Friday, September 22, 2017

capitalism and war

"To be successful, Mattis and Tillerson decided they should use talking points and commentary with which they believed Trump would be most familiar: the role that the military, intelligence officers and diplomats play in making the world safe for American businesses, like The Trump Organization, to operate and expand abroad."

Al-Khalifah and Israel

"In recent years, Bahrain has begun to slowly externalize its relations with Israel." "Nonetheless, diplomatic sources claim that Bahrain’s changed attitude reflects Saudi Arabia’s stance. Statements such as the one by Bahrain’s king are not made without receiving the go-ahead from Riyadh. It is likely, they argue, that Saudi Arabia was the one encouraging Bahrain to step forward in regard to Israel."

Israel and Al-Qa`idah: if only Americans knew

"Israel has even provided air cover to Syrian al-Qaeda. In June, journalist Nour Samaha published a lengthy article interviewing Syrian rebels in the illegally occupied Golan Heights who openly spoke of how Israel has supported them." (thanks Amir)

How Western media celebrate Jamal Khashoggi

Khashoggi, who worked for various Saudi princes (Prince Khalid bin Faisal, and then Turki bin Faisal, and then Walid bin Talal, among others) never ever protested Saudi regime repression. He only spoke out when he was muzzled repeatedly and when some of his friends (pro-regime people) also spoke out.  Mr. Khashoggi is clear at what he wants: he wants repression in the country to go back to what it was a month ago.  Then, it was a democratic paradise for him.  He was very clear when he was asked about twitter: he wanted revolutions in Arab countries but not in Saudi Arabia because he thinks it constitutes an exemplary democracy.  A sample of the accolades he has been getting. Also, if a supporter of the Asad regime or the Iranian regime spoke out and said: I want things to go back to the repression of a month ago, would he/she be lionized in Western media?
Ben Hubbard (@NYTBen)
Quite a cri de coeur from Saudi journalist @JKhashoggi: Saudi wasn’t always this repressive. Now it’s unbearable.

Another Hizbullah commander confess to an anti-hizbollah site

"a commander told Middle East Eye."  Does this commander drink thick black coffee like the commander who spoke to NBC news?

Ben Hubbard does what he does best: produces propaganda for the Saudi royal family

Look he summed up the life of King Faisal: "One ruled Saudi Arabia for 11 years, outlawed slavery, spread public education and introduced television to his country."  This is the man who was first to declare Jihad (in the religious fanatical meaning of the word), the man who fought progressive, secular movements thoruhogut the world, the man who was a benefactor of every reactionary anti-communist movement in the region and beyond, the man who inspired the alliance of Islamist political forces in the Cold War, the man who sponsored the fanaticism of Ibn Baz, who would inspire Bin Laden and his ilk, the man who used the oil wealth to fight the war in Yemen, the man who solidified the alliance between the house of Saudi and the religious Wahhabi establishment.  King Faisal was one of the most notorious anti-Semites in the entire contemporary history of the region, and he funded anti-Semites in the world.  But for Ben Hubbard, he "ended slavery and brought television".  In fact, he did not want to end slavery but the regime of King Saud in its last year, championed progressive issues especially in the economic and oil sphere, and Faisal did not want to appear less progressive and Western powers supported his coup in return for the ostensible reforms which he announced.  Slavery in the kingdom did NOT end in 1964. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

You know what the funniest joke on the planet? Freedom House and its ranking of freedom worldwide

In their latest report, Jordan is placed in the same category of Lebanon.  But for Freedom House, having good relations with the Israeli state, earn you freedom points in its kooky scale.

Terrorist clown

And this is supposed to be the sane and rational alternative to Trump?

"Clinton says U.S. could "totally obliterate" Iran"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

About the humiliation of the Israeli occupation army in South Lebanon in 2006

From the deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration: "especially since the 34-day war in the summer of 2006 in which it defeated Israel". (thanks Basim)

In Lebanon, you can get a menicure while a foreign domestic worker holds you hookah pipe

A protest at AUB this morning against Samir Khalaf who insulted a student for wearing the Hijab

ADC Convention

How much the ADC has changed since I came to US in 1983.  It was an expression of the progressive and fiercely pro-Palestinian sentiments of Arab-Americans.  I read that ADC will be given the Hala Salam Maksoud award to Phalange-sympathizer, May Rihani.  Why not give an award to Bashir Gemayyel while you are at it?  Hala Salam was a progressive fiercely pro-Palestinian leader.  Her name should not be associated with Lebanese nationalist Phalange-sympathizers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Another version of the picture

Outcry at the American University of Beirut: a professor insults a student for wearing a hijab

The story is here as recounted by the student.

A Sisi meeting

Human Rights all around

No, opposition to Jihadism or Ikhwan or Wahhabiyyah is NOT Islamophobia

While it is true that many progressive and mostly liberals support dictatorial rules in Syria or Egypt or Tunisia or Jordan or Gulf regime out of a desire to crush Islamists and Ikhwan, but opposition to Jihadism or Ikhwan or Wahhabiyyah is NOT in itself Islamophobia, just as opposition to Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitism.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Jamal Khashoggi speaks out in the washington Post

1) He never ever said a word about arrests and repression in Saudi Arabia.
2) He only spoke out now because repression is affecting him and his friends.
3) He basically is only speaking out because those who were banned or arrested are people who support the regime.  In other words, Mr. Khashoggi does not mind repression, arrests, and beheading of opponents of the regime. He only gets upset when people like him--long standing supporters and propagandists of the regime--are banned.
4) When was Saudi Arabia ever not repressive and cruel?
5) He says tat the Crown Prince is popular: how do you measure that when criticisms of the man is illegal and can get you long prison sentences? And who does he talk to? Does he talk to anyone who is not like him a supporter of the regime?

Look how many US lawmakers visited Israel sponsored by AIPAC

A week after Liz Sly posted a false report that Israel only once violated Lebanese airspace since 2006

Liz Sly was promoted a week after posting a false report that Israel violated Lebanese airspace only once since 2006 (when the real number is over 7000 by 2012).  Real journalism warrants real rewards in the US, especially when Zionism is concerned.

NYTimes opened up its pages for the Saudi regime to justify its repression

Can you imagine the New York Times providing free space for the Iranian or Syrian regime to justify their repression, the way the Times provided free space for Saudi regime to justify its repression?  

Why the US allowed ISIS convoy to proceed

So when Hizbullah expelled ISIS terrorists from the Lebanese borders, Western correspondents in Beirut were up in arms (taking their cues from propagandists of the Saudi regime camp in the Middle East--as they always do).  Yet, when the US allowed the ISIS convoy to proceed, they simply provided justifications.

Guess who is back? And guess who Hizbullah commanders and fighters chose to confide their secrets to?

This is what a seasoned Western correspondents in the Middle East told me about his/her theory regarding all those Western correspondents in Beirut who claim that Hizbullah fighters and commanders confide in them although they all have a record of hostility to Hizbullah and sympathy for Israel.  He/she believes that those correspondents rely on fixers--as we all know and on local translators and drivers and bodyguards and cooks and groomers and butlers--and those fixers for a fee would produce "Hizbullah commanders" who in reality are local thugs and who are willing to play the role for a fee.  I remembers when I worked with NBC News back in the 1980s how local "fixers" in Beirut would also claim that they have tapes with American hostages in Lebanon and would sell them before screening to NBC office in Beirut only to find out that the tapes were blank.  The same here.  Also, why do Hizbullah commanders and fighters sound so markedly different in tone and bravado than real Hizbullah commanders and fighters in the rare occasions when they talk to reporters in Lebanon IN ARABIC?    Notice this claim by Israeli terrorist commanders how it went unchecked and refuted in the same article: "Israel adopted a policy of specifically targeting Hezbollah and trying to avoid the Lebanese army as well as the country’s infrastructure and citizens."  Of course, Israeli terrorist state did target Lebanese Army even at their headquarters in Yarze.  And notice how the Israeli occupation state casually threatens to destroy Lebanon: "Lebanon will be destroyed in a few days.”"

Sunday, September 17, 2017

AUB President agrees with Kim Ghattas: colonial times were the best times in the Middle East

Dr. Fadlo Khuri (@DrFadloKhuri)
Reflective, poignant article by @BBCKimGhattas on Lebanon and Beirut, enduring, but endangered communal…

The lies and fabrications of the Israeli lobby

AIPAC says: "In addition to extortive taxes and fees levied against the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese Shia under its jurisdiction".  A blatant lie. As if Hizbullah is not the people of South Lebanon--or some of them anyway.  The extended members of the AbuKhalil family in Tyre and Qulaylah village live in areas where Hizbullah is dominant and they don't pay a penny to Hizbullah.

Is Huffington Post renting out space on its website? I am serious.

I know that the Arabic version of Huffington Post was sold to the Qatari regime which made it into the sleaziest most misogynistic Arabic site there is.  But now the US Huffington Post is putting out stupid propaganda in praise of wealthy Arab.  It is hilarious that they called Lebanese billionaire, Fouad Makhzoumi "a beloved public figure".  That would crack up most Lebanese if they hear it.

When the US almost invaded Lebanon in 1969

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "When the US almost invaded Lebanon in 1969: a new document".

PS I am grateful to James Stoker for alerting me to this document that he found in the archives.

Friday, September 15, 2017

King Salman mingles freely around his people in Mecca--but surrounded by a whole army

Homophobia in Israel

"But after the lawmaker, Yigal Guetta, revealed in the radio interview that he had attended the wedding of a gay nephew, his chatty appeal to a broader audience of potential Shas voters appeared to backfire. Rabbis and party activists revolted and demanded that he resign. Under pressure from the critics, Mr. Guetta, 51, told Aryeh Deri, the party leader, this week that he was resigning, and Mr. Deri agreed."

The Saudi "reformer": Jamal Khashoggi argues that protests are legitimate in Syria and Libya but not in Saudi Arabia

He agrees with the Saudi regime senior clerics that protests should be banned in Saudi Arabia and says that: "The Kingdom is a successful model among failed republics.  Revolutions there could not be stopped.  The Kingdom needs reforms and not revolutions".

Replying to 
سأعتبر انك جاد وأجيبك، لأن المملكة نموذج ناجح بين جمهوريات فاشلة ، الثورات هناك ما كان لأحد ان يوقفها ، المملكة تحتاج إصلاحات لا ثورات

Ben Hubbard does what he does best: promote the propaganda interests of the Saudi regime

"While many of the proposed changes are popular with Saudis and hailed as necessary for the kingdom’s future".  How did he know that they are popular when expression of disagreement with those "changes" would land you in jail? Did he conduct a survey?

Israel has the worst child poverty rate: a disgrace unto the nations

Child poverty rate.

Israel: 28.5%
Mexico: 26%
Spain: 21.7%
US: 20.5%
Italy: 17.3%
Japan: 15.7%
France: 10.8%
UK: 9.5%
Germany: 8.1%


Senior Clerics in Saudi Arabia rules against protests in Saudi Arabia (but they support it in Syria, Libya, and Iran)

This has been mocked: how Saudi clerics rule against protests in Saudi Arabia but rules in its favor in countries not aligned with Saudi regime.

Criticisms of Hizbullah's political role in Al-Akhbar

Al-Akhbar's publisher, Ibrahim Al-Amin, published a scathing critique of Hizbullah and its corrupt role in Lebanese domestic politics.  He takes on the party for its reluctance to engage in social justice struggle. But the party is not a progressive party so it is not surprising--to me.

How the US wants to win Arab "hearts and minds": by a salutation to Zionism

This has been mocked by Arabs.  The new (even more Zionist) management of the failed project of Al-Hurra TV (the Arabic US propaganda TV) wants to win Arab hearts and minds, so it commissioned an Arabic article to salute Zionism.  Kid you not.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kim Ghattas: her ignorance of Middle East history and her utter racism and sectarianism

"But after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, World War II, and decolonization, cosmopolitanism clashed with nationalism across the Arab world. The expulsions of minorities, who were often associated with the colonizing powers, led to increasing cultural and social homogenization."  Who expelled minorities? Which minorities? You certainly are not talking about the explosion of Palestinians from their homeland.  Zionists claimed for decades that Egyptian Jews were expelled from Egypt while recently they are now condeding that such explosion never actually took place.  And what is Ghattas claiming? That the Middle East was a great tolerant place until the Arab Jews and foreigners left the region and then it became backward?  But look at her internalized racism: she basically says that when the European and Jews left everything went down hill.  If only colonialism can come back, o Ms. Ghattas.  You would be most happy.  She says: "Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser kicking out thousands of French, Greeks, Italians, and Jews, putting an end to the golden age of Alexandria."  And look at her racism against Syrian refugees: "many worry about the long-term impact of the influx in recent years of around a million mostly Sunni, mostly conservative Syrian refugees on the fabric of society."  So she is saying that if only those refugees are Christians then they would have been civilized.  And she claims that Iran is settling Shi`ites in Syria.  This fabrication is just that: a fabrication and has never been proven.  I thought I could never find anything more distasteful than her hagiography of Hillary Clinton. This is even worse.

Qatari regime: how to please Trump

"The Qatar Investment Authority has deployed more than half of the $45 billion earmarked for the United States since 2015 and most of its future investments will go to the infrastructure sector, its chief executive said on Wednesday."

U.S. sent weapons to Syria through Ramstein military base

"The US military has been using its massive air base in western Germany to arm rebel groups in Syria without Berlin's permission, according to a report from German newspaperSüddeutsche Zeitung published on Wednesday."

Arrests in Saudi Arabia

The lies by the government of Saudi Arabia regarding the arrests are staggering.  The detainees are sometimes accused of terrorism and sometimes of "extremism", making it clear that none are really accused of terrorism as they range in ideological orientations.  And the regime claimed in their media that they were arrested for "intelligence links" but claims in the same charge that they were interrogated before and released after a warning.  So you are telling me that the Saudi regime knew of their outside links to intelligence services (either Qatar or Iran, is being implied) and the government did not punish them? they need to work on their lies.

Israel sponsors Evangelical media summit

"According to Maltz, the Israeli government -- which is sponsoring the gathering of broadcasters and journalists, and paying for the participant's accommodations – is "hoping to explain the country and its often controversial policies to this new target audience." While many issues will be discussed at the first-of-its-kind Summit, it is possible that high up on the list is solidifying opposition to those promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel." (thanks Amir)

"In Vaccines we Trust? The Effects of Anti-vaccine Propaganda on Immunization: Evidence from Pakistan"

"In July 2011, the Pakistani public unexpectedly learnt that the CIA had conducted a fake vaccination campaign as part of the operations to capture Osama Bin Laden. This episode was extensively used by Taliban groups to discredit the health system and vaccination campaigns. We implement a Difference-in-Differences strategy to document the effect of the disclosure of this information on demand for health services. We use survey data to compare vaccination rates before and after the disclosure of this information, across regions with different levels of electoral support for Islamist groups. Our results suggest that the disclosure of information on the fake vaccination campaign had a substantial negative effect on immunization rates: a one standard deviation increase in support for Islamist groups lead to a 9 to 13% decline in immunization rates over the sample mean. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the disclosure of the vaccination ruse eroded the degree of trust in medical services, and consequently, lead parents to actively refuse the use of formal medicine and vaccines, in particular." 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

From the profile of the Saudi ambassador in the New York Times: no wonder Saudi regime media are circulating it

"The prince’s allies say his youth is a strength. Captain Mohammad al-Ajmi, an officer in the Saudi air force who said he flew dozens of missions in Yemen and Syria with Prince Khalid, said in an interview that his friend was unassuming and energetic. He has seen the prince quit only once. “He doesn’t know how to ski,” Captain Ajmi, 29, said. “That’s the only thing he gave up on.”"  This is what I call investigative journalism.

Crackdown in Saudi Arabia

Unlike what some in the media are writing on social media, this crackdown is not directed against dissidents.  Many of those arrested are loyal propagandists for the Saudi regime.  They are being punished not for what they say but for what they are not saying: they are being punished for not being vocal against Qatar and against the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

When Two Saudi regime writers battle it out

Nasir Salih As-Sirami (above) is commenting on the latest tweet by Jamal Khashoggi who wrote: "You arrest `Isam Az-Zamil!! `Isam was here in DC serving his country accompanying an official delegation.  Those are the best of the sons of my country. What is happening?"   So As-Sirami says: "Don't worry, brother Jamal.  Enjoy America and your spacious home which was bought to you by Saudi Arabia as an advisor to its embassy then.  And don't forget the London home too."  

What is happening in Saudi Arabia: arresting `Isam Az-Zamil

The arrest of `Isam Az-Zamil today adds to a climate of fear and nervousness in the kingdom.  The new regime seems to be insecure and showing it.  MbS has not left the kingdom since he was appointed Crown Prince, and that is telling (unless it was him who secretly visited Israel, as was reported.  Az-Zamil was an economic analyst who was close to the regime.  The arrests seem to target those who were accused of Islamist Ikhwan sympathies or Qatar sympathies or Turkish sympathies.  I can't see how this reign will last when it is floundering before it has started.  I told you: you can bank on MbS to do more damage to the rule of House of Saudi than all their opponents throughout contemporary history.

It seems that Nasrallah convinced Iran to commit to fight for the protection of the Syrian regime--not the other way round

In this private account of a speech given by Hasan Nasrallah, it seems that it was Nasrallah who had to convince Iran--not the other way round--to fight in Syria to protect the Syrian regime.

Al-Akhbar covers North Korea...from North Korea

Al-Akhbar reporter, Sabah Ayyoub, was able to visit North Korea for a sport event and she wrote three articles on it.  They are quite different from what you read in Western media, and even the pictures she took are different.  

This reminds me when Israel courted Lebanese "hearts and minds" to keep PLO away: they got Hizbullah instead

"Israel is courting Syrian ‘hearts and minds’ to keep Hezbollah away".  

PS The article is typical propaganda piece which should be billed as paid PR ad for the government of Israel.  It talks about humanitarian aid without mentioning Israel support for Jihadi terrorist groups, like Al-Qa`idah.  This reminds me of US media propaganda piece about US humanitarian work in Lebanon, when Israel was arming and financing the right-wing death squad militias of the Phalanges and their ilk.

Yet, Western correspondents in Beirut never bother to write about this

"A former U.S. official said Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Shi‘ite militias in Iraq have been “very helpful” in recapturing vast swaths of the caliphate that Islamic State declared in Syria and Iran in 2014."

Monday, September 11, 2017

Jamal Khashggi

It seems that Khashoggi, despite many years of loyalty and fealty to various Saudi princes, will be next on the arrest list, judging from his public disagreements on Twitter with recent arrests.

PS Hilarious. Minutes after I wrote this, I read that Al-Hayat, mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan, just ordered a ban on the writings of Khashoggi.

Islamism and Liberalism in Saudi Arabia

This is the dilemma of the Saudi regime: it has cultivated an Islamist trend in the kingdom.  But the regime can deliver on islamism.  In recent years, the regime has cultivated a fake liberal trend (only to combat Islamist trends in the kingdom) but the regime is incapable of delivering on any liberal promise.  So the regime will have to go back to Islamism for its legitimacy.  

U.S. after Saudi money

"The Trump Administration is “desperate for Saudi money, especially infrastructure investments in the Rust Belt,” the former official told me. An influx of Saudi dollars could generate jobs and thus redound to Trump’s political benefit. As a cynical douceur, the Saudis, derided by Trump during his campaign as “people that kill women and treat women horribly,” joined the United Arab Emirates in pledging $100 million for a women’s-empowerment initiative spearheaded by Ivanka Trump."

Evangelical leader: Trump is anointed by God

"White was also asked about comments she made on the “Jim Bakker Show” about Trump being anointed by God." "White is one of a few dozen evangelical leaders who meet regularly — and informally — as an advisory board to Trump. White goes to Washington at least every couple weeks to visit with him."

Sep. 11, US

Who would have believed that US relations with Saudi regime actually improved AFTER Sep. 11? 

Another Sep. 11

"Chile’s armed forces stage a coup d’état against the government of President Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected Marxist leader in Latin America." "The U.S. government and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had worked for three years to foment a coup against Allende, who was regarded by the Nixon administration as a threat to democracy in Chile and Latin America. Ironically, the democratically elected Allende was succeeded by the brutal dictator General Augusto Pinochet, who ruled over Chile with an iron fist for the next 17 years." (thanks Amir)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Liz Sly deleted the tweet (see below)

I can't believe that a correspondent in Beirut would make the claim that Israel was violating Lebanese airspace for the first time since 2006 when those violations are daily (see below).  When this was pointed out to her, she deleted the original tweet.  Now she resides in Beirut to cover Syria but now I wonder: does she reside in Cairo to cover Syria from Beirut?

Corruption charges in Israel

Israel is certainly not a model for transparency and the rule of law--and I am talking about when it relate to Jewish citizens (when it comes to Arab, Zionism imposes the rule of brute force and savage occupation).  But notice whenever there are corruption charges (and every prime minister has been involved to a degree or another with corruption) prosecution always drags its feet and leaks are intended to soften the impact, and sentencing is always a slap-on-the-wrist.  So don't give me the malarky that Israel provides a shining example to Arab countries--certainly not when a former Israeli president spent a career raping women.  

When Liz Sly "clarifies" (see below): she is wrong again, of course

Replying to 
"To clarify, Israeli warplanes overfly Lebanon every day, in violation of UN resolutions. But it's rare for them to buzz so low & fast"

This is the Washington Post correspondent in Beirut

Imagine.  By 2010, the Lebanese government reported more than 7000 Israeli violations of Lebanese Airspace.   

For the 1st time perhaps since 2006, Israeli warplanes buzz Lebanon. Broke the sound barrier in Sidon, windows crack

Arrest in Saudi Arabia in anticipation of Sep. 15 Protest Day

There is quite a bit of nervousness on the part of the Saudi regime: it could be due to the impending coronation of Muhammad bin Salman.  Salman Al-Awdah has been arrested and there are reports that Awad Al-Qarni was also arrested.  This came days after reports that dissident Prince, `Abdul-`Aziz bin Fahd, was also arrested when he returned to the Kingdom for the Hajj (although he posted pictures with the king in Mecca).  MbS seems increasingly politically insecure and I can't see how this can continue especially if dissent grows within the royal family.  And the presence of King Salman shields him up to a point, but he will lose that cover when he becomes King himself.  Foes of the royal regime in SA are counting on MbS to bring down House of Saudi, once and for all.

Gender and the law in the US

Q: What is gender bias? 
A: Women are 50% of law grads, 36% of practicing attorneys, 25% of judges, & 2% of U.S. Attorney nominees.

Taxes as a Share of GDP

Saturday, September 09, 2017

ISIS expertise

Another great benefit for the demise of ISIS? Maybe the ISIS experts will go away.

These are the Arab reformers that the West champions

Despicable: a Saudi professor maintains that Florida tragedy is a punishment from God, as if Muslims are not hit by natural disasters

Iran behind Sep. 11: I thought that Iraq was behind Sep. 11

So Saudi regime media now are peddling a video "proving" that Iran was behind Sep. 11.

Israeli support for Myanmar is the natural alliance of regimes based on ethnic supremacy

"What has not been reported in the mainstream news is the fact that, even during this ongoing genocidal campaign against its Muslim population, Myanmar has been supplied with weaponry by Israel. This is by no means the first time that the Israeli defense industry has supplied repressive regimes with the tools of their trade, from apartheid South Africa to Pinochet’s Chile and the Guatemalan dictatorship: its weapons industry, indeed, proudly boasts of the fact that its products come well “field tested”. They usually fail to mention that their weapons have been tested in repressing Palestinian resistance to an illegal occupation, conducting war against the predominantly civilian population of Gaza, or in maintaining surveillance and policing of the illegal apartheid wall that runs through the West Bank." (thanks Amir)

Having succeeded in bringing down the Syrian regime, the Atlantic Council now wants to bring down Iranian regime

Is this UAE embassy-sponsored or Saudi embassy-sponsored?

The Intercept: another mainstream news site when it comes to Syria

Did you ever think that you would read this in The Intercept?  "Radwan Ziadeh, a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and a prolific, longtime Syrian dissident".  Do you need to read further when you see this really?

When the Saudi lobby advertises for jobs: they want "top-rated" candidates

Look at their silly language: "Master’s degree or Ph.D. from a top-rated university".  All the jobs had to insist on this category of "top-rated" university.  Is that because all the Saudi royals went to "top-rated" schools?  But they also want: "Candidates must be first-rate writers". What does that mean?  And don't you like this requirement?  "
  • Ability to respond to constructive criticism and work under close editorial oversight;".  What does that mean? Ability to handle the unprofessional settings in all places working for Saudi princes?

David Duke was hosted by the Bahrain government: will there be articles about white supremacy and GCC?

David Duke was hosted by the Bahrain despotic government.  His anti-Semitism was sponsored by the Bahrain despot.

US policies on Israel and natural disasters: Pat Robertson

"Pat Robertson, who saw God’s hand in the Haiti and San Fernando Valley earthquakes, has also said U.S. political pressure on Israel causes natural disasters in the United States, and he warned that gay tourists at Disney World could cause a meteor strike. But he has been quiet about Harvey and Irma."

Despicable: A senior Al-Jazeera figure gloats over the Florida tragedy

Ahmad Mansur, close to Ikhwan and one of the key hosts of AlJazeera, writes this about the tragedy of Florida:  "The Great Flight from Florida...20 Million Americans flee in fear from Irma hurricane which smashes everything".  Then cites the Qur'an to the effect that this is God's punishment.
‏الهروب الكبير من فلوريدا ..20 مليون أمريكى يفرون خوفا من الإعصار إيرما الذى يسحق كل شيء " ويريكم آياته فأى آيات الله تنكرون "

Contradictions of Arab Liberalism

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Contradictions of Arab Liberalism and Modes of its Uses"

Friday, September 08, 2017

A new legislation in US Congress: You may harm the interests of UK, Germany, France, and any other country at the UN but not Israel

"A five percent withholding of any U.S. funds to a specialized agency or other U.N entity that takes official action against the national security interest of the United States or U.S. ally, including Israel."  But why is Israel the only ally named? Why not name UK or Saudi Arabia also?

The "liberal" haaretz: any name would do but Palestine

On social media, it said that the pictures was for Eretz Yisrael, on the site, they called it Holy Land.  Anything to avoid calling it by its name: Palestine.
"In Color: Amazing Photos of Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land From 1900"

Saudi regime propagandiste condemns those "journalists-for-hire"--kid you not

`Abdul-Rahman Al-Rashid, a longtime Saudi regime propagandist, condemns those "journalists-for-hire".

Falafel versus Falafel in Lebanon

The New York Times failed to mention that the family name, Sahyun, means "Zion".

NYTimes, like other US media, find Israeli acquisition of nuclear weapons to be cute and amusing

"The ousted French prime minister had just signed the letter authorizing the sale of a nuclear reactor to Israel — for peaceful purposes, he had been assured — even though he no longer had the authority to do so. It was the morning after Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury’s government fell in late 1957. To get around the problem, he wrote the previous day’s date at the top of the page as an anxious Shimon Peres, then the ever-resourceful director general of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, looked on. “I asked no questions,” Mr. Peres, who went on to serve as prime minister and president, related six decades after the event. “I said nothing at all. What was there to say?” It was, Mr. Peres said, “the most generous display of friendship I had ever known.”"  

"Behind the Guise of Adversarial Journalism, CNN’s Jake Tapper Is Taking America to War"

"However, as Trump transitions from a non-interventionist campaign platform to a crudely militaristic foreign policy, Tapper has not only let the president off the hook, he has played a central role in cultivating pro-war fever among the American public. I watched each episode of Tapper’s “The Lead” from August 1-10, as the North Korea crisis came to a head, as well as 14 editions of his show between April and July. Only two shows proceeded without an extended segment promoting regime change and expanded sanctions or hyping threats from North Korean ICBMs and Russian hackers."

Saudi regime's new stance on Syria

“The Saudis now realize that the Russians could be the only party that can settle the Syria conflict,” said Mustafa Alani, head of the defense and security department at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai. “They don’t have a problem with the idea that the regime can stay.”  I wonder how those Syrians who assumed that the Saudi regime would "liberate" them feel about that now.  (thanks Basim)

Is Trump really the first White President? Hardly. Even Obama was one

"But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies. "  Again, I recommend the book Nixon's Piano: Presidents and Racial Politics from Washington to Clinton by Kenneth O'Reilly.  

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Carnegie Endowment: no strings attached

So when Carnegie Endowment wants the Saudi regime perspective, or even the Arab people's perspectives, they invite a Saudi regime propagandist.  But when they want the Iranian regime perspective, they invite a vocal opponent of the Iranian regime. What do you call that? I call it no strings attached.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

In the account by Liz Sly you would not even know who is doing the bombing and the killing of Syrian civilians here

"Amnesty International said last month that hundreds of civilians had died in airstrikes since the offensive began and that it had documented 176 deaths in June and July."

An activist in Venezuela being barred from travel is bigger news than an activist being beheaded in Saudi Arabia

"Venezuelan activist is barred from travel"

Fending off the evil spirits: will the West ever secularize?

Israel's dirty hands everywhere: Israel Arm Myanmar’s Military Junta

"Despite what is known at this point from the report of the United Nations envoy to the country and a report by Harvard University researchers that said the commission of crimes of this kind is continuing, the Israeli government persists in supplying weapons to the regime there. One of the heads of the junta, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, visited Israel in September 2015 on a “shopping trip” of Israeli military manufacturers. His delegation met with President Reuven Rivlin as well as military officials including the army’s chief of staff. It visited military bases and defense contractors Elbit Systems and Elta Systems."

The criminal regime of South Sudan was created by the West, with Israeli blessing and arming, of course

"The top U.S. official for humanitarian aid has delivered a stern warning to South Sudan’s president that the Trump administration is reexamining its policy toward one of the world’s poorest and most dangerous countries as the African nation slides into lawlessness."

Can you imagine the reaction if Hizbullah announced they were practicing for an invasion of Israel?

"Over 10 days, Israel’s land, air, sea and intelligence forces will prepare to invade Lebanon in the event of a another war with the Shiite paramilitary organization, with which it fought a bloody conflict in 2006." (thanks Basim)

The Holocaust Museum on Syria

The story for me is not what did the Museum remove or post about Syria: the story is what business is it for the Holocaust Museum to write reports on Syria or about any other conflict?  In all those years, and after so many wars and conflicts, did the Museum produce one report about Israeli crimes and massacres?  And what prompted the Museum to become an expert on Syria?  I thought that we agree that the Holocaust should not be politicized out of respect for the victims.  And now the Holocaust Museum itself (which as you know came out as a political idea by Jimmy Carter to boost his standing after he was perceived as being not sufficiently pro-Israel) is politicizing its very mission and throwing itself into political matters?  But here I don't expect the Zionists in the US would object as long as the politicization is not harmful to Israel and its interests.

US Sports and Israel: notice that the Middle East here means only occupied Palestine

"Kraft, who is Jewish, has been heavily invested in Israel, both financially and emotionally, and is close friends with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s also essentially an ambassador of football in the region, and opened the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem. That 25-acre, multi-sports venue — which includes the first three regulation-sized football fields in the Middle East — is reflective of his commitment to grow the game in the region." (thanks Michele)

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Of course, US students have extensive knowledge of world geography and cultures of the world

Interview with North Korean dissident in the Intercept

Not sure of the value of the interview.  She parrots US propaganda word-for-word and is so keen on never saying a word of criticism about US policies in the region.  

Israeli expertise on the Arab world

Yet, again: Israel media confuse Lebanese Hizbullah with Iraqi Hizbullah. the Jerusalem Post had an article about Lebanese Hizbullah but the picture showed flags of Iraqi Hizbullah. They later changed it on the website.  

How Saudi media is covering North Korea

This is rather the epitome of irony.  Saudi regime propagandist, `Abdul-Rahman Al-Rashid, mocks the North Korean ruler for "killing his uncle".  But does not Al-Rashid follow the prince who ousted his cousin and put him under house arrest, and also dismissed his uncle, and kidnapped other cousins from Europe because they dissented?

Saudi/UAE funding comes with no strings attached, mind you

The Middle East Institute now carries editorials from the Saudi mouthpiece of the King's family, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat.

The North Korean rhetoric

There is such an effort to portray the North Korean rhetoric as crazy and irrational. The statements of the North Korean ambassador in Geneva contain some explanations for the real and legitimate fears that his country has vis-a-vis US growing nuclear threat.  If the two US and North Korean leaders can't be trusted with nukes, the rhetoric of the US in the last few weeks have been more crazy that that of the constantly mocked rhetoric of North Korea.

Monday, September 04, 2017

The scandals of UAE ambassador in DC

I have chosen to not carry the Intercept story about the UAE ambassador's personal life, based on leaked emails.  I also noticed that all US and Western media chosen to not cover the story.  I would have agreed with that decision if they would have been as restrained professionally if the story related to the private lives of Syrian or Iranian ambassadors.  If the story was about the Iranian ambassador in NYC, the New York Times would have carried the story on the front page.

The Journalism of Liz Sly

Look at this latest brand of journalism from Liz Sly: "ISIS fighters may have escaped to Iraq, despite U.S. promises to stop them".   She replied to me on Twitter when I remarked on this by saying that she also cited "Iraqi officials".  Yes, she cited a member of a local council: "said residents of Rawah told her that about 700 Islamic State fighters and their families had arrived".  The standards of US journalism, especially in covering the world, has so declined in the last few years.  Certainly, the zeal of US correspondents in Beirut (and their editors back home) in promoting Syrian rebels set aside all traditional standards.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The ISIS Caliph

He may be about ready to seek political asylum in...Tel Aviv.

Muhammad bin Salman is on the left, on the ladder

Tele-Islamist charlatan: Amr Khalid reminds me of US televangelists

Look at him. He was intensely acting piety in prayer session from Mecca and calling on God to answer the prayers of people on his Facebook page--kid you not--and then suddenly (see the shot the left) he looked at the camera for a second in a way that exposed his acting techniques. 

Why can't North Korea have leaders who are not moody? Just like the US

"Meet Kim Jong-un, a Moody Young Man With a Nuclear Arsenal"

VOA really likes SISI repression

"Another more prominent way Al Azhar has clamped down on extremist clerics in recent years, has been by preventing them from preaching at mosques it controls. Al Azhar has also sought to make preachers stick to specific sermon subjects each week, without going off-topic."

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Wait: so when US-owned militias in Syria reached an agreement for a safe passage with ISIS two months ago, it was OK?

"Rami Abdul Rahman, the founder of the Syrian Observatory who is critical of all sides in the conflict*, said the airstrikes to block the convoy were not just about keeping more fighters from joining the battle in the east, where the coalition is more active. When the coalition launched its offensive on Raqqa two months ago, the Syrian Democratic Forces made a similar deal with ISIS, to allow militants to flee Deir al-Zour."


Friday, September 01, 2017

Allies of ISIS in Lebanon: the pro-US/pro-Saudi camp

Because the attention of Western correspondents in Beirut is focused on serving the propaganda of the Saudi-US-Israeli camp in the Middle East, and because they are allies of the March 14 in Lebanon, there is an unreported story about Lebanon and ISIS.  As soon as ISIS emerged, March 14 figures supported ISIS and even publicly.  This guy, is a major March 14 figure (and is now the man in charge of all media for the pro-Saudi Lebanese Forces) wrote in 2013. It says: "Is ISIS against the Syrian regime: Yes.  Is ISIS against Iran? Yes.  Is ISIS against Hizbollah? Yes.  Therefore I am with ISIS".  This sentiment, by the way, was pretty much the sentiment of Western powers in the region.

The Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon and his war on Syrian refugees

During a mass last month, the head of Lebanon’s Maronite Christian church, Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, urged politicians to work on returning Syrians to their own country.  The patriarch accused refugees of “snatching (the Lebanese people‘s) daily bread from their mouths, throwing them into a state of poverty and deprivation.” (thanks Basim)

Hizbullah against ISIS

When you read Western media accounts (like this one by Liz Sly of the Post) you would not know that Hizbullah bombed the hell out of ISIS AND Nusrah front on the Lebanese-Syrian borders and forced them to submission and and he managed to expel them out of Lebanon.  Notice that all the accounts manage to focus on side-issues or to exaggerate the role of the insignificant Lebanese Army.  If this defeat and explosion of ISIS AND Nusrah was not by an enemy of Israel, there would be street rallies in the US, and Western media would be cheering the anti-ISIS forces on the front pages.

Zionist-white supremacist alliance

"Internationally, the alliance between Zionist and white supremacist groups has been growing. Steve Bannon, former senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, who is close to the “alt-right,” is set to speak at the Zionist Organization of America’s annual gala in November."

Western media obscure US/Saudi responsibility for killing Yemeni civilians

"Major Western media outlets have, however, obscured the responsibility Saudi Arabia, and its US and European supporters, bear for launching these airstrikes. There are no other parties presently bombing Yemen, so media cannot feign ignorance as to who is responsible for the attacks. But reports on the bloody US/Saudi coalition airstrikes were nonetheless rife with ambiguous and downright misleading language."

Israel alleged to have attacked Armenia from Azerbaijan

"Company officials were in Azerbaijan to promote their "suicide drone," the Orbiter-1K, and Azerbaijani officials asked for a sort of live demonstration, to launch the drone into Armenian territory. The drone operators refused, but then company officials armed and launched the drones themselves, according to the complaint.  Both are said to have missed their targets and caused no damage." (thanks Amir)