Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ben Hubbard reporting on Lebanon: Saudi regime propaganda

When Saudi regime summoned Hariri and detained him, they fabricated a threat to his life (while all politically divergent Lebanese security services denied that there was any threat to his life).  In fact, Ben Hubbard, dutifully described Saudi summon to Hariri as "he fled to Riyadh", for his safety.  Whatever happened to the threat to his life?  How come it is now suddenly safe for him to return to Lebanon and to even address crowds from an open window?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

My story with Lebanese PSP Union Leader

This is a true story of my days at American University of Beirut when I was involved with a strike of the janitors.  As we were preparing for the strike day, I was contacted by the leader of the Union of workers and employees at the university, who it turned out was a leader in the Progressive Socialist Party (call it Jumblat Party).  He wanted to dissuade me.  The dogmatic fanatic leftist that I was, would not be dissuaded, of course.  

Amazon's special cloud services

"Amazon Web Services on Monday introduced cloud service for the CIA and other members of the U.S. intelligence community."

60 Minutes ignores Washington's role in Yemen Carnage

"American complicity in the war is so broad in scope, it merited a warning last year from the US’s own State Department they could be liable for war crimes—yet it hardly merits a mention in major media accounts. The war just is, a collective moral failing on the part of “all parties”—irrational sectarian Muslims lost in a pat “cycle of violence” caricature." (thanks Amir)

Joseph Massad interviewed by Max Blumenthal

Click here not here.

White Helmets organization expresses gratitude toward the Saudi government of the servitor of the two holy sites


Monday, November 20, 2017

Stupid and racist New York Times claims that flirting "is relatively new" in China

They changed the article and removed the sentence.  In its earlier version, the article claimed that "flirting is relatively new" in China. How dumb are those US newspaper when they cover the world?

New York Times publishes a fake quotation by Hassan Rouhani

Look at this passage: "The Iranians themselves are clear about how they view the region: “No decisive actions can be taken in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, North Africa and the Gulf region without Iran’s consent,” Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, reportedly boasted last month. "  You know where the source takes you? To an article by former news director for Hariri media, who published it in a Saudi regime newspaper.  This distortion of Rouhani statement was first cooked by Saudi regime media and then adopted and circulated by all loyal pro-Saudi regime media propagandists in the region.  Actually, what Rouhani (who I detest) actually said was: no decisive decisions can be taken without taking Iranian stance into consideration.  But, hey: propaganda trumps news and facts.

Israeli by BBC standards

According to BBC, Israel is so peaceful and non-interventionist in the Middle East.  (thanks Basim)

Nobel committee

"The party said last week its controversial former leader Carl I Hagen, a vocal opponent of immigration who has also attacked Muslims, gay people and single mothers and called for Norway’s withdrawal from international human rights treaties, would be taking the Nobel committee seat it was entitled to." "In his 2007 book, Honestly Speaking, Hagen wrote of relations between ethnic Norwegians and the country’s Muslim community: “Freedom of expression is subordinate to the warlord, rapist and woman trafficker Muhammad.” "

Half of U.S. wealth is controlled by 25 billionaires

"The three wealthiest people in the United States — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett — now own more wealth than the entire bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 160 million people or 63 million households." "America’s top 25 billionaires — a group the size of a major league baseball team’s active roster — together hold $1 trillion in wealth. These 25 have as much wealth as 56 percent of the population, a total 178 million people or 70 million households." (thanks Amir)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hariri sought asylum in Jordan, according to the Times

“Mr. Hariri reached out to Jordan with a request to go to Amman as a safe haven, a Western official said. The request was denied, the official said, because the Saudis had pressured Jordan not to accept him.”

PS Why would the Times bury this major story at the end of the article and not even place in the headline?

Hariri in Paris

He met with a Lebanese media delegation.  My media source (represented) about the meeting: they left with the impression that he was not free--neither in Saudi nor in Paris.  He pleaded that they don't ask him about his stay in Riyadh.  Interestingly, unlike the propaganda interview in Riyadh, he didn't state that he was free or that he was in Saudi Arabia "reflecting" or "consulting".  My source (a well-known media executive in Beirut) confirmed from Hariri guards that as soon as he arrived in Riyadh he was stripped of his cellphones.  Curiously, one of the people in Hariri entourage who is now suspected by Hariri family of being more loyal to Saudi regime than to Hariri attended the session with the media delegation.  

Saudi Arabia: from family rule to the rule of one man

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "From the rule of the family to the one-man rule: The Saudi Dictator".

Did Bill Gates actually thank the Saudi regime for its philanthropic work in Yemen?

All Saudi regime media claimed yesterday that Bill Gates in his visit to Saudi Arabia actually thanked the Saudi government for its humanitarian work in Yemen. Kid you not. But something happened: Saudi Gazette had to change its headline (which said that "Gates praised Saudi humanitarian work in Yemen") and the content of its story clearly after receiving a complaint from Gates.  If you google Bill Gates and Yemen you can still see the false original headline of the story.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not in defense of Mugabe but...

I would like to remember the Robert Mugabe I knew (from afar) as I was growing up.  Robert Mugabe has an appeal not that different from that of Nelson Mandela for my leftist generation in the Middle East.  Mugabe was a brilliant student who persevered in a grotesque racist system of white minority rule in Rhodesia.  People have forgotten by now the nastiness of the regime of Ian Smith and how it was sponsored by Western government.  After completing his education in many fields and adding to it through correspondence education, Mugabe led the movement of ZANU. This is the Mugabe that I remember: the principled and defiant leader of liberation struggle who supported Arab struggle for independence and who supported Palestinian resistance (and received aid from it too).  Mugabe is a man who led the struggle for independence against two evil twin system of colonization: local and external.  This was all before Mugabe became a leader of a country--not a virtuous or able leader but a leader nevertheless.  Yet, the Western media coverage of the man was more like a caricature of him: and don't sell me the fake notions of Western outrage agent his tyranny: Western leaders go one-by-one and prostrate, literally, before every Gulf despot and you think that you rhetoric of outrage against Mugabe will stick?  You think that corruption of the Mugabe is worse than the corruption of US puppet deposit in the Middle East region?  Mugabe also championed the poor and was adamant about health care for all in Zimbabwe when 40 million remain without health care in the US.  But the nasty (and disproportionate) Western media coverage of Mugabe is partly directed against his measures against white settlers who sole lands that didnot belong to him. He was not "magnanimous" like Mandela who was more than happy to apply pure unjust Western capitalism in South Africa.  

Hariri is free but...

Did you see world news agencies? They are reporting that Muhammad bin Salman has told the French president that Saad Hariri has agreed to leave for France. The question is: why does Bin Salman have to speak on behalf of Hariri? Is he a minor now?

The humiliation of Masoud Barazani

The humiliation of Masoud Barazani in the winter of his political career is a good deserved lesson to any despot, za`im, demagogue, potentate, or tribal leader in the Middle East who relies on Israel and US Zionists for the fulfillment of his political ambitions.  Lesson well-learned.

Saudi Arabia: Israel's Dream State

"Israel has no better ally than Saudi Arabia." (thanks Amir)

How did ISIS fighters leave Raqqa? The hypocrisy of Western correspondents in Beirut

Western correspondents in Beirut are really part of the media team of Saudi camp in the region. Remember when Hizbullah expelled ISIS fighters from East Lebanon and allowed the fighters and their families to relocate to Dayr Az-Zur?  Remember how all the Saudi camp chorus in Lebanon along of course--as always--with Western correspondents in Beirut protested that those fighters should not be allowed to be expelled only and that they should have been exterminated with their families by all means necessary, and that Hizbullah must have reached an under-the-table deal? Well, back in May the US forces in Syria said that they only allowed the Syrian fighters of ISIS to leave peacefully, and they criticized the Hizbullah deal and claimed moral superiority because they would not allow the foreign fighters to leave peacefully.  Well, yesterday the spokesperson of the US forces in Syria admitted that foreign fighters did indeed leave Raqqa.  Where is your fake outrage?

Maronite Patriarch is not the first Christian priest to visit the Saudi Kingdom--contrary to what Western and Arab press said

Greek Orthodox Patriarch Elias IV visited the Kingdom in 1974.  There was a Christian community in Jiddah until the 19th century (the Wahhabis massacred them in the first half of that century).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Is the US helping in ISIS in Raqqa and BouKamal?

I think that Russian accusations to the effect that US has been aiding ISIS in Raqqa and BouKamal may have been valid after all.

The chief correspondent of the Economist in the Middle East

I have been complaining about the lousy coverage of the Economist of the Middle East in the last few years. Yesterday, I discovered that the chief correspondent of the magazine in the region has a degree in journalism, and has no specialization in Middle East studies, and knows no Arabic.  Mabrouk.

Western media hypocrisy on Saad Hariri

It is scandalous how Western media--not only Western governments which we know how incestuous they are with the Saudi royal family--in cover up the Saudi regime arrest of the prime minister of Lebanon. Imagine if it was the Syrian regime which did that.  Also, they continue to partake in the Saudi propaganda scam by feigning uncertainty: as if the scenario of placing Hariri under House arrest is totally alien to Muhammad bin Salman. Did he not resort to the same scenario in the case of his own cousin, Muhammad bin Nayif? Where is the mystery in this way too obvious case?

The pro-Saudi propaganda of Ben Hubbard reaches a new low

"The recent episode started when Mr. Hariri fled to Riyadh". Fled? The threat to Hariri was in Lebanon or in Riyadh where he is in detention?  All Lebanese security services--even those loyal to Hariri--refuted Saudi regime claim about threats to his life in Lebanon.  Only Hubbard believes the Saudi claim.  As is well-known, even in pro-Hariri media in Lebanon, Hariri didnot flee to Riyadh, he was SUMMONED.

Bahaa Hariri

What is stunning about the detention of Sa`d Hariri, is that his brother (the benefactor of the Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council) didnot utter a word about the plight of his own brother.  Blinded by political ambition.

Arresting a leader of another Arab country

Saudi regime, by arresting the Prime Minister of Lebanon, established a precedent. The only other case I can think of was in 1977: when Anwar Sadat visited Syria before departing to Israel, ostensibly to explain his mission to Hafidh Al-Asad.  At the time, `Abdul-Halim Khaddam (the foreign minister), urged Hafidh Al-Asad to arrest Sadat to prevent him from visiting the Zionist entity.  Al-Asad refused alas.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Marxist basics: Billionaires are natural allies of despots


On Israeli medical research

So regarding this story: "New compound kills cancer cells’ energy-generating system: An enzyme found only in metastatic cancer cells and normal sperm cells forms basis for promising treatment approach developed by Israeli researchers."

I asked a comrade at Harvard Medical School to comment, and he wrote: "Choking off the energy supply of a tumor as a mode of therapy is a very active area of investigation in cancer research. In fact, targeting the energy pathways of cancer has been the wave for a few years now. This is not detracting from the findings of the Israeli team, only to say it is not unique at all as a “concept" in targeting cancers for therapy.  I still maintain the role of Israeli science is legitimation, in a very orientalist way (Israel brings science to a barren land populated by backward people, which adds to its legitimacy). "

Jamal Khashoggi is increasingly reminding me of King Husayn: one language for the West and another for the Arabs

استمعت اليوم لتفاصيل "مفرحة" عن الحملة على الفساد وجديتها واتساعها، ربما حان الوقت ان ننحي كل شيء جانبا وندعم سمو ولي العهد في حملته التي ستغير لو نجحت مستقبل البلاد.

In Arabic he wrote yesterday: "I today listened to "joyful" details about the campaign against corruption and its seriousness and scope.  Maybe it is time that we set everything aside and support his royal highness the Crown Prince, whose campaign--if it succeeds--will change the future of the country".  So he wants democracy in Saudi Arabia in English in the Washington Post, but requests loyalty to the ruler in Arabic.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Flash: a secret Saudi document about the Saudi-Israeli agreement

Al-Akhbar has obtained a top secret Saudi document (prepared by Adil Al-Jubeir to Muhammad bin Salman) about cementing the Saudi-Israeli agreement.  

The shoddy journalism of the Economist

Does the correspondent of the Economist knows Lebanon or is reporting from Saudi regime sources? Look at this: "Its secret policemen round up dissenters". What? Most media in Lebanon are vocally anti-hizbollah, and there are vocal pro-Saudi critics of Hizbullah who live in the southern suburbs and publish there and there were never ever cases of dissidents who were arrested.  There are large sections of the population in Lebanon who are opposed to Hizbullah. How can you trust the Economist anymore?

100 Israeli raids on Syria in the last few years

Israeli occupation military conceded that it bombed Syria 100 times in the last few years. Yet, I still read in the American press that Israel has stayed out of the Syrian conflict.  

Al-Akhbar has a special supplement on Lenin: and you think that a Hizbullah paper would honor Lenin and Bolsheviks?

Ignorant Western correspondents who can’t read Arabic refer to Lebanese daily, Al-Akhbar, as “Hizbullah’s paper”. Here is a supplement on Lenin published by the paper. You think Hizbullah likes Lenin?

The shoddy journalism of the Economist magazine: how I miss the old Economist and former correspondents

Look at this trash:
1) "In 2008 its militiamen briefly took over the capital".   Briefly? They are talking about one day. ONE DAY.
2) "Now Hizbullah’s green-and-yellow flags flutter above checkpoints on roads between Sunni villages." This is simply made up.
3) "Rafik Hariri, Saad’s father and a popular former prime minister, was assassinated in 2005 when he tried to disarm the group."  This is hilarious.  Rafiq Hariri tried to disarm Hizbullah? When was that? And how?  So they just make things up as they go along now?

I can confirm to you that Saad Hariri is indeed held against his will: although Western governments are covering it up

Citing a Western diplomat who met Hariri in Riyadh last week (not at liberty to reveal the name): Hariri "is mostly silent (during meeting) and (the impression was) that his house is bugged.  Even his wife is being searched every time she enters the door".

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What is King Salman's true opinion of Bahaa Hariri

In 2005, a few months after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, I met with one of the closest advisers of Hariri wanting to know more about the political orientations of the family.  He told me that after Rafiq`s assassination, the Saudi King appointed then Prince Salman in charge of the political management of the Hariri family.  Bahaa at the time wanted to succeed his father as prime minister of Lebanon and leader of the family.  But Salman overruled him and chose his brother, Sa`d: he argued that Bahaa is less kind and less amicable than his brother and that he left a negative impression among Saudi royals. He recounted that Bahaa would leave the court of a prince if the prince is too late for a meeting with him.

Bahaa Hariri, as Saudi regime choice for Lebanon

I wrote this article several months ago about how Bahaa Hariri is entering Lebanese politics through the Zionist gates of DC.

The Plight of Saad Hariri and the plight of Muhammad bin Salman

The influence of Saudi/UAE money over the DC think tank, government, and media scene is such that you find people denying the obvious.  There are people who are still saying: but Hariri was seen greeting the King, which means he is free. But did they forget that Muhammad bin Nayif was made to bless the appointment of MbS as Crown Prince while the former was under house arrest?

The Fiasco of Saudi policies toward Lebanon: has MbS ever succeeded in a war or a policy?

Hoping to recruit some kids to demonstrate in support of Saudi regime policies towards Lebanon, this has become a national joke.  This is going viral: those kids were brought in by Saudi regime tool, Gen. Ashraf Rifi, to Beirut to support Saudi Arabia and protest against Hizbullah, were met with Lebanese correspondents who asked them why they were there and they could not answer. 

How Saudi regime tried to organize mass protests in Lebanon against Iran and in support of Saudi kidnapping of Hariri


So for days, the Saudi regime has been trying to organize mass protests in support of Saudi regime policies in Lebanon.  Hariri movement refused to participate.  Today, they launched the protests: 20 people showed up, largely Ahrar Party (one of the most insignificant right-wing parties) and followers of Hariri tool, Gen. Ashraf Rifi (a founding board member of Prince Nayif University for Security and Torture).  LBC TV interviewed the protestors tonight live on the air: they asked them: why are you here. They said: we don't know. Please ask our official. They told us there is a trip, so we came.

In 1967, the Lebanese immigrant community in Saudi Arabia was threatened with explosion if they didnot sign this petition

In 1967, all Lebanese residing in Saudi Arabia were forced to sign this petition, basically criticizing the Lebanese government because a Lebanese newspaper published criticisms against the Saudi regime.  Hizbullah was not even born, and Iran was ruled by your beloved Shah.

Friday, November 10, 2017

It seems that Western media are only confirming what Al-Akhbar had published two days ago

""Désormais, Riyad chercherait à remplacer Saad Hariri par un de ses frères. «Une proposition a été faite à la famille Hariri de désigner Baha, un frère de Saad, pour reprendre le flambeau politique», confie une source française à Beyrouth.""

Realism and Democracy: the case of Elliott Abrams

This is the 3rd (and last) installment of my critical review of Elliott Arbams's new book on "Realism and Democracy".

Huthi Strike on Riyadh

"Yet lost amid the regional dynamics is the Yemeni political context. The Huthi/Saleh alliance didn’t fire the missile as part of the Iranian-Saudi conflict; rather, they did so for domestic reasons. They view their missile program, rightly or wrongly, as the best way to retaliate against Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, which have devastated parts of north Yemen over the past two and a half years, and also as the best bargaining chip in future negotiations. Tellingly, the missile attack came on the heels of two Saudi airstrikes in the Huthis’ home governorate of Saada, which reportedly killed 38 people, eight of them children."

The man on the right and the man on the left are Muhammad bin Salman's choices to produce "moderate Islam". Good luck.


The Saudi regime is declaring war on the Muslim Brotherhood but don't mind using them in some cases like in Yemen


hypocrisy of French policy

In one day, the French government said that Saad Hariri is not detained but a few hours later it called for his freedom of movement.

Back in 1967, there was no Iranian regime (there was their beloved the Shah), Saudi regime threatened Lebanon with expulsion of all Lebanese from kingdom


Comrade Joseph Massad on Balfour

"Zionism’s enmity toward communist Jews would become a longstanding tradition. When official American anti-Semitism targeted Jewish communists as Soviet spies, and tried and executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953 on flimsy evidence, Israel did not utter a word in protest. (Israeli rabbis, excluding the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, sent a plea to President Truman appealing for clemency for the Rosenbergs, though some of them later expressed public regret that they had signed it.)
When Hungarian fascists and Hitlerites were smuggled into Budapest from the Austrian border by the CIA during the regime of Imre Nagy and began slaughtering Hungarian communist Jews and Hungarian Jews as “communists” in 1956, Israel and other Zionist Jews remained silent and remain so today. Even when leftist Jews were targeted by the anti-Semitic Argentinian generals in the late 1970s, Zionist Argentinian Jews and Israel disavowed them, and Israel maintained its close alliance with the military regime.
Churchill’s explanation clarifies the connections between Protestant and Jewish Zionism, between racialist nationalism and anti-racialist communism, and between Zionist settler-colonialism and communist anti-imperialism. The imperial racism shared by the British and the Zionist movement toward the Palestinians and other Asians and Africans rendered their presence on their lands, let alone their opposition and resistance to settler-colonialism, of no import."

How the DC foreign establishment: Natives are wanted



The American foreign policy establishment in DC loves to find Arabs who are willing to write in English what they themselves write to validate their own conventional wisdom but in the guise of native opinion.

17 years ago the Palestinian hero, Faris Awdah, was martyred while facing Israeli occupation tanks


New York Times

New York Times today for the first time admitted that Saad Hariri is not free but buried this most important element of an otherwise long dispatch from Lebanon in the story. The headline does not mention it.

This has nothing to do with Corruption in Saudi Arabia

My sources in Saudi media tell me: this has nothing to do with corruption. Big media moguls are being pressured to surrender ownership to Muhammad bin Salman, who has been pressuring them for months to sell him their media.  Al-Walid Ibrahim surrendered a big bulk of his ownership of MBC empire.  Sources say that Al-Walid may have been released in return for surrendering control of properties and estates.  There is also a petty element: Saudi regime wants to oust singer Ahlam from the program "The Voice" because she didnot support that Saudi-orchestrted song against Qatar.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

You may follow me on Twitter

As it is easier for me now to express myself with more wordage on twitter, I am writing there more.

Defeat of ISIS is not important anymore

The defeat of ISIS in Al-Bou Kamal city is not even being mentioned in the media.  I guess the defeat of ISIS is not important, especially when at the hands of forces not aligned with Saudi Arabia or US.

For an English translation of Al-Akhbar reporting on the Hariri matter, read Robert Fisk here

He does not add any original story or angle. It is all derived from Al-Akhbar coverage.

PS I am mocking Robert Fisk here, not recommending him.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

This is why the Saudi regime sacked Saad Hariri

The very next day after Hariri met with Ali Akbar Wilayeti in Beirut, the Hariri mouthpiece, Al-Mustaqbal, came out with this big headline: "Tehran clarifies from the Serail: We Support Lebanon's Independence."  Within hours, Hariri was sacked.  I went back to this issue in order to see how the paper covered the visit by the high-ranking Iranian delegation (and Wilayeti praised Hariri after the meeting) and the coverage was most favorable.  It surprised me because the Saudi propaganda machine in Lebanon has started to fabricate and say that Wileayet threatened Hariri in the meeting.

Another stupid Western survey of Arab public opinion

Look at this one: " In places such as Lebanon and Morocco only half as many Muslims listen to recitals of the Koran today, compared with 2011." How is that a measure of anything? And how can one escape the recitals with the loudspeakers of mosque blasting all around you?

FLASH: Muhammad bin Salman may be declared King in the next 36 hours

I am hearing that he will be declaring himself king in the next 36 hours and that recent arrests paved the way.

Of all the bombing and shelling in the Middle East, Robert Malley found only the one Huthi missile to be reckless

"Yet Lebanese, whether affiliated with Hezbollah or others, also seem persuaded that some form of action has become virtually inescapable. The Houthi missile strike was too reckless".  Are you sure that those were Lebanese affiliated with Hizbullah? So basically all Lebanese are of the Saudi opinion? And have you talked to anyone outside of the small circle of Hariri contacts among Western correspondents in Beirut, or did Nicholas Blanford introduce you to one of his secret Hizbullah contacts who is willing to bash his own party to any passing Zionist in the Middle East?

The next US budget devotes $7.72 billion to peace and security

I don't want to reveal Orwellian skepticism, but why does the US budget combines expenditure for "peace and security"? How much goes to peace and how much goes to security? And why do I suspect that "peace expenditure" by US budget is rather military in nature?

The many wars of Muhammad bin Salman: These are the wars that Muhammad bin Salman has launched since he took office in 2015

His war on the Saudi royal family to exclude all members from decision-making.
His war on Qatar.
His war on Yemen.
His war on Syrian regime.
His war on Iranian regime.
His war on Hizbullah.
His war on Iraqi Shi`ite establishment.
His war on all allies of Hizbullah in Lebanon.
His war on Muslim Brotherhood.
His war on Hamas.
His war on Salafites and liberals inside the kingdom.
His war on Wahhabi clerics who don't toe the line.
His war on Oman.
His war on Kuwait (Saudi regime press media has become increasingly vocal against Kuwait).

Al-Walid bin Talal fell: Western journalists now has bad stories to tell

Now that Al-Walid bin Talal has fallen, some Western journalists have finally found the courage to badmouth him when they used to produce the fawning glamorizing profiles of him when he was free.

Nicholas Blanford sources never identify themselves--not even when they are part of the Hariri camp

"A senior source in Hariri’s Future Movement justifies the resignation by saying that Hezbollah had never shown the same willingness to compromise as shown by the prime minister, the alleged assassination plot being the final straw ... says the source, requesting anonymity in order to speak freely. "  Why would not they be able to speak freely? What is so secretive? I mean, they are not like his "Rony"--the Hizbullah source who bashes to party to every anti-hizbollah Western journalist who passes through Beirut. (thanks Basim)

Two Arab leaders under house arrests in Riyadh

The US media has not been reporting that Saudi regime has also been placing Yemeni "leader", `Abd-Al-Mansur Hadi, under house arrest in addition to Sa`d Hariri.  Can you imagine if a non-ally of the US has been doing that? The Security Council would have met in an emergency session, and Western human rights organizations would have held vigils.

My blog has been down: and I have been receiving treats from accounts in Saudi Arabia

My blog has been in terrible shape in the last two days. I hope this is unrelated to the fact that I have been receiving threats from Saudi accounts on Twitter.

Martin chulov in Riyadh

Martin chulov got too excited.  He got to travel to Riyadh to cover the “Saudi revolution”.  He talked to anonymous people who showered praise on the despot and he didnot know that speaking agianst the despot will get you in jail, even if you are a royal.  This is the real revolution going on: a revolution in tyranny.  But Chulov is perfect for the job because he has been covering Syria and Lebanon exactly the way the Saudi regime and its Hariri allies have wanted.  I am not making this up, Saudi regime media are thrilled with the Guardian’s lastest endorsement of Saudi regime “reforms”.

Mossad and Harvey Weisntein

By the way, have feminist groups in the US responded to the New Yorker story about Weinstein's reliance on Mossad agents to fight against women who came forward with complaints about him?

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Poor Genghis Khan



Come to think of it, Genghis Khan was a reformist but did not have paid Western think tanks to say that at his time.

@khalidalbaih


What Israeli-US-Saudi-Hariri conspiracy?

Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid)
1 \ I published on channel 10 a cable sent to Israeli diplomats asking to lobby for Saudis\Hariri &against Hezbollah news.nana10.co.il/Article/?Artic…

Harvey Weinstein and the Mossad agents who spied on women accusers: Israel's dirty hands in every dirty story

"Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature." You would think that this should be a big story.  A foreign intelligent agency is spying on American women who accused an American businessman of rape and sexual assault.  Imagine if an Arab-American accused of rape and assault were to hire "former" intelligence agents from Syria or Egypt to spy and harass and intimidate American women.   Will feminists in the US speak about this dirty role of Israel here?

The DC Express: Apparently Lebanon declared war on Saudi Arabia but Lebanon never heard of it


Monday, November 06, 2017

Do you know that Saudi regime media have cited the Guardian's praise for MbS?

How much the Guardian has changed (just like Liberation in France).  Saudi regime is very pleased with the Guardian's coverage of the kingdom as they have been thrilled with the paper's coverage of the Syrian war.

CONFIRMED: Hariri is under House arrest in Riyadh, and his resignation was forced on him

Read the full account by Ibrahim Al-Amin.  Don't you like it when March 14 still invokes the slogans about sovereignty of Lebanon?

According to Western media and governments (including French socialists and the Guardian) those fanatical kooks represent progressive and feminist religion


What is unique about the rule of Muhammad bin Salman

This is the first Saudi ruler who is ruling without alliances within the royal family.  Remember that even the powerful Faisal relied on Abdullah bin `Abdul-`Aziz to counter the influence of the Sudayris. Muhammad bin Salman does not even rely on his own brother in his one-man-despotic show.

Victims of sexual assault and rape in the New York Times

So there have been scores of cases of US celebrities accused of rape and sexual assault recently.  Of the scores of cases, guess which case led the New York Times to devote a whole Saturday profile of the victim of such case of sexual assault?  The Times only devoted a whole profile of one victim only: the victim of the Swiss Muslim professor.  The Times did not think that the victims of the US media and movie types (who are not Muslim) deserved the same coverage. 

See why you can't trust Western polls of the Middle East? Pew Lists Jordanian monarchy as a democracy


As if there is doubt that Saudi Arabia is an absolute despotic monarch: far more repressive than China

"While accompanied by the rhetoric of reform, this weekend's purge resembles the approach of authoritarian regimes such as China."  As if before this weekend, there was doubt whether Saudi Arabia is despotic. 

By the Book in the New York Times

"By the Book" is a weekly section in the New York Times' Book World section.  What strikes me about all those writers interviewed over the years is the extent to which they are narrowly influenced by US books.  It is so rare to find one writer who reads a foreign language and it is very rare to find one writer who says that he/she is influenced by a non-American (or non-British) writer.  Culture in the US is so narrow and so focused on presidential biographies which always pass in this patriotic country as the highest form of literature.

Western correspondents in Beirut are more like activists and advocates: the case of Anne Barnard

Look at the objective and fair assessment by Anne Barnard of the situation in Lebanon: "But while Mr. Hariri has made many concessions to Hezbollah — tolerating its growing involvement in Syria and its adoption of state functions like negotiating hostage releases and fighting militants on the borders — Hezbollah has not made as many concessions to him".  Hariri made concessions by tolerating Hizbullah's involvement in Syria? Why not add that Hizbullah also tolerated Hariri's earlier involvement in Syria and the arming of Syrian rebels on behalf of the Saudi intelligence service?  Also notice, everyone cited in the article is in the March 14 camp. Not one voice from the other side.  Fox News is not the only media which practices the Orwellian distortion of "Fair and balanced".

I know the Guardian loves Saudi despot, but Saudi regime media have surpassed Saddam's media in Orwellian threats

The headline of Al-Jazirah newspapers of the Saudi regime says: "No place for Traitors in the age of Salman of "resolve" (resolve in reference to the Storm of Resolve, which is the official name of the Saudi-US brutal war on Yemen)".  Saudi regime media makes it clear that the campaign is political and yet Western media still insist that the corrupt despot is merely fighting corruption.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

So was the Huthi missile intercepted by Patriots or not?

On the front page of Al-Hayat (the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan--the Western media still refer to newspapers of Saudi princes in London as "pan-Arab newspapers), there is a reference to: Saudi air force claimed that the missile was intercepted but the same story says that civil aviation administration said that the missile fell on the airport grounds.  Which is which?

Flash What is happening in Saudi Arabia: a helicopter crash and Prince Mansur bin Muqrin is killed

Just in.  Apparently "princes and officials" were killed.  

Who would have believed that one would read Saudi regime trashy propaganda in the Guardian? not 20 years ago

This is by the diplomatic editor of the Guardian-mind you. This is like saying that Trump is a gentleman with a zeal for feminism.

"Saudi arrests show crown prince is a risk-taker with a zeal for reform".

Is Saad Hariri detained at the Ritz also?

That is what I am hearing.  If you compare the background of this picture which Hariri posted (just like the pictures that were released about Muhammad bin Nayif to suggest falsely that he was free), with the background of this suite in the video at second 30, they seem similar.

PS Try to make reservation on-line at that hotel now.

The anti-Corruption campaign

From my communication with Saudis inside the kingdom or outside:  You would be mistaken to think there is no sympathy on the part of the Saudi youth for the declared (and fake) campaign against corruption.  This should be factored in the analysis of MbS and his plight.

What is happening in Saudi Arabia; the Ritz saga continues

Ba`thist regimes used to arrest people on trumped up charges of spying for Israel.  The regime of Muhammad bin Salman arrests people (opposition people or people who are quiet as being quiet is a crime in the land of MbS) on charges of either terrorism or corruption.  If there is a real campaign against corruption, why are Bandar bin Sultan and Khalid bin Sultan free?  And what about the $500 million Yacht which MbS bought on a whim? Was that from his hard work earnings?  This is what I learned from a source in a major Saudi media conglomerate: the arrest of the princes and business people has nothing to do with corruption.  It was part of an insistence by MbS to control vast financial interests.  The An-Nashir for Research company, owned by MbS, wanted to buy MBC TV stations a year ago.  Its owner Al-Walid Al-Ibrahim (brother-in-law of King Fahd) refused the offer but kept the door for negotiations open while he never wanted to sell.  He is part of the detainees in the Ritz in Riyadh.  There is pressure on him to transfer complete ownership to An-Nashir co and for free.  Same story is happening with Al-Walid bin Talal and his in-law Ibrahim Al-`Assaf where they are being pressured to relinquish investment and properties under the guise that they were obtained through corrupt means.  The goal is for MbS to hold the keys to all the large media empires and relocate them to Saudi Arabia to be under his tight control.  Salih Al-Kamil owner of OSN is also a detainee.  There is a state of anxiety among the staff of all Saudi media, especially those located outside the kingdom.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

It looks like there is a war inside the Saudi royal family

Those arrests today and the ouster of Prince Mi`ib bin Abdullah reveal of something like a war within the royal family.  Within minutes of the announcement of the ouster of the Prince, Saudi accounts on Twitter were flooding the social media with stories about corruption of the prince.  

Walid Ibrahim arrested?

I am told that Walid Ibrahim (brother-in-law) of King Fahd, and the owner of the largest TV empire in the Arab world has also been arrested.

Israel and Hariri resignation

I disagree with those who said that Hariri's resignation was a Saudi decision implemented by the Lebanese prime minister.  IT was more an Israeli decision implemented by the Saudi government.

A new batch of arrests and dismissals in Saudi Arabia; news that Al-Walid bin Talal is in jail

A busy day in Saudi Arabia. Not only the resignation of Saad Hariri. But Prince Mit`ib bin Abdullah has been removed from the National Guard.  This is the first time that the National Guard is not in the hand of Abdullah or his son.  That put all apparatus of the military-intelligence network in the hands of Muhammad bin Salman.  News that Al-Walid bin Talal has been arrested and accused of money laundering.  This could be a service to Trump, who hates Al-Walid: the two fought it out on twitter during the campaign although Al-Walid tried to reconcile with Trump after his election but to no avail.  

Hariri resignation in Beirut

It is funny: people of the Saudi and Israeli lobbies on social media are jubilant about Saad Hariri's resignation (from Riyadh, no less and through Saudi regime media) and treating the matter as if it was a purely Lebanese matter.  The resignation was days in the making.  Saudi minister (for Gulf affairs but he also seems to be in charge of Lebanese affairs as well) has been threatening the Lebanese people and government for many days and warning of an impending action.  In fact, he threatened hours before Hariri resignation that Saudi Arabia will "cut off" the hands of Iran--which was the same expression used by Hariri in the speech which was prepared for him.  Hariri was sitting with Hizbullah ministers and defending the political arrangement in which all parties were represented against critics in his quarters.  He also met with a senior Iranian delegation HOURS before his resignation (above) (the delegated was headed by Ali Akbar Welayeti, who said after the meeting that it was "constructive").  Just after the meeting, Hariri was summoned to Riyadh and he took a selfti with Minister Sabhan (the latter posted it on Twitter (above) and said it was after a long meeting), and then the speech of resignation was aired on Saudi media.  Its text was counter to all the speeches that Hariri has been giving for many months.   The best part is that Saudi regime media announced that there was an assassination attempt on Hariri's life just before he departed for Saudi Arabia.  The pro-Saudi branch of the Lebanese security services promptly told Lebanese media that they never heard of any of that and that they were not sources for this fable.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Finally, more than a week after the story broke, the Guardian admits that it published a fabrication about that Syrian director who staged his own assassination attempt

Finally the Guardian grudgingly admitted that it published a fabrication. But I like how the article concludes: "“These stories damage our credibility and result in an oral defeat for all those who believe in the revolution,” said another activist." Basically, the Guardian is saying that lies and fabrications are not bad journalism but they are bad if they harm the PR of the "revolution".  

Lebanese sectarian Christians are up in arms because Shi`ite Muslims repaired the wall of an old mosque in Kisrawan

Lebanese sectarian Christians are up in arms because Shi`ites repaired the wall of an ancient mosque in a town in predominantly Christian Kisrawan (which was predominantly Shi`ite until Mamluki times).  If this was an uproar over the repair of a wall of a church in a Muslim town, Western correspondents in Beirut would be all over the story, and US Congress would have held special hearings on the matter, and Western human rights organizations would have issued special reports.

Peter Galbraith on the Kurds

I see that he is still writing on Kurdish matters, and he was with Barazani on the eve of the declaration of Independence.  This note is from a few years ago.

The Guardian never retracted her story that the Syrian opposition director, Muhammad Bayazid survived an assassination attempt

It seems that the Guardian is willing to stick by lies and fabrications provided they serve the cause of Syrian exile opposition

Why is Israel Philharmonic more famous in the US (and admired) than all other Philhamonics in the world?

"With a farewell on the horizon, Zubin Mehta's concert with the Israel Philharmonic is a triumph"

So now the US government admits it lied: that the "journal" was written by a family member of Bin Laden

As I told you yesterday, the "journal" ostensibly by Bin Laden as all US media said (as told by the US government), is now revealed to have been written not by Bin Laden but by a family member. And it is not a journal, for potato's sake. It is a transcript of meetings in which the round up of news about Arab uprisings is discussed.  

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Bin Laden documents: do I smell a US propaganda scheme?

Of the Bin Laden documents, I read yesterday and today 1) the Bin Laden "journal"; 2) and the document pertaining to the relations between Al-Qa`idah and Iran.  Here are my conclusions:
We should treat all these "documents" released very belatedly by the US government as suspect--until their authenticity is proven beyond a doubt.  But the US government sat on them and only released its version of their spin for years and now suddenly they are released.  I am most skeptical especially that I see lies surrounding the release. 1) regarding the Ben Laden "Journal".  It is not a journal.  I don't know why the US government is insisting (along with the obedient media) on calling it a "journal".  It has none of the features of a "journal' or diary.  In fact, it is more like a transcript of a regular session in which the Arab uprisings--or more accurately--Al-Jazeera coverage of them--are discussed in the presence presumably of Ben Laden.  They don't seem to be written by the same person and sometimes (see above) there is more than one handwriting on the same page.  And sometimes different pens on the same page.  The language of the journal is not consistent: sometimes it is less religious and seems secular in tone.  This also raises suspicions.  Sometimes Ben Laden is talked about in the first person and other times in the 3rd person.  What makes me more suspicious is the leaks by the US government (and the complaint media), in that they wanted only their spin.  It is true that Aljazeera is approvingly mentioned but there are also references to New York Times (but why would Bin Laden who knows English refer to the New York Times as "New York Time"?  Also, did Bin Laden have a satellite dish in Pakistan? I thought he did not. How is he managing to follow the TV coverage so closely and cite various experts who appear on Aljazeera or on Western media?  Also, there is a reference at least three times in the notebook to a vision Bin Laden have about Prince Nayif in military uniform and how they were fighting the communists.  Why did this not make it into the convenient leak by the US government? And the references to Prince Nayif were rather respectful.  I did not see that one in the Western media references (they were all recipient of what the US government wanted to stress).  But the language of the notebook does not resemble the language of Bin Laden.  Those transcripts were more like note taking of a session in which people discussed a roundup of developments in the Arab uprisings.  On another page, there is a reference to Iran and how they support protesters in Bahrain to pressure "the kingdom".  And there is a sentence in which it is said: "Aljazeera with God's praise is the carrier of the banner of the revolutions".  The second reference to Prince Nayif and the vision appears and its said that he appeared yet again in military uniform and that he did not appear as a hostile party.  On another page, there is a reference to the development of Yemen and its transition from "one age to another" by none other than Abdul-Nasser. How odd is it for an Islamist of any kind to make a favorable reference to Nasser?  2) then there is that 19-page document (unsigned) and it is ostensibly is a document showing ties between Iran and Al-Qa`idah.  This one is the hardest to believe.  The document does not make sense: at several points it talks about Iranian regime being very pragmatic and another point it talks that the enmity between US and Iran is very real and not fake. But this last contention is totally against all the beliefs of Islamists (of the various kind) who are convinced that the US and Iran are allies under the table.  The paper also alleges that Iran offered to send Al-Qa`idah members to train at Hizbullah camps in Lebanon.  This is clearly a fabrication and shows a clumsy effort to implicate Iran in a relations with Al-Qa`idah. But why would Iran need to send Al-Qa`dish fighters who are allegedly in Iran already to Lebanon to train? Why not train them there in Iran?  Also, the document itself then says: that Iranian governments arrested all of them and they had to go into hiding.  This document in particular clearly is fabricated--I venture--and I don't know who wrote it.  It also struck me as less religious in tone than what we normally read form those quarters.  And as for the porn collection that Bin Laden had: I also don't believe it.  The US never explained what it was and where it was (remember that Bin Laden did not have internet in his house).   I believe that Bin Laden is a sincere fanatical kook, unlike say other of this type, and for that I discount the story of the porn cache.   Do you remember when US dropped fliers into Afghanistan showing a manufactured "picture" of a clean shaven Bin Laden in a suit and tie allegedly to tell the people that he fled and left his fighters behind?

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

FLASH: leaked video from his friend. The Syrian opposition director who faked his own assassination attempt and said regime was behind it

I have posted on this story early on.  Typically, Western correspondents in Beirut and elsewhere were posting on social media and wrote about the Syrian opposition director, Muhammad Bayazid, and how he survived an assassination attempt on his life in Istanbul by Syrian regime goons because he was about to release an anti-regime movie.  Executive-Director of CAIR, personally escorted him out of Turkey and posted on social media about his best wishes for the victim of a heinous assassination attempt. It was the Turkish police which first expressed doubts about the story, but the story crumbled when his own friend and "witness" confessed.  Today, his friend leaked the video in which the director plotted his own assassination which left him with a very superficial wound near his shoulder. He tells his friend in the video that they will be the "most famous people in the Middle East for the next 48 hours.  

I am not making this up: US government congratulations Saudi government for their school curricula

I am not making this up.  A US official (is that education secretary?) gives an award to a Saudi education ministry official for the contents of Saudi school curricula--this only weeks after the release of a Human Rights Watch report about hate in Saudi curricula.

Questions about Bible claims

"No evidence of the events described in the Book of Genesis has ever been found. No city walls have been found at Jericho, from the appropriate era, that could have been toppled by Joshua or otherwise. The stone palace uncovered at the foot of Temple Mount in Jerusalem could attest that King David had been there; or it might belong to another era entirely, depending who you ask." "No evidence that the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt, passed through a miraculously parted Red Sea, wandered the Sinai Desert for 40 years or indeed any years, and no evidence that they conquered the land of Israel and divided it up among 12 tribes of Israel. The renowned archaeologist also shared his suspicion that David and Solomon’s "United Kingdom," described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a minor tribal domain."

France helps Israel whitewash its crimes

"France’s real policy is to give Israel unconditional support and rewards no matter what crimes it commits. A prime example of that is the Saison France-Israël 2018 propaganda festival planned by the Institut Français, the international cultural arm of the French government, in collaboration with Israel." "The choice of 2018 for this propaganda festival can be no coincidence. Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Zionist militias in order to establish the Israeli state on the ruins of Palestinian society." (thanks Amir)

The French press has become worse than US press in covering the Middle East: how I miss Eric Rouleau

It is astonishing that Le Monde has chosen to cover the founding of a pro-Saudi regime group in Lebanon and billed it as a Shi`ite movement intended on opposing hegemony of Hizbullah.  But when they say hegemony (as in "Au Liban, des personnalités chiites se dressent contre l’hégémonie du Hezbollah") do they imply that popular support for Hizbullah among Shi`ites (repeatedly registered in free elections) is not voluntary?  That it is coerced? That shows you how much those Western journalists in our lands know about the region and its politics.  The funny part which is not mentioned in the article is that the Saudi regime and Hariri family have been forming such groups almost every year since 2005 and none of them ever went anywhere.  But this Le Monde writer seems to know better. Good luck. Remember when in 2005 after assassination of Rafiq Hariri and then in 2006 after the Israeli war on Lebanon, the US press was filled with articles about how Hizbullah is losing support among Shi`ites and that Nasrallah's days--just as Bashshar's days--are numbered? I remember.

PS The funny part is that even the Lebanese press largely ignores such announcements because they happen at such frequency and never amount to anything.

Iraqi parliament bans the display of the Israeli occupation flag anywhere on Iraqi territory

In the wake of the humiliating defeat of the corrupt (oil thief) and feudal warlord, Masoud Barazani and the few cases where some locals in the region displayed Israeli occupation flags, the Iraqi parliament met yesterday and ruled that any display of Israeli flags on Iraqi territory is henceforth legally banned.