academic standing in line for Saudi cash.

ISIS leaders in Syria and Iraq

As-Safir published this

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Zionism is always racism: Israel's war on African migrants

"He says police carry out random sweeps of Africans and that a friend once was accused of theft because he couldn’t show a receipt for his phone. Israeli police say they aren’t targeting Africans, but that they routinely carry out identity checks and sometimes ask for receipts."

Excellent article on "who is to blame" in Iraq by Sinan Antoon and Zaid Al-Ali

"By 2003, the United States’ record of supporting dictatorships and authoritarian regimes in the region and its history of aggression against Iraq through war and sanctions had diminished any credibility or trust. The duplicitous case for the invasion and the United States’ behavior in Iraq after the occupation did not change this perception. But this seems to escape U.S. officials such as Jeffrey and Khedery, whose comments on recent events somehow assume that the United States was or should have been an “honest broker” and that it was the United States’ decision to support Maliki in 2010 that ruined its bona fides. In fact, it would have been virtually impossible to find anyone in Iraq in 2003 that would have attributed positive intentions to the United States given its sordid history of involvement. In addition, although Iraqi actors made their lack of trust clear from the start, the United States worsened its already toxic reputation in the country through its own political, military and financial misdeeds for the following years.  As soon as the U.S. occupation commenced in 2003, the former exiles (who were supposed to be its closest allies) capitalized on the United States’ unpopularity to force it to hand over partial political and administrative authority far sooner than it would have preferred. The result was the establishment of the Governing Council and its associated executive offices, the first officially sectarian government in Iraq’s history. A few months later, the United States proposed a plan to draft the country’s new constitution, which involved indirect elections through a caucus system. The plan was immediately rejected by the country’s most influential actors (including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani) not because it was unworkable but because of the justifiable concern that the United States would manipulate the process. In the end, the United States did interfere in the constitution drafting process and contributed to creating a divisive and unworkable text. The political system that it designed and installed in Iraq was based on the understanding that Iraqis are sects and no more. It institutionalized sectarianism, injected it with political power, and made it the only political currency. It handed the country over to untrained, unworthy and corrupt former exiles, most of whom at the time had no credibility in Iraq."

House of Saud on Shi`ism

"Saudi diplomats are careful to estimate, for example, how many Eritrean students are studying abroad in Iran (40) and the number of Shiite Muslims in Mauritania (50,000). They were also concerned when a public debate was held between Shiite and Sunni Muslims near the Philippines' Al-Dahab mosque in Manila. Even though Shiites make up less than 1 percent of the Muslim population in the Philippines, a memo dated Feb. 4, 2010 appears to express alarm that the religious minority's message "managed to get out of its secretive circle to the public."

"It is obsessive," said Toby Matthiesen, the author of a book about religious politics in Gulf Arab states and a research fellow at the University of Cambridge. "It proves the theory that Saudi foreign policy is at least in part sectarian and seeks to contain Shiism and not just Iran."" (thanks Basim)

This is how the US State Department report on human rights refers to Bahran repression

"“Bahrain has a legitimate interest in protecting its people against violent groups." Nothing that comes after the sentence matters. The US government managed to provide justification. I have an idea; why does not the US State Department issue an annual report on human rights violations in Syria, Iran, and Venezuela (and Russia when it is on bad terms with the US)?

Egyptian regime ambassador in Israel

The return of the ambassador of the tyrant, Sisi, to Tel Aviv, was part of the deal with US Congress: he gets the arms in return for the return of the ambassador. This is what is called in the US government: human rights standard.

nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims

"But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center."

Drone attacks only received scrutiniy when two Westerners were killed by mistake

"Drone strikes carried out by the C.I.A. and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command have received fresh scrutiny after President Obama disclosed in April that a strike had killed two Western aid workers held hostage by Al Qaeda in Pakistan."

UAE "diplomats" in Somalia? Are you kidding me?

"The car was loaded with explosives and moving quickly when it hit the rear of a United Arab Emirates convoy carrying foreign trainers". What were they training and who were they training?  In UAE media, they were referred to as "diplomats".

Saudi diplomat, Jamil Baroody

"Saudi Arabia’s first ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations was a Christian Catholic, Jamil Baroody.   He was chosen by King Faisal for his deep understanding of global politics and oratory."  Jamil Baroody was never allowed to become a Saudi citizen because he was a Christian, and when he died he wanted to be buried in Saudi Arabia, but the regime refused and he was buried in his birthplace of Suq Al-Gharb, Lebanon.

American control of Saudi Arabia

This American cable from 1976 represents the best summation of US control of Saudi Arabia.

Eulogy of Arab media and politics

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Eulogy of Arab media and politics: House of Saud's Wikileaks".

Unsolved murders of indigenous women reflect Canada's history of silence

"The study concluded between 1980 and 2012, at least 1,017 First Nations women were murdered, while a further 108 went missing in suspicious circumstances."

"tactics the agency uses to manipulate public opinion, its scientific and psychological research into how human thinking and behavior can be influenced"

"Among other things, the document lays out the tactics the agency uses to manipulate public opinion, its scientific and psychological research into how human thinking and behavior can be influenced, and the broad range of targets that are traditionally the province of law enforcement rather than intelligence agencies.
JTRIG’s domestic and law enforcement operations are made clear. The report states that the controversial unit “currently collaborates with other agencies” including the Metropolitan police, Security Service (MI5), Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Border Agency, Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and National Public Order and Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). The document highlights that key JTRIG objectives include “providing intelligence for judicial outcomes”; monitoring “domestic extremist groups such as the English Defence League by conducting online HUMINT”; “denying, deterring or dissuading” criminals and “hacktivists”; and “deterring, disrupting or degrading online consumerism of stolen data or child porn.”
It touts the fact that the unit “may cover all areas of the globe.” Specifically, “operations are currently targeted at” numerous countries and regions including Argentina, Eastern Europe and the U.K."

Gay and Lesbian marriage

I wrote earlier in Arabic this: regarding gay and lesbian marriage, it can be summed up for me as follows: a dirty Saudi prince can own as many women and concubine as he wishes, and a man (or a woman) can't marry his/her lover of the same sex?

USAFRICOM's destabilization of Africa

"Since the launching of AFRICOM, instability has increased in Africa. From the ongoing war in Somalia, to the break-up of the Republic of Sudan and the subsequent civil war in the newly-created Republic of South Sudan, to the war against so-called Islamic extremists in Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Cameroon and Chad, these developments have fueled Washington's militarism on the continent." (thanks Amir)

Syrian regime corruption

A well-known correspondent who has covered the war in Syria from the start was telling me about the antics of the regime: 1) each henchman of the regime specializes in one particular smuggling.  Say the Maher Al-Asad's smugglers specialize in smuggling electronics, another henchman may specialize in smuggling fuel, etc.  2) the Syrian regime, known historically for its stinginess, is now quite generous with Arab and non-Arab journalists who cover its side sympathetically: they are now known to give fancy watches, lighters, jewelery, and cigar boxes.

Friday, June 26, 2015

What does the US Department of State says about anti-Semitism in Lebanon

"The national school curriculum materials did not contain materials on the Holocaust."  Wait: so the absence of teaching materials on the Holocaust implies that Lebanon is anti-Semitic? Does the absence of teaching materials about the Nakbah in the US curriculum imply that the US is anti-Arab/anti-Palestinian? Furthermore the report feigns the attitude of documented accusations but then state that Al-Manar broadcasts anti-Semitic materials but does not give examples except one derived from MEMRI. ANd then the report says: "In March the daily newspaper Al-Sharq published an article by Sana Kojok which claimed that, during Passover, the Jews eat matzoh made with the blood of non-Jews, a traditional anti-Semitic conspiracy charge. Hizballah-owned, Lebanon-based media outlet Al Manar continued to broadcast anti-Semitic content."  The report fails to mention that Al-Sharq paper is funded by the Saudi regime and the Hariri family in Lebanon.  How convenient to not mention that.

How the US government reports about violations of human rights among its client regimes versus how it reports violatiosn in Iran and Syria

When it comes to client dictatorship of the Middle East, the US annual report on human rights resorts to a cheap method to gloss over violations of human rights in that country: it basically reproduce the rhetoric of the regime about the matter as in this section about torture in the Saudi Arabia section of the report: "The law prohibits torture and holds criminal investigation officers accountable for any abuse of authority. Sharia, as interpreted in the country, prohibits judges from accepting confessions obtained under duress; statutory law provides that public investigators shall not subject accused persons to coercive measures to influence their testimony." Also, notice that there is a special section in the report about anti-Semitism but there is nothing about anti-Shi`ism of the regime and its media. Worse, the report fantastically claims: "According to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, no imams publicly espoused intolerant views warranting dismissal during the year. Cases of government-employed imams using anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, or anti-Shia language in their sermons were rare and occurred without authorization by government authorities."  Also, the section about corruption focuses on the poor civil servants and says not one word about massive corruption of the Saudi royal family. Does the US Department of State expect that anyone in the Middle East or anyone who studies the Middle East would not scoff at this silly report?

EU versus the Warsaw Pact

It occurred to me yesterday during my swim: it would be fair to say that Western (and Eastern) European governments today are more subservient today toward the US than Warsaw countries were toward the Soviet Union.  The question is when will Europe have its own "spring"? When will European protest American hegemony?  No matter how much is exposed about US violations of rights and privacy of Europeans, European governments (including the formerly proud France) simply disregard the matter and march on toward more subservience toward the US.

Meet the moderate and democatic Syrian rebels: what Western correspondents don't tell you about the Free Syrian Army

It seems that the Free Syrian Army in its official correspondence with their Saudi masters, according to the Saudi cables in Wikileaks, identify the enemy as the International Free Mason movement personified in the Syrian regime, and they have no qualms about making reference to the enemy as the Manichean (or Safavid) Shi`ite regime. The political adviser of the Free Syrian Army even maintains that Free Masonry is aimed at attacking Sunnis.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Sadat: The Mask and the Truth"

I was late in reading the book by Muhammad `Abdul-Salam Az-Zayyat, "Sadat: the Mask and the Truth" (Arabic).  I found a copy at UCLA library.  It is probably the best analysis of Sadat and his rise to the presidency. Unlike Hakal's account in Autumn of Fury, Az-Zayyat knew Sadat up close and provides an comprehensive analysis of his personality and rule.  I highly recommend the book, and the author has another book about the danger's of Sadat rule, titled "Whither Egypt" (Arabic).  Az-Zayyat was secretary-general of the People's Assembly in Egypt in the 1960s, and then served as minister and deputy prime minister under Sadat, before he broke with him and was persecuted and jailed by him.

PS I knew Az-Zayyat as a boy during our regular visits to Egypt. He was a very close friend of my parents and he would invite us to Egypt almost yearly.  I remember his house and his mother, who lived with him, and his feminist academic sister, Latifah, who also was persecuted by Sadat.

Saudi war on Ahmadiyyah

The Ahmadiyyah sect in Pakistan has been subjected to persecution and terrorism. This Saudi cables directly implicates the Saudi government in the war on Ahmadiyyah.  Sultan in Pakistan sent it to me with this note: "RE: Saudi foreign policy over the decades was a liberal one based on the premise of “noninterference” in the affairs of others.

Prince Nayef not interfering in Indonesia".

Communist Sudanese martyr

This is Sudanese communist martyr, Ash-Shafi` Ahmad Ash-Shaykh minutes before his hanging. He walked steadily to his death and insisted on tying the rope around his neck and yelled: Long live the working class.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why Al-Akhbar?

Some people ask: why was Al-Akhbar chosen by Wikileaks to publish Saudi cables? Answer is very simple: because no other newspaper in the region dares publish them.  As-Safir has not even said a word about the cables as of yet. Not one word.

How Prince Muqrin's son was involved in the smuggling of the wealth of Egyptian corrupt businessman, Husayn Salem

Here is the summary and the link.

Saud cables and forgeries

"The Saudi government seems to have acknowledged the authenticity of the documents in general but warns (probably correctly) that some fake documents may be included among the authentic ones."  But why probably correctly? Has Wikileaks ever published fake documents? Ever?

Pentagon's new rule about nuking other countries

"The Pentagon has just published 1,204 pages on how it thinks you can behave legally during a war. Looking through this "Law of War Manual" at various hot topics, one finds some atrocities excused as acceptable (cluster bombs, nuclear bombs) and others rejected as completely disallowed (torture) even when in reality they are routinely engaged in." "Here's a typical passage about legal "proportionality": "Attacks using nuclear weapons must not be conducted when the expected incidental harm to civilians is excessive compared to the military advantage expected to be gained." How much "harm" to civilians from nuclear weapons would be "excessive"? The so-called law, once you accept war and then try to regulate its conduct, is in the eye of the sociopathic beholder; there's nothing empirical or enforceable about it." (thanks Amir)

McCollum Leads Letter to Secretary of State Kerry Putting Spotlight on Israeli Military Detention and Abuse of Palestinian Children

The signatories are all Democrats (all 18 of them).  When I came to the US, Republicans were more likely than Democrat to criticize Israel.

Flash: God is officially with the Muslim Brotherhood

Ahmad Mansur just said on Aljazeera that "God" actually intervened on his behalf.  He didn't mention how his God didn't intervene against Sisi.

10 Must-Read Saudi Cables on Iraq

This is a nice collection about documents from Saudi cables about Iraq. They are curiously missing an important one dealing with the pro-Israeli Iraqi politician, Mithal Allusi, in which he argues for more money from the Saudi regime and accuses his rival, Iyald Allawi of pocketing Saudi money.

Jihad Al-Khazin about the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan, "Al-Hayat"

 He wrote: "I work at a paper with the largest amount of media freedom in the entire Arab world, and the publisher (Prince Khalid bin Sultan) protects this freedom, and the reader finds on its pages the opinion and its contrary".  Kid you not. Of course, in a document by the foreign ministry revealed by Wikileaks, both Al-Hayat and Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat are referred to as "tools" of the Saudi government.  As for the paper: it is true: they publish a pro-Saudi regime opinion, next to a...pro-Saudi regime opinion. ha ha

أنا أعمل في جريدة تتمتع بأوسع نسبة حرية صحافية في العالم العربي كله، والناشر يحمي هذه الحرية، ويجد القارىء بين صفحات «الحياة» الرأي ونقيضه

Bring back the sectarian demographic clock in Lebanon

This sectarian Christian group (probably under the sponsorship of the lousy Maronite patriarchate) wants to take (free of charge) Lebanese immigrants in the US to have them register in Lebanon so that the percentage of Christians in elections rises.  

11 Essential Digitized Collections for Middle East Historians - HAZINE

Great resource for biliophiles. (thanks Sultan)

To be a Saudi liberal

"Saudi foreign policy over the decades was a liberal one based on the premise of “noninterference” in the affairs of others.

The country was a founding member of the United Nations. King Abdul Aziz surrounded himself with advisers of high caliber from all over the Arab world.

Saudi Arabia’s first ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations was a Christian Catholic, Jamil Baroody.

He was chosen by King Faisal for his deep understanding of global politics and oratory. The Muslim kings of Spain and India had men in their courts who did not subscribe to their faiths but were useful in keeping the Muslim flag flying high."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

balance and Isareli war crimes

"Despite the “balanced” language that is now the habitual refuge of international officials hoping to avoid false accusations of anti-Israel bias, the evidence shows that the scale and impact of Israeli violence dwarfs anything allegedly done by Palestinians."

"Hizbullah's stronghold"

"Often referred to as a “Hezbollah stronghold” in the Western media, south Beirut is really just a regular densely populated working class neighborhood where the party is popular." "Now what I found interesting was that Hezbollah also had established a reconstruction company after the end of the 2006 war, when Israeli bombs flattened an entire neighborhood and left some 20,000 people homeless. And in the rebuilding process, Hezbollah’s company “Wa’ad” (promise) also branded its logo on similar concrete barricades. A major difference is that Solidere, established by Lebanon’s late billionaire prime minister, turned old Beirut into a luxury playground catering to the rich, erasing much of the past social fabric of a mixed income city center, while Hezbollah’s Waad rebuilt the neighborhood for the working class families that lived there and encouraged them to move back."

Google listens to Chrome users' conversations

"Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on." (thanks Amir)

Torture in Lebanon

"Indeed, there are plenty of things to be astounded at on the Lebanese prison scene, but being called out for torture isn’t one of them.

Of the three people I personally know who have had the misfortune to wind up on the receiving end of Lebanese “justice,” all three were either direct recipients of or audio-visual witnesses to physical abuse.

One acquaintance, detained for three days by the ISF in an overcrowded cell in which one cellmate had already spent 89 days without charge, recounted to me the especially brutal treatment meted out to a poor Egyptian detainee. It seems the man’s dismal socioeconomic status and maligned national identity provided additional inspiration to his power-tripping interrogators, who whipped him with cables and subjected him to a torture method nicknamed after rotisserie chicken."

Torture in Beirut jail: not of interest to Western correspondents and Western human rights organizations

Western correspondents in Beirut and Western human rights organizations are not bothered much about this scandal and I have not seen any coverage about it in the US press. It is possible because the torture was by the same Intelligence Branch that is trained, equipped, financed and sponsored by the Saudi regime, US and France. If this was by another branch of the Lebanese government (i.e. by agencies that are loyal to March 8 and not March 14 as is the case here), there would have been international condemnations and the UNSC would have met. 

Erdogan is showing an audience that he too can fly like Superman

Monday, June 22, 2015

Correction in the Times

Embedded image permalink(thanks Peter)

Scandal of Saudi cheating at an American university

"A group of Saudi students caught in a cheating scandal at a Montana college were offered flights home by their kingdom's diplomats to avoid the possibility of deportation or arrest, according to a cache of Saudi Embassy memos recently published by WikiLeaks and a senior official at the school involved.

The students were in a ring of roughly 30 alleged cheaters at Montana Tech accused of having systematically forged grades by giving presents to a college employee.

The cheating was discovered — and the staffer was fired — following an investigation made public in early 2012, but the memos reveal for the first time that the students were almost all Saudis and that their government booked them flights home following a meeting between college administrators and Saudi diplomats in Washington just before the scandal broke." (thanks Raphael)

Quality of Saudi intelligence through the Saudi cables

Hasan `Illayq of Al-Akhbar makes a very important point: that the quality of Saudi intelligence reports is quite shoddy and poor.  Rumors and published reports in Lebanese tabloids are often reproduced as exclusive intelligence reports for the kingdom. 

As long as Syrian war lingers, there's no threat to Israel

" "This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,” said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria." "

Israeli students trained to tell Westerners that slaughtering Palestinian children is a good thing

"Israeli students going abroad are to undergo public diplomacy training in order to defend Israeli policies on foreign soil. The public diplomacy training, known as Hasbara, will be made mandatory for the students to counter Israel's perceived negative image abroad." (thanks Amir)

This won't be a big story in the US press: "Kuwait court orders female activist jailed for criticising emir"

"A Kuwaiti court sentenced a female rights activist to three years in jail on Sunday after convicting her in absentia of publicly criticising the oil-rich Gulf state's ruler."

Are they calling me vulgar?

"Perhaps the most intellectually and morally vulgar of these by a professor of Middle East studies was by As’ad AbuKhalil of Cal State Stanislaus. Claiming that Ajami was an “Arab Zionist” who was “never really known among Arabs” as was Bernard Lewis, and that his Middle East studies colleagues “never held him in high esteem,” Ajami “gave a respectable cast to the racist discourse about Arabs and shared ‘inside views’ about their culture.” He had “deep contempt and hatred for his people and the culture in which he was born,” and “left a harmful legacy for Arabs.” Revealing the bitterness of one for whom the falsehoods that bind the strains of ethnic solidarity trump truth and a sense of shame, he wrote:

    Ajami is like the one Jewish person who gets invited to anti-Semitic conferences to attest the views about Jews held by anti-Semites." 

"Lust for violence"?

"California State University, Stanislaus political science professor As'ad AbuKhalil combines crudeness with a lust for violence. Happily anticipating Israel’s destruction, AbuKhalil wrote in 2012:

    I have often fantasized about my feelings as I board the plane to Palestine after the demise of Israel. How I would relish looking at all Israeli terrorist leaders behind bars. Hell, I would volunteer to serve as judge, jury, and guardsman."

Can you imagine the reaction if a Muslim were to express this lousy sectarian opinion about Muslims who intermarry? They they are less understanding of the Arab world?

Haaretz.com ‏@haaretzcom 4m4 minutes ago

Michael Oren tells @92Y: Intermarried Jews in Obama administration 'have a hard time understanding Israeli character' http://htz.li/2IC

Jordanian regime establishes a "center for Israeli studies" in order to improve the image of Israel among the Arabs

"In such a climate, the Center for Israel Studies quietly began operations, setting up a website this year that publishes Arabic translations of Israeli articles about Israel and its views of the Arab world. The Amman center also produces its own studies about Israel. Director Abdullah Sawalha said he is trying to provide more accurate information about Israel, arguing that Jordanians know little or have been misinformed."   And this is the opinion of the director of the center: "Sawalha, who does not speak Hebrew, said he's heard Israeli Arabs complain of discrimination, but that he felt that "overall, the Arabs are living in good conditions."" (thanks Basim)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Israel and Al-Qai`dah terrorists in Syria

"Much of what the indictment calls “secret Israeli army activity” is blacked-out in the document, and al-Makt’s lawyer declined to comment. But Yamin Zidan, his former attorney, who wasn’t allowed to represent him at the trial because he lacked security clearance, believes the full indictment, if disclosed, would reveal what Israel is really up to in Syria. “The conversations,” he says, “show the level of cooperation between Israel and the rebels against Assad.”...There’s also a low-level ISIS presence. But the main force operating in the area, Israeli sources say, is Nusra." (thanks Fred)

Rand Corporation and Israel

""The Rand Corporation's research shows that Israel could lose $250 billion over the next decade if it fails to make peace with the Palestinians and violence escalates. Ending the occupation, on the other hand, could bring a dividend of more than $120 billion to the nation's coffers.

Meanwhile, the Israeli finance ministry predicts an even more dismal future unless Israel reinvents itself. It is likely to be bankrupt within a few decades, the finance ministry report says, because of the rapid growth of two groups who are not productive."" (thanks Dale)

What could you get you executed in Saudi Arabia

Saudi cables and Palestine

Another thing about the Saudi cables; the word Palestine and the Palestinian cause appear nowhere in those cables. Not one reference.

Israeli leaders typically received advance copies of major American policy statements on the Middle East

"Israeli leaders typically received advance copies of major American policy statements on the Middle East and could submit their comments."

21 US Senators voted for torture: the others voted for mild torture or for contacting torture to other countries

"In a vote of 78 to 21".

And you dare mock Arabs for their propensity to conspiracy theories? It is dumb to not adhere to conspiracy theories when it comes to Israeli roles

"Mr. Steinitz said he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had not revealed their role for fear “somebody will say it’s an Israeli idea, Israeli conspiracy, maybe it’s a reason to stop it.”"

Former deputy director of CIA acknowledges Israel's backing of al-Qaeda in Syria

"Israel has reached tacit understandings with the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaida,"

US list of terrorism

"The U.S. first branded Cuba a sponsor of terrorism in 1982 because of its support for leftist rebels in Latin America, a region of the world in which successive American governments had supported a long line of right-wing dictators." "In truth, the sponsors of terrorism list maintained by the U.S. State Department always seemed to have been an instrument of American foreign policy — and domestic politics — more than an unbiased effort to punish all countries that support terrorism in one way or another."

How the Saudi Foreign Ministry controls the Arab & western media

"Saudi Arabia controls its image by monitoring media and buying loyalties from Australia to Canada and everywhere in between. Documents reveal the extensive efforts to monitor and co-opt Arab media, making sure to correct any deviations in regional coverage of Saudi Arabia and Saudi-related matters. Saudi Arabia's strategy for co-opting Arab media takes two forms, corresponding to the "carrot and stick" approach, referred to in the documents as "neutralisation" and "containment"." (thanks Amir)

You may serve up to 20 years in jail if you post Saudi cables, according to the Investigation and prosecution apparatus of the Saudi regime

Embedded image permalink

Saudi blacklist of journalists: media manipulation worldwide

This is a most damning document revealing Saudi media and propaganda strategy worldwide. It shows how the Saudi regime is keen on controlling all Arab media including two publications in Canada, damn it. It also reveals the existence of a blacklist of journalist who are banned from the kingdom for their critical reporting (I guess that does not affect the pliant correspondent of the New York Time sand the Washington Post).  It also talks about attempts to black a LAW IN THE US CONGRESS which sought justice for victims of Sep. 11.  The document also confirms what we all know: that Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat and Al-Hayat are mere tools of Saudi propaganda apparatus.

Ben Hubbard on Saudi cables: My take versus the NYTimes

There is so much wrong about the article by Ben Hubbard on Saudi cables.  1) There is clearly an attempt by Western media to downplay those documents, and not to cover them extensively.  Just compare the coverage to the coverage of silly emails by Syrian officials.  They have inflamed Arab social media and this is even after the release of 60,000.  2) It is not true that there are is no explosive information.  There is much there about the close work of Saudi foreign ministry with the Saudi intelligence service and Ministries and interior and information.  3) Saudi bureaucracy is weird as revealed: Saudi princes can spend millions and billions and not account for them, but civilians in the bureaucracy have to account for every penny and the purchase of new furniture for the Saudi embassy has to reach the King himself. 4) The level of political corruption is staggering: Ben Hubbard does not tell the story of how the entire class of March 14 is revealed in the documents as nothing but paid puppets for Saudi Arabia. Lebanese MP Butrus Harb begs for money to form a new political party and then requests that the money not go through Sa`d Hariri, whom he criticizes.  5) One document talks about how the Saudi government should issue a statement on behalf of its own Mufti (without the Mufti knowing about) after he made a statement about the ban on churches in the peninsula.  6) Al-Azhar is also revealed to be a mere tool for the Saudi government. 6) Mr. Hubbard missed the most important point about the document: that they reveal clearly that anti-Shi`ite hatred is an official policy and obsession by the Saudi regime.  7) he cited the opinion of a UAE professor (Abdul-Khaliq `Abdullah, one of my closest friends at Georgetown and a former political comrade of mine) but he does not mention that `Abdul-Khaliq tweets praise for GCC royal family around the clock. He is hardly an objective observer in this.  8) Why did he not mention the case of the brave former Reuters correspondent, Andrew Hammond? Andrew is mentioned and singled out because unlike most Western correspondents in the region has has been critical of the Saudi royal family, which pressured the management of Reuters to expel him from the kingdom, and he was.  That is worth mentioning, Mr. Hubbard.  9) There was the curious case of Egyptian journalist Mustafa Bakri and a proposal that he sought funding for, and which was studied by the government and his plan including an anti-Shi`ite TV channel.  This was also not of interest to Mr. Hubbard.  10) Hubbard does not mention that the documents reveal two systems of payment to journalists, politicians and clerics: one price for silence and another price for praise.  10) He does not mention how monitoring of individuals is requested by embassy dispatches. That was not of interest either.  11) He does not mention that Saudi and Qatari regime media are ignoring those documents.  12) He does not explain the Saudi official position: that they claim that "many documents" are forged and yet also say that they don't contradict the policies of the kingdom. 

institut du monde arabe in Paris begs Saudi money

I wish that the New York Times would not only focus on corruption of Lebanese media (which are notoriously corrupt and unprofessional and famous for prostration before oil and gas princes) but also focus on Western institutes and universities which also excel in the art of prostration before oil and gas princes. (thanks Raed)

Syrian regime intelligence officially asks Al-Mayadin news station to not host me or communicate with me

It seems that I am hated basically by all sides in Lebanon and the region.  A leaked document from Syrian regime intelligence in which the service asks the Mayadin news station to not communicate with me or host me.

PS I removed the link because I am told the site was not secure. You can see it at zamanalwsl dot net  /news/61862/html

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Politicis in Saudi Arabia

What comes out from reading Saudi Wikileaks is the extent to which the various departments and apparatus of governments are all intertwined.  The Foreign Ministry and the Intelligence Apparatus work very closely together, as does the Ministry of Information.

Israel brags: Israel only killed 761 civilians, and possibly more.

"Israel determined that an additional 761, or about 36 percent, were “uninvolved civilians,” leaving 428 men, ages 16 to 50, whose status remained unknown."

Friday, June 19, 2015

Saudi governemnt warns its "citizens" against reading Wikileaks

This is hilarious. The Saudi foreign ministry issued this directive to its citizens: It reads: "Dear Aware Citizen: Avoid entering any site for the purpose of obtaining leaked documents or information that may be untrue, for harming the security of the homeland." Kid you not.  The second one reads: "Dear Aware Citizen: Don't publish any documents that may be untrue which could aid the enemies of the homeland in attaining their goals". Kid you not.

Between Obama and Bush

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Between Obama and Bush: The Arab Preference"

Saudi cables mention me

Damn. You would think that Saudi foreign minister, Saud Al-Faysal, has better things to do than to report about my talks in Lebanon.
صاحب السمو الملكي وزير الدولة وعضو مجلس الوزراء
ورئيس ديوان رئاسة مجلس الوزراء
      أفادت سفارة المقام السامي في بيروت بان جمعيتا الأدب والثقافة وخريجي المقاصد دعتا استاذ العلوم السياسية في جامعة كاليفورنيا الدكتور /اسعد ابوخليل (لبناني الجنسية) لإلقاء محاضرة تحت عنوان(امريكا ومستقبلها في العراق) والذي أشار فيها المذكور ان استراتيجية الأمبراطورية الأمريكية التي تقوم بفرض سلطانها على العالم سقطت بفعل ارادة المقاومه في العراق وفلسطين تماما كما انتصرت هذه الإرادة في فيتنام ، كما رأى ان الطروحات الأمريكية لإصلاح الأنظمة العربية متروكه لكل نظام وبهذا ترسيخ مكافأة لها على ولائها وانصياعها ،مضيفا اننا نشهد نهاية الحقبة السعودية في النظام العربي الرسمي .وهذا أمر جيد بالنسبة لنا كعرب ، كما اتهم رئيس الحكومة اللبنانية رفيق الحريري بانه صاحب طموحات خبيثه وانه يسعى الى تحويل لبنان الى أردن أوقطر اخرى مطبعة مع اسرائيل ومفتوحة بالكامل للرأسمالية الأمريكية المتوحشه ، وقد اشاد باهل صيدا على انتصار ارادتهم في الأنتخابات البلدية والتي يقصد بها فشل اللائحة المدعومة من الرئيس الحريري وفوز اللائحة المدعومة من النائب اسامة اسعد الذي كان بين الحضور (معروف بمعارضته للرئيس الحريري) ، اشارت السفارة بان جريدة السفير اللبنانية نشرت ملخص المحاضرة مع العبارة المتعلقة بالمملكة بينما امتنعت الصحف الأخرى اما عن نشر خبر المحاضرة برمته واما عن نشر العبارة المتعلقة بالمملكة.
أمل العرض على النظر الكريم للتفضل بالعلم والإحاطة ،مع أطيب تحياتي .
                                                                                    سعود الفيصل
                                                                       وزير الخارجية

What Western correspondents in Beirut don't report on Syria

Syrian regime barrel bombs kill women and children.  And the indiscriminate shelling by Syrian rebels also kill women and children.  I guess I am not like you: I don't favor one set of war criminals over others.  I don't find one set of war crimes morally superior to another set, as you do.  Syrian rebels have been indiscriminately shelling Aleppo as of late and not a word from the Western correspondents in Beirut.

PS  Worse. Those Western correspondents in Beirut justify the shelling by referring to "regime neighborhoods" or "regime areas" or "regime quarters".  They should also mention that Syrian regime women and children were slaughtered by Syrian rebels.

Saudi Wikileaks tomorrow

I am not at liberty to speak more about the unpublished Saudi cable Wikileaks as the scoop belongs to Al-Akhbar but what I know (and it is only partial) is that it is quite damning and explosive. It is a documented chronicle of the corrupt financial manipulation of Arab politics and media by this tyrannical royal family.

A Palestinian Islamist and his war on...Palestinan gays

A response to the kooky Palestinian Islamist who has declared war on gays but not on Israeli occupation. 

Flash: Saudi Wikileaks

Saudi Wikileaks are out.  The search tools are lousy.  AlAkhbar will be publishing a juicy batch tomorrow (this afternoon by US Pacific time).  Very damning, I am told.

A Saudi communist pamphlet from 1954

I wish to thank the Saudi scholar who has been researching the origins of Saudi communism.  Translation by Mohammed Al-Sudairi: ""The King and the royal family are surely dead after the people have killed them for their collaboration with the foreign colonialist. They have been killed because they were reactionaries and corrupt and mistreated the workers horrendously. The days of the cadillacs and the palaces have collapsed to be replaced by a populist democracy of the workers. Oh workers! get rid of the American pigs and occupy the Petroleum Investment Company. Oh People! you but need to follow your loyal leaders who want your prosperity and who will reveal themselves soon enough. Oh Arabs, Unite! For the Arabian Peninsula is for the Arabs.""

Thursday, June 18, 2015

These Are The Victims Of The Charleston racist Church Shooting

These Are The Victims Of The Charleston racist Church Shooting

Israel kills Palestinian kids, UN approves

"The report methodically details the devastating impact Israel’s prolonged military occupation had on Palestinian children, highlighting that 557 Palestinian children were killed in 2014. The total ranked third highest behind Afghanistan (710) and Iraq (679), and significantly more than in Syria (368). The report notes that at least 543 schools were damaged or destroyed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the highest recorded number of all situations in 2014."

Where is the outrage: U.S. alliance with Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria

"In the three-way war ravaging Syria, should the local al Qaeda branch be seen as the lesser evil to be wooed rather than bombed? This is increasingly the view of some of America’s regional allies and even some Western officials."

Biruni’s Measurement of the Earth

Biruni’s Measurement of the Earth

Mufti Muneeb, chairman Ruet e Hilal Committee in Pakistan spotting the crescent of Ramadan

As human rights in Bahrain worsens, UK provides more military support

"Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade, said: “As the situation in Bahrain worsens its relationship with the UK is only getting stronger. One of the driving factors has been the ever-closer military relationship between the two countries. If the UK is serious about human rights and democracy then it needs to end all military support for regime and stop bolstering an increasingly authoritarian dictatorship.” " (thanks Amir)

Outsourcing Torture: How three Danish men face Lebanese torturers

When Sheikh Mo and his 3rd wife (Haya bint Husayn) think that they are almost white

The grotesque words of the President of NYU, John Sexton in Abu Dhabi: an insult to the learning process worldwide

""Eight years ago, an extraordinary leader, a person who approaches the ideal of Plato's philosopher king, sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, he and I shared a dream of this day, of you, of who you are, of what you've done, of what you'll do in the years ahead to repair a broken world and to create a united human kind, a community of communities." (John Sexton, president of NYU)"  That man should be ashamed of himself. (thanks Pascal)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Expelling the devil

The Maronite patriarch inaugurates an official campaign to expel the devil.

War criminals versus war criminals in Syria

I saw several pictures of destruction in Dayr Az-Zur yesterday.  I reached the inescapable conclusion: all sides in Syria are war criminals.  They all don't deserve to have a say in the future of Syria.

Wahhabi scientists scientfically calculating the arrival the month of Ramadan: I smell a Nobel in physics

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This is classic: Did Mondoweiss confuse Netanyahu's statement with mine?

"Editor’s note: This piece has been edited to remove a statement Netanyahu made at a press appearance, “Justice and freedom for Palestinians are incompatible with Israel’s existence,” which was later quoted by AFP (and others) as being Netanyahu’s own statement.  The PM was actually quoting California State University Stanislaus professor As’ad AbuKhalil, also the author of The Angry Arab News Service."

House of Saud media: how dare Fareed Zakaria criticize Saudi Arabia when he is an Indian?

"American populist journalist Fareed Zakaria vents his anger at Saudi Arabia whenever there’s a chance. It’s baffling when it comes to interpreting this, especially as Zakaria is of Indian Muslim origin." (thanks Basim)

Sen. Sanders: Leftist but not on Israel (well, he is hardly a leftist in European terms)

"In mid-July 2014, Sanders was one of just 21 Senators not to co-sponsor a resolution expressing support for Israel in the conflict with Hamas. The resolution passed on July 17 by unanimous consent, meaning that no roll call vote was taken on the measure.

In the video of the August 2014 town hall, recorded while the conflict was still ongoing, Sanders was more equivocal than in the statement now on his website. While asserting that Israel had “overreacted,” and that the bombing of UN facilities was “terribly, terribly wrong,” he also noted that Hamas was launching rockets from populated areas.

“This is a very depressing and difficult issue,” Sanders said at the town hall. “This has gone on for 60 bloody years.”"

It is called propaganda. Why are you relcatant to call it by its true name?

"a major diplomatic and media counter-offensive".

Brother of Sen. Bernie Sanders has sense

"Larry Sanders: Green
‏@LarrySandersPPC   @GlynSparkes Israel end occupation of West Bank, siege of Gaza, Palestinians in Israel equal rights. Netanyahu obstacle to peace. BDS yes". (thanks Joe)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Saudi foreign affairs

Saudi academic, Khalid Ad-Dakhil made this point: that Saudi foreign affairs have been in the hands of Faysal and his son Saud for 85 years.  Faysal was the first foreign minister of the kingdom, as you may know.  He is saying that this transfer in the foreign ministry--not that Adil Al-Jubayr would be running it, of course--is quite significant.

U.S. covert support to al-Qaeda in Syria

"A reason why Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, another hard-line jihadi group, were able to break the military stalemate is the greater support they are getting from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Since succeeding to the throne in January, Saudi King Salman, along with other Sunni leaders, has pursued a more aggressive policy in backing extreme jihadi rebels in Syria." "Assad’s military opposition is dominated by Isis in the east, holding half the country, and Nusra, leading a coalition of al-Qaeda type jihadis in the north and centre." "Another problem was that weapons supplied by the US to more moderate groups were ending up in the hands of Nusra." This is the only Western correspondent who defies Western mainstream media conventions.

Israel claims mass slaughter of civilian is moral

"Israel has claimed the Israel Defence Forces’ operation in Gaza last summer was a moral, defensive war conducted in accordance with international law." "According to the IDF, a total of 2,125 Palestinians were killed during the two-month war, 761 of them, or 36%, uninvolved civilians, including 369 children and 284 women. The UN figures are far higher, with at least 1,483 civilians killed (of a total of 2,205), of whom 521 are children and 283 are women."

Israelis filmed beating unarmed Palestinian

"This video shows Israeli soldiers brutally beating and taunting a Palestinian man near Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Friday." (thanks Amir)

This phrasing shows why Syrian rebels ar--according to Western standards--morally superior to the Syrian regime

"Rebels have targeted government-held neighborhoods in the city in the past, killing dozens, while the Syrian air force has attacked opposition-held parts of Aleppo with barrel bombs, killing hundreds of people."  (thanks Basim)

These are beheadings that the West can live with: Saudi Arabia beheads 100th person this year

"Saudi Arabia on Monday beheaded a Syrian drug trafficker and a national convicted of murder, taking to 100 the number of executions in the kingdom this year."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

US and Iraq: a chronology

From an alert reader: "In 2010, Iraqi government asked U.S. occupiers to leave Iraq, "Mr. Maliki: I do not care about what's being said. I care about what's on paper and what has been agreed to. The withdrawal of forces agreement [Status of Forces Agreement or SOFA] expires on Dec. 31, 2011. The last American soldier will leave Iraq."

 A few months later in 2011, destabilization of Syria began, which soon spread to Iraq, "Reports were cited that MI6 had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime."

After four years of death and destruction in Syria and Iraq by the same jihadis that the west and its allies created; U.S. has now succeeded imposing on Iraqis that if they don't obey their occupier and tormentor, then, the west and its allies will continue arm and finance jihadis for years to come. And this is what the U.S. wanted from the beginning, "The expanded footprint for U.S. troops in Anbar province was part of a strategy to set up a series of "lily pad" operations".

Lebanese Communist Party arms

Secretary-general of Lebanese Communist Party on the arming of the party.

Who's providing rebels with chemical weapons

"The terrorist group Isis is recruiting “highly trained professionals” to make chemical weapons – and has already used them in an attack." "It was reported in March that Isis had been attacking Iraqi soldiers with roadside bombs containing chlorine gas in fighting around Tikrit, after footage emerged showing plumes of orange smoke emerging for the bombs. It follows similar allegations that the extremists had released toxic gases in the eastern district of Kobani, during the siege of the town on the Syrian border, although it could not be confirmed."

US is furious that Pakistan is critical of NGOs: are NGOs not independent of Western governments always?

From a reader: ""Pakistani authorities expelled the U.S.-based aid agency Save the Children from the country on Thursday," "But the move appeared to be related to long-standing allegations of Save the Children’s ties to the Pakistani physician recruited to help the CIA gain information about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts prior to the 2011 U.S. military mission that killed him in northwestern Pakistan."

"This article examines how information-sharing between the government and the NGO sector has evolved and considers whether changes in that relationship are warranted, even needed, for accomplishing the shared objective of improved international response to conflicts and other crises in weak states."

Comrade Joseph

Interview with Comrade Joseph and Orientalism

US trade bills seek to halt boycotts of Israel

"The United States House of Representatives on Friday approved a measure to allow a "fast track" process for a free trade agreement between the US and Europe, which includes a section obligating EU countries to refrain from any kind of boycotts on Israeli goods." (thanks Joe)

One in five college women are sexually assaulted in the U.S.

"Twenty percent of young women who attended college during the past four years say they were sexually assaulted, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll. But the circle of victims on the nation’s campuses is probably even larger."

Red Cross raised half a billion dollars for Haiti and built only 6 homes

"The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success. The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six." (thanks Amir)

Saudi army keeps marching on

"Houthi forces and their army allies in Yemen seized the capital of a large desert province on the border with Saudi Arabia on Sunday, residents said, an important victory for the group ahead of peace talks in Geneva on Monday." (thanks Basim)

Léon Blum

The only reason that this book was reviewed is for this: "In 1943, while he was interned, a kibbutz was named for him in the Galilee, backed by the American Federation of Labor and Eleanor Roosevelt, among others. Golda Meir was at its inaugural ceremony. Birnbaum notes that Blum, secular and French, always supported a Jewish national home." It isn't even about his role in France.

This is part of a series: deterioration of the Economist magazine

This is the poll that an Israeli outfit conducted according to mysterious methodology via phone to unknown number of Saudis:  " A recent poll by an Israeli organisation found that only 18% of Saudis see Israel as their principal enemy, compared with 22% who said IS and 53% Iran."  That is reliable indeed.  And 89% of Saudi supported Netanyahu for King.

It is official: Dominique Strauss-Kahn is not a pimp

Does that mean that he is no more qualified to lead the IMF?

Librarian of Congress

This is a job that I will take if offered.  Imagine me roaming the stacks of the Library of Congress. Heavenly.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

This is the person who the New York Times Book section interviews on books and reading

"Whom do you consider the best writers — novelists, essayists, critics, journalists, poets — working today?

I am the last person you should ask, because I don’t read that much. My buying-to-actually-reading ratio is 387 to 1. I buy a ton of books. I have actually convinced myself that buying books is the same as reading."

Israel and the falafil: this lousy article in Haaretz

The Zionist entity and its Zionist media are experts in coming up with silly justifications for their theft and occupation. Look at this one (my comments are in red):
"Describing falafel as a prominent part of Israeli culinary culture may simply be an acknowledgement that Israelis eat and enjoy a lot of falafel, but it is also a way of appropriating the traditional foods of another people."  Only when Israel steals and occupies it shows appreciation. There is no other way for showing appreciation than by stealing and appropriating the cultures and contributions of others?
"Falafel is an Arab food. Lebanese and Palestinians lay claims to it, and some argue that its roots are actually in ancient Egypt. "  I don't care which theory you propose, and there is a possibility that the ancient Egyptians were first but whatever it is it is NOT a product of the entity that was founded by force in 1948.  
 "To some extent, then, Israeli cuisine reflects the violence of the Israeli state and the appropriation of Arab and Palestinian foods."  This one sentence is true, and it will never appear in a US newspaper because ADL among others will protest this simple acknowledgement as being anti-Semitic. Hell, I expect that the US Department of State will introduce yet another refinement to its bizarre definition of anti-Semitism (and why would the US Department of State be qualified to define anti-Semitism when it was founded and led by anti-Semites in the first place), whereby any statement that mentions Falafil as an Arab food would be considered anti-Semitic.  
"For Israel to claim regional dishes as its own serves a political process, and raises the question of whether or not any cuisine can legitimately be called Israeli. " This statement is also true: there is nothing that can be called uniquely Israeli except the unique methods of terrorism that Israel introduced into the region.
 "Its popularity was further spread with the help of Jews from Yemen, who probably learned it from Arabs."  Probably? Are you kidding me? What do you mean probably? Where else would have the Jews of Yemen (who are more Arab than me) brought it from? China? Japan?
"Tomatoes are important for Italian cooking but they are not indigenous to Italy, and the regional variations of pizza". WHat kind of logic is this? tomatoes? We are not talking about an ingredient here. We are talking about a dish, damn it.
"Israeli cuisine offers hope for a future where diversity and plurality are not only respected, but serve as a foundation for creative endeavors ".  What a bunch of malarkey.  Diversity and plurality? There is no other way of showing diversity and plurality except by theft?  This is like saying that Israel celebrates Arab culture by destroying Palestinian homes, stealing the lands, and killing their inhabitants. 

Israeli-Saudi-Turkish axis

"The most likely answer is that the Israelis are coordinating their actions with Turkey and Saudi Arabia."

Israel kills children and gets UN blessing for it

"An account of the investigation, posted late on Thursday by military spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner, said the strike had targeted a “compound” which had been known as belonging to Hamas’s Naval Police and Naval Force (including naval commandos)”. But journalists who attended the scene in the immediate aftermath of the attack – including a reporter from the Guardian – saw a small and dilapidated fisherman’s hut containing a few tools where the children had been playing hide-and-seek." (thanks Amir)

Arab regimes and Iran, from 1987

Comrade Laleh found this: ""the Arab countries have shown what amounts to political backing for firm American military action against Iran - action described by one Arab prime minister as "finally puncturing the myth of Iranian invulnerability." The Arab support seems to lay the groundwork for a long-term presence by the United States, Western military officials said. Senior Arab officials in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are telling Americans that the degree of support they wilI extend to the United States will grow so long as the American effort to contain Iran endures." (NY Times, October 1987)"

Dialogue with an Arab liberal

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Dialogue (in a tent) with an Arab Liberal".

This is hilarious: he tells the Wall Street Journal that Nasrallah singled him out

"Mr. Slim said he has been one of those Shiite leaders singled out by Mr. Nasrallah."  Ha ha ha.  Where and when did Nasrallah mention him ever? You get a blender if you can prove it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Al-Azhar introduces Shi`ism to Muslim audiences

The official Al-Azhar magazine republishes a book on Shi`ism and the preface is written by Muhammad `Imarah who wrote this: "Shi`ism is not a sect or schism but a religion, whose members have aligned with crusaders, Hulago, American imperialism, and Christian Zionism against Muslims".  Now I know why the US and European governments places its faith in Al-Azhar to bring Muslims together.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

University business in the US

American-GCC war on Yemen: before and After

Flying First class

"A first-class ticket on Emirates Air from Los Angeles to Dubai entitles you to a private compartment—complete with a sliding door, a lie-flat seat and mattress, a vanity, a minibar, a flat-screen TV and luxury bathroom with shower—for a tidy $32,840."  My life's savings could not pay for this ticket, damn it.

Finally, a "Muslim" that the New York Times approves of:

"It was this sort of forward thinking that led Mr. Zayat to name his $4.6 million colt Maimonides, after Moses Maimonides, considered to be among the greatest Jewish philosophers. As a Muslim, he said at the time: “I wanted to say something with the tool I had, which was a horse. I wanted it to be pro-peace, and about loving your neighbor.”

It also highlighted another complicated facet of his life. Publicly, Mr. Zayat alternately identifies as Muslim and Jewish. In fact, Mr. Zayat, who graduated from Yeshiva University, has given amply to Jewish causes."

Israel is so desperate for Hollywood approval that it can settle on LA porn

"When one follower invited her to visit Israel, she wrote in Hebrew: "I'm coming to Israel soon," and told another "b'ezrat Hashem." "
how fitting

The imaginary "Syrian revolution" in the mind of Liz Sly

There is an imaginary "Syrian revolution" in the mind of Liz Sly, and no developments on the ground can disabuse her of fantasy.  Her "revolution" is secular, feminist, democratic, and moderate and all information about it is exclusively released to her through the propagandists of the Free Syrian Army.  If there is one Western correspondent who was more wrong on Syria than any other, it is this correspondent. Just go and track her writings on Jamal Ma`ruf or about Free Syrian Army role or about Salim Idriss or about the various gangs that sprung up in Syria. 

Al-Azhar's sectarianism

From Basim: "Abdel-Moneim Foud, professor of Islam at Al-Azhar University, believes Shiites have no right to practice their rituals freely. “The Shiite religion is not derived from Islam. Neither are their rituals that are [man-made],” Foud said. “That’s why Al-Azhar does not allow them to practice their rituals publicly or build mosques of their own.”

Al-Azhar magazine, published by Al-Azhar, recently republished a 60-year-old book titled “The Outline of the Shiite Religion,” declaring Shiism a separate religion rather than an Islamic sect."

the military space plane known as the X-37B returned to Earth in October 2014. But no one really knows what its purpose was

"After spending 674 days in space, the military space plane known as the X-37B returned to Earth in October 2014. But no one really knows what its purpose was, or what it had been doing all that time, leading to all kinds of guessing in the popular press." "Using publicly accessible documents, the author attempts to piece together the plane’s likely mission, and writes that the X-37B illustrates the United States’ continuing interest in militarizing space and, possibly, weaponizing it in the future."

U.S. police kills then vilifies him as ISIS without any evidence

"What we have here is a black Muslim man killed while walking to work, followed by dubious and evidence-free inflammatory claims from the FBI and its media that are designed to make you want to simply dismiss Rahim as an Evil ISIS Operative who deserved to die, all without asking any questions." (thanks Amir)

Pentagon reassures Israel that the six planes will not make Lebanon a superpower

"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region."  Are you sure it won't? Because those planes are the bulk of the Mauritanian air force, and Mauritania as we all know is a super power.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

GCC Ministers openly and explicitly order GCC media to launch a propaganda campaign

"GCC information ministers renewed their call for the media to counter all those who seek to question the right of the State of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, stressing GCC states full solidarity with the State of Qatar and encouraged media in the GCC to continue countering these campaigns at home and abroad.
In recommendations they issued a their 23rd meeting, held in Doha, the GCC information ministers, among the simplest duties of the media in member states, is the support and the highlighting of the cultural and economic gains of this unprecedented achievement and positive impact on the youth in GCC states.
The Ministers agreed that the State of Qatar, in coordination with the General Secretariat, is to develop a strategic vision for the joint media moves to counter such campaigns to reflect the international dimension of media discourse to show the right of GCC state, represented by the State of Qatar, to organize this important event.
The Ministers decided to approve the General Secretariat's vision on the implementation of a number of recommendations contained in the evaluation study of the media strategy and decided to refer it to the ministerial council to endorse it while taking into account a number of points that include assigning the General Secretariat, in coordination with media committees working within the GCC framework (Radio, TV, news agencies, electronic media) in addition to the GCC Joint Programme Production Institution, the Gulf TV and Radio and GCC Journalism Union, to get briefed on the role they can play in this area.
The approval of the abovementioned vision included the stress that countering the takfirist ideology and the extremist trends requires a sustained effort by all GCC media in accordance with the mechanisms followed in each state." (thanks J.)

One poll of Palestinians and two headlines

From Joe: "Two articles on the same poll:

AP: "Palestinian poll shows discontent with Hamas, Gaza war"

Reuters: "Hamas gains in popularity in Gaza, West Bank since war with Israel: poll"

Conflict of interst? What conflict of interest?

"During Tuesday’s hearing, the judge, Thomas M. Durkin of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, acknowledged what some people have viewed as potential conflicts: He donated $1,500 to Mr. Hastert’s campaigns in the early 2000s; had worked alongside Mr. Hastert’s son Ethan; and is the brother of Jim Durkin, the Republican leader of the Illinois House."

The one Western official who is not afraid to mildly criticize the Saudi regime

"Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom Tuesday accused Saudi Arabia of handing a "medieval" punishment to a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam.

"My opinion is that it's a medieval sentence. It's a medieval method that does not have its place in a society that allows a free media and allows people to express their point of view," Wallstrom told Swedish Radio in Brussels."

"The number of U.S. personnel in the Bahrain has increased from 6,500 to 8,300 in just two years

"More sailors might soon be able to bring their families on assignment to Bahrain, where the Navy installation hosting 5th Fleet has grown significantly in recent years." "The number of U.S. personnel in the country has increased from 6,500 to 8,300 in just two years," "Massive protests in 2011 threatened to topple Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy. But these were quickly crushed following an armed intervention by troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies."

Did any US technology firms protest the Israeli production of viruses? Israeli spy virus Targeted Hotels Used for Iran Nuclear Talks

"Senior U.S. officials learned Israel was spying on the nuclear talks in 2014, a finding first reported by The Wall Street Journal in March. Officials at the time offered few details about Israel’s tactics.  Kaspersky’s findings, disclosed publicly in a report on Wednesday, shed new light on the use of a stealthy virus in the spying efforts. The revelations also could provide what may be the first concrete evidence that the nuclear negotiations were targeted and by whom. "

World Bank’s Business-Lending Arm Backed Palm Oil Producer Amid Deadly Land War

"The conflict has drawn international scrutiny in part because Dinant, one of its central protagonists, has been financed by the World Bank Group.

Dinant was backed by the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank conglomerate that lends to private companies. The IFC supported Dinant, one of Central America’s biggest palm oil and food producers, throughout the recent land conflicts. It provided $15 million directly to Dinant in 2009 and later channelled $70 million in 2011 to a Honduran bank that was one of Dinant’s largest financiers.

In doing so, the IFC aligned itself with one of the key players in a deadly civil conflict, staking its money and reputation on a powerful corporation with a questionable history. The IFC ignored easily obtainable evidence that should have warned it away from doing business with Dinant, the lender’s internal ombudsman later found. "

David Blatt, the Israeli soldier

"Blatt's proud Zionism means that he has been a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (the IDF), an experience described in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz as "his most significant bonding experiences with the country." He is also on a first-name basis with the nation's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. This friendship, which ABC broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy described at high decibels as "impressive" during Tuesday night's primetime Finals broadcast, is so intimate, that Blatt boasts of being able to call Netanyahu "Bibi" when they speak. Blatt told The Plain Dealer that the prime minister "said all of Israel is behind the Cavaliers. That was great."

What went unmentioned by Van Gundy, not to mention The Plain Dealer, are the ethical implications of an NBA coach beaming about his friendship with Netanyahu. "Bibi's" last campaign was so riven with virulent anti-Arab racism, it was condemned across the globe. The aforementioned Israeli newspaper Haaretz printed an editorial about feeling "shame" that their "prime minister was a racist" after Netanyahu's March election victory. The New York Times editorial page credited his triumph to a "desperate and craven" campaign that relied on a "racist rant" against Arab citizens of Israel to pull out a victory. Time's Joel Klein wrote that Netanyahu's victory represented an "appalling irony" that "brought joy to American neoconservatives and European anti-Semites alike." I use these examples because they represent how even staunch supporters of Israel were nauseated by Netanyahu's toxic political platform."

US military spending is higher than that of all countries in the world taken together

"US military spending is higher than that of all countries in the world taken together. The aggregate military spending of NATO countries is 10 times, note – 10 times higher than that of the Russian Federation. Russia has virtually no bases abroad." "I invite you to publish the world map in your newspaper and to mark all the US military bases on it. You will see the difference."

Yemen drone strike lawsuit forces U.S. to face non-western 'war on terror' victims

"Pradhan added that Obama’s apology in April over the deaths of American development expert Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, two hostages being held by al-Qaida at a compound in Pakistan, showed a double standard for how western lives are treated as opposed to civilians in countries ravaged by the broader “war on terror”."

UN peacekeeprs: keep them away of hot spots, please. Keep them away from humanity

""Members of a U.N. peacekeeping mission engaged in "transactional sex" with more than 225 Haitian women who said they needed to do so to obtain things like food and medication, a sign that sexual exploitation remains significantly underreported in such missions, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press."" (thanks Amir)